vegansaurus!

07/28/2014

Vegans, come party in the Hamptons on August 9th at PCRM’s Passion for Compassion!  »

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Want to celebrate the animals with the country’s fanciest vegans this summer? Of course you (and your money) do! That’s why you’re attending PCRM’s Passion for Compassion: Creating a Better Future for Animals and People even in the Hamptons on Saturday, August 9!

Get your tickets here! This year there’s a special free shuttle from NYC; it says RSVP by July 15, but there may still be a few spots available, so call/email ASAP to get on there. We are imagining it’ll be an amazing vegan party bus! YAY I ALWAYS WANTED ONE OF THOSE.

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Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart and Joshua Katcher (center) with more fun vegans at last year’s fundraiser.

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Food by the amazing Suite ThreeOhSix, which you know we are crazy about.

If you’ve needed a destination for your vegan eleganza, exquisite beauty, and hardcore animal-rights ethics, Passion for Compassion is the place. We’ll see you on the party bus!

Champs at Rockaway: Eat vegan at the beach!  »

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On Saturday, my fella took me to Rockaway Beach. Last year I didn’t go to any beaches, and I am determined not to waste another summer. We took the A train to the shuttle to the Beach 98th Street station, which has a stained-glass sign that reminds you of a time when this country cared about not just infrastructure, but its aesthetics.

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Once there, we frolicked in the (kind of dirty and weirdly smelly) water (I miss you, California); it rained a little bit in the late morning, but it cleared up by the afternoon, and we went in and out of the water and read in the sun until we were hot and sticky and starving.

We walked a little ways over to the Beach 96th Street concession stand, which is a bunch of restaurants making fast food at counters. I washed up in the (admirably clean) restroom, to emerge to my young man brandishing a Modelo Especial michelada. Thanks to Barnivore, I know Modelos are all vegan, but most micheladas I’ve encountered have come with something hideous like Worchestershire sauce, which point I immediately raised. “No,” he said, “I had them list the ingredients and it is completely vegan.” Whoever is making micheladas at Rockaway Beach this summer, bless you; it was light and spicy and so refreshing. (Ugh, Meave, get to the part about Champs. No, let me brag about my boyfriend being the most considerate, adorable omnivore partner a vegan could ask for.) “Also,” he said, “There’s a Champs inside.”

I almost dropped my drink.

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There it was! Champs! The best vegan diner on the East Coast! Beloved of Vegansaurs far and wide! Check out the menu:

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We ordered burgers, broccoli fritters, and salted watermelon. Pictured: my burger, because I was too hungry to bother with photographs of all the food. I try, you guys, but I am but one woman, and sometimes my appetite overpowers my picture-taking abilities. Trust, though, the fritters were tasty and the salted watermelon awakened a serious craving for more watermelon right now all the time I want it.

OK and the burger:

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Would you look at that thing? It is glorious. The slaw is crisp, the pickles are sour, the sauce is spicy, the patty is of good texture, and the bun doesn’t get in the way. It is exactly what you want at the beach, and I strongly suggest you New York bathers get your butts to Rockaway right now. Look what awaits you! And word is Champs may not last the season, so hurry! We can have flawless vegan diner food on the beach! Truly, the world is our oyster mushroom.

(Note: There’s also a Champs on Bushwick Avenue at Dodworth Street in Bushwick, which is my new Sunday go-to; I can never seem to remember to capture my meals before they’re gone, but it’s all been spectacular. I had a tuno salad and a watermelon slush for dinner tonight, and my boyfriend is in love with the soysage. Review coming as soon as I can put camera to plate.)

05/30/2014

Hey, Bay Area! What are you doing tomorrow? Going to the House Rabbit Society adoption event and vegan bake sale, is what!
Get yourself to the Rabbit Center at 148 Broadway in Richmond from 1 to 5 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, May 31, to meet some delightful buns, buy vegan baked goods, and celebrate the family Leporidae.
This event not only benefits a truly wonderful rabbit welfare organization, but it’s part of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. So get out to Richmond and buy some sticky buns for the bunnies!

Hey, Bay Area! What are you doing tomorrow? Going to the House Rabbit Society adoption event and vegan bake sale, is what!

Get yourself to the Rabbit Center at 148 Broadway in Richmond from 1 to 5 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, May 31, to meet some delightful buns, buy vegan baked goods, and celebrate the family Leporidae.

This event not only benefits a truly wonderful rabbit welfare organization, but it’s part of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. So get out to Richmond and buy some sticky buns for the bunnies!

05/01/2014

Meow Meow Tweet! vegan skincare to make you look and smell delicious  »

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Meow Meow Tweet is a Brooklyn-based vegan apothecary, and they sent me a pile of samples of their skincare products to try. Much like The Gnarly Whale, everything MMT makes smells absolutely amazing.

I especially loved:

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The cocoa cream, which softens your skin and makes it smell like really expensive chocolate, and I do love to smell edible.

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The rosemary eucalyptus lip balm, which goes with me everywhere because it is perfect protection against this stupid post-winter weather that is wreaking absolute havoc on my poor sensitive lips.

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The walnut oat face exfoliant. It comes as a powder that you make into a paste by adding water, and at first I had a hard time getting the proportions right, but once I got it, I loved it. It thoroughly exfoliates without abrading your delicate face, and after this winter I have about a million layers of dry, dead skin to slough off. Soon, I will have a radiant summer(-adjacent) glow, I’m sure of it.

imageI like to put the relief balm on my temples when I have a headache, and if I were into massages, I imagine I’d like it rubbed into my sore muscles, too. It’s also been pretty nice on the burns I am, as a very careless cook, constantly causing myself.

imageThe repair balm has got myrrh, which I didn’t realize I was super into until I opened this little canister and fell in love. I put this stuff on my cuticles, on (closed!) cuts, and sometimes on my lips when they are especially chapped (seriously, I was not made for this weather), and it smells fancy and feels really great.

You can buy these and all of Meow Meow Tweet’s line (they have a deodorant cream that I wasn’t too crazy about, but a friend of mine and her mom adore it) at these fine brick-and-mortars and online. They also make appearances at the Vegan Shop-Up in Bushwick, and have an adorable blog. Meow Meow Tweet is all natural vegan body care, made with love by vegans. I love their stuff and I bet you will, too.

04/16/2014

Help the Cinnamon Snail get a new shell!  »

The Cinnamon Snail, the best food truck on the East Coast, needs a new truck! Want to help them get it? Of course you do! They are the greatest and living with the Snail is a trial and punishment that none of us, vegans and omnis alike, deserve.

So get a piece of that sweet Kickstarter action! The rewards look pretty sweet, too; if I had $250 to spare, I’d sign up for the cooking course (for heaven’s sake, someone teach me what to do with tempeh, I canNOT) for sure.

The streets of this great city are bereft without the glorious food of our beloved Cinnamon Snail. For their sake, for our own sakes, we must get them back in business. To Kickstarter, food lovers!

03/18/2014

Hey New York: Free food at Terri on Thursday for the Great American Meatout!  »

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Who wants to come to lunch with me on Thursday? Or breakfast? Or dinner? To celebrate this year’s Great American Meatout, Terri in the Financial District is offering $10 of free food for anyone who mentions the Meatout. That is an actual meal’s worth of food! And it’s all vegan, and everything I’ve had (and I work around the corner, so I go here … often) has been good, so really, what else do you need to know?

The Terri in question is at 100 Maiden Lane in Manhattan, and is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, March 20. Celebrate the Great American Meatout 2014 with free vegan food — what could be finer?

02/18/2014

Get ready for the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival!  »

Are you going? We are longtime superfans of the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival so you know we are. Plus, check out who’s going to be there: Alchemy Creamery! Beyond Sushi! One Lucky Duck! The Regal Vegan! Rescue Chocolate! Treeline! Upton’s! It sounds like an awesome two-day eating party and we can’t wait to see your gorgeous vegan faces there (March 1 and 2 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Metropolitan Pavilion)!

Bonus! The NYC Veg FoodFest people are very sweetly offering our readers 50 percent off tickets: Buy them here and enter VEGTASTIC in the discount box. 

08/22/2013

Product review: Tofurky Pockets!  »

Tofurky has new products, and they sent us some to try out. Have you seen these Pockets in the frozen food section of your grocery store? I haven’t, but my grocery store isn’t really up on the latest in vegan convenience food.

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This is the Pepperoni Pizza Pocket. I had to cook it in the oven, because we don’t have a microwave (or room for a microwave) in my apartment, but it only took like 30 minutes from freezer to plate.

This tasted like a less sodium-y Hot Pocket, which was about exactly what I wanted after coming home a little tipsy. “Food, comfort me!” I demanded, and this definitely did the trick. If you don’t like Hot Pockets, you won’t have any need for Tofurky Pockets, but if you do miss them, this is a fine vegan analog.

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This was the BBQ Chick’N pocket. I cut it in three because I had two non-vegans to share it with, for research purposes. They both loved it, and said the sauce in particular was “delicious.” I thought was pretty sweet, for barbecue sauce, and the chicken pieces were like standard fake chicken. The crust crisped and browned nicely in the oven, and it was, again, satisfying to eat after a couple drinks.

Hey look, Turk’y Broccoli Cheddar! It was very well peppered, which was a nice surprise. The vegetarian I split this one with thought it was pretty good, too, especially the pepper. There was a fair amount of broccoli involved as well; that certainly doesn’t make it healthy, but Turk’y Cheddar alone, who needs it? Really, the insides tasted kind of like a weeknight casserole from 1989, and I have no complaints about that.

Now, I wouldn’t eat these every day, at all, but Tofurky Pockets are certainly better for you than gnarly old Hot Pockets. Is substituting all the convenience food from your freezer section with vegan options the future? Some of us might say so.

08/21/2013

It’s another installment of Animal Legal Defense Fund’s 30 Second Animal Law! Today we learn “What laws protect animals who are raised for food?”

Per ALDF:

Did you ever see a video of horrific cruelty toward farmed animals and wonder, “Why is that legal?!” The sad truth is that there are no federal laws that govern the way farmed animals are raised. State laws are sorely lacking. So what can you do if the law can’t protect them?

By going vegan you remove your support for the cruel system under which 10 billion land animals are raised each year. A plant-based diet is healthy, delicious, and better for the environment as well.

Watch the entire series on YouTube, and get more info on “the legal vegan” from ALDF.

08/14/2013

NYC Review: Blossom du Jour in Chelsea!  »

Blossom restaurants in New York invited Megan and I to try their newest outpost, Blossom du Jour Chelsea!

Megan: It’s a fast-food kind of place. Not like Foodswings with all the (delicious, delicious) junk food, but it seems like mostly a place you’d grab a sandwich to go. They do have some cafe tables that we took to eat. 

Meave: It’s a nook. An adorable nook. If I worked or lived around here, I’d pop in all the time, but it’s not a place that looks designed to linger at.

Megan: We decided to try one of their many sandwiches. It was a tough choice but we powered through. Now behold, The Avocado Griller: ”in-house grilled rosemary lemon un-chicken, fresh avocado, v-pesto mayo, crisp romaine lettuce” (note, ours pictured below is on ciabatta). The first thing I did was immediately drop half the sandwich on the floor because I’m the super genius. But when I took a bite of the second half, I ‘bout died. SO GOOD. In my non-veggie days (2000? Wow), I used to enjoy chicken and avocado sandwiches and it was totally like that BUT WITH PESTO! And yummy bread! So, yeah, this sandwich is amazing. I want to eat it everyday. Oh and they deliver! But just a block short of my office. *Sad face*

Look at this and tell me you’re not dead:

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Meave: I ate the protected innards of the fallen sandwich, because I have no class. Megan’s right, it was amazing. I would’ve added tomato and pepperoncinis, but I’m impossible to please. The pesto and avocado combo is pretty unbeatable, though, so rich and creamy.

Megan: We also got this chickpea and quinoa salad. I just don’t love salads (“a vegan who doesn’t like salad?! What the whaaa?” —my dad) so I wasn’t that excited by it but the dressing was interesting and good. 

Meave: It was nice with the dried cranberries hidden in there, chewy little sweet bits of contrast to the mixed greens and tangy dressing. I was surprised to find it in a plastic box in the premade food fridge, but again, this seems like a grab-and-go sort of place, and if you’re in a hurry you don’t want someone making your salad fresh, so it makes sense. And it was a fine salad.

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Megan: As we were thirsty, we decided to try one of their special juices. Neither Meave nor I are that into the big juice fad but we decided to try the Pretty In Pink. Lo and behold: it was yummy! Refreshing and not thick or anything like I expect all those healthy juices to be. 

Meave: I am not into “juicing” as an “eating alternate” or “ridiculous overpriced nonsense lifestyle,” but I do miss the juicer I left behind when I moved to New York this year, and the cheap, good produce I was constantly putting into it. The pineapple-beet-apple combo is sweet and sour and crisp, very easy to drink.

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Megan: They also have all kinds of baked goods! Like chocolate croissants! Damn, son. It wasn’t AS flaky and crispy as I remember regular croissants to be but it was buttery and a bit flaky and chocolaty and YUM.

Meave: Megan was so excited about this croissant! I thought it was pretty good. The chocolate inside was nice and bitter, which was a good contrast to the pastry. I bet it’d be best earlier in the day (we were there at 7:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, not the ideal time to buy morning-fresh baked goods), but it was a solid approximation.

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Megan: We tried a red velvet cupcake as well. Tasty! I’m so tired of red velvet cupcakes having just a plain, sugary vanilla frosting instead of cream cheese flavor frosting. This totally had a nice cream cheesy flavor. The frosting was super-sweet but the cupcake part wasn’t so it wasn’t overwhelming. It also had a hint of lemon? I think? If I had to choose, I would get the chocolate croissant over the cupcake but come on, I’d pick the chocolate croissant over oxygen. 

Meave: I liked the cake over the frosting, which is pretty unusual for me, as I am a hardcore frosting-only woman. (In small times, I’d eat the unwanted frosting from my friends’ cake at birthday parties.) And while this frosting was plenty good, the cake was better; like Megan says, not as sweet, a good crumb, and the color was pleasant, not creepy or (too) unnatural, which can be a problem with red velvet cake.

Megan: Oh snap I almost forgot! They also have vegan cronuts! We didn’t get to try one because they were out. But next time, lookout cronuts! Imma eat you up!

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Megan: All in all, the avocado “chicken” sandwich was my favorite thing. I love it. I want to marry it. I want to marry it and have the chocolate croissant as my maid of honor. I can’t wait to try the other sandwiches! (They have a meatball sandwich and an eggplant parm sub!)

Meave: I will attend that wedding. I will give away the bride, even, if she doesn’t mind marrying a sandwich with some bites taken out of it because there is no better way to express how good that avocado and pesto taste together than devouring it.

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