Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vegan Soul Food Delivery

The Delivery: Items from Oakland-based restaurant Souley Vegan's new line of frozen-food entrées, including Southern-fried tofu, mac and cheese, okra gumbo, and mustard greens, plus yams, black-eyed peans, and red beans
Staff Pick: All of the above!

The DL: While this blog writer can't specifically recall, she's pretty sure that members of the VN staff actually high-fived each other when checking out this delivery from Souley Vegan. It's one thing to cross the San Francisco Bay and order a plate of this vegan soul food, but it's quite another to have a feast for 10 (at least) delivered by surprise to your door. Want to know how everything tasted? Editorial Assistant Rashida Harmon gives you the lowdown on today's Café VegNews!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vegan Cheese, Body Care, and Books

The Delivery: Vegan Mexican-Style and Mozzarella-Style Cheeses from Galaxy Nutritional Foods, Intensive Hand Repair Cream from Earth Therapeutics, Mint and Citrus Soaps from Jack's Soaps175 Best Babycakes Cake Pop Recipes by Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss (not vegan), and The Rescue of Belle & Sundance by Birgit Stutz & Lawrence Scanlan
Staff Pick: The cheese!

The DL: You may remember freakouts over vegan cheese from such blogs as this one. We love Galaxy Nutritional Foods' vegan cream cheese, so we're pretty stoked to try these shreds. But to go back to the cream cheese (sorry, we can't help it): The spread was one of last year's best new products from Natural Products Expo West, and we can't believe it's already time to go back! We'll be live next week at Expo telling you all about the new, delicious vegan stuff that will be hitting the shelves in 2012. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get the inside scoop!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tea, a Book, and Vegan Nacho Chips

The Delivery: The Transformational Power of Fasting by Stephen Harrod Buhner, teas from Choice Organic, and Beanfields' Nacho Bean and Rice chips
Staff Pick: The nacho chips!

The DL: The arrival of these Beanfields chips was met with squeals of joy throughout VNHQ—an understandable response considering vegan nacho chips almost sound too good to be true. While they may threaten to derail any attempts at foregoing snacks this week (especially after collectively polishing off not one but two boxes of Birthday Cake Oreos last week), we're welcoming these triangular treats into our veg snack reserve with open arms. Another vegan treat we're happily embracing this week? Veganized Girl Scout cookies, coming to a pantry near you!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Vegan Skin Care

The Delivery: The Pure Natural Skincare line from Green People and allergy-free face balm and face wash from Premae
Staff Pick: Green People's Vitamin C Concentrate Serum

The DL: Most vegans agree that cruelty-free living should extend to our exteriors, which is why we were pumped to receive not one but two (!) boxes of veg-friendly beauty products. This fancy-looking serum from Green People got us thinking about all the extravagant items currently being hawked at the Oscars gifting suite (which our own Laura Beck, vegan blogging queen and VN Editor-at-Large, was fortunate to attend this year … can you say jealous?) If you, like the rest of us, are going to be miles away from the awards-show action this Sunday, get in on the excitement by hosting a veg viewing party. Check out our tips for throwing the ultimate Oscars bash!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Easter Basket Surprise!

The Delivery: An early Easter basket full of vegan, gluten-free treats from Allison's Gourmet

The DL: Just because Easter isn’t until April doesn’t mean we can’t bust out the chocolate bunnies now! At least that’s the message we’re getting from vegan confectionary Allison’s Gourmet. The arrival of this festive feast of sweets just happens to coincide with San Francisco's unusually hot February weather, which is making the first day of spring feel just a bunny-hop away. Still battling the late-winter doldrums? Ditch boredom for board games by hosting a veg game night—complete with a menu that’ll gear you up for that fifth round of Scattergories. Get some inspiration by checking out our feature on Gluten-Free Vegan Bites for Game Night!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vegan Cookbook, Granola, and Pickles

The Delivery: Pickled veggies from Donovan's Cellar, granola and a T-shirt from Kind Healthy Grains, and Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas
Staff Pick: Nava Atlas' cookbook

The DL: It’s long been established that greens are a vital part of a plant-based diet—as Bianca Phillips points out in her feature 7 Steps to Becoming a Healthier Vegan, leafy vegetables such as kale and collards are a great source of calcium, and therefore crucial for optimum health. From what we can tell, Nava Atlas’ book seems to be a great jumping-off point for incorporating more greens into your diet. If getting healthy means munching on Atlas’ Tostadas with Chili-Spiced Greens and Potatoes and Cumin-Roasted Cauliflower and Kale, then we’re heading to the market ASAP to gather as many leafy greens as we can carry. In addition to Atlas’ book, which comes out this summer, there are tons of great vegan cookbooks on the horizon for 2012. Check out our picks here!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Books and Raw Chocolates

The Delivery: Raw chocolate from Cloud 9, Finding Ultra by Rich Roll,  The Organic Nanny's Guide to Raising Healthy Kids by Barbara Rodriguez (not vegan), and Eco Chef Bryan Au's Raw Star Recipes
Staff Pick: Finding Ultra by Rich Roll

The DL: We couldn’t wait to flip through vegan athlete extraordinaire Rich Roll’s new book, which details his dramatic transformation from out-of-shape stress-case to one of the world’s top endurance athletes—a transformation he began when he was in his 40s. Impressed? So were we, which is why he was one of the vegan dads we featured in our March+April Man issue. Don’t worry if you don’t see yourself entering an ultra-triathlon anytime soon, you can make small changes to your physical health by following VN contributor Bianca Phillips' 7 Steps to Becoming a Healthier Vegan. Who knows, you might be running alongside Rich in no time!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pressure Cooker

 The Delivery: An EZ Bean Cooker, along with a variety of dry beans from Whole Foods' 365 Organic and Walmart's Great Value brand

The DL: Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you … want to keep eating because they’re so delicious. (What did you think I was going to say?) We can’t wait to try out the EZ Bean Cooker, which promises to prep protein-rich legumes in a matter of minutes. EZ indeed! Some quick-cooking Red Beans and Rice prepped in the Bean Cooker would pair perfectly with Biscuits and Creamy Sage Gravy for a superb Southern-inspired meal, or would be a fine addition to any vegan Mardi Gras party spread, perhaps alongside some Jambalaya and Cajun Stuffed Peppers. Now that’s a party we’d like to attend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Veg-Condiment Extravaganza!

The Delivery: Dips, spreads, and sauces from Follow Your Heart

The DL: We were so excited to receive this shipment of dips and spreads from Follow Your Heart, the condiment geniuses behind Vegenaise. Their arrival caused an immediate frenzy over their potential uses—the Tartar Sauce on tempeh fish sticks and the Horseradish Sauce on veg bánh mi sandwiches were two drool-inducing suggestions. Couple the arrival of that thrilling package with the presence of two of VegNews' resident furry friends Cal and Khane, and you’ve got the making of a truly excellent day. Brighten up yours by checking out these fun facts about farm animals. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Books and Vegan Cookie Dough

The Delivery: Chocolate chip cookie dough from Celeste's Best, Everyday Enlightenment by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, and The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufman (not vegan)
Staff Pick: The cookie dough!

The DL: So, here's the thing: Celeste's Best actually sent us two tubs of this cookie dough, but we were too excited to try it and started baking up cookies and eating raw cookie dough long before this post was written. And we have to say, this dough is fantastic. It's no wonder this Austin, TX-based bakery has been around for more than 10 years! Speaking of Austin, we matched this Lone Star city up against Salt Lake City to find The Next Great Vegan City in our new March+April issue. Want to know the winner? Buy an issue today!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Vegan Chocolates, Chai Tea, and Shea Butter

The Delivery: An assortment of vegan truffles from Energy Truffles, pure shea butter by Fran Kramer, Angell vegan candy bars, and a chai latte blend from Tipu's Chai Now
Staff Pick: The truffles

The DL: Ahh, Valentine’s Day. They might as well rename it National Chocolate-Lovers Day, especially around here, where all things cocoa reign supreme. With that in mind, you can imagine how jazzed we were to receive not one but two (!) boxes of Energy Truffles, which are made using organic and raw ingredients such as seeds, nuts, fruits, and even cayenne pepper. If you, like us, have chocolate on the brain today, feed your fantasies by checking out this feature on unconventional cocoa treats. Or work your way through this romantic three-course meal, featuring a ganache and raspberry-layered cake courtesy of cupcake queen Doron Petersan  of Sticky Fingers fame.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Vegan Breakfast Snacks

The Delivery: Trail mix bites from Milton's Craft Bakers, Green Tara Spirulina Crunchies, Rawxies' raw cookies, and granola bars from The GoodOnYa Bar.
Staff Pick: The Rawxies!

The DL: We were intrigued by these bite-sized (and adorably named) raw goodies, which, according to the manufacturer, are “the foxy way to snack.” We’re not sure how literally Rawxies meant that, but it just so happens that these treats are full of almonds, bananas, and chocolate—three delicious vegan aphrodisiacs. Scintillating snacks with ingredients like these may come in handy after you try out one of our Top 10 Veg Pickup Lines, which are a surefire way to break the ice (or break your nose, depending on who your audience is). But don’t worry if the pickup lines don’t seal the deal: where words fail, ethically sourced flowers prevail!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vegan Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Marshmallows

The Delivery: Chocolate-dipped strawberry marshmallow hearts from Sweet and Sara

The DL: The kind folks over at Sweet and Sara sent us a special Valentine’s Day package full of chocolate-dipped strawberry marshmallows—a touching gesture that filled our hearts and stomachs with gooey, marshmallowy joy. Everyone (especially you omnivores!) take note: this is the kind of thoughtful treat that will sweep your veg sweetie right off his or her feet. Don’t stress if you haven’t secured your V-Day plans yet. From a Brooklyn-based Vegan Shop-Up market full of locally crafted vegan goodies, to veg speed dating in the Bay Area, there’s no shortage of veg-friendly Valentine’s festivities happening this week. Still need ideas? Look no further than VegNewsletter’s Valentine’s Edition, which offers romantic recipes, restaurant recommendations, and holiday coupons. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Raw Vegan Cookies and Crackers

The Delivery: Raw snacks from Kookie Karma
Staff Pick: The cheesy kale chips

The DL: These cheesy kale chips from Kookie Karma were as savory and satisfying as any bag of chips, but without the standard post-indulgence guilt. We’re lucky Kookie Karma sent us a couple bags of these calcium-rich raw snacks, because at the rate we’re going, this batch won’t make it to the end of the day. If we run out, we can always whip up some cheesy kale chips at home using VN columnist Gena Hamshaw’s recipe from the upcoming March+April issue, hitting newsstands March 1. If the thought of waiting until March to get your hands on a copy is too much to bear (trust us—it should be!), advanced copies will be available at the VegNews Store by the end of the week. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vegan Cookbooks

The Delivery: The Lean: a Revolutionary and Simple 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss by Kathy Freston, The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry, Raw Foods on a Budget by Brandi Rollins, and Alternative Vegan by Dino Sarma Weierman
Staff Pick: The Lean!

The DL: We all know that there at least 75 reasons being veg is awesome, and now we can add a growing selection of amazing vegan cookbooks to that list. Last year, the vegan world was privy to a variety of cookbook gems—the much-coveted Candle 79 cookbook and the Spork sisters' first book, just to name a couple. This year, VegNews’ 2011 Person of the Year Kathy Freston is following up her hit book Veganist with The Lean, a recipe-book, weight-loss guide hybrid with page after page of good advice. With meals such as Citrus Ginger Tofu and Morroccan Vegetable Tagine, committing to Freston’s 30-day weight-loss plan sure sounds a lot more appealing than going to the gym.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Almond Non-Dairy Yogurts

The Delivery: Plain, vanilla, and strawberry Almond Dream yogurts
Staff Pick: Strawberry yogurt!

The DL: This strawberry yogurt from Almond Dream was a big hit with our staff due to its smooth, creamy texture and slam-drunk strawberry flavor. We think this stuff would be a superb addition to a well-rounded breakfast which, if we had our way, would also include Hot Apple Pie Pancakes à la Mode, as seen on the veg blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. The photo of Katie’s ice cream-topped pancakes looked so tasty, we had no choice but to pin it onto the It’s (Vegan) Breakfast Time board on our Pinterest page—and something tells us you'll pin it too. If you’re on the prowl for more veg-friendly Pinterest accounts, we’ve got 11 recommendations that will keep you clicking for hours.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Loose-Leaf Herbal Teas

The Delivery: Matri and Soul of the Rose loose-leaf tea blends from Sacred Rose Tea
Staff Pick: The Matri blend

The DL: A few of us have been feeling under the weather, so these loose-leaf teas from Sacred Rose were a welcome surprise. The Matri blend combines lemon, ginger, bits of red raspberries, and rosehips, which means both our sore throats and our taste buds will thank us. Plus, opening the elegant packaging is like getting an early Valentine’s present from a secret admirer—Sacred Rose, you’re making us blush! If you’re still looking for a gift for your special someone, don’t despair. The VegNews Valentine’s Day Store has everything from sweet treats to cruelty-free condoms, so no matter how you plan on spending the 14th (a romantic getaway to Palm Springs, perhaps?), we’ve got you covered!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fortified Almond Milk, Vegan Egg Blend, and a Vegan Cookbook

The Delivery: Vanilla and original Almond Plus milks from So Delicious, The Vegg spice blend, and a galley of Grilling Vegan Style by John Schlimm
Staff Pick: Grilling Vegan Style

The DL: This galley of John Schlimm (aka The Tipsy Vegan)’s Grilling Vegan Style couldn’t have arrived at a more appropriate time. With dishes like a blooming onion with tangy sauce and jalapeño poppers stuffed with rice and black beans, the chapter on New Tailgating Classics got us revved up and ready for this weekend’s Super Bowl festivities. Though, admittedly, not all of us are sure which teams are even playing this year, if there are seitan wings and spinach dip involved, you better believe we’ll be celebrating well past halftime on Sunday. If you need some ideas for your Super Bowl menu, why not try vegan chef Ayinde Howell’s  4 Mouth-Watering Vegan Super Bowl Recipes. Quinoa nachos and three-bean chili? Sounds like a touchdown to us! 


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Frozen Meals, Books, and a Tote Bag

The Delivery: Manchurian Dumpling and Thai Basil Chili Tofu frozen meals from Saffron Road, Your Dog Is Your Mirror by Kevin Behan, Goodbye, Friend by Gary Kowalski, and a tote bag from Save The Chimps
Staff Pick: The frozen meals

The DL: We can’t wait to try these Indian- and Thai-inspired frozen entrées from Saffron Road, which we bet will hit the spot when we’re feeling too tired to make food and too frugal to splurge on takeout. Global cuisine has been a longtime go-to for cruelty-free meals, with cultures around the world offering veg-friendly options. Vegan cookbook author Bryant Terry is no stranger to international flavors—his new book, The Inspired Vegan fuses Chinese-American culinary staples with the African-American recipes he enjoyed growing up in Memphis, TN. Check out our interview with Terry, where he muses on everything from the racial politics of eating to backyard produce.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Skin Care, Probiotic Coconut Water, and Chili Tortilla Chips

The Delivery: Island Vanilla perfume, sugar scrub, and crushed-pearl lotion (not vegan) from Pacifica, GoodBelly probiotic coconut water, and Simply So Sweet Chili tortilla chips from Way Better Snacks
Staff Pick: The tortilla chips

The DL: It’s been a great day for our stomachs here at VNHQ. First, editorial assistant Hilary Pollack busted out some delicious Gardein sliders and MozzaRisella vegan cheese for us to sample. Then, as if that wasn't awesome enough, we were fortunate enough to munch on pasta topped with homemade spaghetti sauce and vegan meatballs, courtesy of managing editor Elizabeth Castoria’s dad! We’re currently in a post-lunch food coma, but as soon as we have some room in our tummies, we’ll definitely open this bag of Simply So Sweet Chili tortilla chips from Way Better Snacks. Speaking of ‘so sweet,’ Valentine’s Day is a couple of weeks away, which means you still have plenty of time to plan the perfect evening, whether you’re lucky in love or flying solo. Snag some goodies for your sweetheart (or for yourself!) at the VegNews Valentine’s Day Store, and check out our Vegan Valentines feature for tips on how to celebrate!