Hi, I'm Monica.
I'm the recipe developer, writer, and photographer for The Hidden Veggies Blog!
With over 21 years of being vegan and raising 2 vegan boys since birth, I’ve learned how to feed a hungry vegan family! I created The Hidden Veggies to share my recipes, tips, and tricks with all of you. You will find recipes for “normal” everyday comfort foods that you and your whole family will love!
I'll help you to recreate all the classic comfort foods that you crave!
Ever since I can remember, I've been inventing new recipes and getting creative in the kitchen, so in 2017 I decided to start sharing all of these recipes on this blog. These are my family's favorite foods that I've been making for years. I've tested, retested, and perfected each one to make sure that you have success in the kitchen each and every time.
How do we maintain a vegan lifestyle?
It was difficult to transition to a vegan diet at first. I missed those comfort foods that I ate as a child, but instead of giving up on veganism, I learned to get creative in the kitchen and make vegan food taste like the foods I was missing and craving.
Finding this middle ground between healthy food and food that still tastes good has helped me to stay vegan for 21 years (and my husband stay vegan for over 23 years), and has allowed us to raise 2 vegan children who have never wanted a drop of meat or dairy! I truly believe that this balance in eating is the key to maintaining a vegan lifestyle.
Why I make a lot of homemade vegan basics
I have been vegan since January 1, 2000! That means I haven’t had any animal products since the turn of the millennium!
Back when I gave up animal products, there weren't many options if you wanted a vegan version of milk, cheese, or butter. Vegan mayo, vegan sour cream, and vegan cream cheese were nearly impossible to find. (This was back before Beyond Burgers or Daiya cheese were invented and there were only a few bad options at specialty stores).
So, if I wanted good-tasting vegan alternatives, I had to make them myself. (I even had to bake my own vegan wedding cake, since I couldn't find a vegan option back then).
Even though vegan products are becoming widely available in nearly every store, I still use my homemade vegan staples like butter, cheese, ranch dressing, sausage, and more. They simply taste better, are free of preservatives, reduce packaging, and save my family a ton of money!
If you want to learn more about making your own basics sign up for my free eBook that will show you how to get started.
Some random facts about me
- I’m vegan for the animals and the environment - not weight loss! Veganism is not a diet!
- I’m not a health nut! Food is an important part of our culture and is one of the great pleasures of life. So I work hard to make my recipes taste as similar as possible to those which you may miss or crave.
- My site is simply a place to share awesome recipes that are free of animal products! These recipes will help you and your family eat vegan long-term without feeling deprived. It's not a low-fat, low-sugar, ultra-healthy recipe blog (there are enough of those out there).
- Being a vegan recipe blogger is my ultimate dream job and I'm incredibly thankful to everyone who reads my blog and tries my recipes! You help make my dream a reality - thank you!
Why most of my recipes have gluten-free options
My children have PANDAS/ PANS which is an autoimmune disorder triggered by strep or other infections. (The disease has a strong genetic component). It has been a long hard battle to get them well and a gluten-free diet helped them to heal.
We spent over 7 years eating both vegan and gluten-free, so most of my recipes are gluten-free or can easily be made gluten-free. Luckily, my children's immune systems have healed enough to eat gluten again, so I occasionally make recipes that are not exclusively gluten-free.
If you want to learn more about PANDAS, this is an article I wrote for Huff Post about my son's battle with this illness.
Or to learn more about ways to help your child with behavioral or educational issues related to a medical condition, visit my other website Fixing Alphabet Soup (not a soup recipe.)
I am excited that you have found The Hidden Veggies! I hope that you give my recipes a try. I'm here to help you with any questions you may have along the way!