The Vegansaurus Diet: Laura! »
Monday, Jan. 24.
Vega shake (chocolate flavor mixed with water) and coffee with coconut creamer. The thing with Vega is, it tastes DISGUSTING but makes you feel SO ALIVE. I’ve never had a protein shake make me feel the way Vega does. Seriously, I feel like I could punch out Superman! I want to puke while I’m drinking it (it does not help that it looks and smells like puke) but afterwards, my head is clear, my eyes are bright, and I have weird amounts of energy. Freaky.
Lunch is my patented “Couscous Surprise.” Actually, Jonas patented it but I innovate on the base so ANYWAY. What I do is, I put Israeli couscous, half a Field Roast Chipotle sausage, some broccoli, a dash of olive oil, a little vegan chicken broth powder, some nutritional yeast, spices galore, and water into my rice cooker and BAM! half an hour later, Couscous Surprise! This dish is very tasty and delightful. Highly recommended. My lunch dessert is a pear. BORING, it’ll get sexier/fatter at dinner, I promise.
For snack I had one of those high-fiber fruit bars from Trader Joe’s. They’re all right-tasting and full of fiber!
Dinner was the new Loving Hut on Irving in the Inner Sunset with the lovely Eve Batey. We split the Ocean Basket (deep-fried vegan fish and green beans and mushrooms), a mango salad, and this tofu veggie vermicelli thing. Oh, and fried bananas and ice cream. Everything was okay, if a little bland. And then later when I got home, I had a piece of leftover Maggie Mudd ice cream cake. Delicious. God, I love that fake frosting flavor, I have such horrible taste in everything.
Tuesday, Jan. 25
Since it probably took you half an hour to read about my Monday, I’ll get more succinct up in this bitch. For breakfast today, I had a vaginal exam. After that, I enjoyed two cups of coffee with coconut creamer, a molasses cookie, an apple, and a pear. Lunch is chia seed gravy with tofu, spinach, and broccoli over quinoa! Love that chia seed gravy. I snacked on TJ’s fruit leather and one of those delicious maple leaf cookies they sell. Dinner was cooked at my parent’s house so we could watch
downloaded legally recorded Big Love. We made spaghetti with a zucchini and mini heirloom marinara and the Trader Joe’s meatballs and a big salad with Sabra spinach and artichoke hummus and some herb slab bread. It was all very delicious and OMG BIG LOVE SO SCANDALOUS.
Wednesday, Jan. 26
A bowl of Trader Joe’s Oh’s (or whatever the fuck they’re “cleverly” named) with almond milk, a pear, and coffee with coconut creamer. BAM! For lunch, I had last night’s leftover spaghetti and two diet Hanson’s sodas. I love soda, one of my new year’s resolutions was to drink more of it and I’m no quitter! Except when things are hard! Then, I had a TJ’s Laxative Fruit Leather. For dinner, homemade Mac and Cheese with quinoa pasta and loads of broccoli (my own recipe, it’s the bomb, one day when I’m feeling less lazy, I’ll share it with you)! The last of the Maggie Mudd ice cream cake which ended up giving my funky tummy. I will also say that I was at Maggie Mudd’s the other night and they only had TWO vegan flavors on the board WTF? Oh, and BEER. I enjoyed some beer.
Thursday, Jan. 27
Coffee with coconut creamer, laxative bomb fruit leather, and Trader Joe’s Oh’s with almond milk. I totally forgot to have lunch because it was a crazy crazy day and was starting to feel shaky, so I stopped at Whole Foods and picked up some cucumber and avocado sushi (what’s up, Rascal!), a Synergy kombucha, a banana, and a ProBar. Ate everything but half the ProBar but not because it’s gross, just because I was full. I stopped in the downstairs cafe to eat like a proper human and they were doing wine tastings. Nobody else was indulging so the wine lady poured me three giant glasses of wine. No clue what the wines were but this is probably because I had three huge glasses of wine. Cheers! For dinner, I met with two wonderful ladies, Amanda and Leda, for Vietnamese food in the place that’s where Yum Yum House used to be on Valencia (it’s now on Divisadero!), Thanh Tam II; we split spring rolls, tofu with string beans, white rice, and veggie noodles. It was pretty all right. I think if I still lived nearby, I might get it for delivery, but no, in this neighborhood, I prefer Sunflower for Vietnamese food. Sometimes people complain about our mainly positive restaurant reviews but the thing is, we mainly review the places we really love. Or that really suck. Maybe we should do more places that are like, O-KAY. I dunno? Thoughts? I AM VERY SLEEPY, GOODNIGHT.
Friday, Jan. 28
Vega + coffee with creamer! Lunch is chia seed gravy over broccoli and multi-grain crackers with eggplant garlic dip. Late afternoon snack is roasted Brussels sprouts (olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar; roast at 425 for 20 min!). 6 p.m. rolls around and I’m craving chocolate like crazy so I make a pan of Fat Bottom Bakery fudge. Waiting for that cool because I want some before I go see a movie with my mom tonight. I’m gonna fall asleep during it, guaranteed. Now, MORE WORK! Goodnight, sir.
Saturday, Jan. 29
Coffee with coconut milk creamer. A million episodes of Breaking Bad. Made some chickpea “tuna” salad (YUM) and ate that and Sabra Spinach and Artichoke Hummus (YUM) with multigrain crackers. Then, I indulged in some of yesterday’s fudge. I packed it in. I really love FUDGE!! Then, I cuddled Hazel and took a nap—not really food-related but digestion-related. Next, picked up sushi and soba and goma-ae and edamame and miso soup from Cha-Ya in Berkeley and took it to Minty and Damien's house to meet their 3 day old baby, who is named Sally, and is beautiful and perfect in every way. I wish I was a baby, what a life! All just eating and sleeping and people cleaning you and hugging you constantly. It's like I always say: It's a baby's world, we're just living in it! Oh, this is a good time to mention that I also had two glasses of wine. Red wine! Heart healthy! Anyway, delightful visit with delightful people (and dogs and cats) and then so, we came home for more Breaking Bad and cider and garlic fries. GARLIC FRIES!!! Now, fudge? Or, sleep?
Sunday, Jan. 29
Coffee with vanilla soy milk! Then, some dried mango and a carrot. Fast-forward to lunch, which is Souley Vegan gumbo (delightful spiciness with okra, tofu, and seaweed), collard greens, southern fried tofu, and mashed potatoes with gravy, split with Jonas. Followed by some vegan gummy worms. For dinner, we made Red Curry with Rice and Purple Kale. I’m really loving that recipe, except I used hemp seed oil as the oil and it’s my first time cooking with it and it has a gross-ass fishy smell. NO ME GUSTA.
Monday, Jan. 31
Having a down day today so it’s time to eat! Actually, today didn’t motivate me to eat so much as cry in a corner. Anyway, I made myself hot chocolate for breakfast and ate some leftover red curry for lunch. I had an apple and four Candy Cane Joe Joe’s and then I wasn’t super hungry or motivated so I had some chickpea salad for dinner and a big glass of soy milk. Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!
The SF Food Wars Mac and Cheese Battle Royale is BAAAAACK! And vegans NEED TO ENTER! Remember last time when the Fat Bottom Bakery girls PLACED SECOND? A vegan recipe took 2nd prize, you guys! IN YOUR FACE, BACON WRAPPED BACON MAC AND BACON CHEESE. So this year, we must return and CONQUER! Let’s do this vegans!
If you’re vegan enough to do it to it, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following info to apply to compete: Your Name, Dish Name, Dish Description, Phone Number, Email Address. Bust out your best vegan mac n cheese recipe and get ready to RULE KITCHEN STADIUM!!! Or, you know, cook in a competition that’s not on the Food Network but nevertheless brings honor to your people.
Friends of Vegansaurus have adorable companions! Ashley and Carolynn of Fat Bottom Bakery each have a kitty cat; the little calico in the foreground is Carolynn’s girl Bean, and the big orange bruiser in the back is Ashley’s boy GG. I wonder if their cat powers combined are as mighty as Carolynn and Ashley’s powers combined—you know we ADORE Fat Bottom Bakery.
Quick-Ass San Francisco Bay Area Thanksgiving Guide! »
Souley Vegan is doing a special Thanksgiving menu (info is further down the post). I’m hoping for a veganized deep-fried turkey leg. I wanna get Medieval on your asses!
Café Gratitude returns with their FREE VEGAN THANKSGIVING! No matter that it’s raw, it’s free! I mean, you’re already vegan, might as well become a full-on holiday meal weirdo. Oh, and it looks like you might have to work? But, er, FREE FOOD!
If you want to get a meal at a supermarket and bring it home, check out:
Whole Foods varies what it offers store-to-store. Our pals in Los Angeles, quarrygirl, got the Whole Foods dinner last year and looooooved it. Search by store location on their site, or give your closest store a call and find out what they’re offering!
Andronico’s has a pretty rad deal at their eight Bay Area locations! They’re introducing a vegan meal this year and it sounds delicious:
Field Roast: Wild rice, cranberry, fig and grain roast en croûte (1 pound)
Roasted root vegetables (1 pound)
Vegan yukon gold mashed potatoes (1 pound)
Vegan mushroom gravy (½ pint)
Cranberry orange chutney (½ pint)
Vegan pumpkin pie (6 inches)
It’s only $30 for all that awesome food! GET ON IT!
AND NOW: it’s DESSERT TIME! That means PIE!!
You can get vegan options at Mission Pie (order ahead!), Bike Basket Pies (OUR FAVORITES! Best pie in the Bay Area! Order ahead!), or pick one up at Rainbow Grocery or Whole Foods. Also, check out all our our local vegan bakeries and see if they might make you up something special? Bet they will! A cake from Sugar Beat Sweets? Cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery? A giant cinnamon roll from Cinnaholic? A toffee treat from Wholesome Bakery? Nabolom Bakery has lots of good vegan options! There are pies and Weekend Ruiner cinnamon rolls from A Fire Inside. Idle Hands Baking Company makes cupcakes and cakes if you aren’t a pie person. Or get a pumpkin pie ice cream cake from Maggie Mudd—that flavor’s coconut milk-based, it’s intense. The options are endless, but you better call now!
Also, if you don’t want others to do the dirty work, you could totally make your own fabulous Thanksgiving, lazy!
Now, let’s get fat, American-style! Happy Thanksgiving!
From 6 to 8 pm. there’s a FREE pet fair with all sorts of awesome vendors and tons of vegan food and drinks! We’re talking vegan sandwiches from Ike’s Place, cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery and Sugar Beat Sweets, and cookies made with Eat Pastry Cookie Dough! There will also be tons of beer, wine, a raffle with awesome prizes, great vendors (get your holiday gifts!), adoptable ADORABLE dogs, and MORE!
Then, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. there will be BINGO! Served up with vegan chili pie, cornbread, and the best fucking prizes ever, including a $100 gift certificate to Millennium, Southwest plane tickets, and a signed SF Giants cap from MVP Édgar Rentería. Seriously, you gotta be there so COME! Please!
Rocket Dog is so desperate for funds right now. We want to keep up our legacy of saving the dogs that nobody else can—your pit bulls, your tripods, your one-eyed chihuahuas! Play Bingo for those who cannot! I’m crazy! See you there! Etc.!
Interview with a vegan: Lisa Congdon! »
Lisa Congdon is a talent to be reckoned with. And by reckoned with, we mean PURCHASE EVERY PIECE OF ART SHE’S EVER MADE. Seriously, this lady is crazy-talented. My favorite pieces change moment to moment, but I’m currently lusting after this finch and "Brave Bear" (OMG I LOVE YOU BRAVE BEAR). Actually, I’ll just take one of each, please!
Lisa has lived in SF for 20 years. She is a woman entrepreneur (love) and co-owner of Rare Device, an art gallery and store that sells everything awesome and good (if you haven’t been, you are a fool who is missing out!). We love crafty vegans because they make the world a prettier place and can also design and paint stuff for the rest of us when we need it. You never know when you’re going to want a watercolor of yourself hugging a baby hippo in outer space. Actually, you probably want that right now, huh? Anyway, follow Lisa on twitter and buy everything in her Etsy store and visit Rare Device and be really happy that such a rad chick is vegan!
Vegansaurus: Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination?
Lisa Congdon: All three.
V: How long have you been vegan? Why did you become vegan?
LC: I have been a vegan for about two years. I had been thinking a lot about becoming a vegan for a long time, but when I did it, I did it pretty much “cold turkey,” as opposed to weaning myself off stuff over time. It’s sort of funny how it finally happened. My partner and I were visiting my family in Portland. We all love to eat, and we had this really gluttonous weekend of gorging on food, which included a lot of rich cheese. That Sunday we were at the airport for our return flight and we felt horrible and gross from eating so much crap. We went into the bookstore in the airport and we saw Skinny Bitch on the table. A friend had told me about it, so we bought it. We dove into it right away right there in the airport and read it together. We finished it before we got back to San Francisco (love the book, but it’s the Reader’s Digest version of “why be a vegan”). That same week I went a little heavier and read the The China Study and, we also went to see Food, Inc. That movie sealed the deal, and we both became vegan that same week. We’ve continued to educate ourselves as much as we can about the benefits—health, humane, environmental—of eating a plant-based diet, and feel like it was one of the most important choices I have ever made in my life.
V: What’s the best part of being vegan?
LC: There are so many amazing things. I’ve never felt so good in my life, both physically and mentally. I have far more energy than I’ve ever had, which is scary because I have always been pretty energetic. I sleep better, I never feel sick after eating—except maybe after I have the potatoes at Gracias Madre, which are completely naughty. I also feel good about causing less harm to other living creatures and the environment. I revere animals, and now I feel like I walk the talk. I can be more like Ellen DeGeneres, who is my personal hero. Oh, and I have become a mean vegan chef.
V: Do you have any companion animals? Where are they from?
LC: I sure do. First off, I have Barry and Margaret, my cats. I got them about five years ago at the SPCA. Margaret is secretary of the house. She makes sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to and if you aren’t, she lets you know. Barry lives a less stressful existence, mostly staring out the window onto the action on Capp Street from our apartment. [Ed. SO CUTE! Also, Vegansaurus HQ used to be on Capp! Perhaps Hazel barked at Barry and Margaret in your window at some point!}
Then there is Wilfredo. Wilfredo is a chihuahua I rescued from Wonder Dog Rescue about three years ago. He’s three and a half, and he’s a very good, sweet, gentle, loving boy. He’s just the kindest dog you’ve ever met, and very cuddly and amazingly loving. He’s got a really wonderful, distinct personality and beautiful green eyes. Unlike many chihuahuas, he loves people, even strangers. And he doesn’t bark, which is also pretty ridiculously amazing. Wilfredo and I will be featured on the The Bold Italic’s upcoming Pet Week [Ed.: It’s THIS WEEK and culminates in an awesome party on Saturday night at The Women’s Building in SF! The party will benefit Rocket Dog Rescue and there will be all sorts of vegan food there, including cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery and Sugar Beat Sweets, cookies from Eat Pastry, and VEGAN SANDWICHES FROM IKE’S PLACE! Plus, vegan chili and cornbread and BINGO and a pet fair and awesomeness! COME!]!
V: What is your favorite animal? I know, this one is REALLY TOUGH.
LC: Oh geez, I HATE this question. It’s a toss-up between dogs, horses, goats, and sheep. Although this summer I visited the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen and I really must say I have a thing for pigs. And cows. Someday I want to have a barn.
V: Does being vegan affect your art? If so, how?
LC: Not really; my subject matter hasn’t changed too much since I became vegan. That said, I make the bulk of my living doing illustration work, and I did turn down a high-profile illustration job recently—it was for a cookbook—because they wanted me to draw diagrams of animals about to go to slaughter, with the cuts of meat and the like. I said I wouldn’t do it and told them why—as professionally as possible, of course. I lost the job and I have no regrets.
V: You have lots of art with animals in it; do you have a favorite?
LC: I think my favorite animal painting I’ve ever made is the "Mountain Goat".
V: What’s your favorite vegan cookbook?
LC: That’s another hard question! It’s a toss up between Veganomicon for basics, The Conscious Cook for fancier recipes—such amazing concoctions in there and I do like Gardein a lot—and Vegan Table for awesome seasonal recipes.
V: Favorite vegan restaurant? Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant?
LC: Gracias Madre. I am not sure what I ever did without it. It’s also rad—and dangerous—that it’s around the corner from where I live. And my favorite dish is their naughty Papas al Horno, potatoes with cashew nacho cheese sauce!!!
V: Are you willing to have Vegansaurus over and cook us a vegan feast? If so, what day?
LC: All 11 of you? ;) [Ed.: YES! God!]
Thanks, Lisa! You’re the most amazing and we are officially in love with you. Check out our other Vegansaurus interviews and apply to be interviewed YOURSELF! Just email and we’ll totally interview your fascinating ass.
[Lisa’s amazing portrait of Wilfredo is above; all photos and art in this post by Lisa!]
The lovely Mandy of Wholesome Bakery is hosting a fundraiser bakesale and street food party on Saturday, Oct. 16 at La Victoria Bakery to help her brother Nick pay for medical costs related to his brain cancer recovery. Seriously, these two are amazing and making it happen and Oh! they’re both VEGAN! We need to show up and support them and eat tasty-ass food and yeah, let’s do this!
We have confirmation from Mandy that vegan goodies will be represented with treats from Wholesome Bakery, Fat Bottom Bakery, Mission Mini’s, Bike Basket Pies, and Sour Flour! And that’s just the start of it; there will be lots of tasty vegan street cart eats in the evening as well! Let us party and get fed and fat for a good cause and feel great about ourselves and the world and maybe even all get naked and make out after! Yes?
The bakesale is Saturday, Oct. 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the street food party goes from 6 to 10 p.m. La Victoria is at 2937 24th St. at Alabama Street.
Our visit to the Donut Farm! Oakland gets better by the day! »
Donuts from Oakland’s new Donut Farm! Well, not totally new, it’s Pepples Donuts but in a funky fresh (best words to describe this place, trust) new location with lots of excellent new flavors we haven’t seen before. In the box are Fresh Strawberry, Salted Caramel, Old Fashioned, and Philz Coffee! HOT DAMN! all-vegan, all-organic, all-tasty as shit. Or, a lot tastier than shit, as it were. Can’t think, too hot.
It’s cash-only, and the one thing they sell besides donuts is coffee. (Except Wednesdays, when the awesome ladies of Fat Bottom Bakery make a vegan cupcake delivery. Which we forwent to bring you this report today. Sacrifices!) Kinda perfect.
Donut Farm is in Oakland at 6037 San Pablo (at 61st St.), Open Monday thru Thursday 9 a.m.-6 p.m, Friday & Saturday 9 a.m. “till late.”)