February '09
The VegNewsletter arrives in your e-mailbox just once a month and clues you in on vegetarian news, dining, recipes, products, activist alerts, reviews, culture, giveaways, and all the other good things in life.

In This Issue
The Big News!
V in the News
Event Showcase
Black-Eyed Pea Fritters
Product Review
Go TreeFree!
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The Feel-Good Food Issue
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 The Big News

OK, we admit it: we've been holding out on you. There have been projects in the works for a while now, but you know we don't like to give too much away too soon. Now that the excitement of the new year is starting to calm down, we thought it might be just about time to bust out some big news. Ready? OK. Grab your datebooks, because your VN social calendar is about to fill up. This month we're very proud to announce the launch of three thrilling events, each of which we find pretty freaking newsworthy. We couldn't be more excited to introduce Vegan Drinks in San Francisco! Yep, we're getting hip to the veg-friendly jazz that's taking over the country. Details coming soon on VegNews.com!

If you're not local to SF, not to worry, we've got more. The VegNews Recipe Club is now in full effect! This event happens every week as we send delicious, kitchen-tested, vegan recipes right to your inbox. Yum? Yes.

As if those two weren't news enough, we're also extremely excited to announce the debut of the VegNews Lecture Series! Though we aren't going to be giving away all the details on this one until next month, let's just say that if hearing influential movers and shakers speak while munching on Millennium-restaurant-caliber goodies sounds appealing, you might want to go ahead and not make any other plans on the evening of March 31. OK, is that enough big news for one VegNewsletter? Read on if you're hungry for soul food, the best V-Day gifts, other awesome events, and more!

 V in the News

Enviromental Ennui
According to recent news stories, the specter of climate-change-related environmental catastrophe has seeped into our subconscious and is causing mental distress. Much like the depression caused by the ongoing threat of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War, fear for the future of the planet is causing nightmares, anxiety, depression, and other mental-health problems. Fortunately, according to psychiatrists, hope can be found by taking action, and as is already well-established, eating a veg diet is one of the easiest, most important steps anyone can take to help the environment.

Turkey Triumph
Three men who were charged with felonious animal cruelty charges have been indicted after footage from PETA was released showing them abusing turkeys last fall. Collectively, the men face up to 59 years in prison and up to $71,000 in fines, which according to PETA, are the harshest penalties that have been brought in a case involving factory farms.

 Event Showcase

Food Love
If there's one thing vegans love more than food, it's really good food, shared with someone you love. Madeleine Bistro is pulling out all the stops with a Valentine's Day Chef's Tasting Menu. Trust us—if you're anywhere near Los Angeles come February 14, you'll want to go ahead and book a table.

Vegan Drinks Philly
Oh yeah, that's right. There's a brand-new installation of the already popular monthly meetup coming to a town near you on the 19th—if you happen to live near Philadelphia, that is. With at least 40 people already RSVP'ed, you're sure to meet some new peeps, have a couple delicious drinks, and, of course, maybe even do a little something good for animals.

Looking for more must-attend veg events? Don't forget to check out VegNews.com for all your social-calendar updates!

 Get Cookin'

Black-Eyed-Pea Fritters
As you might remember, we were nearly taken over by soul food in the VN offices recently. We were thoroughly impressed with Bryant Terry's new book, Vegan Soul Kitchen, of which you'll see a full review in the May+June issue of VegNews. Since that sounds way too far away, indulge in some out-of-this-world grub with this recipe straight from the source. Terry tells us, "African in origin, black-eyed peas are one of the most salient staples of African-American cooking. While canned black-eyed peas are available, I always make mine from scratch. In Southern lore, black-eyed peas are thought to bring good luck when eaten in copious amounts on New Year’s Day. So, my family slow-cooks them in a Crock-Pot every December 31." While we've missed the New Year's Eve mark by a little more than a month, it can't hurt to spread some of the good luck throughout the year.

Serves 6

What You Need:
1 cup dried black-eyed peas, sorted, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
1⁄2 medium onion, diced
1⁄2 cup raw peanuts
1 teaspoon thyme, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1⁄2 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cornmeal
5 cups coconut oil

What You Do:
1. In a large bowl, cover black-eyed peas with water and agitate to remove skins. Using a fine mesh strainer, skim off skins from the top of the water. Rinse black-eyed peas well.
2. In a food processor, combine black-eyed peas, onion, peanuts, thyme, cayenne, vinegar, water, and salt and pulse until completely smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
3. Remove batter from the refrigerator, add bell pepper and cornmeal, and beat with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
4. In a medium-size saucepan over high heat, warm coconut oil until hot but not smoking, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to medium high, and in batches of 5, spoon batter into oil, 1 tablespoon at a time. Fry, stirring, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. If necessary, adjust the temperature to ensure that fritters do not cook too quickly.
5. Transfer fritters to a paper-towel–lined plate and allow them to drain. Transfer drained fritters to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve. Serve hot with hot pepper sauce.

Photograph Copyright © Sara Remington.

 Product Review

Sjaak's Hearts of Cherry

Whether you’re flying solo, hitched, or somewhere in between, Sjaak’s Dark Chocolate Hearts of Cherry are sure to melt everyone’s heart. These luscious little love-bites, with their fruit-infused essence and perky packaging, come individually wrapped in a variety of decorative boxes, totes, and tubs. These compassionate cherry candies will take your relationship—with chocolate, that is—to new heights. Slightly reminiscent of the ever-popular cherry cordial, these certified-organic, fairly traded treats are as sophisticated as they are tasty. Really, what Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a heart-healthy helping of dark chocolate?

Looking to show a little extra love this Valentine’s Day? Well, you can have your chocolate and eat it too—thanks to Compassion Over Killing’s “Be My Valentine” donation special. When you make a gift of $50 in honor of someone special, COK will send a compassionate card along with a bag of Sjaak’s Dark Chocolate Hearts of Cherry!

If one choice of confection is just not enough, check out PETA’s animal-friendly assortment of vegan Belgian chocolates, roasted nuts, and glâcé apricots—all compliments of Harbor Candy Shop.

And if you’re looking to satisfy more than your sweet tooth, click on over to Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe’s special Valentine’s Day section or browse by Alternative Outfitters' Valentine’s Day favorite picks. You’ll find everything from cruelty-free clothing to recycled vegan jewelry, and we won't tell if you end up with a little something for yourself!

 Go TreeFree!

So, while you're showing love to basically everyone you know this month, maybe you'll have just a little left over for the planet. If you've been meaning to do something extra-nice for your ol' Mother Earth, using fewer resources is always a great option. Since you already eat veg, recycle, ride your bike, take the subway, and buy second-hand clothes, is there really anything else you can do to cut down? Yes! The TreeFree edition of VegNews uses exactly zero pages of paper, as it gets delivered right to your inbox. Yep, it's exactly the same as the print magazine, just in a search-able, flippable, down-loadable format. If you haven't already, check out our stunning September+October Food Issue, in all its bright, shiny glory. Then go ahead and pat yourself on the back for being so eco-friendly.

 Preview: March VegNewsletter

Satisfy your between-issues cravings with this complimentary supplement, featuring exclusive product reviews, musician, artist and event spotlights, slammin’ recipes, giveaways, plus the lowdown on how vegetarianism is bettering the world—one delicious bite at a time.

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