vegansaurus!

01/02/2013

NPR does vegan: Bryant Terry recipes and more!  »

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Last week, with everyone on vacation and news slow, NPR’s Morning Edition deigned to do a two-part series about veganism. Coverage is coverage!

In part one, Renee Montagne interviewed “wellness expert” Kathy Freston, who explained the reasons to be vegan in a smart, succinct, non-threatening way. Nice work, Kathy!

In part two, chef, cookbook author, food justice advocate, and Oakland resident Bryant Terry represented with recipes. Hollah!

"It isn’t all brown rice and steamed vegetables," says Renee Montagne. I’m just going to assume she’s pretending to be ignorant for the benefit of her ignorant listeners.

Best part of the interview: two recipes from Bryant’s most recent book, The Inspired Vegan! His black-eyed peas in garlic-ginger-braised mustard greens, and molasses, miso, and maple candied sweet potatoes sound perfect for chilly winter nights. Check them out on the NPR website, or maybe just buy his book, because you know it’s full of good food, and suggestions for excellent literature and music accompaniments.

[photo by Jennifer Martiné/Da Capo Lifelong Books via NPR]

12/12/2012

Enter the Earth Balance vegan baking contest! Or just admire the recipes!  »

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Katieg’s Entry: Lemon Curd Cake with Coconut Glaze

This is a super-hard contest, but I though the overachievers among us ought to know about it (the rest of us can just profit from the results): Earth Balance wants you to make delicious baked goods with their products. Duh, easy. Does anyone NOT use Earth Balance in baking?

Except here’s the catch: You have to invent the recipe yourself. That usually doesn’t go so well in my house; we’re still rehashing the Chutney Pie Debacle of 2006. But if you fancy yourself an up-and-coming Isa or Colleen, then by all means, invent away. That’s not the hardest part!

After slaving away over 17 drafts of the perfect Peanut Butter Banana Chia Açai Spice Drops, YOU HAVE TO TAKE A PRETTY PICTURE OF IT! I shall never be a professional chef in the internet age. My food photos are all grainy and dark and show how messy my house is.

After all that, you could win a sweet trip to Vegas, which you will need to recover from the stress of entering this contest. Oh, and there are categories. We already missed pies and cake. 

  • Cupcakes: Dec. 10 to 16 
  • Cookies and Bars: Dec. 17 to 23

Go Vegansaurs! Bake and invent! Then share your recipes with us! Those of you who aren’t sneaking in moments to write posts at work can go browse the recipe collection and tell us about the gems.

12/07/2012

This poor snowshoe hare hasn’t gotten the memo about climate change. YOU’RE THE WRONG COLOR, BUNNY! THERE’S NO SNOW!
It’s like showing up to a party wearing white shoes in October, except the fashion faux-pas doesn’t mean you’ve suddenly upped your chances of getting eaten in a LITERAL sense. (<—Can I get some props for an actual correct use of “literal” there?)
So let’s not forget: Climate change is an animal-rights issue too. And somebody get that bunny a scarf or something.
[Via High Country News]

This poor snowshoe hare hasn’t gotten the memo about climate change. YOU’RE THE WRONG COLOR, BUNNY! THERE’S NO SNOW!

It’s like showing up to a party wearing white shoes in October, except the fashion faux-pas doesn’t mean you’ve suddenly upped your chances of getting eaten in a LITERAL sense. (<—Can I get some props for an actual correct use of “literal” there?)

So let’s not forget: Climate change is an animal-rights issue too. And somebody get that bunny a scarf or something.

[Via High Country News]

12/05/2012

Hail Merry macaroons are hella cheap right now on Vegan Cuts, assuming you want a whole lot of them. A long time ago I told you how obsessed I am with these delicious confections, and like with all good celebrity relationships, time has not weakened my passion.
Here&#8217;s what you can do with the 10 bags you get for $30 (free shipping!) with this deal: Stocking stuffers for all seven dwarves, Snow White, the witch, AND the huntsman. Party favors for your softball team. Hella-easy potluck contribution. Eat them all yourself.
[Note:/ Though it might seem like we&#8217;re shilling for Vegan Cuts these days, we&#8217;re not, they&#8217;re just kicking ass with the goodies. We always let you know when we get free stuff.]

Hail Merry macaroons are hella cheap right now on Vegan Cuts, assuming you want a whole lot of them. A long time ago I told you how obsessed I am with these delicious confections, and like with all good celebrity relationships, time has not weakened my passion.

Here’s what you can do with the 10 bags you get for $30 (free shipping!) with this deal: Stocking stuffers for all seven dwarves, Snow White, the witch, AND the huntsman. Party favors for your softball team. Hella-easy potluck contribution. Eat them all yourself.

[Note:/ Though it might seem like we’re shilling for Vegan Cuts these days, we’re not, they’re just kicking ass with the goodies. We always let you know when we get free stuff.]

11/21/2012

Stogo is Sto-Going Away Forever! NOOO!  »

Pretty much my favorite thing about New York City, Stogo Gourmet Dairy-Free Ice Cream in the East Village, is shutting forever as of Sunday. Goddamn Hurricane Sandy, ruining everything in my life. (Actually, I’m in Colorado where the weather is always perfect, so Sandy didn’t ruin anything in my life. UNTIL NOW.)

"The business had been battling high rent all year. Eight days without income during the post-hurricane blackout, combined with the upcoming wintertime slowdown in sales, led Stogo’s owners to make the call to close." 

Stogo is the best vegan ice cream parlor I ever experienced. If you live near New York, get to the store this weekend and bid them farewell. If not, wish on a Tofurkey that the owners will decide to reopen somewhere. What is there to dream of anymore if not a creamy scoop from Stogo? Nothing. Nothing at all. I’m literally crying into an apple pie as I type. It’s messy. Go try to have a good day.

[via DNA Info]

[Photo by watashiwani via Flickr]

11/19/2012

Thanksgiving Recipe AND Cookbook Review: Vegan A La Mode  »


Overall Rating: A
Creativity: A+
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate
Best for: Anyone who owns an ice cream maker. Bonus if you have adventurous taste in dessert.

Why review an ice cream cookbook in November?

  1. You should make the Easy As Pumpkin Pie recipe (below) for your Thanksgiving feast.
  2. We like to keep you guessing. 

I know a thing or two about vegan ice cream recipes. For our wedding in summer 2011, my husband and I made 18 flavors in place of having a wedding cake. I sure wish Ms. Hannah had gotten around to publishing this gem of a book in time for our wedding guests to benefit.

This is hands-down the finest collection of vegan ice cream recipes ever made. Hannah Kaminsky is to vegan ice cream what Terry and Isa are to vegan cupcakes or Miyoko Schinner is to vegan cheese. Her creativity with flavors is unparalleled, but so are her solutions for richness and texture. 


Making the Buttery Popcorn flavor. Seriously.

The book started as a blog, so you can check out some recipes there. At least a third of the flavors are what I’d call “highly experimental”: beet marmalade, wasabi-ginger-sesame-chocolate, buttered popcorn. Others are easy crowd-pleasers: peanut-butter Oreo, French vanilla, maple-pecan. Some are pretty ambitious (Birthday Cake requires that you cook cupcakes, then put them in the blender). Some are super-simple (see Easy As Pumpkin Pie, below). All that I’ve made have been delectable and worth the work.

Each recipe appears on its own spread, which makes the logistics of cooking easy, and most have a sexy glamour shot to make you drool. Some of the thickeners and texturizers might be unfamiliar (guar gum, anyone?), but Rainbow Grocery sells them in bulk, so buy a tablespoonful and experiment. The Banana Pudding ice cream, which includes a hit of guar, is the only vegan flavor I’ve ever made that scooped soft straight out of the freezer.

Final verdict:  If you have an ice cream maker, you owe it to yourself and that little machine to buy this book. (If you don’t have one, you should get one. They’re great. I’ve got this one by Cuisinart.)

AND AS PROMISED, A RECIPE!

Easy as Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Ingredients
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
1 14-ounce can regular coconut milk 
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed 
1/4 cup grade-B maple syrup 
2 Tbsp. bourbon 
1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon 
3/4 tsp. ground ginger 
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves 
Pinch freshly cracked black pepper 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions
1. Mix everything together in a bowl until smooth.

2. Chill for a while.

3. Process in your machine as per its directions.

4. DEMOLISH! WIN THANKSGIVING!

11/08/2012

Beyond Clif: Five more vegan energy bars, reviewed!  »

This soon-to-be legendary post began as an attempt to review The Simply Bar, which the Canadians at Wellness Foods were nice enough to send me a case of. But as a person who gets to try a SHIT TON (that’s a metric measurement) of bars in my capacity as an editor at Backpacker magazine, it felt strange to talk about this one vegan bar-shaped food product and not mention any of the zillion others I’ve tasted in the last year or so. Y’all should know about all the many, many options of pocket foods that have popped up recently. Buckle your seat belts, because HERE WE GO!

1. The Simply Bar
These gluten-free babies were invented by a guy with Crohn’s disease, with the idea that they’d be easy to digest. They’re unusual in that they’re relatively low-cal (160 ish per bar), with more fiber than sugar and a whole lot of protein (16 grams). They’re kind of like grainy Rice Krispy treats in texture, with a subtle flavor (I usually have to look at the label to remember what kind I’m eating, so I’m not going to bother to endorse one). If you’re the kind of person who wants to chow down on a protein shake after exercising, these would be good. If you secretly want a bar that is like cookies, stay away.

2. Mazama Bars

Watch out: Not only are these freakin’ delicious, but they also pack nearly 400 calories each. That means you are at serious risk of eating an entire meal’s worth of yumminess in a moment of afternoon weakness if, for instance, you leave these in your desk. But if you’re really exercising hard or are deprived of genuine meals for awhile, these will make your day. They’re each about the size of a deck of cards and the texture of one of those soft granola bars. All three flavors are studded with yummy morsels like berries or chocolate, but my favorite is the Chocolate Hazelnut. I officially endorse these bars. I kinda love them.

3. Journey Bars


Let’s be honest: These bad boys are weird. Around my office, they’ve been a very contentious topic. But I like ‘em. The schtick is that they’re savory instead of sweet, which is genuinely different than your regular bar. Only 3/5 of the flavors are vegan, alas, but they’re loaded with neat grains like amaranth. So trendy! My personal fav is the coconut curry, which reminds me of eating Indian snack mix. Main problem with these bars: Sometimes they’re soft, like Nutri-Grain bars without the filling, but other bars in the same box will be like very thick crackers. Which actually works pretty well for the Rosemary flavor. Anyway, I say try them; they’re a nice snack.

4. ProBars


Whole food bars. That’s how Pro likes to market its product. And it’s true: Eating these bars is kind of like eating a smushed-up handful of nuts and dried fruit. They’re much less like dessert than Mazama bars, but also meal-replacement. Pro’s also got another type call Fruition, which is more like a Lara bar, but full of chia seeds. Anyway, I don’t swoon over these, but they’re solid nutrition.

5. Luna Fiber Bars


OK so these are a kind of Clif bar, but I couldn’t resist mentioning them because I’m so excited about them. Remember gooey, fruit-filled breakfast bars? Remember how they’re not vegan? Let’s thank Luna for restoring that particular joy to us. I haven’t tasted all the flavors, but my main comment is YUM. Partake! Partake!

Honorable Mentions
Clif Crunch: Some flavors have honey so read ingredients, but these are like Nature Valley but way tastier. Crunchy! And they have vegan white chocolate in them.

Justin’s Nut Butter squeeze packs: not bars, but portable and YUM! Chocolate hazelnut is basically Nutella. 

Did I miss your fav? Let us know!

11/02/2012

Win a Copy of “Artisan Vegan Cheese” from Vegan Mainstream  »

You know what’s hot right now? This book. Look for a review here on Vegansaurus at some point in the near future but in the meantime, don’t miss out on the trendiest trend in veganism since kale chips: culturing your own non-dairy goodness. 

Here’s what’s up: This week, Vegan Mainstream is giving away five copies of the cookbook so you too can have little pet food/bacteria cultures and try to figure out what part of your house is the warmest. You can enter a bunch of times.

Meanwhile, Miyoko is having a photo contest: Make food from her book (or if you don’t have the book, use the Meltable Muenster or Smoked Provolone recipes at the bottom of the page here), take a photo, and you could win A SHIPMENT of vegan cheese from Mikoyo. See a video about the contest here.

I will never win this because as y’all know I’m terrible at taking pictures of food. Also, seems damn ironic that to win the prize where you get to gorge yourself, you have to actually succeed at proving you don’t really need said prize after all. Plus, remember, these recipes take literally DAYS if not WEEKS to achieve. This Mikoyo lady is kind of a task master.

But, if you’ve got a lot of time and want to be charmed by her, watch this video of her cooking demo at the SF World Vegetarian Festival from early October. And we’ve featured Miyoko’s recipes before, so get on making that mozzarella di bufala ASAP.

10/31/2012

"Plants don’t have feelings you idiot!" <—Best line from this spectacular new video, "Vegan Style," from Henya Perezz. No idea who this chick is but I like her! Let’s all dance! And make sure to memorize her lyrics so you can yell them real loud next time someone plays "Gangnam Style" at a party or something. Guaranteed to make you more friends. 

10/18/2012

Massive peanut recall! Check your foods!  »


Right now might be the only time ever that folks with peanut allergies are looking at the rest of us thinking, “Haha, suckers!” If you haven’t heard, there’s a massive peanut recall afoot, and it affects a lot of fancy vegan peanut products.

A whole bunch of products made in by Sunland, Inc between March 2010 and Sept. 24, 2012, might be infected with salmonella! So far 35 people in 19 states have gotten sick, and the FDA and CDC are all over it. TWO YEARS worth of products? WTF, Sunland?!

The full list of recalled products is on the FDA’s website, but here are some that vegans are likely to have bought! If you’ve got these in your cupboard, either just chuck them or go to the FDA site for more details if that seems wasteful! The good news is unless you’re a tiny child (nice work reading the blog!) or real old or have a compromised immune system, salmonella isn’t too serious.

  • Trader Joe’s, Arrowhead Mills, Cadia, Kirkland, Natural Value, Naturally More, Sprout’s, & Sun Harvest peanut butter
  • Sprout’s tahini & almond butter
  • Justin’s Nut Butters—anything with peanuts!
  • Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor
  • Peanut Butter Newman-O’s (yes, they’re vegan)
  • Earth Balance Natural Almond Butter and Flaxseed
  • Anything with the Sunland name on it
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!!

[Photo by Yogma via Flickr]

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