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Joe’s Oat Patties

There is something deeply satisfying about eating a veggie burger on a whole grain spelt potato bun with a slice of crispy green lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, and ketchup with a side of cole slaw.

Until recently, I relied on frozen veggie burgers but now use Joe’s Oat Patties Mix to make my own veggie burgers. Made primarily of five organic ingredients: oats, quinoa, dehydrated vegetables, sunflower seeds, herbs and spices, Joe’s Oat Patties Mix makes a wicked veggie burger high in protein, fiber, and taste but low in sugar, sodium, fat, and calories. Read more »


5 Burger Buns Worth Buying

It’s burger bun time! Until recently, trying to find a great-tasting bun made of wholesome ingredients was nearly impossible. The buns in the bread aisle or bakery section of the grocery stores tend to be white, contain unheard of things, and taste like a big, dry, chewy nothing. But, recently bread makers have taken notice and jumped in to fill the void by offering delicious and nutritious burger buns.

Among the offerings are buns made with sprouted whole grain (grains that have been allowed to sprout and are then dried and milled or turned into a mush) and simply whole grain (where all the parts of the grain have been milled), both of which offer a nutritious and tasty alternative to the white processed buns that have dominated the market. Read more »


Vegetarian/Vegan Dining in Des Moines, Iowa

Vegetarian and vegan dining options in the Des Moines metropolitan area have greatly expanded in the past few years and now include several choices for those looking for fresh, organic, or just plain delicious food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Surrounded by farms in every direction, Des Moines is a casual city where the restaurant scene is best described as easy-going and informal so whether you’re looking for a coffee bar, cafe, fast food, or a white table clothed restaurant, Des Moines offers a wide variety of choices. Within these establishments, the emphasis is on fresh, delicious wholesome food – much of it local – so consider any of the following (in no particular order): Read more »


Sunfood Super Foods: Nut and Trail Mix

I wonder if the person who invented trail mix actually thought of it as they were cleaning out their car and moved their kid’s car seat?                               ~TheRat

Trail mix has come a long way in the past decade. No longer is the choice between a monster sized container filled with peanuts, raisins and chocolate candy or just plain GORP (good ol’ raisins and peanuts). Today,  the selection is vast with some of the best options offered by Sunfood Super Foods – a San Diego based company dedicated to providing nutrient-dense, non-GMO, raw, organic super foods to consumers, including two incredibly wholesome and natural trail mixes that also happen to be delicious. Read more »


The Matt and Nat Hemlock Handbag (Vegan)

Live beautifully.

Matt and Nat (short for Mat(t)erial and Nature) is a Montreal-based company formed in 1995 to make products with recycled materials – plastic, nylon, cardboard, rubber, cork, and bicycle tires.  Sounds strange? Maybe, but the products – handbags, wallets, backpacks, messenger bags, laptop and i-pad sleeves, briefcases, diaper bags, and more – are stunning, remarkably strong, extraordinarily useful, and very economical. Read more »



Pizza or Flatbread…Blah, Blah, Blah……

Flatzza® is a wickedly wholesome and divinely delicious cross between a pizza crust and flatbread. Cover a 12-inch round Flatzza® with tomato or pesto sauce and your favorite toppings and bake until the crust turns a golden brown or bake/grill the Flatzza® (with or without a spray of olive oil) until golden brown and then add toppings, or slice into triangles and serve with hummus or your favorite dip. The options are endless. Read more »


The 8 Best Vegan Websites and Cookbooks

Whether you’re new to or know your way around vegan cooking and baking, there are several websites and cookbooks that offer all sorts of alternatives to the traditional American diet. Ingredients, time, complexity, taste, and appearance are the five aspects by which I judge a cookbook or website and these eight are simply the best.

When I first started making vegan dishes, I often consulted three sites and their corresponding cookbooks, all of which are excellent for the novice vegan baker/cook: Read more »


Lilly Handmade Chocolates

Has your mouth danced today?

Walk through the Tremont area of Cleveland, Ohio and visitors will quickly learn the historic neighborhood is home to 29 churches, 31 bars, and 1 amazing chocolate shop known as Lilly Handmade Chocolates. Situated among historic homes (Tremont is one of the oldest parts of Cleveland and once housed a large German and Ukrainian population that has since expanded to include young families, empty nesters, hipsters, and visitors who come for the shops, galleries, restaurants, and cafes) at 761 Starkweather Avenue, Lilly Handmade Chocolates is a destination point for those who appreciate chocolate, fine wine, and craft beers. Read more »


Top Picks at Trader Joe’s

With more than 430 stores across the United States, Trader Joe’s offers a shopping experience that keeps customers loyal: great products at competitive prices. Most of the retailer’s packaged products are under their own private label although some well-known manufacturers (i.e. the French chocolatier Valrhona) are also available.

Smaller than the average grocery store (12,500 square feet compared to 50,000), Trader Joe’s has a limited selection but one that brings shoppers back time after time. Some of the best products available at Trader Joe’s include: Read more »


Sprouted Grain vs. Whole Grain Breads

Bread seems to be constantly evolving with changes on the horizon. Sixty years ago, bread was usually purchased from the neighborhood bakery or made at home but with the growth of processed foods in the 1960’s and 1970’s, large-scale production of bread made with refined flour soared and took over grocery store shelves. Although commercial loaves full of processed and enriched flours, chemicals, and preservatives still dominate the market, the most recent trend has been towards breads made with sprouted or whole grains, both of which offer a more nutritious and tasty alternative to white bread. Read more »