Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Recipes From a Teenage Vegan

Vegan Kombucha Cupcakes LAIKA

The future of our planet belongs to the youth, who will continue to push veganism forward. What better way to welcome the new year, with all of its hope and promise, than to share delicious recipes by an ambassador from the new vegan generation – 17 year old LAIKA reader and cooking aficionado, Franny Gould. “We can communicate our ideas through vegan cuisine,” says Franny. “While many students in my high school bake for their peers and teachers, my baked goods never fail to spur a discussion about the merits of veganism.” Here she shares two original celebratory creations, which she also photographed, followed by a heartfelt essay.

citrusy kombucha cupcakes
Makes 10-14 cupcakes

cupcake ingredients:
3 heaping tablespoons melted vegan butter (I used Earth Balance Coconut Spread)
1 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup nondairy milk (I used Silk Original Cashew Milk)
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3⁄4 cups all-­purpose flour
1 cup kombucha (I used GT’s Original)
1⁄4 cup orange juice (with or without pulp)
Zest of 1⁄2 lemon or orange

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine vegan butter with sugar. Add in in nondairy milk, vanilla extract, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Combine until smooth and let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes.

Set aside the flour and the kombucha in two different bowls.

After the mixture is set, add a little bit of the flour to the mixture and stir. Then add a little bit of the kombucha and stir. Repeat this until all the flour and kombucha are in the mixture.

Add orange juice to the mixture and mix until smooth. Then add zest and stir.

Insert cupcake liners into cupcake tins and pour mixture into 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 of each tin. Bake for about 25 minutes (or until cupcake top is golden brown). Let cool before adding the frosting.

frosting ingredients:
5 heaping tablespoons vegan butter at room temperature (I used Earth Balance Coconut Spread)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons kombucha (I used GT’s Original)
Zest of 1⁄2 ­ 1 lemon or orange
Optional ­ vegan dark chocolate

Beat butter until smooth. Then add 1 cup of powdered sugar and beat until completely smooth. Mix in vanilla and 1 tbsp of whichever kombucha you choose to use.

In increments, mix in the remaining 3 cups of powdered sugar. Add zest.

Once the mixture has a thick consistency and is frosting-­like, either scrape into an icing bag or spread directly on cupcakes. Decorate cupcakes as desired (I used chocolate drizzle, raspberries, and blackberries).

Optional chocolate garnish: ­ melt chocolate and drizzle onto frosted cupcakes.


Vegan Canapes LAIKA

tofu-cauliflower canapés
Quantities depend on the number of guests

Toasted thin­ly-sliced bread, cut into triangles
Extra­ or super­ firm tofu, cut into triangles
Extra virgin olive oil
Sriracha (or other hot sauce depending on preference)
Cauliflower florets
Crushed red pepper flakes
Toothpicks or sandwich picks

Using a skillet, simmer tofu triangles in EVOO and Sriracha. In another skillet, sauté cauliflower in EVOO.

To construct the canapé, start with the toast, then place on a couple of leaves of arugula, then the Sriracha tofu triangles, followed by more leaves of arugula, and finally the cauliflower.

Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes. Secure with a toothpick or sandwich pick.


Louder Than I Thought
by Franny Gould

I used to think I wasn’t good enough to be an activist. I thought that political, economic, and social change could only be accomplished by those with some level of fame, some degree of importance. I thought that as a young, idealistic vegan, I should be seen and not heard.

In the fall of 2014, I participated in the People’s Climate March in Manhattan. Although already a vegan, I wasn’t yet doing much advocacy on behalf of the vegan community. Somewhere along the march, I saw a sign that read “Raising Animals for Meat causes 51% of greenhouse gas emissions, cuts down more than 14,000 acres of rainforests everyday, uses more than 11 times more fossil fuels than producing plant protein. Save Earth, try vegan.” This information was not news to me, but I still did a double-take at the display. The girl holding the sign was no more than 7 or 8 years old. She was standing on the sidewalk, facing the procession of marchers.

There was something about her face, the way she stared straight into my eyes. Her message was a kind of powerful that I had never experienced before. It combined her vulnerability — a plea for the protection of her generation’s future — with her determination to convert at least a few marchers to veganism. She may have not been prominent in her stature. But she was an activist.

When it comes to fighting for social justice, I may not have as big of a voice as a celebrity. But I do have a voice. And by simply keeping the conversation alive, I am an activist.

2016 will be a momentous year for me, as I graduate from high school and begin college. And it will also be a momentous year for veganism, as the stigma of being a vegan will continue to die. Ever since I went vegan, I’ve been known as “Franny the Vegan” and have been asked every annoying question possible. But I believe that this year the unproductive questions about plants’ emotions and protein intake will finally be replaced by genuine curiosity and forthright discussions. ∎

From the Editor: Do you have a vegan story to tell and love making things? Write us at and you may be featured in our Reader Spotlight on the LAIKA site!


LAIKA Issue 5 David Carter

DEAREST READERS, WE ARE THRILLED TO BRING YOU OUR FIFTH ISSUE! This, “The Strength Issue,” is an assertion of the cutting-edge activism, bold creativity, formidable athleticism and fearless innovation that is encompassed in compassionate living. Pick up a copy or subscribe to the gorgeous sustainably-produced print edition or the digital version now. Gracing the cover is NFL defensive lineman David Carter, known as The 300 Pound Vegan, who is deconstructing every known myth about veganism and using his stature to speak up for animals. Alongside him is his wife, and fellow animal rights activist, Paige Carter. In our uplifting profile, they open up about their vegan journey, their natural lifestyle, David’s intense training routine and his rise as an influential activist. As the feature’s photographer, Paige shot the stunning cover of her and David in Costa Rica as a self-portrait — a LAIKA first.

The 300 Pound Vegan

We bring together doers and thinkers who epitomize strength of character and perseverance. Like captivating Senator Cory Booker, who shares his thoughts on veganism and living truthfully in our exclusive interview.

Cory Booker

The vegan crew of Sea Shepherd’s the Bob Barker ship give us an unprecedented look into their lives during the groundbreaking four-and-a-half month long Operation Icefish campaign in Antarctica, which demonstrated their endurance and determination. We delve deep into the brilliant mind of pioneering sociopolitical artist Sue Coe, interviewed by fellow tide-shifting vegan artist, Ruby Roth.


Sea Shepherd

Sue Coe

With the same level of in-depth coverage, we tell the stories of our animal compatriots. Like in “No Home on the Range,” our 10 page special report and photo essay on the peril of wild horses, themselves a symbol of strength, now being eradicated to accommodate America’s appetite for “range-fed” meat. Yet our feature “Freeborn,” which tells the rare stories of animals born into freedom, and of pig-farmer-turned-vegan Bob Comis, shows how liberating it is when living beings are allowed to become their fullest selves.

Wild Horses

As always, we bring you gorgeous and unique stories on vegan style and beauty, and take you around the world in in-depth travel and food features. In this issue, we hop over to Germany, zoom down to Costa Rica, cross the globe to Australia, and explore the United States! We spotlight the hottest restaurants and the dynamic personalities behind them; share amazing and one-of-a-kind recipes; and delight you with the latest product discoveries.



Every page in this issue is created to uplift and inspire. This is our biggest issue yet, with 80 pages of pure ad-free content. It is a summation of the spirit of strength that is the modern vegan and animal rights movement — from the athletes, to the artists, to the activists. We hope you love it as much as we absolutely relished making it for you! Get your copy and subscribe here.  — Julie Gueraseva, Founder


Cover and Solid as a Rock feature photographed by Paige Carter • Cory Booker illustrated by Marina Marcolin • The Defenders photographed by Simon Ager • The Art of Truth photographed by Sasha Bezzubov • No Home on the Range photographed by Jennifer MaHarry • Shine Bright photography by Ash Barhamand • Fun with Food photography by Zoe Spawton


Lauren Toyota LAIKA Magazine


Since going vegan in 2010, compassionate cutie Lauren Toyota has wasted no time making the absolute most of her influential role as a popular television personality in Canada. Known for her work as a VJ on MTV Canada and MuchMusic, she recently signed on as the spokesperson for Humane Society International Canada #BeCrueltyFree campaign. “I really wanted to use my voice to draw attention to the fact that animals are being used as test subjects for our cosmetic products. It’s not something that’s widely talked about and it definitely deserves a big spotlight on it,” Lauren told us. “People would be shocked to know just how prevalent it is. Now, I love being a Canadian but it saddens me to think that our country is so behind when it comes to enforcing a ban on animal testing for cosmetics. It’s not legally required to prove product safety and with advances in technology and science, why are we still torturing and tormenting animals for our own superficial needs?” Indeed, Lauren’s own beauty routine makes a compelling case for just how unnecessary animal testing really is. And with New Zealand being the latest nation to vote earlier this week to ban animal cosmetics testing—joining the likes of India and Israel—hopes are high that products tested on animals will someday soon be a thing of the past. “There’s no excuse to be supporting this through the items you’re purchasing because nowadays there are hundreds of companies making vegan and cruelty-free products,” explains Lauren. “It’s so easy to make your beauty routine more compassionate!” Here, Lauren exclusively shares with us what essentials are in her makeup bag, and why she loves them.

Lauren Toyota LAIKA Magazine makeup


clockwise from top left:   [1] Thayer’s Lavender Witch Hazel Toner  “I really like this toner because it’s alcohol free so it’s light on the face and doesn’t dry it out. And I love the refreshing, soft lavender scent.”

[2]  Organic Jojoba Oil  “I use this all over my body as a natural moisturizer every day! Sometimes I use coconut oil as well and switch up between the two during the week. I just can’t get through the day if I have dry skin!”

[3]  Deep Steep Body Lotion  “I like all of the creams and lotions from Deep Steep. They have great scents and go on silky smooth. I use this throughout the day on my hands and arms or after washing my hands. It’s less greasy than the coconut or jojoba oil.”

[4]  Lacc Nail Polish  “Lacc is the best vegan nail polish I’ve used so far. It lasts long and goes on in one even coat, so it’s good when you’re in a hurry.”

[5]  Kjaer Wise Cream Highlighter   “I think there’s a misconception out there that cruelty-free or vegan makeup won’t last as long or be as rich on the skin, but that’s not true at all especially of the Kjaer Wise line of products. It’s very high end and has a wide variety of products and colours. I really like this cream highlighter that works on lips, cheeks, and eyelids.”

[6]   100% Pure Mascara & Eyeliner  “This mascara goes on really smooth and lifts the lashes evenly. Using the mascara and eyeliner combined I’ve noticed my eyes aren’t getting irritated like they used to when I would where non-vegan brands  of eye makeup.

[7]  Pacifica Solid Perfume “This company makes the most delicious scent called Island Vanilla. I’m a sucker for anything sweet smelling. I really like this solid perfume pot because you can dab it on all day long but never have an overwhelming engulfing scent on your body.”

[8] Homemade lavender deodorant  “I can recommend a couple of great all-natural deodorants I’ve used – Schmidt’s  and Meow Meow Tweet, but I really like using my homemade variety. It lasts a long time and smells and performs the same (sometimes better) as the brands I’ve purchased. Get the recipe on my blog here.

[9]  Lavanilla Perfume  “Perfumes and fragrances are one of the most toxic things we put on ourselves so it was one of the first things I swapped. I really like the blend of essential oils used in Lavanilla products. Their pure vanilla fragrance is my favorite and I love buying it in the travel size roller.”

[10]  Province Apothecary Moisturizer  “This is actually a friend of mine’s company. It’s an all-organic handmade skincare line made in Toronto that’s beautiful and has transformed my skin care routine. I use the moisturizer and cleanser/makeup remover religiously. She also offers special treatments and facials if you happen to live in Toronto.”

[11]  Bare English Lip Balm “I am very picky about lip balms. They’re never soft enough or last long enough, but the Bare English brand does and you can find them everywhere! They’re infused with tea so maybe that helps? Either way they make great scents like vanilla almond, mint chocolate, and the one I’m using right now cherry berry.”

[12]  Modern Minerals Shimmer Eyeshadow  “This eyeshadow goes on really vibrantly dry or wet and it’s very versatile because it’s a loose powder. Sometimes I also like mixing it with a lip balm or moisturizer to use as a cream for cheeks and lips.”

[13] Dioné Cosmetics Blush  “This line is made in Canada and is very new. I hadn’t heard of it until the owner sent me some samples. It performs really well and I like this simple pink blush when I’m on the go and just need a little color on my face. I’ll be buying more when the Dioné Cosmetics online store launches this year.”

Lauren also explains that her vegan lifestyle has minimized her beauty routine. “I use less products than I used to,” she says. “And I find that I need to use less of the actual product to get the results I need. All around I’m being less wasteful, I’m supporting ethical and compassionate businesses, and I’m not putting anything toxic on my skin.” And that’s the kind of true beauty that comes from inside.

Help save the lives of animals by always choosing cruelty-free brands. Look for the Leaping Bunny logo on packaging, the words “Not Tested on Animals,” or for products certified vegan. Together, we can make a difference.

Read our in-depth feature on Lauren and her blog hot for food in our Fourth Issue.