Monthly Archives: June 2012

It’s too hot to blog

It’s supposed to be 106 today! Thank god for Barton Springs.

I haven’t been eating very much at all anyway. I did learn a better method for breaking down watermelons and making iced coffee.

I am saving all my pennies for my trips in the next few weeks to Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and then Springfield. I’ll probably be singing “In My Life” by the Beatles a lot and get really nostalgic cause I can’t help it.

I will also miss my dogs. Even though they will just be snoozing on the couch.

The Jalopy- vegan friendly wraps

Suddenly there is a whole bunch of vegan friendly trailers just south of UT but I think The Jalopy on 15th and San Antonio might be the only one with a sandwich chute.

The whole trailer is covered in murals by local artists.

They make their bread fresh each morning and it’s totally vegan! The menu is split between chicken and veggie, the latter of which has several interesting vegan options. My first trip I tried the Jelly Gibson which has peanut butter, onion marmalade, almonds and berries.

The marmalade was not to my taste but I loved the bread and all the fresh ingredients. The next time I tried the Vegan Thai in a bowl.

And I really missed the homemade bread! Luckily, they were super nice and gave me some. I am excited to try the hummus sandwich next, I think it will be even better. They are open Monday – Friday 7-10 and Saturday 10-4. Sadly none of the breakfast options are vegan but it’s the perfect place to stop for lunch with someone that doesn’t want vegan food and still have plenty to eat.

Plus narwhals!

Fun Food Facts: Posole is made of People!

The green posole Viva Vegan is probably our most used recipe in the book, and I have tried almost everything from Terry Hope Romero‘s guide to Latin cuisine. It is made with tomatillos, her white seitan, and swiss chard all nicely thickened with toasted pepitas and hominey.

It is a delicious stew that we have eaten many times but last night Dan asked me what makes posole a posole. I guessed that it had something to do with hominey or corn but went off to wikipedia to look it up and learned that, while that’s true, it is often made with animal flesh, traditionally human flesh!

I guess the ancient Aztecs believed the gods made humans out of masa and they made posole for special occasions. They would remove the heart out of a criminal and offer that to the gods and mix up the rest of the body with some corn and serve it to everyone in town. Tradition! Eventually cannibalism was banned and Spanish priests switched the staple meat to pork because it “tasted very similar”.

We are similar!

As a vegan I get into a lot of stupid arguments that I would rather not be involved in. I mean, when people want to talk about veganism with genuine curiosity that’s fine, we can talk about it all day if you want. But, instead, veganism often brings out the real life troll in some people who just want to invalidate your morals or ethics or choice in whatever in any way they can. These people live to annoy and I try to avoid getting into conversations with them at all costs.

A few weeks ago I got into two different unwanted and almost simultaneous debates about traditional food definitions. I was wondering why no one in Austin made vegan barbecue and somebody replied, because there is no such thing as vegan barbecue. Sorry Homegrown Smoker, you don’t exist! It’s all a lie! I’ve never eaten your delicious smokey soy curls or enjoyed your barbecued tempeh. THAT NEVER HAPPENED, Meanwhile, I had someone insisting on blog post about Arlo’s delicious bacon cheeze burgers that calling a veggie burger a burger was incorrect. The funny thing about that was that he could have easily made that point about the bacon but instead he chose the burger. I tried to calmly explain that a hamburger is made of meat but a burger is just about anything in patty form but he insisted I was incorrect, even after I busted out the dictionary definition!

This never happened!

In both cases the troll tried to use the framework of “tradition” to make their argument but, the thing is, food changes all the time! That is why people like to talk about it. I mean, I understand liking things the way they are, the first time I made my Baba’s soup for a group of people one (possibly) well meaning guest immediately said, “this would be better with garlic”. I was confused because I was trying to make a recipe not improve upon it. But, that is what people do; they change things to the way they like them they or to use ingredients that they have easy access to or take the gluten out if they have celiac disease or, in my case replace the animal products so I can happily enjoy it.

The next time someone tries to denigrate my life choices and tells me that whatever I am eating isn’t real because it’s not traditional I can’t wait to tell them about the Aztecs and human flesh and how humans taste just like pigs.

Ok, I can wait.

Rabbit Food Grocery – a new vegan grocery store in Austin

The vegan community in Austin is so inspiring lately. I think we will remember 2012 as the year the scene just POPPED (pop pop) and along with all sorts of businesses opening or moving to brick and mortar locations, local products being put on the market, and ice cream being served everywhere we now also have our own vegan grocery pop-up shop. That’s it rest of the world, we don’t even need you anymore! Austin can just sustain itself on local vegan businesses. I am so excited that Jessica and Gabe finally opened their vegan shop Rabbit Food Grocery because, really, I can’t think of two better people in the world to take on such a task. First, they are complete experts on vegan ingredients. I like to think of them as walking talking versions of the book Animal Ingredients A to Z. Plus they know all about vitamins and staying healthy but aren’t anti- junk food and restaurants too. Plus Jessica has a veganic gardening blog and knows everything about that too. Plus it’s their dream and they have been working towards this for as long as I can remember. Plus they helped me with a bunny emergency. That’s a lot of math right there and from my limited math knowledge even I can tell you that it all equals complete awesomeness.

I have been to the shop quite a bit and I have tried a lot of the products and this couple knows their vegan food. They have so many items that I have heard about for years and always wanted to try like The Vegg, Blue Sheese and May Wah Vegan Fried “Chicken” Steak. They have items that I never knew about and wonder how I lived without like Leahey Gardens Macaroni and Cheese and my newest amazing “discovery” Parmela Grated Vegan Parmesan Cheese. They have things that were discontinued or hard to find in Austin like chocolate covered twinkies, Chicago Soydairy Teese and Biscoff Spread, and of course vegan staples like Butler Soy Curls and Food For Lovers Vegan Queso.

That’s right I called queso a staple.

They don’t leave the critters out either with dog and cat food and they have the most trustworthy supplements in town. I will never get my supplements from anyone else and happily never research any of it ever again. Instead I can trust that Gabe and Jessica have done the research for me and I can just pick up whatever they have and spend my time researching new taco spots and new taco options.

Right now the shop is moving around to different vegan friendly locations. If you aren’t in Austin you can just order whatever you want and they will ship it to you. Actually, if you are in Austin and are just too lazy to leave the house they will ship it to you. If, however, you do live in town and occasionally go out into the so-called “real world” you can order ahead of time and just check off where you will pick it up. Every time I’ve gone they have everything ready in a nice package and I can just go along my merry way. At the pop up shops they also have a limited amont of popular items so if you just want to browse you can do that too. The times change so befriend them on Facebook or follow them on twitter or take a look at their website before you drag yourself across the river in a sudden cookie dough inspired panic.

But if you really want to check out Rabbit Food Grocery the best way to do it is to attend Vegan Drinks this Friday at Cheer Up Charlie’s. They are having a huge sale on vegan cheese and you can pick up your food while you meet up with other vegans or try any of the many trailers right over there. Just DON’T do what I did last time and try and eat an Arlo’s Bacon Cheeseburger, a fried avocado ball from Fire and Soul, and a cupcake from Capital City Bakery. It turns out that I am not a 15 year old boy and I can not eat like that. It was bad news.

So check it out and make an effort to support this wonderful vegan business so that they will be able to bring us even more products and eventually open a permanent spot. Hopefully next door to me.

Grain-Bean-Green bowls

Lately I have been eating almost exclusively bowls. Well, bowls for dinner anyway and tacos for breakfast. Ok, truth police it’s really been iced coffee for breakfast, breakfast tacos for lunch and then bowls for dinner. I think it started with a trip to the Steeping Room… or maybe the Fire Bowl Cafe. Both places have been regulars for me lately and I am still kind of easing back into cooking after not really being able to for a year. Bowls are kind of perfect since they are so simple and can suit any desire. 

This one was especially delicious, my boss gave me an acorn squash from his garden and I roasted that along with some herb & panko covered tofu. I also cooked some French lentils with tarragon and some other spices and topped everything in miso tahini dressing. The whole thing probably took me less then 20 minutes to prepare which is just about perfect. Lazy meals for those lazy summer days. I love it.