The Last Day of 2013: My Bucket List for 2014

Everyone has some sort of “to do” list of things in their head similar to the movie “The Bucket List”. My husband wants next year to get a motorcycle and perhaps wrap up some unfinished business with his personal matters that bring him stress. I want to pull a Selena Gomez and “become a better person”. That is not a small task and yet I am drawn to it like flies to that sugared paper that people put in the back of yucky restaurants. There is simply no explaining it, it just is attractive. I mean of course there is explaining my “it” just not the sticky paper “it”, but the work that goes into becoming “better” is vague, tiresome, and most likely as unselfish as it gets to this American culture I live in. So I am going to put down tasks, milestones, if you will. To help me achieve the baby steps that I need to better myself and my world somehow in 365 days or less. I feel like a Domino’s Pizza ad now. So let’s do this 2014. I am going to sniffle and cough my way into the new year with such gusto the world won’t know what sneezed on it.

The 2014 “List”

  1. Get to my goal weight by May 31, 2014. This will harness a few things. It will require me to make better choices for my health and thus the health of my family. By making healthier, less processed choices I will also be helping the animals and environment. Hopefully it will also help the little bit of acne I still have (here is a current “before pic” unfiltered and no makeup so we can do this right!)!   IMG_2873   IMG_2615
  2. Buy only what I need for clothing and textiles and try to keep them organic and vegan all year. This will be my hardest one. I love clothes. However, if I am losing weight it may be incentive to lose it faster so I can “need more soon”. In the meantime, I am not contributing to consumer waste and if I need to I am doing it in a responsible way for the environment.
  3. Purge items I do not need seasonally at the least. Simplicity is the fruit of the Gods. I straight out stink at giving up stuff but at the same time I am no hoarder. I just feel like i shouldn’t get rid of things I may use even if that isn’t for say 10 years. So this year I am starting it off by purging old shoes on New Year’s Day. Terrible cold and all! I’ll take pics to prove it I promise!
  4. Start Surfing and Paddle-boarding again thus summer/spring. This is for my inner peace. I have always found surfing in anyway a lifesaver for my soul. So I will see you all out there on Lynn’s King’s Beach this summer. Inner peace means outer peace and that means a happy world.   IMG_2527
  5. Pay it Forward. Every chance I get to pay it forward I will try. This is important. I learned this winter season while my car was broken and the insurance wasn’t fixing it quickly that I have an amazing family and support unit. Without their help, I wouldn’t’ have had an easy time of it. So I am going to pay it forward each time I can. I will start with a giveaway of Beyond Meat free food and gifts on New Years.
  6. Learn to do the Crow Pose in Yoga by end of year. This seems like a weird one but let me explain. Yoga has been a great tool for me to de-stress and keep fit and I can do it during my lunch hour across the street. I think by constantly practicing yoga and its meditations with a goal I will continue to reap the benefits of a yoga lifestyle. Finding inner peace and working on my health goals. This will be beneficial to myself and those around me.   IMG_2874 (my yoga mat at work)
  7. Sing everyday and Meditate Every Night. This will add structure to my day but also allow for me to start off my day with joy and end in peace. I think this is necessary to keep your head clear so that when things arise or joys are exposed you can truly feel them and radiate them to others in a positive way.
  8. Be honest as the yoga rules define it. In yoga they tell you to be honest unless it is something that would hurt someone and then just to be silent. I tend to just be honest all the time to a fault (no silence) and this can be a turnoff. I think I need to study the yogic principles more and practice honesty in a compassionate way. It is a hard thing to say to yourself that you are over-sharing but, I am and I need to check it.
  9. Help my step daughters become better people through love, compassion, and support. In the past I have had a hard time being a step mom. It is not that I do not love my hubby’s girls, I do. However, I have worried too much about the ramifications of loving them and helping them because it may step on their biological mother’s toes (which are very sensitive). This year I am moving forward with treating them with more love than ever and not worrying about her feedback. She does not need to be a positive person (though I will  meditate on the idea that she will be more positive this year) but I do. The kids deserve that positivity, not just a choice of indifference or careful regulation. I truly kept myself at arms length until recently for fear she would accuse me of something like trying to be their mother or take over, because frankly she has in the past. I think it is okay to have multiple parents and multiple people love you all the same, blood or not. So this year I will be a great mom in every sense.   family 2
  10. Last, I will travel on my own at least once someplace I truly want to go and give back while I am there. I believe everyone should travel somewhere alone once in their lives. It forces you to see who you are without any assistance and to give back while you are there gets at your core values. It shows what you care about and believe in without any outside influence. I am excited to do this. I almost want to try for twice 🙂

So that is my 2014 bucket list. I encourage you all to make one too. Send it to me and I will post it! Let’s see what we can accomplish.


Food is Love. You are love. Pay it Forward this Year.

The Hippie Gypsy.

Sunday Prep Day: How to be a vegan easily

Sunday is my day to relax and mentally prepare for a long week ahead of me. I love Sunday in my head but hate when it arrives. It is the anticipation that as the clock ticks down I am just that much closer to another long week. So I have started doing what I always resisted. Buying healthy lunch ingredients and spending Sunday preparing. I decided that as this would be my first week doing this I would keep it simple. Salads and cereal and sliced bread for my breakfasts and lunches at work. It took my roughly 10 minutes to make (4) lunches for this week. It turns out it was a great idea because as the day went on my cold kicked in and my body got more and more tired. It is going to be a long week. Despite it having a holiday Wednesday. But I am prepared. I won’t need to run to CVS for a quick Asian  microwave dinner bowl or Panera Bread for a veggie sandwich that (calorie-wise) I should not be having except as a treat. So I went to Whole Foods, bought 1 container of baby kale, 1 container of mixed spring greens, 4 avocados, chopped mangoes, chopped berries, and a loaf of Iggy’s pecan cranberry bread. I already had the rest of my staples so I headed home.   IMG_2870 I made a quick salad with (4) glass and plastic containers out for sorting. layer of kale, layer of spring greens, layer of berries, layer of mango. I then took out the avocados and placed them in a separate bowl, diced with lemon, salt, and pepper. Then took out a measuring cup. I needed 1 cup of cereal in bags for my breakfast. I keep a container of all my cereals mixed together. I think it is more fun than just one type of cereal. I scooped (1) cup portions into biodegradable zipper sandwich bags that I got at Whole Foods a few months back. I keep a cereal bowl at work and then packed myself some extra hazelnut milk and salad dressing. I then cut slices of the bread in half and put a thin layer of Earth Balance on each using the same knife from the avocados. I put the bread in the same type of bags as the cereal. Done. 4 days, 8 meals. I keep reusable utensils and dishes at work that I rinse and wash out in the bathroom. So I was all set. We have a kitchen downstairs too for more complicated cleaning.   IMG_2871 So it really is that easy. If you want a little something more add a rice cup or frozen dairy free gluten free Amy’s burrito to your lunch. I keep Weight Watchers Red Beans and Rice cups in my office just to throw on top of salads. It is easy, vegan, and fills me up. With just 10-15 minutes of planning you have your whole week of healthy yummy food ready. It is also cost effective. Better than $10 at Panera Bread each day or $5.00 for breakfast at Dunkin Donuts! Enjoy! ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Food is Love.  The Hippie Gypsy.

Raw Creamy Alfredo Sauce.

Sounds amazing! I wonder if it will rival my sauce…. hmmm

Eat More Plants.


So good. So freakin good. I was craving some creamy pasta dish and this was what I mustered up.

This is my usual savory cashew cream recipe but I added a little more liquid to thin it out and red bell pepper for a twist.


1 c raw cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1/3 c red bell pepper, rough chopped
1 t minced garlic
2 T soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
1/4 c water
3-4 T nutritional yeast
Juice from 1/2 lemon, about 1/4 c

Blend all ingredients, adding more water until it becomes a creamy consistency, equal to that of a typical cream sauce.
Taste and add more nutritional yeast or sea salt if necessary.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
I usually use it to coat cold zucchini noodles but if I’m using it for a warm pasta dish, I’ll gently heat it up over…

View original post 8 more words

What does the Hippie Gypsy get for Christmas? What do you give a vegan for a gift?

Shopping 101 for Vegan Recipients


I am probably the easiest person to shop for in my mind and the hardest person to shop for according to my husband. My parents are awesome and generally get me the same few items but in a fresh way each year with a few surprises seasoned in. My brother asks my mom what to get me so that always works. I am super close with my aunt so she knows me and gets me something practical in most cases (however this year she got me something fun instead and my kids something practical (started their college funds)). My husband though, every year he is baffled. I think this is most husbands. They over think the holiday. Do I get her jewelry? Is that to obvious and if it isn’t what does cruelty free mean? What if I get her something practical like a cooking dish or pot or appliance instead? Will she be offended ? Maybe just soap? And then you can start to hear the crackle and fizzle of brain cells as their insides meltdown. When my husband and all husbands stop thinking you end up with no gifts, guilty looks, and a small dog in charge of the holidays. Then all that happens is the dog sniffs all items under the tree and chooses one to eat the ribbon off of… not a good Christmas. So let’s talk about what you should do next year through this year’s experience at my house.


My aunt nailed it this year so I will start with her gift. I LOVE surfing. However, I haven’t been able to surf in the past few years because of surgery and a messed up ankle injury. When my grandmother died I listened to “Santa Monica” by Everclear over and over because all I wanted to do was paddle out to the quiet of the ocean on my board and sit there while the sun rose. I needed the noise in my brain to stop. There is no better calm in the world than that moment. My aunt knows this. She has been mourning my grandmother’s passing at the same rate I have. Slowly and in complete devastation. We will randomly melt down and then be totally calm later that hour or afternoon. So for a gift, she gave me a gift certificate to the surf shop at the end of my street that just opened up this spring. She lives a few blocks from there as well. She gave me the gift of peace and healing. How wonderful is that?

Ocean House Surf Shop and Cafe:

(my first board is currently mounted on the wall in our home)



My parents were similar in nailing it this year. They gave us money to help pay bills, cookware for my blogging, gift cards to high end cookware stores, and a trip back to Ananda Ashram on them. Another gift of calm and peace and healing. What else could a vegan hippie girl ask for?

Ananda Ashram:

My brother piggybacked on my parents and got me a dutch oven which I have wanted but just couldn’t stomach affording the beautiful La Creuset enameled pieces. So I have survived without it … until now! So now I can make more Christmas Dinners like this one I had this year at my parents!



Last my husband, he gave me the gift of yoga. I love yoga. Hot yoga at lunch at work and morning yoga at the Ashram are my favorites. I hear the surf shop down the street does paddleboard yoga too! He got me a gift card to Athleta which is the Gap’s newest addition to its clothing brand. The prices are more reasonable than Lululemon but the quality seems identical. So I will be heading over there for some cold weather yoga pants, yoga grip socks, grip gloves, and maybe a yoga bag. Again, calm, peace, and healing.


So when you are thinking about us vegans remember what we stand for. All we want is happiness and compassion in the world. Find out ways to show that in your gift. Give your fellow hippie vegans something that will bring them joy and calm and peacefulness in this crazy season. Whether it is organic bamboo sheets for a more restful sleep or teas from a high end brand to calm their souls or gift cards to their favorite peace-finding activities. It is really about finding zen. We are easy to shop for. Just omit animal products and think holiday peace and compassion. Merry Christmas to One and All (animals included)!


P.S. Don’t forget the stocking stuffers (my husband is notorious for this last minute panic and I end up with nuts and random things from around the house). Go to your local Whole Foods and ask where the vegan candy is, vegan lip balm, vegan face cream, etc. They will most likely direct you to Go Max Go Foods items for candy. The Jokerz bar is just like a Snickers. The lip balm is all labeled and so are most other beauty products. Glass water bottles are also a no brainer and some organic cotton gloves, scarves, or socks. Enjoy!


Food is Love. 

The Hippie Gypsy

Christmas in New York City

Nearly every Christmas as a child, my father would bring us to NYC the weekend before the actual holiday. We would do plenty of cool things like skate at Rockefeller Center or eat at fancy restaurants, but the main purpose was to get our first Christmas present early at FAO Schwartz. We would wait in line and see the guard and hear the music and the clock inside and cling to the window in anticipation. I was always preparing for a doll or stuffed animal of some sort and my brother towards the remote control cars. I have now passed this tradition onto my stepchildren. So this weekend when they arrived, off we went to NYC with my husband and my Aunt for a fun filled weekend.

We spent the night at the Courtyard Marriott in Chelsea on West 30th. We got in late due to a flight issue with the kids and decided to head right to bed. I planned to have breakfast nearby and then off to the Statue of Liberty after that. Everyone was up at 9 am and the weather was so warm we couldn’t believe our luck. No coats were really needed… IN DECEMBER! So off to breakfast less than a 1/2 mile away at Blossom Du Jour. Let me first state that when you walk in and it is tiny but the staff is so friendly and happy you can’t help but smile and feel this huge warmth. They were taking out fresh croissant and vegan cronuts sandy with cinnamon and sugar and the little kid inside of me got giddy. My aunt and the kids both had the waffles and my husband and I had the vegan scramble wraps. I also bought 2 cronuts for us all to cut and share. The verdict? I am in love with their cronuts. I could eat them every day for the rest of my life. The waffle was very dense, I snuck a bite from my oldest. Then I inhaled my almost too-eggy-to-be-true tofu scramble wrap splashing it down with Raspberry Lemonade Soda. It was the best faux egg breakfast meal I have ever had. I am not exaggerating, you MUST try this. Even my husband was happy. The only comment was “I should have ordered two, I am still hungry”. This was about an hour later.


IMG_2793   IMG_2789   IMG_2791  IMG_2790   IMG_2792   IMG_2788

I grabbed a smoky avocado wrap to take with me in case there was nothing vegan for lunch options on Ellis Island or at the Statue of Liberty. We grabbed a cab and headed over to Battery Park. The seagulls were out and the squirrels were acting like they were a small free circus act. It was a beautiful day for the animals of NYC and my kids were so delighted by it all. The youngest started naming all the birds. I could not have asked for a better set-up. We got our tickets quickly from will call and hopped right on the top floor of the boat to the statue. It was a wonderful ride and the seagulls follow you all the way. My husband took tons of photos of the 50 or so floating over our head. Seagulls are my favorite bird and probably one of my favorite animals. I find them smart and funny and both land and sea all mixed together. They are so resourceful and determined as well. When i was a kid my grandmother and I would go to Revere Beach outside Boston and get french fries from Kelly’s Roast Beef and feed them to them. This of course is probably not healthy but they loved it and I loved them. I digress.

When we got to the island we were luck enough to have tickets to the platform (but unfortunately not to the crown). So we climbed the 400 or so stairs up and it was such a beautiful view. The kids were just in awe and ran about the island afterward. We taught them about the importance of it all as we went along. They really seemed to understand it. My aunt loved going because she could see her grandparents in her mind traveling across and arriving. The joy that must have overtaken them. It is truly a magical place. We headed back a bit later to go to the Central Park Zoo.

We got to the zoo with about 1.5 hours to visit. If you have never been there this is more than enough time. It is a small zoo. There is also a Children’s zoo attached that could tack on another 30 minutes but we didn’t indulge on this trip. Now I know many vegans are against zoos. I am in many cases. This zoo however is small, has minimal animals and ample staff. I feel confident the animals get enough attention and care but I do agree there is nothing perfectly like the wild. I am lucky to have two very animal loving girls as step-kids. They were interested and the youngest even felt like we should take one of the seals home to put back in Boston Harbor. I was happiest however in the aviary of tropical plants and birds. It was similar to a sauna when entering and it felt as though you truly were in their habitat. They flew freely and there was no border between you and the birds. Some you could touch they were so close but I told the children not to because you don’t poke animals. There was also a darkened area sectioned off for amphibians, snakes, etc. I am terrified of snakes so I stayed away I only went in to see the mongoose. Because they are adorable.


IMG_2799   IMG_2803   IMG_2804   IMG_2806 IMG_2797


When we left we waited to watch the clock go off and the animals dance around the pedestal while the clock sung a Christmas carol. Then walked to Strawberry Fields so I could take a photo of the Imagine Mosaic and then to dinner. The kids ran the whole time, stomping on snow piles and jumping off rocks. It was a great day in Central Park.




We had dinner at Le Pain Quotidien on the upper east side just a block from the park. The food was the best I have ever had since I became vegan. I wish they had a Boston location in which case I would be there every Friday. The whole family was in awe. We started with a sampling platter of prosciutto, cheese, breads, fruit, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, infused oil, and jams. I had some oil, bread, fruit, tomato, and jams. It was amazing. Then for dinner I chose the six vegetable vegan quiche that came with a side of mesculen salad and a pot of tea. The dressing was perfect on the salad. I would fork a few of the greens onto a slice of bread with apricot preserves from time to time. So indulgent. The quiche was absolutely beautiful. Brightly colored layers with a simple and rich flavor and topped with an artichoke heart slice. The small slice of quiche was perfect. When it was time for dessert I picked the Hemp Seed Blondie which was more like a small square cake with a few chocolate chips than a brownie but still delicious, I also grabbed a taste of the brown rice pudding my oldest stepdaughter had ordered and it was yummy. I left so happy and full. The whole family continued to rave about it on the ride home that night.


IMG_2810   IMG_2811  IMG_2809     IMG_2819   IMG_2817   IMG_2823   IMG_2822


Last we headed over to FAO Schwartz. It was later about 8 pm and the line had dissolved. We headed right in and the kids looked for about an hour until deciding on their choices. Both chose extra large stuffed animals. The youngest chose a Cheetah and the oldest a strikingly life-like Orangutan. The Cheetah was named Candice while in line and the Orangutan was Enrique. Full of smiles and french country flavors we headed back to the hotel and then home in our new Prius. It only cost $35 in gas for the trip there and back. Amazing car to own.

I am so grateful for my family and our ability to have these adventures this holiday and all year. I hope that all my readers have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Much love this Holiday Season.


Food is Love. 

The Hippie Gypsy.

Ooey Gooey Vegan S’mores Cheesecake Trifle

I joined the Wellness Committee at my work a few months back. I thought it was important to have a truly opposite opinion to the mainstream ideas of health in such a  group. One that focused not on conventional “healthy” recipes and ways of being “well” but one that is a little more alternative. I am obviously a vegan but I am also a bit of a hippie and very interested in how wellness is also about being mentally well and taking care of the earth to result in healthy food and a healthy planet. This holiday season we had a Christmas/Holiday/Seasonal get together/luncheon at work. The Wellness Group sponsored it and although it was healthi-er I think we have a long way to go. I must say that I did prepare a not so perfectly healthy trifle for the baking contest so I am as much at fault as anyone on the healthiness of this luncheon. To me this recipe is far from healthy but for the group, I think they will find it the healthiest option on the table with all things considered. Take a look and Happy Holidays! (PS I won the contest!)



S’mores Cheesecake Trifle


  • 2 packages Vegan Marshmallows
  • 2 containers Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese
  • 2 cans of Coconut Milk (refrigerated overnight or longer to separate)
  • 1 cup powdered organic vegan sugar
  • 1 squeeze bottle of Breyer’s Hot Fudge Sauce (vegan and sold at Walmart)
  • 1 box of Fudge Brownie Mix (Betty Crocker is vegan)
  • 2 cans of pureed pumpkin
  • 1 box Chocolate Cake Mix (many vegan varieties are available)
  • 1 package of graham crackers



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. IMG_2746
  3. Get out (2) medium mixing bowls.
  4. Get 1 smaller pie pan and 1 regular sized cake pan.
  5. Get out your trifle container.
  6. IMG_2743
  7. Spray cake and pie pan with Coconut Oil spray or some Pam-type equivalent of canola oil.
  8. Open cans of coconut milk and slowly remove top layer of coconut milk fat and leave coconut water at the bottom. Try to remove as little wet material as possible. Place in one mixing bowl with cream cheese. Mix until combined well. Sift in powdered sugar with a sieve or squeeze sifter. I use a plastic $1.99 sieve I got at the Chinese grocery store and it works great. No need for anything fancy! Place bowl of cream in refrigerator.
  9. IMG_2728 IMG_2730 IMG_2731 IMG_2732 IMG_2733 IMG_2734 IMG_2735 IMG_2738 IMG_2740 IMG_2741 IMG_2742
  10. In second bowl prepare brownie mix with one can of pureed pumpkin. Combine the two until smooth. Place in Pie Pan.
  11. IMG_2715    IMG_2716    IMG_2717
  12. In the second bowl (do not wipe) add cake mix and 2nd can of pureed pumpkin. Combine well until smooth and place batter in cake pan.
  13. IMG_2720    IMG_2721    IMG_2723


  1. Place both batters into oven. The cake will take approximately 30 minutes and the brownies will take approximately 50-55 minutes.
  2. IMG_2747
  3. Take squeeze fudge and line the bottom of the trifle bowl. The cake will be going in the bottom and tends to be crumbly. This will give the appearance on the exterior glass of a neat chocolate line while also keeping the moisture of the cake in.
  4. IMG_2725   IMG_2752
  5. Next, cut or tear marshmallows in half. This will allow for them to be stuck to the glass and cake when layering.
  6. When the cake comes out. Take the trifle bowl and press through to the bottom of the pan. This will create a circular indent. Most trifle bowls are smaller on the bottom than the top. That is why you place the cake and not brownie in the bottom. Cake will squish down and together so it will fit despite the slight size difference.
  7.  IMG_2748  IMG_2749
  8. Flip the pan over on a wire rack to unlodge from pan and cool.
  9. IMG_2753
  10. Once cool, tear away edges from the circular imprint and press down into the trifle bowl.
  11.  IMG_2754  IMG_2755   IMG_2756  IMG_2757
  12. The fudge will make up for any imperfections. Feel free to add more fudge in a circle on top to finish the layer. Then place a few dots on top of the cake to prepare for marshmallows.
  13. IMG_2758
  14. Press marshmallows up against the glass all around the bowl and then on top of the cake/fudge layer.
  15.      IMG_2759 IMG_2760
  16. Take out a creme brulee style kitchen torch and brown the cake layers. Be careful lot to get too close the the glass. Not all glass is heat friendly.
  17. IMG_2761 IMG_2762 IMG_2763   IMG_2726
  18. Fill in holes between marshmallows with some fudge. Then crumble graham crackers on top. I used 1 package from a box. Approximately 8 sheets (you can reserve some for top layer if you want or just use more!).
  19. IMG_2744    IMG_2764 IMG_2765
  20. Next place 1/3 of the cheesecake cream in the center of the crackers but try to avoid bringing the liquid too close to the edges.
  21.     IMG_2766  IMG_2768 IMG_2769
  22. Now add the brownie layer once it has been removed from the oven and cooled on a wire rack. You do not need to make a circular cut on this. Simply cut a triangular piece of brownie out of the “pie” and then it will allow for you to fold it into the trifle bowl by almost overlapping the edges where the cut was made. It also allows for you to have a snack 🙂
  23. IMG_2767   IMG_2770   IMG_2771   IMG_2772
  24. Next add the rest of the cheesecake cream and decorate with marshmallows, fudge, and crumbled grahams. I like to line the edge again with marshmallows and place a dollop of fudge between for a nice finish on it 🙂
  25.  IMG_2774   IMG_2776
  26. Refrigerate overnight to settle. Serve cold. Enjoy!



Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy


Check My Recipe Out on also!

Maple Glazed Seitan (Not Satan)

Every time I tell my husband or father I am going to make seitan for dinner they both say “Satan?” It is a running joke with them because they find the name hilarious and I prefer it over “wheat gluten” because everyone thinks that is an allergy not a food these days. I like seitan (say-tan) a great deal. I tried Upton’s Naturals brand this week. It seems comparable to the West Soy one I used before but I think I actually prefer the West Soy one. This bummed me out a little because I always heard Upton’s was amazing. Oh well. Everyone has their own tastes. Moving on a did a simple maple glaze on it and if you add a splash of liquid smoke your meal is forever transformed into a meat like yumminess that needs no side dish. I only wish I had some chopped green onions to garnish it!





Maple Glazed Seitan

  • 1 box Seitan (in cubed form not strips)
  • 1/8 cup Maple Syrup
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke




In a sautee pan heat oil slightly and add rest of ingredients.


Stir until well combined and the liquid reduced caramelizing the seitan.




Optional: If you must serve to a group or want to get fancy… I would say place it on top of some white sticky rice and garnish with green onions.


Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

Cheesy Veggie Stuffed Bread

I must say that I am in LOVE with the onion foccacia bread that is prepared at Whole Foods. I buy it all the time. I use it in my recipe for chicken pot pie. It is borderline amazing for any purpose. I just adore it. That being said I thought to myself after the holidays were over, “Wow I ate a lot of stuffing but I didn’t stuff it INTO anything”. Then I turned that on it’s head and wondered why not stuff a bread instead of stuff an animal. It is obviously healthier and less gross so let’s give it a whirl. Out came an amazing and delicious treat I have even served my guy friends at a recent dinner with a side of pumpkin curry soup. Enjoy! (they definitely did).


Veggie Stuffed Bread



  • Onion Foccacia Square from Whole Foods
  • Sliced Green and Yellow Squash
  • Fresh Green Beans
  • Daiya Havarti (1/2) Block
  • Olive Oil



  1. Preheat oven to 430 degrees.
  2. Slice out a one inch section of the center of the bread so that it is hollowed out but still has some bread on top and bottom. Do not cut complately through like a sandwich though so that you can fold it shut after filling.
  3. Drizzle bottom interior of bread with olive oil then stack with sliced squash.
  4. IMG_2709
  5. Crumble cheese on top and in between squash. Layer with Raw Fresh Green Beans.
  6. IMG_2711
  7. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Fold top shut.
  8. IMG_2710
  9. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  10. Enjoy!


Food is Love. 

The Hippie Gypsy

Tips and Love: Thanksgiving Lull is Over… Time for a Compassionate Christmas

The Thanksgiving lull is over, I have eaten all the leftovers, and Christmas is upon us. I wanted to discuss what I have learned in this two week food coma. 

  1. Yoga, Barre Classes, and the Gym will get you through anything.
  2. Beware of car accidents this time of year. I have had two in the last few weeks. None were my fault but everyone is on the road that normally isn’t, and the conditions are less than perfect in the Northeast.
  3. Christmas shopping is an important time to remind yourself how vegan you actually are.
  4. Take time to meditate, otherwise you will autopilot yourself past New Years and possibly into a real coma.

I would like to elaborate on all of these. Yoga class and meditation are key. I have found that this (as well as a healthy amount of shopping online instead of at the mall) have save my frustrated, over-anxious soul these past weeks. I have been trying to go to Yoga or Barre at least twice a week and the Gym 3 times a week. My diet has been less than ideal and I was bordering on becoming a “junk-food-vegan”. So I ramped it up and started listening to documentaries while I worked concerning food and reading whenever I got home rather than turning on the TV to calm my mind. This reset my brain a little and allowed me to appreciate the odd situation I was in. I have too much food. I have too much good food. This is a rarity in the World as a whole despite the jaded American view of such. I watched “Vegucated” the other day to also help reset my goals as a vegan and realized that watching someone kill a pig for meat actually bothers me intensely now. Not like a few years ago where I chalked it up to “the way things are”. I meditated on this and decided that I needed to start considering the compassionate side of things a little more seriously. The film reminded me of my dog and I can’t shake that image. So I am officially starting to remove things from my needs. I am re-prioritizing and starting fresh. I need to start focusing on healthy, organic, sustainable, and compassionate products. I need to also be these things. So to be healthy in my mind I need to always meditate. To be healthy in my heart I need to always be more compassionate. To be more healthy inside my body I need to be organic and eat for need not want and practice yoga and exercise regularly. Last, to be healthy with the earth I need to be organic and sustainable in my practices.

I realized this is overwhelming and a lot to take on but I think it is worth the effort, time, and money. I am budgeting for it now. Budgeting for a better future. It’s empowering when you think of it. So I started with Christmas. I am trying to recycle all shipping boxes and bags. I request minimal packing materials and shop through Amazon so things can be combined into one package. I am trying to commit to sustainable materials in clothes moving forward and household textiles as well as reusing  or buying second hand. I love books but rather than hard copies which I am in love with I either by used now or from Audible or for my Kindle to keep paper where it belongs, the forest. I also am reminding people to try Meatless Mondays or at least eat more locally. I even had a chat with my family about it last night and it was well received.

I know I am going to be called a hippie and that is okay. I know some people will say ” I could never do that” but I want you to know you can. You are more powerful and resilient than you know. It is absolutely overwhelming at first, but think about what you are giving each other this holiday. Think about the reason for Christmas or your holiday. It is about respecting something greater than yourself that gave up everything so you could be happy. So in a way shouldn’t we spend the holiday sacrificing for the greater good to live like those that we are celebrating? Shouldn’t we be respecting what was given to us? Just think about it when you give someone another gift certificate or candle or pair of leather gloves they already have 2 pairs of. Every year my grandmothers gave me the same thing. One gave me cash, sometimes in an envelope, other times folded into my hand, and once in a plastic shopping bag. She knew it was wasteful to wrap anything. The other gave me the exact same pair of gloves, ear muffs, and gift certificate to the mall. I donated those gloves or earmuffs every year to family, friends, or the goodwill so it ended up working out. But now I wonder about what it took to make those gloves every year and if it was really worth the $5 price tag. I am sure some child in Laos or Myanmar sat there sewing them just so I could give them away. It seems disrespectful and enabling now that I am older and wiser.The environment was also affected by the factory, I am sure. Think about what was sacrificed for that gift and if it is really worth the price tag and if it is, is it what you want that person to remember you for? Be healthy, be happy, and encourage others to also do the same.

This year I am giving only what people need or asked for that I think is also appropriate. I want to be known for giving a good gift but I also want a healthy return on my investment. My family will get wonderful gifts but all ones that inevitably are sustainable, or compassionate, or ecofriendly in some way. There will of course be a few toys or books thrown in there but I am trying very hard to stick to a compassionate theme. One of my stepdaughers loves animals so I gave her books and videos about them and how to be kinder to them both when encountering them and when living her life but I am also giving her a Nook for future books. The other is into fashion so she wants clothes. I tried to stick with cotton and veg friendly shoes instead of leather. It takes a few more minutes but it felt worth it. I felt like Christmas Shopping was more rewarding this year. Did I also mention that because I budgeted my time for this that I am already done? Yes I am. Back to that budgeting for a healthier lifestyle. I budgeted my time to reduce stress and increase happiness. It worked. So now I can handle a broken down car… or two. Accidents happen. It is all about how to handle them in a healthy way. So now its your turn. Turn your holiday around. Make it healthy for your soul, your pocketbook, and your world. I send you all pure joy.

Food is love. Happy Holidays.

The Hippie Gypsy


My Thanksgiving Dinner

I want to start this with a shout out to the staff at the Bedford MA Whole Foods. You guys saved the day on Thanksgiving. I had ordered a holiday vegan “turkey” en croute from Whole Foods at another location for my Thanksgiving. My mother was kind enough to pick it up while I was working only to find a goat cheese log in the bag as a substitute. First off anonymous grocery staff that so lovingly tried to put a sub in for the missing vegan meat, goat cheese is not vegan. Second, why didn’t you call? I know that sounds like a wounded ex-girlfriend but honestly this is a major holiday and I am always plugging Whole Foods since you are the vegan guru’s of the Northeast as well as I help out writing recipes locally. If you don’t have a product tell the person who ordered it. Don’t just toss in a cheese log and hope for the best. The Bedford Whole Foods got a call from me in a panic and not only gave me many options, they gave it to me for free because they felt bad about what had happened. All I can say is you are amazing. I tweeted how amazing you were that day but I wanted to write about it formally. It made my day and the next day it made my dinner.

IMG_2644   IMG_2643

The Field Roast en Croute was delicious. The instructions were easy to follow. I was in heaven and leftovers were easy to reheat with a little water added to the bottom of the bowl. I topped leftovers with a little Daiya Havarti and was in heaven!


I made the rest of the holiday meal vegan except the Turkey. Yes, I cooked a turkey. It was from Whole Foods and organic and local and all that jazz. I did feel bad but I am the only vegan and I try not to take things too far. My husband eats mostly vegan these days and my mother is vegan or at least vegetarian until dinner time so I feel like I have made such a huge impact that one day a year I will make them something non-vegan on a table that is completely vegan otherwise. They appreciate the effort and I appreciate their effort all year long.


IMG_2650 IMG_2649 IMG_2648 IMG_2647  IMG_2646


All I can say is that the vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, and drizzled with maple syrup were my favorite but the potatoes au gratin were the show stopper for the rest of the group. They loved them and I mean LOVED them. I got more compliments than I could’ve imagined. Especially seeing as only my dad and I ate them last year. I kinda regretted it because I love them and had only a tiny portion left over.

IMG_2652 IMG_2651


Dessert was also an amazing success with vegan chocolate chip cookies, cranberry upside down cake, apple caramel pie, and a vegan pumpkin pie my mother bought at Whole Foods in Boston.

IMG_2654    IMG_2658

All in all it was a great success and I cannot thank my friends in Bedford enough. So from my Family to yours. Thank you and Happy Holidays!


(From the left going clockwise: Isaiah my husband’s closest friend, his children, his wife Kristin, my husband in orange in teh center, my father, moth, Aunt’s boyfriend Tim, and finally my Aunt.)


Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy


IMG_2659 (I’m on the far right, My mom is the center, aunt behind, and sister in law on the far left. Her son my nephew Nolan is the beautiful baby! I even named a dish after him!)