Tag Archives: Ste Martaen

Remember the 5th of November…

November 5th is a big day for the Chicago Vegan community. Not only is Vegan Mania that day, but Mercy for Animals will be screening the new documentary, Vegucated, at the Viaduct Theater that evening!

Chicago Vegan Mania


This is Vegan Mania’s 3rd year and once again it’s being held at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse (1419 W Blackhawk, Chicago, IL) from 10am – 5pm and it’s FREE! Parking can be hard to come by, so come early or ride your bike/take public transit.

Some of you may be wondering, “What is Vegan Mania?” It’s a celebration of everything that is vegan – food, community, commerce, fashion, and more! It’s where I discovered St Martaen’s delicious artisan cashew cheeses (long before they had the food truck) and Vaute Couture’s lovely coats (before they left us for New York 🙁 ).

Even though the event is free, you’ll want to bring some cash with you because there will be a food court, which will feature delicious options from Chicago’s vegan restaurants and food companies, like Upton’s Naturals. In the past there have also been a wide variety of vegan goods for sale, like Ethically Engineered soaps, Herbivore Clothing, the aforementioned Vaute Couture coats, and more!

This year’s speakers include, Chicago’s Mercy for Animals Campaign Coordinator, Kenny Torella; vegan body builder, Robert Cheeke and Vegan Outreach’s Director of Outreach, Jon Camp. This year’s food demos will include culinary delights from Laviyah Ayanna of the Vegan Food Truck, Sandi Swiss of Canary Confectionary, Linda Szarkowski of Green Spirit Living, the Chicago Diner and Chicago Soy Dairy. All dishes demonstrated and sampled will be free of all animal ingredients.

Finally, there will also be a Family Activity Area with eco-crafts, and a culture cafe featuring a DJ, acoustic acts, artists, a coffee bar and a Vegan Rockstar photobooth!

Hope to see you there!


Saturday, November 5th, 2011
Viaduct Theater
3111 N Western Ave., Chicago, IL

Vegucated is a new documentary that follows 3 meat and cheese loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for 6 weeks. Along the way they discover the cruelty behind the industries they supported and are soon eager to fight back. The film is described as part sociological experiment, part science class and part adventure story.

The film will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Marisa Miller Wolfson.

To be sure you get a chance to see this film’s Chicago premier, purchase tickets in advance at http://vegucatedchi2.eventbrite.com/

Melt Bar and Grilled – Lakewood, OH

Melt Bar and Grilled is a haven for those who love music and cheese, both vegan and not. Their walls are covered with movie and music memorabilia and the entrance and main counter have an awesome mural any fan of independent music can appreciate. As their name suggests, they offer a wide variety of melts, including The Kindergarten, which is simply a grilled cheese sandwich. Many of the sandwiches can be made vegan with either vegan cheddar or mozzarella cheese substitutes and you can add all sorts of toppings to them, from grilled veggies to fried tofu. They also offer soups and salads, which also include vegan options.

This was our second trip to Melt in Lakewood, Ohio. We’d originally planned on stopping in at The Flaming Ice Cube once again, because the last time we visited Melt, there was a long wait and we like supporting vegan businesses, but unfortunately The Flaming Ice Cube is closed on Sundays. When we got to Melt we were informed there was a 2 hour wait to dine in and a 45 minute wait for take-out, so we went the take-out route and ate in the car.

Both Nick and I got The Kindergarten, but with different toppings.

The Kindergarten

I am a big fan of grilled cheese sandwiches. They were one of the things I missed most when I first went vegan, until I discovered vegan cheeses that melt nicely, like Daiya, Ste Martaen and Tofutti. This sandwich is better than anything I’d ever make myself at home though. The bread was thick, and toasted just right (not too crunchy, not too soft and no burnt spots!). I got mine with mozzarella vegan cheese (I think they use Tofutti for the mozzarella, though they would neither confirm nor deny), tomato, grilled onions and grilled peppers. It was delicious! The only thing that would’ve made it better would be fresh avocado, which was on the menu of toppings, but is $1.50 extra and as much as I like avocado, I decided to skip it. The cheese was melted perfectly, my only complaint was that my grilled peppers were a little over cooked, so they didn’t add much flavor to the sandwich. The last time we visited Melt, I got The Kindergarten with the vegan cheddar cheese and tomato, it was better than my choice this time around, but both were worth the wait.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010

If your family still exchages gifts (mine has thankfully moved on from this tradition) or you just feel like treating yourself to something nice, here are a few ethically produced gift ideas, some of which help you give back with each purchase. Luckily most of these items can be ordered online, so you don’t have to set foot in a store or wait hours in line!


Viva Vegan!Terry Hope Romero
This book features awesome recipes for all sorts of Latin American dishes. As a Latina, I was very excited when it came out in April and I’ve been dying to add a copy to my bookshelf (hint, hint), but I’ll have to settle for borrowing it from my local library for now. Don’t let your friends down, get them a copy of their own.

Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life – Melisser Elliot
This book covers everything from how to be a healthy vegan, to how to look good doing it. It contains valuable information on vegan beauty products, clothing, nutrition, and more, as well as, recipes and crafts. (Check back tomorrow for an in depth review!)

Vegan Cookie ConnosieurKelly Peloza
Miss Peloza is only 19 (!!!) and she’s compiled a book filled with beautiful pictures, tasty recipes and valuable info on baking for your friends with dietary restrictions. I’m looking forward to trying out the dog biscuits for my buddy, Ian, and the Polish Kolaches (kolacky) for myself (check back for more on this book, as well).

Chicago Diner Cookbook – Jo A. Kaucher
Try your hand at making some of your favorite Chicago Diner entrees. The Chicago Diner will be donating $1 to Mercy for Animals for each copy sold. They will also donating $1 from each sale of their new Teese Mozzarella Sticks, which are only available for a limited time, so if you’re in Chicago make sure you check them out.


Endangered Species Chocolate
While not all Endangered Species chocolates are vegan, they do have quite a few that are. Check out the Vegan Collection for $19.99 or order it by the bar/pouch ($2-$4 per bar/pouch), simply type “vegan” into the search bar to check out your options. Get 25% of your entire chocolate order when you order between Nov 26 – Nov 30 (use code: GRNGIFT25 at checkout)!

Rescue Chocolate
Rescue chocolates are fair trade, vegan and 100% of the profit from these tasty treats goes to animal rescue organizations around the country. Individual bars are $5/bar or you can get gift boxes starting at $25. I’m planning on getting some of the Peanut Butter Pit Bulls in honor of our rescued guys, Ian & Harley (RIP Harley 11-10-10).

L-R Ian Mackanine & Harley Flannidog

Ste Martaen Artisan Cheeses
Ste Martaen has created some wonderfully delicious soy free artisan cheeses. My favorites are the Pepperjack and the Smoked Gouda. They also offer Colby, Muenster, Olive. These cheeses are as good on their own as they are in grilled cheese and stuffed crust pizza!


Vaute Couture
Vaute Couture has made finding warm, fashionable, vegan winter coats incredibly easy. They’ve expanded their line this winter to include men’s coats and several new women’s coats. I own last year’s Blue Luxe Peacoat and so far it’s holding up well against Chicago’s winter weather. I like it so much that I may just have to buy The Belden for dressier occasions. Vaute Couture’s coats are going to cost you anywhere from 3 to 5 times what you’d pay on a non-vegan coat, however, they are made by hand on fair wages in the United States from durable, weather resistant vegan fibers. All proceeds from the Vaute Coat go to Farm Sanctuary and you can currently get 25% off of your purchase of select coats if you know which page of VegNews contains Vaute Couture’s Company of the Year Award.

Vegetarian Shoes
Vegetarian shoes carries everything from wallets to pleather jackets. I own several of their shoes and a couple of their belts. They make quality products that last and that are ethically made (vegan and sweatshop free!). For Vegetarian Shoe reviews from Nick, go here. You can order them directly from the UK or through one of their US distributors.


Ethically Engineered
Ethically Engineered is a local company which produces soaps, shaving kits, moisturizer muscle balm and lip balm. All of their products are vegan and made in an environmentally responsible fashion. Look for them at Whole Foods or one of the other retailers listed on their website.

Metropolis Soap Co.
Metropolis Soap Co. also offers vegan & environmentally friendly soaps, body butters, lip balms, facial care, foot care and more. Metropolis is based in Brooklyn, NY and their products can be ordered directly through their website. The Call me “Coco” soap smells so good I want to eat it!

Stuffed Crust Pizza

Stuffed Crust Pizza

2 tsp (1 envelope) dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp Olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried basil

In a large bowl sprinkle the yeast over 1/2 cup of warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes, then add the oil, garlic powder, dried basil and the rest of the warm water. In another bowl mix the flour and salt together. Gradually add the flour & salt mixture to the water & yeast mixture, stirring everything together with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough is formed. Using your hands finish blending the flour & salt mixture until the dough forms a ball. Knead the dough until it becomes elastic (roughly 5 minutes). Continue to knead the dough in the bowl adding water or flour as needed until the dough comes together in a soft, not sticky ball. Continue kneading for 15 minutes or so to increase dough’s elasticity.
Place the ball of dough into a medium mixing bowl lightly coated with olive oil. Coat the dough with the oil and cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and leave to rise for about an hour (the dough should be twice it’s size).
Punch the dough down and place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half and turn each ball inside out. Form two small smooth balls with no air pockets. Take each ball and rotate it clockwise. If you’re only making one pizza, wrap the other ball up and refrigerate it.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Place your palm in the center of the dough to flatten it. With a rolling pin roll the dough out into a circle from the center, working in a clockwise direction. Re-flour the surface as needed so the dough does not stick. Roll the dough so an inch to two inches hang off around the rim of your pan. Place the dough on your pan and add sauce and toppings to your pizza. Line the dough directly inside the rim of the pan with whatever cheese you’d like to fill the crust with, fold dough over the cheese, pressing the dough down so it sticks to the dough on the bottom of the pan.

6-8 Roma tomatoes
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 clove minced garlic

Dice 6-8 tomatoes and drain juice. Sautee garlic in olive oil in a medium frying pan. Add tomatoes and mash them with a potato masher. Allow sauce to simmer for a few minutes before pouring on pizza.

Ste Martaen Pepperjack cheese (in crust)
1/2 cup Daiya Mozzarella
1/2 cup Daiya cheddar
Upton’s bacon
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
(Of course, you can top the pizza with whatever you like. I like my friend Minku’s creation: Bananas and Upton’s bacon. It’s like a Hawaiian pizza, but better!)

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until edges of crust begin to brown.

If you divide the dough equally this recipe should make two medium pizzas.

*If you prefer not to make your own sauce you can use pizza sauce or pasta sauce.

Vegan Valentines

Looking for something to do with that special vegan/vegetarian in your life on Valentine’s Day? Check out one of these local events.

Mercy for Animals’ 5th Annual Vegetarian Valentine’s Party
MFA will be hosting it’s annual Valentine’s Party on Saturday, February 13, 2010 from 8pm-11pm at the Black Walnut Gallery (220 N. Aberdeen St, Chicago). Tickets are $35 in advance. The event is open to all ages and will feature vegan treats, sweets and spirits, as well as, music and dancing. For more info. and/or to buy your tickets go here.

Valentine’s Supper
Delicious Cafe and Ste. Martaens are teaming up to host a Valentine’s Supper at Delicious Cafe (3827 N. Lincoln) on February 14, 2010 at 6pm. The meal is $40 per person and guests must RSVP by February 10, 2010. Space is limited so call Chelsea at 773-477-9840 or e-mail Laviyah at laviyah[at]stemartaen.com to reserve your seat today! To check out the menu go here.