Follow Your Heart’s new slices make the perfect vegan grilled cheese!  »

imageI am a Follow Your Heart vegan cheese loyalist. It was my first melting vegan cheese, it makes the perfect baked vegan mac ‘n’ cheese (don’t even come to me with that saucy nonsense, mac ‘n’ cheese has to have a crust), and I can’t stomach Daiya. Naturally, I was pretty excited to try FYH’s new vegan slices. FYH sent me two slices each of American, provolone, and garden herb to sample.

What I did, obviously, was make a glorious grilled cheese. Actually, I first tried a garden herb slice alone, fresh out of the fridge, and honestly, it wasn’t so great. It’s plasticky and unyielding to the tooth, and not super flavorful, either. Disappointing. However, the very properties that make it unsuitable for eating raw raise it to glorious heights when melted.

I make an excellent vegan grilled cheese. I know that when using the standard FYH “wet block,” the tricks are to slice it thin, overlap evenly, and broil the sandwich open-faced till the cheese nears melting before slapping it together and grilling the exterior of the sandwich. This is super-annoying, but if you want a flawless grilled cheese sandwich using the vegan cheese that doesn’t nauseate you, these are the steps you must take.

However, with FYH’s new formula, making a vegan grilled cheese is as easy as working with standard torture-cheese. You put it on the bread, you put the bread in the pan, you fry until golden brown. Within the crunchy fried bread, the Follow Your Heart cheeses will be soft and melting. The above pictured sandwich was made with one slice of each of the provolone, American, and garden herb. It tasted of salt and fat and childhood. Do you miss the blandly comforting grilled cheeses d’antan? Here they are, once more within your grasp.

Follow Your Heart’s brand new cheeses come in provolone, American, garden herb, and mozzarella flavors. They come in blocks and slices, and the provolone and American also come in singles. They will be available nationwide in “early 2015,” we’re told. In the meantime, we can dream of the perfect vegan grilled cheese.


Louro in New York is hosting a vegan dinner on October 15!  »

imageMushroom and nori soup dumpling!

Emily Chapman is a sous chef at Louro, and though she’s not vegan, she’s into vegan food. That’s why she’s written a six-course vegan tasting menu that Louro is hosting on Wednesday, October 15!

"I believe that being a vegan is a completely misunderstood lifestyle," she says, "So with this dinner I’m trying to showcase to everyone, while catering to vegans/vegetarians, that a vegan lifestyle can be delicious and just as good as ‘normal eating.’" Now, of course, to us vegan eating is "normal eating," but when omni chefs are going out of the their way to cater to us, who are we to quibble over semantics?

Emily says everything is made “in-house from scratch, start to finish,” and it sounds amazing. Check out the menu!

Falafel, harissa sauce

"Carrots and Celery"
agave ginger roasted carrots, celery kimchi, sesame rice crackers, soy glaze

Mushroom & Nori Soup Dumplings
black vinegar

black pepper orecchiette, turnip green pesto, roasted kohlrabi, turnip purée

Roasted Acorn Squash
smoked barley, mustard greens, grilled fennel, apple mustard

"Loaded Potatoes"
oven baked potatoes, charred chilies & onions, black bean purée, “sour cream”

Caramelized Pumpkin
pecan butter, toasted marshmallow fluff, cranberry syrup

Doesn’t that sounds SO GOOD? So perfectly fall! Also: “pecan butter, toasted marshmallow fluff, cranberry syrup” is this heaven?

Emily’s Vegan Is Good dinner begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 15 at Louro, 142 West 10th Street (between Waverly Place and Greenwich Avenue) in the West Village. Dinner is $55 per person and is BYOB and single seating. To make reservations, call Louro at  212.206.0606.


Have a big vegan Saturday in Brooklyn!  »

First, the September Vegan Shop-Up runs from noon to 6 p.m. at Pine Box Rock Shop at 12 Grattan Street (right off the Morgan L) in Bushwick. Check out the list of vendors and get supplied for fall!

Second, Vaute Couture is hosting an adoption event for Foster Dogs NYC! Get over to 234 Grand Street, Vaute’s flagship store in Williamsburg, to party with puppies from 1 to 5 p.m.!

North Brooklyn is the No. 1 place to be for vegans, animal-lovers, and really anyone with good taste. Will we see you there? You know I can’t resist vegan eats and treats AND adoptable animals!


Help NYC’s GustOrganics make its menu 100 percent vegan!  »


Ever heard of GustOrganics, on Sixth Avenue between 14th and 15th streets in Manhattan? Yeah, neither had we. But besides being a certified organic and eco-friendly restaurant, the West Village spot is on the verge of going completely vegan!

Though it’s always been vegan-friendly, GustOrganics’ proprietors are all about putting their menu where their ethics are. In other words, earning their sustainable label. Say goodbye to steak and fish and dairy and eggs: Tofu and tempeh and a whole bunch of other delicious plant-based offerings are taking over.

However, they can’t make the big switch without help, which is where we supportive vegans come in. Check out the crowdfunding campaign! GustOrganics wants to bring in renowned Brazilian chef Diego Castro to curate the new menu. The campaign expires in nine days and is still far from the proprietors’ $10,000 goal, so if you’re going to donate, you’d better get on it.

The rewards for donation are pretty sweet, but at the $75 level things get really good: a ticket to the relaunch party on November 3, when GustOrganics will celebrate its new, vegan menu. If this succeeds, it could make the restaurant a vanguard of new, cruelty-free, environmentally friendly eating. Vegan is the diet of the future, and helping GustOrganics succeed could send a big message to restaurants in New York and across the world.

Can’t donate? Use social media to spread the word. Check out GustOrganics on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and show your cash-richer friends where to give!

[photo and video via GustOrganics’ Fundafeast page]


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


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.


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


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!  »


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.


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.


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


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:


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.)


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!


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


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:


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


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.


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.


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!


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


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?

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