Summer herbal remedies


I’ve recently become obsessed with a lovely woman named Aviva Romm.  She is a specialized herbalist, certified midwife, family physician, and what I imagine to be a wonderful mom.  Her blog has all sorts of interesting information on nutrition, natural birth, raising healthy families, and benefits foe individuals.  Oh, and some great recipes!

Since Erik and I are now official Marylanders, we’ve had to adjust to a more humid summer.  And with humidity, comes mesquitos!  They have been chomping away at me every chance they get here!  No fun. I have been trying to dose myself in tea tree oil, as well as the pups, in hopes they will leave me alone! This chart comes in handy, for anyone wanting an herbal remedy to helping strains on summertime fun!  Especially the wee ones.

Thanks Aviva!

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.

Oh Cali, you’ve done it again.


I am always the first to note that I am a New Yorker. Through and through. A bagel loving, pizza folding, IheartNY New Yorker. But somewhere along my timeline, I must have gotten sidetracked and gave away a big piece of my heart to California. This seems to be a trend among many east coasters. Its as if we had a time lapse. A battle of my inner conscious. Girls just don’t go around giving their hearts away to just anyone, let alone anyplace. Why would I have done such a thing?
On our recent vacation out west, I was reminded.

After the wedding of my dear friends Rachel and Josh, we headed up to Ventura, where we would take a ferry over to the Channel Islands. There we would Kayak around Santa Cruz island to explore the sea caves! The water was perfect. Erik proved to be the risk taker of the group, and the day was surrounded with sea lions, starfish, anemone, sea urchins, dolphins, and sun burn. All we needed was an aloe plant.

San Luis Obispo. Central Coast of California. For me this seems to be a perfect fit. Maybe it was the charming street signs, maybe it was the fog rolling in as it covered the mountains peaks. If I had to live out that way again, this would be where. We decided to have lunch at Big Sky Cafe. Not completely vegetarian, but wow. This might be where I could say I had my favorite meal of the trip. Erik had the vegetarian Pozole. A South American stew, spiced and seasoned perfectly, with Hominy. It was topped with a slice of cornbread and a slab of tofu. I had a veganized black bean Huevos Rancheros, and breakfast potatoes.


Side note: I find myself severely addicted to Hominy these days! Use this in a stew soon Meg!

After a filling breakfast we traveled around the corner to Kreuzberg, Ca coffee shop.
Berlin is a special place for Erik and I. What do Plato and Ayn Rand have in common? They are both entrees on the menu, along with a surplus of other great authors.


Haruki Murakami (a personal favorite of mine) was a vegan sesame tofu dish.

Erik had some doubts about Dostoevsky being a turkey pesto sandwich, but as we headed inside, we couldn’t miss a life size copy of the most prominent graffiti art in Kreuzberg Berlin. This place was filled with comfy furniture, and books…. tons and tons of books. Any of the books in store were fro sale. No more than $4. Unfortunately we had no room left in our bellies, so I ordered a latte. To my surprise, I had not only the option of soy, but almond, hazelnut, oat, rice, and coconut. This place was great.


Take note of the upside down light fixtures!

We bought sunscreen, and aloe then headed up the coast another 3 hours swirling round hwy 1. With our thrown together last minute packs, we set out for a 10 mile trek to Sykes hot springs. Knowing that we were going to stay the night at a place that had no amenities, we tried to pack lightly. Avocados, oranges, grapefruits, eggplant tapenade, and ezekiel sprouted tortillas, aseptic containers of miniture soy milk and packets of Chocolate vega protein mix, and coconut waters, held us up quit well. We hiked, camped, soaked in the springs, the set out for our 10 mile return. Just another beautiful day of hiking around the redwood covered mountains of Big Sur.
We made it out alive, still sunburned and our bodies sore, but lucky us, Big Sur Bakery was located just around the corner!

Big Sur Bakery prizes themselves on working with the local farmers, and the simple elegance of the vegetables themselves. We split a bread board, which included their 11-year in the perfecting 9- grain bread, and their italian bread. Both delish. I could’ve eaten a whole loaf. We made sure to finish all the black sea salt that was piled on the wooden board as well. We also split a vegetable dish that was composed of cauliflower, pine nuts, green beans, and cranberries. It was divine! The flavors were so fresh. We finished it off with two espresso shots, and hit the long road back to so Cal.

We made a stop in Los Angeles on our way back to visit some friends and family. Our dear friend Roi, is a chef at Sun Cafe in Studio City. Sun Cafe serves mostly raw vegan food. Roi insisted we try the gluten free macaroni and ‘cheese’ and Erik wanted to get his raw fix, and ordered the Pad Thai, with kelp noodles.


Both were great, but we were quite envious of Roi’s raw Shamrock shake, which consisted of banana, mint, spinach, and raw cacao. On the drive down I was whining about craving an ice cream sundae, which doesn’t happen often.

photo (2)

Roi insisted we skip the shakes and head around the corner to kindkreme. Kindkreme is and all raw, all vegan ice cream shop. They have 3 locations, offering cones, cups, shakes, floats, and pints to go! My craving was met! I got a cone with a scoop of mint chip, and a scoop of the superfood which had raw cacao, goji berries, hazelnuts, chia seeds, and a whole mess of other raw goodness.

photo (3)

The owner was so nice, she offered to let us sample every flavor!

The rest of the trip was filled with M Cafes’ sushi and macro bowls topped with the best seitan in the world (I have said this many a times before- go there and just get a side of seitan with their macro-ketchup!), beer breakfasts at Ranchos accompanied by chilaquiles, and the fabulous tofu cutlet sandwiches from Mama Turners B & B. Though many more food ground was left to be covered, our last stop before the drive to the airport was the old time fav, Influx Tofu #1’s.

The whole vacation was well spent, absorbing everything the beauties of California had once offered me, and had proven to stay true. I understood why my heart had sunk as I boarded the plane back to Wisconsin. I missed it already. The drive back up from the airport felt like forever. I knew work beckoned in less than 6 hours. But as I arrived home, my heart had been so distracted, that I had forgotten with what was really important… these two:


Kala & Cooper

And then I was glad to be home.



Vegpod has started a twitter. Now I must admit had it not been for my lovely husband, I wouldn’t be so apt to joining yet another way to unsocialize our socialization. Does that even make sense?
For more vegpod happinings, and weekly menus for the farmers market, follow us on twitter.
Tweet tweet!

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.

Blogging on Hiatus

Vegpod blog is currently on hiatus. I can’t even begin to explain… suffice it to say that blogging time was usurped by the rest of life. That being said, you can still find vegan goodness and myself, in Sheboygan, at these upcoming events.

Sheboygan Winters Farmer Market; The last winter market will take place April 23rd, 9am- 1pm, at the First Congregational Church located at 310 Bluff Ave.

Fiber Facets Art Fair on the Farm; May 7th & 8th
See the fiber animals, view the process from sheep to shawl (carding, spinning, and weaving), purchase designer yarns, accessories, garments, and handmade willow furniture. Meet the artists/vendors: silk batik, handwoven rugs, blacksmithing, basketry, felted vessels, maple syrup, handmade soap, and more.

I am also excited to start my volunteer hours at Goodside Grocery, Sheboygans first food co-op! In case you haven’t heard (which would surprise me) the co-op will be located in back of Paradigm Coffee & Music.
Motherfest, which is a fundraiser for Earth Fest, will be taking place Sunday, May 8th at Paradigm, and will also be the grand opening of Goodside!

Hope to see some familiar faces soon!

This entry was posted in 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!

The Ex List

Kevin Sorbo (aka hercules) & Elizabeth Reaser, shooting at Alexanders on 30th, North Park

Aside from my busy veg adventures with opening the San Diego location of Nature’s Express, I’ve been doing some black market catering. Well not really, but I have had the opportunity of a lifetime. There is this new TV show, and the lovely lead actress just happens to be a vegan. Since the show is being filmed right here in San Diego, they needed someone to provide on set food for the actress, Elizabeth Reaser, playing the role of Bella.
When this first fell into my lap, I thought it was a one time gig. Turns out they needed more vegan goodness then I had dreamed of.
The show revolves around Bella, an early thirties woman who is trying to find ‘the one’. She meets a fortune teller that tells her she has one year, or she’ll never be getting hitched. the catch is that she has supposibly already met the one. So like most single women out there, she starts a list. The Ex-List. Each episode is centered around Bella reconnecting with a former ex boyfriend. Not a terrible idea for a sitcom.
So whats a vegan actress to do when a scene calls for food, and there’s no way she’s bitting into something thats not vegan? Well, she gets a personal vegan chef to cater her every acting bite! How darn cool.

Tea Platters in the wonderbread factory

I’m not sure if I should be posting these pics, but oh well. It’s too fun to not write about. I’ve done about 10 different dishes for the series so far, and up until 2 weeks ago, I didn’t even feel comfortable taking pictures on set. So far I’ve done vegan eggs benedict, penne a la vodka, chocolate cakes, thai stir-fry, cookies, gourmet dinner for 2, omlettes tea platters and a carpacchio salad. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it’s not just one plate each. Every time they shoot a scene they film the shot from 4 different angles. Which means the food has to look the same every time. So for the one vegan chocolate cake, I needed to make 6. And so on.
There is usually a ton of leftovers, that everyone wants to take home, or I end up bringing to the treehouse kids…. lucky vegans. Its crazy to think about how much time, and energy go into a single 23 minute episode. From hair & make up to lighting and sound. It really does take a lot of manpower. It was so great to see all the beautiful places in San Diego turned into a TV sitcom. Newport beach, cool restaurants and pubs, and one of my most favorite places in all of San Diego, the mission hills nursery. ex-ist-photo-5.JPG
Heirloom tomato Carpaccio with vegan mozzarella, and balsamic reduction

In the end, the show started getting bad reviews, and CBS decided to cancel it. The Ex List had a total of thirteen episodes whom all aired on French-Canadian television in 2009.
Elizabeth went on to star in the motion picture Twilight, playing the role of Edwards’ ‘mother’. And I returned to dividing my time between Ritual Tavern, and Nature’s Express, yet again.
In the time of 2 months I received 5 paychecks from FOX studios. After hanging them on the fridge to show my personal A+, they will be framed, and saved in the grandkids box. Gold star for me.