Monday, December 1, 2014

Leftover "Turkey" Pot Pies

I lovvvvvvvve me a pot pie.
I mean, if it were legal, I might marry one. Or twelve.
OK, I would gladly engage in a sister-wife pot-pie marriage.
Don't judge me.

My dear mother-in-law heard my pot-pie craving call and was sweet enough to oblige. She gets all credit for this recipe (except for the turkey-alternative I had already prepared).

"Turkey" Leftover Pot Pies 


-Vegetarian Turkey Alternative Leftovers
-2 tbsp oil
-1 cup fresh carrots, chopped
-1 cup almond milk
-1 cup frozen peas
-4 medium potatoes, diced
-1 medium onion, diced
-2 stalks celery, chopped
-2 cups vegetable broth, to barely cover veggies

Biscuit Topping:
My mom-in-law whipped up a delicious home-made biscuit crust (2 cups flour, 1/4 cup shortening, 2/3 cup heavy cream) but you can just as well use store-bought biscuits or crust. 

Bake all this goodness at 350 degrees until the crust begins to golden/brown.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Our First Vegetarian Thanksgiving

I hope everyone enjoyed a happy and healthy Thanksgiving yesterday. It was our first as vegetarians. The one thing I feared most when we changed our diets was that I would feel as if I were missing out on the over-the-top holiday meals I have enjoyed since childhood. Not just the flavors, but the sentimentality attached to them. Would I miss traditional spreads enough to "cheat" on our new lifestyle? 

I am happy to report that we stuck to our guns and pressed on with plant-based alternatives. We didn't miss out on a thing! Thanks to Quorn and Gardein foods we enjoyed two types of "turkey", complimented by homemade vegetarian mushroom gravy and cornbread and vegan "sausage" stuffing. Candied yams, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and salads also showed up to dinner. All in all we enjoyed a guilt-free hearty holiday meal, adding to the long list of things I'm thankful for. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Vegan Un-stuffed Stuffed Cabbage

File this one under "Hotel Cooking Challenges".
My partner and I are currently mid-move to our new home. His contract in Virginia was unexpectedly extended until the end of this month so here we are in a "charming" Extended Stay America for a few more weeks. A friend who recently had a similar experience asked me if I was working with one of those kitchens that belongs in her daughters' doll house...maybe, if it had an oven and a few more pots.

So what vegetarian/vegan delights can I whip up in this 2 range/2 pot kitchen? Last night I attempted Un-stuffed Stuffed Cabbage. A high school friend posted a recipe a few weeks back. I was reminded of how much I love stuffed cabbage and how long it's been since I had it so I decided to tweak it a bit and make it vegan.

Fair warning:
Some of the photos in the weeks to come might not be magazine-ready given the circumstances. I do guarantee that pretty or not, I will not post a photo of anything unless my culinary adventure was a success and the result was YUM!

Vegan Un-Stuffed Stuffed Cabbage

-1 lb vegan/vegetarian "beef" crumbles
-1 tbs oil
-1 medium/large onion chopped
-1 small cabbage, chopped
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1-2 14.5 can (I used 1 1/2) diced tomatoes
-1 8oz can tomato sauce
-1 cup water
-1 vegetable bullion
-1 tbs Goya Adobo Light (or to taste)
-black pepper to taste
-2-3 cups cooked white (or brown) rice

1. In skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add onions. Sauté until translucent, then add garlic and beef crumbles. Season the beef with Adobo. Brown, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes. 
2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil (add water or diced tomatoes as needed and to taste). Cover and simmer on low/med low for about 20 minutes, stirring ocassionally. You will know it's done as soon as the cabbage is tender.


Monday, August 18, 2014

SUPER EASY Tomato "Pizza" Bites

There is really no need for me to give any specific measurements or even ingredients here since you can make these up as you go along. The suggestion to enjoy some just-picked  fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes is enough. The rest is up to you.

Tomato Pizza Bites

-Fresh picked (if you have the option) organic tomatoes
-Fresh basil leaves
-Shredded mozzarella (or vegan alternative)
-salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste
-1 dollop of pesto spread per tomato bite

1. Wash and slice each tomato widthwise. Don't cut the slices too thin. You want them to be sturdy.
2. Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper on the tomatoes.
3. Place a dollop of pesto on each, followed by a sprinkle of cheese, a whole basil leaf and topped with more cheese.
4. Broil on low for approximately 5 minutes, until cheese begins to brown. 


These tomato bites make delicious and visually appealing appetizers. They are also great as a sandwich. Just spread some pesto on a bun and enjoy.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Becoming a Cruetly-Free Household

It's not as easy as it sounds.
There, I said it.

That said, it's certainly not impossible and definitely achievable, at least for the most part.
I wasn't fortunate enough to be born into the Hiltons or Kardashians. I am a working artist, which means I am of average means and cannot afford to simply flush our home of the old and re-stock all at once.

If you're anything like me, once you begin to change what you eat with factory farming as your biggest incentive, you start to read articles and watch documentaries and learn more than you ever really wanted to know about how cruel we can be to animals and our environment. The amount of products in the average (again, I am considering myself to be somewhat in the norm) household that test on animals can be shocking and overwhelming. They are the products we conduct our daily functions with...bathing, cleaning, laundry, name it. I don't know about you, but as much as I want to make a positive impact on animals and our environment, I'm not trying to be some haggard looking, "natural"-smelling, vegan stereotype. I might have a heart, but I still possess a bit of vanity.

I have not won the lottery yet, so I cannot throw all of my leather shoes and belts and go on a shopping spree for vegan alternatives. I also am a pet owner and have come to realize how the pet food industry contributes to factory farming and animal testing practices. I am currently researching alternatives, but most seem to be found only in specialty stores and/or cost an arm and a leg. This is especially complicated when one of your dogs is a 140lb St. Bernard.  I could choose to not have pets in my family, but that doesn't seem like a kinder option, as we don't buy, but rescue unwanted and mistreated animals. So we find ourselves between a rock and a shitty place.

But as I have said before, every bit counts.
As we run out of our current items, we have begun replacing them with cruelty-free options. So far we have changed our laundry detergent, dental hygiene products and facial cleansers and moisturizers. It's something. We're on our way.

Here are lists of companies and products that DO and DON'T test on animals, complied by

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jackfruit Adventures: Mu Shu Rolls

I recently learned about jackfruit as a meat substitute. I think I once purchased a ripe one at the international market, just to taste it, and was not all that wild about it once I got it home. It never occurred to me that canned green jackfruit might have other culinary uses.

Last night I had my first adventure with a jackfruit (that probably doesn't sound the way I meant it). I cooked it Mu Shu style and it was dee-li-shussss. I loosely followed a recipe I saw online as a jumping off point and tweaked the measurements and ingredients to suit my tastes.

Believe it or not, I searched high and low at the international market for Mu Shu pancakes (even asking employees who continually directed me toward large sacs of flour) to no avail. I settled for rice paper wraps. Last night's wrapping was a fiasco! While tasty, they did not turn out the prettiest of rolls. Today I had leftovers for lunch and the wrapping went considerably better.

Mu Shu Jackfruit Rolls


2 20 oz cans green jackfruit in brine or water (NOT syrup), well drained
1 19 oz can bamboo shoots strips in water, well drained
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp minced ginger root
4-5 green onions, chopped
6 mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cup slivered carrots or prepared shredded carrots
2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup vegetable broth
4 tbsp soy sauce
2-3 tbsp hoisin sauce (or to taste)
1 tbsp sesame oil
rice paper sheets

1. In a sauce pan or fryer, sauté onion, garlic and ginger root. 
2. Add well-drained jackfruit, soy and hoisin sauces and veggie broth. Simmer covered for 15-20 minutes until fruit softens and begins to shred when you press and stir it. Continue to stir, further shredding the jackfruit. 
3. Add remaining ingredients and cook on medium heat for another 10-15 minutes, checking it throughout. You want the carrots and bamboo shoots to retain some crispness. 
4. Follow instructions on rice paper wrapper package and serve.

Tastes yum-yum warm or at room temperature, straight out of the fridge.
Serves 4-5. This was a dinner for three and the four rolls pictured below was my lunch today. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Kale, Carrot, Red Cabbage & Fennel Slaw

I love a good slaw in the sumer. In the past I stuck to pretty much your regular varieties. Now as a vegetarian, I feel inspired to try different flavors and textures. This slaw is super simple and super delicious!

Kale, Carrot, Red Cabbage & Fennel Slaw


- 1 fennel bulb sliced and cut into approx 1 1/2" pieces
-1 carrot (I used a regular carrot and used the peeler to make the ribbons, but you could use bagged shredded carrots,)
-1/3 medium red cabbage, shredded
-1 medium bunch Kale
-Mayonnaise or veggie alternative to taste
-Kosher salt to taste

1. Combine and enjoy!
Measurements can vary depending on how much you are making or what particular flavor you might want to highlight.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Polenta & Spinach with Creamy Onion Gravy

I thought I would be safe to simply switch from brown or turkey store-bought gravies to mushroom varieties. I was wrong. I was a bit surprised to find beef-stock or some other animal ingredient listed on the label. Maybe this is a common mistake made by vegetarian newbies...maybe I'm just a Dodo bird. 
In any case, I have started playing around with alternatives. 
If you love garlic and onions this should be a good one for you. 

1 package Trader Joe's pre-cooked organic polenta (or your choice)

1. Coat frying pan with Trader Joe's olive oil spray (or your choice)
2. Slice to approximately 1/2" slices. Heat according to package directions (I like them slightly browned). Set aside in oven set to warm.

Creamy Onion Gravy

2 cups rice milk (or preferred milk substitute)
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp margarine or butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 medium onion, chopped

1. Melt margarine in saucepan on med-high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent.
2. Lower to medium heat and add remaining ingredients, whisking continuously.
3.Whisk for 5 minutes until gravy thickens. For thicker gravy add more flour after 5 minutes. If too thick for your taste, add milk substitute until desired thickness is achieved.

Creamy Spinach with Garlic & Onions

1 lb bag baby spinach
2 tbsp margarine or butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup rice or soy milk (or preferred substitute)
1 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt margarine over medium heat and sauté garlic and onions until fragrant.
2. Raise heat to high and add flour, whisk well then lower heat back to medium.
3. Add spinach and mix. 
4. Cook until spinach is wilted.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Good Vegan Company

So voluptuous Latina bombshell Jennifer Lopez has recently announced she's gone vegan.

This is awesome news, sure...but I wonder how this will affect her status as a fashion icon. I hope it does. Does this mean no more mink lashes or leather Louboutins for Jenny?

Pesto Caprese Sandwich with Balsamic Asparagus

This easy-breezy sandwich is both refreshing and full of flavor. Perfect for summer dinners (or lunch) after a long day of gardening (hopefully growing your own veggies!) and yard work under the sun.

Pesto Caprese Sandwich

Fresh Mozarella Cheese (or vegan substitute)
Roma Tomatoes
Pesto Spread of your choice (I use Trader Joe's Genova Pesto)
Fresh green or purple Italian Basil leaves (Mine came straight from my garden!)
Rolls (Ciabatta are ideal, but I happened to have some fresh Keiser ones in my kitchen so I used those. Save money, use what you have!)

I won't provide directions on how to put these ingredients together because if you can read my blogposts without assistance, you have the skills necessary to put a sandwich together on your own. 
I believe in you!

Steamed Balsamic Asparagus

1 bunch fresh Asparagus
Olive oil (to taste)
Balsamic Vinegar (to taste)
1 tsp dried Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Kosher salt (to taste)

Also super-simple! 
1. Wash and cut Asparagus stalks into two or tree pieces.
2. Steam until tender, but not soggy (about 5 minutes, checking frequently).
3. Drain. Combine and toss all ingredients in a bowl.
4. Let cool and serve at room temperature.


PS. Confession: While 1 serving is perfectly satisfying, I ate two sandwiches all on my own. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Red Pepper Eggplant & Arugula Salad

Red Pepper Eggplant


1 eggplant
2 eggs (or egg substitute)
Italian bread crumbs
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp rosemary
Trader Joe's Red Pepper Eggplant & Garlic spread
Shredded Mozzarella cheese

1. Bread and fry eggplant slices as you would when preparing eggplant parm.
2. Set aside on paper towels to drain excess oil. 
3. Arrange slices in baking dish in a single layer. 
4. Top each slice with a dollop of TJ's Red Pepper Spread and sprinkle with cheese.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Arugula Cucumber & White Bean Salad

1 bag arugula
1 can Trader Joe's (or your favorite) Organic Great Northern Beans
1/2 cucumber sliced
1 sweet red pepper sliced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp Kosher salt
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

1. Combine, toss well and chow down!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Quick & Easy "Pastelon" Bowl

Pastelon is a Puerto Rican dish that resembles a lasagna. Amarillos (sweet plantains) replace noodles and picadillo replaces the traditional Italian-style filling. The dish is a tasty combination of sweet and salty. Picadillo can also be served in a variety of dishes such as over rice or in tacos and burritos, to name a few. Pastelon can also be made as a meat "pie" by grinding the plantains. Later on I will prepare one of these for the blog (and my belly), but for now I thought I'd take a stab at putting together a simpler bowl-verision. It incorporates the predominant flavors in traditional Pastelon, but it comes together much faster.

Beefless Picadillo

2 12 oz packs of Trader Joe's Beef-less Ground Beef (or your beef substitute of choice)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes 
4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
a handful of manzanilla olives
1/4 cup Goya Recaito
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Goya Adobo Light (or to taste)
1 tbsp oil (vegetable or olive) or cooking spray

1. Coat the bottom of the caldero with oil.
2. Sautee onion, garlic and pepper until fragrant.
3. Add beef substitute and Adobo. Cook on medium-high for 3-5 minutes, stirring.
4. Add tomatoes, Recaito, oregano, olives. Once mixture begins to bubble, lower heat and cook another 5 minutes. 

Serve in a bowl with Goya frozen amarillos, cooked according to package directions.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Front Yard Veggie Garden

This weekend I finally got around to planting my summer veggie garden. I usually plant mid-April, but we've had some crazy weather in Northern Virginia this year. There is too much shade in our current backyard for me to succesfully grow any sun-loving plants so I have to do it out front, where space is more limited. I look forward to a much larger vegetable garden and more flexible warmer planting zone in the near future.

This will be a bit of a hectic summer for us so I kept things a bit simpler this time around. I planted 5 varieties of tomatoes; Roma, Pink Brandywine, Better Boy, Mr. Stripey and Lemon Boy. Herb-wise, purple and Thai basil are two things I can't go without.

I also can't go without cucumbers, but in years past they didn't do as well at this location so I opted to put them in containers this year. Aside from herbs I haven't done much container gardening, so it's a bit of an experiment for me. I rigged the containers to allow the vines to climb. I also planted yellow bell pepper in a pot.

Happy gardening!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Springtime Potato Salad

There is nothing inherently "spring" about this salad. The colors are bright and crisp and remind me of Spring. You could certainly vary the colors for a different feel. Red and yellow bell peppers would be lovely, but I didn't have those in my fridge when I made this, so how about we just stick with Springtime?

Springtime Potato Salad


4 medium white or yellow potatoes
4 medium purple potatoes
1 small red onion
2 stalks celery (diced)
2 carrots (diced)
2 decent-sized broccoli florets (cut up)
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise or vegan alternative (or to taste)
1/8 cup dijon mustard
1 tsp dried parsley
salt to taste

1. Cut up all vegetables and set aside.
2. Peel potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes. 
2. Boil potatoes in salted water, checking regularly with a for for desired tenderness.
3. Drain cooked potatoes and spray with cold water. 
4. Combine all ingredients and chow down.

Easy Peasy! Enjoy.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Italian & Swiss Super Hero

Some people call them subs. Some call them grinders. My Philly friends all call them hoagies.
My mom's side of the family were mostly New Yawwwk Italians, so I grew up calling them heros.
Who doesn't love a hero filled to the brim with Italian sausage and beautiful red and green peppers. The thought of the smell alone is enough to make ones mouth water.

Here's an almost-vegan version of this classic (with a bit of a twist).

Italian & Swiss Super Hero


1 pack tofu/soy Italian sausage (I used Tofurky Italian Sausage, 14 oz pack)
1 baguette fresh Italian bread (or your favorite bread)
1 medium onion
1-2 sweet red peppers (depending on size)
1-2 green peppers (depending on size)
a few drizzles olive oil
6 cloves diced garlic (or to taste)
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt to taste
shaved parmesan (or favorite cheese)

1. Slice onion and peppers and set aside. 
2. Cut sausage into 1-2 inch pieces and set aside.
3. Heat oil and sauté garlic and pepper flakes until aromatic.
4. Add sausage and sauté, stirring frequently for about 5-7 minutes.
5. Add peppers, onion and salt. Continue to cook, stirring along the way, until desired tenderness.

Balsamic & Garlic Swiss Chard

1 bunch Swiss chard
3-4 cloves minced garlic (or to taste)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt to taste

1. Wash, drain and chop Swiss chard (discard lower  end of stalks).
2.  Saute garlic in oil until aromatic. 
3. Add and sauté Swiss chard, stirring, 2-3 minutes.
4. Add balsamic vinegar and bring to a quick boil. Once chard has wilted remove from heat and let stand.

Makes about 3 decent size heros. Or 2 good-eater size ones (yes, my partner and I still have some work to do when it comes to portion control) with a bit left over for a later snack.
The Swiss chard makes a wonderful side dish and is also delicious inside the hero.
Top with cheese (we used Parmesan, Romano and Asiago shavings) and Ta-DAA!

What are you waiting for? MANGIA!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blue & Cheddar Portabella "Burgers"

These "burgers" are super-tasty and filling served bun-less (if you want to skip some carbs) with a side of broccoli slaw. If preparing as vegan, simply substitute cheese (and mayo in the slaw) with vegan alternatives.

Blue & Cheddar Portabella "Burgers"


4 portabella mushroom caps
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese

1. Combine and whisk oil, vinegar, dried seasonings, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
2. Combine blue and cheddar cheeses and set aside.
3. Place mushrooms in a container that allows them to rest flat, without overlapping much. I used a pyrex baking dish. 
4. Pour marinade over mushrooms. Use a brush to coat completely. Marinate for 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through.
5. Place mushrooms cap side down on a wire rack on a cookie sheet or baking dish and broil on low for  5-7 minutes.
6. Flip mushrooms over and add cheese mixture to caps. Broil on low for another 5 minutes.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Quick Kale Fix

Today I found myself realizing at 3:30pm that I still had not eaten lunch. I'm not one of those "Oops, I forgot to eat" people, trust me. Forgetting to eat is a foreign concept to my brain (and stomach). I might miss a breakfast or lunch here and there, due to timing but I always more than make up for it, not always in the healthiest of ways, unfortunately.
Wanting to silence the rumbling in my belly without spoiling tonight's dinner with a heavy afternoon meal, I turned to my good friend Mr. Kale. This also makes a yummy side dish.

Quick Kale Fix

A small bunch of fresh kale (I didn't measure, but I'd guess about 4-5 cups)
1 small red onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped (or to taste, I happen to love it)
A splash (let's say 1/4 cup) of Marsala wine (because, well...why not?)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)

1. Wash, drain and chop kale (set aside).
2.  Add garlic and onion to heated oil and sauté for about 3 minutes.
3. Add kale, wine and salt. Stir and cover.
4. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until kale is at desired tenderness.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Two Weeks a Vegetarian

Two weeks into this I must say that I don't miss eating meats as much as I feared I might. I have not weighed myself but my pants feel a bit looser. I feel, how should I put this...less gross. Meals suddenly seem to count, meaning that I am more aware and in the moment while eating. I am taking the time to enjoy what I'm eating rather than thoughtlessly stuffing my face. Foods taste cleaner and are more satisfying.

I am learning how to buy groceries all over again. There is a world of vegetarian and vegan products out there to consider. Practically everything is new to us. We are in the trial-and-error phase. So far I have been pleased with all of the meat and chicken substitutes While we enjoyed the Go Veggy! cheese substitute slices in sandwiches (Tofurky deli slices were also good) the Vegan Gourmet cheddar (block) alternative was less than thrilling. I think it was more of a texture thing. You just don't expect block cheddar to crumble into a soggy mess in your mouth.  Rather than giving up on it completely I will try melting it over some veggies.

Last night I prepared some tofu "patties" with Korean BBQ sauce and scallions. I prefer extra-firm tofu to other varieties. I served them with a side of Chinese broccoli and Bok Choy, lightly sautéed with garlic over sesame oil. Not by any means an "inspired" recipe (they can't all be), but it tasted delicious and was quick and easy to make.

So two weeks in, I'm quite satisfied with the dietary changes we've made, so onward we go.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Vegan Arroz con Habichuelas y Chorizo

No Puerto Rican diet is complete without rice and beans. We eat it with just about anything. Arroz Junto (together rice) is what we call it when we cook the rice together with the beans and just about any other ingredients you might wish to add into the mix (usually beans and shrimp or chorizo). 

Puerto Ricans are masters of "pauper" meals. We may find ourselves out of a job from time to time and we might have to scrape our pennies together to make the bills when things get tough, but we will seldom go without delicious food in our tummies. Arroz Junto is a great example of that. It is satisfying AND cheap...and most importantly delicioso!

Vegan Arroz con Habichuelas & Chorizo

2 cups long grain rice
2 cups water
2 Soy Chorizo (I use Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo)
1 can red beans (drained)
4 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 cup Goya Recaito
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp dried epizote
2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1-2 packets Goya Sazon (to taste)
1 handfull manzanilla olives (or go crazy if you love them!)

1. Remove chorizo "meat" from casing and set aside.
2. Heat oil in caldero.
3. Add chorizo to caldero and brown for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
4. Add all other ingredients (except for rice and water) and stir.
5. When mixture begins to boil add rice and water and stir.
6. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 15-20 minutes covered.
7. Uncover and stir. If rice is not yet tender, continue to cook until desired tenderness.

Great served with a side salad! Another idea is to serve as a burrito filling with vegan or cheddar cheese and sour cream (or alternative) and shredded lettuce, tomatoes and raw diced onions.
Serves about 6 (normal servings). Less if you go for seconds (or thirds) like I do.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Almost-Vegan Rican

I'll kick this blog off by giving future readers this fair warning: I am not perfect. That said, neither is my diet. But I am trying, and that is precisely what this blog will be about. After a lifetime of poor eating habits, my partner and I have decided to go the vegetarian route. We have tried every diet from Deal-a-Meal (the oldies in the crowd will remember it) to Atkins and Paleo. I am not saying that some may not work, they just never "stuck" for us.  Our decision to become vegetarians didn't come out of health concerns alone. We are animal lovers. From the start of our relationship, almost 17 years ago, we have never shared our lives with less than at least two dogs at any given time. They are our children. Our friends.

As we become more and more aware of the cruelty and atrocities committed by factory farming it has become harder and harder for us to separate our animals from the rest of the animal kingdom. If our pets have souls (and, call me crazy, but I believe they do), why wouldn't other animals as well? We simply have reached a point in our lives at which we can no longer go on supporting such heartless industries.

We are aware that sketchy practices spill onto even some "cruelty-free" sources of dairy, but as I said at the start of this post: I am not perfect. As of now we have been vegetarians for two weeks. That means no meat, chicken, pork or fish. We gave a freezer-ful away to neighbors. There are eggs still in our fridge, but I suspect they will expire before we might consider consuming them. In the past two weeks we have used a combination of vegan and real cheese. Also non-vegan mayonnaise and real butter. So... baby steps.

All in all, I don't think that's entirely too shabby for two 40-something guys who just two weeks ago were chomping down on some big juicy T-bone steaks. One of them (guilty!) gnawing on the bone like a modern day caveman. We are striving to go as vegan as possible, but will not beat ourselves up over not not achieving perfection. We're glad for every bit of animal suffering we manage to diminish along the way.

I have decided to start this blog so that I can share with others who might be on the same path our progress and experiences. I will share recipes I try and especially those I create. There will never be bashing of meat-eaters on this blog. I am not here to nag others. I refuse to be "that guy".  I am only here to do what I believe is best for my partner and myself (and perhaps some animals along the way).