Happy New Year, Jewish folks!* Here’s my present to you: Isa just posted a kick-ass new challah recipe over on The PPK. Secret ingredients include turmeric and bananas. (If it weren’t Isa, I’d be so skeptical, but it’s Isa! It’ll be amazing!) Even if you’re not Jewish, you can get behind a bread that involves braiding and also being delicious. Let the baking begin!
And in case you need other vegan Rosh Hashanah ideas, here’s a nice collection of relevant recipes from Israel-focused Ynet News.
*Dear gentiles: Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It’s a big deal, high holy, etc. Real Jews are taking the day off work and celebrating. I’m not a real Jew (just a halfie), so I’m sitting in my office typing this, wishing I could be home making vegan challah.
Oh hey Isa, vegan queen of our hearts. That’s a mighty fine vegan caesar salad you’ve crafted.
Have you watched Isa’s video of her wild backyard bunny, Falafel, aka my new best friend? Man I wish we had wild bunnies in New York. Rats are fine and all, but there’s nothing like a lightning-quick little bunny darting into your path and surprising you with cuteness. Adorability sneak attack!
(via our Laura at Jezebel)
The Teaches of Isa: perfectly browned tofu! »
Having trouble getting gorgeous, crispy tofu for your stir-fry? Let Isa help you with her simple guide. Turns out all you really need are a good pan and a good spatula. Then you practice till you get it right every time!
[photo by Brian via Flickr]
It’s here, it’s here! The second annual PPK 100 is here! It was co-written by Katie of Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk and our Laura, hooray!
Go check it out and count how many of these 100 (technically 99 plus 1 reader’s choice) you’ve enjoyed! I’ve got … a number! I don’t know, there are too many to assess right now, it just came out! (Special hello to my true love, umeboshi paste.)
It’s National Hot Chocolate Friday! What’s that? It’s a holiday that Isa Chandra Moskowitz just made up! But we love her so much, we’re all in, right?
She posted the rules on The PPK’s Facebook Page:
"Happy National Hot Chocolate Friday! Are you simmering up an inventive new cocoa or sticking to the classics? Take a pic of your creation and tag me or post it here, and I’ll put together a collage. Then we can all look at the collage and be like ‘That was a great day. Sigh.’"
I’m stuck at my office where all we have is corny, non-vegan Swiss Miss, but you should totally do it!
Props to Krista O’Reilly for the goodies in the photo: “Homemade cinnamon hot chocolate with both Sweet & Sara AND Dandies marshmallows. Delicious madness.” Can I come over later?
Happy Almost New Year: it’s the Vegansaurus best meals of 2012! »
You didn’t think we’d let 2013 come at us without a best of list, did you? OF COURSE NOT. So for your reading pleasure, we came up with our very favorite meals of 2012. Let’s do this!
Jenny (that’s me!): My new favorite restaurant of all time is Pura Vida in Las Vegas. I ate so many wonderful meals this year, but Pura Vida topped them all. Chef Mayra is a culinary mastermind—her dishes are vibrantly colorful and packed with so much flavor! Almost every day I think about the breakfast burrito I had about eight months ago, and I cannot wait to to get back to Vegas to hit her up again! I’ve actually planned my entire wedding in Vegas (sans groom) (for now) solely based on Chef Mayra catering the elegant debauchery that will no doubt ensue.
Latin’tude breakfast burrito, I love you!
Megan: ”For me, it was the year of chickpea flour—and more specifically, the Tuscan chickpea frittata. Oh boy did we have some good times this year! I made them every which way from Sunday. So easy and so yummy! And totes versatile. It’s the best!”
Man, that was a lot of fun, when Megan was making all those frittatas! I can’t believe I never tried one myself, but I suppose that will have to be what 2013 is for!
Vegan, gluten-free frittata; so many delicious combinations!
Laura: ”The VegNews all-cheese holiday party, catered by Miyoko Schinner was, in a word, mind blowing! Cheese, cheese, and more cheese!! Giant cheese-stuffed ravioli was maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life (SORRY ABOUT THE PHOTO, I’m too pretty to be good at anything!) and fried croquettes on amazing salad, and so much more. Vegan meringue, too! Holy mother!
"Vegan cheese, you’ve come a long way since your days of gross inedibility! Buy Miyoko’s book IMMEDIATELY!”
Hot dang, that VegNews staff knows how to get down!
Vegan cheese, you HAVE come a long way!
Meave: Of course, sometimes it is impossible to pick just one, so our Meave gives the lowdown on her top five! First, comes Isa’s Maple Pecan Pie, because what holiday is complete without this delectable dessert? (Follow Meave on Instagram to see how her beautiful pie turned out—I was blown away at its loveliness!)
Maple pecan pie, before meeting the oven!
Next up we have a filling and colorful veg bowl, to which Meave explains, “Angela Liddon, salad genius, made so many of my lunches better with her legume and veg bowls, but my favorite was her Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl. Meave is quite the salad dressing connoisseur (“I’m picky”), so if this made the list, you know it’s got to be good! Of course we can’t leave out the brunch at Donut Farm, which includes Meave’s personal faves — the winter hash, double-dipped donuts, banana fritters and potato works!
Winter hash forever! Or at least until spring!
Sarah: Keeping up with her title, Sarah dishes out some raw opinions, telling us her favorite dish of 2012 was “Cafe Gratitude’s I Am Whole bowl. Always”. I bet she’s missing that over on the East Coast! Hope you got your fill on your recent L.A. adventure, Sarah!
Sarah’s version of said bowl, via her personal blog queerveganfood.com.
Andrew: “I’m going to have to go with our recent Mexican vegan Christmas dinner menu—homemade refried beans, Spanish rice, homemade mole with tofu, three kinds of homemade tamales (soyrizo, mushroom and mole, and green chile and cheese); margarita pizza with soyrizo (definitely NOT homemade); and horchata made from scratch, which was used for Mexican White Russians. This fed seven of us at dinner and then everyone got some to take home. And we’ve had leftovers for one meal a day since.” I did manage to get myself invited to this magnificent dinner, but alas, Long Beach was just too far away!
Check out this magnificent plate, made complete with a Tecate, of course!
That’s enough about us and our favorites—now it’s your turn to rave about your absolute faves from 2012, so the rest of us can enjoy them in 2013! Happy New Year everybody!
The Vegansaurus Top 15 vegan celebrities! »
LA Weekly just posted their top 10 vegan celebrities, which got me wondering why they should have all the fun. As many of you pointed out, a few of those celebs aren’t even vegan anymore (Alec and Olivia, I’m looking at you.) So … drum roll, please … we at Vegansaurus have put together our own top 10 list, only it contains 15 of our favorite vegan celebs! What do you think? Does this make you love us more? Hate us? Feel nothing? Ha! I bet you can’t stop reading anyway!
In no particular order (I’m very sensitive myself and do not want these beautiful specimens of veganism to feel jilted), I present you with…THE VEGANSAURUS TOP 15 VEGAN CELEBRITIES!
The first two are the winners of a little poll we conducted around the first of year, asking you about your favorite vegan musicians. You guys went totally bonkers for
1. Moby! This guy has been vegan for what feels like forever, which roughly translates to about 18 years. He’s co-owned a vegan cafe and co-written a book, all the while working as a recording artist, hot dang! I went to a BBQ he hosted at SXSW last year, which was pretty fantastic, and maybe one of my favorite meals from 2011. Keep doing you, Moby; keep doing you.
2. Ted Leo! Now, don’t get upset, but I don’t know much about this guy. That doesn’t matter, however, because you, our lovely readers, LOVE this guy. You couldn’t hold back your devotion in our poll! Please, feel free to school me about Ted Leo in the comments, I will not mind. According to this interview, he loves Millennium (holla!). Maybe us S.F.-dwellers will run into him there. Jealous?
And now for our picks:
4. Fiona Apple! Angst sounds so sweet mixed with a vegan diet. My Tumblr and Twitter feeds are still filled with people going nuts about her new album, and that dropped like four months ago! Has anyone seen one of her epic onstage meltdowns? I’m not hating—I have epic meltdowns every day of my life, as witnessed by my friends, family, roommates and co-workers.
5. Alicia Silverstone. She videotaped herself feeding her kid like a goddamn bird, which grossed out pretty much everyone who saw it. I still shudder, thinking about it. In other news, she loves Food For Lovers queso, wrote a pretty awesome vegan lifestyle book, and STARRED IN CLUELESS (not to mention those Aerosmith videos).
6. Woody Harrelson. Raw vegans tend to be pretty sexy (hey Sarah E. Brown, I’m winking at YOU), and he especially did not disappoint while kicking undead ass in the movie Zombieland! Looks like he even got his hands on some vegan Twinkies for a scene in said movie. HEY WOODY, I MAKE THOSE FOR A LIVING!
7. Tony Kanal, the bassist for No Doubt! This one’s for me and my girl Tashina, the biggest No Doubt fans you may ever meet. Don’t hate, celebrate! Gwen Stefani was just photographed leaving a vegan restaurant in L.A.; maybe that was Tony’s influence? (Though I hear Gavin’s a longtime vegetarian.)
9. Emily Deschanel! She’s so beautiful and articulate, and her penetrating stare scares the shit out of me! She weathered a vegan pregnancy AND LIVED TO TALK ABOUT IT! Take that, everyone who says it’s not possible! Ha!
10. Scott Jurek, because vegan athletes/authors are superstars! Read all about Rachel’s love for Scott here! To quote the post, “Scott Jurek could basically kick your ass any day of the week, including days where he hasn’t slept the night before, has a broken ankle, and already ran 75 miles.” Dang.
11. Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres! They are so great about making veganism look fun and accessible. There is so much to love about this superstar couple and the work they do for animals. Too bad about the restaurant deal falling through, but yay for vegan dog food!
12. Erykah Badu! She’s every vegan jazz musician’s No. 1 crush, or maybe that’s just my old roommate Jeremy. Remember when she busted onto the scene with “On and On" then sent everyone into a flurry with her video for "Window Seat”? This “Queen of Neo-Soul” is truly an inspiration when it comes to forward thinking politics and raising her vegan family!
13. Alanis Morisette! I had a co-worker at the Chicago Diner who thought the lyrics to You Oughta Know were “… and the cross-eyed bear that you gave to me”. HA! Now you’ll always sing that, instead of the right words, JUST LIKE ME! It’s a curse I bestow on you. Also, Alanis is quite lovely, and wasn’t she great on Weeds? Oh yes, and of course You Can’t Do That on Television!
14. Russell Simmons! Man, do you follow this guy on Twitter? He’s like a guru for people who don’t believe in gurus (me)! And seriously, wasn’t the best part of Kimora Lee Simmons’ show when he came on and moderated the crazy? Our Megan is always covering Russell’s vegan moves here on Vegansaurus, so I’ll just direct you to one of my favorite posts of hers, also featuring Martha Stewart! Keep giving us your vegan recipes, Russell! Keep giving us your wisdom!
15. Thom Yorke! OBVIOUSLY, right?! Most everyone’s favorite band has been Radiohead at some point, hasn’t it? He ate at Café Gratitude once, when I was working in the Central Kitchen of Scandal. Everyone went nuts, as to be expected. I’m never around when the celebs come to the restaurants I work at and it’s not fair, because I just love them so much! Actually, scratch that—M.C. Hammer came into Source recently (and I didn’t recognize him without his signature pants).
Brad Pitt! I was shocked to find out he’s vegan. On second thought, it made sense. He would just quietly be vegan, helping to rebuild New Orleans, raising a family, and avoiding Jennifer Aniston’s rabid fan base of haters.
I’m sure you all saw this when Isa sent out her bat signal but YOU GUYS SHE’S GONNA OPEN A RESTAURANT!!! I THINK it’s gonna be in Omaha so I guess that means we all have to move to the midwest and become racist. I’m halfway there because I’m a total racist in that I hate everyone! JK, I know not everyone in the midwest is racist and I look like a total idiot for saying that but my image was shattered when I first started double fisting baked potatoes back in ‘93 so ALL BETS ARE OFF.
Anyway, I bet the super lovely and funny and awesome folks at Vegan Omaha will have the inside scoop as it becomes available so let’s all sit on the edges of our seats and GET SO EXCITED. I’m totally flying out for the opening and trying literally (LITERALLY) everything on the menu… OH! I have a really good idea, we should all do that, right? Let’s rent a plane!!! Can we afford that? I guess the better question is: Can you afford it because uh, can I catch a ride with you??
Recipe: Sauteed green beans with mushrooms! »
The springtime holidays are upon us! Did you be make anything special? I made this green bean recipe, slightly modified from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s in Vegan with a Vengeance. This side dish is a huge hit with my family, which is a huge ego boost for me! It’s very exciting to make them dishes that they ask for, because it doesn’t happen often! (Let’s just say no one else in the Bradley clan is a huge tofu, tempeh or seitan fan.) I love this recipe because it’s relatively easy and extremely tasty.
2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
1 medium onion (I use red), roughly chopped
4 to 8 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped*
2 lbs. fresh green beans, washed with stems cut off
3/4 to 1 lb. of cremini mushrooms, chopped or sliced
1/4 cup coconut aminos, soy sauce, or Braggs
1/2 cup sherry
1 1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. pepper
1/2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
Heat up your oil on medium high, in a pan or pot large enough to hold all of these ingredients! If it has a lid, that would be preferable, but I have been known to stick a baking sheet over my pots as a lid. No judgment here!
Once the oil is heated, add your chopped onion. You should cook them until they’re translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes, but I like to caramelize my onions, which can take up to a half hour or more! Whatever you’ve got time for, right? If they start to cook so fast they burn, turn down your heat.
Once your onions are cooked to your liking, add your garlic and saute about three minutes, or until fragrant. If you haven’t already, turn down your heat to medium and don’t let the garlic brown, as it will become bitter! Add your mushrooms and saute for about 10 to 15 minutes, until they’ve noticeably shrunk in size. Next put in your salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings; let them cook into the mushrooms and garlic for a couple minutes.
Time to add the sherry, soy sauce, and water! Let everything come to a light boil (you may need to increase the heat), then place your green beans into the pot or pan.
Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer until beans are fork-tender!
*I use a lot of garlic in my dishes, no joke. Whatever a recipe calls for, I usually double or quadruple the amount. I’ve given you a healthy spectrum in this recipe, so you can use at your discretion. Of course I use eight cloves (or more), but the average cook would probably use four.