Vegan Treats: Easy as Pie!

By Jessica Post, Faculty Affairs Coordinator and alumna (BS 2006, MBA 2008)

After 10 years being a vegetarian I decided to make the switch to a completely vegan diet. This change was surprisingly easy for me, and I have been enjoying the challenge of finding new ways to cook and bake. While I had an easy transition, I knew my switch would be hard on my mother—not because she is some crazy meat eater, but because she’s such a foodie and an amazing cook!

So, it came as no surprise to me that a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, I got a call from my mom, worried that I wouldn’t be able to eat her pumpkin pie. We have already adapted the rest of the meal for vegetarians (her Tofurky is amazing), but the no eggs restriction was making dessert really difficult.

Using my new-found skills at finding vegan recipes, I tracked down a delicious vegan pumpkin pie recipe.  Best part is this recipe makes two pies, so take one to your family dinner and enjoy the other on Friday. This can be made using real pumpkins, but if you’re into quick and easy like me, you can just buy a 15- or 16-ounce can of pumpkin (the organic kind is definitely the best). So here we go:

Vegan Pumpkin Pie
(Recipe adapted from

  • 2 15-16oz cans of pumpkin (organic pumpkin available at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 12.3-ounce package firm silken tofu
  • 1 1/3 cups natural granulated sugar
  • 2 9-inch natural pie crusts (if you buy pre-made crusts make sure they are vegan – try Marie Callendar’s or Wholly Wholesome brands)


1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

2. Combine pumpkin, spices, tofu, and sugar in a large food processor. Blend until smooth. (You can do this with half the ingredients at a time if you have a small or medium size processor.)

3. Pour the filling into both crusts. Bake together for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the crusts are golden and the filling is firm. Remove from the oven and let the pies cool to room temperature. Cut into 6 or 8 slices to serve.

Enjoy your pie with friends and family!

Big Bass, Big Money

By Bryce Hayes, CSU, Chico Alumnus, Construction Management 2011

Nicholas Carrico and Matt Wetmore show off their catch at this year's National Guard FLW College Fishing event at Clear Lake. (Photo by David A. Brown)

When a good friend of mine mentioned he was starting up a fishing club on campus in 2009, initially I didn’t think much of it. I have always had a passion for fishing and the outdoors, but never considered joining a club that offered this type of an opportunity. Little did I know that joining this club would be one of the best decisions I made while attending Chico State.

The third year of the club I succeeded Parker Moran, the club president and founder. Fulfilling the role of president helped me to grow as a person and as a leader in all aspects of life. On a weekly basis I was dealing with issues ranging from controversial club finance matters to our public relationships with the school and sponsors. I had never realized what a lucrative sport competitive bass fishing is. This may be a bold statement, but I would be willing to bet that the Chico State Bass Team is the most profitable and successful club sport that the University has ever seen. We have several tournaments a year that pay $10,000 for a first place finish—and, yes, we have won our share of those!

Nicholas Carrico and Matt Wetmore hold up their first place winnings! (Photo by David A. Brown)

In 2011 alone, we placed 4 teams in the top 5 throughout our regular season qualifying events.  All four of those teams move on to the western regionals and have a shot at winning a ranger bass boat wrapped in school colors (Feel free to look at to see our winning amounts and details).

Most of us grow up playing competitive sports in grade school and some continue to do so through high school. Very few of us have the opportunity to continue these sports at a collegiate level. With Chico State not having a football team or much student camaraderie, the Bass Team helped fill the gap for me and shaped my Chico Experience. Becoming a part of the Chico State Bass Team proved to be something I will never regret. I met a lot of quality people, made some good memories, and picked up a hobby that I will be able to enjoy for a lifetime.

If you’d like to see more of the Bass Club, you can check out this video courtesy of The Orion, 2010.

Hidden Gems: Chico State Rope Course

By Lee Shawver, Challenge Course Director

Nestled in the southwest corner of our campus is an area consisting of telephone poles connected by steel cables and other peculiar contraptions. This is Chico State’s ropes course—clearly a hidden gem.  Here, groups climb, jump, swing, fly, laugh, cry, and ponder—all in an effort to get a better understanding of themselves and others, work as a team, learn to lead, and maybe even discover a sense of community in the process.

I find it a shame that this course is relatively unknown in the Chico community. I am the director of the course, and it’s my job to guide people through the process. I have witnessed the transformational power of a ropes course experience and believe that everyone should experience the power that lies in engaging in managed risk. I regularly facilitate groups on the course, and I see them work to succeed in overcoming challenges that have real-life applications. The course is not just for Outdoor Education students—and it’s not just for Chico State students. It exists to provide our community with creative and engaging opportunities for growth and discovery.

Our program is designed to break down barriers, to challenge comfort levels, to realize the power of vulnerability and social exchange, and to help create a sense of belonging. A ropes course experience demonstrates metaphorically the challenges we all face and how to develop tools to navigate those challenges. I want everyone to experience this exhilarating ride.

If you are interested in or have any questions regarding the course, you can contact Lee at or visit the ropes course on the Web.