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Meatout Mondays is our colorful weekly e-newsletter. Each issue features an easy and delicious recipe, great product ideas, health information or breaking news, and inspiration to brighten your week.

Here on the Meatout Mondays Blog we archive articles from our weekly newsletter and post helpful tips, encourage comments from readers like you, and build community.

 

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RECIPE: Creamy Mashed Potatoes

on Monday, 17 November 2014. Posted in Recipes

RECIPE: Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Planning out your foodie essentials and sides for the upcoming holidays? We've got a great one for you! This super simple, deliciously creamy vegan mashed potato dish will induce eyes-closed fork-pointing, mouth-watering reactions from those who choose to indulge. You're going to want to leave a nice big open space on your plate for this one!

Ingredients:

2 lbs yukon gold potatoes (quartered and peeled)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots (peeled and thinly sliced)
3 Tbsp. vegan butter (try Earth Balance)
1/2 tsp. salt (plus more to taste)
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme (stems removed)
1 cup coconut milk
Pepper (to taste)

Directions:

1. Place potatoes in a large pan and fill with enough water to cover them. Place over medium heat and boil 20-25 minutes, or until tender.
2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add shallots and reduce to low heat, stirring frequently until lightly brown and tender, approximately 15 minutes.
3. When potatoes are tender, drain well and add vegan butter along with 1/2 cup coconut milk. Mix with a hand mixer or mash with potato masher.
4. Add additional coconut milk (2 Tablespoons at a time) until desired consistency is reached. Season with pepper and salt, to taste. 
5. Garnish with additional shallots and thyme as desired. 

For more Thanksgiving recipes and inspiration visit CompassionateHolidays.org. 
(photo from wellvegan.com)

Johnny Rockets' Vegan Burger

on Friday, 14 November 2014. Posted in Inspiration, News

Johnny Rockets' Vegan Burger

Our friends from Compassion Over Killing brought to our attention this fun news: worldwide restaurant chain, Johnny Rockets is planning to test out a vegan burger on their menu!

With over 300 restaurants around the world, Johnny Rockets will be partnering with vegan powerhouse brand, Gardein to bring us these plant-based burgers.

"[This] development underscore[s] the trend toward restaurants celebrating healthier vegan options...this shift in menus that feature more plant-based meals hinges on consumers asking for it," notes the Compassion Over Killing article.

Well this certainly is fantastic news! We look forward to getting out there and supporting the restaurants and other companies who are listening to their consumers and ultimately, creating change.

Learn more and read the full article on COK.net.

Plant-Based Diets Save Water

on Thursday, 13 November 2014. Posted in Inspiration, News

Plant-Based Diets Save Water

A recent article published on National Geographic's website, addressing the issue of water conservation, took into consideration the impact that diet has on our water supply.

"On average, a vegan, a person who doesn't eat meat or dairy, indirectly consumes 600 gallons of water per day LESS than a person who eats the average American diet," notes the piece.

The diet section of the article also highlights how much water it takes to turn cows, chickens, and pigs into consumable products as well. It's worth noting that the mention of a vegan diet is the only one in which they point out how little water is being used to support such a lifestyle. Rock on, y'all!

Read more about NatGeo's water conservation tips on NationalGeographic.com.

Kikkoman Pearl Soymilk

on Wednesday, 12 November 2014. Posted in Products

Kikkoman  Pearl Soymilk

Still searching for your favorite cruelty-free milk? Made with preservative-free organic soybeans, organic cane juice, and fortified with calcium, and vitamins A and D, Pearl Soymilk (made by Kikkoman), is great.

Their flavors include vanilla, green tea, chocolate, coffee, unsweetened, and original. It can be used for baking, cooking, or as a sweetener for coffee, smoothies, and other beverages. Of course, you could drink it straight out of the glass too!

Find product and nutritional information at PearlSoymilk.com.

Diagnosed with Breast Cancer - Kayle's Story, Pt. 2

on Tuesday, 11 November 2014. Posted in Inspiration, Health

Diagnosed with Breast Cancer - Kayle's Story, Pt. 2

It must have been my trusty cowgirl boots that got me through the tough times, because without them I don't know where I'd be. I had been dreaming about finding a pair reminiscent of my childhood cowgirl days. Somehow, likely not by accident, a pair came into my life while traveling through Santa Fe, New Mexico. I thought of my new boots like a protective shield, and they were in a way. They were also like Forrest Gump's magic shoes. I thought they could take me anywhere, and they most certainly did. 

 

Here's the shot that the friendly stranger got of me in Santa FeShowing off my new boots in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Just four months before my beloved cowgirl boots came into my life, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was fall of 2008 and I was thirty. I was living far away from home without the support of friends, family and my tight-knit, rural Northern California community. I was undergoing one of the most challenging periods in my life. I was stressed beyond belief, trying to heal from an emotional trauma that had occurred a year earlier, all the while caring for my ailing grandparents. Looking back, it's no wonder cancer crept its way into my body. I was overweight and eating a junk food vegetarian diet. The doctors wanted to operate right away, and with caution I hesitantly let them remove the tumor. Without a lot of support, I moved forward with a treatment plan that seemed crazy to most, but that felt comfortable to me. It made no sense to inject my body with poisons or have further surgeries even though that's what the doctors were suggesting. Influenced by a myriad of alternative cancer films, I decided my planned path to health would instead encompass all things naturally whole from the earth. I followed what Hippocrates taught, "let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." I believed that encompassing nature would be the best approach. That's when I got acquainted with a 100% raw, alkaline, vegan diet.

In a matter of a few weeks I studied everything there was to know about healing cancer through diet. I eliminated all sugar and alcohol, and went vegan overnight. I heard about juicing greens so I bought a Jack Lalane juicer, enrolled in an intensive raw food course, and jumped on what I call a healing bandwagon. I had no idea what raw foods were, what the word vegan truly meant, but I trusted my gut and followed the lead of well known wellness warrior and cancer cowgirl Kris Carr. I put my cowgirl boots on, put my head down and said to myself, giddy up let's do this.

 

Kayle Juices for the First Time
Juicing for the first time using my Jack Lalanne juicer 

In the year that I adopted a raw, vegan diet, I also created a cancer kicking team; some of my team members were oncologists, some were therapists, some were radiologists, naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, psychics, shamans, and some were just good friends. And as for opportunities to try natural therapies, I more or less tried them all. Hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments, check. Chinese herbs, check. Supplementation, check. Alkaline water, check. Colon hydrotherapy, check. I felt like my body was truly thriving because I felt great, I looked great (I lost thirty pounds) and I felt fully alive. I dedicated every part of my life that year to healing. I took every opportunity to learn and try new things, since after all I wasn't sure that I'd be around the next day. For months I'd wake up and pinch myself and give gratitude that I was still alive. I stopped sweating the small stuff and appreciated each day. I did things that scared me. I climbed mountains, I did an ice plunge, I traveled, I planted a garden and I drank lots of green juice. Why? Because I could. 2009 was the most exciting year of my life. And simply put, cancer was the best thing could have ever happened to me. It's been a gift, a teacher and a guru. Cancer awakened me, gave my life new meaning and purpose.


A typical raw food meal was a large salad with sauerkraut and a few stalks of kale
A typical raw food meal = a large salad with sauerkraut and a few stalks of kale


Moments before my frigid ice plunge
Moments before my frigid ice plunge


While I was thriving on a plant based diet, or so I thought, I received some devastating news. After a routine MRI scan, just one year after my diagnosis, my oncologist called to report that cancer cells had been found in the same location as the year before. It's unclear whether the cancer returned or if the surgeon didn't get clear margins when the surgery was performed. While I was completely shocked to learn the news, it didn't get me down. Perhaps even more adamant than before, I remained true to my healthful lifestyle. I think I spent even more time in my kitchen whipping up all sorts of vegan goodness with my Vitamix, my dehydrator and my food processor than I had before. Oh, and my cowgirl boots, I continued to wear those too. In the following months, I had my right breast removed which was then followed by multiple reconstructive surgeries. I wavered on whether or not to have conventional treatments, but in the end, I went ahead with them. When everything was all said and done, I had a total of five surgeries, four rounds of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. Though it wasn't my first choice to have the surgeries or the toxic treatments, one thing is for sure, I believe I set myself up for the best possible outcome. My body didn't let me down. And, something profound came from the treatments themselves; I realized how much I could endure and how strong I was. The added bonus was that I was never sick from any of the allopathic treatments. Not once. While I can't prove it was the healing power of plants, in my heart of hearts I believe it was. Well, plants and my beloved boots that came along with me every step of the way.

On my final chemotherapy treatment I wore butterfly wings to signify it was time for me to fly
I made butterfly wings to wear to my final chemotherapy treatment  


Two-time cancer survivor, blogger, avocado aficionado, vegan cowgirl boot scavenger and folk music lover, Kayle Martin is the Founder and Chief Cowgirl of Cowgirls & Collard Greens, a website and blog that meshes cancer with cowgirls and a vegan lifestyle. Kayle grew up in Northern California’s Gold Country on a five-acre farm with her single mom, where from an early age, she developed a love of animals. At twelve, Kayle became a vegetarian after her beloved cow, Cupcake, ended up on her plate for dinner one evening. After being diagnosed with breast cancer at thirty, Kayle made the transition from a vegetarian to a vegan diet. She has been living an animal-free lifestyle for nearly six years and is totally cancer free! She shares her cancer story at conferences, on national radio programs and has been featured in the Keep A Breast magazine, Cosmopolitan magazine and, most recently was a guest on The Vegan Zombie's cooking show. Kayle’s free time is spent juicing greens, counseling newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at her local hospital, seeking out new vegan restaurants, and living a life full of F-U-N! You can find out more information about Kayle by visiting her website: www.cowgirlsandcollardgreens.com. IMG_2852

RECIPE: Green Bean Casserole

on Monday, 10 November 2014. Posted in Recipes

RECIPE: Green Bean Casserole

A quintessential holiday dish, we give you: the mighty, green bean casserole—veganized. With a simple set of ingredients and a relatively quick prep and bake-time, this will be a great one to add to your Thanksgiving spread. A tummy rumbling treat, everyone at the table is sure to enjoy this completely plant-based side during the upcoming Compassionate Holidays season.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cans (14-15 oz.) green beans, drained
2.8 oz can French-fried onions

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Melt vegan butter in saucepan over low heat.
3. Add flour and whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes (to form a roux).
4. Add broth, soy sauce, and garlic powder, whisking continuously for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick and bubbly. 
5. Add the oil and nutritional yeast. Whisk again, until smooth.
6. Pour the sauce into a small casserole dish, add green beans, stir to coat.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then top with French fried onions, and bake for another 5 minutes, until browned and bubbly.

Find more great Thanksgiving recipes and tips at CompassionateHolidays.com. 
(photo from baked-in.com)

Vegan Food Truck to Open in Louisville

on Thursday, 06 November 2014. Posted in Inspiration, News

Vegan Food Truck to Open in Louisville

This past summer Kristina J. Addington was the very first vegan chef to win a season of the Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen.

Fast forward to today and Kristina is on a mission to bring the very first all-vegan establishment to her hometown of Louisville, KY by way of a food truck: "V-Grits" (which by the way, stands for 'vegan girl raised in the south'). Cute, right?!

"My family expressed love through feeding each other home-cooked meals...That's one reason 'comfort food' is so comforting. It reminds us of sitting around the dinner table with our family," said Addington in a recent post on her website. 

V-Grits is set to open this November. So cool, Kristina! We're super stoked for you. Good luck!

Learn more and support V-Grits Kickstarter on VGrits.com.

Israel's Growing Vegan Movement

on Wednesday, 05 November 2014. Posted in News

Israel's Growing Vegan Movement

According to the organizer of one of the largest annual vegan events in Israel, nearly 4 percent of Israelis identify as vegan.

"Israelis are flocking to veganism, to the point where...the army now has options for vegan soldiers...[some are] comparing meat eating to an animals' Holocaust," notes a recent article by Daphne Rousseau, of BizNews.com.

The article credits the vegan winner and vegan runner up from the summer season's Big Brother TV show, social media groups, public-facing influential vegan speakers, and Tel Aviv's annual Vegan Fest (attracting 15,000 people in one day), for the growing interest in veganism.

We love hearing about veganism spreading worldwide! Together, we can keep growing

Read the original article on BizNews.com.

3 reasons why it's good to travel as a vegan

on Tuesday, 04 November 2014. Posted in Inspiration, Tips & Ideas

3 reasons why it's good to travel as a vegan

Being a vegan is already pretty cool but when you hit the road and go travelling, whether it’s backpacking in Asia, going on a weekend mini-break or checking into a 5 star hotel for some high-end vegan luxury; you become a vegan traveller and that’s even better.

Here are 3 reasons why it’s good to travel as a vegan:

‘Good to Travel’ Reason 1 – You Get To Eat Really Tasty Vegan Food

When you are on the road there are loads of exciting opportunities to eat the best vegan food that you won’t find easily at home. Think Balinese tempe satay, Southern Indian dosas, Thai curries, noodles and salads that are so fresh and delicious it’ll make you want to cry.

LAAB TOFU IN THAILAND

In every country we’ve travelled to we’ve always managed to find the best vegan food. Sometimes local food is naturally vegan like sweet Malaysian ‘kuih’ made from rice flour and coconut, other times it can be ‘veganised’ with a little bit of effort. Plus, there are always vegan and vegetarian restaurants to discover which is our all-time favourite form of sightseeing.

ONDEH ONDEH IN MALAYSIA

Imagine being in Spain sitting in the local town square, sipping a teeny-tiny strong black coffee accompanied by some fresh ‘pan con tomate’ drizzled in olive oil for your breakfast as you watch the world go by.

PAN CON TOMATE IN SPAIN

Or discovering the delights of vegan street food in a lively local Thai night market where the smells, sounds and sights will envelop you. Imagine a huge feast of curry served on a banana leaf where they keep topping up your leaf from stainless steel buckets until you’re full.

BANANA LEAF CURRY IN MALAYSIA

And when the executive chef of a 5 star hotel makes you a personalised vegan menu so you get to sample fine dining influenced by the local cuisine?

These are things our vegan travel dreams are made of.

We love getting to visit the places that produce the food that other people post pictures of online and finally getting to taste the food we’ve been drooling over. When you travel as a vegan you can get to do this too.

‘Good to Travel’ Reason 2 – You Get To Spread The Word About Being Vegan

We’re not talking about getting on your soapbox here, let’s face it, that tends to put most people off considering the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. The fact is, when you take up the opportunity to travel you will come into contact with a lot of new people and by a lot, we mean loads; the majority of whom will not be vegans. In fact, the longer you travel, the more people you’ll meet. Just by being yourself with all these new people, you’ll be spreading the word about being vegan. Being a happy, healthy and just downright nice person is the greatest advert for veganism that we have ever come across.

How good is that? Just by being yourself and getting out there meeting new people, you are also demonstrating that it would be easy for everyone to live a more compassionate lifestyle. You can show people it’s possible and that being a vegan doesn’t turn you into a complete idiot (unless you are an idiot already of course and then even going travelling won’t save you).

‘Good to Travel’ Reason 3 – It’s A Real Achievement

When you travel you get to have the most amazing experiences and adventures. When you travel as a vegan, you have extra obstacles to overcome. If you want to eat well you’ll have to navigate your way through language barriers and across new cultural landscapes. You’ll have to survive the times when you’re hungry and tired from travelling and there is no vegan food to be found. You’ll have to hone your planning skills to make sure you eat well and stay healthy when you’re in all these new environments.

It can be hard to turn down home cooked food from the family you’re staying with or decline the offer of something to eat from someone who wants to share a bit of their culture with you but if you can do this without offending anyone and convey appreciation for their offer then you’re on your way to success.

When you do this all of this as a vegan traveller it’s a real achievement and you should reward yourself with a big slice of vegan cake whenever you can (maybe like this one that we found in a place in Bangkok?)

RAW VEGAN CAKE IN THAILAND

So, what are you waiting for?
Pack your bags and travel; new vegan opportunities await you…

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caryl has been vegan since 2003 and a lover of great vegan food. There’s nothing worse than when I’m served something boring & tasteless, I want every meal to be a vegan adventure for my taste buds. I enjoy all sorts of vegan food: healthy salads, raw vegan cakes, exotic street food or fine dining creations from classy restaurants – I love it when a talented chef excels themselves and cooks out of their comfort zone to produce something plant based and vegan. 

Learn more at VeganFoodQuest.com.

Recipe: Perfect Pumpkin Pie

on Monday, 03 November 2014. Posted in Recipes

Recipe: Perfect Pumpkin Pie

The long awaited sensation of colorful leaves crunching beneath our steps, crackling fireplaces warming our toes, and the aroma of pies baking in the kitchen, is finally here. As we ring in November, upcoming holiday festivities are now in sight. Let's kick things off with a super easy pumpkin pie recipe. The most challenging part of this one is simply waiting for it to finish baking! Feeling jazzy? Add a dollop here and a dollop there of Soyatoo's dairy-free whipped cream. Yum!

Ingredients:

1 (15-16 oz.) can of pumpkin 
3/4 pound firm tofu (not silken - it will be too soft)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. molasses
3 Tbsp. flour
1 prepared, unbaked pastry crust (try the Keebler Pie Crusts brand)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into crust.
3. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove pie and cover the crust edges with tinfoil (or a crust shield). Then continue baking for another 20 minutes. 
4. Remove from oven. Allow to cool. Chill and serve.

For other great Thanksgiving inspired recipes, check out VegKitchen.com.

Vegan Protein Shakes For The Win

on Thursday, 30 October 2014. Posted in Inspiration, Health

Vegan Protein Shakes For The Win

Actor Matt Lauria bulks up for his role on the new TV show: Kingdom—primarily by way of plant-based protein shakes.

"I'm vegan, first of all, so I had to go the meatless route. One of the shakes I had a lot was a chocobroco shake, which is exactly what it sounds like -- chocolate-flavored [protein] and broccoli. I love putting a ton of bananas in there, almond milk, [and] a few fistfuls of spinach... It's really delicious," said Lauria.

Hooray for another mainstream media outlet chit chatting with and featuring strong, healthy vegans.

Read the original article on Zap2it.com.

SeaWorld's Building A Fish Farm?

on Wednesday, 29 October 2014. Posted in News

SeaWorld's Building A Fish Farm?

We're saddened to hear the news that SeaWorld is in talks, with an affiliated research institute, to build the world's largest fish farm—resulting in the deaths of millions of animals, not to mention the impacts it will have on the planet.

"We're concerned about the negative effects the industry has had—and could continue to have—on the environment and society," notes senior program officer for the World Wildlife Fund's Food Goal, Merrielle Macleod.

We hope those involved will soon learn the health, environmental, and ethical detriments of raising and consuming all animals, including nature's beautiful fish

For a more on this story visit TakePart.com.

50 Vegan Cheesecake Recipes

on Tuesday, 28 October 2014. Posted in Recipes, Products, Books & Media

50 Vegan Cheesecake Recipes

The 'Veganized Recipes' series brings you 'Book Two' of their50 Vegan Cheesecakes Recipes: Healthy & Delicious!

"The creamy and crunchy texture of cheesecake just goes so well together and the sweetness, preferably paired with a bit of tartness such as a scoop of lemon sorbet...is so good," notes the book's description on Amazon.com.

Prepare for and ring in the holidays this year with an impressive array of cheesecake-y goodness. Plus, you've got plenty of time to do some taste testing to find your favorite, and the one that'll wow the socks off the relatives. Sounds pretty great, doesn't it?!

Find product and nutritional information on Amazon.com.

RECIPE: Curried Sweet Potato, Carrot, and Squash Soup

on Monday, 27 October 2014. Posted in Recipes

RECIPE: Curried Sweet Potato, Carrot, and Squash Soup

Winter is coming, *wink* and that means warm, tummy-rumbling, soupy favorites, like this curried sweet potato, carrot, and squash soup created by Amber of theFettle Vegan food blog. Heads up: This recipe serves up to 12 people so you may want to cut it in half. Or, make the whole batch and freeze some for later snacking. Either way, one thing's for sure, sip this one slowly—it's so good. Enjoy! ::slurp:: 

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. vegan butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium-sized yellow onions, diced
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups acorn squash, deseeded and cubed
4 cups sweet potatoes, cubed
6 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 cups pine nuts
3/4 cups water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (for garnish)

Directions:
1. In a large pot, heat vegan butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions, and cook for about 5 minutes, until onions are slightly glassy and softened. 
2. Add in the carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes, stir to combine. 
3. Add in the vegetable broth, curry, cumin, salt, and pepper. Let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables have softened.
4. While the soup cooks combine the pine nuts and water in a high-speed blender, until creamy. Set aside.
5. When the soup is ready let it cool a bit, then blend it all up (in batches) until it's all completely puréed.
6. Mix in the pine nut cream. Ladle out into serving bowls and top with cilantro. 

Find more beautifully crafted vegan recipes at FettleVegan.com.

Goat Mountain Ranch Sanctuary Needs Our Help

on Thursday, 23 October 2014. Posted in Inspiration, News

Goat Mountain Ranch Sanctuary Needs Our Help

Located in Leicester, North Carolina on a lush twenty-five acres, Goat Mountain Ranch Sanctuary is home to dozens of farm animals including goats, sheep, pigs, and chickens. 

While it's completely inspiring to know that so many animals are being rescued and cared for we also know that Goat Mountain is currently unable to house all of its lovely potbelly piggies.

If you or anyone you know is able to find or provide a home for some of these gentle beauties, please reach out to the Sanctuary as soon as you can. Thank you so much! ::hugs you:: 

Learn more about how you can help at GoatMountainSanctuary.org.

Breast Cancer & Plant-Based Foods

on Wednesday, 22 October 2014. Posted in Health, News, Tips & Ideas

Breast Cancer & Plant-Based Foods

October is breast cancer awareness month so what better time to highlight new research, that was released just last week, about this very topic and its correlation to food.

More than 164,000 women from around the world were included in a study that determined that consuming a plant-based diet "is the best way to lessen the chances of a second occurrence," notes VegNews.com. The article continues, "In a statement by the American Institute for Cancer Research, Associate Director for Nutrition Programs Alice Bender said, "We know there are many reasons for women to eat a plant-based diet and be active, both for cancer prevention and overall health."

Read the original article on VegNews.com.

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk

on Tuesday, 21 October 2014. Posted in Products, Tips & Ideas

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk

Speaking of "hooray for all things pumpkin," check out this dairy-free Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk created by So Delicious.

Add it as a base to your favorite latte. Oh! Maybe with a dollop of So Delicious' Cool Whip on top and then drizzled with melted maple almond butter or melted chocolate. Yes! Or replace regular ol' milk with Pumpkin Spice in that cupcake batter. How about making ice cream with it, adding it to hot chocolate, or drinking it straight up as-is. So many things! 

Made from organic coconut milk, cane syrup, pumpkin, and sea salt, this seasonal favorite is one to stock on up. 

Keep your eyes peeled for So Delicious' other seasonal winners: Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk and Nog Coconut Milk. Yum! Yum!

Find product and nutritional information at SoDeliciousDairyFree.com.

Pumpkin Cake + Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

on Monday, 20 October 2014. Posted in Recipes

Pumpkin Cake +  Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Hooray for all things pumpkin! We stumbled upon this simple yet stunningly delicious perfect-for-Fall pumpkin cake, with a maple cream cheese frosting, created by Heather of the Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes food blog. Take your time with this one, it's sure to be a party show stopper. Or keep it all to yourself. We won't judge. *wink* 

Cake Ingredients:
1/2  cup (1 stick) Earth Balance vegan butter, melted
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1 16oz container of plain coconut-based yogurt
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
1 15 oz can of pure pumpkin puree

Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance vegan butter, very soft
1 8oz container of plain Tofutti Cream Cheese, very soft
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Pecan slices for garnish (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease two 4" round cake pans (or a 9x9 baking pan)
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
3. In a medium sauce pan melt the butter. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar, coconut yogurt, and pumpkin puree until well combined.
4. Pour batter into prepared pans, smooth tops, and gently tap each pan on the counter.
5. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit and cool in pans for 10 minutes.
6. While the cakes bake, prepare the frosting by whisking together the vegan butter, cream cheese, and maple syrup until smooth. 
7. Spread top of cooled cake with maple frosting. Layer and repeat. Garnish. Serve!

Find more Fall-inspired recipes over on SundayMorningBananaPancakes.com.

Kolene & Jon's Summer Slim Down

on Thursday, 16 October 2014. Posted in Inspiration

Kolene & Jon's Summer Slim Down

Michigan couple Kolene and Jon, have been spreading vegan awareness over the years by way of their information website, Vegan Grand Rapids

In a recent post on Facebook the couple shared their weight loss story. Jon wrote, "At the beginning of summer Kolene and I made the deicision to take charge of our health...we'd both eaten (and drank) our way to being totally unhealthy. Since June of this year I've lost 30 pounds and Kolene has lost 25...now we both feel good and we think we look pretty good too!" 

Congrats you two! We look forward to continuing to follow your journey.

Follow Kolene and Jon's foodie adventures on VeganGR.com.

Celebrating 10 Years of Healthy School Food

on Wednesday, 15 October 2014. Posted in Inspiration, Health, News

Celebrating 10 Years of Healthy School Food

Founded in 2004, the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, "changing how schools feed kids," celebrates ten years of bringing plant-based meals to schools. 

By way of their signature Wellness Wake-Up Call Program, conferences, workshops, other educational campaigns, and legislative support, the Coalition continues to create change. 

On October 24th the organization will host its anniversary event at New York Academy of Medicine in New York City, featuring vegan food, live music, a silent auction, and specialty gift bags for guests. 

Learn more at HealthySchoolFood.org.

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