Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spiral Diner Cookbook: Sweet Potato Pie

Check out what I'm baking instead of pumpkin pie this holiday season...

I finally tackled Spiral Diner's Sweet Potato Pie from their upcoming cookbook! And I've gotta say - it's hella good! Too bad y'all missed it at Vegan 101's Halloween Party last weekend...CRAZY GOOD TIME!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Are Pixy Stix Sandwiches Vegan?

I think it’s an obvious statement that we are each one of us vegan for a variety of reasons. I dare say we likely don’t all agree on the big stuff: politics, religion, so on and so on.  We probably don’t even all agree about the differing degrees of veganism or the ends we’d like to see from these lifestyle means.  

I celebrate that diversity.  It’s what can make this movement successful.  You see, you need the preppy assholes (like me) to go vegan as much as you need the punks and the hipsters to go vegan if you’re striving for real change.  I call it the Breakfast Club Theory - we’ll achieve more if we have on our side “a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.”  Differing ideals bringing attention to one cause – pretty good stuff.

With that in mind, I was so pleasantly surprised to find a (very) conservative and (very) religious columnist and blogger for our own Morning News with some interesting views on food & veganism: Rod Dreher.

The very omnivorous Mr. Dreher contributes pretty regularly to DMN’s Religion Blog as well as his CrunchyCons Blog over at (the self proclaimed largest spiritual website) – not the typical avenues one would expect for getting info and engaging in discussions about eating local, the ills of factory farming*, veganism or even Mercy For Animals' cause (I think we’ve seen that one before).

Religion (Eastern Orthodoxy, if you must know) was the motivation behind Rod’s (very) brief vegan stint.  The Great Lent requires that followers give up meat and dairy for a little over a month.  I know, I know, that seems too easy.  What I like is that he gave it a shot, and in doing so brought attention to our cause on a variety of levels.  I’ll take Bible beaters and Skinny Bitches alike, whatever their reasons. 

*Read that report from the Pew Commission – awesome info.  Just print it double-sided at your office (hope my boss is not reading this), because it’s pretty long.


 And because I couldn’t resist, I’ve assembled a vegan Breakfast Club of my own:


The Brain, the Athlete, the Basket Case, the Princess, & the Criminal 

Oh, and no definitive answers on the vegan status of Pixy Stix through a limited amount of research, so use your best judgement.

LUSH Holiday Collection 2009

Yay! It’s Christmas in…umm…October! Well, at least here at Dallas Vegan. The good people of LUSH Cosmetics just sent us a few products to sample from their 2009 Holiday Collection. We couldn’t be more thrilled!

LUSH offers an array of unique, handmade body products (bath bombs, bubble bars, shower jellies, and bath melts), 75-80% of which are totally vegan! Some of our year-round faves include the AvoBath Bath Bomb, Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly, and the Sex Bomb Bath Ballistic.

Hmm…maybe that’s why vegans taste better—erm—we mean smell better…yeah.

Here’s what’s keeping us fresh these days:

Candy Cane Bubble Bar

We were stoked to find the classic pink & white Candy Cane Bubble Bar in our holiday sample pack! This bar of bubbly goodness will make your tub so super-sweet and frothy, you’ll think your bathing in a vat full of cotton candy. ($5.95)

Satsumo Santa Bath Bomb

A fat Santa-shaped bath bomb with bright notes of orange and lemon. We busted our Satsumo Santa in half to spread the cheer over two long baths. (Albeit, back to back.) Like the AvoBath Bath Bomb, Satsumo Santa’s sharp citrus scent will make your warm bath both relaxing and energizing. Nothing like a little yin with your yang, eh? ($5.95)

Snow Fairy Shower Gel

To put it simply, we’re in love with the Snow Fairy! The catalog description reads: “Candy floss pink with a sweet, magical scent and iridescent brush of glitter, a non-surprising hit with the ladies…a more surprising hit with grown men!” No argument here. ($8.95 - $19.95)

Want to Believe Bath Melt

This X-Files-esque lump of charcoal and fennel claims to “detoxify the naughtiness right out of you.” Um, we’re holding onto this little gem until after our crazy weekend at the Oak Lawn Halloween Street Party…that’ll really put it to the test! ($6.95)

Swing by our favorite LUSH retailer at NorthPark Center and grab a few vegan bubble bars for a chance to win LUSH’s Bubble Beard Photo Contest. And send us your best shot, too!

Our local winner will get a slab of LUSH’s Play Your Cards Right Massage Bar, and the winning photo will be featured on Dallas Vegan!

Submit your photo to by November 2, 2009. Winner will be announced on November 6, 2009.

Lather up, folks!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Veg-Head of the Week: Mia Bissette

This week I have the honor of presenting our “Veg-Head of the Week”, Mia Bisset. She’s not only a vegan, but an animal lover and a distance athlete that uses her racing as a means to raise money for animals in need. It’s difficult for us to sum-up all of her accomplishments (because it's such a long list!), so we’re going to let Mia make the introduction in her own words. Welcome Mia!

My name is Mia Bissette and I am honored to be Veg Head of the week :) I so appreciate the wonderful vegetarian/vegan community here in the DFW area and I look forward to meeting more and more of you!

I had the great blessing of being able to retire as a hair stylist after 15yrs (in 2006) and really follow my passion which has everything to do with the welfare of animals large and small. I became a vegetarian in April 2006 as well, after a friend described to me how she was stuck in traffic behind a chicken transport vehicle and the horror she witnessed. Ten months, after learning the truth about the dairy industry, I became a vegan. I still fly high everyday knowing that I no longer contribute to the mistreatment of any animal.

I've had the great fortune to work with groups who do everything from rescue and rehab dolphins and whales off the TX coast ( to caring for exotic cats (lions, tigers...) in a wonderful rescue sanctuary ( and finding homes for unwanted dogs and cats ( I also became a certified veterinary technician after 2 yrs of school and passing the state and national boards. Finishing first in my class was a proud moment for me. In the future I'd still like to be part of rescue teams who find homeless animals after major disasters.

My most recent accomplishments have involved doing triathlons to raise money for a rescue group or farm animal sanctuary that I choose because it touches my heart. Two yrs ago I raised over $1000 for Animal Acres in Acton, CA ( by completing a sprint triathlon here in Dallas. Last year I raised close to $3000 for Ruff Houzen Rescue ( run by my friend Ashley Paige in Los Angeles, CA., who has single-handedly rescued and found homes for over 600 cats and dogs. Ashley is definitely one of my heroes and a great inspiration to me.

This year I completed my first Olympic distance triathlon and raised just under $4000 for PETA! ( I've also rescued and found homes for 15 dogs this year, one of whom has become another hero of mine and one of my best friends. The other 14 went to loving homes.


During this past year I have become very interested in eating mainly a living raw food diet. I still love some vegan goodies as well but mainly stick to raw these days. I went to a wonderful class to learn some preparation techniques and raw food recipes here in Dallas when we were so fortunate as to have Jackie and Gideon Graff here from Atlanta, GA. I'd love to share one of the recipes with you. From the great minds of the Graffs I give you the Raw Apple Pie with Raw Nut and Date Pie Crust…

Nut and Date Pie Crust
1 c. almonds, soaked for 12 hrs., drained and dehydrated
1 c. pecans, " " " " " " "
1 c. walnuts, " " " " "
1 1/2 c. medjool dates, pits removed
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp vanilla powder (5 vanilla beans + 1/2 c. buckwheat groats in a blender till powder) this in airtight container in fridge or freezer
~or~ 1 tsp liquid vanilla

  • Place almonds in food processor and process until it resembles flour
  • Add salt and vanilla and process well
  • Add pecans, walnuts, and dates to food processor and process until mixed well
  • Press mixture into 8-10 inch glass pie pan

*Crust may be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen


Apple Pie
1 nut and date pie crust
6 golden delish or fuji apples peeled and cored
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
4-6 medjool dates pits removed
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 c. raisins
2 tsp flax seeds, ground fine

  • Prepare pie crust
  • Place 1/3 of apples, salt, cinnamon, dates, and vanilla powder in food processor process until mixture is almost consistency of apple sauce
  • Continue adding apples, processing only until apples are chopped into small to med. size pieces
  • Add raisins
  • Stir in ground flax seeds and mix well and let sit for 15 mins.
    The raisins and flax seeds will soak up the juice from the apples
  • Place apple mixture in pie crust

Optional: top with chopped walnuts and a few more raisins


I encourage everyone to look into raw foods and to incorporate them into your diet. Thanks to Jackie and Gideon for this wonderful and easy recipe (

Thank you, Mia, for that great write-up! We look forward to seeing more awesome things you do for animals in the future!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Unhealthy Arlington? Not so fast…

Contrary to popular belief (at least belief held by Men’s Health magazine), there’s more to Arlington than fast food and Jerry World (both of which are decidedly not vegan-friendly).

However, we’ve been tipped off to a few goings-on in Arlington that we thought we’d pass along that might help improve its “unhealthy” image.

First, in response to the nationwide press, the city now plans to have a downtown farmer’s market on Fridays through the end of the year. Get there today to pick up some fresh veggies.

Next, head to the Arlington Whole Foods Market on Saturday from 1-2:30 and sample some fabulous Hail Merry Products, which are now available there (Hail Merry will also be in Richardson on Sunday).

Here at Dallas Vegan, we're big fans of the Chocolate Mint Miracle Tart!



Finally, if you’re not sure what to do with your fresh veggies once you get them - Head to a raw food lecture on Monday, October 26th.


Now, we’d just like to see some vegan-friendly restaurants we can dine in before watching the Cowboys choke at the last minute of a game (Sorry…I shouldn’t let my bitterness for attending the home opener spoil this delightful story). Tell us if you know of any!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

“What’s The Point Of A Meat-Filled Life? or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Eat A Vegan Diet”

Firstly, thank you to the Dallas Vegan family for welcoming me to their little (and rapidly growing) corner of the blogosphere.  I hope to not disappoint.

Secondly, “Have a Cheeseburger. It will make you feel better.” 

Never has an odder shot across the bow started such a silly war of words.  A brief (very brief) background for those unfamiliar:  Eddie G and Jamey wanted Fair-fare.; Omnivores didn’t care-care;  Dave Faries threw out a dare-dare. 

And we answered.  Sort of.

When I say “sort of,” I mean that we all threw out anonymous blog commentary on one of Dallas’ finest food-blogging forums.  Fair enough – it’s a viable medium in this day and age.  With that in mind, my first assignment is to gather a selection of Dallas’ loudest food related (and some non-food related) blogging voices and see what they have to say about our agenda/lifestyle/diet.  I’d like to paint them in broad strokes for the sake of my loquacious ways with the goal being to expound upon some of the details/debates in the coming weeks.  This week: Dave Faries’ What’s The Point Of A Meatless Life?

If cheeseburgers are the omnivores’ ammo, Dave Faries has elected himself to the rank of General for their army.  Actually, that’s unfair.  Maybe he’s our Great Mediator – the one who can initiate the end to the on-going cold war between the Meatless and the Meaty.   In whatever capacity he’s acting, it is his column that is up for discussion.  He posited the simple question: “What’s The Point Of A Meatless Life?”  He further stated, “I’ve never understood why one would choose to be vegan or vegetarian in the first place.  Well, there is one exception.  If someone doesn’t really like the flavor of meat, a vegetarian/vegan diet makes perfect sense.”

Dave, there are many things I like, including the taste of meat.  If your reasoning is a simple as “Liking: Doing :: Not Liking: Not Doing,” then we are at an impasse.  However, I hear you’re a wonderfully intelligent man (or so Eddie G says), so, in turn, let me ask you, “What’s The Point Of A Meat-Filled Life?” 

Certainly a genuine answer to Dave’s original question could be that the point of a meatless life is one’s desire to not contribute to an environmentally unsustainable, cruelly efficient, and, in many aspects, health-depriving industry.

Certainly a genuine answer to my rebutting question could be, “It tastes good.”

I’m a recently reformed meat-eater.  In AA terms, I’m carrying my one-year chip.  There weren’t twelve steps for me - just a one step realization (through a decent amount of research, mind) that the many reasons for a meatless life far outweighed that one glaring reason for a meat-filled one.

As stated, I will be explaining these reasons in greater detail over the coming weeks and hopefully inviting you all on a fact-finding mission (or at least a fact-based opinion-finding mission). 

I’ve explained to many a newly met vegan that I still have to read a daily argument in support of our lifestyle.  When someone like Dave makes available a forum for those arguments, I can only applaud his actions.  It’s also possible that Mr. Faries doesn’t truly believe everything he said.  That the food columnist for a local alternative weekly wouldn’t be best served by pumping up the comment volume with a fiery, debatable topic would be a conclusion not easily ignored. 

But, oh, some of the things he said.  Surely he must believe them if he had the courage to argue them.  “Because ancient humans lived off the hunt as well as the gather, there’s no fundamental wrong in a steak, a rack of lamb, or roasted cuy for that matter.”  That’s another gem from his post.  What it presupposes is that ancient humans’ environment, survival strategies, and ethics are directly related to those of modern man.  What this post presupposes is…maybe they aren’t? 

Basing fundamental rights and wrongs on 200,000 years of history will leave one with a very mixed palette (or should we say palate, as the case might be?).  I prefer that we would base our understanding of fundamental wrongs on all the knowledge gained in that time.  Like irrigation, for example.  It’s pretty ancient in its own right, and at present, it’s a practice used to produce an alternative energy source for humans.  Alternative, that is, to the product of another perfected practice: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).

Dave’s remark that, “You can argue the harm caused by large slaughterhouses.  They unnecessarily stress the animals, sometimes create public health issues and pump more than their share of pollution into the environment,” is a statement I can agree with.  His cop-out that, “Of course, that doesn’t prevent a person from finding meat from environmentally friendly free range farms,” however, isn’t the solution I was hoping for. 

“Environmentally friendly free range farms” are better, in theory, than CAFOs in my book.  Then again, the next sentence in my book would be that veganism, in reality, is better still. “Free range” is ambiguous at best - the USDA applies that term to poultry only and their definition states that producers must only allow poultry “access to the outside.”  So, under current regulations, “free range” is stuck in a very gray zone.  The eschewing of meat and animal products is not.  [This is not to say that I’m against truly “free range” farms.  I’m a huge proponent of local farms and even local, family operated, meat producing farms.  They’re not all perfect, but there are good ones out there that care about their processes and products.  Not everyone who considers his/herself a vegan will agree with me on that point, but I’m putting it out there.  Discussion to take place at a later date – promise!]

Fear not, Dave, we still love you.  You give Dallas the opportunity to hear from Veggie Girl Guy and the vegan community a chance at a lively debate.  At least you didn’t argue about carrots’ souls or potatoes’ eyes.  Just kidding Uncle Nancy, I love you too.   

But, of all the people I’d find through researching our local bloggers’ various spotlights on the vegan community, I stumbled upon the most unlikely ally.  I found an extremely religious, conservative, National Review-contributing voice whose opinions and experience in the vegan arena stood out above the rest of the food critics.  Hell, he’s not even a food critic.  But more on him next time….


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dallas Vegan Drinks - October 2009

Despite the gloomy weather, several dozen local veg-heads came out for Dallas Vegan Drinks’ inauguration at Idle Rich Pub last Thursday. Our Jamey Scott did an amazing job coordinating the event!

Attendees mingled with Dallas food celebs Lisa Petty of NBC-DFWGood 2 Go Taco’s Jeanna Johnson, and a number of high-profile veg-heads—Brad Cameron (“bc” of Dallas Observer’s City of Ate commentary fame), vegan musician Justin Wilson (Red Animal War, Saboteur, The Numbers Twist), and Tough Cookie Bakery’s Chris and Jennie McEwan.

Idle Rich Pub served veggie brats in honor of Oktoberfest, and a few veg-friendly purveyors handed out gifts and discount coupons, including Good 2 Go Taco ($1 off any vegan tacos), Tough Cookie Bakery (free vegan cookies at the White Rock Local Market), and Lush (cosmetic sample-pack).

After a few vegan beers, Jamey and I chatted-up Brad Cameron about organic, sustainable farming (a subject he’s all too familiar with). Brad went on and on about the ill practices of commercial farming, even going as far as describing methods used at his in-laws’ farm. We were so impressed by this ex-UT frat guy’s knowledge on the subject, we decided to include him as the newest member of Dallas Vegan!

Can you blame us? I mean—anyone who can dominate blog commentaries like this guy deserves a platform of his own, don’t you think? Check out Brad’s first post tomorrow, where he’ll tell you what he thinks about other Dallas food writers' views on veganism.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Veg-Head of the Week: Dianna Wike

Veg-Head of the Week, Dianna Wike, is a true inspiration! This 57 year-old veg-head began her cruelty-free path nearly 35 years ago, when most of us were still…umm…not born yet. At least here at Dallas Vegan.

Wike states, “Back in 1975, I was 22 years old and recently divorced. I weighed 92 pounds and was a total mess! I read a book called Remember, Be Here Now by Ram Dass, and it was a huge influence on my life at the time. So, that was when I became a vegetarian.”

Now a vegan for almost 20 years, Dianna Wikes is a friend to all animals. She’s known at her office as the “catch-and-release” gal (sparing the lives of geckos, spiders, and the like), and also does volunteer work at DFW Sheltie Rescue.

Wikes resides in Plano with her omnivorous husband of 30 years, two Shelties (Chip and Dale), and a Peach Fronted Conure (Buddy)…all rescued!

Well—maybe not her husband ;)

Veg-Head of the Week: Dianna Wike

Years Veg: 35 (vegan for 20)

Favorite Veg-Friendly Dig: Chuy’s in Plano

Favorite Recipe: Vegan Cornbread

Dianna Wike's Vegan Cornbread

1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup corn meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 TBSP of maple syrup
1 cup soy milk
¼ cup oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray iron skillet with cooking spray. Put dry ingredients in one bowl, and mix them. In a separate bowl, mix oil, maple syrup and soy milk together and whisk to froth. (The more bubbles the better.) Add the milk mixture to the dry... stir just until moist. Bake for 25 minutes.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Let’s face it—Plano doesn’t have much choice when it comes to upscale vegan restaurants. You can try your luck at Jasper’s, but you may just be eating a plate of sautéed veggies du jour. Sushi bars, on the other hand, seem to be cropping up on every street corner. Naan strikes a perfect balance for us vegans with its blend of upscale Japanese and Korean food located in the Shops at Legacy.

Naan has been awarded many accolades including Best New Restaurant 2003, Best of Big D from D Magazine and Texas Monthly in 2004, and four stars from Zagat in 2006-2009. Most recently, Naan was selected to receive a readers’ choice award for Best Sushi by a local publication.

We dined with the restaurant’s proprietor, Peter “MK” Kim, who recommends starting your meal with some vegan sushi. Naan has great standard maki or rolled sushi, including mixed vegetable, cucumber, and avocado rolls. But, Naan goes the extra mile for us vegans with their latest creation: the “Dallas Vegan Roll.”

Rich, creamy, sweet, spicy, and crunchy, the signature “Dallas Vegan Roll” really satisfies. The signature roll is made with cucumber, avocado, yamagobo, daikon, tempura asparagus, onion, and sweet potato, wrapped with soy paper, avocado outside, drizzled with sweet teriyaki sauce and siracha.

Other vegan offerings include the incomparable “Drew’s Veggie Roll.” Named after yours truly, this one has lettuce, seaweed salad, avocado, and daikon inside, with a cucumber wrapper, topped with spicy sauce, mango sauce, and drizzled with ponzu sauce. Doesn’t the cucumber man resemble Eddie just a little bit?

You could totally gorge out on the sushi here, as did Eddie and myself, but if you are so inclined, give the Korean dishes a try, as well. Typical plot spoilers at Korean restaurants include include pork, seafood, fish sauce and egg. Naan is very sensitive to its vegan constituents and there are many items available without these ingredients on the menu, and substitutions can be made on other dishes if you ask your server.

Start off with a seared tofu appetizer. Not traditional Korean fare, but it’s awesome, so you should try it anyway. It’s topped with a spicy soy sauce and what was described as a fresh pico de gallo salsa:

As for the more traditional Korean fare, try the vegetarian Bi Bim Bap, which translates as “mixed.” This dish is actually vegan, ordered right off the menu. It’s a cold dish with mixed Korean veggies and served with the traditional chili paste. You can mix everything together, or just pick it out individually to taste each component on its own:

As for the hot entrees, try the Dol Sot Bi Bim Bap, without steak, which is a similar dish to the vegetarian Bi Bim Bap, but served in a hot stone bowl. We splashed some of the Korean chili paste on top, mixed this all up, and gently incorporated everything together to expose the crispy rice goodness underneath:

Another hot vegan entrée is the Tofu & Mushroom Bi Bim Bap, without oyster sauce. Stir-fried tofu and shitake mushrooms with mixed veggies are served on top of Korean rice, and served in a hot stone pot with all that crispy rice goodness on the bottom:

With winter on the horizon, you’ll certainly want to order up a big fiery cauldron of Kimchi Stew (kimchi chigae) or Spicy Tofu Stew (soon dubu chigae). Make sure that your server knows you want it to be made without meat and with tofu instead. Ours came with both tofu and kimchi, topped with green onions:

Finally, don’t skip the Korean-style pancake (pajun). Menu options only include a seafood version, but it can be ordered special with either green onion or kimchi. We really enjoyed both, but our favorite was the green onion version served up on a cast-iron skillet:

And, how could I fail to mention--Naan also serves happy hour daily from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a plethora of drink specials, including $1 sake, and select half-priced sushi.

Legacy Naan

7161 Bishop Road

In the Shops at Legacy

Plano, Texas


Friday, October 9, 2009

Free Screening of Award-Winning Documentary Fowl Play

Join Mercy For Animals for a free screening of the award-winning documentary, Fowl Play.

This powerful film takes viewers on an unforgettable journey behind the closed doors of some of the country's largest egg production facilities and graphically illustrates the heartbreaking plight of laying hens condemned to lives crowded inside file-drawer-sized cages.

Through touching interviews with animal rescuers, undercover investigators, veterinarians, and animal behaviorists, we hear compelling stories motivated by kindness and courage from the dedicated individuals who are fighting to save the modern day hen - perhaps the most abused and exploited animal on earth.

To learn more about the film, visit

Contact Eddie Garza to RSVP, or for more information, via email at or by phone at (469) 826-2644.

Where: Clubhouse of Serendipity Apartments, 8780 Park Lane, Dallas, TX 75231  

When: Friday, October 23, 2009 - 7 p.m.

If you need more information, click HERE to e-mail MFA.

Reposted from

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Veg-Head of the Week: Miranda Martinez

Dallasites may know her as that Latin bombshell from the TXU commercials, but to local vegans, Miranda Martinez is more than just some hot chick on TV.

Okay—we dig that, too!

But the thing Dallas vegans love most about this local veg-celebrity is that she dishes out some of the most creative raw vegan eats this town has to offer! 

Veg-Head of the Week: Miranda Martinez

Years Veg: 2

Career: Raw Vegan Chef at Bliss Raw Café, Actor, Producer, Casting Associate, and Entrepreneur.

Highlights: Featured Chef at the 2009 State Fair of Texas Celebrity Kitchen, Commercials for Wal-Mart, JC Penney, Taco Bueno, Chevy Tahoe, Avon, Radio Shack, Doritos, and Tostitos.

For those of you who missed Miranda Martinez’s demo at the State Fair of Texas' Celebrity Kitchen, no worries…you can grab her famous Raw Pineapple Cobbler recipe HERE. Our "foodie-fashionista" friend, Lisa Petty, got her hands on the recipe back in July.

Check out to learn more about Miranda Martinez's inspiring life story.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vegan Drinks – This Thursday!


We’re excited about the new Vegan Drinks monthly get together – this Thursday at Idle Rich Pub.

We’ve had some great feedback so far and there should be a pretty good turn-out. Don’t be left out – be sure to meet us for some drinks, eats, and great company. Drink specials during the event, plus, Idle Rich is providing vegan bratsjust for us.

This is Dallas Vegan history-in-the-making, people!

Not only that, but we have awesome giveaways from vegan-friendly purveyors for some lucky winners that attend.

Looking forward to meeting some great new faces!

RSVP on our Facebook page, or email

Vegan Drinks @ Idle Rich Pub
Thursday October 8th, 6-8pm
2614 Mckinney Ave
Dallas, TX

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The State Fair of Texas Goes Raw (sort of)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times - it was time to go to the State Fair of Texas. Ok, so maybe there wasn’t quite that much drama, but the visit last Sunday certainly evoked some extremely different emotions.

The worst of times…

As a child growing up going to the State Fair of Texas, I have fond memories of the tic-tac-toe playing rooster, the worlds largest pig, and other shows meant to sucker-in a little kid’s fascination with animals – who doesn’t that grew up in the area? However, going back to the fair as a vegan adult, things begin take on a whole new perspective.

State fairs have their origins as livestock expos, so it’s obvious you’re going to get a healthy dose of pigs, cows, and various other creatures for the public’s viewing pleasure. For the most part, the animals are relatively clean and healthy – a perfect representation of what the industry would lead you to believe the entire farmed animal population consists of.



However, most vegans understand that these conditions are far from what many animals endure. Try watching this video of a recent PETA undercover dairy farm investigation. It makes it kind of difficult to believe their “facts” about cow comfort being “very important to dairy farmers”. One begins to get the impression these exhibits are no more than propaganda meant to give people a sense of comfort that the animals they choose to consume actually lead peaceful lives before being lead to slaughter.


At least this guy is enjoying some rest (more than the rest of his family will ever get)

The best of times…

Luckily, the fair is not all about the animals. Between the midway rides, carnival games, and some truly bizarre people watching, there are plenty of other things to enjoy. But the real bright spot of this day was getting to see the multi-talented raw vegan chef, Miranda Martinez of Bliss Raw Cafe, ply her craft in front of a room-full of lucky fairgoers at the Celebrity Chef exhibition.


Miranda made her now-famous Raw Pineapple Cobbler for the crowd of hungry participants, some of which were probably a little shocked she didn’t need a deep-fryer and a vat of grease to make a kick-ass dessert. Miranda described how Bliss was out of some of their desserts and needed to whip something up with ingredients on hand. I remember getting the tweet about it a while ago, rushing to Bliss, and subsequently being blown away! It’s amazing to think this delicious treat was thought up “on the fly” – but it’s simply a credit to her status as a raw chef genius!


(Jamey) Rubbing elbows with celebrities (Miranda) at the fair

After devouring my sample and mingling with other fans at the demo, I was able to leave knowing that – if for only one day – the Dallas Vegan community had a bright and shining star on display at the State Fair of Texas.