Healthy Taste of Ventura & Vegan Mashup Giveaway

Good morning! I missed you on Monday, but I appreciated the day “off” from blogging. A few things have been happening, but all good stuff.

Healthy Taste of Ventura:

First, I attended the Healthy Taste of Ventura event this weekend, organized by the fabulous Chef AJ. It was a blast and I got to connect with some amazing people. Do you know this guy?

Carrie wit Dr. Lederman from Forks Over Knives.

That is Dr. Matt Lederman, M.D., from Forks Over Knives fame. He is so, so knowledgeable about the health aspects of plant-based living and it was an honor to hear him speak and get to talk to him afterwards.

How about this guy?

Robert Cheeke and Carrie at The Healthy Taste of Ventura

Maybe you don’t recognize him with his clothes on? πŸ™‚ That’s Robert Cheeke who is another truly nice individual who is also very knowledgeable about vegan nutrition and health.

This event also featured three cooking demos, fabulous food, and a lecture by one of my idols, Dr. Michael Greger, M.D., from NutritionFacts.orgΒ (yes, I did just see him a few weeks ago; what can I say, I’m a Greger groupie?):

Dr. Greger and Chef AJ

Here are some more pictures from the event:

healthy taste of ventura

One of the things I love the most about attending events like this is meeting like-minded people. I also get updated information and inspiration to keep on keeping on, you know what I mean? I plan to attend the Healthy Taste of LA in November where Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D., will be speaking (I am already beyond excited for this one). Join me; you can get your tickets for thatΒ here!

Vegan Mashup Giveaway:

Vegan Mashup DVD

Have you heard of the new vegan cooking show, Vegan Mashup? I was sent a DVD of the first season and it is fantastic!!! I especially loved the segment on healthy recipes. This show is airing on many public television stations around the U.S. and Canada, so do keep an eye out for it; it’s not to be missed!

The DVD of the entire first season is also available for purchase here, but the producer has generously offered to send two lucky readers a free copy. To enter to win this DVD, please leave a comment on this post telling me about one of your favorite healthy cooking inspirations, whether it be a blog, book, chef, show, or whatever.Β 

I will randomly select two winners on Tuesday, April 16th. This giveaway is open to people over the age of 18 in the U.S. or Canada. Good luck! [Editor’s note: this giveaway is now closed].

Photo Food Journal:

Since it is Wednesday, I am sharing a picture with you of everything I ate yesterday.

I started off with an Energizing Green Smoothie, but this one was made with dandelion greens from my local farm stand. The fresh mango covered up the bitterness of those strong-flavored greens pretty darned well, thankfully. I added some buckwheat groats for crunch:

Dandelion green smoothie with buckwheat groats.

Lunch was an iteration of my Eat Your Veggies Quinoa Salad; in this one I added a cup of cooked lentils and a drizzle of my Herbed Hemp DressingΒ (don’t forget you can get all of my favorite recipes in my app for iPhones and iPads, Vegan Delish here!):

Eat Your Veggies Quinoa Salad with lentils

Since it was Alan’s birthday yesterday, we got all crazy and had Peanut Butter Soft Serve as a treat after lunch:

Peanut Butter Banana Soft Serve

It’s a good thing that the carob made the dessert brown, because I may have snuck in some wheatgrass powder just to give it a little kick of super foods (shhhh, don’t tell the birthday boy who prefers his desserts unadulterated):

Peanut Butter Banana Soft-Serve with wheatgrass powder

Dinner was completely inspired by one of the episodes on the Vegan Mashup DVD. In particular, I was fascinated by the “Healthy on a Budget” segment with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau who showed how to make a quesadilla using hummus. Here are some photos of the process:

Making vegan quesadillas using hummus.

That’s right, the hummus when slathered between two tortillas gets melty and gooey and the whole thing tastes absolutely delicious:

Hummus quesadilla up close and personal.

I overfilled mine so it was impossible to slice into quarters, but it was fantastic nonetheless. I served it with some kale chips and kiwi for dessert:


Here’s a really simplified version of the dish:


Thank you for your concern about my cat. I am happy to report that Xena successfully had her dental surgery yesterday and is doing pretty well. She also got her vaccines so the poor baby is having a tough recovery. But, I am very thankful that she is okay.

I hope you have a great day and rest of your week. I’ll be back here on Friday with a round-up of the best healthy vegan recipes from the blogosphere this week.

I know I always remind you of this, but please feel free to keep in touch with me using social media such asΒ Facebook,Β Twitter,Β Pinterest, orΒ Instagram. I update these channels several times throughout the day whenever I’m procrastinating from doing my school work.

Lastly,Β please do check out my recipe app,Β Vegan Delish, on the iTunes store; every single one of the over 80 recipes on the app is made with whole food ingredients with little to no oil, salt, or added sugar. Thank you for your support!


  1. Dianne says

    Last month I had the opportunity to eat at a restaurant in Minneapolis called Ecopolitan. Everything on the menu was raw vegan and wonderful. Ever since then I have been inspired to try experimenting with raw vegan recipes. I have even made up a few of my own.

  2. Holly says

    Honestly you are one of my current vegan inspirations. Dealing with illness through diet is my goal and seeing how well you have done is inspiring. Thank you so much for this blog.

  3. Katie says

    I get healthy cooking inspiration everywhere, mostly though from the blogs I follow and Pinterest. I am currently a vegetarian moving towards a vegan lifestyle so I am always looking for tasty healthy recipes to try!

  4. says

    Your platter at the conference looks amazing- and so do your eats- I love hummus in my quesadillas too! How do you say hummus in Spanish because clearly a quesa/o means cheese. Hmmm- Garbanzadilla? Lol.

    Thanks for sharing & inspiring! I was recently diagnosed with (sub-clinical) hypothyroidism and want to put the brakes on its progression through diet and lifestyle. I’d always love to hear more of your thoughts on the matter or any resources you’ve found particularly helpful.


    • says

      Ohhhhh, good catch, Deirdre! I am planning on adding this recipe to Vegan Delish and I will name it something more appropriate. Garbanzadilla is very creative; I’ll see what I can come up with! πŸ™‚

  5. says

    So happy to hear Xena is doing well.
    I just watched Forks Over Knifes the other day and was very impressed, so cool you got to meet the Dr.!

  6. Michele says

    You are very inspiring to me. It can be challenging to find vegan recipes that do not contain added sugar or oil . I like that your recipes are always healthy. I’m also a fan of other websites such as choosing raw and straight up food.

  7. says

    Dr. Fuhrman has been the greatest inspiration for me in my change to a plant-based diet. Eat to Live was the first book I ever read on this topic and he has since remained an immense encouragement, source of knowledge and resources, and help with difficult questions. I’m so thankful!

  8. says

    Glad to hear Xena is ok! I can imagine that would be stressful for you.

    Wow – what a great weekend! Sounds like an amazing show =)
    I would have never thought of using hummus in a quesadilla – fantastic idea. Can’t wait to try this recipe out.

    My inspiration for going vegan was The China Study. I had planned on gradually going vegan over the period of a few months, but went cold turkey after finishing the book haha.

  9. Kimberly Frink says

    My fav blogger website is Also a documentary, it shows the process of juicing 4 times a day, having a regular meal for dinner while losing weight and toxins from your body. The recipes are awesome and the inspiration of people juicing is very inspirational.

  10. says

    Since becoming a member of the flock at Our Hen House ( I’ve been introduced to so many food bloggers that it’s amazing. So I love that site because it’s inspiring in more ways than one. And that’s how I heard about Cary and the work she does. I think vegan bloggers and cooks have a driving passion and it comes through in their writing. I love all the people you were photographed with in the blog and am a commited Geigerhead!


  11. Ginny says

    Dr. Joel Fuhrman and you, Carrie, are my favorites. I have learned so much from both of you about the whole foods, plant based way of eating. Thank you, Carrie πŸ™‚

  12. Shahla says

    There are too many inspirations to choose from, gotta love the internet, it makes life so easy to be a vegan. But I would have to say it all started with Dr. McDougall and grew from there.

  13. Melissa says

    I’ve been so inspired by the whole healthy vegan blog world. One of my favorites has been Happy Herbivore — the blog and the series of cookbooks. I’ve also gotten a lot of inspiration from your blog, too! And those DVDs sound like they’d be even more inspiration — the idea of a hummus quesadilla already sounds great.

  14. Audrey says

    You are definitely a healthy inspiration to me. Whenever I visit your site I leave motivated to eat healthier.

  15. says

    I would say above all else I’ve been inspired by Lindsay of The Happy Herbivore. Her blog is really multi-faceted with different types of stories, information, and of course the food has kept me coming back for years. While I’d been vegan for some time, HH recipes helped me simplify my lifestyle and focus on whole, plant foods.

    I’ve also heard about this show and can’t wait for the opportunity to watch it! Miyoko’s book is the talk of nearly every blog and Terry is hilarious. That’s great that you enjoyed Colleen’s segment, I’ve seen her speak twice and she is SO captivating, honest, and inspiring.

  16. Nicole says

    I loved seeing Dr. Fuhrman speak at a women’s health conference in Kansas City with cooking demos from Whole Foods. It was great, I wish I could go to many more of them like you do. I would love that!! Some day I’m going to make it to the getaway.

  17. Lindy-Lou Bath says

    Hi Carrie,
    You are an amazing inspiration first and foremost. I also like to dig into the past and see who were the pioneers of healthy vegan eating. Nathan Pritikin is a huge inspiration, Dr John Mc Dougall and most recently have been inspired by Kris Carr.
    Together, everyone can spread good news.

  18. jaclyn says

    The China Study was the first big influence to healthy cooking. I get great cooking ideas from The Tafari’s blog and Happy Healthy Life

  19. Adrienne says

    Recently the group you organized (spring healthy vegan challenge 2013) has been really helpful keeping me on track! I’m looking forward to the next one…thanks!

  20. Michelle says

    My first inspiration was Dr. Esselstyn and “The China Study”. Now with more research I have found other books and websites, yours included, that inspire me daily.

  21. Jennifer Arent says

    I would have to say the Forks Over Knives DVD and book. The first time I watched the DVD, I was flabberghasted by the scientific evidence of casein’s addictive qualities. I was already vegan and it reiterated the need to eat whole foods – not processed vegan junk food. I would also say that I really look forward to reading your blog, too, Carrie, and I’m not trying to suck up πŸ™‚

  22. bitt says

    You, JL, Gena, I love your blogs. πŸ™‚ keeps me inspired and there’s something about each of you that works with my style.

  23. Ashley says

    You’re my inspiration! You were the first vegan blog I discovered when looking for recipes and how to begin veganism. Now I’m on your site all the time for new recipes! I made your crushed tomato and almond butter dressing and I will never go back to store bought! Delish!!

  24. Cindy H says

    I’ve only recently started a vegan lifestyle (i’m not quite there but working on it) and will admit it’s a huge learning curve, your blog and another blog called Oh She Glows have been great inspirations. Thank you!

  25. Linda says

    The parameters of my food world are based on Dr. Fuhrman’s principles; inspiration for new meal ideas often comes from bloggers like you. I especially appreciate Healthy Vegan Fridays; I can often make a recipe with little or no alteration, and that’s a gift indeed.

    Thanks for all your work here! It makes a difference in my life.

  26. Cally says

    I can still remember my pre-plant based misconception that a vegan diet would be dull and monotonous… so wrong!!!! Vegan Blogs like FatFreeVegan, The Smart Kitchen, and Happy Herbivore are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to inspiration! My list of new recipes to try is huge and ever-growing. My local PBS is not airing the Vegan Mash-up yet but I am so glad it is inspiring others out there to give plant-based a try.

  27. Lyn E. says

    I would have to say the Dr. McDougall website and books for recipes – his wife Mary has come up with some of the best recipes that are easy to make and ones that you make over and over.

    Also really enjoy your feature Carrie of what you eat in a day and the pictures and recipes. Great feature to inspire some new ideas of what to eat. Thanks for doing this.

  28. Jenn says

    I discovered this quesadilla trick a few years ago–I was low on cheese, but had some pureed white beans, so I tried using it as filler–it worked so beautifully, the cheese was unnecessary!

    Right now, I think I find Dreena Burton and Gena at Choosing Raw to be my biggest inspirations, but I love reading about how you push the envelope on taking healthy eating to an extreme (IMHO).

  29. Pamela Strick says

    I have found so many inspiring people on my quest for better health. And I think I just found one more! Thanks Carrie! Found you through Vegan Mashup. It’s fun to read through the comments and hear other people inspired by the same doctors, blogger and chefs that have inspired me. I get a little closer to Vegan every day.

  30. says

    I’ve lost 7 pounds and am feeling great since changing my eating habits in January, but it’s a struggle to re-learn nutrition and cooking (especially with a 2 year old pulling on my leg!). It seems, however, that whenever I fall off the wagon, or let myself down, that you’ve published a new post in the nick of time and help me to right myself again. So, you have been my inspiration! Hope this isn’t creepy, but I took a picture of my daughter’s green smoothie-covered face to send to you. I’ll email it shortly. The fact that you’ve gotten me and thus her to eat better is such a gift, thank you!

  31. says

    I was inspired to go vegan by a Chinese acupuncturist I first met a year ago….she told me I didn’t need to be fixed in life I just needed a boost, and that boost was in the form of information on how to eat more actively and effectively, and I have not turned back. I am a newbie at this whole thing and every day is a new learning experience on how and what to use and cook, and it’s so very over whelming discovering all the things that have hidden animal products in them.
    So here’s hoping I am a blessed winner of this awesome prize!!!!

  32. Billie Jean says

    I love the entire vegan AND raw blogging world! There are SO many great blogs, especially yours! that I visit when I have the free time and have save and bookmarked probably a couple thousand recipes! Obsessed!

  33. Maren says

    I have to say that your blog is one of my biggest inspirations right now. I also love Eat to Live which brought me back to a vegetarian lifestyle. I just feel so much happier and have more energy on a vegetarian diet. Thank you so much for your awesome blog!

  34. Stacy says

    I was first inspired by Terri Walters and her book Clean Start–also there’s a first book, can’t remember the title. Then Dr. Fuhrman… Thanks for everything!

  35. says

    I can’t believe you got to have a conversation with Dr. Lederman! πŸ™‚ He’s very inspiring.
    I recently showed Forks Over Knives to my partner, and he committed to cutting out red meat. (Big leap of joy!)

    For healthy inspiration, the farmer’s market and World’s Healthiest Foods pack a lot of nutritional punch.

    Have a great weekend!

  36. Des says

    My first inspiration to change from SAD eating was “Green Smoothie Girl” (Robyn Openshaw) and from there Dr. Fuhrman “Eat to Live” and also the book “The China Study”. Your blog has really helped me see how to put these ideas into every day life and that eating this way can be easy and yummy! So you are my inspiration too. Thank you!

  37. Carol says

    My inspiration to change was a weekly cooking class at Whole Foods in Dallas, Texas. I was walking through the store & ran into the class. It’s made a real difference in my life.

  38. Lynda says

    I heard about Dr. Fuhrman’s book “Eat To Live” about 4 years ago and my husband and I did the 6 week challenge. We lost weight but we didn’t continue on as I didn’t know how to transition from SAD foods to nutritarian foods for our large family of 6 children. Two years ago this summer I had a stroke of inspiration and I got the vision of how I could cook nutritarian for my family. I created a brand new recipe box from recipes on Dr. Fuhrman’s website for everything from breakfast to supper including desserts. We did the switch “cold turkey”. For one month there was a lot of moaning about the new diet style but after that things settled in. I now have over 160 recipes that I draw from on a regular basis. I create a weekly menu from my recipe box and shop accordingly. Since then 3 of our children have left home but they continue to ETL as best they can. We love being nutritarian and the way it makes us feel!

  39. says

    Carrie, I have to say that Dr. Fuhrman is my initial motivation for making a diet-style change but you are my inspiration! You do such great work.

    I love your pictures with all the celebs. You are just radiant! You’re glowing in your pictures; a true testament of what healthy looks like!

  40. charj says

    My inspirations are Bryanna Clark Grogan’s Notes From The Vegan Feast Kitchen blog and cookbooks and the Fit For Life book series by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond.

  41. Emily Aguilar says

    My healthy inspirations are vegan blogs! Of course Carrie on vegan ranks #1, but I also love! Thank you for always giving me creative ways to eat healthy, especially when it comes to raw veggies!

  42. says

    Raw restaurants and cookbooks are an inspiration to me, because they motivate me to include even more raw, fresh vegetables into my diet.

  43. Bev says

    I’ve watched Forks over Knives. and the internet has made it easy to find a couple really good blogs to follow. Yours being one!!

  44. Virginia says

    When I retired about two years ago, I decided, now is the time. It’s time to get serious about being healthy! I discovered Dr. Mark Hyman on PBS and that is what kick started my journey towards optimum health. I did his seven day detox and lost 6 pounds! Then through my ever learning journey, I discovered Dr. Fuhrman and his book Eat to Live. That book was the ultimate game changer. I have since discovered many wonderful vegan blogs, my all time favorite so far being Fat Free Vegan, and now today I have discovered yours! Of course, Chef AJ, I just love her and her book Unprocessed. I have lost 50 lbs. so far and my kitchen contains no animal products. I haven’t made it all the way to vegan, but I’m getting there! Thank you for your blog.

  45. Karen says

    It is so great to be living in a time when there is so many different ways to get inspiration recipes. Blogs, books, member centers (Dr. F’s for one!), t.v., seminars too many places to make a complete list! Excited to see this new show Vegan Mashup!

  46. Bethany says

    My cooking inspiration has been my husband, as a vegan married to a hunter, it was my initial rebellion that turned my cooking into a pure path of whole, real foods.

  47. Terri Cole says

    There are so many fantastic vegan bloggers that I draw inspiration from, but Somer at is at the top of the list. Her story of recovery from chronic illness through a vegan diet is, well, inspiring!

  48. says

    I’m greatly inspired by my father. He’s the reason why I grew to be so health conscious and environmentally conscious. He motivates me to be healthy in and out of the kitchen <3

  49. Chris says

    Actually this site is one of the healthiest food blogs I read. I always want to go make something healthy after reading one of your posts.

  50. Wendy says

    I make vegan food all the time but the one my family enjoyed last night was onions, tomatoes, chick peas cooked with cumin and coriander with brown rice, with some Naan bread on the side

  51. Ellen says

    My inspiration for nutritious vegan cooking is going to ethnic grocery stores/markets , (Indian, Asian, Latin, Middle Eastern…) asking proprietors for recipes using their unique vegetables, herbs and spices. Sometimes I Google or look on YouTube for ideas to use the ingredients when deciding whether or not to buy. It’s an adventure and keeps variety and excitement with cooking.
    Ellen H Ullman

  52. says

    Joel Fuhrman is the person who inspires and motivates me, lately. I’ve read Eat to Live, Super Immunity and am now “eating up” Disease Proof Your Child. I respect him a great deal and think he is doing marvelous work by speaking out about the benefits of high nutrient density foods. I have been reading so many books about whole food plant based diets for several months and have thus instituted many changes in our eating style. My husband’s cholesterol level has dropped nearly 30 points in eight weeks. I could not be more happy or excited about promoting this way of taking care of your family.

  53. Marie says

    I was inspired after watching Christina Pirello’s show “Christina Cooks” on our local PBS station. That was probably 6 years ago and I haven’t looked back. Since then I’ve enjoyed other Vegan shows, most recently Vegan Mashup. Thanks for the giveaway offer!

  54. Ozlem says

    Hey Carrie- love your blog and LOVE your outfit above.. If you dont mind me asking… Are those Toms glitter shoes.. I love the whole outfit. They are vegan shoes? Just curious. Thanks! You look great!

    • says

      Hi there and thanks for the compliment! You were the only one to comment on my outfit so I appreciate that, ha ha. My shoes are Toms and they are from the vegan line (yay!!!). They aren’t glitter, though, I think they were called pewter metallic. I got them a few months ago and I love them. πŸ™‚

    • says

      You are too sweet. Leggings by Gap (very old, though, but they have uber-cute zippers on the back), sweater by Banana, shirt by Forever 21. πŸ™‚

  55. Caroline says

    Hi Carrie

    I tried the hummus quesadilla tonight and it was yummy; the lemon made it so fresh, zingy and very spring like. The recipe made it to the ‘keeper’ file, a recommendation of my non-vegan husband so a praiseworthy recommendation indeed!! Many thanks for another great recipe.

    • says

      Thanks so much for the feedback, Caroline! I am thrilled that both you and your husband liked the quesadillas. It is such a great recipe to make on busy nights, too. πŸ™‚


  1. […] TGIF! I hope you had a great week. I am ready for a few days off, even though I’ll be traveling to attend The Healthy Taste of LA where Dr. Neal Barnard will be speaking. There’s still time to get your ticket if you’re anywhere near Los Angeles, click here for more information. I seriously cannot wait for this event and please do say hi if you are there (click here to read about the Healthy Taste of Ventura event with Dr. Greger). […]

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