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07/10/2012

Guest post: Eating vegan in Mexico City: Nevería Roxy in Polanco!  »


Welcome to Vegansaurus’ weeklong guest series on eating vegan in Mexico City! All content by Rika of Vegan Miam!

I spent all of April in Mexico City (Distrito Federal), the capital of Mexico and the largest city in North America. Mexico City is divided into colonias (neighborhoods). In this series, I’ll guide you through a few of the colonias I explored, and some of the beautiful, delicious vegan food I ate.

All the neighborhoods are unique in their own ways; you just have to decide want you want to do, and eat. Tip: If you don’t speak Spanish, have some phrases prepared about to your dietary preferences. Many people speak some English, but there’s no guarantee.

If you are a luxury hotel or fashion fanatic, I would recommend staying in Polanco, which is a trendy, upscale neighborhood situated at the edge of Bosque de Chapultepec. You might expect to pay more in Polanco when it comes to dining or shopping.


Tamarindo (back) and mamey ice cream.

If you want to get some vegan ice cream, try Nevería Roxy in Polanco in front of Parque Lincoln (Lincoln Park). It’s a classic ice cream parlor that has been around for years. Get a bola grande scoop, but make sure you get it without a cone since it may not be vegan (most cones are not vegan). I got mine in a traditional glass cup.

Vegan flavors include chico zapote (similiar to kiwi), fresa (strawberry), guanábana (soursop), guayaba (guava), lima (lime), limón (lemon), mamey, mandarina (mandarin), maracuyá (passionfruit), melón, naranja (orange), piña (pineapple), tamarindo (tamarind), and zarzamora (blackberry).


The mamey was smooth and delicious. The mamey fruit made the sorbet creamier due to its thick, soft texture. Tamarind gave the ice cream a very sweet, nutty, and tangy flavor.

Based both in Oregon and worldwide, Taiwanese vegan Rika has run an international and travel vegan blog since July 2011. She documents and photographs vegan cuisine, airports/lounges, groceries, products, and home cooking. She also spends her time abroad caring for and feeding feral cats and dogs. You can find her on Twitter and PinterestCheck out all her posts for Vegansaurus!

06/25/2012

My dearest and oldest and favoritest friend Lizzy sent me a picture of her vegan breakfast the other day: Magic one ingredient ice cream! She’s been telling me about this one ingredient ice cream recipe she saw on the Kitchn—the one ingredient being frozen bananas—for a while. The Kitchn recipes aren’t vegan but you really just need frozen bananas and whatever the hell else you want to put in and it magically becomes ice cream.
Lizzy’s addition was strawberries. Here’s her description:
"Blended frozen bananas and strawberries with blackberries on top. It is like an awesome french dessert but it is actually breakfast!"
What could be nicer than that?! 

My dearest and oldest and favoritest friend Lizzy sent me a picture of her vegan breakfast the other day: Magic one ingredient ice cream! She’s been telling me about this one ingredient ice cream recipe she saw on the Kitchn—the one ingredient being frozen bananas—for a while. The Kitchn recipes aren’t vegan but you really just need frozen bananas and whatever the hell else you want to put in and it magically becomes ice cream.

Lizzy’s addition was strawberries. Here’s her description:

"Blended frozen bananas and strawberries with blackberries on top. It is like an awesome french dessert but it is actually breakfast!"

What could be nicer than that?! 


06/11/2012

Chocolate Sriracha ice cream from that genius Vegan Yack Attack! Quarrygirl, this one is FOR YOU… maybe you can eat this as a dessert to a giant pretzel and giant beer? Also, Morrissey is playing in the background and you’re cuddling a bulldog and on a flight to London and DAMN I KNOW A LOT ABOUT YOU. 
Signed,Don’t look behind you

Chocolate Sriracha ice cream from that genius Vegan Yack Attack! Quarrygirl, this one is FOR YOU… maybe you can eat this as a dessert to a giant pretzel and giant beer? Also, Morrissey is playing in the background and you’re cuddling a bulldog and on a flight to London and DAMN I KNOW A LOT ABOUT YOU. 

Signed,
Don’t look behind you

05/01/2012

Thursdays with Wanda is BACK! And she’s got a recipe for three-ingredient black sesame ice cream AND a short story about a zebra and a lion! We missed you, Wanda!

Thursdays with Wanda is BACK! And she’s got a recipe for three-ingredient black sesame ice cream AND a short story about a zebra and a lion! We missed you, Wanda!

04/18/2012

Guest Product Review: So Delicious No Sugar Added Coconut Milk ice creams!  »


So Delicious, the brand that has long satisfied many vegans’ ice cream cravings, has come out with a new line of no sugar added vegan frozen confections with erythritol as the primary added sweetener.

Why is this important? For one thing, after working for nearly two years at The Tree of Life, a raw vegan retreat center and holistic health facility, I learned from the vegan medical staff that erythritol is much healthier for us than processed white sugar. Since it is a sugar alcohol, and has a super-freaky-sounding name (almost as creepy as xylitol), erythritol isn’t nearly as weird or bad as it sounds, and can be derived from non-GMO, ethically sourced plants. While many companies wanting to provide “no sugar added” sweeteners to their products dump in aspartame, Splenda, and other artificial sweeteners that have been linked to a host of maladies, So Delicious made a “no sugar added” line right, and went with a safe, low-glycemic sweetener. Bravo!

The best part about this science is that it tastes so amazing. To be fair, my palate became used to all kinds of natural sweeteners while working at The Tree (Stevia is my bff), I suspect most ice cream fanatics mindful of avoiding sugar-related side effects will seriously love it. This has no weird aftertaste. (Stevia sort of does; I don’t notice it anymore, but this confection definitely has no funky aftertaste whatsoever.) The “No Sugar Added” fudge bars are by far the best vegan fudgesicles I’ve ever had. They are creamy, decadent, with strong notes of coconut and just the right amount of cacao. Perfect! I also love the No Sugar Added Vanilla Bean, which could be added to a bowl of berries or atop a slice of lovely raw vegan pie. In sum, these are indeed sooooo delicious! Get them now at local Bay Area health food stores!

Note: If you have pets, do NOT feed them xylitol or erythritol. They can’t process it in their adorable little bodies, but don’t take that as a sign we shouldn’t be ingesting it, too: remember, dogs can’t have chocolate and other things our livers are perfectly equipped to process in moderation.

This is Vegansaurus raw correspondent Sarah E. Brown’s latest post! Read more by Sarah on Vegansaurus, and visit her personal blog, Queer Vegan Food.

04/02/2012

Vegan chocolate goji ice cream from Cream and Cone! It’s raw and made with avocados! Sometimes avocado in desserts scares me but avocado as an ice cream base just makes so much sense, right? It’s so creamy! I guess it’s just avocado flavored sweets that scare me. But avocado-based mousse and ice cream sounds right on. 
I heard goji berries are really good for you or something so I looked it up on wikipedia, because I’m basically a scientist. According to wiki, goji berries have all this great stuff:
11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals
18 amino acids
6 essential vitamins
8 polysaccharides and 6 monosaccharides
5 unsaturated fatty acids, including the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid
beta-sitosterol and other phytosterols
5 carotenoids, including beta-carotene and zeaxanthin (below), lutein, lycopene and cryptoxanthin, a xanthophyll
numerous phenolic pigments (phenols) associated with antioxidant properties
I don’t know half of those words but it sure seems impressive! Apparently they are also known as “wolfberries.” And sometimes they are used in wine! If they are in wine, do you still get all the nutritional benefits? Forget chewable vitamins, I want drinkable vitamins! Drunkable vitamins, even!

Vegan chocolate goji ice cream from Cream and Cone! It’s raw and made with avocados! Sometimes avocado in desserts scares me but avocado as an ice cream base just makes so much sense, right? It’s so creamy! I guess it’s just avocado flavored sweets that scare me. But avocado-based mousse and ice cream sounds right on. 

I heard goji berries are really good for you or something so I looked it up on wikipedia, because I’m basically a scientist. According to wiki, goji berries have all this great stuff:

  • 11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals
  • 18 amino acids
  • 6 essential vitamins
  • 8 polysaccharides and 6 monosaccharides
  • 5 unsaturated fatty acids, including the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid
  • beta-sitosterol and other phytosterols
  • 5 carotenoids, including beta-carotene and zeaxanthin (below), lutein, lycopene and cryptoxanthin, a xanthophyll
  • numerous phenolic pigments (phenols) associated with antioxidant properties

I don’t know half of those words but it sure seems impressive! Apparently they are also known as “wolfberries.” And sometimes they are used in wine! If they are in wine, do you still get all the nutritional benefits? Forget chewable vitamins, I want drinkable vitamins! Drunkable vitamins, even!

03/21/2012

Celebrity news: Jessica Chastain is vegan!   »

In the last three days I’ve watched both The Tree of Life and The Help — do you know what the common denominator is? Actually there’s two: Both were nominated for Oscars, and both feature Jessica Chastain! Who happens to be a vegan! How do I know this, you ask? I totally internet stalked wiki-ed her after I watched The Help. It’s my thing!

I found all sorts of cute interviews and articles about her veganism, which I was hoping we could bond over.

Here’s an interview with her and Octavia Spencer, in which Jessica talks about the vegan fried “chicken” she ate in the The Help, as well as the vegan meal she cooked for Octavia.

A list of 25 things about Jessica, including her dream to buy a food truck for her mom, who is a vegan chef! So sweet! Apparently she also get embarrassed when people sing “Happy Birthday” to her. (Me too! But don’t stop — I like the attention.)

She had to gain 15 pounds for her role in The Help, and to do that, she ate tons of soy milk ice cream. Not with a spoon — she microwaved it and drank it. I don’t know how I feel about that, but only because I prefer coconut milk ice cream (and don’t believe in using microwaves cause I’m a hippie).

I hope you enjoyed your vegan celebrity news for the day! Now back to my Us Weekly Mensa flashcards.

03/19/2012

Product Review: Steve’s Cinnamon Coffee Coconut Creme!  »

Guys, I’m in love! I don’t do a lot of vegan ice cream reviews because I don’t actually like ice cream that much—except, I LOVE coffee ice cream! I don’t know, I’m a particular person. It’s part of my immense charm. But I had read about Steve’s Ice Cream and their vegan flavors so when I saw some buckets of Steve’s at Union Market, I took a look. WHAM BAM! They had a cinnamon coffee flavor! Cinnamon? I wasn’t sure. But I love coffee ice cream so much that I thought I’d take a chance.

Holy cannoli! Gamble well spent! This stuff is incredible! Like, super-amazing-fantastic. And cinnamon with coffee is pure genius. I had no idea. Seriously, I can’t say enough amazing things about this ice cream! It’s like rainbows and kittens and vacations and moon bounces and recess and waterslides all in one tub!

Looks like you can only get this stuff in New York. But hey, New York isn’t so bad! You should come visit! You never visit me anymore. 

01/23/2012

Guest post: A vegan guide to Madison!  »

So, you’re a vegan in Madison, Wis. Maybe you live there, maybe you’re traveling through. You may have a lot of despair in your heart, because you know that in Wisconsin, underneath the earth’s crust is a river of molten cheese. You may have also discovered that everyone born in Wisconsin is composed of pure cheese. In fact, if you were to shake my hand right now, it would melt.

Yes, the dairy industry is a proud part of life in Wisconsin. It can seem that there’s cheese at every turn (the streets are made of cheese), butter on every vegetable, and mayo in every salad. But if you know where to look, Madison can be a vegan’s delight.

Things I, Rachel, a vegan, ate at Madison restaurants: a list for your pleasure

  • Lemon poppyseed cheesecake
  • A BBQ jackfruit sandwich
  • Tangerine champagne cake with raspberry filling
  • A crab cake sandwich
  • Split pea soup
  • A grasshopper (a brownie with mint frosting)
  • A scone
  • So many muffins I am now known as “The Muffin Man”

AND MORE! “Lead me to this smorgasbord, Rachel,” you are saying to me right now. Forward!

The Green Owl Café
Located on Atwood on the near east side, The Green Owl Café is Madison’s first vegan/vegetarian restaurant. I went there twice in two weeks and wish I could transport it to Oakland so I could LIVE there. The most outstanding part of both meals was the desserts, which they make in house. The waitress said “Vegan lemon poppy seed cheesecake” and I screamed so loud it deafened her. I was like a hippo, making loud noises and eating everything and probably sweating from all the joy.


BBQ jackfruit sandwich


Tangerine champagne cake

Himal Chuli
Did you know that Madison has more Nepalese restaurants than any other American town? We have two, and they are next door to each other. Himal Chuli is where you go if it’s 2 degrees and hasn’t stopped snowing in three months. The food will warm you AND prevent scurvy! Their vegetarian menu is extensive, but I recommend the momochas and the takari (your choice of 2 vegetable blends). WARNING: the roti is made with yogurt!

Chocolate Shoppe
You can’t go to Wisconsin without eating ice cream. IT’S THE LAW. Luckily for us, Chocolate Shoppe ice cream is locally made and has soy options! My favorite flavor is the espresso oreo. The photo you see before you was taken when I ate ice cream for lunch one day. TREAT YO SELF.

The Willy Street Co-Op
This is the Rainbow of Madison, y’all. I ate like 55 muffins here? I also consumed a grasshopper as big as my head (see photo). The baked goods at this place kind of put the Bay Area to shame, you guys. The only thing they were missing is Cinnaholic rolls.

I left Madison with a sad heart and tight pants.

Rachel orders one pancake with her breakfast burrito at Saturn Café, just so she can cover the burrito with maple syrup. She organizes the SF Vegan Bakesales and is the genius behind @sfveganbakesale. Will you marry her?

01/05/2012

Portland, Ore., gets all the good stuff! Reader Calvin is looking to open an artisanal vegan ice cream shop in Portland, and is looking for funding through IndieGoGo. It’s called Savor the Chill, and we are already (pistachio) green with envy. Look at this roasted banana maple vegan ice cream! Look upon it and despair!
If I had all of the money—or, OK, more of the money than I have now, which is “very little”—I would open a vegan diner, open late nights through late mornings, and we would always serve brunch and sticky desserts, and also beer and maybe if we got enough money for a for-real liquor license, boozy coffee. Yes, I have serious holiday hangover and I really just want to drink boozy coffee with a sticky bun, sitting under a blanket watching an AbFab marathon, but can you blame me?
For now, let’s throw a few dollars Calvin’s way and give ourselves another destination for our Portland Eating Tour 2012. Good luck, Savor the Chill!

Portland, Ore., gets all the good stuff! Reader Calvin is looking to open an artisanal vegan ice cream shop in Portland, and is looking for funding through IndieGoGo. It’s called Savor the Chill, and we are already (pistachio) green with envy. Look at this roasted banana maple vegan ice cream! Look upon it and despair!

If I had all of the money—or, OK, more of the money than I have now, which is “very little”—I would open a vegan diner, open late nights through late mornings, and we would always serve brunch and sticky desserts, and also beer and maybe if we got enough money for a for-real liquor license, boozy coffee. Yes, I have serious holiday hangover and I really just want to drink boozy coffee with a sticky bun, sitting under a blanket watching an AbFab marathon, but can you blame me?

For now, let’s throw a few dollars Calvin’s way and give ourselves another destination for our Portland Eating Tour 2012. Good luck, Savor the Chill!

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