a timeless lesson from a renaissance man

I wish they would've put this side of Leonardo da Vinci in my Art History books... 

Truely man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds theirs.  We live by the death of others:  we are burial places!  I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look on the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.  ~Leonardo da Vinci


yogi deliciousness in seattle

In all fairness, Portland doesn't stand alone: Seattle had pretty good food too.  Sadly, I was only able to try a handful of restaurants (in a city FILLED with them), so this is my humble post about one delicious meal I had there.

Heart Silence Nest is in the Fremont area of Seattle which is awesome in and of itself (very artsy & hippie friendly so I felt at home).  The restaurant gives off a very new-age spiritual vibe from the decor to the staff, but believe me, it wasn't overwhelming or annoying, it was actually very peaceful and, most importantly, the food was scrumptious!

The boys and I shared three breakfast dishes:

sesame waffles (the sesame wasn't overpowering at all, they were simply yummy)

 The Tofu Scramble with Cajun seasonings (also fantastic, obvs):

And finally, the glorious Western Round Up composed of sweet potato biscuits, soy sausage and cashew gravy... most decadent and mouth-feeling-delicious vegan breakfast I've tasted.

Oh, and I had two steaming cupfuls of Yogi (chai) tea in this pretty mug

The peace of new-age spirituality + the joy of good vegan food = very satisfied happy bellies.

If you're ever near Seattle (or, *gasp*, live there) you MUST go to this fine establishment. I didn't even look at their lunch/dinner menu, so I'm sure there are treasures to be found, but if I ever go again I know EXACTLY what to order!

happy eating!


To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse......That is the Question.

I am currently doing the Master Cleanse. I started on Monday and am doing 5 days total. One thing I will say is boy do people have their opinions about cleanses! I made a post on Facebook mentioning that I was doing a cleanse (as did my boyfriend) and many people felt compelled to leave comments on our wall.....some positive, some negative. Why do people take the topic so personally? Its as if I had made a post saying that I was pro-choice and all the pro-life protesters came marching straight out of the gate!

I think people do cleanses for different reasons: to lose weight, to cleanse their system, because they've binged recently, they do one ever so often, or just because they heard of one that sounded interesting and they wanted to try it out. I, myself, wanted to see how I could do on a cleanse, had a couple friends who did it and enjoyed it, and wanted to see if I could lose weight on a cleanse. So, we will see, as I finish on Friday. I will report back on Wednesday to let you all know how I did.

Also, just a note to people who are trying a cleanse, a good idea would be to keep a journal (I do mine on GoogleDocs) each day of how the cleanse is going. That way you can read back when you are done and reflect on your thoughts throughout the process, as I think for some it can be a spiritual one. Also, if you try or plan on trying different cleanses, it can be a way to compare and contrast how they each make you feel and determine which one is for you.

I won't offer any suggestions on cleanses or offer links to any cleanse sites, as I think each individual person can look into whatever is best for them.

Till next Wednesday. Happy cleansing.....or not!!

P.S. As the Foodie Vegan I am shocked at how much time is on my hands when food is not involved! No cooking, grocery shopping, chopping, prepping food, planning menus, blogging about food, tasting, eating, scouring yelp online, etc. But truth be told, I love food, and I love being involved with it every day. Food is such a wonderful thing, that sometimes I think He and I have an intimate relationship:) I'll leave you with that visual.......


Lady bug?

A lady bug type I think. This picture was taken by my boyfriend during out trip in Brazil 2009.


Meatless Monday Recipe: Swiss Chard-Artichoke Dip

We've decided to kick-off the weeks a little differently at VVS and will now take part in the Meatless Monday Initiative by promoting a healthy planet and a happy tummy through delicious recipes.

Today's recipe is from a dip that I threw together twice last week. I like Spinach-Artichoke dip, but it's usually not vegan and I prefer swiss-chard to spinach, so after rethinking the dip a little I concluded on this:

  • 1 can of artichoke hearts -- chopped
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard -- cooked and then chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion -- minced or chopped finely
  • 1/3 cup of grated vegan mozarella (I would recommend Follow Your Heart brand)
  • 1/4 cup of Wildwood Aioli (SO much better than mayonnaise or even any other vegannaise!)
  • 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast (plus more for topping)
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs (I prefer panko) (plus more for topping)

Add swiss chard leaves (de-stemmed) to a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain and chop. Add to a bowl along with all other ingredients and mix well.
*Even though I'm giving you measurements, I just eyeballed it both times, so depending on how chunky/smooth you like your dip add more aioli, mozarella, etc, until you reach your desired consistency).*
When it looks good, add it to a medium/small baking dish and top with more panko and nutritional yeast. Bake at 400 degrees Farenheit for 10-20 minutes or until it starts to toast on top.  You can also broil it for a couple of minutes once it's been heated through to get a delicious golden top.

The result should be delectable for veg*an's and non-v's alike so try it tonight or at your next potluck.

I hope you all check out the Meatless Monday website and consider taking part in this righteous movement. It doesn't require much of a change in your lifestyle yet it creates a HUGE difference in our world.

Have a great week!


vegan vacation

Today Foodie Vegan is taking a day off, and I think you should take time to think about taking sometime for yourself too. Let your hair down, relieve yourself of a few duties, and be "at leisure." We all need it every once in a while...
vacation (taken from etymonline.com)
late 14c., "freedom or release" (from some activity or occupation), from O.Fr. vacation, from L. vacationem (nom. vacatio) "leisure, a being free from duty," from vacare "be empty, free, or at leisure." Meaning "formal suspension of activity" (in ref. to schools, courts, etc.) is recorded from c.1456. As the U.S. equivalent of what in Britain is called a "holiday," it is attested from 1878.
 Have a great weekend!!


pdx, a public love letter

It's been 10 days since I last saw you, two weeks since I first met you, and I can't wait to be near you again. How did I fall in love so quickly? Was it due to the perfect way in which your weather complements my disposition? Or perhaps the seductive moss that grows all over you and overwhelms my eyes with green and gray? 

Maybe that delightful Voodoo doughnut did the trick... (half their menu is VEGAN and OH MY GOD SO GOOD.. I'm not even a doughnut type of gal, but GOODNESS)

One thing is for sure... You have the best vegan B.L.(a).T. I have ever or will ever experience in my lifetime. It was utter perfection. Even this titilating shot cannot express the passion of our serendipitous comunion (and that's saying a lot)

Your downtown streets filled with bustling food trucks providing their ritualistic lunch service charmed me...each vendor with at least one enticing vegan option until I reached DC Vegetarian and felt glory.

Two days in a row I ate this magnificent creation. On the second day, I added a lentil soup and was also thoroughly pleased.

My friend ordered himself the entirely vegan Philly Cheese Steak sammich with a side of chili. Everything was devoured amongst "ohs" and "mmms." We will always treasure this meal.

Sadly, that was the only meal I documented during my stay in lovely lovely PDX. On our way south from Seattle we had a great breakfast at Vita Cafe and their lunch and dinner menus left us wanting to stay just a little longer... such great beers on every menu in this town too. Sigh.

I'll be back soon baby. In the meantime, stay weird, stay vegan-friendly and eco-friendly, and moss-y and don't charge sales tax or let people pump their own gas. Those are part of your charm.


p.s. you're awesome.


11 Minute Vegan Video-great to share!

Here is a video I came across because of my e-newsletter subscription to VegKitchen. This is an 11 minute video about why becoming vegan is important. It is a powerful message conveyed in a gentle manner. Enjoy.

You can see the video at http://www.veganvideo.org

-Foodie Vegan

Compassionate Eating

I came across this term as I was reading an interview with Bruce Friedrich, the VP of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and it really resonated with me. To me they are just two words, but they seem to embody so much of what I believe in. I also think that "compassionate eating" is a non-threatening term. It says that you value the lives of animals and their existence. You value their lives enough not to participate in their killing simply for the satisfaction of your taste buds. The term "compassionate eating" I think can also be used to mean more than just compassionate to animals. By eliminating/reducing animal products from your diet, you are being compassionate to the Earth. Likewise you are being compassionate to your own body. I think it is a very peaceful and calming term and I intend to use it more often.

In the interview, Friedrich also brought up an interesting observation. He noted that when the term "vegan" is brought up to people they get a little scared. Most people respond with "I could never be vegan!" or "I could never give up cheese!". Whereas when the term "vegetarian" is brought up, people seem to be interested. They usually ask you questions and want to know more about being vegetarian and might respond with "I don't eat that much meat anyway".

I can say that I encounter these same responses as well. People seem to be a little nervous about the term vegan. They think it is something so unfathomable and not even on their radar. I remember thinking that becoming a vegetarian was NEVER going to happen. My excuse was that I could never give up proscuitto. Well, I'm coming up on my one year vegetarian anniversary and I can say that I don't miss Mr. Proscuitto at all.......we had some good times in the past.....carried on a great relationship, but I can comfortably say that I have ended that unhealthy relationship. He was no good for me....and I knew it, yet ignored it. I am glad to say he is out of my life. Happy Wednesday!


Vegan Camping Experience

Hello happy campers! This past V-day weekend, we went camping in Catalina Island with some friends. We left on Saturday morning and returned Monday afternoon. I packed a lot of food, as always...which we ate most of, but not all. Below are some of the meals we had....I hope that you find them useful for when you go camping or even when you are at home. There is always a good time to eat!!

For breakfast we had chia pudding (see recipe on EcoVegan's blog
http://virtuallyvegansisters.blogspot.com/2010/01/i-like-it-raw.html) We added a few other ingredients to this wonderfully raw breakfast: sweet basil seeds, raisins and dried cranberries.
We also shared tea, mate, trail mix and fruits!!

For lunch we had Nori rolls, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (with my boyfriends home made bread!!) and soup. The recipe for the nori rolls came from May, a raw vegan cook who does cooking classes in Long Beach. I am not able to find the recipe but here's a brief description....

Nori Rolls
nori sheets
grated carrot
grated jicama (might want to squeeze water from it once it's grated)
grated ginger
sliced cucumber (lengthwise)
sliced avocado (lengthwise)
soy sauce for dipping
juice from a lemon

On the nori sheet, place a bit of jicama, carrot, ginger, cucumber and avocado. Roll it up. To seal the last part use lemon juice. Cut into small rolls and dip!!

For dinner we had rice and veggies, diced potatoes, yams and beets, guacamole and more soup!!

Of course, anything that had to be heated up, we used a propane burner for that. Without one I think we would have struggled at this point in time. But the more I learn about raw vegan food, the easier it will be to camp with less things to carry around, cause that burner and propane tanks are pretty heavy! Especially going uphill!! My body got some good exercise though, I must say!


Monday Funday!

Hello everyone. Here are a couple great lists, brought to you by Terri Trespicio, who is the senior editor of Body & Soul magazine. These really resonated with me and I thought were some great little tenets to live by. And I think some of these things can help you in your vegan journey. To me, they remind you to touch base with yourself. Why do you do the things you do? Take time to live every day. Who are you? Enjoy!

10 Thoughts on Whole Living (Terri Trespicio)
1. Ease into the day slowly; take a few minutes each morning to gently wake up.
2. Be straightforward. An honest response always trumps a clever one.
3. Discover new ways to share the things you love.
4. Worry breeds anxiety; intuition invites calm.
5. Create habits that help you love sustainable-wherever you are.
6. Don't second guess; sometimes the best idea is the one that comes first.
7. Respond to life with openness and curiousity.
8. Don't wait until you have no room left in your day to breathe; make space right now.
9. Anger has a way of evaporating in the face of compassion.
10. Find pleasure in the simplest tasks.

10 (More) Thoughts on Whole Living (Terri Trespicio)
1. Your home is more that the sum of its walls. Make it a sacred space.
2. Creativity is a lifestyle, not simply a single activity. Let it expand you.
3. True forgiveness springs from love, not regret.
4. Learn something new. Emphasize the trying, not the succeeding.
5. Spend some time in the dirt. You'll be amazed at what nature can inspire you.
6. You don't have to have a perfect body to feel great in it.
7. Define yourself by who you are, not the roles you play.
8. Find rejuvenation in 5 minutes of silence.
9. Contribute to abundance: if you no longer need something, pass it on.
10. Find your direction in life by looking where you want to go, not where you don't.


Quote from Abraham Lincoln

"I care not much for a man's religion whose dog or cat are not the better for it."


Saving 3 Beautiful Cows

I wanted to spread the word today about a small but courageous effort going on in my teammember's backyard. Jodi is part of VeganEtsy and she is currently raising money to save three 2-year old cows from slaughter.

"Hi to all of you,
I just found out that the 3 cows who graze on our land were scheduled to be slaughtered today. :( We asked the owner if he would consider selling the cows to us instead. He has agreed to that, but would need the money ($3600) in full in just 2 weeks.
We were hoping that he would take payments - and that would give us enough time to put a fundraiser together, but he wasn't willing to do that. We're just happy that he's given us a 2-week extension.
I have attached a picture of these sweet boys - they are amazing animals. We have named them Pooka Cow (the brown one), Spotty Friend, and Less Spotty Friend.
I am reaching out to you all and asking for help - mainly through donations. Also through networking and getting the word out to everyone you know. I just can't imagine not raising this money in time - they are only 2 years old and have many more years of happy lives to live.
The first step is to raise enough money to save them from being slaughtered. Then we will worry about raising money to care for them...
Thanks so much, you guys!

Please go to http://save3cows.chipin.com/saving-3-cows-from-slaughter to donate anything you can.  Like I said, this is a small effort but every life counts! Think of the years of sunshine, grazing, and companionship these three will have ahead of them if we all come together!!

Thank you!!


Kaline's Special

This was a yummy dish I got at a local coffee shop/diner in our neighborhood. I can walk there from our house. They have about an 8 page menu, and I think the font is 10 or below!! Most traditional diners are known for being animal products bonanzas (butter, eggs, milk, omelettes, etc). What I love about this place, is that is has ALL of your breakfast favorites, but they offer TONS of vegetarian/vegan alternatives. They have multiple soy cheese options, soy hot dogs, veggie burgers, etc. I was in a healthier mood and didn't want any processed meatless options, so I opted for "Kaline's Special". It is sauteed mushrooms, potatoes, onions, and spinach. It also comes with some generous slices of fresh avocado. And I just have to ask them to sautee in EVOO versus butter. You also get 2 warm flour tortillas and a side of fresh salsa.....YUM! With only a handful of ingredients, this is an easy, filling meal to replicate at home. I even think it would make a good hearty dinner for those cold winter nights. Enjoy!


Lentil by Crafty Vegan

Lentil is from the family of legumes, considered a seed that grows in a pod. It is eaten during New Years for prosperity and good luck. The word lentil comes from the word lens, because it's lens shaped. There are various types of lentil, these include: brown lentil (earthly flavor), green lentil, French green lentil called puy, red lentil (make some pate with these), black baluga lentil. Oh, if you ever come to read the word "dul" anywhere, it refers to a legume base dish. Lentil are used a lot in Indian Cuisine.

Nutrition.....Lentils are packed with nutrition. 1 cup of these little guys is 230 calories, that is 90% of the daily value of folate (naturally occurring nutrient), 36% iron and 3% protein. It also carries many other minerals and vitamins including B and potassium. Tip: to increase the absorption of iron you can add tomatos to your dish, or any other fruit or veggie high in vitamin C.

Cooking...1 cup lentil to 2 1/2 cups water, low heat. There is no need to soak lentil, they cook pretty fast, usually under 30 minutes. Do not use too much water or else you will dump out lots of nutrients when draining them. Before cooking, place in strainer to wash and rinse 1st. You can cook them in veggie stock for more flavor....add thyme and bay leaves, yum yum!

They are very inexpensive and filling to our tummies, so go out and get some lentil!!


88 Butterfly and Crafty Vegan in Brazil

This picture was taken last year by my boyfriend during out trip to Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil/Argentina. These butterflies where everywhere. They are very sociable too. This particular one stayed with me for quite a while as we walked around the park.


Friday quote to get you through the weekend...

In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.
—Ruth Harrison, author of Animal Machines


RAWsome again and again

I took my THIRD raw food 'cooking' class this past weekend (with Crafty Vegan and her boyfriend) and I continue to be amazed at the delicious food brought forth by these instructors.

May gave us tons of information about raw food, and plenty of recipes to keep us fed and satisfied!  Crafty Vegan and I especially loved the following recipe. I hope you do too!

Date Roll:
  • Dates
  • Choice of Nuts (brazilian, walnuts, pecans, cashews, etc)
  • Almond butter (we tried sunflower butter when we got home, but I MUCH prefer the almond butter in this dessert)
  • Coco shreds
Put all your ingredients in separate bowls in front of you like an assembly line.
Open and pit the dates.  Wrap the nut inside the date (in the place where the pit used to be).  Take this and dip it in almond butter until evenly covered (a bit of a sloppy mess, but well worth it) and finally, dip them in coco shreds.  Then pop them in your mouth--they're irresistible!  (I wish I had a photo of May's rolls, they were perfect!)


A wonderful meal at Crispo in NYC

So I’m going to be honest. Sometimes I just prefer to go to a “regular” restaurant, versus a vegan/vegetarian restaurant. I LOVE food, and I LOVE good quality food, and there are times when I feel that I can’t get that quality and that attention to detail from a vegan restaurant that is most likely a new restaurant that hasn’t been opened long, and whom the owner maybe has never been in the restaurant business before. There are definitely exceptions, and I have had some great vegan/vegetarian meals at vegan restaurants, but there is something comforting to me about true foodies/restauranters running the house, a nice wine list, etc. I will continue to support cruelty-free restaurants who have a mission to not serve animal products.

Last night I had the opportunity to go to a great restaurant in NY called Crispo. It is a North Italian restaurant with Mediterranean flavors that opened in 2002 in the West Village. I have been here before……the first time I was still eating meat, the second time I went I ate vegetarian, and last night I attempted a full vegan menu. I succeeded, yet I did try a bite of a couple non-vegan dishes.

We sat on the outside patio…..which has a retractable roof that was closed off and heat lamps were on. It is a very quaint restaurant, and although every single table was occupied, we almost felt like the only ones there. Our food came out with perfect timing, and our wine glasses were always filled. It was great.

Here are some details on the food and wine I enjoyed:

Appetizers (shared with the table):

Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Currants-I LOVE LOVE LOVE roasted cauliflower with the dark brown crispy edges. (First picture above)

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Slivered Almonds and Maple-deliciously sweet and great crunch with the almonds. A FAR cry from the boiled Brussels sprouts that I grew up on. (Second picture above)

Wild Mushroom Salad over Mixed Greens with a Citrus Vinaigrette-I love me some mushrooms. (Third picture above)


Pappardelle with Wild Mushrooms-delectable. You would never guess this had no dairy in it. The wild mushrooms were sautéed so well and were so soft, that it almost gave the illusion of a cream sauce. (Fourth picture above)


Caymus ‘07 California Cabernet Sauvignon Napa-an incredible big, bold California red. I don’t get to enjoy this every often (it is quite pricey)…but I really enjoyed it with this delicious meal.

Dessert: Berry Sorbetti-perfectly tart and sweet.

Like I mentioned, this is not a vegan restaurant. So you’re probably wondering how I was able to get so many vegan dishes. I happened to have a very good and attentive server. I told him that I didn’t eat dairy. I requested he replace butter with EVOO anywhere it was used. And I also requested no cheese on anything, as most dishes had shaved parmigiano on it. And it was as easy as that.

Mind you, even though I call myself “Foodie Vegan”, I do not eat this decadently on a regular basis. I am in NY for business and did not have to pay for the meal! Just the dishes above (including the wine) were about $150. Yikes! But sometimes it is nice to splurge every once in a while.

So maybe I inspired someone to make a nice, compassionate meal at home. And why not get some nice wine……treating yourself is always a treat! -Foodie Vegan


Quinoa by Crafty Vegan

(Picture above is from wikipedia)

Hi everyone, today I would like to chat a bit about one of my favorite foods...Quinoa! I love the way it tastes and it's texture also makes my tongue happy. Quinoa is considered to be a pseudocereal. So what is that exactly? Pseudocereals are broadleaf plants that are used almost the same way cereals are. Seeds from these plants can be used as cereals and their seeds can be ground up into flour. Examples of other pseudocereals are amaranth, chia and buckwheat. Amaranth and quinoa look very similar except amaranth is much smaller. Quinoa is originally from the Andean region of South America. The Incas held this crop to be sacred and even called the chisaya mama, the mother of all grains. So sacred was Quinoa to the Incas that each year the mighty Inca ruler himself planted the first row of Quinoa with a solid gold spade.

Some nutritional information....Quinoa is easy to digest. It is gluten free!! It's protein content (12-18%) is higher than wheat or rice, making it a healthy option for vegans as well as vegetarians. It also contains essential amino acids which make it complete protein source. It's a good source of phosphorus and dietary fiber, high in magnesium and iron.

I got the following information from a box of Quinoa noodles, (brand name is SuperGrain Pasta, certified organic, gluten free linguine, low fat, very low sodium, no cholesterol).

As rugged as the Andes, Quinoa has flurighed in cultivation for over 5000 years. Today, this ancient South American grain is being heralded as the Supergrain of the Future. Rich, nutty flavor.
www.quinoa.net for recipes and additional information.

Basic cooking instructions for quinoa noodles:
1. Bring 4 quarts water to rapid boil.
Optianal add 2 tbsp. oil to water.
2. Add pasta into boiling water.
3. Return to boil, stifrring frequenetly. Cook uncovered for 6-9 minutes.
Do not overcook.
For cold dishes, rinse and lightly coast with oil. for hot dishes, drain and add your favorite sauce.


oh, hai

Today I wanted to introduce you all to a wonderful website called icanhascheezburger.com (let's pretend it's a garden burger the kitties want... :). Enjoy!

and have a lovely week!  I'll be traveling through the Pacific Northwest, so I may have a restaurant review or two for you next week. 

peas ppl, k thx