Recipes to Make You Say, “YES!” to Vegan Cheese

Sex, Spirit, Soul Mates and Chocolate....Ivonne's Journey:

This is such an amazing resource for vegan cheese from my friend Celeste that I had to reblog. Enjoy.

Originally posted on Honk If You're Vegan:


My mom, my blogger friend, Mike, and countless others have told me that they can’t go vegan because they could never give up cheese. I get where they’re coming from – I was there. I found, however; that giving up cheese was easier than I imagined it would be. Sure, it was hard at first, but once I discovered how to make wonderful sauces, cheese-free pizzas and other cheese replacements it was a cinch (and delicious too!).

I’ve been perfectly content without cheese, but a few weeks ago my sister mentioned that a vegan cheese shop, Peace Cheese, opened up in San Diego. I thought this was strange because I didn’t think it was possible to make really good vegan cheese. Online, however; their cheeses – like Cashew Glow and Pumpkin Sun - looked tasty.


“Pumpkin Sun” – Vegan Cheese Alternative to mild Cheddar by PeaceCheese

I have yet…

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Treenut Cheese



One of the hardest products to give up when going vegan is cheese–and that’s  because cheese has an addictive chemical in it.  But I am going to save that information for another post.

That being said finding a really good cheese substitute is also challenging. Most of the faux cheeses out there have so many fillers in them that they are just as unhealthy as dairy processed cheese.

I think the key to a good cheese substitute are the cheeses made from nut milk.

Non-dairy cheese that is produced in the same manner as dairy cheese but using nut milk instead of cow or goat’s milk.

“Cheese making, at its most elemental, involves acidifying milk—souring it, really—and then adding the enzyme rennet to thicken the proteins and fat.”[1]

A nut cheese is made using the same processes as traditional cheese making but instead of using rennet a plant enzyme is used instead.

“Vegan cheese is simply the consolidation of the protein mass from nuts, coconut, beans etc.  A lactic bacteria may also be used to provide the acidity for this. For a firmer vegan cheese, emulsifiers, oils and thickeners must also be used.  The consolidation is simply a matter of compaction of the proteins and unlike real cheese, there is no physical bonding of the proteins. ” [2]

Probiotics is used when making fermented nut cheeses at home.

I have found two brands of tree nut cheese that actually taste like cheese–meaning you can just eat them out of the package or on crackers and they taste yummy.

The first cheese I discovered comes from the Parmela Creamery which creates delicious nut based cheeses using the finest ingredients and techniques similar to cheese making to bring out the natural, flavor profiles of nuts. Parmela is known for their Parmesan.



It comes in three flavors Kalamata Olive, Black Pepper and Original. I just tried the original.

The ingredients: cashews, water, coconut oil, salt, lactic acid, locust bean gum, and cultures.

The next time I went back to whole foods to purchase more of the Parmela Creamery they were out of stock.  What I did find instead was “White Alder” from Kite Hill.

white alder


“White Alder is a soft ripened velvety cheese with a white, fluffy rind. It has a tangy mushroomy flavor profile with a rich, silky texture and pungent aromatics. This cheese is best served straight from the refrigerator and pairs well with white grapes.”[3]

Kite Hill recommends pairing it with dry white wine such as a Chardonnay with fruit.  I just ate it spread on a Ritz cracker nothing fancy just the pure joy eating a product that actually tastes like cheese without tasting weird.

Ingredients: Almond milk (water, almonds) Macadamia Milk (water, macadamia nuts) enzymes, cultures.

I will dedicate a future post to Kite Hill as it seems they are setting precedents in the world of vegan cheese.

If we can conquer cheese then imagine how many more vegetarians will finally crossover to vegan!!!!





7 Scary Ways Meat Is Messing Up Your Body


A wonderful article  BY   DR. JOEL KAHN  found on

Article accessed on June 22 2014

No aspect of wellness is as loudly debated as how we should eat. People just don’t argue over styles of yoga, meditation, or exercise the way they do about food. As a cardiologist, my bias is toward science. I’m interested in an analysis of research data so that I can make recommendations to my patients for optimal health and longevity. (Though I’m also concerned about the welfare of animals and our planet, both of which are harmed by the production of animal products.)

It concerns me that high consumption of meat is associated with cancerheart disease anddiabetes. In order to evaluate your plate and fork, here are 7 scientifically-proven harmful chemicals that are impacted by eating meat (but are rarely discussed).

1. High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)

hs-CRP is a marker of inflammation and predicts the development of serious illness including cardiovascular disease. Multiple studies have found that, even after correcting for confounding factors, meat consumption associates with increased hs-CRP. In other words: it’s a scientific fact that meat is inflammatory. This has not received enough attention!

2. Insulin

How the pancreas releases insulin can influence weight gain, diabetes, and even cancer. And insulin release varies according to what foods you’re eating.

Recently scientists looked at how eating certain foods affects the release of insulin. Surprisingly, some protein-rich and fat-rich foods (eggs, beef, fish, cheese) induced as much insulin secretion as did some carbohydrate-rich foods (beef was equal to brown rice and fish was equal to grain bread). The researchers found that fish, beef, cheese and eggs had larger insulin responses per gram than many carbohydrate foods. The scientific fact that meat is insulinogenic is rarely mentioned.

3. Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1)

IGF-1 is a peptide hormone stimulating cell growth. It’s also linked to breast and prostate cancers. Meat eaters consistently have higher levels of IGF-1.

What’s more interesting is that breast and prostate cancers rare in traditional Asian communities, which have a very low intake of animal products. Among Okinawans (some of the longest-living people on the planet), for example, meat is less than 10% of their daily calories.

4. Methionine

Methionine is an amino acid found largely in animal products. Consuming less methionine is associated with increased lifespan. Getting too much methionine can create oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage. Vegan diets tend to be relatively low in methionine and this is one reason why vegans were thought to have lived so long in the Adventist Health Study.

5. Trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO)

The medical world was taken by surprise last spring when researchers from the Cleveland Clinic demonstrated that meat eaters produced a metabolite that promoted atherosclerosis and heart disease, called TMAO. This chemical was not produced in vegans who’d been fed meat for thepurposes of the study. Levels of TMAO are not yet routinely measured in patients but will be available soon.

6. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)

POPs are toxic synthetic chemicals that accumulate in fat. The best known are PCBs, dioxins, DDT, and flame retardants used in clothing and furniture. They disrupt endocrine pathways and are linked to cancer, heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.

Where do POPs come from? Largely the meat that we eat. For example, levels of PCBs in animal fat, cow’s milk, butter, and fish are much, much higher than the levels found in vegetables, fruits and cereals.

7. Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs)

AGEs are naturally occurring compounds in food and can be increased by cooking on dry heat, such as on a grill. AGEs are associated with a variety of diseases including brain inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Levels of AGEs found in meat and cheese are many multiples higher than in any fruit or vegetable. Increased levels of AGEs lead to premature aging and are best avoided. In other words: stay away from foods that contain AGEs and keep your grilling to a minimum.

Ultimately, food is chemistry, leading to reactions that promote health or disease. When studied in scientific experiments, animal products lead to inflammation and other diseases.

Recent about butter being back, or meat and cheese being healthy for heart patients has been misleading, will cause harm, and are missing scientific rigor.

While the war for your plate has not been settled, I hope your knowledge of the ABCs of meat chemistry will help you choose healthy options.

Photo Credit:

Dr. Joel Kahn


Dr. Kahn is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine and Director of Cardiac Wellness, Michigan Healthcare Professionals PC. He is a graduate Summa Cum Laude of the University of Michigan School of Medicine. He lectures widely on the cardiac benefits of vegan nutrition and mind body practices. He also writes for Readers Digest Magazine as the Holistic Heart Doc and his first book, The Holistic Heart Book, is available for sale now.

Sweet Tater Fries & Sweet Tater Chips

1LB_SalmonJerky_FA 1LB_SalmonJerky_FA









Blue Ridge Naturals Sweet Tater Fries and Tater Chips are two of the treats that I give to my vegan doggies as a supplement to their diets.
I don’t do rawhide–one made with formaldehyde and two-not vegan.

Sweet Tater Fries & Chips are dehydrated sweet potatoes and hard as nails. I find them to be a great substitute for rawhide while being nutritious for my doggies.

45030_Sweet-Tater-Fries 45000_Sweet-Tater-Jerky-1



Sweet potatoes are a super food. They have the highest percentages of Vitamin A and C, folate, iron, copper and calcium of any vegetable.

Sweet Tater Fries & Chips has the above nutrients plus Vitamin B6 and potassium. And they do not contain any artificial preservatives, fillers, or sweeteners.

So while my doggies think they are munching on a treat I know they are getting a lot of vitamins.

University of Oxford college votes for vegan meals to help fight climate change

Wadham vote vegan - David Bolton via Flickr

Wadham College at the University of Oxford has passed a motion to ban meat products and only serve vegan food for five nights a week on campus.

Founded in 1610, Wadham consists of 150 graduates and 450 undergraduates. It was one of the first colleges to admit women and is known for its progressive attitude.

Oxford is made up of more than 30 different colleges, with the Wadham students’ union (SU) meeting every fortnight.

At a recent meeting, James Kenna, a fourth-year engineer, proposed the motion of serving vegetarian food for four nights. Ben Szreter, a second-year history student, then said to really make a change, it should be amended to five days of vegan food, which was passed.

The motion said, “Reducing the consumption of meat is one of many steps needed to reduce the effects of climate change.”

It was agreed in a meeting in March 2014 that Wadham would have meat-free Mondays, with the motion noting, “Excessive meat consumption is harmful to the environment and it could also lead to an increased risk of certain illnesses like bowel cancer.”

However, some are worried this will intimidate prospective students.

“Five days of vegan food may sound intimidating to students across the country, and many Wadham students I’ve spoken to have said that they would have applied to another college if this policy was in place when they were applying”, Szreter told the weekly newspaper the Oxford Student.

The SU food representative will be carrying out the motion and it will be bought to the next food committee meeting.

The University of Oxford is believed to have the largest investments in fossil fuel companies of any UK university and earlier this month it pledged to look into selling the investments with the results due to be released in July.

In Energy Policy, a peer-reviewed journal, a study in 2012 found the production of fresh meat makes a significant contribution to harmful greenhouse gases. The UN has also been quoted as saying the meat industry is a large contributor to environmental problems.

Photo: David Bolton via Flickr

Esther the Wonder Pig Farm Sanctuary Fundraiser……

esther sanctuary pix


My very first post on the blog was about Esther the Wonder Pig.

Esther is what finally got me from thinking about a vegan blog to actually start one.


esther bed

Esther’s dad had a dream of one day starting a farm animal sanctuary.

We knew as Esther grew we needed a country property.  As the months went on we kept watching documentaries and finding different organizations online. We stumbled onto a place called “Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary” and met the owner Siobhan and Peter. They were amazing and the more we spoke to them the more we both wanted to do the same sort of thing when we were able.  It was more of a dream than anything else but still something we knew we had to do.  Over the last few weeks with all the chaos surrounding us now it’s become a much more real possibility and we’re working on a few fundraising efforts to help us make it a reality.  We want a place that people will want to visit.  Perhaps a community garden and cooking classes, B&B, farm tours etc.  Anything to make people come and interact with the animals. We know the more people can interact the bigger impact we can make.  People seem to have a real disconnect between the animals and their food.  Esther is helping us “put a face on food” and it’s having an incredible impact. We started the page for friends and family but it has become so much more.  It’s changed the course of our lives.  We call ourselves “accidental activists” hahahaha.

Well the ball finally got rolling and they are doing a fundraiser.  I sent them a donation.

If you would like to be a part of the solution please click on the link to send a donation. The campaign ends on June 30 2014.


esther pix


Justine’s Organic Dark Peanut Butter Cups



These are amazing peanut butter cups.

So much better than Reese’s and vegan to boot.

Justine says, “Think of your favorite peanut butter cup. Next, magnify that feeling by a gazillion – that’s ours. Nuts? Yes. Crazy? No. Just imagine what happens when I take the best tasting organic peanut butter in the world and delicately place it into the highest quality, organic and fair-trade chocolate available. Yup. Peanut butter cup perfection!”

And he is so correct. These are yummy-yummy-yummy.  I found them at Whole Foods Market.

The company,  has other yummy looking products but I do not think all of them are vegan but the dark chocolate peanut butter cups are ( I know I already said that).  So the next time you have that craving put down the Reese’s and grab a Justine’s. You’ll be glad you did.

Here is the list of the ingredients:

2-pk cups (12)

Organic Dark Chocolate (Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar, Organic Chocolate Liquor*, Organic Cocoa Butter*, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla), Organic Peanuts, Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Palm Fruit Oil**, Organic Vanilla Flavor, Sea Salt.

*Rainforest Alliance Certified™

**Sustainably sourced palm fruit oil

Tail of Toxics Animation


The Physicians Committee for Responsible medicine just released a video on the pitfalls of animal testing.

Please watch and share this animation about the flaws of animal tests, and see the modern testing paradigm that will produce safer chemicals and a healthier environment. There is also a link at the very bottom of the article which will take you to a petition that you can sign.

thank you.

Animal Testing Facts

  • One of the main problems with animal testing is that it’s difficult to match toxicities from different species to diseases in humans, making any data produced highly questionable.
  • Animal tests are time consuming and costs millions of dollars to conduct – which is why we don’t know enough about the thousands of chemicals already in our environment.
  • Animal testing is cruel; they are never afforded pain relief.

Take Action Against Animal Testing Now!

Watch this animation to learn about the inherent flaws of animal tests, and see the modern testing paradigm that will produce safer chemicals and a healthier environment.

Differences between humans and the commonly used animal subjects – primarily mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits – are significant.

Because of this animals in labs rarely react to chemicals in the same way that humans would: we simply can’t use animals to accurately predict how people will respond to a product.

Advances in molecular and cellular biology and computing power are revolutionizing toxicology testing, shaving years and millions of dollars off the process and saving countless lives.

  • For example, a new robotic device can work around the clock, testing thousands of chemicals every day, developing huge amounts of data that are relevant to human beings (because they use human cells). This gives scientists meaningful patterns of information about how different chemicals will affect our body.

Experts at the National Academy of Sciences have recommended a complete shift away from animal testing.

Help us make it happen. Please share our animation with your friends and colleagues, learn more on our animal testing FAQ page, and take action against animal testing.



Brentwood 7th Grader’s Bar Mitzvah Project Sparks Vegan Eating

I found this wonderful article on

Brentwood 7th Grader’s Bar Mitzvah Project Sparks Vegan Eating

May 15, 2014 8:29 pm by:  Category: Health + Fitness,Lifestyle Leave a comment

Jaden enjoying his favorite meal vegan plant-based Sante Fe Crispy Chicken Sandwich with vegan Mac and cheese.

By Anne Hansen

Last month, Brentwood’s Jaden Elkins, a 7th grader at Paul Revere Middle School, celebrated his Vegan Bar Mitzvah promoting animal kindness.

Jaden had his private party at Veggie Grill in Westwood. It was the first time Veggie Grill has hosted a private party and the first Vegan Bar Mitzvah for most of the guests.

Before the event, there were several articles written about Jaden and his crusade to bring positive awareness and support to the vegan lifestyle and to promote animal kindness.

His articles were blogged nationally, making him somewhat of a celebrity among animal activists.

As Jaden spreads the word of animal kindness, he continues to inspire others along the way.

His Synagogue, University Synagogue, has planned a 100 percent vegan teacher luncheon catered by Veggie Grill in Westwood this month.

The Synagogue also offers a special teen youth program involving prayers and food from local restaurants.

The program teaches teens to be caring, compassionate and unique while sampling all types of food and making close friendships.

Veggie Grill has been a major hit with the University Synagogue kids.

Jaden’s algebra teacher, Darlene Faraone, read a previous article about Jaden and said she is now also going vegan because of him.

Jaden’s large family of six are all vegan. His siblings, Dane age 15, Cody age 9, and Madison age 7, are all big fans of Veggie Grill.

Jaden said since his Bar Mitzva he had received many positive comments about his animal kindness campaign from so many unexpected places.

“I am very happy I can inspire others to live a healthier lifestyle,” Jaden said. “It’s okay to stand up for what you believe in, even if your friends believe differently. You can make a real change in your life and in others if you stay true to yourself and follow your heart.”

One day, he plans to write a book titled, “Animals Have Parents Too.”

Follow Jaden on Twitter – @therealvegankid.

Solar Roadways……

Solar Roadway

Artist Rendition of Sandpoint, Idaho – Home of Solar Roadways

Graphic artist: Sam Cornett

An idea whose time has come. I found out about this via a Facebook link.  The idea is phenomenal.  I hope it comes to fruition. Watch the video you will be amazed.  They also have a fundraiser attached to the project if you care to be in more involved and invested in this progressive idea.


What if roads and parking lots were solar, fueling enough energy from the sun to power nearby communities as well as electric vehicles? Scott and Julie Brusaw, the inventors/creators have the answer. They have a IndieGoGo funding campaign active through May 31st, 2014.

Solar Roadways is a modular paving system of solar panels that can withstand the heaviest of trucks (250,000 pounds). These Solar Road Panels can be installed on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, playgrounds… literally any surface under the sun. They pay for themselves primarily through the generation of electricity, which can power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots. A nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole ( They have many other features as well, including: heating elements to stay snow/ice free, LEDs to make road lines and signage, and attached Cable Corridor to store and treat stormwater and provide a “home” for power and data cables. EVs will be able to charge with energy from the sun (instead of fossil fuels) from parking lots and driveways and after a roadway system is in place, mutual induction technology will allow for charging while driving.

Did you know: 

  • Solar Roadways has received two phases of funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration for research and development of a paving system that will pay for itself over its lifespan. We are about to wrap up our Phase II contract (to build a prototype parking lot) and now need to raise funding for production.
  • Our glass surface has been tested for traction, load testing, and impact resistance testing in civil engineering laboratories around the country, and exceeded all requirements.
  • Solar Roadways is a modular system that will modernize our aging infrastructure with an intelligent system that can become the new Smart Grid. We won the Community Award of $50,000 by getting the most votes in GE’s Ecomagination Challenge for “Powering the Grid” in 2010. We had the most votes again in their 2011 Ecomagination Challenge for “Powering the Home”.
  • On August 21, 2013, Solar Roadways was selected by their peers as a Finalist in the World Technology Award For Energy, presented in association with TIME, Fortune, CNN, and Science.
  • Solar Roadways was chosen by Google to be one of their Moonshots in May of 2013.
  • Solar Roadways was chosen as a finalist in the IEEE Ace Awards in 2009 and 2010.
  • Solar Roadways has given presentations around the country including: TEDx Sacramento, Google’s Solve for X at Google’s NYC Headquarters, NASA, Keynote Speaker for the International Parking Institute’s Conference and much more…
  • Solar Roadways is tackling more than solar energy: The FHWA tasked us with addressing  the problem of stormwater. Currently, over 50% of the pollution in U.S. waterways comes from stormwater. We have created a section in our Cable Corridors for storing, treating, and moving stormwater.
  • The implementation of our concept on a grand scale could  create thousands of jobs in the U.S. and around the world. It could allow us all the ability to manufacture our way out of our current economic crisis.


This video entry has three parts.  Look above the video to click between them.

Part 1:  The Idea.  Scott & Julie Brusaw have an idea to change our energy and road systems at the same time.

Part 2:  The Prototype.  Scott & Julie discuss the prototype design and how it would work.

Part 3:  The Funding Campaign.  More information about the project and how you can help support it.