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.
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.
What do you have in store? Have a creepy, crawly vegan-tastic blog post or idea to share? Let us know, and we just may include it over on our Instagram!
Got your homemade nooch monster costume ready? Pics or it didn’t happen.
Love it or hate it, there are less than 24 hours to mentally prepare for another Valentine’s Day.
Whether you’re staying in with a mail order from Lagusta’s Luscious and Casablanca, off to a romantic dinner, attempting to say the phrase “Galentine’s Day” out loud, or making tots and deciding to conquer a few seasons of Game of Thrones, Valentine’s Day is about love and celebrating’ that special day with yourself, your loved ones, or your cat. In any case, we hope you spend the day in an enjoyable manner with only a smattering of pink confetti and a bit of thanks in your heart for the people you love.
Here are some ideas from all of us at Vida Vegan Headquarters on a variety of ways to make the evening special, and some topics to tackle blogging (whether you have a bit of spare time tomorrow, decide to Instagram dinner, or tackle writing about it all next week):
- Find those cookie cutters. Yes, you could easily make heart-shaped pancakes or a cake or even polenta/quinoa molds, but how about dinosaurs? Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?! Plus, it really gets you thinking about the past and future, so ring-a-ding-ding…or, just figure out how to make every single thing you eat that day heart-shaped.
- Sneaky, sneaky. Does your significant other or bff(s) read your blog? Probably. Maybe (or maybe they say they do). Try posting about something TOTALLY different than what you actually have planned. Surprise, surprise.
- Go big and go garlic. Roasted garlic lasagna and garlic bread sounds lovely. It’s called intimacy, right?
- DIY V-Day Craft Ideas: Make your own science-y valentine, like these! Subversive Cross Stitch is always there for you. Um…therapeutic pin cushion?
- You Time.Stay in, say screw it, and pop in (okay, stream) some cheesy ‘80s horror and actually pop some popcorn while you brush your cat’s hair. We know you have at least one cat.
- Date Night. Go on, go out to dinner at a vegan (or vegan-friendly) restaurant if you want to! Whether it’s a fancy date, take out, a dive bar, or a slice, you deserve it.
- We Get You. Seriously, have dinner with your cat. Serve everything in wine glasses.
- Schadenfreude. Share your worst adolescent breakup story, that horrible Roxette song that was somehow “yours,” and recreate (veganize) the mall-food-court super deluxe cheese fries you shared on your first date.
- Your Soundtrack: Get down with your single self with Spotify’s ‘Singleton’ playlist. Or, if you’ve got a sweetie, annoy them with these Spotify love song playlists while makin’ dinner or makin’ out.
- Break Out the Candles. Any night’s an excuse for a lovely homemade, vegan meal for two (or three, or whatever’s your bag), V Day’s the big leagues. Here are some romantic recipe ideas to get you inspired:
- Seitan & Waffles with Pomegranate Syrup via The PPK
- Shaved Brussels Sprout with Whole Grain Mustard Sauce via Vedge Restaurant
- Candle 79’s Vegan Paella via City Spoonful
- Allison Rivers Samson’s Double Cheese Lasagna via VegNews
- Portobello’s Cashew Cream Pizza via Serious Eats
- When in doubt, just beet it. via Pinterest
- Ancho Chocolate Pie via Vegan Secret Supper (Jess note: this book is mesmerizing!)
I know, one mere dessert recipe?! As if you don’t have something already up your sleeve.
Rest assured, #11 is an honorary mention (aka one big duh) for thematically-inclined bubbles, cocktails & mocktails, of course.
Enjoy your day, whatever you do, and feel free to share your ideas and plans in the comments!
It’s that special time of year, where it seems like every other blog popping up on your reader is showing off the latest holiday gift guide. If not that, it’s talking about what cookies they love to make this holiday season, links of tried-and-true recipes in tow. These are both great ideas for seasonal blog posts, but there’s plenty more to talk about, and to make your own.
Here at Vida Vegan Headquarters, we’ve put together a list of 15 holiday-themed blogging suggestions to inspire you to inspire others, this winter:
15 Ideas to Get You Blogging This Holiday Season
- Veganize family favorites and share the recipe and the memories.
- Homemade gifts ideas. That’s right, go get fabulously lost on the DIY Xmas Gifts-land that is Pinterest this morning.
- Holiday meal planning: the classics and the brave new dishes.
- Kindness. Spread the cheer & pay it forward.
- DIY decorating: Hello, Snowman fridge.
- Winter picnics with chocolate chip cookies and mugs of mulled cider or peppermint candy cane vodka-infused hot cocoa.
- Speaking of mugs…… ‘Tis the season for warm drinks.Winter picnics with chocolate chip cookies and mugs of mulled cider or peppermint candy cane vodka-infused hot cocoa.
- A new round-up of the best soups in town.
- Tips on throwing a themed holiday party…Festivus, anyone?
- Wool-less winter looks.
- Sharing New Year’s resolutions that will seriously help the world: organize a sanctuary work party; join in the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale; vow to compost, etc.
- Vegan nog-off (or hot chocolate-off) It’s a tough job, but…
- Eco-wrapping. One more intense round of Pinterest to explore.
- Talk about your favorite nonprofits (Holiday season is also tax write-off season — find out who’s got fund-matching!)
- Life lessons: share your vegan-through-the-family-holidays survival guide.
Or….Screw the seasons! Keep doing what you do!
Got something great in the works? Instagram it in-progress, giving a nice behind-the-scenes, authentic look at what you’ve got in store. If you’ve been posting about the holidays, we’d love to read about it. Leave a comment with a link and share your plans in the comments!
Like every other friend we talk to lately, we’ve got homemade holidays on the collective brain at Vida Vegan Headquarters, and brainstorming and recipe testing for our upcoming Holiday Hors D’oeuvres & How-Tos! (aka our holiday entertaining class & cocktail shindig) is only making it that much more difficult to contemplate meals without grated nutmeg and cranberry.
Here are some last-minute, vegan Thanksgiving recipes and ideas catching your friendly organizers’ eyes, and some from our own archives and memories, for the fast-approaching Thanksgiving….Thanksliving…..Thanksgivukkah…..Thursday eats, whatever you’d like to call it.
Janessa’s favorite picks:
Chive Mashed Potatoes I’ve made this recipe from Tal Ronnen the past three years. The secret is the cashew cream that adds an unbelievably rich creaminess.
Green Bean Casserole This recipe from Susan at the excellent Fat Free Vegan blog is an excellent base for that Thanksgiving classic. I usually fatten it up by adding those awful & delicious canned fried onions and cooking with lots of wine.
Artisan Bread Grant Butler recently posted this recipe on Oregon Live. It’s so easy and turns out the most delicious golden loaves of bread I’ve seen.
Parsnip Ribbons Vegetarian Times published this recipe in its November issue. They’re simple, tasty, and add an elegant touch to your mashed potatoes. I omitted the paprika and added dried sage for an even more Thanksgiving-y flavor.
Lava Lamp The Lava Lamp is my favorite seasonal bubbly drink.
1 bottle sparkling wine
1-2 pomegranates’ worth of seeds
12 oz pomegranate juice
Pour bubbles into a tall champagne flute. Add half dozen to a dozen pomegranate seeds, and top with a splash of pomegranate juice. The seeds bounce up and down in the bubbles, creating a Lava Lamp-esque effect.*Makes 4-6 Lava Lamps.
Jess’ tried-and-true picks:
For a twist, I made a last minute, straw-decorated, Thai Iced Tea version a couple of T-days ago that I just fell in love with (which can happen with pie, of course).
- Pumpkin Cheddar Biscuits, Vegan Crunk via Panda with Cookie
My mom’s Sweet Potato Pie Casserole via New York Newsday. My late mother had a clipping of this recipe from the newspaper, and the aroma of it coming out of the oven is my oldest and fondest culinary memory. Besides the mashed potatoes, it was the one dish at holiday gatherings I can actually remember eating, and looking forward to, year after year. (Coincidentally, I have bourbon infusing for this very flavor right now).
Chickpea Cutlets, The PPK. New classics. It’s no gravy, but I sure like these with a smokey BBQ sauce.
- Cranberry Kir Royale, The Chew…because yes, I often watch The Chew, happened to soak fresh cranberries in cherry brandy and ginger the other day, and really, really want to make these this holiday season (or tomorrow).
Savoury Turkey Seitan Roast from Brian P. McCarthy via Everyday Dish. A few years ago, I slept through most of a Thanksgiving feast and having missed out, decided to make this baked seitan first thing the next day, and it was a brilliant, delicious decision.
- And if you’re doing a classic Tofurky or seitan roast, I would like to recommend using sparkling apple cider or a hoppy beer, along with sliced garlic, shallots and fresh herbs, in that marinade. It’s where it’s at.
- If you’re looking for something different or simply finger food-orientated, perhaps the first-ever documented Totsgiving can inspire.
Michele’s cozy picks:
While I’m just as likely to make pizza or pasta, here are some more traditional holiday dishes:
Manifest Vegan’s cranberry upside down cake works for dessert, but leftovers for breakfast might be even better.
A veganized version of the Astro Weenie Christmas Tree will do for any gathering.
Vegan Dad’s nugget recipe is my go-to for seitan cutlets of all shapes and sizes.
Some of my favorites for which I’ve never had recipes are stuffin’ muffins (stuffing made in muffin tins), crispy baked chickpeas, roasted sweet potatoes, and any ol’ hunk of bread with roasted elephant garlic and parsley butter.
Vegan Thanksgiving in Portland & Beyond
And if you’re staying in, how about mixing things up and putting together a special Korean dolsot bibimap, Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian spread (from Vida Vegan Con alumnae Kittee Berns) or even picking up take-out from a vegan-friendly restaurant, grocery store or caterer open in your neighborhood? There’s often something extra fun about breaking tradition, and most importantly, creating your own.
If you’re in the Portland area like us, here are some suggestions:
Downtown’s Vegetarian House seems to be open normal hours.
Papa G’s is taking special orders for both dine-in and carry-out vegan feasts
Whole Foods offers online and in-store ordering for their 4-person Vegan Thanksgiving set, which includes a Wild Rice, Yam & Pear Roast, Vegan Mushroom Gravy, Pumpkin Pie and 5 other holiday dishes.
- Back to Eden is taking special orders
- Sweetpea Baking Co pre-ordering information
- Petunia’s Pies & Pastries ordering information
The incredibly well-attended, 10th Annual NorthwestVeg Compassionate Thanksgiving Potluck is also happening on November 24th at Benson High School. Registration here.
Outside of Portland?
Lazy Smurf’s Vegan Thanksgiving round up
Super Vegan did a New York City round up last year
Red Tricycle’s Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving spots in Los Angeles
Vegan Thanksgiving dinner menus at Upstairs on the Square in Boston
We’d love to hear about your own very special, traditional or otherwise, American Thanksgiving plans (or Canada’s earlier this year!) and tried and true recipes.
Do feel free to let us know of any other spots open in your neighborhood.
Stay tuned for more from our Vida Vegan holiday guides & news on our holiday events.
The early bird discount for our upcoming holiday celebration ends next week!