Category Archives: Good Eats

Vegan While Out: Karyn’s Raw Cafe (Chicago)

After talking to Christa about Karyn Calabrese’s raw vegan restaurant, I made it my first stop when I landed in Chicago last week.

The title of Karyn’s book is so comical to me. LOL

I haven’t read it yet, but based on the description, she talks a lot about eating a raw diet rich in fruit, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.  Karyn is 64 years old and credits her over thirty years of healthy eating and detoxification for maintaining her youthful appearance and energy. Go Karyn!

I liked how intimate and relaxing the decor was.  The sitting area was for about 15 and there was a separate health food store with mostly Karyn’s products next door.

I started off with a shot of wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is beneficial in lowering blood pressure,  has a high concentration of chlorophyll, and is said to have anti-aging properties.

Appetizer- Raw, vegan nachos – Delicious!  Crispy corn tortilla chips with guacamole, sweetened sour cream, black olives, marinated red onions, caramelized jalapeños

This dish made me consider getting a Excalibur Dehydrator and making my own nachos at home.

Main Entree~Empanadas – made from flax and corn masa pastry dough stuffed with three pepper chorizo and house blend chili spice
Served with a side of authentic raw chocolate mole and a salsa verde

Dessert – coconut ice cream with strawberries and coconut wafers-Yummy!

Great service and a nice date spot. I visited this restaurant with my male cousin who has never considered a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle and he enjoyed all of the dishes.

Vegan food isn’t meant to make your life restrictive, but is a way to eat what you want in a healthier way.

Happy eating!


Black Bean Tacos

This recipe is a healthier alternative to tacos with ground beef or chicken.

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Vegan While Out: Molly’s Cupcakes (Chicago)

I had a bit of a sweet tooth while in Chicago. After my sister and cousin stuffed their faces with popcorn at Garrett, I was on a mission to find vegan cupcakes. Sprinkles was my first choice (because it was closer to where we were) but when I checked their menu on my BlackBerry, I only saw a red velvet option and I wanted chocolate.

After watching a street show, we caught the bus to North Clark St for sweets.

I don’t have much experience with vegan cupcakes but this one was quite dense.  I think I went there with an unrealistic expectation of a fluffy cupcake like the conventional ones (with eggs) typically are.  I spoke to an employee who said she didn’t have an ingredient list but ensured me there were no animal byproducts.  I only wanted to know the ingredients to make sure I used the opposite of what they did for when I experiment with a few recipes on my own. LOL  I personally thought the $3 wasn’t worth it.

Off to look for cupcake recipes…wish me luck!

Sign outside of the bakery

What are your vegan cupcake experiences?

Watermelon Smoothie

I’m so sad this beautiful summer is coming to an end. #tears

Here’s a last minute recipe before watermelons and strawberries are no longer in season.


2 cups of seedless watermelon

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 cup of soymilk or almond milk

1/2 cup of frozen or fresh strawberries

1/2 cup of ice

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy!

Vegan While Out: Ben’s Next Door (Washington, DC)

Ben’s Chili Bowl is a DC landmark; a black owned business established in 1958. Located on the fabulous U St. corridor, there is a little something for herbivores and omnivores alike.

In 2009, Ben’s Next Door was established as a sit down restaurant and bar, which is literally next door.

I started off with the vegan chili-Fab!

Most restaurants post their menus online, so don’t forget to check it out before leaving your home.

Be pleasant with the wait staff – I’ve been around vegetarians/vegans who are downright nasty when their order doesn’t come out as expected.  Make sure to be specific with your server about your needs. Also, be sure to tip well, especially if the server went above and beyond to accommodate your request.

Happy vegan dining!

Blend and Enjoy: Smoothies

I love smoothies because there are so many options to create a quick breakfast or snack. I use leafy green vegetables like fresh spinach, collards, swiss chard, kale, or lettuce. I also enjoy adding fresh seasonal fruit, ginger, and green superfood powder.

So replace that donut and coffee with something that will give you energy without the crash. Thinking about grabbing a bag of chips? Blend a vitamin packed smoothie instead.


*Increases your fruit and vegetable intake

*Clear skin

*Weight loss

*Energy Continue reading

Chocolate Pudding


5 avocados-peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks

1 cup of raw cacao powder

1 cup of agave syrup

2 tablespoons of soymilk (optional)

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