Salsa month continues here at Dora’s Table. This is pico de gallo, a raw salsa that consists of jalapeño, tomato, onion, cilantro, and lime juice. That’s it! This is one of the first things I learned how to make. It really isn’t complicated at all, just chop the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro, add some lime juice, and season with salt and pepper. Done! It is great on its own with chips or you can make it a meal by adding chickpeas and avocado. 

pico de gallo

Sometimes I wish I could convince everyone I meet to at least try going vegan (plant-based) at least for 30 days. I was the last person you could think of that would become vegan. I was a meat lover through and through, and don’t even get me started on cheese. In fact, I made fun of vegans and vegetarians. We once invited our one vegetarian friend to eat at Animal in L.A. Yikes!

Being vegan in the food and beverage industry is not perceived as cool, I would say most professionals would think it’s pretty lame. You know, because vegans don’t indulge in the foie gras, and chocolate dipped bacon wrapped everything that has been going on lately. I admit I thought about it that way too.

I was embarrassed to be a vegan at first. I tried to hide it or avoid mentioning it all together, but as I learned how to adapt in social situations and plan my meals better I began to care less and less what others thought of me. As you can see from my now very public vegan blog.
james beard quote

Honestly, I just feel better when I drop meat and dairy from my meals. I have more energy, I’m back to my pre-baby weight, and I can eat guilt-free. I was a bit chunky as a kid and eating was always associated with guilt. Even after a lost all my weight I couldn’t shake the guilt, not until going vegan. For me it is about being compassionate towards animals, and taking care of my body and myself. Am I 100% vegan? no. I don’t think anybody is.

The funny thing is I don’t feel deprived at all because I can’t eat this or that. Just like James Beard says, “You can omit and still enjoy eating.” I enjoy all of my meals whether or not they are organic, non-gmo, raw, vegan, paleo, etc. Life is too short to eat bad food.

pico de gallo

Stop by my pinterest page for some vegan recipes from around the web.

Also take one look at Kathy Patalsky‘s Finding Vegan so you can see that you can eat healthy, delicious, and even indulgent meals without a trace of animal products.

Finally, subscribe to our email list (top right corner below the slide show) to receive updates, cooking tips and behind the scene photos. Enjoy!

The Recipe: Pico de Gallo

Add more jalapeño to this to make it extra spicy. To make this a quick lunch add 1 cup of chickpeas and some avocado.

A fresh salsa so easy to make.

Pico de Gallo

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Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Dora Stone


  • 4 Plum tomatoes. diced
  • ½ White onion, chopped finely
  • 1 Jalapeño, do not remove seeds, minced
  • 1 Juice of lime


  • Combine all ingredients, add lime juice, season with salt and pepper.


Add more jalapeño to make it extra spicy.



These vegan whole wheat blueberry pancakes are a great way to use blueberries this summer. They're sweet, fluffy, and delicious.I was in bed at 9:30pm last night! I put both kids down and then laid down for a bit, thinking I would just close my eyes for a second and then go wash the dishes, but it did not happen quite like that. Which I completely regretted in the morning once I saw the huge pile of dishes in the sink!

We had an amazing southern meal for dinner: fried okra with lemon mayonnaise, frog more stew (spicy cajun sausage, shrimp, potatoes, corn, and old bay), and chess pies with blueberries. We cooked the meal ourselves , which always leads to me ask my hubby why we even bother eating out. There aren’t many places to eat out in Bluffton, SC.

These vegan whole wheat blueberry pancakes are a great way to use blueberries this summer. They're sweet, fluffy, and delicious.


It was after this wonderful dinner that we ended asleep before 10pm. Sometimes I have no idea how tired I am until my head hits the pillow. Having two kids is definitely more energy and time consuming than having one. Still, I try to enjoy the little things, like making blueberry pancakes on Saturday morning, and sitting around the kitchen table in our pjs watching those little hands and faces get sticky with maple syrup. It’s moments like those that I know we are making wonderful memories for our children that inevitably will be associated with the aroma and flavor of fluffy blueberry pancakes. What are some of your favorite food memories?

The Recipe: Vegan Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

This recipe has been adapted from Post Punk Kitchen’s Fluffy Pillow Pancakes. The pancakes are super easy to make and you can adapt them in a million different ways. I use this same recipe to make carrot cake pancakes or chocolate chip ones. Be sure to keep the kids away from the batter. You don’t have to worry about the batter having eggs, but if you’re not careful they will eat it by the spoonful. Enjoy!

Vegan Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

5 from 1 vote
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Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 -10 pancakes
Author: Dora Stone


  • 1 cup Flour all-purpose
  • 1/2 cup Flour, whole wheat
  • 3 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Salt, kosher
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar, granulated
  • 1 cup Almond milk
  • 2 tsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Flaxseed, ground
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 3 tbsp. Canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Blueberries frozen


  • Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl combine the almond milk, ground flaxseed, and vinegar. Mix well.
  • Add water, vanilla extract, and canola oil to the almond milk mixture. Whisk to incorporate.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour bowl and add liquid mixture. Whisk until a lumpy batter forms.
  • Let rest for 10 min.
  • To cook pancakes, heat a skillet to medium-low heat and grease lightly. Pour batter onto pan and place 6 – 7 frozen blueberries on the pancake batter. Let cook for about 4 min. or until fluffy and golden brown.
  • Flip and cook pancake on other side for 3 more minutes.
  • Serve with maple syrup.


The granulated sugar can be substituted with 1/4 cup. of maple syrup or 1 ½ tbsp. of agave nectar.




3/12/12:   We’re going on a date tomorrow!! A real date. We will be joining the ranks of civilized people who eat without having to wrangle a 2 yr old while trying to enjoy a decent meal. We haven’t had a real date in months. The last time we tried to spend some time alone we ended up dropping the munchkin off at the sitters and coming back home to watch TV. You can hardly call that a date. There is only one problem. I’m still not eating any kind of animal product. How will I be able to resist the cheese?? The soft and pungent  Robiola or the nutty Pecorino.

Eating out on a plant based diet hasn’t been difficult yet. In the past two weeks we have eaten twice at Native Foods in Aliso Viejo. Native Foods is a cafe that serves vegan food made from scratch. If it wasn’t for this lenten experiment that we’re conducting we would’ve never given Native Foods the time of day. Remember how I said I was going to try away from “fake” foods like vegan cheese and anything that slightly resembled a “real” food. Well, this restaurant has proved me wrong. They make an excellent seitan meatball sandwich, and their burger is not bad, not bad at all.

mushroom fajitas


We also ate at Seabirds food truck, which basically serves vegan street food. I had a fried avocado taco, with a garlic aioli, and cole slaw. Their sweet potato fries were good, but the kale, apple, and currant salad was the best. Even though a fried avocado taco isn’t exactly healthy it was a nice treat. Who knew vegans could be unhealthy as well??


This week we made:

  1. Falafel, Cucumber, Lettuce & Tahini Pita Pockets
  2. Spicy Red Lentil Daal and Brown Basmati Rice
  3. Ribollita
  4. Krispy Kale, Coconut, Tofu & Brown Rice in a Sesame Soy Dressing 
  5. Cocoa Peanut Vegan Cookies

I have been looking for good vegan recipe sites or blogs and I came across HealthyHappyLife. The pictures are beautiful and the recipes I’ve tried so far have been excellent. They have a huge vegan recipe index with everything from breakfast to dessert.

3/14:  Dinnner last night was great. I was weak and ended up eating all kinds of deliciousness. It was worth it.

mushroom fajitas

mushroom fajitas

Mushroom Fajitas

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


  • 1 tbsp. Oil (optional)
  • 1 lb. Button mushrooms, sliced 1/4 in. thick
  • 1 lb. Portobello mushrooms, sliced 1/4 in. thick
  • 1 Yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. Soy sauce


  • Set a large sauté pan to medium-high heat. Pour in oil. Add mushrooms when pan is hot and cook for about 3-5 min, until all the liquid released by the mushrooms has evaporated and they are golden brown
  • Remove mushrooms from pan.
  • Add onion into the pan and cook for 2-3 min. until slightly browned. Add garlic and peppers. Cook for 3-4 min. more or until the peppers are tender.
  • Place mushrooms back in the pan. Pour in soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 min.
  • Serve with tortillas, guacamole and roasted tomato salsa.


Feel free to add any variety of mushrooms or make your own combination.