Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Funday!

There is nothing better than waking up early on a Sunday, walking down the street, catching a few waves and then going to the Live Oak Farmer's Market.  I picked up a couple of goodies: avocados, heirloom tomatoes, and wait for it.....PADRON PEPPERS.  Numerous people have told me that these little guys are absolutely delicious.  When I saw baskets at the farmer's market I had to give them a try.  I am SO glad I did; Cooking the little padrons was really easy.  The guy at the stand told me that in Spain people put a quarter-size dollop of olive oil in a pan with sea salt and sautee away.  DANG!  They were so good!  I also made up one of my signature tofu scrambles and sliced up an heirloom tomato.  Balsalmic drizzled over the tomato slices summed up this amazing lunch.  I don't usually measure spices when cooking so add spices to taste:

Mike's Tofu Scramble:

-1 Tofurkey Italian Sausage
-Crook-Necked Squash
-2 Shallots
-Fennel Seed
-Cumin Seed
-Curry Powder
-Himalayan Sea Salt
-Cracked Pepper
-Parma Spicy Nutritional Yeast

Usually I would throw in marinated artichoke hearts, but I am saving the jar I have for dinner :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Let's All Hail Merry!

The best part of a raw diet is that it admonishes all feelings of guilt!  I mean, sugary, chocolate-y macaroons are far from healthy, but attaching the word "raw" to them makes me feel like I am eating a bunch of kale.  HA!  Is my mentality skewed from reality?  Eh...who cares?!...go buy a bag of Hail Merry raw vegan treats!  Totally Bombskies!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Radical Radness!

My friend Brian alerted me to the awesome video that EcoVeganGal made of the Veg Speed Dating event in Berkeley, California.  Yours truly is featured with commentary on the event.

Check it out: Speed Dating Video

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Veg Speed Dating, Leafletting, Green Smoothies, and Vegan Maidens

Last night I attended the first ever vegan/vegetarian/veg-curious speed dating event in Berkeley at the Saturn Cafe across from campus.  Going into the event I was curious, anxious, happy, and energetic.  Basically, my mood was comprised of every emotion in the book.  I decided to put all feelings aside and just HAVE FUN.  Maybe my soulmate would be in the crowd, but if not, the event would serve as an opportunity to redefine what being vegan means to me while being surrounded by a bunch of AMAZING vegan people.

To start the night out, my friend Brian over at vegan outreach, finally got me to go leafletting with him at UC Berkeley.  I was super nervous at first.  I have done door to door campaigning in the past, and my overall view was entirely negative.  Leafletting with Brian completely changed my outlook on activism.   I was finally able to distribute info and talk to people about what I care most about in the world.  Animals, and their safety.  In 20 minutes I distributed 44 leaflets about factory farming and making compassionate choices.  What a great start to what would turn out to be an EPIC evening.

Let me tell you, upon entering Saturn Cafe I was having flashbacks to the cult film 40 Year-Old Virgin, when Steve Carrell goes speed dating and meets "Gina".  My flashbacks lightened my mood and I really enjoyed the event.  Yes, it was tiring, and yes, there were people there who were 30 years older than me, but the event was fun.  I met a few vegans/vegetarians who I would definitely go out with in future, and one in particular who made me weak in the knees, literally.  I hope the future holds bright things.  Even if my veg-dating connections only blossom into bright, plutonic relationships, I am ok with that.  I guess we will have to wait and see.  

I had a few great conversations that were noteworthy, and one in particular that motivated me to continue on my quest to consume a partially raw food diet (about 50% raw).  Today, I woke up and had a handful of raw almonds and a VEGA raw protein bar;  I also made a green smoothie that contains (one bunch of kale, 1/2 cucumber, an apple, a mango, and a can of coconut water).  I feel happy, energetic, and wonderful.  Here are some pictures of what I got at Staff of Life in Santa Cruz (the purple kale is so beautiful I want to put it in a vase):

Redirection, Rejuvination, and Re-radness

At first, this blog was intended to be funny, ironic, and mirror in some ways the brilliant writers of other vegan blogs.  I have decided that poking fun at meat-eaters and condemning them for activities that I once partook in, is not proactive.  I would like to spin this blog in the direction of overall compassion and empathy FOR ALL.  If I am fighting to bring compassion to the world of animals, should my fight also include fellow anthropoids?  Of course it should.  Last night, my eyes were opened by a good friend of mine over at vegan outreach.  Thank you Brian for your sage wisdom and insight!

Here is to moving forward!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Vegan Royalty?!

Ok, ok, I know this doesn't make me the Martha Stewart of the vegan world, but today the fabulous Meave included a pic of a pizza I made on the Vegansaurus website.  I follow this blog from the city religiously, and I am STOKED.  Check it out!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Who Needs Cooked Food?!

I will admit, I am skeptical of the raw foods diet.  I understand the nutritional science behind enzymes and what they can do for your body and digestion, but my prior experiences have left me filling unsatisfied and bored.  Granted, my first raw "cooking" experience was a simple guacamole wrapped with lettuce leaves.  Good, but B O R I N G.  Now, forget all of that mumbo jumbo I just said about raw foods and let me tell you about the freaking awesome raw lunch that blew all preconceptions out of the water.

I purchased a groupon for The Green Boheme in Sacramento about 6 months ago that expires in August.  I needed to get that bad boy used up by putting some awesome food in my belly.  The Green Boheme is a quaint little raw vegan cafe off of Del Paso Boulevard near Arden Fair Mall (sort of).  Upon entering, I was stoked.  Happy, radiant people with nice skin, and chipper attitudes.  I have heard that the raw foods diet lightens your life, but geez.  It was almost nauseating how cool everyone a good way of course.  Water came to the table in a wine bottle with a whole branch of mint leaves in it. I have had cucumber in water before, which was DE-lish, but mint?!  EPIC!  I highly recommend.  Being that I had a $10 groupon, which I might add, I bought so long ago it felt like I got it for free, I decided to forgo the idea of getting a $9 entree and eating for free.  I decided to get an appy and an entree for cheap.  The appetizer I chose was an Indonesian pate called Sambal.  It was sort of like a spicy, creamy hummus with lemongrass.  It was unFREAKINGreal.  The dehydrated flax/sunflower seed crackers that came with the Sambal were like vegan Kryptonite; They whooped my ass, for reals!  Now, for the main course....ready for this...."No Sea Tuna Sandwich".  I don't even know where to go from here.  Describing the amazingness of this sandwich cannot be left to a mere mortal man.  I have been veggie for over two years now, and I cannot remember the last time I had a tuna sandwhich (which I love). The mock tuna pate tasted JUST like the real deal.  Instead of explaining the awesome sandy, let me share The Green Boheme's description from the menu:
Our soft gluten free nut, seed and veggie bread topped with Mock “Tuna” pate (sprouted sunflower seeds, seasonings) cashew mayo, hot mustard, fresh tomato, sprouts, & seasoning blend on our delicious nut/seed bread. Served with a side salad. 
Will I be going back to The Green Boheme?  ABSOLUTELY!

If you want your world rocked, check out their MENU:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cow Tipping

I took a break from NASCAR and Budweiser tonight to have dinner with my parents at one of the best vegan-friendly restaurants in Elk Grove...Thai Chili.  The location is sketchy (in the same parking lot as Dollar Tree and Blockbuster), but the inside ambiance is what you would expect from a Thai restaurant in the states.  Tons of elephant and buddha statues and bamboo everything.

The service at Thai Chili is really good.  Food comes out hot, on time, and delicious.  For our appetizer we ordered fresh salad spring rolls with a sweet and sour peanut dipping sauce.  The rolls were standard spring rolls with an added twist.  Inside the rice wrapper, chunks of pineapple were paired with mint, tofu, and daikon.  The extra pop of sweet in the traditional spring roll was delicious and surprising.

My parents ordered dead flesh for their entrees (I totally watched in horror), and I ordered the pumpkin red curry with brown rice.  TO DIE FOR.  Chunks of fleshy pumpkin reside in a coconut milk curry that contains bell pepper, basil, and flash fried tofu.  It took all of my willpower to leave some of the curry in the bowl and not eat ALL of it.  I am stoked I did, because what is better than amazing curry for dinner? Um...amazing curry for dinner AND lunch the next day :)  My only quip about the meal was that I asked for my curry to be  blazing hot, and it came out mild.  Oh well, nothing chili flakes couldn't fix.

All in all, if you are in Elk Grove, and you find yourself hungry and don't want to go somewhere super chain-y, stop at Thai Chili.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane to....SATURN!

Tonight was a a night of MAJOR overindulgence.  Like 'my belly is going to explode' type of overindulgence.  I feel like someone stuck a vegan steak knife in my gut and left me to the wolves.

After a surf at Mo's, I felt like going out to grab a bite.  I didn't feel like healthy vegan delights tonight.  Rather, I wanted to stuff my face with greasy, fattening diner food.  What better place to give me what I needed, than Saturn Cafe.

My meal started as all meals should.  With hops.  Santa Cruz Mountain Brew IPA on draft = happiness.

After much deliberation (yea right, totally twisting my leg), I decided on going all out tonight.  Vegan sampler as an appetizer.  Are you ready for visual stimulation?  Vegan taquitos, garlic fries, sweet potato fries, chips, salsa, vegan ranch and wasabi  I was full before my entree even came is proof of greatness...The taquitos were delish!  Like, Safeway freezer section goodness.  I am starting a new religion.  It's called Taquitology.  We believe in a taquito shaped planet and a god named Vegatron. Epic.

As if my digestive system needed any more stimulation tonight.  My poor, poor roommate will be listening to acoustics all night (you know what I mean..)  Being that this was my first adventure to Saturn Cafe as a vegan I wanted to try as many things on the menu as possible without spending the deposit for my new place on food.  I ordered the soup, salad, and half sandwich meal.  The soup was vegetable, not bad, but not noteworthy.  The salad was pretty generic.  I ordered it with vegan ranch because, umm...why not?!  The best part of the meal was definitely the Chicken Avocado Club.  OMG!  Every bite felt like a time-warp to a time when I consumed animals.  Full on amazingness.  Super good breaded-protein.  BANG!


Back home now, pregnant with a food baby, and kind of crabby.  Adele is taking it down a notch.  Her new album is a must have.  So, you must have it.  Goodnight.

Why Don't You Drink Milk?

Because I am not a cow.

Thanks.  Bye.

Ok, ok, calm down.  This blog is meant to be funny/cliche/ironic/truthful.  In order to enjoy, you MUST have a sense of humor.  If you don't have one, watch video of Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann.  Doing so is guaranteed to induce a spike in your ability to turn that frown upside down.

I am reading a great book right now that shoots down the propaganda that consuming dairy builds strong bones and prevents bone fracture, because, doesn't.  Does it surprise anyone that big business profits from the public believing that milk "Does a body good"?  You don't need to be a scientist to figure this out.

1.  If dairy consumption decreases the likelihood of bone fracture, then the U.S. should have the lowest rate of bone fracture because we consume more dairy than any other nation.

2.  We don't.

Check it out:


Swiss Chard, Artichoke Heart, Tofu Quiche
Fresh Organic Slaw (Cabbage, Cashews, Sunflower Sprouts, Carrot, Dijon Dressing)
'Mac N' Cheese' + Avo = Love

My First Classroom

In approx. a month and a half I will be begin teaching my first class.  I know that I am the teacher of the class, but I am not technically allowed to insert my own political beliefs into the classroom setting.  To what extent does this "ethical rule" go?  Am I allowed to proclaim that I am vegan and proud?  Can I display a compassionate poster behind my desk?  I want to be objective, but at the same time, how can I hide who I am?  And at what cost?  I will never tell my students that vegan is the ONLY way to go, but I want them to be able to ask any questions that they may have...

An Ethically Confused Teacher

First Blog! Guaranteed to be a blog-a-thon...

After much internal debate, struggle, and monologue, I have decided to bite the bullet and share my thoughts on living a cruelty-free lifestyle.  It gets lonely in your head when you are the only one of your friends who is sans meat.  Do you hear that?!  Yes, it is the world's tiniest violin, and it is playing for me right now..although there will be no cheese with this whine...know what im sayin'?  Moving on....

Let me begin by sharing my sojourn to veganism.  I grew up on a bit of land in South Sacramento and throughout my childhood years we had farm animals on property.  Some of these animals were raised for meat and eggs, and others I have no idea why we raised them.  Maybe it was because they were cute.  Let's go with that.  Yes, we raised goats because they were cute and eat clothing.

For the first 23 years of life, I ate meat, and a lot of it.  I have been blessed with the metabolism of a three year old, and I can pack away the calories without any detriment to my physique.  That said, during college and my teenage years I ate extremely unhealthy.  Mucho processed foods and fast food.  Gross...

When I was 16-ish I had a girlfriend (she is one of my best friends today) who was born and raised vegetarian, and dabbled in veganism.  At the time, I viewed her dietary choices with cynicism.  I must have been experiencing the omnivore's dilemma.  Blaming the compassionate eater for shedding light on my horrible diet choices.  In retrospect, it was this introduction to veganism that led to my ultimate decision to change my life at 23.

After college, I moved to the beautiful and progressive city of Santa Cruz.  I started dating a vegetarian and cooking veggie meals to make life less complicated.  Omnivores who have dated a veggie person know that it is easier to cook one meal that can be shared than cook two completely different things...obvies.  Anywho, after we broke up, I continued with my vegetarian eating habits, which I will call my "Morningstar Farms" diet.  I was vegetarian, yes, but an unhealthy one at that.  Processed, cheesy globules of fat where my daily ingestion.  After about 6 months of living as a vegetarian, my argument of doing it for the environment, my body, and the animals became hypocritical when I realized that spending money on dairy products was contributing to animal abuse and suffering.  No thanks!  I decided that I would become vegan on Christmas in 2009.  I planned this date deliberately, knowing that my mom would be buying me tons of cool schwag for Christmas.  I did my research and asked my mom to forgo the unicorn sweaters and buy me hemp protein, The Face on Your Plate, and The Vegan Table. I equipped myself with a positive mindset, an account on VegWeb, and a subscription to VegNews magazine.  The rest is vegan history!  I will be celebrating my 2 year vegan anniversary on Christmas, and I am stoked.

This blog might be read by others, but if not, it's all good.  I am excited to share my musings on veganism, which might also be read as, 'i am excited to bitch and complain about meat'.  Here goes nothing....