Vegetarian Times - vegetarian recipes

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Vegan Chocolate and Pumpkin Pie Spice Snickerdoodles (Glutenfree)

Spicy Namak Para (Masala Paras)

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Vegetarian Times vegetarian recipes

5 Vegetarian Swaps to Boost Nutrition in Sweet Treats

November 23 2020 Vegetarian Times 

Choose Whole Grains Theres a reason the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend to make at least 50% of your grains whole: theyre packed with essential vitamins and minerals that keep your body running at its peak! When gearing up to bake that family favorite sugar cookie or bread loaf, consider swapping half of the all-purpose flour for a whole-wheat flour until you can make the full switch (this Healthy Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Loaf is a great recipe to start with!) Traditionally, when you start small like this its an easy way to slowly get your pallet to adjust to the change while boosting the fiber of the entire slice (or cookie) too! If youre gluten-free, consider using a recipe that calls for gluten-free oat flour or almond flour (like these Healthy Pumpkin Muffins) so you also reap the benefits of the fiber. Amp Up Those Omegas with Walnuts Pumpkin, pecan, or apple pie calling your name this season? Consider swapping out that white flour and butter crust for a delicious (and nutritious) walnut-based crust. Walnuts pack 2.5 grams of the plant-based version of the omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), in addition to 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber in a one-ounce portion. While many name brands have begun selling their own walnut crusts in the baking section at your local market, they often contain flour and butter in small amounts to help hold the crust together. Not a deal-breaker if youre tight on time, but defeats the purpose of the swap if youre trying to keep this treat gluten-free and vegan. Consider making your own (check out a simple recipe idea here) by pulsing walnuts with a date paste or syrup in your food processor, then shaping into a pie crust and freezing until ready to bake. Related: 7 Tips for Shaking Sugar Think natural When It Comes to Sugar Its no secret most people eat WAY more added sugar than recommended (for reference, on average Americans eat about 17 teaspoons of added sugar a day when the recommendation is closer to 12 teaspoons or below for a 2000 calorie diet!) And friends, beware, coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, and good ole cane sugar are ALL just different types of added sugars (one isnt better than the other.) To help satisfy that sweet tooth, consider using the natural sugars found in sweet fruits and vegetables, like apples, dates, and sweet potatoes, in your baked goods. Depending on the type of recipe youre making, you should be able to reduce the added sugar by at least a third when you sub in unsweetened applesauce (like these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars do!) Note you will also need to modify the fat amount (like the oil or butter used) so the texture continues to be the same. Boost Fiber with Beans Chocolate is abundant this season and for good reason: its delicious and its packed with flavonoids. But what if you took that decadent chocolate and brought it up a notch to boost the fiber and create a decadent dark chocolate dip to serve alongside graham crackers, gingerbread, or fresh fruit? Youd be the hostess with the most-ess for sure! Begin by pureeing a cup of beans alongside melted dark chocolate or dark cocoa powder, dates for natural sweetness, and your favorite nut or seed butter of choice. Blend until its a smooth, hummus-like consistency and enjoy! (Use this Sweet Hummus Recipe as your guide.) Power Up with Protein Cream pies and bundt cakes are certainly popular around the holiday season, but that doesnt mean you cant do over the dairy! Swapping in a portion of reduced-fat Greek or skyr yogurt for sour cream helps to boost the protein while minimizing the saturated fat of your treat. If youre still not a big fan of Greek yogurt, then ease into it by starting small with the swap, with roughly a third used in place of the sour cream. In no time youll be adjusted and making the full swap, pinky promise! (Try this Butterscotch Cheesecake Pie for a nice addition to your menu this year!) The post 5 Vegetarian Swaps to Boost Nutrition in Sweet Treats appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

10 Dietitians Share Their Tips to Add More Plant-Protein to Your Diet

November 19 2020 Vegetarian Times 

With the new year just weeks away, the media is honing in on the top nutrition trends we can expect to see in 2021, and to no surprise increasing plant-protein remains at the top. Whether youre eating more plant-based for sustainability, health, or just because, rest assured there are a variety of whole food options you can choose from to meet your protein needs. But, before you head straight into the freezer department at your local grocer to pick up the latest faux meat product, lets take a look at 10 whole food sources of plant-based protein you may just want to toss into your cart instead! Reader beware, you may end up saving a few bucks once you realize how convenient and affordable many of these options are. Lentils Just one cup of cooked lentils provides nearly 18 grams of plant-protein and 16 grams of fiber for just 225 calories. Lentils also contain many important nutrients, like iron, potassium, zinc and choline (a nutrient that 90% of Americans arent getting enough of!) Plus, theyre budget-friendly with a 16-ounce bag of dried lentils coming in at just $2.99.  Registered Dietitian Kim Rose of www.kimrosedietitian.com recommends making a pot of seasoned lentils on the weekends. Divide them into individual 1 cup servings, and then add them to different meals throughout the week!  Youll find me turning lentils into meatballs, or for a really quick fix, adding a little bar-b-que sauce to them to make tasty, vegan sloppy joes. Hummus This plant-based spread can be made from a variety of beans and legumes, not just the traditional garbanzo bean you may think! Depending on the bean used, the protein content will vary slightly, but a standard 1/­­4 cup serving (or about 70 grams by weight) has roughly 6 grams of protein for just 180 calories. Plus, it often packs heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids that help keep you fuller for longer too! Brynn McDowell, Registered Dietitian and cookbook author of The Mediterranean Diet Made Easy recommends using hummus in place of mayo on sandwiches or spreading it on bagels or toast! She suggests thinning it out and using it as a creamy salad dressing to add more plant-based protein to meals. Pistachios Pistachios are a good source of plant-based protein with a 1-ounce serving of the nut (shelled) providing 6 grams of it! Plus, they pack dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants that help keep your body in tip-top shape. While the shelled variety tends to be a tad pricier, you can still pick up a 10-ounce in-shell bag for about $5.49 at most markets. Lauren Manaker, Registered Dietitian, and author of Fueling Male Fertility, recommends to use shelled pistachios as a salad topped in place of grilled chicken or shrimp. The plant-based protein boost that also gives you fiber and healthy fats for staying power. You can also toss pistachios in trail mixes and in oatmeal as a topping for added nutrition and crunch! Related: Healthy Late-Night Snacks Chickpeas One of the most common forms of plant-based protein on the market is the good ole chickpea (aka, the garbanzo bean!) With nearly 7.5 grams of protein, 6.5 grams of fiber, and 3.7 mg of iron in just 1/­­2 cup serving of cooked chickpeas, its a great way to increase the total nutrient density of your diet. The best part: a pound of chickpeas (dried) often comes in at less than $3.00! NYC-based Registered Dietitian, Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, is a big fan of adding chickpeas to both meals and snacks! From grain bowls to veggie burgers, or roasted as a protein-filled snack, chickpeas offer a convenient and affordable plant-based protein to nearly every diet. Edamame (Soybeans) Edamame is the immature form of the soybean that is often eaten from the shell (or shelled) alongside traditional Asian dishes. Regardless of the form of soybean you eat, they can easily be incorporated into a balanced diet with two servings being a reasonable goal for adults. A half-cup of shelled edamame packs nearly 9.5 grams of plant-based protein and 4 grams of fiber, as well as iron, potassium, folate, and choline! Sarah Koszyk, Sports Nutritionist and author of 25 Anti-Aging Smoothies for Revitalizing, Glowing Skin, recommends pureeing edamame in a hummus, dip, or pesto. Spread the edamame purees on a sandwich or wrap, add it to a burrito, or toss it with a salad, pasta, or rice dish. If youre looking to venture into the other forms of soybeans (like tofu), Registered Dietitian Sylvia Klinger of Hispanic Food Communications suggests blending silken tofu with oil, spices and herbs makes for a delicious high protein dressing, or adding a soy-based curd to pancakes to boost the protein there as well! Tempeh Tempeh is a fermented product made from soybeans in addition to some whole grains, seasonings and other flavorings. A 4-ounce serving of this soy-based protein packs nearly 20 grams of protein, in addition to a host of nutrition benefits. For starters, tempeh is filled with nutrients like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins in addition to its role as a probiotic. Jenna Braddock, Florida based at MakeHealthyEasy.com recommends spending a little bit of time prepping it to make the perfect dish! Braddock suggests crumbling the tempeh, then marinating it and finishing with a sear in a hot pan to add instant protein to salads, wraps, bowls and tacos. Pill Nuts Pronounced peel-y, this nut is native to the pili tree often found in Northern Australia and the Philippines. While lower in protein comparatively speaking per serving size (a 1/­­4 cup serving provides 3 grams in comparison to some of the other nuts), it packs a nutritional punch in that it contains essential amino acids the human body needs. This nut is harder to find at local markets, and you will need to likely shop online and be willing to spend about $16.99 for a one-pound bag. Maya Feller, nationally recognized nutrition expert and author of The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook, recommends enjoying this mildly flavored nut in yogurt form (yes, brands are now popping up incorporating this nut into their yogurts!) smothered over a stack of pancakes or in their raw form as a crunchy snack. Hemp Seeds Three tablespoons of hulled hemp seeds provide nearly 10 grams of plant-based protein to your meal for just 170 calories. Plus, theyre full of iron and unsaturated fats while offering a great nut-free alternative for crunch. While a bit more pricey than other seeds (a 12-ounce bag is roughly $12.99), theyre an easy addition to boost plant-protein on simple foods. Plant-based sports dietitian, Kelly Jones of kellyjonesnutrition.com recommends adding them to oatmeal, sprinkling them onto pancakes, using as a topper for soups and salads, and incorporating into homemade energy bites! Lupini Beans Lupini beans are a staple of the Mediterranean diet and making a name for themselves in the US due to their high protein content. In just a 1/­­2 cup cooked serving of the bean it packs nearly 13 grams of plant-based protein. But, where it packs in protein it lacks in fiber, with that same 1/­­2 cup serving providing only 2 grams. Found traditionally in the jarred food section of the market, there are a few ways you can cook with them! Amy Gorin, a plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats recommends draining and rinsing the beans as you would do with any other canned beans. Then, use them in your favorite dishes, like her delicious plant-based lupini salad! Quinoa One of the only whole grains that is a complete source of protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids), this is an excellent (and affordable) gluten-free, plant-based protein addition to nearly any diet! One cup of cooked quinoa contains nearly 8 grams of protein for just 220 calories (plus nearly 5 grams of fiber.) Quinoa also contains many important B vitamins as well as potassium and antioxidants. Registered Dietitian Tamara Hoffman of Unbeetable Nutrition and Wellness recommends adding quinoa to your taco Tuesday menus with a spicy Mexican seasoning or sauteing it into your stir-fry dishes with a soy sauce. The post 10 Dietitians Share Their Tips to Add More Plant-Protein to Your Diet appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

7 Tips for Shaking Sugar

November 7 2020 Vegetarian Times 

1. Rethink breakfast and afternoon treats Many people who decide to eat less sugar face two immediate challenges: what to eat for breakfast and finding a non-sweet afternoon treat, says Amy Chaplin, author of Whole Food Cooking Every Day (2020, Artisan/­­Workman Publishing Co., Inc.) which includes many sugar-free recipes. For breakfast, Chaplin suggests making your own muesli or granola using yakon syrup, a natural sweetener that is low on the glycemic index (GI) scale (meaning it doesnt bombard your body with sugar because it is digested slowly). Other options: tofu scrambles and steel-cut oatmeal. For snacks, go for apple slices with peanut butter, plain yogurt with blueberries or carrots and hummus. Instead of soda or fruit juices, drink chilled sparkling water with a slice of lemon or herbal teas. 2. Know what you are eating There are at least 200 other names for sugar on food labels, says Uma Naidoo, MD, director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of This Is Your Brain on Food (2020 Little Brown Spark/­­Hachette). Fructose, dextrose and maltose are just a few. And look for added sugars Dr. Naidoo advises. Foods like ketchup, pasta sauces and salad dressings often have more added sugars than sweet foods where you expect sugar. 3. Mind your carbs Choose to eat complex carbs that are low on the GI scale such as apples, oranges, bran cereals and black beans, which are slowly digested, and skip simple carbs such as potatoes, French fries, white rice, white pasta and refined breakfast cereals which are high on the scale. 4. Try new ingredients When cooking, use naturally sweet ingredients in place of sugar. I like using freshly squeezed orange juice, berries and berry powders, beet juice powder, vanilla, coconut butter or dried coconut flakes, says Chaplin. Medjool dates are another good choice, and spices such as cinnamon add extra flavor. Related: 8 Way to Improve Your Gut Health & Mood 5. Be fruit-wise Because fruit contains fiber and nutrients, it is digested slowly and its sugar is absorbed slowly too. Still, its wise to limit fruit. I prefer lower glycemic fruit such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and Bing cherries. These options contain less fructose, the natural sugar in fruit, says Dr. Naidoo. Two to three servings of fruit eaten throughout the day should be OK for most people, she adds, unless you are diabetic or have fructose intolerance in which case you should consult with your doctor. 6. Remember why its important Sweet cravings are hard to resist. Sugar-laden foods increase serotonin in the brain and make you feel good, explains Dr. Naidoo. The calming effect of serotonin may often be felt shortly after eating a candy bar, cake, or other foods high in simple carbs--this is a reason why these foods can be so addictive. Remind yourself that consuming too much sugar can raise the risk of life-threatening illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease when overwhelmed with a craving for a sugary sweet, 7. Enjoy dessert! Dont deprive yourself of luscious desserts. Start to replace those sugary treats with healthier options that still taste good, says Dr. Naidoo. Another option is to switch to baking with erythritol--sold as Swerve--in recipes, says Dr. Naidoo. Even when using artificial sweeteners, however, moderation is key. She also suggests making your own fruit-based ice cream. Amy Chaplins new cookbook features fruit-based desserts such as Berry Chia Pudding--A crowd pleaser for sure! Chaplin says. Click here for the recipe. The post 7 Tips for Shaking Sugar appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

Label Lingo: Plant-Based Diet vs. Vegan Diet

November 6 2020 Vegetarian Times 

Plant-based products have never been hotter. From grocery store aisles to restaurant menus, the term plant-based is everywhere these days. Meanwhile, vegan has become so mainstream that it seems like every day, you hear about another celebrity or athlete going vegan. So does plant-based mean vegan and vice versa? Its hard enough reading labels on food products let alone figuring out the difference between these terms, especially when you throw whole food in front of plant-based. While they do have things in common, there are differences between these labels. Experts untangle them below. Related: 5 Plant-Based Subscription Meal Kits Guaranteed to Make Your Taste Buds Happy Plant-Based Versus Vegan As the name implies, plant-based dieters are focused on increasing the amount of plant-based food sources in their meals. This means more fruits, vegetables, legumes, tubers, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains. Although a person on a plant-based diet may still consume foods with animal products and/­­or byproducts, the ratio of plant-based sources increases while foods from animal and seafood sources are minimized, says Dan Nguyen, R.D.N., registered dietitian and nutritionist at HelloFresh. Of course, the based part of plant-based can be confusing, namely because it has wide-ranging meanings. For some, it could indicate that theyre eating 51 percent of their diet from plants while others might be closer to 90 or 95 percent. They can both be called plant-based eaters, but only if youre eating 100 percent plants can you say that youre a whole-food, plant-based eater, says Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Vegan, on the other hand, means that this person eats zero animal products. That translates into no meat, poultry, dairy, seafood, or any animal byproducts. Yet vegan extends beyond the diet, as it also affects what people wear and what purchases they make. According to the Vegan Society, vegan is defined as a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude--as far as is possible and practicable--all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms, it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals. Related: Tofu: The Unsung Hero of Coronavirus-Related Meat Shortages Why Plant-Based and Vegan Labels Arent a Health Halo Eating more plants is the key to better health and even longer life, according to numerous studies. Plants are a powerhouse of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, Nguyen says. By eating more plants and fewer animals, youll get more of these valuable nutrients. As a result, you might experience lower blood sugar, LDL (or bad) cholesterol, and blood pressure, to name a few beneficial side effects. Plus, eating fewer animal foods and seafood will help decrease your carbon footprint, which is a win for the planet. Yet dont get duped into thinking that foods labeled plant-based or vegan are automatically healthy. The surprise? Many of these foods are still highly processed. Foods marketed as plant-based may not necessarily be healthy or contain many whole plant foods, Nguyen says. These foods can be high in fat, sugar and/­­or sodium and could still make you sick, putting you at greater risk for chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Thats true even if youre a junk food vegan who primarily eats processed vegan food. Just taking animal products out of your diet doesnt guarantee that youll be healthier, as you may not be getting the fiber and nutrients you need, Levin says. Related: Less Meat, Less Problems How to eat healthy, no matter whether youre plant-based or vegan While going plant-based, more so vegan because youre eliminating all animal products, is an admirable first step, it shouldnt be your end step if youre prioritizing health, Levin says. Instead, think about moving as close as you can to a 100 percent whole-food diet. To get there, Levin suggests reading food labels and keying in on fiber. Fiber is often a good indicator of how processed the product is, she says. If you dont see much fiber in a food, chances are its on the low end of the healthy food scale. Then check the added sugar and the ingredient list in general. If you see ingredients you dont know how to pronounce, you should probably avoid putting that food in your cart, Levin says. The post Label Lingo: Plant-Based Diet vs. Vegan Diet appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

Got Anxiety? Create a Soothing Sleep Routine

November 2 2020 Vegetarian Times 

If youre like a lot of people right now, anxiety may be causing you to toss and turn throughout the night. But sleep is essential to our health--without it were at increased risk of infections, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. And getting a good nights rest can improve mood and emotional balance according to Matthew Walker, PhD, director of the Center for Human Sleep Science and author of Why We Sleep (Scribner, 2017). Maybe we cant make every night worry-free, but with the following suggestions for creating a soothing going-to-bed routine, we can improve our chances of getting those much-needed hours of sleep. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and comfortable Screens--your iPad, laptop, television, phone--all emit light that has been shown to disrupt sleep. Make your bedroom a no-gadget zone and block out street light with shades. Even a hint of dim light...has been shown to delay the release of nighttime melatonin in humans, writes Walker, referring to the hormone that alerts our bodies to darkness, signaling that its time to sleep. For optimal rest, your mattress and pillow should be comfortable, and your bedroom temperature should be cool, according to Your Guide to Healthy Sleep published by the National Institutes of Health. Create a transition time I dont work or do anything on the computer past 8 p.m., says Kim Acosta, a working mother of two who, in spite of a complex schedule of family and work responsibilities has found ways to ensure a full nights rest. She has an evening routine of sitting with her 13-year-old son while they each read their own books before going to sleep--a relaxing time for both of them. Instead of working or cleaning the house right up to the minute you hit the pillow, give yourself time to unwind and relax at the end of the day. Create a transition to sleep with activities such as taking a warm bath, playing music, writing in a journal, or doing yoga stretches. Related: 11 Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Dont let exercise or dinner ruin sleep Getting exercise earlier in the day promotes good sleep, but if you work out just before going to bed, your body may be too revved up for restful sleep, according to Your Guide to Healthy Sleep. The same goes for eating--if you eat a big meal right before bed, indigestion might keep you up. Time these activities for early in the evening or at least two to three hours before bedtime. Put off your worries When I start to worry about the next day, I dont try to problem-solve in the moment, says Acosta. I tell myself youre equal to the task which seems to calm me. I think its my way of giving myself permission to not worry about whatever is bothering me at the moment and remember that it will all be fine tomorrow when I will deal with it. Follow her lead and try putting your worries on a mental shelf until tomorrow. Meditate The science is loud and clear: meditation and sleep make splendid bedfellows, writes Ariana Huffington in her bestselling book, The Sleep Revolution-Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time (Harmony Books, 2017). Huffington, who suffered from sleep deprivation for years, learned that making a mental gratitude list helped calm her mind at night, and that meditating eased stress. Need guidance? Check out apps such as Headspace, Cal, Noisli or Slumber, which offer guided meditations, soothing music, storytelling and nature sounds that can help you drift into peaceful, health-giving sleep. We independently source all of the products that we feature on vegetariantimes.com. If you buy from the links on our site, we may receive an affiliate commission, which in turn supports our work. The post Got Anxiety? Create a Soothing Sleep Routine appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

VT Tried It: Justin’s Peanut Butter

October 2 2020 Vegetarian Times 

As a vegetarian living an active lifestyle, Justin was on a mission to create something better. Given that nut butter was a staple in his diet, plain old peanut butter just wasnt cutting it. He dreamt up his own flavors and an assortment of experimental nut butters began to fill his cabinets. After weeks of hungry roommates stealing his tasty creations, Justin decided to write his name on the jar.  Justin’s uses organic ingredients, Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa, sustainably sourced palm oil, recyclable packaging, and made with windpower. Justins Maple Almond Butter: The denser texture and subtle maple flavor pairs well with something juicy like an apple for a healthy and satisfying snack that doesnt leave you hungry later. It didnt take much to be nicely filling.   Justins Honey Peanut Butter: This spreads well, and would pair well with crackers or with celery as a healthier alternative. Nicely sweet but honey taste is still subtle. We paired this with apple slices, which was very satisfying even for colleagues who dont like apples (yes, they are an odd bunch!). These travel pouches are great for the hiking trail, or office snack drawer, and would be a great snack while watching kids sports g Justin’s offers recipes to cook with your favorite nut butters ->  The post VT Tried It: Justin’s Peanut Butter appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

VT Tried It: Nomad Nutrition meals

October 2 2020 Vegetarian Times 

Nomad Nutrition is the culmination of the pursuit of wild places and good food. Founder Denis Mikhailov, an avid climber, spent years looking for the best food to fuel his body and his adventures. Nomad Nutrition promotes a healthy, organic lifestyle with adventure meals geared towards backpackers, hikers, climbers, paddlers, hunters, and anyone on the go or venturing on overnight excursions. Nomad Nutrition has tweaked their recipes to contain the right ratios of healthy fats, lean protein and complex carbs. And theyre packed with nutrient-dense calories to keep the stoke high. They do their best to use organic, non-GMO, whole food ingredients, and all meals are gluten-free, with vegan and paleo options. These small batch meals are made in the Pacific Northwest, not in a lab or some factory overseas, and the company is working on becoming more and more sustainable. But how do they taste? Hungarian Goulash To be honest, Ive never had goulash, but its been the punchline for plenty of jokes, so I was quite surprised at how much I liked this! First of all, Nomad Nutritions meals are super low-effort: boil a cup of water, add to pouch, seal, and let cook. I suspect the potatoes and smoked paprika were my taste allies here, but there are beans to slip in some protein and nutritional value for even a carb-loving hiker like me. GF/­dairy free, soy free, palm oil free, non GMO. Kathamandu Curry Ive been craving rice, and this is made with tiny rice noodles to stand in for the rice. Well spiced, and chickpeas for protein (20g per pouch). I love the coconut milk, but would have skipped the sundried tomatoes. Id still pick up a pouch of this over Mountain House in a heartbeat. GF/­dairy free, soy free, palm oil free, non GMO. Try them out > The post VT Tried It: Nomad Nutrition meals appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

VT Tried It: ALOHA Protein Bars

October 2 2020 Vegetarian Times 

ALOHA’s organic plant-based protein bars are a tasty (and largely chocolate-based!) addition to your backpack or office snack drawer. They are soy-, stevia-, gluten-, dairy-, and sugar alcohols-free! The texture is pleasantly soft--no need to gnaw on cardboard here!, and offer 14g of protein, made of a mix of brown rice and pumpkin seed proteins.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip: The soft texture of the bar is a pleasant contrast with the chocolate chips. I just ate lunch, yet I kept nibbling on this bar! Caramel Sea Salt: As a huge fan of caramel sea salt ice cream, I was wary when biting into this flavor. Rest assured, somehow ALOHA has magically found the right balance of flavors, with just a little sweet. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Again, a masterful balance of replicating the flavors, but without trying to make a protein bar into a dessert. Chocolate Fudge Brownie: This flavor even comes with a chocolate coating (so maybe save it for your cooler-weather hikes). Chocolate Mint: One of my favorite sweets growing up were these mint chocolate meltaways, and this protein bar took me back! You can pick up your favorite flavors at Trader Joe’s, Amazon, or Sprouts. The post VT Tried It: ALOHA Protein Bars appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

How to Clean Cast-Iron Without Water

April 4 2017 Vegetarian Times 

How to Use Chia Seeds

March 21 2017 Vegetarian Times 

The Quickest Way to Peel Ginger

March 20 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Go Vegan! Learning to Eat on a Plant Based Diet

February 28 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Get a Vegan Mentor

February 3 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Essential Nutrition for Vegetarians

January 25 2017 Vegetarian Times 

A vegan bag to love!

January 24 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Stylish and vegan are two words that can -- and do -- go together, as this new backpack from Doshi FCSA demonstrates. 

Hot news: Eating hot chili peppers could help you live longer

January 19 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Eating red hot chili peppers could lead to a longer life, according to a new study. That's one good reason to try these delicious "Sausage" and Pepper Heroes.

Edible Gardening 101: Harvesting Coriander Seeds

January 13 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Delicious Coriander seeds are entirely worth harvesting and taste nothing like cilantro leaves.

Vegetarian Cooking Tips

January 12 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Looking to streamline your cooking routines? Check out these expert tips.

Organic chef is a winner!

January 11 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Nora Pouillon, advocate for organic food and sustainable living is the recipient of the 2017 James Beard Lifetime Achievement award.

An Inspiring New Advocate for Plant-Based Eating

January 5 2017 Vegetarian Times 

At only 15, Haile Thomas is an enthusiastic advocate for plant-based eating. It all started when her father was diagnosed with diabetes and the whole family decided to cook and eat more healthfully. Through her website, cooking classes, TV appearances and work with Sweetleaf Stevia Sweeteners, Haile inspires kids and adults to eating nutritious, delicious, plant-based food.

Ready to lose weight? Here's how to start!

January 3 2017 Vegetarian Times 

You don't have to figure out how to lose weight and eat more healthfully all by yourself. Sign up for this online course, 6 Weeks to Plant Powered Weight Loss and you'll get lots of guidance, tips and recipes from our nutrition expert, Sara Sullivan.

Improve Your Luck in the New Year!

December 27 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Eating black-eyed peas can bring good fortune, according to Southern tradition. So start your year out right with this vegetarian recipe for Black-Eyed Peas and Greens.

A Vegetarian Hits the Road!

December 19 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Victoria Holder, of Victoria's Creative Kitchen, is traveling in a minivan in Europe with her husband. Watch how she makes this vegetarian soup while on the road!

Lentil Caviar Toasts

December 17 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 To make Caviar: Bring lentils and 4 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 35 minutes, or until texture is al dente. 2 Meanwhile, blend all remaining ingredients in blender until smooth. Stir mixture into lentils, and cook 5 minutes more, or until lentils are tender but not falling apart.  3 Drain off any excess liquid from lentils, and spread on baking sheet to cool. Chill 1 hour.  4 To make Toasts: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread baguette slices on baking sheet, and bake 6 minutes. Flip and toast 5 minutes more, or until golden brown.  5 Spread 1 tsp. cr?me fraîche onto each toast slice. Top with 2 tsp. Caviar and garnish with shallot.  

Gift idea: An online cooking course!

December 13 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Give a gift that lasts a lifetime! Check out Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition, a comprehensive online cooking course -- click here for information and a big discount. Meanwhile, see cooking instructor Kayleen St. John demonstrate this root-to-frond cooking tip.  

Planning a vacation? Why not stay at a vegetarian hotel!

December 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Now celebrating its 5th anniversary, Veggie Hotels is an extensive directory for vegetarian and vegan hotels and B & B lodgings around the world.

Barley Salad with Pan-Roasted Carrots and Chickpeas

December 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

This recipe works well with any pearled barley.  1  Bring barley and 4 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 20 minutes, or until barley is al dente. Rinse under cold water, drain, and set aside. 2  Heat 2 tsp. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cumin, and stir to coat. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until carrots are deep brown but still firm. Add pistachios, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to large bowl, and stir in barley, chickpeas, green onions, mint, lemon juice, and remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and refrigerate 2 hours, or overnight.  3  Taste and adjust seasonings by adding more lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper before serving. Serve on a bed of baby greens or arugula, dusted with cumin

Lemon Madeleines

December 10 2016 Vegetarian Times 

These tender, scalloped tea cakes are as simple to prepare as a batch of muffins. 1  Microwave butter and lemon zest in measuring cup for two 10-second intervals, or until just melted. Cool.  2  Whisk together   3/­­4  cup flour, 2 Tbs. sugar, and baking powder in small bowl.  3  Beat 1/­­3 cup sugar, egg, egg yolk, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium-high speed 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened and smooth. Sift 1/­­3 of flour mixture over bowl; fold in gently, using flexible spatula. Repeat 2 more times. Now fold in butter mixture in 3 parts, reserving 1 Tbs. (Do not overmix.) Scrape down sides of bowl, and cover. 4  Brush 12-shell madeleine pan with large (3- by 2-inch) molds using remaining 1 Tbs. butter mixture to coat. Sift remaining 3 Tbs. flour over pan. Invert pan, and tap off excess flour. Refrigerate batter and pan overnight, or up to 5 days. 5  Preheat oven to 375?F. Drop 1 Tbs. batter into each prepared shell of madeleine pan. Do not spread batter. Bake madeleines 11 minutes, or until edges are brown and raised center bumps are firm to touch. Turn out madeleines onto towel-lined rack. Arrange rounded-side down to prevent rack marks. Cool, then store in airtight container up to one week.

Host a cookie party!

December 7 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Turn holiday baking into a chance for merrymaking: Share these great cookie recipes with your friends.

Eat More Quinoa!

December 2 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Not sure how to get quinoa into your diet? Check out this refreshing Quinoa Pico de Gallo Salad created by Christie Brinkley. Sponsored by Natural Factors.

Spiced-Salt Sweet Potatoes

November 28 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Paprika- and cumin-laced kosher salt flavors these crispy wedges.  1 Preheat oven to 425° F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir together salt, paprika, and cumin in large bowl, and set aside. 2 Toss sweet potatoes with oil in large bowl. Spread on baking sheets, and roast 25 to 28 minutes, or until browned. Toss with spiced salt.

Lemony Glazed Carrots

November 28 2016 Vegetarian Times 

A marmalade glaze brings out the natural sweetness of carrots in this fat-free side dish.  1  Bring sparkling lemonade or soda and carrots to a boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Drain, and reserve 3 Tbs. liquid. Transfer carrots to serving platter. 2  Whisk together marmalade and reserved 3 Tbs. liquid, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Drizzle over carrots, and garnish with chives

Kamut Spaghetti with Fennel and Beans

November 28 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Kamut is an ancient wheat grain, and is higher in protein and nutrients than modern-day varieties. 1 Combine 2 cups fennel, broth, soymilk, garlic, and 1 tsp. thyme in small saucepan. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until fennel is tender. Purée mixture in blender with vinegar until very smooth. Season with salt, if desired. 2 Heat oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, remaining 2 cups fennel, and remaining 1 tsp. thyme. Cook 20 minutes, or until fennel is tender and caramelized, stirring often. Stir in 2 to 3 Tbs. water if necessary to prevent vegetables from sticking to pan. Add beans, olives (if using), and puréed fennel sauce.  3 Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, and add to skillet with 2 Tbs. chives. Toss gently to combine. Divide among 4 bowls and sprinkle each with 1/­­2 Tbs. chives

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts Leaves with Shallots and Gomasio

November 28 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Separating Brussels sprouts into little leaves allows you to cook them more quickly. 1 Separate Brussels sprouts into leaves by slicing off root end and peeling off leaves one by one. Place leaves in large bowl. Continue to slice off root end to separate more leaves. (You should have 8 cups total.) 2 Heat oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, or until translucent. Remove to plate. Add Brussels sprouts leaves to skillet, and increase heat to medium. Sauté half of leaves 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender, bright green, and lightly caramelized. Transfer to bowl. Repeat with remaining leaves. 3 Stir in gomasio, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 

Oyster Mushroom Ceviche

November 28 2016 Vegetarian Times 

This play on seafood ceviche can be served in martini glasses. 1 Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high. Add mushrooms, and season with salt, if desired. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until mushrooms are darker and smaller in size, stirring occasionally. 2 Transfer mushrooms to bowl, and stir in remaining ingredients. Chill 1 hour or overnight before serving.

Salt-and-Pepper Puff Pastry Twists

November 28 2016 Vegetarian Times 

To give your twists a gourmet flair, make several batches using different salts and peppers. 1  Stir together baking soda and 1/­­2 cup boiling water in small bowl. Cool. 2  Roll out puff-pastry sheet to 12-inch square on lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, making sure it doesnt stick. Cut into 24 half-inch-wide strips (a pizza cutter works well for this). Cut strips in half to yield 6-inch lengths. Slide parchment onto baking sheet, and refrigerate 30 minutes. 3  Preheat oven to 400?F; have 2 ungreased baking sheets ready.  4  Brush puff-pastry strips with cooled baking-soda mixture. Return to refrigerator 5 minutes. 5  Sprinkle puff-pastry strips with salt and pepper. Twist each strip 3 or 4 times, then place on baking sheet, lightly pressing ends onto sheet so that twists hold their shape. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets, then transfer to airtight container.

Roasted Cauliflower with Crispy Sage and Toasted Pine Nuts

November 26 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Preheat oven to 425°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. 2 Toss together cauliflower and oil in large bowl, and season with salt, if desired. Spread on prepared baking sheet, and roast 25 to 28 minutes, or until deeply browned.  3 Meanwhile, melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add sage leaves, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until darkened, crisp, and slightly curled. Remove from heat, and set aside.  4 Transfer cauliflower to serving dish. Pour sage-butter mixture over top, and sprinkle with pine nuts.

5 Foods That Help Fight Colds

November 22 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Load up on these foods to keep cold season from slowing you down.

Ready to lose weight with a plant-based diet? Here's how to start!

November 18 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Learn how to do it with our online course, 6 Weeks to Plant Powered Weight Loss.

Thirsty? Try this Sparkling Black Elderberry Punch

November 14 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Perk up your afternoon with this refreshing berry lemonade made with Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup. SPONSORED BY GAIA HERBS

Avocado shortage creates craving!

November 14 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Let's just say that some editors at VT have developed a big, big craving for avocados during the current shortage. If you feel the same, and are lucky enough to find one, try this flavor-filled Avocado, Fennel and Citrus Salad!

Orange-Hazelnut Vinaigrette

November 14 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Nut oils add a hint of nutty flavor to salads. Whisk together vinegar, orange juice, hazelnut oil and orange zest in blow. Slowly pour in olive oil while whisking. Season with salt and pepper.

Eat Well This Thanksgiving

November 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Find out what Sherrie Castellano, founder With FOOD + LOVE is making for Thanksgiving--plus her fave fall dishes.

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic Breadcrumbs

November 7 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Preheat oven to 425° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  2 Toss together broccoli and olive oil, and season with salt ( 1/­­2 tsp.), if desired. Spread on prepared baking sheet, and roast 15 to 18 minutes, or until crispy.  3 Meanwhile, melt butter in medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add breadcrumbs and season with salt, if desired, stirring well to coat breadcrumbs with oil. Increase heat to medium, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are toasted and crisp, stirring frequently.  4 Serve broccoli topped with breadcrumbs.    

Alec Baldwin: Save the turkeys!

October 25 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Actor and regular SNL performer ALEC BALDWIN promotes the Adopt a Turkey Project created by Farm Sanctuary.

Color counts at this restaurant

October 20 2016 Vegetarian Times 

BBQ Mushroom Sliders

October 18 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 To make Pimento Cheese: Mash together all ingredients with fork in small bowl. Set aside. 2 To make BBQ Mushrooms: Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, and cook 8 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat, stir in barbecue sauce, and set aside.  3 To make Sliders: Spread 1 Tbs. Pimento Cheese and  1 Tbs. BBQ Mushrooms on bottom of roll. Top with two pickle slices and close with top of bun. 

Basil Pesto Muffins

October 18 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1  Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. 2  Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl; form well in center. 3  Whisk together 3/­­4 cup oil, milk, and eggs in glass measuring cup with pour spout. 4  Pour mixture into well of dry ingredients; stir only until dry ingredients are moistened. 5  Fold in basil, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic. 6  Scoop 1/­­2 cup batter into each muffin cup, filling two-thirds full. Drizzle 1 tsp. remaining olive oil over each muffin. Sprinkle pine nuts and sea salt on top of each muffin. 7  Bake muffins 20 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. 8  Heat broiler to high with rack 6 inches from element. Broil muffins 2 to 3 minutes, or until tops are golden.

Exercisers: Make Your Own Fuel Food!

July 20 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Exercisers: Make Your Own Fuel Food! If you like to run, bike, hike or swim, then you know how well you feel and perform can be greatly affected by eating the right foods before, during, and after an intense workout or event. But you might be really, really tired of energy bars. If so, take a look at Matthew Kadeys new book, Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure--in it, he shows how easily you can these snacks, smoothies and energy bars yourself. The benefits are huge:  You can tailor your power food to include ingredients you like and that meet your dietary needs, without the non-food additions that many commercial sports snacks and drinks rely on. And, youll save money. Tasty bars and smoothies As a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition, Kadey understands what an athletes body needs, and offers lots of simple recipes like Millet Cherry Bars, Zucchini Bread Bites, Hot Chocolate Recovery Smoothie, Watermelon Slushie and others--real-food fuel, as he calls them. He uses ingredients like cacao nibs, chia seeds, almond flour and other nutrient-dense foods to make refreshingly flavorful snacks. This last point is key--Kadey is a long-distance cyclist who knows that we all get tired of eating the same gels and energy bars again and again, which can lead many to not eat enough. But keeping an even energy level during a game, bike ride, or long run, is essential for endurance. Something for Everyone In his book, foods Kadey categorizes recipes by when they can provide a needed fuel: before, during and after a major workout or competitive event. And Kadey indicates which recipes are diary-free, gluten-free, Paleo-friendly and vegetarian or vegan-friendly. Even if youre not a sports enthusiast, you can make any of these power-packed snacks for those times when you need an energy boost or food break--theyre good for you, tasty, and best of all, made in your own kitchen.

Q & A with The Vegan Woman Founder and Director

June 3 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Q & A with The Vegan Woman Founder and DirectorVT got the chance to chat with Sivan Pardo Renwick, the founder and director of The Vegan Woman, an online platform dedicated to exploring the vegan lifestyle. Sivan was a recent presenter on the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise. The tropical adventure was an ideal getaway for vegans, or anyone looking to explore a healthier lifestyle. In addition to all of the amenities of the beautiful cruise line, the trip also includes an abundance of knowledgable, respected presenters, fitness and yoga classes, special vegan meals, and social events. VT: Can you describe your experience at the Holistic Holiday at Sea. Sivan: 2016 was our third consecutive year on the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise; and I find that each time we participate, the experience recharges and fuels us with positive energy. The incredible line-up of top notch lecturers and the opportunity to share such a unique vacation with likeminded people is truly wonderful. After our first year I was so impressed that upon my return I posted a three page review of the cruise on The Vegan Woman, to share my experience. On our second and third cruise we were already meeting friends that we have met in previous years, delighting with them at the wonderful opportunities this vacation offers, and meeting-up with The Vegan Woman community members. It feels like we have joined a vegan family of vacationers that we look forward to revisiting each year. Another aspect I admire is the beautiful mix of veteran vegans, newbie vegans and those who are considering going on a plant-based diet - the interactions that blossom during communal meals, lectures and workshops are beautiful and heartwarming to witness. VT: You led a class on difficulties in going vegan and how they can be overcome. What do you find is the most common difficulty for people and what advice would you give them? Sivan: The most common statement I hear from people who are considering going vegan is probably I want to go vegan BUT I dont think Ill be able for it. The reasons people think they wont be able for it are varied and usually revolve around food attachments. I cant imagine my life without cheese or I dont think I can be satisfied without meat are common statements that can easily be resolved following certain steps. My key advice to those who are interested in going vegan but are suffering from food attachments that keep them from taking the leap, is to do some research. Information is power; so if you are concerned that food wont be as satisfying for you without animal based ingredients, learn which high fiber foods can give you that feeling of fullness or what vegan comfort foods can satisfy you when you experience a craving. If you cant imagine your life without cheese - research the dairy industry and its practices; watch some of Dr. Neal Barnards lectures on what makes cheese addictive and how to break away from this addiction. Put in the research work so that when the time comes you too will be able to truly enjoy the beautiful plant-based options that are constantly growing. If you are not sure how and where to start you can always join some free online groups with vegan members that will be happy to assist and guide you, like Challenge22.com or our active Facebook group Vegan Women - Hosted by The Vegan Woman. VT: Tell us a little about your lecture, How Can I Spread the Message of Compassion and Good Health? Sivan: The idea for this lecture was born as a result of my first Holistic Holiday at Sea experience. While Im used to being asked for advice on how to help others go vegan, by the end of the cruise I also found people who were so excited and inspired by the information theyve learned from the lecturers and speakers, that they couldnt wait to go home and share this new found knowledge with their family and friends. The problem is, from my experience, that conveying knowledge to people who are not interested in being exposed to it, is not only challenging, but also ineffective. My lecture on How to Spread the Message of Compassion and Good Health is all about helping each and every one of us share a positive message in a way that is enjoyable and relevant for both sides, using real world and online tools, from social media to daily activities. My tips include ways of utilizing humor, positivity, and the ability to push the envelope. VT: Whats the best thing you ate on the cruise? Sivan: Now that is a tough question as there were so many dishes I enjoyed this year! If pushed I guess Id have to choose the creamy Seitan Stroganoff, the hearty Aduki Bean and Squash Soup, and the Peach Tart. Although there were many other dishes that are coming in as very-close seconds... VT: Who would you recommend this cruise to? Sivan: I think this cruise is best suited to two types of audiences. The first is vegans who are looking for an enjoyable, pampering vacation in which they dont have to worry about their food and can relax with likeminded people, knowing that all their meals are super healthy, nutritious, and plant-based. The second type of audience I would recommend this cruise to is anyone who is considering going vegan for one reason or another and needs the extra motivation, as well as and anyone who is experiencing health issues, such as diabetes, high-blood pressure, arthritis, Crohns disease, or cancer. This cruise can truly provide them with a life-line; not only for all the great information presented by highly esteemed MDs, but also for some inspiration from those who have recovered from difficult medical situations. If you have a challenging medical problem and decide to join this cruise, please dont miss the Recovery Panel, as it could truly be a life-changing moment for you. VT: What was your inspiration in creating The Vegan Woman?  Sivan: Being vegetarian for 18 years before going vegan, I always tried to avoid animal rights issues as I found the topic too painful to deal with. But as soon as I learned the truth behind the dairy and egg industries and went vegan, I realized how much I wanted the whole world to go vegan too. I also realized that most people wouldnt even be willing to consider it, thinking that going vegan will require them to deprive themselves from fine dining, high fashion, and certain types of activities they enjoy. The Vegan Woman was created with the idea of showing the world how enjoyable, fun, uplifting and rewarding veganism can be. Highlighting that you can delight in amazing food, high fashion, wonderful vacations, and all the beauty this world has to offer without betraying your ethics, and without supporting animal cruelty. The website focuses on vegan lifestyle guides, personal columns written by vegan women from across the globe, recipes, tips and advice on various vegan issues from parenting, to dating, and even tips on where to find your next fashionable vegan shoes. VT: Tell us your favorite VegetarianTimes.com recipe. Sivan: Having just published our mouthwatering vegan chocolate guide, Im still in chocolate mode; and since I have yet to make my own vegan chocolate truffles at home, this Decadent Vegan Chocolate Truffles recipe has my name written all over it...

5 Organic + Diary-Free Vanilla Ice Creams

May 20 2016 Vegetarian Times 

New varieties of organic and dairy-free ice creams have recently appeared on grocers freezer shelves. VT staffers took on the difficult task of tasting a slew of vanilla treats so that we could share with you the best ones to pile on top of your next piece of holiday pie. 1. Aldens Ice Cream Organic Vanilla Bean A fine, classic vanilla ice cream with tiny bits of vanilla bean, this one got rave reviews for creaminess and superb vanilla flavor. $6.99/­­1.5 qt. aldensicecream.com 2. So Delicious Dairy Free Almond Milk Vanilla For the vegans among us, this ice cream-like dessert offers a light, pleasant flavor of almond that is tasty and not too sweet. $5.99/­­1 pt. sodeliciousdairyfree.com 3. Three Twins Ice Cream Organic Madagascar Vanilla Creamy, flavorful vanilla ice cream at its best--this one is the real deal, offering a perfect balance of organic ingredients: milk, cream, evaporated cane juice, egg yolks, non-fat milk, and vanilla extract. $4.99/­­1 pt. threetwinsicecream.com 4. Luna & Larrys Organic Coconut Bliss Vanilla Island If youre nutty for coconut, this dessert is for you--more coconut than vanilla in flavor, but with a light, refreshing texture. $6.25/­­1 pt. coconutbliss.com 5. Julies Organic Ice Cream Vanilla A sweet choice that will please a crowd, Julies is an excellent companion to pie, cake, cookies, or all by itself. $3.99/­­1 pt. juliesorganic.com

Go Vegan: Learning to Eat on a Plant-Based Diet

May 17 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Looking to go vegan? Chef Julie Morris will help you begin your path to eating a healthy, plant-based diet.

4 Ways to Give Your Vegan Baking a Makeover

May 10 2016 Vegetarian Times 

4 Ways to Give Your Vegan Baking a Makeover Just because youre looking to follow a healthy lifestyle, doesnt mean you have to sit out on all the fresh-baked fun! There are many tricks that natural food chefs and nutritionists alike use to help raise nutrient density, therefore lessening the guilt. While these ingenious methods may not give us the liberty to eat breakfast bread like its a leafy green salad, they do offer a wonderful compromise in creating better-for-you, great-tasting treats. These are some of my favorite tricks to use: Sneak in Fruit and Vegetable Purees | To achieve moist baked goodies, like a soft cookie or dense brownie, most chefs rely on large amounts of butter or oil (which, as you can imagine, raises the calorie and fat content of a dessert faster than you can say oh no, I really shouldnt). The good news is there are many other ways to keep moisture in desserts that are far healthier! Using fruit or vegetable purees is a go-to method of mine, as it not only keeps desserts moist, but purees also help sweeten, add flavor, and provide extra fiber at the same time. For fruits, the most versatile varieties include mashed bananas and applesauce. As for vegetables, purees of pumpkin, squash, and even carrots work excellently. How much to use ranges from recipe to recipe - as a baseline, I often use about half of the normal amount of oil a recipe calls for, and substitute the other half with a puree in a 1:1 ratio. This way, you wont sacrifice any flavor! Celebrate With Smart Sweeteners | I talk a lot about using different types of sweeteners, but it bears repeating - theres simply no need to use empty sugars like white cane sugar and corn syrup when we have a world of great sweeteners that actually offer some benefits! Use low-glycemic coconut sugar as a one-to-one replacement for all your white sugar needs, and try healthier liquid sweeteners like yacon syrup or maple syrup when you need something in liquid form. Use Superseed Eggs | While eggs do offer protein, these days, many people are increasingly avoiding them due to eggs being a high cholesterol, acid forming (and thus inflammation promoting), and/­­or allergenic food. To keep everyone in your cookie list happy, try using a binder replacement of flaxseeds or chia instead, which offer protein, healthy fats, fiber, and minerals! Once these seeds are ground into a powder, they can be mixed with water and left to sit for 10 minutes to form a jelly-like substance that acts very egg-like in recipes that dont require eggs to rise (this includes all cookies, brownies, and many cakes). To use this egg-hack, just remember this ratio: 2 tablespoons powder + 1/­­3 cup water = 2 eggs. Boost With Superfoods | Healthy eating isnt all about what you take out; its also about what you put in. If your recipe of sugar, oil, and flour seems pretty nutritionally dire, think about what you can add into the recipe that will subtly raise its healthy value. For example, adding in real cacao nibs into chocolate chip cookies not only adds a chocolaty crunch, but loads of important minerals too. Replacing a couple tablespoons of flour with unflavored or vanilla protein powder stealthily adds bonus protein and fiber. Or try adding in the enjoyable sweet chew of antioxidant-rich dried mulberries to create a treat as extra delicious as it is nutritious.

There’s a new milk in town…and it’s delicious

May 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

There’s a new milk in town…and it’s delicious Almond, cashew, coconut, hemp, soy – there is definitely no shortage to the list of non-dairy milks available to us. Well, it’s time to welcome one more ingredient to the plant-based party: yellow peas. Ripple, a new nutritious, dairy-free milk, is processed using yellow peas. And what does this alternative milk taste like, you ask? The VT team recently tasted the all-natural milk and found it’s smooth, creamy, refreshing, and tasty. Flavors include original, unsweetened original, vanilla, and a rich, sweet chocolate. Better yet, there is a whopping 8 grams of protein per serving, half the sugar of dairy milk, and contains calcium, iron, potassium, Omega-3s, and Vitamin D. This vegan, gluten-free milk is also surprisingly eco-friendly. According to Ripple, they have a 93% lower water footprint than dairy milk. Peas require less water than almonds and emit 69% less carbon dioxide than cashews, coconuts, and almonds. Plus, it’s bottled in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, which can also be recycled. Check out their website for more information and where you can find this milk.

5 Vegetables for Early-Spring Planting

April 27 2016 Vegetarian Times 

If your inner gardener cant wait to ditch the snow boots for garden clogs, rejoice, for planting season is upon us. Too cold, you say? Not for crops like lettuce, peas, and spinach, which grow best in the cool soil and air of early spring. Plant them in the next few weeks, and youll enjoy homegrown vegetables before Memorial Day. Start from seed or buy transplants. Transplants are faster, but seed lets you choose the varieties you want. The ground should be thawed, and the soil temperature above 35°F. To measure, use a soil thermometer, or let nature show the way: When forsythia and daffodils begin to bloom, its time to sow spinach, lettuce, and peas. When the lilacs are in first leaf, sow broccoli and kale seeds. The soil should be moist, not wet. Squeeze a clump in your hand. If it stays in a squishy, wet ball, its too early to plant. If it holds together when squeezed but crumbles when you jostle it, dig in. Follow the instructions on the seed packet or label as to planting depth and spacing. For specifics on growing conditions in your area, contact your countys Cooperative Extension Service. See also Kale Day Chat Recap: 12 Kale Questions Answered 5 crops worth braving the cold for Broccoli Sow seed when the soil temperature is 50°F or warmer. Broccoli initially forms a large center head. Once it is cut off, smaller heads sprout from stalks on the sides. Keep picking or the plants will flower, ending the harvest. Try Blue Wind, Amadeus, or Everest. Kale This nutritional powerhouse comes in flat-leaved or curly varieties, and cold sweetens the leaves. Sow seed when soil is 50°F. Harvest outer leaves when 8 to 10 inches long; large ones get leathery. Varieties to try are Redbor, Winterbor, or Toscano. Lettuce Lettuce matures quickly--about 40 days when started from seed. Sow seeds when soil is 40°F. Lettuces bolt (flower and go to seed) when air temperatures reach 80°F. This turns the leaves bitter. Try Flashy Troutback or Little Gem (romaine), Tom Thumb or Buttercrunch (butterhead), and Green Deer Tongue or Merlot (leaf). Peas For some, its tradition to plant peas on St. Patricks Day, but if your soil is too cold and wet, the seeds will rot. Wait until soil is 45°F. Treat pea seed with inoculant before planting (buy it where you get your seeds). Tasty edible-pod varieties include Sugar Snap and Sugar Ann; Alderman and Lincoln are dependable shelling peas. Spinach Spinach is a cool-weather classic. Seeds can germinate in soil thats only 35°F, though 5° to 10° warmer is preferable. Pick as baby leaves once 3 to 4 inches long, or allow leaves to mature to full size. For a continuous harvest, sow seed every seven days. Varieties to try are Corvair, Tyee, and Yukon. Dos and donts for spring gardening: Dos: - Do amend the soil a few weeks in advance of planting - Do loosen and break up the soil to aerate it, and weed the bed before planting. - Do harden seedlings off by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions over the course of a week or so. Don’ts: - Dont step on the planting area. It compacts the soil so air and water cant get through. - Dont let seedlings freeze. Cover if frost is predicted. Mature plants can tolerate some frost. - Dont forget to fertilize. Vegetables, especially broccoli, benefit from regular applications of an organic fertilizer.

How Much Turmeric Should I Use In My Smoothie?

April 13 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Kayleen St. John, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition Education at the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) in New York City explains how much turmeric you should add to a morning smoothie to reap the spices anti-inflammatory, antioxidant benefits. Sign up for Kayleens online course, Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition, brought to you by NGI and Vegetarian Times.

Am I Getting Enough Fiber in My Vegetarian Diet?

April 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

The Natural Gourmet Institute shares how to get fiber as a vegetarian.

Am I Eating Enough Protein as a Vegetarian?

April 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

A common concern in converting to vegetarianism is wil I get enough protein? The Natural Gourmet Institute shares how to get the right amount for your body.

What Does “Root to Frond” Mean?

April 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

The Natural Gourmet Institute shares the common term root to frond. Learn more about this cooking technique.

Should I be Taking Turmeric?

April 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Have you heard about the inflammation-fighting power of the dried spice (or fresh root!) turmeric?  The fresh root and the bright orange dried spice contains a substance called curcumin, which is responsible for most of the health benefits associated with turmeric consumption. Curcumin has been linked to improved joint health, brain health and even chronic disease prevention.  In cooking, turmeric brings a bright orange/­­yellow pigment to your dishes and lends a warming and somewhat bitter flavor--if you want an idea of the taste, think of curry powder, where turmeric is a main ingredient. You can add turmeric to your curry dishes, of course, but also soups and stews. And even your morning smoothies! The great thing is that little turmeric spice goes a long way  Just 1/­­2 -1 teaspoon in your morning smoothie is enough to reap its health benefits.  Heres another thing to know about turmeric: the spices potency is enhanced when its paired with black pepper (yes, right from the shaker) and some fat. These two additions enhance the bioavailability and anti-oxidant function of curcumin to help make it even MORE powerful within the body.  In Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition, well discuss nutrient synergies and bioavailability in depth, so youll learn even more about pairing foods to enhance their health-promoting properties within the body.

Why Garlic Should Be a Diet Staple

April 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Why Garlic Should Be a Diet Staple Garlic is a favorite ingredient for cooks around the world--and provides a variety of health benefits. Heres how to get the most from this ancient superfood. Garlic may stink, literally, but when it comes to health benefits, this plant is a winner. Not only is it rich in phosphorus, calcium, and copper, but when incorporated into a regular diet, it may reduce risks of cancer and heart disease. Garlic Benefits Garlics benefits include lowering total cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing oxidative stress--which has been linked to numerous health conditions--controlling infections, helping keep iron in circulation, and possibly reducing the risk of cancer, says George Mateljan, Hawaii-based author of The Worlds Healthiest Foods (GMF Publishing, 2015) and founder of Health Valley Foods. Cooked vs. Raw Garlic As for its famous odor? Not until you cut into a garlic clove will its sulfur compounds release their smell. The compounds found in raw garlic confer the greatest health benefits, but cooked garlic is a superstar, too--lending a flavor kick to soups, stews, breads, meats, vegetables, sauces, and dressings. It can also be roasted on its own so that each clove becomes soft and spreadable. Meanwhile, letting crushed garlic stand for 10 minutes before cooking with it can prevent the loss of its cancer-fighting properties, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition. See also High and Low: Garlic Presses Know Your Garlic Supermarkets usually carry just one kind of garlic, but there are actually hundreds of different types--they can be found at farmers markets and garlic festivals (see left). They all fall into one of two general categories: Softneck Characteristics >> Most frequently found in grocery stores, this type produces stalks, but usually also has more individual cloves than the hardneck types. Flavor profile >> Generally milder than hardneck. Common types >> Silverskin and artichoke Hardneck Characteristics >> Garlics in this category feature hard, woody stalks that often send up a floral stalk, and are larger but provide fewer cloves per bulb than softneck varieties. Flavor profile >> This category includes a wider variety of flavors--including some that border on intense--than softneck garlics. Common types >> Rocambole, porcelain, purple stripe, marbled purple stripe, glazed purple stripe Garlic supplements to try Although garlic and its derivatives are included on the Food and Drug Administrations Generally Recognized As Safe list, check with your doctor before taking garlic supplements, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on blood-thinning medications. Here are a few options: Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract $21.99/­300 Formula 100 capsules; kyolic.com Metagenics SuperGarlic 6000 $31.95/­90 600 mg concentrate tablets; metagenics.com Natural Factors GarlicRich Super Strength Garlic Concentrate $13.97/­90 500 mg coated softgels; natralfactors.com Natures Way Garlic Bulb $5.49/­100 580 mg vegetarian capsules; naturesway.com The Vitamin Shoppe Aged Garlic Extract $15.99/­200 600 mg capsules; vitaminshoppe.com

In Response to Our March Article, Can Dogs and Cats Go Vegetarian?

February 24 2016 Vegetarian Times 

In Response to Our March Article, Can Dogs and Cats Go Vegetarian? Several readers pointed out that our March story Can Dogs and Cats Go Vegetarian? seemed to advocate feeding cats a vegetarian or vegan diet. While we strive to present expert information, even when the experts offer differing viewpoints, we agree with Bruce Kornreich, DVM, Ph.D, Associate Director of the Cornell Feline Health Center at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine with a specialty in cardiology, who says: Cats, like many species such as birds of prey and dolphins, are obligate carnivores, meaning they require a strict meat diet. Cats need certain essential amino acids (those they cannot produce on their own), the most often mentioned is taurine. Since cats cannot produce this on their own in significant amounts, if they dont have enough taurine in their diet, there can be deleterious effects on their heart, eyes and reproductive systems. We presented this article in response to the many questions and comments weve received from readers who are feeding their pets a vegetarian diet (or contemplating it). We urge readers to discuss the health consequences of a vegetarian diet for their pets with a veterinarian before proceeding. 

8 Tips for Vegan Travelers

February 23 2016 Vegetarian Times 

8 Tips for Vegan Travelers Theres an unfortunate misconception that traveling as a vegan is difficult – making vegans feel that they cant travel (and also causing many travelers to feel they cant go vegan even though they want to, which Ive heard many times). However, its not difficult to travel as a vegan, once you know a few tips and tricks. Youll get to explore a side of local culture that few get to see and meet vegans around the world. Here are 8 tips to make vegan travel not only easy, but enjoyable: 1. Plan ahead The key to having an enjoyable vegan vacation is to make sure you plan ahead. Look up vegan-friendly restaurants in your destination before you go on Happycow, VegGuide and local websites. It’s also helpful to look up some phrases ahead of time such as: I am vegan. I do not eat meat, chicken or pork. I do not eat fish. I do not eat eggs. I do not drink milk, eat butter or cheese, or consume dairy products. Is there chicken/­­beef/­­pork/­­fish stock in this? Is there oyster sauce/­­fish sauce/­­shrimp paste in this? Is there lard in this? Plus, you can look up some common accidentally vegan dishes in your destination – for example in Greece, fava (a hummus-like bean purée) and Greek salad minus feta. 2. If you’re not into planning, make friends. In my book, The Essential Vegan Travel Guide, I talk about what to do if you don’t enjoy planning and don’t want to research all the restaurants in advance. Don’t fear if you don’t like research – it’s not compulsory. I’d suggest instead reaching out to your social network and seeing if they’ve been to your destination or know of anyone who has. Ask your local vegetarian and vegan friends if theyve been to your destination or know anyone there, and ask for advice on social media (post your questions on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #vegantravel, for example). 3. Have backups. While you shouldnt have any trouble finding vegan food if you do your planning as described above, its always a good idea to have a few backup options, such as knowing vegan options in chain restaurants if youre staying stateside, or how to order vegan in any restaurant. Or, keep a few emergency fruit and nut bars in your bag. 4. Choose where to stay carefully. You might want to consider staying somewhere with a kitchen, or at least a fridge (so you can have breakfast in your room). If you want somewhere with a kitchen, try to find a holiday apartment, hostel with shared kitchen facilities, Airbnb or VegVisits (an all-new vegetarian & vegan holiday rental listings site). 5. Don’t forget about toiletries! You will also want to make sure the toiletries you bring are vegan-friendly. If youre traveling by plane with a carry-on, youll need to make sure all liquids and gels are in 3.4oz or smaller containers and fit in a 1 quart-sized bag. You can buy empty 3.4oz plastic bottles in most drugstores and fill them with your own shampoo, soap, lotion, etc. You can also buy mini containers of some vegan-friendly products. You might also consider purchasing toiletries in non-liquid form. Lush, for example, make many vegan- and eco-friendly solid soaps, shampoos and toothpaste tabs. Or, go multipurpose: Dr. Bronners makes a liquid soap that can be used a soap, shampoo, toothpaste and laundry detergent. 6. Emergency cooking If youre going to be staying somewhere with a kitchen, you might want to know a few simple recipes you can make just in case, like one-pot pasta. Even if youre staying in a hotel, you can make a few basic recipes in your coffeemaker, like soup or couscous (yes, its really possible, and I have recipes for both in my book!). 7. Don’t starve because it’s Sunday. Be aware of local customs – for example, if most restaurants and businesses close on Sunday or Monday. If this is the case, make sure you look up and make note of some vegan-friendly restaurants that are open on Sunday – or stock your kitchen on Saturday. Be extra conscientious of your first and last meals, too. For example, you might want to make note of a vegan-friendly restaurant or two that are near your hotel and open when you arrive. The last thing you want to do is arrive somewhere tired and hungry (and possibly jet lagged) and then end up wandering the streets in a hungry state, desperate for somewhere to eat and arguing with your partner/­­travel companion/­­self. 8. Enjoy yourself! Lastly – and most importantly – have fun! With a little advance planning, you can have a stress-free vacation – because the last thing you want to do on vacation is be worrying about where to find food. Caitlin Galer-Unti is the author of The Essential Vegan Travel Guide, out now and available for purchase as a paperback or Kindle book on Amazon. Caitlin writes about how to find and make food that is sometimes healthy and always delicious on her blog, The Vegan Word, which has been featured on The New York Times and Yahoo!.

Do Food Cravings Mean Your Nutrient Deficient?

February 19 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Do Food Cravings Mean Your Nutrient Deficient? Myth: You crave a certain food because youre deficient in one of its nutrients. If youve ever found yourself desperately pushing through a crowd to get at the double-chocolate cupcakes in a display window, youre well aware of the power of food cravings. Some people suggest that such cravings are an effort by your body to correct a deficiency in a certain nutrient. In the case of chocolate, that might be magnesium--cocoa is considered a good source of this vital mineral. The urge to dig into a tub of salted caramel ice cream, some would say, is an indication you are coming up short in bone-building calcium. And if youre desperately searching for that strawberry shortcake in your fridge, are you deficient in vitamin C? Probably not. Your hankering for certain foods is more likely caused by a mixture of social, psychosocial, cultural, and environmental cues rather than nutritional ones. Case in point, we most often yearn for foods laden with fat, sugar, and salt rather than nutrient-dense choices such as leafy greens and lentils. See also 8 Foods Every Vegetarian Should Eat A study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation found that volunteers who received an infusion of fatty acids (similar to what you would get from comfort foods) while being exposed to depressing stimuli, such as dreary music, reported feeling less sad. And a British study looking at the state of mind of participants right before a craving struck found that they were prone to being anxious or bored and to experiencing a depressed mood. These findings indicate that areas of the brain involved in emotions and moods are strongly affected by dietary elements that can impact cravings and the urge to eat. So when youre feeling down in the dumps, a warm muffin may positively impact parts of your brain--and result in a learned craving for that item. Outsmart a Craving Heres how to outsmart cravings for foods laden with sugar, salt, or fat, which can lead to unbalanced eating and weight gain. STEP OUT The next time you sense a craving for a brownie coming on, lace up your shoes instead. Research shows that a brisk walk can be enough to dampen the urge for sugary snack foods. GET SLEEP Research suggests that people who get more hours of shut-eye tend to be slimmer. KEEP NOTES A detailed food log can help you pinpoint craving trends. You can then take measures to fight back, such as using yoga to deal with stress that induces cravings. UPGRADE Look for healthier substitutes for the foods you crave. For example, try salty tasting nori snacks instead of potato chips or sweet frozen grapes instead of candy. See also Cut the Sugar in 3 Easy Steps The Reality of Food Cravings Cravings are more about wanting than needing. While your body can coax you into drinking more water when youre parched, its not likely to urge you to eat more pumpkin seeds when you need magnesium. Psychological and external factors, though, are the main motivators that drive people to indulge in food cravings. Canada-based Investigative Nutritionist Matthew Kadey, RD, sets us straight on misleading nutrition claims.

Microgreens and Sprout Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing

February 16 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 To make Carrot-Ginger Dressing: Place green onions, carrot, and ginger in bowl of mini food processor, and pulse until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients, and pulse until thick sauce forms. Season with salt and pepper, if desired; set aside. 2 To make Salad: Toss together microgreens, pea shoots, and sprouts in medium bowl, pulling apart any clumps of greens or sprouts. Add Carrot-Ginger Dressing, and toss to coat. Divide among 8 serving plates, and sprinkle with nuts, if using. Serve immediately.

Easy, Cheesy Homemade Pizza

February 16 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 To make Crust: Combine 1 1/­­2 cups hot water (105-115?F), yeast, and sugar in large bowl, electric-mixer bowl, or food-processor bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and knead 10 minutes by hand, 5 minutes with mixer dough hook, or 2 to 3 minutes in food processor, or until dough holds together in a ball and is no longer sticky when touched. 2 Transfer dough to large bowl coated with oil, cover with clean dish towel or plastic wrap, and let rise 1 hour in warm place, or until doubled in size. 3 To make Sauce: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool. 4 Preheat oven to 425?F. Divide Crust dough into 2 rounds, and flatten into 10-inch disks with rolling pin or your hands. Transfer to 2 baking sheets, and add Toppings. Bake Pizza 20 minutes, or until cheese has melted and Crust is golden brown.

Chayote Ratatouille and Red Beans

February 16 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and fennel, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until vegetables are translucent. Stir in garlic, then chayote, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, harissa paste (if using), and 1 cup water. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes. 2 Add kidney beans, and cook, covered, 10 to 15 minutes more, or until chayote is tender. Adjust seasoning with harissa paste, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

The Full Monte Roasted Chayote Salad

February 16 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 To make Roasted Chayotes: Preheat oven to 425?F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or coat with cooking spray. 2 Toss chayotes with olive oil on prepared baking sheet. Roast 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges are browned, turning once or twice. 3 To make Dressing: Blend all ingredients in mini food processor or in jar with handheld blender until smooth. 4 Toss Roasted Chayotes with 1 tsp. Dressing in bowl. 5 To assemble Salad: Toss arugula with 2 Tbs. Dressing, and place in bowl or divide among serving plates. Top with warm chayote, edamame, avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and radishes. Sprinkle with Cotija and pepitas, if using. Serve remaining Dressing on the side for drizzling, if desired.

Mirliton Slaw

February 16 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Slaw 3 chayotes, seeded and coarsely grated (6 cups) 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated (1 cup) 1/­­2 medium red onion, finely chopped (1/­­2 cup) 1/­­2 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped (1/­­2 cup) 1/­­2 cup chopped fresh parsley 1/­­2 cup toasted pecans, optional 1 Bring all dressing ingredients to a boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat, and let cool while preparing Slaw. 2 To make Slaw: Place grated chayote in strainer, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Transfer to bowl, and stir in Dressing, then stir in carrots, red onion, bell pepper, and parsley. Chill 30 minutes, or up to 2 days. Sprinkle with pecans, if using, just before serving.

One Ingredient, Three Ways: Leeks

February 10 2016 Vegetarian Times 

One Ingredient, Three Ways: LeeksWe 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. Leeks provide a host of health and taste benefits, but are often overlooked in favor of their not-so-distant cousins, garlic and onion. All are members of the allium vegetable family, which boast nutrients from B-vitamin folate, to flavonoid kaempferol. Leeks contain many of the same health-promoting compounds as onions and garlic, and are known for their cardio-protective benefits. Tip: Like onions and garlic, leeks should sit for at least five minutes after you slice them, and before you cook them, to enhance their health-promoting qualities. Here are a few simple ways to incorporate leeks into recipes: Leek-squash chickpea pancakes: Who doesnt love a recipe based on a crunchy, traditional potato pancake? To make leek pancakes, use chickpea flour as a base, along with yogurt and peeled squash, and include sautéed leeks to meet the desired flavor. Recipe hack: The leeks and squash can be cooked 2 days in advance; the batter can also be made ahead to save time. Pasta with roasted leek tomato sauce: Forget jarred tomato sauce. Using pasta as the base--either a gluten-free variety, or a spiraled squash to create, say, zucchini noodles--prepare a topping of leeks with other veggies. Brown sliced leeks until soft, then bake them at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes, along with other chopped produce, such as tomatoes and bell peppers, for a unique and tasty topping. Barley and leek pilaf: Leeks and golden raisins bring a burst of bright green color to this one-pot meal. Slice leeks then combine with raisins, quick-cooking barley, water, herbs and oils to create a 20-minute pilaf thats not short on flavor. 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. 

How to Pair Beer with Vegetarian Food

February 4 2016 Vegetarian Times 

How to Pair Beer with Vegetarian FoodWhen I transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle several years ago, my mission was to smash through all the old, tired stereotypes about vegetarians and vegans. As a member of one of the countrys oldest brewing families (Straub Brewery), it was a no-brainer that my debut would be infusing plant-based food with beer, wine, and liquor for The Tipsy Vegan. More recently, I continued the buzzworthy trip with my newest cookbook, The Ultimate Beer Lovers Happy Hour, which pairs plant-based dishes and beer styles. Today, beer and food pairing is one of the hottest trends in entertaining, whether at home or for larger events. And now we vegetarians and vegans can get in on the action like never before. It even landed me on Bravo as guest bartender for Andy Cohens Watch What Happens Live. To brew up a batch of fun at your next get-together, I have three simple suggestions to follow when deciding how to pair your favorite plant-based dishes with the dozens of beer styles on shelves: Black Bean & Corn Salsa from The Ultimate Beer Lovers Happy Hour A Great Complement Goes a Long Way Pair similar flavor profiles, such as sweet foods with smoother, maltier beers like Amber Lager, Vienna Lager, Oktoberfest, or Hefeweizen. Or, foods that have stronger, sharper, or distinct flavors with hoppier beers, such as India Pale Ale, Stout, Altbier, or Porter. Opposites Attract Bring balance to a beer and food pairing by mixing and matching smoother, sweeter, or subtle flavored food with a more intense, palate-grabbing beer, and vice versa. For example, pair a Portobello burger or cauliflower mash with a rich, hoppy Bock. Or, pair a spicy buffalo dip or garlicky veggie kabobs with a traditional Pale Lager. Experiment! Everyones palate processes flavors in unique and different ways. Therefore, a really fun and easy way to pair is to offer a spectrum of beer styles--sweet/­­smooth/­­malty to sharp/­­strong/­­hop-heavy--for sampling in small glasses with each dish you serve. Then, let your guests vote on their favorite. For example, offer falafel or veggie meatballs with a range of Amber Lager, Maibock, India Pale Lager, and Stout. Or, chocolate cake with Dunkel, Cream Ale, Pilsner, and Doppelbock. And, by all means, dont be afraid to add a few or more dashes of brew to the food itself when prepping.   Vegetarian Food & Beer Pairing Below, I have curated a pairing menu of appetizers, using recipes from the Vegetarian Times kitchen archive. I matched each recipe with a beer style that complements, enhances, and/­­or adds a resounding exclamation point to every bite. Maple Pecan Spread Pair with: Vienna Lager The mildly sweet malt flavoring of a Vienna Lager will nicely complement Mother Natures toothsome duo of fresh pecans and maple syrup, especially when served with freshly sliced apples and pears. Spicy Mini Avocado Rolls Pair with: Amber Lager The smooth maltiness of an Amber Lager plays harmony to the sharp, peppery twang of the radishes and green onions, and gently tempers the accompanying pickled ginger and wasabi.   Confetti Queso Dip Pair with: Altbier This classic comfort dip--embellished here with sparks of roasted red pepper, green onions, and chipotle pepper sauce--all but begs to be partnered with a robust and hoppy brew style like Altbier.   White Bean-Artichoke Hummus with Roasted Garlic Pair with: Maibock The blend of white beans and artichokes when supercharged with roasted garlic and a citrusy twist of lemon juice and ground sumac preps the palate for refreshing follow-up swigs of a slightly-hopped Maibock.   Rosemary-Garlic Carrot and Green Bean Fries Pair with: Kölsch The aromatic rosemary and garlic coating on these veggie fries will provide a surprising opening act for the low malt and moderately hoppy--even fruity--notes of a Kölsch.     Adzuki-Beet Pate Pair with: Cream Ale The ambrosial trio of caramelized onions, beets, and adzuki beans will find a fitting ally in the light-bodied nature of a Cream Ale.   Orange-Scented Meatballs with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce Pair with: Pale Lager A good old, classic Pale Lager allows these eggplant, onion, and veggie-bacon balls in their tomato and orange sauce to remain the stars of this pairing while still bringing the buzz.   Mini Sesame-Cucumber Hand Rolls Pair with: India Pale Ale These cool cucumber sticks in consort with the nutty-sesame gomashio in this veggie sushi will be enhanced by a stronger, hop-heavy beer style like India Pale Ale.     Peanut-Stuffed Okra Fingers Pair with: Bock The spirited filling mixture of peanuts, onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and seasonings finds an electrifying bar mate when paired with the roasted and caramel flavor points of a Bock.   Spicy Cashew Cheese Pair with: Brown Ale While the buttery cashews in this cheesy spread play backdrop for the lively fusion of chili powder, coriander, cumin, and garlic powder, the moderate to high maltiness of a Brown Ale will bring every bite to a memorable conclusion. Crispy Seasoned Vegetable Chips Pair with: American Pale Ale The hop-heavy boldness of an American Pale Ale will ignite the WOW-factor alongside these crispy seasoned veggie chips.   Traditional Falafel Pair with: Saison The hearty and distinct flavor of traditional falafel melds with the earthy, spicy, and fruity notes of a Saison.   Caramelized Onion, Walnut, and Spinach Savory Cake Pair with: Pilsner The Onion Marmalade starring in this scrumptious cake bread needs a sidekick that can hold its own, such as a medium-hoppy Pilsner.     Herbed Mushroom Caviar Pair with: Oktoberfest No matter the occasion, this chic amalgamation of button mushrooms, thyme, garlic, and parsley will be accentuated by the sweet malt and mild hoppiness of an Oktoberfest.   Smoky Eggplant and Melon Wraps Pair with: Rauchbier (Smoked Beer) Carry through with a theme for this appetizer combo of smoky eggplant and melon by pairing it with a traditional Rauchbier, which is created using smoked malt.   Carrot Dip with Crushed Walnuts and Olives   Carrot Dip with Crushed Walnuts and Olives Pair with: Stout The blend of carrots, toasted coriander, and pungent harissa in this spread will find an unexpected and sophisticated partner in the dark and intense, roasted maltiness of a Stout.   Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Popcorn Pair with: Doppelbock The brown sugar and cinnamon coating on this popcorn gets an extra kick when followed by the robust maltiness of a Doppelbock, with its caramel aroma and mild toastiness.   Tex-Mex Pizza Pair with: Chili Beer Fire up this Tex-Mex Pizza with a round of spicy Chili Beers.   ABOUT JOHN SCHLIMM: John Schlimm is a Harvard-trained educator, artist, activist, and award-winning writer. His newest book is an inspirational memoir titled Five Years in Heaven: The Unlikely Friendship That Answered Lifes Greatest Questions. Johns other books include Stand Up!: 75 Young Activists Who Rock the World, And How You Can, Too! and a series of plant-based cookbooks, including The Tipsy Vegan, Grilling Vegan Style, The Cheesy Vegan, and The Ultimate Beer Lovers Happy Hour. John has traveled the country speaking about inspirational/­­motivational topics, cooking and entertaining, his artwork, and public relations, including his university commencement address titled “The Road to YES is Paved with Many NOs” and his Embrace Compassion, Change the World keynote address on Capitol Hill. He also has appeared on such national media outlets as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Bravos Watch What Happens Live, NPR, Martha Stewart Livings Everyday Food, The Splendid Table, QVC and Fox & Friends. www.Facebook.com/­­JohnSchlimm Twitter at @JohnSchlimm Instagram at @JohnSchlimm Pinterest at www.Pinterest.com/­­JohnSchlimm YouTube at www.YouTube.com/­­JohnSchlimm.  

29 Vegetarian Dishes for Your Superbowl Party

February 1 2016 Vegetarian Times 

29 Vegetarian Dishes for Your Superbowl PartyWe’ve found 29 of our best game-day recipes that are perfect for Superbowl Sunday. Whether you’re looking for a dish to bring to a party or throwing your own, round out your menu with some of these tasty meat-free options:     Black Bean and Edamame Sliders     Vegan Beer Brats   Mushroom Sliders       Spicy Sloppy Joes   Sambal Oelek Seitan Wings     Mini-Loaded Red Potatoes     Avocado Chimichurri Bruschetta     Thai Chicken Pizza   Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips   Hearty Irish Lager Stew  Curly Oven French Fries with Seasoned Salt Sweet Potato Quesadillas   Hot Artichoke Dip Ultimate Vegan Chili Sun-Dried, Tomato, Goat Cheese and Artichoke Pizza Tempeh Tacos with Ancho-Lime Salsa Rosemary Garlic Carrot and Green Bean Fries Salsa Roja Black Bean Tacos   Texas Style Chili Pizza Margherita Chipotle Chili Non-Carne Black Bean Chili Chili Con Tempeh Baked Onion Rings Double Soy Chili with Zucchini and Corn Guacamole Reinvented Mediterranean Veggie Burgers   Asian Style Snack Mix     Roasted Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce

Immunity-Boosting, Cold-fighting Cleanse Basics

January 27 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Immunity-Boosting, Cold-fighting Cleanse BasicsHealthy cooking expert and Skinny Chef Jennifer Iserloh shares her go-to ingredients for boosting immunity. Jennifer is the author of numerous best-selling health books, including 50 Shades of Kale, Secrets of a Skinny Chef, and Healthy Cheats. Shes also the instructor for our easy-to-follow online course, Gentle Cleanse, which features recipes and guidelines for gently detoxing with healthy recipes and making lifelong dietary changes to feel your best. Sign up for exclusive free tips and discounts for the Gentle Cleanse course! Looking to boost immunity without popping a bunch of pills? Head to your spice rack instead of your medicine cabinet. Spices and herbs contain powerful antibacterial compounds that can cure as they cook.   Seek out the following top immune-boosting performers youll find in any grocery store. Turmeric Think of turmeric as the Superman of spice: Turmeric is powerful and has many talents, all due to curcumin, an active ingredient that works as a powerful anti-inflammatory. Dried Chiles Capsaicin is the compound that gives chiles their characteristic heat. Capsaicins spicy blast will not only warm you up, but also add antimicrobial properties to your meal. Ginger Ginger is highly prized for its detox properties in both Ayurvedic and traditional medicines because of its active compound, gingerol.  Ginger also supports the effectiveness of other herbs and spices and is known to override bacterial resistance mechanisms in pathogens. Thyme Increasing the use of this savory seasoning can also inhibit the risk of hospital superbugs like Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). A recent study shows thyme essential oil was effective in reducing bacteria levels. Rosemary Flavorful rosemary has two benefits for your detox meals, both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.  In-vitro studies have shown that compounds in rosemary have the ability to kill pathogens.

5 Ways to Avoid Weight Gain While Traveling

January 25 2016 Vegetarian Times 

5 Ways to Avoid Weight Gain While TravelingTraveling can take a toll on your weight-loss goals: you’re often eating on the run, indulging in local cuisine, and struggling to maintain your normal routine. To help keep those pounds off during travel, we asked the instructor of our online course, 6 Weeks to Plant Powered Weight Loss, to share some tips for keeping on the weight-loss path during travel. Plant-Based Nutrition Expert Sara Sullivan designed more than 80 recipes for the course that are specifically designed to help you lose weight. As a bonus, if you sign up before January 25th, you’ll also get our FREE low-calorie e-book (pictured below) which features 53 recipes that are all under 400 calories and can be made in 30 minutes or less!   Whether you are traveling for work or fun, staying on track on the road can be challenging. Your schedule is different, youre sleeping in a strange place, and food is either everywhere you look or nowhere to be found. Because travel is stressful enough without worrying about maintaining your healthy eating and exercise habits, here are 5 easy ways to enjoy your trip and stay on the right path! 1: Prepare Ahead of Time As cliché as it may sound, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. You probably know where youre headed at least a week or two in advance (and where your hotel will be located), so look around for grocery stores with good produce sections, and screen local restaurant menus for healthy options. It’ll be much easier to not eat fast food for every meal when you know there’s a juice bar or grocery store a few blocks away. 2: Make Smart Swaps Communicate your nutritional needs with your waiter or waitress when dining out. Asking for salad dressing on the side or substituting steamed vegetables for the usual sides like mashed potatoes are great ways to slash calories. Substitute marinara for creamy sauces. Always order grilled dishes (such as grilled vegetable fajitas) rather than fried dishes (onion rings). If every dish on the menu is fried, ask your waiter whether you can get get the same dish grilled. And don’t feel bad about requesting modifications! Most restaurants want to make their customers happy, and if enough patrons request lighter fare, the restaurant might make menu changes that benefit health-conscious diners in the future. 3: Don’t Skip Meals Whether you’re in meetings all day or kicking back on the beach for a full afternoon, it’s easy to lose track of time and skip a meal while traveling. This might seem harmless, but skipping a meal can easily lead to consuming too many calories at your next meal. Keeping your hunger in check is key, so pack a few of your favorite snacks whenever you head out. 4: Stay Hydrated Traveling can dehydrate you. It can be tempting, especially when youre taking long road trips or long flights to skip out on that extra sip of water to save yourself a trip to the bathroom. Dont do it! Its worth it to drink more water and stop more often (or use the airplane restroom) because it will help you curb your cravings for those unhealthy foods offered so frequently in airports and gas stations. When you don’t take in enough fluids, it’s easy to mistake dehydration for hunger. 5: Stay Active Find a way to get in a workout. Most hotels have gyms or swimming pools, making it easy to squeeze in a workout before you head to a meeting or park it on your beach towel. If you prefer to get outside, explore a new park or beach during a walk or run. You can also bring workout DVDs or stream workouts to your mobile device to keep up with your exercise routine right in your hotel room. Sticking to your healthy eating and exercise plan isn’t easy when you’re traveling. But with planning and determination, you can hold the line on weight gain even away from home.

Better Skin Secrets from The Gentle Cleanse

January 18 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Better Skin Secrets from The Gentle CleanseHealthy cooking expert and Skinny Chef Jennifer Iserloh shares secrets and tips for getting better skin. Jennifer is the author of numerous best selling health books including, 50 Shades of Kale, Secrets of a Skinny Chef, and Healthy Cheats. Shes also the instructor for our easy-to-follow online course, Gentle Cleanse, which features recipes and guidelines for gently detoxing with healthy recipes and making lifelong dietary changes to feel your best. Sign up for exclusive free tips and discounts for the Gentle Cleanse course!   The secret to smoother, more vibrant skin may be waiting for you right in your very own kitchen. Your eating habits and meals have a huge impact on the quality of your skin, since skin health relies on a wide range of nutrients. Doing a light detox program, like our Gentle Cleanse is just the ticket for an easy detox program that naturally integrates skin-healing foods. Even if you are already a healthy eater, pollution, regular alcohol consumption, stress, and pet allergies can wreak havoc on your skin. So if you havent detoxed in a while, youre skin could be a bit backed up with toxins since your skin is the largest detox organ. Heres a quick rundown on five skin-enhancing foods that are the cornerstones of the Gentle Cleanse: Red Bell Pepper Red bell pepper is one of the top sources of Vitamin C which protect the quality of your skin by stabilizing collagen. Kale Kale is one of the richest sources of glucosinaloates, important sulfur compounds that boosts your bodys ability to detox from your internal organs to your skin. Beans and Legumes Black beans have the highest antioxidant activity among legumes, trailed by red, brown, yellow and white beans, in that order. Lentils are high in zinc, which stabilizes cell membranes in your skin. Almonds The high levels of Vitamin E in almonds  boost the livers ability to detox more efficiently. Turmeric Turmeric is the gold standard when it comes to detox, and studies have shown its ability to soothe skin disorders like psoriasis.

5 Protein-Packed Recipes to Feel Full + Healthy

January 11 2016 Vegetarian Times 

These recipes are packed with vegetarian protein so youll be feeling full and healthy all day long.

Pair to Try: Cauliflower + Cardamom

January 6 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Pair to Try: Cauliflower + Cardamom Cauliflower has a sweet, earthy flavor of its own, but becomes extra flavorful when adorned with herbs and spices. Cardamom carries a unique aromatic flavor that is bright, fragrant, and citrusy--and pairs well with cauliflower. Try breaking the cauliflower into florets and roasting them with a tad of cardamom, honey, salt, and olive oil, then finishing with a squeeze of lemon for a simple snack to eat plain or dipped in hummus. Steaming and mashing cauliflower with a little butter or olive oil translates into a beautiful, rich, creamy whipped dish that can be spiked with cardamom and a dash of garlic to produce a perfect, hearty bed for simple roasted vegetables. Casey Easton is the founder/­­owner of Food Lab Cooking School in Boulder, Colo. She trained at the School of Natural Cookery, and spent many years as a private chef.

Spicy Mini Avocado Rolls

January 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 To make Rice: Bring rinsed rice and 1 cup water to a boil in large saucepan. Cover, and simmer 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes, then transfer to bowl. 2 Meanwhile, stir together vinegar, sugar, and salt in small bowl. 3 Transfer rice to large bowl, and stir in vinegar mixture. Cool. 4 To make Sauce: Stir ingredients together in bowl; set aside. 5 To make Rolls: Place 1 nori sheet on work surface or sushi mat. Spread half of nori sheet closest to you with 1/­­2 cup Rice. Spread 1 tsp. Sauce in center of Rice. Top with 1 Tbs. grated radishes, then a line of avocado; finish with 1 green-onion top, making sure each filling goes all the way to sides of nori sheet. 6 Roll nori sheet away from you to enclose filling and make small roll. Dampen far edge with water, then roll to seal. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut each roll into 8 sushi pieces with sharp knife.

Artichoke and Herbed Goat Cheese Quiche

January 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Preheat oven to 425°F. Place piecrust on baking sheet. 2 Process goat cheese, milk, and eggs in food processor 1 minute, or until smooth. Season with pepper, if desired. Pour into piecrust, and arrange artichoke halves over top. 3 Bake quiche 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350°F, and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour more, or until lightly browned on top and knife tip inserted in center of quiche comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Flamiche

January 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Heat butter or olive oil in Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, and sauté 7 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Cool. 2 Preheat oven to 425°F. Place piecrust on baking sheet. 3 Whisk eggs in large bowl. Whisk in milk, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Stir leeks into egg mixture. 4 Spread leek mixture in piecrust, and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350°F, and bake 45 to 60 minutes more, or until lightly browned on top and knife tip inserted in center of quiche comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Butternut Squash Tarte Tatin

January 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Preheat oven to 425°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray. 2 Toss butternut-squash slices with 1 Tbs. oil, and spread on baking sheet. (Its OK if slices overlap a little bit.) Toss onion slices with 1 Tbs. oil, and spread on second baking sheet. Roast squash and onions in oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until just tender and beginning to brown. Cool until easy to handle. 3 Brush 9-inch round cake pan with remaining 1 tsp. oil. Arrange half of squash slices in layer of overlapping slices in circle around edge of prepared pan. Place 2 or 3 squash slices in circle in center to cover. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. zaatar, and top with onions. Cover onions with remaining squash slices. (This layer will be inside the tart, so the slices dont need to be neatly arranged.) Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbs. zaatar. 4 Unfold puff-pastry sheet, and drape over squash in pan. Trim corners of puff-pastry sheet with scissors, then press edges against rim of pan to seal. Prick puff pastry all over with fork. 5 Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Cool 10 to 15 minutes in pan, then invert onto serving plate. Sprinkle with zaatar.

Scalloped Potatoes with Coconut Milk and Basil

January 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Set rack in bottom third of oven, and preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. 2 Place onion in small bowl, and strain coconut milk over top. Let stand 10 minutes. 3 Stir together potatoes, coconut milk, Gruy?re, and basil mixture in prepared baking dish, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Evenly arrange potatoes to cover bottom of dish. (Potatoes should be covered with coconut-milk mixture.) Sprinkle Parmesan over top. Bake 35 minutes, or until top is lightly golden brown and potatoes feel tender when pierced with tip of paring knife. Cool 15 minutes before serving.

Gift Guide: Hydro Flask Food Flask Holiday 2-Pack

December 22 2015 Vegetarian Times 

  Need a great gift idea who people who want to eat well but have limited time? The Hydro Flask Food Flask holiday gift pack comes with one 12 oz. and one 18 oz. food flasks. These sleek flasks keeps food hot or cold 30% longer than their original because the TempShield locks in temperature. This is a great gift for a variety of people on your list: the outdoors lover, anyone college bound, or anyone packing their lunch to work. It’s available on their website for $59.95. Heres five VT recipes wed love to fill these flasks with: Garlicky Leek and Artichoke Soup Brazilian Black Bean Stew Steaming Miso Soup with Vegetables Mexican Rice Soup Ultimate Vegan Chili  

Five Vegetarian Food Subscriptions to Give for the Holidays

December 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Five Vegetarian Food Subscriptions to Give for the Holidays 1. FRUIT FruitShare Fruit of the Month Club Vegetarians, vegans, even omnivores will love the gift of fresh, seasonal organic fruit--including winter citrus, fall apples, summer peaches, and much more--with a Fruit of the Month gift subscription. Each box weighs 6 to 8 pounds and contains 12 to 15 pieces of fruit. Select three-, six-, and 12-month deliveries, at $120, $240, and $480 respectively (includes shipping); a year-round $42 per month half-share option is available too. fruitshare.com 2. COFFEE Craft Coffee Gift Subscription The caffeine cravers on your list will appreciate a gift subscription from Craft Coffee. Available in one-, three-, six-, and 12-month subscriptions from $29.99 to $299.88 (includes shipping), each gift includes 12 ounces of artisanal coffee (4 ounces from three different roasters), tasting notes for each, plus brewing tips. Coffee will arrive in beans or ground, whichever is preferred. craftcoffee.com 3. SNACKS Love with Food Gluten-Free Snack Subscription Make snack time easier for your friends on gluten-free diets with a gluten-free snack subscription from Love With Food. Choose from three-, six-, or 12-month subscriptions ranging from $68.97 to $239.88 (includes shipping). Each box is filled with eight to 12 gluten-free, all-natural or organic snacks with seasonal themes. For every box purchased, Love With Food donates a meal to a food bank. lovewithfood.com 4. BREAD Zehnders Bread of the Month Club If you cant break bread with a far-away friend or family member, you can send this gift of a delivery of delicious bread each month. Subscriptions of three-, six-, and 12-months are available at $75, $150, and $300 (includes shipping), respectively. Each delivery includes two loaves of bread (e.g., sourdough and lemon/­­orange pound), and you can specify when the gift starts. zehnders.com 5. CHOCOLATE Cocoa Runners Monthly Tasting Courses Fine chocolate, delivered. Who wouldnt love that? Cocoa Runners offers three-, six-, and 12-month gift tasting courses--a box of four premium milk and dark or dark-only chocolate bars. Each box includes carefully selected high-quality chocolates from around the world. Prices range from $96 to $318 (plus shipping from the U.K.). cocoarunners.com

4 Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

December 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

4 Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain We asked healthy cooking expert and Skinny Chef, Jennifer Iserloh to share her best tips for keeping extra pounds off for the holiday season. The author of 50 Shades of Kale and trained chef is also the instructor for our Gentle Cleanse course. The online course is a 1-2-3 plan: a 7-day detox, 3-week meal plans, and guidelines for making lifelong decisions. Sign up today to start feeling and looking better today.   Dreading putting on a few holiday pounds? Well dont let the worry of weight gain put a damper on your holiday cheer. There are plenty of tips and little tweaks to allow you to celebrate the season without sacrificing your well being. You can nosh, sip, and brew this holiday!  Just do it the smart and healing way by following these tips to help lessen temptation for the bad stuff while you still enjoy good eats with family and friends. Nosh Winter Detox Foods Many winter foods that you know and love are detox powerhouses, like sage, broccoli, cauliflower and pickled foods, like olives. Include them in your holiday meals in a festive way.  Toss cooked broccoli or cauliflower with sage and chopped olives cooked for 1 minute in warm olive oil.  Or sprinkle greens with lemon zest, chopped rosemary, and toasted walnuts. Spice Up Drinks Chiles are chock full of antioxidants and are super low in calories.  Adding hot peppers to your drinks and foods can burn off up to 50 extra calories during a meal. Even if youre not a spicy fan, you can start with just a little pinch of cayenne in your drinks and smoothies to get a chili-licious boost. Hydrate for Health Do you know that cravings for sweets can actually be your bodys cry for water? With the bustle and rushing of the holiday season many people forget to drink water. Sipping water before you reach for a snack can actually lesson the cravings you have throughout the day -even for fatty or salted foods. Warm Up When stress is high and you just need a little TLC, try sipping a hot beverage instead of noshing on a holiday treat.  I carry tea bags in my purse to be prepared, then just add hot water!  Sipping hot teas can actually reduce anxiety this study shows. If youre sensitive to caffeine I recommend, redbush tea. It is is naturally caffeine free and contains stomach soothing compounds  - perfect for this season of over-indulgence! Want to be more proactive in your avoidance of holiday weight gain--and feel better in the bargain? Join me on The Gentle Cleanse program. The three-day, seven-day, and 21-day programs fit all your needs for eating well (and even shedding a few pounds) throughout the holidays and beyond.

Mini Whoopie Pies

November 24 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream together sugar and butter with whisk until smooth and sugar begins to dissolve. Whisk in egg, milk, and vanilla extract. Add melted chocolate and cocoa, and mix until smooth. Stir in flour with wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Do not overmix. 2 | Transfer batter to 1-gal. resealable plastic bag or pastry bag fitted with small round tip. Trim 1/­­2-inch tip from corner of resealable plastic bag (if using) with scissors. Squeeze 40 1-inch dollops of batter onto baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes, or until tops look dry and smooth. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet; transfer to wire rack to cool completely. 3 | To assemble: Spoon 1/­­2 tsp. marshmallow cream on bottoms of 20 cookies. Top with remaining cookies.

Fresh Herb Potato Rösti

November 24 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of grated potatoes, then place in bowl, and toss with chives, parsley, and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 2 | Heat 1 Tbs. oil in 9-inch skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Press potato mixture into pan, and cook 10 minutes, or until bottom of rösti is golden brown. Loosen bottom and sides of rösti, then slide onto plate. Add remaining 1 Tbs. oil to pan, flip rösti back into pan (browned side up), and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, or until second side of rösti is golden brown. Loosen rösti, then slide onto serving plate. Cut into wedges or squares, and serve warm.

Carrot Soup with Coconut Milk

November 24 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Heat 2 Tbs. oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, fennel, and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, or until softened. Add carrots, and cook 5 minutes, lowering heat (if necessary) to prevent browning. 2 | Add broth (or water) and orange juice, and simmer soup 10 minutes, or until carrots are just tender. Add coconut milk, season with salt and pepper, if desired, and simmer 10 minutes more. 3 | Transfer soup to blender, and process until satiny smooth. Serve hot or cold, drizzled with remaining 2 Tbs. oil and sprinkled with radishes.

The New Vegetarian’s Guide to a Happy Thanksgiving

November 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

The New Vegetarian’s Guide to a Happy Thanksgiving How to keep the peace between the omnivores and vegetarians at your holiday table Heading home for Thanksgiving as a newbie vegetarian? No need to fear the meat-eaters. Here, seasoned vegetarians offer dos and donts, answers for the silly (and serious) questions you may get from family and friends, tips for veg makeovers of traditional family dishes, and suggestions for main dishes even omnivores will love. Gene Baur Farm Sanctuary president and co-founder Gene Baur, a vegan, marks 1986 as his most memorable Thanksgiving, because that was the year he started celebrating the holiday by saving turkeys from slaughter. It was a way to turn a violent tradition into a more compassionate one, says Baur. One of the highlights that first year was an iconic picture taken as Clyde, our rescued turkey, poked his head into the oven as we were pulling out the main course, a stuffed squash. Q: What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? A: I love many of the plant-based side dishes commonly served at Thanksgiving, including potatoes, cornbread, stuffing, beets, veggies, corn, beans, and squash. My new book, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, includes some Thanksgiving table-worthy recipes, like roasted-root salad and roasted asparagus with preserved lemon and crispy capers. Q: Do you have traditional dishes that you have remade veg? A: Yes, I have actually created a new dish by combining scrambled tofu with stuffing. The spices and veggies of each dish are complementary, and the heavier tofu and lighter stuffing balance each other out nicely. Q: What question are you most often asked about your diet and how do you respond? A: Where do you get your protein? It might seem silly to long-time veggies who have found getting protein to be very easy, but to people who have been bombarded by marketing campaigns touting animal protein, its often a serious concern, and I address it as such. I explain that the average American actually gets too much protein, and that protein is present in most plant foods. Vegan foods especially high in protein include beans, greens, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, nuts, and seeds. ESSENTIAL DO: Be friendly and supportive of others who may be curious about exploring a more compassionate holiday. ESSENTIAL DONT: Dont allow the holiday carnage to get the best of you. Focus on the positive. Julieanna Hever Julieanna Hever, RD, The Plant-Based Dietitian, cooking show host, and author of The Vegiterranean Diet, says that Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday: The focus is on gratitude, a priority that is often overlooked with the bustle of daily living. Q: What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? A: I love all the colorful squashes, fruits, and root vegetables, and I find myself cooking more frequently during this time of year. My favorite dishes include anything with pumpkin or butternut squash, and roasted Brussels sprouts. I have a stuffed acorn squash and herbed tempeh recipe that are my go-to Thanksgiving entrées. Q: Do you have traditional family dishes that you have remade veg? A: Yes, Ive revamped a chocolate-chip pumpkin bread that has become a family favorite; I swap in vegetable broth in any soups we traditionally made; and I use either prepared tempeh, tofu, or faux meats instead of turkey. Q: Do you have other non-food-related Thanksgiving traditions? A: We all go around the table and say what we are most grateful for and what we hope for in the upcoming year. ESSENTIAL DO: Enjoy an indulgence. When you focus on eating healthfully throughout the year, it is a good thing to enjoy a treat on holidays. ESSENTIAL DONT: Dont be defensive when someone tries to pressure you into just one bite of something not in alignment with your beliefs. One of the easiest responses is, Thank you for offering, but Im enjoying whats on my plate. Lisa Bloom NBC legal analyst, trial lawyer, and owner of The Bloom Firm, Lisa Bloom, a vegan, hosted her most unforgettable Thanksgiving in 2013, the first year that her omnivore guests embraced a full-fledged veg feast. How did she win them over? It helped that the [faux turkey], mushroom gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, almond string beans, and the boatload of pies were insanely tasty. The final verdict: Afterward everyone realized how nice it was not to be catatonic after the meal; full, but no one went into cardiac arrest. And no animals were harmed in our celebration of gratitude, which is what Thanksgiving is all about for me. Q: What question are you most often asked about your diet and how do you respond? A: My philosophy is that I dont actively proselytize, but if asked a direct question, I will give an honest answer. So, I often have this conversation: New Friend: Oh, youre vegan. Why? Me: Because I love animals, so I dont want to financially support their cruelty and deaths. NF: How does it affect your health? Me: Well, Im 53. I run marathons, climb mountains, take long cycling trips. I almost never get sick. I take no medication. My cardiologist says I have the heart of a 20-year-old. For all that I thank my whole-food vegan diet and daily exercise regimen. Q: What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? A: One Veg Worlds [faux] turkey with a crispy skin, my Moroccan-spiced carrot dip, and my chocolate pecan pie. ESSENTIAL DO: Offer to bring a few dishes. This is key to family happiness. Make sure they are amazing and delicious. ESSENTIAL DONT: Dont apologize for being a compassionate soul, caring about your health, wanting to reverse climate change, or whatever your reason for going veg is.

Save or Splurge: Waffle Irons + 10 Tasty Waffle Recipes

November 11 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Save or Splurge: Waffle Irons + 10 Tasty Waffle RecipesSave You can make waffles right on your stove top with the Nordic Ware Belgian Waffler, an old-school method that gives you more control over crispness. $40.99; target.com Splurge The dual-sided KitchenAid Waffle Maker churns out two airy-and-consistent Belgian waffles at once, with an automatic shutoff to prevent overcooking. $299.95; surlatable.com Waffle Recipes Double Chocolate Waffles Flax and Walnut Waffles with Cranberry-Cherry Marmalade  Classic Belgian Waffles with Fresh Berries Beer Waffles with Cinnamon-Caramel Apples Cornmeal Waffles with Warm Peach Sauce  Rhubarb Waffles with Rhubarb Sauce  Southwestern Savory Waffles Carrot-Raisin Waffles  Brown Rice Waffle  Oatmeal Apple Waffles

TELL VT: What is your favorite food memory?

November 3 2015 Vegetarian Times 

TELL VT: What is your favorite food memory? We want to know: What is your favorite food memory?  Please share your cherished food memory in the comments below or on Facebook. Our favorite responses will be featured in our January 2016 issue!  

Holiday Baking

October 21 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Fork-and-Knife Roasted Vegetables

October 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 350°F; line two baking sheets with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray. 2 | Toss together squash, cauliflower, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and onions with 1/­­4 cup oil. Spread on prepared baking sheets, and roast 10 to 15 minutes, or until vegetables begin to brown. Flip vegetables with tongs, and roast 10 to 15 minutes more. 3 | Stir together remaining 1/­­4 cup oil, honey, vinegar, and garlic. 4 | Remove baking sheets from oven. Flip vegetables, and daub with honey mixture, sprinkle with seasoning mix, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Return vegetables to oven, and roast 5 minutes. Flip vegetables once more, daub with honey mixture, and sprinkle with seasoning mix. Roast 5 minutes more, or until glistening and browned.

Wild Rice-and-Sage Stuffing with Crunchy Croutons

October 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray. 2 | Toast walnuts in dry skillet over medium heat 5 minutes, or until fragrant, shaking skillet often. Set aside. 3 | Toss bread cubes with 21/­­2 Tbs. oil, salt, and pepper in bowl. Transfer to baking sheet, and bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside, and keep oven on. 4 | Heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 12 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add garlic, and sauté 2 minutes. Add broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in wild rice, and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 40 minutes. Stir in toasted walnuts, and simmer, covered, 10 minutes more. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 5 | Spread in prepared baking dish, and bake 10 to 20 minutes, or until beginning to brown and crisp on top. Serve sprinkled with croutons and tarragon.

Labneh Tart with Honey-Cranberry Topping

October 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush 9-inch springform pan with 1 tsp. oil. Set aside. 2 | Blend oats, coconut, oat flour, rice flour, and salt in food processor until coarsely ground, and transfer to bowl. Stir in remaining 1/­­4 cup oil, syrup, and vanilla. 3 | Press crust into bottom of prepared pan. (Do not press up sides.) Bake 25 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. 4 | Meanwhile, bring cranberries and 6 Tbs. honey to a simmer in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 3 minutes, or until cranberries burst, stirring occasionally. Transfer to bowl, and set aside. 5 | Place labneh in bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean, then whisk in remaining 2 Tbs. honey. Spread labneh mixture over baked crust, and drizzle with cranberry mixture. Serve warm or chilled.

Cherry-Pistachio Crisps

October 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange eight 1/­­2-cup ramekins on baking sheet. 2 | Toss together cherries, 2 Tbs. maple syrup, arrowroot powder, orange zest,2 tsp. vanilla extract, cinnamon, and almond extract in medium bowl. Fill each ramekin with generous 1/­­3 cup cherry mixture, and set aside. 3 | Toss together oats, coconut, almond meal, coconut sugar, oat flour, and salt in medium bowl. Stir in oil, remaining 1 Tbs. maple syrup, and remaining 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Add pistachios, and stir until combined. Top each ramekin with 1/­­4 cup pistachio mixture. 4 | Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until crisps bubble around edges and tops are golden.

Ginger Grape Chutney

October 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 375°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray. 2 | Combine all ingredients in medium bowl, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spread mixture in single layer on prepared baking sheet. 3 | Roast 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until grapes start to caramelize and juices begin to evaporate. Cool 10 minutes, then transfer to bowl. 4 | Purée 1/­­2 cup grape mixture in blender, and stir purée into remaining chutney. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

3 Recipe Videos You’ll Love from Leaf Restaurant

October 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

3 Recipe Videos You’ll Love from Leaf Restaurant When VT food editor Mary Margaret Chappell ate at Leaf Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado for the first time at the beginning of 2015, she knew shed happened upon something special. Sure, the restaurant is regularly touted as one of the best vegetarian dining spots in the country, but her meal exceeded her expectations. So began her quest to work with Leaf Restaurants executive chef, Rachel Best. First came a brunch recipe for biscuits and sausage gravy from the restaurant. Then, this video series, which showcases three of the young, talented chefs regular recipe techniques. And the collaboration continues! In June 2016, Rachel will develop a vegetarian wedding menu exclusively for Vegetarian Times. WATCH Rachel Bests videos for How to Make Vegan Zucchini Bread, How to Make Vegan Crab Cakes, and How to Make Zucchini Rolls with Basil Ricotta!

How to Make Vegan Crab Cakes

October 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Vegan Crab Cakes are hot items at Leaf Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado. Here, executive chef Rachel Best shares her signature recipe and explains how she makes and serves the seafood-inspired patties at the restaurant.

How to Make Zucchini Rolls with Basil Ricotta

October 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Zucchini noodles are one of Executive Chef Rachel Bests favorite things to make. Watch how easy they are as she prepares a recipe for Zucchini Rolls with Basil Ricotta which she serves at Leaf Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado.

Mushroom-Miso Gravy

October 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Stir in carrots and celery, and cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir in potato and corn, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated. Add garlic, sage, and thyme, and cook 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant. 2 | Stir in broth, nutritional yeast, miso, and tamari, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes. 3 | Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, and sauté 10 minutes, or until all liquid has evaporated. 4 | Blend mushroom broth mixture in blender in batches until smooth. Stir in mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Raw Thanksgiving Stuffing

October 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Pulse cranberries and walnut halves in food processor until chopped but still chunky. 2 | Transfer mixture to large bowl, and add remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and refrigerate 2 hours, or overnight.

5 Things to Know About 6 Weeks to Plant Powered Weight Loss

October 14 2015 Vegetarian Times 

One of the tasty desserts from Plant Powered Weight Loss.   We are more than excited to launch our new online course, 6 Weeks to Plant Powered Weight Loss. Theres a good chance you already know that this program is an easy-to-follow course designed to help you lose extra weight in a healthy, plant-based way. But there just might be a few things you dont know. Once youre ready to start your weight loss journey, use code PLANTPOWER25 to save 25%. 1. Instructor Sara Sullivan is passionate and qualified. Sara has a certification in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University, completed a 2-year program and a certification as a Nutrition Counselor, and completed a 1,000 hour program and received her certification as a Holistic Health Practitioner. 2. The recipes are easy, quick to make, and easily adaptable. Most of the 80 plus recipes in the course can be made in less than 30 minutes and made in advance.  All of these recipes are vegetarian, but many can be easily altered (if theyre not already) to be vegan. 3. You can win even more consulting. If you sign up on or before October 15th, you can be eligible to win an additional 6 weeks of one-on-one, personal consultation from Nutritionist Sara Sullivan. 4. Youll get the support you need. Enrolling in the course gives you access to our private Facebook group where youll get the chance to ask questions directly to Certified Nutritionist and instructor Sara Sullivan. You can also share your thoughts and experiences and get support and motivation from other students. 5. The recipes wont feel like diet foods. With items like, Chili, Asian Noodle Salad, Guacamole, and Mushroom, Spinach and Avocado Omelets, you wont feel deprived. Chocolate Cheesecake Bars, Peanut Butter Cookies, and Key Lime Coconut Bites are just a few of the healthy desserts.

Kale Day Chat Recap: 12 Kale Questions Answered

October 8 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Kale Day Chat Recap: 12 Kale Questions AnsweredDid you miss our live Facebook Chat for National Kale Day? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here’s a recap of 12 questions our Facebook fans asked Kale Day co-founder and author of 50 Shades of Kale, Chef Jennifer Iserloh. The “Skinny Chef” loves kale so much that it’s a featured ingredient in our new online course, Gentle Cleanse. Kale is the ideal ingredient to go along with the 7-day detox plan and 21-day meal plan, to get you looking and feeling your best. Ready to start your journey on the Gentle Cleanse course? Use code KALE25 to save 25% off just for a special National Kale Day promotion. Q: What are your favorite ways to use kale in the kitchen? A: Smoothies, sauces, salads, tacos, in soups and stews, the ways are endless! Q: Do you think kale is really here to stay? Or is it just a fad? A: Definitely here to STAY!! The studies are so positive, kale is cheap, it’s versatile – mild tasting, thank goodness we have an affordable health food. Q: Is there anything to look for when SHOPPING for fresh kale or other greens? A: Definitely – make sure the greens aren’t wilted in the store – that means they don’t transport them correctly. Also the leaves should be firm to the touch, this includes kale, mustard greens, bok choy- you name it. They shouldn’t have any yellow or brown spots, that means they’re getting old and have been around the block! Q: How do you recommend storing kale and other leafy greens? A: In a bag with paper towel to keep greens from getting wet spots and spoiling. Excess moisture in the bag causes greens to spoil faster. Q: Can you freeze fresh greens? A: You can buy frozen greens, but if you try to freeze fresh one you have to blanch them and they may loose nutrients. Q: Is it healthier to make my own green juice or buy one? Sometimes it makes my stomach hurt. A: Make it, but better yet, make a smoothie so you get all the fiber, too! Q: How do mustard greens compare to kale nutrition-wise? A: Kale is king, it’s higher in vitamin and mineral content compared to all the greens. However you still want to mix and match it with other greens since it superfood has a unique nutritional profile Q: If I mix and match mustard greens with kale, is the cooking time the same? A: No. mustard greens cook faster so cook your kale 2-3 minutes before adding other delicate greens like mustard and spinach. Q: How are Asian mustard greens different from the “Southern” kind (as I think of them)? A: Asian [mustard greens] usually have a little more “kick” or a hint of spice. I like to combine them with stronger flavorings like ginger, soy sauce, and hot sauce while with Southern greens like collards, I serve them with herbs, cheese, lemon or nuts Q: Is the cooking time the same for collards and mustard greens? A: Collards take a little longer, but I don’t do them the Southern way. They cook them for 45 minutes so the Vitamin C is defintely destroyed. I thinly slice them, saute them [for] about 6 to 8 minutes. Q: Is there a better way to prep mustard greens – like soaking? I find them bitter sometimes. A: I don’t recommend soaking, but yes, mustard greens are really strong tasting, so I mix them with other greens and fat items, like nuts and seeds (and eggs if you eat them) to mellow them! Q: Have there been any studies in the past year on kale and its health properties? Any new research or discoveries? A: There are a bunch of studies out there, especially when it comes to cancer prevention. Kale is the #1 food besides turmeric, but you can combine the two.  

Kale: How Much to Eat, Plus Healthy Kale Food Combos

October 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Kale: How Much to Eat, Plus Healthy Kale Food Combos Odds are youve heard that kale is so magnificent for your health that you’ve wondered, but how much should I be eating? Chef Jennifer Iserloh, author of 50 Shades of Kale and one of the founders of  National Kale Day, has the answer. Kales amazing detox qualities make it a staple in our online course, Gentle Cleanse, a 3-step plan: 7-day detox, 3-week meal plans, and guidelines for making lifelong dietary changes. Use the code KALE25 to get 20% off until October 8th. How much kale should I eat? Chef Jennifer Iserloh suggests that  consuming 3 to 4 cups of kale weekly is a good amount, especially when combined with other superfoods. Studies show that combining two cruciferous vegetables makes their healing compounds more potent, so mix and match kale with vegetables in the same family such as broccoli, collards, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Try combining kale with Mediterranean Kalettes. And always include other superfood greens such as spinach, mustard greens, and bok choy topped with healthy fats, nuts and seeds and dairy (if you do dairy) as a way to add interest as well as nutrition to your meals. Include whole grains, such as quinoa, millet, and brown rice in your daily meals, and spice up dishes with zesty flavors of fresh herbs, citrus zest, spices, and fermented condiments. These contribute antioxidants and probiotics as well as flavor.  

4 Essential Things to Know When Buying Vegetable Stock

September 29 2015 Vegetarian Times 

4 Essential Things to Know When Buying Vegetable Stock Vegetable stock is an essential flavor-building component of the best vegetarian cooking. This subtle distillation of carrot, onion, celery, and aromatics adds a depth and complexity of flavor to soups, stews, casseroles, grain and bean dishes – you name it. Basic vegetable stock should be essentially comprised of what the French call mirepoix - onions, carrots, and celery. Some combination of classic aromatics is added to that: peppercorns, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and/­­or garlic. Other ingredients may be added to enhance vegetable stock, such as tomatoes, mushrooms, or sweet squash. Making a good vegetable stock takes time – time we do not always have. Thats where purchased vegetable stock comes in. The good news is boxed stock is widely available in stores. The bad news is it varies widely in taste and quality. Heres what you need to know: Keep it simple. Look for vegetable stock that has a minimum of ingredients. All it needs to have is carrot, onion, celery, and a few herbs. Keep it pure. Purchase organic vegetable stock. Its your guarantee that its free of pesticides and GMOs. No one wants a distillation of that! Also, check the label to make sure there are no unnecessary, low-quality ingredients such as MSG, natural flavorings, or dehydrated vegetables. Know the difference between stock and broth. Stock and broth are not interchangeable. Stock is intended to be the foundation of a dish. For this reason, its unsalted, and its flavor is intended to be subtle. Broth is a completed, seasoned dish; its flavor is much more pronounced. Be careful: broth can easily take over the flavor of a dish. Stock is harder to find, but its definitely preferable to broth. Taste and adjust. I find most boxed products too strong in flavor, even the stocks. Whether you purchase stock or broth, you need to taste it before you add it to a dish. The product should have a very light, sweet taste with a hint of herbs. I made the mistake - only once - of not tasting a vegetable broth before adding it to a soup and learned my lesson: taste the product first, and dilute it with water if necessary. Finally, keep in mind that stock is intended to play a supporting role in whatever dish its used in. Elliott Prag is a Chef Instructor and the Curriculum Development Manager at Natural Gourmet Institute. Elliott holds a Bachelors Degree from Wayne State University, and graduated from NGIs Chefs Training Program in 1995. Thereafter, he worked in numerous natural food restaurants in New York City before developing his private chef business. In 1999, he expanded his business by founding Siegfried & Prag, Caterers. In 2003, Elliott traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria for two years, where he was Executive Chef of Kibea Restaurant, the first health-supportive restaurant in the Balkans.  

Buckwheat, Apple, and Brandy Cake

September 21 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. 2 | Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Set aside. 3 | Cream butter and sugar in bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until mixture is smooth. Beat in sour cream, brandy (if using), and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture, and increase mixer speed to medium-high. Beat 3 minutes, or until batter is light and creamy. 4 | Spread batter in prepared pan, and top with apple slices. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes on wire rack. 5 | Unmold cake, invert onto wire rack so apples are on top once more, and cool completely. 6 | Melt apple jelly in microwave until liquid. Brush cake with apple jelly to glaze.

TELL VT: What Vegetarian Ingredient Are You Most Thankful For?

September 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

TELL VT: What Vegetarian Ingredient Are You Most Thankful For? We want to know: What vegetarian ingredient are you most thankful for? Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

Swedish Mushroom Soup

September 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Soup: Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes,or until leeks are soft. Add mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated. Add broth, thyme, and cilantro, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. 2 | Purée soup in batches until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 3 | To make Crispy Mushrooms: Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss mushrooms with oil in medium bowl. Spread in single layer on baking sheet, and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Cool. Garnish Soup with Crispy Mushrooms, if using.

Rustic Squash Pizza with Goat Cheese Gremolata

September 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Place oven rack in lowest position; place large baking sheet on rack, and preheat oven to 500°F. 2 | Coat large skillet with cooking spray. Add squash; season with salt, if desired, and coat with cooking spray. Add 1/­­4 cup water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cover, and cook 5 minutes, or until squash is tender and water is absorbed. 3 | Coat dull side of non-stick foil with cooking spray. Place dough on foil; coat dough with spray. Stretch dough into 13- x 9-inch oblong shape. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheeses, then squash and onion, leaving 1/­­2-inch border around sides. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 4 | Slide foil with pizza onto hot baking sheet in oven. Bake pizza 10 to 15 minutes, or until crust is crisp. 5 | Meanwhile, toss together parsley, chile, lemon peel, and garlic in small bowl. Mix in goat cheese. 6 | Transfer pizza to cutting board or platter. Sprinkle with parsley mixture.

Mini Cheddar Popovers

September 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Set oven rack in bottom third of oven, and preheat oven to 500°F. Coat 24-cup mini muffin pan well with cooking spray. 2 | Whisk eggs in medium bowl 1 minute with hand whisk, or until light yellow and frothy. Whisk in milk until combined. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, then stir in cheese and chives. 3 | Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling almost to rim. Place on bottom rack in oven, reduce oven heat to 450°F, and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat once more to 350°F, and bake 5 to 10 minutes more, or until popovers are deep golden brown. 4 | Immediately unmold popovers to prevent sticking. Dust with paprika (if using). Serve hot or at room temperature.

Golden Saffron Pound Cake

September 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Warm non-dairy milk 1 minute in microwave. Stir in saffron, cover, and let steep overnight. 2 | Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. 3 | Transfer saffron mixture to large bowl, straining out saffron threads, if desired. Whisk in sugar, yogurt, oil, and salt. Sift in flour, baking soda, and baking powder, and stir until just combined. Stir in vinegar, vanilla, and rose water. Fold in raisins. Spread batter in prepared loaf pan, and bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan before unmolding onto wire rack to cool completely.

Salt-and-Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

September 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Place potatoes, vinegar, salt, garlic (if using), and 6 cups water in large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and boil potatoes 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender when pierced with fork. Drain, and cool. 2 | Preheat oven to 450°F, and coat large baking sheet with cooking spray. 3 | Toss potatoes with oil in large bowl, and spread on prepared baking sheet. Roast 15 to 20 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

6 Simple, Delicious Pasta Salad Recipes

September 10 2015 Vegetarian Times 

6 Simple, Delicious Pasta Salad RecipesPasta Salad is a staple as a barbecue side dish for good reason - its satisfying, simple, and the perfect outlet for fresh, seasonal vegetables. Plus, it makes for tasty leftovers and could even be the star of the show on hot summer nights instead of just the side. Forego your classic recipe and try these bold, flavorful pasta salads instead: Sicilian Pasta Salad With the intense flavors from the marinated artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes, you wont believe this pasta salad takes less than 30 minutes. Get the recipe.  Summer Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables Grilling the zucchini and red bell pepper amplify their flavor while the fresh oregano and basil lighten everything up. Get the recipe. Pasta Shells with Egg, Beat, and Arugula Salad Break the mold of the traditional pasta salad by stuffing jumbo pasta shells with the spicy arugula and creamy salad. Get the recipe. Penne Pasta Salad with Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Nutty, salty Parmigiano-Reggiano give the penne and broccoli the essential flavor to the dish, along with a touch of red jalapeno chile. Get the recipe.  Pasta and Veggie Salad Tossing just-cooked pasta while its still hot with the olive oil and garlic allows it to absorb the flavor. Add seasonal items right from your garden such as carrots, corn, tomatoes, and peppers. Get the recipe.  Pasta Tuna Salad Marinated tofu and soy mayonnaise ramp the classic tuna pasta salad while providing a dish that’s high in protein. Get the recipe.  Which pasta salad recipe are you going to try? Let us know what you think!  

8 Wow-Worthy Thanksgiving Entrées

September 2 2015 Vegetarian Times 

CHEF’S TRICK VIDEO: How to Prepare Pizza Dough

August 26 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Watch this video to learn how to prepare pizza dough from an expert. Practice by making our White Pizza with Broccoli and Mushrooms. No time to shop? Get the ingredients for this recipe delivered right to your kitchen from Chef’d. SHARE WITH US: We want to know, what are your favorite pizza toppings? Post a comment below!

Chocolate Fix: What Not to Do When Baking with Chocolate

August 19 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Chocolate Fix: What Not to Do When Baking with Chocolate   Kate Shaffer, co-owner of Maine-based Black Dinah Chocolatiers and author of Desserted: Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier, clues us in on the No. 1 mistake in baking with chocolate and how to avoid it. The most common complaint I hear from students in my classes is that while melting chocolate for a baking recipe, they suddenly find the chocolate dried up into a messy, unusable ball in the bowl. This very common, easy-to-make mistake, is called seizing--and contact with water is the problem. Even a particle of steam will seize your beautiful chocolate. Heres how to avoid it: -Make sure the utensils and bowls you are using to melt your chocolate are completely dry. -Melt your chocolate over hot (not boiling) water, with the burner off. -Use a rimmed bowl. The rim will prevent drops of water from entering your melted chocolate -When removing your bowl of melted chocolate from above the pan of hot water, use dry towel to wipe the bottom of your bowl. YOUR TURN Do you have tips to share on what to do (or what not to do!) when baking with chocolate? Comment below!

How to Shop for Pasta & Picking The Perfect Pasta Variety

August 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Shop for Pasta & Picking The Perfect Pasta Variety Pasta is a staple of many households all over the world and has been for decades. It is loved for its versatility, ease of cooking, and long shelf life. But, the days of one-size-fits-all pasta are long gone. As anyone who has walked through the supermarket pasta aisle in the recent years knows, there are many brands, styles and shapes now available, and they all have slightly differing flavors and textures. Traditional white pasta is made with wheat flour from which the fiber- and nutrient-rich bran and germ have been removed. Therefore, whole wheat pasta contains more nutrients and is slightly lower on the glycemic index. If stored properly in an airtight container, dry pasta has a shelf life of about two years. Todays industrially produced pastas are extruded through Teflon dies, making for a smoother texture. I prefer pastas made in the old-world artisanal style using bronze dies, which results in a coarser texture. The coarser the texture, the better the sauce adheres to the pasta. Fresh pasta usually contains eggs and tends to have a chewier, more tender texture. It cooks quicker than dry pasta but has a very short shelf life – 3-4 days in the refrigerator. For those avoiding gluten, there are plenty of alternative grain pastas on the market today, including spelt, quinoa, corn, rice, buckwheat, amaranth and bean pastas. Cooking time will vary for each type, so follow the package instructions. When purchasing pasta, be sure to read the ingredient list; it should only include whole grains and water, without any additives. I prefer imported Italian brands, but encourage you to try different brands and find one whose flavor you like best. The best way to enjoy pasta is to not overcook it or drown it in sauce. When choosing the shape of your pasta, it is important to consider the recipe youll be using it in. Long pastas - like spaghetti or fettuccine - work well with liquid sauces, like marinara or cream-based sauces, because they tend to coat the pasta. Short pastas - like penne or orecchiette - work better with chunkier sauces, like vegetable ragouts or NGIs beloved tempeh Bolognese. Meet the author: Alexandra Borgia is a full-time Chef Instructor and graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Chefs Training Program. Chef Alex has over 27 years of culinary experience; she specializes in culinary technique and cooking with sustainable meats.

15 Reasons You Need To Eat Breakfast (and 10 Delicious Recipes)

August 13 2015 Vegetarian Times 

15 Reasons You Need To Eat Breakfast (and 10 Delicious Recipes) You’ve heard it a million times – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Countless studies have shown the health benefits of starting your day with a healthy, balanced meal. Not convinced? Check out these reasons why you and your kids should be eating breakfast: Adults who eat breakfast are... ...Eating more vitamins and minerals than those who dont eat breakfast. ...Avoiding heart disease (according to Consumer Reports, a recent study says those who dont eat breakfast are 27 percent more likely to develop heart disease). ...Controlling their weight better. ...Improving their memory and attention. ...Improving their reasoning, creativity, and learning. ...Eating less fat and cholesterol. ...Lowering their risk for type 2 diabetes. ...More physically active during the day. Children who eat breakfast are... ...Less likely to be overweight. ...More likely to behave better in school and get along with their peers. ...More likely to have higher math and reading scores. ...More apt to meet the daily nutrient requirements. ...Missing fewer days of school. ...Having diets with less saturated fats. ...Improving their ability to pay attention, perform problem-solving tasks, and improve memory. 10 Tasty Meat-free Breakfasts to Try Today Chorizo y Papas Breakfast Burritos Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes   Maple Raisin Oatmeal   Crispy Breakfast Bars Morning Muffins with dried fruit Breakfast Egg Nests   Arugula-Ricotta Omelet for One Tempeh Bacon Vegan Blueberry Muffins Tempeh and Potato Breakfast Patties Sources: USDA; Mayo Clinic; American Academy of Pediatrics; Consumer Reports  

Chain Reaction: 2,000 Locations and good food in every one

August 11 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Chain Reaction: 2,000 Locations and good food in every one   How does the head chef of the Panera chain--which has nearly 2,000 locations in 45 states--feel about food? Just this: He wants all customers to get the chance to eat fresh, local food easily. We caught up with Dan Kish to find out how he makes this a reality in every Panera eatery in the country. VT: Whats different about the Panera menu?  DAN KISH: I think of our menu not as a thing on the wall telling you what we have, but more of the whole pantry of ingredients were working with. We have component parts that fit together through the year. For instance, one of our core pantry items is organic quinoa--we put it in breakfasts, on salads, in soups at lunch or entrees in dinner. Its a staple item. We have summer menu, fall menu and a winter-spring menu. But Im always looking for items that are relevant seasonally. Ahead, youll see more and more fresh cut produce and raw ingredients on menu. VT: Is it true that you get fresh dough and produce to every café every day? DAN KISH: Yes. We have 22 fresh dough facilities around the country that mix dough every night and then our trucks deliver that dough to every café, every day. Those same trucks pick up and deliver fresh herbs, lettuces, and tomatoes to every café too. VT: How do you know whats trending in food? DAN KISH: Research is showing that a lot of people are eating a plant-based diet one day a week and some every day. So we curate meatless items to offer them. So, if you choose to not eat meat, we offer responsible nutritional replacements--plant protein in a balanced entrée sandwich or soup. Each category on our menu features items for folks who choose not to eat meat. VT: Do you have vegan items? DAN KISH: Yes, and a great example is our broth bowls. We have broth bowls that include organic brown rice, organic quinoa, vegetarian cooked lentils, kale and spinach, all steamed together in a soy miso broth. If you want, you can add a cage-free egg. Weve had great feedback. VT: Do you feature a lot of grains? DAN KISH: Yes, and in September were introducing an ancient grain blend, that includes organic freekeh, black barley, and roasted radish seeds--it will be in soups, salads, even sandwiches. VT: Are you seeing a lot of calorie-conscious customers? DAN KISH: Yes. We were the first restaurant chain to post calories--we had nothing to hide. Transparency is important because then you can make an informed choice about what you eat. It didnt change peoples eating patterns, but it did make them aware of what they were eating.  At Panera you can get half portions of salads, soups, or sandwiches, and the calorie count will go down substantially.

Tempeh Tacos with Ancho-Lime Sauce

August 11 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Sauce: Purée all ingredients and 1/­­4 cup water in blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 2 | To make Tacos: Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add tempeh, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and stir in chili powder and cumin. 3 | Serve tempeh mixture with tortillas; garnish with cabbage, salsa, and Sauce.

Roasted Confetti Corn

August 11 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Heat large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add corn, and cook 4 minutes, or until dark brown in places and corn begins to pop, stirring often. Stir in onions and peppers, and cook 4 minutes more, or until onions and peppers are softened. Stir in garlic, cumin, and 1 cup water, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes, or until all liquid has evaporated, and corn begins to brown again. Remove from heat, and cool.

Plum Compote Apple Crumble

August 11 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 325°F. Brush 9-inch square baking dish with 1 tsp. butter. Add apples and Plum Compote to baking dish, and stir to combine. Pour 1 tsp. butter over top. 2 | Whisk together almond flour and confectioners sugar in medium bowl. Stir in remaining melted butter until mixture clumps together. Sprinkle over plum mixture. Bake 30 minutes, or until crumble is browned. Let stand 15 minutes before serving

Veg-Friendly Brewery: Sanctuary Brewing Co.

August 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Veg-Friendly Brewery: Sanctuary Brewing Co. Sanctuary Brewing Company is not only dedicated to producing totally vegan and vegetarian small-batch, high-quality beers, but theyre also passionate about supporting animals. The Grub One way theyre planning on helping animals is by offering a meatless food menu. Bold, full-flavored plant meats that are environmentally friendly are produced by No Evil Foods. Taco Tuesdays with meat-free tacos and a plant-based jerky are two of the possibilities in the works. Theyll also be serving Roots Hummus, which is whipping up unique varieties such as Mango Sriracha, Lima Beans, Thai Coconut Curry, and Spinach. A local food vendor will provide a BBQ Tempeh Sandwich, served with two vegan sides. Brunch with Ollie takes place on Sunday. Their pet potbelly pig is the guest of honor, while you can enjoy bagels with vegan cream cheese and beer specials. The Animals To bring these events to life, Sanctuary Brewing will be be working with local animal advocacy groups, including Full Circle Farm Sanctuary, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, and Blue Ridge Humane Society. Just a few of plans in the works: Adoptable pet nights, co-branding t-shirts and other items (and splitting proceeds to fund advocacy work), and Yoga with Cats on Sundays featuring adoptable kittens and cats. Leashed, friendly animals are always welcome at these events. Beer & Food Pairing Co-owner Lisa McDonald selected a few Vegetarian Times dishes that would go great with their beers: Mixed Vegetable Masala with Hop Pig (IPA)    “This sounds amazing and would pair wonderfully with our IPA,” Lisa says. Get the recipe. Raw Cashew Cheesecake with Weekend Joe (Coffee Stout) “While Weekend Joe Coffee Stout isn’t strictly a dessert beer,” says Lisa,  ”I do love it with vegan vanilla ice cream and a bit of root beer on a hot day.  At home we do a lot of nut milks and cheeses, and I think the combo of this coffee stout with cashew/­­macadamia cheesecake would be phenomenal.” Get the recipe. Warm Brussels Sprouts and Fennel Vichyssoise with Hendo-Weisse (Berliner Weisse)   “Hendo-Weisse is probably our smoothest flagship beer, and therefore the easiest to pair,” says Lisa. “That said, this would be remarkable together.” Get the recipe. Sanctuary Brewing Company, 147 First Avenue East, Hendersonville, NC

CHEF’S TRICK: How to Peel and Cut a Mango

July 31 2015 Vegetarian Times 

  Watch this video to learn how to peel and cut a mango like a pro. Practice this chef’s trick by making our Brazilian Black Bean Stew. No time to shop? Get the ingredients for this recipe delivered right to your kitchen from Chef’d!

How to Peel Ginger

July 27 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Watch this video to learn how to peel ginger like a pro. Practice this chefs trick by making our Stir-Fried Shiitake Mushrooms with Tofu and Bok Choy. No time to shop? Get the ingredients for this recipe delivered right to your kitchen from Chefd!

How To Prepare Pizza Dough

July 24 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Watch this video to learn how to prepare pizza dough from an expert. Practice by making our White Pizza with Broccoli and Mushrooms. No time to shop? Get the ingredients for this recipe delivered right to your kitchen from Chefd!

How to Use Gluten-Free Flours

July 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Use Gluten-Free Flours When it comes to cooking with gluten-free flour, its an absolute jungle out there. The internet, health food stores, and even conventional supermarkets provide an ever-expanding dizzying array of options. If youve experimented with gluten-free flours, you probably already discovered there is no one flour that does it all in terms of texture and taste, nor is every all-purpose flour mix suitable for all purposes. Frequent pitfalls include gummy, dry, and/­­or sandy textures. Sometimes gluten-free flours or mixes give flavors that are bitter or beany. The science of gluten-free is complex, especially in the realm of baking. In the absence of wheat gluten - which provides structure and holds moisture in baked goods - we need to create a suitable equivalent. Sometimes that equivalent is simply a gluten-free flour or flour mix paired with eggs. In this case, eggs provide the structure that GF flour lacks. But what about vegan applications? Generally, what we do is combine gluten-free flour or flours that have no power to bind (such as rice or sorghum flour) with a binding, absorbent starch (tapioca starch, potato starch, or arrowroot) and sometimes even guar or xanthan gum. The good news is: in the correct proportion, with some experimentation, adjustment, and a good recipe, you can achieve impressive results. So which flours are you likely to see in the marketplace? The most common are brown or white rice, oat, buckwheat cornmilletquinoasorghum and teff. There are also bean (fava, chickpea, soy), nut, coconut, and even wine flours. The most common starches youll see include: corn starch, arrowroot, potato starch, and tapioca starch. For thickening sauces, we rely on starch, not gluten. I find rice flour - white or brown - perfectly suitable for this purpose. Starches, such as arrowroot or tapioca, are sometimes used, but I find they make sauces too gelatinous. For dredging proteins - tofu, tempeh, or bean burgers - a wide variety of gluten-free flours will suffice, but I like millet, oat, corn and rice flours. For baking, you can experiment with the multitude of all-purpose gluten-free flour mixes you find in stores, or you can make your own. With commercial, all-purpose mixes, youll probably want to start by using the manufacturers recipes as a jumping-off point and, once youre comfortable with the mix, experiment further. Are you the DIY type? Here are two good flour mixes to try: --The mix we use at Natural Gourmet Institute: 2 cups white rice flour + 2/­­3 cup potato starch + 1/­­3 cup tapioca starch flour --An easy, versatile mix: 1:1 ratio of sorghum flour and tapioca starch Meet the author: Elliott Prag is a Chef Instructor and the Curriculum Development Manager at Natural Gourmet Institute. Elliott holds a Bachelors Degree from Wayne State University, and graduated from NGIs Chefs Training Program in 1995. Thereafter, he worked in numerous natural food restaurants in New York City before developing his private chef business. In 1999, he expanded his business by founding Siegfried & Prag, Caterers. In 2003, Elliott traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria for two years, where he was Executive Chef of Kibea Restaurant, the first health-supportive restaurant in the Balkans.

CHEF’S TRICK VIDEO: How to Peel Ginger

July 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Watch this video to learn how to peel ginger like a pro. You can practice this chef’s trick by making our Stir-Fried Shiitake Mushrooms with Tofu and Bok Choy. No time to shop? Get the ingredients for this recipe delivered right to your kitchen from Chef’d!

Why You Should Eat More Nuts (+ How to Shop for Them!)

July 14 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Why You Should Eat More Nuts (+ How to Shop for Them!) Tree nuts are one of the best sources of good quality fats, fiber and protein, and in some cases even Omega 3, the anti-inflammatory powerhouse. With a rich taste, satisfying texture and culinary versatility on their side, what could be easier than adding a handful of hazelnuts, pignoli or pistachios to your meals? Just a quick scan across the globe shows them in every culinary tradition, from Syrian muhammara and Italian pesto to Galician gazpacho and Middle-Eastern dukka. You could, without a doubt, make a tree nut-based recipe every day of the year, tapping into the myriad health benefits of nuts. But raw, shelled, blanched or toasted - which kind should you buy? How to Shop For Nuts Because nuts are concentrated sources of healthy fats, theyre also prone to rancidity – light, heat and oxygen being their biggest enemies. Ideally, I always buy nuts in their raw state, so I can capitalize on their versatility - whether making nut milk with raw nuts, or toasting them for other recipes. If, for whatever reason, Im not buying the raw kind, I buy blanched or toasted nuts from a store with good temperature control and a high turnover (meaning they rotate and replace their stock regularly). Be sure to taste the nuts when you first bring them home from the store so you know what they should taste like – and when theyre past their prime. Raw or cooked, tree nuts will likely keep for 2-3 months in your freezer, refrigerator or in a cool, dark, dry place. They may still be edible, but not necessarily fresh tasting. Unless youre taking advantage of bulk pricing, eat what you buy, dont just squirrel them away. Here are some easy everyday ideas for incorporating nuts into your diet: o sprinkle toasted tree nuts onto salads, cooked grains or vegetable side dishes o soak a quarter-cup of tree nuts overnight and blend into your morning smoothie o press half-inch thick fish filets into finely chopped tree nuts, then pan sear each side until golden Lately, Ive been making a monthly batch of Trinkles (tree nut sprinkles!) to toss onto everything from savory oatmeal to sweet fruit salads, roasted vegetables, dinner grains and everything in between. A jar or bowls worth on your countertop or at your desk can be a gentle reminder to enjoy them every day. Trinkles 2 cup assorted tree nuts, roughly chopped 4 Tablespoons chia seeds or sesame seeds 1/­­4 teaspoon sea salt Mix nuts and seeds together and toast in a 325? F degree oven for 12-15 minutes until golden. Remove from oven, toss with sea salt, and cool completely before eating or storing in airtight container. Meet the author: Celine Beitchman is a chef instructor at Natural Gourmet Institute. She is a graduate of NGIs Food Therapy Program, where she studied under the schools founder, Dr. Annemarie Colbin. She holds an Advanced Certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and has a lifetime of apprenticeship experience beginning at Le Dome in Paris. Chef Celine is committed to promoting sustainable, health-supportive food, and loves training the next generation of chefs. She is also a private chef, nutrition counselor, and avid globetrotter.

Cowabunga! Pro Surfer Esther Hahn Shares Her Vegan Cupcake Recipe

July 8 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Cowabunga! Pro Surfer Esther Hahn Shares Her Vegan Cupcake Recipe “Matcha green tea paired with almond extract is one of my favorite flavor combinations for baking,” says surfing pro Esther Hahn. Hahn enjoys these treats for breakfast with some vanilla soy yogurt, or just by themselves as a midday pick-me-up snack. She credits gluten-free goods with helping fuel “those extra-long surf sessions.” Vegan Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes with Sweet Almond Whipped Cream Vegan        Gluten-free Cupcakes 1/­­3 cup canola oil 1 cup almond milk 3/­­4 cup agave nectar 1/­­2 tsp. almond extract 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/­­4 cup plus 4 tsp. tapioca flour 2 Tbs. plus 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed 1/­­2 cup plus 8 tsp. chickpea flour 1/­­2 cup plus 8 tsp. brown rice flour 1/­­3 cup plus 2 Tbs. almond flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1/­­2 tsp. baking soda 1/­­4 tsp. salt 4 tsp. matcha green tea powder Sweet Almond Whipped Cream 1/­­2 cup sweetened almond milk 1 cup extra-firm silken tofu 4 Tbs. maple syrup 1/­­4 tsp. salt 8 Tbs. cooked white rice 1/­­2 tsp. coconut extract 2 tsp. almond extract 1.    Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup muffin tray with cupcake liners. 2.    To make Cupcakes, Combine oil, milk, agave nectar, and almond and vanilla extracts in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to fully combine. Add tapioca flour and ground flaxseed, and blend well with mixer. 3.    Add chickpea, brown rice, and almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and matcha powder. Use mixer to blend well. (Over-mixing will not be an issue since there is no gluten involved in the recipe.) 4.    Fill the cupcake liners evenly and nearly to the brim. 5.    Bake for 21 to 23 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack. 6.    To make Sweet Almond Whipped Cream, combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. 7.    Dollop large spoonfuls of Cream onto completely cooled cupcakes.  

3 Supermarket Sorbets Our Editors Love

June 29 2015 Vegetarian Times 

3 Supermarket Sorbets Our Editors Love Our favorite summer treat? A scoop or two (OK, three) of sorbet. VT staffers dug into pint after pint of the frozen dessert to choose a few of the best. 1. Ciao Bella Blueberry Passion Fruit Sorbetto We couldnt get enough of this party-worthy dessert, with its bold, sweet-tart flavor and pretty, swirly pattern. $4.99/­­pt.; ciaobellagelato.com 2. Sambazon Organic ?Açaí Berry Sorbet Smooth and rich, this subtly sweet sorbet stars açaí, a chocolaty-tasting berry packed with healthful antioxidants. $6.99/­­pt.; sambazon.com 3. Julies Organic Cranberry Pinot Noir Sorbet Ready for happy hour? A splash of organic wine from Californias Frey Vineyards perks up this light-and-elegant goodie. $3.99/­­pt.; juliesorganic.com What’s your go-to supermarket sorbet? Share in the comments below!

Veg Hot Spot: The Springs in Los Angeles

June 26 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Hot Spot: The Springs in Los Angeles An oasis of wellness in the downtown Arts District of Los Angeles, The Springs welcomes stressed urbanites. The one-stop shop for healthful, sustainable living encompasses an organic juice bar, a 40-person yoga studio, a spa and wellness center, a vegan wine bar, ?and a raw vegan restaurant. By building everything together, you create community, a space where people want to gather. And hopefully they end up bettering themselves as ?a result, says Jared Stein, who co-founded The Springs with business (and life) partner Kimberly Helms. Some may come for a yoga class and stay for a fresh-pressed juice, such as the citrus-packed Skinny Dip; others linger over biodynamic wine after a session in the infrared sauna. A draw all on its own, the restaurant serves up such selections as sweet corn ravoli (pictured), samosas, and ?a sweet pea pistachio cake. The Springss airy, open floor plan lends itself to events such as book signings, weddings, and retreats, further solidifying the health-conscious community thats, ahem, springing up there. Hungry for more? Visit The Springs at 608 Mateo St. in Los Angeles.

Green Bean Salad with Feta and Walnuts

June 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Salad: Cook green beans in large pot of boiling salted water 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Pat dry. 2 | To make Dressing: Rub oregano between fingers to crumble and release aromatic oils, and place in small bowl. Whisk in vinegar and garlic. Whisk in olive oil and vegetable oil, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 3 | Toss green beans, lettuce, and onion together with Dressing in large bowl. Fold in feta, tomatoes, and walnuts.

Zucchini Fritter Gyros

June 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Stir together yogurt and lemon zest in small bowl. Set aside. 2 | Wrap grated zucchini in clean kitchen towel, and wring out excess moisture. 3 | Whisk egg in large bowl. Stir in zucchini, green chiles, green onion, and garlic. Sprinkle mixture with flour and baking powder, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 4 | Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Drop 6 heaping tablespoonfuls zucchini mixture into skillet, and gently flatten. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate, and repeat with remaining zucchini mixture. 5 | Spread 2 Tbs. hummus inside each pita half. Fill with 2 tomato slices, 2 zucchini cakes, red onion slices, and 1/­­3 cup chopped lettuce. Drizzle each gyro with 2 Tbs. yogurt mixture

Lemon-Apricot Chia Muffins

June 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cups of standard muffin pan with paper liners. 2 | Stir together almond milk and chia seeds in medium bowl. Set aside 10 minutes, or until thickened. 3 | Place almond meal in separate medium bowl, and sift in spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, and turmeric; whisk to combine. 4 | Whisk maple syrup, apricot nectar, coconut oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sea salt into chia seed mixture. Pour into flour mixture; stir until batter is just combined. 5 | Scoop rounded 1/­­3 cup batter into each prepared muffin cup. Lightly press 1 plum quarter into center of each muffin. Bake 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean and edges are golden. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool.

Dry-Fried Szechuan Green Beans

June 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Combine green onions, garlic, and ginger in small bowl; set aside. Combine mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, chile-garlic sauce, and 2 tsp. water in separate bowl; set aside. 2 | Heat vegetable oil in wok or large skillet over high heat. Add green beans, and cook 5 minutes, or until browned and blistered all over, stirring occasionally. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate, and set aside. 3 | Drain all but 1 Tbs. oil from wok,and heat over high heat. Add green onion mixture, and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned and tender. Return green beans to wok, and add dried chiles (if using). Stir-fry 30 seconds to heat through. Remove from heat, and stir in soy sauce mixture, letting heat from pan thicken sauce while you stir-fry.

Blueberry Chia Jam

June 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Combine blueberries, maple syrup, and vanilla bean seeds and pod in small saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 6 to 8 minutes, or until berries burst and mixture is juicy. Remove from heat. 2 | Stir chia seeds into blueberry mixture (be sure they are well distributed and not clumping together). Pour mixture into wide-mouth jar or bowl. 3 | Stir berry-chia mixture once it has stopped steaming, then refrigerate 2 hours, or until chilled. Sweeten with more maple syrup, if desired, and remove vanilla bean.

10 Supermarket Foods and Drinks That Aren’t Always Veg

June 22 2015 Vegetarian Times 

10 Supermarket Foods and Drinks That Aren’t Always Veg Grocery shopping can be intimidating for new vegetarians: off-limits ingredients abound, and questionable products seem to lurk in every aisle. Is there lard in those beans? Anchovies in that dressing? When in doubt, use this handy cheat sheet to identify the most common supermarket foods and drinks that might not pass the veg test--and learn how to replace them with suitable substitutions. 1. Alcohol You wont find an ingredients list on most bottles, but isinglass (fish bladders), gelatin (animal skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments), and crab shells are just a few of the fining agents sometimes used to clarify alcohol. Check out barnivore.com to see if your favorite wine, beer, or booze was made with veg-friendly fining agents. 2. Caesar Dressing Anchovies give this popular salad dressing its signature salty kick. We love Follow Your Hearts creamy fish-free alternative, which gets plenty of zing from veg Worcestershire sauce and a hint of mustard. Great for vegans, its made without Parmesan cheese and egg yolks, two other standard Caesar ingredients. 3. Cheese Parmesan, Romano, and other old-school-style cheeses typically contain animal rennet--a cheesemaking ingredient extracted from the stomachs of calves, kids (goats), or lambs thats often simply labeled enzymes. Read VT‘s shopping guide, and stick with cheeses that state theyre made with microbial or vegetable rennet, or no rennet at all. (Psst: BelGioioso makes a vegetarian Parmesan wedge.) 4. French Onion Soup Beef stock may be providing the rich base for this comfort-food classic, so check the fine print on any supermarket can. Ordering it at a restaurant? It might also contain Parmesan and Gruyere cheeses made with animal rennet. Ask your server. 5. Gummy Treats Along with gummy vitamins and Starburst candies, conventional gummy bears and worms get their chewy texture from gelatin. Come Halloween, offer trick-or-treaters gummy treats that use fruit pectin instead--we promise they won’t be able to taste the difference. 6. Jell-O This jiggly childhood dessert is almost synonymous with gelatin. Find veg equivalents in the baking aisle of natural foods stores, or make your own using a thickening agent such as arrowroot powder or agar powder, derived from algae. 7. Kimchi A Korean staple believed to aid digestion, this spicy concoction of pickled veggies is traditionally fermented with fish sauce or dried shrimp. Look for jars that skip the seafood, such as Mother-in-Laws Vegan Napa Cabbage Kimchi. Use kimchi to add heat to veggie burgers, eggs, rice, and tacos. 8. Marshmallows Sorry, smores lovers: your favorite fluffy pillows contain gelatin. That goes for marshmallow-y treats such as Peeps and Rice Krispies Treats too. Have your campfire fun with vegan marshmallows made by Dandies or Sweet & Sara; vegetarians can also grab Marshmallow Fluff, which is gelatin-free (but contains dried egg whites). 9. Refried Beans Look out for lard in cans of refried beans, especially traditional versions. Some Mexican restaurants may also use animal fat in their bean and tortilla recipes, so be sure to ask. Luckily, its easy to find vegetarian refried beans cooked in oil. Amys Kitchen and Pacific Foods make a few VT favorites. 10. Worcestershire Sauce You can find a laundry list of ingredients--including anchovies--in this umami-rich condiment added to burgers, barbecue sauces, Bloody Mary cocktails, and more. For equally pungent, veg Worcestershire, try Annies Naturals or The Wizards, or swap in soy sauce. Shop Smart Restocking your kitchen? Follow these pro tips for veg-savvy grocery shopping: Inspect the label Read all ingredients carefully to avoid mix-ups. The same brand may have a veg and a non-veg option of the same type of food, notes Lindsay Nixon, author of The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living. Go natural Change up your supermarket routine. Nixon suggests visiting health food stores for a wider variety of veg-friendly goodies. (And if youre lucky enough to live near an exclusively vegetarian market, hop to it.) Make it yourself Vegetarian versions of sauces can be expensive, says Nixon. A homemade version is a fraction of the cost! Get easy recipes for veg kimchi, Caesar dressing, French onion soup, and more in VT‘s extensive recipe database.

Is Microwaving Food Bad for You?

June 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Is Microwaving Food Bad for You?Illustration: Jeannie Phan Nope! It’s a myth. Ever since the first microwave oven, called the Radarange, debuted in the 1940s, this kitchen appliance has been mired in controversy over its impact ?on human health and nutrition. Slang such as nuking hasnt helped. Yet, research has shown that for the most part, the nutrients in your frozen ?veggies or leftover pizza are not zapped out. A study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology failed to find that microwaving Brassica vegetables, including broccoli and Brussels sprouts, led to significant loss of their disease-fighting glucosinolate compounds. Further, an International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition report determined that, save for thiamine, microwave cooking had no detrimental impact on nutrients in legumes. Also, studies show that the antioxidant firepower of beets, green beans, onions, garlic, and potatoes is largely retained after microwaving. In fact, a Journal of Food Science investigation found that microwaving may even bolster the antioxidant activity of carrots, celery, and green beans. Additionally, Italian scientists discovered that microwaving did a better job of retaining vitamin C levels in broccoli than did steaming or boiling. Microwaves cook with little water and relatively brief heating times, all of which help reduce the loss of nutrients in what we eat. As for the fear that microwave cooking changes the structure of food in a way that produces harmful compounds such as carcinogens? No peer-reviewed science supports this. A diet laden with heavily processed foods is much more hazardous to your health than serving up nuked frozen peas. Bottom Line: Theres no need to unplug your microwave. Cooking food using this convenient appliance can join other methods for preparing meals full of nutritional goodness. Microwave Musts If youre a regular microwave user, follow these tips to boost nutrition and safety. Keep it dry. Water is not a cooks best friend when it comes to nutrient retention. So, microwave such foods as vegetables in as little water as possible. Many veggies, such as bell peppers, are naturally moisture-rich. Keep it real. Many pre-packaged frozen meals meant for the microwave contain a laundry list of whatchamacallit ingredients and can be far from wholesome choices. A better idea: use your microwave to heat up more nutrient-dense foods, such as plain frozen vegetables and leftover home-cooked meals. Keep it contained. Generally, glass, ceramic, and silicone are the safest options for microwaving. Because of the risk that potentially harmful chemicals may leach into hot food, its best to avoid plastic containers, even those deemed microwave safe.

Shop Like a Chef: How to Choose Sugar Substitutes

June 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Shop Like a Chef: How to Choose Sugar Substitutes Looking to replace conventional white sugar, brown sugar, or corn syrup with alternative sweeteners? Below are a few key pointers for choosing the best ones. Replacing white sugar: When you need the performance only white sugar can provide--neutral flavor, white color, the ability to make hard crack syrup or brulée--turn to organic white sugar. It’s vegan (not clarified through bone char as many white sugars are), less processed, and non-GMO. On the healthier side, there are other alternatives, like evaporated cane, coconut sugar, date sugar, and maple sugar, but each has a strong flavor and a brown hue that can taint the look of your final product. Evaporated cane tastes strongly of molasses. Maple sugar makes baked goods taste like pancakes. Date sugar (ground, dehydrated dates) tastes raisin-y and sucks the moisture out of baked goods unless you add water. Coconut sugar is the most neutral of these, but still has a distinct flavor. Note: if you have strong foreground flavors such as chocolate, peanut butter, or banana, the flavor of the sweetener will be masked. Replacing brown sugar: Brown sugar is white sugar with a little molasses added to it. To swap out brown sugar, use evaporated cane and coconut sugar for a sweet molasses note. Replacing corn syrup: For light corn syrup, the easiest replacements are honey and agave. Rice syrup works too, but that stuff is thick like tar: whisk water into rice syrup to thin it down. For dark corn syrup, use barley malt thinned with water or maple syrup. The wild cards: New sweeteners--yacon syrup, lucuma powder, stevia--are cropping up all the time. Each has a distinct, often overpowering flavor, and a prohibitive cost. Theyre tough to find outside of major metropolitan areas, but try them out if you come across them, and taste for yourself. Meet the author: Elliott Prag is a chef instructor and the curriculum development manager at Natural Gourmet Institute. Elliott holds a bachelors degree from Wayne State University, and graduated from NGIs Chefs Training Program in 1995. Thereafter, he worked in numerous natural food restaurants in New York City before developing his private chef business. In 1999, he expanded his business by founding Siegfried & Prag Caterers. In 2003, Elliott traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria for two years, where he was Executive Chef of Kibea Restaurant, the first health-supportive restaurant in the Balkans.

Discover Online Learning (Via Gluten-Free Cooking!)

June 10 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Discover Online Learning (Via Gluten-Free Cooking!) I had no idea what online learning meant until about a year ago when my boss asked me to begin looking into the possibility of Vegetarian Times producing cooking courses online. After a few Google searches I was off on an incredible adventure that led (finally!) to the creation of VTs first cooking course: Gluten-Free Vegetarian Cooking. Along the way, I read course catalogues, I took craft classes (everybodys getting something crocheted this Christmas), I learned how to play Irish jigs on a concertina. I even made a few friends on a bread-making discussion board when I said I hated kneading by hand and asked about the best alternative. Paying for online education changed the way I look at content online. Instead of wasting my time searching through YouTube for free classes that are thorough and authoritative, I found classes with expert instructors, high-quality video, and all the content I needed in one place. My life is probably as hectic as yours, and I could watch when I wanted, where I wanted. I found affordable classes that were vibrant and engaging and met fellow students with similar interests. In other words, I was hooked. I now keep a list of classes I want to take in the future--and I often go back to the classes (better than a notebook!) if Ive forgotten a detail or want to understand a technique. Im trying to put everything Ive seen and enjoyed in the classes Ive taken into the classes Ive created for VT, which has been almost as much fun as taking classes because I get to hearken back to my teaching days when I was in my 20s, minus the 8 a.m. classes or the papers to grade. So, join me in Gluten-Free Vegetarian Cooking! See what Im up to, and get 25% off for a limited time using the code GLUTEN25. Theres lots to learn even if youre not worried about wheat.

MEETUP FOR MEATLESS MONDAY GIVEAWAY!

June 8 2015 Vegetarian Times 

MEETUP FOR MEATLESS MONDAY GIVEAWAY! Calling all home cooks: VT has teamed up with Chefd to make cooking and enjoying our chef-created, kitchen-tested, editor-approved recipes easier than ever. You choose the recipe, and Chefd delivers the ingredients straight to your doorstep. To inspire you to get cooking, we’re hosting a MEETUP FOR MEATLESS MONDAY GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner will receive a year’s subscription to Vegetarian Times, plus two VT/­­Chefd Boxes, plus two more VT/­­Chef’d Boxes to give to two friends. Each VT/­­Chef’d box contains ingredients for your choice of two meals, two servings each!  Heres how it works: o  CHOOSE 1 of our 3 VT/­­Chef’d Meals by visiting this page. Be sure to use our exclusive VT $10 off coupon by entering VEGGIE10 at checkout. o  INVITE friends over for a Meatless Monday dinner (Chef’d gives you the option of 2 or 4 servings), cook up your Chefd creation, and snap a pic! o  POST your pic to Facebook, Instagram, and/­­or Pinterest (using the hashtags #meetupformeatless, #vegetariantimes and #getchefd ) by June 30th, 2015. o  WIN! One lucky winner will receive a year’s subscription to Vegetarian Times, plus two VT/­­Chefd Boxes, plus two more VT/­­Chef’d Boxes to give to two friends. Each VT/­­Chef’d box contains ingredients for your choice of two meals, two servings each!   Presented by: &

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Danne Dzenawagis!

June 5 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Danne Dzenawagis! Each month, we highlight a different reader’s “vegiversary”--the anniversary of when they went veg. Share yours at vegetariantimes.com/­vegiversary. Reader: ?Danne Dzenawagis Location: ?Ann Arbor, Mich. Vegetarian Since: ?June 1995 What motivated you to ?go veg?  I was in the sixth grade and saw a cow get branded on TV. I swore right then and there Id never eat meat again--20 years later and ?I still havent! Whats your favorite veg-?friendly restaurant, and what do you order there? I love, love, love Life Alive ?in Cambridge, Mass. The Green Goddess bowl is one of my all-time favorite meals. Their Ginger Nama Shoyu Sauce is unreal. What fruit or veggie best describes you, and why? A sweet potato: sweet and grounded with strong roots. Whats your most ?treasured piece of heirloom cookware? My (still-growing) collection of hand-painted Polish stoneware that my mom has been buying for me for years. Whats your best advice for new vegetarians/­vegans? Do your homework. When ?I went veg at the age of ?11, my parents took me ?to see a nutritionist so ?I could really understand what a healthy vegetarian diet looked like. It was the best thing they could have done for me.

Gluten-Free Party Planner: Start with Dessert and Work Back

June 3 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Gluten-Free Party Planner: Start with Dessert and Work Back What do you give a guy friend who has everything for his birthday? Well, if youre me, you give him a birthday dinner party. When I first came up with this clever plan, I spent a day or so patting myself on the back (I dont have to go to the sporting goods store this year!) and planning courses (quiche and coconut layer cake!). Then came the news that took me down a notch: two of the ten guests were gluten-intolerant, so the whole meal needed to be gluten-free. This is why I believe it is so important for anyone who likes to cook to know how to cook gluten-free: you simply never know when youll need to do so. I scrapped all my ideas and started planning a new, totally gluten-free menu. The thing I discovered was that it was a lot easier to come up with dessert, then work backwards to figure out the rest of the menu. Desserts remain the most difficult element for gluten-sensitive eaters. Once Id settled on a flourless chocolate cake, everything else fell into place. The super-rich dessert meant that what came before needed to be light and healthy--and easily serve a crowd. Paella! Bright, beautiful, and naturally gluten-free. And once Id chosen paella for the main dish, I stuck with the Spanish theme and added a gazpacho and some tapas to round out the meal. Whether you put together your party menu backwards or forwards, the real key is having creative options to choose from. Without them, paella might have been a bunch of steamed veggies over rice. In the 8-week online Gluten-Free Vegetarian Cooking Course Ive put together for Vegetarian Times, there are over 50 tasty original recipe ideas to choose from--along with all the know-how you need to plan gluten-free meals and parties. Sign up to start learning--and cooking.

High/Low: 2 Portable Grills We Love

May 30 2015 Vegetarian Times 

High/Low: 2 Portable Grills We Love Planning a summer camping trip or picnic at the beach? Pack one of these portable grills for flame-kissed veggie burgers and skewers wherever you roam. (P.S.: Theyre great for small patios too.) Save Dont let its compact size fool you--the classic Weber Smokey Joe 14″ Charcoal Grill has a generous grilling surface to cook for a crowd. $29.99; target.com Splurge For ultra-fast and convenient grilling, we love the Cuisinart Everyday Portable Gas Grill, decked out with sturdy removable side tables. $179.99; cuisinart.com

Confessions of a Self-Taught Gluten-Free Cook

May 27 2015 Vegetarian Times 

I never set out to be a gluten-free expert. My experience is born out of necessity--in my case, a food editors necessity to have easy, tasty gluten-free recipes in a magazine. But then, I think most people come to gluten-free cooking out of necessity when the gluten in foods starts throwing their bodies (or the bodies of the ones they love) curve balls. Because I didnt plan on this culinary specialization, my learning has been pretty haphazard. I read books, blogs, magazines, medical websites--even supermarket pamphlets. And I developed the down-and-dirty strategy below for revising and creating gluten-free recipes so that they suited my tastes and expectations. After all, no one was born knowing how to cook and bake gluten-free. 1) Question Gluten-free recipes can get crazy-complicated--especially baking recipes. So, Ive taken to questioning everything. Do I really need six different types of flour to make a brownie? Can I substitute potato starch I have in my cupboard for the (more expensive) arrowroot thats called for? And why should I knead a bread dough if theres no gluten to develop? Very few of those complicated recipes have to stay complicated. And really, they should be simplified for your own sanity. 2) Copy To paraphrase a quote from T.S. Eliot: Good cooks borrow, great cooks steal. I get my gluten-free ideas and insights everywhere: from restaurant menus, supermarket food bars, and friendly asides. (I had the best quinoa salad the other day, a friend says to me. Really? TELL ME MORE. One of the biggest Eureka moments I have ever had in the kitchen was when I was playing around with gluten-free pie crusts and thought to read the ingredients list or a prepared gluten-free pie crust. I immediately knew what no one had told me, that I had the ratios all wrong. 3) Correct Think that just because I am a professional cook I get all my recipes right on the first try? Think again. Most recipes, even the ones I follow down to the last teaspoon, need a little adjusting or a second try before they suit my criteria--and my personal tastes. Heck, Im the type to micromanage the seasoning of steamed rice until it tastes just right! These steps are all part of how Ive put together the new online Gluten-Free Vegetarian Cooking Course for Vegetarian Times. Sign up to see for yourself--and learn how you can question, copy, and correct to make your own gluten-free recipes.

Veg Hot Spot: Lands in Love Resort in Costa Rica

May 22 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Hot Spot: Lands in Love Resort in Costa Rica I love serving healthy, delicious food to our guests, especially when they are meat eaters and they eat something here they like so much, they say they want to come back, says Naama Ariel, head chef of Lands in Love. But the resort, nestled in a lush tropical valley in Costa Rica, is so much more than a place to enjoy plant-based meals with flair--favorites include the vegetarian Cheese Steak (pictured) and the Lafa Wrap, a grilled tortilla filled with tahini, Israeli salad, eggplant, and seasoned soy. Its also a sanctuary for nearly 350 rescued animals. Founded a decade ago by a group of vegan friends from Israel, Lands in Love has evolved into a 280-acre retreat. When guests arent zip lining high above the cloud forest, or hiking nature trails past lakes and waterfalls, theyre invited to help tend to the animals sheltered on the property, taking them for walks or visiting with them at the dog house where most of them live. Most of the profits from the resort go toward property upkeep and animal care, including plans to open an on-site animal hospital. Hungry for more? Visit Lands in Love in San Lorenzo, Costa Rica.

The Ultimate Dairy-Free Ice Cream

May 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Learn how to create delicious and satisfying ice cream without using any dairy.

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Okra

May 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Okra Okras popularity extends throughout the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and the Southern United States. When cut, the ridged okra pod oozes a sticky substance that thickens stews, such as Creole gumbo or Middle Eastern bamya. Pick  Look for okra that is bright green in color without blemishes or dark spots. Check that pods are pliable, but firm. The smaller the okra, the more tender, so choose pods 3 to 4 inches in length, advises Erin Bullock of Mud Creek Farm in Victor, N.Y. Okras shelf life is short; youll want to cook it within a day or two of purchase. Refrigerate okra in a ventilated bag to prevent exposure to dry air and moisture, and wait until preparing to wash pods. Prep Using a chefs or paring knife, slice off the stem of the okra, and prepare the pod whole, or else cut it into slivers or thin rounds. Cooking okra whole, pan searing it at high heat, stewing, or braising ?will reduce its stickiness before eating. Try This 1. ?Stew okra in a tagine of eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, and dried apricots with preserved lemon, cinnamon, and cumin; serve over couscous. 2. ?Marinate okra in basil pesto with red bell peppers, zucchini, red onion rings, and eggplant. Grill the vegetables, and serve with balsamic reduction. 3. ?Braise okra in coconut milk, Thai chile paste, and kaffir lime leaves; garnish with fresh basil.  What’s your favorite way to use okra? Share in the comments below!

4 Cream Cheeses Our Editors Love

May 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

4 Cream Cheeses Our Editors Love Cream cheese isnt just for breakfast--use it to make light and luscious desserts, dips, pasta sauces, and more. Grab one of these VT fridge favorites. 1. Kite Hill Chive Cream Cheese Style Spread Looking for a little zing? This sophisticated chive-flecked goodie, made from almond milk, perks up any bagel--no extra toppings required. $5.99/­­8 oz.; kite-hill.com 2. Nancys Organic Cultured Cream Cheese We love the classic tangy flavor of this smooth-as-can-be cream cheese. Bonus: its lower in sodium than your typical tub. $4.29/­­8 oz.; nancysyogurt.com 3. Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cream Cheese Rich and creamy, this dairy-free favorite could totally pass as the real deal. Perfect for use in frostings and cheesecakes. $3.49/­­8 oz.; followyourheart.com 4. Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Cream Cheese Fans of Green Valleys lactose-free dairy, rejoice! This new cream cheese spreads easily and has a delicate, airy texture. $3.49/­­8 oz.; greenvalleylactosefree.com Got a go-to cream cheese? Share in the comments.

DIY Gluten-Free Flour Blend

May 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Learn how to create your own gluten-free flour blend and use it to create a rich tempting chocolate cake. Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Mincing

May 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Learn how to hold the knife while mincing garlic and herbs.

Slicing & Dicing

May 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Learn the appropriate cuts for vegetables and how to make them bite sized for your dish.

Vinaigrettes 101

May 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

One of the first things culinary students learn is how to create the proper vinaigrette. Learn how to strike the correct balance between oil and acid. Recipe: Brown Rice Vinegar Vinaigrette with Sesame Oil

Chinese 5-Spice Syrup

May 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Chinese 5-Spice Syrup   Makes 1/­­2 cup   VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE.   INGREDIENTS: 2 cups apple juice 1 star anise 1/­­2 tsp. dried fennel seeds 1/­­2 tsp. Szechuan peppercorns 1 cinnamon stick 3 whole cloves   INSTRUCTIONS: Bring all ingredients to a simmer in medium saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until reduced to 1/­­2 cup and thick and syrupy. (Mixture should lightly coat back of spoon.) Sponsored content: Presented by Natural Gourmet Institute

Lemon-Mint Salad Dressing

May 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Lemon-Mint Salad Dressing   Serves 8   VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE   INGREDIENTS: 1/­­4 cup lemon juice 2 Tbs. brown rice syrup or maple syrup 2 Tbs. chopped mint 1 Tbs. salt 3/­­4 cups olive oil   INSTRUCTIONS: Blend lemon juice, maple syrup, mint, and salt in blender until smooth. Slowly add oil while blender is running until dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sponsored content: Presented by Natural Gourmet Institute

Coconut-Cardamom Ice Cream

May 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Coconut-Cardamom Ice Cream   Makes 1 pint   VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE   INGREDIENTS: 1 14-oz. can coconut milk 6 Tbs. maple syrup 2 Tbs. rice syrup 1 1/­­2 tsp. vanilla extract 1/­­2 tsp. freshly ground cardamom pinch sea salt 1/­­2 vanilla bean, split   INSTRUCTIONS 1. Combine coconut milk, maple syrup, rice syrup, vanilla extract, and cardamom, and salt in medium saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean half, and add seeds and pod half to mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool. 2. Freeze coconut milk mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. Sponsored content: Presented by Natural Gourmet Institute

Pressed Nut Tart Crusts

May 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Pressed Nut Tart Crusts   Yield: 6 mini tarts   VEGAN   INGREDIENTS: 3/­­4 cup oat flour 1/­­2 cup rolled oats 1/­­2 cup walnuts 1/­­4 tsp. salt 1/­­4 cup rice syrup 1/­­4 cup canola oil 1-2 Tbs. ice water if needed   INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 2. Pulse oat flour, oats, walnuts, and salt in food processor until finely ground. Transfer to bowl. 3. Whisk together rice syrup, and canola oil. Add rice syrup mixture to flour mixture, and stir until combined. 4. Press dough into six 4-inch tart pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Sponsored content: Presented by Natural Gourmet Institute

Parsley Oil Garnish

May 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Parsley Oil Garnish   Makes 1/­­2 cup   VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE   INGREDIENTS: 1 1/­­4 tsp. sea salt, divided 1 oz. parsley, thick stems trimmed 1/­­2 cup olive oil   INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Bring 4 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Add 1 tsp. salt. 2. Meanwhile, prepare large bowl of ice water for ice bath. 3. Blanch parsley 5 seconds in boiling water. Drain, and immediately transfer to ice bath to stop cooking. 4. Wrap parsley in paper towels, and wring out moisture. 5. Place parsley, olive oil, and remaining 1/­­4 tsp. salt in blender, and purée until smooth. Sponsored content: Presented by Natural Gourmet Institute

The Easiest New Way to Make VT Recipes: Get Chef’d!

May 14 2015 Vegetarian Times 

The Easiest New Way to Make VT Recipes: Get Chef’d! Want to make our recipes but think you don’t have time to pick up the ingredients and cook? Think again. We just partnered with Chefd, a service that’ll deliver already-measured-and-ready-to-go fresh ingredients with VT recipe cards right to your doorstep, so you can whip up tasty vegetarian meals in no time at all. Theres something for everyone: Stir-Fried Shiitake Mushrooms with Tofu, Baby Bok Choy and Brown Rice: an easy vegan dinner packed with protein. Brazilian Black Bean Stew and Tortilla and Swiss Chard: our quick-and-hearty vegetarian version of the Brazilian national dish feijoada. White Pizza with Broccoli and Mushrooms with Arugula Salad and Lemon Mint Vinaigrette: creamy, loaded with veggies, and sure to please a crowd.

How to Be Supportive When Your Kid Goes Veg

May 12 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Be Supportive When Your Kid Goes Veg Got a kid who just ditched meat? Dont worry: children and adolescents can get all the vitamins and minerals they need from a well-planned veg diet, according to both the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Todays children are very engaged in how their eating makes a difference, says Sharon Palmer, RDN, author of Plant-Powered for Life. I suspect more and more young people will come home and tell their parents theyd like to go plant-based. Your childs new diet doesnt have to make your life more difficult. Heres what to do when your little vegetarian (or vegan) makes the big announcement. Listen to Reasons for Going Meatless Invite kids to share their motivation for giving up meat. Think of it as an opportunity to get to know their values and worldview (or at least which of their peers is influencing them). Lorraine Buckmaster, of Baltimore, was all ears when her twin daughters became vegetarian in high school and vegan in college. After listening to their reasoning--and learning a lot about factory farming--Buckmaster understood why the girls felt the way they did, even if she and her husband werent ready to join them in going full-fledged veg. Assign Homework for a Balanced Diet Have new vegetarians make a list of nutritious snacks and meals, draft a shopping list, or go over the vegetarian food pyramid and explain how they will eat a balanced diet. Palmer advises focusing on nutrients of concern to vegans and vegetarians, such as protein, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Theres a great deal of nutritional misinformation on plant-based diets on the Internet, she says. Finding a credible source, such as a registered dietitian or an organization such as Oldways Vegetarian Network, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, or Vegetarian Resource Group is important. See also How do you get picky kids to eat veggies? Be Patient Chances are, youll be hearing a lot about your childs new interest. Yes, it might be uncomfortable or even annoying to get all the gory details about animal cruelty or health statistics, but keep an open mind, and ask for articles to read another time if you need a break from the topic. There are many bad choices that a child can make in this world, and being vegetarian is definitely not one of them, notes Susan Custer, of Midlothian, Va., whose daughter went vegetarian then vegan in her teens. I was impressed by her willpower and determination to stick with it. Set Ground Rules for a Healthy Diet Make it clear that junk-food vegetarianism wont fly. No need to ban chips and cookies, but whole foods--and a variety of them--should be the focus. Picky eaters may need to loosen up a bit. If youd like help with grocery shopping, meal prep, or lunch-packing, request that your child pitch in. Also, its fair to ask that mealtime be free of heated food discussions. Mutual respect is key: Dad doesnt need to hear about gestation crates during breakfast, and your veg kid shouldnt be teased for skipping meat. See also Why Go Veg? Cook and Eat Together Sharing recipes and trying unfamiliar foods can be a sweet way to bond. Borrow cookbooks from the library, or post recipes to a shared Pinterest board. With a little thought and effort, meals can be tweaked to satisfy everyone. Buckmaster focused on foods they could all eat: Wed have tacos--Id put the fixings out, and everyone could make their own. With pasta, my husbands portion would have meat sauce, and Id eat the veg topping with the kids. Pizzas always good. You can veganize almost anything. Be willing to stock up on fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, as well as new-to-you veg staples such as tofu and tempeh. Says Custer, The best thing has been the world that her choice has opened up for all of us: the variety of foods, healthier restaurants, and learning to shop the outside edges of the grocery store. Learn The Labels Youre about to become a lot more familiar with product labels. Non-veg ingredients pop up in unexpected places, whether its lard in baked goods, meat stock in soups, or gelatin in candies. Visit vrg.org/­­ingredients for a comprehensive list. If you have a smartphone, download the Animal-Free app to quickly determine if an ingredient is off-limits. Buying whole foods and products with short ingredients lists will make this task easier. See also Veg Supplement Guide

Cucumber-Grape Smoothie

May 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Place all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth.

Green Garden Smoothie

May 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Place all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Movie on a Mission: Inside the Garbage of the World

May 4 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: Inside the Garbage of the WorldPhoto: Carillo Films When you learn that an average American discards 4.5 pounds per day of trash, you realize we are the problem because we are not aware of where our trash is going and what it does to the environment and ultimately to our health, says Philippe Carillo, co-director and co-producer--with his wife, Maxine--of the documentary Inside the Garbage of the World. The film aims to correct this lack of awareness by showing the scourge of plastic pollution. Here, Philippe passionately responds to questions the film prompts. How would designating plastic as hazardous waste--which the film advocates--be a game changer? When plastic will finally be considered hazardous material, then plastic manufactures will be forced to come up with a safe material for human consumption and for the environment. We should have a totally independent organization, a pro-consumer organization, which should do all the testing of any product before it goes to market. But today that is far from the case. Big corporations have way too much power, and they are not ethical in regards to public safety. Californias ban on plastic bags, set to start this summer, is on hold since an industry-backed referendum qualified for the November 2016 ballot. What would you say to the states voters? I challenge anybody who is voting to overturn the ban to go to the beach every morning like I do and clean it of plastic. Believe me, they will start to understand. Have them ask scientists about the dangers of plastic, learning what it does little by little to their health, and to the fish and marine mammals who are dying all over the world because their stomachs are full of plastic bags. Ask them to visit one of the first beaches where plastic has concentrated, such as Kamilo Beach in Hawaii, and see if they can apprehend the future and how we are killing ourselves. We cannot leave our future in the hands of greedy organizations. Our future depends on us. Where would you suggest people start to get involved? In any vote that may occur in your vicinity, vote for your future and the future of your children. Also, vote with your pocketbook. That is your great power. You are the one who chooses what grocery stores sell. Remove plastic from your life, even if its step by step: Bring along your own fabric bags when you shop. Stop buying water in plastic bottles; there are alternatives such as glass bottles, or carry your own water container if you have a good water filter at home. Use your own mug when you buy coffee; buy bamboo or camping utensils to avoid using plastic utensils; use your own stainless steel container for takeout food. After a while you will see a change. We are the change! What about you? How are you reducing single-use plastic in your life?

Italian Tempeh Sandwich

May 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Combine shallot, garlic, oil, vinegar, basil, and Italian seasoning in medium bowl. Add tempeh, tomato, and mushrooms, and marinate 1 to 4 hours. 2 | Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread mixture in shallow baking dish, and bake 15 to 20 minutes. 3 | Spread mixture inside roll, and top with spinach and nutritional yeast.

Summery Flummery

May 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add almonds, brown sugar, and oats; stir over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until sugar melts. Transfer to cold plate, and set aside to cool and harden. 2 | Whip cream with electric mixer 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft peaks form. Fold in yogurt. 3 | When almond mixture is firm, crumble into small pieces. Reserve a few pieces for garnish, and stir remainder into cream mixture along with quartered strawberries. 4 | Divide flummery among serving dishes, and garnish with reserved whole strawberries and almond crumbles.

Summer Gumbo

May 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in glutinous rice flour until smooth paste forms. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until roux is caramel-colored, stirring constantly. 2 | Add bell pepper, onion, and celery, and stir to coat with roux. Stir in 1 cup water and Cajun seasoning, and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, scraping up any stuck-on bits from bottom of pot. Stir in broth, 2 more cups water, tomato paste, and garlic, and season with salt, if desired. Add pecans. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 3 | Add squash, radishes, carrots, and okra. Cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes more, or until vegetables are tender and sauce is thick and glistening. Serve gumbo over rice, and sprinkle with green onions.

Honey-and-Spice-Roasted Eggplant

May 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk oil with honey, lemon juice, coriander, and cumin; season with salt, if desired. 2 | Score each eggplant with 4 X-shaped cuts without fully piercing skin. Transfer to roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, then brush cuts with 2 Tbs. honey-spice mixture. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Roast 45 to 50 minutes, or until tender, brushing once with 1 Tbs. honey-spice mixture halfway through baking. 3 | Meanwhile, combine beans, shallot, and remaining honey-spice mixture in small bowl. Just before serving, add pistachios and mint, and toss to combine. 4 | Place 1/­­3 cup bean mixture in center of each eggplant.

Jeweled Rice

May 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Toast almonds in single layer in large skillet over medium heat 6 minutes, or until lightly browned, tossing occasionally. Transfer to bowl. 2 | Bring large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add rice, and cook 7 to 8 minutes, or until slightly firm. Drain, and reserve 1/­­4 cup cooking water. Stir saffron into reserved cooking water in cup, and set aside. Rinse rice under cold water, and drain again. Wipe out saucepan. 3 | Heat butter and 1 Tbs. oil in saucepan over high heat. Stir in caraway, thyme, coriander, and cumin, and cook 30 seconds, or until spices are sizzling and fragrant. Spread rice in even layer over sizzled spices; season with salt, if desired. Drizzle saffron water over top, and sprinkle with lime and orange zests, stirring only top layers of rice to incorporate seasonings (do not disturb bottom layer of rice). Make 4 or 5 pockets in rice to let steam escape, then reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until bottom of rice is crispy and lightly browned. Transfer to bowl. 4 | Stir in pomegranate seeds, green onions, and almonds. Drizzle with extra olive oil, if using, before serving.

Vegetarian in Paris: Top Spots to Eat and Shop

April 30 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Vegetarian in Paris: Top Spots to Eat and Shop Veggie, végan, vitalité--the trend for veg-friendly restaurants, shops, and cafés has taken hold in Paris, creating new options for travelers to the City of Light. With that in mind, we chatted with our favorite Parisian insider, Aurelia dAndrea, a regular VT contributor and the author of Vegetarian Paris: The Complete Insider’s Guide to the Best Veggie Food in Paris. What brought you to Paris? The lure of a dialed-down lifestyle centered more on lifes little pleasures and less on the stresses inherent in the American work-to-live culture. The promise of high-quality (and tasty) food and wine was definitely a part of the live-abroad dream too. How did the guide come about? In the five years since pulling up roots in California and laying them down in France, Ive averaged about a dozen houseguests per year. I joke that I see my San Francisco friends more now that I live in Paris than I did when I actually lived there, and honestly, thats not too far from the truth. Friends, friends of friends, and family have all asked for veg restaurant recommendations, and after custom-creating itineraries for visitors year after year, and growing that list month after month, I figured it would be worth pitching the idea of a guide to a book publisher. U.K. publishers Vegetarian Guides took the bait and published Vegetarian Paris in late 2014. A French-language version, with updates, is slated for late 2015. How has the veg scene evolved since you got here? The clichés about French cuisine--specifically about how inhospitable it is to people who dont eat meat--are definitely rooted in reality. While the food culture is traditional, in the last several years a healthy eating trend has exploded in the City of Light. This has opened the door not only for vegetarian restaurants and vegan boutiques to flourish, but for vegans around France to come out of the closet and find community. At a recent vegan village pop-up event, there were no fewer than 10 booths selling vegan baked goods, and I couldnt help but ask everyone I met, Where have you been hiding?! The response is that theyve been there all along, but we simply didnt have the conduits to bring us all together. Now, we do. Whats the veg community like in Paris?? The veg community is eclectic, interesting, and diverse--just like Paris itself. The local vegan Meetup group is extremely active and an important hub for herbivores in the French capital. Members organize dining-out events, film screenings, and cooking classes, among other things, and some events are so popular that they have waiting lists. Because Paris is a city of immigrants and a place where people sometimes land for just a year or two, the veg scene is continually being added to and subtracted from, and new ideas that often cling are introduced regularly. Right now, theres a big upsurge in advocacy-driven events, due in part, I think, to the addition of Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on the local scene. (Watson recently got married in Paris, and one of his SSCS ships has been docked in the Seine for months.) What are some vegan/­­veg innovations in Paris? While researching the guide, I was surprised to discover some really novel, new-to-me organizations that had vegetarianism built into their ethos or philosophy. Café Zoide in the working-class 19e is a kids activity center upstairs, vegetarian café downstairs with a daily special that costs 5 euro. Both the pricing and the decision to offer veg fare are by design; this is to make the food accessible to a broader spectrum of people. Weve also got a vegan spa, Le Centre Tout Naturellement, where you can take a sauna and get a facial, followed by a healthy, filling 10-euro lunch. The owners are super welcoming and will make you a fresh-pressed organic juice if you ask. And recently, Paris finally got a vegan shoes-and-accessories store, Vegissime, in the Latin Quarter. I like to pop in to to see if theyve added any new footwear lines, then I stop by Vegan Folies, Pariss first vegan bakery, to pick up a decadent slice of cheesecake. Must-sees and must-dos in Paris? There are so many fun itineraries for veg visitors to the French capital. I love to steer friends toward neighborhoods where they can eat, drink, and be merry without having to venture too far on foot or by public transport, such as Canal Saint Martin. I recommend Tien Hiang, a Vietnamese/­­Chinese veg spot thats always bopping, where you can get stuffed on meat-free pho and bun xeo, then walk a few blocks over to Carmen Ragosta, a fusion boutique offering vegetarian Italian food, vegan shoes, and locally designed clothing. The tiramisu is divine, but call in advance for the vegan version. Another fun neighborhood to explore is Japantown, between Opera and the Louvre. A couple of spots offer tea-time snacks like steamed dumplings and bubble tea, and cool café Nest has oodles of vegan offerings, including brownies and Vietnamese tapioca desserts, which you can take away and enjoy in the beautiful and historic gardens of the Palais-Royal before setting off to explore the neighborhoods many covered arcades. Look out for our June issue--on sale May 12--for more on the best places to eat, shop, stay, and explore in Paris (plus recipes from our favorite French restaurants!).

Millet and Oyster Mushroom Bowls

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat large baking sheet with cooking spray. 2 | To make Millet and Mushrooms Salad: Bring 21/­­2 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add millet; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until millet has softened and absorbed all liquid. Lightly fluff with fork. 3 | Meanwhile, spread mushrooms and onion on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with thyme. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and toss to coat. Roast 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are browned. 4 | To make Dressing: whisk together all ingredients in small bowl. 5 | Stir lentils and half of Dressing into millet. Divide among bowls, top with roasted mushrooms and onion, and drizzle with remaining Dressing. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, if using.

Quinoa Pilaf with Tempeh and Broccoli

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Quinoa Pilaf: Heat coconut oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add quinoa, ginger, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add orange juice, 11/­­2 cups water, and salt. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. 2 | Meanwhile, to make Tempeh and Broccoli: Heat coconut oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tempeh, and cook 7 minutes, or until lightly golden, stirring occasionally. Add ginger, garlic, and chile, and sauté 30 seconds. 3 | Add orange juice, broth, and soy sauce to tempeh, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Add broccoli, and stir-fry 5 minutes, or until broccoli is crisp-tender. 4 | Transfer Quinoa Pilaf to serving bowl. Top with Tempeh and Broccoli. Garnish with green onions and cashews

Sweet and Sour Barley-Tofu Hot Pot

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Combine broth, tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, sriracha, and 1 cup water in large saucepan. Add cabbage, parsnips, carrot, and onion; cover, and bring to a boil. Add barley, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, or until barley has softened. Stir in tofu, and simmer 5 minutes more.

Quinoa Flour Tortillas

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Combine quinoa flour, tapioca starch, salt, xanthan gum, and baking powder in large bowl. Set aside. 2 | Whisk together almond milk and vinegar in separate bowl. Whisk in eggs, oil, and maple syrup. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture to make wet, sticky dough. Cover, and let rest 30 minutes. 3 | Cut out 12 8-inch rounds of parchment paper. Shape dough into 1/­­4-cup balls on work surface dusted with tapioca starch. 4 | Heat non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. 5 | Gently hand-flatten 1 ball of dough into disk on parchment round (patch together if it tears). 6 | Invert tortilla onto skillet, dough side down. Cook 1 minute, then remove parchment round (parchment should easily separate from tortilla). Cook 30 seconds, then flip tortilla, and cook 1 to 11/­­2 minutes more, or until tortilla is golden brown in places. Transfer to clean kitchen towel. Fold towel over tortilla to keep warm. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Tip To make taco-sized tortillas, shape dough into 16 smaller balls, and flatten them onto 6-inch circles of parchment paper.

Asparagus Fettuccine with Lemon and Pepper

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Heat 2 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and sauté 2 minutes, or until golden. Stir in asparagus, and season with salt, if desired. Sauté 2 minutes, then cover skillet, and cook 5 minutes, or until asparagus is bright green and just tender. Transfer half of asparagus to plate, and set aside. 2 | Cook remaining asparagus 1 minute more, then transfer to bowl of food processor. Add lemon juice, pepper, and remaining 3 Tbs. oil, and blend until sauce is smooth. 3 | Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/­­4 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot, and toss with asparagus sauce, reserved cooking water, and lemon zest. Stir in reserved asparagus, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Sprouted Wild Rice with Pistachios and Spring Vegetables

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Rinse rice well, drain, and transfer to glass jar or bowl. Cover with fresh or filtered water, and let soak at room temperature overnight. Drain, then rinse rice again, cover with fresh water once more, and soak 24 hours. Repeat rinsing and soaking process twice a day for two more days, or until grains have split open and are tender enough to eat. 2 | Whisk together oil, mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, and maple syrup in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 3 | Add half of dressing to rice mixture, and toss to coat. Fold in peas, chickpeas, carrots, chives, and dill. 4 | Toast pistachios in dry skillet over medium heat 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Add toasted nuts and remaining dressing to salad, and toss to combine.

Rosemary-Garlic Carrot and Green Bean Fries

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets with oil. 2 | Stir together 2 Tbs. oil, 1 Tbs. rosemary, and 1 Tbs. garlic in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Add carrots, and toss to coat well with oil and seasonings. Spread carrots in single layer on one prepared baking sheet. 3 | Combine remaining 2 Tbs. oil, 1 Tbs. rosemary, and 1 Tbs. garlic in same bowl, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Add green beans, and toss to coat. Spread green beans on second prepared baking sheet. 4 | Roast green beans and carrots 20 to 30 minutes (depending on thickness), or until vegetables begin to turn deep brown in spots. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cool 2 minutes, then serve, or cool on baking sheets, and serve at room temperature.

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray. 2 | To make Sausage: Mix together all ingredients in large bowl with 1/­­2 cup water. Spread mixture in thin layer on one prepared baking sheet, and bake 15 minutes. Cool, then crumble into pieces. 3 | To make Biscuits: Whisk together soymilk and vinegar in medium bowl. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Cut margarine into flour mixture with two knives or rub with fingers until it’s the size of small peas. Stir in soymilk mixture. 4 | Transfer dough to floured work surface, and pat into 1-inch-thick rectangle. Cut out eight 3-inch rounds of dough, and transfer to second prepared baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top. 5 | To make Gravy: Melt margarine in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, and whisk in soymilk. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until thickened, whisking constantly. Stir in cayenne pepper and Sausage. To serve: Split Biscuits in half. Place two halves on each plate, and top with 1/­­4 cup Gravy. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Pass remaining Gravy at table.

Good Old-Fashioned French Toast Stuffed with Strawberries and Sweet Soy Cream

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Sweet Soy Cream: Place soymilk in blender or food processor. With machine running, drizzle in oil very slowly until thoroughly blended with soymilk. Blend 1 minute more, or until mixture has consistency of heavy cream. Transfer to bowl, and stir in lemon juice. Flavor with agave nectar and vanilla and cinnamon (if using). Transfer to jar, and refrigerate until ready to use. (Recipe makes 3 cups; extra will keep one week.) 2 | To make Egg Foam: Whisk egg replacer with 1 cup water in metal bowl. Place bowl on burner over medium-high heat, and whisk 1 to 2 minutes, or until foam has fluffed to 11/­­2 times original size and reaches 100°F on instant-read thermometer. 3 | To make French Toast: Whisk together soymilk and vinegar in medium bowl. Whisk in Egg Foam, vanilla, agave nectar, and cinnamon, then whisk in oil. 4 | Coat large skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Halve bread slices nearly to bottom, leaving attached at crust like spine of open book. Dip each piece of bread in soymilk mixture 30 seconds per side, then place in skillet. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, flipping once, or until French Toast is browned and crisp on both sides. 5 | To serve: Spoon 1/­­4 cup strawberries on bottom half of each French Toast slice. Fold top over, top with 2-Tbs. dollop of Sweet Soy Cream, then drizzle with sorghum syrup.

Adzuki-Beet Pâté

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Bring beets and enough water to cover to a boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 35 to 40 minutes, or until beets are tender. Remove from heat, drain beets, and slip off skins under cool running water. Cut beets into 1-inch dice, and set aside. 2 | Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add garlic and salt, and cook 5 minutes more, or until onions caramelize. Remove pan from heat, and stir in balsamic vinegar and mirin; set aside. 3 | Place beans in food processor; add cashew butter, vinegar, beets, and caramelized onions. Blend until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Movie on a Mission: PlantPure Nation

April 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: PlantPure Nation T. Colin Campbells groundbreaking 2004 book The China Study has inspired another film, this one closer to home. Campbells son, Nelson, is executive producer and director of PlantPure Nation, a film that documents the younger Campbells demonstrating the health benefits of a plant-based whole-foods diet in his hometown of Mebane, North Carolina. The film also explores big-picture issues such as current medical practice and the political influence of the animal agriculture industry in the U.S. In the film, a doctor observes that people can accept nutrition as a cause of a lot of our chronic diseases, while at the same time not accept diet as a treatment. Why do you think that is? Years and years of misinformation. Weve found that people are open to the idea that diet can be a treatment when this is properly explained to them. But in the absence of this explanation, they equate treatment with pharmaceuticals. Why isnt nutrition regularly taught in medical schools? Do you see that changing? My father has researched commentary from leading medical practitioners going back to the 1700s and earlier. Theres been a pronounced bias against nutrition in large part because of ego. Historically, the fathers of modern medicine--and they have been mostly men--havent like the idea that the locus of control resides with the patient. However--and this is an important point--many practitioners of medicine today are open to the power of nutrition. Many doctors have lived with the system of drugs, procedures, insurance hassles, liability problems, 10-minute visits, etc., and are fed up. This is why when we made the movie, we decided to utilize as experts physicians who have practiced medicine conventionally, but discovered the power of nutrition and embraced it. The committee advising the USDA on new dietary guidelines has already come under fire by the meat industry for including sustainability in their report and recommending a decrease in animal products in our diet. Can the average citizen have a voice in the USDAs accepting the committees recommendations? We will try to give at least some voice to the public through a rally were organizing for May 9, next to the Capitol building in Washington. Were going to do our best to draw a big crowd. Well also tell people as we cross the country about the battle raging in Washington and encourage them to express themselves to their elected officials. But the real solution is to have a strategy that transcends the debate in Washington. Of course it would be great if the USDA accepts the committees recommendation, but if they dont we can still forge ahead with a grassroots movement and achieve success. And if they do accept the recommendations, well still require a movement because transforming society through the movement of plant-based nutrition will not be easy. Anyone who things otherwise is being overly idealistic. We need to create awareness and then practical options for people everywhere, as well as financial incentives for people to take responsibility. Most of all, we need to create community around this idea. When people see those around them taking responsibility through plant-based nutrition, they will be much more inclined to do the same, and once they have made the change, to stick with it. Im a big believer in community.

High/Low: Cast-Iron Skillets We Love

April 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

High/Low: Cast-Iron Skillets We Love The cast-iron skillet is a true kitchen champ: it retains heat longer than steel, lasts forever, and gets more non-stick the more you use it. For a pretty presentation, take it straight from stove or oven to table. Save An inexpensive classic, the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet comes in a range of shapes and sizes--our favorite has two handles for easier lifting. ($25/­10.25-inch; lodgemfg.com) Splurge Love cast iron but hate the heft? The Komin Fry Pan is thinner and lighter than typical cast-iron skillets, but works just as great for making cornbread and grilled cheese. ($79.95; williams-sonoma.com) Got a favorite cast-iron skillet? Share in the comments.

Shop Like a Chef: How to Buy Eggs

April 9 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Shop Like a Chef: How to Buy Eggs Welcome to our new column, Shop Like a Chef, in which we ask chefs at Natural Gourmet Institute to offer expert tips on choosing vegetarian staples. Think all eggs are created equal? Think again. There are many (often confusing) variables to consider when seeking out the best carton. 1. Know Your Labels If you’re shopping at the supermarket, you might see one of these common terms on egg packaging: Free Range: This generally means that hens have access to the outdoors, but it does not guarantee they roam freely. Commercially raised hens can be as many as 10,000 to a barn, and the door is just a door. They are often uncaged within the barns, but still very crowded. Certified OrganicEggs with a USDA Organic seal must come from hens fed an organic vegetarian diet, free of antibiotics and pesticides. It is worth noting, however, that chickens are not naturally vegetarian--they love bugs--but it would be more difficult to qualify as organic if there were any animal parts in their feed. Omega-3 Enriched: Feed has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than usual. If hens are barn-raised, their feed probably includes flax or seaweed; if pasture-raised, omega-3s can be increased by a natural diet of bugs and grass. Pasture Raised: Hens are raised outdoors, typically at a ratio of 1,000 hens per 2.5 acres, and are fed a natural diet that can be supplemented with feed during certain times of year--like harsh winters. Look for the Humane Farm Animal Care Organizations Certified Humane pasture-raised label. Hormone Free: Mostly used as an advertising tool, since hormone use in egg production was banned back in the 1950s. 2. Head to the Farmers Market Try to buy pasture-raised eggs at the farmers market whenever you can. Eggs at the market are extremely fresh, so they last over five weeks in the refrigerator. And, because pasture-raised hens eat a natural diet, the yolks of their eggs are a brighter orange and have a stronger flavor. 3. Dont Judge by Color Many people assume brown eggs are healthier than white eggs, but they actually have the same nutritional makeup. However, brown eggs usually cost more, and for a simple reason: hens that lay brown eggs are larger than those that lay white ones, so they eat more, and the consumer pays the price. 4. Size Matters--Sometimes If you mostly use eggs for omelets and the like, size doesnt really matter. But when it comes to baking, ingredient amounts are imperative to the final outcome--large eggs are the standard size used in most recipes. Got an overload of eggs? Try one of these easy VT recipes: Spicy Eggplant and Egg Tagine Quinoa Eggs Florentine Arugula-Ricotta Omelet for One Bibimbap with Spicy Steamed Tofu and Fried Eggs Meet the author: Barbara Rich is a full-time chef instructor at Natural Gourmet Institute. She holds a bachelors degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Miss., and a culinary degree from California Culinary Academy. Before teaching, she worked at Cardwells Restaurant in St. Louis, Zuni Café in San Francisco, and Danal in New York City. She is also an avid athlete, and has competed in half-ironman triathlons, long-distance open water swim races, and trail races, including the Trans Rockies 6-Day Ultra.

3 Editor Picks for a Muesli Breakfast

April 8 2015 Vegetarian Times 

3 Editor Picks for a Muesli Breakfast Move over, granola! For a quick-and-wholesome breakfast, VT staffers munch on muesli--a hearty mix of oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Dorset Cereals Fruit, Nut & Fiber Muesli Toasted, lightly sweetened oat and wheat flakes perk up this kid-friendly option. Other ingredient standouts: roasted hazelnuts and coconut. ($5.29/­­11.46 oz., dorsetcereals.com) Bobs Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli A classic blend, this fiber-rich muesli packs in plenty of whole grains (wheat, barley, rye, oats). Look for Bobs Red Mills tasty gluten-free version too. ($4.69/­­18 oz., bobsredmill.com) Eden Organic Cinnamon Müesli This organic, cinnamon-y goodie satisfies with just the right balance of chewy wild blueberries and crunchy pumpkin and sunflower seeds. ($8.45/­­17.6 oz., edenfoods.com) 4 Ways to Enjoy Muesli 1. Simmer in hot water and eat like oatmeal. 2. Add your favorite milk; eat immediately or soak overnight. 3. Sprinkle over plain yogurt for a healthful parfait. 4. Use in baked goods such as cookies, muffins, and crumbles.

The Dirt on The Newest Beauty Trend: Charcoal

April 3 2015 Vegetarian Times 

The Dirt on The Newest Beauty Trend: Charcoal Heres a surprising ally in clean living: activated charcoal, a natural ingredient turning up everywhere from bar soaps to toothbrushes. Made by burning organic materials such as wood and coconut shells at intensely high temperatures in oxygen-free surroundings, activated charcoal is rich in carbon and riddled with tiny pores that purify by soaking up pollutants and other hazardous materials. Particularly prized is binchotan--a form of activated charcoal produced by torching oak branches--long esteemed for its clean-burning qualities in traditional Japanese-style grilling. Just as those activated charcoal filters in your water purifier help mop up contaminants, the pitch-black ash added to personal-care products is believed to trap impurities before they wreak havoc on your body. Activated charcoal does have a history of use in hospitals as an emergency treatment for poisoning. Its assumed that since charcoal prevents absorption of many compounds in the blood, it can be used routinely for detoxification, but based on research to date, its not clear how much of a difference it makes, says Adam Rindfleisch, MD, family physician and integrative medicine consultant at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Still, natural-beauty mavens note that activated charcoal could help clarify your complexion. Laura Latronico, director of Mokara Spa in Houston, recommends weekly use of a cleanser or mask made with activated charcoal, adding that since activated charcoal may do away with dirt and oil, charcoal-infused skin-care goods could prevent clogged pores, making it a boon for the blemish prone. That deep-down pore-cleansing means activated charcoals great for removing makeup too, she says. Editors’ Picks Michael Todd True Organics Charcoal Detoxifying Facial Mask ($34/­­3.4 oz.; michaeltoddusa.com) Giovanni Purifying Facial Scrub ($9.95/­­4 oz.; giovannicosmetics.com) Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleanser ($36/­­6 oz.; shamanuti.com) Morihata Binchotan Facial Puff ($16; rikumo.com)

Does the Sugar in Fruit Make You Gain Weight?

April 2 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Does the Sugar in Fruit Make You Gain Weight?Illustration: Hye Jin Chung Nope! It’s a myth. Rest assured that in contrast to consuming generous amounts of sugary sodas and boxed breakfast cereals, eating plenty of apples and blueberries wont cause you to lose the battle of the bulge. In fact, upping your consumption of naturally sweet fruits may help you shed pounds. According to a research review published in the journal Obesity Reviews, most evidence points to an inverse relationship between fruit intake and body weight--meaning that as fruit intake goes up, waistlines tend to shrink. Similarly, Spanish researchers found that people with the highest fruit intake were less likely to gain weight over a 10-year period than those who ate the least amount of natures sweet offerings. Evidence is mounting that the processed sugar being pumped into packaged foods and beverages is contributing to expanding waistlines the world over. But you need not to worry about the natural sugars found in fruits, says Sharon Palmer, RDN, author of Plant-Powered for Life. Those sugars come packaged with nutrients, phytochemicals, and dietary fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream and increases satiety, helping to make weight gain less likely. Besides, its a lot harder to overdose on naturally occurring sugars in fresh fruits. For example, youd have to eat 3-plus cups of strawberries just to approach the amount of sugar present in a serving of fruit-flavored yogurt. Bottom Line: ?If you want to stay svelte, limit your intake of sugar-sweetened foods and not your trips to the fruit bowl. In fact, Mother Natures candy is the most healthful way to satisfy a sweet tooth. Spring Sweets Get more fruit goodness into your diet with these seasonal delights: Apricots are plush with vitamin A to boost immune and eye health. ?Add to plain yogurt, grain salads, and chutneys. Cherries are a source of vitamin C, which can improve your blood pressure score, at least in the short term. ?Use to top pancakes, bruschetta, and homemade ?ice cream. Strawberries pack a payload of anthocyanins, antioxidants that help promote healthier cholesterol numbers. ?Blend into salsas, smoothies, and chia puddings. How about you? What’s your favorite fruit for satisfying a sweet tooth?

Veg Hot Spot: California’s The Farmer and the Cook

March 30 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Hot Spot: California’s The Farmer and the Cook Off the beaten path in Ojai, Calif., youll find The Farmer and the Cook, the realization of Steve Sprinkel and Olivia Chases farm-to-table dream. Since 2001, the organic vegetarian market and restaurant have offered produce from Sprinkels 16-acre farm and ?a Mexican-inspired daily menu from Chases kitchen. We use organic soybean meal ?as a fertilizer because of animal welfare issues and because of unknowns like GMO biology in commercial compost, says Sprinkel, adding: Things tend to ?be fresher and crisper because of our practices in the field. On weekends, the markets salad/­deli bar serves up salads prepped by Mio and Megumi, Japanese chefs whose repertoire includes pickled vegetables and an arame salad Mio learned from her mom. Order restaurant fare at a central counter--grilled-vegetable-and-goat cheese tacos with aji cilantro and red pepper sauces are popular--and grab a table inside a cozy area set off from the market or outside on the patio. The weekend menu features seasonal specials and pizzas, and live music plays on ?the patio on Sundays. The spots friendly and relaxed vibe, combined with the owners commitment to healthful, sustainable food, has earned it plenty of regulars among the locals. The benefit of walking your talk is invaluable, Sprinkel says. Hungry for more? Visit The Farmer and the Cook at 339 W. El Roblar, Ojai, Calif.

Veg Celeb: Marco Antonio Regil

March 26 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Marco Antonio Regil Helming Spanish-language versions of such iconic game shows such as The Price Is Right, Mexican broadcaster Marco Antonio Regil currently hosts 100 Latinos Dijeron on MundoFOX. Rigal went vegan in September 2006, after watching the PETA documentary Glass Walls.  What was it like narrating a Spanish-language version of Glass Walls? It was such an honor! This was the documentary that changed my life and opened my eyes to what was happening in the food industry. Since sharing the Spanish-language version on social media, Ive received thousands of comments with very similar reactions to the one I had. For me, it was shocking at first. I then realized I had a choice to be or not be a part of it, and I decided to never, ever sponsor animal cruelty with my consumption. Ag-gag legislation makes it illegal to take video or photographs on factory farms, which would have prohibited the footage shown in Glass Walls. Whats your reaction to such laws? Ag-gag laws that have passed in some states and been rejected in others, like California, break my heart. Instead of working to minimize the suffering of these animals and being thankful to the people who have exposed the cruelty, the industry is hiding what its doing with stricter [anti-whistleblowing] rules. If the animals are as happy as presented in the industry’s marketing strategies, why not allow cameras and share openly with consumers? The violence that takes place between humans and animals is not only cruel to animals but to humans too. Can you imagine what kind of people we are creating in these workers, who have to spend eight to 12 hours a day seeing and feeling the suffering of other living beings? What kind of father, mother, husband, wife, or neighbor will these workers be after such a daily routine? I wish I could see a big change happen in this world. All I can do, by my daily life choices, is be part of the change I would like to see. Evolution and compassion are key. Did you meet any resistance from family or friends to your going vegan? Its funny, I used to eat fast food and drink a lot of diet soda, and nobody would say anything. But the moment I said I was going vegan, suddenly Im surrounded by people saying: You are going to die! and You are going to lose your hair! And a couple of others told me that God created animals for us to eat them. The good thing is that I made this change with education and coaching. As a TV host, youre interacting with new people all the time. Any tips for helping put someone at ease? Listening! Being genuinely interested in the other person and asking them questions, and then, of course, listening from a neutral place and understanding what they say without judging them.  

How to Join a Food Swap

March 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Join a Food Swap Trading edibles may be a time-honored school ritual, but adults looking for more variety in their menus are getting into the act too. Options include food swaps, package swaps, garden swaps, and community-supported agriculture box swaps. ?Take your pick, and start swappin. Why should kids have all the fun? Meet-and-Greet Swaps Cook up something delicious, package it in individual serving sizes, and when you arrive at your food swap location, set the servings on a table. Dont forget to put out samples! ?Now circle the table with other swappers. See something youd like ?to trade? On the sheet of paper next to the item, write your name and what youve brought to the table. ?When times up, check the sheet ?next to your item to see who wants ?to barter. Let the swapping begin! Samples, Please Among the 100 percent veg swaps youll find nationwide, the NW Philly VegetarianVegan Food Swap meets the first Monday of the month. We all love cooking, and were all mostly health-conscious, says Amy Doolittle, who has been with the group since its inception. The DC Vegan Baking Swap gathers the first Saturday of the month. Every month we use recipes from a specific cookbook or blog, says Laurel Gowen, the groups organizer. Each member bakes ?a different recipe. Favorites include ?a mango lassi cake from Cheers to Vegan Sweets--Gowen requested it for her most recent birthday. Sign Up Visit meetup.com for food swaps in your community. Also check bulletin boards at local cooking schools, fitness studios, health-food stores, and community centers. Once you decide on a swap, Doolittle suggests you clearly identify what youre contributing and list ingredients so people with allergies can take note. And allow plenty of time for the swap, says Doolittle: Time can sneak up on you. Pen-Pal Swaps A package swap is like Christmas every month. Simply sign up ?with an online organizer, who pairs you with another swapper. Next put together a package filled with your favorite vegan or vegetarian items from your area. Send it off, and wait for your ?swap partners package to arrive. Samples, Please Im a dark-chocolate lover, says Chicago resident Diana Morrow. So when she opened ?a recent package from the Power to the Veg! swap, she was happy to see ?a 99% chocolate bar from trendy TCHO. Morrow has participated ?regularly in the swap, organized by Jessica Schoech as an offshoot of her Power to the Veg! Facebook group. Schoech figured that a swap box would be a great way to introduce ?new vegans to the lifestyle. Power to the Veg! swap partners can live anywhere in the U.S.; Vegan Package Swap is an international package swap: It would be easier to list countries ?not represented, but were in 40 countries for sure, says organizer Glauce Ferrari. The variety of products you can get from different countries is amazing! Sign Up Morrow offers this advice for putting together your ?first package: Ask questions of ?your partner in the first e-mail exchange, for example, Any dietary restrictions? Any kids or pets who might like a treat? Whats your favorite and least favorite cuisine? She also suggests mixing it up: Anything local and difficult to ?get elsewhere is appreciated. Ferrari cautions swappers to ?watch the weight of their package--otherwise shipping costs can be expensive--and avoid sending ?fresh fruits and vegetables to ?other countries, a no-no due to customs laws. Packaged goods ?are fine, however. So is chocolate, though usually not in summer. ?It makes a mess because it melts, Ferrari explains. Green-Thumb Swaps Knee-deep in zucchini? Overrun by oranges? The garden swap is an organized version of what gardeners have been doing informally for years: trading bumper crops. Similar to taking part in a meet-and-greet swap, you bring homegrown items to a central location, put them on display, and make note of what youd like to trade. Once everyones perused the options, the swapping begins. Samples, Please Every Tuesday evening, from April through October, the tiny town of Albany, Calif., holds a garden swap. Weve grown from 20 to up to 40 traders each week, says swap coordinator Mary McKenna. She notes the best exchanges arent always the fruits and vegetables: Ive learned more about gardening by listening to the tips and advice swappers give each other. Darnell Stewart, host of a weekly garden swap in Richmond, Calif., says its introduced him to new varieties of produce. In Maryland, the Eldersburg Branch of the Carroll County Library holds a different kind of garden swap: here, large boxes are put in the lobby, and anyone with extra produce to share places it in the box. Weve had everything from habanero peppers to zucchini and tomatoes, says library associate Christine Kirker, who started the program. Sign Up The best part about trading at a garden swap is your produce doesnt have to be perfect. Gardeners understand smaller fruits, bruises, and misshapen items, McKenna says. San Francisco-Bay Area residents can search playndirt?.com, a Web site organized by Stewart, for swaps close by. Elsewhere, check local libraries, garden clubs, community centers, and state extension offices (educational networks created by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture) for swaps in your area. Produce-Box Swaps You know those CSA boxes filled with fruits and vegetables grown by a local farmer? Sometimes, the box you receive is filled with items--say, radishes--that you rarely eat, and not nearly enough bell peppers for your famous stuffed-peppers recipe. What to do? If youre lucky, your CSA may offer a swap box. Samples, Please Our farmer brings an extra share of vegetables, which we put into the swap box, says Jen Robertson with the ?Greenwood Heights CSA in ?Brooklyn, N.Y. Every member ?is welcome to trade for something else. There is no guarantee that ?there will be anything in the swap box that you want to trade for, but there is the opportunity. Any leftover produce is up for grabs ?for members who work the shift, ?and what remains is given to people in need. Sign Up To learn more about CSAs, visit the Local Harvest Web site, localharvest.org/­csa. Enter your location for a list of local farms that offer CSA subscriptions. Youll need to check with the farmers about whether they offer a swap box.

How to Roast Vegetables Like a Pro

March 11 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Roast Vegetables Like a Pro Roasted vegetable recipes are all over the dial when it comes to oven temperatures. Some stick to a conservative 350°F and call for about an hour of cooking time. Others play around with 25°F increments. To keep things simple, try setting your oven to a rollicking 450°F so vegetables brown beautifully and achieve rich roasted flavor in a jiffy. Here are a few more simple steps to roasting success: 1. Preheat properly. Give your oven 20 minutes or more to reach a full 450°F. 2. Cook like with like. For vegetable medleys with different roasting times, place vegetables with similar cooking times on the same baking sheet. 3. Use just enough oil to coat. Too much oil may cause burning. 4. Give items plenty of room. Arrange vegetables in a single layer with plenty of room between them on baking sheets. Space is key to keeping the hot air circulating around and browning vegetables, not just heating them and letting them steam in their own juices. 5. Rotate pans. Oven hotspots are more pronounced at high temperatures. Turn baking sheets around and shift them from upper to lower oven racks halfway through the cooking time. 6. Add delicate seasonings last. Minced garlic, fresh herbs, dried spices, and sweeteners can burn at high heat. Stir them into vegetables just before serving--the heat of the veggies is enough to release their flavors and aromas. Ready to start? Here are a few of our favorite roasted veggie recipes: Mixed Roasted Mushrooms Over Creamy Butternut Squash Purée Root Vegetable Medley with Brussels Sprouts Oven-Crisped Baby Potatoes and Onions Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Lemony Brown Butter

Tell VT: What’s Your Best Tip for Eating Veg on a Budget?

March 4 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Tell VT: What’s Your Best Tip for Eating Veg on a Budget? Got a tried-and-true way to eat vegetarian or vegan for less? (Here are some of our favorite tips.) Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

Veg Hot Spot: Karyn’s Day Spa in Chicago

March 3 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Hot Spot: Karyn’s Day Spa in ChicagoPhoto: Nathan Michael The name Karyn Calabrese ?is synonymous with the vegan and raw food movements in the Midwest, but along with her delicious fare, its Calabreses ability to defy aging (shes known for rocking a bikini well into her 60s) that has people flocking to Karyns Day Spa. In addition to an ultra-modern spa, the airy space encompasses a health-food store and raw-food restaurant, which features vegan enchiladas, tiramisu cheesecake, and gingery mocktails spiked with Karyns house-made Rejuvelac ?(a fermented probiotic). Among the Centers most popular spa services, the Fountain of Youth Facial treatment combines the ultra-gentle HydraFacial, which cleanses and plumps the complexion with hyaluronic acid, and Myopulse, which stimulates the production of collagen to firm ?and tone skin. Also available ?are toxin-free manicures and pedicures, infrared saunas, deep-tissue massage, and dietetic consultation to address any nutritional deficiencies. The space embodies Calabreses holistic philosophy of well-being. But remember, like anything in life, caring for your body is a process, and you cant expect to go from A to Z overnight, she says. This is the most important journey youll take in your life--make it a joyful one! Visit Karyn’s Day Spa and Raw Cafe at 1901 N. Halsted St., Chicago, Ill.

10 Mouth-Watering Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

February 26 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Street Art Throwdown’s Justin Bua

February 24 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Street Art Throwdown’s Justin BuaPhoto: Mark DeJohn Justin Buas art spans not just galleries and museums, but also the street. Additionally, he serves as host, co-judge, and executive producer on Oxygen’s competition series Street Art Throwdown. A longtime vegan, he recently developed the Bua Bar. What makes art street art? Anything done on the street, whether legal or illegal. Back in the day, most street art was illegal, but now more and more walls are sanctioned and legal. There is a distinct difference between street art and graffiti; street art was born out of graffiti, and does or does not have to do with lettering, as opposed to graff, which is way more lettering-centric and relies more heavily on words and characters. For the competition series Street Art Throwdown, what do you look for in a budding street artist? These guys are wildly creative raw talent, and some of them have that artistic it factor. Im looking for artists that are able to handle the intense conditions, paint under pressure, and raise the bar by getting better and better while finding creative solutions to difficult visual problems. One of the ingredients of your Bua Bar is stone-ground chocolate. Why stone-ground?  These stones minimally refine the cacao beans, capturing all their vibrant flavors. So the short answer is, it tastes better! Youre raising your daughter vegan. Any tips for other vegan-minded parents? Yes. Dont let anyone scare you. People are so fear-based that they can easily be blinded by their own paranoia. My 10-year-old daughter is beautiful, intelligent, and resourceful. She can handle herself with regard to the vegan discussion, but when ignorant parents ask, Where does she get her protein? or Aren’t you afraid she’s going to be weak and anemic? I simply show them a video of her in jujitsu class choking out a 20-pound heavier boy. She is a practitioner of both judo and jujitsu.

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Parsnips

February 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Parsnips Except for their ivory color and generally wider girth, parsnips look a lot like carrots. Nutty and slightly sweet tasting, these root veggies are at their best when the weather turns chilly. The cool temperatures concentrate the sugars in their cells, making them sweeter, explains Andy Griffin, owner of Mariquita Farm in Watsonville, Calif. Pick Check that parsnips are free of cracks, and avoid any that bend or show soft spots. A fresh parsnip will have an herbal fragrance, Griffin says. Despite what you might hear, smaller parsnips are not necessarily sweeter and better tasting than larger ones, he adds. Parsnips can last up to three weeks when kept in cool conditions with high humidity, such as a plastic bag placed in the refrigerator crisper. Prep Raw parsnips tend to have a tough, woody texture; cooking makes these veggies more palatable. Roasting really enhances their sweetness, says Griffin. Peeled and sliced parsnips quickly turn dark when exposed to air, so cook them right away, or store them in water with a touch of lemon juice. To avoid mushy parsnips, Griffin advises adding them to soups and stews toward the end of cooking. Try This! o Shred parsnips, and add to baking batters as you would carrots or zucchini. o Boil or steam parsnips, and mash with an equal amount of potatoes, plus milk, butter, grainy mustard, smoked paprika, and fresh sage for a savory take on mashed potatoes. o Combine whole, peeled parsnips with pearled onions and rosemary on a roasting pan; toss with olive oil and sea salt, and roast at 400°F until tender. o Toss grated parsnips and carrots with flour, eggs, chopped chives, and salt and pepper to taste; drop batter by the scoopful into an oiled skillet to make parsnip patties. o Simmer sliced leeks, parsnips, and potatoes in vegetable stock; purée, and garnish soup with crumbled feta and toasted pecans. o Pair them with carrots: we love steamed, glazed parsnip and carrot sticks and roasted carrots and parsnips. What about you? What’s your favorite way to use parsnips?

Maple-Cider Oven Doughnuts

February 19 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Doughnuts: Bring hard cider and 1/­4 cup maple syrup to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 30 minutes, or until mixture has cooked down to 1/­3 cup. Cool. 2 | Preheat oven to 350°F, and coat 12-cup doughnut or muffin pan with cooking spray. 3 | Mix together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Make well in center, and add egg, melted butter, remaining 3/­4 cup maple syrup, buttermilk, and hard cider syrup; mix until just combined. 4 | Scoop batter into prepared molds, and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until Doughnuts spring back when lightly touched. Cool. 5 | To make Topping: Combine maple sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Pour melted butter into shallow soup plate. Dip top of each Doughnut into melted butter, then dip into sugar mixture.

Why You Should Eat More Ugly Fruits and Veggies

February 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Why You Should Eat More Ugly Fruits and VeggiesArtwork: Lauthals/­­Ugly Fruits While it may not sound too appealing (no pun intended), the ugly fruit movement ?is flourishing in Europe. Intermarché, Frances third-largest supermarket chain, purchases unsightly fruits and vegetables--were talking pocked apples, three-tubered carrots, and lumpy potatoes that dont meet most industry quality standards--and ?sells them to customers at ?a discount; the chain has ?even unveiled a line of juices and soups to attest to the produces flavor. In 2013, a group of students in Germany launched the ?Ugly Fruits campaign to celebrate quirky produce with striking photography and snappy slogans. And Berlin catering company Culinary Misfits uses misshapen fruits and veggies exclusively to position the produce as art, ?not waste. The trend cant catch on soon enough here in the States. A 2012 report from the Natural Resources Defense Council notes that we toss more than 50 percent of the countrys fruits and vegetables each year. And according to a February 2014 study from the USDA, the estimated value of all food wasted in 2010 was $161.6 billion--or 141 trillion calories. While these amounts are staggering, they arent set in stone. We already swoon over heirloom tomatoes, and we pay a premium for them. We also have more and more farmers markets to choose from, where customers value local and organic over well-shaped and shiny. But the best thing we can do? Ask for it! says Dana Gunders, a food-waste expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council. If enough people e-mail their supermarket chains, companies will notice ?a trend. The power is in the hands of the consumers. Standard Issue In our industrialized food system, buyers cant inspect each item themselves, notes Gunders. Standards are set by the USDA, as well as by specific food industries, so if ?a retailer orders two pallets of extra fancy apples, she knows what shape, size, and condition of fruit shes getting. But no law or rule says retailers cannot order lower quality produce if they choose to--whether or not they do so mostly depends on what they believe consumers will buy. Tip Use ugly fruits and veggies in dishes where their funny looks won’t matter, such as juices, smoothies, soups, and pies. Here are a few of our favorites: Sweet & Spicy Carrot Bisque Rustic Apple Pie Blueberry-Beet Smoothie

Shaved Fennel and Red Onion Salad with Grapefruit and Blue Cheese

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Shave onion into thin slices with grater, mandoline, or food processor fitted with slicing blade. Transfer to small bowl, and cover with cold water. Set aside. 2. Shave fennel into thin slices with grater, mandoline, or food processor fitted with slicing blade. Coarsely chop fennel fronds. Transfer all to large bowl. 3. Supreme grapefruits by trimming ends, then standing fruit upright.Remove peel and pith with knife, following curve of fruit from top to bottom. Hold fruit over bowl of sliced fennel, and cut sections along membranes to release wedges into bowl. Squeeze membrane skeleton over bowl to catch remaining juice. 4. Whisk together mustard and vinegar in small bowl. Whisk in olive and walnut oils, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 5. Drain onion, and add to fennel and grapefruit mixture. Toss with vinaigrette, then fold in cheese and walnuts (if using).

Sun-Dried Tomato Tofu Wrap with Mushrooms and Onions

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Place tofu cubes, 2 Tbs. sun-dried tomatoes, and 1 Tbs. tomato oil in resealable plastic bag. Seal, and gently shake to coat tofu. (Cubes will break up a bit.) Marinate 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight. 2. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 15 to 20 minutes. Add mushrooms, and sauté 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper (if desired), transfer to small bowl, and keep warm. 3. Wipe out skillet, and coat with cooking spray. Add tofu, and sauté over medium heat 10 minutes, gently breaking up cubes. 4. Spread 1 1/­2 tsp. remaining chopped sun-dried tomatoes over each tortilla. Mound 1/­2 cup tofu on bottom third of each tortilla, leaving 2-inch border. Top each with heaping 1/­4 cup mushroom-onion mixture. Fold sides of tortillas over filling, then roll from bottom up.

Chocolate-Maple Bread

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and coat 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. 2. Cream butter 30 seconds to 1 minute in bowl with electric mixer. Beat in sour cream until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time until well combined. Beat in maple syrup. 3. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into large bowl. Add dry mixture to wet mixture, and mix until just combined. 4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan.

Spanakopita Rice Balls

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. 2. Bring 2 cups salted water to a boil in medium saucepan, and add rice. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Stir in spinach, green onions, Parmesan, feta, pesto, dill, nutmeg, and egg, and season with pepper, if desired. 3 .Divide rice mixture into Ping-Pong-ball-size spheres. Roll in panko crumbs, and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes.

Carrot Fritters with Dill-Yogurt Sauce

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, or line with a silicone baking mat. 2. Pulse chickpeas, egg, and feta cheese in food processor until combined, and transfer to large bowl. Stir in carrots, onion, 2 Tbs. dill, chickpea flour, salt, and pepper. 3. Scoop mixture into Ping-Pong-ball-size spheres, flatten into patties, and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. 4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, flipping fritters halfway through, or until lightly browned on both sides. 5. Meanwhile, stir together yogurt, vinegar, and remaining 2 Tbs. dill. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with fritters.

Mixed Roasted Mushrooms Over Creamy Butternut Purée

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Butternut Purée: Place squash halves on baking sheet cut side up. Brush with 1 tsp. oil, and place 1 tsp. minced garlic in cavity of each half. Roast 25 to 30 minutes, or until squash is soft when pressed. 2. Scoop squash out of skin into bowl, and mash with fork. Mash in remaining 1 Tbs. oil and nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Keep warm. 3. To make Roasted Mushrooms: Preheat oven to 450°F. Position one oven rack in top one-third of oven; position second rack in bottom third of oven. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray. 4. Place shiitake and cremini mushrooms on one baking sheet; place trumpet and oyster mushrooms on second baking sheet. Drizzle each baking sheet with 11/­­2 Tbs. oil, and toss to coat mushrooms. 5. Roast mushrooms 15 minutes. Sprinkle each batch of mushrooms with 1 tsp. sage, and switch baking sheets from top to bottom. Continue roasting 5 minutes more, then remove baking sheet with shiitake and cremini mushrooms from oven. Roast trumpet and oyster mushrooms 5 minutes more. 6. To serve: divide Butternut Purée among four serving plates, and top with Roasted Mushrooms.

Celery Remoulade

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Cut celery root into chunks, and coarsely grate or shred with food processor, hand grater, or mandoline. Transfer to bowl, and fold in parsley. Set aside. 2. Whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, and pepper in small bowl. Season with salt, if desired. Stir sauce into salad mixture, and fold in walnuts and cranberries. Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to two days. If salad seems too dry, add some warm water.

Chocolate-Orange Maple Snaps

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat three baking sheets with cooking spray. 2. Whisk together maple syrup, oil, cornstarch mixture, vanilla, and orange zest in large bowl. 3. Sift together flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients until smooth. 4. Measure out cookie dough in 1-tsp. scoops, and arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until cookies are firm on top and edges have darkened.

Coconut Cake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Cake: preheat oven to 350°F, and coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. 2. Whisk together coconut milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, cornstarch mixture, and vanilla in medium bowl. 3. Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Slowly whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Whisk in 1 cup boiling water. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, and bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. 4. To make Frosting: blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth. 5. To assemble: Place 1 Cake layer on serving plate, and spread with 1/­­2 cup Frosting. Top with second Cake layer, and frost top and sides. Coat top and sides with toasted coconut, if using.

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Liz Cairns!

February 13 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Liz Cairns! Each month, we highlight a different reader’s “vegiversary”--the anniversary of when they went veg. Share yours at vegetariantimes.com/­­vegiversary. Reader Name: Liz Cairns Location: Cambridge, Ont. Vegan Since: January 2000 What motivated you to go veg?  Something just felt wrong about ingesting another creature. Compassion won out over what others thought I should be eating. Whats your favorite veg restaurant, and what do you order there? Cafe Pyrus in Kitchener, Ont. The vegan club and breakfast burrito are delish! What fruit or veggie best describes you, and why? Tomato--a little sweet, a little sour. Whats your most treasured piece of cookware?  My grandmothers cookie press. The best shortbread comes from that little thing. Whats your best advice for new vegetarians/­­vegans?  Dont give up just because you find it hard to go out with friends for dinner. Many restaurants are great about making accommodations for you, as long as you ask politely!

4 Secrets to Making the Best Chocolate-Dipped Treats

February 9 2015 Vegetarian Times 

4 Secrets to Making the Best Chocolate-Dipped Treats Want to really impress your honey on Valentine’s Day? Whip up a batch of chocolate-dipped delights. Here are a few expert tips to ensure success: 1. Choose fresh ingredients. Purchase fruit close to dipping time; check other dippers for freshness. (Nobody wants to bite into a stale chocolate-covered pretzel.) Use fresh chocolate stored in a cool, dry place; old chocolate has most likely lost its temper and could be difficult to work with. 2. Prep dippers first. These sauces cannot be prepared ahead or remelted, ?so before making them, have equipment and dippers ready to go. 3. Make sure everything is clean, dry, and at room temperature. Dust (even from cookie or cake crumbs) can keep chocolate from drying to a smooth, glossy finish--water especially can cause chocolate to seize up and turn grainy. Bring all foods to room temperature before dipping. 4. Dunk just halfway. The contrast of colors and textures is what makes chocolate-dipped treats so appealing, plus this keeps your fingers from getting covered in chocolate. Finishing Touches Add flavor and texture to these treats by sprinkling them ?with grated citrus zest, instant coffee granules, toasted coconut, ground nuts, crushed peppermint candy, ?cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, or ground cinnamon before the chocolate coating has completely set. Deluxe Dippers You cant go wrong with strawberries, but dont overlook these dip-worthy alternatives: - Grape clusters, apples, ?kumquats, ?clementine segments - Dried fruit, freeze-dried fruit chips - Large coconut flakes - Saltines, crackers, breadsticks - Gourmet cookiesPita chips, potato chips, pretzels - Vegetable chips Ready to get dipping? Try Extra-Creamy Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries and Intensely Dark Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries.

Movie on a Mission: Black Ice

February 4 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: Black IcePhoto: Greenpeace/­Denis Sinyakov When you think piracy, Greenpeace doesnt immediately come to mind. Yet that was the charge, along with hooliganism, leveled against 30 of the environmental non-profits activists in 2013 by the Russian government--after Russian special forces seized the team from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise during its protest at the site of the first-ever oil drilling operation in Arctic waters. Skillfully capturing the suspense of the event, the film Black Ice documents the ordeal of whats come to be known as the Arctic 30. When asked about the current status of the Russian energy company Gazproms oil-drilling rig in the Arctic, Greenpeace International Head of Arctic Oil Campaign Ben Ayliffe says: The rusting platform continues to pose a threat to the Arctic environment in the Pechora Sea on a daily basis. It remains a question of when an accident will happen there rather than if. Here, Ayliffe responds to additional questions. Whats the evidence that, as Greenpeace campaigner Dima Litvinov says in the film, the incident involving him and his fellow activists helped raise public awareness of the problem of the melting Arctic? The fate of the Arctic 30 captivated millions of people. Tens of thousands took to the streets of cities the world over to call for their release, whilst over a million new people joined the Greenpeace Save the Arctic campaign as a result of seeing the fate that Dima and his colleagues faced once our ship was illegally seized in the Russian Arctic. The reckless charge into the icy far north that oil companies like Gazprom are now involved in became front-page news from Mumbai to Minneapolis, and a powerful spotlight was shone on the creeping industrialization of this unique and fragile region, which otherwise may have gone unnoticed. Greenpeace are now building on the exposure the story of the Arctic 30 gave to this special place to ensure that their struggles, and the efforts of ordinary people around the world, result in the sort of lasting protection the Arctic urgently requires. How would you gauge the threats to wildlife from Arctic drilling? The prospect of an Arctic oil spill would be a nightmare scenario for this remote and fragile area. There is simply no way to clean up oil spilled in ice, and an accident here would have a devastating impact on what is a delicate and little-understood ecosystem. The Arctic is home to unique animal species like narwhal, polar bears, and walrus: all of these would directly impacted by a spill that we simply wouldnt be able to clean up. How has the current drop in oil prices affected the push toward offshore drilling in the Arctic?  The current fall in oil prices has certainly started to make more people, including investors, question the sense of such expensive and risky projects as Arctic oil. In Gazproms case, this is compounded by the low-grade oil produced by Prirazlomnaya [the companys oil platform in the Arctic], as theres currently a glut of that around. Why spend such huge amounts for a product thats available elsewhere? It makes very little sense. However, its worth considering that oil prices are volatile. We dont know what a barrel of crude will cost next week, let alone next year, so the price at the pumps today isnt perhaps the most significant factor the likes of Gazprom or Shell will consider when deciding to go farther into the Arctic, as such projects wont be commercially viable--even if they manage to find oil, a big if--for decades. Has there been any progress--as advocated in the film and patterned after the agreement over the Antarctic--toward declaring the Arctic a global sanctuary, free of economic and military development?  Were making real progress toward an Arctic Sanctuary. Finland has already backed its creation, as have the European Parliament, whilst senior politicians from places as far apart as Kiribati and Germany want to see it happen too. Additionally, over 6 million people have signed up to our campaign to Save the Arctic. A movement has been born, and we wont stop until the top of the world is protected for everyone.

The Best of VT’s Reader Recipe Contests

February 4 2015 Vegetarian Times 

The Best of VT’s Reader Recipe Contests Our readers make the best recipes. But don’t take our word for it. Just look at the winning creations from VT‘s many reader recipe contests: we compiled the best of them in one handy and oh-so-pretty Pinterest board. Whether we’re talking flavorful butternut squash pizza and hearty veggie burgers with just seven ingredients (2012), decadent vegan French toast and oatmeal pancakes (2013), or last year’s adorable spinach-artichoke mini lasagnas (pictured above), these recipes will totally inspire you to get creative in the kitchen--right in time (as luck would have it) to enter our 2015 reader recipe contest. This year, the theme is “family favorites.” Got a recipe your family members regularly request because they love it so much? A favorite holiday pie or weeknight pasta dish? Here’s what to do: Submit your best recipe by March 31 for a chance to win $500 and be featured in the magazine. C’mon, make us proud!

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Meyer Lemons

January 31 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Meyer Lemons Its rounded shape and heady perfume distinguish the Meyer lemon from your typical supermarket variety. A hybrid of an orange and a conventional lemon, the Meyer lemon is prized among cooks for its low acidity and sweet-tart flavor. Feel free to use it in any recipe calling for a lemon, even lemonade. Pick Look for smooth, pliable skin with no discolored spots. Ripe fruits are rich yellow in color, with no hint of green. Because Meyer lemons are thin-skinned and more fragile than conventional types, their season and shelf life are relatively short; store in the fridge and use within two weeks. “They tend to lose some of their punch, mellowing with age,” explains Mary Helen Seeger of Four Winds Growers in California. Prep Use both the zest and flesh; separate the zest from the pith with a zester tool or a Microplane. Extract the juice by first halving the fruit with a knife, then squeezing or using a citrus reamer. To add whole slices of Meyer lemon to dishes, first cut the fruits sections away from their membranes with a paring knife. Try This o Combine Meyer lemon juice with a splash of soy sauceginger juice, and a few drops of toasted sesame oil to marinate tofu or tempeh before broiling or searing. o Add the zest of a Meyer lemon to pancake batter; combine the juice with maple syrup, and serve alongside. o Add Meyer lemon juice and a bit of zest to mashed sweet potatoes. o Preserve quartered Meyer lemons in jars with their own juice and salt for use in Middle Eastern or Indian stews and soups. What’s your favorite way to use Meyer lemons? Share in the comments!

Movie on a Mission: Exposed

January 29 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: ExposedPhoto: Bob Landis Wildlife isnt agriculture, says Brooks Fahy, executive director of the non-profit Predator Defense. Sounds obvious, and yet the Federal government agency known as Wildlife Services falls under the authority of the USDA. Bringing to light the agencys overreach, the documentary Exposed: USDAs Secret War on Wildlife is co-directed and co-produced by Fahy. Here, he responds to questions about the scandal that is Wildlife Services predator control program. According to the film, U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing livestock industries through Wildlife Services. How is this happening? In a lot of cases Wildlife Services activities take place on open-range public lands and for private ranching operations that are already being subsidized through open-range public allotments, so its a freebie to the ranching community. Its another example of how the ranching community for well over a century in this country has been able to externalize the cost of doing business. Wildlife Services prophylactically goes into areas and slaughters coyotes, cougars, what have you, and now wolves, which is happening in Idaho and Montana. If ranchers had to go out and set traps and snares and maintain them, they might think about taking better care of their livestock. An interesting thing about the ranching community as a whole is they try to identify themselves as the independent, iconic Western cowboy, and yet theyre one of the most heavily subsidized special interest groups in the West, especially through open-range ranching, which is destroying the America West. What we see with livestock--sheep and cattle, especially in the West--is they degrade habitat; they degrade ecosystems; they degrade water quality. Im talking about public lands. Wolves are being killed because some bozos want to run sheep in wilderness areas, with no husbandry. Yes, some of the sheep get taken, but the problem is they shouldnt be there to begin with. Whats the involvement of hunting groups with Wildlife Services? Human hunters expect state wildlife management agencies, especially in the West, to aggressively manage predators because they view them as competition--Im not talking about every hunter, but the vast majority of them. Another aspect of Wildlife Services is killing wildlife [predators] for state wildlife management agencies to enhance prey populations: deer, elk, animals like that. Science has shown this doesnt generally work, and if it does its very short-term. The main thing that affects ungulate [hoofed mammal] populations is human activity: roads, agriculture, removal of habitat. What does science say about keeping predator numbers in check? When you look at the science of killing predators you learn real quickly that if you dont want problems with them and you dont want them to reproduce at a high rate, dont kill them. Theres an old adage, Nature abhors a vacuum, and theres no better example of that than the North American coyote. If you hammer coyotes in a certain area, youll have temporary relief, but that opening is very quickly filled by other coyotes in surrounding areas. Theyre great dispersers. Also, coyotes are pack animals. Theres an alpha male and an alpha female, and when Wildlife Services goes in with aerial gunning and trapping, theyre non-selective. And when you kill an alpha male and alpha female, subordinates within the pack that are normally whats called behaviorally sterile and wont reproduce--when you destroy that pack structure--all of a sudden you have subordinates, younger animals, able to breed, and by virtue of their being younger, they have big litters. They have to feed those hungry pups, and now they have to bring down big packages of food, not just jackrabbits or whatever, but they look at that sheep and go, Wow, maybe I should take that sheep because Ive got all those hungry mouths to feed. There are repercussions to the indiscriminate slaughter of predators. What science has clearly demonstrated for decades is that apex populations of predators dont need to be controlled, theyre self-regulating. How do you see the way forward?  We [at Predator Defense] want to see Wildlife Services dismantled. One of the things that makes our organization different is we come flat out and say we dont want predators hunted--at all. First and foremost that speaks to the science, the ecology of it, and then the ethical: these are sentient beings, and they suffer pain and have social structures. Human beings are not the center of the universe. We should try to co-exist with all other creatures on this planet the best we can. Exposed: USDAs Secret War on Wildlife screens at the 2nd Annual Animal Film Festival in February.

Plum Bistro’s Makini Howell on Parsnips and Pears

January 27 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Plum Bistro’s Makini Howell on Parsnips and PearsPhoto: Charity Burggraaf Each month, we ask chefs and other foodies to share their favorite culinary pairings. Here’s what Makini Howell--chef/­­owner of Seattle’s Plum Bistro and author of Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattles Plum Bistro--loves about parsnips and pears: Parsnips have a slightly spicy flavor, and they add a buttery depth of flavor to a dish. Marry them with the Starkrimson pear, and the pears sweet and subtle floral hints balance the parsnips peppery notes. For a rustic, but still-fancy root veggie side dish, I cut parsnips in half, toss them in salt and pepper and olive oil, and roast them until theyre golden brown, then toss them with sliced raw Starkrimson red pears and candied ginger, and drizzle with a balsamic reduction. This makes for a delicious accompaniment to pan-seared tempeh. Or I blend my roasted parsnips into a purée, spread them on a crostini, and top with grilled Starkrimson pear and candied mint. I also make a creamy parsnip-pear soup: I combine sliced parsnips and quartered Starkrimson pears in a skillet with vegan buttery spread, equal amounts of white wine and no-chicken broth, the juice of one lemon, fresh ginger slices, a bay leaf, and a pinch each of sugar and red pepper flakes; I partially cover, and boil until the liquid evaporates and the pears brown. After removing the bay leaf, I scrape all contents into a blender, add veggie or no-chicken broth, then blend until smooth, pour back into the pan, heat, and serve with candied ginger on top. What are your favorite ways to eat parsnips and pears? Share in the comments!

Seattle Chef Makini Howell Loves Parsnips and Pears

January 26 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Seattle Chef Makini Howell Loves Parsnips and PearsPhoto: Charity Burggraaf Each month, we ask chefs and other foodies to share their favorite culinary pairings. Here’s what Makini Howell--chef/­owner of Seattle’s Plum Bistro and author of Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattles Plum Bistro--loves about parsnips and pears: Parsnips have a slightly spicy flavor, and they add a buttery depth of flavor to a dish. Marry them with the Starkrimson pear, and the pears sweet and subtle floral hints balance the parsnips peppery notes. For a rustic, but still-fancy root veggie side dish, I cut parsnips in half, toss them in salt and pepper and olive oil, and roast them until theyre golden brown, then toss them with sliced raw Starkrimson red pears and candied ginger, and drizzle with a balsamic reduction. This makes for a delicious accompaniment to pan-seared tempeh. Or I blend my roasted parsnips into a purée, spread them on a crostini, and top with grilled Starkrimson pear and candied mint. I also make a creamy parsnip-pear soup: I combine sliced parsnips and quartered Starkrimson pears in a skillet with vegan buttery spread, equal amounts of white wine and no-chicken broth, the juice of one lemon, fresh ginger slices, a bay leaf, and a pinch each of sugar and red pepper flakes; I partially cover, and boil until the liquid evaporates and the pears brown. After removing the bay leaf, I scrape all contents into a blender, add veggie or no-chicken broth, then blend until smooth, pour back into the pan, heat, and serve with candied ginger on top. What are your favorite ways to eat parsnips and pears? Share in the comments!

How to Eat Vegetarian on a Budget

January 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Eat Vegetarian on a Budget Eating vegan or vegetarian doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. As the resident cheapskate here at VT HQ, I’ve picked up a few habits over the years that have saved me bundles at the supermarket. Here are my wallet-friendly favorites: Buy in Bulk It’s almost always cheaper! According to the Bulk Is Green Council, bulk buying will save you an average of 89 percent over buying packaged goods. Plus, you can get just as much or as little as you need rather than splurging on a big bag of, say, whole-wheat flour that’ll go rancid before you can finish it. Bulk is great for veg staples like nuts, seeds, spices, whole grains, and dried beans, but be careful: some specialty items like sprouted walnuts or goji berries can be expensive--in bulk or not--so always check the cost per pound before taking a scoop. Eat in Season Forget about fresh berries in winter and persimmons in summer. Instead, go for what’s at peak freshness, which is often also on sale. Right now, that means things like kale, winter squash, and citrus. Choose clean-out-the-fridge-style recipes that are easily adaptable to what you’ve got on hand. Think soups, lasagna, pot pies, and hearty lunch bowls (protein + whole grain + veggies). Check your local farmers’ market, where you can usually be sure everything you see is seasonal. (And make friends with vegetables that are always cheap, regardless of the time of year: carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, broccoli.) Remember the “Dirty Dozen” Buying organic produce all the time can get mighty pricey mighty quickly. Best bet: use the Environmental Working Group’s list of the most pesticide-laden conventionally grown fruits and veggies to help you pick and choose. As a rule of thumb, go conventional for stuff with a thick skin (banana, avocado, pineapple, onion), but stick with organic for berries, stone fruit, grapes, and anything with a thin skin. And remember: if you shop at the farmers’ market, you can still buy produce that’s organically grown but not certified organic--it’s often cheaper that way. Organic eggs and dairy usually cost less at the FM too. Cook From Scratch Sure, it’s convenient to use canned beans, boxed broth, and heat-and-eat rice, but those things typically cost way more than making the same stuff at home (and they don’t taste as good). Here’s what to do: throw together clean-out-the-fridge veggie stock and cook big batches of beans and rice in a pressure cooker, then freeze most of it. I like spreading cooked brown rice out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freezing for a few hours, then sticking the grains in a freezer bag and squeezing out excess air. Veggie stock and beans (with their liquid) can go in wide-mouth Mason jars--just don’t forget to leave some room at the top! How about you? What’s your secret to saving on the grocery bill?

How to Make Almond Butter

January 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Make Almond Butter   Watch this video from blogger Jenné Claiborne to learn how to make your own almond butter--you’ll never go back to the store-bought variety! Enjoy it on sliced apples, celery sticks, or toast, or spoon it onto bite after bite of a banana. Dollop a tablespoon or two into your favorite smoothie to add protein and creaminess, use it to coat baked kale chips, or try it in VT‘s recipe for Chocolate Crispies, a decadent vegan version of classic Rice Krispie Treats. What’s your favorite way to enjoy almond butter? Share in the comments below. ABOUT JENNÉ CLAIBORNE Jenné Claiborne is a vegan chef, cooking instructor, and health coach based in New York City. On her vegan food blog, Sweet Potato Soul, she shares delicious healthy recipes inspired by her Southern upbringing and world travels. She also has a vegan cooking show on Youtube. Follow Jenné on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Pinterest.

10 Homemade Treats for Your Vegan Valentine

January 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Baked Tofu Salad with Broccoli and Pineapple

January 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Dressing: Whisk together all ingredients in small bowl. Set aside. 2. To make Salad: Steam broccoli florets 4 to 5 minutes, or until bright green and tender-crisp. Transfer to colander, rinse with cool water, and drain well. 3. Toss broccoli with remaining Salad ingredients. Add Dressing, and toss to coat.

5 Expert Tips for Dating a Non-Vegetarian

January 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

5 Expert Tips for Dating a Non-Vegetarian Opposites often attract, and in a mostly omnivorous world, its not surprising that vegetarians arent exclusively dating one another. But things can get dicey when it comes to the emotional topics of food and ethics. Want to make it work across the dietary divide? We asked Ayindé Howell and Zoë Eisenberg, co-authors of The Lusty Vegan: A Cookbook and Relationship Manifesto for Vegans and the People Who Love Them, for their best relationship survival tips. Show Respect First off, dont count on converting each other. People do change their eating habits--most of us werent born vegan or vegetarian--but its best not to base your relationship on that hope. You can share your love of tofu and nachos loaded with cashew cheese, but resist passing judgment on what your other half orders for dinner. After all, nothing is more romantic than respect. Sometimes I enjoy our different viewpoints, says Eisenberg of her current partner. They certainly help stoke some fiery conversation. Ultimately, I look at a person as a complete package. Lifestyle choices are only a small portion of that package. Focus on what drew you together in the first place, and enjoy growing as a couple. Make a (Meal) Plan Eating out? Take turns choosing the restaurant, and make sure both of you will have something to eat. Not every meal needs to knock everyones socks off, but try to make it rare that the vegetarian is stuck with a lame salad or the omnivore is totally intimidated by an all-vegan mock-meat menu. Just research the menu of a restaurant before suggesting it, says Howell. Calling ahead to fancier restaurants is a smart move--youll learn if they have any flexibility and may discover a chef whos willing to whip up a fantastic veg dish for you. Dining in? Prepare meatless meals that you both love and that can be easily modified at the table: each of you can add beans, tofu, seitan, or another mix-in of your choice to your own plate. Set Boundaries (and Stick to Them) Planning to move in together? Its a good idea to lay down ground rules for the kitchen. You may decide that it will be entirely vegetarian, or that you wont cook meat but your partner can prepare it. Figure out what youre both comfortable with, and leave the guilt trips out of it. If youre willing to compromise, Howell suggests choosing a color for veg-only knives and cutting boards, while Eisenberg has had success with creating safe spaces where each person has a shelf or area for the foods theyd like to keep separate. You might also want to ask your sweetie to wash up any greasy tools or dishes soon after eating something non-veg. Involve the Folks Consider each others preferences at holiday meals, and team up to make sure the occasion is satisfying for everyone. If the vegetarians family is hosting, check to see if all the guests are cool with mock meats or if they have a particular dish theyd love to see at the table. Getting together with the omnivores folks? Always offer to bring something veg-friendly and help out in the kitchen. Howell and Eisenberg both advise smiling, being polite, and stressing how much you appreciate the effort--even (and perhaps especially!) if a well-meaning host accidentally makes your vegan dish with dairy. It cant hurt to pack some emergency snacks for later, just in case. Get Cooking! If youre daunted by cooking with your omni date, dont overthink it. Many basic (and delicious) dishes are customizable for anyones preferences: just add your own protein at the end. Taco Night Start with tortillas, roasted vegetables, rice, and salsa. Pizza Party Set out toppings and make a few different pies. Spicy Chili Make a basic bean chili and go crazy with toppings. Pasta Supper Think spaghetti with homemade sauce--and a bottle of wine. Are you a vegetarian dating a non-vegetarian? What’s your secret to making it work? Share in the comments!

Q&A with Vegan Menswear Designer Joshua Katcher

January 13 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Q&A with Vegan Menswear Designer Joshua Katcher Joshua Katcher has a reputation as a rebel wunderkind in the fashion world, thanks to the elegant and animal-product-free menswear he designs for his brand, Brave GentleMan. With its dapper pieces made from innovative materials, Katchers Fall/­­Winter 2014-15 collection, debuting at New York Fashion Week last September, seized the attention of the mainstream media. What inspired you to start Brave GentleMan? In researching [for The Discerning Brute, Katchers blog] mens lifestyle products and fashion that met my set of standards and principles, I noticed a lack of high-quality options. So in 2010, I decided to make the things I hoped to find. I began with a shoe collaboration with Novacas, which is ongoing, and later began making mens suits that were free of wool, horsehair, and other animal fibers often associated with fine menswear. From bioplastics and plant-based organics to recycled cotton and recycled poly blends, there are luxurious and durable materials that largely get ignored by the mainstream fashion community. Do you have any advice for someone aspiring to create animal-friendly fashion? If you want to be a designer or artisan working in fashion, first and foremost you should produce good design. Nothing will make a better argument for ethical fashion than beautiful ethical fashion. Its like food: if you want to win people over with vegan food, it has to be superb and exciting. Are you into cooking? Whats your favorite meal to make? I really love making stew. Especially as the weather gets colder, I like going to the farmers market and getting a bunch of organic squash and mushrooms and garlic and shallots and adding any number of greens, then slowly cooking it all in a really savory broth for a big, hearty, hot stew. Tip: When it comes to gentlemanly winter style, Joshua Katcher recommends cohesive layering: slim-cut shirt and fitted suit or blazer (that can be swapped for a motorcycle jacket for an edgier look). Pocket squares and bow ties add interest and polish without bulk.

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Collard Greens

January 9 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Collard Greens On their own, collard greens have a mild, smoky taste, but they also take on other flavors beautifully. Given their versatility, its no surprise theyre featured in dishes globally, from the Brazilian couve ? mineira to the Kashmiri haak. Here in the U.S., collards are a soul food staple. Pick Brick Goldman of Goldman Farm in Cullen, Va., says to choose nice green leaves with no blemishes. Look for leaves that arent wilted, then you know theyre fresh. To store, simply place collards in a zip-top bag and refrigerate. Collards should keep well for up to five days. Prep Collard greens can be sandy, so to clean, submerge them in water to loosen any grit, then wash and dry. For raw preparations including salads and slaws, youll want to use smaller, tender collard leaves, and cut them into thin ribbons. Larger, more fibrous leaves are best roasted, sautéed, or braised; slice off the woody stems, which can be set aside for pickling, and then cut or tear the leaves into bite-size pieces before cooking. Try This o For a veg version of traditional Southern collard greens, sauté the collards and garlic in olive oil, and simmer in rich vegetable broth; to make it a meal, add sautéed onions, carrots, and celery, and finish with a (drained) can of white beans. o Heat vinegar, salt, sugar, and pickling spices until steaming, and add chopped collard stems; pour into jars, seal, and refrigerate overnight. o Sauté garlic in olive oil, and stir in red chile paste, fresh lime juice, and collards; cook over low heat. o Whip up a quick appetizer of Collard Green Phyllo Triangles. What’s your favorite way to cook with collard greens? Share in the comments!

A Guide to Tofu Varieties

January 8 2015 Vegetarian Times 

A Guide to Tofu Varieties Even the most experienced veg chefs suffer tofu insecurity every once in a while. Silken or soft? Sprouted or regular? Here are the best uses for each type of tofu: Silken Ultra-smooth and jiggly soft, silken tofu is ideal for puréeing as a base for soups, dressings, dips, and sauces. It also makes excellent dessert puddings and pie fillings. Soft Whenever you want curds or crumbles for scrambles or egg-like salads, reach for soft tofu. Similarly, it can replace ricotta in lasagna or stuffed shells. Soft tofu can also be puréed, but the results will be thicker and heavier than what youd get with silken tofu. Firm/­Extra-Firm The most versatile choice, firm tofu can go both ways. It crumbles well for scrambles or eggless salad, but blotted or pressed, it holds its shape as slabs or cubes. Super-Firm Dense and dry, super-firm tofu is an especially good stand-in for feta cheese. Crumbled into stews, it absorbs flavors and adds texture. Sprouted You wont find chewy bits of sprouted soybeans in blocks of sprouted tofu, but you will get more nutrients (and more fat and calories). It comes in an array of textures--silken, soft, firm, extra firm. Baked Convenience food thats good for you! Chewy, dense baked tofu is the most straightforward substitute for meat in stir-fries, casseroles, fajitas, sandwiches, and salads. It comes pre-seasoned in an array of flavors, such Italian, teriyaki, and Mexican. Got tofu? Try these easy tofu-tastic recipes: Tofu Rancheros Sushi Rice Bowls with Tofu Teriyaki Tofu Cr?me au Chocolat Vegetable Stew with Tofu Feta

Sweet Potato Cornbread with Collard Confetti

January 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat to 375°F. Coat 11- x 7-inch baking pan with cooking spray. 2. Heat 1 Tbs. butter in medium skillet over low heat. Add collard greens. Season with salt, if desired. Cover pan, and cook 4 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer to plate to cool. 3. Whisk together mashed sweet potato, eggs, and buttermilk in large bowl. Whisk in remaining 5 Tbs. butter. Fold in collard greens. 4. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in separate bowl. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients. (Do not overmix.) Spread batter in prepared pan. 5. Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack at least 10 minutes. Cut into 12 pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Kale and Cauliflower Alfredo

January 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Bring cauliflower florets, milk, and shallot to a simmer in large saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Cover pan, and cook 15 to 17 minutes, or until cauliflower is very soft. Transfer contents of pan to blender. Blend until silky smooth, adding 1 or 2 more Tbs. milk, if necessary. Transfer purée to small bowl, and whisk in yogurt. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 2. Meanwhile, cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water 10 to 11 minutes, or until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water. 3. Melt butter in same pot over medium heat. Add whole kale leaves, and toss 2 minutes, or until wilted but still bright green. Add pasta, 11/­4 cups cauliflower purée, 2/­3 cup Parmesan, lemon zest, and nutmeg. Toss until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved pasta water by 1/­4 cupfuls if dry. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve sprinkled with reserved chopped kale and remaining 1/­3 cup Parmesan.

Lime-Marinated Nashi Pearls

January 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Scoop as much flesh as possible from Asian pear using melon baller. 2. Place pear balls in bowl with grape halves, pear nectar, lime juice, and agave nectar; toss to combine. Chill 2 to 4 hours. Serve garnished with candied ginger and mint.

Watercress Spaetzle with Grape Tomatoes

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Blend eggs, sour cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in blender until combined. Add 2 cups watercress tops, 1/­­2 cup broth, and 4 Tbs. basil. Blend until watercress is puréed (tiny bits may remain). Pour mixture into large bowl. Add flour, and whisk until smooth, thick batter forms. Cover, and let rest 15 to 20 minutes. 2. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. 3. Working in several batches, smear or press 1/­­4 cup batter into boiling water through large mesh strainer using flexible rubber spatula, rapping strainer on sides of pot occasionally. Boil dumplings 11/­­2 to 2 minutes, or until tender. Scoop out dumpling with strainer or sieve. Drain, and transfer to baking sheet to dry. 4. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, and sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes, and sauté 3 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add spaetzle and remaining 1/­­2 cup broth. Toss 2 to 3 minutes, or until mixture is heated through and broth is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and sprinkle with remaining 1/­­4 cup watercress leaves and 2 Tbs. basil.

Almond-Pomegranate Scones

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. 2. To make Scones: Stir together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Stir together almond milk and pomegranate juice in separate bowl. 3. Mix cold margarine into dry ingredients with pastry blender or fingers until crumbly. Stir in almond milk mixture until just combined, adding 1 to 2 Tbs. more almond milk (if necessary) for dough to come together. Mix in pomegranate seeds. (Dough will be sticky.) 4. Turn dough out onto well-floured work surface, and pat into 1-inch-thick rectangle. Cut Scones using floured 2-inch heart-shaped or round cutter, reforming scraps to make more Scones. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. 5. Brush Scones with almond milk, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating tray halfway through. Cool 10 minutes. 6. To make Topping: Stir together confectioners sugar and pomegranate juice in small bowl. Drizzle glaze over Scones, and sprinkle with almonds.

Tomatillo Pizza-dillas

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 2. Toss together tomatillos, oil, and oregano in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside. 3. Sandwich 1 slice provolone between 2 tortillas, and set on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and cheese slices. Top each tortilla crust with 1 Tbs. salsa. Drain or shake excess liquid from tomatillo slices, and arrange slices on top of pizzas. Sprinkle with Jack cheese. 4. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until tomatillos are soft and cheeses are melted. Cool 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin, Leek, and Mushroom Pitzas

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and salt, cover pan, and cook 5 minutes, or until softened. Add wine, and simmer uncovered 2 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated. Set aside. 3. Stir together pumpkin purée and pesto in small bowl. 4. Spread each pita with 1/­­4 cup pumpkin mixture. Top with 1/­­2 cup leeks, then mushroom slices. Place pitzas on ungreased baking sheet, and bake 8 minutes, or until crust is crisp and edges are browned.

Lentil-Potato Pizaans with Broccoli Slaw

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. Whisk 2 tsp. oil, chutney, and vinegar in medium bowl. Add broccoli slaw, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside to marinate. 3. Toss potatoes with remaining 1 tsp. oil and curry powder in bowl; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spread in single layer on baking sheet, and bake 5 to 6 minutes, or until beginning to brown on edges. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 425°F. 4. Empty soup into strainer to strain off excess liquid. Transfer to bowl, and stir in peas. 5. Spread each naan with one-quarter of soup mixture, and top with potato slices. Place on baking sheet, and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until naans are hot and crisp and potatoes on top are browned and tender. 6. Top hot pizzas with slaw mixture.

Spiced Pomegranate Royales

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Bring pomegranate juice, cinnamon stick, and candied ginger to a boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until reduced to 1 cup. Strain liquid, and discard cinnamon stick and ginger. Cool, then chill. 2. Pour 1/­­2 cup pomegranate mixture in each of two champagne glasses. Top off each glass with 1/­­2 cup sparkling wine, and garnish each with 1 Tbs. pomegranate seeds.

Honey-Poached Asian Pears

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in large saucepan. Remove from heat, add tea bags, cover, and steep 7 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Stir in honey, pomegranate juice, ginger, lemon peel, and peppercorns (if using). 2. Peel Asian pears, but leave stems intact. Scoop out cores from bottoms, and drop immediately into tea liquid to prevent browning. 3. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and poach pears 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove pan from heat, cool pears in liquid, then transfer pears to plate. 4. Strain poaching liquid, discard solids, and return liquid to saucepan. Simmer over medium heat 20 to 30 minutes, or until reduced and syrupy. 5. To serve: pour 1/­­4 cup syrup into each serving bowl, top with 1 pear, and sprinkle with pine nuts.

Tofu Cr?me au Chocolat

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Melt chocolate in microwave on medium power or in double boiler. Stir in buttery spread until no lumps remain. 2. Blend tofu, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in blender or food processor 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy. 3. Add chocolate to tofu mixture, and blend 30 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. Transfer to bowl, cover, and refrigerate 2 hours, or until set.

Sushi Rice Bowls with Tofu Teriyaki

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Tofu Teriyaki: Combine all ingredients except tofu in shallow container. Add tofu, and toss to coat. Marinate 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. 2. Meanwhile, to make Sushi Rice: Bring rice and 3 cups water to a boil in saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. (For a more tender grain, add 1/­2 cup water and cook until absorbed.) Remove from heat. 3. Transfer rice to bowl, and stir in vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir in nori, cover bowl, and set aside. 4. Heat large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and marinade, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, turning gently, until tofu cubes are browned and crisp on most sides. 5. To serve, divide Sushi Rice among six large soup bowls. Top with Tofu Teriyaki, avocado, carrots, and cucumber. Garnish with extra nori, sesame seeds, and green onions (if using).

Tofu Rancheros

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add bell pepper, and cook 5 to 7 minutes more, or until vegetables begin to brown. Add tofu to skillet, crumbling each slab as it goes in. 2. Stir in salsa, tomatoes, and chiles, followed by nutritional yeast (if using), cumin, and turmeric (if using). Cook 5 to 8 minutes, or until tomatoes have softened and ingredients are melded and piping hot. Stir in cilantro, then season with salt and pepper, if desired. 3. Divide tofu mixture among tortillas, and serve with salsa.

Pro Tips for Cooking in a Dutch Oven

December 30 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Pro Tips for Cooking in a Dutch Oven Got a Dutch oven as a holiday gift? Sweet! Heavy-bottomed and ovenproof with a tight-fitting lid, this thick metal pot heats evenly and holds heat well, so veggies sear and sizzle, soups simmer slowly, frying oil stays hot, and puddings don’t stick. Here are a few handy tips to know before you get cooking: 1. Pre-heat well. Place oil or butter in a cold Dutch oven, then heat or melt over medium or low heat 3 to 5 minutes, making sure the bottom becomes completely coated in oil to prevent sticking. Tip: to use less fat, use a paper towel or brush to spread oil conservatively. 2. Keep heat low. Dutch ovens may take a few minutes to get hot, but they hold heat extremely well, meaning you don’t need to go above medium when cooking. 3. Stir with non-metal utensils. While the enamel lining and seasoned cast iron on most Dutch ovens is scratch-resistant, it’s not scratch-proof. For consistent non-stick results, use wood or silicone spatulas to stir. Don’t own a Dutch oven but longing for one? Here are 4 models we love.

Roasting Veggies With Aluminum Foil Vs. Parchment

December 24 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Roasting Veggies With Aluminum Foil Vs. Parchment Should you line the pan with aluminum foil, or would it be healthier to switch to parchment paper? Yes, when roasting vegetables, parchment paper is better than foil. Recent research in the International Journal of Electrochemical Science suggests that when we use aluminum foil during cooking, some aluminum leaches into food. Leaching increases with higher heat (roasting and broiling) and acidity (tomatoes, vinegar, vitamin C-rich produce). Is aluminum leaching into food bad? Maybe. The average person consumes between 7 and 9 milligrams of aluminum each day through diet. The Food and Drug Administration considers such levels generally safe, and the Alzheimers Association concludes that this normal exposure to aluminum is not a significant risk factor in Alzheimers disease. However, the Center for Disease Controls Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry suggests that consuming higher levels of aluminum than average may be linked to nervous system, brain, and bone diseases. People who cook often with aluminum foil (and aluminum pots and pans) risk more exposure than normal to the metal. So, although some aluminum in the diet is inevitable, keep exposure minimal with simple changes such as switching to parchment paper over foil when roasting. Parchment paper can tolerate temperatures up to 420°F. But note: dont confuse parchment paper with waxed paper, which cant withstand high temperatures and will smoke in the oven. Tip: When roasting, choose oils with higher smoke points (such as canola, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, and refined coconut oil) to avoid an “off” flavor. Health-food junkie Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, is creator of the weekly e-newsletter Nutrition WOW.

Look! Our 20 Best Veg Holiday Recipes

December 19 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Look! Our 20 Best Veg Holiday Recipes Looking for a last-minute holiday dish to feed a crowd? We’re here to help! VT editors hand-picked our best festive recipes for a new Kindle e-book. From easy sides and starters (mini tarts! squash soup! roasted beets!) to crowd-pleasing main dishes (pot pie! veggies Wellington!) to luscious desserts, there’s something for everyone at your table--vegans, vegetarians, gluten-avoiders, and omnivores alike. Best part: these favorites taste great any time of year, so you can make them again and again and again. Oh, and did we mention they make sweet Christmas and Hanukkah gifts for all your friends and family? Whatcha waiting for? Get the e-book here.

Movie on a Mission: A Small Section of the World

December 17 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: A Small Section of the WorldPhoto: Greenlight Media & Marketing Co-producer of An Inconvenient Truth Lesley Chilcott says learning that coffee comes from a cherry growing on trees, and that of all the friends and colleagues she polled, only one of them knew this, showed her “how disconnected weve become from our food and drink, and how this disconnection has really changed us, and not for the better.” The realization prompted her to produce and direct the documentary film A Small Section of the World, about the Asociacion de Mujeres Organizadas de Biolley (ASOMOBI), a group of women coffee suppliers in Costa Rica. Here, Chilcott--whos veg!--answers questions about the film. How much is coffee a part of the culture of Costa Rica? A huge part. Costa Rica has eight coffee regions, most of them run by small-farm holders. The government distributed free coffee plants and also gave some land to farmers in the 19th century, and its always been a driver of development and the economy. Many prominent people today in Costa Rica worked in coffee, or picked it over their summer vacations. How would you explain the involvement of the younger generation of women, such as Ariana and Samanta, in ASOMOBI? Both are daughters of founding associates and grew up either at ASOMOBI or next door. Ariana went to college to study administration, and she now runs the office. She could have moved to the city, and yet she wanted to raise her son in Biolley and work at the mill. Samanta grew up next door; she likes to say ASOMOBI was her backyard.  She used to get up before school and pick coffee, not because she was asked to, but because she loved the whole process. And after playing at ASOMOBI as a kid, she got used to the smell of coffee in her hair. She just graduated from the Costa Rica Institute of Technology and only wanted to work one place, ASOMOBI. So here you have the original founders, whose goal was to make a better life for their kids and send them to college. And in less than one generation they achieved this, and its a real tribute to these women that the daughters have come back and work at the mill. How are the members of ASOMOBI thinking about the future of the coffee crop in the face of global climate change? Coffee is already a very risky business due to the threat of disease, frost, drought, too much rain, etc., all made worse by global warming.  Combine this with the fact that coffee takes four years to mature once its planted, and you have constantly changing demand and supply. So ASOMOBI is trying to buy coffee from more farmers in the area and increase their output. The coffee season is only four to five months each year, so they also have to think about complementary crops and diversifying by producing other things as well, like honey from the bees that pollinate the coffee trees. Additionally, they offer tours of the area and teach sustainability locally in the schools. But to be clear, all coffee farmers and producers are aware and concerned about the negative impacts of climate change on coffee, especially the overall reduction in available land due to higher temperatures. A visiting agronomist from the Italian coffee company Illy--which is a producer on the film--makes the point that coffee connects people of different cultures and different countries. How can we make sure that connection isnt exploitative for the suppliers? The point made by Luca Turello [the Illy agronomist] that coffee connects is absolutely true. And I can tell you now after hanging out with so many coffee people, they are connected for life! What the women at ASOMOBI were able to accomplish--building a coffee mill on top of a hill and creating a better life for themselves and their community--this quiet revolution is happening in other places and villages as well. Globally, 70 percent of the work in coffee is done by women, and yet only 15 percent own the land, any of the facilities, or the product. Once women get leadership and technical training, things change drastically. As the saying goes, a promotion for a woman is a promotion for the whole family. Women tend to invest 90 percent of their earnings into their family and community. The International Womens Coffee Alliance, which is featured in the film, has been making incredible progress, opening chapters all over the world. And now they are talking about creating a Womens Harvest brand, which would be incredible. Next time you have your cup coffee, ask yourself how many hands it took to make that cup. And how many of those hands were womens? If we continue to learn more about how our coffee is made and about the people behind it, then we can help guarantee that a fair price is paid to them.    

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook With Anjou Pears

December 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook With Anjou Pears Look for this juicy, sweet-tasting fruit in festive shades of red and green. Pick Erin Gruetzman of Beilke Family Farm in Brooks, Ore., suggests avoiding pears with wrinkly skin, bruise marks, or overly soft spots. Check for ripeness by pressing gently at the neck of the fruit, she advises: If it gives slightly, the pear is ripe. To hurry the ripening process, Gruetzman recommends placing pears in a paper bag with a ripe banana and letting ethylene gas work its magic. Once ripe, the fruit is best eaten within a day or two for the freshest taste, she says. Prep For cooking, such as baking pies, crisps, and tarts, Anjous should be slightly under-ripe, so they dont go mushy, Gruetzman advises. Other options include poaching, roasting, even grilling. Ripe pears can be sliced and blended into smoothies, or added to salads, pastas, or a cheese plate. Puréed soups also benefit from Anjous tempered sweetness. After cutting a pear, add a few drops of lemon juice to keep it from oxidizing and turning brown, says Gruetzman. Try This o Kick-start your day with a smoothie made from Anjou pear, Greek yogurt, quinoa flakes, pecans, cinnamon, and ginger powder. o Create a grilled cheese sandwich with crusty bread, Brie or Camembert cheese, sliced Anjou pear, and arugula. o Toss cooked fusilli pasta with sliced Anjou pear, sliced fennel, grated radicchio, and toasted walnuts; season with balsamic dressing. What’s your favorite way to cook with pears? Share in the comments!

5 Vegetarian Cheeses for Your Holiday Cheese Plate

December 12 2014 Vegetarian Times 

5 Vegetarian Cheeses for Your Holiday Cheese Plate Serving cheese at your holiday party? Brian Ralph, cavemaster at Murray’s Cheese Shop in New York City, suggests picking three to five kinds. “Any more than that and you’ll overwhelm your guests,” he says. Here are some of our favorites: Cowgirl Creamery Organic Mt Tam Step aside, Brie--this triple-cream cheese is just as rich and buttery. Vermont Creamery Fresh Goat Cheese Classic Chevre Pair this little log with fig jam for tangy-sweet wow factor. Redwood Hill Farm Aged Goat Cheddar A mild, tasty twist on classic Cheddar. Also try the smoked variety. Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue Cheese This bold, velvety blue cheese goes great with dried fruit. Point Reyes Farmstead Toma Swap out Gouda for this nutty-tasting crowd-pleaser. (And save extra for grilled cheese!) Not sure if your go-to wedge is veg? Here’s how to figure out if a cheese is vegetarian.

4 Dutch Ovens We Love

December 10 2014 Vegetarian Times 

4 Dutch Ovens We Love These days, manufacturers are calling just about any large pot with a tight-fitting lid a Dutch oven. Cast iron is the way to go, though, and a 5- to 6-quart model is just the right size for everyday and casual entertaining. Here, a few of our favorite models--which, incidentally, make great holiday gifts. Le Creuset Raymond Loewy Coquelle This magnificent 5-quart mid-century limited-edition vessel has all the attributes of its round and oval cousins. $375; lecreuset.com Staub 5.5-qt. Round Cocotte The black enamel coating of this French Alsatian classic model wont stain. $284.99; zwillingonline.com Tramontina 5.5-qt. Dutch Oven The price is right for this sturdy enameled cast-iron version available in many retail stores. $99.99; target.com Lodge Dutch Oven with Loop Handles Skip the enamel and stick with seasoned cast iron (just like the skillets) for an affordable, American-made option. $60; lodgemfg.com Got a Dutch oven and wanna start cooking? Here are a few foolproof recipes: Three Sisters Savory Cobbler Traditional Tapioca Pudding with a Holiday Twist Braised Fennel and Carrots with Cilantro Gremolata Vegan Jelly Doughnuts

Tell VT: What’s Your Favorite Leafy Green?

December 5 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Tell VT: What’s Your Favorite Leafy Green? Whats your favorite leafy green, and how do you like to prepare it? (Kale? Spinach? Collard greens?) Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

Make Your Own Popcorn Without a Popcorn Popper

December 4 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Make Your Own Popcorn Without a Popcorn Popper Popcorn poppers and microwaveable bags are convenient, but theyre not necessary. Heres how to get perfect results when you pop your own kernels. On the Stove Top Use a paper towel to spread 2 tsp. vegetable or olive oil over bottom of a medium or large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add 1/­­4 cup popcorn kernels, cover pan, and cook undisturbed over medium-low heat until popping becomes vigorous. Once popping starts to slow, give the pan a shake, and remove from heat. When popping has slowed to 2- to 3-second intervals between pops, transfer to serving bowl. In the Microwave Place 1/­­4 cup popcorn kernels in a flat-bottomed brown paper lunch bag, and seal the bag by folding the top lip over twice (do not staple). Place bag on its flat side in microwave, and heat 2 to 3 minutes on high power, or until popping slows to 2- to 3-second intervals between pops. Alternatively, place kernels in a medium microwave-safe bowl and set a microwave-safe plate on top to seal. Use It Got freshly popped kernels? Throw together one of these 5-ingredient gourmet popcorn combos (or try our readers’ favorite popcorn toppings): Toffee-Almond Popcorn (pictured) Jalape?o-Lime Popcorn Truffle-Porcini Popcorn Pistachio and Pink Pepper Popcorn Sweet Sesame Popcorn  

Veg Celeb: Cartoonist/Illustrator Harry Bliss

December 2 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Cartoonist/Illustrator Harry BlissPhoto and art all by Harry Bliss I admit that when I come across an issue of The New Yorker, I first flip to the cartoons. So I was happy to discover that an artist whos contributed to the iconic publication is vegetarian. Here, cartoonist/­­illustrator/­­childrens book author Harry Bliss responds to a few questions. Check back later in the week for a Q&A with another New Yorker contributor whos veg. Youve said youre vegetarian for ethical reasons. How did that aha moment happen? For me, it was simply education. The more I learned about the needless suffering of animals involved in eating meat, the more I became an advocate for being vegetarian. My older sister, Rachel, a vegan most of her life, had a lot to do with my understanding of factory faming, slaughterhouses, agro-business, etc. Also, it made no sense to me why we eat some animals and adore others as pets; I still find this perplexing. Youve written and illustrated two childrens books featuring the character of Bailey. Is Bailey an alter ego? Whats his inspiration? So many of my New Yorker cartoons have dogs in them that my editor at Scholastic and my agent both suggested a childrens book featuring a dog. Bailey is a character I created who is sweet and kind, but his doggy nature gets him into trouble. I suppose in some ways I see children this way: theyre innocent--Im generalizing--yet its their nature to push the envelope, test boundaries, and get into trouble. Yes, I see myself in Bailey, only I was a terrible child, a true juvenile delinquent. I like to say, if it werent for art, Id be incarcerated. Im serious. Your illustrations display a sly humor. Who or what makes you laugh? My wife and daughter make me laugh; their brainy wit has just the right pinch of stupidity in it, which I love. I find many things absurd, like civilization, so Im always seeing humor. Ideas are everywhere! Do you cook? Any signature dishes? I cook all the time; its a meditation for me as is drawing. I make a dynamite Russian borscht, veggie chili, black bean soup (a touch of good port wine brings it home), puttanesca (with tamari in place of anchovies), Asian veggie wraps, stuffed peppers, and veggie lasagna. Once you understand the art in preparing meals, the landscape is endless.

Thai Peanut Butter Cookies

November 26 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Whisk together flour and baking soda in large bowl. 2. Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar in separate bowl with electric mixer. Add eggs and curry paste, and beat 1 minute. Beat in peanut butter and vanilla, then flour mixture. 3. Shape dough into 3-inch-wide cylinder, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight. 4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice dough into 1/­­4-inch-thick rounds, and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Sprinkle with coconut. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are crispy but cookies are still soft in the middle. Cool on baking sheets.

Pistachio and Pink Pepper Popcorn

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Toast pistachios in dry skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes, shaking pan occasionally, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Cool slightly, then coarsely chop. 2. Warm oil and agave in small saucepan over medium-low heat until blended and foaming, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, if desired. 3. Drizzle oil mixture onto popcorn; sprinkle with pistachios and pink pepper. Toss to distribute evenly.

Triple Chocolate-Cherry Cookies

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in large bowl. 3. Cream butter and sugar in separate bowl with electric mixer. Add coffee, and beat until smooth. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in cherries, chocolate chips, and cocoa nibs. 4. Use 1-oz. (2 Tbs.) ice cream or cookie scoop to shape dough into balls, and place on baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake 8 to 12 minutes, or until centers look dry. Cool on baking sheets, then transfer to storage container.

Caramel-Almond Tart

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. To make Crust: Stir together flour, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Stir in melted butter. Press dough into 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Prick dough on bottom and sides, and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Sprinkle chocolate over Crust, and let stand 1 minute. Gently spread chocolate over bottom of tart with spatula. Cool, then chill 30 minutes. 3. To make Filling: Spread almonds on baking sheet, and toast in 350°F oven 15 minutes, or until fragrant and golden brown. 4. Heat cream, honey, and salt in small saucepan until hot. Remove from heat. 5. Stir together sugar and 1/­4 cup water in medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 10 minutes, or until sugar has caramelized to copper color. Remove from heat, and stir in warm cream mixture until smooth. (Place pot back on low heat if sugar is still hard.) Stir in toasted almonds. Spread Filling in Crust. Cool, then refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before slicing.

Jalape?o-Lime Popcorn

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat oil and jalape?o in small skillet over medium heat. Cook 1 minute, or until jalape?o sizzles. Season with salt, if desired, and continue cooking 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. 2. Drizzle popcorn with oil-jalape?o mixture. Sprinkle with lime zest and cilantro.

Should You Soak Nuts, Grains, and Beans?

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Should You Soak Nuts, Grains, and Beans?  Is it true that soaking these foods boosts their nutrient values? Yes. Soaking raw nuts, grains, and legumes (including lentils, peas, and beans) makes minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium more available to our bodies. It may slightly improve amino acid (protein) availability in these foods too. ?This can be especially important for vegans, who look to nuts, grains, and legumes as primary sources of protein. Soaking helps to remove phytate, an agent in plants that locks up nutrients. Phytate is negatively charged and, like a magnet, attracts positively charged compounds such as minerals and amino acids. Because phytate attracts and binds minerals and amino acids, theyre less available to our bodies. Soaking decreases phytate in two ways: First, it activates an enzyme in plants called phytase, which breaks down phytate. Second, phytate is water-soluble, so some leaches into the soaking water that gets discarded. Plant foods lose even more phytate when you sprout them after soaking. Soaking, ?then sprouting reproduces the natural process of germination--where a seed develops into a plant--and once nutrients no longer need to be stored to prepare for germination, phytate levels drop. To sprout raw nuts, grains, or legumes: drain them from the soaking water; then place in a clean jar to about one-third full; fill the jar with water and 1/­2 teaspoon sea salt, and cover with cheesecloth or a mesh lid; lay the jar on its side on a counter or windowsill in natural light, angling the jar so water drains off. Rinse and drain two to three times a day to prevent mold. Sprouting can take up to three days, but skipping this step and soaking alone can still help reduce phytate. Soaking How-To 1. Place one part raw nuts, grains, or legumes in two parts warm water; cover with a kitchen towel; and leave overnight at room temperature. ?Certain nuts such as macadamias ?and cashews need only a few hours ?of soaking since they dont have as much phytate to begin with. 2. Drain the soaking water from grains or legumes, and cook them with about half as much water as usual since theyve absorbed liquid during soaking. Drain and refrigerate soaked raw nuts, and eat within two to three days, before they get moldy. Or dry the nuts so they last longer, using a dehydrator or heating in the oven at around 200°F. Health-food junkie Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, is creator of the weekly e-newsletter Nutrition WOW.

Cheese, Mushroom, and Swiss Chard Torta

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Crust: Place flours, oil, and salt in bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment. Slowly drizzle in 7 to 9 Tbs. ice water with machine running on medium-low speed. Mix 5 to 7 minutes, or until smooth, pliable dough forms. Divide into 2 balls, cover in plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature 1 hour, or in refrigerator overnight. 2. To make Filling: Toss chard with salt in bowl. Transfer to colander, and let stand 1 hour. Place on clean kitchen towel, roll up tightly, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Transfer to large bowl. 3. Combine potato and enough water to cover by 1 inch in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes. Drain, and add to chard. 4. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft. Add mushrooms, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until most mushroom liquid has evaporated. Stir in garlic and nutmeg, and cook 1 minute more. Add leek mixture to bowl with chard, stir, and cool 20 minutes. Stir in eggs until well combined, then stir in Asiago and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 5. Preheat oven to 375°F, and line 12-inch round pizza pan with parchment paper. Roll 1 dough ball into 13-inch circle on floured work surface (dont worry if dough resists a little). Let dough rest 10 minutes, then continue to roll and stretch (dough will be extremely thin). Gently roll dough circle onto rolling pin, then unroll onto parchment. Top dough with Filling, leaving 1-inch border. Roll out remaining dough round in same manner, and drape over Filling. Seal torta by crimping bottom dough over top layer or by rolling together in rope pattern. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbs. oil over top Crust, and rub in evenly with hands. Cut several vents in top Crust, and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until bottom Crust is golden brown. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled.

Veggie Lasagna Even Meat-Lovers Crave

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Purée cauliflower and 11/­­2 tsp. garlic in food processor until smooth. Remove to large bowl, and stir in ?1 cup mozzarella, 1 cup ricotta, and 1/­­2 cup milk. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 2. Heat cauliflower purée in saucepan 3 to 4 minutes, or until warm. Place back ?in bowl, and wipe out saucepan. 3. Wipe out food processor, and add broccoli and remaining 11/­­2 tsp. garlic; purée until smooth. Remove to another large bowl, and stir in 1 cup mozzarella, remaining 1 cup ricotta, and remaining 1/­­2 cup milk. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 4. Heat broccoli purée in saucepan 3 to 4 minutes, or until warm. Place back in bowl. 5. Spray 13- x 9-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Add layer of eggplant and 1 cup cauliflower sauce. Add layer of yellow squash and 1 cup broccoli sauce. Add layer of zucchini and 1 cup cauliflower sauce. Repeat until you are out of veggies and top layer is either sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake 1 hour, then let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Orange-Chile Salsa Verde

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat broiler. Line broiler tray with foil. Rub chiles with 1 Tbs. oil, and place on prepared tray. Broil 10 minutes, or until skins are charred and begin to loosen, turning once or twice. Transfer chiles to bowl, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin and seeds, and dice chiles. 2. Stand each orange upright, and remove peel and pith with paring knife, following curve of fruit from top to bottom. Hold fruit over large bowl, and cut sections along membranes to release each wedge. Set segments aside, and squeeze empty membrane over bowl to capture remaining juice. 3. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes. Add orange segments and juice, chiles, vinegar, and agave. Simmer 15 minutes, or until orange segments have broken down and liquid has reduced. Remove from heat, and cool 10 minutes. 4. Transfer mixture to blender, and purée until smooth. Season with salt, if desired.

Lentil Salad with Roasted Oranges and Radicchio

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Trim orange ends all the way to juicy flesh. Stand fruit upright, and remove peel and pith with paring knife, following curve of fruit from top to bottom. Hold fruit over large bowl, and cut sections along membranes to release each wedge. Set segments aside, and squeeze empty membrane over separate bowl to capture any remaining juice. 3. Add radicchio, shallots, and 1 Tbs. oil to bowl with orange segments. Season with salt, if desired, and toss gently. Spread mixture in single layer on baking sheet, and roast 25 minutes, or until oranges begin to brown and caramelize, stirring once and rotating tray halfway through. 4. Meanwhile, bring lentils, 11/­­2 cups water, and orange juice to boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 25 minutes, or until lentils are tender. 5. Drain lentils, and transfer to large bowl, reserving cooking liquid. Return liquid to saucepan, and simmer over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, or until reduced to 1/­­4 cup. Pour over lentils. 6. Add roasted orange-vegetable mixture to lentils with remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, walnuts, and mint. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Traditional Tapioca Pudding with a Holiday Twist

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Stir together 1 cup milk and pearl tapioca in 6-qt. Dutch oven. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, and add seeds and scraped pod to tapioca mixture. Let steep 15 minutes. 2. Whisk together eggs and 1 Tbs. sugar in medium bowl. 3. Stir remaining 5 cups milk, remaining 1/­­4 cup sugar, and salt into tapioca mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer 15 to 25 minutes, or until tapioca is transparent and mixture has thickened, stirring often with rubber spatula to prevent sticking. 4. Remove pan from heat. Whisk 1 cup tapioca mixture (using as much liquid as possible) into eggs to temper. 5. Stir egg mixture into tapioca mixture, then return pan to heat, and simmer 2 minutes more, or until pudding thickens and foam on top disappears, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup each dried cranberries, dried apricots, and chopped apple rings, then remove pan from heat. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Transfer pudding to refrigerator to cool completely. 6. Spoon 3/­­4 cup pudding into each of 8 serving glasses or bowls. Garnish with dried fruit, if using.

Cauliflower Soup with Caramelized Apples and Hazelnuts

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, sauté 5 to 7 minutes, then add garlic and coriander, and cook 1 minute. Add cauliflower, broth, and 11/­­2 cups water, and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Cool. 2. Blend cooled soup in blender or with immersion blender until smooth, adding more water if soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 3. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Place apples in single layer in skillet, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until apples start to brown, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle sugar over apples, and cook 3 to 5 minutes more, or until sugar melts and starts to caramelize. Stir in curry powder, and sauté 30 seconds. Transfer apples to large plate, spreading apart to keep from sticking together when sugar hardens. 4. To serve: ladle warm soup into bowls, and top with caramelized apples, hazelnuts, and parsley.

Sweet Sesame Popcorn

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Warm sesame oil and honey in small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally to blend. Stir in 2 tsp. each of black and white sesame seeds, and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Season with salt, if desired. 2. Drizzle oil mixture over popcorn, and sprinkle remaining 2 tsp. each of black and white sesame seeds over top. Stir to distribute evenly.

Chard, White Bean, and Potato Soup

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Smash 3/­­4 cup beans in bowl with back of fork to form paste; set aside. 2. Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 5 minutes, or until softened. Add potatoes, and cook 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir in garlic, and cook 2 minutes more. 3. Add broth, 1 cup water, smashed and whole beans, and nutmeg to pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 12 to 15 minutes. Add chard, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer 5 minutes, or until chard is wilted.

Mixed Mushroom and Rice Soup

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Combine both rices and 2 cups water in medium saucepan; season generously with salt, if desired. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to simmer. Cover, and cook 20 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. 2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs. oil in large pot or Dutch oven. Add shallots, and sauté 3 minutes, or until softened. Add remaining 1 Tbs. oil and shiitake mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sauté 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are slightly softened and shrunken. Add cremini mushrooms and chopped celery; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 8 minutes more, stirring often, or until celery is softened. 3. Stir in vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until all liquid has evaporated. Stir in cooked rice (you should have 2 cups), broth, 2 cups water, parsley, and rosemary sprig; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 3 to 5 minutes. 4. Remove rosemary sprig. Serve soup garnished with parsley leaves, reserved celery leaves, and raw mushrooms.

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Alessandra Seiter!

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Alessandra Seiter! Each month, we highlight a different reader’s “vegiversary”--the anniversary of when they went veg. Share yours at vegetariantimes.com/­­vegiversary. Reader Name: Alessandra Seiter Location: Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Vegan Since: June 2010 What motivated you to go veg? The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone, given to me by a friend. What’s your favorite veg eatery, and what do you order there? The Cinnamon Snail food truck in New York City. I order the Maple Mustard Tempeh Sandwich and a Lavender-Pear Turnover. What fruit or veggie best describes you? Lacinto kale: it’s dependable and a powerhouse (or nutrition, that is!). Whats your most treasured piece of cookware? The wooden cutting board that belonged to my mother in college. She passed it along to me once I enrolled in college. Whats your best advice for new vegetarians/­­vegans? Cook meals that are familiar, just veganized. Find community with like-minded folks. Learn about animal issues.

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook With Butternut Squash

November 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook With Butternut Squash With its smooth texture ?and a taste reminiscent of a buttered ?sweet potato, butternut squash is the go-to gourd ?for fall recipes.  Pick The best butternut squash have skin that is taut and evenly colored, with ?no blemishes or soft spots, says Sarah Woutat of Uproot Farm in Princeton, Minn. If youre at a farmers market, ask the grower if the squash was cured--a post-harvest, 10-day process maintaining good air circulation and a temperature between 80°F and 85°F, which produces sweeter-tasting flesh and longer storage potential. If stored in ?a dry, cool, well-ventilated place, a cured butternut can last up to four months, Woutat says. Wrapped tightly in plastic, cut squash can keep in the fridge for up to a week. Prep Slice off about 1 inch from each end of the squash, stand upright, and peel with a sharp vegetable peeler. Cut the squash in half to separate the neck from the bulb end, then halve the bulb end lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. Dice or slice as needed. Woutat recommends roasting butternut until tender to intensify its sweet flavor. Add roasted cubes to tacos or frittatas; mash and use as a stuffing for ravioli or a spread for pizza; or blend into smoothies, dips, or batter for baked goods. Dont toss the seeds, which can be roasted as a garnish for soups or enjoyed as an out-of-hand snack. Try This o Shave raw butternut squash and carrot into ribbons; toss with sliced apple, baby spinach, and walnuts; dress salad with a lemon vinaigrette. o For a seasonal breakfast bowl, stir together cooked steel-cut oats with butternut squash purée, sliced pecans, dried cranberries, maple syrup, ground flaxseed, ground cloves, and vanilla extract. o Simmer together cubed butternut, veggie broth, coconut milk, red curry paste, garlic, and ginger; purée with lime juice, and garnish with roasted peanuts for a Thai-inspired soup. o For a riff on hummus, blend together cooked butternut with chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. o Blend pecans, along with a touch of oil and honey, in a food processor until creamy; blend in butternut puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg for a sweet twist on nut butter. o For a seasonal smoothie, blend together cooked and cooled butternut with almond milk, frozen banana, plain yogurt, chia seeds, fresh ginger, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. o Make a pizza topped with roasted cubed butternut, torn kale, chopped sage, sliced pear, and soft goat cheese. o Stuff burritos with steamed or roasted butternut, brown rice, black beans, avocado slices, cilantro, and salsa. o Simmer pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar, and cinnamon, uncovered, over medium-high heat until reduced and syrupy; serve over slices of roasted butternut. What’s your favorite way to cook with butternut squash? Share in the comments!

What Do I Do with Pippins?

November 19 2014 Vegetarian Times 

What Do I Do with Pippins? Once fall is in full swing, I start scouting markets for pippins. I crave this variety of apple for its crisp bite and earthy, molasses-like sweetness and citrusy notes. Turns out, our founders were fans too: Thomas Jefferson grew pippins on his Virginia estate, and Benjamin Franklin had them sent to him by the barrel during his visits to London. Since I cant resist simply eating them out of hand, I turned to our food editor, Mary Margaret Chappell--a fountain of culinary wisdom--for tips on holiday baking with pippins. She says she uses them especially when she wants an apple to hold its shape and texture over a long cooking time, such as for upside-down tarte tatins and deep-dish pies. The ones I find, usually from Carter Mountain Orchard in Virginia, are often small, which I love because it means you can use them halved rather than quartered for prettier presentation in a tarte tatin, she notes. Her additional advice: Because pippin is an older variety, the flesh can tend to turn brown when its exposed to air. I always toss the peeled, cut apples with a little lemon juice. Store your apples, especially older varieties, in a cool, dark place or the refrigerator. Again, the older varieties are less resistant to heat and can turn mealy pretty quickly. Pippins are in season only through early winter, so don’t wait to start baking! Mary Margarets picks for recipes where pippins are a good fit: Upside-Down Apple-Cinnamon Pie Apple Croustades French-Style Apple Butter What about you? Is there an apple variety you always seek out?

How to Make Foolproof Vegetarian Gravy

November 17 2014 Vegetarian Times 

How to Make Foolproof Vegetarian Gravy Even the most accomplished cooks have experienced gravy failure at one time or another (probably more than once). But with a good gravy base, a little understanding, and a few great recipes, those too-thick, too-thin, too-salty, too-bland, too-lumpy sauces can be a thing of the past. Here are 5 easy steps to get perfect results every time: 1. Sauté seasoning components. Cook until softened and browned. 2. Stir in a flour roux. For medium-thick gravy, the standard ratio for roux is 2 Tbs. flour combined with 2 Tbs. fat for every 1 cup of liquid. Using less flour and fat per liquid cup means gravy can be simmered longer for richer taste, and opens up texture options from light and brothy to rich and thick. 3. Whisk in liquid. Gradually mix in liquids (broth, wine, etc.), then whisk or stir constantly until the gravy comes to a boil to avoid lumps. 4. Simmer till thickened. Simmer the gravy to the desired consistency, stirring often to prevent sticking. Dip a spoon into the gravy at intervals to check how it coats the spoon and ultimately how it will coat your food. 5. Season with salt and pepper only at the end. Resist the temptation to season as you go to avoid oversalting. Need a little gravy inspiration? Try these VT favorites: Caramelized Shallot Gravy Mushroom and Red Wine Gravy Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme Gravy Mixed Mushroom Gravy Pear and Port Gravy Cr?me Fraîche Mushroom Gravy

TV Talk: Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming

November 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

TV Talk: Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao MingPhotography: Kristian Schmidt/­­WildAid Premiering this Tuesday on Animal Planet, Saving Africas Giants with Yao Ming doesnt flinch from showing the mutilation perpetrated by poachers of ivory and rhino horn. But it also offers hope in the form of animal survivors of black market profiteers, and the people committed to rescuing them. Using the wattage of his global stardom to shine a light on the scandal of wildlife trafficking, basketball icon Yao Ming hosts the documentary. Here, we pose questions to Peter Knights, executive director of the nonprofit WildAid, which advocates an end to the illegal wildlife trade; WildAid co-produced the program. Is there an argument beyond the ethical that, as the film states, a living elephant is worth more than its ivory, and a living rhino worth more than its horn? Elephants and rhinos are the star attraction for a tourism industry that brings in much-needed income to the countries that are home to these animals. This tourism is important for the tax base, and supports local community development and helps pay for schools and hospitals. These iconic wild animals are crucial to the countries economies. How effective is dehorning rhinos as a deterrent against poaching? Sadly, not very. Poachers have been known to still kill rhinos for the stump, or to kill dehorned rhinos so they dont waste their time tracking them in the future. How difficult is it to discourage the long-standing use of ivory and of rhino horn, particularly in China? China already has a ban on rhino horn for traditional medicine, and that should be extended to all trade. A ban on the legal sale of ivory could be the biggest single step taken to reduce poaching, and we hope that China will rise to the challenge and be a global leader. Thats why were asking people to go to IvoryFree.org and to take the Ivory Free pledge to never buy or accept ivory, and to encourage their governments to enact stronger domestic bans on the ivory trade.

Skip the Can! Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

November 10 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Skip the Can! Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée Baking pumpkin halves, then scooping out the flesh is an easy, reliable way to make pumpkin purée because it guarantees a consistent, not-too-watery texture. Here’s how to do it: Simply halve or quarter a pumpkin, remove the seeds, and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake at 350?F for 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the pumpkins size), or until pumpkin is soft to the touch when the skin is pressed. Scoop out flesh (hot or cold), and mash or purée in a food processor. Sub for canned in any recipe that calls for pumpkin purée, such as one of these VT favorites: Vegan Pumpkin Pie Mini Pumpkin-Sage Balls Pumpkin-Pear Bread Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes Chocolate-Crusted Pumpkin Pie

Top 10 Pantry Staples for Veg Home Cooks

November 6 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Top 10 Pantry Staples for Veg Home Cooks A well-stocked pantry means a nourishing meal is never more than a cupboard (or freezer!) away. Short on shelf space? We asked cookbook authors and nutrition experts ?to help us narrow down our list of the most versatile veg ingredients. Here are 10 must-haves--in no particular order--for your kitchen. 1. Chickpeas Not just for hummus, these protein-packed beans also make satisfying scrambles and can be mashed and used in place of canned tuna for chickpea salad sandwiches. Joni Marie Newman, author of Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen, loves roasting chickpeas with olive oil, spices, and salt for a snack. Spread chickpeas on a baking sheet, and bake at 400°F for 40 minutes, or until crispy. 2. Oats Rolled oats are great ?for making your own granola or blending into DIY oat flour for cookies and scones. Save chewier steel-cut oats for oatmeal: Oats contain soluble fiber and beta-glucans, ?which may lower total cholesterol and control blood pressure, says Matthew Ruscigno, MPH, RD, author of Superfoods for Life: Cacao. They are one ?of the best breakfast foods for keeping you feeling fuller longer. 3. Brown Rice Sure, brown rice doesnt cook as quickly as its white counterpart, but its richer in fiber thanks to an intact bran. Terry Hope Romero, author of Salad Samurai, favors aromatic brown basmati: If Im going to take the time for brown rice, why not make it a nutty, hearty grain that smells like buttered popcorn? Basmati rice isnt just for Indian cooking--add it to burritos, veggie bowls, and stir-fries too. 4. Coconut? Milk Swirled into soups or mashed into sweet potatoes, a little creamy coconut milk goes a long way. Newman uses it for everything from curry to coconut cream pie, saving the thick cream at the top of the can as a rich dessert topping. Worried about fat content? Although coconut milk is high in saturated fat, some of this fat helps to raise good HDL cholesterol, says Ginny Messina, RD, author of Never Too Late to Go Vegan. 5. Miso Think beyond miso soup: this fermented bean paste, a traditional Japanese staple brimming with antioxidants and beneficial bacteria, adds depth and umami to everything from spaghetti to stew, says Miyoko Schinner, author of Artisan Vegan Cheese. Use it in pad Thai instead of fish sauce, sub for Parmesan cheese in pesto, or stir into homemade salad dressing for a rich, salty kick. Kept in the fridge, miso will last up to a year. 6. Quinoa Truly a culinary powerhouse, nutty-tasting quinoa takes to many flavor profiles, from Indian to Mediterranean. Add it to salads and stir-fries for protein and crunch. To avoid mushy quinoa, try baking it: mix two parts water and one part quinoa in a casserole dish, cover, and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until the liquid absorbs and the tails pop out. Comes out nice and fluffy every time, says Newman. 7. Nuts More than an energy-boosting snack, nuts are ideal for bringing crunch, creaminess, or bulk to any meal. ?They can be turned into a sauce, or ground to provide a meaty texture, says Schinner. Before using in recipes, try lightly toasting nuts in a cast-iron skillet. Or make your own healthful substitute for heavy cream: soak cashews in water for two hours or overnight, then blend with an equal amount of water until smooth. 8. Almond Butter Tired of peanut butter? Give almond butter a try: it has less saturated fat and more iron and calcium. Plus, its subtle flavor makes it the perfect addition to baked goods. To swap ?for oils and other fats, use a 1:1 mixture of almond butter and unsweetened applesauce for the full amount of fat ?in your favorite muffin, quick bread, ?and cookie recipes. Look for almond butter without added sugars or hydrogenated fats. 9. Lentils Any lentil variety makes a tasty soup standby, but inexpensive, easy-to-find green lentils are hard to beat. Cook, lightly mash, and try them in sloppy Joes, lasagna, and tacos. Lentils may be small, but they pack a powerful punch: theyre nearly 30 percent protein. Schinner keeps them handy ?for practical reasons. Lentils are the fastest legume to cook, so we eat them a lot when Ive forgotten to soak other beans, she says. 10. Frozen Blueberries Blueberries have such a short season, says Romero. Once past their explosion in July and August, they command a steep price. Your best bet? Go for frozen. Toss a few into muffin and pancake batter, swirl into oatmeal with almonds and cinnamon, or use in smoothies instead of ice. Romero likes to let the berries partially thaw, then mix them into plain coconut yogurt for ?a sweet antioxidant boost. Isa Chandra Moskowitz writes cookbooks, travels the world to Instagram food, and recently opened Nebraskas first vegan restaurant.

Is Agave a Healthful Substitute for Sugar?

November 4 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Is Agave a Healthful Substitute for Sugar? How do agave and sugar compare nutritionally? Agave sweetener is produced by heating or enzymatically treating and filtering sap from the heart of the agave plant. A teaspoon of agave has 21 calories and trace amounts of nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, compared with refined white sugars 16 calories per teaspoon and zero trace nutrients. When it comes to other sweeteners that contain trace nutrients, such as date sugar, molasses, barley malt sugar, brown rice malt syrup, maple syrup, honey, dark brown sugar, and raw cane sugar, a study found that they actually score higher than agave in health-preserving antioxidants. The main reason agave is considered a more healthful option among sweeteners is that it ranks relatively low on the glycemic index (GI): the GI for agave is 13, whereas for white table sugar its 65; pure honey, 58; and Canadian maple syrup, 54. GI measures how high a food raises blood sugar--the lower the GI, the better, since a high spike in blood sugar gives you a fleeting surge of energy followed by a crash. Research links low GI diets to reduced levels of the hormone insulin and inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein, and higher dietary GI to greater risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. High GI diets are also associated with obesity and increases in belly fat. Agave has a gentler impact on blood sugar due to its fructose content. Fructose is a type of sugar that is metabolized differently than other sugars; instead of getting absorbed directly into the bloodstream following digestion, its metabolized in the liver. Fructose was accused a few years back of causing fatty liver disease and negatively affecting blood lipids and insulin levels, therefore increasing risk of heart disease and obesity. But the newest research suggests that fructose isnt any worse than other types of sugar regarding fatty liver disease, lipids, or insulin; the problem lies in the excess calories that come from any type of sugar. Thats why organizations such as the American Heart Association recommend using all sweeteners in moderation: no more than 5 to 9 teaspoons of added sugar, which amounts to 100 to 150 calories, per day. Bottom line: When you need a sweetener, agave may be a good choice based on its trace amount of nutrients and comparatively mild impact on blood sugar levels. But as with all sweeteners, use it sparingly--unlike naturally sweet whole fresh fruits, such as berries, its no nutrient powerhouse. A rule of thumb: Use 2/­­3 cup of agave in place of 1 cup of white sugar in recipes, and reduce other liquid in a recipe by 1/­­4 to 1/­­3 cup; because using agave may over-brown baked goods, decrease the oven temperature by 25°F, and increase the baking time slightly. Health-food junkie Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, is creator of the weekly e-newsletter Nutrition WOW.

Easy Meatless Meals the Whole Family With Love

November 3 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Easy Meatless Meals the Whole Family With Love Trying to get your loved ones to eat veg more often? It’s easier than you might think. Just focus on simple, filling, familiar meals (read: go easy on the tofu and tempeh, depending on how open-minded your folks are). Here are a few tried-and-true favorites that have gone over well with my meat-eating husband, who is usually very unenthusiastic about all things bean: Burritos Stuff them with hearty ingredients like potatoes and cauliflower (pictured) or black beans and plantains, and nobody will miss the meat. Don’t forget to slather with guacamole--avocado is rich in hunger-quelling fiber. Also popular: portobello tacos and sweet potato quesadillas. If you live with picky eaters, lay out different fillings and fixins, and everyone can make their own creations. Lasagna This comfort-food classic is a great way to sneak in lots of veggies, and pretty much everyone loves it. Try harvest-y butternut squash lasagna or kid-friendly tortilla lasagna. Short on time? Any stick-to-your-ribs pasta dish is sure to please--just don’t hold back on the sauce. Make sure it’s super-luscious and super-flavorful. Our go-to: 5-ingredient linguine in lemon cream sauce. Baked Potatoes Got a serious meat-and-potatoes-lover on your hands? Go for loaded baked potatoes. Kids can help scoop out and stuff them. Our best include mini loaded red potatoes and zucchini-artichoke baked potatoes. Also try stuffing sweet potatoes for a healthful dose of beta-carotene. If you’re short on time, use your microwave to cook the potatoes, and offer different toppings at the table. Fritters Not to be confused with veggie burgers, which can scare some people off, fritters are pretty much always a hit. It’s all in the name! A few top VT recipes: millet-spinach-feta fritters; vegetable fritters with tomato-corn relish; curried sweet potato fritters; and spinach and spaghetti squash fritters. Serve with a blended butternut squash soup, and everyone is happy. Pizza You don’t have to top pizza with handfuls of shredded mozzarella to make it delicious. Try zucchini-goat cheese pizza or butternut squash pizza. For weeknight ease, buy refrigerated ready-to-go pizza dough from any supermarket, and make a few pies with your family’s favorite toppings. Avoiding gluten? We happen to have a crazy-crispy gluten-free pizza crust recipe. What’s your favorite family-friendly veg dish? Share in the comments!

Veg Celeb: Matt Lauria

October 30 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Matt Lauria Appearing in NBCs Parenthood, Matt Luria also co-stars in the DirecTV series Kingdom, another family drama, but with a difference: it takes place in the hard-bitten world of mixed martial arts. Debuting this fall, Kingdom has already been picked up for additional episodes, airing in 2015 and 2016. No one would argue that youre buffed for your role in Kingdom. What would you say to people who insist you have to eat meat to be in such amazing shape? Obviously its not true. I used to have that mindset myself, before my wife and I adopted a vegan lifestyle. Theres such a wealth of wholesome foods that are separate from animals, and I havent had any problems getting the fuel I need. Rhinoceroses, elephants--these gigantic, muscular animals--they all eat plants. I think theyre a great example. How do you refuel after a workout? Post workout, I usually have a delicious smoothie, consisting of almond or coconut milk, which is water-based, so Im getting hydration, and I pack in the fruit--bananas, frozen pineapple, or frozen berries--then I throw in some plant-based protein powder, either chocolate or vanilla. I prefer a powder thats pea or quinoa or hemp protein. How do the characters you play in Kingdom and in Parenthood compare? Theyre two completely different human beings, individuals with entirely different sets of values, life experiences, and pursuits. One of the joys of acting is that as youre investigating a role, you get to immerse yourself in the possibilities of what makes a character who he is, and that includes researching people who have shared experiences with the character. For Parenthood, I got to interview some veterans; for Kingdom, I got to spend time with fighters. As you take on a new role, you get to find out about a whole different facet of humanity. What brought you to a plant-based diet? I was a big meat eater most of my life. My wife is a very sensitive woman, and she began to grow increasingly more uncomfortable with the idea of animals having to be killed for us to eat. My response to her was, if were going to eat, theyre going to have to die, thats just how it is. As time went on, she started eating less and less animals, and she finally said to me, Hey, will you watch this 10-minute video and just see what you think? I dont remember what it was called, but I watched it, and that night, I went--pardon the expression--cold turkey. I havent eaten any animals or animal products since. That was about a year and a half ago. But the thing I didnt realize then that I realize now is, there are a variety of animals that people eat, but that doesnt even begin to compare with the abundance of fresh foods that have nothing to do with animals. When I first switched over, I felt like I had to make up for the meat, or I should say, animals--you know, we dont think of them as animals, we just think of them as meat. I felt I had to replace the animals in my diet with fake meats. But I got away from that convention, that an animal is a big portion of the meal, and I started eating big, delicious plates of plant foods that sustain me and satisfy me. And I realized that what most people love about meat is the way its seasoned and flavored. But that same seasoning and flavoring can be made part of a variety of foods. My wife and I have really exciting meals. Before, I usually ate the same rotation of stuff, but now there are so many options. Thanksgiving is coming up. Any favorite dishes for the holiday? Last year was our first Thanksgiving as vegans, and my wife made these awesome sweet potato biscuits. Sweet potatoes are my favorite thing, so she also made these decadent sweet potatoes with coconut oil and brown sugar and pecans. And we had a really nice vegan homemade stuffing, and a beautiful array of roasted vegetables. Desserts are always the best part for me, and my wife is an extraordinary baker. She made this blueberry pie thats better for you to eat than not to eat. The crust was made of ground-up almonds, or almond meal, and coconut oil. Inside was a ton of blueberries and chia seeds, which are high in protein and great for you, and as they get saturated, they get gelatinous, providing that nice kind of gel consistency that holds the pie filling together. And there was some lemon in there, and the only added sweetener was maple syrup, less than a teaspoon per slice. For my birthday, my wife made me a pecan pie that nobody would believe is vegan, and I hope she adds that to the rotation.

Tell VT: What Dish Impresses Non-Vegetarians?

October 28 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Tell VT: What Dish Impresses Non-Vegetarians? Whats your go-to dish for impressing non-vegetarian dinner guests? (We’ve had lots of luck with the Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas pictured above!) Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

Our Guide to Halloween Treats

October 24 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Our Guide to Halloween Treats Halloween is that notoriously sweet time of year when children--and adults--have an excuse to eat all the candy they want. No wonder many health experts frown upon the sugar-intensive holiday. Equally scary? Some store-bought sweets are neither vegan nor vegetarian. Still, Halloween doesn’t have to be all spooks and no edible fun. Here’s to buy (or make!) worthy veg treats. Is It Vegetarian? Chewy bears and sour worms are probably the last place youd expect ?to find non-veg ingredients, right? But many gummies are made with gelatin. It gives them their distinctive chewy bite but is often sourced from animal bones, skin, or cartilage, says Vanessa Hughes, owner of A Real Treat Candy Boutique in Los Angeles. Hughes suggests seeking ?out chewy candies made with veg alternatives such as tapioca syrup, agar agar, or fruit pectin. Also watch out for red candies containing cochineal or carmine, a coloring agent gleaned from ground-up bugs, warns Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, author of The Complete Idiots ?Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. Is It Vegan? Read labels carefully: Dairy can work its way into items via its derivatives such as milk solids, casein, or whey, says Hever. Even dark chocolate isnt necessarily dairy-free, she adds. Not to worry. A number of candy classics--including Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, Sour Patch Kids, and Smarties--can help keep your Halloween vegan-friendly. Here are a few more dairy-free treats that make the grade: Surf Sweets ?Trick or Treat Pack ?These fun-size ?packs of organic chewy bears ?deliver plenty of fruity flavor. $6.99/­­?20-treat packs Setton Farms ?Pistachio Chewy Bites ?Lightly sweetened with agave, each ?mini bar packs a ?one-two punch ?of crunchy pistachios and chewy cranberries. $14.99/­­16-pack Endangered ?Species Dark ?Chocolate Bug Bites ?Each organic chocolate square comes packaged with an insect trading card to inspire up-and-coming entomologists. $0.69/­­piece Want to make your own Halloween goodies at home? Check out these scary-good treats.

Veg Celeb: Charles Halford

October 22 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Charles HalfordPhotography: Daniel McFadden/­Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. Co-starring in the new NBC series Constantine, Charles Halford appeared recently in HBOs Emmy-winning drama True Detective opposite fellow vegan Woody Harrelson. Also a detective show--though with an otherworldly bent--Constantine is inspired by the DC Comics series John Constantine: Hellblazer. The show debuts this Friday, just in time for Halloween. How would you describe your character in Constantine?  My character [Chas] accepts John Constantine without judgment, and while always trying to support and allow Johns, at times, questionable pursuits, Chas tries to encourage John toward his best self. If Chas can help by offering advice, or muscle, or a lift somewhere, hes there. If a train needs to be jumped in front of, hes there for that, quite literally. And for the most part--well, except for the train bit--I like to think John would do the same. Then again, you can only expect so much from John Constantine. Hes more than a little self-serving. Are you familiar with the DC Comics superhero Animal Man, whos vegetarian? Do you know of any other animal-friendly comic book heroes? It’s funny you should mention Animal Man. I actually had weird sort of flashbacks from that comics [series] when I started revisiting the Hellblazer title as our show got rolling, but I was at a loss for the name, I just remembered the artwork and the ethos. I was a comic book fan in my early years, but as I got older I got more into music and skateboarding, my own artwork, and acting, which carried me through high school and into adulthood. But presently, by luck, my job is reading these awesome classic comic books. I am, as we speak, attempting to acquire the entire Animal Man canon. In terms of other animal-friendly comic book heroes I have been drawn to: The Teen Titans [series] features Beast Boy, who is vegetarianvegan; Captain Planet cares about the environment; Swamp Thing is eco-conscious and sympathetic to natural life. Youve mentioned drinking Woody Harrelsons juice when you worked with him on True Detective. Tell us more! It was juice. The only thing that made it extraordinary was it came from Woodys stash. I don’t know if he was Woodys assistant or his traveling juice master, but a couple times a day, this real cool cat would come around with some variety of fresh juice: sometimes red, sometimes green, sometimes sort of brownish, but always delicious and energizing. I was sold. I bought a nice masticating juicer as soon as I got my True Detective paycheck, and I absolutely love it. Great investment. Any ingredients youre obsessed with lately?  Im pretty obsessed with hot chiles. Last year I grew Scorpion peppers, Ghosts, 7-Pots, Fatalis, Brain Strain--all super-hots, and every one devoured in sweaty appreciation.

Simple Spanakopita Triangles

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add spinach, and cook 3 minutes more, or until mostly dry. Transfer to bowl to cool. Stir feta cheese into cooled spinach mixture. 2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray. 3. Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface with short side nearest you. Brush phyllo sheet with olive oil. Set second phyllo sheet on top, and brush with oil. Cut phyllo stack into 4 long strips. Spoon 11/­­2 Tbs. spinach mixture on short end of each phyllo strip. Fold end of strip over filling to make a triangle. Fold pointed end up to seal triangle. Continue folding pointed ends up and over phyllo strip until you have a filled triangle. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo, oil, and filling. 4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Tricolor Beet Salad with Horseradish Dressing

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Dressing: Heat 1 tsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, and cook 5 minutes, or until softened. Add tofu, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool. 2. Transfer mixture to blender. Add remaining 1/­­2 cup oil, horseradish, vinegar, and salt, and blend until smooth. Blend in a little water if Dressing seems too thick. (You should have 21/­­4 cups.) Chill. 3. To make Salad: Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap each beet in foil. Roast on baking sheet 1 hour, or until tender. Cool. Peel and dice beets. 4. While beets are roasting, spread pecans on baking sheet, and toast 5 minutes on separate oven rack, or until golden brown, shaking pan once or twice. Transfer to plate to cool. 5. Cook green beans in 8 cups boiling, salted water 5 to 8 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Set aside. 6. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add reserved beet greens, and cook 2 minutes, or until tender. 7. Transfer beet greens to large salad bowl. Add beets, green beans, and fennel, and toss together. Add 1 cup Dressing, and toss to coat. Serve topped with pecans, apple, and cranberries.

Gorgonzola and Arugula Pizza with Caramelized Onions

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat 3 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, add onions, and sauté 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt (if desired), reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 20 minutes, or until onions brown, adding 2 Tbs. water if necessary. Transfer onions to bowl; set aside. 2. Rinse out skillet, add 2 Tbs. oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl, and set aside. 3. Bring vinegar and maple syrup to a simmer in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer 15 minutes, or until reduced by half. Set aside to cool. 4. Rub pizza dough with 1 Tbs. oil, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. 5. Preheat oven to 450°F. Roll out dough, and transfer to baking sheet. 6. Combine garlic and 2 Tbs. oil, and brush over dough. Sprinkle with thyme. Bake 10 minutes, or until golden. 7. Top pizza with onions, mushrooms, and pea-size chunks of Gorgonzola. 8. Toss arugula with remaining 2 tsp. oil, and spread over pizza. Return pizza to oven, and bake 10 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Mashed Potatoes with Mustard Greens and Leeks

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Steam mustard greens 2 minutes, or until just tender, rearranging once for even cooking. Transfer greens to sieve; squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. 2. Set potatoes in steamer, and steam 12 to 14 minutes, or until tender, adding more boiling water to pan, if necessary. Combine potatoes and milk in saucepan; mash with potato masher. Set aside. 3. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leek, and sprinkle with salt if desired. Sauté 5 to 6 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add mustard greens, and sauté 2 minutes more. Stir greens mixture into potatoes along with sour cream and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Wilted Mustard Greens Salad with Cranberry Dressing

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Whisk together cranberry juice concentrate and cornstarch in small saucepan to dissolve cornstarch. Stir in oil, frozen cranberries, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Let stand 5 minutes. 2. Toss together mustard greens, apple, and onion in large salad bowl. 3. Bring cranberry mixture to a boil over medium heat. Boil 30 to 40 seconds, or until clear and thick enough to thinly coat spoon, whisking constantly. Pour hot dressing over salad. Toss 1 minute, or until greens wilt slightly. Mix in endive. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Pumpkin-Apple Bread Pudding with Cranberry Streusel

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 8- or 10-cup baking dish with cooking spray. 2. To make Bread Pudding: Whisk eggs in large bowl. Whisk in milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt, and then pumpkin. Fold in bread cubes, and let soak 20 minutes. 3. To make Streusel: pulse all ingredients in food processor until mixture resembles rough paste. 4. Fold apples into Bread Pudding mixture, and pour into prepared baking dish. Spread Streusel over top. Bake 1 hour, or until pudding is set. Serve warm.

Walnut-Horseradish Cheese in Endive Petals

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread walnuts on baking sheet, and toast 7 to 9 minutes in oven, or until golden brown and fragrant. Cool. Set aside 1/­­2 cup walnut pieces for garnish. 2. Process walnuts in food processor until finely ground. Add cottage cheese and horseradish, and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 3. Spoon 1 Tbs. cheese mixture onto wide end of each endive petal. Garnish with reserved walnut pieces and dried cranberries.

Spice-Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Bring large pot of water to a boil, and prepare large bowl of ice water. 2. Use knife to score small X on each cherry tomato. Drop tomatoes in boiling water 10 to 15 at a time, blanch 10 to 15 seconds (15 to 20 seconds for grape tomatoes), then transfer to ice water with slotted spoon to stop cooking. Drain all cooked and cooled tomatoes. 3. Whisk together oil, vinegar, and garam masala in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 4. Remove tomato peels with fingers over vinaigrette bowl to catch dripping juices, and place peeled tomatoes in bowl. Add green onions, toss gently to coat, and let stand 30 minutes for flavors to develop. Serve with toothpicks.

5 Comforting Foods for New Vegetarians

October 20 2014 Vegetarian Times 

5 Comforting Foods for New Vegetarians Just ditched meat but still tempted by--ahem--forbidden foods? Don’t give up: it’s Meatless Monday and Vegetarian Awareness Month, after all! To help you out, we asked VT food editor Mary Margaret Chappell for a few healthful veg staples that make the most delicious substitutes (besides beans, which can be added to just about anything). Psst: your omnivorous friends and family will totally dig these foolproof favorites too. 1. Mushrooms Any juicy mushroom makes a great stand-in for meat, but Chappell prefers plump portobellos: “They don’t turn all small and floppy when cooked, the way other mushrooms do.” She recommends making portobello burgers for “the same sink-your-teeth-in texture that other burgers have.” Or stuff the caps with veggies, greens, grains, and cheese, and roast for a hearty handheld meal. Got button mushrooms? Chop, cook down, and add to pasta sauce or chili (pictured below).  2. Lentils “You can pretty much take any recipe and plug in the same amount of lentils as ground beef,” says Chappell. She likes French or Puy lentils, which don’t get as mushy as other kinds of lentils. Unlike dried beans, lentils require no soaking and cook super-quickly. Use them to beef up chilis, curries, cabbage rolls, and taco fillings. Or sub them for meat in Mediterranean recipes like moussaka (pictured below), where they go especially well with the herbs and spices.   3. Tofu Consider tofu a blank slate--it’ll soak up the flavors of whatever you add to it. For meatiest texture, Chappell presses out the liquid, adds a marinade, and roasts or bakes. (Stir-frying tofu makes it more tender and jiggly inside, which can be an acquired taste.) Go for firm or extra-firm blocks. No time to cook? Look for already-baked, ready-to-eat tofu at any supermarket. Noontime tip: baked tofu sandwiches (pictured below) and TLTs (tofu, lettuce, tomato) make tasty take-along lunches. 4. Eggplant Globe or Italian eggplants can be cut into long, meaty cutlets, making them perfect for mouthwatering schnitzel and eggplant Parmesan (pictured below). Look for animal-rennet-free Parmesan such as Organic Valley or Belgioioso Vegetarian Parmesan. For sauces, stews, and casseroles, Chappell opts for Japanese eggplant: “It’s never bitter, and it holds together better than Italian eggplant when cooked.” Choose eggplants that are firm and shiny, a sign that they’re fresh. 5. Seitan This protein-packed “wheat meat” has the same super-chewy texture as beef and pork, making it an excellent transitional food. You can buy pre-seasoned seitan, but it’s really not hard to make your own. “VT has the best recipe around, and I’ve experimented with a lot of them,” says Chappell. “You’ll never go back to buying the packaged stuff. It’s cheaper, tastier, and better for you without all the salt!” Planning to serve a seitan roast at your holiday feast? Slice it thinly so there’s more surface area to absorb all the sauce or gravy. Or make pot pie (pictured below)!  Honorable Mentions Cauliflower (for seared cauliflower “steaks”) Jackfruit (for curries, enchiladas, and taco fillings) Tempeh (for tempeh bolognese, reubens, and tempeh bacon) What’s your favorite comforting veg ingredient or food? Share in the comments!

Recipe in a Bottle: Red Lentil Dal from the Holistic Holiday at Sea

October 15 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Recipe in a Bottle: Red Lentil Dal from the Holistic Holiday at Sea Are you dreaming of making your next vacation a veg-cation? From March 14th through the 21st, the Holistic Holiday at Sea will set sail in the Caribbean, featuring cooking classes; lectures by health experts; and creative vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, and gluten-free cuisine. (Enter to win a balcony room for two here!) In the meantime, you can get a taste of the culinary adventure from your own kitchen by trying this recipe from the Greens and Grains on the Deep Blue Sea Cookbook. And, while you’re waiting for your lentils to simmer, check out this video from last year’s cruise: http:/­­/­­youtu.be/­­WYU4Nt3aDlY. Red Lentil Dal Red lentils cook faster than any other dried beans (and they don’t require presoaking). When you’re in a hurry for something warm and slightly spicy, this soup is the perfect choice. 1 1/­­2 cups dried lentils, sorted, rinsed, and drained 3-inch piece combu, wiped clean 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 4 1/­­2 cups water 2 teaspoons curry powder 1/­­4 cp umeboshi vinegar 1 Tbs. fresh ginger juice Freshly ground black pepper to taste 1/­­4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro for garnish   1. Bring the lentils, combu, garlic, and water to boil in a large pot, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Stirring occasionally, simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and have the texture of purée. 2. Stir the curry powder, vinegar, and ginger juice into the pot, and simmer an additional 5 minutes. 3. Garnish with black pepper and cilantro before serving.

Veg Celebs: Theodore Melfi and Kimberly Quinn

October 9 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celebs: Theodore Melfi and Kimberly Quinn Married couple Theodore Melfi and Kimberly Quinn both have producer credits in the much-buzzed-about film St. Vincent, opening in theaters October 17. Both also follow a plant-based diet. Here, the two answer questions about eating vegan, as well as about the film, which Melfi wrote and directed, and in which Quinn has a co-starring role.   St. Vincent is being called a dramedy. What does that mean? MELFI: The film is a hybrid, really. Its a drama with some realistic funny moments. I guess dramedy means that the drama is grounded and honest, just as the comedy is.   Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy--both noted scene-stealers--have roles in the film. What was it like working with them? MELFI: Working with actors as talented as Bill and Melissa--or Naomi [Watts] and Kim [wife Kimberly Quinn] or Chris ODowd, for that matter--is an awe-inspiring process. Theyre all collectively so smart and real and funny and truthful that the work is getting everyone on the same page, making the same movie. Bill is the most in-the-moment person Ive ever met. He doesnt manipulate or push or try; he allows the comedy and the drama to come naturally from within. And so you have to be on your toes, ready to capture whatever hes going to do at the time. The camera needs to be ready, and the other actors need to be ready, because his inspiration is spontaneous and unpredictable, and it wont happen again exactly the same way. Thats the genius of Bill. Melissa is very similar. Shes an improv deity and has no boundaries, so the same principle applies: be ready. The difference in St. Vincent is that Melissa is playing a dramatic role. Shes the straight character: a struggling single mom trying to hold it together and forced to leave her kid with Bill Murray--the last person youd want as a babysitter.   Were you both vegan when you met? MELFI: No. Kim became vegan before me, and eventually there was just nothing in the fridge for me to eat, so I made the switch as an act of survival. The good news is that I was never a red-meat eater, so it wasnt hard. I love eating this way, I feel like everything that goes into my body belongs there.   Which of you is the cook in the family? Do you cook together? Any tips for kitchen harmony? MELFI: I used to cook a lot more than I do now. Thats mostly because Im working so much and on the road a lot. Kim does a lot more of the cooking now. After 18 years of marriage weve finally figured out how to work together in the kitchen: I am the sous chef and handle cleaning and cutting and prepping and supporting, and Kim does the actual stove work. So Im chopping and prepping for her and cleaning up after her as we go, and by the end we have a great meal and a clean kitchen. This makes us both happy and helps with my OCD issues. QUINN: What he said is right, although I do miss the cooking he used to do. He had a knack for whipping anything together without a recipe, and it was always delicious! I tend to go in and out of cooking frenzies because my schedule is so erratic. But because Ive had chunks of time that have allowed me to really enjoy cooking, when I am busy, I just go for an old recipe.   Whats your favorite home-cooked meal? MELFI: Kim makes these vegan enchiladas out of the The Oh She Glows cookbook by Angela Liddon. They make you think you dont need meat on the planet at all. QUINN: When I found [Liddons] cookbook, I felt like my life was given back to me! I know that sounds dramatic, but its true. It may be how I grew up and the food I ate as a kid, but when this woman gave me back my tuna sandwich, lets just say, I will forever be grateful. One of my favorites is her tomato cream sauce pasta and her rolos for dessert. And then there is her avocado cream pasta--but the enchiladas are to die for!      

Tell VT: Whats your No. 1 guilty-pleasure food?

September 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Tell VT: Whats your No. 1 guilty-pleasure food? Whats your No. 1 guilty-pleasure food? Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

TV Talk: Years of Living Dangerously

September 19 2014 Vegetarian Times 

TV Talk: Years of Living Dangerously PHOTO: Harrison Ford with Lone Droscher Nielsen of the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Project.  Photo courtesy of Years of Living Dangerously   Not known as a bastion of treehuggers, the Pentagon earlier this year noted threats to national security from global climate change. Climate change has also been implicated in the recent ebola outbreak. So, the title Years of Living Dangerously isnt all that much of an exaggeration for the nine-part Showtime series that won 2014s Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series. Now available on DVD, the series tracks such actors as Matt Damon and Jessica Alba and journalists as Mark Bittman as they take to the field to investigate flashpoints of our changing climate. After viewing Disc 1--which includes the episodes Dry Season and End of the Woods, featuring Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Don Cheadle--I asked Joel Bach, an executive producer on the series and an alum of 60 Minutes, a few questions.   Do you see a tipping point for policy that would make a significant difference in greenhouse gas emissions? I think a tipping point is being reached, but not on a national/­­federal level. States and regions are taking it upon themselves to enact legislation to deal with climate change, like Californias cap and trade policy, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative [a cooperative effort of Northeastern states], and others, and I see a lot of action overseas.   With climate change a global problem, is there a global solution? How much impact can local movements have? To truly have a global solution wed need to see all the leading industrial countries band together to curb emissions. Its starting to happen, but slowly. China is taking aggressive steps, Germany has been a true leader, and the new prime minister of India recently pledged to bring solar to every single home in his country. So there are exciting things afoot. But a lot more needs to happen to turn the ship around, and the United States needs to be part of that. I do hope that state and local efforts in America will eventually catch hold and coalesce into some kind of national policy to address climate change.   What can consumers do to support sustainably grown palm oil? When you go into a store, its not immediately obvious which products/­­companies are using sustainably grown and produced palm oil and which ones arent. But a number of organizations have compiled lists to make it easier for us know whats what. The World Wildlife Fund, for example, has a scorecard that lays much of this out. Rainforest Action Network also closely tracks the issue, as do other groups.   The evidence suggests that animal agriculture, including cattle grazing, diminshes water supplies and contributes to environmental degradation. Why wasnt the issue of livestock addressed in discussing causes of drought? Even though the series is nine hours long, we still found ourselves unable to include everything we wanted, including items like this. Its why were so determined to produce a second season of Years of Living Dangerously, because theres a wealth of important stories still to be told.

Caldo Verde Stuffed Potatoes

September 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat potatoes with olive oil cooking spray. Prick each potato a few times with fork. Bake on baking sheet 11/­­2 to 2 hours, or until tender. 2. Place collard greens in large bowl, and cover with boiling water. Let stand 2 minutes. Drain, and set aside. 3. Coat large skillet with olive oil cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Add Soyrizo and onion, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, collard greens, and 1 cup water. Cover, and simmer 5 minutes. Uncover, and cook 5 minutes more. 4. Split potatoes down center, and fluff flesh with fork. Fill each potato with 3/­­4 cup collard green mixture.

Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Gratin

September 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 2-qt. baking dish with cooking spray. 2. Pierce squash in several places with knife. Microwave 3 minutes on high power to soften. Slice off ends, and stand squash upright. Cut straight down length of squash. Remove seeds with spoon. Place halves cut side down on rimmed baking sheet, and add 11/­­2 cups water to cover surface of pan. Bake 30 minutes, or until squash yields when pressed. 3. Cool squash cut side up 10 minutes. Scrape squash halves with fork to release strands. Transfer strands to large bowl. (You should have 5 cups.) 4. Toss broccoli with oil in bowl, then add to squash along with 1/­­4 cup Cheddar. 5. Whisk together eggs, milk, ricotta, green onion, and mustard in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, then stir into squash mixture. 6. Spread mixture in prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining 1/­­4 cup Cheddar. Spray with cooking spray. 7. Increase oven temperature to 425°F. Bake on top oven rack 25 minutes, or until center is set and top begins to brown.

Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Salad

September 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Salad: Bring broth and 1 cup water to a boil in medium saucepan. Stir in wild rice, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, 30 to 40 minutes, or until rice is tender. Drain, transfer to shallow dish, and stir in butternut squash and 1 1/­­2 tsp. balsamic vinegar. Cool, then chill 1 hour, or overnight. 2. Whisk together maple syrup, mustard, oil, and remaining 1 1/­­2 tsp. vinegar in bowl. Stir into rice mixture with raisins, 2 Tbs. chives, and shallot. 3. To make Roasted Fruit and Vegetables: Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together butternut squash chunks, grapes, pearl onions, and oil on prepared baking sheet; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Roast 25 to 30 minutes, or until squash and onions are tender and brown. Serve Roasted Fruit and Vegetables over Salad, and garnish servings with remaining 2 Tbs. chives.

Smoky Black Bean and Butternut Rago?t

September 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Combine lime juice and 1 tsp. maple syrup in small bowl. Set aside. 2. Heat butter and 1 Tbs. oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add squash, and season with salt, if desired. Cover pan, and cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover pan, add onion, and increase heat to medium-high. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until squash is tender and lightly browned. Remove from heat, and gently stir in lime-maple mixture. 3. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, and cook 30 seconds, or until softened and fragrant. Add beans, adobo sauce, remaining 2 tsp. maple syrup, and 1/­­4 cup water. Bring mixture to a simmer, and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed. 4. Gently stir together bean mixture and squash. Serve garnished with queso fresco, cilantro, and pepitas (if using).

Tuscan Kale and White Bean Stew with Breadcrumb Topping

September 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and 2 tsp. oil in small bowl. Set aside. 2. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil and butter in large ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add mushrooms; increase heat to medium-high. Stir, cover pan, and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until mushrooms are lightly browned, stirring occasionally. 3. Uncover pan, add garlic, and stir 30 seconds. Add kale, and cook 2 minutes, or until wilted. Add beans, broth, and 3/­­4 cup water. Cover, and simmer 6 to 8 minutes, or until liquid has reduced by about three-quarters. Stir in 1 tsp. lemon juice, and remove from heat. Add 1 more tsp. lemon juice, if desired. 4. Heat broiler to high. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over stew, and broil 3 minutes, or until topping is golden.

TELL VT: Whats your favorite veg Thanksgiving dish?

September 9 2014 Vegetarian Times 

TELL VT: Whats your favorite veg Thanksgiving dish? Whats your all-time favorite veg Thanksgiving dish? Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.  

Veg Celeb: Alexandra Paul

August 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Alexandra PaulPhotography: Pedro Virgil Alexandra Paul may spend plenty of time behind the camera, producing eco-themed documentaries such as Jam Packed and The Cost of Cool, but the former Baywatch co-stars acting career continues to purr along. In the fall, she stars in FireQuake for the SyFy channel: I play a scientist who has invented a clean energy source, but the big bad company that owns the patent misuses it, and all hell breaks loose, she says. Here, we talk to Paul about her advocacy of healthful, ecologically mindful living.   Youre producing a thriller, Valerie X, based on PETA Executive Director Ingrid E. Newkirks book about the pseudonymous founder of the Animal Liberation Front. What attracted you to the project? My partners, Nik Tyler and Mikko Alanne, and I have all been working in Hollywood for a long time. We understand the power of television and film to inspire and educate billions of people, and we believe that an exciting, mainstream movie about the founding of the ALF will open the hearts of conventional audiences to the innate rights of animals. Like the movies Norma Rae and Erin Brockovitch, Valerie X tells the story of an ordinary person who transforms into an extraordinary heroine. Valerie X is a very exciting thriller, but if we can also change the way people treat animals and how they regard activists, that would be awesome.   You participated in the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? and have been a spokesperson for the Chevy Volt. Whats the progress on making electric vehicles more affordable? The cost of fueling an electric car is already affordable: I pay $1.50 in electricity for my Volt to go 45 miles, which is about 6 times cheaper than the average American driver pays for gasoline (Americans spend about $1,500 a year on gasoline). The cost of purchasing an electric car is generally more than its gasoline counterpart, and of course the Tesla Model S is expensive, but the consensus among the most mainstream of car aficionados is that the S is one of the most amazing vehicles on the road. Many folks lease their EVs for less than what they were paying for gasoline every month--the leases are as low as $250, and even less. Used Volts and Leafs now go for under $15,000. The Model 3 Tesla is supposed to come out in 2017 at a price of $35,000. The average cost of a gasoline car purchased in the United States is $30,400, which is more than you will pay for several EV models. Im always surprised when people driving pricey cars challenge me on the cost of electric cars. They want to know when an EV will make their money back. I wonder if they asked themselves that when they got their SUV, BMW, whatever. The price of battery electric vehicles will come down when people who can afford them buy them.   You speak a lot about the issue of human overpopulation.  Yes, as an environmentalist I believe that unless we deal with the issue of human overpopulation we cannot solve any ecological problem. In my lifetime the human population has more than doubled, from 3 billion to over 7 billion people. So many people and too few resources will mean more wars over water, food and land. I did a TEDx talk and speak on the topic in schools and to groups, and I offer solutions on how we can stabilize and then lower our numbers in ways that are beneficial to all men, women, and children. Unfortunately, most non-profits will not discuss the topic because it has become needlessly controversial, but I do not have any donors so I do not worry about that. My focus for the second half of my life is to stop animal testing and lower our human numbers to 2 billion happy people on the planet. Those goals are not too lofty, are they?   Youve blogged about how going vegan helped you overcome bulimia. What was key for you? I stopped bingeing and purging when I was 28. What remained was an unease around food, a fear in the back of my head that my appetite will get out of control. I think a lot of woman--maybe men too--feel this way. We are constantly surrounded by unnaturally high quantities of addictive substances like sugar, salt, and fat, so it is no wonder a lot of us have a hard time eating normally! We use these foods as drugs to soothe, distract, or reward ourselves. I have been an ethical vegetarian since I was 14, but when I became a vegan four years ago my strong feelings about animals and the sanctity of their wellbeing became way more important than Alexandra and her hang-ups about food. I was really surprised that the non-vegan sweets I used to crave when I felt bad were easy to avoid when I connected them with animal suffering. It is like my heart opened and I got more balanced.   Youve competed in the World Ironman Triathlon Championship. Whats up next for you as an athlete? Ive just started training for a 13.6-mile swim in Mexico this November. It will be a personal challenge because I will be swimming in the dark for several hours, and I have always been scared of being in the ocean at night! But participating in these longer swims is one way I can show how healthy, strong, and fit vegans can be, and that will keep me going.

Caramelized Apples with Red Onion and Thyme

August 12 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes. Add apples in single layer, and cook 5 minutes without stirring. 2. Flip apples, and cook 5 minutes more, or until onions are translucent and apples are tender. Stir in vinegar and thyme, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer 5 minutes more.

Apple-Almond Galette

August 12 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Dough: Pulse flours, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt in food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture looks like coarse meal. With food processor running, add up to 1/­­4 cup cold water until dough just comes together. Shape dough into ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour, or overnight. 2. To make Filling: Pulse almonds and confectioners sugar in food processor until combined. Add egg and almond extract, and process 1 minute, or until mixture is paste-like and nearly smooth. 3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with foil. 4. Remove Dough from refrigerator, and unwrap, leaving plastic wrap beneath Dough. Place another sheet of plastic wrap on top of Dough. Roll Dough out into 9-inch square between sheets of plastic wrap. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap, invert Dough onto prepared baking sheet, and remove remaining sheet of plastic wrap. Spread almond mixture over Dough square, then top with 4 rows of overlapping apple slices, covering entire surface of galette. Bake 45 minutes, or until crust is golden. 5. Warm jam in small saucepan over low heat until melted. Strain through fine mesh strainer into small dish. 6. Cool galette 5 minutes, then brush with jam. Cut into 9 squares.

Sambal Oelek Seitan Wings

August 12 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Wings: Combine 3/­­4 cup broth and soy sauce in small bowl; set aside. 2. Stir together vital wheat gluten, 2 Tbs. flour, 1/­­4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/­­4 tsp. onion powder, poultry seasoning, and pepper in bowl. Stir in broth mixture until soft dough comes together. Transfer to flour-dusted work surface, dust top with flour, and flatten to 9- x 4-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half lengthwise, then cut each piece crosswise into 12 short strips. 3. Bring remaining 4 cups broth, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. onion powder, and sambal oelek to a boil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add seitan pieces, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes. Drain seitan pieces, and cool. (Discard or reserve broth for another use.) 4. To make Sauce: bring all ingredients to a simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat, and set aside. 5. Combine 1 tsp. Sauce with vegetable oil in medium bowl. Add seitan pieces, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1/­­2 cup flour, and toss until all pieces are coated with flour. 6. Preheat oven to broil. Lay seitan pieces in single layer on baking sheet. Broil 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned and crisp-looking, turning once. 7. Transfer hot seitan pieces to bowl, and toss with Sauce.  

Japanese Cucumber and Wakame Salad

August 11 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Cover wakame with hot water, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes. 2. Place cucumber slices in colander, sprinkle with salt, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Cover cucumber slices with clean tea towel, and press down on cucumbers in colander to drain excess liquid. 3. Drain wakame, and transfer to medium bowl. Add cucumbers, vinegar, and sugar; mix well. Marinate 30 minutes or more, stirring several times. 4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds just before serving.

Chickpea Succotash with Lemongrass

August 11 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Tim and discard tough base and skinny top leaves of lemongrass stalks, then peel away tough outer layers. Crush inner white stems with mallet or rolling pin, then finely chop. (You should have 1 Tbs.) Transfer to small bowl, and cover with 1/­­4 cup boiling water. Set aside. 2. Halve tomato through middle, and scoop seeds into strainer set over bowl. Press juice from seeds, then discard seeds. Set juice aside, and dice tomato flesh. (You should have 2 cups.) 3. Heat oil in large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add squash, ginger, and garlic, and sauté 3 minutes without browning. Stir in chickpeas, corn, diced tomato, lemongrass with liquid, and tomato juice, and season with salt and pepper (if desired). Cover, increase heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes, or until tomatoes just begin to soften. Stir in basil.

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

August 4 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Combine all ingredients in small bowl.

Tell VT: What fruit or veggie did you hate as a kid--but love now?

July 22 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Tell VT: What fruit or veggie did you hate as a kid--but love now? What fruit or veggie did you hate as a kid--but love now? Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

Dear VT: Is Parmesan Cheese Veg or Not?

July 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Dear VT: Is Parmesan Cheese Veg or Not? Readers often ask us why we use Parmesan in our recipes. Isn’t it off-limits to vegetarians? Actually, not always. Here are three handy tips for finding a veg-friendly variety (or cheesy substitute!) to sprinkle on all your eggplant Parmesan and Italian chickpea soup. 1. Avoid imported Parmesan. Chances are, it was made with animal rennet, an enzyme that helps milk separate into curds and whey. That’s because, according to EU law, Parmesan must contain just three ingredients: milk, salt, and--yup--animal rennet. Anything else, and it can’t be called Parmesan (or “Parmigiano-Reggiano,” as it’s known in Italy). 2. Check the label for animal-free rennet. Sure, Parmesan without animal rennet might not pass as the real deal abroad, but why sweat the details? You’ll know your cheese is veg if it lists “vegetable rennet” or “microbial rennet” as an ingredient. If no rennet is specified, try searching this veg-friendly cheese database. A few animal-rennet-free Parmesan options: * Organic Valley Shredded Parmesan * Trader Joe’s Grated Parmesan * Belgioioso Vegetarian Parmesan (a rare grate-it-yourself veg wedge) 3. Not into dairy? Get creative with substitutes. Make toasted breadcrumbs by sautéing fresh breadcrumbs in olive oil and seasoning with sea salt. They’ll add the same salty, satisfying crunch as Parmesan when sprinkled over pasta or stew. Or add a little cheesy-tasting nutritional yeast to popcorn, pizza, or salad (some varieties, such as the Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula, provide a great source of vitamin B12 too). Share with us: what’s your favorite veg-friendly Parmesan (or tasty substitute)?

Vegan Brunch Ideas

July 10 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Vegan Brunch Ideas   In my time as a vegan blogger, chef, and health coach, I have been asked dozens of times to share brunch recipes that would be appropriate for vegans and omnivores alike. When thinking of brunch, we often think of egg omelets, quiches, cr?pes, sausages, and fruit. For a typical American brunch, the only vegan item I can think of is the fresh fruit! However, a vegan brunch can be delicious, filling, and inviting too. Here are my tips for switching out the animal products to create an impressive vegan brunch. 1. Veganize your traditional recipes. There are hundreds of vegan alternatives to animal-based ingredients. One of my favorite brunch dishes is quiche. How can you possibly make it without the eggs? Replace them with tofu. The texture is spot on, and with the right spices, youve got the tastiest quiche ever. Other replacements include: ? Ground chia or flax for eggs in crepes, pancakes, muffins, and waffles. One tablespoon of ground chia or flax stirred into 3 tablespoons of warm water will thicken up and become the equivalent of one egg. ? Tempeh bacon instead of pork or turkey bacon. Its full of flavor and nutrition. You can also make amazing vegan bacon with shiitake mushrooms, coconut pieces, and eggplant. ? Dont miss out on those buttery biscuits! Replace cows’ milk butter with Earth Balance. Its great for baking and spreading. ? Soymilk plus a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar becomes an excellent buttermilk substitute. It’s perfect for biscuits or pancakes. ? Field Roast breakfast and apple-sage sausages are a great animal-free alternative. Ive served these to countless meat eaters, and they all love them! 2. Celebrate the fresh green produce of spring and summer by serving salads at brunch. My favorite brunch veggies are arugula, baby kale, beets, asparagus, and broccoli. The possibilities are endless, and the result is a table full of nourished and happy guests. 3. Keep it simple. If you arent accustomed to making a vegan brunch, dont try to make too many recipes at once. Choose a few that seem easy to make, yet are fabulous crowd pleasers. I usually serve a colorful salad, a savory dish, a sweet dish (like cr?pes), fresh fruit, and, of course, mimosas.   —— 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.

Movie on a Mission: Bringing It Home

June 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: Bringing It Home Photo courtesy Bullfrog Films   I like to buy products with homegrown raw materials when I can, and its nice when U.S. authorities help not hinder that from happening. Im thinking hemp oil, hemp milk, hemp apparel, and (if I ever build my dream house) Hempcrete. Hemp raw materials have to be imported, because a special DEA permit is required to grow the crop. Why? The DEA classifies industrial hemp with marijuana as a Substance I narcotic, though hemp contains at most 0.3 percent of the active ingredient THC--the chemical in pot that gets a person high--a trace amount that wont even cause you to fail a drug test, points out Linda Booker, producer, director, and editor of the documentary Bringing It Home: Industrial Hemp, Healthy Houses, and a Greener Future for America. Here, Booker answers questions about hemps benefits and the movement to allow U.S. farmers to grow it.   One of the films title cards reads, Save a fish. Eat more hemp. Please explain. In the film, John Roulac, CEO of Nutiva, talks about the depletion of fish from our oceans and hemp as a great alternative, providing high-quality plant protein and the essential fatty acid omega-3, for which many people eat fish or take fish oil capsules. Hemp actually has the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.   Arent farmers a powerful political bloc in the U.S.? Whats keeping them from lobbying to legalize hemp farming? Many farm organizations have passed resolutions in support of industrial hemp, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, The National Grange, and The National Farmers Union. But these organizations and farmers are dealing with a lot when it comes to lobbying. This is where more education and advocacy could help. U.S. farmers need to know that the market and demand are growing and that they could tap into a moneymaking, low-impact crop once barriers are removed to farming it. Farmers are smart enough not to go out and plant a huge field of anything unless theres a market or contract in hand for it. Hemp is not a miracle crop, despite what many advocates say. We learned a lot from Canadian farmers we spoke with, about there being a learning curve when it comes to the varieties that work best for a given climate; also, its challenge to harvest the long, tough fibers, and the seeds have to be stored in controlled conditions. But the U.S. is just in the research stage now; last year, the first crop since 1957 was grown in Colorado.   What benefit do you see from the amendment to the recent Farm Bill, allowing hemp research crops in select states? Its a huge breakthrough to finally allow some states that have passed hemp legislation to begin research--15 to date. A big benefit has been media coverage: the more that industrial hemp is discussed in the papers, online, and on the [network and cable] news, the more education is happening for the public and policymakers. For most people, its a no-brainer. The DEA and law enforcement groups have been putting up the biggest fight against it. But now their policy is being questioned. Their recent attempt to hold up [in Customs] hemp seeds imported for research in Kentucky and the resulting lawsuit against them by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture really got the medias attention.   Whats the latest on proposed legislation to redefine industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana? Two stand-alone industrial hemp bills have been introduced in the 113th Congress so far. H.R. 525, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, currently has 49 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. The Senate companion bill S. 359 is where more support is needed to increase the chance of a hearing. On the state level this past year, its been incredible to see legislation introduced and passed. So far in the 2014 legislative session, industrial hemp legislation has been introduced or carried in 25 states.   Theres evidence of growing public support in the U.S. for legalizing marijuana use. Do you see an impact on efforts to legalize the hemp crop? Certainly as marijuana is more and more widely accepted and legalized, it’s helped open the door wider for a dialogue about hemp farming. And in Colorado, they were together on the same bill that passed last year, though in most states its a single-policy issue. To me, the irony is that the drug variety of Cannabis sativa has gotten so much more support and media attention and made more progress than industrial hemp, which can be used to produce thousands of sustainable products and feed, house, and clothe people all over the world.    

Fresh Corn and Tomatillo Salsa

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Place tomatillos in small glass bowl, cover, and microwave 2 minutes on high power, or until softened and saucy. Spread in pie dish. Transfer to freezer for 10 minutes to cool quickly. 2. Coat large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Add corn, and sauté 2 minutes, or until corn is crisp-tender. Spread out on large plate. Transfer to freezer 10 minutes to cool quickly. 3. Combine cilantro, jalape?o, and lime juice in medium bowl. Mix in tomatillo sauce and corn. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Herbed Macadamia-Almond Cheese

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Cheese Base: Soak macadamia nuts and almonds in filtered water 6 to 8 hours. Drain. 2. Blend soaked nuts with 1 cup ?fresh filtered water and probiotic powder in high-speed blender until smooth and creamy, adding more water if necessary. 3. Line small colander with damp cheesecloth, allowing several inches of cloth to drape over sides. Set colander over dish to catch liquid, and pour creamy nut mixture into cheesecloth. 4. Fold excess cheesecloth over top of nut mixture, and place in a warm (not hot) location to ferment. After 2 hours, place a can or cup filled with grains or seeds on top of cheese bundle to help press out excess liquid. Let ferment 8 to 12 hours more; check every 2 to 3 hours, and drain off excess liquid collecting in dish. 5. Transfer Cheese Base to bowl, and stir in all Add-Ins. Cover, and store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Ricotta Crostini with Blueberry-Black Pepper Jam

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Jam: Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan, and smash berries with back of fork (mixture will still be chunky). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until mostly thickened but still slightly juicy. Cool, then refrigerate until ready to use. 2. To make Crostini: Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange baguette slices on baking sheet, and toast 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. 3. Meanwhile, purée ricotta and oil in food processor until smooth. Add lemon zest and salt, and pulse until combined. 4. Spread each warm baguette slice with 1 Tbs. ricotta mixture, then top with 2 tsp. Jam, and garnish with lemon zest.

Chilled Heirloom Tomato Soup

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Halve large tomatoes; scoop out seeds and juicy interior over bowl. Pour and press seeds through fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth over bowl to extract juice. Discard seeds, and set juice aside. Chop remaining tomato shells, and set aside. 2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in cumin seeds, tomato paste, and sriracha, then add bell pepper and chopped tomatoes. Simmer 5 to 6 minutes. Cool. 3. Transfer mixture to blender. Add reserved tomato juice, lime juice, coconut water, and coconut milk, and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, ?if desired, and chill. 4. To serve, pour soup into small cups, lightly drizzle with coconut milk, and garnish with cherry tomatoes.

Grilled Tostones with Black Bean and Corn Relish

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Relish: Combine all ingredients except corn in medium ?bowl, and season with salt and pepper, ?if desired. Set aside to marinate while preparing Tostones. 2. To make Tostones: Preheat grill or grill pan over medium heat. Combine ?chili powder, granulated garlic, and salt (if using) in small bowl. 3. Brush plantains and corn with 2 Tbs. oil, and place on hot grill. Cook, covered, 3 to 5 minutes, or until corn begins to turn dark brown in places. Remove corn to plate; flip plantains, ?and cook 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer plantains to large baking sheet. 4. Flatten plantain slices with large, heavy drinking glass dipped in water. Brush plantains with remaining 2 Tbs. oil, and return to grill. Sprinkle with chili powder mixture. Grill Tostones 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned and crispy. Transfer Tostones to serving platter. 5. Slice kernels off corncob, and stir kernels into Relish. Top each Tostone with 2 Tbs. Relish.

Blueberry and Dark Chocolate Scones 

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat large baking sheet with cooking spray. 2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Work in butter using your fingertips until only small crumbs remain in mixture. 3. Whisk together milk, egg yolks, and vanilla in medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet, and mix just until incorporated (mixture will be crumbly). Gently stir in chocolate chips and blueberries. Gather dough into ball. 4. Transfer dough to floured work surface, and press into 3/­­4-inch-thick disk. Dust knife with flour, then cut dough into 8 equal wedges. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, and brush tops lightly with milk. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and bottom.

Chocolate-Pistachio Tartlets with Summer Fruit

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Grind gingersnaps and 1 cup pistachios into crumbs in food processor. Add dates, and process to combine. (Mixture should stick together easily when pinched between two fingers; if too dry, mix in water 1/­­2 tsp. at a time.) 2. Spoon about 1/­­2 cup crust mixture into 4-inch tartlet mold with removable bottom, and press evenly onto bottom and side surfaces. Repeat with remaining mixture and more tart molds to form 8 tartlet shells. 3. Warm yogurt in medium saucepan 2 to 3 minutes over medium-low heat, or until hot. Remove from heat, and whisk in chocolate chips until melted. Add Grand Marnier (if using), and whisk until very smooth. Fill tartlet shells with chocolate mixture, and refrigerate at least 1 hour. 4. Carefully remove tartlets from molds, and transfer to serving plates. Garnish each tartlet with 1/­­2 cup fruit and sprinkle of chopped pistachios, and drizzle with liquid sweetener, if using.

Grill-Roasted Apples with Candied Ginger

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat grill over medium heat. 2. Core apples from stem down, leaving bottoms of apples intact. 3. Set out 4 heavy-duty foil squares shiny side down, and place 1 apple on each piece of foil, cored side up. Spoon 1 tsp. water into center of each apple, then fill each apple with 1 tsp. apricot jam, 1/­­2 tsp. candied ginger, and 1/­­4 tsp. butter. Finish filling each apple with 1 additional tsp. jam. 4. Wrap apples tightly in foil, folding edges over cored opening for easy access. Grill apples 20 minutes, or ?until soft inside, turning three or four times during grilling. (Avoid turning upside down.) Remove from grill to cool 5 minutes. 5. Heat remaining 1/­­2 cup jam, 2 Tbs. candied ginger, 1 Tbs. butter, and 1/­­4 cup water in saucepan. Simmer 1 minute. 6. To serve: Carefully remove foil from around apples, and gently squeeze apples to enlarge top opening (like a baked potato). Scoop 1/­­4 cup ice cream into each apple, and drizzle with warm sauce.

4 Ways to Sneak More Greens into Your Diet

June 19 2014 Vegetarian Times 

4 Ways to Sneak More Greens into Your Diet Let me guess, you know you should be eating more greens, but you dont know how. I completely understand. I occasionally find myself eating grains, beans, and starchy vegetables for days straight because I just dont feel like eating a salad or sautéed greens. Here are four foolproof ways to sneak more greens into your diet: 1. Add greens to your favorite foods. Leafy greens and other non-starchy green veggies such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage can easily be added to almost any meal without sacrificing flavor. I add kale, collards, broccoli, and spinach to my favorite noodle- and grain-based dishes. The greens add nutrition, texture, flavor, and a beautiful burst of color to otherwise monotone meals. Greens can also be added to smoothies, burritos, tacos, and casseroles. 2. Snack on green veggies all day long. Believe it or not greens make delicious and satisfying snack foods. My favorite green snacks are kale chips (homemade or store bought), roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and raw collard leaves dipped in hummus. Crowd out your current snack foods with green veggies, and youll notice you have more energy throughout the day. 3. Stock up on frozen greens. Frozen vegetables are flash frozen at their peak freshness and retain a great deal of their nutrition, often more than fresh veggies that are shipped long distances. Frozen veggies are also a lot easier to prepare than fresh because you dont have to go through the trouble of cleaning and chopping them. And, you can keep them on hand at all times without worrying about them going limp before getting put to good use. Sure, the texture of frozen veggies doesnt quite compare to fresh, but theyre the next best thing. 4. Drink your greens. Juicing green vegetables removes the fiber and leaves you with vitamins and enzymes that are easily absorbed into your bloodstream. Purchase a good juicer to make your own juice concoctions, or pick up a green juice at your local juice bar. Make sure the juice is raw, as pasteurization kills beneficial nutrients. Smoothies are different from juice because they are blended and retain all of their fiber. Theyre more filling than juices, and a particularly great choice for breakfast.

Bell Pepper, Olive, and Arugula Salsa

June 11 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat oil and fennel seeds in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add bell peppers. Sauté 3 to 4 minutes, or until peppers just begin to soften. 2. Scrape bell peppers and oil into medium bowl. Mix in olives. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes for flavors to meld, stirring occasionally. Add arugula, and toss until arugula is slightly wilted.

Summer Foods to Keep You Cool

June 4 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Summer Foods to Keep You Cool   Ever notice how the seasons harvest supplies us with the foods that seem right for our bodies at that time? In the autumn and winter, there’s an abundance of  hearty, warming roots. In the summer, their is a bounty of juicy fruit and veggies to help us stay cool and hydrated. Air conditioning is great, and so is ice cold water, but to truly stay cool all summer long, fill your plate with these refreshing summer foods. Watermelon A summer without the juicy red flesh of my favorite fruit would not be as sweet, or as cool. Watermelon is about 91 percent water and is bursting with heart-healthy lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium. Watermelon is delicious on its own, or it can easily be added to smoothies and fruit salads. Cucumber Coming from the same family as the watermelon, cucumber is another delicious cooling food. It is a fantastic source of Vitamin K, an anti-inflammatory compound, and many antioxidants. As the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world, cucumbers are an extremely common, yet unvalued food. They are fantastic in smoothies, gazpachos, veggie sushi, salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Radish Spicy as these little roots are, radishes are a terrific cooling food. In Eastern medicine radishes are known to help reduce built up of body heat and to aid in digestion. They contain potassium, and other replenishing minerals. Radishes come in many different varieties, and are delicious sliced or shredded into salads, or on sandwiches. Dark Leafy Greens This superfood vegetable should be on your menu every day. Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, chard and mustard greens are full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, protein, and fiber. They are fill you up without weighing you down, and contain high-quality H2O to help replenish electrolytes lost in the summer heat. Greens are versatile and can be used in salads, juices, and smoothies. For ultimate summer hydration, consume them raw. Strawberries Get them while theyre in season! Luscious, juicy strawberries are about 92 percent water. They are an amazing source of vitamin C, and they help to support healthy blood sugar levels. Strawberries are often grown with a lot of pesticides, so choose organic strawberries when possible. Of course strawberries are delicious by themselves, but they also make tasty additions to cereals, salads, and dressings.

Veg Celeb: Dylan Gelula

May 31 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Dylan Gelula Photography by Bryony Shearmur    Summers not just for reruns anymore, its a TV season all its own. Actress Dylan Gelula can be seen in two new series launching in June: TV Lands Jennifer Falls, debuting June 4, and ABC Familys Chasing Life, starting June 10. Gelulas been meat-free for most of her 20 years.   Youve been meat-free since age 5. How did that happen? It was Thanksgiving. I asked my mom what turkey was made out of; the answer was revelatory. I was vegetarian from then on out. Three years ago, I cut out all animal products entirely, for health and moral concerns.   Are you the only one in your family whos vegan? After seeing my success, my mom decided to go vegan as well. Shes from Tennessee; it goes against everything she was raised to believe about bacon fat, but she loves it. Other than that, Im surrounded by meat eaters. My boyfriend is omnivorous, but I dont kiss him immediately after he eats a burger, so its fine.   What food are you into lately? How do you like it prepared? Hempseed! I toast a piece of good bread, put some avocado slices on it, and then lemon juice and hempseeds. Mmm.   Whats surprised you most about being in the cast of a TV series? Im awed by the energy given in service of a project thats bigger than us. It feels like so many people working tirelessly to put on a show, and thats inspiring.

TELL VT: What do you make for dinner when it’s too hot to cook?

May 27 2014 Vegetarian Times 

TELL VT: What do you make for dinner when it’s too hot to cook? What do you make for dinner when its too hot to cook? The Fattoush Salad pictured above is a VT staff favorite when the weather is warm. Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

Digging into Community Gardens

May 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Digging into Community Gardens Photo courtesy of The Edible Garden Project Its official--spring has sprung and summer is knocking on the door. The birds are chirping, the breeze is swaying, and all around the country people are donning thick gloves and floppy hats to partake in one of natures greatest recreational activities: gardening. Don’t have your own backyard to do your digging? No problem. There are plenty of reasons to “dig” community gardens. The American Community Garden Association describes the community garden as catalyst for neighborhood and community development, stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, beautifying neighborhoods, producing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, conserving resources and creating opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone. A community garden, by the loosest definition, is any large plot of land maintained by a group of people with a common interest in planting. The idea sprouted during World War II, when families were encouraged to grow “victory gardens” and use the produce to supplement dwindling governmental food rations. A few wives decided to plant their gardens side by side to gossip while they weeded--and voila!--community gardens were born. While there are still many community gardens comprised of individually owned plots (the one in my Chicago suburb, for example), the concept has expanded to include urban beautification projects and ecological activism. All over New York youll find rooftops, parking lots, and sidewalk beds repurposed into cabbage patches and floral arrays. Beyond improving an eyesore, the projects often have social objectives, like providing an educational after-school activity for inner city youth or growing herbs for a nearby soup kitchen. Even those who garden for the sheer pleasure of gardening are doing a lot of good, both for their psyche and their environment. So its no wonder that there are more than 5,000 community gardens in the U.S., according to the ACGAs latest estimates. But what if your city doesnt have one? Starting a community garden can take a lot of effort in terms of coordinating with local government and organizing volunteers, but once the seeds are planted the benefits will be well worth the labor. The ACGA Web site has a ton of helpful resources, such as a sample land use agreement for the garden organizer and the property owner and a set of garden rules for volunteers, in addition to planting tips. If youre going with the plot model, it can be helpful to register participants online or on paper at a community event. Some organizers who have more demand for plots than they have space will hold lotteries to distribute the plots that they have. Whether youre looking for a volunteer opportunity or just a reason to get outside, community gardening is a great way to shake up your spring routine. So grab a trowel, make some friends, and dig in!

VT VIDEO: LA Vegan Beer & Food Fest

May 20 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Vegetarian Times teams up with the Healthy Voyager, Carolyn Scott, to cover the 2014 Los Angeles Vegan Beer & Food Fest on the famed Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, California. Check out this year’s line-up of vegan grub, brews, and more!

Q & A with Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary

May 14 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Q & A with Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary photo credit: Farm Sanctuary   As the president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s largest farm animal rescue and protection organization, Gene Baur seizes every opportunity to raise awareness and understanding about the effects of factory farming and the cheap food system in our country. Marathon running has given him a new outlet for his energy and a unique way to advocate for animals. We caught up with Baur shortly after he finished the Boston Marathon.   What compelled you to switch from casual running to marathons? I had been a runner for decades, and fellow runners supportive of Farm Sanctuary started sending me information about organized races. I signed up for my first official half marathon in 2009 and was encouraged by the experience. I met my girlfriend, a triathlete, in 2011, and she was training to run the Marine Corps marathon in Washington, D.C., later that year. We ran together and I decided to sign up for the Rock-n-Roll marathon in D.C. the following spring. My girlfriend gave me a training program, which I followed, and I completed my first marathon in around 3 hours, 28 minutes.   What has your experience been finding vegan running shoes and other gear? It has been very easy finding vegan running shoes and other gear. Companies that make running shoes have been using vegan materials because they are lighter and better than leather. And, running shirts and shorts tend not to include wool, leather, or other animal products.   Where is your favorite place to run? I grew up running on trails in Griffith Park, in the Hollywood Hills above Los Angeles, and that remains my favorite place to run today. I enjoy the warm weather in Southern California and like spending time in nature amid the sprawling metropolis below.   How do you promote the animal-welfare cause through your running? As a long-time vegan, I like to demonstrate that vegan foods can support significant athletic feats, and I share nutritional information about the efficacy of plant foods with fellow athletes. One of the best ways to promote animal welfare is to not eat animals, and thankfully, plant-based foods are loaded with everything a human body needs to thrive. In addition to marathons, I’ve completed a number of triathlons, including an Ironman, which entails swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and then running a 26.2-mile marathon.   Have you had any memorable conversations with other runners about veganism or Farm Sanctuary? I have had numerous conversations with runners about veganism, and about Farm Sanctuary. Runners seem interested in living healthy, mindful lives. Most conversations happen before or after races, but some happen during races too. Approaching the 20-mile mark during the LA Marathon in 2013, I was running with the 3:25 pace group. The group leader noticed my shirt, which had a picture of a cow on the front and “Go Vegan” on the back. He told me how he went vegetarian after looking into the eyes of a cow and connecting with her.    

Tofu and Banana Cheesecake

May 14 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Biscuit Base: Process biscuits and chocolate chips in food processor until finely chopped. Add margarine, and pulse until combined. 2. Press Biscuit Base in bottom of 10-inch springform pan, packing down with back of hand. 3. To make Filling: Bring maple syrup, apple juice, sugar, and agar powder ?to a boil in large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer ?10 minutes, stirring often. 4. Transfer mixture to blender, add tofu and creamed coconut, and blend until smooth. 5. Slice bananas, and place over Biscuit Base. Pour tofu mixture over top. Chill until set. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Aubergine Schnitzel

May 14 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Pesto: Pulse basil, pine nuts, and garlic in blender or food processor until finely chopped. Add olive oil and lemon juice, and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and set aside. 2. To make Schnitzel: Preheat oven to broil. Broil bell peppers on baking sheet 30 minutes, or until blackened all over, turning every 10 minutes. Cool, then peel. Seed each bell pepper, and cut into 4 strips. 3. Reduce oven heat to 325°F. Spread panko on baking sheet, and toast 7 to 8 minutes in oven, or until light brown. Cool, and transfer to plate. 4. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with olive oil. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill eggplant 2 minutes per side, working in batches. Transfer to plate to cool. 5. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk eggs in wide, shallow bowl. Spread flour on large plate. 6. To assemble Schnitzel: Place 4 grilled eggplant slices on parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread each with 2 Tbs. Pesto. Top each with 1 strip broiled bell pepper, 2 to 3 tomato slices, 2 Tbs. cheese, and a second eggplant slice, seasoning with salt and pepper, if desired, between layers. Repeat layering, ending with a third eggplant slice. 7. Coat each Schnitzel in flour, then beaten egg, then panko breadcrumbs, ?and return to prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until Schnitzels are golden brown and crispy. 8. To make Lemon A?oli: Blend soymilk, lemon juice, and garlic in blender until combined. With motor running, blend in vegetable oil until mixture has the texture of mayonnaise. Season with salt, and add pepper, if desired. 9. Serve Schnitzel with Lemon A?oli.

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes

May 14 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Cook barley according to package directions. 2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes. Add okra, and sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic, and sauté 3 minutes, or until tomatoes release their juices. Stir in broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve vegetables over barley, and top with feta (if using).

Sesame-Grilled Okra with Tahini Dipping Sauce

May 14 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Soak 8 to 10 bamboo skewers in water 30 minutes. 2. To make Spice Mix: Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Set aside. 3. To make Sauce: Whisk together all ingredients plus 3 Tbs. water in medium bowl. Set aside. 4. Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Thread 4 to 6 okra pods onto each skewer, and brush with oil. Grill 4 to 6 minutes on one side, or until charred. Flip and grill 3 to 4 minutes more. Let cool slightly, and slide okra off skewers into large bowl. 5. Toss okra with lemon juice, then add Spice Mix, and toss again until ?okra is completely coated. Serve warm with Sauce.

Grilled Serrano Salsa Verde

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Combine all ingredients in bowl of food processor with 1/­­4 cup water. Blend until smooth.

Three-Pea Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Vinaigrette: Whisk together lemon juice, zest, and salt. Slowly pour in oil, and whisk until dressing is emulsified. 2. To make Salad: Have large bowl of ice water ready. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add peas and sugar snap peas, and boil 1 minute. Drain, and immediately dunk vegetables in ice-water bath. Drain well, and transfer to large bowl. 3. Add radishes and carrots to peas mixture; toss with 1/­­4 cup Vinaigrette (reserve remaining Vinaigrette for another use). Gently stir in pea shoots.

Masa Harina Cream Cheese Dough

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Combine flour, masa harina, and salt in bowl of food processor; pulse ?to combine. Add butter, and pulse 10 times. Add cream cheese, and pulse until dough comes together. 2. Shape dough into disc; cover with plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour. 3. Cut chilled dough into 4 equal pieces, and flatten into discs. Roll each disc into 1/­­8-inch-thick circle about 7 1/­­2 inches in diameter.

Tunisian Eggplant Tacos

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to broil. Place whole tomatoes and bell peppers in two separate baking dishes; broil 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until skins begin to blacken. Remove dishes from oven, cover bell peppers in dish, and cool. Remove skins, cores, and seeds from bell peppers, and cut into 1/­­2-inch pieces. Remove skins from tomatoes, and crush with hands. Reserve all juices. 2. Coat large skillet with olive oil cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Sauté eggplants 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned. Add tomatoes and bell peppers and their juices. Stir in harissa and cumin. Simmer 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens.

Poblano-Mushroom Tacos

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Coat large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until soft. 2. Add cumin, and sauté 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and poblano chile, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sauté 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated. Serve in tortillas topped with cheese.

Salsa Roja Black Bean Tacos

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Cut one-quarter of onion into 3 or 4 chunks. Chop remaining three-quarters of onion, and set aside. 2. Place medium skillet over medium-high heat. Char onion chunks, tomatoes, and garlic cloves in dry skillet 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove onion and garlic to plate while tomatoes continue ?to blacken. Break up tomatoes with wooden spoon or spatula; return onion and garlic to skillet. Add chipotle chile, adobo sauce, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Transfer to blender, and blend until smooth. 3. Wipe out skillet, and coat with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add chopped onion, cover, and cook 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add beans and salsa roja, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until thickened.

Cherry, Pistachio, and Cardamom Kefir Smoothie

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Pour milk into 16-oz. glass jar, and stir in kefir grains. Cover jar with several layers of cheesecloth or paper towels, and secure with rubber band. 2. Store jar at room temperature out of direct sunlight, and allow kefir to ferment 24 hours, or until thickened. (Healthy kefir grains will thicken milk in 24 hours, though this process may take as few as 12 hours in warmer temperatures, or as long as 48 hours in cooler temperatures.) Check kefir periodically to gauge thickness. 3. When mixture reaches desired thickness, strain kefir into glass, stirring gently until only kefir grains remain in strainer. (To keep kefir grains viable, stir into new batch of milk within 48 hours.) 4. Blend prepared kefir, cherries, pistachios, honey, and cardamom in blender until smooth and creamy.

Sparkling Lemonade

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add sugar and salt, and stir to dissolve both. Cool, then stir in lemon juice. 2. Pour juice mixture into clean 2-liter soda bottle using funnel. Top off bottle with water, leaving at least 1 inch headspace. Taste, and add more sugar if desired. (Extra sugar will dissolve on its own.) 3. Add yeast to juice mixture. Screw on cap, and shake bottle to dissolve and distribute yeast. Let bottle sit at room temperature away from sunlight 5 to 7 days, or until lemonade is carbonated. Check bottle periodically; lemonade is ready when bottle feels rock-solid with very little give. 4. Refrigerate overnight, or up to two weeks. Open bottle very slowly over ?sink to release pressure gradually and avoid bubble-ups. Store in refrigerator.

TELL VT: What’s your favorite veg-friendly vacation destination, and why?

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

    TELL VT: What’s your favorite veg-friendly vacation destination, and why? Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

Pine Nut Agrodolce with Quinoa and Zucchini

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Quinoa and Zucchini: Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Set aside. 2. To make Sauce: Bring raisins, vinegar, and 1 Tbs. water to a simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat, and set aside. 3. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pine nuts, and toast 3 minutes, or until just golden. Transfer nuts to blender along with raisin mixture, mint, parsley, garlic, cayenne pepper, and 2 Tbs. water; blend until smooth. Set aside. 4. Heat oil in skillet, then add onion, and sauté 5 minutes. Add zucchini, and sauté 5 minutes more, or until crisp-tender. Transfer to large bowl, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 5. Toss zucchini with 4 Tbs. Sauce. Add quinoa, and stir to combine. Serve warm or cold with extra Sauce on side.

Puttanesca Sauce with Fried Capers over Linguine

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add capers, and fry 1 to 2 minutes, or until many capers have split. Remove capers with slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Add onion to skillet, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, then stir in garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook 1 minute more. Stir in tomatoes, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to break down. Stir in 1/­2 cup basil and olives, and remove pan from heat. 2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/­2 cup cooking water. Add drained pasta to skillet, and toss to combine with sauce, adding some pasta water if mixture seems too thick. Serve garnished with remaining 1/­2 cup basil and capers.

Southwestern Savory Waffles

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat waffle iron. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Stir in almond milk, oil, corn, green chiles, and black beans. 2. Spray waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour 1/­2 cup batter onto waffle iron, close lid, and cook 3 minutes, or until crisp. Gently open lid, remove waffle with fork, and repeat with remaining batter. Top with sliced avocado.

Q&A with Robert Schueller of Melissa’s Produce

May 9 2014 Vegetarian Times 

You probably recognize the Melissas logo from stickers and labels on fruits and veggies youve bought. But unless youre in the food world, chances are you dont know Robert Schueller, public relations director at the largest supplier of variety produce in the U.S. Schueller is the unsung hero of photographers, food stylists, and magazine editors who know they can turn to him for urgent and last-minute produce needs. Pretty pomegranates, hard-to-find heirloom vegetables, baby squash, or Buddhas hands--if it’s needed it for a recipe or photo shoot and Melissas has it, Schueller will ship it out so it arrives in time. And hes just about the nicest and most knowledgeable person in the produce business. We talked to him for a behind-the-scenes look at what he does, from shipping citrus branches to working on cookbooks. (Melissas fifth cookbook, The Great Pepper Cookbook, was released April 15.)   Robert Schueller, Director of Public Relations at Melissa’s   How did you get started in the specialty produce business? When I got my degree in marketing, I knew I was destined for the food industry. I had an interest in cooking when I was young, and I was always the person in the family that wanted to try something new. Melissas was looking for an assistant marketing director and I applied. It was my first real full-time job, and Ive been here for 18 years. In that time, the marketing department has grown from two to twelve people and my formal title now is Director of Public Relations. I kept the PR hat because a part of the job I always enjoyed was filling people in on all the exciting items we carry.   Do you love all fruits and vegetables? Well ... I probably shouldnt say this, but Im not a big fan of beets. But Ive learned to like them in smoothies.   Do you remember your first request from a magazine editor? Yes. It was my first week at Melissas and David Feder, an editor at Better Homes and Gardens called--I believe he was looking for some peaches, nectarines, or plums in December. David and I have become very good friends. We talk about the story all the time! [David remembers it differently. He gave his version of the story while we were fact-checking: In fact, it was July 95 and I was the new (and first male) food and nutrition editor at Better Homes and Gardens. We had to do a rush photo shoot for the November issue and I needed pomegranates in July. As a former high-end chef, I knew to call Melissas. They patched me through to Robert who within hours sent off, free of charge, probably the last three fresh pomegranates in the U.S. They were gorgeous, worked out perfectly for the shoot, and when I called Robert to thank him, I commented that his years of experience doing this sort of thing really showed. Thats when he told me hed only been on the job three weeks and was all of 22 years old!]   Whats the most common request you get from magazines? Generally, its something not in season, since most magazines work six months or more ahead. Theres always a crisis in March and everybody needs cherries. Its impossible. In June everybody needs pumpkins. Again, impossible. At one time everybody needed pomegranates in May/­­June and it was impossible, but its been such a big produce item in past years, its not impossible anymore. But Im still plagued with trying to get pumpkins in June and cherries in March!   Do you ever get frustrated by your PR duties? No, the fact of the matter is that the produce industry is not a controversial subject. I dont get the food-scare calls. I feel bad for any publicity director who runs into that situation. But its all happy flowers and good stories and trends in the marketplace to talk about for me. There has only been one instance in the last 18 years that Ive gotten really upset. A food editor needed some fruit tree branches for a photo shoot. I said yes, Id send them, but I let her know that the weather had been rainy and it was the off season, so the branches werent in top form. After she got them, she called me all bent out of shape, saying the branches were terrible and she couldnt believe I was billing her magazine for them. The thing is, I always send produce for free. I explained that to her ... and then I didnt hear back. I didnt think I would ever hear from her again. Much later, I got a call from her asking for something, like that previous exchange never happened. I thought for a moment that I shouldnt take her call. But then, I decided to get past it and see the bigger picture. The bigger picture is always to get America to eat more produce.   What are some of the produce trends you see for 2014? Theres a huge trend for different colored varieties of vegetables like rainbow chard; rainbow carrots; and orange, green, and purple cauliflower. Theres also a significant trend in peppers. (No, Im not trying to endorse our new book!) Some of the most popular new peppers are fresh Hatch chiles, which are only available in August and September, from New Mexico. Hatch chiles are the only chiles you can get in mild, medium, hot, and extra hot. No other chile does that!     Speaking of the cookbook, did you ever think youd be involved in writing cookbooks? Never! I never planned to do it--I just happened to be encouraged to do it. I dont actually write the books, but my information is there in first 19 pages of the pepper cookbook.   Whats next for you in the cookbook world? Well, we do have another book moving forward really soon. We have a two-book deal with our publisher, Oxmoor House, and Im really happy b