Category Archives: Uncategorized

Compassion Over Killing’s Vegetarian Guide To Austin

Mother’s Cafe Benefit for Thundering Paws on 5-17-11

MothersCafeFlyer (1)

Kiss My Face Giveaway: And the Winner is…

Congratulations to Ross of Vegans Rock Austin who won the Kiss my Face Holiday Peace Collection.

Ross posted the following Vegetarian travel tip:

“Get a vegan passport, which has a few essential phrases for traveling vegans in 93 different languages! I also stock up on Clif Builder bars before a big trip just in case we ever have to skip a meal, as they have 20g of protein and a good bit of essential vitamins.”


Parma! Vegan Parmesan Cheese

I just posted a review of Parma! here.


Tasty Bite

Update: I’m anxious to try some of Tasty Bite’s new flavors – like Aloo Palak, Mushroom Takatak, Channa Masala, and several more. I’ll continue adding to this post as I try them.

I don’t eat packaged food all that often. But those days that I’m camping, staying at a place with a limited kitchen, don’t want to be too intrusive in my couchsurfing host’s house, or just tired and/or lazy….it’s really great to have some instant meals that can be prepared within minutes and with basic utensils.

The problem is that packaged food often leaves a lot to be desired (with regards to nutrition and taste). I was recently introduced to Tasty Bite, however, a company that has been doing a big marketing campaign in Austin these past few months. And I was pleasantly surprised!



Tasty Bite meals are pre cooked dishes (primarily Indian and Asian inspired) that come in airtight, foil pouches. These packages are lightweight, easy to pack into a backpack or throw into the back of a car, and perfect for travel. They are also quite reasonably priced (at $2.99 per pouch). You can easily bring along several different Tasty Bite meals and make a large, flavorful feast within minutes. And if you’re planning a long, multi-day excursion with several people, you can even purchase the Go Camping Survival Kit.

Tasty Bite offers a large variety of entrees such as Bengal Lentils, Spinach Dal, Kerala Vegetables, and many others. They even have simmer sauces for marinating/grilling, as well as precooked rice dishes such as basmati rice, garlic brown rice, ginger lentil rice, thai lime rice, and tandoori pilaf.

All Tasty Bite products come in the same lightweight pouches rather than heavy cans or jars, allowing you to create flavorful meals while saving space and weight in your pack. Here you can see a list of all the Tasty Bite meals and the special diets they are appropriate for (including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher).

The Tasty Bite entrees, I had the pleasure of sampling so far were the following:

  • Barley Medley
  • Zesty Lentils & Peas
  • Bengal Lentils
  • Bombay Potatoes
  • Punjab Eggplant
  • Malaysian Lodeh

I forgot to take pictures of all my meals, but I did document a few.

The Zesty Lentils and Peas were a great way to add additional protein to the leftovers we had at home. I just opened up the package and mixed them up with rice, steamed kale, carrots, and other vegetables. Yum.



The Indian meals were my favorite though!

Miguel and I recently returned from a 2-month trip to India and we bought steel thali plates with multiple compartments. Excited to give Tasty Bite’s Indian meals a proper taste test, we brought a few food pouches along with the thali plates on a camping trip to Enchanted Rock.

To prepare this meal, we simply stuck the silver food pouches into boiling water to heat them up. How much easier can it get?

*And I suppose if you really don’t have a means of warming the pouches, you could even just eat them cold…as they come already cooked.



Then…voila – delicious, instant gourmet Indian thalis while camping!



The verdict?

Packaged food really doesn’t get much better than this. To make something comparable while camping, we’d have to carry around a bunch of veggies, curry leaves, loads of spices, a few different pots and pans, and spend at least an hour hovering over the campfire to cook it all. Instead, we were able to whip up this fancy plate of food in less than 10 minutes.

I’m also so glad Tasty Bite specializes in Indian food. Indian food is something I absolutely love, always crave, but have a hard time replicating – especially while on the go. Not to say that packaged Indian food will ever compare to fresh, home cooked food in India, but Tasty Bite’s Indian dishes are full of flavor! And the ability to throw a few packages together and prepare a gourmet Indian meal in minutes? Wowee. This Tasty Bite stuff is quite the innovation.

I’ll be bringing some Tasty Bite packages with me on my next camping trip.

Contest: Submit your Best Vegetarian Travel Tip & Win a Free Kiss My Face Gift Package!

I know this is advance notice, but I will be teaching a Vegetarian Travel class at REI here in Austin, TX (as part of Hosteling International-Austin’s travel workshops). The class will be on January 11th and I’ll be posting more details closer to the date.

In preparation for my class, I’m compiling a list of vegetarian travel information and am having a contest to see who can come up with the best veggie travel advice.

Have a vegetarian travel tip to share? Just post it in the comments below (before January 11).

The winner will be contacted by email and will receive a gift package from the Kiss My Face Holiday Peace Collection. The package includes:

  • 100% natural foaming hand soap (pomegranate acai)
  • 100% natural all-purpose liquid soap (lavender mandarin)
  • soy wax Peace candle (lemongrass clary sage)

Product details below:

To celebrate the holidays at Kiss My Face, we have created our new Holiday Peace Collection. The Holiday Collection features our new 100% natural all-purpose castile soap in a liquid form and also a foaming hand soap. As consumers are searching for ways to remove toxins from their lives, this versatile soap is the perfect solution. The liquid soap has over 101 uses from the shower to the kitchen to the lake and even washing man’s best friend. All bottles come with a to/from holiday card for easy gift giving and are available in 4 “peaceful” scents: grassy mint, lemongrass clary sage, pomegranate acai & lavender mandarin scents.

10% of the profits will support Seeds of Peace, an organization that brings together teens from countries of conflict, like Palestine and Israel, to a camp in Maine where they learn about “the enemy” and leave more educated and compassionate about their neighbors.

Tasty Bite is giving out samples in Austin!

Tasty Bite makes all natural, preservative-free, ready-made ethnic meals. All meals are vegetarian and they also have a large variety of gluten free, vegan, and kosher options. *I think it’s a little odd that an all-veg company would have a photo of shrimp on their main page, but oh well….

Anyway, I’ll be posting a review of some of these products once I get my hands on them. The company has been running an Austin marketing tour since the beginning of October and will continue this tour through November.

During November, Tasty Bite will be giving out samples at Austin and Houston H-E-Bs from 10 AM – 5 PM at the following locations:

Thursday, 11/11:
Research Blvd & Braker Ln
Spicewood Springs & 183

Fm 620 & Anderson Mill Rd
651 N. Us Hwy 183
Gattis School Rd & Redbud Ln
Fm 2338 & Cedar Breaks Rd
S. Congress & Oltorf St.
E. 41st St. & Red River

Friday, 10/12:
Spicewood Springs & 183
Well Branch Pkwy & Fm 1825

Ih-35 & Canyon Ridge Dr
Fm 1460 & Hwy 79

Brodie Ln & William Cannon
S. Congress & Oltorf St.
New Slaughter Ln & Manchaca Rd
Slaughter Lane & Escarpmen


Thursday, 11/18:
Research Blvd & Braker Ln
Burnet Rd & Allendale Rd

Ih-35 & Canyon Ridge Dr
Fm 1460 & Hwy 79

Village Ctr Dr. & Far West Blvd.
Mopac Expwy & Parmer Lane

E. 41st St. & Red River
5401 & I-h 35

Friday, 11/19:

Fm 620 & Anderson Mill Rd
651 N. Us Hwy 183
Hwy 1325 & Greenlawn
Gattis School Rd & Redbud Ln
Brodie Ln & William Cannon

S. Congress & Oltorf St.
S. Ih-35 & N. Loop




Biscuits + Groovy Trailer

A few years ago, the Hyde Park area was pretty lacking in the fast food breakfast/lunch offerings. There was a handful of good coffee shops, restaurants, and hang out spots…but the ready-to-go meal options (especially of the vegan variety) were in short supply.

Lucky for me though, this has started to change. I live and work in the Hyde Park Area and now have a few great vegan trailers that I can walk to on my way to/from work. I’ve mentioned Counter Culture before. It’s great for lunch (because open most days at noon), but if I’m too lazy to cook breakfast and find myself hungry on my morning walk to work…now I can go to the Biscuits +  Groovy Trailer (open most days from 8:30am-2pm).



The Biscuits + Groovy trailer owner is vegan. And while the food cart started as a strictly vegan cart, he has recently expanded his menu to include some meat. It’s too bad he couldn’t keep it all vegan, but I do understand the need to get a larger volume of people to give it an initial try. Judging by the reviews on yelp, the cart seems to be getting quite a bit of love from both vegans and non vegans, so that’s great. I do think he needs to clarify on his menu which items are vegan though (as it’s a bit tough to tell without asking him).

The first time I tried Biscuits + Groovy, I had the regular biscuits and gravy with a vegan sausage topping.


The next few times I tried it, I had the works: biscuits and gravy with vegan sausage, tofu scramble, vegan cheese, and green onions. Yum!



I honestly don’t think the gravy is as rich and delicious as the vegan mushroom gravy Miguel makes as home, but it’s still good. And I personally love my own vegan tofu scramble a bit better. But with that said, I spend my workday mornings making biscuits and gravy with sausage, tofu scramble, and vegan cheese. So I have absolutely no complaints! I’m definitely super stoked this place exists – especially in my area.

Also…John, the owner, is really friendly and the prices are reasonable. I foresee myself making quite a few more trips here on the mornings when I’m tired of my usual granola or breakfast tacos and am feeling like treating myself.

I’ll continue to add to this post as I try more things on the menu. I’ve heard good things about the vegan philly cheese steak (which isn’t on the daily menu makes an occasional appearance from time to time). And I still need to try the pancakes…and the breakfast burrito…and all the other stuff. Ok, now I’m getting hungry.

Scary Vegan Finger Cookies!

Check out these vegan finger cookies my friend, Lilli, made for our Halloween Party. They’re made with homemade bread and almonds and I think they’re pretty amazing!


Help Save Furrytale Farm Animal Rescue in Austin!

I friend told me about this story he read on the news. It’s a sad story and I’m hoping this farm rescue operation can raise the money it needs to keep it’s property. We both donated some money and now I’m posting it on this blog in hopes that others will do the same!

Details Below:

The Furrytale Farm in Seattle, WA, rescues abused and neglected domestic and farm animals and gives them a place to stay until adopted, or to spend their final days in comfort. They’re in danger of losing everything due to foreclosure and have until Oct 22 to come up with the funds or vacate. In an awful twist of irony the prospective new owners want to make it a hog farm for pork products.

Now in its twelfth year of operation, The Furrytale Farm is a no-kill multi-species rescue facility that provides its residents with sound nutrition, complete medical care, and a comprehensive rehabilitation program, and its visitors with a new and different concept of compassion and acceptance. If their property gets foreclosed on, these folks and, more importantly, these animals will be homeless. Please help this amazing animal shelter by donating something, anything, today!

Their donation campaign is here:

Their web site is here: