Let’s Help Souley Vegan start a “Grab and Go” Line!   »

First of all, I want to start off by saying that if you’ve never been to Souley Vegan in Oakland, CA, well, that’s just silly (GO THERE RIGHT NOW).

WAIT, before you go, clickity click here and donate to their fundraising campaign for a Souley Vegan Grab and Go soul food line. Donate big money so it can spread from the San Francisco Bay Area to LA (where yours truly can eat said soul food all the days and nights she damn well pleases. Kthx.). Just in case I wasn’t clear, I DREAM OF THEIR FRIED TOFU. 

Tamearra Dyson (who is a totally radiant, amazing woman, as demonstrated in the video above), started Souley Vegan restaurant without any sort of outside funding, and is kicking some serious ass. Now she needs our help to take things to this next level (read: MORE AMAZING VEGAN SOUL FOOD FOR US). There are even incentives for donating (how’d she know we love presents?!)! 

Remember that time you said you wanted to be more generous?!? Now’s the time to (literally) put your money where your mouth is (how does that saying make sense?). And once more, for good measure, DONATE HERE. (But, seriously, it’s in my Top 5 fave places to eat in the Bay Area. Souley Vegan is legit!)   


Gadget Review: Coco Jack!  »


The Coco Jack is all kinds of awesome.

I’ve been on a kick of putting young Thai coconuts in smoothies, but HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU GET THE DAMN THING OPEN!?!?! A friend tipped me off to the Coco Jack after I posted an exasperated rant on Facebook saying I needed a machete (which in all honesty sounded like a fun idea). I immediately knew I needed one of these AMAZING gadgets for my kitchen arsenal (sorry, roommate, I know it’s getting crowded up in there). Thanks for sending me one so quickly, team Coco Jack!* 


Coco Jack, Coco Mallet, Coco Scoop, and Coco Sack (yes, I just laughed while typing this).

I watched all the videos on their website, and was SO excited to try it! This how-to video made it look really easy, and I followed it step-by-step ("ooh baby, gonna get to you giiiiiiiirl…"). Seriously, it’s a game-changer! I can open up one of those bad boys in NO time flat! AND they sent me the Coco Scoop, which makes scraping out the coconut meat as easy as opening it. I can’t sing their praises enough!! I’ll be opening coconuts galore!!! Get a Coco Jack right now! 


The meme that started it all. Thanks, Internet! 

*disclaimer! I was sent the Coco Jack for free. 


LA: Come to the Church of Seitan this Sunday!   »


Attention Los Angeles vegans! The Vegan Cannibal is putting on another Church of Seitan event at the Verdugo Bar this Sunday, February 16th. There will be food, pop-up vendors and BINGO….WITH VEGAN PRIZES!!! Best part (I know, I know, what could be better than prizes??)is you yell, “VEGAN,” instead of “bingo.” Hella cute!

This event’s vendors are Plant Food for People (who sponsored last month’s TACO EATING CONTEST), Vegan Chica (empanadas!), The Shugah Mama (cookies!), and Piece of Cake (cake-duh!). Even if you don’t like bingo, this line up is a killer reason to show up! [Ed. note: what kind of masochist doesn’t like bingo?!]
Campy Crush will be selling gifty stuff, if you need to do some late V-Day shopping (or just cuz). Plus, they had this video from 90210 on their website, which makes me love them already!
RSVP on their Facebook event page, and invite all your friends!


Vegan Valentine’s Day in LA  »


It’s almost Valentine’s Day (didn’t you see the decorations for sale at drug stores during Christmas?!?), and regardless of your feelings about it (insert diatribe about eternal loneliness here), we can all agree that we love special menus at our favorite vegan spots in LA! 

Get fancy at Crossroads with all their vegan Valentine’s glory! They’ll be serving a five-course meal, which will include Italian wedding soup, artichoke ravioli, and RED VELVET CAKE (RED VELVET CAKE!!!)! There will be gluten-free options and the set price includes a glass of champagne. $75 per guest. Reservations:

Real Food Daily will be keeping the Italian spirit of the holiday with a mostly gluten-free menu. How will you choose between the Calabrese Stuffed Pepper or Lasagna Napoletana as your entree?? Or the Tiramisu Bombe versus the Creme Brulee?? (My advice? ORDER EVERYTHING.) $68 per person. Reservations:

One of my fave little spots, Flore, will have beet borscht (is that redundant?), a spinach fettucini (isn’t that what "Mouth" was ordering in Goonies!?!), and their classic chocolate/vanilla strawberry cake for $24 per person. No reservation necessary. 

Healthy Junk in Anaheim will have TWO types of lasagna (white wine sauce vs marinara), GRILLED ARTICHOKES with aioli, and chocolate cake. $25 per person. Call to make a reservation: (714) 772-JUNK. 

Just want to indulge your sweet tooth (um, why wouldn’t you?)? Stop by Babycakes (and get some cakes for your baby?), or order from the new online Bramble Bakeshop, which just looks AMAZING! 

Irregardless (which, yes, is a real word now), binge on enough sugary vegan treats that Wilford Brimley will come dancing at your door*. 

Happy VD, Vegansaurs! 


Those better be Go Max Foods candies, Bigfoot! 

*Diabetes is not really funny, ya’ll, but I can’t resist a joke that involves a bad YouTube dance mix. 


Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water: Get into it!   »

As someone who doesn’t drink booze, I take my non-alcoholic beverages VERY seriously. I was excited to try Victoria’s Kitchen almond water (aka “almondade”) and, you guys, it did not disappoint! As a wise man once said, “It tastes so good when it hits your lips!” 

Have no fear, lovers of cocktails, these exquisite elixirs would make PERFECT mixers. In fact, there are recipes on their website! 


How cute is it that David, the founder of Victoria’s Kitchen, was inspired by his grandmother’s traditional and artisanal recipe (guess what her name was???) in the south of France. Ooh la la! This ain’t your granny’s sweet tea (well, unless, perhaps, your granny is from the south of France). 

As a huge fan of vanilla, I LOVED the “original” flavor, which is vanilla and rose. I had to resist my urge to chug the whole bottle in one fell swoop!  

The “mint & licorice” had a subtle hint of both (not mouthwash-y at all). I’ll DEFINITELY being trying their recipe for the mocktail, Virgin Mojito. 

Lastly, and MOST DELICIOUSLY (IMHO), was the “coconut” flavor (which got me singing this song—try not to get it stuck in your head now #sorrynotsorry). 

I was wondering where I’d be able to stock up, and noticed they sell it a half-mile from my house at Locali (which deserves its own post). Their website says it’s available in over 1000 locations, mostly on the West Coast (hello, do you need any more reasons to come to sunny CA?!). Almondade is my new fave! 


New Vegan Product Alert: Beyond Meat Crumbles!!!  »

Let’s get ready to CRUMBLE!!!!!!

You know how Beyond Meat chicken-free strips make you want to joyously do the chicken dance down the aisles of Whole Foods singing their praises? Enter Beef-free Crumble, stage left. WOOOOOT! 


Beef-Free Crumble “beefy” flavor. “Without the Bull” GET IT?!?

Bonus that they are both GLUTEN FREE and SOY FREE, thanks to the power of pea protein! 

I was lucky enough to go to the Beyond Meat headquarters for their holiday party in December, where Chef Dave Anderson, owner of the late Madeline Bistro, showcased the Beefy Crumble in a Shepherd’s pie. Holy beefless-roni, it was good! 

Don’t feel like seasoning these little love crumbles yourself, no problemo!! Beyond Meat’s got you covered for a lazy taco night with the Beef-Free Crumble “Feisty” flavor


Beef-Free Crumble “Feisty” flavor: killing it in tacos without killing anyone.

I don’t think there are enough exclamation points to truly show how excited I feel about this. (See what I did there???)

Find out where you can buy these beef-freelicious crumbles, NOW!  (If you’re in the LA area, go to Viva la Vegan to get yours!) 


Thank you for listening, Califia Farms!  »


Follow Califia Farms on Instagram! 

Last week I saw on Food Fight Grocery’s Instagram that they’d received the new Califia Farms protein almond milk only to find it had whey in it (BUMMER). Luckily, Food Fight noticed it before they sold any. But needless to say, some vegans were not pleased. 

So, I was SUPER EXCITED to see this Instagram post from Califia Farms going around on Facebook today!!! Us vegans love when our voices are heard (especially by tasty companies)!! 

Here’s the text that accompanied their photo on Instagram:


Thank you for listening, Califia Farms! I can’t wait to try the new vegan version of the protein almond milk!! 


Tickets on Sale: LA Vegan Beer and Food Festival 2014!  »


Buy your tickets here

It’s the time of year again, my friends. Time to hang out in a parking lot in LA (classy times), drink beer and eat all the vegan food you can possibly fit into the stomach that you’ve been training all year for this event. (Wait, am I the only one that does that?) 

The big day is May 17th and If you live in LA, there’s NO EXCUSE for you not to come. If you don’t live in LA (first off, I’m sorry), this is the reason you’ve always needed to visit! Internet meet-ups galore! You can finally meet those people you’ve been “liking” on Instagram and “favoriting” on Twitter. Don’t be creepy and anti-social, just DO IT! 

You know Quarry Girl? Ever heard of the infamous LA night club, The Roxy (owned by Nic Adler)? Drank or chowed down at Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank? These are the glorious sponsors of this even more glorious event. 

Still need a reason to buy a ticket!?!? (Geez, you’re needy.) 

Last year I put in a lot of eating time at the Kind Kreme tent (I blame the fact that I was in black denim in 90 degree heat), got some crazy good chocolate croissants from LA Vegan Crepe, jackfruit tacos from the Seabird’s truck…I could go on, but I might embarrass myself by being a heavyweight champion in eating. People, I don’t even drink beer and I had a helluva good time. 

In all seriousness, I met some of the raddest people at last year’s event, who I now consider to be great friends. I can partially blame them for my moving to LA (btw, can you chip in retroactively for my moving fund? kthx). One of my favorite things about being vegan is our community, so come out and be part of it! 


Exploring the Ex-Vegan Phenomenon: Recap  »


Look at these good looking vegans! Matt Ruscigno & Sayward Rebhal.

Last week I posted about an open discussion that Matt Ruscigno and Sayward Rebhal were leading at the Animal Advocacy Museum on Saturday, January 11th. Here’s my recap! (And here’s the full video of the talk.) 

You guys, I must admit that I was pretty nervous about how this might go. (Angry vegans scare me, and we’re on the same team!) I was SO pleasantly surprised by how it all went down. 

We don’t know the exact number of vegans there are in the US, but it’s between 1-3%. We do know (according to research that Matt quoted) that 75% of vegetarians go back to eating meat (and are vegetarian for an average of 5 years). HOLY VEGAN MOLE, THAT’S A LOT! 

Matt & Sayward were interested in exploring this topic because they feel it’s important to the vegan community to know why people stop being vegan. “Those people” (insert “anti-dentite" reference here) try being vegan, then go out into the world and talk about their experience, and why they aren’t anymore (jerks! j/k). Not the best PR for our community.

There was so much said, I hope I don’t leave anything out! 

Sayward explained how she almost became an ex-vegan due to serious health issues, including lack of protein (*gasp* vegan faux pas!), and low cholesterol. She was really sick for several years, yet persevered and didn’t take the easy way out by eating the eggs in her backyard (from the rescued hens she had). This process might have deterred less passionate (or as she described herself, “stubborn”) vegans. She finally found a naturopath and got better. 

Matt posed the question,”Do you know how bad cars are for the environment? Knowing that information, why did you drive here today?” He had actually ridden his bike to Pasadena from LA (show off), so it really put things in perspective. Sometimes when people have all the information about being vegan, they still make choices in opposition to it because it’s easier! And sometimes we forget that the changes we had to make at first, and all the things we think are second nature today, were challenging. I was vegetarian for 16 years before I could give up “my beloved cheese” (GRODYTOWN). Now that seems like such a corny excuse when I hear people say it (hello, I’m a hypocrite!).

Matt’s a registered dietician (yay science!) and pointed out that many of the facts he sees/hears vegans use in favor of veganism are not in context, which might not be helping the larger cause. Also, what works for you, might not work for other people. We should step outside of our experience and see where other people are coming from. 

Here are some points & questions that came up: 

  • The vegan community seems to focus on “turning” people vegan, but not as much on how to successfully stay vegan for the long-term
  • When we give people unrealistic expectations, they’re going to fail
  • Do vegans need training in activism? 
  • Going against the norms of what most people do is hard
  • A lot of people don’t think about food (WTF, I so don’t get this!) 
  • How do we promote veganism that gives reasonable expectations? 
  • How do we keep people engaged? 
  • Community is important, but perhaps too much community might be overkill (Are you sick of me, yet? Can we hang out all the time in our vegan t-shirts and talk about vegan stuff!?)
  • Activists can get burnt out
  • It’s important to take yourself seriously, but not too seriously
  • Strong animal advocacy will guide people through challenges
  • Vegan-policing within the community (UM, is annoying- IMHO) isn’t beneficial. Matt’s response to people that start nitpicking him about things is, “Do you think this helps animals, overall?”
  • Maybe veganism attracts extreme personality types
  • Maybe extremism isn’t conducive to activism
  • No one is perfect (my personal favorite)
  • Instead of looking down on vegetarians, we could educate them and be inclusive
  • Can everybody be a healthy vegan? We don’t know the answer to that question, but most people probably can. 

Sayward’s closing remark was that the vegan message needs to be a tapestry containing many things, looking at the bigger picture (aka the awesomest picture EVER). 

Matt left us with two adjectives to consider that personally resonate with me when I talk to people about veganism, “Can you be tactful and reasonable?” (ARE FACEBOOK ARGUMENTS TACTFUL AND REASONABLE?!?! Whoops, sorry about that capslock.) 

This was an explorative discussion, so no conclusions were drawn. Let’s hear your comments below (be sure to police the shit out of each other and start a good ole fashioned comments war! Sike!).

You can read Sayward’s recap and also, check out Matt on Rich Roll’s podcast that came out this week! 


Let’s hug it out here, guys. 


Muchas Gracias! Gracias Madre is opening in West Hollywood this Friday!   »


Thanks, LA Times, for this photo. 

When I saw this article posted on FaceBook yesterday, I thought, “THANK MAUDE, THIS IS FINALLY HAPPENING!” This Friday, January 18, all your vegan Mexican dreams come true in West Hollywood.* Rumors about their opening date have been flying for awhile now, so this confirmation comes as a great relief! 

Being new to LA has its definite perks (remember when I ate fried green tomatoes at Crossroads?!), but there were a few things I was sad to leave behind in San Francisco. Gracias Madre was at the top of that list! (So was Rainbow Grocery, but then I found Viva la Vegan here.) 

If you’ve never had the mole from Gracias Madre, well, I pity the fool. There are countless ways I could count what’s great about this place (cashew cheese on errthang), and it sounds like they’re kicking it up a notch with this new location. Executive chef, Chandra Gilbert, has some tasty ideas up her chef’s coat sleeve. And the beverage director, Jason Eisner, seems to as well. They posted a few photos on their Instagram showing the process of how the organic tequilas and mezcal they’ll be serving are made. Since I don’t drink, I expect all my lush friends to pick up the slack. I’ll make up for it by eating ALL THE VEGAN FLAN. 

The only info on their website is a link for people interested in working there (please get a job there and give me free food!). I expect they’ll update it soon with the full menu and any upcoming events. 

Spoiler alert: both Gracias Madre locations are part of the same family as Cafe Gratitude (which VS has done several pieces on in the past). I’m pleading the 5th and staying out of that discussion (whilst stuffing my face with controversial, yet delicious, Mexican vittles). 

Los Angeles, “GRACIAS” for giving me another reason to love living here!!!! (Sorry, not sorry for that.)   

*Unless you have some crazy dream of being a vegan luchador, Sorry, I can’t help you on that one. 

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