Summer 2015 So Far

What a wacky summer it has been so far!

Here at the DeRobertis family we started summer off by attending Vida Vegan Con in Austin Texas. We made it a mix of work and vacation. Actually our first real vacation that wasn’t visiting family since Anzia was born. We had a blast!

 The event took place right after the storms flooded Texas and because of the rain people weren’t so interested in convertible rental cars, so we lucked into a super cheap upgrade, a convertible Mustang. Anzia really wanted to sit in the front seat and we told her she could as long as she navigated. She managed to co-pilot our entire vacation. Home schoolers look for learning opportunities everywhere.

Vida Vegan Con was inspiring. Anzia attended the conference also and even opted to take some classes on her own like food styling, and the vegan athletes class. She made more friends than Phillip and I.

I loved all the classes that I attended and walked way feeling inspired by them all. A few of the classes hit really close to home. I really loved both classes I took from Eco-Vegan Gal on a business level. Another was a class that Miyoko Schinner ran. What an amazing speaker she is with quite the story to tell. The part that hit closest to home was how she was in a successful career but felt empty. This is the exact stage my life is in right now. I have worked for 14 years to get to the top of my field and now that I am exactly where I always thought I wanted to be I have a terrible feeling of emptiness. I have realized that I need to be doing what I am truly passionate about but most importantly figure out what that is.

The other class was presented by a panel of women, with the topic being Feminism & Veganism. It was an interactive discussion with lots of engagement from really passionate people. The part of the conversation that resonated with me the most was how segregated activist can be, and how so many will support animal rights but not other areas of social justice, like basic human rights, whether it be the LGBTQ movement, black lives matter, or  female rights.

During this session I realized that this is partially what began my distancing myself from my own blog. As I started paying more attention to the number of followers, I noticed that if I went off the topic of food, whether it was posting animal rights pictures, or other political topics, I would lose followers, and I found this depressing. The more I looked at blogs I admired, I realized they rarely got political at all. Rather than being a voice for what I believed in I was playing the political correctness game, as to not offended anyone and ultimately not to lose the precious numbers. I know now that this is out of my nature and lacks integrity. I also learned from the conference that I need to have a voice and stick with it. I am currently trying to figure it out.

The conference was full of other great speakers and lots of amazing food! Austin was also a fun place to visit and we got to see the bats!

 Shortly after returning we got a call in the middle of the night saying that my father in law, who was on a list for a liver transplant was going to receive his liver. My husband Phillip was the assigned care giver, so he had to fly out the next day to Jacksonville, Florida, and was gone the next six weeks. With his leaving our show was put on hold along with all the plans we came up with for the blog after the conference. His dad made it through the surgery but the weeks after were rocky. Anzia and I were able to surprise him for Father’s day which was a nice break from the craziness for all of us.

 Phillip got home just in time to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary and to send Anzia off for her week of Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp. We would like to give a heartfelt thanks to all of you who helped support her effort to earn money for camp by either sharing her Go Fund Me or buying a book. She reached her goal. While she is gone this week I will be finishing up the editing so that when she gets back we can start putting the books together and getting them shipped out.

 Other fun stuff from our summer so far:

Vtopia Cheese Shop and Deli opened and we got to try it out! They have a large variety of vegan artisan cheeses made by different brands.  You get to make your own cheese platter. Oh so good!

  We have been talking to some really cool people who are coming on to guest appear on the show!

Anzia and I took a road trip to California. While we were there we did our first protest at the Staples Center in Los Angeles against Ringling Brothers. Anzia also got to meet Lila from Earth Peace Foundation. On our way way to Oregon we stopped off in San Francisco for a day. We had some amazing vegan food.

We have fallen in love with a vegan restaurant in Portland called Harvest at the Bindery. The BBQ mushrooms and roasted corn were our favorite!

 The last episode of Don’t Fear the Vegan is still running on our local television station. As soon as the next Episode airs we will give away the tofu press.

If you haven’t already, follow us on Instagram to get a look at what we are doing. @dont_fear_the_vegan.

Also, Phillip has his own radio show now on Saturday nights, 7 pm – 9 pm PST. You can listen streaming at

I tried making a ginger bug. It died. When Anzia gets back from camp we are going to try again! 

 We adopted a new kitty who had been living in the parking lot at work after placing a found ad and checking for a chip. His name is Little Joe.

What have you been doing with your summer? We would love to hear about it!

Steffi XO ūüėė

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DFV TV Episode 4: Barbecue or Not and an EZ TofuPress Giveaway

Yes, I am a little behind on getting this up and I apologize. Phillip had originally committed to writing it, then he got writers block, so here I am. Better late…nope I am not going there.

Episode four is awesome.  We had special guest Laura Carver from the Youth Empowered Action Camp in Portland. Funny thing is, we knew about Laura from the Cherry City Vegans which is a meet up club/organization she helps run in Salem, Oregon. Anzia then found the YEA camp on her own by searching Google for camps that offered vegan food.  We signed her up and then found out that Laura was affiliated with the camp. It is a small vegan world we live in!

Laura came on our show to promote Cherry City Vegans hoping to attract new people both to help out with the clubs activism as well as have a support group in an area where there aren’t many other vegans compared to cities like Seattle or Portland. I would like to take a moment to give a little spotlight to YEA which is a great place for young people, 12-17, to learn to have a voice about the issues that matter to them. This year for the first time YEA will be holding a camp in New York that is for those specifically interested in animal rights. ¬†The other two camps they offer touch on different aspects of social justice. Take a minute to check out the camp and tell all your friends.

Thanks to EZ Tofu Press for giving us some presses to give away.  As you will see in the episode we love the EZ Tofu Press and after using it I am sure you will wonder how you went so long with out one! To enter the raffle, watch the episode for the secret word and email us the secret word at We will pick a winner after Episode 5 airs.

Check out Episode 4 here. While you are there please subscribe to our new channel. Honestly, Season 1 only has two more episodes and we have the opportunity to continue if people are interested. We are not getting paid to do these and with our agreement with the public access channel we can’t make any money even if the videos were to go viral. We are simply doing this to get the word out about veganism and maybe share some helpful information along the way. They take quite a bit of time to produce and by subscribing to our channel it shows that it is worth the effort. Subscribe here.

Here are the recipes from the episode:

Lebanese Marinade (sauce)
you will need skewers
-lots of fresh garlic, diced (recommend at least 6 fresh cloves)
1 cup lemon juice
4 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp paprika
a little bit of cayenne powder (optional)
1 cup olive oil

* sometimes I need to make more because it doesn’t cover all the veggies if I use a lot of veggies, so plan to double…

Veggies to marinade (they go on skewers¬†so they need to be pretty big chunks) — you can use any or all of these, but doesn’t need to be all
whole mushrooms
squash (zucchini, yellow)
cherry tomato
tofu or tempeh or any other protein–seitan or storebought or whatever

if they marinate overnight the taste will be way better…

After marinating, skewer them in any order and then through on the girl or in the oven.
Doubly Red Potato Salad —
6 cups quartered small unpeeled red potatoes
1 lb beets (tops trimmed) cut into bite sized chunks
1 tsp salt
1 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup fresh dill minced
18 to 24 black olives (I find kalamata is even better, I can bring these)
1/2 cup vegenaise (I can bring)
1/2 cup tofutti sour cream (optional, i think i have this and can bring, or we can double vegenaise)

the only prep is boil potatoes and separately boil beets for 12-15 min and cut into 1 inch cubes, then cool them both in fridge

Mix all ingredients together and chill or not.

The Lemon Thyme Tofu recipe may be found here.

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A Vegan Kids Keepsake Cookbook Made By a Kid


If you have followed Don’t Fear the Vegan for any length of time you probably know of our daughter Anzia. If you have been around for a long time you have been around to watch her grow up. ¬†You may have even witnessed her activism with Girl Scout Cookie Sales, read some of the recipes she has created, been introduced to her pig Princess Astrid Porkbelly, seen the Green Acre’s Farm Sanctuary documentary that she helped her friend Indie with, and most recently, the rants she has made for public access television. ¬†Anzia has been a voice for the animals since she could speak.

¬†A few months ago we were discussing summer camps. She really wanted to be able to go to one she could sleep at this summer. ¬†We decided to do a search for camps that had vegan food options. ¬†With Portland, Oregon being so close we figure there should be at least one. We found the camp that Anzia had always dreamed of but didn’t know existed, the Youth Empowered Action Camp, in Portland, where they only serve vegan food.

As we did more reading we found it was for kids 12-17 year olds. She was heartbroken. We then realized that eleven year olds could petition to get in.  That was all she needed to hear.  We packed up our laptop and headed to our local coffee shop, The Governors Cup, to fill out the application without any distractions. When she found out she was accepted she began dancing in the crosswalk we were walking through, no concern of holding up traffic.

Well, the YEA camp was a little pricier than we had budgeted for summer camp.  We made a deal that she would raise half and that I would cut back on my coffee purchases and eating out for lunch while at work. To help she even offered to make my lunches for me. She has been working to earn money, as well as asking for money for her birthday to put it towards the camp.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…what about the cookbook?

So to help earn money Anzia came up with the idea to create and sell a cookbook especially with kid friendly recipes or shall we say her favorite recipes. Each book will be hand bound with the art of Japanese book binding.  Each section will have a color collage of the recipes included. It will also contain blank sheets in each section so that a childs favorite recipes may be added. Then when they leave the nest they will have this great keepsake to take with them.

 Anzia has also decided to split her profit with another young vegan activist, Lila, of Earth Peace Foundation, out of Los Angeles who is also earning money towards her dream camp.  Check out her work here.

To help support Anzia and Lila and get one of the cookbooks go to

Thanks in advance for your support for these two young vegan activist. As Anzia would say, “Peace, Love, Be Vegan! Xo”

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DFV TV: Episode 3- Cheese



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First off, congrats to the winners of the Glad Cow Cookbook, Lu Ann Strauss and Hailey! Please contact us with your mailing address at

Here in Salem, Oregon, Episode 3 of Don’t Fear the Vegan aired and the main event this evening was vegan cheese. We would like to give a special thanks to Imber of Vtopian Artisan Cheeses¬†for her guest appearance. Check her out the website and Facebook. The recipe for her amazing Mac n’ Cheese is below.

Anzia also makes a special appearance with her latest rant. ¬†With as many people as her bacon rant¬†annoyed,¬†we can only imagine this one will really get people worked up, but hey, it’s all science.

Thanks for all who have been watching and a special thanks to those who have subscribed to our You Tube Channel.  I would like everyone to know that with our current agreement with CCTV we are not allowed to collect any form of payment. Yes, we are working absolutely on a volunteer basis simply trying to get the Vegan lifestyle out there.  So when we ask you to subscribe or to share it is only to help spread the word and to let us know the time we are putting into this is worth it.  Anzia was super excited when her bacon rant hit 3000 views in a matter of three days. Thanks to everyone who shared!

Imber’s No Bake Vtopian Mac N’ Cheese

Creamy Cashew Cheese Sauce

1 lb cooked pasta (macaroni)

5.5 oz super-firm tofu
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup of vegan (non-dairy) milk (I like rice milk)
1/2 Block of Vtopian Aged White Cheddar
2 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
1 teaspoon of light miso (I like chickpea miso)
2 teaspoons of salt
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
Juice of half a lemon (around 1 Tablespoon)
2 garlic gloves minced
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
Vtopian Reserve Sharp Cheddar (grated to taste)


1. Blend tofu, cashews, milk, olive oil, miso, lemon, salt, pepper in a food processor until nice and smooth.
2. Transfer to a pot and then add the garlic and Vtopian Aged White Cheddar. Grate Reserve Sharp Cheddar to taste.
3. Stir on stove at a medium heat until heated and smooth. The mixture will thicken a bit. This takes around 5 minutes
4. Pour on pasta and garnish with grated Reserve Sharp Cheddar
5. Add chopped basil (optional)

Read the Pimento Cheese Spread recipe here.

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Episode 3 Airs Tonight

Episode 3 will be airing tonight. After it airs on our local public access station CCTV we will post it on the blog. With the post we will announce the winner of “The Glad Cow Cookbook.” If you are interested in being in the drawing comment here:¬†

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DFV Tv – Episode 2 The Breakfast Show

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DFV Tv is back with a new and improved episode, The Breakfast Show! ¬†Steffi is joined by Salem based author of “The Glad Cow Cookbook” and vegan¬†entrepreneur Summer Keightley, who prepares her Tofu Scramble recipe. ¬†Be sure to visit and … Continue reading

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Vegan Kids Growing Up To Be Vegan Adults – What’s Your Experience?

Anzia for blogRecently, I have had the opportunity to meet a young adult who was raised vegan but now partakes in consuming dairy and eggs. His mom was and still is a vegan activist. This young adult knows I am vegan and confides in me that he is trying hard but is really addicted to dairy, in particular yogurt. ¬†When he talks about it you can tell he has a sense of guilt, much like when you speak with someone who was raised very religious and they try to explain why they haven’t made it to church.

I would like to make it very clear that I am not writing this to bash this person.  I am simply trying to figure out how often this is the scenario for children raised vegan and what causes them to stray or to change the only life-style they know, once they are on their own.

We have taken a very open-minded¬†approach about our vegan life in regards to raising our child, never wanting it to feel like it was forced. ¬†Honestly, our daughter Anzia has always been strict by choice. When she was three we were at a BBQ and all the kids were roasting marshmallows. She presented us with a marshmallow and asked first if it had dairy in it because she is allergic. We told her no. She then asked if they were vegan and when we told her no she wanted to know why. ¬†We then gave her a simple response to what gelatin was and she handed the marshmallow back and said, “no thanks.” That has pretty much how it has been since with everything new she considers eating.

Of course I would like to think that this approach will continue into adulthood but there is no way to really know. I would love to hear about the experiences of others. Have you raised a vegan child that is now an adult and are they still vegan? If you were raised vegan did you ever stray as an adult, switch completely or did you stay vegan without second thoughts? Is there something you would recommend to parents who are raising the vegans of the future do based on your experiences?

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