Veganlovlie All things Vegan! <![CDATA[ Fresh: gourmet vegetarian food in the heart of Toronto]]> Gosh I had a lot of Toronto eats. So many in fact I didn't even get to record all of them, like Stampede Burger, whose sweet potato fries were the best I've ever eaten, thanks in part to their amazing Stampede Sauce (which I must know the recipe of! Zuzu, it's been haunting me, go and use your womanly charms on the cooks there and get me the recipe for the stampede sauce! Posthaste!)

So after my friend Spice and I visited the Spadina House we walked down Bloor to meet up with Zuzu at Fresh, a well liked vegetarian restaurant. I had a rough time trying to decide on what to eat, and when I become this indecisive I usually make stupid choices - case in point: I ordered dosa, thinking my roti experience was isolated. Boy, was I wrong. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Spinach Soup & multigrain cornbread
Spinach Soup and cornbread (Spice) $9

Spinach Soup - Fresh
Spinach Soup $6 (sans bread)
Spice loved the soup but hated the cornbread, which I ended up chowing down.

Grilled Veggies over Brown Rice
Baby Dragon Bowl (Zuzu) $10
Grilled vegetables, fresh sprouts on a bed of brown rice. It was refreshing, filling and delicious. Zuzu was sweet enough to swap out this with my dosa.

Coconut Curry Dosa
Coconut Curry Dosa (me) $9

Spiced pancakes filled with curried chickpeas and vegetables served with coconut curry sauce, cucumber and toasted coconut. What can I say, Canada? I do not like the way you do Indian food. The curry powder is overwhelming and I just don't get it. Maybe it's you, maybe it's me, let us just agree to disagree and we shall never meet again. At least Zuzu loved you, little dosa. Thank goodness for her unbridled love for coconut and heart of gold. I'm not going to let the dosa tarnish my opinion of Fresh, which I think is an apt name for this very health-conscious eatery. I look forward to returning to Toronto in the near future and giving Fresh another go.

326 Bloor Street West
]]> Mon, 5 Dec 2011 20:19:32 +0000
<![CDATA[ Vegan? Looking for Healthier/Meatless Recipes? Love Cookbooks? Check it Out.]]> When I get a cookbook, I look through the recipes and try a few that sound good to me. And if there are five or ten recipes I will add to my life recipe file, I consider the book a keeper. I'm pretty picky. If a recipe book has only two or three I want to try, I don't buy it. If I'm given the book with just a few keeper recipes I usually will copy down the recipe, put it in my file and get rid of the book. I just don't need a huge shelf of books that aren't being used.

Peas and Thank You is a keeper. A lifetime member of my recipe shelf. The recipes I've tried are delicious, they turn out when I follow the easy directions, and they don't taste like someone is trying real hard to make tasty food healthier. Everyone who has tried the recipes I've made from Peas and Thank You, whether Vegan or meat eater, cautious eater, or don't-give-a-rat's-rear-end-what they put in their mouth, rave about the food.

I have only tried nine of the recipes, but three of them I've made several times. These are the recipes I've tried and love. And they are SO worth the stinking sticker price. Heck. I'm tempted to send a check to someone.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
Lemon Lentil Soup
Cutout  Sugar Cookies
Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
Almond Joy Cookie Bars
Peanut Butter Blondies with Ganache
Double Chocolate Single Chin Brownies
Grand Old Biscuits
Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chickpeas

I have about a dozen more that I must try. More recipes are marked than not.

Mama Pea (Sarah Matheny) is a talented and engaging writer as well and she shares charming and sweetly twisted stories about each recipe. I don't often laugh when reading a recipe book. I did with this one. She also shares pantry information, details about why they went vegan and most of her recipes are designed for busy folks and use convenience items. If you are newly Vegan, want to explore meatless, or love cookbooks, you need to add it to your list.

The only thing I did not love was the recipe title appeared at the beginning of each recipe, but not after the story and right before ingredients. So some recipes are a page or two after the introduction/story. So you have to do a little page flipping to make sure you are on the right recipe. Otherwise I LOVE it. Don't even ask to borrow it. This little sucker is part of me now.
]]> Tue, 18 Oct 2011 13:47:40 +0000
<![CDATA[Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook Quick Tip by Michaela_Renee]]> Wed, 3 Aug 2011 23:31:53 +0000 <![CDATA[ Rub a dub Scrub: Alba Sea Algae Facial Scrub]]>
I've been reading the labels of my bath & beauty products for a couple of years now and trying to be a more aware, proactive consumer. I care about where my money goes, what my money supports, what I put on or in my body and what the process a product went through to wind up in my house (including animal testing). It's not as easy - or as hard - as one might think. It just takes a little extra effort. Sometimes a little extra money as well, I'm not going to lie.

So it's kind of a fantastic feeling of win! when I find a product that meets my high standards and is worth the money I plunk down. Such a product is Alba sea algae facial scrub.

I have a combination skin (not overly dry or oily) and this is my go-to scrub for exfoliating.

- Pleasant natural scent. No allergy-inducing fragrances that overwhelm my senses and make me break out or sneeze.
- A little goes a long way.
- Available online and increasingly more retail stores such as Rite Aid, Ulta, The Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods.
- No sulfates, animal testing, animal products, or artificial colors <--- something I am increasingly becoming more aware of.

- I once got a little micro grain stuck in my eye (my fault) and damn if that wasn't painful.

I use this in the shower twice weekly and I can feel the results instantaneously. My skin is lighter, fresher, smoother, more open and cleaner feeling when I use this. It was, in fact, in the shower when I realized, "Damn, I gotta tell about this!"

Being able to feel and see the results right away is crucial for me because I hate throwing away my money on facial scrubs or cleaners that leave a gross/filmy feeling, or - just as worse - feeling like it did absolutely nothing.

Retail price: $9.95 (I have seen it for less during sales and promotions at a variety of stores)
Lasting power: Anywhere from 3-6 months.]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2011 19:28:17 +0000
<![CDATA[ I <3 Daiya]]> Daiya is one of the best vegan cheeses out there right now, no question. It's reasonably priced, soy free, tastes delicious, and melts wonderfully!]]> Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:57:02 +0000 <![CDATA[Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe Quick Tip by bstriepe]]> Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:55:22 +0000 <![CDATA[Vegan with a Vengeance Quick Tip by bstriepe]]> Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:54:33 +0000 <![CDATA[Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love! Quick Tip by bstriepe]]> Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:54:20 +0000 <![CDATA[Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook Quick Tip by bstriepe]]> Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:53:55 +0000 <![CDATA[Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule Quick Tip by ariajuliet]]> Fri, 7 Jan 2011 06:43:30 +0000 <![CDATA[Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook Quick Tip by caleil]]> Tue, 13 Jul 2010 07:19:34 +0000 <![CDATA[La Dolce Vegan!: Vegan Livin' Made Easy Quick Tip by sequoiatree]]> Sun, 11 Jul 2010 03:56:35 +0000 <![CDATA[Vegan with a Vengeance Quick Tip by sequoiatree]]> Sun, 11 Jul 2010 03:55:14 +0000 <![CDATA[ Great for Vegans and Non-Vegans Alike!]]> First off, I would like to state that I am not a vegan.  I am a vegetarian from Wisconsin who finds the idea of veganism difficult to wrap my mind around (what about the cheese??). 

With these feelings aside, any of Isa's cookbooks are wonderful additions to a kitchen.  Rather than using highly processed ingredients (mainly meat substitutes) that a lot of vegetarian cookbooks use, Isa's recipes utlize a plethora of healhy ingredients that are easy to find.  The recipes I've tried are delicious, and get rave reviews from my meat-loving boyfriend.   


]]> Fri, 9 Jul 2010 19:11:24 +0000
<![CDATA[ Simple and delicious!]]>
There’s a good explanation of the special ingredients at the beginning of the book so that you know what you’re working with. Some of the ingredients can only be found at specialty stores, but that’s to be expected when you’re going vegan. There is also a substantial list of substitutions that can be made for different ingredients if you happen to look in the cupboard and find that you’re out – both vegan and non-vegan ingredients are included in the list! Another helpful feature of the book is ‘cookie troubleshooting,’ which is at the beginning of the book. It details common problems in the cookies , what may have gone wrong, and how to make them better the next time!

It’s clear that these recipes have been carefully written, tested, and selected. The recipes themselves are detailed and hard to mess up! There is a huge variety of cookies to be made and none are too fancy that they’re overwhelming, or use such obscure ingredients that you’re going to spend a fortune on a whipping up a batch. Just tons of delicious-looking, simple, vegan cookies! Lots of gorgeous pictures, too!]]> Wed, 7 Jul 2010 20:08:57 +0000
<![CDATA[Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook Quick Tip by simbaraves]]> Wed, 30 Jun 2010 06:04:45 +0000 <![CDATA[ Great!]]>


]]> Wed, 23 Jun 2010 01:50:24 +0000
<![CDATA[ A well balanced vegan cookbook for cooks of all levels]]>
Where do I begin to share with you how wonderful this cookbook is? There are 20 chapters, one of which is an overview of how to use the cookbook. The remaining 19 chapters are crammed with wonderful vegan recipes, from breakfast, to salads and salad dressings, to casseroles and savory pies and tarts. For the more adventurous, there are chapters on candies and bars, sweet and savory muffins and even an entire chapter on faux meats! That was something that truly impressed me. I spent time living away at graduate school and I wish I had this book then, because buying packaged mock meat was expensive and not always the quality I wanted, but this has recipes for Apple Sage Fauxage, Independence Day Wieners, and Seitan Bacon Crumbles along with many more! Yay!

There is also allergy information for the recipes, so if you are looking for gluten free or soy free recipes, you can find those at a glance. There is also an icon for 30 minute meals, so you can find speedy recipes to make on those frantic weekdays, or rushed weekends. The icons make finding recipes that meet your needs quick and easy.

It is hard to impress me with vegan cookbooks, because gourmet vegan cooking is something that comes as naturally to our household as breathing, but this book made my mouth water, and made me want to get in the kitchen. There are recipes of all levels, and even an introduction to `What is Vegan Cooking' so this would be an ideal gift to give someone who is thinking about going vegan. If you are an experienced vegan cook, this would be awesome addition to your cookbook library. Either way, at less than $20, you can't afford to not get it.

So with 500 wonderful vegan recipes waiting for you, with dishes from breakfast to late dessert and everything inbetween, run out and grab yourself a copy now!

Highest recommendations!]]> Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule Quick Tip by Chilis_Driver]]> Thu, 18 Mar 2010 00:07:13 +0000 <![CDATA[Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule Quick Tip by Carlette]]> Tue, 16 Mar 2010 23:51:50 +0000 <![CDATA[ We need to evolve into something more intelligent.]]>
This film has re-inforced what I have always felt within me. I've always wondered why we live in high cages surrounded by concrete and metal. Why we are forced to breath polluted air emitted by strange metal boxes going up and down black alleys (cars!). We created a quite hostile environment for ourselves that does not benefit neither our purpose, survival and most important happiness.

This film has been poorly rated by some. But for me it is the best film I've watched so far!

Our world is ruled by this rectangular piece of paper we call money. So much that nowadays it does contribute to 'happiness'. Or happiness as we of it!
We allow ourselves to be led by fat selfish people caring only about themselves, their money & power. We don't really listen to each other, talk to each other. In our world, the less capable ones rule because they have the power to do so and exploit the goodness of the capable weaker ones.

We are constantly worried about trivial things like being late to work, meeting the deadline, and never take the time to see, appreciate and be grateful for the beautiful life and nature that surround and support us.

We pay taxes to support the people who are exploiting us, to support tobbaco, weapons, mass killing.

We need to be disconnected and shaken by fabulous artists like Coline Serreau. We need to be shocked to be able to evolve into something more intelligent.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who in search of an answer about this what life is really about, but also to just anyone. It's worth watching!

By the way, if you speak French, it's better to watch the original French version.]]> Wed, 10 Mar 2010 00:49:47 +0000
<![CDATA[ I've said Yes To Carrots]]> I have blogged about this product before and would like to share my reviews with you here as I am still using it after nearly a year.
I haven't changed to any other moisturing cream as I absolutely love it!

I happened to come across the Yes To Carrots range of products in Boots pharmacy about a year ago. At that time I was running low on moisturizer and was looking for a new one. Vegan moisturizers are not that easy to find over here and most of the time they are quite expensive. All the Yes To Carrots product range is paraben free and contains only natural ingredients. I wrote to them to confirm whether their products were vegan and they replied:

“Thanks for writing!
Our products do not contain any animal products, other than honey & beeswax which are found in select products. Our products are also endorsed as cruelty free by PETA.”

The Moisturizing Day Cream does not contain any honey or beeswax, so I'm glad it's vegan! I’ve been using it for more than a year now and I am sticking with it! I’ve found my favourite, great on the skin and very reasonably priced. It smells lovely and I love it!

I have also tried their shampoo and conditioner in the Yes To Carrots and Yes To Cucumber range.  I prefer the Yes To Carrots range as it is more suited for my hair type.

And if you’d like to know: Yes To Carrots is intended for those with Dry to Normal skin, but I’ve also seen two other lines - Yes To Cucumbers and Yes To Tomatoes which are aimed at those with Normal to Sensitive skin (Cucumbers), and those with Oily/Combination skin (Tomatoes). More info on their website.


]]> Wed, 10 Mar 2010 00:00:49 +0000
<![CDATA[ Short ones, fat ones, thin ones]]> As long as they're sweet and topped with some luscious icing, I love them.  Cake.  It’s my favorite dessert, aside from tiramisù which seems hard to duplicate vegan-wise.  Fortunately for me Isa already did the work as far as vegan cake is concerned.  Yes you could probably figure out on your own how to veganize your great grandma’s chocolate cake recipe, but did she put tequila in hers?  Or how about some espresso pastry cream in the middle, hmm?  That’s what I thought.  Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World is loaded with creative cupcake and icing combinations.  Some of my favorites so far have been the Tiramisù, Strawberry Tallcake and Cappuccino cupcakes.  But lets not forget the Margarita, Cookies and Cream, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, and plain ole vanilla cupcakes.  And I’m just getting started with those.

This cookbook is loaded with fun and tasty cupcakes recipes, and there are even two gluten-free vegan cupcake recipes in the book (which are tasty too – just ask my sister) that can be substituted for most of the other non gluten-free ones if you work at it.

This cookbook has also made me realize that cake doesn’t have to be reserved for a special occasion.  I always love my birthday because that’s when I get cake, but it, of course, only comes around once a year.  And I don’t have many friends getting married these days, and even less of them who are vegan, so wedding cake it out.  But with all these fabulously creative recipes I’m finding tones of reasons to make them; like New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s day, any given Saturday.  Yes, Saturday: girls night in.  Some friends and I frequently have “Cupcakes and Cocktails” night now, which is just superb because we get to eat cake and drink.  (What more could you want?)

So, all this is to say that this is a wonderful sweet tooth of a book and would make a charming addition to anyone’s collection.  And don’t worry about the omnivores – they won’t know these little guys are vegan (trust me).

]]> Tue, 9 Mar 2010 03:07:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Vegan Cooking in Honor of the Mediterranean]]> Image Copyright -

Enraged Rigatoni, based upon "Enraged" Penne in The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen

More than ten years ago when I was a sophomore in college, I studied abroad in Spain. It was probably one of the best and one of the hardest years of my life - having lived in the United States my whole life, it was a cultural shock to be immersed in all things Spanish. The intensity of having to live, breathe and eat Spain was overwhelming, but at the same time exhilarating. It was also one of the most interesting culinary experiences of my life.

Once I left Spain I realized how much I missed its food. It was there that I learned to use olive oil on bread instead of mayonnaise, and how delicious a simple mixture of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and salt was to spread on rustic bread. Vegetable paella would never taste the same anywhere else, and I finally knew that I could use chocolate (or rather, hazelnut spread) like peanut butter.

Several years after I returned I came across what is now one of my favorite cookbooks of all time -  The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein. Finally - a cookbook that I could use to recreate the same style of dishes I had in Europe!

The Layout

This cookbook is divided up in typical sections: Appetizers; Soups; Salads; Pasta, Rice and Other Grains; Vegetables and Legumes; Breads; Desserts; and Meals in Minutes. There is also a Metric Conversion Chart at the end, as well as an Index of all the recipes.

Each section contains dishes that could be found all along the Mediterranean, so there are dishes that are influenced not just by Spain, but by Italy, Greece and France, etc. as well.

The Recipes

Most recipes are called by names that may not be so familiar to the average American, but with a descriptive introduction to every recipe, it's easy to figure out what the recipe is all about.

Each recipe is pretty straightforward and easy in concept, but not every recipe is easy or quick to make, which is one reason why I am rating this a four instead of a five. When I first got into experimenting with cooking, I confess that many of these recipes seemed out of my league. For one thing, I couldn't afford to make some of the dishes, and for another I just didn't feel like I had the right skill set. These days, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on cooking so it's not so intimidating. BUT (there's that pesky "but" again), quite a few of these recipes do still require some solid time in the kitchen. That said, there are still a few recipes that are appropriate for those who are new to cooking or for those who are crunched for time.

The recipes are also pretty true to the Mediterranean diet - they are simple, rustic recipes that rely on ingredients like fresh produce, spices and herbs, and olive oil. Each is also prepared in a similar style to how it would be prepared in Europe. The results are aways reminiscent of what one might have eaten if they had spent any length of time along the Mediterranean.

The Ingredients

This is probably another one of the reasons why I am rating this a four. While most ingredients are commonly found in a regular grocery store, some ingredients are going to be hard to find or just near impossible to get. Many ingredients may also be expensive for people on a budget, so it will be challenging to make a recipe exactly as it's written (one salad calls for 8 ounces of fresh mixed wild mushrooms like porcini, girolles and chanterelles - these are typically much more expensive than the standard white button mushrooms found in most grocery stores in the United States).

Still, with some savvy substitutions, even the most novice cook can create a great dish based upon the recipes in this cookbook.

The Verdict

Don't let the negatives I've mentioned stop you from checking out The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, because overall I dearly love this cookbook. One of my favorite pasta dishes - and a very simple recipe to make -  "Enraged" Penne was introduced to me in this cookbook. Check out the variation of it I made a few months ago, called Enraged Rigatoni. I also have had success with the focaccia bread (divine), Plum Tart in Phyllo (a little bit of an effort, but very delicious), and the Rice Pilaf with Currants, Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts (sweet and savory).]]> Wed, 3 Mar 2010 23:33:05 +0000
<![CDATA[ A Superb Cookbook]]> Tue, 2 Mar 2010 02:45:32 +0000 <![CDATA[ A great addition to my kitchen!]]> Secret Santa (or Chris Kindle as they call it in Ireland)! I was thrilled!

Here's my review on this book. I hope it will be helpful to you.

Book Introduction
The book starts with a good introduction on basic cooking - vegetables, grains, beans etc. I find this very helpful especially for people who are shifting to a vegan diet. Very often people are at a lost when starting on a new lifestyle and diet; this book becomes very useful in assisting even with the change in vegan pantry stocking! Cooking vegan is not just substituting the meat all the time but it's a totally new genre of cooking approach.

Ingredients used
I was pleased to find that most of ingredients used were common accessible ones. I think this is a great plus. I believe what people really want when buying a recipe book is to be able to actually make these recipes at home with what they can get at the local supermarket and with limited means.

Utensils and applicances required
Not everyone have a highly equiped kitchen with the latest utensils, appliances and gadgets. So basic (but not basic on taste!) recipes that don't require fancy expensive equipment are the most welcomed. Most of the recipes would just require a normal pan, bakeware and basic kitchen utensils.

Recipe Categories
I love the way the recipes are organised into meaningful categories. This book does not just categorise into something like Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner or Desserts but it also provide categories by food types which I find very useful. Very often I get asked questions by veggie-interested people about what they can do with beans or tofu for example. So, I believe it's pretty much how people think in a way when cooking; we mostly cook by ingredients. I found categories like Sammiches, Grains, Beans, Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan, One-Pot Meals and Stove-Top Specialities particularly insightful.

The Recipes
So far I have tried (sometimes with some of my own tweakings to the recipes):
  • Ceasar Salad with Roasted Garlic Croutons (Yummy!)
  • Banana-Date Scones (a classic not to be missed I would say!)
  • Potato and Kale Enchiladas with Roasted Chile Sauce (I only made the potato and kale part of this recipe and it was great!)
  • Creamy Tomato Soup (I added cabbage to this and it was really comforty)
These are not the only ones as very often I mix and match the recipes or I get inspiration to create my own.
Looking forward to try:
  • Chickpea Cutlets (Can you believe I haven't tried those yet?! I'm sure I won't be disappointed when I do)
  • Fudgy Wudgy Blueberry Brownies
  • Acorn Squash, Pear and Adzuki Soup with Sauteed Shitakes
  • and many more...

One or two downsides, maybe...
It's perhaps the lack of pictures of the food. There are only a few pictures in the book. But then, with more photos, the author couldn't possibly include all the recipes in the book or we would end up with a book 3 times the thickness. So I would rather have the recipes that more photos. After all it's a recipe book!

Maybe this one is just me, but I find it easier to read through a recipe that's been organised as steps or bullet points. I sometimes found it tedious to read through the long recipe instructions and getting lost halfway through. Not too much of a problem though.

My Conclusion
I hope these few points provide some help or guidance to people wanting to purchase this book.It's the perfect book for a beginner. But for me, who got it almost 3 years after becoming vegan, it is also a good kitchen companion for the already accustomed vegan.]]> Thu, 25 Feb 2010 01:41:30 +0000
<![CDATA[ Vegans can finally enjoy their campouts again.]]> Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe and while I prefer the taste of old-fashioned gelatin marshmallows, I'll still be ordering the other two flavors. They are definitely at least worth a try.

Firstly, the consistency. Sweet & Sara marshmallows have a consistency that is pretty similar to that of traditional marshmallows, in that they were "squishy", but the Sweet & Sara marshmallows were a bit more dense than traditional marshmallows, and felt like they had more substance to them, especially after refrigerating them as directed.

The flavor of these marshmallows was the only real problem that I encountered. I prefer the taste of traditional marshmallows to the Sweet & Sara ones, but that's according to personal taste, and others may feel differently. It's difficult to describe, but the Sweet & Sara marshmallows weren't as sweet as traditional marshmallows, and you kind of have to suck on them for a minute to get the full flavor. I could definitely taste the vanilla in the Vanilla flavored-marshmallows, while I found Coconut-flavored marshmallows to be a bit overpowering. They weren't necessarily bad; they were just different. However, after roasting several of these marshmallows over the flame of my soy tea-light candle, I found that they taste almost exactly like traditional marshmallows when roasted. If I ever purchase these again, I will definitely roast all of them, because, in my opinion, they simply tasted better that way. They did take a long time to brown though, and I had to hold them very close to the flame, which caused a few to begin to catch fire :)

In the end, I would still highly recommend these marshmallows to devout vegans who have done without marshmallows for far too long. They are excellent when roasted, and would undoubtedly make great s'mores because of that. In fact, Sweet & Sara also makes vegan-friendly s'mores using these marshmallows, for anyone that doesn't want or doesn't have the resources to make their own. While both Sweet & Sara and traditional marshmallows are laden with sugar and corn syrup, Sweet & Sara marshmallows are made without artificial colors, gelatin, and tetrasodium pyrophosphate. The vanilla Sweet & Sara marshmallows that I purchased are also flavored with real Madagascar vanilla, and do not rely on artificial flavors. Click here to see if they are available in a store near you.]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2010 16:26:17 +0000
<![CDATA[ Proof that vegans eat more than just salad...]]>
Cosmo's has an extensive array of vegan-friendly items ranging from clothing to books to cosmetics to soaps to supplements to frozen food items to even baked goods and other sweets. Cosmo's even has average-sized and mini vegan marshmallows, which, for a while, were considered to be un-veganizable. For myself, one of the most difficult aspects of becoming a vegan was having to give up many of the sweets and junk foods that I had come to enjoy. Sure, almost any dessert recipe can be veganized, but there are times when I just don't feel like having to adapt a recipe to make it vegan-friendly. Luckily, Cosmo's has a wide variety of ready-to-eat vegan-friendly sweets, such as cinnamon rolls, imitation-Twinkies, and vegan versions of the beloved Milky Way, Snickers, Three Musketeer, and Almond Joy chocolate bars. For those without a sweet-tooth, Cosmo's also offers vegan-friendly "cheese" and imitation beef jerky, among other food items. Please see the photgraphs that I included in my review for examples. The photographs were taken directly from the Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe website. I'd be glad to continue listing all of the items that Cosmo's offers, but I recommend simply visiting the website to see for yourself.

The only real issue that I have with Cosmo's is with its pricing. While most items are priced within a reasonable amount, there are some items that are a bit costly. For example, the vegan marshmallows, available in four varieties, are priced at $5.95 for twelve average-sized marshmallows, not including the shipping costs. However, because many of these items are impossible to find anywhere else, I'm certain that long-time vegans will be more than willing to splurge once in a while on items that they have had to go so long without.

In conclusion, Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe is a wonderful website/store to visit for both vegans and vegetarians alike, as well as anyone who is curious about the vegan lifestyle. With delicious food items, high-quality cosmetics, reasonable prices (for the most part), and quick shipping times, I highly recommend the website.

]]> Tue, 5 Jan 2010 21:47:02 +0000
<![CDATA[ Very Tasty with some nasty surprises in the label]]>
Initially it was pretty tasty. The noodles were pretty good, not too soft. The sauce was a little watery, and didn't taste exactly like traditional pad thai, but it wasn't bad either. It also had a nice spice to it.

There were lots of green onions, little pieces of penuts and good chucks of tofu to keep me satisfied as well. I was going to rate it a solid 3.

Then I looked at the label to update the wiki, and WOOMG. This serving of Pad Thai bowl has 600 calories in it. It was 11 oz of food, but it was small portion, and the packaging is made for a single serving.

600 calories is a heck of a lot for one serving of pad thai. I had assumed that since it was vegan it must be sort of OK for you and it never occered to me to check the label.

Also on the label, it says it may contain traces of shellfish, which defeats the whole vegan lable in the first place.

I'm sure traditional pad thai has the same ammount or more calories and fat content, but at least with that you have autheticity of real food.]]> Tue, 22 Dec 2009 22:50:39 +0000
<![CDATA[ Raw Food for Real People]]>
With that said, I'm a bit on the fence with Raw Food for Real People. The recipes were extremely simple to prepare and I found it very easy to substitute local seasonal foods. Moreover, most of the food tasted pretty good, even those that didn't look so appetizing.

Unfortunately, most of the recipes were quite time consuming, requiring sprouting, soaking, or dehydration time. I think that this would be fine if a person was committed to making raw foods a lifestyle choice. However, for the average person, it might be a bit too much to ask.]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2009 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Save the Chicken!]]>
Native Foods has a variety of meat-free/meat-substitute delights to please meat and soy lovers alike. Even if you aren't a fan of substitutes (I'll admit - even I can't handle those weird little rubbery soy shrimp. Ew!) you'll be pleased by Native Foods' selection of grains, vegetables, and greens. The vast menu contains the usual array of sandwiches, salads, wraps, pizza, and burgers HOWEVER, the real treat is their selection of "Hot Bowls".

The first time I had the pleasure of visiting Native Foods I tried the Soul Bowl - "red beans and 'jazzman' rice, steamed veggies and greens drizzled with Ranch dressing with BBQ fried "save the chicken" and cornbread" - a vegan take on southern dirty rice, beans, greens, and fried chicken. The cornbread (dairy-free of course) was a perfectly-moist accompaniment to the seasoned rice, fresh vegetables, and crispy "chicken" - which was also covered in a mild but flavorful red sauce.

I also tried the Greek Gyro Bowl during another visit - Steamed veggies, quinoa, peppered seitan, hummus and grilled flatbread with creamy garlic lemon sauce. YUM!!! The seitan tasted exactly like seasoned, slow-roasted lamb sliced super-thin. The hummus would have been a perfect dressing on its own but was DIVINE when mixed all-together with the garlic lemon sauce on the quinoa. The texture of the quinoa was just right too - loose and not soggy.

Greek Gyro Bowl from

I managed to snap this photo of the Soul Bowl before I dove it. Check out the texture of the cornbread - it looks like there was some added wheat or multi flour for texture - also, the darkness suggests some sort of egg replacement or maybe canola oil? Look ma-- no cholesterol!
If you look closely you can see another bowl in the background (Mina's Macro -Brown rice, quinoa, tempeh, steamed veggies, sea greens, sauerkraut green onions & sesame salt. Served with lemon miso sauce).

Here's another photo of the Soul Bowl from !

"Chicken" close-up by

Did I mention they have dessert, too? :)

Check out the menu here - especially if you're as hungry as I am after writing that!
]]> Sat, 19 Sep 2009 20:48:25 +0000
<![CDATA[ The Vegan Lunch Box Returns!]]>
McCann's book is useful in multiple ways. First, she provides several menu suggestions for various parts of the world including: United States, Canada. Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Japan. If you are unfamiliar with any of these locations, having the menu suggestions are invaluable. Also, the book has a picture gallery, showing multiple lunch box options and presentations of the menu. The pictures are so elegant; it really makes me want to have multiple lunchbox systems. The other way that the book is amazing is that it offers over 125 recipes. The recipes are very friendly to the family on the go. Many come together quickly and are made with items that can be found at the store (in a bigger city) or easily ordered online. With items that might be harder to find, McCann always gives options to order from the internet. This means that there might be some preplanning involved, but gives you something to look forward to in the mail. If you're pressed for time and looking for easy yet inventive vegan recipes, than just double or triple the recipes depending on the amount of people you have, and you have vegan dinner! Yay! Even McCann's most exotic recipes have ingredients that are commonly found. The Moroccan Tagine is a great example. It's elegant and exotic, yet, every ingredient can be found in a common supermarket.

I can't recommend this book enough. McCann strikes again, but this time with more exotic recipes, better allergen information, and more lunch boxes. Whether you're cooking for someone who is 4, or you're 94 and packing your own lunches, don't take more time reading this review! Grab a copy of this excellent book and start making vegan lunches!]]> Fri, 14 Aug 2009 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Yummy!]]>
I have been heading more and more towards being vegan, however, as I am an extremely lazy cook, the recipes cannot take very long or be too complicated or involved - enter Short-Cut Vegan cookbook.

This little cookbook is great, great, great! From its compact and convenient size, to its easy to read recipes, that are quick, fun and yum! tasty! I ended up making 7 recipes in the first few days I received it.

As mentioned, the recipes are super easy and quite fast to make and there is a very nice variety of vegan meals to select from. The Spinach with "Toasted Coconut and Black Mustard Seeds" was delish! and I loved "the Unlimited Waffle Mix" (try the Sunflower Seeds version).

The only thing I miss in this book were the pictures. There are no pictures of the "end result" which, for someone with my limited gifts in cooking, could use as a handy guideline to make sure that what I am making looks remotely like its suppose to!

Still, this is a great little cookbook.]]> Mon, 6 Jul 2009 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ A bunch of brunch!]]>
Isa takes the time to create a variety of recipes, both sweet and savory. Everything from omelets and egg scrambles to waffles, pancakes, and crapes. Nothing is left behind in Isa's Brunch tome. There are not only a variety of tastes presented here, but this cook caters to people of any cooking ability - from the beginner to the experienced baker/cook. If there is a more exotic ingredient, Isa explains it and more often than not, offers a substitute that is more common.

Brunch and breakfast are often confusing to new vegans who worry that they will starve without eggs and cow milk. If you know someone who is a vegan, new or old, this would make a perfect present! Just make sure they don't already have a copy or two.

Also, those who are not currently vegan will find that vegan recipes are very healthy alternatives to eggs and heavy cream. This book gives you a way to enjoy your omelets and waffles without guilt!

Highly recommended for EVERYONE!]]> Thu, 4 Jun 2009 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Vegan Marshmallows... the Holy Grail of Vegan snacks! ...Now available at "Sweet and Sara"]]>
To my knowledge, there is only one person that has been able to accomplish that task.  And that person is the owner of the company called "Sweet and Sara".  In this review, I'm rating these Marshmallows... which I've eaten up like a little piggy.

-These Marshmallows taste amazing... even better than regular Marshmallows

-Texture and firmness are great (these are a little bit firmer than regular Marshmallows... which I love)

-Comes in different assortment of choices  (vanilla, coconut, chocolate covered... oh God, I want one right now)

-You can buy it online using Google checkout.

-These Marshmallows are a bit pricey... especially when you figure in the shipping costs.

-These also need to be refrigerated to maintain freshness. This isn't a big deal, but just in case you don't have a fridge should know.

-Waiting for the them to arrive in the mail is torturous! LOL.

If  you're a veggie that's been craving marshmallows... don't delay! Get them now! You won't be disappointed!  Now that you know the scoop, here's where you get these sacred gems... the 'Holy Grail' of snackage for Veggies everywhere:

October-2009 Update:
These Vegan Marshmallows are now available in certain "Whole Foods" grocery stores!  My local "Whole Foods" only had the original "Vanilla" variety.  Check this list for locations near you:
Also New on the Menu:  Mini Marshmallows for Hot Chocoloate, Ghost shaped ones for Halloween, Rocky Road Bark (a new favorite of mine!), Strawberry Marshmallows, Cinnamon Pecan, and Smores! ]]> Thu, 2 Apr 2009 01:54:52 +0000
<![CDATA[ Vegan when Visiting Orlando-Ethos]]>
Ethos is also open from 11-10 p.m. Monday thru Saturday.  They serve up freshly made salads, sandwiches, pizza, and sweet treats all day.   This place is a must try!

]]> Tue, 10 Mar 2009 04:26:58 +0000
<![CDATA[ This is the cutest life-saver EVER!]]>
Traveling when you're vegan can be very difficult. Often, you're in a place you don't know, and you don't always know where you can eat (unless you get a plain salad, yuck!). Sarah makes it easy by giving travel tips for tons of situations and destinations, and so many of her recipes are quick and easy and sometimes things you can cobble together on the fly.

Sarah's saved my sanity years ago. I went to my then boyfriend's house for thanksgiving. It's in another state. His family didn't approve of or understand my vegan ways, and there was little to nothing I could eat. At that time, I traveled with How It All Vegan, and I could make some food at home, and her cute photos and stories helped me keep my good humor. Now I can have that same traveling comfort in a pocket sized portion! :>

This is the tiniest Kramer book, but it's also the sweetest. The color photos, icons, places for notes.... All I can say is Sarah, thank you for being you and making it that much easier for the rest of us vegans to be who we are.

P.S. If you haven't bought one of Sarah's previous books (and Tayna for the first two) then Sarah's recipes are quick, easy, can be made with ingredients on hand, and are nutritious. This book is a lot like its author... it's cute, but it has substance!]]> Thu, 9 Oct 2008 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Vegan Kids Take It To School]]>

Book Review: Vegan Lunch Box (Da Capo Press, 2008) by Jennifer McCann

Vegan Lunch Box began with a stay-at-home mom, her desire to give her son vegan school lunches, and her blog. Jennifer McCann's Vegan Lunch Box blog has won PETA's Proggy Award for Blog of the Year, Veg News' Veg Webby Award, and a Bloggy Award for Best Food Blog. She's been going at it since 2005 and her Site Meter reads at over 2 million hits. That's what I like about McCann's book--I can refer to her blog and even leave a question or comment.

The Vegan Lunch Box has 16 glossy photos of McCann's artfully clever lunches, neatly divided in a special "bento" type of lunch box. The book contains 130 recipes, an idex for wheat-, gluten-, soy-, and nut-free recipes. Several of the recipes are ethnic. Cool ones to try:

* Mix Vegetable Wat (Spicy Ethiopian Stew)
* Tofu Fish Sticks (pictured in the book)
* Black Rice Pudding (A Traditional Thai Dessert)

Vegan Lunch Box covers the meals with: desserts, soups, salads, dressings, appetizers, snacks, dips, sides, sandwiches, main dishes, and holiday & party menus.

These recipes are designed both for children and adults, but the emphasis is on the kids. McCann offers fun-looking meal plates ideas and advice for dealing with the pick eater. She also understands the need of the vegan child to fit in at school.

The Vegan Lunch Box is 100% vegan and recipes are suitable for both vegans and vegetarians. McCann herself became a vegetarian at the age of 15, and then later moved toward veganism. Her book places great value on whole grains--oats, barley, spelt, brown rice, quinoa; protein--soy products, wheat gluten (seitan), nuts, seeds, beans, legumes; a wide array of fruits and vegetables; fortified juices and nondairy milks.

Vegetarians, Vegans, and those who would like to try incorporating a healthier diet into their children's lives, should take a look at Jennifer McCann's Vegan Lunch Box. It's a winner!

4 Stars]]> Wed, 1 Oct 2008 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Imaginative and Informative]]>
Jennifer McCann became a vegetarian at age 15 and ate the same thing for lunch for a year. She decided things would be different for her son. Every menu had to be graded a "5" by her son to be included in the book.

McCann packs the lunches in a clever bento-like box, allowing for lots of choices and minimal environmental waste, as they are re-usable. Very clever. The lunches are sure to appeal to kids because they are colorful and fun. McCall is aware that kids notice other kids' food and takes pains to create meals that become the envy of fellow students.

Part I is divided as follows:

* Quick and easy menus. For example, one menu includes lunch nibbles--vegan deli slices and cheese with rice crackers. Disigned for the kid to assemble.

Sample menu: veggie burger, sweet potato fries, wheat free apple crisp and Amazake to drink.

* Rise and Shine menus.

Sample menu: coconut carrot rice pudding, black strap gingerbread with lemon sauce, applesauce and soy jerky

* Ready and Waiting

Sample menu: peanut butter and jelly muffins, frozen snack tube, popcorn, vegetable juice

*Lunch box adventure
Includes menus from around the world.

* Special occasions
Birthdays, Halloween and more.

Part II is the recipes.

While some of the recipes take a bit of time to prepare, many have multiple uses. McCall has smart suggestions like baking large batches of muffins and freezing them individually--perfect for the teen on the go.

Highly recommend for all--vegan or not--for smart, fun and healthy lunches!

From the author of Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify and Energize Your Life, Your Home and Your Planet.]]> Tue, 5 Aug 2008 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Just plain fun!]]>
The clever introduction makes the case that "vegan food = normal food." The authors move on to a saucy explanation of prepping and cooking terms and some ingredient-specific advice, endlessly entertaining and informative. Take polenta: "Polenta has been called many things, each more insulting than the last: cornmeal mush, grits, porridge. But it got a new lease on life in the '90s when foodies started referring to it by its proper name and charging twenty dollars a plate for it." They follow with basic polenta-cooking instructions.

I had planned to browse and move on. I don't like to cook fiddly things -- no ravioli-making for me -- and I never seem to have enough of the right ingredients for vegan cooking. But what a surprise this book was! Even with no tempeh or miso on board, a quick pass through the front of the market gave me all I needed for some of these yummy recipes.

We loved the Israeli Couscous with Pistachios and Apricots (confession: I used regular couscous) and the Herb Scalloped Potatoes. I was planning to make Roasted Eggplant and Spinach Muffuletta Sandwich but we ate the roasted eggplant before I got the olives. My favorite recipe so far: Jalapeno-Onion Skillet Corn Bread.

There are many other recipes I'd like to try: Fresh Rosemary Foccaccia, Roasted Portobellos, Chickpeas Romanesco, Penne Vodka; and every single thing pictured in full color in the middle of the book. Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook ends with menu suggestions: My Own Private India Menu, Greek to Me and You Menu, Smash Your TV Dinner Menu. Just the names make you want to throw a party, don't they?

Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero are vegan veterans, and their knowledge and enthusiasm permeate this practical book. I recommend it as a workbook for healthier eating and just for the fun of it, too.

Linda Bulger, 2008]]> Wed, 30 Apr 2008 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Arguably the best vegan cookbook]]> Tue, 27 Nov 2007 12:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[ Wow! What a great cookbook!]]>
He takes everyday recipes and makes them vegan friendly, which is wonderful. I know some of the vegan cookbooks out there are making food into art, but in this crazy modern world how many of us have time to make 20 ingredient recipes with item we have to order? The Vegan Family Cookbook takes care of that. Often the recipes have around 5-6 ingredients commonly found in every grocery store, and small prep times. Yes, a few are special occasion, and one or two recipes in the entire book contain items you might have to send away for, but these are the exception, not the rule.

This book is a delight, and I can't wait to make more food from it!

Highly recommended!

P.S. Also, if you don't have How it All Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tayna Barnard, treat yourself to that, too. It's still my favorite, along with its two sisters, The Garden of Vegan and La Dolce Vegan, but the Vegan Family Cookbook is a close second!]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2006 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Cook book perfection]]>
Her books are not only full of the most delicious, mouthwatering recipes ever, but they are also full of cook cooking tips, nifty crafts, pop culture, and humor. This and the two preceding books she did with Tanya Bernard I have read though and through before I ever cooked out of them, just because they're fun! Sarah is also down to earth, and her books aren't preachy like other vegan books. No guilt trips here. Just good food. How good?

Wow! Not only is this book full of many yummy general recipes, the deserts in this book are to die for. Yum! Sarah also tells us how to make our own faux meat from scratch, so no more having to buy the pricey stuff from the heath food store. 95% of the ingredients used are simple things every grocery store has, and when something even semi-exotic is used, a common counterpart that can be substituted is named. Most of the recipes make 4 small or 2 large helpings, and can be made in 20-30 minutes. I appreciate this so much!

I know that I'm ranting on and on, I just literally can't say enough about Sarah or this book. If you or someone you know is vegan, or even if you want to eat healthier, I can't recommend this book enough! It's just too much fun!]]> Wed, 5 Oct 2005 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ So fun and so helpful!]]>
In a fun, witty way, both authors not only provide very yummy meals, they also give advice on how to keep kids happy on a vegan menu, how to help calm your mother down when you come out of the vegan closet, and so much more! There's even recipes for earth friendly cleaning and beauty products that not only benefit you, but the environment, and your pocket book.

Most of the food in here is down to earth and easy to find in any grocery store, and the recipes are easy to follow. They even have a suggested list of kitchen equipment.

What's really fun about this book is that I've been cooking out of it and my meat loving family like what I've been cooking, and my friends who are also omnivores like this food. It's a good book to have whether you're a vegan, have a friend who is, or just want some new healthy recipes to add to your collection.]]> Tue, 16 Aug 2005 12:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Vegan Is A Dirty Word.......? : VEGAN VITTLES]]> Pros: versatile, delicious, well written, easy to read, uses common food ingredients

Cons: use of sugar cane and chocolate,

The Bottom Line: Finding it difficult to locate high-quality recipes for substitutes for animal products in food? VEGAN VITTLES comes to the rescue!

The following is an extensive review. I wrote this review after trying unsuccessfully to find reviews or write-ups containing what I needed to know about this book before purchasing it. This review is written for those who sincerely seek information on a GOOD vegan cookbook from someone who enjoys GOOD food, and are tired of expectations not being met when they purchase a new cookbook.

If you are NOT TRULY interested in this book, or you do not want to read a long review, then skip this. Please do not waste my time criticizing its length and/or rating it poorly due to length.


I am often amazed at the people who rant and rave about animal testing in cosmetics. They will carry on and on about the cruelty to animals being tested with chemicals, and occasionally other products which obviously use animals for their production such as fur coats.

However, very often, these same people think absolutely nothing of popping animal based products in their mouths or in popping dangerous chemicals and compounds in their mouths that have been PROVEN to damage the human body extensively- an example being sugar cane. Not wanting to harm animals yet thinking nothing of harming human beings seems to be such hypocrisy.

It seems that then there are all kinds of rationalizations and excuses that come up as to why they think nothing of animal product consumption or damage to themselves and their loved ones by eating unhealthy additives in their foods.


For years, I have lived a very "inconvenient" life compared to the rest of the population, meaning the average US citizen. My entire family has learned to cook and bake items from the very basics. We grind our own flour, make our own baked goods, have made our own soy milks, nut butters, even cosmetics from natural ingredients.

Because of deep health concerns, we have gone without the US considered "basics" for years- eggs, conventional dairy, red meats, poultry, hydrogenated oils, and convenience foods of all kinds.

Being a gourmet cook, I taught myself how to make recipes out of unusual ingredients that either rivaled basic junk food, or surpassed it even to the staunchest of junk food addicts. One of my most amazing successes was to make a "Devil's Food Cake" out of brown rice flour, carob, and honey as sweetener that fooled the most heavy junk food addicts I've known. The cake looks so much like the "Duncan Hines" ideal that people actually thought we started eating junk food!

Because of food combination effects, I also learned how to cook and bake without eggs and dairy products, a feat not easily accomplished when you are gearing toward the same finished product effect.

Over the years, after limiting our animal flesh intake to only lamb or venison (donated from hunters in the area that had too much) several times a year, we began to lose our taste for meats of all kinds, organic or not. It became not a necessity but a rich treat reserved for special occasions.

Fish intake fell over time to a good low of once a month or so. It was nice to not to have to depend on grocery stores to fulfill a weekly need for fresh animal flesh.

Because of our rural location, it is not uncommon for us to experience snow to the point of not being able to get to the store for long periods of time. Many times, I have had to go many months without a car or form of transportation, so I had to develop a way of life that greatly reduced dependence on grocery stores.

We did this with great success, making it necessary to only obtain fresh produce from time to time whenever possible.

After years of living this way, the arrival of our little daughter, however, greatly changed things. No longer could I spend the attention and time making soymilk from basics. I could not spend the time I wanted to making a lot of substitutes that I used to make. Our daughter took way too much attention and time.

However, this Christmas, after receiving a soy milk maker, which GREATLY simplified things, we were back on the road again to making our own meat substitutes and such at home.

That is where this book, VEGAN VITTLES by Joanne Stepaniak comes in.


I purchased VEGAN VITTLES from after reading through many many reviews and write ups of vegan books in various locations. I have been unimpressed with most vegan literature and books that I have read, many of them being either way too fanatical, or just plain boring with unimpressive recipes in them.

The reaction to this book was very positive in the reviews I read. I also know from experience that I really enjoy another book from Joanne Stepaniak called THE UNCHEESE COOKBOOK.

After having the book for a while, I have to say that this book, VEGAN VITTLES is another winner.

A paperback book with 175 pages, VEGAN VITTLES is the same size as the UNCHEESE COOKBOOK also by Joanne Stepaniak. The measurement is 8x7inches . This is important to note for me, because that allows both books to be next to each other on a bookshelf. The current retail price is $12.95, and it is from the BOOK PUBLISHING COMPANY from Summertown Tennesee, the same publisher who originated the now infamous THE FARM VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK many years ago.

The paper is a bright matte white with an easy-to-read font used, however, because the font is not very bold, older people may have a hard time reading it in a dimly lit setting.

Here is the outline of the table of contents:

Introduction to Farm Sanctuary
Vegan Kinship
What is Veganism?
But What's Wrong With Dairy Products & Eggs?
Eating Well, The Vegan Way
Substitutes for Animal Products
Glossary of Special Ingredients
Hidden Animal Ingredients
A Week of Daily Menus

Tips & Tails (Handy Hints and Basic Recipes)
Breakfast & Breads
Uncheeses, Butters, & Spreads
Hearty Soups & Stews
Salads & Dressings
The Main Dish
Sauces, Gravies, & Condiments
Happy Endings

Index by Main Ingredient
General Index
Mail Order Sources for Vegan Products
For Further Information About the Farm Sanctuary


Because I did not find the information I really wanted to know about this book, I am going to review this in depth for those who truly want to know if this book is worth the trouble of getting it. I am supplying the kind of information I was hoping to find, but didn't- all in one place.

Each section or chapter will be titled with recipes listed. Following that, my impressions of the section will be included.


The first five sections in this book were quite a surprise to me. Lacking the usual wild-eyed fanatacism, the first few sections of this book outline the story behind why the people involved with its writing became vegan. The book is written in honor of THE FARM SANCTUARY in WATKINS GLEN, NY.

In the first five sections, you will find background on THE FARM SANCTUARY, a place where animals rejected and tortured by the animal industries are brought, nursed back to health, and then loved. The public is invited to interact with these animals to bring an element of reality to people as to what truly happens in the animal industry- especially the meat, eggs, and dairy industry.

The stories are not at all sensationalized to manipulate sympathy. Rather they are told with simple accounts of the experience of the farm owners and some of the personal looks into the lives of some animals that they rescued.

I am impressed with the approach. It is common sense, well-balanced, and very objective, lacking the usual over-passionate zeal that turns so many unknowledgable people off from vegan causes.

There are also a few articles from different people on veganism, explaining why they and others have joined the cause, what to expect and how to prepare if you are just starting.

Again, well-written and reader friendly.


This is an extensive listing for ways that you can substitute for any animal product that you may be used to having the use of. Substitutes for all kinds of products include cheese, milk, butter (in recipes and as spreads), yogurt, sour cream, cream, evaporated milk, pudding, custard, ice cream, eggs (in baked goods, and for thickening), honey, meat, MEAL TYPES (how to reorganize meals to refocus the main attention from meat).

This section is excellently done, and all kinds of alternatives are mentioned. I am very disappointed, however, on sugar cane products are pushed, as they are just as dangerous and even more damaging to the human body as many animal products. The objection to mainstream honey production is understandable, but plenty of decent humane beekeepers still exist. We have found that they truly have a respect and love for their bees.

Other than that, this section is excellent.


A very good glossary to familarize anyone with many ingredients found in the book. Detailed explanations make it very useful.


The hidden animal ingredients page is very scant in information. I am disappointed in this, it is almost useless, but not quite.

The daily menu page lists a week of daily menus to help you get started in refocusing your meals around new entrees and meal features. A nice addition to the book.


This is one of the most valuable sections of this book. Tips for making soups in a blender, pressing tofu, and recipes for basics make this very valuable and versatile.


All of these recipes are great, easy to use, and I find them very useful. Having made SEITAN the hard way for years, the time cutting methods Joanne shows in this section are worth the price of the book.


Recipes included in this section are:

Basic Nut Milk, Velvety Cashew Milk, Sweet Almond Milk, Walnut Milk, Split Second Soymilk, Carob or Chocolate Milk, Rice Milk, Sumptuous Strawberry Shake, Creamsicle Frappe, Fruit Smoothies, Cashew Almond Nog.

I have used many of these recipes with delicious results. They do not claim to be identical to dairy, but I find them to be excellent alternatives.


Recipes included in this section are:

Eggless Omelets, Breakfast Tofu Scramble, Phenomenal French Toast, Banana Flapjacks, Applejacks, "Buttermilk" Biscuits, Pecan Sticky Buns, Muffins That Taste Like Donuts, Yankee Corn Muffins, Orange-Pecan Muffins, Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake, Date & Nut Bread, Banana Tea Loaf, Pumpkin Bread

I have used a made a good portion of these recipes and have found them to be delicious and worthy of the time to make them. My only objection to this section is again the inclusion of cane sugar products- we merely substitute honey for the sugar.


Recipes included in this section are:

Incredible Almond Creme Cheeze, Carrot Butter, Classic White Uncheese, Crock Cheeze, Melty White Cheeze, Tofu Ricotta, Swiss Fondue, Creamy Cottage Cheeze, Onion Lover's Chip Dip, Glorious Green Olive Dip, Green Bean Pate

I have used about half of the recipes in this book with great success. I have found them surprisingly popular with my son and husband who used to be big cheese eaters. They do not have the strech or chewiness that cheese does, but the flavor is really nice in many of them. It takes a while to build up a love for some of them. Many recipes use nutritional yeast and miso for flavor which surprisingly work well.


Recipes in this section include:

Sadie's Vitality Broth, Hungarian Mushroom Soup, Cheddary Cheeze Soup, Lima Bean Soup, Mark's Miracle Black Bean Soup, Elegant Broccoli Bisque, French Onion Soup, Potato Kale Soup, Stick-To-Your-Ribs Chili, Chuckwagon Stew

I have only made a couple soups from this book so far, and they have been very nice. I tend to embellish them a bit more with herbs and spices, as that is my passion. I plan on working on this section a bit more over the next few months.


Recipes in this section include:

Hot & Sour Seitan Steak Salad, Vegan Antipasto, Greek Salad, Caesar Salad, Spinach Salad With Citrus Vinegarette, Cold Pasta & White Bean Salad, Fiesta Coleslaw, Sweet Pepper & Basil Potato Salad, Italian Dressing, Citrus Vinegarette, Dill Vinegarette, Thousand Island Dressing, Creamy Herb Dressing, "Sea" Sar Dressing

Since I did not purchase this book until winter, salad making is not a high priority so far. I have tried several recipes from this section so far, but mostly dressings. They are great tasting and well rounded.


Recipes in this section include:

Happy Hen Salad, Fowl Play Tempeh Salad, Messy Mikes, Welsh Rarebit, Grilled Cheeze Sandwiches, Kale & Kraut Sandwiches, Better Burgers, Easy Garbanzo-Oat Burgers, Vegan Lox & Bagels, Gyros, Tempeh Tacos, Bean Burritos, Fajitas

I have made several of these recipes (a couple of them are also in the UNCHEESE COOKBOOK) and they have been excellent filling sandwiches. It takes a while to adjust from the "meat" texture to these if you are making a sudden change, but otherwise, they are loaded with flavor and texture of their own.


Recipes in this section include:

Marinated Tofu, Tempeh, & Seitan, Broiling or Grilling Marinated Tofu, Tempeh, & Seitan, Southern Fried Tofu, Oven Roasted Tom Tofu, Chick Peas A La King, Cauliflower Paprikash, Classic Quiche, Stuffed Omelets, O-Konomi-Yaki, Unstuffed Shells, Macaroni & Cheeze, Chili Bean Macaroni, Not Your Mama's Meatloaf, Unbroiled Cabbage Rolls, Pot Roast, Hot & Sour Noodles, Barbecue-Style Braised Short "Ribs", Seitan Mushroom Stroganoff, Pilgrim Pie, Spaghetti with Meaty Mushroom Sauce

Every recipe I have tried from this section has been filling, delicious, and the plates licked clean! The meals are easy to make, the ingredients easy to have on hand, and they seem to be a hit with everyone here.


Recipes in this section include:

Velvety Cheese Sauce, Roasted Garlic Gravy, Golden Gravy, Rich Brown Gravy, Mushroom Gravy, Tomato Pasta Sauce, Hollandaze Sauce, Tangy White Bean Sauce, Spicy Peanut Sauce, Tunisian Cream Sauce, Ravigote, Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce, Low-Fat Egg-Free Mayonnaise, Tofu Sour Cream, Tofu Sour Cream Spread

I have only made a few recipes from this section so far, but they are fantastic. The Vegetarian Worchestershire Sauce, Low-Fat Egg-Free Mayonnaise, and the Tofu Sour Cream recipes are favorites around here. They are difficult recipes to find - especially all in one book.


Recipes in this chapter include:

Cheezecake Praline Tarts, Edna's Peach Kuchen, Lemon Cloud Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Ultra-Fudgey Fudge Brownies, Judi's Lemon Date Squares, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Grandmother's Spice Cake, Aunt Bunny's Carrot Cake, Mile-High Carob or Chocolate Layer Cake, The World's Best (and Easiest) Chocolate Pudding, Celebration Cake, Vanilla Nice Cream, Fruity Nice Cream, Orange "Buttermilk" Sherbet, Frozen Maple Custard, Mocha Nice Cream, Rich Fudge Frosting, Cream Cheeze Frosting, Sea Foam Icing, Heavenly Coconut Icing, Citrus Whip, Lemon Curd, Tofu Whipped Topping

This section brings mixed reaction for us. I find that they include cane sugar way too much to be of value as they are without adaptation. However, I do like that Joanne does include on occasion carob AND chocolate (chocolate being as damaging as cane sugar), as well as several maple syrup recipes in here.

I have only been able to use three recipes as they appear in the book, having to make some changes to all others. Of course, I find that with most cookbooks, but I am disappointed in the lack of healthy alternatives in this section.


Despite some shortcomings with this book, I find that on the whole it is one of the most valuable and important cookbooks that I own. Not only does it have healthy alternatives to many common food sources (which are not healthy), but they are easy to make, taste great, and are not made of obscure ingredients.

This is an excellent cookbook to have if you want to save money, survive rural conditions and still feel like a royalty, honor veganism, and serve meals that honor your convictions that will appeal to almost anyone- even meat eaters.

I find that little notes and interesting chef tips scattered throughout the book make it fun to read as well as interesting. The personal stories of the animals add to its charm.

I can not recommend this book highly enough to anyone seriously interested in using meat and animal product substitutes that will not leave them feeling like they are missing something.

VEGAN VITTLES is a top choice winner in my vast collection of cookbooks!


One thing I have noticed about many of the cookbooks from Joanne Stepaniak and a few others from BOOK PUBLISHING is that they have a tendency to include many Jewish substitution recipes- which many of that tradition will find helpful at family gatherings where you want to eat vegan, but still participate in holidays. This cookbook has a few, but there are more in Joanne's other book I will review eventually called, VEGAN DELI.

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<![CDATA[ Excellent one-stop resource]]> Here are a few examples of the questions answered in this book. Where can I find vegan marshmallows? At the moment, there aren't any. Is it true that Krispy Kreme donuts are vegan? No. Does guacamole contain gelatin? Some processed kinds do, but fresh guacamole is often gelatin-free. I just found out gummy bears are made with gelatin. Is there a veggie bear available? Yes. My daughter is raising her infant son on a vegan diet. Should I be worried? Not if the child is getting adequate nutrition. Why do people become vegetarian? Among the many reasons are dislike of meat, belief in non-violence, compassion for animals, and health, cological and religious concerns. Are there vegan flu vaccines? No, because vaccine materials are generally grown on egg-based media. Is photographic film really made of cow bones? Yes. Can I be a vegan and an athlete? Yes. Does bone china really have bones in it? Yes. Is tattoo ink vegan? Ask your tattooist.

The book also contains a number of vegetarian recipes, and has a large appendix including a quick guide to fast food, a senior's (and athlete's) guide to good nutrition, a feeding plan for infants and toddlers, and the protein content of selected fast foods.

This is an excellent one-stop resource for all things vegetarian. For anyone who wants to learn more about vegetarianism, or those who want to become vegetarians but don't how to go about it, start here. Even veggie veterans will learn a lot from this book. It is well worth reading.

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