Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SNEAK PEEK: Holiday Sample Plate at Hugo's Restaurant!

I can't seem to get enough of all the festive grub of the past month and, fortunately, I don't have to shelf my cravings just yet. Several restaurants in the Los Angeles area have added a special holiday-themed plate to their menus for the month of December, and I'm more than happy to partake. 

The other day, I continued my indulgence in the season's merriment with the Happy Happy Holiday Platter at Hugo's Restaurant. With both omnivore and vegan variations (make sure to specify), the plate delivers up all the classic fixins. 



DISCLAIMER: The amount of food seen in the photo above is only about half of the actual serving. I didn't have the restrain to snap a picture before diving into the delectableness. 

The star of the show is the sliced veggie patty covered with mushroom herb gravy. The plentiful trimmings include harvest vegetable cornbread stuffing (made with GMO-free corn), mashed maple yams, sautéed leafy greens, corn cakes (so, SO good) and cranberry sauce. Not too shabby for this girl, I'll tell you what.

Hit that platter up before it's too late!

xx Happy vegan eats

Sunday, November 25, 2012

CYBER MONDAY CRUELTY-FREE DEALS!

Those who have committed to a vegan lifestyle have usually done so due to a strong inner need to devote themselves to the greater good: a life of compassion and selflessness. But, let's be honest, sometimes even the best of people just want TO BUY STUFF. And, on Cyber-Monday, I say we shamelessly embrace our inner consumer.

Alright kids, here's the Cyber-Monday break-down:

FOR ALL YOUR BEAUTY NEEDS

Sibu Beauty is a sustainable and cruelty-free skincare line, with a range of products containing sea buckthorn. Get 60% off all order using code CYBERSIBU at checkout:



Murad is a lovely skincare brand that does not test on animals. Get $25 off a $100 purchase with the code CYBERMONDAY.






FOR ALL YOUR FASHION NEEDS

Cri de Coeur designs the most lust-worthy vegan shoes and handbags. Get 30% off all orders through the end of November with code MANYTHANKS. Added bonus: free shipping for orders over $150. I've been drooling over their Cullen Fringe Bag in gray for some time now:



Lulus has a supremely cute selection of vegan shoes. Get 40% of sale items with promo-code CYBER:




FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE

JP Selects is a one-stop shop for all things sustainable/eco-friendly/animal-friendly: beauty, fashion, accessories, wellness, food, things for the home, the kids - even pets. Check out their Cyber Monday sale here:


Ethical Ocean is a wonderful resource for a variety of - you guessed it - ethical products. Be cautious, as not all of the products they advertise are vegan, but most of them are. They've compiled a great list of deals for Cyber Monday:




Let's be green! Let's be cruelty-free! Let's be vegan! LET'S SHOP!!

xx Happy purchasing!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A VERY MERRY UN-TURKEY DAY TO ALL!

This year's Thanksgiving was riddled with oh-so-much champagne, scrumptious food and - most importantly - wonderful company. I came equipped with an array of vegan, gluten-free goodies: sparkling Moscato, cornbread stuffing, mushroom gravy and a raw lemon blackberry souffle tart.

The first of several rounds.

My darling hosts whipped up some vegan nosh, including cooked greens, spicy sweet potato patties, miso-marinated tofu and creamy non-dairy mashed potatoes. As my multiple trips back to the kitchen for seconds (and possibly thirds...) proved, it was all beyond tasty.

Here are some more visuals of the delectable bounty:

Cornbread Stuffing

With the Mushroom Gravy
Lemon Blackberry Souffle Tart
The recipe called for raspberries, but I ended up substituting blackberries.

We ended the day in a happy - and very full - stupor, lounging on couches with peppermint tea and a romantic comedy marathon.

A respectably messy kitchen = the markings of a successful Thanksgiving dinner.

Wishing you all a belated happy un-turkey day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

WHAT I'M BRINGING TO THANKSGIVING DINNER

On this year's Day of Thanks, I will be dining with some lovely, omnivorous friends. They are graciously accommodating my veganism and, in addition to their more traditional fare, will be serving up some veggie dishes along with a tofu-turkey concoction for Yours Truly. 

For the past couple of weeks, I have been mulling over what to add to the Thanksgiving spread. And, now, in the eleventh hour, the moment of decision is upon me. I opted for classic dishes with a fun spin:


CORNBREAD STUFFING
I love that it  has a medley of veggies AND fruit and can be made gluten-free! 

GLUTEN-FREE MUSHROOM GRAVY
As far as I'm concerned, no Thanksgiving is complete without some cravings-inducing gravy to pour over everything.

RAW MEYER LEMON RASPBERRY SOUFFLE TART
Thought I'd challenge myself with a raw dessert this year.

Here are a couple of the runners-up, very deserving of mention:

BALSAMIC ROSEMARY CARROTS

BOURBON CRANBERRY COMPOTE

And, in the spirit of Save-A-Turkey Day, I adopted this handsome fella from Farm Sanctuary:


His name is Payton - ain't he a beaut? You can adopt your own wonderful turkey here.

What are you all making for Thanksgiving? Please share your pics - I'd love some inspiration for next year! Check back this weekend - I'll be posting my own pictures from the festivities and of all the food. And be sure to follow me on Instagram (@dirtyrottenvegan) on Thursday for a foodie play-by-play!

xx Here's to all the turkeys of the world (and to stuffing our faces with cruelty-free food)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

SNEAK PEEK: Thanksgiving Sample Plate at M Cafe!

Suffice it to say, I couldn't hold off on delicious Thanksgiving vegan fare until the actual Day O'Tofurkey.

Too many delectable temptations! I was outnumbered and, joyfully, caved. Behold, the vegan Thanksgiving sampler plate from M Cafe de Chaya:

*drool*

It was a splendorous feast of seitan turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, broccolini, stuffing - all drenched in a mouth-watering gravy. Get on it, LA peeps! This is (obviously) a limited time platter.

Everyday should be Save-A-Turkey Day :)


xx Peace and love to turkeys everywhere.



Thursday, November 15, 2012

THANKSGIVING VEGAN RESTAURANT GUIDE 2012 - Los Angeles Edition


I’ll be joining some friends for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. The day will be filled laughter and mayhem (and, if history is any indicator, some champagne cocktails) circling around the kitchen, as we try our hands at mastering some vegan dishes for the ultimate holiday spread. 

But, for those of us who are eager to bypass the mania and inevitable chaos of cooking a T-day meal, here’s a quick guide to where you can find a scrumptious, prepared-for-you vegan holiday meal in and near Los Angeles:











On second thought, maybe homemade dinners are overrated... *stomach-rumble*

xx

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

CALLING ALL CALIFORNIANS


**UPDATE - 11/14/2012** The good news is in: ALL VOTES ON PROP 37 WILL BE COUNTED. The counties of California have until December 7 to report the vote and Secretary of State Debra Bowen has until December 14 to certify the vote.

Every vote cast on Prop 37 will be honored. The results will be published once they're in - fingers crossed!



                                                             

Proposition 37 was on the ballot in California during last week’s election, calling for a mandate to label genetically engineered food.  The prop was endorsed by most of the major health, labor and environmental groups in California, including the California Democratic PartyWhole Foods Market, MoveOn and Food Democracy Now!, just to name a few. 

According to polls, Prop 37 was likely to pass up until just a couple of weeks prior to the election. Monsanto spearheaded an anti-Prop 37 campaign, funneling millions of dollars into deceptive ads aimed at convincing the public that the proposition was poorly written and discouraging their support of it.  For a briefing on the evils of Monsanto, check out Millions Against Monsanto on the Organic Consumers site

Here’s where the controversy comes in. The released ballot measure results state that only 46.9% voted yes, while 53.1% voted no, thereby defeating Prop 37. However, according to the investigative journalist Jon Rappoport, over a million votes on Prop 37 have gone uncounted to date.  

Here’s how you can make a difference: sign the petition for the Secretary of State of California, Debra Bowen, to insist that ALL the votes cast on Prop 37 be counted

Read more on the fight for Proposition 37 here.

Protect your right to know.

xx

Monday, November 12, 2012

THEY HAD ME AT CIDER


This handsome fella is Farm Sanctuary's Russell. 
Yesterday, I attended the Celebration of Turkeys event at Farm Sanctuary up in Action, CA with my dear friend Jess. An unusually chilly day in SoCal, they greeted us with hot cider and vegan chocolate chip cookies (a.k.a. the express lane to my heart).  The afternoon commenced with their annual Feeding of the Turkeys ceremony. Instead of being the main course, the rescued turkeys at the farm were the guests of honor – and were pretty freakin’ adorbs. Gaggles of our feathered friends swarmed around the surveyors to gorge on pumpkin pie and cranberry salad.
The Feeding of the Turkeys ceremony in full swing.
After the turkey festivities, we all huddled together in a (thankfully) heated tent and sat down to our own vegan holiday feast. Catered by One Veg World, the meal consisted of kale chickpea salad, Tofurkey, mashed potatoes and gravy (still salivating over that one), stuffing, cranberries and a sinfully delectable pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting. Every morsel was lip-smackingly good.  

While the overall sentiment of the day was celebratory, there were fittingly sobering moments, as well. Seeing the rescued, genetically-engineered turkeys and pigs, goliath-sized compared to their cousins in the wild, was chilling. It was like peering into the pages of a Jurassic Park-esque novel, describing a futuristic society overrun by genetic engineering and on the verge of collapse. Additionally, the speakers - Susie Coston, Jonathan Balcombe and Gene Baur touched on the abuse that turkeys undergo in factory farms (an alarming 300 million are killed every year), the sensory and emotional complexity of the turkey, and the overall powerful impact of veganism. 
I want to give a huge shout-out and thank you to Gene Baur and the whole Farm Sanctuary family for hosting such a delightful and informative event. The day was a solid  reminder of why we’ve committed to a more compassionate lifestyle - and how delectable and invigorating that lifestyle can be.
Me, Jess and the founder of Farm Sanctuary, Gene Baur
                                                                          
Peace xx 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A DIRTY WORD

For years, "vegan" was a dirty, rarely uttered word, associated with an uninspiring diet of flavorless brown rice and steamed vegetables, ill-fitting hemp clothing and unpalatable pretension. 

We are so fortunate to be living through a culinary and nutritional renaissance, when healthy, cruelty-free food and a compassionate lifestyle are steadily being accepted and gaining popularity.  

This blog is my playground for sharing all my favorite pastimes - food, fashion, beauty and travel - and approaching them with a conscience. It's a compilation of my vegan discoveries, adventures and mishaps.  The hope is to create a destination where vegans and the vegan-curious troops can rally to support and encourage each other. 

Yea, I believe we can have our vegan gluten-free cake AND eat it, too. Let's do this. 

Be dirty. Be rotten. Be vegan.