It's Time...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hello all. As I'm sure you've noticed, my postings have decreased quite significantly lately. The truth of the matter is I have a lot of personal stuff that I'm trying to get through right now, and I need to step back from everything and take a little time. I promise to have lots of delicious recipes and such for you when I'm back.

Happy Holidays.

Vegan Shoes, All Proceeds to Charity!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Adorable vegan shoes, and 100% of the proceeds go to Charity!

I know I post about ShoeDazzle a lot, but this company is definitely one of my favorite vegan companies! As a self-proclaimed shoe hoarder, this site is both good and bad for me, as each month they get more of my money (bad), but I end up with super comfortable, sexy shoes that my entire office asks about...yes, they are really that cute (good)! I have not yet been disappointed with a single pair of shoes from them. They are all so comfortable, and 100% vegan. Now, occasionally, they will carry a shoe that they did not make, but they will specify that it is not the ShoeDazzle brand, and will tell you exactly what they are made of. So far, I have only seen one shoe from another vendor on their site that was not 100% vegan. But, if you are ever unsure, you can always call their CS support, and they will definitely help you out. Once, they had a Michael Antonio shoe on their site for sale, and I called to see if it was, like their own brand, 100% vegan. The person I spoke with couldn't tell me, but took my phone number. Within 5 minutes, I got a call back letting me know that the glue of the shoe was not vegan. But hey, at least they were honest, and looked into it, instead of giving me a quick, fake answer! She also said she would notify the buyers to make sure that those things didn't occur again. So they really do try to be as animal-friendly as possible!

"Little Diva" Celebrity Charity Shoe, by Kristin Chenowith

Now, this morning, they just released one of their Charity shoes. Their charity shoes don't make them a buck. 100% of the proceeds go to different charities. The shoe that was released this morning was designed by one of my favorite celebs, Kristin Chenowith! Because she designed it, she has directed all proceeds to go to the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, which is a charity she does a lot of work with. Once again, sexy vegan shoes, a charitable cause, and a great price...what could be better than that?!

The price for the shoes is normally $39.95, which includes shipping and free exchanges/returns. If you use my invite link to sign up ( you will get 20% off this already super great price. And all is going to a good charity. I love that they came out with this shoe during the holiday season, because not only can you get a great pair of shoes, but it's also a great time to give as well. Or, you could give two gifts in one...give the shoes as a gift, while simultaneously giving to charity! It's a win-win!

Okay, I know that I talk about ShoeDazzle a lot, but seriously, how can you not?! When I find a company that is animal-friendly, has very respectable regulations for their factories, and treats their employees well, it's hard to not support them as much as possible. So get your ShoeDazzle on, and shop, shop, shop!

Chenowith did good! I think these shoes would look great on ANYBODY!!

Heartland Farm Sanctuary Work Day...Volunteers in Madison Needed!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Some of our current animal residents with founder Dana Barre.

I have mentioned the Heartland Farm Sanctuary in a few posts on here, but I have some really great news to share with every one…a VERY generous family in the community has donated a home for our sheltered farm animals!!! A lovely family in the Madison area has donated their barn and over 25 acres of fenced pasture to the Heartland Farm Sanctuary, which means all of our animals can now be at one place, together! This is absolutely fantastic news, and I’m so excited to share this!

Now, the goal of HFS is to have the animals all moved to this new location as soon as possible, but a lot needs to be done to the barn/land to make it “animal-ready”. So, they are having a work day for anybody interested in donating some time to help prepare the land! The work day is scheduled for this Saturday, December 11, from 8:00 am until whenever. According to the email, it would be great if anybody who wants to help could bring the following items (if you already have them):

*Very warm outdoor clothes and boots (hello! It’s December in Wisconsin!)
*Hammer, electric screwdriver, heavy-duty nails and screws
*Work gloves
*Cardboard boxes
*pitchfork, shovel, pickaxes
*Wheelbarrow, heavy-duty outdoor brooms

If you would like to help, you can rsvp at . Also, if you are unable to help, but know someone who might be interested, please pass this information along! This is super exciting, because now the sanctuary finally has room to help even more animals in need of rescuing, which is so desperately needed in the Midwest! From what I hear, the barn is just a little bit outside of Madison, in Verona, I think, so if you can come out, that would be super-duper awesome. The more help HFS has, the sooner we can get all the animals moved out and comfortable, and the sooner we can start helping more critters that need it. So please, think about stopping by and lending a helping hand if you can! This California girl has honestly never used a lot of the “tools” that are needed (pickax?? I don’t even know what that is!), but I’m still going to offer any help I can. You don’t have to be a farm-pro, but just willing to put in some time to help the animals and a great cause. I’d love to see you guys out there, and maybe even meet some of my local followers!

*photo credit*
All photos are not my own. Found via Google Images. Please let me know if a photo is yours and you do not want it on here. Thank you!

Hearty White Bean Stew

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

(Finally got my camera fixed, so hopefully no more cameraphone pics!)
With the weather getting colder by the day, I am finding my mind and body to be drawn towards warm, hearty meals….soups, chilis, etc. Yesterday, I had about half of our “turkey” loaf left from Thanksgiving, so I decided to make a nice stew with it. Now, if you have ever read anything on this blog, you know that I’m a lazy cook. I like to put things together, but I like for something else to do the hard work for me. Which is why I’m so in love with my crock pot. Seriously. I can throw a bunch of stuff in it before work, pop that sucker on low, and when I come home not only does the house smell amazing, but dinner is already ready! Which, on a night like last night (I had a hysteroscopic resection of two fibroids so needless to say I was sore and a little out of it) it was nice to come home to dinner already made so I could eat and go straight to bed. The only prep on this meal is soaking some beans the night before.

Hearty “Turk’y” Stew

1 cup of dry navy beans
5 cups strong vegetable stock
2 tablespoons basil
1 tablespoon marjoram
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (or less if you don’t like spicy)
1 onion, diced and caramelized
½ “turk’y” loaf or one package of seitan, chopped into bite-sized pieces

The night before making this, take your one cup of navy beans and soak them overnight.

Rinse the soaked beans, and add them, the stock, basil, marjoram, garlic powder and cayenne to your crock pot. Place on low for about 7 hours or high for about 4 hours.

When you have about 30 minutes of cooking time left, add your caramelized onion and seitan/loaf.

Salt and pepper to your liking (don’t add salt while it’s cooking, as this makes the beans harden and crumble), garnish with some chopped basil, and enjoy on its own or poured over brown rice. Yummy!

Seriously folks, it doesn’t get much easier than that!

Thanksgiving Feast

Monday, November 29, 2010

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and spent some quality time with all of your friends, family and loved ones. After a rocky start (5.5 hour car ride that ended up being almost 12 hours!), and a broken phone (had no idea how I was going to call all my family that I don’t live around), I was a little stressed for the holidays, but all in all, it turned out to be okay! And aside from a few snarky comments from my anti-vegan, vegetable loathing father, it really wasn’t as terrible as I had imagined it could be. And, once he realized, after telling my man how “disappointed” he was in him for not eating meat three times and receiving no response, he finally gave up and decided to leave him alone. But, enough about big bullies who think they know everything, let’s get to the food!

I must say, our KIND food was absolutely delicious! My dad’s wife had invited her brother and his three kids, and they all tried and loved my super delicious vegan goodies…including my “turkey” roast, which I will be getting to today. The vegan spread included: Vegan Turkey Loaf, Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom gravy, Cranberries, Stuffing, Vegan Green Bean Casserole, “Butter” rolls with Earth Balance, Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. A kind feast fit for a king!

I’ll be putting up the recipes as I have time this week, but I’m going to start with the Turkey Loaf, as it was my first time ever making anything like this, and it was absolutely delicious, and fairly simple, too! The recipe is from Ellen Degeneres’ website, and I hope it will be part of many of your celebrations to come!

Ellen Degeneres’ Vegan Turkey Loaf

4 Cups vital wheat gluten
1 Cup bread crumbs (I make my own by toasting three slices of my favorite bread then throwing them in the food processor with some herbs)
1 Cup nutritional yeast
3 Tablespoon dried thyme
1 large onion small dice and caramelized
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
½ Cup extra virgin olive oil
4 Cups strong Vegetable Stock
1 full sheet of cheesecloth
Butcher's twine
Blackening spices
Earth Balance butter

Caramelize the onions over medium heat until they are golden brown. Add the onions to the dry ingredients and mix.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until a loose batter forms. Shape the batter into a loaf.

Unroll about 24" of cheesecloth on to a clean dry surface. Unfold the cloth completely and then fold it in half to form a two-ply piece of cloth.

Place the loaf in the middle of cloth and roll it up, leaving enough space to tie off at both ends.
Now tie two more pieces of twine over the center of the roast.

Place the roast into a large pot of boiling water and simmer for at least two hours (My dad’s kitchen is small and I wasn’t allowed to take up space cooking my “weird” food, so I was unable to use the stove for this part. However, I put it in a crock pot on high for the two hours and it worked just fine).

Carefully remove the cheesecloth and place the roast on a small sheet tray and rub the roast with Earth Balance butter and sprinkle with blackening spices. Bake roast at 350 for 20+ minutes or until golden brown (25 seemed to work well for mine). Allow roast to rest a few minutes before slicing.

Restaurant Review - Bloom Bake Shop

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My very first Bloom experience I'll never forget!

I do have a lot of recipes to share with you all, but I am still wanting to give shout outs to all the yummy vegan goodies the man and me found around and about Wisconsin this weekend with his mother. One place that we took her to has been a favorite of ours for a few months now since discovering it. A vegan bakery. Need I say more?? Well, I’m gonna, because this place is unlike any vegan bakery I’ve ever been to.

Now, coming from Los Angeles, I was lucky enough to have many vegan options surrounding me daily. From local bakeries that baked up goodies sold at our Whole Foods out there to bakeries like BabyCakes, Sprinkles, and the like…there was definitely no shortage of vegan goodies in Los Angeles. BUT...although tasty…they all felt like they were missing…something.

A year later, we discovered Bloom Bake Shop…right around the corner from where I work. I was told about this new bakery from a co-worker, excited to tell me that although they had non-vegan items, that there were vegan and gluten free features each day as well. Of course, you say cupcake to me, and I’m there. So, I headed on down, and was greeted with the friendliest staff I have ever come across. My first vegan cupcake experience was one of the most ultimate decadence…a vanilla cupcake filled with orange marmalade…topped with a dark chocolate ganache and an orange buttercream frosting flower. I bit in, and went straight to cupcake heaven! THIS cupcake HAD what all the other ones didn’t…a touch of local love.

Bloom Bake Shop is a local, sustainable, fair trade bakery. Most of her ingredients come from right in this area…from the free range hormone-free eggs in her non-vegan products to the peanut butter used in some of her decadent treats all the way to the wind that powers her light fixtures…and what isn’t local is still fair-trade, pesticide and synthetics-free. Every inch of this little bakery is blooming (pun intended…haha) with love, and you can most certainly taste that love when you bite into these delicious, moist, dense vegan cupcakes.

So head on down to Middleton, just minutes from Madison, and pick up a box of cupcakes to share with your family, friends, co-workers…or keep them all for yourself (don’t worry, I won’t judge!). But definitely give this kind local business a try! You will not be disappointed! And the man's mother was in cupcake heaven, so take your out-of-town guests here too!!

The insanely moist and delicious vegan blondie I had this weekend!

The "Be Campy" vegan s'mores cupcake...I've had this one two or three times, and it's always a winner...and pretty, too!

Restaurant Review - Monty's Blue Plate Diner

Monday, November 22, 2010

This weekend the man’s mother was in town, and we ended up eating out much more than we usually do. HOWEVER, this gives me the chance to write some reviews on the vegetarian and vegan-friendly joints in Madison for those of you who live here or who may visit in the future. Anyway, the restaurant I’m reviewing today is one that we had gone to about a year ago, loved, but for some reason, haven’t been back since. Well, let me tell you, we will NOT be going this long again without paying a visit to Monty’s Blue Plate Diner. With their plethora of vegetarian and vegan fare, it’s really hard to not leave this place super stuffed and satisfied with vegan yumminess.

Now with Monty’s you don’t want to go there super-hungry. Go there when you are sorta-kinda hungry, because whether you go first thing in the morning or in the evening, there is ALWAYS a wait. This place is hugely popular, and if you go hungry, you’ll be absolutely famished by the time you are seated. So be prepared to wait, but be prepared to be more than satisfied with your meal as well. This place is DEFINITELY worth waiting for!

Now, their menu is not all vegetarian and vegan. BUT, it’s almost 100% local food, which is neat. And although this place is also a burger and bacon-lovers’ paradise, it’s also got a HUGE vegan menu and an even bigger vegetarian menu. The servers are also very knowledgeable about what can be veganized as well. I have had a vegan entrée before, but this time, since it was an early lunch, I wanted to try one of their breakfast options, served all day. And let me tell you, this was the BEST tofu scramble I have EVER had. And this is coming from a vegan who really hates tofu! You have to REALLY know what you’re doing with tofu to make me like it, and they have definitely won me over.

So, if you’re in Madison, I HIGHLY recommend this place! Check out Monty’s Blue Plate Diner…maybe I’ll see you there!

Also, here's a link to their vegan menu!

This was my yummy vegetarian hash made with diced potatoes, veggies and smoky tempeh. Can be served with two chicken fetuses (yuck!) or tofu scramble for no extra charge. Also served with a non-vegan biscuit, but you can sub toast (I got the rye toast and it was delicious!).

This was the man's tofu scramble and fried potatoes. He had the biscuit. How awesome do these dishes look?!

Veggie Burger Mecca in...Wisconsin??

Friday, November 19, 2010

Okay, so I had to break a few of my own rules last night, but let me just say, I’m BEYOND happy that I did! First off, I ate out twice in one day. Now mind you, I know vegan food carries much fewer calories and all the bad stuff that traditional restaurant food carries, but…it still isn’t good to eat out that much. BUT…the man’s momma is in town, we had lunch with her when she got into town, and then a late dinner after seeing his show. Which brings me to the second rule I broke…I ate WAY too late at night to be healthy (10:00…my usual rule is no eating after 7:00). REGARDLESS…I’m so glad I did, because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have experienced the BEST veggie burger I think I have ever had in my entire life. Seriously, it was almost like a religious experience for me as every bite took me closer and closer to food coma nirvana. So yes, I broke some rules, but now I have a new favorite hangout.

Los Angeles is usually seen as a vegan “mecca” of sorts…vegan restaurants on every corner, health food stores up the ass, and a boatload of people who understand and respect your lifestyle. However, step foot in an LA dive bar, and you’re S.O.L. I figured it would be the same in Wisconsin, you know, with all the beef and cheese curds this state consumes singlehandedly. But oh, how wrong I was! We ended up at a cute little dive last night called the Laurel Tavern after the man’s show…complete with a cozy fireplace and a “Cheers”-like atmosphere (seriously, everyone who walked into this place seemed to know everyone else there!).

I figured I’d be lucky if their French fries were vegan, because quite frankly, this looked like the kind of place where EVERYTHING would be deep fried in pig lard. I had already accepted the fact that my dinner would more than likely consist of a glass of water, when I opened the menu and saw quite a few safe bets! Surprised, when our server came to the table, I asked if the veggie burger was vegan, and she told me that it was…the only non-vegan thing would be that they butter the bun. Relieved, I went with the veggie burger with an unbuttered bun and waited, satisfied that I would be able to go to bed with some food in my tummy.

My homemade veggie patty arrived at the table, and I immediately got nervous…it looked like beef. I cut it in half, and realized that it was in fact a veggie burger, as a load of mushrooms fell out of the patty, as well as chunks of tvp (textured vegetable protein)…a SAFE place! I made my burger happy face with tomato head, pickle eyes and a mustard smiley face before applying my butterless bun, and dug in. Then, I proceeded to melt into the booth. I have NEVER been that satisfied by a simple veggie burger in all my life. And, for five bucks for this huge burger, you really can’t go wrong! Cheap bar food at it’s finest! I will most definitely be back, and I think that if you’re in Madison, you should most definitely give this little place a try…you won’t be sorry, I promise!

So what are you waiting for?! It’s only 7 hours until happy hour…get your little vegan behinds over to the Laurel Tavern!

And by the way, head on over to Hungry Vegan Traveler’s blog to sign up for a vegan lip balm giveaway!

Thanksgiving Taters....Oh Yeah, Baby!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’ve started experimenting with different dishes that I want to make on the *big* day. Well, a few weeks ago, I saw a recipe posted by The Veggie-Full Kitchen that I KNEW would be on the list! I love chunky. I love creamy. I love potatoes. And honestly, what Thanksgiving celebration is complete without overloading on the starches?! This recipe was super simple and way easy and not to mention delicious. In the few weeks since this recipe was posted, I have made it twice, and cannot wait to make it again for Tofurky Day. So enjoy!

Chive and Cream Cheese Smashed Red Potatoes by the Veggie-Full Kitchen
2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, washed and cubed
water for boiling
salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
4 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (I used their garlic and herb flavored when I made it for an extra oomph)

1. Boil the potatoes in a pot of water for 10-15 minutes or until they are tender. Check with a fork.
2. Drain the water and mix in the 'cream cheese', and chives and stir with a large spoon, breaking up the potatoes as you mix. You could use a potato masher, but like I said, "I like 'em chunky".
3. Salt to taste.

Seriously simple. Seriously delicious. Try this one now. You won’t regret it!

Really, how can you resist chunky, yummy goodness like this?!

Pan-Fried Mochi Goodness

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wow…I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve updated. I do apologize, but you all know how life is I’m sure. I needed to take some time to step away from the computer and away from life for a bit and re-connect with myself. But I’m back and have some rockin’ recipes for you!

Let’s talk about mochi. I absolutely am obsessed with mochi. All it is is brown rice formed into a block that you chop up and use to your heart’s desire. You can put the pieces in a waffle maker and make light, fluffy, delicious waffles. You can bake the little squares up in the oven, which has always been how I have made it. However, I’d wanted to try pan-fried mochi like the recipe in my favorite cook book The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. So, I decided the other day to just do it already! And now I don’t know why the heck I waited so long to try this most delicious treat! It was seriously heavenly, and a delicious lunch with a nice, big, green salad. Yummy!

Alicia Silverstone’s Pan-Fried Mochi Squares

1 package of plain mochi
A few tablespoons of olive oil (or whatever oil you want to use I suppose)
Shoyu or a nice Soy Sauce

Cut the mochi into 1 inch by 1 inch squares.

Heat the oil in a skillet, just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. When hot, drop in the mochi squares, and give them room without touching each other, as they will expand.

Let them sit for exactly four minutes. After four minutes, flip over and place a few drops of shoyu on each piece. Let sit on this side for exactly four minutes. Remove from the pan (they will be fluffy and will have morphed into funny shapes…don’t worry, this is how they are supposed to look!)

Let cool just slightly (trust me on this, I STILL have a blister on the roof of my mouth from being overly excited to try them) and enjoy these fluffy, chewy, savory goodies. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. They are so simple, and truly delicious and a great pairing with a nice salad, or would probably be delicious in a soup…which is what I’ll be trying next!

Vegan Cheese Miracle!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I can’t even lie or hide the fact that there is absolutely no nutritional value to this post whatsoever. However, I do think that this is one of the best junk food recipes I have perfected, and what better way to celebrate one of the busiest weeks of my life at work then by completely vegging out on junk this weekend! Okay, so I am only allowing myself one junk-food item, and I had it last night, but still! This indulgence was TOTALLY worth it, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I don’t know any vegans who didn’t miss cheese more than anything when they moved to a kinder diet. I’m not gonna lie, my tummy still rumbles when someone walks by me with a slice of pizza and I smell the yummy aromas from the cheesy toppings. But then I think about what it took to get that cheese, and all the pus and antibiotics in it, and my craving disappears. But there are those times where even people eating kind want to indulge in the tastes they once enjoyed. Which is why I bring to you:

Better than the Bowling Alley Vegan Mozzarella Sticks!!!

1 block of Galaxy Rice Vegan Cheese, Mozzarella
Breadcrumbs (you can use storebought or panko…I used my super secret homemade ones)
½ c flour
½ c water
1 tbsp cornmeal
1 tbsp cornstarch
garlic powder

Put your breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. If they aren’t seasoned, feel free to add some Italian herbs like oregano and basil. In another bowl, mix together the flour, water, cornmeal, cornstarch salt and garlic powder to taste. It should have the consistency of a light cake batter almost. Slice your block of vegan mozzarella into long rectangular strips that are about ½ inch wide (imagine taking a stick of string cheese and cutting it in half…that’s about how big your strips should be). Lightly coat the cheese sticks with flour, then dunk them in the batter mix. After you dunk, roll ‘em around in the breadcrumbs until covered. Place these on a piece of parchment paper and pop ‘em in the fridge or freezer for about an hour…or longer…really doesn’t matter at this point. Freezer is better though.

When you’re ready to make them, pop the little devils out of the freezer and toss them into some hot oil (I put about an inch in a small pan. Fry each side for about a minute or so. “Cheese” will start to ooze out slightly and they will be golden brown when done.

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with these guys! Serve them up with your favorite marinara or homemade vegan ranch and you’ll be in food coma heaven, I promise!

Mock "Tuna" Chickpea Sammie

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sometimes, you really can’t go wrong with a good ole’ sandwich like your momma used to make! I was in the mood the other day for something different to put in between some pieces of bread, and I remembered that a few months back I had made a mock “tuna” out of chickpeas that I recalled getting from the Kind Diet book. Well, even though my book was 15 feet away, I was too lazy to get it to re-create the recipe, so I ventured out on my own to make a yummy chickpea sandwich. Well, let’s just say that I made quite a bit, had one sandwich, and when I went to put the rest away, I had realized the man had already inhaled the rest of it on THREE SANDWICHES…so yeah. I’m gonna say it was a successful recipe! I don’t think I’ve had a real tuna sandwich since I was probably 12 or 13, but the texture of this was awesome, and I think it will do the trick for anyone looking for a sandwich in that style.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
Brown Mustard
Sea Salt
Celery, diced
Pickle Juice (optional)

Pop the all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until chunky, but blended. Spread on your favorite bread and top with your favorite sandwich “fixin’s”…enjoy the hell outta this sandwich!

By the way, none of the ingredients were measured…I just added to the food processor and continually tasted until the flavor was what I wanted. Start with small quantities of each ingredient so you don’t overdo it, and add until it suits you.

As always, check out VeganMoFo for lots of fun vegan food blogs!

And for the VeganMoFo Crowd...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Went to Happy Hour on Friday to a cute little pub by my office called Byrd's Pub and Grill in Middleton. Let me just say, for a small town bar, this place has some yummy vegan options!!! I went with the Spicy Black Bean Wrap (no cheese) in the Garlic and Herb tortilla with their homemade waffle fries. Definitely not waistline friendly, but definitely delicious!! Their guacamole is superbly spicy and the black bean patty crumbled in the wrap is homemade and vegan to boot! So check this place out for great happy hour deals and for good vegan eats!! And check out some of the other yummy foods over at Vegan MoFo!!


Vegans Need Good Good Lovin', too!!

*Warning!!! Adults-only Post!!! If you're under 18, this is NOT a post for you!*
Okay, now that I've protected myself, I wanna talk sex. I know, it's a cliche subject to some still, but I really don't get why. I spent two years improving the sex lives of the barely legal to the barely living (yes, I've sold a vibrator to someone who was over 100 years old!) and I think that our bodies should be loved and cared for in EVERY way possible! Whether you're playing it safe, or taking some risks, I'm sure you still want to be cruelty-free (unless you're referring to your partner...hehe), so I started doing some research, and found this AMAZING site...

The Vegan Sex Shop

Not only is everything on their site 100% vegan and cruelty-free, but they DONATE a percentage of your purchase to one of the following charities of your choice, PETA, the HRC, Vegan Outreach, or Code cool is that?! And, they are currently having a sale on Lelo brand adult toys, which, in my humble opinion, are definitely the top of the line toy (I have sold this brand to many celebrities, and it had rave reviews from each and every one!). They also have vegan lubricants and vegan condoms, too.

So, from massage oils to BDSM to shower products to novelty items, this site is fun, frisky and go, take a peek, and have some good, safe, vegan fun!!

Really Put Things in Perspective...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Just saw a new music video from Vegetarian Rock Star Pink, and it is really powerful, to say the least! I have not been vegan my entire life, but I have never drank milk. From a very early age, I refused to drink it because I thought it was awful, and since my mom didn't drink it either, she really couldn't enforce that I had to. I think it was kindergarten when we learned where we got milk from, and then it grossed me out even more! Even at 5 years old, I found it strange that humans drink another animal's milk. A few years later, I started understanding that mommies produce milk to feed their babies so they grow, and I always wondered how baby cows got their milk if humans were taking it. Cut to a few years ago, when I really started understanding it all, it just really bothered me and made me sad to know how baby cows are tortured and taken from their mothers at birth just so humans can selfishly take the milk that was intended for that poor baby. Milk today is so full of the antibiotics and hormones given to the cows to produce mass amounts, that all of the vitamins and nutrients are actually stripped away from the milk. Those vitamins and nutrients are then re-added to milk before being sold, so they aren't even naturally occuring in the milk anymore...and everyone knows that nutrient substitutes are never as good for you as the real honestly, there really is no plausible reason to drink cows milk in the United States anymore, but people continue.

And if you think that it is totally natural for us to drink another species' milk, let me ask you this...if you were/are a woman, would you let your pet dog/cat/gerbile breastfeed from you? The thought probably creeps you out like no other, but really, aren't people who drink cows milk doing the same thing?? So what's with the double standard??

Anyway, Pink's new music video shows this in a very real honestly freaked me out so much the way she depicts the milk industry in this, but it puts in in perspective. I also love how she takes on bullfighting, which is another thing I've always been strongly opposed to. So anyway, enjoy the video, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!!

Seitan-Worshipper Eggplant Stirfry

Friday, November 5, 2010

Well, it’s nearing the end of the week when the pantry is a little thin and the veggies are holding on to their last bits of life. Last night when I went to cook dinner, I noticed we had some vegetables that more than likely were not going to make it until today, and we do everything possible not to throw food out, so I did one of my favorite things…stir-fry! To me, this is the absolute easiest way to use up those veggies before having to send them to the compost graveyard. I looked at the veggies that needed to be used, and although I didn’t really know how they’d do in a stir-fry together, I gave it a shot anyway, and the man and I were more than impressed at the flavor combination we created! Here is what was in my end-of-the-road stir-fry:

*Summer Squash
*Green Beans
*Leftover Seitan

Throw these in a wok with a little bit of olive oil, shoyu, a splash of white wine, minced garlic and crushed red pepper, toss it over some brown rice, and you have a delicious meal…AND you didn’t waste those precious veggies! I had never actually put eggplant in a stir-fry before, but it was actually really good and gave a nice texture to the mix. What are YOUR favorite veggie-stir-fry combinations??

Happy Vegan MoFo!!

Happy Herbivore's Chickpea Noodle Soup...Yes!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sometimes, no matter how hard you wish for something, it just isn’t possible. Take this week, for example. I have wanted nothing more than to come home from work each night, grab a towel, and lay poolside through the sunset. Well, we’re supposed to get snow today, so like I said, sometimes your wishes just aren’t possible. ANYWAY, the cooler weather, if you haven’t noticed from my last couple recipes, puts me in serious soups, chilis, and desserts-mode. Last night, I was on a super tight schedule, since both the man and I were hungry, and we only had an hour from the time that we both got home until when he had to leave again, and I didn’t want him going to rehearsal on a cold night with nothing but a pb&j in his belly!

So, we looked through the pantry, and I realized that we had all the ingredients for one of my favorite soups by one of my favorite food bloggers, Happy Herbivore!! Not only that, but it’s one of the QUICKEST soups you can possibly put together, it’s super hearty and filling, and it just plain warms the soul! I took the recipe and added a bag of frozen mixed veggies to it since we didn’t have any mushrooms (the frozen mixed veggies were totally our lizard’s food, but he didn’t mind! [and yes, I do realize it’s absurd to feed a lizard organic Trader Joes frozen veggies, but he’s spoiled…don’t judge me!]). The best thing about big pots of soup like this is that you can jar it up and have it for lunches the rest of the week…yummy! Now, on to the recipe!

Chickpea Noodle Soup by Happy Herbivore
1 whole carrot, skinned
2 whole celery stalks, sliced
1 small onion, diced
10 whole cremini (brown) mushrooms (we subbed the frozen mixed veggies)
8 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp yellow miso paste
1 tsp tamari
2 whole bay leaf
4 ounces whole wheat pasta, uncooked
15 ounces chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Line a large soup pot with broth, about 1/4 cup. Add carrots, celery and onion and saute over high heat until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add mushrooms and more broth if necessary. Continue to cook over high heat until the mushrooms are soft, about 3 minutes. Add remaining broth, bay leaves, miso and tamari. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and reduce heat to medium. Cook for another 6 minutes, or until pasta is al dente (adjust time accordingly). Stir in chickpeas and taste test. Add more miso or salt if necessary or desired. Allow soup to thorougly heat the chickpeas. Fish out bay leaves and serve.

I didn't get to feel the sun on my face lying poolside, but I did get to enjoy the warmth and goodness of this soup deep in my soul!

Have you checked out Vegan MoFo yet?!

Plastic Demons

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In our house, we try to be as kind to our planet and to ourselves as possible. Now, we don’t have a ten-thousand page book of rules that we follow or anything, but we do always try to make conscious decisions about the things we do. I’m not going to give up baking just because I know that sugar is bad for me, but I do choose to create recipes using less sugar, and I always buy “kind” sugars. See? Just little things like that. We try to keep our trash down to one bag a week and compost everything we possibly can. When possible, we try to re-use our trash bag if it hasn’t torn or anything, but we don’t guilt and torture ourselves if it isn’t possible. I’m not going to live a life of restriction and rules to fit into some standard, and I want people to know that being vegan doesn’t mean you have to do so! Those small steps you take can make huge impacts!

Plastic waste that has gathered in our sad.

One of the easiest things that we have done to lighten our footprint is to try and rid the household of plastic. Now, you’re probably wondering what on earth is so bad about plastic. Well, there’s a LOT bad about plastic, and reducing the amount that you use is something that is so simple that you can do that will not only benefit you, but benefit generations and generations to come.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American creates half a pound of plastic waste a DAY. That’s 182.5 pounds of plastic waste each year from one single person, which equals about 5 BILLION pounds a year in the US alone! Now, most plastics cannot be recycled, so the majority of this is filling up landfills, filling our oceans, wreaking havoc on our ecosystem and killing thousands of plants and animals each DAY. Not to mention, storing and microwaving foods using plastic releases dangerous chemicals and carcinogens directly into our food…now really…why on earth would we want that?!

But HOW do you get rid of all the plastic?! You really don’t realize how much you use until you try and cut it out of each part of your life. I suggest starting small and working your way up to the bigger things. As far as our house, these are some of the steps we have taken to remove plastics:

Shopping: This is the easiest and cheapest thing you can do…buy re-useable bags!! We got a bunch of them for fifty cents apiece at our local grocery store. They also hold a lot more than a plastic shopping bag, and you can fold one up and keep it in your purse just in case you have to run somewhere and pick up a few things.

Trash: If you don’t compost, or don’t have room to do so, don’t worry. There are brands of trashbags out there that are not made of plastic, and even more that are made out of recycled plastic. The brand we use are made of biodegradable bio-resin by Nature Friendly. You can find them at any grocery store, and they are only about a dollar more than regular trash bags. We buy the large box of 50 and it lasts us about a year!

Food Storage: Most people have a cupboard dedicated to “tupperware” or like products. Storing your food in plastic totally defeats the purpose of trying to eat right in the first place, because you are allowing your good foods to soak up toxic chemicals into them. The best things that I have found, and they are super cheap, too, are Ball canning jars! Not only do they look cool, but you can see exactly what is in them, how much you have, and you can get them in all sorts of sizes! We keep our dry storage (grains, beans, etc.) in the largest size, homemade condiments (vegan ranch and other salad dressings, etc.) in smaller ones in the fridge, and they are a great way to transport leftovers if you take them to work and such! Not to mention, they are easy to replace, and really inexpensive (I bought a new box of 16 of the large ones a few months ago for $6). Plus, when I go grocery shopping, I can look in the pantry and easily see what I need to stock up on.

Now, there is a LOT of other things you can do to reduce your plastic waste, but these three are small ones that have a truly ENORMOUS impact on our world and our health. If anything, start with these three, and educate yourselves on how to further eradicate plastic from your life when you’re comfortable with these. Best of luck!!!

Vegan MoFo!!!

Restaurant Review: Cafe Costa Rica

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Yesterday was World Vegan Day, and instead of cooking a super delicious vegan meal, I carted my lazy ass to a restaurant! Okay, so I’d actually been wanting to try this place for a while, and heard they had some pretty awesome stuff, and wanted to support a local restaurant that catered to the vegan crowd. So, the man and myself travelled downtown to visit a restaurant so cute and tiny that if you blink, you just may miss…so keep your eyes peeled for this one!

It’s called the Café Costa Rica, and it’s literally in the basement of an old house with two tables outside, and three tables inside. You walk inside, and the smells are deliciously overpowering. You’re greeted by a friendly hello, and asked if you want to sit inside or outside (outside?? It’s like, 35 degrees outside! Do you real Wisconsin folk really still sit outside when it’s that cold?! Sheesh!) We took the small corner table and were handed menus that were nothing more than a piece of paper that looked like it had been laminated like, 20 years ago. The menu was entirely meat…steak, chicken, pork, veal, fish. Oh boy…maybe we went to the wrong place. Wait! At the very bottom of the menu in small print it said, “Can make any meal vegetarian/vegan. Please ask your server.” My first thought was, how the hell do you make veal vegan?! But, when our server arrived at the table, I obviously asked, how can you make these meals vegan? Our server then began to describe how they can “veganize” any option you would like. For example, they can marinate tofu steaks in the sauce the veal is made with, or use patacones in substitution for any meat on the plate (patacones are fried green plantains). As soon as our server mentioned the patacones substitution, I immediately began to salivate. I ordered the Burrito but stuffed with patacones instead of beef and no cheese. The man ordered a jerk marinated tofu steak. And we sat, anxiously awaiting our food.

Look at the SIZE of that thing!!!

His looked equally as delicious!

Hell Yes I'm in Heaven!!

To say we were please with the outcome would be an understatement. For one, my burrito was bigger than my thigh (and this chubby latina vegan has some serious thighs!) and the aromas were enough to make me sing out loud. Then, we got down to the real test…the taste. All my wildest fantasies seemed to come true in that very moment. It was honestly the best meal I have had in AGES. The man cleaned his plate. I have lunch for two days now.

Overall, I’d give this place a 9/10 (no parking makes it lose a point, which is going to be difficult for when it gets snowy!). We will definitely be back, and if you are a Dairyland Vegan like myself, I HIGHLY recommend Café Costa Rica!

Also, don't forget to check out Vegan MoFo!!

Thanks so Much!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

One Hundred Hungry Rockin' Followers!!!!

Thank you all so much!

Pan de Muerto y dia de los Vegans!!!

First off, I want to say HAPPY VEGAN DAY to everyone!!! I hope everyone has a day full of yummy vegan goodies ahead of them! I was a vegan baking machine this weekend, between Halloween and dia de los Muertos and everything else, so I have lots of yummy recipes to share with you this week! But, in honor of my favorite day of the year, el dia de los Muertos, I thought I’d share a recipe that turned out super fantastically amazing!! Now, this is not my recipe for pan de muerto. I must tell you that. I would LOVE to take credit for this recipe, but I gotta give credit where it’s due, ya know?! Anyway, this recipe is from the blog VeganMania and it is incredible!

a dia de los Muertos altar in San Diego I visited a few years back.

Now, I’m sure some of you are asking, what the f*ck is pan de muerto?? Pan de muerto is a Mexican bread that is traditionally served on el dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to celebrate and honor your ancestors who have passed on. It is sweet bread that is typically decorated with pieces that resemble bones, or if you’re really crafty, the bread can be shaped like a skull. It is eaten at the altars that are set up on this day to honor your loved ones. And, it’s just a damn tasty treat, if you ask me!

Vegan pan de Muerto
3/4 cup lukewarm water
4 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup Earth Balance melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 lb medium firm tofu, pureed until smooth
1 tbsp orange blossom or rose water
1 tbsp orange or lemon zest
1 tsp salt
up to 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
up to 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tbsp soy milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix the yeast with the warm water and let sit for five minutes. Stir in the melted Earth Balance, the pureed tofu, the sugar, the orange blossom or rose water, the zest, the salt and 1 1/2 cups of each flour. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, alternating between the whole wheat and the unbleached, until the dough forms a sticky ball. Turn this onto a lightly floured board and knead for about 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth. Allow to rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in size — about 90 minutes.

Punch the dough down and knead a couple of times. Lightly oil baking sheets (I used two pizza pans), and form the dough into two round loaves. You can break off a bit of dough and roll it into long snakes or strips to form skull shapes or bone shapes to arrange on top of the loaves, if you like. Let these loaves rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour on the pans, preheat your oven to 375 F, then brush the loaves with the 1 tbsp of soy milk and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Remove the loaves from the oven, brush with a little extra melted Earth Balance, and immediately sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.

I'm not that artistically blessed, so this was my version of "bones" on my bread...don't judge me!


Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter "Buttercream" Frosting

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Last night was by far, the last reminder that I needed to see that summer is over. We had a windstorm that started around 4:00 and we are still under a warning for it until 7:00 tonight and it’s crazy out there! Between the howling winds and the fireplace crackling, I got the urge to bake sweet delicious treats…although for once in my life I had no desire to eat any! I do bake when I’m bored, and baking is a “comfort” thing for me. Half the time, I don’t even try my sweet treats and end up being the office favorite the next day when I bring in a tray of whatever I created the night before. But I did try one of these last night, because it was my first time trying to make a peanut butter frosting, and let me tell you, the super dense but really moist cake with the fluffy peanut butter frosting was enough to make you melt away on such a bitter, blustery Wisconsin night.

Banana Cupcakes with Whipped Peanut Butter Frosting


Use the cake recipe I posted here, but only bake for 18-20 minutes.


1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup vegan margarine, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla
2-4 tablespoons of soymilk (depending on how thick or creamy you want your frosting)
2 cups vegan powdered sugar

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and fluffy.

I topped these with one of my favorite Halloween candies, which I nearly flew over the moon for when I saw vegan ones at my local Whole Foods! They were a little pricey, and were homemade by a local candy shop, but they are well worth it!

Chronicles of a Dairyland Vegan Copyright © 2009 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template for Bie Blogger Template Vector by DaPino