vegansaurus!

01/02/2012

New Year’s Resolutions for vegans, part 2! What are yours?  »

That’s from my story at The Bold Italic about New Year’s Resolutions for different San Francisco characters, what are some other amazing New Year’s resolutions for vegans?

First, my turn! I’ve got more!

- Make out with Isa Chandra Moskowitz and/or Terry Hope Romero
- Veganize the turducken
- Be the person who finally converts Mark Bittman to complete veganism (you will get laid a lot with these bragging rights!)
- Get your vegan croquet club fully funded via Kickstarter
- Do not adopt another dog and/or cat and/or bunny and/or rat and/or etc.
- Purchase no more than 15 vegan cookbooks
- Build another house for when you adopt more animals and buy more vegan cookbooks

I’m not fully on my game this morning and I know there’s a million more! What are they?? Let us know in the comments and then let’s make the ultimate list and then we’ll print it out, laminate it, post it to our fridge (where we spend the most time ‘cause we’re vegan), and CONQUER IN 2012! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Please note, this is called part 2 because the lovely Samantha Cohen wrote a legit list for us a couple years ago. Question B: ARE YOU MAKING ANY OF THIS SHIZ HAPPEN? 

08/03/2011

We’ll tax you till you’re healthy, jerks  »


Our old pal Mark Bittman knows a lot about food. He espouses a vegan-till-dinner diet, which we also encourage you to try if you’re not yet vegan. Give it a go, you know. We love his recipes, his How to Cook Everything app, and his general attitude toward eating.

We’re less pleased with his latest op-ed for the New York Times, in which he proposes taxing “bad” foods “like soda, French fries, doughnuts and hyperprocessed snacks,” and using the revenue those taxes generate to “subsidize the purchase of staple foods like seasonal greens, vegetables, whole grains, dried legumes and fruit.”

OK, MB, we see where you’re coming from. Coke is terrible for you. So are Fritos and Hostess snack cakes. We vegans would love people to eat more produce and non-animal proteins. It’s just that increasing the price of foodstuffs at the retail level makes everyone uncomfortable, and it doesn’t address the government subsidization of meat and dairy, which makes that stuff extra-cheap, and guess what? A cheeseburger will kill you just as quick as a Little Debby.

It also leads normally super-serious magazines like the Economist to respond with their own “humorous” op-eds about taxing fat (read: unhealthy) people in the name of “consumer sovereignty.” I assume the individuals at the Economist have senses of humor, but the editorial voice isn’t exactly the Grub-Street Journal, and this little piece isn’t exactly Swiftian.

Is it the government’s responsibility to encourage better food choices? Is it anyone’s? Omnivores get defensive when vegans call attention to the violence inherent in eating animals, and also because they know their diets are bad for the environment. Even if you don’t mind having animals killed for your meals, you know that mass milk, cheese, and meat production is killing the planet. Maybe that’s the stronger argument, since caring about people’s health and well being is usually wrapped up in scolding and “nanny state”-style policies.

Nutritious food should be accessible to and affordable for everyone. The answer probably isn’t “subsidizing ‘good’ food with a tax on ‘bad’ food,” though, however tempting it may be. You can’t treat food like cigarettes and alcohol in any context because, no matter the quality, food is necessary to live. Addressing the broader aspects of our Terrible American Diet—i.e., federal subsidies to grow corn that mostly feed the cows that mostly feed people—may take longer, but it’s more responsible and more effective. Right? At the very least, making high-fructose corn syrup BAD while ignoring weirdo chemical compounds like non-nutritive sweeteners—aspartame won’t help you grow up big and strong and smart—seems hypocritical, and dumb. You’re better than soda demonization, Mark Bittman.

[“Untitled (view of checkout through pet food aisle)” by Robert Adams via Yale Digital Commons]

05/04/2011

Product review: Mark Bittman Vegetarian Cooking app!  »

I got to test out a gratis copy of the new Mark Bittman How to Cook Everything Vegetarian iPhone application! Since my last mention of the app was less than informative, here is a thorough review, because I love you!

My official recommendation: it’s awesome! If you want to spend the $4.99, it’s worth your money and a lot cheaper than purchasing the actual cookbook. The recipe selection looks pretty amazing. I haven’t made anything yet but there are really a lot of things I already want to make! Or get someone else to make for me! You can make me food and I’ll give you fashion tips—fair trade!

I am told there are 950 vegan recipes and variations out of about 2,000 vegetarian recipes in total. The breakdown is 397 recipes and 553 variations to non-vegan recipes. There’s also a “top 100 vegan recipes” list under “Bittman’s picks” and several little “references” that like suggest vegan breakfasts for you, cheese substitutions, and one I’m really interested it: how to make any bread vegan. I love bread!

I don’t see any way to isolate the vegan options for the entire app but when you search for something, it’s super-easy to bring out the vegan options because of the vegan filter. You can search for key words if you want or you can use the filters they already have like “style.” So you can do a search by selecting “sweet” as the style and select just vegan options and it will pull up anything sweet and vegan (you saw where that was going). You could also search “cauliflower” or whatever word you want and select just vegan options. Oh and one of the style options is “raw” and there are 26 recipes and variations with that search. That’s for my raw friends! You know I’m always thinking of you.

When you are just browsing the recipes, the vegan ones are clearly marked but you can’t immediately see if a non-vegan recipe has a vegan variation. But when you use the search function, it lists all vegan recipes and all vegan variations for that search so that is prob the best way for us to look at variations. But just browsing for recipes is easy. There are no pictures so if you only like cookbooks with food pictures, this is not the app for you. I often like pictures but the names of these recipes are enticing enough that I don’t think I would miss them that much.

One thing to note: Reader Ryan K. says that some non-vegan recipes are marked vegan and vice versa. I haven’t run into this yet. I can send the creator a note about this and hopefully they can fix it in a future update.

Here are some screen grabs! First, a recipe; as you can see, it has the overview, ingredients, steps and variations:

Here’s a progression of how you can browse without the search. First you pick a general category and a more specific category:

Then you pick a recipe. You can easily see which recipes are vegan but if you select a non-vegan one, like the first veggie burger, it might have a vegan variation:

This is also cool: when you look at a recipe, you have all these options for what to do with it:

Another function is that you can generate shopping lists—kinda nice and useful. And as long as you have your phone, you will always have your grocery list.

Here’s my favorite part:

Under the style search option, you can search for hippie! It pulls up what you’d expect, tofu and whatnot.

Here’s my second favorite part! For some of the basic recipes and techniques, there are these illustrated guides:


Love it! You KNOW I like pictures over actually reading instructions. And as you can see, these aren’t crazy Ikea-style stick figure pictures that I can never understand.

All in all, I’d say it’s worth at least $4.99. Even though all the recipes aren’t vegan, I’m still very pleased with it. If you are vegetarian, it’s DEFINITELY worth the money. It has more recipes than the Vegan with a Vengeance app and that one costs $9.99 (say what?). The recipes are a little lacking for vegan dessert options but I actually think the first thing I want to make is the vegan banana chocolate-chunk bread pudding. Banana and chocolate are my favorite and I love bread pudding! I’m going to eat the hell out of that.

05/03/2011

Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian app seems all right  »

Mark Bittman, everyone’s favorite omnivore, has released an app for the iPhone and iPad that shows you How to Cook Vegetarian. It seems fairly vegan-friendly but I don’t want to pay the $4.99 to find out—$4.99 buys a lotta grapes! But as you can see from the sample screen here, there’s a “vegan” search button.

So did anyone buy this? Laura is telling me it has some kind of countdown timer for how long the recipe should take. Like you can race to beat the clock! But Laura straight makes shit up like 90 percent of the time so that could be totally false. Like when she told me I couldn’t get pregnant in a hot tub. Thanks a lot, Laura! And your child support is late again!

03/08/2011

Mark Bittman posted some damn fine-looking soups, and they’re all vegetarian, mostly vegan. Who will come over and make all of these for me, and we will have a soup party?? That kinda sounds like the SADDEST party, but I promise, it’ll be fun. Actually, I can’t promise it’ll be any more fun than watching me cry along to episodes of Drop Dead Diva* on Instant Netflix. There have to be a few dudes who are into that, right? Sexy!
*You see, she is a SKINNY girl trapped in a FAT girl’s body. Hilarity/crying jag ensues!

Mark Bittman posted some damn fine-looking soups, and they’re all vegetarian, mostly vegan. Who will come over and make all of these for me, and we will have a soup party?? That kinda sounds like the SADDEST party, but I promise, it’ll be fun. Actually, I can’t promise it’ll be any more fun than watching me cry along to episodes of Drop Dead Diva* on Instant Netflix. There have to be a few dudes who are into that, right? Sexy!

*You see, she is a SKINNY girl trapped in a FAT girl’s body. Hilarity/crying jag ensues!

02/25/2011

Oatmeal, obese monkeys, and breast-milk ice cream in this week’s link-o-rama!  »


First, and most important! IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! Happy birthday TO ME! You can thank my parents for their gift to the world.


[Latest documentary/cartoon from Cats Vs Human. What if I just call cartoons “documentaries” from now on? And phone calls will be “radio interviews”!]

They are selling breast-milk ice cream in London. BREAST-MILK ICE CREAM. While I’d rather die than eat breast-milk ice cream (right now I’d rather die than move, though), I’m in full support of this because it’s hilarious and brightens my world. Well Ok, I think maybe I’d try breast-milk ice cream for like $20,000. But is it going to pull in weird fetishists? Survey says: Probs.

Hey! Did you know that the SF SPCA appointed new presidents last month? Yes, more than one president! Two presidents—they’re calling it Four-Legged Leadership! One a super-savvy business man and the other a genius veterinarian. 

Jerk scientists are getting poor monkeys fat and not letting them exercise, because we definitely can’t find any people like that to test on. The New York Times will tell you all about it!

PCRM is suing the federal government because the new nutrition guidelines are crap! They don’t like the “doublespeak” and “mumbo jumbo” the USDA uses when it should be calling out meat and dairy. I have a bone to pick with them too! Three servings of dairy, really? REALLY? CRAP!

UNC and Duke have picked Eating Animals as their summer reading requirement! I was supposed to read the biography of George Washington. Definitely did that. 

From Mark Bittman, we have the most in-depth discussion of oatmeal I’ve ever seen! Specifically, oatmeal from McDonald’s: “Incredibly, the McDonald’s product contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin. (Even without the brown sugar it has more calories than a McDonald’s hamburger.)” Yowza!

Do you have a vegan tattoo? A tattoo with vegan subject matter? Super! Submit it to new website veganink.com and let’s get this party started!

Over at veganbaking.net, you can read an interview with Cinnaholic’s Shannon Michelle! Read all about how Cinnaholic came together and get advice for your own vegan baking biz! Can we all agree that Shannon Michelle is dead-sexy?!

The veggie internet has been a buzz about this story from Yahoo sports Vegetarianism is all the rage in MMA! That’s ultimate fighting. It’s a sport. I guess.

There was a big earthquake in New Zealand! The Search Dog Foundation is on the case! New Zealand has its own dogs but the SDF’s training leader is going over to help with the search and rescue. We wish them the best of luck! Be safe and save people!

Lastly, don’t forget about the East Bay Vegan Bakesale tomorrow! Get treats, get pudgy!

11/22/2010

Deal Alert: Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian!  »

Amazon’s Black Friday sales are a weeklong series of “lightning deals” which kicks off today. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, by Mark Bittman, goes on sale in two hours for (I think) just two or three hours, or until they’re all gone.

The price is hidden until then, but based on the sale price of the non-vegetarian version, it looks like it’ll be $17.50, which is half off the list price, and $5 off Amazon’s regular price. If you’ve been waiting to get this book, for yourself or for others, now’s as good a time as any!

11/01/2010

Radio hour: KQED’s “Forum” featuring Mark Bittman on his new book and his vegan-ish diet!  »

Last Wednesday, we totally missed someone awesome-ish on the radio: Mark Bittman! He hates industrially produced food! And “wholesome” food, namely produce and whole grains. “Plants are clearly more sustainable that processed food or animal products,” he says, with which we obviously agree. To him, “‘Wholesome food’…basically means unprocessed fruits and vegetables—legumes and nuts and grains and seeds.”

He also discusses his views on meat consumption, on quantity and sustainability—he says that “Americans kill 10 billion animals a year, and globally it’s 60 billion.” Bittman doesn’t address the emotional aspect—his turn toward mainly vegan eating was inspired by health and environmental concerns—so we will: MARY MOTHER OF GOD 10 BILLION ANIMALS. Greatest Country in the World.

Michael Krasny, the host, notes that Bittman wasn’t able to update his 1999 cookbook Fish because too many of the 70 species covered are endangered or nearly extinct. Ha ha 11 years later and almost 70 species of fish have become “endangered” or “nearly extinct”! Fishing is so awesome, not at all wasteful or insane.

You should listen to the rest of the interview yourself, it’s great-ish and full of facts. Find loads of Mark Bittman’s veg recipes on his website.

Update: Friend of Vegansaurus and guest writer Vi Zahajszky met Mr. Bittman as part of her clearly very demanding and terrible job at KQED. We are sooo envious.

[photo of paella with tomatoes, plus recipe!, by Flickr user Pabo76]

05/06/2010

Mark Bittman has it GOING ON(ish). A fabulous how to article on fish-free sushi in The New York Times. He’s really making it happen(ish) over there. Okay, he does mention one with gross meat and gross egg but the recipes are 90% vegan with some really delicious, innovative combos and a slide show tutorial on how to make sushi OMG SO FUN.

Mark Bittman has it GOING ON(ish). A fabulous how to article on fish-free sushi in The New York Times. He’s really making it happen(ish) over there. Okay, he does mention one with gross meat and gross egg but the recipes are 90% vegan with some really delicious, innovative combos and a slide show tutorial on how to make sushi OMG SO FUN.

09/04/2009

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