Vida Vegan Con

Vida Vegan Speaker Series #3: Whitney Lauritsen, Eco-Vegan Gal

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Whitney Lauritsen VVC speakers

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!

VVC Speaker Series: Interview with Monique Koch of Brown Vegan

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Monique Koch VVC speakersThis time yesterday, your friendly organizers at Vida Vegan HQ were joined by Monique Koch of Brown Vegan for a very special Google Hangout as part of our brand new VVC Speaker Series. As a first-time speaker, Vida Vegan Con has been on this vegan family, healthy cooking and lifestyle blogger’s radar for quite some time, and we’re stoked that she can join to share her journey and thoughts this May,

Check out the interview below to hear Monique’s passionate yet practical thoughts on helping your entire household go vegan with her self-described “down-to-earth approach to vegan life for families”, how A. Breeze Harper’s Sistah Vegan inspired who she is today, where she stands on tacos vs. burritos, and of course, her plans for class and panel involvement at the upcoming Vida Vegan Con.

 

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 Speaker Series. And for goodness sake, make sure you turn notifications off so you don’t get emailed every day.

Look for Monique at Vida Vegan Con May 29-31st, where she’ll be presenting on “Honesty in Your Online Presence” and joining our “Vegan Family Panel” at Friday’s (open to the public!) Vegan Bazaar.

Tickets to both events during this three-day super vegan weekend are now available.

The Vida Vegan Con 2015 Weekend Agenda is almost here!!!

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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 HealthStrongest 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

Portland Art Museum’s packed, grand ballroom at VVC2013, via Cadry’s Kitchen

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. 💚

Join the #VEGANHOLIDAYS with Vida Vegan!

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Season’s Greetings + Merry Days from all of us at Vida Vegan Con!

Photo by Jules
#veganholidays * Photo by Jules

‘Tis the season for veganizing family favorite recipes, waking up to cinnamon rolls and decorating gingerbread people, cats, hippos, fish and whatever other cookie cutters you find hiding in the back of your drawers. Seriously, how does one forget about owning a kangaroo cookie cutter? What a magical impulse buy.

Speaking of late December magic, it makes us so happy to see everyone’s holiday baking and feasting photos all over Instagram (and Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc.!!!!) this time of year, so we’ve decided to do a roundup of our very favorites.

Just use the hashtag #VEGANHOLIDAYS over on Instagram, or gosh, simply point *us* at @vidaveganhq in the right direction during the next day and a half, and you might be featured in our roundup (where we’ll make sure to give credit back to *your* account, of course).

Coconut & soy nog cheers all around!

☃ #VEGANHOLIDAYS ☃

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.

Back from Austin!

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Rewind!

Vida Vegan Con organizers Janessa and Michele have returned even more enamored with Austin after a week of very important meetings and venue walk-throughs and just as necessary vegan food truck hopping. They met with old VVC family, new speakers, and met some local Austin business owners, cooking up all sorts of plans for May 2015. Did you spy them around town, margarita or black coffee in hand?

Here’s a few photos of what they were up to:

sweet ritual ice cream at counter culture
Sweet Ritual vegan ice cream parlour!

att leed gold
LEED-certified venue, baby

Chilling with Lily (and Marie & Dan)
Chilling with Lily (and Marie & Dan)

Meanwhile, back in Portland, Jess held down the Vida Vegan HQ homebase (make that: whatever coffeeshop she happened to be running into, then being Tula) and remained obsessing over all things vegan mac & cheese with a certain sold out showcase taking place.

150 vegans + 20 mac & cheese contenders Photo by Kathy Peterman

What’s new with you?

Stay tuned this week for our last minute Vegan Thanksgiving roundup and do let us know if you’d like to be included!