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A new voice for us!


Eve is taking a short sabbatical, and she invited me to compose this letter to you and the others on our world-wide mailing list. My name is SUSAN BLISS, and I’ve been a part of the Portland potluck group of mindful cooks almost since it started in 2008.


Our e-mail list has expanded again, and this time we are glad to add two Coloradans, MELANIE WARREN, from Boulder, and DEBBIE REID from Centennial. In her letter to Eve, Melanie asked for hands-on help as she works toward adopting a plant-based diet.

When I’m on a quest, my go-to place is the internet, so I searched for “vegan groups Boulder, Colorado,” and brought up multiple pages of meet-ups, food stores, restaurants, etc. Maybe you’ll find a person to help, Melanie, in one of the vegan groups in your progressive town. Anyone with more ideas may send them in (use Eve’s address, as usual) so we can share next time.

Alternatively, there are many places on the internet that offer on-line plans, cooking instructions, and other ideas about how to maintain a plant-based diet. Even if you’ve been a mindful cook for a while, you may want to check out The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine,, and the Forks Over Knives MealPlanner, PCRM is a non-profit organization founded 33 years ago in Washington, D.C., and its free, 21-Day Vegan Kickstart includes menus, recipes, nutritional information and tips from vegan celebrities. In addition to English, you can enroll in Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese versions of the plan, each featuring culturally matched foods. Another English version has recipes and ingredients from the Indian subcontinent.

The “Forks Meal Planner” has more features than the PCRM program, but there is a charge. Subscriber benefits include weekly 5-day meal plans with a guide to weekend batch preparation, a large, interactive recipe data base, shopping lists geared to your meal plan, and a somewhat hard-to-find help/question box to (I assume) a real person.

If cooking lessons are what you require, look into Rouxbe, at, an on-line culinary school that offers courses in the preparation of plant-based foods.


Further, my advice to anyone feeling deprived of a once-favored food, is to start reading—-not just about the benefits of a plant-based diet, but about all the marvelous vegan dishes that will fill you up, delight your tastebuds, and even come close to those old recipes you thought you missed.

For starters, take a look at Eve’s article on CASHEWS at, where she writes about the many virtues of the amazing cashew nut, and how it can put the creaminess of dairy products into your diet, but without the cruelty or the cholesterol of dairy products. Naturally, Eve offers tempting recipes from our database, including dessert recipes, and cites suggestions from other mindful cooks. The Cashew article can also be found on our website now, under Active Discussions:,

LINDA H., for example, uses cashews to thicken soups and as an oil substitute in salad dressings; LUCY threw together an inspired pasta sauce, using her blender, soaked cashews, garlic, tofu, dill, lemon juice rice vinegar, nutritional yeast and salt to taste, but no recipe. ASHWANI uses cashews to thicken curries and to make a child-approved vegan mac-and-cheese (watch the video at .)On her website, LINDA W. tells how to turn eggplant and cashew cream into a tasty dinner


HILLARY in Portland delivered a soul-satisfying recipe for creamy vegan potato soup. Look it up at:

Creamy Vegan Potato Soup

..then try a dessert of cacao nibs and almond butter spread on a cracker, as recommended by SARAH in Salem, who says it’s “just like a candy bar!”


The post from LINDA H. at, links to a few amateur videos pointed at eating plant-based fast food, including two videos by a Southern California enthusiast called Vegetaryn and a group of her 20-something friends. The theme is the same—you can eat well as a vegan, even if you’re under 30. After you watch these videos—there are more on youtube—Linda asks for reactions from fellow Plant Podders. She’s eager for discussion. Good idea.