Monday, April 28, 2008

Chocolate Cake/Cupcakes... Veganized!


Since I did another round of product demos for the chocolate company AND went to a fabulous birthday party this past weekend, I thought I'd share my vegan chocolate cupcake recipe. After all, nothing says birthday party like booze and baked goods! I've baked these for parties and no one ever guesses they're vegan- they're still moist and sweet and totally satisfying as a regular cupcake!

The Whats:

* 1 cup soymilk
* 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup pastry flour
* 1 tsp. baking soda
* 1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1/3 cup cocoa powder
* 1 cup granulated sugar (I use a little less than this, I don't like my cupcakes overly sweet!)
* 1/3 cup canola oil
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
* 1/2 tsp. almond extract

The Hows:

1. Preheat oven to 350, and line a muffin pan with paper/foil baking cups.

2. Whisk soy milk and apple cider vinegar together in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.

3. Add the sugar, canola oil, and vanilla & almond extracts to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. Add dry ingredients in two or three batches to the wet ingredients, and beat until smooth.

4. Pour cake mix into cupcake liners, filling about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

Yields about 10- 12 cupcakes. I love devouring these with Nutella, but you can frost these with any frosting you might pick up at the store, OR if you want freshly made vegan frosting, simply beat together 1/4 cup Earth Balance (soy butter), 2 tbsp soy milk, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Perfection!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Gross!

Test tube meat. Quite possibly worse than real meat. It's debatable on so many levels.

PETA announced this week that it would offer $1 million to a scientist that finds a way to create and market in vitro meat. Ultimately, this would not only stop the god-awful, animal-torturing factory farm system in the U.S., but essentially help the environment (factory farming is taxing on the land and causes serious pollution, and its the main reason behind deforestation in Central/South America) and would bring down the cost of meat while improving the quality. You wouldn't have to look for "antibiotic free" labels on your meat ever again. Though everyone knows PETA for the slaughter videos (you know you've seen one at some point!) and for animal rights & advocating veganism, it seems contradictory at first, but it almost makes sense that they're supporting this. In a New York Times article, a PETA admin mentions that this offer is causing huge controversy even within the organization.

I still think this is gross. I get the concept, and I understand this would be a huge step in the animal rights movement. But from a vegetarian's point of view, animal rights are a huge part of the reason we go veg, well, for most of us. And if you've been a vegetarian for a long time, the desire to eat meat eventually disappears. Marketing in-vitro meat to non-meat eaters in addition to meat-eaters (which they foreseeably could, because plenty of people also go veg for health reasons) seems a bit redundant to me. I haven't eaten meat in seven years, and I have no desire to do so. I really can't imagine this appealing to anybody that's already decided to go vegetarian. And even for mainstream Americans, I can't imagine anyone would find that idea of anything grown in a test-tube appealing.

Only time will tell. I'd love to know what other vegetarians think of this!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Ten Bells

I love a good wine bar, but going to an organic wine bar during Earth Week was definitely in order! Especially one named after the London pub where Jack the Ripper met his victims.

I stopped at newly opened The Ten Bells on the Lower East Side with a friend after work. With my camera batteries dead, I apologize for not have pictures to display here! Ten Bells is a small venue with a relaxed atmosphere and no particular notes of snobbery that you might expect with wine lovers, or from the managers at La Pere Pinard. I'm not sure if it's because organic wine isn't as common as regular wine, or if it's the comfort factor of choosing from a shorter wine list, but Ten Bells features an intimate selection of reds, whites, roses, and bubblies, scribbled on a chalkboard along with their small plate offerings. Based on our very friendly, hand-kissing waiter's recommendation, we had a glass of a St. Chinian Chateau Bosquette (I think that's what I scribbled down, I'm trying to get into the habit of doing this with wines I like!), which was medium bodied and for a red, really fresh without being overly fruity. At $8 a glass, it was all that much sweeter!

Vegetarian plates were limited outside of cheese selections, but I happily noshed on eggplant caviar, and a fabulous maple smoked gouda, while my friend enjoyed prosciutto and goat cheese "cigars" and salmon tartare. At no more than $8 per plate (another perk to veg-friendly options, they're never particularly pricey- my plates were $4 and $5 each), I figured it was fair enough to do some shopping after catching up over drinks!

I imagine it gets pretty crowded as the night goes on, but it was wonderfully quiet when we arrived- perfect for sitting with a friend you haven't seen in awhile. Definitely going back.


Ten Bells- 247 Broome Street between Orchard and Ludlow. No website, cash only. Opens at 5pm, closes at 12am on weeknights, 2am on weekends.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Baked Polenta with Tomatoes and Smoked Mozzarella


I was totally bent on going out to celebrate Earth Day, but sadly, my workload had other ideas. What's a girl to do? Indulge in a glass of Gavi and some quick comfort food at home, of course. I'm Italian, and though pasta is certainly an Italian and vegetarian staple, polenta is the ultimate Italian comfort food. And for anyone who's been skirting comfort foods because swimsuit season is just around the corner... polenta on its own is fat free!

Feel free to experiment, but here's my fave way to get a carb overload:

The Whats:

* 1 box instant polenta mix (hold your judgment, I said quick comfort food!)
* 2 roma tomatoes
* 1 clove garlic
* 1 tsp. basil
* 1/2 tsp. rosemary
* 1 tbsp. olive oil
* 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
* salt & pepper to taste
* smoked mozzarella (you can substitute with soy mozzarella; I've used a little more than a 1/4 cup of cheese for this recipe)

The Hows:

* Preheat oven to 350. Prep a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, or a sheet of parchment paper.

* Dice tomatoes, and place in a small bowl. Crush garlic, and add to bowl. Mix in basil, rosemary, salt & pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, and stir together until tomatoes are covered with mixture. Set aside to let the flavors blend.

* Prepare polenta according to package directions- in this recipe, I've used the single serve method (usually 4 tbsp. polenta to 3/4 cup of water) . Season with salt & pepper.

* Spread polenta over prepped baking sheet, about 1/4 inch thick. Spread tomato mixture over the polenta, and shred the mozzarella over the polenta. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges of polenta start to crisp. Allow polenta to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Little Lad's

I'm probably not alone here, but I'm completely convinced that Midtown and the Wall Street area are completely devoid of life- there's no particularly interesting sites to lose an afternoon in, and certainly no places outside of hopelessly generic lunch joints to eat, much less vegetarian places to eat.

Okay, the occasional Indian all-you-can-eat buffets excluded. I've got no problems eating at these.

Coincidentally though, on Earth Day, I'd met one of my homegirls in the Wall Street area for lunch, and she suggested that we explore a vegetarian place her co-worker told her about. Vegetarian in the Financial District? No way, too good to be true. Vegetarian in any of these character-lacking 'hoods usually consists of lentil soup, salad, or the occasional mozzarella caprese sandwich.

But sure enough, we stumbled into Little Lad's, on the subway level of 120 Broadway. We almost walked past it, thinking it was some tiny bakery or rundown health food store, but an off-putting PETA video quietly tucked in a corner of the entryway definitely shouted "VEG!" And if you scan the ingredients of the organic breads and cookies at the front counter, or the daily specials on the chalkboard, you'll soon realize this a completely vegan joint.

And as much as I'd love to give totally rave reviews to any vegetarian/vegan place, I just can't with Little Lad's. The tiny buffet contained the all-too-common salad ingredients, plain couscous, canned mixed vegetables (well, that's my educated guess), and I decided to be adventurous and sample some squash mix- I'm guessing this was their attempt at the Turkish eggplant dip you'll find at a number of other veg places. Call me crazy, but I like some sort of fun seasoning to my meals. You know, even tossing dried herbs into your veggies can still give it some sort of character. Ah well, it wasn't bad, but nothing was particularly standout

I will, however, give Little Lad's a ton of credit, because who knew there could possibly be a veg place around Wall Street? And I gotta admit, it's reassuring for me to walk into a restaurant and not worry about ordering anything that could possibly contain meat. And at $4 for a plate of salad & couscous, and a small bowl of chickpeas & carrots, I can't complain about cheap eats!

So to my veggies scraping by on Wall Street, it's still worth checking out... if not their super cheap buffet, definitely opt for their herbal popcorn and yummy cookies! I scarfed down a pack of their apple-cranberry cookies, which are even better if you pop them in microwave for a few seconds.

Okay, so maybe Wall Street isn't completely lifeless... though I've heard my favorite veg-restaurant in the whole world, Zen Palate, opened a branch in the Financial District... I'll report back on this shortly :)

If you're looking for some more places in your hood, check out the listings on the VegDining site. They list vegetarian/vegan restaurants, as well as veg-friendly restaurants and stores, by borough.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day '08

To all you jaded New Yorkers, I give you permission to get excited- I promise I won't judge. Really!

Whether you think our planet is doomed or not, this eternal optimist is going to reflect on the fact that we really have come a long way since the first grassroots Earth Day organized in 1970 that tried to combat factories, power plants, and freeways (imagine that!). Especially now- though the phrase "money talks" wasn't a new concept back in 1970, it's all the more relevant today, as you can now put your money in socially responsible mutual funds and purchase more energy efficient options for your home.

I skimmed through author David Bach's latest release, "Go Green, Live Rich," that we received as a review copy at work- perfect timing- and interestingly enough, for New Yorkers specifically:

* "the 14.4 billion cups of coffee in disposable containers that Americans drink every year waste enough petrochemical energy to heat 8,300 homes a year"
* you can save $215 a year if you were to use public transportation instead of a car for running just ONE errand a week.
* AND if you ditch your car, you can save yourself an average of $8,580 a year.

It's always reassuring to know that even little things you do can help! I, for one, was shocked when I heard the stat that Americans alone use over a billion plastic bags a year- and that's something you can easily change in your daily habits! I'm now a huge fan of canvas bags and ChicoBags, because you can fold these up and take them anywhere!

So as a member of Generation Recycle, I know I'm optimistic, and I truly believe we have the power to initiate change. I'm calling the members of our twenty-something demographic "Generation Recycle" after one of the slightly more cynical guests we've had on the show I work on dubbed the whole gung-ho recycling movement of the 1990s more of "feel-good" trend that wasn't particularly practical and didn't much business sense. Be that as it may, I'll always have those old recycling PSAs in my head from back when, and I'm happy I could at least somewhat grow up green!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Chocolate Fondue


In addition to my fledgling pie business, I also fill up my weekends (as I did this past weekend, in between clubbing of course!) by doing product demos for Sweetriot, a two year old green, mission-based chocolate company here in NYC. These dairy-free/gluten-free/all natural & organic lil cacao nibs are sold in all the city's Whole Foods stores, so definitely check 'em out when you can!

As I mentioned, since all I did this weekend was demo and chat about the antioxidant benefits of chocolate, I decided to post a chocolate fondue recipe. Fondue is such a social dessert; after all, everyone has to congregate near the fondue pot to enjoy it! This recipe serves 4 to 6 people.

The Whats:

* 32 oz. chocolate, finely chopped (you can use whatever type of chocolate you like, but I'll use Lindt or Sweet Earth Organic Fair Trade chocolate bars)
* 1 cup heavy cream (reserve an additional 1/4 cup if you'd like to add a bit to make the fondue thinner)
* 1 tbsp coffee or espresso
* 1tsp vanilla extract
* 1 tsp sugar
* 1/3 cup hot water

The Hows:

In medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and gently stir, continuously, over medium heat until chocolate is melted; transfer into fondue pot or a warm bowl and serve with strawberries, raspberries, bananas, brownies bites, or marshmellows.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Apple Sage Home Fries


Totally easy, and I find I use less oil or butter when I make these in the oven than in a skillet. This serves about 4 or 5, and here's what you'll need:

* 5 red potatoes, diced
* 2 apples, diced
* 1/2 a package of Gimme Lean veggie sausage
* 1 small onion, diced
* 3 tbsp butter (I use Earth Balance vegan butter!) or olive oil
* 2 tsp. rubbed sage
* 1/2 tsp. ginger
* salt & pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

2) As oven preheats, slice veggie sausage into 1/4 inch slices; cook in non-stick skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes until exterior just begins to brown. With a fork, break up veggie sausage slices into crumbles. Remove from heat.

3) Combine potatoes, apples, crumbled veggie sausage, and onion in a bowl, and toss with the sage, ginger, salt & pepper and the butter or olive oil. Spread the mix over a nonstick cookie sheet (I'll usually put down a sheet of parchment paper first). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until home fries begin to brown, turning once or twice with a spatula.

Food Prices & the Potato

Food policy- not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when you've got the munchies, but it certainly made headlines this past week as food riots in Haiti ensued and rice and wheat hit record prices. Rice futures on Thursday jumped to $23.30 per hundredweight from $10.11 a year earlier. Some nations, including India, Vietnam, and Egypt, have even curbed the export of rice as a protectionist measure.

The combination of drought across the globe in recent years (and some officials still have the audacity to call global warming a myth!) as well as the increasing demand for biofuels, particularly corn ethanol, has deeply impacted global food prices- The New York Times recently cited a World Bank estimate that in the last three years, food prices have increased 83%. And that number can only go higher. In the U.S., as farmers increase their corn production, they're cutting back on their soybean production- largely used to make cooking oil, we can also expect to see jumps here and in other soybean-based products as well. In global efforts to go green, nations have been buying up biofuels... yet it's known that the technology to utilize these new energy sources still isn't widely available. As someone who tries to be as green as she possibly can, but is completely horrified by the sad fact that some of the world's biggest wheat, rice, and corn producers can't afford to feed their own people, I'm a bit torn on the biofuel issue.

With these issues circulating throughout the media, I read a Reuters article extolling the value of the trusty potato. The third most important crop after wheat and rice, it can also yield between two and four times more food per hectare than wheat or rice, so it's no wonder a number of poorer countries are seeking to up their potato crops.

In honor of the potato, which The Friendly Veg thinks everybody should show some love for because of its vegetarian versatility- not to mention its complex carbohydrates, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, potassium, and about 5% the fat content wheat- I'll be posting my fave home fries recipe, which I make with veggie sausage and another trusty fave, apples. Sunday morning (okay, I can't lie, it's more like Sunday afternoon) just isn't the same without 'em!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Love You, But You Love Meat

Although this was published back in February, I felt compelled to mention a New York Times article that came to mind today while perusing the open classes at the Institute for Culinary Education. I found a class with the same title of this NYT article: "I Love You and You Love Meat"

Cooking classes are a really fun way to hone in on basic cooking techniques, (I took a Knife Skills class at ICE, and my slicing and dicing has never been the same!) learn about a new cuisine, and just as exciting, meet new people who enjoy cooking as much as you do! This class, run by the author of "The Flexitarian Table," offers vegetarian friendly selections for omnivores and how to prepare comparable dishes with meat or with tofu. I'm all about it, and I'm hoping to do the same on this blog as well!

I couldn't help but feel a little disheartened as I read the New York Times article again. Though you can easily ask, "how on earth can dietary choice impact a relationship as much as it has with these couples," our dietary choices can become so deeply ingrained in us and how we live our lives, that sometimes, I wonder how it's possible that my choices don't affect how I relate to someone else. Believe it or not, I've actually never dated another vegetarian- hey, sometimes things just work out that way- and with few exceptions, I've generally found most guys I've gone out with have been accepting (though I always get a raised eyebrow of sorts) and quite open to trying whatever vegetarian entree I prepare. Sure, it's one-sided, but I'm still a big believer in sharing :)

On another note: since it's Wednesday and I always swing by the Union Square Greenmarket in the afternoon, I just wanted to profess my love for Hawthorne Valley Farms organic baked goods- I always make a point of trying vegetables, fruit, and baked goods from all the different vendors, but HVF's organic ginger scones have become such a beloved breakfast treat that I can't go to the Greenmarket without visiting their stand!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Veggie Week '08

No, I suppose there's no official Veggie Week '08, but one of my favorite food websites, Chow.com, is currently featuring a small collection of vegetarian recipes and articles on their site for a "Veggie Week '08." And though they don't quite explain the whats or whys of Veggie Week, hey, I'm not complaining!

In their Projects section (I love this section- if I've got a few spare hours on a weekend, I will usually take the challenge!), they've got a "How to Make Your Own Tofu" guide- because just like any other food, fresher tastes way better! I'm totally going to try it this weekend, and I'll report back :)

For anyone that's toying around with taking the veggie plunge, or for anyone looking to incorporate healthier veg recipes into their diet, Chow also has a top ten list of cookbooks that show vegetables some love, and that both vegetarians and carnivores alike can get into. I love Alice Waters' "Chez Panisse Vegetables" and Isa Chandra Moskowitz's "Veganomicon", and if you haven't seen her cable access show, The Post Punk Kitchen , it's definitely worth checking out. Though the list only gives a shout-out to Indian cookbook author extraordinaire Madhur Jaffrey, I've got a copy of her massive "World Vegetarian" in my kitchen, and I still find myself trying new recipes from there!

Also worth reading: "By the Way, I'm Vegan", which explores dietary requests in restaurants. While I will generally try to call ahead to let the restaurant know about my "dietary restrictions" (a term I disdain, because I don't think I'm being restricted!), sometimes you simply can't. I like to view it as an interesting challenge for the restaurant- will the chef get creative (I've been surprised and more than satisfied TWICE at The Modern), or am I going to get a sheepish shrug from my server who'll unhelpfully offer, "well, we can just put marinara sauce on the pasta..." (Il Cantinori, I expected more from you!)

So definitely visit Chow.com even if you're not as excited about Veggie Week '08 as I am! April is also National Soy Month, so if you can't make the 14th Soy Symposium in Chicago held by the Soyfoods Association of North America (no, I'm being serious, click on the link!), then eat a veggie burger for lil' ol me. Or better yet, make veggie nachos, I'll be posting my hit recipe later this week!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

SugarSpice Pies

I love dessert. Put any cake, pie, or chocolate in front of me, and believe you me, it will not go untouched. But does it make sense for the health conscious to have their cake and eat it too?

OF COURSE!

I started baking out of my apartment this past fall, making pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The lightbulb totally went off when a co-worker told me the slice of pumpkin pie I brought in was so good he wanted to buy a whole pie... and SugarSpice Pies was conceived! I love cinnamon so much that not only did all of my fall pies contain cinnamon (apple, pecan, pumpkin, sweet potato), but I'd even throw a few pinches into the crust- the name "SugarSpice" just seemed to work best! For those of you as ingredient conscious as I am, I try to use organic and locally grown ingredients whenever possible (I'm planning on enforcing this once I really get the business off the grown), as well as products like egg beaters and smart balance to cut down on fat content. I make everything to order so all my pies are fresh & yummy with absolutely no preservatives or artificial ingredients. I just started doing cakes/cupcakes, and these can even be made vegan... AND still taste fabulous.

So as I gear up for springtime offerings and getting ready to bake, I'd love to know what your fave spring & summer desserts are! Hit me up here, or at sugarspicepies@yahoo.com. I'll be posting a list with order info soon :)

The Friendly Veg, An Intro

I'm all about jokes. Seriously. I can't even take myself seriously.

My sister will still dangle a glistening slice of Christmas ham in front of me and make oinking noises. This happens every year, since I stopped eating pork at age 12, and it will probably continue till the day I have kids and they ask, "Mommy, is Aunt Tina crazy? Why does she do that?" Sure, it's old, but I'll let her have it, it's still kinda funny.

When friends make jokes about trying to get me wasted enough to unknowingly eat meat, or how I'd get sick less often if I ate more meat, I'll playfully banter back that I LOVE a lil sausage in me every now and then.

I'll always be a good sport when people pick not-so-friendly-to-veg spots for birthdays, reunions, gatherings- hey, I like salad, and I can suck up eating just a salad for dinner or pulling chunks of meat from a shared dish if it means good times with friends! And though I'll never prepare a juicy steak dinner for whatever honey I date, I even took an ex to a Brazilian steakhouse for his birthday- yep, that was MY idea- because I knew how much he'd enjoy it.

Vegetarianism is a choice, it's been my choice since I was 18. I certainly think its the best choice for me, but it's not for everyone, and I never begrudge anybody for not going veg. I'm not even a fan of proselytizing vegetarian/vegan types myself- I prefer to let my fabulous veggie treats speak for themselves!

But I will get offended when people who obviously don't know what they're talking about feel like they should offer commentary on my eating habits; and it's just as offensive to me as Capitol Hill suits dictating what I should/shouldn't do with my body, or altar-boy loving holy men that think I should sport a chastity belt till I'm married.

I was out of work for several days with some flu-like bug, and upon returning to the office later in the week, my all-knowing boss was quite concerned because I just keep getting sick. That he'd given it some thought (lucky me!), and that I should probably go see a nutritionist because maybe there's just something I'm not getting in my diet, you know, doing that whole vegetarian thing and all.

No, no, I'm sure it's got NOTHING to do with the fact that our office/studio is in the basement level of the building, with no windows, no air circulation; that it's got NOTHING to do with the fact that we had a major flood on our floor less than two months ago and more likely than not we still have mold spores floating around. See, that would be a logical conclusion.

No, it must be me, it must be my diet. The same diet that I've maintained for almost 7 years. And no, he didn't bother to ask if I'd ever gotten sick this often since I started working at this office (answer: no); if I carefully scrutinize what I put into my body because it's something you just learn to do when you're avoiding certain foods (answer: duh); that the last time I actually had blood work done, my doc was impressed by my really high level of good cholesterol in my system that comes from a healthy plant based fats & omega-3s (what a surprise!).

And I'll answer you something else: no, I'm NOT overreacting with this one. I've worked there for almost two years now, and I can confidently say everyone knows how well I eat, based on the countless times I've brought something fabulous & veg friendly in for lunch and elicited a variety of compliments and questions on how I managed to whip the dish together. You see what I eat, you've queried in the past how I get protein, vitamins, etc, and I've more than satisfactorily answered all of your questions. Hell, you know I was a vegetarian ATHLETE in college. And suddenly now my diet must be at fault?

Fuck. that.

Maybe you can partially blame the prevalent culture of ignorance, but seriously, before you make dumb assumptions, educate yourself! Anybody that remotely scans headlines in the science or food section of a newspaper can assume that adding more anti-oxidant rich veggies and all-natural foods to your diet and cutting out fattier, preservative-laden items will reduce obesity, cancers, you just name it. And even if there weren't studies that proved it, if you gave it any thought at all, you can also logically deduce that anyone who has followed ANY kind of special diet for years is automatically trained to scan ingredient lists and nutrition facts, more so than people who do not follow a special diet.... ESPECIALLY if you're cutting out a whole food group. Anyone who goes vegetarian or vegan has some research to do, even if only to look for new recipes; just as much as a diabetic would need to do some research about maintaining a low-sugar diet, or someone getting kidney stones out of their system needs to check labels for sodium content. Outside of the foodie circuit, I'm one of a handful of people I know that really monitors what they eat and tries to keep everything in balance (and even as a foodie, all the more reason to pay attention to what you're eating!) Sure, the occasional binge on disco fries at 4am after a night of partying happens, but I know damn well that I shouldn't be eating anything too greasy the day after.

Though I generally disdain the "I know what's best for everyone" attitude, it becomes even more offensive when it's fueled by ignorance, and it attacks something that's become an important part of who I am. So I decided to do something more productive with my time than stay peeved at a world that I thought should know better about vegetarianism... especially in NYC. Some people will never get it, including my Sicilian dad who still asks every year why I'm not eating the meat sauce, the cioppino, the holiday ham, or whatever might be up for grabs.

I've never been a crazy "beat you over the head with a carrot till you see the light" veggie, nor do I find this acceptable behavior either... you don't win anyone over this way, and it shouldn't be an "us vs. them" battle! So I'm going to be pro-active here and instead of seeking out "veg-friendly," I'll be out there as "the friendly veg." Keep reading for vegetarian & health-conscious recipes, veggie versions of dishes in restaurants, info on my new dessert venture, SugarSpice Pies, and more. To my meat-eating pals, you might even find a recipe that you like! :)

Thanks!

For anyone else that wants to educate themselves, check out, at least for starters:

http://www.foodpolitics.com/

http://goveg.com/vegetarian_athletes.asp

http://www.thechinastudy.com/about.html

http://www.vegetariantimes.com/

http://www.vrg.org/