Real Food, Made Vegan

Made Vegan

Mrs. Juicing Machine

Mrs. Juicing Machine

So excited… after months, maybe years of trying to decide what juicer to get on a budget, I made a decision. Woah! And am I ever so excited about it. It’s one of those things that you’re like… “why didn’t I do this sooner?”

I went with the Breville Juice Fountain Plus… the price was right for just starting my juicing adventures and I read some pretty good reviews on this model. So far, so good! I’m lovin’ it.

Below are some of the delish recipes I have enjoyed making over the Summer. I hope you find them tasty!


First off, I present to you, my favorite morning time juice… (drum roll, please)… Green Goodness Juice. Love it, super easy to make, accessible ingredients and packed with nutrients to get your day going.

Green Goodness Juice

1 green pear
1 green apple
1 celery stalks
2 kale leafs
1 inch of ginger
Makes about 10 ounces
Wash all the fruits and veggies really well. Juice all the ingredients on the high setting. Some people juice kale on the low setting, it depends on what type of juicer you have and how it works. I roll the kale up real tight and juice it on the high setting. I will also run it through the juicer twice, if I feel like it has not extracted enough juice. Pour the Green Goodness juice in your favorite glass and enjoy.

And on to the delicious Berry Beet Blast. I serve this Berry Beet Blast up in a wine glass or a wine tumbler, because I like to feel fancy. :) I love to sit back, chill and just sip away! This juice is hearty, dense and filled with antioxidants.

Berry Beet Blast

1 cup blueberries
1 cup blackberries
1 large beet
Makes about 8 ounces
Wash your fruits and veggies really well. Add the blueberries and blackberries to the juicer on the low setting. After you have juiced the blueberries and blackberries, change the setting to high and add the beet to the juicer. Serve in a wine glass or wine tumbler.

Can you say, refreshing? This cooler will hit the spot on those hot Summer days or nights. Soooo easy to make and such a refreshing treat. You can switch up the mint and use basil instead. Endless possibilities and most definitely to be enjoyed all year round!

Watermelon Strawberry Mint Cooler

quarter of a large watermelon
1/2 cup of strawberries
handful of mint (save a couple leaves for garnish) :)
makes about 40 ounces
Wash all your fruit and veggies really well. Add watermelon and strawberries to blender, liquify. Then add mint to the blender and blend for just a quick minute or so. I like to see tiny little pieces of mint still floating around. Serve with ice and a strawberry mint garnish. Enjoy!

Behind the scenes

Keturah took some fun behind the scene shots during our juicing extravaganza photo shoot. Loving the pics and what a fun day… after the shoot we enjoyed slurping down these delicious juices – the perks of having a vegan food blog. :)

More of my favorite juice recipes to come. I experiment all the time and can’t wait to share more with you!

Big Hugs,

Black Bean Chipotle Pesto Pasta

O.K., so this recipe is delicious and pretty easy, especially if you make the pesto ahead of time. It’s a solid go-to any night of the week and one of Tony’s favorites. Tony’s face lights up with joy when he hears that Black Bean Chipotle Pesto Pasta in on the menu.

So where did this cool fusion recipe come from, you ask? A few years back Tony and I lived in our first true artist loft. It was super rustic with an old antique gas stove, a lofted bed area, open floor plan and a leaky roof. :) Our place was on the second floor and right below us was this super cute Italian-Mexican fusion cafe called Privata. This place was a gem with food that was sooooo delicious, fresh and creative. It was such a treat every time we dined downstairs from our place. Needless to say, Black Bean Chipotle Pesto Pasta was on the menu and was one of our favorites. At the time we were both vegetarian and the dish was served with feta cheese on top. Since then Tony and I have both become vegan. Sadly, Privata has closed down but no worries, the recipe lives on. I have then spent the last few years perfecting it and it is now veganized thanks to Yours Truly. I hope you enjoy this wonderful dish inspired by Privata, a true Chicago treasure.

If you do decide to make the pesto ahead of time, it will keep in the fridge for about 3-4 days after making it. I like to make everything the same day and use the left over pesto as a spread on veggie sandwiches or a simple pesto pasta salad. I love homemade pesto and will sometimes just eat it right out of the jar. Yum!

bundle of basil
7 tablespoons of olive oil
6 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Put all ingredients in food processor and blend. Store in a glass container in the fridge.

So, on to the rest of the recipe sporting my awesome vegan tee from Herbivore, with my cat Evel as my sidekick, ready to make some pasta…

1 box of whole wheat pasta
1 can black beans
2 chipotle peppers
3 tablespoons pesto
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
cilantro for garnish
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Cook pasta as directed on box. When pasta is ready drain most of the liquid, leaving a little bit still in the bottom of the pot (about two or three tablespoons). Set aside. In large sauté pan, add the olive oil on medium heat. Add black beans and chipotle peppers, cook on medium heat until warm about ten minutes. Adjust temperature to low/medium heat, add pesto and water. Mix well in pan until all ingredients are nicely blended. Let cook for about five more minutes. Add pasta to the sauce mixture and mix well in pan. Transfer to a large pasta serving bowl. Add fresh ground sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. If the pasta seems a bit dry, drizzle with olive oil and toss with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro.

My mouth is watering just looking at these photos Keturah took of the Black Bean Chipotle Pesto Pasta. I can’t wait to make this recipe again! Not only is this recipe delicious, it is a hearty flavorful dish packed with tons of protein. I hope you enjoy it as much as Tony and I do.

Big Hugs,

Egg Salad Made Vegan

Egg Salad Made Vegan

Life is good… ahhh. Especially when you can make a delicious egg free “egg” salad. This recipe is easy breezy and fills the belly with lunchtime joy. Use it for sandwiches topped with a little romaine lettuce, spread it on crackers, eat it right out of the bowl or one of my favs… toss a big dollop on a bed of fresh spinach, maybe garnish with a few cherry tomatoes and enjoy.

Egg Salad Made Vegan

Why does it taste so yummy, you ask? Couple secrets, well not like real secrets but here are a few of my tricks: Garlic, Sea Salt and a special Sweet Dill Pickle Relish recipe. Also, I go crazy with adding the fresh parsley – one heaping cup of parsley makes for great flavor and you are getting more nutrients from all the awesome greens. I have to sneak more greens in whenever I can, Tony is a little resistant if I just put out a big plate of kale. :) Not to mention the special Sweet Dill Pickle Relish. I use McClure’s Garlic & Dill pickles… yum, yum and yum. It is practically impossible to find a sweet pickle relish at the grocery store that isn’t packed with some chemical, even at Whole Foods. Boo! So, one day in a bind, I thought… hmmm… what if I cut up one of those delicious artisan McClure’s pickles in the fridge and toss up my own “sweet relish?” That’s what I did and I never looked back. So until I start canning my own pickles (it could happen) the search for some chemical free sweet (dill) pickle relish is over.

McClures Pickles

If you don’t have access to the McClure’s Pickles look for any local brand of dill pickles or dill pickles with the least amount of ingredients (as natural as possible). Really, any dill pickle will do. Also, I think the added zing from using the dill pickles mixed with the agave necter makes for a fun and yummy twist on traditional egg salad recipes. Bon appetite!

Egg Salad Made Vegan

1 14 oz package of extra firm organic tofu
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 chopped celery stalks
4 tablespoons chopped red onion
1/4 cup Sweet Dill Relish with garlic and dill pickles (see recipe below)
1/2 cup veganaise or any vegan mayo
4 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
To make the “egg” salad, drain the tofu and press out as much water out of the tofu as possible with paper towels, i.e. wrap the tofu in a paper towel and press, repeat, if necessary, to get out all moisture in the tofu. Put tofu in a large mixing bowl and break it up really good with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients to the tofu and mix together really good. Taste and add more salt if needed.
1/4 cup minced McClure’s Garlic and Dill Pickles (or any dill pickles)
2 tablespoons of agave
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Put all ingredients together in a small bowl, mix well and add to the “egg” salad recipe.

Egg Salad Made Vegan

By the way…don’t you just love Keturah’s photographs? Love them. And how ’bout this wonderful handmade wooden vegan sign by Figs and Ginger? I scored it at the Chicago Indie Wed Show last year and have been dying to use it. Too cute!

Egg Salad Made Vegan

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It is definitely one of my favs! By the way, I just love McClure’s Pickles and feel that they do contribute in making this “egg” salad recipe a true delight. However, just so you know, they had nothing to do with the blog posting and we did not receive any free pickles for writing this post. :) I truly just love sharing with all of you things I simply enjoy cooking with.

Egg Salad Made Vegan

Until next time, keep munching on these delicious “egg” salad sandwiches made vegan. :)

Big Hugs,

Basil Zucchini Soup

Basil Zucchini Soup

Hi Friends, Pals and Fellow Cooks,

Winters is almost over and Mother Nature went easy on us – at least in Chicago. Soup wasn’t in high demand this winter, but this Basil Zucchini Soup recipe is great for all year round. It is light, fresh, healthy and delish. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall… you’ve got a friend in this soup. :)

6 zucchinis, chopped
2 cups vegetable broth or water (but it does have a bit more flavor with vegetable broth)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
bundle of fresh basil
3 tablespoons of miso
2 tablespoon chopped red onion
1 clove of garlic
salt and pepper taste
truffle oil to drizzle on top of soup
Sauté onion and garlic on medium heat for about three to five minutes or until the onions are translucent.
In a 4 1/2 qt pot add the zucchini, water, miso, onions and garlic. Bring to boil and then lower heat, cover and cook for about ten minutes at a low boil. You should be able to put a knife through the zucchinis but they should not be mushy. Remove from heat and add soy milk, basil, salt and pepper. Blend with one of those nifty hand blenders right in the pot. If you don’t have a hand blender you can transfer the ingredients to a blender and puree.
Adjust salt, if needed. Drizzle with some Truffle Oil and serve immediately. Enjoy!

This recipe is super simple and a great way to get your veggies. Feel free to substitute the soy milk for almond milk or rice milk. Just looking at the photos below of the fresh veggies makes my mouth water. The photos are beautiful. I am so thankful to have such an awesome friend to collaborate with me on Made Vegan. Keturah makes my food and ingredients look so fancy! :)

Basil Zucchini Soup Ingredients

One of our four cats, Bubbles, enjoys hanging in the kitchen while I am cooking. Bubbles is my biggest fan and loves my “Real Men Loves Cats” tee by RCTees. I am always searching for awesome tees that send out a fun and positive message. It’s kinda my thing and this one is definitely one of my favs!

My cat Bubbles and my

The final product…

Basil Zucchini Soup

Basil Zucchini Soup

I hope you enjoy making the Basil Zucchini Soup. I can’t wait to share more recipes with you guys, so stay tuned!


Two Pals, Two Thanksgivings

So, as you guys know my husband and I host a vegan Thanksgiving every year and this year was no different – with only one exception – Keturah was missing. Keturah and I initially thought, “O, we should feature Thanksgiving on our new blog!” It would be perfect since I make a bunch of awesome traditional Thanksgiving dishes all Made Vegan. From the green bean casserole, the homemade cranberry apple chutney, tofurky and right on down to the mash potatoes made with homemade almond milk. Delish! There was only one problem this year, Keturah was going home to visit her super cool Mom, Tina, in South Dakota, which means her awesome photography skills would be missed. I can cook up some mean tasty food but taking a great photo is not one of my stronger suits, hence the Instagram pictures below. I also snagged a few cool photos from one of my Thanksgiving Day guests. Thanks, Harrison! :)

With all that being said, the awesome Made Vegan Thanksgiving blog post shrunk down to… Two Pals, Two Thanksgivings!

But that does not mean I can’t share a couple of my fave recipes with you!


2 large sweet potatoes or yams
1 fresh pineapple (or 1 16oz can of crushed pineapple, I used the fresh pineapple)
1 tsp agave
Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Cube sweet potatoes and put in large mixing bowl. Cut up fresh pineapple and toss is blender. Pulse the blender a few times until the pineapple is like crushed pineapple, add pineapple to sweet potatoes along with the agave. Mix well and pour into pie pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until you can put a tooth pick through the sweet potatoes easily.

I love this sweet potato recipe! It is so easy, healthy and delicious. It’s great alternative to all those sweet potato dishes covered in brown sugar. :)

In addition to the Pineapple Sweet Potatoes, check out my homemade almond milk recipe. This was my second time making almond milk and man, this stuff is soooooo good. I felt like I really nailed it this time around. I used the almond milk in the mashed potatoes with a little bit of salt and pepper. It turned out sooooo yummy and super creamy!

1 1/2 cups soaked raw almonds
2 cups of water (add more or less water depending on how creamy you would like it, I used two cups and it was a creamy delight)
pinch of sea salt
natural cheese cloth for straining
Soak almonds overnight, about 8 hours. Place soaked almonds in blender with 1 cup water. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the final cup of water and the pinch of sea salt. Blend on high for a minute or two. Grab a large pull and place cheese cloth over the bowl. Pour almond milk over the cheese cloth and then hurry up and grab the cheese cloth and squeeze the almond milk real good. The cheese cloth is basically a really fine strainer. It is separating the almond milk from the almond pulp. Store your almond milk in a sealed glass container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
What to do with the almond pulp? I spread mine out on a cookie sheet and cooked it in the oven at 350 degrees until it was completely dried out, about an hour. Store it in a sealed container and use in place of bread crumbs in your favorite recipes.

My final tidbit of vegan Thanksgiving recipe heaven I will share with you today is the pseudo recipe I shared with Keturah and her Mom. They wanted to dive in and make a delicious tofurky for their Thanksgiving dinner in South Dakota, so I came to the rescue. (Sort of – not that they needed rescuing or anything – but I did share my tofurky cooking secrets with them in hopes that their vegan cooking venture would be a success!)

vegan apps and tofurky

My tofurky notes to the Mother-Daughter Team went something like this:

I get the Tofurky brand. It’s really good! I treat it sort of like how you would treat a real turkey. (I have actually never cooked a real turkey, thank goodness) :)
I make a yummy sauce to baste the tofurky in. Usually something like this:
Olive oil
Organic Soy Butter
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Sage
Italian Spices
Place it in a casserole dish. Sometime I might even put some veggies around it to bake in the oven with it.
If its frozen I thaw it overnight in the fridge. The instructions on the box are useful as well, I go by the temperature it says and I usually cook it for 1 1/2 hours. Cover it tinfoil for the first hour, I continue to baste it the entire time so it does not dry out, about every 15 minutes or so. The last 20 minutes or so I take the tin foil off and bake it with no foil.
Covering it and continually basting it is the key!

So how’d it turn out, Keturah?

To which Keturah replies…

“The Tofurky was SO GOOD! I’ve always been a fan of Tofurky but I’d never really made one myself. We (meaning: my mom) followed Trisha’s directions almost exactly and it turned out perfect! It was super flavorful and juicy, not dry at all. I’m not an expert chef, but I did get some good practice in basting food items! Sadly, Tofurky doesn’t work with a gluten-free diet (it’s basically made out of glutens) which meant my mom couldn’t try the Tofurky herself. Ahhhhhh well, more for me! YUMMMM.

I’d also like to note that the age-old tradition of eating leftovers and turkey sandwiches for the week following the holiday extends into Tofurky territory as well. I recommend it on a sandwich with leftover cranberry sauce and vegan cream cheese. Sounds like a weird combo, but I promise, it’s awesome! I was devouring Tofurky sandwiches for several days following Thanksgiving and was a little more sad than I should admit when I hit the bottom of the tupperware container.

SO, while I wished that we could all be together for the holiday, I was very thankful for good times with family, cooking adventures with my Mom, a super delicious tofurky, oh… and all of that other awesome food she spent two days making! Perhaps next year we can all reunite again!”

Next year I plan to unleash all of my favorite holiday recipes to all of you. Until then, the Pineapple Sweet Potatoes, the almond milk mashed potatoes and the tofurky cooking tips are all great vegan recipes to use for any holiday you might be celebrating this season.

Have an awesome holiday and a wonderful new year!


Welcome to my Kitchen!

Ahhh…the wonders of vegan food, real vegan food with no artificial ingredients… delicious vegan food! I just can’t get enough of it and neither can my husband and graphic designer, Tony Perez, or my dear friend and fellow blogger/food photographer, Keturah Davis.


Hi. I’m Trisha Star. Welcome to my kitchen and welcome to Made Vegan. I’m a vegan cook with a strong passion for real food, made vegan. This means hold the maltodextrin, the FD & C Red #40s, the high fructose corn syrup, etc. etc. etc.! Please and thank you. I’ll have me some good old fashioned grains, beans, veggies, nuts and fruit prepared with love and wonderful seasoning.

My husband and I live in a super cool concrete loft in Chicago along with our four cats; Judias, Sasha, Bubbles and Evel. I am so grateful! I was vegetarian for over fifteen years and became vegan a few years back. I can’t imagine life any other way. It’s good for me and great for the animals.


About my Kitchen. It’s yellow and filled with sunshine. It’s a no meat, dairy and egg free zone. It’s filled with vegan cookbooks and awesome kitchen tools and gadgets to make my life as a vegan easy. About my recipes. They are all vegan, all the time. The recipes are made with real ingredients using organic whenever possible and packed with tons of flavor. I’m not scared! :)

Trisha's books and kitchen

I have been wanting to start a vegan food blog for some time now. My awesome friend, Keturah, knew all about it. I host vegan thanksgiving every year. I would always mention to my family and friends about how much I love my kitchen, love entertaining and love to cook vegan. It came up many times…”Guys, I wanna have a vegan food blog!”

Then, one day, Keturah says…”Let’s do it!” And so the collaboration began and Made Vegan was born.

This first blog posting is tough for me. One of my biggest problems in life is having too many ideas running through my mind and wanting to say too many things all at the same time. I love sharing information! So, when I had to gather my thoughts and focus in on the first blog posting, I have to admit, it was an overwhelming task. “I have so much info!” I thought. All my favorite vegan recipes starting rushing through my mind, Thanksgiving tips, entertaining inspiration, my vegan travels and all the personal vegan cooking insights I have learned over the years were saying, “Talk about me first!” :)

So, I cleared my mind and said to myself, “We have time. I have time.” Time to share my vegan culinary journey with you. Please enjoy this blog, please enjoy the recipes, I encourage you to voice your opinions, share your stories/best practices and most of all, to ask Keturah, Tony and I any questions you would like.

Which brings me to…the first recipe I would like to share with you. Sweet Cherry Autumn Quinoa Salad.


I know, you’re like, “It’s a salad, come on.” But wait, it’s delish. I promise and like I said…the whole overwhelming thing played a role in this recipe. Keturah and I wanted to keep the first dish light and airy. We wanted to celebrate the beginning of our new collaboration with a little vegan wine by Orleans Hill Winery and a hearty fresh salad by Yours Truly.

Trisha making salad

Without further ado, I give you…

Trisha plating the salad

5 oz arugula
1/2 cup quinoa
1/3 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 celery chopped stalk
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sweet cherry balsamic vinegar (or you could just use balsamic vinegar)
pinch of fresh minced rosemary and thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the quinoa, carrots, walnuts, dried cranberries and celery into a large salad bowl and toss real good. In a separate small bowl mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pour the olive oil/vinegar dressing over the quinoa mixture, mix well making sure to get the dressing all over the quinoa mixture. Set aside a handful of the arugula. Add the remaining arugula to the quinoa mixture and gently toss. Grab a plate, place a hearty amount of the salad in the center of the plate and top with the remaining arugula. Serve with a vegan, sulfite free, organic Zinfandel like the one Keturah and I enjoyed from Orleans Hill Winery and enjoy your salad!

Salad and table setting
Sweet Cherry Autumn Quinoa Salad

Until next time…eat fresh, eat organic, eat real, eat vegan!