JUNE 28, 2008 10:50 PM

Fetuses Love Those Vegan Eats!
Since Vegucator Jr. refuses to imbibe anything but the very finest vegan amniotic fluid, he insisted on having his Grand Rapids shower at Restaurant Bloom and his cake catered by The Oven Mitt Bakery.

Doting Grandparents to the Rescue!
Though we were reluctant to spoil him thus at so tender an age, his generous Grandparents decided that it couldn't hurt to indulge him, so long as enough friends and family were there to teach him object lessons in the values of hospitality, fellowship, and community. (Thanks Mom and Dad McCausland!)

Almond Gazpacho With Peeled Grapes and Chives
"E.W.", as we affectionately refer to him, began with a refreshing chilled soup studded with toasted almonds, peeled grapes, and chives and drizzled with a fruity, light-bodied olive oil.

Baked Tofu with Roasted Vegetables and Soy Caramel
Preferring to keep his entree a bit more traditional, he chose a delicate baked tofu with roasted carrots and petite summer squash.

Supine Sextuplets in Baby Blue
And then it was on to a flamboyant finish, with a designer cake and cupcakes skillfully executed in Lavender Lemon by his honorary Aunties Noodles and Curly, a.k.a., The Oven Mitt Bakery (drop them a line and maybe they'll craft a custom vegan fantasy for your special event).

Pastel Teddy Platoon
E.W. requested that we express his heartfelt gratitude for all the lovely gifts, which he plans to put to very good use beginning sometime on or around August 30th. He also asked that we end this post with a sentiment beautifully expressed on his new animal themed baby dish set hand thrown and custom painted by local ceramist and friend Betsy Ratzsch.

God Bless the Animals! Amen.

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JUNE 26, 2008 5:54 PM

That's a lot of Not Dogs!
Treehugger reports that a bunch of hungry vegans in Austin, TX are apparently blazing new trails in a movement previously thought to be reserved for omnivores. Should the G-RAP follow suit?

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JUNE 26, 2008 9:47 AM

Your Chance to REP VEG at a Local Pie Baking Contest
Some people say that the proof is in the pudding. However, the true gourmand knows that the proof is in the pie crust, and the TRUTH is in the VEGAN pie crust. Truthseekers, get out your rolling pins, for the day of reckoning is well nigh upon us:

Creston Neighborhood Pie Bake-Off!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Riverside Park - River Bend Shelter
Off of Monroe
Grand Rapids, MI

There is a $15.00 entry fee for bakers, and the lazy ones among us can just show up and sample the pies for $1.00 a taste. For information on how to enter, visit the promotional page on Facebook, or contact the organizers at 616-454-7900 or Proceeds go the AmeriCorps VISTA program of the Creston Neighborhood Association.

Operation Infiltration
Though this event is not officially a VEGAN Pie Bake-Off, that just makes it all the more important to get as many delectable vegan offerings on the table as possible. Curly's Deep Dish Country Apple and Karyn's Chocolate Silk with Soy Topping are pictured here to stoke your motivation. A coordinated effort from extraVEGANzers could make a real impression, as everyone would be wondering why the vegan pies were disappearing first! COMMENT NOW and share your favorite vegan pie recipe!

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JUNE 24, 2008 11:06 PM

Convenient and Delicious
At a recent family baby shower in a city graced with a Whole Foods Market, the bill of fare for the weekend included a number of memorable offerings from the expansive Whole Foods delicatessen. My favorites were the above-pictured tofu napoleon with wilted swiss chard and roasted red pepper, as well as these items:

Artichoke Ravioli With Pinenuts

Vegan Sonoma Salad

General Tsao's Vegan "Chicken"

JUNE 24, 2008 4:57 PM

"Stockfree" Green Manure. All The Nutrients, None Of The Exploitation.
The Associated Press recently published this fascinating article on veganic farming. Unlike most organic farms that use animal products such as manure, bone meal, and blood meal to fertilize their crops, veganic farmers take out the middle man (in this case, the animals who process plant foods into manure) and put composted plant matter--"stockfree" or green manure--directly onto their fields instead. The famous Huguenot Street Farm in New Paltz, NY offers this helpful explanation of the basic principles of veganic farming, and Friends of Animals goes into a bit more depth in this article. If you're in the market for a whole book on the subject, Jenny Hall and Ian Tolhurst's Growing Green comes highly recommended by our friend Harold Brown of Farm Kind. If you're looking for a more hands-on experience, consider this Veganic Farming Training Program offered by the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, AZ.

JUNE 22, 2008 10:07 PM

Arugula and Artichokes. Enough Said.
Well, okay, there's some fakin bakin on there too, and some splinters-style dressing--you know, with the Braggs, brown rice vinegar, vegannaise and fresh lemon juice. Visit Trillium Haven Farm at the Fulton Street Market and get your greens on!

JUNE 22, 2008 9:21 PM

Nurses and Clayre Take Veganism To the Altar
Until June 13, 2008, it had been quite some time since I had enjoyed the pleasure of eating a big, fat, frostingy piece of wedding cake at a friend's nuptial celebration. After all, it isn't every day that brides and grooms put compassionate eating front and center in planning their special day. But our good friends Nurses and Clayre did just that, weaving their commitment to intentional living into every aspect of the celebration, from the homily (offered by Clayre's uncle) to the wedding feast (expertly catered by Marie Catrib's) to a three-layer vegan cake lovingly crafted by the father of the bride! Congratulations and best wishes to Nurses and Clayre, and thanks for showing us that a good old-fashioned Christian wedding and a public testimony to the moral and spiritual significance of our daily consumer habits are 100% compatible. Now, eat your cake you beautiful people!

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JUNE 2, 2008 11:27 PM

Joanna Lucas's "Letter From a Vegan World"
Vegans are often asked by curious friends and family members why they consider "humanely raised" animal products such as organic dairy, "rose" veal, and "free range" eggs to be morally objectionable. Joanna Lucas of Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary outside of Denver, Colorado, has penned an eloquent and moving answer to this question in her Letter From a Vegan World.

Essential Reading for Vegans, Omnivores, and Everyone in Between
Taking as her foil the efforts of welfare organizations pushing for "humane" consumer alternatives to factory farmed animal products, Lucas explains why she believes that these efforts run counter to the true spirit of compassion for animals, arguing that vegan outreach and education must be the central focus of the movement.

The Faces of Organic Dairy, "Rose" Veal, and "Cage Free" Eggs
Lucas's letter begins with descriptions of what life is like for organic dairy cows, "rose" veal calves, and "cage free" hens and goes on to encourage vegans to stand firm in their abolitionist convictions. She even provides a link to a full color pdf of the letter that is ready to be printed and distributed in your very own grassroots outreach effort. Many thanks to my good friend Harold Brown of Farm Kind for calling Lucas's letter to my attention.

Comments (2)

JUNE 1, 2008 9:17 PM

What do you get when you combine a banana with three scoops of Turtle Mountain Creamy Vanilla, macerated pineapple, macerated strawberries, crushed Newman-O's, dark chocolate hot fudge and a maraschino cherry? A banana split, dummy.

JUNE 1, 2008 8:59 PM

BBQ. Cole Slaw. Kaiser.
Uncle Juan's favorite childhood sandwich was something he affectionately refers to as "Soul on a Roll": shredded barbecue and spicy cole slaw on homemade kaiser rolls. The sandwich lives again, veganized and shown here with a side of black bean and corn salsa.

JUNE 1, 2008 2:16 PM

Birthday at Bloom, Pizza Party, Craig's Cruisers
My birthday was almost two months ago, but the memories are still lucid enough to merit posting a few of the culinary highlights. The above cocktails we enjoyed on the outset of our birthday dinner at Restaurant Bloom greased the skids for a juggernaut of a three course meal that began with...

Crispy Fried Artichoke Hearts with Pickled Vegetables
They are every bit as delectable as they look, but if you'd like to try them, you'll have to make a special request since they are not a standard menu item. And while we're on the topic of eating outside the parameters of the work-a-day bill of fare, feast your eyes on the main course:

Poppyseed Encrusted Tofu with Kale, Chanterelles, and Barley
We enjoyed the tofu immensely (especially the unusual pairing with barley as the starch), but we all agreed that the standout of the evening was the sweet course, a thoroughly unpredictable yet delectable juxtaposition of...

Avocado Soup and Lemon Sorbet with Candied Citrus Rind and Pistachio
This dessert was sublime. I recommend talking Chef Miller into reprising it the next time you visit the restaurant. Suffice it to say that the Bloom birthday celebration ended on a very high note indeed. Of course, just one birthday celebration is hardly adequate, and since Aunt Curly's birthday is just a few days after mine, we had our third annual "April Birthdays" bash on the weekend, complete with...

A Pizza Party to End All Pizza Parties
As if there wasn't enough white flour in those crispy crusts, we served the pies with a side of coconut heaven cupcakes. We figured this ultra-light fare would settle well during a few laps around the indoor go-kart track at Craig's Cruisers. And we were right. As an added bonus, the combined total of game room tickets amassed by people in our party was sufficient to procure a prized set of neon fangs per person, as well as several dozen plastic dinosaurs.

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