Author: Michele Truty

The Galarama Site Is Live!

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mf24532You already know this if you’re a newsletter subscriber, but we’ve built a whole separate site for the Galarama—if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do, and spread the word. Let’s raise some money for the chimps!

We’re really so excited and proud to have this opportunity to bring everyone together for a fun night while giving back to these beautiful, intelligent creatures that our world has exploited and mistreated.

For registrants and speakers, your admission to this party is complimentary. If you’d like to upgrade to a VIP ticket (limited to 20 • includes a special gift bag, 2 free drinks, and a raffle ticket), you can do so for $20.

Non-VVC public can purchase tickets starting Monday, April 1 (no foolin’). General Admission is $15/$20 at door; $40 VIP.

And super fun news: Brian “The Sexy Vegan” Patton will be our emcee for the evening!

So don’t miss it. Join us at Staver Locomotive in NW Portland Saturday night, May 25, 2013, at 7pm. Learn more here!

VVC Alum Does Good: Carrie Forrest’s Vegan Delish App

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Carrie Forrest headshotVida Vegan is the best extended family ever! Our group is filled with so much creativity and productivity, all spreading the good vegan word through words and sights and sounds. VVC alum Carrie Forrest (Carrie on Vegan) has created Vegan Delish, a whole foods recipe app for Apple handheld devices. We wanted to know more!

You blog tons of recipes—what made you take the app leap? Was it just app or cookbook time?

That’s right. After blogging for over three years, I had amassed enough recipes and interest that it was time to organize them into something marketable. I had the opportunity to license software to create Vegan Delish, which is essentially a digital cookbook with cool features like a shopping list, social media sharing options, and recipe ratings. Besides the interactive features, I love being able to constantly add new recipes to the app to keep it fresh and relevant.

Vegan Delish iPhone screenshotWhat was the hardest aspect of development?

As a blogger, I wasn’t always consistent in my form, but when you publish recipes in the app, there are certain protocols you have to follow. That was a challenge, in terms of editing. I also felt pressure to increase the quality of my photos and take my skills up a notch.

And the most rewarding?

I’m like a proud parent when anyone tells me they use Vegan Delish. My ultimate goal with both my blog and my app has been to inspire people to try cooking easy, vegan meals at home, so I feel fulfilled whenever that happens.

Do you receive feedback from your users? Anything particularly surprising?

There is a recipe rating and review feature, and I read every comment on individual recipes from users. I’m sometimes surprised by the feedback. For instance, one person left a review saying her kids loved the Curry Kale Chips, which surprised me since I never would have thought to categorize that recipe as kid-friendly.

iPad screenshot

What’s your favorite recipe on the app?

Since my specialty is creating recipes that are super healthy and in general made with no oils, salt, or added sugars, I had to go and mess with the already-healthy black bean brownie and add spinach to it. Even though it turns the batter green, my Spinach & Black Bean Brownies still come out tasting awesome (and once they’re baked, they’re not green). Topped with my Vanilla “Cream” Frosting made with cashews and dates…mmmmmm!

Do you have future plans for Vegan Delish? How will it evolve?

My next big plan is to add recipes from other bloggers; I really want to grow the recipe base and include some of the fantastic healthy, vegan recipes that are in the blogosphere. In fact, if you’re interested in contributing, please email me at Carrie @ VeganDelish . com!

Returning to Portland for VVC, what’s a must-see/eat/do for newcomers?

I absolutely love visiting Portland, and I am thrilled to be returning in May. My favorite places to visit are the Saturday Market, Herbivore Clothing, the International Rose Test Garden, and the farmers’ market at PSU. My all-time favorite restaurants in Portland are Prasad (loved seeing it spoofed in this episode of Portlandia) and Blossoming Lotus.

Thanks, Carrie. We’ll see you in May!

Heads up! VVC 2013 Is Almost Sold Out!

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the last cookie

What’s sadder than the last cookie? No cookie at all.

Yeah, so even with 100 more registrant spots this year, we’re still running out of space for y’all. Wow. Our handy little PayPal inventory alert told us we are down to 30 tickets for our three-day weekend of learning and funning and eating and sharing.

They’re still available here—but we don’t want to rush you. Make sure you read through the registration info and double-check your calendars, because these are nonrefundable tickets.

Not sure about lodging and transportation? Find more information (and a ton of helpful links) on our Travel & Lodging pages. And if your questions aren’t answered on our FAQ page, email us at VidaVeganConference @ gmail . com.

For those of you who already registered, we’ll see you in May!

More Memories

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The ladies of the VVC, in planning the next conference, have been looking back at our first event, mainly to remind ourselves of what worked and didn’t work, what AV cords would have been handy—you know, the practical stuff. But this warm and fuzzy feeling keeps rising up, reminding us of why we do this. Why we suppress basic human survival stuff like food and sleep. Why you all fly and drive from all corners of the earth for our vegan summer camp.

So here I am, the camera-shy Michele, to share with you two of my favorite memories of August 2011. Janessa will be up next, and if you missed the post from Jess, check it out.

packing swag bags vida vegan conTechnically, this is pre-conference, but tip-toeing through Janessa’s rather congested living room to fill SWAG bags. Following the unofficial meet & greet, while folks were out at the Vegucated screening then funning it up at Bye & Bye, we were playing elf, putting together these goodie bags of wonder (even bigger this year!), and sharing last-minute fears and hopes. Our sherpa/caretaker Tom stamped the last of the name badges, and we debated juuust how early we’d need to wake up in the morning to load in at the conference center. It sounds like work, but the excitement and anticipation far outweighed the anxiety. Something special was about to happen.

And the opening talk. Laura Beck nailed it. (Surprise.) We’d not previewed her speech and were blown away by how she set the tone for the conference—and the future of the Vida Vegan family. That we are a community of bloggers, and that is something so dear. Sometimes you need to turn to your community when you’re feeling alone, tired, or particularly beat down by the comments. You can listen to Laura’s talk here, and even if you weren’t there to hear it in person I’m willing to bet you’ll get a little weepy.

Of course, the two and a half days that followed were also filled with so many amazing memories, and even more blurry ones I’m pretty sure were equally fantastic. And I can’t wait to make new memories this year!

Save the Date: Galarama & Silent Auction

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Undoubtedly, one of the best parts of running Vida Vegan is getting to support fantastic animal sanctuaries. We do that by donating a portion of our Vida Vegan Con registration and by hosting a silent auction/party/excuse to get a little fancy: the Galarama.

We’ve got sooo much to put together yet for this event (nibblies, music, cocktail/mocktail menu, exactly what kind of photo booth), but we wanted to give you a heads-up so you can start making plans. This event will be open to the public, so we’ll have admissions info up soon—of course, all full-access registrants get in free!

What do we know so far?


The location: Staver Locomotive, in NW Portland. This insanely cool building has model train tracks running through it, little rooms tucked here and there, and a super pretty outside area (with more train tracks). We instantly fell in love and can’t wait to fill it up with all of you. Bonus points for being walking distance from the NW 23rd/Nob Hill neighborhood and the same Portland Streetcar line as the Art Museum.

The date: Saturday, May 25, 2013, 7:00 – 9:30 pm. Conference-goers will have time to get to their hotels, grab a snack, get gussied up (or not!), meet up with their date (again, or not!), and get over to Staver.

The beneficiary: Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. This is a sanctuary in Cle Elum, Washington, founded to provide a safe forever home to chimpanzees exploited and discarded by the biomedical and entertainment industries. Read about them and the chimps here. (They have a fantastic blog.)

The sponsor: Our 2013 VVC Gold Sponsor, So Delicious, is helping us foot the bill for this event—and putting together something that can only be considered an Ice Cream Spectacular. (More to come on that.)  We can’t thank them enough; the less money we spend on this shindig, the more we can give to the chimps!

Want to help? If you or someone you know has an item or service to donate to the auction, find more information here. And thank you!