Cooking Class: Easy Veg Cooking with Alex Bury As part of Whole Foods Market Eat Local Challenge, Oakland Veg Week’s Chef Alex Bury will share tips to make healthy cooking fun and fast! On the menu: Five Minute Tostadas and Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce. Sign up now and to access over 100 events--veg cooking classes with local chefs like Bryant Terry; field trips, healthy meals and more. It's only $25 for the entire month.

Free Veggie Dogs at Crissy Field. Join us to celebrate summer and yummy meatless eating! We'll be grilling delicious Tofurky franks and handing them out, free, to pedestrians, dog-walkers, runners and beach bums. When: Saturday, July 14, 12 noon Where: Crissy Field More info available here

Quick and Easy Tostadas

When you’re having one of those crazy weeks with too many work meetings and after-school events, you can count on this recipe from Chef Alex Bury to see you through. The basic dish uses only 3 ingredients.  Try keeping them all in your pantry for “emergency” meal planning.  It’s filling, fresh, super healthy, and easy to “fancy up” if your in-laws are in town!


1 jar of your favorite salsa
1 package corn tortillas
1 can vegetarian refried beans (most refried beans are naturally vegetarian, but check the ingredients)


  1. If the tortillas are frozen, thaw them at room temperature or microwave for a few seconds until they are soft.
  2. Open the can of beans and the jar of salsa.
  3. Using a butter knife or small spatula, spread each tortilla with a layer of beans.  Pretend you’re spreading peanut butter on bread. The amount is up to you—you can’t mess this up!  Try for 3 tablespoons per tortilla. The goal is to use the entire can of beans on the entire package of tortillas.
  4. Congratulations.  You just did the hardest part.
  5. Now you can microwave each tortilla for 30 seconds. If you’re feeding everyone at once, stack them up like a layer cake and either bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or microwave for 2 minutes.
  6. When warm, top with a couple of spoonsful of salsa. Roll up or fold in half, eat, then repeat.  No cholesterol and no oil means you can eat as many as you want!


  • Toss some veggies on top when you microwave. Baby spinach is ideal because it cooks quickly, like the tortilla and beans. If you have any leftover cooked vegetables on hand (like the asparagus in the picture), or chopped frozen ones, they’ll be perfect!
  • Layer all the bean tortillas in a casserole dish, sprinkle with veggie crumbles (instead of ground beef) and non-dairy “cheese” (Daiya or Follow Your Heart brands) and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Add rice (try a box of instant Spanish rice) and a salad and you’ve got a happy family!
  • For a crispy tostada, first bake the tortilla(s) in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, until they are crispy and lightly brown. Top with the refried beans and bake again. Finish with the salsa.

In our photo, you can see we added a couple more ingredients— a sautéed veggie “chicken” breast (Gardein) and wilted baby spinach. This made a beautiful entrée for unexpected guests. The “chicken” and tortillas were in the freezer, the salsa and beans in the pantry, so the entire dish took less than 15 minutes to make!

Vegan Ethiopian Cooking classes

Brundo Culinary Studios, the cooking studio for Cafe Colucci is offering vegan Ethiopian classes every other Saturday in July. Contact with questions or to register.
What: Cooking Vegan Classics
Where:1960 Mandela Parkway, Oakland, CA 94607, 510-289-7576
When: July 14, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., July 28, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

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