Monthly Archives: March 2011

Austin Bakes for Japan!

I am really excited to finally blog about the HUMONGOUS bakesale that we are going to have next Saturday on April 2nd.

A couple weeks ago Kathryn, the blogger behind The Austin Gastronomist mentioned on twitter that she wanted to set up the bakesale. I volunteered to help organize because I really wanted to do something for Japan. Last year, we had a lot of success with vegan bakesales for Haiti and I thought it would be really interesting to combine efforts with the whole Austin food community.

Since we started planning so many other people have joined up to organize and bake or donate money that it is kind of like the final scene in It’s a Wonderful Life, we now have 5 locations all over town, business sponsors, and lots of people signing up to help. Our goal is to earn 10,000 dollars for Americares, at first I thought that was crazy but now I think we can TOTALLY DO IT!

I really hope that the Austin vegan community will participate. So far, most of the people signed up are local foodies, and food bloggers & journalists and I want them all to see how wonderful our baked goods are and that the vegans in Austin are all so awesome and such a caring group. Plus I want to buy most of your delicious baked goods for myself.

I am also really excited to announce that the Red Rabbit Donut Cooperative is going to have their FANTASTIC donuts at the sale. If you haven’t tried them yet, you are going to be transported to a wonderful world where everything is made of donuts and filled with love. So please, sign up to donate baked goods, other items or volunteer at the tables with me. If you can’t be there for the sale I am happy to have you guys drop stuff off at my house the day before and I think we have another location too.

And please tell everyone you know about the bakesale. The more people that come out the better, folks can even donate online. There is no escaping it so give in already! I saw Isa  post on twitter the other day “If you have hope for the world, then there’s hope for the world.” and honestly even that sentiment gives me hope.

red rabbit donuts will be in your mouth!

How to Make a Vegan Breakfast Taco

If you have ever read this blog or had a conversation with me about food you have probably heard me ramble on about my love of breakfast tacos. In fact, one of my friends that came to visit started a count for every time my partner and I said the word “taco”. People are sick of hearing about it but I’m not going to stop until every city in the world has access to fresh vegan breakfast tacos. It is my mission in life!

Someone from California asked me the other day what makes a taco a breakfast taco. I couldn’t really answer her because all I could think of was how sad it was that she didn’t know. I think they eat breakfast burritos out there which BTW is totally different. Then I didn’t even get her a taco so I feel a lot of guilt about that. Usually I force my friends from out of town to eat nothing but tacos and then they ask, “Can we have something that isn’t Mexican” and I think about it and take them to a more Tex less Mex taco stand. The point is not that I am a terrible host, but that for some of you, the only way to enjoy breakfast tacos for now is to make them at home so here is, what I hope, will be a helpful guide.

Step 1. The Tortilla

I think this step can be all too easily overlooked but, for me, it is probably the most important difference between a taco from a gas station and a taco that you will long for. I have made tortillas in the past but I can get 50 fresh corn tortillas for like a dollar at the grocery store so I realized it wasn’t the best use of my time (my dogs need near constant love). If you aren’t so lucky to have fresh tortillas then you should try your hand it making them, it is really quite easy and totally worth it, check out Crystal’s tutorial. I found some that had anchos baked right into the tortilla at Central Market the other day and they really elevated my taco to a whole new level, I know in the pic it look like mold but it isn’t! I promise! In Viva Vegan Terry has a recipe that uses Chia seeds because basically you can add anything you want  to a tortilla. Just make sure the tortillas are warm when you make the taco, we usually wrap them in foil and stick them in the oven but you can also warm them up one at a time on the stove or stick them in a microwave. The steam has to keep them pliable, toasting is the opposite. 

Step 2. The Protein

In Austin the top protein options are either refried beans, whole black beans or vegan chorizo. All fine choices but, for me, tofu scramble is the best thing to stuff into a breakfast taco, it kind of whispers “breakfast” in your ear. Tofu scramble is actually the main way we use tofu at home. I like to keep it kind of simple for tacos with a little bit of nooch, seasonings, and not to heavy on the spices sort of like this one from Vegan Dad or the basic one from Vegan Brunch.

Vegan Brunch Tofu Scramble

Step 3: The Starch

At whole foods you can get a cilantro lime rice on your taco or if you want to add a little bit of health you could use brown rice and greens for Arroz Verde but what really makes a breakfast taco a breakfast taco is the potatoes, otherwise you really don’t know what the hell kind of taco you are eating. French fries, tater tots, and even mashed potatoes will all work. Usually I dice some potatoes, roll them around in some smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and stick them in an oven for 20 minutes or so flipping occasionally. But, over the weekend we were using Vegan Brunch for the cookbook challenge and I loved the diner style potatoes recipe with peppers & onions. 

Step 4: The Toppings

This is the part that you can really get carried away on. Roasted vegetables, vegan sausage, green onions, pico de gallo, tofutti sour cream, limes, verde salsa, hot sauce, grilled onions, toasted garlic, avocado, vegan cheese, nopalitos, chimmichurri, sprouts, greens, bacon bits, tomatoes, zucchini, guacamole, really whatever you have is an option. We recently had the seitan breakfast strips from American Vegan Kitchen

along with pickled red onions and both added a lot of flavor to our tacos. Keeping all this stuff around makes taco assembly super simple in the morning pre-coffee confusion. 

Step 5: Eat

So there you have it, a perfect meal.

Breakfast Tacos they're not just for breakfast anymore.

 

Do you guys make breakfast tacos?

SXSW is over

I had the best time at the fest this year. Our official talk went great and I got to take Laura from Vegansaurus to all my favorite spots in town. I bet we turned hundreds of people vegan…. maybe not all that day but perhaps it planted a seed for some.

I ate and drank like I was on vacation. Which I guess I kind of was since I had the week off from work.

peanut curry buns & veggie meshi from Eastside King

the rennedict from Bouldin Creek with tofu bacon

 

Pad Lao with Chinese style BBQ tofu

I got to go to a vegan barbecue party put on by Moby at Cheer Up Charlies

 

And finally try the Red Rabbit Donut Cooperative‘s donuts at the Compassion Over Killing Bakesale at the Brooklyn Vegan Day party, which was really fun.

vegan donuts FTW

I made peanut butter cocopuff treats, well I guess technically they were coco “blast” treats. The recipe was from Kittie and I will make them again for sure.

also people watching, of course, was really fun

I also saw a lady walking her pig outside of the Alamo Drafthouse and yelled at her until she stopped so I could pet it and take a picture.  Please note, if you are going to walk by me with a little piglet you better not be in a hurry.

I got to pet him!

Now I am so tired from 10 days of music, films, parties, free drinks, and comedy that it is a real struggle to be back at work. I am so jealous of McPuppenstein who is probably doing this as I type this.

look at his cute legs!

I love Austin Texas, I feel so lucky I get to live here.

Vegan Events at SXSW

As some point my twitter feed went from  blah blah blah sxsw blah blah vegan blah….. to …..SXSW sxsw SXSW sxsw SXSW sxsw. It is too much to keep up with! Most exciting for me is my official conversation at the Interactive Festival, Laura Beck  from Vegansaurus and I will be talking about Activism on the Internet Monday Monday March 14 at 3:30PM at the Austin Convention Center Room 5ABC. it is going to be a good time I promise.

Vegan Drinks is going to be meeting at The Eastside Sound Circus – A FREE unofficial SXSW kick-off festival at Cheer Up Charlie’s on Tuesday March, 15th from noon to 2am

On Wednesday Counter Culture is throwing a huge party on north loop with VEGAN CORN DOGS and tons of bands. It is going on all day and it is free. The best part is that they finally got their music permit so it won’t get shut down. 

Also at Cheer up Charlie’s Moby is going to be hosting a FREE VEGAN BBQ on Thursday

Also Brooklyn Vegan is going to have a series of day parties, I think that there will be a vegan table and maybe a bakesale at these as well, I will let you know if I get any more details. I went to his parties last year and they were really fun!

Viva Vegan SXSW!

If you are looking for other free parties and what not check out Austin 360, they have a huge database of everything. Do512 is another great place to look up free stuff, their sxsw list has really grown that makes it really easy to RSVP. If you are overwhelmed by all of that Austinist,  and Republic of Austin have spotlighted different activities.

I will try and add stuff as it comes up but I’ll mostly be on twitter @veganLazySmurf

If you are looking for vegan food check out my SXSW list, or my Austin city wide guide, or my favorite spots!

And remember to wear sunscreen I got burned to a crisp last year.