Vegetarian Times - vegetarian recipes

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Katori chaat recipe | chaat katori recipe | how to make tokri chaat

Broccoli Strascinati with Raisins & Nuts

Vegan Cheesy Crackers

Curried Tofu Hash with Cilantro Fried Rice










Vegetarian Times vegetarian recipes

How to Clean Cast-Iron Without Water

April 4 2017 Vegetarian Times 

How to Zest Citrus Correctly

March 29 2017 Vegetarian Times 

How to Use Chia Seeds

March 21 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Cooking and Baking Without Eggs: It Works!

March 20 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Vegan Fusion: How to Peel Ginger Correctly + Hassle-Free

March 13 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Vegan on the Road

February 9 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Our favorite traveling vegan, Victoria Holder of Victoria's Creative Kitchen, proves once again that you can cook great-tasting vegan dishes anywhere you go.   

No fur hats!

January 27 2017 Vegetarian Times 

It might be cold outside, but let a vegan hat keep you warm!

Make your own Chili Oil

January 25 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Make a batch and keep it handy for drizzling over roasted vegetables or your next pizza -- it will add a nice spark of flavor!

Need a beauty boost?

January 20 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Getting enough rest is one key to looking your best--but what you eat is, of course, essential too. Our friends at BioSil explain what vegetarians need for optimal health--and beauty. Click here to find out more.

Cali'flour pizza crust to the rescue!

January 17 2017 Vegetarian Times 

This cauliflower-based pizza crust is a lifesaver for people with food restrictions.

Winter's Bounty: Fresh Sorrel

January 13 2017 Vegetarian Times 

As all of my other herbs have given up, sorrel has become my go-to winter aromatic, especially since I discovered that the more I pick it, the better it grows.

A Retreat Just For You!

January 12 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Want to get away on a retreat or vacation? Take a look at Veggie Hotels, or Vegan Welcome, which feature hotels and retreats that cater to vegetarians and vegans. We love the look of this featured spot: Apoyo Lodge in Nicaragua. 

Gut Health Tune-Up

January 10 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Research shows that our overall health starts--or stalls out--in the gut. In the spirit of the New Year, why not consider a tune-up for your digestive engine? Youll feel better, likely gain energy, reduce risks for some diseases, and probably even drop a few pounds.

Quick & Easy Party Snack: Sticky, Spicy, Salty Nuts

January 4 2017 Vegetarian Times 

Our traveling cook, Victoria Holder (of Victoria's Creative Kitchen) is on the road in Europe, but that doesn't stop her from coming up with simple and fun recipes like this one.https:/­­/­­youtu.be/­­mQxUT6POPgo

Wait - Is That Wine Really Vegetarian?

December 29 2016 Vegetarian Times 

More than 70 additives--including a handful of animal products--can be used to make and process wine. Not to worry. Heres how to find a vegetarian-friendly wine (and avoid ones that arent).

Vegan Buttermilk Rusks - Yes!

December 21 2016 Vegetarian Times 

British vegan food photographer Michael Kitson, 22, shows off how good vegan food can be -- like this recipe for Vegan Buttermilk Rusks.

Eat Wheat? Yes, We Can!

December 19 2016 Vegetarian Times 

A new book by Ayuvedic expert John Douillard explains how to improve digestion health without cutting out gluten or dairy.

Russell Simmons and the Compassionate Meals Challenge

December 14 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Farm Sanctuary, which rescues abused and abandoned farm animals around the country, is teaming up with famous vegans and asking them to encourage their friends to try a vegan meal.First up: The producer Russell Simmons challenges his friend and rapper DoBoy go try the vegan way of eating. Here's how it's going... 

A French Chef Goes Vegan

December 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

We talk to Chef Xavier Bonnafous of Southern Pressed Juicery, in Greenville, South Carolina, who is known for his innovative raw and vegan creations.

Fresh Food, Fast

December 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Ayr Muir is founder and CEO of the Clover Food Lab -- a chain of restaurants in the Boston area that serves fresh vegetarian food fast.

Nut-Free Nutella Spread

December 10 2016 Vegetarian Times 

This luscious chocolate spread is made with sunflower seeds instead of hazelnuts. 1  Preheat oven to 350?F.  2  Spread sunflower seeds on baking sheet. Roast 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Cool 10 minutes, or until easy to handle. 3  Meanwhile, melt together chocolate and coconut oil in double boiler or microwave on low power. Set aside. 4  Blend warm sunflower seeds, sugar (if using), and salt in high-speed blender until a thick, smooth paste forms. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla, and blend until smooth. Transfer to jars, and cool. Store at room temperature.

Future Is Bright For Vegetarian Cookbooks

December 7 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Emilia Terragni, cookbook publisher at Phaidon Press, shares the key to success for vegetarian cookbooks.

How Much Protein Do Vegetarians Need?

December 2 2016 Vegetarian Times 

That is the burning question --watch this video to learn more.

A Cucumber Salad with a Kick

November 29 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Chef Saifon Plewtong of True Seasons Organic Kitchen shares an easy recipe that is as tasty as it is pretty!

Red Potatoes with Crispy Garlic Chips

November 28 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Garlic, black pepper, and fresh parsley bring out the sweet side of roasted potatoes. 1 Preheat oven to 425°F. Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 2 Toss potatoes with 2 Tbs. oil on prepared baking sheet, and spread in single layer. Roast 30 to 35 minutes, or until potatoes are browned and tender, turning once with spatula.  3 Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 Tbs. oil and sliced garlic in small skillet. Heat over low heat 10 to 12 minutes, or until garlic is pale brown, swirling pan occasionally. 4 Toss potatoes with garlic and oil, parsley, and pepper. Season with salt, if desired.   

Ginger-Cranberry Chutney

November 28 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Spice up your holiday spread with this chile- and ginger-laced accompaniment. 1  Drain orange segments; reserve 1/­­2 cup syrup. 2  Bring cranberries, onion, chile, and reserved syrup to a simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cover, and simmer 7 to 10 minutes, or until cranberries pop.  3  Stir in sugar, ginger, and vinegar. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in orange segments, and simmer 10 minutes more. Cool slightly, then season with salt and pepper, if desired. 

Spinach Salad with Mochi Croutons

November 28 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Crunchy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside, mochi croutons elevate a simple spinach salad to the next taste level. 1 Preheat oven to 450?F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 2 Put each mochi into 12 triangles, and toss with 2 tsp. sesame oil and 2 tsp. gomasio. Arrange mochi triangles on prepared baking sheet. Bake10 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. 3 Meanwhile, remove rind and white pith from oranges using sharp paring knife. Working over strainer set in small bowl, remove orange segments by slicing between membranes. Set segments aside and squeeze membranes into strainer to catch juice. 4 Heat remaining 1 tsp. sesame oil in small saucepan over low heat. Stir in garlic and ginger, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and beginning to brown. Add miso, honey, and orange juice, and whisk to combine. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth and slightly thickened. Remove from heat, and keep warm. 5 Combine spinach, broccoli, edamame, onion, remaining 2 tsp gomasio, and 1/­­4 cup dressing in large bowl. Top with mochi croutons, and drizzle with remaining dressing

Crispy Harissa Cauliflower

November 28 2016 Vegetarian Times 

These flavor-packed cauliflower pieces are great served on toothpicks as an appetizer. 1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  2 Whisk together flour, pinch of salt, and 3/­­4 cup water in medium bowl. Add cauliflower, and toss until florets are coated with mixture. Transfer to colander to let excess flour mixture drip off. 3 Spread cauliflower flat on prepared baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes. 4 Meanwhile, heat 2 inches cooking oil in large pot over medium heat until instant-read thermometer reaches 325?F.  5 Grind paprika, chili flakes, caraway, coriander, and cumin in spice grinder or coffee grinder, and transfer to small saucepan. Add margarine and agave nectar, and warm over low heat until margarine is melted.  6 Fry baked cauliflower pieces in hot oil 2 to 4 minutes, or until they start to brown. Transfer to bowl with slotted spoon, and toss with butter-and-spice mixture. Add peanuts, and toss again. 

Turmeric-Dusted Popcorn with Parsley Oil

November 28 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Think of this recipe as a healthy alternative to cheese curls. 1 Heat vegetable oil in 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Add 4 popcorn kernels, and cover pan; when kernels pop, add remaining kernels and re-cover. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until intervals between pops slow to 2 to 3 seconds, shaking occasionally. Transfer popcorn to large bowl. 2 Off heat, warm olive oil in still-hot saucepan. Add parsley, and stir to combine, then use a spatula to pour parsley oil over popcorn. Toss to distribute, then add turmeric, and season with salt, if desired. 

Rich and Creamy Hot-Chocolate Mix

November 28 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Dark brown sugar and real vanilla bean heighten the complex flavors of dark chocolate in this decadent beverage mix.  1  Combine first 5 ingredients in food processor. Scrape seeds from vanilla-bean halves with small, sharp knife. Add seeds to processor. Blend mixture in six 10-second intervals, or until chocolate is finely ground, rapping sides of work bowl with wooden spoon between pulses to settle ingredients.  2  Transfer mixture to 3-cup jar; add vanilla-bean-pod halves. Seal and store at room temperature. 3  To prepare Hot Chocolate: Bring 1 cup milk or nondairy milk and 1/­­4 cup Hot-Chocolate Mix to a low boil, whisking often to blend. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently 45 seconds, or until thickened and smooth, whisking constantly.  

Roasted-Mushroom Gravy

November 24 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1  Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms; season with salt, if desired, and sauté 2 minutes, or until softened. Add shallots, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste, and cook 1 minute, or until tomato paste starts to brown. Add flour and 2 Tbs. butter, and cook 1 minute more. 2  Deglaze pan with wine, and increase heat to high. Boil 2 minutes, or until liquid is reduced and has thickened. Stir in broth, thyme, and parsley, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer sauce 12 minutes, or until it coats the back of spoon, stirring occasionally.  3  Remove from heat, and whisk in remaining 1 Tbs. butter and truffle oil, if using. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Smoky Vegetable and Wheat Berry Stew

November 21 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Wheat berries and dried white beans are cooked directly within this long-simmering soup. 1 Soak white beans in medium bowl of cold water overnight. Drain, and set aside.  2 Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven on medium-high. Add leek, carrot, and celery, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until vegetables are brown around edges. Add garlic and smoked paprika, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth or water, tomatoes, wheat berries, soaked beans, and sage, if using. 3 Bring to a boil, then cover pan almost completely and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 1 hour, or until wheat berries and beans are tender, adding stock or water if soup becomes too thick. Stir in chard and parsley, and cook 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 

Make your own pumpkin purée!

November 17 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Like the looks of this Chocolate-Crusted Pumpkin Pie? Learn how easy it is to make it with your own pumpkin purée here!

Golden Milk -- a nourishing drink

November 14 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Creamy, rich and naturally sweet, Golden Milk is a drink to sip and savor. SPONSORED BY GAIA HERBS.

Make a Sweet Treat

November 14 2016 Vegetarian Times 

You'll love this spicy chocolate crackle. SPONSORED BY GAIA HERBS

Ratatouille Turnovers

November 14 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 2 Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add eggplant, Italian seasoning, salt, and chili flakes, and sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini, and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in tomato, tomato paste, and vinegar. Reduce heat to medium and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until all liquid has evaporated. 3 Transfer vegetables to medium bowl, and cool 30 minutes. Stir in cheese. 4 Place puff-pastry sheets on lightly floured work surface, and gently roll with rolling pin to make two squares. Cut each pastry sheet into 9 squares. Spoon 1 Tbs. filling into center of each square. 5 Working with one square at a time, pull all four corners up to meet in the center and pinch together to make pyramid. Repeat with remaining squares and filling. 6 Whisk egg with 1 Tbs. water in small bowl. Brush each pyramid lightly with the egg wash. Transfer pyramids to prepared baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Get your vitamin D!

November 8 2016 Vegetarian Times 

A new review from University of Warwick shows that a deficiency in vitamin D is linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer--just add this to the list of reasons why the vitamin is critical to health. Click here to find out how much vitamin D you need every day, plus the best sources for vegetarians.

Create a Happy Thanksgiving Table

November 2 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Are your guests going to insist on very different foods at Thanksgiving? Make them all happy with a little planning, says the author of Vegan, Vegetarian, Omnivore: Dinner for everyone at the table. 

Supplement Smarts: Black Cohosh for Menopause Symptoms

October 21 2016 Vegetarian Times 

A Cruelty-Free Holiday Gift Shopping Guide

October 20 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Chili-Stuffed Enchiladas with Roasted-Mushroom Sauce

October 18 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Place 9-inch cast-iron skillet in oven; preheat oven to 400?F. 2 Remove skillet from oven, and combine mushrooms, 1/­­4 cup green onions, oil, cumin, and coriander in skillet. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Roast 10 minutes, stir, return to oven, and roast 5 minutes more. Reduce oven to 350?F and remove skillet. Stir 3/­­4 cup crushed tomatoes and broth into mushrooms, scraping skillet to incorporate any browned bits, and return to oven 5 minutes, until heated through and saucy. Transfer mushroom sauce to small bowl, and keep warm. Wipe out skillet, and coat with cooking spray. 3 Combine chili with 1/­­2 cup shredded cheddar, 1/­­4 cup queso fresco, 1/­­4 cup green onions, remaining 1/­­4 cup crushed tomatoes, and chili powder in medium bowl. Season with salt, if desired. 4 Working one at a time, brush both sides of tortilla with liquid from mushroom sauce. Spoon 1/­­4 cup chili mixture into center of each tortilla and roll tightly. Place seam-side down in same skillet. Repeat, forming eight enchiladas. Pour mushroom sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining 1/­­4 cup cheddar cheese. Bake 25 minutes. Garnish with remaining 1/­­4 cup green onions and remaining 1/­­4 cup queso fresco, plus fresh, diced tomatoes and sliced avocado.

Green Beans Amandine

October 18 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1  Blanch beans in large pot of boiling, salted water 4 to 6 minutes, or until bright green and just tender. Transfer to bowl of ice water to stop cooking, and drain once cold. 2  Melt butter in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shallots, and cook 4 minutes, or until golden, stirring frequently. Add beans; cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, then toss with almonds.

Essential Vegan Foods To Bring While Traveling

June 6 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Essential Vegan Foods To Bring While Traveling We asked best-selling cookbook author and passionate vegan chef Julie Morris to give us her best tips for traveling as a vegan. Were thrilled to partner with Julie on our exciting new online course, Go Vegan! 30 Days to a Plant-Based Lifestyle. This intensive, interactive course features vegan cooking skills, tips on getting proper nutrition and thriving on a vegan lifestyle, and more than 70 recipes for a vegan meal plan to get you started. Check it out now. TWV, or Traveling While Vegan, may not be a trending hashtag acronym yet, but at the rate of increasing popularity of a vegan diet, its only a matter of time before its a well-known term! Its a situation I understand well. I travel a good bit for my job, and remember the anxiety I faced during my early days as a vegan when it came time to hit the road. Although enjoying a vegan diet has always been easy within the security of my own kitchen, a different city (or country) doesnt always offer the same safety net of healthy plant-based options. Dont get me wrong -- theres a surprising amount of vegan food in the world to enjoy (hint: most of the time its not called vegan food, its just food ... that happens to be vegan!), but for the occasions when time or patience runs out, I rely on a few things that Ive actually brought with me. Packing a light, pared-down kit of key vegan foods while traveling can make all the difference in how you feel on a trip: You wont have to compromise your energy, health, or values. Over the years Ive refined my kit into a system that covers all the fundamental vegan bases in a hyper-condensed form.  So the next time you pack a suitcase, you consider bringing a small supply of these Plan B essential vegan foods: Energy Bars: As a condensed mini-meal, an energy bar can feel like its truly saving the day. Look for varieties that contain as many natural ingredients as possible, or for best results (and significant financial savings), make your own! Homemade energy bars are surprisingly easy to create using a food processor, and can be cut into bars and wrapped in plastic or parchment for single servings. Pack one for each day. Something Green: Fresh green foods are a foundation of any healthy diet, but can be surprisingly difficult to find when traveling to a new city. This is where green powders or tablets can be your best energizing friend! Made out of freeze-dried nutritious greens, such as kale, broccoli, wheatgrass, or spirulina, these superfoods are hyper-concentrated (a little goes a long way). You can bring spirulina tablets (a few for each day), or single-serve packets of your favorite green powder blend to add to a bottle of water. Something Protein: While its getting easier to find great-tasting vegan meals, not every restaurant offers a good nutritional balance. Traveling with vegan protein can help satisfy cravings and allow you to be more relaxed with other meals (bonus points if it includes vitamin B12). Bring a stash of vegan protein powder that you can shake inside of a water bottle for a quick smoothie. Or just make sure the energy bars you choose are high in protein - look for 10 grams or above. Crackers & Almond Butter: While its easy to grab the sweet stuff, packing a little something savory is good for both your taste buds and your health! A box of crackers can help satisfy an unruly stomach, while a little bit of nut butter makes this snack more nutritionally balanced with healthy fats and easy-to-digest protein. Look for crackers that are made of nutrient-dense whole grains and seeds (they will be the most satisfying), as well as single-serve pouches of nut butter that are perfect for packing. A Treat: TWV is an enjoyable and easy experience 99% of the time. On the rare occasion that its not quite as epic from a delicious standpoint (hello, airplane food), having a treat you can look forward to can be a complete game-changer in your mood! Keep a small stash of one of your favorite treats, such as a go-to chocolate bar, a bag of fruit gummies, or homemade cookies. This little pick-me-up is a great reward for sticking to your values.

5 Organic + Dairy-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: Learn to Cook + Bake Without Eggs

May 17 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Cooking without eggs can be a challenge, but chef Julie Morris will share her secrets to successful vegan cooking and baking in her new online course.

5 Brain-Boosting Vegan Foods that Really Work

May 10 2016 Vegetarian Times 

5 Brain-Boosting Vegan Foods that Really Work Likely, youve heard the claim that eating foods that look like the same parts of the body theyre good for is an easy route to better heath. In the subject of mental health, that food honor goes directly to walnuts, which look amusingly similar to a human brain. Walnuts are indeed a healthy choice, but supporting the brain extends far beyond simply popping a handful of nuts ... or a pill: variety and consistency is essential. Supplements cannot replace a healthy dietary pattern, reminds Fran Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. in a recent Time article. The overall dietary pattern is more important than a single nutrient. With this in mind (Yay, pun!), here are several superfood ways to get your brain boost on, everyday: Chia Seeds | The reason why walnuts are so renowned as a brain food is thanks to their rich omega-3 fatty acid content, which is linked to helping enhance memory as well as protection against cognitive decline. While walnuts are good, chia seeds are even better. A much more condensed source of this important nutrient, with 8x the amount of EFAs found in salmon ounce per ounce, chia seeds make efficient work out of providing us with the fats we need, at a lower calorie cost to boot. Sprinkle chia on a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. and reap the rewards. Or to mix things up, you can also use another omega powerhouse, too: hemp seeds! Goji Berries | Considering the number of antioxidants in these remarkable berries, regularly consuming gojis is, quite literally, a smart habit. Although only a preliminary study, research has indicated that the lycopene in goji berries might be a promising neuro-protective agent against Alzheimers. Researchers are currently exploring goji berries as the base of future treatments, but you can enjoy them regularly by the handful, in smoothies, or tossed into your favorite breakfast bowl. Blueberries | High amounts of flavonoid antioxidants are responsible for blueberrys brain-enhancing fame, which studies have shown enhances memory as well as learning and general cognitive function. To mix things up further, you can also stock up on flavonols by eating cacao, acai, and maqui. Pumpkin Seeds | These tasty green seeds are one of natures best sources of zinc, a vitamin linked to enhancing memory and thinking skills. Enjoy pumpkin seeds by the handful, or try them mixed into seasonal soups or hearty salads, like my White Bean Pepita Salad. Cranberries | One of cranberries many unique rewards is a high concentration of ursolic acid, a compound that has shown promise in protecting brain cells from injury and degeneration, and possibly even reversing damage. To get the maximum amount of ursolic acid from these red berries, use them fresh (ideal), or sun-dried without sugar (using fruit juice to sweeten). Ill admit, there are many other great superfoods out there that work as a mental boost as well (matcha tea would be another example, and one that I personally use several times a week). What are your favorite ingredients for extra brain power?

How to Take Avocados to the Next (Vegan Superfood) Level

May 9 2016 Vegetarian Times 

How to Take Avocados to the Next (Vegan Superfood) Level Obsessed. Thats usually what follows avocados in the say the first word that comes to mind game. And I hear you: avocados are pretty awesome. Theyre also having a moment. In a time where the idea of fat has finally moved beyond being an admonished food group and onto a proudly promoted part of a healthy diet, avocado has quickly risen as a superstar, easily ranked amongst the worlds healthiest foods. Even better, avocado is delicious and highly versatile (as Im sure I dont need to convince you). Lets look at some of the ways you can boost your favorite avocado applications even further with the addition of superfoods. Avocado Toast | One look at any food-oriented Instagram feed, and youll quickly notice avocado toast is a serious thing. But why stop at just avocado? Try boosting your favorite toast with a sprinkle of hemp seeds and chia seeds for extra protein. You can also add microgreens and crumbled seaweed like nori for additional minerals and protective antioxidants. Avocado Smoothies | So, youve discovered that a chunk of avocado in a smoothie makes it unbelievably creamy, have you? What you may not know is there are certain superfoods that go exceedingly well with this type of smooth base ... in particular cacao (think chocolate pudding) and acai ( like the creamiest acai bowl youve ever had). Add either - or both - of these superfoods into your next smoothie with an avocado base and enjoy a truly deluxe superfood drink! Avocado Dips | Avocados most famous use is perhaps as a dip, in particular guacamole. The strong flavors of this easy-to-make recipe are more than just delicious - theyre a great place to tuck in other superfoods unnoticed which boost and balance nutrition, yet dont really contribute to the overall taste. Since avocado dips are already expectedly green, my favorite additions are green powders, like wheatgrass, which add the power of a big serving of leafy green vegetables in a motivatingly innocuous form. Just mix in a small scoop into your next dip and prepare to be amazed at how little you notice this uber-healthy addition. Avocado Desserts | You can use avocado in all kinds of desserts - from ice creams to baked goods - where it functions like a creamy fat (and a great butter replacement, I might add). To help mask avocados taste in this application, I like to use superfoods like maca and cacao together to create a very rich malty flavor thats extremely harmonious to the fresh richness of avocado. Plus, combining these foods together creates a seriously energizing dessert, the most nutritious of ways! Whats your favorite way to eat avocados, and how do you plan on boosting it with superfoods?

Chili-Garlic Roasted Broccoli

April 29 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Preheat oven to 425° F. 2 Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and chili powder in bottom of large bowl. Add broccoli and mix until spears are coated. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Arrange on baking sheet, and roast 17 to 20 minutes, until florets are brown and crispy at the edges.

Regenerative Agriculture: A Shift in Farming Sustainably

April 20 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Regenerative Agriculture: A Shift in Farming Sustainably As our name implies, the foundation of ORGANIC INDIA is our commitment to products that are organic, pure and natural. But in searching for a way to both bring consumers quality organic crops and herbs while protecting and reversing the environmental degradation of our Indian farming communities, we have adopted a practice of regenerative agriculture. The concept of regenerative agriculture builds on the principles and practices of organic farming to not only protect existing soil from toxic chemicals and other inputs, but also promote soil regeneration, cultivating healthy soil. HISTORY OF RA Organic pioneer J.I. Rodale founded the Rodale Institute in 1947 to study the link between healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people. He developed the concept of regenerative agriculture, theorizing that to preserve and improve our health we must restore and protect the natural health of the soil. Conventional farming systems often utilize heavy equipment, excessive tilling and harmful chemicals which disrupt the organic matter, and therefor the carbon molecules, in the soil. Once exposed to the air, these molecules combine with oxygen to create toxic carbon dioxide (CO2), which is released into the air. These rather unnatural processes can kill the soils vitality completely. Regenerative farming embraces organic agriculture while developing additional sustainable farming systems that create the highest quality, nutritious food, as well as help to reverse negative climate change. Regenerative practices including reduced tilling, composting and the use of cover crops create nutrient-rich humus. This healthy organic material prevents soil erosion and actually soaks up harmful CO2 emissions. SUPPORTING RA Regenerative farms can be found around the world. Look for local farms that offer a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership where you can purchase an annual share of organic produce. Its a fantastic way to get the very best, fresh food while supporting your local farming community. Consumer products companies that employ regenerative farming practices are often focused on the bigger picture of agricultural production, aspiring to help both people and the planet. For ORGANIC INDIA, that means both educating our farmers in organic and regenerative agriculture practices, and purchasing the resulting crops at a premium market price. Our farming partners receive a sustainable income while being able to alternate between growing crops for ORGANIC INDIA and cultivating food for themselves. This results in both a crop rotation that is healthy for the soil and environment, as well as the ability to preserve the health of the farmer and surrounding community. By purchasing ORGANIC INDIA products and supporting other regenerative farmers, you are helping to support a healthy and sustainable global environment.

How Do I Cook with Seaweed

April 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Sea vegetables deserve way more attention than they get from sushi bars and maki rolls.  Mineral dense and a great source of iron, magnesium and potassium, seaweed is the unique source of plant-based EPA; an omega-3 fatty acid otherwise only found in animal products.  And theres an entire world of sea vegetables out there.  Here are a few of the most common varieties. Nori: The sushi staple also makes great wraps for veggie rolls.  Dulse: After a quick soak in cold water, the brownish/­­ dark purple seaweed makes a wonderful addition to salads.  Kombu: The fat, dried strips of sea kelp are most often used as flavoring agents. They can be added to vegetable broths as they cook, then thinly sliced to add texture, umami flavor, and richness to soups.

Am I Eating Enough Protein?

April 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Kayleen St. John, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition Education at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City debunks the myth that you dont get enough protein on a plant-based diet. Sign up for Kayleens online course, Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition, brought to you by NGI and Vegetarian Times.

What Do I Do With Leftover Nut Pulp?

April 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

The Natural Gourmet Institute shares what to do with the leftover nut pulp after making nut milk.

How to Use Flaxseed in Vegetarian Cooking

April 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Leaf, a local restaurant in Boulder, CO shares how to use flaxseed in vegetarian and vegan recipes.

Enlightened Eating

April 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Enlightened Eating 62-year-old Christie Brinkley knows a thing or two about lovely longevity, both in life and as a supermodel. In her book, Timeless Beauty (2015, Grand Central Publishing Life & Style), Brinkley says she believes one of her secrets to staying healthy and fit has been her long-standing commitment to being a vegetarian. If you want to be happy, plant a garden. If you want to be healthy, eat a garden, says one of the worlds most famous vegetarians. In the book, Brinkley describes her diet philosophy as Enlightened Eating...the power of food to fuel your health, your beauty and your adventures. Brinkley feels that eliminating meat from her diet has produced rejuvenating results while at the same time reducing her carbon footprint in the world. Her vegetarian lifestyle has also helped her to feel satisfied with her food choices while maintaining a healthy weight. By mindfully making informed (food) choices, you will be rewarded with more energy, a clear, glowing complexion, shinier hair, a trimmer figure and even see some aches and pains diminish thanks to the amazing healing and protective powers of healthy food. But with aging brings a natural reduction of some of the core building blocks of a healthy, youthful body, such as the super protein collagen. Collagen is directly responsible for plumping skin, removing wrinkles, and creating vital skin elasticity. Whats more, collagen increases nutrient-rich blood flow to the scalp, providing thicker, stronger and shinier hair. Taking a quality collagen generator has been one of Brinkleys secrets to splendor. I started taking BioSiland I am amazed at the difference Ive seen in my nails, skin and hair. The nutrients in it help the body build more collagen, the substance that keeps skin firm, plump and smooth. I also appreciate that BioSil is natural and contains no animal parts. Its well known that we women lose about 1% of our collagen every year, says Brinkley. Even though Im a firm believer in getting all the nutrients through food, there are cases when a good supplement can work wonders. BioSil from Natural Factors gives you the ability to re-gain lost collagen, add new collagen and protect both new and existing collagen. BioSil generates collagen, but a diet rich in vegetarian superfoods that support this important super protein is also imperative. Brinkley has been a devout vegetarian since she was twelve. I didnt know it then, but my decision to stop eating meat has kept me from ingesting fats, antibiotics, and hormones that my body didnt need. I truly believe that decision so many years ago has allowed me to have a forty-plus-year modeling career!  

Is Soy the Center of All Vegetarian Diets?

March 30 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Is Soy the Center of All Vegetarian Diets?We asked our friends at the Natural Gourmet Institute to help debunk vegetarian diet myths - and one is that following a plant-based diet means you’ll be eating nothing but tofu. 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. Myth: Soy is the Center of All Vegetarian Diets   There are still people out there who (incorrectly) assume that tofu is a cornerstone of a vegetarian diet. Even plant-based stock images frequently still have hunks of unseasoned, flavorless tofu when describing a vegetarian meal. While many vegetarians and vegans do enjoy tofu from time to time, it is hardly considered a mandatory menu item. Soy products like tofu, tempeh and soy milk are great sources of plant-based protein and happen to be considered complete proteins meaning that soy contains all of the essential amino acids. If you enjoy the taste of soy, then lightly processed or unprocessed soy products like tofu, tempeh and edamame can be healthful additions to your diet. However, if you avoid soy for any reason, fear not, because there is a whole world of plant-based protein options out there. A persistent misconception about vegetarian diets is that consuming enough protein is challenging. However, nearly all whole foods contain some protein; processed products are stripped of much of their protein, fiber and some nutrients so its best to stick to whole foods whenever possible. Nuts, seeds, beans and legumes, eggs and dairy contribute great amounts of protein but whole vegetables, too, contain this macronutrient. Consuming enough protein on a vegetarian diet, with or without soy, is quite easy as long as a variety of foods are eaten throughout the day. To learn more about meeting protein needs on a plant-based diet, join us for our online course, Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition. Kayleen St. John is the Director of Nutrition 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.

Blogger Q & A: Olives for Dinner

February 24 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Blogger Q & A: Olives for DinnerIn each issue of Vegetarian Times, we feature a talented vegetarian food blogger. Our Featured Blogger shares a little info about the blogger plus one of their tasty, meat-free recipes. In March, we highlighted Erin Wysocarski, vegan and the inspirational blogger behind Olives for Dinner. We chatted with Erin to find out more about her blog.   Subscribe now for just $10 to see our featured blogger recipe every month!      VT: What was the inspiration for your awesome blog? Erin: When I first went vegan more than 10 years ago, I wasnt much of a cook. In fact, I rarely cooked at all!  So I relied primarily upon other vegan blogs to help me know what to cook and how to cook it. Once I eventually got the hang of cooking, it became less intimidating and more like a fun adventure, and I became better with each cooking experiment. Armed with my newfound confidence, I was inspired to create my own blog similar to those blogs that inspired me--with the goal of inspiring others.   VT: What is your most popular recipe (and why do you think its popular)? Erin: Definitely my vegan crab cakes (made with hearts of palm) and vegan lox (made by salt roasting carrots). I think its appealing to those readers who want to eat in alignment with their veganism, but miss the ritual and sensory experience of piling smoky lox on top of a bagel or tapping into a crispy, flaky crab cake. Also, its kind of fun taking a plant-based ingredient like hearts of palm or carrots and manipulating it to recreate the flavor and texture of seafood. VT: How would you describe your recipes/­­cooking style? Erin: Im really drawn to the flavors, ingredients and visual components of East and Southeast Asian cuisines, and most of my recipes implement at least one element inspired by them. I especially love veganizing traditional, meat-centric dishes like pork buns (using oyster mushrooms) and sambal seitan skewers (using vital wheat gluten), as well as creating other non-traditional dishes like my spicy Thai-style pizza (using crushed and crumbled tofu) and dynamite Rolls (using king oyster mushrooms). Veganizing meat-heavy dishes is always kind of like putting a puzzle together--its fun to see how plant-based ingredients can be moved around and put together to create a dish that is not only compassionate, but also creative and delicious.   VT: You talk about debunking the myth that vegan food is inaccessible. What is some advice youve give to someone who feels like it is? Erin: Because we live in such a meat-centric world, veganism only seems difficult, but is actually very accessible once you shift your focus towards making compassionate choices. No matter where you live or what you like to eat or cook, there are so many great vegan resources, products, cookbooks, classes and recipe blogs available that make it easier than ever to become less dependent upon animal-based products in our daily lives. As far as finding specialty vegan ingredients and products, the market has exploded with online and brick and mortar shops like Food Fight! Grocery, Thrive Market, Rabbit Food Grocery, Herbivore Clothing Co. and Vegan Essentials, to name a few. There are fantastic meat alternative brands like Gardein (my favorite), Field Roast and Beyond Meat that are typically available at Target, Costco and most mainstream grocery stores. Vegan cheese alternatives like Daiya, Miyokos Kitchen (my favorite), Kite Hill and Chao are also popping up more frequently in some stores and online. And if you are looking for vegan restaurants near where you live or while travelling, HappyCow is a great resource! To help with vegan cooking, there are literally hundreds of vegan cookbook titles for every type of cooking style (from quick and easy to more advanced and involved) to choose from. I suggest checking out any of Isa Chandra Moskowitzs cookbooks (Vegan with a Vengeance was my first vegan cookbook, and I still refer to it today, 10 years later!) and visiting sites like Finding Vegan, Minimalist Baker, Vegan Richa and Oh She Glows, to name a few. The food on these sites are easy to make, beautifully photographed and inspiring! And if youd like a more comprehensive approach to plant-based cooking, there are some fantastic resources out there. Last year I completed Rouxbe’s Plant-Based Professional Certification Course and was in a virtual classroom with other like-minded students at all levels of cooking ability across the globe. I would recommend it to anyone, from beginner to the seasoned cook. (Check out VT’s new online course, Secrets to Vegan Baking: American Classics, which features vegan baking basics to professional-level techniques.) VT: What is the best comment youve received from a reader? Erin: I appreciate all comments and feedback, but the ones I like best are from readers who have tried a recipe, loved it and let me know ... and its especially awesome when a recipe or dish is shared with others. One comment that stands out was from a reader who made my carrot lox and said, This recipe turned out AMAZINGLY! Thank you so much for such a great food experience … My omni husband also raved about it, taking some to our neighbors (good friends) and insisted they try some. They also couldn’t believe it was carrot. Win, win, win! On the shortlist for dinner parties. Enthusiastic feedback like this makes all of the hard work and effort I put in behind the scenes worth it! VT: Tell us your favorite Vegetarian Times recipes. (Or ones youd like to try). Erin: 1. Tempeh Avocado Sushi 2. Moroccan-Spiced Millet-and-Lentil Salad 3. Basil Ice Cream 3. Tempeh Tacos with Ancho-Lime Sauce 4. Singapore Hawker Noodles with Golden Tofu and Coconut are all some of my favorites! VT: What is one valuable thing youve learned from vegan cooking? Erin: That it gives the opportunity to be compassionate, creative and nourished all at once! Vegan cooking isnt exclusively about removing things from your diet--its about adding and combining plant-based ingredients and flavors together to create dishes that are not only delicious, but also kind to the planet and all forms of life. Subscribe now for just $10 to see our featured blogger recipe every month!  Follow Olives for Dinner:  Facebook: https:/­­/­­www.facebook.com/­­OlivesForDinner/­­ Instagram: https:/­­/­­www.instagram.com/­­olivesfordinner/­­ Twitter: https:/­­/­­twitter.com/­­olivesfordinner Pinterest: https:/­­/­­www.pinterest.com/­­olivesfordinner/­­ Bloglovin: https:/­­/­­www.bloglovin.com/­­blogs/­­olives-for-dinner-3848756

Veg Fast Food Option: Freshii

February 22 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Fast Food Option: FreshiiPhoto by Freshii Freshii, the Canadian-based franchise, has a goal: to provide fresh, nutritious meals for people on the go. Though some dishes do include meat, Freshii offers plenty of vegetarian and vegan meals on their menu of soups, bowls, wraps, and salads. You can buy breakfast, lunch, and dinner in any one of their locations in 75 cities in 15 countries. Their breakfast burritos, oatmeals, and Greek yogurt parfaits will get your morning off to a good start. Salads and wraps include options like Ninja, with spinach, romaine, cabbage, edamame, carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, crispy wontons, and sesame dressing — you can add tofu if you wish. You can also include tofu in a variety of bowls, such as the Mediterranean — half quinoa and half salad greens, tomatoes, cilantro, almonds, cucumber, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, olives, and red onions. If no set menu item catches your eye, you can create your own salad, wrap, or a bowl with a base and then add any one of many toppings, dressings, or sauces. If you like food with ethnic flavor, check out their burritos — Tex Mex, Spicy Thai, Baja (pictured above), or Smokehouse. Just because it’s healthy, doesn’t mean you can’t finish with dessert. Freshii’s Low Fat Froyo is a low fat probiotic frozen yogurt — and you can add toppings like green apples, almonds, blueberries, cinnamon, or strawberries. Wash it all down with a fresh juice or smoothie. The Mighty Detox Juice is made with pineapple, ginger, apple, celery, and cucumber. Bonus: All packaging used at Freshii is made from eco-friendly materials and is recyclable or biodegradable. Buy a warrior bowl, and proceeds go towards building gardens and school kitchens in developing countries. Check out the Freshii menu, and find the location nearest you.

Do Food Cravings Mean You’re Nutrient Deficient?

February 19 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Do Food Cravings Mean You’re 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.

Snack Attack Cereal Mix

February 16 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Preheat oven to 350?F. 2 Whisk together oil, Worcestershire, and garlic powder in small bowl. 3 Combine puffed rice and multigrain cereals, pretzels, and pistachios in large bowl; toss with oil mixture until well-coated. Spread in single layer on baking sheet, and bake 10 minutes. Stir, then bake 10 minutes more, or until lightly golden. Cool.

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

February 16 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Line 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, and set aside. 2 Pulse graham crackers in food processor with 1 to 2 tsp. water until crumbly and moist. Transfer to bowl. 3 Pulse waffle cones in food processor until crumbly. Transfer to separate bowl. 4 Bring strawberries to a simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes, or until soft and liquid starts to fill bottom of pan. Cool completely. 5 Stir together yogurt and honey. Set aside. 6 Press graham cracker crumbs on bottom of prepared springform pan. Spread half of yogurt, then half of strawberries, then half of crumbled waffle cones in pan. Repeat layering, ending with a sprinkling of waffle cones. Freeze at least 3 hours, or until frozen. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

Chayote-Corn Pudding

February 16 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Preheat oven to 350?F. Coat 2-qt. baking dish with cooking spray. Cook chayote in large saucepan of boiling, salted water, 5 minutes. Drain, and set aside in colander. 2 Meanwhile, bring corn, milk, 4 Tbs. butter, and garlic to a boil in medium saucepan. Remove from heat, and set aside. 3 Wipe out saucepan used to cook chayote, add 1 Tbs. butter, and melt over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft. Remove from heat, and stir in chayote. 4 Drain corn, and set aside milk mixture. Stir corn into chayote mixture. 5 Whisk eggs with flour in small bowl. Whisk in milk mixture. Stir milk mixture and 3/­­4 cup cheese into chayote mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to prepared baking dish. 6 Stir remaining 1 Tbs. butter and remaining 1/­­4 cup cheese into breadcrumbs in bowl. Sprinkle over casserole, and bake 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

February 16 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 To make Pancakes: Stir together flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. 2 Whisk together eggs, milk, butter, and vanilla in separate bowl. 3 Fold flour mixture into egg mixture. Stir in raisins, pecans, and chocolate chips. 4 Coat skillet or griddle with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Ladle 1/­­2 cup batter for each pancake, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until bubbles form on surface all the way to middle of pancake. Flip, and cook 3 to 5 minutes more, reducing heat to medium, if necessary. Repeat with remaining batter. 5 To make Maple Topping: Whisk together yogurt and syrup in small bowl. Drizzle over Pancakes.

Secret Ingredient Mango Salsa

February 16 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Blend tomatoes, chayote, green onions, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil in food processor until smooth. Transfer to bowl, season with salt and pepper, if desired, and stir in mango and hot sauce, if using.

5 Vegan Handbags We Love

February 8 2016 Vegetarian Times 

5 Vegan Handbags We Love Want to walk the talk, and look stylish, too? You can with any of these handbags. The designers showcased here are all committed to making practical-yet-chic accessories with no animal products. Instead they use glazed fabrics, waxed canvas, and synthetic materials to create durable handbags that any animal-lover with an eye for style can carry in good conscience. Lulu’s Neutral World Order Drawstring Beige Tote This soft pebbled vegan leather bucket bag has elegant black piping, and a sturdy bottom with gold feet, as well as plenty of inside pockets. The 16- x 11- x 7-inch bag is big enough for wallet, makeup kit, keys, cell phone, and more. $40; lulus.com Queen Bee Sprout Finley Convertible Bag Simple stitching on durable waxed canvas makes this an essential everyday bag (with plenty of interior pockets for organization). The adjustable strap allows it to be worn over your shoulder or across your body. $160; queenbee-creations.com Matt & Nat Brave Backpack Securely carry all you need with this streamlined backpack from Matt & Nats Dwell collection. The bag features handy side pockets, zipper closure, and an interior pocket for a cell phone or other small items. Matt & Nat is committed to creating items with recycled and non-animal-based materials. $135; mattandnat.com Gunas Coco Satchel Bag Add a classic touch to your look with this vegan bag that zips across the top. Carry the bag by its handle, or attach the strap to wear over your shoulder or across your body. The 11- x 15- x 4-inch bag features lots of inside compartments so you can quickly find what you need. $149; veganchic.com Crystalyn Kae Metier Tote Crystalyn Kay makes only sustainable handbags, including this versatile tote. Lightweight, classic, and chic, it can easily hold your laptop or iPad and more. The durable glazed fabric is machine washable. | $229; crystalynkae.com

One Ingredient, Three Ways: Spelt Flour

February 2 2016 Vegetarian Times 

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

One Ingredient, Three Ways: Beets

January 29 2016 Vegetarian Times 

One Ingredient, Three Ways: BeetsWe asked our friends at the National 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 you’re 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.   Have you noticed a number of new beet products on store shelves lately? From beet hummus to beet-infused sports drinks, beets are now in the spotlight, and for good reason. A 2015 review in the journal Nutrients found that beets and their concentrate hold promise in treating oxidative stress and inflammation. But the health benefits associated with beets dont stop there. They’ve also been shown to lower blood pressure, slow the progression of dementia, enhance exercise performance, lower blood glucose, and increase insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes. This chenopod packs fiber, essential minerals, vitamin C, and more. Here are three easy ways to integrate beets in your  diet: Beet Salad: Albeit a more traditional avenue, nothing beats (unable to resist the pun) a fresh salad with citrus, goat cheese, walnuts and herbs for flavor. Note that golden, or yellow, beets have a mild flavor compared to their red counterparts, so consider incorporating some to broaden the flavor profile of a salad. SauceBeets are versatile, and can be part of a simple beet and horseradish sauce–like that served as part of a Seder--or replace some of the tomato in a non-traditional beet marinara. Embrace a root-to-frond mindset and use the beet greens to create a pesto sauce, or simply sauté them with garlic. Chocolate beet cake: While beets dont always replace a single ingredient in cooking, their water content can help add moisture to baked goods. Try adding some to your next chocolate cake! 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. 

Weekend Whiz: 3 Steps to Eating Healthy All Week Long

January 25 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Weekend Whiz: 3 Steps to Eating Healthy All Week Long Working, commuting, taking care of the kids, running errands — weekdays are hectic! But that’s no excuse to be paying nightly visits to the drive-through or eating a lackluster meal. Starting with the January/­­February 2016 issue of Vegetarian Times, we now have an incredibly useful section called “Weekend Whiz.” We give four easy-to-make, delicious recipes to make over the weekend and enjoy during the week. The whole prep process takes about two to three hours, and we include everything you need: a thorough shopping list, a cooking timeline, and, of course, the fantastic recipes. For example, our all-star line-up featured in the January/­­February issue included Miso and Mixed Grain Bowls, Southern-Style Greens with Polenta Croutons, and Thai-Inspired Red Lentil Bowls. Here are three tips to help you eat great all week: 1. Plan ahead. Just like we do in Weekend Whiz, plan your weeknight meals, lunches, and snacks ahead of time. This not only allows you to shop so you have everything on hand, but you can use double-duty ingredients for multiple dishes. 2. Prepare food ahead of time. Cook in advance for the entire week. Don’t forget to also prep lunches and snacks, too. Wash and chop veggies for salads and healthy snacking, and wash fruits for smoothies and parfaits. 3. Make extra. When you’re cooking one of the recipes from Weekend Whiz, make an little extra so you’re able to take it for lunch as well.      

Cooking with Coconut Oil: 8 Vegetarian Recipes To Try

January 19 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Substituting coconut oil for butter when cooking and baking will not only help you stay on track with a vegetarian or vegan diet, but make your meals healthier. Enjoy the coconut aftertaste with every bite with these 8 vegetarian recipes.

3 Ways to Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions

January 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

If you’re one of the many people who resolved to drop a few pounds this year, or just to eat healthier, you’re not alone. Nutrition counselor and Cornell-certified plant-based nutrition expert Sara Sullivan shares her insight here on how to stick to your New Year’s resolution. Sara has counseled many people to successfully manage their weight, and she’s the instructor of our popular online course, 6 Weeks to Plant-Powered Weight Loss, featuring 80+ healthy recipes designed to help you lose weight, along with tips and techniques for rethinking what you eat.  Bonus: If you sign up for 6 Weeks to Plant-Power Weight Loss by January 25th, you’ll get Vegetarian Times’ fantastic e-book, Quick & Healthy 30-Minute Meals for FREE. This online book includes an additional 53 recipes that are all under 400 calories and, better yet, all take less than 30 minutes, so you can have healthy eats in short order.   Did you know that fewer than 2% of people actually follow through on their New Year’s resolutions? Yes, it is true. With the arrival of the New Year, I thought I would share my favorite tips for actually following through with your resolutions. No one wants to make resolutions, only to give up a few weeks later with that familiar feeling of disappointment. To prevent resolution breakdown, here are three tips to help you set good goals and keep your resolutions throughout the year! 1: Be Realistic The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. Many people have the problem of making overambitious resolutions that are too challenging to stick with. For instance, resolving to never touch your favorite food again is setting yourself up to fail. Think small: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Instead, strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding a favorite food more often than you do now. Resolutions don’t have to be huge to be positive. In fact, starting off with smaller goals will help you stay on track for the year. Instead of saying you want to lose 20 pounds, commit to cooking healthier meals, or drinking less soda. The big goals will follow once you’ve been succeeded with the smaller ones. As you rack up small successes throughout the year, you’ll build confidence in yourself. #2: Buddy Up You aren’t in this alone! Whether its someone you know who wants to lose weight or learn how to eat healthier, find a friend who will help you keep your resolutions. Meet to share your goals and kick off your plan, then check in weekly (by phone, email, etc.) to report to each other what youve accomplished. Plan to meet again 4 to 5 weeks later (that’s when most people quit) to review and modify your goals. This approach will help keep you focused and feeling successful. See if someone in your life wants to help meet a goal together, or will at least help hold you accountable for yours! #3: Dont give up!  Do bear in mind that a slip-up is almost inevitable at some point, and you must not let this become an excuse to give up. Instead, start over again! Dont become critical of yourself. Recommit to your goals for just the next 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. Do the best you can each day, and take it one day at a time. Be persistent, patient and kind to yourself. Finally, it’s important to remember that most of our resolutions involve change, and change is hard. Change is emotional and it can leave us feeling stressed. Stress makes us more likely to fail. So, instead of giving up on your resolutions at the first sign of struggle, cut yourself some slack, but keep at it. You’ll get there eventually. How do you ensure you’ll succeed in keeping your New Year’s Resolutions or accomplish your goals? Please share your best tips in the comments below.

How to Eat Healthy for Your Gut and Feel Better

January 11 2016 Vegetarian Times 

How to Eat Healthy for Your Gut and Feel BetterWe asked healthy cooking expert and “Skinny Chef” Jennifer Iserloh for tips on feeling our best in the new year. Jennifer is the author of numerous best selling health books including, 50 Shades of Kale, Secrets of a Skinny Chef, and Healthy Cheats. She’s 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! If youre lacking energy after the holidays, it may not only be stress or lack of sleep thats slowing you down. Getting more energy could be as simple getting good eats for your gut! Thats right, there are foods and meals that are especially healing for the colony of bacteria that live in your large intestines, called the microbiome. When your bacteria are unbalance (more bad than good) it could mean lack of energy, poor digestion, weakened immune system and brain fog.  Eating good things for your gut start by noshing on a plant based diet! Fiber and Prebiotic Foods Fiber isnt just important for weight loss and digestion, its crucial for our gut flora since thats what they eat.  And we cant be our healthiest without them - since these good bacteria are responsible for manufacturing B vitamins, vitamin K,  as well as strengthening our immunity, and breaking down complex carbohydrates.  So how do you make sure they get what they need?  Its easy –  add plenty of prebiotics foods like carrots, asparagus, and artichokes. They are rich in a particular fiber called inulin, that the good bugs love. Limit Gluten Not everyone has gluten sensitivities but giving gluten a rest for a few days when youre feeling slow, limiting gluten when you feel the drag is a good idea since gluten has been show to activate allergies, and can be tough to digest for those with sensitive stomachs.  Dont go for the package gluten free products since they can be loaded with sugar, unhealthy fats and salt.  Enjoy naturally gluten free grains instead like millet, quinoa, and brown rice.  If you want to learn the 101 on these grains while you go gluten free follow my 3 day mini cleanse.

Vegetable Couscous Stew

January 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 To make Ras El Hanout: Combine all ingredients in small bowl. 2 To make Stew: Pour Ras El Hanout into large Dutch oven, and add onions, tomato purée, oil, garlic, and 6 cups water. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes. 3 Add zucchini, carrots, turnips, and bell pepper; cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in chickpeas just before serving. Slow-Cooker Option: Place Ras El Hanout and Stew ingredients (except chickpeas) in slow cooker, and set on medium or high heat. Cook 8 hours.Stir in chickpeas just before serving. 4 To make Couscous and Garnishes: Place couscous in large heat-proof bowl; place raisins in medium heat-proof bowl. Pour 4 cups boiling water over couscous, cover, and let plump 5 minutes. Pour 2 cups boiling water over raisins, and let plump 5 minutes. Fluff couscous, and drain raisins. 5 Serve Stew with couscous, raisins, and harissa.

Confetti Queso Dip

January 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Toss cheese with arrowroot powder in 6-cup microwave-safe bowl. Stir in evaporated milk. Microwave on high power 4 to 5 minutes, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes to melt cheese. When sauce is smooth and thick, stir in green onions, roasted red peppers, and chipotle sauce.

Mushroom Lovers Pie

January 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Coat large skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Add 2 lb. mushrooms, and cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Add remaining 1 lb. mushrooms, and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, or until pan is dry and mushrooms are browned. Carefully stir in 1/­­2 cup water, and cook until all liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat, and stir in soup, mustard, and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cool. 2 Preheat oven to 425°F, and place piecrust on baking sheet. 3 Spread mushroom mixture in piecrust. 4 Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350°F, and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour more, or until lightly browned on top. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Pie

January 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9-inch round cake pan or springform pan with cooking spray. 2 Heat 1 Tbs. reserved sun-dried-tomato oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 15 to 20 minutes, or until browned. 3 Meanwhile, place tofu, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes in large bowl. Rub together with hands until no large lumps of tofu remain. Stir tofu mixture into onion mixture, and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, if desired, and cool. 4 Place 1 sheet phyllo on work surface, and dab and brush with reserved sun-dried tomato oil. Top with second sheet phyllo. Repeat with 4 more phyllo sheets, brushing top of stack with oil as well. Line prepared cake pan with phyllo stack, letting edges drape over. 5 Make second phyllo stack using reserved oil and 5 more phyllo sheets. Set in prepared cake pan perpendicular to first stack so pan is completely lined with phyllo crust. 6 Fill crust with spinach filling, pressing down. Fold excess phyllo edges over center. 7 Make third phyllo stack using 5 phyllo sheets and reserved sun-dried-tomato oil. Place over spinach filling, tucking in edges to seal pie. 8 Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Cool 10 minutes, then unmold pie, and slice into wedges.

Roasted Broccoli Khao Soi (Coconut Thai Soup)

January 5 2016 Vegetarian Times 

1 Set rack in top third of oven, and preheat oven to 425°F. Toss broccoli, onion, and bell pepper separately with 1 Tbs. oil each to coat. Separate oil-coated vegetables, each on one-third section of baking sheet. Roast 10 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender with slight bits of brown. Stir vegetables separately to turn, then roast 3 to 5 minutes more, or until al dente and only lightly colored. 2 Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. 3 Cook curry paste in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat 2 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned. Quickly whisk in broth, then coconut milk. Add roasted bell peppers and onions to pot, and bring soup to a simmer, then stir in lime juice. Divide pasta among four soup bowls, then ladle soup over each. Top each bowl with 1/­­2 cup broccoli, 1/­­4 cup bean sprouts, and 2 Tbs. cilantro. Garnish with lime halves.

Gift Guide: For the Love of Dog Biscuits

December 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Gift Guide: For the Love of Dog Biscuits Perfect for the dog lover on your list, this adorable book features 12 recipes (one for each month) for the furry friends in our lives. These healthy recipes feature seasonal, plant-based ingredients that meet the approval of the array of taste testers photographed in the back of the book (and photographed here). Included is a recipe that is gluten free and one to help fight bad breath. You can purchase the book and a dog treat cookie cutter for $17 (including shipping and handling). Proceeds go to the Friends of Animals spay/­neuter program. In our March issue, we talk to expert veterinarians and explore how to best give our pets a vegetarian diet. Subscribe today!  

How to Cook: Plant-Based Holiday Meals

December 21 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Cook: Plant-Based Holiday Meals The holidays may a time for indulging, but it is possible to create a memorable holiday meal that is entirely plant-based and highly nutritious. Tis the season for root vegetables, dark leafy greens, and hardy herbs! Vegetables Center Stage When putting together your menu, feature vegetables prepared in a variety of styles, like roasted, pan seared, smoked, confit-ed and grilled. Consider stuffing: Make a wild rice and cranberry stuffing with squash, apples, or sweet potatoes. (Try: Wild Rice-and Sage Stuffing with Crunchy Croutons) Recreate traditions: Get creative! Make spanakopita with a creamy tofu-spinach filling, a sweet potato Shepards pie, or dumplings with caramelized mushrooms and rosemary. (Try: Wild Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Shepherd’s Pies) Hearty salads: Try tossing grains with a warm vinaigrette, roasting or poaching pears, candying nuts, and roasting Brussel sprouts for a more festive spin on an ordinary, green salad. (Try: Warm Farro Pilaf with Dried Cranberries)   A Good Sauce - Or A Few Its great to have several sauce options for your guests to choose from. Try relishes, gravies or savory marmalades that will complement your dishes. Pesto: Briefly blanch herbs in salted water and plunge into an ice bath. This will help preserve the bright green color. (Try: Dark Leafy Pesto) Toppings bar: When making a classic like latkes, prepare creative garnish options like cashew cream, chive oil, fennel-pear marmalade, cranberry balsamic reduction, or homemade apple sauce.   Umami is Everything Meat, dairy or seafood-centered meals have the umami (Japanese term meaning pleasant savory taste) base inherently covered. Creating umami in plant-based dishes requires a bit more finesse. Try the below techniques. Seasonings: Think smoked paprika, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, truffle oil or salt, cumin, aged balsamic, or caramelized onions. Smoked component: Whether you want to invest in an indoor smoker, smoking gun, or purchase a good quality liquid smoke in a bottle, try smoking one component of your meal for that extra punch of flavor. Mushrooms, olives, chestnuts, popcorn or nuts are great places to start. (Try: Mesquite-Smoked Almonds) Homemade stock: Try using roasted root vegetables like carrots, or a local squash for extra sweetness. (See: How to Make Vegetarian Stock) Consider Appearance Your guests will eat with their eyes first.  Use colorful ingredients and garnishes to make your dishes pop. Make Your Table Beautiful: Utilize interesting platters, mini gratin dishes, or flower centerpieces. Fallen leaves, rosemary springs, citrus fruits, apples or pears also make great decorations. Dont Forget the Hors dOeuvres Try mini Caesar salads in endive spears, blini with cashew cream, or butternut squash soup shooters. (Try: Caesar Salad and Butternut Squash-Bartlett Pear Soup) Chef Olivia Roszkowski is a graduate of NGIs Chefs Training Program and a full-time instructor. Olivia holds a Bachelors degree in Neuroscience and Behavior from Columbia University and has worked at various well-known NYC restaurants, including The Mercer Kitchen and Momofuku Ssam Bar. Olivia is a master at root-to-frond cooking. 

Gift Guide: George Foreman Evolve

December 14 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Gift Guide: George Foreman Evolve Gift Guide: George Foreman Evolve Grill System   The weather outside might be frightening, but some grills make great gifts all year round. This versatile grill is an ideal fit for the cook on your gift list, whether a novice in the kitchen or full-blown foodie. The plates get up to 500 degrees in minutes, so food cooks quickly and evenly. Just as noteworthy for time savings: the easy-to-detach plates that are dishwasher-safe. Ceramic grill plates allow for traditional grilling, and the adjustable hinge is great for paninis and thick-cut veggies. Non-stick waffle plates can be added for a restaurant-quality breakfast. Need some inspiration? Here are five recipes wed like to try with the grill: Chickpea, Beet, and Apple Panini Classic Belgian Waffles with Fresh Berries Avocado-Spinach Panini Farm Stand Vegetable Skewers with Rosemary-Dijon Vinaigrette Double Chocolate Waffles You can find the grill for under $100.  

Vegetarian Diet Reduces Risk Factors for Disease

December 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Vegetarian Diet Reduces Risk Factors for Disease About the Author: From the perspective of 30 years as an emergency physician with disease prevention training at Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Dr. Frank Rasler MD, MPH, discusses your personal motivation for a healthy long life.  Inspiring healthy behavior during a brief patient encounter has been a focus of his clinical care.   A vegetarian-based diet will reduce many of the risk factors for disease, but frequently we neglect one or more of the other critical issues that promote a healthy, happy long life.  I recently gave a ”TEDx talk” on health motivation from the unique perspective of an emergency physician:  Health, Motivation and the Near-Death Experience. Each week in the E.R. we treat hundreds of unfortunate patients for diseases that were preventable. Our healthcare system is sadly skewed to treating diseases after they start, rather than preventing them. This is a new era of understanding how we can change behavior.  Changing your behavior doesn’t have to be difficult, however it’s often difficult to maintain. There are many, successful behavior modification methods available.  But you need to begin, you need to get started, and if youve tried before and gave up, you need to re-start. Do you know there are a few remaining cultures in this world where people commonly live to be 90 and 100 years old  . . . .  and they are healthy.  Cultures where the elderly have been extensively investigated by physicians and scientists, and found that the diseases we fear with aging dont necessarily have to start when we’re 50 years old.  Our goal of course is not just a long life, but a healthy, active, mentally alert and happy long life. The key is in reducing your health risk factors, and at the same time model those better habits for those we care about. Nutrition is of course essential. The four well-known longevity cultures all had diets that were largely vegetarian, but also low in calories and fat.  Multiple other lifestyle factors are also likely important to their longevity and disease rarity: community, activity, nutritional growing conditions, etc. The Okinawa Centenarian Study was a rigorous 30+ year study by scientists and physicians.  The Okinawan diet (Japan) was only 3% meat/­­eggs and 2% dairy. The Abkhasian diet of the Caucasus (Russia) was lacto-vegetarian with nuts as the primary source of fat.  Meat consumption was less than 10% with the fat removed. Vilcabambans from Ecuador and Pakistan’s Hunza consumed fat and protein almost entirely from vegetable origin. However, new generations have lost their longevity and disease rarity, presumably by adopting a “western” lifestyle (with less physical activity) and diet habits including processed foods (their calorie, meat and fat consumption have all increased).    

Mesclun Mix with Apples, Pomegranates, and Goat Cheese

November 24 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Heat oil in small skillet over low heat. Add shallot, and sauté 4 minutes, or until soft. Remove from heat, and stir in balsamic vinegar and honey. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 2 | Toss apple with lemon juice in small bowl. Place mesclun mix in large salad bowl, and add goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, and apple slices. Toss with dressing just before serving.

7 Tips For Eating Healthy During the Holidays

November 24 2015 Vegetarian Times 

We asked the instructor for our popular 6 Weeks to Plant Powered Weight Loss online course to give us her best tips for keeping up with healthful eating around the holidays. Besides these tips, check out Saras 80-plus healthful, easy-to-make recipes from the course.   These Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patties are in our Plant Powered Weight Loss Course!   Cookies! Pie! Eggnog! The holidays are approaching quickly, which means youll soon be at holiday get-togethers featuring rich beverages, multiple mains, and decadent desserts that can disrupt your normal eating routine. Most people dont want to give up holiday foods and parties, so go ahead and enjoy, but make a commitment to celebrate with mindfulness and balance. Below are seven simple tips to help you keep the pounds off now, so you can avoid resorting to extremes later.   7 Ways to Still Eat Healthy During the Holidays 1. If you dont love it, leave it Instead of piling your plate sky high with everything in sight, choose only the foods that you absolutely love, and the holiday treats that really excite you. If a food doesnt thrill you, dont put it on your plate. 2. Ditch the guilt If you make a conscious choice to enjoy seasonal treats, give yourself permission to savor them guilt-free and then get right back on track with good eating habits. 3. Alternate alcoholic beverages with sparkling water Avoiding alcoholic beverages altogether during the holidays may be tough, so when you do imbibe, alternate your cocktails with sparkling water. This will help cut down on calories and leave you feeling hydrated. 4. Say no to food pushers Whether its your mothers famous stuffing or your best friends holiday fudge, you might feel bad about refusing homemade treats even though your waistline is at risk. Remember you can smile, politely decline, and offer a compliment. They will still feel loved, and you havent had to compromise your health goals. 5. Dont save up calories Skipping meals in order to save up for a holiday party will backfire every single time. I repeat, every single time. Skipping meals can result in low blood sugar, which leads to cravings. Instead of saving up for a big meal, make sure to eat balanced meals and snack on fresh veggies and fruit throughout the day. 6. Dont bring it in the house To avoid the siren call of tempting foods, keep them out of your house, and load your refrigerator and pantry with fresh, healthful foods that are good for your mind and body. 7. Increase good fats  Be sure to incorporate healthful fats in each meal and snack. They help you feel fuller longer and can help reduce cravings for sweets. Some good choices include avocados, raw nuts and seeds, almond butter, coconut, and coconut oil.

Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Sweet Potatoes

November 24 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Combine sweet potato, butter, brown sugar, and 11/­­2 cups water in small saucepan, season with salt and pepper, if desired, and bring to a boil. Simmer 12 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender, and most of water has evaporated. Add 2 Tbs. oil, parsley, raisins, pine nuts, lemon juice, and vinegar, and cook 3 to 4 minutes more, or until all remaining liquid has evaporated. 2 | Heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in large skillet over high heat. Add cabbage and garlic, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 5 minutes, or until cabbage wilts, stirring often. Remove garlic cloves. Transfer cabbage to serving bowl, and top with sweet potato mixture.

Vinegar 101: Types of Vinegar, Health Benefits, and How to Cook With It

November 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Vinegar 101: Types of Vinegar, Health Benefits, and How to Cook With It Derived from the French vinaigre (meaning aged wine), vinegar is a staple in most pantries worldwide. With dozens of varieties readily available, you can use your favorite type to elevate nearly any meal – by creating marinades, emulsifying vinaigrettes, seasoning dishes to brighten flavors, or even making reductions. How its made The process of producing vinegar includes inoculation, fermentation and aging. An alcoholic liquid is acted upon by the Acetobacter bacteria to form an acidic solution. It evolves into a self-preserving substance due to its high acidity. Fermentation of wine into vinegar is triggered by a mother, or other ambient bacteria, transforming sugars into alcohol into acetic acid; a vinegar mother is a harmless cellulose structure produced by acetic acid that occurs naturally in unpasteurized vinegars. The process may take from 20 hours up to several months, depending on a variety of factors. Types of Vinegars Rice: With a 4% acidity, rice vinegar is great for pickling, dressings, or seasoning sushi rice. (Check out our Garlic and Kale Soup that uses Brown Rice Vinegar.) Balsamic: Made from the concentrated juice of white Trebbiano grapes and aged in casks, balsamic works well in glazes, reductions and marinades with its 6-8% acidity. (Try our Sicilian-Style Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Syrup.) Apple Cider: With a 5% acidity, this ones best for seasoning more subtle dishes, as an infusion, or drizzled over grain or bean salads. (Use it to make Carolina-Style Barbecue Sandwiches.) Wine: With a 6-8% acidity, this vinegar adds a touch of umami, and works well wherever a stronger flavor is desired. (Make Minestrone with Sun Dried Tomatoes and White Beans.) Coconut: Made from fermented coconut water or sap, coconut vinegar has a 4% acidity, and is perfect for a splash of brightness when making nut-based cream sauces or a stone fruit chutney. Health Benefits Unpasteurized and unfiltered vinegar is a natural probiotic and can be used to help the body break down fats. Unfiltered apple cider vinegar is used to treat sore throats and upset stomachs, as well as topically for some skin conditions; it is also a natural liver cleanser. In addition, vinegar can get digestive juices flowing and increase appetite, which makes it a great addition to starter courses like salads and chilled soups. (Check out our article: Apple Cider Vinegar: Healing Foods) How to Buy Be sure to carefully examine labels and ingredient lists, and purchase varieties free of additives and artificial coloring. Keep in mind that aged vinegars have stronger flavors. Gradually stock your kitchen with different types of vinegars to determine which you like best for different applications. Culinary Uses Reductions: Reduce over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Serve over fresh berries, or when plating an entrée or salad course. (Top Red Pepper Soup with a Balsamic Reduction.) Herb Infusions: Blanch herbs like tarragon, dill or basil, blend with vinegar, and allow to steep for a few days in the fridge. Marinades: Use to tenderize and flavor vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini and eggplant before grilling, along with fresh garlic, ginger and herbs. Quick Pickle: Add three parts vinegar to one part water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, adding a splash of sweetener of your choice, a pinch of salt, and red chili flakes for extra spice.  Pour over cut produce and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator. (Try our Hot-and-Sour Celery Pickles.) Baking: Can be used as a leavener, eliciting a chemical reaction to produce carbon dioxide to give cake batters a lift. Poaching eggs: Adding a tablespoon to the cooking water with prevent eggs from spreading. Ceviche: Mix with oil, garlic and herbs, and toss with mushrooms or avocado for a refreshing twist. Serve with tortilla crisps. Enhance color: Vinegar brightens reds and purples, like cabbage and beets or red pearl onions. Chef Olivia Roszkowski is a graduate of NGIs Chefs Training Program and a full-time instructor. Olivia holds a Bachelors degree in Neuroscience and Behavior from Columbia University and has worked at various well-known NYC restaurants, including The Mercer Kitchen and Momofuku Ssam Bar. Olivia is a master at root-to-frond cooking.       

Q & A with Michael Anthony, Executive Chef of Gramercy Tavern

November 5 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Q & A with Michael Anthony, Executive Chef of Gramercy Tavern  Michael Anthony--Executive Chef of Gramercy Tavern and Untitled restaurant in New York City, James Beard Outstanding Chef of 2015 and author of V is for Vegetables--took a time out from the kitchen to chat with VT about making vegetable-centered meals, the one cooking skill all vegetable-lovers should master, how to  vegify cookbook recipes, and more.   What prompted you to write a book all about vegetables? In writing the Gramercy Tavern Cookbook, vegetables played a large role in many of the recipes just as they do at the restaurant. I wanted to find a more personal way to share my enthusiasm for cooking and eating seasonal vegetables with home cooks.   Would you say that making vegetables a prominent part of meals is the most important cooking factor for eating well and living well? Yes, eating well and living well for me starts with cooking dishes that are distinctively from our own region. By sourcing locally, you treat yourself to the freshest, most delicious and nutritious components available. With the proliferation of greenmarkets and CSAs, vegetables happen to be the easiest subject to start with. I really do believe there could be a profound change to the way we eat and buy as well as grow our food if we as Americans could embrace the notion of the classic American meal being served in a bowl rather than on a plate. In a bowl, grains, beans and rice become a foundation of flavor and sustenance to uphold a wide variety of seasonal vegetables and a much more sensible proportion of meat and fish (think of Chinese stir fry or an Indian stew). The simple physics of eating from a bowl could have a profound impact on our health, environment and quality of life.   If there was one cooking technique you think a home cook should master to make vegetables shine, what would it be? Peeling and chopping. 1) Buy a cutting board large enough to organize your work, at least 18- by 26- inches. Most home cooks have limited their cutting surface so that it makes it quite awkward and slow to peel vegetables. 2) Peel vegetables over a bowl or tray to catch dirty skins, peels, and other trimmings. Pile vegetables neatly in an organized fashion so your hands dont have to make large movements- this will speed up the job without necessarily working faster. 3) Accept that there is magic in the monotony of preparation for a meal long before your family and friends share their oohs and ahhs, you as a cook can should feel a deep sense of satisfaction in peeling and chopping vibrant ingredients. Theres nothing more beautiful and more important than preparing food for someone you care about.   You talk in the introduction of your book about the wonder of handing a first-grader a whole cauliflower. How do you get that sort of wondrous reaction in a daily cooking routine? What first led me to get interested in cooking was the mystery, wonder and beauty of the ingredients themselves. Every Friday when my familys box of vegetables arrives from the CSA, I pull out the vegetables one by one and proudly show them to my daughter and wife in true amazement. Falling in love with using vibrant ingredients is the first step. Eating something specific from our region is a courageous act. Paying close attention to the natural world around us keeps life exciting and it turns the ordinary act of eating into a celebration.   Why was it important for you to test the recipes for your cookbook in a home kitchen? Our cookbook team (Dorothy Kalins, co-author, Maura McEvoy, photographer, Kathy Brennan, recipe tester, Sue Li, kitchen assistant and Don Morris, graphics and design) set out to make this book in a unique way. Every photo shoot included cooking the dishes, sitting down to eat the dishes and collectively making revisions. We really wanted these recipes to actually work for the home cook. Our entire team gave input as to how to make them practical and delicious. Since we were literally eating each dish together, I felt a sense of challenge to make them delicious and we make revisions based on the combination of factors: practicality, deliciousness, time involved in preparation and execution. We really worked hard to get them right.    Whats your cooking style at home? Since I have 3 daughters and a family full of discerning diners, we start with the freshest ingredients we can find by way of CSA or shopping at the Greenmarket. Getting everyone involved in the preparation generally helps to get everyone to at least taste the dish. But timing becomes the most important priority when youre trying to get dinner on the table for the whole family. I generally try to use as few pans as possible and the bulk of most of our meals is made of vegetables, grains, beans and rice, but we have very few restrictions. My wife and I are constantly trying to introduce the girls to the pleasures of tasting new things. Being the cook on top of being the parent is not easy! Stay flexible with the foods that your friends and family enjoy and focus on including a wide variety of foods as often as possible. If your kids see you eat it, one day they might do the same.   What tips do you have for vegetarians who want to vegify cookbook recipes?  I would suggest rather than cooking complete recipes from books, find essential ingredients and flavor combinations and focus your dishes around those essential combinations. I do this at the restaurant and have created a number of dishes that dont fit into any particular category, theyre just delicious, creative combinations of vegetables that I love to eat. The key to making these dishes delicious is to season them well. I dont mean overdoing it with the salt, I mean find a seasonal salsa, chickpea dip, a dry chili rub, or fresh chopped herbs infused into olive oil to make the vegetables stand out.   How do you cater to vegetarian diners when they come to the restaurant? All of the dishes are cooked to order, and whenever we adapt a dish to make it vegetarian or vegan, our goal is to always make it an upgrade. Rather than subtracting the best part, we add enough to each dish to make them enviable. For the last 8 years, weve insisted that if we offer vegetable-based menus, they have to include our most creative and inspired thoughts on food. A guest may experience their perception of our restaurant through these vegetable dishes, so they have to taste inspired.   What tips can you offer vegetarian diners when they go to non-veg restaurants like Gramercy Tavern?  Pick restaurants that use your same philosophy to source food that you do. You can be assured that they will have fresh and vibrant ingredients to cook with. After all, any good restaurant should have intimate relationships with local growers. Vegetables represent our most powerful way to tell a story of how to eat distinctively from our own region. They become the cornerstone of our culture and define who we are.   In your A Recipe is a Sketch Not a Blueprint section, you talk about substituting vegetables and say Experiments can lead to happy solutions.  Why? By talking about a recipe being a sketch, not a blueprint, I want to encourage home cooks to feel empowered to cook for themselves using their senses, their judgment, and their own taste to guide them. Many cooks feel the need to look to a specialist to tell them how to do it. But once a cook has mastered a few basic techniques, anyone can do it. Its important that we reconnect with our kitchens and feel confident that we can make delicious food at home. Cooking is not a spectator sport.   Photography (C) Maura McEvoy    

Q & A: Daily Greens CEO and Breast Cancer Survivor Shauna Martin

October 27 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Q & A: Daily Greens CEO and Breast Cancer Survivor Shauna Martin In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we asked breast cancer survivor Shauna R. Martin ten questions to get to know her and her business a little better. Shauna is not only surviving but thriving as founder and CEO of Daily Greens, which is distributed in more than 2,000 outlets including Whole Foods, Krogers,  Safeway, and Costco. VT: What inspired you to begin juicing? Shauna: I vividly recall sitting on the floor of my shower with water and tears streaming down my face trying to figure it all out. I could not stop thinking . . . why me? What did I do wrong? On July 28, 2005, my sons first birthday, I had been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of thirty-three. My life was flashing before my eyes, as I struggled with the question of whether I was ready to die. It did not take me long to conclude that I was in fact not ready to die–I had a young child and a husband to live for! I had to muster the strength to get out of the shower and take care of my family, but 9 months of chemotherapy and a year of surgeries to first remove my breasts and then reconstruct them had left me weak, bald, and hopeless. After all that I had been through, my doctors told me I still had an up to 40% chance of a recurrence. I wondered how that could that possibly be, after everything I had done to fight my cancer over the past two years? One thing I knew for sure: I had to stay alive for my son and husband, so I resolved to get up off the shower floor and do something about it. I had heard that food could have powerful healing attributes, so I decided to investigate. I read everything I could get my hands on, and my journey lead me to understand that a plant-based diet, filled with raw vegetables, could not only help detox my body from all the toxins from my breast cancer treatment, but it could also potentially prevent a recurrence of my breast cancer. I was so excited to finally find something that would be under my control, so I went for it. I read that the most efficient way to consume raw veggies was to juice them, so I ordered my first juicer and started making a green juice every day. I immediately started to regain my energy and my former stamina. My hair grew back quickly, my skin and eyes started to glow. I was blown away, so I studied further and determined that the right thing for me was to move to a fully plant-based diet. This took several years of slowly eliminating animal protein from my diet, but when I finally got there, the result was amazing. I still eat a fully vegan and plant-based diet 10 years later, and I now know the answer to the why? I was meant to go on my breast cancer journey and struggle so that I could help bring a message of health and hope to America! VT: Whats the process for making these juices? Shauna: All of our juices start with a base of dark leafy greens because greens are the most nutrient dense plants on the planet. We source raw, organic whole greens, veggies, and fruits from farmers we know. We then cold-press them in our state-of-the-art juicing facility. We make them safe for our customers by then putting our finished bottles in our high pressure machine which kills harmful bacteria, while preserving all the nutrients. VT: Tell us about the flavors. Shauna: Our core line of green juices consists of six wonderful flavors using a variety of dark greens, juicy veggies, and fruits. They are all low in calories and sugars, with no added water. We use a large variety of dark greens, ranging from spinach and kale to watercress and dandelion greens, with names like, Renew, Elevate, and Harmony. The very first flavor that I juiced and took to the farmers’ market was Vitality, which I developed after attending a BBQ with my friends and family in Texas. I knew if I was going to get folks in my home town of Austin, Texas to drink a dense green juice it needed to have that familiar sweet and salty taste of BBQ with a kick of heat. Vitality has pineapple juiced with the kale, pink Himalayan salt, and a touch of jalapeno. We also have a line of plant-based hemp protein drinks infused with super greens and other fabulous ingredients like matcha green tea. Our line of hemp milks are a convenient and natural source of plant-based protein, iron, and calcium. We launched the first nationwide line of kid-friendly raw, organic green, and fruit smoothies kmade from whole fruits and greens, making raw, organic, ready-to-drink green smoothies available for the whole family. Finally, our core line of green juices is available in a cleanse kit which contains an excerpt from my Daily Greens 4-Day cleanse book with instructions for completing a 4-day juice and raw food cleanse. VT: Whats your personal favorite flavor? Shauna: Purity, which is the original juice that I started making 10 years ago to help heal myself. Purity is wonderfully simple blend of just greens and veggies. Lately however, I have really been loving Rejuvenate, a blend of carrot and collard greens with a touch of turmeric. VT: Whats the best compliment youve received from someone trying a delicious green juice? Shauna: I was hosting a book signing one day at Whole Foods and a woman came rushing in and said she had just completed my 4-Day juice and raw food cleanse using Daily Greens juices and my vegan raw food recipes. She said: I have felt so terrible for so many years, and after drinking your juices and eating your raw vegan recipes I have more energy and feel better than I have in my entire life. Please tell me how I can continue to feel this way forever! I explained that all she had to do was continue her habit of drinking a green juice every day in combination with a plant-based diet. VT: What are the benefits of a cleanse? Shauna: Periodically giving your intestines a break from digesting will help cleanse your cells of toxins and detox both your body and your mind. This can be accomplished by doing a juice and raw fruit fast during the day and then consuming a raw vegetable dinner, high in fiber, to help move toxins out of the body. It is important to include green juice in any cleanse to continually infuse the body with nutrients and electrolytes as well as lots of high fiber salads and raw vegetable dishes to help move the intestines on a regular basis. Check out our blog, Are Juice Cleanses Healthy? VT: Whats your favorite recipe on Vegetarian Times website? I love this Orange-Sunflower-Slaw recipe. It is very similar to a slaw I make on a regular basis in the summer, but with the addition of orange and sunflower seeds. So fun and yummy! VT: Which breast cancer organizations does Daily Greens benefit? Shauna: Daily Greens has partnered with and donates a portion of its top line sales to the Young Survival Coalition. This is the only national organization specifically focused on the needs of young women battling breast cancer. Having gone through breast cancer at such a young age, I understand the huge need for resources for women under the age of 40 facing breast cancer, and the YSC provides those resources on a national basis. VT: Whats one thing people would be surprised to learn about these juices? Shauna: Folks are usually really surprised at how good our Daily Greens juices are. They are also usually surprised at how different all of them taste, given that they are all very similar in color. VT: What is one thing people should know about the juices? Shauna: I really believe so much in the healing power of drinking a green juice every day, so I encourage folks to try all of our Daily Greens flavors until they find the one that they crave. If folks dont have access to Daily Greens ready-to-drink juices then I encourage making them at home. Whatever it takes, my mission and vision is that everyone gets a green juice in their life each and every day.      

Does Arsenic in Rice Make it Totally Off Limits?

October 21 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Does Arsenic in Rice Make it Totally Off Limits?     Headlines screaming poisonous rice might have you ixnaying the widely eaten grain from your meals, but it can still be a beneficial part of your dietary repertoire. Arsenic is found naturally in the environment, but it can also enter the air, water, and soil from mining and arsenic-containing pesticides. Plants take up arsenic as they grow, and eventually it works its way into your grocery cart. Long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic has been correlated with greater risk of cancer and heart disease. For most people, food is the primary source of arsenic exposure. Rice seems especially efficient at absorbing arsenic from water and soil, and leaving the bran intact, as with brown rice, increases the grains arsenic content. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigation linked higher intakes of rice and rice products, such as rice cakes and rice milk, with increased urinary arsenic levels. Still, there is no federal limit for arsenic in rice, and without hard evidence associating rice intake with poor health, the FDA has yet to recommend that Americans change their consumption habits. In fact, a study involving more than 200,000 people published this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition failed to find an increased risk for heart disease in those consuming up to five servings of white or brown rice weekly. Additionally, Harvard researchers determined that eating brown rice twice a week can help protect against type 2 diabetes. The benefits of consuming whole-grain rice, such as increased intakes of minerals and fiber, could outweigh the risks of arsenic exposure. Opt for brown basmati rices from California, India, or Pakistan, which a Consumer Reports investigation found have lower arsenic levels than other brown rices. And rinsing rice before cooking and boiling it in a larger volume of water--6 cups water to 1 cup rice--can help slash arsenic levels. Because babies, infants, and toddlers can be more susceptible to arsenic, parents are advised to limit their childrens consumption of rice drinks and also to frequently offer alternatives to rice cereal. Good Grains Rotate these nutrient-packed (and gluten-free!) grains with rice to further limit your potential arsenic exposure. Buckwheat Toast the hulled, crushed kernels of this rhubarb relative in a skillet until golden, and then sprinkle over salads for some nutritious crunch. Check out our Buckwheat recipes. Amaranth These tiny grains cook up into a gelatinous consistency, perfect to try as a porridge. Check out our Amaranth recipes. Millet This type of cereal grass adds a toothsome, nutty flavor to soups and veggie burgers. Check out our Millet recipes. THE REALITY Just how much arsenic-containing rice youd have to eat for it to negatively affect your long-term health remains unknown. The FDA is in the midst of conducting a risk assessment to try to answer that question. Until those numbers are in, theres no compelling reason to banish rice from your diet. But do vary the grains you consume in order to keep your arsenic intake in check. Investigative Nutritionist Canada-based Matthew Kadey, RD, sets us straight on misleading nutrition claims.

Holiday Bread Cornucopia

October 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Dissolve sugar in 2 cups warm water. Stir yeast into sugar-water mixture, and let stand 5 minutes. 2 | Pulse flour and 1 Tbs. salt in bowl of food processor, or combine in stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Add yeast mixture and oil, and process 1 minute, or beat with mixer 3 to 5 minutes, or until dough forms smooth, sticky ball that hits against sides of food processor or mixing bowl. 3 | Rub large bowl with oil, place dough in bowl, cover, and let rise 1 hour in warm place. Punch down dough, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight. 4 | Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, and have small glass of water ready. Halve poster board so you have one 20- x 15-inch piece; shape poster board into cone, and tape to hold. Trim open edge of cone so it stands flat on baking sheet. (Trimmed cone should be 7 inches wide at mouth and 15 inches long.) Smoothly cover outside of cone with foil, turning edges in, as necessary. Fill cone with crumpled parchment paper or foil to keep cone from collapsing. Stand cone on prepared baking sheet, and coat foil with cooking spray. 5 | Roll out one-third of dough to 20- x 6-inch rectangle. (Keep remaining dough in refrigerator so it wont get too soft.) Cut dough into four 20- x 11/­­2-inch strips. Wrap 1 dough strip around wide base of cone on baking sheet, wetting ends, and pressing ends together to seal so you have a ring of dough. Wet end of second dough strip, press end onto first strip, and wrap around cone, overlapping first dough strip by one-third to one-half of strip width. Wet end, and press to hold in place. Continue wrapping third and fourth dough strips around cone, working your way up to narrow end. Repeat with remaining dough until cone is completely wrapped in overlapping strips of dough. When finished, braid three strips of dough, and wrap around base (wide end of cone). Lay cone on its side on prepared baking sheet, best-looking side up. 6 | Beat egg with 1 Tbs. water and remaining pinch of salt in small bowl. Brush egg wash all over cornucopia. 7 | Bake cornucopia 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove cornucopia from oven. Carefully remove crumpled parchment paper from inside of cone, then gently pull cone away from sides of cornucopia with tongs, and remove. Return cornucopia to oven, and bake 20 minutes more, or until inside of cornucopia is dry and beginning to brown. Brush hot cornucopia with melted butter, if using. Cool.

Winter Fruit Salad with Spiced Syrup

October 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Toast cardamom pods in dry skillet over medium heat 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to cutting board, and crush with back of wooden spoon. Place in small saucepan with star anise and honey. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Stir in orange juice, and vanilla. 2 | Toss together fruit in medium bowl. Strain syrup over fruit, and toss again.

Dark Chocolate-Orange Brownies

October 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 8-inch-square baking pan with 1 tsp. coconut oil. 2 | Pulse 1/­­3 cup oil, dates, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, syrup, Cointreau, vanilla, and salt in food processor until smooth. Blend in egg, then nut meal, flour, orange zest, and baking powder. Pour into prepared pan, sprinkle with chocolate, and bake 20 minutes, or until edges are firm.

Hot-and-Sour Celery Pickles

October 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Separate stalks of celery hearts and cut each stalk on sharp bias into 2-inch pieces. 2 | Bring rice vinegar, chiles, dill sprigs, pickling spice, and 1/­­4 cup water to boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. 3 | Place celery pieces in glass jar or other glass container. Pour hot pickling liquid (including chile slices and seeds, and dill sprigs) over celery. Cool 1 hour, then cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Gingersnap-Pear Pumpkin Pie

October 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 350°F. 2 | Stir together gingersnap crumbs and butter in bowl until crumbs are moistened. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie dish. Place dish on baking sheet, and bake 10 minutes. Cool 20 minutes. 3 | Arrange pears core side down in piecrust. 4 | Whisk together egg and sugar in medium bowl. Whisk in pumpkin purée, then cr?me fraîche, milk, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture around pears in crust. 5 | Bake pie 30 to 35 minutes, or until tip of knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before serving.

Seared French Beans with Shallots and Hazelnut Picada

October 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 400°F. 2 | Toss bread cubes and hazelnuts in small bowl with 1 Tbs. oil, garlic, 1/­­2 tsp. salt, and 1/­­2 tsp. pepper. Transfer mixture to baking sheet, and bake 8 minutes, or until browned. Toss with thyme. Cool slightly, then transfer to food processor, and pulse into crumble. 3 | Meanwhile, toss together green beans, shallots, and remaining 2 Tbs. oil; season with remaining 1/­­2 tsp. salt and remaining 1/­­4 tsp. pepper, if desired. Transfer to baking sheet, and roast 8 to 10 minutes, or until crinkled. Transfer to bowl, and toss with sherry vinegar. Serve topped with breadcrumb mixture.

How to Make Vegan Zucchini Bread

October 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Rachel Best, executive chef at Leaf Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado shows how to make flaxseed eggs--a combination of ground flaxseeds and water--to make a classic zucchini bread recipe vegan.

Carrot Cornbread

October 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Steam carrots in steamer 15 minutes, or until very tender. Transfer to food processor, and purée until smooth. Cool. 2 | Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13- x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. 3 | Stir together almond milk and cider vinegar in measuring cup. Set aside to curdle. 4 | Whisk 1 cup carrot purée with maple syrup in large bowl. Whisk in coconut oil, then almond milk mixture. 5 | Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in separate bowl. Fold cornmeal mixture into carrot mixture. Spread in prepared pan, and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is golden and firm to touch. Cool. Cut into 12 squares, and serve.

Shepherds Pie

October 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake sweet potatoes directly on oven rack 60 minutes, or until tender. 2 | Meanwhile, heat oil in Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 4 minutes. Add turnips, celery root, carrots, and squash, and cook 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in flour, and cook 1 minute more. Stir in 1 cup water, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, or until liquid thickens. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Transfer to 13- x 9-inch baking dish. 3 | Scoop flesh from sweet potatoes, and, while still hot, purée in food processor with butter until smooth. Add cayenne pepper, and season with salt, if desired. Spread sweet potato purée over vegetables in baking dish. 4 | Bake 15 minutes, or until bubbling hot.

Spicy Beet Slaw

October 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Chill 30 minutes before serving

Should Fruit Only be Eaten on its Own ?

October 12 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Should Fruit Only be Eaten on its Own ? Packed with fiber, vitamins, and disease-thwarting antioxidants, fruit is undeniably important to overall health. Yet, some health advocates believe that to fully reap the benefits of fruit, you should eat it with no other foods. But dont stop adding berries to your morning oatmeal just yet. Food combining, a nutritional philosophy known as trophology, holds that fruit is best eaten separate from other foods, because when fast-digesting fruit is consumed along with food containing starches and proteins, its digestion is hindered, leading apples, grapes, and their ilk to ferment in your gut, which contributes to a range of digestive woes (such as bloating, indigestion, and gas). On the flip side, when fruits are eaten on their lonesome--at least an hour before or after a meal--your body can more easily access their nutritional bounty, leading to improved energy and weight loss. True? Yes, different foods do digest at different speeds, according to Sharon Palmer, RDN, author of Plant-Powered for Life, but there is a dearth of scientific evidence to support the practice of segregating fruit from other edibles. A healthy digestive tract has all the necessary enzymes needed to properly digest fruit and release its nutrients in a timely fashion, Palmer says, whether or not other starches, proteins, or fats are present. In other words, the human digestive tract is efficient at digesting mixed meals. Whats more, she says, gas is produced by bacteria working on food in the colon--not the stomach. So even if fruit is lingering in your stomach, it has little relevance to gas production. As for the purported weight loss benefits of carefully matching your food intake, an International Journal of Obesity study found no evidence that a food-combining diet was any more effective at bringing about a slimmer waistline than a typical balanced diet. Our Favorite Fruit Combos When it comes to good nutrition, science shows that these combos provide an extra boost. Blueberries + Yogurt Antioxidants in blueberries and the vitamin D found in the cultured dairy appear to team up to bolster immune health. For an immune-friendly snack, top plain Greek yogurt with blueberries and chopped nuts. Orange + Beans Citrus fruits, such as oranges, are rich in vitamin C, which helps increase absorption of the plant-based iron found in beans. Try black bean tacos topped with an orange salsa. Strawberries + Dark Chocolate Antioxidants in these foods react synergistically with one another, creating an antioxidant punch not available when consumed separately. Stir chopped strawberries and dark chocolate into hot oatmeal. The Reality If you find eating fruit solo is better for your digestion, there is no harm in continuing to do so. Ultimately, the more pressing question for a healthful diet is how much fruit you eat rather than when you eat it. Aim for at least 2 cups daily. Canada-based Investigative Nutritionist Matthew Kadey, RD, sets us straight on misleading nutrition claims.

5 Reasons Kale is a Top Detox Food

October 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

5 Reasons Kale is a Top Detox Food People take on “detox” eating regimens for many reasons. They may want to increase their energy, boost their immunity, eliminate toxins, improve hair and skin health or lose weight. But every short-term eating program to detox should include kale. Kale’s multiple nutritional benefits are exactly why it’s an all-star ingredient in our new online course, Gentle Cleanse. National Kale Day co-founder and author of 50 Shades of Kale, Jennifer Iserloh includes kale on the 7-day detox and throughout the 3-week meal plans. Ready to cleanse with kale? Use the code KALE25 to get 25% off just for Kale Day celebrations! Here are five reasons why kale is a detox must-have: Elimination Kale is a great sourcs of fiber. On the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI), it ranks at the top with a score of 1000/­­1000. Current recommended fiber intake is 25-30 grams per day but on average, Americans only consume half of that. Fiber is key to digestive tract health and can help keep cholesterol levels low. Inflammation Diets that are heavy in animal protein, dairy, and processed foods are likely to contribute to inflammation. Kales phytonutrients, such as kaempferol and quercetin, may help neutralize inflammation. Also, as a more alkaline vegetable, kale may help cleanse the blood. Immunity Kale has a lot of Vitamin C (200 percent of the daily recommendation) -- one of the most important vitamins for a strong immune system.  Kale is also high in Vitamin K and A, which help with vision and bone health. Anti-Anxiety A detox program is best when it focuses on what you put in to your body and developing a holistic lifestyle that includes meditation, deep breathing, yoga, time away from technology and other stress-reducing activities. Kale is chockful of Omega-3s like alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) which may help lower anxiety. Antioxidants/­­Cancer-Fighting Kale contains both chlorophyll and sulforaphane, possible cancer-fighting phytonutrients. This guest blog post is written by Kristen Beddard, the American founder of The Kale Project and blog, a successful initiative to re-introduce kale to France. Through her work with local French farmers, le chou kale can now be found at some outdoor markets and supermarkets. Her memoir, Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love and Recipes, will be released in May 2016. References: Book of Kale by Sharon Hanna; The Complete Leafy Greens Cookbook by Susan Sampson; 50 Shades of Kale

25+ Healthy Foods Vegetarians and Vegans Should Eat with Kale

October 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

25+ Healthy Foods Vegetarians and Vegans Should Eat with KaleChef Jennifer Iserloh, author of 50 Shades of Kale and one of the founders of National Kale Day, offers great suggestions on how vegetarians and vegans can maximize this green ingredient for good health. The Skinny Chef and healthy cooking expert features kale in our latest online course, Gentle Cleanse 7 Day Detox, with delicious, sustainable meal plans designed to get you looking and feeling your best. Use code KALE25 to get 25% off for a limited time. Making Kale Healthier for Vegetarians and Vegans Plant-based diets are definitely in vogue, and for good reason. Plants provide a wide range of nutrients with few calories.  But if youre limiting your diet, make sure you maintain nutritional balance so that you feel your most energized, sharpest self! Vegetarian Kale combines well with many foods for a variety of dishes. If you are vegetarian, you have plenty of kale combo choices that will help aid in nutrient absorption, improve digestion, and provide crucial nutrients that a lot of vegans and vegetarians miss. Check out this list below to find out how to pair kale with ingredients that will provide balanced nutrition. B12 Eggs (Try: Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata with Goat Cheese) Swiss Cheese Manchego Cheese Parmesan Cheese (Try: Kale-Pecan Pesto) Iron Lentils Spinach Navy beans Sesame Seeds Gut Health/­­Fermented Foods Kefir, dairy or coconut Pickles Olives (Try: Tuscan-Style Spaghetti with Kale and Cannellinis)  Sauerkraut For Vegans B12 Nutritional yeast (Try: Garlicky Cheezy Kale & Crispy Chick’n Salad) Fortified plant milk Fortified Tofu (Try: Asian Kale, Green Bean, and Tofu Salad) Vegan Mayonnaise Iron Lentils Spinach Navy beans Sesame Seeds (Try: Sesame Noodles with Kale) Gut Health/­­Fermented Foods Pickles Olives Sauerkraut Coconut Kefir Fats Antioxidant-rich fats like those found in nuts, coconut, olive oil, sesame oil and safflower oil are useful to cook with kale since this green vegetable is high in fat soluble vitamins such as A and B. Healthy fats are important for proper brain function and maintaining glowing skin. Mix kale with foods that are high in  fats, such as avocado for a tasty kale guacamole, or use coconut oil to cook up amazing shishito peppers with kale.

8 Reasons Why You Skip Breakfast (and Recipes to Help You Stop)

September 22 2015 Vegetarian Times 

8 Reasons Why You Skip Breakfast (and Recipes to Help You Stop)As you read in our article, 15 Reasons You Should Be Eating Breakfast, the first meal of the day really is important. Yet, 31 million Americans are skipping breakfast every day, according to The NDP Group. We get it. There are plenty of reasons why you ditch breakfast. Whatever your excuse, you’ll love these recipes that can solve all of your problems and get your breakfast routine back on track. Problem: Im short on time in the morning. You’re rushing to get to work or busy getting the kids off to school, and you don’t have a lot of time to make breakfast. Solution: Check out these tasty recipes that take less than 30 minutes to make. Southwestern Tofu Scramble Southwestern Tofu Scramble Black Bean Breakfast Burrito with Plantains and Mango Salsa Problem: No really - I have zero time. Solution: Okay, not a single second to spare? Make a batch of these muffins in advance, and eat them all week. Banana-Flax Breakfast Muffins Morning Muffins with Quinoa and Flax Summer Squash and Applesauce Muffins   Problem: I get up and go – no time to eat at home.  Solution: Make these wraps the day before, and take your breakfast to go. Fruity Peanut Butter Wraps   Breakfast Pita with soy sausage and shredded soy cheese   Problem: Breakfast foods seem to be loaded with gluten, and I’m trying to eat gluten-free. Solution: Try these scrumptious recipes that won’t make you miss gluten at all! Gluten-Free Blueberry MuffinGluten-Free Brown Rice Waffles   Problem: Im just not hungry in the morning. Solution: If you aren’t hungry when you wake up, opt for something small and light. One idea is to whip up a quick smoothie. Try… Blueberry-Cucumber Smoothie   Avocado Mango Smoothie   Problem: Im not into breakfast foods. Solution: Pancakes, cereal, and muffins are great, but there’s much more options you can call breakfast fare. Try these unique breakfast alternatives. Sinangag (Filipino Garlic Fried Rice) Classic Israeli Salad Problem: Im trying to cut calories and lose weight, and breakfast is an easy cut.  Solution: If you read our blog post on why you need to eat breakfast, you know that studies show people who do eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthier weight than those who don’t. Try these low calorie breakfasts instead of skipping it completely: Two Breakfast Tacos with Cheesy-Hemp Scrambled Tofu (Less than 325 calories) Breakfast Tacos with Cheesy-Hemp-Scrambled Tofu   Lemony Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Earl Grey Strawberry Compote (Only 263 calories) Problem: Breakfast foods are just boring. Solution: Boring? Tell that to Breakfast Pizza or this bold, flavorful Breakfast Burrito. Breakfast Pizza   Breakfast Burritos   What suggestions do you have for those who don’t stick to eating breakfast?

Q & A: Certified Nutritionist Sara Sullivan shares tips for staying healthy

September 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Q & A: Certified Nutritionist Sara Sullivan shares tips for staying healthyThrough her own journey, Certified Nutritionist Sara Sullivan realized that when she started feeding her body right and treating her body right - her whole world changed. That is what led her to become the passionate educator she is today, supporting and guiding others on the healing power of food. Thats exactly why Vegetarian Times wanted to team up with her to create our new course: 6 Weeks to Plant Powered Weight Loss. Sara puts her experience to good use by developing the 80+ easy-to-make, tasty recipes in the course. Want to start your own journey to lose weight? Use the code PLANTPOWER20 to save $20 on our course now. Photo courtesy Sara Sullivan VT: You developed all of these tasty recipes for the course. What was the inspiration and process for making these? Sara: I have to say having a husband and two kids keeps me creative in the kitchen! They are my toughest critics so I am always looking for dishes that are nutritious, delicious, and not too complicated. VT: What is the best part of your job? Sara: I love those moments when my clients have a break through. It’s the moment where healthy habits “click”, and they feel empowered, vibrant, and liberated. VT: How do you still manage to eat healthy around the holidays? Sara: For me, eating healthy is a lifestyle, so the holidays are no different than any other time of the year. I make sure to get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, and exercise daily to counteract the social pace of the holidays, and I never go to holiday parties hungry. VT: Whats your best tip for saving money at the grocery store but still eating healthy? Sara: For the best prices on produce, be sure to buy local and seasonal items, and take advantage of the bulk section for better deals on nuts, grains, spices, and dried fruit. VT: For the 6 Weeks to Plant-Powered Weight Loss Course, tell us your favorite recipe in the following categories: Sara’s top picks:  Sweet Treat -- Almond Joy Bars Courtesy Sara Sullivan   Satisfying meal -- Quinoa and Black Bean Stew Courtesy Sara Sullivan   Tasty Smoothie -- Do I have to pick? I love them all. The Orange Julius is absolutely amazing and good for anyone new to smoothies. Courtesy Sara Sullivan   VT: Whats your best time-saving trick in the kitchen? Sara: During the cooler months I use my crock pot to save time. There is nothing better than tossing together a few ingredients in the morning and then coming home from work to a house that smells delicious and a dinner that is all done! VT: What is your favorite ingredient to cook with? Sara: I love sweet potatoes! Not only do they taste amazing they are very filling and loaded with nutrients. In addition, they work well in so many different ethnic dishes. VT’s note: Share Saras love of them? Youre in luck because theyre making a regular appearance on the menu for the course, like with Sweet Potato Bowls with Sautéed Kale and Avocado; Sweet Potato, Apple, and Wild Rice Salad; and Baked Sweet Potatoes with Black Beans & Guacamole. VT: Who would you say this course is designed for? Sara: Anyone who wishes to look and feel their best! VT: One lucky course participant is going to win one-on-one consultation with  you. Whats your approach to individual nutrition counseling? Sara: I always meet my clients where they are and work on implementing change one step at a time.  I listen, guide, and support each client with a realistic plan that is specific to their lifestyle & goals. VT: What is the best compliment youve received from a client? Sara: “I didn’t even believe in me, but you did”  I also LOVE when my clients have their blood work done after 60 days of plant-based eating. They are so proud and amazed at how quickly their body can change. VT: What do you think is the biggest misconception about trying to lose weight? Sara: I don’t believe in the word “can’t” so I would say the biggest misconception is that someone “can’t” lose weight.  Everyone can lose weight (and feel amazing)! We just need to consistently fuel our bodies with real, whole, plant-based food.  

Henne Garden Salad

September 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Smoked Onions: Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.Add onions and garlic, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 45 minutes, or until onions are dark brown and almost falling apart. Transfer to heat-proof bowl. 2 | Line wok with heavy-duty foil, spread wood chips on foil, and place wire rack over top. Cover wok with lid or piece of foil, and heat over medium-low heat until wood chips begin to smoke. Place bowl of onions on rack, and tightly cover wok. Smoke onions 5 to 7 minutes. Remove wok from heat, and let onions cool inside wok. Stir in vinegar and sugar, and season with salt, if desired. 3 | To make Dressing: Whisk together vinegar, cr?me fraîche, and mustard in bowl. Whisk in olive and hazelnut oils, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 4 | To make Salad: Toss greens and arugula with 2 Tbs. Dressing in bowl. 5 | Spread 2 Tbs. Smoked Onions in center of each plate. Top with greens, tomatoes, radishes, apple, and hazelnuts. Drizzle with more Dressing, if desired.

Celery Root and Herb Cream with Goat Cheese Appetizer

September 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Celery Root: Cut 4 1/­­8-inch-thick slices from celery root. Using 2-inch round cutter, punch out 8 disks from slices, and set aside. Chop remaining celery root (including leftover bits from slices) into 1/­­4-inch pieces (you should have 2 cups). 2 | Bring large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Blanch celery root disks 10 to 20 seconds, remove with slotted spoon, and pat dry with paper towels. Cover, and chill. 3 | To make Herb Cream: Bring large saucepan of water to a boil. Lower egg into water with slotted spoon, and cook 31/­­2 minutes. Transfer cooked egg to bowl filled with ice water; cool until chilled. Remove egg from water, crack shell, and peel. Transfer cooked egg to blender, and add shallots, dill, parsley, and garlic. Process on high speed 3 minutes, or until smooth. Add oil in slow, steady stream, and process 1 minute more, or until sauce is thick. Fold Herb Cream into chopped celery root, and season with vinegar and salt, if desired. Chill. 4 | To make Goat Cheese Foam: Warm milk and cheese in saucepan over medium heat until cheese melts. Whisk in lemon juice and soy lecithin; season with salt, if desired. Cool. Blend with immersion blender until foamy. 5 | To prepare Garnish: Toss crackers and goat cheese together in bowl. 6 | Place 2-inch round cutter on plate, and place 1 celery root disk inside cutter. Top with 1 inch chopped celery root, then Herb Cream; top with second celery root disk. Carefully lift cutter, and top stack with goat cheese-cracker mixture. Top with watercress, and spoon 1 Tbs. Goat Cheese Foam over top. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Candied Apple Cookies

September 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Cookies: Cream sugar and margarine in bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in applesauce, apple juice, and vanilla extract. 2 | Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt in three additions, and beat until blended. Shape dough into disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour, or overnight. 3 | Preheat oven to 400°F, and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. 4 | Roll out dough to 1/­­4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut out apple shapes with cookie cutter. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, and insert lollipop stick where stem would be. Bake 6 to 12 minutes (depending on cookie cutter size), or until cookies begin to brown on edges. Transfer to wire rack to cool. 5 | To make Glaze: Whisk together sugar, pomegranate juice, corn syrup, and cinnamon in medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer 4 to 5 minutes, or until syrup reaches 290°-300°F on candy thermometer. 6 | Dip both sides of Cookies in hot Glaze, making sure Cookies are completely covered. Place on clean sheet of parchment paper or silicone baking mat to cool. Let harden completely before removing.

Whole-Grain Fruit-and-Nut Muffins

September 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. 2| Whisk together gluten-free baking mix, Whole Grain Flour Blend, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 3| Whisk together eggs and sugar in large bowl until lightened in color. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in dry mixture, then butter. Fold in fresh fruit and nuts. 4| Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in muffins comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then unmold, and cool completely.

Spiralized Butternut Squash and Apples with Lentils and Maple-Balsamic Sauce

September 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Stir together maple syrup, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar in small bowl, and set aside. 2 | Cut butternut squash into noodles with small-toothed blade on spiral slicer (you should have 2 cups). Cut apple into small noodles with same blade (you should have 11/­­2 cups). 3 | Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash noodles, and season with salt, if desired. Cook 2 minutes, or until noodles are slightly softened. Add apple noodles, and cook 1 minute. Stir in garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add lentils and maple-balsamic mixture, and season with salt, if desired. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 Tbs. parsley and cranberries and nuts (if using). Garnish with remaining 1 Tbs. parsley.

The Vegetarian’s Restaurant Survival Guide

September 14 2015 Vegetarian Times 

The Vegetarian’s Restaurant Survival Guide Singer-songwriter Flip Grater wasnt expecting the star treatment when she recently sat down at a popular Parisian café--but she also didnt think shed find specks of meat floating in her gazpacho. Since when, asks the New Zealander with a laugh, did any version of gazpacho ever contain bacon? Even for globe-trotting vegans like Grater who are well versed in the language of restaurant menus, navigating non-veg terrain can be tricky: dishes that appear meat-free on paper might arrive bearing meat ingredients, and servers can be irritated by substitution requests. Most of the time, though, we simply dont want to make a fuss, and, thankfully, theres no need to. With some tried-and-true strategies, you can enjoy restaurant meals that are unforgettable for all the right reasons. Read the menu before leaving home Visit a restaurants Web site or Facebook page to explore the menu, then check online reviews and search the page for vegetarian. If your sleuthing turns up a dearth of options, call the restaurant to ask if the chef can accommodate your preferences. I find that 95 percent of the time, chefs are more than happy to accommodate such requests, says Oakland, Calif.-based Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author of The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. She also recommends having a script at the ready, such as, I see that you have a fabulous-looking pasta on the menu--could the chef prepare it without the anchovies? It takes some getting used to, but the more you do it, the less daunting it becomes. Improvise Dining out on the fly? Get creative. Mix and match items to make your own custom vegetarian or vegan meal. I usually turn the menu into a smorgasbord of snacks, says New York City-based luxury travel adviser Rabia Shahenshah, who finds the best vegetarian options amid the appetizers, salads, and side dishes. Scope out the sides that accompany the meaty mains too: the sweet potato mash from the pork entrée might go great with your spinach salad. Dining allitaliana? Look at the contorni section of a traditional Italian menu to find delicious roasted, grilled, and sautéed vegetables, suggests Patrick-Goudreau. I can base an entire meal on that alone. Practice politesse Graciousness and a good attitude go far. When confirming that a dish is vegetarian, do so with a smile; if you have to send a plate back to repair an erroneous order, politely request a re-do. Most important, when the kitchen staff prepares an off-menu dish, express your gratitude. Ending with, Id like to personally thank the chef for this delicious meal. Is he or she available for a quick hello? adds a really nice touch, says Patrick-Goudreau. This simple gesture will give you a boost, make the chef feel appreciated, and help pave the path for future veg diners. Pre-Chow Checklist Avoid unwelcome surprises by acquainting yourself with common animal ingredients lurking in seemingly vegetarian dishes. Japanese Diner Beware: Bonito A key flavor component in Japanese cuisine is dashi, a broth made from the bonito fish. Always ask before diving into dipping sauces, miso soup, or agedashi tofu, which is commonly prepared with dried bonito flakes. Korean Diner Beware: Shrimp and fish No Korean meal is complete without kimchi, the pungent, piquant cabbage-based side dish. Before tucking in, confirm the absence of shrimp or fish paste, and other sea-dwelling creatures, such as octopus or mollusks. Mexican Diner Beware: Lard At traditional Mexican restaurants, refried pinto beans are often made with lard (rendered animal fat), though whole pinto or black beans are generally veg-safe options. When in doubt, ask about the chips, tortillas, and tamales too. Thai Diner Beware: Fish sauce Red, green, and yellow curries are typically prepared with nam pla, a salty sauce made from fermented fish. Ditto for Thai dipping sauces and dressings. Ask if yours can be made with soy sauce instead. Paris-based writer Aurelia dAndrea relishes the challenge of a non-veg menu--especially when it involves Italian food.

Perfect Pickle: Grillo’s Vegan, All-Natural Pickles

September 8 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Perfect Pickle: Grillo’s Vegan, All-Natural PicklesPhoto Courtesy Grillo’s Pickles Besides Grillos Pickles being vegan, all-natural, gluten-free, paleo, and kosher — theyre just plain good. Varieties include: Italian and Hot Italian (in both spears and chips) and Sweet Bread & Butter in chips (which are the perfect size for our Black Bean and Edamame Sliders and our Smoky Baby Portobello Sliders). Founder Travis Grillo starting selling spears -- two for $1 -- out of a wooden cart on the Boston Common. He made them by night using an old family recipe. After generating buzz on the Common, Whole Foods and the Boston Red Sox approached him about creating professional partnerships. Pickle Prep The pickles are made simply, with old-school Italian recipes. Only natural ingredients are used: water, distilled white vinegar, salt, dill, garlic, and grape leaves. For the hot variety, habanero and jalape?o peppers are added. For the sweet, they add red peppers, yellow onion mustard seed, celery seed, turmeric, and a pinch of all-natural sugar. The grape leaves actually act as a natural preserver, thus avoiding the use of chemicals and preservatives such as calcium chloride and sodium benzoate, which are found in most pickle products. They opt not to ferment these pickles; they believe theyre freshest and crispest the way they make them. Pickle Pairing We asked the Grillos Pickles team to pick all-star recipes that would go great with their pickles: Carrot Fritters with Dill-Yogurt Sauce -- Weve had success mixing our Italian dills with anything that heavily features carrots, and weve also made a yogurt-based dip with the dill chips. I think adding some sliced/­chopped dills to this sauce would yield awesome results. Red Quinoa Zucchini Burger -- The Italian dill chips would add a nice zest, and the HOT Italian chips would provide a good bite. I would personally add the hots; Ive done so to veggie burgers many times. Sweet-and-Sour Baked Tofu Sandwich -- The sweet bread & butters would give a refreshing sweet flavor, while still maintaining the crunch of the cabbage.

10 Questions with The Skinny Chef

September 2 2015 Vegetarian Times 

10 Questions with The Skinny ChefPhoto Courtesy of Jennifer Iserloh   We caught up with Chef Jennifer Iserloh, author of 50 Shades of Kale and Healthy Cheats, for a quick chat. Jennifer, also known as The Skinny Chef, is passionate about helping people realize how easy it is to eat healthfully and still enjoy flavorful, delicious food. She brings her expertise and creativity to our new course, Gentle Cleanse Course, a 7-day detox and 3-week meal plan. Jennifer teaches how to make lifelong changes that enable you to feel and look your best. Want to cleanse without going hungry? Sign up now, and use the code CLEANSE20 for $20 off. Q: What inspired you to become The Skinny Chef? A: I grew up in a family who just loved food, and we certainly struggled with our weight. Once I started cooking for myself in my 20s, I lost 30 pounds in under a year just cooking at home. After that I went to culinary school to follow my dream to become a chef. When I worked in NYC restaurants, the other cooks used to tease me and call me skinny chef, and then my husband had the idea to help me start at blog to keep in touch with friends, and voila! Skinny Chef was born! Q: What is the best part about your job? A: Everything! I love creating and testing recipes. I enjoy writing. I love cooking. I’ve always been a creative person, but was stuck in a very uncreative, administrative job. Once I went to culinary school, I realized that it was the chance to do something creative as a career, something I really loved. Q: What is the hardest part about your job? A: The hours. Writing cookbooks, doing videos, and testing is a full-time job. I work about 60-70 hours a week, but I do love it, so it’s all worth it. Q: Tell us your best kitchen tip. A: I love to make noodle shapes out of veggies when I need to cut back after a restaurant splurge the day before. Experimenting with spices and herbs is a real passion of mine, and you’ll see some amazing (funky) detox drinks in the Gentle Cleanse program that use spices in unique ways, like vanilla bean, turmeric, and black pepper, using savory or spicy ingredients even in desserts. Q: Whats your favorite dish to make healthy thats traditionally bad for you? A: Definitely fries, and I adore mayo, I make a killer chipotle mayo. Q: How do you eat healthfully on vacation? A: I do a lot of salads and seafood if I want protein. I also pack superfood snacks like apples, nut butter, nuts, and even dressed kale. Q: Whats your best time-saving advice for cooking healthfully? A: Always have a prewashed bag of organic greens on hand. They can be the base of many meals and dressed and sauced a million ways. They are also the freshest and most potent detox foods around. Q: Why do you think cleanses are a good idea? A: To boost your energy and give you that “rested” fresh feeling. Q: How do you personally stay motivated on a cleanse? A: Prepping ahead so I can reach into the fridge and grab leftover salad, soup or a veggie dish. I even like to eat them cold. Q: Whats the best feedback youve got from someone who completed a cleanse? A: The taste of the soups and many of the dishes don’t seem like detox – they are just plain delish!

10 Meatless Monday Recipes Inspired by our Facebook Fans

August 24 2015 Vegetarian Times 

10 Meatless Monday Recipes Inspired by our Facebook FansLooking for inspiration on what to make for Meatless Monday? We asked our Facebook followers what they were making for their Meatfree Monday. We loved their answers so much, we found similar, delicious recipes from Vegetarian Times. Check out what they’re eating and what we’re suggesting:   Michelle Smith: Curried chickpeas over rice! Yum! Try: Vegan Potato & Chickpea Curry with Rice   Linda Tisi Hager Gill: Garlic pasta with Gardein crumbles Try: Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil, and Roasted Garlic   Patricia Stratulak: Simple pad thai with ying ying tofu (made in Toronto) Try: Pad Thai (that takes less than 30 min.)   Sarah Walworth: Yellow split pea and potato chowder Try: Potato Cheddar Chowder  Emily Rena Elliott: I’m making spinach enchiladas with homemade salsa verde (that I canned Saturday), and vegan refried beans. I’m certainly looking forward to it! Try: Roasted Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce   Margaret Hennessy: Pasta Marinara! Try: 30 Minute Marinara Sauce Nature’s Whisper School of Yoga~Hot Mama Yoga~Jolie Cash: We might keep it simple with a quinoa, corn, black bean salad with some coconut oil and garlic. Try: Refreshing Quinoa Salad   Zoë Morris: Vegan Cashew Cream Tikka Masala over cauliflower rice — so delicious Try: Tempeh Tikka Masala with Buttermilk Raita   Tracy Jenkins: BBQ Tempeh Sliders for us tonight Try: Barbecued Tempeh with Bell Peppers    Martha Stephens Goodwin: I just have chunks of baked tofu, water melon, kiwi, and cucumber for lunch. On the run and no time to “make” anything. Try: Watermelon, Grape, and Tomato Salad     What are you making this Meatless Monday? Follow us on Facebook to help us celebrate Meatless Monday! 

Starbucks Adds Real Pumpkin to Latte (Plus Pumpkin Recipes)

August 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Starbucks Adds Real Pumpkin to Latte (Plus Pumpkin Recipes) Pumpkin spice lattes are our clear cut sign that fall is well on its way. Fortunately, this year, Starbucks has decided to include real pumpkin in the popular drink along with ditching caramel coloring. In 2014, it was a hot topic that the latte did not contain any pumpkin but instead, natural and artificial flavors, according to The Atlantic. The exact date is yet to be announced, although according to NBC, it is said to be coming soon. In the meantime, here are five delicious recipes to satisfy your pumpkin craving: Pumpkin Recipes Mexican Mocha Pudding with Pumpkin Cream   Pumpkin, Leek, and Mushroom Pitzas Pumpkin Parfaits with Oat Crunch Chocolate-Crusted Pumpkin Pie Mini Pumpkin-Sage Balls Which of these pumpkin recipes are you going to try? 

Perfect Pasta: How to Buy, Cook, and Eat this Pantry Staple

August 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Perfect Pasta: How to Buy, Cook, and Eat this Pantry Staple 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.

TELL VT: What is your favorite dish made with pumpkin?

August 11 2015 Vegetarian Times 

TELL VT: What is your favorite dish made with pumpkin?     We want to know: What is your favorite dish made with pumpkin? Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

Summer Squash, Goat Cheese, and Herb Roulades

August 11 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Heat grill or grill pan to high. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush squash on both sides with oil, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 2 | Grill squash 6 to 8 minutes, turning once. Transfer to plate to cool. 3 | Combine goat cheese, olives, lemon zest, and chopped basil; season with salt and pepper, if desired. 4 | Arrange squash slices on cutting board; spread 2 tsp. goat cheese mixture on each slice, and set 1 basil leaf on top of goat cheese at narrow end. Roll slices up from narrow end, and arrange on prepared baking sheet. (If not serving right away, refrigerate, and bring to room temp before reheating.) 5 | To serve: Preheat oven to 375°F. Warm roulades 4 to 5 minutes, or until warm but not hot.

Summer Squash, Corn, and Saffron Soup

August 11 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Stir saffron into 1 Tbs. hot water in small bowl. Set aside. 2 | Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add leeks, and season with salt, if desired. Cover, and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until leeks are soft. Uncover, and continue to cook 6 to 8 minutes more, or until leeks begin to brown. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds. 3 | Add sherry to deglaze pan, and scrape any browned bits off bottom of pan. Stir in saffron and steeping water. Add squash, corn kernels, corncobs, and 6 cups water, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and bring to a boil. Uncover partially, and simmer 25 minutes, or until squash is soft and translucent. 4 | Remove soup from heat; discard corncobs. Cool 10 minutes, then purée soup in batches in blender or food processor. 5 | Gently rewarm soup in pot, and stir in sherry vinegar. Ladle warm soup into bowls, and serve garnished with toasted almonds and mint (if using).

Italian White Bean and Kale Soup

August 11 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Blend tomatoes with 2 cups water in blender or food processor until smooth (you should have about 3 cups); set aside. 2 | Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until translucent. Add tomato purée and 4 more cups water, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Add kale and white beans; cook 10 minutes more, or until kale is tender. Serve drizzled with oil.

Caramelized Onion and Mascarpone Raisin Crostini

August 11 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-low heat, and add onions. Sauté 10 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add salt, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar, and cook, stirring often, 30 minutes, or until onions are browned and caramelized. Cool. 2 | Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325°F. Arrange baguette slices on baking sheet, and toast 8 minutes, or until lightly toasted. 3 | Stir together mascarpone cheese, goat cheese, and thyme in bowl. 4 | Spread each baguette slice with 1 Tbs. cheese mixture, then top with sautéed onions. Sprinkle with raisins, and drizzle with honey.

CHEF’S TRICK VIDEO: 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 Cut Tofu

July 27 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Watch this video to learn how to cut tofu into perfect cubes. Practice 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 Peel and Cut a Mango

July 24 2015 Vegetarian Times 

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

TASTE BUDS: Mango & Chili Powder

July 24 2015 Vegetarian Times 

TASTE BUDS: Mango & Chili Powder What are the BFFs of the food world? Roberto Martin, chef/­­owner of eLOVate, opening this spring in Los Angeles, and author, most recently, of Robertos New Vegan Cooking, shares his favorite culinary pairing: mango and chili powder. As a child I got hooked on this pairing from pushcart vendors in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Most carts offered a combination of watermelon, mango, honeydew, cantaloupe, and cucumber; I loved how the vendors sprinkled the produce with chili powder, salt, and fresh lime juice just seconds before they handed it to you in a paper cup. The fruit was always cold, juicy, and ripe, but all I really wanted was the mango! Unlike the other fruits in the combo, mango has a tangy sweetness that perfectly balances the heat of the chili powder. The key is to use a flavorful chili powder like ancho or guajillo chili powder. I love to serve fresh-cut mango and chili powder at barbecues, and my wife and kids have grown to love the pairing too. Its really refreshing on a warm day. For another tasty pairing, purée a ripe mango with lime juice, a garlic clove, and a pinch of sea salt to make a dressing, then toss the dressing with some baby spinach and field greens, and sprinkle with chili powder and toasted pumpkin seeds. You are in for a bright, tangy, and healthful salad with a little kick.  

Ask the Nutritionist: What Do You Think About Juice Cleanses?

July 22 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Ask the Nutritionist: What Do You Think About Juice Cleanses? Q: What do you think about juice cleanses? Are they worth it? A: That depends on why and how youre doing a juice cleanse. If you need the discipline of a juice cleanse to reset your eating habits, one- to three-day cleanses are the perfect dose. A cleanse is the process of clearing the accumulated toxins in your body that can come from the additives and chemicals used in processed foods. Freshly pressed juice, consisting primarily of greens, sends a surge of nutrients into your body; it provides an injection of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients you might not otherwise be getting. Juice cleansing is a conscious effort to reduce your intake of toxins while increasing your intake of nutrient-rich foods. Make sure the juice is organic, otherwise the concept of cleansing is out the window. Nonorganic juices can be laced with a plethora of pesticides, typically in concentrated amounts, because you would juice more produce than you would eat in a single sitting. In addition, your body needs fiber. Fiber is essential for keeping your digestive system regular and also for cleansing. Fiber binds onto toxins and clears them from your body. Juices dont contain fiber--including the prebiotic fiber essential for healthy gut flora, which enable your bodys eliminative organs, such as the liver, kidneys, and colon, to function properly. Thats why juice cleans- ing isnt recommended for longer than three days. Alternatively, you may want to add fiber-rich foods, such as chia or flaxseeds, to your cleanse. I personally love green juice made with kale, Swiss chardcucumber, celery, and ginger. Its my liquid chlorophyll drip that I add daily to my overall diet.  Our bodies are working on overdrive to detoxify and neutralize all the stress they undergo on a daily basis. The best way to show them some love is to eliminate harmful substances and add an abundance of nutrients. Eating clean and organic on a regular basis does this.   Q: Should I avoid no-stir peanut butter? Is natural-style nut butter that separates more healthful for me? A: Nut butters can be grouped into two camps: the stir kind and the no-stir kind. How can you tell? Check the ingredients label. If you see just one ingredient--peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, or whatever type of legume/­­nut/­­seed tickles your fancy-- thats the most natural kind. As a result, the oil rises to the top. Falling into the no-stir camp are the smooth, creamy nut butters that many of us grew up with. The no-stir convenience of these butters is due to the hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, or trans fats, youll find listed on the ingredients label. Meet the author: Peggy Kotsopoulos is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She is author of the book, Kitchen Cures, which is available in August.   

TELL VT: Share Your Favorite Veg Food

July 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

TELL VT: Share Your Favorite Veg Food We want to know: If your best friend was considering becoming vegetarian, what food would you offer him or her to show how good it can be? Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

Taste Buds: Cantaloupe and Vanilla

July 10 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Taste Buds: Cantaloupe and Vanilla What are the BFFs of the food world? Here, Emily von Euw, blogger at This Rawsome Vegan Life, author of 100 Best Juices, Smoothies, and Healthful Snacks, shares her favorite culinary pairing: cantaloupe and vanilla. The pairing of cantaloupe and vanilla proves vanilla is a uniquely flavored bean that shouldnt be synonymous with boring. The flavor of cantaloupe reminds me of cotton candy, so vanilla--earthy and a little bittersweet--complements it wonderfully. Vanilla also brings out notes of cantaloupe usually not noticed, such as a little spiciness. I love serving fresh cantaloupe slightly cold, with a hint of pure vanilla bean powder; you dont want to add too much because it can quickly overpower the melons delicate flavor. I also love blending fresh cantaloupe with frozen mango and adding a tiny bit of vanilla powder. You end up with a distinctively fruity and refreshing drink that tastes almost like a creamy milkshake. For another delicious pairing, theres cantaloupe-vanilla ice cream: blend cantaloupe with coconut milk and a little vanilla powder, then throw into an ice cream maker until you have a light, sweet, luscious, and healthful dessert. --Emily von Euw

A Guide to Cruelty-Free Summer Beauty

July 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

A Guide to Cruelty-Free Summer Beauty Summertime, and the livin should be easy. So, simplify your grooming routine, and get your (sun-damage-free) glow on ?with an assist from naturally sourced, ?cruelty-free goods. Cut the Fuss Streamlining the basics of your skin-care regimen to ?a gentle cleanser, toner, and moisturizer will keep skin balanced while also reducing summer primp time. Danny Neifert of Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Skin Harmonics suggests nurturing skins natural protective barrier with products containing rosewater to soothe dryness and irritation, hyaluronic acid to help skin retain moisture, and natural oils to seal in hydration. Oil-rich moisturizers should be used in two phases, Neifert says. Pat and glide on more than you think, wait five minutes, then massage in to even it out. Other calming, hydrating ingredients to seek out include cucumber and aloe. To prep your face for your pared-down routine and help clear clogged pores, Claudia Colombo, founder of Fábula Skincare & Wellness in New York, advises a weekly exfoliating treatment; for those with ultra-sensitive skin, she suggests a patch test before trying bi-monthly exfoliation. And she recommends using a mild exfoliant with papain and bromelain, found in papayas and pineapples. Product picks for fresh, ?dewy skin: Nourish Organic Face Cleanser ($13.99/­­6 oz.; nourishorganic.com) Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner ($12.95/­­6 oz.; andalou.com) Acure Sensitive Facial Cream ($19.99/­­1.75 oz.; acureorganics.com) Alba Botanica Pineapple Enzyme Hawaiian Facial Scrub ($13.99/­­4 oz.; albabotanica.com) Cover Up in the Sun Slathering on the sun protection is a must when it comes to your daily routine. Sun damage is one of the biggest controllable factors that accelerates aging and skin cancer, says Alan Dattner, MD, a pioneer in the field of holistic dermatology. While a small amount of sun exposure is important to getting natural vitamin D, people often apply too little sunscreen and forget the parts that show age more quickly, like the hands, décolletage, ears, and lips. Thick application and consistent reapplication is key. Dattner recommends a physical sunscreen for its staying power and reduced likelihood of causing skin irritation. Physical sunscreens contain one or both of the active ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, natural minerals finely ground into powders that create a physical barrier between your skin and the sun. While the physical sunscreens of yesteryear had a reputation for leaving a sticky, ghostly-white pallor when applied, modern-day options are more pleasantly lightweight. Be sure to look for broad spectrum on the packaging of any sunscreen you choose. This signals the product will protect you from both types of the suns ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB. The most recent evidence implicates both UVA and UVB in sunburn as well as premature aging and skin cancer. Jessica Krant, MD, of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, also cautions against direct baking in the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the suns rays are the most potent. Shield yourself further by donning chic protective clothing and gear, such as wide-framed sunglasses, broad-brimmed hats, and swimsuits and cover-ups that boast UPF (ultraviolet protection factor), the apparel industrys version of SPF (sun protection factor). Product picks for foolproof ?sun defense: LiViTY Outernational Private Beach ?Hat ($39.99; ?livitystyle.com) California Baby Super Sensitive Broad Spectrum ?SPF 30+ Sunscreen ($19.99/­­2.9 oz.; californiababy.com) Hurraw! ?SPF 15 Sun Balm ?in Tangerine Chamomile ($4.29/­­0.15 oz.; hurrawbalm.com) Create the Look To replicate summers sun-kissed radiance and breezy allure--without risking damage from the sun and parching winds--Katie OSullivan ?(aka The Green Product Junkie) recommends products that conjure bronzed skin, a healthy flush, just-bitten lips, and dreamy beach waves. A tinted, illuminizing moisturizer with SPF 30-plus will even your complexion and shield it from the elements while imparting a just-got-back-from-vacation glow. And because its tinted skin care, you can reapply it during the day, focusing on the cheekbones for extra radiance; use it on arms, hands, and décolletage for sun protection in a pinch; and even rub it into legs to lend color and evenness. To enhance lips and cheeks with a vibrant flush of in-the-sun color, OSullivan suggests a multitasking tint. Apply it to lips first, and then pat whatevers left on your fingers onto the apples of cheeks for a natural blush, or even onto eyelids, especially if its a neutral tan or peach hue, for extra pop. For a tousled, ocean-breeze-swept mane, a texturizing sea salt spray lends volume and texture: just spritz and scrunch at the root and down the length of your hair. A natural salt spray with moisturizers such as coconut and aloe can also be used to revive limp hair when you hit the snooze button too many times to catch a shower. Product picks for breezy, bronzed beauty: Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer, shown in Sand ($29/­­2 oz.; juicebeauty.com) Aster & Bay Beet Root + Hibiscus Lip Stain ($12/­­0.25 oz.; asterandbay.com) The Gnarly ?Whale Cucumber Melon Hair Beach Waves ($12/­­8 oz.; ?thegnarlywhale.com) 

Shop Like a Chef: How to Buy Non-Dairy Milks

June 29 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Shop Like a Chef: How to Buy Non-Dairy Milks Whether you’re lactose-intolerant, follow a vegan diet, or just want to switch it up, non-dairy milks (also known as alternative milks, or alt milks) make a tasty and versatile addition to try. There are many varieties on the market today--we arent limited to just soy milk anymore. While the milks may come across as straightforward, here’s some important label lingo to know: o BPA-free You may associate this term with cans, but in fact, the Tetra Paks that non-dairy milks are packaged in are often lined with BPA. This helps maintain freshness, and the lining is slippery, so there is no residue left in the package when you pour. However, some health risk concerns have been raised about this chemical, so look for packages marked BPA-free. o Carageenan This is a sea vegetable that is used to slightly thicken and stabilize non-dairy milks. It is used in very small amounts, but some people dont want any additives in their products, and some have sensitivities to it. Making your own milk from scratch--or choosing non-dairy milks made without carageenan--can solve this problem. o Organic This is especially important for soy milks. Over 80% of the soy production in the U.S. is GMO, and before we have solid scientific evidence of its effect on our health in the long run, its best to avoid it. If a product is certified organic, then you can rest assured there are no GMO ingredients in it. o Protein levels Different non-dairy milks have different levels of protein. Soy has the highest, at around 9 grams per serving, while rice milk has almost none. Protein needs vary per individual, so check the nutritional panel if youre watching your intake. Ready to go shopping? Here are some alt milks youre likely to find at the market: o Soy Its high in plant-based protein, but be sure to buy organic and unsweetened. o Hemp This variety has around 5 grams of protein per serving and has high levels of good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids. o Oat This ones high in fiber but tends to be high in sugar too--buy unsweetened. o Almond This milk has about 2 grams of protein per serving. While almonds are high in protein, packaged milk is mostly water. o Rice The amount of protein in rice milk is negligible, but its a great option for those with gluten or nut allergies. Tip Using your milk beyond smoothies and cereal? No problem. In baked goods, non-dairy options can be substituted seamlessly. For cream sauces and ice creams, making your own milks is best. Most commercially made milks are very thin, similar to skim milk consistency. They do not thicken when reduced and if used in ice creams, they crystallize and result in an icy texture. 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.

How to Get Enough DHA and EPA

June 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Get Enough DHA and EPAIllustration: Aleks Sennwald DHA and EPA affect every cell, every tissue, every organ in the body and cannot be replaced by other nutrients, says Richard Passwater, PhD, co-author with J?rn Dyerberg, MD, of The Missing Wellness Factors: EPA and DHA. The omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid--better known as DHA and EPA, respectively--support brain and heart function, maintain vision, improve mood, and control inflammation. Yet only 25 percent of the population consumes either of these vital fats on a given day, and even then the average intake is far below recommended amounts. Power Source The body can convert alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 found in flaxseed oil and walnuts, into DHA and EPA, but not efficiently. So, vegetarians should look to get DHA and EPA from supplements made from microalgae, which is the ultimate source of the omega-3s in fish and fish oil supplements. According to a report in Current Diabetes Reviews, getting omega-3s from either fish or microalgae oils results in increased circulation of both DHA and EPA and protection against cardiovascular risk. For a bonus, supplement makers often use sustainable microalgae grown in controlled environments, which avoids ocean-borne contamination as well as toxins such as the mercury found in fish. Use It Right For healthy vegans and vegetarians, Dr. Dyerberg and I recommend supplementing with at least 200 to 300 milligrams combined total DHA and EPA and preferably up to 1,000 milligrams combined total, says Passwater. Where certain diseases like arthritis are present, up to 3,000 milligrams is suggested. Watch Out For No adverse affects are associated with recommended doses. But do consult your health care provider if you take blood thinners or blood-pressure medications. Try Deva Vegan Omega-3 DHA-EPA ($29.99/­­90 200-mg combined total v-caps; devanutrition.com) Nature Made 100% Vegetarian Omega-3 DHA+EPA ($28.99/­­60 540-mg combined total v-caps; naturemade.com)

Summer Pea and Radish Pitas

June 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Bring vinegar, 1/­­4 cup water, and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat, and pour over onion slices in bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain onion, and set aside. Reserve vinegar. 2 | Meanwhile, bring medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add peas. When water returns to a boil, blanch 2 minutes. Drain, and rinse peas under cold water. Drain, and set aside in colander. 3 | Whisk 3 Tbs. reserved onion-vinegar liquid with oil in large bowl. Add onions, peas, pea shoots, radishes, and sunflower seeds, and toss to coat. 4 | Spread each pita half with 2 Tbs. cream cheese. Fill each with 1 heaping cup pea mixture.

Polenta Cake with Blackberries and Fresh Corn

June 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Cake: Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray, dust with flour, then set aside. 2 | Whisk together 1 cup flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Remove 1 Tbs. cornmeal mixture; set aside. 3 | Pulse tofu in food processor 10 seconds, or until creamy, but not completely smooth. With machine still running, pour in oil. Stir with spoon, add remaining 2 Tbs. flour, and pulse 10 seconds more, to combine. Transfer to bowl, and whisk in almond milk. Stir almond milk mixture into flour mixture. Toss corn kernels and blackberries with 1 Tbs. reserved cornmeal mixture, and fold into batter. Transfer to prepared cake pan. 4 | Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until lightly golden, and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 5 | Meanwhile, to make Sauce: Bring 2 cups blackberries, sugar, and 1/­­4 cup water to a boil in small saucepan over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until bubbly and thickened. Transfer to serving glass or bowl, and cool 15 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 cup blackberries, lime juice, thyme, and lime zest. 6 | Unmold Cake on wire rack to cool. Sift confectioners sugar over Cake. 7 | To serve: Slice Cake into wedges, and spoon warm Sauce over top. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Minty Melon Sorbet

June 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Stir together sugar and 1 cup water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, and cool, stirring occasionally. 2 | Blend sugar syrup with lime juice, vodka, cantaloupe, ginger, and salt in blender or food processor 30 seconds, or until completely smooth. Add mint, and pulse several times until mint is chopped. Chill cantaloupe mixture, then churn in 2-qt. ice cream maker according to manufacturers directions. 3 | Place 1 large scoop of sorbet into each of eight bowls, and garnish with mint leaves and 1 pinch lime zest.

Mini Pepper Poppers

June 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat grill to medium. 2 | Slice stem ends from sweet peppers, and scoop out seeds. 3 | Mash together remaining ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Fill each pepper with 2 tsp. cheese mixture using resealable plastic bag with small hole cut in corner. Coat outside of peppers with cooking spray. 4 | Grill stuffed peppers 3 to 5 minutes, or until just tender, turning with tongs to get grill marks on all sides. Serve with toothpicks.

Honey-Roasted Plum and Raspberry Chia Pudding

June 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Soak cashews in large bowl of cold water 2 to 4 hours. Drain, rinse, and drain again. Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange plum quarters in single layer in baking dish, drizzle with honey, and roast 20 minutes, or until soft and juicy. Cool. 2 | Blend raspberries, vanilla, and 1 1/­­2 cups water in blender until smooth. Transfer to strainer, and strain out raspberry seeds. 3 | Add plums and coconut butter to blender along with strained raspberry mixture, and blend until completely smooth. Transfer to bowl, and whisk in chia seeds. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours, or until chilled. Serve garnished with raspberries.

High/Low: 2 Juicers We Love

June 19 2015 Vegetarian Times 

High/Low: 2 Juicers We Love Skip the juice bar! You can whip up your own cool, refreshing drinks at home with these easy-to-use juicers. Splurge Serious about juicing? The Kuvings B6000 Whole Slow Juicer gets more of the good stuff from whole fruits and veggies by crushing and pressing them. $429.95; kuvingsusa.com Save The powerful Breville Juice Fountain Compact makes quick work of your produce while saving precious counter space. $99.99; brevilleusa.com Know the lingo Traditional centrifugal juicers (such as the Breville) use spinning blades to separate the juice from the pulp, while pricier masticating juicers (such as the Kuvings) slowly press out the juice, retaining some of the pulp--and digestion-aiding fiber. Got a favorite juicer (or juice concoction)? Share in the comments below!

How I Learned to Love Xanthan Gum (Through Gluten-Free Baking)

June 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How I Learned to Love Xanthan Gum (Through Gluten-Free Baking) I am an obsessive label reader. Show me a food product or snack item I havent heard of before, and I wont look at the packaging or calories--Ill zoom straight for the ingredients list. For the longest time, xanthan gum was the scourge of my label searches. It sounded artificial and scary. I equated it with Red Dye # 2 in terms of hidden food dangers. Look! Its in this ice cream! Id point out. And, Can you believe they now put xanthan gum in salad dressings? What is the world coming to? Then I began my gluten-free baking journey. Xanthan gum is a common ingredient in gluten-free recipes. At first, I resisted using it thinking I didnt need that artificial white additive. Turns out, I did. After much, much trial and error, I learned that xanthan gum is one of the best baking ingredients around for mimicking gluten. (It also does some really cool things to sauces.) Its essential for any kind of gluten-free yeast bread. And its not scary at all. Despite the freaky name, xanthan gum is just a dried, powdered plant gel. I guess that soft-serve ice cream is OK to eat after all! If you want to get a better handle on how xanthan gum is used in gluten-free baking please join me in Vegetarian Times online Gluten-Free Vegetarian Cooking course. In it, I share what Ive learned about using xanthan gum in gluten-free baking, plus provide plenty of recipes that use xanthan gum as a gluten stand-in. Too bad all those strange ingredients found in prepared foods arent as harmless as xanthan gum!

Are Food Bikes the Next Food Trucks?

June 12 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Are Food Bikes the Next Food Trucks? Illustration: Ping Zhu Food trucks are making way for bicycles as a nimbler, greener vehicle for mobile meal service. Employing souped-up bikes--and even trikes--food entrepreneurs are delivering culinary pleasures to peckish pedestrians. Heres a tasty selection. Two Rivers ?Cider Company Sacramento, Calif. Founder Vincent Sterne peddles organically milled cider in such flavors as Gravenstein apple, pomegranate, and blackberry from a specially outfitted bicycle bar with two taps. Its eco-friendly, he says. Convenience is another big factor. ?Its much easier getting around than ?in a truck. Go! Ice Cream Ypsilanti, Mich. For owner Robert Hess, a bike is seventy-five percent mission and twenty-five percent getting the product out. I also love the idea of combining physical activity and ice cream. While Go!s hand-crafted brown butter, three-bean vanilla, and vegan chocolate varieties draw crowds, the bikes a huge attraction on its own. Its a great visual, and kids love it, Hess says. Taco Bike Nashville, Tenn. Owner Cayla Mackey also views a two-wheeler as a potent marketing tool. Many people dont think Im actually selling food from the bicycle, but then they get curious, she explains. Mackeys meat-free, certified-organic offerings include huevos (beans and eggs), papas (beans and potatoes), and migas (eggs and tortilla crumbs with cheese). Jian Bing Johnnys Berkeley, Calif. This venture combines food love and eco-activism for John Romankiewicz, the blogger known as Sustainable John. For his jian bing--vegetarian cr?pes that are a staple in northern China--Romankiewicz uses ?a hot griddle to sizzle up mung-bean-flour batter with egg, cilantro, green onion, and three different Chinese sauces inside. And, he admits, theres another reason hes slinging his jian bing from two wheels instead of four: its good for business. ?Im operating a one-man show, he says. My profit per unit sold is higher. Truth be told, we love four-wheeled eateries too. Here are a few of our favorite all-veg food trucks.

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Apricots

June 9 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Apricots A member of the stone fruit family thanks to its stone-?like pit, the sweet-tart apricot is so much more than ?a peach wannabe. Pick Harbingers of summer, apricots are often available at markets before other stone fruits. For superior flavor and aroma, look for the Blenheim variety, says Bruce Steele of Winfield Farm in Buellton, Calif. He suggests selecting apricots that are slightly yielding to the touch (but not mushy). Place unripe apricots in a paper bag at room temperature for one to two days. The delicate fruit will continue to ripen quicker than other stone fruits, so enjoy apricots promptly, or store in the refrigerator for up to three days; to prevent bruising, try not to stack them. Prep Remove pits by running a paring knife around the fruit following its natural seam, then gently twist the halves apart, and pop out the kernel. ?If not using right away, brush the cut sides with lemon juice to prevent the flesh from discoloring. Apricots can be enjoyed raw, while grilling, baking, or simmering intensifies their natural sweetness. Steele suggests using these fruits for jellies or preserves due to their fleeting season and short shelf life. If a recipe calls for peeling apricots, slice an X in the skin, then submerge the fruit in boiling water for 30 seconds, and remove with a slotted spoon. Once cooled, the skin will peel off effortlessly. Try This 1. For a spicy-sweet riff on gazpacho, blend together apricots, cucumber, scallions, mint, jalape?o, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt; add water as needed, and serve garnished with diced avocado. 2. Toss together a salad of sliced apricots, chickpeas, arugula, mint, sliced red onion, chopped almonds, and feta cheese; serve with an orange-ginger vinaigrette. 3. Blend together apricots, ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and vanilla extract; pour into ice pop molds, and freeze. 4. Chop apricots and combine with berries and apricot preserves for a sweet take on salsa (pictured).  Whats your favorite way to use apricots? Share in the comments below!

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.

The Find: Miyokos Creamery Vegan Cheese

June 4 2015 Vegetarian Times 

The Find: Miyokos Creamery Vegan Cheese Here at VT, were always on the lookout for the latest-and-greatest vegan cheese. Kite Hill. Treeline. Dr-Cow. We’ve devoured it all. Our current obsession? Miyokos Creamery. The aged cashew-based goodies made by vegan DIYer Miyoko Schinner--author of Artisan Vegan Cheese and the upcoming The Homemade Vegan Pantry cookbooks--totally elevate any cheese plate, sandwich, pasta dish, or straight-up snack attack. You can usually choose from around 10 varieties, though availability changes with the seasons. Right now, were all about earthy French Style Winter Truffle; rich Aged English Smoked Farmhouse; and creamy, Mediterranean-inspired Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic (pictured), great for a no-moo bagel brunch. Sweet bonus: Miyoko donates 1 percent of online sales to a different animal rights nonprofit every month (Mays organization was Friends of Animals). You don’t need to be vegan to appreciate this stuff. Cheese-loving vegetarians can turn to it as a just-as-delish-as-the-real-deal alternative--after all, many classic cheeses are made with animal rennet and are off limits to vegans and vegetarians. Hungry for more? Grab Miyokos Creamery products at Northern California grocers or online here.

Spoon-Fed: How Traveling Spoon Helps Hungry Travelers

June 2 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Spoon-Fed: How Traveling Spoon Helps Hungry Travelers On vacation in the Yucatan, Aashi Vel spied a captivating scene through a window. In a tiny kitchen, a woman was preparing a colorful feast. It was a lightbulb moment for Vel, a tireless traveler: how could she share authentic food and culture with locals? In business school, she met Steph Lawrence, who shared the same passion, and Traveling Spoon was born. The idea is brilliantly simple: Travelers choose a destination by completing a detailed online form. Based on their tastes, Traveling Spoon connects them with a vetted host in the companys vast network. Prices start at $20 per traveler for a home-cooked meal, or a class and meal--and open-arms hospitality--on the road. The experience goes beyond dining, Vel says: Sharing food allows people to open up about themselves and learn from each other. Traveling Spoon is especially appealing for vegetarians journeying to destinations where dining can get tricky. When you register for the service, a dietary restrictions field allows you to specify vegetarian or vegan. If a vegetarian host isnt available where youre traveling, Traveling Spoon ensures meals get tailored to your profile. On a visit to Kochi, India, Ronna Kellys hosts prepared extra veg dishes for her. We had the most delicious meal of the trip, Kelly says. But we also learned nuances about India that we didnt get from guidebooks. After expanding across Asia, Traveling Spoon hopes to go global. And if the success of sites like Airbnb is any sign, Traveling Spoon will be making many future meal matches. Griddle Me This A vegetarian specialty from the kitchen of Durga Gopalan--whos welcomed Traveling Spoon guests into her Chennai, India, home (and whose veg-tastic feast is pictured above)--is the South Indian pancake known as adai. Gopalan describes the regional staple as a mixed-lentil-and-rice pancake cooked on a griddle and spiced with dry red chiles, grated ginger, and curry leaves, adding: Our personal touch is to add the tender iron-rich leaves of the moringa tree from my garden just before pouring out the pancakes. Gopalan serves the protein-packed pancakes with homemade gravies and chutney.

Shop Like a Chef: How to Make the Most of Summer Produce

May 28 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Shop Like a Chef: How to Make the Most of Summer Produce 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. Fresh summer produce is on the verge of running rampant. Hurray! There are endless, easy ways to incorporate variety, color, and vibrant flavors into your warm-weather cooking. Simply follow these tips for using seasonal fruits and veggies--whether you picked them up at your neighborhood farmers’ market, closest grocery store, or your own rooftop garden. 1. Go Local (and Organic) Summer is the perfect time to support small local farms--a surplus of produce means inexpensive, seasonal finds. Buy organic whenever possible, especially when it comes to favorites such as strawberries, grapes, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Anything with a thick outer skin like corn or cantaloupe is less prone to pesticide exposure. (Check out the EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen for a complete list.) 2. Store with Care If refrigerating produce, store in a loose-fitting bag with a towel to absorb extra moisture, and don’t wash it until you’re ready to eat or cook it. Got a variety of fruits and vegetables? Fruits give off high levels of ethylene, which causes ripening, so keep them separate from the veggies. Lastly, set your refrigerator to 40° F or lower, and dont overfill it, so as to maintain proper cooling. 3. Get Creative To keep things exciting, try switching up how you prepare summer produce. A few foolproof ideas: o Pickling and infused oils Pickle items like okra, cucumbers and jalapenos in a warm mixture of vinegar, red chili flakes, and sea salt. As for fresh herbs like basil or chives, steep them in oil to make a flavorful base for salad dressings. o Fruit granita Create a refreshing dessert by blending fresh fruit like cherries, peaches, or watermelon, then freezing and occasionally scraping the mixture with a fork until frozen. o Infused water Choose anything from fresh chamomile flowers to peaches, and add to ice water for more enticing hydration. o Grilled salsa and relishes Char anything from tomatoes to corn to zucchini and toss in a vinaigrette to serve with fresh mozzarella or your favorite protein. o Vegetable carpaccio Cut your favorite vegetables like zucchini, summer squash, or tomatoes paper-thin, and toss with a small amount of salt to release moisture. Drizzle with a simple vinaigrette, and sprinkle with fresh herbs. 4. Waste Not If you have too much to eat, don’t toss it. You can always blanche and freeze extra greens for soups and sauces; blend large amounts of fresh produce down to a juice, chilled soup, or gazpacho; throw produce on the grill to use in weekday salads and sandwiches; or dehydrate items like stone fruit for a quick snack or to use in a favorite recipe. Still stumped? Schedule a dinner party or impromptu picnic with friends! Meet the Author Chef Olivia Roszkowski is a graduate of Natural Gourmet Institutes Chefs Training Program and a full-time instructor. She holds a bachelors degree in neuroscience and behavior from Columbia University, has worked at various well-known NYC restaurants, including The Mercer Kitchen and Momofuku Ssam Bar, and is a master at root-to-frond cooking.

Tell VT: Go-To Veggie Burger Toppings?

May 27 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Tell VT: Go-To Veggie Burger Toppings? Got a super-tasty and creative way to top your meatless patty? We want to hear about it! Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

Is Low-Fat Always Better Than Full-Fat?

May 21 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Is Low-Fat Always Better Than Full-Fat?Illustration: Stephanie Birdsong Nope! It’s a myth. It wasnt so long ago that we began blaming fat for all the things that ail us, leading to widespread fat phobia and the proliferation of lower-fat foods on store shelves. Yet opting for only low-fat or fat-free items might be hurting, not helping, our health and weight-loss efforts. Researchers at Cornell University discovered that labeling snacks as low-fat ups their consumption at a single sitting by as much as 50 percent. Why? ?A low-fat label can increase what people perceive to be an appropriate serving size, and temper the guilt associated with, say, polishing off a bag of reduced-fat chips; similarly, a study in the journal Appetite found that people tend to underestimate the calories in candy presented as low-fat, and also perceive the candy to be more healthful than full-fat versions. Such miscalculations can lead to excessive calorie intake and potential weight gain. Worse still, reduced-fat versions of grocery products arent necessarily ?a nutritional upgrade. When fat is removed from such items as peanut butter, frozen yogurt, and salad dressings, manufacturers tend to make up for the ?loss of flavor and texture by pumping in more sugar and salt, which raise ?heart disease risk. Not to be overlooked are nutritional assists from fats. A type of unsaturated fat called oleic acid, packed into foods including olive oil, converts to a hunger-curbing compound in the body, thus helping curtail between-meal trips to the cookie jar. Fat also improves absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as the vitamin D added to milk. And, according to research from Purdue University, even just a bit of the monounsaturated fat in canola oil- or olive oil-based dressings promotes absorption of health-protective carotenoid antioxidants supplied by salad veggies. Fat Chance Adults should get 20 to 35 percent of their calories from fat, according to the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services. Start with these naturally fat-rich plant foods that provide plenty of nutritional perks. Almond butter supplies magnesium, a mineral that aids in lessening heart disease risk. ?Spread on crackers, apple slices, and celery sticks. Here’s how to make your own almond butter. Avocado boosts dietary fiber intake to help kick-start weight loss. ?Blend into smoothies, chocolate desserts, and dips. Hemp seeds are a good source of plant-based protein, delivering about ?10 grams per 3-tablespoon serving. ?Add to yogurt, salads, and soups. Bottom Line: Dont always fear the fat. In most cases, youre better off selecting the full-fat versions of grocery goods, and simply paying attention to portions to keep calories in check.

How to Create Umami

May 20 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Umami is one of the five basic tastes and it refers to savory-ness. Knowing how to create this taste can enhance the overall flavor of your plant-based dishes.

Creamy Soup without the Cream

May 19 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Learn how to use oats instead of cream or butter to create a rich, velvety texture for your soups. Recipe: Cream of Celeriac Soup with Oats Recipe: Parsley Oil Garnish

Plate Like a Chef

May 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Aside from being delicious, learn how to make your food look beautiful too. Learn plating techniques that will take your food presentations to a whole new level.

Brining Your Spices to Life

May 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Learn how to make spices richer, bolder and more fragrant with just a few simple techniques. Recipe: Chinese 5-Spice Syrup

Essential Cutting Skills

May 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Use the skills learned in Knife 101 to master sauté slicing, and dicing.

Knife 101

May 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Mastering proper knife skills will cut your prep time in half, and make some of your food look better too.

Cookbook Snapshot: Recipes from Cinnamon Snail Food Truck

May 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Cookbook Snapshot: Recipes from Cinnamon Snail Food Truck Fans of Cinnamon Snail, rejoice! While the beloved NYC-based food truck recently called it (mostly) quits, chef/­­owner Adam Sobel has served up a new cookbook, Street Vegan: Recipes and Dispatches from The Cinnamon Snail Food Truck, so you can re-create truck favorites such as Fresh Fig Pancakes and Gochujang Burger Deluxe at home. Among the 150 recipes are hearty sandwiches, decadent doughnuts, and veganized breakfast classics for a crowd. Dont know where to start? Weve got our eye on the New England-Style Chickpea Crab Cakes with Lemon Dijon Tartar Sauce, excerpted below. New England-Style Chickpea Crab Cakes With Lemon Dijon Tartar Sauce Serves 5 These cakes dont taste like ground-up adorable sea creatures, and thats one of the many reasons why I love them a lot. Japanese bread crumbs (panko) give them a crispy golden exterior, and they get their summer vacation happiness (and a gentle seaside flavor without the fish) from nourishing sea vegetables, fresh parsley, and plenty of lemon zest. For the tartar sauce 2 Tbs. coconut oil 5 garlic cloves, chopped 1 small sour pickle, chopped 1 tsp. dried thyme 1 tsp. dried oregano Juice of 1 lemon 1 Tbs. mirin 1 Tbs. umeboshi plum vinegar 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard 1 Tbs. agave nectar 4 oz. soft tofu 1 minced scallion, green and white parts, plus more for garnish 1 Tbs. grated lemon zest For the cakes 1/­­4 tsp. dried hijiki 2 Tbs. dried wakame 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 2 shallots, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 1 1/­­2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained 3 Tbs. white miso paste 1/­­4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill 1 Tbs. grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish 1/­­2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 3/­­4 cup all-purpose flour 1/­­3 cup canola oil 1 cup unsweetened soy milk 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard 2 cups panko bread crumbs 1 1/­­4 cups coarsely chopped frisée, mustard greens, or arugula, for serving 1. Make the tartar sauce: Melt the coconut oil in a sauté pan set over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, pickle, thyme, and oregano in the hot oil for about 3 minutes, until the garlic turns golden. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice, mirin, plum vinegar, mustard, and agave nectar. 2. Scrape the contents of the pan into a blender. Crumble the tofu into the blender and blend at high speed for 40 seconds, until a mostly smooth puree is formed. Pulse in the scallion and lemon zest until just combined. Chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days in an airtight container. 3. Make the cakes: Place the hijiki and wakame in a small bowl and pour 2 cups hot water over them. Allow the sea vegetables to rehydrate for 15 to 20 minutes. 4. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan set over medium heat. Sauté the shallots, garlic, and celery for 4 to 5 minutes, until the shallots start to soften. Drain and rinse the sea vegetables and add them to the sauté pan. Transfer the contents of the pan, along with the chickpeas, miso, parsley, dill, lemon zest, pepper, and flour, to a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds, to evenly distribute all ingredients, but leaving the mixture chunky. Divide the contents of the food processor into 20 round silver-dollar-size fritters, about 1/­­2 inch thick, smoothing the outside with wet hands. 5. Fry the cakes: Heat the canola oil in a frying pan set over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, combine the soy milk and mustard, which will cause the milk to curdle and thicken; place the bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Dip each chickpea cake in the curdled soy milk, then in the bread crumbs, and then slip each cake into the hot oil. Working in batches, fry the cakes for about 2 minutes on each side, until each is heated through and has an even golden crust. Drain the fried cakes on a paper-towel-lined plate. Serve immediately, or reheat anytime within 24 hours. 6. On each plate, place 1/­­4 cup mixed greens, 4 hot chickpea cakes, and a ramekin with 3 or 4 tablespoons of the tartar sauce. Garnish with lemon zest, scallions, and parsley.

Brown Rice Vinegar Vinaigrette with Sesame Oil

May 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Brown Rice Vinegar Vinaigrette with Sesame Oil   Serves 6   VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE   INGREDIENTS: 1/­­4 cup brown rice vinegar 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard 2 Tbs. cilantro 2 Tbs. salt 1/­­2 cup sesame oil   INSTRUCTIONS: Whisk together vinegar, mustard, cilantro, and salt in bowl. Slowly whisk in sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sponsored content: Presented by Natural Gourmet Institute

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

May 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake   Serves 12   GLUTEN FREE   INGREDIENTS: 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 Tbs. softened butter for greasing pan 2/­­3 cup plus 2 Tbs. cocoa powder, divided 1 cup maple syrup 2/­­3 cup pitted dates 2 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/­­3 cup Gluten-Free Flour Mix 1/­­3 cup sorghum flour 1 tsp. baking powder pinch sea salt 1/­­2 cup bittersweet chocolate, melted 2 Tbs. toasted chopped walnuts   INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 9 1/­­2 -inch Bundt pan with 1Tbs. butter, and dust with 2 Tbs. cocoa powder. 2. Blend maple syrup and dates in food processor until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, and melted butter, and blend to combine. 3. Whisk together Gluten-Free Flour Mix, sorghum flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 2/­­3 cup cocoa powder in medium bowl. Add flour mixture to food processor, and blend until combined. 4. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan, and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan, then unmold. Drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with walnuts. Gluten-Free Flour Mix   Makes 3 cups   INGREDIENTS: 2 cups white rice flour 2/­­3 cups potato starch 1/­­3 cup tapioca starch   INSTRUCTIONS: Whisk together all ingredients until combined. Store in airtight container until ready to use. Sponsored content: Presented by Natural Gourmet Institute

Basil Ice Cream

May 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Basil Ice Cream   Makes 1 pint   VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE   INGREDIENTS: 3 oz. fresh basil leaves 1 14 oz. can coconut milk 6 Tbs. maple syrup 2 Tbs. rice syrup 1 1/­­2 tsp. vanilla extract pinch sea salt   INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Bring medium pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare large bowl of ice water for ice bath. 2. Blanch basil in boiling water 1 second. Drain, then transfer to ice water to cool. Drain, and squeeze out excess water. 3. Blend coconut milk, maple syrup, rice syrup, vanilla extract, salt, and basil in blender until smooth. Transfer mixture to ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturers directions. Sponsored content: Presented by Natural Gourmet Institute

Umami White Bean Tart with Roasted Tomatoes and Shiitake Mushrooms

May 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Umami White Bean Tart with Roasted Tomatoes and Shiitake Mushrooms   Serves 6   INGREDIENTS: Beans 1 1/­­2 cups dried Great Northern beans, soaked 1 sprig fresh rosemary 4 cups water 1/­­2 tsp. salt 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced 1/­­4 cup olive oil Tomatoes 1 pint cherry or pear tomatoes, halved 2 Tbs. olive oil 1/­­4 tsp. salt Mushrooms 1/­­2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 3 Tbs. olive oil 1/­­4 tsp. salt 6 Pre-baked Pressed Nut Tart Crusts   INSTRUCTIONS: 1. To make Beans: Place beans in large bowl, cover with cold water, and soak 6 hours, or overnight. Drain, and transfer to medium saucepan with rosemary, salt, and 4 cups water. Bring beans to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered 45 minutes or until beans are tender. Drain, and reserve cooking liquid. Discard rosemary sprig, and set aside. 2. Heat oil and garlic in medium skillet over low heat. As soon as garlic sizzles, remove from heat, and cool. 3. Purée beans, oil, and garlic in food processor until smooth, adding cooking liquid if necessary to make mixture creamy. Set aside. 4. To make Tomatoes: Preheat oven to 150° F. Toss tomatoes with oil and salt on baking sheet, and bake 3 hours, or until tomatoes are tender and roasted. Set aside. To make Mushrooms: Increase oven temperature to 350?F. Toss mushrooms with oil and salt on baking sheet, and roast 30 minutes, or until browned and crispy, stirring occasionally. 5. To assemble: Divide Bean puree among Pressed Nut Crusts. Garnish with Tomatoes and Mushrooms. Sponsored content: Presented by Natural Gourmet Institute

CREAM OF CELERIAC SOUP WITH OATS

May 15 2015 Vegetarian Times 

CREAM OF CELERIAC SOUP WITH OATS   Serves 6 VEGAN INGREDIENTS: 1 Tbs. olive oil 1 medium leek (12 oz.) trimmed and thinly sliced 1 tsp. sea salt 1 1/­­4 lb. celery root, peeled and cut into large dice 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 1/­­4 cup rolled oats 1 tsp. lemon juice 1/­­4 cup finely sliced green onions, for garnish INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add leek and salt, and cook 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring often to prevent browning. 2. Add celery root, and cook 10 minutes more, or until celery root starts to be tender. 3. Add broth and oats, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer with lid ajar 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. 4. Transfer soup to blender, and puree until very smooth. 5. Return soup to pot and reheat Stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Movie on a Mission: Seeds of Time

May 14 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: Seeds of TimePhoto: Damian Caisson The future of food is in peril, warns the documentary film Seeds of Time. Gorgeously shot, the film follows the global odyssey of agriculture pioneer Cary Fowler to help ensure food security for the worlds population. Here, we dig a bit deeper with Fowler about what makes for a sustainable food system. In the film you say agriculture is facing a perfect storm of threats. What do you mean by that? What makes the current situation so daunting is that agriculture faces multiple threats simultaneously, each of which would be difficult to address on its own: climate/­­weather, water availability, rising demand, loss of cropland and land degradation, new pests and diseases (plus increasing resistance to chemical controls), and terribly inadequate investments in agricultural research and plant breeding, particularly for crops other than the major staples. We need agriculture to produce 50 to 70 percent more food by midcentury, but little in our actions conveys confidence that were committed to making this happen. Yet, if it doesnt, hunger and malnutrition will increase dramatically, food prices will rise, and incidents of war and civil strife will likely increase. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault near the Arctic Circle has been called a Noahs Ark for the worlds crops. So why cant we simply sit back and rest secure that the work ends with stocking the vault? The Seed Vault has put an end to the extinction of the crop varieties it holds: 864,000 different ones at the moment. It is a backup to traditional seed banks, and is necessary because many of those seed banks operate sub-optimally, without the ability to guarantee conservation. Moreover, those seed banks--the depositors of seed in Svalbard--are responsible for researching the diversity they hold and providing it to plant breeders and other researchers. It is not enough simply to conserve diversity. We must build comprehensive inventories of the traits held in the seed samples so that when the need arises for a particular type of pest or disease resistance, for example, we will know where to find it. How would you respond to those who say the future of agriculture lies in genetically engineered crops? I dont think the future of agriculture lies with any particular technology, but I do think it depends significantly on research and plant breeding. With climate change we are entering unchartered waters and we are doing so very quickly. The adaptation and evolution of our domesticated crops is in our hands, and yet for a number of crops there are zero scientifically trained plant breeders. There are, I believe, only six yam breeders in the world. This is not a crop easily bred by farmers. How secure can the future of yams be in a rapidly changing environment? Sadly this is the situation faced by many crops. What can the average person do to help preserve our food heritage?  Many people can participate concretely in conserving diversity by growing endangered varieties and seed saving. If you have room for a tomato plant, you have room for a dwarf apple tree of a rare variety! But everyone--whether they have a garden or farm or not--has the ability to provide support to organizations active in this field, such as Seed Savers Exchange or the Global Crop Diversity Trust. Everyone also has the capacity to send a letter to their political representatives. Since our politicians dont expect any mail on this topic whatsoever, a single letter can grab their attention. Personally, I advocate more public support for our national germplasm [living genetic resources, such as seeds] system, including the national seed bank for the U.S. in Ft. Collins, Colo. Seed banks are never high on the priority list for funding. In fact, they are largely invisible. Imagine that--the biological foundation of agriculture, and its of no particular concern! In real terms, the national seed bank in Ft. Collins gets by at or somewhat below its budget of a decade ago. It rather should be getting more funding and gearing up to provide the tools needed to help our crop varieties adapt to climate change.

Shop Like a Chef: How to Choose the Best Cooking Oils

May 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Shop Like a Chef: How to Choose the Best Cooking Oils 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. Intimidated by the wall of oils at your local supermarket? Here are the top three varieties used at Natural Gourmet Institute for everyday cooking, plus a few handy tips for picking out the best bottles: 1. Olive Oil Choose extra virgin every time, which veritably guarantees that it has been cold-pressed--with optimum flavor and heart-healthy nutrients. Look for the USDA Organic stamp for quality assurance, but judge taste based on a range of variables. Every olive has its own flavor profile, and an estate-bottled, single varietal label carries the same promise as any terroir-driven wine. Olive oil can be used for high-heat cooking, but the loss of delicate flavors mean frying may not be the best use of that $30 bottle. 2. Canola Oil Because much of the rapeseed used to make canola oil is GMO, choose only USDA Organic and/­­or Non-GMO Project-verified bottles. At Natural Gourmet Institute, this is the go-to high-heat oil. Its neutral flavor and relatively low price make it a great choice for roasting, sautéing, and occasional deep-frying, as well as a great foundation for marinades, vinaigrettes, and aioli. 3. Coconut Oil Nothing like the commercial sludge of yore, much of the coconut oil available nowadays is high-quality and organic. The refined, odorless type is great for high-heat cooking, and the aromatic unrefined version works for more delicate preparations. Because this oil solidifies at cold temperatures, it works great as a vegan shortening and finds its way into pie crusts, scones, and cookies when dairy-based shortenings wont do. Shopping Tip Buy from stores that rotate their stock often, and pick oil sold in a dark or opaque container. Taste what you purchase as soon as you get home, so you can start discerning changes as the oil degrades over time. It may not be rancid, but just like with a bottle of wine, heat, light, and oxygen will start breaking down aromatic compounds and the stuff just wont taste fresh anymore. One way to prolong the lifetime of an oil is to keep a weeks supply on the countertop for easy access, and store the rest in your fridge. 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.

Pineapple-Tomatillo Smoothie

May 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Bring tomatillos, pineapple juice, and jalape?o to a boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and chill. 2 | Combine tomatillo mixture, pineapple chunks, and cilantro in blender. Purée on high speed until thoroughly blended.

Tell VT: What’s Your Favorite Summery Dessert?

May 5 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Tell VT: What’s Your Favorite Summery Dessert? Got a go-to warm-weather treat? (We love berry shortcakes!) Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

Vote Now! Announcing Our 2015 Foodie Awards Nominations

May 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Vote Now! Announcing Our 2015 Foodie Awards Nominations Calling all grocery shoppers! We need your help: for this years Foodie Awards, VT editors scoured every corner of the supermarket--from the refrigerator case to the frozen foods to the bread aisle--to pick 100 must-have veg products both new and old. Got a favorite hummus? Nut milkBreakfast burrito? We want to know your go-to grocery buys so that we can build the ultimate shopping list. Vote in any or all categories from now until May 31, then check for the winners in our October issue. Just by voting, you could win a $100 gift card. Ready? Get your vote on!

Pan-Fried Pakoras

May 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Stir together garbanzo bean flour, garam masala, salt, and pepper in medium bowl. Whisk in lemon juice, 2 tsp. oil, and 1 cup cold water. Let rest 5 minutes. Fold onion, carrots, peas, and tofu into batter. 2 | Heat remaining 1 cup oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon 1 Tbs. batter into hot oil for each pakora, about 6 at a time. Cook 2 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. Flip, and cook 2 minutes more, or until golden brown. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate to drain, and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Repeat with remaining batter until you have 24 pakoras.

Basic White or Béchamel Sauce

May 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Melt butter or heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in glutinous rice flour, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until mixture is smooth and bubbling, stirring constantly. Stir in milk. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Butternut Squash and Greens Kuku

May 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 400°F. 2 | Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 4 minutes, or until squash starts to soften, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, add leek, and cook 4 minutes more. 3 | Working in batches, add kale and spinach to skillet; cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until leaves are wilted, stirring frequently. 4 | Meanwhile, whisk eggs with lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Pour over wilted greens in skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 2 minutes, or until eggs begin to set on bottom, shifting vegetables around with spatula to distribute evenly. 5 | Sprinkle kuku with feta, and transfer to oven. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until eggs are just cooked through and fully set, 8 to 10 minutes. Slide kuku onto platter; cool about 10 minutes. Cut into small squares, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve

Tomato-Cucumber Salad with Parsley Dressing

May 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Soak onion in bowl of cold water 10 minutes; drain. 2 | Whisk together oil and lemon juice in large bowl. Stir in onion, then add tomatoes and cucumber, and toss. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and sprinkle with parsley.

Cardamom Cookies with Almonds

May 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom in medium bowl. Set aside. 2 | Cream butter and sugar in bowl with electric mixer 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and orange zest. Add flour mixture in two batches, beating on low speed just until combined. 3 | Shape dough into disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour, or until firm. 4 | Preheat oven to 375°F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper. 5 | Roll out half of dough to 1/­­4-inch thickness on floured work surface. Cut out cookies with 2-inch cookie cutter, and arrange about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Brush cookies with egg white, then sprinkle with sugar. Place 1 large pinch of nuts in center of each cookie, and press lightly to adhere. 6 | Bake cookies 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges just start to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Veg Celeb: Xavier Rudd

April 28 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Xavier Rudd Photo: Jane Rantall Backed by a globally diverse band of musicians--aptly named The United Nations--Australian musical artist and eco-activist Xavier Rudd this spring released a new album, Nanna. Rudd chats with us just as hes about to kick off a North American tour with the band. How would you describe your music? My current album is world-roots-reggae with a great respect for grandmother creation. Whats it like following a plant-based diet in Australia? In the area that I live in Australia on the east coast, theres a lot of amazing local produce so you can pretty much eat local all the time. How is Australia advancing with animal rights? Its quite good I think in comparison to the rest of the world, because we have a lot of staunch animal lovers and a smaller popular population on a larger space. From your travels, have you seen progress in meeting ecological challenges? Ive seen slow but steady progress in lots of parts of the world. Ive seen small groups become larger over time, and Ive seen quite a significant awakening to consciousness for change on this earth over the last 15 years. The problem is, that feels slow in a fast-paced world. Still, there is change happening, and we do need to be believing in that.

Spicy Quinoa Tacos

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with liquid. Cook 2 minutes, then stir in quinoa, carrots, and broth. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Mix in black beans and corn. Serve in tortillas.

Mediterranean Baked Bulgur

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. 2 | Toss cauliflower and red onion with oil in baking dish. 3 | Add bulgur, tomatoes, broth, feta, dill, and salt to baking dish. Gently stir with rubber spatula to moisten all ingredients. Sprinkle pine nuts on top. 4 | Cover baking dish with foil. Bake 20 minutes, or until most of liquid is absorbed and cauliflower is tender. Remove foil. Adjust oven heat to broil, and broil 5 minutes, or until cauliflower and onion are lightly browned.

Double Corn Cakes with Black Beans

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, jalape?o, and cumin, and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in beans, tomatoes, 1 cup corn, and lime juice; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 5 minutes, or until heated through. Transfer mixture to covered container, and keep warm. Wipe out skillet. 2 | Meanwhile, crumble polenta into microwave-safe bowl, and mash with fork until nearly smooth. Add remaining 1/­­2 cup corn kernels. Microwave 1 minute to soften polenta. Stir, then add beaten egg, and fold into polenta mixture until smooth. 3 | Coat skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Shape polenta into 8 1/­­3-cup cakes, gently flattening with palm. Cook corn cakes in two batches in skillet 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Serve corn cakes over black bean mixture.

Green Pasta Primavera

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Toast pine nuts in skillet over low heat 5 minutes, or until golden, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat. Blend 1/­­2 cup toasted pine nuts in food processor with 2 Tbs. oil, lemon juice, and 1 Tbs. water until smooth. Set aside remaining 3 Tbs. toasted pine nuts. 2 | Heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and sauté 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden. Stir in leeks, and season with salt, if desired. Sauté 5 minutes. Add broccoli raab, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peas, and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in spinach, and remove from heat. 3 | Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/­­3 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot; stir in sauce and reserved pasta cooking water. Fold in broccoli raab mixture. Serve topped with whole toasted pine nuts.

Tofu and Spinach Stuffed Shells

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 375°F. 2 | Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and drain again, then place on clean kitchen towel to cool and dry. 3 | Bring garlic and olive oil to a simmer in small skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until garlic is soft and golden. Remove from heat, and set aside. 4 | Crumble tofu into bowl of food processor, and blend with vinegar, lemon juice, miso, garlic, and oil until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl. 5 | Heat large saucepan over medium heat. Add spinach and 2 Tbs. water, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until leaves are wilted. Transfer to strainer, and squeeze out excess liquid. Roughly chop, and stir into tofu mixture. 6 | Spoon 2 Tbs. filling into each pasta shell, and place in single layer in large baking dish. Cover with pasta sauce, sprinkle with olives (if using), and bake 45 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Strawberry-Chamomile No-Churn Frozen Yogurt

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Roughly chop 1 cup strawberries; set aside. Blend remaining strawberries, yogurt, honey, chamomile, lemon juice, and vanilla seeds in blender until smooth, making sure no unblended bits of dried chamomile remain. Pour into 9-inch square metal pan, and fold in chopped strawberries. 2 | Freeze yogurt 45 to 60 minutes. Whisk yogurt with fork or whisk until creamy. Return to freezer, and freeze 2 hours more, whisking every 30 minutes, or until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, and store in freezer. Remove yogurt from freezer 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Two-Sprout Pad Thai

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Sauce: Combine all ingredients and 1/­­2 cup water in small bowl. Set aside. 2 | To make Pad Thai: Place rice noodles in large bowl, cover with at least 2 inches very hot water, and let stand 8 minutes to soften. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside. 3 | Pulse Brussels sprouts in food processor until coarsely chopped. Set aside. 4 | Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet or wok over high heat until oil shimmers. Add tofu, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate to drain, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 5 | Add Brussels sprouts, 1/­­2 cup green onions, garlic, and ginger to pan, and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes. Push vegetables to side of pan. Add eggs, and scramble until dry, pushing eggs into vegetable mixture once cooked. 6 | Add drained noodles and half of Sauce to pan, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until most liquid has evaporated, tossing with two spatulas. Add half of remaining Sauce, and cook until pan is dry. Stir in remaining Sauce and bean sprouts, and cook 30 seconds more, or until heated through and only some liquid remains. Transfer to serving bowl, and top with tofu, cilantro, and cashews. Garnish with remaining 1/­­2 cup green onions and lime wedges.

Chilaquiles

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Salsa Verde: Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add tomatillos and onion, and boil 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft to the touch. Drain, transfer to blender, and blend with jalape?o and cilantro until smooth. 2 | To make Guacamole: Mash avocados, cilantro, oil, and lemon juice in medium bowl. Stir in tomato and onion, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 3 | To make Pico de Gallo: Combine all ingredients in medium bowl, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 4 | To make Chilaquiles: Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add tofu, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 2 cups Salsa Verde, then tortilla chips. Stir in 2 more cups Salsa Verde, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through. Serve with Guacamole and Pico de Gallo.

Greens and Adzuki Bean Stew

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Heat coconut oil in large pot over medium heat. Add shallots, and sauté 5 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add garlic, ginger, and salt; cook 3 minutes, then stir in turmeric. Add chiles, lime leaves (if using), lemongrass, coconut milk, and 21/­­2 cups water; bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes. 2 | Remove and discard chiles, lime leaves, and lemongrass. Add beans to pot, and return to a simmer. Stir in leek, and simmer 2 minutes more, or until tender. Add bok choy, watercress, ginger juice (if using), tamari, and coconut sugar; stir well, and cook 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Warm Carrot and Adzuki Bean Salad

April 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Salad: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 2 | Toss carrots with oil, paprika, cumin, and cayenne in large bowl. Spread on prepared baking sheet, and roast 40 to 45 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Cool. 3 | Toss adzuki beans with vinegar in bowl. 4 | To make Dressing: whisk together all ingredients, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 5 | Place spinach on large platter. Top with carrots, beans, and avocado. Drizzle with Dressing, and sprinkle with sliced chile and cilantro leaves.

How to Use Your Freezer for Faster, Cheaper Meals

April 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Use Your Freezer for Faster, Cheaper Meals Got more kale than you can handle? Enough chili to feed an army? Fear not! You can save just about anything if you freeze it for later. The trickier part: not neglecting what youve frozen. (Icicle-flecked mystery soup in the back of the freezer, were looking at you.) Turns out, taking care to properly prepare, pack, and stash what you freeze can pay off big time on hectic weeknights. Having frozen options on hand allows you to fit in veggies you might otherwise skip, says nutritionist Cynthia Sass, RD, author of S.A.S.S.! Yourself Slim. It allows you to eat a fast, nutritious meal rather than relying on take-out. Plus, no more tossing leftovers: Freezing food is the simplest way to make sure it doesnt go bad--and to avoid spending money on food that you ultimately throw out, says Dana Gunders, staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Thats good news, because according to the USDA, Americans trash up to 40 percent of their food, amounting to the average consumer wasting roughly $390 every year. Youll be doing your wallet, your diet, and the planet a favor by making ?the freezer your best friend. Get started with these simple tricks and ideas: 1. Mind Your Portions Divide food into single servings before freezing--no Tupperware crammed with a years worth of quinoa allowed. ?I like to freeze whole grains in individual portions so I dont have to thaw ?any more than I need to add to a casserole, stew, or stir-fry, says Sass. Want dinner on the table in a jiffy? Small helpings of frozen lasagna defrost faster ?than a whole tray, and provide portion control too. When a family-style-sized dish is sitting in front of you, its easy to sneak extra forkfuls and lose track of how much youve consumed, notes Sass. When you only have one portion, ?you cant mindlessly continue to nibble. Try this Freeze leftovers in a muffin pan, suggests Gunders. Fill ?the pan cups with soup or sauce, and stick in the freezer. ?A few hours later, I pop the food out and put the perfectly sized portions into a freezer bag, she says. 2. Dont Get (Freezer) Burned Avoid that moisture-sucking, flavor-zapping frost called freezer burn by removing as much air as you can ?from freezer containers, and sealing them well. No matter how good your packaging--unless it is truly airtight--there will eventually be some drying out ?of food, warns Elizabeth Andress, PhD, project director at the University of Georgias National Center for Home Food Preservation. Using freezer bags? After filling, press out the air, then flatten for easy storage. Prefer glass? Wide-mouth pint-size Mason jars work well for saucy stuff, especially if you can build a moisture barrier to keep the burn at bay. Think beans covered with cooking liquid, canned tomatoes with juices, and fresh herbs with oil. (And dont forget to leave some head room for liquids to expand as they freeze in the jar.) Try this You dont need a vacuum sealer to close freezer bags like ?a pro. Just using a straw to suck out as much air as possible extends foods frozen lifespan, says Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland and founder of wastedfood.com. Close the bag except for a slit, slide in the straw, suck until the bag shrinks, remove the straw, and seal. 3. Stash With a Plan Never toss bags and jars willy-nilly into the freezer. Instead, keep masking tape and a Sharpie nearby (or invest in erasable food storage labels), and label everything with name, date, amount, and any important instructions. Next, group items. I tend to keep like things together, says Sass. Veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans and lentils, herbs, entrées. Its just easier to be able to reach into the freezer and know exactly where to find what ?I need. Bloom, meanwhile, favors the first in, first out method, placing older foods up front as a visual reminder. Psst: nows a good time to go through your freezer and purge any ancient artifacts that you know youll never eat. Try this Keep a detailed freezer inventory on your freezer door, recommends Andress. I use a full sheet of paper, so theres room to write a brief description of how every food was prepared, she says. Tech-y option: download the free GroceryHero app to your smart phone to keep track of what goes in and out of your freezer (and fridge and pantry too). 4. Make Haste Dont wait forever and a day to defrost your frozen goodies. Actually use whats in your freezer, so youre not just constantly adding to it, says Bloom. For best flavor and texture, VT food editor Mary Margaret Chappell advises eating what you freeze within three months: Its fine for up to six months, still edible up to a year. After that, I get rid of it because even if its safe to eat, it probably doesnt taste as good as it should. No rush if your freezer doubles as storage space for nuts, seeds, flours, and the like. In airtight containers, pantry staples will freeze well for one year. Try this For faster turnover, try incorporating your freezer into mealtime. Ive made the freezer a regular part of my whats-for-dinner fridge assessment, says Gunders. I sometimes also plan freezer night to make sure nothing gets lost in there for too long. Plan a day ahead, and you can defrost any food you need in the fridge overnight. Ready to freeze? Try these freezer-friendly VT recipes: Indian Samosa Casserole Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie   Freezer-Friendly Basil Pesto Vegetable Pot Pies  

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Sweet Onions

April 14 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Sweet Onions With their higher sugar and lower sulfur contents, sweet onions are less likely than ordinary storage onions to bring a tear to your eye. They taste milder too. Pick Sweet onions are often named by geographic origin, with Walla Walla and Vidalia being most common, but also keep an eye out for Texas 1015, Maui, and Pennsylvania Simply Sweet. Avoid sweet onions with soft spots or sprouts, and look for smooth, dry skin and tightly closed necks, says Randall Morris, of Morris Farms in Uvalda, Ga. Morris advises storing sweet onions in a cool, dry spot with good air circulation and keeping them from resting against one another. Wrapped in a paper towel and refrigerated, theyll keep several months, Morris says. Prep Placing sweet onions under running water loosens their skin, making them easier to peel. To quickly slice thin, use a mandoline. Morris suggests adding slices of raw sweet onion to salads, sandwiches, and dips, as well as piling them atop veggie burgers. Cooking elevates the onions natural sweetness, he notes. Roast peeled sweet onions whole, or caramelize thinly sliced rings in a skillet with some brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Try This 1. In a food processor, pulse a sweet onion with sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, and smoked paprika; use as a spread for crackers, sandwiches, or veggie burgers. 2. A pizza topping ?of caramelized sweet onion ?tastes great layered with basil pesto and goat cheese. 3. Make a raita with plain yogurt, chopped sweet ?onion, chopped mint, garlic, and cumin; serve alongside curries or flat bread.

Movie on a Mission: Inhabit

April 9 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: InhabitPhoto: Costa Boutsikaris  The result of a three-year odyssey in what director/­­cinematographer Costa Boutsikaris calls his veggie-oil-solar-powered-filmmaking-mobile-unit (a converted VW van), Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective documents ecological design systems in action across the U.S. Northeast and Midwest--from large-scale farms to urban rain gardens. Viewing permaculture as creating a regenerative agriculture that has the permanence and resilience of nature, Boutsikaris here answers questions about his visionary, and at the same time down-to-earth, film. Rather than reducing human impact, Inhabit looks at our leaving a footprint as a positive thing. How does that work? The modern environmental movement tells us that the only thing we can do is to shrink our footprint and be less bad. If you take that logic to its furthest extent, its saying that humans are inherently bad and that they less they exist, the better! Permaculture, which is an ecological design science, is about redesigning our systems so that they meet human needs while simultaneously regenerating the ecosystems within which we live. Its about going beyond sustainability because its asking, What is it were trying to sustain? Permaculture seeks to create not just sustainable but regenerative systems that heal the natural environment while feeding the people within it. If humans can have a regenerative footprint, that is much more exciting and empowering, and a huge impact is something we want to have. Where does permaculture fit in with animal welfare? There are no ecosystems that dont have animals, so, if youre designing a forest farm or garden where you want to mimic natural relationships, youll incorporate animals in their most natural state, eating bugs, grasses, etc., and cycling nutrients back into the soil just like in nature. Whether the animals are harvested or not is entirely up to the farmer, and we filmed examples of both vegans and omnivores, but the goal is always to design an ecosystem where the animals can be in a natural state and be a positive force in that ecosystem. Some we visited were not raising animals for meat, but merely having them as allies providing their many awesome ecosystem services and helping transform the landscape back into a much healthier and diverse state. Where could someone start with applying permaculture principles to their lawn or backyard? The first thing to do is to look at the all the inputs coming onto your site: rain, sun, wind, etc. Then look for ways to best capture those inputs: a rain barrel, solar panels, a wind turbine, trees, plants, etc. Look for opportunities for gardening like full-sun spots and shady spots, and use this map to design where a small vegetable garden could go and where shade-loving berries like red currants could go. If you want to set up a vegetable garden, explore sheet mulching and hugelkultur beds. Think about other options for the shaded areas, like growing shiitake mushrooms on logs and creating small ponds for frogs. If eggs are part of your diet, look at ways that chickens could benefit your garden, like eating pests and scratching up soil for future planting spots. The fun part is seeing how all these pieces start to form relationships, and where they mutually support each other and benefit each other just like in an ecosystem.

Can the Sugar in Fruit Make You Gain Weight?

April 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Can 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 Celeb: Carolina Sarassa

April 2 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Carolina Sarassa Anchor/­correspondent for MondoFox National Network News, Los Angeles-based Carolina Sarassa hails from Columbia. The three-time Emmy Award winner is also co-author of the true-crime book Dancing on Her Grave: The Murder of a Las Vegas Showgirl, due for an April release. An animal lover whos adopted two cats and two dogs, Sarassa went vegetarian three years ago and is now vegan. What would surprise people to know about anchoring a national newscast? Most people think my job is very glamorous. Its rewarding and exciting, but not glamorous at all. People assume news anchors go from the makeup room to the set to read the teleprompter. The beauty of it is that we write a lot of the content that we read to our viewers. Our job as journalists starts very early in the morning to keep up with the worlds news and sometimes doesnt necessarily end on the weekends. As a TV reporter, Im always on standby for breaking news. Would you say traditional Colombian cuisine is meat- or plant-based? What is the key to veganizing Columbian dishes so they retain their authentic character? Colombian cuisine is pretty much meat-based. From the empanadas to the bandeja paisa, every meal has at least one or two kinds of meat. Im very lucky to have such a supportive mother! She cooks Colombian dishes for me at home without meat. I would say the secret is to use a lot of vegetable broth. What ingredient are you obsessed with lately? Hearts of palm. Ive made vegan ceviche with it. Besides hearts of palm, it includes lemons, pepper, rosemary, tomatoes, and avocado. It makes a fast and healthful recipe!

Eco-Friendly Ways to Clean Your Kitchen Tools

April 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Eco-Friendly Ways to Clean Your Kitchen Tools One of the greenest things you ?can do in your kitchen is to invest in good-quality cookware and tools ?and then maintain them with care ?so that they last a long time. Heres ?how to keep your cooking equipment sparkling clean and in tip-top condition--without spending a lot of money or using harsh chemicals. Cast-Iron Pans Well-seasoned cast-iron cookware requires very little maintenance. Just wash briefly in warm water after each use. Using a mild soap is OK, but you really shouldnt need it, says Mark Kelly, spokesperson for Lodge Manufacturing Co., the 119-year-old foundry in South Pittsburg, Tenn. Instead, try sprinkling the pan with coarse salt and scouring residue with a sponge. After cleaning, wipe the pan completely dry to keep rust from forming. When you notice the interior of your pan is losing ?its smooth sheen, its time to re-season. Thoroughly rub the pan with the cooking oil ?of your choice, bake at 350°F for an hour, and wipe out any remaining oil. Stainless Steel and ?Enameled Cookware Got burnt-on stains and discoloration on the insides or outsides of your pots and pans? Use a quick DIY soft scrub mixture: mix baking soda with a few drops of warm water and just enough liquid dish soap to form a smooth paste thats about the consistency of toothpaste. Rub on, and let sit for a few minutes, then gently scour off stains, and rinse. You can use this same mixture inside the oven to remove built-up gunk without caustic chemicals. Kitchen Knives Knives are your best friends in the kitchen. Hand-wash stainless steel blades in warm soapy water and wipe dry. If you have good-quality knives, get them professionally sharpened regularly--once a year may be enough, depending on what kind of knives you have and how heavily you use them. Honing the blade of your chefs knife after each use will help it maintain ?a straight, sharp edge between sharpening. To hone, draw the blade at a 20-degree angle along the length of a ceramic or steel honing rod. Repeat several times on each side. To protect the edges between uses, store knives in a wood knife block (not knocking around in a drawer) and consider using a wood cutting board: Its important for the cutting board to be softer than the knife blade so that it doesnt dull the edge, says Michael Garaghty, executive chef at cutlery company Wüsthof. Boards made from wood and wood composite are the safest cutting surfaces for keeping your knives sharp. Wood and Bamboo Utensils Spoons made from wood or bamboo will last for years if you treat them properly. To clean, wash them briefly in warm soapy water and wipe dry (never leave them soaking in water, as this opens up the grain of the wood). When your spoons start looking rough and dry--which might be as often as once a month or as seldom as once or twice a year--give them a coat of food-grade oil to moisturize and protect the wood. Our preferred oil is coconut, which resists rancidity and has antibacterial properties. Melt a little bit in a double boiler, and apply a very thin coat to your wooden utensils with a clean cloth. Allow the oil to penetrate for a few minutes, then buff thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. Wood Cutting Boards To clean and deodorize your cutting board after slicing aromatic onions and garlic or foods that stain, such as herbs or beets, sprinkle the board with a little coarse salt and rub it in with the cut side of a lemon (never put your wood cutting board in the dishwasher or leave it to soak in water). After lighter use, such as chopping carrots or celery, simply wiping clean is adequate. Once a month, or more frequently if you notice your board looking dry or rough, rub the surface well with melted coconut oil, and buff it with a clean dry cloth to moisturize and protect the wood. Counters and Appliances Clean stove tops and dusty or grimy kitchen appliances with ?a simple cleaning solution. In a spray bottle, combine 1 part liquid castile soap (such as Dr. Bronners) with 4 parts water and 2 or 3 drops of lemon or orange essential oil. Spray the surface, and wipe with a damp cloth or sponge. For basic countertop cleaning, fill another spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water. Got any go-to tricks for cleaning your cookware and kitchen tools? Share in the comments!

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Julie D’Angelo!

March 26 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Each month, we highlight a different reader’s “vegiversary”--the anniversary of when they went veg. Share yours at vegetariantimes.com/­vegiversary. Reader Name: Julie D’Angelo Location: Madison, Wis. Vegetarian Since: June 1986 What motivated you to go veg? My love of animals. I knew nothing about the nutritional benefits, to be honest. I was a teenager growing up in the Dairy State in the ’70s and ’80s! Whats your favorite veg restaurant, and what do you order there? Native Foods Cafe. I eat there when I’m in Chicago. I love the Bangkok Curry bowl. What fruit or veggie best describes you, and why? Tomato--solid but tender and ready for anything! Whats your most treasured piece of cookware?  My late mother-in-law’s sugar scoop. It is the perfect size for scooping anything and always makes me smile at memories of her with it. Whats your best advice for new vegetarians/­vegans?  Do not think rules and limitations. Think exploration and adventure. You are going to learn so much!

High/Low: Coffee Grinders We Love

March 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

High/Low: Coffee Grinders We Love Quit buying ground coffee! Grinding whole beans in a coffee grinder makes for a stronger, fresher-tasting brew (that’s packed with good-for-you antioxidants, to boot). Both of our favorite coffee grinders have conical burrs--not blades--to deliver the most consistent grind. Best Basic Got a few minutes to spare? The Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Grinder (left) makes it super-easy to grind by hand, thanks to a non-slip base and ergonomic handle. $49.95; williams-sonoma.com High-Tech Pick Equally great for coffee or espresso, the sleek Breville the Smart Grinder lets you choose from 25 different grinds--and automatically adjusts the dose each time. $199.99; brevilleusa.com Got a go-to grinder? Share in the comments below!

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Cherimoya

March 13 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Cherimoya Dont let cherimoyas reptilian appearance deter you: this tropical fruit tastes like a cross between pineapple, mango, coconut, and vanilla. With its sweet, white flesh and velvety texture, cherimoya is also called custard apple. Pick Choose cherimoyas that are uniformly green, heavy for their size, firm, and free of cracks or soft spots. Ripen the fruit at room temperature away from direct sunlight until it begins to darken and yield to slight pressure like an avocado, says George McMangle, of Grove Stand in Fallbrook, Calif. Once ripe, eat promptly or store in the fridge for no more than three days, he advises. Prep To serve, McMangle suggests slicing the fruit in half, discarding the seeds, and scooping out the custard-like flesh with a spoon. Alternatively, peel with a paring knife, and cut flesh into cubes for salads, or purée and use in tarts, pancake batter, puddings, or quick breads. The creamy texture is also ideal for making sherbet, ice cream, and smoothies, McMangle says. Try This o Place cherimoya pulp in a blender along with a coconut beverage, silken tofu, cashew butter, vanilla extract, and ice cubes; whirl into a tropical-tasting smoothie. o For a salsa to complement tempeh tacos, combine diced cherimoya, red bell pepper, red onion, jalape?o, mint, and orange zest. o Simmer together steel-cut oats, cherimoya purée, almond milk, ground ginger, and cinnamon for a hearty breakfast porridge.

Veg Celeb: Elaine Hendrix

March 9 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Elaine Hendrix Elaine Hendrix, best known for her roles in Romy & Michelles High School Reunion and Disneys The Parent Trap, has a reputation as a matchmaker--a pet matchmaker, that is. So much so that shes teamed up with Sideshow Network for The Pet Matchmaker Podcast. Shes even put together a guide for what she calls potential pet parents. Adopting a vegan lifestyle about a decade ago when she became an animal activist, Hendrix here answers questions about pets and the people who love them, and also about Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, the FX comedy series she co-stars in that premiers this summer. Which celebrity acquaintance of yours might we be surprised to learn is  an animal lover? The first person that comes to mind is Andy Dick. Hes so wonderfully wacky and one of the funniest people I know, but he stands up for animals on a regular basis. Weve been friends for 20 years, and hes going to be a recurring guest on my podcast. Really though, if someone is a friend of mine, theyre going to love animals. Its kind of a prerequisite. Whats the biggest misunderstanding about pets that youd like to correct? That a pet should instantly fit into your home/­­lifestyle and automatically have good behavior. While I think having a pet can be relatively easy and absolutely rewarding, pets definitely require responsibly and involvement. If someones just going to have a pet in the home and not offer any training or stimulation or care, why have a pet? Whats the first step for someone whos interested in having a pet companion? I think the No. 1 most important thing people need to consider is their commitment level. Ill joke that if for some reason I had to go into an underground bunker because people all over the world were turning into zombies, but I couldnt take my dog, well, then Id have to take my chances with the zombies. Others might not have that intense of a commitment to their pet, but it cant be a casual thing. Pets will get hurt, get sick, grow old, have accidents, etc.; people will travel, move, have emergencies, pass away, etc. People needs to be committed to the point where they will do what it takes to make sure their pet has a plan, just like any other family member. What can you tell us about your role in Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll? My character is Ava, longtime girlfriend and backup singer to Denis Learys character, Johnny Rock. Im constantly trying to save him from self-destructing. The title pretty much says it all. Were nothing but heathens. People are going to love us though.

Budding Veg Celebs: PinkStrings & HotSauce

March 4 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Budding Veg Celebs: PinkStrings & HotSauce Catherine (left) and Bo (right) Fortney of PinkStrings & HotSauce Sisters Catherine and Bo Fortney find harmony in the Greenville, S.C.-based musical duo PinkStrings & HotSauce. Their cover of Hanging Tree, from The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1, put them at the top of the Music Audio Chart. Catherine, 14, and Bo, 17, who taught themselves how to play guitar, are both vegetarian. Why PinkStrings & HotSauce? Catherine: PinkStrings and HotSauce are the names of our guitars. (Yes, we named our guitars!) Mine is PinkStrings, and Bos is HotSauce. We struggled for a long time to find the right band name to fit our music. One day, our mom came up with the idea of naming it after our guitars. It was the only name that felt right to us. Its great that your family is supportive of your music. Are they as supportive of your being vegetarian? Bo: They are very supportive because they are vegetarian as well! Catherine and I have been vegetarian for most of our lives. Catherine: Yes, I was around 6 when our family decided to be vegetarian. Its been an amazing lifestyle! How would you describe the veg scene in South Carolina? Catherine: Actually, we moved to South Carolina several years ago. We thought it may be more difficult to be vegetarian in the South, but thats not the case at all. We live in Greenville, which is known for its awesome dining scene, and most restaurants have at least some vegetarian options. Whats your advice for working creatively with someone in your family? Bo: The best advice I can give is to have fun. You cant make everything about business. I think thats something that we definitely try to do. Catherine: We love working with each other, and as Bo said, I think thats because we let ourselves have fun with it. When we have songwriting sessions, we always get more done when we dont take it too seriously.

7 Top Protein Sources for Vegetarians

February 27 2015 Vegetarian Times 

7 Top Protein Sources for Vegetarians Worried that you--or someone you love--wont get enough protein without meat? Relax! According to a 2009 research review by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), vegans and vegetarians typically meet and even exceed their protein requirements: the average adult woman needs just 46 grams of protein a day; the average adult man needs 56 grams. By eating a variety of healthful veg foods, you can easily cover your protein bases. Not sure where to start? We asked nutritionist Rachel Meltzer Warren, MS, RDN, author of The Smart Girls Guide to Going Vegetarian, to help us choose a few of the most convenient and affordable protein-packed staples. Tofu Consider this soybean block a blank canvas: itll soak up the flavors of whatever you add to it. Use silken varieties for blending into smoothies and puddings; save firmer tofu for baking or stir-frying into chewy pieces and tossing into salads, sandwiches, veggie bowls, and noodle dishes. In addition to protein, tofu delivers a dose of bone-building calcium if its made with calcium sulfate, notes Warren. Check for it in the ingredients list on the label. Tip: Short on time? Grab pre-seasoned baked tofu by brands such as Wildwood or Nasoya. Protein: 10 grams per 4-oz. serving firm tofu Beans A helping of beans makes any dish more filling, thanks to an abundance ?of protein and fiber. Being rich in both types of fiber--soluble and insoluble--beans also ?help lower cholesterol and promote healthy digestion, says Warren, who suggests eating ?a variety, such as chickpeas, black beans, and heirloom beans, for the widest range of ?nutrients. Cook a big batch of dried beans for use throughout the week, or stock up on ?cans with BPA-free linings and no added salt. Tip: Add a strip of kombu seaweed to beans as they cook to make them more easily digestible. Protein: 7 grams per 1/­2-cup serving cooked black beans Greek Yogurt Swap out regular yogurt for this thicker, strained variety, which has up to twice as much protein. Warren forgoes non-fat yogurt in favor of 2% or even whole, which will leave you feeling fuller and more satisfied. Go organic, when possible: recent research shows that organic milk contains more heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids than its conventional cousin. Look for plain Greek yogurt, and sweeten it yourself using fruit or a natural sweetener such as agave or honey. Tip: Prefer savory to sweet? Add a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt to blended soups and sautéed greens. Protein: 17 grams per 6-oz. serving 2% Greek yogurt Eggs Starting your day with an egg can help curb cravings later in the day--just dont skip the yolk. Its a great source of the nutrient choline, which is vital for cells to function properly, says Warren. Egg yolks are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help maintain eye health. Note: the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends ?consuming less than 300 milligrams cholesterol per day. ?One large egg clocks in at 186 milligrams. Tip: Check the Cornucopia Institutes Organic Egg Scorecard to see how different egg companies stack up. Protein: 6 grams per large egg Lentils These little legumes are packed with the about the same amount of hunger-quelling fiber as beans, but they require no soaking and cook up in just 20 to 30 minutes. Whats more, theyre an excellent source of folate--even more so than beans--which is important for your nervous system and heart health, says Warren. She suggests pairing iron-rich lentils with foods high in vitamin C, such as tomatoes and oranges, which help your body absorb the iron. Tip: Not a fan of mushy lentils? Choose French or Puy lentils, which hold their shape when cooked. Protein: 9 grams per 1/­2-cup serving cooked lentils   Nuts and Nut Butters Just a handful of walnuts, almonds, cashews, or peanuts gives you a quick-and-easy protein boost. Nutty for nut butter? ?All types are good sources of monounsaturated fat, which can help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, says Warren. She advises skipping low-fat varieties that remove much of this good fat, and opting for jars with just two ingredients: nuts and salt. Spread on toast, stir into stews, or whirl into morning smoothies. Tip: Try sunflower seed butter if youre allergic to nuts. Protein: 7 grams per 2-Tbs. serving peanut butter Tempeh Dont be intimidated by nutty, earthy tempeh. Like tofu, its made from soybeans, but with a twist: The beans are fermented, producing bacteria thats beneficial for your GI tract, says Warren. The fermentation process also breaks down the carbohydrates that some people have trouble digesting, making it an easier-to-tolerate option for people whose bellies dont do tofu. For a beginner-friendly ground meat alternative, crumble tempeh, pan-fry it, and stir into pasta sauces, taco fillings, and chili. Tip: Liven up salads and sandwiches with tempeh bacon, ?a smoky treat thats great for new vegetarians. Protein: 21 grams per 4-oz. serving tempeh Psst! You dont need to combine incomplete proteins such as beans and rice, ?which lack all nine essential amino acids, within one meal. If you eat ?a range of veg proteins throughout ?the day, youll most likely be in good ?shape. (When in doubt, you can load up on quinoa, one of the few plant-based complete proteins. It provides 4 grams of protein in a 1/­2-cup serving.) Pack vegetarian protein using VT recipes that contain at least 18 grams of protein per serving: Blueberry-Spinach Smoothie Ultimate Vegan Chili Sweet-and-Sour Baked Tofu Sandwiches Lentil and Egg Bowl Cornbread and Pinto Bean Shepherds Pie Stir-Fried Tofu Bento Box with Sesame Soba Noodles and Ginger-Carrot Broccoli Spicy Tempeh Hash

10 Mouth-Watering Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

February 26 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Editors’ Picks: 3 Graters We Love (Plus Recipes!)

February 24 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Editors’ Picks: 3 Graters We Love (Plus Recipes!) Small heads and limp leaves: that pretty much sums up the fresh lettuce situation this time of year. Instead of making do with so-so greens, grab your grater or food processor to make crisp, flavorful salads using crunch-tastic fennel, celery, cabbage, beets, and more. Below are a few of our favorite tools for grating veggies: Joseph Joseph Fold Flat Grater ($35) The old-school box grater gets a modern-day makeover with ultra-sharp stainless steel blades and a foldable design for easy storage.   Oxo Simple Mandoline Slicer ($39.99) Oxo’s latest mandoline is streamlined for home cooks and made safer with built-in blades. Cuisinart Elite Collection 14-Cup Food Processor ($299) The double-sided disks and chopping blade will ably handle all your grating, shaving, and chopping jobs, and you can add specialty disks (sold separately) for perfect julienne and thick-slice cutting. Try This! Give grating a go with these easy VT recipes: o Napa Cabbage and Rice Noodle Salad o Shaved Fennel and Red Onion Salad with Grapefruit and Blue Cheese o Bitter Greens Salad with Bacon and Mollet Eggs o Shredded Beet Bowl with Nori Confetti (pictured above) Got a go-to grater? Tell us about it in the comments!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Lemony Brown Butter

February 19 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Roasted Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. 2. Combine 8 cups water with onion, garlic, ginger, 11/­2 Tbs. curry powder, cloves, salt, and peppercorns in large pot; bring to a boil. Add cauliflower, stem side up, and simmer 15 minutes, or until slightly softened. Drain, and pat dry. Rub cauliflower with oil, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 3. Place cauliflower on prepared baking sheet stem side down, and roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until brown and crisp on top. 4. Meanwhile, to make Lemony Brown Butter: Heat butter in small saucepan over medium-high heat 4 minutes, or until milk solids begin to brown. Add raisins and rum (if using). Cool 3 minutes, then stir in lemon juice and zest. 5. Slice cauliflower, and sprinkle with remaining 1/­8 tsp. curry powder. Drizzle with Lemony Brown Butter.

Will Grazing on Mini-Meals Help You Lose Weight?

February 19 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Will Grazing on Mini-Meals Help You Lose Weight? Nope! It’s a myth. A research review published in 2014 in the journal Advances in Nutrition found no proof that meal frequency plays a significant role in weight management. Why might that be? For one thing, most people underestimate the calories they consume. So if youre not keeping close tabs, those multiple mini-meals can easily jack up your daily calorie count. Worse yet, a University of Missouri study found that overweight women who consumed six mini-meals a day had higher blood fat levels than those who consumed the same total calories from an old-school regimen of three meals. One possible explanation is an increased intake of nutritionally empty packaged snacks such as pretzels and chips in contrast to more wholesome meals. What about the extra calorie burn from continual noshing? While our bodies may expend energy to process foods during digestion, frequent nibbling isnt likely to stoke metabolism in any meaningful way. When British scientists fed volunteers either two larger or five smaller meals totaling the same daily calorie count, they found that regardless, the volunteers burned virtually the same number of calories over a 24-hour period. Regular exercise will do much more to kick-start your metabolism than frequent eating could ever achieve. That said, judicious snacking could help some people avoid becoming overly hungry and, in turn, overeating come mealtime. Bottom Line: A healthy weight is much more about how many total calories you consume and the quality of those calories than how often you eat during the day. Snack Smart Make eating between meals work for, not against you. Stay mindful. A Yale University study found that adults were more likely to overindulge in snacking when parked in front of the TV ?and exposed to food advertising. Scarfing down food while watching your favorite sitcom or surfing ?the Web distracts you from noticing the amount youre eating and registering fullness cues. Power up with protein. Research shows that higher-protein snacks ?are more satiating, which could help keep overall calorie intake in check. Plain Greek yogurt, edamame, nut butters, and hemp seeds can add ?a protein punch to snack time. Keep it real. Snacks can help you nail your daily quota for vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber--but you need to reach for wholesome options such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. How about you? What are your tricks for smarter snacking?

Bitter Greens Salad with Bacon and Mollet Eggs

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Fit food processor with slicing blade, and shred cabbage, frisée, and endives, stopping to empty out bowl, if necessary. Toss with parsley in large bowl; set aside. 2. Cook veggie bacon according to package directions. Drain, and coarsely chop. Set aside. 3. Bring medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add eggs, return water to a boil, and cook 6 minutes more. 4. Meanwhile, whisk together mustard and vinegar in small bowl. Whisk in oils, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Toss greens with vinaigrette, then fold in bacon bits. Divide salad among six plates. 5. Rinse eggs under cold water until easy to handle. Carefully peel eggs. Place 1 egg in center of each salad, and cut open.

Potato Knishes

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Filling: Cover potatoes with water in saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until very soft. Drain, reserve cooking liquid, and transfer potatoes to medium bowl. Mash with 1/­4 cup cooking water and flaxseeds. Set aside. 2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden. Add spinach, garlic, and 1/­2 cup potato cooking water; cook 5 minutes, or until spinach is tender and bright green and liquid has evaporated. 3. Stir onion mixture into potatoes, adding more potato cooking water, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cool. 4. To make Dough: Whisk together flour and salt in medium bowl. Whisk together flaxseeds and 1/­2 cup hot potato cooking water in small bowl. Whisk in oil, vinegar, and grated onion. Stir liquid into flour mixture until soft dough forms, adding 1 to 2 Tbs. more potato cooking water, if necessary. Cover with kitchen towel, and let rest 1 hour. 5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. 6. Divide Dough into two rounds. Roll one round of Dough into 10-inch square on well-floured work surface, then cut into four 5-inch squares. (Note: Dough is very forgiving, but it will be soft.) 7. Scoop 1/­2 cup cooled Filling into center of each square. Pull Dough edges up and around Filling, and pinch to close. Place seam side down on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining Dough round and Filling. Brush knishes with oil, and sprinkle with coarse salt (if using). Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Mock Tuna-Noodle Casserole

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Mock Tuna: Whisk together chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper in medium bowl. Stir in oil and lemon juice, then stir in 1/­2 cup water until smooth. Add chickpeas, and coarsely mash. 2. Coat large non-stick skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Pour chickpea mixture into skillet, and spread to coat bottom of pan. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 7 to 10 minutes. Flip chickpea cake (its OK if it breaks), cover pan, and cook 5 to 7 minutes more, or until lightly browned on both sides. Set aside. 3. To make Casserole: Heat oil and butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until mushrooms are softened. Stir in flour, and cook 30 seconds. Pour in broth and milk, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside. 4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook egg noodles according to package directions, drain well, and transfer to large bowl. Break Mock Tuna into small flakes or pieces, and add to bowl. Stir in mushroom mixture, peas, and 1/­2 cup cheese. Transfer to 2-quart baking dish, and top with more cheese (if using). Bake 20 minutes, or until hot, bubbly, and starting to brown on top.

Breakfast Wrap with Spicy Millet and Stir-Fried Vegetables

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Bring 1 1/­­3 cups salted water and 2 Tbs. sweet chili sauce to boil in small saucepan. Add millet, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat 15 to 20 minutes, or until millet is al dente and liquid is absorbed. Set aside, and keep warm. 2. Coat large non-stick skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Add stir-fry blend and 2 Tbs. water, cover, and cook 5 minutes, or until hot. Uncover, and add cooked millet. Sauté 5 minutes. Stir in 1 Tbs. sweet chili sauce. Keep warm. 3. Whisk together eggs, 1 Tbs. water, and remaining 1 Tbs. sweet chili sauce in small bowl. 4. Heat non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, and spray with cooking spray. Add egg mixture, and scramble 2 to 3 minutes, or until eggs are cooked but still soft. 5. Mound 1 cup eggs and vegetable mixture on lower third of each tortilla, leaving 2-inch border. Fold sides of tortilla over filling, then roll from bottom up.

General Tsos Tofu

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Crispy Tofu: Cut tofu block into two broad slabs. Wrap tofu slabs in paper towels, and place between two cutting boards. Weight top cutting board with soup cans, and press 30 minutes. Unwrap tofu, and cut into 1-inch cubes. 2. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, oil, garlic, and ginger in resealable container. Add tofu, and toss to coat. Marinate 30 minutes, or overnight. (Tofu should absorb all liquid.) 3. Preheat oven to 350°F, and coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Sift cornstarch over tofu, and turn to coat evenly. Spread tofu on baking sheet. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until firm and crispy, turning several times to brown all sides. 4. To make Sauce: Whisk together broth, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, sesame oil, cornstarch, tomato paste, and sambal oelek (if using) in small bowl. Set aside. 5. Heat vegetable oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onions, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry 1 minute. Add broth mixture, and cook 1 minute, or until thickened. Stir in Tofu. Serve with steamed broccoli and rice.

Brown Rice Waffles

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Whisk together brown rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and sugar in large bowl. Make well in center of mixture, and pour in oil and milk. Whisk vigorously until thin batter forms (it will thicken as it rests). 2. Preheat waffle iron, and coat with cooking spray. Pour batter into center of waffle iron, and clamp down to close. Cook according to waffle iron directions. Waffles will keep up to one day in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or up to three months in the freezer.

Carrot Gazpacho with Chopped Salad

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Bring carrot juice and grated carrot to simmer in saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and simmer 5 minutes. Uncover, and cool. 2. Blend whole grape tomatoes, diced cucumbers, onion, vinegar, horseradish, red pepper flakes, and carrot juice mixture in blender 1 1/­­2 minutes, or until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Chill at least 30 minutes. 3. Place finely diced carrot in small bowl, and microwave on high 1 minute to soften. Transfer to medium bowl; add finely diced tomatoes and cucumber, lettuce, and oil. Toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Divide gazpacho among shallow bowls. Garnish with salad.

Breakfast Burrito with Tomato-Poached Eggs

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Strain juices from canned tomatoes into small saucepan, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible (3/­­4 cup). Add 1 cup water, and bring to a simmer. Finely chop tomatoes (1 cup), and set aside. 2. Heat grill pan over high heat, and spray with cooking spray. Grill green onions 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender and charred. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 3. Crack 1 egg into small bowl, then pour from bowl into simmering tomato water; repeat with remaining eggs, and poach 2 to 3 minutes for runny yolks, 4 minutes for firmer yolks. Remove eggs from liquid to plate with slotted spoon. 4. Spread 2 Tbs. chopped tomatoes on each tortilla, leaving 2-inch border. Place 2 green onions horizontally in center of each tortilla; top with 3 slices of avocado. Gently place 1 poached egg in lower third of each tortilla, and top each egg with 2 Tbs. chopped tomato. Fold sides of tortilla over filling, then gently roll from bottom up.

Breakfast Burrito with Butternut-Apple and Veggie Sausage Hash

February 17 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and spray with cooking spray. Add veggie sausage, and sauté 3 minutes. Add butternut squash, and cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until squash begins to crisp and brown. Stir in 1/­­2 cup applesauce, and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, and keep warm. 2. Heat small non-stick skillet over medium heat, and spray with cooking spray. Whisk eggs with 1/­­4 cup water in measuring cup, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Pour one-quarter of egg mixture into skillet, and cook 1 to 2 minutes until cooked through, creating very thin cr?pe. Slide onto plate, and cover with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining egg mixture. 3. Spread each tortilla with 1 Tbs. applesauce, then top with egg cr?pe and 1 cup butternut mixture. Fold sides of tortilla over filling, then roll from bottom up. Serve with additional applesauce.

Oven-Crisped Baby Potatoes and Onions

February 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | Preheat oven to 450°F. 2 | Whisk together oil, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add potatoes and onions, and toss to coat. Spread evenly on baking sheet. 3 | Roast 18 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes start to brown and lift easily from pan without sticking. Flip potatoes and onions with tongs, and rotate pan; continue roasting 8 to 12 minutes, or until tender inside, and crisp and golden outside. Remove baking sheet from oven, and toss potatoes and onions with thyme and fennel seed; scatter cheese on top. Return to oven, 1 to 2 minutes more, and roast until vegetables are fragrant, and cheese is melted. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

Movie on a Mission: Open Sesame

February 11 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: Open SesamePhoto: Julie Gibbons Extinction isnt just impoverishing our planet when it comes to animal species, its also threatening plant life, most notably crops we rely on for food. About 90 percent of the varieties of fruits and vegetables grown 100 years ago no longer exist, according to a study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds explores efforts worldwide to promote crop diversity and help secure our food supply. And it all starts with seeds. Here, the film’s producer/­director, Sean Kaminsky, answers questions about the longstanding practice of seed saving. How are seed saving and the local food movement connected? People may not realize this, but many so called local fruits and vegetables are grown from seeds that were flown in from across the country or even around the world. However, when local food movements incorporate seed saving into their agricultural practices, there are numerous benefits. When seed is saved in a local region year after year, it adapts to the microclimate of that area. The seeds become actual community members! Every seed has a story: who selected it, who grew it, and for what reason. Using organic seed that is adapted to a specific region can also lead to higher yields as well as tastes unique to that locale. Furthermore, a local food movement that supports farmers and gardeners who save their own seed also creates a fully independent cycle of food growing. Without seed independence, there cannot be true food independence. How does climate change raise the stakes for seed saving? Climate change is already wreaking havoc on crops worldwide. Whether its drought, flooding, extreme cold, or devastating heat, growing conditions have become increasingly unpredictable. Its impossible to predict which trait might help crops in the climate conditions of the future. In order to grow healthy, resilient crops well need to preserve and protect as much genetic diversity as we can. More emphasis needs to be placed on growing and saving seeds so that we can work with the innate genetic intelligence of seeds to adapt to their changing conditions. What advice would you give to consumers who want to promote biodiversity when it comes to seeds? Its not necessary to have a science background to become a seed saver or even a plant breeder. Folks who have gardens can experiment with seed saving. They can begin to adapt their own varieties and observe and record what happens. Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance offers a Seed School, and Seed Savers Exchange also has a number of seed saving resources on their Web site. When individuals purchase seeds (preferably organic), they can ask the company, Where do your seeds come from? They can also ask the same question at their farmers market when they purchase local fruits and veggies. Many communities already have seed libraries, and I encourage people to become involved with those by sharing and swapping seeds. For communities that dont have seed libraries, the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library offers some excellent resources. Most important, get out in your yard, visit a community garden, or clear your windowsill and grow something!

How to Shop for Cruelty-Free Beauty Products

February 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Shop for Cruelty-Free Beauty Products Even as more and more companies add botanical beauty-boosters to their products, some still rely on animal-sourced ingredients, as well as chemicals that could mess with your health while wrecking the environment. We tend to assume that any beauty product on the shelf is automatically safe, but unfortunately thats not how it works, says Adria Vasil, author of Ecoholic Body: Your Ultimate Earth-Friendly Guide to Living Healthy & Looking Good. Not only that, but toxic chemicals in beauty products can cause pollution and put wildlife in jeopardy once theyre washed down your drain and dumped into waterways, Vasil adds. Want to hew closer to veg values with your beauty routine? Help safeguard the Earth ?and all its creatures by scanning product labels for questionable ingredients. Ditch the Dirty Stuff Detox and defend by steering clear of these all-too-commonly ?used chemicals: Phthalates Phthalates are chief among the endocrine-disrupting chemicals that pose a global threat to human health, according to a World Health Organization and United Nations Environment Programme report published in 2013. The reports authors link such chemicals, which can throw your hormones out of whack, to increased risk of health problems ranging from obesity to pregnancy complications to some forms of cancer--while noting that endocrine disruptors may also cause hormone function to go haywire in wildlife. Phthalate group members dibutyl phthalate and benzyl butyl phthalate appear in many nail polishes. Phthalates also show up in synthetic fragrance (sometimes listed as parfum or fragrance), a common beauty-product ingredient that may constitute as many as 200 undisclosed chemicals. The formula for a synthetic fragrance is regarded as a trade secret, so companies dont have to tell us which chemicals theyve included in those formulas, says Kristen Arnett, a New York-based makeup artist and green-beauty expert. Parabens A pervasive class of endocrine disruptors, parabens typically turn up as preservatives in shampoos, conditioners, lotions, cleansers, and cosmetics. Often listed as ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, or propylparaben, these synthetic chemicals appear to mimic the activity of estrogen when absorbed into the body. Although research is limited, parabens have been identified in breast cancer tumor ?tissue samples. BHA To keep bacteria from accelerating the spoilage of moisturizers and lipsticks, some companies depend on the preservative action of a synthetic antioxidant called butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). Not only a likely endocrine disruptor, BHA is also bad news for aquatic life, according to Vasil. Research suggests that BHA buildup in water can kill off the algae that fish feed on. Propylene Glycol A type of alcohol, propylene glycol acts as a humectant, a substance that helps your skin and hair soak up and hold in moisture. But its also a notorious irritant known to trigger contact dermatitis--a form of skin inflammation marked by redness and swelling. And when it breaks down in surface waters, propylene glycol may rob aquatic life of the oxygen vital for its survival. Dont Be Cruel Youll be advancing compassion when you shun these ingredients, ?derived from harming animals: Keratin Touted for smoothing ?hair and enhancing its shine, keratin is a key ingredient in many trendy straightening treatments. Unfortunately, keratin is always obtained from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of animals, says Green Beauty Recipes author Julie Gabriel. Naturally conditioning and botanically based ingredients such as almond oil can serve as keratin alternatives when it comes to softening hair, Gabriel notes. Collagen Theres no evidence that use of collagen-enriched products can replenish your skins supply of this firming protein--yet many skin-care companies offer up supposedly anti-aging creams featuring collagen taken from the skin, bones, and connective tissue of animals. Whats more, a report from the Vegetarian Resource Group notes that the marine collagen listed on some product labels comes from fish scales and fish skin, rather than from algae as claimed. Carmine For bug-friendly beauty, stay away from cosmetics made with this coloring agent. Found in many lipsticks, blushes, and eye shadows, ?carmine is obtained by killing and crushing up female cochineal beetles to draw out the red pigment naturally present in their shells. Learn More See how your favorite products rate on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, and get familiar with PETA’s Animal Ingredients List. Curious about making your own personal-care products? Try these homemade beauty “recipes.”

Texas-Style Chili

February 4 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1| Place dried chiles in medium bowl, and cover with 11/­­2 cups boiling water. Let stand 20 minutes, or until soft, pushing chiles under water occasionally. Let liquid cool until chiles are easy to handle. 2| Remove tough stems and seeds from rehydrated chiles, using soaking liquid to rinse away seeds. Coarsely chop chiles, and strain liquid to remove seeds. Set aside. 3| Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic, and sear 1 to 2 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add chiles with soaking liquid, tomatoes with juice, chili powder, brown sugar (if using), cumin, oregano, and 4 cups water. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and simmer 30 minutes. 4| Remove pot from heat, and blend chiles and vegetables with immersion blender until smooth. Stir in eggplant chunks, then cover pot, and simmer 30 minutes over medium heat, or until eggplant is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in masa harina, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Veg Hot Spot: NYC’s Hot Bread Kitchen

February 2 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Hot Spot: NYC’s Hot Bread Kitchen With its tantalizing, yeasty aromas and daily output of nearly 10,000 loaves and rolls, Hot Bread Kitchen might seem like any busy New York bakery. But theres a satisfying twist: every worker is an immigrant or low-income woman getting on-the-job training and basic English-language instruction as part of her employment. Were trying to offer women a ladder in business, says Hot Bread Kitchen founder and CEO Jessamyn Rodriguez, who started HBK in a Brooklyn apartment in 2008. The result is a delicious kind of social justice. Hailing from 19 countries, the bakers themselves inspire HBKs recipes for lavash, focaccia, bialys, tortillas, challah, and more. Nearly all ingredients are local and organic. Outside of New York City, where they can be found at fine food purveyors, HBKs goods are available at a handful of specialty shops up and down the East Coast. If youre lucky youll find seating at the tiny storefront to HBKs East Harlem headquarters, which sells fresh breads as well as cups of coffee. Breads not only delicious, its a powerful symbol in many cultures, Rodriguez says. People also want to feel comforted by food. And theres nothing more comforting than bread and butter. Visit Hot Bread Kitchen at 1590 Park Ave., inside Spanish Harlems historic La Marqueta.

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January 30 2015 Vegetarian Times 

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How to Throw a Veg Super Bowl Party

January 29 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Throw a Veg Super Bowl Party Who says you need beefy loaded nachos and buffalo wings to throw a crowd-wowing Super Bowl party? You can easily make meatless versions of game-day classics that carnivores and vegetarians alike will love (and don’t forget the guacamole, snack mix, and ice cream). Below are a few of our favorite party-worthy eats. Wings Nobody will miss the meat when you serve up seitan hot wings. They’re tender on the inside, crispy on the outside! Remember to cut up some celery sticks and pour a little bowl of your favorite creamy dressing, such as blue cheese or ranch. Chili Adding seitan, mushrooms, and beans makes this ultimate vegan chili ”meaty” and super-hearty (24 grams protein per serving!). You can prepare it a day or two ahead. In a hurry? Try ready-in-30-minutes poblano white chili (pictured below). Stuffed Potatoes Fill them with whatever you like. We’re partial to loaded red potatoes topped with veggie bacon, sour cream, Cheddar, and chives. Pick the smallest potatoes you can find--they make for the best finger food. Sliders Mini-burgers are great for feeding a crowd. If you’re short on time, go for frozen beefless sliders. Otherwise, make your own mushroom sliders (pictured below) or black bean and edamame sliders (our veg answer to Sloppy Joes!). What are your favorite game-day foods? Share in the comments!

Napa Cabbage and Rice Noodle Salad

January 26 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1 | To make Salad: Soak rice vermicelli according to package directions (cold water method, if possible). Drain, and set aside. 2 | Thinly shred cabbage with food processor fitted with slicing blade, hand grater (slicing side), or mandoline. Transfer to large bowl, and stir in tofu, green onions, mint, tomatoes, and rice vermicelli. 3 | To make Dressing: Combine sugar, garlic, salt, and ginger in saucepan with 1/­­4 cup water. Heat over medium heat until liquid boils and sugar and salt dissolve. Remove saucepan from heat, and stir in lime juice. 4 | Stir Dressing into Salad. Garnish with peanuts just before serving.

Movie on a Mission: Plastic Paradise

January 23 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: Plastic ParadisePhoto courtesy of Bullfrog Films One spot you wont find advertised in any tourist brochure: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. That didnt stop journalist Angela Sun from setting out to investigate this massive trash heap in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. As seen in Plastic Paradise, the film documenting her odyssey, plastic stuff makes up most of the debris. And as this non-biodegradable stuff breaks down, it leaches out pollutants--which is only one of the ways it threatens sea life. Here, Sun responds to questions about the perils of plastic. The film shows how discarded fishing nets made from plastic--comprising the bulk of the patchs marine debris--are entrapping sea life and destroying coral reefs. Whats being done so the fishing industry takes responsibility? No international regulations now exist regarding these discarded nets, and a lot of illegal fishing is going on worldwide. There are small businesses collecting fishing nets to use as raw materials for other goods: Bureo Skateboards in South America, and EcoAlf, a sustainable fashion line from Madrid, which is looking into incentivizing fisherman to bring back those ghost nets. Last fall, California became the first state in the U.S. to ban the use of plastic shopping bags. What impact will that have? I think it will have a huge impact, as California is the eighth largest economy in the world and a leader in all things green. I think it will have a domino effect regarding all those states that are leaning toward the ban of plastic shopping bags. Can you explain why, as the movie argues, recycling is a bit of a myth? Recycling is a way to delay action. Its saying, Hey, lets continue buying unnecessary things, and line the pockets of companies that promote this, as long as you can recycle. Theres no emphasis on stopping the problem at the source. Also, each city has different recycling regulations, and collection isnt uniform. Most plastics do not get recycled, and for the small portions that do, there are only specific things that recycled plastic can become, whereas glass or metal can be recycled into an infinite amount of goods without the breakdown of its properties. If someone has a New Years resolution to reduce use of plastics, where would you advise starting? I would say keep it simple. Start by simply saying no to single-use plastic for two weeks. We have some great tips on our Web site and also have a pledge to join others worldwide. Its hard to change your lifestyle, but every little step counts. I love this quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: Faith is taking the first step even when you dont see the whole staircase. I have faith in humanity, and I believe we can change our mentality in response to all this disposable plastic, because we have to. Theres plastic in the wildest of animals and in the most remote ends of the earth and depths of the seas. Its time to wake up. Photo courtesy of Bullfrog Films

Should You Worry About Saturated Fat in Coconut?

January 21 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Should You Worry About Saturated Fat in Coconut?Photo: Stockfood/­Eising Studio Should you be concerned about the high saturated fat content in some plant foods like coconut? No, you dont have to be concerned with high levels of saturated fat in plant foods--as long as you watch your portions. According to the American Heart Association, a diet high in saturated fat from any source can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in our blood, which increases the risk of heart disease. For a healthy heart, the AHA recommends we limit ?our daily intake of saturated fat ?to less than 7 percent of total calories. This means if you eat 2,000 calories a day, you should limit your daily intake to under ?16 grams of saturated fat. The standard American diet is high in saturated fat from meat, cheese, dairy-based desserts (such as ice cream), butter, and baked goods made with butter. For plant-based eaters, saturated fat primarily comes from coconut, cocoa butter (chocolate), and palm kernel oil. The jury is still out on whether saturated fat from animals is worse than that found in plants. One plant-based saturated fat getting lots of attention is coconut oil. Theres evidence that lauric acid--a medium-chain fatty acid found in coconut oil--raises HDL (good) cholesterol levels and may boost the immune system by activating protective white blood cells. Still, the most widely accepted advice for keeping your heart healthy is to use coconut oil and other saturated fats sparingly. Tip: Extra virgin/­unrefined coconut oil can be heated to only 280°F, so reserve it for light sautéing or creating salad dressings. Refined coconut oil is a better option for cooking because it can tolerate temperatures up to 365°F. Health-food junkie Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, is creator of the weekly e-newsletter Nutrition WOW.

12 Homemade Treats for Your Vegan Valentine

January 18 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Tell VT: What’s Your Favorite Meal to Freeze?

January 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Tell VT: What’s Your Favorite Meal to Freeze? Whats your meal to make ahead and freeze? (We love freezing homemade casseroles like Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie!) Share your comment below, and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.

How to Grow an Indoor Herb Garden

January 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Grow an Indoor Herb Garden The easiest way to cheer up your kitchen in the middle of winter? Grow herbs indoors. With a few fresh sprigs at your fingertips, you can add instant flavor to everything from smoothies to soups. Most herbs do well in pots, but not all thrive inside: bay, mint, Italian parsley, chives, and variegated lemon thyme are a few of your best options. Below, we offer expert advice to ensure youll have a steady supply of these five hardy favorites all season long. Plant Seedlings Indoor herbs grow best from seedlings as opposed to seeds. Buy starter plants at a local nursery or online from Territorial Seed, and plant seedlings at the same depth they were growing in their nursery containers. Use a regular potting mix for mint, parsley, and chives. Bay and thyme like very well-drained soil, so plant them in a 1:1 ratio of cactus mix and regular potting soil. Go Big Choose pots that are at least 5 inches wide and deep--any smaller and you risk root-bound plants. Once the bay plant reaches 8 to 12 inches, repot it into a 1-gallon (or larger if you can spare the space) container. Grow one plant per pot, and make sure the pots have holes in the bottom so water can drain out. Let There Be Light To avoid plants growing weak and spindly from a lack of light, place them in a sunny south-facing window that gets at least 6 hours of bright sunlight every day. Even better, set them under a grow light that stays on for 16 hours a day and off for 8 hours at night. Using supplemental light encourages more robust growth. Water Sparingly The roots of pot-grown plants are prone to rotting: indoor herbs most often die from soil that stays too wet, rather than overly dry. Test the soil moisture frequently with the tip of your finger, and water only if the soil is dry down to the top of your first knuckle. Increase Humidity Indoor herbs prefer drier soil, but their leaves appreciate a bit of humidity. Set the pots on a shallow tray filled with river rocks. Fill the space between the rocks with water, making sure that the bottoms of the pots stay above the water line. As the water evaporates, it helps humidify the air directly around the plants. Fertilize Later Wait to fertilize until daylight hours begin to lengthen in spring and the plants begin to actively grow. Water the plants with a liquid organic fertilizer, such as Dr. Earth Liquid Solution Concentrate, once a month. Follow the fertilizer application rates and directions on the label.

How to Freshen Up Skin with Cleansing Grains

January 13 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Freshen Up Skin with Cleansing Grains Looking to freshen up rough, drab winter skin? When ground into a fine powder, grains such as rice, oats, quinoa, and millet make for gentle cleansers that leave skin supremely smooth. Plus, cleansing grains mild sloughing action may aid in restoring skins glow. Using exfoliators made with grains helps get rid of dead cells, which allows your skin to reflect the light better and makes it more radiant, explains Patricia Farris, MD, a dermatologist and clinical associate professor at Tulane University. Naturally rich in antioxidants, grains could also assist in keeping skin vibrant. Oats, for instance, might boost overall skin health by fighting inflammation (a key culprit in acne and sagging complexions), Farris says. In fact, research suggests that certain antioxidants found in oats may ease inflammation when applied to the skin. Farris does advise against reaching for cleansing grains more than once or twice a week. You have to be careful not to overdo it, since too much exfoliation can strip away surface oils to the point where your skin ends up dry and irritated, she cautions. Another reason to choose cleansing grains: theyre an eco-friendly alternative to scrubs made with plastic microbeads, which wash down drains and spill into waterways, threatening turtles, fish, and seagulls that ingest the bits of plastic. Easy-Peasy Oatmeal Scrub: For a homemade grains-based facial slougher, DIY Face Masks and Scrubs author Stacy Karen recommends mixing 2 teaspoons ground oats, 1 teaspoon wheat germ or cornmeal, and 1 1/­­2 teaspoons water or cooled chamomile tea. After massaging the scrub onto your skin, wash off with warm water and a face cloth. Product Picks Zatik Cleansing Grain for Normal/­­Oily Skin ($10/­­2 oz.) Bellaroma Pineapple Enzyme & Quinoa Cleansing Grains ($22/­­4 oz.)

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Betsy Smith!

January 10 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Betsy Smith! Each month, we highlight a different reader’s “vegiversary”--the anniversary of when they went veg. Share yours at vegetariantimes.com/­­vegiversary. Reader Name: Betsy Smith Location: Exeter, Calif. Vegetarian Since: March 1999 What motivated you to go veg? Wanting to eat healthier. Diabetes runs in the family, and when my mom developed it at 50 years old, I wanted to do what I could to avoid it. What’s your favorite vegetarian restaurant, and what do you order there? My new favorite is Cornbread Cafe in Eugene, Ore. The Chicken Fried Tempeh is a special treat. What fruit or veggie best describes you, and why? Artichoke--a rough, tough, handle-anything exterior, but with a kind heart. Whats your most treasured piece of cookware? My grandmother’s spatula. It’s the only one I can flip eggs and pancakes with correctly. Whats your best advice for new vegetarians/­­vegans? Don’t just cut out the meat! Do research, and learn how to eat right.

A Beginner’s Guide to Tofu Varieties

January 8 2015 Vegetarian Times 

A Beginner’s 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

How to Make Super-Quick Flat-Bread Pizzas

January 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

How to Make Super-Quick Flat-Bread Pizzas Spread some tomato sauce on a round of pita bread, naan, or lavash, sprinkle with cheese, toast till bubbly, and presto: flat-bread pizza! Easy, right? Starting with this simple formula, you can play around with different flat-bread bases and tasty toppings to whip up all kinds of inventive combinations. Pumpkin, leek, and mushroom pitzas, anyone? Here are 10 more ideas to get you started: assemble these amazing individual flat-bread pizzas, then bake 6 to 8 minutes at 425°F. 1. Puttanesca Stir 1 tsp. capers and 1 pinch red pepper flakes into 1/­­4 cup prepared marinara sauce; spread on flat bread. Sprinkle with fresh mozzarella and pitted black olives. 2. Three-Cheese with Broccoli Stir together 2 Tbs. low-fat ricotta, 2 Tbs. grated mozzarella, and 1 tsp. Parmesan; spread on flat bread. Top with steamed broccoli and a drizzle of garlic oil. 3. Egg Florentine Spread thin layer of tomato paste over flat bread. Top with steamed chopped spinach, and crack 1 egg in center. Bake until egg white is set. Drizzle with hollandaise sauce or melted butter. 4. Beet-Gorgonzola Spread 3 Tbs. Gorgonzola cheese over flat bread. Top with thinly sliced roasted beets, and brush with olive oil. Serve topped with 1/­­4 cup arugula. 5. Mezze Mix Spread 1/­­4 cup baba ghanoush over flat bread. Sprinkle with 2 Tbs. cooked chickpeas and 2 Tbs. crumbled feta cheese. 6. Lean and Green Purée 1/­­4 cup thawed frozen peas with 2 Tbs. pesto; spread on flat bread. Top with thinly sliced zucchini and dollops of cottage cheese. Sprinkle with minced garlic, and drizzle with olive oil. 7. Pissaladiere Spread flat bread with 1/­­4 cup Onion Confit, and sprinkle with olives and roasted red pepper slices. 8. Green Enchilada Spread flat bread with 1/­­4 cup prepared tomatillo salsa. Sprinkle with 2 Tbs. each cooked black beans, corn kernels, and queso fresco. 9. Hoppin John Spread flat bread with 2 Tbs. prepared barbecue sauce. Top with 1/­­4 cup steamed chopped kale, 2 Tbs. cooked black-eyed peas, and 2 thinly sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. 10. Asian Oyster Sauté 1 cup oyster mushrooms and 1 tsp. minced garlic in 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil 7 minutes, or until browned. Spread flat bread with 2 Tbs. vegetarian oyster sauce. Top with sautéed oyster mushrooms and 2 Tbs. sliced green onion. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Got a favorite flat-bread pizza creation? Share it in the comments!

Potato Salad with Mustard Greens

January 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Whisk together vinegar and thyme in small bowl. Whisk in oil and mustard, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Stir in chopped onion. Marinate 20 minutes, tossing often. 2. Meanwhile, steam potatoes 13 to 14 minutes, or until tender. Transfer steamer rack to work surface, and let potatoes cool 5 minutes. 3. Toss potatoes with dressing in wide, shallow bowl. Cool 10 minutes, or until dressing is absorbed, tossing occasionally. 4. Steam celery 6 minutes, or until only slight crunch remains. Cool briefly. Fold into potatoes. Fold in mustard greens. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Broccoli Meatballs with Garlic-Tomato Sauce

January 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Meatballs: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Steam broccoli florets 10 minutes, or until tender and bright green. Cool. 3. Pulse almonds in food processor until finely ground. Transfer to large mixing bowl. 4. Pulse steamed broccoli in food processor until chopped. Transfer to bowl with ground almonds. Add Parmesan, basil, parsley, garlic, and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 5. Whisk eggs in small bowl, then stir eggs into broccoli mixture. 6. Shape mixture into 12 Meatballs by hand, pressing firmly to ensure Meatballs hold their shape. Place on prepared baking sheet, and bake 25 minutes, or until golden brown. 7. To make Garlic-Tomato Sauce: Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add tomatoes and their juice, and cook 20 minutes, or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Chard, Lime, and Mint Smoothies

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Place all ingredients in blender in order listed. Blend 15 to 20 seconds, or until smoothie is thick, adding more lime juice if desired. Chill well, and whisk before serving, or pour over ice, and serve immediately.

Eggplant Parmesan with Creamed Spinach

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Position rack in center of oven, and preheat to 375°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. 2. Place flour in pie dish or soup plate. Add panko and Parmesan to second pie dish or soup plate; whisk to blend. Reserve 2 Tbs. panko mixture. Add egg to third pie dish or soup plate; whisk to blend. Season eggplant with salt and pepper, if desired. Coat slices with flour, then egg, then panko mixture; press to adhere. Coat slices on both sides with cooking spray, and arrange on baking sheet. 3. Bake eggplant 12 minutes, or until bottoms are brown and crisp. Loosen slices from sheet, and flip over. Bake 12 to 13 minutes longer, or until both sides are brown and crisp, and eggplant is tender. 4. Meanwhile, coat large skillet with cooking spray; add spinach. Toss over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted. Scrape into towel-lined sieve, and firmly press out excess liquid. Transfer spinach to work surface, and finely chop. 5. Recoat skillet with cooking spray. Add spinach, cream cheese, and 1 Tbs. reserved panko mixture. Cook over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes, or until mixture is very thick, adding remaining 1 Tbs. reserved panko (if necessary) to thicken. 6. Spread marinara sauce atop eggplant on baking sheet. Spoon or spread spinach over top, leaving border of sauce visible. Sprinkle with mozzarella, and bake 4 to 5 minutes, or until topping is heated through.

Kale, Fennel, and Beet Salad

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Dressing: whisk together all ingredients, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 2. To make Salad: Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss beets with oil in bowl, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spread beets on baking sheet, and roast, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until tender. Cool. 3. Transfer beets to large bowl, and add kale and fennel. Pour in Dressing, and toss gently until all ingredients are coated. Top with pistachios, and garnish with fennel fronds.

Zaatar-Lavash Pizzas

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 2. Toss together sliced tomato and red onion in small bowl. Set aside. 3. Place lavash on baking sheets, and spread each with one-quarter of goat cheese. Sprinkle with zaatar, and drizzle with reserved tomato oil. Scatter tomato-onion mixture over lavash. 4. Bake 8 minutes, or until edges of lavash are crisp and brown and zaatar has deepened in color. Drizzle once more with tomato oil.

Passion Fruit Tropical Skewers

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Bring passion fruit juice and agave to a boil in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until mixture is reduced to 2 Tbs. Cool. 2. Thread 1 piece each of pineapple, mango, banana, and kiwifruit onto each of four skewers, then repeat so each skewer has 2 pieces of each fruit. 3. Drizzle glaze over fruit, gently turning skewers to coat all sides.

Vegetable Stew with Tofu Feta

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Tofu Feta: Toss tofu with lemon juice and oil in shallow container. Spread in single layer in container, and sprinkle with oregano and salt. Set aside to marinate while making stew. 2. To make Vegetable Stew: Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute more. Add potatoes and 1 cup water. Bring mixture to a simmer, cover pot, and cook 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, oregano, and 1 cup water. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir parsley and dill into stew, then season with salt and pepper, if desired. Top with Tofu Feta cubes.

Quinoa Eggs Florentine

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Quinoa Cakes: Stir together flax meal and 11/­­2 Tbs. water in small bowl; set aside. 2. Combine quinoa, Parmesan, thyme, and lemon juice in medium bowl. Stir in flax mixture, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Chill 10 minutes, then shape into 2 cakes. (Cakes can be covered and refrigerated overnight.) 3. To make Parsnip Purée: Bring parsnip chunks, lemon juice, and 1/­­2 cup water to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes, or until parsnip chunks are tender. Purée mixture with immersion blender, or in food processor until smooth. Keep warm. 4. To make Sautéed Greens: Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add greens, and sauté 3 minutes, or until just wilted. Stir in lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Keep warm. 5. Heat 1 tsp. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add Quinoa Cakes, and sear 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until brown and crispy. Transfer to plate, and keep warm. 6. To make Poached Eggs: Bring 4 cups water to simmer in medium saucepan. Add vinegar and salt. Crack 1 egg into medium bowl. Stir simmering water into a slow whirlpool, and add egg to spinning water. Repeat with remaining egg. 7. Poach eggs 3 minutes, skimming off any loose whites. Gently remove each egg to plate using slotted spoon. 8. To serve: Top each Quinoa Cake with 1/­­4 cup Sautéed Greens, 1 Poached Egg, and 2 Tbs. Parsnip Purée. Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt, if desired.

Asian Pear and Avocado Bowl

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Asian Pear Salad with Gorgonzola and Toasted Pistachios

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat oil in small non-stick skillet over low heat. Add shallot, and sauté 4 minutes, or until soft. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar and honey. 2. Divide mâche among four salad plates. Top each serving with Asian pear matchsticks, cheese, and pistachios, and drizzle with dressing.

Tofu Stir-Fry with Asian Pear and Cashews

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat 2 tsp. sesame oil in wok over high heat. Add tofu, and cook 10 minutes, or until golden on two or more sides, turning occasionally. Transfer tofu to plate. 2. Heat remaining 2 tsp. sesame oil in wok over high heat. Add carrots, and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add Asian pear and bell pepper, and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add garlic and green onions, and stir-fry 1 minute more. Return tofu to wok with vegetables. 3. Whisk together hoisin and soy sauces and vinegar in small bowl. Pour over wok mixture, and stir until tofu is heated through. Serve topped with cashews.

7 Ways to Use Preserved Lemons

January 6 2015 Vegetarian Times 

7 Ways to Use Preserved Lemons Want to make your lemons last longer? Try preserving them. Preserved lemons add a fragrant, slightly bitter layer to a variety of dishes, are easy to make at home, and can be stored in the fridge for up to three months (see our recipe for Quick-Preserved Lemons). Here are a few of our favorite ways to use them: 1. Finely chop, and stir into cr?me fraîche or Greek yogurt for a vegetable dip. 2. Whisk into salad dressings. 3. Stir into couscous with olives, golden raisins, and cilantro. 4. Toss with sweet potatoes or carrots before roasting. 5. Add to puréed soups. 6. Muddle into a martini. 7. Toss with olives and roasted almonds for a quick hors d’oeuvre. Got preserved lemons? What’s your favorite way to use them? Share in the comments!

Pro Tips for Using a Dutch Oven

December 30 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Pro Tips for Using 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.

5 Ways to Jazz Up Desserts With Nuts

December 22 2014 Vegetarian Times 

5 Ways to Jazz Up Desserts With Nuts  Nuts and nutty desserts may be available year-round, but come holiday time, the crunchy halves, pieces, slivers, and bits take a starring role in sweets. Here are a few easy methods for adding roasty, toasty flavor with nuts: 1. Add 1/­­2 cup chopped nuts to pie fillings. 2. Sprinkle 1/­­2 cup chopped nuts over over-faced pies and tarts. 3. Switch out a plain piecrust for a nut-based crust. 4. Stir 1 cup chopped nuts into cake batters, quick bread batters, and cookie doughs. 5. Substitute ground nuts or nut flours for one-third of the flour called for in a recipe. Looking for nutty inspiration? Try these dessert classics: Chocolate-Almond B?che de Noël Mixed Nut Brittle Cranberry-Pecan Pie

A Seasonal Guide to Orange Varieties

December 18 2014 Vegetarian Times 

A Seasonal Guide to Orange Varieties Come winter, oranges will cure what ails you in the kitchen. Want a hint of sweetness? Add a little juice. Need a flavor lift? Stir in a little zest. Plus, orange slices, segment, and pulpy pieces can brighten just about any recipe, from savory sauces to desserts. Orange season is now in full swing (it runs through June), meaning there’s no better time to make the most of the sunny, sweet citrus. Not sure where to start? Matt McLean, founder and CEO of Uncle Matts Organic, in Clermont, Fla., shares his orange expertise. In addition to choosing oranges at their peak ripeness, consider where they come from if youre making juice, he says. Florida oranges have a thinner peel and more juice per fruit because of Floridas sub-tropical climate, he explains. Thicker-skinned California oranges are ideal for eating out of hand because they are easier to peel. Use this guide to help you shop: Hamlin Peak Season: November to January Characteristics: This pale varietal has a floral aroma and a high vitamin C content. Navel Peak Season: November to March Characteristics: The namesake navel makes this classic easy to identify. Cara Cara Navel Peak Season: November to April Characteristics: Red-fleshed navels have a distinctive flavor profile and antioxidant composition because of the red pigments. Moro, Sanguinello (Blood Oranges) Peak Season: December to February Characteristics: Tart, red-fleshed blood oranges are spectacular in recipes and as juice. Heirloom varieties Peak Season: January to March Characteristics: If you can get em, grab em, says McLean, citing Florida Temple oranges as a sweet-tart option thats great for juicing but can also be peeled like a tangerine. Pineapple Peak Season: February to April Characteristics: Darker orange with a flavor somewhere between a Hamlin and a Valencia. Very seedy, but a great juice orange. Valencia Peak Season: April to June Characteristics: First grown in California, the worlds most common orange variety is juicy and richly hued. Must-try orange recipes: Orange-Scented Meatballs with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce Lentil Salad with Roasted Oranges and Radicchio Orange Napoleons Orange-Chile Salsa Verde Orange Wassail

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Allison Schweitzer!

December 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Allison Schweitzer! Each month, we highlight a different reader’s “vegiversary”--the anniversary of when they went veg. Share yours at vegetariantimes.com/­­vegiversary. Reader Name: Allison Schweitzer Location: Wauwatosa, Wis. Vegetarian Since: November 2010 What motivated you to go veg? Getting a dog. Seeing the personalities animals have made it difficult to want to eat them. What’s your favorite veg-friendly restaurant, and what do you order there? Casablanca in Milwaukee has an amazing vegetarian lunch buffet. Their falafel is to die for. Whats your most treasured piece of cookware? I have a cake plate and spaetzle-maker that both belonged to my great-great grandmother. Whats your best advice for new vegetarians/­­vegans? Bring your own dish to family functions. Then you’ll absolutely have something to eat!

Who 2 Give 2: Animal-Friendly Charities to Support

December 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Tis the season for supporting the work of charities that improve the lives of companion animals. Here are four of the best: Alley Cat Allies Helping to establish the practice of trap-neuter-return to ease cat overpopulation without resorting to killing, Alley Cat Allies was founded to advocate for humane treatment of feral cats. Your donation will help the group improve the lives of cats through shelter programs, educational efforts, and public-policy campaigns. alleycat.org ASPCA The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been championing animals for nearly 150 years, rescuing them--such as from fighting rings and negligent breeding operations--caring for them, and helping them find homes. A $25 donation feeds a shelter animal for three weeks; $35 provides vaccinations; $50 covers a medical exam; $100 funds spay/­­neuter surgery. aspca.org Best Friends Animal Society This non-profit operates the largest no-kill companion-animal sanctuary in the nation on 20,000 acres near Kanab, Utah. In addition to providing loving care for about 1,700 animals on site, Best Friends partners with groups across the country to hold adoption events and implement spay/­­neuter programs. bestfriends.org North Shore Animal League A leader in the no-kill rescue movement, NSAL runs a shelter in the New York Tri-State area and partners with local groups nationwide to increase adoptions. The organizations mobile adoption units bring animals into the community and make adoption easy and accessible; NSAL also loans vehicles from its fleet to other shelters and offers a co-operative buying program to help rescue groups save on equipment and supplies. animalleague.org

An Eco-Friendly Alternative to Wrapping Paper

December 10 2014 Vegetarian Times 

An Eco-Friendly Alternative to Wrapping Paper Want a waste-conscious gift wrap thats way simpler than fussing with paper and ribbon? Take a cue from an age-old Japanese custom called furoshiki, and transform scraps of fabric into wrapping thats both green and gorgeous. Instead of ending up with garbage bags full of paper, youre presenting gifts in a very artful and beautiful and completely reusable way, says Kris Sazaki, co-author of Furoshiki Fabric Wraps. She also favors furoshiki for toting baked goods and other foods to parties or for wrapping a bottle of wine as a host or hostess gift. Traditionally used to carry clothes to and from public bathhouses, furoshiki can be fashioned from scarves, cloth napkins, handkerchiefs, bandanas, bolts of sewing material, or any other lightweight fabric. Techniques abound, but you can easily master the most basic: set your gift in the center of the fabric (ideally a piece three times wider than the object), tie two of the diagonal corners into a knot, then form a second knot with the two remaining corners. Its easier than tying your shoes, says Holly Westhoff, a Los Angeles-based jewelry designer who uses furoshiki to package her products. But its so unique and eye-catching, no one would ever guess that it takes no time at all. Tip Anything from satin to flannel can serve as furoshiki material, says Sazaki: But in general, the more the fabric drapes, the easier it is to wrap. Shopping Option While scouring thrift stores and your own closet is a great way to find fabric for furoshiki, you can also purchase traditional wraps online. Our picks: Hanabi ($9; furoshiki.com) and Give Love ($16; chewingthecud.bigcartel.com).

How to Make Latkes Like a Pro

December 9 2014 Vegetarian Times 

How to Make Latkes Like a Pro Hanukkah just wouldnt be the same without at least one meal of latkes during the eight-day Festival of Lights. The oil that the vegetable patties are fried in provides all the holiday symbolism, leaving cooks free to play around with fillings, flavors, and embellishments. Read on to get the scoop on how to make classic, crisp-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside latkes: 1. Avoid soggy fillings. Binders such as eggs and flour adhere better to dry fillings, and the natural sugars and starches in vegetables brown and crisp better when the veggies are dry. Squeeze excess liquid from grated vegetables, cook vegetable pieces until no liquid remains, drain well, and pat dry. 2. Use plenty of hot (but not too hot) oil. Heat at least 1/­­4 cup oil in a skillet 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat. The oil should be 365°F (a small bit of latke batter should sizzle briskly when added to the pan). Avoid overcrowding the pan, which can lower the oil temperature and make patties soggy. Add a tablespoonful more oil to the pan as needed, and reheat between batches. Maintain this even temperature so latkes cook through--the first side should turn a deep golden brown in about 2 to 4 minutes. 3. Mix it up. Stir the batter before frying each new batch of latkes to make sure vegetables are evenly distributed and coated with binder. 4. Don’t forget to blot. Pat the tops of just-cooked latkes with a paper towel to absorb and remove excess oil and leave the latkes crisp, not greasy. 5. Always serve em hot. To keep just-cooked latkes hot, set them in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 250°F oven until ready to serve. To reheat cooked latkes, bake them 5 minutes at 400°F in single layer on baking sheet. Must-try latke recipes: Classic Potato Latkes with Chunky Applesauce (pictured) Vegan Leek and Potato Latkes Spiced Cauliflower Latkes Corn Latkes with Red Peppers What’s your favorite latke creation? Share in the comments below!

Veg Celeb: Illustrator/Musician Marcellus Hall

December 4 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Illustrator/Musician Marcellus Hall  Art and photo by Marcellus Hall Besides witty cover art, Marcellus Hall has contributed illustrations to The New Yorker. Hes also illustrated childrens books, including Everyone Sleeps, which he authored as well. Additionally, Hall is a musician, currently performing with his band, The Hostages. Harmony, texture, rhythm, color, and composition are overlapping aspects of his music and art, he says. Here, more of my conversation with Hall. How would you describe your sense of humor? My sense of humor is wry. Often when a bitter truth is revealed in an ironic way, I laugh. Why did you go veg? Increasingly I sensed hypocrisy between my respect for animals and my carnivorousness. I became curious about vegetarianism when a friend invited me to his familys vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner. I searched reasons to eat vegetarian online. All of the reasons I found made sense. Alongside health reasons, a part of my vegetarianism is discipline. It helps me to have limits. Just as limiting the color palette in a painting yields harmony and economy, keeping my eating habits simple makes my life more focused. Whats the most ignorant comment people make when they find out youre vegetarian, and how do you respond? Were learning new things all the time so I dont label peoples comments as ignorant. But I am conscious of the way people sometimes appear defensive when the subject of vegetarianism comes up. I want to live by example and not preach. I dont begrudge anyone their lifestyle. I assume we all are searching for answers. It always struck me as strange, though, that if you tell someone youve quit smoking, theyll say, Congratulations! If you say youve joined a gym, theyll say, Way to go! But if you say youve stopped eating meat, theyll say, Why? Whats your cooking style? My cooking style might be described as bacherloresque. It is simple. I often have eggs or beans with rice or barley and steamed vegetables. And Im always discovering fruits or vegetables that I didnt know about before.

How to Edit Your Cookbook Collection

December 2 2014 Vegetarian Times 

How to Edit Your Cookbook Collection If your ever-growing cookbook collection is starting to take over valuable real estate in your kitchen, perhaps its time you spend an hour or so weeding through it. After all, the holiday season is high time to donate or re-gift some of your lesser-loved volumes--as long as the pages arent stuck together. Since parting can be such sweet sorrow, here are 5 tough-love rules for how to edit your cookbook collection: 1. Many of the recipes include a key ingredient thats no longer in your diet, such as meat, fish, dairy, gluten, or other taboo ingredient that you are currently avoiding. 2. If its available as an e-cookbook for a few easy clicks and less than the price of a cocktail, say sayonara to sticky pages and hello to the digital age. 3. You fell in love with the restaurant and left with the cookbook, but the one recipe you tried cost you more in ingredients than your restaurant bill. 4. The recipes send you on a scavenger hunt for hard-to-source ingredients. If you have to go to more than two locations to find all the ingredients, its probably not worth the carbon emissions, or the hassle. 5. The recipes require cooking gear that you have no intention of ever owning, such as an ice-cream maker, pasta press, or a dehydrator. If the tool isnt currently on your holiday wish list, toss it. How do you decide which cookbooks should stay and which should go? Share in the comments below.

How to Buy Veg-Friendly Cheese

November 26 2014 Vegetarian Times 

How to Buy Veg-Friendly Cheese Surprise! Parmesan isnt the only cheese that can be off limits to vegetarians. ?Many cheeses contain animal rennet--an enzyme that helps milk separate into curds and whey--and cheese makers arent required to specify it in ingredients lists. Want to find the very best veg-friendly cheeses? Read on for a few simple tips. Decode the Label Most cheeses are just labeled with milk, salt, and enzymes, says Brian Ralph, cavemaster at Murrays Cheese Shop in New York City. The problem? Those enzymes may or may not refer to animal rennet, a traditional cheese-making ingredient extracted from the stomach lining of slaughtered cows, goats, sheep, and even pigs. When in doubt, ask a knowledgeable cheesemonger for cheeses made with veg-friendly alternatives such as vegetable rennet, which typically comes from thistle plants, and microbial rennet derived from fungus, yeast, or mold. (You can safely buy fresh cheeses that dont contain rennet at all: think cream cheese and paneer.) At the supermarket? Trader Joes and Whole Foods both label the source of rennet used in their generic-brand cheeses, many of which are vegetarian. A good cheese shop will also mark it on signs beside the cheese, notes Ralph. Rethink Romano As a rule of thumb, be wary of fromage from across the pond. Most European cheeses are made with animal rennet because these are age-old recipes that have always used animal rennet, explains Ralph. In fact, according to European Union law, Parmesan must contain animal rennet in order to be called Parmigiano-Reggiano. Luckily, you can still find veg versions of Parmesan (and other European-style cheeses) made Stateside. We love Organic Valley Shredded Parmesan and BelGioioso Vegetarian Parmesan, a grate-it-yourself wedge. Into English Cheddar? More and more British cheeses are being made--and labeled--vegetarian. Also, a handful of traditional Spanish and Portuguese sheeps cheeses, including La Serena and Zimbro, use vegetarian thistle rennet, which has a distinctly briny flavor. Aim for Organic Concerned about cheese--veg or not--coming from animals treated inhumanely? Choose organic, when possible: The bulk of conventional milk production comes from farms that confine their cows to buildings or feedlots during virtually all their productive lives, says Mark Kastel, co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute. These cows dont have the opportunity to exhibit their natural, instinctive behavior, ?such as grazing on fresh grass. Read the Cornucopia Institutes Dairy ?Scorecard to see which organic cheese makers provide the most pasture time, prohibit the ?use of hormones, and more. Most farmstead cheese producers, who have a small processing plant right on the farm, go far beyond the minimum required by the USDA organic program, notes Kastel. Check out the farmstead cheeses at your local farmers market, where you can ask directly about farming practices. Consider the ?Alternatives Cutting back on dairy? Theres no shortage of easy-to-find cheese substitutes these days, with artisanal ?nut-based goodies such as Treeline, Dr-Cow, and Kite Hill appealing to vegans and omnivores alike. The team at Kite Hill did an amazing thing by getting its cheeses into the regular dairy case at Whole Foods, says Elizabeth Castoria, author of How to Be Vegan. It really shows that dairy-free cheeses are new options for any kind of diner. To make quesadillas, grab melty Go Veggie!, Daiya, or Follow Your Heart. Craving Parmesan? Castoria prefers Parmela, a topping made from almonds, cashews, and nutritional yeast. And theres pretty much no point to making nachos without Teese, she adds. Be sure to check the ingredients: some soy cheeses contain casein, a milk protein. Quick Trick: Check the type of rennet used in scores of artisanal cheeses at murrayscheese.com and cowgirlcreamery.com. FYI: While most certified-kosher cheeses are ?vegetarian, ?they can be ?made with animal rennet as long as its certified kosher. Read the label to be safe. What’s your favorite veg-friendly cheese? Share in the comments below!

Orange-Almond Florentines with Cardamom

November 26 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Stir together almonds, rice flour, orange zest, and cardamom in bowl. 2. Bring oil, brown sugar, and honey to a boil in medium saucepan, and simmer until sugar dissolves. Stir sugar mixture into almond mixture. Cool, or refrigerate overnight. 3. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheet with silicone baking mat. 4. Spread 1 tsp. batter in circle on baking mat with back of spoon. Repeat, spacing circles 3 inches apart. Bake 10 minutes, or until golden. Cool 3 minutes on mat, then flip mat onto wire rack, and peel mat from cookies.

Raspberry-Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. Stir together oat flour, hazelnuts, rice flour, and baking powder in medium bowl. Set aside. 3. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Add egg, and beat until soft and creamy. Reduce mixer speed to low, and add oat flour mixture. Beat until just combined. 4. Use 1-oz. (2 Tbs.) ice cream or cookie scoop to shape dough into walnut-size balls, and place on baking sheet 3 inches apart. Gently press each ball in center with thumb to make small wells. Spoon 1/­2 tsp. raspberry jam into each thumbprint well. 5. Bake cookies 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet. Dust with confectioners sugar, then transfer to storage container.

Toffee-Almond Popcorn

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Line large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place popcorn in very large heat-proof bowl with room for stirring; sprinkle almonds on top. 2. Melt butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to combine. Place candy thermometer in mixture, and let mixture come to a boil. Boil, stirring frequently with heat-proof whisk or spatula to prevent caramel from burning, until caramel darkens and candy thermometer registers 280°F. Remove pan from heat, and season with salt, if desired. 3. Working quickly, drizzle popcorn and nuts with caramel, tossing rapidly with two heat-proof spatulas to coat popcorn and nuts and prevent clumping. Spread on foil-lined sheet pan, and let cool at least 10 minutes.

Three Sisters Savory Cobbler

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Filling: Heat oil in 5-qt. Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until very brown. Add bell pepper, and cook 3 minutes more, or until bell pepper is softened. Sprinkle mixture with flour, and stir to coat. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 6 cups water, tomato paste, and garlic. Add black-eyed peas and herb bundle; cover pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, or until black-eyed peas are just tender. 2. Meanwhile, to make Topping: Warm milk in small saucepan until hot to touch. Remove from heat, and stir in sage. Cool 15 minutes. 3. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk together egg and cooled milk mixture in large bowl. Stir in cornmeal mixture. 4. Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove herb bundle from Filling. Stir in mustard, then add kale. Cover pan, and simmer 5 minutes, or until greens are wilted. Add butternut squash, stirring to combine, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in chipotle pepper sauce. 5. Remove Filling from heat. Drop Topping over Filling with 2-Tbs. cookie scoop, or roll out on floured work surface, cut into rounds, and place rounds over Filling, covering completely. Bake uncovered 15 minutes, or until Topping is golden brown.

Vegan Jelly Doughnuts

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Warm almond milk and pieces of baking sticks in small saucepan until melted. Cool until just warm to touch. 2. Whisk together flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and baking soda in large bowl. Stir in milk mixture until smooth dough forms. Turn out dough onto well-floured work surface, and knead 8 to 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic, and no longer sticks to your hands. Gather dough into ball, place in floured bowl, cover, and let rise 11/­­2 to 2 hours in warm place. 3. Punch down dough, then transfer to floured work surface. Roll to 1/­­4-inch thickness. Cut into 15 31/­­2-inch circles or 32 2-inch circles. Place on parchment- or wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Let rise 1 hour, or until soft and puffy. 4. Heat oil in 5-qt. Dutch oven until temperature reads 350°F on cooking thermometer. Drop dough circles into oil, and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. 5. With pastry piping tip or round bottom of wooden spoon, poke small holes in one side of each doughnut. Place jam in piping bag fitted with medium round tip, and pipe 2 to 3 Tbs. jam into each large doughnut, 2 tsp. into each small doughnut. Roll doughnuts in or dust with sugar.

Tricolor Salad with Rustic Croutons

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Toss bread with 2 Tbs. oil in large bowl, then transfer to baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden. 2. Place vinegar and shallot in small bowl, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Whisk in remaining 1/­3 cup oil. 3. Combine radicchio and kale in large bowl. Add 6 Tbs. dressing, toss well, then gently massage greens to slightly wilt them. Add endives, dates, and croutons, and gently toss to combine. Offer extra vinaigrette at the table.

Spicy Hemp Breakfast Sausages

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Spice Liquid: Place all ingredients in medium bowl. Stir in 2 cups boiling water. Set aside 5 minutes to steep and develop flavor. 2. To make Sausage Mix: Stir 1 cup warm Spice Liquid into masa harina. Let stand 5 minutes to rehydrate masa harina, then stir in hemp seeds. 3. Heat 1 tsp. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/­­2 cup beans and 1/­­3 cup Spice Liquid. Using potato masher or back of spoon, mash beans into Spice Liquid. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Add 1/­­2 cup beans and 1/­­3 cup Spice Liquid, and mash and cook again, stirring. Add remaining 1/­­2 cup beans and remaining 1/­­3 cup Spice Liquid, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until mixture is thick and dry. 4. Stir bean mixture into masa harina mixture. Cool, or refrigerate overnight. 5. Use damp hands to shape Sausage Mix into 2-inch patties or small links. 6. Coat non-stick skillet with cooking spray, or heat 1/­­4 cup oil, if using, in skillet over medium heat. Cook sausages 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until deep brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Cool 3 to 5 minutes before serving.

Orange Wassail

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Bring orange juice, wine, brown sugar, 1 sliced orange, 1/­­4 cup cranberries, nutmeg, cinnamon stick, and cloves to a boil in large saucepan. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered 20 minutes. 2. Remove pan from heat, and strain mixture into heat-proof pitcher or serving bowl, discarding solids. Stir in hot tea. Serve in mugs, and garnish with remaining orange slices and cranberries.

Orange Napoleons

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, then coat parchment paper with cooking spray. 2. Bring butter, honey, 2 Tbs. orange juice, and orange zest to a simmer in small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and set aside. 3. Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface, and brush with butter mixture. Stack 3 remaining phyllo sheets over first, brushing butter between each layer. Reserve remaining butter mixture. 4. Cut 24 circles from phyllo stack with 21/­­2-inch round cutter. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, and top with parchment paper and a second large baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, rotating tray once. Remove top baking sheet and parchment, and brush each circle with butter mixture (there will be some left over). Return to oven, and bake 5 minutes more, or until golden brown. 5. Stir together mascarpone and remaining 4 Tbs. orange juice. Transfer to piping bag with round tip, if desired. 6. 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. Cut oranges into thin slices. 7. To assemble: Lay 8 phyllo crisps on work surface, and spread or pipe each with 2 tsp. mascarpone mixture. Lay 1 orange slice atop each phyllo crisp. Top each stack with second phyllo crisp, 2 more tsp. mascarpone, and 1 orange slice. Top with third phyllo crisp, and finish with 1 orange slice. Transfer to plate with thin spatula. Drizzle each with any remaining glaze.

Orange-Scented Meatballs with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Meatballs: Toss eggplant with salt in colander set over bowl. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour. Transfer to large kitchen towel, and gently squeeze out excess moisture. 2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray. Combine eggplant, onion, 1 Tbs. orange zest, vinegar, and oil on prepared baking sheet. Roast 25 to 30 minutes, or until mixture is tender but not mushy. Cool. 3. Pulse roasted vegetables with rice and veggie bacon in food processor until combined. Transfer to bowl, and stir in chives and remaining 1 Tbs. orange zest; season with salt and pepper, if desired. 4. Line baking sheet with fresh parchment paper. Roll mixture into 2-Tbs. balls, and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, turning Meatballs halfway through. 5. To make Sauce: 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 bowl, and cut sections along membranes to release each wedge into bowl. Squeeze empty membrane over bowl to capture any remaining juice. Set aside. 6. Heat oil in medium saucepan over low heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook 10 minutes, or until onion begins to brown. 7. Increase heat to medium, and add orange segments and juice, tomatoes, vinegar, and brown sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat. Purée mixture with immersion blender until smooth. Stir in soy sauce, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with Meatballs.

Braised Fennel and Carrots with Cilantro Gremolata

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Vegetables: Heat 1 Tbs. oil in 5- to 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add fennel, and cook 5 minutes, turning once or twice, or until well-browned on all sides. Transfer to bowl, and set aside. 2. Add 1 Tbs. oil to Dutch oven, then add carrots. Cook 5 minutes, turning once or twice, or until carrots begin to turn deep brown. Transfer to bowl with fennel. 3. Add remaining 1 Tbs. oil to Dutch oven, then add onions. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, turning once or twice, or until onions begin to turn deep brown. Add 2 1/­­2 cups water, and use spatula to scrape any stuck-on bits from bottom of Dutch oven. Stir in tomatoes (reserve liquid for another use), chickpeas, raisins, cumin, coriander, and ginger. Return fennel and carrots to pot, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 45 minutes, or until Vegetables are tender. 4. Meanwhile, to make Gremolata: Stir together all ingredients in small bowl. 5. Sprinkle servings of Vegetables with 1 tsp. Gremolata; use remainder for garnish.

Winter Warmer

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Combine honey, ginger, and 1/­­2 cup hot water in blender; blend until smooth. Strain mixture through fine strainer, pressing down to extract all liquid. Discard solids. 2. Pour ginger mixture into large jar. Add whiskey, lemon juice, and salt. Shake gently to combine, and chill. 3. To serve: Measure out 1/­­2 cup liquid, and place in ice-filled shaker. Shake, and strain into martini glass or ice-filled tumbler. Garnish with 2 lemon slices, or slap lemon peel between palms, and float on top of drink, if using.

Truffle-Porcini Popcorn

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat truffle oil, 1 tsp. rosemary, and 1 tsp. porcini powder in a small saucepan over medium heat 2 minutes, or until warm and sizzling. Season with salt, if desired. 2. Pour truffle oil mixture over popcorn, and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1/­­2 tsp. rosemary, remaining 1 tsp. porcini powder, and white pepper.

Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Chowder

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat butter in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leek, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Add butternut squash, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 2. Add cauliflower, and sprinkle with flour. Stir in broth, milk, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. 3. Stir in corn and lemon zest, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove thyme sprigs.

Chickpea Minestrone

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 4 minutes, or until softened. Add carrots and celery, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, add thyme sprigs, and cook 2 minutes more.  2. Smash 1/­­2 cup chickpeas with back of a fork to form paste. Add smashed and whole chickpeas, broth, and 2 cups water to pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes. Add ditalini and basil, and cook 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  3. Thin soup with broth or water (if necessary), and adjust seasoning. Remove thyme sprigs, and serve garnished with shredded basil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese (if using).

9 Smoothies We Love

November 24 2014 Vegetarian Times 

TV Talk: Foxs Cause for Paws, An All-Star Dog Spectacular

November 19 2014 Vegetarian Times 

TV Talk: Foxs Cause for Paws, An All-Star Dog SpectacularPhotography: Brian Bowen Smith/­­FOX  When youre feeling all warm and glowy after feasting with family and friends this Thanksgiving, consider tuning in to Foxs Cause for Paws. Hosted by Oscar-winner Hillary Swank and Glee co-star Jane Lynch, with animal-loving celebrities among its two-legged guests, the show spotlights rescue dogs. Along with viral videos and musical tributes, the program includes award presentations in such categories as Cutest Puppy and Best Celebrity/­­Dog Lookalike. Viewers are encouraged to adopt a dog featured on the show, sign up to foster a dog, or donate money to be distributed to animal rescue organizations. Our hope is that we can do this every year and provide a platform on national television to create awareness of the plight of these animals, says executive producer Michael Levitt. This is not going to be a sad special, this is meant to be a celebration of rescue dogs and the joy they bring to our lives when we adopt them. Heres more from my conversation with Levitt. What sparked the idea for the show? In 2011, my sister was dying of cancer, and I discussed with my life partner, Mark, that it would be a good time after my sister passed to bring a dog into our lives. I decided to start looking for dogs and came across a pit bull at a pet adoption. The dog sat in my lap and was licking my face, and the next thing you know, kids were coming up and he was licking their faces too. He was the first dog I saw and I thought Id better continue looking, but I couldnt stop thinking about him. So I called the rescue and asked if I could make arrangements to come back a week later and see him with my partner, and put a deposit down on the dog, and they said, sure. The following week, Mark and I intended to go to the pet adoption, and I got a call that my sister had taken a turn for the worse. Mark and I ended up having a fight because hes very close to her and it was very emotional, and I said, Clearly this is not a good time to adopt a dog, and I left to be with my sister. Four hours later, Mark walked through the door with the dog. And four days later, my sister passed away. We all know that saying Who rescued who? and I learned that firsthand during a very difficult time. A year later, Mark and I rescued another dog. These two dogs--Trooper and Nelson--inspired me. I got heavily involved in rescue and took a year off to save dogs. Since 2011, Ive saved over 500 dogs from shelters in Southern California and found them wonderful homes. But as a rescuer, Im saving one dog at a time; as a producer [of live event specials and awards shows], I knew I could do so much more. So I came up with this idea for a television special: weve seen the entertainment industry come together for hurricane and earthquake relief, well, now its time to rally for mans best friend. I brought the idea to Hilary Swank, because I knew shes a huge animal advocate. She loved the idea. We became partners on the project, and together we developed it. How did you come up with the awards categories? We all know there are amazing dog-inspired viral videos on the Internet. So my team of producers and I scoured the Net looking for the most hilarious videos, and then based on themes we were seeing, we came up with the categories. Theyre a lot of fun. What are the biggest misconceptions people have about adopting rescue dogs? Many people are unaware they can find pure breeds in shelters or within rescue organizations. So in the special were going to feature several pure-bred rescue dogs in the hopes that people will recognize they dont need to go to a breeder or a pet store. And another big misconception is that a lot of people think shelter dogs or rescue dogs are broken animals, and really, its the people who are dumping them at shelters who are most often broken. When you open up your heart and your home to bring rescue dogs into your lives, theyre grateful, and they let you know it.  What advice would give people interested in adopting? I would want people to recognize that its truly a lifelong commitment and that when you bring a dog into your life, it needs to be a forever home from the beginning until the end. Treat the dog as a true member of the family. Another thing I would advise people is to research the breed youre considering so you understand what youre getting into. And if youre considering a puppy, recognize thats a lot of work. Because the last thing we want is for people to adopt animals they end up returning to shelters.

Our Holiday Best: 20 Top Veg Thanksgiving Recipes

November 18 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Our Holiday Best: 20 Top Veg Thanksgiving Recipes Not sure what to make for your Thanksgiving feast? Don’t worry! Just in time for the big day, we hand-picked the best VT holiday recipes for a new Kindle e-book. From easy sides and starters (mini tarts! squash soup! ultimate stuffing!) 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: all the recipes work great for Christmas and Hanukkah too, so you can get started planning early. Oh, and did we mention these books make sweet little presents for all your friends and family? Wink, wink. Whatcha waiting for? Get the e-book here.

4 Veg-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving

November 14 2014 Vegetarian Times 

4 Veg-Friendly Ways to Celebrate ThanksgivingPhotography: Terry Cummings Since the very beginning, ?the cornerstones of a Thanksgiving celebration have been fabulous food and good company. And when served ?with a heaping helping of benevolence, youve got the makings of a truly meaningful holiday. Give your Thanksgiving a compassionate revamp with these options that benefit humans ?as much as the (spared) animals. Adopt a Turkey Historically, the holiday season has been rough on our feathered friends, but shifting the old turkey day paradigm in a kinder direction is easy with the help of Farm Sanctuarys Adopt A Turkey program. Each turkey sponsored comes with a picture and a certificate describing their personality, so people can come to recognize them as individuals, says Farm Sanctuary President Gene Baur. It opens up the conversation. Sign up at farmsanctuary.org. Eat & Greet Attending a farm-animal-sanctuary-sponsored event can be a revelatory experience for the whole family. It shows you can create new Thanksgiving traditions that are kind and compassionate, says Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuarys Terry Cummings. At Thanksgiving with the Turkeys (pictured above), guests dined on delicious vegan food and visit with the resident rescues. Similar events are scheduled at sanctuaries around the country. Find an event near you at sanctuaries.org. Party Heart-y ? Coordinate a community Thanksgiving event showcasing the tasty benefits of ?a meat-free diet. FARMs Compassionate Holidays site teems with resources--an event registry, recipes, and tips for a festive holiday celebration. Its a way to bring people together and spread our message of compassion, says FARMs Michael Weber. Prefer a scaled-down soirée? Visit Mercy for Animalss Pardon a Turkey site for menu ideas and turkey facts to impress your guests. Dine Out in Veg Style At veg restaurants from San Francisco to D.C., tucking into a scrumptious Thanksgiving feast--and leaving the cleanup to someone else--is a time-honored tradition. Thanksgiving is our busiest day of the year, says Mark Doskow of New Yorks legendary hot spot Candle 79. Nowhere near the Big Apple? Los Angeles’s Crossroads and the Windy Citys Chicago Diner offer special Thanksgiving menus too. For more, visit vrg.org, and search for Thanksgiving. Are you celebrating Thanksgiving veg-style? Share in the comments below!

10 Easy Happy-Hour Appetizers

November 12 2014 Vegetarian Times 

10 Easy Happy-Hour Appetizers Who says happy hour is only for bars and restaurants? A small gathering ?at your place with festive drinks and light nibbles (like the mushroom, rosemary, and goat cheese tartlets pictured above) is easy to pull together, and you can always let the party go later if everyones still having fun. Here are 10 simple make-at-home noshes. 1. Flavored Goat Log Roll large log of goat cheese in 2 tsp. dried herbs (try zaatar or a blend of dried rosemary and thyme). Drizzle with ?3 Tbs. olive oil. 2. Chile Nuts Toss 2 cups nuts with ?1 tsp. olive oil, 1/­­2 tsp. ?salt, and 1/­­4 tsp. chipotle or ancho chile powder. Roast on baking sheet in 325°F oven ?10 minutes. Cool. 3. Parmesan Crisps Spread circles of grated Parmesan cheese on a silicone mat-lined baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes at 400°F. Cool on mat, then carefully remove with spatula. 4. Salt & Pepper Tots Toss 1 14-oz. pkg. frozen Cascadian Farm Spud Puppies or 2 cups Ore-Ida Tater Tots with 1/­­2 tsp. coarsely ground ?black pepper. Bake according to package directions, and season with sea salt. 5. Root Dippers Toss 4 cups cubed root vegetables with ?2 Tbs. olive oil. Roast on baking sheet in 400°F oven 30 minutes, or until browned. Serve with hummus. 6. Sausage Rolls Roll veggie dogs in thawed puff pastry sheets, sealing ?edges with water. Cut into 2-inch lengths, and bake on parchment-lined baking sheet 15 minutes ?at 350°F. 7. Marinated ?Mushrooms Toss 1 lb. button mushrooms with ?1/­­4 cup olive oil, ?2 Tbs. red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1/­­2 tsp. sugar, and 1/­­2 tsp. salt. Chill overnight. 8. Wasabi ?Deviled Eggs Mash yolks of 6 ?hard-boiled eggs with 3 Tbs. mayonnaise ?and 1 tsp. wasabi paste. ?Fill egg halves with yolk mixture; garnish with minced green onions. 9. Creamy Bean Dip Blend 1 15-oz. can beans or chickpeas (rinsed and drained) with 1/­­4 cup water, ?2 Tbs. lemon juice, ?2 Tbs. olive oil, and ?2 tsp. minced garlic. 10. Mini Mozzarella Bruschetta Toss 2 cups bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls) with 1 cup sun-dried tomato pesto. Arrange on baguette slices, and broil ?1 minute, or until cheese has melted.

How to Buy Veg-Friendly Wine

November 7 2014 Vegetarian Times 

How to Buy Veg-Friendly Wine Serving wine at your Thanksgiving feast? Watch what you pair with the vegetarian roast. Turns out, more than 70 additives--including a handful of animal products--can be used to make and process wine. Winemakers arent required to list those additives on wine labels, ?so it can be extra-tricky to know which wines are truly vegetarian or vegan. Not to worry. Heres how to find ?a veg-friendly vino (and avoid ones that arent). 1. Know Your Fining Agents Used to clarify wine, fining agents attract detritus left over from fermentation and eventually precipitate out. The issue? Trace amounts can remain in the finished product, and traditional ?fining agents are often not vegan or even vegetarian. Think gelatin, isinglass (fish bladders), chitin (crustacean shells), egg whites, and milk proteins. Luckily, more and more winemakers are using animal-free fining agents such as bentonite clay and carbon--or no fining agents at all. Choosing organic or biodynamic wines does not guarantee theyll be veg-friendly. Your best bet is to ask winemakers which, if any, fining agents they use. Or go to barnivore.com ?to get veg-or-not verdicts for nearly 18,000 wines, beers, and liquors (yup, there could be animal-sourced fining agents in your pint or cocktail too). 2. Go Natural No time to investigate iffy ingredients? Kate Jacoby, co-owner of Philadelphias Vedge restaurant, suggests sticking with natural wines, which are naturally veg: theyre made with minimal intervention and no fining agents to clarify them. After all, she says, why do you need a clear wine? Look for bottles with the words unfined and unfiltered on the label. Or shop online at stores such as New Yorks Chambers Street Wines and Los Angeless Domaine LA, which specialize in natural wines and offer mail order. What do natural wines taste like? Expect more life and a greater range of flavors. 3. Copy Your Favorite ?Veg Restaurants Browse veg-friendly wine lists for tasty ideas. The list at Vedge boasts nearly 80 vegan wines; Dirt Candy features quirky natural wines such as Le Temps des Cerisess La Peur du Rouge, made in the south of France: Its like a rich Chardonnay that tastes ?funky and sour, almost like drinking a glass of kimchi, says chef/­­owner Amanda Cohen. Its unlike anything Ive ever tasted. Once youve found a few promising-sounding bottles, search their names on wine-searcher.com to see if they are sold nearby, or ask your local wine shop to order some for you. Looking for some ideas? Here are 8 wineries making only veg wines: Frey Vineyards ?A longtime advocate for organic wines made without added sulfites--?believed to be ?richer in terroir. Albet i Noya Spains first certified organic wine producer, whose wide range of ?varietals includes classy Pend?s ?sparkling wine. The Eyrie ?Vineyards The pioneering winery that first proved fabulous Pinot Noir could be made in Oregon, despite its cool climate. Querciabella Owner Sebastiano ?Castiglioni is a lifelong vegetarian. Wines of note: the structured and ?classic Chiantis. Éric Texier ?Lively white wines and rich Syrahs made in the natural vein in Frances Rhone region. Pheasants Tears Unusual organic wines from the country of Georgia. Not for strict vegans: grapes are fermented in clay vessels lined with beeswax. Bonny Doon Vineyard No secrets here! This biodynamic winerys beautiful labels ?list every ingredient. La Clarine Farm As-natural-as-it-gets wine made in Californias Sierra Nevada foothills. ?Try the bright, unfiltered Jambalaia Blanc or Rouge. Got a favorite veg-friendly wine? Share in the comments!

How to Make Bread Pudding Without a Recipe

November 5 2014 Vegetarian Times 

How to Make Bread Pudding Without a Recipe Making bread pudding for Thanksgiving--or, even better, tonight? You don’t need a recipe to whip up this comfort-food classic. Just follow these simple steps for the sweet or savory bread pudding of your dreams: 1. Whisk 4 large eggs ?with 1/­2-1 cup sugar (for sweet bread pudding only), then whisk in 2-4 cups liquid, such as milk, cream, half-and-half, non-dairy milk, or vegetable broth. (Note: the more liquid you use, the less firm the custard will be.) 2. Stir in 4-6 cups bread cubes, and let soak 15 to ?20 minutes, pressing bread into liquid occasionally. Fold in 2-4 cups fruit, nuts, or vegetables--whatever you want to add to the recipe--and season with fresh or dried herbs, spices, and/­or extracts. 3. Transfer mixture to 9-inch square baking dish, and bake 45 minutes to ?1 hour, or until set in middle and lightly puffed. Voila! Need flavor combination inspiration? Here are a few ideas to get you started: Savory Bread Pudding with Artichokes and Two Cheeses (pictured): who says bread pudding needs to be sweet? Pumpkin-Apple Bread Pudding with Cranberry Streusel: an alternative to pumpkin pie. Chocolate-Cherry Bread Pudding: decadent, custardy, and sophisticated yet homey. Mango-Coconut Bread Pudding: a vegan favorite that works great for brunch or dessert.

Easy Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love

November 3 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Easy Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will 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!

5 Cruelty-Free Hair Salons

October 31 2014 Vegetarian Times 

5 Cruelty-Free Hair Salons Looking to update your do? We scoured the country for compassionate salons that not only work wonders on your coif, but also boast cruelty-free products and eco-friendly practices. 1. Wicked Hair & Makeup Artistry, Venice, Calif. (pictured above) Ethical Cred Non-toxic and animal-friendly products by Neuma; ammonia-free Natural Color Process hair color. Standout Service Customized hair and scalp treatments that are freshly hand-blended with USDA-certified organic ingredients and essential oils. 2. Salon Colour Bar, Austin, Tex. Ethical Cred Vegan, PETA-certified Organic Colour Systems color and Kevin Murphy hair care; dogs are welcome, and the salon recycles all ?plastic, glass, and paper. Standout Service Micro-Foil Highlights, which lend a sun-kissed look. 3. Virtue Salon, Columbus, Ohio Ethical Cred Eco-friendly, ?natural product lines ?including All-Nutrient, ?Thermafuse, ColorProof, ?and Surface; everything ?in the salon, right down ?to the coffee-and-tea ?supplies, is free of parabens, sulfates, and animal ?ingredients or materials, ?and must be shipped in ?recyclable packaging. Standout Service Balayage, ?a freehand highlighting ?technique that gives hair ?rich, reflective dimension. 4. Starship Salon, Chicago Ethical Cred Vegan lines ?such as Max Green ?Alchemy; plant-powered ?So Pure Natural Balance ?color; a non-toxic smoothing system by Zerran. Standout Service Moondusting, a fusion of ombré, frosting, and balayage ?that creates subtle color ?variation and contrast. 5. Juju Salon & Organics, Philadelphia Ethical Cred Eco-conscious brands including Hamadi ?Organics and Sevi; the salon ?is PECO wind powered, and much of the furniture has been repurposed or salvaged. Standout Service Jujus Chi Enviro Smoothing treatment, which leaves locks tamed ?and glossy. Got a favorite cruelty-free hair salon in your neck of the woods? Share in the comments!

Look! We’re Up for a Nook Readers’ Choice Award

October 29 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Look! We’re Up for a Nook Readers’ Choice Award We’re pretty proud over here at VT headquarters: our September 2014 article “The Gleaners,” written by Emily Horton, was just nominated for “Article with the Biggest Societal Impact” in the Nook Readers’ Choice Newsstand Awards. Not sure what gleaning is? Here’s the story’s introduction (in easy-to-read print): How do we square the fact that the U.S. wastes 30 to 40 percent of the food it produces with the reality that within the past five years, 6.4 million households haven’t known where their next meal was coming from? For a remedy, some community-minded folks are turning to an age-old practice. Alluded to in the Bibles Book of Ruth, gleaning has traditionally meant harvesting remnant crops from fields. Todays gleaners rescue food not just from the fields, but also from restaurants, farmers markets, orchards, backyards, grocery stores, college cafeterias, wholesale centers--basically, anywhere along the food distribution chain. The potential impact is huge: if even 30 percent of the food wasted in the U.S. were gathered before its trashed, the amount could provide meals for every hungry person in the country. Read the entire story to learn more about this food-waste-fighting movement--then show your support by voting for us!

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Meghan Hardy!

October 27 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Meghan Hardy! Each month, we highlight a different reader’s “vegiversary”--the anniversary of when they went veg. Share yours at vegetariantimes.com/­­vegiversary. Reader Name:  Meghan Hardy Location:  Raleigh, N.C. Vegetarian Since:  January 1997 What motivated you to go veg? I was 12 years old and realized I couldn’t bear to eat animals anymore. I loved them too much. What’s your favorite veg-friendly restaurant, and what do you order there? The Remedy Diner in Raleigh. They have an amazing mock Buffalo chicken sandwich called Under the Volcano. What fruit or veggie best describes you? A pineapple. I thrive in the tropics, am sweet, and can defend myself if necessary. Whats your most treasured piece of cookware? My mom has an old glass bowl from her grandmother, and we always use it making cookies at Christmastime. Whats your best advice for new vegetarians/­­vegans? Don’t let meat-eaters who question your choice get to you.

Peak Season: Rutabaga

October 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Peak Season: Rutabaga The mildly peppery rutabaga bears a family resemblance to the turnip, which has a sharper bite; both belong to the cruciferous clan, whose members include broccoli and cabbage. Pick Choose rutabagas that are heavy for their size and free of soft spots or sprouts; naturally occurring crevices around the top are normal. In stores, rutabagas are often coated in a food-grade wax to reduce dehydration and prolong shelf life. For a better guarantee of freshness, Sharon Funderburk of Beartrack Farm in Turkey, N.C., suggests seeking out unwaxed rutabagas at farmers markets. Rutabagas will last up to six months when stored in a cool, dark, slightly damp place like a root cellar or unheated garage. They can also be stored in your fridge crisper, in a plastic bag with some ventilation to discourage sprouting, Funderburk says. Prep Trim the ends and remove the skin with a sharp vegetable peeler. Chunks of rutabaga can be steamed or boiled, then mashed ?just like potatoes, says Funderburk. Roasting elevates the veggies natural sweetness. Rutabaga also can be enjoyed raw, grated into ?salads or slaws. Rutabagas mild-tasting green tops are perfectly edible, but should be stored separately from their roots, Funderburk advises. Try This o Combine shredded rutabaga, flour, and eggs; form into patties, pan-fry, and top with apple chutney. o Thinly slice rutabaga, ?and stir-fry until crisp and tender; toss with cooked pasta, sliced pear, and baby kale. o Toss together chopped rutabaga, grapeseed oil, maple syrup, salt, and cayenneroast until tender. o Simmer together rutabaga cubes, chopped carrot, and sliced leeks; purée with fresh oregano and chipotle chile pepper for a smoky-tasting soup. o Steam rutabaga until tender, and whip with butter, Dijon mustard, and orange zest. o Grate together rutabaga, celery root, and carrot; toss with raisins and a honey vinaigrette for a slaw. o Julienne rutabaga, toss with zaatar spice mixture, and bake until crisp and tender for veggie fries. What’s your favorite way to cook with rutabagas? Share in the comments!

Cremini and Tomato Bruschetta with Mascarpone, Toasted Pine Nuts, and White Truffle Oil

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat 2 Tbs. oil and 1 tsp. butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half of mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes. Add 2 tsp. minced garlic, and sauté 3 minutes more. Stir in half of tomatoes, and transfer mixture to bowl. Repeat with 2 Tbs. oil and remaining butter, mushrooms, minced garlic, and tomatoes. Cool. 2. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in small skillet over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, or until browned and fragrant. Stir 4 tsp. pine nuts into cooled mushroom mixture. 3. Brush bread slices with remaining 3 Tbs. oil, rub with garlic halves, and place on baking sheet. Broil bread slices 2 minutes per side, or until toasted. Spread each slice with 11/­­2 tsp. mascarpone, then top with 3 Tbs. mushroom mixture. Drizzle with truffle oil, and sprinkle with basil and reserved pine nuts.

Spicy Corn Chowder

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat oil in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and sauté 5 minutes, or until soft. 2. Add potatoes, corn, chipotle chile, and bay leaf, and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth, and bring to a boil. 3.Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in coconut milk and parsley, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Sweet Potato Beignets

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Combine egg replacer and 1/­­4 cup water in small bowl. 2. Whisk together sweet potato, almond milk, margarine, and vanilla in bowl until smooth. 3. Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder in separate bowl. Season flour mixture with salt, if using. Stir flour mixture into sweet potato mixture. 4. Heat vegetable oil to 375°F in deep skillet or Dutch oven. Drop beignets by spoonfuls into hot oil, and fry 2 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.

Creamy Pear and Celery Root Soup with Pesto Swirl

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat 11/­­2 Tbs. oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté celery root, onion, pears, and celery 2 minutes. Stir in 3 cups broth, cover pan, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. 2. Purée soup in batches in blender until very smooth, then return to saucepan. Add remaining 1/­­4 cup broth to blender, swirl to clean any soup from sides of jar, then pour into saucepan. 3. Blend mustard greens, lemon juice, remaining 11/­­2 Tbs. oil, and 1/­­4 cup soup in mini food processor until almost smooth. Thin with 1 Tbs. or more soup, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 4. Ladle soup into bowls, and swirl 2 Tbs. pesto into each serving.

Mac and Cheese with Mustard Greens

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Cook carrots in large saucepan of boiling salted water 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain, then transfer carrots to blender using slotted spoon. Add 2/­­3 cup broth to blender. Cover, and blend carrots into smooth purée. Set aside. 2. Cook macaroni in saucepan of boiling water 6 minutes, or until just tender but still firm. Drain, and set aside. 3. Coat large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add butter, and melt over medium-low heat. Add shallots, cover pan, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender but not brown. Add mustard greens, and cook 2 minutes to wilt slightly. Add 2 Tbs. broth, cover pan, and cook 4 minutes, or until greens are tender but still bright green, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. 4. Toss together cheese, flour, and cayenne in bowl. Bring remaining 1 cup broth and carrot purée to simmer in saucepan over medium heat, and gradually whisk in cheese mixture. Simmer 3 minutes, or until sauce is thick and smooth, whisking constantly. Whisk in hot sauce, reduce heat to low, and stir in macaroni, then mustard greens. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Mango-Coconut Bread Pudding

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 8- or 10-cup baking dish with cooking spray. 2. Toss together bread cubes and margarine in large bowl. 3. Whisk together coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in medium bowl. Pour mixture over bread cubes, stir to coat, and soak 20 minutes. Add mangoes and coconut, and stir until combined. 4. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish, sprinkle pistachios over top, and gently press in. Bake 45 minutes, or until pudding is set and top is golden. Serve warm.

Why These 4 Cities Are the Next Veg Hot Spots

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Why These 4 Cities Are the Next Veg Hot Spots Move over, Portland and New York! According to Eric Brent, founder of HappyCow--our go-to guide for veg restaurants around the world-- the following four cities are the fast-growing veg-friendly destinations to put on your radar. We asked him why they’re so hot, and where the folks there are going for the best meatless eats. Next summer vacation, anyone? 1. Los Angeles This city is rapidly reaching the point where vegan food is mainstream, thanks to restaurants like Crossroads Kitchen, Gracias Madre, Sage, and M.A.K.E. You may think grabbing a veg bite in L.A. is hard since its so spread out, but with nearly 500 HappyCow listings within a 15-mile radius, youre bound to find someplace nearby.” 2. Berlin, Germany “Being vegan in Berlin is a breeze: its home to the worlds first vegan grocery chain, launched in 2011, as well as an entire block known as ‘The Vegan Avenue.’ From sophisticated dining at Lucky Leek to choosing from more than 100 pizzas at Sfizy Veg, the all-vegan pizzeria, theres something for everyone in Berlin.” 3. Tel Aviv, Israel “In recent years, Israel has seen more and more people ditching meat, due in part to the work of animal rights activists such as Gary Yourofsky and Tal Gilboa. Popular chains like The Vegetarian Shawarma and Buddha Burgers make it easy to eat veg, and there was even a campaign to persuade Dominos Pizza to add a vegan option!” 4. Taipei, Taiwan “Taiwan has always been a vegetarians paradise, with many inexpensive veggie buffet-style dining facilities. Famous for its offerings of mock meat varieties and down-home cooking, Taipei is also home to Taiwans first vegan supermarket, iVegan. The veg trend continues to rise, with numerous new listings being adding to HappyCow.” What’s your favorite veg-friendly town or city? Share in the comments below!

Tarte Flambée with Herb Cheese and Lentils

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat two large baking sheets with cooking spray. 2. Dust work surface with flour. Roll 1 pizza dough to size of baking sheet. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and baking sheet. 3. Mix cheese with 2 Tbs. water in bowl until smooth. Spread half of cheese on each pizza dough crust. Sprinkle each with 11/­­2 cups sliced shallots and 3/­­4 cup lentils. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before slicing each tarte into 12 pieces.

Pecan Pie

October 21 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Crust: Coat 9-inch pie pan with oil. Stir together all ingredients and 6 Tbs. water in large bowl until dough forms. Shape dough into ball, then roll out to 12-inch circle on floured work surface. Press dough into prepared pie pan, and trim edges, leaving 1-inch overhang. Tuck overhanging dough underneath itself to form a thick edge that is even with rim, and flute as desired. Chill 1 hour. 2. To make Filling: Combine soymilk, coconut milk, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, and salt in saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour 20 minutes, or until dark caramel in color. Stir in arrowroot powder. 3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir pecans into Filling. Pour into prepared Crust, and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until Crust and Filling are lightly browned. Cool 2 hours before serving.

The Easiest-Ever Way to Roast Vegetables

October 17 2014 Vegetarian Times 

The Easiest-Ever Way to Roast Vegetables Around this time of year, I love roasting veggies--it makes them so perfectly sweet and crispy-tender--but I hate cleaning up. My baking sheet always seems to require extensive soaking and scrubbing to get rid of the inevitable charred roast-y mess. The solution? Parchment paper! This handy stuff, typically used for baking cookies, ensures that any food slides right off. How to Use It Grab whatever looks good at the farmers’ marketcarrots, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, butternut squash. Cut everything into roughly the same size chunks, toss in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and spices, and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (They’ll steam, not roast, if you crowd them too much.) Roast on high heat--but not higher than 425?F, or the parchment could burn--stirring occasionally, 30 to 45 minutes, or until browned and caramelized. Add a few drops of good-quality balsamic vinegar for extra oomph. Then scoop up opposite ends of the parchment paper, slide some of the goodies onto your dinner plate, and toss the rest into a Tupperware for future bowls, stir-fries, pasta dinners, and salads. Place baking sheet back in cabinet, and veg out throughout the week. The Eco Factor Yes, parchment paper is disposable, but if it helps you on busy weeknights to squeeze in more veggies and buy less frozen food or take-out--also in disposable containers and often far less nutritious--why not cut it some slack? (It certainly beats its veggie-roasting cousin, aluminum foil, which is worse for the environment than plastic wrap.) Look for biodegradable parchment, such as PaperChef or If You Care, which you can tear into little pieces after using and toss right into your compost pile. Ready to Roast? Here are 5 simple recipes perfect for fall: 1. Cumin and Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes (pictured) 2. Oven-Roasted Cauliflower with Raisin Vinaigrette 3. Roasted Carrots and Parsnips 4. Herb-Roasted Squash and Jerusalem Artichokes 5. Root Vegetable Sticks with Roasted Garlic Dip

How to Have a Veg-Friendly Oktoberfest Feast

October 10 2014 Vegetarian Times 

How to Have a Veg-Friendly Oktoberfest Feast Didn’t make it to the world’s first vegan Oktoberfest in Santa Monica last weekend? No worries. It’s easy to throw together your own German-inspired feast at home. Just serve up tasty veg versions of typically meaty dishes, slap on some Lederhosen, and don’t forget the apple strudel and German chocolate cake. (If the Munich City Council can do it, so can you!) Here are a few Oktoberfest essentials: The “Meat” Who needs franks and weisswurst when you’ve got slow-simmered Beer Brats slathered with sinus-clearing Emerald Mustard? Look for Field Roast or Tofurky sausages, which are sold at most natural-foods stores. (Not a fan of veggie sausages? Try a German Cabbage and Potato Casserole or Eggplant Schnitzel, our hearty veg take on the classic breaded veal cutlet.) The Potatoes German potato salad, a signature Oktoberfest item, usually contains bacon. Good thing our Warm German Potato Salad is topped with crispy tempeh bacon crumbles, which take just 10 minutes to make and taste smokier than the real deal. You can prepare the whole dish a day or two ahead, storing the crumbles separately to prevent them from getting soggy. The Sauerkraut Turns out, bacon is also added to traditional sauerkraut. What to do? Dress up store-bought sauerkraut with a truly drool-worthy dressing, like the sweet-spicy-salty one drizzled over this vegan Apple Sauerkraut Salad. Use the sauerkraut to top your brats, or serve on the side. Look for raw, lacto-fermented varieties, which are packed with good-for-you probiotics. The Beer Ingredient alert: some beers are made with animal products such as gelatin and isinglass (fish bladder). Luckily, according to the five-century-old “Bavarian purity law,” German beers must contain just hops, barley malt, water, and yeast. Nothing more, nothing less. But before you start guzzling, check barnivore.com to make absolutely sure your favorite beer is veg. Prost! Want to keep cooking? Check out our full collection of veg-friendly German recipes.

21 Easy Ways to Use All Your Apples

September 26 2014 Vegetarian Times 

21 Easy Ways to Use All Your Apples Got more Galas and Jonagolds and Honeycrisps than you can handle? Whether you recently went apple-picking or just couldn’t help yourself at the farmers’ market, its easy this time of year to wind up with way too many apples. The key is to enjoy them all before they go bad. (Start by sticking them in the fridge: apples will stay fresh for longer when cold.) Been busily baking them into desserts like pies, strudels, tarts, muffins, crisps, and cakes? Here are a few other easy ways to eat (and drink!) all your apples: Sweeten Up Smoothies Forget honey and agave nectar--apples bring not just sweetness but loads of fiber (5 grams per apple!). My go-to is banana, spinach, coconut water, and apple, but if you’re feeling fancy, try an Apple, Carrot, Ginger, and Fennel Smoothie. Leave the peel on: apple skin has five times more antioxidants than the flesh. Crunchify Sandwiches Lacking crunch in your sandwich or wrap? Add sliced apples! The Chickpea, Beet, and Apple Panini and Fruity Peanut Butter Wrap are VT favorites, but go simple if you want: Cheddar and apple; peanut butter and apple; Brie, arugula, and apple. Toast your creation in a toaster oven or cast-iron skillet. Upgrade Any Salad Grated or sliced apples perk up any harvest-y salad. Or add them to slaws for tangy-sweet goodness. Just be sure to use crisp varieties that wont brown easily. Think Pink Lady, Cortland, or Fuji (but not adorable Pippin). Try the Autumn Apple Salad with Pomegranate or Apple and Red Cabbage Slaw. Soup It Up Fall veggies like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower go great with roasted apples, especially in creamy blended soups and chowders. If youre not into overly sweet stuff, opt for tart Granny Smith. Roasted Squash and Apple Chowder with Colorful Potatoes or Curried Cauliflower Soup, anyone? Get Saucy Turns out, making your own applesauce is super-quick and simple, and so much tastier than the jarred kind. Plus, you get to control the amount of sweetener and use only your favorite spices. Get ideas from our recipes for Cranberry Applesauce and Vanilla Applesauce. Or cook your apples a little longer for amazing French-Style Apple Butter. Snack Time! For straight-up munching, save your crispiest, juiciest, thinnest-skinned apples (lookin’ at you, Honeycrisp). Slather with almond butter and sprinkle with cinnamon for the best stave-off-hunger-till-dinner snack of all time. Whats your favorite way to eat an apple a day? Share in the comments below.

The VT Wayback Machine

September 22 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Maple-Spice Squash Cake

September 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1.  Preheat oven to 375°F. 2. Pierce spaghetti 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 up on  baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes, or until squash yields when pressed. 3. Cool squash 10 minutes. Scrape squash halves with fork to release strands. (You should have 2 cups.) 4. Reduce oven heat to 350°F, and coat 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. 5. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt, and allspice in large bowl. 6. Whisk eggs and maple syrup together in separate bowl. Whisk in oil. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in squash and raisins (if using). 7. Spread batter in prepared loaf pan, and bake 60 to 65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Unmold, and cool completely.

Orange Dal

September 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add curry powder, and stir 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add squash, onion, and carrots, and sauté 1 minute. Add lentils, and stir 30 seconds, or until coated with oil and curry powder. Stir in yogurt, then broth. Add garlic, cardamom, and bay leaves. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 45 minutes. Remove cardamom and bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.  

Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew

September 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Heat butter and oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower, and season with salt, if desired. Cover, and cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until cauliflower is browned all over. 2. Uncover pan, and add garlic, ginger, and garam masala. Stir 15 to 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant. 3. Stir in diced tomatoes, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until tomatoes are dry. 4. Add chickpeas, lime zest, lime juice, and 1/­­4 cup water. Cover pan, and simmer 1 to 3 minutes, or until liquid is mostly reduced and flavors are well-combined. Serve garnished with cilantro, yogurt, and lime wedges.

Sizzled Spinach with White Beans and Mozzarella

September 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Salad: Toss together white beans, bell pepper, mozzarella, 1 Tbs. vinegar, and 1 Tbs. sun-dried tomato oil in medium bowl. Set aside. 2. Stir together sun-dried tomatoes, olives, shallot, parsley, and garlic in small bowl. Stir into bean mixture. Set aside. 3. To make Garlicky Spinach: Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and shallot, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to brown. Add garlic, and stir 30 seconds,  or until fragrant. Add spinach in batches, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes, tossing with tongs, or until wilted and bright green. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve Salad topped with Garlicky Spinach.

Curried Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

September 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 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. 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. 4. Transfer strands to large bowl, and stir in chickpeas, onion, tofu, sun-dried tomatoes, raisins, and jalape?o. 5. Whisk together coconut milk and curry powder in bowl; stir into squash mixture, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 6. Fill squash shells with mixture, and return to baking sheet, cut side up. Bake 20 minutes, or until heated through. Garnish with basil (if using).

Movie on a Mission: Cowspiracy

September 12 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: Cowspiracy An inconvenient truth for environmental organization s, according to the documentary film  Cowspiracy, is animal agriculture’s role in despoiling the planet. It is their job to know these things and inform us, says filmmaker Kip Anderson about the silence from green groups, such the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, in the face of all the evidence that our diet has a huge impact on the ecosystem. In addition to co-directing the film, Anderson serves as our onscreen guide investigating animal agriculture’s incompatibility with sustainable living. Here, Anderson and co-director Keegan Kuhn answer questions about the issue that so many donation-dependent nonprofits are avoiding.   Whats the evidence for the claim the film makes that the switch to a plant-based diet can benefit the environment quicker than a change to renewable energy? KUHN: The switch to renewable energy sources is absolutely essential, there is no denying that. But that switch will require trillions of dollars of infrastructure changes and decades to accomplish. Even if we could afford these changes on the timeline were on, which we cant, CO2 has a lifespan of roughly 100 years, meaning it will continue to warm the atmosphere for a century after we stop producing it. Whereas methane produced from livestock, which is 87 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, has a lifespan of roughly 25 years. Switching to a plant-based diet requires no massive infrastructure changes; we can start today. A global adoption to a vegan diet could buy us time to make the necessary energy infrastructure changes.   Can you explain what author and attorney David Robinson Simon means by meatonomics? KUHN: Simon, who is featured in the film discussing the economic stronghold that animal agriculture has on our economy, points out that without their massive federal subsidies, or with their being held financially liable for all the damage they cause to the environment, the meat and dairy industries wouldnt be able to function in the capacity they do today. He estimates that if the industry was to be held financial responsible, a $4 Big Mac would actually cost $11.   Do you see consumer awareness as advancing or in retreat? Why? ANDERSEN: There is definitely growing consumer awareness about animal products in the United States. Animal consumption continues to drop virtually every year, and the industry has taken note of it. They recognize that the investigations conducted by animal protection groups like Mercy For Animals and PETA are helping to create more informed consumers, and those consumers dont want anything to do with animal abuse. They are so afraid of the truth getting out about the horrors committed against animals and the environment that they have pressured the government to push through legislation--which has passed in a number of states--making it illegal to document farms without permission from the owners, even if you are on public property or if its from the air. The industry knows that when people are truly informed about how they do business, the majority of the population will no longer support them. I think that even with these “Ag-Gag“ laws, awareness of how destructive this industry is will continue to grow.   What makes you optimistic about a mass-scale move away from eating meat? KUHN: Doing research for Cowspiracy was very disheartening because the environmental impact of animal agriculture was worse than I could imagine. The destruction and ecological peril we are facing are truly catastrophic. Its tough to remain optimistic, but the truth is that we as a species will change, because we dont have any other options. We are in the largest mass extinction the planet has ever faced. More species are going extinct at a faster rate now than when all of the dinosaurs died off. If we care about the planet, animals, or humanity, we will change.            

How to Build a Veggie Grain Bowl

September 1 2014 Vegetarian Times 

How to Build a Veggie Grain Bowl It’s back-to-school season! Looking for meals you can toss together with your eyes closed? I hear you. Even though I don’t have any little mouths to feed at home, I love veggie grain bowls. No matter how tired I am, I can always manage to whip up some variation of this simple, healthy stuff (which makes great next-day leftovers too). Here are five keys to building a super bowl:   1. Grains: I like hearty ones like brown rice, quinoa, and whole-wheat pearl couscous (the plump kind). Cook a big batch on Sunday, and save 1/­­2 to 1 cup for each later-in-the-week bowl. 2. Veggies: The sweeter, the better. Think beets, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and red bell peppers--leftovers come in handy here. Chop into bite-size pieces, and sprinkle over the grains. 3. Greens: Throw in some raw or steamed kale, spinach, broccoli, or other good-for-you green. I am a fan of the microwave for steaming. (Psst, it doesn’t kill nutrients.) 4. Beans: Add a handful of black beans, chickpeas, or edamame for a tasty protein boost (8 grams per 1/­­2-cup serving!). If you’re not into beans, go the baked cubed tofu or tempeh route. 5. Sauce: Use any bottled or homemade sauce you like--just make sure it is wow-worthy. Peanut sauce? Pesto? Annie’s Goddess Dressing? All game. That’s it! Garnish with any extra favorites like crumbled feta, fresh cilantro, sliced scallions, pumpkin seeds, or avocado, and dig in.   Here are a few foolproof veggie grain bowls to get you started: Sweet Potato Bowl with Chimichurri (pictured) Black Bean, Green Bean, and Quinoa Bowl Edamame Rice Bowl Israeli Couscous and Broccoli Bowl   Got a go-to bowl concoction? Share it in the comments!

Apple and Red Cabbage Slaw

August 12 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Toss together cabbage, bell pepper, apple, and cilantro in large bowl. 2. Whisk together remaining ingredients in small bowl. Drizzle dressing over cabbage mixture, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Maple-Apple Muffins

August 12 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Spray liners with cooking spray. 2. Whisk eggs in large bowl. Whisk in maple syrup, oil, and vanilla extract, then stir in apple and quinoa. 3.  Combine flour, sugar, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in separate bowl. Whisk until combined. 4. Make well in flour mixture, and pour in half of apple mixture. Stir to combine. Add remaining apple mixture, and stir until batter is smooth. 5. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, and bake 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin in center of pan comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Dairy-Free Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream

August 12 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Bring 2 cups rice milk, coconut milk, vanilla bean, and seeds to a boil in saucepan. Remove from heat. Whisk in sugar, then matcha. 2. Whisk remaining 1/­­4 cup rice milk with cornstarch in bowl. Whisk into matcha mixture. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes, or until thickened. Transfer to bowl, and place sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of liquid. Cool, then chill. 3. Discard vanilla bean halves. Churn liquid in ice cream machine according to manufacturers directions.

Cambodian Bean Thread Noodle Salad with Herbs

August 12 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, and rinse under cold water, then drain again. Transfer to large bowl, and add sprouts, tofu, cucumber, bell pepper, and shallot. Toss to combine. 2. Whisk together lime juice, brown sugar, liquid aminos, and chile-garlic sauce in small bowl. Pour sauce over noodles, add mint and basil, and toss.

Indonesian Mixed Vegetable Platter with Peanut Sauce (Gado Gado)

August 11 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Tempeh: Heat oil and soy sauce in wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add tempeh, and stir-fry 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden and crisp on most sides. Remove from heat, and set aside. 2. To make Peanut Sauce: Whisk together all ingredients in small bowl. 3. To make Salad: Place potato chunks in deep skillet with just enough water to keep bottom of pan moist. Cover, and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and steam potatoes 8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, and rinse under cool water. Transfer to serving platter. 4. Wipe out skillet, and arrange green beans and cauliflower side by side without mixing together. Add more water to pan to keep bottom moist, cover, and steam over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from heat, then scoop out each vegetable separately, rinse with cool water, drain, and arrange on platter. 5. Arrange Tempeh, tomatoes, cucumber, and bean sprouts on platter. 6. Serve family-style, and pass Peanut Sauce and additional sriracha or hot sauce at the table.

Ginger-Plum Sour Cream Cake

August 5 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat 9-inch round pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, then spray parchment with cooking spray. 2. Combine 1/­4 cup sugar and ginger in small saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat 2 minutes, or until sugar liquefies and mixture becomes paste-like. Stir in lemon zest, and set aside. 3. Beat butter and remaining 1/­2 cup sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then beat in sour cream until mixture is smooth. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and beat 3 minutes more, or until batter is light in color and very smooth. Stir in ginger mixture with spatula. 4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Arrange plums cut side up over batter. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. 5. Cool cake 20 minutes in pan on wire rack. Run knife around sides of cake, then gently invert onto platter or large plate. Remove parchment, then invert cake again, plum side up, to cool completely on wire rack.

Veg Celeb: Q & A with Patricia de Leon

August 1 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Veg Celeb: Q & A with Patricia de Leon PHOTOGRAPHY: Steve Kay Patricia de Leons career in front of the camera began with her work as an anchor and reporter in her native country, Panama. Then Hollywood beckoned. De Leon has appeared in films as well as on TV, including the Starz series Magic City. A vegetarian, shes taken a real-life role in PETAs campaign against bullfighting.   Your anti-bullfighting campaign with PETA makes this point: Tradition is no excuse for cruelty. How would you explain that statement? As Latins, we are so rich in culture: our music, our food. Why identify ourselves with torture?   This summer, Pleasanton, Calif., held a running of the bulls as in Pamplona, Spain. Can you comment on this practice? Its sad. Its time for people to understand that animals are not here for us to use as entertainment.   Is traditional Panamanian food veg-friendly?  Not really. We use a lot if vegetables, but most dishes have meat in them. Thank God, we have so many varieties of beans!   Which traditional dish have you made veg? Sancocho, which is a soup with tons of veggies. I just make it without the meat or chicken.   Whats a current food obsession? Broiled Brussels sprouts.  

Parmesan Cheese: Veg or Not?

July 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

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)?

Book Report: Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Mama

July 10 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Book Report: Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Mama   When it comes to mindful eating and parenting, you know you are doing something right when your 1-year old toddler likes to pluck shiitake mushrooms and daikon out of his mama’s miso soup. “At one year his favorite was  bok choy. He would grab it with his little hands,” says Alicia Silverstone, when asked about her son Bear’s favorite first foods. When it comes to feeding your body--and baby--from pre-pregnancy to birth and beyond,  Silverstone is anything but Clueless. On the heels of the release of her latest title, The Kind Mama, Silverstone kindly shares her advice for mamas-to-be.   A healthful, plant-based diet for fertility and pregnancy seems to be just as much about what not to eat as it is about what to eat. Can you offer a quick list of what foods to avoid and what foods to fill up on? Eat your greens! Greens such as kale, bok choy, collards, and watercress are packed with a host of great things like vitamin B9, vitamin K, folate, calcium, and iron. Nurture your body with all kinds of veggies made in a healthy variety of cooking styles. Fill up on whole grains (brown rice, quinoa), beans (adzuki, black beans) and bean products (tofu, tempeh). You’ll find some seriously delicious and healing recipes in The Kind Mama, like Watercress with Creamy Tahini Dressing and Toasted Sesame Seeds. For the sweetest and most blissful pregnancy, avoid meat, dairy, eggs, processed foods, and sugar.   Soy so often gets a bad rap. Can you explain the relationship between soy and estrogen? Do women need to be wary of their soy intake? And, on that note, are all soy products created equal? Soy in its purest form has some amazing qualities: it can help protect you against breast cancer, rebalance hormones in post-menopausal women, and reduce the risk of fibroids in the uterine lining. Organic tofu, tempeh, miso, and shoyu are great for you. Asian cultures have been using soy for millennia and dont experience the estrogen hype. This is because they eat small amounts of high-quality soy and are not indulging in processed foods that contain soy fillers and by-products. Consuming items such as soy ice cream, soymilk, chips and other processed foods daily or often is not healthy. When transforming to a healthier, kinder diet, allow yourself some of these replacement treats in moderation--they are all better than reaching for animal-based items. Once you become more balanced and comfortable with a plant-based life, think of these products as occasional treats.    Whats up with pregnancy brain--is that a myth or is it real? Are there foods that can help clear the foggy-headiness? Pregnancy brain doesnt happen to everyone but it can happen and for good reason! Your brain needs extra fuel during pregnancy since the crucial building block DHA (the omega-3 fatty acid that builds our smarts) is being funneled to your baby to develop its noodle. Your brain is also shrinking and restructuring itself during pregnancy since your metabolism is changing (dont worry, it grows back post-birth). Then, toward the end of your pregnancy, you get an extra shot of the hormone progesterone, which has a tranquilizing effect. All of this can contribute to you feeling fuzzy or out of it. You can protect your neurons by eating plenty of omega-3 foods. DHA-rich plant-based foods include microalgae (chlorella and spirulina), sea plants, tofu, nuts (walnuts), and seeds (especially flax and chia seeds). Foods that help you metabolize these fatty acids are whole grains like quinoa, dark beans (black and adzuki), as well as dark leafy greens.   Did you have any pregnancy cravings? What were they and how did you satisfy them healthfully? On the flip side, did you have any food aversions? I had a strange relationship with food-- I didnt like or want anything really, but did the best I could. Overall when it comes to cravings, the goal isnt to be perfect, but to be resolved. You do your best but are flexible and compassionate with yourself if you fall off the path! If youre craving something meaty, salty, or fried try the following recipes from The Kind Mama: Fat-Fried Udon Noodles or the Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash. Want something sweet? Try the Chocolate-Dunked Coconut Delights.   What were some of your son Bears favorite foods at six months, one year, and today? At six months the baby still isnt totally into complete meals, so its more about introducing gentle foods. At six months Bear was fed lots of whole grains. Whole grains help lay a strong but gentle foundation that assists in fueling development. He enjoyed brown rice and barley porridge. You can find some of these perfect first food recipes in my book. At one year his favorite was bok choy. He would grab it with his little hands. He also liked the shiitake mushrooms and daikon out of my miso soup. Mochi has always been a staple thats quick and easy (the recipe can also be found in my book). Today, he loves cabbage, green beans, sushi with brown rice and avocado (or almond butter in place of the avocado), and of course sweet fruits like strawberries and apples.    

10 Satisfying Sandwiches

July 8 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Check the menu board of any coffee shop or delicatessen and youll find a huge selection of delicious-sounding combinations sandwiched between two slices of bread. Trouble is, unless the establishment is veg, most options are filled with meat, leaving only one or two plant-based possibilities. Here are ten sandwiches that lose the meat--but not the mouthwatering flavors.

Berry-Apricot Salsa

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1 . Mash 4 raspberries in medium bowl, then stir in apricot preserves to make sauce base. 2 . Add fresh apricots, remaining raspberries, blackberries, and ginger. Toss to coat, being careful to keep berries intact. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. ?Let salsa stand 5 to 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Heirloom Tomato and Pickled Yellow Squash Salsa

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Whisk together vinegar and 2 Tbs. water in small bowl. Add squash, season with salt ?(if desired), and let stand 10 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, stir together tomato, onion, and oil in bowl. 3. Drain squash well; stir into diced tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

Mushroom-Bulgogi-Filled Daikon Wraps

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Whisk together nama shoyu, 2 Tbs. agave, sesame oil, garlic, and grated pear in medium bowl. Add mushrooms, and use hands to massage liquid into mushrooms to soften. Set aside to marinate 20 to 30 minutes. 2. Place daikon slices in medium bowl, top with remaining 2 tsp. agave and vinegar, and marinate 20 to 30 minutes. 3. To serve: Drain excess marinade from mushroom mixture, and mound in center of shallow serving bowl or large plate. Arrange daikon wrappers around filling to serve family style, so diners can assemble their own wraps

Arugula and Peach Salad

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Combine arugula, peaches, bell peppers, and almonds in large bowl. 2. Whisk together oil, vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, salt, and cayenne in separate bowl. Just before serving, toss salad with dressing.

Curried Quinoa with Blueberries and Snap Peas

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Melt 2 Tbs. coconut oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add quinoa and curry powder. Sauté 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Add 4 cups water and salt (if using), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 12 minutes without stirring, or until quinoa is cooked through and water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and keep covered. 2. Melt remaining 2 tsp. coconut ?oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, and sauté 2 minutes, or until translucent. Stir ?in snap peas, and sauté 5 minutes. Add blueberries, and cook 30 seconds, or until warmed through. 3. Combine blueberry mixture and quinoa in large bowl. Serve dolloped with yogurt and sprinkled with mint and cashews.

Sriracha-Seared Tofu and Spicy Udon Noodles

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Brush grill grates with oil, and preheat grill to medium. 2. Cook udon noodles according to package directions, drain, and set aside. 3. Meanwhile, steam broccoli 5 minutes in steamer, or until crisp-tender. 4. Combine soy sauce, sriracha, and sesame oil in small bowl. Brush tofu slabs with half of soy-sriracha mixture. Place tofu on grill, and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden and grill-marked. Cut tofu into bite-size pieces. 5. Add peanut butter to remaining soy-sriracha mixture, and stir to combine. Toss sauce with udon noodles and broccoli, and top with tofu. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro, if using.

Blueberry-Lemongrass Spritzer

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Trim lemongrass ends, and peel away any tough outer leaves. Starting from the base end, cut stem into 5 1-inch-long pieces. Smash each lemongrass piece once or twice with dull side of knife to bruise and break open. 2. Combine lemongrass, blueberries, and sugar in medium saucepan. Stir with wooden spoon, smashing some berries as you go. Add 1/­­2 cup water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes, or until thickened and slightly syrupy. 3. Meanwhile, line strainer with two layers of cheesecloth, and set strainer over medium bowl. Pour blueberry mixture into center of cheesecloth, and let drain completely, about 8 minutes. Pull together ends of cloth, closing them up around remaining fruit, and carefully squeeze out any remaining juice. Discard solids, and stir in lime juice. Chill syrup until cooled. 4. Pour 3 to 4 Tbs. syrup into glass with ice. Top with 6 oz. seltzer water. Taste, and add more syrup, if desired. Repeat with remaining syrup and seltzer. Serve garnished with lime wedges.

Classic Blueberry Pie

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Piecrust: Combine flour, sugar, and salt in bowl of large food processor; pulse or whisk briefly to combine. Add butter, and pulse again until pieces resemble coarse meal. (Or incorporate butter into dough using pastry cutter.) Pour in 3 Tbs. cold water and vinegar, pulsing briefly until dough looks moist. Use hands to pinch and pack dough into ball. Divide dough into 2 equal-size balls, and flatten into disks; tightly wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight. 2. Set rack in bottom third of oven; preheat oven to 400°F. 3. To make Filling: combine blueberries, 1/­­2 cup sugar, 5 Tbs. tapioca starch, lemon zest, ginger, and salt in large bowl, smashing about 1/­­2 cups worth of blueberries as you work. Set Filling aside. 4. Remove 1 dough disk from refrigerator, and lightly dust rolling pin and flat work surface with flour. Roll dough into 12-inch round on floured work surface, then ?press into 9-inch deep-dish (1.4 qt.) pie dish. Leave about 1/­­2 inch overhang around rim of pie dish; trim away excess dough with scissors. 5. Dust Piecrust with remaining 1 tsp. tapioca starch and 1 tsp. sugar. Spoon Filling into Piecrust, mounding in center. 6. Whisk egg with 1 Tbs. water in small bowl; set aside. Roll out remaining dough disk into 10-inch round. Place atop Filling. Pinch and crimp bottom and top Piecrusts together to seal and form pie. Brush top Piecrust lightly with egg wash. Cut several slits in top of Piecrust. Transfer pie dish ?to baking sheet, and bake 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F, and bake 50 minutes more, or until crust is golden brown. Remove, and cool on wire rack.

Oat and Cashew Thumbprint Cookies with Berry-Chia Jam 

June 23 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Cookies: Combine cashews, coconut oil, dates, vanilla, salt, and 1 tsp. water in food processor; process 2 to 3 minutes, or until thick, chunky paste forms, scraping down sides two or three times. Add oats, and pulse until mixture starts sticking together. 2. Roll dough into 20 small balls (about 2 tsp. each), and place on baking sheet. Make thumbprint indentations in center of each ball. Refrigerate 2 to 6 hours, or until firm. 3. Meanwhile, to make Jam: Process berries, dates, and 3 Tbs. water in food processor until mostly smooth, but with some chunks. Transfer to small bowl, and stir in chia seeds. 4. Fill each cookies indent with 11/­­2 tsp. jam. (Reserve leftover jam for another use.) Store in single layer in sealed container in refrigerator.

4 Supereasy Ways to Eat Healthier at the Office

June 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

4 Supereasy Ways to Eat Healthier at the Office Tempted by junk food at the office? I hear you. I handle new products at VT, so boxes upon boxes of the latest and greatest sugary snacks arrive daily at my desk. (On top of that, a neighboring co-worker recently brought in a machine that dispenses candy when you hold your hand underneath!) Over the years, I’ve learned a few simple tricks to avoid gobbling every last bar and cookie that crosses my path. 1. Eat a filling breakfast Research shows that eating a protein-packed breakfast helps stave off cravings later in the day. Think tofu scrambles, Greek yogurt, nut butter on whole-grain bread, beans and brown rice, or--my favorite--a big bowl of oatmeal with lots of toppings: shredded coconut, ground flaxseeds, bananas, raisins, you name it. Not a morning person? Make no-cook chai steel-cut oats the night before. 2. Buy groceries for your office Get in the habit of stocking up on nutritious, ready-to-munch supplies meant just for your home away from home: apples, hummus, baby carrots, almond butter, unsalted nuts, edamame, and fresh berries (which, as it turns out, taste insanely delish at the office). 3. Bring on the steamed veggies Broccoli, kale, cauliflower. You probably have these veggies in your crisper, right? Steam a big Tupperware’s worth of them, and bring a separate container with Annie’s Goddess Dressing or another bold-flavored dip. As soon as hunger strikes, start noshing: the fiber in the veggies will fill you up, and the fat in the dip will help your body absorb the nutrients in the veggies. 4. Treat yourself Sometimes steamed veggies don’t cut it. For a more decadent (but still healthy!) treat, keep an avocado handy--it’s packed with hunger-quelling omega-3 fatty acids. Slice it open, drizzle with lemon juice, sprinkle with sea salt, and dig in.   What are your tried-and-true ways to eat healthier at the office? Share below!

What Do I Do With … Rhubarb?

June 10 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Oatmeal-Rhubarb Crumble   Its rhubarb season! Many people love to eat rhubarb but are completely confused about how to prepare it themselves. I remember the first time I saw a dense display of those long pinkish stalks at the Copley Square farmers’ market in Boston. Rhubarb is indeed the stalk of a plant, much like chard or celery, cultivated for thousands of years. The leaves are toxic, but the edible stalk is scrumptious and versatile. Rhubarb is best when cooked, as the heat reduces much of its tartness. In America, rhubarb is traditionally used in desserts like pies, but it lends itself well to savory preparations like this Indian lentil dish. I’ve made a rhubarb-mango-ginger jam in which the rhubarb imparted the perfect amount of tartness to the sweet mango base, while the ginger brought a spicy kick. Next Id like to try it with peaches, strawberries, black pepper, or citrus. How do you like your rhubarb?   Indian-Spiced Lentils with Spinach and Rhubarb   —— 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.  

Spork Foods Special: Kimchi and Scallion Pancake

June 3 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Spork Foods Special: Kimchi and Scallion Pancake An invitation to the home of True Blood co-star Kristin Bauer van Straten--interviewed in VTs July/­­August 2014 issue--isn’t required to enjoy a favorite dish that she and her husband learned to make attending a cooking class at Spork Foods. The owners and operators of the L.A.-based vegan cooking enterprise, Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg here provide the recipe for their Kimchi and Scallion Pancake. You dont need to go to a fancy market to get ingredients for this dish, but your guests may think you did! says sisters Engel and Goldberg, who serve it as an appetizer or side. When serving, slice this big beauty into wedges with a pizza cutter for splitzies.   Kimchi and Scallion Pancake Serves 4   1/­­2 cup kimchi, packed and roughly chopped 1 Tbs. kimchi liquid 1 stalk scallion, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish (optional) 1 tsp. organic evaporated cane sugar 2 tsp. tamari, plus more for serving (optional) 1/­­2 cup filtered water 1 tsp. roasted sesame oil 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger 1 Tbs. mirin 1/­­2 cup organic whole-wheat pastry flour 3/­­4 cup organic un-bleached all-purpose flour 1 Tbs. neutral-tasting high-heat oil (preferably refined coconut)   1. In a large mixing bowl, add chopped kimchi, kimchi liquid, 1 stalk sliced scallion, sugar, 2 teaspoons tamari, water, sesame oil, ginger, and mirin. Whisk until uniform. 2. Add flours to mixture, and gently whisk to incorporate. 3. Heat a 9-inch non-stick skillet to medium-high. Add oil, and tilt pan to coat. Pour in pancake batter to cover entire skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, and cook about 3 minutes more, pressing with a spatula to crisp pancake. 4. Cut into wedges. Sprinkle with scallions and tamari, if using. Serve warm.   Recipe (C) Spork Foods, 2012

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Kellie Dunn!

May 28 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Kellie Dunn!   Reader Name: Kellie Dunn Location: Seattle Vegetarian Since: May 1994   What motivated you to go veg?  A friend bet me to do it for two weeks. A couple decades later Im still going strong! What fruit or veggie best describes you? A chioggia beet: humble on the outside, a little flamboyant on the inside. Whats your most treasured piece of cookware? I bought my cast-iron cr?pe pan new, but I plan to keep it in use until it qualifies as an heirloom. I love that thing. Whats your best advice for new vegetarians/­vegans? Learn to love cooking! It will make you healthier and benefit your loved ones.   Share your  at vegetariantimes.com/­vegiversary.

How to Eat for Allergy Relief

May 27 2014 Vegetarian Times 

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

VT VIDEO: Los Angeles Vegan Beer & Food Festival

May 20 2014 Vegetarian Times 

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

Media Watch: Chasing Ice

May 17 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Media Watch: Chasing Ice Birthday Canyon, Greenland ice sheet Released in 2012 (you may recall that the song performed by Scarlett Johansson over the films closing credits won an Oscar nomination), Chasing Ice has taken on new relevance with recent headlines about a faster-than-expected melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet. The film follows the herculean efforts of photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey team to install time-lapse cameras across the Arctic to document the disappearance of the worlds glaciers. Director Jeff Orlowski saves the viewing of the results until late in the film, building anticipation with the team’s discovery of equipment failure in the subzero Arctic temperatures. Watching the glaciers evaporate via the images captured by the (repaired) cameras recalls the endangered species that Blalog has also photographed. Free screenings of the film are the draw of the Chasing Ice Ohio Tour 2014, inviting viewers to see for themselves the dramatic evidence of our changing climate; the tour launched this spring in Ohios 12th Congressional District, whose representative, Pat Tiberi, has stated doubts about a consensus among scientists about global warming. Glaciers are canaries in the global coal mine, the film says, and we ignore their peril at the expense of our own. James Balog hangs off cliff by Columbia Glacier, Alaska to install time-lapse camera.

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.    

Tofush and Tartar Sauce

May 14 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Tartar Sauce: Blend soymilk, vinegar, and mustard in blender until combined. With motor running, blend in oil. Transfer to bowl, and stir in shallot, capers, gherkin(s), and dill. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to use. 2. To make Tofush: Cut each tofu block into 3 slabs. Stir together wine, lemon juice, and 1 tsp. salt in glass baking dish. Add tofu, and marinate 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning once or twice. Drain tofu on paper towels, and pat dry. 3. Wrap each tofu slab with nori, securing with toothpick. 4. Whisk together flour, corn flour, remaining 1/­­2 tsp. salt, and pepper in medium bowl. Whisk in ale just until smooth. (Do not overmix.) 5. Pour oil into large Dutch oven, and heat oil until temperature reaches 350°F on deep-fry thermometer. 6. Dip nori-wrapped tofu in batter to coat. Lower each Tofush into oil using slotted spoon, and stir gently to prevent from sticking to pan. Fry 3 to 4 minutes, turning once or twice, or until golden-brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels, then remove toothpicks. Serve with Tartar Sauce and lemon wedges.

Caramelized Okra and Corn with Coconut, Mint, and Lime

May 14 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 2. Toss together okra, corn, coconut oil, brown sugar, and salt in large bowl. Spread in single layer on baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes, or until okra and corn begin to brown and caramelize, stirring occasionally. 3. Toss hot vegetables with lime juice, toasted coconut, and chopped mint in bowl. Serve warm.

Okra and Sweet Potato Fritters

May 14 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Combine okra, sweet potato, shallot, honey, soy sauce, egg, and cornmeal in large bowl. Refrigerate 30 minutes. 2. With wet hands, form mixture into 16 golf ball-size spheres, and flatten slightly. 3. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook fritters 8 minutes, flipping once. Repeat with remaining oil and spheres. Serve fritters warm, with soy sauce for dipping, if desired.

Peanut-Stuffed Okra Fingers

May 14 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat large baking sheet with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. 2. Slice tops off okra. Use paring knife to split okra pods nearly in half lengthwise, leaving tip and one side intact. Pry pods open with fingers--be careful not to tear them. 3. Pulse peanuts, onion, garlic, ginger, jalape?o, cumin, coriander, and salt in food processor until very finely chopped. 4. Use fingers or small spoon to fill okra pods with peanut mixture. Place on baking sheet, and spray with cooking spray. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until okra has softened and filling begins to brown. Serve hot.

Summer Corn and Quinoa Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Lime

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in small pot; add quinoa and salt. Cover pan, reduce heat, and simmer over low heat 15 minutes, or until tender. 2. Fill separate saucepan with water, bring to a boil, and drop in diced onion for 30 seconds. Drain onion, then toss with vinegar in small bowl. 3. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat; add corn, cumin, and cayenne; sauté 3 minutes. 4. Transfer corn to large bowl, and add quinoa, remaining 2 Tbs. oil, onion, jicama, lime juice, and zest. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Just before serving, add pumpkin seeds, parsley, and an extra drizzle of lime juice, if desired.

Provençal Tartlets

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss zucchini, onion, bell pepper, eggplants, and fennel in large bowl with oil, garlic, thyme, and oregano; season with salt and pepper, if desired. 2. Arrange vegetables on two baking sheets, and roast 20 minutes in oven, rotating pans from top to bottom and flipping vegetables halfway through for even cooking. When vegetables are just tender, transfer to bowl, and set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. 3. Add tomatoes, olives, parsley, and cheeses to roasted vegetables; toss gently; and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 4. Mound 3/­­4 cup filling in center of each dough round. Gently fold edges inward, forming 6 to 8 pleats as you move around the dough. Some filling will be visible in center of each tart. Chill filled tarts 10 minutes. 5. Whisk egg with 2 Tbs. water. Brush dough tops lightly with egg wash, and transfer tarts to parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is bubbling.

Perfect Roasted Tomatoes

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 2. Place tomatoes cut-side down on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, sage, and thyme. Roast in ?oven until tomato skins are blistered and flesh is very soft, about 45 minutes, then remove from oven, and set aside to cool. 3. When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, try removing their skins (if they slip off easily, remove them; otherwise leave them on).

Jackfruit Bulgogi and Kimchi Tacos

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Coarsely chop jackfruit, and place in bowl. Cover with cold water, and let stand 15 minutes. Rinse, drain, and return to bowl. 2. Whisk together kimchi juice, teriyaki sauce, green onions, 1 Tbs. sesame oil, and 1 cup water in bowl. Pour over jackfruit, cover, and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight. 3. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add jackfruit and marinade, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Uncover, and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, or until most of liquid has evaporated and jackfruit begins to brown. Serve in tortillas, and garnish each taco with 1/­­4 cup kimchi.

Zucchini Verde Tacos

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until softened and browned. Add zucchini, salsa verde, and 3/­­4 cup water. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes, or until most of liquid has reduced, but mixture is still moist. Stir in cilantro, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spoon into tortillas, and serve.

Toasted Quinoa Tabbouleh

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer under cool running water. Drain. 2. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add quinoa, and toast 10 minutes, or until moisture evaporates and quinoa is fragrant and golden, stirring constantly with flat-tipped spoon or rice paddle. 3. Bring 21/­­2 cups water to boil in saucepan. Add 1/­­4 tsp. salt, then add quinoa. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan, and simmer ?20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork, and transfer to large bowl to cool. 4. Meanwhile, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and remaining 1 1/­­2 tsp. salt in small bowl. 5. Stir tomatoes, parsley, cucumbers, green onions, and mint into cooled quinoa. Pour dressing over top, and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate until salad is cold.

Kefir Orange Julius

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Pour milk into pint-size 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 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. Combine prepared kefir, orange juice, vanilla, and sugar in blender. Pulse to combine. Blend in ice cubes individually until as creamy and frothy as you like. Taste, and blend in more sugar to sweeten as desired.

Grapefruit Soda

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. Cool, and add grapefruit 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. (Added sugar will dissolve on its own.) 3. Add yeast. Screw on cap, and shake bottle to dissolve and distribute yeast. Let bottle sit at room temperature away from direct sunlight 12 to 48 hours, or until carbonated. Check bottle periodically; soda 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.

Spring Salad Dressed with Avocado A?oli

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. Bring potatoes and enough water to cover by 3 inches to a boil in large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and boil 8 to 10 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with knife. Remove potatoes with slotted spoon, and dunk them in large bowl of ice water. Set aside to drain. Add asparagus to cooking water, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until asparagus is bright green. Dunk in ice water, and drain. 2. Blend avocado, 1/­4 cup chives, lemon juice, tarragon, honey, and garlic in blender until smooth. Pour oil into blender while machine is running, and process until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 3. Spread 2 Tbs. avocado sauce in thick streak on large salad plates with back of spoon. Divide asparagus among plates. Halve potatoes lengthwise, and arrange 6 halves on each plate. Garnish with radish slices and remaining chives.

Curried Cashew Sauce over Rice, Snap Peas, and Tofu

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Rice, Tofu, and Peas: Bring rice and 2 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 to 12 minutes, or until most liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat, and let stand until ready to serve. 2. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu, and cook 9 to 10 minutes, or until golden, flipping occasionally. Transfer tofu to plate. Add snap peas and 2 Tbs. water to skillet, cover pan, and steam snap peas 1 minute, or until they turn bright green. Return tofu to pan. 3. Combine endives and cilantro in small bowl, and set aside. 4. To make Sauce: stir together all ingredients and 1 Tbs. water in small bowl. 5. To serve, divide rice among four bowls. Top with tofu and peas. Spoon about 2 Tbs. Sauce over each serving, and garnish with endive mixture.

Sriracha-Soy Sauce over Egg Noodles

May 13 2014 Vegetarian Times 

1. To make Sauce: whisk together all ingredients in small bowl. 2. To make Noodles: Cook egg noodles according to package directions, and drain. Toss egg noodles with grated carrot, green onions, and 5 Tbs. Sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Kitchen Kung-Fu: Prepping Artichokes

May 12 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Kitchen Kung-Fu: Prepping Artichokes   If they werent so darn tasty, artichokes almost wouldnt be worth the trouble. Prepping, cooking, then the actual eating part--which requires working past spiny leaves and fuzzy inedible bits to get to the prized heart--demands dedication and perseverance. How you prepare your artichokes depends on how you intend to eat them; do you like to pull the leaves off, dunk them in a savory sauce, and use your teeth to scrape off the fleshy bits? If so, the process is simple: Wash the artichokes, trim the stem (leaving a half-inch or so behind), pull off any small or discolored leaves near the stem, and steam for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size. Tip: to test for done-ness, tug on a leaf mid-way between the outer leaves and the core. If it gives way easily, its ready to eat. If you plan to serve your artichokes to company and want a more polished presentation, slice the off the top third of each artichoke to expose the leaves and heart, and use a pair of scissors to snip the spiny ends of the remaining leaves before steaming. (Trimming the spiky leaves is also a good idea if you have children with sensitive little fingers.) If its the heart of the artichoke youre after, the preparation process requires an extra couple of steps. After trimming the stem, remove all of the leaves by pulling them backward and snapping them off (this works best on really fresh, firm artichokes), or use a sharp paring knife to slice them off. Next, slice each artichoke in half and scrape out the fuzzy choke. Your artichokes are now ready to be grilled, fried, braised, or steamed. Hint: Artichokes discolor as soon as theyre cut, but rubbing the exposed bits with the juicy part of a sliced lemon half prevents them from turning an unappealing shade of brown. You can also prepare a lemon-and-water bath and toss each artichoke in as you prepare it for cooking.     —— Aurelia dAndreas passion for travel is deeply intertwined with her love of food. Whether in Perth, Prague, or Phnom Penh, she always gravitates toward local markets in search of edible treasures, and takes pleasure in re-creating tasty travel memories at home in her tiny Parisian kitchen.

Movie on a Mission: Fed Up

May 7 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: Fed Up A scene from Fed Up (courtesy of RADIUS-TWC)   As if being a teenager isnt crazy-making enough, consider the extra stress of being a teenager whos obese. Listening to overweight teens in the documentary Fed Up talk about how the issues raised in the film affect them day to demoralizing day, I felt every maternal instinct in me rev into overdrive, and Im not even a parent! Executive producer and narrator Katie Couric traces her involvement in the film to frustration that during decades of covering news on childhood obesity, she found that no one was taking a comprehensive look at the problem. Regarding her research for Fed Up, producer and director Stephanie Soechtig, whos veg, says, I could see government policy, marketing, and industry-funded science actually playing out in these kids lives. Here, more from Soechtig.   Director Stephanie Soechtig (courtesy of RADIUS-TWC)    What did you learn that surprised you most while making the film? One of the most eye-opening things about the documentary is how the conventional wisdom--that a calorie is just a calorie, that diet and exercise will solve everything--is more of a marketing claim than a scientific one.   ??How has it happened that simple, basic food like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains have gotten the reputation for being elitist? ?Im not sure Id say they have a reputation for being elitist as much as for being more expensive and less convenient than processed or fast foods. That misconception is the result of some very clever and deliberate marketing that started after World War II with frozen dinners, and has become such a pervasive message that weve come to accept it as fact. You can serve homemade black bean chili along with a simple salad and milk and feed a family of four for about $14. A fast food meal for a family of four--two big macs, a cheeseburger, and chicken nuggets with fries and sodas--would cost closer to $27.   ?Why do you think major food companies declined to be interviewed for the film? ?I think they are afraid to have an honest conversation, because the truth about what they are doing--marketing to kids, lobbying against school lunch guidelines, etc.--doesnt paint a pretty picture. Its much easier for them to release a statement or try to discredit us after the film is in theaters than it is for them to sit down and talk about these issues.   ?With recent Supreme Court decisions overturning limits to corporate spending in politics, how can the food industrys influence on public health policy be seriously challenged? ?When there are more votes than dollars, we will see dramatic and swift change. If we unite and demand change, we could be more powerful than any corporation. But it requires all of us to hold our politicians accountable and to realize that we vote every day with our forks and our wallets. If we stop buying the things we object to, the industry will respond and reformulate. Democracy is a participatory sport, and we all need to get involved.   A scene from FED UP (courtesy of RADIUS-TWC)

Copy Cat in the Kitchen: Leon Cauliflower Cheese

May 5 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Copy Cat in the Kitchen: Leon Cauliflower Cheese Leon Cauliflower Cheese   This update has taken far longer than expected. Weve had the Cat Cave renovated, so weve had to manage with a microwave and a grill since December. Theres still some finish work to be done and plenty of dust to clean up, but we now have a fully functioning kitchen. During all that time the kittens have had birthdays, so Ill now be referring to rambunctious 10-year-old boy (R10B) and picky 3-year-old girl (P3G). To refresh your memory: We’re a flexitarian family, and I’m trying out new veg recipes from the cookbook library at VT headquarters. Ill share the non-scientific results from my four-person-family panel of tasters. If something doesnt impress, Ill let you know, even if my novice kitchen skills are to blame. VT recently received a copy of Leon: Fast Vegetarian by Jane Baxter and Henry Dimbleby. Its a beautiful book that puts the vegetables first, which is something I’d like to do at home. My first pick: Cauliflower Cheese. Its an easy recipe to make. Chop up and roast a head of cauliflower, mix up a quick sauce, and bake for about half an hour. Alas, I had to tweak it a bit. The liquid-to-cheese ratio seemed far too wet, and I had to crank up the heat to broil to get the finished dish the golden brown shown in the photo in the book. We were all very hungry, so bowls were being filled and enthusiastic blowing ensued as soon as the pan hit the table. P3G was in stitches watching her brothers exaggerated attempts at cooling his serving. However, she was hesitant with her fork. I dont like cheese, she whined. This is pasta. With cheese, I said. She lies, I lie. R10B took his first bite. Then his second and third. P3G noticed, but waited, her fork still on the table. Finally, she took a bite. And another, and several more. Do you like it? I asked her. Yes. She continued eating and then looked at me. I want more. We all froze. What?! I said. Who are you and what have you done with my daughter? More, pwease. Gladly. Our first four-plate recipe! P3G finished three helpings, as did R10B and yours truly; and despite her diet, my lovely bride ate two servings. There were no leftovers from a 13-x-9-inch pan. When we make this again, Ill chop cauliflower smaller, reduce the cream, increase the cheese, set the oven heat higher, and remember to add the chives--believe it or not, R10B loves alliums. Also, we ate this as a main dish, but it seemed more like a side. Ill have to figure out what to serve it with next time. The Scorecard Four clean plates out of four.

Mindful Eating: Q & A with Russell Simmons

April 29 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Mindful Eating: Q & A with Russell Simmons    How long does it take to change your health and your life? Twenty minutes, twice a day, if you ask legendary hip hop producer Russell Simmons, a vegan, yogi, and meditation practitioner. Committing to 20 minutes of silence twice a day will radically transform how you feel about yourself and your relationship with the world. In his latest book, Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple, and below, Simmons talks about mindful eating, the relationship between veganism and meditation, and meditations power to not only cultivate compassion, but also to grow gray matter in the brain. So what are you waiting for? In the same time it takes to shower, vacuum the house, or fix yourself a simple meal, you could begin your practice. This book will teach you how. Read on for a taste of whats inside.   In the book, you describe the many positive physical effects that meditation has on both the brain and the body. What changes have you noticed in your own health since you began practicing meditation? Well, I have not had a scan to look at the gray matter of my brain, but my understanding is that the research says that the gray matter in the brain grows dramatically over six weeks. Ive been meditating for 20 years, so Im hopeful that something happened in there. But also, my memory is a little better, I am more awake and focused, Im happier, Im less anxious, I sleep dramatically better, I have better relationships with the world, and I live a stress-free life. I have lots to do every day, but if I have my mediation and my physical yoga, I can take on a full day--from morning until night. As long as I can stop to take care of my first chakra, I can keep it moving. People put way too much weight on the outside world and dont value the benefits of looking inside. There are so many benefits of meditation, according to research: the lowering of blood pressure, the diminishing of ADD, the greater brain functionality. All these things are just truths. Neuroscientists know these things to be true, and I have first-hand experience of these benefits. Im happier since I started and increasingly more present because of it.    You talk about mindful eating, describing it as the practice of slowing down and savoring each bite of your food, instead of eating it unconsciously. How does one begin to eat more mindfully? As you eat, you taste your food. Youre awake. I think you are more mindful of everything, including eating. You are more mindful when you go to work. You are more thoughtful. You are more present. You are more awake. The person who is more awake, more thoughtful, and more present, gives more, and this is how I always talk about how success comes: great givers are great getters.    You write about the so-called comfort foods you were raised eating. You rename these foods un-comforting food due to how they make your body feel after you consume them. Now that youre vegan, what are a few of your favorite vegan comfort foods? I go to the restaurant Crossroads in LA. I know that its not accessible to everyone; its a gourmet vegan restaurant. But all over now we are finding meat substitutes for people who are just leaving their meat diet and want to feel comfortable. More chefs are spending more energy creating more meals. There are more choices for vegetarians now as vegetarianism is becoming more popular. And a lot of that stuff is made for people who have a history with meat, who are close to meat, so they want meat substitutes. The new wave of vegetarians needs ideas that kind of sync with their history, right? They want to move gradually toward vegetables and grains and foods that really are healthy. So, I dont like to call them junk foods, because they are so much better than the alternative. I think that our next challenge is to bring healthy food to communities that cant always afford these expensive alternatives. I think we have to promote the truth. The other day I was promoting my book, and I go to Dr. Sanjay  [Gupta] and Dr. Oz, and Fox and Friends, and theyre talking about how scary steak is, specifically, that there are so many carcinogens that its equal to smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Thats the kind of information that you should knock on everybodys door with. And they dont. That information was out for a couple of days and now its gone. That kind of information is so damning and promotes a vegetarian diet so well to anyone with common sense. People work out and treat themselves well for the most part, and think that their steak is OK--but when they find out that its equal to 20 cigarettes a day, they wont eat it.    Do you find that your vegan diet has rubbed off on others around you? Absolutely. Ive been a vegan for 15 years and everybody around me seems to be going vegan. Im watching the whole world transform in front of me. I dont know if its my diet, but all the yoga and all the consciousness, my book being a best seller for five weeks on the subject of happiness and meditation--come on! These subjects were not subjects that were selling 15 years ago.   Can you elaborate on the relationship between a vegan diet and meditation? When you meditate, you are more in tune with your body. Thats one of the first things that you notice. One teacher once said that after a very difficult yoga practice, you should put something in your mind that promotes your practice. You do all kinds of twisting poses to clean your liver and cleanse your intestines, so when you think about what adds to your practice, what will nourish you, you know that you dont want to put animal products in you.   You devote a chapter in the book to The Power of Compassion. In that chapter you talk about meditation’s power to grow compassion. Compassion must be a major influence in your diet. Does eating vegetarian create a loving feeling for you? It goes both ways. Eating a vegetarian diet allows you to be more compassionate, but being more compassionate promotes a vegetarian diet. They go hand in hand.      

What Do I Do With ... Vanilla Beans?

April 28 2014 Vegetarian Times 

What Do I Do With ... Vanilla Beans?   A friend came back from a Tahitian vacation bearing some unexpected travel souvenirs: vanilla beans. The spindly, black pods are actually the fruit of the vanilla orchid, which grows in tropical climates around the world. Vanilla bean’s flavor, as youve likely experienced, is rich, sweet, and fragrant. Im a big fan, but have always turned to the tiny bottles of liquid extract on those rare occasions when I actually bake. So, whats a non-baker to do with a few prized pods? Turns out vanilla is surprisingly versatile, and adaptable not only to sweet recipes, but savory ones, too. When using the actual bean, the van