vegansaurus!

01/23/2012

S.F. Vegan Drinks is back on Thursday! New venue, new drinks!   »

C’mon, I know you missed all the awkward mingling and the chance to catch of glimpse of the hot ladies of VegNews and Vegansaurus! So hot. I’m stoked it’s in a new venue this time around (though I do love Martuni’s, change is good!) and the cocktail special will be vegan white Russians! I’m so there.


When: Thursday, Jan. 26, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, 2323 Mission St. at 19th
Drinks: $3 bottled beer, $4 well drinks, and $5 vegan white Russians!
Food: Sweet potato tater tots, beer-battered onion rings, veggie burgers, and vegan sliders!

I just read on Yelp that they have tater tots cooked in truffle oil! For real?! Five baskets, please! It’s cool, I’ll share — that way I can talk your ear off about my upcoming trip to Chicago!*

*Hear that, Chicago vegans? I’ll be in your neck of the woods on Sunday, hopping all over Wicker Park (for the Handlebar and Sultan’s Market, obvi!) What an exhausting a fun week this is going to be!

11/26/2011

Happy Thanksgiving from Jennie! She writes that “for the last two years, my family has done Thanksgiving at the Chicago Diner. That was awesome, but we wanted a more sweatpants-friendly day this year. Everything is from scratch: potpies with Gardein, stuffing, green bean casserole, carrots with maple glaze, and pumpkin pie with a streusel top.”
Impressive! Those pot pies are adorable!

Happy Thanksgiving from Jennie! She writes that “for the last two years, my family has done Thanksgiving at the Chicago Diner. That was awesome, but we wanted a more sweatpants-friendly day this year. Everything is from scratch: potpies with Gardein, stuffing, green bean casserole, carrots with maple glaze, and pumpkin pie with a streusel top.”

Impressive! Those pot pies are adorable!

11/04/2011

Raw Vegan Thanksgiving Class with Heather Haxo Phillips  »

You know those sayings, “Time flies” and “The older you get, the years just whiz by”? Well, they are popular because they are true! It’s already November! When did this happen? I’m not ready to put the barbecue away and pull out my heavy coats (okay, sweaters—I do live in California*). November means Thanksgiving! Which means not participating in eating turkey anymore, but still hanging out with the friends/family and eating so much it hurts! Right? Does everyone do that? Has any one else just given up and started wearing sweatpants fashionable yoga pants to the table?

Some vegans eat raw and they like to stuff their faces over the holidays with delicious, healthy, raw foods. For you, Bay Area raw or raw-curious foodists, Chef Heather Haxo Phillips is here! She not only has a new book coming out just in time for Thanksgiving, she’s also hosting a workshop/dinner in Oakland. Jordan attended one of her classes before and really loved it, so that’s something to think about, too!

Heather’s fancy book!

In case you don’t particularly like clicking on links for information (I know there are a few of you out there), let me list the details for you.

Healthy Holidays: A Survival Guide is Heather Haxo Phillips’ second book. It’s rumored to be filled with over 50 recipes from famous raw food chefs, travel tips and conversation pointers. You can buy it as an e-book or in print form here.

Phillips’ Thanksgiving Workshop/Dinner happens on Sunday, Nov. 20, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Encuentro (202 Second St., we love it there!), and tickets cost $75. Foods that you’ll possibly be learning to make yet definitely EATING as your elegant holiday dinner include: cauliflower bisque; pecan pâté with marinated wild mushrooms and truffle oil; winter greens salad; holiday croquettes in savory sauce; shallot green beans; almond stuffing; mashed notatoes; cranberry orange relish; chocolate ganache truffle pie; and pumpkin pie with cashew caramel sauce.

Hey! I like raw foods! I like eating! I make a really good date, if someone wants to bring me/pay for me. What? It’s the holidays. I’m broke.

*That was for you, Chicagoans! Don’t be mad. I know there is more to Chicago than the winter and seriously, after this post, I’m TOTALLY going to start acknowledging that. Last post poking fun at Chicago winters. Seriously. Totally serious here. It will never happen again.

11/03/2011

3rd annual Chicago VeganMania Fest this weekend!  »

If I still lived in Chicago, I’d totally hit this fest up! Actually I probably wouldn’t because my job is in the restaurant industry, therefore I work every weekend of my life. Sucks for me! You should go, Chicago readers. Report back in the comments section (I live for your comments!). And if I’d given anyone else enough notice, they could’ve hopped a plane and frolicked about the glorious(LY cold) city of Chicago for a weekend. Has it gotten to that point your nose hairs are freezing together yet? Wait, that’s more of a December thing, right?

Looks like one of the best ways to spend a Saturday. Get to Pulaski Park Fieldhouse—1491 W. Blackhawk (a few blocks east of the Milwaukee/Division Blue Line stop)—from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s free!

Speakers include Natan Runkle, founder of Mercy for Animals, vegan bodybuilder Robert Cheeke, and Vegan Outreach's Director of Outreach, Jon Camp. Food provided by Chicago Diner, Chicago Soydairy, Laviyah Ayanna of Vegan Food Truck, and Sandi Swiss of Canary Confectionery.

All in all, it looks like a fun day filled with vendors, music, artists, speakers, and FOOD! Plus, there’s totally an all ages after party at the Silver Room, at 1442 N. Milwaukee Ave. It’s $15, goes from 5:30 to 10 p.m, and includes live music, DJs, a raffle, food from Soul Vegan, plus door prizes.

C’mon, what else were you going to do Saturday? Cry in your Old Style about how cold it’s getting at some dive in Wicker Park/Logan Square/Ukrainian Village? Hit up Chicago VeganMania!

[Image courtesy mfablog.org]

07/20/2011

Beer-battered tofu with vegan buttermilk ranch dressing from Meagen of Vegan Food Addict! These are AMAZING, right? Did you want her recipe? Because it’s here! I am in awe of these things, they look so good.
Meagen will compete in the Chicago Vegan Chef Showdown on Saturday, which you should definitely attend if you’re in the area. This event is FREE and ALL-AGES at the Funky Buddha Lounge (728 West Grand Ave.) from 3 to 7 p.m. and is co-sponsored by Mercy For Animals and Upton’s Naturals. Seitan! Chicago! At a bar so you can buy booze! If Chicago in July weren’t like literal hell on earth, I’d be totally envious of you guys. Hey maybe you want to show your support for the Vegan Food Addict with one of her vegan Cafepress designs?
Good luck, Meagen! Have fun, Chicago!

Beer-battered tofu with vegan buttermilk ranch dressing from Meagen of Vegan Food Addict! These are AMAZING, right? Did you want her recipe? Because it’s here! I am in awe of these things, they look so good.

Meagen will compete in the Chicago Vegan Chef Showdown on Saturday, which you should definitely attend if you’re in the area. This event is FREE and ALL-AGES at the Funky Buddha Lounge (728 West Grand Ave.) from 3 to 7 p.m. and is co-sponsored by Mercy For Animals and Upton’s Naturals. Seitan! Chicago! At a bar so you can buy booze! If Chicago in July weren’t like literal hell on earth, I’d be totally envious of you guys. Hey maybe you want to show your support for the Vegan Food Addict with one of her vegan Cafepress designs?

Good luck, Meagen! Have fun, Chicago!

06/30/2011

A zero-packaging grocery store is coming to Austin this year. I can’t decide if that’s brilliant, or just good marketing for “we sell bulk foods.” I would be psyched to shop there though, because I feel like a crazy person whenever I’m trying not to spill chickpeas on the ground as I funnel them into my empty pickle jar at Berkeley Bowl. It’d be way better if we all looked like idiots with chickpeas raining down the sides of our pickle jars.

In.gredients promises to only stock produce that’s in season and is trying to go zero-waste. Yet they’re planning to carry meat and dairy, which undermines the whole “let’s save the world” concept. I emailed their press people to ask about that decision but they never got back to me, so we can now hate on them with impunity.

In related news, it’s a good thing Austin isn’t in Chicago, because that fine city doesn’t allow any bring-your-own-container love. “We are worried about people bringing in containers that are not cleaned very well and then contaminating any surface that they might touch with that,” says a public health official to the Seattle Times.

Personally, I’m not worried about that. At all. More scary: E. coli and other bacteria in my sprouts. Insane people with giant knives wanting to cut my head off. Spam.

Despite their lack of commitment to go vegan, I wish the best to the In.gredients people. They’re still looking for funding, so all the moneybags out there should maybe donate.

06/23/2011

Another veg restaurant pops up on Chicago’s Northside!  »

Every time I blink, a new veg restaurant opens in Chicago! Don’t get me wrong—it’s always welcome news. But how am I supposed to choose where to eat when I visit with so many options?? Easy. I’ll just go to all of them. I’ve already walked the Magnificent Mile and been atop the Sears Tower (I don’t care what its new name is, it will always be the Sears Tower to me), so that frees up all my time to eat EVERYTHING VEGAN in that city.

The view from the Lincoln Park Whole Foods parking lot.

The new restaurant in question is Quesadilla: La Reyna del Sur, which is located in Chicago’s Bucktown/Logan Square neighborhood at 2235 N Western Ave. Logan Square is also unofficially known as the best neighborhood in Chicago. (I should know, I used to live there! California Ave. represent!)

Unfortunately, Quesadilla’s (can I call you that for short?) has no website of its own, but Second City Vegan has a review! Any Chicago-based Vegansaurus readers hit the place up yet? What do you think?

06/20/2011

Interview with Dr. Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Institute!  »

I went raw once, for five months! It was the absolute best I’ve felt in the four years I’ve been vegan. The energy! The new and exciting foods to try! Living in Chicago at the time, I was able to gorge on all sorts of delicious raw fare from Karyn’s Raw, Cousins IV and The Chicago Diner (do they still serve raw food, Chicagoans?). I used Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Kitchen and Matt Amsden’s The Rawvolution as my how-to guides at home. Life was good, though it’s much easier to be raw in the spring and summer in Chicago—you can assume what happened once winter started to set in.

Three years later, I’m living in beautiful San Francisco, and I still go off and on with this raw food thing. I JUST CAN’T STICK TO IT. I think every person’s body has individual needs and sensitivities, and for me personally, the raw food diet works best. I’m a huge advocate.

But this post isn’t about me (what?), it’s about the healing powers of being raw. Recently, Dr. Brian Clement spoke at San Francisco’s New Living Expo in a lecture titled “Raw Foods and Cancer.” Dr. Clement is the director of the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, which uses raw vegan diets to help people recover from serious illnesses and heath challenges. Dr. Clement has been a vegan for 38 years, and a raw foodist for 36! Talk about motivation to get back on track and buy ingredients for a salad (and a slice of tiramisu from Cafe Gratitude)!

Dr. Clement was gracious enough to offer us at Vegansaurus some insight about raw foods, the Hippocrates institute and his favorite go-to raw recipe!

Vegansaurus: How long have you been vegan? How long have you been a raw vegan? What inspired you to initially become a raw foodist?
Dr. Clement: I began as a vegetarian 41 years ago and a vegan 38 years ago. Thirty-six years ago I adopted a raw/living diet. Long before it was accepted to be obese, I was—carrying an extra 120 pounds and smoking three packs of cigarettes a day. When taking the first step as a vegetarian, I saw exceptional improvements and organically, moved to a raw vegan diet that opened my eyes to the potential food has in prolonging life and warding off disease.

What exactly is the Hippocrates Institute? Does it serve as both a raw food retreat and cancer center? How long have you been there and what do you do?
Hippocrates Health Institute was the first and is the foremost natural health center globally. We pioneered the field of complimentary healthcare and opened our doors 55 years ago in Boston. We have attracted guests from all corners of the globe that attend the Lifechange program for one of two distinct reasons: first, to conquer the disease they are harboring (cancer, heart, diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s, HIV, autoimmune, etc.); second, as serious health-seekers who do not want to fall victim to such maladies. Everyone from Olympic athletes to stage-four cancer patients by the hundreds of thousands attended our program, for the first 30 years in Boston and over the last 25 here in West Palm Beach, Fla. My tenure began in the mid-’70s and I thank God every day for the passion-filled, fulfilling work I pursue.

How do you feel people can take control of their lives and their health by eating raw foods? In your opinion, what are the benefits? Why go raw?
Every creature on earth, except domestic and displaced animals, lives on a 100 percent raw food diet. Here at HHI, we have clinically proven for more than half a century that such raw vegan fare slows aging, prevents disease, and even helps to reverse it. The core science on why these raw green foods afford such attributes are the: HORMONES, OXYGEN, PHYTO-NUTRIENTS, AND ENZYMES that they contain. In addition, proper selection provides the highest source of complete protein, essential fatty acids, and ultimately the most nutrient-dense energy filled foods on earth.

What does a typical day of meals, snacks, and juices look like for you?
Although the diet end of the HHI program is tailored for personal needs, most maintenance cuisine would look a bit like this: Fresh raw vegetable and sprout juice that may include wheat grass in the morning, followed by sprouted cereal or fresh ripe organic fruit, etc. A mid-morning snack may be sprouted and dehydrated nuts and seeds or some type of sprouted cracker or raw bread. Lunch should begin with a hardy large green and sprout salad adorned with your favorite dressing (vegan thousand island, Italian, Mediterranean, etc.), a nut and seed or grain and bean burger or loaf followed by some raw dehydrated raw cookies or cake seasoned with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and the legal sweetener, Stevia. Mid-afternoon snacks may include seasoned sprouted seeds and or ripe organic fruit. Dinner should begin with a nice fresh raw vegetable and sprout juice, a delicious raw carrot soup, a moderately seasoned bean and green salad, and tiff and quinoa sprouted grain croquette. You can find a wide array of delicious choices in Dr. Anna Maria’s recipe book Healthful Cuisine.

How do you feel about a raw food diet of solid foods versus a juice “cleanse?” Are they necessary? What about an alkaline cleanse?
Proper juices made from nutrient-dense foods like sprouts and fresh green vegetables provide an extraordinary amount of nutrition. This does not preclude the need to eat solid raw food preparations. This body building cuisine will assure that the metabolism will maintain solid weight so that one via exercise can have a strong skeletal and muscular system.

Is it important or necessary to take supplements on a raw food diet? Is the food enough? If supplements are necessary, which ones?
After researching hundreds of thousands of people, some of whom have lived on healthy diets, we have found that our high-stress, unnatural and polluted lifestyles require us to embrace good whole-food supplements. Whole-food forms of algae, sea and fresh water, raw pollen’s living green powders, bacterial forms of B12 and in many cases, targeted whole food supplementation boost the immune system and are examples of what one may require after a good nutritional evaluation.

Any favorite recipes you’d like to share with the Vegansaurus readers?
Our busy lifestyles limit the time most of us spend preparing foods so quick-to-design are our favorites. Worldwide, you can walk into green markets and purchase an already washed variety of salad greens. Mixing them together with fresh herbs, healthy oils, and easy to purchase sprouts manifest a power salad in two minutes. Opening a package of arame seaweed and soaking it in fresh water for a short time and draining it affords an opportunity for you to cut scallions, chives, or sweet onions into the delicious vegetable so that you can crush garlic and place olive oil over this main course fare. This takes less than four minutes to achieve. Everyone’s favorite desserts can be easily manufactured with a dehydrator (does not cook, dries) a bowl of your favorite raw dough (as an example, sprouted oats placed through a good juicer with a blank affixed-run these sprouts through so that they homogenize into a dough). In the bowl, place your favorite seasonings and or sweet oils and form into cookies you can fill your dehydrator with these treats so that you will have fun, healthy foods for days or weeks to come.

Thanks, Dr. Clement! I wonder if they offer work study programs? I could use some time in Florida to go raw. Anyone want to sponsor me?

06/08/2011

El Nuevo Mexicano has vegan food! Chicago, I’m coming back!   »

Not to live, just a visit. I simply refuse to attempt to survive another winter in the Midwest. I don’t care how delicious the vegan food is, I cannot take it!
On a side note, Virgin America has just announced flights to Chicago! I can fly on the cheap and cush to go visit my old stomping grounds! On my most recent trip outta town, I discovered Plant Cafe at Virgin America’s new Terminal 2 at SFO. Vegan cupcakes at an airport? Who says airports are no fun?

There are so many reasons to visit Chitown—Old Style, friends, amazing falafel sandwiches, and now,  El Nuevo Mexicano in Lakeview has announced new vegan options! I’ll take a pitcher of margaritas and the entire vegan menu, thanks!

Feast your eyes on a few of the selections, then buy your plane ticket. September is a really tolerable beautiful month for Chicago.image

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The peeps at El Nuevo Mexicano credit Mercy for Animals as the inspiration behind their new vegan options! Mad props, MFA!

El Nuevo Mexicano is located at 2914 N. Clark St. in Lakeview, Chicago.

[photos courtesy El Nuevo Mexicano’s Facebook page]

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