Heal Ourselves at Pocion

3/21/2017

That’s right. We’re heading up to Washington Heights to heal with booze and natural bites. OMG this sounds awfully risqué, doesn’t it? It is. It’s on a side street, too, just below the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal. Should they have called it the Hideaway Lounge? Maybe. Hmmm…

The partnership behind Pocion Lounge are doing something truly extraordinary. They are bringing an all vegan menu of cocktails, wines and beers to the Heights. These are craft cocktails at their finest. There is also a wonderful veganized menu of latin tapas. The bar plates are healthy veganized versions of traditional tapas. You can easily compose a satisfying meal from one or two plates depending upon your appetite. They also own Pick & Eat which is right next door and offers many vegan items.

It is quite the experience to enjoy Pocion. If you sit at the bar it is as though you’re a tester or nose in either a flavors or fragrance lab. There are glass decanters and vials facing you filled with house made infused bitters and beakers of fun waiting to be poured. A huge bowl of fruit yields peels of garnish. They know what they’re doing.

Look, if you’re single or coupled, doesn’t matter. This is a date place extraordinaire. At VegOut we’re all on a great date – that’s what matters.

All things Pocion can be found here: http://www.pocionlounge.com

and here:

http://retaildesignblog.net/2016/10/09/pocion-restaurant-by-studiobig-new-york/

Sunday Supper at Green Zenphony!

3/19/2017

It’s time to get our Zen on at Green Zenphony in Rego Park, Queens. You’ve got a MetroCard, right? So break out that piece of plastic and come to Queens to enjoy some really good vegan cuisine. Besides, it’s right by the most profitable shopping mall in the United States.

This:

Is it truly wonderful or truly horrible? Zombie apocalypse set? Hmmm…. (if you’re early head on over to have your hands exfoliated with Dead Sea stuff and then go upstairs to Glamour Shots and memorialize how great you look).

Back to Green Zenphony:

Check out this yummy platter! Yummy. It’s a word you either love or hate. So let’s just call this what it is – delicious. We recently enjoyed their cedar pancakes, wonton soup and sesame tofu. They use cedar leaves instead of scallion as nothing from the allium family is used in the cuisine here. You won’t be over heated.

So more about Green Zenphony can be found here:

http://www.greenzenphonyregopark.com

More about Rego Park can be found here (You wanna know the nabe, right?):

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/realestate/rego-park-queens-finding-value-in-a-melting-pot.html?_r=0

Our meal (Thank you Michael for these gorgeous photos):

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That Mixed Appetizer Plate from above

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Sesame Chicken

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Portobello Deluxe

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Temple of the Green

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Sizzling Delight

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Cedar Pancake

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Tofu Cheesecake

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Mango Pudding

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Us

VegOut Gets Clean – The Quantum Wellness Cleanse!

1/7-1/28/2017

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them – Albert Einstein.

Isn’t that the truth.

We here at VegOut HQ feel the need to reinforce our walk through the door into 2017 so that we can be our best selves as we navigate and negotiate the days to come.

Janus is the Roman god of gates and doorways. January is so named as it is the portal as well as the beginning to all that’s possible in a new year. A god of beginnings – that’s Janus!

This year, we’re feeling the need to clean up, sack up and get right with our values.

We invite you to participate in a group cleanse – The Quantum Wellness Cleanse, created by Kathy Freston.

Here’s the good news – we’re going to do it together!

Gone are the days of reading some self-help book or a random article, committing to the idea as the words stream by, and then forgetting everything you just read as soon as you get a text or become otherwise distracted.

Oops! Looks like your life isn’t yours after all, but belongs to everyone else. (That’s something I can relate to.)

Group engagement brings about support and solidarity. You don’t have to do this alone. We can do this together. By meeting once a week we can demystify the new and also examine habituations that are holding us back.

Kathy states: “This cleanse is so simple and so powerful. For three weeks, you will refrain from eating what I call the “Big Five”:

• caffeine

• alcohol

• gluten

• animal products

• sugar

The Big Five substances are difficult for our bodies and can even be toxic. A break from them will do you a world of good.

Some changes you may experience during and after your 21-Day Quantum Wellness Cleanse are:

• more energy

• clearer skin and eyes

• weight loss

• cessation of certain aches, pains, and digestive ailments

• release from addictive habits

• a profound and deepened awareness of your personal power and the effect you have in the world.”

Read what Dean Ornish, MD and Marianne Williamson say in their opening words which you can take in here (Look Inside!):

https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Wellness-Cleanse-Essential-Healing/dp/1602860912/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1482711258&sr=1-1&keywords=quantum+wellness+cleanse

Read xxxvi in the preview. These are questions to ask yourself prior to our first meeting. There are no right or wrong answers.

A great deal of the book – with skipped pages here and there – is available for you to read on-line with Amazon’s Look Inside! feature.

Details:

You may participate in this group cleanse no matter where you are in your relationship to the Big Five. You may be vegan but know you want to eliminate those sugar highs and lows or take a break from gluten. What is gluten anyway? Come and learn! If you aren’t vegan, then this is a terrific opportunity to try out animal-free for 21 days. You will be supported every step of the way by experienced leaders. In other words, not all of the big five have to be an issue for you, but fine if they are. You will reap considerable benefit and give your bodily systems a much needed rest.

We will meet four Saturdays in January: 1/7, 1/14, 1/21 and 1/28. If you can not attend all four sessions, then please attend in this order of priority – 1/7 (required), 1/28 (last session), 1/14 and 1/21.

We will have our first session in Kew Gardens, Queens – easily accessible on express E and F trains as well as the Long Island Railroad – 2 stops from Penn Station or 30 minutes total from Atlantic Terminal. Subsequent sessions will be held in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

All sessions will begin and end with a short meditation. Delicious cleanse-friendly food will be served. There will be videos, readings and discussion topics within each week. All sessions will run from noon-3pm.

January 7 – Please attend this session if you intend to participate in the cleanse. We’ll review the next 21 days and answer any questions you may have.

Some topics will include introductory information and getting The Big Picture. We’ll also unpack the Big Five.

Note: Everyone who attends the first session will receive a copy of the Quantum Wellness Cleanse.

Accessibility:  This venue as well as the public transport stops are all wheelchair accessible. The bathroom within the venue isn’t wheelchair friendly. There is a fully accessible bathroom directly next door to our venue. The details will be sent to you upon request.

January 14 – The main topic is Meet Your Shadow. This is a big one and will take up most of our time.

January 21 – Some topics are the Ripple Effect, Addressing the Real Hunger, Awakening and The Leap.

January 28 – We will have completed our 21 day cleanse and come together to debrief and decide how we will move forward. How has your life changed in these 21 days? Anything you want to stick with or return to?

Kathy Freston on Charlie Rose:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjMItRRTiFs

More on Kathy here:

http://kathyfreston.com/the-scoop-on-dietfoodnutrition/

This video produced by Non-Violence United sums up everything the word vegan encompasses in a gentle introduction. There is no footage of violence to animals or humans. It runs about 11 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6_hjA4cdjM

Letter Writing for Amnesty International

12/18/2016

Every year, to mark Human Rights Day on December 10, hundreds of thousands of people around the world, working through Amnesty International, send letters on behalf of someone they’ve never met, as part of Write for Rights. The messages help convince government officials to release people imprisoned for expressing their opinion (called “prisoners of conscience” by Amnesty), support human rights defenders, stop torture, commute death sentences, and end other human rights abuses.

Letter writing has always been at the heart of Amnesty International’s human rights campaigning, and 55 years of human rights activism proves that it still works. Volume matters: the more participants in Write for Rights, the more letters and e-mail messages we generate, increasing our influence on government officials. Here’s an example of a recent success: the story of Albert Woodfox…

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“I’d like to thank our friends at Amnesty International and Amnesty USA for their remarkable support these last years, culminating just recently in the Write for Rights Campaign” 

Albert Woodfox, 2015 Write for Rights case.

On his 69th birthday, February 19, 2016, Louisiana prisoner Albert Woodfox walked free – 44 years after he was first put into solitary confinement. He was the USA’s longest serving prisoner held in isolation. Nearly every day for more than half of his life, Albert Woodfox woke up in a cell the size of a parking space, surrounded by concrete and steel.

For the first time in more than four decades, Albert Woodfox is now able to walk outside and look up into the sky.

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This year, with your help, we will contribute towards Amnesty’s goal to surpass 4 million actions and make a difference in the lives of all 12 cases.

Here’s what we’ll be doing: We will hand-write letters on behalf of 12 men and women that Amnesty International is helping.  I will provide envelopes, paper, pens, one-page case sheets and sample letters. Early next week, I will report all of our letters to Amnesty International and mail them.

What can you bring, you ask? Just yourself and your favorite pen! But if you insist, also welcome are stamps and a vegan snack to share (no meat, dairy, eggs).

And our results:

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A Blatant Disregard for Tradition: Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Rice & Beans. It’s like bread. Every cuisine has it!

How fortunate are we to live in a time of canned goods. Yes, you can buy dried beans (very economical) or you can flip the top of a can and just get on with it. When you think about it, opening a can of beans is far more wallet-friendly than just about any other source of protein out there. Tofu? 2 to 3 times the price! Prepared Seitan? Forget it! So this really is the way to go.

We’ll feature budget friendly recipes highlighting our two best friends, rice & beans, as this blog continues.

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Vegan Red Beans & Rice

For now, enjoy this animal-free recipe.

1/2 cup water (notice, no oil here)

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced (add more!)

1  8 oz. can tomato sauce

1 tsp yellow mustard (keep it at a level tsp, seriously)

1/2 tsp ground oregano (grind between fingers)

1 bay leaf

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground thyme (grind between fingers)

1 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp basil

4 cups cooked small red beans (2-3 cans worth, drained and rinsed)

1 tube veggie sausage sliced into 1/4″ rounds (we used Gimme Lean from LightLine)

2 Tbs olive oil

4-6 cups cooked rice

Pour the water into a large saucepot with the onion, green pepper, green onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat for ten minutes. Add remaining ingredients (minus the sausages, oil and rice). Cook, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes or until the sauce is simmered down and thickened a bit. While the sauce simmers, fry the sausages and then add it into the mixture. When finished, remove the bay leaf and serve over rice.

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Pan-fried patties are added to red beans.

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Leftovers for work lunches!

Another great from Please Don’t Feed the Bears

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Thanksgiving in Brooklyn!

Trump/Clinton

Wow! Enough said! moving on.

So speaking of Trump and Clinton let’s examine the heteronormative binary pertaining to turkeys. Gobblers/Hens!

Ok. How is everyone doing? Yeah, distressing no matter how you voted.

Did you decide that you don’t want to eat birds for Thanksgiving?

What a way we express gratitude in this country. We kill birds, remove their necks and digestive tracts and then shove them full of – well – what would make a corpse taste yummy? Shiitake mushrooms? Breadcrumbs? Celery and Carrots? Sage, thyme, rosemary and the like? Coat their cavities with Earth Balance? Fire up the oven and then shove them with what we’ve shoved into them into the oven. Delicious or disgusting? You, yourselves, be the decider!

Whatever. We aren’t eating birds on Thanksgiving. Once again, we’re gathering at Abdullah’s fabulous apartment in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn for fantastic vegan fare. We can truly be thankful that no male or female was harmed for our meal.

What am I thankful for? I am thankful for ever evolving consciousness. I am thankful for the many friendships that I’ve made and that you have all made through VegOut. Most of all I’m thankful for turkeys and grateful for how they enrich our world. Their absence during this holiday season is my wish for them and you.

The Details:

See Meetup for further details.

“Now I’m Fucking Pissed” Refried Beans

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This is how we deal with election results at VegOut HQ. We make food. We didn’t know until we needed to know. All of a sudden the pantry was paramount. One of our food truck enthusiasts pulled out a jar of Goya Whole Japapeno Peppers (scroll down once you’re in there). Who knew? With the exception of a red bell pepper (seriously, you could easily use roasted jarred) we could make this anytime anywhere. Ultimate pantry cuisine in a pandemic of idiocy. Delicious, healthy and immune supportive. What more could cute lil’ vegans ask for?

dsc06882This recipe is from Please Don’t Feed the Bears.

1 can vegetarian refried beans (Ortega was in our grocery)

2-3 bottle jalapeños, minced

3-4 Tbs red bell pepper, minced.

2 Tbs tahini

1 Tbs soy sauce

1 Tbs nutritional yeast

1/2 Tbs onion powder

1/2 Tbs cumin

!/2 Tbs chili powder

Two frustrated shakes hot sauce

Several drops super hot sauce!!!

Two angry shakes liquid smoke

Mix all ingredients together in some sort of pot. (We used a small Revere Ware 1 QT sauce pan as you can see in the photo).Heat it all up. Serve as a dip for chips, burrito filler, taco salad topping, or just throw it at the fucking wall.