Taco Trucks and Trumpkin Pie

This election, I’m voting for taco trucks on every corner. Because America was built by immigrants (well, after they stole the land from the Native Americans). Because everyone deserves the opportunity to see what our nation has to offer. And because why else would Election Day fall on Taco Tuesday? (PS: Hell yeah, there’s hot sauce on those tacos.)

Vegan lentil tacos with Brussels sprout slaw and hot sauce

Continue reading “Taco Trucks and Trumpkin Pie”

Pittsburgh: where vegans get not one, but THREE festivals

Pittsburgh’s 8th Vegan Festival was yesterday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills.

When I first moved to Pittsburgh a few months ago, I assumed they didn’t have any VegFests. After all, Philadelphia is a larger (and more veg-friendly) city, and it just held its first VegFest 2 years ago.

But as it turns out, we get 3 festivals a year! Continue reading “Pittsburgh: where vegans get not one, but THREE festivals”

Chia seeds pouring out of jar on rainbow background

How to Make a (Not Gross) Smoothie with Chia Seeds

You heard that chia seeds are a superfood full of protein, omega-3s, fiber, and other important nutrients. And you’ve seen countless people put them into smoothies. So you decide to give it a try, and throw a spoonful into the blender with your normal smoothie ingredients.

It tastes good at first, but within a few minutes it starts congealing into a thick blob that’s impossible to sip. You try to finish it because you hate wasting food and your stomach’s rumbling, but each slimy chunk sliding down your throat makes you want to vomit. So you throw it out (does this go down the drain or in the trash??) and vow never to put chia seeds in a smoothie again.

Not so fast! Follow these tricks and never have a chia smoothie fail again. Continue reading “How to Make a (Not Gross) Smoothie with Chia Seeds”

Brussels sprouts before roasting

RECIPE: Pesto Pasta with Brussels Sprouts & Smoky Lentils

Pesto pasta with brussels sprouts and smoky lentils

This recipe is perfect for that pesto you made with your end-of-summer basil crop and threw in the freezer—only to forget about it until fall. Or does that only happen to me?

If you make the pesto & lentils ahead of time, everything else comes together pretty quickly. Plus, you’ll have plenty of leftover lentils to use in other recipes throughout the week. I made mine on Sunday and added some to my stuffed acorn squash. Then, yesterday, I made this pasta. Today, I added some of the lentils to marinara sauce (along with some veggies and Tofurky sausage). And I plan on using them to top a salad for lunch tomorrow.

Not into lentils? I usually make this with Sweet Earth bacon or Tofurky Italian sausage. In fact, when I made it with the lentils I was worried I was losing out on flavor. But my boyfriend, who is not usually a fan of lentils, said he didn’t even think about missing the sausage, and he liked the texture the lentils provided. Continue reading “RECIPE: Pesto Pasta with Brussels Sprouts & Smoky Lentils”

Cooking With Dandelion Flowers

Dandelion Kombucha

Who you callin’ a weed?

This dandelion kombucha is inspired by a homemade, bright yellow dandelion wine I tried several years ago at a potluck. I had always known the leaves of the plant were edible — my mom often talked about how my grandmother used dandelion greens in salad — but it wasn’t until I tried the dandelion wine that I realized the flowers were edible, too.

In fact, the whole plant is edible, down to the roots, which are often roasted and used as an alternative to coffee.

My good friend Monica inspired me to finally try it out for myself. My yard is full of dandelions and other beautiful flora, especially before the first mow of the season (which is happening as I type). I was able to harvest plenty of the sunny flowers to make two gallons of booch while leaving enough to ensure they’ll come back in full force again next year.

Read on to learn how to make your own dandelion infusion with a touch of citrus to balance the flower’s light, slightly sweet, earthy flavor. You can then add this infusion to flavor kombucha, lemonade, or other drinks. Continue reading “Dandelion Kombucha”

That’s It! Fruit Bars

The other day, my friend Jaime K of Save the Kales! posted a video about Twinkies—which have 39 ingredients—being cheaper than carrots, which are just pulled out of the ground. The food industry subsidizes crops that are unhealthy for us (corn and soy, which get manufactured into ingredients such as HFCS, dextrose, soy protein isolate, and lecithin), making those products cheaper than healthy, whole fruits and vegetables.

In addition to bringing up issues of unhealthy, processed foods being cheaper than whole foods, the video brings up another point: why do the foods we eat contain so many ingredients? Every vegan understands the plight of reading food labels and not knowing what half the ingredients listed even are, much less whether they’re vegan (is that confectioners’ glaze made from corn or bugs?).

Well, I’ve got good news for you ingredient readers: It just got easier. There’s a new brand of bars on the market, That’s It fruit bars, whose products only have two ingredients each: fruit and fruit. No preservatives, no added color, no “what the hell is this even” chemicals. All in the convenience of a grab-and-go bar.

Continue reading “That’s It! Fruit Bars”

Happy Vegan Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from Louzilla Lovegood Letters!

I’m now on the board of directors at for the Animals Sanctuary, and with that on top of everything else (school, VEG, work, etc), I’ve been quite busy—hence the lack of blog updates.

I do want to share my vegan Thanksgiving meal though. There are a lot of negative associations with Thanksgiving, in regards to both its cultural history and the turkey slaughter that takes place for many people’s meals. I acknowledge that, but I’m going to keep this post positive. I’m thankful to have such a vegan-friendly family who, although they still eat a turkey on Thanksgiving (boo), are willing to make the mashed potatoes vegan and enjoy most of the food I make. I’m thankful to be able to share it with them. I’m also thankful for all the amazing vegans in my life, even though I wasn’t able to spend the holiday with any of them.

So, what does a vegan eat for thanksgiving? Continue reading “Happy Thanksgiving from Louzilla Lovegood Letters!”

zucchini wrapped tofu with marinara

RECIPE: Zucchini-Wrapped Lemon Pepper Tofu with Cabernet Marinara

For whatever reason, a few days ago I got the urge to wrap something in zucchini strips (don’t we all?). My mom had also requested I make a cabernet marinara sauce, like her mama used to. Unfortunately, we don’t have Grandma’s cabernet marinara recipe, so I just adapted the pizza sauce recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance.

I had some tofu in the fridge and not much else, so this dish was born. It looks super fancy and tastes awesome, but is actually pretty easy to make.

zucchini wrapped tofu with marinara


Continue reading “RECIPE: Zucchini-Wrapped Lemon Pepper Tofu with Cabernet Marinara”