vegansaurus!

03/18/2013

WANTED: bakers and eaters for Marin County’s Vegan Bake Sale!  »

There’s info directly from the source below, so all you need to do is pick up one of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale’s cute new shirts (actually, that’s optional — but they’re REALLY CUTE!), and we’ll see you at the bake sale to do all of the eating!

It’s time for Marin County’s VEGAN BAKE SALE, in celebration of Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale! [ed.: you can see if there’s a bake sale near you if you’re not near Marin — or you can organize one yourself!]

100% of moneys raised will be split between two awesome area nonprofits in support of their outstanding work: Marin Friends of Ferals and Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity.

Bake. Eat. Bake and Eat.

1. e-mail marinveganbakesale@gmail.com to get involved!
2. Invite all your friends. 
3. Save the date and come eat yummy vegan treats for a great cause. 

All eating and purchases are guaranteed to be 100% guilt-free. 

If you are baking, please remember that all yummy goods must be vegan and contain no animal products. For baking, most importantly this means no dairy or eggs. You can visit the website of Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale for some fun tips on bakingvegan! 

What: Marin Vegan Bake Sale

Where: Outside of Pet Food Express, Terra Linda, 280 Northgate One, San Rafael, CA 94903

When: April 27, 10a-2p

Who: You

How: Bake and Eat! Eat or Bake!

Make sure to check out our host, Pet Food Express, too — we’ll be right outside and they are totally big-hearted and awesome.

Marin Friends of Ferals is a non-profit, tax exempt 501 (C)(3) volunteer organization dedicated to the humane care and management of feral and homeless cats. They are located in Marin County, California – north of San Francisco.

Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity (AHO) is a501 (c) (3) organization designed for youth, by youth, for the future of youth who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.  Since its inception in January 2005, AHO has been leading the way in addressing the growing trend of youth homelessness in Marin County, Greater Bay Area and Sacramento, CA.

08/10/2011

Marin: not a good place to be a vegan inmate  »

Having volunteered in jail and jail-adjacent settings, I have seen some pretty ridiculous things happen, and been bummed out by the treatment some people receive at the hands of those in power. Here’s the thing: our jail system is really broken. I don’t want to go into the details of how and why, because this isn’t “Mark gets on a soap box about mental health and the jail population (if you’re interested, email me!), but if you google “jail” and “mistreatment” you won’t want for examples. One thing I have never heard of or seen, however, is anyone being refused a vegan or vegetarian meal. Because that’s crazy, right? There’s no reason to do something like that. Except, apparently, in Marin (and a whole bunch of other places, but we’re just focusing on Marin today).

In jail you are already stripped of so much. You shower when you’re told to, you have to raise your hand to go to the bathroom, and you have to submit to random searches and do count times and all sorts of other weird administrative things that seem both frustrating and annoying. I get it; it’s important to make sure there’s no crowding in the bathrooms and that no one is fighting. It’s also important to account for all the people that are supposed to be in a pod/wing/ward. What I don’t get is why someone would be denied a vegan meal because they’re not vegan for a religious reason. That just seems so arbitrary and poorly planned that it makes my head spin in several different directions at once.

You think, “They must have a good reason and I’m sure they’ll share it with us.” Then you read the rest of the article and discover that Dave McDonald, the man whose requests were denied, was basically starved because the officers were “following the law.” Not to say that following laws is a bad thing, certainly not in jail, but I’m wondering why no one took a look at the laws governing jails and asked why inmates couldn’t have vegan meals. I also wonder why no one considered that some laws are so outdated that it doesn’t make sense to follow them, especially if not following them doesn’t harm anyone. I wonder how providing a vegan meal could have been harmful to anyone in the jail. They kind of tried to put some stuff together for this guy, but if you’re going so far as to throw the guy a mix of vegetables and bread, why not just give him the vegan meal and be done with it? Why barely feed someone for 99 days (which is how long it took for some tests to be run on alleged controlled substances) and explain your behavior by claiming your hands are tied?

A good result of this debacle is that people are taking notice, and reviewing the laws and policies. Why did it take so long, and why does reading this article make me so sad about the state of social services—jails, especially those that provide programs, classes, and case-management are definitely social services—today?

07/06/2011

Interview: raw vegan superstar Lydia Kindheart!  »

If you haven’t heard of Lydia’s Organics, Loving Foods or Kitchen, then (a) you must not live in the SF Bay Area or (b) you live under a rock. If it’s the latter of the two, get yourself to Rainbow or your nearest Whole Foods, stat! I recommend her raw nori crackers, mint chocolate truffle, a slice of raw cheesecake and some kale chips— you won’t be disappointed! Every time I scout the raw and prepared-meal sections of those stores I see more of Lydia’s products! She’s taking the Bay Area vegan scene over with her amazing vegan, raw, gluten-free and organic snacks, meals, soups, spreads, appetizers and desserts! I am so jealous of those of you living in Marin County—you can just shimmy into her cafe! That’s it, road trip to Fairfax!

I was extremely eager to pick Parisian-turned-Californian/creative vegan force in the Bay Area/successful business owner Lydia Kindheart’s brain.

Lydia’s daughter Sonya—who’s 20 and never eaten meat!—and Lydia Kindheart at a festival

Vegansaurus: How long have you been vegan?
Lydia Kindheart: Off and on. On for mostly 30 years.

What inspired the lifestyle?
Girlfriends in high school, reading lots of books, asking questions and experimenting on myself. I started fasting at a young age and saw the direct effect of foods and well being.

Are you raw? How did you make the transition from cooked foods to raw foods? What do you see as the benefits of a raw food diet?
[I am] 98 percent [raw], mas o menos. I turned vegetarian at 16, then raw very quickly by 17. Raw foods are simpler, closer to their source, holding their vitality and life itself. Raw foods are alive, cooked foods are not. They use less resources, fossil fuels, etc.

How do organic foods play a role?
I am into health and well being for myself, all people, animals and life forms. Organic is the only way to work with the Earth, as opposed to poisoning life itself.

Do you have any advice for the beginning raw foodist?
Focus on your intake of greens and water; watch your sugar and nut intake. Use dehydrated crackers to help with transitioning—for that ‘bulk’ that one is used to.

What are the the most important tools?
A Vitamix, one’s teeth.

What are some raw foods to live by?
Kale, herbs, seaweed, sunflower seeds, lemon, watermelon and figs.

Your raw foods are absolutely amazing and taking the Bay Area by storm! What goes into your creative process for recipes/products?
Spending lots of time in nature, being in my heart, caring for people to serve them healthful alternatives.

Can you tell us the story behind Lydia’s Organics?
Since I was a little girl, I have always loved making food for people. As I learned about what foods can do and how they can affect people, it stirred up a passion and way to care for people and connect with the Earth through simple living. I had the opportunity to take over a smoothie shop in Fairfax and opened a raw food cafe—it then continued on this journey. I had never thought of creating a a business like this, it has led me to where it is now—to nourish as many people as I can with healthful, loving foods. My daughter, Sonya, and mother, Jacquie, have been integrative parts and support to this creation. Were were all three serving food at the first raw food event in San Francisco.

As a small, vegan, business owner, do you have any advice for budding vegan entrepreneurs?
Get some professional advice for logistics and unknowns. There is heart, dedication and hard work, but it takes practical logistics to implement our dreams.

Any favorite raw recipes you’d like to share with the Vegansaurus readers?
Pâté—Equal parts carrots and soaked almonds. Some celery, lemon, green onions, dulse seaweed and dash of salt. Grind until semi coarse in a food processor. It’s great in rolls and as a spread, especially with avocado. I’m not very good at recipes, I just kind of make dishes up, but it’s about playing and experimenting and creating what you personally like!

Thank you, Lydia!

06/02/2011

North Bay vegan eats: Slice of Life  »


I arrived in California 16 months ago after a four-day trip, with two cats, across the country from New York. When we pulled into town, we were disgruntled, like only a five-hour drive through the blizzarding wilds of southern Wyoming in January can make you, and deeply in need of some comfort and quiet. Through some trick of fate, we ended up by the Whole Foods in Sebastopol on that quickly-darkening and drizzly winter evening, having resigned ourselves to a dinner of cold, prepackaged food. Have I mentioned that I’m a total food snob? I am. Then, as we headed into the bright grocery store from the gloom and damp of the parking lot, I spotted a sign on a small restaurant storefront, tucked snugly between a video store and a hair salon. A cursory glance at the menu confirmed my hopes: Pizza. And it was goooood. I’m not going to lie to you.


Slice of Life
, Sebastopol’s comfortable little diner, has since become a staple for us. This all-vegetarian restaurant features a varied menu with macrobiotic salads and platters, Mexican, Italian, all-day breakfast, and, of course, pizza. The pizza’s a little pricey. A large with a few toppings and soy cheese will set you back a cool $30. But the crust and sauce are all fresh and homemade, and they have veggie pepperoni! Bring on the fake meats! Of course, one can’t get a $30 pizza every day of the week—if you can, I want to hunt you down and kill you—so we were eventually obliged to explore the rest of the menu.


Unfortunately for you, I’m so single-minded that I order the same things over and over again. Fortunately for you, that means I am completely qualified to sing the praises of the Slice of Life breakfast menu. Particularly wonderful are the Tofu Om-lets. Though (much to my chagrin) available only on weekend mornings, these are tasty and available in a standard configuration of onions, mushrooms, and cheese or as a Greek version of the same with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. They don’t always get the cheese as melty as I’d like it, and believe me when I tell you I am freaking well acquainted with the trials and travails of melting vegan cheese. I suspect that this is due to their exclusive use of Follow Your Heart mozzarella, which is excellent news for the Daiya-haters among us. (I know you’re out there. I don’t understand your ways.)


Should you find yourself at Slice of Life outside the Tofu Om-let window, don’t despair; order the Tofu Rancheros or the Tofu Parmesan. Add soy cheese to either for a paltry sum and relax back into the warm, fuzzy feelings that come with supporting a vegetarian business. And because you’ve only got just the one life to live, you might was well order a pancake or two. That’s right: vegan pancakes. Incidentally, these are also wheat-free for our grain-challenged friends. Then go home and join me in wondering why pancakes aren’t vegan everywhere. It’s SO FREAKING SIMPLE. 

[To check out Vegansaurus’ other recommendations for Northern California, go here! Or you can just get outta town with the suggestions here!]

Marla Wick lives in Sebastopol, a small community in Sonoma County, Calif., where people never change out of their yoga pants. She spends her time cooking, baking, knitting, and raging about politics when she’s not working as a freelance editor and writer. She blogs about food, animal ethics, cultural politics, and horror movies at Vegan-Squared and Bully Pulp.

05/17/2011

Because it’s not just soulless rich white people in Marin*—there are also some rich white people with hearts—there’s now a Marin Vegan Drinks! And they’re on Twitter and Facebook (go like them because they need to get to 25 likes before Facebook will give them a custom URL! Facebook don’t mess). Oh and may I mention that I love their logo, it’s so ultra New Wave. It almost kinda reminds me of a Nagel. Yeah? Not at all? Whatever, you have a terrible eye. Also, GOD I WANT A NAGEL SO BADLY. 
Anyway, this event will be great and the organizers are charming and adorable and if you’re in Marin, you need friends. Trust me. From Pepper, one of the organizers:

We will be starting off our events at The Nickel Rose which is a pretty “swanky” place, as they say. But really, it’s awesome looking, with fabric draped from the walls and checkered floor and candles on tables, in a very modern-vintage look. They make some badass cocktails and mixed drink things—like possibly the most delicious mojitos I’ve had in the bay area. We aren’t aiming to get sponsorship or deals from the bar *yet* (a la SF Vegan Drinks) as we want to make sure there is actually an audience. Seeing as there are enough vegan-interested people in Marin to warrant vegan menus at various restaurants, and In Defense of Animals is located in San Rafael, we figure there is at least some built-in community just waiting to party!

Sounds good to me!
*Don’t get me wrong, it’s still MAINLY soulless rich white people in Marin but obviously there are a few good ones and so you all might as well band together because when the race wars begin, we’ll let you all over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (along with the San Quentin inmates, naturally) to fight with us.

Because it’s not just soulless rich white people in Marin*—there are also some rich white people with hearts—there’s now a Marin Vegan Drinks! And they’re on Twitter and Facebook (go like them because they need to get to 25 likes before Facebook will give them a custom URL! Facebook don’t mess). Oh and may I mention that I love their logo, it’s so ultra New Wave. It almost kinda reminds me of a Nagel. Yeah? Not at all? Whatever, you have a terrible eye. Also, GOD I WANT A NAGEL SO BADLY.

Anyway, this event will be great and the organizers are charming and adorable and if you’re in Marin, you need friends. Trust me. From Pepper, one of the organizers:

We will be starting off our events at The Nickel Rose which is a pretty “swanky” place, as they say. But really, it’s awesome looking, with fabric draped from the walls and checkered floor and candles on tables, in a very modern-vintage look. They make some badass cocktails and mixed drink things—like possibly the most delicious mojitos I’ve had in the bay area. We aren’t aiming to get sponsorship or deals from the bar *yet* (a la SF Vegan Drinks) as we want to make sure there is actually an audience. Seeing as there are enough vegan-interested people in Marin to warrant vegan menus at various restaurants, and In Defense of Animals is located in San Rafael, we figure there is at least some built-in community just waiting to party!

Sounds good to me!

*Don’t get me wrong, it’s still MAINLY soulless rich white people in Marin but obviously there are a few good ones and so you all might as well band together because when the race wars begin, we’ll let you all over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (along with the San Quentin inmates, naturally) to fight with us.

09/29/2010

Spotted at Whole Foods in Mill Valley: tarts from Candle 79! HELLO GORGEOUS! They apparently JUST got them and carry three flavors: chocolate mousse, chocolate peanut butter, and raspberry Linzer!Now, if only we could get some of that seitan chimichurri, I’d never have to leave the Bay Area again.Oh snap, they also sell burritos made with gardein here, too! What is this, L.A.??? Man, rich fools of Mill Valley prolly have no clue how good they have it! All feasting on tarts and Chick’n burritos and poo-pooing the rest of us because we are poor and we suck. That’s fair, make me mow your lawn tomorrow and carry your kids to school on my back BUT TONIGHT? Tonight, I feast on your food, wine, and women! Tonight, I live!!!’
UPDATE: Apparently these delightful east coast treats are at all SF Bay Area Whole Foods! If you don’t see them at yours, ASK FOR THEM! 

Spotted at Whole Foods in Mill Valley: tarts from Candle 79! HELLO GORGEOUS! They apparently JUST got them and carry three flavors: chocolate mousse, chocolate peanut butter, and raspberry Linzer!

Now, if only we could get some of that seitan chimichurri, I’d never have to leave the Bay Area again.

Oh snap, they also sell burritos made with gardein here, too! What is this, L.A.??? Man, rich fools of Mill Valley prolly have no clue how good they have it! All feasting on tarts and Chick’n burritos and poo-pooing the rest of us because we are poor and we suck. That’s fair, make me mow your lawn tomorrow and carry your kids to school on my back BUT TONIGHT? Tonight, I feast on your food, wine, and women! Tonight, I live!!!’

UPDATE: Apparently these delightful east coast treats are at all SF Bay Area Whole Foods! If you don’t see them at yours, ASK FOR THEM! 

04/01/2009

Amici’s!  »

Amici’s pizza has seriously stepped up the New York-style pizza game in San Francisco. As of this past weekend, they started serving vegan cheese. It’s melty, gooey, tasty Cheezly vegan cheese* and it is marvelous. A little vegan birdie told me that this would be happening months ago and I dared to dream but didn’t think too much about it because if it didn’t happen, I would’ve been all stabby. But then the day came and vegan cheese is on the menu and, my friends, it is a damn good day.

Amici’s is a local chain with two restaurants in San Francisco and the others spread out all over, from San Rafael to VACAVILLE. HOLD THE PHONE. YOU CAN GET VEGAN CHEESE PIZZA DELIVERED TO YOUR HOUSE IN VACAVILLE?! Yes, yes you can. And oh yeah, they have a pretty large delivery area so check their website to see if you can get it delivered right to your mouth. And the variety of toppings is outrageous. We got our pizza with fried eggplant, slow-roasted garlic, carmelized onions, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts. It was about $30 for a large but you know what? It will make two meals for two people. Not bad. Also, I have salad makings from Farm Fresh to You so I GUESS I can/should/won’t eat the delicious yet fatty pizza with a disgusting yet nutritious salad. I GUESS. Ugh, why does FFtY not deliver vegan pizza and chocolate bonbon’s?! I’m turning into some unnatural combination of Peg and Al Bundy over here. Help.

So stop reading this and get on their site and ORDER ONLINE (no talking to another human! Can I get a what-what for the technology!?) and have vegan pizza at your doorstep in 45 minutes. Oh and let them know you’re thankful for the vegan cheese and maybe one day soon, they’ll start offering their four-cheese lasagna vegan-style. Hyperventilating at the thought. They could use Cheezly, Dr. Cow, Sheese and Teeze and make THE MOTHER OF ALL VEGAN LASAGNAS!!! Ugh, now I’m Garfield.

*Cheezly is a hard to find British vegan cheese that they’re now selling at Rainbow! I like the extra melty mozzarella and the bacon flavored best. The bacon-flavored cheese is especially good for mixing into creamy sauces, gives them a carbonara flavor! Ow!

02/23/2009

Joe’s Taco Lounge & Salsa!  »

If you are stuck in Mill Valley, you are pretty much fucked for food. You’re either eating what the people who live here are eating (read: nothing because shit is expen$$$ive and it’s richie rich “happy” meat town) or you eat what people who work here are eating (read: nothing because shit is Jack ’n the Crack. Blarg.) There just isn’t much for us middle of the road vegan food connoisseur to enjoy with one notable exception of the fantastically tiny Joe’s Taco Lounge. First things first: it looks like Rita Moreno threw up and then exploded inside. That’s all right by me. The tofu tostada is OUT OF SIGHT. It’s crispy breaded and fried tofu on a bed of lettuce (ask for lettuce instead of the slaw which is filled with gross mayo) in a gorgeous fried tostada. It’s totally perfect. I’ve eaten it maybe 100 times and it never gets old. I’d almost say that it’s worth a trip to Marin actually fuck it, YES, it’s worth a trip to Marin, especially if you like to hike and stuff like that. It’s god’s country out there, bring a gun. Or at least a shovel. I’m pretty sure they filmed Into the Wild down the road. And maybe Gorillas in the Mist? But if that’s the case, bring your hugging arms because if I see me a baby gorilla, I’m hugging it!

They also have a really good vegan black bean soup, vegan enchilada and vegan tacos. They have 10 million kinds of hot sauce lining the walls. I’ll go so far as to say that it’s very authentic Mexican food and I should know, I’ve been to Tijuana on spring break, okay? Finally, Joe’s Taco Lounge is always filled with blond Mill Valley pregos and their whiny-ass babies. No husbands ever spotted. I mean, I wouldn’t hang out with these foul bitches either but I didn’t marry ’em, boys!

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