Catching up.

Our movie night fundraiser was a lot of fun last week!  We had vegan pizza from DeFazio’s Pizzeria and it was amazingly delicious.  Can’t wait to have more!

Tomorrow is our monthly potluck at X’s to O’s: Saturday, 3/26 @ 5:30PM, 97 4th

ADK-AR Potluck at X's to O's. Photo credit: Lin Bingham.

Street, Troy.  As always, please bring a vegan dish to share as well as your own drink and place setting. This is not only a vegan event, but it is also hosted in a vegan facility. If you’re unsure what ingredients are vegan please feel free to ask us.  You can RSVP on Facebook or Meetup.

We’re still raising money for the Northeast Animal Liberation Festival on May 7th.  There is now a Paypal Donate button on the right hand side of our website and you can always buy ADK-AR shirts at all of our events.  We hope to have shirts as well as our chili cookzine up on the website for sale soon.

We’ve stocked X’s to O’s literature section with circus cruelty handouts.  Ringling Bros will be in Albany in May, but it’s important to reach out to people before they purchase their tickets.  Please consider picking up some of the literature and handing it out around your town.  Thank you in advance!

We’re putting the final touches on an exciting event that will be announced in the next few days.  Keep Wednesday evening, April 13th open and check back soon for details!

We’re having a movie night!

We’ve been trying to think of fun ways to raise money for Northeast Animal Liberation Festival.  We have to cover travel expenses for our guest panel speakers.  We are so excited to have Jenny Brown from WFAS and Camille Hankins from Win Animal Rights and No Kill New York coming.  There is someone else we have in mind that we would really like to be there, but we need to raise some cash before we can confirm!  Help us out!

So we’ve planned a movie night fundraiser!  Join us for a fun St. Patty’s Day complete with vegan snacks!  We’ll be watching Leprechaun!

Photo credit:

Thursday, March 17th
X’s to O’s Vegan Bakery
97 4th Street, Troy

Suggested Donation: $10 / $5 for students/low income

Vegan pizza, nachos and popcorn will be provided!  Please bring your own dishes and beverage.


Chili News (Who doesn’t love vegan chili, right?)

I think we’ve made you wait long enough…  Here is the winning chili recipe from our First Annual Vegan Chili Cookoff last month!  Enjoy!

Chipotle Sweet Potato Chili
Submitted by Lauren Murray

3 medium sweet potatoes
juice from 1 lime
2 red bell peppers
1 large onion
4-6 cloves of garlic
2-3 15oz cans of organic black beans
15oz can of organic tomato sauce
28oz can of organic diced tomatoes
chipotle peppers en Adobo sauce
vegetable stock
Field Roast Mexican Chipotle sausages (optional)
olive oil
agave nectar
brown sugar
chipotle pepper powder
ancho chili powder
chili powder
habanero pepper (optional)

A note from Lauren: I have a bad habit of not measuring anything when I cook, so these spice measurements are all approximate. Add them in small amounts and adjust to taste as it cooks. I know this looks like a novel, but it’s not hard, trust me!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and peel potatoes, and cut into 1 1/2-2″ inch chunks (they’ll shrink). Toss chunks with the juice from the lime and drizzle with the olive oil and agave until coated. Add about 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and a teaspoon each of chipotle pepper powder, cinnamon and salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne. Toss to coat. Line a rimmed baking tray with foil and dump potatoes on  it. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping them halfway. If they look dry when you flip, drizzle with a little more oil.

While potatoes are roasting roughly chop the onion and garlic. Saute in a large soup pot over medium heat until tender. Add a teaspoon each of chili powder, ancho and chipotle pepper powder, cumin, cinnamon and salt. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Dice 2 or 3 chipotle peppers and add about a tablespoon of adobo sauce. Turn the heat up to high. Once it reaches a boil reduce to simmer and cover. Add spices to taste.

Increase oven temp to 425 degrees.

De-stem the bell pepper and cut in half vertically. De-seed and coat with olive oil. By now the potatoes should be done. Take the foil (with potatoes on it) off your baking tray and set aside. Line the baking tray with another sheet of foil and place the peppers cut side down. If you’re using the habanero pepper, lightly oil it and place it on the tray. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the skin browns and blisters on top. Upon removal immediately place bell peppers in a paper or plastic bag and allow them to steam. The skin of the habanero should be very easy to remove without doing this. Cut it in half, de-seed and dice it very small. Add it to the tomato mixture. (Note from Lauren: I only used about half of one and it was SUPER spicy. This is totally optional. I have made it without, and it is just as good!)

Drain your black beans, and rinse them if you want. Start with two cans, and if desired add the third. Add them to the simmering tomato mixture and adjust your spices if needed. Remove the bell peppers from the bag and peel the skins off. They should come off pretty easily, but if some stick it’s not a big deal. Cut into thin strips or chunks.

Add the red peppers and potatoes to your pot. It should be pretty thick by now. Add vegetable broth until desired consistency is reached. In addition to the chili spices, add more brown sugar and cinnamon to the mixture if needed.

If you’re using the Field Roast sausages cook them according to package directions. Cut them into 1″ rounds or crumble it in.

Simmer for at least an hour. Enjoy!

Vegan Chili! (But not Lauren's recipe...) Photo credit: Jessica Ryle

Thanks, Lauren!

We’ve made a cookbook with some of the recipes from the Chili Cookoff to raise money for the Northeast Animal Liberation Festival and Bold Native Screening.  They will be available in about a week at all of our upcoming events and on our website.  We’ll keep you updated!

Weekly Action Alert: Write a Letter to the Editor about Circus Cruelty

We still have time to share the truth about circus cruelty with people before they buy tickets to Ringling Bros. at the Times Union Center.  An easy way to reach a lot of people is to send a letter to the editor to your local newspaper. The opinion page is the second most read section of a newspaper, so you will have a very large audience!

Circus Training Methods

In Defense of Animals gives these key points for writing LTE’s on their website (check out their circus facts, too):

Be timely – Capitalize on recent news and events, respond within 24 hours of a story if possible.  Be sure to refer to the article or event you are responding to in the first sentence of the letter.

Keep it short and simple – Under 250 words ideally, even less if you can. Research the paper or magazine you are writing to see if they have a specific word limit. Keep your points clear and stick to one subject. Look at the editorial page of the publication you’re writing to and copy the format they normally print.

Think locally – Demonstrate how this issue effects you locally, and – if possible – mention lawmakers or news makers by name to ensure you get their attention.
Sign your letter. Include your name, address and telephone number. Papers may need to contact you if they are considering printing your letter. Don’t worry—they won’t print your phone or street address.

Follow-up. If the newspaper doesn’t call you, call them!  Speak to the person in charge of letters to the editor (You should know who this is before writing your letter). Ask if they plan on printing your letter, and if not, ask if they have any feedback for you.  Thank them for their time and feedback.

Here are some area newspapers with links to their LTE submission page:

The Post Star
The Times Union: Email letters to
The Saratogian: Email letters to
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise
Schenectady Gazette
Troy Record: Email letters to

If your letter gets published, be sure to send us the link so we can post it here!