Tag Archives: VegNews

ASK GRETTIE – Stumped By Tempeh

My latest Ask Grettie column on Chic Vegan.

I just tried tempeh for the first time at a restaurant today and really liked it, but I am not sure how to prepare it on my own.  Do you have any tips, or recipe suggestions for preparing tempeh?


Hi Monica!

I am glad to hear that you like tempeh.  Tempeh is a wonderful source of protein and is further beneficial due to the fact that it is fermented.  In addition, cooking with tempeh is a great way to add protein to your meals without buying processed meat substitutes.  As with anything in life, moderation is key since tempeh can be high in fat.

I understand that tempeh can be a bit intimidating to prepare, but once you cook with it a few times you will realize that it is actually very easy to work with.  Tempeh can be prepared using the same methods that are used to cook meat (barbecuing, baking, broiling, stir-frying) .  One of my favorite ways to use tempeh is as a ground beef substitute.  Sarah Matheny of “Peas and Thank You” likes to make ground meat substitutes with tempeh by grating it.  You simply take the block of tempeh and grate it on your cheese grater then add it to your recipe.  Alternatively you can crumble a block of tofu with your fingers or pulse it in your food processor and garner the same results.

TIP – Some people find tempeh to be slightly bitter.  If you steam the tempeh for 20 minutes, the bitterness disappears.

Recipe Ideas

  • Peas and Thank You is a blog with a lot of recipes that include tempeh and it is a great place to start.  Sarah just came out with her first book, Peas and Thank You – Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love and it is a worthwhile purchase (For my review of the book click here).
  • Vegetarian Times is also a great resource for tempeh recipes and they have a great recipe search function on their site that I am sure you will find helpful.  Their recipe for tempeh bacon has a four star rating.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.  Cooking is an art form and can be a lot of fun to play around with.  Once you make a few recipes containing tempeh you will have the confidence to whip-up meals containing tempeh without even following a recipe.  Let me know if you come across some winning recipes along the way since I am always looking for recommendations as well.

Here’s to health!


**Do you have a questions for Grettie? She is here to answer any of your health and nutrition related questions! Email her at askgrettie@chicvegan.com .**

Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotoosvanrobin/with/5455578241/


Filed under Chic Vegan Column, Education, Food Substitutions, General Vegan, Protein, Vegan, Vegetarian


I am sure that a lot of you are planning your Thanksgiving meals full swing right now (so fun!) and for many of you (including me), you will be going to Thanksgiving at someone else’s house where a roasted Turkey will take center stage.  Thanksgiving can be a touchy time for plant-based eaters / vegans (which ever label you prefer) in that so much focus is put on the turkey and as a result we tend to get a lot of attention from family and friends for not consuming any.

I know a lot of you feel guilt about attending a Thanksgiving celebration where turkey is served.  Rest assured that there is something you can do to help offset your guilt…Adopt-A-Turkey!  For 25 years now Farm Sanctuary has been rescuing turkeys at Thanksgiving time (and all year round).  Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey project:

“[S]eeks to end the misery of commercially-raised turkeys by offering a compassionate alternative for Thanksgiving. Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary has rescued more than 1,000 turkeys, placed hundreds into loving homes through our annual Turkey Express adoption event, educated millions of people about their plight, and provided resources for a cruelty-free holiday. For a one-time $30 donation, anyone can sponsor turkeys residing at Farm Sanctuary. Sponsor a turkey and receive a special adoption certificate in your name – or give sponsorships as gifts for family and friends. Donations are also needed to support our lifesaving efforts to promote a compassionate Thanksgiving and protect all farm animals.”

For the second year in a row, Ellen DeGeneres is the spokesperson for this wonderful project.

Says DeGeneres: “Did you know that every year between 250 and 300 million turkeys are bred for slaughter in the United States? More than 46 million for Thanksgiving alone. So, this Thanksgiving instead of eating a turkey, please join me in adopting one from Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project and you can give a turkey something to be thankful for.” 

Image of Ellen courtesy of VegNews

Turkey images courtesy of FarmSanctuary

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Filed under Animal Welfare, Education, Farming, Vegan, Vegetarian

MEXICALI CHOP – With Crunchy Tortilla Strips

I came upon this recipe for Mexicali Chop Salad recently on Vegetarian Times website and thought I would share it with you.  This recipe is courtesy of Real Food Daily…a restaurant I have yet to try, but hope to soon!  I think this salad would make a wonderful meal paired with my Baja Corn Chowder and topped off with my Mexican Wedding Cake Bites.

Ann Gentry who is the chef-owner of Real Food Daily in the Los Angeles Area wrote this about her recipe, “When Real Food Daily first opened, I used to sneak away to a nearby Mexican-inspired restaurant for a black bean–and-corn salad with guacamole, chips, and a beer.  One day, I realized I could make my own version.”

Extra Dressing will keep for one week in the fridge.



1 1/2 tsp. canola oil

3 6-inch corn tortillas

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. maple crystals or sugar

1/8 tsp. salt



1/2 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/3 cup lime juice

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Pinch cayenne pepper



1 head romaine lettuce, sliced (8 cups)

2 medium tomatoes, chopped (2 cups)

1 avocado, diced (1 cup)

3 celery stalks, sliced (1 cup)

1 cucumber, seeded and diced (1 cup)

1 cup fresh or frozen, thawed corn kernels

3/4 cup cooked pinto beans

1/2 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, rinsed, drained, and sliced

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1. To make Tortilla Strips: Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush oil on tortillas. Cut in half, then cut into 1/8-inch-wide strips. Spread on baking sheet. Combine chili powder, maple crystals, and salt in bowl. Sprinkle chili powder mixture over strips. Bake 15 minutes, or until crisp. Cool.

2. To make Dressing: heat oil, garlic, cumin, coriander, sugar, and salt in saucepan 2 to 3 minutes over low heat, or until garlic begins to sizzle.

3. Blend remaining Dressing ingredients with garlic oil in blender until smooth.

4. Toss together all Salad ingredients with Tortilla Strips and 1/4 cup Dressing.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

Top image of Mexicali Chop courtesy of kathrynlovett.com

Image of Ann Gentry courtesy of VegNews.com

Bottom image of Mexicali Chop courtesy of VegetarianTimes.com


Filed under Beans/Legumes, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Recipes, Salad, Salad Dressing, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian


I had plans to post a recipe from a Guest Blogger today, but sometimes the news must take precident.  Our Guest Blog from Allyson of Manifest Vegan will now run on Monday…it’s a good one.

Many of you may or may not be aware of the photo controversy concerning VegNews Magazine.  When I first heard about it I was shocked and saddened (Read the article below from Quarry Girl for further information on the issue).

VegNews has issued a response to quarrygirl.com’s investigation.  To read VegNews’s response to the controversy click here.  It is always important to hear both sides of the story.

While I understand why people are upset, I will remain a reader of VegNews.  I understand the financial constraints that they are working under and I see how hard they have worked to help further veganism, for which I am very appreciative.  I truly think that their hearts are in the right place and I believe their justification for using stock photos on occasion.  According to VegNews. it is their future goal to use exclusively vegan photos as soon as it is financially feasible. 

I want to thank quarrygirl.com for bringing this issue to light.

Please read the article below by quarrygirl.com as well as the response from VegNews (click here) and then share your views in the comment section of my post.  I’d love to know what you think.



RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues

Investigation and Article by quarrygirl.com (To learn more about quarrygirl.com click here)

April 13th, 2011

Do you like looking at pictures of meat? How about a juicy beef burger, covered in egg mayonnaise with cow fat dripping off? Perhaps some soft, meaty chunks of chicken breast in chicken stock and cream? What about a pork sausage, oozing in pig fat, fresh from the slaughterhouse? OK, let’s tone it down a little. Perhaps you like to look at egg mayonnaise potato salad, made with eggs from those poor battery hens that are dead basically from the moment they are born. How about creamy mac and cheese made with real cow’s milk, pulled painfully from their sore and tender udders, infused with antibiotics, pain and anguish?

If so, you can find all this in the nation’s premier print and online vegan magazine, VegNews. Surprised? Shocked? Read on…

 vegribs RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues

real meat ribs have bones removed with photoshop to appear vegan

We’ve always been fans of VegNews, since back in the mid-2000s when we’d wait with bated breath for the US Mail to deliver our copy. We’d eagerly flip through, reading all about the latest veg stuff, salivating over the amazing pictures, trying out a vegan recipe, and maybe even discovering a restaurant in our home town through one of their reviews.

it’s sad, then, that the pictures we’ve been drooling over for years are actually of MEAT! Veg News has written tens (possibly hundreds) of articles extolling the virtues of a vegan lifestyle, while purchasing rock-bottom priced stock photos of MEAT, EGGS, DAIRY and other completely non-vegan things. You doubt this? See below:

 vegnews realribs RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues

stock photo of real meat ribs. a doctored photo of this appears on veg news.

We started searching for more examples of Veg News using meat photos next to “drool-worthy vegan recipes,” and the results were disturbing…

The vegan burger?

 vegnews burger RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues

Not vegan at all!

 veg RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues

a real meat burger on a stock photo site, as seen on vegnews.com

The soul satisfying seitan stew?

 vegnews seitan RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues

Veg News “seitan stew”

It’s actually a picture of “chicken breast soup”!

 vegnews chicken 570x379 RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues

Get your barf bags ready!

Oh, and it’s not just the website! We spot checked some photos from the magazine, and every single one was made from real animal products…

 vegnews mac RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues

Real mac and cheese

 vegnews dog 570x404 RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues

According to istock, this hotdog is real meat! Flipping the photo doesn’t fool us!

 vegnews potatosalad 570x488 RANT: VegNews is putting the MEAT into vegan issues

“Veganize it!” (very apt)

So, we’ve established that there are many, many pictures of MEAT in both the VegNews print magazine, and online. Why does this matter? After all, a picture is just a picture, right? Unfortunately, this situation exposes a clear issue with the editorial integrity of Veg News. They are KNOWINGLY publishing misleading pictures of MEAT dishes, and passing them off as vegan. If they will stoop that low (and appear to have been doing so for years) what else can we not trust about this formerly erstwhile publication?

Let’s look at the events of today that we think implicate a much deeper editorial issue, and in our opinion discredit not only everything Veg News is doing, but everything they have done. Here’s how it went down:

One of our readers emailed to say that he had noticed a photograph on the home page of VegNews.com that was from istockphoto.com, an inexpensive royalty-free photography vendor. He recognized the photo as being a real MEAT beef burger and immediately, emailed them and left a comment on the post saying that the burger was meat rather than vegan, expecting to be thanked for doing them a favor.

Minutes later, his comment mysteriously disappeared. So he left another, which was also deleted. He emailed again, and got this response:

“Thank you for your interest in VegNews. However, your inappropriate and mean-spirited commenting has violated the policy of VegNews, and we have and will continue to remove any future comments. Please know that we welcome constructive criticism from all viewpoints, and rarely unpublish comments from readers.

Should you have any constructive feedback, feel free to email me directly. I’d love to hear from you.”

We investigated the “policy” from a link on the home page, and were directed here. We didn’t see any reference to comments that called out meat pictures, so we left a very nice comment: “just want to let you know that this burger is not vegan. It’s a stock photo of a real beef burger” on the same post. Twenty minutes later, this comment was also deleted.

Our conclusion, therefore, is that VegNews has serious editorial integrity issues, and cannot be trusted. Indeed, we’re mailing back our award tomorrow. This is a very sad day.

Finally, how does this harm animals? Well, not directly – I mean, cows, pigs, chickens and who knows what else were clearly killed as part of the chain of events that led to the photo, but the laziness and outright lack of respect from Veg News toward animals and vegans undermines everything we stand for.

Animal suffering is prolonged and made worse enough by hypocritical meat eaters who never want to see inside the slaughterhouse just as it is by people in our community who deceive and lie. The devil within is much worse than the devil outside.

** UPDATE: Many of you are asking us how you can cancel your Veg News subscription. If you’re sure you want to do this, the “policies” page above gives the following information. Feel free to cancel, as we did.

….if you are dissatisfied with VegNews for any reason, you are welcome to a subscription refund at any time. Simply call us at 760-291-1546, or send us an email at vegnews@pcspublink.com.

Images courtesy of quarrygirl.com


Filed under Education, Investigations, Vegan, Vegetarian