vegansaurus!

01/24/2013

Eating raw will not ruin your life!  »

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When Megan Rascal sent me this article asserting that a mostly raw diet is inherently unhealthful, I debated whether to write a response or just ignore it. It’s always a toss-up when ill-informed crap ends up in my inbox; I thought I might ignore it because I believe that giving press to bullshit can sometimes just perpetuate the bullshit, but I decided to respond because of the (growing? I hope not) misconception that raw food = crazy people food, and that high-to-fully raw people know nothing about nutrition or how to take care of ourselves, and are basically just all counting our days until our nutritional deficiencies kick in and turn us into vegetables.

The article I’m referring to, also published on a “science” blog, claims that a raw vegan diet is super unhealthful. I’ll be honest, it’s got some good (if obvious, already widely known) points in support of expanding a raw diet to incorporate cooked food. Yes, some cooked food has value, and yes, if you don’t supplement your B12 or take a multivitamin bad things will happen, but how the author takes these points and comes to such rash conclusions makes me wonder if he had a bad break-up with a raw vegan or something. When I read lines like “You have nothing to gain and much to lose by going totally or even mostly raw,” I wonder if this article was written to prove that the author’s target was on the wrong path, damn it, and look! now it says so on the Internet!

The piece completely misses the point of a high-raw vegan diet, which incorporates tons of raw greens, veggies, and fruits in whole, unprocessed form, and just picks on the zealots who refuse to supplement and only eat bananas. It even brings up the “you’ll kill your kids if you feed them raw food!” argument, which we have heard about all forms of vegan diets and continue to prove wrong.

(Side note: I hate it when vegan doctors are cited to prove that one vegan diet is better than another. This article cites Dr. Eseystein and Dr. McDougal, both of whom have made millions hawking their unique brands of veganism, as evidence against a high-raw vegan diet, which has its own doctors rooting for and staking millions in its value.)

I really appreciate Gena Hamshaw’s balanced, science-driven approach to raw food in her post “Why Raw? Revisiting the Question.” I love Vegan RD Ginny Messina’s compassionate post, “Raw or Cooked Foods? Which Is the Best Diet for Vegans?,” on why raw foodists should consider incorporating some (or lots) of cooked vegan foods to round out their diets and have an easier time staying vegan. There are plenty of folks who jettison veganism or raw veganism when health issues come up, and while I have no judgement for them I supremely admire folks who take every measure to hold true to their values while minding their health needs. Bonzai Aphrodite recently posted this beautiful long-read about how she’s navigated health issues while staying vegan. Brava! I wrote a Vegansaurus post about why there are so many ex-raw vegans and advocated for folks to consider adopting a more expansive raw vegan diet. In the context of these articles, the anger and all-or-nothing conclusions made by this article and many like it baffle me and make me think there’s a personal grudge.

Closing thoughts: Some (but not all) raw foodies are inflexible and unrealistic, just like some (but not all) vegans and some (OK, most) meat-eaters. Everyone should be taking B12, and probably a multivitamin, omega-3, and maybe a D supplement, too. Mostly raw vegans can be very happy and healthy. I am doing pretty damn well on a high-raw vegan diet that includes lots of raw greens-rich salads and raw smoothies and juices on the reg, as well as a variety of cooked foods. I just got my bloodwork done as a routine every-few-years thing so I can brag in articles like this, and my doctor said my blood is so groovy it makes her want to go vegan. So to the author of these articles, I say this: Please don’t judge all high-raw vegans based on a tiny fraction of us who go to extremes, and in return, I promise not to call the raw vegan who broke your heart and alert this person that you’re hella casting aspersions on them.

[Photo of Pure Food and Wine's tacos by Edsel Little via Flickr]

12/20/2012

Product review: Raw chocolate-covered mulberries kick Raisinets’s ass!  »

imageI’m always on the lookout for weird and crazy raw food, so when the Raw Chocolate Co. posted a glorious picture of chocolate covered Brussels sprouts on their Facebook, I was like OH DANG, this is my perfect food!

Sadly, it was a hoax, used to promote what they actually offer: raw cacao-coated mulberries.

After corresponding with an employee about why Brussels sprouts really should be doused in chocolate, she sent me their raw chocolate mulberries and they are seriously no joke. While they’re not candy derived from a brassica, which was my momentary life’s wish come true (and maybe still is a little bit), they are completely delicious and unique.

imageHere’s why: Think of your first experience with chocolate-covered dried fruit. If you didn’t grow up in Berkeley under the roof of hippie parents who raised you on public demonstrations and farmers’ market samples, your first experience with this dual-natured candy was likely in the form of Raisinets scarfed alongside your friends in the back of a movie theater. Raisinets are shitty and unethical and not at all vegan, but most of us learned to expect that chocolate-coated dried fruit would be chock-full of fillers and sickly sweet; the hard chocolate shell had tons of sugar, the raisins were sweet by themselves.

Now that you’re a grown-up and frequently dip into the bulk bins of organic chocolate-covered raisins at the Valencia Whole Foods or Rainbow, you’ve come to expect less child slavery and animal cruelty in the same hard shell/dried fruit format—it’s just how these things go.

imageMaybe it’s because Raw Chocolate and Co. is a British company, or maybe they’re true revolutionaries on all fronts—whatever the reason, their chocolate-covered mulberries defy any chocolate-covered fruit industry standards of which I’m aware. The mulberries are sprinkled with the cacao coating in a way that manages to preserve the integrity of the shape and texture of the mulberries, rather than masking their identity with uniform hard chocolate shells. The mulberries’ cacao coating is just the right amount of sweet (using really delicious unrefined sweetener coco palm sugar!) and isn’t a hard shell that takes a second to dissolve into its components but rather a melt-in-your mouth delicate glaze that gently gives way to the superior quality dried mulberries within.

The package also includes all kinds of helpful math about what’s in them: 44 percent mulberries, 56 percent chocolate. 74 percent cacao overall, raw cacao solids, cacao mass, coco palm sugar, cacao butter, cacao powder, and all fair trade—yay!

I highly recommend trying these raw vegan chocolate-covered mulberries. They come in the most adorable tin ever and would make perfect gifts for that special raw foodie or candy gourmand in your life. And stay tuned for my in-development recipe for raw chocolate covered-Brussels sprouts!

12/06/2012

vegnews:



Need we say more? Vegan and Jewish, represent! Or just a potato enthusiast, that works too.
Click here or above for the recipe!



Love you, VegNews. Hanukkah begins Saturday night, but there is never a wrong time for potato pancakes.

vegnews:

Need we say more? Vegan and Jewish, represent! Or just a potato enthusiast, that works too.

Click here or above for the recipe!

Love you, VegNews. Hanukkah begins Saturday night, but there is never a wrong time for potato pancakes.

12/28/2011

Watch this: Ari Solomon’s “Shit Vegans Say!”  »

You guys, first go watch “Shit Girls Say,” and then come back here. I’ll wait.

Are you back? Did you think it was funny? If so, 1) we could be TWINSIES, and 2) you should watch Ari Solomon’s take on “Shit Vegans Say.” And then chuckle because THIS IS OUR LIVES.

12/07/2011

Quorn is going vegan! So reports VegNews. Quorn’s freaky, fungus-based faux-chicken patties were some of my favorite back when I ate eggs—really moist and different. Though it totally creeped me out to put eggs in fake chicken. 
Props to Compassion Over Killing which helped prompt the new offering (I think they’ll still make their non-vegan ones too)!
Anyway, the vegan burger should hit over 1,000 stores nationwide next year. Let us know if you see them!

Quorn is going vegan! So reports VegNews. Quorn’s freaky, fungus-based faux-chicken patties were some of my favorite back when I ate eggs—really moist and different. Though it totally creeped me out to put eggs in fake chicken. 

Props to Compassion Over Killing which helped prompt the new offering (I think they’ll still make their non-vegan ones too)!

Anyway, the vegan burger should hit over 1,000 stores nationwide next year. Let us know if you see them!

10/28/2011

A block print made by reader Boris Gaviria after he attended occupy Seattle. He says you are free to post/distribute/modify/tattoo on your buttocks/etc. Thanks, Boris!
Read Rachel’s piece on vegans’ role in the occupy movement and get hella inspired to go out and fight for change! Or stay home and bake cookies for change! 

A block print made by reader Boris Gaviria after he attended occupy Seattle. He says you are free to post/distribute/modify/tattoo on your buttocks/etc. Thanks, Boris!

Read Rachel’s piece on vegans’ role in the occupy movement and get hella inspired to go out and fight for change! Or stay home and bake cookies for change! 

09/14/2011

Vegansaurus NYC: Vegan fashion event for Mercy for Animals this Thursday!  »


Amid all the fur and leather comes a breath of fresh air for the vegans during New York City Fashion Week! Perfectly placed at Greenhouse, the eco-friendly event venue located in Tribeca, Have Mercy! will feature some of the industry’s top vegan-friendly designers, including Fraley Le, Yane Mode, Sew Moe Designs and Pretty Birdie Stephanie Teague.

Enjoy hors d’oeurves catered by Verite, desserts by Bolaji Cuisine, and delectable vegan chocolate by Rescue Chocolate while you’re entertained by James Koroni’s Forced Arch Dance Troupe and Vegansaurus’ beloved vegan drag queen Honey LaBronx! The U.S. Veg Corps is hosting.

The best part? Funds will benefit Mercy For Animals. Tickets are $25 in advance and $40 at the door. The event will run from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at Greenhouse, located at 150 Varick St. For further information call (917) 767.7283 or visit the Facebook page.

06/27/2011

Megan Rascal & Erin Red take on Pine Box Rock Shop!  »

Do you know what happens when two kickass vegan broads meet up at a vegan bar in Brooklyn?

WAFFLES HAPPEN, THAT’S WHAT!

And awesome conversation over vegan Bloody Marys too! Your favorite East Coast badasses, Megan Rascal and Erin Red, stopped into Pine Box Rock Shop recently after hearing about their weekly Waffle Brunch (every Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.). First on the agenda were some beverages to whet our appetites—Megan enjoyed some pretty all right mimosas while Erin Red sampled PBRS’ much-hyped Bloody Marys. Good thing our voracious vegan appetites were on duty because these drinks were NOT small! The Bloody Marys were practically meals in themselves, with pickled veggies and celery and rich, layered flavors resulting in quite a kick in the pants. The mimosas were decent. The waffles were fluffy and scrumptious, and in true form we managed to sample three amazing toppings: peach compote, whiskey chocolate walnut (if I’m remembering correctly), and traditional maple syrup with Earth Balance. Holy YUM; they practically had to roll us out of there! 


The venue was open and airy, and the crowd was surprisingly big and diverse for a Sunday afternoon. We enjoyed the live music and the scenery, and DEFINITELY took note of the extensive and creative cocktail menu! Pine Box Rock Shop looks like a perfect venue for vegans to bring their omni pals—fill them with waffles and convince them to go vegan over a few vegan White Russians. PERF!

06/20/2011

YisRoYal vegan cookie dough is the BOMB  »

It’s no secret—we vegans get kinda lazy sometimes. Plus it’s not always easy to just run to the market and pick up all the necessary ingredients when we’ve developed an insatiable craving for fresh-baked, straight-out-of-the-oven, warm and chewy cookies—am I right? Enter YisRoYal vegan cookie dough!
That’s right my gluttonous friends, pre-made and ready to bake cookie dough. Born from a family’s fruitless search for wholesome treats that fit their dietary principles, YisRoYal’s gourmet doughs are 100 percent vegan and free of soy, artificial sweeteners and coloring, bleached flours and hydrogenated oils. The name YisRoYal stems from the Hebrew name Yisra’el, meaning “to be upright with God,” and was chosen in accordance with the company promise to “respect all creation by using only organic, whole ingredients.” How neato is THAT? Though it boasts a two-month shelf life, I knew the dough wouldn’t last long in my household, baked or otherwise. All three tubs—one each of the three flavors, Chocolate Chip, Spicy Ginger and Oatmeal Raisin—lasted the first night without disturbance. Come night number two, however, the temptation was just too much and I cracked each tub open carefully. After two bites of each, I sealed them back up and tried to hide them from myself in the back of the shelf…but it was no use. Another bite here and there left me with about three-fourths of each flavor remaining and I knew I’d better get to baking these darn things.

Per the instructions, I pre-heated the oven to 375 degrees and spooned 12 cookies from the Chocolate Chip tub to the (lightly greased) cookie sheet. Easy peasy!

Twelve minutes later, PING! Cookies! Done!


Honestly, it was so easy I felt like I was cheating. I let the first batch cool and proceeded to bake three more batches and less than one hour later, I have more cookies than I know what to do with. That’s a lie, they’re already half gone. The cookies were totally delicious: sweet but not overly so, not grainy or crumbly like many other vegan cookies, just the right amount of chips/raisins—a total success. My only suggestion would be to keep the cooking time to 10 minutes on the nose. The instructions say 10 to 12 minutes; however, after 12 minutes, the bottoms of each batch were slightly burned. Once I got the hang of it—spacing, dollop size, baking time—they came out picture-perfect. Only they didn’t last long enough for the picture part. To quote my omnivorous boyfriend, “These are fucking GOOD, yo!” I can’t think of a better endorsement than that.

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