Tuesday, December 24, 2013

THE GIFT OF A LOVING HOME

A volunteer with a homeless kitten at Dallas Animal Services. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon.

EVERY YEAR, APPROXIMATELY FOUR MILLION HOMELESS ANIMALS are killed in shelters around the country. Millions languish in cages, often for years. The problem is staggering, yet one with a tangible and clear solution. If even a fraction of the human population in the United States opened their homes to just one rescued animal; if we all spayed and neutered our pets; and rejected the notion of buying animals from pet stores or breeders, effectively cutting off support to puppy mills — the practice of putting adoptable animals to sleep would become obsolete. What better time to begin the domino effect of compassion than right now, today? During a season when we partake in the tradition of gift-giving and gather with our loved ones, why not give an animal in need the ultimate gift – a loving home and a family? The expression may be a cliché, but in this instance it truly would be “the gift that keeps on giving.” Anyone who has rescued an animal will attest to a love and gratitude unmatched. It is life-transforming and life-affirming. Shelters across the country are holding adoptions with reduced adoption fees. We’ve highlighted a few in major cities, but be sure to check in with shelters in your area.

•DALLAS, TX

Dallas Animal Services will remain open with regular hours Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve (and closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). All adoption fees are only $25 every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in December, and the animals are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Their main location is open until 6.30pm, and its sister adoption location at PetSmart Adoption Center is open until 8 pm. You can view their adoptable pets here, or best yet just show up in person and let your heart guide you to your new friend. Keep up to date on their latest announcements on their Facebook page. Main location: 1818 N. Westmoreland Road Dallas, Texas 75212 phone: 214-670-8246 | PetSmart: 16821 N Coit Road, Dallas, TX 75248 phone: 972-381-1588

•NEW YORK CITY•

Animal Care and Control is the big city shelter, required by law to accept all animals. Although the shelter has a caring staff, it is underfunded and overcrowded. It’s not a no-kill shelter, which means when they run out of space and adoption is not secured, animals are put down. This is the tragic result of the current homeless pet crisis. But it can be remedied simply by welcoming an animal into your home. The shelter will remain open throughout the holiday season with its regular adoption hours of 12-7pm. They are offering reduced adoption fees through December 31st. Cats: $20; dogs: $40; puppies & kittens: $75; and rabbits: $35. All adoptions include spay/neuter, vaccinations, a pre-registered microchip, an identification tag, a collar, and a certificate for a free initial exam at a participating vet. Adoptable pets can be searched for here. You can also foster an animal from AC&C, as you can with any shelter. Primary location is in Manhattan at 326 East 110th Street. phone: 212-788-4000. Other locations: in Brooklyn at 2336 Linden Boulevard | and Staten Island at 3139 Veterans Road West.

North Shore Animal League  is a no-kill shelter that does many of its recuses from kill shelters. They will be open both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Adoptable pets can be viewed here. And follow them on Facebook for latest news. Located at 25 Davis Avenue, Port Washington, NY 11050 phone: 516-883-7575  

There are many other wonderful shelters in NYC including Sean Casey Animal Rescue, Animal Haven, Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue and more — all of them rescue animals from high-kill shelters and situations of neglect.

A pup who finally found a loving home. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon.

•LOS ANGELES, CA•

Los Angeles Animal Services has six locations around the city, including their North Central Shelter, which has an active Facebook feed, with daily listings of animals in need of adoption. This is a kill shelter, so the urgency to adopt or foster from here is especially great. Every weekend in December, their adoption fee is only $25. Search their adoptable list of pets here, or better yet just show up at 3201 Lacy Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031 phone: 213-485-5767

•PHILADELPHIA, PA•

Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia is offering reduced adoption fees for all pets for the entire month of December. Adult dogs: $25; cats: $20. The adoption fee includes spay/neuter surgery, microchip, and age appropriate vaccinations. Find for your new best friend through their online database or come to their open house on Christmas Day from 11am-3pm. The shelter is open weekdays 1–8pm, and weekends 10-5pm. Located at 111 W Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19140 phone: 267-385-3800

•CHICAGO, IL•

One Tail at a Time is a no-kill, all-breed dog rescue that houses all of their animals in foster care. This holiday season they are one of the many rescues participating in Best Friends Animal Society’s nationwide “Adopt ’til You Drop” campaign. Best Friends is an organization whose mission is to end the killing in America’s shelters. One Tail at a Time is offering $50 off their regular adoption fees until the end of December. All fees cover a wellness exam, spay/neuter, all age-appropriate vaccinations, heartworm test, and microchip. Follow their Facebook page for frequent updates on adoptable pups.

Your soulmate awaits! And here’s a sweet video that friend-to-animals Moby made at Best Friends’ adoption center in LA to help spring you into action:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

ISSUE THREE IS HERE!

DEAREST READERS, IT IS WITH ABSOLUTE JOY THAT WE PRESENT our Third Issue: The Irresistible Issue! Built with so much heart — it celebrates the wonderment and enchantment of living life with love and compassion. You get closer, because you can’t take your eyes off the dynamic duo gracing our cover – Jason Wrobel, the magnetic star of the Cooking Channel’s How To Live to 100, and Whitney Lauritsen, the powerhouse force behind Eco-Vegan Gal. Individually, they are breaking new ground. And together, they are a captivating example of the camaraderie and mutual support of the vibrant vegan community. Inside the issue, you’ll delve into stories that will stay with you – of influencers who are shaping the world, exciting product developments, big-picture ideas. You’ll get drawn in with compelling, exclusive content, gorgeous photography, and thought-provoking essays. We criss-cross the country, travel to Canada and France, and come back to you with subject matter you won’t find anywhere else.

We bring you tasty tales of culinary creators from the East Coast to the Midwest – all of them innovating in the world of vegan cuisine, using a variety of exciting techniques and styles.

We take you on unforgettable journeys that you won’t want to end – to places where remarkable animals are free to be themselves among their allies – their incredible human caregivers. Like the ones you’ll find in our feature “The Compatriots,” photographed at three different sanctuaries on the West Coast- Animal Place Sanctuary, and Farm Sanctuary in Orland, CA and Farm Sanctuary in Acton, CA.

We continue to bring you the yummiest can’t-look-away-from discoveries from the world of beauty – all curated with great care. And all, as always, vegan and cruelty-free.

We showcase super-fun, showstopping fashion that you covet not only because it turns heads, but because it allows your to wear your heart on your sleeve.

We cover fascinating individuals from a variety of creative spheres, who are good at what they do, and also do good for others. Like the hypertalented DJ and producer Eli Escobar, whose passion for music and dedication to living compassionately are equally inspiring.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We hope you’ll develop as big of a crush on our Third Issue as we have right now. This is our biggest issue yet, brimming with hard-to-resist material. And stay tuned for web-only extras and behind-the-scenes goodies. We are so grateful to have your love and support, dearest readers. See you soon!..

 

Cover and Media Dream Team feature photographed by Melissa Schwartz • Taste Makers photographed by Balarama HellerThe Compatriots photographed by Sylvia Elzafon Play With Makeup photographed by Ashley Barhamand Just Chill photographed by Lauren Perlstein In Tune photographed by Joel Barhamand

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

THE INTREPID CHEF: MAKINI HOWELL

Chef Howell with Copper in front of her food truck, Plum Burgers.

JUST TRY TO KEEP UP WITH CHEF MAKINI HOWELL. She has been running Seattle’s much-loved vegan hot spot Plum Bistro for a number of years now (along with its sister eateries, Plum Café, Plum Juice Bar and Quickie Too Tacoma); earlier this year she released her first cookbook, Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro; and now, she is quite literally on the move. That is because Makini recently unleashed Plum Burgers on the streets of Seattle—the city’s first vegan food truck, and the nation’s first vegan burger truck. She’s a bit of a trailblazer, this lady. “A food truck is NOT for the faint of heart! I have run out of gas on a hill, had to stand up to (really big guys) for my spot on the street, and work lightning fast to lock down all of the best spots to park in town,” Makini told us. “Once you get it on the road, though, you feel like girls rock!” She raised the money for the truck via a charming crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter last year, and finally made her dream a reality over this summer. The truck’s menu and visual identity all skillfully tie in with the well-defined branding of Plum. “The design is simple with a usable clean look and a classy logo. I saw a lot of trucks around town with screaming logos and I wanted to keep ours understated,” Makini explains. “The color of the truck is connected to the cookbook, and we have two burgers from the book on the truck—the Jerk Yam and the BBQ Oyster Mush.” Before she was a chef, Makini worked for years in New York City as a menswear designer at Jay-Z’s Rocawear fashion label, which explains her eye for branding. The truck also features her infamous Mac & Yease, and while she keeps the recipe for it under wraps (a girl’s gotta leave some things to the imagination, right?), she does have a recipe for the equally-delicious Smoky Mac in her book, and shares it with us here—perfect as a side dish for any holiday dinner party. (And we all know that side dishes are really the main dishes.)

PLUM’S SMOKY MAC

Ingredients:

FOR THE PASTA:
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 ounces smoked tofu (such as Plum
brand), minced to roughly resemble
bacon bits
1 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

FOR THE SAUCE:
3 cups unsweetened soy milk
4 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 tablespoons unsalted vegan buttery
spread (such as Earth Balance
brand)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup Savory Soy Cream (recipe below)*
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
5 cups (22.5 ounces) shredded vegan
mozzarella or cheddar cheese (such
as Daiya brand), divided
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Make the dish:

To make the pasta, bring a large pot of water and the salt to a boil
over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package
instructions, until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the tofu
and cook until crispy, about 2 to 4 minutes. Put the onion, garlic, and
thyme leaves in the same pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until
the onion is soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the pan
from the heat and set aside.

To make the sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk
with the thyme and garlic until hot but not boiling, about 7 minutes.
Strain out the solids using a fine-mesh sieve and set the milk aside.

Melt the buttery spread in a deep sauté pan or Dutch oven over
medium-low heat. Whisk in the our and cook for about 1 minute,
stirring constantly. Make sure this roux doesn’t darken; turn down
the heat if it’s in danger of browning.

Whisk the milk into the roux. Continue to whisk over medium-low
heat until the roux is smooth, about 1 minute more. Stir in the soy
cream until it is thoroughly incorporated, about 1 minute. Season to
taste with salt and pepper, and remove the pan from the heat.

Add the cooked macaroni, 4 cups of the cheese, and the red pepper
akes, and fold together until the macaroni is coated. Scrape the
mac into a large baking dish (3 quarts is about right, or use 2 smaller
dishes). Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese and tofu-onion mixture
over the top, then dust with the panko. Bake until the mac is bubbly
in the center, crispy on top, and heated through, about 30 minutes.
Makes 6 to 8 servings

*SAVORY SOY CREAM
Ingredients
1 Cup unsweetened soy milk
2 Cups canola oil
1 Tablespoon agave syrup
1¼ Tablespoons freshly squeezed
lemon juice
Vanilla extract, for sweetening (optional)
Ground cinnamon, for sweetening (optional)

Put the milk in a powerful blender, such as a Vitamix. (The more powerful the blender, the creamier the consistency of the final cream.) With the machine running, drizzle in the oil very slowly, until it is thoroughly blended with the milk. Continue blending for another minute or so, until the mixture has the consistency of heavy cream.

Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and whisk in the agave syrup, lemon juice and vanilla and cinnamon to taste.

Store the cream in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to a week. It will firm up to about the consistency of mayonnaise.
Makes about 3 cups.

For Plum Burger’s latest locations, follow Plum on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

Written by Julie Gueraseva

Photo of Makini Howell courtesy of Angel Ceballos
Photo of Smoky Mac courtesy of Charity Burggraaf