Category Archives: blogging

Vegan MoFo Highlights and “Food” For Thought


I came. I blogged. I ate. I conquered…well, ok. Maybe I didn’t conquer. But 15 out of 20 Vegan MoFo posts ain’t too shabby. Not to mention that during MoFo I discovered so many new bloggers and was constantly inspired by other’s posts. These are just a few highlights from Vegan MoFo (and I really want to stress the word–few. I could probably fill a tome with the amount of vegan amazingness that I discovered this month).

Beautifully decadent (and gluten-free) Orange Notella Mousse Tartlets by Kylie from Fellowship of the Vegetable. I could probably eat the whole plate.Fellowship-of-the-Vegetable-Orange-Chocolate-Hazelnut-Mousse-Tartlet

A heaping plate of Puffy Nachos with Spicy Black Beans with a yummy nacho nooch sauce by Cadry from Cadry’s Kitchen. I made the sauce last night and it was fan-tabulous!puffy nachos with spicy black beans from Cadry's Kitchen

Spicy mac and yease from Richa at Vegan Richa. I love a good mac and cheese recipe and this has a nice spicy twist to it. Plus, crispy breadcrumbs!

spicy mac and yease from veganricha

And a gorgeous streusel plum cake from Seitan is My Motor that I definitely plan to make soon.

streusel plum cake from seitanismymotor

So at first glance it seems that Vegan MoFo is really a month about food. But underneath it all, it’s really about the animals. The focus is on the food because usually that’s the only thing that stands between a person and a compassionate lifestyle. But we’ve shown and continue to show that good food doesn’t have to involve suffering or dominion over another being’s life.

I am vegan for the animals. If it’s possible to live my life without causing them harm or suffering, then I would be remiss not to. After all, we share the same planet. Breathe the same air and come from the same stars. We’re all just here trying to live our lives, day by day, doing our thing.praying-mantis-0329-1

How was your Vegan MoFo?

*the photos corresponding to the recipes belong to the linked bloggers.

I’m on the V-List!

I was so thrilled when one of my all time favorite bloggers, Cadry from Cadry’s Kitchen asked to interview me for this year’s Vegan MoFo. I met Cadry (and her lovely husband, David) after her presentation at Vida Vegan Con this past May. She was so inspiring and her message of “being authentic” is something that I strive for every day in every facet of my life.

So of course, I immediately accepted the interview invitation momentarily forgetting that I am extremely camera-shy and mostly awkward when it comes to public speaking. But hey, awkward and weird..that’s authentically me. So hop on over to Cadry’s Kitchen by clickin’ on my mug if you wanna see the interview!


PS Thanks Cadry for being such an inspiration. And for giving me a cheat post for Vegan MoFo!

Blastin’ off Vegan Mofo with Cashew Cheese

This year’s Vegan Month of Food (or Vegan MoFo) is officially here. If you don’t know what Vegan MoFo is, it’s basically vegan-food-blogging on crack.  Bloggers all over the world commit to posting about vegan food at least 20 times in one month. TWENTY times!! If you’re a blogger, or anyone who has ever felt that there’s not enough time in a day, then you realize how intimidating this can be.


I wasn’t initially planning on participating but somehow I ended up on the official list.  I have no theme. I have no plan. Unless flyin’ by the seat of my pants is considered a plan. I figure I’ll just do what I normally do but more of it. There. Plan done.

To start off my first EVER official Vegan MoFo post, I thought I would talk about one of my favorite recipes here at Luminous Vegans. One that I go back to all the time because it’s so tasty, easy and versatile…..cashew cheese!


I’m a big vegan cheese lush but I can’t afford to always have Daiya around.  So I usually keep a batch of this savory cheese spread in the fridge to use throughout the week and it satisfies my cheesy cravings. It can be eaten alone, on bread, with veggies or in other dishes (like mashed cauliflower or stuffed shells).cashew_cheese-4672-2

It’s quick and easy to make and ready to eat right away.  The only part that takes planning is remembering to soak the cashews before hand. It’s softer and more spread-y immediately after blending, but firms up some in the fridge. These pics were taken right after blending it.


Cashew Cheese


  • 2 cups soaked raw cashews, drained (A couple of hours or overnight soaking is best. But it works just as well if you soak it in hot water for 30 minutes and use a high speed blender. I use my Vitamix)
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs almond milk
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt



Throw everything in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Store it in an air tight container for up to a week in the fridge.


Vida Vegan Con 2013

We just got back from our little tour of the Pacific Northwest and I’m dying crying a little inside as I scan through my pictures. Oh Portland, how I miss you already!

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There’s no way to capture this magical fantasy-land all at once so I’ll start with the main attraction, the Vida Vegan Conference 2013.  Most of which took place in the Mark Building of the classy Portland Art Museum.IMG_0622 _Snapseed

Right outside the art museum was a large span of green space where I could sit and chill with Abe while basking in the Portland sun (yes, the sun did come out!).IMG_0624 _Snapseed

I could probably write a tome about all the wonderful talks that took place at Vida Vegan Con, but I’m just gonna highlight a few of my favorite tidbits. For a full play-by-play, visit Sews Before Bros.

  • To take vegan ethics beyond the plate, it’s good to seize intersectional opportunities. For example, the fire at the Bangladesh factory was a good way to introduce the idea of ethically sourced products.
  • There’s always something I can do better in my veganism. The point is to do the very best that I can.
  • I gotta stop using palm oil (see above).
  • Filter amazon searches for vegan cookbooks by “publication date” and request review copies in advance…who knew?!
  • Be authentic! There’s only one me who can tell my story in my voice. This tidbit came from Cadry from Cadry’s Kitchen who I got the pleasure of meeting. She is just as luminous in real life as she is on her blog and videos.
  • Do the things that bring me joy and my passion for these things will translate easily to readers. More words of wisdom from Cadry.
  • I gotta get Adobe lightroom, which surprisingly works with jpeg files, to post process my food photos. Susan Voisin from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen gave a real time lightroom demo and wowee! Her entire presentation on food photography is here.
  • When reviewing a recipe, put a twist on it to show it’s adaptability. This came from the incredibly talented Hannah Kaminsky from Bittersweet who I also got to meet! I didn’t get to see her first talk on food styling, but she put a recap on her blog.
  • Stop self editing myself while I write blog posts. That is what second and third edits are for. Free writing is where the magic happens. This advice came from none other than Isa Chandra Moskowitz herself in an intimate writing workshop.

In addition to the treasure trove of talks, I got to hobnob with other vegans like Kylie from Life of Kylie and of course stuff mah face silly with all the vegan foods. Everyday the exhibitors in the ballroom tempted me with their vegan eats. And I succumbed to the temptation. every. single. time.vvc2013_vendors1vvc2013_vendors3vvc2013_vendors2

Veggie Grill fed the VVC participants the first night of the conference with a kale salad marinated in their ginger-papaya vinaigrette, chickin’ wings and a chicken’ wrap served with ranch and buffalo wing sauce.


It was so tasty that Neal and I ate there later that night. He got the Chipotle BBQ burger and mac and cheese.IMG_0560 _Snapseed

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I had the Baja Fiesta salad which had papayas and was served with that delicious ginger-papaya vinaigratte.

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Portland, I may not be able to live with you just yet, but the dream is still alive.
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Viva la Portland! IMG_0692 _Snapseed

Hello Portland!

Oh hey. I’m just gonna be chillin’ at Vida Vegan Con (VVC) this weekend, no bigs. No, but seriously it is bigs!! Vegan blogging super stars everywhere! I don’t plan on blogging “live” for the rest of our trip, though I will be using instagram, twitter and facebook. Stay tuned for VVC/Portland/Seattle blog posts in the near future.

A few vegangrams of some of the vegan swag I got today:

Triple A


Neal had to deliver some screen printed posters to a band in Athens, GA Saturday night, so I went with him and we ate at The Grit– an all vegetarian diner with vegan options.

I got the vegan Bahn Mi with wasabi mayo, pickled veggies and hoisin seared seitan, IMG_0390 _Snapseed IMG_0395 _Snapseed

while Neal got the deluxe grilled sandwich with grilled seitan, and sautéed onions, mushrooms and peppers. And we both got sweet potato fries.IMG_0391 _Snapseed

We were stuffed but we couldn’t leave without dessert. We got the grasshopper cake (chocolate mint) and chocolate cake to go!
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I was so pleased to receive an award from The Vegan Kat this weekend alongside some purty fabulous bloggers! So this is how this award works:

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

  1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and a link back.
  3. Answer 10 questions given.
  4. Nominate up to 12 bloggers for Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, provide a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.
  5. Copy and paste the award somewhere on your blog.sisterhood-of-world-blogger-award

10 Questions:
What is your favorite color?   orange
Your favorite animal?   hard to choose…I like all animals
Your favorite non-alcoholic drinks? tea! any kind of tea…I’m addicted!
Facebook or Twitter?  going rogue here, instagram!
Your favorite pattern?   stripes a la Jean Seberg in Breathless
Do you prefer getting or giving presents?  giving
Your favorite number?   44 
Your favorite day of the week?    Any day I don’t have to go to work!
Your favorite flower?    orchids
What is your passion?   creating

My nominees:

  1. ASTIG vegan
  2. The Opinioness of the World
  3. Life of Kylie
  4. Rambling Vegans


This Saturday marks the third Virtual Vegan Potluck! I’ve participated since its inception by the amazing Ann over at An Unrefined Vegan. This year I intend to visit each and every blog which is going to be crazy because the list of participants is growing! In fact, enrollment goes through May 6.

I’m bringing a salad…what are you bringing?


Portland, I’ll see you in 302 days.

I registered for the 2013 Vida Vegan Con in Portland along with my pal Rachel over at Former Fish Taco Fanatic. Never mind that nearly 10 pages of stuff came up on Google-places search when I looked for “vegan Portland”, I get to spend 3 days surrounded by cool vegan bloggers! I feel like Dorothy going to meet the Wizard of Oz. Based on old VVC posts from other vegan bloggers, it’s going to blow my mind.

I’m excited to get the chance to meet the masterminds behind some spectacular blogs. Bloggers that are all Mr. Miyagiwhile I’m just Danny Larusso…I’ll wax on wax off all day if they’ll be my vegan blogger sensei. I just hope if I do get a chance to meet these talented ladies and gents, I don’t pull a Shy Ronnie.

video still courtesy of NBC.

There’s still time to register I think, so I hope to see you fabulous vegan bloggers there.

See you soon Portland. Only 301 days and 23 hours to go.

Leapin’ lizards!

Life has been happening so I haven’t been as attentive as I would like with the blogosphere lately. So, imagine my surprise when I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog award by The Misfit Baker and the Former Fish Taco Fanatic as well as the Illuminating Blogger Award from Food Stories. Thank you ladies so much! You like me….you really like me!


So as it goes with these awards, I must tell you some random things about myself and of course share the love. First the random things.

1. I have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with postapocalyptic books, movies/tv shows and comics. I secretly train for the zombie apocalypse both physically and mentally.

2. I recently kicked my coffee addiction and am now obsessed with teas. I am currently loving the jasmine fruit rooibos mix from Teavana that N’s parents gave us one year.

3. I make knitted and crocheted goods of the vegan variety (duh, wool’s not vegan!).

4. My mum’s from Thailand and as such I grew up eating all sorts of exotic foods that I crave constantly now as an adult-in-training. Like lychees…I remember eating these fresh in Thailand when I was five.

5. I like it when Miles sneaks onto the bed in the morning even though he’s not allowed.

6. I’m a groupie. N’s in a band called Capillaries.

7. I’m on a never-ending quest to get the perfect shot of Miles floating in midair.

Now my blog picks for being both lovely and illuminating:

1.  2 little rosebuds– A vegan soon to be mom to twins with cool tats…yes!!

2. The Opinioness of the World– A vegan feminist (not necessarily in that order) who makes me constantly rethink how I view the world. Plus, she’s got good taste in books, movies and tv shows.

 3. The Peaceful Pantry – I love the simplicity and yumminess of Amanda’s post. She also seems just super nice…she’s like the vegan neighbor I wish I had.

Versatile Blogger Award

I am so over the moon to be nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by my fellow all-things-Japanese enthusiast Elle. I’m all about spreading blog love, especially for my fellow vegans.

So here are the deets (from the VBA blog):

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

So I’ll start with the hard part first. The 7 things about myself:

  1. I’m vegan first for the animals, next for the planet and lastly for my health (I stole this from Holise @ CyberWhaleWarraior b/c it’s my veganism in a nutshell)
  2. I eat way too much chocolate (see number 1).
  3. I love vegan baked goods (see number 1).
  4. I sometimes wish that a zombie apocalypse would happen.
  5. Nerd I am.
  6. Self proclaimed clean freak.
  7. The one superpower I wish I possessed was the ability to freeze time.

Alright, now onto the the versatile vegan bloggers. These vegan bloggers not only blog about good eats, but also about knitting, yoga, art, traveling, 5K’s, fashion,marathons, music, crafts and well, other versatile things. In no particular order:

  1. goodstorysarah
  2. Vegan Sparkles
  3. ASTIG Vegan
  4. Sockilism
  5. Feast your eyes on my veg
  6. The Adventures of Vegan Charlie
  7. The Peaceful Pantry
  8. Typical House Cat
  9. Former Fish Taco Fanatic
  10. Rachel in Veganland
  11. Emerging Vegan Sistah
  12. I Will Be Vegan
  13. Nina and the Heartbeat
  14. No Food with a Face
  15. Vegan Flower

Liebster Blog Award

I am flattered to have been nominated by a few bloggers for my very first blog award! The Misfit Baker always has me drooling over all her homemade sweets which are delectable yet don’t require massive amounts of obscure ingredients or culinary skills. The Vegan Goddess is kind enough to share her vegan life in not one, but two languages! And Vegan Sparkles has a blog that is a nice balance of sweet, savory and healthy with some amazing Australian beach travels thrown into the mix.

“Liebster is German and translates into English as “dearest” or ”favorite”. A Liebster Blog Award is given to talented bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, in a way the award not only recognizes these bloggers as amazingly gifted in their own right but also as your very own personal favorites.”

How to participate:

  • Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  • Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
  • Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
  • Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed. (Some say just 3 or more blogs of less than 200 followers each)
  • Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.

In turn, I’m passing the award along to:

Former Fish Taco Fanatic:  The Former Fish Taco Fanatic is a blogger friend and real life friend. It has been fun reading her blog and seeing how quickly she has become immersed in her new vegan lifestyle.

Turning Veganese:  The name of this blog is what caught my attention.  It is a team of three and their fun, quirky style of writing along with the simplicity and creativity of their food is what keeps me coming back.

An Unrefined Vegan:  This is another blog that caught my attention by the name.  Like the Misfit Baker, this blogger has great simple recipes that anyone can follow and the food photos are simply lovely.

This is My Everest:  Like the Former Fish Taco Fanatic, this blogger has only recently ventured into the vegan lifestyle and it is fun to read about her ongoing journey in “peace and positivity”.

This is such a fun way to let others know that their blogs are being read and enjoyed. Happy blogging!