Pasta Salad

30 05 2012

Vegan Pasta Salad

  • 3 C cooked & cooled whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 C baked tofu cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 C chopped spinach or defrosted  veggies 
  • 1/2 C+ vegan mayo 
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1/2 C chopped scallions
  • 1 T hot sauce or curry paste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients but the pasta. Mix well. Add pasta and serve.


Easy Vegan Gnocchi

29 05 2012
  • 1 1/2 cup instant potato flakes
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg equivalent of prepared egg replacer

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl
3. Stir in the water and egg replacer until just mixed
4. Knead dough for about 30 seconds. Form dough  into snakes roughly the thickness of your thumb. Cut 1/2 inch wide pieces from snakes and roll each piece into a ball (roll with a fork to make gnocchi shape).
5. Boil gnocchi until they float. Remove gnocchi and serve with your favorite sauce.

Breaded Zucchini

25 05 2012

I was recently able to harvest the first fruits from my garden!  The next challenge was how to prepare them.  For those of you who don’t know me- I’m frugal, and don’t have much time to spend ‘cooking’.


2 medium zucchini
1/2 C breadcrumbs
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1T nutritional yeast
pinch salt & pepper
1/2-1C soy milk

  • Preheat the over to 425
  • Combine the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  • Cut the washed  zucchini into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Drop the slices into the bread crumbs, lightly coating them.
  • Next drop them into the soy milk, and again into the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Add the coated zucchini onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  • Bake  in oven for 20 mins (or until breadcrumbs are golden brown). Turing the zucchini halfway through baking will result in crisper pieces.
  • Serve with a dipping sauce, or over whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce.

10 ways to stay vegan

25 05 2012

Many people struggle with the commitment to a vegan lifestyle. Reasons can include a wide array of excuses or conflicts. From not having the time to research everything to not having support from friends and family, we understand! Here are a few small steps that can help you remain vegan.

  1. Find other vegans. Whether online or in real life, having other people to ask questions or bond with goes a long way when you’re surrounded by a meat consuming society. Here are a few ideas to help expand your vegan companions:
    Check Meetup for local vegan/vegetarian activities
    Search for vegan groups on Facebook
    Single? Check out vegan dating sites 
  2. Create a collection of easy vegan recipes– Start small and get a few quick easy recipes that you like. I would suggest cooking meals at home and bag your lunch until you can find the vegan-friendly options around school or the office. Pinterest is a great resource for finding simple recipes, or you can search
  3. Remind yourself why you went vegan in the first place. Grab a box of tissues and watch Earthlings or other such movies when you feel yourself starting to stray!
  4. Planning ahead is key. If your going out with friends be the one to pick the restaurant. Find out what places your friends like and check out the menus online prior to choosing the destination. If you are eating over a friend’s or family member’s house offer to bring a dish with you, and make sure there is enough for everyone.
  5. Invite your friends or family over for a great vegan dinner. Help them understand why you’re a vegan. Don’t be afraid to let them know how it feels to be made fun of for it. If they are friends they will listen.
  6. Don’t try to replace everything! This one may sound odd but, wait before trying vegan cheese. Cheese is often the hardest thing for vegans to let go of. Honestly, most cheese alternatives aren’t the same. Imagine that you took a sip of buttermilk thinking it was soymilk. You would immediately think that the taste and texture was ‘wrong.’ There is NOTHING wrong with vegan cheese- it is easier to appreciate it when you’re not comparing it to your favorite cheddar cheese. This can apply to any particular food that you really have a strong tie to.
  7. There’s an app for that. Download vegan apps to your phone that can help you navigate through everyday life. There are apps that help you find vegan wine and beer, locate veg-friendly restaurants, pick out products that aren’t tested on animals, and identify animal ingredients in food. 
  8. Find your staples. For me it was Nissin Top Ramen oriental flavor, soymilk, Tofutti Cuties, Tofurky Sausage, and pasta w/ pasta sauce. I always keep extra in the house so I will never have a “there is nothing to eat” moment.
  9. Help with dinner.  Living at home? Help your parents prepare vegan versions of the family dinner. Better yet- cook once a week, avoid the tofu if your dad has a fear of it (like mine). I stick with dishes that don’t use “fake” meat and dairy. Try Pasta Fazool or cook spinach, broccoli, and white beans in garlic and olive oil to serve over pasta.
  10. Go food shopping. Don’t buy your own food? Help with the food shopping! This all comes back to doing your research. Visit PETA’s Accidentally Vegan page and make a list of your favorites. Read the boxes, more companies are starting to label their products vegan. Look for pareve labels on food to aid in finding vegan options.

If you are just starting out, it gets easier! You will begin to remember the vegan friendly products and restaurants. Your mother will see that you take your nutrition seriously and aren’t wasting away. Your friends and family will run out of meat eating jokes and comments (until then you can enjoy a game of Omnivore Bingo).

As seen on TDIV- 10 ways to stay vegan | This Dish Is Veg – Vegan, Animal Rights, Eco-friendly News.

Q&A: Do vegans make sure their prescription medications are free of animal products?

24 05 2012


Q: Do vegans make sure their prescription medications are free of animal products? 

A: Sure! We would all like to answer YES to that question, but it isn’t as simple as that. There are many factors to consider. Is the main ingredient of the prescription derived from an animal? Many, but not all vegans would refuse the drug. Secondary ingredients serve a little harder choice to make. Finding out what is used as filler in your medication has become easier thanks to internet sites like But, often there are no animal-free alternatives.

The more concerning factor, as a vegan needing prescription medications, is the animal testing; the FDA requires all medication to be tested on animals. Some vegans make sacrifices and avoid medications all together. I personally do the research to find the most vegan friendly option, and often stick to the generic option with the least amount of animal ingredients.

Being a vegan is about living a lifestyle that does not support animal exploitation as much as possible and practicable; it is not about being 100% vegan. Besides- you can’t fight for animal rights if you’re dead!

Post originally written for TDIV. Q&A: Do vegans make sure their prescription medications are free of animal products?

Get Your Family to Eat More Vegetables!

21 05 2012

Yes, it is true. There are vegans who just don’t like vegetables.
In my household two of us have a second job, so we simply don’t have the time to prepare sides with our meals.  We also do not agree on what veggies that we like!
Everyone agreed that we needed to eat more vegetables. I came up with an easy low-cost way to add veggies to a meal, without adding to our prep-time.  At first my husband didn’t even notice that he was eating spinach with almost every dinner!

Here is what we do, once a week I prepare a selection of veggies to ‘hide’ in food.


Combine in a large food processor:
3/4 bag frozen spinach
1/4 bag frozen broccoli
1/2 bag baby carrots
1 clove garlic

Freeze the mixture in a container or freezer bag.
If you have a smaller food processor, complete it in two smaller batches.
The small size helps the food defrost quickly!
You can add the extra veggies to many meals:
Add to pasta sauce- serve over pasta with beans
Cook with Olive Oil as a Pesto over pasta, pierogies, or gnocchi
Mix it in to mashed potatoes
Add it to rice
Add it to pizza

Pinterest… Helping with Dinner!

21 05 2012

475 pins later! This is by far the BEST place where I have found new recipes.  Other people scour the web and do most of the work for you!

I am going to take a Pinterest challenge, and make one new recipe, found through Pinterest, each day for the next two weeks!

First stop?  I found a quick recipe, and changed it to what I had in the fridge!

Vegan Buffalo Bites.

Easy Vegan Buffalo Bites

4 Servings

1 package vegan sausage
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp hot sauce of choice
2 Tbsp oil- for the pan

1. Gather your ingredients. Heat the oil in a pan over med-high heat.
2. Cut your sausage links in half through the long side, than into 1/2 inch thick pieces
3. Coat each sausage piece in the breadcrumbs and place in the hot pan. Allow each nugget to cook for 2 minutes on each side. You want the breadcrumbs to toast.
4. When your nuggets are evenly cooked, and the oil mostly absorbed. Turn the heat off and add in the hot sauce. Toss the nuggets in the pan with the sauce.
5. Serve.

 Quick way to dress up vegan sausage. I Like to serve it over pasta with a little sauce and spinach.

Pros: Quick! Spicy, pending you like the heat. Adds a slight crunch to the ‘sausage’
Cons: Does not change the ‘sausage’ much.