The Host of ABC's The Chew

The Host of ABC’s The Chew

I may have been one of the few people who was extremely excited to watch a new show called The Chew since the show basically took the place of a much beloved soap opera – All My Children. So, the show had an uphill battle before it to grab the love and attention of those loyal viewers or at least try to use the fan base each host carried with them.

My excitement came due to Mario Batali who was one of THE big reasons why I watched Food Network. Though these days, it takes a great deal to get me to view anything on that channel. I loved Carla Hall from Top Chef (a staple on my food show viewing shelf) where she always had such cute and quirky little comments about the happenings in the kitchen. Then there’s Daphne Oz. The graduate of The Institute for Integrative Medicine and The Natural Gourmet Institute. The daughter of the Oprah given title – America’s Doctor – Dr. Oz. I have loved Dr. Oz from the moment he stepped on Oprah’s stage on her now long over self-titled show. Dr. Oz brought a breathe of fresh air and great knowledge to the world by letting in the rest of the world to the wonders of what everyone calls ‘alternative medicine’. He echoed subjects I knew and schooled me on others I did not know. Dr. Oz constantly referred to his wife, Liza Oz, who he credits with educating him on all things not mainstream. So when I heard Daphne Oz would be on this new show, I thought about how wonderful that finally someone on mainstream television would be in full support of vegans and vegetarians. Someone would dispense knowledge to those who think they know the veg world.

Well, that has not happened at all. As a matter of fact, on an almost daily basis that the show airs, there is always a jab at those of us (vegans) who are growing in masses every year as one celebrity after another discovers the benefits of a plant-based diet. Now, the premise of the show is food. Plain and simple. They call themselves experts on food, yet once again alienates a growing market of foodies that love to eat sinfully delicious food without animals and animal by-products. They present their audience with dishes from all over the world. As well as take the viewers into different events, establishments, and food occupations for the audience to get an inside view. Yet fail to attempt to invite vegan cookbook authors and chefs to the show. Nor have they gone to any vegan establishments to see how artisanal vegan cheeses are made. Or what dishes vegan restaurants serve and have on their extensive menu. What about tasting some vegan eats at the beginning of the show during their announcement/news segment? Why are they afraid of tofu? Why not show all the innovation in vegan cuisine.

Still, I continued to watch hoping one day something anything would open them to expanding their knowledge. Then on the June 8 episode of The Chew, one of the Hosts starts a discussion. “The New York Post reported how many veggie burgers contain more salt, calories, and saturated fat than a fast food hamburger and that even though they do not contain meat, they do contain a lot of other ingredients to make them taste good”. He went on to ask the other hosts what were their thoughts. Of course, Michael Symon chimes in with “I believe it.” With Daphne Oz going straight for the potato chip eating vegan by saying, “This is to me when people decide to go vegan and then live on like chips. It is vegan technically but it’s not something that’s health supportive. There are veggie burgers out there that are made with whole ingredients and I love some of them but I think some of them are made from texturized wheat gluten, and like a variety of processed ingredients and you know oil and things and there’s added salt that absolutely are less good for the body than having a real…. She was then talked over and cut off by a couple of other Hosts, one of them being Michael Simon, the residence hater (seems like it) of vegans says, “Right Daph, I know we joke about it but these are heavily processed.” Daphne continues on with, ” Heavily processed. The thing I always think about is, what’s the ingredient your body is going to recognize most? And as humans we’ve been eating meat for a long time, so if you’re, it’s a matter of having a smaller portion of high quality meat versus a big portion of really heavily processed mechanized food, I’d probably go for the real option.”

When I heard that, I had to rewind, record, and replay what I had just heard. I became so upset and frustrated that it brought me to tears. I immediately, through tears, began my search for said article from the New York Post. The only article I found that came close was an article entitled “These Veggie Burgers are Worst For You Than a Big Mac” which the information in the article was pretty close to the topic introduced on the show. I honestly, for their sake, hope that there was another article because if not, then the audience was mislead. Because the way it comes off from the Hosts is that the frozen veggie burgers in supermarkets and grocery stores across the country contain more sodium, calories, and saturated fat than a fast food hamburger. The article I found compared veggie burgers from other fast food establishments. These are places that vegans would not visit nor eat due to what is in and on the burgers. Here’s a perfect opportunity for them to try vegan burgers from Gardein, Field Roast, and Beyond Meat as a start on the road to being more open minded.

That little part of the show hurt deeply because the one person on that show that could offer something positive did nothing more than take the knife, shove it in further, and light a match to set us on fire. I became angry in addition to the hurt. I thought about going on twitter and blasting them all, yet I did not. Instead, I chose to meditate on everything from that part of the episode to decide what my next course of action would be. I did not want to come off as the angry vegan nor did I want my silence be an indicator that it was okay. I thought about speaking on the preparations of their recipes, yet I did not see the point in playing tit for tat. All I could think was ‘What are they and other hosts afraid of? Would it be so bad to step out of their comfort zone?

Here’s the thing, vegans/vegetarians are adventurous foodies who love to eat dishes that are pleasing to the eye as well as to the palate. We love burgers, hotdogs, fries, chips, and mac n cheese. As well as a beautiful salad, hardy soups, creamy risotto, steaks made of plant-based ingredients, tofu scrambles, and sautéed dark leafy greens. We love rich desserts of cheesecake, hey, all cakes, ice cream, and truffles. We love to entertain sharing our vegan spirits and wines with our love ones. For us, veganism is not just about the food, it is a full lifestyle where we consider everything. The products we use on our skin, the products and medications we put into our bodies, as well as the clothing, furniture, you name it that we use, period. It is everything. Some of us are vegan for health reasons because it is truly a matter of life or death. It would be nice if the Hosts of The Chew could understand that and stop making jokes. We have food memories that we cherish as well and do our best to recreate them without animals and animal by-products. Maybe the hosts should spend a day in our shoes, having to shop in stores and eat in restaurants that does not have enough of a choice at reasonable prices. I would love for the Hosts or at least one of the Hosts to go out on assignment to restaurants and try to get something vegan. To see what it is like to be in the minority when it comes to eating in most common places like movie theatres, theme parks, restaurants, and a friend/family member’s home. Maybe one day the dream of a mainstream television host/hosts considering those who consume meals differently from the majority will bring about a change in the way the world views veganism.


It’s Been A Long Time, Hasn’t It?


The last time I made a post, I was so excited about sharing it with anyone who would appreciate what I had prepared. Even though the name of the dish was probably confusing to those who drifted this way, the photograph, in my opinion, looked good enough to pique anyone’s curiosity.

I usually take pictures of my food after I had finished making dinner for the night. So, as I sat eating dinner in front of my laptop, I’d choose the photograph I loved the best and begin the work of putting the dish into recipe form. Usually, I have at least three photographs ready for me to write a recipe and post. The part I hated doing the most was writing the recipe as well as figuring out what exactly did I want to say in the post.

At some point after I wrote my last post, a part of me could not for the life of me get a post written. Everyday I thought about writing a post especially after each vegan Korean meal I prepared for dinner. Yet, when I sat to write, not one thing came to mind. Not even the desire to write out the recipe of the meal I created. I believe a part of me began to not believe in what I was creating and this is all so personal, really dear to my heart.

I LOVE Korean food and her people, as well as learning her language and her culture. I have had this love for Korean food and her people for as long as I can remember. The only thing is that I didn’t know it all was Korean. I hate to say that for many years I thought it was all Japanese. I knew about Korea, yet the Korea I knew wanted to bomb us. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t know there was a South Korea. Still, once I knew, I thought about the dishes I loved and how similar some of them were to some  Louisiana Cajun and Creole dishes. I truly believe that Korean ingredients and flavors work very well with Southern Cuisine – especially Louisiana Cuisine.

During my time away, I have been in deep contemplation of what my next step will be for BeyondNFinity. So now,  I have decided to take things slowly, believe in myself and see where the journey leads me. This should be interesting…


Vegan Mofo #28 Central Florida Veg Fest 2012

Happy Little Vegans All Around!

Today was the 7th Annual Central Florida Veg Fest that is like the Food &Wine event of the year for Vegans, Vegetarians, and all those who are curious about the lifestyle and foods.


This year, the event was held at Orlando Festival Park near Downtown Orlando on the east side of  town. The crowd seemed to grow larger than it was last year. I credit that to the new location for this year. Parking was ample. The only problem is there was starting to have a chill in the air as well as the wind decided that it wanted to make itself known.

There were a variety of food vendors all located in a very organized manner similar to that of a Food truck set up. It looked like a Vegan/Vegetarians food dream. The participants were: Dandelion Communitea Cafe, Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar, Ethos, Vegan Kitchen, Fantastic Hummus, Infusion Tea, Joe’s Oat Patties, Khasiyat, Lemon Bar, Loving Hut, Midtown EcoVillage. Purely Raw, Sah Nevaeh, and The Spork Cafe.

There were other placed throughout the event because you know vegans love to eat jsut like Koreans. Among those were: Artichoke Red Vegan Market, BabycakesNYC, Coconut Bliss, Glazed & Infused, Hoover’s Market, Living Light Organic, Orlando Food Not Bombs, Pure Sweet Life, Raphsodic Bakery, RAWR! Organic Raw Treats, Earth’s Beast Beverages, and Vegetarians of Central Florida.


Dandelion Communitea Cafe

Ethos Vegan Kitchen

Lemon Bar

Loving Hut

There were Speakers, Artist, Bands, Culinary Demonstrations, it was a very full busy day. I was one of those chosen to conduct a Culinary Demonstration. I made one of my previous recipes that is on this site – Korean Kimchi Scallion Lettuce Salad. First I demonstrated how to make a vegan kimchi.

Overall, though there was a chill in the air, the warmth brought by the crowd more than made for an exciting day.

Vegan Mofo 2012!

It’s that time of the year again!


Time to start cranking out beautiful amazing vegan delights, treats, and ideas for everyday life, entertaining, and guilty pleasures.

I’m so excited that I took to Walt Disney World again this year to check out what offerings were to be had at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival for vegans. Boy was I surprised when I opened the weekend event guide brochure to find listed as #1 – TERRA!



At first I thought my eyes were seeing things when I saw the all too familiar “Chick’n” term that is usually placed on packaging when referring to vegan chicken substitute. There is was in black and beige – the menu:


Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice featuring Gardein Chick’n Breast; Chili Colorado with House-made Chips and Cashew Cheese featuring Gardein Beefless Tips; Chocolate Cake with Passion Fruit Sorbet and Coconut Foam


When I I asked if the selections were vegan or vegetarian, I fully expected to hear vegetarian – made with butter and cream. That wasn’t the answer I received. Instead I heard “Everything here is vegan except the wine.” I nearly dropped my camera. I know a look of surprise spread across my face – I’m so obvious sometimes – it was music to my ears. So I jumped into line and ordered one of every food item.

The Chick’n Curry was interesting, not exactly what I was expecting. I fully expected something that included coconut milk with chopped pieces of  “chick’n” throughout placed over basmati rice. Instead, it was something that look and tasted more like a medium spiced tomato puree over the curry seasoned chick’n cutlet with basmati on the side dry. Taste: good, slightly spicy yet a root vegetable puree would have been nicer or some chunks of veggies would have been nice in the curry.

Again, another dish – Chili Colorado with House-made Chips and Cashew Cheese came in a way that I wasn’t expecting. That dish I fully expected to be in a cup with peppers, chillies, onions, some beans or not, and corn in a beautifully spiced thick soup-like broth with chips on the side and s drizzle of cashew cheese on top. Well, the chips did come on the side yet with these chunks of beefless cubes in some sort of sauce and a decorative drizzle of cashew cheese on top. The taste: good just needed sweet potato chips or better yet some cornbread.

The chocolate cake was the typical vegan chocolate cake. The coconut foam – very lovely. Passion fruit ice cream – nice on it’s own yet too sweet – didn’t complement the cake well at all.

Yet, with all that said, I’m thrilled that at least there is something other than what Disney offers in their restaurant as vegetarian options. I’ll have another try at it again. Disney is way behind the rest of the world. Even Seoul, South Korea has vegan eats, what happened Disney. Don’t you think it’s time you meet the 21st century? Small steps are better than no steps I suppose.






Can You Be Addicted to Bread?


My daughter’s father has been in the kitchen hard at work experimenting with making bread. Some of his test subjects have not been too successful, yet MOST have been incredibly tasty!

Whenever I hear the running of the mixer and the clinging and banging of measuring instruments, I know he’s at it again as I wait in anticipation for the bread. He doesn’t make that quick stuff. Nope. He makes us wait a day for that chewy goodness by letting the dough age and rise slowly, sort of like sourdough.

Then when the sound of the oven’s alert alarm goes off, I know that it’s time to make the bread! Slowly the smell begins to permeate each room in the house. Then it happens! The bread is out of the oven. We stand over it like animals salivating over its meal. The smell is intoxicating. The crust keeps us transfixed just waiting for the cooling period to be over. Then the moment arrives when I hear the sound of crust giving way to the knife.

That first taste of the beautiful crumb in my mouth brings memories of San Francisco sitting in Boudin having that first taste of San Francisco sourdough. I’m not saying it’s better, it just gives me a taste memory of a bread I love so much.

He’s been chronicling his journey with baking bread and I’m glad that he’s taken up this new hobby. I wonder what he’ll make next. Okay, let me be honest, who cares. Just keep the bread coming! I need my daily fix! I mean bread. That’s what I said, bread.

My Love Affair with a Dandy Avocado Salad

I love avocados. I crave avocados. I MUST have avocados often. Yet, the opportunity doesn’t present itself  for me to have avocados every day. So when the opportunity does come around for me to go to Dandelion Communitea Cafe to enjoy a salad maybe even some soup with a mug of hot tea. I jump at the chance.

Each time, I take a glance at the daily specials just to see if my favorite is there. When I don’t see it I grab a menu and slowly open it knowing that it really doesn’t change except for more special items that have graduated to the menu. Like a sweet potato burrito I have yet to try.

I continue to turn the page and there it was, my beloved Avocado Fetish! I LOVE this salad. the lettuce is so fresh and crisp as if they walked outside to their lovely garden and picked each leaf to prepare your salad. The tomatoes actually taste like a tomato. The avocados are so creamy and rich with flavor especially when paired with the whirred peas. The whirred peas are just one of a selection of sides that come with the salad. I love the combination of the avocados and pea guacamole and a touch of balsamic vinaigrette is amazing. Now I am very light on the balsamic because really the avocados and whirred peas I order as my side work well together.

So whenever you get a chance to or want to give your body a wonderful treat in the way of a salad, go in, cross your fingers and hope that the salad is available to order. If it isn’t, there are plenty of other salads, great chili, nachos, soups, excellent teas, and desserts.

Happy Eating!


Scattered Food Thoughts

May I be honest with you?

I haven’t had a web presence for long. I am still learning what a blog is and what it means to be a blogger. I’m still learning how the entire process comes together. Let’s not even get into the photography process. I am terrible at taking pictures. Again, I am learning, just not fast enough for my taste.

Everyday I go online reading blogs. Marvelling at their author’s brilliance. I wonder “How can I go beyond what I perceive as difficult in order to create a web presence that I love?” That question is on my mind all the time. As with others like:

  • What do I need to make my blog work and be a success for my standards?
  • Do I immediately try to get ads?
  • Where do I get all the bells and whistles and how do I place them into my blog?
  • Do I post everyday, every other day, or once a week?
  • Is there a book, website, video, or a combination of it all to teach and help me with everything?
  • How do these bloggers continue to create recipes with ease?
  • Why am I not comprehending this? What is wrong with me?

I have been freaking out over this since I started my blog. The act of trying to write down the recipe of what I make as I make it is challenging considering that I don’t measure anything unless I am baking and I’m not a baker. Unless I am making biscuits, cobbler, or pie.

The ideas for dishes are plentiful. Yet when I get in the spotlight – the stove to create said masterpiece, I choke and then just about all my meals end up looking the same or have the same color  palette. I keep hearing Gillian McKeith in my head speaking of bland brown. However, in my case it’s a green orange curry color or tomato based. How do all the bloggers do it?!

My pictures. Oh my gosh, let’s not go there. I have blurry, angled, too bright, too dark. the list goes  on and on pictures. And none of the patients to keep taking pictures of the same thing until I get it right before I move on to thee next project.

The bottom line is I have been blogging for a few months  and already I feel lost and alone in this. I am not going beyond what I perceive to be difficult or even being my best. I feel as though I am trying really hard to get the hang of this blogging thing without getting anywhere. Maybe one day the switch will flip for me to finally connecting the dots and create a beautiful picture and seriously good site.