vegansaurus!

04/15/2014

Help Asbury Park, New Jersey get its very own all-vegan chocolate shop!  »

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Cinnamon Chocolate Covered Toasted Macadamia Nut Truffles! Yum!

Kristina Swenson learned to make chocolate as a child in Hawaii, now she wants to bring her skills to New Jersey! A natural progression. But Kristina needs your help to get her chocolate shop, The Chocolate Rabbit, started. 

I haven’t tried these chocolates but they sure look nice! And I am excited to have an all-vegan chocolate shop to force my family to stop at when we drive the NYC-Philly route. 

I know, another day, another vegan kickstarter, but I happen to love that our community can come together to fund the vegan endeavors of our brethren. We are mighty! Plus you KNOW I love kickstarter perks. Imma get some chocolate!

You can learn more and donate here. Good luck, Kristina!

04/14/2014

Blossom Du Jour goodies now available at NYC Whole Foods!  »

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Check it out! Whole Foods and Blossom Du Jour have teamed up to bring you Blossom goodies on the go. They will be rolling out a lot of products over the next year but the first out are Almond Biscotti Chips, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Double Choco Brownie Bites, Oatmeal Cookies & Pot Pies. POT PIES?! YES!

The line debuted at the Chelsea Whole Foods last Friday. I haven’t tried anything yet but best believe I’m getting pot pies as soon as I can get my chunky hands on them. And if they box up the vegan cronuts OMG!!!

04/10/2014

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream has SEVEN vegan flavors! We try the Salted Caramel!  »

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The popular NYC ice cream company Van Leeuwen now has 7 vegan flavors you can buy in stores!!!! THIS IS THE BEST! Why didn’t you tell me? Well actually I saw the banana nut flavor but didn’t really feel like trying, though I thought it was cool they had an exotic vegan flavor. But I didn’t know they had a million vegan flavors! So I saw this Salted Caramel—with Maldon, my favorite salt! (SHUT UP)—at Union Market in Brooklyn and I had to try it because I am such a scientist.

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It’s delicious! Creamy, salty, caramel-goodness. It’s very rich, I don’t know how much I could eat in one sitting, but so good. Top a slice of vegan apple pie with a scoop of this and you’ll probably die of happiness. But it’ll be worth it!

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As you see, these are all soy-free. I know some of you like that. They didn’t have the Coffee Crunch at Union Market and YOU KNOW I love coffee ice cream! But Van Leeuwen’s FB says they have it at the Whole Foods in BK. I hope they also have the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk! 

More exciting news: looks like Van Leeuwen has branched out to LA! Their FB seems to have the truck in Venice mostly but they also said you can get all the vegan flavors at The Oaks Gourmet at 1915 n. Bronson ave. So there you go LA, you get all the good vegan stuff! 

Has anyone tried the Coffee Crunch? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

04/08/2014

Court rules to send abused elephant Sunder to sanctuary!  »

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This is exciting! Sunder has been chained and abused for years while PETA India has campaigned for his release. Finally, the high court of Bombay ruled in favor of PETA! HUZZAH!

ONE PROBLEM. Sunder was supposed to be freed in 2012:

The Jyotiba temple came into possession of Sunder in 2007, but after constant chaining and beatings came to light, Maharashtra Minister of Forests Dr Patangrao Kadam and the Project Elephant division of the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued orders for Sunder’s release to a sanctuary on 21 August 2012 and 9 November 2012, respectively. However, those orders were never carried out, and Sunder was then spirited away at the behest of Kore and hidden in an old poultry shed, where he remained in chains. In December 2013, PETA obtained video footage showing that his mahout was violently beating him, and veterinarians and elephant experts who examined Sunder found him scarred, wounded and chained so tightly that he couldn’t lie down.

It wasn’t a ruling by the high court so maybe it’s different this time. Regardless, I’m happy that the government of India is on Sunder’s side! And let’s all hope to the highest hope that this time Sunder gets his sanctuary! My heart goes out to you, sweet ele!

I’m not sure if there’s an easy way to donate to the sanctuary Sunder is supposed to go to, but here is some info on that. You can donate to PETA India here

04/07/2014

Della: vegan, socially responsible accessories and tech cases!  »

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Della is a socially responsible fashion line that provides jobs, education and skills training to women and men of Hohoe, Ghana. So the company sounds pretty amazing, but the bags also look super cute! And I just so happen to need a little sleeve for my bitty work computer! AND 30% of all sales for THIS WEEK are being donated to PETA! It’s DESTINY. So I bought this cute vintage coral one. I’m in love. 

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No really, this is just what I was looking for. I have a giant bag with a big open interior. So far, I just shove my work macbook in when I need to bring it home but I’m always like, “this seems like the worst idea ever.” Well, never no more! I now have a perfect responsibly-made macbook sleeve to protect it.

And as I was saying, the company looks really awesome. It was started by an LA designer and an entrepreneur in Ghana as a way to help the women of the Hohoe community. The women who make the Della products not only make a fair wage, they also take classes in literacy and finance. You can read all about it on their site. Here’s a little peek inside the company:

If you are looking for a cute bag, laptop case, headband, or THIS FREAKING AWESOME POCKET SQUARE, check out Della! And if you want to support PETA, this is the week to shop!

NYC: Young’s vegan pop-up is back this May!  »

imageHello, friends! I told you I was going to Young’s first pop-up restaurant a few weeks ago but I’ve yet to tell you how it was. It was fun! It was pretty hectic but I assume that will work itself out as there are more events. It was also pretty cramped, so I think when I go back I will bring 3 friends so we get our own table. Otherwise, you share. People were nice though, I just like my space. Oh and the staff was so nice and so amazing! Seriously, our server was so nice and very knowledgeable about the food. But, most importantly of all, the food was yummy! My pictures came out dark so Young’s sent me some of these lovely photos Kate Lewis of my favorite dishes. 

Our favorite dish was the carrot spaetzele (pictured up top)! It was a sweet and savory noodle dish. The roasted carrots on top were a perfect mix of sweet and charred!

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Here’s the banana split of Neapolitan ice cream, black cherries and hot fudge. One hundred thumbs up! The chocolate ice cream was so chocolatey, I almost died.

We also loved the smoked hen of the woods mushroom dish but the hummus under it could have been more exciting. I like hummus but I’ve just had so much of it by now! But the mushroom was excellent. I loved the smoky flavor and the texture was perfect.  

If you missed this pop-up or just want more, I’m happy to tell you the next Young’s pop-up is here! Young’s will be hosting another all vegan dinner at Old Bowery Station on May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Get your tickets here! It’s $40 for dinner and then a little more for the beer or cocktail pairing (the beer and cocktail pairing have gone down a little, so I think I will def spring for the beer pairing). I hear tickets are selling out fast so if you want to go, get your ticket asap! The menu looks good! It’s 3 courses and stars fava beans (my favarite!), ramps, and beets. Quite the trifecta! 

04/04/2014

THIS PIGLET IS TOO CUTE! You can skip to :30, that’s the best part. It’s so adorable. 

I can’t wait until I get a piglet! I’m going to love her or him sooooo much. But until we all get our own piglets, we can support the lil’ guys at Animal Place!

04/02/2014

Get gourmet Philly pretzels right here in Brooklyn!  »

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You KNOW your friend Megan Rascal loves the Philly pretzels. So how excited was I when I heard about Pelzer’s Pretzels? Hint: SO EXCITED! 

Pelzer’s Pretzels, located in Crown Heights, BK, was started by a Philly transplant, in the hopes of bringing the Philadelphia soft pretzel game to NYC. Because really, Philly soft pretzels should be as ubiquitous across the country as the prison industrial complex! If not more so!

I emailed with Pelzer’s to find out if they had any vegan options. They have some meaty and cheesy pretzels but their everything, original and cran-mary are totally vegan! I even double checked because the pretzels were so shiny I thought they must be an egg-wash—nope! Veegs! Pelzer’s sent me those three varieties for free to try and some of their spicy beer mustard too. I shared the pretzels with my coworkers because I’m so nice to them. They were a hit! The spicy beer mustard went like hotcakes. 

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You can see just by looking that they are not like regular Philly pretzels, these are on some gourmet steez. They remind me of this super delicious pretzel I had at the Zurich airport once (Megan Rascal: International Hassle). The outside/skin/whatever is so amazing! It’s flavorful and thick and awesome. 

I liked the original of course, and I liked the everything. I thought the everything would be my favorite as I’m an everything-enthusiast, and while I really liked the everything, I’m head over heels for the cran-mary! It’s cranberry and rosemary, if you didn’t get the name. I’m not super into cranberries but they were SO GOOD in the pretzel. And the rosemary? HAVE MERCY. 

You’ll also like this bit from their about us: 

As the source for artisanal Philadelphia style soft pretzels in New York City, Pelzer’s Pretzels is committed to making wholesome and delicious pretzels from the best available ingredients, providing fair wages and promoting worker dignity, and investing long-term in our local Brooklyn community.

Love it! Totally Philly style too. Without the massive chip on the shoulder part. 

You can stop by their storefront or, if you live in Brooklyn, you can have them delivered for a few bucks! I wish I could have everything delivered. Work, love, etc. But especially PRETZELS! 

In conclusion, these are a can’t-miss for any pretzel-lover and a definite boon for the accidentally-vegan Brooklyn food scene! All thumbs up!

04/01/2014

How to make kale chips! Spoiler: It’s easy!  »

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Many of you are prob like duh, I been making kale chips longer than you’ve been out of rehab! But I had never made them until a few weeks ago and now I’m addicted. It did take some trial and error though so I thought I’d share my methods for the first-timers in the crowd. 

I also want to add that I wasn’t that into kale. I don’t like it raw and I don’t really like it steamed. But I love kale chips! So if you aren’t that into kale either, you should definitely give chips a try if you want to find a way to like this uber-nutritious green. 

Ok so set your oven to 300 degrees. 

I like curly leaf kale best so that is what I would go with. First, wash your kale! Get it all clean. And then I lay the leaves out on paper towel to dry. You want them dry! Then I take each leaf, pat it a bit more, and place it on a cutting board. 

Now, here is where my special method kicks in. My problem the first time making kale chips was too much olive oil! Too much olive oil means they will be soggy and won’t crisp up or will take forever to crisp up. That’s bad. But I couldn’t figure out how to put some oil on, but not too much. Then I had a genius idea! I took paper towel and doused it with olive oil, then I rubbed the paper towel over the full leaf. PERFECTO! 

So take some paper towel and get it wet with oil. Rub over both sides of the leaf, dabbing a bit at the edges to make sure they get some oil. Then you take a knife and slice out the stem. I hear the stem is very bitter. Bleh. Then you cut or rip the rest of the leaf into about two inch pieces. 

Now place them on a big ol’ cookie sheet (or lasagna pan if you are me and lost your cookie sheet). Arrange them in a single layer. Then sprinkle with salt and Nutritional Yeast, if you want to (you totally want to!)). If you have more kale pieces than fit in a single layer, you will have to do the chips in batches. Unless you have like one kale leaf, you will be doing this in batches. 

Ok place the sheet in the oven. It will only take about 9 or 10 minutes for the chips to be ready! They should be crispy like leaves on the ground in the fall and a little shriveled. You can check on them at 7 or 8 minutes to see how they are doing. You can flip them too if you want, but I don’t think it’s necessary with the curly. If you use Lacinato kale, you should prob flip them half way through (I just flip them with my bare hands, the chips themselves aren’t very hot). 

And then you have kale chips! THEY ARE THE BEST I WANT TO EAT THEM ALL THE TIME. 

Here’s the inside of March’s Beauty Box from Vegan Cuts! I’m very excited for the LVX nail polish—a full size bottle! And a pretty color. I’m also stoked about the Pangea Organics face mask. It’s got a super-long name with all these super-important sounding ingredients. Wait, let me look it up, hold please…
Found it! It’s the Japanese Matcha Tea Acai Goji Berry Facial Mask. RIGHT?! Sounds very important. My face is intrigued. 
I got this for free but the box subscription is $19.99 a month, shipping included (for US addresses. International is more). 

Here’s the inside of March’s Beauty Box from Vegan Cuts! I’m very excited for the LVX nail polish—a full size bottle! And a pretty color. I’m also stoked about the Pangea Organics face mask. It’s got a super-long name with all these super-important sounding ingredients. Wait, let me look it up, hold please…

Found it! It’s the Japanese Matcha Tea Acai Goji Berry Facial Mask. RIGHT?! Sounds very important. My face is intrigued. 

I got this for free but the box subscription is $19.99 a month, shipping included (for US addresses. International is more). 

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