Green Lotus in Hyannis, MA

This is the post that you have been waiting for.

Well, at least this is the place that might have kept me from ever leaving the Cape, had it been open a few years ago.  This is probably a good thing that it wasn’t open then, but still…

Green Lotus is an all Vegetarian/Vegan café in Hyannis.  As far as I know, it’s the only all veg-place on Cape Cod.  Most of their offerings are vegan; a few have options for cheese, and some sandwiches can have either a vegan or vegetarian sauce/spread/etc.  Their breakfast menu has a number of egg dishes, though mushrooms can be had in place of eggs for most.

Green Lotus has been around for about a year, which means it was on the Cape the last time I visited this winter, but I didn’t get a chance to go.  But a couple of Cape friends had mentioned it, so I really wanted to go this time.  My first full day on Cape, my mom and I were out running errands and decided to stop in for lunch.

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

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

I was a little overwhelmed by the menu, since there were so many choices!  It’s scary when you can have just about anything on the menu.  I’m a creature of habit, so this was a bit hard! When I go to a restaurant, vegan or not, I tend to find one thing I like and order it over and over again.  Since I had decided that I was going to blog about Green Lotus, I made myself get something different every time.  You’re welcome.

I got a Buffalo Tempeh sandwich on my first visit.  It was delicious.

My mom got  vegetarian sandwich that she loved.  I am lucky to have a veg-friendly mom, but she wasn’t just indulging me- she said she’d go back to this place for lunch when she’s nearby!  That’s pretty high praise from my mom.

Buffalo Tempeh

This can be made either vegan or vegetarian, as can just about everything. The tempeh was spicy but not overwhelming, and the dressing tempered it well.

So I went back again the next day.  I went with the Buffalo Caesar, this time.

Buffalo Caesar

Very similar to the previous day’s sandwich, with Caesar instead of bleu cheese, and including croutons.

Some of the kids where I work have been trying to get away with “crouton sandwiches.”  They pick up a couple of slices of bread, slather them with mayo, and put croutons in as the filling.  There’s a part of me that’s totally grossed out by that, but I have to say, croutons are delicious in this Buffalo Caesar sandwich.

Horseradish is no joke.

Horseradish is no joke.

After taking a day’s break since Green Lotus is closed on Mondays, I went back again.  This time I picked up a sandwich for my brother, too, but his had dairy cheese, so no picture.  I almost didn’t get a picture of my sandwich, either, as you might be able to tell from the mostly-eaten wrap here.

I’ve never been big on horseradish, and I wasn’t even thinking when I ordered.  It was a surprise when I bit in!  But a good surprise.  Really.

Fortunately I had a Diet Coke, but before that, I had myself a smoothie.

I like places that give away what's left in the blender to other customers to try!

I like places that give away what’s left in the blender to other customers to try!

This was far sweeter than I was expecting, but that’s okay, especially since I didn’t get to any of the ice cream places serving vegan options beyond sorbet on the Cape.  I couldn’t see any sweetener used in this, so I’m guessing that it’s the almond milk.  Very good, and very dessert-like.

All of the smoothies can be made vegan except the Nutella smoothie, seeing as Nutella has dairy.  Maybe they can switch over to Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter instead?

And then I went a fourth time.

They make good seitan!

They make good seitan!

This was actually right before I was leaving the Cape to go back to NY.  I also got another Buffalo Tempeh sandwich to take home with me, too.

The BBQ sauce is sweet, the wrap is full of crunchy vegetables, and the seitan is really good.  I’m not sure what else to say about it!

Considering that I was on the Cape for 5 days and managed to come here 4 times, I’d say this was the favorite!

You have the option of ordering online from their website so your sandwich is waiting for you, which is nice.  This place was really busy over the weekend, so it’s good to be able to do that.

The staff is friendly, and they work very fast to get your meal ready.  My only complaint is that every time I asked for no onions on my mom’s sandwich, they forgot.  Except perhaps the last time, because they forgot to put that one in my bag, and I left without it.  They were very quick to refund my money on that one though (I was already 30 mins away when I realized), so it’s good to know that they take care of their mistakes.

So there you have it!  My favorite restaurant on Cape Cod.  It’s so good to know that the Cape is hospitable to more and more vegan-friendly establishments!


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Siena in Mashpee, MA

How do you find vegan eats when you’re somewhere new?

I’m sure that social media figures in there somewhere, along with recommendations from family and friends.

Social media helped me find this one. I stumbled across the Facebook group Cape Cod Vegans, looking for any recommendations for restaurants that weren’t from Happy Cow (not that there’s anything wrong with Happy Cow, there just weren’t a lot). And here I saw that Siena, an Italian Restaurant in Mashpee had its own vegan menu!

I eagerly looked up their website, but couldn’t find anything about a vegan menu, though it looked as though many of their vegetarian dishes could probably be made vegan. Since I couldn’t confirm anything online, I actually picked up the phone and called (if you knew how much I hate the phone, you’d be impressed). Indeed, they have a vegan menu. Look!

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

It’s a small menu, but it is one!

I didn’t ask a whole lot of questions about the rest of the menu. For instance, I have no idea if the pasta is made with eggs, since I didn’t order any. I suspect at least some of it is fine, but I can’t vouch.

I did feel confident in ordering the Crispy Chickpea and Kale Salad, sans cheese, of course.

Fried chickpeas are the bomb.

Fried chickpeas are the bomb.

My big folly of the evening was not asking about the bread and olive oil (not pictured). I’m fairly confident that the bread was fine, but the olive oil plate apparently had cheese at the bottom, under the oil, that I did not see.

I dipped.

Fortunately I didn’t dip deep enough to get any visible cheese on my bread, but my mom did. She didn’t tell me until after we left, because she didn’t want to ruin my meal.

Had I known, I would have simply asked for a plate without cheese. I can’t imagine they would say no!

But there is your lesson on always ask.

Lastly, the entree.

Please forgive the B & W photo. It got dark in the restaurant and my picture wasn't very good- but I wanted to share this, because it tasted delicious!

Please forgive the B & W photo. It got dark in the restaurant and my picture wasn’t very good- but I wanted to share this, because it tasted delicious!

I’m sometimes a little wary of artichokes, but this dish delivered! Again, I am so sorry that the picture is black and white- but it’s a dish worth ordering!

I hope that I can find some other restaurants with hidden vegan menus!

Siena is located in Mashpee Commons, next to the movie theater.  There’s outdoor seating as well, but there was a pretty long wait for that.  I’d suggest reservations if you want to dine outside!

While it would be nice if they incorporated the vegan items right on to the regular menu, I’m thrilled that they do have clearly marked vegan options.  Thanks, Siena!

That now makes five posts for VeganMoFo!  I am 25% to the finish line.  Stay tuned next week for my new favorite place on Cape Cod, a wrap up on the Cape and heading through CT and back to NY.  After that?  Who knows!


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Zucchini from Cape Cod

I’ve been continuing to write biweekly on a blog for my local paper’s website, a column that was started by JL of JL Goes Vegan before her move to Colorado.  So for today, I’m going to link to to my post over there about zucchini.

How does this relate to my theme?

My zucchini is from Cape Cod, of course!  Straight from my mother’s garden.  I made up these zucchini fritters over the weekend.  So make sure you check out both the post and the recipe!

They're tasty, if not a bit soggy.  Don't make my mistake squeeze out more water than you think you need to!

They’re tasty, if not a bit soggy. Don’t make my mistake squeeze out more water than you think you need to!

And stay tuned tomorrow, to hear more about my trip to Cape Cod!


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Whole Foods in Hyannis, MA

The last time I visited the Cape, in the works was a Whole Foods– the first on the Cape. I’ve been watching my Cape friends’ Facebook pages with excitement as everyone geared up for the opening this past spring!

Growing up on the Cape, you get used to doing a lot of shopping “off-Cape.” Every end of August while I was growing up in the 80s and 90s, there was at least one day where you took a trip off-Cape to go clothes shopping for the new school year, for more variety and cheaper prices. Such trips would often include a stop to a really cool restaurant that we didn’t have on Cape, like uh, Olive Garden. At least I wasn’t looking forward to a trip to McDonalds, like friends from Martha’s Vineyard, right?

Fast forward a number of years and we got our own Olive Garden; chain stores take over, ending the need for off Cape back to school shopping; and the Cape starts to look like the rest of suburbia. Except there’s light gray (mostly fake) clapboard on all of our buildings.

But vegan food shopping was one of those things that I still frequently did off-Cape. I worked part of the time off-Cape, and I did live on the dreaded “other side of the bridge” in Buzzards Bay my last three years on the Cape, so that made those trips not so bad. It still would have been nice to do all my shopping on the Cape without breaking the bank, though.

Yeah, you’re laughing that I’m suggesting that I’m about to suggest shopping at a Whole Foods on the Cape would help one not break the bank, but when it comes to vegan convenience foods, it’s true. And some of the prices on the Cape are better than they are here in NY, so there’s that. Plus Whole Foods has vegan products that are exclusive to their store.

In my last few years on the Cape we did get a Trader Joe’s, and there are a few independently owned or small chain natural foods stores, but different stores are better for different things. You want cheap tofu or tempeh? You can’t beat Trader Joe’s. You want to buy beans and spices in bulk for cheap? You might do a little better at the small store. You want to buy Daiya? Whole Foods is your man. I mean, store for the best price, most of the time.

For your eating-in or take out needs, Whole Foods in Hyannis also has a smoothie bar with a number of vegan offerings, a prepared foods section with vegan hot dogs and a vegan pizza (with a cashew sauce instead of Daiya, no less), in addition to the salad bar.

This is one of the smallest Whole Foods stores that I’ve ever seen, if not the smallest. It’s housed in a building that was originally a Border’s Books, if that gives you an idea of the size. Despite that, they seem to be really focusing on what they can bring to the Cape that’s different than their competitors. Sure, they have nice produce, but the produce department is pretty small. I was surprised that some of their packages greens are coming from New York- not exactly local. Go to a farmer’s market for those. Not a ton of supplements- you want those, go to one of the smaller stores like Cape Cod Natural Foods. But if you want Earth Balance Mac & Cheese? This is where you belong!

No, it's not on sale- the sign was on the wrong shelf.  But I didn't even see this stuff at my White Plains store earlier in August, so I was very excited to see it here!

No, it’s not on sale- the sign was on the wrong shelf. But I didn’t even see this stuff at my White Plains store earlier in August, so I was very excited to see it here!

This stuff?  A full dollar cheaper at the regular price in Hyannis than in Westchester.

This stuff? A full dollar cheaper at the regular price in Hyannis than in Westchester.

Need fake meats?  You won't find Beyond Meat anywhere else on the Cape!

Need fake meats? You won’t find Beyond Meat anywhere else on the Cape!

Lots of vegan cheese.  I unfortunately couldn't find any Kite Hill, but they're stocked with all the major brands.

Lots of vegan cheese. I unfortunately couldn’t find any Kite Hill, but they’re stocked with all the major brands.

Hail Merry and Cafe Indigo!

Hail Merry and Cafe Indigo!

I haven't seen the Whoopie Pies in Westchester, so that's pretty cool!

I haven’t seen the Whoopie Pies in Westchester, so that’s pretty cool!

And blueberry muffins, in case you want to pick some up for the morning!

And blueberry muffins, in case you want to pick some up for the morning!

Not pictured: Tofurkey pockets I bought here because I can’t find them in Westchester. How do you like that?

Personally, I love that there’s now a Whole Foods on the Cape. I don’t want it to displace the smaller natural foods stores throughout the Cape, but I hope that WF and the smaller stores can coexist. Because that would be awesome.

I guess all this talk of travel to Cape Cod is a little trip down memory lane, too. Hope you’re enjoying!


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Earthly Delights in Osterville, MA

I lived on Cape Cod when I first went vegetarian and then vegan.

It was not easy.

Vegetarian was not so bad, as I expect it’s not so bad pretty much anywhere.  It’s not that hard to find a veggie burger when you don’t have to worry about eggs and dairy; you can eat out almost anywhere (steak houses and seafood restaurants being the biggest challenges).  It’s nice to be able to find somewhere that caters to vegetarians, though, and this was one of those places.  I started going to Earthly Delights probably in 2005 or so, before I was vegan.

In the year or two before I made the leap from vegetarian to vegan, I tried many times to make the change, and kept failing.  It was too hard to eat out on Cape Cod as a vegan off-season.  Finally, a few months before I was making the move from Cape Cod to New Haven, I made the transition for good, and haven’t looked back.

Earthly Delights was pretty much the only place I could go out to eat on the Cape, at least in the Mid/Upper Cape areas.  I sure appreciated it!

Since I moved away, Earthly Delights has consistently been on my go-to list whenever I’ve visited in the last few years.  It’s right near my mom’s, the food is easily to take to-go, and it’s consistently good.  I typically get either the Tempeh Reuben or the Fakin’ Bacon Tempeh sandwiches.

tempeh reuben

Not the prettiest sandwich, but very tasty!

I love tempeh.  I think they also used to use Follow Your Heart cheese, but they must have switched to Daiya.  Both are good choices!

I love tempeh. I think they also used to use Follow Your Heart cheese, but they must have switched to Daiya. Both are good choices!

Besides being not too far from my mom’s, Osterville is one of those places you should be checking out when you visit the Cape.  It has an adorable main street area, and the ride to and fro is rife with ocean views and tree lined roads.

Earthly Delights is not an exclusively vegan or vegetarian restaurant. They do serve meat, and their focus is on organic foods. They are also quite close to the Cape Cod Natural Foods store in Centerville, so you might want to combine a trip if you’re heading over from another part of the Cape!

As much as I love Earthly Delights, there are now more options on Cape Cod for vegan eats, and I’m really excited about them and to share with you.

But I do love you, Earthly Delights.  I really do. You will stay on my must visit list!


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Vegan MoFo 2014: All About Travel!

I wasn’t going to participate in VeganMoFo this year, because I just don’t have a lot of time. I haven’t been able to really follow through in the last few years, and that makes me sad. I know that there are lots of bloggers out there who are doing an amazing job for VeganMoFo every year, and I just haven’t. I haven’t been a very consistent blogger here, though I have been regularly contributing to my column over at

It looks like I didn’t quite get in on time to be officially included, but I’m here and ready to blog for VeganMoFo! I will be aiming for 20 posts.

So, recently, I have been working. A lot.

The plus side to all the working is that I am starting to have enough extra income that I can meet my goals and have some fun- part of which includes traveling!

I found out recently at my primary job that I have to start using up my vacation because of some policy changes. I also need more CEU/CME credits over the next year, so it works out to be doing what will hopefully be a lot of travel over the next year.

I have done some travel in the last year or two that I never even bothered to write up for the blog, and that’s just a shame! So for VeganMoFo this year, I will be sharing some of my past travels, recent travels, ongoing travels, travel inspired cooking and travel preparation tips… and I think I’ve got myself a theme for VeganMoFo this year!

That’s not to say that I might not break the theme at all to participate in any challenges that come up or other ways of being in the now, but I’m hoping to bring a little life back into this blog this VeganMoFo.

To kick things off, I just wanted to share something from my most recent travels- a trip to Cape Cod last week. I don’t often think of the Cape as travel, as it’s home for me- where I grew up and lived for the first 30 years of my life (less college), but since now when I go back I do it with NY plates on my car, travel it really is.

My mom made me vegan brownies!

My mom made me vegan brownies!

I left late in the evening for about a 1AM arrival at my mom’s house, meaning I got home long after everyone else was asleep. This was okay (but turned out not to be a great way to avoid traffic), made even better by the fact that I walked into the kitchen and there was a pan of brownies waiting for me!

Stay tuned over the next few days for some Cape Cod vegan highlights!

And of course, happy VeganMoFo 2014!


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Vegan and the Flu Shot: Update

Check out the 2018 Update!

I am noticing that my flu shot post from last year has gotten really popular recently. We are in midst of flu season, so I suppose that shouldn’t be surprising!

In case you are curious about my situation- I didn’t get a flu shot again this year. As a child, I had been diagnosed with an egg allergy, so I had been avoiding on those grounds. Last year a new egg-free (but not vegan) flu shot became available- except this year, I couldn’t find it anywhere. Not through my employer (I work in healthcare), my primary care doctor, local flu clinics or even the allergist.

Which brings me to the allergy- because of some other sinus problems I’ve been having, I saw an allergist at my primary care’s suggestion. Turns out, I’m no longer allergic to eggs (actually, I have very little in the way of allergies, so I’m still working on the sinus issue). Ergo, I can have the regular flu shot.

Flu Vaccine Technologies

How the regular flu shot is made. Picture from the FDA, used under a US Government Works license.


This brought me to a dilemma: now that I have the option, what do I actually do?

For this year, I decided that because it’s already well into flu season and it takes a bit of time to build immunity after getting the shot, the benefits would not be as clear cut for this flu season. Mind you, flu season typically goes until April, so this is still a decision that individuals can make in January or February.

Interestingly, in New York, where I live and work, a law went into effect this year for health care providers, basically requiring anyone who works in a hospital, nursing home, or most other state-regulated facilities are required to have the flu shot. In the event of a religious/philosophical or medical reason for not getting the shot, the health care provider must wear a mask at all times while on duty where patients might be, except while eating.

This regulation covers an awful lot of health care providers, but for now, doesn’t apply to me. Again, I don’t have to address the issue, but that could always change.

So what should you know about the flu this year?

For more information on the 2013-2014 flu season, check out the CDC’s page.

For now, I’m taking it year by year. I know when next fall rolls around I’ll have another decision to make- and I’m not so sure yet.

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More on Tofu


Jerk Tofu. Looks good, doesn’t it?

Over on my I Eat Plants column today, I’ve written more about the wonders of tofu, and shared a recipe for Jerk Tofu, one of my favorite ways to eat it.

A while back I wrote about tofu here. It’s a long, long guide, but well worth the read!

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Vegan Donut Workshop at ICE

Oooh, another cooking class!

I’m embarrassed at how long it took me to blog this one.

I recently not-so-recently took another class at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) with chef Adam Sobel of The Cinnamon Snail. Last time was Decadent Vegan Breakfasts; this time was Vegan Donuts!

If you’ve read about other NYC area cooking classes I’ve taken, you may know that I’m not big on baking, or “dessert” type classes. It’s not that I don’t like to bake, it’s more that I want to avoid making sugary stuff at home. I’m guessing that donut making is not going to become a regular part of my kitchen repertoire, so I think I’m safe! But learning how to make donuts was incredibly cool.

I don’t know that I got enough out of this class to start making my own donuts- they’re a lot of work, and I haven’t made any yet. I did buy myself a mini donut dropper because I had aspirations of making my own apple cider donuts (which we did not make in class), but apple cider season has passed and I have yet to do so. Maybe next year. 🙂

Rather than expound on the experience of making donuts, I bring you my photo essay. Doesn’t the class look fun?


I believe that this is the liquid component for the basic cut-out donut recipe.


I only included this picture so you can see what a ginormous stand mixer that is!


The basic donut dough resting before it’s time to use.


Ready to roll!


And cut!


Fritter filling- pear and lavender.


The oil, getting ready for frying. You did know that donuts are not health food, right?


We did a lot of moving from one recipe to another- this is a drop donut dough- looks more like a batter.


Fritters, getting all cut up.


The donut dropper- this is what you use when you want all the edges round.


Icing some of the donuts.


Starting to pile up the donuts. That’s not all of them!


We got to play with fire.


Piling up more of them!


The famous Creme Brûlée Donuts!

I had a great time in this class. If you get the chance to take it, do it! You will not be disappointed with how many donuts you will walk away with- just don’t forget to invite a friend over to help you eat them later!

Disclaimer: links in this post to Amazon are affiliate links, meaning that I make a small commission if you buy something through the link. Very, very small. Just so you know, okay?

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Bareburger in Hartsdale, NY

There’s a new burger joint in my ‘hood, and it serves not 1, but three different vegan burgers. Yeah, you heard me. Head on over to my I Eat Plants column from today and check it out!

Vegan Black Bean Burger and Fries

Vegan Black Bean Burger with Fries!

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