January '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
Happy New Year!
V in the News
Event Showcase
Taco Soup
New Product
VNL Book Bonanza
VN Store Sale
VegNewsletter Preview

The Feel-Good Food Issue
It's time! 2009 is officially here, so get ready to bust stress, banish bad habits, and eat well this year!

Our Blogs
Café VegNews
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This Just In

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 Happy New Year!

Sure, the champagne corks have all been popped, the noisemakers have been tooted and spun, and the ball has officially dropped. Now that the new year is in full effect, it's time to get right to work making this the best year yet of your veg life. Last year, with its bevy of veg-friendly milestones, will be a tough act to follow, which is why we're here to help you get started. Need a new perspective on cooking? Check out our book bonanza. Looking to warm up your winter nights? Try our spicy Taco Soup. Just hankering for some good news to get the year going? Read on!

 V in the News

A Fur-Free Future
January 1 marked the first day of a dog- and cat-fur-free European Union, thanks to a ban passed unanimously by the European Parliament in 2007. China, the world's largest exporter of fur, has a nasty record of using dog, cat, and raccoon-dog fur in coats without labeling them as such. While we've still got our fingers crossed that all fur will be banned soon, this legislation marks a significant step forward for animals.

Awesome Alanis
It's time to add Alanis Morisette to the list of famous people you're likely to run into at Real Food Daily or Candle 79. The 34-year-old singer has officially joined the veg ranks, reportedly after reading Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live. No word yet on whether or not fellow songbird and vegan Leona Lewis has offered Morisette tips on her new lifestyle.

Take a Hike, Tusks
The good news just keeps on coming with word that major online auction house eBay has stopped selling ivory. Twenty years after the sale of ivory was banned, it's a relief to know that poachers will no longer be able to peddle their black-market wares on the popular site. The International Fund for Animal Welfare investigated online ivory sales, and found that nearly two-thirds of transactions were going through eBay.

 Event Showcase

DC Vegan Drinks
Join hosts Compassion Over Killing and DC Vegan for the first-ever installment of DC Vegan Drinks January 8 at the Science Club. For anyone who's more of a wordsmith than a numbers whiz, this event is tonight, so don't delay in marking your calendar. Meet like-minded people and don't forget to tip your bartender! Look for an announcement about the VN-hostedSan Francisco Vegan Drinks coming soon!

Brunch and Bucks
If there's anything more exciting than a delicious vegan brunch, it's a delicious vegan brunch that you can write off as an educational experience. Join Merrill Lynch Financial Adviser Tiffany Gray as she helps get your financial future planted with her seminar on green investing, and go ahead and munch on a delectable vegan brunch while you learn the ropes. Cincinnati's all-things-green outlet Park + Vine is where you want to be on January 11 for this excellent event.

Cheap(ish) Eats
The stock market is showing signs of rallying, which means one thing: get to Millennium for a Frugal Foodie prix fixe dinner while you still can! It's rare to see the words "cheap" and "Millennium" in the same sentence, but the deal that's being served up every Sunday through Wednesday is too good—and delectable—to miss.

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

 Get Cookin'

Taco Soup
It's still soup season, and since we're pretty sure no one can even bear to look at a butternut squash anymore, here's a gourd-free recipe that's sure to spice up your soup routine. From Nava Atlas' newest book Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons—which hits shelves later this month—this festive take on tacos uses some of our favorite ingredients in our favorite wintertime-meal medium: soup. Don't miss a full review of Atlas' new book in our March+April edition of VegNews!

Serves 6

What You Need:
4 cups water
1/2 cup raw bulgur
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
4 cups cooked pinto beans (about 1-1/2 cups dried), or two 16-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
1 28-ounce can salt-free crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup mild green chilies, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano

For Garnishing:
1 cup vegan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1 bag tortilla chips

What You Do:
1. Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the bulgur and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
2. Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, until all are golden.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, except the garnishes, plus the cooked bulgur and the remaining 3 cups water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from the heat.
4. Assemble each serving as follows: Fill a bowl about 2/3 full with soup. Top with grated vegan cheese, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes. Line the perimeter of each bowl with several tortilla chips, points facing upward, for a star-shaped effect.

 Product Review

Crazy Rumors Lip Balm Keep your smackers chapped-free with these almost-too-tasty, animal-friendly balms.

Maybe you've sworn off coffee, ice cream, or your crippling Earl Grey addiction in an effort to reinvent yourself this year. Maybe you've often wondered about what you could do that would be just as much fun as eating candy all day, minus the calorie overload. Or maybe, just maybe, you live somewhere cold and are just trying to keep your lips from flaking off in the chill. Whatever your reason, Crazy Rumors has a lip balm that's sure to fit the bill. With tea-, coffee-, candy-, and ice cream-inspired flavors, these balms are good enough to smooth over all of Gilead—the VN staff especially loved the yummy and unusual Pistachio. Of course, they're completely animal-product free and are never tested on our furry friends, so slather your smackers with a clean conscience.

 VNL Book Bonanza

What better way to ring in the new year than to overhaul your kitchen? No, we don't mean the months-long debates over which type of recycled counter top to install, but more a venture into new culinary territory. This month, we bring you two new tomes that are just about diametrically opposed in terms of content, but both offer new ideas for your culinary makeover. Whether you're going raw for the first time or have always wanted to know how to make authentic vegan soul food, we've got you covered.

The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy
Author Afya Ibomu really means it: this is a guide to everything in the galaxy that has to do with the veg lifestyle! Part cookbook, part nutrition guide, part lifestyle coach, this deceptively slim work packs a ton of information between its covers. One caveat: the book mentions honey, which would normally disqualify it from our review, but it also offers alternatives for the bees' food in all the recipes. Speaking of the recipes, Crispy Collard Green Rolls, anyone?

Kristen's Raw: The Easy Way to Get Started and Succeed at the Raw Food Vegan Diet & Lifestyle
It's no secret that we are already fans of Kristen Suzanne's raw recipes (as you may recall, she submitted not one but two winning recipes in our first-ever Reader Recipe Showdown). Now we have one more reason to be tempted to the raw side by Ms. Suzanne: her new lifestyle book makes it seem downright easy! With tips on everything from what to expect when you first forgo fire in the kitchen to how to exercise, Suzanne arms newbies with enough material to combat even the most obstinate cravings.

 Superb Savings

If there's one thing we like at the VNHQ, it's a sweet deal. Sure, everybody likes a sweet deal, but maybe you're wondering where you come into this picture. Well, since we just can't keep great stuff to ourselves, we're offering our stupendous Music Issue for just $4. Yup, that's less expensive than your daily double soy hazelnut mocha, and we think one investment will serve you far better than the other. Oh, did we mention that the price includes free shipping? Yeah, it does. Read about your favorite veg musicians, including cover girl Erykah Badu, Moby, Joan Jett, and many more. Is this the same issue in which you can find the screamin' vegan ice cream taste test? You bet it is. And if you're in the mood for something to chew on, mentally, make sure and check out our feature on the hottest veg restaurant chains.

 Preview: February 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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