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Vegan MoFo 2017!

Vegan MoFo 2017!

Vegan MoFo 2017 is coming in October and we can’t wait!  If you’re as excited as we are, then you can already get your preparations underway starting right now!

Like last year, we are giving you three different ways to participate:

1) Weekly themes (which are listed below!). You can interpret these themes whichever way you like, and use them to inspire your posts!

2) Daily prompts (which are also listed below). These tie in with the weekly themes, but give you more specific ideas to follow. You can use all of them, or just a few!

3) Choose your own theme. You don’t need to follow any of our themes if you don’t want to – come up with your own and use that instead! So long as it’s vegan, everything goes.

You can also participate on whichever platform you like – blog, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, all participation is encouraged, just follow the #veganmofo and #vgnmf17 hashtags.

We’ll have more info on sign-ups for you soon, but in the meantime here are the prompts:

Week 1: Changing Vegan Perceptions  (Sunday 1st-Sunday 8th)

1st: Re-inventing the veggie option – Think of a boring, bog-standard veggie option like nut roast or risotto and give it a makeover.

2nd: Junk food forever! – It’s not all kale chips and chia seeds being a vegan – show us your fave vegan junk food.

3rd:  But where do you get your protein? – Make a protein packed meal.

4th:  Catering – Improve on the worst catered meal (wedding, party, conference, etc) you’ve been served.

5th:  Conversion meal – What would you make to convince an omni to convert?

6th:  Vegan Cheese is “real” cheese! – Showcase your best cheesy dish.

7th:  Original vegan: Vegan meals that aren’t trying to replicate meat/omni ingredients

8th:   You do make friends with salad – A salad to win anyone’s heart.

Week 2:  Behind the Scenes: (Monday 9th-Sunday 15th)

9th:  Go go gadget – A kitchen gadget you couldn’t live without, be it a simple grater or a blender. Alternatively, use a gadget you very rarely use.

10th:  Secret ingredient – Is there an unconventional ingredient or product you use to make a certain dish that no one would suspect?

11th:  Kitchen tour!

12th:  Grocery store tips and tricks

13th:  Sell yourself  – If you were going to market a food  you make, what would it be?  How would you package it, and who would buy it?  (Or if you have already done this, tell us about the creative process.)

14th:  Repurposing food – Show us what you do with mushroom stems, stale end bits of bread, carrot tops, etc.

15th:  Spicy! – Talk us through your spice rack or cook with your favourite spice.

Week 3:  Ingredient Challenges  (Monday 16th-Sunday 22nd)

16th: Survival food – There’s a zombie apocalypse!  What can you make from just canned or foraged food?

17th: Let’s get boozy! – Food involving booze, like beer brats, Welsh rarebit or a boozy dessert. Feel free to make a non-alcoholic version if you prefer.

18th:  Chocolate – Today is Chocolate Cupcake Day, but you can make anything you want with chocolate!

19th: A dish with five ingredients or fewer (not including cooking oil and salt and pepper)

20th: Deconstructed dish – Hipster style food. Serving it on a slate is optional.

21st: Making the humble potato the star of the show

22nd: Unconventional grains – Cooking with freekeh, buckwheat, sorghum, etc – try something you wouldn’t usually!

Week 4:  Entertaining  (Monday 23rd-Tuesday 31st)

23rd: Fancy af – Dazzle us with your haute cuisine or gourmet dishes.

24th: Party! – Canapés, finger foods, something to share.

25th: Cook for your best friend – Tell us about your best friend and their favourite dish, make them a vegan version of it.

26th: Showstopper Dessert – Something that would earn a handshake from Paul Hollywood!

27th: Meals for the young (at heart)

28th: Brunch: the under appreciated get-together meal.

29th: History – What would you cook for your favourite historical figure?

30th: Practice run a dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas,  or another upcoming holiday

31st: Halloween – Try not to scare us too much with your spookiest dish.

August MiniMoFo!

August MiniMoFo!

Are you ready for August’s MiniMoFo?

Our theme is:  outdoor eats.

You can share your campfire breakfast, dinner on the terrace of your favourite restaurant, or a mug of cocoa on your commute if you’re in colder climes!

As usual, tag us on social media with #MiniMofo and #VeganMofo, or comment on this post, and check back at the end of the month to see our round up.

August MiniMoFo

July MiniMoFo!

July MiniMoFo!

It’s MiniMofo time again!

In July our theme is: BBQ.

We’d like to see your amazing vegan BBQ efforts.  If you’re enjoying some good summer weather, show us what your BBQ-ing in the great outdoors. If you’re not so lucky, show us what you’re grilling up in the comfort of your own kitchen!

As usual, tag us on social media with #MiniMofo and #VeganMofo, or comment on this post, and check back at the end of the month to see our round up.

July MiniMoFo

June MiniMoFo Roundup

June MiniMoFo Roundup

In June we invited our wonderful vegan community to celebrate fruit, and you didn’t disappoint!  Here’s a roundup of the most mouth-wateringly delicious offerings we found.  As always, there was a strong showing on Instagram, so make sure you’re following all of our inspirational vegan ‘grammers!

@fifteenkeats

Over at VeganMoFo HQ we’re big fans of putting fruit on top of a treat and calling it healthy.  Jenny shows how it’s done with these pancakes.

Fruit 1

@vegansneedsauce

Fruit and pancakes were a popular combination, as demonstrated by Emily with these buckwheat and blueberry pancakes.  Yum!

Fruit 2

@rosamiex

Rosie also made her breakfast fruitier by adding frozen fruit to her breakfast bowl.  So refreshing!

Fruit 3

Herbivores’ Heaven

Jenny was too lazy to add fruit to her own breakfast, and instead relied on someone else to do it:  check out this banana bread and acai bowl.

Herbivore (3)

 

My Apologies for the Novel

Julie shares this delicious fruit smoothie, with a sneaky, non-fruit ingredient that you might not guess:  romaine lettuce!  If you’re intrigued, check out her blog post for more info.

Fruit 11

@littlebitbakes

There were also plenty of cakes with a fruity twist, starting with this chocolate-covered strawberry cake.

Fruit 4

Walks, Talks & Eats

Emma has provided you with the recipe for these strawberry white chocolate bars. Just look at that crumble on top!

Fruit 5

@heceme

And here’s a sensational chocolate and red currant cake with a chocolate mousse topping.  Can we have a slice, please?

Fruit 6

Living the Dream

Our blogger of the month, Jen, shares the recipe for Jamaican mango-banana muffins, made with local mangoes.  Living the dream, indeed!

@dimsimkitty

Unsurprisingly, strawberries were a very popular choice this month.  Susan showed them off on top of an elegant little flan.

Fruit 7

@veganfeastcatering

And speaking of elegant – could we interest you in this blackberry merlot sorbet?

Fruit 8

@juli.ane_x

And here’s another fancy dessert – these nectarines were caramelised with ginger wine and served with custard.  Incredible!

Fruit 9

@diannewenz

And fruity dishes aren’t always sweet, as Dianne showed us with this portobello peach sandwich.  Grilled fruit is perfect for summer!

Fruit 10

 

Veggies Save the Day

And here’s a fruity salad – you can find the full recipe for this watermelon tomato basil salad over on Amy’s blog.

Fruit 12

@helloseedling

And finally, here’s the next generation of vegans tucking into some fruit!

Fruit12

 

We hope you’re all happily tucking into some fruit whatever season it is for you right now!  Thanks to all our participants for brightening our days with these photos and recipes.

 

Stay tuned for our July MiniMoFo announcement, coming soon!

June Blogger of the Month: Living the Dream at Deer Run

June Blogger of the Month: Living the Dream at Deer Run

It’s time to shine the spotlight on one of our regular VeganMoFo’ers again, and this time we’re introducing you to Jen, a vegan superstar:  she runs a vegan B&B in the Florida Keys, maintains a blog (Living the Dream @ Deer Run) and YouTube channel, and is an all-round great advocate for veganism.  And somehow she still had time to answer a few questions and help us get to know her a bit better!

Deer Run 11

How long have you been vegan?

Approximately 16 years, but I’m not sure of the exact date…it could be closer to 20.

Deer Run 7

How long have you had your vegan B&B, and what inspired you to open it?

About 13-14 years. We used to come here for vacations (it was a non-vegan B&B) at the time. I really fell in love with the area and together we started coming here 3-4 times a year.  As we became friends with the prior owner through the years, the other happy vegan began to help her fix things and tinker around the place to help her out (she was a little older). Ultimately, a few years into our visits he finally said to her, “If you ever want to sell this place, give me a call.” She called!

I was reluctant to take the plunge at first as back then The Other Happy Vegan (my partner) was not yet vegan (he is now, and for about 10 years or so). I knew I couldn’t run a business serving non-vegan food. I agreed to partner in the business and move here for one year ONLY if it would be run vegan. He agreed immediately. We’re still here.

Deer Run 8

What’s the best thing about running a vegan B&B?

The best thing about running a vegan B&B is a combination of meeting like-minded people, because that really bolsters our own morale knowing we’re not alone being vegan in a non-vegan world.  The other best part, although it sounds very cliché, is when people tell us they have “seen the light” and are going to go vegan. We never know for sure if those who tell us they have had a perception shift decide to stay vegan, but we are able to offer support, resources and an abundance of gratitude to them when they set their intentions. We really do believe food is a large part of advocacy and activism – every bite of food we serve or distribute is literally saving lives.

Deer Run 4

What inspired you to start your blog and YouTube channel?

I started these things because I needed a positive outlet to discuss veganism and all the changes in my own life. Instead of feeling isolated being vegan in a non-vegan world, I opted to do something positive and constructive and create my own support system. Despite running a social business, a lot of my part of running this business is solitary – being in the kitchen alone. Since this region of the world is so different from where I’m originally from, I thought maybe a few others would like to experience part of this. I don’t write as often as I used to for the first few years, but I will not abandon my blog. I also really enjoy VeganMoFo as it holds me accountable for a reason to get a post up.

Deer Run 2

What’s the best feedback you’ve had on one of your recipes or dishes?

If you said “what’s the worst feedback” that would be easy, but the best? There are people who have said my food was life changing for them. Being brutally honest, the people that will forever stick with me are those who are in some type of health crisis and are searching non-stop for ways to restore health.

I do remember one person who had a very debilitating chronic health condition who I made a very special breakfast for. After she took a bite, she literally began to cry. Long story short, it turned out it had been over a decade since she had any form of pancake as she thought she couldn’t have any with her restrictions. She loved pancakes before her chronic disease diagnosis and missed them immensely. I didn’t know any of this. I gave her the recipe I had created for her to take back home so she could make them too. That was really the first time here that I realized the profound effect my food might have on some people.

Deer Run 1

How often do you create new recipes?  Where do you get your recipe inspiration from? 

I used to create new recipes on a weekly basis because I get bored easily.  However I don’t have as much free time anymore, plus it is pretty costly and labor intensive getting a recipe from research & development to the table. I write a few new recipes every year just to keep my edge, but my latest passion is buying vintage cookbooks and veganizing recipes I think have potential. I live on an island, so my access to books can be limited. Vintage cookbooks are fun to play with, and they give me a “base” recipe. My professional culinary training has been almost exclusively privately with chefs, I’ve never had the time to go through an entire culinary program for a chunk of years at one time.

Deer Run 6

Are there any other vegan blogs you love?

I absolutely love reading blogs. I get really disappointed and sad when authors I grow attached to either don’t keep up or abandon their blogs (insert sad face here). Thankfully there’s a lot of bloggers I look up from time to time (SO many I’ve discovered through VeganMoFo!).  I especially love The Vegan 8 because the concept is perfect for my life… vegan and 8 ingredients or less is speaking to my soul. I’m a passionate baker, but a very reluctant cook. I could spend all day in the kitchen baking (and often do), but if someone puts a pile of cooking ingredients in front of me I have nowhere near the same excitement. The Vegan 8 to the rescue for sure.

Deer Run 5

What’s your favourite cookbook?

Truthfully, my favorite cookbook is a VERY old school out of print vegan book which I don’t talk about because no one can get it anymore. For great modern vegan innovators, I especially enjoy Isa Chandra Moskowitz‘s books and always recommend them (I can’t wait to visit one of her restaurants too!).

I also think the Vegan Black Metal Chef (pictured above in gingerbread form) is fantastic as he is able to connect with an often ignored segment of vegan society: metalheads! He’s edgy, smart, a good thinker, and has a sharp sense of humor too. I think anyone who can inject humor into life is probably someone I’ll gravitate towards. It’s a hard world, and a little levity goes a long way. I think his cookbook (I have it, we backed his Kickstarter) is brilliant. Out of hundreds of cookbooks his stands out for the photos, the ease of creation, the philosophy and personal element he has injected into every aspect, and the music. Additionally, it’s very modern in that every recipe has a QR code. There is so much thought and work behind his book, it far exceeded my own expectations. It’s helped me be more adventurous in my own personal meal creation.

Deer Run 9

What’s your favourite cuisine?

My favorite cuisine by far is Italian. Good authentic Italian food is exceptionally limited in the Florida Keys, but there is one authentic Italian restaurant in Key West we’ll go to occasionally. There are limited vegan options, but what they do offer to us is excellent. When I travel up north, I practically live on Italian food to make up for lost time down here.

Deer Run 10

What’s your favourite travel destination? 

Admittedly I am not well traveled anymore since we came to Deer Run. Our focus remains on our community, volunteer work and our business. Despite this we make an effort to do a road trip in Florida for a week or so every year. Plus we both have a desire to rent an RV, load up our animals with us and see our country (especially Oregon, we hear it’s so vegan friendly). As far as international travel, we’ll be visiting Thailand most likely when we are able to set aside enough time. Vegan food, beaches, and Thai massage sums up my idea of perfection.

Deer Run 13

Have you stayed in any all-vegan accommodation?

YES! The White Pig Sanctuary in Schuyler, Virginia is WONDERFUL. It’s truly an oasis. We have been there a couple of times, and will absolutely go back. It was actually at The White Pig that the other happy vegan went vegan on the spot. Dina (owner/proprietor) allowed us into the pig area to interact. One of the pigs went up to The Other Happy Vegan and began nudging him…. He started to pet the pig, and soon enough this giant sweet pig rolled over just like a dog for a belly rub. At the time, The Other Happy Vegan was not yet vegan (this was a long time ago….) although I was already vegan. I could almost literally see the paradigm shift within him as he was petting that pig. It was in that actual moment that he declared himself vegan, and never looked back. I think if everyone could visit a sanctuary and visit with animals in safe and loving environments allowing their (the animals’) personalities to come forth, it would be a much better world with a heck of a lot more vegans in it.

Deer Run 12

You can find out more about the Deer Run B&B via their Facebook page, and make sure you also check out fellow MoFo’er Kelly’s glowing review of her stay.

Vegan In: London

Vegan In: London

Last month we showed you the vegan highlights of Manchester.  Now we’re turning our attention to England’s capital city, famous for Holmes, Dickens and…vegan burgers, apparently!

MoFo regulars Jojo from Vegan In Brighton and Jenny from Jenny Marie provided us with these brilliant posts about some of their recent vegan finds in the Brick Lane area of London.  You can check out there full posts here and here, but let’s see some of their highlights!

london

Mooshies is the first of two burger joints that both of these bloggers rave about, and it’s not hard to see why!  We’re talking fish burgers, jackfruit, bhajis…very tempting indeed.  Here’s Jojo’s pulled jackfruit burger.

PeB burger

Alternatively, you could pick up your burger at Pomodoro e Basilico, which doesn’t look too shabby either!  You can find them at Brick Lane Market, which is home to lots of other vegan options…

PBB

…such as the Peanut Butter Bakery where Jojo got this blueberry cheesecake doughnut…

london1

…or this vegan chorizo roll that Jenny found.

Rainbow Cake

And if you’re looking for something colourful and sweet, follow Jojo’s lead and look no further than Vida Bakery, home of this delicious looking rainbow cake.

Clearly Brick Lane is a great area for vegan visitors to London, but it’s not the only one!  Over at Vegan London you can search by area for all the plant-based options in the city.

Whole Ingredient

And The Whole Ingredient‘s free, downloadable PDF guide to London, organised by meals (breakfast, brunch, dinner, etc). Including sections on pizza delivery places, vegan grocery stores, vegan markets and so much more, the guide is invaluable for anyone looking to eat vegan in London!

 

What are your favourite spots in London?  Any ideas for our next VeganIn destination?  Let us know!

May MiniMoFo!

May MiniMoFo!

Are you ready for May’s MiniMoFo?

This month we’re giving you a lot of leeway as our theme is:  favourite.

Hit us with your favourite breakfast, lunch or dinner!  Showcase your favourite ingredient!  Celebrate your favourite local restaurant!

Whatever you choose, make sure you tag us on social media with #MiniMofo and #VeganMofo, or comment on this post with a link to your MiniMoFo post!

We’ll have a roundup at the end of May where you can find out all about your fellow MoFo’ers favourite things!

April MiniMoFo Roundup

April MiniMoFo Roundup

In April we asked you what was in season, and as usual, you didn’t disappoint!  Let’s take a closer look at you MiniMoFo offerings for April.

 

Inês

Feast your eyes on these fancy potato waffles and seasonal asparagus – perfect for an Easter brunch!

April 1

 

@mrs.spaetzle

And here are some more waffles from Mrs S – these ones are flavoured with seasonal wild garlic.  You can find the recipe in the comments on this post.

April 3

 

Walks, Talks & Eats

Emma has gone for a light, zesty lemon drizzle cake, which is perhaps the perfect cake for Spring.  We’ll even let her off for choosing a fruit which isn’t in season in the UK!

April 2

 

Living the Dream

What do bilimbe, mamey sapote, and jaboticaba have in common? They’re all in season in the Florida Keys!  Thanks to Jen for introducing us to these fruits – check out her blog and youtube channel if you want to know what they are and what she did with them!

April 12

 

@vegansneedsauce

Emily whipped up this fava bean risotto, which used fava beans in three different ways.  Intrigued?  Check out the details on Instagram!

April 4

 

My Apologies for the Novel

MiniMoFo-regular Julie did her research and made an asparagus, mushroom and parsnip dish.  It was her first time trying parsnips!  See what she thought over on her blog.

April 7

 

@onewindowsarah

Even more parsnips from Sarah! They look cooked to perfection.

April 10

 

Vegan Eats & Treats

April 5

Over on Instagram, Amey teased us with this seasonal wonder.  Do you know what it is?

April 6

Almonds!  Apparently you can eat the whole husk!

 

Herbivores’ Heaven

For anyone who celebrates Easter, there’s nothing more seasonal than chocolate!  Jenny selflessly reviewed these five different bars, just for you.

DSC02163

 

@veganfeastcatering

This is a lot of kale!  We would happily help Janet tackle this gigantic kale salad.

April 9

 

@juli.ane_x

Here’s more kale from Juli – and it’s been massaged!  Veganism truly is a cruelty-free lifestyle, even our plants get the royal treatment.  Find out more over on Juli’s Instagram!

April 11

 

@dimsimkitty

And finally, MoFo star Susan wins MiniMoFo by putting a vegan creme egg inside a hot cross bun and putting it in the panini press.  We’ll all be doing this next year!

April 8

 

Thank you so much to everyone who participated – what a talented bunch!  Keep an eye out for May’s MiniMoFo announcement coming soon!

Vegan In: Manchester

Vegan In: Manchester

Manchester may not be the biggest city in the UK, but it’s definitely one of the best when it comes to vegan grub!  Alongside a wealth of chain restaurants in the city centre with vegan options or even separate menus, there are some great independent cafes and restaurants you should know about.  Here’s a little taster of some of the top spots in this great city –  including the Best Vegan Restaurant in the UK (according to the 2016 VegFest awards).

V Rev

That honour goes to V Rev, a vegan junk food extravaganza.  MoFo regular Jenny (formerly of Spice Box of Earth, now Jenny Mariereviewed it as soon as it reopened in new premises late last year.  Don’t those burgers look incredible?  This place is just as famous for its dessert as for the gigantic burgers.

Teatime Collective

Another all-vegan sensation is Teatime Collective, home of big breakfasts, spectacular burgers and tacos, and an incredible array of cakes and ice cream.  Here’s Jenny’s review.  (They also put on incredible Christmas dinners every year too, FYI.)

Northern Quarter

Back in 2013, MoFo star Caroline from Tea and Sympatico posted on the theme of the Northern Quarter, Manchester’s arty, alternative area which is home to dozens of vegan options.  You can work your way through all of her posts from this one, but here are a few highlights:

This and That

There is no shortage of cheap and cheerful little places offering rice’n’three, including This’n’That Cafe. One such place, Little Aladdin, recently went all vegan too!

Fig and Sparrow

Cake is also plentiful in this quarter of Manchester, and you can always find something sweet in Fig and Sparrow, a lovely cafe and shop.  (Personal tip: you can’t go wrong with a brownie from this place!)

Trof

Restaurant reviewer Vegan Olive is another great resource for vegans visiting Manchester.  You can check out her reviews here, including for this slap-up breakfast at Trof (also in the Northern Quarter).  If you’ve ever wanted to try vegan black pudding, here’s your chance!

Pasta Factory

Olive also has a review of The Pasta Factory, famous for its excellent ravioli, all-vegan alcohol menu and homemade parmesan. Yum!

The Allotment

Venturing further afield from the Northern Quarter, here’s a newcomer to the scene: 100%-vegan fine dining restaurant The Allotment.  There are more Manchester reviews to be found here on Herbivores’ Heaven.

The Garden

You can also find the quintessential British experience in Manchester, with numerous places offering a vegan afternoon tea.  This one at The Garden is a particular favourite – it’s so flavoursome, you won’t even mind the lack of scones!

 

So whether you want a big breakfast, delicious cake, fast food or fine dining, Manchester has you covered!

April MiniMoFo!

April MiniMoFo!

It’s time for April’s MiniMoFo!

This month our prompt is simply: in season.

As always, you’re free to interpret this anyway you like.  We’re looking forward to seeing some regional variations, not least between our northern and southern hemisphere mofo’ers.  How can you make your local fresh produce shine?

Remember to tag us on social media with #MiniMofo and #VeganMofo, or comment on this post with a link to your MiniMoFo post!

Check back at the end of the April for a mouthwatering seasonal roundup!