Celeb Sighting at One of Chicago’s Well-Known Vegan Restaurants



On December 13th, Karyn Calabrese, the queen of all things vegan in Chicago, posted the above picture of her and Beyonce at one of her well-known vegan restaurants, Karyn’s Cooked off North Wells. When it comes to food, Beyoncé finds herself at all things veggie now-a-days (she happened to be performing at the United Center that same night). I must say, I frequent Karyn’s Cooked A LOT. My absolute favorite is the Taco Salad Bowl…so good — a mix of lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole and soy cheese topped with tasty grilled seitan and a side of chipotle sauce. Oh, and can’t forget! The freshly made donuts that you can find there in the mornings are the BEST!

Compassionate Fashion Designers with Exceptional Creativity

Fashion Designers with Compassion and Exceptional Creativity

In a recent article of Michigan Avenue Magazine, designers, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart (Vaute Couture) and Joshua Katcher (Brave GentleMan), were highlighted and interviewed for creating some amazingly stylish and modern fashion designs that are also vegan. Vaute Couture (animal-free fabrics – sustainable vegan and eco-friendly) is known for its remarkable men’s, women’s and children’s designs. Brave GentleMan is 100% vegan men’s fashion line (that includes: suits, shoes, accessories, etc.).
Personally, I own one of these fun shirts from Vaute (pic below) that I received as a gift. I love wearing it, as it always seems to spark fun conversation when out and about.
Best part about these two, they are not only incredibly talented at creating phenomenal vegan fashion designs, they are good friends of one another and graduates of DePaul University as well. Yea, Chicago!


Indulging the Right Way This Holiday Season

The fun and always entertaining Jason Wrobel (who is the most amazing celebrity raw vegan chef) partnered with Eco-Vegan Gal, Whitney Lauritsen, to give us a few healthy, vegan-specific tips and recipes for this holiday season. It is very easy to fall off the wagon and indulge, indulge, indulge (in the most unhealthy way), but their advice encourages us to stay strong and continue to eat nutritiously while enjoying all of the festivities. These two are the best! Hope you enjoy their video as much as I did!

Holiday Treat: Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s


Found these on a VegNews post and the description of them made my mouth water. These vegan cookies are right up my alley, because when I give in to my sweet tooth every once in a while and eat something unhealthy, I tend to choose Oreos (which are also “vegan”), but these happen to be much more tasty. And considering the fact that they are a seasonal item (I’ve heard they’re only available for a couple short months), I headed over to Trader Joe’s and bought a box of them yesterday.

My thoughts — They taste just how VegNews describes them — a light, vanilla-mint creme filling (vanilla with bits of peppermint candies) in between two amazingly crisp chocolate cookie wafers. These vegan “joe-joe’s” are good! SO good, in fact, they actually have their own Facebook page with over Three Thousand likes! SO glad that I bought them and I am truly savoring every last cookie…yummm…

**Just heard that Trader Joe’s also has Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe’s. Guess I know where I’m heading tomorrow (with high hopes that they are also vegan friendly)!

Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread (Vegan)


Personally, I’ve never been a fan of eating overly ripe bananas. So instead of throwing them away (such a waste!), I turn them into delicious banana bread. And adding some chocolate chunks makes this recipe that much better. It’s simple, easy and yummy! Hope you enjoy this great recipe. Cheers! 🙂


dry ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup of vegan chocolate chunks

wet ingredients

  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 1/2 cup of softened Earth Balance butter (coconut oil can be used as a substitute)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In another large bowl, mash the bananas, then add the butter and agave, and combine well.

3. Gradually stir the wet ingredients into the bowl of the dry ingredients.

4. Combine well until mixed.

5. Pour the batter into a non-stick loaf pan.

6. Bake for 45-50 minutes. The toothpick method is a great way to check if the bread is cooked through.

7. Enjoy!

Jay-Z & Beyonce’s “Spiritual cleanse” ?

’99 problems but a fish ain’t one’: welcome to the vegan life, Jay-Z

Wow. Celebrities and their star power. Apparently, on Tuesday, Jay-Z announced to world that he and Beyonce are going on a 22-day plant-based “spiritual cleanse”. This has sparked a huge uproar of media attention surrounding a lifestyle choice that people have embraced for years and years. I am still a firm believer that any positive attention to the plant-based lifestyle is a good thing. I run across people every day that wonder about the vegetarian, vegan and plant-based diets and the benefits. This news has definitely sparked the conversation on a worldwide scale (there are thousands and thousands of articles on this one topic alone). And if this opens up the dialogue on the many, many rewards of vegetarian/vegan/plant-based lifestyle, I am all for it!

Recipe: Vegan Spinach Lasagna

lasagnaThis is one of my favorite recipes. So incredibly flavorful. I’ve made it many, many times and it has even passed as a “very delicious lasagna recipe” among my non-vegan/non-vegetarian friends and family. That seems to be a pretty good test…will my meat-eating friends and family (the ones who are extremely hesitant to stray from their diets) return for second helpings of my dishes?? With this dish, it has been a definite “YES”. Best part, the preparation and cooking time are super quick. Hope you enjoy!


  • 1 1/2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 (16 ounce) package no-boil lasagna noodles (I use Delallo Organic Whole Wheat No-Boil Lasagna)
  • 1 package of silken tofu
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of miso paste (I use Westbrae Mellow Brown Rice Miso Soybean Paste)
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place the tofu block in a large bowl. Add the miso, nutritional yeast, garlic, basil and parsley. Add the salt and pepper and mash all of the ingredients together. Mix well.
  3. Assemble the lasagna: Spread 1/2 cups of the sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch lasagna baking pan. Arrange a single layer of lasagna noodles, sprinkle 1/2 of the tofu mixture over the noodles. Distribute the spinach evenly over the tofu (Sometimes, I choose to add other tasty veggies to this layer — depending on my preference, I may add mushrooms, zucchini, squash, and/or roasted red peppers also). Next spoon 1 1/2 cups sauce over the veggies, and top it with another layer of the noodles. Then sprinkle another 1/2 of the tofu mixture over the noodles, top the tofu with 1 cup sauce, and place a final layer of noodles over the tomato sauce. Finally, top the noodles with the remaining  sauce.
  4. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.