vegansaurus!

07/26/2012

Kids win Michelle Obama’s Healthy Recipe Contest with vegan food!  »


Back in May, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move organization (initiative?) announced a “Kids’ State Dinner” competition, in which kids from across the country would submit original recipes for consideration by a group of chefs, nutrition writers, the Epicurious editor in chief, and representative of the USDA and the Department of Education. 

The contest received over 1,200 entries. Recipes were based on “nutritional value,” “perceived taste,” “creativity and originality,” and “affordability,” as well as undergoing a a preparation and taste-test. Then the judges chose one winner from every state, plus five territories and poor old D.C. The most important thing to us: Nevada’s winner, by nine-year-old Alexea Wagner, was “vegan sloppy joes and kale salad.” Alexea! Congratulations, you wonderful person!

Check out the full list of winners (a number of which are clearly veg, though only one is explicitly vegan), and look for a free, downloadable cookbook with all the recipes after the winners attend a Kids’ State Dinner at the White House on Aug. 20. Happy Veggie Kids are now recipe champions!

[Photo by the U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr]

12/19/2011

This is Justice! You may remember him from the Happy Veggie Kids series. His interview was super; he explained the gender-bending history of pink. It was eye-opening. Now he explains veganism. Go Justice!

09/09/2011

Happy Veggie Kids: Olivia!  »

This is Olivia with her friend Ruby! Olivia is almost five. Happy early bday, O! She’s from Nevada City, CA. and her mom has a cool vegan baking biz: Allison’s Gourmet. OMG that stuff looks GOOD! Olivia must be living the yummy vegan life. Jealous.

What is your favorite food?
Olivia:
Pink Beans. [Ed. note: whaa? Is this a real thing? I love pink food!]

What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?
Olivia: Chocolate strawberry with cherries on top.

Why are you vegan?
Olivia: Because we don’t want to hurt other animals.

Do you like being vegan? Why?
Olivia: Yes, it’s fun ‘cause you can eat yummier stuff than turkey and junk like that. Mom: What’s yummier stuff?
Olivia: You know, kale, and stuff like that.

Is it ever hard to be vegan?
Olivia: No, it’s fun to be vegan. Especially for your tummy because it doesn’t have to process a bunch of junk.

What do your friends think about you being vegan?
Olivia:
Um, I don’t really know how to answer that one. I haven’t asked them.

What is your favorite animal? Why?
Olivia: Ruby, the pig at Animal Place because I’ve known her since she was a baby. [Ed. note: AHHDORBS]

Do you like pink dinosaurs? Can you draw one for us? We would love it!
Olivia:
Pink dinosaurs? I don’t know what pink dinosaurs are so I don’t really know if I like them. But yeah, I’ll draw one for you! 

Olivia offers this final note: “If you’re not vegan, I want you to be vegan. Because it’s fun.

As usual, if you have a vegan or vegetarian kid who wants to do the interview, email me!

09/06/2011

Happy Veggie Kids: Ruby Alona!  »


This is Ruby Alona from Australia! She is seven and a half and has been vegan since she was five. She is a very special guest because she is a blogger herself! Read about her adventures in veganism on her blog. I checked it out and her blog has great recipes, animals pics, food pics, musings and more! A must read. On to the interview:

What is your favorite food?
Ruby: 
Vegan pies.

What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?
Ruby: Chocolate vegan cake. 

Why are you vegan?
Ruby: For the animals!

Do you like being vegan? Why?
Ruby: Yes, I like being vegan because the food is yummy. 

Is it ever hard to be vegan?
Ruby: Sometimes.

What do your friends think about you being vegan?
Ruby: They think it is weird. [Ed. note: Tell them you think eating pigs is weird!] 

What is your favorite animal? Why?
Ruby: Wild dogs and domestic dogs. I am doing a project on it now. [Mom note: The project ended up being very large and was several months in the making] [Ed. note: Now I am curious! Hopefully she will post it on her blog!]

Do you like pink dinosaurs?
Ruby: Not really. 
[Ed. note: To each their own, yo] 

Can you draw one for us? We would love it!
Ruby: OK.

What a sport! Thank goodness she did one for us because the world needs a drawing like this! The dino loves greens.

As per usual, if you have a vegan or vegetarian kid who wants to do the interview, email me! It’s fun!

08/25/2011

Happy Veggie Kids: Natalia!  »

This is four-year-old Natalia with her neighbor’s dog—cute couple! Natalia is mostly vegan save for her one vice: About twice a month, she succumbs to the call of string cheese. Her mom and I discussed interviewing her as a vegan or vegetarian but it seems our input was unnecessary: “I asked her the questions as vegetarian, and she said, ‘I’m vegan!’” I like a girl who speaks her mind. Apparently she also asked if her dino would be on a magazine at Whole Foods. I don’t think I have that kind of sway but dream big, girl!

What is your favorite food?
Natalia: Quinoa or chocolate pizza.*

What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?
Natalia: One that has blueberries and football candles.

Why are you vegan?
Natalia: Because I love animals! They are cuties.

Do you like being vegan? Why?
Natalia: I like it. Because.

Is it ever hard to be vegan?
Natalia: No. It’s healthy!

What do your friends think about you being vegan?
Natalia: They think my food looks cool.

What is your favorite animal? Why?
Natalia: Chickens, because they are funny. [Bawks like a chicken]

Do you like pink dinosaurs? Can you draw one for us? We would love it!
Natalia: Um, yes. I like blue dinosaurs also. I can draw a pink one named Natalia.

Hi, Natalia the dino!

As per usual, if you have a vegan or vegetarian kid who wants to do the interview, email me! It’s fun!

*Totally got the recipe! And OMG I want it for breakfast like now. Mom note: “the recipe was born out of the fact that if there is not something sweet in the kitchen at all times, I will be shunned by my family. I threw some things together that I had on hand and it turned out to be delicious and is now apparently Natalia’s favorite food after quinoa (weirdo).”

Le recipe:
Pizza crust, either homemade or store-bought
2 tsp Earth Balance buttery spread
1/4 cup Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter (OMG my salivary glands reacted to just typing that)
3/4 c vegan chocolate chips
Hazelnuts, pretzels, candy, coconut, whatever you want on your pizza

Preheat oven to 450 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spread the dough out and brush it with Earth Balance. Cook for about 18-22 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and spread the hazelnut butter onto the crust. Top with chocolate chips and return to oven for about a minute, just until the chocolate has melted. Sprinkle with toppings of your choice and devour.

08/24/2011

Happy Veggie Kids: Leeluu!  »

This is Leeluu! Cute name, right? Cute kid too! From her mom: “Leeluu has been a vegan all of her almost 3 years on earth. She loves cookies and can growl like a monster. We live in Nova Scotia, Canada.” Everybody now, growl like a monster!

What is your favorite food?
Peanut butter sandwiches.

What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?
Pumpkin pie.

Why are you vegan?
Cause I am.

Do you like being vegan? Why?
Yes, cause the food is ummy.

Is it ever hard to be vegan?
No.

What do your friends think about you being vegan?
Nerd.

What is your favorite animal? Why?
Duck, cause its really cute.

Do you like pink dinosaurs? Can you draw one for us? We would love it!
Yes, yes!

08/11/2011

Happy Veggie Kids: Nina!  »

This is four-year-old Nina from Saxapahaw, NC with her pet hen Hedda! She is a super adorbs vegetarian. But she is not your average vegetarian as she only occasionally eats eggs from her adopted pet hens. Funny notes about the eggs from her mom: “She often cracks the eggs in the coop and feeds them right back to the girls. She also will school anyone who makes the mistake of offering her eggs from any other source; I think she gets a lot of enjoyment out of watching adults squirm when she explains fertilization and animal abuse to them in her squeaky four-year old voice.” I’d like to see that!

Another funny note from her mom (her mom is funny! She writes a blog! And has a recipe blog! Nina seems like quite a card too): “Nina calls herself “veggan” (her father and I thought she meant a Vegan, as in from the planet Vega in that movie Contact, but we were wrong). She’s very bossy and if she hears you call her a vegetarian she will kick you in the shins. Nina was 100% vegan from birth until she was three and a half years old, when our rescued flock started laying eggs. Aside from an occasional egg from our hens, Nina is vegan in every other aspect of her diet and lifestyle.” Additionally, she’s hilarious and adorbs.

What is your favorite food?
Nina: Pineapple! [Ed. note: OMG I love pineapple too! Sometimes I eat so much that it cuts up my tongue! Totes worth it.]

What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?
Nina: Strawberries, blueberries and vegan M&Ms. [Ed. note: Jealous]

Why are you vegetarian?
Nina: Because I do not like to kill animals, because that is not very nice! [Ed. note: She’s right, not very nice]

Do you like being vegetarian? Why?
Nina:  YEAH! Because I do not like to kill things.

Is it ever hard to be vegetarian?
Nina: NO!

What do your friends think about you being vegetarian?
Nina: It is great and awesome!

What is your favorite animal? Why?
Nina: The myosaurus and the reindeer, because they are friendly. [Ed. note: Even wikipedia has barely heard of the myosaurus!]

Do you like pink dinosaurs? Can you draw one for us? We would love it!
Nina:No, because I just like yellow myosauruses. They are my favorite. But I will draw you a pink dinosaur anyway.

[Mom note: I thought it was a vampire/zombie stick figure of me, but she insists that it is a pink tyrannosaurus rex. In fact, it’s a pink mama t-rex, with her baby t-rex perched on her shoulder (of course, duh!). The mama t-rex needs to find some meat for her baby and it trying to get past the purple wall that the plant-eating myosauruses put up to keep predators away (I guess she gets the whole “circle of life” thing).
What cracks me up is that despite the fact that she is against meat and dairy (she even heckled people in line at the deli in our co-op last weekend, much to my surprise and embarrassment) she is fascinated with predators.  My crazy kid!]

As per usual, if you have a vegan or vegetarian kid who wants to do the interview, email me! It’s fun!

07/29/2011

Happy Veggie Kids: Riley!  »

This is Riley with her rescue cat, Spenny! Spenny is a pretty great name, btdubs. Riley is a Columbian—wait, that’s what we call people from Columbus, Ohio, right? She’s thirteen and totally awesome.

What is your favorite food?
Riley: Grilled cheese.

What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?
Riley: Chocolate with chocolate frosting.

Why are you vegetarian?
Riley: My mom converted our family to vegetarianism when I was one year old.

Do you like being vegetarian? Why?
Riley:  Yes, because it’s healthier and I love animals!

Is it ever hard to be vegetarian?
Riley:  Nope.

What do your friends think about you being vegetarian?
Riley: They are very supportive. [Ed. note: Awwww]

What is your favorite animal? Why?
Riley: The okapi because it looks like a mix between a zebra and a giraffe. [Ed. note: Solid choice. JK, I don’t know what that is! Wait, OMG they’re adorbs.]

Do you like pink dinosaurs? Can you draw one for us? We would love it!
Riley:Sure. Yes! [Ed. note: OMG so great! This may be cuter than the real Vegansaurus, if that’s possible!]

07/19/2011

Happy Veggie Kids: Ethan!  »

Hello, pals! This is Ethan! He lives in Massachusetts and has been vegetarian since he was born, five-and-a-half years ago. Yay Ethan! I love your t-shirt! This pic is pretty great all around.

What is your favorite food?
Ethan: Bananas

What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?
Ethan: The one I got when I turned 5 (Mario and Princess Peach themed).

Why are you vegetarian?
Ethan: Because I like animals.

Do you like being vegetarian? Why?
Ethan: Yes! Because I don’t have to kill anything, in fact I don’t have a BB gun to kill them. [Ed. note: I don’t have a BB gun either]

Is it ever hard to be vegetarian?
Ethan: No, it’s just easy peasy.

What do your friends think about you being vegetarian?
Ethan: Good. Some are vegetarian too!

What is your favorite animal? Why?
Ethan: Dogs because they are so easy to take care of, they just need love and food and playing. [Ed. note: easy to take care of? Ethan, tell me your secret!]

Do you like pink dinosaurs? Can you draw one for us? We would love it!
[Ed. note: It’s beautiful! Nice and rotund!]


07/13/2011

Happy Veggie Kids: Rasine!  »

This is Rasine! How cute is she? I love that name! She’s four-and-three-quarters and has been vegan since birth. She’s a Virginian! I’ve spent some time there, good town. You can check out her dad’s blog here! Take it away, Rasine!

What is your favorite food?
Rasine: Chocolate.

What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?
Rasine: Chocolate triceratops. 

Why are you vegan?
Rasine: Because we don’t want to hurt the animals!

Do you like being vegan?
[Dad note: The first time we asked her this question, she decided it was the
time to tell us she wanted to know what meat tasted like. What timing!
After a discussion and moving past that phase, we approached the
answer and she said…]

(Nods.)

Why?
Rasine: Eating chocolate.  

Is it ever hard to be vegan?
Rasine: Always! [Dad note: at least she’s honest!]

What do your friends think about you being vegan?
Rasine: I didn’t ask them yet.

What is your favorite animal? Why?
Rasine: Pigs. Because they roll around to get suntan lotion [mud]. [Ed. note: haaaaa]

Do you like pink dinosaurs?
Rasine: Green!

Can you draw one for us? We would love it!

(Nods.)

[Dad note: Note the writing - she sounded out “Triceratops.” She also
wanted to draw a green t-rex for you, so I attached that, too.] [Ed. note: AWESOME! Thanks!]

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