Jeeps Take Over Veggie Grill

Jeeps, good beer, good food, and good people go together like…..like…..four things that should go together really well.

The fifth thing?  Delicious vegan food from Veggie Grill.

Each month, members of the NW Oregon and SW Washington Jeep club “Wranglers Off Road” have a get together.  This month, they chose Veggie Grill in Hillsboro to hold their meeting.

Veggie Grill was incredibly accommodating, setting up a meeting area and getting it ready.  There were some sandwiches and salads prepared, while some others decided to order their own choices from the expansive menu.

They had their signature sandwich – the Santa Fe Crispy Chickin as well as the All Hail Kale salad – an awesome choice for the new, albeit temporary vegans in attendance.

Others were seen ordering buffalo chickin wraps, mac and cheese, their new Yukon Gold fries, and many salads.  I of course ordered my old standby – the Buffalo Bomber (wrap style) with the new fries.

After the initial meet and greet was over, Mark worked his way down the agenda covering all the necessary topics including future jeep runs, a possible Jamboree, and future meetups.

We also held a raffle, with some pretty cool prizes and many winners.

Heaven in a wrap. Then smothered in buffalo sauce: The Buffalo Bomber!

Many thanks to the crew at Veggie Grill in Hillsboro for their hard work and hospitality with this crazy group!  Thanks to Andrew, the manager, and Filiberto and Amanda for pulling the orders together ahead of time.

Product Review: Warn Synthetic Winching Gloves

As a vegan jeeper, there are some things that are just damn near impossible to find that are both animal free, and of good quality.

The vegan community often calls this conundrum “accidentally vegan,” which means they are vegan not out of principle, but because they are cheap.

These gloves are not accidentally vegan, nor are they cheap. They are a valuable item in my trail bag, and I am even ordering additional pairs just to keep on hand (no pun intended).

I trust Warn gear for recovery.

When using steel winch lines, these gloves help protect against steel barbs that can pierce your hand and really cause trouble when out on the trails.  Even with synthetic lines, these reduce the chance of friction burns, and can make handling the lines easier and safer. Continue reading Product Review: Warn Synthetic Winching Gloves

Restaurant Review: Harlow [Portland]

Tonight we wanted something new.  Not the same burrito run to El Nutri, or a quick bowl at the B&B.  Melanie rolled the random dice on Yelp and we pointed the car at Harlow on SE Hawthorne.

The bright, spacious area was warm and somewhat cozy.

Walking in, I was surprised with the bright, slightly sterile atmosphere.  The heavy influence of wood and twang of vintage in the space’s design plays well with the open, bright layout.  They have a nice section of vegan odds and ends, and some branded clothing on one side of the restaurant. Continue reading Restaurant Review: Harlow [Portland]

Restaurant Review: Cornucopia [Dublin]

One of my favorite things to do when traveling internationally, is to open the Happy Cow app on my phone and go find an awesome vegan place off the tourist radar.

When I first went to Dublin in 2011, I was leery that I would have any luck at all even finding a vegan restaurant, let alone one I would love, and return to again and again.

I found Cornucopia.

Every day, Cornucopia gets fresh. local produce delivered to make the meals for the day.

Cornucopia is a local legend, in that it started in the mid 70’s, during a time of political and economic upheaval.  Yet, in the midst of this, two people were able to start and grow a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in the city centre. Continue reading Restaurant Review: Cornucopia [Dublin]

Recipe: Roasted Butternut Alfredo

This is one of our fav recipes from Post Punk Kitchen, where I plagiarized borrowed it, with love.

Check out PPK’s main page here.

Photo: Post Punk Kitchen

Serves 4
Total time: 1 hour (plus cashew soak. 30 minutes if using canned butternut.)
Active time: 20 minutes Continue reading Recipe: Roasted Butternut Alfredo

Saturday morning coffee: Learn about Henry Beston

For those of you that may not know this yet, Henry Beston was a kick ass naturalist, author, and animal rights advocate. Crazier still, he fought for animals back in the 20s and 30s – a time that the term “animal rights” hadn’t even formed in the general consciousness.

Unromantically, I learned about Henry Beston from a quote that was framed in the bathroom when I worked at Alaska Wildlife Alliance.  I am going to share this quote below, but I ask you enjoy it slowly, and perhaps even read it twice.  It is so full of truth, and interesting ideals that those are the instructions.  I added bold sections for my faves:

“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”

Learn more about Henry Beston here, and also I suggest the book this excerpt was taken from: The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod

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Fur Free Friday Demonstration in Portland

Today, instead of joining the throngs of people in the malls, 150 fellow animal rights activists marched in Portland against fur.

Protesters wait to march outside Nordstrom’s in Downtown Portland.

We met outside of Nordstom’s in downtown Portland at 10:30, and hit the street an hour later.

The walk took us on a loop up Broadway and Taylor, back down 12th, then up 6th to Macy’s.  We ended in the park blocks and enjoyed cupcakes donated by the phenomenal PDX bakery, Sweetpea Baking.

The group pauses at Macy’s to spread the message.

It was a successful march as many spectators seemed to appreciate the message.

There was a variety of signage available.
Protesters chat with a woman passing by, about the truths of the fur industry.
My fav sign.
Three protesters outside Nordstrom’s.
Free cupcakes from Sweetpea! I think I will.

Please visit In Defense of Animals (IDA) website here.

#Thankful for so much

My plate runneth over.

For all the reasons I appreciate being vegan, Thanksgiving is an especially awesome time.   I am not sure if it’s the ability to make (and eat) delicious food, start new traditions, or reflect on all the wonderful holidays in the past with family.

Regardless, one thing is for sure – Melanie made an amazing feast!

Homemade vegan sausage stuffing (Grand Central recipe).
Green bean casserole – Melanie’s fav.
A new arrival this year! Pumpkin garlic knots. Amazeballs.
Apple cider roasted brussel sprouts.
Gardein holiday roast.

 

What are your Vegan Sins?

I like to think that as a vegan, my life is totally animal-free.  But sometimes it just comes down to making the best decision at any given moment.

I will NEVER eat meat (at least not deliberately) but, sometimes I cheat on the other stuff.

Bless me, vegan world for I have sinned.  It will soon be zero days since my last confession:

  1. Leather shoes.  This is a biggie for me.  I hate ordering shoes (usually work shoes or for hiking) online, so I want to try them on.  Most shoes I see have at least a small degree of leather on them, and Portland does not have much for men’s vegan shoes and boots.
  2. Toothpaste. I just can’t bring myself to using the chamomile-agave-cornstarch hippy toothpastes.  So, I grudgingly use Crest.  Melanie always claims I am using the one that “gets rubbed in baby bunnies’ eyes.”  So that helps.
  3. Papa John’s Pizza.  I am not sure if this is an annual thing or maybe even once every two years (is that bi-annual? I always mess that shit up).  But as infrequent as that may be, something inside me just breaks and I need a cheese pizza from these ass clowns once every two years.

What are YOUR vegan sins?

Please share yours in the comments.  You’ll feel better, trust me.

Finding a vegan concealed carry holster **UPDATE!**

UPDATED!  I have purchased another vegan holster, from Bladetech and included it at the end.

I’ll save the whole “Wait…you’re a vegan and you have guns!?” discussion for another day.  Yes, yes I own guns and enjoy self-defense and target shooting.  Moving on.

One of the hardest things to find for me, is a vegan concealed carry holster.  Most brands, made by companies like Galco and others are made mostly with leather and polymer.

BLACKHAWK

Fortunately, when I recently purchased my Springfield XDS .45, the store had an ample supply of vegan holsters made by Blackhawk.

My Springfield Armory XDS chambered in .45 in the Blackhawk size 5 holster.

It is important to note that these holsters are not marketed (for obvious reasons) as a vegan holster.  They are basically an inexpensive option for people that can’t afford (financially or morally, I guess) the leather versions.

I’ll take it!  This puppy was $12.00 and works like a charm.  It’s like the Payless shoes for vegan gun owners (vegans will get the joke)!

The holster material is already forming to the shape of the pistol in only 2 days.

The nice part about their website is that they also organize the holsters by material.  So you can quickly identify which are vegan and which are not.  The nylon options are here.

My only complaint is the tapered section (as you see in the image) leaves the grooves on the rear of the slide exposed.  When seated, this presses those metal grooves into your back which is not the most comfortable.  Eventually this may affect the gun’s finish, but we’ll see.

For a $12.00, non-leather holster you cannot go wrong with this option!

BLADETECH

In December, 2015 I was strolling the aisles of my local cabelas, and looked at the plastic CCW holsters they offered.  I found this option for the XDS, priced at $23.

Unlike the Blackhawk above, I wanted something that offered more positive locking of the pistol.  The holster from Bladetech was inexpensive, solid plastic, and has a positive “click” when the gun is fully seated.

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The Bladetech offering.

The belt clip also has a much better “barb” that provides more secure carry in the belt.

I have not spent a ton of time with the holster, but the past few days I feel it is comfortable and easy to carry.

UPDATE #2!  12/18/2016

I added a beautiful Sig Sauer P320 to my arsenal and added a Streamlight TLR-1s tactical light to it.  This is a full frame pistol, so I gave up on CC.

I added a kydex Multicam holster for it, which accommodates the light.  Holster is from TR Holsters.  It’s an OWB configuration and so far, so good.

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Not all vegans drive hybrids and wear skinny jeans.

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