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Let Them Eat Gummy Bears

On a recent trip to Orlando to visit my friend and illustrator Ron, we took a day off and visited the Magic Kingdom. I didn’t realize until the day before that the New Fantasyland had just opened. Prior to my visit I did some research online and found that there were a few restaurants that had garden burgers in the Magic Kingdom. Being a vegan, I find it necessary to make sure I can find something to eat when visiting new places.

be-our-guest-veganWhile in the new Fantasyland, Ron and I decided to give the new “Be Our Guest” restaurant a try for lunch. The line was long, but it’s Disney … what line isn’t long there? I looked at the menu and saw one item that I could eat. It was a Quinoa salad with green beans, potatoes, olives, roasted bell peppers,
and, tomatoes. It’s sad that there was only one item, after all, the concept of a menu is to choose an item. When there is only one item, do you really have a choice?

The meal was good, not the best I’ve had, but I’d compare it to a typical sit down chain restaurant. What’s funny is all the servers say “Bon Jour.” and “Merci” but I think those are the only two words they know. If you do decide to eat there, remember this. It’s noisy. Real noisy. You also have to tolerate people walking around all three dining areas taking pictures.

Lunch was over.

For dinner, Ron and I were over at Epcot Center. I figured my best shot would be The Land pavilion. I mean, it’s the “land” right? After walking around a bit I came up to the Asian food area and asked the attendant if they had anything vegan. DITH (Deer In The Headlights) The attendant had to go get a chef. By now Ron was getting a decent taste of what it’s like to be vegan in public restaurants. It was becoming humorous. But Ron and I could find humor in anything. The chef came by and said “Yes, the vegetable lo-mein is vegan, and so is the tofu.”  “Tofu?” Why didn’t said attendant know that tofu is vegan? Did he even know it was there? I sure didn’t.

I ordered my meal and walked over to the dessert area. I thought I’d try my luck there. Ron and I looked over the display, then asked the attendant if they have anything that is vegan. DITH. The attendant went off to find a chef. When the chef came by they asked what they could do for me. I asked again, “Is anything here vegan?” Her response was, “Let me go check.”

Two more chef’s emerged from the mysterious back kitchen. Each adorned with their white kitchen coats and hats. One was carrying a binder. The magical binder was opened for all chefs to see. Apparently they were looking at the recipes. After a few moments one chef came over and said that they didn’t have anything that was vegan, but there is an allergy kiosk in the corner for people that have allergies to things like nuts and (wait for it….)  “I think the gummy bears are vegan.”

I bursted out laughing. Gummy Bears? Really? That’s the vegan dessert?

In my fit of laughter, I thanked him and told him that chances are they aren’t vegan because they are probably made with gelatin. (Gelatin is made from the collagen of animals. Remember that next time you make room for jello.) I know it wasn’t his fault they had no vegan desserts, but I did suggest they consider  that Oreo cookies are vegan. Dip them in dark chocolate, and Voila!

If you plan on visiting Walt Disney World, and you are a vegan or vegetarian. Take a look at this chart from AllEars.net. Vegetarian / Vegan Counter Service Meals in the Parks

Steven the Vegan on VeganCuts.com

Today, Steven the Vegan was promoted on VeganCuts.com VeganCuts is an amazing service that offers deals on vegan products ranging from foods, to … books! While I was completing the layouts of the pages I contacted VeganCuts and asked if my book was something they’d like to offer. (Duh!) Of course, they said yes.

Be sure to checkout the deal at VeganCuts.com and sign up for their newsletter to get deals on other vegan products!

 

A cover for Steven the Vegan

The cover for my next book, Steven the Vegan is done. Well, the front cover anyway. Ron and I have been using Skype to share his computer screen and to talk. This allows us to collaborate even more effectively on our work. (Isn’t technology wonderful … take that Amish!)

It was important for the cover to be colorful, and cute to a degree of putting someone into a diabetic coma. Ron’s ability to draw cute animals could put anyone into sugar shock. We both agree, using Skype is definitely more effective. I can tell him he’s doing it wrong, he can tell me I’m crazy, we can both compromise and BAM! we have another successful project.

We have already agreed that this will be the way we will work together on our next projects like Fields of Dreams, and Eartha 2. (Oh was I not suppose to mention the sequel to Eartha the Sea Turtle?)

Right now, Ron and I are also going over each page. Usually, he would send over a page, and I would critique it and send it back with some notes. Now, with Skype, we can actually work together and talk it out.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to see a cover for the book. What do you think of it?

UPDATE : The cover has been updated. As you can see, Steven’s palm is now open where the baby chick stands.

 

What’s up with Steven?

As many of you know, my next book, Steven the Vegan, is currently being illustrated by my long time friend, and buddy, Ron Robrahn (Hi Ron! <insert waving hand here>).

I thought it would be a treat to share one of the drawings as they reach their final stage.

There is a page in the book where Steven is asked “Which part of the chicken is the nugget?” A question I’m sure we all asked ourselves at some point, whether seriously, or humorously. (Is that a word?)

Here is the sketch Ron did for the page.

And here is the (near) finished color version of the sketch.

Pretty cool huh? I can’t tell you how great it is to see a story come to life… even if it is 2D.

Steven gets a web site

Steven the Vegan LogoOkay, this post name sounds like the title of an After School Special, but it’s not. My second book, Steven the Vegan which is currently being illustrated is getting its own web site. I have been working with a friend I found through Twitter.com Chris Spooner (Spoooooon!) on a design for Steven’s web site. Chris did the graphic design of the web site for Eartha the Sea Turtle and I knew when I was ready I’d have him design Steven’s.

Eartha’s web site is primarily geared toward the book and free coloring pages, whereas Steven’s web site will be a blog. The blog will include recipes, and interesting information on a vegan lifestyle. Many people do not know the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian. Some believe that vegan is a shorter word variation for vegetarian. I assure you it is not.

Steven’s book was inspired by the notion that young kids today will have a hard time explaining to their peers the concept of a vegan. Additionally, kids are finicky eaters. I am going to focus on kid-friendly vegan recipes, including vegan mac & cheese, sandwich wraps and more.

I have recently signed up with Kitchen Monki, an online resource for sharing recipes, planning meals and more. I will be embedding the recipes I put there on Steven’s web site.I am also teaming up with Meatless Monday to promote a monday meal, without meat. All the meals can be made by anyone. Whenever possible I will include links to where people can purchase the ingredient, but in most cases local grocery stores will have them.

Of course the site will also serve as a way to promote the upcoming book. I feel these affiliation will assist with the marketing of the book. We’ll find out in due time. 🙂

Links : Kitchen Monki, Meatless Monday, Spoon Graphics