vegansaurus!

04/17/2014

What’s for Sunday dinner? How about a VEGAN HAM ROLL?  »

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What’s for dinner this Sunday? Anything special? I’m hoping to pick up this vegan ham roll by Vegetarian Plus, for the weekend! I had it last last year when celebrating Easter with my family, and I’m a fan. I know meat analogs aren’t for everyone, BELIEVE ME I KNOW, but they’re for me! I always make a vegan version of what my family eats at dinner because I do not like to be left out. This ham roll wasn’t exactly how I remembered ham to be, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was fantastic in sandwiches the next day! (Protip: sourdough bread slices and tons of Vegenaise.) 

I picked mine up in the Palo Alto Whole Foods last year, so if I were you, I’d call around to see which stores have it in stock. Caroline was innocently looking for some just-hit-the-shelves Kite Hill cheese and I showed up in line with this hunk of analog ham. That’s what it’s like to be friends with me: always with the atrocious-looking vegan foods! I’ve been surprised to see it somewhat year-round, in natural food stores in both Northern and Southern California.

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If I am able to find it in time this year, I will be sure to bake it with a brown sugar glaze of sorts! For me, the baked-on-sweetness was missing and the apricot glaze didn’t cut it. 

04/11/2014

LA!! FREE book release party this Sunday with FREE bands, FREE Pure Luck Pop-Up & FREE Clara Cakes!!   »

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I’m always on the hunt for fun FREE things to do here in the City of Angels, so you bet I’ll be showing up to this! (And, hello, FREE VEGAN FOOD!?! You’d be crazy not to come!) 

Farmhouse Publishing (vegan owned and operated) presents, SHOOT IT YOURSELF book release party and show. (Did I mention it’s FREE?!) Aaaaaand, if you pre-order the book, you get to jump the line (so DO IT)! 

Who doesn’t love looking at photos (aka why I’m obsessed with Instagram, and why you probably are, too!)? Now’s your chance to snazz up your boring ole coffee table with black and white photographer, Ignacio Galvez's book, Shoot It Yourself. Live shots of punk, hardcore, hip-hop (and more) musicians at shows. Get into it, people!!! 

FREE admission and FREE food!
Limited capacity
PRE-ORDER the book to jump the line!!! 

FREE Music by:
DANGERS
- Bouquet
- TUNA (dj)

FREE Food by:
Pure Luck Pop Up (Fingers crossed they’ll serve their infamous jackfruit tacos!) 
Clara Cakes (Have you see Quarrygirl’s video about Clara? Her cupcakes are legit good!) 

Space 15 Twenty
1520 Cahuenga Blvd
LA, CA 90028

For more info: farmhouse.co

04/02/2014

Sea Bakin’: Crispy, savory, aquatic vegan treats!  »

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The three glorious flavors of Sea Bakin’

I am a fan of sea vegetables in pretty much any form (hello, B12 source!), but let’s face it, when it’s in the form of “bakin’” (aka crunchy, flavorful awesomeness), I want IN on that action!!

I’d heard that the makers of Sea Bakin’, The Great and Wonderful Sea of Change Trading Company (say THAT three times fast) were walking around Natural Products Expo West, but (sadly) I missed running into them. I was so bummed—I wanted to eat free vegan bakin’, ya’ll!!! Thankfully, I have an in with them (an old friend from my DC raver days, but that’s a WHOLE other story), and they kindly sent me samples of all three flavors to try. Score! The flavors are Garden Vegetable, Maple, and Thai BBQ. I think the Garden Vegetable was my fave, but I liked them all! 

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Up close and personal. They aren’t that pretty but they sure are tasty!

They have a unique texture, but if I were to compare them to anything, I’d say they’re a hybrid of flavored kale chips and toasted seaweed snacks. Seriously deeeeeelish! I ate them alone, and I tried them sprinkled on salads and tofu scrambles. 

Where do you get these delicious little snackys you ask? Their website says they’re available in natural food stores across California (and they’re working on other places), but you can also order directly from them

And finally, what’s a post about bakin’ without some Bacon?!

03/21/2014

52 Faces- Love (and how this is related to vegan stuff)   »

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Photo by Geoff Souder

I’m a fan of going to vegan meet-ups and making new friends. (Fun fact: I’ve met most of my vegan friends through Instagram and Facebook groups, which is sometimes weird to explain to omni friends. I digress…). I’d met Geoff once before, but got to know him better over (super tasty) tostadas at Mudhen Tavern during a Facebook meet up. He immediately “got” my east coast sarcasm, and I knew we were destined to be friends. 

He told me about his project, Fifty-two Faces, and I wanted to share it with the Vegansaurus community (“Vegansaurs”)! I’m a fan of covert vegan conversion operations, and Geoff’s explanation of this project sounded like it fit the bill. He explained that, “The project started with a vegan angle…I find that showing animals in pain turns people off, whereas getting them to think about compassion from a different angle seems to work. If we can get people to think about love and compassion, maybe they can start to see love everywhere.” In the spirit of love, I LOVE that! (Now I have this song in my head…)

I was especially excited to read the interview with Jackie S (aka Vegan Yack Attack). (I’m totes biased because we’re good friends, and she feeds me the awesome food that she makes.) The rawness of the interviews are really striking (interviewees were all put on the spot, and couldn’t prepare). It’s a yearlong project, which will feature a different person each week. Because Geoff is vegan (woot!), there will be a bunch of vegans interviewed (and we love that!!). 

Geoff is also a vegan (do I even need to say that again?) food photographer, and has said, “I’ve dedicated my photographic life to capturing food in a way that makes anyone, vegan or not, look at the food and say “wow, I gotta try that!” Food photography is a way for me to express that vegan food isn’t cardboard or all kale, and it can be extremely tasty. Again it’s a different angle on promoting veganism- Make the food look too good to miss.” (PREACH!) 

Keep on keepin’ on with the undercover types of activism (along with the overt kinds, too), fellow vegans (and keep coming to meet-ups so we can all be friends!)! 

03/19/2014

Hey Hollywood! Doomie’s Pop Up Dinner is gonna be poppin’!   »

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Photo courtesy of Doomie’s Facebook page

Doomie’s Home Cookin' in Hollywood has a plethora of seitanic foods (their secret menu item the vegan “Big Mac” has a cult following), so imagine my surprise when I saw that they'll be doing a gluten-free menu! And SIX COURSES?! People, this is a don't-miss! 

Email DoomieVeg@gmail.com to make your reservation. 

03/17/2014

LA Vegan Crepe is closing March 31st  »

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Photo courtesy of LA Vegan Crepe’s Facebook page.

RIP awesome croissants and crepes (and many other things). LA Vegan Crepe is shutting their doors on Monday, March 31st, but don’t think this is the last we’ll see of them. The location and lack of weekday business is the reason behind their closing, although they had consistent weekend traffic. Their Facebook page suggests that they’re already looking to reopen somewhere, and their owner confirmed that they’re searching for investors. 

PLEASE SOMEONE GIVE THEM A TON OF MONEY SO THEY CAN REOPEN!! (Trust me, the chocolate croissants, alone, are worth the investment!) 

03/13/2014

The amazing new vegan goodies from Natural Products Expo West!  »

Alternative title: How the West Was Won

I don’t even know where to start. I spent my entire weekend at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA (for a good time, search #vegansatexpo on Twitter and Instagram). It was like being at summer camp! I met so many people I follow online, or vice versa, and I ATE ALL THE FREE (!!!!!) FOOD (mostly ice cream, which you wouldn’t be able to tell by these photos, but it’s true). Rather than going into extreme details about each and every thing I tried (that’s what follow-up posts are for!), I figured I’d give y’all what you really want: FOOD PORN. 

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In all my excitement about Mr. Dewie’s, I forgot to take a photo (thanks for sending one, guys!) The owners were so generous, and let me try EVERY FLAVOR. They were all good, but this caramel almond was my fave! The cashew milk is so delectably rich! There are also a few flavors made from almond milk, which totally ruled. 

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Gardein’s new Fishless Filets were a definite star of the Expo. Flaky, “fishy,” crispy… NAILED IT! And the cute little samples they passed out were served with Follow Your Heart’s Tarter Sauce. It was a match made in vegan heaven! 

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I’m embarrassed to say how many samples I had at The Piping Gourmets booth, but let’s just say I did EXTRA research and the results were unanimous: their gluten-free, whoopie pies are AMAZEBALLS. My top picks were the chocolate with mint and the chocolate with raspberry. 

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This is one of FOUR new flavors of Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon. They were all stupendous!!! This “apple fennel” flavor really stood out to me. I’ll be throwing this in tofu scrambles, fo’ sho’! 

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Do you know who the Spork Foods sisters are? They’re about as cute as can be, and man can they make some tasty pancakes! Jenny and Heather are the official ambassadors for GO Veggie! Foods, and made blueberry cream cheese pancakes with the GO Veggie! plain cream cheese. Delish! 

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Edward & Son’s Native Forest has SO many awesome new products coming out. This is the first ever organic jackfruit! A few other new items I’m excited about are the organic coconut milk powder, and organic sweet potato flour! I can’t wait to play around with those. 

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The Sophie’s Kitchen “vegantoona” was another Expo fave of many of the vegans I talked to. Made from pea protein and konjac root, this “toona” has a really unique taste and nails the catfood-esque consistency of the “real thing.” Plus, it’s shelf-stable, so guess what’s going in my earthquake kit? 

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I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Beyond Meat’s ”Taco Beyond” booth. I already raved about their new Beef-Free Crumbles in a previous post, but this was just SO RAD! And why isn’t it a real thing??!! 

As I said, there is NO way I could cover every product I saw there (and, sadly, I didn’t see everything!), but these are some of my favorites. I will definitely write more in-depth about some of these, and others that I left out. ESPECIALLY MORE ICE CREAM! 

03/11/2014

LA: Jamie Kilstein at Upright Citizen’s Brigade THIS FRIDAY!   »

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It took me forever to decide between using this photo or a YouTube of him feeding his cats. Photo courtesy of jamiekilstein.com

I had the pleasure of talking to Jamie Kilstein on the phone last week and not only is he hella hilarious (and vegan and tells vegan jokes), he’s like one of the most down-to-earth dudes EVER. He also fully admitted that he’s obsessed with Locali’s ”Bad Ass Breakfast Sandwich,” and eats them 3 at a time when he’s in town—we’re like besties already!

If you’re anywhere close to LA, come see him this Friday (March 14th) at UCB for his “No War, No God, No Nickelback” show!! It’s sure to be the best $5 you’ve ever spent, y’all. PLUS, I saw on The Oaks Gourmet sign (2 doors down from UCB) that they now carry vegan Van Leeuwan artisan ice cream! If this isn’t a recipe for a meet up, I don’t know what is!!!! 

Maybe you saw Megan Rascal’s post last summer with one of his vegan bits (wait, did that sound weird to you too?)? This dude is legit funny. His comedy is political, and he talks about  feminism, LBGT rights, veganism, atheism, hating Nickelback… all the good pinko, commie stuff. 

He co-hosts the podcast Citizen Radio with Allison Kilkenny and said he’s received thousands of emails from people saying they’ve gone vegan after hearing him talk about it on their show. Woot!! Clickity-click here to listen to some of the vegans they’ve interviewed. BONUS, he and Allison have a book coming out next fall with an entire chapter devoted to veganism! I will post more info when I get it. 

His favorite vegan spot in NYC (where he lives) is Blossom, where he likes to take his parents (um, how adorable is that!?). He also takes his omni friends there (and pays), as a sneak attack to show them how awesome vegan food is! 

When he told me he hangs out with more “fighters and journalists,” than comedians, I didn’t know what he meant by “fighters” (because, apparently, I fail at thoroughly researching a person before interviewing them). Jamie, um, “plays” jujutsu (what the heck do you call a person who does mixed martial arts?), and is pretty bad ass at it! This seriously influences what he eats (although he clearly makes exceptions for multiple Badass Breakfast Sandwiches when in LA), and he trains TWICE A DAY (which I cannot compute). 

For my hardest hitting vegan news question (tacos vs. burritos?) he said he appreciates how efficient a burrito is, but prefers tacos (which sealed the deal on us being BFFs).

Basically, this guy rules super hard and if you’re in LA it would be straight up silly to miss his show! Check his tour schedule to see when he’s doing a show near you (if you’re not in LA, which is also silly), and follow him on Twitter

03/04/2014

It’s Fat Tuesday! Let’s eat king cake!  »

I’ve seen Kittee Berns post multiple photos of her delicious-looking king cakes, so I knew it was time for me to get in my kitchen and try making one myself. She has recipes for both gluten-full and gluten-free versions, so I opted to make the XGXFX Peanut Butter Cup King Cake (because there’s nothing better than the magical combination of peanut butter and chocolate [Ed. note: I think that’s widely acknowledged as a fact now]). She even has a King Cake Primer for us folks who have no clue where this delectable treat originated from, along with very clear instructions on how to assemble and decorate one. So, what are you waiting for? Get to baking (and eating)! And happy Mardi Gras! 

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First attempt at baking a King Cake (gluten-free, nonetheless) was a (somewhat messy) success! And delicious! 

02/27/2014

Angelenos: Vegan Chili Cook-Off this Sunday!   »

This Sunday all your vegan chili eating dreams could come true at Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank, CA! It’s time for their annual  chili cook-off!  $10 gets you FIVE 3-ounce tastes of chili and one voting ballot for the Peoples’ Choice Award!! FIVE TYPES OF CHILI! 

Amazing local chefs participating are:
Chef Erick Simmons (Tony’s Darts Away/ Mohawk Bend) 
Randy Clemens (author of @The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook)
Greg Daniels (Haven Collective)
Zel and Reuben Allen (VegParadise.com)
Alec Loguercio (Chili John’s) 

Guest Judges: 
Chef Tal Ronnen (Crossroads Executive Chef, author of The Conscious Cook)
Cathy Chaplin (Gastronomyblog.com, author of Food Lover’s Guide to Los Angeles)
Caroline Pardilla (CarolineOnCrack.com)

Watch this KTLA video to see Zel and Rueben Allen (perhaps THE cutest vegan couple EVER) demoing how to make vegan chili! They run Vegetarians in Paradise, and have been vegan for 25 years. Vegans on local tv!! I LOVE L.A.! (Yes, I know, this is technically in Burbank.) Also, local news reporters crack me up! (More exclamation points!!)

It’s supposed to rain this weekend (finally!), so it will be PERFECT chili eating weather. Don’t miss it! RSVP on their Facebook Event Page

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