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NEWS
March 25, 2016 | By Vance Lehmkuhl, Staff Writer
With more than 100 people in attendance at Union Transfer Sunday afternoon, Blackbird Pizzeria recaptured the title of Best Vegan Cheesesteak in Philly. Having won the first contest in 2014, the beloved vegan pizza joint was ousted in 2015 by Royal Tavern but was favored this year by judges Stu Bykofsky, Lisa Tynes, Leila Vaughan, and Babette Josephs. Blackbird owner Mark Mebus said his team was "happy about it because the only thing we've changed since last year was the bread. " After experimenting with house-made rolls, the pizzeria switched to vegan baguettes from Metropolitan Bakery.
NEWS
March 11, 2016
With more than 500 votes cast among 35 nominated venues, the 2016 Best Vegan Cheesesteak in Philly contest is starting to sizzle as we head into the final week. Vote once a day for your favorite venue at philly.com/vegancontest or by tweeting with the hashtag #vegancheesesteak. Voting ends at noon March 18. At 4 p.m. March 20, the three top finalists will be taste-tested to determine a winner during a vegan event at Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St., $10 at the door, 215-232-2100)
NEWS
March 4, 2016
"2016 BEST VEGAN CHEESESTEAK IN PHILLY" CONTEST RULES Vote once a day for your favorite vegan cheesesteak at philly.com/vegancontest or via your Twitter account, using #vegancheesesteak. Voting period ends at noon on March 18. Vote tallies will be updated once a day around noon at philly.com/veganblog. One Philly-area voter will be chosen at random to receive dinner for two at Miss Rachel's Pantry in South Philly. Highest vote-getting venue wins "People's Choice Sandwich.
NEWS
March 4, 2016
Our third annual Best Vegan Cheesesteak in Philly contes t launched Tuesday, the same day Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), a vegan, came to town to promote his new book, United. Coincidence? Probably. But if you've read the book (and if not, do!), you get his point that everything, and everyone, is connected; the subtitle is Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good . So during my chat with Booker just before he stepped onstage at the Free Library Tuesday night, you bet the subject of vegan cheesesteaks came up. The contest, after all, provides common ground for all kinds of venues to share plant-based offerings.
NEWS
February 5, 2016
After 15 years of animal-free living, I finally ate a little meat. To those who think of vegans as people on a diet they secretly want to cheat on, it will likely do no good to point out that I didn't do it on purpose. But it's true. What I did was act stupidly at a venue passing around free taco samples. I'd had a vegan one and unthinkingly grabbed a similar-looking one off a tray. Well, like they say, when life hands you meat, make . . . uh . . . anyway, I'm writing about my embarrassing lapse because there were some interesting takeaways.
NEWS
January 19, 2016
J USTINE CARMINE, 28, of Mayfair, owns Happy Hippy Veg, a vegetarian catering service she launched last summer. She rents space at the Dorrance Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises in West Philadelphia, where she stores her food, does prep work and cooks. A Tacony native, she's a graduate of Marywood University in Scranton . Q: How'd you come up with the idea? A: It stemmed from a yoga teacher-training weekend, and I'd been a vegetarian and love to bake and make healthy food that tastes good.
FOOD
January 15, 2016 | Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
Classic Caesar, vegan style It's Caesar-salad dressing, minus the egg and anchovy. Vegan Commissary's version gets its flavor from organic soy-based mayonnaise, capers, white-wine vinegar, and extra-virgin olive oil, plus homemade "parmesan cheese" made from seeds and nutritional yeast. Available at Commissary Market, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Owner Steve Laurence hopes to be wholesaling soon. Vegan Commissary Caesar Dressing, $7 for a 16-ounce bottle A snack that does you good This is one wholesome NuDY Bar: The name stands for Nutritionally Dense and Yummy.
FOOD
January 15, 2016
Makes 24 beignets ¼ cup granulated sugar 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast 3½ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup vegan cream 2 tablespoons vegan shortening 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips 1 cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional) 4 cups canola oil for frying   1.   Stir together the granulated sugar and yeast in a small bowl with 1 cup warm water. Once the sugar is dissolved, set aside for 20 minutes to let the yeast activate.
FOOD
January 15, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
As darkness crept over East Falls on a recent night, Meagan Benz and Shannon Roche arrived at their subleased commissary kitchen and unfolded a sprawling order list: oversize corn muffins, rich brownies, chewy peanut butter cookies, zucchini bread, chip-wiches, and "banana split" cupcakes, made of banana cake topped with frosting, chocolate drizzle, sprinkles, and a maraschino cherry. All of this was conjured without a trace of butter, eggs, or cream. Benz and Roche's wares, produced under the name Crust Vegan Bakery and sold at eateries like Joe Coffee and HipCityVeg, are entirely plant-based.
FOOD
January 15, 2016 | By Craig LaBan, RESTAURANT CRITIC
What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago this week, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby were still relatively unknown niche players in the wider Philadelphia dining scene when they moved Horizons Cafe, a vegan destination known for grilled seitan "wings" in a far-flung suburban strip mall, to an ambitious new location in Center City. The word vegan - and its animal-free promise of Vegenaise and copious fake meats - still struck fear in the hearts of many mainstream diners. When the two moved to their elegant new space at Vedge five years later and began focusing more on redefining pure vegetable cookery, the zeitgeist had begun to change.
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