Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Traveling Vegetarian - Asheville - Laughing Seed Cafe

We vacationed in Asheville NC many times when I was a kid. Jenni and I stopped by for a short visit in 1999. I had no idea they had such a thriving vegetarian community. If you have a chance, check out the Laughing Seed Cafe and tell us what you think. Here's a review by 'The Traveling Vegetarian,' Yvonne Smith.

Sjaak's Organic Vegan Chocolate

Jenni ordered these fantastic organic - dairy free chocolate bars for us, available from Sjaak's Organic Chocolates. Eli’s Earth Bars are organic and Fair trade with 5% of each sale going to a charitable children's organization. 

Ingredients: Dairy free milk chocolate(organic rice milk, organic evaporated cane juice, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa paste, organic soy lecithin, organic vanilla) organic peanuts, organic rice syrup, sea salt

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Travel as a Political Act

I've watched Rick Steves Europe for years on our local public television  station. I've listened to his radio shows and his podcasts. I've purchased his guide books, his DVD's, even his Audio Europe 2011 iPhone application. And for the past few weeks I've been reading Travel as a Political Act.

In Travel as a Political Act Rick highlights what he's learned from 30 years of traveling and how it's shaped his cultural consciousness, his activism, and deepened his appreciation of the United States. On the radio and on TV Rick rarely shares his personal opinions. He's quick to point out he's a tour guide, not a commentator. With his ever present smile and earnest, enthusiastic delivery Rick presents the possibilities for Americans traveling to European destinations like London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, etc.

Rick speaking in Peoria, IL I showed up late as usual.
It's refreshing to read the personal observations of the man, himself. Rick compares American and European drug policy, talks about his eye opening trip to Iran, his impressions of Islam in Turkey and reflects on the separation of church and state. He reflects on his experiences volunteering in El Salvador. Talks about the big government and big expectations of the Danes. He's quite frank about what he's learned. Many of the topics are fairly controversial given America's current political climate, but at this stage of his career I expect Rick can afford to be fairly candid.

In the end, Rick urges us as travelers to get out there, to travel thoughtfully, to learn, meet people from other countries, to participate, make new friends and perhaps most importantly get involved when we come home. It's a different sort of trip with Rick, but one worth taking.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


For the last several weeks we've been picking up the 'Gardein,' short for 'garden protein. The ever expanding family of Gardein products are: vegan, delicious and easy to work with. I'm not a huge fan of processed foods, but having two 6 year old boys sometimes leaves me pretty pressed for time. Gardein contains excellent ingredients and remarkably good flavor. I've been throwing the 'chicken' strips into pasta, and mixing the 'beef' tips with rice and vegetables for quick weekend meals. They're a little expensive, but worth it. If you go to the Gardein website you'll find recipes and information on where to pick them up.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Here's another handy app for your arsenal. VeganXpress (1.99) allows you to find the vegan options at many fast food and chain restaurants here in the States. It's a nice tool to have at your disposal whether you're on the road for business or pleasure.

The app also supplies a long listing of vegan friendly snack foods as well as beer/wines (supplied by barnivore).

I can't remember the last time I ate a Dorito, but it's good to know if someone passes the bag to me at our annual Super Bowl party, I can indulge.