Category Archives: colleen patrick-goudreau

The Days & CPG – Falafel Burgers

I love falafels!  They’re one of the few things I can eat at various summer festivals but I always have to tell them to hold the tzatziki sauce since it’s made with yogurt.

The Falafel Burgers in Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Vegan Table came together easily and I liked that the burgers were baked instead of fried.  We ate them without the bun and with this amazing tzatziki sauce from Vegan Mos (I love those guys!) instead of the sauce in Colleen’s recipe.  I added some fresh dill since we have an overabundance of it from our CSA box and that really added to the deliciousness of it.  

Psst…I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Dr. D. doesn’t like falafels so I told him they were chickpea burgers.  He enjoyed them but said they were a little dry while piling on more of that yummy sauce.  I thought they were very good but agreed that they were a bit on the dry side.  We’ll definitely make them again though!

  • Ease of preparation – A 
  • Availability of ingredients – A 
  • Taste – B (due to the dryness)
  • Appearance – A

The Days & CPG – Basil Pesto

As many people do at this time of the year, we have a bumper crop of basil in The New Day Garden.  I took my shears to it yesterday and gave it a good trimming and in return it gave us a meal!  Sitting on our sunny deck pulling leaves off of fragrant stalks of homegrown basil is my favorite way of “making dinner”. 

Most pestos use some sort of cheese usually Romano or Parmesan so it’s difficult to enjoy this dish in a restaurant.  CPG’s recipe in The Vegan Table uses four simple ingredients: olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and lots and lots of basil!  I’ve found pine nuts to be ridiculously expensive so was thrilled to find a great big bag at Sam’s Club this weekend for a decent price.

For dinner, I prepared this mung bean fettuccine.  This was perfect for a couple of reasons, 1) it’s not a starchy pasta and 2) the noodles are wide enough to be the perfect vehicle for getting that delicious pesto into your face!  Dr. D. found it at Down to Earth but I’m sure your own health food store or Wegmans will carry it.

And here it is!  Basil Pesto from The Vegan Table!

  • Ease of preparation – A (what could be easier than putting four ingredients in a food processor and pressing Start!)
  • Availability of ingredients – A 
  • Taste – A
  • Appearance – A

The Days & CPG – Garlic Glazed Green Beans

Another recipe from The Vegan Table but this one is one that will appeal to vegans as well as omnivores.

We had this delicious dish as a side for barbecued tofu and rice.  The glaze on the beans made a nice topping for the rice as well and both Dr. D. and I really enjoyed it.

My tips for this recipe are to use only 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and to make sure you use a full pound of green beans.  We ended up with a lot of leftover oily glaze.

  • Ease of preparation – A
  • Availability of ingredients – A (I actually had marjoram leaves in my cupboard!  I’ll bet you have them too!)
  • Taste – A
  • Appearance – C (not a pretty presentation)

Find the recipe here.

The Days & CPG – Creamy Macaroni and Cashew Cheese

When Dr. D. is in the kitchen, we eat healthy, whole foods mainly from recipes in The China Study Cookbook.  It’s a great cookbook and the food is always delicious but sometimes you just want old fashioned comfort food!  

Enter Creamy Macaroni and Cashew Cheese from The Vegan Table.  Creamy, decadent and delicious!  If you really want to splurge, crumble potato chips on top before you put it in the oven.  I tried to compensate for that sin by adding 16 ounces of steamed broccoli to the mixture.

Some things to know; 1) I baked mine with good results but I’m sure it would be just as delicious using the stove-top method, 2) this will fill up a large food processor so be prepared, and 3) I gave this an A for availability of ingredients but it doesn’t mean you’ll have everything on hand.  We always have nutritional yeast, miso paste and raw cashews in our kitchen but understand that many non-vegans may not.  A trip to your local Wegmans or health food store is all that’s needed to stock your kitchen.  If you’re blessed with a Trader Joe’s in your area, the cost for raw cashews there is unbeatable.  We stock up whenever we make our pilgrimage to TJ’s.

  • Ease of preparation – A
  • Availability of ingredients – A 
  • Taste – A
  • Appearance – A

Find the recipe here.

The Days & CPG – Tofu Scramble

I didn’t cook tofu very often until the past six months or so.  It seemed so difficult to handle and I’d had bad tofu before.  Not something you want to taste.

I bit the bullet and bought myself a Tofu XPress and never looked back.  The key to good tofu in a recipe is to press most of the moisture out of it.  It’s easily done without a fancy schmancy press as well.  It’s also important to get the right texture by using Extra Firm tofu easily found in your local grocery store.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Tofu Scramble from The Vegan Table is our favorite.  It’s best when you have all the ingredients (i.e. spinach, mushrooms, etc.) but we’ve had it without.  The variations are endless.

  • Ease of preparation – A
  • Availability of ingredients – A
  • Taste – A
  • Appearance – A

Here’s the recipe!  Enjoy!

The Days & CPG – Beet Bundt Cake

Dr. D. loves beets.  I hate them.  I know how good they are for you nutritionally, I just can’t get past the fact that they taste like dirt. When I saw Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s book The Vegan Table had a recipe for Beet Bundt Cake, I knew I’d have to make it for my husband.  

It was delicious!  I served it plain but it would be wonderful with a glaze or berries as shown in the picture.  Next time I may get a little crazy and throw some chocolate chips in the batter!

This cake received six thumbs up from the contractors working on our gazebo!  Beefcakes love beet cake!


  • Ease of preparation – B (beets are messy!)
  • Availability of ingredients – A
  • Taste – A
  • Appearance – A

Epicurious featured the recipe here.  Enjoy!

The Days & CPG

In the spirit of the movie Julie & Julia, Dr. D. and I have decided to cook our way through one of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s cookbooks.  For those of you not familiar with the movie, the story is about a woman named Julie, played by Amy Adams who spends a year cooking her way through 524 of Julia Childs’ (played by Meryl Streep) recipes.  It’s one of my favorite movies and Dr. D. and I decided to put a vegan spin on it.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has influenced both of us immensely not only by her great recipes but by her compassionate approach to spreading the word about veganism.  Our favorite cookbook by CPG is The Vegan Table so that’s the one we chose.

The recipes will not be shared here but reviews and pictures will be.  We will grade each one based on several factors:

  • Ease of preparation
  • Availability of ingredients
  • Taste
  • Appearance

I hope you enjoy this adventure through The Vegan Table.  Please feel free to post comments!

Field Trip! Albany Vegfest!

Dr. D. and I took a field trip this weekend to the Albany Vegfest.  After I found out Colleen Patrick-Goudreau was speaking, I knew I couldn’t miss it. For those of you who read my blog post Why I Love Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, you know she’s my hero and how much I admire and respect her work.  When I mentioned to Dr. D. that she would be at the Speaker Recognition Dinner the night before the Vegfest, he talked me into leaving a day early and staying over.

The dinner took place at the Century House in Latham and around 70 people attended.  The food was phenomenal!  All of it was vegan and all of it was delicious and creative.  Our friends, Sherry and Mike were there with their adorable girls who held me to my promise to kiss the chef if I saw him.

Picture taken by Meena Colbdorf

We sat with some very interesting people who provided us with great dinner discussions. I also got to meet Liz Rotundo whom I had “friended” on Facebook a couple of weeks earlier.  She was a very busy woman all weekend as one of the organizers of Vegfest and I was so impressed with how she pulled it all off.

Colleen was wonderful as expected and got laughs from the audience when she admitted how much she loved that her hair smelled like goat after spending all day at the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary.  Her words were engaging and motivating and her closing which was more like a benediction, brought me to tears.  I really wish I had recorded it.

When she was finished, I approached her to tell her what an influence she has been on me as a new vegan.  She held my hand for a long time before giving me a huge hug.  She is one of the most genuinely kind and friendly people I’ve ever met.

Me and my hero

One of the highlights of my weekend!

The next day we did a little shopping before heading to the Polish Community Center where the Vegfest was being held.  Our tablemates from the night before had highly recommended Honest Weight Food Co-Op so that was our first stop.

It reminded me of Greenstar in Ithaca but bigger and with higher prices.  I was thrilled, however to find the pre-made vegan pie crusts I’d been looking for.  I also found this selection of goodies, many gluten-free and many vegan:

And this book:  

Because nothing turns a vegan on like kale!

We don’t have a Trader Joe’s within 100 miles of Binghamton so a pilgrimage there was on my list.  My heart fluttered a little bit when Dr. D. announced it was his “new favorite store”.  I just love this man!

My goal for this visit was to pick up some of their K-cups for myself as well as for a female soldier serving in Afghanistan.  It was on her wish list for herself and her fellow soldiers.  Trader Joe’s K-cups are around 10 cents less per cup than any other brand and I think the coffee is superior to any others I’ve tried.  The Trader Joe’s brand of vegan mozzarella was recommended to me by one of their crew members so I picked up some of that as well.  And mushrooms.  Lots of mushrooms.

Trunk full of goodies, we left for the Vegfest.  There was a line out the door when we got there and both of us remarked about how thankful we were for the unseasonably warm weather.  

Our first stop was the heated tent where Sherry F. Colb would be doing her presentation.  Sherry is the author of Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? and a brilliant and charming speaker. I’m also honored to call her my friend. We thoroughly enjoyed her talk on how to answer the most common questions vegans are asked.  She collected questions from audience members which made the presentation interactive and entertaining.

After Sherry’s speech, we were urged (okay, begged is a better word) by her young daughters to visit the table selling the amazing vegan desserts.  These desserts were outstanding by any standards and to know they were free of animal products made me feel like a kid at Christmas!

Dr. D. and I shared a tiramisu (far right).
Gorgeous, right?

We walked around scoping out the place and I was thrilled to have so many choices for lunch.  Despite all those options we decided on pizza.  I hadn’t had pizza in three months!  We both got a slice and I thought I’d died and gone to cheesy, saucy, doughy heaven!  It was amazing!  In fact, it was so amazing we both got second pieces.

We stopped by our friend Amie Hamlin’s table to say good morning.  Amie is the Executive Director for the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food which is something important to me as I still have two children in school.  Her table buzzed with activity for most of the day so it’s obvious it’s an important topic for many.  

The vendors were varied and ranged from animal rights groups to a soy candle vendor to booksellers where Dr. D. picked up a copy of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, MD.  Dr. D. had a mild heart attack a few years ago that resulted in two stents being placed.  His health has vastly improved since then but he is very curious about the good effects of a plant-based diet.  We walked around several times before heading back over to the tent to hear Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s presentation.

Colleen had this picture up during her presentation
and told the story of the rescue of Linus.

Colleen was brilliant as usual and Dr. D. listened intently. I watched him and wondered what was going through his head.  Was he regretting coming with me to the event?  Did he think all of this information was too radical and extreme?  I would get my answers later that day.

After Colleen’s talk, we headed back inside to pick up a copy of her book, The Vegan Table and get it signed.  I now officially own all her books except for one.  I have instituted a new policy for myself; for every vegan cookbook I buy, I give away one of my non-vegan ones.  I’m one book away from an intervention from my loved ones.  However, this new book is the most special of all because of the inscription its author penned. 

Colleen signing books

Satisfied both in my heart and my belly, we hit the road back to Binghamton.  It was early so we decided to stop in Greene for a drink and to check out the menu at the newly renovated (and beautiful!) Sherwood Hotel.  We sat down with our cocktails and the menu.  I found a portabello entree I felt could be made vegan and told Dr. D. we could eat there if he wanted to as the entrees for him were plentiful.  

The next thing he said blew me away.

I’ve made the decision to eat vegan whenever we eat together. I can see how important this is to you and want to support you.

Colleen’s message was very powerful and I think the health benefits alone are worth me making this change.

I left out quotation marks on purpose as I cannot remember exactly what he said but the message was clear and I am so happy he’s made this decision.  It’s a step toward better health and a step forward in this journey we’re taking together.

Lots more pictures can be seen here.  Make plans to attend next year and I’ll see you there!

Why I Love Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

I have become a huge fan of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau since becoming vegan.  Okay, huge fan is an understatement.  You may want to call it a girl crush.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has a way of bringing information about veganism to many people in a kind, non-judgmental, caring way that is very rare.  She is the author of several books including The Vegan TableVegan’s Daily Companion, and The Joy of Vegan Baking.  

She also wrote the book and then developed the online version of The 30-Day Vegan Challenge which makes changing to this new lifestyle so easy to understand.  It’s the best $20 you’ll ever spend!

I listen to Colleen’s Food for Thought podcast every single day on my way in to work and on my way home.  Since I just recently discovered it, I am listening to old episodes that are still as relevant as the day they were recorded.  Her style has an energy that is contagious.

I will have the privilege of seeing Colleen at the Albany VegFest next weekend and feel like I’m about to meet a true celebrity.  Dr. D. and I will be attending the Speaker’s Recognition dinner the night before and I hope to have at least a couple of minutes with her to tell her what an amazing impact she has had on my life as a new vegan.  I share with you now:

The Top 10 Reasons Why I Think Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is the 
Ultimate Rock Star of the Vegan World

#1  She’s gorgeous.  Duh.

#2  She’s a joyful vegan.

Part of Colleen’s messagewear
available on her website.

#3  We both love pigs and not in a bacon-y kind of way.

Colleen with a pig

Me with a pig

#4  She says things like this:

#5  And this:

#6  She is incredibly well-read and frequently references famous authors like this in her podcasts:

Michel de Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne
In this episode, I’m thrilled to share with you a very special person named Michele de Montaigne, who lived from 1533 to 1592. He was a writer, philosopher, and inventor of the essay as a proper literary genre. In his aptly titled “Essays,” he shares his thoughts – while referencing historical figures, philosophical thinkers, and poets – in order to work out his thoughts about the way to world worked and our place in it.Significantly for our purposes, he was one of the early post-Classical thinkers who challenged some fundamental aspects of Western thought, particularly the idea that we’re superior to other animals. 

#7  She confesses to not being gluten-free but is “gluten-ful”.

Mmmmm!  Vegan pizza!
Photo courtesy of this very cool blog!

#8  She loves cows and not in a prime ribby kind of way.

Colleen with a cow.

Me with a cow

#9  She’s been referred to as The Vegan Martha Stewart.  I say this reluctantly because Martha is not exactly known for her compassion but I am very glad there is someone in the vegan world who is leading the way in elegant entertaining and gracious living.


Colleen.  Sorry.  No comparison.

And finally….

#10  She is teaching me that it’s about progress, not perfection.  I have learned from her how to say things in a way that does not offend those with whom I am interacting.  Colleen is teaching me how to talk to hunters, omnivores, friends and family in a way that does not judge but compassionately and gently educates and informs and most of all, inspires.  She is teaching me to be a joyful vegan.