Monday, November 30, 2015

Food Review: Follow Your Heart's VeganEgg

My Follow Your Heart VeganEgg haul from Amazon!

I finally got around to trying Follow Your Heart's new VeganEgg over the long Thanksgiving holiday, and lemme tell you, the hype is real! I basically ate "eggs" all weekend long thanks to this amazing new product! Its base is algal, which is derived from algae, and it is this substance that gives it the unique, egg-like texture. The VeganEgg comes in a cute little biodegradable egg carton. Inside the carton is a packet of powder that, when mixed with water, makes the VeganEgg! You just mix powder with water per the directions, and each carton makes approximately a dozen "eggs".

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Making Creepmas (aka Halloween in December!)

I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Do you pine for Halloween? Do you dread all the Christmas carols and sappiness of the season? Do you crave holiday fear instead of cheer this December? Then stay tuned for the annual 13 Days of Creepmas, which starts December 1st! If you aren't familiar with Creepmas, read about the inspiration and rationale behind it on!

Along with other ghouls and boils, I'm participating again in the 13 Days of Creepmas, where I'll be sharing spooky posts to inject some much-needed Halloween spirit into the holly-jolly season. A few posts I have planned include multiple holiday gift guides for the darkly inclined, horror fans, Krampus-lovers, and more, horror movie suggestions for the horror-days, macabre music and creepy Christmas carols, suggestions for horrifying holiday cards, and much more!

Until then, stay spooky!

I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Follow Your Heart's VeganEgg Available on Amazon

The product everyone has been buzzing about, the VeganEgg from Follow Your Heart (makers of some of my favorite salad dressings and the most amazing vegan Provolone cheese!) is now available on Amazon! This has probably been the most-anticipated vegan product launch this year, and for good reason! Sure, vegans have had egg replacers for years now (I love Neat Egg, Ener-G Egg Replacer, Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer, and The Vegg Vegan Egg Yolk + Baking Mix Set), but those were used mostly in baking, and you couldn't really make a scramble and certainly not an omelet with them. Don't get me wrong, tofu scrambles are awesome (and I make them a lot), but they don't have that fluffy consistency of eggs.

So that's why I (and many others) have been dying to try this stuff for a long time! I hadn't ordered it yet since shipping costs from other stores were a bit high, and since Follow Your Heart said it was coming to any day now. It finally arrived on Amazon and I've already ordered mine! It's around $7.50 for a 4 ounce carton of the VeganEgg on Amazon, and comes with free 2-day shipping for Prime Members! I can't wait to make scrambles, omelets, quiches and more with this cruelty-free and compassionate alternative to eggs.

FYI - the egg industry is one of the cruelest in the animal agriculture world, grinding up live male chicks that can't be used for egg production, cramming egg-laying hens in tiny battery cages and manipulating their egg-laying cycle by basically torturing them in order to get them to lay the most amount of eggs, and the conditions are absolutely toxic and wretched for both the poor chickens and the human workers - you can learn about more reasons to ditch eggs on, which is run by Compassion Over Killing, a very good resource to educate yourself on the horrors of the agricultural industry. Also, "21 Things the Egg Industry Doesn’t Want You to See" is a quick break-down of the brutality living beings, both human and animal, endure at the hands of the egg industry. And, frankly, eggs aren't even that good for you despite the lies/media campaigns the American Egg Board tries to fleece the American public with. The AEB is scrambling (hardy har) now more than ever as egg sales decline, plus they are in hot water after it surfaced that they tried to obstruct Hampton Creek's (makers of the yummy and eggless Just Mayo) products from being sold in Whole Foods. The egg industry is shameless and evil, built on exploiting living beings and engaging in unethical practices.

Thankfully, people are becoming more aware of the awful truths of the egg industry, and giving up eggs in amazing numbers! And now that there is a solid, plant-based, and cruelty-free alternative on the market, there is no good reason to continue supporting such a horrible industry. Replace eggs with the new VeganEgg, available now on Amazon!

The VeganEgg is also available from other retailers, just check out the list on the Follow Your Heart site here!

Friday, November 20, 2015

John Carpenter Performs Horror Movie Scores and More Over Halloween 2016

Beautiful poster featuring artwork by Camille Rose Garcia

Who wants to join me in England next Halloween to see John Carpenter perform his music from horror movies like Halloween, Christine, and They Live, plus his Lost Themes LP as well as his brand new music?! And by join me, I mean who wants to buy me a plane ticket???

I'm imagining walking down damp, foggy cobblestone streets while Carpenter's synth-heavy music ominously pulses over the scene, while neon lights briefly highlight the shadows and shapes lurking in the dark. Doesn't that sound just perfect?!

While I'm off daydreaming, why don't you read the official event description via All Tomorrow's Parties:

Green Saturday LA - An Eco-Friendly Pop-Up Market for Unique Holiday Gifts

Skip Black Friday, and support local, independent businesses with Green Saturday!

If you are in the Southern California area, a fantastic event is occurring after Thanksgiving on Saturday, November 28th, 2015. It is the first ever Green Saturday LA, an eco-friendly, cruelty-free pop-up market that boasts an array of different vendors where you can find the perfect unique gift for your loved ones (and maybe pick up a little something for yourself)! Vendors will be selling jewelry, accessories, t-shirts, crafts, tote bags, skin care, makeup, chocolates, essential oils, teas, art, veg food, and much more! And another benefit is that you will be supporting local, independent businesses this holiday season!

Not only that, but a portion of proceeds from Green Saturday LA will be donated to the Whiskers and Tails Foundation, a local animal rescue that rescues and adopts various animals, from cats and dogs, to ducks, pigs and goats. Please consider making an additional donation at the event to help Whiskers and Tails continue their important work, from ensuring the overall welfare of their lovely animals to rescuing more animals in need!

Date and Time: Saturday, November 28th from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Location: Alpine Village - Klubhaus
833 W. Torrance Blvd. Torrance, CA 90502

Admission: Entry per adult is $5 or FREE with a donation of cat or dog food, new cat or dog toy, or a clean blanket that will go to Whiskers and Tails Foundation. Children under 10 are free.

For more information on the event, please visit their website and Facebook event page!

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Guide to Vegan Holiday Roasts

It is easier than ever to choose to have a compassionate holiday dinner, so why not try some delectable vegan roasts for your holiday celebrations this year? If you think about it, it really doesn't make sense to give thanks by causing the pain and suffering of sentient beings, nor does it make sense to gather friends and family around a corpse, right? So why not serve compassionate, cruelty-free centerpieces to your friends and family instead?! Ones that truly celebrate the peace, love and community that these holidays represent.

If this is your first vegan holiday season, you have many options to choose from, and you can find an amazing vegan roast to suit any taste! Finding a vegan roast is easy, the hard part is picking just one (my suggestion - try several!)! And if you've been enjoying vegan holiday dinners for years, you'll be pleased to know there are some new options this year that look mouth-watering!

Keep reading below, where you'll find my guide for vegan holiday roasts. I've broken them up by type so you can easily find what you are looking for! Of course, this list isn't all-inclusive, but rather comprised of vegan roasts I highly recommend or ones I am looking forward to trying!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Food Review: Daiya Deluxe Cheezy Mac

Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac

Just a year or so ago, vegans didn't have many options for cruelty-free mac and cheese. We had the delicious frozen mac and cheese from Amy's [review], but the first boxed vegan mac and cheese that was decent was Earth Balance's version [review], released just last year in 2014! After that, many new vegan mac and cheese options have hit the market, including Daiya's three different types. I had tried this kind at Expo West (read about my initial thoughts on it HERE), so I was ecstatic when it finally hit shelves.

Daiya's Cheezy Mac is different from other brands' mac and cheeses as it comes with a packet of cheezy sauce and instead of powdered cheese mix, so you don't need to add any non-dairy milk or vegan butter to make it. Everything you need (macaroni pasta and cheezy sauce) are included in the box it comes in. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Watch Now on Netflix: Kristy

I wasn't sure what to expect from Kristy when I happened upon it while scrolling through new titles on Netflix, however, I vaguely recall someone recommending the film, so I gave it a go. It is directed by Oliver Blackburn (director of Donkey Punch, which I didn't care for), and written by Anthony Jaswinski, which further piqued my interest as he wrote the enjoyable Vanishing on 7th Street. So this past weekend I watched it and was certainly glad I did...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Food Review: So Delicious Pizza Mac and Cheese

So Delicious' Pizza Mac and Cheese

I really had high hopes for So Delicious' Pizza Mac and Cheese, cuz how could anything pizza-flavored be bad? Well, let me save you the horror of eating this and let me tell you - it's BAD. I really hate giving bad reviews to vegan food items, but sometimes companies just don't hit the mark, and just because something is vegan doesn't mean it's good. Plus, if someone veg-curious picked this up and HATED it, that doesn't really do veganism any justice. However, there is a silver lining to this mac and cheese, and I did manage to salvage on to find out how.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How to Keep the Halloween Spirit Alive Year-Round

I've seen a lot of articles with the dreary titles "How to Recover from Halloween" or "How to Cope with Post-Halloween Depression" and so on, and every time I see one of these I roll my eyes, because there is a better way to avoid sad feelings about Halloween being over! For some of us spooky folk, Halloween never has to end, because it can be everyday for us! Let me show you how...

Monday, November 9, 2015

Food Review: Annie's Vegan Shells and Creamy Sauce

It's always great having another vegan option hit the market, especially when it's vegan mac and cheese! There have been so many vegan mac and cheese options hitting the market lately that I've been pretty overwhelmed with trying all the options. I have finally tried the majority of them over the past few months, and I'm dedicating this week to reviewing them all! If you want to see earlier examples of vegan mac and cheese, check out my Earth Balance review and Amy's review! Those are two solid standbys I pretty much judge all vegan mac and cheese by!

Anywho, first up in the newbies of vegan mac and cheeses is Annie's Homegrown Organic Vegan Shells and Creamy Sauce. Interesting to note that Annie's never calls it mac and cheese but I'm pretty sure anyone that looks at the box will assume it promises some mac and cheese-like flavors and textures.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Vincent the Vegetable Vampire

Why yes, that is vampire Morgan Freeman about to sink his 
fangs into a delicious cucumber (or zucchini)!

Um, found my spirit animal via the She Walks Softly blog who posted an old skit from a '70s TV show called Electric Company (according to IMBD, it's "a comedy variety show that teaches basic phonetic and grammar concepts using live-action sketches, cartoons, songs, and Spider-Man episodes."). The skit features Morgan Freeman dressed as a vampire singing about draining veggies and "creeping in the garden of your dreams." COULD THAT BE ANY MORE PERFECT?! No, I didn't think so, and you can check out this fellow spooky vegan from way back in the day below:

Vegan vampires rule.

Halloween Leftovers - A Photo Post

Halloween may be over, but Hallowvember is in full swing and since we are still celebrating all things Halloween I wanted to share some photos from the Halloween season that I haven't had a chance to post previously.

Many of these were taken Halloween night, but there are a few stragglers from earlier in the month of October as well. Happy Hallowvember and enjoy photos from my Halloween celebrations!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Rob Zombie's Halloween Playlist

How did I miss this? Rob Zombie (FYI - he's vegan!) shared his ultimate Halloween playlist over at EW right before Halloween! It's filled with Halloween favorites and nostalgic picks that remind Zombie of his childhood. Some neat recollections of touring with awesome bands are also included in the article, so check it out!

I found out about Zombie's playlist from Wonderful Wonderblog, while browsing blogs who are participating in Hallowvember, an extension of our favorite holiday into November hosted by Spooky Moon! Wonderful Wonderblog was lovely enough to put together Rob Zombie's picks into a playlist, and voila, here it is for your listening pleasure:

Stay spooky, fiends!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Food Review: Gardein Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites

It is just so darn cool how easy being vegan has become! Pretty much any kind of food is available in a vegan version nowadays, and more and more people are choosing compassionate meals! Gardein is a huge contributor to making being vegan so easy with their plant-based, protein-packed vegan meats! Gardein has been a favorite ever since they hit the market a few short years ago, and they keep amazing me with their products. Their newest product, along with their Crabless Cakes [review] is their Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites.

I have tried these before at Expo West (where they made my top 10 list!), and have been impatiently waiting for them to hit stores. I finally found them at Ralph's grocery store (they also are carrying the new Crabless Cakes!) this past October and did a happy dance! I loved these at Expo, and couldn't wait to sink my teeth into these cruelty-free bites again!

Hallowvember - Halloween Extended into November!

Who says Halloween has to be over? Not me, as I'll be joining a bunch of other boo-tiful bloggers for Hallowvember, a concept that Spooky Moon came up with to extend our beloved hallow-day into the month of November. Expect more spooky, Halloween-themed posts coming up!

I mean, it's already spooky here year-round, but now expect even MORE spook the month of November, and into December as well for the annual tradition of Creepmas! This Halloween continuation will also help us all deal with the Post-Halloween Depression we are surely all dealing with. Perhaps this will also help distract us from the obnoxious Christmas decorations that are already popping up everywhere (and have been since before Halloween, ugh) and the people already putting up their Christmas trees (this happens AFTER Thanksgiving, people! Just stop it already!).

Don't forget to check out the other scary scribes who are keeping the Halloween spirit going all Hallowvember - a full list of bloggers participating is over at the Spooky Moon blog!

Happy Hallowvember (aka the best idea ever!)!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Food Review: Upton's Naturals Chili Lime Carnitas Jackfruit

Upton's new Chili Lime Carnitas Jackfruit served up in tacos, perfectly 
paired with Califia Farms' Vanilla Coconut Horchata!

I have been waiting for Upton's Naturals to release their new jackfruit products since I had the opportunity to try them at Expo West (they were number 3 on my top 10 products from the expo!). I was so happy when I found the Chili Lime Carnitas Jackfruit at Whole Foods!

Jackfruit, in case you are wondering, is a versatile plant most often used in Indian and Asian cuisine as well in other parts of the world. Ripe jackfruit has a fruity, sweet flavor, but unripe jackfruit, like what Upton's uses, is often used as a vegetarian meat substitute, since it mimics the look and texture of meat as well as easily soaking up seasonings/flavorings.
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