Living on Plants in Riga

IMG_7834When M. and I made the decision to transition to a vegan lifestyle nearly two years ago, I was initially concerned that making such a huge change would be extremely challenging, particularly considering that we were living in Riga, Latvia, where meat and dairy make up the centerpieces (and sides) of most meals. I wasn’t sure quite where to begin, especially when it came to dining out, but it didn’t take long for us to figure out how to make fantastic plant-based meals, where to shop for vegan ingredients and other products, and which restaurants offer the best plant-based dining experiences. For a long while now, I’ve wanted to put together a little “being vegan in Riga” guide, and now – just days before our two years here come to an end – I finally feel that I have a strong enough grasp on the concept do it. Continue reading →

Homemade Vegan Pizza

img_6339When I made the decision to go vegan more than a year ago, I thought that truly delicious pizza – one of my favorite comfort foods – had suddenly become a thing of the past. I was willing to give it up, though, because I feel strongly in my convictions to maintain a vegan lifestyle; however, I was delighted to learn that I didn’t have to. After many months of tinkering around with different recipes and trials on our weekly pizza nights, I am proud to share with you what I think is a pretty tasty vegan pizza recipe. It possesses all of the comfort and flavor of a traditional pizza while being 100% compassionate toward animals and the environment and completely free of cholesterol.  Continue reading →

The Day I Stopped Eating Meat

IMG_2454It’s been 55 days since I last ate meat. It was chicken, part of an improvisation on Mexican pozole that I had made for Halloween. As I was cooking the pozole, I hadn’t planned on it being my last dish with meat, but somewhere between pulling the giant pot of finished soup off the stove and slurping down the last helping a few days later, something inside me had changed and I knew that meat on my meal plate had become a thing of the past. And it didn’t stop there. Continue reading →

Making Dutch Letters: A Little Piece of Iowa in Riga

IMG_2105It’s October, my favorite month of the year, and although autumn in Riga is thoroughly beautiful and colorful, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been feeling tremendously homesick lately. Homesick for which home exactly, I am not sure, as there have been many. What I am experiencing is perhaps better described as a homesickness for a feeling… one of comfort, peace, and coziness. When I think about of all of the places I have lived in my life, Iowa is quite possibly the place that evokes this feeling the most, and lately, I have been missing it quite a bit. Continue reading →