Saturday, October 29, 2011

Feline Fri...Saturday

This morning, I realized that I missed Feline Friday! My favorite day of the week! This week's felines are Chewbacca (the striped one) and Gizmo. Chewie and Gizmo live with my parents and were adopted from the Capitol Humane Society. Gizmo enjoys pipe cleaners and treats, while Chewie enjoys naps and laying next to you but not on you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Celestial Seasonings loves vegans!

 One of the great things about my relocation to Denver is that I am now only about 30 minutes away from Celestial Seasonings, which is located in Boulder. This means that I no longer have to pay full price for Celestial Seasonings and that if I want any tea-related paraphernalia, I'm all set. This also means that I've been on the free factory tour more than once, which is actually a blast. You receive tea packets as your tickets, and then you can taste test teas and kombucha until your tour starts, where you will learn all about tea, Celestial Seasonings and experience the somewhat intense and mysterious mint room. Celestial Seasonings offers both agave nectar and soy milk for their tea tasting area and sells Cocomels in their gift shop- a perfect way to begin and end your tour!

PS- I was interviewed for Buffy Tuesday at Seitan Beats Your Meat and Pudds (my cat) wrote a piece on what vegan foods he'd like to get his paws on over at Get Sconed. Check it out!
PPS- Did you know that Celestial Seasonings sells the lower quality tea leaves they don't use to Lipton? Seriously! Fun facts from the tour!
Sleepytime Bear veers dangerously close to drunk

Monday, October 24, 2011

Uno, Dos, Tres Pupusas

If I've learned one thing, it is that a wonderful way to start your Sunday is with sunshine and Tres Pupusas. A pupusa is a thick, fried corn disks filled with delights, such as black beans and sweet corn, which is the vegan (and gluten-free) option at Tres Pupusas. It comes with side of cabbage salad and I always order it with guacamole and add a healthy does of hot sauce. Hot, crunchy on the outside and a surprisingly hearty meal, I love starting out my week by people-watching and eating my Tres Pupusas. Tres Pupusas are sold at select Whole Foods and have a permanent location in Boulder.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary

Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary is one of my favorite places on Earth. Located about 45 minutes outside of Denver, this place is a must-see. Full of rescued farm animals, Peaceful Prairie allows you to see animals as they were meant to be: content, safe and free. From Justice the cow to Lucas the pig, each animal has their own story and Michelle, one of the owners, knows every one by heart. They are a small organization, so each donation counts, and you can donate by clicking on the link to their home page- even five dollars helps. It's so amazing to watch llamas rolling casually on the ground while feeding a goat by hand. Below are some pictures from a recent visit to Peaceful Prairie, please consider donating to help out a small non-profit doing a great thing!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Feline Friday is mental with Kittens Gone Lentil

This week's feisty felines come from Susan of Kittens Gone Lentil. Susan herself dished out the details on these little buddies:
Dim Sim
Dim Sim is a tiny black pixie princess. Her greatest dream is one-cat world domination, where she is the one cat. She likes sleeping on her pink snuggie, drinking water out of my glass using her paw, rolling in warm dirt and smooching shoes.
Gizmo is my eldest girl. She has the most epic purr in the history of purrs. She likes sniffing catnip, having her belly rubbed, licking my plate clean and sneaking into the favourite sleeping spots of the others when they aren't looking.
Sahara is a cheeky little minx. She likes to be involved in all things all the time, and supervises me every morning as I get ready. She likes sharing my morning oatmilk, steamed broccoli, stealing food from the other cats' bowls and sniffing flowers.

Happy Feline Friday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Round Up: True Blood Edition

PITA Vegan's Mofo Banner
While I normally do round ups from several blogs, this round up will focus on just one: That Pain in the Ass Vegan. Jen is awesome for doing a theme (True Blood) for the month of Mofo, but even more so because she is donating the money she receives for page views to local charities. All you have to do to help out is click on the links to her amazing creations to help her help local food bank and local humane association. Without further ado:

Sheriff Bellefleur's Beignets: Fried baked goods? Don't mind if I do.

Jason Stackhouse Po' Boy: I have a hard time saying no to a sandwich and this one looks unbelievable.

Debbie is on V Again: Chocolate, bananas, I'm clearly craving sugar today and these bars make that okay.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Vegan Milestone: Loving Hut

 I've been fascinated with Loving Hut since my discovery of this vegan restaurant chain. Not only was I intrigued by the fact that a 100% vegan chain existed, I was also interested in trying a restaurant that offered both Asian cuisine and spaghetti. My experience with Loving Hut took place at the Seattle location, a sparkling clean restaurant located in the International District. For my inaugural order, I selected the spring rolls, lucky drumsticks and pad thai. I have no idea why I ordered so much food, but it was worth stuffing myself. The spring rolls were fresh with a side of peanut sauce and the drumsticks were the perfect, slightly greasy appetizer I've been searching for. I also enjoyed how the pad thai featured every type of fake meat the restaurant offers- no skipping the vegan ham or fish for me! My one caveat with Loving Hut was that my dining companion asked for her meal to be extra spicy, which was interpreted as "please cover it liberally with black pepper". Other than that, my meal was lovely, and I will definitely be checking out other locations in the future.

Monday, October 17, 2011

On My Shelf: Vegan Books

There are an immense amount of vegan resources available today, with different ones being the best for different people, but here are my favorites:

The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone: This book outlines the reasons for becoming vegan, as well as outlines a three step process for becoming vegan, from flirt to superstar.

Vegan for Life by Jack Norris and Virginia Messina and Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis: Knowing the reasons for your veganism is important, but knowing the nutrition to being vegan successfully is just as important and these are great resources.

Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero: This is my fancy pants cookbook, considering I'm not too fancy. The enchiladas and bread pudding are favorites.

Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz: My go-to cookbook for everyday cooking with quick and simple recipe utilizing easy to find ingredients.

What are your favorite vegan books?

Check me out being lazy over at Laziest Vegans in the World!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vegan Flash Mob!

It's Vegan Hump Day! Halfway through this year's mofo and the incomparable Leslie Hall is helping us celebrate! Leslie is not only super cool but also a vegan and wrote this song (mp3 at link) to celebrate veganism:

I eat the finest cuisines, in the finest of places  Stuff my mouth full and always say thank you.  But if it's raised in a cage, and it can't even move, if it's hormone filled and in a bad mood.  I'm gonna pass on that.  Reach for something better.  The only milk I'll drink comes from the nipple of a soy bean. Veggies make you live forever, and they seem to taste much better. when they're cooked and grown with love.  So give a chef who knows what's up a hug. Momma just can't seem to get it, Papa he just rolls his eyes. When I tell them I'm much healthier, they just say that it's all lies.  But beans, nuts, fruits and veggies can really fill the belly.  Get you vitamins you need, shiny hair and extra speed.  Don't take that meat-wich any further, I want a marinated, deep fried, hand-tied mushroom burger.  I like it!  We gotta stand strong for our feathered furry sometimes scaly animal friends and their little babies.  'Cuz I wouldn't want to live in a cage in a dark warehouse killed at an early age.  Pumped full of hormones, sleeping in my feces.  Never met my mother, raised by machines.  Never get sunshine never get green, but that's just me.  [That girl loves fruit leather.]  So ask us what we're eating.  Delicious and repeating, fruits and veggies are so nice.  With a slice of tempeh,  yes, I'll have that twice.  Don't forget the legumes!

Love veganism. Love Leslie. Word.

Big ups to Kittee for organizing a virtual flashmob!

Feline Fridays: Give Chance a chance!

If there is one thing I am grateful for, it is my cat Puddleglum (as discussed last week). I adopted Puddleglum from Town and Country Humane Society, a no-kill shelter just outside of Omaha, NE. Ever since I adopted him, I've kept an eye on the T & C website, and the incredibly handsome Chance has been at the shelter since I adopted Pudds over two years ago. He was a mercy boarding for a homeless woman who never returned for him, so he more than deserves a happy home. Look at his little face! If you live in Omaha, the surrounding area or know someone who does, send them in Chance's direction and let's get him to a forever home!

As always, if you would like me to feature your cats/kittens, shoot me an email or comment below!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cyber Dogs and Warm Fuzzies

For me, eating a hot dog is not so much about the dog itself, but more about
using the dog as a method of transportation for my favorite toppings. Seattle's Cyber Dogs gets this. This vegetarian eatery, located within walking distance of Pike's Place Market offers up pretty much every hot dog topping known, from the humble mustard to hummus, Cyber-Dogs has it all. I throughly enjoyed my hot dog, which I had to eat with a fork, but more importantly, I loved the experience I had in the restaurant. The customer service went beyond superb into making me feel like I was sitting in my really cool friend's living room. I spoke with the owner at length about how awesome Bill Clinton's veganism is and about second hand treasures (she had just returned with an armful). I dine by myself a lot when I travel, so I truly appreciated how the staff at Cyber Dogs made me feel like part of the family. Sitting in a warm cafe in a strange town, with a crazy movie on mute, talking about how awesome veganism is after eating a great vegan dog- this is a perfect example of the connection I love experiencing in the vegan community. Nice work, Cyber Dogs.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Week Two Vegan Round-Up

I've been bookmarking so many amazing things during this year's Mofo, but here are some recent favorites:

Salted Caramel Cupcakes: I'll take at least two, please. Look at the pretty topper!

Mac & Cheese Pizza: No words, just happiness and inspiration.

Pumpkin Throw-Up Oatmeal: I have a pretty strong stomach, so trust me when I say not to read this while you're eating.

Bloody Mary Biscuits: Not a huge fan of the drink, but I would be more than okay starting off a Sunday brunch with these.

Ultimate Vegan Sub: Can't argue with that.

What have been your favorites so far?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fried Food Festival: Highline Seattle

FYI: I'm giving away a case of Larabars over at Vegan Coloradical today! Come on down!

One of my favorite reality stars is best selling author Snooki of Jersey Shore. From the pouf to the slippers to the deep love for pickles, Snooki is a girl I could hang with. When I saw Snooki try fried pickles for the first time, I felt both joy and longing: joy for the enhancement Snooki's life had just received and longing, for where would I find a vegan fried pickle?

In an answer to my prayers, Highline in Seattle has an amazing,
100% vegan menu featuring all your favorite bar foods, including fried pickles. To celebrate this glorious occasion, Kelly and I ordered the fried pickles, seitan wings (buffalo wings with a cooler name) and a sandwich each, with my choice being a Reuben. I would like to note that neither of us was actually hungry when this order was placed.

The food arrived and, honestly, everything was wonderful. You can't really go wrong with fried vegan food, right? However, the fried pickles were the crowning glory of our meal. Round disks of crispy heaven with the delicate balance of salty and savory and juicy perfectly matched. Oh, little fried pickle disks, I shall dream of you until my return to your glorious home.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I don't rely on mirrors, so I always take Polaroids: vegan clothing

Even Clueless's Cher
is vegan
, so why not take a moment to talk about vegan clothes? Here are some of my favorite places for vegan-friendly fashion:

Pure Citizen: this site boasts killer deals on brands like Matt and Nat and Hearts of Darkness shoes. While not everything the site features is vegan, a good chunk of it is. Another great thing about this site is that it lets you adjust your percentage off, and every extra dollar you pay means a donation to a specified non-profit.

Herbivore Clothing Company: need a flawlessly designed vegan graphic tee or hoodie? How about a sassy cruelty free wallet? Or maybe just a plain black leather-look-a-like belt? Herbivores has you covered for all this and more.

Vaute Couture: I spend an unhealthy amount of time looking at these coats. Stunning design and all vegan, these coats are a worthy investment. I'll know I'm truly an adult when I own one of these bad boys. Vaute Couture also features adorable (um, or manly, for the men's section) non-coat clothing, such as graphic tees and hoodies.

Of course, vegans aren't limited to these stores- there's vegan clothes everywhere! Just do a little label checking to avoid things like wool, leather, merino, down, etc. and don't be afraid to google a fiber- I've done my fair share of googling in the Gap to determine if a cardigan is vegan or not. In all honesty, I have yet to find a store with absolutely zero vegan options (disclaimer: I haven't checked at any fur or leather based stores), so get out there and build a vegan wardrobe that Dionne would approve of!

PS: don't forget thrift stores! One of a kind treasures at a bargain price while generally providing a charity with revenue! Win win situation!

Where are your favorite spots to pick up vegan fashion?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Best tofu scramble ever and I didn't take a picture

Before my recent trip to Seattle, I can't say I had ever heard of Cafe Flora. Sure, maybe a blip mention here or there but nothing that engaged my attention enough to give it a second thought or drool over the menu online. Lucky for me, my dear friend Chelsea had heard of it and wanted to give it a try. Since I had had my Mighty-O Donuts at this point, I was game for anything. Thank goodness.

Cafe Flora blessed me with some of the greatest food I've ever had. The
tofu scramble was crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, noochy crumbles of perfection that I didn't take a picture of and a bowl of fresh fruit accompanied it perfectly. There was also a cinnamon roll. An amazing cinnamon roll. A cinnamon roll with a delicate glaze and caramelized pecans on top. Easily split between two (with a possibility of more), this trio of dishes constituted an amazing brunch.

To make it even better, the actual restaurant is stunning. We ate in the atrium and enjoyed both fresh air and our napkins staying put, along with the sounds of a gentle fountain. Highly recommended for any occasion, except perhaps the Juggalo Gathering. That might not go so well.

Feline Friday

There is one force on Earth that has the power to unite and compel vegans. That force, that power is kitty cats. For this reason, Fridays on Whoa Wren will be Feline Fridays, where I post pictures of cats (mostly mine, because I love him) and say a thing or two. Without further ado, this is Puddleglum:

Puddleglum enjoys licking nutritional yeast off my fingers, aggressively sniffing Chipotle burritos and falling asleep while being groomed.

If you would like your kitty to be featured on Feline Friday, shoot me an email or let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Round 'Em Up: My favorite posts so far!

Hey party people, I'm blogging about Denver's amazing South Broadway area over at Vegan Coloradical today. Come for the vegan salted butterscotch ice cream, stay for the all vegan shoe store.

Confession: I find Vegan Mofo overwhelming. Whether you're a blogger, writing every day, or reader, waking up can to over 300 new posts in your feed, Mofo can definitely be a media overload waiting to happen. But you know what? It is absolutely worth it, especially when gems like these show up:

Fried Buffy Foods!
Spike's Onion Blossom: when you combine fried food and Buffy, you win my friendship forever. BFF charms are being sent to Veganarium as we speak. Plus, how amazing does that vegan onion blossom look?

Vegan is Reasonable's Meal Planning Guide: Sometimes I need things spelled out for me. Vegan is Reasonable does that for me in an area I desperately need to improve on.

Cheesy Jalapeno Wafers: Cheesy and spicy are two of my favorite taste sensations. Big ups to Left Coast Vegan for combining the two and making it easy and delicious.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Poisoned Caramel Apples: Vegan CineGrub made caramel apples and created themes for them based on each dwarf and on Snow White. Dying of both the adorable idea and execution and of jealously that Vegan CineGrub had eight caramel apples in her possession.

What have your favorites been so far?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Seattle's Finest Non-Coffee/Grunge Offerings: Mighty-O Donuts and Wayward Cafe

If there is one thing that I learned on my recent trip to Seattle, it is that my life is substantially better when there are donuts present. This theory was proven to be true by none other than the revered Mighty-O. When all was said and done, I had eaten five donuts in a 72 hour period, which is definitely above average. What sets Mighty-O apart is the fact that all of their donuts are vegan, organic and they carry both cake and yeasted donuts. Not willing to stop there, they include apple fritters, creme filled donuts, jelly donuts and awesome flavors like French toast and Grasshopper donuts. The donuts pictured are a chocolate creme filled yeast donut (think Nutella in a donut) and the cocoloco donut, which is a chocolate cake donut covered with cinnamon and sugar. The cocoloco was fantastic but my dreams will be haunted (in a good way) by that delightfully gooey chocolate creme filled masterpiece.

Another staple on the Seattle vegan scene is Wayward Vegan Cafe, an all vegan breakfast, brunch and lunch joint, located by Pizza Pi and Sidecar Pigs for Peace. I was lured in by the promise of a chiggen wrap, and won over by the nutritional yeast shakers and incredibly friendly service. I ordered the chiggen wrap made with seitan, while my friend ordered the Pull No Pork sandwich. Portions were, to put it mildly, generous and delicious. The chiggen wrap was taken to an even higher level of taste bud satisfaction by a hearty slathering of house made hot sauce and my friend raved about her pork-free sandwich through the whole meal. I would absolutely love to go back to Wayward for their breakfast offerings and to give their lemon meringue pie a whirl.

Believe it or not, donuts and wraps were just the be continued.

What are your favorite Seattle stops?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sassy Vegan Shoes: A Necessity

Recently, a friend said to me "I just don't think I can commit to vegan shoes." This is an absolutely valid comment, seeing as how vegan shoes can often look...vegan. However, there are plenty of vegan options for those of us who want to wear cruelty-free footwear, but also want to make walking long distances difficult.

1) Mooshoes: independent boutique in New York City goes digital, carrying brands such as Olsen Haus, Hearts of Darkness and Macbeth
Jeffrey Campbell Vita
2) Alternative Outfitters: entirely vegan, and not just limited to shoes (think coats and accessories), as well as reasonably priced
3) Lulu's: Trendy, difficult to walk in shoes with a vegan search option. Perfect. Okay, they aren't all difficult to walk in, but you're picking up what I'm putting down, right?
4) True Love: You have to be in Denver to shop here, but what a treasure! All vegan shoe store with very reasonable prices that sometimes hands out champagne while you're shopping. There's also vegan ice cream next door
5) Zappos: Again, utilize that vegan search function. This one skews towards practical shoes.
6) Madden Girl: Steve Madden's unintentionally vegan line. I usually pick these up at DSW (in the clearance section).

I know there's more out there- what's your favorite vegan friendly shoe source?

Also, I am aware that this is the vegan month of food, but shoes are important. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vegan Mofo: It has begun. Kind of.

Vegan Mofo has begun and I am doing it again this year. However, I am doing it in the sense that blogging every day actually means blogging Monday through Friday. Stay tuned for adventures of the greatest kind (maybe, but there will for sure be pictures of my cat)!