vegansaurus!

11/23/2011

Taste Test! What’s the Best Vegan Turkey Substitute?  »

This photo is from the WaPo.

You know what I’m pissed about? That no one invited ME to participate in this taste test the Washington Post ran, comparing six un-turkey alternatives you could be having at your table this week, or whenever else you feel the need for turkey alternatives.

Spoiler alert: Tofurky and Field Roast won. By a lot. They’re my favs, especially Field Roast products, so I’m not surprised.

What I am surprised about: There are six vegan turkey alternatives?! A major daily newspaper is covering this?! Their write-up is nuanced enough to explain why people might say no to dead flesh on the table (health, environment, animal rights) AND to point out that fake turkey has some issues of its own (highly processed, weird ingredients, questionable environmental impact)?! 

I’ve never served one of these guys before— last year I stuffed pumpkins with polenta and seitan bourgignon, the year before I made cholent from Veganomicon and a lentil stew, stay tuned for this year’s plans… But I’ve eaten them and I get the appeal. I’m glad they exist. And I’m glad the mainstream world is paying attention to them. 

Things are changing. Slowly. Yay! Something to be thankful for!

Ok here are the results (you can see them bigger here):

Agree? Disagree? Tell us below!

07/12/2011

East Coast-style Fourth of July!  »

Vegans are amazing! Check out this spread from Aimee’s Fourth of July BBQ near Annapolis, Md. Fourth of July veganism, coast to coast!
Featured: pesto pasta salad with tomatoes, potato salad with Torfurky Smoky Maple Bacon Tempeh, Gardein beefless burgers, Perfect Grilled Portobellos, Tofurky veggie dogs, organic corn, assorted dips and guacamole from Roots Market, plus Aimee’s new favorite condiment, Spicy Red Pepper Miso Mayo. Dessert included fresh peach ice cream and Sticky Fingers brownies and Cowvin cookies.

This looks delicious! I can’t wait to invite myself come to your next party! Thanks for the submission!

06/02/2010

What’s new at Rainbow Grocery: a vegan odyssey!  »

Man, we have it so lucky in the bay area. In other parts of the country, they have to literally climb mountains, cross rivers, and pass tests of endurance, skill, and wit to get to a quality vegan cupcake. For a decent vegan pizza, they must whittle a squirrel while riding an elliptical. For vegans in Middle Earth America, grocery shopping is basically like living in Saw, but worse*. WHICH LEADS ME TO MY NEXT POINT: God Bless San Francisco and God Bless Rainbow Grocery. Now, let’s get down to business!

First, we have VEGAN COOKIE DOUGH. That’s right, we can eat cookie dough straight out of the tub with the fattest of ‘em! And guess what, we ain’t getting Salmonella! HELL YEAH. Check out the ridiculously amazing Eat Pastry in the frozen section!

AAAAAAND… let’s give it up for Tofurky Pizzas! It’s a melty, delicious, Daiya-topped, vegan pizza and it’s ALL YOURS. It’s like $8 so my cheap ass will be saving it for special occasions like weddings and graduations and days ending in y. The actual pizza doesn’t look exactly like the box but SEX SELLS.

Also, vegan fertilizer for vegans who want to get DIR-TAY. Sorry, listening to too much Christina Aguillera.

Don’t know much about this but thought it might be of note for all you outdoorsy types. Cheers!

*I kid! It’s pretty easy to be vegan just about anywhere in America and so all you whiners better shut the hell up and GO VEG! Also, MOVE TO A COAST. I kid again, GO MIDWEST!

04/08/2010

Winning hearts, minds, and stomachs: Adventures in vegan cooking  »

A year ago, I couldn’t do anything in the kitchen beyond stir frying vegetables and pouring cereal. My family looked upon my Thanksgiving Tofurkey with pity. I was the lone vegan in my circle of family and friends.

But a lot’s changed in a year. Before, it was like I was vegan by default. I would never think of not being vegan, because I knew that veganism was the best thing I could do for animals, the environment, and myself. I liked that every day, I was doing something good. But I didn’t really talk about it or think about it that often. And the food I ate, while vegan, wasn’t really food I was excited about; it was processed, quick, and often involved a box of Swedish Fish in front of the TV.

Not that there’s anything wrong with a little vegan candy. But in the past year I’ve learned that when you really let the values and joy of veganism into your life, and your kitchen, the effects can be astounding. I’m not sure how it started. Maybe I just got tired of broccoli and rice every night; maybe I wanted to take advantage of having a real, kitchen, rather than the dollhouse-sized one in my college apartment. Regardless, last summer, I started to cook. Like, really cook. I made everything myself, from fruit tarts to spaghetti sauce, to my own homemade bread, to an aioli mayonnaise. And though it took a lot more time in the kitchen than I’d ever spent there, it deepened my relationship with food, and got me back in touch with what I was putting into my body. Along the way, I found a real fondness for the culinary arts and even, I hope, gained some skill.

Now I make a big vegan meal at least once a week at my parents’ house. They still have a nicer kitchen and more cooking equipment than me; plus, I could never handle all those leftovers myself. Cooking healthy, interesting vegan meals and getting knee-deep in as many vegan cookbooks and recipes as I can get my hands on, like stuffed acorn squash from The Vegan Table or marinated tofu skewers with coconut peanut sauce from The Candle Café Cookbook, has coincided with an all-around vegan makeover. Not only am I more educated about vegan cooking and nutrition, I’m more in touch with my vegan self and more apt to share my vegan experiences and enthusiasm, including my food creations, with the people around me. My boyfriend, who I never thought would join me down the vegan path, became vegan. This was probably from a variety of factors—like learning about factory farms, the fucked-up way people treat animals in general, and how the meat industry is wreaking havoc on our environment—but I like to think my cooking also had something to do with it. Because hey! being vegan DOESN’T mean you’re stuck with raw tofu and salads all time.

After I casually let my mom know about the PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program, she decided to give it a try. After all, she’s always looking for ways to stay young, stay healthy, and not have a stomachache—I suggested many a time that veganism might be the answer. It’s been over a month and mom’s going strong. Her new vegan chef daughter is helping her with meal ideas and recipes. Even my dad, a personal trainer, is asking me for non-meat protein ideas he can tell his clients about. My aunt, a definite non-vegan, will sneak into my freezer to steal one of Alicia Silverstone’s vegan chocolate peanut butter cups.

I’m not saying that your cooking will magically turn everyone you know into fellow vegans. But I do think the joy you exude, in and out of the kitchen, rubs off on others and shows them that vegans can get excited about food, and that being vegan is a joyful, exciting way to live. Food is so often the centerpiece of an event, and the kitchen is often the most-used room in the house: if you inject a little vegan-ness into your food and your kitchens, you might see a ripple effect into other areas, and other people, in your life. I’ve toned down my cooking-from-scratch habits a bit. I still make my own bread, but I buy my aioli from the store. And every once in a while I’ll still make a Tofurkey sandwich. But getting down and dirty in the kitchen is one habit I’ll be keeping, and I hope, with love and some more culinary mastery, I can help veganism find its way into more people’s hearts, and their stomachs.

This is Kayla Coleman’s second post for Vegansaurus! Kayla is a freelance artist and writer in the Bay Area. When she’s not baking vegan goods or spoiling her pets, she is working on her up and coming blog, Babe in Soy Land — look for it!

11/26/2009

Deep Fried Tofurkey! Aka, vegans can party just as hard as the rest of you bitches!  »

Though reluctant to admit it, we vegans eat some nasty shit. Buttery grilled “cheese” with hecka fried soy bacon, Ike’s sandwiches with extra dirty sauce, crispy fried seitan served with Vegenaise for dipping.

Sometimes when nobody’s looking, I buy a 12.5 oz bag of Sweet Chili Lime Doritos at Safeway. Its healthy because we’re vegan, right?

In all seriousness, some omnivores think of our holiday meals as some antithetical version of their own, having “[n]o sausage in [our] stuffing, no butter on [our] corn, and no turkey of any kind.” They also think we don’t have gravy. What. The. Fuck.

I want people to know what delicious, superfluous crap we eat. And I want to take this demonstration to the next level. Today, I deep fried a Tofurkey in a pot of peanut oil. Happy thanksgiving.

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