All posts tagged: Veganism

vegan food for friends–smores included!

Last weekend, some very special friends came over to have a little summer kick-off dinner on the back deck.  This included furry friends, too. Since Elinor is 100% vegan and Joanne is a total foodie with a side degree in cooking (no pressure, right?), I decided to challenge myself.  Rather than rely on the easy standards like cheese and crackers and spinach artichoke dip, I went totally vegan! It was so much fun making Toad in the Hole, hummus, bean salad, cous cous,  chilled berry soup, and of course the sangria.   The salad with ginger carrot dressing and smores that my lovely guests brought were the icing on the cake. Over the next few posts, I’ll share some of the yummy vegan recipes that you can use to host your own vegan dinner.  Today I’ll start with the smores that Elinor brought because they are easy and too good for words. smores ingredients sweet & sara vegan marshmallows (the toasted coconut version is my fav) vegan chocolate bar (be sure to find a fair trade brand) graham …

vegan convenience: Amy’s and gardein

There are so many vegetarian and vegan meats out there now, which is GREAT!  But…some are better than others.  As I stumble upon different products that taste really yummy, I’ll share them. First up, gardein bbq pulled shreds.  This product is perfect if you come home late from work and need something substantial and filling to eat, yet you just can’t be bothered to cook.  Get this–only 160 calories and 19 grams of protein!  And it tastes really good!  I mean, really good!  Vegetarians constantly get asked the question: “Where do you get your protein?”  Well, here is a prime example.  Amy’s makes a ton of quick, good food.  My friend Eli’s favorite is the Tofu Scramble and before I started to cut way back on dairy, I loved the very naughty Cheese Enchiladas.  One day I begrudgingly tried a slice of the Roasted Vegetable No Cheese Pizza (cheese-less pizza?  really?) and I ate my words.  It was unbelievable.  The crust, the caramelized onions, the artichoke hearts, and everything else is just perfect.  Cheese would have ruined it.  I now have it …

really easy vegan pepper steak stir-fry

The other day, I tore through my kitchen looking for something to make for dinner. Found some veggies that needed to be used up, check. Found a random bag of 10 minute rice, check. Found a package of Vegetarian Plus vegan black pepper steak, check. This is the easiest recipe you can make and you can utilize whatever veggies you have in your fridge.  It is so fun to make elaborate vegetarian or vegan meals, but sometimes we just need a quickie.  This is the fav weeknight dinner of our household. vegan pepper steak stir-fry ingredients 1 onion, chopped in large pieces 1 red pepper 2 stalks of celery 1 tsp sesame oil 1/4 cup cashews white or brown rice (enough for 4 servings) any other vegetables you have such as broccoli, carrots, whatever 1 package of Vegetarian Plus vegan pepper steak (found in the freezer aisle, most often in the natural foods section of your grocery store) Start with your rice and cook it as indicated on the package.  This literally is the lengthiest …

Oprah brings veganism mainstream

Hooray for Oprah!  I didn’t get to watch the entire episode today (shoveling snow with the rest of New England), but I did catch the last 15 minutes and what I saw made me so happy! I will admit it, I wrote Oprah off after she gave Kentucky Fried Chicken coupons to the masses in 2009, in turn causing more of a demand for those poor tortured chickens.   Today, she went back up a notch in my book.  Let’s face it, Oprah is one of the most influential celebrities alive today with approximately 23 million viewers inviting her into their living rooms each week.  If she supports going vegan for a week or 21 days, there is a good chance millions of people will at least try.  Peta and the Farm Sanctuary combined can’t get that kind of attention.  Beyond the results of the immediate reduced demand, I see the long term and feel hopeful that people will actually put some thought into just how many animal products they consume on a daily basis. The comments I …

the great sausage deception (and some kick-butt dessert)

My first guest blogger is Stacey Walker.  Stacey is an Editor at Focal Press by day and a foodie (almost all vegan!) by night.  She, like me, was once a meat and potatoes kind of gal until she gave it up and became vegetarian.  Now, she is vegan more often than not and I think her enthusiasm is inspirational for us all.   A little over a year ago, I first started flirting with veganism. I discovered new recipes and new foods I liked to eat, lost a couple pounds, and loved how much better I felt—less like an over-inflated balloon. But like all new couples, the holidays came and put a strain on our relationship. Holiday parties, cookies, fudge, and other sweets decorating the office, and Christmas dinners didn’t really cater to a vegan diet.  I admit it: I cheated.  A lot. Even after the holidays ended. For months into 2010, I found it incredibly hard to eat vegan for any sustained period of time. Finally, in the wee morning hours of mid-2010, with my …

3 veg restaurants in 3 days

I grew up outside of Binghamton, New York and I just went back for a visit.  I found myself feeling really proud of my hometown. Though Binghamton is not a huge city, it was quite easy to find vegan/veg fare. Now, two of these joints I will tell you about are not solely vegetarian restaurants, but they clearly cater to that crowd by making a substantial part of the menu veg instead of the traditional one veg option that many restaurants have (which is usually some lame, overpriced pasta dish). My 3 day vegan journey began in Allston, which is just outside of Boston. We were scrambling around, running some pre-trip errands and decided to head over to The Grasshopper, which is Asian vegetarian bliss.  The “beef” lo mein was so out of this world. The next morning, we set off on our 5 hour drive to Binghamton.  Black coffee, trail mix, peanuts, and Twizzlers sufficed for the trip.  Once we arrived, we stopped by a favorite of mine called The Lost Dog Cafe in the center of …

best vegan and veggie cookbooks

I love cookbooks.  I love the pretty pictures.  I love the promise of an intriguing meal.  I love receiving them as gifts.  I certainly love giving them as gifts.  The Huffington Post tweeted out a link to thier article featuring the best cookbooks of 2010, so naturally I opened it with enthusiasm, hoping to get cool gift ideas for this year.  Disappointment soon followed.  How could they have Meat: A Kitchen Education, but nothing labeled as vegetarian or vegan?  In response to that, I’m presenting you with what my fellow Twitter and Facebook friends (and I) feel are the best offerings so far.  Trust me, cookbooks are one rockin’ gift to give a vegetarian or vegan. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes That Rule by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. This is my all-time favorite.  One of my most treasured Christmas gifts, I’ve also given it as a gift to many people.  Not only are these cupcakes beautiful, but I swear on my life they fool even the most die-hard dairy-lovers.  The ones I most frequently …

me vs. pizza

I finished my vegan week this past weekend. I would love to be able to tell you that I’m ready to make throw aside the ice cream forever and become vegan full-time, but I faced my own weakness a few days ago.  Eating vegan actually wasn’t that difficult until I went out of town and lost a battle against a pizza.  Here’s the thing: I actually really enjoy eating and living as a vegan.  On the first day, Chris and I went to Whole Foods and went to town.  We came home with vegan “meat,” tons of veggies, bags of almonds and cashews, almond milk, pre-made vegan “chicken” salad, Primal Strips, and even vegan ice cream. The first night, I made root veggie soup with the carrots and herbs left in my garden, potatoes and daikon in my fridge, and apples that were a day or so past the premium crunchy eating phase.  It was delicious!  We also had really yummy things throughout the week, such as sundried tomato and artichoke pasta and fake pepper steak with …

The Kind Diet

Last Christmas, a dear friend gave me a copy of The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet by known animal activist and actress Alicia Silverstone.  Today, I picked it up off my shelf and decided to read it again. Who doesn’t want to feel great, lose weight, save the planet, and of course look like Alicia Silverstone? Before you discredit this as celebrity propaganda, I ask you to give this book a chance.  Look past her character in Clueless and look at the energy she expends being the front woman for PETA, promoting The Farm Sanctuary, and passing knowledge to the world via her book and her online community The Kind Life. Silverstone became vegan after making the connection between pets and farm animals. “Why did we buy some of them cute little doggy beds while slaughtering others?  I had to ask myself–in all seriousness–why don’t I just eat my dog?”   I think this is how many of us start and it is quite a bridge to cross …