Easy Vegan Slow-Cooker Caramelized Onion Chili

Spring is upon us, and I couldn’t be more excited!  However, on these last few chilly days of March in Chicago, I had a craving for something warm and comforting that had been cooking in a slow cooker all day.  That’s when I stumbled on this easy, quick recipe on Hello Giggles for Vegan Slow-Cooker Caramelized Onion Chili.  In minutes I had all of the ingredients ready to go and in hours I had a wonderful soup to eat!  Below the recipe I noted a few of the substitutions I made because I went with what was on hand in the pantry.  Overall, this is definitely a simple recipe that I’d make again!

Slow-Cooker Vegan Caramelized Onion Chili  Image Source: Pinterest

Slow-Cooker Vegan Caramelized Onion Chili
Image Source: Pinterest

Vegan Slow-Cooker Caramelized Onion Chili

makes 6-8 servings

total time: 6-8 hours

total hands-on time: 45 minutes


  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes (with green chilies, if you can find that variety, such as Rotel)
  • 1 can of corn or package of frozen corn
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsps fresh chopped garlic (sub garlic powder, too)
  • 2 tsps cumin
  • one glug of olive oil
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to your taste


1. The first thing to do is caramelize the onions. Slice them, then heat some olive oil on medium-high in a wide frying pan with sides (so the onions can spread out). Once the oil is shimmery, add the onions and spread them out. You might need to lower the heat a bit so the onions don’t get crispy. Basically, let those babies cook until they are a light brown color, stirring occasionally. It took about 40 minutes for me, but it will vary depending on your stove and your pan.

2. Place the onions in the bottom of the crock pot and add the beans, tomatoes and corn. Add the water and broth and stir.

3. Add salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cinnamon, then stir to mix.

4. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours. When you serve, garnish with tortilla chips, green onions or cilantro.

Trina’s recipe notes:

  • I used a white onion because that’s what I had.  
  • For the tomatoes, I used chili-ready canned tomatoes and then skipped the extra chili powder.
  • For the corn, I used canned Mexicorn.
  • Don’t be weirded out by the cinnamon; it’s works here 🙂
What Trina's Chili Looked Like - Vegan Slow-Cooker Caramelized Onion Chili

What Trina’s Chili Looked Like – Vegan Slow-Cooker Caramelized Onion Chili



Posted in Main dishes, Mexican, Soups | 1 Comment

The BEST Vegan Zucchini Bread

This summer I was really into zucchini, and I tried out several different vegan zucchini bread recipes.  After a few disasters, I found this recipe on allrecipes.com for Kingman’s Vegan Zucchini Bread and it is a winner.  I only make a few modifications, and my friends and I really love it.  My friend Samantha loved it so much she asked me to make it for her St. Patrick’s Day party.  My favorite thing about this recipe is that people are SHOCKED that it’s vegan.  Even the biggest skeptics will love this bread!

Kingman's Vegan Zucchini Bread Image Source: allrecipes.com

Kingman’s Vegan Zucchini Bread
Image Source: allrecipes.com

Kingman’s Vegan Zucchini Bread

Slight modifications from the original recipe include swapping in one cup whole wheat flour, subbing for cornstarch, swapping in one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and adding in a mashed banana.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch 
  • 1 mashed, ripe banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans or 5 mini loaf pans.
  3. Whisk together the flours, flax seeds, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and arrowroot / cornstarch in a bowl until evenly blended; set aside.
  4. Mash the banana and whisk together with the applesauce, white sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth.
  5. Fold in the shredded zucchini and flour mixture until moistened.
  6. Divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 70 minutes for large loaf pans or 50 minutes for mini loaf pans.
  8. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

If you use the mini loaf pans, the small loaves make great gifts for your friends!



Posted in Treats / Desserts | Leave a comment

Glowing Green Smoothie

Kimberly Snyder is a nutritionist and beauty expert who is beloved by a host of celebrities, including Drew Barrymore and Reese Witherspoon.  When I was first researching beauty diets, her name and books kept coming up so I bought her book: The Beauty Detox Solution: Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You’ve Always Wanted.

One of the foundations of her book is that you drink her Glowing Green Smoothie in the morning.  The smoothie is a fiber-filled drink made up of greens and fruit which allows you to get in many servings of greens to start your day right.  If you’re new to green smoothies, I suggest starting small with a basic green smoothie and working your way to this one.  While I find it to be delicious, you might not if you haven’t tried other similar drinks.

Glowing Green Smoothie Image source: PopSugar

Glowing Green Smoothie
Image source: PopSugar

Glowing Green Smoothie


  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups water
  • 1 head organic romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 3 to 4 stalks organic celery
  • 1/2 head of a large bunch or 3/4 of a small bunch of spinach
  • 1 organic apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic pear, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic banana
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh organic lemon
  • Optional: 1/3 bunch organic cilantro and / or 1/3 bunch organic parsley (stems OK)  (these help chelate heavy metals from your body but they have a powerful taste)


  1. Add water, chopped head of romaine and spinach to blender. Blend at a low speed until smooth.
  2. Add celery, apple and pear.  Blend at high speed.
  3. If using, add cilantro and parsley.
  4. Finish with banana and lemon.


This is a big batch with 2-3 servings depending on how much smoothie you drink.  Here are two options for storing leftovers:

  • Store in your refrigerator, covered, for about two and a half days.
  • Freeze portion sizes of it in glass containers and thaw out the night before.

Other Helpful Instructions

If you’re a visual person like me, here is the YouTube video of Kimberly Snyder making the smoothie:

Kimberly also has this handy visual guide.

Image Source: Kimberly Snyder http://kimberlysnyder.com/blog/ggs/

Image Source: Kimberly Snyder http://kimberlysnyder.com/blog/ggs/



Posted in Smoothie Love | 1 Comment

Beauty Tip: Start the Day with Hot Water and Lemon

Friends, I have an easy beauty tip for you: start your day with hot water and lemon.  The idea is that if you drink hot water with lemon (either the juice of a lemon or a slice of lemon) in the morning you begin your day with a drink that naturally cleanses your body and aids in digestion.  Lemon has been shown to help boost the liver’s function which is why it’s helpful with detoxing (this is what the liver does!).  Also, it’s a nice tasting drink!  This beauty tip is practiced by many celebrities, including Miranda Kerr and Lauren Conrad.

When I travel, I’ve been bringing sliced lemons with me and I make hot water in the hotel room’s coffee maker.  I drink the lemon water while I get ready or drive to the office.  While lemon slices are easy to travel with, you might also try juicing the lemons.  In Lauren Conrad’s post, she says that she usually drinks about 12-16 oz of hot water with 1/2 a lemon’s juice.

Drinking my hot water with a lemon slice in my favorite T mug is a great way to start the day!

Drinking hot water with lemon in my favorite T mug is a great way to start the day!

If you’re looking for more info, check out these articles / blogs:



Posted in Breakfast, Other Cool Stuff | Leave a comment

Strategies to keep it slim while being busy and fabulous

One of my friends posted on the blog’s Facebook page and requested this topic:

Dear Trina Eats Plants, I love your blog and I have read every post. I am headed into a very busy period at work where I will be on call a lot and needing to eat on the go all the time- something I am not very good at! I know you travel a lot for work and I would love it if you could do a post on how you stay slim while traveling and keeping a busy work schedule. It seems like something very difficult to master that you have done so well!

My dear friend,

I work really hard at this and have been building up a list of tricks for a long time!  I am happy to share some of my methods with you.  Here are my top tricks for keeping it slim while working like a crazy woman and traveling on the regular:

Fight the bloat!

Bloat is quite possibly your worst enemy if you’re eating out a lot and / or eating a lot of frozen and prepared meals.  There are a few things you can do to cut the bloat.

  • While it’s hard to know how much sodium is in the food you’re eating while dining out, frozen meals lay it out for you. When eating frozen meals, take note of how much sodium is in these meals and use your best judgment.  Also, watch out for soups if you’re a frequent canned soup eater.
  • Find prepared food brands that you love and are health-conscious. The team here on my Austin project is obsessed with a place called Snap Kitchen where they have fresh, healthy, prepared meals you take and microwave – I often go on Mondays and stock up for the week (my friend Lauren loves them too).  I’ve heard of other people who like a similar place called My Fit Foods.
  • The other thing I’ve done in the past is on the day I arrive in a new city, I go to a Whole Foods (or similar type store) and stock up on healthy snacks and meals for the duration of the trip. If your hotel room doesn’t have a fridge, ask for one or clear out the mini bar and put your healthy stuff in there (do NOT clear out the bar if it’s one of those ones with sensors = $$$$).
  • When you are hungry in the afternoon or dying of hunger on a plane, snack on unsalted nuts rather than a salty treat. If you keep the portions under control, nuts are a great way stay full.  I am a big fan of the KIND bars which are readily available at airports and convenience stores.
  • Don’t eat Thai food or tacos every night. Okay, this one is very specific to me, but I have to tell myself this all the time!
  • Cut out the diet sodas. As much as I love the bubbles, there is extra sodium in there that won’t do you any favors.  My recommendation to fight the need for bubbles is to switch to sodium-free sparkling water.  My favorite brand is La Croix and I love both the lemon and lime flavors.
La Croix - Lemon Flavor

La Croix – Lemon Flavor

Be aware of your drink calories!

Trust me, this one is a big one and the calories quickly snowball.  It’s easy to cut back on your non-nutritive calories.

  • Wine and beer and booze have calories that add up! If you’re on the road or you’ve had a long day, it’s reasonable to have one of your favorite adult beverages in the evening.  The problem comes when you have drinks every night or several rounds – this will add up very quickly!  I try to reserve my beer for Thursdays when I’m at the airport because it always tastes better at the end of a crazy week!
  • Coffee drinks with cream/milk and sugar add up. I do plain green tea without sweetener or black coffee.
  • Juice on your flight and at your daily continental breakfast will also add up. It’s okay once in a while but realize that if you do it every day it becomes a lot of extra calories.  You might as well be drinking that glass of wine in the evening…

Keep breakfast light

Fast food breakfasts can quickly kill your day and steal all of your yummy lunch and dinner calories.

  • Prepare your green smoothie the night before. On my flight days, I make my green smoothie the night before so I can just drink it while I get ready early in the morning.
  • Substitute breakfast with a meal replacement shake. One of my friends loves Shakeology but you could also do a protein shake.  Pack the powder and a shaker container, find some water and you’re all set.
  • Go for instant oatmeal packets and some dried fruit and / or nuts that you can leave at the office. These are really handy to have around as most offices have a hot water tap by the coffee machines.
    • At hotel breakfasts I often do oatmeal but I always double-check to make sure it’s made with water and not milk.
  • If the hotel makes omelets, ask a lot of questions. Make sure they aren’t coating the pans with liquid butter (yes, it’s a thing) and then make sure none of the veggies are pre-cooked in butter (I’m looking at you, mushrooms). The omelet cook should have the non-stick spray which is not ideal, but better than liquid butter.

Get your veggies and greens!

Try to squeeze in as many servings of veggies as possible.  The more colors you eat, the better!

  • Start meals with a small salad of just greens and veggies. Have a low-calorie salad and opt for a non-dairy dressing (oil / vinegar based).  This way you fill up a bit with some healthy fiber and you get your greens in for the day.  While it will cost a few extra dollars, it’s worth it in terms of your health and waistline.
  • Grab a thing of veggies and hummus and snack on that. I buy cleaned and cut up celery and carrots from Whole Foods along with hummus and eat that in the afternoons.

Plan ahead

There are few little things you can do ahead of a busy / travel week to make life easier.

  • Prepare, chop, clean, etc. over the weekends. Clean your veggies, portion out your salads, freeze up some breakfast burritos – whatever it is, do it on the weekends when you have a few moments of peace.
  • Pack an empty water bottle. I hate spending so much on water at the airports, so I started bringing an aluminum bottle in my bag and filling it up while there.  Many airports have sensor-based fill stations (sometimes called “hydration stations”) which make filling your bottle very easy.
  • Pack a lunch! For the last month, I’ve been getting through security with a freezer insert in a small cooler bag.  I can’t explain why TSA hasn’t stopped me on either flight (I mean, it is MELTED on the way back so it’s a liquid…), but it’s been nice to arrive at the office on Mondays with a salad all of my own choosing!
  • Pack a snack. Have a bag of nuts or a KIND bar in your bag to help fight munchies so you don’t make a poor choice in a moment of hangriness!

Ease up on caffeine

This is a tough one, but your sleep is going to be impacted by your crazy schedule.  While you will be tired, overdoing caffeine can make you sleep even more poorly or not at all which leads to a terrible snowballing situation of increasing levels of caffeine and tiredness.

  • Keep your coffee intake down. Have one or two cups and stop drinking it after a certain time and stick to that rule.
  • Switch to tea! I’m a big fan of green teas as they have some caffeine but not too much.  For levels of caffeine in common drinks click here.

Take your supplements!

While a balanced diet doesn’t require a lot of extra supplements, when we’re busy and eating on the road a lot it’s important to take in a few critical vitamins.

  • B12 – Important for metabolism and is a critical vitamin for vegans.
  • Vitamin D – Important for busy people who don’t get enough sunlight (anyone who works inside, really).
  • Probiotic – Important when eating new / different foods or on an odd schedule. Gotta keep things moving to feel right!  I’ve had luck with Florajen 3 which can be purchased at Whole Foods or Walgreens.
  • Magnesium – This is a new one that I’m looking into, but I’ve been reading that it’s best to take this at bedtime and it can help people sleep more soundly. I don’t know too much about it, but I’ll take any help I can get here!

I shared a lot of my tips, and I hope these are helpful!  Let me know if any of you all have your own tips to share!



Posted in Learning to be Vegan, Other Cool Stuff | Leave a comment

Perfect Homemade Pizza

When I gave up dairy, pizza was one of the first things that came to mind.  I really wondered if I could live without it.  Like any American I deeply loved pizza and had a fine appreciation for the garlic butter sauce from Papa Johns (drool).

Fortunately, I’ve grown used to cheese-less pizza which satisfies my pizza cravings.  However, there are issues that sometimes come up when eating pizza from a restaurant.  Meaning, some places put cheese in the sauce or crust or use butter.  That’s why I decided to work on my homemade pizza skills.

Enter the lovely pizza mentor / inspiration: my sister in law.  She has been making homemade pizza for our family for years, and we all love her pizzas.  Awhile back I asked her to teach me her ways, and I took down the recipe.  Now that I’m fully committed to making pizzas at home, I’ve started trying to make her ‘za myself and I’ve been really enjoying it.  I do a mix of my favorite veggies but the possibilities are endless!

Perfect Pizza Dough


  • 1 package dried yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (not hot, not cold)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3.5 cups flour (can be all white or a mix of white and whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Cornmeal
  • Pizza or marinara sauce
  • Toppings of your choice
  • Optional: vegan cheese, nutritional yeast flakes or regular cheese if not dairy-free


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand 5-10 minutes.
  2. Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and gradually work half yeast mixture into the well with your fingers.
  4. Add olive oil and gradually work in remaining yeast mixture.
  5. Add a tablespoon or more of water, if needed, to make dough soft and smooth.
  6. Turn dough onto a flat surface andknead vigorously for at least 10 minutes – pushing dough away from you, then folding it back toward you – until it’s smooth and elastic with a dull sheen.
    1. Note: If you have a kitchen aid mixer, knead the dough using the dough hook attachment.  This is so much easier!
  7. Shape dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl, turning dough over to grease the top of the ball.
  8. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45-60 minutes.  Use this time to prep the toppings!
  9. Preheat oven to 450-475 F.
    1. Note: If using a pizza stone, make sure it’s in the oven.
  10. Divide risen dough in half.
    1. Note: If you are using only one half of the dough, you can freeze the other half.  I’ve used it after being in the freezer for a week, and it was still perfect!
  11. Roll eachdough half out leaving an edge.
    1. Note: This is where you can pick it up and spin it around!
  12. Sprinkle cornmeal on arimless baking sheet. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet.
    1. Note: I purchased one of the rimless, circular pizza baking sheets at my neighborhood Walmart market for less than $5.  It’s critical to have a baking sheet without a lip – you cannot get the dough off a sheet with a lip – trust me!
  13. Top pizza with sauce and toppings.
  14. Transfer pizza from baking sheet to the pizza stone and bake for approximately 13 minutes.

 Pictures of my process:

Prepare your toppings while your oven preheats.

Preparing toppings while the oven preheats.

Cornmeal on the pizza baking sheet

Cornmeal on the baking sheet – put the dough on the sheet and shake it a bit as it should slide around on the cornmeal!


Prepped everything on the pizza sheet

Prepped everything on the pizza sheet – spinach, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, mushrooms.

Pizza on the pizza stone (which is filthy due to a failed attempt to transfer a pizza off a baking sheet with a lip!)

Pizza on the pizza stone (which is filthy due to a failed attempt to transfer a pizza off a baking sheet with a lip!)

The finished pizza! I threw on some vegan cheese which I keep light because I don't love it.

The finished pizza! I threw on some vegan cheese which I keep light because I don’t love it.

Enjoy your perfect homemade pizzas!  If you have any questions, be sure to invite me over and I’ll answer your questions in person 🙂



Posted in Main dishes | Leave a comment

Trina vs Comcast: I WANT TO BUY YOUR CABLE!

Note: this post has nothing to do with eating plants 🙂

Perhaps you’ve heard the horror stories of terrible customer service from Comcast.  Two notable ones are the guy who couldn’t cancel his service or the customer who had his name changed to “A**hole Brown” on his Comcast statement.  This week I had my own special interaction with Comcast, and I wanted to share the maddening hilarity that I experienced.

The Situation

Late on Friday afternoon, I decided to bite the bullet and get cable.  My AT&T internet bill had spiked, and I thought perhaps I could get a good deal now if I decide to do a cable and internet bundle.  Fortuitously enough, Comcast had mailed a flyer with a great deal on a cable + internet package including HBO – this is a major win leading up to Game of Thrones season!

Since I have AT&T internet already set up, I had a few questions about how this would all work (can I use AT&T’s equipment, do I need to cancel them first, etc.), so I wanted to talk to a Comcast sales rep.  I called the number on the flyer, entered in my zip, my phone number…did all that a second time…then the call dropped.  Tried again, entered in a lot of numbers, same result.  I tried a number on their website, same numbers needed to be entered…three times…and then the call dropped.  I felt like I was losing my mind!

At this point I tried to start a chat with a help person at Comcast.  I’m very frustrated…because I want their cable…  Below is the resulting conversation.  The poor people on the chat line who had to deal with me, but come on…  Keep in mind: I WANT TO BUY THEIR CABLE!  Not cancel, but BUY!

Note: For those of you who are not Chicago folks, RCN is a local cable company.  Unfortunately, my building isn’t wired for them, so that was a no go.  Also, I got rid of the Comcast people’s names.

The chat – enjoy!

user Trina has entered room
analyst 1 has entered room

Comcast Rep 1: Hello Trina_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Rep 1. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Trina_: My Issue: I CAN’T REACH A SALES REP ON THE PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE TWO 800 NUMBERS I’VE TRIED JUST END – I CAN’T GET ON THE PHONE WITH A HUMAN AT COMCAST! I was going to sign up for cable but this is ridiculuous.

Comcast Rep 1: It’s a beautiful day! I am looking forward to providing you with an excellent service today!

Comcast Rep 1: Hi, Trina. I really apologized for the long wait.

Trina_: It’s not a wait – I can’t get through via the phone. The call always ends.

Trina_: i just want to talk to someone about cable

Comcast Rep 1: I personally apologized for that.

Trina_: Can i have a number to talk to a sales rep about cable?

Comcast Rep 1:  I understand that you want to take advantages of our Cable services, correct?

Trina_: Yes, I’d like to do cable and internet.

Trina_: I have cable now through AT&T but I’d like to switch to comcast

Trina_: I want to know about how that transfer would work

Trina_I want to know what equipment I need for internet, and if I can use the modem provided by AT&T

Comcast Rep 1:  I understand that you still don’t have an Comcast account yet, correct?

Trina_: No!

Trina_: I have AT&T wireless internet and NO CABLE.

Trina_: Can I speak with sales rep?

Comcast Rep 1: Let me connect you with our Sales team. They have access to the most current promotional offers in your area and can assist you with getting the best option based on your needs. Thank you for choosing Comcast as your entertainment provider.

Trina_: This is making me think that RCN is a much better option

Trina_: How? via phone?

Comcast Rep 1: I connect this chat to our Sales team.

Comcast Rep 1: Shall I go ahead and connect you now?

Trina_: yes, please

Trina_: but i’d prefer a phone call

Trina_: RCN has a phone number for people interested in their cable. I’m going to try and it see if I can talk to a human.

Trina_: I’m already on the phone with an RCN sales rep!

Comcast Rep 1:  Awesome!

Comcast Rep 1: Glad to know that, Trina.

Trina_: If someone from comcast could call me, i will speak with them

Trina_: that’s all i’m asking for

Trina_: I tried two 800 numbers and both were dead ends

Comcast Rep 1: Here is the Comcast Hotline number 1-888-739-1379

Comcast Rep 1: Were you able to call the number I have provided?

Trina_: NO

Trina_: I”m still pushing numbers

Trina_: why can’t i get to a person?

Trina_: I just want to talk to a human

Trina_: I have pushed the same numbers 3 times


Trina_: I’m beyond frustrated at this point

Trina_: i have full phone service – so it’s not my phone!

Comcast Rep 1: I apologized for the long because there is a huge number of customer who is calling.

Trina_: But it’s not even putting me on HOLD!

Trina_: It just drops

Trina_: and i had to push a lot of numbers over and over again!

Comcast Rep 1: I would suggest to connect you to our Sales team can definitely help you with this so that you have a Internet and Cable in a timely manner.



Comcast Rep 1: Shall I go ahead and connect you to our Sales team?

Trina_: yes

Trina_: this is taking 4 times as long as i had intended

Comcast Rep 1: Great! Please stay online while I connect you to our Sales team.

Comcast Rep 1: Please wait, while the problem is escalated to another analyst

Waiting for response from Rep 1

Trina_: My Issue: I CAN’T REACH A SALES REP ON THE PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE TWO 800 NUMBERS I’VE TRIED JUST END – I CAN’T GET ON THE PHONE WITH A HUMAN AT COMCAST! I was going to sign up for cable but this is ridiculuous.

user Trina has entered room
analyst 2 has entered room

Comcast Rep 2: You have reached Sales Department and I will be assisting you with your concern for today. Please give me 2-3 minutes to review your conversation with the previous representative. Will that be okay?

Comcast Rep 2: Thank you for patiently waiting. I hope you are doing great today!

Comcast Rep 2: Based on your conversation with the previous representative I understood that you want to set new account with us , Am I correct ?

Trina_: Yes

Comcast Rep 2: Thank you for the confirmation.

Comcast Rep 2: I will be more than happy to check the information for you, Trina. You’ve certainly reached the right department! Please be assured I will do my best to help you with your concern.

Comcast Rep 2: Let me start by verifying the serviceability of your address; then I’ll be asking you a few questions to make sure we get you the best deal.

Comcast Rep 2: After I complete your order, we will go over all of the charges and the installation process to make sure you don’t have any questions.Will this be ok?

Trina_: I have some very specific questions of my own

Comcast Rep 2: Yes , How may I help you ?

Trina_: My address is 1234 Chicago Street, 55555

Trina_: I currently have AT&T internet.

Comcast Rep 2: Thank you for providing that information.

Trina_: Can I use the same equipment? They made me buy a modem from them.

Comcast Rep 2: Trina, I would like to inform you that if you have your own modem you can use it

Comcast Rep 2: However you can take it from Comcast on lease .

Comcast Rep 2: May I know what kind of packages or services would you be interested in today?

Trina_: I have an AT&T modem that cost extra $$ from them.

Trina_: I would like to speak on the phone – could we talk?

Trina_: My number is 555-555-1234.

Trina_: Please call.

Comcast Rep 2: Thank you for providing that information.

Comcast Rep 2: Okay , I will arrange a call back from our Supervisor .

Trina_: thank you

Comcast Rep 2: You will get a call with in one hour .

Comcast Rep 2: will that fine for you ?

Trina_: yes

Comcast Rep 2: Thank you.

Trina_: I just am so frustrated with the hotline

Comcast Rep 2: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Trina_: It drops my call every time

Comcast Rep 2: I understand.

Trina_: Please tell them to look into the hotline

Comcast Rep 2: and I really apologize for the inconvenience.

Trina_: someone who wants your services should be able to get in touch with someone or at the very least be put on hold!

Comcast Rep 2: I complete understand your point .

Comcast Rep 2: and we are really sorry for that .

Trina_: That’s it.

Trina_: Thank you for telling someone to call me

Trina_: Sorry you had to deal with my frustrations

Trina_: and my apologies to the other rep

Comcast Rep 2: No problem .

Comcast Rep 2: I can understand .

Comcast Rep 2: If you need assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to chat with us at your convenience. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Comcast also offers great FAQ and Help forums located at click here to help you solve many issues on your own.

Trina_: Yes, but not for sales

Comcast Rep 2: Good Bye, Take Care of yourself.

Trina_: You too

Comcast Rep 2: Stay Safe !!

Comcast Rep 2: Thank you.


The Happy Ending: I called AT&T, was put on hold for 50 minutes, eventually talked to a real human, he connected me with a good Direct TV package which included HBO (they are linked to AT&T), and I was able to get it installed within two days.

Did Comcast ever call me? NO. Am I laughing about this now? YES!

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Red Sangria for the Holidays

It’s the holidays!  That means it’s time for eating and drinking with the people we love 🙂

One of my favorite ways to sneak in a little fruit is via sangria.  I’ve made this Emeril sangria recipe a few times and it was a hit with my friends.  I love the fresh fruit and orange liqueur.  The bonus is when you get to the bottom of your drink, there’s some delicious fruit waiting for you!  Warning: this is wine + liquor which = surprisingly boozy fruit at the bottom!

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/sangria-recipe4.html

Red Sangria


  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup orange flavored liqueur (recommended: triple sec or Grand Marnier)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 unwaxed apple, cored, and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle red wine
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle sparkling water, chilled


Combine everything but the sparkling water in a large plastic container or glass pitchers. Cover and chill completely, 1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve, add the sparkling water as desired.

Festive twist option: Add in some fresh cranberries!

Sangria  Photo source: Food Network

Photo source: Food Network



Posted in Eating Vegan in Public | Leave a comment

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie.  Since I’m trying to eat more plants, I decided that I’d give vegan pumpkin pies a go (traditional pumpkin pie is made with sweetened condensed milk = dairy).  My first attempt at mini pumpkin pies was an absolute fail…which I blame on the fact that I had shot for the stars and tried to make my own crust which was gross.  Note to self: Trina, you don’t know how to make pie crust, let alone a vegan version – start simple, lil momma.

My second go with vegan pumpkin pie was a delicious, easy success and I want to share this simple recipe.  The first win was using a store-bought whole wheat pie crust (thank you, Whole Foods!).   The second win was using soaked raw cashews as a cream base and adding the 4 other ingredients: pumpkin, maple syrup, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Honestly, it’s really good.  I was skeptical after my first experience, but this recipe won me over with its yummy taste and simple ingredients.

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Recipe source: Healthy. Happy. Life. http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2011/10/four-ingredient-vegan-pumpkin-pie.html 


  • 1 standard vegan pie crust (I used whole foods)
  • 1 1/4 cups raw soaked cashews
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 can organic pumpkin puree (16 ounces)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt to taste (depends how much salt you soaked your cashews in)\

Note: Use high quality maple syrup.  Both grade A and B work, but some people prefer grade B.


  1. Soak about one cup of raw cashews in about 2 1/2 cups of water in a large bowl. Add about 1/2 – 1 tsp of salt to the bowl – mix to dissolve. The salt allows the water to absorb more efficiently into the cashews and also adds some salt for your recipe. 
  2. Soak this cashew bowl overnight in the fridge. You want well-soaked cashews so that your pie mix blends up perfectly creamy. I soaked my cashews for about 18 hours. At least 8 is optimal. 
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. The day of your actual pie making allow at least 3 hours from the time you start to the time you wish to serve the pie. I like a cool time of at least 2 hours.
  4. Pre-bake your store-bought pie crust at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.
  5. Drain the water from your cashews. Add 1 1/4 cups of cashews to your food processor or high speed blender (such as a Vitamix). The cashews should be very soft to bite and a slight purplish dark hue. This is normal.
  6. Add pumpkin to blender. Next, add in the maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Blend on low -> high for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture is completely creamy. If your mixture is a bit thick for some reason – you can add in a few teaspoons of either water, maple syrup or even non-dairy milk. After blending, do a taste test and add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt if needed. I added in about 1/3 tsp extra salt. But taste before adding.
  7. Pour your mix into the pre-baked vegan pie shell.
  8. Bake pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes – or until the edges look fluffy and a darker caramel orange tone. Use a toothpick in center if unsure. The tooth-picked filling should come out slightly wet – but very thick and dark. It is important to remember that your pie will firm up significantly upon cooling and chilling in the fridge.
  9. Remove pie from oven. Cool on counter for at least 30 minutes. Then place in fridge until ready to serve. At least 2 hours cooling and/or chilling time is my preference. A warm pie will be tasty, but still a bit “wet” to slice.
  10. Serve chilled.

Note: If you want to try vegan whipped coconut cream, here is a good tutorial on how to make it: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2011/09/how-to-make-whipped-coconut-cream-from.html 

Cashews and pumpkin puree in the blender

Cashews and pumpkin puree in the blender

Perfect pumpkin pie

Perfect pumpkin pie

Now the fun begins!

Now the fun begins!

Slice of vegan pumpkin pie - YUM!

Slice of vegan pumpkin pie – YUM!

Please feel free to share recipes for your favorite plant-based pumpkin treats!

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Posted in Treats / Desserts | Leave a comment

Ava Anderson Non Toxic – AvaHour at Delight & Decorum!

My lovely friend, Lauren, over at Delight & Decorum recently introduced me to Ava Anderson Non Toxic which is a company that offers quality vegan skin care, cosmetic, bath and body, and home care 
products without harmful chemicals. These products contain NO parabens or PEG’s, NO synthetic “fragrance” or dyes, NO hidden ingredients or contaminants, such as phthalates, nitrosamines or formaldehyde, NO Glycol, NO Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and NO Petroleum Byproducts and NO animal testing. Plus, all products are gluten free and vegan!

Lauren is hosting an avaHour this weekend and where you can try some of these incredible products for yourself! You can browse the full line of products at www.avaandersonnontoxic.com/meadowbrennan. Enter party #43172 as you checkout online and you’ll be entered into a giveaway for a FREE Ava product (Lauren is choosing!). This giveaway deal expires fast, so shop before Sunday!

If you’re not sure what to put in your cart, Lauren absolutely loves the Body Butter and the Lemon Sugar Body Scrub. The scrub has a slightly sweet, lemony scent and has improved the overall look and feel of her skin through regular exfoliation. She follows it up with the Body Butter- it’s not overly thick and is now her go-to lotion!

Check out Lauren’s posts over at Delight & Decorum for more information:



4 Piece Skin Set

avaSKIN – 4 Piece Skin Set

Full line of avaHOME products

Full line of avaHOME products

avaBABY line

avaBABY line – the diaper cream is very popular!

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