Meatless Monday – A Very Vegan February in Montclair

by Dianne Wenz

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When I adopted a vegan diet in 2001, there wasn’t much in the way of vegan food or activities in the Montclair, NJ area. (Yes, there is such a thing as vegan activities.) If I wanted to eat a good veg restaurant, I would have to rely on New Jersey Transit to whisk me over the Hudson River into New York City. If I wanted to attend a vegan cooking class I would have to pay quite a pricy fee to do so at Natural Gourmet Institute, the only place in the area that really offered plant-based cooking classes. If I wanted to attend a talk on vegan cooking or have a cookbook signed by a notable author, I would have to trek to a rinky-dink bookstore in the East Village. Things have definitely changed with time and Montclair is becoming quite the vegan place to be.


Last week Montclair’s first vegan owned and operated restaurant quietly opened their doors on Church Street. Mundo Vegan is serving up vegan food with a Latin flair in the space that once belonged to the Stock Pot. Dishes such as Masitas, Ropa Vieja,  Lentil Stew, and Chickpea Provençal are organic, GMO-free, and 100% delicious. Gluten-free options are also available. Mundo Vegan’s soft opening offers limited hours and a limited menu, so be sure to check their website and Facebook page for updates. Mundo Vegan is located at 20 Church Street.


On February 15th, I will teaching a free vegan cooking class at Designer Appliances in Upper Montclair from 1:00 to 4:00pm. I will be showing how to make quick and easy vegan meals, and I will prove that eschewing meat doesn’t mean giving up flavor. Designer Appliances is located at 208 Bellevue Avenue.


Cookbook author Joni Marie Newman will be visiting Montclair for a chat and signing of her new book Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen at the end of the month. This innovative vegan cookbook combines the best of both worlds—comfort food and ethnic cuisine. The result is a delicious, experimental type of cooking that is popular in Joni’s native state California and is quickly taking the vegan world by storm. Its focus is not only on fresh, local ingredients, but also the amazing flavors found in different world cuisines. Joni will be at Watchung Booksellers located at 54 Fairfield Avenue at 7:00pm on February 27th.