Monday

Veg-It by Grant Nash... and Vegan Marshmallows

I've been watching Grant Nash's Veg-It videos since he started posting them and they are very rad. Some of them will tell you what many of you already know, but I love his approach to promoting Veganism and awareness in South Africa. Nash is a well known figure due to his radio show on 5fm, so he seems to draw quite a crowd and he understands how to communicate with people. I just thought it was worth giving him a mention, considering he also found VEGAN MARSHMALLOWS. Vegan s'mores time! Woo!


Subscribe to his videos, he won't spam you. Promise. You can pick up Yotti Mellows Vegan Marshmallows from Flowerspot in Woodmead Johannesburg –  or call their Johannesburg office on 011 440 2015.

Vegan Shoes from Revolution

Revolution Online stocks Vegan shoes from Fallen. They've also got some on sale at the moment, so have a look!

Fallen Vegan Shoes from RevolutionOnline.co.za

Captain Vegan - Multilingual Recipe Site - Chocolate Banana Peanutbutter Smoothies

Captain Vegan is a multilingual Vegan recipe site that seems to have some pretty cool recipes. I especially liked this one which is so similar to a recipe we make for breakfast every morning.

Our recipe is a little simpler - and I prefer it:

CHOCOLATE BANANA SMOOTHIES

Makes 3 to 4 cups of milkshake

Ingredients:

4 or 5 organic bananas depending on size
two cups of cold organic rice milk
one large, heaped spoon of smooth organic peanut butter
Two tablespoons of cocoa powder

Instructions:

Blend all ingredients together.

Our smoothies are a much darker brown, and we drink them as our breakfast. We usually end up with a little more than a glass each, and I generally only get hungry again by around midday! It's way more filling than cereal, and technically healthy albeit heavy on the carbs.

Photo by arismenu.com
Here is the Arismenu recipe that Captain Vegan refers to:

Ingredients:

3 bananas, sliced and frozen
2 tbsp chocolate peanut butter
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
whipped coconut cream and sprinkles for serving, optional

Instructions:

Combine bananas, peanut butter, chocolate chips, vanilla and 1/2 cup of your almond milk in a high-quality blender. Blend until smooth (you will likely need to stop and stir--it will be very thick). Slowly, add more milk until milkshake has reached your desired consistency. Serve immediately. Top with whipped cream/whipped coconut cream and sprinkles if desired.

The Big Count

Please fill out this very short survey counting how many Vegans there are in the world. Great initiative!


Tuesday

Hot Knives - Salad Daze - Vegetarian Cookbook


I'm beyond excited about this book that I found at the Sandton Exclusive books today called Hot Knives Vegetarian Cookbook - Salad Daze. EB Sandton don't have anything else that's interesting and Vegan - except for two reasonably boring Slow Cooking books - so don't bother going there immediately. Rather get your branch to order this for you. It's AMAZING. Or get it here at AK Press or Amazon. The recipes aren't all Vegan, but most of them are. These guys also run a blog called Hot Knives which is fabulous. They've been running it for years and their second book is going to print as I type this, it seems. I hope you can all get your hands on a copy of it! But enjoy their blog in the mean time! Yay for awesome Vegan recipes in Veggie cookbooks!

They have phenomenal recipes - like their Hot Squash Ice Cream on page 118 - or their Winter Seitan and Spiced Carrots... or every other Vegan recipe (and I'm sure the others too).

The Hot Squash Ice Cream is literally roasted butternut with Mulled Maple Syrup, Stout Beer, salt and a little oil on a bed of pecan nuts, sugar and spices.

I know what I'll be making first!

Thursday

Vegan Valentine - Episode VII - My Valentine

very happy me at the gallery - Photo by Eloise Ello
I had the most wonderful Valentine's Day. Ryan spoiled me all day! We had lunch at the Greenside Cafe, got to watch some West Wing at home during the afternoon (so naughty) and then he treated me to a surprise dinner and art gallery visit in the evening! It was magnificent. I even got love letters. Tiny little love letters that I keep close to my heart at all times. I felt like a princess.

Ryan surprised me for our evening excursion. I got so excited that I started hiccuping and couldn't stop during the whole car ride! He made reservations for us at Sai Thai in Cyrildene, it was a delicious dinner. We drank Coconut and Watermelon slushies, sharing sips over the little table for two. The Watermelon drink is fantastic. It's probably got some sugar in it - but aside from that, it's just watermelon and ice. It reminded me of a little restaurant in Hong Kong I go to in Hollywood Road every time I'm in town. I ate the Tom Kha soup for a starter - it's a dish that blows my mind every time I eat it! Ryan had the veggie spring rolls - they're not as good as the soup. I would recommend trying something else instead. I ate the sweet and sour tofu for my main - it was so good. Their sweet and sour sauce is so well balanced. Ryan had the Green Curry - something I might have next time. They have a huge Vegan menu, which is fun - but frustrating, as I just want to eat all of it!

illustration by Eloise Ello
After dinner we went to an art exhibition closing night in Braamfontein. Friends of mine are running a pop up gallery called the Kalashnikovv at 70 Juta Street. It's rad. They are exhibiting young artists, illustrators and designers - something that isn't happening in the mainstream galleries in Joburg, so it's a breath of fresh air.

I hope you all had a lovely day. I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world. I am truly so fortunate in having found such a fantastic partner to share my time with. And it doesn't take Valentine's day for Ryan to make me feel special, it happens every day. Thank you, my darling. I adore you.

Kalashnikovv Gallery, Braamfontein


Tuesday

Vegan Valentine - Episode VI - JHB Art Galleries

There are so many beautiful art galleries in Johannesburg, and the rest of South Africa. Go visit some Art Galleries on Valentine's Day, or this weekend. Show your significant other just how cultured you can be! If you're in Cape Town, there are plenty of great shows on at these galleries CT venues. There is also What if the world gallery, and several others that are Cape Town specific. If you're in Stellenbosch, SMAC Gallery will have something great on. If you're in Knysna, there's Knysna Fine Art for a treat.

The Everard Read Gallery has an opening on Thursday 14th February opening at 18:00. Go see some beautiful art and drink a glass of wine. Sadly, and suddenly, Keith Joubert passed away this month. This opening will also be a celebration of his life and his work.


The Goodman Gallery in Rosebank has Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin / To Photograph the Details of a Dark Horse in Low Light on until the 16th of February.

Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin
I.D. 20 , 2012
Unique Polaroid
107mm x 86mm

The Standard Bank Gallery has a contemporary art exhibition until the end of March. MAKING WAY: Contemporary Art from South Africa & China exhibition is promising. Worth a visit this week!

Athi-Patra Ruga, Performance Obscura, 2012. Photo: Ruth Simbao
The University of Johannesburg Art Gallery has Michael Meyersfeld: DISCORDANCE on at the moment. The fine art photographic show is moving, with a magnificent use of light in the images. There is also a walkabout with the artist on Saturday 16th of February at 10:30.

'Ponte Worshippers', 2012, Archival Print on Innova FibaPrint Photo Paper, 280gsm
Stevenson in Braamfontein currently has the Loom of the Land group exhibition curated by Anton Kannemeyer on its walls.

BRETT MURRAY
Rainbow Over Nkandla
From the Made in China series
2012/2013
Oil on canvas
105 x 150cm
The WITS Art Museum, also known as WAM, usually has something interesting in their galleries. Worth checking that out too.

Vegan Valentine - Episode V - Fun

Valentine's doesn't have to be dinner and a movie. It can also be an adventure! An adventure for couples, friends, or a whole family!

Computicket has tons of events all around South Africa on Valentine's day. Some in Johannesburg include a hypnotist, a mentalist, tap dancingtrips to the cradle of humankind and the most interesting: sky dining where one is suspended from a crane at the Indaba Hotel. Sounds pretty scary. I wonder if they cater for Vegans?



The Bioscope at Main Street Life in the Johannesburg Maboneng precinct is hosting an open air movie screening on Valentine's day. They're screening True Romance. Looks pretty good! Love some 80s romance! There aren't really many Vegan meals you can get around there, so eat before you go.


There are some movies at the cinemas that look like they could be interesting, including some romance. Klein Karoo, Playing for Keeps, Silver Linings Playbook, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Movie 43, Argo, Quartet, Here comes the boom, Lincoln, Anna Karenina, The Words, Intouchables, Les Infedeles... there seems to be no end to the list of potentially awesome movies.


However you end up spending Valentine's day - I hope you have a great time. I was told to stop asking questions about what's happening on Thursday, so I don't even know what I'm doing yet! I love surprises though, so I don't mind what happens.

Read Vegan Valentine - Episode I - Valentine's Day
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode II - Romantic JHB Vegan Friendly Restaurants
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode III - Chocolate
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode IV - Heart
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode VI - Art Galleries

Monday

Animal Testing Ban in the EU - Victory for Animal Rights

Finally the European Union has banned the sale of products that have been tested on animals. It's a great victory for Animal Rights. Read about it on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine blog as well as on the Peta site. Here is another article highlighting the Israeli ban on cosmetics tested on animals as well as some more information on animal testing bans and what is happening to set them in motion elsewhere.

Sites such as AVAAZ.org actually make a difference. It's a way to be an armchair activist and make a real contribution to causes. These petitions really work, and there are people taking these petitions to decision-makers. Every voice counts. Just take a look at what it achieved for Animal Testing in the EU! There are lots of emails that come through from them every week and many petitions to sign, but most of them only take five seconds of your time.

Vegan Valentine - Episode IV - Heart


Leonardo da Vinci sketches of the human heart

So valentine's is full of Heart symbol related paraphernalia pertaining, amongst other meanings, to the arcane idea that love was a feeling emanating from one's heart. We now know is really the brain's department.

I wanted to be nothing but a Cardiologist when I was a kid. I learned all about the heart - about it's different chambers, its functions and its diseases. I was insatiable. I had access to my father's medical textbooks, so I spent hours poring over the text and images. I even got to dissect a cow's heart at a 'witch' themed party, which was one of my most exciting childhood party moments. (Could I seem any less Vegan). While the other kids were telling the class they wanted to be ballerinas, lawyers like mommy, what-have-you, I was saying, "cardiologist." My father eventually allowed us to choose to study whatever we wanted to, as long as it wasn't medicine. Go figure.

The real heart that matters on Valentine's day, and every day, is your organ - the heart. That little pump that keeps your body going, your ticker, your clock that shouldn't miss beats. Unless it's on Valentine's day - that's alright. But furthermore, you should be looking after it, because its condition determines not only your longevity, but your quality of life.

This article by Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine explores the negative effects of eating meat on your heart. The coincidence of the surname Barnard and his subject were not lost on me, it's pretty rad. I wonder if they are in any way related, considering the last 200 years or so - not in the extended "we are all from the same mitochondrial mix" way.

Human Heart
Dr. Neal Barnard states that "Unlike foods from plants that enhance our health, meat and dairy products have the same hazards as cigarette smoking, including increased risks of strokes, heart disease and cancer." That's a tough pill to swallow for carnists. In another article on the PCRM site, it is stated that "The vegetarians were also slimmer and had lower total cholesterol and blood pressure. These findings are consistent with other large population studies showing vegetarians have less incidence of and death from heart disease." These findings won't be new to many of you, and I may sound like I'm preaching to the choir, but you wouldn't let your children or loved ones smoke - because you know it will shorten their life expectancy and increase their chance of chronic disease. It's time everyone sees meat consumption in the same way they perceive cigarette smoking. I know that we're not going to get everyone to stop smoking, or to stop eating meat - but this is a pretty good motivation to eat far less of it, if you cannot commit to none at all.



Valentine's is about pledging your love to someone. Pledge it to yourself, and your heart - the one in your chest. Also, take it for a run. Your heart will <3 you.

Read Vegan Valentine - Episode I
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode II
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode III
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode V

Sunday

Vegan Valentine - Episode III - Chocolate

Staying home and making delicious treats for Valentine's day is awesome. It seems super romantic to me - putting love into making something. There are some very easy options here, for those of you who don't usually cook - you'll be able to do some of these. Part of the wonderful thing about Vegan food is how easy much of it is to prepare. It's so simple to make incredible tasting, healthy food without stretching your budget or needing to spend days preparing ingredients. Fresh and raw are options that should never be overlooked.


Chocolate covered strawberries are a magnificent option. Here's a lovely blog with a great recipe from last year's Valentine. South Africans can find Vegan Chocolate Chips at Pick 'n Pay, use Woolworths Organic Dark Chocolate, or buy Raw Cocoa from Fresh Earth or other health stores. Ethical chocolate sources are best. It's the most romantic to have a cruelty free Valentine's. Here's another post on Chocolate Dipped Fruit from Carciofi Rosso.


Honest Chocolate is a great investment for Valentine's day. These chocolatiers make raw chocolate, with many Vegan options. They have an incredible chocolate spread that is worth trying.

Vegan Dark Chocolate options at Woolworths abound - they have aforementioned Organic Dark Chocolate, Cherry Liqueur Dark Chocolates, Ginger Glace Dark Chocolates, Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds...

Hot Chocolate (link to My New Roots Haute Chocolate) is appropriate at any time of the year. It's been hot as hell here in South Africa, but you can always make hot chocolate, and chill it in the fridge for cold chocolate milk. Mmm. You could also just buy Alpro Chocolate Soya Milk, Alpro Chocolate Custard, Alpro Chocolate puddings... to mention the chocolate options. Woolworths also does a great dark chocolate chip packet with which to make hot chocolate, or chocolate chip pancakes. Woolworths also have delicious Chocolate Soya Milk. There are an overwhelming number of chocolate options!


Coco Pops are Vegan. That's a pretty awesome Valentine's day breakfast cereal, if you're into that.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes are one of my favourites. You can see a previous post about Blueberry Pancakes here - Just replace blueberries with Chocolate Chips. The dark chocolate chips from Woolworths are much better than the other commercial "chips". They're not nearly as sweet or ersatz. Alternatively, just use any chocolate you have lying around - smash it with your mortar and pestel.

Photo by Vicki Brett-Gach a contributor on Ann Arbor.
Not Chocolate, but something that looks amazing to me are these Red Velvet Cupcakes. They also don't have any ingredients that are USA specific, like many of the recipes do. No Vegan Cream Cheese required for the icing. You can buy Vegan red food colouring from Woolworths. They have all-natural & plant based food colouring available.

This Photo is from South African Angela Day blog.
If you're not so into eating sweets right now, a fresh fruit salad full of superfoods like blueberries and goji berries will also serve very well. Fruit salad, watermelon salads, red fruit salads - being a healthy and fit Vegan is something you do because you love yourself, because you love your partner, because you love animals and this planet.

One of my favourite salads is Watermelon and Lime salad. Watermelons go so well with a tangy lime dressing & sesame seeds. Otherwise try watermelon juice. That stuff is incredible, so refreshing! I have it in Hong Kong every time I go there - this little place on Hollywood Road makes the most incredible watermelon juice, freshly squeezed. Just thinking about it makes me long to be there!

Read Vegan Valentine - Episode I
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode II
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode IV
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode V
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode VI

Tom Kha - Spicy Coconut Soup

Tom Kha and Tom Yum soups are two of my favourite Asian soups. These little Thai wonders are both served as Vegan Soups at Sai Thai in Cyrildene. It's worth going there just to try their Tom Kha soup. My father is addicted to Tom Yum soup. My mom & brother make the best Tom Yum I have ever tasted, and they even leave the prawn stuff right until the end so I can have the soup too.


I'm always curious to try Woolworths packaged meals, and I like to support them when they have Vegan options, so I bought two packs of the Tom Kha. I've eaten their tinned Tom Yum several times, but usually as a desperate search for something Vegan in my mom's pantry, and it's reasonably tasteless, too spicy and disappointing.



Tonight I fried up some onion, cauliflower and broccoli before popping the Tom Kha in the pot. I ended up adding way too many veggies for it still to be soup, but it made for an OK stew. It's pretty spicy, so not for those with sensitive taste buds. I'm not mad about it either, and probably won't buy it again. After tasting the Sai Thai Tom Kha, it's a difficult task to match that fabulosity. (Thanks Kimora. At least you increased my vocabulary by one word.)

But I definitely will be trying to make this at some stage: My New Roots posted a recipe for the Best Coconut Soup Ever. I love this blog, it's absolutely wonderful! I would advise trying this recipe instead of taking the short cut I did. It'll prove to be worth it, I'm positive of that.

Photo by Sarah Britton of My New Roots

Vegan Diets Control Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

Medicine is catching on to the Vegan way of living as a healthier alternative to the way in which many people eat today. There is so much evidence that you begin to find when you look for it. Take a look at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine if you want to see a group of people who are concerned about ethics in medicine and its practices, as well as this interview on how Vegan diets can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, assisting the chronically ill in controlling these without medicine. The interviewee is on a RAVE diet, one which excludes refined foods, animal products & by-products and vegetable oils. So it's Vegan, but even healthier, by the sounds of it. It's a way to maximize raw food intake, and not to rely on processed foods.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have also posted this article, citing that, "The vegetarians were also slimmer and had lower total cholesterol and blood pressure. These findings are consistent with other large population studies showing vegetarians have less incidence of and death from heart disease."

I have other links stashed away somewhere, for a blog post just like this one, so I will keep updating this post as I find them. In the mean time, it's worth laying into Google for the health benefits of Veganism.

Steve-O becomes Vegan

Celebrity gossip isn't really my thing. I try not to see it. It's boring. Mostly. But Steve-O is a character from my youth that is hard to ignore when placed next to the word Vegan. Many of us would have watched Steve-O undergo all sorts of painful misdeeds in Jackass and resulting offshoots. Steve-O has his face tattooed to his back. His entire back. He's an odd guy. Read the interview with Steve-O here.

This article is pretty interesting to read - I'm surprised that I didn't read it in Vice or Rolling Stone, but maybe he's not important enough anymore. What is important is that celebrities are highly visible people, from the smallest to the likes of Bill Clinton, Ellen Degeneres, Mike Tyson and Alec Baldwin (to mention but a few) who become Vegans for health and ethical reasons; they may make a difference in the visibility of the fight against animal cruelty and they may assist in eventually abolishing cruelty. People tend to consider the actions of their role models. Steve-O also narrates this video for Farm Sanctuary. (Video purportedly contains content that may disturb sensitive viewers.)


Vegan Valentine - Episode II - Restaurants JHB

Lots of couples love to go to a fancy restaurant for Valentine's day. It's getting out of one's every day life for a few hours, it means there will be no washing up to do afterwards and you get to eat something you probably wouldn't cook for yourself.

Johannesburg's restaurants go on a Valentines cadenza every year - there is no way you can just walk into a restaurant on the evening of the 14th of February as they are all pre-booked and menus are set. This means that if you want to go to a restaurant that evening, whether to celebrate with your partner, or just with friends, you will need to phone at least four days ahead (that's today, or tomorrow, chaps.)


Watch out for:

SET MENUS - call ahead to ensure you are catered for or can order from the normal menu.
BOOKINGS - book your table.
DRINKING AND DRIVING - Cab it. You don't want to be responsible for ruining your evening or somebody's life.

THE MOST ROMANTIC VEGAN FRIENDLY JOHANNESBURG RESTAURANTS:

The Greenside Cafe always does something special - they have the most wondrous food. Call to book. We were there for lunch on a Saturday and people who came at 13:00 couldn't get a table.

Leafy Greens may be open - but unless you live in the area, it's a hell of a long way to go.

La Cucina di Ciro is an Italian restaurant that is friendly to Vegans. If you give them enough notice they will include you in their Valentine's plans, for sure.

The Good Luck Club in Illovo is totally a romantic spot for an early Valentine's dinner, and to watch a band at Wolves next door afterwards. Call ahead to book, they're always packed.

Sai Thai is also fabulous for a romantic dinner - try the Tom Kha soup. It's incredible!

The Cube Tasting Kitchen is a restaurant in Parktown North with a tasting menu, and no liquor license, so you can probably ask that they make a Vegan menu for you and you can take your own bubbly liquor.

Duke's burgers in Greenside is a romantic setting for a night out on Valentine's day, and they make fantastic Vegan burgers. Phone ahead to ensure that they have Vegan options if there is a set menu.

Il Giardino Degli Ulivi in 44 Stanley is terribly romantic, under the beautiful olive trees, there is nothing like those incredible polenta chips and their Vegetable Patch pizza. Ask for the polenta chips and emphasize that you DO NOT WANT CHORIZO OR PARMESAN. The waiters are rushed and inattentive at times, but if you get the order right, it's totally worth it. They also have great salads.

Tortellino d'Oro is divine and their Gnocchi Napolitana and Penne Pepperoni are a great choice.

The Leopard in Parkhurst has an amazing atmosphere, but must check that they're catering for you.

TAXI SERVICES

Don't drink and drive. Take a taxi. I am a very happy supporter of the Johannesburg taxicab industry. If you live within a 5km radius, you can take a tuk-tuk. Zebra cabs are particularly good, and offer a fair rate. Rose cabs are great. There are probably plenty others but these are the ones we prefer. For those who drink often, there is also Road Trip and it's equivalents: make sure to book your trip home early on in the week, so as not to be disappointed on the day. With Road Trip, you will have to check what time the restaurant serves its last dish - The Cube, for instance, runs a tight schedule.

Read Vegan Valentine - Episode I
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode III
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode IV
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode V

Tips from Oh She Glows for eating out as a Vegan are on this page. All good advice.

Saturday

Vegan Valentine - Episode I

Alice Edy We Are what we do
Alice Edy is the talented illustrator of this beautiful heart, for Verb.

Valentine's Day is coming up, and I hate all the commercial clap trap that is pushed as real love, or even lust. What total bloody nonsense. Buying landfill, ugly red items, tons of sugary stuff, dairy laced products and poorly designed, symbolic-heart-abundant aesthetic abominations does not equal love to me. Love is how you treat one another, not in any form of materiality.

That said, I still like to do something. I usually cook us something special, light the candles, pick some flowers, bake some cookies and write a letter. Maybe, if I'm feeling racy, I'll buy Ryan a great second hand book from Bookdealers. I love to celebrate love. Love is such a beautiful thing. Romantic love, even more special - and tenuous. It's a tightrope of keeping the right balance of romance in the face of years of familiarity. It's something one has to work at. The most romantic things of all are the little things that show you care about each other, every single day.

Valentine's Day is therefore just an excuse for me to torture Ryan with mushiness, and making him sit at the dinner table and stop obsessing over work for two hours. If I can manage to keep him at the table that long.

Where I'm going with this, is that Vegans make for better lovers. Take a look at this article where they list the qualities that determine why. What they left off is that vegans taste better. And so do their parts. You know. Those parts. And the resulting excitement. I've had loads of backup on this from friends who have pleasured Vegan boys and girls, in comparison to non-Vegans. Vegans make for yummier, healthier, better smelling lovers. And they tend to be really attentive to one another's needs - they're already the type of people who REALLY give a damn about others - it's science.

So go forth, don't buy landfill and kaggel-kakkies for your liefie. Make love, bake cookies, pick flowers and write letters. And show them that you love them every single day.

PS. My dogs are also getting Valentines gifts, because I love them too. Not like that. But you know what I mean. And MAN do they LOVE treats.

Addendum: Something else that makes everyone taste better is fruit. Eat pineapples, watermelon and strawberries all week, and voila! You'll taste awesome.

I have some hamster friends from BuzzFeed that also have some recommendations on what not to eat on Valentine's day.

Read Vegan Valentine - Episode II - Romantic JHB Restaurants.
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode III - Chocolate
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode IV - Heart
Read Vegan Valentine - Episode V - Fun

A Vegetarian "Butchery" Down Under


A deli that makes lots of vegan and vegetarian meat substitutes in Australia is a booming business according to this SMH article. With products that they make on the premises as well as those sourced locally from 13 other companies, Spoon's Vegetarian Butcher is making a killing, without killing. Pretty awesome. You can see more about them on their facebook page, because their website isn't that great yet, but they're probably focusing on making yumminess.

Anyone in South Africa feel like starting a Vegan "butchery"? I love Fry's, Veggie Devine Foods & Yuh-der, but there is no such thing as too much variety with cruelty free products. I've nicked both these images from their facebook page - so credit to whomever took the photos, and thanks!


Tuesday

A mention on a blog - July 2012

I was stuck manning the front desk at work today while someone was in a meeting, so I decided to Google Carciofi Rosso to see what comes up when I perform a Google search from an unrelated computer. I found this little gem from KitaVeg.com in which the blog gets a mention! What a lovely thing! They called Carciofi Rosso 'wonderful'. *blush*. Thanks guys.

I'm almost at 10 000 views. Pretty awesome! Remember I'm on Facebook and Twitter if you'd like to follow me for some extra content that doesn't always make it to the blog.

Plettenberg Bay from Keurbooms Strand

Monday

SAINTs & Hospice

Littlebones is a fantastic blog by a friend of mine and she recently posted about a charity shop in Northriding Johannesburg that donates money to animal related causes.

Take a look at her blog post on SAINTs Animal Charity Shop here and go visit their page here.

I'm about to do a huge clean out of my cupboard. I'm feeling over-encumbered with stuff, clothes I hardly wear, books I'll never read again... I'm sure many of you have the same problem. (#firstworldproblems)

My granny passed away a week ago. After all the immediate sadness and the initial shock, life just carries on with swift momentum. One is left with memories and all the things she accumulated and the question of what to do with it. She had barely anything that she left behind, except for photos of all the people she loved most, a brand new silver Golf she bought at 83 - which she drove until three months ago (she had her license renewed four months ago), her minimal wardrobe and her furniture.

It made me realize once again how little all this 'stuff' we accumulate means, and how little it means to keep it if it doesn't have frequent use or bring us frequent mirth. The most important things in life are our relationships with the humans and other animals we love.

My granny has left me with the lesson that I need to de-clutter my living space, and clutter my heartspace.

We gave all her clothes and medication to the Houghton Hospice, who did a phenomenal job of checking in and supporting her in every possible way while my granny was with us at home. They wrote us the most beautiful thank you letter, and truly appreciated the donation. If you want to donate furniture or clothes, and even books, to another worthy cause - make it the Hospice. They are irreplaceable in their function and value. Their charity shop is in Orange Grove, on the corner of 9th Street and Louis Botha Avenue. There is secure parking off 9th Street.

So give away your stuff to worthy causes - there must be tons of useful things you don't need, lying around your home. Those objects gathering dust may bring someone else joy, usefulness and financial aid to those in need.

Photo by Hannah Lemholt

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

My lovely friend Natasha runs a blog called Bamboo Blossom where she posts all sorts of marvelous things, including Vegan recipes. She lives with her caricaturist boyfriend Martinus van Tee who has greatly influenced her to get into vegan cooking - a really fantastic cook himself (his pies are incredible).

This Pumpkin Seed Pesto is something I really want to try - I have a packet of pumpkin seeds lying in my pantry, and seeing as I'm on pantry food month (year, possibly) it's fantastic to see inventive recipes for otherwise reasonably inane seeming items.

Thanks Natasha! Will definitely be trying this with some salad! In the mean time, here is a photo of Bamboo Blossom salad with Pumpkin Seed Pesto.

Photo by Natasha Venzke

It's worth looking at his Caricature A Day blog as well as his Website
A caricature of Ryan & I with our doggies:

Drawing by Martinus van Tee


Sunday

The Radical Cookie Co

The Radical Cookie Co is a Cape Town based Vegan bakery, from which one can order bespoke Vegan products, as well as buy from the markets and shops they sell at. This cookie company makes one hundred percent vegan and cruelty free products. Definitely worth supporting them, as I assume the goods are delicious! If any of you have managed to go to Jen GaiaVegan's previous restaurants around the Cape Town area, you'll know what to expect. Healthy, scrumptious cookies that you can't get enough of! Check out their facebook page for more information.


Veggie Divine Foods

I have recently discovered the joys of the Veggie Divine Foods pies. They are absolutely scrumptious! Ryan and I ate them a few weeks ago with a salad and chips - so good! I would recommend you look up where you can get your hands on these products, and I will definitely be buying more when I go shopping. Check them out on their facebook page and find them at your local health shops. You could probably place orders with them directly if you wanted to.

Vegan Mutton and Potato Pie

Watercress and Macadamia Pesto

Fellow South African food blogger Sarah Graham runs a blog called A Foodie Lives Here. There are loads of simple and delicious looking recipes - not all Veggie, but lots that are easy to veganise! Thanks to my lovely friend Robyn for introducing me to this blog.

Her Watercress and Macadamia Pesto looks particularly scrumptious, and it's Vegan - Something I will try out ASAP! Woolworths and Tortellino D'Oro stock vegan packaged gnocchi.

This month I'm on pantry food again as far as I can stretch it - thank goodness for our overabundance of spinach and the delicious herbs growing in our little veggie garden. So in the mean time, I've pulled an image from A Foodie Lives Here.

Photo by Sarah Graham from A Foodie Lives Here

Vfood


Vfood is a new Vegan food range that you will be seeing on shelves at stores soon. They have a range of different treats in store for you, including Vegan yogurts.



This is their mission statement:

Vfood started out because of the need to see more vegan food products available to consumers in South Africa who are looking to change their diet and lifestyle from a meat based to a plant based way of living. Having travelled extensively overseas we were exposed to a vast variety of vegan products not seen in SA and knowing how good some of these products are we thought it best to try and source them for our local market. In doing so we set out to dedicate all our knowledge and available resources to bringing about a change in South Africa whereby consumers can make an easy choice to stop eating meat because the alternatives are readily available in all major retail outlets. 

Vfood (Pty) Ltd currently have exclusive distribution agreements with Redwood Wholefoods in the UK (www.redwoodfoods.co.uk) , Pura Vida Raw Bread in Latvia, (www.puravidafood.co.uk), The Vegg in the USA (www.thevegg.com as well as a range of products manufactured locally which will include biscuits, rusks and cake mixes for local favourites like malva pudding and milk tart.  

Our goal is to source vegan alternatives both for consumers as well as the food industry in order to facilitate an easier adoption of a plant based diet by virtue of easy access to the food itself. Our belief is that this will go further towards encouraging people to adopt a plant based diet.

Some of our products that we will be launching in selected Dischem stores as well as all the Wellness Warehouse stores in early February include a Vanilla Fudge, Coconut Ice, Fairtrade Chocolate Chip and plain snack bars and a variety of fruit flavoured dairy and soy free yogurts. All products are approved by the Vegan Society (UK).

For more information on Vfood’s products contact Dave@vfood.co.za or follow us on Facebook (facebook/vfoodsa) or Twitter @vfoodsa

A few of the products to look out for are those below:

Vegan Chocolate Covered Raisins

Black Cherry Dessert/Yogurt

Double Chocolate Flapjack Bars

Soya Free Vegan Yogurts

Dairy Free Fudge

Peach & Apricot Dessert/Yogurt

Flapjack Chocolate Bars

Plain Vegan Dessert/Yogurt


Raspberry Dessert/Yogurt



Bear Rescue Mission

My lovely friend Robyn has recently moved to the USA to live a Hollywood dream. I recommend her beautiful blog The Youngest Explorers wholeheartedly to anyone who loves food and travel, with a quirky twist. She and her husband Theo are creative, intelligent, spectacular people who are fun to read about. One of her most recent posts was a video in which people rescue little bear cubs from a bin they had got stuck in. It made my heart glad that there are such good people in the world. Take a look at the video here.

Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Wednesday

The Wild Bulb - South African Vegan Cookbook


Jade Meugens, Durban based South African Vegan Caterer has self published a Vegan cookbook called the The Wild Bulb. It sells for R130 (local postal fee included) and you can contact her directly via email. You can take a look at her Facebook Page as well!