Happy Earth Day!

Hola, everyone! Happy Earth Day, I hope you got free Starbucks coffee today! You know, because they have that deal where you get a free coffee or tea if you bring in a travel mug -- so everyone dusts off their environmentally friendly dishware FOR ONE DAY OUT OF THE YEAR!

Everyday should be Earth Day, jerks.

Just kidding, I love you, please try to be kinder to the Earth. And read my post on Vegansaurus about how the vegansaurs keep it green on the reg! Thanks! You are the best! (Now stop buying so much plastic crap, okay? And bring a canvas bag to the grocery store every once in a while.)

Staycation! The Stinking Rose in North Beach

My parent's came to the city to hang out with me, about 3 weeks ago, and I took them to The Stinking Rose. It calls itself a garlic restaurant, and being a family that loves garlic, I mean it's like 1 + 1 =2. It might've made sense to bring them to the restaurant I work at, but I'm already there 5 days a week! Plus commute time! What can I say, when I have a day off, I have a day off! Sometimes I just want to be a tourist in my city, so The Stinking Rose it was. Besides, what is better than drinking wine and eating Italian food in North Beach?

In the words of my friend Britney, via a comment on Instagram, "Perfect place to take the fam. Good eats, good atmosphere, garlic, garlic and more garlic. And they will probably pay, so it's a win-win situation for all!" Well said, girlfriend, and so true!

I got the fresh tomato with angel hair pasta, olives, basil and roasted garlic. I never eat pasta, because I don't like how it makes me feel afterwards, but when in Little Italy, right?! (Let's not forget it was the only vegan option on the menu.)
We also got garlic hummus, which my dad says is the best he's ever had! It was quite tasty! They also serve a garlic wine, but the waiter told me I wouldn't like it. Probably true, but someday I'd like to taste that kind of atrocity.

Be warned! There is a vegan looking entree, with a Portobella mushroom and some roasted vegetables, but the sides (creamed spinach and mashed potatoes) are NOT VEGAN. I'm not even sure they are vegetarian, to tell you the truth.

Remember when told you I never eat pasta? I lied! I totally had it again last week at my parent's house for dinner. Every morning I wake up, I promise myself I'm going to go for a run, or do pilates but here I am, in front of the computer, drinking wine and telling myself that tomorrow is a new day. While staring at pics of carb-loaded plates I've gobbled down in the last month, nonetheless.

This One Time, I Cleaned My Shelf in the Fridge...

.....and all I had were a bunch of condiments and some kombucha! Let me assure you, all of these condiments are top notch. The best of the best!
Kombucha needs no introduction.
I heard miso is good for digestion.
I will be sad when Cafe Gratitude closes their Central Kitchen, because I'm not sure I'll still be able to buy jars of Kim Chee (maybe it's time to learn how to make my own).
Bolani Sweet Jalapeno sauce is like Sriracha, but 1,000 times better!
If you haven't heard me talking about Food For Lovers queso or Nacheez, you must be new to my life.

April is Full of Celebrations!

 Cats look so vicious when they yawn!

 My cat, Indie, was born in April, 10 years ago! And I went vegan, in April, 5 years ago!


I Just Want to Make It New With You

Hey everyone! So, I  haven't been writing much, and for that I'm sorry. One of my fave artists, Soko, just released a new album. She happens to be vegan! I liked her way before I knew she was vegan, back in my Chicago days. And I got to see her at SXSW in like, 2010. Turns out she's straight edge, too. I'll never understand that lifestyle, but, in the theme of having used to put videos on this blog -- here's a song I listen to a lot. Because FINALLY (some of) her music is available to buy on itunes!

Gluten-Free Chickenless Nuggets from Health is Wealth

These ARE delicious! I’m not even someone who has to eat gluten-free food items, but I’ll choose these over the regular ones in the future, EVERY TIME.

Starbucks Bought Evolution Juice, Is This Good News or Bad News?

(Written for Vegansaurus, but unedited)

As I'm sure you've already heard (unless you live under a rock -- I have some friends that do!) Starbucks has bought San Bernadino-based juice company, Evolution Juices, for an alleged $30 million! Starbucks plans to carry Evolution in their cafes, and also to open juice bars* in the next year. Starbucks has already dropped the "Starbucks Coffee" from their logo, much like Apple dropped "computers" from theirs, when they started carrying iPods, iPhones and iPads. Now, here's the question I have for you, because I am honestly interested in your opinion -- is this good news or bad news?

I ask because I feel so torn about this move by Starbucks. On one hand, I shop at Whole Foods and Safeway, and have bought the 'Just Greens' Evolution juices there. In being honest with you, I obviously patronize corporations, so I don't necessarily see the big deal about Starbucks buying Evolution to spread juice to the masses. How is that a bad thing? Plus, I like Starbucks because their internet is not spotty, and I need that in order to write outside of my home. I will always choose to buy coffee from a mom and pop operation, but if I need to use the internet to work, Starbucks is the only place I can go that doesn't let me down.
Starbucks is taking on selling more vegan food options and now juice (plus beer and wine, right?) and I don't see this a bad thing. So many people frequent Starbucks, isn't that a perfect outlet to spread veganism to the masses? Isn't that what we want? Or are we trying to keep veganism like our favorite indie band; all to ourselves?

The interior of an Evolution store -- someone needs to use their spell check! I can't hate too hard, many of you point out my spelling flaws and it's super embarrassing! (Though I appreciate it!)
On the other hand, I don't want to lose the sense of community we gain with small, local business. I don't want corporations to take over the world, and the hippie in me hates myself for shopping at chains, as I truly believe in supporting local cafes and juices shops. Especially because I live in a city, and I can do just that! I would also like to point out that I appreciate that both my college town (Arcata) and my neighborhood (Upper Haight) refuse to let Starbucks in.   However, what does one do when they don't live in a city, but the suburbs where chains are prevalent? What if getting a juice, or soy in coffee or vegan food is only available at Starbucks, Safeway or Jamba Juice? Can we have both? Can we shop at both local and corporate and be okay with ourselves?
My conclusion is this: I will buy juice and vegan food where it is available, and if it's available to a larger demographic of people, then I see that as a win for the animals and therefore the environment (except all the plastic packaging!). On that note, I will hardly go to Evolution, or buy beer at Starbucks because I prefer cold-pressed, raw vegetable juice and dive bars.
One more thing -- as long as Starbucks is going to try and take over the world, I would like to see an emphasis placed on using compostable packaging! Biodegradable cups would be a fantastic start, Starbucks! Pave the way for corporations to start taking responsibility for the planet by using little to no plastic!

*The first Evolution juice bar opened on March 19th, in Bellevue, Washington.