Jenn Shagrin of Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It and new cookbook Veganize This!  »

Introducing Jenn Shagrin (aka, Jenn Shaggy!) from the fantastic vegan blog/vegan blog with BEST NAME EVER, Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It! and the upcoming cookbook, Veganize This!. We love her and her blog, her new cookbook appears to be UNSANE; this lady can veganize pretty much anything and her recipes freak us out, in a totally good way. You need to get to know her and then buy her book and bookmark her blog and be a better/fatter person because of it!

Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination?
I’m definitely a vegan for a combination of reasons. First and foremost, I’m against cruelty to animals of any kind. I even feel guilty when I have to yell at my dog for chewing up my undies. I also don’t want to contribute to the negative impact that animal-product consumption has on the environment. As for health reasons, that’s probably the lowest on the list. It’s great that I’ll most likely have low cholesterol, but I also occasionally veganize some fried or comfort foodie goodness, so I’ll leave it up to chance.

How long have you been vegan? Why did you become vegan?
I’ve been a vegan for about six years now. My path to veganism started many moons ago when I read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and realized exactly where that steak on my plate was sourced. Reading that book sparked my interest in animal rights, and vegetarianism onto veganism seemed the obvious path to travel. My best friend going vegetarian in our early teens additionally motivated me to cut meat out initially, then meeting my first vegan friend when I moved to California helped me realize I could make the full transition.

Do you have any companion animals? Where are they from?
I have two adorable dogs. Izzy, a Cairn terrier mix, who we rescued from a shelter here in Los Angeles. He’s a lucky dog, as he was abandoned as a puppy and fell ill with parvo. He’s definitely our little survivor. Our second dog, Pepper, we rescued from Louisiana just days before he was going to be dropped off at the pound. He’s a Miniature Pinscher mix, but believes he’s the size of a Bullmastiff.

Do you have any super-cute photos of animals to share with us? Favorite animal videos on YouTube?
Here’s a great picture of our pups laying together. All right, maybe it’s a little TMI (which you’re used to if you read my blog), but they’re total gay lovers.

What is your favorite animal? I know, this one is REALLY TOUGH.
Well punch me in the gut and call me sissy, because I couldn’t pick one from the other. Actually, I take that back. My family’s dog, a bluetick Beagle named Farfel, was my favorite animal ever. He was such a bad ass. No one could tell him what to do.

When did you start Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It!? What’s your favorite recipe from the blog?
I started Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It! in April of 2008. It’s my weekly creative release. My current favorite recipe is the "Turkey," Tarragon, and "Mascarpone" Lasagna, but that’ll probably change in about a week, so you may want to check back.

How did your upcoming cookbook, Veganize This! come about? What’s your favorite recipe from the book?
Veganize This!
 was definitely the spawn of my blog. Everyone I knew kept asking why on earth I didn’t just put all my recipes and ramblings together, and I finally just sat down and compiled the first manuscript in two very sleepless weeks. The process of finding a literary agent and publisher happened so fast after that, I’m inclined to believe someone sprinkled fairy dust on my mom’s womb prior to my birth. My favorite recipe has to be a fusion dish called "Chicken" Marsala Masala with Fresh Morels. It’s divine.

What’s your favorite other vegan cookbook?
To be perfectly honest (and I’ll probably get my ass kicked for this one), I don’t read a lot of vegan cookbooks because I’m so focused on veganizing the un-vegan. But if I had to pick just one, I’d have to say Vegan with a Vengeance. It really inspired me.

Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant? 
This also changes constantly, but as of late, Masa of Echo Park’s vegan Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza is off the chain.

Favorite vegan restaurant?
In Los Angeles, I’m a huge fan of Madeleine Bistro and Vinh Loi Tofu. Not only is the cuisine amazing at both, but I highly respect the chefs that run both establishments.

Are you willing to have Vegansaurus over and cook us a vegan feast? If so, what day?
No. Haha…gotcha! Of course I will. Next time I go visit my parents in SF, I’ll whip up a buffet.

Any questions for Vegansaurus? Anything!
Boxers or briefs? Wait, wait. I can do better. What am I missing out on food-wise when I visit SF? What’s the best of the best? Some of my favorites are MillenniumIke’s Place, Herbivore and Cha-Ya…just so you know where I’ve already hit up. (Ed.; That’s hard! Email me and let me know what your favorite kind of food is and I’ll customize a  SF restaurant guide for you!)

Yay, thanks Jenn! Check out our other Vegansaurus interviews and apply to be interviewed YOURSELF! Just email and we’ll totally interview your fascinating ass.

[All photos from Jenn Shagrin, except that delicious Vihn Loi Tofu shot from quarrygirl!]


I am looking for VegFest pictures on Flickr to post to the blog and look what I found:
Vegan fried chicken and waffles!! From Madeleine Bistro in Tarzana, Calif.!! Please bring that to San Francisco we can all have vegan chicken and waffles!
[photo by Hot Knots]

I am looking for VegFest pictures on Flickr to post to the blog and look what I found:

Vegan fried chicken and waffles!! From Madeleine Bistro in Tarzana, Calif.!! Please bring that to San Francisco we can all have vegan chicken and waffles!

[photo by Hot Knots]

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