When I tell people that I eat a mostly vegan diet, the reaction is similar:  “Oh you must eat such healthy food”.  But it is possible to eat a vegan diet and be as horribly unhealthy as the rest of the American public. I just try to eat one that is filled with as many whole foods as possible.

One of the well known issues is the prevalence of soy in many diets.  Soy has been used for thousands of years by Asian cultures, but it was generally a side dish, not consumed at every meal. The prevalence of soy burgers, tofu, soy cheese, soy everything is part of why I resisted trying veganism for a long time.

But there are other factors too. I noticed that a lot of boxed cake mixes, pudding, and canned icing contains vegan ingredients.  Perhaps that is because the ingredients, too long to name are inexpensive in their chemical form.  But I set out to make Bakerella‘s famous cake pops from boxed mixes vegan style (cake pops are normally made from box mixes).

It was simple, the only substitution I had to make was the use of EnerG egg replacer, which left the cake a little flat, and oil instead of butter. The box mixes were already vegan and Chocolate covered Katie had already told me of a surprisingly vegan cake frosting, Pillsbury.

In the end, they looked like normal cake pop cake balls.

Cake pop balls

And tasted like Normal Cake Pop Balls.

Cake pop balls

They were even cute with their red white and blue sprinkles. But something was wrong. I developed a terrible, terrible headache after eating them.  I used to get headaches all the time when I ate poorly.  Now I think it’s a reaction to ingredients in the cake mix or sugars in the icing.

I’m a little hesitant to post this recipe. But if you can tolerate normal processed foods and don’t mind taking shortcuts, here’s the easy way to vegan cake pops.

Recipe: Easy Vegan From the Box Cake Balls

Summary: Adapted from: Bakerella’s Red Velvet Cake Balls


  • 1 box cake mix (with vegan ingredients)
  • 1 box jello brand pudding mix (with vegan ingredients)
  • Oil to replace butter in cake mix
  • Ener-G Egg replacer to replace eggs in cake mix
  • 1 tub Pillsbury Frosting (make sure it’s a vegan variety)
  • Dark chocolate bits to cover cake balls


  1. Make cake mix following instructions on box changing the following, add a box of pudding mix, use oil to replace any butter in recipe and ener-G Egg replacer to replace eggs (cake may not rise as much as usual)
  2. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
  3. Mix thoroughly with 2/3 tub frosting.
  4. Roll mixture into balls and lay on cookie sheet.
  5. Chill in freezer for several hours.
  6. Melt chocolate in microwave until liquid enough to coat (melt for 30 seconds, mix, melt for 30 seconds, mix, etc)
  7. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm.

Quick notes

Not healthy, lots of sugar and preservatives.

Preparation time: 2 hour(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan

Number of servings (yield): 12


This isn’t the only example of unhealthy options for vegans.  There are plenty of vegan candies and highly processed foods that market themselves as vegan.  I honestly think that low fat animal products might be healthier than some of the highly processed foods at my supermarket. What’s your worst vegan experience?

Early July at the Concord Farmer’s market

The second half of his post is much much healthier.

As it is my favorite Saturday morning activity when I’m hanging out at home, I went to the Concord Farmer’s Market with Cooper.  I got there late so there wasn’t as much variety left, but here’s a rundown of items I purchased at the Early July Market.


A small head of purple cabbage. Other than cole slaw I’m not sure what to make with this.


Tomatoes, the last two available.  Someone had set them aside and never came back fro them.  I snagged them.


Kohlrabi, a green and a purple, I had never seen one of these before until I saw my mother-in-law eating one raw.  She said they taste a little like apple.


Baby bok choy, a little wilted by the time I got to it.  But it was yummy in yesterday’s BBQ.


Russian red kale, I have some of this growing in my garden right now, but you can never have enough kale.


Peas, I thought they were sugar snap peas, but they aren’t.  Thinking of grilling these, because why not.


Garlic scape, the farmer practically gave these to me.  I’m a little too excited about them.  I’m thinking pesto and grilling.


European zucchini, also known as Italian zucchini, it’s zucchini, I’m sure I’ll find a use for this.


Summer squash, it’s as big as my forearm.  Unlike my little baby summer squashes in the garden.


Pictured in the center is yellow zucchini, between a summer squash and the european zucchini.  The skin is very soft almost velvety, And the farmer promised me that once I went yellow I would never want green again.  I’m saving it so i don’t ruin it.

What’s showing up at your farmer’s market?

What is your perception of vegan, is it inherently healthier, or can it still be full of junk food?



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4 Responses to Vegan does not equal Healthy and Early July at the Concord Farmer’s market

  1. I totally agree- vegans definitely have the ability to still eat super unhealthy! My husband likes to joke that since what he is eating is vegan, it is low calorie too, right? Prime example: Trader Joes Vanillla bean Joe Joes… like a vanilla bean oreo- sooo good and sooo not healthy. But vegan.

    • Miriam says:

      I used to get this awesome vegan cake at the natural foods store until I read the ingredients and realized how much oil and sugars were in the cake and frosting. Still made me feel less icky than the preservatives concoctions from the box mixes.

  2. Ahhh those cake pops are darling!

    Haha someone told me Pringles are vegan too… and Swedish Fish!

    • Miriam says:

      I just wish they didn’t make me feel icky. I think I’m going to have to throw the rest out. And I bow to the queen of healthier vegan desserts

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