Portland! This is going to be the ultimate vegan holiday shindig! »
IF YOU ARE IN PORTLAND, YOU MUST GO TO THIS EVENT ON DECEMBER 7:
The ladies of Vida Vegan Con—Janessa, Jess, and Michele—are throwing a December do! It’s a party with a purpose, a lovely evening of mingling and eating and drinking…and inspiration and education. We’ll help you get ready for your wintery event, cozying up with friends and family and food and fun.
We’ll have vegan sweets and savories, party-worthy punch and cocktails/mocktails, and décor ideas. Demos, hands-on crafting, and a special take-home gift!
Learn more about this 21+ event here, and get your tickets here—it’s a small space so make sure you don’t miss out. (And here’s the Facebook event, so you can let the machines mark your calendar for you.)
SF Bay Area! Go check out Vaute Couture's lovely THIS WEEKEND (Nov 10 & 11) from noon-6pm! There will be new stuff (complete with heavy discounts, Champagne, pink lemonade, and cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery!!) at the gorgeous VegNews HQ in the Mission (3505 20th St)! So, go and buy all the things, OK? Because they are gonna be AMAZING and YOU NEED THEM.
You can pop-in or you can make an appointment:
What’s a Vaute Couture POP UP SHOP appointment?
Just to be sure you have lots of time one on one with me, I take appointments! I used to do an open event, but this works out much better. It’s about 20 minutes per, and you can bring up to 4 friends with you for your slot. Just be sure to RSVP with however many you plan to bring! Check out what time and date I’ll be in your city, and email Kristina at KristinaVaute@gmail.com ASAP to let her know what general time is best for you- i.e. “Before 4pm” or “Between 1-2pm is ideal” and she’ll get back to you with your slot. And then take a look at the website to see some of what we have, but get ready because I’ll be bringing lots of new stuff too.
More info on their site! And they’re going to Portland, too, so PORTLAND GET UP ON THIS!
Hey Portland! Tandem Treats wants to bike vegan nachos to your face! »
Check it out, Kickstarter-watchers, Tandem Treats! is a-comin’!:
Tandem Treats! will be a tandem-bike towed Vegan food cart in Portland, Oregon.
We want to feed our community with as little environmental impact as possible. All of our ingredients will be locally sourced, organic or GMO-free, and vegan, of course!
Our menu will include hot dogs, chili, nachos, sushi, kombucha, root beer, and buffalo-ranch pizza. We will also have gluten-free buns!
Tandem Treats!, pulled around by Cicada and Rocks, will be in Southeast Portland four days a week and at local events around town, offering vegan options to omnivores and herbivores alike. We are chefs and animal rights activists with a plan to win over the world with delicious vegan food.
With proceeds from this food cart, our goal is to someday open an animal sanctuary.
I love tandem bicycless. What is it about them? I wish I could buy everything from people on a tandem! Like, insurance! And … dignity! JK, that’s overpriced. But insurance, for sure.
Tandem Treats! have nice things you can get when you donate on Kickstarter and they said if we pledge $100 or more, we can get a lil’ pink dino painted on the bike! I want!
Portland, Ore., gets all the good stuff! Reader Calvin is looking to open an artisanal vegan ice cream shop in Portland, and is looking for funding through IndieGoGo. It’s called Savor the Chill, and we are already (pistachio) green with envy. Look at this roasted banana maple vegan ice cream! Look upon it and despair!
If I had all of the money—or, OK, more of the money than I have now, which is “very little”—I would open a vegan diner, open late nights through late mornings, and we would always serve brunch and sticky desserts, and also beer and maybe if we got enough money for a for-real liquor license, boozy coffee. Yes, I have serious holiday hangover and I really just want to drink boozy coffee with a sticky bun, sitting under a blanket watching an AbFab marathon, but can you blame me?
For now, let’s throw a few dollars Calvin’s way and give ourselves another destination for our Portland Eating Tour 2012. Good luck, Savor the Chill!
Donate to Ride to the Light! DO IT. »
Seriously, do it! A bunch of brave souls/fitness freaks are riding their bikes for the animals and all the money raised to sponsor them goes to the three amazing animal sanctuaries they’re riding through. It’s a nifty idea, and I like it! Since bike-riding terrifies both my face (my beautiful face!) and my laziness, I will not be there in person, but I will be there in pocketbook! That is, as soon as I get paid. When that happens, I am donating a large percentage of my paycheck to the ride. When you see how much I’ve given, you will once and for all understand exactly how fucking poor I am and then maybe, just maybe, you will buy me these FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T MAKE PEOPLE STARE AT MY FEET IN FLIP FLOPS ANY LONGER. Honestly, it’s another form of animal abuse if you choose to ignore me.
Now, I will let the good people of Ride to the Light properly explain how to get involved as that’s what I do these days. Trust me, it’s better than hearing my explanation which would most likely be: CHICKENS! BIKES! PIGS! MONEY! HELPING! TOGETHER! COWS!
We’re doing the route in reverse this year—leaving from Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary in Scio and riding to Out to Pasture in Estacada, then on to Portland for a cookout at Josh and Michelle Hooten’s house [Ed.: !!!!!!]. It’s gonna be great!
Come along for the ride or make a donation and help us reach (or even better, exceed) our goal of $15,000 for these three very worthy causes.
Contact Eric Phelps for more information via email or phone at (503) 664.0001. Please also check out our Facebook fan page to find out more about the ride, and follow us on Twitter @RideToTheLight for frequent updates.
If you’re interested in riding with us, please RSVP through our Facebook event page.
The Kitchn tours Bob’s Red Mill! »
Bob’s Red Mill is the best: they process and/or make all kinds of delicious flours and mixes, and last year they transitioned to an entirely employee-owned company! I love these guys!
The Kitchn recently took a tour of the eponymous Red Mill, and interviewed the eponymous Bob (Moore); turns out, it’s amazing and he’s great. Listen: “For a beginning cook, I would recommend starting simple with whole wheat pastry flour. This product can be used in place of conventional white flour for cookies, muffins and quick breads. Its whole grain goodness will make baked goods only slightly denser than when using white flour, and they will be much healthier. If the baker wants a lighter touch, I recommend using half whole wheat flour and half white flour.”
It’s true! Whole wheat pastry flour is delicious and super-useful. Let’s all move to Portland, Ore. and work at the Red Mill!
Public radio presents biased perspective on ethical eating »
The discussion thread for Oregon Public Broadcasting's (OPB) radio program on ”Knowing Your Meat" quickly spurred lots of rage and debate among the Portland vegan community (thanks to the folks at Herbivore clothing via their twitter @herbivorecc)—and rightly so.
The photo affiliated with the discussion—something previously talked about on Vegansaurus—is unbelievably sickening. I can only imagine holding a dead animal like that if she had been a beloved companion animal, not something I was about to EAT. Naomi Pomeroy, the woman from the photo and the owner of the restaurant Beast, says that the photo is meant to help us acknowledge that the meat we come from was once a living animal. An ex-vegetarian herself, Pomeroy suggests we should only eat meat if we know where the animal’s from. I don’t know about you, but that’s exactly why I won’t eat meat. It seems ludicrous to eat something that was once a living and breathing sentient being.
The ethics of this woman are very strange to me. On the website for Beast she says that “pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans would find it a challenge to enjoy our six-course dinners.” Uh, OK? But honestly, what more could we expect from a woman who turned away from vegetarianism for the benefit of her business? To feel like she was still doing something “good,” Pomeroy decided to start sourcing the meat for Beast from “ethical” and “local” distributors. This was the whole reason for the online discussion and radio broadcast: finding out if it’s worth it to only purchase “ethical” and “local” meats, and if so, where do you draw the line?
I agree with Michelle from Herbivore: She wanted to know why they weren’t going to have any vegans or vegetarians as guests on the radio show. Just because we personally don’t eat meat doesn’t mean we can’t offer some valid points on ethical eating. Instead the whole broadcast was full of ex-vegetarians calling in to explain why they began eating meat (hint: it’s always because they could now get it from ethical sources). My question here is, where were all the vegan callers!? I know there were no shortage of vegans posting on the internet discussion, but not a single one was on the radio. I’m worried that OPB screened the calls, or maybe no vegans actually called in, which either way is a serious shame. According to the Think Out Loud blog there were a few technical difficulties with the calls. I understand that a few off the calls were dropped instead of being put on hold. Instead I listened to someone who had been a vegetarian for over 20 years describe how she started eating meat out of respect for her husband’s avid hunting.
One of the other callers (also an ex-vegetarian) spoke about buying whole animals to have butchered for food for her and her husband. The caller said she wasn’t yet ready raise her own animals for food for fear of growing attached to them. I think this sums up what is wrong with her meat-eating. She’s admitting she has a problem with the death of animals for food, so why try to deny that by continuing to eat them? Also, please see:
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
I’m sad this radio broadcast failed to represent realistic ways for Portlanders (and anyone for that matter) to eat truly ethically. [Ed.: Perhaps we can all email the OPD programming folks and ask for Thinking Out Loud to do a show on ethical eating? LET’S ALL DO IT! It’s your five-minute activism for the day!]
This guest op-ed was brought to you by Chelsea Catchpole, a vegan who hails from the mystical land of Portland, Oregon. She is a barista by day and a blogger, climber, and “chef” by night. You can normally find her wandering the isles of New Seasons or The People’s co-op, spending way too much money on new foods. The rest of her free time is spent cuddling with her two cats, Sushi and Mojo-Jojo. You can read her other musings at Stumpy Vegan.
Xgfx: vegan and gluten-free website launch! Meet the geniuses behind it! »
I hope you’re ready for prettiest day on the vegan internet, because a stunning new website full of all things both vegan and gluten-free launches today!Xgfx “brings you the ultimate 100 percent vegan and gluten-free resource—featuring a shiny new blog, a community recipe hub, xgfx tips and so much more!” You guys, I just want to pinch this URL’s cute little cheeks, and I’m not even gluten-free. I practically live off gluten alone, but that’s going to change ASAP because the recipes in the xgfx database covered some of my favorite foods in the world, and yours too, sans gluten! You don’t have to feel sorry for your celiac vegan friends anymore, and you can bully your non-vegan celiac friends to go vegan without being an asshole! Actually, you’ll probably be kind of jealous and soon we’ll all be xgfx because we want to be the most popular kids in the community. These people are onto something.
The adorable ladies behind the community, Kittee, Allyson, and Jessy, put their gluten-shunning heads together to create a site that fills a gap in the online vegan community and brings delight to gluten-intolerant vegan tummies everywhere. Following a week filled with scandal, it is kind of the best thing ever to see passionate vegans launching a site filled with earnestly vegan and gluten-free content. Vegansaurus interviewed the trio, so check it out if you can hold off clicking through to xgxf for another second. It’ll be worth it! There is a recipe for vegan pho at the end!
Vegansaurus: Who coined the term xgfx?
Kittee: I coined that term back in 2009, shortly after I went gluten-free. I was blogging for Vegan MoFo and it was bugging the shit out of me to type vegan and gluten free over and over and over again. I definitely got the idea from XEDGEX, but I didn’t mean to steal or demean it in any way—we’ve had a tiny bit of backlash about it. Somehow some folks are afraid that if they go to a show with tattooed exes on their hands, people will mistake them for being gluten-free? Every time I would type out vegan and gluten-free, it would just make me feel bad about myself, like I was sick and dragging a feeding tube on stick a really long distance. When I shared the name with Jessy and Allyson, they liked it too!
Vegansaurus: What is this community all about? How do people interact with others to share information about xgfx living?
Allyson: We have an actual community of folks, which is a list of individual bloggers who blog entirely vegan and gluten free. We also have a recipe archive that is community driven, and can enable folks who may not have their own blogs (or blogs that are not exclusively vegan and gluten free) to share xgfx recipes with everyone under one big happy roof. And lastly, we have an entire website dedicated to housing all the info. The site has how-to guides, resources, recipes, product reviews, blog posts and much more.
Vegansaurus: Whose idea was it to start the community? How did you three connect with each other?
Kittee: During Vegan Mofo last year, I contacted Jessy and Allyson, because I liked them and their blogs. I wanted to see if they were interested in doing some kind of xgfx event for the month. Our email conversations turned into a website proposal. The whole project has really come together in a very organic way. Each of us has unique things to add to the project, plus Allyson is a Wordpress lumberjack, so that made the website seem like something we could totally do.
Vegansaurus: How did you come to be xgfx?
Allyson: I personally had been vegan (for ethical reasons) when I discovered that I had celiac disease back in 2009. It had been a long drawn out “diagnosis,” and I was thrilled to finally understand where all my medical problems were coming from. At the time, my doctor knew very little about celiac disease and actually had to call in a grad student who was doing his thesis on autoimmune disorders to come in and give me his opinion. Once I heard my prognosis was that I had to give up gluten, it all made sense. I wasn’t going to change my morals, so the xgfx diet itself kind of chose me. Today, I am very happy that it did.
Jessy: I started out vegan—my spouse and I had made that decision back in 2008. I have suffered from IBS for as long as I can remember. I went on Kris Carr’s “Adventure Cleanse Tune-Up” as a guinea pig for her Crazy Sexy Diet book back in the summer on 2009, and within three days my IBS ceased to exist. ‘Twas awesome. After the cleanse, I slowly started to reintroduce what was omitted from my diet, and as soon as I incorporated gluten, my IBS returned. I’ll never go back to my glutinous ways.
Kittee: I’ve had really bad muscle pain (myofascial pain syndrome/fibromyalgia) since my senior year in college, ‘89/’90. For 20 years, I’ve experience periods of debilitating pain, mixed with daily chronic stuff. I had no idea there was any correlation to all of the bread and seitan I loved, until [my partner] Dazee and I evacuated New Orleans in ‘08 for Hurricane Gustav. To make a long story shorter, I cleaned out the fridge before we left town and then ate nothing but burritos, bagels, seitan and other wheaty convenience foods while driving to refuge in D.C., where my parents live. When we finally got back home, I had the worst flare-up of all time—I literally sat on the couch for weeks on end unable to do anything, including stand up, without horrible muscle knots. The bout made me question why I was feeling so badly, which led me to realize I had been eating a ton of gluten, so I stopped eating it to see if it made a difference. I would say going xgfx has improved my quality of life by at least 50 to 65 percent.
Vegansaurus: What are your hopes for the future of the community?
Jessy: I hope it just keeps growing and expanding and reaching more people. I hope vegans who aren’t gluten-free and gluten-free people who aren’t vegan can find something within the community which might help them out, and I hope we can show everyone that xgfx is possible, it isn’t scary, and it’s pretty damn delicious, too.
Kittee: Fame, notoriety, cash and a sportswear line would be awesome.
Vegansaurus: Any favorite recipes from the database?
Jessy: Kittee’s pho (recipe below!) is the bee’s knees and I’m currently addicted to Allyson’s besan!
Vegansaurus: Who is the genius behind the stunning design?
Kittee: Allyson has the skillz! We’ve been working very collaboratively, which is great for a project like this. We share ideas, color schemes, etc, then Allyson sprinkles pixie dust on all of it and it comes to life.
Allyson: Going off the basic framework [Jessy, Kittee, and I] came up with, I put my rudimentary web development knowledge to work, and got plugging away with the technical sides of things. I also helped migrate our graphic ideas into Adobe Creative Suite to make to all come to life. We re-worked it continuously until we finally got it to where we wanted it. In general, the look of the sites has been a big happy collaboration among all three of us.
Vegansaurus: Do you think, in general, that things are looking up for people following a vegan and gluten free diet? Are there options in your local restaurants/grocery stores?
Jessy: I really, truly do! Both natural food stores [here in Richmond, VA] have fairly decent sized gluten-free sections and I’d say that 50 percent of the products offered are vegan. There isn’t much in the way of xgfx restaurants, but there’s a little veggie friendly place downtown which now serves an xgfx pie every once in a while. I think I almost cried the first time it was offered—I was absolutely elated.
Kittee: I would say things are looking up indeed, because for the most part, it seems like folks go gluten free for their health—so it makes people feel better. Living with chronic pain, or IBS, or any of the other symptoms that gluten can produce or aggravate is not a good way to be. I’m lucky, because where I live (Portland, Ore.) is not only Vegan City, but it is also extremely xgfx-friendly.
Vegansaurus: Is there anything else you’d like to add for the xgfx-curious?
Jessy: I’d like to add that for those struggling with becoming xgfx, I promise it gets better. When I first became gluten-free, I already had the vegan card under my belt and I kind of figured gluten-free would just require a few tweaks to my diet. I knew how to cook like a mofo, so I was cocky and thought gluten-free would be a snap. Well, it wasn’t—there was a lot of crying over failed attempted xgfx recipes. But these days are happy-faced ones—and I don’t cry over baked goods anymore. Many of us, myself included, have some very strong emotional ties to food (it can be comforting, it’s linked to memories and emotions, it’s a large part of ones culture and buddies up with a slew of traditions), so becoming xgfx can be hard because you don’t know where to start, and you might find yourself having to rethink some of your favorite dishes. But it is possible and it is awesome. Remember to enjoy yourself and don’t get tangled up in the little things. We promise it will [get better] and we’re here to help because we’re all in this together!
Kittee: The main reason I wanted to build this website is not to grow community, which is lovely, but to provide a resource for vegans who are also gluten-free. I know folks who have starting incorporating eggs into their otherwise vegan lifestyle, because they didn’t feel like they had options or enough support to stay vegan. People are always saying how awesome one or two particular gluten-free blogs are, because they always have vegan options. But honestly, if you check out most of their vegan recipes, they just call for “egg replacer” instead of the five eggs in their original recipe. Expecting egg replacer to work in a recipe like that is setting it up to fail. We want to share recipes and resources for xgfx food that tastes great and works.
For an example of such, check out Kittee’s vegan Pho. MAKE IT FOR ME NOW:
Xgfx Pho (Vietnamese noodle filled soup—tangy, spicy and full of herbs and mushrooms)
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2-inch piece ginger, thickly sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
12 cups water
4 pods cardamom, crushed, or ¼ teaspoon ground
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 whole star anise pods
Small pinch anise seeds
6 whole cloves
2 tsp. unbleached granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
Large handful dried shiitake mushrooms, optional
1 1/2-2 cups fresh shiitake or portobello mushrooms, sliced 1/3” thick protein–-about 1/3 cup per bowl (bite-sized fried tofu, thinly sliced baked tofu, and seasoned Soy Curls would go especially well in this)
2 to 3 cups fresh mung bean sprouts
Bunch fresh basil
Bunch fresh mint
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
Small bunch fresh cilantro
2 limes, cut in half and quartered
Hoisin sauce*, optional but tasty (Premier Japan–makes an awesome xgfx product)
Sriracha or red chili pastewheat-free tamari
13-oz. package rice noodles
1. Place the onion, garlic and ginger on a cookie sheet and broil under direct heat until lightly charred.
2. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the charred ingredients, the spices, sugar, salt, carrots and dried mushrooms, if using. Cover the pot and let the broth cook over medium-high heat (rolling boil) for 30 to 45 minutes.
3. While the broth is cooking, prepare the noodles as directed on your package, rinse ‘em well with cold water and set aside.
4. Prepare the herbs by giving ‘em a good bath and drying them well. The fun part of eating pho is that diners get to assemble and season their own bowls. So, you can pile the “accessories” onto one platter to be shared by the table, or arrange ‘em into individual bowls for each person. Make neat but separate piles of the sprouts, basil, mint, cilantro and limes. Leave the leaves on the herbs, and let folks rip them off into their own bowls at the table.
5. Strain the broth to remove all solids, rinse out the pot and return the broth. Bring back to a soft boil and add the fresh mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Season to taste lightly with salt.
To serve: divide the noodles evenly between four deep bowls. Top with your protein choice, and then fill up with broth. Let each person season their bowls to taste with freshly torn herbs, sprouts, lime juice, jalapenos, wheat-free tamari, Sriracha and hoisin sauce.
This interview was brought to you by Gabrielle Pope, who is our resident (guest) expert on Canadian living. She lives on a small island where she is currently 1) going pleasantly insane, and 2) writing a novel.
Eat, pray, vom: a d-bag’s guide to Portland »
Josh Ozersky, bro-extraordinaire, gives us a super-rad guide on how to kill animals and clog your arteries in Portland, Ore. First I’d like to comment on Ozersky’s writing style: VOMIT. Like, oy, come back to Earth. Here’s a sample: “Unlike New York City, where the winds of reputation stoke the fires of resentment, Portland is supremely communal and laid-back.” The winds of reputation stoke the fires of resentment? Bleh, pass me a bucket! He also seems to have recently coined his own term, "lardcore," which he now likes to use. Self-referencing. Awesome.
On to the food, Ozersky brags that he was “writhing in pain” after a long day of eating various nasty meats. Dudes, writhing in pain is not how you should ideally end the day. He literally ate himself sick. DISGUSTING. Ultimately, all his pork-worshiping leads him to declare Portland, “America’s new food Eden.” Guess what, bro: vegans declared Portland food Eden decades ago! What’s more, YOU CAN’T HAVE IT, MEAT-EATERS! It’s ours, deal with it.
Let’s be clear: there is a vegan STRIP CLUB in Portland, OK? My debilitating moral code doesn’t allow for strip clubs nowadays but if they are going to exist, a vegan strip club is where it’s at. Besides that, you can get a vegan HAIRCUT in Portland. For serious! In fact, my sister got a cut there and came out looking even more adorable than she already is. It was a stellar cut, side-swept bangs and all. The Parlour St. Johns, where you can get said haircut,
is part of the vegan STRIP MALL in Portland. There is a vegan strip mall! Talk about Eden [Ed. The Parlour St. Johns is not in the mini-mall. Thanks to our Portland-knowledgeable readers for correcting our geographical error]. This is where the famous Food Fight vegan grocery is. That place rules and the people are super-nice. But my favorite part of this strip is Sweet Pea Baking Co.—an all-vegan bakery. Sweet Pea has the most amazing scones I’ve ever had! And believe me, I’ve had scones. It’s the food of my people. So trust me when I say you’ve got to get the cinnamon scone. It’s off the chain.
Moral of the story: suck it, Ozersky. Portland is ours. Take your lardcore and shove it.
[map of vegan and vegan-friendly eateries in Portland from Happycow.com]
Vida Vegan, a vegan bloggers conference! Let’s all go! »
If you are vegan and a blogger and haven’t been living under a rock (‘cause The Rent is Too Damn High!), you probably already know about Vida Vegan, the very first vegan bloggers conference! Well, what you might not know is that Meave and I will be speaking at it and it’s gonna be Hella Fascinating. If you’re interested in meeting vegan bloggers or learning how to become a vegan blogger or anything related to veganism and blogging, then you must be there! It’s Aug. 26 to 28, 2011 (THE FUTURE), in Portland (YES LET’S EAT) and we can all hang out and braid each other’s hair and tell ghost stories and eat dessert for breakfast and play skeletons in the closet and reveal deep, dark secrets and then never see each other again!