Here are just a few things that inspire me. My favorites change frequently, and I’m constantly falling in love with more and more stuff, so check back often for updates.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz: Post Punk Kitchen
If you’re vegan and you’ve never heard of Isa – or used one of her recipes – I’m revoking your vegan card right now. Hand it over. With numerous cookbooks, online instructional videos and a kick-ass, easy-to-navigate website chock full of delicious dishes, Isa’s been dominating the plant-based domain for a long time. Fun fact: she recently opened two restaurants, Modern Love Omaha and Modern Love Brooklyn, so you can have someone else make all her yummy goodies for you. Check out her website, IsaChandra.com, for amazing recipes and all things Isa.
Christina Pirello: Christina Cooks
Natural foods genius and host of PBS series “Christina Cooks,” Christina Pirello is a Philadelphia local force to be reckoned with. I’ve had the fortunate experience of attending a few of her cooking classes – including her amazing three-day intensive weekend – and I’ve learned more from this lady in those 72-hours than I ever imagined I’d learn in a lifetime. Plus, she’s hilarious. Visit ChristinaCooks.com to learn more about Christina, sign up for a class or find out when she’ll be in your area (she frequently gives free demos at Whole Foods!).
Farm Animal Sanctuaries
There is something so magical about a farm that’s home to a group of the luckiest animals in the world. Rescued from certain slaughter, they’re able to live out their days in beautiful serenity thanks to a team of loving, compassionate caregivers.
My favorites include Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary and Ahimsa Acres, all just short car rides from the Philadelphia area and each extremely welcoming for a visit or volunteer day. Spend just one hour with these incredible animals (like my good friend Vanna at Indraloka or Rocky, the Miracle Pig at Ahimsa) and they will change the way you look at the world.
Run, don’t walk (I mean it) to Bethlehem, PA, to get your hands – and mouth – on one of Danielle Konya’s incredible confections. This is so much more than just a vegan bakery. Vegan Treats has got it all – donuts, cookies, Peanut Butter Bombs. Beautiful little cakes in a lovely display case that look too pretty to eat. And what I drive over an hour one way to get my taste buds on: The. Best. Soft-Serve. Period. Go here now.
PETA’s “Accidentally Vegan” Food List
Because vegans can’t live on fruits and vegetables alone (ok, they can, but why would they want to?), Peta’s got a list full of surprisingly vegan items. Things like Oreos, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and my favorite, Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos (just point me towards the purple bag). Now, I am not condoning the over-consumption of junky, processed foods. But this list’s great when you just have to scratch that itch for a Sour Patch Kid (yup, they’re vegan, too!). Everything in moderation, my friend.
PeacefulDumpling.com is one of those great vegan lifestyle sites where you can get food ideas and life advice in one stop. Visit the site for “delicious recipes, tips, and other ways to help you live healthfully and happily.” Bonus: I’m a site contributor! Check out the first article I wrote for Peaceful Dumpling about making vegan versions of your fall favorites, including a recipe for one of my signature dishes, Herbed Roasted Root Vegetables.
I know you have your own vegan favorites, and I would love to hear them! Leave me a comment below to let me know what I should check out next.