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Reviews and Interviews
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Product Reviews

Vegan Street Reviews Products from Lightlife.
Vegan Street Reviews Products from Lightlife.
by Marla Rose

As a longtime vegetarian and then vegan, Lightlife products, particularly their iconic Smart Dogs, have helped me to be able to participate in many a BBQ, campfire meal, block party and more without compromise. As someone who grew up on Chicago hot dogs, there is nothing like a Jumbo Smart Dog in a warm bun with the works - yellow mustard, pickles, onions, sauerkraut, sport peppers and celery salt (hold the relish for me and definitely hold the ketchup) – to have an instant reminder that being vegan today doesn’t mean having to give up your familiar favorites foods.
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WayFare Dairy-Free Products: The Vegan Street Review

WayFare Dairy-Free Products: The Vegan Street Review
by Marla Rose

As more and more vegan meat and dairy alternatives keep inching their ways onto people's plates, one company has quietly taken a giant leap toward replicating the taste and textures of dairy products.
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We Review the January Petit Vour Beauty Box
We Review the January Petit Vour Beauty Box
by Marla Rose


My birthday month was made a little more celebratory with the arrival of January’s Petit Vour Beauty Box. In fact, these sweet boxes make every month feel a little like a celebration when they arrive on your doorstep. The award-winning Petit Vour boxes feature small, independent companies with a commitment to sustainability practices and clean ingredient lists.
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We review the December Petit Vour Beauty Box
We Review the December Petit Vour Beauty Box
by Marla Rose


So, fa la la la la, the December Petit Vour Beauty Box has arrived. Deck the halls with vegan beauty and personal care products because, yay, this is a box of holiday good cheer when I needed it most. The award-winning Petit Vour boxes feature small, independent companies with a commitment to sustainability practices and clean ingredient lists: I’ve only gotten two boxes so far but each has been a delight.
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Our Review of the December Beauty Box from Vegan Cuts

Our Review of the December Beauty Box from Vegan Cuts
by Marla Rose


I am pretty lucky: I get to be an ambassador for the Vegan Cuts Beauty Box, which means that every month, I receive a fresh new box of fabulous vegan cosmetics and personal care products and I get to spread the word about companies that are committed to compassionate practices. I consider this a pretty obvious win-win. Read on:




Vegan Street Reviews 3 Products from Vanity Planet

Vegan Street Reviews 3 Products from Vanity Planet
by Marla Rose


One of the perks of being a vegan today is there are so many more cruelty-free options than there where when I first started down this path more than 20 years ago. Every day, I hear about more businesses and start-ups with vegan principles and practices at the foundation of their ethos. Not too long ago, I was contacted by Vanity Planet, an online shop that goes the extra mile in sourcing unique, wide-ranging and cruelty-free beauty, grooming, and wellness products, was asked if I’d like to review some items. I refused. Just kidding! Fix a sister up.

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We review the November Petit Vour Beauty Box

Vegan Street Reviews the November Petit Vour Beauty Box
by Marla Rose


For someone like me who loves vegan body care products and cosmetics but hates shopping, Petit Vour is right up my alley. The fact that the award-winning Petit Vour boxes feature small, independent companies with a commitment to sustainability practices and clean ingredient lists makes it all the better.
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We review derma e natural skin care products

Vegan Street Reviews DERMA E Natural Skin Care Products
by Marla Rose


I have a skin type that is, generously called, sensitive. Gets its feelings hurt easily, can’t hide its emotions, feels all the highs and lows, and it’s all written out there on my epidermis for everyone to see. Thankfully, this package of DERMA E arrived for review and maybe that was why my usual flare-ups were at a minimum. I can’t prove that the DERMA E is responsible for a calmer complexion but it’s within the realm of possibilities, right? Further, these products are so high-quality, regardless of anything, I am glad to have them in my regular skin care rotation.

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Vegan Street Reviews GoMacro Thrive Bars

Vegan Street Reviews GoMacro Thrive Bars
by Marla Rose


It’s not always easy to find nutrition bars that are actually nutritious. Many are loaded with sugar and junky ingredients, long on filler, short of real substance. I was happy to have a chance to taste and review these new Thrive Ancient Seeds Superfood Nut Bars from a small, family-owned vegan business and farm in Southwest Wisconsin called GoMacro. First off, all their bars are vegan (of course!), gluten-free, soy-free, kosher, low-glycemic, organic and certified GMO-free. They come in six imaginative and classic flavors, in addition to their twelve MacroBars, and all are less than 200 calories a bar.

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I Heart Keehwah and Metropolitan Brewing
A Pairing of  Two Products Review: I Heart Keenwah Sweet Chili Quinoa Puffs paired with Metropolitan Brewing Flywheel Bright Lager
by John Beske
It’s 11:00 on a Friday evening, and I’m pretty bleary from a long day of trying to teach myself a new web-building platform. I’ve had it with trying to decipher all these lines of code and pages of instructions, but too wired to go to bed. On the plus side, there is a bottle of beer with a stylin’ Art Deco-ish label sitting in the fridge and a bag of I Heart Keenwah puffs on a nearby counter – a perfect late night snack. Of course, they’re waiting for me because I have to write a review of how these two consumables taste together, but hey, compared to what I’ve been doing for the last sixteen hours or so, this is easy – and tasty.
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I Heart Keenwah review
Product Review: I Heart Keenwah snacks
by Marla Rose
Last week was our week dedicated to Natalie Slater and the company she works as marketing director for, I Heart Keenwah, whose product I also used in our most recent recipe. Well, hold on to your seats because the love affair with those delightful puffs hasn’t ended yet! Natalie sent me a big box to review and, well, I am a pleaser.
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Product Review: Zoologist Eau de Parfum
Product Review: Zoologist Eau de Parfum
by Marla Rose
Anyone who knows me knows that I am something of a bat fiend. I have always been fond of bats – I think growing up with Morticia Addams as my personal style icon and being into Halloween above all other holidays. A few weeks ago, I happened upon a Facebook share of a bat-inspired perfume. Wha’? I immediately followed the link to Toronto-based Zoologist Perfumes and was fully captivated by the illustrations and descriptions of their animal-inspired line of perfumes. What especially hooked me is their commitment to cruelty-free scent creation.

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American Botanics skin care

Product Review: American Botanics skin care products
by Marla Rose
How much do I like reviewing yummy vegan skincare lines? A whole lot, that’s how much. When I was contacted by Nancy Rimbergas of the new company, American Botanics, to review some items, I jumped at the chance. For one, American Botanics is based in the Chicago area, which is always a plus in my book, and the pretty bottles say “vegan skin care” right there on the label, which is a plus-plus-plus as far as I’m concerned as more and more companies seem to be afraid of the word.

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We review Windy City Cocoa
Product Review: Windy City Cocoa
by Marla Rose


First things first: Windy City Cocoa comes in individual packets and is a complete hot chocolate in itself; all one needs to do is add six-ounces of hot water. No milk is required. Made with organic cane sugar, gluten-free whole oats, organic cocoa, vanilla powder and salt, Windy City Cocoa was developed to be free of allergens as the comany's owner has a son with multiple food allergies and wanted to create something that everyone could enjoy.
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We Review Missionary Chocolates
Product Review: Missionary Chocolates
by Marla Rose


I am an unabashed chocolate fiend but as someone who is concerned about the ethics of this often-exploitative industry, I know that not all chocolate, even vegan, is created equal. Vegan companies that use certified Fair Trade cocoa go the extra mile to creating truly ethical chocolates. This is what we have with Missionary Chocolates, a storefront and wholesale business run by the founder, Melissa Berry, who happens to be a naturopathic physician when she’s not crafting award-winning, mostly organic truffles, all of which are vegan. 
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We review Funguy Jerky from Mean Vegan Products
Product Review: Funguy Jerky
by Marla Rose


Once in a while, a new vegan item shows up on my doorstep and it’s all I can do to pause for a moment or two to take a couple of photos and delay tearing the package open with my bare (as opposed to clothed?) teeth for a few moments. The day I got some Mean Vegan Products jerky was one of those days.  
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Rescue Chocolate: The Vegan Street Product Review
Product Review: Rescue Chocolate
by Marla Rose


Rescue Chocolate was founded by Sarah Gross in 2009 after she met and fell hard for a beautiful, crop-eared pit bull named Mocha. A few months after this fateful meeting, Sarah was preparing to take Mocha out on a walk and had popped some dark chocolate in her mouth before leaving. By the time she returned from their walk, Sarah had the genesis for her unique and life-saving venture: combining her love for chocolate with her passion for Mocha, she would put the two together to improve the lives of many more animals like the one who was so recently homeless herself. Rescue Chocolate was born on that day and has gone on to improve the lives of so many other animals through their education efforts and the fact that 100% of net profits are donated to sanctuaries, shelters and other animal charities.   
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We review Bathtime Kids Shampoo and Body Wash
Bathtime Kids Shampoo and Body Wash
by Marla Rose and Justice Beske

A particular perk to receiving personal care products to review is that my 12-year-old son is required to take one for the team and actually take a shower. This means that I am winning. Recently, we got Squeeky Clean shampoo and Top to Toe body wash from Bathtime Baby and Bathtime Kids, an independent vegan company that sells natural bath, skin, and hair care products.
   Read on:



Miyoko's Creamery Product Review Party
Miyoko's Creamery Product Review Party
by Marla Rose
We’ve come a long way from the dark days of vegan cheese but I think there is a part of my tongue that remains forever scarred by that frighteningly plastic-like residue and the relentless taste I can only describe as being reminiscent of old, dirty socks. Recently, Miyoko Schinner tossed her hat into a new realm when she launched her line of nine artisan vegan cheeses - err, cultured nut products – with her new company, Miyoko’s Creamery. (I’m going to call them cheese in this review just for simplicity’s sake, though cultured nut product has a snazzy ring to it.) With stylish packaging and a price point that seems to be consistent  
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Product Review: Surf Sweets
Product Review:
Surf Sweets
by Marla Rose
This is not going to be one of those articles about how to trick your kids into eating more greens.

This article is about treats. I happen to believe that it’s okay for kids young and, um, less young to enjoy them sometimes. Does this mean that my family eats candy all the time? No. Does this mean that I am pushing sugar like a back alley drug dealer? No. I think balance and perspective can prevail in a world that, yes, has candy in it. Does the occasional gummy treat diminish my son’s love for kale and broccoli? Not at all.
  Read on:



Marla reviews the The Fanciful Fox
Product Review:
The Fanciful Fox
by Marla Rose
Last week, we had the great fortune of having a booth set up right next to the Fanciful Fox Homemade Soaperie booth at Vegetarian Summerfest, so we were surrounded by the lovely scent of aromatic essential oils that kept us calm and centered all day. Well, as calm and centered as I get. The Fanciful Fox is a completely cruelty-free (“Tested on dirty vegans, not animals,” they boast), small-batch bath and personal care company run by a mother-daughter team that is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of integrity, including crafting many items that are entirely or largely organic and Fair Trade. So no nasty petrochemicals or parabens are included, thank goodness.  Read on:



Marla reviews the Vegan Cuts Beauty Box
Product Review:
Vegan Cuts Beauty Box
by Marla Rose
Vegan Beauty Box, brought to us by the style mavens behind Vegan Cuts, offers the same concept behind their signature snack box to personal care products and cosmetics: for $19.95 each month, subscribers get between 4 - 7 new products to test. (They ship internationally!) Some full-size items, some sample sizes, all carefully vetted to ensure the cruelty-free status as well as attention to high quality of ingredients, the Beauty Box has been painstakingly curated to bring a good variety of unique, lovely items in each delivery.  Read on:



John and Justice reviews the new line of grab & go products from Upton's Breakroom
Product Review:
Upton's Breakroom grab & go products
by John and Justice Beske
The seitan masters from Upton's Naturals have just rolled out a well-conceived line of nine grab & go products, some familiar and some quite innovative, under the banner of their stylish and friendly Ukrainian Village café Upton’s Breakroom. Everything fits together and looks great. They’re using awesome artisan breads, innovative sauces and ingredients, clever pairings, and, of course the incredible Upton’s seitan at the center of it all. Read on:



Marla reviews a line of cruelty-free products from Arbonne
Product Review:
Arbonne Cruelty-Free Skin Care
by Marla Rose
Not only is Arbonne vegan-certified by Vegan Action, but their line is free of mineral oil, phthalates, parabens, petroleum and more of that sort of junk I don’t want in or on my body. When I was contacted by my friendly neighborhood Arbonne representative, I was happy to give her sampling a try. Read on:




Book Reviews

We Review an Inspirational New Book from Jackie Day

Book Review:
The Vegan Way
21 Days to a Happier, Healthier Plant-Based Lifestyle that Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You

by Jo Stepaniak
review by Marla Rose


Every so often, a new book arrives at my doorstep and it’s something altogether different and expands the vegan toolbox in an exciting way that is new for us. The new book by Jackie Day, The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier Plant-Based Lifestyle that Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You, is one such example.





We review Low-FODMAP and Vegan by Jo Stepaniak

Book Review:
Low-FODMAP and Vegan
What to Eat When You Can't Eat Anything

by Jo Stepaniak
review by Marla Rose


A unique book from the Book Publishing Company was released this year and I am happy to finally have had a chance to review it. Low-FODMAP and Vegan: What to Eat When You Can’t Eat Anything by acclaimed author Jo Stepaniak is a book that was written to speak to a sizable – but often kind of invisible – segment of the population that lives with the frustrating, painful, and, let’s be honest, often embarrassing disorder known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.




We review The Friendly Vegan Cookbook from Michelle Cehn and Toni Okamoto

Book Review:
The Friendly Vegan
Vegan-Friendly Recipes for Everyone

by Michelle Cehn and Toni Okamoto
review by Marla Rose


As someone who loves to cook and also does reviews, I have a kitchen overflowing with cookbook as well as a variety of apps and regular websites I visit often for fabulous recipes. What is the point of another cookbook? If it is coming from Michelle Taylor Cehn and Toni Okamoto of the popular blog, Plant Based on a Budget, there is always room for another addition. Their new e-book, The Friendly Vegan Cookbook: Vegan-Friendly Recipe for Everyone, is a lean little publication with just 14 recipes, but that is the perfect amount for someone who is beginning to dabble in plant-based cooking without becoming overwhelmed and it is also great for the current vegan who would like some new, simple but nutritious recipes to shuffle in.





We review Zsu Dever's Aquafaba cookbook

Book Review:
Aquafaba
Sweet and Savory Vegan Recipes Made Egg-Free with the Magic of Bean Water

by Zsu Dever
review by Marla Rose


Has there been anything that has shaken up the vegan cuisine scene in recent times as much as the discovery of aquafaba? From elegant European pastries to frothy cocktails, hearty savory foods to familiar, home-baked treats, aquafaba, a.k.a. bean water, manages to bring a level of flavor dimension and textural depth we didn’t have before, adding another tool to the vegan tool box with an ingredient just a couple of years ago, people would wash down the sink without a second thought. Of course, it was clear that with so many applications and so much potential unlocked with its discovery, it wouldn’t be long before an aquafaba cookbook was published. Thankfully, aquafaba neophytes and enthusiasts are all in good hands with the publication of Aquafaba: Sweet and Savory Vegan Recipes Made Egg-Free with the Magic of Bean Water by the talented vegan cookbook author and recipe developer Zsu Dever.
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Vegan Street reviews te cookbook from a vegan paradise

Book Review:
Dining at The Ravens:
Over 150 Nourishing Recipes from the Stanford Inn by the Sea

by Jeff and Joan Stanford
review by Marla Rose


A new cookbook from the couple behind The Stanford Inn, the only vegan resort in the U.S. and in the scenic and quaint Mendocino, CA, Dining at The Ravens: Over 150 Nourishing Vegan Recipes from the Stanford Inn by the Sea is the labor of love from Jeff and Joan Stanford, who, in 1980, bought a motel and turned it into a bed-and-breakfast and eventually a sustainable, green resort. The Ravens is the restaurant at The Stanford Inn and a trailblazer in crafting artisan, vegan dishes featuring their own produce grown in their organic working farm. Can’t get much more local than that.

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We review Ruby Roth's new cookbook for kids.

Book Review:
Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids:
60+ Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the World
 

by Ruby Roth
review by Marla Rose


For those not familiar with her, Ruby Roth is an artist/illustrator and author of a series of groundbreaking books for children. Ruby’s latest book is a bit of a departure from her previous works and it fills a void in the vegan lit sphere: The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth is a vegan cookbook aimed at kids and, as with her other books, filled with tasty bits of useful information as well.

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Always Too Much and Never Enough - A Memoir by Jasmin Singer
Book Review:
Always Too Much and Never Enough - A Memoir

by Jasmin Singer
review by Marla Rose


Jasmin Singer, the tireless co-pilot of the Our Hen House vegan indy media hub, has just come out with a memoir centered around how she freed herself from a paralyzing and painful relationship to food (and lost nearly 100 pounds in the process) with her new powerful book, Always Too Much and Never Enough: A Memoir.

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Review of Cook the Pantry by Robin Robertson
Book Review:
Cook the Pantry: Vegan Pantry-to-Plate Recipes in 20 Minutes (or Less!)

by Robin Robertson
review by Marla Rose


I am not going to start out this review by pointing out how very prolific vegan cookbook author Robin Robertson is because I’ve already concluded that a recipe creating app installed in her brain must be responsible for the approximately 17,000,000 (give or take a few) cookbooks she has created during her long career. Suffice it to say, she’s kind of impressive even for those of us who are also a little on the Type A side and I am a true fangirl.

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We review the new cookbook from Zsu Dever
Book Review:
Vegan Bowls: Perfect flavor harmony in cozy one-bowl meals

by Zsu Dever
review by Marla Rose


I am biased toward bowls. Let’s get that out in the open at the very beginning. Vegan food on a plate, well, I am not going to start boycotting it any time soon but in a bowl? Well, it’s suddenly a party. There is something about the concave shape that lends itself to more colors and more creativity than a boring, flat surface: put your meal in a bowl and suddenly you have potato mountains, broccoli forests, a savory sauce sea, quinoa sand, sprinklings of sesame hail, a delicious, exciting meal that is ready to eat. Bowls also mean comfort foods around the globe and that is what this new cookbook by Zsu Dever and Vegan Heritage Press are capturing in Vegan Bowls: Perfect Flavor Harmony in Cozy One-Bowl Meals. As a longtime fan of the bowl and, um, food – and the two of them together – I jumped at the chance to review Vegan Bowls.

Read on:



We review the new cookbook from the heroes at Herbivore
Book Review:
Eat Like You Give a Damn: Recipes for the New Ethical Vegan

by Herbivore's Michelle Schwegmann and Josh Hooten
review by Marla Rose

Eat Like You Give a Damn is a colorful, beautifully designed cookbook – would you expect any less from the folks behind Herbivore? – with abundant, gorgeous food photography and simple but definitely not boring recipes that anyone can enjoy. As working parents, their recipes seem to be inspired by a desire to get whole, tasty vegan food on the table with a minimum of fuss and wasted time.
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We review the 10th Anniversary Edition of Vegan with a Vengeance
Book Review:
Vegan with a Vengeance: 10 Years of Vegan Domination

by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
review by Marla Rose

On the heels of the free-spirited cable access show that created a firestorm of interest in animal-free cuisine in the days before social media, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero ushered in a whole new enthusiasm for vegan living with their pioneering cookbook, Vegan with a Vengeance. Fast forward ten years and we have a vibrant, expanding vegan culture, a heightened awareness about the cruelties of animal agribusiness, increased access to meatless options at the grocery store and, now, a revised edition of the cookbook that launched a million perfectly char-marked tofu slabs: Vegan with a Vengeance, 10th Anniversary Edition: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock
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We review Tom Nowak's Low Fee Vegan Investing
Book Review:
Low Fee Vegan Investing

Tom Nowak, CFP
review by John Beske

This is a simple book that can help guide vegans through the promises and perils of investing. Low Fee Vegan Investing by Tom Nowak, CFP is a slim volume that is deceptively packed with a lot of great information aimed at people who are new to investing. Tom Nowak uses simple language to explain things like custom-built mini-stock portfolios and divestment campaigns, and he walks us though the various aspects of a good investment portfolio, what it should include and how to get there without spending a lot of money on fees.   Read on:



We review Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen
Book Review:
The Abundance Diet

Somer McCowan
review by Marla Rose

With the warmer time of year finally here, I was really excited to see The Abundance Diet show up at my doorstep for review. Published by Vegan Heritage Press and written by Somer McCowen of the popular blog, Vedged Out, The Abundance Diet is a 28-day plan designed by Somer based off a weeklong healthful-eating challenge she created on her blog that drew participants from around the world. The Abundance Diet is the plan in book form and stretched to 28-days, including everything you need to know to make it easy. With an emphasis on whole plant foods, Somer’s wellness plan emerged from her exploration after being diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells in her colon and severe ulcerative colitis. Prescribed an intense steroid by her doctor, Somer began gaining weight rapidly, nearly 100 pounds in nine months. After her brother recommended watching Forks Over Knives, though, things clicked into place for Somer and now, three years after she adopted a whole foods diet, her ulcerative colitis is in full remission and VedgedOut.com was born.    Read on:



We review Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen
Book Review:
Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen
: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook
Richa Hingle
review by Marla Rose

Once in a while, a food blogger comes along who goes the extra mile or 70, making everyone else look like a hack. A lazy hack at that. I have been following Richa Hingle’s blog VeganRicha.com for a while and I have been very impressed by not only the stunning food photography and adventurous spirit of her recipes but also the sheer body of work that she produces. In her impressive new cookbook, Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook published by Vegan Heritage Press, Richa rolls up her sleeves and teaches the rest of us how to do the same.   Read on:



We review The Meaty Truth
Book Review:
The Meaty Truth: Why Our Food is Destroying Our Health and Environment – and Who is Responsible
by Shushana Castle and Amy-Lee Goodman

The Meaty Truth is a bold, straight-talking and sometimes profane examination of animal agribusiness from health, environmental and, to a lesser extent, ethical angles. Pairing well-researched material with a blunt, conversational tone reminiscent of Skinny Bitch, the authors of The Meaty Truth pull no punches as they make their case against industrial agriculture, the overall effect is a book that makes for a quick, engaging read.  Read on:




We review Laura Dakin's Sea Shepherd Cookbook
Book Review:
Cookin' Up a Storm: sea stories and vegan recipes from Sea Shepherd's anti-whaling campaigns
by Laura Dakin

Whenever I think it’s challenging to cook for a vegan household where one of us is gluten-free, I should remind myself of this book, Cookin’ Up a Storm: Sea Stories and Vegan Recipes from Sea Shepherd’s Anti-Whaling Campaigns by Laura Dakin. Laura and her crew need to make sure they’ve planned enough provisions to feed fifty crew members three times a day for one hundred days at sea, disrupting whaling ships as documented on their popular series on Animal Planet, Whale WarsRead on:




We review Teff Love from Kittee Berns
Book Review:
Teff Love by Kittee Berns

When I learned of the new cookbook by Kittee Berns, Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking, I couldn’t wait to get a copy in my hands. Would I be able to recreate those flavors in my own kitchen, though? It turns out, yes, with Kittee’s able guidance, we are now all able to enjoy Ethiopian food in our own homes without any compromise. Kittee walks you through the features of the cuisine, including common ingredients (which includes what to look for in your berbere, the famous peppery spice blend of Ethiopian food), the best resources for purchasing items online, even advice on cooking for a crowd and setting up your platter. Read on:




We review Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's latest masterpiece
Book Review:
The 30-Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

The CliffsNotes version: Buy this book. Buy it for your friends. Buy it for your loved ones. Buy it for the local crossing guard. Buy it for your favorite pilates instructor. Buy it for anyone you’re indifferent to but would like to live a little longer. Buy it for yourself, even if you’re already vegan. Need more convincing? (You’re really going to make me work for this, aren’t you?) Fine. Read on:



We review Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's latest masterpiece
Book Review:
Vegan Without Borders by Robin Robertson

While I love all of impressive Robin’s oeuvre, this latest cookbook is probably the most impressive, which is saying a lot. Vegan Without Borders: Easy Everyday Meals from Around the World is a beautiful volume, brimming with lavish food photography that perfectly complements Robin’s roster of enticing international recipes. Read on:



We review a delectable new cookbook from Allyson Kramer
Book Review:
Sweet Eats for All by Allyson Kramer

I was excited for this newest cookbook, which covers treats anyone can enjoy but especially those who don’t eat animal products as well as those who have allergies or intolerances to gluten, dairy or eggs. Finally, we can have our cake and eat it, too, without compromising our values or our health. Read on:




Kid Lit: Our son reviews a fun new vegan book for children
Kid Lit Book Review:
Lena of Vegitopia by Sybil Severin

I liked Lena of Vegitopia and the Mystery of the Missing Animals. I think it has a good story, and it is a good book for introducing young kids to a story with a message of compassion. The drawings were very well done and I think it’s a good read for all ages. Read on:




We review a new collection of essays from Matt Ball
Book Review:
The Accidental Activist by Matt Ball

Many years ago when I first went vegan, there was one organization that seemed to really be putting out effective, persuasive and well-researched materials that gave people a lens into the horrors of industrial animal agriculture before there was an Internet to do it. Vegan Outreach, with co-founder Matt Ball as Executive Director, offered a compelling alternative to much of the animal advocacy of 1990s, then over-dependent on silly shock value tactics or hyper-focused on only “cute, lovable” animals, and steadfastly employed a utilitarian theory as their guiding compass. Matt, who is no longer with Vegan Outreach, expands on his evolving beliefs about advocacy, effectiveness, priorities, ego-based activism and more in this collection of short pieces published this year by Lantern Books, The Accidental Activist: Stories, Speeches, Articles and Interviews by Vegan Outreach’s CofounderRead on:




We review a great new raw recipe book from Lisa Viger
Book Review:
Easy, Affordable Raw by Lisa Viger

As someone with a multitude of health challenges, from being overweight with high cholesterol to chronic sinus and digestive problems, Lisa Viger of the popular blog Raw on $10 a Day (Or Less!) was a candidate for escalating, increasingly painful and expensive problems if she didn’t change her habits. As someone who didn’t cook and was, in her own words, “fresh-food challenged,” she had a steep learning curve ahead of her but was so taken by the fresh, vibrant flavors and scents (she also quit smoking, which didn’t hurt), Lisa describes enjoying food in a way she hadn’t since childhood with her reawakened senses and, at 50, feels better and more youthful than ever. With her beautiful new cookbook, Easy, Affordable Raw: How to Go Raw on $10 a Day, anyone with a kitchen can do the same. Read on:




Marla reviews the beautiful new cookbook from Nava Atlas
Book Review:
Plant Power by Nava Atlas

Strange as it might sound, it’s not every day you get a vegan cookbook that is as much a celebration of produce as this latest opus from artist, prolific author and all-around vegan pioneer and goddess Nava Atlas. Although vegan cookbooks share the common thread of cutting out meat and animal ingredients, not many seem to centered around the exciting variety of beautiful plants themselves as the cornerstone of the recipes, though that seems to be changing for the better. With Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes, Nava Atlas has moved fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and more front and center, allowing us to enjoy not only the many health benefits but also the dazzling and enticing flavors, textures and colors (remember, she’s an artist) of our meals.  Read on:




We review a cheeky new cookbook from Mistress Ginger
Book Review:
Mistress Ginger Cooks by Mistress Ginger

She’s sassy in her green sequined dress. She’s got the razzle-dazzle with her bright pink bob. She’s  saucy with her confident, sharp-witted life lessons. She is Mistress Ginger and she is here to make you and the world we inhabit a little more vegan-fabulous.Mistress Ginger Cooks!: Everyday Vegan Food for Everyone, a new release from The Book Publishing Company, is a joyful and spirited romp through the collected musings, pointers and tantalizing recipes of performance artist and world-wise femme fatale with a heart of pink Mistress Ginger
. Read on:




Marla Reviews Robin Robertson's Nut Butter Cookbook.
Book Review:
Nut Butter Cookbook by Robin Robertson

Another day, another kick-ass kitchen addition from Robin Robertson, vegan cookbook author extraordinaire. I didn’t realize anything was stone was left unturned from her impressive oeuvre, but it turns out that I was wrong: nut butters - cashew, peanut, almonds and more, as well as seeds like sesame - are explored in The Nut Butter Cookbook: 100 Delicious Vegan Recipes Made Better with Nut Butter, a revision of her earlier Nut Butter Universe, and with them, an opportunity to add richness and depth to our food. Read on:




Marla Reviews Terry Hope Romero's Salad Samurai.
Book Review:
Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero

Is salad an often overlooked culinary art form? According to one creative cookbook, yes. A second book has just been released that seconds the “Heck, yeah, vegan salads!” sentiment and it comes from accomplished cookbook author Terry Hope Romero.  As you can probably see, I am an unabashed fangirl of Terry’s oeuvre. That being said, I think that I can be unbiased enough to still be critical-minded about her work to give it a fair review and I am pleased to say that her new cookbook, Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan To Love, is one that I can highly recommend. . Read on:




Marla Reviews Terry Hope Romero's Vegan Eat World.
Book Review:
Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero

In the introduction to the new soft-cover edition of  beloved cookbook author Terry Hope Romero’s Vegan Eats World: 300 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet, she asks a simple but thought-provoking question: “What if the world was vegan?” In her vivid, passionate response to this question, we get an answer: it would be full of full-flavored, rich, aromatic, spicy, sweet and delightful foods from around the world, as uncompromising in taste as it is in ethics. In her introduction - really, one of the most best I’ve read - Ms. Romero lays out her cooking philosophy in eloquent detail, creating as much as a case for sanity about food as a spirited, deeply personal ode to the voluptuous, diverse and quirky flavors and textures of international cuisine. Can an unapologetic sensualist have her cake and not compromise her deeper values? It turns out, yes, absolutely. Read on:




John Reviews David Robinson Simon's powerful Meatonomics.
Book Review:
Meatonomics by David Robinson Simon

Why is meat so cheap? And what does all this cheap meat mean for our economy, for our health, for our planet, for our future? The answers are complex, and sometimes nefarious. And they have never been spelled our so succinctly, so thoughfully and so grippingly as they are in this powerful book. Read on:




Marla Reviews Zsu Dever's Everyday Vegan Eats.
Book Review:
Everyday Vegan Eats by Zsu Dever

With an emphasis on filling comfort foods that use mainly easy-to-find ingredients, Everyday Vegan Eats has lots of recipes among eleven chapters that include everything from basics (like homemade mayo) to desserts (like fudge brownies). Ample photography abounds, too, including helpful pictures that illustrate the occasional recipe steps that are more complicated. Read on:




Marla Reviews Sharon Discorfano's Stellar Vegan Salads.
Book Review:
Stellar Vegan Salads by Sharon Discorfano

Is there any dish more stereotypically “what vegans eat” than salad? The notion of herbivores eating a steady diet of only salads is pervasive but anyone who’s been vegan for a while knows that there are seemingly endless dining opportunities available to us, basically everything that anyone else can eat, from pizza and tacos to Thai food and casseroles, made without animal ingredients. Read on:




Marla Reviews Robin Robertson's Vegan Planet
Book Review:
Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson

Yes, I admit it. I am an unapologetic fangirl of vegan cookbook author Robin Robertson. She’s as prolific as they come, but it’s not just quantity she puts out: her recipes are always well-tested and inspired. Her most recent cookbook, Vegan Planet: More than 425 Irresistible Recipes with Fantastic Flavors from Home and Around the World, is a revision of her original Vegan Planet, called the “bible of vegan cooking” and includes more than 500 pages, which includes 50 new recipes and updated favorites. Seriously, does this woman ever rest?
Read on:




Justice Reviews Dave Loves Chickens
Book Review:
Dave Loves Chickens by Carlos Patiño

11-year old Justice Beske has read a lot of children's
books in his life, and it seemed natural to see how Carlos Patiño's new picture book about an animal-loving monster stacks up. His review is followed by a short review from his mom, Marla Rose Read on:




Marla reviews Ellen Jaffe Jones' Paleo Vegan
Book Review:
Paleo Vegan by Ellen Jaffe Jones

Paleo. You’d have to be living under a rock (or maybe without the internet, which is kind of the same thing) to have avoided this term for the past few years. Paleo refers to a diet that shuns processed foods and emphasizes animal-based protein in the form of copious amounts of meat. Enthusiasts assert that a paleo diet increases athletic performance, assists with weight loss, and is the way our cave-dwelling ancestors lived. Cutting through all that baggage, though, comes an innovative new book that brings to the forefront the best of the paleo approach - and there is something positive there - leaves behind the animal products, and puts a vegan spin on it all. Paleo Vegan: Plant-Based Primal Recipes by athlete, journalist, author and all-around powerhouse Ellen Jaffe Jones and with recipes by Alan Roettinger posits that rather than being opposites on the dietary spectrum, vegans and paleos have a fruitful middle area where we have common ground.
  Read on:




Marla reviews Mark Sutton's Heart Healthy Pizza
Book Review:
Heart Healthy Pizza by Mark Sutton

This
is in some ways a return to the days before vegan cheese and myriad meatless protein options, but in others ways, much more tuned in to the international tastes many of us have acquired over the years. Even though this is a cookbook for those who place a premium on health, it does not mean that the recipes are boring, bland or basic. Far from it. I’m happy to see that those of us who want a pizza that returns to the basics but also manages to improve on them have a groundbreaking cookbook to enjoy.  Read on:




Marla reviews More Quick-Fix Vegan
Book Review:
More Quick Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson

My love for Robin Robertson is pretty well-established at this point so when I got her new cookbook (super new, in that it can’t even be purchased until March), I was pinging off the walls. (This is nothing new.) Her latest, More Quick-Fix Vegan: Simple, Delicious Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less, continues doing what Robin does best: offering home cooks simple, accessible and very delicious recipes from around the globe. 
Read on:




A review of the stunning new book We Animals from Jo-Anne McArthur
Book Review:
We Animals by Jo-Anne McArthur
How do those of us who are awake to the war on animals successfully subvert status quo when there is so much resistance no matter how gentle or assertive our approach? We can speak out. We can act up. We can educate. This is what photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur is doing through her work. Read on:





Marla reviews The New Chicago Diner Cookbook
Book Review:
The New Chicago Diner Cookbook by Jo A. Kaucher
with Kat Barry & The Chicago Diner Crew

Whenever a fellow vegan or vegetarian learns that I am from Chicago, one of the first things often mentioned to me is envy, often expressed this way verbatim: You mean you get to go to The Chicago Diner whenever you want? I am very fortunate. 
Read on:




Marla reviews the latest vegan tome from Fran Costigan
Book Review:
Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan

This gorgeous new cookbook by the accomplished and ground-breaking pastry chef Fran Costigan represents just how far we have come from the days when I believe people weren’t far off in thinking that vegans really ate twigs and grass.





Double Book Review:
The Best of Vegan Cooking and Dining with Friends

I think that one of the little known perks about becoming a vegan is the awakening of the palate. So many people have told me over the years that they didn’t really know how much they loved food, as well as the staggering variety of flavors and textures available, until they went vegan. Isn’t that ironic? Read on:




Marla reviews "One Dish Vegan" by Robin Robertson
Book Review:
One-Dish Vegan by Robin Robertson

Whenever anyone asks me what vegan cookbooks I recommend, I invariably say, “Get something by Robin Robertson. Anything.” It is already well-established that she has some kind of recipe-creating app installed in her brain. Okay, it hasn’t been proven yet, but given her prolific output, is there really any other idea that makes sense? Read on:




Film Reviews


Cowspiracy: The Vegan Street Film Review
Film Review:
Cowspiracy directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn

In July, I was lucky enough to be at one of the first screenings of the new documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret when it was brought to Vegetarian Summerfest. The question that drives the arc of its action - Why don’t the leading environmental organizations acknowledge that consuming animals is the single biggest driver of ecological destruction? - is one that has vexed vegans for years.




Marla reviews the new documentary The Ghosts In Our Machine
Film Review:
The Ghosts In Our Machine directed by Liz Marshall

Marla reviews the beautiful and touching story of a soft-spoken documentary photographer with a surprising and uncommon tenacity. As someone who lives both in and outside of the most brutal, human-created trenches - her work shines a spotlight on the victims of our war on animals.




Interviews


A Mindful Interview with Mindful Vegan Lani MuelrathA Mindful Interview with Mindful Vegan Lani Muelrath

By providing the essential building blocks to meditation and growing on that minute-by-minute with each subsequent chapter and meditation sitting, Lani Muelrath sets her readers up for success. It is particularly written for both vegans and those trying to transition, making an excellent case for how veganism aligns with a mindfulness practice, and why vegans might benefit from living in the world with more mindfulness as well. As someone who was among the many that at one time thought they couldn’t meditate to being someone who now meditates daily, I think of the practice like a shower for my brain, or maybe windshield wipers that help to clear off my murky glass.



Meet Hannah from the Wisconsin Dells' vegan oasisMeet Hana from the Wisconsin Dells' vegan oasis

It took a ton of courage for a established vegetarian restaurant in a town that is very reliant on tourist dollars during a very limited busy season to change their menu, alter or get rid of popular items and potentially turn away diners. What drove the transformation at The Cheeze Factory? How are people receiving the changes? Has their business suffered? Please read the interview to learn how the one vegetarian restaurant in a tourist town made the decision to transition away from eggs and dairy, and how they are surviving in a competitive market with a very short busy season.




An Interview with vegan travel pioneer Donna ZeigfingerAn Interview with Vegan Travel Pioneer Donna Zeigfinger
by Marla Rose


Donna Zeigfinger is a longtime vegan and an early adopter of spreading the message of compassionate living far and wide with her groundbreaking travel agency, Green Earth Travel. Based in the Washington, D.C. area, Donna has been helping people travel worldwide without having to compromise their vegan standards (or go hungry) since 1997 with an emphasis on sustainable travel and personalized, unique experiences for those who love to explore other cultures but don’t want to stress out about being able to eat.




A Conversation between Marla Rose and Deb Olin UnferthA Conversation between Vegan Street's Marla Rose and author and professor Deb Olin Unferth

Deb Olin Unferth is one of my oldest friends, but actually, she’s not that old, so I think I will call her one of my friends from longest ago. Deb and I met as two misfits in the preppy, Old Moneyed milieu of Chicago’s North Shore suburban landscape and we immediately recognized kindred souls in each other, as misfits do. Deb is one of the most interesting people I know, full of curiosity, passion and intellectual daring; I know she is going to do a lot to continue to create a difference for animals with her penetrating lens into the indefensible injustices that we inflict upon other beings. For now, though, I will just let our conversation do the talking.
Read on:



An Interview with Dr. Mary Wendt of Get WaistedAn Interview with Dr. Mary Wendt of Get Waisted
by Marla Rose


I feel pretty fortunate to be living at a time when people from so many different backgrounds and professions are contributing their unique talents to making veganism more accessible, dynamic and doable. Get Waisted, founded by Dr. Mary Wendt and Tess Challis, is a perfect example of this.
Read on:





Marla interviews Fran Costigan – the queen of vegan baking
Marla interviews Fran Costigan – the queen of vegan desserts
I first met Fran Costigan at Vegetarian Summerfest in the late 1990s. I was immediately impressed by her youthful, unpretentious, dynamic spirit. If you are at all interested in getting involved in the world of vegan pastry and chocolates, Fran Costigan is your hook up. Please enjoy this interview with a true vegan pioneer and all around goddess.
Read on:




An interview with the director of The Ghosts In our Machine, Liz Marshall
Marla interviews the director of The Ghosts In our Machine, Liz Marshall
There is so much to say about
The Ghosts In Our Machine, directed by Liz Marshall, a lacerating but profoundly sensitive look into what so much of the world inured and protected against seeing. For now, I am thankful to be able to bring you this short interview with the director. Read on:



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