Visiting the Outer Banks, North Carolina

Visiting the Outer Banks, North Carolina

I just got back a few weeks ago from a family vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I’m happy to hear reports that the area made it safely through the holiday weekend’s storm, and that both locals and tourists are once again enjoying the beauty of their surroundings. The main goal of our trip to the Outer Banks was to witness the wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs that wander the beaches in Corolla, but it also was about spending some quality time together — lots of long walks with the pups on the beach in the cool summer evenings. And I couldn’t resist the opportunity to strike an “Airplane” pose at the Wright Brothers National Monument. As always when visiting a place new to me, part of the fun is exploring local offerings for vegans and, when traveling with Otis and Galileo, a few spots that make family vacation extra fun for our canine kids. Here’s what I discovered in the lovely First in Flight state: Thai Room (Kill Devil Hills) This little unassuming place is a great inexpensive option for dinner. My husband Seth is pretty committed to trying a Pad Thai wherever it’s on the menu (just make sure to let the server know you’re vegan so that the kitchen makes it without egg and if used, fish sauce). I wanted something lighter than a curry (they offer red and green options), so I went with Vegetables with Basil, a nice assortment of seasonal vegetables with a very subtle sauce. Thai Room lets you choose just how spicy you want your sauce, whichever sauce you select. As an appetizer,...
The Nutmeg Cookery in Hartford, Connecticut

The Nutmeg Cookery in Hartford, Connecticut

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Hartford for Voices for Animals Day at the State Capitol Building, organized by the ASPCA. Connecticut citizens gathered to speak with their individual legislators in support of prohibiting the sale of puppy-mill puppies in new pet stores (and phasing out sales in the sixteen pet stores that still have them). The day started with a welcoming breakfast and — wow — what scrumptious vegan goodies The Nutmeg Cookery had put together for us. A perfect start to the day while people mingled before the press conference and presentation. If you’re in the Hartford area, I hope you’ll keep in mind The Nutmeg Cookery if you’re looking to bring a little extra special vegan love into your home or office. Jenny and her husband mostly work as personal chefs but, as you can see, they are a dynamic duo for events, too. Voices for Animals Day and other “Lobby Day” Events If you have yet to participate in a Lobby Day event at your state capital, I highly encourage you to do so.  They are so uplifting — how inspiring and empowering when kids and adults come together for a few hours to lend their voices on behalf of the voiceless. For kids and adults alike, it also can be both fun and educational. Most of all, it’s incredibly rewarding to meet with your local representatives or their staff members in person. So how do you know when events like these are happening in your own community? Here’s one easy way: sign up for the ASPCA’s Advocacy Brigade. And, if you’re in...
My New Book! Stellar Vegan Salads

My New Book! Stellar Vegan Salads

Share my joy! I’m SO excited to share with you this new 2-minute video for my new book, Stellar Vegan Salads! This book was so much fun to put together, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. This book is for everyone — vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. Enjoy! To view a sample and purchase for your iPad, click HERE. To purchase the print version on Amazon, click HERE.    ...
Wines by The Vegan Vine

Wines by The Vegan Vine

I just received an order of wines by The Vegan Vine and decided I must share with you this favorite of mine! On a few separate occasions, I’d enjoyed both the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Sauvignon Blanc; VV also makes a Chardonnay and a Red Blend. Purchasing online at The Vegan Vine web site makes it easy to shop. The wines are fragrant and flavorful, and a hit with vegan and non-vegan friends alike. When our non-vegan friends are trying a glass of VV for the first time, it can easily spark a conversation that gets them making connections about animals and food in a new way. Definitely a fun, festive way to slip in some animal advocacy during a social gathering. So how exactly are any wines not vegan-friendly? Of course, the grapes are vegan; but often animal-derived products are used in the wine making process to filter the wine. The most common animal-derived clarifying agents: isinglass (sturgeon bladder), gelatin (hooves of cows and pigs), albumin (egg whites), and casein (milk protein). Ick. Vegan-friendly wines, on the other hand, use a clay-based alternative. I’ve written before about some really great Vegan-Friendly Wines and the online/app resource Barnivore, where you can check the status of a vintage as you browse. While some of your usual vintages may disappoint, you also will be pleasantly surprised to find that many wineries are now using the clay-based clarifiers, despite the fact that few identify themselves as “Vegan-Friendly” on the label. Recently, I gave the owner of a neighborhood wine shop a little in-store demonstration of how easy Barnivore.com is to use —...
Green Lotus Cafe, Hyannis

Green Lotus Cafe, Hyannis

During a recent stay in Cape Cod, I was ecstatic to discover a relatively new vegan cafe in Hyannis, Green Lotus Cafe. Located on the town’s quiant Main Street, this cafe is an absolute vegan haven in a place that is only slowly getting on board with accommodating vegan diners. (I’m encouraging local pancake houses to include vegan pancakes on the menu — craving a short stack with local blueberries!) Owner/Chef Nate Fanara opened Green Lotus about five months ago. A native of the Cape, he lived in San Diego for many years before heading home and realizing there was a need for vegan fare that was based more on whole foods — no tofu here. He makes his own seitan on the premises, and will soon also be making tempeh on site as well. And, other than offering Daiya cheese as a vegan option (the menu caters to both vegetarians and vegans), look for ingredients like cashew cream and eggplant bacon rather than the usual processed vegan substitutes. Everything sounded so enticing here that my husband Seth and I made two separate trips for lunch during our vacation. On the first day, we shared the E.L.T. and the Veggie Reuben. We came back a second time to try a couple of the other sandwiches. What I love about this place is the unique touches — such as using shaved slices of seitan in the Reuben or the eggplant bacon on the E.L.T —  as opposed to the more typical vegan versions that use tempeh. And the coconut bacon on The Maui was a revelation. Wow.   Other delicious-sounding...
Snacks!

Snacks!

Most of the time we stick to whole foods in our home, so snacks are fruits, vegetables, and sometimes a big bowl of fresh-popped popcorn. But we also can get a little wild in the kitchen, roasting garbanzo beans or making our own kale chips. And, then there’s the occasional guilty pleasure, the immediate satisfaction of a ready-made snack. Whether you have a sweet tooth or are craving something a little salty, I recommend these for snack time… The Buccaneer by Go Max Go If you haven’t tried a chocolate bar by Go Max Go yet, go go go to your nearest Whole Foods and buy one. My preference is  The Buccaneer, which is light and airy — similar to a Three Musketeers. My husband just tried the newest bar — the Thumbs Up — which is very similar to a Butterfinger. I’m thinking a Thumbs Up blended with So Delicious Coconut-Milk Ice Cream is going to happen in our kitchen very soon. Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks I got to sample these tortilla chips during the Hoedown weekend at Farm Sanctuary. The variety of flavors includes Black Bean, Sweet Potato, Multi-Grain, and Blue Corn. Bite-size squares with just the right amount of salty goodness. A little guacamole dip would be awesome with these chips… but they were great just straight out of the snack bag. Primal Jerky I was never a jerky girl, and so it’s taken me this long to give these seitan jerky strips a try. Eureka! I surprised myself when I had to admit I liked the Texas BBQ flavor, which has a slight sweetness...