vegansaurus!

06/17/2014

Massel Concentrated Liquid Stock makes for vegan cooking bliss!  »

imageWhen Massel, the company famous for its vegan bouillon cubes, offered to send me samples of their new liquid stock line I was really excited. I’ve used the cubes before, and I love that their products are clearly labeled “vegan” and free from questionable ingredients like MSG. So, I tried Massel’s new vegan concentrated stocks line and I LOVE it! 

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imageMy new favorite things: adding a bit of bouillon stock into a pot of quinoa cooking on the stove, using it to flavor noodle soups, or my very favorite: use Massel liquid stock to make a broth for cooking broccoli! You just add 3 tablespoons chicken-free liquid stock to 4 cups of boiling water. Steam the broccoli in the water/stock mixture on the stove and it turns the broccoli into the most luscious, savory, rich goodness imaginable. It’s magic! I have never loved broccoli as much as I do now, thanks to Massel!

According to the company website, one tablespoon of the highly concentrated liquid stock makes 1 cup of soup stock.  Once you’ve formed a stock base, you can just toss in your favorite soup fixings like veggies, noodles, leafy greens, veg protein or whatever pleases you!

My favorite flavor was definitely the vegan “chicken” flavor, and the one flavor I really didn’t love as much was the beef flavor. Here’s a great recipe reposted with permission from the Massel vegan recipe bank on their website.image

Gluten Free Vegan Sesame Noodles
Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. spaghetti (gluten free, if desired)
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2/3 cup water
  • ⅓ teaspoon Massel Vegetable or Chicken style Better Bouillon 
  • ½ cup peanut butter (sunflower seed butter, if you have nut allergies)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce (tamari sauce is gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoon Sriracha or favorite hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoon sesame seeds

Method

1.   Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.

2.   While the pasta is cooking, whisk the rest of ingredients together in a bowl. Drizzle mixture over drained pasta and toss well.

3.   Serve immediately, room temperature, or chilled.

Enjoy! See this list of where you can buy Massel products.

06/16/2014

Beyond Sushi serves all-vegan sushi with extra flair in NYC!  »

imageMeave and I had the pleasure of visiting NYC’s Beyond Sushi (Union Square location) last week and we were pretty much blown away! Seriously, I didn’t know sushi could be so fun—and so vegan!

People have always told me about different places with such and such vegan roll and I’ve always been like, “whatever, I just like avocado rolls! Why I gotta go somewhere special for that?” Little did I know there’s a big, exciting vegan sushi world out there! What an idiot I was. But we live and learn, yeah?!imageWe started off with some of their yummy juices. These are not the cleanse type, which is good because that’s not my steeze. I got the cucumber mint lemonade and it was SO GOOD. Meave got some sort of watermelon juice that I refused to try because watermelon is bleh! But my juice was the yum.imageNext, we had one of their wraps. I wasn’t that excited because I think of wraps as just like a bunch of raw veggies pretending to be a sandwich. Boy was I delightfully surprised! This Nutty Buddy wrap ended up being maybe my favorite thing we had. It was full of buckwheat noodles, cashews, carrots, cilantro, jalapeño peanut butter, avocado, sesame oil, tofu, and lettuce—whoa! Plus it came with a side of sweet soy mirin sauce. I love the noodles and peanut butter!!! I could eat this every day. 

imageNext came the sushi! OMG how pretty, right? On the very left is their most popular roll, the Spicy Mang: black rice, avocado, mango, English cucumber, spicy veggies and toasted cayenne sauce. A lot of their rolls use black rice, which is actually more purple. It’s really good. It’s a bit sweeter than white rice and just has more flavor in general. imageIn the middle, is the roll of the month! Every month they have a special roll. For June, it’s this fun eggplant roll: black rice, roasted eggplant, avocado, and baby arugula topped with rosemary infused butter bean purée and roasted roma tomatoes infused with garlic and thyme. YES. I was all, “I didn’t know you could even have sushi like this” and Meave is all, “well, it’s BEYOND sushi!” Haha, indeed. 

The third roll was the Mighty Mushroom: six-grain rice, enoki, tofu, shiitake, and micro arugula with a shitake teriyaki sauce. This was my favorite! The shitake teriyaki sauce on top was so good. 

imageWe also had two of the individual pieces, baked tofu with chili mango. AWESOME. 

So, if you couldn’t tell, we love Beyond Sushi! I warn you if you go though that seating is limited. But we got there at 6:30 on a Tuesday and there were plenty of places to sit. But by the time we left, people were waiting to sit. I also advise that you TRY EVERYTHING! Because it’s so good. Oh, besides the one in Union Square, there’s also a location in Chelsea Market.imageBONUS! They have all these exciting almond butters they make in-house! I got my big bro this truffle oil/thyme almond butter because those are his favorite things and I’m so nice to him. 

Disclosure: we dined for free because we are very fancy! I paid full price for the almond butter though, and I’d do it again! Because I’m so nice to my big bro!

06/13/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Meat-free butchers?  »

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I’m glad to have an op-ed in Kentucky’s largest paper today about the pork industry’s sordid track record on animal cruelty.

There’s some promising news, however: Agribusiness giant Cargill put the writing on the wall quite clearly this week: Gestation crates have no future in the pork industry. The company is moving to group sow housing in its own operations by next year and will require its contractors to do the same by 2017.

And in some other promising news, butcher shops seem to be the latest companies getting on the meat-free trend. One in Connecticut is now praising Meatless Monday and closing in its honor, while one in Toronto is actually entirely meat-free. Yep, a vegetarian butcher shop.

P.S. Video of the week: Kitten jam!

P.P.S. I hope to see you at Taking Action for Animals in D.C at the end of this month; it’s going to rock!.

06/11/2014

Vida Vegan Con III, the vegan blogging conference to end all conferences EVER, is coming to Austin on May 29-31 2015, and you totally want to either speak at it or go to it because it’s THE BEST EVENT ON EARTH. Seriously, it’s all the raddest vegans, all the best vegan food, and panels and hang outs and galas and silent auctions and snacks and I’m telling you, it’s vegan summer camp, but more awesome than that sounds. It’s just the mickey fickey BEST.
Here’s details for applying to speak. (Do this before July 9th! Do it! You totally have something amazing to say!)
Here’s details for early registration, which opens THIS FRIDAY!
Now, go apply to speak! Or put early registration in your calendar! DO IT NOW! The world needs to see you and hear you in all your amazing vegan glory.

And with that! I’ll see you in Austin and we will have the most fun together, promise. 

Vida Vegan Con III, the vegan blogging conference to end all conferences EVER, is coming to Austin on May 29-31 2015, and you totally want to either speak at it or go to it because it’s THE BEST EVENT ON EARTH. Seriously, it’s all the raddest vegans, all the best vegan food, and panels and hang outs and galas and silent auctions and snacks and I’m telling you, it’s vegan summer camp, but more awesome than that sounds. It’s just the mickey fickey BEST.

Here’s details for applying to speak. (Do this before July 9th! Do it! You totally have something amazing to say!)

Here’s details for early registration, which opens THIS FRIDAY!

Now, go apply to speak! Or put early registration in your calendar! DO IT NOW! The world needs to see you and hear you in all your amazing vegan glory.

And with that! I’ll see you in Austin and we will have the most fun together, promise. 

06/10/2014

Oakland’s Awesome, Sun-Baked, Line-Filled Vegan Food Fest   »

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Let’s get this out of the way: the lines were long. And I mean like, crazy long. Long enough to wind through the outdoor patio lined with pop-up vegan restaurants and snake back around on themselves.

The first annual Oakland Vegan Beer & Food Festival this past Saturday was well attended, almost shockingly crowded. We knew Oakland loved a good vegan dish (and beer), but wow. Some reported waiting in line for up to two hours.

Although certainly frustrating, I’m going to look at the silver lining here and posit this simply means they’ll need more space and more food booths next time, which the organizers know—not such a bad thing.

After the fest, Hella Vegan Eats posted a love note to the community on their Facebook page that included this insight: “We are overjoyed that there was such a positive response to this event even with the crazy long lines. We can’t wait to begin planning next year’s #OAKVEGBFF with way more vendors, more space, better organization, etc. Now that we know to expect so many people, we can plan accordingly!”

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Personally, I waited half an hour in line then another half hour for one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever had, courtesy of S+M Vegan. The flavorful Okonomiyaki (savory Japanese pancake) stuffed with tots and veggies and topped with pickled relish and sweet soy was succulent and satisfying. Standing while eating, I finished it far too quickly.

While waiting, we sipped tart ciders and sampled decadent pastries including a gooey chocolate grasshopper bar and caramel cupcake from Timeless Coffee. As the Oakland sun beat down, I tried tastes of a dark Ale Industries Rye’d Piper and the Linden Street New Oakland Glow.

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I also got a chance to chat with the duo behind Rhizocali Tempeh. They mentioned that they were surprised, coming from Gainesville, Florida, a town with two independent tempeh-producing companies, to find no other locals currently producing tempeh in Oakland. Nuts, right? The organic tempeh-makers based in the same commercial kitchen as Hella Vegan Eats and S+M Kitchen.

Wildly popular fest organizers Hella Vegan Eats had some especially long lines as well, but I saw many a vegan walk away ecstatic with a glistening plate of fried “chicken” and waffle or mac-n-cheese Lusty Lovers tacos from their booth.

While the food vendors were all lined up in the outdoor patio, inside we got to check out some rather shiny classic cars and art installations.

Outside, dogs roamed the lines, some very cute pups up for adoption via Rocket Dog Rescue—which received 20 percent of the event’s proceeds—and others brought by attendees, just stretching on leashes and seeking fallen drops of precious veggie meats.

To see more yummy photos of the event, creep on the #OAKVEGBFF hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

Truthbomb: milk and cheese are just as cruel as meat  »

Warning: graphic!!!

This is not the most pleasant way to start the day but if we vegans don’t share this kind of information, I don’t know who will. Right? I don’t want to watch it either but we all know people who consume dairy and these are the tools to raise awareness. So, here is the latest undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals of Canada’s largest dairy factory farm, Chilliwack Cattle Company in British Columbia. It’s brutal. I made it through about 15 seconds. The description alone is awful. From the MFA summary, some of the atrocities captured on the video:

  • Workers viciously kicking, punching, beating, and hitting cows in the face and body with chains, canes, metal pipes, and rakes
  • Sick and injured cows suffering from open wounds, oozing infections, and painful injuries left to suffer without proper veterinary care
  • Workers using chains and tractors to lift sick and injured cows by their necks
  • Workers poking and squeezing festering wounds, ripping clumps of hair out of cows’ sensitive tails, and punching bulls in the testicles

Brutal. According to MFA Canada’s FB page, the factory was promptly raided by officials—good on them for swift action! Though it would be nice if laws were enforced because, you know, they are laws, as opposed to being enforced because a third party did their own investigation and made it public. And of course it would be even nicer if animals weren’t treated as objects and machines. 

Final message: Vegetarians, if you gave up meat to help animals, I applaud you for your intentions but eating dairy is just as bad. It’s time to ditch dairy. You can do it!

06/09/2014

All-vegan ice cream shop formerly known as Lula’s makes peanut-butterific vegan ice cream!  »

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Jess being cute. My cone is on the left (your left) and her peanut butter chocolate chip is on the right. 

As the weather was mostly pleasant here in NYC last week and her main squeeze was out of town, I got to go on an ice cream date with my friend Jess. You guys remember Lula’s Sweet Apothecary? Well, as you may recall, they had some drama last year. I don’t know much about it but I know they didn’t really close, but they don’t go by Lula’s anymore. They also don’t go by anything else so…I will call them the Sweet Apothecary formerly known as Lula’s I suppose. Regardless, I hadn’t since whatever happened, so Jess and I decided to see how things were going over there. 

First of all, they had espresso ice cream. MY FAVE. Second of all, they were all out of it—I guess it’s not just MY fave. However, all was not lost as I took a chance and got the vanilla ice cream with peanut butter crunch swirl and it was FANTASMIC! The swirl wasn’t really crunchy, just peanut buttery, which is what I was hoping. Jess got the peanut butter chocolate chip. I gave it a try and it was delicious as well! Even if they have the espresso next time I go, I think I will get one of the two we got. Or maybe the espresso. OR MAYBE ALL THREE BECAUSE I DO WHAT I WANNA. 

I have to say I think the ice cream there is better than it used to be when it was Lula’s. Is that possible? When I first moved to NYC, I went to Lula’s a few times and while I liked it, I didn’t find the ice cream that flavorful. Or there were flavorful options but they weren’t classic ice cream flavors. Like the maple pecan was great, but the traditional options weren’t as plentiful and were just a little underwhelming. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I swear, the flavors now are perfect! TWO peanut butter options?! BE STILL MY PEANUT BUTTER-COVERED HEART. 

And you’ll be happy to know they still have all the vegan candy bars for sale, including personal fave Go Max Go’s Thumbs Up

So if you haven’t been to the Sweet Apothecary formerly known as Lula’s in a while, go! Tis the season!

The address is 516 E 6th St, between ave A and B. 

06/06/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: quit meat, save dough!  »

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Did you know that the last time meat prices were this high, Reagan was in office? That’s one reason I write in a New York Daily News op-ed that if you want to save money, giving farm animals a bit of a break will also give our wallets a break, too. Amusingly, the paper named the op-ed, “Quit Meat, Save Dough.”

Speaking of money, a major battery egg producer was fined $6.8 million this week after admitting to bribing USDA officials to approve potentially rotten eggs.

And egg-laying chickens are on the political map in Massachusetts, where we’re waging a major campaign to ban battery cages, veal crates, and gestation crates. Here’s the latest coverage.

Want to learn more about these kinds of animal protection campaigns while networking with tons of other like-minded animal advocates and eating off-the-hook vegan food? Come to the Taking Action for Animals conference in DC June 27-30!!!

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro

P.S. Video of the week: Just a cat playing with a pig. No big deal.

NorCal: Party with Animal Place at Music in the Meadow TOMORROW!  »

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Sorry for the last minute notice but Animal Place’s annual Music in the Meadow is tomorrow! GUESS WHO IS GOING TO BE THERE. Ok I’ll tell you! Not only my idol Panda Bob, but the newly famous Mr. G and Jellybean! Oh, also, in terms of people, vegan NFL football player, David Carter, Jr. of the Oakland Raiders! 

Plus, vegan food will abound! And the barns and pastures will all be open. And let’s be real, all we care about is cute rescue animals and vegan food. Of course there will be music too! That’s titular! 

Get your tickets now! And tell me if Panda Bob is all cool in real life!

06/05/2014

Seattle Cookie Counter: the vegan ice cream sandwich truck!  »

imageHello, vegan ice cream sandwich lovers! This Kickstarter is for YOU! Two Seattle folks, Chelsea and Chris, have taken it upon themselves to bring Seattle its very own vegan ice cream sandwich truck! Did I say truck? Because I meant to say VW BUS! Or “grandfather punch-buggy” as my brother would say, right before slugging me in the forearm. 

Seattle Cookie Counter plans to have 30 flavor combinations and they sound AWESOME. Like check out my friend here at 6 o’clockish:

imageCoffee Chip? COME AT ME, BRO. Gimme that on a chocolate cookie sandwich and let’s call it a life. 

There are lots of fun pledge rewards, including a kids’ ice cream party and even a special ice cream sandwich-laden marriage proposal package! So if you live in the area or plan to ever visit, (which you should, I hear it’s nice), then pledge and get your rewards so we can take over another town with our yummy vegan innovations!

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