Vida Vegan Con
This 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.
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. 💚
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.
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:
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.
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!
Ready for Vida Vegan Con’s Speaker Reveal #6? We’ve been featuring a handful of our speakers each week for VVC2015, and here is the sixth, and almost final, installment. Our speakers come from all over the world and range from cookbook author to activist to blogger to athlete. So many incredibly talented passionate and inspiration people applied to speak, and we’re so so excited to share, in no particular order, this group of awesome speakers:
Here they are, in randomly random order, your sixth set of Vida Vegan Con III speakers (and there’s a wee bit more to come!):
Fran Costigan, Queen of Vegan Desserts
A highly regarded veteran of the culinary world, Fran Costigan is a pastry chef, author, speaker, culinary consultant, demo instructor and graduate of both the New York Restaurant School and the Natural Gourmet Institute. There is no doubt that Fran knows her chocolate, and she’ll be returning to our lineup for 2015 to show us all how it’s done while “demo’ing the demo” at our opening day Vida Vegan Bazaar, sharing everything you need to know for showcasing your own cooking demo, with whatever setting you’ve got. The Big Apple-based “Queen of Vegan Desserts” is the author of More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally and her latest hit, Vegan Chocolate.
Julie Hasson, Julie’s Kitchenette
With an impressive professional background that includes an array of popular cookbooks, cooking videos, websites, working as a private chef for celebrities, the founding of a famed Portland food cart, and new line of gluten-free baking mixes ⸺ not to mention helping us bring a little more Portland flavor to Austin ⸺ Julie Hasson returns to our lineup to discuss her diverse and successful experience, and get real on building a smart vegan business. Julie’s latest cookbook was released just this past week: Vegan Casseroles.
Amey Mathews, Vegan Eats & Treats
We bet you know Amey Mathews of Vegan Eats & Treats from her charming drawings she somehow manages to include in her already exciting blog posts. (Secretly, her fine-art skills would blow you away!). Amey is passionate about yoga, art, animals, travel and is one creative and flexible cookie. She’ll be sharing those passions and talent in her very own “Let’s Make a Zine!” workshop at VVC2015. Hi Amey!!
Bianca Phillips, Vegan Crunk
Like to eat out? Drink out? Both out? Bianca Phillips is a savvy journalist with the The Memphis Flyer by day, and the personality behind the popular and long-running Vegan Crunk blog by night (and all other times!). Bianca returns to our lineup this May to share her take on the ethics of vegan dining and boozing (and requisite blogging, of course). Plus, we hear she has a thing or two or three to share about DIY Vegan Homebrewing. Her first cookbook, Cookin’ Crunk: Eating Vegan in the Dirty South, was released in 2012.
Joni Marie Newman, Just The Food
More culinary royalty! Joni Marie Newman is the undisputed Queen of Veggie Burgers and as the author/co-author of eight vegan cookbooks and guides including The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet, Vegan Food Gifts, and Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen, certainly knows her way around a cookbook. She’s returning to our VVC2015 lineup ready to help you tackle your own cookbook development dreams, from concept to proposal to testing to publication. Get inspired, get thinking, get writing!
And definitely get ready: Vida Vegan Con returns in May!
From Bryant Terry to Terry Hope Romero, The Sexy Vegan and 20+ other vegan all-stars, check out the rest of our exclusive lineup reveals below:
Ready to register? Mark those calendars, commence the vegan taco call and grab your spot today!
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