Happy Monday! Vida Vegan Con’s week is off to an enthusiastic start after an inspiring edition of our new VVC Speaker Series yesterday with the ever-motivational Whitney Lauritsen of Eco-Vegan Gal.
This lovely lady is the founder and face of Eco-Vegan Gal, a leading resource and influential authority on all things online video and vegan lifestyle, which she launched in 2008. Whitney is no stranger to VVC-land, having covered both conferences on her signature YouTube channel and attending in person in 2013, and we’re delighted to have her join our 2015 speaker lineup!
Join Jess & Michele as Whitney discusses taking March’s Expo West by storm, what she’s digging in LA these days, various eco living tips and both the creativity and guidance she’s bringing to Vida Vegan Con this May with her “Kick Ass Vegan Videos Workshop”.
Vida Vegan Speaker Series: Whitney Lauritsen, Eco-Vegan Gal
The following interview was recorded on Sunday, February 22nd at Hatch Innovation in Portland, OR and Los Angeles, CA
Afterwards, head over to Google Plus, where you can add Vida Vegan to your circles, and make sure you hear first about the upcoming exclusive talks in our ongoing Vida Vegan Speaker Series. And for goodness sake, make sure you turn notifications off so you don’t get emailed every day.
Bonus: All registered attendees can expect a survey in their inbox this week, to help Whitney customize her class to your interests even more!
Look for Whitney at Vida Vegan Con May 29-31st, where she’ll be presenting her Youtube workshop on Sunday, surely taping her own video or two, and joining in on the fun at Friday’s (open to the public!) Vegan Bazaar.
Tickets to both events during this three-day super vegan weekend are available here. See you in May!
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!
We ♥ our Vida Vegan members, and we know you do too! So we’ll be chatting with a new one each month to see what they’re up to and excited about—and steal their breakfast ideas.
First up is a VVC’er who’s been with us since the beginning: Crissie of RunCrissieRun. She’s a mom in a mixed-dietary home (her daughter did just ask for a Tofurky roast for her birthday dinner!), and a full-time career woman, lifelong learner, and wannabe athlete (workouts of choice are running and yoga). On top of all that she tries to travel, read, write, and have as much fun as possible.
Who would you want with you on a stranded island? And what board game would that person surprise you with?
My husband Derek. Cribbage!
If money were no object, what would you like to do all day/what would your ideal day look like?
I would want to sleep in, volunteer at women’s and children’s shelters leading running groups, yoga classes, and vegan cooking classes!
What dinner would you cook to really impress nonvegan family & friends?
A big Indian meal! In fact, that is my plan when my parents come to visit in a few weeks. And a build-your-own taco bar always does the trick.
If you could have a sanctuary for any creature in the world, what would it/they be?
Only one?? Elephants.
What is your favorite word? Your least favorite?
Favorite is “love.” Least favorite is “can’t.”
What’s your favorite breakfast to make on a day off?
Sprouted grain bread with Daiya cream cheese, sliced tomatoes, and a green smoothie.
Would you rather be able to teleport or fly?
Teleport. Why waste the time it takes to fly??
Have any critters at home you’d like to brag about?
Three! A 12-year-old pup named Sammie, a 14-year-old cantankerous cat named Bumble (at least she wants us to think she is), and a 1-year-old fluffball named Ginny, who has helped Bumble realize she’s not as old and cantankerous as she’d like us all to believe!
What excites you most about veganism today?
People no longer find it cultish or weird, and as a result there’s much more interest and acceptance.
What have you been up to lately?
Trying to keep my head above water between work, taking classes, and living my life.
We hear ya! Thanks, Crissie—we’re off to teach ourselves Cribbage.
Want to be a featured member? Check out our Membership Drive, open through July 31!
Hey, you know that Google Plus thingy that attempts to get your attention when you log into your gmail? Look, I’m not trying to convince you to “circle” us over there, promise (although you totally can if you reaaaaally want to). You’re likely elsewhere, refreshing your adorable Instagram, tweeting news links and sharing things on your Facebooks (plural, for sure), and don’t wander into Google-social land much. It’s cool, I sorta dig how elusively odd and still it remains. I’m not asking for much here: just a little visit!
On behalf of your friendly organizers here at Vida Vegan Headquarters, I sure do hope you can click on that top right corner and join us (hence our sharing this on our *other* social media channels and this here blog) for a special get-to-gether. If you have a gmail, you’re almost there already!
Here’s the deal: Google Plus is great for hangin’ out. So, we’re having a big Vida Vegan reunion hangout on Sunday, July 6th at 12pm PST/3pm EST.
Simply click here to RSVP (and then, mute the post if you like) and get ready to jump in via video or chat for our big virtual hangout.
Everyone is welcome!
Come say hello to old & new vegan friends, whether you’ve attended a Vida Vegan Con or not!
Let us know if you questions for the next Vida Vegan Con, or any ideas for classes, speakers or new vegan-friendly companies you want to see.
Learn about the very latest plans for our third conference, and the brand new Vida Vegan Bazaar, set to take place on Friday, May 29 (which friends & family and anyone else in town is encouraged to attend!)
Did you grab one of the coveted Early Bird tickets already?
Were you thinking about capping off an epic vegan road trip with the conference?
Perhaps you’re thinking about attending but wanted to see who else was.
Maybe you can’t make it and wish you could. Hey, stop on by!
Save the afternoon (or whatever time it’ll be by you!) of July 6 and get to know the Vida Vegan family some more.
P.S. As of this post, 15 early bird tickets remain!