Dr. Neil Barnard’s Texas Book Tour

I mentioned in the post about the Texas-themed PCRM menu that Dr. Neal Barnard would be touring Texas this summer. The dates were just released, and Dr. Barnard will be visiting lovely San Antonio, Austin, Southlake (DFW), and Houston, at the end of June and beginning of July. The San Antonio date requires preregistration, but all the others are first come, first serve.

Between the book tour, Texas-themed recipes, and PCRM’s recent call for people in DFW willing to give veganism a try, it looks like Dr. Barnard and PCRM have their eyes on Texas. It will be interesting to see what comes of that.

San Antonio, June 28, at Central Library
Austin, June 29, at North Lamar Whole Foods
Southlake (Dallas), June 30, at Southlake library
Houston, July 1, at Memorial Hermann Memorial* City Medical Center

More details here.

*What’s with the double Memorial, Houston?

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.

Forks Over Knives in San Antonio and a Review

First things first. Forks Over Knives has been so successful, that it’s opening in a lot of new cities. Including San Antonio. June 3 at Bijou at Crossroads Cinema.

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I missed the premier of Forks Over Knives in Austin because I was sick. The irony! But I was better by the weekend, and excited the see the movie.

I had a few misgivings before I saw Forks Over Knives, but they ended up being mostly unwarranted. The movie shows a lot of evidence that eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes benefits health and so does reducing animal products. No shocker there. The USDA, the American Cancer Association, and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (pdf) all recommend a plant-based diet.

The advantage of seeing Forks Over Knives is that it shows real life examples of people who have dramatically improved their health just by changing their diets. I know I’ve met many people like this in the vegan community. People whose type 2 diabetes or heart disease is now in remission. The documentary makes these stories tangible.

What I would have liked was a little more youth and health. I wanted to see young people adopting the diet before they got sick. I also would have liked to see more food preparation. My movie watching companion left the theater saying he was convinced he should eat a more plant-based diet, but couldn’t see himself actually cooking plant-based meals.

Overall, if you’re already up-to-date with the health benefits of a vegan diet, you probably won’t get much from this movie. But if you’re struggling with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, or have a family history of these diseases, it might just be eye opening.

Dinner Benefitting Primarily Primates in San Antonio

Primarily Primates, an animal sanctuary in San Antonio that cares for castoff pets and former lab animals, is holding a fundraiser dinner on June 3 at 7 PM at the Radius Circle. The meal will be catered by San Antonio’s premier vegetarian restaurant, Green Vegetarian. A donation of $35 gets you dinner, dessert, and a nonalcoholic beverage. There will also be a cash bar featuring wine and beer, a silent auction, and music by Parke Hedges and Graham Hall.

No mention whether vegan food will be available, though I’d be surprised if it wasn’t. Green makes some fantastic vegan desserts. You can get more information by contacting Primarily Primates at 830-755-4616 or emailing them. RSVP online.

Primarily Primates throws a great party. For proof,  see this video of a Watermelon Party at the sanctuary. Check out that little guy carrying the watermelon with his feet while he swings from the top of the habitat cage. [Note: watermelon-carrying apes not guaranteed to appear at all Primarily Primates parties.]

Sneak Peak: New Vegan Restaurant in San Antonio

From Jose Alfredo Cruz’s Facebook page

There was a great article in yesterday’s San Antonio Express-News about local chef Jose Alfredo Cruz. According to the article Cruz has gone vegan and is planning to open a vegan restaurant in San Antonio. I had to know more!

I contacted Cruz by email, and he had a lot to tell me about his food philosophy and the restaurant he plans to open. Cruz was originally influenced by the farm to table movement while living in Vermont. But Texas was slower to catch onto local food, and when Cruz returned to Texas he also returned to old eating and cooking habits. Until last Thanksgiving when he looked at his plate of traditional Thanksgiving food and realized he didn’t want to eat that way ever again.

Like many vegans, he soon realized that meat production isn’t just an animal issue, but also something that affects human health and environment. And now he wants to dedicate his career to introducing his friends and neighbors to tasty, yet familiar, vegan foods. And that’s Cruz’s plan now. To cook delicious mock meats, fried foods, and maybe a few healthier things, too, and to share them with everyone he can.

He’s planning to move into a new space in November. But for now he’s doing catering, looking at properties, and testing out dishes for his menu. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

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

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 dallasveganbakesale@gmail.com. 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.

San Antonio Vegan Food Guide

My friend E lives in San Antonio. Whenever I visit, we go back and forth, “where do you think we should eat?” “Where do YOU think we should eat.” Partly, we’re really indecisive, but partly, neither of us knows anything about vegan food options in San Antonio.

Well that’s all fixed now. Anna from Carrot and Potato Time gives us the scoop on the best vegan eats in San Antonio. I’m excited to try vegan night at The Cove! Or maybe Indian food! I’d better ask E what she thinks…

Part 1
Part 2

Update: Part 3 of the guide features vegan pizza and Italian food. Y’all! There’s a place in San Antonio that will putt pizza toppings (including Daiya!) on a portobello mushroom. I’m in mushroom heaven.