Guest post: Vaute Couture storefront’s grand opening!  »

My bridge-and-tunnel ass hightailed it from Jersey to Brooklyn on Sunday for three things: Blue Bottle coffee; a vegan breakfast at B.A.D Burgers; and to witness the grand opening of the long-awaited Vaute Couture storefront.

Caffeinated to bejesus, my hubby and I waited outside in the 30-degree weather, excited to see the inside of the shop and get our grubby hands on some of those sample sale coats. Leanne appeared and told the crowd that she “really wanted everything to be perfect for us,” so it would be another few minutes. Frozen and grumpy, I decided to give it five more minutes before stomping off empty-handed. Luckily, the doors opened and we were invited to immerse ourselves in the vegan goodness that is Vaute Couture.

Not only were there several coat styles to choose from that I had been eyeing on the website for over a year, there were mini-cupcakes to nibble—and Leanne, people, LEANNE! She is beautiful, as kind as they come, and well deserving of a successful Brooklyn business.

The décor is warm and rustic, and the photos of Leanne with her dog and the models with the rescued kitties just made me smile. The employees were helpful and smiley too, and despite all the pressure they must have been feeling, they handled everything with ease and excitement.  

The shop is made from a variety of salvaged materials.  The fitting room is a starry light box, and the mannequins (and their tan abs) came from Abercrombie. The photo booth is vegan, of course. Don’t miss the animal heads by local artists Becka & Marta.

Now, to make you all jealous, I made the first-ever purchase at the shop: a bunny sweatshirt and the FW10 Vaute in Red jacket (left) at a heavily discounted price. I was not aware that these coats are made of Polartec fabric, which is snow-proof and super-warm. They hold their shape, even through a cycle in the washing machine, which RULES! I only shop thrift stores, so buying this new coat was extra-special for me.

Thank you, Leanne, for bringing vegan fashion to Brooklyn and to the mainstream! Everyone who didn’t go, get yourselves there immediately.

Keri Siry lives in New Jersey with her 2 dogs Sammy and Honey Bee, new cat Hank and her 4 year old daughter Gemma and husband Darryl. Vegan for 8 years, Keri loves to share recipes and meatless know how via her blog at the Politics of Food.


Guest post: Vegan friendly vacation to Mexico!  »

Ever been to a MAGICAL city? My idea of a magical city would be one that feeds me truly delicious vegan food from the time I drag my ass out of my 10,000 thread count sheet covered bed until I pass out from too much tequila at night. Have you ever experienced such a thing?

Colibri Custom Catered Travel is committed to serving travelers who seek sustainable and organic farm-to-table, gluten free, and/or vegan cuisine. Now that I have your attention, the locale for this fabulous vacation happens to be Travel + Leisure Magazine's #4 pick for top ten world destinations: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

For seven days and nights, your trip includes all custom catered meals, outdoor adventure, town and farm tours, musical performances, tequila tastings, cultural experiences and more. A spacious hacienda in the middle of the historic center of town provides both private rooms and spacious dining areas under one roof. Your hostess and founder of Colibri, Cate Lazen is not only a former San Miguel de Allende resident, she was also diagnosed with celiac disease years ago and she knows how hard it can be to trust a restaurant with our vegan or gluten-free needs. Hence, a business built around the freedom to travel and eat well without worry. Cate is quite magical herself and the cost of the trip pays off in spades just to hang out with her!

Hold on to your sombrero, there is MORE! Colibri’s vegan chef Alicia Rivero has fantastic ideas for stuffing our vegan pie holes. Just to mention a few, how do these sound? Artichoke Dip with Basil Infused Olive Oil, Panzanella Bread Salad with Fresh Herbed-Tomato Sauce, Farm to Table Pizzas, Potato Gnocchi with Truffle-scented, Pesto Sauce Braised Eggplant in “Creamy” Saffron Sauce, Root vegetable Latkes with Red Onion Compote, Breakfast Granola with Nut Milks and Fresh Berries, and French Toast.

The list is lengthy, but these are just a few that sound drool worthy. Colibri supports sustainable farming, non-GMO foods, responsible water use and fair treatment of farm workers. San Miguel de Allende’s organic movement is in high gear, promising fresh, seasonal produce that serves as the foundation for vegan dishes. . Through Colibri you will get your foodie on responsibly. Check out how to get a tan, meet a hot lover, and eat your brains out without Montezuma’s revenge on their Facebook page.

Keri Siry lives in New Jersey with her 2 dogs Sammy and Honey Bee, new cat Hank and her 4 year old daughter Gemma and husband Darryl. Vegan for 8 years, Keri loves to share recipes and meatless know how via her blog at the Politics of Food.


Guest review: Hodo Soy Beanery tofu!  »

If ingesting copious amounts of soy is bad for me, someone call 911 because I am likely to need an ambulance tonight. Milling around the produce section of the Whole Foods in Noe Valley, a tiny juicy bin tucked in between some lettuce and melons caught my eye. A tag sat modestly on top of the bin filled with the best tofu ever made: Hodo Soy Beanery tofu!

Yes, we are lucky enough to have this firm, white block of heaven at our fingertips hidden away for all vegan and vegetarian hogs alike. Hodo Soy Beanery uses 100 percent organic, non-GMO, hand-selected soybeans and painstakingly prepares them early in the a.m. so we can have the finished product within 12 hours of preparation! More than most of us can say, damn!

Many blocks of tofu came home with me destined to be made into crispy golden nuggets. A recipe for Spicy Banh Mi from Vegetarian Times BLEW me away last week. Imagine a crusty sweet roll, slathered with Vegenaise, sweet-and-sour marinated daikon shreds with a hint of cilantro. Then add the best part: fried tofu!

I tried making the sandwich with two different brands of tofu, and I must say the Hodo comes out WAY ahead because it is firm and filling. I challenge you to attempt to leave the fried tofu untouched before assembling the sandwich…good luck!

[Thanks to Keri Siry for this guest post and photo! Would you like to contribute to Vegansaurus? Let us know!]

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