Tag Archives: Vegan

Vegan MoFo 2016-Fantastic Falafel from Jerusalem Garden

4 Nov

Another one of our favorite vegan sandwiches in Ann Arbor is the Falafel from Jerusalem Garden.  We get it a few times a month as a midweek carryout dinner on those days that I’m too busy to cook.  My daughter, Olivia,  always orders it for us (the folks working there know us as Olivia’s dad and Olivia’s mom).  She specifies the falafel with pickled turnips and thom sauce, which is a garlic paste and vegan as opposed to the garlic yogurt sauce.  Oh goodness, it’s so delicious!

I was so hungry and excited to eat my sandwich that I neglected to take a picture of it. Imagine a hand made wrap stuffed with falafel, tomato, lettuce, hummus, pickled turnips (which are pink) and oozy garlic sauce 6 inches long and 3-4 inches wide that feels like it weighs a ton.  Well, maybe a half a pound.  I’m not sure but it’s weighty and so satisfying.

Jerusalem Garden is on Liberty in the old Seva location.  They will be adding on a new deck for outdoor dining for this summer season in the spring.  Inside it is open and airy and spacious.  It’s not all vegan however so don’t expect many options.

I sure wish Ann Arbor would increase it’s vegan dining options!!


Vegan MoFo 2016!!! Pineapple Not-So-Fried Rice!

3 Nov

Hi all!  Welcome to the Vegan Month of Food (MoFo) 2016!  This is the event when vegan food bloggers from all over the world post on their blogs as many days as possible for the whole month.  Check out all the other bloggers posting an amazing variety of plant-based deliciousness!

As you  can see,  I’m a few days late in my first post but that’s okay.  I plan to be quite kind to myself as I participate in this years blogfest.  In the past, I’ve made myself a little nuts thinking I had to post every single day or I just wasn’t doing it “right”.  This year, I plan to share some great vegan food and recipes as much as it works for me throughout November and have fun doing it.  No pressure.  Ahhh…  I hope you enjoy and get some good ideas!

Two nights ago, I made a delicious recipe from Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s  first cookbook, Choe’s Kitchen.  It’s called Pineapple Not-So-Fried Rice and it was so delicious!  The pineapple is such a nice sweet counterpart to the curry spiced rice and crunchy cashews.


I made a few changes to the recipe….She called for tossing the tofu cubes with soy sauce and baking.  I decided I wanted a more interesting marinade for the tofu and found one in Terry Hope Romero’s cookbook Salad Samurai.


This Red-Hot Saucy Tofu was fantastic and added a spicy complexity to the final dish.  I will definitely use this marinade for other things…I can imagine cauliflower roasted in this red hot goodness.

Lastly, Chef Chloe’s recipe did not call for roasting the cashews before adding them to the dish but I would highly recommend it.  This keeps them crunchy in the stir fry process.

This recipe makes a large amount.  Good for 8-10 servings.


Best Vegan Sandwich in Ann Arbor?

26 Aug

Hello, dear readers!   It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted on my blog.  I’ve not been contributing to furthering the vegan message in my community much at all the last few years except for a few hours volunteering here and there…and of course asking for vegan food at every restaurant I go to!  After co-founding  Ann Arbor’s first Veg Week in April of 2013, I found myself taking somewhat of a hiatus from my vegan activism.  Although I continued to teach monthly vegan cooking classes at Whole Foods through December 2015, I chose to let go of the idea of making Ann Arbor Veg Week an annual event.  My heart just wasn’t in it and I’ve learned to listen to myself before I make commitments, especially ones that require a lot of energy and dedication.

I’ve been pondering for awhile now what my next project would be.  I’m  clear my passion lies in promoting the eating of more plants and less (no) animals.  I’ve asked myself what aspect of advocating a vegan lifestyle excited me and had an impact by inspiring others to become plant eaters, too!

So here’s what’s been interesting me for awhile now:  I have a strong desire to increase the amount and variety of vegan food options available in Ann Arbor (and Ypsilanti!), especially in non-vegan restaurants. I would like to be able to go to ANY restaurant and find a delicious vegan entree on the menu.  My goal is to inspire the many talented chefs in Ann Arbor to create something special for their venue, thereby making yummy vegan food available for everyone who patronizes their establishment.  Vegans get their needs met and non-vegans get to taste how fantastic plant-based dining can be. What’s more perfect than that?

By the way, you can help make more plant-based food available at any restaurant by always inquiring, in a pleasant way, if there are vegan options offered.  Be sincere in your appreciation of  what they do have and make requests for additional items.  You might be surprised at the positive response you get.

To promote the fantastic vegan food already available in our fine town, and to stimulate buzz for additional items,  I’m planning to post “best of” reviews for food categories at vegan and non-vegan restaurants in the area.  I’ll write about best pizza, best appetizer, best stir fry, best burger, best soup, best salad, best burrito and others.  I’m interested in hearing your ideas and recommendations in these categories and others you suggest, so please let me know your thoughts.

So, to start this off, tell me about your favorite vegan sandwich in Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti.  I personally have two current favorites of my own, namely the Tree Town Tempeh Reuben at The Lunch Room and the Falafel Sandwich from Jerusalem Garden.  Try the Falafel with Hummus and pickled turnips, our family’s favorite combo.  Have you had either of these?  What other local vegan sandwiches should be in contention in the “Best Of” competition?



Eating Vegan in Tampa

20 Oct

Jim and I are here visiting family and last night we went to the Cinebistro. What a cool idea this is! Big comfortable seats to lounge in while dining, drinking and watching a feature film!
It was very fun!
My sister-in-law had sent the menu to us ahead of time for approval since she and her husband are omnivores. There were some salad possibilities sans cheese but instead I thought I’d write the restaurant and ask them if they could suggest any vegan options on their menu. Chef Jason responded quite quickly saying although they didn’t have anything vegan on their menu, he’d be happy to make me something if I would tell him what I like. I was so appreciative of his willingness to accommodate me. I told him I love everything except okra. He created a vine ripened tomato stuffed with roasted veggies and quinoa with a portabello mushroom sauce. It was so delicious!!!! Unfortunately, the lights were already out for the movie to begin so I didn’t get a picture!
Trust me it was good. And so was Argo, the movie we saw!

Try calling or writing ahead next time you’re going to a restaurant without obvious vegan options. The chef is usually happy to let his creativity flow and make you something.

Beautiful Emerald Green Juice

5 Oct

I feel my diet is pretty healthy. After all, I don’t eat any animals or animal products!  Yet, there is always room for improvement.   I’ve decided to kick my health up another notch by changing a few things.  Best of all, I’ve been starting my days with beautiful and tasty, emerald-green juice!  Yum!  My daily mix is made from 5-6 leaves of Dino kale, 5-6 leaves of romaine, 1 cucumber, 4 celery stalks, a 2-3 inch piece of ginger and 1-2 pears or apples.  I might add a broccoli stalk if I have it.  Trust me, it’s so good.

I waited a long time before I splurged for a juicer.  I wanted to be sure that I was committed to using it on a regular basis and not have it be an expensive counter decoration.  This is the one I bought on a recommendation from Kris Carr.  I love it!  I haven’t yet convinced my husband to try more than a tiny sip although I still have hope.  What is it about green juice that makes people cringe?  I guess that used to be me also, before I actually tasted it.  I thought it was going to taste bitter, like liquid greens.  Perhaps if I didn’t add the ginger and the apples it might be bitter and I might be holding my nose, too!  This stuff is so good, though, that my 19 and 22 year old daughters will drink it, and trust me, their diet is not always very healthy!

So, why am I doing this?  Check out these posts for a thorough discussion.

This is what Kris Carr says: “Chlorophyll contains a powerful blood builder that’s said to increase red blood cells, improve circulation, ease inflammation, oxygenate the body, and counteract harmful free radicals. By eating (and drinking) a diet high in chlorophyll (raw fruits and veggies, especially leafy greens), we dine on liquid oxygen, the very substance we need to stay alive and thrive”.

It’s true and I’m feeling it.  I’m more energetic, vibrant and clear headed.  I never would have thought 5 years ago that today I would be vegan and drinking green juice every day.  Just confirms the idea that we just don’t know the future even though we may be absolutely convinced we do.

Try the juice.  Trust me. You won’t have to hold your nose, I promise!

Vegan Easter 2012

12 Apr

Last Sunday, my mom, my brother and his son came over for Easter dinner.  They are all omnivores but have been very open to trying new vegan dishes.  They are big dog lovers and  I want to believe that if they learned more and thought about it enough, they would have a hard time supporting the cruel way other animals are forced to live on  factory farms.   They are at that “I don’t want to know” place and I respect that, I was there for most of my life.  I believe the best way I can have a positive influence is to serve delicious food for which no animals were harmed.

We enjoyed our appetizers of giant green olives and balsamic onions (both from WF), edamame hummus and regular hummus, agave glazed almonds and roasted chickpeas while watching The Master’s Golf Tournament.  My mom is a big golfer and a fan of Phil Mickelson who was in second place at the time.  I made the agave glazed almonds and thought they were just okay.  I also made the roasted chickpeas seasoned with sea salt and pepper.  I may have cooked them too long as they were  very crunchy.  They almost tasted like popcorn.  They weren’t bad, just not great.  I keep reading about all the different ways there are to season them and how wonderful they are so I will probably try them again, cooked a little less, with some different seasoning, perhaps curry.

For dinner I wanted to offer something “meaty” to substitute for what my family would normally have on their plate.  So I planned a menu around VegNews Meatless Meatloaf, which I had never made before.   I also made mashed garlic potatoes, mushroom Marsala gravy, roasted asparagus, Maple Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts and a big yummy salad with balsamic dressing.  Jim and I loved the meatloaf, but there wasn’t much mmmming from the omnis.  This was pretty labor intensive so I’ll save it for once in a while for Jim and I.  The brussel sprouts were a big hit with my mom.  She said it was the first time she ever liked brussel sprouts and she’s almost 80 years old!  My husband and I love these brussel sprouts also.  There is never enough no matter how much I make!  As for my 20-year-old nephew, he said he liked the salad best.  I give him kudos for at least trying all the dishes.  I’m actually not sure what my brother thought but he cleaned his plate.  I guess that’s saying something!

Luscious Lasagna from VegNews

28 Oct

I love getting VegNews.  I am in general, surrounded  by mostly omnivores.  When I flip through my VegNews Magazine, being vegan feels like the new “normal”.  In these pages, I am treated to a global community of like-minded individuals sharing their resources, recipes, wisdom and compassion.  I feel so much less alone in my vegan living and very supported.  So I send a heartfelt Thank You! to VegNews for making my world a better place!

The new issue (Nov./Dec.) has a recipe for this Luscious Lasagna in the VeganizeIt column by Allison Rivers Samson.  I was looking for something like this to take to a friend who has just moved into a new home.  This is her special housewarming gift, along with a delicious salad, some Zingerman’s Paesano Bread, Coconut Bliss and double chocolate cookies for dessert.  She’s not vegan so I feel like I’m doing my little part by sharing with nonvegans how good vegan food can be!