Vegan Menu at Kona Grill

I’ve met a lot of new vegans in San Antonio lately, most lamenting the lack of restaurant options there. So I get excited when I find vegan food in San Antonio. Dallas Vegan tells us that there’s a secret vegan menu at Kona Grill in North Park Center Mall. I did some sleuthing, and it looks like every location has this menu. As of this writing, it’s not available to look at online.

So that’s one more place for folks to find vegan food if in San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston, and Sugar Land.

Veg Options at Minute Maid Park

Minute Maid Park in Houston. Photo by markhodgins. Licensed under creative commons

PETA has once again named Minute Maid Park in Houston one of the most veg-friendly ballparks in the country. MMP ranked number 9 this year, a fall from last year’s number 3 position. The park was praised for its “veggie burgers, mushroom sliders, fresh fruit smoothies, made-to-order salads, and sun-dried tomato rigatoni”. No mention in the article about whether these dishes are vegan or just vegetarian.

Congrats Minute Maid Park! Now how about adding nutritional information to your website so guests can make informed decisions?

New Vegan Option at Pita Pit

Black bean patty wrap. Image from Pita Pit

Someone on Vegans Rock Austin linked to this article about Pita Pit in the Washington, D.C. Examiner. The article, which reads like a barely rewritten press release, announces a vegan black bean patty at all Pita Pit locations. Besides the awesome news about new vegan options, the article makes a great point that vegan food is becoming available at more and more mainstream restaurants, including Chipotle, zpizza, PF Changes, and Denny’s (Anyone know what’s vegan at Denny’s?).

I know fast food and chain restaurants aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I don’t think they’ll be completely disappearing anytime soon. So it’s great news that there are healthier and animal cruelty-free options at more and more of these fast food and fast casual restaurants. And it’s good to have another vegan option when traveling in unfamiliar places, too.

Locally, Pita Pit has locations in Houston, Austin, College Station, and Denton.

EDIT: Reading comprehension failure. I totally missed that this was a Compassion Over Killing project. Major kudos COK!

Forks Over Knives Showing in Texas

Only Kale Can Save Us Now t-shirt from Herbivore Clothing. WANT!
I think you might have to live under a rock (or in a mansion in Abbottabad without internet connection) not to have heard about the new documentary film Forks Over Knives. But maybe not everyone obsessively reads healthy vegan cooking blogs like I do?
In case you don’t know the deal, Forks Over Knives explores the stories of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and T. Colin Campbell. Both men grew up on farms and then later in life began to notice a pattern of unhealthy diets high in animal products and processed foods and an increase in many chronic diseases. The film posits that a lot so-called diseases of affluence (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke) can be avoided by eating an oil-free vegan diet. This theory is then tested by following the stories of real-life patients who change their diets and regain health.
Austinite Rip Esselstyn, creator of the Engine Two Diet, and honorary Texan Natala Constantine of Vegan Hope are two big proponents of an oil-free vegan diet for health. And if you’ve stepped into a Texas Whole Foods lately you’ve probably seen the explosion of Health Starts Here products, which are inspired by the oil-free vegan movement. In other words, Texas may well be the new face of healthy veganism. Who woulda thought?
Forks Over Knives will be showing in Austin, Dallas, and Houston on May 13. (Showtimes here.) Lots of tickets are being given away for free (follow me on twitter to find out about ticket give aways in Texas). Grab your friends and prepare to be inspired to eat more kale!
*As a person with a chronic disease that isn’t going to be cured by any change in diet, I have reservations about the language some people use to talk about health and vegan diets. But I think you should see this movie anyway because it still has a lot of good info to share. Just pretend I’m sitting next to you snarking about any overpromising.

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!

Houston: Green Seed Vegan

Vegan burger and sweet potato fries from Green Seed Vegan in Houston. Photo by Paul Galvani

Y’all, get a look at this burger. The vegan food truck trend has finally hit Houston. Green Seed Vegan is a vegan food truck near Texas Southern University. Their menu is split between cooked and raw food, and everything is 100% vegan. If you squint you can see the menu on their yelp page. (Psst, Green Seed Vegan, post your menu on your facebook and website, pretty please!)

The concept reminds me a bit of Counter Culture, though the menu offerings are completely different. Either way, it looks like they offer healthy food that still manages to be tasty and enticing. Check out this review on 29-95 and let me know what you think if you’ve been by.

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

Houston: Radical Eats Vegan Tamales

Image from Eating Our Words, a Houston Press blog

In a recent blog post, Houston Press writer Christina Uticone reviews the vegan tamales made by Radical Eats, a vegan catering company whose mission is to “get fresh vegetables into your body.” Radical, huh? 

Uticone tried the breakfast tamale, a tamale filled with vegan migas, and a spinach and corn tamale. Both look delicious, don’t they? I love the idea of a a breakfast tamale.
Radical Eats make five varieties of corn husk tamales and also banana leaf tamales, which I’m dying to try. Who wants to make a trip to Houston with me? The tamales are sold at local farmers markets and coffee shops (a full list of locations is on their website).
Radical Eats is also the upcoming host of the Houston Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, which is raising money for Food for Life Global, Kinship Circle, and the first Houston VegFest. Am I the only one who would be excited to buy tamales at a bake sale?

Dedicated Texan Animal Rights Activist Shirley Wilkes-Johnson

From Shirley’s Facebook page

It’s with a sad heart that we say goodbye to Shirley Wilkes-Johnson. You might know her as the voice of Vegan World Radio, as the founder of the Lone Star Vegetarian Network and the Vegan Chili Cook off, or through her work in the Houston community.

I met Shirley last year at the Chili Cook off launch dinner, and she spoke passionately about the vegan world she longed to live in. Over 50 years as a vegetarian, half of those egetarian for over 50 years and vegan for about half of those, she could still speak with fire about making the world better for animals, the planet, and ourselves.
Erik Marcus and Kaz Sephton, president of the San Antonio Vegetarian Society, share their memories of Shirley here.
I know it was sometimes a struggle to raise enough money to keep Vegan World Radio on the air, and I think it would be a lovely tribute to Shirley if we donated to KPFT in her memory.