Sunday, 30 October 2011

Hey Vassar College!

Hope everyone had a great Halloweekend, despite the treacherous winter weather.

This past week, I was in nonstop tech rehearsals for Woodshed’s production of Mr. Marmalade. It’s a great play about a four-year-old girl whose imaginary friend doesn’t have time for her. It’s hilarious and disturbing and outrageous and was so much fun to work on. There’s a “junk food dinner” scene, where two characters feast on tons and tons of junk food. I really wanted to stay vegan during the show, so I made sure I had Oreos, animal crackers, pixie stix and pretzels at my disposal. Chocolate milk is consumed in the show, but my cast was kind enough to put chocolate soymilk in a milk carton. I also found vegan whipped cream from Soyatoo (found at Whole Foods and online at

In the same scene, a huge sushi boat comes out and my character has to eat the sushi. Not only was sushi a really expensive prop, but even if we had all the budget in the world, I wouldn’t have eaten it. So getting creative, I made candy sushi. For the sushi pieces, I put a Swedish fish on top of a balled up piece of white bread and wrapped it in Fruit by the Foot. For the sushi rolls, I found vegan marshmallows from Sweet & Sara (also at Whole Foods), wrapped those in Fruit Roll-ups, topped them with white frosting and coconut flakes and placed a Swedish fish tail in the center. Ta-da! Sushi that I could eat on stage (and sushi that a four-year-old would love)

So it’s been a crazy week! I’ve got lots of work to do that I neglected while in rehearsal, but for those with a little more time to cook, here’s an awesome chili that celebrates the flavors of fall (because it’s NOT winter, I don’t care what you say, snow!)

BLACK BEAN & BUTTERNUT SQUASH CHILI (from Party Vegan by Robin Robertson)


1 small butternut squash, peeled, halved and seeded

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)

1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

3 (15.5 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced (found canned)

1 cup apple juice

3 tbsp chili powder

½ tsp allspice

½ tsp sugar

Salt and pepper

1) 1) Cut squash into ¼ inch dice and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, squash, carrot and bell pepper (if using). Cover and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.

2) 2) Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans and chipotle. Stir in apple juice, chili powder, allspice, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the veggies are tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3) 3) Uncover and simmer about 10 more minutes. Serve hot

Happy Halloweeen!

Love, The Vassar Vegan

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