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 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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
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!