Talking to Kids about Veganism – Ruby Roth Books

“Mom, I don’t like anything about Hooter’s.” This is what Trey, my 8 year-old, tells me last week as we drove past a Hooters on our way to his friend’s birthday party.  My first thought was “Thank God!”, but I decided I should inquire further.  “Why don’t you like Hooter’s?” I ask.  Trey says “The sign says they have wings, shrimp and burgers. All dead animals.” One point for veganism and one additional point for the fact that he doesn’t know about Hooter’s other selling points!  His comment made me laugh, of course, but it also made me glad that Trey knows why we are vegan.  Since he was tiny I talked to him about why we don’t eat animals. One of the things that really helped those discussions was Ruby Roth’s appropriately titled book That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals.

Ruby Roth Books

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Mini Vegan Pancakes perfect for sleepovers

What about parties and sleepovers?  How and what to serve non-vegan children that come into your vegan house can be a concern.  No one wants to be the parent where kids don’t want to come over because of the “weird” food. Vegan and plant-based food can seem very strange for children who aren’t accustomed to it.  My solution is to serve kids foods they are already familiar with.  That includes things like muffins, fruit, veggies & hummus, rice & beans, or PB&J.  None of those foods seem unusual and kids typically eat them with gusto. Last summer I saw a recipe from The Pioneer Woman for Mini Pancakes.  She cooked pancake batter in a mini muffin pan.  These mini muffins looked perfect for a breakfast post sleepover.  I decided to come up with a mini vegan pancake version.

Vegan Pancakes Labeled

My go to pancake recipe didn’t work all that well in the mini muffin pan.  I felt like it needed more of that “fluffy” texture that pancakes made with eggs have.  I veganized the Pioneer Woman’s pancake recipe and it was a success. Trey and his friend inhaled quite a few of these mini vegan pancakes after a sleepover.  They loved dipping them in little bowls of syrup.  I felt extra victorious since his friend is a picky eater.  With the mini pancakes and fruit I knew he had a decent breakfast to start his day.

Vegan Pancakes Pre Bake

When making this recipe be sure to let the batter sit for 10 minutes before scooping it into the muffin tins. That 10 minutes allows the ground chia to go to work.  The ground chia gives the pancakes a nice fluffy texture.  If you don’t want to see any specs of chia in your muffins use White Chia seeds.  You will see the chia seed specs in the batter, but not in the final product.

Vegan Pancakes Close

Feel free to add blueberries or chocolate chips to some of your mini vegan pancakes.  Trey prefers the plain version, but we have tried them with both blueberries and chocolate chips successfully.  You can also offer vegan whipped cream for dipping if you are looking for an even more decadent breakfast.  These keep well in the refrigerator for several days.  I warm them up in the toaster oven and then serve them to Trey with his breakfast smoothie during the week.

What is your favorite food to serve sleepover guests?

Mini Vegan Pancakes
Miniature vegan pancakes that are perfect for dipping into syrup or vegan whipped cream. A great breakfast for little hands to enjoy after a sleepover.
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 1.5 cups Flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1.5 cups Unsweetened Almond or Coconut Milk
  • 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Chia Seed
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance or Non-Dairy Butter of choice, Melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray or grease a mini muffin pan with a neutral oil (such as canola oil) and set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Set bowl aside.
  3. Stir together the almond or coconut milk and vinegar and let it sit for 1 minute. Whisk in chia, vanilla and melted Earth Balance.
  4. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Whisk until smooth batter forms. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Fill the mini muffin tins ⅔ full with batter.
  6. Bake for 11 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let pancakes sit in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn them out of the pan. Use a knife around the edges to remove any muffins that are stuck in the pan.
  7. Serve with maple syrup and or vegan whipped cream for dipping.

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Plant-Powered Families Giveaway & Review

**Giveaway has ended.  Congratulations to Susan on her copy of Plant-Powered Families!**

As I have mentioned Dreena Burton is one of my all time favorite vegan cookbook authors.  Her Vive Le Vegan cookbook was one of the first vegan cookbook’s I purchased that seemed written just for me.  Her cookbooks always include a variety of breakfasts, snacks, main dishes and desserts.  She uses healthy ingredients, but doesn’t sacrifice flavor.  Last week Dreena’s latest book, Plant-Powered Families, was released.   I received my copy from Amazon a few weeks ago and have had a great time cooking through the book.  I love the book so much I would like to offer a copy to one of my readers.  The contest details are below.

Plant-Powered Families (1)

The first thing to know about Plant-Powered Families is that it is much more than a collection of recipes. This is really a resource book for people looking for more information on raising vegan or plant-based children.  You don’t have to be a committed vegan or vegetarian.  Dreena provides excellent general advice on getting your kids to eat healthier foods, especially at lunch.  Her lunch box ideas are fantastic if you are looking to add variety to your children’s lunch.

Dreena provides sections that address some of the challenges vegan families may face.  She discusses how to feed picky eaters and how to plan and attend parties as a vegan.  The party section in particular is very helpful.  Her idea of serving pizza and hot dogs for parties really resonates with me.  Children’s parties are not the best time to try out your new kale and quinoa saute!  Keep it simple and serve vegan hot dogs or pizza…food that the kids will understand.  Your goal with a child’s party is to celebrate your child, not convert kids to healthy living in 2 hours or less.


As always Dreena’s recipes do not disappoint.  Recipes are broken down into several, easy to reference sections: Breakfasts, Lunches, Salad Dressings & Sauces, Dinnertime and Desserts.  Each of these sections is further broken down into categories.  For instance the Dinner section breaks recipes into: Soups & Stews, Pizza & Pasta, Burgers n’ Fries, and Casseroles & One Dish Wonders.

Plant-Powered Families French Toast

The first thing I made was the Cinnamon French Toast.  The french toast was completely delicious and very easy to make.  From start to finish we were eating within 15 minutes.  My kind of weekend breakfast! Fun and fast.

Plant-Powered Families Baked Tofu

I also made the Simplest Marinated Baked Tofu.  This recipe is a winner for both ease and versatility.  With just a few ingredients you can bake a batch of tasty tofu to use all week.  My son loved it in his sandwiches and I loved it on salad.  This is a recipe I’ll plan to have on hand most weeks.

Plant-Powered Families Teriyaki

The Ultimate Teriyaki Stir-Fry was a big hit after a cold baseball practice one night.  It was easy to throw everything together and the sauce had a ton of flavor.  Next time I will be adding chili flakes to the sauce, as we like spicy food.  If only a few of your family members like spice you could definitely add chili flakes or sriracha on top, as we did last week.

Plant-Powered Families CC Bars

My favorite Dreena recipe is her chocolate chip cookie recipe.  While this is not in her new book I am compelled to share it, as it is my absolute go to.  I have made it a hundred different ways at this point.  Last week I used half brown sugar and half white sugar in the batter.  I added 1/2 cup of crushed pretzels and then poured the batter into an 8×8 greased pan.  The bars baked for 15 minutes and were totally delicious.


**Giveaway has ended.  Congratulations to Susan on her copy of Plant-Powered Families!**

Since I love Dreena Burton and have found her recipes and ideas so inspiring I want to share her newest creation with you.   I will be giving out one copy of Plant-Powered Families to a reader in the US (sorry international folks).  Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.  You have 3 ways to participate: like Vegan Gretchen on Facebook, follow @vegangretchen on Twitter, and/or leave a comment below sharing your favorite author’s name.  The giveaway runs until 12:00 AM on May 26.  Thanks for participating!

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*This is NOT a sponsored post.  Vegan Gretchen will be giving away one copy of Plant-Powered Families independent of the publisher*

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What’s Vegan at Target?

A few weeks ago when I was writing my recipe for Vegan Bolognese with Beyond Meat I did a little research on the company.  I was surprised to see Beyond Meat mention that their products could be purchased at Target.  I love Target, but I almost never look for food there.  I am usually looking for clothes for Trey, household items or vegan shoes when I’m there. Hearing that Target sold Beyond Meat in the store got me thinking that I should check the grocery aisle myself to see what is vegan at Target.  My list of 15 surprising vegan foods you can buy at Target is below.

This list is mostly of prepared vegan foods.  Obviously I think most people know you can find fruits, vegetables, beans, rice, pasta etc at Target since they are a grocery store.  I hate when you read a list of “vegan finds” in certain stores and they list things like bananas.  Thanks for the hot tip!  Never would have guessed a grocery store would carry a rare fruit like a banana.

Here are my vegan Target finds beyond produce and grocery staples:


Vegan at Target Beyond Meat I found the beefy crumble and the grilled chicken strips in the freezer section.


Vegan at Target - So Delicious Coconut MilkI was very impressed with the number of non-dairy milks in the refrigerator case.  They had Soy Milk, Coconut Milk and even a Cashew Milk.


Vegan at Target - Gardein Tenders

Target had a wide variety of Gardein products in the freezer aisle.  These Crispy Tenders are Trey’s favorite.


Vegan at Target - Sabra HummusI love adding single servings of hummus to Trey’s lunchbox.  We also pack them as a snack for road trips.


Vegan at Target - Spectrum Shortening I use this shortening to make frostings following the recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  


Vegan at Target - Dang CoconutThis is a sweet, filling snack that is great on its own or to top ice cream.  I have also added it as sweet component to homemade trail mix.


Vegan at Target - Amy'sWhen you have a busy vegan family having a few frozen dinners on hand makes life easier.  This pot pie is filling and makes a nice dinner for Trey when we hire a babysitter or when I’m too tired to cook.


Vegan at Target - The Good BeanHigh protein, savory snacks that are not nut based can be hard to come by.  These are great snacks for school or on a road trip.

Vegan at Target - Justin's Nut ButterI keep a stash of these in my car for Trey.  When he is hungry and I don’t have another snack on hand these are convenient, filling and he loves them.


Vegan at Target - Earth BalanceMy favorite vegan “butter”.  Another woman at Target saw me take this picture and came over to grab a tub.  She said “I never knew they sold this at Target!”.


Vegan at Target - Coconut Milk Ice CreamTarget had a great selection of coconut milk and soy milk ice creams.  This cookie dough variety is one of Trey’s favorites.


Vegan at Target - Nature's Path WafflesOn weekday mornings when Trey wants something different than his normal smoothie I use these waffles.  I toast two of them. Then I spread one waffle with peanut butter, add a little maple syrup and put the other waffle on top.  It is an easy “waffle sandwich”.


Vegan at Target - Pacific Foods I know I said I wasn’t going to include staples like beans, but these stood out for me.  I use refried black beans in quesadillas to add protein in Trey’s lunches.  I was impressed to see this organic variety in a septic pack (rather than a can) at Target.


Vegan at Target - Suja Lemon LoveSuja juices are a treat for me every once in a while during my weekly grocery shopping.  Target had a great selection of flavors.  My favorite is this Lemon Love variety.


Vegan at Target - Sweet Earth BurritoLike the pot pie above, this Sweet Earth burrito is perfect for keeping on hand in the freezer.  It makes a great weeknight, after practice dinner when needed.

Overall I was blown away by the number of vegan items Target carries.  The prices were reasonable and if you have the Target Red Card you get an additional 5% off.  I hope that Target will add more items like tofu, non-dairy yogurt and non-dairy cheese.  The more vegan items we see in non “health food stores” the better.  Everyone can benefit from adding vegan foods to their diet and having them in stores where people already shop is a huge win for veganism!

Any products I missed?  Leave a comment and let me know your favorite vegan Target finds.

*This post was not sponsored by Target Corporation or any of the companies mentioned above.