Tag Archives: vegan recipes

Honolulu Organic Juice Bars-Few and Far Between

Mike and Stacy, Extract Juice Bar (Bishop St).If you’ve had really fresh juice made from local organic vegetables and fruits, you know there’s nothing that compares.

This is why people travel to rejuvenation centers and spend thousands of dollars to consume nothing but fresh green juice, wheatgrass shots, and low-glycemic raw food to detox and heal their body and mind. If you’ve not taken such a vacation, isn’t it time you did?

If Green Juice’s So Good for You, Why Not Drink It Every Day?

If you have a little time to shop for produce, it’s easy to juice at home. Begin by juicing equal amounts of organic cucumbers and celery for 80 percent (the base) of your juice, and make the remaining 20 percent out of organic leafy greens (i.e. kale, spinach, cabbage), lemon, ginger, turmeric, apple, carrots, beets, etc.-whatever vegetables and fruits you’d like. Or for those who can’t stand vegetables (I know you’re out there), use vegetables you hate the least! Continue reading

“Appetite for Reduction” Delivers Taste and Nutrition

appetite-for-reductionIf you’re trying to introduce some variety into your meals while dialing up your health a notch, Isa Moskowitz’s “Appetite for Reduction” offers up the perfect combination. This vegan cookbook is full of everything we’ve come to appreciate from the prolific author such as her sense of humor and her taste for the exotic. Plus–in a first for Isa–a concern for health.

Why health? As Isa explains in the intro: “I wrote this book for me!”

I wrote a bunch of cookbooks–one dealing completely in cupcakes–and I was constantly surrounded by food. I also quit smoking and found it difficult to keep cookies from hopping into my mouth instead. On top of that were 2 medical issues, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism…I needed to change what I was eating–less fat, less sugar–and I needed to get more active.

All of the recipes in “Appetite for Reduction” were reviewed by registered dietician Matt Ruscigno, who furnishes nutritional info including calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, carbs, fiber, sugars, vitamins and minerals–for every recipe.

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Crazy Sexy Kitchen Makes Plant-Based Excitement

Several years ago, there were only a handful of vegan cookbooks. Today, there are dozens, and I recently learned there are 200 new vegan cookbooks on the way!

Great news, unless you are deciding which cookbook to add to your library. Fortunately for me, I did not have to choose, as I received a hardcopy version of Crazy Sexy Kitchen as a gift.

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Vegan Lemon Cake for Every Occasion

 

Previously, I wrote about my experience trying to recreate a vegan version of a now-shuttered Tokyo bakery’s “lemon cake with wow”. As promised, I’ve continued my quest for a vegan lemon cake recipe that matches the best of non-vegan lemon cakes.

I tried both of the lemon cake recipes from Fairfoods (a bakery and caterer located in Devon, England), beginning with their gluten-free recipe. Since I had never used xantham gum, I followed the instructions closely (even weighing the ingredients–instead of using measuring cups–as professional bakers do) and also determined that the British “2 dssp” (dessert spoons) of ground flaxseeds translates to 4 teaspoons in American.

The gluten-free cake batter was so thick and viscous, I thought I had made a mistake, but Clare of Fairfoods assured me that thick and sticky batter is normal for xanthan gum, as long as it is not lumpy. “Always sieve the flours, xanthan and raising agents together,” she told me, ”and give the batter a really good whisk so it is even. Just whisk as much as it needs and no more. ”

Sure enough, after baking, the cake’s consistency was spongy and moist.   Continue reading

Why Reading Food Labels Isn’t Enough

Friends and relatives often question “can you eat x or y” on your vegan diet? Many people can barely comprehend not eating meat and fish, let alone dairy products, eggs, and honey–of all things.

Fewer people understand what a vegan diet has to do with avoiding processed foods–such as white rice, white pasta, white bread, and sugar–or even vegetable oils.

These measures are the guidelines of a whole-foods plant-based vegan diet, such as that endorsed by Rip Esselstyn’s Engine 2 Diet, and displayed in Del Sroufe’s Forks Over Knives cookbook, containing healthy vegan recipes by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Julieanna Hever, and others.

Bottom line is, while many processed foods may be technically vegan or “accidentally vegan” as PETA refers to products with no animal-based ingredients, they are unlikely to be “accidentally healthy”.

And while you may relax your standards on a rare occasion–when dining out or visiting friends–you’ll surely feel better long-term by keeping tempting vegan junk foods out of your grocery cart, and out of your house.

When analyzing packaged foods, I often refer to nutritionist/dietitian Jeff Novick’s rules and guidelines for  telling the difference between a health food vs what’s really healthy for you:

Rule #1-Never believe anything on the front of the package…ever!

Rule #2-Always read the Nutrition Facts Label and the Ingredients List.

Novick gives guidelines for fat, sodium, white sugars and refined sugars, and refined carbohydrates–4 things commonly abused in the United States.

Fat

Daily fat requirement–in order to avoid essential fatty acid deficiency–is only 3 to 5%, while the typical American intake is 35%!

Calculate fat % by dividing calories from fat by the # of calories

Sodium

Daily sodium requirement is 500mg/day; aim for no more than 1 calorie: 1mg of sodium

Sugars

Novick says that–since the Nutrition Facts panel lists “total sugars” only–you cannot determine natural sugars (such as in fruit) versus added sugars. Therefore, refer to the ingredients listing in order to avoid all added sugars (at least, he says, sugars should not be among the first 3 to 5 ingredients)

Carbohydrates

The “Nutrition Facts” panel does not tell the reader anything interesting about carbohydrates, Novick says. Therefore, refer to the ingredients list, and SEEK OUT the desirable terms “whole” or “sprouted” and AVOID the words “wheat”,” white”, “durum”, “semolina”, “bleached”, “unbleached”, “artichoke” and “enriched flour”.

Fiber

Aim for products that carry >3g of fiber per 100 calories

To apply Novick’s technique, let’s take a package of Nabisco Newtons Fruit Thins stashed in a typical SAD household. The box touts “8g of whole grain per serving”, “made with real fruit”, “blueberry brown sugar”, and “natural flavor”.

Sounds so wholesome, someone might even mistake them for a “health food”! OK, I admit it: I finished off the bag, without thinking…

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Vegan Pesto Brings Everyone Together

Aren’t the best recipes spur of the moment? And better still when they’re fast, easy and crowd-pleasing…

It’s a challenge cooking meals for vegan and omnivores, those with dietary restrictions, and tastebuds that are less than adventurous–especially when it comes to trying “healthy” plant-based foods. And you can forgeddabout raw foods.

With dinnertime fast approaching, I took inventory of what we had in the house:

  • Fragrance of fresh basil, a gift from a friend’s garden, was calling to be used every time the refrigerator was opened
  • A large head of cauliflower crowded the drawer
  • A container of baby spinach leaves would be a shame not to use it while fresh, too

I decided to make a basil spinach pesto with cauliflower–withholding the miso or nutritional yeast I usually include–to allow my mother and aunt to add grated cheese at the table. I would opt for parmesan sprinkles–a blend of sesame seeds and nutritional yeast–inspired by Jo Stepaniak’s “Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook”.

Rather than sauteing cauliflower separately, I added it with the pasta water (though boiling is not optimal for nutrition), and the consistency was just right after 7-8 minutes. At least, it saves time, and pots to clean.

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What Am I Going to Eat for Lunch?

Almost everybody understands that whole, plant-based foods like vegetables and fruits are beneficial for health. And you know intuitively that living foods–such as sprouts–are even healthier. Yet you still draw a blank when it comes to preparing a healthy meal in a hurry.

Hummous–originally made with chickpeas or garbanzo beans–was one of my favorite foods long before I became vegan, and before Veganomicon author Isa Chandra Moskowitz poetically proclaimed the Middle-Eastern bean dip as being “like air for vegans”.

Recently, I’ve been making hummous with sprouted lentils and chickpeas instead of cooked, and while it tastes different–with a crispy-fresh bite, as you might expect–it’s still exotically delicious. Raw or cooked, hummous is easy to make, inexpensive, and keeps several days in the refrigerator, so you can make a big batch on the weekend and eat it all week long, as a dip or in sandwiches.

Unfortunately, most store-bought hummous is full of oil, salt, and other preservatives. With little to no oil, this recipe is low-calorie and nutrient dense. Lentils are one the best sources of protein, and one cup of raw lentils provides 26g of protein vs 18g for cooked lentils.

If you’ve made hummous with canned (pre-cooked) beans, this recipe may take slightly longer, but there’s no comparison in freshness and nutrition. Continue reading

Can Green Smoothies Restore Your Vision?

Being on a whole foods plant-based diet for several years, I never appreciated the transformative power of drinking green smoothies–until I met the Green Smoothie Girl in person.

Robyn Openshaw’s lecture “Ten Minutes a Day to Spectacular Health” for Vegetarian Society of Hawaii in March so inspired me, I haven’t needed my eyeglasses for the first time in 30 years.

Robyn’s philosophy is for people to spend as little time as possible to achieve the most dramatic health impact. “I’ve learned from traveling around and getting thousands of emails,” she explains “people want to eat right, but they don’t know how anymore. Because ours is the first generation who did not learn home cooking from our mothers and grandmothers.”

Robyn’s goal is that everyone who hears her lecture will begin drinking a quart of green smoothies each day, “to get a massive amount of the lowest calorie, highest micronutrient foods as painlessly as possible, and inexpensively.”

The concept is based on the work of Dr. Joel Fuhrman, whose Nutritarian Food Pyramid defines the healthiest diet as one consisting of foods with qualities of maximum nutrients and minimum calories (H=N/C) and says “your future health can be predicted by the micronutrient per calorie density of your diet”

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Make Your Own Nut Milk Lately?

I’ve learned so much about raw and living foods in the past few months that I don’t know where to begin telling you. After re-learning to cook when I adopted a vegan diet seven years ago, a raw diet feels like you’re starting over yet again. Only with raw foods, it’s not called “cooking”–it’s called “food production”!

Although students prepare almond milk numerous times during 4-weeks at Matthew Kenney Academy, it was especially satisfying to make almond milk while at my mother’s home recently, using a regular old blender (no Vitamix required) and a makeshift nut-milk bag (paint strainer) purchased at Home Depot.

Being able to make staple foods usually bought from a store will give you a great sense of self-reliance, and preparing nutritious almond milk is quick and easy (especially so if you’re a cow). Raw almonds provide a rich source of vitamin E, calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium.

Simple Almond Milk Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds

3-4 cups filtered water

Instructions:

Soak almonds in water overnight (8-12 hours)

Drain and rinse almonds, then throw in blender

Add water, and blend at highest level until smooth (may take 2-3 minutes, but don’t allow milk to become hot)

Pour milk through your nut milk bag over a bowl

Squeeze nutmilk bag to remove all milk from almond pulp

Retain pulp for future use (dehydrate or freeze), and rinse your nutmilk bag

Transfer milk to a quart mason jar and refrigerate (keeps up to 1 week)

You may want to sweeten your almond milk to taste with dates or agave, flavor it with vanilla, and add a little lecithin to keep it from separating (or you can just shake before using).  Continue reading

Easiest Vegan Breakfast Recipe – Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli was a long-time breakfast treat, discovered in hotel breakfast buffets around Asia. While typically made with dairy products, such as milk, cream or yogurt, this vegan version uses soy milk and lemon juice. I can think of few breakfasts that are as easy, healthy or delicious!

Ingredients: (2 servings)

1/2 cup rolled oats or other whole-grain cereal

cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1 tablespoon shredded coconut (or other dried fruit)

1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds (or other nuts/seeds)

1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 medium apple, unpeeled

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method:

Combine oats with soymilk in the evening (or several hours before you plan to eat) and place in refrigerator.

Prior to eating, add lemon juice and mix well (soymilk will thicken).

Cut apple into quarters, remove core, and grate with cheese grater.

Stir grated apple, fruits, nuts and seeds into oats.

Chew well to enjoy nutrition far exceeding processed breakfast cereals. Just try it, and see how good you feel! Continue reading