VegKitchen - vegetarian recipes

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VegKitchen vegetarian recipes

Tasty and Easy Chickpea Flour Recipes and Tips

November 17 2017 VegKitchen 

Tasty and Easy Chickpea Flour Recipes and Tips Chickpea flour is a great alternative to grain flours, though it doesnt behave like grain in the usual sense. It doesnt rise and become fluffy like wheat flour, for example, but its wonderful for making pancakes, crepes, and vegan frittatas. Here’s a quick guide, followed by tasty and easy chickpea flour recipes for you to […] The post Tasty and Easy Chickpea Flour Recipes and Tips appeared first on VegKitchen.

Broccoli Strascinati with Raisins & Nuts

November 15 2017 VegKitchen 

Broccoli Strascinati with Raisins & Nuts When I lived in New York, I had a flatmate who told me a story about how shocked she was when, during a trip to Italy, she saw her host mother cooking the life out of broccoli. I had never seen anything like it before! she said. She cooked it until almost mushy, with tons […] The post Broccoli Strascinati with Raisins & Nuts appeared first on VegKitchen.

Fall Tuscan Minestrone with Farro & Vegetables

November 9 2017 VegKitchen 

Fall Tuscan Minestrone with Farro & Vegetables Every time I make minestrone, I stop and think how amazing it is that such a humble dish became so popular outside of Italy. The main idea behind minestrone is the same as a quiche: Its a recipe designed to rid the fridge of all the vegetable scraps that have been sitting for too long […] The post Fall Tuscan Minestrone with Farro & Vegetables appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Halloween Treats That Are So Good, It’s Scary

October 31 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Halloween Treats That Are So Good, It’s Scary Are you dreading the annual ritual of the kids collecting candy, then having to argue with them about how much they can have and how to avoid those dreaded sugar highs (and future dental bills)? Here are some fun Halloween treats that the kids will love, and which won’t send shivers up your spine. For […] The post Vegan Halloween Treats That Are So Good, It’s Scary appeared first on VegKitchen.

12 Tasty, Healthy Vegan Farro Recipes

October 16 2017 VegKitchen 

12 Tasty, Healthy Vegan Farro Recipes Here are a dozen tasty and healthy vegan farro recipes. This nutty, hearty grain has joined other recently revived ancient grains like quinoa, einkorn, ka?iwa, and teff in the modern kitchen. Filled with fiber and high in iron, you’ll want swap it in for rice and barley in all kinds of dishes. Make sure to see our […] The post 12 Tasty, Healthy Vegan Farro Recipes appeared first on VegKitchen.

Roasted Fennel & Hazelnut Salad

October 3 2017 VegKitchen 

Roasted Fennel & Hazelnut Salad A gorgeous fall themed salad with an epic name but a relatively simple procedure. Roasting fennel lightly caramelizes and brings out the delicate licorice flavor. The crunch of roasted hazelnuts and chewy tang of dried cranberries makes this an ideal salad for winter holidays, but dont wait for Black Friday: make this lovely dish any […] The post Roasted Fennel & Hazelnut Salad appeared first on VegKitchen.

Super-Quick Aloo Gobi

September 21 2017 VegKitchen 

Super-Quick Aloo Gobi Aloo Gobi is a delectable Indian specialty that features cauliflower, potatoes, and usually peas in a mild, tomato base. Im not sure my family has ever placed an order, whether eat-in or carry out, that didn’t include it as one of our choices. And fortunately its almost always already vegan, which means it doesnt need […] The post Super-Quick Aloo Gobi appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Noodle Kugel

September 21 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Noodle Kugel This mildly sweet vegan noodle kugel, made dairy-free, is a classic Jewish comfort food, and always welcome at celebrations such as the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and Hanukkah. Adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. 3.5 from 2 reviews Save Print Vegan Noodle Kugel Author: Nava Recipe type: Casserole /­­ noodles Cuisine: Jewish Prep time:  25 […] The post Vegan Noodle Kugel appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup

September 20 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup This gorgeous vegan cream of asparagus soup is a nice introduction to meals as a first course, since it’s nice and light. It used to be that asparagus was primarily available in spring (and that’s still when it’s best and less expensive), but now that it’s become more year-round, you can enjoy this soup nearly […] The post Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup appeared first on VegKitchen.

Tempeh Reuben Hero Sandwiches

September 19 2017 VegKitchen 

Tempeh Reuben Hero Sandwiches Heres a sandwich with substance -- these tempeh reuben hero sandwiches are delicious, high in protein, and even supply you with your healthy fermented food in the form of sauerkraut. If youre feeding a small group and dont feel like making individual sandwiches, this is a great choice. Double the recipe for a larger crowd. […] The post Tempeh Reuben Hero Sandwiches appeared first on VegKitchen.

Using Seasonal Organic Produce: Tips for Health and Pleasure

September 17 2017 VegKitchen 

Using Seasonal Organic Produce: Tips for Health and Pleasure In your mind, visualize the supermarket you frequent. Put yourself in the produce department. Think summer. Now think winter. Does it look much different? Any different? Now imagine yourself in the restaurants you frequent. Its fall, and you are studying the menu. Now shift gears--its spring. Have the menus changed very much? Have they changed at all? ... The post Using Seasonal Organic Produce: Tips for Health and Pleasure appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Ravioli with Pink Beans

September 12 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Ravioli with Pink Beans Today, were going to learn to make authentic vegan ravioli from scratch, starting with growing our own artisanal wheat. Just kidding, of course! There are quite a number of yummy delicacies that I love, but that fall into the life is too short department when it comes to from-scratch cooking. One of them is vegan […] The post Vegan Ravioli with Pink Beans appeared first on VegKitchen.

Egg-Free (Vegan) Challah

September 11 2017 VegKitchen 

Egg-Free (Vegan) Challah It took a while for a virtual non-baker like me to get the hang of baking without eggs, but I did. One of my first projects was to learn how to bake vegan challah because I wanted my son to continue to enjoy his favorite Friday night ritual, safely. I found that it was easier, […] The post Egg-Free (Vegan) Challah appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Sweet Potato Pie

September 10 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Sweet Potato Pie Vegan sweet potato pie, made with silken tofu, sets up beautifully when baked. The cheering color makes it perfect for fall or winter occasions. Pie crust sizes vary, so if excess filling remains after pouring into the crust, fill a ramekin or two, and bake at the same time as the pie to make mini-puddings. Photos: Hannah Kaminsky. […] The post Vegan Sweet Potato Pie appeared first on VegKitchen.

Beginner’s Guide to Asian Noodles

September 8 2017 VegKitchen 

Beginner’s Guide to Asian Noodles Here’s a beginner’s guide to Asian noodles, which are easy to find these days. Ten years ago, soba, udon, bean-thread and rice stick noodles, among others, were rare finds. Now, many well-stocked supermarkets carry these authentic noodles. Here’s a brief lexicon of the most commonly used varieties. Shown above, Udon Noodle Soup with Crisp Vegetables. Buckwheat […] The post Beginner’s Guide to Asian Noodles appeared first on VegKitchen.

5 Best Vegetables for Acid Reflux and Heartburn -- and a Smoothie

September 7 2017 VegKitchen 

5 Best Vegetables for Acid Reflux and Heartburn -- and a Smoothie It is a well-known fact that diet plays a decisive role in the annoying symptom known as heartburn or acid reflux - often as a trigger, or root cause. Changing your diet can help resolve heartburn symptoms for the long run. Some foods have substantial alkaline effects to alleviate acid reflux quickly and effectively. Here, […] The post 5 Best Vegetables for Acid Reflux and Heartburn -- and a Smoothie appeared first on VegKitchen.

Easiest Buffalo Tofu Bites Ever

September 5 2017 VegKitchen 

Easiest Buffalo Tofu Bites Ever Im not sure who invented that Buffalo wings combo that contrasts spicy BBQ flavors with celery and creamy dressing. Its kind of weird, but obviously theres something about it that people love, because there are hundreds of vegan variations, let alone thousands of the non-vegan variety. In plant-based versions, cauliflower or tofu stand in for […] The post Easiest Buffalo Tofu Bites Ever appeared first on VegKitchen.

Breakfast Peanut Butter Pizza with Jam and Fruit

September 4 2017 VegKitchen 

Breakfast Peanut Butter Pizza with Jam and Fruit Peanut butter pizza is a fun and easy way to start the day -- even an busy school or work day morning. Pizza crust spread with peanut butter and then covered with bananas and other fruit and spoonfuls of jam make a filling breakfast treat in one fell swoop, rather than making a separate breakfast for […] The post Breakfast Peanut Butter Pizza with Jam and Fruit appeared first on VegKitchen.

How to Make Waste-Free Nutritious School Lunches

August 31 2017 VegKitchen 

How to Make Waste-Free Nutritious School Lunches If youre like us, you start the school year with enthusiastic plans to send your kids to school with lunches that are nutritious, affordable, and easy to make. You promise that youll plan ahead. Youll put more effort into it. Youll cut out the junk. But somehow mid-year finds us settled once again into our […] The post How to Make Waste-Free Nutritious School Lunches appeared first on VegKitchen.

3 Child-Friendly Noodle Dishes

August 30 2017 VegKitchen 

3 Child-Friendly Noodle Dishes When my kids were really young, my idea of meal planning during those truly frantic days was to rush into the kitchen at six o-clock, thinking: “Quick! Cook the noodles!” Child-friendly pasta dishes are a great choice when you want dinner in a hurry and need to please adults and children. Most varieties cook quickly enough to accommodate […] The post 3 Child-Friendly Noodle Dishes appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Fresh Tomato and Tortellini or Ravioli Soup

August 28 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Fresh Tomato and Tortellini or Ravioli Soup This hearty vegan fresh tomato soup with tortellini or ravioli is filling far served with a fresh corn on the side. It’s a wonderful choice for late summer that are starting to get cool, and is a good way to use up tomatoes that are a bit past the season’s peak. Look for vegan tortellini or […] The post Vegan Fresh Tomato and Tortellini or Ravioli Soup appeared first on VegKitchen.

Delectable Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts

August 24 2017 VegKitchen 

Delectable Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts Thanksgiving is the Mother of All Holidays, according to many vegans. There are few special occasions that can compare when it comes to amazing plant-based food choices that celebrate the fall harvest -- truly something to be thankful for. And even though the meal can be filling -- or indeed, over-filling -- leave room for one […] The post Delectable Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts appeared first on VegKitchen.

Dried Fruit and Walnut Energy Balls

August 22 2017 VegKitchen 

Dried Fruit and Walnut Energy Balls We love healthy treats that are as tasty as candy truffles, and these dried fruit and walnut energy balls fit that description. With just a few ingredients, theyre super easy to make, too. Did you you know that walnuts are just about the best source of omega 3 fatty acids? This beneficial fat is hard […] The post Dried Fruit and Walnut Energy Balls appeared first on VegKitchen.

Cold Shirataki Noodles with Lettuce and Chili Sauce

August 9 2017 VegKitchen 

Cold Shirataki Noodles with Lettuce and Chili Sauce This dish featuring cold shirataki noodles will remind you of Asian summer rolls -- without all the soaking, rolling and fuss. Combined with crisp lettuce and bottled sweet chili sauce, this is a 5-minute salad that pleases both the palate and the eye. First of all, what are shirataki noodles? If you havent discovered them […] The post Cold Shirataki Noodles with Lettuce and Chili Sauce appeared first on VegKitchen.

Fattouche Salad

August 9 2017 VegKitchen 

Fattouche Salad Fattouche salad is a Middle Eastern classic that’s not as well known in western culture as is tabbouleh, though maybe it should be -- it’s just as delicious. It gets its characteristic touch from the use of small bits of toasted pita bread mingling with juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. It’s good all year round, though especially […] The post Fattouche Salad appeared first on VegKitchen.

Easy Skillet Blueberry Crumble

August 7 2017 VegKitchen 

Easy Skillet Blueberry Crumble If you love the idea of a homemade fruit dessert but arent much of a baker, youll appreciate this incredibly easy skillet blueberry crumble. No fruit to pit and cut, no crust to labor over -- just a few key ingredients and youve got a blissful summer dessert. Its especially delicious served over nondairy ice cream. […] The post Easy Skillet Blueberry Crumble appeared first on VegKitchen.

Delicious and Easy Salad Bar at Home

August 5 2017 VegKitchen 

Delicious and Easy Salad Bar at Home Salad bars are often an appealing option for healthy food fans at restaurants, so why not serve one in your own kitchen? Here’s how to put together a delicious and easy salad bar at home. It’s a fantastic way to put together a last-minute company meal or for building a dinner around fresh raw veggies when you’re too […] The post Delicious and Easy Salad Bar at Home appeared first on VegKitchen.

Cold Linguine with Artichokes and Roasted Peppers

August 4 2017 VegKitchen 

Cold Linguine with Artichokes and Roasted Peppers This cold linguine salad features vibrant flavors provided by artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and lots of fresh parsley. It will hold up well on hot days or when being transported to a potluck. If you prefer to have it warm, by all means, do so. Simply skip the step of rinsing the pasta […] The post Cold Linguine with Artichokes and Roasted Peppers appeared first on VegKitchen.

Pesto or Hummus Flatbreads

August 2 2017 VegKitchen 

Pesto or Hummus Flatbreads Pizza is such an easy go-to meal, but if its warm weather or you want a lighter version, you’ll enjoy these little pesto or hummus flatbreads that can be grilled right on the stovetop. And as quick as homemade pizza can be these days, with prepared crust, sauce, and vegan cheese, these are even quicker, […] The post Pesto or Hummus Flatbreads appeared first on VegKitchen.

Easiest Asian Slaw

August 1 2017 VegKitchen 

Easiest Asian Slaw This is the easiest Asian slaw recipe ever, since it requires a bare minimum of chopping (just the fresh herb!), and starts with pre-cut fresh vegetables. You can also shortcut your way to a flavorful dressing by using a good bottled brand of sesame-ginger, but if you want to make your own, by all means! This simple […] The post Easiest Asian Slaw appeared first on VegKitchen.

Refreshing Green Lemonade

July 28 2017 VegKitchen 

Refreshing Green Lemonade A trio of cleansing veggies--cucumber, lettuce, and sprouts--result in a great green lemonade.This blended juice is incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day, but can be used year-round as a tonic, especially on a day when you feel you’ve eaten too much. Try some of the variations suggested, or alter it to suit your taste. […] The post Refreshing Green Lemonade appeared first on VegKitchen.

Sautéed Golden Tomatoes with Olives and Parsley

July 27 2017 VegKitchen 

Sautéed Golden Tomatoes with Olives and Parsley Now that I have a garden, though its theme is more overgrown than Italian, I’m finding a lot of inspiration from a wonderful cookbook titled My Italian Garden by Viana La Place. Its filled with simple, fresh vegetable recipes, most of which are vegetarian, and many of which are vegan or can be made so with minor […] The post Sautéed Golden Tomatoes with Olives and Parsley appeared first on VegKitchen.

5 Leafy Greens You Should Use More Often

July 26 2017 VegKitchen 

5 Leafy Greens You Should Use More Often Kale has been the rock star of the greens world for a while now, and while it is a good thing, eating a lot of it can grow old pretty quickly. Sure, theres spinach and arugula, both versatile and tasty; and bok choy has become a staple on supermarket shelves. But to stay motivated to […] The post 5 Leafy Greens You Should Use More Often appeared first on VegKitchen.

Japanese Carrot Pickles

July 25 2017 VegKitchen 

Japanese Carrot Pickles These traditional Japanese carrot pickles are great on their own as a snack or appetizer, but their flavor and texture truly shine when paired with other Asian dishes. This recipe is gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, and super quick to prepare. Recipe and photo credit: Bold Flavored Vegan Cooking by Celine Steen, Page Street Publishing Co. (C) 2017. Reprinted by […] The post Japanese Carrot Pickles appeared first on VegKitchen.

Nearly Raw Mac and Cheese

July 24 2017 VegKitchen 

Nearly Raw Mac and Cheese This nearly raw mac and cheese is pretty amazing, even though theres no macaroni and no cheese in it! The noodles are a summer favorite, spiraled zucchini, and the sauce, based on carrots cashews, hemp seeds, and nutritional yeast is surprisingly cheesy. Though a high-speed blender is preferable for making the sauce, no worries if […] The post Nearly Raw Mac and Cheese appeared first on VegKitchen.

Preserving Garlic

July 21 2017 VegKitchen 

Preserving Garlic Preserving garlic by any method is not a substitute for fresh, but it does have its own charms and advantages, especially if you grow it and have a bumper crop Here we’ll explore how to preserve garlic: freezing, drying, garlic vinegar, garlic salt, garlic oil, and refrigerator garlic pickles. Different methods of preserving garlic lend themselves […] The post Preserving Garlic appeared first on VegKitchen.

10 Benefits of Eating Raw Food

July 19 2017 VegKitchen 

10 Benefits of Eating Raw Food The human race learned long ago that cooking meat before eating it would protect them from parasites. Since then this practice of cooking has grown to include all types of foods and is now considered an art. The average meal generally doesn’t include many raw elements, except for the leafy green salad. Here we’ll consider 10 benefits of […] The post 10 Benefits of Eating Raw Food appeared first on VegKitchen.

Super-Quick Grain-Stuffed Peppers

July 18 2017 VegKitchen 

Super-Quick Grain-Stuffed Peppers Stuffed peppers seem like such a fancy thing to make, something youd serve at a special occasion or a holiday meal. And yes, they can be all that. But quick grain-stuffed peppers can also be made for everyday meals with little fuss. The secret is using tasty, all-natural pilaf mixes, which have so much flavor that theres […] The post Super-Quick Grain-Stuffed Peppers appeared first on VegKitchen.

BBQ Tempeh Salad with Vegan Ranch Dressing

July 18 2017 VegKitchen 

BBQ Tempeh Salad with Vegan Ranch Dressing The synergy between hearty BBQ tempeh croutons and crisp salad veggies dressed in creamy vegan ranch dressing is most appealing. First presented as one of our Vegan Dinner Hacks, paired with sweet potato fries, this is a more formal recipe. But not so formal that you have to follow this recipe precisely -- far from it. The […] The post BBQ Tempeh Salad with Vegan Ranch Dressing appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegetarian & Vegan Nutrition for Teens

July 14 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegetarian & Vegan Nutrition for Teens More and more teenagers are choosing to go vegetarian or vegan. Both groups give up all meat, poultry, and fish; vegans also give up eggs and dairy. Whether vegetarian or vegan, nutrition for teens should be well planned. That said, it shouldn’t be complicated or daunting. Teens are often faced with pressures -- pressures from […] The post Vegetarian & Vegan Nutrition for Teens appeared first on VegKitchen.

Spicy Homemade Vegan Sausage

July 13 2017 VegKitchen 

Spicy Homemade Vegan Sausage Everyone who tries this homemade vegan sausage recipe prefer these links to commercial brands--and they’re a lot less expensive, too. Preparing the mixture in the food processor and baking the sausages in the oven are both time-savers. Once baked, they’re ready to brown up in a skillet to enjoy as is or in other recipes. Recipe from […] The post Spicy Homemade Vegan Sausage appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Bodybuilding: 6 Food Combos for Complete Proteins

July 11 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Bodybuilding: 6 Food Combos for Complete Proteins Protein is essential for optimal health. Without protein, there can be no bodybuilding. In fact, protein is such a vital component of human nutrition that we cannot survive without it let alone hope to grow new muscle mass. Simply put, protein is a major constituent of all our cells in our bodies. With regard to […] The post Vegan Bodybuilding: 6 Food Combos for Complete Proteins appeared first on VegKitchen.

Buffalo Tempeh Salad with Cashew Ranch Dressing

July 7 2017 VegKitchen 

Buffalo Tempeh Salad with Cashew Ranch Dressing This luscious Buffalo tempeh salad offers up the contrast of spicy tempeh and cool creamy vegan ranch dressing on a crisp salad. If youre sensitive to tempehs fermented taste, steam the cubes before marinating to tone it down. Steaming will also help the tempeh soak up more of the marinade. Recipe and photos by Dianne […] The post Buffalo Tempeh Salad with Cashew Ranch Dressing appeared first on VegKitchen.

Amazon Prime Day is Tuesday, July 11 2017

July 6 2017 VegKitchen 

Amazon Prime Day is Tuesday, July 11 2017 Did you know that Amazon Prime Day is Tuesday, July 11, 2017? If you didnt, you need to hear about the amazing deals you are going to get. For roughly 24 hours, Amazon Prime Members will be treated to a ton of deal offers, beginning July 10, at 9:00 PM Eastern Daylight time. Its basically Christmas […] The post Amazon Prime Day is Tuesday, July 11 2017 appeared first on VegKitchen.

Puffed Peanut Butter Cereal Snack Bars

July 5 2017 VegKitchen 

Puffed Peanut Butter Cereal Snack Bars Low-sugar peanut butter puffed cereal gives these easy snack bars a fun look and really pop when you chew them! With peanut butter in them too, theyre double peanut-y -- though you can use any other kind of puffed cereal (we used Natures Path Panda Puffs), like puffed rice. Taking minutes to make, these are […] The post Puffed Peanut Butter Cereal Snack Bars appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Menu: Greek Pasta Salad & Cucumber Soup

July 3 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Menu: Greek Pasta Salad & Cucumber Soup This week’s vegan menu has a bit of a Greek theme going for it. The goal of this summery meal plan is to get you in and out of the kitchen quickly, using minimal heat. The only cooking youll need to do for Greek-Style Pasta Salad above is the pasta itself. Everything else gets tossed in and seasoned with […] The post Vegan Menu: Greek Pasta Salad & Cucumber Soup appeared first on VegKitchen.

5 Simple Salads, 5 Ingredients, 5 Minutes

July 1 2017 VegKitchen 

5 Simple Salads, 5 Ingredients, 5 Minutes When summertime rolls around, salads can be at their simplest, since the produce has so much flavor. And seriously, who needs formal recipes? Just choose a handful of companionable ingredients, drizzle in a flavorful dressing, and enjoy. Here are 5 simple salads ideas that each use only 5 ingredients and shouldnt take you longer than […] The post 5 Simple Salads, 5 Ingredients, 5 Minutes appeared first on VegKitchen.

Stout, Seitan, and Cabbage Casserole

June 28 2017 VegKitchen 

Stout, Seitan, and Cabbage Casserole Despite being part Irish, my family never really did anything to celebrate St. Pattys day while growing up. There was no Irish soda bread, no corned beef and cabbage, no colcannon. Since its turned into a bit of a foodie holiday, I wanted to make something to celebrate my Irish heritage a few years ago, […] The post Stout, Seitan, and Cabbage Casserole appeared first on VegKitchen.

Sweet-and-Sour Soba Noodles with Asparagus

June 26 2017 VegKitchen 

Sweet-and-Sour Soba Noodles with Asparagus Sweet-and-sour soba noodles embellished with with asparagus and fresh tomatoes makes a lovely spring or early summer dinner dish. Serve with a simple tofu dish such as Sweet and Savory Sautéd Tofu, and a platter of raw veggies. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. Serves: 4 to 6 8-ounce package soba (buckwheat) noodles 1 tablespoon safflower or […] The post Sweet-and-Sour Soba Noodles with Asparagus appeared first on VegKitchen.

5 Frozen Banana Ice Cream Recipes You’ll Love

June 23 2017 VegKitchen 

5 Frozen Banana Ice Cream Recipes You’ll Love If you have yet to discover banana ice cream, youre in for a treat. Here are VegKitchens favorite frozen banana ice cream recipes -- creamy and luscious with that can be like soft serve or served in scoops, just like any other ice cream. Theyre vegan and have no added sugar. All in all, a […] The post 5 Frozen Banana Ice Cream Recipes You’ll Love appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Dinner Ideas: Early Summer

June 23 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Dinner Ideas: Early Summer Summer is officially here. Did you know that animal agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to a warming planet? Thats why we’re presenting these early summer vegan dinner ideas -- eating this way is better for the earth and better for you! This PSA aside, our menus this week require not a single burner to […] The post Vegan Dinner Ideas: Early Summer appeared first on VegKitchen.

Apple-Pecan Tempeh Salad or Sandwich Spread

June 21 2017 VegKitchen 

Apple-Pecan Tempeh Salad or Sandwich Spread  If youre a new vegan (or an aspiring one) you might be missing the heartiness of chicken salad, tuna salad, shrimp salad, and the like. Dont give in to temptation -- try this delectable tempeh sandwich spread or salad. Spiked with apples, celery, and pecans, this has all that umami and none of the animal […] The post Apple-Pecan Tempeh Salad or Sandwich Spread appeared first on VegKitchen.

Kale Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

June 20 2017 VegKitchen 

Kale Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes Creamy, rich kale pesto pasta perfection gets a pop of flavor from fresh cherry tomatoes. This easy recipe is sure to become a regular, ideal for a quick weeknight dinner -- it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare. For a splurge, use walnuts instead of sunflower seeds. Recipe from Frugal Vegan: Affordable, Easy & Delicious […] The post Kale Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes appeared first on VegKitchen.

Curried Potato Salad with Lentils and Tomatoes

June 20 2017 VegKitchen 

Curried Potato Salad with Lentils and Tomatoes This curried potato salad is a luscious combination of potatoes, lentils, and tomatoes -- an offbeat change-of-pace from the standard varieties, and gets a nice protein boost from the lentils. It’s hearty enough to serve as a summer main dish with fresh corn on the cob. Add a cold summer soup for a larger meal. […] The post Curried Potato Salad with Lentils and Tomatoes appeared first on VegKitchen.

Blueprint for a Healthy Bean Salad

June 19 2017 VegKitchen 

Blueprint for a Healthy Bean Salad Its time to build a better bean salad! Its a perfect dish for parties and picnics, as well as for providing extra protein for your everyday plant-based meals. To make a tasty and healthy bean salad, you dont so much need a recipe but a blueprint, and thats just what were going to give you […] The post Blueprint for a Healthy Bean Salad appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Kids: Practical Tips for Parents

June 14 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Kids: Practical Tips for Parents The number of vegan kids has increased exponentially in recent years. Well-planned vegan diets are safe and offer health advantages, even for growing children. Talk to your practitioner and read up on the subject. Here are some practical tips for parents for dealing with everyday situations. Make sure to see the companion to this article by PCRM, […] The post Vegan Kids: Practical Tips for Parents appeared first on VegKitchen.

Northern Mexico Chimichangas

June 13 2017 VegKitchen 

Northern Mexico Chimichangas Chimichangas, called chivichangas in Mexico, are basically deep-fried burritos. These Northern Mexico Chimichangas are little decadent, but wonderful as an occasional treat. They epitomize the mingling of the American-Mexican border culture by their use of flour tortillas mixed with a filling suffused with adobo. You can find these in Tucson as easily as on the […] The post Northern Mexico Chimichangas appeared first on VegKitchen.

Strawberry-Watermelon Slush (with ACV option)

June 12 2017 VegKitchen 

Strawberry-Watermelon Slush (with ACV option) There are few beverages more hydrating for summers hottest days than a fresh watermelon slush. With added strawberries, this semi-frozen sweet drink will keep you cool and refreshed. If youd like, give it a probiotic boost with a little raw organic apple cider vinegar -- its benefits are legion, and youll hardly taste it! Makes: 2 […] The post Strawberry-Watermelon Slush (with ACV option) appeared first on VegKitchen.

Peanut Noodles & Broccoli Slaw Dinner

June 9 2017 VegKitchen 

Peanut Noodles & Broccoli Slaw Dinner Whats not to love about peanut noodles? And now, with flavorful Thai peanut satay sauce available almost everywhere, theres more to love about them than ever. This delicious Asian-style dinner is made in a flash thanks to great shortcuts like the sauce, as well as pre-cut broccoli slaw and veggie spring rolls that come from […] The post Peanut Noodles & Broccoli Slaw Dinner appeared first on VegKitchen.

Sunflower Seed Butter

June 9 2017 VegKitchen 

Sunflower Seed Butter This is the easiest homemade sunflower butter recipe ever, and itll save you a ton of money if youve been buying your seed butters in jars. For some reason, sunflower butter is quite pricey, while sunflower seeds themselves are economical. Recipe from Sweet, Savory and Free: Insanely Delicious Plant-Based Recipe Without Any of the Top […] The post Sunflower Seed Butter appeared first on VegKitchen.

Manhattan “Glam” Chowder (Vegan Clam Chowder)

June 7 2017 VegKitchen 

Manhattan “Glam” Chowder (Vegan Clam Chowder) At last, a satisfying vegan clam chowder! Manhattan clam chowder is the red, tomato-based soup found on diner menus all over the city. Mushrooms bring the perfect texture and flavor to this vegan “glam” chowder, a version of the iconic New York City soup. Nori and Old Bay Seasoning cleverly replace the seafood flavors. From […] The post Manhattan “Glam” Chowder (Vegan Clam Chowder) appeared first on VegKitchen.

NYC-Style Street-Cart Pretzels

June 6 2017 VegKitchen 

NYC-Style Street-Cart Pretzels Soft street-cart pretzels have been sold on the streets of New York City since at least the 1820s, and now, here’s a recipe you can make at home. Today, they’re still sold from ubiquitous metal carts found all over Manhattan and always offered with mustard. From NYC Vegan: Iconic Recipes for a Taste of the […] The post NYC-Style Street-Cart Pretzels appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Menu: BLT Wraps & Polenta Fries

June 5 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Menu: BLT Wraps & Polenta Fries This fun vegan menu offers up easy BLT wraps -- Tempeh Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Wraps, to be more exact. And would you like fries with that? Sure you do. You’ll love our fuss-free polenta fries, with a fraction of the grease and guilt of ordinary fries. If youd like to make your own tempeh bacon […] The post Vegan Menu: BLT Wraps & Polenta Fries appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Antipasto Platter & Pasta Dinner

June 3 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Antipasto Platter & Pasta Dinner If its summer, chances are that company will be coming at some point, and that youll have to gather your resources and brain cells to make a last minute-meal. Whether its the in-laws or friends you havent seen in forever, youll want that meal to be a crowd-pleaser, designed to impressed. The dilemma is that it […] The post Vegan Antipasto Platter & Pasta Dinner appeared first on VegKitchen.

Quick Pickled Vegetables

June 2 2017 VegKitchen 

Quick Pickled Vegetables When gardens and markets are bursting with veggies, its fun to make these quick pickled vegetables. With a mild sweet and savory brine, this addictive veggie snack just might tempt kids and picky eaters. Since this isn’t a vacuum-sealed canning project, you don’t need any special equipment. These pickles keep well for a week or more […] The post Quick Pickled Vegetables appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup

May 31 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup Heres a healthy homemade vegan cream of tomato soup that will remind you of the kind that you might have had from a can when you were a kid -- but this one is so much better! This easy and comforting soup is ready for you to enjoy within a half hour, and its delicious […] The post Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Menu: 15-Minute Chickpea Masala Dinner

May 30 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Menu: 15-Minute Chickpea Masala Dinner Weeknights rarely feel like a good time to experiment with exotic ingredients and elaborate preparations. If youre craving, let say, Indian flavors and want dinner in a hurry (without doing take-out -- again!), you may feel like you’re out of luck. So for today’s vegan menu, we dived into our collection of Vegan Dinner Hacks and pulled […] The post Vegan Menu: 15-Minute Chickpea Masala Dinner appeared first on VegKitchen.

Tofu and Potato Hash Browns

May 28 2017 VegKitchen 

Tofu and Potato Hash Browns Tofu and potato hash browns is a simple, comforting skillet dish that’s just as good for dinner as it is for brunch. Have potatoes cooked ahead of time, and this easy and tasty dish will have your family or guests eating in short order. Leftovers are wonderful for breakfast. Or, if you make this expressly to serve […] The post Tofu and Potato Hash Browns appeared first on VegKitchen.

Baked Polenta Casserole & Broccoli Slaw Dinner

May 26 2017 VegKitchen 

Baked Polenta Casserole & Broccoli Slaw Dinner What could be better than a comforting casserole at the end of a long, busy day? A comforting casserole that takes almost not time to prepare, like our Baked Polenta Casserole with Zucchini and Spinach, thats what! And while its in the oven, all you need to do is kick back, because bagged fresh broccoli […] The post Baked Polenta Casserole & Broccoli Slaw Dinner appeared first on VegKitchen.

3 Important Supplements for Vegan Bodybuilding

May 25 2017 VegKitchen 

3 Important Supplements for Vegan Bodybuilding Excerpted from Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness: The Complete Guide to Building Your Body on a Plant-Based Diet by Robert Cheeke, the world’s most recognized vegan bodybuilder: For vegan bodybuilders, the second most popular question after how do you get your protein? is What supplements do you take? There were periods of my vegan bodybuilding life […] The post 3 Important Supplements for Vegan Bodybuilding appeared first on VegKitchen.

10 Vegan Pesto Recipes for Warm-Weather Meals

May 24 2017 VegKitchen 

10 Vegan Pesto Recipes for Warm-Weather Meals Theres something about pesto that immediately brings summer to mind -- of course, its that magical aroma of basil. And though basil is a must-have ingredient of classic pesto sauces, there are countless variations on the theme when it comes to vegan pesto recipes. Here are 10 recipes for pesto as well as dishes that […] The post 10 Vegan Pesto Recipes for Warm-Weather Meals appeared first on VegKitchen.

Creamy Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Broccoli & Avocado

May 23 2017 VegKitchen 

Creamy Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Broccoli & Avocado This creamy pesto zucchini noodles recipe is truly noteworthy. The combination of avocado, broccoli, and mushrooms gives the sauce a fluffy yet rich texture thats beautiful to look at. Not a broccoli fan? Opt for a more traditional pesto flavor and use fresh chopped basil instead of the broccoli. For added flavor and texture, garnish […] The post Creamy Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Broccoli & Avocado appeared first on VegKitchen.

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: A Comparison

May 23 2017 VegKitchen 

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: A Comparison Brown and white rice are often compared to each other in terms of their nutritional value. Brown rice vs. white rice -- which is best? -- thats a common question and one that well explore here. Among the numerous varieties of rice in the world, the two most prominent ones are brown rice and white rice. There […] The post Brown Rice vs. White Rice: A Comparison appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Menu: Greek Potato Stew

May 22 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Menu: Greek Potato Stew When warm weather settles in, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy comforting fare like this easy Greek Potato Stew with Zucchini and Green Beans. Though its bursting with summery flavors in a mellow tomato base, it can actually be enjoyed any time of year. My favorite time to make it is in late […] The post Vegan Menu: Greek Potato Stew appeared first on VegKitchen.

Famous Raw Brownies with Velvet Chocolate Icing

May 18 2017 VegKitchen 

Famous Raw Brownies with Velvet Chocolate Icing Finally, an easy wholesome raw brownies recipe that tastes like real brownies! Nuts, dates, coconut, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and salt combine to create a shockingly divine traditional-style brownie. Although the ingredients sound virtuous (and they are), your taste buds will only register one flavor: chocolate. Its the most popular recipe on Laura-Janes blog, probably […] The post Famous Raw Brownies with Velvet Chocolate Icing appeared first on VegKitchen.

Salsa Verde Quinoa Pilaf

May 17 2017 VegKitchen 

Salsa Verde Quinoa Pilaf In this simple quinoa pilaf, salsa verde (tomatillo salsa) makes a bold flavor statement. If youve never used it before, this green salsa variety is shelved along with the standard kinds. It has a somewhat smoky flavor that adds a distinctive character to dishes, and of course, its also perfect as a dip for tortilla chips. […] The post Salsa Verde Quinoa Pilaf appeared first on VegKitchen.

What is Ka?iwa? Introducing a Relative of Quinoa

May 16 2017 VegKitchen 

What is Ka?iwa? Introducing a Relative of Quinoa What is ka?iwa? Simply put, this relative of quinoa, is similarly a South American superfood grain making a splash in the North American market. Like quinoa, Ka?iwa grows in Peru and Bolivia. Its an excellent source of protein and amino acids, is exceptionally high in iron, and is gluten-free. Dark reddish-brown in color and about half the […] The post What is Ka?iwa? Introducing a Relative of Quinoa appeared first on VegKitchen.

Easy Vegan Batter-Dipped Cauliflower

May 15 2017 VegKitchen 

Easy Vegan Batter-Dipped Cauliflower Whether you enjoy this vegan batter-dipped cauliflower as a simple side dish or a veggie-based snack, youll find them completely addictive! And because were all about easy here at Vegan Food Hacks, we start with a bag of frozen cauliflower. Kids and adults -- even picky ones -- often approve of cauliflower. And what about […] The post Easy Vegan Batter-Dipped Cauliflower appeared first on VegKitchen.

Colorful Quinoa Protein Bowl

May 12 2017 VegKitchen 

Colorful Quinoa Protein Bowl This quinoa bowl recipe is quick, colorful, and an easy way to get your plant-powered protein in a one-dish meal. And while it looks like theres a bit of prep involved, thats not the case at all! The only cutting involved is the bell pepper. If youre really slothful, well-stocked supermarkets sell cut bell pepper. But […] The post Colorful Quinoa Protein Bowl appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Gluten Free Recipes from VegKitchen

May 12 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Gluten Free Recipes from VegKitchen It can be challenging to be either vegan or gluten free, but when you’re both, it’s doubly tricky to find suitable vegan gluten free recipes. VegKitchen offers lots of vegan gluten free recipes for every meal of the day. Use this list as a great resource for easy, everyday recipes to suit both dietary needs. […] The post Vegan Gluten Free Recipes from VegKitchen appeared first on VegKitchen.

How to Pickle Anything Like a Pro

May 11 2017 VegKitchen 

How to Pickle Anything Like a Pro Have you always wanted to try pickling, but intimidated by the process? Heres a visual guide on how to pickle vegetables. Pickling allows you to give your favorite summer produce a whole new flavor. Experiment with some of these tips and make your own pickling recipes. Source: Fix.com Here are more recipes for canning and […] The post How to Pickle Anything Like a Pro appeared first on VegKitchen.

Sorghum Breakfast Bowl

May 10 2017 VegKitchen 

Sorghum Breakfast Bowl Sorghum is one more healthful, hearty ancient grain thats making a big comeback, like what happened with quinoa, farro, and einkorn. Because of sorghum’s small size, mild flavor, and interesting texture, its a perfect grain for a warm cereal. This sorghum breakfast bowl is sure to please. Despite its incredibly good-for-you nutrition profile, sorghum is a bit […] The post Sorghum Breakfast Bowl appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Dinner Hack: Cauliflower Fried Rice & Sautéed Tofu

May 9 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Dinner Hack: Cauliflower Fried Rice & Sautéed Tofu Chinese-Style Cauliflower Fried Rice served with Simple Sweet and Savory Sautéed Tofu makes a tasty vegan dinner menu, filled with healthy shortcuts.Those of you who follow Vegan Food Hacks know that were big fans of cauliflower rice. So many of you liked the cauliflower fried rice recipe we shared recently that we decided to build […] The post Vegan Dinner Hack: Cauliflower Fried Rice & Sautéed Tofu appeared first on VegKitchen.

Simple & Sweet Vegan Tartlets

May 8 2017 VegKitchen 

Simple & Sweet Vegan Tartlets  Lets say youre not much of a baker or cook, but you want to make an impressive treat for a special person -- say, your sweetie for Valentines Day or a birthday, or mom for Mothers Day. These tiny sweet vegan tartlets are delectable, yet incredibly easy to make. Hannah Kaminsky presents four creative ways to […] The post Simple & Sweet Vegan Tartlets appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Menu: Spanish Vegetable Stew

May 8 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Menu: Spanish Vegetable Stew Yes, it’s spring, but evenings can still be chilly and/­­or rainy, so this warming Spanish Vegetable Stew is just the thing for this week’s vegan menu. A classic seasonal stew (menestra de verduras), it has many regional variations, and can be made with different vegetables according to season. Constant ingredients include potatoes, carrots, and green peas; artichokes […] The post Vegan Menu: Spanish Vegetable Stew appeared first on VegKitchen.

Tasty, Healthy Chickpea Recipes

May 7 2017 VegKitchen 

Tasty, Healthy Chickpea Recipes Even people who say they don’t like beans often like chickpeas. Here are some of our favorite healthy chickpea recipes --  easy, tasty, and vegan. Chickpeas are among the most flavorful of the legume family, and add flavor, protein, and texture to so many kinds of dishes -- soups, stews, pastas, salads, and sandwiches. Add […] The post Tasty, Healthy Chickpea Recipes appeared first on VegKitchen.

10 Tips for Raising Vegan Children

May 5 2017 VegKitchen 

10 Tips for Raising Vegan Children Raising vegan children in an omni world will test your patience with the next person who casually wonders aloud if your kids will get enough protein and calcium. Fear not though, its not as hard as it seems. In fact, with todays increasing allergies, and people becoming more aware of what exactly theyre eating, its starting […] The post 10 Tips for Raising Vegan Children appeared first on VegKitchen.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Brown Rice

May 4 2017 VegKitchen 

Top 10 Health Benefits of Brown Rice Brown rice is better for you than white -- the evidence is compelling when you look at the top 10 health benefits of brown rice that follow. The post Top 10 Health Benefits of Brown Rice appeared first on VegKitchen.

2-Ingredient No-Sugar Date Caramel Sauce

May 3 2017 VegKitchen 

2-Ingredient No-Sugar Date Caramel Sauce The typical caramel sauce recipe consists of a cup of sugar, half a cup of butter, and some milk or cream. Um, no. As in, no, our 2-ingredient no-sugar date caramel sauce contains none of those. Weve hacked all the bad ingredients out of it -- sugar included-- by making it from dates and almond milk. Thats it! […] The post 2-Ingredient No-Sugar Date Caramel Sauce appeared first on VegKitchen.

What are Carbohydrates and Why Do We Need Them?

May 2 2017 VegKitchen 

What are Carbohydrates and Why Do We Need Them? Excerpted from Questioning Meat by Robin Schaper, reprinted by permission. What are carbohydrates, and what are carbohydrate foods? Why do we need carbohydrates? And what is the difference between good and bad carbs? Well answer these questions, but first, a distinction: We all need plenty of good carbs. Meat and other animal-based food contains hardly any […] The post What are Carbohydrates and Why Do We Need Them? appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Dinner Hack: Vegan Philly Cheesesteak & Salad

May 1 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Dinner Hack: Vegan Philly Cheesesteak & Salad Ive always wanted to try making vegan Philly cheesesteak, but something always stopped me. The problem has been that most of the recipes Ive looked at use seitan in place of you-know-what. And while otherwise I have no quibble with seitan, it just seems like pure gluten served on bread is redundant. Occasionally, a recipe […] The post Vegan Dinner Hack: Vegan Philly Cheesesteak & Salad appeared first on VegKitchen.

7 Top Health Benefits of Maca Root

April 28 2017 VegKitchen 

7 Top Health Benefits of Maca Root Maca, a root that belongs to the radish family, is most commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called Peruvian ginseng.” Here are the 7 top health benefits of maca root powder, whose benefits have been long valued. Maca has recently been popularized as a supplement and food […] The post 7 Top Health Benefits of Maca Root appeared first on VegKitchen.

Chinese-Style Cauliflower Fried Rice

April 27 2017 VegKitchen 

Chinese-Style Cauliflower Fried Rice Im all for rice, especially brown rice, but lately, Ive fallen for cauliflower rice. Or, to be more precise, cauliflower rice. If you havent discovered it yet, its nothing more than cauliflower chopped down into rice-like pieces. Much as I like brown rice, it can feel heavy; cauliflower rice becomes a lighter substitute. Chinese-style cauliflower fried […] The post Chinese-Style Cauliflower Fried Rice appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Peanut Butter Granola Cookies

April 26 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Peanut Butter Granola Cookies These easy vegan peanut butter granola cookies pass an important test -- if a sweet treat is actually healthy, will it still get eaten? Happily, these tasty cookies disappear quickly. Use whatever kind of granola you prefer -- there are so many great varieties! These sturdy cookies are perfect or packing in the school or […] The post Vegan Peanut Butter Granola Cookies appeared first on VegKitchen.

Peanut Satay Zucchini Noodle Bowl

April 25 2017 VegKitchen 

Peanut Satay Zucchini Noodle Bowl Who doesnt love zucchini noodles? They make a perfect base for ever-popular vegan bowls, too. We love them not because theres anything wrong with regular pasta noodles. But in the same way as cauliflower rice has gotten to be such a big thing, its just another very cool way to eat more veggies. But what […] The post Peanut Satay Zucchini Noodle Bowl appeared first on VegKitchen.

Worlds Easiest Peanut Satay Noodles

April 23 2017 VegKitchen 

Worlds Easiest Peanut Satay Noodles Ive made peanut noodles dozens of times in my time as a mom and a cook, and I can attest that a homemade peanut sauce isnt the hardest thing to make. Everyone likes it, even the pickiest of eaters (aka kids). But Ive really gotten to the point where using a bottle of Thai peanut […] The post Worlds Easiest Peanut Satay Noodles appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Dinner Hacks: Crazy-Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes

April 21 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Dinner Hacks: Crazy-Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes There are 1,001 great ways to use vegan burgers -- other than as burgers, of course. Our latest veggie burger creation -- using a grand total of 4 items (5, if you count the little bit of optional oil) -- are these crazy-easy vegan sloppy joes. And to make the entire dinner, you’ll be picking […] The post Vegan Dinner Hacks: Crazy-Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes appeared first on VegKitchen.

Aquafaba Recipes from Macarons to Mayo

April 20 2017 VegKitchen 

Aquafaba Recipes from Macarons to Mayo What is aquafaba? And why are cooks around the world falling in love with its magical powers in the kitchen? Aquafaba is a cleverly constructed word that means water from beans. And the specific bean water we’re talking about here is the liquid that comes in cans of chickpeas. Aquafaba recipes are springing up everywhere, from macarons to […] The post Aquafaba Recipes from Macarons to Mayo appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Menu: Sesame-Ginger Tofu Broccoli Stir-Fry

April 17 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Menu: Sesame-Ginger Tofu Broccoli Stir-Fry I could live on Asian-style stir-fries and noodle dishes. Theyre so versatile and simple to make, perfect for busy weeknights. Case in point, Sesame-Ginger Tofu Broccoli Stir-Fry. Its inspired by General Tsos Tofu, but dispenses with the cornstarch-battered, deep-fried tofu.This version, with pan-sautéed tofu, plenty of broccoli, and a savory, sweet, and spicy sauce even […] The post Vegan Menu: Sesame-Ginger Tofu Broccoli Stir-Fry appeared first on VegKitchen.

5 Ways to Prevent Food Waste in Your Kitchen

April 14 2017 VegKitchen 

5 Ways to Prevent Food Waste in Your Kitchen Tackling food waste starts in your kitchen! Up to 40 percent of the food purchased in the U.S. The post 5 Ways to Prevent Food Waste in Your Kitchen appeared first on VegKitchen.

A Vegan Protein Sources Chart

April 12 2017 VegKitchen 

A Vegan Protein Sources Chart It seems like when anyone goes vegan, the first question they’re asked is How do you get your protein? The idea that its hard to get enough protein on a plant-based diet seems hard to shake, even though its not difficult at all. The following vegan protein sources chart demonstrates what a wide array of healthful […] The post A Vegan Protein Sources Chart appeared first on VegKitchen.

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

April 11 2017 VegKitchen 

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf Once you have some brown rice cooked, this hearty cauliflower rice pilaf with aromatic curry seasonings comes together quickly. For an easy meal, serve cauliflower rice with Lentils with Greens and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and a simple salad. If you’re looking to lighten up your pilafs, you might also like our cauliflower rice recipes in which […] The post Cauliflower Rice Pilaf appeared first on VegKitchen.

Vegan Outreach: Q & A with a Remarkable Organization

April 10 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Outreach: Q & A with a Remarkable Organization Vegan Outreach (VO) is a remarkable organization, having produced and distributed over 30 million pro-veg booklets. Founded in 1993 with the goal of move society away from eating animals and their products, its army of outreach coordinators and volunteers personally hand out their concise yet hard-hitting informational booklets to millions of people each year on […] The post Vegan Outreach: Q & A with a Remarkable Organization appeared first on VegKitchen.

Top 10 Benefits of Green Smoothies

April 6 2017 VegKitchen 

Top 10 Benefits of Green Smoothies The benefits of green smoothies are many and varied -- they’re easy to digest, keep you hydrated, increase your energy, get your skin glowing, and more. They can include spinach, lettuce, kale, and collard greens. For the more advanced green smoothie drinker, you can also add parsley, dandelion greens, watercress -- really, any leafy green […] The post Top 10 Benefits of Green Smoothies appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Creamy Leek and Mushroom Soup with Ancient Grains

April 4 2017 VegKitchen 

Creamy Leek and Mushroom Soup with Ancient Grains Made creamy with tofu or white beans, this ancient grainsoup is filled with tasty leeks and mushrooms. Its truly a bowl of comfort! If youd like to explore the various ancient grains on the market, you can make this with whole farro, spelt, or einkorn berries. The post Creamy Leek and Mushroom Soup with Ancient Grains appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Green Smoothies That Don’t Taste Green at All

March 31 2017 VegKitchen 

Green Smoothies That Don’t Taste Green at All Added flavors like spices, berries and tropical fruits can make green smoothies taste divine. The post Green Smoothies That Don’t Taste Green at All appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Supercharge with Superfoods for Weight Loss & Health

March 30 2017 VegKitchen 

Supercharge with Superfoods for Weight Loss & Health The word superfood is popping up everywhere these days. Its no surprise -- superfoods are gaining popularity as incredibly beneficial foods that are more nutritious than conventional food. Conscious eaters have discovered superfoods for weight loss, too. The post Supercharge with Superfoods for Weight Loss & Health appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Spring Farro Asparagus Salad

March 28 2017 VegKitchen 

Spring Farro Asparagus Salad Farro is a nutty, hearty ancient grain well-loved in Italian cuisine. Its perfect in pilafs and substantial salads like this farro asparagus salad, embellished with other spring-y veggies. it takes a good 30 minutes to cook, much like brown rice, but you can look for quick-cooking farro, which cuts the cooking time in half. The post Spring Farro Asparagus Salad appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

VegKitchen Monday Menu, March 27, 2017

March 27 2017 VegKitchen 

VegKitchen Monday Menu, March 27, 2017 Sautéed Tofu with Green Veggies is a simple tofu dish Ive been making for years. Tofu is sautéed in a skillet until it becomes golden and crispy, then combined with very lightly cooked veggies. The dish is then served with a choice of sauces, depending on your inclination -- either a rich peanut sauce or […] The post VegKitchen Monday Menu, March 27, 2017 appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Easy Mapo Tofu

March 23 2017 VegKitchen 

Easy Mapo Tofu Mapo Tofu is one of  the easiest Chinese dishes to throw together, even when youre too tired to cook. Since its a stew instead of a stir-fry, you dont have to concentrate the entire time. Its full of flavor, with ginger, mushrooms and tofu in a spicy red sauce.The post Easy Mapo Tofu appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Vegan Easter Desserts and Treats

March 21 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Easter Desserts and Treats As part of the beloved spring celebration, vegan Easter desserts and treats are a must! Enjoy this list of delectable dairy-free sweets

VegKitchen Monday Menu, March 20, 2017

March 20 2017 VegKitchen 

VegKitchen Monday Menu, March 20, 2017 Happy spring! For everyone who has slogged through this winter of discontent, just reaching this date feels like a huge relief. Lets celebrate the arrival of spring by enjoying a very green meal.The post VegKitchen Monday Menu, March 20, 2017 appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Top 3 Benefits of a Vegan Diet

March 17 2017 VegKitchen 

Top 3 Benefits of a Vegan Diet In a world where everything seems to contain at least butter and eggs, being vegan can be tricky. People may even ask how youre able to do it and then assert that they could never be vegan. But there are many vegan diet benefits.The post Top 3 Benefits of a Vegan Diet appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Masala Zucchini Fries

March 16 2017 VegKitchen 

Once youve had your fill of zucchini noodles, make a few batches of these zucchini fries for a nice change of pace. Theyre easy to whip up, and the Indian spices will add some zing to your next dinner party. This is a great appetizer as well as a side dish.The post Masala Zucchini Fries appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

10 Terrific Cauliflower Rice and “Couscous” Recipes

March 14 2017 VegKitchen 

10 Terrific Cauliflower Rice and “Couscous” Recipes Heres a selection of cauliflowerrice” recipes (and a few cauliflowercouscous” recipes as well) that are easy, tasty, and just happen to be vegan. Cauliflower rice and couscous are clever ways to get a nutritious vegetable into your regimen, and good for anyone who avoids grain foods for any reason. Its also a good way to disguise vegetables for your picky eaters!The post 10 Terrific Cauliflower Rice and “Couscous” Recipes appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

VegKitchen Monday Menu, March 13, 2017

March 13 2017 VegKitchen 

VegKitchen Monday Menu, March 13, 2017 By the time we meet next week, well be celebrating spring eve. Weather winter is having its last hurrah where you live, or if its prematurely hot like summer,

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Donuts

March 12 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Donuts Pumpkin, like other winter squashes, is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Vegan spelt pumpkin donuts are a fun way to celebrate the flavor of the season when the weather starts to get cooler. If you need gluten-free donuts, simply substitute oat flour and sorghum flour for the spelt flour, as noted below.The post Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Donuts appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

How to Use Less Energy When You Cook

March 10 2017 VegKitchen 

How to Use Less Energy When You Cook Trying to use less energy when you cook is an admirable goal. Energy efficient cooking reduces emissions and it can help save money in the household budget.

10 Best Hiking Snacks (that happen to be vegan)

March 7 2017 VegKitchen 

10 Best Hiking Snacks (that happen to be vegan) When it comes to the best hiking snacks, whether for a day trek or a longer backpacking trip, you want to choose foods that increase your energy and endurance. They should also be sturdy enough to hold up to a variety of temperatures, and stay fresh without refrigeration. And it wouldnt hurt if theyre tasty and fun to eat, too!The post 10 Best Hiking Snacks (that happen to be vegan) appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Which Vegan Foods Release the Least Amount of CO2?

March 3 2017 VegKitchen 

Which Vegan Foods Release the Least Amount of CO2? One of the biggest advantages of eating vegan meals is being able to reduce your carbon emissions to help the environment. By now, eating less or no meat to reduce our carbon footprint is pretty cemented in the green living lexicon. The vegan carbon footprint is far smaller than other diets.The post Which Vegan Foods Release the Least Amount of CO2? appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

10 Tips to Help Kids Make Healthy Food Choices

March 2 2017 VegKitchen 

10 Tips to Help Kids Make Healthy Food Choices Most parents know the challenges of getting kids to eat healthy foods. Children are bombarded with advertising and media messages for foods that are filed with sugar, fat, and iffy ingredients. Even if a child makes their own choice to go vegetarian and vegan, that’s no guarantee that they wont be finicky.The post 10 Tips to Help Kids Make Healthy Food Choices appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Apple Cider Vinegar Drink Recipes for Health and Energy

February 28 2017 VegKitchen 

Apple Cider Vinegar Drink Recipes for Health and Energy On our popular page featuring 

VegKitchen Monday Menu, February 27, 2017

February 27 2017 VegKitchen 

VegKitchen Monday Menu, February 27, 2017 When it comes to planning a yummy plant-based dinner, even some of us die-hard vegans can overlook the ease and versatility of beans. If you have a pressure cooker, it doesnt take long to cook your own beans, but for us catch-as-catch can cooks, canned beans are the way to a quick meal. Now, many brands come in BPA-free cans, too.The post VegKitchen Monday Menu, February 27, 2017 appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Hemp Seeds: Nutrition, Benefits, & Recipes

February 23 2017 VegKitchen 

Hemp Seeds: Nutrition, Benefits, & Recipes Hemp seeds are a fantastic addition to any healthy diet, packed with easily digestible protein and a multitude of nutrients. Rare among plant-based foods, they provide complete protein with all 10 essential amino acids. That makes them quite valuable to vegans and vegetarians.The post Hemp Seeds: Nutrition, Benefits, & Recipes appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

VegKitchen Monday Menu, February 20, 2017

February 20 2017 VegKitchen 

VegKitchen Monday Menu, February 20, 2017 Todays Monday Menu features

Crispy Quinoa Crumbs

February 16 2017 VegKitchen 

Crispy Quinoa Crumbs Here’s a clever way to turn quinoa into tasty crispy crumbs. They pack more nutrition than breadcrumbs and are naturally gluten-free. Bake up a batch and you’ll see why we love to have them on hand.The post Crispy Quinoa Crumbs appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

5 Simple Ways to Use Baked Tofu

February 14 2017 VegKitchen 

5 Simple Ways to Use Baked Tofu Ive long considered marinated baked tofu a great product and have wondered why it has taken so long to make its way onto supermarket shelves. Finally, it’s getting there! As always, its easy to find at any natural foods store, usually shelved alongside the tofu tub varieties.The post 5 Simple Ways to Use Baked Tofu appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

7 Hearty Vegan Soups With Wild Rice

February 10 2017 VegKitchen 

7 Hearty Vegan Soups With Wild Rice No matter the season, soup remains a staple dish in everyones home. Hearty vegan soups are a great meal option for vegans because they can be easily made with plant-based ingredients.The post 7 Hearty Vegan Soups With Wild Rice appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Roasted Veggie Quinoa Casserole

February 8 2017 VegKitchen 

Roasted Veggie Quinoa Casserole The quinoa and black beans in this dish are high in protein, making it a hearty one-dish meal. Its very budget-friendly, too. Reprinted with permission from

VegKitchen Monday Menu, February 6, 2017

February 6 2017 VegKitchen 

VegKitchen Monday Menu, February 6, 2017 I could never figure out this Groundhog Day thing -- the groundhog comes out on February 2, sees his (is it ever her?) shadow, and that means 6 more weeks of winter. Everyone is sad.The post VegKitchen Monday Menu, February 6, 2017 appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Calorie myths: Why counting calories wont improve your weight or health

February 2 2017 VegKitchen 

Calorie myths: Why counting calories wont improve your weight or health Counting calories is one of the first places most people look when trying to lose weight. If you are one of those people, you really ought to read

Vegan Carne Asada Fries

January 31 2017 VegKitchen 

Vegan Carne Asada Fries Carne asada fries exemplify how an offbeat local food trend takes off and goes national. An odd combination of french fries, avocado, sour cream, and in its original form, strip steak, this dish originated in San Diego in the 1990s and soon became a standard in casual Mexican restaurants in the American Southwest. Now its on the menu in such eateries nationwide.The post Vegan Carne Asada Fries appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

5 Best Vegan Tacos for Breakfast

January 27 2017 VegKitchen 

5 Best Vegan Tacos for Breakfast Everybody loves tacos. However, in order to eat tacos as a vegan, we sometimes have to get a little creative.The post 5 Best Vegan Tacos for Breakfast appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Eating for Good Karma

January 26 2017 VegKitchen 

Eating for Good Karma Good Karma eating is as simple as can be: comprise your meals of plants instead of animals, and most of the time choose unprocessed plant foods, meaning that they got from the garden or orchard or field to your kitchen with minimal corporate interference. This way of eating gives you good karma in two ways.The post Eating for Good Karma appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

How Prepping Your Meals Ahead for the Week Keeps You Healthy

January 24 2017 VegKitchen 

How Prepping Your Meals Ahead for the Week Keeps You Healthy Weve all been there. You get home late after that less-than-productive evening meeting, and throw open the fridge, hoping that food will have magically appeared there somehow in the last ten hours. Or maybe you have a pantry stuffed with healthy staples--all of which need to be cleaned, cut, and cooked before theyre fit to consume--and all you can think about is sinking down into the couch for the next three hours.The post How Prepping Your Meals Ahead for the Week Keeps You Healthy appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Pink Himalayan Salt: 5 Reasons to Ditch Regular Table Salt

January 19 2017 VegKitchen 

Pink Himalayan Salt: 5 Reasons to Ditch Regular Table Salt Pink Himalayan salt is a special type of rock salt that contains plenty of health benefits, particularly because it offers more than 84 natural elements in their mineral form.The post Pink Himalayan Salt: 5 Reasons to Ditch Regular Table Salt appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Pomegranate, Berry & Avocado Smoothie

January 17 2017 VegKitchen 

Pomegranate, Berry & Avocado Smoothie January is spring cleaning time for the body. Getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet is highly recommended because they bring with them many health benefits. An easy way to consume lots of different plant-based foods in one sitting is to make smoothies.The post Pomegranate, Berry & Avocado Smoothie appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

VegKitchen’s Monday Menu – January 16, 2017

January 16 2017 VegKitchen 

Whether you call it Meatless Monday, Meat-Free Monday, No-Meat Monday, here at VegKitchen we just call it “Monday,” because every day is a no-meat, no dairy, and no eggs kind of day. Continuing in our new series of menus to kick off the week, we can think of few midwinter dishes more welcome than a big pot of

Vegan Cholent

January 10 2017 VegKitchen 

Cholent is a Jewish classic that can be considered an early predecessor to slow-cooker recipes. In its original form, its put in the oven before the Sabbath and cooked at a very low temperature for about 12 hours so that it can be eaten for the Sabbath midday or late afternoon meal. Its one of the rare Eastern European Jewish specialties that highlights beans.The post Vegan Cholent appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Gluten-Free and Low-Gluten Pastas Varieties

January 10 2017 VegKitchen 

Gluten-Free and Low-Gluten Pastas Varieties Whether you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or just want to start cutting down, theres no denying it -- wheat is hard to avoid. But if you take the time to look, theres a whole delicious world of pasta beyond the boxed durum wheat varieties. If you avoid gluten and are stuck in a pasta rut, try one of these gluten-free or low-gluten options.The post Gluten-Free and Low-Gluten Pastas Varieties appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Plant-Based Foods That Help Fight Acne

January 6 2017 VegKitchen 

Plant-Based Foods That Help Fight Acne Just as there have been fingers pointed at a variety of foods for acne incidence, there are just as many diets and particular food items purported to help the skin remain clear and vibrant. Here are a few types of foods from the plant-based world that may help clear and sooth the skin. Omega 3 Fatty Acid-Rich Foods While the standard Western diet contains many omega 6 fatty acids, it doesnt offer nearly enough omega 3 fatty acids.The post Plant-Based Foods That Help Fight Acne appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

6 Superfoods to Promote a Healthy Pregnancy

January 4 2017 VegKitchen 

6 Superfoods to Promote a Healthy Pregnancy Youre expecting a baby -- congratulations! Nows a good time to take a good look at your eating habits. Its more important than ever to give your baby the best start possible.The post 6 Superfoods to Promote a Healthy Pregnancy appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Essential nutrients for vegans and where to find them

January 2 2017 VegKitchen 

Essential nutrients for vegans and where to find them Its a longstanding belief that plant-based eaters must take vitamin supplements to gain all of the nutrients for vegans and their dietary needs. Fortunately, with modern access to a wide range of whole foods, that misconception about nutrients for vegans is far from true. From the outstanding omega-3 content of chia seeds to the iron in spinach, a thoughtful vegan lifestyle is synonymous with nutritious health.The post Essential nutrients for vegans and where to find them appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Layered Taco Salad

December 29 2016 VegKitchen 

Layered Taco Salad One of the things that keeps me motivated to eat salad during cooler months is to include something hot -- both in terms of actual heat and spice. This layered taco salad, a cousin to loaded nachos, couldnt be easier to make. The heat is supplied by a layer of Amys Chili (for convenience), and the spice by chili peppers or salsa.The post Layered Taco Salad appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

The One Tonic: Turmeric, Ginger, Lemon, Rooibos Tea & ACV

December 26 2016 VegKitchen 

The One Tonic: Turmeric, Ginger, Lemon, Rooibos Tea & ACV Here on VegKitchen, reader come in droves for our posts on ginger-lemon tea, rooibos tea, and apple cider vinegar. These teas, infusions, and tonics are awesome in and of themselves, and if youre anything like me, you want all of them as part of your regimen! But how many beverages can a person squeeze into one day added to all the plain water were supposed to drink?The post The One Tonic: Turmeric, Ginger, Lemon, Rooibos Tea & ACV appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Salads in Disguise for People Who Wont Eat Salad

December 20 2016 VegKitchen 

Salads in Disguise for People Who Wont Eat Salad For some people, myself included, there isnt enough salad in the world. Others wont touch them with a ten-foot pole. We all know that eating at least some fresh raw veggies on a daily basis is a good thing.The post Salads in Disguise for People Who Wont Eat Salad appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

5 Great Ways to Jazz Up Hummus

December 15 2016 VegKitchen 

5 Great Ways to Jazz Up Hummus Everyone loves hummus these days; the basic traditional recipe is delicious straight up. And its so useful, too, whether as a spread for fresh pita, a dip for fresh veggies, and as a spread for sandwiches and wraps. The flavored varieties of store-bought hummus are nice but they dont go a long way, and honestly, one flavor tastes pretty much like another.The post 5 Great Ways to Jazz Up Hummus appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, December 12 – 16, 2016

December 12 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, December 12 – 16, 2016 Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas (and Hannukah), both in terms of the calendar and according to the weather. Whenever major food holidays loom, I like to precede them by making purposefully non-holiday-ish meals, kind of lightening up in anticipation. These are still satisfying and seasonal.The post Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, December 12 – 16, 2016 appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

5 Reasons to Prepare Meatless Holiday Meals

December 8 2016 VegKitchen 

5 Reasons to Prepare Meatless Holiday Meals The holiday season is a time for celebrating the ones you love, giving back to your community and eating--and for many people, that means a lot of meat. As with many traditions, just because its what everyone does year after year, doesnt mean it has to continue. In this case, discontinuing the traditional meat consumption during the holidays, or prepping your big holiday meal sans a ham or turkey, is a smart way to deviate from the norm without losing any of the excitement or charm of the season.The post 5 Reasons to Prepare Meatless Holiday Meals appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Vegan Panaforte

December 6 2016 VegKitchen 

Vegan Panaforte Panforte means strong bread, so be strong. Go lavish with the spices here -- they balance the richness of the fruit and nuts -- and dont wimp out with the black pepper. Traditionally, panforte is made with honey -- its the goo bonding the dried fruit and nuts.The post Vegan Panaforte appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

10 Delectable Vegan Desserts Made with Vegetables

December 2 2016 VegKitchen 

10 Delectable Vegan Desserts Made with Vegetables If you can’t get your family (or yourself!) to eat enough vegetables, you can try sweetening the deal -- literally. By incorporating the orange-fleshed fall/­­winter veggies -- carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, and winter squash into these vegan cakes, pies, muffins, and cookies, you’ll be adding a dose of vitamins A and C to your desserts, and a host of antioxidants and fiber.The post 10 Delectable Vegan Desserts Made with Vegetables appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, 2016

November 28 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, 2016 After Thanksgiving weekend, Americans who are lucky enough to partake of its abundant holiday fare usually feel stuffed. No matter what persuasion -- vegetarian, vegan, or omnivore, the festive meal and the leftovers in its aftermath leave a lot of people feeling stuffed, and sometimes a couple of pounds heavier. So this week, well focus on lighter dinners that feature foods known to be cleansing to the system.The post Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, 2016 appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Double Batch Chickpea Cutlets

November 25 2016 VegKitchen 

Double Batch Chickpea Cutlets Chickpea Cutlets are a classic recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, fantastic for Thanksgiving or Christmas menus, or everyday meals. They come together in no time at all, taste great smothered in gravy, and put your steak knives to work. Place a big pile of these in the middle of the table or stuff them into a sandwich--or just slice them up in a salad.The post Double Batch Chickpea Cutlets appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Delicious Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

November 21 2016 VegKitchen 

Delicious Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes Why center your Thanksgiving dinner on the turkey? With many trusted and tasty recipes online, creating a vegan Thanksgiving menu can be simple, delicious and compassionate. Browsing our favorite

Curried Yam Stew

November 18 2016 VegKitchen 

Curried Yam Stew This one-pot meal contains many of the plant-based world’s favorite foods: chickpeas, spinach, and yams. It is easy to prepare, cooks quickly, and tastes delicious.The post Curried Yam Stew appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

10 Yummy Vegetable Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

November 15 2016 VegKitchen 

10 Yummy Vegetable Side Dishes for Thanksgiving Vegetarian, vegan, omnivore -- whatever the dietary preferences of your crowd at the Thanksgiving table, everyone can enjoy these delicious vegetable side dish. Most are (or can be made) gluten-free, too! We’ve got the traditional fall veggies covered here -- choose two or three for your menu and enjoy!The post 10 Yummy Vegetable Side Dishes for Thanksgiving appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

You’ll Love These 10 Vegan Comfort Food Recipes

November 10 2016 VegKitchen 

You’ll Love These 10 Vegan Comfort Food Recipes Vegans need comfort food just as much as anyone else. Salads and smoothies are great, but during sad or difficult moments, or when youre under the weather, they just dont do the trick. Warm and soothing, comfort foods also contain just the right amount of nostalgia -- and love.The post You’ll Love These 10 Vegan Comfort Food Recipes appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Peanut Butter and Jam Scones

November 8 2016 VegKitchen 

Peanut Butter and Jam Scones Peanut butter and jam fans, this vegan baked treat is for you! These comforting scones are a great, wholesome breakfast pastry, or a nice accompaniment to coffee or tea on a chilly day. Unlike classic scone recipes, the dough for this one isnt made with butter; peanut butter makes the perfect dairy-free stand-in.The post Peanut Butter and Jam Scones appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

How to Be Vegan in a Southern City

November 4 2016 VegKitchen 

How to Be Vegan in a Southern City A Southerners perception of being Southern varies drastically from person to person, region to region, state to state, and SEC team to SEC team. To me, being southern means growing up next to one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world and near pasture fields far from busy towns or cities. To some of my friends, being southern means a cold beer and shotguns trump fancy venues in fancy cities.The post How to Be Vegan in a Southern City appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Chickpea Chopped Salad

October 31 2016 VegKitchen 

Chickpea Chopped Salad Heres a tasty chickpea chopped salad that may just become your go-to sandwich spread or wrap filling. Or, just add a scoop to a green salad to add protein. Filled with olives, cucumbers, peppers, and sunflower seeds, this is both comforting and crunchy all at once.The post Chickpea Chopped Salad appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Pumpkin Juice

October 28 2016 VegKitchen 

Pumpkin Juice Theres more to pumpkin juice than just breaking into a haunted pumpkin patch, fending off the zombies, and juicing a pumpkin. This Harry Potter-inspired version simmers spices, fresh ginger and vanilla bean - with apple juice to infuse it. Then its blended with soaked dried apricots, pumpkin purée and a little nutmeg.The post Pumpkin Juice appeared first on Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes: VegKitchen.com.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, October 24 – 28, 2016

October 24 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, October 24 – 28, 2016 We’re entering prime season for warming foods like casseroles, stews, and soups. But who’s got time to make them after a long, busy day? You do, that’s who.

Polenta, Vegan Sausage, and Mushroom Stuffing

October 19 2016 VegKitchen 

Polenta, Vegan Sausage, and Mushroom Stuffing Using prepared polenta and vegan sausage makes for a nice change-of-pace stuffing for fall and winter meals, and its great for the Thanksgiving table,  too. Adapted from

Frequently Asked Questions About Maca Root

October 13 2016 VegKitchen 

Frequently Asked Questions About Maca Root What is maca root, exactly? Maca is a root vegetable (alternatively referred to as a tuber) thats a distant cousin of the radish family. A member of the species Lepidium meyenii, its grown in the mountains of Peru and Bolivia.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, October 10 – 14, 2016

October 10 2016 VegKitchen 

The best antidote for shorter days and cooler nights is comfort food! These hearty fall meals will make you glad that fall has arrived. Above,

Apple Cider Ginger Ale

October 6 2016 VegKitchen 

Apple Cider Ginger Ale This bracing apple cider beverage has lots of good things in it -- ginger, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. This just might become your go-to tonic! You can drink it straight, without the seltzer, if you dont want the fizz.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, October 3 – 7, 2016

October 3 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, October 3 – 7, 2016 For the first full week of October, weve got some tasty dinners that will power you through your busy week. Since today is the Jewish New Year, treat yourself to

Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

September 28 2016 VegKitchen 

Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies Who doesnt love a classic peanut butter cookie? Its even better when you make them vegan. The original recipe contains egg and lots of sugar, but those are easy swaps to make.

Cuban Brown Rice Bowl with Sweet Plantains

September 22 2016 VegKitchen 

Cuban Brown Rice Bowl with Sweet Plantains This dish is a personal favorite because it brings back so many great memories of my childhood. Whats not to love about black beans and rice? Oven-baked platanos maduros -- sweet plantains -- add an authentic touch.

Victoria Moran, PETAs Sexiest Vegan over 50 Finalist

September 20 2016 VegKitchen 

Victoria Moran, PETAs Sexiest Vegan over 50 Finalist Im happy to announce that my friend and colleague Victoria Moran, vegan advocate extraordinaire (and occasional

Ahiflower May Be the Best Omega-3 Source for Vegans

September 19 2016 VegKitchen 

Ahiflower May Be the Best Omega-3 Source for Vegans Today, Id like to introduce you to Ahiflower. When I scheduled a call with the folks from Ahiflower about advertising with us, Ill admit to expecting something a little less exciting. Ahiflower is a new source of your daily omega-3 fatty acids, which we know most of us can use.

A Vegan Diet Supports an Active Lifestyle

September 16 2016 VegKitchen 

A Vegan Diet Supports an Active Lifestyle Excerpted from

Ramen Slaw with Tofu

September 13 2016 VegKitchen 

Ramen Slaw with Tofu I dont know about you, but I consider ramen a primary cheap-eats food group, and this take on it has major protein and flavor punch. Keep some ramen noodles on hand for quick and easy salads like this one. Thanks to bagged slaw mix and baked marinated tofu (both found in most supermarkets), it only takes minutes to assemble.

Quinoa-Maca Breakfast Bowls

September 9 2016 VegKitchen 

Quinoa-Maca Breakfast Bowls Two superfoods -- quinoa and maca root -- combine in a breakfast bowl that will fuel you for hours. Learn more about the

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, September 5 – 9, 2016

September 5 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, September 5 – 9, 2016 Yay, its the first full week of September! For most of us, it means back to the real world of work after slacking off a bit in August, and back to school and college for students of all ages. Lets keep it really simple this week, while still enjoying summers bounty.

Easy Seitan Fajitas

August 30 2016 VegKitchen 

Easy Seitan Fajitas Strips of high-protein seitan (cooked wheat gluten) make a great filling for these easy vegan seitan fajitas. What’s great about fajitas is that everyone participates in creating his or her own meal.  Its less work for the cook, fun for everyone at the table, and everyone can tailor the ingredients to suit personal tastes.

Pink Himalayan Salt + Matcha Green Tea Powder = Super Salt

August 25 2016 VegKitchen 

Pink Himalayan Salt + Matcha Green Tea Powder = Super Salt Even though we do need some salt, too much isnt healthy. We need to be careful how much salt we put into our bodies. I know some people who don’t use salt at all and just take what they need from whole foods.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, August 22 – 26, 2016

August 22 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, August 22 – 26, 2016 The last full week of August finds many of us getting ready to send the kids back to school, wrapping up vacations, and preparing to get back to the real world. Im ready for the crisper days of fall; how about you? Meanwhile, lets enjoy some more tasty summer fare.

ACV Ginger Switchel: A Delicious Detox Tonic

August 10 2016 VegKitchen 

Switchel: its the insanely easy to make, inexpensive and delicious detox tonic your health cant afford to miss out on. Not only can drinking switchel improve your digestion, reduce inflammation and clear up your skin, but this ACV tonic -

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, August 8-12, 2016

August 8 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, August 8-12, 2016 Im really ready for fall! The nights have been getting nice and cool, but daytime temps have me scrambling to the nearest air-conditioned space. Im still trying to get in and out of the kitchen quickly, so Im going to help you do the same this week.

6 Healthy Foods and Drinks that Could Damage Your Teeth

August 3 2016 VegKitchen 

6 Healthy Foods and Drinks that Could Damage Your Teeth You nosh on fruit and veggies thinking youre making healthy choices for your body--but you may not know that some of these foods are damaging to your smile. Although fine in moderation, when consumed in excess, these culprits could gradually tarnish those pearly whites. Citrus Fruits The acidic content in oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines and grapefruits causes dental erosion over time.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, August 1-5, 2016

August 1 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, August 1-5, 2016 When August rolls around, my holy trinity of produce is tomatoes, corn, and summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash, and others). This week, we focus on these three great late summer veggies for delicious fresh meals. First up, the companionable summer duo--tomatoes and basil--becomes quite a delicacy when teamed with pasta.

7 Fresh Summer Desserts You Can Make in Minutes

July 28 2016 VegKitchen 

7 Fresh Summer Desserts You Can Make in Minutes If your sweet tooth is craving something yummy, you’ll love these 7 desserts that highlight summer’s lush seasonal fruits. They’re all flavor, with no added guilt! 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, July 25-29, 2016

July 25 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, July 25-29, 2016 After waiting all winter and spring for summer to return, I have to admit that this is the point of the season when I start longing for fall. I know, were supposed to live in the moment, but I just can’t make peace with heat. As the saying goes, If you cant stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen, and Im taking that to heart this week by presenting meals that require little or no heat.

West Coast, Best Coast: 4 Stops on Your Vegan Foodie-Friendly Road Trip

July 21 2016 VegKitchen 

West Coast, Best Coast: 4 Stops on Your Vegan Foodie-Friendly Road Trip Stop it, stop it right now. Stop whatever you’re doing and listen. Its time to go on a road trip -- that vegan foodie-friendly road trip youve been dreaming about for months.

4 Vegan Coffee Smoothies for Summer Refreshment

July 19 2016 VegKitchen 

4 Vegan Coffee Smoothies for Summer Refreshment A great cup of coffee is the best way to begin your day. However, some people would prefer a smoothie for their breakfast. What if you could combine the two in one delicious blend?

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, July 18 – 22, 2016

July 18 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, July 18 – 22, 2016 At the height of summer, its time to take advantage of the seasons produce -- tomatoes, corn, peppers, bolstered by simple plant-based proteins -- beans, pasta, lentils. Let’s start with Summer

Summer Einkorn Wheat Berry Salad

July 13 2016 VegKitchen 

Summer Einkorn Wheat Berry Salad This recipe for using einkorn wheat berries in a salad is perfect for summer entertaining or everyday meals. Reminiscent of tabbouli as far as the flavor and ingredients, this salad offers a change of pace in terms of texture from the nutty, pleasantly chewy einkorn. Learn more about this high-protein ancient grain in our post,

How to Cook and Use Einkorn Wheat

July 7 2016 VegKitchen 

How to Cook and Use Einkorn Wheat Einkorn wheat, one of the latest of ancient grains to be revived for contemporary consumers, is actually one of the very oldest forms of cultivated wheat. Like amaranth, quinoa, and spelt, and farro, einkorn is taking its place as a nutrition-packed superfood. Its earth-friendly, too.

How to Find Coupons for Natural Food Products

July 6 2016 VegKitchen 

How to Find Coupons for Natural Food Products Tossing out your junk food and replacing it with organic fruits and veggies can be costly--especially when youre looking for specialty items that are vegan/­­vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, etc. Luckily, there are many ways to find coupons and discounts so that your next trip to the grocery store is as healthy and cost effective as possible. Follow the Best Health Blogs Many health food bloggers partner with grocery stores and companies to offer weekly discounts and coupons on health foods, along with money-saving recipes and advice for healthy on a budget.

Cooking Oils Ranked: Which is the Healthiest Oil?

July 1 2016 VegKitchen 

Cooking Oils Ranked: Which is the Healthiest Oil? Who would have known that there are so many types of cooking oils out there? You may have thought that olive, sunflower, coconut, palm, and all of the other variants were impressive, but the list doesnt stop there.  The fact is that more and more types of oil are crafted for specific needs.

How to Massage Kale for Making Amazing Salads

June 29 2016 VegKitchen 

How to Massage Kale for Making Amazing Salads If youre at all on top of food trends, you know what a big deal kale has become over the last few years. And for good reason -- its one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. If youre already a kale fan, step it up a notch by learning how to make delicious raw kale salads--sometimes referred to as massaged kale salads.

5 Unexpected Ways to Use Watermelon

June 25 2016 VegKitchen 

5 Unexpected Ways to Use Watermelon Were hitting watermelon season, so now is the prime time to use plenty of this super-hydrating, vitamin-C filled summer fruit. Seedless watermelon has become more and more common, sparing you from the tedium of removing all those pesky pits. Of course, we all love watermelon chilled from the fridge and cut into wedges, but here are 5 ways to serve it that you might not think of.

Polenta with a Variety of Toppings

June 22 2016 VegKitchen 

Polenta with a Variety of Toppings Polenta is the Italian name for a basic cornmeal mush that can be served on its own or with a variety of toppings (see variations after recipe box). Its a comforting, naturally gluten-free grain dish that kids and picky eaters will love! When mine were growing up, they loved this with a side of steamed broccoli, and a platter of raw veggies with a dip.

Hoisin-Glazed Eggplant

June 17 2016 VegKitchen 

Hoisin-Glazed Eggplant Heres a simple way to prepare the abundance of Japanese eggplants or the mini eggplants of summer. The hoisin marinade cooks into these small eggplants and makes them irresistible! Serve with a cold Asian-style noodle dish and a simple tofu dish for a delicious warm-weather meal.

A Plant-Based Fathers Day Menu

June 14 2016 VegKitchen 

A Plant-Based Fathers Day Menu On Fathers Day, treat Dad to this delicious and easy plant-based menu. Your dad need not be vegan to appreciate this hearty (and heart-healthy meal) that shows how much you really care! Heres our suggested menu, perfect as a brunch or lunch.

Lagustas Commissary Opens in NYs Hudson Valley

June 10 2016 VegKitchen 

Lagustas Commissary Opens in NYs Hudson Valley Residents of the Hudson Valley are already lucky to have

Kale is the New Spinach

June 7 2016 VegKitchen 

Kale is the New Spinach Kale, a dark leafy green vegetable, thats become a favorite in recent years, is packed with vitamins and minerals. Its health benefits are indisputable,as one of the foods richest in vitamin A, vitamin K, beta carotene and even calcium. Kale is one of the oldest cultivating vegetables on earth and until the Middle Ages it was one of the most popular vegetables in Europe.

Simple Ways to Serve Your Favorite Vegetables

June 3 2016 VegKitchen 

Simple Ways to Serve Your Favorite Vegetables Here are some easy ways to prepare common summer veggies--flash-in-the-pan side dishes that enhance their already vivid flavors. Use organic vegetables whenever possible, though to save money, consult the Environmantal Working Group’s list of

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, May 31-June 3, 2016

May 31 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, May 31-June 3, 2016 Were back from a long weekend with a slightly abbreviated version of our weekly meal plans. After Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, it definitely feels like summer. And when its this warm, who wants to spend time in the kitchen making dinner?

10 Great Recipes for Strawberry Season

May 24 2016 VegKitchen 

10 Great Recipes for Strawberry Season Few fruits offer as much sensory pleasure as strawberries, especially in their true season, late spring and early summer. Just be aware that strawberries consistently rank near the top of lists of foods most heavily sprayed with pesticides. Read

Set Up Your Kitchen to Eat More Meals at Home

May 18 2016 VegKitchen 

We all know that a home-cooked meal is worth its weight in nutritional value. Compared with takeout, your home creations probably use less fat and cooking oil and have better portion sizes--two things that can help with healthier eating and weight management. But its hard to convert to home cooking when youre not used to it--especially when, after a long day, ready-made food seems like such an easier and quicker option.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, May 16 – 20, 2016

May 16 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, May 16 – 20, 2016 This week, we’ll be taking full advantage of spring traditionally associated with spring -- bok choy, asparagus, peas, and spinach. We start with

Thank, You, Colavita!

May 12 2016 VegKitchen 

Thank, You, Colavita! One of the perks of running a site like VegKitchen is receiving great products to review and beautiful cookbooks to review and excerpt. We got a goldmine of lovely products from

Avocado Toast with Coconut Bacon

May 11 2016 VegKitchen 

Avocado Toast with Coconut Bacon I could eat this for breakfast every day. Actually, I think I did just that for about a month after I cooked my first batch of coconut bacon. If you havent tried coconut bacon yet, youre in for a treat.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, May 9 – 13, 2016

May 9 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, May 9 – 13, 2016 Now that warmer weather is finally here, our theme this week is main-dish salads. These aren’t rabbit-y salads that sit demurely on the side of the plate. Packed with protein and flavor, these feature fresh ingredients, appealingly combined and so easy to put together.

Hemp Chocolate Chunk Blondies

May 5 2016 VegKitchen 

These bars are the perfect power-packed pick-me-up with nuts, hemp seeds, dates, and chunks of dark chocolate. No need to reach for an unhealthy snack! Recipe by Heather Pace, from

Arugula Salad with Jicama, Blood Orange, and Raspberry Vinaigrette

May 3 2016 VegKitchen 

This sweet, tart, and crunchy salad featuring arugula, jicama, and blood oranges is almost too pretty to eat. It goes well with a savory soup. Recipe and photo from

Quick Kung Pao Tofu

April 29 2016 VegKitchen 

Quick Kung Pao Tofu Kung Pao Tofu is a tasty recipe whose many iterations often require lots of steps and ingredients and sometimes even two different sauces. This version streamlines the process so that it can be on the table in less than half an hour. Serve on its own or over hot cooked rice or noodles.

6 Tips for Using Almond Flour

April 28 2016 VegKitchen 

6 Tips for Using Almond Flour If youre looking for a great new addition to your gluten-free pantry, consider almond flour. Unlike other gluten-free flours, especially rice flour, which is often characterized as gritty or grainy, almond flour has a smooth mouthfeel and a rich, buttery taste. Start with these tips, excerpted and adapted from

Savory Eggless Benedict

April 26 2016 VegKitchen 

Savory Eggless Benedict After going dairy-free, I mourned the loss of eggs Benedict. But this plant-based version satisfies the craving! If you are a fan of creamy sauces and avocado toast, this is the dish for you.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, April 25 – 29, 2016

April 25 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, April 25 – 29, 2016 Happy Monday! It’s time for our weekly suggestions of easy, plant-based dinner ideas to get you through the week. Pasta combined with greens and beans is a classic combo, and this

Deviled Chickpea Bites

April 22 2016 VegKitchen 

Deviled Chickpea Bites Youre not still messing around with deviled eggs, are you? Try these delicious deviled chickpea bites and bring your buffet table into the twenty-first century. This makes about 18 bites, enough for 4 to 6 people.

Black Bean Nachos Grandes

April 21 2016 VegKitchen 

Black Bean Nachos Grandes Black Bean Nachos Grandes are great as an appetizer, a light meal, or a simple accompaniment to salads and grain dishes. Use natural stone-ground organic tortilla chips for best results. Delicious served with your favor salsa and, if youd like, some guacamole.

Sweet and Spicy Cilantro-Cucumber Salad

April 20 2016 VegKitchen 

Sweet and Spicy Cilantro-Cucumber Salad This simple, spicy cucumber salad works well as a side dish, or tossed into a green salad, thrown into a wrap, or added to a falafel or sandwich. The spice level can easily be adjusted depending on the type of peppers you use. The recipe calls for Fresno peppers.

10 Steps to a Healthier, Plant-Based Lifestyle

April 18 2016 VegKitchen 

10 Steps to a Healthier, Plant-Based Lifestyle What steps can you take to experience a healthy coexistence with your body? Here are ten simple steps that you can do one at a time, or as many as you can successfully handle at once, and be successful. Once you have mastered one, then move on to the next.

Grilled Citrus Cauliflower Steaks

April 15 2016 VegKitchen 

Grilled Citrus Cauliflower Steaks We use the word steak quite loosely here, but what an awesome way to announce your veganism to the world, by calling a slice of cauliflower a steak! You can grill this outside on the barbecue or indoors on a grill pan. The recipe also works well if you cut the cauliflower into florets and roast them in a single layer on a sheet pan.

Real Pickles Turmeric Kraut -- a review

April 11 2016 VegKitchen 

Real Pickles Turmeric Kraut -- a review Ive long been a fan of

Sesame Berry Squares

April 8 2016 VegKitchen 

Sesame Berry Squares When a snack attack sneaks up on us, we cant get enough of these little squares paired up with a cold glass of unsweetened coconut-almond milk. The good news is theyre quite nutritious on top of being delicious--so thumbs way up if you feel like having seconds. Recipe and photos from

Lemony Garlic Broccoli Bowl

April 8 2016 VegKitchen 

Lemony Garlic Broccoli Bowl This garlicky lemon-flavored broccoli bowl is a hearty dish that can be enjoyed warm or cold. Try it with a little side of hot sauce. If using untoasted almonds, if youd like, you can soak them overnight in water, then rinse well.

5 Whole Foods Vegan Athletes Should Eat Every Day

April 7 2016 VegKitchen 

5 Whole Foods Vegan Athletes Should Eat Every Day As a vegan athlete, nutrition is high on your daily agenda. After all, without fuel, how are you to sustain your rigorous training and competition schedule? Maybe youre a lover of packaged protein bars, or a frequent embellisher of the health foods aisle at your local grocery store.

Brownie Nut Butter Cups

April 6 2016 VegKitchen 

Brownie Nut Butter Cups Weve taken a look at the best thing ever (also known as peanut butter cups) and gone one step further, replacing the chocolate candy bottom with a mini brownie. Youll realize what a brilliant idea it was when you get your fingers on (and sink your teeth into) the resulting chewy, super rich goodness! Recipe and photo from

5 Ways to Use Leftover Chili

February 25 2016 VegKitchen 

5 Ways to Use Leftover Chili Making a big pot of chili is a great thing to do when the weather is cool or rainy. Most recipes make a heaping helping, so if youve had it for two nights running (and dont want to freeze it), here are 5 ways to make leftover chili more enticing! Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, February 22 - 26, 2016

February 22 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, February 22 - 26, 2016 As we head into the last week of February, here are five flavor-packed meals with a hint of spring. In this lightly spiced

Kale, Romaine, and Apple Salad with Sesame-Avocado Dressing

February 20 2016 VegKitchen 

Kale, Romaine, and Apple Salad with Sesame-Avocado Dressing Heres a fresh and crunchy kale salad with a double dose of sesame (tahini and seeds). Did you know that sesame seeds are a good source of calcium? This salad goes with just about any kind of meal -- bean and grain dishes, stews, chilies, veggie burgers.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

February 18 2016 VegKitchen 

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Everyone has a favorite mac and cheese recipe. This one, which uses sweet, creamy butternut squash in the sauce, is mine. To create an authentic cheese flavor, I use a combination of nutritional yeast, miso, smoked paprika, salt, and lemon juice.

Hummus and Veggie Lavash Wraps

February 14 2016 VegKitchen 

Hummus and Veggie Lavash Wraps Rectangular soft lavash wrappers are even easier to make sandwiches with than round wrapper breads -- everything lines up so neatly, and they roll up so easily. Look for them in near your supermarkets deli section -- theyre often shelved near pita breads. Hummus holds everything together, and plenty of romaine lettuce plus fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and roasted red peppers means that your yummy sandwich is also a salad!

Chilled Noodles in a Spicy Sauce (Gluten-Free)

February 9 2016 VegKitchen 

Chilled Noodles in a Spicy Sauce (Gluten-Free) These nutty, saucy chilled noodles are irresistibly enticing. And because theyre served cold, they make a lovely and convenient addition to a buffet or party meal as an appetizer or main dish. Recipe and photos from

5 Ways to Healthfully Gain Weight on a Vegan Diet

February 7 2016 VegKitchen 

So many vegans cite the benefit of the diet as a way to lose weight, which is great for those who need to. But what about those of us looking to maintain the same physique, or with health problems that make it dangerous to slim down? You dont have to sacrifice your tastes, ethics, or health to gain weight.

How to Cook and Embellish Grits

February 3 2016 VegKitchen 

How to Cook and Embellish Grits Grits, or hominy grits, are hulled, dried, and cracked corn kernels. To add variety to your grain repertoire, do try them! Please seek out stone-ground grits, which are much more flavorful than the stripped-down quick-cooking grits sold in supermarkets.

Hummus Crackers

February 2 2016 VegKitchen 

Hummus Crackers Since hummus and crackers are a flavor match made in heaven, why shouldn’t they be fused into a single delicious snack? These hummus crackers are good enough to eat on their own but also great with any number of dips. Feel free to use your favorite flavor of hummus.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, February 1 - 5, 2016

February 1 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, February 1 - 5, 2016 Okay, just one more full month of winter to go! Well help you get through this shorter month with lengthening days with a slew of colorful and tasty meals. If youre thoroughly tired of winter, add a hint of spring by serving

Sirabella’s Vegan Cheesecake - a review

January 29 2016 VegKitchen 

Sirabella’s Vegan Cheesecake - a review Going vegan no longer means having to give up cheesecake!

5 Of The Best Vegan Eateries In The United States

January 26 2016 VegKitchen 

5 Of The Best Vegan Eateries In The United States The number of purely vegan restaurants in the United States is growing exponentially. It is encouraging to see some restaurants commit to a 100 percent plant-based menu, as there are many exciting things chefs can do with produce. These restaurants have menus that fully utilize local and seasonal ingredients and entice diners from all dietary lifestyles.

Thai Red Curry with Winter Squash, Mushrooms, and Broccoli

January 20 2016 VegKitchen 

Thai Red Curry with Winter Squash, Mushrooms, and Broccoli This is a perfect winter dish. Youll be wowed by the flavor of this fusion-style dish, where winter squash pairs very well with Thai curry. The mushrooms add earthiness and a lot of texture, while the broccoli (or greens) adds freshness.

Fruit and Yogurt Ambrosia

January 19 2016 VegKitchen 

Fruit and Yogurt Ambrosia Bowls of nondairy yogurt, dried and fresh fruit, and granola can be a quick light lunch or nutritious snack. It’s great for kids -- especially young children who balk at dishes in which ingredients are touching. But if they decide for themselves whats touching what, they dont seem to mind a mixed dish.

Tex-Mex Cauliflower Couscous

January 14 2016 VegKitchen 

Tex-Mex Cauliflower Couscous It may surprise you that its possible to get the feeling of eating rice using a vegetable, but this dish proves it true! The cauliflower is packed with nutrients, the beans add plenty of protein, the garlic will help boost your immune system and the cilantro will aid your digestion. This is a calorie-light dish that will fill you up and invite your tongue to explore novel textures.

Sesame Stir-Fried Green Beans

January 11 2016 VegKitchen 

Sesame Stir-Fried Green Beans Since the season for really good fresh green beans is quite short, you can make this any other time of year using frozen organic whole green beans. Either way, this tasty and simple side dish is addictive! it’s great with tofu, seitan, or noodle dishes.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, January 11 – 15, 2016

January 11 2016 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, January 11 – 15, 2016

Simple Ways to Embellish Brown Rice

January 7 2016 VegKitchen 

Simple Ways to Embellish Brown Rice If youve made the switch from white rice to brown rice, thats a great first step (see our

Indonesian-Style Vegetable Platter with Peanut Sauce

January 5 2016 VegKitchen 

Indonesian-Style Vegetable Platter with Peanut Sauce This composed platter is inspired by the Indonesian dish gado-gado. Translated literally as mix-mix thats just what this dish is -- a mélange of raw and cooked vegetables, arranged in separate mounds and served with a rich peanut-coconut dressing. Characteristic ingredients include cooked potatoes and green beans; mung bean sprouts, green cabbage and cauliflower.

10 Tips for Going Vegan in “Veganuary”

January 1 2016 VegKitchen 

10 Tips for Going Vegan in “Veganuary” What better time of year to make the switch to vegan than in January? That’s how the

12 Delicious Vegan Dips

December 29 2015 VegKitchen 

12 Delicious Vegan Dips When you need an appetizer in a hurry, nothing could be easier than making a tasty vegan dip to serve with breads, crackers, and raw vegetables. Often based on beans, veggies, tofu, herbs, and other healthy ingredients, these delicious dips are truly guilt-free. The one caveat, though, is that most of these require a food processor.

10 Low-and No-Sugar Vegan Holiday Desserts

December 23 2015 VegKitchen 

10 Low-and No-Sugar Vegan Holiday Desserts Christmas cookies, cakes, and pies are hard to resist -- even the vegan versions, which can be as sugary as their non-vegan counterparts. What about those who cant -- or wont -- indulge in sugar-filled treats? If that applies to you or any of your guests, you can still indulge in these seasonal, flavorful, and beautiful treats.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, December 21 – 25, 2015

December 21 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, December 21 – 25, 2015 With Christmas coming up on Friday, lets do something a little different this week with our meal plans, as we did on Thanksgiving week. Instead of our usual weekday meals, we present five VegKitchen reader favorites. Lets start with

How to Cut a Butternut Squash Without Losing Your Mind

December 16 2015 VegKitchen 

How to Cut a Butternut Squash Without Losing Your Mind Dont you love recipes that say peel and dice a butternut squash? With what--an axe? Partially baking makes cutting and peeling a butternut squash so much easier.

Crunchy Granola Muffins

December 14 2015 VegKitchen 

Crunchy Granola Muffins It’s back to the 1960s with these hearty (but not heavy) granola muffins! Use your favorite homemade or bulk-purchased granola. If you want to do the from-scratch route, try our

White Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Pâté

December 12 2015 VegKitchen 

White Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Pâté Heres an old standby that never fails to please -- a savory spread based on creamy white beans, accentuated with sun-dried tomatoes. Serve with raw vegetables and crispbreads. Make the sliceable version of

Roasted Ratatouille

December 9 2015 VegKitchen 

Enjoy the flavors of summer, even during cold weather. The vegetables that make the classic French stew so delicious -- eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, and tomatoes are roasted in a hot oven for similarly delectable results. This can be enjoyed in a number flexible ways, as described below the recipe box.

Smashed Potatoes, 5 Ways 

December 8 2015 VegKitchen 

Smashed Potatoes, 5 Ways  Twice-baked potatoes (also known as stuffed potatoes) seem like theyd be an easy thing to prepare for quick meals. They look so enticing, and have comfort food written all over them. But if youre preparing them for several people, the process can be a bit tedious.

Getting to Know and Love Fennel

December 3 2015 VegKitchen 

Getting to Know and Love Fennel Fennel is a fall and winter vegetable thats often overlooked -- given its distinctive demeanor, thats kind of surprising. Unlike the homely root vegetables associated with cold weather, fennel is a festive green amalgam of bulb, stalks, and feathery leaves.The stalks bring to mind celery, and the leaves call forth dill.

Green Pea and Arugula Spread

December 1 2015 VegKitchen 

Green Pea and Arugula Spread This bright green pea and arugula appetizer or sandwich spread will bring springtime to your palate, but it can be enjoyed year-round. Serve as an appetizer with sliced baguette or bruschetta; as a sandwich spread with sliced cucumber and/­­or radish. Alternatively, you can also use this is a dip for raw vegetables -- try a mixture of cauliflower florets, red bell pepper strips, baby carrots, and snap peas.

Nut-Stuffed Mushrooms

November 25 2015 VegKitchen 

Nut-Stuffed Mushrooms Theres a well-known aphorism that states; Life is too short to stuff mushrooms.” One can make that argument, but honestly, stuffing a couple dozen mushrooms is not really a lot of work and it produces a perennially pleasing appetizer. This makes two dozen mushrooms; 3 or so make a nice appetizer serving, especially if serving with other appetizers.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, November 23 – 27, 2015

November 23 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, November 23 – 27, 2015 This week were going to do something a bit different with our meal plan. Instead of a diverse array of easy weeknight meals, were presenting our favorite Thanksgiving main dishes. Even if you live abroad and dont celebrate this quintessential American holiday, you can still sample these hearty seasonal dishes.

Super-Easy Stuffed Green Bell Peppers

November 19 2015 VegKitchen 

I first made these delicious peppers for a New Years Eve party and they were a huge hit! Featuring a meaty-tasting seitan and hearty brown rice stuffing, these beautiful bell peppers satiate omnivores and vegans alike. Ready for the oven in under 20 minutes, these six-ingredient wonders are equally ideal for a holiday party or weeknight supper.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, November 16 – 20, 2015

November 16 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, November 16 – 20, 2015 It’s already the week before Thanksgiving -- how did this happen? Since avid vegan cooks will be starting to really get the ball rolling this coming weekend in preparation, let’s keep this week’s meals easy and economical. Lots of lovely legumes this week!

Vegan Mushroom-Seitan Stroganoff

November 12 2015 VegKitchen 

Heres a hearty pasta dish featuring a healthier, nondairy version of cream-filled Alfredo sauce. This dish also has some serious plant-based beefiness courtesy of seitan. Serve with plenty of green vegetables (like broccoli, greens, or green beans) and a simple salad for an any-night-of-the-week meal, or even as a company dish.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, November 9 – 13, 2015

November 9 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, November 9 – 13, 2015 Who doesnt love going out to global eateries? Theyre equally hard to resist for take-out after long tiring days. But hold the phone -- literally -- as the theme of this weeks meals is going global in your own kitchen.

Vegan-ease by Laura Theodore -- a review

November 4 2015 VegKitchen 

There are lots of great vegan cookbooks out there these days, most beautiful, well-written, and sumptuously photographed. But very often, the recipes are complex -- not necessarily difficult, but certainly taking more time than most people have on weeknights, and with ingredient lists that can be intimidating to would-be vegans -- or even very busy vegans. In her latest book, Laura Theodore (aka The Jazzy Vegetarian) has created an antidote to this trend.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, November 2 – 6, 2015

November 2 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, November 2 – 6, 2015 With the shorter days suddenly upon us, this weeks theme will be vegan comfort food. Start the week with a big pot of 

Artichoke Muffaleta Po Boys

October 27 2015 VegKitchen 

Artichoke Muffaleta Po Boys The best of two popular New Orleans culinary icons join forces to create the ultimate sandwich in these poboys made with artichokes and a piquant olive relish. Recipe from

10 Terrific Cool-Weather Recipes for Wild Rice

October 23 2015 VegKitchen 

10 Terrific Cool-Weather Recipes for Wild Rice Wild rice graces fall and winter dishes with an earthy, nutty quality thats unique and unlike any other grain, though it’s technically not rice or even a grain at all (its the seed of an aquatic grass). It’s never polished or refined, making it rich in nutrients and antioxidants. See more of our

Apple-Cranberry Pie

October 22 2015 VegKitchen 

Apple-Cranberry Pie Easy as pie surely does fit this 6-ingredient vegan pie -- a luscious combination of apples and cranberries, perfect for fall. If you love the tart burst of healthy fresh cranberries, youre sure to love this pie. Photos by Evan Atlas.

Check Out These Vegan Spins on Tailgating Staples

October 20 2015 VegKitchen 

Check Out These Vegan Spins on Tailgating Staples It doesn’t get much better than gathering with good friends on a crisp, fall morning, all bundled in your favorite teams colors, preparing to cheer on the best players in the league. That is, unless you could somehow combine your love of football with your vegan diet. Typical tailgate parties conjure up visions of grilling meat, dairy-laden dips and egg-based sweet treats that leave very few options for the true vegan.

Festive Vegan Tortilla Dishes -- Burritos, Tacos, Fajitas, and More

October 14 2015 VegKitchen 

Festive Vegan Tortilla Dishes -- Burritos, Tacos, Fajitas, and More Southwestern and Mexican-inspired meals, including vegan fajitas, quesadillas, tostadas, and tacos are incredibly easy to prepare and to build meals around. Often, you only need to prepare whatever it is thats going to be enclosed in the tortilla, and then set everything else out. Everyone at the table assembles and embellishes their own creation to their own liking.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, October 12 – 16, 2015

October 12 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, October 12 – 16, 2015plantMake Pasta with Hearty Lentil and Spinach Sauce on Monday, and chances are you can enjoy leftovers the next night (or pack some for your portable lunch). Easy and substantial, this can easily become your go-to plant-powered pasta dish. All you need to complete the meal is a colorful salad. Add some fresh bread if youd like. If you made Pasta with Hearty Lentil and Spinach Sauce last night, chances are youll have some leftovers. If thats the case, round the meal out with Mixed Greens Salad with Avocado, Apples, and Baked Tofu. And its substantial enough to serve as a stand-alone, enhanced with fresh bread spread with hummus; for a more substantial and warming meal, serve with a simple soup. Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup gets a thick, creamy base from pureed white beans or tofu. The addition of green peas at the end of cooking time brightens the color and heightens the flavor of the soup (tip -- buy extra broccoli for tomorrow night’s meal). This is great served with many kinds of wraps or sandwiches,  This Quinoa, Broccoli, and Vegan Cheese Casserole is nourishing and comforting, and easy enough for a mid-week meal. Serve with microwaved or baked sweet potatoes (tip -- make extra for tomorrow nights meal) and a salad of dark greens and ripe tomatoes. Friday dinners should be easy and relaxing. Vegan Soft Tacos with Refried Beans and Corn are a sensuous experience, meant to be eaten with knife and fork rather than picked up as you would crisp tacos. Serve with baked sweet potatoes (or Sweet Potato Oven Fries) and a simple salad or slaw.

Fresh Chunky Applesauce Cake

October 6 2015 VegKitchen 

Fresh Chunky Applesauce CakeYour own homemade chunky applesauce is the key to this flavorful cake. That way, the cake is just as much (if not more) about the fruit than the batter. Its a healthy cake to snack on and to add to portable lunches, as well as to serve to fall and winter company. Photos by Evan Atlas. Save Print Fresh Chunky Applesauce Cake Author: Nava Recipe type: Apple /­­ dessert /­­ cake Cuisine: Vegan /­­ healthy Prep time:  25 mins Cook time:  45 mins Total time:  1 hour 10 mins Serves: 10 to 12   Your own homemade chunky applesauce is the key to this flavorful cake. That way, the cake is just as much (if not more) about the fruit than the batter. Ingredients 5 cups peeled, cored, and thinly sliced apple (any variety) 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided ⅓ cup maple syrup 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ¼ cup safflower or other neutral oil ½ cup chopped walnuts 2 to 4 tablespoons plain or vanilla nondairy milk, as needed Instructions Place the sliced apples in a saucepan with just enough water to keep the bottom of pan moist. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the apples are about half broken down into sauce and the rest tender, leaving the mixture chunky. How long this takes depends very much on the variety of apple, so check frequently. Remove from the heat. This step can be done ahead of time. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the syrup, vanilla, and oil. Stir together until the flour mixture is moistened. It will barely hold together as a batter. Stir in the chunky applesauce, walnuts, and the remaining cinnamon and stir briefly, just until evenly distributed in the batter. Add just enough non-dairy milk so that the flour mixture is completely moistened, but let the batter remain very stiff. Scrape the mixture into a lightly oiled deep 9-inch round cake pan or a 9 by 12-inch baking pan. Pat the mixture down lightly with the back of a spatula, as it will be rather lumpy. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden and a knife inserted into the center tests clean, other than any moisture from the apples. Allow to cool, then cut into wedges or squares to serve. 3.3.3077   Variation: To make this gluten-free, simply substitute your favorite GF flour mix, such as Bobs Red Mill. Here are more: - Apple recipes - Fruity Baked Goods - Easy Vegan Cakes and Pies

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, October 5 – 9, 2015

October 5 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, October 5 – 9, 2015For this first full week of October, the craving is for warming, hearty, but not yet wintery meals. Here’s a handful of menus to inspire your meal planning this week. Provençal Bean Stew (above) is a meatless version of a classic rustic French recipe. A fresh, crusty French baguette is perfect for soaking up its delicious broth. And it doesn’t take long to make! A bountiful tossed salad makes it a complete meal. Rice Noodle Soup with Lettuce and Shiitake Mushrooms (above) is a simple Asian-style soup, filled with fine noodles, crunchy lettuce, and healthy shiitake mushrooms. It takes minutes to cook, and is a welcome treat on blustery or rainy early fall evenings. Serve with store-bought vegetable spring rolls (from your natural foods store freezer), a simple seitan or tempeh dish, and a platter of sliced tomatoes and peppers. Orange-Glazed Tofu and Broccoli is enlivened with an easy citrus-flavored sauce. Serve over brown rice, and add a simple slaw-style salad and any leftover soup from last night’s dinner. Tip: Cook some extra brown rice for tomorrow night’s dinner; you’ll be glad you did! Cuban-Inspired Black Beans and Rice gives you a good reason to have cooked rice on hand for weeknight meals. Once it’s on hand, this preparation requires a minimum of effort. Cook up some extra rice for tomorrow nights dinner. Add a steamed green vegetable and a colorful salad or slaw to the menu. End the week with an autumnal Friday pizza night. White Pizza with Sweet Potatoes, Onions, and Olives is a delectably different kind of pizza--a white vegan pizza brimming with well-cooked onions, roasted sweet potato, and briny olives. Combined with most any kind of salad.

Teriyaki Eggplant

September 29 2015 VegKitchen 

Teriyaki EggplantSimilar to the delectable appetizer often found on Japanese restaurant menus, this pan-sautéed teriyaki eggplant couldnt be easier to make. For heartier appetites, allow more than just one mini eggplant per serving, as this has an addictive flavor and goes down easy! Serve as an appetizer or side dish. Photos by Evan Atlas. Save Print Teriyaki Eggplant Author: Nava Recipe type: Appetizer /­­ Vegetable side dish Cuisine: Japanese Prep time:  12 mins Cook time:  15 mins Total time:  27 mins Serves: 4 to 8   Similar to the delectable appetizer often found on Japanese restaurant menus, this pan-sautéed teriyaki eggplant couldnt be easier to make. Ingredients Teriyaki marinade ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce ¼ cup sake or white wine 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar or agave nectar 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or other mild vinegar 1 to 2 cloves crushed or minced garlic, optional 2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred ginger, or more, to taste Freshly ground pepper to taste Eggplant and garnish 8 mini eggplants (about 5 to 6 inches in length) or Japanese eggplants 2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced (for garnish) Instructions Combine all the ingredients in a small container. If using sugar, let stand until its dissolved. Otherwise, whisk together. Stem the eggplants and cut in half lengthwise. Whisk the marinade again just before pouring ⅓ cup of it into a wide skillet. Heat lightly, then arrange the eggplants cut side down in a single layer. Cover and cook over medium heat until nearly tender and golden brown on the underside. Add more marinade as needed if the skillet gets dry. The time this will takes varies depending on the eggplant variety used, so check frequently. Flip the eggplants over and cook until tender but not overdone. Pour a little more marinade into the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and sear the eggplants underside for a minute or so. Remove to a plate and garnish with the scallions. Serve hot or at room temperature, and pass around any unused portion of the marinade for individual servings, if youd like, or save for another use. 3.3.3077   - Here are more delicious recipes for using eggplant. - Enjoy more tasty vegan appetizers.

4 Easy Back-to-School Nutrition Tips for Children

September 28 2015 VegKitchen 

4 Easy Back-to-School Nutrition Tips for ChildrenAs you prepare your kids for the school year ahead, what to pack for lunch and snacks for your little darlings is a top priority. If your child is a fussy eater, deciding on good food options can be more difficult. You know your little one needs his or her daily nutrition, but how do you ensure that they dont turn up their noses at healthy choices? Preparing or at least planning nourishing meals for the morning and lunchtime meals in advance cuts down on last-minute hassles and poor choices. Here are are a few ways to ensure that your children are happy with the meals that start their day, as well as the foods you send with them. Add Color to Their Breakfast: Kids eat better if they find their food visually appealing. Theyll be less likely to kick up a fuss over good-for-them foods and more likely to eat enthusiastically if theres some color on the plate. If you serve cereals, embellish them with fresh fruits. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are great additions to a healthy breakfast. When berries are no longer in season, choose from are apples, pears, oranges and bananas, thinly sliced and served attractively. Theses fruits are rich in antioxidants that will strengthen your childs immunity, and contain fiber thats so valuable to the digestive system. Add a tiny amount of maple syrup or brown rice syrup to hot cereals if need be; you can also add some sliced or chopped nuts such as almonds, or seeds (such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds) to boost protein content of hot or cold cereals. Make lunch look fun: Lunch can be a little tricky since you wont be around to see that your child actually eats it! However, you can still make sure that he does. First, get your child a new lunchbox of her or his choice. With a lunchbox that they choose themselves, theyre less likely to reject the food inside. Or try the newer kind of bento lunchboxes, which make food look really fun and appealing. With regard to his lunch, kids are more likely eat their veggies and fruits theyve been cut into bite sized pieces and served with a dip. As with the lunchbox, giving your child a few choices when it comes to lunch gives them some of the power of decision. If your child tends to eat a lighter breakfast, pack a heartier lunch filled with foods that are wholesome and high in nutrient-dense calories. Here are VegKitchens favorite Healthy School Lunch Recipes and Tips for great ways to actually fill that lunchbox. Grab-And-Go Snack: In the few hours between the end of the school day and dinnertime, your child is likely to become hungry. Pack a light and nutritious snack; fruits or simple fruity snacks are a great choice. Dried fruit is a great option, too. You can pack an apple or a banana in a separate bag or container that her or she he can munch on while on the bus home. Or if you pick your child up from school, you can pack a quick fruit salad that he or she can have on the way home. For more ideas, see Fruitful Flavors for the Lunch Box. You can also explore snack ideas for school and after in Healthy Snacks for Kids and Teens. Dont Forget the Beverage: While planning your childs lunch and breakfast, dont forget to consider their beverage. Water is a natural detoxifier; and there are a number of other clever ways to keep your child hydrated. The main thing to avoid are sugary drinks that do no one any good. Its better to supply a bottle of water and fresh fruit than beverages filled with high fructose corn syrup. Aradhana Pandey is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle. Living in India with two lovely kids, I bring a unique blend of experiences on parenting. I write to inspire people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.

Fresh n’ Lean Meal Delivery Service: A Review

September 24 2015 VegKitchen 

Fresh n’ Lean Meal Delivery Service: A ReviewMost people come to VegKitchen to grab a recipe or two to make at home, and we try to make it as easy to do just that. Presumably, VegKitchen readers love to cook, while others just plain dont like to (though they come to the site for tips on living more healthfully). In this same household, Ive manage to raise kids of both varieties. My son is an excellent cook; my daughter doesnt own a single pan. She not only cant be bothered, she also struggles with a poor appetite. So when Fresh n Lean, a fresh organic meal delivery service asked if Id review their product on behalf of VegKitchen, I jumped at the chance to have my daughter test their meals out, as she seems like their target demographic. They delivered a sample array of five dinners and two breakfasts to her doorstep, and at the same time, I received three dinners and two breakfasts to try. Here are some facts about Fresh n Lean meal plans to consider: - The meals are made of fresh, organic, and plant-based ingredients, shipped in a chilled insulated box. - Average meal cost is about $9 (their weekly meal plan breaks down to $27.99 per day) - Packaging materials are recyclable. - Meal plans are filling and nutrient-rich. - You can select a weekly meal plan or order a la carte. When considering what this meal delivery service offers, learn as much as possible by reading Fresh n Leans FAQ page. If youre intrigued and would like to try the plan, Fresh n Lean is offering a 15% discount to VegKitchen readers. Simply add the coupon code VEGKITCHEN to your order (this includes free shipping. Here are our observations: Alice enjoyed her meals, which seemed just right for her modest appetite. The dinners she received included: Artichoke Spanish Rice, Middle Eastern Spiced Lentils & Dino Kale; Summer Cannellini Bean Pasta, and others. Breakfasts were Raspberry Poppy Seed Muffin, and Tropical Coconut Chia. Since shes not one to wax poetic about food, she reported feeling satisfied and satiated with these meals, and liked the convenience of being able to microwave them in the containers they came (as well as eat out of them). You can also warm them on the stovetop or in the oven if you avoid microwaving. The meals I received included Eggplant Quinoa Curry, Coconut Squash & French Lentils, and Smoked Pinto Beans with Cumin Carrots. Breakfasts were Cinnamon Date Oatmeal and Hearty Granola. Here, in my opinion, were the pros and cons: PROS - I was impressed by how flavorful the offerings were. They needed no doctoring up, as premade meals often do. - The meals, based as they are on grains, legumes, and veggies, were quite filling considered the moderate calorie count. - The protein and fiber count of the individual entrees are impressive. For example, the Eggplant and Quinoa Curry at 376 calories, contains 23g protein and 10g fiber. - The breakfast offerings were very tasty. Im not an oatmeal person, but I did taste it before passing it along to my husband (who does like oatmeal) and was impressed. The Hearty Granola is terrific. We actually ate it as a dessert with raisins mixed in. CONS - The meals dont look very appealing in their containers, but they do present nicely once transferred to plates or bowls. - There dont seem to be any raw salads or much of any raw ingredients included. Being quite a salad girl myself, I would need to add a salad or some fruit to most any of these meals to make them complete, thus adding cost and prep. - The meals were very filling and just the right size for me, a petite woman. I worry that theyre not man-sized enough for a person with a heartier appetite, and wouldnt supply enough calories for a 6-foot tall guy who weighs 180 pounds, for example. The Smoked Pinto Beans with Cumin Carrots, for example, is only 300 calories, which is great for how filling it is, and perfect for someone who wants to maintain or lose weight, but it wouldnt be a sufficient dinner for that 6-footer. Ive had other meal delivery services send me samples and I just wasnt impressed enough to recommend or write about them. Fresh n Leans meals are the best Ive received. Theyre promising for those who dont have the time or inclination to shop, prep, and cook organic plant-based meals. With the few caveats above (need more raw fresh salads; light on calories), this is a promising service that would benefit a lot of time- and budget-pressed eaters; these meals seem like theyd be especially useful to single people. Thank you to Fresh n Lean for letting us sample their meals. And dont forget, if you want to try them, add the coupon code VEGKITCHEN to your order for a 15% discount. Disclaimer: Fresh n’ Lean provided product samples free of charge to VegKitchen. We were under no obligation to review them, and opinions expressed are our own.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, September 21 – 25, 2015

September 21 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, September 21 – 25, 2015Fall has finally arrived (at least on the calendar), so it’s time to break out the soup pot and turn on the oven! This week we feature five dinner centerpieces that fit nicely into the realm of transitional meals. When you shop for the week, make sure to pick up plenty of spinach, sweet potatoes, and quinoaSpinach and lentils often paired Indian cuisine, and in this easy Curried Pasta with Spinach and Lentils, they’re given an unusual context when combined with pasta. For a delicious meal, serve with a fresh flatbread and sliced cucumbers in coconut yogurt, embellished with cilantro. Pink Bean, Quinoa, and Spinach Soup is an appetizing, mildly spiced mélange that makes a stellar centerpiece for a soup-based meal, as its done in 30 minutes or less. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, making this practically a meal in a bowl. Serve with fresh bread or pita and any kind of salad. Simple Quinoa Pilaf with Peas and Almonds features lots of peas and toasted almonds combined with quinoa, adding up to a tasty and nourishing pilaf. For a nice weeknight meal, serve with Tossed Salad Wraps or with a bountiful salad of any kind, and fresh corn. Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Lime Tahini Sauce by Cristina Cavanaugh are flavor-packed with cumin-scented black beans, fresh sprouts, avocado and topped with a chipotle lime tahini sauce. This would go well with any of our Simple Slaws. Make extra to serve with tomorrow night’s meal! Another tip -- roast the sweet potatoes for tomorrow night’s meal as directed in the recipe below, and your Friday night dinner will be a breeze. VegKitchen readers love this vegan Roasted Sweet Potato Mac n Cheese by Sophia Zergiotis. The cheese in this recipe is a combination of roasted sweet potato, mustard, and nutritional yeast. The result is a nostalgic mac and cheese with a grown up edge and a rich, creamy, and satisfying dish! Delicious with any kind of slaw, and if you made extra for the previous dinner menu, you’re all set!

Zucchini Pappardelle with Corn Cream

September 18 2015 VegKitchen 

Pappardelle are flat noodles about one inch wide that are usually served with rich creamy sauces and gravies. In this dish, thinly sliced zucchini stand in for the pasta. Look for young zucchini for the best results. Recipe and photo from The Almond Milk Cookbook* by Alan Roettinger, @2015 The Book Publishing Company. Reprinted by permission. Save Print Zucchini Pappardelle with Corn Cream Author: Alan Roettinger Recipe type: Vegetable side dish Cuisine: Vegan /­­ Healthy Prep time:  15 mins Cook time:  15 mins Total time:  30 mins Serves: 4   In this creamy side dish, thinly sliced zucchini stand in for pasta. Look for young zucchini for the best results. Ingredients 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup finely diced white onion 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or Homemade Almond Milk 1 clove garlic, minced 1/­­4 teaspoon sea salt 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives 2 pounds zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise (see tip) Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Instructions Combine the oil and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir well. Spread the onion out to evenly cover the bottom of the saucepan. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally and spreading out the onion again, for 30 minutes. If the onion is sticking, add 1 tablespoon of water. Do not let the onion brown. Add the corn, almond milk, garlic, and salt, and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the corn is tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a blender and process on high speed until smooth. Return to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the chives and stir to combine. Fill a large saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain well and add to the sauce. Toss gently but thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of chives and serve at once. 3.3.3077   Tip: A mandoline is very helpful for obtaining thin, uniform slices of zucchini. Or, you can also use a vegetable peeler. Nutrition information Per serving: 196 calories; 5g protein; 8g total fat; 27g carbs; 210 mgs calcium; 5g fiber; 205 mgs sodium - Here are more recipes for Zucchini and Other Summer Squashes. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Plan a Summer-Turned-Fall Vegan Dinner Party

September 16 2015 VegKitchen 

Plan a Summer-Turned-Fall Vegan Dinner PartyThe dinner party is a staple of the season. September and October are just starting to blend into fall. Youre enjoying the last of grilling season, chilly evenings and changing leaves. Whether youre throwing a party to welcome autumns arrival or to celebrate a birthday or milestone, heres a handful of fresh, vegan ideas for your soiree. Decor Galore Invitations Go green with email invitations. Paperless Post has beautiful fall favorites. And Greenvelope lets you customize with RSVP options and even embedded Google Maps. Tablescape Use a burlap table runner or placemats as your base. For a summer-gone-fall look, try a festive flower arrangement from FTD as the centerpiece and place soy candles on the runner, or opt for tall candlesticks to fill out the look. For a deeper-into-fall feel, arrange pumpkins, squashes and other gourds with colorful leaves along the burlap runner. Or arrange edible bouquets — include veggies and herbs like lettuce, kale and chives. Dinnerware As an alternative to your dinnerware, you might opt for a night of no dishes. Check out this line of single-use dinnerware from VerTerra . Its made entirely of fallen palm leaves and is 100 percent biodegradable, so it is very sustainable.  Foodie Frenzy Sometimes creating a dinner party menu that can satisfy everyone’s taste buds, vegan or not, can be challenging. And you want to make sure there is enough variety for those with other dietary restrictions or preferences. Whip up a combination of food so everyone will have an option but dont overdo it. A few options will suffice. Starters Start with a salad. This zucchini and mushroom pilaf is fall in a bowl. Sweet and savory all in a serving. Image: oh she glows We also love the roasted winter salad bowl from Oh She Glows. Mix hearty potatoes and quinoa with green beans, kale, green onions, pepitas and avocado. Its festive, uses seasonal veggies and is filling for those who are both vegan and gluten free. Add a squash for a slightly different fall flavor. Not quite ready to give up summer? Make up a black bean corn salsa , like this one. Serve it with crudites or corn chips. Main Course Image: The Healthy Family & Home For the main course, consider a veggie burger as a last hurrah for the grilling season. Veg Kitchen presents five vegan burger recipes to chose from. Offer lettuce-wrap style burgers as an alternative to buns for those looking to limit carbs or avoid gluten. If your grill is already cleaned up and stored for the season or you just prefer to keep it indoors, bake up something like this spaghetti squash casserole . Full of anti-inflammatory ingredients, its paleo-friendly, vegan, gluten-free and delicious. This dish will suit almost everyone. Dessert And now, for what everyone looks forward to most: dessert. Its time to use those seasonal fruits for warm fall sweets. Consider this grain-free apple crisp . Its a crunchy combo of coconut sugar and nuts, with the dashing flavor of lemon and cinnamon on apples. If youd rather something chilled, try basil-cinnamon peaches for a delightful bridge between seasons. Want to go decadent? Whip together a vegan classic cheesecake . The Food Network has a dairy-free, egg-free recipe thats made with tofu. Its just as creamy and delicious as the original recipe, so guests, vegan or not, will be sure to enjoy it. Wine Wine goes through a fining process which often entails the use of animal products. For this reason, not all wine is vegan. To find vegan selections, check out the wine recommendations from The Kitchn . If youre making veggie burgers, pair them with a dry white wine like the 2009 Bonny Doon Ca’ del Solo Albari?o ($16). The spaghetti squash dish calls for a subtle red -- a pinot noir or cab -- we suggest Kawarau Estate Pinot Noir 2008 ($29). And for dessert, crack open a bottle of Sandeman Fine Ruby Port ($14). Beyond all the planning and details, tablescape and delicious vegan food, be sure you sit back and enjoy the company. Its truly the life of the party. Lauren Topor is a multimedia journalist, freelance writer and editor. She earned her journalism degree from Arizona State University and has been writing professionally for more than five years. Lauren covers food news and the fun stuff happening around Phoenix, AZ for Thrillist. She also writes about fitness and health as a contributor to MoveItMonday.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, September 14 – 18, 2015

September 14 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, September 14 – 18, 2015Fall is trying to sneak its way into the air; is your palate is ready? At the first hint of autumn Im ready to turn on the oven to bake sweet and savory fare, and make soups. Potatoes, Corn, and Green Chile Soup is a perfect transitional soup, making use of fresh corn and tomatoes while at the same time serving as warming and comforting fare. Make a big pot of it and enjoy it for a couple of nights worth of dinners with a salad or salad-y wraps. Easy Vegan Bean Burritos are delicious and filling making for stress-free weeknight fare. If you have leftovers from last nights soup, this is a perfect pairing; otherwise serve with a simple slaw or salad. If you want a more substantial meal, add a cooked grain or baked or microwaved sweet potatoes. Pasta with Hearty Lentil and Spinach Sauce is a satisfying combination of noodles, legumes, and greens is a longtime family favorite. Easy and substantial, this can easily become your go-to plant-powered pasta dish. All you need to complete the meal is a salad; add fresh whole grain Italian bread if youd like. This easy Quinoa, Broccoli, and Vegan Cheese Casserole is both nourishing and comforting, a VegKitchen reader favorite! Serve with baked sweet potatoes and a salad of dark greens and ripe tomatoes. End the week with an autumnal take on pizza. White Pizza Sweet Potato, Onions, and Olives is delectably different--a white vegan pizza brimming with well-cooked onions, roasted sweet potato, and briny olives.

10 Tasty Ways to Tempt Your Family to Eat More Vegetables

September 9 2015 VegKitchen 

10 Tasty Ways to Tempt Your Family to Eat More VegetablesRoast them. Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness, and as with the vegetable fritters above, makes them a comfort food. Try Roasted Cauliflower, above, or combinations of cruciferous veggies (cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc.), root vegetables, and squashes, Explore our wide array of Roasted Vegetable Recipes.  Oven-“fry” them. Potato Oven Fries need only a minimal amount of oil, a quick trip in the oven, some ketchup, and youre good to go. Try also: Sweet Potato Oven Fries. Or “unfry” them in a pan. Green Bean Fries become golden and crispy on the outside. They’re great just as they are; served with ranch dressing, they’re even harder to resist. Batter them up. Vegetable Fritters transform common veggies into soothing comfort foods with a mild batter. Try this with 2 to 3 different vegetables each time you make it as suggested in the post. Try also: Corn Fritters. Bake them into chips. Kale is the ideal candidate for this kind of treatment. Basic Baked Kale Chips are an addiction you wont mind giving into. Kids usually go for these in a big way. Try also: Pizza Kale Chips. Dip them. Sometimes the dip itself can be based on vegetables, like in Green Pea, Parsley, and Pistachio Dip, above. Hummus is a fantastic dip for raw vegetables, and its so easy to make at home. Theres just something about this high-protein Middle Eastern classic that appeals to kids of all ages. Try also: Green Bean and Cashew Paté. Stuff them. Vegetables just become a whole lot more fun when you scoop out their centers and stuff them with savory fillings. Taco Stuffed Zucchini from Oh My Veggies is a delicious example. Try also: Rice-Stuffed Delicata Squashes; Couscous-Stuffed Eggplant. Serve them cheesy. Mustard-Spiked Vegan Cheez-y Sauce gives broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and other vegetables a luscious finish. Blend them into soups. When cold weather sets in theres nothing more soothing than pureed soups like this Creamy Golden Potato Squash Soup. You can sneak all kinds of good ingredients into these purees! Try also: Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup and Sweet Potato Soup. Bake them into sweet treats. Carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, and zucchini are four vegetables that blend well into cakes, pies, and muffins. When you stop to consider it, pumpkin pie is actually a vegetable dish! Vegan Carrot-Walnut Muffins, above. are good for breakfast or for the lunch box. Try also: Zucchini-Raisin Muffins, Easy Vegan Pumpkin or Squash Pie. Use them as noodles. Zucchini Noodles are something that even the pickiest eater cant resist. Though zucchini isnt exactly a powerhouse of nutrition, you can augment these kinds of dishes with more nutrient-dense toppings. Youll need a spiral slicer to make the really fun shapes, but you can also use a vegetable peeler to make flat linguini. Try also: Zucchini Pasta with Mango, Avocado, and Black Bean Salsa.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, Sept. 7 – 11, 2015

September 7 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, Sept. 7 – 11, 2015Dear summer of 2015: Youve been really lovely, and have gone by incredibly quickly, as all summers before you have done. But it IS September, and its still really hot most everywhere. It would be nice to enjoy some warming soups and stews, and make all kinds of baked goods and such with the apples that are abundant at the moment. So could you please go away for now, and let the fall begin? Signed -- Looking Forward to Fall If youre like me, youre looking forward to a bit of nip in the air and change-of-season foods. But even here in the Northeast where I live, summer isnt letting go. For now, here are five recipes that will help your kitchen stay cool, yet which give a hint of autumnal flavors. Lets start with Chickpea-Waldorf Salad by Jennifer Strohmeyer, shown above. It’s a light way to end your holiday weekend. The addition of chickpeas and tart cranberries makes the traditional salad even more delectable and hearty enough to be a centerpiece. Serve with a simple potato or sweet potato dish and a fruity dessert. Leftovers are great to pack up for the next days portable lunch. Pennsylvania Dutch Corn Noodles is a simple, tasty pasta dish traditional to the plain and simple Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. Its a perfect way to use fresh summer corn and tomatoes while theyre still flavorful and abundant. Serve with wilted greens and a cool bean salad. Quinoa with Cabbage and Green Beans offers an easy way to highlight super-nutritious quinoa. Serve with a simple bean dish (perhaps left over from Monday or Tuesday) and a colorful salad or an easygoing meal. Tip -- cook some extra quinoa for tomorrow nights meal! Once you have cooked quinoa on hand (perhaps from last nights tip to cook extra!), Wendy Polisis delectable Asian-Flavored Quinoa Wraps come together quickly. Fresh corn on the cob and/­or a no-cook cold soup are perfect companions. To end the week, instead of ordering take-out, make this easy Thai-Flavored Tofu and Broccoli stir-fry at home. It requires a minimum amount of cooking and is delicious over grains or noodles. Serve with a platter of bell pepper strips, sliced cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. End with a platter of summer fruit and nondairy ice cream.

Vegan Pancakes & French Toast Recipes to Brighten Your Weekend

September 4 2015 VegKitchen 

Vegan Pancakes & French Toast Recipes to Brighten Your WeekendPancakes and French toast seem like two kinds of treats go by the wayside for vegans -- dont they need eggs, milk, and butter? Not at all! There are easy tweaks for making this leisurely breakfast fare without a trace of those ingredients. If youre gluten-free as well as vegan, weve got you covered there as well with a GF pancake and French toast recipe in this line-up. In Cinnamon-Apple Pancakes (pictured above), apples and cinnamon are folded into a whole-grain batter. This is a lovely leisurely weekend breakfast or brunch, especially in the fall, when apples are abundant. Robin Robertson offers another take on the apple theme with Apple-Almond Butter Pancakes. This delicious flavor combo can be enjoyed in these luscious pancakes. For gluten-free, use gluten-free flour. Make these fruitStrawberry Pancakes in late spring and early summer, when strawberries are at their best. After strawberry season has passed, frozen strawberries can stand in. Chef Jason Wyrick designed Corn Pancakes with Bourbon Agave Maple Syrup so each pancake is a meal in itself, with texture not usually expected from a pancake and a big flavor profile with a minimal amount of work. If youve got memories of buttermilk pancakes and syrup, Caryn Hartglass presents Gluten Free & Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup -- a version using soymilk soured with vinegar in place of buttermilk. Serve with the accompanying blueberry syrup - made only with blueberries!   Insanely Easy Vegan French Toast proves that y ou dont need a lot of bells and whistles for a great vegan French toast recipe. Its really more about the golden-brown of the result, the cinnamon, and the syrup. There are three components to this fantastic, healthy recipe for Berry-licious Vegan Stuffed French Toast -- the french toast itself, the blueberry cream cheese stuffing and the blueberry syrup. For Fantastic French Toast (Gluten Free) Julieanna Hever and Chef Beverly Bennett join forces to create a recipe thats great for a family breakfast or a small get-together. This recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Waffles is great for the waffle maker. Most vegan pancakes tend to be dense and the waffle maker gives it a bit more of a fluffy texture. If you want to use this as a pancake batter, by all means. Add 1/­­2 teaspoon of baking powder to the dry ingredients.

Roasted Zucchini and Mushroom Pilaf Bowl

September 4 2015 VegKitchen 

Roasted Zucchini and Mushroom Pilaf BowlIt is no surprise that I love to roast vegetables; it always seems to bring out the best in produce. In this vegan bowl recipe, zucchini and mushrooms are roasted to perfection and stirred into a quinoa pilaf that is accented with scallions and arugula. Recipe and photos from Vegan Bowls: Perfect Harmony in Cozy One-Bowl Meals* (C) 2015 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.   Save Print Roasted Zucchini and Mushroom Pilaf Bowl Author: Zsu Dever Recipe type: Grain pilaf Cuisine: Vegan /­­ Healthy Prep time:  20 mins Cook time:  30 mins Total time:  50 mins Serves: 4   In this recipe, zucchini and mushrooms are roasted to perfection and stirred into a quinoa pilaf that is accented with scallions and arugula. Ingredients Roast 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon sea salt 4 garlic cloves, minced 8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered 2 medium zucchini, quartered and cut into ¾-inch slices 1 cup corn kernels, thawed and drained if frozen Quinoa 1¼ cups vegetable broth ½ teaspoon sea salt 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed 2 garlic cloves, crushed Pasta 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ cup orzo 2 cups water ¼ teaspoon sea salt Greens 3 cups baby arugula or watercress 2 scallions, minced ½ to 1 serrano chile, minced 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Instructions Roast: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Combine the oil, salt and garlic on a baking sheet. Add the mushroom, zucchini, and corn. Mix well and bake until tender and roasted, about 20 minutes, stirring midway through cooking time. If you have more time, roast until the corn is golden, an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Keep warm. Quinoa: Heat the broth, salt, quinoa and garlic in a large pot. Cover, bring to boil over high heat, reduce to medium-low heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to steam. Fluff with fork and set aside. Pasta: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the orzo and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Add the water and salt and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain and set aside. Greens: Add the orzo to the cooked quinoa. Add the roasted vegetables to the quinoa. Add the arugula, scallions, serrano and lemon juice. Stir well, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper. 3.3.3077   - Here are more vegan bowls from VegKitchen and around the web. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

12 Vegan Emergency Dinners for Your Busiest Days

September 2 2015 VegKitchen 

12 Vegan Emergency Dinners for Your Busiest DaysWe all have nights when even the thought of making a last-minute dinner is exhausting, but the idea of blowing our food and calorie budget by eating out (yet again) is even less appealing. Everyone needs a stash of emergency dinner options -- meals that can be made in minutes with minimal or no cooking, and appeal to most any palate. Some of the 12 meals here are simple recipes to build a meal around; others are just meal ideas that come together quickly with convenient ingredients you pick up at the store on your way home from work. All of these meals can be completed with a colorful salad, and in keeping with the emergency theme, you can use veggies that need no prepping and cutting, including baby greens, baby spinach, pre-shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, and the like. Lets start with three recipes that play with the concept of pizza. Vegan Pizzadillas, above, are a  fast and fun dinner idea is a mash-up of pizza and quesadillas. Next up on the pizza theme are Pizza Potatoes. Marinara sauce, melted vegan cheese, and simple steamed vegetables on a baked potato add up to an irresistible pizza-flavored vegetable dish. Potatoes make for a healthy crust thats low in fat and naturally gluten-free. The kids will love this! Layer on the Southwestern flavors in this playful Mexican Pizza that uses only 5 ingredients. Boost this meal with a simple salad. Here are super-tasty Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos that can be made with pantry and refrigerator staples in a matter of minutes. Nachos are fun fare no matter what, and though they often serve as an appetizer or party snack, they make a great emergency dinner, too. One more with a Southwestern theme, Super-Easy Tortilla Casserole involves throwing together a lot of convenient ingredients like canned beans and tomatoes, and frozen corn, but its unbelievably good when you need dinner in a pinch and the fridge is nearly bare. Its rare to be able to make a satisfying main dish soup like this Very Quick Black Bean Soup almost instantly, but organic canned black beans do the trick perfectly. Theyre packed in a nice thick base, rather than the  usual briny liquid that needs to be rinsed away. BBQ-Flavored White Beans with Sausage and Spinach is the epitome of a good emergency dinner. Its spicy, hearty, high in protein, and best of all, ready for the table in about 20 minutes. For a Pasta and Antipasto dinner, there are no recipes to follow, just a suggestion for putting together the kind of comforting meal that most people love. In the time it takes to cook the pasta, an antipasto platter of fresh vegetables and other items that need little or no prep can be arranged. For this Instant Middle Eastern Feast, pick up some hummus, pita, tabbouli (or if you have some cooked grain on hand it’s not hard to make your own Tabbouli), olives, and grape leaves at the supermarket for a fraction of the cost of take-out mezze platters when you need to feed a whole family. A Tortilla Fiesta needs just a few key ingredients, including tortillas, refried beans, nondairy cheese, and other embellishments. It’s a simple and satisfying Southwestern meal in which everyone assembles their portion right at the table. Tofuna Salad or Sandwich Spread needs just three basic ingredients (two ingredients are optional), to become the centerpiece for a kind of  brunchy-y evening meal. To warm things up, you can also add some quickly microwaved potatoes or sweet potatoes. This veggie burger meal might be the laziest of all of these dinner ideas, so no need to link through to any further explanation or recipes! Look for all-natural vegan veggie burgers and organic sweet potato fries. Add big batch of wilted baby spinach and you have a tasty and easy meal thats hardly any work at all.

All-Natural Carrot Dogs

August 27 2015 VegKitchen 

All-Natural Carrot DogsA carrot is the same shape as a hot dog and close enough in color to make a decent substitute. But what about the taste? I promise you, this marinade really takes it to the next level. I think the sesame oil helps, but the vinegar gives it that cured flavor, too. Think of this as a fun vegetable side dish rather than as a main dish. Recipe and photo reprinted with permission from The Easy Vegan Cookbook* by Kathy Hester (C)2015, published by Page Street Publishing. Save Print All-Natural Carrot Dogs Author: Kathy Hester Recipe type: Vegetable side dish - carrots Cuisine: Vegan /­­ healthy Prep time:  4 hours Cook time:  30 mins Total time:  4 hours 30 mins Serves: 4   A carrot is the same shape as a hot dog and close enough in color to make a decent substitute. But what about the taste? Ingredients 4 carrots, cut into bun lengths 1/­­4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar and a dash of salt) 1/­­4 cup water 1 tablespoon sesame oil (or omit for oil-free diets) 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or substitute soy sauce) 1/­­4 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1/­­2 clove garlic, minced) 1/­­4 teaspoon liquid smoke Pepper, to taste Toasted hot dog bun, lettuce or collard leaves, to serve Instructions Heat water in a pot large enough for all the carrots. When it comes to a boil, turn down to medium heat and add the carrots. Cook until you can just pierce them through with a fork; you want them to have a snap when you bite into them. Remove from pot and run cold water over them to stop them from cooking. In a container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients to make the marinade. Tighten the lid and shake until well mixed. Place the carrots in a container in which they can lie flat. Pour the marinade over them and marinate at least 3 to 4 hours, up to 24. The longer they marinate, the more vinegar flavor they take on. If you know you need to leave them longer than a day, cut the vinegar to 1/­­8 cup (30 ml). If the carrots are very skinny, keep the marinating time short. To serve, heat the carrots in a 350°F oven, or in a grill pan on a hot grill, until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve in a toasted hot dog bun or wrapped in a lettuce or collard leaf, and pile on your favorite toppings. 3.3.3077 Tip: You can cook these in your slow cooker in the marinade. You need to check on them so they do not get mushy, so it is not a set-it-and-walk-away affair. Cook until a fork just goes through the carrot but it is still slightly firm. Nutrition information Per serving: Calories 92.1;  Protein: 0.7g; Total fat 3.5g, Carbs: 17.3 g; Sodium:749.7mg, fiber 2g Here are lots more recipes for making the most of carrots. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Chocolate & Cherry Hemp Bars

August 25 2015 VegKitchen 

Chocolate & Cherry Hemp BarsPack up these nutritious chocolate and cherry hemp bars for a hike, or enjoy them as a simple treat. Theyre an amped-up, antioxidant- and protein-rich version of a rice crispy treat. Recipe and photo from YumUniverse: Infinite Possibilities for a Gluten-Free, Plant-Powerful, Whole-Food Lifestyle* by Heather Crosby, reprinted by permission of BenBella Books, (C)2014. Save Print Chocolate & Cherry Hemp Bars Author: Heather Crosby Recipe type: Vegan dessert /­­ snack Cuisine: Vegan /­­ Healthy Prep time:  20 mins Total time:  20 mins Serves: 10 to 12   Pack up these nutritious chocolate and cherry hemp bars for a hike, or enjoy them as a simple treat. Theyre an amped-up, antioxidant- and protein-rich version of a rice crispy treat. Ingredients 1 teaspoon coconut oil, plus more to grease the dish 3/­­4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted 1/­­2 cup rolled oats, toasted 1 cup dry cherries, chopped 2½ cups brown rice crisps cereal (not puffs) 3/­­4 cup gluten-free, vegan chocolate chips 1 cup brown rice syrup 1/­­2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons almond butter 1/­­2 teaspoon sea salt 1/­­4 cup hemp seeds Instructions Grease a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with coconut oil. Set aside. Place sunflower seeds, coconut, oats, cherries, rice crisps, and chocolate chips into a large glass bowl. In a medium saucepot, bring brown rice syrup, vanilla extract, almond butter, coconut oil, and sea salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk often. Once boiling, pour over dry ingredients in the bowl. Use a silicone spatula to fold everything together until well integrated; chocolate will melt. Fold in hemp seeds. Transfer to the greased baking dish and use a spatula to really press mixture into the dish so it reaches all corners evenly. Or try laying a sheet of unbleached parchment on top of treat mixture and pressing down with your hands--easy peasy and less mess. Allow to cool, then slice into bars 3.3.3077 Variations - You can use a chopped gluten-free, vegan chocolate bar instead of chips if thats easier to find. - Try dried blueberries, goji berries, raisins, or cranberries instead of, or in addition to, cherries. - Make them poppers! This preparation is a bit sticky to work with, but its worth it for fun bite-sized treats. Toast 1/­­2 cup of almonds and throw them in food processor, and pulse them into fine bits. Keep the bar mixture on the stove top over low heat while you work. Using your hands, pinch off a bit, drop it into a bowl of almonds. Sprinkle entire dollop with almonds to cover as much as possible. Pick it up and roll it into a ball. Cover with more almonds until outside isnt sticky anymore. Repeat until bar mixture is all used up. Here are more Vegan Cookies and Bars and more No-Bake and Raw Sweets. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Top Protein Sources for the Plant-Based Diet

August 23 2015 VegKitchen 

Top Protein Sources for the Plant-Based DietHow do you get your protein? is a question asked of those following plant-based diets (whether vegetarian or vegan) that just wont go away. Its often dismissed as unimportant, but it is possible that any sort of poorly planned regimen might be sub-optimal for your health. The myth is that vegan diets cant and dont provide adequate protein is tenacious. For more on the subject, see Protein for Plant-Based Diets.  Theres plenty of evidence that a varied, whole foods diet that provides sufficient calories, has little chance of falling short in protein. With the exception of sugars and oils, many foods have at least some protein. Whole grains, legumes, minimally processed soy foods, and nuts and seeds all offer high-quality protein. Many common vegetables also have small amounts of protein, so if you eat plenty of them, they add up. Here are some of the best protein sources among plant foods. Beans and legumes (cooked, 1/­­2 cup serving) Remember, beans and legumes are so blessedly low in calories and fat, that if you need more protein and have the capacity, a 1-cup serving isnt unreasonable -- so you can double the protein count from these sources below. - Chickpeas = 7g - Black beans = 8g - Pinto beans = 6g - Lentils, brown = 6 to 8g - Lentils, red = 13g - Split peas (green or yellow) = 8 to 10g Tofu, tempeh, and seitan - Seitan  – 2 ounces = 14g /­­ 4 ounces = 28g - Tempeh (4 ounces) = 20 to 21g (Note: Though tempeh is a terrific source of protein, in some dishes, more like 2 ounces is a serving size, due to its intense flavor and texture) - Tofu, firm (4 ounces) = 10g - Tofu, extra-firm (4 ounces) = 8g - Tofu, baked (Soy Boy, 2 ounces) = 10g Nuts (1/­­4 cup serving) and Nut Butters (2-tablespoon serving) - Almonds = 8g - Cashews =  5g - Peanuts = 7g - Pistachios = 6g - Walnuts =  4g - Peanut butter = 8g - Cashew butter = 6g - Almond butter = 8g Seeds - Chia seeds = 4 g - Flax seeds (2 tablespoons) = 3.8g - Hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts (2 tablespoons) = 6g - Sunflower seeds (2 tablespoons) = 3.5g - Pumpkin seeds (1/­­4 cup) = 8g Grains (1/­­2 cup cooked servings) As with legumes, whole grains are low in fat and high in fiber. If you need more, up to a 1 cup serving for those of you with heartier appetites or higher protein needs is a reasonable quantity. - Barley = 8g - Brown rice = 3g - Millet = 3g - Oatmeal (old-fashioned) cooked = 3g (check this out) - Oats, steel cut = 5g - Quinoa =  4 to 4.5g Pastas (1 cup cooked serving) - Quinoa pasta = 4g - Spelt pasta = 12g - Soba noodles (2 ounce serving) =  7 to 8g - Whole wheat pasta = 7g - Ordinary duram wheat pasta = 7g Vegetables - Asparagus (1 cup) = 4 g - Broccoli (1 cup cooked florets) = 2 to 3g - Brussels sprouts (1 cup cooked) = 4g - Kale (1 cup packed) = 2g - Spinach (1/­­2 cup wilted, packed) = 3g - Sweet potato (1 medium) – 2. 25g Other vegetables and fruits, including butternut squash, green peas, blueberries, medjool dates, and others, have from 1g to 2g protein per serving. So it does all add up! More … Even ordinary foods like bread (whole wheat, of course), add to your days total protein needs. A slice of whole grain bread has 2.5g to 4g protein, so a two-slice sandwich gives you 5 to 8 grams, before you even add the filling. Even a medium banana has about 1.5g protein! So a simple peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread provides nearly a third of the daily protein requirement of an average-size woman. Another good source is nutritional yeast such as Red Star, which provides 8g per 1 1/­­2 tablespoons as well as being a great source of Vitamin B12 Excerpted and adapted from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas (C)2014. Published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photo at top  by Hannah Kaminsky.

Top Five Tips for Vegan-Ease Cuisine

August 21 2015 VegKitchen 

Top Five Tips for Vegan-Ease CuisineHere are five great tips for starting on the path to Vegan-Ease cuisine, and enjoying easy plant-based meals, without sacrificing great taste or giving up the textures and flavors we all love! Contributed by Laura Theodore, from Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet* (October 8, 2015). Published by Jazzy Vegetarian LLC, (C) 2015, reprinted by permission. 1. Use mashed bananas, ground flaxseeds mixed with water or whipped organic tofu to replace eggs in many baked goods recipes, like the Lime Muffins at top. This works especially well when making muffins, brownies and many cakes. (If a baked goods recipe calls for just one egg, in most cases you can just leave the egg out and your recipe will still be perfect!) 2. If you are new to vegan eating, start by serving one non-meat, plant-based meal each week for dinner. Try preparing hearty and satisfying favorites like chili, lasagna, soups, pastas, easy casseroles or meatless burgers. 3. Now widely available in most supermarkets, purchase rice, soy, almond, cashew, coconut or oat nondairy milk for topping cereal or as a substitute for dairy milk in almost any recipe. 4. Got a sweet tooth? Organic, dairy-free, fair trade dark chocolate such as this delectable Pascha Chocolate is available in most supermarkets and health food stores. 5. When food shopping, take a moment to explore the rainbow of colors and tastes that fresh produce has to offer. Try adding one new vegetable or fruit to your cart every time you shop. This will make your journey toward a vegan diet more flavorful and fun. From hearty main dishes, to decadent desserts, the vegan diet offers a wide range of options. And best of all, youll be making the world a better place, one tasty recipe at a time.

Gluten-Free Coconut Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

August 20 2015 VegKitchen 

These strawberry shortcake cupcakes are not only luscious, but also gluten-free. From The Happy Cow Cookbook, edited by Eric Brent and Glen Merzer. Recipe and photo by Chaco Canyon Organic Café, Seattle, WA. Reprinted by permission of Ben Bella Books (C)2014. Save Print Gluten-Free Coconut Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes Author: Happy Cow Recipe type: Vegan Cupcakes Cuisine: Vegan baking Prep time:  20 mins Cook time:  35 mins Total time:  55 mins Serves: 20   These strawberry shortcake cupcakes are not only luscious, but also gluten-free. Ingredients 2 cups tapioca flour 1 1/­3 cups white rice flour 1 cup millet flour 2 teaspoons xanthan gum 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 1/­3 cups shredded coconut 2 1/­3 cups sugar 1 cup safflower oil 2 1/­3 cups coconut milk 1 cup water 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract For the strawberry filling 10 ounces frozen strawberries 3 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1/­2 cup sugar 2 teaspoons margarine 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice For the coconut whipped topping 1 1/­2 tablespoons agar powder 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1/­3 cup sugar 1/­4 teaspoon salt 2 1/­2 cups coconut milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons coconut oil Instructions Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Using the whisk attachment, whisk together flours and xanthan gum in mixer for about 3 minutes. Add baking soda, salt, shredded coconut, and sugar and mix briefly. Remove and set aside. In another mixing bowl, mix together wet ingredients: oil, coconut milk, water, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Slowly add flour mixture and mix thoroughly, at least 5 minutes at medium-high speed. (This is needed to get the xanthan gum to work its magic.) Grease muffin pans liberally. If using muffin liners, spray the inside of the paper cups liberally as well! Fill muffin wells only 2/­3 full. Bake in the oven 30 to 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely. For the strawberry filling: In a small pot, cook the frozen berries over medium-low heat. In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch and sugar. When the berries are warm but not hot, add in the cornstarch mixture to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick, bubbly, and translucent. Remove from heat and mix in margarine and lemon juice. Chill in refrigerator. For the coconut whipped topping: In a small saucepan, whisk together the agar, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the coconut milk. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat, continue stirring constantly, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla extract and coconut oil. Immediately pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any agar bits and place in the refrigerator to chill overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and transfer to a mixer. Whip the mixture until smooth and fluffy. To assemble: Cut a cone-shaped plug out of the top of each cupcake. Pipe coconut whipped topping around the hole. Pipe fill strawberry filling into the well of the hole until its level with the whipped topping. Tip: Use a piping bag with the big round tip for the strawberry filling for an easier assembly. 3.3.3077   - Here are more recipes for Gluten-Free Vegan Baking. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Chocolate Banana Frozen Soft Serve

August 17 2015 VegKitchen 

Chocolate Banana Frozen Soft ServeWhen you taste this, you wont believe that this frozen treat is made almost purely of banana. The velvety texture and mild chocolate flavor will have you hooked. Best of all, you dont need an ice cream machine to make it, though a food processor is a must! A powerful blender works, too. Freezing bananas that are getting almost too ripe is perfect for making treats like this, or for using in smoothies. Photos by Evan Atlas. Save Print Chocolate Banana Frozen Soft Serve Author: Nava Recipe type: Homemade Vegan Ice Cream Cuisine: Vegan /­­ Healthy Prep time:  20 mins Total time:  20 mins Serves: 4 to 6   When you taste this, you wont believe that this frozen treat is made almost purely of banana. The velvety texture and mild chocolate flavor will have you hooked. Ingredients 4 medium very ripe bananas 2 to 4 tablespoons nondairy milk (like almond) or coconut creamer ⅓ cup organic chocolate syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla extract [i]For serving, optional [/­­i] Fresh fruit (berries or sliced bananas) Chocolate chips or cacao nibs Chopped nuts Instructions Peel bananas and cut into approximately ½-inch slices. Place in an airtight container and freeze for several hours, until frozen solid, or overnight. In a food processor, combine the frozen bananas with the chocolate syrup, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of the nondairy milk or coconut creamer. Process until the bananas are broken down to bits, then stop the machine to scrape down. Process again until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy, adding a bit more of the nondairy milk if the mixture needs it. Scrape the banana mixture back into a container and refreeze for at least a couple of hours, or until firm to the touch. Scoop into individual bowls and serve with any of the options listed. Make sure to see the variations, below, and feel free to play with some of your own variations as well! 3.3.3077   - Explore other recipes for Vegan Ice Cream treats.

12 High-Protein Vegan Main Dishes Featuring Tempeh

August 14 2015 VegKitchen 

12 High-Protein Vegan Main Dishes Featuring TempehTempeh is a fermented soyfood,and like its culinary cousin tofu is quite versatile, but has a more distinct flavor as well as a dense, chewy texture. Though somewhat of an acquired taste, it’s one worth cultivating -- tempeh is high in complete protein and rich in all kinds of nutrients perfect for the plant based diet. Learn more in this informative post on tempeh.  Let’s get cooking with it, starting with Tangy Tempeh with Portobello Mushrooms (above). It has a meaty heartiness, with balsamic vinegar providing a bit of tang. Serve this sumptuous stew-like dish over a cooked grain or on pasta. In these delectable Mango Tempeh Lettuce Wraps from Oh My Veggies, crumbled tempeh and sweet champagne mangos combine to make a perfect filling for easy vegetarian lettuce wraps. Tempeh and Green Beans with Shiitake-Miso Gravy is a filling dish featuring a flavorful shiitake-miso gravy. Serve with simple cooked quinoa, especially if you cooked extra earlier in the week; its also good on rice or noodlesSesame Soba Noodles with Collard Greens and Tempeh Croutons is an Asian-flavored dish featuring high-protein tempeh and calcium-rich collard greens is flavored with a triple dose of sesame (another great source of calcium): tahini, seeds, and oil. In Tempeh and Walnut Soft Taco Filling, two high-protein foods (with lots more going for them nutritionally) team up in a tasty filling that goes a long way. Ginger Tempeh Vegetable Stir-Fry by Leslie Cerier features summer squash and bok choy. Serve over rice and a colorful salad for an easy meal. Ayinde Howells Sriracha Tempeh Sliders with Ranch Dressing offers an ingeniously easy way to make these mini-burgers. You can replace the sriracha with BBQ sauce if its too hot you! Sweet-and-Sour Stir-Fried Vegetables with Seitan or Tempeh features a choice of these plant proteins plus colorful vegetables and pineapple, has several steps but can be made easily and at a leisurely pace. Tempeh, Kale, and Sweet Potato Skillet shines with a nourishing trio of ingredients and makes for a quick, colorful, and comforting meal. Another yummy offering from Leslie Cerier, Tempeh Stew with Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes, and Shiitakes is like Thanksgiving in a bowl. It is indeed a good choice for the holiday, but you can make it any time you want a hearty cool-weather meal. Even those who arent quite sold on tempeh will be enticed by this delectable, veggie-filled Tempeh, Cauliflower, and Cashew Curry.  Along with potatoes and plenty of spices, this is a colorful and warming stew. Skillet Potato and Tempeh Hash gives you a hearty vegan spin on a meaty classic. Embellished with bell pepper and kale, this is as good served as a quick dinner as it is an offbeat and hearty breakfast.

8 Tasty Vegan Salad Dressings

August 11 2015 VegKitchen 

8 Tasty Vegan Salad DressingsIf you’re a fan of salads, you’ll love this handy ways to make them even better with dressings that are dairy-free, full of flavor, and in many cases, low in fat. Best of all, you can make them at home in minutes. And if almost goes without saying that they’re more economical than store-bought dressing. First up, Vegan Ranch Dressing, above, is one that’s almost impossible to find ready-made in a dairy-free vegan version. As a dip, this is great with raw veggies; as a dressing, use on green salads, slaws, pasta salads, and potato salads. Savory and tangy, homemade Sesame-Ginger Salad Dressing is perfect for salads served with Asian-style meals. Its also good on wilted greens and on cold noodle dishes. This homemade vegan French Dressing b is one of my personal favorites for green salads--I hope youll agree that this is better than the store-bought variety. Filled with vitamin-rich parsley, Parsley Salad of Veggie Dressing is good on green salads as well as on steamed vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, and squashes. Tangy Tahini Dressing featuring olive oil, tahini, apple cider vinegar, and lemon, makes even the simplest salad shine. Excellent on green salads, slaws, and more. Thousand Island-Style Dressing is the first one that enticed my kids to try salad when they were young. Its a good bet for young children, though its a pleaser for any age. Green Goddess Dressing is made of fresh herbs, tahini, and cucumber. It not only has a luscious flavor, but makes good use of nutrient-rich parsley. Pesto counts as salad dressing, too! This traditional-style Spinach and Basil Pesto is delicious on cold potato and grain salads. Or toss it with cold pasta and fresh tomatoes for a simple and tasty summer main dish.

Southwestern Fresh Corn Stew

August 6 2015 VegKitchen 

Southwestern Fresh Corn StewWhile fresh local corn is abundant in early fall, the most tempting way to eat it is right off the cob. But cooking with fresh corn can be equally appealing. Its sweetness and crunch cant be matched by frozen corn kernels.To vary the recipe, add a cup or two of cooked pinto or pink beans and serve with a purchased fresh bread. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons.  Photos by Evan Atlas. Serves: 6 - 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil - 1 large onion, chopped - 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced - 4 to 5 medium ears fresh corn - 2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced - 15- to-16-ounce can pureed or crushed tomatoes - 2 small yellow summer squashes, cut into 3/­­4-inch diced - 1 1/­­2 to 2 cups fresh slender green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths (see Note) - 1 to 2 fresh mild chili peppers, seeded and minced (such as Anaheim or poblano) - 2 teaspoons ground cumin - 1/­­4 to 1/­­2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro - Leaves from several sprigs fresh oregano, optional - Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste - Dried hot red pepper flakes or picante sauce, optional Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until golden. Break the corn cobs in half. Stand each half and up to scrape the corn kernels from the cobs with a sharp knife. Add them to the soup pot, along with the fresh and pureed tomatoes, squash, green beans, chilis, and cumin. Add 2 cups water, just enough for a moist but not too liquidy consistency. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the cilantro and optional oregano, then season with salt and pepper. Taste, and you’d like a spicier stew, add a bit of red pepper flakes or picante sauce (or you can pass these around for individual servings. Remove from the heat and let stand for a few minutes, or allow to cool until just warm, then serve Note: If you cant find green beans that look fresh and tender, use frozen green beans. Thaw them completely before using. - Warm yourself up with more fall harvest soup recipes.  

How to Cut a Fresh Pineapple

August 5 2015 VegKitchen 

How to Cut a Fresh Pineapple Dont be intimidated by fresh pineapples! They might look daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, its easy to cut, and so amazing to eat. Time was when fresh pineapple was mainly a winter fruit, but like a lot of produce it is now available year-round. Pineapple still seems more fitting to augment the dearth of fruit choices in the winter, but it’s still welcome in the summer, when it brightens fruit salads, and is delicious grilled! One you get the hang of this, you’ll want to explore our array of Pineapple Recipes -- Sweet and Savory. Let’s get started … Slice the top off of the pineapple, close to the crown. Then, cut a thin slice off the bottom. Stand the pineapple up, and with a wide knife, cut away sections of the skin, using downward motions. Cut away small brown spots with a paring knife. Cut large sections of pineapple away from the core. If you have a high-speed blender, use the core in a smoothie; otherwise, discard it. If you’d like to grill pineapple, you can make these sections just a bit smaller, but keep them fairly large so they don’t fall through the grill. Otherwise, cut each section into large bite-sized dice, and use in any way you’d like -- fruit salad, salsas, stir-fries, and of course, desserts.  

8 Delicious Vegan Entreés Featuring Peanut Butter

July 30 2015 VegKitchen 

8 Delicious Vegan Entreés Featuring Peanut ButterEverything tastes better with peanut butter! Except, of course, for those with peanut allergies. Luscious and high in protein, peanut butter isnt only for PBJ sandwiches or desserts (though its awesome in both -- see our listing of sweet treats using it) Here are 7 tasty ways to use it in vegan main dishes. First off, heres an easy rendition of Cold Peanut Butter Sesame Noodles (above), with a dollop of tahini and a dash of spice. Delicious as a summer dinner served with an easy tofu dish and a simple salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil. Another noodle dish, Kid-Friendly Peanut Butter Noodles is designed for kids whose preference runs to milder flavors. Adults can enjoy this basic recipe as well by spicing up their portion with hot sauce like Sriracha, or dried hot red pepper flakes, and a sprinkling of scallion. According to Isa Moskowitz, Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl with Tofu and Kale is the peanut sauce of the gods: a gingery peanut sauce with curry powder that will have you licking the spoon, then licking your plate ... Robin Robertsons West African Spinach with Spicy Peanut Sauce is delicious served over rice or couscous. Let your own heat tolerance be your guide on the amount of chiles to use. Admittedly rich, this traditional Southern-style Virginia Peanut Soup has an intensely nutty flavor. Even served in moderate portions, its immensely satisfying, and you can build a meal around it. Another soup you can look forward to that’s especially good for fall (but which can be enjoyed any time of year) is Broccoli-Apple Soup with Cashew or Peanut Butter. So rich and comforting, and filling enough to be a main dish serves with fresh bread and salad. In Dr. Joel Fuhrmans Spicy Thai Braised Kale and Tofu, peanut butter is the key to creating this tasty, nutrition-packed dish. Serve with brown rice or quinoa and a colorful salad for a great weeknight meal. Tempeh is a great source of protein, and peanut butter enhances its fermented flavor in this tasty Tempeh Satay with Asian Greens. Serve with your favorite grain.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, July 27 - 31, 2015

July 27 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, July 27 - 31, 2015Though most of us love summer, lets hope that this final week in July puts an end to the over-the-top heat. Now we can look forward to the (usually) balmier weather in August. The plus side is that fresh produce of all sorts is continues to be in abundance, so lets take full advantage of it this week in ways that dont require too much heat in the kitchen. Note the judicious use of leftovers from one meal to the next! The only cooking youll need to do for Greek-Style Pasta Salad above is the pasta itself. Everything else gets tossed in and seasoned with fresh herbs and your favorite vinaigrette. Pick up some fresh pita, hummus, and stuffed grape leaves to go along with it. Heres a nearly-instant Cold Curried Cucumber Soup to build your meal around. You can use up some of the herbs you got for yesterdays salad, and use up the fresh pita and hummus you purchased as well. Any leftover salad from yesterdays meal? Serve it with this soup. Add some fresh corn on the cob as well, if youd like. Get out of the kitchen quickly with Sharons Chickpea Salad or Sandwich Spread. Serve with fresh bread or on a bed of greens. Add some of last nights corn and the cob to the meal, and a simple salad or a platter of fresh veggies and olives. Or swap out the savory salad for a summery fruit salad. Once you have cooked quinoa on hand, these delectable Asian-Flavored Quinoa Wraps come together fast. Cook some extra quinoa for tomorrow nights dinner. Serve with any kind of fresh tomato salad. For dessert, serve refreshing bowls of your favorite nondairy ice cream topped with blueberries. Laura Theodores Chickpea and Quinoa Salad in Sweet Pepper Boats is a festive way to end the week. The only ingredient that needs cooking is the quinoa, and if you find a way to do that ahead of time, this comes together quickly. Serve with stone-ground tortilla chips and your favorite salsa and/­­or guacamole.

BBQ-Flavored Chickpea Pitas

July 21 2015 VegKitchen 

BBQ-Flavored Chickpea PitasCool romaine lettuce and barbecue-flavored chickpeas (or explore the other plant protein variations following the recipe) combine to create a great flavor and texture combination in this hearty pita sandwich. This pairs well with many simple companions -- potatoes or sweet potatoes, fresh corn, a simple quinoa salad, or a light soup. This recipe makes enough to generously fill 4 good-sized pita halves. Adapted from   Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes  by Nava Atlas. (C)2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by  Hannah Kaminsky.  Save Print BBQ-Flavored Chickpea Pitas Author: Nava Recipe type: Pita sandwich Cuisine: Veganhealthy Prep time:  20 mins Cook time:  10 mins Total time:  30 mins Serves: 2 to 4   Cool romaine lettuce and barbecue-flavored chickpeas combine to create a great flavor and texture combination in this hearty pita sandwich. Ingredients 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil?1 medium onion, quartered and sliced?1 medium red bell pepper, cut into short narrow strips ⅔ cup Quick Vegan Barbecue Sauce (or used your favorite natural bottled brand) 15- to 16-ounce can (drained and rinsed) chickpeas Two large fresh pita breads, preferably whole grain Finely shredded romaine lettuce, as needed Fresh green sprouts, optional (like broccoli sprouts or pea shoots) 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced ½ medium avocado, peeled and thinly sliced, optional Instructions Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and sauté until golden. Add the bell pepper and barbecue sauce, then stir in the chickpeas. Cook over medium heat until the sauce is reduced and envelopes the chickpeas and veggies nicely, about 8 minutes. Distribute 1 to 2 pita halves to each plate, depending on appetites and what else is being served. Fill each pita half with some lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, and optional avocado, followed by the chickpea mixture. Serve at once. 3.3.3077   Nutrition information Per pita half:  Calories: 258;  Total fat: 5g;  Protein: 10g;  Carbs: 47g;  Fiber: 9g;  Sodium: 280mg Here are more of our tasty vegan sandwiches and wraps.

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, July 20-24, 2015

July 20 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Dinner Plan, July 20-24, 2015Now past the mid-way point in July, this week finds many of us under a blanket of heat. The better news is that summer produce is abundant and inexpensive. Here are this weeks meals, which are both economical and quick, getting you from the kitchen to the table in about 30 minutes. Dont forget to serve plenty of summer fruit for dessert or evening snack! Pinto Bean and Quinoa Sloppy Joes, above, are a great favorite of VegKitchen readers. Serve with any slaw-style salad -- make extra for tomorrows meal! Fresh corn on the cob, now in season is a great addition as well. The black bean base of these Garlicky Black Bean and Summer Squash Soft Tacos has a delectable garlicky and smoky flavor. Yellow squash, chili peppers, and dried tomatoes add even more flavor and color. Theyre easy to make and even easier to serve, as everyone assembles their own tacos at the table. Whatever kind of slaw you made for yesterdays meal will enhance this dinner as well. The simplicity of the classic Neopolitan recipe, Pasta Puttanesca, belies its luscious flavor. Studded with green and black olives and a generous helping of ripe tomatoes, this is a quick pasta dish thats perfect for a summer evening. Serve with a green vegetable and a big salad of mixed greens tossed with chickpeas or other beans. Indonesian-Style Gado-Gado Inspired Salad is a composed platter combining raw and lightly cooked vegetables. There are different regional variations, but some of the constant veggies include carrots, cauliflower, and green beans. Simply cooked brown rice (try brown Basmati), a traditional accompaniment, is a good way to embellish the meal. The whole thing pulls together with a luscious peanut sauce. Hummus Wraps with Grains and Greens are chock-full of flavor and a good use of leftover grains of all kinds (like last nights rice). The recipe also doubles easily. For a relaxing way to end the meal, serve with fresh corn and/­or a refreshing cold soup.

Weekly Plant-Based Meal Plan, July 13 – 17, 2015

July 13 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Meal Plan, July 13 – 17, 2015Mid-July heralds the beginning of the peak of summer produce in terms of its flavor and the sheer availability of varieties of veggies. This weeks meal plan takes advantage of this bounty. And dont forget to serve berries, cherries, stone fruits and melons for desserts and snacks! Start the week with Tabbouli-Style Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. It’s hearty enough to be a main dish; serve with homemade hummus, or pick it up prepared, along with fresh pita, and stuffed grape leaves for a delicious Middle Eastern-themed dinner. If you cant stand the heat, Chickpea and Kale Sandwich Spread will get you out of the kitchen quickly. Its a tasty and nourishing spread for bread, a filling for pita bread or a wrap (along with some tender lettuce and sliced tomatoes). For a light yet satisfying meal, serve with any sort of potato salad or slaw and a simple fruit medley. Lettuce isnt just for salads. Blending it with cucumber makes a light and tasty Cream of Cucumber Soup. If you have leftovers from the last two nights dinners, above, theyd go well with this soup. Otherwise, serve this with many of our easy Sandwiches and Wraps. Tempeh and Green Beans with Shiitake-Miso Gravy takes advantage of the brief window when really fresh, non-stringy green beans are on the market. The ingredients are enveloped in a flavorful shiitake-miso gravy. Serve with simply cooked grains and a simple salad. Pasta Salad with White Beans and Corn is a reliable offerings for summer company, and is easy enough for everyday meals. Make some for tonights dinner, and save the leftovers for weekend company, or for an extra meal thats waiting for you in the fridge. This is a delicious accompaniment to grilled vegetables or veggie burgers.

Tempeh and Green Beans with Shiitake-Miso Gravy

July 13 2015 VegKitchen 

Tempeh and Green Beans with Shiitake-Miso GravyGreen beans, tempeh, and bell peppers make for a tasty trio, especially when enveloped in a flavorful shiitake-miso gravy. To save time, or when fresh are out of season, use frozen organic baby green beans, available in most any natural foods store and many supermarkets. If available, do use fresh slender green beans, by all means, when they make their rare appearance at your local market. Photos by Evan Atlas. Serves: 4 to 6 - Shiitake-Miso Gravy - 8-ounce package tempeh, any variety - 2 tablespoons olive oil - 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce - 8 to 10 ounces fresh slender green beans, tips trimmed, or 8 to 10 ounces frozen whole baby green beans, completely thawed - Red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, cut into long narrow strips - 2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced Prepare the gravy according to the recipe. Cover, and set aside. Cut the tempeh into 1/­­4-thick slices crosswise, then cut these in half length to get shorter strips. Heat the oil and soy sauce slowly in a skillet or stir-fry pan, then add the tempeh strips and green beans, and stir gently to coat. Sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the bell pepper and turn the heat to medium-high. Continue to sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes longer, or until the bell pepper and green beans are tender-crisp. Stir in scallions. You can add the gravy now and serve straight from the pan, or transfer the tempeh and green bean mixture to a serving platter and pass the gravy around in a separate container. Either way, serve at once. Nutrition Information Per serving:  Calories: 218; Total fat: 10g; Carbs: 18g;  Fiber: 14g;  Sodium: 555mg - Here are more  tempeh recipes.  

Easy, Veggie-Filled Vegan Quesadilla Recipes

July 7 2015 VegKitchen 

Easy, Veggie-Filled Vegan Quesadilla RecipesQuesadillas make great appetizers to serve with drinks, or as part of meals with soups and salads. They can also be served with heartier dishes such as veggie chili. A quesadilla is a sort of Mexican grilled cheese sandwich in a flour tortilla. Melted cheese is the common denominator of quesadillas, as it helps everything hold together. Its easy to veganize quesadillas simply by using vegan cheese (my favorite is Daiya shreds, as they melt so very nicely -- any variety, though the spicy pepper jack is particularly good for this purpose). To improvise and make your own combinations, see the basics in Easy Quesadillas or Soft Tacos -- this isnt the kind of dish for which you need to follow an exact recipe. Let’s start with Avocado and Sweet Potato Quesadillas (shown above, and which can also be made into soft tacos, as can some of the other combinations below). The combination of ingredients in these quesadillas is downright sensuous. Mushroom and Bell Pepper Vegan Quesadillas are simple and light. Theyre good served with a hearty grain pilaf or a bean dish, and also make a nice accompaniment to a well-seasoned chili.  Quesadillas with Black Beans, Broccoli, and Portabellas are generously filled, making a substantial one-dish meal thats easily completed with a simple salad on the side. A sweet and spicy pineapple salsa adds an intriguing flavor element to these easy Big Quesadillas with Refried Beans, Spinach, and Avocado. Serve with a simple quinoa salad for a nice meal. The combination of ingredients in Quesadillas with Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini, and Corn is especially delicious with salsa verde (tomatillo salsa), though its great with tomato-based salsa as well. For a hearty meal, serve with a simple pinto bean dish like Frijoles Borrachos.

Spice up Your Life with 7 Sriracha-Spiked Dishes

July 3 2015 VegKitchen 

Spice up Your Life with 7 Sriracha-Spiked DishesEveryone who likes a bit of spice to their food is hooked on sriracha sauce these days. Here are seven brilliant ways to use it. While succotash is usually served warm, Randy Clemens Edamame Sriracha Succotash, above, is fantastic served cold as a refreshing (and spicy!) salad from summer through late fall. These spiced homemade Baked Sriracha Potato Chips from Oh My Veggies are a little bit addictive (or maybe very addictive). Crispy and spicy, these might just become your go-to snack. Ayinde Howells Sriracha Tempeh Sliders with Ranch Dressing recipe gives you the message  that you cant have too much of a good (hot) thing, but concedes that you can replace the sriracha with BBQ sauce if its too hot to handle. Heres a creamy slaw with a kick! Heather Poires Napa Sriracha Slaw is perfect for a BBQ, picnic or leftovers for a sandwich or taco topper. Sriracha Snap Peas from Oh My Veggies are sweet, spicy, and savory all at the same time.Red bell pepper gives the dish a pop of color; it all adds up to a minimally cooked standout side dish (which is great as a healthy snack, as well). Fresh Corn Sauté with Coconut Milk & Sriracha, also from Oh My Veggies, is an easy summer side dish that’s the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. Spicy Sriracha Salad with Baked Tofu by Sharon Discorfano is super-easy to put together with a pleasing array of veggies topped generously with our fave hot sauce!

Weekly Plant-Based Meal Plan, June 29 – July 3, 2015

June 29 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekly Plant-Based Meal Plan, June 29 – July 3, 2015As June segues into July, enjoy some easy seasonal meals that dont require much cooking, Start the week with Chickpea and Kale Sandwich Spread or Salad .This combination makes a great spread for bread, a filling for pita bread or a wrap. For a nice warm weather meal, serve with any sort of potato salad and a simple fruit medley. Leftovers make an excellent lunch for the next day. Hoisin-Flavored Cold Asian Noodles with Crisp Veggies is filled with ingredients that need only a little prep but no cooking (other than the noodles, of course). Serve with your favorite tofu or tempeh dish for an appealing, light meal. Like the recipe above, leftovers make an amazing portable lunch for the following day. Quinoa, Corn, and Bean Salad features these three compatible ingredients plus avocado and Its a perfect main-dish salad, paired with a simple soup or Easy Vegan Quesadillas or Soft Tacos. Cool as a Cucumber Soup requires no cooking at all. No matter what else you serve for summer meals, this soup is a refreshing addition. Keep it simple and serve with fresh pita bread, hummus,  olives, and some sliced tomatoes and peppers. If you have any of the quinoa salad left over from last nights dinner, that goes well with this, too. On Friday July 3, the eve of Independence Day, explore our array of easy, tasty vegan barbecue recipes for grilling vegetables, tofu, tempeh and seitan. Fire up the grill tonight, or use our Vegan Barbecue guide to plan for the weekend.

Recipes to Keep You Cool as a Cucumber

June 25 2015 VegKitchen 

Recipes to Keep You Cool as a CucumberDo cucumbers really cool you down? As a veggie that’s more than 90% water (and with practically no calories), at the very least, they’ll keep you well hydrated. Here are some of our favorite recipes for enjoying them this summer. When temperatures hit tropical levels, turn Cool as a Cucumber Soup -- an easy, no-cook soup featuring cucumbers and lots of fresh herbs in a refreshing base. Hummus, Cucumber, and Avocado Wrap is as good for dinner as it is for lunch (or even breakfast, for that matter ...). You can use homemade hummus or store-bought; either way, its made in minutes. In Cold Soba and Cucumber Salad , earthy buckwheat noodles mingle with refreshing cucumber, and as an added bonus, these noodles are naturally gluten-free. Spiralized Cucumber Salad is a fun salad to make with a spiral slicer. Cucumbers become practically calorie-free noodles, gently embellished with lime, agave, and sesame seeds. From Oh My Veggies, Cucumber Mango Salsa is a sweet and refreshing as well as bracing. And easy on the eyes, as well! Heres a formula for Quick Refrigerator Pickles that I really enjoy. I like to have these in the fridge as often as possible, as a crunchy, nearly calorie-free snack. Finely diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers are central to Israeli Salad ; other vegetables are sometimes added as well. Delicious served with hummus and fresh pita bread!

Weekday Plant-Based Meal Plan-- June 22 – 26, 2015

June 22 2015 VegKitchen 

Weekday Plant-Based Meal Plan-- June 22 – 26, 2015This first week of summer will be hot it much of the northern hemisphere, so here’s a meal plan that will get you in and out of the kitchen quickly. Vegan Salade Niçoise  above is a beautifully composed salad of French origin that looks fancy but is incredibly easy to make. The array of ingredients--white beans or chickpeas, slender green beans, tomatoes, and olives--makes it a great cool main dish salad for a summer meal. All you need to go with it is some crusty bread and your favorite spread.   With the help of a food processor, Quick Cool Pinto Bean Soup is ready to eat in minutes. Enlivened with fresh tomatoes, olives, corn, and chiles, this is a filling bowlful for warm weather, served with tortilla chips or warmed flour tortillas. Add our Super-Easy Guacamole , and save some room for a fruity dessert! Fettuccine Carbonara with Broccoli  goes vegan by substituting smoky tempeh for the real thing. Its made even tastier with lots of broccoli, and some optional asparagus. All you need to finish this meal is a colorful tossed salad.   You can build a meal around this pretty but really easy Sweet and White Potato Salad with Mixed Greens. Serve side by side with one of our bountiful bean salads or a simple tofu dish like Sweet and Savory Sautéed Tofu.   End the week with a VegKitchen reader favorite, Pinto Bean and Quinoa Sloppy Joes. Serve with corn on the cob or simply prepared potatoes, and any kind of slaw-style salad.

Brussels Sprouts Fried Rice

June 19 2015 VegKitchen 

Brussels Sprouts Fried RiceI put Brussels sprouts in everything. Even fried rice is not safe from that little cruciferous flavor bomb! And until someone invents an even more awesome vegetable, I will continue to overuse them. Not that anyone is complaining. This version of fried rice is wonderfully aromatic with the addition of fresh herbs and scallions. And a small handful of pine nuts goes a long way to adding another decadent layer of flavor. You can top the dish with some gingery tofu, or toss in some browned tofu, if youd like it to be an entrée. Or simply serve in addition to a bigger Thai-inspired spread. Recipe and photo from Vegan With a Vengeance: 10th Anniversary Edition* by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, (C)2015. Published by Perseus Books, reprinted with permission. Save Print Brussels Sprouts Fried Rice Author: Isa Chandrea Moskowitz Recipe type: Rice and vegetable skillet Cuisine: Vegan /­­ Healthy Prep time:  15 mins Cook time:  15 mins Total time:  30 mins Serves: 4   Ingredients 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin half-moons ¼ cup pine nuts ¼ cup fresh basil leaves 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped 1 cup finely chopped scallion 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 4 cups cooked and cooled jasmine rice (see note for shortcut) ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice ½ teaspoon agave nectar Sriracha to serve Instructions Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Sauté the Brussels sprouts and carrots in 1 tablespoon of the oil for about 5 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are lightly charred. Toss in the pine nuts and cook for 2 minutes, tossing often, until toasted. Transfer everything to a large plate and set aside. Lower the heat to medium and add another teaspoon of oil. Sauté the basil, cilantro, scallions, garlic, and ginger for about a minute, until the herbs wilt slightly and everything smells aromatic and wonderful. Then, add the rice, red pepper flakes, and the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and cook for about 5 minutes, tossing often. Add the Brussels mixture back to the pan, and drizzle in the soy sauce, lime juice, and agave. Cook for 3 more minutes or so, until the rice is lightly browned. Taste for salt and adjust, if necessary. Serve with plenty of sriracha! 3.3.3077 Note: The rice has to be cold for this recipe to work correctly, otherwise it will get mushy and sticky. Many supermarkets carry frozen bags of rice for reasonable prices, and you can make this recipe with a standard 20-ounce bag of rice in mind (Whole Foods has frozen jasmine rice, even). But you can certainly save your pennies and freeze your own ahead of time! Just steam enough to make 4 cups of cooked rice, fluff it, and place in a mesh strainer. Stick the strainer in the fridge to cool completely before freezing--that way, the rice will cook quickly and evenly. Then transfer the rice to a freezer bag and freeze until ready to use. Always keep a bag at the ready for quick weeknight meals, veggie burgers, what have you. For this recipe, you can just toss the rice into the pan frozen. Enjoy more of our Classic Rice Dishes. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Rawkin Rainbow Kale Salad

June 17 2015 VegKitchen 

Rawkin Rainbow Kale SaladI call this a salad for the kale haters because my husband, who isnt fond of kale, asked for seconds on this incredibly lush and dreamy salad. Recipe from The Abundance Diet: The 28-Day Plan to Reinvent Your Health, Lose Weight, and Discover the Power of Plant-Based Foods.  * (C)2015 by Somer McCowan. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press LLC. Photo by Ann Oliverio. Save Print Rawkin Rainbow Kale Salad Author: Somer McCowan Recipe type: Raw Kale Salad Cuisine: Vegan /­­ Healthy Prep time:  30 mins Total time:  30 mins Serves: 4   Ingredients Creamy Chili Lime Dressing 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 large clove garlic, minced ¼ cup raw cashew pieces (soaked for 4 to 6 hours) 1 tablespoon tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos Juice of 1 large lime 1 teaspoon chili powder, or more (depending on your heat preference) 1 teaspoon ground cumin Dash of cayenne ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper Rainbow Kale Salad 1 large bunch of about16 ounces lacinato (dinosaur) kale, tough stems removed, then cut into ¼-inch shreds ½ cup finely chopped cilantro ¼ head small purple cabbage, cut into ¼-inch ribbons ½ cup red onion, cut into ¼-inch dice or thinly sliced rings 1 large carrot, cut into thin 2-inch long matchsticks 1 large ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into ½-inch cubes 1 small jicama, cut into 2-inch long matchsticks Salt and ground black pepper, to taste Lime wedges, for serving (optional) Instructions In a high-speed blender or a food processor, combine the red bell pepper, garlic, cashews, tamari, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Blend until completely smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the kale and the cilantro to a large salad bowl and pour on the dressing. Toss until all the kale is thoroughly coated, then massage the kale with your hands for 1 to 2 minutes. (Massaging kale makes it taste better!) Divide the kale salad among four large plates and top with the purple cabbage, red onion, carrot, avocado, and jicama. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and serve with lime wedges, if desired. 3.3.3077 Here are more Raw Kale Salads. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

8 Healthy Plant-Based Ingredients to Know and Love

June 16 2015 VegKitchen 

8 Healthy Plant-Based Ingredients to Know and LoveIf youre embarking on a whole foods plant-based diet (and a vegan lifestyle), youll be glad to know that most well-stocked supermarkets will have everything you need. There may be a few ingredients that are new to you, and that might requirer a trip to a natural foods store -- though  not necessarily. Many supermarkets carry these, as well. If you cant find these ingredients in a supermarket or natural foods store, they can be easily purchased online. The helpful list below is excerpted from The Abundance Diet: The 28-Day Plan to Reinvent Your Health, Lose Weight, and Discover the Power of Plant-Based Foods. (C) 2015 by Somer McCowan. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press LLC. Nutritional yeast: While not the same as bread yeast, this wonderful and flavorful food supplement is loved by vegans for its cheesy and savory flavor. Nutritional yeast is most affordable when purchased at a health food store in bulk bins, but it can also be ordered online. Just make sure that the brand you buy is fortified with vitamin B12 (most are).  Vegetable bouillon or quality vegetable broth: I use broth in all my soup recipes instead of water as it imparts a bolder, heartier flavor. Use caution when you buy prepared vegetable broths and bouillon cubes because some brands contain sugar, hydrogenated oils, and MSG. You want to go for a clean label, and my personal favorite is Better Than Bouillons Vegetable Base. Its a vegetable broth paste that you can find in well-stocked grocery stores or online. Make sure the label is vegan, and if you can get it, also organic. Use the instructions on the label to make up your liquid broth for recipes. For some of my recipes I prefer their No-Beef or No Chicken Base (both vegan). I also like the following brands of vegetable bouillon cubes: Edward and Sons, Rapunzel, and Massel. Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari: I use Bragg Liquid Aminos as a seasoning almost on a daily basis, often to replace salt. Its a soy sauce alternative thats gluten-free and preservative-free. If you arent able to find it and dont have issues with gluten, regular soy sauce can certainly be used. You could also substitute tamari, which is a lovely soy sauce replacement. In most of my recipes, tamari and Bragg Liquid Aminos are interchangeable. Those with soy allergies can use coconut aminos instead of Bragg or tamari. Coconut aminos have less sodium than Braggs or tamari, so adjust the sodium in your recipes accordingly. Stevia: The sweet-tasting leaves of this South American plant are extracted and used as a sweetener and sugar substitute. Stevia is calorie-free and doesnt affect blood sugar levels, and it can be found in almost any grocery store in the sweetener section. If possible, look for versions without any additives. My favorite stevia is made by Nu-Naturals. I use it in all my smoothies, since the sweetness allows me to pack more greens into them. I use both liquid and powdered stevia; having both on hand can be helpful. If you are sensitive to stevia or dont enjoy it, try using one of these alternative low-calorie sweeteners instead: monk fruit, tagatose, lo han, xylitol, or erythritol. Some of these options have more calories than stevia, but are all low in calories compared to sugar, pure maple syrup, or agave.  Tapioca starch: Also called tapioca flour, this starch comes from the cassava root. I use it to give cheesy foods a realistic stretch. I also use it as an ingredient in my gluten-free flour. Tapioca starch can typically be found in the gluten-free section of your grocery store or online. Cornstarch or arrowroot can be used instead of tapioca starch, but results will differ slightly as each has varying thickening abilities. Miso: Typically made from brown rice and soy, this Japanese fermented paste has a lovely pungent flavor and aroma that add a nice umami element to the recipes I use it in. If you have soy allergies, you can source miso made from chickpeas. My personal favorite is mellow white miso. You should be able to find it at any health food store. Chickpea miso can be purchased online. Plant milks: For most of the recipes in this book I use unsweetened soy or almond milk. You can use whichever plant milk you prefer, or you can make homemade plant milk; there are lots of recipes online. Keep in mind that unsweetened plant milks are best. Garbanzo or chickpea flour: Also known as besan gram in Indian markets, this flour is made from ground dried garbanzo beans. I love the versatility of this ingredient. It can be used to replace eggs or create delicious gluten-free dishes. It is healthful, full of protein and fiber. You can find this ingredient at your health food store, online, or at an Indian grocer. I like Bobs Red Mill brand. Somer McCowan blogs at Vedged Out .

June 2015 Produce Picks: 5 Fruits and Veggies to Use Now

June 12 2015 VegKitchen 

June 2015 Produce Picks: 5 Fruits and Veggies to Use NowBlueberries: Aside from being incredibly delicious, its become common knowledge that blueberries are also among the most nutritious fruits--and actually, one of the most nutritious foods, period.Doing anything other than eating in-season blueberries out of hand seems like gilding the lily. But there are lots of great ways to use them; you’ll find some simple ideas in in A Bounty of Blueberries. And more about how good they are for you in 5 Top Health Benefits of Blueberries. Here are a few easy recipes for using blueberries: - Mixed Greens Salad with Avocado and BlueberriesVegan Blueberry CornbreadVegan Blueberry or Blackberry Cobbler - Lemony Blueberry Muffins Strawberries: By the end of June, local strawberry season is starting to wane. Though strawberries are usually available all through the summer, they won’t be at their peak of flavor. So take full advantage now! Though not as much of a nutritional powerhouse as blueberries, few fruits offer as much total sensory satisfaction as fully ripe strawberries. See our post on strawberries for a listing of easy ideas for using them, from parfaits to smoothies and simple desserts. Here are a few to whet your appetite: - Strawberry Pancakes - Amaretto StrawberriesFruit and Yogurt Parfaits - Classic Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Bok Choy: Don’t overlook this versatile veggie! The term bok choy is generally used to describe the larger kind, with the crisp white stalks and dark leaves. Baby bok choy is a smaller version of the former variety, with stems and leaves of a fairly uniform, pale green hue. Either of the common varieties of bok choy are good raw in salads or very lightly cooked in stir-fries and Asian-style soups. 6 Quick and Colorful Bok Choy Recipes is a handy place to get ideas. Lettuce: It isn’t just for salads -- especially when your garden or CSA farm leads to a fridge crisper drawer with not just one but three or four heads at once, a scenario that’s fairly common in June. Whatever variety of lettuce you prefer (though please don’t opt for the less nutritious iceberg), it’s in season now. Look for sturdy romaine, oak leaf, and the curly red and green leaf lettuces, or if you like a more tender leaf, there’s butterhead, Bibb, and Boston, to name but three. For more tips, see Lettuce: A New Spin. Aside from serving as a base for salads-- you don’t need a recipe to do that-- try these ideas that go beyond the salad bowl: - Cold Coconut Cream of Lettuce Soup - Tossed Salad Wraps - Chinese-Style Stir-Fried Lettuce - Blackberry Lettuce Smoothie Asparagus: Like strawberries, the true season for asparagus is waning by June’s end, though this tasty and versatile green veggie has become a lot more year-round than it used to be. Welcome in stir-fries, salads, soups, and pilafs; delicious roasted or grilled, asparagus is truly a standout this month. Get lots of useful tips in Asparagus: Buying, Cooking, and Enjoying; and a slew of ways to prepare it in Asparagus Recipes-- Easy and Versatile. Here are a few favorites to get you going: - Simple Sesame-Roasted Asparagus - Linguine or Fettuccine with Asparagus and Portabella MushroomsSpring Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Peas - White Pizza with Asparagus and Spinach

No-Cook Meals for Hot Summer Days

June 10 2015 VegKitchen 

No-Cook Meals for Hot Summer DaysEven if your kitchen is air-conditioned, theres something nice about not having to turn on a single burner to make dinner when its hot outside. Heres a varied range of vegan entrees, along with ideas for rounding them out, for just those kinds of days. Hearty Greek-Flavored Lentil Salad with Tofu Feta keeps its no-cook promise by using canned lentils. Serve this gorgeous and luscious dish with fresh pita and finish with a fruity dessert. In these easy Baked Tofu, Arugula, and Olive Wraps , the combination of flavors is just sublime. Serve with sliced tomatoes and baby carrots, plus some salsa and stone-ground tortilla chips. Cool White Bean and Tomato Soup makes for a flavorful, nearly instant and surprisingly hearty cold soup. Serve with a crusty bread and a simple green salad. Finish with fresh berries served over nondairy ice cream. Here are more No-Cook Soups for Summer Refreshment. Tofuna Salad Sandwich Spread is so simple, yet every time I make it, it disappears quickly. Serve on fresh bread with lettuce, and pair with a platter of tomatoes and avocado. Add some fruit, if youd like. Avocado and Pinto Bean Salad is a quick dish with a Southwestern flair. I like to pair this with another easy salad like one of these 6 Easy and Tasty Slaws , and some fresh bread or tortilla chips with salsa. If you make your own Classic Hummus you can vary it in so many ways, and it goes a longer way than those little containers you get from the store. Hummus can be the centerpiece of a meze platter whose other ingredients are ready to eat --some olives, and perhaps a few rice-stuffed grape leaves and/­­or hot peppers. Add plenty of fresh pita and some cherry tomatoes and sliced bell peppers. Chinese-Style Shredded Cold Vegetables and Tofu is almost too hearty to be called a salad, which is probably why in its native country, dishes like this one are more commonly referred to as a cold mix. Whatever this is called, its simply delicious. For a cook-free companion dish, try Asian-Flavored Coleslaw.

Almond Feta-Style Vegan Cheese

June 8 2015 VegKitchen 

Almond Feta-Style Vegan CheeseI had almost forgotten the joy that feta cheese can add to dishes. For example, the wonderful Greek spinach pie, spanakopita--I had basically given up on this entirely. Id made and had many vegan versions of it, but without the briny flavor of feta, the flavors just fell flat. After much knocking around in my noggin, I came up with the perfect vegan substitute. Salty and briny, this feta works beautifully crumbled over salads or slightly melted in all of the traditional dishes. Best of all, stored in brine, it keeps for weeks, getting stronger in flavor and more delicious as time goes by (in fact, it vastly improves after a month, so make this weeks ahead of time if you can). Reprinted by permission from The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schinner, (C) 2015. Photographs by Eva Kolenko, (C) 2015 Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Makes: 1 pound 2 cups blanched almonds, soaked in water for 12 to 24 hours 1 cup juice from sauerkraut** 1/­­2 teaspoon sea salt 2/­­3 cup water 2 tablespoons agar powder Brine 6 cups water 3/­­4 cup sea salt or kosher salt Drain and rinse the almonds. Place them in a high-speed blender with the sauerkraut juice and salt, and process on the highest setting for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth and no longer grainy to the tongue. Pour the mixture into a clean container and cover with a non-permeable lid or plastic wrap. Leave on your kitchen counter for 1 to 2 days to culture, making sure you taste it each day, until it begins to get tangy. Keep in mind there is no hard and fast rule about how long it needs to culture--your taste buds will have to guide you in determining the right length of time. In warmer weather, it could be just a day, while in cooler weather, it could take 2 days or even longer. Once the cheese is slightly tangy, you can move onto solidifying it. First, prepare the mold for the cheese by lining an 8-inch square pan with cheesecloth. Combine the water and agar in a medium saucepan and whisk well. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to a simmer over low heat. Dont peek for 3 to 4 minutes, then check to see if it is bubbling away. At first, if you peek too early, it may look as if it has solidified. However, if you let it simmer over low heat for a couple of minutes more, it will start to liquefy again and bubble away. When the agar is fully dissolved, pour in the cultured almond mixture and whisk immediately until fully combined. Pour the cheese mixture into the cheesecloth-lined pan. Refrigerate for several hours, until hard. Prepare the brine by whisking together the water and the salt in a large bowl until most of the salt is dissolved. Cut the cheese into four pieces and place in the brine. Cover and let sit for 8 hours at room temperature. Transfer the cheese to a storage container and pour the brine over the cheese until it is halfway submerged. Add more plain water to completely cover the cheese and dilute the brine. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 months. The flavor vastly improves after the first 3 to 4 weeks. * In the book, Miyoko gives a step-by-step on how to make your own rejuvelac for aging and fermenting foods. Sauerkraut juice is given here as well as in the book for ease of use. Visit Miyoko Schinner at Artisan Vegan Life , and find our more about her cultured nut products at Miyokos Kitchen . **This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Corn Muffins with Black Beans and Zucchini

June 4 2015 VegKitchen 

Corn Muffins with Black Beans and ZucchiniThis savory vegan muffin makes good use of summer’s fresh corn and the seasons abundance of zucchini. Other times of year, you can use frozen kernels, and of course, zucchini is a year-round veggie. These make a perfect accompaniment to hot or cold soups. Black beans give these a bit of heft, making them a nice change of pace for the lunch box. Photos by Evan Atlas. Makes: 1 dozen  Hands-on time: 15 to 20 minutes; baking time: 20 to 25 minutes. - 1 cup stoneground whole-grain cornmeal  - 1 1/­­2 cups whole wheat pastry flour  - 1 teaspoon baking powder  - 1 teaspoon baking soda  - 1 teaspoon salt  - 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - 2 packed cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium) - 1/­­2 cup unsweetened applesauce - 3/­­4 to 1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk, or as needed - 1 cup cooked fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels - 2 scallions or small bunch chives, finely chopped Optional (any or all) - 1 to 2 small fresh hot chili peppers, seeded and minced - 3/­­4 cup shredded vegan cheese, optional (but highly recommended) - 1/­­2 cup chopped black olives Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine the first 5 (dry) ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the oil and nondairy milk. Stir until well combined, adding more nondairy milk as needed to make a smooth, slightly stiff batter.  Fold in the remaining ingredients, including any of the optional ones youd like to use. Divide the batter among 12 lightly oiled, paper, or parchment-lined muffin tins (yes, there are parchment muffin liners -- look for them in your supermarket or natural foods store baking section). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one tests clean.  Cool on a rack, then serve warm. Store completely cooled leftover muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or freeze them for future use.   - Find lots more sweet or savory muffins in Muffin Mania.

No-Cook Cold Soups for Summer Refreshment

June 4 2015 VegKitchen 

No-Cook Cold Soups for Summer RefreshmentEven though we can use air-conditioning to mitigate summer heat in the kitchen, being able to make cold soups without turning on a single burner is a gift on the hottest days. Some cold soups have cooked ingredients and then are chilled in the fridge, but the ones presented here don’t require any heat at all. It’s good to chill them before serving for ultimate refreshment, but you can serve them right away if need be (you can always swirl 3 or 4 ice cubes into them before serving to get that chilled effect). First up, Cool White Bean and Tomato Soup, shown above, which makes for a flavorful, nearly instant and surprisingly hearty cold soupCreamy Chilled Avocado Soup best eaten on the same day as it is made, since avocado discolors and does not keep well under refrigeration once peeled. For a totally no-cook meal, serve with Baked Tofu, Arugula, and Olive Wraps, or any leafy wrap you like best. In Watermelon and Peach Gazpacho, adding summer fruit like watermelon and peaches (or nectarines) to a classic tomato gazpacho works surprisingly well. The sweet and piquant flavors play off of one another in this palate-pleaser. Cold Coconut Cream of Lettuce Soup can be made completely no-cook if you like raw corn kernels. You should definitely give tender and sweet summer corn kernels a try, uncooked.   When temperatures hit tropical levels, I turn to Cool as a Cucumber Soup for an easy uncooked soup featuring cucumbers and lots of fresh herbs in a refreshing base. Green Gazpacho with Fresh Tomatillos is a cousin to the classic tomato-based gazpacho, this cold soup is a great first course for a Mexican or Southwestern-style meal, and is especially nice to make when fresh tomatillos are in season in late summer.

Laura’s Date-Nut Truffles

June 1 2015 VegKitchen 

If youre in need of a fuss-free, healthy dessert that will impress guests, look no further. Laura Theodore, the Jazzy Vegetarian, created this simple yet decadent-tasting treat for just such an occasion. This treat is gluten-free, oil-free, quick, and easy. Contributed by Ann Oliverio, from  Crave, Eat, Heal: Plant-Based Whole Food Recipes to Satisfy Every Appetite* reprinted with permission (C) 2015 Front Table Books. Makes: About 10 - 8 large Medjool dates, pitted -  1/­­4 cup raw cashews - 3 heaping tablespoons chopped walnuts - 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded dried coconut - 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder Line a small baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Put the dates, cashews, walnuts, and coconut in a high-speed blender and process to the consistency of soft dough. Transfer the date mixture to a medium bowl. Spoon out a heaping tablespoon of the date mixture, and roll it into a ball. Put the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Roll each truffle in the cocoa powder until coated and place on the prepared sheet. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover truffles will keep for about 3 days. - Here are more Unbaked and Raw Sweets. - Visit Annie Oliverio at An Unrefined Vegan.

5 Delicious Veggie Recipes for the Grill (and One for Fruit!)

May 28 2015 VegKitchen 

5 Delicious Veggie Recipes for the Grill (and One for Fruit!)Here are a few ways to make the most of the veggies on the grill, some tried and true (eggplant, peppers, and some that you may not have considered (cabbage, asparagus). First up, Grilled Pineapple (above) is amazing. Its a perfect foil for vegan proteins (tofu, tempeh, seitan, or vegan sausage) and veggies cooked on the barbecue.  Be prepared for a revelation, says Joe Yonan about Grilled Cabbage. Besides adding smoky flavor, grilling brings out the vegetables natural sweetness. For Grilled Asparagus with Spring OnionRadishButter,” Betsy Dijulio knew she wanted to grill asparagus and knew she wanted something special on top, and was inspired by the simplest and most elegant appetizer -- radishes spread with butter (vegan buttery spread, in this case).   Eggplant was just made to be grilled, and in Grilled Eggplant Teriyaki, an Asian-flavored marinade brings out the best of its subtle flavor. A grilled version of the classic French stew called ratatouille, Grilled Ratatouille becomes a glistening warm salad. It features the characteristic ingredients of this dish, including eggplant, onions, zucchini, and bell pepper. Fresh Grill Roasted Peppers say summertime. Their understated sweetness catapults so many foods to the next flavor level. Try them atop crusty bread, seasoned with fresh basil, salt, pepper, olive oil. Here are lots more recipes and tips for The Vegan Barbecue.

Sesame Soba Noodles with Collard Greens and Tempeh Croutons

May 26 2015 VegKitchen 

Sesame Soba Noodles with Collard Greens and Tempeh CroutonsI’m a complete noodle fanatic, but a bowl of pasta with tomato sauce doesn’t quite do the trick for me. For me, an ideal noodle dish is one in which veggies have at least equal billing. This Asian-flavored dish of soba noodles and calcium-rich collard greens is flavored with a triple dose of sesame (another great source of calcium): tahini, seeds, and oil. Another bonus -- soba noodles made purely of buckwheat are gluten free. If that’s not of concern to you, other long noodles -- udon or even whole wheat spaghetti -- can be substituted. Recipe by Nava Atlas, from Living the Farm Sanctuary Life by Gene Baur with Gene Stone, (C) 2015 by Gene Baur. Photographs (C) 2015 by Rodale Inc. Reprinted by Permission of Rodale Books. Serves: 4 Total time: 25 to 30 minutes Sauce - 1/­­3 cup tahini - 1/­­4 cup lime juice - 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium natural soy sauce or tamari, or more if needed - 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar (cane, coconut, or date) or agave nectar Tempeh croutons - 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil - 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium natural soy sauce or tamari - 1 package (8 ounces) tempeh, any variety, cut into 1/­­2″ dice Noodles - 1 package (8 ounces) soba (buckwheat) noodles - 10 to 12 collard green leaves - 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil - 1 large red or yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced - 1/­­4 small head green cabbage, cut into long, narrow shreds - 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into long, narrow strips - 1/­­2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, basil, or Thai basil leaves, or more as desired - 1 tablespoon black or tan sesame seeds Red-pepper flakes or Sriracha sauce To make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the tahini, lime juice, soy sauce or tamari, and sugar or agave nectar. To make the croutons: In a large or wide-bottomed skillet, heat the oil and soy sauce or tamari over medium heat. Add the tempeh and stir to coat. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the tempeh until most sides are golden brown. Remove the tempeh croutons to a plate. To make the noodles: Cook the noodles according to package directions. When they’re al dente, remove from the heat and drain. Meanwhile, cut the stems from the collard leaves with kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Stack 6 or so halves of leaves at a time. Roll the leaves up tightly from one of the narrow ends, almost like a cigar shape, then thinly slice them. Let them unroll to create ribbons of collard greens. Give them a good rinse in a colander. In the same skillet used to make the croutons, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened and golden. Add the collard ribbons, cover, and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they wilt down a bit. Add the cabbage and bell pepper. Increase the heat and cook for 3 minutes, or just until the veggies are on the other side of raw. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the cooked noodles to the pan and use a large fork to mix the noodles thoroughly with the veggies. Pour the sauce over the mixture. Add the cilantro or basil and sesame seeds. Scatter the croutons on top. Season with the pepper flakes or Sriracha to taste. This can be served warm or at room temperature. - Here are more recipes for enjoying Asian Noodles.

Polenta Pizza Crust

May 23 2015 VegKitchen 

Polenta Pizza CrustWhile I love homemade pizza, I look for shortcuts to replace a dough-based crust-- like this polenta crust. Though it’s gluten-free, you need not follow a GF diet to enjoy this change-of-pace pizza crust. Recipe from from Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes by Dreena Burton, BenBella Books (C) 2015, reprinted by permission. Photos by Nicole Axeworthy. Makes: One 12-inch crust - 1 tube (18-ounce) prepared organic polenta, broken in pieces - 1 cup cooked and cooled brown rice -  1/­2 cup chickpea flour (or use 1/­2  cup plus 2 tablespoons millet flour) -  1/­2 teaspoon garlic powder -  1/­4 scant teaspoon salt - 1 tablespoon cornmeal Preheat oven to 425°F. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven. If you dont, have a pizza pan or other large baking pan at hand (but it doesnt need to preheat). In a food processor, add the polenta, rice, chickpea flour, garlic powder, and sea salt and pulse first to combine, then process just until the mixture comes together in a ball on the blade. Remove the dough ball and place it on a large sheet of parchment paper. Cover with another piece of parchment. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin between the parchment sheets to about 12″ diameter or more, and 1/­2″ thick. Remove the top sheet of parchment from the dough. Using a pizza peel or a very large tray/­plate, transfer the pizza crust to the pizza stone (with the single layer of parchment still underneath the dough). Bake for 25 minutes, until it is golden around the edges and firm in the center. Remove the pizza stone to let the crust cool slightly for few minutes while preparing the toppings. When ready to bake, increase oven temperature to 450°F. Using a large plate or your pizza peel, remove the crust from the pizza stone/­ pan and invert to remove the parchment. Sprinkle the cornmeal over stone/­pan, and place on pizza. Add toppings (see suggestions), and bake for 13-15 minutes, until heated through, and longer if desired for crispier edges/­crust. Remove, let sit for 3-5 minutes, then serve. Suggested Toppings: Toppings that are not too moist are best. You can always preroast veggies to reduce moisture. Topping Ideas: Sliced bell peppers, roasted zucchini or eggplant, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, artichoke hearts, capers. Visit Dreena Burton at Plant-Powered Kitchen. - Here are more recipes for Easy Pizzas.

Rustic Strawberry Tart

May 21 2015 VegKitchen 

As with all desserts that spotlight fresh fruit, the seasons best berries make this tart shine. This dessert was inspired by a large basket of spring strawberries from Fall Creek Farm in Granbury, Texas, where Cullen and Ashley Crisps mantras are the smaller, the sweeter and the redder, the better. If youre purchasing the grocery-store variety, pony up for organic--its worth it. Reprinted with permission from Meatless in Cowtown: A Vegetarian Guide to Food and Wine, Texas Style (C) 2015 by Laura Samuel Meyn and Anthony Head, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Photos by Jason Varney. Makes one 10-inch tart Crust - 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out - 1/­3 cup white whole wheat flour - 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon organic granulated sugar, divided - 1/­8 teaspoon kosher salt (skip if using vegan butter) - 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted vegan butter stick (such as Earth Balance) -  1/­4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water Filling - 1 pound fresh organic strawberries, hulled and halved - 3 tablespoons organic granulated sugar - 2 tablespoons cornstarch - 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice To make the crust: Combine the flours, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and salt, if using, in a large bowl; whisk to blend well. Cut the butter or vegan butter into 1/­2 -inch pieces. Add the butter or vegan butter to the flour mixture and work in with your fingertips until a coarse meal forms (do not overwork the dough; some large bits can remain). Using a fork, stir in just enough of the ice water to form a dough. Knead the dough briefly until it comes together. Pat the dough into a round disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until youre ready to roll it out. To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 425° F. Place the strawberries in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the strawberries with the sugar, cornstarch, and lime juice; toss to coat. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a work surface; sprinkle it with flour. Place the dough disk in the center of the parchment paper and, using a rolling pin, roll it out to a 13-inch round. Lift the parchment paper up and transfer it, with the crust, to a baking sheet. Spoon the strawberries into the center of the dough, drizzling with a bit of the juices from the bottom of the bowl. Fold about 1 1/­2 inches of the edges of the tart dough in toward the center, partly covering the strawberries. Sprinkle the top crust around the edges with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake the tart until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand for at least 15 minutes (the center will be very juicy but it will set some as it cools). Serve warm or at room temperature. -  Here are more tips and recipes for using strawberries.

Veganz -- Vegan Supermarket and Café Chain in Germany and Beyond

May 21 2015 VegKitchen 

Veganz -- Vegan Supermarket and Café Chain in Germany and BeyondOn any given vacation, there will inevitably be one of those days where nothing seems to go right. On a recent trip to Berlin, my husband and I had one of those days when we took a day trip to Leipzig, a medium-sized city a couple of hours away. Ill spare you the details, but most everything went awry, and by the time we made our way back to the train station, we were tired, hungry, and disappointed. Coming upon a branch of Veganz, a vegan supermarket and café chain totally redeemed the day for us. Veganz offers a mix of European and American brands We could have gone to another of the Veganz locations in Berlin, but we hadnt mastered the U-bahn and it seemed a bit far afield from our other activities (now Im sorry we didnt make the little bit of effort to figure it out -- next time!), so I was beyond delighted to have come upon the store in Leipzig. Veganz, which launched in 2011, is the brainchild of the entrepreneurial January Bredack. There are now several locations in Germany, its country of origin. In addition to the aforementioned stores in Berlin and Leipzig, youll also find it in Munich, Essen, and Frankfurt. Outside of Germany, there are branches in Prague (Czech Republic), and Vienna (Austria). There are plans to expand to London as well as Portland, Oregon. Portland is such a vegan-friendly city that a Veganz branch is sure to be a smash success. Veganz offers an amazing selection of vegan cheeses. The mission of Veganz is to offer a one-stop, amazing array of fresh and prepared vegan foods and products. Theyre also great ambassadors of the plant-based lifestyle, spreading the love with their food truck that serves up delicious food at music festivals and sporting events. In-store cooking demos and classes are being planned as well. The half-empty produce bins prove that Veganz customers love their fresh veggies Veganzs shelves and refrigerated sections offer an array of European, British, and American products. Fresh produce is attractively displayed, and non-food items like books and household items are also part of the mix. There are vegan treats for your pets as well. When we sat down to eat at Goodies, the café within Veganz, we were more than ready for a good meal. And unlike the rest of the day behind us, we were not disappointed! Everything we had was fresh and delicious. There were two soups to choose from -- comforting yet full-bodied potato and leek, and roasted pepper and tomato. Hubby and I passed the soups back and forth and split a bountiful caesar salad wrap. We were tempted by the desserts, especially the dairy-free cheesecakes, but feeling quite full, we settled on the soft-serve ice cream, a light and sweet way to end the meal. If youre planning any travel to the locations listed above, a stop in Veganz is well worth your while, whether to stock up or just have a meal. I cant wait to visit again -- and next time, Ill save some room for that incredible-looking cheesecake. - Look for more vegan travel and lifestyle articles on our Vegan Living page.

Greek-Flavored Lentil Salad with Tofu Feta

May 19 2015 VegKitchen 

Greek-Flavored Lentil Salad with Tofu FetaThis hearty, Greek-inspired cold dish of lentils, tomatoes, olives, and tofu feta is easy enough to make for everyday meals, and impressive enough to serve on special occasions. Its a nice dish to bring to potlucks, as well. Photos by Evan Atlas. - 1 recipe Tofu Feta - 3 cups cooked brown, green, or black lentils (from about 1 1/­­2 cups raw), or two 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed - 1 medium bell pepper, any color, diced - 2 medium flavorful firm tomatoes, diced - 2 scallions, thinly sliced - 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste - Chopped fresh dill to taste - Chopped fresh mint to taste - 1/­­2 cup sliced or halved pitted Kalamata olives Prepare the Tofu Feta as directed. Combine the Tofu Feta with the remaining ingredients in a serving bowl and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes before serving, to allow the flavors to blend. Here are more recipes using Lentils and Peas.

Kopps in Berlin -- Brunch Made in Vegan Heaven

May 17 2015 VegKitchen 

On a recent trip to Berlin, my husband and I were determined to see most of the citys contemporary art galleries, and the best way to do so was on foot. Since the galleries are set in loosely connected clusters in several areas, this made for a lot of walking (over 12 miles in one day was our record!), which made us very hungry. Fortunately, Berlin is vegan-friendly as well as art-packed, a winning combination for us. Kopps is an upscale vegan restaurant not far from the gallery district set in the charming neighborhood flanked by Linienstrasse and Auguststrasse. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, you can enjoy their unlimited brunch buffet for 13.50 Euros per person -- a pretty sweet deal when you consider that depending on when you eat, this one meal really can keep you sated all day. My hunch is that the offerings on the buffet vary with season. On the day we visited there were an abundance of salads and cold dishes based on greens, couscous, noodles and more; an array of hot foods (including chili, stuffed zucchini, and soups) fresh breads, fruits, cereals, and delicious desserts. Beverages (including good, strong coffee, juices, and alcohol) are ordered separately and not included in the cost of the buffet. Im not usually one for faux meats and cheeses, but I must admit that I enjoyed the ones on the buffet immensely. These are not house-made, but they are pretty amazing, not for their imitative qualities, but for how tasty they are in and of themselves. The cheeses, paper-thin and so delicate, are based on cashews, and the meats are primarily soy. A unique soy-based butter is also exceptional. I did my level best to take some decent photos of the buffet, but, being photographically challenged, only managed to capture the cheese and meat platter, shown at the top. Judging by how busy this eatery was the day we visited, its apparent that visitors to Berlin as well as locals looking for a great plant-based dining experience agree that Kopps is the place to find it. Kopps Bar & Restaurant Linienstraße 94 10115 Berlin kontakt@kopps-berlin.de

4 Ways to Use Lettuce -- Other Than in Salads

May 15 2015 VegKitchen 

4 Ways to Use Lettuce -- Other Than in SaladsYou don’t need a recipe to figure out how to use lettuce in a salad. In the late spring or early summer, though, you might find yourself with more lettuce than you need, especially if you belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm or are a gardener yourself. Here are four creative ways to use your surplus of lettuce, starting with the refreshing Cold Coconut Cream of Lettuce Soup shown above. Chinese-Style Stir-Fried Lettuce is an easy stir-fry and a good way to use lots of this tender leafy green, whether excess or not. Its best to use crisp lettuce like romaine for this one. Blackberry Lettuce Smoothie offers an offbeat combination of lettuce and berries. The color of the berries stands out, but there’s a whole lot of lettuce in this invigorating beverage. In Spicy Tofu Triangles on a Cool Bed of Lettuce, the contrast of warm, spicy triangles of pan-browned tofu with cool, crisp lettuce is quite enticing.

Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Cream Cheez

May 11 2015 VegKitchen 

Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Cream CheezDiana, blogger at Veggie Next Door, and one of my recipe testers, warns that this might not be the best snack for a party setting since one is guaranteed to have garlic-breath, but I couldnt resist trying to make a favorite pre-vegan appetizer of mine -- Boursin(R) cheese. Recipe and photo by Ann Oliverio, from  Crave, Eat, Heal: Plant-Based Whole Food Recipes to Satisfy Every Appetite* reprinted with permission (C) 2015 Front Table Books. Makes: 2 small rounds Total time: 48 hours, including soaking, roasting, and setting time - 1 small head garlic - 1/­­4 cup fresh chopped herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, chives, and/­­or oregano - 1 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked in water 8-10 hours, rinsed and drained - 1/­­4 cup coconut butter or 1/­­4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, soaked in water for about 15 minutes, drained - 1/­­4 teaspoon sea salt - 1/­­2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder - 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Preheat toaster oven (or oven) to 450 ? F. Cut off the top 1/­­3 or so of the garlic and wrap the head in foil. Place the garlic in the oven and roast for 30 to 45 minutes, or until fragrant and very soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before unwrapping. Line two 3/­­4 cup ramekins with cheesecloth. Sprinkle the bottoms of the ramekins with one tablespoon each of the herbs, reserving the remaining herbs. Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the cashew pieces, coconut butter or coconut flakes, and salt until fairly smooth. (It will not get completely smooth.) Squeeze the cloves from the roasted garlic and drop into the bowl of the food processor. Add the garlic powder and the lemon juice and process until thoroughly combined. Divide the mixture between the prepared ramekins, pressing the cheese down into the herbs and cheesecloth. Tap the ramekins on the counter a few times and level the top. Divide the remaining herbs between the two ramekins, gently press them into the cheese and cover with the ends of the cheesecloth. Put one ramekin on top of the other and fill a third ramekin with water and place it on top of both ramekins (youll have a tower of 3 ramekins).  Place them in the refrigerator and let set overnight. The next day, remove the water-filled ramekin. Gently tug the cheesecloth to remove the cream cheese from the other ramekins and serve with bread or crackers, or place them in an air-tight container for up to one week. Variations - If you use the Coconut Butter rather than the coconut flakes, you may need to add just a touch of water when processing. - I give a range of garlic powder here because its pretty powerful stuff. As the cheese sets, the flavor develops, so err on the side of less garlic powder (or none) if youre not a big fan.  

6 Special Vegan Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

May 8 2015 VegKitchen 

6 Special Vegan Mother’s Day Brunch RecipesAnyone can take their mom out for Mother’s Day brunch -- but why fight crowds and limited vegan options? Your mom will be more impressed and grateful if you show your love by making a special brunch. None are difficult or time consuming and all are tasty as can be. Let’s start with Jenné Claiborne’s Buckwheat Crepes with Chocolate Sauce, above. Crustless Tofu Quiche with Mushrooms and Herbs is so flavorful and easy to prepare that you may come to prefer it over the egg-and-cheese variety. Serve with fresh breads and a fruit salad. Composed Fresh Fruit Platters can be the main feature of a light brunch served with muffins or other baked goods. Here, quantities are given just as a guideline -- vary the kind of fruit used according to whats available. If you and yours no longer eat eggs but have a craving for the retro classic, deviled eggs, youll really enjoy these Deviled Tomatoes -- a completely vegan rendition. For a fun Mother’s Day brunch, serve with a potato salad as well as some sort of green salad. Mother’s Day dovetails with strawberry season, so Strawberry Pancakes are a natural choice. For a heartier meal, serve with sautéed strips of tempeh bacon. The magic in these vegan Magic Muffins, with Variations is that they use no eggs or dairy, but rather incorporate a great healthy baking technique--using applesauce as a binding and fat substitute. Make Mom a batch of muffins and serve with fresh fruit, or pair with the Composed Fresh Fruit Platters, above.

No-Bake Breakfast Cookies

May 4 2015 VegKitchen 

These oat-based unbaked cookies are great for breakfast on the go, a mid-afternoon treat, or a post-workout snack. Theyve got a lot going for them -- nut butter, seeds, and dried fruits. Theyre gluten-free (if using GF oats) and oil-free as well. Recipe and photo by Ann Oliverio, from   Crave, Eat, Heal: Plant-Based Whole Food Recipes to Satisfy Every Appetite* reprinted with permission (C) 2015 Front Table Books. Makes: 12 cookies - 1 1/­­2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats - 1/­­3 cup natural almond or peanut butter - 1/­­2 cup unsweetened applesauce - 1 tablespoon nondairy milk or water - 1/­­4 teaspoon vanilla-flavored liquid stevia - 1 tsp. ground cinnamon - 1 tablespoon teff - 1 tablespoon hulled hemp seeds - 1 tablespoon chia seeds - 1/­­2 cup dried tart cherries, roughly chopped In a food processor, pulse the oats until broken into small pieces. Pour the oats into a large bowl and add the teff, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and cherries. Add the nut butter, applesauce, coconut milk or water, stevia, and cinnamon to the processor bowl. Process until very smooth and scrape the mixture into the bowl with the oats.  Stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Divide the oat mixture between 12 muffin cups and using damp fingers, press the mixture down to create a flat surface.  Refrigerate the cookies until firm.  Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Variations - For a chocolate cookie, omit the cinnamon and add 1 tablespoon cacao or cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon cacao nibs. - Try using one ripe banana instead of the applesauce. - Use your favorite dried fruit in place of the cherries. - If you prefer, use maple syrup in place of the vanilla-flavored stevia.  Start with 1 tablespoon maple syrup plus 1/­­4 teaspoon vanilla extract. - If you dont have or dont want to use teff, use additional hemp or chia seeds. – Here are more vegan breakfast recipes. - Try some of our other no-bake and raw sweets

5 Juicing Mistakes Everyone Must Avoid

May 1 2015 VegKitchen 

5 Juicing Mistakes Everyone Must AvoidContributed by Garrick Dee Tan, from Juicing with G. Juicing can be very beneficial to your health when done right. But when done wrong, the results can have the opposite effect from what you want to achieve. Instead of losing weight, you can gain weight, and in some cases it can be life threatening (Ill explain this in a bit). So before you drop that first celery into a juicer, read this article carefully so that you maximize every ounce of juice you drink and dont waste money on stuff you dont need. Mistake 1: Randomly adding stuff in without considering how it would taste Number one reason why I juice is to improve on my health but that doesnt mean I cant enjoy it right? I wont be juicing as long as I have been if I wasnt enjoying it in the first place. For my wife thats the number one priority. When you randomly mix in vegetables and fruit dont mix well together, thats a recipe for disaster. It could result in a puke-inducing concoction even your dog will not drink. I did that once when I juiced orange (with the skin on) and mustard greens. Want to know how it tasted like? Imagine drinking liquid wasabi, thats how bad it was. Some ingredients just dont fit together. To avoid this youll have to know the basics of making a proper juice that balances the right amount of vegetables and fruit that maximizes nutritional benefit and minimizes fructose content. Mistake 2: Adding too much fruit This in my opinion is the biggest mistake people make. People fail to realize that when you remove the fiber from fruit, fructose gets absorbed by the bloodstream without getting digested in your gut. Fiber actually slows down fructose absorption so that the liver does not get overwhelmed. While fructose from fruit isnt as bad as corn syrup or soda, it is still fructose and our body does not need too much of it to function. What our body needs for energy is glucose and it gets metabolized by almost every cell in the body. Fructose on the other hand isnt, the only organ in the body that breaks it down is the liver and when a flood of fructose comes in (for instance drinking soft drinks or fruit laden juice) the liver gets overwhelmed. A byproduct of this process is triglyceride, one form of fat, uric acid and free radicals. Over consumption of fructose has been linked to obesity and diabetes to name a few. To minimize fructose content in your juices, minimize the amount of fruit you put in it, just put enough to make it palatable. The most Ill put in is one or two apples combined with half a lemon (which doesnt have too much fructose at all). Sometimes I would combine strawberries with apple. In some instances Id blend the strawberries because it does not juice well in a slow juicer and then mix in the apple + leafy greens + cucumber juice afterwards. Mistake 3: Juicing the same thing over and over again One way to improve your health is eating a lot of vegetables, particularly the cruciferous family that includes cauliflower, spinach, and cabbage to name a few. This vegetable family is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, it is also rich in a toxin called goitrogens that can hamper the function of the thyroid gland and cause the condition called goiter. Vegetables like spinach and cauliflower contain a toxin called oxalates that can cause or worsen kidney stones. These toxins is reduced when you cook them but eating or in this case drinking them raw puts you at risk if you drink the same thing over and over every day. One way to avoid this is to alternate the ingredients you put in your juicer. For example, juice a celery on Monday, then spinach on Tuesday, then wheatgrass on Wednesday and so on. Mistake 4: Thinking that it is a replacement for solid food When people look to lose weight, they look for shortcuts to achieve results. Thats why juice fasts are a hit but not many people realize that there is a risk in doing so. While theyll lose weight, it is not sustainable because you deprive your body of nutrients found only in solid food. Also when you do an extended juice fast (you only drink juice and not eat solids), your hunger pangs get worst because of the nutrient deprivation and youll end up eating more than what your body needs. This results in massive weight gain. There are success stories of people doing extreme juice fasts, the most famous arguably is Joe Cross, the man behind Fat, Sick and Nearly dead. But a more sustainable approach in losing weight and getting healthy would be completely changing your diet and incorporating juicing into your lifestyle like what Neil Martin did. The results are inspiring - he lost 75 pounds and no longer suffers symptoms of asthma and IBS. The latter is more sustainable because you dont need to go through extended periods without solid food but you still lose weight and get healthy because of the lifestyle change. Mistake 5: Buying a juice just because the guy in the infomercial says its good If youre serious with juicing then investing in a good juicer is a must but choosing one can be tough because there are different choices and the terminologies honestly are confusing. Before buying the first juicer in an infomercial you have to identify your needs and preferences - the type of produce youll juice, spare time, space available and budget. Once you identify those variables, you can narrow down options and make the proper choice. People who have time constraints and dont mind a noisy machine would be better off with a centrifugal juicer because it extracts juice in seconds and prep time is minimized because of the large feed chute. For folks who like to have their leafy green juice, a horizontal slow juicer would be an ideal choice because of the way it is designed it extracts a lot from leafy green vegetables. It wont be as fast as a centrifugal juicer but since it has few moving parts, it will be easy to clean.

Warm Sushi Rice Bowls with Tofu Teriyaki

April 24 2015 VegKitchen 

Crisp teriyaki-flavored tofu bites are perched atop nori-flecked sushi rice for an invigorating meal in a bowl. It’s a lively combination of cooked and raw ingredients. Recipe originally published in January 2015 Vegetarian Times. Photo courtesy of Vegetarian Times. Serves: 6 Total time: 40 minutes or less Tofu teriyaki -  1/­4 cup mirin (rice wine), sake, or dry white wine - 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari - 1 tablespoon natural sugar - 1 tablespoon rice vinegar - 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger - 1 teaspoons dark sesame oil - 14- to 16-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed Sushi rice - 1 1/­2 cups short-grain brown rice - 3 tablespoons rice vinegar - 1 tablespoon. natural sugar -  1/­4 teaspoon salt To finish - 2 sheets toasted nori, cut into short strips, plus more for garnish - 1 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, and finely diced - 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks or coarsely grated -  1/­2 cucumber, cut into matchsticks or coarsely grated - Toasted sesame seeds, optional - Thinly sliced scallions, optional To make the Tofu Teriyaki: Combine all ingredients except tofu in shallow container. Add tofu, and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Meanwhile, bring the rice and 3 cups water to a boil in saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. (For a more tender grain, add 1/­2 cup water and cook until absorbed.) Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir in  the nori and set aside. Heat large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and marinade, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, turning gently, until tofu cubes are browned and crisp on most sides. To serve, divide the Sushi Rice among six serving bowls. Top with Tofu Teriyaki, avocado, carrots, and cucumber. Garnish with extra nori, sesame seeds, and optional scallions. - Here are more easy, versatile tofu recipes. - Here are more great recipes for vegan bowls.

The Best Vegan Milk (Non-Dairy) Alternatives

April 22 2015 VegKitchen 

The Best Vegan Milk (Non-Dairy) AlternativesAre you looking for some healthy vegan milk alternatives that can please your taste buds at the same time? Well, the market is flooded with dozens of non-dairy milk beverages and quite a few of them are worth trying. Sounds interesting? Read on below to learn more: Why Vegan Milk is a Good Choice for You? No matter whether you are a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, picking non-dairy milk alternatives over the regular ones is always beneficial for you. Let us dig a bit deeper and find out why one should go for vegan milk choices: - Being free of lactose, it is non-allergenic. So, if you are allergic to cow milk, going vegan will help you a lot. - If you have lactose intolerance, the chances are big that you experience acid reflux, abdominal gas, bloating, etc. frequently. Dairy-free milk substitutes can eliminate these symptoms fast and easily. - Acne and regular milk always go hand in hand. The risk becomes even greater in case of skimmed milk. But when you replace your dairy consumption with the vegan alternatives, you get rid of it. - When the milk is produced from a cow non-organically, it gets contaminated by the antibiotics and hormones injected into the animals body. The unnatural production process of milk also causes mastitis to cows, which results into the presence of pus in milk. All these lead to hormonal imbalances and various other ailments in human beings. However, when you opt for non-dairy milk, you can always stay away from these worries. - Most of the vegan milk alternatives can be made easily, quickly and economically at home and you can even add lots of flavor to it. 8 Best Vegan Milk Alternatives You Should Try -  Soy Milk It is prepared by pounding and processing dried soybeans with water. You can find a variety of flavors including light, sweet, full-cream, vanilla, chocolate, etc. in the market. The density and creaminess of the milk may also vary greatly and it tastes even better than regular milk. Qualities: - The protein content is almost similar to cow milk (around 8 grams a cup). - High in dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin D, plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, antioxidants, phytoestrogen, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, choline, folate, etc. - Very low in saturated fats and sugar - Lactose and cholesterol-free - Prevents prostate cancer, osteoporosis, cholesterol transportation, etc. - Strengthens blood vessels - Eases menopausal symptoms - Oat Milk This nutritious milk is made by pre-soaking the grains of oatmeal in water and straining the concotion carefully. It is sweet in taste and thick in consistency. A variety of flavor is available in the market and you are free to pick your favorite one. Qualities: - Fulfills almost 35% of our daily requirements of calcium - Works as a protein powerhouse - Fat and sugar content is very low. - Contains no cholesterol or saturated fats - Rich in soluble fibers, iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, folate, phytochemicals, etc. - Prevents a number of cancers - Improves cardiovascular health - Promotes digestion and prevents constipation - Increases good cholesterol level and reduces bad cholesterol level - Makes the immune system stronger - Keeps skin clean and acne-free -  Rice Milk This thin and naturally sweetened milk substitute is prepared from brown rice grains and is considered as extremely healthy. You can also avail its vanilla-flavored version from your local supermarket. Qualities: - Has perfect proportions of protein and carbohydrate - Great source of antioxidants, B-vitamins, vitamin D, calcium, etc. - Gluten-free milk - No saturated fat and cholesterol - Very inexpensiveAlmond Milk This wonderfully tasty vegan milk is made by pulverizing soaked almonds thoroughly. The sweet and nutty flavor and high nutrition make it highly popular among the lovers of dairy-free milk substitutes. Qualities: - Fulfills 30% of our daily requirements of calcium - Contains 25% of our daily requirements of vitamin D - Very low in calories (one servings offers only 30 calories) - Enriched with proteins, omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, dietary fibers, vitamin E, iron, zinc, magnesium, etc. - No saturated fats, cholesterol and lactose - Gives immunity a boost - Makes teeth and bones stronger - Helps in healthy digestion - Perks up the skin texture by offering anti-aging benefits - Encourages weight loss -  Coconut Milk It is another creamy, flavorful and nourishing alternative to regular milk, which is basically prepared by grating the meaty flesh of ripe coconuts as well as extracting the concoction. You can get both thick and thin coconut milk for using as cooking ingredients and both of them are super tasty. Qualities: - High in dietary fibers, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, selenium, etc. - Contains very less amount of sugar - No fructose - Helps in controlling blood sugar - Strengthens both bones and blood vessels - Prevents arthritis and osteoporosis - Gives a feeling of fullness, thereby helping in weight loss -  Cashew Milk Cashew milk has a natural vanilla flavor and it is made of a smooth, rich blend of water and cashew nuts. It is an amazingly tasty, absolutely creamy and highly satisfying milk beverage. Qualities: - Amazing source of proteins, B-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, copper, etc. - Very low fat content - Free of cholesterol - Increases the production of RBCs (Red Blood Corpuscles) - Promotes healthy metabolism - Helps in tissue and bone formations - Keeps cholesterol levels under control - Enhances cardiovascular health -  Hazelnut Milk Being derived from tasty and savory hazelnut, this milk tastes heavenly. It also has a nutty flavor, which is very much liked by people. Like all other vegan mil substitutes, it also has high nutrition value. Qualities: - High in healthy carbohydrates, vitamin B-12, vitamin D and calcium - No saturated fats, lactose and cholesterol - Takes care of bones and teeth - Keeps filled for a long time -  Hemp Milk It is prepared from the seeds of hemp tree and is regarded as one of the healthiest choices for dairy-free milk. It is widely known for its earthy taste and nutty flavor. Qualities: - Contains as much as 10 essential amino acids - Has a perfect omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids ratio - Loaded with soluble fibers, proteins, vitamin B1, vitamin B5, calcium, potassium, - Aids in muscle building - Provides immense energy 3 Simple and Easy Homemade Vegan Milk Recipes What if you need a good vegan milk alternative for cooking or drinking but do not wish to purchase commercial one? Just DIY! We are giving you 3 easy, simple and fast vegan milk recipes to try at home: (1) DIY: Homemade Almond Milk Recipe Ingredients: - Best-quality raw almonds - 1 cup (organic is even better) - Sea salt - 1 teaspoon - Distilled water - 2 to 4 cups (as per your preference) Method: - Take the almonds in a glass bowl and pour distilled water into it to soak them completely. Add sea salt to the water and cover the bowl with a lid. Keep it aside for nearly 12 hours. - Rinse the swelled up almonds well under running water to get rid of all sorts of enzyme inhibitors. - Now, put the almonds in a blender and pour rest of the distilled water into it. Blend thoroughly to mash all the nuts. - Strain it or not, your creamy almond milk is absolutely ready! (2) DIY: Homemade Oat Milk Recipe Ingredients: - Oats - 1 cup - Organic raw honey - 1 to 2 tablespoons (as required for sweetness) - Sea salt - (1/­­4) teaspoon - Distilled water - 3 cups Method: - Rinse the oats well and drain them perfectly before placing them in a bowl. - Add water to it and cover with a lid. Let the oats soak for 8 to 10 hours so that they get softer as well as easier to process. - Once again, rinse the oats well and remove the oat slime completely. - Shift them to a blender and pour distilled water into it. Blend for some time and sieve it. - Press the semi-pulverized oats with the backside of a spoon in order to take the maximum milk out of it. - Add honey and sea salt to the concoction and your homemade oat ilk is here! (3) DIY: Homemade Brown Rice Milk Recipe Ingredients: - Brown rice - (1/­­2) cup - Sea salt - 1 teaspoon - Distilled water - 2 cups Method: - Clean and wash brown rice properly and soak it in water for a couple of hours. - Cook it as usual. - Now, place the cooked brown rice inside a blender jar. Also, add sea salt and distilled water to it. - Blend until a smooth, thick milk is formed. - Voila! So, are you ready to switch to vegan milk alternatives? References http:/­­/­­vegetarian.about.com/­­od/­­vegetarianvegan101/­­f/­­MilkSubstitutes.htm http:/­­/­­www.peta2.com/­­lifestyle/­­vegan-milk-101/­­ http:/­­/­­www.beautyglimpse.com/­­almond-milk-vs-regular-milk-which-is-healthier/­­ Authors Bio Soni likes to share her knowledge with the world helping others to live a healthier life. She also loves to share her express her views and explore anything and everything that can feed her pen.

VegKitchen’s Favorite Avocado Recipes

April 18 2015 VegKitchen 

VegKitchen’s Favorite Avocado RecipesI fully admit, I’m an avocado addict. Yes, they’re loaded with nutrients, including folate, vitamins B, C, K and E, fiber, niacin, potassium and more. They’re a great source of good fats and fiber. But I really love them for how they taste, and their mouth feel. Based on reader enthusiasm, here are a few of our favorite easy avocado recipes. You dont need a lot of ingredients when you combine such an awesome set as these in Mango, Avocado, and Arugula Salad (above). Its a pretty salad that brings such cheer to cool-weather meals. Readers of VegKitchen’s Facebook page always go crazy when we share Vicki Brett-Gach’s Hummus, Avocado, and Baby Spinach Sandwich. Says Vicki: “Despite its simplicity, this sandwich is really delicious, and the kind of lunch I look forward to all morning. Protein, healthy fats, good carbs, plenty of fiber, antioxidants...its all there.” Kind of a marriage of guacamole and hummus, and infused with a good amount of tender greens, Very Green Avocado-Tahini Dip makes a unique statement. Serve with tortilla chips, fresh pita, pita chips, raw veggies, or a combination thereof. This BBQ-Flavored Seitan and Avocado Wrap recipe   is a longtime family favorite. Barbecue-flavored seitan contrasts deliciously with cool avocado and leafy greens. Like most wraps, its a salad disguised as a sandwich. This delightful Veggie Sushi Rice Bowl tastes like your favorite veggie sushi, but without the fuss and mess of the rolling and cutting. It makes ample use of avocado. Mango and avocado salad is a summertime classic. Gena Hamshaw’s Zucchini Pasta with Mango, Avocado, and Black Bean Salsa takes that concept several steps further. Avocado and Pinto Bean Salad has a Southwestern flair, so this  tasty combo goes well with simple quesadillas and other tortilla specialties that dont themselves contain beans. Requiring no cooking, this Creamy Chilled Avocado Soup is remarkably refreshing on a hot summer day.

Linguine or Fettuccine with Asparagus and Portabella Mushrooms

April 17 2015 VegKitchen 

Linguine or Fettuccine with Asparagus and Portabella MushroomsThis quick Italian-style vegan pasta dish features fresh asparagus, which gives it a springtime touch, and portabella mushrooms, which makes it substantial. Try a flavored variety of linguine or fettuccine to further jazz up this dish. Photos by Evan Atlas. Serves: 4 to 6 - 12 ounces linguini or fettuccine, regular or flavored (black peppercorn, tomato-basil, or other) - 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - 3 to 4 cloves garlic - 8 ounces slender asparagus, bottoms trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths - 2 large portabella mushroom caps, wiped clean, cut in half crosswise, and thinly sliced (or use a combination of portabellas and other mushrooms - 1/­­2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (oil-cured or not, as preferred; rehydrated if need be), and cut into strips - 1/­­2 cup dry white wine (or substitute broth or pasta cooking water) - Salt and freshly ground pepperVegan Cashew or Almond Parmesan-Style Cheez, optional Cook the linguini in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Drain, reserving about a cup of the cooking water. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat for about 2 minutes, or until golden. Add the asparagus, mushrooms, dried tomatoes, and wine. Raise the heat to medium and sauté, stirring frequently, until most of the wine has evaporated and the asparagus is tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. Combine the pasta and asparagus mixture in a large serving bowl and toss together. If the mixture needs more moistness, add about 1/­­4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water at a time. You want this to be moist, but not watery! Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve, passing around the vegan Parmesan for topping, if desired. - Click here for lots more lighter seasonal vegan pasta recipes. - Click here for more asparagus recipes.

7 Delicious and Easy Asian-Style Noodle Dishes

April 15 2015 VegKitchen 

7 Delicious and Easy Asian-Style Noodle DishesAll kinds of Asian noodles have become widely available, both in natural foods stores and well-stocked supermarkets. Combined with lots of veggies and other tasty ingredients, they’re the basis of quick, healthy meals. In Vegetable Chow Mein, the noodles are stir-fried along with the veggies. The amount and varieties of vegetables can be varied. Why call for take out when its so easy (and less greasy) to make this at home? Southeast Asian-Flavored Noodles with Tempeh Croutons is a spicy dish of noodles and vegetables dressed in peanut sauce. It’s a fusion of Indonesian and Thai-influences. Its so easy to make Veggie Lo Mein, a Chinese take-out favorite, at home--and its lighter and less heavy on the oil than its restaurant counterpart. Asian Noodles with Spicy Stir-Fried Corn and Cabbage is a lively stir-fry that will be on the table quickly you when you want something easy and spicy. Characteristic of some Southeast Asian cuisines is the overlapping of Asian and Indian influences. This is true in Singapore-Style Tofu Yellow Curry with Rice Noodles, a tasty and pleasantly offbeat noodle dish seasoned with both soy sauce and curry. In Udon Noodles with Asparagus and Cashews, these tasty ingredients are entwined in a light sauce. Serve this a simple tofu or tempeh preparation. Easy Vegan Pad Thai is a plant-based take on the popular Thai noodle dish. It’s easy to recreate at home, with ingredients you can get at the supermarket.

6 Quick and Colorful Bok Choy Recipes

April 9 2015 VegKitchen 

6 Quick and Colorful Bok Choy RecipesOf all Asian greens, bok choy is, arguably the most widely known and available. The term bok choy is generally used to describe the larger kind, with the crisp white stalks and dark leaves. Baby bok choy is a smaller version of the former variety, with stems and leaves of a fairly uniform, pale green hue. Either of the common varieties of bok choy are good raw in salads or very lightly cooked in stir-fries and Asian-style soups.  Baby bok choy is at its best in the spring when plump and fresh. Seared Baby Bok Choy (above) is a super-quick way to prepare it, showing it off in all its glory, both flavor-wise and visually. This is more of an  idea than a recipe, but what a fun idea it is. Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms is a quick, nutritious stir-fry. Shiitake mushrooms make a perfect partner for it. Serve on its own or over rice. Bok Choy Salad with Snow Peas, and Red Cabbage features a companionable trio of crisp raw veggies. Always pleasing for serving company, this is easy enough to make for weeknight meals, Quick, and colorful, Leslie Cerier’s Gingery Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Cashews gets an extra rich flavor from lots of cashews and ginger. Bok Choy, Tofu, and Baby Corn Soup combines crunchy bok choy with high-protein tofu, is perfect to team with a rice dish or a cold noodle dish. Aromatic and broth, Mixed Mushrooms Soup with Bok Choy is another Asian-flavored soup that can be enjoyed any time of the year when you can find good bok choy.

Cauliflower Crown Roast

April 6 2015 VegKitchen 

Cauliflower Crown RoastI must confess that for me, the main appeal of cauliflower crown roast, a new-fashioned way of preparing this veggie, is its appearance. Once you cut wedges away, what you have is lots of unseasoned cauliflower. To mitigate this blandness, serve with plenty of the same simple, tasty gravy used to baste it while it bakes. In its favor, other than the handsome appearance of the cauliflower, is ease of preparation. Serves: 8 Total time: About 15 minutes for prep of cauliflower and gravy; 45 minutes to 1 hour for baking - 1 medium to large cauliflower Easy gravy - 1 cup vegetable broth - 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce - 1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend (like Frontier or Mrs. Dash) - Freshly ground pepper - 2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch - 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional (but highly recommended) To serve - Arugula, watercress, or mixed baby greens Preheat the oven to 375? F. For the cauliflower: Cut away the fibrous green leaves and any woody part of stem. Put in a casserole dish that will hold it comfortably, stem end down. Cover with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes, covered, then remove from the oven. For the gravy: Combine the broth and soy sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir in the seasoning blend and add a few grinds of pepper. Combine the arrowroot cornstarch with just enough water to dissolve in a cup or small container. When the broth mixture is at a steady simmer, slowly whisk in the cornstarch, stirring constantly until the liquid is thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the optional nutritional yeast.  Using oven mitts or a clean tea towel, uncover the cauliflower, and transfer to a plate for the moment. Drain off any water remaining in the casserole dish and use the same piece of foil to cover the bottom of the dish. Using a spoon and/­or a basting brush, cover the surface of the cauliflower with a nice layer of the gravy. Set the remaining gravy aside. Bake the cauliflower uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes longer (depending on the size and density of the cauliflower), or until you can pierce through the center fairly easily. Dont let it get overdone and mushy, though! Before serving, coat the cauliflower with another layer of gravy, then transfer it to a serving platter lined with greens of your choice. Transfer the remaining gravy from the saucepan to a small serving container. Serve the cauliflower at once, cutting it into 8 or so equal wedges, and pass around the gravy. - Here are more recipes for cauliflower.

5 Easy, Festive Vegan Main Dishes for Easter

March 28 2015 VegKitchen 

5 Easy, Festive Vegan Main Dishes for EasterMaking vegan main dishes for your Easter dinner menu that are festive as well as easy is completely do-able! Enjoy a compassionate holiday by choosing one or two from among these VegKitchen favorites. Above, this hearty Roasted Seitan, Peppers, and Portabellas is so easy to throw together, yet makes a festive main dish for this and other special occasions.  Tofu fans will love the sprightly citrusy flavors that permeate this elegant presentation of Citrus-Roasted Tofu, and it just might make converts from those who are new to tofu dishes. Easy enough to make for an everyday meal, this is also special enough to serve as a holiday main dish. You can’t go wrong with Dianne Wenz’s Vegan Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna. Using no-boil noodles and pre-made sauce cuts prep time down so much that you can throw this together pretty quickly and your guests will think you slaved away in the kitchen for hours. This Spring Vegetable Tart looks like a work of art, but its so easy to accomplish. Puff pastry isnt the healthiest item in the world, but for special occasions, it transforms simple ingredients into something fun and festive.   Though this plant-based Pasta Primavera uses only a half-pound of pasta, its so chockfull of spring vegetables that it makes quite a heaping helping and makes a fitting addition to your festive meal.

Healthy, Versatile Spinach: 10 Tasty Recipes

March 27 2015 VegKitchen 

Healthy, Versatile Spinach: 10 Tasty RecipesThere are few veggies more versatile than spinach, which adds flavor and nutrition to so many kinds of dishes -- soups, salads, sides, main dishes, and even appetizers and smoothies. Here’s just a small sampling of some of our favorite spinach dishes. Also explore Healthy and Delicious Spinach Recipes, where you’ll find even more. Let’s start with Spinach, Sprouts, and Pineapple Smoothie blends the green goodness of spinach and sprouts with the sweetness of pineapple. It offers ultimate refreshment, and the coconut water is immensely hydrating. Simple Spinach and Dill Rice incorporate lots of fresh spinach. Using organic baby spinach is convenient, because its already cleaned and ready to go. Spinach, Artichoke, and Chickpea Salad is feast of color and texture, this salad of baby spinach, embellished with other colorful veggies, is quick to prepare and a pleasure to serve. Pink Bean, Quinoa, and Spinach Soup is an appetizing and mildly spiced mélange of nourishing ingredients. It’s a stellar centerpiece for a soup-based meal, as its done in 30 minutes or less. Mushroom, Spinach and Cheddar Wraps are nicely flavored with vegan cheddar-style cheese in this super-easy preparation that’s good for lunch or dinner. Lentils with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes make a delectable main dish served over grains, or a protein-packed side dish served in smaller portions. Pasta Twists with Cauliflower and Spinach is a simple dish that I’ve made many times, as its ingredients are so companionable. All you need to complete the meal is a salad. Mediterranean Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins is a traditional Italian side dish thats both elegant and easy. Its mild and slightly sweet flavor provides a nice counterpoint to boldly flavored pasta dishes. Spinach, Orange, and Red Cabbage Salad adds a burst of color and nutrition to the plate. Its a quick salad for everyday meals and is equally welcome as part of cool-season holiday meals. Very Green Avocado-Tahini Dip is kind of a marriage of guacamole and hummus. Infused with a good amount of tender spinach (you can use arugula as well), this rich dip makes a unique statement.

Butter Lettuce Wedges with Sunflower Seed Dressing, Pears, & Tempeh Bacon

March 25 2015 VegKitchen 

Butter Lettuce Wedges with Sunflower Seed Dressing, Pears, & Tempeh BaconThis take on a classic salad reminds me of many family dinners eaten out at The Brown Derby: a big, crunchy wedge of lettuce topped with a creamy dressing and sprinkled with salty bacon. My version subs tempeh for bacon and adds a little sweetness with fresh pears. Recipe and photo by Ann Oliverio, from Crave, Eat, Heal: Plant-Based Whole Food Recipes to Satisfy Every Appetite* reprinted with permission (C) 2015 Front Table Books. Serves: 4 Total Time: 15 minutes Dressing (see Note) - 1/­­2 cup raw sunflower seeds - 1/­­2 cup non-dairy milk - 1/­­4 cup apple cider vinegar - 1 clove garlic - 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard - 1/­­4 teaspoon ground black pepper - Pinch sea salt - 1 teaspoon dried chives, or 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped - 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped Salad - 2 large heads butter lettuce, cut into quarters - 2 ripe pears, cored and thinly sliced - Tempeh bacon, crumbled or chopped (exclude if going for 100% raw) Add the sunflower seeds through the salt in a high-speed or regular blender and process until very smooth. Add the chives and parsley and pulse a few times to incorporate. Set aside. Place two butter lettuce wedges each in four bowls. Divide the pear slices, the tempeh bacon and the dressing between the bowls.  Serve. Note: If the dressing is too thick, add water, a little bit at at time, to get the consistency you like. - Here are more Super Savory Salads. * This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

7 Quick Tips for Making the Best Summer Smoothies

March 24 2015 VegKitchen 

Spring is springing which means just one thing - summer is right round the corner. Its time to shed those winter layers, get outside into the fresh air and eat tasty, light and healthy foods. What better for the summer season than the cool combination of fruit, vegetables and other delicious ingredients? Summer smoothies are ideal for a snack, breakfast, or to quench your thirst. Making a smoothie is simple but there are some secrets for creating the perfect concoction. Here are some tips for successful summer smoothie making. -  Pick Your Liquid The base of the smoothie holds it all together and here you can make a choice between a low-calorie base or something a bit creamier. For the low-cal version, use mineral water, green tea, or coconut water. For extra vitamins, use a fruit juice from the juicer. And for a creamy smoothie, add milk. You can of course use soy milk or almond milk if you prefer. With a powerful blender you can even crush nuts, and substitute nut milk with a small amount of raw nuts plus one or two cups of water. A tablespoon of nut butter also works well blended with water. -  Cut Your Prep Time Because many smoothie recipes have lots of ingredients it is a good idea to spend some time gathering your ingredients, chopping and peeling, and freezing them in a muffin tin or a small container. Whenever you want a smoothie snack you can reach into the freezer, pull out a portion and blend - super convenient. -  Add Your Liquid Gradually You can quickly end up with a watery smoothie unless you add your liquid in small quantities. Go easy at first, adding little by little until you reach your desired consistency. If you do add too much liquid a good thickening trick is to add yogurt, banana, chia seeds, or oatmeal. -  Do You Want Sugar? Avoid adding refined sugar to the smoothie but make it sweet with a ripe banana, agave nectar, or maple syrup. Dates are also excellent for providing sweetness. -  Add Some Surprising Extras Did you consider adding mint, or ginger? Cinnamon or nutmeg makes for an interesting flavor. And vanilla extract is always tasty. The skys the limit when it comes to extra smoothie additions. Explore Time to Cleanse if you want some more inspiration. -  Disguise Some Healthy Ingredients Some people love the taste of so-called green smoothies - smoothies made from savory ingredients like spinach and herbs. If you are not so keen, you can add some healthy greens like spinach to a regular smoothie. You wont be able to taste it and youll benefit from the extra nutrients. -  Put the Ice in Last Dont add ice into summer smoothies until the last minute. If you blend it with the other ingredients you end up with a watery drink. For the best consistency use frozen ingredients to form the biggest part of your smoothie.

Green Bean Fries

March 18 2015 VegKitchen 

Green Bean FriesGreen bean fries are a less starchy but equally fun and tasty alternative to potato fries. Using fresh slender green beans in season is the way to go, even though trimming them is a bit of work. Off season, use partially thawed whole baby green beans. These are tasty with our dairy-free ranch dressing, but theyre good on their own, too. Use as a snack, appetizer, or side dish. Photos by Evan Atlas. Serves: 3 to 4 - 8 to 10 ounces fresh slender green beans, trimmed, or frozen whole baby green beans, partially thawed - 1 1/­­2 tablespoons safflower or other high-heat oil, plus more for the pan - 2 tablespoons garbanzo flour, very fine cornmeal, or other whole-grain flour - 1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend (such as Frontier or Mrs. Dash) - Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste - Vegan Ranch Dressing or Dip, optional Put the green beans in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the oil, and stir until the green beans are lightly and evenly coated. Sprinkle the garbanzo flour (or other flour of your choice) onto the green beans and stir well once again to distribute. Heat as little oil as you can get away with for to coat your particular skillet. Youll need a wide skillet for this. When the skillet is nice and hot, add the green beans.  Turn the heat up to almost high, and cook the green beans until lightly browned all over and slightly seared here and there, stirring frequently. Drizzle a little more oil into the pan only if the green beans start to stick.  When the green beans are done to your liking, remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and serve at once, on their own or with Vegan Ranch Dressing or Dip (make the dip version in this case).     - Here are more recipes for Green Beans. - Enjoy other Tasty Vegan Appetizers.

7 Vegan Bowls from VegKitchen and Around the Web

March 12 2015 VegKitchen 

7 Vegan Bowls from VegKitchen and Around the WebBig, bountiful bowls are all the rage, and its easy to see why. A bowl in this context is a basically an artful arrangement of veggies and sometimes protein on a bed of grains or noodles. Its not just a big bowlful of one dish, where every bit is the same as another. Its a little of this and a little of that, adding up to a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. This delightful Veggie Sushi Rice Bowl tastes like your favorite vegetable sushi, but without the fuss and mess of the rolling and cutting. Its a great way to use leftover cooked rice and a nice combo of cooked and raw. Angela Liddons Enlightened Miso Power Bowl will keep your energy high for hours. Miso adds a wonderful umami flavor to foods like the sweet potatoes and edamame included in this arrangement. From Isa Moskowitz, Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl with Tofu and Kale features flash-steamed kale and simply prepared seared cubes of tofu. It can be served over rice, quinoa, or rice noodles. Linda Wagners easy and beautiful Vegan Burrito Bowl makes a great lunch or dinner meal and is very hearty and filling. It makes a perfect picnic or potluck dish, too.   In Roasted Veggie and Black Bean Bowls, Kelly of The Pretty Bee has put together a combo of black beans, brown rice, mushrooms, carrots, and onions. The ingredients are simple, but they make a healthy, delicious lunch or dinner. Mama Eats Plants says that this Macrobiotic Rainbow Bowl (with a tahini-soy dressing) is seriously amazing -- fast and super nutritious, you can make it completely raw by omitting the rice. Ashley Melillo of Blissful Basil created this Grab-n-Go Sweet Potato, Cranberry, and Quinoa Power Bowl with a bit of fall holiday flare, but you can enjoy it any time the weather is cool and you need some warming up.

6 Delicious Seitan Recipes

March 10 2015 VegKitchen 

6 Delicious Seitan RecipesDense and chewy seitan -- cooked wheat gluten -- is almost pure protein. Clearly, though, seitan is not for anyone with gluten sensitivity. Store-bought seitan usually comes in 8-ounce packages or 16-ounce tubs, or you can make Homemade Seitan with the recipe on this site. It’s a hearty plant-based protein with an almost meaty texture. Here are 6 of our favorite ways to use this versatile food. Seitan Gyros is a kinder, gentler version of the Greek meat-on-a-pita classic. Seitan makes a superb stand-in, and the shortcut creamy cucumber dressing gives the entire enterprise a refreshing zip. Roasted Seitan, Peppers, and Portabellas is so easy to throw together, yet it makes a festive main dish for special occasions or a hearty meal for any day of the week. In Seitan and Polenta Skillet with Fresh Greens, theres something enticing about the seitan/­polenta synergy, and with the addition of greens, results in a great-looking, hearty dish. In BBQ-Flavored Seitan and Avocado Wraps, flavorful seitan contrasts deliciously with cool avocado and leafy greens. Like most wraps, its a salad disguised as a sandwich. In Garlicky Greens with Seitan and Vegan Sausage, the bold taste of these two plant-based proteins provides a perfect foil for fresh greens. Inspired by a favorite vegetarian Chinese restaurant dish, “Buddhist’s Delight” is enhanced with protein-packed seitan and packed with colorful vegetables.

Giveaway: Jazzy Vegetarian 3-Disc DVD Set

March 3 2015 VegKitchen 

Giveaway: Jazzy Vegetarian 3-Disc DVD SetHeres a fun, useful, and luscious giveaway especially for VegKitchen readers, brought to you by my friend and talented colleague, Laura Theodore, also known as The Jazzy Vegetarian. One fortunate reader will receive The Best of Jazzy Vegetarian 3-DISC, DVD Set -- fans of this highly successful series know that vegan chef Laura Theodore can turn any meal into a delicious special occasion. Each half-hour episode includes hands-on instruction and tasty tips for seasoned cooks and newcomers alike. Laura creates scrumptious entrées like Holiday Stuffing Casserole, Spaghetti and Wheatballs, and Polenta Pizza. And when sweet treats are in order, Laura highlights decadent and rich-tasting desserts like Chocolate Cake, Luscious Carrot Cupcakes and Homemade Pumpkin Pie. Getting inspired with these entertaining cooking DVDs will be a great way to welcome spring, great for holidays and company meals as well as everyday fare. These discs contain: DISC ONE - Festive Lasagna - Deli Delights - Just Desserts DISC TWO: - Happy Holiday Meal - Spaghetti and Wheatballs - Sweets for the Sweet DISC THREE: - Pizza with a Twist - Breezy Brunch - Giving Thanks To sweeten the deal, literally and figuratively, Laura has also offered a 3-bar set of Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate, a fine brand thats not only vegan but also fair trade and completely allergen-free. In addition to the Jazzy Vegetarian Television Series, Laura Theodore is also the host of the Jazzy Vegetarian Radio Show. Her most recent book is Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites.* Laura is a regular contributor to VegKitchen -- the latest is this beautiful Chocolate Ganache Cake, shown at the top of this post, a perfect dessert for spring celebrations -- Easter, graduations, Mothers Day, even small weddings! This giveaway starts from this very moment (Monday, March 2) and runs until Thursday, March 4 at noon. To enter, simply leave any kind of comment  -- why youd enjoy this set of cooking videos, why you love chocolate, etc. Winner will be chosen randomly, so youre not being graded on creativity! Please note: Sometimes it takes me a little while to approve comments (especially when I’m sleeping!) but no worries, all comments will be posted within a few hours and will all count toward entries. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing! Thanks for entering, everyone! This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Karen Hardin. Everyone else, please do check out your local listings to find out if and when Jazzy Vegetarian Television Series is shown in your area.

Year-Round Potato and Sweet Potato Salads

March 2 2015 VegKitchen 

Year-Round Potato and Sweet Potato SaladsWe most often associate potato salads with summer fare -- potlucks, barbecues, and picnics. But there’s no reason not to enjoy robust potato salads all year round. Here are a few favorites that incorporate ingredients that are available any time. Serve potato salads as hearty side dishes with veggie burgers or other sandwich fare; a helping of potato salad is a nice change of pace for a portable lunch, too. First up -- Warm Mediterranean Potato Salad, enhanced with zucchini and artichoke hearts, can be made any time of year. Its seasonal personality enhanced by either rosemary (for cooler months) or basil (for warmer weather). Sweet and White Potato Salad with Mixed Greens, combining white or golden potatoes and sweet potatoes is one I often make for company. Its so pretty, yet is incredibly easy to prepare. Luscious Potato and Leek Salad is easy to make, with the warming touch of leeks. Its great with grilled dishes, and is a nice potluck or company dish year round. This simple Sweet Potato Salad with Pecans by Ginny Messina is a great choice when you want something a little different for a picnic or potluck. Its also a wonderful addition to fall and winter holiday meals. Marinated Potato-Tofu Salad can be a flavorful main dish during summer months, but is welcome any time of year. Simple though it is, its always a hit with guests, and is a good potluck dish. If salads arent your thing, try this Potato and Black Bean Salad, which may change your mind. Potatoes add comfort, and black beans add flavor and protein.

Curried Red Lentil, Pumpkin, and Cauliflower Soup

February 25 2015 VegKitchen 

Curried Red Lentil, Pumpkin, and Cauliflower SoupRed lentils cook quickly, so theyre a good choice when you want a hearty, filling soup in little time. Adding a couple of cups of pumpkin or butternut squash puree adds to the orange-y goodness of this soup -- and cauliflower and spinach contribute to its overall veggie-packed deliciousness. Serve this main-dish soup with a fresh flatbread and a simple salad. Photos by Evan Atlas. Serves: 6 or more - 1 1/­2 cups red lentils, rinsed - 1 tablespoon olive oil - 1 large onion, chopped - 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced - 4 cups or so bite-sized cauliflower florets - 2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning blend (like Frontier or Mrs. Dash) - 2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder, to taste - 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, or to taste - 2 cups well-pureed sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (or one 15- to 16-ounce can pumpkin puree, preferably organic) - 1 to 2 cups coconut milk or unsweetened coconut milk beverage, or other unsweetened nondairy milk, such as almond milk - 4 to 6 ounces baby spinach leaves - 1/­4 cup chopped fresh cilantro - Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Combine the red lentils in a saucepan with 4 cups water. Bring to a slow boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently until mushy, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden. Add the cauliflower florets, seasoning blend, curry powder, ginger, and just enough water to cover. Bring to a slow boil, then cover and simmer gently until the cauliflower is just tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the butternut squash or pumpkin puree, cooked lentils, and just enough coconut milk (or other nondairy milk) to give the soup a medium-thick consistency. Return to a simmer, then simmer gently for 10 minutes longer, or until the flavors are blended and the cauliflower is completely tender but not overcooked. Season with salt and pepper. At this point, if youd like, you can set the soup aside off the heat (covered). Or you can serve right away. Either way, just before serving, heat the soup until piping hot and adjust consistency and seasonings. Stir in the spinach at the last minute and cook just until its wilted. Stir in the cilantro and serve. Note: This soup thickens as it cools. Thin with additional nondairy milk or water and adjust the seasonings as needed. - Here are more Warming Winter Soups. - Explore more recipes for using Lentils and Peas.

10 Delicious Recipes Using Almonds and Almond Butter

February 24 2015 VegKitchen 

10 Delicious Recipes Using Almonds and Almond ButterAlmonds are packed with lots of nutritional benefits, and being a mild-flavored nut, theyre incredibly versatile, too. Almond butter makes a perfect soup base; theyre delicious as part of pilafs and noodle dishes, and are a great choice for healthy dessert treats. Here are some of our favorites, starting with this tasty and nourishing Simple Quinoa Pilaf with Peas and Almonds. Elegant and richly flavored, Almond-Brussels Sprouts Soup features a myriad of veggies, with almond butter as its base. Perfect green beans seem to be available only for a month or two in the summer. This dish is a nice way to highlight them during that brief window, but I like Soba Noodles with Green Beans and Almonds so much that I use whole organic frozen green beans to make it any time of year. Sautéed Carrots with Almonds is simple side dish of carrots embellished with almonds and herbs; it brings color and natural sweetness to the dinner plate. Apple slices with nut butter are a great healthy snack. Now, this delicious flavor combo can be enjoyed in these luscious Apple-Almond Butter Pancakes by Robin Robertson. Almond butter is a good addition to smoothies. Gently spiced with cinnamon and ginger, this Butternut Squash Smoothie is packed with flavor and nutrients. A dollop of almond butter adds to the rich, mellow flavor. You can easily and quickly whip up Chef Beverly Lynn Bennetts Raw Vegan Parmesan-Style Cheese with almonds and the help of a food processor. You wont believe how easy it is to make these vegan  Unbaked Fudgy Brownies, sweetened with dates and based on a flour made with almonds. Another treat using plenty of almonds, these No-Bake Chocolate Nutty Bars by Leslie Cerier are super-easy to make, and feature almonds, raisins and dark chocolate. This Homemade Chocolate Almond Milk recipe, also by Leslie Cerier, is easy and delicious. Try using all organic ingredients, if you can.

5 Top Health Benefits of Almonds

February 24 2015 VegKitchen 

5 Top Health Benefits of AlmondsAlmonds are one of the worlds most nutritious and versatile nuts, perfect for snacking as well as in tasty recipes, renowned for their many health benefits and culinary uses. Here are just a few: Reduce Blood Sugar Levels: Eating almonds may be a great option for diabetics looking to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Findings from a 2007 study published in the journal Metabolism found that consuming almonds alongside white bread regulates spikes in blood sugar and significantly lowers the glycemic index of the meal. Heart-Loving Antioxidant Powers: Almonds are one of the richest food sources of alpha-tocopherol, the form of vitamin E that is most easily absorbed by the body. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects cells against the damaging effects of free radicals, boosts the immune system, supports cardiovascular health, and helps your body create new red blood cells. A 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that almond consumption helped meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance of 15 mg/­day alpha-tocopherol and improved red blood cell concentration. Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that almonds can reduce C-reactive protein, an indication of inflammation that affects the arteries. Weight Control: As part of a calorie-conscious eating regime, almonds, which are high in monounsaturated fats, can help obese adults lose weight easier than a diet high in complex carbohydrates, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. Contrary to many worries of healthy eaters, consuming almonds actually lowers the risk of weight gain. A 28-month long study showed that individuals who ate almonds at least twice per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than nut-avoiding participants. So go ahead and go nuts! Lower Cholesterol: Almonds are the leading source of monounsaturated fat among commonly eaten nuts: over 60% of the total fat in almonds is monounsaturated. Numerous studies have demonstrated the cholesterol-lowering effects of consuming foods rich in monounsaturated fat. A 2005 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming almonds as part of a heart-healthy diet can be just as effective at lowering LDL bad cholesterol levels as first generation statin drugs. A good source of calcium and other nutrients: Weve already heard that almonds are a good source of Vitamin E, but they offer a modest but significant and absorbable form of calcium, which is good for the bones. Likewise, theyre a good source of phosphorous for strong bones and teeth. Almonds are a good source of magnesium and folic acid, as well. Excellent source of plant-based protein: Just one ounce of almonds contains about 12 percent of average daily protein needs. Enough said! Adapted from Nuts.com, with permission. Discover your favorite almond products at nuts.com from premium supreme-sized raw almonds to finely blanched almond flour and all natural almond butters for your snacking and recipe needs.

7 Easy, Delicious Warm Black Bean Recipes

February 19 2015 VegKitchen 

7 Easy, Delicious Warm Black Bean RecipesBlack beans are nutritious and versatile. Here are 8 of VegKitchen’s easiest recipes for these tasty beans. Let’s start with Black Bean Tostadas, featuring crisp tortillas piled generously with crisp lettuce, salsa, and if you’d like, vegan sour cream. Embellished with onions, garlic, and bell peppers, Black Bean Sofrito, a classic Latin American dish, is a good choice for an easy, everyday kind of meal. Black Bean And Zucchini Tortilla Casserole (also known as Chilaquiles) is a classic Southwestern casserole that layers soft corn tortillas with beans and cheese (vegan in this case). Adding zucchini and chiles adds to the lively flavors. The black bean base of these Garlicky Black Bean and Summer Squash Soft Tacos has a wonderfully smoky flavor. Yellow squash, chili peppers, and dried tomatoes add even more flavor and color. Prepared polenta provides an easy way to add variety to the dinner repertoire. I often use it sliced and sautéed as a side dish, but occasionally, it will become an intrinsic part of a recipe, as it is here, in Polenta with Black Beans and Spinach. With the addition of sweet potatoes, Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili is filling and warming. Baking or microwaving the sweet potatoes ahead of time cuts down on both the preparation as well as the cooking time. Garlicky Skillet Black Beans are a great accompaniment with vegan quesadillas or soft tacos that dont themselves contain beans; its also a fantastic filling for soft tacos. Or just use them as a protein-packed side dish.

Quick Teff Cr?pes

February 19 2015 VegKitchen 

Although these cr?pes dont have quite the same texture or pronounced sourness typical of teff injera, they make a good stand-in on days when you want Ethiopian food quickly and dont have time for the fermentation process or access to commercial injera. They have a slightly spongy-stretchy texture, with a small bit of tang from the yogurt and vinegar, and work well for scooping up sauces and stews. Recipe and photo from Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking by Kittee Berns (C) 2015, Book Publishing Company, reprinted by permission. For complete how-to on making authentic Ethiopian injera (the spongy moist flatbread shown in the photo, refer to the aforementioned book! Makes 14 (6-inch) cr?pes - 1 cup teff flour, any variety -  1/­2 cup chickpea flour -  1/­2 teaspoon baking soda -  1/­2 teaspoon salt - 2 cups carbonated water -  2/­3 cup unsweetened plain vegan yogurt - 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar Preheat a nonstick skillet (see cooking tip) over medium heat. Put the teff flour, chickpea flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk vigorously to combine and to beat out any lumps in the chickpea flour. Add the carbonated water and vegan yogurt and whisk well to combine. When the griddle is hot, whisk in the vinegar to combine. The batter will rise and foam, and the consistency will be thin and reminiscent of chocolate milk. Form each cr?pe by using a 1/­3 cup measure to scoop the batter from the bottom of the bowl and pour it into a disk on the hot pan. Use a spoon to quickly and lightly smooth the batter into a 6-inch disk, starting in the center and working in concentric circles until you reach the edges (keep the center of the cr?pe the thickest and the edges the thinnest; the cr?pe should be between 1/­8 and 1/­4 inch thick). Cover and cook for 1 minute. The cr?pe should be dry on the top with a smattering of little holes over its surface. Uncover and continue to cook the cr?pe without turning it for 1 to 1 1/­2 minutes. The total cooking time for each cr?pe should be 2 to 2 1/­2 minutes. When fully cooked, the cr?pe should be dry on top with a few air-bubble holes, and the bottom should be firm, smooth, and lightly browned. Depending on your cookware and stove, youll need to adjust the heat to achieve this result. Use a flat, flexible spatula to loosen and release the cr?pe, and then quickly transfer it to a plate and cover with a clean, dry tea towel. Repeat the cooking process until all the batter has been used. As the cr?pes are made, stack them on top of each other and keep them covered with the towel so they dont dry out. As they cool, the cr?pes will develop a spongy-stretchy texture. Let them rest until theyre room temperature, then wrap the stack loosely in a clean, dry tea towel and seal it in a ziplock bag until serving time. Be sure the cr?pes are completely cool or the bag will collect moisture and theyll spoil. If you notice any condensation, open the bag to air it out. Cooking Tips: For the best success, I recommend cooking these cr?pes on a flat, anodized griddle or pan. If you find the cr?pes are sticking as they cook, mist the pan with a small amount of oil. Keep in mind, just as with traditional teff injera, the first one cooked is usually a throwaway or a treat for the cook. Halve this recipe if youd like a smaller yield, and for the best results, eat these the same day theyre prepared. Nutrition information: Per cr?pe: 45 calories; 2 g protein, 1 g fat; 8 g carbs; 2 g fiber ; 97 mg sodium Visit Kittee Berns at Cake Maker to the Stars. - Here are more Global Flatbreads.

Vegan BLT Tartines

February 17 2015 VegKitchen 

Vegan BLT TartinesWatch out; this vegan take on the classic BLT will become addictive. From Real Food For Everyone by Ann Gentry, (C) 2015 Andrews McMeel Publishing, reprinted by permission. Photos by Sara Remington. Makes 4 tartines - 4 ( 1/­­2 -inch-thick) diagonal slices sourdough baguette -  1/­­4 cup vegan mayonnaise - 4 lettuce leaves - 12 slices tempeh bacon - 8 slices tomatoes (from 1 large ripe tomato), or 8 small cherry tomatoes, halved - 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut lengthwise into slices Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet, and toast for about 2 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden brown. Alternatively, toast the bread in a toaster oven. Spread the vegan mayonnaise generously on the toasted bread. Top with the lettuce, bacon, tomato, and avocado.  Ann Gentry is the founder of Real Food Daily restaurants in southern California. - Here are more tasty and easy vegan Sandwiches and Wraps. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Chocolate Crispy Fruit Squares

February 13 2015 VegKitchen 

Chocolate Crispy Fruit SquaresA happy compromise between an energy bar and a decadent dessert, these crispy, chewy, sweet squares are delightful and can be enjoyed however you prefer. Kid friendly, dietitian-approved, these treats are perfect for on-the-go. Recipe from The Vegiterranean Diet: The New and Improved Mediterranean Eating Plan -- with Deliciously Satisfying Vegan Recipes for Optimal Health* by Julianna Hever (C) 2014 Da Capo Lifelong Book, reprinted by permission. Makes 9 to 12 squares - 1 cup dates - 1 cup raisins -  1/­­2 cup chopped walnuts - 2 tablespoons sesame seeds -  1/­­4 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips (grain-sweetened, if possible) - 1 cup puffed rice cereal In a food processor, puree the dates and the raisins until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds. Add the walnuts and the sesame seeds, and process until combined, 10 to 20 seconds. Pulse in the chocolate chips and then the cereal. In between additions, use a spatula or a wooden spoon to break up the ball and to incorporate the other ingredients. Transfer the mixture to a silicon or glass 8 x 8-inch square dish, and press firmly and evenly into the dish. Cover and refrigerate until hardened, at least 1 hour. Cut into bars and serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up 4 to 5 days. Note: Alternatively, the mixture can be rolled into spheres, and then refrigerated and served. - Visit Julieanna Hever at The Plant-Based Dietician. * This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Eating the Plant-Based Rainbow

February 13 2015 VegKitchen 

Eating the Plant-Based RainbowExcerpted from The Vegiterranean Diet: The New and Improved Mediterranean Eating Plan -- with Deliciously Satisfying Vegan Recipes for Optimal Health* by Julianna Hever (C) 2014 Da Capo Lifelong Book, reprinted by permission. A rainbow a day keeps the doctor away and our bodies humming. Vegetables, fruits, and other plant foods provide a broad spectrum of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and abundant vitamins, minerals, and fibers. We get the most nutritional bang for our caloric buck with colorful plant foods--especially vegetables and fruits. Nutrients are considered essential when we cannot produce them in our bodies on our own and require consuming them from our diet.  Certain macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals are classified as essential.Fruits and vegetables are loaded with essential nutrients, providing doses of vitamins A, C, E, K, folate, magnesium, potassium, selenium, iron, calcium, amino acids, and omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, an entire additional category of nutrients that are not categorized as essential are at the crux of lasting health: phytochemicals. Phytochemicals, also referred to as phytonutrients, are nonessential nutrients found in plants. Phyto means plant in Greek. Scientists have found that although these compounds are abundant, several factors pre- vent them from being easily quantified and classified. First, so many different types and varieties of phytochemicals are out there that many have yet to be identified. Secondly, levels found in plants vary dramatically ac- cording to genetic factors, in response to environmental conditions, and even between cultivars. Finally, assessing how phytonutrients are metabolized and utilized in the human body is difficult because of these added complexities. In other words, if they are found inconsistently in nature, they are more challenging to predict, generalize, and document. Thus, phytochemicals remain the silent saviors, the unsung heroes of our plant food supply. They remain humble, indeed, and go to great lengths to keep us healthy, even without adequate praise. Yet, phytonutrients really arent made for us, specifically. They are designed for the plants they live within. Plants generate pigments and other chemicals in order to ward off pests, protect against harsh weather, and fend off ultraviolet (UV ) radiation, among other purposes. Symbiotically, these same compounds happen to protect our human bodies from a broad variety of concerns. As of now, researchers have identified tens of thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of phytochemicals--found  largely in fruits and vegetables  and other edible plant foods like legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and teas. Here is a list of just some of the vast benefits of these nutrients: - Reduce cancer activities by blocking the formation of tumors, decreasing the proliferation of cancer cell growth, repairing damage to DNA, and inducing bodys ability to detoxify carcinogens. - Protect the heart by decreasing damage to blood vessel walls, de- creasing oxidation of LDL cholesterol, increasing blood flow, de- creasing cholesterol levels, and reducing the formation of blood clots. - Enhance immune function by defending against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. - Act as powerful antioxidants, neutralizing free radicals that cause cell damage. - Reduce inflammation, which may very well be one of the primary sources for disease. - Prevent common eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts and support vision. - Decrease risk for osteoporosis. Because each color of the rainbow represents a unique pigment range and broad array of different nutrients, we should aim to eat each and every color every day. The World Health Organization attributes 1.7 million or 2.8 percent of deaths worldwide to low fruit and vegetable consumption and considers it one of the top ten risk factors contributing to attributable mortality. Organizations including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), American Cancer Society, and Physicians Committee  for Responsible  Medicine  (PCRM)  recommend  that half our plates be built of vegetables and fruits. Taking full advantage of them means enjoying vegetables and fruits at each meal and providing our bodies with a constant stream of protection. - Visit Julieanna Hever at The Plant-Based Dietician. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

VegKitchen’s Top Vegan Chocolate Desserts

February 9 2015 VegKitchen 

VegKitchen’s Top Vegan Chocolate DessertsWhen Valentine’s day is around the corner, or really, any festive occasion, here are VegKitchen’s top reader favorites for luscious vegan chocolate desserts. First up is Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake. It’s a dessert so easy, you can make it even if you don’t consider yourself much of a baker. Here’s Fran Costigan’s Chocolate, Orange, and Almond Olive Oil Cake. You can’t go wrong with a recipe from this chef, widely known as “the queen of chocolate desserts.” Another luminary in the world of vegan desserts is Hannah Kaminsky. Her Buckeye Pie is cradled in a chocolate crust and blanketed by a ganache topping, the silky peanut butter mousse at the center is creamy and luscious. Laura Theodore’s Marvelous Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse is a super creamy and delightfully delicious dessert will please chocolate and peanut butter fans at your table. It takes practically no time to make! You wont believe how easy it is to make these Unbaked Fudgy Brownies, rich with nuts and sweetened with dates. Theyre flourless, gluten-free, and altogether rich and yummy. Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries is a  two-ingredient classic dessert. Strawberries and dark chocolate are just made for one another. Even when it’s not strawberry season, you can likely snag a few good ones, and there’s hardly a more romantic dessert. This Cashew Chocolate Mousse Pie, made of raw cashews and silken tofu, is rich and delicious.Yet it’s healthy as well, and goes down very easy! If cookies are more up your alley, you might enjoy Kristy Turner’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, in which the pumpkin not only acts as an egg replacer but also adds depth of flavor.

Five Tips for a Plant-Based Anti-Candida Diet

February 6 2015 VegKitchen 

Contributed by Ricki Heller, author of Living Candida-Free (Da Capo Lifelong, (C) 2015). The anti-candida diet (ACD) is often considered one of the most challenging diets out there. Designed to kill off excess candida (a natural form of yeast in the body that sometimes grows out of control), the ACD removes any foods that act as nourishment for candida; namely, all sugars and sweeteners except stevia, most fruits, moldy foods such as mushrooms or peanuts, alcohol, gluten, and all processed foods. Whats left, you may ask? Well, if youve been diagnosed with Candida Related Complex (or, simply, candida), you may be asking yourself that very question. Because candida overgrowth can cause a host of symptoms that are both annoying and potentially debilitating, its important to stick with the diet, as well as take any supplements or prescription antifungals that your healthcare practitioner recommends, long enough to diminish the yeast so you can regain your health. But most anti-candida diets focus (heavily) on meat, fish, chicken and/­­or eggs, since protein doesnt contain starches; and starches break down to sugars in the body and can feed the candida. Yet it is totally possible to recover from candida on a plant-based diet (I know--I did just that). Here are some tips if youve been diagnosed with candida, or simply want to cut sugars out of your life and wish to maintain your plant-based diet through to the other side. - Keep the overall glycemic index of your meals low – Eating low on the glycemic index doesnt mean you have to forgo grains or legumes entirely (I didnt); but keep portions small, and limited to one a day for each. That way, you wont be providing the candida with its favorite food. Whole grains and pseudo-grains (such as millet, teff, buckwheat or quinoa) are actually fairly low glycemic, which means they wont spike blood sugar levels. And beans and legumes contain both protein and carbs, so they digest more slowly than carbs alone. Similarly, if you aim to include the nutritional triumvirate of protein, fat and fiber in all your meals and snacks, youll keep blood sugar stable (important to prevent slip-ups). - Be sure to take in enough protein and fats! Just because youre not eating meat doesnt mean you can forgo protein. In fact, it may even be a good idea to count protein grams when you first begin. Not only does fat keep you satiated, but it also provides essential fatty acids, some of which themselves can fend off candida (coconut oil contains both caprylic acid and lauric acid, both known to be potent anti-fungals). Plus, adding fat to food just makes it taste good. This is not the time to go low fat! - Eat raw as much as possible.  Raw foods, as a rule, are more easily digestible than cooked and contain more nutrients. They are also incredibly alkalizing, essential to kick candida. And dont forget that freshly squeezed juices are raw, too (just omit the fruit). - Love your nuts and seeds. With the exception of peanuts (not really a nut anyway) and pistachios, all other nuts and seeds are permitted on the ACD, so go for it! And as long as theyre natural and unsweetened, nut and seed butters are fine, too (and dont forget that tahini is technically sesame seed butter--mmm!). These nutritional powerhouses will add protein and healthy fats to your diet even as you kill off the candida. For best digestibility, try soaking your raw nuts and seeds in room temperature filtered water for 6-8 hours, then rinsing and draining, before consuming. - Dont give up your favorite foods! One of the reasons so many people slip with this diet is because they dont include foods that they normally love (within the dietary guidelines of the ACD, of course). Ive found that including smoothies, hummus, fries, kale salad and yes, even desserts, is essential to success on the diet. In fact, I made a point of including many tempting desserts in Living Candida-Free, to ensure that people wouldnt feel deprived and could stick with it as long as necessary to succeed. With the right strategies--and some killer recipes--you really can beat candida. And you can continue to enjoy your normal life while you do! See also “It is the ONE” Single-Serve Pancakes” from Living Candida-Free. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

12 Easy and Fun Vegan Superbowl Snacks

January 29 2015 VegKitchen 

12 Easy and Fun Vegan Superbowl SnacksHere are 12 easy and fun vegan snacks for your Super Bowl gathering, starting with Mushroom and Bell Pepper Vegan Quesadillas. These make a great snack served simply with salsa and can also accompany well-seasoned chili.  Here are tasty Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos that can be made with pantry and refrigerator staples in a matter of minutes. Nachos are fun fare no matter what, whether as a snack for a small party, or even as an emergency dinner. Enjoy low-fat Sweet Potato Oven Fries  with plenty of ketchup or your favorite barbecue sauce. Five minutes, a few ingredients, and youve got nearly-instant Super-Easy Guacamole. Just open a bag of stone-ground tortilla chips, and have a party! You can make Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheez as a spread in no time, or let it set up into slices. Serve with whole-grain or gluten-free crackers or crisp breads and/­­or raw veggies. Artichoke dips are classic appetizer offerings, but theyre rarely vegan. This Hot Artichoke and White Bean Spread is, and its every bit as luscious as the dairy version. Serve with crispbreads, baby carrots, and spoon-sized chunks of red bell pepper. Sometimes you need a quick and dip for a party or as an easy appetizer. Four-Layer Bean Dip is simple to make. Dressed up with some chile in the vegan sour cream, and topped with multicolored heirloom tomatoes, it makes an appealing presentation.  Fix recipe text and make rum optional Very easy to prepare, Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade can be a go-to appetizer when you have little time to spare, as it takes only minutes to prepare. Its equally good with crispbreads or sliced fresh baguette. Smoky Sunflower Bean Burgers or Sliders have a little crunch from sunflower seeds and a subtle smoky flavor. For your Superbowl party, go with the small sliders to stretch the number of serving sizes as well as the visual appeal. The vegan answer to traditional Buffalo Wings are made of cauliflower, and they’re all the rage, all over the web! This easy version and its lovely photos are from The Lean Clean Eating Machine’ Cauliflower Buffalo Bites. Easy to make and deliciously different, this lively Pineapple Salsa can be used to top vegan quesadillas and the like, or as a snack served with stone-ground tortilla chips. Sweet and Spiced Glazed Nuts are a tasty finger food at gatherings, or as an everyday snack. Use any combination of your favorite nuts.

Kasha (Buckwheat Groats) with Mushrooms

January 26 2015 VegKitchen 

Kasha (Buckwheat Groats) with MushroomsKasha, or toasty brown buckwheat groats, is a grain thats popular in Eastern European cuisines. Its one of a kind of food that you feel strongly about one way or another, as their flavor and aroma are strong and distinct. If youre a kasha fan, youll enjoy this simple dish. Kasha is highly compatible with onions and mushrooms, which are in abundance here. Serves: 4 to 6 - 2 tablespoons olive oil - 1 large or 2 medium onions, very finely chopped - 1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats) - 1 1/­­2 cups vegetable broth, or 1 1/­­2 cups water with 2 natural salt-free bouillon cubes - 8 ounces white or brown mushrooms, cleaned and sliced - Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste - Minced fresh dill and/­­or parsley, as desired, plus more for topping Heat the oil in a deep saucepan or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until golden. Add the kasha and stir in to coat with the oil in the pan. continue to sauté, stirring often, until the kasha is nicely toasted and the onions lightly browned here and there, about 7 minutes. Pour in the broth or water with bouillon cubes and bring to a slow boil. Stir in the mushrooms, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir gently only once during this time, as you dont want the kasha to get mushy. Remove from the heat,  and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the dill or parsley (or both), and serve at once. Pass along extra fresh herbs for topping individual portions. - Here are more hearty, healthy grain dishes.

Butternut Squash & Swiss Chard “Lasagna”

January 23 2015 VegKitchen 

Butternut Squash & Swiss Chard “Lasagna”In this hearty vegan and gluten-free lasagna I used a mixture of shiitake and white button mushrooms, fresh rosemary and tarragon, swiss chard, homemade sauce (so easy!!!), tofu cheese, and squash. The flavor and texture are excellent, everything youd want from a meal on a cold winter day.  This lasagna, like most, is done in parts. Youve got your roasted squash, sauce, veggies, and tofu cheese. If you like to cook, this meal with bring you lots of joy in the kitchen. If you dont think of yourself as a cook, give it a try anyway. Each step is easy as pie, and the result is well worth the minimal effort and time.  Cant get your hands on swiss chard-or any other chard? Use spinach, kale, or collards. If youre not a fan of butternut squash, use zucchini instead. Recipe contributed by Jenné Claiborne from Sweet Potato Soul . Photos by Sydney Bensimon.  Serves: 4 generous portions Olive oil Sea salt 1 large butternut squash, peeled, halved and thinly sliced in half-moon shapes (about 1/­­4 inch thick); or two small butternuts (note, if your knives aren’t sharp enough to cut raw squash, see tips for a workaround in this post) 14-oz can plain tomato sauce 4 garlic cloves, minced 1/­­4 cup nutritional yeast 2 teaspoon Italian herb dried spice 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper 4 cups of your favorite mushrooms (I used shiitake and white button), sliced 4 cups swiss chard, ribs removed, washed, & chopped 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (if you like heat) 1 block firm organic tofu 1/­­2 cup nutritional yeast 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 1 1/­­2 teaspoon sea salt Preheat oven to 350°, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss ysliced butternut squash with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and spread the squash onto the baking sheet. If it doesnt all fit use a second baking sheet, or layer it. Roast for 30 minutes, until tender, but not too mushy. Sauce: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic, and cook until golden (be careful not to burn it). Reduce the heat, and carefully pour the tomato sauce into the pan. It might start to pop, so keep the lid nearby. Stir the garlic and sauce, then add the nutritional yeast, herbs and black pepper. Cover, and allow the sauce to cook while you work on the next part. Swiss Chard & Mushrooms: Heat a tablespoon, or two, of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and a generous pinch of sea salt, and stir. The cooking will draw the moisture out of the mushrooms, so dont worry if the pan seems too dry. Once theyve begun to sweat (moisten), add the swiss chard, tarragon, and rosemary. Stir well, and remove from heat. Tofu Cheese: Break the tofu up and place it in a food processor. Process until smooth, then add the nutritional yeast, vinegar and salt. Process again to incorporate it all, and taste to see if you need to add any more salt. Assemble the Lasagna: Now that youve got all the parts complete you can assemble the lasagna. To do this you will place a layer of squash on the bottom of the baking dish. Follow that with some of the cheese, follow that with some of the mushroom mix (squeeze excess liquid from the mushrooms and greens before layering), then the sauce, then the squash again. Continue to layer the ingredients until youve used them all.  Use about 1/­­2 cup of cheese, sauce and mushrooms on each layer. I like my top layer to have all the ingredients visible. Place the lasagna back in the oven and bake for 40 minutes (or 30 if you just cant wait). Jenné Claiborne is a  vegan personal chef in NYC. She also creates recipes, videos, and share my passion for healthy vegan eating on this blog. She has created an online program called the  21-Day Vegan Blueprint, and an e-cookbook,  5 Ingredient Vegan. - Here are more of VegKitchens Hearty Pasta Dishes. - Find more of VegKitchens  Vegan Dinner Recipes  and more  C asseroles And Other Comfort Foods.

Cinnamon-Tahini Cookies

January 23 2015 VegKitchen 

Cinnamon-Tahini CookiesI love my cookies soft, hearty, and moist. They get extra points if theyre healthy. Even more points when they take less than 15 minutes to make. These life-changing tahini cookies are the answer. I can have my cookie AND eat it too! Recipe contributed by Jenné Claiborne of  Sweet Potato Soul, from her e-cookbook ,  5 Ingredient Vegan.  Photos by Sydney Bensimon.  Makes: 8 small cookies 1/­­2 cup tahini 1/­­4 cup maple syrup 2 teaspoons cinnamon 3/­­4 cup quick cooking oats 1/­­2 cup chopped walnuts Pinch of sea salt Mix the tahini, maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla well, then add the remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. Dampen your hands, and scoop 2 or 3 tablespoons into your palm to form into a cookie shape. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before enjoying. Recipe expansions: Add any of 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons shredded raw sweet potato, 2 tablespoons raisins or cranberries, 1 ripe small banana (mashed or diced), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Jenné Claiborne is a  vegan personal chef in NYC. She also creates recipes, videos, and share my passion for healthy vegan eating on this blog. She has created an online program called the 21-Day Vegan Blueprint, and an e-cookbook,  5 Ingredient Vegan. Indulge your sweet tooth with more Vegan Cookies and Bars.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili with Tomatillos

January 21 2015 VegKitchen 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili with TomatillosThis sweet and spicy stew is a fun and unusual take on chili. And if you happen to have leftovers, it tastes even better a day or two later.  Kelp may seem like an unusual ingredient here, but it has several benefits: it makes the beans more digestible, and it also contains flavor-enhancing compounds and loads of minerals and vitamins. Copyright (C) 2010 Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook* by Leslie Cerier (New Harbinger, Inc). All rights reserved. Used by permission of the publisher and author. Serves 6 to 8 1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight 1 tablespoon kelp flakes, or 1 (3-inch) piece of kelp 4 cups water 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or 1 cinnamon stick 1 cayenne pepper, seeded and minced, or 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil 1 1/­­2 cups chopped red onions 3 cups peeled, grated sweet potatoes 4 cups quartered tomatillos 3 1/­­2 cups diced tomatoes 4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels 1 1/­­2 cups tightly packed chopped cilantro 2 cloves garlic, pressed 1 1/­­2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 1/­­2 teaspoons sea salt Drain and rinse the beans, then put them in a large soup pot with the kelp, water, cinnamon, and cayenne. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer. Heat the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sweet potatoes and sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the yams soften and take on a brighter orange color. Add the sauté to the soup pot and continue to simmer for about 45 minutes, until the beans are soft. Stir in the tomatillos and tomatoes. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the tomatillos almost melt into the stew. Stir in the corn, cilantro, garlic, cumin, and salt. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired.  *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing! - Here are more  bean stews and chilies. - Here are more of VegKitchens  Vegan Dinner Recipes  and more  Main Dishes Featuring Grains and/­­or Beans .

Ginger Tempeh Vegetable Stir Fry

January 20 2015 VegKitchen 

Frying tempeh in red palm oil gives it a rich flavor and meaty texture. You can use coconut oil or sesame oil and swap other seasonal vegetables for infinite tasty variations. In this recipe I used mirin, a sweet rice cooking wine, feel free to use another cooking wine or water. Serve this stir fry on top of rice and with a side of fresh pineapple for a fine meal. Copyright (C) 2013 Leslie Cerier. All Rights Reserved. Photo by Tracey Eller. Serves: 4 3 tablespoons organic red palm oil or extra-virgin coconut oil 3 tablespoons grated ginger 2 tablespoons tamari 1 tablespoon mirin, water or wine 1 cup chopped onions 1 cup carrots, sliced into match sticks 8 ounce soy tempeh, cut into 1/­2 inch cubes 2 cups sliced summer squash, in half moons 2 cups coarsely chopped bok choy Heat and melt the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger, mirin, and tamari and fry for a minute to blend flavors. Add onions, carrots and tempeh and stir fry for 5 minutes, or until the carrots turn bright orange. Add the summer squash and continue to stir fry for 3 minutes, or until it turns bright yellow. Turn off the heat and stir in bok choy, which will wilt and turn bright green quickly. Taste and adjust the seasonings; add more tamari for a saltier taste, if you like. - Here are more  tempeh recipes.

Coconut Curry Lettuce Wraps

January 19 2015 VegKitchen 

Coconut Curry Lettuce WrapsThis coconut-curry spread, based on chickpeas and cannellini beans is rich with spices and coconut. Aside from serving it in romaine leaves as suggested in this recipe, you can find many other uses for it -- it makes a great dip but its even better as a sandwich spread. Recipe and photo contributed by Annie Oliverio of An Unrefined Vegan. Annie is the author of the forthcoming Crave Eat Heal: Plant-based, Whole-food Recipes to Satisfy Every Craving  * (April, 2015). Makes a boatload For the coconut-curry chickpea white bean spread: - 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained - 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained - 1/­4 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut milk - 1/­4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut soaked for a few hours in 1/­2 cup water (do not drain) - 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce - 1 teaspoon maple syrup - Juice of 1 lime - 1 heaping tbsp. tahini - 2 cloves garlic - 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded - 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes - 1/­2-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped - 1/­2 teaspoon turmeric - 1/­2 teaspoon ground ginger - 1/­4 teaspoon cumin - 2 teaspoons curry powder To serve: - Big handful of fresh cilantro - Big, fresh romaine lettuce leaves, as needed - Shredded carrot - Shredded zucchini - Sliced English cucumberPickled gingerSesame seeds - In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients for the coconut-curry chickpea-white bean spread and process until smooth. The flavor of this spread develops over time so its best to make this ahead and store in the refrigerator for a few hours.  It has a bit of a kick to it, so lessen the amount of jalapeno if you like. When ready to serve, generously coat the lettuce with the coconut curry spread and top with the carrot, zucchini, cucumber, ginger and sesame seeds. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Chocolate-Coated Key Lime-Coconut Creme Pie

January 19 2015 VegKitchen 

This pie is a combination of coconut creme and key lime so the tangy lime has been tamed somewhat - feel free to up the amount of juice (reducing the other liquids to compensate) or add more lime zest. The hint of chocolate and the crunch of the toasted coconut and cacao nibs is a wonderful counterpart to the creaminess of the custard. Recipe and photo contributed by Annie Oliverio of An Unrefined Vegan. Annie is the author of the forthcoming Crave Eat Heal: Plant-based, Whole-food Recipes to Satisfy Every Craving  * (April, 2015). Makes: 8 slices Crust: - 1 cup nut meal (I used almond, left over from making milk) - 1 cup walnuts - 1 tablespoon hemp seeds - 2 tablespoons maple syrup - 2 tablespoons date puree Crust coating: - 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips - 1 tablespoon coconut oil - 1/­­4 toasted coconut flakes - 2 tablespoons Choffy or cacao nibs - 1/­­2 teaspoon vanilla extract Filling: - 1 cup full-fat coconut milk - 1/­­2 cup water - 1 tablespoon agar flakes or powder - 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder mixed with 1/­­4 cup cool water - 12 oz. silken tofu - 1 tablespoon key lime zest - 1/­­4 cup key lime juice - 2 tablespoons maple syrup - 1/­­2 teaspoon liquid stevia Make the crust: Pour the walnuts into the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add the nut meal and hemp seeds and pulse a few times to combine. Add in the remaining ingredients and process until a moist meal is formed.  Pour into deep 9? pie dish and use wet hands to pat out the crust until evenly distributed along the bottom and sides. Chocolate coating: Line a small baking pan or dish with aluminum foil.  Set aside. In a double boiler, melt the coconut oil and chocolate. When smooth, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, Choffy (cacao nibs) and toasted coconut. Spread about half of the mixture along the bottom and up the sides of the prepared crust. On the prepared baking sheet, drop melted chocolate to form small disks - you arent going for perfection here. Put baking sheet and crust in the frige while you prepare the filling. Filling: In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk, water and agar to a boil.  Boil gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, combine the lime zest, silken tofu, lime juice, maple syrup, stevia liquid and arrowroot mixture in a food processor and process until very smooth. When the coconut milk mixture is ready, pour it into the food processor and pulse a few times to incorporate it into the tofu mixture.  Pour into the prepared crust and refrigerate until firm. Serve garnished with disks of coconut-Choffy-chocolate on top. - Here are more vegan cakes and pies. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

January 18 2015 VegKitchen 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesYou may think that pumpkin is reserved for consumption between the months of October and November. That is true, except when that pumpkin is going into chocolate chip cookies. Then it is perfectly acceptable to eat it year round. The pumpkin acts as an egg replacer but also adds a lot of depth to the flavor. These cookies are a total crowd-pleaser, so if you serve them to your omnivore friends, be prepared for the question, These are vegan? Recipe from  But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, Its Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over Dinner , copyright (C) Kristy Turner, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment.  Makes 2 dozen cookies 1 3/­­4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/­­2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/­­2 teaspoon salt 1/­­4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/­­4 teaspoon ground cardamom 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) 1/­­2 cup vegan butter, melted 1/­­4 cup maple syrup 1/­­3 cup coconut sugar or vegan brown sugar 1 tablespoon unsalted smooth almond butter or whatever nut butter you have 1 cup vegan chocolate chips Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Whisk together the flour, flaxseed meal, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom in a large bowl. Set aside. Use a hand mixer (or whisk very quickly) to mix the pumpkin puree, vegan butter, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and almond butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Use a tablespoon or ice cream scoop to scoop roughly 2 tablespoons of dough and place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Wet or lightly grease the bottom of a measuring cup and gently press down on each cookie to flatten. If you want them more evenly shaped, wet your fingers and gently form them into circles. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until firm with lightly browned edges. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before serving (or not--it would be a shame not to try at least one while theyre hot!). Tip: It is especially important with this recipe to measure the flour by shaking spoonfuls of flour into the measuring cup until full. If you scoop with the measuring cup, the flour will be too packed and will affect the texture of the cookies. Indulge your sweet tooth with more Vegan Cookies and Bars. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Chocolate Ganache Cake

January 13 2015 VegKitchen 

Chocolate Ganache CakeThis is a rich, decadent-tasting, and gorgeous cake. This scrumptious confection, topped with a luscious vegan chocolate ganache frosting, is ideal to serve as an enticing dessert at any gathering throughout the year. Recipe and photos contributed by Laura Theodore, The Jazzy Vegetarian. Serves: 8 Cake: 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour 2/­­3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/­­2 teaspoon sea salt 1 1/­­4 cups brown sugar 1 1/­­2 cups chocolate- or vanilla-flavored nondairy milk, plus more as needed 1/­­4 cup vegan cream cheese, at room temperature 1/­­4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Ganache: 1/­­2 cup nondairy milk (a thicker variety works best) 1 bar (3.5 ounces) vegan dark chocolate (snack-style bar, not unsweetened baking chocolate) 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon brown sugar Garnish: Fresh strawberries, optional Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch round baking pan with vegan margarine. Put the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the brown sugar and whisk to combine. Put 1/­­4 cup of the nondairy milk, vegan cream cheese, olive oil, and vanilla extract in a blender and process until smooth. Add to the flour mixture, along with the remaining 1 1/­­4 cups of nondairy milk. Stir until well combined and somewhat fluffy. The mixture will be stiff, but if it seems overly dry, stir in additional nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 3 tablespoons. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 15 minutes. Decrease the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (If it seems that the cake is starting to burn during the last 10 minutes of baking, tent it with foil.) Put the pan on a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool completely. While the cake is cooling, prepare the ganache. Heat the nondairy milk in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat until steaming hot but not boiling. Chop the vegan chocolate bar into small pieces. Put the chocolate pieces, olive oil and sugar in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the nondairy milk, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, whisking vigorously after each addition, until the chocolate is smooth and shiny. Immediately drizzle or spread the frosting over the cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Garnish with optional strawberries, if desired. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover cake will keep for about 2 days. Here are more Easy Vegan Cakes and Pies.

Yellow Pear and Spinach Smoothie

January 11 2015 VegKitchen 

Yellow Pear and Spinach SmoothieI used forelle pears for this smoothie, as they are cute and adorable and bite-size. Okay fine, not only because of that, also they are quite sweet and have a bit of a cinnamon spice flavor (making them perfect for kid-friendly snacks or smoothies). This variety is only available from about September until December, so use another kind of nicely ripe yellow pear at other times or if unavailable. I call this smoothie my winter blend; because of the pear variety and also because its not a freezing cold drink. If you want to make it colder, go ahead and add a few ice cubes. Recipe and photos contributed by Sophia Zergiotis of Love and Lentils . Makes: 1 large or 2 moderate smoothies 1 cup plain almond milk 1 cup baby spinach 1 forelle pear (or 1/­2 medium yellow pear) 1 frozen banana 1/­2 small apple (I used gala) 1 medjool date, pitted Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed until  smooth. Pour into a glass or glasses and serve at once. Here are more of VegKitchens recipes for green smoothies.

Collard-Wrapped Yellow Rice and Black Bean Enchiladas

January 8 2015 VegKitchen 

Collard-Wrapped Yellow Rice and Black Bean EnchiladasLarge collard green leaves make amazing wrappers for grain and bean dishes. These enclose a hefty helping of rice and black beans. You can vary this by using other grains, such as quinoa or couscous. Recipe from Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas; photos by Ricki Heller. Makes 8 to 10 generous rolls, one or two per serving - 8 to 10 large collard leaves - 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil - 1 medium onion, chopped - 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced - 1 medium green or red bell pepper, finely diced - 2 cups cooked brown rice or other grain of your choice - One 15-to 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed - 1 small fresh hot chili pepper, seeded and minced, or one 4-ounce can chopped mild green chilies - 1/­4 cup minced fresh cilantro - 1 teaspoon ground cumin - 1/­2 teaspoon dried oregano - 1/­4 teaspoon ground turmeric - Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste - 1 cup store-bought salsa (use a flavorful variety such as chipotle) - 1 cup tomato sauce Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the stems from the bottom of the collard leaves. Lay them, one at a time, on a cutting board, with the protruding side of the stem facing up. Using a sharp knife, skim off part of the stem so that it is flatter. Rinse the leaves. Bring a generous amount of water to a boil in a 4-quart soup pot. Immerse the collard greens and cook with the water simmering steadily for 3 minutes. Drain, and allow the leaves to rest in a colander. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and continue to sauté until the mixture is golden. Add the rice, beans, chili pepper, cilantro, and seasonings. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is well heated through, about 5 minutes. In a small mixing bowl, combine the salsa and tomato sauce and stir together. Pour half of this sauce evenly over the bottom of a shallow 9- by 13-inch baking dish. To assemble, arrange 1/­3 to 1/­2 cup of the rice mixture on each collard leaf (depending on its size--after doing one, youll get a sense of how much fits comfortably). Fold the bottom of the leaf over the filling, then fold each side in toward the middle, and roll like a burrito. Arrange each roll in the casserole dish, and once theyre all in, spoon the remaining sauce over them. Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a fork can be easily inserted into one of the rolls. Serve at once. - Here are more recipes for Hardy Greens.

Southeast Asian-Flavored Noodles with Tempeh Croutons

December 28 2014 VegKitchen 

Southeast Asian-Flavored Noodles with Tempeh CroutonsThis spicy, nutty dish of noodles and vegetables dressed in peanut sauce and topped with tempeh croutons is a fusion of Indonesian and Thai-influences. It’s good served warm or at room temperature. This dish really has it all, so you can finish the meal with a simple soup or a complementary salad like Asian-Flavored Coleslaw. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. Serves: 6 to 8 Tempeh croutons: - 1 tablespoon safflower or other neutral vegetable oil - 1 tablespoon natural soy sauce or tamari - 8-ounce package tempeh, any variety, diced - Pinch of chili powder Dressing: - 1/­3 cup natural peanut butter, chunky or smooth - 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice - 1 tablespoon agave nectar - Sriracha sauce or dried hot red pepper flakes, to taste - 2 tablespoons natural soy sauce or tamari - 1/­4 cup hot water - - 8 ounces soba or udon noodles (or substitute linguine) - 8 ounces fresh slender green beans or thawed frozen organic whole green beans - 2 carrots, cut into thick matchsticks - 3 scallions, sliced - 1/­4 cup chopped fresh cilantro - 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped peanuts, optional Slowly heat the oil and soy sauce together in a wide skillet. Add the tempeh and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until nicely browned and crisp. Sprinkle lightly with chili powder, and remove from the heat. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk together. Set aside. Cook the noodles in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Once the noodles are just about done, plunge the green beans and carrots into the water and cook for another minute. Drain well in a colander. Transfer the noodles and veggies to a large serving bowl. Add the tempeh, scallions, cilantro, and peanuts, if desired. Pour in the dressing, toss well, and serve warm or at room temperature. Nutrition Information: Per serving: 375 calories; 14g fat; 240mg sodium; 42g carbs; 4g fiber; 20g protein - Here are more  Asian-style cold noodle dishes. - Explore more recipes using  Asian noodles.

Chinese-Style Shredded Cold Vegetables and Tofu

December 27 2014 VegKitchen 

Chinese-Style Shredded Cold Vegetables and TofuA friend from Shanghai described this to me as a typical dish that comes as close the definition of  salad in both the Eastern and Western interpretations of the word. Its name, literally translated, is the less-than-descriptive cold mix. This veganized version features matchstick-cut vegetables and a  chewy baked tofu. Serve with a simple noodle or rice dish for a delightful meal. Serves: 4 to 6 Dressing - 3 tablespoons natural reduced-sodium soy sauce - 1tablespoons toasted sesame oil - 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar (coconut sugar is good with this) - 3 tablespoons rice vinegar Salad - 1 small turnip, peeled and cut into 2- to 3-inch matchsticks - 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2- to 3-inch matchsticks - 1/­­2 medium crisp cucumber, peeled and cut into 2- to 3-inch matchsticks - 2 medium celery stalks, cut into 2- to 3-inch matchsticks - 8-ounce. package baked tofu, preferably teriyaki flavor, cut into 2- to 3-inch matchsticks - 2 scallions, green parts only, cut into 2- to 3-inch ribbons - 2 to 3 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (see note) - 1/­­4 cup minced fresh cilantro To finish - Dried hot red pepper flakes to taste - Shredded romaine lettuce or tender kale for serving - Toasted cashew pieces or sesame seeds for garnish, optional Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, stir together, and set aside. Combine the turnip, carrots, cucumber, celery, tofu, scallions, mushrooms, and cilantro in a mixing bowl and stir gently. Pour the dressing over them and stir gently again. Allow the mixture to stand for at least 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Just before serving, taste to see if youd like to add more soy sauce, sugar, and/­­or vinegar. Sprinkle in some some red pepper flakes -- enough to give the mixture gentle heat, but not to over power it. Line a serving platter with shredded lettuce or kale, which help to absorb the plentiful marinade. Top with the optional cashew pieces or sesame seeds, and serve. Originally published in the Sept. 2014 issue of Vegetarian Times. - Here are more Main-Dish Salads.  

12 Days of Vegan Christmas Cookies and Bars

December 15 2014 VegKitchen 

12 Days of Vegan Christmas Cookies and BarsUnbaked Fig Bars by Gena Hamshaw have all of the chewiness and sweetness of traditional fig cookies, but theyre made with wholesome almonds, oats, and real dried figs. Truly perfect for the holiday! Crunchy Almond Cacao Nib Cookies by Sophia Zergiotis are truly guilt free. Theyre refined sugar-free, dairy free, and filled with nutritional ingredients. They are very light and the cacao nibs offer the perfect crunchy texture. If you are unfamiliar with cacao nibs, they are natures chocolate chips. Cacao nibs are literally cacao beans that have been roasted and separated from their husks, then peeled and crumbled.   This recipe by Kathy Patalsky for Orange Spice Holiday Cookies is a great one to try this time of year when your house may be filled with relatives and party guests. As these cookies bake, they fill the house with a warm and comforting aroma -- a blend of citrus and cinnamon, a hint of nutmeg, pumpkin and cloves. These tender little circles are vegan, aka dairy and egg free. Brownie Bites are delicious, luscious and have no fat added. This recipe by Chef Beverly Bennett was a favorite of my kids during their teen years. Moist and fudgy, it isnt hard to see why it was one of their most frequently requested treats. Christmas Popcorn Bars by Hannah Kaminsky are perfectly festive with red and green mix-ins add the excitement here, but if cranberries and pistachios are not your favorites, dont be afraid to stray into more diverse ingredient pools. Dried cherries, strawberries, or raspberries would be alternatives that still keep the color theme, and of course the options are endless for other hues. These crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, Chef Amber Shea’s Pecan Shortbread Cookies are a consistent favorite. With only four ingredients, you could practically make these with your eyes closed! These Almond Thumbprint Cookies by Allyson Kramer  are as simple to make as they are beautiful. Use any flavor of preserves youd like in these.... I happen to really love the amber glow of the apricot preserves. A thicker jam or fruit preserve is key to having a uniform color puddle in your cookies. Sprinkle with a touch of confectioners sugar for the ultimate eye-popper. Spiced Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies by Hannah Kaminsky are certainly not your grandmas or your moms chocolate chip cookie, but thats probably a good thing, too. With so many options already available around this time of year, why not take the opportunity to try something a bit different? Cream-Filled Maple Leaf Cookies by Lauri Sadowski showcase the bounty of Canada’s many maple farms. If youve never had one, nows the time to enjoy this sandwich cookie filled with maple buttercream frosting. Theyre free of nuts, peanuts and yeast. Make your own Vegan Ginger cookies by Heather Neal to surprise family, friends, and neighbors. These are spiced ginger cookies with a hint of cinnamon in every bite. For years, Laura Theodore’s mom has been making a dairy-based version of classic turtle cookies for the holidays. Several years ago we decided to create a vegan version of her Turtle Cookie Squares, which is as good as--or maybe even better than--the original recipe. - Here are more tips for keeping the  Holidays and Special Occasions healthy! - For lots more features on healthy lifestyle, please explore VegKitchens  Healthy Vegan Kitchen page.

Giveaway! EZ Tofu Press and The Oldways 4-Week Vegetarian and Vegan Diet Menu Plan

December 8 2014 VegKitchen 

Giveaway! EZ Tofu Press and The Oldways 4-Week Vegetarian and Vegan Diet Menu PlanHeres a double giveaway that will give you a leg up on living healthfully in 2014. One winner will receive both the EZ Tofu Press and a copy of The Oldways 4-Week Vegetarian and Vegan Diet Menu Plan. About the EZ Tofu Press: Im a fan of using tofu pressing devices. They do a better job of it than using the towel or paper towel method, and especially with the latter, its a lot less wasteful. Im sure that in all my years of using tofu, Ive gone through rolls of paper towel -- multiply that by many thousands of tofu users, and thats a lot of trees! The EZ Tofu Press works quickly and efficiently. Pressing tofu helps it to absorb marinades, sauté to a firmer texture, and in general, pick up the flavors of whatever its being cooked or stir-fried with, such as Sesame-Ginger Tofu and Broccoli Stir-Fry, above. And if youre using it uncooked, for instance, mashed  to make something like Tofu Eggless “Egg Salad,” it holds the dressing better and is less likely to get watery when leftovers are stored. The Oldways 4-Week Vegetarian and Vegan Diet Menu Plan, from the Oldways site: The menus youll find in the Oldways 4-Week Vegetarian & Vegan Diet Menu Plan are designed to take you on a 28-day journey through many of the delicious and satisfying tastes of the plant-based diet. The traditional vegetarian diet, illustrated by the Vegetarian & Vegan Diet Pyramid, reflects the abundance of delicious, healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, herbs, and spices that fit into a healthy eating pattern across many different cultures. This concise guide (88 pages) to transitioning to a plant-based diet provides 28 days worth of recipes and menus, and wont overwhelm you with Too Much Information -- just enough to take the steps you need to step onto the plant-based path. This book is built around the Oldways Vegetarian & Vegan Pyramid, a powerful roadmap that will help you unleash your highest health and transform the way you think about food. -- Kate Geagan, MS, RDN, Americas Green Nutritionist, author of Go Green Get Lean   a Rafflecopter giveaway

8 Easy, Amazing Vegan Appetizers -VegKitchen’s Favorites

December 7 2014 VegKitchen 

8 Easy, Amazing Vegan Appetizers -VegKitchen’s FavoritesFor winter gatherings, my favorite food theme for entertaining is a delicious vegan appetizer buffet with wine, cocktails, and/­or mocktails. After that, who needs dinner? You can then skip to coffeetea and light desserts. Here are 8 tasty dips and finger foods, our absolute favorites from VegKitchen’s vast array of Vegan Appetizer Recipes. Choose 5 or 6 of these and serve with your favorite beverages. Above, Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheez. You’ll find the way to the recipe with the 4th link below, along with its spreadable version. Photo above by Hannah Kaminsky. Colorful and briny, small servings of Olive Bar Medley with Tofu “Feta” go a long way. Choose two or three different varieties of pitted olives from your supermarkets olive bar, add an extra item or two, and you’ve got a winning appetizer. Photo above by Susan Voisin. Rosemary Roasted Mushrooms is an appetizer that can also be used as a first course for almost any kind of meal. Use any kind of mushroom you like, or a combination of two or three. Skillet Spiced Chickpeas will give you good flavor and texture every time; oven-roasting seems to dry these delicious legumes out. These are good eaten out of hand as a snack, in place of far more caloric nuts. They make a tasty salad topping, as well. You can make Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheez as a spread in no time, or let it set up into slices, as shown at the top of this post. I like it both ways and hope that you will, too. This is good with sliced fresh baguette, or serve it with whole-grain crackers or crisp breads, and/­or fresh veggies. Photo above by Hannah Kaminsky. Tempeh Fries with Horseradish or Wasabi-Dill Mayonnaise can be a bit addictive, so you may want to double the recipe if serving hungry tempeh fans. Photo above by Hannah Kaminsky. Sweet and Spiced Glazed Nuts are a tasty finger food at special occasion, or as an everyday snack. Use any combination of your favorite nuts -- peanuts, almond, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, etc. Green Pea, Parsley, and Pistachio Dip is great served with brightly colored vegetables--baby carrots, sliced red bell peppers, rounds of yellow squash, and thin wedges of raw sweet potato. Photo above by Hannah Kaminsky.

Green Noodles

November 29 2014 VegKitchen 

Green NoodlesThis easy pasta dish with a very green sauce (made of pureed green peas and broccoli) is great for kids who dont mind a bit of green on their plate. Simple and tasty, you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it! Photos by  Lori Maffei. 4 to 6 moderate servings - 8 ounces pasta, your choice of shape (spaghetti, spirals, wagon wheels, small shells, etc.) - 1 tablespoon vegan buttery spread (such as Earth Balance) or olive oil Sauce: - 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed - 1 to 1 1/­­2 cups finely chopped broccoli florets - A big handful of baby spinach leaves, optional - 1/­­2 cup crumbled soft tofu - 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional but highly recommended - 1/­­4 cup unsweetened rice milk or other nondairy milk - Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste - Vegan Cashew or Almond Parmesan-Style Cheez, optional Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, according to package directions, then drain. Meanwhile, combine the frozen peas and broccoli florets in a saucepan. Add just enough water to keep the bottom of the pan moist, perhaps 1/­­2 inch in depth. Steam over medium heat until the veggies are done but still a bit tender-crisp. Take care not to lose the bright green color! Combine the peas and broccoli with the remaining sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smoothly pureed. Pour over the cooked pasta and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve at once. Pass around vegan Parmezan-Style Cheez to top individual portions, if desired. - Make sure to explore more of our recipes and tips for  Veg Kids and Teens.

The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Produce Guide

November 18 2014 VegKitchen 

Contributed by Garrick Dee Tan, from  Juicing with G. Not all fruits and vegetables are created equal as certain produce will contain more pesticide residue than others. Foodmatters.tv calls this the contamination scale. Thats why the Environmental Working Group created the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to educate consumers about which ones have the most and least amount of pesticide to help you shop smarter. Not everyone can afford to buy absolutely all their produce organic so use this as a guide on which produce to buy organic or conventional. But wait, theres more... If you scroll down to the bottom, youll see 5 different places where you can buy organic produce at a discounted price. Save this graphic, print it out, and take it with you whenever you shop.

Vegan Praline Pecan Pumpkin Pie (Gluten-Free)

November 15 2014 VegKitchen 

Vegan Praline Pecan Pumpkin Pie (Gluten-Free) Buttery pecan crust filled with a smooth and spicy pumpkin pie filling make this Praline Pecan Pumpkin Pie a dessert your guests will remember and request every Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday moments include children playing together, feeling grateful to sit down to a full spread of compassionate foods, and the smell of delicious dishes and fresh pumpkin pie. Recipe and photos by Allison River Samson. Its taken me years to perfect my pumpkin pie recipe and Ive finally gotten it! Blind-baking the crust (baking it empty) and cooking the filling on the stovetop gives a reliable crack-free pumpkin pie every time. A couple of secret ingredients as thickeners (instead of the ubiquitous tofu that gives a chalky mouthfeel), presents a luscious texture to allow the flavors of warming spices to shine through. And using the alternative sweetener, coconut sugar, makes it so that those who are sensitive to refined sugars can delight in dessert too! Serves: 6 - 4 1/­­2 teaspoons agar agar flakes - 1/­­2 cup hot water - 1 1/­­2 cups raw pecans - 1 1/­­3 cups coconut sugar, divided - 1 1/­­4 cups canned full-fat coconut milk, divided - 2 tablespoons brown rice flour - 2 tablespoons vanilla, divided - 3/­­4 teaspoon salt, divided - 2 cups pumpkin purée - 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish - 1/­­2 teaspoon ginger powder - 1/­­4 teaspoon ground nutmeg - 1/­­8 teaspoon ground allspice - 1/­­8 teaspoon ground cloves - 4 1/­­2 teaspoons kuzu root starch - 1/­­4 cup cold water Preheat oven to 375? F. In a small bowl, soak agar in hot water, stir, and set aside. On a sheet pan, spread pecans and toast for 12 to 15 minutes or until fragrant and browned. In a food processor, process pecans, 1/­­3 cup coconut sugar, 1/­­4 cup coconut milk, brown rice flour, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 1/­­4 teaspoon salt until fine. Into a 9-inch pie pan, press pecan mixture evenly into bottom and sides. Bake for 10 minutes. In a blender, add soaked agar mixture, remaining 1 cup coconut sugar, remaining 1 cup coconut milk, remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla, remaining 1/­­2 teaspoon salt, pumpkin purée, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Blend until completely smooth. In a small bowl, add kuzu and cold water and stir until completely dissolved. Set aside. Into a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, pour pumpkin mixture and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, then stir kuzu mixture again and add to pumpkin mixture, whisking continuously. Simmer and continue to whisk for 2 to 4 minutes until mixture reaches a pudding-like texture. Pour pumpkin filling into baked crust and let cool completely to set up. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Top with Homemade Coconut Whipped Cream (video; or see another recipe for vegan whipped cream here on VegKitchen) and garnish with a dusting of cinnamon. Allison Rivers Samson, HHC, AADP is a Holistic Health & Lifestyle Coach and Maven of Mmmm … at Allison’s Gourmet: Organic Vegan Bakery, Confectionary, & Chocolaterie. She is the author of the cookbook: Comfortably Yum. - See VegKitchen’s entire array of Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner recipes. - Here are more Easy Vegan Cakes and Pies.

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

November 9 2014 VegKitchen 

Vegan Green Bean CasseroleGreen bean casserole is a winter holiday favorite, especially for Thanksgiving. Heres an updated, veganized, and healthy version of this comfort food favorite. The original, vintage version uses canned cream of mushroom and (gasp!) canned fried onions; this one gets its creaminess from pureed white beans or silken tofu. Sautéed onions, crisped up with a lightly floured coating, make a yummy topping along with breadcrumbs.  I do provide one nod to convenience in this recipe. Fresh green beans are really not in season at this time of year. And even if they were, its not fun to trim the ends off of two pounds of them in one go. So I suggest using whole baby green beans or cut green beans -- organic, please! Thanks to Tofurky for the lovely prop --their iconic Vegetarian Roast, which you can read more about in this post. Photos by Rachael Braun. Serves: 8 to 10 - 2 tablespoons olive oil - 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced - 15- to 16-ounce can cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed, or 12.3 ounce container firm or extra-firm silken tofu - 2 tablespoons garbanzo flour, spelt flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or any flour you have on hand - 8 ounces white or brown mushrooms, sliced (cut large caps in half) - 1 pound organic cut or whole baby green beans, thawed completely - Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste - 1/­­2 cup breadcrumbs, fresh or prepared Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until golden and just starting to brown, stirring often. Transfer half of the onions to a food processor along with the beans or silken tofu. Process until completely smooth. Preheat the oven to 375? F. Sprinkle the flour of choice slowly in with the remaining onions in the pan until theyre fairly evenly coated. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until theyre nicely browned (but not burned!) and crisp, stirring often. Remove the onions to a plate and set aside. Wipe out the pan and add the mushrooms with a little water. Cover and cook over medium heat until theyre wilted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off excess liquid. Combine the bean or tofu puree, mushrooms, and green beans in a large mixing bowl and stir together. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled 2-quart casserole dish (or divide between two smaller casserole dishes). Top with the reserved onions, followed by the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the green beans are tender and the breadcrumbs are lightly browned and crisp. Let the casserole stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve. Vegan Green Bean Casserole with Tofurky Vegetarian Roast - See VegKitchen’s entire array of Vegan Thanksgiving recipes. - Here are our top Favorite Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes.

Pasta alla Norma

November 5 2014 VegKitchen 

Pasta alla NormaPasta alla Norma is one of those great classic Italian recipes thats simple and healthy. Its basic embellishments are eggplant, onion, garlic, and basil. Its quick, too -- in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta, the sauce is started and finished. Be generous with the red pepper flakes if you like a little spice to your pasta dishes-- they really give the flavor a boost. Serve with a colorful salad to which chickpeas are added for extra protein. Serves: 6 - 10 to 12 ounces pasta, any shape, preferably whole grain (this is good both with long pasta like spaghetti or chunky shapes like penne or rotini) - 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided - 1 medium or 2 smaller eggplants, sliced 1/­­2 inch thick then diced - 1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced - 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced - 28-ounce jar of your favorite full-flavored marinara sauceDried hot red pepper flakes to taste - Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste - Fresh basil leaves, whole or sliced, as desired - Vegan Cashew or Almond Parmesan-Style Cheez, optional In a large pot, cook the pasta according to package directions in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet or steep-sided stir-fry pan along with 1/­­2 cup water. Add the eggplant, stir together, and cook over medium heat until its tender but still holds its shape. Remove to a plate or bowl. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan. Add the onion and sauté over low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden. Add the eggplant back to the pan along with the marinara sauce and cook over medium heat until piping hot. Combine the eggplant and marinara mixture with the cooked and drained pasta in the cooking pot. Add red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir in as much fresh basil as youd like. Serve at once, passing around the vegan Parmesan for topping individual portions, if desired. - Here are more of VegKitchen’s Hearty Pasta Dishes. - Enjoy our Eggplant Extravaganza.

7 Appetizing Recipes Featuring Olives

November 3 2014 VegKitchen 

7 Appetizing Recipes Featuring OlivesMixed Olives and Spinach Pizza is a simple twist on traditional pizza, and a generous dose of baby spinach or arugula makes it healthier. Do try finding the pepperjack or other spicy vegan cheese, which gives this a bit of a kick. Chickpea and Carrot Salad with Parsley and Olives is an adaptation of a traditional</