Vegan and the Flu: 2018 Edition

Used under a Creative Commons License

Poor sick babies!

We are well into the 2017-2018 Flu Season.  Sometimes vegans avoid vaccines, including the flu vaccine, due to animal testing and ingredients.  Traditional flu vaccines are made with eggs.  For the last few years, there has been an egg-free vaccine, Flublock, that is made using a different method than the traditional flu vaccine.  In the 2017-2018 flu season, it is available as a quadrivalent vaccine rather than previously as a trivalent (that means it covers 4 types of flu viruses instead of 3).  Of course, like all FDA approved vaccines, drugs, tests and devices, it is animal tested.  I understand this will keep some vegans from wanting to get the flu shot, but I hope you’ll consider it.

I work as an outpatient health care provider in NYC, and the law here says that in my type of clinic I and my colleagues must have a shot or wear a mask.  I know I’ve gotten comments from other vegans on my other flu posts telling me I’m not a “real” vegan because I don’t choose the mask, but I ask you this:  do you want to talk to your psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner or therapist while they’re wearing a mask?  I would imagine for most people, the answer is you’d prefer to not.  It is very important to me that my patients feel comfortable talking to me about sensitive topics, and that’s one of the reasons I don’t wear a white coat, a mask, gloves or carry a stethoscope.  I do use things like gloves when I’m giving a shot or otherwise necessary, or a stethoscope if I’m taking a manual blood pressure, but I try to keep them put away until I need them, because they scare some of my patients.

I’m often working with young children who are terrified of the doctor’s office, people with severe developmental disabilities or people who have undergone trauma.  If the pediatrician’s office can’t get a child  immunized because of severe behaviors when they try, I’m a provider they send them to in order to help come up with a plan on what to do (which might include a small dose of an oral medication first, finding a different office to give the injection, finding a behavioral intervention to make the child more comfortable, etc). So, it’s really important that I don’t scare them away before we even get to any of that work- and a mask is one of the visual indicators that “this is a place that has needles.”  I don’t want to give my vulnerable patients that as a first impression (though of course, we do have needles).

We vegans have to remember that we need to be compassionate to people, too.

I hear your argument that it’s not fair to torture vulnerable animals in the process of developing pharmaceuticals.  I agree with this.  It is inherently unfair.  I support efforts to end the need for animal testing, but we’re not there yet.  Even if we feel that the methodology is there, the FDA has yet to agree.  As a clinician, I support using non-medication options where appropriate, and using products without animal products over products that include animal products where appropriate.  I do hear you, and I strive to avoid animal products or exploitation wherever possible and practicable.

This has been a rough flu season so far.  As of this writing using the most recent CDC data (week ending January 20, 2018) there have been 37 pediatric deaths in the US that are confirmed to have had the flu virus this season.  If you haven’t been immunized yet, it is not too late.  Flublock has a map of pharmacies that have it- punch in your zip and it will show you the closest.

You’d be right if you said that you heard that the vaccine might not be as effective this year,  but it’s not totally ineffective.  If you have any interaction with children too young to be vaccinated,  the elderly or people who have a number of medical issues, please think about them.   They often can’t get vaccinated or are at much higher risk if they get the flu despite vaccination.  I would NEVER be able to forgive myself if I caused one of my medically fragile patients to die of complications from the flu had I chosen not to get it (let’s be fair, those masks reduce transmission, they don’t eliminate it).

If you’re feeling sick this year, stay home if at all possible.  Not all adults will have a fever if they get the flu (though I’m loving this forehead thermometer, if you want to check).  Common symptoms include fever and chills, malaise (not feeling well), and muscle aches and pains, as well as runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and headache.  Vomiting and nausea are not common in adults, but are in young children.

From CDC.gov

Sadly, you can be contagious for a few days before you start displaying symptoms.  Wash your hands frequently, using good technique (use soap, rub your hands together under running water, include your wrists, sing “Happy Birthday” twice in your head before you finish, and turn off the faucet and open the door with a paper towel).  Use hand sanitizer when soap and water in not available.  I sneeze a lot in the dry air, so I keep hand sanitizer on me pretty much all the time (as I’m not always near a sink).   Soap and water remains preferable.

Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

From CDC.gov

If you think you have the flu, contact your primary care provider’s office or go to an Urgent Care (not the emergency room, if at all possible) for testing.  Tamiflu, an Antiviral medication,  is an option for helping to reduce the severity and the duration of flu symptoms.  Antibiotics are NOT helpful with the flu, unless you develop a secondary bacterial infection.

Plenty of rest and fluids are always a good treatment.  Vegan soups are my favorite when I’m sick (if I have an appetite)!  If you’re not up to making soup or don’t have any in the freezer, there are canned and instant varieties available, both online and in your local grocery store.

I hope we all manage to stay well this flu season!

NB:  Amazon.com links are affiliate links.  Images here are either public domain or used under a Creative Commons license.  I am not in any way associated with Flublock or Tamiflu.
Posted in Health | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Daiya Still Vegan?

Much prettier than modern pharmaceuticals, I think.

Last week, it was announced that Daiya Foods was being acquired by another company- Otsuka.

I chuckled when I saw this news, knowing what it would mean when people found out what Otsuka is- a pharmaceutical company. That was going to anger people.

Pharmaceutical companies test on animals. Testing on animals is not vegan. Ergo, if Dayia is owned by a company that tests on animals, Daiya is no longer vegan. Right?

I submit, not so fast.

Full disclosure: I prescribe medications made by Otsuka. Right now, that only accounts for a handful of prescriptions that I write, but previously I prescribed a medication made by them on a fairly regular basis, because it was one of only two medications FDA approved for a condition that I treat. They don’t pay me to prescribe them. I don’t get gifts or trips or other extravagances. I have taken a dinner from them once (a bowl of quinoa and vegetables!), a pretzel once, and I might on occasion again, but that is the extent of my financial relationship with them.

But back to the not so fast.

The official definition of “veganism,” as coined by Donald Watson, the founder of the Vegan Society is: “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

Case closed, right? It says all exploitation!

Here’s the thing: it also says “as far as it is possible and practicable.”

I think most of us vegans recognize that there are some places where we can’t absolutely exclude animal products, unless perhaps we live off the grid. Tires, glues and fertilizers all may contain animal products, and those are some things that are pretty well involved in the infrastructure of modern society in a first world country.

We accept that, because if we live by a stricter definition, we can’t function, unless we are in all but the most remote part of off the grid: cutting our own timber, hauling it on wagons we made our selves with no rubber tires, finding heirloom seeds from somewhere that never used an animal fertilizer- there might be someone out there doing it, but it’s almost impossible for everyone.

I could go on, but I don’t want this to become an essay about how vegans are hypocrites. When people say things about how many field mice are killed the the vegetable fields are toiled, we rationally point this out, that veganism is about when it is practicable and possible.

Why can’t we accept this with pharmaceuticals?

I know that there is a sect of vegans out there that don’t believe that medication is ever necessary, but I don’t believe that represents the majority. I think that the majority understand that sometimes you need a medication. And I would sincerely hope that any vegan who is compassionate enough to love animals understands that mental illness- the type of illness that about half of Otsuka’s drugs treat– is just as real an illness as any other.

Despite what we may believe about the necessity of animal testing, no drug in the US can be FDA approved without animal testing. They cannot move on to human trials with out animal trials; that is a fact.

I, for one, hope that there will come a day where pharmaceutical companies can rely on non-animal models before going to human trials and bypassing animal trials.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if a pharmaceutical company that bought a vegan foods company heard that message from vegans, instead of boycotts?

Just a thought.

SaveSave

Posted in Health | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Greetings!

I don’t typically like to do little check in posts, but it has been a very long time.

I almost just lost this blog, and I was heartbroken!  I had missed several renewal notices (they went to a spam folder) after my payment method expired, and the blog was deactivated.

I had been toying with getting rid of this blog, as I haven’t updated in a long time, but when it was gone I realized I wasn’t ready to give it up quite yet.

So for now, I’ll give you a quick pic that I also have over at Instagram, and just let you know that you can find me there most of the time.  I’ve been doing a lot of NYC dining these days, and it’s pretty awesome.

Breakfast tacos!

Vegan Breakfast Tacos with Mac & Cheese at Modern Love Brooklyn. Epic.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Professional Ethics Versus Personal Values

Because cute dogs are much more fun than ethical discussions.

Because cute dogs are much more fun than ethical discussions.

While taking a walk on yesterday’s beautiful afternoon, I listened to this week’s Our Hen House podcast.  Early in the episode was a discussion about a vegan art therapist named Lee Ann blogging at Avocados and Glitter who has looked at the issue of Temple Grandin speaking at the American Art Therapy Association’s conference this summer through an ethical lens. She concludes that because Ms. Grandin’s business is animal slaughter, and that consumption of animals can be linked to health issues, that animal cruelty is linked to psychiatric pathologies, and because of the cultural aspects of animal agribusiness, that Ms. Grandin is not a suitable speaker for the conference.

I disagree.

My professional background is as a music therapist, psychotherapist and psychiatric nurse practitioner.   I specialize in the treatment of people with intellectual disabilities and autism.  I have been working with this population in one way or another for almost 19 years.  I feel strongly about this.

As Lee Ann points out, Ms. Grandin was not invited to speak because of her work with the cattle slaughter industry, but because she is a person with autism who has found a high degree of success in her field and is an advocate for people with the disorder.  Ms. Grandin has a personal history of pretty extreme symptoms of autism, and even describes herself as “a little wild animal” in her book Thinking in Pictures.  It was though these experiences and what she found helpful for her that she ultimately went on to design systems for keeping cattle calm on their way to slaughter.

I don’t like what it is that Ms. Grandin does to animals, but I appreciate the work that she does for autism.

Earlier this week, I saw a young child with autism who spent most of the time screaming at the top of his lungs while running around during his evaluation.  His mother told me he was like that all the time. She asked, “do you think when he’s 25 I might be able to leave him alone so I can go to the grocery store?”

Although prescribing medication is the bulk of what I do these days, sometimes what I do has little to do with medication.  Sometimes it’s about giving families hope.  That sometimes really good things happen.  That their child may grow and learn and be able to independently engage in some activities of daily living someday.

Temple Grandin gives hope.  A parent can look at her, hear her story and think “there is hope for my child.”

At a residential school where I worked, a screening of the Temple Grandin movie was shown for some of the kids, many of whom also have autism.  Not one of them came out of that screening saying that they want to work in animal slaughter in any way- but several of them were inspired that they can make their dreams happen.

Hope.

I think the Lee Ann is missing something from her analysis.  Ethics and values are not the same thing.  Ethics are a guideline and framework with which we critically think through various issues, including values.

To put it in another context, if a therapist sees a patient who is seeking an abortion, most ethical guidelines of our major professional organizations imply that you keep your own value judgement out of the clinical discussion.  In other words, don’t try to talk the patient out of having an abortion because you believe it’s wrong, because that would be violating an ethical code.  These codes say it’s not about my values.  It’s about my patient and what my patient needs.

Bringing it back to Ms. Grandin’s appearance at the upcoming AATA conference: she inspires hope.  More specially, she inspires hope for a population with whom art therapists often work.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to a music therapy conference, but I used to walk away from them inspired about my work and feeling optimistic about going out and providing great care.  Great speakers can inspire that.

I’m sorry that Lee Ann may not feel inspired, but I hope her colleagues will.

Posted in Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Greetings from Baltimore!

Just a quick post tonight, because I’m tired, and I’m having trouble getting my pictures to sync.

Today was the first day that I attended Natural Products Expo East, and I’ll be going back again tomorrow. Let me tell you, that place is overwhelming, and I didn’t get to visit everything!

I made the mistake of going to Chipotle for lunch. Usually this is not a mistake, but I had not yet seen the food part of Expo. You don’t think you’re getting a lot because it’s just little samples at each booth, but when you add it all up… OMG.

I've become a bowl kind of person.  Makes me feel less bad about the chips.

I’ve become a bowl kind of person. Makes me feel less bad about the chips.

Fortunately I looked at my Expo map before I finished eating and stopped. It was however, a lovely meal right on the water.

After many samples and a bag full to go, I headed back to the hotel.  I will definitely need to go back tomorrow to finish seeing everything.

I did go out to dinner, despite that I wasn’t terribly hungry, because it’s not like I’ll get to come back to the area.  I’m so glad I did!  I went to Great Sage in Clarksville… and it was amazing.   More about that either tomorrow or in the next few days!

VeganMoFo2014

I love it when you follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blackbird Pizzeria in Philadelphia, PA

As I was looking at the map for how to get to my hotel in Baltimore for Natural Products Expo East, I realized how close I would pass to Philadelphia on my trip.

Although I’ve lived in the Northeast my entire life, I’ve actually never been to Pennsylvania (well, the airport once, but that doesn’t count). I didn’t travel much as a child (it took me until I was 30 to visit all 6 New England states, despite growing up in MA), and then as an adult a lack of money and time and a pretty significant like of the familiar have been obstacles. Money has gotten a bit better, time a bit worse, but I’ve definitely gotten more curious and willing to travel.

I’d been trying to figure out a couple of days that I can got to PA. I work Monday-Saturday, so that makes it a little tough, but I have the luxury of being able to take some time off work, so it’s just figuring when. Bonus points if I can combine it with some kind of educational/trade event!

While there is so much vegan goodness in PA to see and I definitely need to make an actual trip, I saw no reason I shouldn’t take a little time out of my current trip and stop and get some very late lunch at Blackbird Pizzeria.

I got a later start on my trip than I had planned, so it was nearly 4PM by the time I got there. All I had “eaten” earlier was a green smoothie, so I was starving by the time I got there. Given the time, I figured I would also take something to go for dinner when I got to my hotel.

OMG hot!

OMG hot!

These are the best vegan wings I have ever had.  I am not kidding.  They were chewy and crispy and delicious and hot.  Did I mention hot?  A little too hot for my taste, but that dipping sauce helped a lot.

Why don't non-vegan places make this?

Why don’t non-vegan places make this?

This was delicious, but seems so simple.  With no cheese, there’s no reason why regular pizza places can’t make this.  So why don’t they?  I have no idea.

There was rosemary, caramelized onions and potatoes.  There’s nothing not to like on this slice.

Fried capers are the bomb!

Fried capers are the bomb!

I rounded out my meal to stay with this salad, which was amazing!  I don’t know why I don’t eat fried capers more often, but they are so, so good.  Crispy and briny!  I’m not a huge fan of artichokes, but they were a nice addition.

I was very happy to have this.

I was very happy to have this.

I got to eat this later, after arriving at the hotel.  I’m staying a bit further away from the Expo because I booked my hotel room too late, but on the plus side, this room has a kitchen.  No oven, unfortunately, but if you don’t put the slices in the microwave for too long, (about a minute each) they don’t get soggy.  Well, the thinner slice was, but what are you going to do?

The thin slice is pepperoni, and the other had roasted tomatoes.  I love roasted tomatoes.

Yes, that is a potato chip in there.

Yes, that is a potato chip in there.

They call this the “Kitchen Sink” cookie.  There’s potato chips, pretzels, pumpkin seeds and other things in there.  It was really, really good.

So that’s it for today. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s adventures bring!

VeganMoFo2014

I love it when you follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

Posted in Restaurants, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Day in NYC

I’m plugging along with VeganMoFo, but not as much as I had hoped.  I’ve been sick, sick, sick!

Today I’m offering a little glimpse at local travel- NYC, to be exact.

And while I was writing this earlier, I saw that NYC was named the most vegan-friendly city by  PETA today, so even better I write this, right?

So, NYC.  Yes, I go there often.  I’m 33 minutes away by train- but I don’t go nearly as often as I should.  Back in July, I went to a conference in Manhattan for the day.  Lunch there didn’t look too vegan to me, so I made a quick run out to Blossom DuJour.  I’ve written about this before, but this time was a different location (the one I’ve written about before has moved).

Sandwich, and a salad, because I try to be healthy sometimes.

Sandwich, and a salad, because I try to be healthy sometimes.

Outside Blossom

Isn’t that what you want to see when walking down the street?

This is the thing about Manhattan.  You can stand pretty much anywhere, pull out your smartphone, load up an app like Happy Cow, and find a place to get a good vegan meal in walking distance.  It’s so awesome.

Later, after the conference was over and a very long walk, a trip to Candle 79.  This place is just awesome.  You cannot beat this food anywhere.  Want to eat alone?  Take a seat at the bar and have your meal there.

And an excellent meal it will be.

I know the picture sucks, but this food is sooooooo good...

I know the picture sucks, but this food is sooooooo good…

Onion rings.  Just because.

Onion rings. Just because.

Does that not look delicious?

Short and sweet tonight- tomorrow I head to the Natural Products Expo East, so prepare for posts from the road!

VeganMoFo2014

I love it when you follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

Posted in Restaurants, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Plum and Jalapeño Glazed Tempeh with Picked Radishes and Butternut Squash Purée

Last week was not great week- I was exhausted and felt like I was coming down with something all week. The weekend has not been better. But… once I saw the Chopped challenge for VeganMoFo, I knew I had to enter.

With all of the time that I spend at work, I have not been a creative cook at all, lately. I follow recipes, I make tried and true favorites, and I’ve been doing some canning/preserving, but nothing truly creative. That makes me sad.

On Saturdays, my second job happens to be right down the street from a pretty good Farmer’s Market, and I had some time to kill. I was able to pick up three of the four Chopped ingredients: Jalepeno, Prune Plums, and Radishes. I had some Teavana Chai blend at home, which happens to contain oolong. I’m trying to stay out of grocery stores and use what I have on hand for now, so I wanted to avoid buying anything else.

I saw patients for the rest of the day and didn’t have much time to think about what to do for the challenge, but on my drive home, ideas started running though my mind. By the time I went to bed, I knew I was making some kind of plum sauce and pickling radishes, and using tempeh.

Once every few months, I make tempeh from scratch and freeze it (freezing is the easiest way to get it to stop fermenting, so it works out any way). I pulled a couple of blocks out of the freezer before bed, and let the thoughts keep coming. I would not be so good at this if I were really on a television competition!

In the morning, I did a quick pickle of the radishes and some of the jalapeño. I used a hot vinegar solution so that I could melt the sugar I used; so this had to go in the fridge early enough so that it would be ready for dinner time.

Figuring out how to use the oolong was the biggest challenge, and I used it four ways. First, I roasted the remaining 1 1/2 jalapeños in the oven with a bit of the dry oolong tea, sort of akin to smoking them (I do have a stovetop smoker, but my burners were otherwise occupied with other projects). I used the brewed tea to thin out my butternut squash puree, as the liquid in the plum sauce, and to steam the tempeh and the radish tops.

Plums were easy: they are the major ingredient in the sauce, which also contains the roasted jalapeños.

As you’ve figured, the jalapeños went into the sauce and the pickle.

Finally, the radishes were the primary ingredient in the pickle, and the greens were used in the final dish as well.

Overall, this is a spicy dish, but it is tempered by the sweetness of the plums and squash. A tartness was added with a bit of rice wine vinegar in the plum sauce, as well as the white balsamic in the pickle. The pickle was not overly salty, and the tempeh brings an umami flavor to the plate. It’s a balanced plate. I feel good about this.

Plum and Jalapeño Glazed Tempeh with Picked Radishes and Butternut Squash Puree

Plum and Jalapeño Glazed Tempeh with Picked Radishes and Butternut Squash Purée

Basic steps to making this:

  • Make the pickle.
  • Make the plum sauce.
  • Steam the squash and puree.
  • Steam the tempeh, coat with sauce and bake.
  • Steam the greens.
  • Assemble.

Gosh, that sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Radish and Jalapeño Pickle

  • 8-10 French breakfast radishes, sliced thin
  • 1/2 jalapeño, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbs vegan sugar
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • a few twists from the black pepper mill
  1. Layer the jalapeño and radishes in a 1/2 pint jar.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  3. Pour the hot liquid into the jar, filling to the top and cover.
  4. Once the jar is cool enough to handle, put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Plum and Jalapeño Sauce with Oolong Tea

  • 1 1/2 Jalapeños
  • 1 tsp Chai Oolong blend
  • 4 Italian Prune Plums
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 cup brewed Chai oolong blend
  • 2 tbs vegan sugar
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs tamari
  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Take two pieces of aluminum foil, about the same size. On one, place the tea in the middle. On the other, put the jalapeños. Fold up the jalapeños, and poke a few holes in the foil. Place it on top of the tea on the other one and fold it up into a neat package. Place it in the oven at 450F for about 45 minutes. You might want to do this a lot earlier than the rest of the sauce. Bonus: it will smell really nice if you’re woking in the kitchen preparing other things.
  2. Chop up the prunes and discard the pits. Add to a small sauce pan. Don’t peel!
  3. Remove the jalapeño from the foil. The tops will fall right off- discard as much of the seeds as you like, then add it to the plums.
  4. Add the ginger, garlic, tea, sugar, vinegar and tamari.
  5. Cook over medium high heat stirring frequently for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more tea if needed to thin.

Butternut Squash Purée with Chai Oolong

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • splash of tamari
  • 2 tbs brewed Oolong Chai
  1. Add the squash to a steamer basket and sprinkle tamari on top. Steam for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the steamed squash to a high speed blender with the tea; blend until smooth.

Plum and Jalapeño Glazed Tempeh with Picked Radishes and Butternut Squash Purée

  • 1 recipe Radish and Jalapeño Pickle
  • 1 recipe Plum and Jalapeño Sauce with Oolong Tea
  • 1 recipe Butternut Squash Puree with Chai Oolong
  • 4 oz homemade tempeh
  • 1 bunch radish greens
  • Brewed Chai Oolong blend
  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Using a steamer basket in a pot of boiling water with 1/2 cup brewed Chai Oolong, steam the tempeh for about 5 minutes. Fresh tempeh is delicate and does not need to be steamed as long as the packaged variety.
  3. Remove tempeh from the steamer basket.
  4. Coat with the Plum Sauce and lay on foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 450F for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce is darkened in color.
  5. Meanwhile, steam the radish greens with the same tea/water as the tempeh.
  6. Add butternut puree to the serving plate.
  7. Place glazed tempeh on top.
  8. Top with greens and pickle.
  9. Serve.

Truth be told, this was a complicated dish, but it was fun. If you’re spending the day cooking other things, this really isn’t much of a bother, as none of the components take a long time to make. The only long part is giving the pickles enough time to cool and absorb flavor; you could shorten this by using a liquid sweetener instead of the granulated sugar and not heating the liquid, but the flavor will be different.

I really wish I had time to make something like this more often!

VeganMoFo2014

I love it when you follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

G-Zen in Branford, CT

Long time readers know that when I started this blog, I had just moved to New Haven, CT. I was going to grad school and was über excited about all the vegan options in my new home, especially having been living on the not-then-vegan-friendly Cape Cod.

Vegan restaurants have come and gone to the New Haven area since I moved to NY, and one of the ones that came is G-Zen, a few minutes east of New Haven, in Branford.

Unfortunately, they have fairly limited hours, in the evenings and on Saturdays most of the day, so I didn’t think I was going to be passing by during business hours.  I try to travel when the traffic isn’t so bad… but, I ended up leaving the Cape later than I had originally planned, and got to Branford just after they opened for the evening.  Woo-hoo!

Since it was early, I wasn’t ready to eat yet, but they do have take out!

Who would have thought I'd like crab cakes?

Who would have thought I’d like crab cakes?

I started with the Thimble Island Crab Cakes.  Interesting fact: the Thimble Islands is a small archipelago right off of Branford.  They’re the kind of islands people own!

I hated seafood long before I went vegan, though I do remember having crab cakes once as a kid and liking them, which came as a surprise to me.  I liked these too!

Came with an apple butter and a vegan sour cream, just in case you can't decide.

Came with an apple butter and a vegan sour cream, just in case you can’t decide.

There were so many options for an entree it was a little crazy.  I was in a potato mood, so pierogi was it.  I figured they’d travel well.  They did!

My only complaint is that this restaurant didn’t exist when I lived in New Haven!  I would have been a regular visitor.  Then again, it’s only 1.5 hours away from here… so who knows?  Another road trip, perhaps?  I really want to go back to this place!

VeganMoFo2014

I love it when you follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

Posted in Food, Restaurants, Travel | Leave a comment

Where To Go On Cape Cod When You’re Vegan

To wrap up my travels to the Cape, I just want to recap all the new places I tried, as well as mention a few standbys I didn’t get to this time around.  This is by no means a comprehensive vegan guide to Cape Cod, and covers very little of the lower Cape, where you’re likely to find some other vegan options!

Green Lotus Cafe, Hyannis, MA

See?  Gray clapboard.  The building is *very* Cape Cod.

See? Gray clapboard. The building is *very* Cape Cod.

 

Siena, Mashpee, MA

It's a small menu, but it is one!

It’s a small menu, but it is one!

Whole Foods, Hyannis, MA

Hail Merry and Cafe Indigo!

Hail Merry and Cafe Indigo!

Earthly Delights, Mashpee, MA

Not the prettiest sandwich, but very tasty!

Not the prettiest sandwich, but very tasty!

And from a prior trip, Box Office Cafe, Chatham, MA

Sorry for the lousy focus!

Sorry for the lousy focus!

Those are the ones I have reviews for.  Cape Cod is now home to a Chipotle, located in the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis, so that’s a vegan stand by.  I also heard about the Ice Cream Cafe in Orleans, which has a number of vegan ice cream options!

There are a number of smaller natural foods stores on the Cape as well, including Cape Cod Natural Foods in Centerville; Amber Waves in Falmouth; and the Cape Cod Natural Markets, with locations in Mashpee, Dennis Port and Chatham.

There’s even a Trader Joe’s.

So if you’re a vegan and you’re thinking about going to Cape Cod but worried you won’t find anything to eat, you can stop worrying and book that vacation!

Now, stayed tuned tomorrow for where I stopped on my way back to NY!

VeganMoFo2014

I love it when you follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

Posted in Food, Restaurants, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment