vegan

This Sunday: Vida Vegan Con Winter Google Hangout with Eco-Vegan Gal & Friends!

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You’re Invited!

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

Who: Vida Vegan Con’s Janessa Philemon-Kerp, Jess Sconé, and Michele Truty, special guest Whitney Lauritsen and anyone who joins us!

Whitney Lauritsen VVC speakersWhat: 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!

1vida
DIY Hot Toddy, baby

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!

Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas from Vida Vegan & Friends!

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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:

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Starting things off with a little something something…

Image source: Vegan Yack Attack

Apple Pie on the Rocks, via Vegan Yack Attack. Cheers, Jackie!

Image source: Food52
Image source: Food52

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”.

Joni Marie Newman’s Seitan 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.

Image source: Oregonian FoodDay

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:

Image source: The PPK

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, Vegan Diner

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:

Image source: Bonzai Aphrodite

If you’re like me, you’ve been known to insist on mac & cheese as part of your Vegan Thanksgiving spread.

Image source: Brown VeganBWc]

Monique over at Brown Vegan knows what I’m talking about, and is a fellow lover of the non-traditional VegNews recipe that made waves a few years ago. She’s got it posted up over here.

You made it through! It time for pie!

First up, this absolutely gorgeous chocolate pecan pie from chocolate guru Fran Costigan:

Image source: Fran Costigan

And goodness, gracious: Maple Yam-Ginger Pie from Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen.

Image source: FancyFoodFancy

You can find that recipe up on FancyFoodFancy.

And when in doubt, both the Voluptuous Vegan and Bryanna Clark Grogan have epic offerings of their own. Isa has the first recipe up on ThePPK.

Image source: The PPK

And hey, both Hannah Kamsinky and Dynise Balcavage have released exclusively vegan pie cookbooks in recent years.

Image source: Hannah Kaminsky

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:

Image source: Vegan Latina

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.

2015 Vida Vegan Con Speaker Roundup #1

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We put out the call. We read the submissions. We talked. We made spreadsheets. We talked some more. We used and abused a dry-erase board… You simply cannot imagine how hard it was for us to narrow down our speaker lineup. Such amazing talent. Such fantastic voices. Why can’t Vida Vegan Con be a week long?! (Seriously, Google, how about sponsoring us?)

But we’ve done it, and now we can’t wait to share it with you! Each week we’ll feature a handful of speakers, with a teaser of what sort of expertise they’ll be sharing with you (to supplement the class topics sneak peek we posted last week).

As in past years, we’ve curated this lineup of activists, authors, smartypantses, and other leaders in their fields to share with you their skills, their unique voices, and their ability to inspire.

So here they are, in randomly random order, your first handful of Vida Vegan Con III speakers:

Susan Voisin VVC III 2015

Susan Voisin, of Fat Free Vegan

An overwhelming crowd favorite from VVC2013, Susan will be teaching us post-processing for food photography—how to fix almost anything with software. She’ll also be sharing teaching duties in a class on monetizing your blog.

 

 

 

 

Sasha Perry VVC III 2015 speakers

Sasha Perry, of Strongest Hearts.

New to VVC, Sasha is a veteran filmmaker who was recently a producer and shooter (the camera kind!) on a little show called “Whale Wars” on Animal Planet. Sasha will be presenting on video and film as activism through storytelling. Get ready to get inspired!

 

 

 

 

Ginny Messina VVC III 2015 speakers

Ginny Messina, of The Vegan RD

Ginny’s back for her third round of VVC, and we couldn’t be more honored to bring you arguably the best-respected voice in vegan nutrition. This year she’ll be talking about a super hot topic, preventing ex-vegans.

 

 

 

 

Tashina Combs VVC III 2015 speakers

Tashina Combs, of Logical Harmony.

Tashina has become the go-to resource for vegan cosmetics and bodycare and we’re glad to welcome her to her first time speaking at VVC. She’ll be teaching us about the difference between cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics, what to look for, what questions to ask, and who you can trust.

 

 

 

Brian Patton VVC III 2015 speakers

Brian Patton, of The Sexy Vegan.

Cookbook author, podcaster, and the 2013 Vida Vegan Galarama host, Brian is presenting his first VVC class this year. He’ll be breaking down social media and teaching us how to tweet like you give a damn.

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it, round one, with so much more to come! Ready to register? Especially as we announce speakers, these tickets are gonna go fast. Put in for your vacation time and reserve your spot today!

 Vida Vegan Con III ∗ May 29-31, 2015 ∗ Austin, TX

Member Spotlight: Crissie of RunCrissieRun

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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.

Here's Crissie (center) with fellow VVC'ers Molly Caple (left) and Dawn Quinn (right).
Here’s Crissie (center) with fellow VVC’ers Molly and Dawn, hanging in Seattle.

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.

You can keep tabs on Crissie on Twitter & Instagram!

 

Want to be a featured member? Check out our Membership Drive, open through July 31!

Things We Loved: #VegansatExpo (Vicarious Vegan Highlights from Expo West 2014!)

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via @creestaal
via @creestaal

Team Vida Vegan HQ has a dream (okay, and at least 107 projects in the works), and that dream is to one day attend Expo West. From the looks of the Internet and all the jealousy-inducing photos we’ve seen, this year was bigger, better and more vegan-friendly than ever. I mean, it had its own vegan-specific hashtag, #VegansAtExpo. That’s really saying something. Like I said, one day, the sampling will be ours, because it looked like a blogger-hopping blast!

To tide ourselves over until we bring on the exhibitors at the next Vida Vegan Con, we put together this hashtag roundup from the tradeshow.

Hint, hint, we’d love to see all these folks and products at VVC2015*! Right?! Let’s make it happen.

*Dude, the much-anticipated VVC2015 city & dates are  seriously, seriously coming your way early Spring, which means oh, so, soon. I hope you subscribe to our official Vida Vegan HQ newsletter! (because it’s an infrequent, imperative source for these things).

Enjoy these highlights via Instagram & Twitter, some thoughts from Michele and myself, and prepare to contemplate: Is 2014 the year of the vegan fish stick, or what?

Michele says: I am so G-to-the-D excited about these, and I can’t tell you why. Fish sticks were always the grossest, but I loved fish & chips—which now seem just as gross. So why do I want a vegan fakey fish? Whyyyy? 

via @faboofierce

…because who can ever get enough of JJ’s Cocomels?

via @LaziestVegans

Fan favorite! (And we’re talking about the bacon and our friend Jared)

via @phoneybaloneys

Speaking of bacon, we sure are A-OK with another nifty vegan seitan bacon hitting the market. Anyone seen this in Portland yet? Or better yet, we’ll come to you!

via @lifeissweetoc

Clearly a necessity with the non-stop sampling going on.

via @veganinyourcity

Everyone (okay, at least three people in Jess’ Instagram feed last week) are raving about these new Field Roast burgers! And breakfast sausages! For that matter, I must admit, I’m a little disappointed when I visit Seattle and every other restaurant doesn’t offer *something* Field Roast. Come on, home town pride!

@via spabettie

Cue freakouts. People have seriously been waiting for this. The year of the soy yogurt shortage even saw me breaking out my slow cooker and making my own. I’ve got Artisan Vegan Cheeses to make, people.  Fortunately, the WholeSoy factory is up and going and I can report that it’s recently been spotted at the Hawthorne New Seasons (again, here in Portland. Have you seen it your way yet? Do tell! People are depending on you. I had no idea this many people I knew ate so much nondairy yogurt).

via @insufferablevegan The Return of Wholesoy!

Looks like 2014 is gonna bring us even more vegan cheese. No issues here. Let’s push things forward and get some standards.

via @reikicreative

Okay, you know team VVC takes ferocious pride in the VVC Swag bags, but even we’re a little jealous here!

via @veggiefixation

What would you love to have from this pile of goodies? Personally, I want to get my eager little hands on this and plan on stalking the roaming SD truck later today:

via @littlemissangie

Michele says: So Delicious, I knew you were listening in on my dreams. 

Also ongoing:  The Vegan Ice Cream Revolution! I’m partial to coconut and soy, but keep the options coming. More for everyone!

via @vegangalfriday

Hello, Spork sisters (and hairstyling inspiration for the day)!

via @beinvegan The Ladies Spork!

Who’s down for some faux tuna? (Karla, I’m talking to you)

via @veganinyourcity

And ah yes, having tried Beyond Beef myself, I could EASILY see this fooling nearly anyone eating at Taco Bowl. I’m normally one for black beans, but if this is the future, let’s get started.

via @melisser

Fancy!

Michele says: Personally, creamy foods like mayo creep me out, but I love that there’s a gourmet/upscale vegan market. It’s products like this that help us broaden the perception of “vegan.” 

via @vegancuts

There you have it! Expect new cheeses, fishy stuff, crumbles and even more vegan bacon heading your way (or order it online through nice folks like Austin’s Rabbit Food Grocery and Portland’s Food Fight!).

And don’t worry, we’ll take one of everything for Janessa.

Some roundups for additional swooning:

And John, we are eagerly awaiting The Laziest Vegans recap!

Did you attend? Did you have a favorite? We’d love to hear about it!

 

 

10 Vegan Valentine’s Day Ideas for Blogging & Celebrating (or not)

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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):

  1. 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.
    RSVP Cookie Cutters. Somewhere in the back of your drawer.
  2. 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.
  3. Go big and go garlic. Roasted garlic lasagna and garlic bread sounds lovely. It’s called intimacy, right?
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. We Get You. Seriously, have dinner with your cat. Serve everything in wine glasses.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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:
    1. Seitan & Waffles with Pomegranate Syrup via The PPK
    2. Shaved Brussels Sprout with Whole Grain Mustard Sauce via Vedge Restaurant
    3. Candle 79’s Vegan Paella via City Spoonful
    4. Allison Rivers Samson’s Double Cheese Lasagna via VegNews
    5. Portobello’s Cashew Cream Pizza via Serious Eats
    6. When in doubt, just beet it. via Pinterest
    7. Ancho Chocolate Pie via Vegan Secret Supper (Jess note: this book is mesmerizing!)
Ancho Chocolate Pie and Butternut Squash Ice Cream from Vegan Secret Supper. Image source: Alternatives Journal
Ancho Chocolate Pie and Butternut Squash Ice Cream from Vegan Secret Supper. Image source: Alternatives Journal

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!