vegansaurus!

11/24/2012

My vegan Thanksgiving plate! Cornbread & apple Stuffed portobello, mashed taters & garlic madness gravy, haricots verts with TraderJoes fried onion crunchy thingys, roasted drunken Brussel sprouts, and an awesome kale salad with pepitas! And gin. alllllll the gin for family gatherings.

Beautiful! Who else is ready to do Thanksgiving again!? LET’S EAT/KILL ME NOW.

My vegan Thanksgiving plate! Cornbread & apple Stuffed portobello, mashed taters & garlic madness gravy, haricots verts with TraderJoes fried onion crunchy thingys, roasted drunken Brussel sprouts, and an awesome kale salad with pepitas! And gin. alllllll the gin for family gatherings.

Beautiful! Who else is ready to do Thanksgiving again!? LET’S EAT/KILL ME NOW.

OK FINE JUST A FEW MORE READER THANKSGIVING DINNERS TWIST MY ARM.

Next up, all of the pumpkin goodness in the world! Read more about the amazingness because IT JUST GOT REAL. Happy Thanksgiving!

11/22/2012

Megan’s Thanksgiving feast is UNSANE. Break me off a piece of all of this, pleasssse:

Rolls, olives, cranberry sauce, stuffed delicata squash, mashed taters, mushroom gravy, green bean casserole, red cabbage, and brussels.  Not pictured: pumpkin pie and coconut whipped cream!

Don’t forget to submit photos of your tasty vegan Thanksgiving feast! Woo!

Megan’s Thanksgiving feast is UNSANE. Break me off a piece of all of this, pleasssse:

Rolls, olives, cranberry sauce, stuffed delicata squash, mashed taters, mushroom gravy, green bean casserole, red cabbage, and brussels.  Not pictured: pumpkin pie and coconut whipped cream!

Don’t forget to submit photos of your tasty vegan Thanksgiving feast! Woo!


San Diego Vegan Feast!  »

In the pic the is the Tofurky roast (made in the crock pot with cola & bourbon), brussel sprouts with maple glaze, cauliflower gratin, sweet potatoes with Sweet & Sara marshmallows, garlicky collard greens, stuffing, & ginger cranberry sauce.  Mashed potatoes & pale ale grave off to the side. Plus the Amy’s chocolate cake and a cherry pie for dessert.  All for 2 people!  :)

DEEEELICIOUS!! Keep these tasty photos coming, folks!

From the delightful Meghan:
Happy Alive-and-Free Turkey Day 2012! I’ve been vegetarian for twenty years but this is my first Thanksgiving as a vegan, so I’m unreasonably proud of myself. My plate is: homemade seitan (OMFG ALL MY VEGAN FRIENDS WHO DIDN’T TELL ME HOW AMAZING THIS STUFF IS ARE NOT MY FRIENDS), gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce from a jar like the classy lady that I am, stuffing with squash and sprouts, and kale salad with a maple/mustard dressing. And there’s apple crisp in the oven. I win at life.
DEEEELICIOUS! Happy Thanksgiving, Meghan!
And YOU! Don’t forget to submit photos of your tasty vegan Thanksgiving feast! Woo!

From the delightful Meghan:

Happy Alive-and-Free Turkey Day 2012! I’ve been vegetarian for twenty years but this is my first Thanksgiving as a vegan, so I’m unreasonably proud of myself. My plate is: homemade seitan (OMFG ALL MY VEGAN FRIENDS WHO DIDN’T TELL ME HOW AMAZING THIS STUFF IS ARE NOT MY FRIENDS), gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce from a jar like the classy lady that I am, stuffing with squash and sprouts, and kale salad with a maple/mustard dressing. And there’s apple crisp in the oven. I win at life.

DEEEELICIOUS! Happy Thanksgiving, Meghan!

And YOU! Don’t forget to submit photos of your tasty vegan Thanksgiving feast! Woo!

11/21/2012

Hey U.S. readers! Send us your vegan Thanksgiving photos!  »

Are you celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday? Your Vegansaurus wants to know all about it! Whether you’re the only vegan in a huge family or having a all-vegan Thanksgiving, whether you’re cooking at home or going out, we want to see what your Thanksgiving plate looks like this year!

Since we’re so lazy this year (AND SINCE IT’S MEAVE’S BIRTHDAY TODAY AND SHE IS TAKING THE YEAR OFF FROM POSTING EVERYONE SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY), we’d love for you to just submit via Tumblr.

It’s really easy, just enter a little text about the food, click on the picture icon to add a picture URL (you can quickly get upload your photo and get a free URL from sites like TinyPic), and then click submit! If you don’t have a tumblr and don’t want to set one up (it takes two seconds! and so fun!), then go ahead and email your pic and quick description to us!

We’ll be posting them on Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday, as well as pictures of our own Thanksgiving foods, of course. The more participants, the better it’ll be, so take minute to submit pretty please, it’ll be the greatest!

If your prep looks fantastic, we’ll take those photos too; just be sure to include an explanation!

Please and thank you and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

02/22/2012

Meet the spicy green leaves salad with spicy bean curd dressing, crispy tofu, topped with crispy rice noodles at the Green Elephant in Portland, Me. It costs $6 (WHAT) and Erin of Olives for Dinner had this to say about it:

this salad is amazing. Super-fresh and packed with tons of crisp carrots, tomatoes, tofu and noodles, it’s the perfect dinner to enjoy after gorging on multiple appetizers. I love it that Green Elephant isn’t stingy with any of their sauces, which allows for a liberal drenching over every inch of a dish.

Read the entire review of her meal (with photos) at Green Elephant! It sounds so so good! Thanks for letting us know, Erin!

Meet the spicy green leaves salad with spicy bean curd dressing, crispy tofu, topped with crispy rice noodles at the Green Elephant in Portland, Me. It costs $6 (WHAT) and Erin of Olives for Dinner had this to say about it:

this salad is amazing. Super-fresh and packed with tons of crisp carrots, tomatoes, tofu and noodles, it’s the perfect dinner to enjoy after gorging on multiple appetizers. I love it that Green Elephant isn’t stingy with any of their sauces, which allows for a liberal drenching over every inch of a dish.

Read the entire review of her meal (with photos) at Green Elephant! It sounds so so good! Thanks for letting us know, Erin!

06/01/2011

Movie review: Forks Over Knives  »


It was probably a good idea to see Forks Over Knives the night before starting an
elimination diet that’ll help me figure out my allergies; I left the theater feeling like I should just eat kale forever.

Okay, that’s not 100 percent true; I went to Whole Foods afterwards and got a pre-diet chocolate bar. But I bought some eggplants too! And the documentary’s presentation of the evidence supporting a diet that eliminates animal products—or at the very least, greatly reduces them—was pretty compelling.

Forks Over Knives isn’t from the Morgan Spurlock-school of documentaries—there are no gimmicky experiments here, just the stories of real people who are seeing some of the doctors interviewed in the film, and information from decades of research. So you know, it sometimes feels like you’re watching something educational—you are, but maybe sometimes we like to be tricked into that? Stick with it, though. It’s still a satisfying viewing experience, just in a different way.

The United States spends more per person on health care than any other country in the world. They also have some of the worst health outcomes among industrialized countries. There are former Soviet bloc countries with lower rates of infant mortality, and that is kind of messed up. It’s undeniable that there’s access to a lot of health-related good in the U.S.—world-class medical facilities, cutting edge treatments, delicious and healthy American-grown produce, great land for farming. But even with all that at their disposal, Americans are gaining weight, becoming diabetic, getting cancer—at alarming rates.

Forks Over Knives claims that we can prevent—and even reverse or cure—the majority of what ails us by getting the animal products out of our diets and switching to plant-based eating. This case is built largely on the work of Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Campbell is likely best known as the co-author and lead researcher of The China Study, now a popular book that outlines his research of the diets and causes of deaths of thousands of people in China. Esselstyn works at the Cleveland Clinic, where he counsels heart patients on halting and reversing their diseases with a plant-based diet.

Campbell and Esselstyn’s work is fascinating, and their findings are some serious food for thought, but what really stuck with me were the personal tales of lives that were changed with a plant-based diet. Most of the people highlighted don’t present the image that pops into your mind when you think “vegan”: they included a diabetic mother of four, a meat-loving middle-aged man, a company of Texan firefighters, and a mixed martial arts fighter. But they all switched to a plant-based diet for one reason or another, and they all had impressive results that included serious, life-extending changes to their health.

I was impressed that the people featured in this doc had clearly made some health related choices that they shouldn’t have, but they weren’t treated like they were dumb or lazy or gross or failures. They were just following what they’d always been told about how they should eat, and trying to get through the day in an environment where the worst of food is always immediately available. The overall message of control over our own destinies was balanced with a realization that our environments have changed drastically in just a few decades, and it can be hard to make good choices even with the best information and intentions.

The film can get a bit repetitive at times—though admittedly, they were kind of preaching to the converted in my case. I’d like to see it with someone who is new to most of its information, who has never seriously considered that all this protein we’re told we should eat is maybe not the best idea. The message that meat and milk are the best way to go for protein—the only way to go, as many people see it—is so pervasive in our society that it can be hard to shake people of it. The first thing most people asked me when I stopped eating meat was “How will you get protein?” I think the tales of these healthy, vital people—some of whom were near death before going vegan—could change some minds.

Terri Coles lives in Toronto, Ont., where she enjoys barbecuing, feeding feral cats, going to local music shows and getting really mad about hockey games. She blogs about her adventures in plant-based eating at The Vegina Monologues.

05/25/2011

Breaking news: vegan travels in Eastern Europe, does not die of starvation!  »

Vegan traveling can be rough. A two-week trek through Peru five years ago left me exhilarated by the stunning beauty of the Andes and Machu Picchu but at least 10 pounds lighter. Seriously, I starved. I like to think I survived due to the twin graces of those lovely Hare Krishnas who own the Govinda’s chain of vegetarian restaurants, and beer—it’s like liquid bread! I was bracing for a similar experience in Bulgaria. In addition to mastering the Cyrillic alphabet and learning enough rudimentary Bulgarian to mitigate my tourist buffoonery, I was not heartened to read this from Lonely Planet:

Vegetarianism remains an alien concept to most Bulgarians, but it’s relatively easy to follow a meat-free diet here. On the down side, variety may be lacking and those with an aversion to cheese may find their options very limited…. Omelettes, vegetarian pizzas, and pasta dishes are common, but note that ‘vegetarian’ meals may simply mean that they include vegetables (as well as meat) or fish. Sometimes this designation doesn’t seem to mean anything at all. Vegans will have a much harder time.

The authors go on to describe a series of Bulgarian dishes they assume are what I, as the frantic vegan researcher I am, want to hear about. All but one of these involve cheese or eggs or eggs and cheese together. Fried cheese! Scrambled eggs with cheese! Cheese fried and stuffed with egg, then baked in more cheese! Okay, I’m kidding about that last one, but would you really know? I think not.

The internet was about as helpful as the Lonely Planet guys, which is to say, NOT. A search for “vegan Bulgaria” yields a bunch of forums in which nervous-sounding vegans plead for advice on what they’ll be able to eat during their visit. So you will forgive me for thinking I was about to starve. I was totally psyched to see the Balkan landscape, the Black Sea, the grand cathedrals and mosques, the rolling hills through which the Thracians (did someone say Spartacus? Bad. Ass.) once roamed. But I thought I was going to starve. On the off chance that anyone reading this is preparing for a trip to Eastern Europe generally, or Bulgaria specifically, I want to urge you to take heart! Bulgaria is a beautiful country, more than worthy of an extensive trip to linger in the university cafés of Plovdiv and be hypnotized by the insanely blue waters of the Black Sea and look at ruins and fortresses and monasteries until your eyes bleed. As a bonus, I am here to testify that not only is it totally possible to find vegan food in Bulgaria, but it is not the “alien concept” our friends at Lonely Planet say it is. Maybe things have changed dramatically over the last couple of years since they joined the EU, or maybe the folks at Lonely Planet don’t give a shit about the plight of vegan travelers. (Hint: They totally don’t.)

In addition to a host of meat and meat products, prepared in just about every way my tiny brain could fathom—and then some, almost every Bulgarian restaurant also offers some kind of boiled, roasted or barbecued vegetables. Additionally, nuts are ubiquitous. There are other dishes that show up on almost every menu, like risotto, but I personally fall in line with Captain Marty’s skepticism about soup, and I feel like it applies equally to cooked grains of any description. All any intrepid and enterprising vegan needs to know—I think this may apply equally to almost any language (correct me if I’m wrong, you cosmopolitan vegan travelers of the world)—is the word for “without” along with the words for “meat,” “meat stock,” “butter,” “eggs,” “cheese,” and the like. I know that right now you may be feeling overwhelmed. That’s a lot of words, right? But what else are you doing with your brain while you aren’t learning how to order food in Bulgarian? Go forth and starve not.


Vegetarian hot pot in Bansko. After asking for a completely vegetarian meal, the server told me that this dish was “for me.” My mother’s cheese-drenched Shopksa salad is in the background. I would hate to give you the impression that Bulgarians, unlike Americans, don’t drench every item of food in cheese. ‘Cause they totally do. Especially salad.


The bean-stuffed baked potato in Sofia was vegan when they left off the no-doubt copious layer of shredded cheddar cheese. Those bits on top that are maybe making you suspicious are actually very thinly sliced, caramelized onion. Complete protein was a bit challenging, so I was ecstatic after locating this dish. 


Barbecued vegetables in Burgas. These were perfectly cooked and so delicious that I insisted on returning to this restaurant three of the four nights we spent in this seaside university town.

Marla Wick lives in Sebastopol, a small community in Sonoma County, California, where people never change out of their yoga pants. She spends her time cooking, baking, knitting, and raging about politics when she’s not working as a freelance editor and writer. She blogs about food, animal ethics, cultural politics, and horror movies at vegan-squared.blogspot.com and www.bullypulp.com.

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