Author: jess sconé
Oh, things are buzzing in the Vida Vegan Con world, with Michele and Jess arriving in Austin this very morning on some official conference business (and tacos). We’ve made glorious leaps and bounds with the conference schedule and all the not-so-last-minute adjustments, which is both pretty fun and pretty zany when you’re dealing with 25+ speakers and twice as many classes.
Here’s a look at what’s shakin’ right now:
FRIDAY, MAY 29TH:
The weekend starts off with the Vida Vegan Bazaar at The Marchesa Hall & Theatre. We’re talking all things vegan expo, vendors, sampling, demos, and for the first time ever, it’s open to the public! Early bird tickets are now available for your family, friends, and anyone else who’d like to check out a big taste of Vida Vegan Con shenanigans. And OF COURSE, all registered Vida Vegan Con attendees are already on the door list and are invited to come for a very exclusive hour before everyone else gets in The Marchesa’s doors.
On top of all the festival fun times and a certain Earth Balance photobooth, we’ll have speakers and special guests sharing their expertise with Lazy Smurf’s Austin Community Panel, Joanna Vaught moderating the Vegan Family Panel, DIY Homebrewing with Bianca Phillips of Vegan Crunk, and an irresistible demo from the “Queen of Vegan Desserts,” Fran Costigan. So, so, so much more to come!
The Vida Vegan Bazaar = Exclusive to VVC attendees: 12–1 pm + Open to the public: 1–7 pm
SATURDAY, MAY 30TH:
The next day brings all our conference attendees to AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center in Austin’s University District for an action-packed day of only-at-Vida Vegan Con classes, presentations, workshops, panels, breakouts, discussion groups, new-friend-making & mingling, galore—and surely epic Texas-size vegan breakfast and lunch buffets.
Saturday Conference hours, from breakfast through the last class: 8 am – 5 pm
We’ve currently scheduled the following Saturday content, which often means two, if not three or more classes in the same session, phew:
- Cookbook Writing: From concept to proposal to testing to editing to print with Joni Marie Newman
- Food Justice with Bryant Terry
- Blogging Etiquette & Social Media Essentials with Jackie Sobon of Vegan Yack Attack
- Science Is Awesome! Why we don’t need to exaggerate health claims about veganism with Matt Ruscigno MPH RD of True Love Health & Strongest Hearts
- Zine Making Workshop with Amey Mathews of Vegan Eats & Treats
- Design & Branding with Michelle Lee of Broadview Design
- Legal Info for Online Content with Attorney Randi Milgram of Laughfrodisiac
- Post Processing for Food Photography, or How to fix almost anything with software with Susan Voisin of Fatfree Vegan Kitchen
- Preventing Ex-Vegans with Ginny Messina, “The Vegan RD“
- Food Styling Workshop with Hannah Kaminsky of BitterSweet
- Can We All Just Get Along: Finding common ground in different forms of activism with Christy Morgan, aka “The Blissful Chef“
- How to Deal With Facing Failing Health as a Vegan with Sayward Rebhal of Bonzai Aphrodite
- Demo-ing the Demo with Fran Costigan
- Touring Your Book or Project with 2014 Lambda Literary Award Winner Nicole J. Georges
- with more panels & breakouts to be announced!
SUNDAY, MAY 31ST:
continues at AT&T Executive Education Center for even more learning, community building & fun from Saturday. Ya dig?
The Sunday schedule is set to include the following:
- Kickstart/Crowdfund your Vegan Food Dream with Terry Hope Romero
- How To Make Kick-Ass Vegan Videos on YouTube with Whitney Lauritsen, aka “Eco Vegan Gal“
- Avenues to a Vegan Healthcare Career & Nutrition Wars with Gena Hamshaw of Choosing Raw
- Video & Film as Activism Through Storytelling with Sasha Perry of Strongest Hearts
- Vegan Athletes Panel with Christy Morgan, Matt Ruscigno & Lacy J. Davis
- New! Vegan Business Class TBA with Miyoko Schinner of Artisan Vegan Life & Miyoko’s Kitchen
- Writing Recipes with Grant Butler of The Oregonian’s FoodDay
- Social Media Class TBA with Brian Patton, aka “The Sexy Vegan“
- Honesty in Your Online Presence with Monique Koch of Brown Vegan
- Vegan Internet Entrepeneur Class TBA with Jill Pyle of Vegan Cuts
- On-Location Photography with Hannah Kaminsky of BitterSweet
- Veganism, Body Image, Self-Esteem, ED Recovery: How reading blogs & social media can influence all of the above with Lacy J. Davis of Superstrength Health
- Building Your Own App with Joshua May of Clue
- The Ethics of Vegan Dining & Boozing with Bianca Phillips of Vegan Crunk
- Vegan Travelin’ + Blogging with Jojo Huxster of vegan.in.brighton
- Talking Cruelty-Free Cosmetics & Beauty with Tashina Combs of Logical Harmony
- & yup, more details to come!
Sunday Conference hours, from breakfast through the closing talk: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Stay tuned for the big, bad official agenda!
We’ll be sure to let you know if any classes or hands-on workshops require advance signup via attendee newsletters (which you’ll receive at the address you buy your ticket with, so do let us know if there’s a change).
(And keep an eye out for Sunday night after-party info!)
💚 Please note, all is subject to change, except for the fact that this experience will be amazing. 💚
Happy December Holidays + Cheers to the almost New Year!
We seriously dug checking out all of your celebrating and creativity for the #veganholidays these past few days! Here is just a handful of all the beautiful, memorable and tasty happenings that caught our eyes from such an inspiring collection. Personally, I went out to one of my favorite Thai spots on xmas to avoid cooking, so it was pretty dang fun to live so vicariously!
Check out all of these lovely folks’ feeds for more.
First up, some mini mince meat pies adorned with little stars, courtesy of Jojo, aka @veganinbrighton!
Next up, let’s head to Melbourne with @veganmiam for a slice of this lovely, raw christmas cheesecake from Pana Chocolate:
Here’s @astigvegan’s “Champorado”, a chocolate rice porridge with coconut milk and salty, seaweed-dredged tofu.
Sweet + salty? Count me in.
So much charm: Fresh mint & pineapple punch and cunningly *deviled potatoes* from @plantmunchers
Here’s a gorgeous and rather jolly green smoothie from @chemese:
Ponder this: Is the best part of gingerbread cookies decorating them however the heck you want, or what?!?
What we mean is, @ameyfm‘s kitchen is quite inspired!
More sweets: @21stcenturyeden breaks out some fantastic vegan peanut butter twix:
I’ll let the caption for this next one speak for itself, go figure…
“Christmas-ing our balls off. Spot the many vegan options, including my beloved @auntieloostreats’ Yule log!” via @lbennet3
George, always quite the star. via @pandawithcookie
The following cheeseball has been haunting my dreamssssss. via @vegancuts by @johnwiseman
Give it up for @dimsimkitty and these surely tasty vegan ham & cheese croissants:
Lush love: @ethical_vegan received one heck of a sweet haul!
Yes, please! Traditional Vanille-Kipferl from @nathalie.claire:
@Plantenergy_ brightens up the party with her refreshing veggie sushi:
Let’s be real, there’s always room for biscuits, especially when they look as comforting and savoury as @jlgoesvegan’s recent take:
As if we’d close things down without a slice of buche de noel. This one is adorned with marzipan mushrooms, for peter’s sake! via @vegans_for_peace by @joaniebhansen
‘Til next time! Happy New Year, everyone!
(21 weeks ’til Vida Vegan Con 2015! Register here.)
For more strolling, head to #veganholidays on Gramfeed
Join us for a winter wonderland of a Google Hangout this Sunday with VVC2015 Speaker Eco-Vegan Gal!
When: Sunday, December 7, 2014 starting at 11amPST/1pmCST/2pmEST for one hour
What: Join Vida Vegan Con founders Janessa, Jess and Michele to discuss winter holiday recipes, memories, entertaining tips and hear some big announcements about what’s in store at Vida Vegan Con III in May. We’ll be joined by a special guest, Whitney Lauritsen aka Eco-Vegan Gal, who’ll be sharing her own holiday tips in a live Q & A, what she’s been up to and what this self-made YouTube star has planned for her own special class at VVC2015.
Hold up! Bonus! Well, Jess is pretty sure she clicked all the correct buttons to make this broadcast (and record!) live! This means you don’t have to “join” in on the chat to witness our shenanigans, but if you do, you’re a part of the fun!
Whether you’re attending, thinking about grabbing a ticket or just super wish you could be there, this is a chance to ask us all your questions about Vida Vegan Con.
Where: Google Hangout! Here’s the event page: Vida Vegan Con December Hangout. You don’t have to have the silly world of Google Plus all figured out by any means: just click on the link and check the event out! We do recommend that you turn off the event notifications (Boooooring).
RSVP & we’ll see you there!
P.S. Looking for more vegan holiday entertaining ideas? Download our 2013 Holiday E-Zine for a mere $3 bucks! Created for last December’s Holiday Hors D’oeuvres & How-Tos event, this e-zine is filled with wintry recipes as well as craft instructions, decorating tips, and gift ideas. Recipes include Cauliflower “Goat Cheese” and Baked Maple Whiskey Popcorn!
You like fluffy biscuits? We adore fluffy biscuits! You like gravy? We lo-o-o-ve gravy! Here at Vida Vegan HQ, Janessa’s daydreaming of mashed potatoes and pie, Michele is gonna get down with some stuffing in a very special way, and I’m seriously craving sweet potatoes, which can only mean one thing: let’s talk Vegan Thanksgiving recipes! It’s last minute, for sure, but there’s always time to add another pie to the menu. Sheesh.
With the need for an assortment of pies, savoury stuffing and whatever seitan/tofu/en croute is the latest and greatest or best of the rest, let’s grab a plate, enjoy with loved (or liked!) ones, and keep menu planning for one delicious American Thanksgiving afternoon!
And may we suggest, if your American T-Day celebration isn’t as cruelty-free as you may like (oh, family), we recommend you find your local veg group, or start your own vegan potluck with friends, and veganize the heck out of your family favorites on another day. Enjoy!
Check out these Vegan Thanksgiving photos & holiday tips from our own Vida Vegan Con 2015 Speakers & Friends:
Starting things off with a little something something…
Apple Pie on the Rocks, via Vegan Yack Attack. Cheers, Jackie!
Perhaps the ultimate fall comfort food, we have a legit Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Mashed Parsnip and Potato Mash, courtesy of Gena Hamshaw of Choosing Raw, via Food 52. Check out Gena’s tips on veganizing your own Thanksgiving, including her “perfect vegan pie crust“, over here.
For even more tips and on all things mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing, check out The Sexy Vegan’s latest holiday episode. He’s quite the informative fella!
This one has definitely become a new Vegan Thanksgiving classic: Joni Marie Newman’s Seitan en Croute from 500 Vegan Recipes. Mmmm, “en croute”.
It’s quite the savoury masterpiece. The recipe is up on Just the Food. You know what to do.
Here in Portland, Oregon, we look forward to food writer Grant Butler’s holiday recipe guides in The Oregonian every year. I seriously found my new favorite pie thanks to his pieces last year, veganizing Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie for the second year in a row just yesterday.
Check out Grant’s most recent, talking all things cranberry sauce (with some recipes, of course): 7 Thanksgiving cranberry sauce, relish and chutney recipes, via Oregonian FoodDay.
Another holiday favorite goes to Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Chickpea Cutlets:
Since Veganomicon’s release in 2007, I have been to so many potlucks and dinners that have starred these great patties (okay, fine, and last year she made them inside my apartment. Wowzers.)
Okay, we’ve got the seitan, so don’t forget the biscuits!!
Fluffy Biscuits & Creamy Sage Gravy, Julie Hasson’s Vegan Diner
Frankly, it’s almost time for pie, so let’s get down with some sweet potatoes as a stepping stone. The aroma of mashed sweet potatoes, cinnamon & pecan is my ultimate holiday food nostaglia, and this one looks deeeee-lightful:
The Blissful Chef’s Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Pecan Topping
Want your mashed sweet potatoes to be SWEET potatoes? Er….yams? Sayward’s got ya covered with these Traditional “Dandied” Yams:
If you’re like me, you’ve been known to insist on mac & cheese as part of your Vegan Thanksgiving spread.
You made it through! It time for pie!
First up, this absolutely gorgeous chocolate pecan pie from chocolate guru Fran Costigan:
And goodness, gracious: Maple Yam-Ginger Pie from Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen.
You can find that recipe up on FancyFoodFancy.
What a beautiful time for veganism.
And because some of us really like to go back for more stuffing, we’ve got two more for ya, of the cornbread persuasion:
Cornbread Sofrito Stuffing with Veggie Chorizo, courtesy of Terry Hope Romero on Vegan Latina.
And one more for the road: Vegan Southern-Style Cornbread Stuffing, courtesy of Susan Voisin on Fatfree Vegan.
For more ideas, check out these real life Thanksgiving Feasting recaps from our friends Bianca Phillips, Sayward Rebhal, Lisa Coulson (aka Panda with Cookie) & Jackie Sobon:
Thanksgiving Recap, or, Tale of Unturkey, via Vegan Crunk
What we ate Wednesday: THANKSGIVING!, via Bonzai Aphrodite
All things Vegan Thanksgiving on Vegan Yack Attack
Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes & Plans, via Panda with Cookie
Plus, Vegan Cuts has this awe-inspiring Vegan Thanksgiving Pinterest collection.
Go team, go!
One small thing that makes a big difference? Print out or hand write a nice menu for your delicious spread, and post it on the wall. We bet it’ll get your company even more excited!
As for us, Janessa’s whole family will be together for the first time in years! Their plans include pumpkin pie, pizza and going outside to play “Leaf Extreme”. Michele is gonna be getting down with some of these, and I’m bringing Shiraz, chocolate cream pie and biscuit dough (Dude, you better believe it’s homemade!) to a small get-together (while craving Thai food, no doubt). My evening plans include relaxing with my partner, more pie, and Skyping my sister and her new dog.
And if you need an idea for staying in and avoiding the world, may we suggest keeping calm, picking up some Pad Thai and Pumpkin Curry, and relaxing with some quirky science fiction on Netflix. Nice.
We ♥ our Vida Vegan members, and we bet you will, too!
It’s time to catch up with another featured member from our Vida Vegan Membership collection, and this time we’re talking with Kat Mendenhall, the multi-talented creator of Kick Butt Boots! We’re sharing just what this vegan lifestyle coach, culinary nutritional expert and boot maker’s been up to lately & excited about—and just what restaurant she’d pick to dine at for the rest of her life. Let’s be real: It’s a great one! Recently, Kat was the first vegan chef to provide a demo at the Texas State Fair’s Celebrity Kitchen, and had her own booth at the epic Texas Veggie Fair in Dallas!
So, Kat, what excites you most about veganism today?
I’ve been vegan for five years and the explosion I’ve seen during that time is simply unbelievable. From new vegan food products, clothing, shoes, cookbooks, etc. The awareness of the cruelty to animals is more visible, including the health hazards of consuming animal products. In addition the rise in environmental efforts to control, stop, and change the food industry from poisoning our planet and the environment. Minds are being open, people are demanding change, and the world is beginning to improve for the better. That is super exciting!
What have you been up to lately? Any projects you’d like to share?
I teach cooking classes at Ozark Natural Foods in Fayetteville, Arkansas twice a month. I also hold monthly workshops in Dallas based around specific themes. [Recently, it was] all about the guys,”Tailgating Without the Meat”. I also continuously work on the development phase of creating a Texas designed cruelty-free cowboy boot.
Have any critters at home you’d like to brag about?
A 4 1/2 year old rescue dog, Izzy, my grand kitty Abbott, and a 1 1/2 year old pit bull we recently picked up wandering out on a country road in Arkansas, Belle.
If you were suddenly transformed into one creature, what do you think it would be?
Is this a trick questions? A “cat” of course!
If you could have a sanctuary for any creature in the world, what would they be?
Cows with plenty of dogs and cats around to keep them company.
What’s your favorite breakfast to make on a day off?
Vegan biscuits with ‘sausage” gravy; cruelty-free comfort food at it’s best.
What is your favorite word?
Ridicalickanoculous, my own creation!
We’re taking Vida Vegan Con on the road! How has Austin, TX caught your eye?
Caught my eye and my heart! I love that it is unique and holds tight to its Texas roots despite its growth.
Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
Italy, on the calendar for next year!
All right, if you could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Candle Cafe in New York City
Hellooo, legendary porcini-crusted seitan, and thank you for the answers & cravings, Kat!
You can follow along with Kat on her website’s events page, her Facebook page, with @katmossmendenhall over on Twitter, and hopefully at Vida Vegan Con III this May!
Hey, ghoul. Hey.
Halloween season has arrived and the pumpkins are out!
Whether you’re picking up some sweet confections for your own kids, the neighborhood, a rather mature costume party or it’s the combination of childhood nostalgia + all those dang candy sales getting to you, it’s time to consider your vegan options this week!
As vegans with internet access, we should all know by now that PETA offers this here list (make sure to double and triple check, you know, do the vegan thing, for confectioner’s glaze and sneaky, sneaky things like that) and recently spotlighted these 25 Vegan Halloween Candies. And VegNews jumped in on the fun just last week with their own 2014 Vegan Candy Guide for the festivities, which can only mean one thing…it’s our turn!
From eyeball-inspired sweets to the contemplation of pumpkin hot toddies, we’ve been poking around the internet again and are ready to share some Vegan Halloween inspiration at Vida Vegan Headquarters (including a bunch of folks from our VVC family!)
Vida Vegan HQ presents: 18 Vegan Halloween Ideas
First up, something classic, yet veganized, this way come…
Next up, let me give a little “omg omg” and send some thanks to the folks at Vegan Cuts for pointing us this way!
Naturally ⸺ or, not naturally, that is ⸺ it’s certainly not Halloween without some creepy edibles:
3) Witches’ Fingers, Urban Vegan (2011 speaker!)
Are there vegan gummy worms at the bottom of this bucket of candy? Or more importantly, does anyone make vegan gummy worms and have a bag they can send me for some chocolate dirt & worms action? Mmm, yuck, mmm, yuck.
Ah, something healthy to sink your teeth into, ba da bum:
5) 3 Ingredient Halloween Apple Bites, Oh She Glows (2013 attendee!)
These are really cute.
Moving on, would you prefer the following with or without booze?
7) BOO-Berry Jiggers,Joni Marie Newman’s Just the Food (soon to be 3-time VVC speaker!)
I must have this in my life. It’s utterly adorable.
Also adorable? (…and this could be my years of obsessive Anne Rice reading talking)
There’s at least a few of you planning on (blooooody) pumpkin tacos, right?! I wouldn’t doubt it.
Let’s get to the point:
The one thing I’ve crossed off my list this week so far:
Did pumpkin finally sell out? Maybe. But do I still have pumpkin fever? Yes.
13) Baked Penne with Pumpkin Cream Sauce, Julie Hasson’s Vegan Casseroles via Bake and Destroy (Julie joins us for a 2nd VVC in May, phew)
Hello, thematically-inclined bubble tea:
That calls for some sake in there, if you know what I mean (which to clarify, is exactly what I said about wanting sake).
Real food below! Not candy! Keep going!
15) Halloween Wild Rice, Bitter Sweet blog (3 timer!)
Yeah, pumpkin, we heart ya still.
16) Spicy Pumpkin Soup (video episodle!), The Sexy Vegan (2015 VVC Speaker!)
One more from Jackie, ’cause, breakfast:
17) Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, Vegan Yack Attack (2013 attendee & 2015 speaker!)
And for a post-breakfast treat this week, you know what fits the bill:
Hi Bianca! Hi ice cream!
18) So Delicious Halloween Ice Cream Bars on Vegan Crunk (soon to be 3-time VVC speaker!!)
Store locator here.