Vegan? Subscribe to Netflix & Kiss Your Social Life Goodbye. ~ Kate Bartolotta & Waylon Lewis

Via on Jan 24, 2012
Vegan Vegetables


 Week 4 {In which the

intimidated imperfect vegans

get a little bit bored.}





Kate says:

There are some wonderful restaurants near me.

Amazing innovative slow food made from local ingredients. Great, right? Not if you’re vegan. Definitely not if you’re gluten free. So…how ’bout that bowl of baby field greens? Yummy? Hmmm. There are a few places that do wonderful veggie sushi (sans cream cheese sil vous plait!) but in general, eating out is tough. Lucky for me, I love to cook.

A few people asked me what my “must have” vegan foods are. Here are a few things that are on my grocery list every week:

1. Hummus. I love it. Sometimes I do make my own, but I usually buy at least one container of hummus a week. If I get there early enough, I can get the local stuff at the farmers’ market–awesome little company that runs out sooo fast. If not, I love Tribe and Sabra. Here’s a tip though, black coffee and garlic lover’s hummus? Not a good combo unless you want breath you can register as a weapon.

2. Spinach. I buy a variety of leafy greens every week, and always at least one bunch or bag of baby spinach. Between green smoothies, salad, and just cooking up a bunch and mixing a little hummus in (my favorite lunch–so good!) spinach is a must have for me.

3. Almond Milk. I’m not that brand loyal as far as almond milk goes. I usually get unsweetened plain. It’s great in anything you want to make creamier, but I mostly use it for smoothies. Mid-afternoon on days I know I’ll need to be up late, I take coffee, half a frozen banana, almond milk, some maca powder and cacao nibs and throw it in the blender. Sounds crazy? Sooooo good! This week I added some blackberry flavored flax seed oil (Impulse buy at Whole Foods. Don’t go there over-caffeinated and underfed. Trouble.) Might have been the yummiest thing I ever ate. Hope I can duplicate it!

4. Sublingual Vitamin B-12. Not a weekly purchase, obviously, but definitely a must-have. I was taking this before I went vegan, but now am more conscientious about taking it daily. I did realize this week that taking it too late in the day was keeping me awake and alert longer. Hello midnight, good to see you again! I didn’t make the connection at first until a friend mentioned that those 5-hour energy shots are almost entirely vitamin B-12. So, taking it mid-afternoon and following up with a big glass of water is great. Taking at 8 p.m. might not be wise. Especially if I had some coffee-maca-cacao-almond-awesomeness mid-afternoon.

5. Daiya Cheese! Yes, that deserved an exclamation point. When I was vegan/dairy-free before, I tried vegan cheese. Once. It was so bad, I had to spit it out. I decided I would rather go without than do the fake stuff. This time around, several vegan friends had raved about Daiya–and they weren’t kidding! I love Mexican food and usually make at least one dinner a week that is some sort of vegan taco/burrito or similar. I could just leave the cheese off of mine and it would still be good. But Daiya Pepperjack shreds? My new food bff.

(photo: vmiramontes)

Other staples for me include beans–dry or non-BPA canned, organic apples and bananas, almond butter, Sriracha, raw pumpkin seeds and other fun trail mix ingredients, gluten free oats, extra-firm tofu, Ciao Bella Sorbet, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, avocados, coconut oil, Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta, Newman’s Own pasta sauce and salsa, basmati rice, and about half a cart full of whatever veggies and fruits strike my mood, are reasonably in season and didn’t travel a million miles to get to me.

Any vegans want to share their must-haves that I may not have tried? Let me know!


About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. Her love of words is boundless, but she knows that many of life’s best moments are completely untranslatable. When she is not writing, you may find her practicing yoga, devouring a book, playing with her children, planting dandelions, or dancing barefoot with her heart on her sleeve. She is madly in love with life and does not know how this story ends; she’s making it up as she goes. Kate is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Heart Medicine, Kate's book on writing, is now available on You can follow Kate on Facebook and Twitter


20 Responses to “Vegan? Subscribe to Netflix & Kiss Your Social Life Goodbye. ~ Kate Bartolotta & Waylon Lewis”

  1. Padma Kadag says:

    To be taken as a casual response…(whenever I make a comment about veganism I feel like I am walking on "egg shells"…haha hoho.) So much about veganism is an intellectual PC decision and seems to drown out the health benefits, at least if you are reading a blog about it. In considering a vegan diet, the surrendering of food choices is an obstacle. So much of it is unfamiliar to the American diet or even European and Asian diets. The new line of products one must surrender to and their astronaut food-like qualities. The diet in itself is "unsustainable" in regard to it's familiar sustenance qualities. One must surrender to an entirely new industry which is deciding your palate and source of sustenance.

  2. karlsaliter says:

    Egg Shells… BWAA HAA HAA! Love it. In point of fact though, if you study a little, whole foods and a knife and cutting board are all you need. I eat way more diverse now than I used to as a flesh muncher. But it took reading recipes and trying them.

    We can get fresh coconut milk here which is one of my must haves in the kitchen lately. Last night we made a peanut sauce with chiles burned over the stove for sweating. It came out heavy as an ox, but delicious, so we added coconut milk and turned it into a damn tasty soup.

    Thanks for the java link!

    • I agree Karl, half of my cart is usually an amazing array of vegetables. I eat a much wider variety of foods than when I was in college (and a vegetarian at that point…not vegan) and mainly subsisted on Diet Coke, Nat Sherman's, iceberg lettuce, Skittles and the occasional slice of pizza.

      That sauce sounds amazing!

    • Padma Kadag says:

      Thank you Karl for the constructive suggestion. My point as a non vegan was the overall change of diet which includes a whole new industry of products most of which go way beyond just being a vegetarian.

      • Louise Brooks says:

        So true Padma. As well, I find most vegans really are clueless about living conditions outside of their own privileged urban western environment. I wonder what they would do if they moved to the high north in Canada (not southern Canada like Toronto). Veggies and fruits are not available except through airplane deliveries in summer only. Other times of year you must eat pickled or canned (still very expensive). Meat eating is a must of you will literally starve to death. No beans or tofu here. And that is just one geographical example. IMO, veganism is an elitist lifestyle of certain areas in western countries. All lovely to talk about "ethical choices" but much of the world is just glad to find enough food for the family for one day.

        • __MikeG__ says:

          You do not know most vegans and because of that you can have not idea about whether or not most vegans are clueless. It is such a shame you refuse to make you point without attacking people who you know nothing about.

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