When 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 →
When 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 combination of lemon and poppy seed became one of my favorites shortly after I started my very first job following graduation from university. I worked in downtown Washington, DC, and it wasn’t long before I discovered that the cafe on the first floor of my office building sold delicious, jumbo lemon poppy seed muffins. Continue reading →
When I lived in Des Moines, Iowa, my perfect Saturday morning involved a long run, followed promptly by a stop at the downtown Farmers’ Market to pick up a Dutch letter. Made of flaky puff pastry and filled with almond paste and brown sugar, the best Dutch letters come from Pella, Iowa’s famous Vander Ploeg Bakery.
It’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 →
It’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 →