Although we traveled along the Pacific Northwest in cities where there are substantial options for vegan food, we also found ourselves in areas or situations where our options were limited. It gave me hope knowing that even in the unlikeliest places, a growing demand of vegan food exists ... and that perhaps a vegan world isn't too far in the distant future.Read More
Last week, my cousin was in town from New York and was staying at a hotel near Disneyland, which is in Anaheim and next to Garden Grove. Maybe I've been in my L.A. bubble too long, but I thought that finding vegan food in that area might be a challenge. I couldn't be more wrong!
Apparently, Garden Grove is a treasure trove of vegan food (now that I think about it, the name of the city is so fitting).Read More
Calling all you culinary-challenged people! This vegan sofrito recipe is the easiest, fastest meal to make that's both healthy and hearty. So no excuses about not having the time or not knowing how to cook. All it takes is cutting veggies, mixing things up, and voilà: your healthy vegan stew is ready. I'll admit, I took a shortcut using bottled tomato sofrito sauce (Ferrer Tomato Stew Sauce with Vegetables, to be exact), but I'm more determined than ever to help those who really don't know how to cook, don't have the time, or are just outright lazy, to eat healthy using simple ingredients.Read More
The holiday season is fast approaching, with Thanksgiving kicking it off tomorrow. Last year, my main concern was how I was going to get through a Thanksgiving meal as a new vegan. What was I going to eat? Would I be able to resist the foods everyone else was eating?
This year, the sadness and struggle are different. They stem from something much deeper … and more depressing. In the past year, I’ve seen so many forms of animal abuse that were once unimaginable to me (well, many still are).
My level of awareness was heightened, and so was my sensitivity and empathy for the billions of innocent animals who are mercilessly abused, mistreated, exploited and violently killed every second of every day.
And so, in the past year since I first celebrated Thanksgiving as a new vegan, I’ve changed.
If you’re like me in this stage of veganism, how do you cope with the emotions of being around non-vegan loved ones during the holidays?Read More
I think it's fitting that my veganniversary is on November 1st, which happens to be World Vegan Day. I didn't even know about that when my boyfriend (now fiancee) and I decided to make November 1st our official start date for our vegan journey. We watched Gary Yourofsky's Best Speech You Will Ever Hear on YouTube, which gave us the final push and resolve to make the full transition from vegetarian to vegan.
Now, one year later, I reflect on my journey to veganism: the different stages I've gone through (as Colleen Patrick-Goudreau presents in her podcast--check it out at the bottom of this post), the ongoing struggle to remain hopeful in an overwhelmingly cruel world, my unexpected culinary skills, the joy of finding new flavors and ingredients in vegan dishes, increasing activism, and so much more.Read More
Homestyle cooking. Homey hospitality. Delicious vegan food.
That's what you're treated to at Julia's vegan and vegetarian restaurant in Monterey, California. It's technically in the neighboring city of Pacific Grove, but if Monterey is your destination and you're in search of vegan food, this place is a must on your checklist.Read More
In a world where healthy eating seems to cost us more money (e.g., Whole Foods has been referred to as “Whole Paycheck”, whereas convenience stores filled with cheap processed foods and fast food restaurants are vastly more accessible, especially in lower income neighborhoods), it’s easy to believe the myth that being vegan is also more expensive than a meat-, dairy- and egg-filled diet.Read More
On Saturday, my boyfriend (now my fiancé but I don’t like that word) and I went to the Los Angeles Vegan Beer and Food Festival at the Rose Bowl, making it my second vegan food fest this year. There I met up with fellow blogger Evelyn, of Vegan Simplified, who actually told me about the event.Read More
I’ve been trying to find a new favorite vegan restaurant ever since the news broke out about Gracias Madre, Café Gratitude and Sage Organic Vegan Bistro sourcing from and operating a farm that kills animals.
Aside from Veggie Grill (which is great for quick, healthy and affordable bites) and LA Vegan (also a no-fuss vegan staple), when it comes to celebrating special occasions or happy hour at a good vegan joint, eLOVate Kitchen fits the bill.Read More
The other night, my boyfriend and I made a hearty, healthy vegan lentil and vegetable soup served over fluffy seasoned quinoa. It was delicious and perfect for the early June gloom we've been experiencing in May (I'll take gloomy weather over scorching summers any day). And since we used lentils that were already pre-cooked, it made the process a lot faster. Best of all, we cooked enough food for the both of us to last through most of the week!Read More
I don't normally like to go to food festivals because I always feel like I'd come away disappointed: long lines, overpriced food, stingy portions, and dreaded porta potties. However, I was willing to make an exception for vegan food festivals.
As soon as my boyfriend and I turned onto the street the festival was on, we saw hundreds of cars already parked along both sides of the roads including the unpaved median strip.
Aside from the huge turnout that early in the day (with an estimated total of 12,000 in attendance), it was also cool seeing the diversity there: vegans/vegetarians of all ages and from all walks of life. And whether or not everyone there was vegan/vegetarian, it was inspiring to see that there is a strong interest in plant-based foods and a more compassionate diet and lifestyle.
It was kind of surreal seeing change makers within the vegan and animal activism community all in one place. Non-profit organizations and animal rescues I read about and support were stationed at tents, one after another. It really gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling of community—of being around like-minded people with a common, philanthropic goal.Read More
Road tripping when you’re vegan calls for some preparation and planning. It’s not hard, and it actually helps you save money while traveling.
All you need is a giant cooler and a trip to the grocery store before you hit the highway. It’s also important to book a hotel that has a refrigerator and microwave in your room—otherwise you’ll have no way of heating up your food and you’ll be left constantly refilling your cooler with ice to prevent your food from going bad.Read More
I made my first attempt at baking a vegan dessert for my boyfriend’s birthday last week. I decided to continue with the theme of homemade gifts from our Valentine’s Day celebration (when he cooked for me all day instead of treating me to one meal at a restaurant). Since I hadn’t baked in years and this was my first time baking anything vegan, I was part nervous and part excited.
I initially thought about making a vegan version of my mom’s black forest cake, a popular request of my family for special occasions. But I figured it would be safer to use a recipe originally meant for vegans. Thankfully, the one I chose delivered on simplicity and flavor! I went with Naked Cupcake’s vegan black forest cupcake recipe that was inspired by a recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I also ended up using my mom’s recipe for the icing/topping instead of the cherry pie filling the recipe originally called for.Read More
Have you ever gone grocery shopping at In-N-Out? What’s that, you say? Ever since I became vegan, and discovered that their sponge bread is vegan (oh happy day), that’s what my boyfriend and I have been doing when we treat ourselves to a meal there. We laugh about how we're just basically buying the ingredients from In-N-Out to make our own vegan burgers.Read More
It’s not delivery and it's not DiGiorno either … it’s a vegan homemade pizza!
Although there are a handful of restaurants that sell delicious vegan pizzas that give traditional cheese pizza a run for its money, my boyfriend and I decided to make our own and choose the toppings to our vegan hearts’ content! Well, almost. I would've loved to have added mushrooms and black olives, but they happen to be the two ingredients my boyfriend doesn’t like.Read More
Ever since I quit eating meat, my mom who’s a nurse has been concerned about my B12 intake. While it’s not as popular of a question for vegans as “Where do you get your protein?”, “Where do you get your B12?” is still something vegans and vegetarians are asked pretty frequently.
I was first introduced to nutritional yeast—the holy grail of Vitamin B12—from a couple recipes from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.Read More
Stir-fry dishes are one of the easiest meals you can make--whether you're short on time, lazy and tired to cook, or don't know how to cook, you can't really go wrong. Unless you're the type of person who 'burns' water (aka evaporates) just trying to boil it, then I can't help you there.
I decided on this dish to use up ingredients I had in my fridge that I didn't want to go bad. So the simple solution was to make a kelp noodle and vegetable stir fry.Read More
I love breakfast foods ... and one of the saddest things for me was thinking I had to give up French toast when I became vegan. But guess what? You don't have to because there are a lot of recipes out there that use egg substitutes like The Neat Egg (or you can mix chia seeds or flax seeds with water ... pretty freakin' amazing). The only ingredients in The Neat Egg are chia seeds and garbanzo beans, which just makes it that much neater.
This particular recipe is from the Neat blog, and it's suuuper simple. The level of deliciousness you get from the time you spend to make it is incredible.Read More
My cousin was in town for about a week, and just as my family and I do for any other relative or friend visiting, we took her to Disneyland. Last time she was in town, we took her to Disney's California Adventures, which was about five years ago when i was still eating meat. Although I had been to Disney countless times before, this was the first time I went as a vegan. I was concerned that as a vegan, "The Happiest Place on Earth" would only end up being an "OK place on earth" once my hunger kicked in and I became "hangry" (hungry and angry).
I expected it would be a challenge finding something to eat other than salad and fries, so before I headed over, I ate pasta for a hearty brunch. Once I got there, I searched online for vegan food in Disneyland and was surprised and relieved to find that there were quite a few resources available for vegans in Disneyland and Disney World.Read More