Quote of the Day

"A nonviolent world has it's roots in a nonviolent diet. The Earth does not belong to man. Man belongs to the Earth" -unknown

A beautiful quote for vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians, carnivores, etc to consider.


Grilled Tofu with Mint-Macadamia Pesto

Serve this spring-fresh tropical offering with organic brown rice and grilled asparagus to start your grilling season off right.

Mint-Macadamia Pesto
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup Italian Parsley leaves
1/4 cup chopped unsalted macadamia nuts
1/2 tsp. minced red jalapeño chile
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 Tbs. lime juice
1/4 cup peanut oil

1. To make Pesto: Puree mint, parsley, macadamia nuts and jalapeno in food processor until smooth. Add lemon and lime juices and peanut oil, and process until creamy. Transfer to small bowl, and set aside.

2. To make Tofu: Preheat grill to medium. Combine peanut and sesame oils and use to moisten tofu on both sides. Place tofu on grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side, depending on thickness, until cooked to your preference.

3. Transfer to serving plate, and top each tofu slice with 1 Tbs. pesto; serve remaining pesto on side.

Recipe from Better Nutrition Magazine Spring 2010, substituted ahi steaks for tofu.


I'm stickin' with you, Tempeh

Have you tried tempeh yet?
It's a wonderful Indonesian product made from fermented whole soybeans, and packed with fiber, protein and digestive enzymes.Thanks to the global economy, it's very easy to find tempeh at your local (healthy) grocer.

For a while I've only prepared tempeh in curries since its a great replacement for meat because of its interesting texture.  But recently I've been extremely lazy in the kitchen (gasp) and I thought I'd try simply baking tempeh and seeing how it goes.  Much to my pleasant surprise I got this soy delight to resemble fish sticks which was one of my favorite junk foods as a kid. I think it's a combination of the shape, the crunch and the dipping sauce that make tempeh sticks a new favorite vegan go-to dinner.

Simply cut the tempeh into 1/2 inch strips (the short way) and then cut those segments in half (the long way) so that you're left with sticks approximately 3 inches long and 1/2 wide.  I then throw them onto a greased baking sheet with a little salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes at 375F.

For dipping, you can call on traditional American ketchup, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, miso dressing, etc, whatever you prefer! What I like about this is that you can make tempeh sticks to accompany a variety of meals by simply pairing them with the appropriate dipping sauce.

It's the best vegan finger food I can make in 15 minutes and it satisfies my craving for crunchy, dippable snacks too.

I hope you'll try it out, if not this week be sure to add it to your repertoire for next week's Meatless Monday!



Veggie Pate Delight

This is an incredible recipe I got when I attended a FREE cooking class at my local Whole Foods. The class was a vegan class and was taught by Melissa Costello of Karma Chow. She is a vegan personal chef, teaches classes, etc. Below is an INCREDIBLE recipe that she whipped up for us......it was easy and delicious. Perfect for a summer BBQ or potluck. Enjoy!!

1 Cup of Raw Pumpkin Seeds, soaked
1 Cup of Raw Sunflower Seeds, soaked
1/2 Cup of Raw Tahini
1 Carrot- peeled & roughly chopped
½ Red Pepper, seeded & chopped into chunks
1-3 Garlic Cloves (depends on your taste)
1 fresh Jalapeño or ½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 bunch Basil
1/2 Cup of Olive Oil (or desired consistency)
1/4 Cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 TBL Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar
1 TBL Apple Cider Vinegar, raw
1 TBL Braggs or Nama Shoyu or Wheat Free Tamari
1 tsp Cumin

Soak seeds overnight, rinse & drain. In a food processor using an S- Blade, chop garlic, jalapeño,
carrot, red pepper & basil. After the blade can’t chop anymore add 1/2 the oil and 1/2 the lemon juice. Now add seeds. Grind until smooth. Add Bragg’s, cumin and the remaining oil and lemon juice. Add more oil if it is not creamy enough. Be sure to use a spatula or spoon to scrape the sides of the cup back into the mix. When finished put in a covered container and chill for a couple hours. This Pate gets better after a day when flavors begin to infuse together. Adjust seasonings according to your personal taste. Serve with veggies &/or flax crackers


CA license plates save lives!

Did you know that half a million (!) potential pets are killed every year in the state of California alone? Did you know there's an easy way all of us can help lessen that number?

Judie Mancuso has started a non-profit, Social Compassion,  who’s primary goal is to see spay and neuter happening at a level to combat the overpopulation and killing problem. She has developed a way to do this by simply getting a Spay/Neuter Licence plate

I found out about this through the Native Foods blog which said: "To note, all the proceeds of the spay plates will go only to municipal governments to be spent on vouchers, clinics, and vets NOT overhead or operational…ONLY SURGERIES. 
Watch a video about it.
They cost $50 for sequential plates and $98 for personalized plates. We need 7500 pre-orders to begin production so spread the good word!"

And that's what I'm doing, so I hope you tell Californians in your life about it too!


Is vegetarianism for children?

A lot of people wonder if children should be vegetarians. A lot of people that think they're "growing kids" and shouldn't be "deprived" of "proper" nutrition. I have heard and read versions of this multiple times and wanted to address this. Below is a summary of an article I read in Vegetarian Times in their May/June issue. The article is entitled "Raising Veg Kids".

A vegetarian child is a healthy child. Going vegetarian is akin to quitting smoking or avoiding substance abuse; that is how healthy vegetarianism is to a body (whether child or adult). A lot of children have a high risk of becoming obese. One in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes at some point in their life. The ADA has stated that "vegetarian diets in childhood and adolescence can aid in the establishment of lifelong healthful eating patterns and can offer some important nutritional advantages". Here are some nutrients that people are concerned vegetarians don't get enough of:

Protein: There is plenty of proteins in grains, vegetables, beans, and bean products (i.e. tofu and soymilk). A normal variety of these foods eaten over the course of the day, provides all the protein a growing child needs.

Calcium: Green leafy vegetables and legumes are rich in calcium. Certain greens have more: broccoli, collards, kale, bok choy, and brussels sprouts. There is also calcium in fortified foods (i.e. fortified orange juice or fortified soymilk).

Iron: Greens and beans are rich in iron. A daily multivitamin supplement can also help.

Vitamin B12: Is not found in any unfortified plant foods, although it is present in dairy and eggs. It is easy to find in fortified breakfast cereals, fortified soymilk, and multivitamins.

One thing to know is that it is easier for a child to stick with a healthful vegetarian diet when the rest of the family is on the same path. It will help the whole family stay slom and healthy for many years to come.


Cauliflower with Lemon-Tahini Sauce

Recipe from Better Nutrition magazine May 2010

1 Small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 tsp. organic, gluten-free garlic powder
1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
1 Tbs. organic extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2-3 tsp. chopped fresh organic parsley (optional)

1. Steam cauliflower 9 to 10 minutes until tender.

2. Meanwhile, mix tahini, garlic powder and sea salt together in small bowl until no lumps remain. Mix in oil, then lemon juice, then 1 Tbs. water. Allow sauce to sit for a few minutes, then mix again; add 1 Tbs. more water if you want thinner sauce.

3. Spoon cauliflower onto serving plates and spoon sauce over cauliflower. Top with chopped parsley, if using.

Per serving: 139 calories, 4 grams protein, 12 grams total fat, 7 grams carbohidrates, 0 MG cholesterol, 124 MG sodium, 2 grams fiber, 1 gram sugars.


Vegan Quote by James A. Froude

Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.
—James A. Froude, English historian (1818–1894)


Haiti is Heroic

I read a post today that was very uplifting about Haitians actually destroying hybrid seeds donated to the islanders by Monsanto. I think this is a surprising and heroic action the people of Haiti have taken to stand up for themselves, even in the depths of a catastrophe.

The following information is from the blog of the film "FRESH," which is a new documentary about food politics and the way they effect and are effected by our daily food choices.

 "On June 4th, 10,000 peasant farmers gathered in protest in Haiti to burn over 400 tons of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds donated to the country by Monsanto.  This was a hugely symbolic gesture and one that the rest of the world needs to listen to. Haiti is asking for our help in establishing a local, sustainable food system from the rubble that the country currently lies in.  This is our opportunity to raise our voices in protest against Monsanto’s involvement in the fragile beginnings of true food sovereignty in Haiti."

"This is a country that is used to struggle.  We will fight and have the capacity for resistance, particularly when the threat is to the very fabric of our country.  A large population of Haitians do not yet understand the implications of the relationship with Monsanto, many have never heard of the company before.   The first task is to educate"-Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP)

If you're interested in this topic as much as I am, I highly encourage you to read the full post at the link above and learn what Haitians plan to do to defend themselves against this biotechnology behemoth.  If they're standing up for organic agriculture and protecting their lands, I don't understand why we can't.

Stay inspired!

Oh, and I urge you to sign this WSPA petition to end the "sport" of bullfighting in Catalonia: 

Actor, producer and writer Ricky Gervais has partnered with WSPA to call for an end to the cruel practice of bullfighting, promoting WSPA's petition and urging tourists to stop supporting such brutality on their travels.
"Sometimes the worst kind of cruelty is done in the name of entertainment," says Gervais. "It sickens me to know that people still pay money to see an animal tortured to death. Cultural heritage is no excuse for inflicting such pain on a frightened and confused animal."

The Parliament of Catalonia, Spain, was due to vote on a bullfighting ban on June 9th and over 120,000 people joined in calling on MPs to end this bloody cruelty once and for all. But in a desperate bid to buy time for the pro-bullfighting lobby, the Popular Party of Catalonia (PPC) has used a legal loophole to delay the vote.
But despite this stalling, the vote will take place on July 15th. Gervais urges people worldwide to put pressure on the Catalonian Government in Spain by signing WSPA's petition. Please take a moment to sign the petition so your voice can be heard.


Architects of the Sea Near Extinction

Today, I wanted to share the article below about Red Groupers and what amazing architects they are . But, as I was searching the net for pictures of this fish, the majority I found were of dead ones, caught, hanging next to their predators....humans. I looked into it a bit further and found another article that goes on to explain how 20 of the world's 162 grouper species are threatened by extinction.

Article from Peta's Animal Times, Spring 2010:

Red groupers excavate and maintain crevices by laboriously removing sand from the ocean floor to expose rock needed for the propagation of the coral and sponges that they use for shelter. The excavation sites, which can measure up to 16 feet long, attract prey species as well as species who are beneficial to the groupers in other ways, such as shrimp, who pick parasites off them. "So it is no surprise that (groupers) are remarkably sedentary," said Felicia Coleman, head of the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory. "Why move if you are clever enough to make everything you need come to you?"

Article from sciencedaily.com:

ScienceDaily (Mar. 22, 2007) — The first comprehensive assessment of the world’s 162 species of grouper, a culinary favorite and important commercial fish, found that 20 are threatened with extinction unless proper management or conservation measures are introduced. Eight species previously were listed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as under extinction threat, and the new assessment proposes adding 12 more. A panel of 20 experts from 10 nations determined the extinction threat facing groupers, which are the basis of the multimillion-dollar live reef food fish trade based in Hong Kong and comprise one of the most valuable groups of commercial fishes in chilled fish markets of the tropics and sub-tropics. Around the world, consumers pay up to $50 per kilogram for grouper.

“This shows that over-fishing could decimate another major food and economic resource for humans, similar to the loss of the cod stocks off New England and Canada that has put thousands of people out of work,” said Roger McManus, a senior director of Conservation International’s Marine Program.

“The results are worrying and highlight the urgent need for fishery management, more effective marine protected areas (MPAs), and more sustainable eating habits for consumers of these fishes,” said Sadovy, who organized the workshop.

To read the full article, please visit:



Avocado and Sauté Veggies Tortillas-Original Recipe


long brown rice
3 zucchini squash chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 white onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
2 avocados diced
soy cheddar cheese shredded
2 tbsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. coriander
1 tsp. cayenne
salt and pepper to taste

Cook brown rice. In a separate pan, sauté veggies (zucchini, bell pepper, onion, garlic) and add spices. Warm the tortillas, add sauté veggies, avocados and soy cheese. Then munch, munch, munch!


diet? what's that?

Being that summer is around the corner and staring my pale legs down I want to bring up the subject of weight loss.
For many women, it seems that around this time of year they feel a sudden urgency to "watch what they eat" and what not, but I want to just say all that is nonsense. Forget the whole discussion about female empowerment and different body types, I'm talking merely about food. Just eat plants. That's it!  And not as a trend, not for a month, but for your entire life: just eat plants and you'll be oh so happy with yourself.

My coworker and I were discussing the delicious organic produce we get delivered to our office, and she mentioned that she really wanted to buy some yummy potatoes this week but that she has to 'watch what she eats' and 'shouldn't eat any of that'... I laughed. I shouldn't have but I couldn't help it. "Potatoes?" I said in disbelief, "You're not going to eat potatoes because you want to lose weight?" Oh no honey, that's not the issue. Just eat plants and you won't have a need to watch what you eat... it won't even cross your mind! Potatoes are NOT the enemy! Meat and dairy provide the most amount of fat to our western diets, not to mention all that processed crud people so happily shovel in their mouths... what does a harmless potato have to do with these villains?

My problem is lack of exercise, not diet, so this weekend I hope to move around enough to work off any extra calories from my recent love affair with beer and keep it up throughout all the seasons!

Here's to potatoes, beer, and shakin' it!

Happy weekend!

this charming man

Okay, I have a confession to make. I've watched the entire first two seasons of 30 Rock in the last week (while working on my art, yes, but still that's a whole-lot of "TV" watching! and I didn't watch season 3 because I've been following it as it aired). So, as is completely natural, I've developed a harmless crush on Alec Baldwin. Not a true crush, more like a prince-charming-swoon and it's actually quite fortunate considering he's a hard core vegetarian.

He is very vocal about his beliefs and his knowledge on the subject of animal rights (from vivisection, to industrial farming, to Michael Vick's dog-fighting) and he narrated the Meet Your Meat video that PETA promotes so widely (because he has the voice of a god, naturally...).  I don't care to know about his personal life, to me he's more similar to his character on 30 Rock, but I was thrilled when I realized that he was veg and that I could blog about my secret...hehehe.

Please check out this article that he wrote for the Huffington Post regarding Michael Vick and Animal Rights. It's great that such a successful actor is lending his fame to our righteous cause. And, yea, his looks don't hurt either...

le sigh,


Meatless Meals Everywhere!!

So thanks to the Meatless Mondays movement and the hard work of vegans/vegetarians everywhere, I am hearing of people, groups of people, restaurants, organizations, events etc. going Meatless! Either for a day, for one meal a week, or forever!

Yesterday online I read that the Hard Rock Cafe in London will offer a meatless meal on their menu every Monday, in honor of Meatless Mondays. This movement is spreading rapidly, and I love it. I'm so proud to be a part of something that can actually, tangibly do something in this world (either better health for your body, less greenhouse gases in the air from the factory farm system, or one more animal that is alive because you chose not to eat it).

Today I read that the U.N. urges a global shift towards meat and dairy free diets. THE U.N.! It doesn't get any bigger than that! In this article, the U.N. claims that because of world hunger, fuel poverty, and climate change, the world (especially the Western world) should push themselves away from the meat and dairy heavy diets they currently are on. These diets are unsustainable, the U.N. Environmental Programme claims. In fact, it is more detrimental to the environment to grow and raise dairy cattle, than it is to produce construction materials (i.e. cement, plastics, and metals). Shocking.

Take a look at the article below, and think about going meatless for one meal this week!



Animal Einsteins

One of the most popular viral videos circulating on the Internet shows octopuses scurrying across the ocean floor carrying....coconut shells. The biologists who filmed the footage said that it was hard not to laugh at the octopuses' antics (which included blocking the camera lens with their outstretched legs, as if to say, "No paparazzi!"). But behind the humor lies a serious discovery - the shell-toting octopuses are the first invertebrates to be seen using tools. They carry the shells for a reason - to scramble into them and hide whenever they sense a predator approaching.

Of course, this isn't the first time that octopuses have shown off their intellectual prowess. Frida, a 5-month-old octopus at the German zoo, learned how to open a jar of shrimp after watching zoo workers perform the task. Another octopus, Otto, at Germany's Sea Star Aquarium, was apparently irritated by a light that was left on all night and repeatedly shot it out with squirts of water.

Every day, we learn more about the intelligent, sensitive animals who share our planet.

Article from Animal Times Spring 2010

Video of octopus:


a girl and a fork

Last week did NOT feel like a short week at all, in fact it felt like the complete opposite.  Working and evening activities kept me busy and tired so I didn't cook much and mainly spent the week dining on baby kale, apples, clementines, and garbanzo beans, aka no elaborate meals or preparation just moving fresh simple ingredients from my hand to my mouth.
But Friday night was beautiful... I had a pound of potatoes and another of baby zucchini with their blossoms waiting for me to have my way with them, and that I did... I made simple mashed potatoes with a touch of dijon, battered and fried squash blossoms with sauteed zucchini and some breaded baked tofu filets to round this heavy meal off.

And thus, a girl and a fork shared a good, homemade, organic, nutritious (yea, it's fried but it's wholesome!) meal to welcome the sabbath. Nom!

Happy Meatless Monday lovelies!

By the way, I'm currently participating in a giveaway on: theivytwines.blogspot.com so be sure to check it out and enter for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate!



Refers to the average number of animals spared annually for one person's vegan diet.

I got this tidbit of information from a book that just came out called Ninety-Five: Meeting America's Farmed Animals in Stories and Photographs. I haven't read the book just yet, but I have heard all about it and hope to read it soon. It gives tales of rescues and has lots of pictures of beautiful animals.

The book is published by the nonprofit No Voice Unheard (novoiceunheard.org).

So vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians, etc., think of how many animals you saved today.

Have a wonderful weekend! -Foodie Vegan


Compassionate Cooks

Compassionate Cooks is a the website of Mrs. Colleen Patrick-Goudeau, vegan educator extraordinaire.
This woman is pretty much single-handedly responsible for my decision to become vegan. I was on a week long business trip and took public transportation to work which gave me 1-2 hours each day to do something with my mind while I walked or rode the bus...Fortunately, I had recently discovered Colleen's podcast "Vegetarian Food For Thought" while browsing the iTunes store. I honestly had no interest in veganism, but I came across it, listened to an episode about lifestyle diseases and decided to keep giving it a try.  the information was interesting and above all I had never really heard anything convincing about vegetarianism, it seemed like this lady could offer something that was otherwise lacking... Moreover, I had no intention to become vegan. At the time I was a self-professed Flexitarian, very unaware of the variety of political, ethical, nutritional, compassionate reasons behind a vegan lifestyle.

Podcast by podcast Colleen helped me uncover the sides of the meat and dairy industries I would've never imagined, she taught me about vitamins and minerals, about vivisection, about bycatch, and most importantly she RE-sensitized me, which is to say she reconnected me with a part of my consciousness that understood how illogical it is for an animal lover such as myself to also eat animals--after all, what IS the difference between a cat and a calf, a duck and a dolphin? Why are some species chosen by society to be unworthy of respect, heinously abused and then violently slaughtered while others have designer leashes and beds in a cozy human home? 

Some may call Colleen extreme, and she is, but thanks to her extreme passion she has found the strength to educate countless people. She really empowers us to continue questioning what we're told is a given, and knows what it's like to have your heart break a million times over only to clean yourself up and keep pushing for justice and knowledge.

I was so happy that yesterday in her "Soup to Nuts" member newsletter she actually featured my etsy shop! I don't know how it happened, I'm sure she doesn't know I'm a member or the effect her work has had on my life, but I felt giddy like a child. And here all I'm doing is making calendars and greeting cards... ah well, I'll save the animals soon enough!

All the best,


Truffled Gnocchi with mushrooms, spinach, and sundried tomatoes

This is a wonderful recipe that I created with what I had on hand. I didn't have to go to the grocery store, I simply snooped around the fridge and pantry and came up with this meal on a whim! We actually took it with us to a picnic we went to at the Hollywood Forever Cemetary. Yes, we picnic'd at a cemetary....it's LA, what do you expect!

*A note about gnocchi. Gnocchi can be made many different ways. Traditionally it is made with potatoes, flour, water, and egg. However, my grandmother taught me to make it with just flour and water. Depending on the # of servings you'd like, you boil a few cups of water. Once it comes to a rapid boil, turn the heat off and slowly start adding flour. It will first be hard to stir, but eventually it will incorporate. You want to add flour until it becomes a super thick paste. Thick enough that it isn't too sticky and you can work with it. Then you take tablespoonfuls of the dough, and roll it into a little ball. Take a fork and roll the ball over the fork to create a sort of oval shape with fork mark lines. Boil a large pot of water and add the gnocchi. Cook until the gnocchi float to the surface. Then continue with the recipe below.

1 large shallot thinly sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms (any kind will do)
2 tbsp fresh sliced sundried tomatoes (I like the kind packed in olive oil)
2 cups of fresh spinach
salt and white pepper to taste
1 tsp black (or white) truffle oil

Start by wilting the spinach. Put about 1" deep of water in a large saucepan, turn heat to high, add spinach, and cover for about 5 minutes. Drain water and squeeze all water out of the spinach. Roughly chop the spinach.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shallot and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until soft and dark in color. Drizzle in about 1/2 tsp of the truffle oil. Add the spinach and sundried tomatoes and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste and allow to cook for about 2-3 more minutes. You can add the remaining tbsp of olive oil if necessary. Add the gnocchi and lightly toss. Remove from heat and drizzle with remaining 1/2 tsp of truffle oil. Bon appetit!

**Note that this recipe will be equally as good without the truffle oil. I have a friend who went to Italy a couple months ago and brought me a bottle back, so I use some here and there as a splurge, but in no way is it a necessary component of this dish.


Sometimes it's ok to cheat a little...Argentine Cuisine and Dance (Vegetarian)

This past Sunday, my mom, sister and I taught an Argentine cuisine and dance class. I more so was the helper and my mom's dance partner. It was our first time doing this and we had a lot of fun. We shared traditional dishes, made the vegetarian way....yes, Vegetarian way! So I said, what the heck and indulged in some foods which I had not had in some time....like alfajores de maizena con dulce de leche (cookie sandwich w/caramel filling), empanadas de queso (cheese) and sanguchitos de miga with hard boiled egg filling (thin tea time like sandwiches). All were delicious as I remembered them to be, and I think the only thing that gave me some problems later on that day was the cheese. Not surprised.

If you want to learn more about this class and many others, please visit http://www.meetup.com/TsSpace/
This group offers classes of all types of cultures and styles and the main goal is to learn more about each other, to help us better understand our differences and similarities. You learn how to prepare a variety of dishes, savory and sweet, try them all, and then learn some dance moves while laughing and having a great time in a beautiful home!! Below is one of the recipes....some were vegan!! so is the one below....

Chimichurri (dressing)
(All quantities are to taste, experiment and find the proportions that are right for you!)

chili flakes
sea salt
white vinegar
vegetable oil/olive oil
boiling water

Chop all ingredients finely or in a mortar and pestle. Mix the parsley, garlic, chili flakes, oregano, and pepper then add a bit of oil and white vinegar. Finally, add some boiling water and a pinch of sea salt to finish.

Chimichurri is usually served at asados (BBQ's) to eat with bread, in "choripan" (chorizo sandwiches), or as a marinade or sauce.