comfort food

Veganized: Cookie Cheesecake Bars

Happy New Year!!

As a vegan living in a predominately non-vegan world, we all have seen recipes we would like to veganize. Daily, on Facebook, I see those fast tutorial recipe videos that look so delicious and so easy! Recently, I stumbled upon Slutty Cheesecake Bars from stating (they are so good), they “will get around”. They looked amazing and easily veganizable.

Serves 9


1 package Pre-made Cookie Dough (I used Eat Pastry Chocolate Chip)

1 package Oreos

2 8 ounce Vegan Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese)

1/2 Cup Cane Sugar

3 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer (blended with 4 tablespoons warm water)

Dash of Salt


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease an 8×8 pan.

2. Press cookie dough evenly throughout bottom of pan.

3. Add layer of Oreos.

4. Combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and Ener-G Egg Replacer.

5. Add cream cheese mixer to pan.

6. Crumble Oreos on top.

7. Bake for 35 minutes.

8. Place pan in refrigerator and let chill for 3 hours minimum but preferably overnight for best consistency.

9. Cut into 9 squares and enjoy!


I trained for my first marathon… AKA I ate a lot of pizza.

This year, I decided to take my running to the next level and run my first ever marathon.  As a Philadelphian, I chose the fall 2015 Philadelphia Marathon and enlisted Rita at Breakaway Bikes to provide me with the best training in the city.  During my 21 weeks of extensive training, I became one hungry girl.  Training for a race of this sort leaves you feeling hungry… all the time.  For me, I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted and however much I wanted without feeling a shred of eaters remorse. I was a machine, specifically.. a pizza eating machine.  Each week,  once (or twice) a week I would find the best (and some mediocre) pizza in the city (and a few in New Jersey) and put it up to the long run fuel test.

Get ready to drool over my favorite and not so favorite vegan pizza pies…

NOTE: I stuck with primarily marinara style pizzas as this worked perfect as fuel!  Also, do not be fooled, I ate the whole pizza, each time.  No sharing during marathon training.


  1. Zavino – Gayborhood – 112 South 13th Street; Philadelphia, PA 19107


I had this gloriously wood fire pizza (and glass of red wine) the night before the Rock & Roll half marathon.   The sauce here was perfect and the pizza itself was cooked to perfection.  Zavino is quite the hot spot but definitely worth the wait.  My friend and I were lucky enough to grab bar seats immediately.

2. Taconelli’s – Port Richmond – 2604 East Somerset Street; Philadelphia, PA 19134


This. Sauce.  I am 100% not a fan of a ton of sauce but this is the exception.  I could actually drink it.

Side Note: Dough must be ordered in advance but it is worth it. This pizza is pretty much everything and the fact that it is in, Port Richmond, the neighborhood where I grew up gives it a special place in my heart.

3. Nomad Philadelphia – 611 South 7th Street; Philadelphia, PA 19147

Nomad Pizza

Nomad was my first pizza love early on.  I think I told EVERYONE about how good it was.  As you can see from my other pizza comments, it is all in the sauce.  Nomad’s marinara was equally perfect.

4.  Blackbird Pizzeria – 507 South 6th Street; Philadelphia, PA 19147


Ahhh Blackbird.  The food here warms my soul therefore I had this pizza (among other things) 3 times throughout training.  It was my go-to on nights when I wanted to stay in or I was too sweaty from a Friday night run to go to anywhere fancy.  My recommendation, always, is to go here and try everything.  The food coma is well worth it.

5. Pizzeria Vetri – Callowhill – 1939 Callowhill Street; Philadelphia, PA

Pizzaria Vetri

Another pizza done right.  Killer sauce, crisp crust, perfection.  There were some very interesting pizzas on the menu here.  I may go back a play around with some of the other toppings.


  1. Bufad – 1240 Spring Garden Street; Philadelphia, PA 19123


In one word, floppy.  This pizza was so… floppy.  It looked delicious but looks can be deceiving.  Maybe if they cooked it just a tad bit more it would have been better.

2. Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar – University City – 200 South 40th Street; Philadelphia, PA 19104


Literally had the worst time here confirming the ingredients were vegan.  Traditional pizza dough does not contain egg.  Our waitress seemed certain it had egg.  I pretty much had to walk her over to ask the kitchen if it did.  As I suspected,  no egg in the dough.  For a restaurant that boasts a menu full of veggie and low-cal farm fresh meals, I was not happy with this experience.

The Good:

  1. Nomad Roman – 1305 Locust Street; Philadelphia, PA 19104

Nomad Roman

If you like it thin, you’ll LOVE this pizza.  For me, however, it did not fit (I am a fan of thin but more of a Neapolitan style pizza) but was still very very delicious.    A bit on the spicy side but that never bothers me.

2. Taconelli’s Pizza Maple Shade – Maple Shade – 27 West Main Street; Maple Shade, NJ 08052

Taconelli's NJ

This Taconelli’s is owned by another member of the same family who owns the OG in Port Richmond.  I might just be crazy but I do not think the sauce is AS good.  Its good but not on the level of the original.  On a brighter note,  this NJ location contains more than just pizza and no dough pre-order required.  I do not know about you, but I am a fan of the salad/pizza combo.  Their menu also contains pasta dishes.

3. Jules Thin Crust – Cherry Hill – 1650 Kings Highway North; Cherry Hill, NJ

Jules Thin Crust - NJ

Stumbled upon this was while venturing to New Jersey and it was delightful.  The crust was thin, as stated in the name, and it was perfect.  The whole business has a pretty good story behind it as well.

4. Dock Street Brewery – West Philly – 701 South 50th Street; Philadelphia, PA 19143

Dock Street Brewery

This gem in the heart of West Philly makes a fantastic vegan pizza.  If you like beer and pizza, it is worth the trek west.

5. Bricco Coal Fired Pizza – 128 Haddon Ave; Westmont, NJ 08108

Bricco - NJ


During POPE weekend, I ventured to New Jersey a lot to avoid the crowds and found Briccos on Haddonfeild Road.  They know what they are doing here.   Their pizzas are delicious and filling.

6. Spuntino – Northern Liberties – 701 North 2nd Street; Philadelphia, PA 19123


This new wood-fire pizza joint was a treat.  The pizza was cooked perfect and it came out really fast.  ALSO, when you order a salad, you receive a piece of freshly baked dough.   It was awesome.

The Ehhh:

  1. 1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza – Cherry Hill – 2000 Marlton Pike; West Cherry Hill, NJ

1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzaria

Mehhh, this pizza was fast.  I had a lot of trouble with the employees not knowing the ingredients in the dough resulting in my biggest vegan conversation pet peeve…

Me: “Is the gluten free dough vegan?”
Employee: “Well yes, its gluten free.”

.. The gluten free dough ended up having egg.  BUT the regular dough was vegan and they had pineapple as a topping so I was happy.  They restaurant prides itself on being fast but my pizza was floppy.  I am not a fan of floppy pizza.

2. Debbie’s Place – Port Richmond – 2617 East Westmoreland; Philadelphia, PA 19134

Debbies Place

I call this the “Cardboard Pizza” or “Bar Pizza”.  It is so simple, so processed, so perfect.. especially when there is nothing else around.  I am sure it would be even better with toppings but I would typically eat these hours before a long run so I did not want to test the limits of my stomach with new things.

I hope this post got your hungry for some pizza and maybe motivated to marathon train.  The perks are amazing.  For 21 weeks I could eat everything, lose 11 lbs and better my endurance (both pizza eating and running related.)  In the end, I certify pizza the #1 long run food.  



Disney World as a Vegan — PART II

Walt Disney World
Orlando, Florida


Soooo I sort of cannot stay away from Disney World.  Who can really?  This December I returned for my second trip as a vegan.  I learned a lot from my first trip as a vegan last year and felt pretty confident about this one.  However, I did do my research again.  A lot could change in a year! Thankfully my friends over at the Vegan Disney World blog opened my eyes to some new food endeavors.

In this recap, I have added two sections that I previously left out: Rants & Raves and pricing.  As a vegan, I do not feel the dining plan is worth it.  In previous years, the dining plan left me with a daily bloated feeling, as I felt the need to over indulge with desserts and too many snacks simply because it was included.  My most recent experience proved it was cheaper to do without the plan.  7 out of the 10 days, I ate breakfast in the room.  There is a Whole Foods located 15 minutes from the park.  I picked up bagels and fruit.

I present to you my experience as a vegan in Disney World for the second time.  See my post Disney World as a Vegan for my first encounter.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Lunch – Counter Service
Pizza Planet Arcade

Vegetable Pizza ($9.69)- Mushrooms, Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes served with Caesar Salad

VEGANIZED: Surprisingly, they have soy cheese here.  Order your pizza with soy cheese (it may take a little longer to make).  In place of the Caesar Salad, they will give you a cup of lettuce with Italian dressing.

Pizza Planet Arcade


Rants & Raves:  In my opinion,  this would have been awesome except my pizza came out cold.  I would recommend asking for your pizza well done to avoid this issue.

Dinner – Table Service
The Hollywood Brown Derby

ALREADY VEGAN — Noodle Bowl ($29): Wok-fried Coconut Tofu, Soy Beans, Sugar Snap Peas, Bok Choy, and Shiitake Mushrooms in a Red Curry Broth

(The rolls served are also vegan here and the waiter was happy to bring olive oil to the table for dipping. )

The Hollywood Brown Derby

Rants & Raves: The taste of this dish was perfect.  The tofu, was a bit small but full of flavor and cooked just right.


Dinner – Table Service
Via Napoli 

ALREADY VEGAN — Appetizer ($7 per person): “Family Style” House Salad – Served exclusively with pizza! Leaf lettuces, roasted red peppers, marinated mushrooms, olives, peperoncini, red wine vinaigrette – (minimum 2 people)

Via Napoli 2

Build Your Own Pizza ($17)

Margherita – tomato, mozzarella, basil

Add a topping – ($3.50 each) – Eggplant, Pepperoni, Italian Spicy Sausage, Fontina Cheese, Proscuitto, Red Peppers, Artichoke, Olives, Anchovies, Mushrooms, Onions, Zucchini, Parmacotto Ham, Arugula, Chicken Sausage, Pancetta, Fresh Diced tomatoes

VEGANIZED: Hold the cheese.  Add veggies. 

Via Napoli 1


Rants & Raves:  I am not cheap.  This pizza, however, was overpriced.  For the individual pizza with mushrooms, onions and fresh diced tomatoes the total was $27.50.  They did not take into consideration that declined cheese.  Overall though, the pizza was amazing. The wood fire grill cooked the pizza perfectly and the flavor was not lacking.

Dinner – Table Service
Teppan Edo – Hibachi Style Dining

Appetizer: Garden Salad ($5.95) – Mixed greens and seasonal vegetables with your choice of our original ginger dressing or creamy sesame dressing

VEGANIZED: Choose the ginger dressing for the salad.

Teppan Edo Part II

Yasai ($17.95) – fresh seasonal vegetables
– includes seasonal vegetables with udon noodles and steamed sukiyaki beef rice

VEGANIZED: Mention to the manager, waitress and chef that you are vegan. In my case, they cooked all vegetables prior to cooking meat products. Opt out of the udon noodles and steamed sukiyaki beef rice and ask for white rice.  If you do not want them to use the same grill top, they will even cook your vegetable in the back kitchen.

Teppan Edo Part II 2


Rants & Raves:  Any hibachi in the world could provide the same quality vegetable stir fry.  The ginger dressing made the salad delicious and the vegetables were seasoned wonderfully.  My sister happens to love Hibachi’s and this was the only reason we ate here.  It is a solid meal but not a top pick amongDisney Dining.

World Showcase, ETC.
“Drinking Around the World

Every time I go to Disney, I attempt the nearly impossible, unofficial, feat of “Drinking Around the World”. For those who are not familiar, a person attempts to have one drink in every country along the World Showcase, a la “Drinking Around the World”.  I have never made the full loop though I know snacking in each country is key.  This is tough for a vegan.

Mexico – La Cava de Tequila

ALREADY VEGAN: Chips and Guacamole

Note: They also have a PHENOMENAL Avocado Margarita here. ($13.50)


The American Adventure

ALREADY VEGAN: Pretzels ($4.29)


Morroco – the Tangierine Cafe

ALREADY VEGAN: Hummus ($2.99)

Breakfast – Buffet
Tusker House – Donald’s Safari Breakfast

VEGANIZED: ($29.99) The chef prepared the following items special per the vegan diet.

Mickey waffles – Also gluten free

ALREADY VEGAN: Fresh Fruit, potatoes, plantains and white rice

Tusker Hourse Restaurant PART II

Rants & Raves:  Unless you have children or are dying to see characters, this place is just meh for breakfast.  Veganized Mickey Waffles can be found at almost all quick service breakfast locations and are under $10.  These two waffles were pretty much $30.

Animal Kingdom

Yak & Yeti

Vegetable Lo Mein with Tofu ($18.99) — Lo Mein noodles, carrots, cabbage, green onions, bean sprouts
VEGANIZED: Substitute rice. Lo Mein noodles contain egg.

Yak & Yeti


Rants & Raves:  Sorry for the poor photo quality.  The meal was glorified vegetable fried rice.  Just.. meh.

Mr. Kamal’s Kiosk – Asia (Near Flights of Wonder)

ALREADY VEGAN —  Pea and Potato Samosas with Mango Chutney ($5.99)

Mr. Kamal's

Rants & Raves:  I would make an effort to try these while in Animal Kingdom.  They are hands down my favorite snack in the park.

Magic Kingdom

Lunch – Counter Service
Columbia Harbor House – Liberty Square

ALREADY VEGAN: Vegetarian Chili ($4.99) & French Fries ($2.99) (if you do not mind the joint fryer.)

Columbia Harbor House


Rants & Raves: I honestly loved this lunch.  At the time it was exactly what I wanted.  I would totally recommend this place.  It is pretty much the hottest quick service in the Magic Kingdom due to its omnivore options.

Lunch – Counter Service
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe – Tomorrow Land

Vegetable Burger ($9.99)– with choice of Apple Slices, Green Beans, or French Fries

VEGANIZED: Substitute regular bun for dairy-free bun.

Cosmic Rays

Rants and Raves: I LOVE this place.  Their condiment bar is PERFECT.  As you can see I love pickles too and they are unlimited.

Aloha Isle – Adventureland (Near Swiss Family Treehouse)

ALREADY VEGAN: Pineapple Dole Whip ($3.99)

Dole Whip

Rants & Raves: Heaven in a cup! Worth the wait in line (Yes, there will be a line).

(Please note: The vanilla flavor offered is NOT vegan.)

Plaza Ice Cream Parlor – Main Street USA

ALREADY VEGAN: Vanilla and Chocolate Tofutti Cup! ($4.49)

Ice Cream

Dinner – Table Service
Be Our Guest

ALREADY VEGAN – Appetizer – Seasonal Salad Trio ($7.99): Three individual bowls of: Roasted Beet, Gold Raisin, Orange Salad and Green Bean, Tomato, Roasted Shallot Salad and Watermelon, Radish, and Mint Salad

Be Our Guest 2

ALREADY VEGAN – Layered Ratatouille ($17.49): Oven-baked Zucchini, Eggplant, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Caramelized Onions sliced and layered on Quinoa served with a Bell Pepper Sauce

Be Our Guest

Rants & Raves: Sorry for the poor quality photos, it is a bit dark in the Enchanted Castle.  The environment is lovely but I would not return.  The ratatouille was bland and the though the salad trio could hold its own, without an entree it is not worth it.  Also, unlike all the other restaurants, the chef would not even come to the table to talk about the vegan options.


Dinner – Buffet
Wilderness Lodge – Fort Wilderness –Trail’s End (Featuring Chef TJ)

Chef TJ at Trail’s End in the Fort Wilderness section of the Wilderness Lodge will specially cook vegans a DELICIOUS four course meal.  I could not tell you what exactly my four courses were, exactly.  Just take my word for it that as a vegan, in Disney World, this meal was the best of the best. 

Spicy Sweet Buns with Coconut Carrot Soup

Trail's End 1

Spring Rolls with Balsamic Glaze and Arugula Salad

Trail's End 2

Grilled Vegetables & Barbecue Tofu with  Noodle Salad

Trail's End 3

Strawberry-Banana-Brownie-Ice Cream Sandwich- Ice Cream-Dessert Tower

Trails End 4

Rants & Raves:  Everything was perfect! My recommendation is to arrive at Trail’s End SUPER hungry and ready to eat.  Everything is made to order.  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, eat anything at the buffet before your order comes out.  You will not have room for the amount of food Chef TJ prepares.  You will regret it. That being said, a Trails End TJ Experience is a MUST for vegans vacationing in Disney World.  Make sure you call in advance though, TJ only works certain nights and you DO NOT want to miss this culinary experience.  Another plus for you pocket, Trail’s End is the cheapest dinner buffet on Walt Disney World property.

Polynesian – Kona Cafe

Tonga Toast ($12.99) – Banana-stuffed Sourdough French Toast rolled in Cinnamon Sugar and served with a Strawberry Compote and your choice of Ham, Bacon, or Sausage

VEGANIZED – If you find a willing chef, they will soak in soy milk opposed to egg.  If you find a SUPER willing chef they will pan fry the toast for you.   If you are a vegan with no problem with shared fryers, they can also deep fry the toast that way.  Also, request no strawberry compote, it has dairy.  Substitute potatoes for meat option.

Kona Cafe

Rants & Raves: I still dream about how perfect this toast was.  Try your best to convince the chef to make it.  They will give in, hopefully.  Another “I’m not cheap but…” annoyance.  They charged me for the side of potatoes instead of subbing them for the meat I clearly did not receive nor want to received.

And there you have it… vegan options in Disney from my point of view.  There are a few more, but these are the ones that worked best for me during my visit. Side note, be prepared to talk to managers and chefs at all restaurants.  Also, prepare wait longer than your omnivore friends/family for food.  Everything vegan in Disney is more or less made to order.  

For further vegan options, I would view or, the constantly updated blog, Vegan Disney World.

High Hopes Vegan Bakery

We loved sugar.  As vegans, we are never deprived of delicious baked goods.  We honestly feel vegan desserts are even better than their dairy counterparts, but that’s just us.  Recently we were able to try a few items from an Etsy, online based, bakery.

High Hopes Vegan Bakery

High Hopes Vegan Bakery is physically located in South Carolina but ships its sweet treats anywhere, to anyone looking to satisfy their sweet tooth.   This is great.  Though we are lucky in Philadelphia and have easy access to vegan dessert/treats/donuts, not everyone is.   Online bakeries are perfect for those not so savvy in the kitchen or those who do not have access to great vegan bakeries or simply those who like other people baking for them.  High Hopes Vegan Bakery, is not only delicious and fresh upon delivery, it is adequately priced.  From cinnamon buns to chocolate chip cookies, the bakery has something for everyone!  So go, get your sweet tooth on and pop over to the High Hopes Vegan Bakery.  You will not be disappointed!

Our favorite: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cups.  Let’s just say they give Reese’s cups a run for their money.


Miss Rachel’s Pantry

For as far as I can remember, in my vegan life, I have always wanted to try Miss Rachel’s Pantry.  I had attended the Be Well Philly Boot Camp in 2013 and sat in on a cooking demo with Rachel.  I became thrilled that there were vegan chefs of her “vegan cutie” caliber, in Philadelphia, catering and holding weekly dinner parties. I wanted in.  Busy life took over and conflicting schedules got in the way, but finally the stars aligned and I met my Miss Rachel’s Pantry fate…

One day, last month, I received a message from Kiera Smalls of City Fit Girls asking to attend her dinner party… at… Miss Rachel’s Pantry! I jumped at the invite.  The dinner would consist of 10 like-minded, vegan, health and fitness conscious, awesome, passionate  girls from Philadelphia and its surrounding area.  The night was perfect but I am sure everyone is more interested in the menu and food for the night.

Mini Biscuits – homemade margarine, berries, walnuts

Takia - Apps

 BBQ Tempeh-Walnut Slider Trio, caramelized onions, celery slaw, mezza arugula

Kiera - BBQ Tempeh

 Savory Tofu Scramble Enchilada, bean puree, cilantro chimichurri, chipotle cream

Miss Rachel's Pantry 7

Salt-Roasted Golden Beetroot Salad, indigo rose and other exciting heirloom tomatoes, cashew cheese, basil vinaigrette

Miss Rachel's Pantry 9

Chill Cucumber Bisque, crushed pistachios, grilled jalapeno, avocado, coconut bacon

Miss Rachel's Pantry 8

Creamy Elbow Mac, Smoked Seitan Roast, caramelized kale

Miss Rachel's Pantry 2

Seared Maitakes, whipped coconut milk and horseradish butterball potatoes, garbanzo shoots, truffle jus

Miss Rachel's Pantry 1

Key Lime Pie, whipped cream, candied lime, graham crust

Miss Rachel's Pantry 4

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Miss Rachel's Pantry 3

In conclusion, I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend planning a you next dinner party at Miss Rachel’s Pantry, or considering having an event catered.  The deliciousness of the food cannot be put into words.  All that can be said is all 10 girls with full bellies and extremely happy mouths on Saturday.

End note: It was very lovely meeting all the girls at the dinner party!  Everyone should go check out these fierce vegan woman on their social media platforms.  They are all inspiring!

Group(Left to Right)


Meagan, pastry chef at the awesome Vegan Commissary, City Fit Girls ambassador and cross fit super women. Me :), office worker by day, vegan food finder and consumer by night. LJ, vegan Twitter Queen. Kiera, half of the City Fit Girls empire and boot camp babe! Joy, New Jersey loving vegan runner.


I AM TERRIBLE WITH REMEMBERING NAME (SORRY:( ), Rachel’s sous chef and creator of our sweet desserts! Lia, cyclist, runner, and iron women for the animals. Rachel, kickass Philadelphia director of the Humane LeaguePam, webivore LARGELY responsible for that lovely Philly Veg Dining Guide oh and light bulb behind our dinner. Melissa, awesome holistic health counselor and donkey mom! Alli, vegan Philadelphia implant and super smart engineer chick! Takia, second half of the City Fit Girls empire and farmers market enthusiast! Rachel, thee Rachel of Miss Rachel’s Pantry and ultimate vegan cutie.

Detour: Vegan Tucson, Arizona

I love travel. There are never any vacation days left over for me and trips are planned a year before. That being said, work offered an opportunity to travel and help out a property in Tucson for their busy season. I jumped at the chance. Though there are not many, there are vegan choices in this Mexico-esque city. Here are my thoughts on my favorite places to eat in Tucson, Arizona…

Lovin’ Spoonfuls Vegetarian Restaurant
Lovin’ Spoonfuls was the most recommended stop from my Instagram crowd so it was only right that it be my first eatery to try. I arrived on a stomach full of only coffee and coconut cashews and resisted the urge to order the comfiest of comfort foods. Instead, I ordered the Hail Caesar, to fit with my health kick I was on, and Battered Beer Brats to satisfy my always lingering need for comfort food. Both were amazing and worth getting again. The brats were perfectly fried and paired with honey mustard and the salad was garnished with carrots, pine nuts and croutons. It was a pleasure as I have not had Caesar salad in sometime.


Over the span of 7 days, I went back 2 more times, mostly due to lack of other vegan options or shear love of the place.  On my next visit, I indulged a bit and ordered the Route 66 Bacon Cheeseburger with a side of potato salad and chips.  The burger was great, the bacon on it, however, was a bit hard to chew through making the burger very messy. But messy smessy,  the meal was delicious and it was worth every single unflattering chew.

Route 66 Bacon Cheeseburger

My 3rd and final visit before leaving Tucson, I went overboard.  I ordered the Golden Nuggets, Shoestring Fries and Spinach Salad.  Everything was perfect but I clearly ordered too much food.  Food coma followed, as expected.


Urban Fresh
Sticking with the health kick, I headed to Urban Fresh for a breakfast juice. A bit of a bad experience but in no way should it effect going here. I arrive at 8:15 to find it didn’t open till 9. Yelp had incorrect hours, ugh, like come on Yelp! The juicer was to arrive in 15 minutes though!! Hooray!! 20 minutes pass… no juicer. The chef, in a means to conduct good customer service, attempts to make my Get Rooted! juice of beet, dalkon, carrot and ginger. I watched his attempt… I saw the ginger go in, a very large chunk of ginger, and cringed. Ginger totally overpowered the taste… But I cannot complain, they were trying to get me on my way and they really tried! Plus, the chef mixed up the 16 ounce and 24 ounce cups so I had a very large, ginger juice for the price of a small one.

Mama’s Hawaiian Barbecue
It was free lunch Friday at work so the lunch decision had to be unanimous. As an outsider I just choose to accommodate to whatever lunch the full time staff wanted and find something on the menu.   Everyone choose a Arizona favorite,  Mama’s Hawaiian Barbeque.  To my surprise Mama’s had Teriyaki Tofu on the menu! IT WAS AMAZING! Probably the best cooked tofu I ever had in my life.


Revolutionary Grounds 
For an early riser, Tucson seems to be a ghost town on a Saturday. I stopped for breakfast before work at Revolutionary Grounds, coffee shop/bookstore, owned by a family of at home vegans. Ordered the Revolutionary Bagel which was an everything bagel, topped with avocado, basil pesto and tomato. It was AMAZING and boy it is nice to indulge in the perfect specimen that is the bagel, sometimes.

Revolutionary Grounds

Food for Ascension Cafe
I absolutely loved this place!  The atmosphere was so serene and welcoming.  It was also nice to have a friendly chat with a Philadelphia native who worked there and recognized my accent… but that’s besides the point.   The food, all organic and local.n  Everything about this place was too good not to love.   I chose a rooftop seat and the view was just perfect.  The menu had tons of appealing items so it was hard to choose! I decided on Biscuits and Gravy with a side of Turmeric Potatoes.  YUM.   This is a MUST STOP for anyone visiting the area! I  even tried to go back a second time.

Food for Ascencion

Mexico in Season

I was super excited to try this place!  As Tuscon was so close to Mexico, I knew the Mexican influence would be apparent in the cities food culture.  Mexico in Season was a top place on Yelp, that boasted vegan Mexican options.  After checking out the menu… vegan cheese CHECK, vegan sour cream CHECK. I AM THERE.  I arrived for lunch to an empty quick service restaurant.  Normally I see this as a bad sign but who knows, it could have been a non-peak lunch time in Tuscon even though it was 12:45.  SO I ordered the burrito bowl… as I walked down the Chipotle inspired ordering counter, I ask about the vegan cheese and sour cream, they had neither.  I was extremely disappointed, as I would not have went out of my way to try this place as there were other places closer to my work I could have went to and received the same meal.   The food was just okay.   I would call ahead for anyone planning to go here for the special vegan options in the future.

Mexico in Season

 Whole Food Speedway

Whole Foods… the savior of for all vegan travelers!  This was my go-to place for snacks and even two meals!  The vegan options were amazing.  In my time there, I tried the Vegan Potato Salad, Sesame Kale Salad, Vegan Chicken Salad Wrap, and more Sesame Kale Salad 🙂  Oh and on my final day at the office I picked up treats for the offices! Whether it be for a regular at home shopping trip or as a go to for something quick on vacation/out of town, Whole Foods is always a go to for use Philly Vegans.


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Quinoa Protein Balls

In prepping for camping this weekend, the job I volunteered for was meal planning and prep! I was obviously excited to do this.  Food for camping must be compact, with little refrigeration needed.  Stay tuned for the full menu early.  In the meantime, take a look and try the recipe for these compact, semi-raw, quinoa protein balls.  The perfect camping snack!  I just hope bears don’t like quinoa!

Homemade 26


Quinoa Protein Balls
Makes 20 Golf-sized Balls

16 pitted Dates
3/4 cup Nut Butter (I used peanut butter for these)
1 Scoop MCT Lean Vegan Protein Blend Vanilla or Chocolate
1 cup cooked Quinoa
1 tablespoon Flaxseeds
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 teaspoon Maca Powder
1/4 cup Chopped Walnuts
1 tablespoon Hemp Seed Hearts



  1. Add dated to food processor.  Pulse until chopped.
  2. Add nut butter. Pulse until combined.
  3. Add cooked quinoa. Pulse.
  4. Add remainder of ingredients. Pulse until combined.
  5. Roll into balls.
  6. Refrigerate for 2 hours minimum.  The longer the better.
  7. Enjoy!