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Join us at the Animal Rights 2014 conference

Animal Rights 2014 logo

The Animal Rights National Conference is an excellent opportunity to meet fellow animal advocates, learn skills to become a more effective activist, and have a great time! Compassionate Action for Animals will have a table at the conference, and we’d like your help.

The conference will include:

  • 100 sessions on animal abuse, organizing, tactics, and issues
  • 80+ speakers from 60 organizations
  • Eyewitness reports on key campaigns
  • 90 free exhibits
  • Video premieres
  • Newcomer Orientation
  • Nightly networking receptions
  • Awards Banquet on Saturday evening

The conference will be held July 10-13 in Los Angeles. We will be able to provide hotel accommodations to a limited number of volunteers. Please let me know if you’re interested.

Isa Does It, Again (Cookbook Review)

Sesame Slaw w/ Warm Garlicky Seitan

She’s one of the best and most prolific vegan cookbook authors, but with Isa Does It, Isa Chandra Moskowitz hits an undeniable, mouthwatering groove. Isa Does It features easy, everyday recipes that are satisfyingly delicious with ingredients you probably already have at home. I had the good fortune of meeting her at a book reading for this cookbook in Minneapolis last year, and it was obvious this was the cookbook of her dreams and for good reason. Brightly colored photos excite your imagination’s taste buds while the approachable recipes comfort your practical, time-conscious mind.

The cookbook features an introduction with tips for kitchen tools, pantry staples and modifications for allergies. The section on “Vegan Butchery” may seem tongue-in-cheek amusing, but you’ll probably learn something new like I did in prepping the tofu for her “Cast Iron Stir Fry with Avocado, Basil and Peanuts” (pg. 175.) The heart of the cookbook is the eleven sections of recipes; including soups, salads, handhelds, stir fries & sautés, Sunday night suppers, basic proteins, breakfasts, and desserts.

Cheddary Broccoli Soup

My favorite recipe was the “Cheddary Broccoli Soup” (p. 53) with its lick-the-bowl deliciousness from the mouthwatering umami of white miso, cheesy nutritional yeast and creamy cashews. It was the perfect thing to combat this Minnesota winter. A robust salad section satisfied with “Sesame Slaw w/ Warm Garlicky Seitan” (p. 58) that was a meal in itself with a feel good amount of fiber-rich red cabbage. After a long day at work, curl up with one of her meals in a bowl recipes like the “Good Gravy Bowl with Broccoli and Seitan” which creates a creamy, flavorful gravy with lentils which can be ladled over mashed potatoes, greens, sweet potatoes or whatever else you can imagine.

The recipes in Isa Does It seem solidly Midwestern to me. Not too fancy or pretentious, just solidly delicious, satisfying and accessible to most homes. The “Lentil-a-roni” (pg. 134) with its cashew creamy tomato sauce and meaty lentils nestled in the nooks of the curly fusilli noodles was reminiscent of childhood Chef Boyardee meals but more delicious, healthy and humane. Her “Puffy Pillow Pancakes” (pg. 253) grew like fluffy miniature skyscrapers on my cast iron griddle and the “Muffin Pan Mini Omelets” (pg. 247) were a quick grab protein for breakfast sandwiches throughout the week.

All in all, Isa Does It is a great staple cookbook for your bookshelf that you’ll return to time and time again to make easy, every day meals that appeal to a broad audience.

Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week

by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
First Edition: October 2013
Little, Brown and Company

Vegan Chili Cook-Off on Saturday!

You probably already know it. Most northern folk do. It gets cold in February. Really cold. But you can change that: at least for one night. Join us on a chilly February evening with 125+ hungry Minnesotans in sampling homemade, local vegan chili recipes. You are sure to leave warmer. And did we mention that it’s FREE?

Join CAA and your Minnesota neighbors at our 5th Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, February 22 at 7 pm.

Come for free, bring a friend, sample tasty, homemade vegan chili and enjoy the warmth of good food and community. Omnivore, vegetarian, vegan: all are welcome!

This year’s event will be held at the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis (900 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis, MN), just southwest of downtown. Check out this map for directions. If you’re a student at the U, we have space in a van leaving from behind Coffman at 6 pm. Contact Elise if you want a ride.

Contact Erica Sherwood with questions at at or 651-357-0826.


Come to our Annual Banquet on April 3

Attendees at the 2013 Annual Banquet

Our Annual Banquet is an opportunity to get together with animal advocates and celebrate our accomplishments over the last year. The banquet includes a silent auction, sumptuous vegan food, and a brief presentation recapping the previous year. It’s our biggest and most important fundraiser, and I hope to see you there! You can register online right now. Tickets are $40 for individuals, $70 for couples, and $90 for families.

I hope to see you on February 22 at our Vegan Chili Cook-Off. Please invite your friends on Facebook.

We’re hiring a full-time communications and events coordinator! Please apply and spread the word.

Come to Our Tenth Annual Banquet on April 3

Enjoying our Annual Banquet

Our Annual Banquet is an opportunity to get together with animal advocates and celebrate our accomplishments over the last year. The banquet includes a silent auction, sumptuous vegan food, and a brief presentation recapping the previous year. It’s our biggest and most important fundraiser, and I hope to see you there! You can register online right now. Tickets are $40 for individuals, $70 for couples, and $90 for families.

We have a new website!

New Website Front Page

Not only does this email look different, but so does our website! We released it last Friday. Did we make any mistakes? Let me know.

There are nine spots left! Show the Twin Cities that your vegan chili is the best on Saturday, February 22 at our 5th Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off. It’s at the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, 900 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis, MN.

We have three events next week! A dine-out at Galactic Pizza on Tuesday, February 11, our Valentine’s Vegan Bake Sale on Thursday, February 12, and our Veg Love Valentine’s Potluck on Saturday, February 15. Will I see you there?

I’m also excited to tell you about Mistress Ginger Cooks. Our long-time volunteer has written a vegan cookbook! Mistress Ginger will be singing love songs and promoting her book on February 13 and 14. I’ll be there on the 13th if you’d like to join me.

For the animals,

Unny Nambudiripad


Is your vegan chili the best? Please enter the competition!

Attendees rate vegan chili

The 5th Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off is less then three weeks away! It is sure to be a wonderful time, and it is free! So invite your friends and mark your calendars: Saturday, February 22, 7pm, at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis (900 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403).
Have what it takes to compete? There are only nine contestant spots remaining: perfect your recipe or put together a cooking team, and register today. Prizes for best-voted chili of the night include giftcards to Common Roots Cafe and Pizza Luce!

Mistress Ginger Cooks: Love Songs to Turn Up the Heat

Mistress Ginger Cooks

Justin Leaf, a longtime CAA volunteer, is pleased to announce his cabaret show, “Mistress Ginger Cooks: Love Songs to Turn up the Heat”, at Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater on Thursday, February 13th at 7pm and on Friday, February 14th at 10pm! In addition to this show, Justin (as Mistress Ginger)  is also releasing a vegan cookbook in Spring 2014 called Mistress Ginger Cooks: Everyday Vegan Food for Everyone.

Junkyard Theater is presenting this special show at Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater, 810 West Lake Street, Minneapolis. Tickets are $15 at the door or $12 in advance or with Fringe button. You can get tickets at or call (612) 825-8949.

More about the show and cookbook

Award-winning performance artist Justin Leaf takes the stage as larger-than-life showgirl Mistress Ginger in this musical revue celebrating Valentine’s Day. With Charlie Smith on piano, Ginger sings songs to inspire love, lust, and laughter. The set list is comprised of a diverse collection of popular tunes, ranging from Cole Porter to Paul Simon to Pink. Whether soulful or comical, swinging or sultry, Ginger’s renditions aim to give the audience a night of full of fun and ripe with romance. This modern-day tribute to the quintessential day of love is designed for everyone, “whether single, coupled, or even tripled.”

Between the songs, Ginger tells a few titillating tales of her expertise in the kitchen, how she whips up meals for her many lovers and satisfies their appetites in more ways than one. With these stories, the show references Leaf’s soon-to-be-released vegan cookbook, written as Mistress Ginger and titled Mistress Ginger Cooks: Everyday Vegan Food for Everyone. The book will be published by Book Publishing Company and available in the spring of 2014.

Mistress Ginger

“Mistress Ginger Cooks” marks the sixth production for Junkyard Theater, established by Justin Leaf in 2009 as a platform for the creation of multi-dimensional performance works that affect an audience through the intimacy of the cabaret experience. Junkyard Theater’s first production, “The Mistress Ginger Junkyard Spectacular” premiered at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater in 2009 and was followed by “Bedroom Eyes,” presented at the 2010 Minnesota Fringe Festival. In 2011, Junkyard Theater presented “Spell No. 2” and “Geek in the Pink,” the latter of which VitaMN called “a campy, bawdy, homofabulous romp with moments of real humanity.” In 2013, Justin entered a new realm with “Don’t Rain on My Panda Bear,” featuring Justin performing as both himself and with the character of Mistress Ginger.In March 2014, Junkyard Theater will present “Waters of March,” featuring songs to herald the spring, sung by Justin accompanied by jazz pianist Richard Erickson.

So, bring your sweetheart out for a night of fun and laughter and don’t miss this one-of-a-kind show!

Welcome to Our New Website

New Website Front Page

As you might have noticed, Compassionate Action for Animals has just launched a new website design. We think this site has a clean, simple design that will make it much easier for people to find the content they’re interested in. The new website software we’re using also makes it much easier for volunteers to edit and update the site, which makes us happy.

We’d like to thank Brita Bengtson, Ashley Flitter, Jeff Johnson, Matt Mackall, and Jake Nath for their help while we worked on this site. We’d also like to thank Cali Mastny for helping us refine the design from our initial rough prototypes.

We have migrated some of the content from our old site, but not all of it. We will transfer more content over in the future. If there’s something you’re really missing, please let us know so we can prioritize bringing to the new site. And of course, if you find broken links, images, or anything else broken, please tell us so we can fix it.

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