Compassionate Action for Animals

Cookbook and restaurant recommendations from the community

April 18, 2023

Here’s our community’s recommendations for recipes and restaurants!

Food at J. Selby’s—one of the restaurant recommendations. Join us for a dine-out there on Wednesday, April 19 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Blogs and Websites:
PlantYouShane & SimpleMinimalist Baker
Everything by Plantiful Kiki
Mac ‘n Cheese recipe

* Some of Isa Chandra Moskowitz‘s cookbooks are good at not relying on access to specialty stores and stuff. Mostly her earlier books; not “Veganomicon.” [There’s recipes on the site, as well as her book listings!]
* I recommend “Cooking Crunk: Eating Vegan in the Dirty South” to anyone else who grew up eating a standard american diet. Lots of familiar comfort foods.
* “Blue Zones Kitchen,” by Dan Buettner, “Mistress Ginger Cooks”, “ The Plantpower Way” by Rich Roll, books by Neal Barnard of PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), such as “Get Healthy, Go Vegan

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Vegan eating can be cheaper? You betcha!

April 18, 2023

Today’s topic is affordability: one top of mind issue for many who are exploring a more plant-based diet.

There are lots of types of inexpensive legumes. Image by yilmazfatih from Pixabay

Hand-in-hand with the myth that vegans don’t get enough protein is one that vegan food isn’t affordable.   Allow us to explode this myth as well. We know that inflation has been particularly hard on food costs. Plant-based foods are not immune to these price increases. However, they have fared better than many non-vegan options (for example the Avian Flu has not only caused great suffering for birds, but it has raised prices for eggs and chickens). And there are ways to minimize the impact of inflation.

Eating whole plant-based food is not only more healthy but it can also help keep your costs down. All packaged vegan foods are pretty expensive, including yummy vegan versions. These can be kept as a treat.  Eating foods in their most intact form is often the cheapest option. That includes fruits, vegetables and dried beans.

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“How do you get your protein?” and other things you always wanted to know about vegan nutrition

April 15, 2023

We know that most people considering a vegan diet have one main concern: nutrition. Specifically, protein.

Just last week I once again had someone ask me how I get enough protein. You’ve probably thought this or heard this as well. Well, worry not—it’s easy to get enough protein on a plant-based diet. We have been brainwashed by our society that only a big slab of meat with each meal will do the trick. But that is not the case at all.

The secret to healthy nutrition for any diet is to eat whole foods based meals. Especially ones that are mostly vegetables, fruits and legumes. Read this great article from our recent issue of Minnesota Veg Living. In it, registered dietitian Suzy Sorensen, spells it out for you. And if you’d like a good visual of what to eat, see this plant-plate. There are now lots of vegan options that don’t fit this model—which is great. But you don’t want that to be the bulk of your diet. Save them for tasty treats.

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Support and inspiration for your veg journey

April 14, 2023

We’ll tackle a variety of issues in our blogs this week including: vegan nutrition, affordability, resources, and more. These practical emails will share input from members of our compassionate community about what’s useful to them. Here’s our first:

Abbey Feola

“Having connections with other vegans has been vital. For a long time I oscillated between being vegetarian and vegan. Having connections with other people making the same changes has made veganism sustainable” Abbey Feola

As Abbey says, connections with others are key. Join Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA) for one of our VegWeek events or an event in May. We have both in-person and virtual opportunities. You’ll get information and good food. And you’ll meet others who are part of our vibrant, supportive community–maybe even Abbey herself!

If you’re exploring more compassionate living, it’s a big deal!  By committing yourself to vegetarian or vegan eating you are opening yourself up to a changed lifestyle.  One that is better for the planet while sparing animals from lives of suffering, and can improve your health.  And if you got here by referring friends, you took the next step in making a compassionate, sustainable, healthy future possible.

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Minnesota Veg Living magazine is now available! Read it for information and inspiration

April 12, 2023

The new issue of CAA’s annual Veg Living magazine is now available! You may notice a change this year. The magazine formerly known as Twin Cities Veg Living is now Minnesota Veg Living. All thanks to the expansion of CAA into new areas of the state—with chapters in St. Cloud and Duluth!

The magazine continues to offer the same mix of inspiration and information. All designed to help you on your veg journey. A variety of writers share their expertise in areas you told us you were looking for. We heard you want to know how to eat healthy on a plant-based diet. We also understand that some worry this might be difficult given inflation. Check out the magazine to find out how our experts navigate those issues.

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Eating Plant-Based on a Budget

From Minnesota Veg Living Magazine, 2023

by Jill Erickson, Rooted Green Wellness

There is a common misconception that going vegan is expensive. As a plant-based nutrition educator and Food for Life instructor with The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, people often share with me that they can’t afford to buy vegan food because it will exceed their grocery budget.

I always like to ask the follow up question “What vegan foods are you talking about?”  The responses are usually things such as vegan cheeses, meats, dips/spreads, ice cream, mayo, roasts, yogurts, etc. Those are ultra-processed vegan versions of unhealthy foods, which are indeed quite expensive! If we can avoid breaking the bank with them, our wallets aren’t the only thing that will thank us. Our bodies will thank us as well.

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Vegan Junk Food

From Minnesota Veg Living Magazine, 2023

by Suzy Sorensen, Registered Dietician

Fried chicken! Mini corn dogs! Donuts! Frozen pizza! Salted caramel cluster ice cream! Boxed macaroni and cheese! For those considering plant-based eating, all the old comfort foods and favorites are available in a compassionate, vegan version. Whoopie! Or wait, is that a good thing??

Not so long ago, a vegan meal was synonymous with a whole-foods meal plan based on a foundation of fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes. A veggie burger meant making your own black bean patty, and a vegan pizza was just cheese-less. Eating vegan generally meant eating a high-fiber, low-fat, nutrient-rich meal plan.

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April 7, 2023

Guest blog by Mary Britton Clouse, Chicken Run Rescue

My favorite part of introducing people to our residents is witnessing them hold a bird in their arms for the first time. If I can capture the moment with my camera, it’s added to a collection I call “The Epiphany”.

He survived for weeks in subzero temps, raging winds and record deep snow; subsisting only on what he found in a birdfeeder.

Dakota’s story begins with a neighbor who found him in their woods and had a change of heart that transformed him from an unwanted “pest” to a vulnerable victim who needed help. An epiphany. Everyone with a heart experiences it when they meet their first chicken, one on one.

Dakota was abandoned in a desolate rural area just beyond a wooded rise, 1,100 feet from the front door of our sanctuary. He survived for weeks in subzero temps, raging winds and record deep snow; subsisting only on what he found in a birdfeeder. Just before the historic storm in mid-February, we got an email:


“We live on Dakota Ave. We came home yesterday from vacation & found a rooster by our front door. Looks like he has been hanging out for a few days because there is a bunch of poop by our front door, lol. Are you missing a rooster? It’s mostly black, has a white mark across the top of its beak.”

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Wholesome Minnesota focus on high school “Green Teams” is having an impact!

April 3, 2023

Wholesome Minnesota Director, Jodi Miller Gruhn, presents to the Apple Valley Environmental School Environmental Club

Jodi Miller Gruhn, our Wholesome Minnesota Director, recently met with students at the Apple Valley Environmental School. Her presentation focused on the impact of diet on the environment. Her main point was that a plant-based diet is better for the planet.

The student Environmental Club is excited to work on getting more plant-based options. They plan to meet with the nutrition director to get that moving. Staff shared: “all involved were enamored with your presentation and are so ready to take some action!”

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Fun, food and friendship highlight 25th Annual Banquet!

March 28, 2023

Over 80 people came together for the animals at Cultivating Compassion: CAA’s 25th Annual Banquet. Donors, matched by the Stray Dog Institute and an anonymous donor raised over $5,000 to move our work for animals forward. On top of it, the annual auction, which had its culmination at the banquet, reached 135% of its goal bringing $4,999! This support is critical as we work to bring plant-based food to schools and get 3,000 people to sign our petition for a factory farming moratorium in Minnesota.

The event was a wonderful opportunity to get spruced up and meet new like-minded friends! Highlights include the fantastic multi-course meal by Root to Rise Kitchen. Participants also enjoyed cakewalk (see a recipe from it below) and ring-toss games. Whether or not they won, participants had fun and raised extra money for the animals.

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