That’s the Vegan Black Metal Chef. This video was emailed to us by five awesome people so even though it’s a little long and black metal has some terrible, nightmarish associations, we must post it. This dude is obviously awesome and hilarious and not a creepy racist sociopath so in solidarity we scream: CILANTRO!!
It’s Friday, which means it’s time for this week’s charmingly lunacy-tinged link-o-rama! »
Awwww! I know it’s the Daily Mail (UGH) but just read this story about Louie the obstacle-course-mastering pig and then close the tab. It’s a good story!
This week we’re still serving our U.S. citizens terrible lunches, while they’re getting huge full meals in other countries. Hot-stuff vegan Ted Leo talked to Eater about his awesome eating life, answering the idiotic question: “So do you consider yourself a strict vegan then or a little more ‘a la carte’ with your vegan choices?” by stating that, “Yeah… I wouldn’t say I was vegan if I was a la carte.” We love a man with principles. And a few eye-wrinkles, swoon. Or how about an athlete: Richard Adams went vegan after one visit to the animals at Farm Sanctuary, and now competes in crazy -lons/-thons to raise money for them!
Classic FDA/USDA recalls this week. First, cilantro sold under the labels Nature’s Reward, Ocean Mist, Tanimura & Antle, and Queen Victoria is being recalled because, oopsie, it’s all full of salmonella! Thanks, Sabor Farms of Salinas, Calif.! Second, “All Toxic Waste® Brand Nuclear Sludge® Products All Flavors And All Sizes” have been recalled because of elevated levels of lead! Who would have thought? At least the whale meat in Japan is free of lethal contaminants! Probably local, too, unlike every fish served at nearly every Bay Area restaurant, whoops. I wonder what ol’ Michael “don’t eat a lot of meat! unless it’s me, in which case, every week is Meat Week!" Pollan would say about eating insects—aren’t they totally local and sustainable? Well, one out of two. Chefs in London won’t be using shark fins in their dishes anymore, so there’s one win this week.
If you’re concerned about food for moral issues, definitely take a look at Salon’s guide to egg labeling—it’s informative! Megan Rascal’s scary pig cartoon is helping a vegan mom teach her kid about preventing animal cruelty. This Government Office of Accountability report on the F.D.A.’s total ineffectiveness at enforcing the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, despite being totally unsurprising, is really depressing, what with the egregious animal abuse inspectors aren’t stopping and all. Neat! It’s neat how in April 2010 a company working through Outdoor Adventures “euthanized,” meaning brutally murdered, somewhere between 70 and 100 sled dogs they no longer had use for post-driving-tourists-around-on-sleds season. Guess they didn’t need them for the Iditarod! Chinese families don’t need the pet rabbits they’re buying in celebration of the new year, the Year of the Rabbit, but they’re buying them anyway! Hey, just like dumbasses in the U.S. at Easter, only the article about it is full of racist puns as well as rabbit jokes. Mutts, though, Mutts is funny. Let’s read this 1996 interview with Patrick McDonnell and actually laugh.
From the vegetarian artislovely comes this recipe for Mexican Fiesta Soup, which looks delicious and seems totally appropriate for a blustery spring day.
4 tomatillos, peeled and rinsed
2/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed, rinsed well
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 small white onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced, plus more sliced for garnish (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
One 28 1/2-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (about 8 tomatoes), drained and crushed
3 ears corn, quartered
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 ripe avocado, pitted, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Nonstick cooking spray
Freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place tomatillos on a small rimmed baking sheet. Roast in oven, turning once midway through, until they are softened and slightly charred, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool slightly. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor; add cilantro, one garlic clove, and lime juice. Process until smooth and combined; set aside.
2. Lightly coat bottom of a large nonstick saucepan with cooking spray. Add onion, remaining garlic clove, and diced jalapeno; cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until onion is softened, about 7 minutes. Add cumin, tomatoes, corn, and chicken vegetable stock. Bring liquid to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
3. Remove from heat; stir in 3 tablespoons reserved tomatillo mixture, and season with pepper. Add sliced avocado. Ladle into serving bowls; garnish with jalapeno slices, if desired. Serve with remaining tomatillo pesto
Your Vegansaurus knows that some of you have issues with cilantro, so for you we recommend substituting some tarragon, a pinch of rosemary, maybe a pinch of thyme—all fresh!—and a couple extra garlic cloves. Try it and see!
[photo from Whole Living via artislovely]
Mission Street Food: Vegan Night »
I just got back from MSF’s vegan night, and I think it’s safe to call it a success. The food was great, every table was filled, and even the meatmouths seemed to be enjoying themselves. Well done, no hard feelings, and let’s make this a monthly affair, okay?
Our table ordered three rounds of vegan burgers on flatbread (with tangy shaved fennel), the broccoli rabe, the roasted tomato stew with artichoke, and the smoky eggplant tostada with caramelized brussels sprouts. I was actually expecting the combo of brussels sprouts and tostada to be fundamentally flawed but it just worked. (They were kind enough to leave off the cilantro, which is not actually a food item and was originally cultivated by the Khmer Rouge as a means of torture—all true, cilantro is just that evil). And the tomato stew with artichoke? I’m artichoke-obsessed but it’s nearly impossible to find them in a restaurant setting without cream or butter involved. So THANKS GUYS.
All in all, I was impressed by the mix of flavors. If you noticed that I avoided everything on the menu that was Asian-inspired, that was indeed on purpose. Between the cult-run restaurants and the old school fake-meat-o-rama places, there’s A LOT of Asian-inspired vegan food out there. I’m much more excited by Mediterranean and European flavors, or really anything that doesn’t involve shiitake mushrooms or seaweed. I understand that I’m crazy and plenty of vegans love Asian food, and MSF gave us a bit of both.
So yeah, well done, the venue is a bit grungy but we’re all about the local flavah, and I’m hoping for a rerun next month. Is it a date? Does this mean we’re dating?
(Pic courtesy of Rajesh! Thanks!)
Unexpected vegan finds! »
A few places in town that are surprisingly vegan-friendly.
1. Pork Store—two locations: one in the Haight; one in the Mission. This is how much San Francisco wants you to be happy: it gives you a diner called the Pork Store and throws a really nice, garlicky tofu scramble on the menu, the “Vegan Delight.” From my numerous times sitting at the counter at the Haight location, I can tell you they use different pans for the tofu.
2. Q—One of only a few places on Clement Street to get non-Asian food, Q is an adorable restaurant: good for brunch, good for dinner, good for dates, good for anything. For brunch they have a tofu scramble, which they call “Hippy Heaven” and for dinner/lunch they have a grilled vegetable cornucopia called the “Ultimate Vegan Grill.” They also, quite notably, serve tater tots.They have an amazing wine list and serve sangria, so if you really don’t want to eat, you can always just get drunk. None of us will judge you (too much).
3. Casa Mexicana I (in the Castro) and II (in Noe Valley)—we love burritos at Vegansaurus! If you can’t take the greasiness of El Farolito or the long waits at Papalote, Casa Mexicana is a local taqueria chain (I’m certain they’re affiliated with some other taquerias in town, but have no evidence) with some tasty vegan options including lard-free beans, vegetarian rice and tofu ranchero; blocks of tofu covered in wonderful red sauce. Here’s what you do: you get a tofu ranchero burrito with refried beans, add avocado. You go to to the salsa bar, you add roasted tomato salsa and more cilantro. You love everything about life right at that moment.
[photo via yelp]