From One Rape Survivor to Another

Please be advised that there may be triggers following so read on with caution. What the hell does rape have to do with veganism you ask? Actually, a lot, but that is an entirely different conversation that maybe I will … Continue reading

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Vegan MOFO: Day 8 – Meeting New Vegan Friends

Our little blog, Don’t Fear the Vegan has taken us on quite the journey the past 4 1/2 years. We have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful vegan people both via the internet and in person. The blog … Continue reading

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Vegan MOFO: Day 6: Restaurant Inspired Meal

Here is our restaurant inspired Meal

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Vegan MOFO: Day 7 – Food Inspired By a Movie

Anzia took charge of Day 7 and brought food from her favorite anime movie to life.

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Vegan MOFO: Day 5 – The Best Messiest Motherfreakin’ Sandwich Ever

Yay! We had time today to put together the “BEST MESSIEST MOTHERFREAKIN’ SANDWICH EVER!” It was made of grilled tofu & rainbow carrots, sweet onions, jalapeño, heirloom tomato, and red cabbage slaw on a panini roll.  This was a complete … Continue reading

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Vegan MOFO: Day 3 – Easy Meals

For Day 3 of Vegan MOFO I have made a video highlighting my favorite easy lunches from Trader Joe’s. It’s a little late due to the fact that I didn’t have a WiFi connection at work to upload the video.  … Continue reading

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Vegan MOFO: Day 2 – Food Memories, Alaska Airlines, and Veggie Grill

My husband grew up in Chicago and I have heard for years how amazing the food was. Way back when he was craving hot dogs and wanted to make us veggie dogs. Now, even in my meat eating days I thought hot dogs were disgusting. He insisted it was because I never had a Chicago Dog. 

Let me tell you, when he made me a vegan version of a Chicago Dog I fell in love instantly. It is still one of my go to meals. What’s on a Chicago Dog?

It is topped with mustard, onions, tomatoes, celery salt, sports peppers, and relish. From what I am told though it’s not regular relish and that I still haven’t had the complete experience. Well, today before heading out to the O’Hare airport I was able to by a couple jars of the relish. Shhh…Phillip doesn’t know yet!

  
Here at the DeRobertis family we have the opportunity to travel quit a bit. With some traveling under our belt we have gotten pretty good about eating just about anywhere. With that said, the last few days I’ve been on a business trip where food was provided and it wasn’t an option to leave during the day.

The meals were all buffet style and I could make something work. Breakfast was melons, lunch was a salad bar, and dinner a taco/burrito bar with veggie fajitas. Today, however, the pickings weren’t as good but I figured I’d have time to eat at the airport. Instead the TSA checkpoint took forever and after running like a crazy lady, I just made my flight. Seriously, one of the last to board.

Anyway, I was starving and all I had left was one Primal Strip bar. Alaska Airlines saved me with their Meditteranean Tapas, which was completely vegan (gluten-free and kosher too.) Best airplane food ever, well aside from the meal I had on Signapore airlines, back in my less compassionate days! Here is a picture of my snack pack.

  
I just landed in Portland an hour ago and before making the drive home to Salem, Phillip and Anzia took me for a feeding frenzy at Veggie Grill. Yum! As my friend Molly Kate says in her song Coming Home, “The best part of leaving is coming home.”

  

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Vegan MOFO: Day 1- Vegan Travel Snacks

Hi! Welcome to the first day of Vegan MOFO. 

We have decided to do Vegan MOFO this year by way of video. Check out our first post on our YouTube channel here: http://youtu.be/BcMhEG-T-fw

Ian currently in Chicago on a business trip. When I get home later this week I will make it more exciting!

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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 KMUZ.org

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 😘

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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.

*This raffle has already been done. 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 dontfearthevegan@yahoo.com. 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)
salt
pepper
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
eggplant
whole mushrooms
potato
squash (zucchini, yellow)
onion
cherry tomato
tofu or tempeh or any other protein–seitan or storebought or whatever
cauliflower

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 kalamata olives
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1/2 cup vegan sour cream

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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