Sheboygan’s Culinary Car


JMKAC’s Culinary Car.

It’s almost finished! Well so I’m told. The John Michael Kohler arts center has teamed up with Nourish to create this amazing mobile car/truck/bus!  The creative minds behind this adventure are connecting the community through food and arts.  They will be using the truck to preform demonstrations on healthy eating, and help educate the public.  The big premiere will be at this weekends Mid Summer Festival of the Arts, this Saturday & Sunday, July 19th and 20th.  This festival features tons of local artists, workshops and live music throughout the day.

Vegpod has the honor of giving a food demo on board this magical bus at 3pm on Saturday.  Come hang out after the farmers market.  I will be walking through steps of those Raw stuffed tomatoes everyone loves, and giving out samples and the recipe.  Yahoo for community!

Are you ready?!

photo (8)No I didn’t harvest all these vegetables today…  Its been so cold and rainy here, one would never know its June.  But this is a picture from one of our harvests last summer to remind you, excite you, and get you stoked for the Sheboygan summer farmers market!!

Vegpod will be in full effect this summer, starting tomorrow (Saturday June 8th) at Fountain Park, from 8-1pm.  Though we have been known to sell out early, so don’t sleep in too late!  If you haven’t seen us, or stopped by to taste any of our goodies, we will be offering our normal shebangs of Muffins, granolas, assorted hummus’, wraps, and At least one entree and side, soup, as well as one salad.  Vegpod will also be testing out the raw food market in Sheboygan this year.  Raw crackers, pizzas, burgers, cakes, and other tids and bits.

So whats on the menu for tomorrow? Rhubarb muffins, Lentil loaf with mashers and gravy, Raw Italian herb crackers, Eggless egg salad wraps, Fruit & Nut Granola, Chocolate Cherry Hemp Granola, Three Sisters Stew, and 5 varieties of Hummus.  We are having a hard time getting local produce this early in the season, but we did manage some rhubarb, and lettuce!  Most everything else is Gluten Free, organic, and of course vegan.  I did hear the weather should be sunny and beautiful, so come have lunch, and soak up some vitamin D.

Heartland Farm Sanctuary


One thing I miss most about being in California or New York, is my veg-head friends.  It is a really special thing to gather over food amongst your fellow vegans.  It is almost cult-like, the way us vegans can obsess over trying the new veggie place in town, organize events based around veganism, new cult cook books, lectures, and even cartoons.  But cultish tendencies aside, I love being vegan, and I love having vegan friends.

When I heard about Heartland Farm Sanctuary thru random google searching, I decided it would be the perfect veggie adventure for some of my new vegan, and non vegan friends. Who can say no to a visit with cute rescued animals?!


Ready for our tour!

Heartland started in 2009, as a place to help homeless farm animals.  Their mission is “To provide care for farm animals in need, nurture people through the human-animal bond, and foster respect and kindness toward animals and each other.”  Sounds great.

When starting our tour it was nice to see that there were at least ten other people along with us to see the place.  Heartland is located in the mountains about 20 miles outside of Madison, WI.  Great location to get people involved.


The Llamas.  And what a view they have!

At the start of our tour, we met some ducks, turkeys, chickens, and some smaller pigs residing in the barn. As we made our way outdoors we got to hang with the llamas.  Its so easy to see how any child can fall in love and want to hang out here.  Heartland says it not just about people helping animals, but animals helping people.  They want the animal to provide a sense of comfort for kids at risk.  Whether it be emotional or physical traumas, or children with a challenged home life.


Cherish and Taylor!

Next to the Llamas was a huge space for Cherish.  When she was brought in, she couldn’t stand and was very malnourished.  They brought in a ‘friend’ to keep her company until they can find her a proper home.  What a beauty!

IMG_0868Darien and Amy!

Next to Cherish and her friend were perhaps my favorite of all…. the goats and sheep!  All were so super friendly.  You could tell they loved human interaction.  I also think when Erik and I have the chance to finally retire from city life, we can start a tiny commune of goats.



Lily and Lucy


Curtis and his new BFF.


Heartland has summer camp programs for kids as well as the barn tours which seem to happen at least once a month.  Its such a fun and easy way for anyone to get involved more with our own community and to teach and understand more about the value of life.

For more info on finding an Animal sanctuary possibly near you check this site.  There is of course the big ones such as the Watkins Glen location or the two in California.  I call these the big guys, due to there focus on veganism, and activism.  The host all sorts of benefit shows, which have included one of my favorite musicians, John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.  Here’s a clip:


Winter Happenings


So its 2012.
The year of the dragon, the third millenium of the 21st century. The year the Mayan calendar will end, Planet X will bring human chaos and destruction of the land and seas, poles will shift, and the world as we once knew it will be gone. Oh, and yes, its a leap year.
With all the changes going on, it seems like a perfect time to stabalize some of our better habits, and move on with a bang!

To help enrich your inner soul, Vegpod will be featuring some delicious food at two exciting events in February.
The first one will be the Local Food Fair at Maywood on February 11th. This event helps to educate everyone on Sheboygans local food vendors. What does Sheboygan have to offer? And how can we all make a difference? You can find some of your local answers here. Last year this was sort of Vegpods’ coming out. We received such great feedback, and decided to take our business one step further. Thank you for last year, and we hope to see you this year!


The second event is Love bowls, a fun day of eating soup from local business’ and you even get to keep your pretty love bowl. This will take place at South High on February 19th. All the proceeds go to Meals on Wheels.
Unfortunately we decided to skip the winter farmers market this season. But that doesn’t mean you should! Taking place at the First Congregational Church, the dates left this winter are Feb. 9th, Feb. 23rd, March 29th, April 12th, April 26th, and May 17th.

I have very positive feelings about this year of chaos. I think 2012 could be the year all sentient beings will be granted an even bigger chance to evolve… in the ‘right’ sorts of ways. Hmmm. I know I need some. It was 50 degrees outside on my lovely walk today, and though I know that will change very fast, I can’t help but enjoy the warmth in my bones. I wish us all good health in the upcoming months!


It’s here!


While it may be sometime before we see any locally grown produce for sale, the summer Sheboygan farmers market is back!
You can support your local farmers and vendors directly, every Wednesday and Saturday from 7am till 2pm. Located in Fountain Park, at the northeast corner of 8th Street and Erie Avenue, this market continues to have more vendors every year, with a growing demand for the local food movement.
Need some reasons to shop? I’ve made a simple list for you.

1. Taste the freshness. Treat your senses. The markets are held within hours from the field, and vegetables and fruits are usually picked within hours of the market. Your vegetables will have a better texture, and be at their peak of ripeness. Stimulate your senses from just seeing and smelling the food we eat can connects you to the land.

2. Environment. Yeah, yeah, heard it before. Only this time think about the cost of gas it takes you to shop at a grocer, and then think about the effect shipping food all over the globe takes on our environment. Did I mention packaging? Cut back on all that plastic junk, and silly bags veggies come in. Look at what plastic is doing to our ocean!

3. Community. You can actually talk to your farmers. What variety are you buying? Was it sprayed with anything? And not to mention the market is a perfect place to sit, have a picnic, and see familiar faces.

4. Support small farmers. Help to boost our local economy. Sustainable farmers struggle to survive. Helping them, helps us.

5. Vegpod. Come visit Erik and I at are little vegpod food booth, and grab a yummy brunch and sweet treats. As always, we promise no refined sugars or flours, 100% vegan goodness, gluten free options as well as options for diabetics. We will be there every Saturday. If you miss out on us there, stop by Goodside Grocery and look for our food. Soon we hope to be in natural food shops all over Wisconsin.
Whew, its going to be a busy summer.

Vegpod goes food booth


This lovely lady rolled over 200 tamales!

Greetings from the western side of the vast Lake Michigan. Vegpod has been on hiatus to seek out and thus enjoy some soul searching. Through travels afar, hindered language(s), bewildered metric conversions, and a much needed cold and dreary winter, I can proudly say I have grown within myself, and re-inspired my idled culinary skills. Deciding to leave the vegan fast food industry was long overdue, and I am pleased to say my ‘studies’ abroad have brought me back to the gleeful fine dining chef I had once been. I miss San Diego almost everyday, but am pleased to find myself with more of an ambitious objective. And where better to find it then in the dairy state.
Wisconsin is mainly known for dairy & wheat production. So who could I possibly tempt with my vegans treats in a town of 50,000 cheese curd connoisseurs?
In the past, the thought of running my own food booth at the local markets in southern California had passed through my mind quite frequently. Since the restaurant had kept me busy, day and night, the idea had passed quickly, never thinking to return until the right time. Here in Sheboygan, Wi. there appeared to be no better occasion then Earth Fests’ 20th Anniversary.
Earth Fest is an annual festival showcasing an eventful two day weekend to help promote the environment through music, art, education, and food. And every Earth Fest needs a little vegan love.
Upon my arrival here, I had been approached by a women putting together this festival. I figured why not, and called in some worker bee troops for help. Luckily I didn’t have to look to far. We decided to stick to something simple, as well as something the locals could relate too. We went with three varieties of cold wraps, vegan ho ho cupcakes, and the winner of the weekend, a trio of Americana style tamales, complete with an array of homemade salsas. Sticking with the concept of choosing locally, we were able to arrange most of our veggie purchases from local farmers. And thanks to my new found favorite place, Paradigm, I had a certified kitchen, and a wonderful convection oven to work with

Bicycle powered smoothies, I heart Paradigm

The tamales proved to be the most popular by far, and with the hours upon hours worth of wo-man/man power that went into each hand rolled, and tied off cornhusk, it’s no wonder. They were by far the most labor intensive project I’ve ever seen attempted.

Before this weekend I had definitely been under the impression that Sheboygan had no desire in attempting to try any vegan eats. And though many of the Earth Festers traveled from other cities, I was definitely inspired to do more, feed more, and hence, start a vegpod food booth. There will be more to come possibly starting in spring 2011, and until then I will be trying to cater and shine my best through the wonderful Paradigm Coffee & music.

A big thanks to Kate and all of the Paradigm crew for being so darn cool, and making me feel like there is a warm place to just be myself. And a super, I mean super, duper, duper, big thanks to Melanie, Jared and Erik. For without them, I would’ve lost a piece of my sanity. You guys ruled it!

Love you Mel!