Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hey Chili's - Chilli Isn't the Only One Who Wants More Vegan Food!

Did you hear the news that Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas of the group, TLC, asked Chili's restaurant to add more vegan options to the menu?

How CrazySexyCool of her! She speaks for many of us in the vegan community who dine at Chili's restaurant and are so bored with what they have to offer their plant-based guests.

Chilli asked Chili's to add vegan "chicken" and other more exciting animal-free food to their offerings, and I really hope the chain eatery takes notice of this message from the famous singer as well as the vegan community as a whole. Whether people dining at Chili's are vegan or not, society is going in the direction of more plant-based, for lots of reasons. I'm hearing more people than ever say that they are avoiding animal products for health and environmental reasons in addition to having compassion for animals. People who are battling health issues are being told by their doctors to go vegetarian to help lower cholesterol and help their health in many other ways. I've spoke to people who have trouble with allergies or acne and are being advised to avoid animal products like dairy to clear up their medical issues. So it would be a smart business move for Chili's to offer decent vegan options for EVERYONE. Just like diners have the choice between a variety of dishes, several plant-based ones should be offered as well. Think about it, restaurants have lots of different chicken or beef dishes on their menu, so why have only one vegan one to choose from? If someone wants chicken they have 10 options or more, but a person who wants to eat vegan at that meal, only has one option - that's not fair at all. I can even argue that it is discriminatory, Chili's.

I personally would love to see some of the menu items that I used to enjoy before going vegan, offered as a vegan option. I also think that all restaurants should have this; a dish, then the option to have it animal products OR plant-based. It's not hard to make it almost the same way, but use the vegan ingredients when the customer chooses their meal that way. That would make it fair and equal for ALL patrons and would also drive sales and profits through the roof. There's a whole group of people who feel they can't dine out much or at all, especially at chain restaurants, and make most meals at home or only visit vegan restaurants - because let us face it, dining out is expensive these days, so why waste your hard earned money on an overpriced salad when that is the only crappy option available for vegans? Maybe Chili's will be the restaurant to change that.

Hey Chili's, let me know if I can work with you on creating some exciting vegan options for your restaurants. As a vegan chef, former vegan bakery owner, pastry chef, longtime vegan and expert, and cookbook author, I know a thing or too about vegan cuisine - plus I'd LOVE to help with something like this!

And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off. I hope your day includes a vegan quesadilla or two!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Natural Teeth Whitening

I was asked to try out this Black Is White vegan teeth whitening toothpaste by Curaprox...and here is my result after using it for a few weeks.

I didn't dive right into using this toothpaste the minute I received it. I was told before they sent it is vegan, but I had to do research to make sure - I know, I issues. I also researched the company to be certain that Curaprox does not test on animals. There's some old info confirming that they do not test, however there's not really anything about that fact on their website, which I think is important for them to include because a lot us animal lovers and activists care about that - and also base our decisions to purchase products on that knowledge.

Their website does state that their fluoride is not of animal origin and is a naturally derived fluoride, unlike many of their competitors. They also state that their ingredients are free of harmful chemicals or anything that can be dangerous to you. So I like that a lot.

So without the chemicals, how does the whitening happen, you ask? Active carbon. So as you guessed it, the toothpaste is black, but ultimately leaves your teeth whiter. My teeth were pretty white to begin with, so this is not a dramatic reveal, and I do think my teeth appear whiter after using the product, so it does seem to work nicely. I would say that although this is not a professional whitening treatment (like getting laser teeth whitening at a doctor's office or something), this is a great solution for coffee or tea drinkers in order to maintain those pearly whites.

My teeth felt cleaner after using Curaprox, Black is White...they look whiter as well. 

So that's all for now, Folks! And the Dirty Vegan is signing off - I hope your day sparkles like my teeth.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Goodnight, What Day Was It?

Friday, really? When you are working all the time, you tend to lose track of the days. The days, and weeks, and months all start to meld together in one big clump of work. Luckily, I love what I do, and my life's work has proven that; I have worked on this cause tirelessly for many years. I can go to sleep at night knowing I did good work and feeling like I have served in my life's mission. Service is important. I'd rather give than take, that's what makes me happy. And I am blessed to have found my calling.

However, when you do what I do, you don't get the weekends off. Fridays don't really mean much in terms of getting any time off. Even when I do take vacations, I'm tweeting or blogging it, or searching animal rights news for things to share and get involved in. I'm happy with what I do, but you know what I miss? This...

I miss outside.

I mean, I go outside, I'm not a vampire, but I don't spend nearly as much time outdoors as I would like. Maybe I'm feeling this way because the weather is still wintry, but even then, many of us don't get enough outdoors time. Not like when we were kids. I used to be outside all day long when I was a child. In college, I used to try to convince my professors to hold class outdoors on the lawn, somewhere nice and grassy on campus. Sometimes they listened, but not as much as I wanted. I even campaigned when I was working in the corporate world, to bring our desks outside - the outcome of that was, my bosses thought I was nuts. I told them we'd be more productive, we'd have a more positive outlook - nope, they were against the idea.Why don't people want to be outside anymore?

My goal for the deep spring, I say deep spring because it is far too cold right now in New England, is to bring my laptop outside and work there more. When I'm creating vegan recipes, that isn't always going to work, but I would like to do more writing and photography outside feeling the warm sun on my skin and the cool breeze on my face. I also think we should walk barefoot more often - feel the plush grass beneath our feet and connect with the earth more.

Do you spend a lot of time outside and what are your favorite outdoor activities when you peel yourself away from your desk?

Just When You Think Canadian Seal Hunts Couldn't Get Any Worse

Just when you think the horrific slaughter of seal in Canada couldn't get any worse, it somehow does. How could it be any worse, you ask? I read an article by Sheryl Fink from the Director of Canadian Wildlife Campaigns at the International Fund for Animal Welfare which just confirms my disgust in the human race. Canada has decided to start the senseless killing of innocent beings seal hunt early this year... during pup nursing season!

Imagine for one moment that you are a mama seal, protecting and nurturing your newborn, nursing and bonding with that child, then a spineless hunter slaughters you both. Even if they can distinguish between the genders and try to only target the males, which is almost impossible to do and trust me they don't care, imagine being that new family and the trauma that comes with other seals being slaughtered. This unimaginably cruel practice must be stopped. First let's voice our outrage on that fact that the very minute protection that wildlife does in fact have, is being ripped away from them. What's next, entire species of animals are just wiped off the earth? Not like that hasn't happened before right? Why are we going in the wrong direction? We should be protecting wildlife and moving away from barbaric acts and start living in the modern civilized times that evolution and technology has afforded us.

Please start by giving Sheryl's article a read. She explains why starting the hunt early is not only more cruel, it won't work for their purpose and it equates to senseless killing - so there's no point to this, Then, contact Canadian officials and Fisheries Minister Dominic Leblanc to voice your concern for the early hunt and this inhumane practice in general. Ask for the abolishment of Canadian seal hunting, once and for all.

Thank you for all your activism! We are winning this fight for equality for ALL.

Orange Carrot Tomato Celery Smoothie Recipe

This recipe came over to me from Tyler at Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company. Enjoy!

Orange Carrot Tomato Celery Smoothie

Servings: 2 smoothies (14 oz each)


•1 container (about 5.3 oz) vanilla flavored vegan Greek yogurt
•1 banana, broken into 4 pieces
•1½ cups frozen berries
•½ cup Natalie’s Carrot Tomato Celery Juice
•½ cup Natalie’s Orange Juice
•1 cup baby spinach leaves, washed and dried


Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until the mixture is well blended and no large pieces of fruit remain. Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy.

Credit: Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company

Thanks to the lovely Folks over at Natalie's for sharing this recipe with me and the Dirty Vegan community! And if you would like to check them out, here's their social:

Twitter: @nataliesoj

Instagram: @nataliesoj

Facebook: @nataliesoijc

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Goodnight, Signs

"Sign, sign everywhere a sign"

Five Man Electrical Band?

Never mind. 

Tonight I'm reflecting on the signs of the day. Did you ever have a day, or even a period in your life, where you keep getting the same signs? Maybe it is a word that keeps popping up on tv, in a book you are reading, on the radio, or on social media. How about when you are thinking something, and someone says something similar to what you were just thinking - has that ever happened to you? Is it really a sign, perhaps from the universe, or merely just a coincidence?

Some spiritual experts seem to think that the universe has a plan and also sends messages to people. Most scientific experts say that that isn't possible. So how do we explain these strange coincidences, these signs? And do they mean something?

This happens to me often. I'll be thinking about something random, not something that has been buzzed in the mainstream news, but something very distinct, specific or obscure, then I'll be on Twitter and see someone else tweet about the same exact thing. How is that possible? Sometimes it happens more than once and comes from the same person. Could we be operating on the same brain frequencies or wavelengths as others? Some scientists seem to think that is possible as well, that we are all connected.

It's not like this is a new phenomenon. People have written songs about seeing "signs" (although in the Five Man Electrical Band's case I think they were actually talking about signs, like posted signage. Ace of Base is a better song example for "signs") and more than one of my friends and family members talk about constantly looking at the clock at the same time each day, 11:11.

I don't know what to believe, but I do notice "signs" and I wonder about them. As a person who likes answers for everything, I do find this re-occurrence peculiar. Maybe they are just coincidences. What do you believe?

Tiger Nuts...Rawrrrr!

I know what you're thinking. Where does she find this stuff?

Here's a little something, something about Tiger Nuts...

Tiger Nuts are NOT nuts. Make sure you've had your caffeine before reading this one. They are actually nut-free and gluten-free. I know, mind blown.

If they aren't nuts, what are they??

They are tubers that grow underground like carrots or potatoes do. And you guessed it, they are jam packed with minerals which include fiber, vitamins C and E, and iron! They are vegan-friendly, obvi, but also suitable for people who must avoid gluten or have nut allergies - since they are tubers and not nuts.

You'd be nuts not to try these tubers! They are totally tubular! <--- I'm sorry, I had to do this.

Anyways, what you see pictured: the original Raw Premium Organic and the original Supreme Peeled, also the Tiger Nuts flour! Yep, you can bake with it, Folks! I will be posting some Tiger Nuts recipes on here soon - I've been hard at work since summer on my Dirty Vegan Cookbook, but you can definitely expect to see a recipe on the blog using this amazing Tiger Nuts flour coming soon!

Thanks, Tiger Nuts, for sending me these tubular tubers and Tiger Nut flour to try! I love trying new products and sharing with the Dirty Vegan community.

And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off - I hope you have a nutty-but-not-actually-a-nut day!