Monthly Archives: October 2011

Mac ‘N Veg Cheese: Just a Little Comfort


Vegan Mofo #5

Yesterday, I had every intention of making a post early in the day so that anyone that wanted to make my dish could buy the ingredients. Yet because I am still in the process of making this blog work, I sat at my computer searching for ways to help me understand the theme better. When I was informed that Steve Jobs was no longer with us. I sat quietly.

So instead of making a full meal, the only thing that came to my mind was something comforting – macaroni ‘n veg cheese.



My style of cooking is more along the lines of an intuitive cook. I don’t measure anything, just a little of this and a little of that. With that in mind, I grab a kabocha squash that is the size a good size grapefruit. Cut it, scoop out the seeds, and place it in a baking dish with a little water in the oven.

A pot is put on to boil for the pasta. The remaining ingredients of raw cashews, Dijon mustard, garlic clove, onion, cayenne pepper, tamari, turmeric, tomato puree, and rice milk are placed in my high powered blender. Blend until smooth.



I mixed everything together as I listened to the news coverage while thinking of his family and wishing that I could share this simple meal with them as my offering of comfort. For those who knew Steve Jobs personally, will feel the lost daily. The rest of us will feel the void, yet hopefully we’ll strive to our best.


Macaroni and Veg Cheese


  • 1 kabocha squash (about 1.5lbs), halved and seeded
  • 1 16 ounce pkg Tinkyada Organic Brown Rice Elbow Pasta
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 1/4 cup rice milk


    Kabocha Squash
  1. Wash outside of kabocha squash before cutting.
  2. Cut kabocha squash in half. Scoop out seeds.
  3. Place squash in a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water.
  4. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
  5. Pasta
  6. Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat.
  7. Cook pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  8. Rinse.
  9. Drain.
  10. Set aside.
  11. Veg Cheese Sauce
  12. Place the remaining ingredients into blender.
  13. Blend puree until smooth.
  14. Place Not Cheese Sauce into saucepan on medium low until hot.
  15. Turn off burner.
  16. Add pasta.
  17. Mix.
  18. Serve.


A Vegan at Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival


It’s that time of year again! The Annual Party for Disney’s Foodie crowd. For sixteen years The Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival has come around in the fall where friends old and new meet for fun, food, and spirits. Chefs, cookbook authors, wineries, sommeliers, food and beverage producers from local and international companies, and now mixologist come from all over the world to share their expertise and products with food lovers coming in from all over the world. Let’s not forget about the concert series with musical acts like Taylor Dayne, Boys II Men, Hanson, Sugar Ray, Pointer Sisters, and more.

Every year, I would make plans to attend. I knew exactly where I’d go, what I’d eat, and who I’d be with through all of it. There were always new faces and chances to make friends that has lasted through the years. We’d all gather in line waiting for the Culinary Demonstrations for an opportunity to get ideas, try new flavors, and meet chefs from around the world.

My palate was truly happy to sample everything and I did eat everything until 2005. I  became vegetarian and then immediately vegan. I still attended The Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival, however I noticed that being there wasn’t as fun or exciting as it used to be. The fun of truly sharing a meal and discussing the flavor nodes of wine while picking apart ingredients of each dish became more of an experiment of sharing without tasting. Sometimes, some components of each dish could be given to me if it were already vegan. Yet, for the most part, my journey through each demo slowly dwindled to me just watching and not sampling as well. Eventually, I stopped going to the culinary demonstrations. It just didn’t make sense any more. Being a vegan at Epcot® was beginning to be a not so wonderful experience. So I thought about it and decided that I would still attend the Authentic Taste Seminars that featured food companies giving a little history, samplings, and gifts from their businesses.  

So when I decided to attend the festival this year, I made my way to the Festival Center to enjoy an Authentic Taste with Driscoll’s® Only the Finest Berries.

Driscoll's Berries on display at Epcot Food & Wine Festival


Once the elastic rope was dropped, we made our way to our seats to find recipes, a tasting notes card, a napkin and finally – berries! Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and one beautiful strawberry.

Driscoll's berries

Tasty juicy goodness! I was one happy vegan!

The next Authentic Taste Seminar was presented by POSH Salt™ (Primordial Ocean Salt Himalaya™) . We dove into the world of Himalayan salt. We tried a salt kissed with vanilla. It had an amazing mouth feel and incredible flavor. We even received a little gift bag of Small Pink Salt Chunks. Awesome!

Posh Saltware presented with fruit

As I walked around the World Showcase, I explored the International Marketplace kiosk out of curiosity and a desire to enjoy a taste from different countries. Unfortunately, not one of the cute little houses held anything for a vegan. The International Marketplaces were basically houses of meat,cheese, and/or seafood dishes. Do you know how upsetting it was to walk around each country and not be able to enjoy a taste from them? Oh, extremely frustrating for a vegan at Epcot®!

So you’re basically left to roam the park doing what you naturally do everyday and that’s read labels on products. Yet with careful reading and questioning of Cast Members, you can find foods vegans can have. It’s just that you are left out of the fun of all the cute kiosks around the World Showcase. I spoke with others attending the festival and they were also disappointed in some things. I received questions about what can I eat at Epcot®. I gave a few suggestions. Yet for all of you, I’ll write about that another day. Until then, have your own food and wine festival at home.

Happy Vegan Eating!

Happy Vegan Mofo!

I am so happy to finally be able to begin this journey! I only recently found out about Vegan Mofo – Vegan Month of Food. From what I understand, Vegan Month of Food is about Vegan and Non-Vegan Bloggers coming together to write about all vegan food. I am looking forward to reading about new products and trying out new recipes from other vegan bloggers.

Honestly, I am pretty excited about my participation in Vegan Mofo this month. Seriously, vegans are a tough crowd to please because they have high expectations. Which we deserve to have such feelings. Everyday, vegans live in a world flooded with views from family, friends and strangers, products, and foods that are geared to the mainstream – Omnivores. Whereas, we are left with the internet to find other vegans, vegan food, and vegan recipes that are satisfying yet full of flavor.

It can be relatively easy for some, yet frustrating and difficult for others to navigate the vegan lifestyle in an omnivore world. Especially when a vegan wants to ‘hang out’ with their non-friends. When going out to eat, just trying to decide on the perfect restaurant for everybody to eat can be exhausting. The reason can be as simple as the restaurant in question may not have any options nor does it accommodate menu changes. As well as, your non-vegan friends may have the attitude of ‘just pick off the meat’ or the chef may not have a clue as to what to make for a vegan other than sautéed peppers, mushrooms, and onions on a baked potato or roast vegetables that are soggy and burnt rather than appetizing. Which leaves you at the mercy of clueless server who suggest cheesy vegetarian options as seriously good dishes which are very popular with all their vegetarian customers. People often think that vegans and vegetarians are one in the same. Unfortunately, we still have a lot of work to do.

So with all that being said, I am ready for Vegan Mofo so that I can meet new people, read all the food creations and try new recipes. This will be a great month!