Tag Archives: vegan

VIDEO: Kevin Smith & Harley Quinn Talk Compassion & Going All The Way

Filmmaker Kevin Smith and his actress daughter, Harley Quinn Smith discuss her decision to go vegan over a meal at Doomie’s Home Cookin’ in LA. The father-daughter duo have an open and honest conversation about the stigma of vegan food, what we were taught growing up about eating animals and why Harley wanted to “go all the way” for them The video is part of Farm Sanctuary’s Compassionate Meals series, which encourages people to take a friend out for a compassionate meal and engage in conversation about what compassion is.

Instead of taking a bullying approach that so many animal activists resort to, the Compassionate Meals series opens the conversation between vegans and nonvegans to talk about our beliefs and the welfare of animals.

For more information: farmsanctuary.org

Mama Kate’s Potato Salad

Like many people, I learned how to cook from my mother.  I began cooking and baking when I was 8-years-old and adored that time spent with Mom.

Whenever I make one of her recipes, I get nostalgic and sometimes, it feels like Mom is right there with me in the kitchen.  Yesterday marked 9 years since she has passed away and the moments I miss most were those times we slaved away well into the wee hours of the morning cooking for holidays.  We’d laugh so hard and listen to music and talk about anything and everything.

The thing about Mom’s recipes, though, besides being delicious, they were never vegan or measured out.  Hell, I still don’t measure anything, unless I’m creating a recipe to post on the blog.

Mom’s potato salad is one recipe that can easily be made vegan.  I had my siblings be the judge on comparing the taste and they gave it a family stamp of approval.

This potato salad wins over any crowd, even those who don’t generally like potato salad.  It even won a contest at a barbecue with my friends a few years back.  The ingredients are simple and the hardest part of this recipe is boiling, cutting and peeling the potatoes!  But if you hate peeling like I do, and love tater skins, use red potatoes, keep those skins on and you’ll love it just the same!



5lbs Red Potatoes
1.5 Cups Vegan Mayonnaise (I use Follow Your Heart’s Vegenaise)
1 Onion, chopped
1 TBSP White or Apple Cider Vinegar
A few splashes Nondairy Milk
2 tsp Salt or to taste
1 tsp Pepper or to taste
1 TBSP dried or fresh Parsley, plus more for garnish

Step 1: Wash potatoes and peel if desired. Place in pot with water and boil until a fork can easily go through potato.

Step 2: Run cold water over potatoes for a few minutes and set aside to cool off.

Step 3: Once potatoes are cooled down, slice into chunks.

Step 4: Stir together chopped onion and potatoes.

Step 5: Season potatoes and onions with salt, pepper and parsley. Mix together.

Step 6: Add vinegar and nondairy milk and mix before adding in mayo. If potatoes look dry, add more mayo.

Step 7: Store in refrigerator overnight preferably or for a few hours. The flavor will set in and it will taste much better the next day. If salad looks dry, add a little more nondairy milk and/or mayo.

Step 8: Garnish with parsley.

*Non-vegans: Mom used Hellman’s mayonnaise only (swore by the stuff) and also used about 3 crumbled hard-boiled eggs in this recipe.

Trying out this recipe?
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Funky Monkey Stuffed French Toast

I’m very much the unplanned cook.  I don’t purchase ingredients with recipes in mind, I create recipes from what I have on-hand.  This system can fail, but often, I enjoy the challenge and come up with some pretty creative ways to incorporate things from my pantry.

This stuffed French toast recipe was inspired by something I saw online, but I have changed quite a bit.  It’s easy, vegan and customizable!

funky monkey french toast 2FUNKY MONKEY STUFFED FRENCH TOAST


1/2 Banana, the riper, the better!
1/4 cup Nut Butter (I used Almond, but I bet PB would be fantastic!)
1 TBSP Cacao or Cocoa Powder
1 TBSP Cacao Nibs or Nondairy Chocolate Chips
2 TBSP Brewed Coffee

1 tsp Vanilla
1 TBSP Brewed Coffee
Dash Ground Cinnamon
Dash Ground Turmeric
1/2 cup Nondairy Milk
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Lemon Juice

6 Slices Whole Grain Bread (or any bread you want!)
2 TBSP Coconut Oil

Optional Toppings: Sliced Banana, Maple Syrup, Cacao Nibs, Powdered Sugar, Cinnamon, Walnuts, Chocolate Sauce, Honey or Agave

Step 1: Mix ingredients of batter with a fork and let sit for a minute.  This will allow time for the mixture to curdle to make a buttermilk consistency.

Step 2: While waiting for the batter to curdle, mix together the ingredients of the filling.  Mixture should be spreadable.  If it is too runny, add more banana or almond butter.

Step 3: Spread filling on 3 slices of bread.  Place the other 3 slices on top to make sandwiches.  Cut diagonally.

Step 4: Heat a pan on low to medium heat.  Add the coconut oil to the pan.

Step 5: Soak sandwich halves into batter, making sure the bread gets wet on all sides.  Don’t soak too long though – you don’t want the bread to fall apart!  Immediately, place in pan.*

Step 6: Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.  Serve on a plate with maple syrup and banana slices or your toppings of choice.  Enjoy!

*Author’s Note: Some breads get soggier than others, so choose wisely.  The first time I made this, the bread I used barely got soggy, which upset me – I want my French Toast to be a little doughy.  I switched to Multigrain Sunflower Bread from Costco and it was the right choice – but I had to be very quick with the batter process or else it would have fallen apart.

Trying out this recipe?
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Ben & Jerry’s Vegan Flavors Reviewed!

By now, you’ve probably heard the news… world renown, commercial brand, Ben & Jerry’s released 4 vegan flavors of ice cream.  Lactose-intolerant and vegans everywhere rejoiced at the news and desperately searched their local grocery stores for their fix. (I found them at Publix!)

While the release of vegan flavors from this ice cream brand giant is an amazing thing in the vegan community, it doesn’t mean all of the flavors are worth a lick.

Plenty of dedicated vegan brands, like So Delicious and Luna & Larry’s, make top-notch ice cream that give the better-known Ben & Jerry’s a lesson in nondairy.

My top picks: Luna & Larry’s Salted Caramel & Chocolate, made with coconut milk and So Delicious’ Salted Caramel Cluster, made with cashew milk — okay, so I’m a bit of a salted caramel fan!

Here is my breakdown of the flavor profile of B&J’s nondairy line.

Chunky Monkey
I’m not all that familiar with the dairy version of Chunky Monkey, but the nondairy version fairs well.  It’s not something I would normally pick out — I prefer actual bananas to banana flavored ice cream, but the walnuts and fudge pieces do a decent job of breaking it up.

Coffee Caramel Fudge
An original almond milk flavor, this one, which I was most excited to try was the most disappointing!  There was no richness to the flavor or texture; in fact, there was a cardboard after taste that overpowered anything else.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie
I’m not much of a chocolate-on-chocolate person, and the quality of chocolate used in this vegan version was just okay.  It was a decent frozen treat, but I’ve had way better.

PB & Cookies
This was the winner by a long shot!  Peanut Butter swirls mixed with Oreo-style sandwich cookies in vanilla ice cream… yum!  Finally a flavor that didn’t feel like it was lacking due to it being nondairy.  This is also the only flavor they currently serve by the scoop in Ben & Jerry’s stores.  I hope B&J learn what they did right with this flavor and revamp the rest.

Have you tried the new Ben & Jerry’s nondairy line?  What did you think?  Or share with us your favorite vegan ice cream!

Food Finds: Comfort Food Quick Fixes

I try hard to eat healthy and not a bunch of processed foods.  Let’s face it, sometimes you just need a quick, indulgent fix though!  Being vegan, that doesn’t always come so easy.  I can’t just walk into any old store and pick up some Easy Mac, or an already cooked comfort food, like those whole chickens from Costco or Publix so many people I know pick up.  I can hear them sucking the grease off their fingers from the other room.

Although it’s not so easy for vegans, it has become way easier.  I recently gave into some comfort foods I found in my local grocery store.  Now that I’m in Nashville, I go to Kroger – definitely not the healthiest of grocery store options, but more affordable than some of the others.  To my surprise, Kroger does have a decent selection, and even carries some items I have yet to see!  Read on to find out about some awesome tasting vegan delights.  But be careful with this stuff.  Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it should be consumed in mass quantities.

Daiya Cheezy Mac
daiya boxI can’t tell you how many brands of dairy-free macaroni & cheese I have tried that taste purely of cardboard. Each time I’ve tried these awful substitutions, I vowed only to make my own concoction, which is delish. However, it still upset me that I couldn’t grab a box of the stuff and whip it up in a pinch, and on those days I just don’t want to cook.

Well, when I came across Daiya brand’s Cheezy Mac, I was quite skeptical. I had been in this predicament before. I like all of Daiya’s products, so why should their mac & cheese be questionable? Well, I thought the same thing about Earth Balance and was highly disappointed in their macaroni and cheese. Yuck, I actually added hot sauce and potato chips to try and get it to taste good, and was only mildly successful.

cheezy macBut alas, I was ecstatic when I tried the Daiya Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggie Cheezy Mac! My gosh, this stuff is terrific and SO simple to make!!! All you do is boil the macaroni and add the cheeze sauce and voila, the comfort of childhood without any dairy…or powdered cheese. AMAZING!! 5 Star Review, Daiya! Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Dream Caramel Latte
dream latteYou know those Starbucks Frappuccino bottles you find in grocery stores? I used to love the vanilla or caramel flavor. When I saw the makers of Almond/Soy/Rice Dream make something similar, I thought it would be fun to try and see how it measured up. The results? While I wouldn’t say it is better than the creamy, delicious, but oh so dairy and refined sugar-laden Starbucks bottles, the Caramel Latte flavor was pleasant, but not very caramelly. And it gets chunky kind of easily with all of the almond milk settling. I’ll give this one 2.5 Stars.

Gardein BBQ Pocket Meals
gardein boxGardein products are usually one of the better mock meat offerings out there. One of my weaknesses is BBQ sauce. I’ll put it on anything. Before my vegan days, I loved BBQ wings and pulled pork – mostly because of the sauce. When I saw Gardein’s BBQ Pocket meals, I knew I had to have it! The “pulled porkless shreds” are in a delicious breading, which reminded me of a soft roll you’d get from an Asian restaurant for a pork bun. These pockets are microwavable or can be popped into the oven. I tried them both ways and they taste great! Though I’m really trying hard NOT to use a microwave anymore. Gardein gets 5 stars for this product!

Jiffy Vegetarian Instant Corn Muffin Mix
jiffyI’ve been craving a corn muffin for about a year now. I’ve been meaning to make a batch from scratch and even saved some recipes on Pinterest, but just have not gotten around to it. I was in the baking aisle not knowing what I was looking for exactly when I saw a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix with the green vegetarian label on it. Curiously, I picked up the box and saw the mix itself was vegan.

Cheezy Mac with Corn Muffin Crumbles.
Cheezy Mac with Corn Muffin Crumbles.

I substituted the eggs with ground flax and followed the instructions on the mix. The muffins came out delicious… but they did not hold together. I went against my better baking judgment and didn’t add water to the flax since the Jiffy box did not say to. I think that would have made all the difference. Anyway, still a great comfort food fix when I’m looking for a quick muffin mix. By the way, I made use of all the crumbled corn muffins by throwing them on top of my Daiya Cheezy Mac and adding chili powder… so amazing!! Jiffy’s Vegetarian Corn Muffin mix gets 4 stars for not directing us correctly!