Monday, February 28, 2011

Cocoa a Go-Go (Away Winter...)

So, I am really, really, REALLY done with winter.  I could not be happier with today being the last day of February.  Last week on Monday we had a teaser of this GORGEOUS weather.  It was warm, it was sunny, life was good.  What do I wake up to the next morning?

Ridiculous!  I can't take it anymore!  I mean, I can acknowledge that the snow is beautiful and all, but really.... C'mooooon!!  We got totally dumped on this winter, and I think we met our quota for the year back in January. The state of New Jersey is known for it's schizophrenic weather, but really, haven't we all had enough?!  That same day I received this cartoon in my e-mail, and it seemed to perfectly describe the way I was feeling:

(I did not draw this cartoon, it is not my property, please don't sue me... I just got in an e-mail)

Only in NJ can you have weather in the 60's one day, and then bitter cold, whipping winds, and about 6-10 inches of snow overnight.  Joy.  Anyway, even though I am really moving on to Spring from all this nonsense, I jumped on the chance to have some more hot cocoa, even if I hope it is the last time I need is this year.  When the craving strikes, I like to turn to Ghiradelli and Sweet and Sara Marshmallows, SO good.

Believe it or not, Ghiradelli is naturally vegan, and totally delicious. S&S Mini marshmallows really just amp things up a notch.  They take it to 11, if you will. :)  There are non-vegan directions on the back, but here is how I make mine.  Fill a large mug halfway with water, and four tsp's of mix.  Stir vigorously, and heat for two minutes (watch your mug, sometimes it can boil over).  Add almond milk to the top, stir and taste.  You may want to add some more powder, if you like it rich.  Then, obviously, top with mini's and enjoy.  It should all look a lil' something like this:

Mmmmmmmmmmmm.  Cocoa is just about the last thing I find tolerable about this winter.  Happy last day of February everybody, may we not need anymore cocoa till next winter!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hooray for Common Sense!

When I first started this little adventure, I was met with quite a bit of oppostion.  Not so much from my carnivorous friends, but from vegans.  True vegans, you see, do not believe that one can be very nearly vegan, and I can respect that.  All or nothing, I get it.  But what I don't get is the people who felt compelled to tell me so in a VERY nasty manner.  Why curse at a stranger who is trying to better her life and decrease her dependence on animal products?  Apparently, some people have too much time on their hands, and maybe a little too much soy-powered rage.  That kind of approach is a big turn off to me.  When someone behaves in such a manner, my first instinct is to guzzle milk while they watch.  "You like that, big boy?  Wanna see me make an omelette?  Suffer!"  But really that is no better of an attitude, so I try to quell that urge.  My personal philosophy is that you should always be kind to animals, but not moreso than you are kind to humans. 

I also don't enjoy the overly heavy-handed approach, where the angry vegan beats the civilian about the head with graphic slaughterhouse footage.  People know where meat comes from, and grossing them out (if it makes any difference at all) will be a temporary fix at best.  Sell them on veganism with your own life.  Just simply show it works for you, and in my experience at least, they will ask YOU.  My very meat-y co-workers try everything I bring in.  I am the only vegetarian they know, so this is definitely a foreign concept to them.  Common sense kindness is my secret weapon to convince people that tofu is not a dirty word, and dinner doesn't need to be dead! 

Anyway, I was happy this evening to see an article from a like-minded individual that I enjoyed, so I thought I would share it with you:
*warning, the title is profane, but don't worry, the article isn't*

Anyway, enjoy your weekend, eat some awesome vegan food, and FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER!!  :)


It was brought to my attention that I didn't mention the supportive vegans in my life.  I gain inspiration daily from the positive Facebook and Twitter posts of Sara Sohn of Sweet and Sara's marshmallows, Leia Carrington Llewellyn of Evolution to Green, the delicious, hilarious, non-judgey cook books of Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and the awesome vegan baked goods of Claire Gosse among many others.  I especially gain support from my dad who is a living example every day of how being vegan can change your life!  Thank you SO much to all of you for inspiring me and to so many others who are too numerous to mention.  In the future, before I am critical of people who are too critical.... I should remember to thank the people who aren't. :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Always Read Your Labels...

So this weekend I learned a lesson about label reading the hard way.  As some of you may know, I am a HUGE fan of Tofutti products.  Their sour cream, cream cheese, and ice cream are hands down the best vegan susbtitutes I have had from any company.  I had alway's wanted to try one of their more obscure products, Mintz's Blintzes.  I had seen them on the tofutti website, but never in person, until recently.  On a trip to Trader Joe's I was thrilled to finally see them in person, and didn't hesitate to snap up two boxes.  This is what they look like:

As I suspected, they were wonderful.  I love blintze's, but these dairy free beauties were the best I had ever had.  I was so excited!  They were beyond easy to prepare too.  I just lightly fried them in some canola oil, and topped with fresh strawberries and bluberries and soy whip.  O.....M.....G.....

The crepe part was light and crispy, the faux cheese filling was creamy, lightly sweet and delicious.... the whole combination was so good I wanted to lick the plate.  I was so excited, I couldn't wait to blog about it.  I giddily grabbed the box just to check the nutrition info and calories, so I could brag about how much healthier they were than real cheese blintzes, when I noticed something startling... they contain EGG WHITES!! Noooooooooo!  I haven't been this disappointed in years. :(  I thought all tofutti products were vegan, but I should have read lables instead of assuming.  I should have thought of the fact that this company makes dairy free products primarily to help people keep kosher, and egg whites are kosher, no matter how UN-vegan they may  be.  This is an important lesson in being vegan, you can never assume something is vegan without reading the label.  I guess we all learn the hard way! 

I suppose that since they only contain a little egg white, they technically fall under the category of Very Nearly Vegan, but I will still (at least mostly) avoid them in the future.  If you are only vegetarian, I would definitely recommend them, on a deliciousness scale.  They certainly made for an awesome Sunday brunch before I knew about the egg whites, I must say!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Ok, so I have resisted it as long as I could.  I have finally signed up for a Twitter account. 

I know, I know, so many people (celebrities, really) who use it seem douche-y (I'm talking to you, Ashton Kucther) with their smarmy posts and pandering for followers, but I think it would be a nice little way to connect with readers without having to do a full blown post.  This is inspired by a little something I like to call.... laziness.  I love blogging, (even though my posts are few and far between) but that requires me to actually cook something note worthy, photograph it, and then find something witty to say about it.  Time consuming, and effort requiring.   So I am thinking that a twitter account would be a nice way to be able to post my random thoughts, and see comments and posts of whatever random thoughts my readers are thinking as well.  Twitter just seems to maybe be a bit more personal than my blog, more give and take if you will. 

Anyway, if you have a twitter account, I certainly hope you will follow me, and I will follow you.  My twitter name is VeryNearlyVegan, natch, and I look forward to hearing what you all have to say, in 140 characters or less.

And since I think all posts are better with a picture, here is a random photo of my pooch: