Miss October 2012

Take a look at this beautiful vegan.  She is hard working, healthy and is smart to boot.  She may have given our best recipe of the year!!! Make sure you check out this lovely light hearted Veganista!

Name: Christa

Where do you live and where are you from?  I live in Los Angeles, CA and grew up in Northern, VA and Silver Spring, MD.

Age?  36

What do you do for a living/profession? I work at an entertainment company by day and also run my vegan business – Veggin’ Out With Christa.

What do you like to do for fun?  Oh wow, this is tough, so many things.  I like eating (yes, eating), hanging out with my friends, (so far I sound like a teenager, lol), going to the beach, most anything active, i.e. bike riding, hiking.  Love roller coasters.  Watching my Sex and The City dvd’s.

How long have you been vegan?  7 years
Why did you become vegan?  Well it wasn’t planned.  I was having a conversation with my brother-in-law about eating meat.  It was the first time I thought about it literally and it grossed me out.  So, I decided to try going meatless for seven days to see if I could do it.  At the end of the 7 days, I didn’t miss it so I didn’t look back.  That was in 2001 when I became a vegetarian.  I was still eating fish, eggs and cheese
How was your transition?  I didn’t miss or crave meat at all after those seven days.  The hardest thing to give up (sorry to be unoriginal here) was cheese.  The more research I did, I understood why this was the case.  The more I learned, the more it made sense to me to give it all up and become a full-fledged vegan. It was a roller coaster for a while with the cheese, but I finally did it.  It also helped that at the time I was dating a vegan also.
What is the funniest misconception(s) that you have heard about vegans?  Oh, there are so many.  The main one is that we don’t like food or only eat salad or tree bark. LOL!  Vegans are some of the biggest foodies I know!
What is your Favorite thing(s) about being a vegan? Uh, the food! (did I mention I love to eat?) Seriously, I really love being able to see a traditional dish “veganized”. I also like knowing I live a compassionate lifestyle.
What do you think makes a Sexy Bad Ass Vegan?  Confidence is sexy on anyone. I think you especially have to be confident as a vegan because you are constantly getting questioned about it.  So, being confident and assured about your dietary choices and not apologizing for it while educating compassionately makes someone a sexy BAV in my eyes.
What is the best vegan dish that you make in your kitchen?  I don’t write recipes, so the following is more of a method.
INGREDIENTSTri-Colored Vegetable Fettucini Pasta Noodles-or any pasta noodles that you prefer- I wanted to try something other than wheat. These are vegetable noodles. I found them at the regular grocery store in the pasta aisle.Jumbo Portabello Mushroom Caps–  Depending on how hungry you are or how many people you are cooking for will determine how many you should buy. I say one per person.Marinara Sauce-Your favorite brand- Vegan of course. I used Bertolli the Garlic and Olive Oil brand.1 Medium Yellow Onion2 Yellow Squash- medium-size and peeled

1 bag of spinach, fresh or frozen

Olive Oil

Sea Salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)

Season All (to taste)

Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)

Garlic Powder (to taste)


Preheat oven to 350. Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Place mushrooms on a cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil on both sides as well as sea salt and pepper and put an aluminum foil tent over the mushrooms to cover them while roasting-set aside. Dice onion and yellow squash. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the yellow onion and sautee until soft, repeat with the yellow squash and then add the spinach. Sautee all until cooked through and add all seasonings (except red pepper flakes) to taste. You can decide really what steps you want to do when with this meal. I would put the mushroom caps in the oven and get the pasta going after you get all the veggies in the skillet. It takes only about ten minutes or so for the mushrooms to roast and soften- once the mushrooms are tender you can turn off the oven and keep them in there to stay warm as you get everything else prepared. Warm the marinara sauce in saucepan on the stove. I add the red pepper flakes and other seasonings to the sauce to taste as it is heating up.

To assemble: Take one mushroom cap and add the vegetable mixture and marinara sauce on top. Add the pasta on the side. You can drizzle more marinara on the pasta if you like. I only add olive oil and sea salt to the pasta and eat separately, this is all a matter of preference.

What is the best Vegan Restaurant you have ever had the pleasure of eating at?  The best? Are you serious? The best? I will have to say Karyn’s on Green in Chicago.  I say this because it is an upscale vegan dining experience with tremendous food.  It really smacks the tree-hugger vegan mentality in the face.  Her restaurant proves there are many different types of vegan dining experiences (and vegans).
What advice do you have for those that are thinking of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle?  What advice do you have for those that are thinking of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle?  Take it slow and be gentle and kind to yourself during the transition.  Don’t expect to know all the answers or get everything right at first.  Take your time to learn and ease yourself into the process.  Don’t feel the need to prove yourself to anyone and have fun with the change, remember that it shouldn’t be overwhelming or frustrating.  Also, try to surround yourself with like-minded and/or supportive people and find some vegan blogs to follow for tips and advice, there are thousands.
Do you have a website to share with the BAV nation? www.vegginoutwithchrista.com

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