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Quick lunch tips!

Fall is here, and that means busy schedules. Juggling work, kids, school, soccer games and volunteer commitments doesn’t have to mean giving up healthy food!

Whole Foods, Safeway, Lucky and most other grocery stores sell McDougall’s Instant Soup Cups. We like to stock up on these delicious lunches! They’re big portions so they’ll fill you up, but they’re also plant-based and thus cholesterol-free, oil-free, low-calorie and low-sodium! We love the veggie chicken ramen, split pea, and tortilla soup.

Another quickie: Know of any grocery stores with salad bars? Of course you do! Try this when you’re in a hurry for lunch or dinner:

  • Park far away from the front door so you get extra exercise.
  • Buy one tub of hummus (in the deli) and one big bagel or roll (in the bakery).
  • Get a small container of salad from the bar, but no dressing. Just lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.
  • Grab a to-go fork, knife and napkin.

Now you can dash back to your office or car, or the bleachers at soccer practice, and make yourself a delicious sandwich with protein-rich hummus (that’s also cholesterol-free!), your favorite veggies, and yummy fresh bread.  If you’re making several sandwiches for family, grab a package of Tofurky deli slices. These or a similar meat-free deli slice are sold in almost every grocery store, and they’re a low-cal delicious alternative to real lunch meat (that’s packed full of cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium).

Join Miyoko Schinner at World VegFest (Oct. 7 at 3:30 p.m.) or at her book launch event on Oct. 20 in SF! Tickets to the book launch are only $10 and include Miyoko's amazing gourmet vegan cheeses, organic wines, and more! Tickets can be purchased here:

Artisan vegan cheese

For those days, when you have a little more time, try out this recipe for a delicious vegan muenster cheese from Chef Miyoko Schinner, author of the brand new book, Artisan Vegan Cheese. Pictured above in fried, stuffed zucchini blossoms.

Meltable Muenster

Makes 1 pound

Gourmet restaurateur and vegan food expert Miyoko Schinner shares her secrets for making homemade nondairy cheeses that retain all the complexity and sharpness of their dairy counterparts while incorporating nutritious nuts and plant-based milks.

Creamy, smooth, buttery, with a texture that melts in your mouth or in a hot sandwich, this cheese also pairs beautifully served cold with apples and pears. As a mild cheese, it does not need to be cultured, so it’s almost instant!

1 cup plain, unsweetened soy yogurt

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup canola oil

4 tablespoons tapioca flour

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes

1 tablespoon carrageenan (kappa)

1 teaspoon salt


1. Process the ingredients.

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until creamy.

2. Cook the mixture.

Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, cook the mixture, stirring almost constantly with a wire whisk, until the mixture is very smooth, thick, gooey and glossy. It is important to cook this until there is an obvious sheen to the mixture or it will not be ready.

3. Form and cool.

Pour the mixture into a mold. Let it cool at room temperature, then refrigerate until solidified, 3 to 4 hours or longer.

Note: If you want a reddish tint on the outside of your cheese, lightly sprinkle paprika on the outside.

Storage notes: Wrapped well and stored in the refrigerator, Meltable Muenster keeps for 3 to 4 weeks.

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