vegansaurus!

02/20/2012

Adele is going to give vegetarianism a go! And we’re here to help!  »

Oh-so-lovely songstress Adele is making an effort to go vegetarian! She says that for what’s on the agenda in the year ahead, she has to be “really healthy and stuff like that.” Plus, when she eats meat, she thinks of her dog and sees his little dog eyes. This is incredible news, though of course going vegan would be all the more fantastic. It can be a difficult transition to make, I understand. But, Adele, I’m here to help you. Anything you need, any time of day. Then when you visit San Francisco, I’ll give you the drinking vegan tour of the city! Or you can hire me as your personal chef, whatever works.

1. I understand you don’t like the taste of tofu, that you go so far as to describe it as “rank.” Tofu is not chicken, this much is true. However, when seasoned well, tofu is delicious! I’ll let you borrow my Tofu Xpress and we can marinate blocks of protein together! You must also read Sarah’s guide to making the most out of a tofu scramble: It will change your life.

2. Faux meat and cheese are your friends during this transitional time. Every time I blink, new ones hit the market. Try them all out to find your faves. You don’t have to like them all, it’s OK. I stay as far as I can from Tofurky deli slices and cheddar-flavored Follow Your Heart cheese.

3. Raw chocolate truffles are the BEST. Raw desserts in general, I think, are better than the average vegan treat, except for coconut ice cream, which is delightful.

4. Check out Happy Cow so you know where to eat in every city on your tour. I really should have checked Happy Cow before I went to Reno (as opposed to the drive home), because I subsisted on a salad, a sandwich, and a Lara Bar for two days—not enough food for me. Learn from my mistakes.

5. Barnivore is your new best friend. Use it, download the app, and then go to your nearest pub.

6. Get yourself some vegan cookbooks! Because Vegan with a Vengeance was my first, I am biased in believing it should be every vegan beginner’s guide!

7. I have heard that it is safe and nutritious for doggie companions to go veg as well as humans! You and your pooch can go on this veg journey together, OMG that would be the cutest.

8. Read Vegansaurus! You’ll love us, we are sassy. Like you!

9. I probably will not lose respect for you if you pose for a PETA ad, but personally, I think it’d be amazing if you did work with Farm Sanctuary or Mercy for Animals. Just don’t pull a Ginnifer Goodwin, in which you yell about your veganism only to turn around and bash it on Jimmy Kimmel Live, OK?

Now it’s time for a video, with everyone’s favorite kale-lover, Anderson Cooper! Just kidding; he openly hates kale because like my sister, he has the palate of a six-year-old!
Adele is just stunning in all these clips. Are you getting chills watching her sing? I am!

[photo via Tom and Lorenzo. Who does your makeup, girl? It’s perfection.]

09/15/2011

While cruising through one of my new favorite blogs, Hello Giggles, I found this post (and subsequent video) all about making vegan sundaes. How exciting! There are recipes for both salted caramel and bananas foster. And who does it happen to star? Napeoleon Dynamite's own Haylie Duff! I love my celebrities, especially when they partake in vegan doings and makings.

Can someone make the caramel sauce and bring it over to my apartment? Thanks! We can totally run across the street and pick up some Coconut Bliss at Whole Paycheck. Sundae Party!

08/19/2011

Vote for us? We’ll bake you cookies*!  »

The VegNews Veggie Awards are ON! And Vegansaurus is nominated for Best Blog! And my column, “Ask Laura” is nominated for Best Column! Well, all the columns are nominated for best columns but still: WOOHOO! So please vote for us! And for me! Or you don’t have to vote for us, no bigs, we’ll still love you through our tears. However, you should still vote because there are fantastic prizes to be won, including year supply of Coconut Bliss ice cream, a VeganTreats dessert party flown straight to your face, and a CARIBBEAN CRUISE! Now, go vote so that you can get your ass on that boat and set sail to DELIGHT!

*Maybe! One day!

05/10/2011

Eat new flavors of Coconut Bliss; gain 10,000 pounds!  »


Coconut Bliss has four new flavors. I already had a mega-ladyboner for the existing ones, so I flipped at the chance to try them. (Dear Luna & Larry: I would flip at the chance to re-try all the old ones, like, a million times each as well, thanks.) You asked for my thoughts? Oh, you didn’t? Well, TOO BAD:

Lunaberry Swirl: This is your typical crystalline berry-flavored swirl in vanilla base. It’s got blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries without that weird texture that makes berries gross (I hate fruit). The flavor is pretty mild, and the whole experience reminded me of those single-serving ice cream cups with the wooden spoons they’d give you at ice cream socials. Help me out, guys: What were those called? It’s driving me bananas! Fruit joke!

Mocha Maca Crunch: It’s crunchy, all right; my jaw is like the Hulk now. It contains maca (revered by Aztecs or somebody for its energy- and libido-boosting properties), mesquite, coffee, and cocoa nibs. Lucky for me, the coffee flavor was not too strong (I hate coffee; related: I’m an alien). The texture was pleasant, but it could have used a soft swirl (fudge maybe?) to balance out the crunchiness.

Chocolate Walnut Brownie: This has real brownie bits! I’m in heaven! They are gluten-free and soft and chewy! My dream has been realized! Also, I don’t always love chocolate-flavored stuff or even chocolate itself (I know! What is wrong with me?!), so I was pleased that I enjoyed the chocolate base. It’s probably the best chocolate ice cream in the biz, yo.

Ginger Cookie Caramel: This one was the winner. You didn’t know it was a contest? Surprise! Soft, molasses-y, gluten-free cookies pair up with an uber-yummy caramel swirl. The ginger flavor is really strong, so if you don’t like ginger, you are dead to me you won’t like this. This ice cream brings back memories of that one time I made gingerbread cookies except less disastrous.

Go to your local Coconut Bliss-carrying store and stockpile that shit, along with my all-time favorite flavor, Cherry Amaretto (hooray, alcohol!). Stuff into your face, and be happy.

03/28/2011

NYC Vegetarian Food Festival is this Sunday!  »


Sunday, Apr. 3, is the New York Vegetarian Food Festival! Huzzah! Are you going? I’m going to try and make it. You should be able to recognize me, I’ll be the one that looks extra Hollywood! I don’t know what that means. Regardless, the festival is being held at the Altman Building at 135 West 18th St. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be lots of dope vendors there like Coconut Bliss, Sweet and Sara, and Foodswings. Sounds like a party!

UPDATE: The festival is totally FREE! Fantastico!

03/14/2011

It’s our SXSW panel today! You’re coming, right?  »

Here are the details! It’s on internet activism and veganism and being rad. Plus, it’s with the hilarious, rad, and amazing Lazy Smurf’s Guide to Life (she made that rad graphic of our dino chasing after her smurf’s cupcake. That sounded sexual? Or maybe I’m just that fucked up in the head?)!

Plus PLUS: a chance to win free shit from Coconut Bliss and discount cards from Twig & Leaf Botanicals (20 percent off! even for you folks at home!), our amazing sponsors. It’ll be amazing! See your ass(es?) THERE!

03/09/2011

Coconut Bliss, we love you!  »

So, you’ve heard, we’re headed to SXSW! Vegansaurus is ready to take over Austin and eat everything in the city and tear some shit up. I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to tear up but it’ll probably be vegan tamales from Mr. Natural. Oh! Also, I’m speaking about veganism online. Fancy! If you’re attending, please come to the panel and be my friend. We’re gonna be doing all sorts of fabulous giveaways, too. Including an opportunity to win some free fabulous stuff from Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss (which we LOVE), one of our righteous sponsors! Yes! And when we get back from SXSW, we’re gonna do a taste test with their new flavors (you can also WIN SOME RIGHT NOW), which we are crazy excited about because HOLY SHIT MORE ICE CREAM PLZ.

 We are thrilled that Coconut Bliss is one of our sponsors because we are nuts about the product and think they’re the greatest best. Woo!
Naked Almond Fudge, I love you the most of all.

If you’re in the mood for even more SXSW inspired deals, check out our Twig & Leaf Botanicals 20 percent off coupon!

06/11/2010

Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss in Cappuccino! PLUS FREE ICE CREAM!  »

Over at veganbackpacker.com, they are hosting a Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss giveaway! One lucky vegan can win five coupons for free pints of Coconut Bliss. OMG! This is great timing since I was JUST about to write about my new favorite thing: the cappuccino Coconut Bliss. It’s the sheezy! Well, it’s not as amazing as the coffee-flavored ice cream I had in Italy in my pre-vegan days, but it’s the first vegan coffee-related flavor I’ve found and it hits the spot! I like my coffee ice cream to be like straight-up black coffee flavored and this is a little weak. But it’s very creamy; it has a great consistency, much better than other vegan ice creams I’ve had. Sometimes they are more icy and crunchy than creamy, but not Coconut Bliss. There is definitely a bit of coconut flavor and I’m not a superfan of coconuts, but it doesn’t bother me so don’t let the coconut turn you off. Another bonus: it’s got all fair-trade ingredients, including the coffee for the cappuccino one. Yay!

So, fatties (OK, skinnies too) go enter! And if you win, there’s no reason why you can’t share one of your FIVE free pints with, I don’t know, MEGAN RASCAL! HOLLER AT YOUR GIRL!

01/11/2010

Interview: Daniel Clary of Alkemie Dairy-Free Ice Cream!  »

Daniel Clary is the 28-year-old mastermind behind the raw, delicious and dairy-free Alkemie Ice Cream. His story of how the ice cream begin as an idea a few years back and evolved into something tasty, edible and accessible is not only interesting, but totally inspiring.

How long have you been vegan?
Full-on about seven years now; mostly veggie all my life. My dad went to farmers market every weekend. It was always [a] local and sustainable mindset from a very young age. My mom fed us tofu very young. Carob was my first “chocolate.” I naturally gravitated toward the veggie foods early on.

Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination?
As much as the environmental aspect and animal rights movement are very important to me, my main reason is health. That’s my mission…to do my part in changing the health of the world. Once I went full vegan, my health improved dramatically. Not that I was ever sick or “unhealthy,” but when the full switch came, it was like my internal lightbulb went on. Huge difference. And now I try to maintain high raw foods, which only created a new level of health and clarity in my life.

How much of your diet is raw?
I would say about 65 to 70 percent on any given day; some days it’s 100 percent. I’m vegan before I’m raw for sure. But raw foods really changed my life.

What is your favorite animal?
Dogs! Just got a puppy! He’s 12 weeks old now. A springer spaniel named Winston. [Vegansaurus PSA (per usual, we always be judging you): Always rescue a dog! Even if it’s a purebred! All purebreds have rescues, including the ADORABLE springer spaniel!]

Favorite vegan food to make?
As a chef, my favorite foods/flavors to work with would have to be Thai. I spent two months last year in Southeast Asia—mostly in Thailand—and I fell in love with the food. My heritage is half-Latin, [and] my mom’s side is from Central America, so Latin/Spanish flavors would be second. Fusing the two together excites me as well.

And as a chef?
I was a personal vegan chef for four years before taking this project on full-time. I worked for families throughout the peninsula, weekly service, catering events, private dinner parties…

Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant/favorite vegan restaurant?
Favorite restaurant would be Millennium in SF, and Pure Food in NYC. Favorite dish—hmmm, so many! I would say a killer Thai curry, or my vegan paella.

How long ago did the idea for Alkemie begin, and what are its origins?
It all started when I began absorbing myself in raw foods, about 2006-07. I worked at a small raw vegan cafe part-time to really dive into the art of preparing it (versus spending an ungodly amount of money to go to a raw school). I was blown away by what I was creating: the textures, flavors, specifically the desserts. I have a HUGE sweet tooth, and these desserts were blowing my mind—better than any standard cooked vegan desserts. Initially my mission was to create a business model around that. I wanted to open my own raw vegan bakery. But the costs, overhead, labor, etc. just didn’t pan out to be a viable business.

Then I thought of just doing one thing, and doing that one thing well. I literally one day was eating some Coconut Bliss, and thought: ICE CREAM! Why not ice cream? Who doesn’t like ice cream? And at that point I had NEVER experimented or created a raw ice cream, but I have never been satisfied with ANY of the vegan ice creams out there. They just didn’t embody what classic dairy ice cream does, and I knew that with the raw foods, I could potentially come up with something stellar, so I started experimenting.

How long was it between the time you perfected the recipe to the time you were packaging and selling the product?
The formula was perfected in spring ‘08. Then I decided to take some time off, travel, do some soul searching, research…I came back from Thailand and then went straight into selling at farmers market in fall ‘08, and was doing that about a year. The response was amazing. People were floored by the ice cream. So without knowing exactly where to go next, I just kept on selling every week, until things started happening last summer.

I met my investor/business partner. I met the VP of Whole Foods. I was networking and meeting amazing connections. We then took this idea [and] started researching on how to take it to the next level. Found Boulder Ice Cream. Fell in love with the staff, did our tasting for NorCal, and got the green light a week later.

Honestly, it’s surreal. I’ve worked so hard my entire life, to finally have my dreams manifested—it’s, well, words can’t describe.

How did the name come about?
It all started in Thailand. I went there also to get inspired with a name for the company. I knew it was a beautiful land and people and surely I would come up with something. Halfway through the trip, after meeting so many people and telling them my story, vision, et cetera, I was coming up with nothing. When I was in Chiang Mai, I met a fellow traveler from London. We were talking one day about traveling, books, following your signs, et cetera. She said if I really wanted to read a book that will change [my] life, I should read The Alchemist.

So I bought the book when I was in Bangkok, [and] brought it down to the islands with me. One day, I had nothing to do; decided to pull the book out, head to the beach in the morning and start reading. I didn’t put the book down.

The message had such an impact on me. It was very simplistic in what it was saying: follow your dreams; trust your heart; follow the signs. But it was like that “a-ha!” moment for me.

So, after putting the book down, the name stuck in my head. I knew what alchemy meant literally: a transmutation of metal into gold. But I wanted to know more. So I went straight to the computer and looked the word up. The very first definition I found was: “any seemingly magical process of transforming ordinary ingredients into something of true merit.” The name of the company was born.

Do you see yourself dedicating yourself 100 percent to this, or do you still eventually want to open that bakery?
Good question! I do eventually want to venture out, and take on other projects, whether its the bakery, a small restaurant, an actual ice cream shop…still not sure yet. Once this business takes off and I can focus on other things, then I’ll decide.

Anything else you wanted to add or share?
We will be coming out with new flavors soon. Also, a little insider info: one of the flavors had a small error in production—the dark chocolate. The end product had too much free water added, which made it less creamy and more icy than the other two stellar flavors. It’s still good, just not perfect. It has since been corrected on the most recent production run and should be in the stock as the others are sold and rotated out. Just one of the inevitable growing pains small businesses go through.

If you want to stay in the loop about this product (because, let’s face it, ice cream is the best food ever), you can become a fan on Facebook, download the iPhone application, and even follow Alkemie on Twitter. Also, be sure to check out the blog for dates and information on in-store appearances.

Natalye just started graduate school studying creative writing, which means that she no longer has a social life, and her drinking has increased exponentially. She has a shiny but relatively useless college degree in journalism and music, and does freelance work, sometimes writing about indie music in Oakland. When she has down time, she’s usually sleeping, but rides her road bike when she can and makes both a killer vegan pizza and the most amazing mixtapes ever. Her updates are private, but you can follow her on Twitter and she’ll probably accept your request if you’re cute enough.

09/18/2009

Pigs in your blankets, our jerk governor, stopping animal-torture porn, chocolates good and bad, and hottt vegan action in this week’s HUGE-ASS link-o-rama!  »

Hey North Bay, busy on Monday, Sept. 21? There’s a sign-making party in Petaluma for World Farmed Animals Day (coming up!) that you could attend. Contact Kate Danaher for further information—location, supplies needed, etc.— and be ready for action from 6 to 9 p.m.

Win an ice cream party with Coconut Bliss ice cream! You guys this stuff is AMAZING, the cappuccino flavor is the best coffee ice cream I’ve ever tasted. Enter the contest, invite Vegansaurus, have the NIGHT of your LIFE.

California passed Prop. 2 in November, totally awesome! Going further, the state legislature recently passed a bill banning tail-docking in the dairy industry—just the kind of action we hoped the vote would spur. UNFORTUNATELY, our meathead (hilarious!!!) governor still has not signed that bill into law. All kinds of good-looking and/or famous people support it; join them, California residents, and tell that overtanned insanator to end the needless suffering of dairy cows already.

Farm Sanctuary’s newsletter, incidentally, is attractive and informative; if you need more email, this is something worth reading.

SF Appeal ran a great piece about how to get vegan options into restaurants, and it includes an interview with Laura so what’s not to love? No, really. SAY IT TO MY FACE. Signed, Laura.

You know who’s awesome? No, besides Laura: our pal Amit Gupta! His brand-spanking*-new book, Photojojo, is in the top 10 in its Amazon category! He is the most Super Amit we know!

What’s wrong with the world: Torture porn is back! Or, “back,” because, what in the HELL? Help HSUS remind Congress that filming the cruel deaths of animals for people’s sexual gratification is FUCKED UP BEYOND BELIEF and should be banned forever, no question. Honestly, what kind of freakshow wouldn’t ban this?

Ezra Klein, Vegansaurus’ honorary little brother, is extremely concerned by all the antibiotics in your animals—a full 70 percent of antibiotics in the U.S. are used in “food animal production,” which is dooming meat-eaters to death by super-bacteria, like, tomorrow. Whoops, guys.

Who wants to make a pink dinosaur these magical-looking Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles? The new PPK cookbook, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, is nearly here!

Meat chocolate. With salami aftertaste. On purpose. Gag.

An employee of a Brazilian McDonald’s sued the company, using Super Size Me as evidence to prove that eating the devil’s own food-type products daily for two years had deleterious effects on his health. Ooh, someone sued McDonald’s, thrilling—except, he didn’t introduce the film until his appeal, which he won. Fuck yeah, little guy.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to a “shots fired” call in May, and found the victim to be an itty bitty pit bull puppy with multiple gunshot wounds! They named him Remy, and thanks to their efforts he is better, but not fully recovered. Oakland Animal Shelter is asking for donations to cover the costs of the many surgeries poor little Remy has had and will need. If everyone who entered our contests donated $5, it’d be really helpful. You cannot deny the puppy in a cast.

Did you know that Vegansaurus (OK, Meave) loves the opera? SFMike of Civic Center blog says that opening night is a terrible time to go, but Leah Garchik reports a bright spot: While “[f]ewer than 10 dinner guests had RSVP’d pledges of allegiance to broccoli; at dinner, 170 declared themselves veggies.” It appears as if the upper echelons of San Francisco society have decided eating veg is in (again?), to which we say, lay off the fur and we can be BFFs, you beautiful lunatics.

Vegan.com brings us news from Harvard, specifically that The Crimson editorial board supports campus-wide “Meatless Mondays” and demands more and better vegetarian dishes in the dining halls. You smartypants overprivileged Muppet Babies have your hearts in the right place; demand and ye shall receive! (that’s how it works for you guys, right?)

Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma traced what happened to the body parts of a specific commercially raised pig and discovered a lot more than packaged meat. As savvy Vegansaurus readers will already know, that single pig wound up in 185 items. SO GROSS. The best/worst part is all of the non-food items the pig is used in automobile paint, cigarette filters, chewing gum and best of all, BULLETS. It’s extremely frustrating being vegan in a world like this.

Several Football stars are going (mostly) vegan. I mean, bros who play football are like, the very definition of manly, right? I mean they beat each other up and grab crotches all day long and these ones (the manliest of all!) happen to sit down to organic, vegan meals. How delightful! Is fuckyeahveganfootballplayingbros.tumblr.com taken?

Ooh, Vegan Month of Food 2009 is coming! How will we top last year’s? It is a mystery only TIME WILL TELL!!

The Babycakes ladies are crazy, right? Probably! But we can certainly appreciate** their love of frosting.

*yow! The link-o-rama is racy today! all making painful jokes with single-entendres and using words like “racy.” The heat is getting to us!
**
the only difference between this scenario and Saturdays at Vegansaurus HQ is that our frosting, ahem, “escapades” involve swimsuits and aprons instead of matching onesies. yow!

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