Vegan Adventures With Mom

July 7, 2010 by Keri

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it to you guys, but I am terrified of airplanes.  No, not just flying. Airplanes.  In the sky.  I understand it’s not a rational fear- I think my bachelor’s degree in psychology got me that far- but it’s my fear all the same.  I could let a tank of spiders crawl all over me, but an airplane flies over my house and my blood runs cold.  So today my mom came to visit me because she had never been to a Whole Foods and wanted to go.  I’m driving down the road to get on the highway and I see an airplane flying extremely low over the fields up ahead.  It’s fairly far away and my mom assures me it’s a crop duster and I’m fine, but I start to get an adrenaline rush and know I’m freaking out a little.  I was trying to keep an eye on this plane because I could see it was spraying the fields on either side of us in one swoop and I didn’t want any surprises.  Pretty sure I’d passed where it was flying, I sped up a bit to put this whole ordeal behind me and BAM out of nowhere this thing is wooshing out from the corn mere feet from my car and way closer to the ground than I want to ever see an airplane in motion.  Obviously, I scream and yell, “OH MY GOD,” and duck under the steering wheel, while driving mind you, all while my mom is laughing her ass off in the passenger seat in the way most people do at people facing their irrational fears.  I was pretty sure I was about to die North by Northwest style.  Turns out I lived. Phew.

After that adventure-packed start to our outing, we had a really good time.  Whole Foods was magical as always, and I picked up a bit of produce, a neti pot(which all of my Twitter buddies convinced me I need), and some vegan glucosamine for my knee.  My mom selected nothing for herself.  How anyone walks out of Whole Foods empty handed is beyond me.  I need to learn such self-restraint, I suppose!  We had lunch at a Mongolian grill and I packed my bowl with veggie goodness and kung pao sauce, neglecting to take a picture.  Next, we hit up Kohl’s, followed by Target, and finally Starbucks where I intended to use my birthday coupon.  When I got to the counter I held up the coupon, “What can I get?”  Her response was, “Anything- get a Venti, get 6 extra shots, get the most expensive thing you can think of,” and upon considering the prospect of me with 6 extra shots of espresso coursing through my veins, I settled for a venti soy coffee frappaccino with an extra shot.  That baby would have set me back almost 6 bucks, but with my birthday coupon, I walked out the door without spending a penny.  Sweet!  What a fantastic day; thanks, Mom, for the goodies, lunch, and driving 6 hours in one day just to hang out with me!

Vegan Starbucks

Home just in time to cook dinner, I flipped open the Veganomicon to the recipe for Mac Daddy (page 195).  Since I had all of the ingredients, I thought, what the heck, and made it.  Convenient!  I only used half the sauce, because I didn’t have enough nutritional yeast to make a double batch of Cheezy Sauce, and added a little chopped kale.  We really liked this recipe and it’s very simple to make.  I’ve seen a few negative reviews on this one, and here’s the thing for me.  When I went vegan I became aware I couldn’t go into a recipe expecting it to taste exactly what the title was implying.  If it does, awesome, and if it doesn’t , awesome still.  My foodie mind is always happy to open up a new flavor file.  With that being said, especially since Veganomicon tends to be one of the first books new vegans pick up, I wouldn’t recommend this be one of the first dishes you make as a vegan until you’ve established that you enjoy nutritional yeast and nooch sauces.  And as they mention in the recipe, I wouldn’t serve it to your omni guests because it looks like a macaroni and cheese dish and they’re going to be expecting it to taste like what they’re used to.  It’s like when you pick up a glass thinking it’s water, but it’s juice.  Your taste buds aren’t thrilled with the unexpected surprise, even though they normally would like the juice.

Vegan Cheese Recipes


Vegan Cheese Recipes

Vegan Cheese Recipes

Well, I’m off to rest my eyes from this darn computer screen.  I’ve been nursing a major headache today.  I hope you all had a great day!

What’s your biggest fear?

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I Eat Trees is a blog featuring my adventures in all things vegan. My favorite recipes, snack food finds, and restaurant trials are all on the menu so enjoy!


  1. Amanda says:

    Yea your mom is a Whole Foods wonder! I love your analysis of the nooch recipe – I totally get it and it is exactly how I feel most of the time when I give D a meal and he’s like “eh” and I think it’s wonderful – different expectations! Did you stock up on a waffle iron? 🙂

    • Keri says:

      No! 🙁 I really wanted a flippy one to relive my college dining hall days (ours even had a train in the middle!) and they were quite a bit more so I decided I’d just wait. I’m usually better off not getting something if I can’t get my first choice. Haha

  2. Justine says:

    I am getting more and more used to nutritional yeast. To be honest, I have had a bottle for a while, but I am just not in the habit of using it, thus I keep forgetting about it! I have mixed it with hummus and mashed potatoes as well and both times I really like the subtle flavor that it added. I just need to remember to use it!

    Have a terrific night!

    • Keri says:

      I really recommend playing with it in sauces. Vegan alfredo will always be one of my favorites! 🙂 Have a great day!

  3. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) says:

    Veganomicon – dont have it, but want to. then again, why. i cant seem to follow a recipe to save my life PLUS i dont like ED & BV b/c it’s too much cooked food. i fear the same w/ Vcon.

    But this is sooo true:”I wouldn’t recommend this be one of the first dishes you make as a vegan until you’ve established that you enjoy nutritional yeast and nooch sauces. And as they mention in the recipe, I wouldn’t serve it to your omni guests”–

    Totally! With my raw desserts and even savory recipes, it’s like yes, they are great but if you really think you’re eating a peppermint patty and then you try my raw vegan ones, sure, they are close, but mine arent filled with HFCS and trans fat so of course it’s gonna be a lil different 🙂

    • Keri says:

      It’s pretty much all cooked food. Really, really delicious cooked food though. 😀

      Exactly! When our eyes and mouths have a misunderstanding it often leads to an unpleasant experience.

  4. Sarah S. says:

    Coffee frapp? Please tell me that this is unsweetened goodness??? I could totally get into that. I can’t do those super sweet frozen coffee drinks. Oh, teach me your ways of vegan starbucks drinks!!

    I will have to give the Mac Daddy recipe a try. I love how your cheezy sauce filled the shells, it almost looks like they are stuffed with ricotta.

    Glad you survived the crop duster 😉

    • Keri says:

      No, it’s pretty sweet. Starbucks uses the sweetened vanilla soy milk. It’s vegan though! 😀

      Yeah, the tofu ricotta actually did settle into the shells making them ricotta stuffed without me having to put effort into any actual stuffing. Delicious!

      Hehe, thanks. Me too!!

  5. HappyAly says:

    My irrational fear: Birds. I know. Especially big birds, like geese? I won’t go within 10 feet of those babies. So I’m glad that you survived your brush with crop dusting death!

    • Keri says:

      I could definitely understand that being a fear even though it’s not mine. Thank you! 🙂

  6. Tiffany says:

    I agree with you on your take on nooch mac n’ cheese; in my experience, even mentioning “cheese” when serving it up to omnis or others in general who expect it to taste like actual cheese tends to end up in disappointment, just because it really isn’t much like the real thing at all (although still good, in my opinion). But once someone develops a taste for it, nooch in moderate doses adds distinct nuttiness that can fulfill a comfort food craving in its own way.

    I’m glad that the crop duster incident didn’t prevent you from having a fabulous day with your mom! 🙂

    • Keri says:

      Yeah, the nooch sauces can me rich and delicious, but when we throw that cheese word in there omnis suddenly scoff at our vegan efforts.

      Yeah, at least my mom got a good laugh. 😛

  7. Kathryn says:

    I must now go home and look for that recipe in the book and make it. I bet I have all the stuff AND I have kale.

    I love starbucks coupons! Free is my favorite price!

    • Keri says:

      I really liked it with the single batch of Cheezy Sauce if you happen to not have enough for the double. 🙂
      I agree- forget clearance, I love FREE!

  8. Vegmom says:

    Wow, Whole foods and Starbucks and visit with your Mom in one day… How great is that… Sorry about the airplane thing though.

    I’m not sure I have “fears” but I’m totally quirky. I guess my worst is people invading my space bubble… I can’t stand that!

    As for the Starbucks, my FAVORITE Frap these days is Java Chip with Water. I don’t get any milk. They look at me like I’ve lost my marbles, but man is it tasty.

    • Keri says:

      Haha- I get the lost your marbles look all the time when I order in restaurants. Do they still charge you full price or is there a water discount? 😀

      • Vegmom says:

        Sadly it is full price… but at least I’m not getting the up charge for soy. which would be my second option.

        Forgot to mention about the Nutritional Yeast… I’ve never liked it. Everything I ever tried to make was horrible. Until I got the “cheesy hemp” sauce recipe from Kristen’s Raw. Since then, I’ve used it in lots of things and really kind of like it now. Those shells look Delicious.

  9. Michelle says:

    Happy Belated Birthday! I love the free drink pass at Starbucks. We just got one in the mail and I’m waiting until I ‘need’ a really big drink, since I’m not wasting it on my typical $1.85 iced coffee!

    Very much agree with the raw/vegan recipes not being a match. They are good, just different good. I like to serve recipes that don’t pretend to be something else to my omni friends and family – like quinoa with salsa and black beans or pasta with marinara. I save the pseudo recipes for me and those committed to the cause.

    • Keri says:

      My birthday actually isn’t until July 18th, so you’re still in time! 🙂 Yeah, don’t waste that on $1.85!!

  10. Nina says:

    I am terrified of planes in the sky too! I have had nightmares of being bombed by a plane since I was lil’. Then, I married a naval flight officer and we live on the Master Jet Base of North America so fighter jets are literally landing right next to my house all day long!!! 🙂
    Very interested in this recipe! It looks great!

  11. Kayla says:

    Question about your mac n cheese! I’ve been looking at a few recipes as I foray into vegan cooking, and I understand that it typically doesn’t taste much like real mac n’ cheese. However, my question is: how much does it NOT taste like cheese? I know that seems backwards or redundant, but I ask because even when I’m not eating vegan I still HATE cheese and hate the taste of it most the time (aka cheese flavored crackers/chips/etc are still gross). However, I’ve always loved the way homemade mac n’ cheese LOOKS and all these vegan recipes look equally appealing. So, for a cheese hater, would this be a great alternative?

    • Keri says:

      It tastes nothing at all like the mac and cheese my mom made as a kid with real cheddar. It’s probably a little like the boxed stuff, but I honestly can’t remember what that tastes like. These dishes taste just like nutritional yeast. If you like the flavor of nutritional yeast, you’d be fine. I’d say just make one vegan “cheesey” dish, and if you like it then you’ll like most of them and if you don’t, then you probably won’t like any. 🙂