vegansaurus!

08/01/2013

Foreign consumption of quinoa is good for Bolivia, say actual Bolivians  »

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Hopefully putting an end to the great quinoa controversy of 2013, NPR reports that while foreign consumption of quinoa has increased the domestic price of quinoa in Bolivia, it’s also increased Bolivians’ income, so “they’re able to now afford [foods such as] tomatoes and salads and veggies, and foods that they weren’t able to afford before,” Eduoard Rollet of Alter Eco told Allison Aubrey. 

"It’s not true that due to an increase in the price of quinoa, less and less is being consumed" in Bolivia, The Associated Press quoted [Bolivian President Evo] Morales as saying in an article in February.

In fact, Morales pointed to a threefold increase in domestic consumption of quinoa over the past four years.

That means we can continue to eat quinoa without “stomaching the unpalatable truth” about it, right? Considering the truth about quinoa sounds pretty palatable to me, and more importantly, to the people producing the quinoa for us. If they say their experience is positive, then that’s what counts. 

[summer fruit salad with quinoa by Typical Domestic Babe]

07/30/2013

New York state bans shark fin trade!  »

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And it wasn’t a giant fucking hassle, either. After a proposal last year, the Legislature passed the bill this May, and Governor Cuomo signed it into law on Friday. Hooray!

“New York will no longer be a haven for the cruel and unsustainable trade in shark fins,” Patrick Kwan, director of grassroots organizing for the Humane Society, said in a statement. “The Empire State has long taken action to protect other threatened and endangered species such as tigers and elephants, now we’re taking action to protect sharks and help end the cruelty of shark finning worldwide.”

[Photo by Phil’s 1stPix via Flickr]

07/29/2013

thefluffingtonpost:

Adorable Girl and Puppy Say ‘No’ to Puppy Mills

What happens when you combine the cutest little girl and the cutest dog in one video? You can watch it above.

The ASPCA launched a new campaign at NoPetStorePuppies.com, where they encourage visitors not to purchase products or animals from pet stores, many of which breed through puppy mills.

Instead, contact your local shelter. You might just rescue the newest member of your family!

Sorry, I can’t boycott pet stores that sell animals (anymore); I’ve died of cute overload.

07/24/2013

Restaurant review: Rawlicious Soho!  »

Meave: Remember how I was saying last week that we are really lucky vegans? Let’s double that sentiment, because recently Megan and I were invited to a tasting at Rawlicious Soho, the new Rawlicious spot at 249 Centre Street in Manhattan. Of course we said YES to fancy free food, because what are we, not hungry? Not eager to try new dishes? Not kind of obsessed with cashew cheese and raw vegetables? Well, maybe the last one is more me than Megan, but still. To Rawlicious Soho we went!

imageMeave: First they brought us this plate of nut-and-seed flatbread topped with dill cashew cheese, caramelized onion, and cherry tomatoes to share. It was beautiful, vibrant, and really tasty. If you’re not eating all of the tomatoes you can get your hands on during the summertime, you are missing out. They’re perfect when they’re ripe and totally nasty out of season, so take advantage of the summer and get snacking.

Megan: Yeah, the whole thing was great but the tomatoes were out of control. I was like, where the hell did they get these and can I get a 100 more? That was true across the board—they must have some super taster finding their fresh veggies, everything was just perfect.

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Meave: Next, they brought us each a plate of their taco salad, which was made of avocado, salsa, walnut refried beans, red and green onions, cashew sour cream, and sundried tomato nacho chips, over romaine lettuce. You guys, I loved this salad. I still think about it. The avocados were perfect, firm and yielding and buttery in that avocado-y way. The walnut refried beans I could’ve eaten alone, forever, but with the crispy lettuce and the tangy cashew sour cream—a really great combination. Though I have always been partial to taco salad (it was my main jam at Gratitude before all the ugliness).

Megan: The avocados were cray! Totally perfect! And ditto on the walnut refried beans—who ever heard of walnut refried beans?!

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Meave: Then they brought us each a slice of flatbread pizza with cashew cheese, pesto, tomato, zucchini, mushroom, and basil. Rich! basil-y! Unctuous, you guys, the combination of cashew cheese and basil was unctuous, so rich and savory, plus the firm vegetables and the crispy flatbread—so good.

It was at this point that we realized we were both getting pretty full.

Megan: Loved the pesto! Additionally, damn, why’s Meave gotta use words I have to look up?

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Meave: After we managed to eat our entire pieces of pizza, they brought us plates of their pad thai with kelp and zucchini noodles, carrots, red cabbage, green onions, and cashews in a “tangy Thai sauce.” Crispy-crunchy, savory-sweet, and very good. Not as spicy as I would have liked it, but the textures were delicious, and it was nice and cool on a hot summer afternoon.

Our lovely server, who had been vegan for all of three weeks (hooray!), had to box our dishes for us, as we were both reaching stomach capacity.

Megan: I have to differ on this one, I wasn’t that into the zucchini noodles. I’ve never been a big fan of raw food but everything here was so great I think I’m a changed woman! But this is the kind of dish I think of when I think of raw food—“noodles” that are all crunchy. Not my thing. Good sauce though (but I don’t like spicy).

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Meave: But of course we had room for this tiny, flawless dessert: a brownie bite with coconut “frosting” and chocolate banana ice cream. Because it’s sweetened with dates (and bananas), you could really taste the walnut, cacao, and coconut flavors. Again, the texture was incredible. I should really stop being surprised that raw desserts can be so goddamn good, but still, this was amazing and I am in love with it.

Megan: Guys guys guys, this thing was OFF THE HOOK. Why am I not eating this little chocolate wonder all the time?! And I usually don’t even like coconut (I know, I’m that picky vegan) but this was perfect! The banana chocolate ice cream was awesome. The whole thing was awesome. It was my favorite part of the meal. 

Meave: It stands to reason that we would be biased, as Rawlicious offered us this tasting free of charge, gave us a table with really great lighting, and were totally accommodating and very nice. Of course we’re biased. Still, the food was very, very good. The restaurant space itself is charming, light and airy with an exposed brick wall and bright, interesting art.

Megan: I’m not at all biased because I’m stone cold and hard to impress. But I was impressed. I just don’t usually go in for raw food so I was skeptical, but the food was so good! And yeah, my first reaction was, whoa, this place is nice! It’s not at all hippie like Cafe Gratitude or something—which is another association I have with raw food (despite Pure Food & Wine). When I think of raw, I think of crunchy cold food and new-age crap. This place is not like that! I even liked the paintings, and I’m hella snobby about paintings. So the place is upscale—but comfortable all the same. Our waitress was soooo nice. Like Meave said, a brand new vegan! I gave her some tips of course because I’m me. 

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Meave: I would absolutely go again. Especially on a date! Definitely I would invite a gentleman here for a beautiful meal in an attractive space, where the lighting makes everyone look like a total babe.

Megan: Agreed except it wasn’t the lighting, Meave is a total babe. In conclusion: I WANT MORE CHOCOLATE BANANA BROWNIE BITES!

07/17/2013

This is Nigella Lawson making breakfast bruschetta on television. It’s vegan, but she doesn’t use that word (it’s scary!). So how do we know this even exists? Our new favorite YouTube channel, Accidentally Vegan!

Some beautiful vegan genius culls the whoops-it’s-vegan recipes from the thrilling/terrifying orgy of animal products that is (most of!) the Food Network and uploads them! Imagine serving your nervous friends and relations something vegan and amazing, quelling their fears of kale six ways by casually mentioning, “Oh this?I got the recipe from Guy Fieri/Bobby Flay/Ina Garten/Nigella Lawson/Martha Stewart/etc. ad infinitum!” and watch their faces relax, lulled into accepting your vegan offerings by the implicit promise that it can’t be weird, it was on the Food Network.

Accidentally Vegan is doing the lord’s work. Follow her blog/Twitter/YouTube and thank her for calling attention to the glory of vegan recipes on basic cable. 

[link via One Green Planet]

07/16/2013

Bunna Café at Mama Joy’s for lunch! Ethiopian in Bushwick!  »

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I don’t remember the first time I had Ethiopian food, but I can remember the last time: It was Bunna Café at the Vegan Shop-Up, and you guys, it was incredible.

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The only way to improve this, I thought, would be to eat it sitting down, on a bigger plate, with even more food and more people to share it with. 

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Which is now possible at Mama Joy’s, where Bunna serves totally vegan Ethiopian lunch Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You should go! Take your friends! Take a date! Go eat!

Here’s how it looked today:

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Mama Joy’s is at 1084 Flushing Ave. in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Bunna Cafe’s Ethiopian lunch is cash-only.

07/12/2013

The Vegan Shop-Up returns for July! Every time I go I eat something new and delicious, I buy something awesome, and my heart fills with joy to see what a crowd turns out for a vegan event. Also I just finished the last of my queso on Sunday and it’s time to stock up.
Interested? Check out the list of vendors! I’ll see you on Saturday.
As usual, the Shop-Up is open from noon to 6 p.m. at Pine Box Rock Shop, 12 Grattan Street in Bushwick, off the Morgan L stop. For more information, visit them online.

The Vegan Shop-Up returns for July! Every time I go I eat something new and delicious, I buy something awesome, and my heart fills with joy to see what a crowd turns out for a vegan event. Also I just finished the last of my queso on Sunday and it’s time to stock up.

Interested? Check out the list of vendors! I’ll see you on Saturday.

As usual, the Shop-Up is open from noon to 6 p.m. at Pine Box Rock Shop, 12 Grattan Street in Bushwick, off the Morgan L stop. For more information, visit them online.

07/11/2013

Nicora Johns wants to make gorgeous vegan shoes. They want to make them domestically, with environmentally responsible materials, in beautiful, classic styles.

They’re asking for a LOT of money on Kickstarter to launch the project, which seems daunting, but isn’t this everything you could ask for in a vegan shoe? Check out the styles! I want ALL OF THEM, especially the Sylvias boot and patent Sallys lace-up, oh man. So elegant!

Seriously, if you’re into U.S.-based manufacturing, vegan fashion, environmentally responsible fashion, or beautiful shoes, you should probably support Nicora Johns. One day the only option for (new) shoes will be vegan styles, but let’s work to make that a choice, not because we’ve ruined the planet and have to fashion foot-covers out of burlap sacks and old leaves.

(link via Ecouterre)

California court rules selling banned foie gras isn’t “free speech”  »

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Turns out that selling foie gras products in California after the state ban took effect last July is still illegal. Or at least it’s totally not free speech, as La Toque restaurant in Napa unsuccessfully argued. Per our pals at Animal Legal Defense Fund:

 In a ruling by the Napa County Superior Court, the Sonoma County-based ALDF successfully defeated La Toque’s anti- SLAPP (a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) motion which aimed to allow their continued illegal sale of force-fed foie gras products as a “protest” protected by the freedom of speech. The court denied La Toque’s motion and agreed that illegally selling foie gras is not protected by the freedom of speech.

Despite the state ban, ALDF’s undercover investigations have revealed that La Toque routinely sells foie gras, the enlarged livers of force-fed birds, in clear violation of California Health and Safety Code § 25982. The lawsuit alleges that La Toque aims to circumvent the law by calling its actual sales of foie gras “gifts.”

Nonsense! And now they have to stop. It’s been fully 13 years since the ban passed and a year since it was implemented, and people are still crying about it. Like there aren’t 10 million other meals to make out of tortured animal bodies. Come on, you whiny babies.

Your Vegansaurus of course thinks the Regal Vegan’s Faux Gras is tops, but none of us has ever even tasted overstuffed goose liver—because we’re not total jerks. Foie gras is banned in California! Accept it and move on!

[photo of Périgord geese by JanetandPhil via Flickr]

07/10/2013

How to find the rarest dog in the world: On the trail of the New Guinea Singing Dog  »

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Why is the New Guinea Singing Dog so special? Why should we be trying to save its dwindling wild population?

The Highland Wild Dog of the Island of Papua is considered by many to be the rarest dog on the planet. NGSDs exhibit many unique behaviors found nowhere else in any other breeds of dogs. NGSDs are considered [to be the] link between the first dog—wolf—and today’s domestic breeds. Isolation has kept them pure, but encroaching villagers, accompanied by their domestic village dogs, threatens their continued genetic purity. Little is known about the captive needs and behaviors of NGSDs, but nothing is known about their natural history in the wild. No scientific estimates of the wild population can legitimately be made. Education, scientific captive management, and habitat and species protection are just some of the measures that need to be taken if the NGSD is to survive.

Becky Crew of Running Ponies continues the story of “the rarest dog in the world" with an interview with field zoologist James McIntyre of the Southwest Pacific Research Foundation, who is leading an expedition to find and study the dogs in the wild.

[photo of captive New Guinea Singing Dogs by Nathan Rupert via Flickr]

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