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!

Gorman Farm, Laurel MD, & Community Supported Agriculture.

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As the growing season comes to yet another end, it always goes out with a bang!  My favorite time of year is always fall.  The weather, the fashion, and the veggies- oh the veggies!  I must say while I was living in San Diego, I felt cheated of how beautiful being immersed in fall was.  For this reason, I mostly planned my trips to venture back home to NY in Autumn.  Then I ended up in Germany, and then Wisconsin.  Wisconsin too was almost sort of a tease.  The colors change, you get all the great hearty cold weather cropped vegetables, and the before you know it-BAM- winter hits you in the face and you’ve only worn your favorite cardigan once.  As of now, being in Annapolis, I am adoring the weather.  Fall is still here (its November 8th) and it seems like it will stay for a bit.

Though with the end of fall, comes the end of CSA shares, and the last of the years’ crops.  Now I have a confession.  I have never held a CSA share.  Not once.  Yes it seems bizarre even to me.  I think its that I have been so lucky to have an amazing array of friends surround me, friends that love to garden and farm, thus the need was never there.  The last 3 years Erik and I grew so much of our own food, we started to feel as though we were running out of ideas to can and preserve.  We often found ourselves turning into our own CSA, dropping off bags of veggies we knew we couldn’t get too!

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For those who aren’t familiar with what exactly a CSA is, let me explain.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  This basically means that you are supporting your farmer of choice to provide you with what is called a ‘share’ aka membership. The farmer rotates what they are able to provide you with, based on the season, and what they have available.  Sometimes this isn’t just limited to veggies.  Some farmers will have eggs, flowers, and possibly meat and cheeses.

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 Full Shares and half shares. The best thing about this farm is YOU get to pick out which head of lettuce, cabbage, etc you want.

There are SO many pros to this set up!  The first for me is knowing where your food has come from.  For our growing(!) family if I cant personally dig up some dirt- I want to know exactly how my vegetables are being grown, and what practices are being used.  Any local farmer should be happy to share this info with you.  The second biggest pro for me is the support of your local community.  I could rant on and on about my big business nonsense here- but I think you all know what I’m getting at.

So All these lovely pictures I took at Gorman Farm in Laurel MD.  Erik and I moved to Maryland too late to be an active CSA share holder, but twice our household has been lucky to have a friend leave town and give us her share!  A full share!  So awesome.  The farm really is beautiful, and it looks like all the staff seem to enjoy their everyday tasks.  Their mission: “To encourage an understanding of the connection between the food we eat, the life we live and the health of our community.”

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 I love all the cool weather greens!  And my favorite of all- the beets!

The other great thing about Gorman is the farm stand they have open three days a week to the public.  Anyone can shop directly out of the big barn and enjoy their local produce.  They also sell an assortment of local honey’s and pies.

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If anyone is interested in becoming part of a CSA next season,go to Local Harvest to find a farm in your area!  They may seem a little pricy at first, but if you are household that tends to cook a lot at home, especially a veggie household, then its right up your alley.  Plus, with farms like Gorman growing over 100 different varieties, you may learn how to cook with new vegetables you’ve never even seen before!  How exciting!

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 Happy Harvesting 🙂

Champs Family Bakery, Brooklyn

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I could sit here and type a long list of reasons why it feels good to be on the east coast again, but I’ll start with one.   Food.  And by that I mean the vegan options.  And taking it one step further, I mean establishments that are ENTIRELY vegan!  Living so close to home, aka NY, feels so great.  I forget how easy it is to find every little vegan item you want. Taco truck?  “We got that.”  Ice cream in a cone?  “got it.”  Raw samosas?  “Yup.”  How bout a huge vegan breakfast menu, fresh juice, then pie for dessert, or maybe a slice of turtle cheesecake?  “You know it!”  Ah yes, New York is wonderful.  Especially if you are a 7 month pregnant vegan.

Another reason living so close to home is great is my friends.  I haven’t lived back here since 2004, when I swore that California would be it for me.  While there is something so special to me about Cali, it feels so nice to be around people I’ve known for over a decade of your life.

So mushiness aside, lets talk food!  It was Sunday, and I wanted breakfast (what else is new).  Thanks to my Happy Cow app, and va voom – we find Champs family bakery. Champs is everything you think it should be.  Retro diner atmosphere, and a nice variety of menu options for the naughty and healthy vegan.   We waited about 30 minutes for a table, as the place is small.  Fine by me.  After all, it was Sunday.

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Mac and Cheese Pancake

The special was mac and cheese pancakes- say what?! We ordered one for the table.  It was pretty darn good. As for the rest of brunch, we all tried to keep a variety.  I opted for the classic, tempeh bacon, ‘sausage’, tofu scramble, and a piece of french toast.  Oh yes, a side of whip cream please.  My breakfast, the French Toast Slam, wasn’t bad.   As I am a scramble snob, and I think my scramble is above all.  Erik had warned me of this… I should’ve listened.  The blueberry pancakes were to die for!  As was the whip cream (not sure if this was made in house).  The Monte crisco was, eh.  I think the french toast needed to be a bit more fried.  I just said that didn’t I?  Never ever had I imagined to recommend more frying of anything, (please never let those words leave my mouth/keyboard again!)

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The French Toast Slam

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The Drunken Cowgirl

Erik’s breakfast was the Drunken Cowgirl.  Chili, potatoes, scramble, daiya cheddar, avocado, and toast.  It was great, especially with some hot sauce.  Steve had the Awesome Bowl, a healthier option, which sounded delish.  Quinoa, scramble, greens, peppers, and potatoes.

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The dessert case

As I got up to go to the ladies, I couldn’t help but notice a lovely filled with vegan goodness dessert case!  And again, all vegan.  It was entirely too hard to make a decision.  Places like that should be fined.  I knew we had a 3 hour drive home, and I was the only one opting to not let dessert slip on by, so I went with the Turtle cheesecake.  When I got back to the table, the waitress had packed us up some ginger cream cookies as well.  Thank You Ma’am!

All in all I will definitely be back at Champs.  The Tofu Rancheros, Enchiladas, and more of the dessert case will be calling my name next month perhaps when we return.   Oh and the Turtle cheesecake… simply devine.

IMG_2203Happy 40th Steve, Happy 32nd Meg, and Happy back to school weekend everyone!


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:


Eclipse Chocolat Cafe

Eclipses’ Blackberry-Sage chocolate bar

It was just like any ordinary busy afternoon in San Diego, until lunch.
After some lunch at Mama’s (always a hit!), Drew pointed out this somewhat hidden Chocolate Cafe. “Chocolate cafe?” It didn’t take longer than 2 seconds to get me to at least take a look!
The first thing obviously noticed was the bright teal painted walls. Their pledge is also stated boldly on the wall. Organic when possible, and maintaining ‘green’ operations in the store, as well as products. 10% of the annual profits go back into the community thru local charities. Pretty darn cool.


Now, as a vegan, walking into a chocolate shop, you have to be prepared to see a ton of delicious truffles, and beautiful chocolate delicacies, that more than likely contain milk, butter or other dairy by-products.
Then, as I glanced over the beautifully displayed truffles, I noticed that 2 of them were very clearly labeled, Vegan Friendly Hooray!!!
I knew it was my lucky day!

Ginger & Sea salt

I love the taste of salt. Not over-salty, but salt. After all, salt brings and enhances flavors together. But most importantly, I love the benefits of a good salt. So in the display case, the sight of coarsely ground sea salt with a ball of rich chocolate-coconut milk-caramel, got my mouth watering! And better yet a ginger kick to boot! Yum. On a side note, I’ve recently been reading about some of the pollutants that can be found in sea salt. So I’m strictly using on Himalayan mined celtic salt at the homestead now. It’s more on the pricey side, but a little goes a long way. Really, you only need a pinch for most everything.

Toasted Coconut

Want more? How bout some vegan toffee! Unfortunately, I’m allergic to peanuts, so I didn’t get to try. There was another vegan-labeled toffee bar, but it had honey, so be careful. I mentioned this to the girl working, and she was going to change it to say ‘dairy-free.’

Peanut butter Toffee

I hadn’t the time to stay, but I needed coffee, and what better to go with some chocolate! The girl working was very polite, and made me the most amazing organic soy-mocha! I think there was cacao nibs or something in it. Anyway, it was awesome. Glancing over the menu, I noticed they offered a vegan fondue, served with bread and fruit! Perfect for date-night! It’s been ages since I’ve had chocolate fondue! Next time when I have more time.

Hand rolled Truffles, 2 for $5

Another cool thing about this place is the 100% post consumer packaging. The owner and Chocolatier, Will Gustwiller, also has a food blog. You can read it here. They always seem to be expanding their menu, and enjoy catering to us vegans out there. Oh, and did I mention the free wi-fi. Trouble. I could be here all day eating chocolate and comfortably sitting at my laptop, while sipping my coffee. Trouble. The location was a bit odd, but easy if you are familiar with Mama’s Lebanese bakery or the Livewire bar. I can’t wait to go back….dreams of chocolate everything in my head till then!


Hillcrest Farmers Market


Ahhh, Sunday mornings. Upon wakening, I open my eyes, do a quick stretch, grab my bike, and I’m out the door. OK so it doesn’t happen quite like that every Sunday morning, but the one thing that I do enjoy waking up early on the weekends for, is the Hillcrest Farmers Market. Some of you might argue with me over which is the best of the 20 plus markets San Diego has to offer, but I think I’m sticking with Hillcrest! Located in the DMV parking lot, every Sunday from 9am-1pm, rain or shine, summer & throughout the small season of what is called winter here in Southern California.
There are so many wonderful vendors, but heres some clips of my favorites!


First, and my most favorite, is La Milpa Organica Farm stand. They carry a HUGE selection of the most vita-rich greens imaginable. Ranging from chards, kales, dandelions, collards, mustards, spring mix, and any other dark leaf you can think of. Lately they’ve had a braising mix, which is a blend of all their amazing greens! Heres a pick of them before cooking!


Another new favorite edition of mine, is the Majestic Garlic booth. Geni is usually there with a ton of different flavors to try. All of their spreads are always vegan friendly, and mostly raw. Try the cucumber mint, tarragon, and the smokey flavors! Great for sandwich spreads, cracker dipping, or baked potatoes. Don’t put up a fuss about the garlic breath either! Garlic has been used to fight disease spreading agents, and is super high in anti-oxidants.

Who can walk buy the raw pie guys without stopping to look at the vibrant pizzas! Live pesto pizza is a favorite, made with a flax cracker crust, pesto sauce, and topped with fresh veggies. The also have all different flavors of dessert pies, as well as zucchini noodle pasta! Raw foodies beware!


And the coolest kids you’ll meet at the market, with the best organic avocados, chiramoyas, and friendliest smiles….. Creekside Tropicals!


So if you haven’t been, you should. Support our wonderful local farmers! Your money goes directly into the hands of the farmer, you know exactly where your food is coming from, and you get the best deals in town! What more could you want? I’ll personally provide a wake up call for anyone that wants to bike down on a Sunday morning with me:) We can shop, then munch on some vegan tamales, and samosas! Your treat!


Echo-Project Festival, GA.


No unfortunately I didn’t get to go. But yes, deep down, the dead head inside me would have liked to see Phil and Friends, and grubbed on some southern style vegan food all weekend long! The Echo-Project Festival primarily concentrates on waste management, energy resources, and habitat restoration. Spreading environmental awareness, all of the campgrounds and stages are powered by alternative energy sources! And with acts like The Flaming Lips, The Killers, The Roots, Thievery Corporation, Spoon, Cypress Hill, Moe, MMW, and of course The Album Leaf, whats to stop us echo-heads from going? Drew came back with some great pics. No credit to me!

Long live Jerry:)


AND Jerry Rolls!!!!



Father of the Electronic Synthesizer….


I was reminded of years back, of the Gathering of the Vibes Festival, held once again in Bridgeport Ct. This amazing Solar Smoothie guy, blended your smoothies with his stationary bicycle. So cool. I wonder if I could build one in my backyard…. If not in mine, I’m sure Vieve would appreciate it!