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Category Archive: Vegan MoFo 2011

Here are all the SuperVegan blog posts categorized under Vegan MoFo 2011. XML

  1. I love sugar. And I love holidays that put sugar front and center. So as you can imagine, Halloween has a special place in my heart.

    Now, there’s a vegan version of pretty much everything a vegan could want. And there are official guides to vegan Halloween candy to help you find your way. There are even sites that tell you which ingredients to watch out for because they’re animal-derived.

    In addition to everything that’s accidentally vegan, there are purposely vegan pumpkin-flavored marshmallows, and chocolate-covered versions. You can even find Creepy Brains Lollipops and organic, Fair Trade Dark Chocolate Scary Skulls. But there are some things with which vegan food technology just has not caught up, and at the top of this list is candy corn.

    Oh, candy corn: You are so small, yet so sweet and creamy and delicious. How I miss you! Yes, sometimes you are manufactured without gelatin or honey, but then what do I find on your ingredients list? Beeswax. Sigh. Why, I ask you, why must we be apart? And will we ever be together again?

    Yes, dear reader, I know I could make my own. But while there are some things I don’t mind making from scratch, there are others, like the tender corn candy, that I want simply delivered to me, ready to eat, and to enjoy.

    And yes, I’ve heard there’s a vegan version in town. And I am grateful for the effort. But the corns are large, not small, so you can’t eat a handful at a time; instead you have to break off pieces. They also come in a box, not a bag. Which might lend itself to a more gourmet experience, but when it comes to sugar, I am a purist, and when it comes to reliving the past, it just does not match up.

    So for now I do without my beloved candy corn, until some brilliant mind decides that we vegans have suffered long enough and that the vegan version of candy corn shall be true to the original, experience and all. That moment I eagerly await.

  2. Heya, Angelenos! Got plans this Saturday? Too bad, change ‘em! Head over to Halloveegan, L.A.’s Vegan Drinks, presented by ChicaVegan! Taking place at Verdugo Bar, which has an incredibly huge and well curated beer selection and full bar, there promises to be loads of vegan grub, tons of prizes and it all sounds ridiculous in the best possible way. What are you gonna wear?? LOTS of details after the jump:

    Continue Reading…

  3. Chef AJ wants you to stop eating junk! The chef and cooking instructor battled her own body, and the food she was putting in it, until illness finally forced her to take her health into her own hands. In addition to teaching Los Angelenos how to prepare healthy food, she puts out weekly recipe videos with Julieanna Hever, called The Chef and the Dietitian. Chef AJ took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to give me the skinny on her cookbook, Unprocessed.

    Chef AJ, health-wise, you’ve had more than your fair share of challenges: You were overweight, then anorexic, then obese; you developed adult onset asthma; your spine was crushed in an accident and you were paralyzed and in a body cast for a year; you contracted a life-threatening lung and liver infection on your honeymoon; you suffered from panic disorder and agoraphobia and didn’t leave the house for over a year; you had several miscarriages, and the first pregnancy resulted in complications that required surgery; and you had several large, bleeding colon polyps. You were a hot mess! But you turned it all around by changing your diet. How difficult was it to go from having 32 oz. Coke Slurpees with eight pumps of vanilla for breakfast and 48 oz. Big Gulp Dr. Peppers for lunch to eating unprocessed, whole, plant-based foods?

    While it was difficult initially, I’m quite sure that if I’d let the polyps progress into full-blown cancer, it would have been far more difficult. Also, I had help. I went to the Optimum Health Institute [in San Diego], where I was able to detox without having the pressure of being at work at the same time. So while I did go through some withdrawal, I was in an environment where I was actively learning about what foods caused disease and being nourished with the foods that could reverse the disease.

    How did you find the Optimum Health Institute?

    I had a magazine of discount vacations, and it was the cheapest place I could find to go ($875 for a whole week). I had no idea it was a healing center and that I would have to put wheatgrass up my butt!!

    Sounds like fun!

    You say you’d rather see people eat 90% vegan and 90% unprocessed than 100% vegan and 10% unprocessed. Living in New York, it’s easy to be a junk food vegan; there are so many restaurants, bakeries and other goodies at our fingertips. What do you think poses the biggest challenge for people, eating plant-based or eating unprocessed? Continue Reading…

  4. Attention citizens of cyberspace!

    Though I can not see you or feel your presence, I’m sure you like to eat every now and then. It is with this in mind that I urge you to click on this link, move both eyes over to the new window that opens, whip out your plastic, and purchase some $20 promotional certificates to Madeleine’s Bistro. Why buy $20 worth of food credit? Because it only costs $10. In other words, you get to eat at LA’s finest, most delicious, and infrequently open restaurant for half off of 100% aka 50% off. This makes one of the cities more pricey vegan restaurants way more affordable. I just bought two (2!) and I might go back for seconds.

    Fine print via their facepage: No expiration, certificates are kept on file, redemption is limited to one certificate per customer per visit.

    Don’t live in LA? This is the perfect excuse to start planning a visit.

    Cause we love you.

  5. Community Kale, Garden in the Park, Fair Haven Heights, New Haven

    Community Kale, Garden in the Park, Fair Haven Heights, New Haven

    This time of year my community garden is a forest of kale. The tomatoes are all gone as well as the corn, but there’s broccoli, an abundance peppers… and kale, kale, and more kale. Green curly, purple Russian and, my favorite, dinosaur or Lacinato kale.

    Here’s one of my favorite ways of preparing:

    Bunch of Kale
    Minced Garlic (at least 3 cloves)
    Olive Oil
    Earth Balance or other Vegan Butter
    Ginger (I use powdered)
    Ground Black Pepper
    Bragg’s
    Nutritional Yeast (optional)
    Walnuts (optional)

    With kale, the trick is washing it so you won’t get gritty bitty surprises. I find it most effective to work with my hands. I also prefer to stem the leaves so I’m not gnawing on the bitter fiber. Leave them in if you prefer.

    1. Stem and rip the leaves into bite-size pieces. Toss into a large bowl (I use a large tupperware bin) and fill with cold water. Swirl the leaves around and let stand a minute to allow the dirt to settle to the bottom. Scoop out greenery and put in a salad spinner. Repeat. Spin until the leaves are as dry as possible. Set aside.

    2. Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet. Turn to medium-low heat. Toss in garlic and let simmer until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally. (Reduce heat to low if it’s crackling. You don’t want garlic to burn.)

    3. Add one or two tablespoons of ‘butter’ and let melt. Sprinkle in ginger (I use a lot, say, 5-7 shakes), add pepper (about 4 turns of the grinder), and just a spritz or two of Bragg’s. If you like, add one-half to one tablespoon or nutritional yeast and/or a handful of crushed walnuts (yum!). Stir and let sautee a minute or so until fragrant.

    4. With clean hands, place a small amount of olive oil in one palm (dime-size) and rub your hands together, coating your palms and fingers. Massage the kale firmly for about half a minute until pliant and dark green. If you’d prefer less oil, just massage the damp leaves. This breaks down the fiber and reduces cooking time (so you get more nutritional benefits from the greens).

    5. Toss a few handfuls of greens in the pan and gently stir and rub in the oil mixture, coating and heating the leaves (about one-two minutes). Tongs can be useful. Keep adding handfuls and turning and coating. The leaves should turn a glistening green. Serve immediately.

    Makes two very generous portions served as the main dish perhaps with a side of rice & beans or mashed potatoes; or four side dishes.

    Community Gardens
    There are few things more satisfying than working for a few hours at my community garden, then going home with a shopping bag stuffed with fresh-picked kale. I get a large portion of my weekly veggies and greens at the Garden in the Park in Fair Haven Heights, which is an urban farm and part of the New Haven Land Trust community garden program.

    Community gardens are all over the country and usually concentrated in urban areas. New York City is full of them. You might be surprised to find a garden right around the corner where you can work a few hours in exchange for fresh, organic produce!

    To find a community garden near you and learn how to get involved, visit the American Community Garden Association.

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