Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Zucchini Pizza

In honor of vegan pizza day on June 30th, I am once again posting a recipe for something pizza-ish. My mom actually inspired me to make these when she texted me about the zucchini pizzas she had made for dinner a couple weeks ago. Thanks mom! Here is my version, which is also gluten free!

What you will need (serves two):
2 large zucchini
1/2 cup vegan cheese shreds
2 roma tomatoes
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
Olive Oil
Fresh pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400ยบ. Line a cookie sheet with foil and lightly oil. Cut ends off zucchini and slice in half lengthwise. Cut out the seeds of the zucchini creating a little channel. Rub with a little bit of olive oil and cook for 10-12 minutes.

2. While zucchini is cooking saute mushrooms in a bit of olive oil and slice tomatoes.

3. Remove zucchini from oven, spoon on spaghetti sauce then layer with cheese, mushrooms and tomatoes. Sprinkle with pepper and return to oven for 10-15 minutes or until zucchini is tender but still firm.

4. Eat and enjoy!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Philip Wollen is My New Hero

I don't need any more fuel to my vegan fire. I am passionate and secure about my choice. Every once in awhile though something comes along that just reinvigorates my beliefs and gives me hope. Philip Wollen's speech at the St. James Ethics Centre and the Wheeler Centre debate in Australia on May 16, 2012 is one of those things.

Please watch and share.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Vegan Interrogated: GiGi

Name: GiGi
Location: Berkeley, California originally from Brooklyn, New York
Website/blog: Http:// Veganville on Facebook

A little about yourself:
I have been a Vegan for eight years and a vegetarian since 1972. I currently have a vegan baking and cooking business in the San Francisco Bay Area and online store at Etsy. I currently supply five cafes with our vegan sweets and savories. I have been happily married to my best friend and partner in crime for twenty one years. We have two cats named Satchmo girl and Zule boy. Over the years I’ve worn many hats. I’ve made a living as a tennis pro, actress, Cabaret singer (with my husband who is a pianist) and writer before entering into this incarnation. Thank you for having me on your lovely blog.  

What made you decide to go vegan?
t started in the seventies. Yep I’m kind of old, but I don’t really look it because I use good moisturizer and I don’t wear old lady clothes. Nooo, silly. I’m a vegan, that’s why. Anyway, the parental unit was eating chicken, and Dad said, “Hey Gi, pass the leg”. For some reason I never gave much thought to a chicken having a leg, but that was it and my vegetarian/vegan journey began. In the beginning, my mom chased me around the dinner table with a hamburger. I was a competitive athlete and my mom thought I would faint on the court if I did not eat dead flesh. Once my mom saw that my vegetarianism was not a phase, she bought me vegetarian pate’ and Morningstar bacon, made me hard boiled eggs, salad plates and a yummy carrot cake which is actually more like a side dish than a cake. I lived on graham crackers and fresh PB from the only health food store around. Once in a while I had a scoop of tuna at a local diner. Oh the shame that’s not vegetarian! This is true but in the early 70’s really, who knew what a pescetarian was? I was vegetarian enough.
The years brought greater commitment and love for the world’s creatures. Giving up dairy was simple. I was a performer/vocalist and I didn’t like the phlegm. The thought of what little yolks could be made of made my tummy hurt. Sure, the egg on the plate was gone, but I had to compromise, didn’t I? I mean I was a baker after all and I didn’t want my baked goods to suffer. But what about the chickies? What about their suffering? All of a sudden, being “mostly” vegan felt like being a little bit pregnant. I would find a way to make these baked goods taste good without sacrificing taste and most of all not sacrificing a living creature. I read about factory farming and other miserable atrocities and that was it for me. I made the leap to veganism.
Favorite meal to make:
Are ones I can share with my fantastic friends. My husband is a vegan as well and we love entertaining at home. We’ve had dessert parties, pizza parties, chili and potato parties where I asked people to bring their favorite potato toppings, and I always have some kind of fun dessert bar.

Favorite restaurant & why:
I am so blessed to live in an open minded community (San Francisco Bay Area, California) There are three vegan restaurants within a 1 mile radius of my house. Lately, I really love the deep dish stuffed vegan pie from Zachary’s Pizzeria. This is saying a lot, since my husband and I grew up on NY Italian food and his family owns pizzerias.

Who/what inspires you?
Kindness inspires me. Dignity in the face of adversity inspires me. I am a Winston Churchill fan. His perseverance in spite of so many obstacles inspires me.

Dumbest question someone asked you about being vegan?
It’s not so much dumb questions as redundant questions, like “don’t you miss cheese, butter, eggs, ICE CREAM?!” What about ice cream?

What was the reaction from your friends/family?
My friends are my friends because they are kind and open minded. I also married a very smart guy who also loves animals. Two of my close friends are vegetarian and two of my other very close friends eat vegan with me and love it. My husband has been vegan for two years and before that was vegetarian for five.  

What are the biggest misconceptions people have about you being vegan?
I think the biggest misconception people have about me being vegan is that I am an extremist. I think if people were not so blind to the truth of rampant animal abuse and how poorly animals are treated and sacrificed they would see their carnivorous viewpoint were in fact extreme and perverse. I don’t understand how people can’t connect the face on the plate. One of my favorite quotes is, “There is one trait that will keep man in everlasting ignorance, and that is contempt prior to investigation”.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Quick & Easy Nachos

I came home from work on my lunch break yesterday and I was STARVING, so I took a quick inventory of what I had on hand and whipped up this super easy dish! I'm not going to put measurements on these because you can make as little or as much as you want.

What you will need:
Tortilla chips
Vegan Cheese
Black Beans

1. Preheat oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Spread out your chips and sprinkle with vegan cheese and black beans (I use Trader Joe's Cuban black bean because they have chilies and onions in them and are the bomb!). Bake in oven for about 10 minutes, keep your eyes on it so your chips don't burn.

3. Once cheese is melty, remove from oven, sprinkle with salsa and layer on sliced avocado.

4. Stuff your face with this incredibly delicious meal.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Last month my mom and I went to Italy to visit my brother and sister-in-law (another post coming on that later). Our group went to a little town called Comacchio near the sea one day and my sister-in-law was on a mission to find a Sorbetini (sorbet & vodka) that I could drink. Unfortunately non of the shops had dairy-free options, so I was stuck sipping limoncello while the others enjoyed their delicious looking frosty beverages (whomp whomp).

Since that day I have been determined to make my own sorbetini and after getting a brand spanking new blender over the weekend, I went for it. Be warned, the recipe below is STRONG! You can make it less so by using 1/2 c vodka and 1/2 c juice or nectar. These are amazing on a hot summer day!

What you will need (makes 2 large drinks):
A blender
1 c vodka
2 c sorbet
1 c ice

1. Remove sorbet from freezer and let soften for about 5 minutes.

2. Add all ingredients to blender and blend baby blend until smooth.

3. Pour into cool martini glasses and prepare for slight brain freeze and tipsiness.

**These would be great with some fresh fruit skewers in them too!

PLEASE drink responsibly!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Flore Vegan Cuisine

Located on Sunset Blvd. in Silverlake, Flore is an Organic Vegan Restaurant featuring a deli counter and sit down indoor/outdoor service.

This morning the husband and I made the trek out there from West L.A. to enjoy a lovely vegan brunch. We got there just before noon and the place was hoppin. Luckily we only had to wait about 5 minutes for a nice table outside (great for people watching). The staff is uber friendly and attentive, which is always a bonus.

I started with a Basic Green juice consisting of kale, celery, parsley, apple and lemon. SO yummy. It made me feel all healthy and stuff.

For our meals, I ordered the Breakfast Burrito stuffed with tofu, potatoes, tempeh bacon, avocado and cashew cheese and the man got the Blueberry Banana waffle.

My burrito was super flavorful and delicious. I loved that the whole thing was grilled, giving a touch of crunchy texture to the tortilla. Yum. My husband devoured his waffle and said it was really good as well. We both left feeling full and satisfied, though I'm a bit sad we didn't grab any of the amazing looking desserts in the case for later.

Their brunch menu is pretty large for a vegan place and everything on it sounds awesome. We will definitely be back to try out some of the other dishes. I can honestly say that Flore is one of my new favorite weekend breakfast spots!