Swedish Chic & Lucky Duck

I visited the Eco Chic showcase at the Scandanavia House in Manhattan to get a sense of what’s happening with sustainable fashion in Europe and beyond. There wasn’t a ton of menswear, but there were some gems, and below I’ll share the highlights. My favorite piece in the show was an organic, Japanese denim suit that had a hand-feel very similar to wool. It’s nice to find non-wool suits, now that we know that wool production is one of largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions (for example, New Zealand’s 40 million sheep constitute 90% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions). Julian Red, a sustainable Swedish clothing line, harnesses ecological textiles and fair labor, turning them into universally attractive garments. Over 60% of their entire collection is organic.

Bergman’s has the claim of being the first commercially available organic cotton in the world, beginning in 1986. With partners as big as Levi’s, their have their fingers in many pies. Bergman’s also developed the criteria for organic certification of cotton and textiles, which have been adopted globally. On a neighboring dress form was Zion, a street fashion label using organic cotton, fair labor, and water-based dyes free of heavy-metals. They also support a tree-planting initiative in Tanzania to reduce carbon.

• I was One Lucky Duck when I tried all these scrumptious snacks from the company of the same name. It’s hard for me not to nosh all day long while working or running errands. It’s helpful to have snacks that aren’t going to kill you (either by taste or lack or nutrition). My two favorites are the rich, dark chocolate macaroons and the cheese-y ‘quackers’. They are sophisticated, indulgent, and healthfully vegan, raw and locally made in NYC, like all their treats. One Luck Duck is has two locations in New York: the Chelsea Market, and Gramercy, but their treats can be purchased from anywhere on their website: www.oneluckyduck.com

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

I came home from dinner with a hankering for something sweet, chocolaty, crunchy, and just a little bit salty, so I experimented with tossing together a big batch of Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn to share with my friends. It needed to be fast and easy and really yummy. It turned out so satisfying, I think it might become a staple snack in my apartment.


(If you are unable to get “Dark Chocolate Dreams” Peanut Butter, use plain peanut butter and add 1 Tbs of cocoa powder and 1 extra Tbs sweetener or 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips)


  1. 1. Using an air popper, pop the popcorn into a large mixing bowl. If you don’t have an air popper, pop the kernels the old-fashioned way in a pan with a bit of oil and a lid.
  2. 2. In a saucepan on low-medium heat, melt the Earth Balance and add in the almond milk, sugar, and chocolate peanut butter.
  3. 3. Stir until it begins to bubble and is silky-smooth.
  4. 4. Pour the contents of the saucepan over the popcorn and stir with a spoon or fork until it is evenly coating the popcorn.
  5. 5. Serve and enjoy – and don’t forget to put some aside in an bag to take to work the next day, ’cause you will eat them all. I promise.

Would You Be Mine?

Last year I did a Vday crafts segment with the legendary design king, Todd Oldham. Remember?


Here’s the recipe for the vegan chocolate cake!

Jodi Taylor

Here’s some more romantic ideas and yummy treats to try (we’ll take any excuse to eat chocolate):

Farm Sanctuary Vegan Valentines Chocolate Heart

Order now and get your heart in time for Valentines Day. The Farm Sanctuary logo chocolate heart was created by Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates.

Warm Hearts and Save Lives by Sponsoring a Farm Animal in Needhttp://i0.wp.com/woodstocksanctuary.org/newsletter/2010-02/valentinenl.jpg?w=840

Sponsor a Farm Sanctuary or Woodstock FAS animal and share your Valentine’s Day spirit with one of these sweet animals.


Bluestocking Bonbons are perfect for the sweethearts in your life–particularly the lovely women you’re sweet on, since each one celebrates an inspirational woman.

Sweet & Sara, who was recently featured on Food Network’s ‘Unwrapped’ has some Vegan Marshmallow Hearts dipped in organic chocolate. Three-inch hearts, hand-cut and hand-dipped … for that special someone. Get 20% off with the code FN20!


Don’t forget to set the mood with some naughty Vday candle scents! Or support a cause with the purchase of a candle.

Chocolate Cashew Brittle by Chocolate InspirationsLimited Edition Truffles Birdie Box By Sjaak's

See the Valentines Gift Ideas pages over at Vegan Essentials, The Vegan Store, and Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe.


Don’t be jealous! Ever since I watched a green-haired Todd Oldham on “House of Style” back in the nineties, I knew that I had to get crafty with him one day. So, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, Todd and I got together at his downtown NYC studio to show you how to make some heart-shaped gifts that come from the heart. We both agree that this holiday is all about affordable, DIY craftiness.

From his features in ReadyMade & Dwell, to crafting Amy Sedaris’ interactive vaginal diagram on the Chelsea Lately Show, and with a line of vases for FTD,  a classic menswear-inspired carpet collection, and design book series called Place Space, Todd is a royal of the creative world. To top that, he is a photographer, filmmaker, interior designer, fashion designer, and can see through walls …well, maybe not the last part.

Mr. Oldham is no stranger to being ethically handsome, either. A vegetarian and environmentalist, he has worked with Peta on undercover investigations, encouraged the sales of plantable oak trees through FTD, and even raised money for the NRDC. He continues to find innovative ways to use eco-friendly, recyclable, and animal-friendly materials (from soy based inks, to un-coated, recycled cardboard) in his products, and one thing we agree on is that having mainstream skills along with aspirations for environmentalism, animal rights, and social justice, is a recipe for making change from the inside.

Chocolate Heart Cake

Jodi Taylor
Organic, Vegan, Cake by Joshua Katcher & Todd Oldham Photo: Jodi Taylor

• Two 9″ heart-shaped baking pan
• 3 cups organic all-purpose flour
• 2 cups organic, unrefined sugar
• 1.5 cups organic cocoa
• 2 tsp aluminum-free Baking Powder
• 1.5 tsp Baking Soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
• 1/4 cup organic canola oil
• 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
• 1/2 cup prepared egg-replacer (Energie or Brand)
• 1 Tbs vanilla
• 2 cups almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
• 2 cups cold coffee
• 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
• 1/4 cup coconut oil (not melted)
• 1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other non-hydrogenated margarine)
• 4 cups organic powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 1/4 cup soy creamer
(for pink, add 1/8 cup beet juice or 3 drops of red veg-based food coloring)
• 1 cup marzipan
• Natural veg-based food coloring
• Small cookie cutters

1. Preheat oven to 375º, and coat your pan with non-stick cooking spray or canola oil.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl: Flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, & salt.
3. In a separate bowl (or using a mixer) beat the coconut oil, canola oil, shortening, egg replacer, and vanilla until fluffy.
4. Pour the coffee and almond milk onto the dry mix, then add the whipped oil and egg-replacer, and stir in the chocolate chips until the mixture is smooth.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes (or until edges pull away from sides of pan).

1. Beat the shortening, coconut oil, and margarine until smooth.
2. slowly add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
3. Finally, add vanilla and soy-creamer and beat for about 5 minutes until fluffy.

*Once cakes have cooled, take out of pan. If storing prior to decoration, line pan with wax-paper, then put cakes back in tins.

Jodi Taylor!
Alternate decorating idea! photo: Jodi Taylor!

Heart of Flowers

Heart of Flowers by Todd Oldham & Joshua Katcher

• 20 carnations
• heart-shaped pan (at least 2″ deep)
• 2 – 4 bricks of floral foam
• water
• scissors

See Video (above)

Chocolate & Cinnamon Vegan Rugelach

Jews are effing great. For example, I was making this rugelach to impress my parents (because while I was visiting in West Palm my mom made her famous rugelach recipe and I asked her to make it vegan for me and she didn’t! Oy! So I got all huffy and figured I’d make it on my own and impress them with it when they came to visit, which I did) and it worked! My mom even said it was better than her rugelach. Jewsus Christmas, thanks mom! My dad ate about 17 of them in one sitting, which is always a good sign from a non-vegan.

Anyjew, here’s the recipe:

Chocolate, & Cinnamon Vegan Rugelach
by Joshua Katcher, The Discerning Brute and his Mom Cindy.

inspired by mom, veganized by me!
inspired by mom, veganized by me!

What you’ll need (makes about 30-40 pastries):

• 2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
• 1/4 cup coconut oil
• 2 cups organic cane sugar
• 1/4 cup prepared egg-replacer
• 4 tbsp vegan shortening, DO NOT MELT
• 6 tbsp tofu-cream cheese
• 1 package of active dry yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm soy creamer
• 1/4 cup cinnamon
• 1/2 cup chopped organic walnuts
• 1/2 cup chopped organic pistachios
• 1 bag of vegan chocolate chips
• 4 tbsp earth balance vegan spread
• 1 tbsp vanilla
• pinch of salt


  1. 1. Dissolve the envelope of dry active yeast in 1/4 cup of warmed soy creamer (vanilla or plain) and let it sit until it becomes frothy at top.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, using a mixer or a fork, cream together the coconut oil, 1 cup of the sugar, the egg-replacer mixture, chilled shortening, 4 tbsp of the tofu cream cheese, salt and the vanilla.
  3. 3. Add the frothy yeast & creamer and combine.
  4. 4. Slowly begin to add the combined flours (whole wheat and all purpose) until the dough balls up in the mixer, or it has the texture of tough play-dough against the fork (should be about 2 cups). Set the remaining flour aside for dusting.
  5. 5. once your dough is in a ball, cover with a damp cloth and set in a warm place to rise for 40 minutes, then move into the fridge to cool for at least 2-3 hours or overnight.
  6. 6. Once the dough has risen and then cooled, separate it into 4 equal parts.
  7. 7. On a generously flour, sugar, and cinnamon-dusted surface ( I used wax paper sheets on my dining table) roll out 1 of the 4 dough parts into a circle the size of a small pizza. It should be about 1/4 inch thick.
  8. 8. Over medium heat, in a small saucepan, melt the Earth Balance, then add 1 cup of sugar and 4 tbsp of cinnamon and 2 tbsp of tofu cream cheese. Stir until smooth
  9. 9. Evenly spread 1/4 of this cinnamon mixture onto the rolled-out dough.
  10. 10. Sprinkle 1/4 of the pistachio & chopped walnuts, and a handful of vegan dark chocolate chips, and lightly press into the dough.
  11. 11. Cut pizza-style into 16 equal pieces with a butcher knife.
  12. 12. Roll into small crescent-roll shapes.
  13. 13. Place on a greased baking sheet, and bake at 350 for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden. Sprinkle some of the chopped nuts and extra cinnamon & sugar in top if desired.
  14. 14. Repeat steps 7, & 9-13 with the remaining 3 parts of dough.

DB’s Etiquette Recommendation: Autumn is the perfect season for baking. The weather is getting chilly, and people want to indulge in richer foods. I’m totally old school, and I like to make pastries as gifts for people. It’s a time-tested, fail-safe thing to do! And if you’re good at it, it’s a smart way to show off!