I was just thinking about my BCHVEG license plates yesterday… wondering if they would EVER arrive since the DMV cashed my (second) check on November 7th.  Well…. when I checked my mail today, there they were, all shiny & beautiful.  I took them donn to Sofi (my Smart Car) & put them on immediately!  See…


I guess I need to get serious about this blog now, since I am officially the Beach Veg*n.  So you tell me… what would you like to see here?  My Recipes?  Recipes I’ve tried? South Bay restaurant reviews?  Surviving in a non-Veg*n world?  Regular weekly features?  I’ll be coming up with a plan this week, so keep your eyes here & on my Twitter page @BeachVeg!

Headed to Jenntoberfest!


So excited to be able to make it to my friend Jenn’s birthday celebration at Alpine Village’s Oktoberfest this year. Also excited to sample this year’s thirst quenching beverage options $ Alpine Village’s VEGAN OPTIONS! #Yum


Its only fitting since Berlin has been voted the worlds most vegan city. 💗🇩🇪🍻

Details about vegan options from 2014:

Details about Oktoberfest 2015:

I’ll report back later with details from our visit.


So… Every year when I go to Coachella, I come back with about 6 months (not exaggerating) of Coachella Cough. What is it? Who knows… 3-4 days inhaling polo field dust, lack of sleep, dehydration (although I’m generally pretty good at drinking lots of water), lack of sleep, too much dancing, all of the above.

I got CC when I stayed in Palm Springs & drove in everyday, then I still got it when I camped for the weekend.

imageThis year, I decided to battle the inevitable. I personally believe that CC has a lot to do with the dust, so I decided I would buy a face mask. I was about to just buy a box of cheapies, but I did want to look halfway decent in my health protecting mask, so I visited the Coachella message boards. Many people recommended Vogmask. I looked them up & they’re cute, plus they offer N99 protection. While I didn’t wear the mask the entire time, I did put it on whenever I could see dust in the air, when the wind kicked up, or as we were walking in & out of the shuttle bus lot (where the fields are dustiest.)

I definitely notice a difference. I don’t have endless amounts of black stuff coming out of my nose & I don’t feel super congested. I did lose my voice though & since returning home, it has developed into a bit of a sore throat. Time with tell if this is the beginning of Coachella Cough, or just the aftermath of screaming, singing, too much fun…

To help my body recover from whatever this is, I went out & stocked up on some body healing foods: lemons, limes, tea, bananas, grapefruit, cranberry juice, garlic & carrots. Most of these are whole, but I wanted to get cranberry juice already made, so I could drink it right away. I made sure that I got one with no added sweeteners or “natural flavors” (whatever those may be.) Apparently, my only source of cranberry juice prior to this has been one mixed with vodka, because this doesn’t taste like the cranberry juice I’ve grown to love… Cranberries are sour!

In any case, I will keep you all posted & hopefully my throat pain will be all cleared up in a couple of days.

Happy Coachella (comedown)!

Wondering How I Became Vegan?


When I was in high school, I thought about becoming vegetarian or vegan, and once proclaimed that I was going on an all salad diet. However, when our family sat down for dinner together every night, It was usually chicken & 2 veggies. So I put what I knew about animal farming into the back of my mind & carried on. Its the American way, right?


Fast forward 25 years… I come back after a weekend away & my husband has stumbled across some horrible factory farming videos. He wants to show me right away. So, we watch these videos, nothing new… they are  the same ones I saw as a teen, the images that I pushed to the back of my brain. Nothing has really changed in factory farming, it has been horrifying for the animals we put on our plates for a very long time. This time after watching though, we had a conversation about our contribution to the system, and whether or not we wanted to participate in the cruelty that occurs everyday. The terrible conditions, the sickness, the complete disregard for the lives of these beautiful creatures. We decided we did not, and we became vegan together.

I am not a picky eater, and I’d like to think I am a pretty good cook. So, for me going into the kitchen to grab something to eat is extremely simple. For my husband on the other hand, we have had to get a little more creative. He craves variety. Also, while he says that he wants to eat fresh delicious whole foods, unprocessed fruits & veggies, he, like many, was raised on fast food. Sometimes when presented with a plate of stir-fry he’s just not in the mood. We have found some dishes that satisfy all, and I also have some quick and easy stand-bys for when I don’t have a lot of time: TVP Tacos, TVP Spaghetti, Chili…

It doesn’t hurt living near LA, where the vegan restaurants are plentiful! Although technically, I live in the Beach Cities, so the main place we have is the Veggie Grill (which is great, I just don’t want to go there everyday.)

All in all, I find it very easy being vegan. I don’t see ever changing for any reason. If I don’t need to eat animals to survive… to thrive, why would I?

Spicy Spaghetti with TVP


I have started tracking my meals & activity on & with my FitBit Tracker. One of the things I need to do to track my meals is to create recipes that reflect the correct calories, protein, sodium, etc. You just input the ingredients on My Fitness Pal & tell it how many servings, the site figures out the rest.

Last night I made my super easy Spicy Spaghetti with TVP. It is my go to meal when I don’t have a lot of time (or am feeling lazy. I’m entering the recipe on MFP anyway, so I thought why not share it here as well!

1 Can Diced Tomatos (15 oz, I use Basil, Garlic & Oregano)
2 Cans Tomato Sauce (15 oz)
1 Cup Dry TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein)
1 Tbsp Garlic powder
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Box Thin Spaghetti (Made With 100% Semolina)

Put Diced Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, TVP, Garlic Powder & Cayenne Pepper in a skillet, stir together & cover. Cook at medium heat while preparing pasta.

Cook pasta as directed.

Serve… YUM!

Just tried some of the new Kite Hill Cheeses

Kite Hill Cheese

Two new non-dairy cheeses, available in the Whole Foods Artisanal Cheese Case

I’ve been hearing a buzz about a new brand of nut-based cheeses, Kite Hill. It is a collaboration of Tal Ronnen, Monte Casino, Jean Prevot, and Dr. Pat Brown. I was excited to try it, as it is difficult for companies to emulate the flavors & textures of cheese, and that is the excuse that I hear most often for why people cannot give up animal products. There are 4 flavors available currently: Casuccio (Soft Fresh and Truffle, Dill & Chive), Costanoa, and White Alder. Unlike any other vegan cheese brand, Kite Hill is being sold from the artisanal cheese case in Whole Foods… not the vegan cheese case. This is both good and bad, I think, as it shows that these nut-based cheeses are of the same quality as the other artisanal cheeses that Whole Foods carries. It will also possibly result in dairy cheese lovers buying the product, however if someone is specifically looking for vegan cheeses, they could miss it.

After reading the descriptions on the website, I was really hoping to try the Costanoa. The Whole Foods I live near is a small one though, and they only have the Soft Fresh Casuccio and White Alder right now, so I bought both of them. They were each about $13.99. More than I would normally spend for a wheel of cheese, but I had to try them out. I bought some Milton’s crackers to go with them, and set off for home.

My opinion on these new cheeses, honestly, is that they are fairly bland. Maybe that is how they are supposed to be. The Casuccio has the consistency of a block of tofu with a texture on top, and a hint of some kind of potentially (ever so light) cheesy flavor. It’s not awful, but I think I would get just as far smearing lightly marinated tofu on a cracker (which would be cheaper.) The White Alder on the other hand, was a more worthwhile pick. It is a Brie clone, down to the wooden wheel/box that it comes in. I was never a Brie connoisseur, so I can’t speak to the subtleties of the flavor, but I think I remember it being a bit more pungent and flavorful. It does have a nice spreadable consistency though, and I think with a milder cracker or maybe some fruit it would be better able to show its strengths. I am going to try it in a recipe tonight, and I may put the remaining Casuccio on a salad, as the Kite Hill website suggests.

I will continue to be on the lookout for the Costanoa, and will update this once I find it. Happy Cheesing!

Coachella is here!


Coachella is nearly here & I can hardly contain my excitement. Beginning last year (& for the rest of my life), I will be camping at Coachella, which means no hotel with a kitchen so I need to locate all of the vegan friendly trucks, stands and carts that I will be dining at throughout the weekend. I also bring some of my own food, but sometimes a PB&J sandwich or vacuum packed Indian food just doesn’t cut it (or I don’t feel like walking all the way to the campsite.)

I just downloaded the Coachella Official app & it’s got a great listing of all of the food vendors that will be at the fest this year.  You can sort them by Name (A-Z) or type of vendor & the app gives a description of where in the festival or campground the vendor is located. I’m bummed that Coolhaus is in the VIP area.

118 Degrees: Vegan & Raw (Between Outdoor/Gobi & VIP White Peaks)
Strictly Vegan: Vegan Jamaican (Terrace West) <– I will be here
Tantes: Strips, Fries, Knish, Shwarma (Between Outdoor/Gobi & Terrace South)

Cali-Pop Culture: Kettle Corn & Shaved Ice (Terrace North)
Certified Farmers Market: Local produce, juices, baked goods, coffee & snacks, 7am to 2pm (Lot 8 Near Clubhouse)
Junior Corn: Corn on the Cob (Terrace South)
West Coast Island Noodles: Eats (Between Man/Outdoor)

(I tweeted each of these with the hashtag #Veganchella)
Wicked Kitchen @WickedKitchn – “No vegan, we do have a vegetarian option… ‘I Pity the Tofu’
Lime Truck @thelimetruck – (I had bok choy from here last year, yum!  They also said they can make other vegan dishes if you ask.)
Kogi @kogibbq – ” Just ask at the window!
Joe’s Pizza @JoesPizzaTruck
Mangler’s Meltdown @PedleyMangler
Green Truck @GreenTruck – (The Classic Mother Trucker Vegan Burger is really good, I had that last year.)
Cravon @CravOnFries – “We’re cooked in olive oil & lightly dusted w/sea salt. 50% less fat. 100% great potato taste.
Border Grill @BorderGrill – “We can make vegan burritos and tacos if you ask for them.

Last year I created the Vegans Unite! group on the Coachella Message Boards.  Join me there, and follow @becahveg on Twitter.  I will be live tweeting (pending phone battery life) during weekend 2 using the hashtag #Veganchella.