Real Food, Made Vegan

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!



19 Responses to “Welcome to my Kitchen!”

  1. Trisha Star says:

    I’m so excited! I love the first post. Thank you so much, Keturah! Can’t wait to write more recipes and do more photo shoots!

  2. David Andora says:

    Love your shirt! Love your home, and I love the blog and photos! Anxious to see where this goes!

    • trisha says:

      Thanks for checking it out, David!!! I am glad you like it! My tee shirt is by my awesome vegan designer friend. Her company is! They also have awesome vegan winter coats (mens too). I’m excited to see where the blog might go as well. :) We will definitely have to do that dinner party situation in the new year!

  3. xeli says:

    wonderful and lovely!

  4. This is fancy and exciting! Great first post! Also, I can’t decide which is more fabulous- your hair or your home.

    • trisha says:

      Amy! I’m glad you like the site and my hair. I’m so excited about the site, I have been wanting to do it for sometime now and it is awesome to see it come to life. Now I gotta keep it up, right!? duh :) and btw – thank you so much for sending Coya my way. :)

  5. Alecia says:

    Hi!! I found you through one of Keturah’s tweets. Love your blog! I just moved to Chicago so it’s nice to see what the local talent is up to. :) Yaay!

    • trisha says:

      Hi Alecia! Welcome to Chicago. I love meeting fellow vegans! Keturah is one of my best pals and we are super excited about our collaboration. Stay in touch! We have a Diner’s Club that meets now and again. I will be sure to invite you! :)

    • keturah says:

      hi alecia! nice to meet you + welcome to chicago! :)

  6. Lucy says:

    I came across a link to your blog while checking out an article called “Eat your veggies” on “Reader”. Ironically, I got there by checking into “Centered Chef”, which I found thanks to a friend sending me a link today from “Living Social”. Amazing what the net does for us, one thing leads us to another.

    I wanted to reach out and let you know a little about me and ask if maybe we could get together some time and chat and share tips.

    I moved to Chicago from LA 5 yrs ago. I’ve battled uteran fibroids for 8 years now and due to them, have severe Anemia. I turned to a vegan lifestyle two yrs ago when my homeopathic doctor told me that my diet (full of hormones from the meat and dairy) was contributing to the growth of the fibroids.

    Ironically, all my “Western doctors” (both in LA and Chicago – MDs, internist and OBY) ALL stated it had NOTHING to do with diet, nor stress, nor hereditary and they didn’t know why my body made them, but it does and I should just have kids and then have a hysterectomy.

    I know, TMI. My point though is…………. after 2 surgeries and no permenant results, I was back in the same boat and told that this next time would be a hysterectomy, and that I was only mos. away from having to do it. That was March of 2010. Then I found a homeopathic husband and wife team, changed to a vegan diet, started getting weekly acupuncture and homeopathic remedies and in March of 2011, the OBY confirmed that the fibroids were shrinking.

    Unfortunately, not quick enough cuz the Anemia is still a big issue and finally hit rock bottom. Of course, all my meat eating friends are quick to jump on board and tell me that my change of diet is exasberating the situation and basically contributing to my Anemia hitting rock bottom.

    I’m here to tell you that is complete B.S!!!! With the help of the homeopaths I have learned many ways to supplement iron and in a healthy way. In addition to buying into a CSA from an organic farm in Wisconsin (they deliver fresh organic produce to my door in Chicago once a week –, but I also make sure I include “Spirulina” and/or “Chlorella” in my daily diet (blue green algaes that give you between 50-65% protein per serving vs. meat, which only gives 20% protein per serving…. HA, to all the uneducated, brain washed, meat lovers…. no offense, but just saying).

    So, why am I reaching out to you? I started a blog earlier this year with all sorts of healthy and holistic tips. I’ve blogged about “super foods” and incorporating them in a “super smoothie” in the morning. I’ve done a blog on how to put together various “wraps” (chard, kale, nori, etc… all filled with wonderful veggies) and I added a YouTube video. I’ve blogged asking people to take a “30 day challenge” to cut dairy out of their diet (that’s how I started…. a 30 day challenge to go vegan and then it stuck). And lots of other cool stuff.

    I plan to add more recipes and continue to blog about healthy tips for our overall diets and lifestyles. I am enrolled in a holistic nutrition course now and within a year will be a “certified health coach”.

    I thought it would be a great idea to meet with you and get tips on vegan cooking and how to present a better layout on a blog as well. I don’t know if its the website I’m using or simply that I’m not saavy enough yet, but I’m not thrilled with the overall layout. I’d like to have options where I can direct people to my “favorite blogs” or “recipes” or “natural supplements” (always vegan, btw), etc.

    Check out my blog and tell me what you think:

    If you’d like to get in touch with me, please feel free to email me. I’d love to share information and learn from you as well.

    Hope to hear from you soon and happy holidays!!!


    • Lucy says:

      PS Feel free to delete this post once you read it. Just wanted to get in touch with you personally and share a little about my story. Hope we can meet soon. Have a GREAT day!

    • keturah says:

      Hi Lucy,

      Thanks so much for visiting Made Vegan and taking the time to share your story. It sounds like things have been quite challenging for you, but I’m glad to hear your diet is helping! Trisha is more of the food expert here, so I’m sure she’ll have a lot to chat with you about in that regard.

      As for your blog, it looks like you have been quite prolific in documenting your recipes and experiences. You have a ton of helpful content – that’s great! If you are looking to switch up your layout, I’m personally a big fan of wordpress. has tons of great, contemporary looking templates that most anyone can easily set up. If you (or a friend) have a bit more web/coding experience, (which is what we used) offers even more flexibility. Trisha and I wanted a site that looked fresh and modern, and I was able to tweak our design until it looked exactly how we envisioned it.

      For promoting your site, I definitely recommend setting up a public Facebook page (if you haven’t already) and sharing it with everyone you know. We are just getting started out, but a lot of our traffic seems to be coming from Facebook. It’s great way to notify people when you’ve posted a new blog entry or recipe. Ours is here if you want to check it out:

      Hope some of this helps and let me know if you have any questions!

      Happy Holidays!

    • trisha says:

      Hi Lucy,
      Great to hear from you! Thanks for sharing your story. I am a huge fan of super foods, myself. Love them and swear by my green smoothie every morning! We plan to have a Made Vegan launch party in 2012 and will definitely keep you posted on that. I love meeting fellow vegans.

      Jack Norris is a RD and is sort of a leader as far as nutrition goes in the vegan community. Check out his website, you might find a lot of great info that could be helpful for you and your vegan journey.

      Also, I absolutely love sharing vegan recipes! So, yes, please let’s stay in contact! :)

      Thanks so much for reaching out! Have a great Holiday!


  7. Lucy says:

    Hey again, just wanted to let you know that I posted a new all vegan recipe on my blog today. Vegan Lasagna!!! Yum!!! Even my carnivore friends said they’d never know that there was NO meat if I didn’t tell them.

    Hope you check it out and enjoy!!!


  8. Great post! Will read every one on your site, good job!

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