vegan

Red-and-Green After-Christmas Detox

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If you are like the majority of Americans who just celebrated Christmas, chances are you’re probably feeling a little, “OMG why did I eat that?” Or “Ugh, SO. Much. Pie.” Or at least feeling extra-motivated to hit the gym and “eat better” come January first. Why wait to feed yourself something healthy?

red and green detoxThis recipe is stupid-easy and super-satisfying. Yes, we are going to use a lot of hyphens for this one. Sorry, no bacon here, but maybe you’re bacon-ed out from all those holiday brunches and side dishes with their salty-crunchy garnishes?

I made this on the 26th and enjoyed the leftovers at work the next day. You can also serve this for two with some wine and crusty bread instead of seltzer from the soda fountain and a side of crackers in a Ziploc…

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale and/or spinach
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 handful grape tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Directions: 

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and shallot. Sauté until fragrant and shallot is translucent.
  2. Add greens and cook until they start to wilt. Add red pepper flakes, if using.
  3. Add mushrooms and grape tomatoes. Cook until they begin to soften.
  4. Add chickpeas. Mix everything well and cook until greens are wilted, mushrooms and tomato are soft, and chickpeas are nice and hot.
  5. Serve garnished with grated cheese.

What foods do you like to make after a string of indulgent holiday meals? 

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Jay Z and Beyonce Embark on 22-Day Vegan Journey

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Photo from People Magazine

I’m sure this is very high up on the list of Things You Give a S*** About, but in case you hadn’t heard, Jay Z and Beyonce are going vegan this month.

“On December 3, one day before my 44th birthday, I will embark on a 22 Days challenge to go completely vegan, or as I prefer to call it, plant-based!” Lay Z wrote on his Life + Times website earlier this week. “This all began a few months back when a good friend and vegan challenged me to embrace a ‘plant-based breakfast’ every day. It was surprisingly easier on me than I thought.”

Marc Borges, founder of the 22 Days nutrition program, is a pal of the music mogul. As I’ve said many times on this here blog, I’m a big-believer in plant-based diets, even if I do feel some people do best with small amounts of animal protein. One thing that’s actually pretty cool about the 22 Days program is that it features some great recipes created by certified clinical nutritionist, Gena Hamshaw of Choosing Raw, who shows readers again and again how many wonderful ways you can enjoy plant-based meals as part of your everyday life.  So whether you want to go completely vegan for 22 days or incorporate one vegan meal per day, you have some guidance.

Sure, I roll my eyes at the celebrity tie-in, but I actually think it’s a good thing when an individual or couple challenges themselves to make a healthy new habit—or habits—routine. Maybe seeing one of the most famous celebrity couples focusing on their food will inspire some other folks to put more plants on their plates.

I was just having a conversation with someone the other day about how important it is to surround yourself with people who have similar goals so that you can be good influences on each other. It’s really true. Feeding off of positive energy does your body—and your mind—so much good.

So here’s the hoping Mr. & Mrs. Carter and any other 22 Day-ers have a good experience. For any of you guys rocking a December goal, cheers to that as well.

Do you have a goal for this month? Mine is to get back into meditating for 10 minutes every day. So far so good! 

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

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roasted cauliflower soupAs you may or may not have noticed, I go through phases with posting recipes. At times, this has bothered me, but fortunately, in the past year, I’ve gotten better at just rolling with whatever it is I feel compelled to write about.

Interestingly, October and November have found me spending a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen—most likely it’s because cooler temps make it hard to throw stuff in a bowl and call it Salad.

A few weeks ago, I came across this recipe and couldn’t get it out of my head. I even went out and bought chickpea flour for the dumplings. Go figure, though, I forgot to see if I had any baking powder handy before I got to work. Next time, Gadget. No big deal, though. I made a few tweaks to work with what I had on hand, and I have a feeling this recipe is going to be one of those “in the vault” meals for the winter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ~3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a few drops liquid smoke
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • Parsley, minced, for garnish

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss cauliflower with 1.5 tbsp pool and salt. Roast cauliflower 30-45 minutes or until browned.
  2. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Add onion, celery, and carrot. Cook until soft, ~7 or 8 minutes. Add garlic, cook another 2 minutes, continuously stirring.
  3. Add spices, bay leaf, broth, tomato, and chickpeas. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add the cauliflower and simmer another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve hot and garnished with fresh parsley.

Do you cook more or less when it’s cold out? What are some of your favorite cold-weather recipes? 

Beyond Sushi

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One of the many wonderful things about NYC is the food—this is a town that caters to practically any kind of diet you can think of. It’s especially friendly to vegetarians and vegans. The other night, I had the pleasure of dining with a few herbivore friends at Beyond Sushi (which I think I maybe first heard about on Valerie’s blog?).

This place is the creation of Hell’s Kitchen, finalist, Chef Guy Vaknin, who saw a need for delicious, vegan sushi, and began creating gorgeous fruit and vegetable sushi. Each piece comes wrapped in either black forbidden rice or a customized six-grain rice blend. Tofu, veggie purées, and delicious sauces like toasted Cayenne, Carrot Ginger, Shiitake Teriyaki, Mango Chili, or White Miso take the place of high-sodium soy sauce (though you can still find it on the table). There are also delicious noodle soup bowls as well as appetizers and desserts.

There are only three small tables in the East 14th Street location, but we managed to score a spot by the window. Every single thing we ordered was delicious. My friends shared some sushi (and were kind of enough to share—I can totally vouch for the “Crunch N’ Munch” roll) and coconut curry noodles, while I went with a mushroom-tastic soba noodle bowl with white miso sauce. beyond sushi mushroom noodles

F-ing awesome. Did I ever mention that mushrooms are one of my favorite foods ever? If I lived closer, I would probably eat here all the time. I already can’t wait to go back. For those of you who prefer to stick to the west side, there’s also a location called The Green Roll in Chelsea Market. I’m looking for an excuse to visit soon. You should too.

Have you ever had vegetarian sushi? Do you like mushrooms? 

New Vegan/Vegetarian Food Pyramid

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I saw this the other day while catching up on some blogs and wanted to share. Though I’m not a vegetarian, I am a big believer in following a plant-based diet, which may or may not include some animal protein. For some, a vegetarian or even vegan diet can be a healthy choice if planned well.

At the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s Food and Nutrition Conference a few weeks ago, the nonprofit organization, Oldways, released an updated Vegetarian/Vegan food guide pyramid that had been created with the input of doctors, dietitians, and researchers.

I especially like that the base of the pyramid is physical activity and sharing meals with loved ones. That fruits and vegetables make up the biggest nutritional component (and not grains) makes me smile too. You can eat all the soy chick’n you want, but what good is a plant-based diet without the plants?

 What do you think of this food pyramid? Do you follow a vegetarian diet? 

 

Pics & Links

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First things first:

Owls > Gargoyles

owl

cappuccinoYesterday I went to a few interesting seminars. When the first one turned out to be canceled, I was directed to a social media primer that turned out to be really helpful. I spent my coffee break brainstorming over a cappuccino at a cafe I would totally work at all the time if I lived nearby.

The second seminar actually turned out to be a wine-tasting class without the class part. It was just a bunch of tables with wines from different regions of the world. It was fun to try some new things and talk to the people pouring about the wines and where they came from. There was even a Riesling from Australia that I didn’t hate-most are too sweet for me the way that certain astrological signs are too overbearing sweet for me. My favorites were a Spanish red and this French red I actually finished almost the whole pour of (I’m one of those people who pours my wine into the bucket after a couple sips at tastings). wine tasting

Lately, I’ve been loving Sad Desk Lunch. You thought your lunch was bad? Check out this tumblr.

I want an excuse to make this cake. Vegan, fuss-free, and beautiful to look at. It also looks somewhat idiot proof. Maybe I’ll serve it at my hypothetical cocktail for my hypothetical new drinking friends.

Mark Bittman articulately addresses the question, “Should you eat chicken?” 

I kind of wish I was at FNCE this year, but maybe next year. Had to save my conference $$$/days for something I want to go to this winter. Besides, it’s been a nice week in NYC. No complaints.

What’s been the best part of your weekend? What’s your favorite cake recipe? Do you eat chicken? 

Vegetarian Infogram

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I may be an omnivore, but I still believe most of us are best off when we eat primarily plant-based foods, with small amounts of animal sources of protein if appropriate. It’s kinder to our bodies and to the planet—not to mention the other animals that live here! If you’ve been with me awhile, then you know I like to practice what I preach.

The folks at Everyday Health recently sent me this infogram on vegetarianism. Note that even following a “semi-vegetarian” diet reduce your risk of serious health conditions. Flexitarianism, anyone? If that sounds like your bag, you might dig Mark Bittman’s VB6 approach too!

What are your thoughts on plant-based diets? Any favorite meatless recipes?