How will I get calcium?

A common question asked by vegans and non-vegans about vegan diets.....here is an excerpt which answers that question and a little more, taken from Alicia Silverstone's latest book, The Kind Diet....

"A varied plant-based diet is packed with calcium-rich foods, including sea vegetables, leafy green, beans, nuts and seeds. By eating these foods, you will get more than enough calcium. Just as importantly, you will be abstaining from foods that steal calcium from your body-namely meat, dairy and white sugar- and it's these foods that play the biggest role in bone loss. Between adopting Kind Foods and steering clear of the nasty ones, not only will you get lots of calcium, your bones will gratefully hang on to it."

"Milk does not prevent osteoporosis: This is a particularly touchy subject. This is where we especially us womenfolk have been completely boondoggled. We've come to believe there is a straight line between milk and strong bones despite the fact that dairy-free countries have the lowest rates of osteoporosis on Earth. In fact, the more milk a population consumes, the weaker it's bones get. That's the real straight line. So why does this fallacy that milk is inextricably linked to strong, healthy bones persist so stubbornly? It's true that cow's milk does contain calcium, which is necessary for strong bones, but that's not the whole picture. Although milk offers calcium, it causes the body to release even more of it. It's like someone giving you $1000 but driving away in your car! So no matter how much your're getting, you're actually losing. Meat and dairy are the chief causes of osteoporosis, not the cures. There are tones of sources of calcium on a meat and dairy free diet and the calcium they contain is actually more readily absorbed by the body. Sea vegetables, sesame seeds, leafy greens, and beans all kick milk's butt."
"Regarding allergies and asthma, the human immune system recognizes milk from another species as an attacker or allergen that causes the body to go on red alert. This is why many people walk around with runny and stuffy noses thinking that is normal. But it's actually the body's own defense system tring to ward off a foreign invader."


Meatless Monday: Asian Tacos and Slavic Pitas

I love eating with my hands. Some cultures have perfected the portable meal by way of tortillas, pitas, and other flatbreads that can be loaded with deliciousness and flown into your mouth without fork or knife. Such things make life really good while they're in your hand, dripping sauce. I don't think I'm alone here... In fact, I know I'm not!

Being that it's summer I guess I should want to eat light meals of greens and stone fruit, but last week I honestly just wanted calorie-charged comfort food. Issue #1 I was craving mashed potatoes, Issue #2 there was half a head of green cabbage and a package of vegan kielbasa in the fridge. Something had to be done, something inspired by the Slavic tradition (or is it Polish, or Russian? I realized that I don't know anything about eastern Europe culturally speaking, but I do know they love potatoes, cabbage, onions and sausages). So, I baked a dish with sliced cabbage and red onions for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. When they started to caramelize I threw in the kielbasa and baked for another 20 minutes at 400 degrees. In the meantime, I worked up a decadent batch of mashed potatoes. So, by the end of the cooking sesh I had all the ingredients worked into a delicious (Slavic?) dinner, but I wasn't satisfied with the idea of using a fork, I wanted all the flavors together, at once, so I heated some pita on the stove top, added a little wasabi mustard and voila: slavic pitas were discovered, revered, and devoured.  I honestly can't speak highly enough of this meal, it was utterly perfect for my tastebuds and my need for comfort food that night. Mmm mmm mmm!!

And, as I said, I'm not alone on combining distant cultures through food as a daily practice. Our friends at A Vegan Cooking show did just that in their latest episode: Asian Tofu Tacos!

Don't forget that today is Meatless Monday--so join the nation in this awesome movement and get inspired in the kitchen! Forget the cookbooks tonight and just go for what you crave. Veggie meals are far from boring if you add some creativity to your cooking.

Nom nom!


Asian Edamame Salad

1 bag of shelled edamame pods
3-5 thinly very thinly sliced radishes (by hand or by a mandoline)
1/2 cup loos packed cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
4 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted (in a 350 degree oven for 2-3 minutes or until light brown)

Cook the edamame pods according to package directions. Then run cold water over them or let them cool down to room temperature. Add in the radishes, cilantro, vinegar, oils, and salt and pepper. Serve and top with toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!


Dreaming Idiots or Trusting Fools?

"We must fight as a race for everything that makes for a better country and a better world. We are dreaming idiots or trusting fools to do anything less" - Ralph Bunce


Wednesday Quote of the Week

A vegetarian is a person who won't eat anything that can have children. ~David Brenner

I just thought this one was cute.........


Meatless Monday in Time Magazine!!!

Time Magazine just printed a great piece on celebrity chef’s cutting back on the meat they serve in their restaurants. Meatless Monday got several nice mentions. A pdf of the full article is attached and an excerpt can be found online here:


I encourage you to pass along the piece to others and write posts about the article if you'd like.


Roasted Balsamic Glazed Cauliflower and Broccoli

2-1/2 cups of cauliflower florets (approx 1 lg head)
2-1/2 cups of broccoli florets (approx 1 lg head)
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp herbs de provence
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (for glaze)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put broccoli and cauliflower on a large baking sheet. Drizzle 1/2 of the quarter cup of balsamic and EVOO onto the florets. Then sprinkle the herbs de Provence and salt and pepper onto them as well. I don’t like to give exact measurements for salt and pepper since everyone has different preferences for their taste. I’d say to use your visual judgement for what looks best to you. I used approx 1/8 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Put into the oven to roast for approx 25 minutes. Halfway through pull out the baking sheet and toss the florets. Also, add the remaining balsamic vinegar and EVOO to coat. Meanwhile in a small skillet, put the 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Cook on low-medium heat for a few minutes until the balsamic turns into a thick glaze. Remove the cauliflower and broccoli from the oven when they are done and pour the glaze over them. Toss one more time to coat. Serve. Enjoy.


Meatless Monday on NPR!!!

The founder of Meatless Monday, Sid Lerner was interviewed for a Morning Edition segment on NPR. Sid goes over the history of the Meatless Monday campaign. Check it out:


Please listen to it or read it and I encourage you to pass it on if you'd like!


Choco cake with choco glaze

This was my very first vegan baked good I ever made, for my mom's birthday last year. I know I said I would post it last week, so now that you've waited this long it'll taste even better!! Enjoy!

Choco Cake Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar

Choco Glaze ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp soy milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In an 8x8 square pan/dish, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt with a fork, making sure it's really blended together. Then mix in the water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar until it's completely incorporated. Use a spatula to scrapes the sides if necessary.
Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack completely (2 hours).

For the glaze, bring sugar, margarine, milk and cocoa to a boil in a small saucepan.  Stir frequently, then reduce heat to a simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir for another 5 minutes. Add vanilla, stir and then immediately pour onto the cake (it dries quickly, so spread it fast). If you can, let this cool for an hour before serving.

Yum yum!



Hello party people! I am in Italy as you all are reading this. I am actually writing this on Sunday night and I am 10 hours from leaving for Italy. I'm a bit tired and a bit tipsy (enjoying my Italian wine before I go). I will be in Italy for 15 days.....and visiting Rome, Rimini, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Chianti. It will be a wonderful trip of adventure, good times, great food, and memorable wine. I can't wait!! I have decided to not be vegan while I am in Italy. I will still not eat beef, chicken, and pork. But I will eat seafood and dairy. It's a decision I have thought long and hard about and that is where I am personally. For the next 2 weeks, I will be posting recipes that I am working on for my cookbook. Enjoy! And I will see you all in a couple weeks!


Meatless Monday and Canned Foods

For this one, you have to plan a bit ahead of time since beans have to be soaked. Unless canned beans are used....which in that case no future planning is needed. Although I would suggest to plan ahead and skip the can. Following is the recipe and then below that is some info about canned foods....please research and be informed.

Red Kidney Bean & Kale Salad

1 cup soaked and cooked red kidney beans
1 bunch of kale, steamed
1 cup of almond meal
1/2 daikon root, shredded
6 green onions, chopped
2 tsp. chili powder

Mix all together, season with salt and pepper and eat your creation!

Canned Foods: The lining of most metal cans has a thin plastic liner that contains bisphenol-A. Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is a chemical thought to increase the risk of infertility, cancer, diabetes, and even heart disease. Although the focus has been on BPA in plastic products, eating canned foods may provide just as much exposure to BPA as drinking out of plastic bottles or using plastic containers '" maybe more. What are the effects of bisphenol-A in canned foods and why should you avoid them?????


Horchata Cupcakes

Today's recipe comes from "vegans taste better" (we sure do) and it's for Horchata Cupcakes (you know, the cinnamon-spiced rice drink of wonderful Mexican heritage--not the Vampire Weekend song).

I'm tempted to enjoy these with a nice mug of hot chocolate (is it winter already, because it sure feels like it in Southern California--global warming is scary!)

Eat up, lovelies!

Vegan Horchata Cupcakes

1 cup vegan horchata
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. almond extract or vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

•Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the muffin pan with paper liners.

•Whisk the horchata and the vinegar together and let sit a few minutes until curdled.

•Beat together the horchata mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and other extracts, if using, in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until no large lumps remain.

•Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until done. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

2 sticks vegan margarine, softened
7-8 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup vegan horchata
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

•Whip the margarine in a mixer on high speed.

•Sift the confectioner’s sugar and set aside.

•Add the horchata, vanilla, cinnamon, and 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar to the margarine and beat until combined.

•Add the remaining sugar 1 cup at a time until the desired consistency and sweetness are reached.

To Assemble:

•Frost each cooled cupcake using a knife or piping bag.

•Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Makes 12 cupcakes


Got Cookbook?

So I have decided to take on a sort of small and yet huge project. I am in the process of writing a cookbook. For now it's being dubbed as a "Community Vegetarian Cookbook" and it is a work in progress! My goal is to collect my own recipes as well as other people's recipes and put them under one roof and in one little cookbook. I am looking to have some sort of working draft completed by mid-October, and then I will evaluate what I am going to do with it then. I am looking into possibly binding the cookbook, or maybe even offering it online as an "e-cookbook". We will see.

Being a "Foodie" and being someone who writes about food on a blog, I get to enjoy a lot of delicious food from day to day. Some that I whip up on my own, some that I try at friends houses, or some that I try at my favorite restaurants. And I realized that I've got a lot of people around me in my life who LOVE food, LOVE to cook, and LOVE to eat. So why not pool our talents together and be able to share all this lovely food with each other?!??!

That is where the Community Vegetarian Cookbook was born. I am working on a few recipes each week and that includes fine tuning the measurements, writing the cooking instructions, and photographing the finished food item.

As the word "community" implies, I am also taking recipes from my community to be included in the cookbook. And Virtually Vegan Sisters is a community of mine.....so if anyone is interested in contributing, please send me a comment and I will be sure to get back to you. I am looking to get a broad range of recipes that are yummy, fresh, and vegetarian.

Bon Appetit!


Bycatch Be Gone

Just a bit of important information for those of you who still eat sea animals.....

It's tough being a sea turtle. In addition to the usual list of wildlife challenges, predators, disease and so on, there are many threats posed by people: oil spills, plastic garbage, beach development, light pollution, egg poaching and climate change.
But the biggest human caused peril by far remains bycatch, the accidental catching and drowning of the species by fisheries and the number likely ranges in the millions, according to a new Duke University and Conservation International study.
Using direct onboard observations and interviews with fishermen, researchers estimated about 85,ooo turtles were caught between 1990 and 2008. But given the report covers less than 1 percent of all fishing fleets in the world, with little or no information from small-scale fisheries, the true total over the past two decades is likely in the millions rather than the tens of thousands, says Bryan Wallace, the study's lead author.
Bycatch rates from longline fishing and trawling are particularly high from Baja California to Chile and off the coast of the eastern United States and the southwest and northwest Atlantic. But researchers note that simple changes in gear from J-shaped hooks to circle hooks, which decrease the likelihood of a turtle swallowing the hook or having it more deeply embedded, can prevent a lot of mortality. "But while gear fixes might reduce bycatch and not necessarily in all cases, more responsible fisheries management is truly the key to meaningfully reducing sea turtle bycatch," says Wallace.
In Mexico, circle hooks are now mandatory, thanks in part to a campaign by Defenders of Wildlife, which distributed thousands of turtle-safe hooks to fishers along with special hook removal tools. Defenders also leads workshops along the Mexican coast that demonstrate how to avoid catching sea turtles and free them unharmed.
But when it comes right down to it, a big part of saving sea turtles is the responsibility of supermarket shoppers and restaurant diners like you. By keeping a sustainable seafood pocket guide in your wallet from www.montereybayaquarium.org or using resources like www.fishphone.org you can help sea turtles in your daily life.

This article is from Defenders of Wildlife magazine Summer 2010


Vegan Cooking Show: Strawberry Cheesecake

This week I'm going to be uncharacteristically sweet... Out of the blue I've developed a serious craving for desserts. I don't know why or how long it will last but I'm going to take advantage of it and share some amazing recipes I've found that have me bolting for the kitchen. I hope they inspire you too!

By the way, today is Crafty Vegan's BIRTHDAY so I'll be making her a delicious chocolate cake (recipe to be divulged on Friday) since she's never been a fan of cheesecakes... :) Feliz Cumple Mica!

Today I want to tell you about "A Vegan Cooking Show" put on by the tenderly young and playful Nicholas.

In his latest episode he teaches us how to make a strawberry cheesecake..that's right, CHEESECAKE! It's been a while since I had one so I can't wait to try this recipe--seems so simple and I'm loving all the whole ingredients. Enjoy!

Happy Meatless Monday!


Foodie Vegan's Friday Night Thoughts

Lately, I have been putting a lot of thought into my diet. For the last month or so, I have been focused on a lot of things in my personal life: my relationship with my boyfriend, an upcoming change of career, my upcoming trip to Italy, etc. Because of this, I have not been very healthy as to what goes in my mouth. I have been sticking to a vegetarian diet, but I have gotten trapped in the lazy vegetarian diet: pasta, quesadillas, takeout, pizza, etc. I have not been focusing or putting a concerted effort into not eating animal products. And I can say one thing: I feel like crap!

I have been suffering for the last month or so of consistent heartburn, feeling sluggish, and even gaining a couple of pounds. I'm saying all of this just to say it and get it off my chest. I don't have any quick anecdote and I'm not going to sit here and proclaim that "I'm gonna eat better" like most American women who "fall off the wagon" inevitably say.

I'm just going to say that I am going to continue to listen to my body. I want to be present to how I feel now in conjunction to what I am putting in my body. With that, I will say good night to everyone and I hope your belly and your heart is full of food that you are happy you put in your body.

Till next week! Foodie Vegan


How to Read Like A Vegan II from Veganalyst

I'm reposting this awesome post from Ryan aka Veganalyst.
Please check out his facebook for all his wonderful and insightful comments on veganism--I'm delighted to have him in my newsfeed! :)

"It's probably not much of a stretch to say that most omnivores don't quite understand how vegans see the world. The aim of this series is to bridge that gap.

A few weeks back, Emily Weinstein generated a far amount of buzz with her New York Times piece about
how awesome it is to boil animals alive. Here's how that article reads to a vegan:

Boiling the Labrador

I, on the other hand, had never put a live Labrador in a pot of boiling water before. [...]

"Have you ever hypnotized them?" Katharine said. It might minimize their pain as they entered the boiling water. [...]

After a minute, she flipped the Labrador up onto its head and paws. The Labrador, made still by the petting, was meant to balance upright on its own. It even sort of did, teetering on the base formed by its paws. [...]

Katharine put the bag in the freezer, a tip from another site, which said that it was most humane to numb the Labradors before cooking them. [...]

The water reached a boil, and we pulled the bag from the freezer. It was time. We stood beside each other at the stove. Katharine went first, lifting the lid and tossing a Labrador in. I had to do at least one, I’d decided, and so I grabbed the second and tossed it in. She flicked in the third, and I pressed the pot’s lid down to cover it. I stood there, holding the lid down, for several minutes.

“Do you think they’re dead yet?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said.

I lifted the lid. As if shielding itself from the intrusion of light, a Labrador raised up its paw. I clapped the lid back on.

We sat down about a half hour later to eat. And I did it, I put the Labrador in the pot.

Congratulations, Emily."


Quote of the Day

"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than blacks were made for whites or woman for man."

Alice Walker
Author of "The Color Purple"


Vegan Mexican Food

For all you mexican food loving vegan peoples.....check out the following link....just do overdue the Buñuelos

Vegan Mexican Food: http://www.veganmexicanfood.com/


Meatless Monday Recipe! "B"LT Wedge Salad

BLTs were among my fav items to eat when I still ate meat. The toasted bread......crispy bacon, and fresh lettuce and tomato was just too good to resist. So I decided to turn that old school favorite sandwich into a salad and try to veganize it! I don't like to eat "fake" meat too much......but here and there I pepper it in when I am trying to replace an old favorite. Also, note that the fake bacon I used (Morningstar Farms) is NOT vegan.....but it is obviously vegetarian.

"B"LT Wedge Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing

6 slices of bacon alternative
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
5 tbsp vegan blue cheese (or whatever cheese or cheese alternative works for you)
1 head of iceberg lettuce
1 cup Wildwood Garlic Aioli
3 tbsp soy milk (or other milk alternative)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp sugar

Cook the bacon alternative according to cooking instructions. When cooled, crumble into small pieces. Remove the stem from the iceberg lettuce, then cut the head into 4 wedges. Each wedge is one serving. Top the wedge with some of the onion, tomato, and "cheese". Put the remaining ingredients into a small food processor and process on high for 1-2 minutes until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the dressing is light and fluffy. Top each wedge with some of the dressing. Serve. Enjoy!