Chow Down Showing in El Paso

The Vegetarian Society of El Paso is screening Chow Down on July 8 at 7:30 at Chamizal. The movie is a documentary that looks at reversing heart disease with a vegan diet. Sound familiar? Like Forks Over Knives, Chow Down features Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, father of Austin plant celebrity Rip Esselstyn. I haven’t seen Chow Down yet, but the positive health effects of a plant-based diet are getting a lot of deserved attention lately.

Check out a trailer before, and see more trailers on the movie’s website.

If you’re not in El Paso, check out the video on Hulu, where the whole thing can be seen for free.

Follow-up: Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale 2011

All five Texas Worldwide Vegan Bake Sales took place this weekend. Don’t they look fabulous?

El Paso raised $400 for Animal Rescue League! Among the other goodies were these tasty-looking pumpkin spice cupcakes. Photo by El Paso Veg Snob
Box of goodies at the Dallas bake sale. Rumor is the kolaches were a big hit. Dallas raised over $2500 for Direct Relief International in Japan. Photo by sunnybear
Donuts and chocolate cookies flew off the table at the Austin sale. Austin raised over $1000 for Sunny Day Farms Animal Sanctuary. That’s enough money to pay for half a month’s food for the over 300 animals at the farm. Photo by Come and Fake It
The Vegan Society of Peace bake sale raised $811 for VegFest Houston, Food for Life Global, and Kinship Circle. Way to go Houston! I haven’t heard back from San Antonio yet. Green, how’d y’all do?

In total, Worldwide Vegan Bake Sales in Texas raised nearly $5000 for seven charities. This is the most successful year yet!

UPDATE: Green sold 163 desserts and donated $1 from each dessert sale to SARA. News is their desserts were just voted 3rd best in all of San Antonio by San Antonio Current readers. Awesome!

5 Texas Vegan Bake Sales THIS WEEKEND

NYC vegan bake sale in 2010. Photo by wools. Licensed under creative commons

There’s a fantastic write up of Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale in CNN’s Eatocracy today. Be sure to check out the slide show with great vegan recipes and photos.

And visit your local vegan bake sale this weekend! Eat yummy food, spread the vegan word, and raise some money for some great organizations.
Saturday, April 30
Sunday, May 1

El Paso Times Food Writer Tries Vegetarian Diet

Jane Steele, who writes food features for the El Paso Times is trying to switch to a vegetarian diet. Inspired by fellow food writer Mark Bittman’s healthier diet, Steele writes about her first day trying to switch her eating patterns.

Steele’s article brings up a lot of the issues that new (and sometimes veteran) veg*ns struggle with. What to cook when you’re too tired to function. Finding meatless dishes your whole family will eat. Learning new quick recipes for those nights when you’ve got to rush out the door to a meeting. In some ways, you have to learn to cook all over again.

I think many of us longtime vegans and vegetarians began in fits and starts. I never woke up one day, and said “I’m going to be vegan now.” Instead, I thought, I want to eat more plant foods and less animal foods, because animal food production is doing terrible things to the environment. Slowly, slowly I added more and more vegetarian and vegan recipes to my diet. At the same time, I learned more and more reasons why eating animals wasn’t something I wanted to do. One day, I found myself vegan. And I’m pretty happy where I am.

Jane Steele, here’s what I recommend to you:

  • Chickpea cutlets, my whole family loves them, and they freeze great for nights when defrosting is the only thing that saves you from ordering pizza. Serve them with vegetarian gravy and mashed potatoes or spaghetti and tomato sauce.
  • So Delicious Coconut Creamer for your coffee (find it at Sun Harvest), though I’m partial to almond milk cafe au lait, too.
  • Avocado and tomato sandwiches, which I pretty much live on all summer long. And the summers are endless here in Texas.
What would you suggest to Jane Steele to help her establish new vegetarian habits? What do you wish someone had told you when you first started going meatless?
Steele and Bittman aren’t the only food writers going meatless these days. Oregonian food writer Grant Butler went vegan as an experiment about a year ago, and the experiment stuck. Read about his first year as a vegan here.

Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale Update

Vegan Shortbread by mollyjade

So far, there are four Texas groups signed up for 2011 Worldwide Vegan Bake Sales. Someone left a comment in the last bake sale post saying they were setting up a bake sale. Is yours listed below?

In El Paso, the Vegetarian Society of El Paso is hosting a sale at Sun Harvest on April 30. The sale will benefit the Animal Rescue League of El Paso. For more information about baking, volunteering, or attending the sale, see this Facebook page or contact Alison at alison99999 (at) hotmail (dot) com.
Also on April 30, in Houston the Vegan Society of Peace hosts a bake sale at Radical Eats Cafe. The money raised will benefit Food for Life Global (Japan disaster relief), Kinship Circle (animal disaster aid), and the Vegan Society of Peace’s upcoming VegFest Houston (more on that soon!). Details about the sale and volunteering can be found here.
The Dallas vegan bake sale at Beauty Bar will benefit Direct Relief International. This sale will also take place on April 30. Besides baked goods, there will be raffle prizes, which organizers promise will be “fabulous.” Volunteer bakers can email More information about the bake sale can be found at Dallas Vegan.
And finally, on May 1 from 8 AM to 9PM, a San Antonio bake sale will take place at Green Vegetarian, San Antonio’s first vegetarian restaurant. Procedes benefit SARA, the Society for Animal Rescue and Adoption, in Seguin. Volunteer bakes can email unlovedgrrl (at) aol (dot) com.
Recently, Austin vegans teamed up with the greater Austin food community to raise over $11,500 for AmeriCares Japan disaster relief. There were vegan baked goods at all five bake sale locations, and they were universally a hit.
Information about setting up a vegan bake sale in your area can be found at Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale headquarters.