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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.

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Meatout Menu 2014 - Cheese Lovers

on Saturday, 01 February 2014. Posted in Recipes

Breakfast Casserole

(Recipe from The Cookbook Aficionado)

Ingredients:

POTATO LAYER

4 cups yellow potatoes, cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste

TEMPEH SAUSAGE LAYER

1 Tbs. oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 (8-ounce) package tempeh, boiled in water for 15 minutes and drained
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. dried sage leaves
2 Tbs. gluten-free tamari
2 Tbs. maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
Salt & pepper, to taste
 
TOFU EGG LAYER

12 oz. extra firm tofu, drained
4 tsp. The Vegg
1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk
8 oz Daiya cheddar shreds
 
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and lightly spray a 9x9-inch baking dish with oil.
  2. Boil potatoes for 6-8 minutes, or until just tender.
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, start the tempeh sausage. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the oil, onion and garlic. Cook for a about 5-7 minutes or until softened, crumble the tempeh into the pan, then add the remaining ingredients. Stirring occasionally, cook the tempeh until it’s lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Drain potatoes and then rinse with cold water.
  5. In the same skillet, heat the 2 teaspoons of oil, add the drained potatoes, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté until lightly brown, then spread evenly into prepared baking dish. Top with the tempeh, evenly spreading, and sprinkle half of the cheese over top.
  6. In a blender or food processor, add the soy milk and Vegg, blend for about a minute, then add the tofu. Blend until smooth. Spread evenly over the cheese, filing in any crevasses. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and bake for 50-55 minutes.
  7. Serve warm.

 

Mac 'n' Cheese

(Recipe from Fettle Vegan)

Ingredients:

12 oz. pasta elbows
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbs. tahini
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. turmeric
1/8 tsp. cayenne red pepper
1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
  2. As pasta cooks, combine the raw cashews and nut milk in a blender or food processor.
  3. Once combined, add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until combined. Set aside.
  4. Once pasta is al dente, strain, rinse, and put back into the pot. Pour in the cheeze sauce, using a wooden spoon to gently toss and coat the pasta.
  5. Turn the burner back onto low and continue to cook the pasta and cheeze sauce together about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens to the noodles.
  6. Serve with a garnish of fresh basil or cilantro, avocado, or a little hot sauce, if you'd like.

*To reheat, simply warm the pasta in a pan with a little non-dairy milk, stirring 'til creamy. Saves well in a refrigerated space for about a week.

 

 

Garbanzo Beans & Broccoli Rapini Pita Pizzas

(Recipe from Vegan Fling)

Ingredients:

2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup water
1 bunch broccoli rapini leaves, chopped (remove stems)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 pitas, halved horizontally to form 6 rounds (or something similar)

Diced and oven roasted potatoes (optional)
Tomatoes (optional)
Any other pizza toppings (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. In a skillet cook the garlic in oil over medium heat, stirring, until pale and golden.
  3. Transfer the garlic to a food processor. Add in 1 Tbsp. oil, chick peas, 1/4 cup water, and salt and pepper to taste, and blend until smooth.
  4. Cook the broccoli rapini in olive oil over moderately high heat until wilted.
  5. Add remaining 1/4 cup water and red pepper flakes.
  6. Cover and simmer for about 2 minutes until almost all the water is evaporated.
  7. Spread the garbanzo mixture onto the pitas and top with the broccoli rapini, potatoes or any other toppings you like.
  8. Arrange pitas on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are golden.
  9. Serve.

 

 

Lavender & Beet "Cheesecake"

(Recipe from Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. via Tastemade)

Ingredients:

CRUST
3 cups coconut flour
1 cups almond flour
1 cup beet pulp
1 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. lavender
⅓ cup maple syrup
⅓ cup coconut oil

LAYER 1 (white)
2 cups coconut meat
1 cups cashews, soaked
1 cup maple syrup
½ cup lemon juice
½ a vanilla bean
½ cup coconut oil

LAYER 2 (pink)
2 cups coconut meat
1 cups cashews, soaked
1 cup coconut oil
½ cup beet juice
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. lavender
1 ⅓ cup maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients for your crust and press into an 8 inch springform, making sure to reinforce the elbow and sides so it doesn't break.
  2. Dehydrate overnight, or put in the oven for 2 hours at 200° F
  3. Combine ingredients for layer 1.
  4. Once the crust has cooled, pour layer 1 into it and place in the refrigerator to allow it to set up for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Combine ingredients for layer 2, and pour directly on top of layer.
  6. Refrigerate or freeze for at least 30 minutes.

*The cake will last up to three days.

 

Meatout Menu 2014 - Meat Lovers

on Saturday, 01 February 2014. Posted in Recipes

Breakfast Muffin

(Recipe from Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes)

Ingredients:

1 vegan English muffin - toasted
2 slices of extra firm Tofu, cut 1/2" thick
1/8 Himalayan Sulfur Salt per slice
1/8 tsp. Turmeric per slice
1/4 tsp. Nutritional Yeast per slice
2 small slices of non-dairy cheese (Daiya works great)
1 slice of vegan Canadian Bacon (such as Yves)
1 slice tomato
Small handful of pea shoots or other green
Dab of vegan butter

Directions:

  1. Slice tofu into 1/2" thick pieces and then sprinkle turmeric, salt, and nutritional yeast on one side of each half.
  2. Preheat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, add vegan butter or a touch of oil
  3. Once butter has melted place tofu in pan, seasoned side down.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining seasoning over the unseasoned halves of the tofu. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until one side is golden brown. flip and reduce heat to medium-low.
  5. Top one half of tofu with vegan cheese. Once golden brown, place the other half of tofu on top of the slice that is topped with cheese.
  6. Place the vegan bacon on top of the tofu/cheese stack.
  7. Turn off heat and allow the cheese to melt and bacon to heat through. You can cover frying pan if you so choose.
  8. Once the cheese has melted place tofu egg stack on one half of a toasted English muffin.
  9. Top with a slice of tomato, greens and then the other half of the English muffin.
  10. Serve.

 

White Bean, Spinach, & "Chorizo" Stew

(Recipe from Lorimer Kitchen)

Ingredients:

1 16 oz bag of dried  -or- 2 15 oz. cans of Cannelini or Great Northern beans
64 oz vegetable stock (add an extra 32 oz vegetable stock if using dried beans)
1 cup dry white wine (cooking wine is fine)
2 links Soyrizo, sliced
2 cups fresh Spinach
1 clove Garlic, finely diced
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. If using dried beans soak them overnight.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot, over medium heat.
  3. Once warm, add garlic and let simmer until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
  4. Reduce heat to low so garlic doesn't burn and add Soyrizo.
  5. Heat until Soyrizo is warm then add drained beans, salt and vegetable stock.
  6. If using dried beans, cook with additional liquid for about 45 minutes on high heat with lid on, or until beans are soft. If using canned beans, cook for 25 minutes on medium heat with lid off.
  7. When beans are soft add spinach and cook for about 5 minutes, on high, or until soft and wilted.
  8. Serve warm.

 

Italian No-Meatballs

(Recipe from The Cookbook Aficionado)

Ingredients:
Makes ~18 balls

1 8-oz pkg tempeh
Water
2 tsp. no-beef broth powder
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 Tbs. instant tapioca
1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1 small onion, grated
3 cloves garlic, grated
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 Tbs. HP Sauce
1 Tbs vegetable broth or water
1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Cut tempeh into 4 pieces and place in a sauce pan.
  3. Add enough water to cover the tempeh, along with the “beef” broth powder.
  4. Bring to boil and then turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from water, drain and let cool.
  6. Grate tempeh and mix with onion, garlic, and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well with your fingers and knead for 1 minute.
  7. With wet hands, form mixture into 17 or 18 balls.
  8. Let rest for 5 minutes to firm up.
  9. Heat a thin layer of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat.
  10. Add tempeh balls and cook, turning regularly, until browned all over.
  11. Remove from pan. Place in oven and continue baking for 15 minutes.
  12. Serve warm.

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies


(Recipe from Keepin' it Kind)

Wet Ingredients:

3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 1/2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1 cup plain vegan coconut yogurt (or soy)
2 Tbs. coconut oil, melted (at room temp)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut nectar (or maple/agave syrup)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour blend (try THIS recipe)
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup + 1 Tbs. cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. poppy seeds, plus extra for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the lemon juice, lemon zest, yogurt, and coconut oil. Add the sugar and nectar and mix until smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract until fully combined.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour your wet ingredients into the well. Use a spoon to mix together until just combined.
  6. Fold in the poppy seeds.
  7. Use a tablespoon to scoop heaping spoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until set and just barely starting to brown around the bottom.
  9. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 2-3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container.

Meatout Menu 2014 - Veggie Lovers

on Saturday, 01 February 2014. Posted in Recipes

Easy Tofu Scramble

(Recipe from Peaceful Plate)
Makes 4-6 servings.

Ingredients:

2 cups of red onions, sliced vertically into 1/4" moons
1 & 1/2 cups of sweet corn, fresh
3/4 cup to 1 cup of pickled jalapenos, patted dry and quartered (adjust quantity based on heat preference)
4 tsp canola oil, divided
1 tsp. salt, divided
2 - 14 oz containers of extra firm tofu, drained and patted dry with a paper towel
1/4 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped
Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tsp. of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add onions and 1/4 tsp of salt, cook for 2 minutes, then add corn and jalapenos.
  2. Cook for 2 additional minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Wipe pan quickly with a bunch of dried paper towels to clean.
  4. Add remaining 2 tsp. of oil and heat pan again over medium-high heat until hot.
  5. Crumble the tofu into bite sized pieces and add to the pan. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, then stir and flip tofu. Let cook again for another 2-3 minutes and repeat until most of the tofu is golden on the outside.
  6. Once golden, add back in the onion, corn, and jalapeno mixture. Mix in the cilantro and remaining 3/4 tsp. of salt.
  7. Toss gently to combine, and cook for another minute or two.
  8. Taste and add more salt or black pepper if needed.
  9. Serve hot with a side of toast, potatoes, or grits.

 

Roasted Kale Salad

(Recipe from Lorimer Kitchen)

Ingredients:

1 head of kale
3 radishes
6 medium beets
1/3 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Wrap beets in foil and cook 35-45 minutes until soft all the way through (the bigger the beets the longer the cooking time).
  3. Allow beets to cool, rub off skin and cut into 1/4 inch slices.
  4. Decrease oven temperature to 300° F.
  5. Lightly rub kale with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook kale in oven for 15-20 minutes until it's dry and crisp (after 10 minutes check frequently to make sure it's not burning).
  7. Place sunflower seeds on a baking sheet, while kale is baking, and put them on a high rack. Toast seeds for 3-5 minutes until very light brown.
  8. Remove and let cool.
  9. Cut radishes in 1/4 slices and place in a bowl with sliced beets and sunflower seeds.
  10. While kale cools mix avocado, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste in a small container and mix until creamy dressing forms.
  11. Mix kale with beets, radishes and seeds and pour dressing on top.

 

Vegetable Curry

(Recipe from Fo' Reals Life)

Ingredients:

1/2 large onion
5 cloves garlic
1 inch piece fresh ginger
1 - 28 oz can whole tomatoes (without salt)
3 Tbs. tomato paste
1 tsp. paprika
1-2 Tbs. curry powder
4 large potatoes, washed and cubed
1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
4 cups fresh or frozen green beans
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato (If you don't have cooked ones on hand you can peel and cube one medium sized sweet potato and add it with the regular potato)
1/2 cup unsweetened vegan yogurt 
1/2 cup water
3/4 to 1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro leaves (optional)

Directions:

  1. Blend the onion, garlic, and ginger in your food processor or blender until it is mostly smooth.
  2. Add in the whole tomatoes, tomato paste, cooked sweet potatoes, paprika, and curry powder and pulse to process until the tomatoes are in small pieces.
  3. Add the blended mixture to a large non-stick pan and cook for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat until fragrant.
  4. Now add the potatoes, cauliflower, and 1/2 cup water. Stir and then cover the pan with a lid. Turn the heat down to just a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Add in the green beans and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the green beans are fully cooked. Stir in the yogurt and salt to taste with the heat on low. Stir and then turn the heat off.
  6. Stir in the cilantro and serve with some cooked brown or black forbidden rice.

 

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats

(Recipe from Fo' Reals Life)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup soy or almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries + another handfull of berries for when you put it together 1 Tbs. chia seeds 
A few drops of stevia (or your favorite sweetener to taste)
1 cup of chocolate sweet potato pudding (recipe HERE)

Directions:

  1. Blend the strawberries and soy milk together with an immersion (or regular) blender.
  2. Stir in the oats, chia seeds, and sweetener to taste.
  3. Put in the fridge and leave it overnight to thicken up.
  4. In the morning layer your bowl or container with chocolate sweet potato pudding, sliced strawberries and the strawberry overnight oats.
  5. Devour!

Meatout 2014 - Dining Out, Vegan-Style

on Saturday, 01 February 2014. Posted in Tips & Ideas

Meatout 2014 - Dining Out, Vegan-Style

Dining out vegan-style has never been easier!

Increasingly, restaurants are offering vegan options. Plus there are nearly 600 exclusively vegan eateries nationwide. Not in a what you might consider a vegan-friendly area? Not to worry, many restaurants have "accidentally" vegan items on their menu, or are at the very least accommodating - as any good business should be. :)

To start, here are some common items you might find on the menu of your favorite restaurant:

Breakfast

  • Granola with soy milk
  • Coffee with soy or almond milk
  • Bagel or toast with peanut butter or jam
  • Fresh fruit

Lunch & Dinner

  • Veggie burger with fries
  • Baingan Bharta
  • Thai curry with vegetables
  • Vegetable sushi
  • Rice, bean, guac, & lettuce tacos/burritos
  • Veggie sides (order a few to make a meal!)
  • Cheese-less pizza (or order out and add your own vegan cheese at home!)
  • Chips and guacamole
  • A large portion of Ethiopian cuisine is vegan
  • Falafel + a handful of toppings are already vegan

Dessert

  • Fruit sorbet
  • Some movie theater popcorn and candy

 

Don't stress about it though. Often times if you call ahead to a restaurant, and ask if they offer vegan options, or are able to hook you up, it'll be all good. If you're out and about and looking for a quick bite, try one of these mobile apps to help you find what's nearby.

Helpful Mobile Apps

  • HappyCow (shows how vegan-friendly nearby restaurants are)
  • YoDish (shows nearby restaurants with vegan and specialty-dietary options)
  • Yelp! (shows distance to nearest and most vegan-friendly restaurants)
  • Is It Vegan? (scan pictures and bar codes to quickly know if an item is vegan or not)

 

Most importantly, have fun with it! Vegan dining out doesn't have to be challenging or scary. Be upbeat and open to learning about what's near you. I have a feeling you'll find some favorites that you'll keep coming back to! :)

Want more resources about the vegan lifestyle? Check out our Meatout Mondays blog by clicking HERE.

 

Gwen Barter's 1962 Activism

on Thursday, 30 January 2014. Posted in Inspiration, Books & Media

Gwen Barter's 1962 Activism

According to UK-based Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA), the first act of civil disobedience to protect non-human animals may have been by Miss Gwen Barter, back in 1962 (pictured here). Her sign reads, "The cruel, barbaric ritual of carted deer hunting must stop now." 

She reportedly climbed onto the hood of a cart that was carrying deer and stopped the Norwich Staghounds from starting their hunting ritual. "Famously, less than a year later she prevented another hunt from killing by simply sitting in the fox hole as the hunters attempted to dig the fox out," noted HSA.

A big thank-you to Gwen for her early intuition and activism that helped set the stage for organized calls to action, and later formations of today's animal rights groups.

Learn more about how living vegan is a great way to help animals at LiveVegan.org.

Health Benefits of Tempeh

on Wednesday, 29 January 2014. Posted in Health, Tips & Ideas

Health Benefits of Tempeh

Originally from Indonesia, tempeh is a plant-based protein that is made by a naturally controlled fermentation process that turns cooked soybeans into a firm cake-like texture. 

Studies show that consuming tempeh can increase bone density, reduce cholesterol, and provide faster muscle recovery time after exercising. It also allows for better nutrient absorption and is an excellent source of protein.

In addition to being tasty and good for you, tempeh is also extremely versatile. It serves as an excellent base for sandwiches, pasta dishes, and makes a great salad topper. It can be grated to make cheesy crumbles, blended to make a thicker sauce mixture, and more. 

Photo by CoconutAndQuinoa.com.

To learn more about the health benefits of tempeh visit easy-vegetarian-diet.com.

Tofurky's Marinated Tempeh

on Tuesday, 28 January 2014. Posted in Products

Tofurky's Marinated Tempeh

No time to marinate your own tempeh for this week's Tempeh, Lettuce, and Tomato (TLT) recipe? Not to worry,Tofurky has got you covered! They make three delicious, ready-to-serve, tempeh flavors that include Smokey Maple Bacon, Sesame Garlic, and Coconut Curry. 

Stock up on your favorite flavors and keep them for on-the-go quick bites, last minute game night snacks, or to assemble your favorite sandwiches. 

Find these and other time saving Tofurky products (such as deli slices, pizzas, pies, pockets, sausages, dogs, links, holiday products, and more) at your nearby grocery store.

Click HERE to search for a store near you.  

Find product and nutritional information at Tofurky.com.

 

Tempeh, Lettuce, & Tomato Sandwich

on Monday, 27 January 2014. Posted in Recipes

Tempeh, Lettuce, & Tomato Sandwich

Here's one to add to your multi-purpose recipe folder. Susan over at FatFreeVegan.com created an easy tempeh recipe that she says is versatile and can be used in many types of sandwiches including Rubens, burgers, and this Tempeh, Lettuce, and Tomato (TLT). Or just snack on it straight up, if you so desire. 

Ingredients:

1 8-ounce package of tempeh (any variety will do)
1 cup warm vegetable broth
2-3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder

Directions:

1. Slice the tempeh about 1/4-inch think. 
2. In a large skillet arrange the tempeh slices in a single layer. 
3. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the tempeh.
4. Bring the broth to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, turning the tempeh halfway through to make sure each piece gets equal time on both sides. Remove from the heat and allow it to sit in the broth until you're ready to pan fry it. 
5. Spray a large non-stock skillet with canola oil or cooking spray. Put it on medium-high heat until hot, and then remove the tempeh slices from the broth and put them in the pan in a single layer. 
6. Cook until brown, and then turn. When they are almost brown on the second side, add a few Tablespoons of the simmering broth to the skillet and allow to evaporate. 
7. Remove from skillet and assemble sandwich, serve immediately. 

Find this and other healthful recipes over on FatFreeVegan.com.

 

The Only Vegetarian in the World

on Friday, 24 January 2014. Posted in Inspiration

The Only Vegetarian in the World

My path through vegetarianism and later veganism might be different from most people and it certainly is a story of persistence and stubbornness. For half of my life, I had been the only vegetarian in the world....

Having grown up near the beautiful and sunny Portuguese coast, my days were divided between the beach and my farm, where I could have a type of freedom most kids can't even dream of. I was a child with such an intense imagination I spent hours playing with my dogs and cats in the forest, believing the elves and guardians of the woods lived inside the trees and talked to me. I was a typical child who grew up close to nature... but with one exception; one thing set me a part from all the other “normal kids”; I didn't eat like them.

Since I was very young, I refused to eat anything containing meat, fish, or eggs. Most of the time I teamed up with my father for the task of feeding the chickens, rabbits, pigs, peacocks and all other animals who were unfortunate to live on the family farm. It was with absolute happiness and excitement that I welcomed every single batch of little yellow chicks, bunnies and piglets and with absolute horror, guilt and self punishment that I saw them being put "down" in horrific ways.

Every single one of them had a name and a very characteristic personality. No one ever noticed that but me. Just like any other animal, including us humans, they were all different and special in their own ways. We went for long walks together and had naps under the sun. I spent as much time as I could until the day they were taken away.

Those days were called “the slaughter days”. I heard and saw everything. How they scream when they're being killed and how they try to fight for their lives. These repetitive events were so deeply traumatizing to me, I never touched any sort of meat. To this day I still don't know the taste or texture of any kind of flesh.

I was a child and teenager who was bullied at school because I always had a Tupperware container with vegetable soup for lunch. At the age of 14 I met a girl who didn't eat animals and said this lifestyle was called vegetarianism. What??? So there are more people in the world like me? And I'm called a "vegetarian?"

Yes, I was a vegetarian and somewhere, there were more people like me. I wished I could meet some, maybe we would have something in common. But what if that girl was just joking? After all, I've never met any vegetarian in my life!

A few years later I met a few more folks like me and I immediately started to connect with people by forming the very first vegan yahoo group in Portuguese language in 2001, when barely no one knew what veganism was. I needed that sense of community and connection and I still do.

Nowadays I'm a healthy vegan, traveling the world, exploring vegan foods and alternative lifestyles which I share with others in my blog Heart of a Vagabond. I've been involved with the vegan community in Europe and recently started to organize weekly vegan dinners for Couchsurfers and travelers in Lisbon, which gathers more than 30 meat eaters on a weekly basis.

Yes, there are more of us out there and seems that more and more people are questioning meat consumption. I'm no longer the only vegetarian in the world and I'm glad we're all getting more and more connected, no matter how geographically far we are from each other.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Yara exchanged the comforts of home 16 years ago, for a life on the road. She has been traveling the world mixing a love for veg food, alternative living and low-impact traveling. She’s currently working on her new blog, Heart of a Vagabond and planning an epic trip from Lisbon to Asia by land as a solo female traveler.

2014 Named THE Year for the Rise of Vegansim, According to Nobel Prize Winner

on Wednesday, 22 January 2014. Posted in Inspiration, News

2014 Named THE Year for the Rise of Vegansim, According to Nobel Prize Winner

Nobel Prizing winning economist, and Stanford and Harvard professor, Alvin Roth predicts that "meat eating might become repugnant," making veganism the dominant paradigm in the very near future, if not by the close of 2014.

In a recent TIME magazine issue, Roth was interviewed by columnist Joel Stein, wherein Roth stated:

“We already don’t eat whale. We think whales might be smart. The next question is cows,” Roth says. Most Americans would recoil from eating whale, and feel justified in criticizing the Japanese over whale and dolphin hunting. Most Americans also eat beef. This is possible not because humans evolved to eat only land mammals, or because whales are closer to us in appearance than cows. Both whales and cows are intelligent, social animals with distinct personalities and a range of emotions. The single biggest difference lies not in whales and cows themselves, but the way our society accepts eating one and rejects the other without rational inquiry. If the tide of social paradigm shifts, eating animals in general might be considered morally outrageous by all.

Source: Peaceful Dumpling.

Ecological Study Concludes Tobacco Cancer Link Just as Strong as Meat Diet Cancer Link

on Tuesday, 21 January 2014. Posted in Health, News

Ecological Study Concludes Tobacco Cancer Link Just as Strong as Meat Diet Cancer Link

A recent ecological study published in the Nutrients journal notes that "the association between consuming animal products and cancer is just as strong as the link between tobacco and cancer."

According to THIS review article from Compassion Over Killing, data for the study was provided "by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations from 157 countries to see how often 21 different types of cancer occurred in those populations. This data was compared statistically with indices for risk factors. The findings show that smoking and diets high in animal products (meat, milk, fish, and eggs) have the strongest correlation with cancer rates."

The study also notes that environmental factors greater contribute to cancer than genetic factors.

Read the full Compassion Over Killing article, by Katie Vann: Study Concludes Meat-Heavy Diet as Bad as Smoking.

Artichoke and Lentil Salad

on Monday, 20 January 2014. Posted in Recipes

Artichoke and Lentil Salad

Looking for a quick recipe that not only comes together in a snap but is also light, healthy, and filling? Kristy, over at Keepin' it Kind posted this beautiful recipe from from Alan Roettinger's laste cookbook, Extraordinary Vegan. With a fresh herbal flare, this bright, tangy salad is sure to tickle your tastebuds.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar (or additional lemon juice)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
3 cups French (or other) lentils
12 canned artichoke hearts, rinsed, patted dry, and cut in half lengthwise
1/3 cup minced shallots

Directions:

1. Put oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk until emulsified.
2. Add the parsley and thyme, and then whisk until incorporated.
3. Add lentils, artichokes, and shallots, and then toss until well combined.
4. Serve at once.

Recipe and photo from keepinitkind.com.

Wow. I could never do that.

on Friday, 17 January 2014. Posted in Inspiration

Wow. I could never do that.

Disbelief is the most common response that I get when I say that I’m vegan. This disbelief becomes even more magnified when I say that I am a dancer and that I do intense physical activity at least six times a week. It gets even worse when I say that I’m a full-time college student and aspiring journalist. And when I say that I’m involved in the Miss America Organization and that I am Miss New York City 2013 – forget it.

That said, is being vegan difficult? At times, yes. Have I ever fallen off the vegan wagon? More than once. Do I think being vegan is worth it? Absolutely.

Each contestant in the Miss America Organization has a personal platform issue that she promotes, and mine encompasses the Meatout Mondays Campaign. Often, the idea of giving up meat, even just one day a week, is scary. I always say that, with this platform, I don’t want to guilt, I don’t want to force, and I don’t want to preach. What I want to do is to educate. I believe that something simple like Meatout Mondays can be the catalyst to a different kind of lifestyle. It can be looked at as a pledge to live a healthy, compassionate life, rather than one of deprivation.

Being vegan is frequently met with the initial reaction of, “Wow. I could never do that,” highlighting the popular belief that it is too difficult to live a vegan lifestyle, and that it requires too much sacrifice and too great a change. I think that this is a myth. What it does require is proper planning, and knowledge of substitutes and alternatives. But believe me, they’re out there. I could sit for hours salivating over vegan recipes on Pinterest.

With each of my blog posts I want to focus on a different myth surrounding being vegan. Each time I’ve spoken to kids as Miss New York City, I’ve told them that it is your voice, your actions, your choices that make all the difference. Being vegan is an ongoing journey, and I invite you all to take it with me.

Even if you are the only one speaking up, you are still one more voice that is louder than before.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Acacia Courtney is a junior at Fordham University, majoring in Communications and Media Studies, with a concentration in Journalism and plans to pursue sports broadcast, particularly within the scope of horse racing.  She is currently Miss New York City 2013, an official preliminary of the Miss America Organization, and in that position has spoken to students throughout the community about the importance of Move It Monday and Meatless Monday. Embracing these movements is beneficial for the animals, the environment, and our own health. A vegan and a dancer, "pageant girl," and college student, Acacia is determined to work on addressing the disconnect between the farm and the plate, and create a more compassionate world. 
 
A huge animal lover, in 2011 Acacia founded the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization "Racing for Home, Inc.", which is dedicated to rescuing and retraining Thoroughbred ex-racehorses after they are finished racing. She has been privileged to speak and represent the New York Racing Association, the Humane Society of the United States, and Farm Sanctuary as an animal advocate. She grew up in Connecticut, and her family currently has three horses, four cats, and a dog.

My Dog is on a Vegan Diet

on Thursday, 16 January 2014. Posted in Tips & Ideas

My Dog is on a Vegan Diet

My dog is on a vegan diet. This is a surprisingly controversial statement. Most people are accepting of my veganism. However, now that my cairn terrier, Teddy, has gone cruelty-free, some people think I have gone too far. And to be honest, I originally shared their concerns. Once I adopted a vegan lifestyle, there was still one item in my grocery cart that just was not sitting well with me: Teddy’s salmon and sweet potato kibble.

Teddy’s health and well-being was my primary concern. I thought animal products might be a necessity for a species descended from carnivorous wolves. I want to do right by all animals, but surely there is a special place in my heart for the dog who has been my companion for six years. I headed to DogFoodAdvisor.com, a self-proclaimed database of “unbiased dog food reviews and dog food ratings.” Methodically, I searched through every vegetarian dog food option and was very disheartened to find that not a single one rated more than two stars out of five. Two stars is not good enough for Teddy, so he remained a pescatarian.

The debate was settled in my mind until I met some fellow vegans who had dogs that were thriving on a diet of an entirely vegan dog food called V-dog. As it turns out, there are some major differences between dogs and their wolf ancestors. A recent study found that “dogs can easily digest starch.” As a result of their co-evolution with humans, dogs can digest plant foods that wolves cannot. Dogs are able to digest plant proteins and absorb plant nutrients.

Despite the evidence of a dog’s ability to live happily and healthily on a vegan diet, there are always detractors. I finally noticed the fine print on DogFoodAdvisor.com that states, “We shamelessly favor dog foods rich in meat.” By default, no vegetarian dog food is awarded more than two stars. But it turns out that I favor a dog food rich in compassion for all, and V-Dog is nutritionally complete. Teddy has been vegan for about one month now and so far so good. He still cleans his bowl with the same enthusiasm as always and continues to drive me nuts with his high-level terrier energy. The days of placing unkind animal products in my grocery cart are officially gone. Teddy and I will continue eating a cruelty-free diet, and my conscience is completely clear.


Paula Ashlee Berg is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles and the founder of From Veg to Vegan, a blog about transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. She has a degree in Public Relations from the University of Southern California and currently works in television production as an Assistant Location Manager. Outside of writing and vegan activism, you can find Paula traveling, reading, watching Doctor Who, and spoiling her cairn terrier, Teddy. Follow her on Twitter @FromVegtoVegan.

Hail Merry Macaroons

on Wednesday, 15 January 2014. Posted in Products

Hail Merry Macaroons

Perfect for healthy snacking in the new year, these temptuous tasty macaroon bites from Hail Merry are gluten-free, dairy-free, completely raw and totally delicious.

Select from vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and caramel sea salt.

But wait! There's more!

Hail Merry also makes Miracle Tarts (which are basically giant, deliciously raw vegan peanut butter-like cups), various granola mixes, and seasoned nuts and seeds. 

Have 'em handy for a light post-dinner treat, for an after workout snack, or for guilt-free movie time bites!

Photo from Spencer's Market.

For more on the nutritional facts and where to buy visit HailMerry.com.

How Veganism Reshaped This Designer's Creative Process

on Tuesday, 14 January 2014.

How Veganism Reshaped This Designer's Creative Process

For me the creative process has always been like air. I know it exists but I cannot touch it or see it. Author Susan Cain talks about the creative process in her book Quiet. She says “Our lives are so full of activity and “chatter” it’s difficult to find quiet time… those are the moments that are the most creative for me. The location is less important than the choice to turn other things off. Because I find that the quietest times of my life speak the loudest.”

So how do we make that choice to turn things off and make space for quiet listening? I have found the answer in spirituality and food.

I know that spirituality and quieting the mind are directly related but I think food is a big part of it too. Food influences our mind and body greatly. It is like fuel in the car, connection in a phone, creativity in advertising. Just like the quality of one, greatly influences the performance of the other, the quality of food greatly influences the performance of our mind and body. I don’t know a lot of people who are inflamed and in pain and are successful meditators. On the other hand, I do know some successful creative people who believe that being nurtured from inside out is more inspirational for a creative professional’s life.

Of course everyone is different and have varied definitions of nourishment for the body, but when I was looking into enhancing my creativity and efficiency, I started thinking about the anxiety I went through while creating a design. Being anxious, stressed and worried about not finding design inspiration is a part of any creative’s life. Like many stressed out people when I got anxious, I would look for good-tasting comfort food. Often times this comfort food came in the form of chicken nuggets, pizza or meat sandwiches. Meat sandwiches made with croissants as a base were my favorite! Even though, growing up I had never been a big meat eater, I was hooked. Coming from a primarily vegetarian Indian family, I was only introduced to meat while growing up as a dietary option. My mother never cooked meat in the house and so I never ate it. But after moving to New York City for studies, I found many delicious meat choices at every nook and corner of NYC. Design school was very stressful and so the anxious, insecure artist inside me needed to find comfort food. What could be better than a cheap pizza slice laden with meat and cheese? My diet patterns changed from a vegetarian lifestyle to that of a meat eater.

The problem was that I found myself struggling even more with clarity of thought, emotions, efficiency and also weight management. After having meals composed of primarily processed ingredients with dairy and meat, I would feel lethargic and would just want to sleep for the day. My cycle looked something like this: Start a design > feel anxious, crappy and worried > eat comfort food > feel better but feel sleepy and tired > try to fight sleep > still not find inspiration for design > still feel crappy > eat some more.

I was medicating my anxiety with a lot of food and so I was having problems with weight management. I had put on 15 lbs. extra since I started school. I thought I was just eating too much and if I controlled portions I will be good. Right? Wrong. I tried controlling the portion size, but this food was so addictive that I would end up dreaming about the remaining half of my sandwich/pizza/whatever and finish it within the next hour! Not eating these foods only made my brain think that I was depriving myself while being under so much stress and pressure of thesis and 5 other classes I was taking at school. It was a vicious cycle. I was looking for answers and then I watched the movies Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and Forks over Knives. I decided to do a juice fast for weight loss. All this while, still wondering about dealing with my anxiety issues with the creative process. I think the biggest and the most important part of the creative process is to be able to tune your mind like a radio to a certain frequency for hearing and receiving inspiration. The quiet frequency that Susan Cain talks about. Specifically in my case of graphic design for advertising, it is to understand the facts you have, and culminate them into a “in-brand” vision that looks unique but is also relatable for the audience. I had all these questions, like how can I train my brain to dial into the correct frequency, avoid anxiety and be wired for receiving inspiration? I somewhat had a meditation practice in place so I thought I just needed to meditate more. Still not making the connection between food and spirit. But while doing the juice fast I started noticing that my mind was clearer. I was more attentive and a better listener, I found myself to be lighter and more present in the moment. I wondered what had changed. I was not sure if doing a juice fast could actually affect the quality of my thought process. So I did it again. I realized that the meat and dairy I was eating earlier was not really nourishing me or equipping me for the challenges I face in my life but was only a tasteful band-aid solution for feeling some kind of a momentary comfort. After the third juice fast I noticed that my cravings were not as strong as they were before and this time when I got anxious I actually started thinking through the reasons why I was getting anxious. Very soon after, I turned plant-based vegan substituting processed meat and dairy products with the good-old Mother Nature veggies and fruits.

After two years of continuously changing my perspective and relationship with food, today I find myself in a completely different place in terms of how I approach a creative project. Now, I look at a graphic design project as this amazing opportunity filled with possibilities. A piece of clay that I can mold into something full of potential instead of looking at it as an uninspired, structured, ridged framework. I will not claim that I do not run into problems and areas where I feel stuck, but my creative process is a lot more supported with clarity, patience and a nourished, present, calm mind that is available for receiving inspiration and insights. Who would have thought that one way to creativity is actually through the stomach? I am so deeply grateful for these movies, books, fellow-vegans and veggies that came to my rescue.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Neha has been working as a graphic designer for over 6 years, focusing on user-centered design and designing communication pieces. She graduated from Parsons, The New School for Design, New York City in 2011. Her focus is on devising interactive strategies that would produce the most memorable experiences for the end user. In addition, the healthful journey of becoming a plant-based vegan has inspired Neha to become a wellness coach. She is enrolled for the 2014, February batch of Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Health Coach course and has launched a website called The Spiritual Foodie - another step towards being a part of the nutritarian movement.

Caramelized Cabbage & Onion Soup

on Monday, 13 January 2014.

Caramelized Cabbage & Onion Soup

Hunker down and cozy up this winter with a warm cup of homemade caramelized cabbage and onion soup. Leah at the Brazen Kitchen says, as soon as you taste "the sweetness of the caramelized cabbage and onions along with the dill-flecked savory broth," you'll agree that this is "pure winter yum."

Ingredients:

1 small green cabbage 
3 T olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups sliced onions
2 medium carrots
2 medium stalks celery
1 medium russet potato
5 cups basic light vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2-3 chopped fresh dill (or 1 T dried)
ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F and cut the cabbage into wedges; remove core and slice wedges thinly crosswise.
2. Toss sliced cabbage with half the olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Spread on baking sheet.
3. Roast cabbage for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally with spatula.
4. Heat remaining oil in a nonstick pan. Add sliced onion and cook on low heat
until golden brown. This will also take about 30-40 minutes.
5. Clean and finely dice carrots, celery, and potato. Combine all vegetables in 
soup pot with broth and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
6. Add roasted cabbage and caramelized onions. Simmer another 15 minutes.
7. Stir in almond milk and dill; adjust salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve.

Recipe and photo from the Brazen Kitchen

For more warm to the core winter soup recipes visit BrazenKitchen.com.

Cooking Channel TV Show: How to Live to 100

on Friday, 10 January 2014. Posted in News

Cooking Channel TV Show: How to Live to 100

Congratulations to vegan chef Jason Wrobel for securing the very first completely vegan cooking show on the Cooking Channel! 

"How to Live to 100" made its debut on the Cooking Channel in January 2013. We're thrilled to see that it's been brought back for round two! 

The most recent episode aired on January 3rd but you can still watch it on the Cooking Channel. Click HERE to watch it now!

For more on Jason's new show check out his Facebook page, Jason Wrobel Living.

Esther the Wonder Pig

on Wednesday, 08 January 2014. Posted in Inspiration

Esther the Wonder Pig

For reasons unknown Esther was placed in a "micro-pig" adoption program. Though micro she was not!

Esther was born in the spring of 2012 and met her now-family who has only recently decided to share her story via Facebook.

By posting photos of Esther's daily routine her family aims to create awareness about compassionate living and the intelligent, inquisitive, loving nature of pigs. 

We're so happy that Esther has not only found a safe, happy, and loving home but that she escaped the fate that she originally faced. 

Click HERE to meet Esther and maybe even fall in love like her family and fans have.

Dreamsicle Green Smoothie

on Friday, 03 January 2014. Posted in Recipes

Dreamsicle Green Smoothie

Start a new tradition this year and replace that morning cup of coffee with a healthy green smoothie. I really like THIS recipe from the Oh My Veggies blog (where this picture is from) but since we're on a PlantFusion kick this week I thought it would be fun to share one of the recipes off of their website today.

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana
1 cup Blue Diamond's almond milk
1 scoop PlantFusion Vanilla Bean
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 4 medium sized oranges)
1-2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup frozen broccoli (or a handful of spinach)
2 Medjool dates, pitted

Instructions:

1. Blend.
2. Serve.

This recipe is from PlantFusion.com.
This photo is from OhMyVeggies.com.

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