Seitan Beats Your Meat

Talking Big Changes & Mad Men MoFo: More Q & A with Kelly Peloza of Seitan Beats Your Meat

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Hey there! Welcome to the latest edition of our ongoing Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters. These special interviews give a glimpse into our past alumni’s upcoming projects, summer shenanigans and reveal what they really learned at VVC2013. They’re sharing which class sticks out in their minds so many months later, and just what they’d like to see more and less of in vegan blogging, a question that’s always on our own minds. 

This time around, we’re getting serious about VeganMoFo thematics and talking how to survive big, bloggy changes with two-time Vida Vegan Con speaker, ‘artful’ food photographer and soon to be two-time cookbook author Kelly Peloza, who can now be found blogging exclusively at the amazingly titled Seitan Beats Your Meat.

Instagram Noir Self-Portrait. Photo via @KellyPeloza on Instagram

So Kelly, just what have you been up to this summer?
Working, blogging, and working on/planning projects (including Vegan MoFo)!

Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II?
I had an amazing time at Vida Vegan Con I!

Kelly & Jess in some strange filter at Native Foods in Chicago in 2012

Looking back, what was the most memorable class?
The body image class was one of the most memorable.

How has your blog changed since the three-day conference?
It no longer exists (sort of)!

I found myself with tons of extra time and inspiration after the conference, so I started a brand new blog with a new focus and image to put my time and energy toward. I now blog at Seitan Beats Your Meat and the archives of my old blog, The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, exist elsewhere.

How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?
The contents of the swag bag have been going strong! I’ve just been really into summer foods, fresh fruit and and vegetables. And pesto and bacon for some reason.

Who were you really excited to meet?
New friends! My VVCII roommates were fantastic!

Any nice surprises you’d like to share? Special memories?
I’m really excited for Vegan MoFo (can you tell?), where I’ll be doing Mad Men MoFo this year (Note, which she’s getting all retro right now!)! Then I have a new cookbook coming out in October called Cheers to Vegan Sweets.
My favorite memories from VVC2013 are the classes, VooDoo doughnuts, karaoke night, and our apartment!

So, have you started reading any new blogs?
Yes, I started reading some fellow attendees’ blogs. And the death of Google Reader made me take a look at my feeds and cut out some blogs that I don’t read anymore or haven’t been updated in years.

What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?
It’s the best when people have a “thing” or a style that’s unique to them and their blog, whether it’s their photos, drawings, stories, or a special theme. It makes blogs so genuine and entertaining.

What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC?
Keep the breakfast showcases coming!

What other vegan events put together by VVHQ would you like to attend?
I would love to see webinars* put on by speakers to keep the conversations going between conferences, especially since not everyone lives near the same city (or continent).

Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference?
I keep thinking about FlavourSpot.

Maple cream & pecan waffle from Flavourspot. Image credit: Panda with Cookie and Waffle

*Special Note from Vida Vegan Headquarters: Seriously, has she been reading our minds?! Something of the sorts is very much in the works (and then again, what isn’t?) because we love the notions of staying in touch and letting folks around the world tune in while keeping their pajamas on. And….now I’m craving maple, preferably in a retro cocktail.

Congrats on the upcoming cookbook, Kelly! 

To keep up with Kelly’s latest, be sure to catch her on Instagram @kellypeloza and likewise on Twitter.

Our Month of Memories Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters will continue far into the end VeganMoFo and beyond.


Speaker Q&A: Kelly Peloza of Vegan Cookie Connoisseur

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Kelly Peloza and Gnocchi

Welcome back to our ongoing Vida Vegan Q & A series, where we discuss snazzy tricks, tips, vegan food and the future of blogging with speakers from our upcoming, one-day intensive Tech Seminar (tickets available here) in Seattle, WA and the now three-day conference this May in Portland. Today’s insight comes from 2011 & 2013 speaker, Kelly Peloza, of Vegan Cookie Connoisseur and Seitan Beats Your Meat. Back when I was in college, my part-time jobs included selling over-priced movie tickets and angrily scooping ice cream. Kelly, on the other hand, works on her degree in the arts by day, while developing her second cookbook, set to star vegan cocktail-inspired desserts, by night. Kelly rules.

Q & A with Kelly Peloza

Where do you see blogging going?
It’s crazy how just recently, vegan food blogging was just a hobby for most people, but now some bloggers are turning it into full-time jobs, publishing books, and there’s a whole conference dedicated to vegan bloggers! WordPress, Blogger, and other services have become far more intuitive and well-designed, so it’s almost effortless to get the bare essentials of a blog up and running. I can only imagine this will continue and bloggers will take their food writing even more seriously, creating better content, connections, and ideas to share.

What’s your favorite photo editor?
I use Lightroom, then add any finishing touches in Photoshop if necessary.

What blogging trends are you liking? Disliking?
I love how some bloggers bring unique elements to their blogs, like how Amey at Vegan Eats and Treats illustrates her posts and Hannah of BitterSweet posts her food-related knit and crochet projects. I’m not so sure about raw food or Instagram. Or Instagrams of raw food.

What blogs/websites do you read?
Vegansaurus is one of my favorites, plus the massive PPK MoFo feed! It’s fun finding new blogs to follow through Vegan MoFo.

What’s your go-to vegan meal in Seattle?
I loved Highline Bar, and Mighty-O donuts for breakfast!

In Portland?
It was all about the food carts! You can’t go wrong with Native Bowl and a macnocheetoh burrito(seriously, see here) from Homegrown Smoker.


Thanks, Kelly!

For more information on November 3rd’s Tech Seminar, visit here. For information on our return to Portland, OR in May 2013 (tickets are already for sale) read this. To check out Kelly’s first cookbook, The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, go here.

Guest Post: Kelly & Joni of Backyard BBQ with an Indian Twist

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Time for another guest post!  We start Vida Vegan Con shenanigans tonight at the Meet & Greet and our exclusive sneak peak of Vegucated and Portland is just buzzing with vegan excitement and the smell of nooch. The lovely ladies behind today’s guest post, Joni Marie Newman and Kelly Peloza, are both in town already and wanted to share some information about their Sunday demo at Whole Foods. Spots are still available, and open to non-conference goers, so email us ASAP at VidaVeganConference [AT] to get on the list!
On the Menu: Rosewater Lemon Cupcakes
Enough of that, let’s find out more about those cupcakes and talk Backyard BBQ with an Indian Twist with Kelly & Joni:
We will be taking traditional backward barbecue fare and exciting the
taste buds with a different palette of flavors and texture. On the
menu is Kofta Kebabs with Tangy Tahini Dipping Sauce, Creamy Curry
Coleslaw with Cashews and Currants, and Rosewater Lemonade Cupcakes.
These dishes are single-serving, easy to eat, and delicious, all
desired qualities for your backyard shindig! Join us for a demo, lots
of food samples, and a great time!To start things off, we’ll toss together a simple but delicious
Creamy Curry Coleslaw made with purple cabbage. It is chock full
of surprises. Currants, cashews, and roasted red peppers sneak
into each and every bite. Next up, our main course will be Kofta
Kebabs; A deliciously spiced food-on-a-stick that comes together in
mere minutes. For the more traditional backyard chefs, these kebabs
can also be made into burger patties. Alongside, a Tangy Tahini
Dipping Sauce that also works well as a spread if you opt for a burger
instead.Dessert will be a tantalizing rosewater lemonade cupcake. A fluffy
rosewater-infused buttercream tops a light and delicate lemon cake for
a sweet refreshing finish to an amazing meal. Single-serving desserts
are perfect for any casual get together and these cupcakes are packed
with flavor.

On the menu: Kofta Kabobs and sauce