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!

Roundup : May 2014


Fish Creek, WI.

What a busy month!  Ever feel like vacation takes more out of you, and you need a vacation after vacation?  I’ll skip the sob story of how much non-stop fun we’ve been having and tell you in a more neatly compiled list.

Wisconsin-  So we’re back.  After a long baby-crying/mommy-crying car ride, we’ve arrived back in Sheboygan.  I did not pack as many sweaters or jeans as I should have, but the weather seems to be warming up, and it looks like I get another month of spring.  The farmers markets start June 7th, and I can’t wait to see familiar faces, and get back to cooking all day!  I am also excited to give Oliver some much needed Grandparent time!

Foraging-  Foraging is the concept of searching and harvesting wild food.  Of course what you find will always vary on where you live, and what season it is.  For a lovely Wisconsin spring day we hope to find fiddlehead ferns, asparagus, ramps, and morel mushrooms.  We scored a ton of ramps, which we are going to try to pickle the bulbs, and dehydrate the leaves.  Maybe we can launch a raw ramp ranch dressing at the farmers market!  Erik scored a couple stalks of asparagus which Oliver used as a new teething toy. If you’ve never tried to forage, I highly recommend it.  It is so much fun searching around, and you will discover things you never thought to pay attention to before.   Nature is so wonderful!  I have also been seeing a ton of beautiful recipes for tempura dandelions, as well as dandelion french toast.  So pretty.


Ramp crazed.

The end of my ‘no-poo’-  I was under the impression that everyone had heard of this by now.  To my surprise, almost no one I talked with about this understood what it meant!  A few months back, my hair started thinning after Oliver was born.  I knew it was coming, but I had no idea how much I would be losing.  For me, it was quite traumatic.  If you had just passed me on the street, I’m sure you wouldn’t notice.  I am not one to oversaturate any part of my body with too much product (even the organics) so I thought this was the perfect time to try out the no-poo method.

The no-poo theory consists of washing your hair with a baking soda solution, and rinsing with an apple cider vinegar solution.  Sounds so easy right?  I gave it a solid 3 months before I came crawling back to my Jason hair products.  I missed the lather, I missed the smell, and I felt as though it wasn’t aiding any of my hair thinning.  I was still wearing my hair back everyday.  So I quit.  I am still thinking about making my own shampoo.

Angel Olson-  If you have never listened to the sound of her voice, stop everything and watch the video below.  She reminds me a bit of Karen Dalton: unique voice, and very old-timey sounding.  I don’t know bout y’all but I am so so SO over the girly girl voice these days.  She has a new album out, and is touring at this very moment.  Major girl crush…. nuff said.

Eating Animals-  Another great book by Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals has been said to convert  long time vegetarians to vegan activists.  Not that yours truly needed any convincing, but every now and then it’s good to reassure your beliefs, and remember why you hold them so dear.  His perspective on how our culture regards certain animals with greater importance than others is unique and thought provoking; the same people who wouldn’t flinch at eating a burger would cringe at the thought of devouring their dog and vice versa.  I highly recommend this book to everyone, not just my fellow veg-heads.

51flAsKFoAL                     First-Teacher-NewCover-thumb-200x301-6

You Are Your Childs First Teacher-  I wish this book was longer.  Or rather I wished Rahima Dancy wrote a follow up into the teen years.  Its so great that every time I try to reference anything out of it, I end reading so much more than planned.  I grow closer to trying to raise Oliver in a modified Waldorf fashion, and this book goes over so many great natural techniques to develop with our children.  When I put the book down, I feel a little more assured of my parenting.

Indiana Jones-  To be more specific, we watched the first of the series, Raiders of the Lost Ark.  How in the world has my husband existed 30 years on this planet without seeing any Indie Jones movies!  I can’t say I know what it was that attracted me so much to them as a child.  Perhaps the tom-boy inside wanting to take down the bad guys while discovering historic relics.  Or maybe it was Harrison Ford.  George Lucas no doubt was ahead of his time.  It was great to see the action, the romance, and of course, laugh at the gory death scenes.  The classics never get old.


That was my month!  How was yours?

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:


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!