This blog is about living Vegan. It includes Vegan lifestyle, Vegan events, and anything else I find interesting.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Product Review: Manhattan Special Pure Espresso Coffee Soda

We went to our local Italian Grocery today to get another case of Pellegrino when a bottle of Manhattan Special Pure Espresso Coffee Soda caught my eye. It's made with fresh roasted espresso and cane sugar.

I like things really sweet, so I mixed about 1/3 glass coffee soda with some Vanilla Silk and topped it with whipped cream. It was sort of like an "Egg Cream." I definitely liked it!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Highlight of My Trip to "The Big Apple"

Here's an obviously posed photo of Eric from Satya and Danny from V-Spot.

I had the opportunity to hang out with both of them last night. It's very exciting to meet people who are working so hard to make positive contributions to the vegan community. It doesn't hurt that both of them are great guys to boot!

Restaurant Review: The V-Spot

The V-Spot is a fantastic new restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn (the only 100% all-vegan restaurant in Park Slope from what I hear!)

It's owned and operated by 28-year-old Vegan, Danny. If you're lucky, he'll be your waiter if you go in the evening. The menu is very reasonably priced and varied. There's something for everyone. Here's what we got:

Nacho Platter: White and Blue Corn Nachos, salsa, homemade guacamole, sour cream, refried beans, bean salsa, and taco meat. Verdict: Delicious!

Empan- adas: Delicious fried triangles stuffed with a mixture of chicken, corn, peppers, and other unid- entifiable goodies! They were really, really good. If you visit V-Spot, these are a 'must-try.'

I went to V-Spot with two other people. I took a picture of my entree first, but they had already eaten a good portion of theirs before I was able to snap a shot. Just know, the portions at V-Spot are VERY generous, they just look small because the second two pictures are taken mid-dinner!

My entree: Chicken Parm Hero with Yam Fries. This sandwich is gigantic! I ate such a small portion of it and saved the rest for lunch today. It was so big, in fact, that Gian and I both ate some for lunch and were full!! The Yam Fries were great, perfectly sweet.

E. got the special: Chicken Burrito with a chopped salad. The burrito had fried chicken, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, rice, beans, lettuce and tomato. It was pretty big and E. said it was delicious but next time would ask for more rice and beans.

D. had the meatloaf dinner. It was V-Spot's homemade meatloaf (an improved recipe from their first opening, I hear), mashed potatoes, and sweet corn topped with homemade gravy. The meatloaf was very good, I think it rivals Counter's meatloaf dish (my previous favorite).

For dessert I had a Vanilla Milkshake but was so excited I forgot to take a picture. They use Klines ice cream and sweetened Silk - it was one of the best milkshakes I've had. Defintely better than FoodSwings or VP2.

Overall: extrememly impressive. The service was a little slow, but well worth the wait. Also, the ambiance is great - they have a huge outdoor patio that at night was the perfect dinner temperature.

The V-Spot Cafe
156 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(between Douglas and Degraw - Park Slope)

Restaurant Review: Gobo Bubble Tea

I love Gobo Restaurant.

They have a wonderful Pineapple Fried Rice dish and a delicious Vegetable Curry.

They also have a great selection of freshly made Bubble Tea (or Boba Tea). They have a few flavors, yesterday I chose Black Tea with Soymilk (they use Vitasoy), extra sweet. Mmmmm!

This morning I came across a similar post by Urban Vegan with a recipe for making your own bubble tea.

In my experience, most bubble teas are made from a mix that is not vegan, make sure you check first before consuming!

Gobo East Village
401 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10014
(between Waverly Place & 8th Street)

Product Review: 'Snice Ice Cream Sandwich

Okay, let me start by saying that I love 'Snice. I love their wraps, their Earl Grey Bars, their Date Bars, their teas, etc. I had read a number of reviews of their ice cream sandwiches but everytime I went there they were out of ice cream - except yesterday. I was thrilled.

They only had one vegan cookie option - Chocolate Chip Peanut Chunk. The cookie was crumbly and looked "healthy" but I persevered. They scooped some Vanilla Soy Delicious between two cookies and handed it over.

The verdict: It was just okay. The cookie was pretty good, but the Soy Delicious was just "blah." Also, the ice cream squirted out all over the place when you bit into it because it wasn't firm. Overall I was disappointed.

45 8th Avenue
New York 10014
(At W 4th Street)

Product Review: Smackin' Good Whipped Topping

It just keeps getting better!

I took a trip to NYC yesterday and in my travels stopped at FoodSwings to see what kind of delicious vegan junkfood they had for purchase! They didn't have any chocolates, but they did have Smackin' Good Whipped Topping! I gave a review a few days ago on Soya Too Whipped Topping; well, Smackin' Good Whipped Topping is way creamier. It tastes much more like regular whipped cream.

I tried it out on some hot chocolate and it was perfection. Creamy, sweet, light, whipped, yum!


This is a photo from the last bout of flooding here in April of 2005. The river rose 32+ feet.

Here's a picture from this morning. The bridge is normally about 40 feet above the river.

The water is at 34+ feet and is expected to crest above 38 feet. 38 feet is like the magic number, once the river reaches 38 feet, it spills into the town itself. Right now it's only flooding those areas directly around the river. It's ridiculous.

This is the fourth major flood since September of 2004. Before 2004, the highest recorded flood was in 1955 at 38.85 feet. Before that, nothing really comes close. In 2004 and in 2005, they referred to the flooding as the "100-year flood" implying that the magnitude of flooding experienced during those storms was so rare it would only occur every 100 years. I think they forgot to factor in global warming and exponentially expanding developments into the equation.

In August, 1955 the river reached 38.85 feet.
In September, 2004 the river reached 30.95 feet.
In April, 2005 the river reached 32.75 feet.
On October, 9, 2005 the river reached 17.26 feet.

I almost forgot the best part - the water treatment plant in our town is only a few hundred yards from the river and every time the river floods we can't use our water for a few days until they clean it all out. Yuck.

Who doesn't love Moby?

Moby filmed a short film for the American Humane Society on Factory Farming.

You can order a free copy of the DVD here: HSUS DVD.

You can watch a clip here: Video Clip.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Recipe: Smoothies!

Yesterday (well, really last night) we got two bags of frozen berries from Wegman's. This morning I just couldn't wait to make some smoothies. I realized part-way through that I forgot to get bananas! Oh, well.
I like to keep things simple, so the smoothies only took about 5 minutes total, including clean-up.


Mixed Berry Smoothies

1 1/2 c Vanilla Silk
1 c frozen strawberries
1/4 c frozen blueberries
1/4 c frozen raspberries
2 T sweetner (optional)

Add all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for 2 minutes until completely smooth. Add more Silk if necessary to blend.

Check it out: my blender shows the RPMs of the blade - this smoothie was blended at 10,000 RPMs - fun!

I Need This!

I absolutely love fresh herbs and vegetables; however, I have the blackest thumb imaginable when it comes to houseplants and outdoor gardening. It's sad, really, I come from a long-line of gardeners but somehow the green thumb gene skipped my generation! Enter the Herbi Smart Hydroponic Garden! This nifty device keeps a constant watch on your plant's water and pH levels and administers the appropriate care as needed! No info on when this will be available or how expensive it will be, but I'll certainly keep a look-out!

Shopping Trip 6/26/06

We went to Wegman's because we heard that they now carry Soya-Too Whipped Topping in a can. They were unfortunately out of it, but we found a lot of other goodies anyway:

Chocolate Silk (for hot chocolate - wish we had the whipped topping!)
Vanilla Silk
Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch
Smart Dogs
Rosemary Olive Oil Sourdough Bread
Whole Wheat Hotdog Buns
Cooking Spray
Frozen Mixed Berries and Strawberries (for smoothies)
Tofurkey Hickory Smoked Slices
Tazo Vanilla Tea
Vegan Rella (they finally had it in stock!!)
French Vanilla Tea Bags

As you can see we aren't always the healthiest shoppers!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Recipe: Grilled Fruit

NPR has an article on summer grilling with descriptions and ingredients for how to grill fruit for dessert.

The article says that the grilling brings out the flavor and essence of the fruit. The full article can be found here: Grilled Fruit


Grilled Fruit

Serves 6

2 ripe bananas

2 ripe peaches

1-pound container of strawberries

1 stick of butter (obviously, use margarine)

Tablespoon of sugar

Peel the bananas. Rinse the peaches and strawberries; pat dry. Slice the peaches into quarters (make sure they are big enough to put straight on the grill). Cut off tops of the strawberries.

Place the strawberries on aluminum foil. Sprinkle with sugar and wrap. Put some butter on each banana and on each peach slice.

Place all of the fruit on the grill. Monitor the fire. If the flames get too high, place cover on the grill. Cook until there are visible grill marks or black crisps. Depending on the heat, do not cook longer than 15 minutes.

Bananas take the least amount of time and are usually done in about 10 minutes. Strawberries take the longest. Remove fruit as soon as it's done. Cover until ready to serve.

Product Review: Vegan Treats Soft-Serve

Vegan Treats is quite possibly my favorite Vegan "rest- aurant." Their retail store is located at 1444 Linden St. in Bethlehem, PA. Instead of reviewing it a a whole, I'll do some product reviews.

Every Saturday, the retail store sells soft-serve. It's all homemade (so you don't have to worry about the Gianna's Grille-style fiasco of serving a mix that isn't actually vegan!) and the flavors are different each week. Sometimes in the summer, if it's especially hot, they'll have soft-serve every day. Call first to be sure!

Yesterday's flavors were Peanut Butter and Chocolate. I had a Brownie Soft-Serve Sundae: Warm Rocky Road Brownie (complete with vegan marshmallows!) with Chocolate and Peanut Butter twist soft-serve, topped with Whipped Cream and drizzled with Chocolate. Ridiculously rich and delicious.

Vegan Treats soft-serve is by far the best soft-serve I've had (Vegan or non-Vegan). It's incredibly rich and smooth - not at all "icy" as many vegan soft-serves are.

Some past flavors:

Peanut Butter
Strawberry (with fresh picked berries)
Orance Creamsicle

Restaurant Review: Zenith (NYC)

Zenith is a Japanese-inspired vegetarian restaurant. It's located on 311 W 48th Street, near 8th Avenue and shares a space with a non-vegetarian Japanese Restaurant.

The ambiance is great and the food was amazing! We started with their homemade vegetable dumplings (recom- mended by the waiter). They were very flavorful and really fresh tasting.

For our entrees, we got their combo platter. You can pick two entrees and they serve them together. My friend got Vegetable Curry with Seitan and Sweet and Sour Seitan.

I got Crepes Esperantes and Vegetarian Quilt. Both were amazing. The "Quilt" had a light peanut sauce with fresh vegetables inside. The Crepes were a little spinachy but were wrapped in a soy-crepe that was really flavorful with a sweet sauce.


The singer for A.F.I., Davey Havok, and the guitarist, Hunter are vegan. The drummer, Adam Carson, and the bassist, Jade Puget are vegetarian. They contacted a friend of mine and asked her to provide some Vegan Treats for their show at Roseland Ballroom in NYC this past Friday. I'm not a huge fan of their music, but it was fun. They gave us all-access passes so we were able to watch the show from the side of the stage.
They also ordered a a birthday cake for their tour manager, Smith. The cake had a picture of the band Crucifix's first album. Apparently Smith is a fan. They band sang Happy Birthday to him on the stage and presented him with the cake. Overall it was really fun!
These aren't the exact desserts A.F.I. requested, but they give you an idea of what they looked like. A.F.I. got an assortment of cupcakes, doughnuts, buns, and of course, the birthday cake.

The band talks a little about being Vegan here: Rolling Stone

Oh yeah, that guy taking a picture of Smith and the cake is the editor for the Japanese magazine, Tokion.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Restaurant Review: (New) Harmony

New Harmony is located at 135 N. 9th Street (between Race Street and Vine Street), Phila- delphia. I went out to dinner last night at New Harmony (I realized though, that people who actually say "New" Harmony as opposed to Harmony, are N00bs.) We ordered the "Dinner for Two $23.95." It consists of Tofu Vegetable Soup, Scalllion Pancakes with ginger dipping sauce, Shrimp with Walnuts, Ham and Vegetables, Brown Rice, and Fried Bananas. When the soup came out, I reached in my purse for my camera and realized I left it at home!

A travesty.

Anyway, these pictures are of the leftover Shrimp and Ham and Veggies.

The Shrimp with Walnuts was way different than the last time I got it - this time it was topped with their homemade mayonaise. Now, I've never actually had "real" Shrimp with Walnuts, but I doubt they put mayo on it. It would have been great if not for the mayo.

Too Cute.

My parents rescued this puppy about a month ago from a shelter in our area. She's a boxer/lab mix and is the cutest little thing!

My parents are on vacation (in Belize and Mixico - I'm so jealous!) and we are watching her while they're away. She follows George around all day and mimics his every move. Well, almost every move. My parents assured me that she was housebroken; however, she's not. She finally started to follow George outside to relieve herself, but she's very inconsistent.

Her name is Rusty, but for the week I've renamed her Scampers. It's more fitting!


Perkins Restaurants are always a hang-out. I was tired of always getting the hash browns, so I called their corporate office to find out what else I could eat. I was connected to their nutritionist and he read me the ingredients of a number of items.

In case you're wondering, here's what's Vegan at Perkins:

Hash Browns
Oatmeal (add banana, raisins, or brown sugar if you like)
Fruit Cup
Bread Bowls (for any Bread Bowl Salad minus non-vegan items)
French Dressing
Fat Free French Dressing
Italian Dressing
Fat Free Italian Dressing
Balsalmic Vinagrette Dressing

So not much more than I had originally thought.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I'm sure you're all aware of the SHAC 7 story and its consequent implications for free speech.

Herbivore Clothing Company has this cool "SHAC-Pack" with a t-shirt, 10 postcards, 2 buttons, and a sticker for sale. $28 of their proceeds go to the SHAC 7 (plus it's a pretty awesome design).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Frugal Vegan

Compassion Over Killing has a new section of its website devoted to living vegan on a budget. It's full of great tips for low-cost vegan living. The best part is that no where on the site does it mention dumpster diving, so you can totaly share this site with every curious omni you meet who says, "I could never afford to be Vegan." As if.

Breakfast 6/20/06

I had left-over Rosemary Bisquick Biscuits with gravy and Tofurkey Chips for breakfast this morning.

It was even better the second time around.

Breakfast Bonanza!

Breakfast Bonanza is the term we use when we have breakfast for dinner. For this bonanza, we had Rosemary Biscuits (see post below for recipe) topped with gravy and turkey chips, tofu scrambler, Smart Bacon, toast, and fresh snap peas.


Turkey Chips
5 slices Tofurkey Smoked Hickory Turkey Slices
1 Tb Olive Oil

Slice Tofurkey into small cubes, fry in oil for about 4 minues until crispy. Serve immediately.

Snap Peas Side Dish
1 pint Snap Peas
2 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tb water

Clean peas. Place in microwave safe bowl with water. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Remove from microwave, drain, and top with salt. Garlic Salt can be used in place of Sea Salt.


Rosemary Bisquick Biscuits

These are so easy: Prep Time 5 minutes, Cook Time 10 minutes


Rosemary Bisquick Biscuits

2 1/4 cup Bisquick (make sure it's the vegan version)
2/3 cup Silk
2 Tb Rosemary

Preheat oven to 450.
Mix ingredients together. Using a tablespoon, drop rounded biscuits onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the back of a spoon, press the dropped biscuits to flatten them. (If you don't do this the biscuits will rise into balls instead of biscuits.) Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet promptly so they don't stick.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Psychology Today

has an article: "Vegan With a Vengeance" (no relation to the fantastic cookbook!) about Vegan Youth that is actually pretty informative and supportive. The last paragraph basically negates all of that, but I guess you can't win them all.

Sunday, June 18, 2006




4 lemons
1/4 cup sweetner
2 quarts water
fresh mint leaves, strawberries (optional)

Juice 3 lemons; slice the fourth lemon into thin slices for garnish. Add lemon juice and sweetner to water and stir. Add ice and garnish with leomon slices, fresh mint leaves, or fresh strawberries.

Garden Salad

As I mentioned before, my parents are avid gardners. My dad brought over a bounty of spring veggies yesterday, and today we had a gigantic garden salad for dinner.

First, I made my own croutons.


Rosemary Croutons
1/4 loaf Sourdough Bread
2 Tbs Rosemary (dried or fresh)
4 Tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt

Cut bread into cubes. Place in bowl and add olive oil, salt, and rosemary. Toss to coat. Turn oven on to Broil. Lay croutons onto baking sheet. Toast in oven for 2 minutes on each side.

To make the salad, I first put some fresh lettuce (cut into small pieces) on the plate. Then I added sliced tomatoes, fresh sugar snap peas, lightly sauteed Morning Star Farms Chicken & Beef Strips, dried dates, sliced almonds, and of course, the croutons.


Garden Salad
1 bag Spring Mix Lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pint Sugar Snap Peas, halved
1 small Tomato, sliced
1/4 cup Dried Dates
2 Tbs Sliced Almonds
1 tsp Sea Salt
10 strips Morning Star Farms Chicken / Beef Strips
1/2 cup Rosemary Croutons
Layer lettuce, tomato, dates, and almonds onto your plate.

Lightly sautee "meat" strips until hot, set aside to cool.

Place snap peas in a microwave safe bowl with 2 Tbs water, microwave on high for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

Prepare croutons, set aside to cool.

Top salad with strips, peas, and croutons.

Dress as desired, serve cold.

As you can see, it was a big hit!