Tag Archives: Texas

Lonestar Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off Sign-up Happening Now!

I love Chili, Texas style, Yankee style, Verde, Tons of Beans, No Beans, Tempeh, Barley, whatever it is as long as it’s vegan (and not burned) I’ll probably like it. That’s why the Lonestar Vegetarian Chili cook-off is always one of the best events of the year. Last year I got to judge and my friend Cassandra with the Red Hot Vegans took the trophy for best traditional and then members of the Austin Food Blogger’s Alliance got the best all around! It was pretty rad to see other bloggers win, I promise I didn’t cheat! Another year Molly of the Lonestar Plate won and her amazing recipe (which is pictured above in frito pie form)  is in our Sunny Days in Texas Zine and she has it rounded up with some other great chili recipes online.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to win the cash prizes the time to sign up is now! Even though people come in from all over the state to play AND it’s the longest running vegetarian chili cook-off in the world Austin almost always wins and it sure would be sad if we lost to someone from Round Rock or Dallas so get your teams together and sign up. The event is going to be tons of fun, with all sorts of live music and different vendors.


Pro-choice til I die

One reason I started to write this blog was to write about things that were on my mind. Another reason was to share information. Usually it stays on the topic of veganism but, for me, veganism is part of a larger picture. Social Justice, Animal Welfare, Feminism, Environmentalism, Humanism, and most of all, so much fucking love in my heart are all the foundation of it.

Everything is interconnected. Some would even say there is a metapattern to it all. (Full disclosure: the first class I ever took at Evergreen was called metapatterns cause that’s the kind of school I went to).

That makes it hard to talk about just one thing. I have always had what some would refer to as a bleeding heart. I’ve been writing letters to politicians, school officials, and companies since I was a little kid. In addition to this, I can get really fired up really quickly. That latter quality can make it really difficult for me to get into arguments. I get so hot and it can last for days. Sometimes I can direct that passion into action and that’s why I wanted to write a better post about why I am pro-choice and why I think you should be too.

Last week I wrote an outraged post about how I was painting my nails to support Wendy Davis’s amazing filibusterer and to support Planned Parenthood. I wrote about some other vegan haps about the town as well, partly because I wanted to blog about all three things and I think partly because I wanted to stay “on topic”. But you know what? This is my blog. I get enormous pleasure in the fact that I can talk about whatever I want. I make zero dollars from it. If you don’t like what I’m writing about you can either stick to the Eating Out sections or check out  Vegans Rock Austin, The Lonestar Plate, Austin Vegetarian Living, Red Hot Vegans or Happy Cow, I bet Austin is one of the most blogged about towns in the USA and surely you will find someone you mesh with. But don’t come to my blog and insinuate that I am racist because I think white male evangelical politicians hold way too much power in this state and are actively working to disenfranchise minorities and women. I don’t think that every evangelical or white or Republican thinks the same way but I can tell you after watching the Texas Senate and Texas House debates for the last few weeks that every single one of them that are voting for restrictions on abortions that would close women’s health clinics (that do more than just give out abortions) all over the state are people that are actively against women’s health and safety. In addition to closing clinics the bill would also add a restriction that women can not have legal abortions after their 20th week.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and GynecologistsThe Texas Medical Association, the Texas Hospital Association all oppose this bill for several reasons. They opposed it because there is no medical need for more restrictions on abortion. I learned a lot from reading the bill and watching the debates about this. I learned that, as a medical procedure, doctors consider abortion on par with a colonoscopy. I learned that it is one of the safest medical procedures in the state. I learned that a woman is significantly more likely to die or have complications by carrying a pregnancy to term than she is by having an abortion. I learned that since we have systematically gutted healthcare in this state that pregnancy is actually pretty scary to go through in Texas, especially if you are poor or uninsured or uneducated. “In Texas, the racial disparity is also evident. Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy related causes of death than white women.” Studies that follow the implications of restricting abortion have repeatedly shown that the number of abortions don’t go down when clinics close. Instead, desperate women search for other alternatives. Already because of the expense of abortion and the mandatory 24 hour waiting period coupled with the fear of being found out by her neighbors or family many women cross the border into Mexico where they can take prescription medications that might cause an abortion, or maybe make them bleed to death.

Aside from closing clinics under the guise of protecting women’s health another aspect of the Texas bill is that women will no longer have the option of getting an abortion after the 20th week. The supposed reason behind this new law is that at that point the fetus can feel pain. Like many many scientists, I don’t know what it is like for a fetus to feel pain. I don’t remember my time as a fetus. Is it more like how a toddler, a spider, a cow, a piglet, a piece of kale, or a shrimp feels pain? I have no idea. Scientists are certainly not even agreed on if a fetus feels pain at all. But I do know that the woman who needs to have an abortion in her 2nd trimester is suffering. 99 percent of all women who have abortions do it before twenty weeks. The women who  have an  abortion after are usually women that wanted a baby. Maybe they have already been thinking about names and designing the nursery. Why do they wait 20 weeks into their pregnancy? When they are already probably showing a baby bump?

The answer is that comprehensive fetal testing, such as anatomical sonograms and ultrasounds of the heart, are typically performed just before 20 weeks of gestation. Such scans are critical for uncovering major birth defects, such as anencephaly (severe brain malformations), major heart defects, missing organs and limbs, and other severe birth defects. Fetal development is a complex process that often goes awry. Roughly 2 percent of all pregnancies are complicated by a major birth defect, and of those about 0.5 percent have a chromosomal defect, such as an extra or missing segment of normal DNA. Birth defects are a leading cause of infant mortality, and in many cases of severe birth defects, no medical treatment can salvage a fetus’s life or result in any measure of normal future health. from Slate’s 7/11/13 story “Who Has an Abortion After 20 Weeks?

This is what we mean when we say the decision to have an abortion should be between a woman and her doctor. It’s not just a cute phrase. I think a second term abortion the hardest decision many women ever face. These are the vast majority of this one percent of abortions.  If you watched the public testimonies a few weeks ago you no doubt saw some heartbreaking stories of women talking about going through this process. Another unintended aspect of the twenty week ban will undoubtedly be that women have an abortion before they can fully decide if they want to try and keep the baby because they know they will lose the option soon. Read a friend of mine’s story about being in this very situation.

In addition to these women’s health issues there are also women’s rights issues involved. Something I don’t really see anti-choice advocates talk about is bodily autonomy. They see the fetus as a life and that it should have the right to be alive no matter what its host’s body wants. But a woman is more than just a host. She is an American citizen and she has the right to do what she wants with her body. That’s why stealing someone’s kidney’s is illegal. You couldn’t tell a judge “well I needed the kidney to live and the woman has two of them anyway”. A woman can donate her kidney the same way she can have a baby, with consent and probably help from her doctor. No one demands people risk their lives through medical procedures that are unnecessary for them to save some else’s life. This is why women are allowed to decide whether or not that they are going to give birth to a baby.

So maybe you understand a woman’s right to her own bodily autonomy but you still believe that every baby that is conceived should be born and if women don’t want to have a baby they shouldn’t get pregnant. Well, if you agree with that you are hopefully a democrat because in this state democrats are the only politicians that try to make sure unwanted babies are never conceived in the first place. Research shows that the very best way to cut down on unintended pregnancies is through sex-education, teaching people, especially young fertile hormonal teens how to use birth control, how you get pregnant, and offering free or low-cost birth control methods has repeatedly been shown as the very best way to stop pregnancies.

Why do republicans vote for abstinence only education when studies show it leads to unwanted pregnancies?  Why do they add medically unnecessary sonogram bills? Why do they fund “crisis pregnancy centers” that spread misinformation like that having abortions leads to cancer and stop funding women’s health clinics that do everything from distributing condoms to giving low cost pelvic exams and give women information about where they can get abortions? Why do they think a woman hasn’t given any thought to if she wants an abortion and mandates a 24 hour waiting period? Why did Texas legislators think that making health insurance providers cover birth control was a travesty against Christians? Why did Rick Perry think that this bill should be debated in a special session when the rules are different? Why do they then break their own rules? Why do so many Republicans, including the author of this bill in Texas, not understand that you can get pregnant through rape and the state doesn’t do anything to “clean you out”? Why have they spent their entire time in control of the house getting rid of a woman’s access to a safe legal abortion in this state? Why didn’t they accept one single amendment to the bill? Like allowing exceptions for women that were raped, mentally ill, or having medical complications?

If you can answer all of these questions without coming to the same conclusions as me please let me know. But before you do, first read this story from Libby Anne, who used to be president of her university’s Students for Life chapter. Really, if you are anti-choice and you read one link in this whole post, this is the one that I would ask you to read.

You don’t have to support abortion to be pro-choice. That’s why it’s called pro-choice instead of pro-abortion. You just have to believe that other women can make their own decisions on what they are going to do with their own body.

So today I am going to go down to the capital and wear orange scream my guts out. Even though I know that Rick Perry loves to hear women scream and that it shows him how well he’s doing his job. When people in our society start to lose their rights, we all lose.

This weekend I’m going to eat pizza, paint my nails, and maybe do some Hippie Vegan Bullshit

If it was 20 years ago and my friend Sandra was here we could have a sleepover and talk about boys and who would look best in a tux too. As an adult I am now eating pizza and painting my nails for political reasons.  Oh, and I’m meeting with a team of Taco Scientists. You never know where your life will take you.

Living under the rule of an evil Republican super majority in Texas can be very disheartening. These totally corrupt officials continually make life for everyone in our state increasingly more difficult. Our privileged blue state compatriots in the rest of the country write off what happens in our state and laugh about how we are just backwards jerks that don’t deserve healthcare or factory safety regulations or education because we are stupid enough to keep voting these fuckers in. Well, you know what non-Texans? It isn’t that easy to fight against their racket when all the decks are stacked against you. These people keep getting elected because they have gerrymandered the state into such a mess of cockeyed districts that the white evangelical voters have more voting power than they should in a state with so many people that live in cities, women, Mexican-Americans, and African Americans. The people in charge of this state work so hard to disenfranchise poor people that it can some times seem impossible to fight them, they have all the money and the power and they use it to make sure people that don’t agree with them can’t vote, aren’t educated, don’t have good jobs, and have to spend every minute of their lives struggling to get by. In some cases they are too exhausted to even realize that things could be another way. The media talks about our low voter turnout but, from my perspective, the apathy comes from continually witnessing such a corrupt system. It’s very demoralizing.

That’s why Wendy Davis’ filibuster was so inspiring to me and so many of my allies. Here was a woman literally standing up against these men that have made life so hard for so many and just want to make it worse for their own twisted reasons. As the filibuster went on and she schooled all these pathetic senators on why women’s healthcare is so important more and more people started watching the livesteam and heading down to the capital. When she got stopped for a third illogical reason we had to start drinking. Then the democrats stalling tactics attempting to run out the clock had me frantically checking twitter and the clock thinking they couldn’t possibly keep this up. After being repeatedly ignored Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, said “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?” I immediately started cheering along with thousands of others all over the state and also with the people cheering in the capital who screamed so loud and so long that they STOPPED THE BILL from being about to pass. After so many years of reading about Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, and Molly Ivins to see there was still hope for women in Texas made me feel an incredible sense of elation.  I know Dick Perry has called another special session and evil will probably prevail this next time but for that one day we got a glimpse of where the future could be. The internet went nuts.

To celebrate and gear up for the next week I’m dying to get a ridiculous manicure that even supports planned parenthood. When I wrote Nails Y’all to see if her products were vegan too she wrote back:

Thank you for your interest + support! I am overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of such amazing, passionate, and inspiring ladies who want to show their support for women’s healthcare in Texas. Unfortunately, all appointments for the Hands Off fundraising manis are booked. But don’t despair! Here are a few ways that you can still get in on the action:
Get a set of your very own DIY Wendy Davis nail decals! You can totally take control of your own nails with these babies. Each kit contains 12 nail decals, Q-tips, and easy-to-follow instructions. Each kit is $25, and $10 goes directly to Planned Parenthood! To purchase a kit, contact me via email to pick it up in person, or head over to Etsy. In addition, I’ll have kits available Sunday, 6/30 at East Side Show Room (1100 E. 6th) from 7pm to midnight. Spread the word!
Nails Y’all + Planned Parenthood are working to make it easy for you make tax-free donations to support women’s health in Texas. If you’d like more information about donating to the cause, shoot me an email.
For future manis, book an appointment with me at Paloma. (Wendy’s are in my rotation, now!) And we use locally made, vegan products! More of my nail designs can be seen via Tumblr and Instagram (@nailsyall).
I’m sorry that I was unable to accommodate your request, but I am so thankful that so many ladies reached out to fight the good fight through nail art.

I’m so excited to do mine!

This Saturday is also Vegan Pizza Day, I’ve been working on a recipe for Chicago style pizza that might be ready for next year but for 2013 I’m heading to Capital City Bakery for Pizza Rolls for lunch and probably picking up my favorite VIA 313 for dinner! There are lots of ways to celebrate, check out the Lonestar Plate for a guide to vegan friendly pizza in Austin.

Also this Saturday will be the return of Hippie Vegan Bull$#!*. The last one got rained out but I don’t seen that happening here for the last weekend of June, here is the scoop:

Hippie Vegan Bull$#!* – Saturday, June 29 from noon to 7pm – is a free, family-friendly & dog-friendly celebration of all things peaceful, organic, and weird in Austin.

The Empire parking lot will be home to a local vegan marketplace featuring ice cream by Sweet Ritual, vegan sausages, hot dogs & burgers from The Hot Dog King and, sweets from Capital City Bakery. The garage will host vendors selling miscellaneous hippie bull$#!* including professional tie-dye and demonstrations & training from Texas Footbag, YogaSlackers & Keep Austin Slacklining. The garage will also serve as our bicycle & skateboard valet as well as the home of our massive group finger painting mural.

The patio will host a yoga class by Wanderlust at 4pm, drum spheres (bring your hand-drums), and Frisbee. The Control Room will transform into the Crash Pad where music-lovers can participate in an improvised jam on-stage (so bring your instruments & musical friends!) Those who want to chill can enjoy the show from the air-conditioned comfort of couches, cold beverage in hand, all while surrounded by 300 degrees of trippy, psychedelic projections. Facebook Event – http://www.hippieveganbs.com

Enjoy the weekend! Remember to wear suncreen and keep your dogs out of your parked car! I will break your window.


You can help Lucky the Elephant!


Sometimes it feels like I read nothing but bad news.  I read all week (month? year? my whole lifetime?) about the republicans attempts to deregulate everything and help ruin all life on earth. Today I read they are working hard on destroying  the rest of the manatee in Florida. I also learned that “conservatives” are less likely to buy the same lightbulbs if you tell them it will help the environment.

Instead of wallowing in depression I’m going to try and raise some awareness for Lucky the elephant. Lucky was a wild elephant who was captured in Thailand and brought to the San Antonio zoo. Over the years she has watched as her companions have all died and now she is the last of her kind. Female elephants aren’t supposed to ever be alone. In the wild they always travel in packs. When they pass a spot where one of their number died, they stop and take a moment to mourn. Here is a video where you can watch them. Even many years later they will stop at the same spot. Elephants are giant animals and they also need a lot of space. In the jungle they actually make the paths that all the other animals follow on their never ending quests for food.

The San Antonio zoo doesn’t really have enough room for one elephant, much less two. It could be that these substandard arrangements have led to the death of so many of Luck’s companions. They are trying to petition their own trade organization to break it’s rules and keep Lucky by herself from now on.

 One World Conservation says “According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) guidelines, elephants should not be kept alone in captivity. It’s emotionally traumatizing. That’s why we’re asking that Lucky be removed from the San Antonio Zoo and sent to a facility that offers social grouping, natural substrates, strictly enforced protected contact management, high-end veterinary care, and the space to better meet the needs of her species.”

If you would like to help the first step is to sign the Change.org petition. There is also a link to call and email the AZA directly because they are going to be making this decision on whether or not to grant the San Antonio Zoo’s request very soon. There is also going to be a demonstration outside the zoo in San Antonio this Saturday, if you can make it they will even have signs and stuff available. You can also invite your friends on facebook to join the cause.

This is an animal that we can help.


Texas VegFest 2013: a resounding success

If you look at my tweet cloud of the words I say the most “excited” is by far the number one. I’m usually excited about something. If I’m not, I get completely melancholy about how I have nothing to look forward to. For Texas Vegfest I think I might have just been too excited, I missed it last year because it was my bff’s wedding and thought that was one of the best events of my life, missing vegfest and hearing all about it just built up the anticipation even more for this year’s fest..  The night before I went to ATX Vegan Drinks with my friends from North Austin Vegans and had a fun time playing trivia even though my team abandoned me for the final round. Saturday was a freaking gorgeous day and by the time I finally got to the fest I’d already missed some events and sat down to see Dr. Montgomery talk about cardiology.

He was a great speaker, he talked a lot about how preventable heart disease is just by cutting back meat and that a lot of people know that and just replace beef with chicken. It’s not enough! He was dressed in his surgeons gear just in case any meat eaters showed up. I wanted to pay close attention but I just couldn’t sit still. I really wanted to get a shirt from Herbivore before they sold out. Then I got distracted by tacos.

Good Karma Kitchen had rolled in from Fort Worth to bring us their delicious tacos and noodle dishes. I got the barbecued Korean tacos with jalapeno cream sauce, sliced vegetables, and ginger pickles and they were amazing, and my favorite thing I ate all day.

I couldn’t believe the line for Arlo’s next door was a million times longer since Arlo’s is usually parked just down the street. They do have my favorite veggie burger in the world and people were waiting over an hour! I went looking for the Herbivore booth after trying some tempeh on a stick and then I ran into friends who wanted something sweet. We headed to Sinfull Bakery, I was stoked to finally try their Kolache after not being able to find one on a recent trip to Houston. I also tried one of their dark chocolate cookies and both were fabulous.

There were 5,000 people there and I saw so many folks that I have met over the years. It was sweet to see so many kids.

Actually, my favorite story of the whole day was hearing about a teacher that brought a group of her school children to volunteer for the day. Apparently she takes them to different places every other weekend to help out in the community and they had never even heard the word vegetarian before. They were really excited to see Omowale talk about boxing and wanted to try some of the food, but the teacher didn’t have the money buy them all expensive festival food and mentioned she would have to take them somewhere cheap like KFC. The Texas Vegfest staff heard about this and pitched in to buy them awesome local food from the vendors and they loved it! Meanwhile I was spending tons and tons of money gorging myself and Dan. I got him a plate from Aster’s Ethiopian because we don’t get up there enough and we love it.

We got to watch a very happy young lady dance for a while before she was joined by others,

But then I remembered I wanted to hear Colleen Patrick-Goudreau speak about how we are all taught to have compassion for animals but then we are taught to eat them too. She such an inspiring speaker. If you are considering trying to go veg I recommend checking out her 30 day program and her cookbooks. Halfway through the talk I remembered that I still hadn’t gotten my Herbivore T-shirt and by that time they had ran out of the one I wanted! Damnit! At least I’ll be in Portland soon enough. I drowned my sorrows in funnel cake.

and I got completely covered in powdered sugar.

The funnel cake completely did me in and I bought more treats for later.

And I missed so many other places I wanted to try. Mostly Unity Vegan Kitchen which I head everyone raving about. And the Happy Vegan Baker’s Mac & Cheese. And Capital City’s Cheesecake. And Counter Culture’s Sweet Potato Salad. And Sweet Ritual’s Salted Carmel ice cream in a Waffle Cone. There was a lot of food. I was so sunburned and exhausted I had to go home. It was all too much. As we were walking out Dan said, “you know the only vegan I didn’t see was Wes” and then there he was, waving to us goodbye Big Tex style.

It was that kind of a day.

Texas VegFest is coming April 6!

I still haven’t caught up with sleep and chores from South by Southwest last week and now, here we are gearing up for another festival Texas VegFest! We just never stop celebrating in Austin Texas. I think it will be a little bit more chill than last week but a great time with all sorts of food and speakers to entertain and educate us. I am so excited that I caught up with my pal, board member and fellow blogger Molly of the Lonestar Plate to learn some details. 

So Molly, can you tell me a little about your role in the festival this year?

This year, in addition to my role as a board member of Texas Veg Foundation (the group that organizes the festival), I’m in charge of social media. As a board member I have a really macro view of the festival, looking at the overall schedule, content, reach, advertising strategy, and so on. But I’m also the person tweeting at everyone to come volunteer. (Really, sign up to volunteer. It will be fun!)http://www.texasvegfest.com/volunteer/

What are some of the differences between this year’s festival and last one, (besides that I will get to go to this one?)

This one is bigger, in terms of expected attendees, number of vendors, and the kinds of activities we can provide. We have almost a hundred vendors, six bands, and a ton more kids’ activities (tennis! yoga! cooking demos!).  This year’s festival is more local. Due to some logistical issues last year, many of Austin’s vegan and vegetarian restaurants and food carts couldn’t attend. This year just about all of our food vendors are small, local businesses. And of course, our Premier Sponsor is Wheatsville Co-op. I also think this year’s group of speakers is a bit more diverse, which was a big goal for us this year. The vegan demographic is white, female, and young-to-middle age. And that’s not because that’s what it takes to be vegan; it’s because we’re not doing a good enough job reaching out to other demographics.

 So tell me about the speakers that I as a white, young-to-middle age female might not know about.

We have six fantastic speakers this year. Omowale Adewale is a champion vegetarian boxer from NYC.  In his free time, he works with kids who might be struggling, both bullies and the bullied. He teaches them how to work through their emotions with boxing, exercise, and other healthy habits. His presentation will be really interactive.

Ayinde Howell is an actor, entrepreneur, and executive chef. He started his first restaurant, Hillside Quickies Vegan Sandwich Shop when he was only 20 years old. He blasted hip hop music and made food that *he* wanted to eat. And that turned out to be really successful. His sandwich shop became a gathering spot for artists and traveling musicians like Erykah Badu and Common. The shop eventually turned into a local group of restaurants (Plum Bistro et al.) that his sister now runs.  He’ll be cooking comfort food, including Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Texas BBQ Rubbed Seitan, and Mini Sloppy Joes.

Dr. Baxter Montomgery is a cardiologist from Houston who works with chronically ill patients, showing them how to improve their health through a healthy diet. There are some big names in the healthy vegan community, but one of the people who has been working at this for more than ten years is right here in Texas.

Christy Morgan, The Blissful Chef, is an Austinite who trained in macrobiotic cooking at the Natural Epicurean. She’s made a reputation for herself cooking healthy food that doesn’t taste “healthy.” Christy has teamed up with PlantFusion to show us how to make healthy, protein-packed snacks that everyone will love.

Vegan superstar Isa Chandra Moskowitz (you might have heard of her!) was kind enough to come back for a second year. She’ll be making cashew-based cheesecake. And, yes, there will be samples!

And finally, we’re really excited to have Colleen Patrick-Goudreau come this year to give a presentation she calls “From Excuse-itarian to Vegan.” If you think you could be vegan, except for cheese! Or that it’s too expensive/hard/limiting to be vegan, Colleen will guide you through whatever’s keeping you back. She’s that wise, funny friend you wish you had.

Omowale Adewale is a boxer and his presentation is going to be interactive? Does that mean he is going to hit me? 

Are you going to insult his mother?

I do make a lot of “your mom” jokes so I’m kind of worried. How do I force people to attend Colleen’s lecture? 

>>see below

Will there be tacos?

Arlo’s is serving tacos. And there will be also be nachos, donuts, funnel cake (from two vendors!), cannolis, and lots of ice cream.

Are there going to bands and other entertainment, like maybe interpretive dance? I’d love to express my rutabaga love.

We’ll have six bands:

·       Edison Chair

·       Ray Prim

·       Mighty Mountain

·       Silver Ships

·       The Asteroid Shop

·       Technicolor Hearts

There will be guided mediation by the lake. We should have the schedule for the bands, speakers, cooking demos, kids’ activities, and mediation up within the next few days.

What logistical info do I need to know, is there parking? Will I need cash? Can I bring my dogs? Are you annoyed that I’m not just looking at the FAQ section of your website?

There are a few parking lots near Fiesta Gardens and street parking to the west of the park. But everyone knows that biking, car pooling, and taking public transportation are way cooler than driving a car all by yourself, so we recommend people do that. In theory, you could even canoe up to the event, though I don’t think I know anyone *that* cool.

Bringing cash is a pretty good idea. A lot of our vendors will have Four Square or other ways to take credit cards out in the world now, but cash is a lot more dependable. You never know when you’ll need to buy a Vitamix or a shirt from Herbivore Clothing. (Psst. Someone buy me a Vitamix!) We will have an ATM though if you’re like me and can’t ever remember to carry cash.

Please leave your dogs at home. We love animals, but with all the crowds and food, it’s just not a dog-friendly environment. To be clear: dogs will not be admitted into the park.

Canoeing to the event sure sounds like a challenge…hmm. OK, last question, what do you think people will be most to eat and do at the fest? Predictions?

I think funnel cake will be popular, because, well, it’s funnel cake. Unity Vegan Kitchen will be busy since this is their first appearance. They’re a new Austin food truck that serves comfort food. And everybody loves something new. Good Karma Kitchen should be popular, too, since they’re from out of town and serve gluten-free food. I’m hoping the Atkinson candy booth will draw a crowd, mostly because I love Chick-O-Stick, and they make it. And it’ll be a crying shame if there’s not a swarm of families at the kids’ area because there are some really great kids’ activities this year. (Don’t worry, Lazy Smurf, you can easily avoid that area.)

Ouch! I like kids, my street is full of them happily screaming their lungs out 24 hours a day.


Thanks for answering my questions Molly!

Please help SARA animal sanctuary keep the lights on

Sometimes reading about animal sanctuaries can be really heartbreaking. SARA Animal Sanctuary, which is down by San Antonio, takes in all sorts of animals but mainly dogs that were abandoned or abused. There is probably no one I love more than my dogs so when I read their rescue stories about owners shooting their dogs or throwing them out of car windows I can hardly stand it. Dogs are just so full of love and and their need to please people can be overwhelming. They can be the best friend you ever had. It’s appalling that anyone could abuse that trust.

But lots of people do.

So we are really lucky that there are so many organizations like SARA animal sanctuary that will take the unadoptable, the abused, the anti-social, and the starving dogs and give them some food, medical treatment, and a place to live. If the animals they help can be socialized they do put them up for adoption. But many will have to live out their lives at the shelter.

There are many ways to help. You can become a volunteer, or foster a dog or a cat, raise fundssponsor an animal, or just go to their site or their blog, read about what they do and paypal whatever you can. If enough people want too, maybe we can have a bakesale too.

Right now they are in critical need because their electric bill is passed due. I can only imagine how it must feel for the caretakers to be in this position so please help in any way you can.

Miss Willow knows you want to help

Heading West

Since I’ve lived in Texas I’ve flown to the west coast many times but I never had a good enough reason to drive out there. When my Mom got a new job in Sacramento I realized the time had finally come to drive out there together with a bunch of her stuff and, of course, Miss Sasha.

We rode through west Texas on the first day and stopped at Balmohea State Park in the morning to get a nice swim in before barreling through the heat. The water was so clear that many people were snorkeling and I regretted not bringing mine. I now have an even stronger desire to take a trip out here and visit Marfa and Big Bend… someday when I get a more roadworthy vehicle. 

We drove through New Mexico and then Arizona and saw every different kind of desert. There were so many rocks and cacti I wanted to take home.

It was too hot to stay in our friend Terry’s guest trailer in Tucson, which is where we made it too later that evening, 

but we did have some outstanding Ethiopian food at Café Desta. As we drove further west the next day it got hotter and hotter. In Yuma Arizona it was 117 and I couldn’t even keep my skin against the car window.

We finally made it through the mountains and stayed in Escondido with relatives who have the most wonderful backyard I have ever seen with avocado, orange, lemon, lime, fig, apricot, peach, and even a couple avocado trees surrounding the swimming pool. The perfect set-up.

Sasha was happy to get out of the car and relax under the lemon tree which had the biggest lemons I have ever seen.

As we got closer to the coast the weather got even cooler and I really wondered why everyone keeps moving here from there. 

There are tons of beaches and the weather is gorgeous and avocados are just as plentiful as beef is over here. And there are vegan restaurants everywhere. We stopped in Laguna Beach at The Stand so we could bring the dog and grab a bite. I had a towering potato bow.

We drove past Malibu to Santa Barbra and the temperature dropped so much I couldn’t even get in their lovely water, we did walk along though and got Vietnamese food.

It was lovely.

Sunny Days in Texas: Recipe Roundup

I didn’t get to every recipe I wanted to try in the Sunny Days zine this month because my leg is in a cast and I still can’t walk so I have to scoot around on a walkin scooter. I am still looking forward to trying Vegan Hope‘s Stuffed Peppers and Peach Cobbler, Counter Culture‘s Fried Green Tomatoes with roasted red pepper aioli and her Daikon salad, Sugar-Skull‘s, Chickpea Tuna salad and Cowboy cookies, The Spiral Diner‘s Ranch and Wheatsville‘s Cashew Tamari Dressing, Wes‘ Boudin sausage, hummingbird cupcakes, and pralines, the Blissful Chef’s Magical Raw Tacos (I even bought all the stuff!) and nectarine cobbler smoothie, Ariane‘s Chicken Fried Tofu, any of the drinks, or Two Vegan Boys‘ Yummeos (homeade oreos)

It sure sounds like I missed a lot! Everything I did try was fantastic though! It was an intense month of Texas Eating for sure. Notice that I hardly went for any of the healthy recipes or desserts, it was almost all crazy queso filled delicious main dishes at my house this veganmofo.

Jalapeño Popper DipOatmeal Cream Pies

Nice Ass Greens

Blackened Tempeh Caesar WrapBreakfast Tacos

King Ranch CasseroleJackfruit Brisket Taco

Popcorn Tofu Po’Boy Texas Chili in Frito Pie Mexican Hot DogZucchini MigasI don’t think I could even pick a favorite. We did make the chili twice but that might be because KellyCVegan merely mentioned frito pie on twitter. I do love how easy that recipe is. I kind of want to make the Mexican Hot Dog again just so I can take a better picture, oh and because I loved it and still have some chipotle mayo.

All this deliciousness can be yours too! If you already bought a copy of the zine, thank you so much! I hope you love it and if you blog about it let me know! I would love to hear what other people think. I am still working on getting it for sale in DFW and book people but it is taking a little while. If you want to get it, the black and white versions are going to sell out very soon and after this month I’m not going to make any more. The color versions and the PDF version are welcome to you.

I would love for you to Donate to Team Sunny Day! You could win a copy of the zine, Blissful Bites, everything you need to make some Texas Chili, homemade oatmeal cream pies and pralines, and some Food For Lover’s queso. It’s the best prize package ever and not a lot of people have entered so chances are really good that you could win it all.It has been a good month! I feel so lucky to have such a fantastic vegan community here in Austin and all over the world united by a love of vegan food and animals!
Every post this month for Veganmofo will be celebrating the recipes in the zine Sunny Days in Texas, a fundraiser cookzine to help Sunny Day Farms Animal Sanctuary.

Sunny Days in Texas: Zucchini Migas

Migas are a regional Mexican dish created to use up leftovers from the night before. Traditionally, cooks fry up some onions, peppers, and spices, add the leftover meat, and then scramble with eggs and cheese and then mix in last night’s tortillas. Restaurants in Austin have about a zillion spins on this, sometimes using chorizo or queso instead of cheese, or using tortilla chips instead of dried out tortillas and, of course, the migas breakfast taco. So… maybe not quite a zillion but more like 10 different ways. Mr. Natural has the best tofu version I’ve tried.

I think the first vegan food blog in Austin that I was aware of was Two Vegan Boys.  Krys is always cooking up amazing vegan comfort food for her family and has lots of tips on being frugal and gardening. I was really excited that she donated her recipe for Zucchini Migas to the Sunny Days zine because I love migas and everyone always need more recipes for zucchini!

It took me quite a while to get the technique for making migas right. I think the trick is to keep a low heat once you add the tofu and to turn over the tofu instead of stirring it. The recipe called for firm tofu but for some weird reason I only had soft tofu on hand and I was pleased that it worked so well. I also ended up baking some tortillas to make chips because I didn’t have any on hand. Next time I’ll use queso instead of cheese and serve with some roasted potatoes. Or migas con hongos is always good too.  It is a great flexible recipe, now I’m even more excited to try her homeade oreos, also in the zine!

Every post this month for Veganmofo will be celebrating the recipes in the zine Sunny Days in Texas, a fundraiser cookzine to help Sunny Day Farms Animal Sanctuary.