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23
Jan

Shepherd’s Pie (Vegan)

Shepherd’s Pie – that quintessential British favorite made with lamb, vegetables, and spices in a gravy sauce topped with mashed potatoes – is one of Britain’s most well-known comfort foods. Tradition dictates that a Shepherd’s Pie cannot be a Shepherd’s Pie without lamb (if beef is used, then the dish is called Cottage Pie) but I beg to differ.

A Shepherd’s Pie made with a variety of vegetables, beans, and spices in a vegetable broth sauce topped with mashed potatoes is one of the all-time great variations of this traditional favorite. And, the plant-based option is more nutritious (no meat, oil, or dairy) than the original version, easy to make, and totally delicious. Read more »

21
Jan

Where Does $100 to the Vietnam Veterans of America Go?

The Vietnam Veterans of America is a 501 (c) (3) whose core mission is to advocate on behalf of veterans to improve entitlement benefits and services for our veterans (not just Vietnam vets) by educating federal officials and their staff.  Although the VVA does other things (i.e. publishes a magazine, travels to Vietnam to bring home remains, posts book reviews, provides testimony, assists veterans with appeals, distributes information to the news media, etc), the organization’s staff appears to primarily be a “lobbying” group aimed at improving benefits and services for veterans.  Consequently, most revenue is spent to compensate staff, pay overhead costs, and support through grants local chapters of the VVA. Read more »

19
Jan

Where Does $100 to the Firefighters Charitable Foundation Go?

The Firefighters Charitable Foundation of Farmingdale, New York sounds like an organization most people would support. We are immensely grateful to the firemen/firewomen who selflessly put their lives at risk to save us, our homes, and the environment, and also supportive of the individuals and families affected by fires. But helping those affected by fires through the Firefighters Charitable Foundation is not the best way to make your donation dollars go furthest because the people that benefit most from this non-profit 501 (c) (3) are the fundraisers who kept more than 85% of the funds raised, and the 4 employees of the organization (including the President, Frank Tepedino, and his wife, Lori Tepedino, the Secretary/Treasurer) who were compensated more than $300,000 in 2016. Read more »

17
Jan

Executive Compensation at the ASPCA (2017)

The ASPCA is a 501 (c) (3) based on the Upper East Side (424 East 92nd Street) in New York City.  With 1,193 employees who were compensated $85.6 million (an average compensation of $72,000) in 2017, the ASPCA is one of the largest “animal rights” organizations in the country. The ASPCA also paid $5.2 million (see below) to Forum Services Group (a staffing and recruiting firm) of New York for staffing and consulting services.

Widely supported, the ASPCA reported the receipt of $248 million in 2017, most of which were contributions. After spending $221 million – primarily on staff compensation (nearly $86 million), office-related expenses ($40 million), vet and medical services ($13 million), grants ($12 million), and travel/conferences ($8 million), the ASPCA added $27 million to their fund assets which had a net balance (think savings account) of $274 million at year-end. Read more »

15
Jan

Le Botaniste: Not to Miss!

Le Botaniste in Soho (and also on the Upper East Side) looks like an old-fashioned European apothecary with a black and white checkered floor manned by staff wearing white pharmaceutical jackets. But, instead of rows and rows of “drugs” lined up alphabetically on shelves, the “drugs of choice” – plant food in a rainbow of colored Le Creuset round oven pots and perfectly appointed built in bowls – are front and center behind crystal clear glass.

A plant-based food and wine bar that operates under the mantra attributed to Hippocrates “let food be thy medicine…,” Le Botaniste is an exquisite looking cafe that bills itself as 100% botanical, 99% organic, and gluten-free. It’s also 100% delicious. Read more »

13
Jan

Executive Compensation at the Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian is one of the most well-known museums in the world but you may not know that the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex with 19 museums (9 of which are on the National Mall in Washington, DC, an additional 6 in the DC metropolitan area and 2 in New York City, plus the National Zoo, also in DC), and 9 research centers. Collectively, these sites are the Smithsonian Institution, a 501 (c) (3), based in Washington, DC.

The most recent IRS Form 990 (2016) for the year ending September 30, 2017 reports the following key information about employee compensation and practices: Read more »

11
Jan

Whole Grain Thumbprint Cookies

Whole Grain Thumbprint Cookies are delicious cookies made without butter, eggs, refined sugar, or oil. Yes, these cookies taste surprisingly good because they are made with stellar ingredients (oats, spelt, walnuts, cinnamon, coconut flakes, etc) but in all honesty, if you’re used to buttery sweet cookies, these may not be the cookies for you. My husband, a non-vegan thinks these cookies taste like dirt (his words) but I find them scrumptious – oaty and nutty with a hint of coconut and cinnamon.  So, I think it all depends on what you’re used to eating.

The small amount of jam in the center is essential (there’s just something special about a little bit of berry or peach jam in a whole grain cookie). Read more »

9
Jan

Walnut Oat Date Crumble

When I started making baked apples with a crumble made of oats, walnuts, dates, almond butter, and cinnamon, I often had leftover crumble that tasted delicious sprinkled over oatmeal, muesli, and cereal. Then I found myself making the crumble in bulk and keeping it in an airtight container in the refrigerator because I used it so often.

Realizing that I was on to something, I then made variations (i.e. omitted the cinnamon and add dark chocolate chips) and then found myself with two different types of crumble always in my refrigerator, one with a cinnamon emphasis and the other filled with dark chocolate chips. Read more »

7
Jan

Where Does $100 to the Catholic Medical Mission Board Go?

The Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) is a New York-based 501 (c) (3) engaged in distributing drugs and medical supplies primarily in Central America and the Caribbean. In May, 2018, the State of California (actually the Attorney General on behalf of the State of California) filed a Cease and Desist Order against CMMB because of the way the non-profit is recording the value of pharmaceuticals. Read more »

5
Jan

OWL Bakery in Asheville, NC

Asheville, North Carolina may be known for the Biltmore Estate (the largest privately owned house in the United States) but it’s also the home of OWL Bakery – a European-style bakery that specializes in pastries, handmade breads, salads, quiches, coffee, and teas.

Located in a small white cottage in West Asheville, just a few miles from the city center, OWL Bakery is not a vegan or vegetarian bakery, but a place that welcomes and caters to all types of foodies. What draws everyone to this incredible bakery, is the quality and flavor of the food, which is made using mostly locally grown ingredients. Read more »