New York Chicken and Deli

May 25, 2011

Isa’s activism is all about the front lines. Her success in convincing non-vegan establishments to offer vegan fare is inspiring. After she advised chefs at New York Chicken and Gyro, in Omaha, the restaurant began selling vegan shawarma, gyro and Philly cheese steak sandwiches. We were blown away by how amazing these dishes were. And the seitan products are made in-house! These vegan offerings are already wildly popular, and they haven’t even been added to the chalkboard menu yet - so far the success has all been due to word of mouth and Facebook.

Wherever we go, there are new vegans and vegan-friendly businesses. It’s also becoming apparent that the vegan food movement is part of a larger food movement that is developing in opposition to our industrialized, chemical dependent, factory farming system. We’re off to Tulsa, Oklahoma to continue our exploration.

VIDEO: ISA CHANDRA MOSKOWITZ

May 25, 2011

Isa tells us about what inspires her as an author and as a chef.

Eating With Isa

May 25, 2011

Vegan activist and cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz made us a great breakfast of scrambled tofu, greens (broccoli and Swiss chard), and perfect potatoes. I’m very impressed with Isa’s ability to make vegan food accessible. Her mastery in writing cookbooks goes beyond using common ingredients, in short periods of time, to create fabulous feasts: She also weaves fundamental cooking theory into her work, helping her followers to mature their cooking and baking intelligence, so that in time they are no longer dependent on recipes but can freestyle their own creations from whatever they find in the fridge or cupboard. And she doesn’t stop there! To support those who have supported her, Isa has created a vegan community at www.theppk.com where foodies can share insights, recipes, successes, and misadventures.

For dinner - a vegan barbeque with some of Isa’s friends - the Just Eats crew was treated to amazing barbequed seitan, creamy avocodo potato salad, and Sanctuary Ranch Dip, which Isa created earlier in the day and named in honor of our visit! For dessert, Isa made a strawberry rhubarb crumb pie topped with soy vanilla ice cream that was out of this world! To satisfy the chocoholics, one of the barbeque guests brought over a delectable slab of chocolate brownie covered with a donut-like frosting. Stay tuned to the Just Eats Recipe Contest page - where many amazing recipes will be posted.

Hello Isa!

May 24, 2011

Upon arriving in Omaha, we were warmly welcomed by vegan food goddess Isa Chandra Moskowitz, who fed us a delicious vegan brunch of french toast and homemade “sausage.” Both recipes can be found in her amazing and accessible "Vegan Brunch" cookbook. We are all eager to devour more of Isa’s incredible food and hope to pick up some cooking/baking tips from this master of vegan cuisine. We’re also looking forward to becoming better acquainted with Omaha’s vegan scene (especially considering its juxtaposition with Iowa’s massive factory farming industries) and Isa’s effective vegan food activism.

VIDEO: FACTORY FARMING (PIGS)

May 24, 2011

Gene travels past a Pig Factory Farm in Western Iowa.

VIDEO: FACTORY FARMING (CHICKENS)

May 24, 2011

Gene travels past a Chicken Factory Farm in Western Iowa.

Factory Farms While En Route to Omaha

May 24, 2011

Today we drove from Iowa City, IA, to Omaha, NE, through patches of intense rain – but thankfully no tornadoes. We stopped by a couple factory farms just off, and in-view of, the highway. The first was an egg factory where hens are packed into battery cages so tightly that they cannot even stretch their wings. Iowa produces the most eggs of any U.S. state, exploiting more than 50 million laying hens. The next place we visited was a pig factory that fattens pigs for slaughter. Iowa also produces the most pigs of any U.S. state, raising around 30,000 million pigs annually. It is always sad to visit such places – to know of the injustice and suffering occurring inside and be unable to stop it immediately.