September 21, 2015 - 4:18pm
Syracuse native Jarred Vryhof fills the need for healthy, cruelty-free food options, one block of cheese at a time.

Standing at nearly six feet tall with a brawny build and tattoos covering his biceps, Jarred Vryhof says people are always surprised to learn he is an animal-loving, plant-eating vegan. Driven by his experimental appetite, Vryhof started making non-dairy cheese last year when he and two friends were planning to open a vegan restaurant. Although Vryhof’s business partners eventually backed out, he followed his passion for cooking and improving the plant-based food options in Syracuse.

November 3, 2014 - 12:12pm
Vegan and paleo diets are at opposite extremes, each with separate benefits and challenges.

Syracuse University students are not hard pressed when it comes to finding something to eat. With five dining halls and three food courts on campus, and Marshall Street eateries, grabbing a bite to eat can be as simple as whether or not one is in the mood for Chipotle’s Tex-Mex or Varsity’s pizza.

November 25, 2013 - 5:05pm
As veganism becomes more prevalent on the Syracuse University campus, Strong Hearts Cafe and Café Kubal offer carefully crafted menu items without any animal products.

Interviews with students and local merchants indicate that a new nutritional trend — going vegan — is taking hold at Syracuse University. Featuring fresh and healthier foods without any kind of animal byproducts, veganism is now a behavior that many students embrace. As a result, several cafes close to campus are now including vegan items their menus.

November 11, 2013 - 10:17pm
Vegan café to open a second location where Syra-Juice once operated.

Strong Hearts Café, one of a few vegan-only eateries in Syracuse, has announced that it will be opening a second location – and a familiar one, too.

In coming weeks, "Strong Hearts On The Hill" will open for business at 720 University Ave.  a spot once home to the popular lunch spot, Syra-Juice.

March 29, 2013 - 4:11pm
Why not switch it up this year by covering your matzo in chocolate?

Hello again, aspiring vegans! Spring has sprung! Sort of. Syracuse is a few weeks behind the rest of the country, but as we roll into April the temperature will rise to a sweltering 50 degrees (or we'll get another freak snowstorm - either way).

According to my Facebook newsfeed, this week is Passover and this coming weekend is Easter. And what are holidays without a little something to nosh on?  Don’t worry though, we’ll definitely keep the bunnies and chicks in dark chocolate form.

March 19, 2013 - 5:44am
Recover from your St. Patrick's Day festivities with this healthy, refreshing drink

Hello aspiring vegans! Spring break is over and I am back in Syracuse ready to return to your regularly scheduled, beef-free blogging. If you’re reading this that means you managed to survive spring break. I spent mine traveling to the Big Easy and what is traveling without trying the local cuisine? My taste buds were privy to some good ol’ southern cooking, as I sampled locally-brewed beers and Creole treats up and down the Mississippi River. For many of you, celebrating St.

March 7, 2013 - 7:46pm
Don't feel like feasting on gas station food this Spring Break? We've got you covered.

All right, aspiring vegans, Spring Break is pretty much here! I’m sure you’ve all got some exciting agendas penned for your one week free of tests and homework. Personally, I’ll be adventuring between Cuse and the Gulf, and facing a couple of daunting eight hour driving days with only gas station food to tide me over. If you’re anything like me, combining a healthy, animal-free lifestyle, a severe case of wanderlust and a tight wallet means you may have to get creative with your snackage. Finding vegan fare at gas stations can be difficult.

February 19, 2013 - 5:57pm
Banish some misconceptions about veganism -- and then try this delicious lentils and rice recipe for less than it costs to buy a pack of gum.

When I first announced to my family members that I wanted to adopt a vegan lifestyle, they shot me incredulous stares. “Why would you ever want to do that?” they asked, totally dumbfounded.

The decision to “go vegan” often meets many challenges, and not just the physical ones that come with completely overhauling one’s diet. Finding support for my new lifestyle has proven difficult. Many carnivores take it as a personal offense when I tell them that I won’t eat meat or any other animal byproduct. As my one friend eloquently put it: “But… bacon!”

February 7, 2013 - 10:32pm
Making the decision to quit eating all animal products isn't easy, but you can make the transition taste great by making this delicious chili, without the beef.

Six weeks ago, I made what some may consider to be one of the hardest lifestyle changes (short of quitting drugs) a person can make: I went vegan.

November 13, 2012 - 3:14pm
Newshouse food blogger Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm spills her recipe for this delicious, low-sugar treat.


Chocolate chip cookies are pure comfort.  There’s nothing better then a warm cookie, right out of the oven, when the edges are slightly crisp, but the center is just over under-baked, making the middle doughy and the chocolate melted. It’s pastry perfection.

Some days, you need a cookie.  Sometimes I want a cookie that’s, dare I say it, healthy. A healthy cookie means you can eat one and not feel bad about it, or you could follow in my steps and eat three right off the baking sheet. Life’s about little pleasures, and cookies are one of them.