Category Archives: Food Products & Recipes

Vegfest Chef Bravo Recipes

bravoWe’re excited to tell you that one of the chefs presenting at Vegfest this year (2017) will be Chef Ramses Bravo!  Ramses is the executive chef for TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, where his delicious, healthful meals have inspired thousands of people who have transformed their lives at the center. Here we can share with you two recipes from his cookbook Bravo!: Health Promoting Meals from the TrueNorth Health Kitchen 


Double Squash with Pecans and Dried Cherries

This recipe combines sweet butternut squash, pecans, and cherries with savory acorn squash, shallot, and sage. The flavors complement rather than overpower each other.


2 butternut squash,
3 pounds each, cut lengthwise and seeds removed
2 acorn squash, 1.5 pounds each, cut lengthwise and seeds removed
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup pecans, toasted (see notes below)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
10 fresh sage leaves, very thinly sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Put the butternut and acorn squash cut-side down on the lined baking sheets and bake the butternut squash for about 30 minutes and the acorn squash for about 20 minutes, just
until tender. Let cool.
When cool enough to handle, peel and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cherries, pecans, shallot, and sage. Gently toss all the ingredients until well combined, taking care to keep the squash cubes whole. Serve at room temperature or thoroughly chilled.
Note: Butternut squash will generally take longer to cook than acorn squash, depending on their respective sizes. Be careful not to overcook the squash. When the squash is soft, the cubes will break apart. The flavor won’t be affected, but the look and texture of the dish will.

Toasting Nuts and Seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts or seeds on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes.

Raw or Toasted Nuts and Seeds?
Which is better: raw or toasted nuts and seeds? This is a question that many TrueNorth
guests have asked me. My answer depends on what works best for each person.
The style of cooking advocated at TrueNorth and described in this book is designed
for optimal health. To that end, I recommend raw nuts and seeds, which have
greater nutritional value. However, this diet is also restrictive, so I look for ways to make
the food as flavorful as possible. One way to do that is to use toasted nuts and seeds, which
I prefer. My reasoning is that people may return to bad habits if they find their food
bland, and they may be more likely to stay with the program if it is more flavorful.

Breakfast Potatoes

This is a wholesome alternative to the greasy, fried, and overly salted, potato dishes often served at breakfast time. This dish can be prepared ahead of time, so all you need to do is bake it before serving. Note: It takes about 1 hour for the baked potatoes to cool down enough to be peeled. For speed and convenience, the potatoes can be baked 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.


8 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed
2 cups small cauliflower florets
2 cups quartered white mushrooms
6 Roma tomatoes, cubed
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/ 4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/ 4 teaspoon granulated onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1 tablespoon dried
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried


Pierce each potato a few times with a fork or paring knife. Put the potatoes directly on a rack in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. The potatoes are done when a paring knife can be easily inserted in the center. Turn off the oven. Transfer the potatoes to a cooling rack.

When the potatoes are cool to the touch, peel and dice them. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the potatoes on the lined baking sheet. Scatter the cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onion over the potatoes. Sprinkle with the granulated garlic and granulated onion. (At this point, the baking sheet can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 8 to 12 hours.

When you are ready to bake the dish, bring the vegetables to room temperature while you preheat the oven. Remove the plastic wrap before baking.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until all the vegetables start to brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the basil and parsley. Serve hot.

New vegan dairy and egg products

For those following a vegan diet, dairy and egg alternatives are always welcome.  Producers are experiencing an increased demand as more and more people seek plant-based products to buy, and they are responding by coming up with an ever wider variety of products. According to recent estimates, by 2020 the market for non-dairy products is expected to hit $20 billion. A record number of plant-based products are now available for sale in Washington’s grocery stores and supermarkets, and many more are in the pipeline. Here’s a sneak peak at what some producers are bringing to the marketplace.

daiya-chocolate-cheezecakeWhile most people know them for their popular non-dairy cheese products, Daiya has been innovating some new products lately. For instance, the brand recently launched a line of especially well-reviewed dairy-free cheezecakes, three flavors of cheezy mac, and now, an array of Greek style yogurts. The non-dairy yogurt comes in four flavors, blueberry, peach, strawberry and black cherry, and each serving offers eight grams of protein.  The company also offers a line of cream cheese style spreads, multiple varieties of vegan cheeses (both shredded, sliced and in blocks) and six pizzas (one of which uses the popular meat substitute, Beyond Meat, as a topping).

beyond-better-cashew-sauceFor those looking for an alternative to cheese sauce, a new company, Beyond Better, has come out with an assortment of incredibly delicious sauces. Cashew, Zesty Black Bean, Spicy Queso, and Savory Sunflower are now available, and the variety of ways these sauces can be used is nearly endless.

Closer to home, there are startups such as  Fauxmage, an alternative cheese produce that’s 100% vegan and is made from cultured cashews. They source premium organic cashews from small farmers and their cheese is made by hand, in small batches right here in Seattle. Fauxmage is available in a variety of tantalizing flavors such as Herbes de Provence, Sundried Tomato & Basil, smoky Harisa and, for those who like it on the hot side, Rooster Spice.

betaoats-yogurtAnother local company is Beta Oats yogurt, an entirely new kind of yogurt made from oats. The oats are fermented to yield a rich creamy taste enhanced with all kinds of goodies, such as blueberries, strawberries, and marion berries, with more flavors yet to come. Unlike traditional yogurts, BetaOats has plenty of fiber, especially soluble fiber, it’s rich in probiotics and rich in beta-glucan, a special fiber found in oats and barley. This became the inspiration for the name BetaOats. It’s low fat, gluten and GMO free, and has all natural ingredients. The fruit is sourced from the Northwest.


Of course, our good friends at Field Roast make the famous Chao Sliced Cheese right here in Seattle as well. This rich and creamy vegan cheese is coconut based and seasoned with a fermented tofu, traditionally called ‘Chao’ by the Vietnamese. Chao Slices have bold flavors and a cheesy bite right out of the package, or can be melted on your favorite hot sandwich or burger. Look for the Tomato Cayenne Chao and Coconut Herb Chao Slices. You’re in for quite a treat.

VeganEgg_Closed-Carton-318x318Last, but not least, is the new VeganEgg made by Follow Your Heart. Yes, yes, yes! You can now make vegan omelets, quiches, and even fried and scrambled “eggs”. We’ve tried it and believe you me it’s a vegan’s dream come true.  The environmentally-minded folks at Follow Your Heart point out that, in addition to all the health benefits of eating vegan eggs instead of chicken eggs, if America switched over to their new VeganEgg it alone would save the equivalent of 48 Billion car-driven miles worth of greenhouse gas emissions!

You’ll find many of the best new dairy and egg alternative products available at Vegfest this year, April 1 and 2, 2017, along with many other food products.  Don’t miss it!

New Vegan Ice Cream shop in Seattle

frankie-and-jos-ice-creamYes, we know it’s December but this is just too good to wait for summer. A new dairy-free, vegan, ice cream shop, Frankie and Jo’s, has just opened in Seattle. The shop is at 1010 E Union, tucked between Soi and General Porpoise.

Its celebration of plants extends to the decor, palm-fronded wallpaper and a plethora of actual, live greenery. But the real excitement lies in the cooler, and the eight rotating flavors ready to be scooped. There’s a brown sugar vanilla, gingered golden milk (which tastes, in the best possible way, of pure ginger), and salty caramel ash that’s sweet and salty and the color of a thunderstorm cloud. Sorbets include a beet-strawberry-rose combo and concord grape shrub. There’s a pumpkin butter seasonal flavor studded with cornbread and spiced pecans and the very popular—chocolate date, which packs all the richness of a date milkshake. It bears repeating: everything in here is vegan.

You can even sample Frankie and Jo’s by the scoop, rather than taking the full plunge for a pint. Ice cream comes in a cup or gluten free vanilla maple waffle cone and you can top them with things like chocolate magic shell, whipped (coconut) cream, or brownie chunks. The shop will debut more flavors in the coming weeks, and hours will be 2–10pm Sunday to Thursday and Friday and Saturday from 2–11. Track all these happenings, and ogle the ice cream flavors, on Frankie and Jo’s website.

Perfect Parsnip Recipes

Parsnips are root vegetables, similar to a carrot but golden yellow in color, with creamy-white flesh. They have a strong sweet flavor, and provide useful amounts of folic acid, B and C vitamins, plus plenty of dietary fiber. To prepare parsnips, top and tail, then scrub thoroughly or peel them.  You can then boil them until soft, and include them with other vegetables to create a delicious mash.  Another option is a tasty side dish of parsnips sliced like french fries, and roasted in the oven. They can also be a key ingredient in soups or casseroles. For lots of great vegetarian recipes, see The Veg-Feasting Cookbook


Reprinted from with permission

Apple and Parsnip Soup

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium parsnips, chopped
4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 medium cooking apples, chopped
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 dash salt, to taste
1 dash black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a medium soup pot. Add onion and parsnips and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add vegetable broth, apples, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. In a food processor, purée the soup. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve hot.


Roasted Parsnips

This recipe is always a favorite in my home for holiday meals. One large parsnip easily makes enough for 2 people as a side dish, but you may find they’re so popular, you just can’t make enough!  Amanda Strombom

Serves 4

2 large parsnips & 2 tablespoons canola oil

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Slice off the top and bottom tip of each parsnip.  Peel the skin and wash the parsnips.  Slice them lengthways to make finger-sized sticks.  Arrange them flat on a well-oiled oiled baking tray or cookie sheet.  (You may need more than one tray).

Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning them over midway to help them brown all over.  Remove from the oven when slightly crisp, and place them on paper towels to remove any excess oil before serving.


The following recipe is from our cookbook The Veg-Feasting Cookbook

Shepherd’s Pie
This shepherd’s pie is topped with mashed root vegetables, instead of the traditional mashed potatoes. The stew in this recipe can be made ahead of time, even frozen and defrosted before use. Herbes de Provence is a blend of dried herbs including basil, lavender, rosemary, and thyme, often sold in small clay crocks. You’ll need a total of 1 pound of lentils for this dish; experiment with your own mix or use the proportions suggested in the ingredient list. Serve Shepherd’s Pie with broccoli, sautéed kale or other seasonal vegetables.
Serves 6

Lentil Filling
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2.5 medium onions (about 1 pound), diced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
2 teaspoons dried basil
1½ teaspoons curry powder
2 bay leaves
¾ cup yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
¾ cup green lentils, picked over and rinsed
¾ cup French lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
4 cups vegetable broth
3 medium carrots, diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1½ teaspoons vegetable bouillon powder
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups green peas, or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon potato starch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Mashed Root Vegetables
1½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
and diced medium
1½ pound parsnip, peeled and diced, medium
1½ pound celery root, peeled and diced, medium
1½ pound rutabaga, peeled and diced, medium
Pinch of salt
1 cup soy creamer
3 tablespoons nonhydrogenated margarine
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper

For the filling, heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion turns translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Herbes de Provence, basil, curry powder and bay leaves and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the split peas, lentils, tomato puree and vegetable broth; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the diced carrots, vinegar, bouillon powder and salt and simmer uncovered, until the lentils, peas and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the peas and the dissolved potato starch, stir, and remove from the heat. Pour the mixture into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and let cool. (At this point you may wrap the dish and refrigerate or freeze until needed.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F while you prepare the mashed root vegetables. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the rutabaga and cook for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, parsnip, and celery root and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, heat the soy creamer and margarine in a small saucepan over medium-low heat (or in the microwave). Drain the vegetables, return them to the pot and mash them, adding the warm liquid as you mash. Add salt and white pepper to taste.

Spread the mashed root vegetables evenly over the lentil mixture. Bake until light golden brown on the top, 20 to 25 minutes, and serve.

Chef’s Tip
The mashed root vegetables for the Shepherd’s Pie topping also makes a wonderful side dish; adding color, flavor and nutrients to your meal. Try serving it whenever mashed potatoes would be served. You may choose your own vegetable combination; just use a total of 3 pounds, half potatoes and half other root vegetables.

Nuts are powerful

nuts-mixedNuts are powerful for our health. The evidence is in and there’s a lot of it. Nuts, such as cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, can reduce the risk of death from diabetes by 40 percent, cut heart disease by 30 percent, and reduce the risk of cancer by 15 percent. They also lower the risk of high blood pressure and gall stones, and can even lower cholesterol and triglycerides.  Even more good news – it only takes a handful or two of nuts two or three times a week to gain these benefits.

Doctors have now discovered how nuts produce some of their beneficial health effects. For instance, nuts reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, body fat accumulation, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and improve the health of the coronary arteries in the heart.

While nuts do have some calories, the limited quantity needed for their beneficial effect is unlikely to affect your weight. Just as important, nuts create greater hunger satisfaction than many other foods, so you’ll have less tendency to overeat. Nuts are a good source of protein, good fats, minerals such as magnesium, vitamins such as vitamin E, and fiber. Just as importantly nuts have special substances called phytonutrients. These special substances act as antioxidants and help to prevent a whole host of diseases. Every nut is just a little bit different. For instance, walnuts are a good source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, pistachios are high in potassium and vitamin B6, while almonds have the most fiber.

Try to avoid fried, salted and sugared nuts. Dry roasted nuts give the best nutrition. Include them in salads and other dishes or munch on them straight from the bag. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Here’s a special selection of Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes for the holidays:

Bryanna’s Squash with Wild Rice and Chanterelle Stuffing

almost-no-fat-holiday-cookbookfrom “The Almost No-Fat Holiday Cookbook” by Bryanna Clark Grogan, reprinted with permission.  Serves 6

If you’d like to make a colorful stuffed winter squash the centerpiece and main dish of your vegetarian Thanksgiving, choose a large, meaty pumpkin; Boston marrow squash; turban squash; hubbard squash; banana squash; or the pale blue-grey New Zealand squash, which is my favorite.

For a side dish, stuff hollowed-out halves of acorn, butternut, or buttercup squash, or even small pumpkins.

We pick our own chanterelle mushrooms in the forest near our house, but they are available in good produce stores, supermarkets and natural food stores. If you can’t find them, use fresh shiitakes, oyster mushrooms, or even ordinary mushrooms (the brown ones have more flavor).


3 small winter squash (about 1¼ lb each) OR 1 medium-large winter squash (about 6-8 lbs.) (see text for varieties)

Wild Rice and Chanterelle Stuffing:
3½ cups light vegetarian broth
1½ cups wild rice
4 cups sliced cleaned chanterelles (see text for substitutes)
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup minced onion
4 stalks celery, sliced
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried marjoram
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

TO PRECOOK THE SQUASH: for the small squash, cut the them in half and scoop out the seeds. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the squash halves cut-side-down in a shallow baking pan with ½ inch of hot water. Bake for 40 minutes, or just until tender.

For the large squash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and cut a “lid” off the top of the squash and scoop out the seeds, scraping the interior well. Place the squash in a baking pan, with the lid on loosely and bake for 1 hour, then check for tenderness. if the squash isn’t done cook longer. (It’s difficult to be exact with large squash because the cooking time varies with the type of squash and thickness of the flesh.)

TO MAKE THE STUFFING, bring the broth to a boil in a medium pot. Wash the wild rice in a colander under running water. When the water boils, add the washed wild rice, bring to a boil, then cover and turn down to a simmer. Simmer for about 55 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, steam-fry the chanterelles, green onions, celery and onions in a large non-stick or lightly-oiled skillet until tender and slightly-browned. Add the cooked wild rice, herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

Mound the stuffing into the large or small squash and place the squash in a shallow baking pan. (If there is any stuffing left over, place it around the squash.) Bake the small squash at 350F, covered, for 20 minutes, or the large squash for 45-60 minutes, covered. Serve hot with gravy.

Bryanna’s Rich Brown Yeast Gravy

Makes about 2½ cups.

2½ cups water
1/3 cups unbleached white flour
1/3 cups nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ tsp salt
OPTIONAL: a few shakes of gravy browner (or use mushroom soy sauce, which is darker)

In a heavy saucepan over high heat, whisk the yeast and flour together until it smells toasty. Off the heat, whisk in the water, soy sauce, salt and Kitchen Bouquet, if using. Stir constantly over high heat until it thickens and comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-5 minutes. This can be made ahead and reheated.

MICROWAVE OPTION FOR GRAVY: In a 1½ qt. microwave-proof bowl, mix the flour and yeast. Toast this in the microwave on HI for 3 minutes, uncovered. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 minutes. Whisk. Cover and cook again for 3 minutes on HIGH. Whisk. Or, make half the recipe in a 4-cup microwave-safe glass measuring container, and cook as above, but in 2 minute increments.


The following recipes are from reprinted with permission

Cranberry Corn Bread

Makes 2 loaves

This bread is perfect for the holidays, when fresh cranberries are available. You can make it at other times of the year by substituting dried cranberries that have been soaked in warm water until soft.


1 6-ounce can orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup corn syrup, rice syrup, or similar liquid sweetener

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3 cups fresh cranberries (1 12-ounce bag)
1 vegetable oil spray

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Pour orange juice concentrate into a measuring cup that holds 2 cups or more. Add lemon juice and enough water to make 1½ cups. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt. Add orange juice mixture and corn syrup. Stir to mix, then stir in walnuts, if using, and cranberries. Do not overmix. Spoon into two non-stick or vegetable oil sprayed loaf pans and bake for 1 hour. Let stand 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on a rack.


Pecan Pie

Makes 1 pie


2½ cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

¾ cup maple syrup

1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons flaxseeds
1½ teaspoons arrowroot

1/3 cup soymilk
1 prebaked pie crust

Place pecans in a large bowl. In a medium saucepan, combine maple syrup, rice syrup, vanilla, ginger, and salt. Simmer mixture for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature.

In a spice grinder, grind flaxseeds to a powder. Combine powdered flaxseeds, arrowroot, and soymilk with the maple syrup mixture, pour into a blender, and blend until smooth.

Pour the liquid from the blender over the pecans. Mix well and pour into a prebaked pie shell. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until the filling has firmed up. Let cool.


How to Save a Thanksgiving Turkey

Of course the best way to save a Thanksgiving turkey is by having a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner. Every year 300 million turkeys are raised and slaughtered for food, and 46 million of those will be eaten on Thanksgiving alone. Every vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner will reduce the number of turkeys slaughtered for the dinner.

Fortunately, there are better options to be eaten and enjoyed than turkey. The northwest is home to two of the most popular and best tasting Thanksgiving turkey alternatives around. Field Roast features its somewhat sophisticated Celebration Roast, with an intriguing blend of herbs and spices, that’s getting rave reviews coast to coast. If you’d like to have a bit of fine dining at home, Celebration Roast is a gourmet choice. Try the Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute for something more sophisticated.

With Tofurky you’ll get a turkey-like look, taste and texture, that comes with both stuffing and gravy. While Tofurky is traditional in style, there’s not an ounce of any animal products in it.

If you enjoy cooking and would like to make your own holiday fare, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve assembled some of our favorite recipes for you to try this Thanksgiving.  See our popular Veg-Feasting Cookbook for even more delicious recipes to try.

But what if you want to save even more Thanksgiving turkeys? We suggest participating in one of the many adopt-a-turkey programs around the country. One that has particularly impressed us is Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-a-Turkey Project.  Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project has encouraged people to save a turkey at Thanksgiving, through sponsorships that help them rescue animals and provide care for them at their sanctuaries, as well as educate and advocate for turkeys, and other farm animals, everywhere. As the 2016 Adopt-a-Turkey spokesman, Alec Baldwin, says, “turkeys deserve better.

For a one-time donation gift of just $30, anyone can sponsor a turkey which will then live out its life at one of their shelters. As a turkey sponsor, you will receive a special Adopt-A-Turkey certificate with a color photo and fun details about your new friend. Turkey sponsorships also make perfect gifts, so make an even greater impact this holiday season by sharing the love with others. For a gift of $180, you can sponsor the whole flock and have adoption certificates sent to family and friends. Please visit  to learn more and participate in this wonderful program.

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