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Self-Care Interview Series: Trinity Mouzon Wofford

December 3 2017 Golubka Kitchen 

Self-Care Interview Series: Trinity Mouzon Wofford Trinity Mouzon Wofford is the founder of GOLDE Turmeric, a line of high-quality turmeric blends for golden milk, lattes, and more. We are in love with everything GOLDE, and were so excited to get a peek at its radiant founder’s wellness routine. In this interview, Trinity tells us about her rule-free approach to self-care, her path to self-acceptance, and the importance of giving the body exactly what it’s craving, as well as a Geisha-approved moisturizer that works wonders for her skin, her number one cold remedy that’s likely in your kitchen right now, exercise, beauty, stress, and much more. Routine -- Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free? I think having some form of a routine is crucial to your mental health when you run a business from home. It’s been sort of tricky as of late because we’re in transition from our home in Upstate New York to moving back down to Brooklyn. -- What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning. On an ideal day, I’m up around 6:30am and checking my phone for email and GOLDE‘s social media. Following that, I’ll do a bit of stretching to loosen up, and then hop in the shower. After I’ve gotten ready, I’ll sit down to work and make a to-do list for the day -- this is crucial for me. I forget things and get really anxious about what I’m forgetting if I don’t bother to organize my thoughts and tasks in advance. I’ll usually dig into whatever those tasks are for an hour or so before pausing for breakfast. -- Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well? My partner, Issey, and I always make sure to have a cut-off time for work, barring emergencies. Once that point rolls around (it varies day-by-day), I’m usually catching up on the news or my favorite blogs while Issey preps dinner. We’ll eat together and then usually end off binging some TV show. Sustenance -- Describe your typical or ideal meal for each of these: Breakfast – Issey’s miso soup with tons of mushrooms and seaweed. He makes it completely from scratch using his mom’s recipe. Lunch – Lunch is usually whatever is leftover from dinner that week  -- lately its a lot of hearty stews. Snack – We’ll do a little crudite plate with raw veg from the farmer’s market: carrots, turnips, radishes, persian cucumbers. Always with some cheese and seed crackers. Sometimes also with wine. Dinner – Tibetan food from our favorite spot in Jackson Heights, Queens. It’s a lot of dumplings (momos), noodles, and warming soups. -- Do you partake in caffeine and in what form? If not, what is your drink of choice in the morning? I can’t, really. I love the taste of coffee, but it turns me into a shaking, anxious mess. I always start the day with a turmeric tonic made with one of our blends -- usually cacao or original because the matcha also makes me a bit hyper. -- Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, how do you keep it in check? Yes, yes, yes. I try not to “keep it in check” so much as listen to it with a variety of foods. Sometimes it’s fruit or homemade popcorn with coconut sugar. Sometimes it’s half a box of Dots eaten while laying on the couch. Refined sugar is trash for your system, but so is getting too regimented with your foods. I keep it light (emotionally) and eat what I’m craving. When junk food isn’t off limits, you’re not going to crave it every day. -- Are there any particular supplements, herbs, or tinctures/­­tonics that you take regularly and find to be helpful with your energy level and general wellness? Well, turmeric, of course. It makes such a difference in my skin and immunity. Issey loves it for instant allergy relief. There are apparently over 10,000 medical studies on its effects on the body --it’s really incredible. We’re also huge proponents of ashwaghanda in our household. Exercise -- Do you exercise and do you have a particular exercise routine that you repeat weekly?  Upstate New York is not exactly the land of boutique fitness, so it can be more challenging to get in a sweat on the regular. I focus mostly on stretching and going on walks/­­hikes on the weekend. I think I’ve probably gained a bit of weight since I’ve been up here because I’m not moving as much as I did in NYC, but I don’t really mind. It’s okay for your body to fluctuate with your circumstances, as long as you’re treating it with respect. -- Do you find exercise to be pleasurable, torturous or perhaps a little of both? How do you put yourself in the right mindset in order to keep up with it? It varies. I really like working out as a method to clear my head, so often I do look forward to it. But that said, I don’t really try to push myself too much. If you want to be a world-class athlete, then by all means, train 2+ hours a day. I’m just looking to keep my body and psyche in good health, so if I don’t feel like making it to my workout, I don’t feel the need to punish myself later. Beauty -- What is your idea of beauty – external, internal or both? I grew up black in a very white town, so I’ve had a lot of really emotional moments coming to terms with what beauty means for me. At the moment, I like to keep things really natural with my curls out and minimal makeup. It took a while to accept my looks for exactly what they are, so now I’m really openly embracing it. I feel more beautiful now than I did 5 years ago, mostly due to opening myself up to the concept that I’m perfectly fine just as I am. -- What is your skincare approach – face and body? I try to keep my routine relatively simple. I’ll wash my face with raw African black soap or something gentle like Cerave. I love Drunk Elephant products, and I apply their C-Firma and B-Hydra serums every day. They help a lot with keeping my skin clear and getting rid of dark marks. After that I’ll moisturize with raw shea butter, or a cream that has that. -- Are there any foods, herbs or supplements you find to be helpful to your skin/­­hair/­­general glow? Turmeric, again. Because it’s anti-inflammatory, I’ve found it to be really helpful in clearing up redness or breakouts. Besides that, I try not to get too bogged down with a ton of supplements. I focus mostly on eating a variety of plants every day. -- Do you have any beauty tips/­­tricks you’ve found to be especially useful throughout the years? Family heirlooms are very much welcome. Shea butter is amazing for my skin. My partner’s Japanese mother recently put me on to this cream called Secret de Maiko. It contains shea butter and a few other natural, organic ingredients. Apparently this is what young Geisha girls would use as a moisturizer/­­makeup base. This cream is better than pure shea butter because it won’t leave you greasy at all. I use it twice daily. It’s great for keeping your skin clear and calm. Stress, etc. -- Do you practice any consistent routines in order to avoid stress?  Well, cannabis helps. I use a vaporizer pen so there’s no smoke-related health detriments/­­lingering smell. I really want to try the Hmbldt pen because I’m a sucker for sharp design. -- If stress cannot be avoided, what are your ways of dealing with it? There’s going to stress sometimes. I try to deal in healthy ways like going for a walk to clear my head, or talking to a close friend about whatever I’m dealing with. But life isn’t perfect, so sometimes you just end up being a bit tense for a few days. I think that’s normal and natural -- I try not to fight it too much. You have to let yourself feel it so that you can process it and move past it. -- What measures do you take when you sense a cold/­­general feeling of being under the weather coming on? Garlic!! At my old job, everyone in the office knew about this because I would practically through bulbs of raw garlic at anyone who complained of illness. Nothing works better for immediately beating a bad cold. If I feel something coming on, I take 2-3 whole cloves (swallowed like horse pills) with a ton of water. That can save you in just a couple hours -- it’s crazy. -- Do you strive to maintain a healthy work/­­life balance or do those things overlap for you? What is your approach? I really like to work, so what I consider to be a healthy work/­­life balance might not be the right approach for someone else. I genuinely enjoy spending my free time dreaming up new campaigns, product ideas, or designs for GOLDE. I guess that’s the benefit to doing your own thing -- it doesn’t always feel like work. Motivation -- Describe the actions you take or mindset you try to tap into in order to stay on track with your self-care practice and being nice to yourself? I’ve gotten a lot better with this with age. I try not to have any food or exercise rules. Being militant about your body is not self-care, and it can really easily spiral into disordered behavior that veers on the edge of “orthorexia.” I mostly just listen to my body and allow itself what it wants, whether that has to do with food, movement/­­exercise, socializing vs. indulging my natural introvert, etc. -- What do you consider to be the single most important change youve made to your routine or lifestyle in terms of wellness? I really think doing away with rules (re: food, etc.) has been the most important change I’ve made. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with avoiding gluten or dairy because it upsets your stomach or causes breakouts, but don’t complicate your life with structure that does not serve you. -- How do you deal with periods characterized by a lack of inspiration or procrastination? Usually moments like these mean I need to re-focus myself. I’ll start by making to-do lists, and go from there. Knowledge -- What was your path to starting GOLDE? I was pre-med at NYU, with plans to practice holistic medicine. By my senior year of college, I wasn’t so sure about spending more time and money on schooling, and sort of fell into a marketing role at a tech startup. I really loved the creative aspects of marketing, and found that GOLDE was a way of combining my interests in sharp branding with making holistic health more accessible. The interest in turmeric actually came from my mom, who has Rheumatoid Arthritis. She noticed a huge difference in her overall levels of inflammation when she started incorporating it into her daily routine -- that’s when I started paying attention. -- How do you approach the sourcing of your ingredients for GOLDE? We actually just started sourcing all of our turmeric with a company called Diaspora Co. They focus 100% on supporting ethical and high-quality spice trade that empowers rather than disenfranchises the people of color who have been growing and ingesting medicinal plants like turmeric for generations. The turmeric that we’re going to be using is an heirloom variety with almost twice the typical amount of curcumin. It’s grown on a fourth-generation, family-owned farm in India, and farmers are paid 6X the standard commodity prices to ensure truly fair wages. We’re really excited to be featuring a product that’s not only incredibly high-quality, but also works to re-build lingering inequality left in the wake of colonialism. -- What’s your favorite way to use your wellness blend? I love to have it just with hot water and raw honey in the morning. Fun and Inspiration -- What do you do to unwind or treat yourself? Heading to the Union Square Greenmarket is one of my favorite activities. When I’m in the city, I like to go every Monday morning when it’s not too crowded. It’s mostly just you and the chefs (or their assistants?) shopping for what they’ll be preparing that day. I also love infra red sauna. I go to Higher Dose in the East Village. -- A book/­­song/­­movie/­­piece of art to feed the soul: Book – Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie Song/­­Album – Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder -- We are captivated by Joan Didion’s compact travel packing list. What are some essential objects that would be in yours? I am nowhere near as regimented as our dear Joan. Usually my suitcase is packed haphazardly with whatever clothing is clean and well-suited for the weather. -- Is there anyone you would like to hear from next in this interview series? More people of color, please! A few of my favorites: Diane Chang Yaminah Mayo Dr. Tiffany Lester Latonya Yvette Nikisha Brunson Alex Elle Lauren Ash Sana Javeri Kadri Photos by Sana Javeri Kadri, Issey Kobori and Nico Behnzukeh. You might also like... Self-Care Interview Series: Amy Chaplin Self-Care Interview Series: Pauline Chardin Self-Care Interview Series: Laura Wright Self-Care Interview Series: Chi San Wan .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Self-Care Interview Series: Trinity Mouzon Wofford appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Hibiscus Orange Blossom Turkish Delight

July 12 2017 Golubka Kitchen 

Hibiscus Orange Blossom Turkish Delight This post was created in partnership with Whole Earth Sweetener Co. Turkish delight is one of those old-school sweets that was always around during my childhood in the Soviet Union, which is surprising because treats were scarce and mainly homemade. There was a tiny store a short walk away from our home, where they carried neat, white paper boxes, lined with tissue and filled with delicate pink, sugar-dusted Turkish Delight squares. We called the treat rahat lokum (just another commonly used name for Turkish Delight). I spent my childhood convinced that it was fairy food, and cherished every pleasantly jelly-like, aromatic bite from the magical paper box. I’ve since completely forgotten about rahat lokum, dismissing it as an outdated sweet of my semi-hungry childhood, until I was in Moscow a few months ago. There is a high-vibe sweets brand sold in some grocery stores in Russia, which makes chocolate, wafers and such, with surprisingly wholesome ingredients, cool herbal add-ins, and a pleasantly low amount of non-refined sugar. I always make a point of hunting down some of their stuff to bring back home. This time around, I discovered a new product of theirs, which was a healthier, green tea-flavored Turkish Delight. It was delicious and disappeared in no time once my family got a taste of it back in Florida. I quickly got the urge to figure out my own recipe, as I often do with these types of obsessions. Thankfully, I’m no stranger to the thickening and gelatinizing properties of arrowroot (starch from a tropical tuber) and agar-agar (sea vegetable). Both make for the perfect, allergy-friendly and healthful alternative to cornstarch, which is traditional to Turkish Delight recipes. After some consideration, I decided to color my delight with hibiscus tea, as a tribute to the pink treats of my childhood, and because I’m generally obsessed with hibiscus and its million health benefits. For an extra aromatic finish, I added some orange blossom water instead of the more commonly used rose water, which truly takes this treat to the next level. When coated in arrowroot powder, this Turkish Delight looks surprisingly professional, as though it was store-bought. The cool thing is that in reality it’s pretty easy to make at home, just take a look at the video above to see the whole process. For sweetener in this recipe, I used an organic blend of stevia and honey from Whole Earth. I’ve had a pretty turbulent relationship with stevia over the years. I’ve always wanted to get into it as a sugar substitute, knowing that it’s totally natural, free of calories, and a zero on the glycemic index, but I just cannot get used to its potent, powerful flavor (when extracted it’s something like 200 times sweeter than sugar!). Any time I add pure stevia extract to anything, it’s all I can taste, and that flavor lingers in my mouth for hours in an unpleasant way. Thankfully, Whole Earth Sweetener Co. figured out that when mixed with other, more traditional sweeteners, stevia is barely distinguishable, and they offer a few carefully considered stevia blends. The neat thing is that because of stevia’s potency, you only need half of the amount of their sweetener in any given recipe. In other words, this Turkish Delight recipe only calls for 1/­­4 cup of the honey and stevia blend, while you would need twice the amount (1/­­2 cup) of pure honey or maple syrup to achieve the same sweetness without the stevia. After trying the Whole Earth stevia-honey blend, as well as their stevia-raw sugar blend, I’m totally on board. I love being able to use less sugar in my sweet recipes, and I’m hoping that these products can help me ease into a love affair with pure stevia, some day :) I’m curious to hear about your guys’ experience with stevia. Do you use it? Did it take you some time to get used to it? Any tips and stories are much appreciated! Hibiscus Orange Blossom Turkish Delight   Print Serves: about 48 pieces Ingredients 3½ cups purified water 2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers ⅔ cup plus ¼ cup arrowroot powder, divided ¼ cup stevia-honey blend or ⅓ - ½ cup pure honey or maple syrup 4½ tablespoons agar agar powder (not flakes) 1¼ teaspoon orange blossom water or rose water Instructions Combine the water with the hibiscus in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let the tea steep for 30 minutes. Prepare an 8 x 8-inch square, rimmed dish by lining it up with parchment paper. Set aside. Strain the hibiscus tea. Mix ½ cup of the tea with ⅔ cup of the arrowroot powder in a medium bowl. The mixture will be quite thick and difficult to mix at first. Set aside. Pour the rest of the hibiscus tea into the same saucepan used for brewing the tea. Add the sweetener and the agar agar powder, whisk to combine and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes, whisking periodically. At the end of the 5 minutes, give the prepared arrowroot mixture a good stir and slowly pour it into the saucepan with the agar mixture, stirring vigorously. The mixture will be very thick and stretchy. Remove from heat and add in the orange blossom water, whisking to combine. Immediately spoon the mixture into the prepared dish, evening it out as much as you can. Place the dish into the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, until the mixture is completely set. Once set, lift the delight square out of the dish onto a cutting board, using the extending ends of the parchment paper. Slice into around 48 cubes and roll them in the remaining ¼ cup arrowroot powder to coat. Store refrigerated in an airtight container. Enjoy! 3.5.3226 You might also like... Cosmic Sweet Potato Chocolate Truffles Almost Savory Raw Chocolate Raw Honey Maca Pancakes, a Weekend Breakfast Honey-Roasted Pears with Vanilla Cashew Cream .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Hibiscus Orange Blossom Turkish Delight appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen Cover Reveal & Pre-Order Links!

March 26 2017 Vegan Richa 

Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen Cover Reveal & Pre-Order Links! Its OFFICIAL! I have another cookbook coming this fall (2017)! My Second book “Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen” is now listed everywhere where books are sold and can be Pre-Ordered. The book will be available in Print and Digital format. I am so Excited to get this collection of recipes to you!! Squeee! Pre-order Today to lock in lowest price till release date.  Amazon ||| Barnes & Noble ||| BAM! ||| iBooks ||| Chapter Indigo ||| Book Depository About the Book I follow simple rules when I am developing recipes for my blog. I strongly believe that Vegan food should be easy to make, taste good and be inclusive. This means I have a lot of allergy friendly variations and they taste equally good. This book is full of easy to make, delicious everyday recipes. Many of you also frequently request the blog recipes in print form. So in this book, there are a number of blog recipes that are popular, tried, and loved. Also, More than half the recipes in the book are all New Recipes exclusively created for this book. There are 8 Chapters of Meals (Asian, Thai, Burgers, Pizza, Bowls, Curries, Burgers, Casseroles ), 1 big chapter on Desserts, and Chapters on Sauces and DIY. Continue reading: Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen Cover Reveal & Pre-Order Links!The post Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen Cover Reveal & Pre-Order Links! appeared first on Vegan Richa.

One Ingredient, Three Ways: Spelt Flour

February 2 2016 Vegetarian Times 

One Ingredient, Three Ways: Spelt FlourWe asked our friends at the Natural Gourmet Institute to weigh in on popular, healthy ingredients and cooking methods. Vegetarian Times has partnered with the renowned New York-based culinary school to create a  comprehensive new online course, Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition. Whether youre a new vegetarian, an avid cook wanting to expand your skills, or contemplating a career in the food industry, you will find this course helpful. Sign up to receive discounts and information about this awesome course. While spelt may be an ancient grain, its finding its way into lots of modern recipes. And no wonder: its a perfect choice for health-conscious cooks who want to add more variety to their current stable of grains, and it’s a fitting alternative to whole wheat products. Some people claim spelt is better than whole wheat, touting its nutty flavor. While taste may be a valid distinguishing quality, spelt is nutritionally on par with whole wheat --it boasts fewer calories, but it has less fiber and other nutrients than its counterpart. Another big difference? Spelt is technically not wheat. Though it does contain gluten,  spelt’s gluten is more soluble than that of wheat gluten, and therefore acts differently during the cooking process. Health Benefits of Spelt Spelt provides lots of nutritional benefits, and boasts an impressive mineral and vitamin content. It is high in fiber, and a good source of essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and B vitamins. Here are a few favorite recipes utilizing spelt: Spelt pizza dough--Spelt flour is a sub-in for flour in any pizza dough recipe. Many people swear by the texture and flavor that it provides versus other heartier flours.  Spelt salad--Toast about 1 cup of spelt kernels in a dry skillet until browned, rinse well with cold water. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and simmer spelt until tender, about an hour. Use this as a base for a salad serving eight to ten people. What else to include? Try a protein such as tofu or beans, veggies like bell peppers and onion, and a spicy peanut butter sauce to top it off. Spelt waffles - Spelt flour can act as a 1:1 replacement for whole wheat flour. So try it out in waffles to create a light, airy final product with a nutty flavor. These waffles can also include spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Shredded apple can be a great addition too. Kayleen St. John is the resident nutritionist at NYCs Natural Gourmet Institute. Kayleen has a Masters degree in clinical nutrition from NYU and is a registered dietitian. Her research examines the relationship between diet and inflammatory conditions. Kayleen is an avid runner and believes smart nutrition contributes to optimal athletic performance. Our new course, Foundations of Plant Based Nutrition, led by Kayleen, covers essential plant-centric professional cooking techniques, health-focused topics including allergens and inflammation, and how to separate nutrition fact and fiction in a vegan and veg diet. 

Travel and Restaurant Survival Tips for Your Plant-Based Diet

August 20 2015 VegKitchen 

Travel and Restaurant Survival Tips for Your Plant-Based DietExcerpted from The Plant-Based Journey: A Step-by-Step Guide for Transitioning to a Healthy Lifestyle and Achieving Your Ideal Weight* by Lani Muelrath (BenBella Books (C) Sept. 2015, reprinted by permission). See the pre-order promotion for this book, and enjoy bonuses!  The workplace and travel both bring up the question of restaurant dining. Restaurant menus, it seems, are designed to thwart your best-laid plans for healthy eating. Oil, butter, and cheese are slammed into everything imaginable to increase food seduction, pushing you to keep eating. Is it any wonder Julia Childs cookbooks are such big sellers? Put gobs of butter in anything and it will taste good. When it comes to restaurant menus, here are a few simple strategies for navigating the options. How to Put a Restaurant Plate Together Restaurants listed as vegetarian, vegan, or natural foods may be friendly houses of food for your journey--but then again, perhaps not. Vegetarian implies no meat products; vegan items are devoid of all animal products. Vegetarian and vegan, however, do not necessarily mean healthy. They dont tell you anything about how the food is prepared, how much fat or sugar is added to the fare, or--in the case of vegetarian--even if dairy products or eggs are used. That doesnt mean these restaurant venues arent workable; it just means that you will need to be specific about exactly what you want when ordering. The best strategy is to do an internet search on the restaurants menu--and even make a phone call in advance to inquire about options. Detect which items on the menu might be most plant-eater friendly. Most restaurants have a dinner salad on the menu. When ordering your salad, clearly underscore what you do want: lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber--any and all raw vegetables. Next, politely be specific about what you do not want on your salad--cheese, eggs, bacon, meat chunks, anchovies--Ive been surprised by every one of these on one occasion or another. Dont be afraid to use the words allergy or doctor if it will help. Mention no croutons as well--they are usually fried in oil and often cheese saturated. Finally, ask for dressing on the side. You can also say no dressing and ask for a shaker of vinegar, which many restaurants serve with salads. You want the waiter or waitress to be your friend, and as you are asking them to go out of their way a bit for you, being gracious is a smart move. More and more often, veggie burgers are being featured as sandwich or entrée menu choices. Ask that yours be baked and not fried, and ask for ketchup and mustard instead of mayo or butter on the bun. If there is a vegetarian sandwich listed, simply ask that yours be served without mayo, cheese, or butter. If not, you can probably order a custom sandwich. In addition to salads and veggie burgers, your best restaurant bet might be in the sides section of the menu, where you will often find baked potatoes and other vegetables. If you dont see it listed, ask about the vegetable of the day, often served with the restaurant entrées as part of the main menu--frequently asparagus, green beans, or broccoli. You can ask that your serving be steamed and prepared without frying or oily dressing. If you say low fat, all bets are off as to how butter-drenched your plate will arrive, so be specific. Fruit salads are usually either in the sides or listed somewhere else on the menu; clarify to serve without yogurt or cheese. Breakfast is usually easy because oatmeal is almost always on the menu. Ive started to have increasing good luck with asking for soy milk or almond milk on the side, too. Our recent stop at a Mexican eatery is an example of getting good choices at restaurants. On the face of it, the menu looked like a dietary disaster. But I know I can pull together something pretty good at most Mexican restaurants--as long as they have a batch of beans cooked sans lard. I had phoned ahead about the beans, so I knew that they had two pots of beans in the kitchen: one of them plain boiled pintos. When we arrived, I knew exactly what to do. I ordered a big bowl of the boiled beans, a stack of soft, fresh corn tortillas, garden salad without dressing, extra bowls of salsa (for dressing and for my tacos), and some lime or lemon wedges. When it all arrived, I created multiple tacos by piling the beans, greens, and chunky house salsa on the corn tortillas. Combined with the greens and tomato on the salad, I crafted a hearty lunch. If the only in-house beans had been cooked in a pot of lard, I would have simply passed on beans in my tacos and done just fine with the fresh corn tortillas, tomatoes, green salad, and house salsa. Big Chain Bites When it comes to the fast-food chains, a little creativity can get you some eats in a pinch. The problem is all the mystery ingredients. Careful scrutiny usually uncovers dairy products, eggs, or oils on the lists of what, on the face of it, may appear to be plant-friendly fare--such as beans and veggie burgers. Ingredients seem to also be in a constant state of flux. You cant always trust that the servers are in the know when it comes to ingredients, so its worth checking with management or headquarters online if you want to get the facts. The best resource I have found on fast-food restaurant menus is listed at Urban Tastebuds, which has ferreted out and listed Forty-Eight Vegan Chain Restaurant Menus--the closest thing to plant-based currently available. See the list at www.urbantastebuds.com/­­43-vegan-chain-restaurant-menus -every-vegan-needs-know. The list starts with Atlanta Bread Company and runs all the way through Wendys. Each listing is linked to a page elaborating upon which items can be ordered without animal products. Keep in mind that it doesnt add the processed food filter, so items may include oils and other processed products. Fast-food meals are best left as last-resort options. Still, its nice to know where you might be able to find emergency fare. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles What about the challenges posed by airplane and other long-distance travel? The tips regarding workplace readiness may be all you need. Yet travel involving greater distances and extended chunks of time presents its own set of challenges. This year my husband and I took five trips involving international travel. Add to that the dozen or so excursions made in country for speaking engagements, and were talking about lots of hours logged on planes, in airports, and even a boat or two. The same pack-and-plan system works for all of them. Scout the Location in Advance The first thing I do for airplane travel is some reconnaissance regarding food options at the destination. First stop is the internet, where Ill search the hotel or rental location for nearby plant-food-friendly options, such as a produce market, a natural foods store, or a familiar chain--places where Ive found a good meal in the past, and where I know I can replenish my travel food stash. I then search the area for restaurants under the categories of vegetarian, vegan, or natural foods. A search at www.happycow.net can often turn up several appropriate vendors for eats in urban areas. Outbound Its easy to prepare and pack food when you are heading out on plane travel. Heres an example of how I do it. With an international junket coming up in a few days from this writing--in addition to the in-transit needs of spare clothing and a toothbrush--Ill pack in my carry-on the following: four hummus sandwiches, two peanut butter sandwiches, four apples, cold baked potatoes, peeled carrots, sugar snap peas, and a couple of baggies of rolled oats along with some dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. All of these easily pass at airline security--Ive never had a question asked yet. This food cache translates to two substantial meals for both my husband and me. The hummus sandwiches are eaten first due to their perishable nature. The carrots and snap peas will serve as filling and fibrous portable fare--instant salad, just not in the usual bowl. The peanut butter sandwiches pass the durability test and Ive served them good as new-- though slightly reshaped depending on the rigors of travel--up to forty-eight hours later. The apples last indefinitely. So do the nuts and seeds. Potatoes are best eaten within a few hours, depending on the heat to which your luggage is exposed, but Im always impressed by the way these hold up. The rolled oats can be emptied into a cup, covered with water, and after a few minutes of soaking, ready to eat. If your fruit stockpile has run out, you can find apples, bananas, and other fruit at most airports, even in the coffee shops. Another option for carry-on is soups-in-a-cup that simply require hot water. Let them sit, and in five minutes you can have split pea or black bean soup. Inbound Returning from a destination creates a slightly different situation because you dont have the luxury of being able to stock up from home. If youve been staying with friends or family, a house rental, or a hotel with a fridge, you can pack fruit and durable sandwiches for the return trip. Rolled oats, dried fruit, and nuts packed as part of your outbound preparations can hitch up with airport salads and fruit for sustenance. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Matcha Green Granola Bars

July 1 2015 My New Roots 

Matcha Green Granola Bars I have to start off by saying THANK YOU. I just came back from my cookbook tour in London, which is the very last trip Im taking until the autumn. Now that I have some time to reflect, I have to say how deeply touched and grateful I am to all of you that have showed your support these past few months. Whether youve come out to an event, book signing, cooking class, reposted a recipe on your own blog, sent me a love note, or happy vibes through the ether, I have felt it all and will carry the collective experience with me always. I mean it. I am officially overwhelmed with love. Its been a very fulfilling time for me, but if Im being honest, its also been a very challenging one. Being on the road and away from my sweet little family has been hard, despite being surrounded by so much goodness. My workload has also been full-on at the same time, so there hasnt been much in the way of breaks, or breathing, or looking after myself at all. As someone who is perpetually beating the drum of balance, wellness, and self-love, I am beginning to feel like a hypocrite! And how can I expect to be the best I can be for everyone else if I cant take care of my precious self? So in the name of practicing what I preach, Im introducing My New Roots Summer Lights again - all new delicious, healthy recipes, just without the lengthy article. As it takes an average of 20 hours to create a single blog post, shaving a few off of that will give me some time to regain a little more sanity in my life. And maybe even inspire some of you to do the same. So. These granola bars. They are really, really yummy. Satisfying in all the ways that count; filling without making you feel full, and a salty-sweet flavor balance to make you feel like youve gotten everything you need. Maybe more. I have been relying heavily on these to fill the 11am /­­ 4pm gap, avoid late night bad food decisions, and Ive mowed down a couple (maybe more) for my personal favourite: breakfast-in-a-taxi/­­airplane/­­subway/­­train. Hey, at least I get to sit down. The matcha green tea powder is of course what makes the granola bars green. It has a lovely tea-like flavor (thank you, captain obvious), and a nice little bitter nuance that I dig. But because matcha is a bit of a specialty item that can be hard to find and so darn expensive, the you can of course omit it entirely. Maybe sprinkle in another kind of superfood powder if you have it (lucuma, maca, baobab, raw cacao), cocoa powder, or protein powder, or whatever else youre in the mood for. The point is, these are flexible and simple, and a great granola bar base recipe for you to play with. Party on. The brown rice syrup makes the granola bars ooey-gooey, but because it isnt overly sweet, I poured in a few tablespoons of maple syrup for good measure. If you are not vegan, you could replace the maple syrup with honey, but I wouldnt replace the rice syrup with honey because then these would be way too sweet. Just sayin. If your tahini is unsalted, add a little more salt to the dry ingredients - I promise that you want the salty-sweet thing going on here. And if you have an allergy to sesame, or feel like something different, use another kind of nut or seed butter instead - hazelnut butter would be divine, pumpkin seed butter too, or combo it up, wild cat!      Print recipe     Matcha Green Granola Bars Makes 14 bars Ingredients: 2 cups /­­ 200g rolled oats, gluten-free if desired 1 cup /­­ 135g pumpkin seeds 1 1/­­2 cups unsweetened puffed rice cereal (rice, millet, quinoa etc.) 1/­­2 cup dried fruit (raisins, dates, figs, prunes, goji berries), roughly chopped 1/­­4 tsp. flaky sea salt 1 - 1 1/­­2 Tbsp. matcha green tea powder (to your taste) 1/­­3 cup /­­ 80ml brown rice syrup 3 Tbsp. /­­ 45 ml maple syrup 1/­­2 cup /­­ 125ml tahini 2 Tbsp. coconut oil 1 tsp. vanilla extract Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 325°F/­­160°C. Combine oats and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the oats are golden and have a nutty aroma. 2. In a small saucepan combine the brown rice syrup, maple syrup, tahini, coconut oil, vanilla. Whisk to combine. Do not overheat. 3. In a large bowl, combine the cooled oats and pumpkin seeds with the chopped dried fruit, rice puffs, salt, and matcha. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir quickly to mix. 4. Pour the mix into a brownie pan lined with plastic wrap or baking paper. Press the mixture firmly, especially into the corners. Place in the fridge for a couple hours to firm up, then remove from fridge and slice into bars. Keep leftovers in the fridge for up two weeks. So dear friends, Im wishing you a very healthy, happy summer full of crazy adventures, (responsible) sun-worshipping, belly laughs, and of course, delicious food. I love you! xo, Sarah B

Beluga Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

October 30 2014 Vegan Richa 

Beluga Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potatoes  You know what you can stuff in Sweet Potatoes.. Lentils! These super easy stuffed Sweet potatoes are ready before you know it. Just 20 to 30 minutes in the kitchen and a delicious, allergy friendly meal or side.  I use Black Beluga Lentils in this recipe. They look so delicate and pretty. The lentils are cooked with chipotle chili in adobo sauce and smoky spices and corn. Top with a dollop of guacamole or mashed avocado and vegan sour cream or cashew cream. Use any lentils of choice. These Mexican stuffed Sweet potatoes are here to stay! Perfect for the holiday season.  More Ideas to stuff Sweet Potatoes Taco Spice Chickpeas and Cauliflower Refried Beans and Lime Crema BBQ chickpeas Herbed Harvest Chickpeas Smoky Black Beans Chana Masala - yes! Have you started planning your Holiday Menu yet? What would you like to see on the blog’s upcoming menu.  Continue reading: Beluga Lentil Stuffed Sweet PotatoesThe post Beluga Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potatoes appeared first on Vegan Richa.

Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen Cookbook! Pre-Order Now!

October 19 2014 Vegan Richa 

Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen Cookbook! Pre-Order Now! My Awesome Plant-based Indian Cookbook is now available to Pre-order on Amazon! Can someone Pinch me! Pre-order now! The book will be available in Print and digital (kindle) versions.  - Amazon (is available to pre-order in most countries. Search for Vegan Richa. It will be available to order in India at launch in April) - Andrews McMeel Publishing - Barnes And Nobles - Chapters Indigo - Wherever Else Books are Sold!  thats just crazy. Pinch me again.  Why should you pre-order now? - You can lock in a low price for the Book! 14 bucks right now. - You get 2 new recipes from the book for Diwali if you send me your pre-order receipt! First 100 people. email me at richahingle @ gmail  - You will automatically enter all the giveaways that will happen closer to launch. (Spices, some kitchen gadgets and more) Impress people with Rogan Josh, Vindaloo or Tikka Masala. Try the Split-pea Dal and Cauliflower Radish roast for comfort food. Or dabble in one pot meals or Stuffed Paratha. End every meal with amazing sweets like Gulab Jamun, Sandesh, Mysore Pak, Burfi and Ladoo. If you do not recognize or know these names, you will become an expert after you go through step by step instructions in the book. Whether you want to learn Indian cooking, try some new spices, or add more protein to your meals using legumes and lentils, I have you covered. Youll explore some well-known and new Indian flavors that are easy to make in your own kitchen. Learn the secrets of eclectic Indian taste and textures, and discover meals in which pulses and vegetables are the stars of the dish. And once you taste the mouth-watering desserts, they will likely become your new favorites. All plant-based and allergy friendly.  The book recipes are inspired by the regional Indian cuisines, culture and proven techniques. There are plenty of gluten free and soy-free options or alternatives listed where appropriate. You’d like a Restaurant style Naan? You got it. A gluten-free or grain-free Puffy Naan? you got that too! The recipes have been designed to simplify complex procedures, and workflow tips incorporate modern appliances and techniques from other cuisines to reduce cooking times. Replacement spices are indicated wherever possible, and I also provides alternatives and variations that allow people to be playful and creative with the spices called for in the recipes. 140 + recipes and almost all have photographs! My book is the only Vegan Indian Book by a Vegan author. It is being published by Vegan Heritage Press.  What my Amazing testers are Saying. The book would not be possible without them! Davi: ” I love the amazing variety. Some of the recipes are vegan versions of restaurant favorites, and some are for foods I have never heard of before, but quickly became favorites. The ingredients are accessible and the results are delicious.” Ema: ” I absolutely love your recipes. They’re simple, healthy and full of flavor. My husband decided to go vegan right after I had my son in 2011 and Richa’s recipe for Tempeh Tikka Masala was what turned me on to tempeh. And I’m not the best cook around, but these come out like something you would get at a restaurant. Amazing!!!” Mia: ” I love how easy the recipes are. They are so delicious and authentic in flavour, and while they seem like they might be complicated to make, they are not! The dishes are restaurant quality. I am so excited about this book!” Nicole: ” We live in a crazy small town and the closest Indian restaurant was two hours south with a whopping two vegetarian options before it closed down. Once we went vegan finding enjoyable meals at the local restaurants was difficult. I decided I’d better get creative or there was no way I’d be able to keep my family on board with the then new to us lifestyle. The I found Vegan Richa and a few other blogs and the rest was history. All the Indian dishes I loved had a vegan alternative and they were better than I remembered, not to mention so many new ones I’d never tried or heard of! Admittedly I was a little intimidated by the long ingredients lists but let me be the first to assure you, don’t be! The recipes are clearly written, super tasty, and surprisingly easy to throw together my nine and six year old daughters often help out! A nice bonus a lot of our omni friends and family request these recipes and don’t even ask “where is the real food?!” anymore.” Katie: ” The recipes in the book are clearly a labour of love. I can only feel thankful that Richa decided to veganize and share with us her amazing Indian cooking. Each recipe is as unique as it is delicious, and deceivingly simple. An open canvas for exploration, your kitchen will become your transportation to the rich food history of India.” Jenn: ” Richa’s recipes are full of flavor and variety, yet easy enough for the home cook. Most of them cook up quickly (even with three little sets of hands tugging at me all the time!). Most of the ingredients are pantry staples in our house already. You will not be disappointed with this book! ” Lisa: ” I love the variety of Richa’s dishes, and the authentic flavors. The recipes might seem intimidating, but that’s just because there are many spices – once everything is assembled, they are a breeze to prepare. It’s wonderful to have veganized versions of restaurant favorites, as well as some that are totally new! ” Shannon: ” One of my favorite things about your recipes is your skill with spices. In the past when I’ve made Indian-inspired dishes at home they tasted good, but nothing like “real” Indian food. When I started cooking your recipes we both felt that we were eating restaurant-quality food. Even though I rarely have to buy a new ingredient for a recipe that I don’t already keep in my pantry, I have gotten to taste so many different and exciting flavors” Kyleigh: ” I’m so excited for you! This is really an amazing collection of recipes, every single one I tested was good. Your flavor profiles, spice combinations and textures are always dead on. I have two other Vegan Indian cook books and they really just don’t compare either in flavor or ease. I can’t wait to see it in print! ” Did I mention that today is my birthday. Now what could be a great gift Pre-Order Now!

Bali Bliss Papaya Salad

May 6 2014 My New Roots 

Bali Bliss Papaya Salad Bali is bliss. Its not hard to believe weve already been here for a couple weeks, as Ive clearly sunken into a new, slower rhythm and just allowing the days to unfold at their languid pace. I havent been this relaxed in...well, I cant even remember when to be honest. It feels amazing to not have a schedule to follow, to not have any major deadlines looming, no calls to answer. Ive had to travel halfway across planet earth to find this solace, but I also dont mind being surrounded by tropical jungle, dazzling green rice fields, rivers, and volcanoes, and sparkling starry skies. Bali has a kind of beauty to it, unlike anything Ive ever experienced before. It is rich, mesmeric, mysterious. Everywhere you go, you are greeted with wafts of burning incense, floral offerings, and the sounds of flowing water. Spirituality and everyday life are intertwined, and god seems to be truly in the details. The food? As wonderful as it is to eat at restaurants (dont do much of that in Copenhagen), Ive actually been cooking a lot. Surprise! Weve rented a house with a rather makeshift, but functioning kitchen, and the one-burner hot plate and I have become well acquainted during my experiments with all of the local produce. My family and I head out around 7am to the morning market, and for pennies fill our bags with all sorts of unusual fruits and veggies, then head home to play with it all. The other groovy thing about where we are staying is the front yard full of fruit trees and coconut palms. There are papaya growing - no, bulging - off of their trunks. Fruit larger then my six-month-old baby (and hes a big boy). The housekeeper picked one for me upon my request and it sat ripening on my counter for a couple days until I knew it was time. Total. Bliss-fest. You couldnt take me to the fanciest restaurant and see me more excited than eating that silly, homegrown papaya. Truly. As much as papaya is perfect all on its own, the flavours around me beg to be enjoyed. This was a simple breakfast I tossed together with fresh ingredients I had just picked up at the market: kaffir lime, ginger, and freshly grated coconut (wow, nothing like it!). It is all together sweet, citric, spicy and rich - a delicious combination for starting your day on the right foot, or maybe an afternoon pick-me-up. Papaya Paradise Party Papaya are buttery, rich, satisfying, and a delicious taste of the tropics, but are available in most grocery stores throughout the year. Papayas contain a cornucopia of nutrients, its most unique being papain. Papain is a digestive enzyme that helps digest proteins, similar to the bromelain found in pineapple. If you take digestive supplements, yours will likely contain papain. Papaya is rich in antioxdants, such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavanoids, folic and pantothenic acid, as well as the minerals copper, potassium and magnesium. These nutrients all add up to major cardiovascular protection, due to their ability to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Papayas vitamins, minerals and antioxidants also provide immune support, promote digestive health, and protect against macular degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis. Much like bananas, papaya contains a substance called chitinase, which is associated with the latex-fruit allergy syndrome. If you have a latex allergy, you should avoid eating papaya (and banana too). If you cannot find kaffir limes, regular lime would be fine of course. Kaffir limes tend to be smaller, so if you are using regular lime, just one would likely be enough for the recipe below. And if you cant get yourself to a Balinese market and have someone grind your coconut for you this morning, no worries, just use shredded desiccated coconut in its place. You can even lightly toast it if your heart desires. The recipe for this salad is rather loose. Ive added some rough measurements, but the dressing here depends greatly on the size of your papaya, so just use the ingredients below as a guideline and make the dish to suit your taste. If you like a more citric flavour, go heavy on the limejuice; if you like it spicy, add more ginger, etc. I also drizzled in some local virgin coconut oil, which had the most incredible coconut taste, but this is entirely up to you. Keep in mind that the fat in the coconut and coconut oil will only help in absorbing the carotenes in the papaya.       Print recipe     Bali Bliss Papaya Salad Serves 2-4 Ingredients: 1 large papaya (mine was approx. 2lbs /­­ 1kg) 1/­­2 cup freshly grated or unsweetened desiccated coconut 1-2 organic limes 2-3 tsp. finely minced ginger, to taste pinch sea salt 2 tsp. honey, to taste (or any liquid sweetener) 1 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil, melted (optional) Directions: 1. Rinse the papaya well. Slice through the entire fruit lengthwise, the scoop out the seeds. Cut off both ends from each half. Stand one of the halves on its flat end and slice off the skin starting at the top and running down to the base. Repeat with other half. Next slice the papaya across into 1-inch sections, and then into 1-inch cubes. Place in a large bowl. 2. Rinse the lime and zest it with a microplane or box grater on the finest setting. Whisk together the ginger, lime zest, lime juice, honey, and salt. Add the coconut oil, if desired. Pour dressing over the papaya just before serving, add desiccated coconut, and fold gently to combine. Enjoy immediately. I served the salad with some sliced bananas on the side, and garnished with lime halves.  This salad is just a little warm-up here - I thought a slow work up to the more complicated and technique-intensive dishes I plan on making would be best. For now, its time to just relax and enjoy the simple and blissful flavours of Bali, unwind, breathe. Find a corner of your home to curl up with this dish, light a stick of incense and drift away on a papaya cloud...Ill meet you in paradise.

Healthy Chocolate Frosting (Soy Free)

October 8 2015 Fatfree Vegan Recipes  

Healthy Chocolate Frosting (Soy Free) This quick-and-easy chocolate frosting is perfect for Halloween treats, holiday baking, or anytime dipping! It pipes and holds its shape just like regular buttercream, but has only 1 gram of fat in a 2 1/­­2 -tablespoon serving. So, what’s the secret to this guilt-free frosting? Sweet potato! (Thanks to Sandi’s Allergy Free Recipes for the inspiration.) This veggie’s sweet, earthy flavor melds beautifully with chocolate and makes baked goods sing. Just be sure to microwave or bake your sweet potatoes instead of boiling them to keep this frosting rich and creamy. See the recipe on Veggie Quest for nutrition information and a version sweetened only with dates. Ingredients - 2 c cooked sweet potato (from 2 sweet potatoes, each about 6-7 in, baked or microwaved, skins removed) -  1/­­2 c cocoa powder (Dutch-process or regular; see notes) -  1/­­2 c agave nectar - 2 Tbsp almond butter - 2 tsp vanilla extract - 1 tsp imitation butter flavor (optional) -  1/­­2 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee (I used Starbucks Via) -  1/­­2 tsp salt Directions Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. (Stop to scrape the sides of the food processor as needed.) Makes 3 cups, or enough for 18 cupcakes. Store in the refrigerator. (Will stay spreadable.) Notes - Make up to 3 days in advance. - Dutch-process cocoa powder imparts a darker color and Oreo-like flavor to this icing. However, regular cocoa powder is great too! (C) veggiequest for Fatfree Vegan Recipes, 2015. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us Post tags: gluten-free, higher-fat

Spread of Western Diet Puts Global Health at Risk

July 13 2015 Meatless Monday 

Spread of Western Diet Puts Global Health at RiskRecently CNN reported on a high-risk trend: around the world, communities are adopting the so-called Western diet. Ian Myles of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases describes the hallmarks of the Western diet as “...overconsumption of over-refined sugars, highly refined and saturated fats, animal protein and a reduced intake of plant-based fibers.” Globally, more and more people are living and working in cities and adopting a Western lifestyle – a trend thats starting to negatively affect diet and exercise habits. City life can lead to a larger income, but it leaves little time for exercise and supports convenient, rather than nutritious, food choices. “People around the world, as incomes go up, choose more calories and meat in their diet,” says David Tilman, professor of Ecology at the University of Minnesota. Unfortunately, as the Western diet spreads, so do the risks and diseases associated with it. Eating larger quantities of meats, processed foods, and refined sugars can lead to increased obesity and diabetes rates, higher cancer risks, and problems with the natural gut bacteria that aid in digestion. The diet packs a problematic one-two punch, simultaneously increasing health risks while decreasing fiber and nutritional value. The good news? According to Tilman, maintaining health while communities develop more Western appetites will be based on the “... voluntary choices people make.” Making conscious changes in diet can have an immediate impact on health; removing foods that strain the digestive system will start reducing inflammation right away, lowering the risk for many related concerns. Making healthier eating (less meat, fewer sugary/­­processed foods, more plants) a habit has even more long term health benefits. While the dietary habits of the West are becoming an international trend, making conscious choices about what and how much we consume is small, sustainable step we can make to keep ourselves and the planet healthy. The post Spread of Western Diet Puts Global Health at Risk appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Spicy Currywurst with Mango Curry Sauce

April 20 2015 seitan is my motor 

Spicy Currywurst with Mango Curry SauceThis post is going to be about sausages, and food, and decisions you make as a parent. And it’s probably full of contradictions. But let’s start with something light. What did you eat this weekend? Did you eat out? Did you have takeout? Did you make a meal from scratch? On a typical weekend, I used to shop for groceries and then spent hours in the kitchen cooking. I always considered this very relaxing. It gave me time to unwind and think about stuff. But that was pre-child. These days I am lucky if I can prepare a sandwich without being interrupted. For several reasons there is not much time for quiet and long weekend cooking anymore. The main one is that we try to spend our weekends as a family. We want to go out and do stuff together. And then we get home starving and throw together whatever very quickly. Or we order a pizza. This habit has sneaked into our household since a really wonderful little pizzeria opened in our neighbourhood. They have terrific pizzas, fresh garlic oil,  and a vegan cheese option. It’s quick and it’s super convenient. If we do cook, it is not always very relaxing. Having a three year old person running around in your kitchen can sometimes be a little bit nerve-stretching. You have to think about putting the sharp knife away. You probably don’t want to leave your child unattended next to that pot of boiling spaghetti, and so on.  And then there is always: “Mum, when is the food ready? When? I am starving! Can we eat already?” But sometimes I think I am getting the hang of it. F knows she cannot touch my knife and most of the time she doesn’t.  She wants to take part in our daily activities and she loves to help us cook. She’s taking the tasks I give her super seriously and it’s pretty cute to see her so exited about making her own food.  I won’t let her cut stuff just yet, but she can stand on a chair next to the oven and stir vegetables in a pan. She’s often very close to hot pans and steaming water, but so far she hasn’t burnt herself. Once I let her cut some vegetables but that almost gave me a heart attack. I think she needs to learn handling knifes as soon as possible, but until I am ready for that, we’re concentrating on kneading stuff. Especially seitan sausages. All the food we make at home together is vegan food. Although our daughter is not vegan. Compared to me and P, she is growing up very differently. We live in a city, not a village, the food we eat never comes fresh from a farm. The only farms F ever sees are those idealized little fantasy farms in some of her books. I grew up in a village with lots of farmers around me. My grandparents were farmers, too. Many people told me how they saw someone kill and slaughter an animal when they were kids. They even helped to prepare food made from these animals. This often comes up when people argue that killing animals for food is natural. They say that it is important for children to see where their food comes from and I agree. Food production is very often tied to exploitation of both human and non-human animals. We shouldn’t hide that from our children. But what do we do with it? Do we have to agree with it? Do we have to accept it and just shrug our shoulders? Or shouldn’t we teach our child that exploitation is wrong and that we’re not always powerless about it? My daughter knows how “animal based” sausages are made and what the main ingredient in Haribo gummy bears is. But I am also trying to teach her that it doesn’t have to be like this. That we can change things by doing them just a little bit differently. That you can, for example, eat a sausage or a handful of gummy bears without having to accept that it is “normal” to base those foods on dead animals. And still we are not doing everything right. We are not living a perfect vegan life here. We buy stuff and that stuff is way too often based on exploitation. F is not always able to change things because we make other decisions for her. We agreed to raise F vegetarian and not vegan. We’re taking part in animal exploitation. Right now she’s just accepting things as they are. She’s still so small that she’ll base her decisions on what we tell her. She doesn’t eat meat and isn’t tempted to try it. But she does eat dairy although she knows where it comes from. Her father eats these foods too, so of course it’s okay for her. Although she also knows what I think about cow’s milk or cheese. Some people say this is an easy decision. If you want the best for your family, they should all go vegan. Maybe some would even soay I am not a “real” vegan because we have dairy in our house. I don’t think it is so easy though. For this family parenting and living together with others in a household is based on compromises.When I met my partner ages ago I was a vegetarian. He was a meat eater. I accepted his way of life, he accepted mine. When I went vegan years later, P did not judge me, he supported me the best way he could. When I got pregnant it suddenly felt difficult to have all these different lifestyles under one roof. We talked about how to raise our child, and what kind of food to cook. P knew I would not be able or willing to cook meat. So we settled on compromises. P went vegetarian. His compromise. My compromise: raising the child vegetarian, not vegan. At least not in the long run. At least not, if it wasn’t really doable. In the short run our daughter spent her first year as a vegan. It was really easy, she was with us all day, we cooked for her and there were no animal products in her life. But I knew this would change soon.  I am not a stay at home mother, I never wanted to be one. We don’t live in a very vegan friendly environment, at least not when it comes to childcare. Childcare is the main reason why F is not a vegan. Excuses, excuses, you say. Maybe. Being vegan all by myself is easy. But having a family, a job, and other things to do or to decide together often makes these things difficult. We always agreed on sending F to childcare once she would turn one. At that time it was really hard to find something, so there wasn’t much room for being picky. Our applications for a public daycare space was tuned down, so we looked at childminders. Most of them would serve meat almost every day and I felt very queasy about it. I knew I’d have to bring up the food subject. I was sure I would not be able to tolerate having my child eat meat. But I was willing to make some compromises, the compromises we had agree on before.  The person who finally became our childminder served meat only once a week.  She instantly suggested to make vegetarian food for F on that day. That was more than I had hoped for and I felt grateful. The childminder cooked her own food and fed the kids three times a day. I didn’t want to ask about vegan food and I didn’t. I thought I had already been lucky. And that is how our daughter became a vegetarian. Two years later we applied for a public kindergarten spot. We didn’t get a spot at the daycare we wanted, but we got a spot. I was feeling queasy again. We asked about the food and it tuned out they had a caterer who served meat once per week. The teachers told us to talk to the caterer, maybe they could provide an alternative? They had alternatives for allergy kids and muslims, too. But apparently being vegetarian doesn’t entitle you for an alternative meal. When they refused to provide for our  daughter, the kindergarten staff had no objections to homecooked alternatives. And I was willing to provide them. Once a week, I could do that. F is now the only vegetarian kid in a daycare with about 160 to 180 children. I admit that I would feel overwhelmed if I had to  provide all of her daycare meals. It’s a relief that she gets fed at daycare. The caterer, although stubborn, is a relief, too. I’ve seen other kindergarten menus, with lots of meat. I know we can always do so much better, it’s not perfect, sure. But it’s a start. And F, unlike many of her friends, knows where her food comes from and what’s it made of. I am trying to explain where eggs and milk come from and why I decided not to eat them, too. For now I am trying to make it about personal decisions although I don’t see veganism that way. If we were a family of vegans I probably could (or would) draw clear borders. Make it about them vs. us. But since we’re not I cannot make it that easy. And maybe that is a good thing, because things are never that easy. Well, you are probably still waiting for that recipe! This is another one F and I made together. It’s currywurst, a popular German fast food and maybe you have heard of it. I’ve made it before, you can find my basic recipe of the blog. It’s a fried sausage (bratwurst) smothered in a sauce that is made from ketchup, spices, and curry powder. For this new version I increased the amount of spices, starting with the sausage itself. And I made the sauce a little bit more interesting by using mango puree. (You can find that at Asian grocery stores.) The sausages can be made spicy or mild, depending on your preferences. For a milder version simply use mild smoked paprika powder instead of the chipotle plus a mild curry powder. If you feel that these don’t have enough spice, use one tablespoon of chipotle and reduce the amount of paprika powder to one teaspoon. Also use hot curry powder and double the amount. Note: This recipe calls for mushroom powder. I got the idea to use dried mushrooms from Vegan Yack Attack’s awesome currywurst recipe. The idea to pulverise them is courtesy of Celine Steen who uses mushroom powder in her latest cookbooks. Print Spicy Curry Sausages with Mango Curry Sauce IngredientsFor the currywurst 144 g (1 cup) gluten powder (vital wheat gluten) 16 g (4 tablespoons) nutritional yeast 1 tablespoon mushroom powder* 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika 1 teaspoon garam masala 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon granulated onion 1 teaspoon chipotle powder 1 teaspoon hot or mild curry powder 1/­­4 teaspoon turmeric 300 ml (1 1/­­4 cups) water 2 tablespoons oil 2 tablespoons tomato paste For the mango curry sauce 80 ml (1/­­3 cup) ketchup 160 ml (2/­­3 cup) mango puree 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon hot sauce 2 teaspoons curry powder, hot or mild 1 teaspoon avage nectar 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) oil for frying InstructionsCombine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together water, oil, and tomato paste and add to dry mix. Knead well until everything is combined. Have four pieces of parchment paper and for pieces of aluminium foil ready. (About 38 x 21 cm or 15 x 8.3 inch) Divide the batter into four pieces and roll each piece into a 15 cm ( 6 inch) long log. Wrap in parchment and twist the edges, then wrap in foil. Place a steamer basket in a large pot and add water. Bring to a boil and add sausages. Reduce the heat so that the water is simmering and steam the sausges for 50 minutes. Remove and let cool in their packaging. Let the sausages sit in the fridge over night to improve flavour and texture. When ready to serve, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan and cut the sausages into small pieces. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until crispy. Serve with sauce and fries. Notes*For the mushroom powder simply place one ounce of dried porcini mushrooms in a coffee grinder and pulverise. Store leftovers in a glass jar and use in soups and sauces. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­04/­­spicy-currywurst-with-mango-curry-sauce/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com Spicy Currywurst with Mango Curry Sauce is a post from: seitan is my motor

Coconut Flour Brownies Vegan Gluten-free Recipe

October 24 2014 Vegan Richa 

Coconut Flour Brownies Vegan Gluten-free Recipe One more year and one more Diwali and a ton of sweets later, here is more sweet to start up the holiday season! These brownies are the bomb. They are made of coconut flour, loads of chocolate and are very allergy friendly. No gluten, grain, gum, dairy, egg or nuts. Love chocolate? Make Brownies. The recipe makes bittersweet brownies with the amount of dark chocolate in them. To make them less bitter, use all semi-sweet chocolate.  Coconut flour behaves and feels different. The texture of these brownies will not be too gooey as they sit. They are best consumed when warm after baking. Reheat before serving. It grows on you though I tell you. I love my regular spelt flour brownies, and I also love these. They are adaptable and less prone to baking issues. More Brownies from the blog. No Bake Cookie Dough Brownies Made with Lentils. GF  Brownie Mix in a Jar.  Triple Chocolate Salted Caramel Brownies. Chocolate Chip Cookie, Date Caramel, Brownie Bars.  Tiramisu Cheesecake Brownies. GF  These Coconut flour brownies would make a great addition to the Halloween treats. also, check out this fantastic Free Ebook at Abe’s Market, filled with a ton of Halloween Recipes and ideas. And this Bollywood Thriller dance lessons and video for your next Halloween Bollywood fusion party! Every year around Diwali or any major festival, we remember the celebrations at home. Its been years since we visited India and those memories get fuzzy. Reminders like this ad helps make them fresh and also a lot more emotional. Things have changed since when I came to the US to study and would call home for a few minutes every month because of the exorbitant international call cost, to now skype-ing pretty much every other day. We all are closer but still so far. Note: I do not endorse any of the products in the ad. its the sentiment.  Back to them Coconut flour Brownies.  Continue reading: Coconut Flour Brownies Vegan Gluten-free RecipeThe post Coconut Flour Brownies Vegan Gluten-free Recipe appeared first on Vegan Richa.

How to Eat for Allergy Relief

May 27 2014 Vegetarian Times 

How to Eat for Allergy Relief Spring Salad with Hemp-Nut Clusters and Blueberry Dressing   If you want some allergy relief this season, start by taking a good look at your plate. Is it full of fruits and veggies at every meal? It really should be, because the best remedy for seasonal allergies might be in these plant-based foods. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains contain an enormous variety of nutrients that work together to keep you healthy even during the onslaught of seasonal allergies. Drink lots of water (preferably with fresh lemon), make sure you eat a balanced plant-based diet full of the foods below, and expect a happier allergy season. Spice it up with cayenne pepper. It contains capsaicin, a compound that has the power to ease congestion and inflammation, and boost your immunity. Its also incredibly easy to add to meals. Sprinkle cayenne pepper on prepared meals, add it to dressings and sauces, or drink it in a hot tea with ginger. Try these spiced roasted nuts for an allergy-fighting snack. Are omega-3s the new anti-histamines? Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory prowess, and that ability to fight inflammation is also responsible for lowering histamine response. Less sinus inflammation means less suffering from allergies. Omega-3-rich foods include ground flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds; sprinkle them on salads and in smoothies. If you eat a whole foods plant-based diet, youre probably getting a good amount of vitamin C. This antioxidant is known for its role in keeping us healthy during cold and flu season, and it can also protect us from foreign invaders during allergy season. Some excellent sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, papaya, red bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Red Pepper-Carrot Soup     —— Jenné Claiborne is passionate about helping women adopt and maintain a plant-based diet so they can improve their energy, lose weight, and feel their very best. Founder of The Nourishing Vegan, a New York-based personal chef service, she is also the creator of Sweet Potato Soul, a vegan food blog that features recipes, tips, and cooking videos. In 2013, Jenné launched the 21-Day Vegan Blueprint, an interactive online program that takes the guesswork out of becoming vegan. Follow Jenné on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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