Happy World Vegan Day!

Instead of possibly boring everyone with my own vegan journey, I thought I’d celebrate the day by sharing images!

A short preach: I became vegan in 1970, first of all because my high school surfer boyfriend decided to go vegan, and I continued to follow the meat-free path even after we broke up. I don’t  miss eating meat. Chicken IS meat, so I don’t eat that either, in case you were wondering. in the past I would eat seafood once in a while, but I cut that out, too. The hardest thing to give up was cheese until I saw the video of the living hell endured by dairy animals. So there you have it. Oh, and my Chanels…so I still have miles to go before I’m perfectly cruelty-free.

tumblr_mtzvvyKGhC1qhlsrfo1_1280 you-are-what-you-eatVegan Month A2 Postersoeecardsvegan highproteinvegan noeatanimals

World ME


Frozen Grapes: The Most Crazy Brilliant Easy Best Thing You’ll Ever Eat


I don’t know how I got to be my age and never before tasted this deliciousness.

The last time tugboat man came home, he told me the boat’s cook prepared this snack as a special treat.

Frozen grapes.

He’d been waxing poetic about them pretty much the entire time he was away.

How could something so simple be so amazingly refreshing, satisfying, sweet, and with virtually zero calories?

Well, tugboat man was right.

Easy. Here’s all you need to know:

  1. Buy seedless grapes; I’ve tried green, red, and black—my personal faves are the green ones.
  2. Wash them; shake, but don’t completely dry,
  3. Place in a zip-lock plastic bag and put in the freezer.
  4. Wait about twenty-four hours.


Be prepared to be AMAZED.

Something happens to the fleshy interior of the grape; it becomes almost sorbet-like.

No sugar is required because of the natural high sugar and acid level acts as a preservative.

Wait a few seconds before biting into a frozen grape because they’re ROCK HARD directly out of the freezer.

It’s a totally healthy delightful plus guilt-free dessert or snack for kids, too!

There are many different versions to dress them up, from rolling in melted chocolate and chia seeds to marinating in wine, but we like the simple unadorned version.

P.S. Toss a few frozen grapes into your fave chardonnay—keeps it chilled without diluting like an icecube!

Orgasmic Clouds of Bliss

clouds4FINALLY, tugboat man returned to a double celebration; the act of coming home (of course), AND his birthday.

Two of his favorite activities are eating and sleeping.

I got him a new barbecue and Angel Boy got him a hammock from REI that we can take wherever we go.

It took him about ninety minutes to put the barbecue together and ninety seconds to set up the hammock.

This was perfect timing.

As you probably know by now, I’m often sent products to sample and review.

I stay in my wheelhouse, trying and recommending products that are vegan, healthy, and cruelty-free.

THIS time I’m speechless or I would be if I ever stopped talking, haha.

There really aren’t enough adjectives to describe the amazingness of these vegan marshmallows.

As vegans, we realized that we’d have to probably survive without things like marshmallows — which isn’t too much of a hardship, considering we don’t really want to eat food that contains the bones of a once living creature.

These marshmallows are joyful clouds of orgasmic joy.

REALLY. For realzies.

Don’t walk — RUN — to the store and buy them.

Whether you’re vegan or not, these are the most DELICIOUS marshmallows EVER.

I can’t wait to make hot chocolate with almond milk and float a few dozen of the minis on top.

chubbybunnyI enlisted tugboat man’s help to create a Chubby Bunny Challenge video of love as we went totes old skool with sticks and simply roasted marshmallows over the fire. Although I had chocolate and graham crackers, we chose to stay pure because on their own, they were so satisfying, we didn’t feel the need to add any other ingredients.

…“Marshmallows should make people happy, not be made with scary ingredients. I’m down with Dandies!!”

Learn more at Facebook.com/MyDandies and @MyDandies


Dandies are the first Non-GMO Project Verified marshmallows on the market. Made with all-natural ingredients and completely free of gelatin, artificial ingredients, and high fructose corn syrup, the products are produced in the company’s dedicated facility, which is free of dairy, eggs, peanuts, and tree-nuts. These fluffy balls of fun are also free of wheat, gluten and corn, 100% vegan, and certified kosher by the Chicago Rabbinical Council. The best part is, Dandies marshmallows are air puffed, which gives them a traditional texture and flavor that is indistinguishable from their conventional counterparts. They melt and taste just like the marshmallows we grew up with! Dandies are available at Whole Foods Market and other natural foods stores across the U.S. Chicago Vegan Foods

(Product for sample and review only; no compensation.)

Thinking About Going VEGAN?

vegancookingOr if you already are, you still need to read this book.

Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking by Annie and Dan Shannon contains more than TWO HUNDRED delicious recipes, tips to save you $$$, and how to stock your pantry.

It’s one of those books you’ll turn to on a daily basis. I thought I knew it ALL, but I learned much more valuable info.

From the Shannons:

“In our new book, we strive to show readers how to cook creatively and thriftily with recipes, sidebars, and tips on stocking a pantry and using ingredients creatively. Most recipes result in leftover ingredients and servings that can be reused in multiple ways, reducing waste in your kitchen while keeping your meals fresh and flavorful. Inspired by the recipes and cost-saving techniques used during the Depression and World War II and paying a vegan homage to Julia Child, we’ve worked to create a system that’ll help vegans and not-yet-vegans alike get the most out of what kitchen goods you’ve already invested in so that you can spend less and get more.”

The photos are AMAZING, the recipes are easy to follow, and the tips are great!

Some of the recipes I can’t wait to try: Tofu Spring Rolls with Agave Chili Sauce, Pumpkin Pie Muffins, Slow-Cooker Tempeh Jumbalaya, and Sesame Miso Kale Chips.

Don’t they sound DELICIOUS?

Annie and Dan have appeared on the Today Show, Oprah.com, the Kitchn, in BUST magazine and numerous other media outlets, publications, and food festivals promoting compassionate living. Their first book, Betty Goes Vegan, won VegNews magazine’s Cookbook of the Year award in 2013.

P.S. If you live in the Portland, Oregon area, you can meet the authors at a book signing.

Saturday, July 18
Herbivore Clothing Company Store
1211 Southeast Stark Street

Website: http://www.meettheshannons.com/

The Good Karma Diet: Book Review

41NE50FNxPL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_“Eat gently, Feel amazing, age in slow motion.”

It seems to me that 4th of July — Independence Day — is the perfect time to review The Good Karma Diet since so many of us (well, not ME exactly, more like some of YOU) will be grilling and barbecuing thousands of pounds of dead flesh, an orgy of pig and cow and chicken and who knows what else.

Don’t get me wrong —  we love to barbecue too, but nothing that used to live and breathe — and it’s still an altogether happy and pleasant and fulfilling experience for tugboat man to get his grill on — with corn on the cob (non GMO of course), potatoes, veggie burgers, tempeh, tofu, garden veggies — and we are causing no harm and eating ethically.

Think of how beautiful our world could be if Independence Day meant Independence for ALL creatures from factory farm hell to enslaved circus animals to SlaveWorld to the horrors of puppy mills.

Freedom for ALL.

Many popular diets call for avoiding some foods or eating others exclusively. But as The Good Karma Diet reveals, the secret to looking and feeling great is actually quite simple: Treat our planet and all its inhabitants well. In this revolutionary book, bestselling author Victoria Moran reveals that by doing what’s best for all creatures and the planet, you align your eating with your ethics—a powerful health and wellness tool if there ever was one!

The Good Karma Diet shows readers how favoring foods that are karmically good for you will help you:

– Sustain energy
– Extend youthfulness
– Take off those stubborn extra pounds
– Reflect an enlightened outlook

This book also includes the inspiring stories of men and women across the country who have made this simple mealtime shift and reaped “good karma” in every aspect of their lives. Follow this wise diet and lifestyle program and you will find yourself waking up in a good mood more often and having a luminous look that bespeaks health and clean living.

Hopefully, you’ll read this wonderfully sweet book and shift your eating habits and quite possibly your KARMA.

The Good Karma Diet shows you why it’s in your self-interest to care about animals and the future of this planet. You feel better and avoid the ills plaguing American society, like heart disease and obesity. We all win a better world. And, good karma is delicious.”
—Jane Velez-Mitchell, creator of JaneUnchained.com, journalist, and author of Addict Nation 

I was provided this book to read and review.

Happy 4th of July!

Of Circuses and Condoms: The Slave Trade is Alive and Well in 2015

Circus TextThis might come as a shock to you.

I don’t spend ALL of my time shopping. Seriously, is that what you thought?

It’s true that I devote a great deal of my waking hours in a search for treasures old and new, but once in a while, I aspire to a higher calling.

circus5On Sunday and Monday, I hung out with an amazing and dedicated group who were protesting Ramos Brothers Circus in San Marcos, California.

Shame on San Marcos for supporting the mistreatment of animals.

What’s my story?
 I’ve never been to a circus because my mom felt strongly that animals should not do tricks and that there is something so very wrong in forcing animals to become entertainment for human profit.

If you were wondering where all my animal activist genes came from, I’d have to thank my mom. (Also thanks to her for the fashionista gene.)

I stopped eating meat in 1970 when I was a senior in high school. My surfer boyfriend (yes, I have a type haha) at the time wanted to try to eat healthier so I went along with his experiment. We eventually broke up but I never did eat meat again.

circus1Thank you to everyone who drove by, honked, and gave a thumbs up in support of our efforts.circus4

I have a request to make of you…the next time you see a group of people protesting animal abuse, STOP. Get out of your car. JOIN US. Take an hour out of your busy day just like we did to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Bring your children. Show them that you don’t just talk about caring for animals…you are agents of change. circus2

Then, hopefully, we CAN make the world a better place.

No matter what you think about PETA, they’re right about this:

“Animals aren’t actors, spectacles to imprison and gawk at, or circus clowns. Yet thousands of these animals are forced to perform silly, confusing tricks under the threat of physical punishment; are carted across the country in cramped and stuffy boxcars or semi-truck trailers; are kept chained or caged in barren, boring, and filthy enclosures; and are separated from their families and friends—all for the sake of human “entertainment.” Many of these animals even pay with their lives.”

Animals have RIGHTS.

Did you grow up eating meat, wearing leather, going to circuses, zoos, and the bathtub that is SeaWorld?

Do you wear wool and silk?

Are you now considering the impact of your actions on the animals?

If you haven’t, maybe you SHOULD.

Animals are NOT a requirement for a circus-type entertainment to be prosperous.

The overwhelming success of Cirque du Soleil is proof that you don’t need to have animals of any kind to have a circus.

Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, said people have turned against animal acts as they learn more about the animals and how they are treated. “These are complex, intelligent animals, and this is a lousy, lousy, dirty, cruel business, and people see that,” she said. “This was purely a business decision.”

Isn’t it wrong that these animals don’t get to see this glorious sky, bask in the breeze, and feel rain on their fur? Their lives are dismal, traveling from one city to another in dark, smelly, cramped trailers.

I’m not going to share the sad, tragic, horrific, heartbreaking pictures and videos of abused animals. If you need proof, you are more than welcome to Google and compile your own documentation.

I KNOW all I need to know.

A couple years ago, I spoke (along with PETA) against elephant rides at the San Diego County Fair and almost got into an altercation with one of the few supporters of this barbaric form of entertainment. I don’t understand how seemingly intelligent and civilized humans could allow this kind of abuse in 2015 when we’ve seen the videos, when we know what hell an animal endures to become “entertainment”.

Aren’t we better than this?

Haven’t we evolved at all in the last one hundred years?

Do you really need all that bacon-wrapped crap when you know what hellish existence pigs endure in factory farms?


Let’s teach our children, the next generation, that not only do animals have feelings, animals have the right not to be exploited, mistreated, abused, and enslaved.

For more information, visit circusprotest.com
I hope to see you in San Diego at the next protest!

As we walked our way over to the sidewalk with our signs, look what we had to step over.

Gross, huh?circus11

However, in some way, it’s a perfect albeit disgusting metaphor for the way too many people think about animals; that their lives have as much value as a discarded condom. Or something like that.

How about a little inspiration from Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young?

Teach Your Children

Scrumptious Vegan Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Dark Chocolate Vegan Cake www.enchantedseashells.comWe have a  bounty of zucchini here at the Casa de Enchanted Seashell garden, and the dilemma becomes what the heck does one do with all of this summer squash?

I made a few loaves of zucchini bread because they freeze well and tugboat man can enjoy them when he returns.

Did I forget to mention that he’s gone again?

Yup, he left a couple days ago, but I’m happy that he got some good surf so he wasn’t all moody and depressed, and we were able to go camping and commune with nature.

But what about all the zucchini?

I’ll pickle a few jars like I’ve done with cucumbers and then I got the brilliant idea to add shredded zucchini to my favorite chocolate cake to boost the nutritional value and keep it super moist, not that it lasts more than a day or two, ‘cos it’s the best chocolate cake EVER, vegan or not.

Best of all, the zucchini magically disappears during baking, so if you have children who are recalcitrant and don’t like veggies (how is that even possible?) this is a great way to TRICK them, although I don’t really approve of deceit as a parenting technique.

Son and DIL are coming down for a brief visit so that’s the perfect excuse reason to experiment PLUS they’re bringing a friend that Angel Boy was in graduate school with at Yale (bad sentence structure, I know), so it’s just like the “old days” when the house was filled with kids for me to stuff with food.

I old-school shredded the zucchini…


All dry ingredients go into the mixing bowl.

zucchinicake1 Add the liquids…

zucchinicake2 And the zucchini. So simple, now beat for a couple of minutes to incorporate all the goodness.

zucchinicake3 When it’s out of the oven and still hot, place about 1/2 cup of vegan chocolate chips on top. When they melt…zucchinicake4 Take an offset spatula and spread to make a delicious and easy topping.zucchinicake6

See how shiny?zucchinicake7

It’s always nice to garnish with garden blooms. I plucked a nasturtium, mint, and lemon verbena.

It’s as yummy as it is GORGEOUS!


Dark Chocolate and Zucchini Vegan Cake

  • 1/2 tsp.  salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (squeeze out any excess liquid)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose, I use King Arthur, not because they pay me, but because it’s U.S. grown and an employee-owned company)
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (or Amaretto or Grand Marnier)
  • 5 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cold coffee or water (coffee is better with chocolate) or you could always use soy/almond/cashew/coconut milk.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Mix the first five dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Make three shallow depressions in the dry ingredients.
3. Pour vinegar in one, vanilla/amaretto in the other, vegetable oil and zucchini in the third.
4. Pour coffee/water over all.
5. Mix well until smooth.

Grease a nine-inch pan. Bake on middle rack of oven for approximately twenty-five to thirty-five minutes.  Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Don’t over bake or it’ll dry out. Cool and frost.

Veggie Power! Keep it simple. Keep it clean. Keep it GREEN. *

wheatgrassAs in the green of wheatgrass.

Now don’t scrunch your face at me or say YUCK.

Just give it a chance.

For some of us, the fresh and refreshing flavor of wheatgrass was an instant hit with our palates, but I do realize that for a lot of you, it might take a bit of effort to enjoy.

I’ve been an advocate of wheatgrass since 2000, when a girlfriend started carrying around a water bottle filled with a jade-colored beverage, and said it was the single best thing she’s done for her health and well-being since becoming a vegan.

Ever since then, tugboat man and I “do” wheatgrass pretty much on a daily basis.

What’s the best time of day (and method) to take your greens?

I like to add them to smoothies or drop a tablespoon to the water I bring to the gym and drink it during class.

Here’s what Pines suggests: Take with a good amount of water or other liquid. This helps your body take full advantage of the nutrients without competing with other foods, and may also take the edge off your hunger so you don’t eat as much at meals. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are great times for a green energy pick-me-up.

(There are tablets, if you just CAN’T.)

The health benefits are HUGE. 

According to the Pines International Wheat Grass (the wheat grass people since 1976) website…

There is significant scientific evidence that eating certain green, leafy vegetables can help prevent cancer.  The American Institute of Cancer Research states:

Spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory and Swiss chard are excellent sources of fiber, folate and a wide range of carotenoids that can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer .

Greens represent a convenient, essentially non-caloric, nutrient-dense source of otherwise hard to obtain minerals, like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese .

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables contain fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and help to temper blood-sugar swings by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream after meals. This lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes .

Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and collards contain folate and vitamin B12. According to WebMD, there is a correlation between the consumption of these vitamins and rates of depression. “These veggies contain lots of the B-complex vitamins, which are needed to make serotonin, a mood-boosting chemical” .

Green leafy vegetable like spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, and lettuce, kale and salad greens contains the highest amount of chlorophyll (the green pigment) which is an excellent deodorizer. The green vegetables help balance the pH level of the body and thus prevent the occurrence of dry mouth which is one of the root causes of bad breath. A diet which is comprised of loads of green leafy vegetables will not only eliminate offensive odor but it will also boost the production of digestive enzymes .

In addition to playing a key role in helping blood to clot, vitamin K is critical in preventing certain age-related conditions. Researchers in California found inadequate K can lead to cardiovascular disease, bone fragility, and arterial and kidney calcification.

Pines grows the only sold anywhere that is Non-GMO Project Verified.

Try it!

No, really. TRY IT!

PINES International offers a line of the purest, freshest and nutrient-rich wheatgrass, barley grass, alfalfa and beet juice powder that can be added to your shaker bottle for some instant Green Energy®. PINES also offers veggie power in tablets and capsules. Just one teaspoonful of PINES Wheat Grass powder, mixed in water or juice, provides the same amount of nutrition as a serving of deep-green, leafy vegetables. Seven wheat grass tablets will do the same.

Pound for pound, PINES Wheat Grass products are many times richer in chlorophyll and iron than spinach. Protein levels average 25 percent and contain virtually every vitamin known, along with 20 amino acids, including the eight that are considered essential for human health.

*The Pines slogan

I was provided product to sample and review; the opinions are my own.

Scrumptious Vegan Pesto

Although I usually make all the food I serve to my family from scratch, sometimes it’s nice to have a healthy vegan FAST option in my pantry.

Sauces ‘n Love sent me their Vegan Pesto to sample and review and it was the perfect choice for my tugboat man’s whirlwind visit home.

I wanted to prepare a homemade meal but didn’t have the time to spend hours in the kitchen. vegan pesto

There are only SEVEN ingredients!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Basil, Pinenuts, Garlic, Salt, Black Pepper
Sauces ’n Love Vegan Pesto has the same authentic Italian flavor that’s been perfectly balanced with fresh basil, pine nuts and olive oil and garlic.
It has that rich flavor and texture of the best pesto sauces but without the cheese. Use this vegan pesto over pasta, salads, sandwiches or as a condiment.

I added a two tablespoons to a couple of hastily thrown together stuffed portobello mushrooms for an appetizer and it was delicious.

With Spring here and Summer not far behind, when was the last time you had a truly amazing vegan pesto on a warm day?

Sauces ‘n Love has a reputation for quality with fifteen Specialty Food Association Awards for superior gourmet flavor.

Check out the brand at www.saucesnlove.com.

Sauces ‘n Love Vegan Pesto with Asparagus with Mushrooms


Sauces ‘n Love Vegan Pesto
8 oz. Linguine
1 bunch asparagus
4 oz. mixed mushrooms
1 Shallot (or onion)
3 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil Salt & Black Pepper

Preparation :

Set pot of cold water (3-4 qts.) on high heat. Wash and dry asparagus, cut hard end off (3-4″), trim heads, and cut stem in 1/4″ cylinders. Cut heads in half, lengthwise. Slice shallot thinly. Trim mushroom stems, rub head with damp paper towel, removing any dirt. Roughly chop mushrooms.

Actions: In skillet heat 3 tbsp oil on Medium.

  1. Saute’ shallots for 1 minute stirring, add asparagus cylinders (retain the heads), cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  2. Add salt to boiling water, add pasta and set timer according to instructions on package.
  3. Add mushroom to asparagus, cook for 5 minutes. Adjust for salt and pepper
  4. Add Sauces ‘n Love Vegan Pesto and asparagus heads, bring to gentle simmer, add 2 tbsp pasta water (more if you want the sauce thinner)
  5. Drain pasta, add to sauce and gently coat by stirring medium heat.

Presentation : Serve on warm plates, decorate with a sprig of your favorite herb. We like everything a bit spicy, so just added a few hot red pepper flakes. Buon Appetito! (I was provided product to sample and review. Opinions are my own.)

Keep It Simple With Brown Rice, Kale, and Tofu #MeatlessMonday

Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen a huge increase in the numbers of vegan blogs and vegan recipes (YAY!) but it seems that they’re getting more and more elaborate, as if it’s a sort of competition to create the most difficult-to-prepare meals.

I’m sending a more simple back-to-basics message.

If we agree that one of the reasons for not eating meat advocates for a cruelty-free life to protect animals from a hellish existence on earth, we need to also communicate that it doesn’t always have to be a herculean task to do the right thing.

I’ve been a veg since 1970 and in those 40+ years have seen a lot of people make a similar decision to go meat-free and then, for one reason or another, fall off the wagon.

One of the reasons I’ve heard time and time again is that it’s “too hard”.

I disagree.

Some of my most enjoyable and satisfying meals are the most simple.

Here’s an example of a basic, easy-to-prepare dinner.

Start with my can’t fail One Dish Brown Rice recipe.

It’s PERFECT every time.

1. Add one cup brown rice to a 9×9 glass baking dish.

2. Pour over the rice not quite two cups water plus one teaspoon olive oil.

3. Lay gently on top of the rice one-inch chunks of tofu.

4. Sprinkle pepper, chopped fresh herbs, freshly ground salt (if you must).

5. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

6. While the rice is baking, I picked a bunch of kale from the garden, cut into bite-size pieces, and steamed it.

7. To serve, sprinkle rice with low-sodium soy sauce, slice an organic tomato and garnish with cilantro or parsley (we grow cilantro year-round in the Casa de Enchanted Seashells garden.

A chilled chardonnay will dance a tango on your palate and complement the earthy rice, tofu, and kale combo.

Simple. Delicious.