What kind of vegan pie do we want from Boomerang’s, Austin?

Hi there,

Thanks for contacting us. Currently we do not have any vegan options. Our veggie pies are completely veggie however.

On the vegan side….What would be your dream vegan pie that would also appeal to the vegan masses? We’ll consider creating one….Question is…how do we alert all the vegans in Austin to come eat our vegan pies? The only thing we would have to do different is our crust and figure out a different wash for the top of the pie as opposed to our egg wash.

Let me know your thoughts if you are interested.

Best,
Jack


BOOMERANG’S
Gourmet Veggie & Meat Pies
3110 Guadalupe
Austin, TX, 78705
www.BoomerangsPies.com
p: 512.380.0032

What say ye, vegan Austin? I’d like a seitan, mushroom, and vegan ale pie, personally.

Countdown to Thanksgiving Part I: The Candy Lady

Thanksgiving is in but a few days, and to cut down on the stress of trying to make everything awesome in a day, I decided to spread some of the work over the next few days…and document it! 

Today’s culinary delight:
VEGAN TRUFFLES!
Oh yes, ma’am! I made up some cashew and hazelnut cream and folded it into some melted Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, let it set up for about 30 minutes in the fridge and got to rollin’!!! It was messy, but deliciously so.
Here’s a shot of what I rolled the chocolatey goodness in;

chopped cashews

coconut

dark cocoa powder
And the finished beauties:



Don’t they look lovely? I tend to shy away from candy making, since I have ADD and standing in front of a pot staring at a candy thermometer waiting for the sugary goop to come to a ‘soft crack’ sounds like some new torture technique. But these suckers were SO freakin’ easy, I had to make ‘em. Now to figure out how to keep the hubby from devouring them all tonight….
That’s all for today. Tomorrow: Adventures in bread making!

Thanksgiving Day Feast at Green

San Antonio vegans looking for a convenient Thanksgiving: Green will be having a feast from 11am to 2pm on Thursday, Nov 27th.

The menu, which is all vegan, will include the following for only $12.99 per person…

Wheat Turkey Loaf
Sage Stuffing
Sweet Potatoes
Fresh Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Relish
Fresh Biscuits
Pumpkin Pie
Tea or Coffee
R.S.V.P by email or phone. All contact info can be found at their website.

Guide to a Vegan Vanguard Thanksgiving, Part 3

Where Can a Vegan in Austin Go to Get Their Thanksgiving Grub On?
Cross posted from Vegan Vanguard

In Austin, there are many food-related events for vegans in the days leading up to, and including Thanksgiving Day.

Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts
Annual Very Best Thanksgiving Class and Luncheon
Great community-building event, where all dishes are vegan and gluten-free.
Class is 9:00am-noon, lunch is 12:15pm-1:45pm
Saturday, November 22
Class & lunch are $55 for the first person, $40 for the second, or attend lunch only for $25
512-207-0598
1701 Toomey Road
Austin, TX 78704

Royal Co-op
Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck
Enjoy a sense of camaraderie and meet new people
4:00pm
Sunday, November 23
512 478-0880
1805 Pearl Street
Austin, TX 78701

Happy Vegan Baker
Eat Thanksgiving dinner in your own home without having to prepare a thing.
Complete 8-part meals prepared by Inge
Order by 5 pm on November 25, pick up or get it delivered(for a fee) on November 26.
Full meal is $28 per person, but dishes can be purchased separately.
Order via the website, phone 512-657-3934, or email inge@happyveganbaker.com

Casa de Luz
Austin’s only totally vegan restaurant continues its tradition of offering lunch on Thanksgiving.
11:30am-2:30pm
Thursday, November 27
$15 includes full meal and dessert
1701 Toomey Road
Austin, TX 78704
512-476-2535

I know other cities are host to similar events, unfortunately, I don’t have any info about them.

Guide to a Vegan Vanguard Thanksgiving, Part 2

What Do I Eat, Now That Turkey’s Off The Menu?
Cross posted from Vegan Vanguard

I remember the panic of my first Thanksgiving. I had been a perfectly content vegetarian for about 4 months, and while I had experienced my share of food disasters, for the most part, I was having a lot of fun learning about nutrition and trying out new foods. Then, a few days before Thanksgiving, something occurred to me: for the first time in my life, I wouldn’t be able to join in the family traditions. I wouldn’t be eating the turkey, or the gravy, or the giblet stuffing, and I definitely wouldn’t be making my family’s annual Thanksgiving Jell-o. As I was only 14 at the time, this was a big moment for me, and I suddenly felt extremely alienated and isolated. Not because I wouldn’t be eating turkey, but because I would be breaking one of the few traditions we observed, and I would be the only one doing so. I thought that I would be left out. As it turns out, my mother was great, and set aside stuffing for me without giblets, the other dishes that couldn’t be converted were things I didn’t really care for anyway, so I was able to be part of the family and share most of the meal.

What did I eat instead of turkey for my first vegetarian Thanksgiving? I actually don’t recall. I think it was some savory tofu dish that seemed daunting at the time, and ended up tasting okay but was generally underwhelming. The point is, the food itself didn’t really matter, having my family make an effort on my part was enough to allow me to realize I could never not be a part of the family, and see how loved and accepted I was. I do know that for Christmas that year, and for the all of the Thanksgivings since that I’ve spent with them, my parents bought me a Tofurky. A whole Tofurky. Just for me. I’ve always appreciated the sentiment, even if I didn’t really enjoy the entrée itself….I rag on it a bit, but it does make things easy, and I know many people who enjoy it immensely.

I actually was not a big fan of turkey on Thanksgiving, because it usually came out kind of dry and wasn’t particularly flavorful, which may account for why I don’t miss turkey and don’t care for Tofurky roasts. Give me a variety of delicious side dishes, or even just a plate of dressing and cranberry sauce, and I could be totally happy. I do enjoy the ritual of cooking for days, having a big production leading up to the main event, and then the delicious sedated afterglow, though. Plus, JD, my love, has a healthy appreciation for tradition, so we do a full spread, and we do it right.

I’ve been away from my family for 6 years now, so I’ve had some time to work on my Thanksgiving dishes, and I’ve done many different things for the vegan entrée at my Thanksgiving celebrations. For a few years, I made a simple harvest bake by mixing fall vegetables like celery, onions, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, and parsnips in a casserole dish with tempeh or seitan, seasoned it all with soy sauce, garlic, herbs, and wine if I wanted, and baked until everything was tender. I’ve also made yummy but not especially festive protein dishes like tempeh marsala. Last year I tried making a tofu and gluten mock turkey, but it was terrible. I generally enjoy foods more when they’re not trying to mimic something exactly, so I should have known better.

I usually try to do something a little different each Thanksgiving. Here’s a recap of last year’s Thanksgiving feast. I haven’t finalized this year’s menu yet, and there are over 20 recipes in contention, including chocolate bourbon pie, cranberry sorbet, cranberry, currant and champagne relish, cranberry upside down cake –yes, I have lots of love for fresh cranberries–and yuba holiday “duck”. I do know we’ll definitely be making the Cranberry, Fig, and Walnut Cornbread Dressing and Spiced and Caramelized Butternut Squash from last year’s menu as well as traditional favorites like mashed potatoes.

Many blogs have compiled great recipes and ideas, some of my favorites include:

Vegan Bits – The link will take you directly to a compilation of holiday recipes, but check out the more recent posts for more Thanksgiving info.

PETA’s VegCooking – Tons of recipes, most of which look like they were tailor-made for home cooks with limited time.

Bryanna Clark Grogan
– The vegan food mogul and author offers up recipes for some of the most common holiday dishes. Great info, ideas, and recipes for soy-free vegans.

Karina’s Kitchen – Anyone with gluten or wheat allergies will understand why Karina is a Gluten Free Goddess. While it’s not a vegetarian or vegan blog, Karina does make sure her vegan readers have plenty of gorgeous recipes to try. In her pre-Thanksgiving post she includes tons of dishes that everyone can enjoy, just make sure click on any recipe that sounds inviting, as many of Karina’s recipes have tips or variations for vegans.

101 Cookbooks – Heidi’s compiled and organized all of her vegan Thanksgiving recipes, so you don’t have to search. She’s even separated all of the vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes on another page so everything is simple and easy for her readers. I love Heidi’s style because it’s simple, elegant, beautiful, and everything starts with quality ingredients.

Unturkey
– Do you remember Now and Zen’s UnTurkey? So do the vegans who created this site. They’ve opensourced the recipe, so you can recreate it in your home.

Finally, there’s Field Roast – many people serve the Celebration Roast version, but I’m partial to the Hazelnut Herb Cutlet. The official website also offers recipes.

Up next: Guide to a Vegan Vanguard Thanksgiving, Part 3 – Where Can a Vegan in Austin Go to Get Their Thanksgiving Grub On?

Guide to a Vegan Vanguard Thanksgiving, Part 1

How to Have a Thanksgiving with Less Stress and More Quality Time
Cross posted from Vegan Vanguard

Thanksgiving is almost upon us. For most people, this is a day of family, food, and hopefully, love and community–but for some vegans and vegetarians, especially new vegans or vegetarians and their families, Thanksgiving can be especially stressful. Here are some things I’ve picked up over the years:

If you’re around all of your family for the first time since making a huge lifestyle change, your family is bound to be curious. Some people handle their curiosity better than others, but be prepared to play 20 questions with each and every one of your relatives. I’ve experienced everything from family members who sneakily fed me dip loaded with bacon grease, to cousins who went out of their way to make sure I had something I would eat, to my immediate family who have always been supportive. I’ve had people try to serve me butter and eggs, or ask if chicken and fish are okay. I’ve even had family members assume my veganism was a result of my (Catholic) high school brainwashing me. Remember that when your family voices concerns, they do so because they love you. Gently inform them your beliefs, and, if they persist, agree to disagree. Remember, you’re not going to change everyone’s mind all at once, and getting in someone’s face, being beligerent, etc. only gives vegans a bad name while doing nothing to further the cause, and ultimately, Thanksgiving is a day for family, friends, and gratitude.

Nothing makes people understand veganism like amazing vegan food, so, if possible, take an amazing vegan dessert to share with everyone. If you can, help prepare the whole dinner. Not only is this great bonding time, but you can try to convert some of the dishes and make them vegan. This can be especially helpful for your hosts who want to accommodate you, but are unsure of what exactly is and isn’t in your diet. Some dishes can be easily converted, with no loss of flavor using everyday ingredients available at most stores, for example make vegan dressing/stuffing (use vegetable stock and bake in a dish instead of stuffing the turkey), or vegan mashed potatoes (use Earth Balance or olive oil instead of butter, and soy milk instead of milk). Make sure to pay special attention to the presentation of anything vegan you serve, because your food will be judged. I used to find it helpful to wait until after people had started eating and enjoying a dish before mentioning that it was vegan–although now everyone I know is well aware that I’m vegan.

If you know nothing will be vegan, or are unsure if there will be anything for you to eat, eat ahead of time and/or take a dish you love, to share with others. This is a good general tip for vegans at any event, and it makes any food you find that’s accidentally vegan, a happy surprise!

Instead of obsessing about food, relax and enjoy the company. This a good general tip for everyone. In my experience, it does the most to promote veganism because it shows that vegans can be well-adjusted and social, and that veganism can be easy and fun. In college, both of my roommates became vegetarians after living with me, and they each said something along the lines of, “You showed me it didn’t have to be hard (to give up meat)”.

On the flip side, don’t act like a vegan martyr. By that, I mean the modern common usage of martyr, i.e. someone who is constantly suffering. Being a vegan is a choice made freely, and it’s something to be happy about. If you feel deprived or angry about it, you’re doing it wrong. Additionally, no one wants to hang out with someone who is down about everything. One of my best (omni) friends, J, met a cute vegan girl, and wanted to take her out, but they couldn’t get their schedules to align until one night when J was going out to a steakhouse with his friends for a birthday party. The girl repeatedly said she didn’t mind going to the steakhouse, and they wanted to hang out with each other sooner rather than later, so the plans were set. As soon as they stepped inside of the steakhouse, the girl loudly declared, “It smells like death in here,” and proceeded to make snide comments all evening. Did anyone have a good time that night? Of course not. I’m not saying you should stay mum if you’re uncomfortable, but I know I would like to eat without having to defend my choices, and I’m sure my dining companions feels the same way. Since we respect each other, even if we disagree, we can enjoy spending time together.

Up next: Guide to a Vegan Vanguard Thanksgiving, Part 2 – What Do I Eat, Now That Turkey’s Off The Menu?

Thanksgiving potluck this Sunday (Austin)

Royal Co-op, a vegan cooperative near UT, is hosting a Thanksgiving potluck this Sunday starting at 4:00pm.

“Bring a vegan dish to serve at least 8. Bring a family, bring a friend or 2 or 10.”

Royal will be providing such dishes as:

Tofurky
Mashed Potatoes+ Gravy
Sweet Pootatoes
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Chipotle Corn Bread
Sauteed Zucchini
Stuffing
Rolls
Orange Salad
Lima Bean Salad
Chickpea Cutlets
Choclate Cream Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Gingerbread Cooies
Cinnamon Rolls
RIce Pudding
Chai Tea
Banana Bread

1805 Pearl Street
Austin TX 78701
512 478-0880

What a colleague has to say about the new Blanton Café (Austin)

Cross posted from the Vegan Tree House.

From an anonymous omnivore.

Short review: Go to Hoa Hoa’s. Cheaper, quicker, and just as good. (And in your case, a vastly larger selection.)

Long review:

I got there at 11:40, and there was a line to the door. Lots of old people, so I think it was mostly museum visitors. Italian themed dishes, including ready and waiting flatbread pizza (stuff on a cracker) and premade sandwiches. I got the pesto chicken salad sandwich, soup of the day (mushroom bisque, fancy for cream of shrum) and iced tea. It’s more or less cafeteria style; all the foods are out and you order, they put it onto paper food holders, you pay at the register at the end of the line. Turns out the chicken salad is actually a grilled panini, which the menu doesn’t mention, so I had to wait for it, which sucked ‘cuz I didn’t have a long time for lunch and I picked that sandwich because I thought I’d get it right then and there. Diced chicken coated in pesto, tomato slice and cheese. Basically, a $5 sandwich with an $8 price tag. The soup was good; thick and very mushroomy with a hint of black pepper. A bowl of this would’ve been satisfying, and it was actually decently priced. They only had “raspberry island” iced tea. Something herbal, it tasted very raspberry-y without being sweet. I liked it, but the real sin of the iced tea was it came in a small cup full of ice for $2. For that much iced tea money, there should be enough iced tea to drown yourself in. It took one hour from desk to there, wait in line, order, wait for the pre-made sandwich (!), eat and back to desk with no distractions. By the time I left, the line was full of people coming from the Capitol complex.

Since everything was pretty much ready to go, you probably would have to wait to get a balsamic roasted veggie sandwich made special without cheese. I don’t see this place doing well with the vegan crowd.

Trivia: museum members get a 10% discount, and museum employees get a 20% discount.

Pizza Fusion Bringing Organic, Eco-Friendly Pizza to Houston

Pizza Fusion are opening their first branch in Texas this month – in Houston (118 Vintage Park Boulevard). According to their website, this will be the first organic certified restaurant in Houston.

“Pizza Fusion was recently recognized by PETA as a top-10 vegan-friendly pizzeria in America for their number of vegan menu items, including casein-free soy cheese, breadsticks, brownies, sandwiches, and more,” says their press release.

Might be worth a look-in.