vegansaurus!

01/31/2014

Support Meatless Mondays in Philly Schools!  »

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I’m into the logo. You like it?

Could the cheesesteak capitol adopt Meatless Monday?! I say YES! I mean, my dad has been doing Meatless Mondays for a few years and he’s as red-meat-and-potatoes as they get. But he also cares about the environment! And he loves the Meatless Monday Unicorn, so he was happy to get on the Meatless Monday train. If he can do it, I’m sure a bunch of cool kids can do it! And everyone knows all kids from Philadelphia are cool. It’s a science fact. 

I got an email from my new pal Lou, one of the people behind the effort, and she provided a little background for us:

The Humane League needs your help in getting the School District of Philadelphia to adopt Meatless Mondays! Many school districts across the country, including Los Angeles Unified School District, Detroit Public Schools, and San Diego Unified School District, already participate in the program. Philadelphia’s school district is the eighth largest in the U.S., so their participation would mean a LOT less meat being served. Unfortunately they keep pushing us off, saying they’re in the middle of contract negotiations, so we’re garnering support from Philadelphia residents, teachers, parents, and students to help get them on board. If you fall into one (or more) of those categories, please visit www.PhillyMeatlessMonday.com to learn more and sign the petition—then help spread the word!

So if you fall into one of the categories mentioned and want to help, all you have to do is go to their homepage and sign the petition! Easier than getting shwasted on the citywide special at Bob and Barbara’s. 

If you need more convincing, here’s a little vid about it too:

01/06/2014

Hey digital natives, we’re on Foursquare!  »

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As I mentioned on FB the other day, we got a Foursquare account! Because we are very on-trend and with-it. We now have an NYC list, a BK list, and a Philly list, complete with tips and a lot of pics. So check them out and save them or whatever and follow us so I feel like my work was worthwhile!

SF and LA lists are coming, as soon as I get those lazy west-coasters on that. 

09/23/2013

VEGAN CRONUT!!!! Everybody buy plane/bus/train/rideshare/hitch-hiking tickets to Philadelphia, because shit’s about to get crazy!
Ok they can’t actually call it a “cronut” because that name is trademarked by evil genius food inventor Dominique Ansel (dude: smart move, but DUMB NAME). Yet the fancy-food gurus at Philadelphia’s Vedge have created our very own, animal-free love child of a donut and a croissant, using what can only be called “vast” amounts of Earth Balance, and theirs sounds like most amazingest ever. 
Point 1: “We enjoyed the vegan fritter more than any other of the Cronut copycats we tried around Philly,” says the Zagat post that broke the story. Boo-yah!
Point 2: The early versions, available as of Sept. 19, are filled with apple. Nice move.
Point 3: “Starting October 1,” says Zagats, “the as-yet-unnamed croissant-donut hybrid will be on the regular dessert menu. Expect a version with a tangy fruit stuffing - perhaps cranberries - and a horseradish cream to help cut the sweetness. Yes, horseradish. ‘When you have something like this on the menu, you know everyone’s going to order it,’ [chef-hero Kate] Jacoby says, eyes twinkling, ‘So this is our opportunity to sneak in a bit of something new and different.’” LOVE THAT, Kate! You sneak culture into our crazy desserts!
[Photo by Danya Henninger]

VEGAN CRONUT!!!! Everybody buy plane/bus/train/rideshare/hitch-hiking tickets to Philadelphia, because shit’s about to get crazy!

Ok they can’t actually call it a “cronut” because that name is trademarked by evil genius food inventor Dominique Ansel (dude: smart move, but DUMB NAME). Yet the fancy-food gurus at Philadelphia’s Vedge have created our very own, animal-free love child of a donut and a croissant, using what can only be called “vast” amounts of Earth Balance, and theirs sounds like most amazingest ever. 

Point 1: “We enjoyed the vegan fritter more than any other of the Cronut copycats we tried around Philly,” says the Zagat post that broke the story. Boo-yah!

Point 2: The early versions, available as of Sept. 19, are filled with apple. Nice move.

Point 3: “Starting October 1,” says Zagats, “the as-yet-unnamed croissant-donut hybrid will be on the regular dessert menu. Expect a version with a tangy fruit stuffing - perhaps cranberries - and a horseradish cream to help cut the sweetness. Yes, horseradish. ‘When you have something like this on the menu, you know everyone’s going to order it,’ [chef-hero Kate] Jacoby says, eyes twinkling, ‘So this is our opportunity to sneak in a bit of something new and different.’” LOVE THAT, Kate! You sneak culture into our crazy desserts!

[Photo by Danya Henninger]

05/20/2013

Recipe: The Vegan Italian Hoagie!   »

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Growing up in Philly, I ate plenty of hoagies in my pre-vegan days. Italian hoagies were my jam especially so when I saw that Diaya was coming out with provolone slices, I was like, “this is it! It’s hoagie time!” And god bless me, my vegan hoagie turned out out of control delicious!

You too can make your own Italian hoagie, here are the supplies you will need:

-Italian Amoroso-type roll (I found one at the deli at the regular grocery store—had cornmeal dust and all)
-Vegan mayo (I used Earth Balance)
-Daiya provolone
-Veg salami (I used Viana Velami, got this and the Daiya from Vegan Essentials)
-Iceberg lettuce
-Onion
-Pickle slices
-Olive oil
-White vinegar
-Salt/pepper/oregano

Slice your roll along the side (not the top like crazy Subway) and spread the mayo inside. Place your meat and cheese slices like so:

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Then slice your lettuce and onions. BTW this is prob the only time I will ever recommend iceberg for anything. Don’t tear it or anything, the lettuce should be sliced into strips like these: 

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And I just sliced the onion similarly. Sprinkle ample amounts of lettuce and onion on top of your open sandwich. Then top with pickle slices. 

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Sprinkle a little of your oil and vinegar on top. Then the salt, pepper, and a dash of oregano. 

TA-DA!

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04/18/2013

Help a vegan chef deliver delicious vegan food to Philadelphians, get yummy treats!  »

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My friend Jess alerted me to this project and as I’m so totally busy because I’m super important, she was kind enough to do a write up for me. I’ve actually had brunch at Miss Rachel’s and can attest that it’s fantastico. Read on!:

Want to support a vegan business in Philadelphia and be rewarded with delicious thank-you gifts? 

Miss Rachel’s Pantry is a meal delivery service and catering company in Philly that needs your help to get a new, more eco-friendly van for roaming the Philadelphia countryside delivering vegan treats and goodies to the masses.

Miss Rachel’s been in the Philadelphia vegan catering scene for many years, catering punk shows and delivering bagged lunches. Her most recent venture is a storefront on Passyunk Avenue that serves four-course vegan farmhouse dinners and offers catering for weddings and parties. 

A $25 contribution will get you a limited edition Miss Rachel’s tote bag filled with vegan sweets, and larger contributions will win free brunch, farmhouse dinners and gift certificates.

03/04/2013

Cookbook Preview! Vedge: 100 Plates Large And Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking  »

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Homemade Brussels sprouts. Recipe adapted from Vedge: 100 Plates Large And Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking. They turned out SO well!

Vedge Restaurant is hands-down the best thing that has ever happened to my hometown of Philadelphia, period. A newcomer on the Philly vegan/fine-dining scene, Vedge has recently made pretty much every top vegan restaurant and “awesome place to eat, ever” list I know of. Even the blokes at GQ love it! Vedge, who recently partnered with Williams Sonoma to make sauces I’ve tried and super loved and you should try too, have somehow catapulted vegetable eating into an art form even fit for, gasp, non-vegans!  Seriously though, bring non-vegans to Vedge and they won’t sheket about how wonderful it is. Kind of miraculous when you consider that all dishes center around vegetables and the fine dining crowd in Philly is usually on their suit and tie shit (tie shit).

I’ve eaten at Vedge a handful of times and have to say it really is the best ever! The only qualm I have with it is that the plates are admittedly pretty small. Patrons are encouraged to order a few of them “tapas style,” which is code-speak for “buy $100 worth per person,” which you have to do if you want a full meal.

To cut to the chase, owners Kate Jacoby and Rich Landau are soon releasing a new cookbook that highlights the fantastic dishes at their restaurant, tailored to aspiring at-home veggie chefs.

I am indeed glad that Vedge charges what other frou-frou fine-dining places charge, and especially that it doesn’t spend a dime of it on animal exploitation. Totally worth it! Still, I am quite thrilled that my all-time favorite Vedge dish, the Shaved Brussels Sprouts With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce, is now available for at-home chefs like myself. Vedge offered a preview to Vegansaurus, and I have had the privilege of making my fave dish at home! Here’s the recipe, reprinted with permission.

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Brussels sprouts served at Vedge Restaurant. Image.

Vedge’s Shaved Brussels Sprouts With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce*
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 to 3

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
½ cup vegan mayo
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 to 3 layers of outer leaves removed and bottom core cut off
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic

Instructions:

1. Begin by making the sauce, whisking together the mustard,vegan mayo, and water with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon on the pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Run Brussels sprouts through the slicer blade of a food processor or carefully shave on a mandoline.

3. Heat a large sauté pan on high. Add the olive oil. Just as the oil starts to ripple, add the garlic, then immediately add the shaved Brussels sprouts. Sear for 30 seconds, then stir to prevent the garlic from burning.

4. Add the remaining salt and remaining pepper, then allow the Brussels sprouts to sear for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so they brown evenly. Transfer to serving dish.

5. Drizzle sauce directly on top of the Brussels sprouts.

Enjoy! [Note: I used an oven instead of following the recipes because I served these to a dinner party for nine and ran out of stove space. That worked really well too!]

*Recipe from Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking, copyright © Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, 2013. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available July 2013 wherever books are sold. (omg that sounded so grown up!)

02/25/2013

GQ gets vegan-friendly at Vedge  »

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Vedge is just on a roll. Not long after partnering with William Sonoma, GQ is now calling them one of the “most outstanding restaurants of 2013.” The writing is a bit obnoxious as, well, Standard American Dieters always are. The writer comments that the diners looked “like regular folks. None of the men were pale and languid. None of the women wore a belt made from a garden hose.” A garden hose belt? Hang onto your petticoats, ladies! But really, thank goodness there were no sissy-looking vegan men there. How dreadful would that have been? Imagine. OMG the worst. 

As usual, mainstream media is behind Megan Rascal. I reviewed Vedge right around this time last year. I went there for a belated birthday dinner with my sis. In related news: TODAY IS MY BDAY!

01/09/2013

Glorious Day: Center City Soft Pretzel Co. makes vegan Philly pretzels!   »

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Yesterday I proclaimed my love for Philly pretzels and lamented the fact they aren’t vegan. Guess what! I was wrong! For the first time in history! Lovely reader Flocka Veli emailed me to let me know that Center City Soft Pretzel Co. does make entirely vegan pretzels—in fact the whole bakery is dairy-free! I swear to goodness like a million years ago when I was vegan and living in Philly I looked up every pretzel supplier and found nothing. Silly me! I wrote to the company to confirm and they said the only ingredients are flour, yeast and water—and salt of course if you get salted (you really should get salted). Can you believe it? I don’t think you understand how excited I am. I’m more excited than pretzel day in fourth grade! Not kidding.

Not only are Center City Soft Pretzel Co.’s pretzels great—they are THE place to go to get pretzels. The bakery opens at something like 4am I think? To supply all the vendors in the city. And you can roll up and buy a zillion FRESH BAKED pretzels for like a buck. It’s amazing. And while I always love Philly pretzels, right out of the oven is a whole other level of goodness. Yes, me and my sister spent many an early morning buying way more pretzels than would ever seem necessary (they were all necessary) while my dad played designated driver. Thanks dad!

Best news: It looks like you can order them online! BUT! I can’t tell if PretzelsDirect exclusively sends Center City Soft Pretzel Co. pretzels or if maybe they sell pretzels from multiple companies. If someone wants to call and ask and let me know, I would love you forever. I hate calling people. I hate anything you have to do in real life.

UPDATE!!! I emailed! They only send Center City Soft Pretzel Co. pretzels so we can totally order them and have them shipped! Yay!

Pic from Roadfood.com

01/08/2013

Get some vegan snacks from Green Line Cafe in W. Philly!  »

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Now you know your friend Megan is a Philly girl. So of course I had to grace that town with my presence over the holidays. One thing I’m always sad about though is Philly pretzels. They ain’t vegan (UPDATE: or are they?!). I’m totally obsessed with Philly pretzels and pretty much ate one every day for lunch in high school. And don’t even get me started on late night pretzel-fests with my sis at the Pretzel factory on Washington. If you’ve never had a Philly pretzel, I feel bad for you. But like I said, I can’t eat them nowadays. But then I just thought I’d give it one more shot and googled “Philly pretzel vegan” and low and behold! Green Line Cafe appears!

Before we go any further, I have to break the news that while the yummy pretzels at Green Line are vegan, they aren’t Philly pretzels. They are like regular German pretzels or whatever.  But what I was even more excited to find was that Green Line is full of vegan options! There were scones and cupcakes and sandwiches (pictured) and…I think that was it but that’s a good amount! 

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There are three Green Lines in West Philly but the OG on Baltimore ave. has the most vegan options. And it’s a really lovely place with the nicest people! If you get a chance to stop at the Powelton Village location, definitely do because that’s totally the neighborhood I grew up in! My fam still lives there. You can see where this little Rascal got her head start. 

02/24/2012

Top 10 links of the week: a hopscotch game through the playground of veganism!  »

Your cute pet video of the week! I just love how intense the kitty is. Like, so intense.

File under things that are actually a big deal—Livestock, antibiotics and superbugs: IT’S ALL TRUE! Original story in NPR but Grist has a great discussion of it.

Philly.com has a message for you: not all vegans are white! I really never got this stereotype, maybe because I’m from Philadelphia and the first vegans I ever knew were Black Panthers. Of course, it makes sense if there are more white vegans in the US than other ethnicities because there are more white people in the US than other ethnicities. Bonus: the piece features Vegan Mainstream’s mom!

 New Yorkers, take the A/C to Nostrand Avenue and get ready for an affordable fake meat extravaganza! One of Vegansaurus’ very favorite sites, Broke-Ass Stuart, is here to guide you through this reasonably-priced TVP adventure!

You’ve probably heard, but in case you haven’t, Mary Kay and some other brands have started animal testing again. Good idea? People are more aware of the cruelty-free label then ever. I hope this tanks them.

From Scientific America, a dingo named Sterling used a table to steal name tags. He’s at some kind of “Centre” that I don’t know about but still, animals are supre cool.

From Treehugger: Global warming could give rise to miniature animals. I am trying SO HARD not to be excited. I’m not, I swear.

A New York Times blog writes about Blossom’s new bakery in Manhattan!

National Geographic presents the “Rhino Wars” in pictures. Pretty sad stuff. Poor rhinos.

Fit Sugar has the lowdown on the top vegan protein sources. It’s a very short list. But I like to see us in the mainstream!

Vanity Fair has an interview with one of my faves, Brigitte Bardot! She gets into her love and activism for animals. 

“I am not playing political games,” she says. “I don’t care. I don’t bother with that. I belong to no party and I am militant for no one. All of my causes, including the most radical, are motivated by the defense of animals.” 

I love you, BB!

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