Practicing My Activism & Vegan Sour Cream Sauce

Hi there! I hope this week is going well for you. I’m feeling a lot perkier this week, probably the best I’ve felt since early December so that makes me happy. In fact, yesterday was the 3-month anniversary of my surgery which marks my 90th day of being a cancer survivor. It still feels weird for me to say that, sometimes I still can’t believe I had cancer in the first place.

Yesterday was interesting, too, because when I was out yesterday afternoon for an appointment, a woman randomly asked me about my scar and I launched into the whole story about the cancer and how it was discovered. The conversation then turned to nutrition and it came up that I am vegan. After asking me where I get my protein (the famous first question, ha ha), I then had the opportunity to talk about my reasons which I said were because of my concerns about factory farming and animal welfare and then, later, because I learned all of the associated health benefits with following a plant-based diet. I watched her face carefully to see how she would react and she still seemed interested even when I talked about the animals. It made me feel good to do a little activism and built my confidence. It’s much, much easier for me to write about this stuff and talk to a sympathetic audience, but it certainly is a challenge to figure out how to connect with people in the “real world.” You can read more about my burgeoning activismΒ here, by the way.

Anywho, thanks for reading, it feels good to share. For today’s photo food journal report, I started off with an Energizing Green Smoothie:

Vitamix overflowing with greens.

I was trying to capture my smoothie serving but had to zoom out to get the light, so I thought you might be interested to see the kitchen where I’ve been working for the past month or so. I’ll be here a few more weeks until Alan and I re-locate back to the coast, you can see I have quite a bit of fresh fruit to work through:

Green smoothie in desert kitchen.

Since I was feeling good, I had a great workout at the gym after breakfast and decided to make some black bean, mushroom and collard green tacos for lunch. Here were the veggies:

Veggies ready to go.

I used a teeny bit of coconut oil for the greens (you could totally leave out the oil and just water-saute them instead) and then added onion, mushrooms and black beans:

Greens and beans taco mix.

I served it on a corn tortilla with my favorite no-salt salsa from Trader Joe’s:

No-salt salsa from Trader Joe's

This tasted like a restaurant meal in a good way:

Black bean and greens taco mix.

You can see I served it with chopped scallions plus a Vegan Sour Cream Sauce I whipped up in the Vitamix. The ingredients for that included tofu, shallot, lime juice, garlic powder, cashews and vinegar and it was so creamy and flavorful:

Vegan Sour Cream Sauce

Here’s the recipe:

Dinner was some leftover soup that I served over fresh salad greens to get an extra serving of veggies, plus fresh chopped red onion:

Soup served over fresh salad greens.

This tasted pretty good and was a nice little trick that I’ll be using in the future. Dessert last night was a bowl (make that two bowls) of Tahini Cherry Ice Cream, my absolute favorite dessert of the moment:

Tahini Cherry Ice Cream

The dessert was indulgent and I ate a little more than I was hungry for just because it tasted so good, but sometimes that just happens.

A couple more things. My friend Jasmin suggested that I give you a peak into my smoothie cabinet where I keep all my fixings. Do you want to see that?

And, I got some really helpful comments about my post on finding vegan shoes. Turns out that even if shoes are not made directly from animal-based products like leather, they can contain glues that are made from animals. Yikes! I did not know this. Also, a reader pointed out that products made from petroleum-based sources are bad for the environment because they end up in a landfill at some point and aren’t biodegradable. I really appreciated this input because I’m learning as I go along and it made me think more about my options. I’ll definitely be posting about this in the future.

Have you downloaded my app Vegan Delish yet? I’m working my way to 75 recipes, the Vegan Sour Cream Sauce will be uploaded soon as recipe #74. Check out the iTunes preview for the app here, the website, or like the Facebook page for special updates.

Enjoy the rest of your week and see ya back here on Friday.


  1. says

    The vegan sour cream sounds delish! I like this better than tofutti, I rarely eat a whole tub and it generally goes bad. I like that I can make just enough of this for my meal.

    Hurrah for activism and I would love to see your smoothie cabinet.

  2. says

    You have an absolutely beautiful kitchen. It must be wonderful to work in such a nice, open space =)
    I’m going to have to check out that tahini ice cream! YUM
    Glad to hear your energy levels are back!

  3. says

    As someone who both had an actual glimpse into your real live smoothie cabinet — then built mine to mirror yours — let me reiterate that, yes, I think you should absolutely share that gold with your readers! πŸ˜‰

    Also, kudos on the animal activism, Carrie! Mariann likes to call 2013 “the year of the pushy vegan,” which she stole from Miriam Jones of VINE Sanctuary (

    Oh, and might I add that all of the food today is so inspiring to me. It looks incredible.

    You have even more pomegranates than we do (and we have a ton). Mariann wants to know how you seed them? We have Dr. F’s new de-seeder but it’s still pretty labor-intensive. Thoughts? xo j

    • says

      Jasmin, thank you for the link from Miriam Jones; loved this essay. I am definitely starting to embrace my veganism as more than just my food choices and the idea that I’m part of the effort to make this huge social change. I would have fought equally hard for women’s or civil rights and I don’t see how this is any different. I love you for inspiring me, btw. xoxo.

      Regarding poms, I just seed them by hand and it takes foreeeever. I’ve started seeding them several at a time, using the seeds from one in a smoothie and freezing the rest for the future since I know poms won’t be in season for much longer. I find it meditative to spend 20-30 minutes seeding them and I can’t tell you how many towels and sweatshirts I’ve stained with the juice, but it’s worth it. πŸ™‚

      • Lisa says

        I recently learned a great trick for seeding pomegranates! Cut the pom in quarters, then hold one wedge seeds side down in your hand. Holding it over a large bowl, firmly tap the outside rind of the pom with a large wooden spoon. The seeds start to fall out into your hand, just drop them in the bowl and repeat until the wedge is empty. Then do the same with the other 3. The only thing to watch out for is that sometimes the seeds and juice tend to fly out of your hand, but it’s so much less tedious than the dig out method and certainly no messier!

  4. bee says

    I’d love to see ur smoothie arsenal too! What brand of corn tortillas do u use?

    Great job spreading the vegan word… I bet u didn’t very eloquently too πŸ™‚

  5. says

    I’ve been having some leg discomfort from my hip to my toes and haven’t been able to exercise as much as I want and have been sticking to the vegan diet but know I need to step it up a notch. I’d like to get into more smoothies but have very little produce available this time of year. I’m scared to death of doctors and the ‘what if’s’ when and if I go but I scheduled an appt for the end of Feb but don’t really know what to do in the meantime, ya know. Glad you are doing well! Everything looks awesome via these pics! Thanks for posting!

    • says

      I hope you feel better soon, Jennifer, I’m sorry to read about your health problems. In regards to making green smoothies, can you find frozen green vegetables like frozen collard greens or frozen spinach? I’ve often used those in my cooking when I can’t find fresh.

  6. says

    Awesome that you were confident and shared your story with her. I think that’s actually a much more effective way to reach people sometimes; when they hear it directly from another person who’s not pushing but sharing, it can be a lot more welcoming.

    Also, I think your shoe comment brings up an important point in general about food/lifestyle choices. Sometimes there are SO many factors influencing our decisions that we can’t make everything a priority.

    I see this often at the grocery store: do I buy the organic quinoa in bulk to avoid packaging, or do I buy the fair trade quinoa that’s wrapped in plastic and then in cardboard? Do I buy the local olive oil that’s not certified organic or the olive oil from hundreds of miles away that has a certification? Do I buy the more expensive organic produce or do I buy MORE of the less expensive non-organic?

    Luckily, I live in the Bay Area where I can generally find access to products that fulfill all of my priorities without much difficulty. But I got into a discussion with a friend from Kansas who does not have access to local, seasonal, fresh food all the time and he said: what am I supposed to do? Which is a great question.

    So often we are faced with health/nutrition, packaging/the environment, animal welfare, human welfare, and price (which is huge for so many people and I’ve seen go unconsidered by the larger food movement) and we can only prioritize one or two. We are not yet in a system that prioritizes it for us and gives us several options as consumers. I do see it moving that way though and I hope it continues on that path!

    • says

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Liz. I agree, this issue of finding sustainable consumer products including food is so complex and we are definitely not living in a time when the system makes it easy for us to make healthy choices for ourselves, animals or the environment. As a public health student, I often get really frustrated and overwhelmed by the massive changes that need to occur at all levels for real change to occur. I suppose in some ways that is why I blog, just to help me stay focused on getting through each day with making baby steps toward a healthier future. If I were to only think about the big changes that need to happen, I would shut down. When I was younger I was really idealistic and thought that I was going to come up with the answers to save the world and now I’m starting to realize that although I have influence, I’m just a very small piece of the puzzle. But, I’m okay with that and having more realistic goals helps me stay motivated. πŸ™‚

  7. Charlie says

    Hi Carrie! It’s strange to think that this way of life has creating the Activism you mention. I never thought I would try to be explaining my diet, or the medical reasons that caused me to go in search of it. I’ve struck up conversation with strangers at the supermarket, restaurant, ski hill, Costco, and the list goes on. People get curious when all they see are huge quantities of fruits & vegetables, and little else. What surprises me the most is how positively interested people are.

    • says

      Hi Charlie! I admire anyone who is confident in his or her choices and is willing to speak up. I grew up in an environment where my opinion wasn’t important, so it is taking a lot of practice to build my confidence to speak up. I’m so glad I have my blog as a way to communicate and connect with others, I learn so much from people who interact with me here. Going back to your point, I have also had a lot of people comment on my food choices and the change that I’m making now is to take it a step further and say with confidence that I’m vegan and why.

  8. says

    Carrie ~
    I’m so happy to hear you’re feeling like you have more energy. It can be tough to get your thyroid meds working for you! Hope the rest of your week is great!

  9. Shiny Happy Vegan says

    That’s great you got to share your reasons for being vegan. I’ve always thought it weird that not once has anyone ever asked me about my scar. I had my thyroid surgery when I was 15 and I’m 31 now. The scar is pretty faint now but I’ve always wondered if people really don’t notice it or if they’re just afraid to ask.

    • says

      Thanks so much for the comment! I’m glad your scar is faint, I can’t wait for mine to stop being so red. You’re right, I think people are afraid to ask about it. The woman who asked me the other day apologized afterward because she thought I would be offended (which, of course, I was not). πŸ™‚

  10. says

    Hi Carrie! I heard your interview on OHH and it was fantastic! I just adore your blog, instagram photos, tweeterings and the like! You’re such an inspiration and everything you do looks so lovely!


    • says

      Wow, thank you so much Rachel! I was really nervous for that interview, btw, Jasmin didn’t give me much warning so all of my answers were totally spontaneous. πŸ™‚ Anyway, I’m glad the interview led you to my blog, I’m very grateful for that.

    • says

      Thanks, Kara!!! I hope, hope, hope I can do an Android version, it kind of depends on getting the Apple one off the ground so it will be awhile before I pursue the Droid option. In the meantime, I’m making all of my recipes free on my blog. πŸ™‚

  11. says

    Your kitchen is beautiful! Love all of the greens overflowing from your blender. And putting the greens under the soup is a great idea. I would love to see the smoothie cupboard.

  12. Sarah says

    I’m glad you are still eating the MAX Sesame! I now have in my possession, my second jars of it and the Almondie as well as a jar of Brazil Nut Butter and Hazelnut Butter! And there are so many more to try! I am blaming you completely for this new addiction of mine…

    I too LOVE LOVE LOVED the OHH broadcast!!! You guys were fabulous πŸ™‚

    • says

      Thanks, Sarah!!! I recently bought 5 (!!!!) more jars of Max Sesame and 1 of the Almondie. I must try the others that you mentioned, too. This is a seriously expensive addiction, right? πŸ™‚ Thanks for the feedback on the OHH interview, I was really nervous!

  13. says

    Wow – your tortilla lunch looks amazing!! I really wish I had a Vitamix to try out your creative take on sour cream too – looks delish! And congratulations on 90 days of being cancer free – I pray you keep having similar anniversaries. Have fun in Disneyland!


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