Category Archives: Food Products & Recipes

Delicious Black Bean recipes

Black BeansBlack beans are small, black, shiny beans, packed with protein, fiber, iron, and various minerals, plus they are loaded with antioxidants. They have a delicious smoky flavor.

They can be purchased dried, in packets or from bulk bins, or precooked in cans.  Canned beans are more convenient, and very little is lost nutritionally, so they are handy to keep in your pantry. Choose a brand which doesn’t add extra salt or other additives.

Black beans can be added to many different soups and stews.  They can be used in burritos, served with rice, or as a topping for a baked potato. They can also be made into a tasty dip.

Mexican Black Bean Salad

This salad makes a handy lunch and leftovers are equally delicious the next day. For an especially quick meal, you can use a 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Enjoy the cilantro in this dish or substitute parsley if you prefer.

Serves 6

½ pound potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup frozen corn
1½ cups cooked black beans
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 radishes, thinly sliced
5 scallions, chopped
¾ cup medium-hot salsa
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup low-sodium tomato juice
2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 avocado, chopped into bite-sized pieces

In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in boiling water until nearly tender. Add the carrots and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the corn, stir, then pour the vegetables into a colander. Rinse under cold water to quickly cool the vegetables and stop the cooking process. Drain well.

Combine the black beans, red pepper, radishes and scallions in a medium serving bowl. Add the potatoes, carrots and corn.

Combine the salsa, cilantro, tomato juice, lime juice and olive oil in a medium bowl. Mix well and pour over the vegetables. Toss gently but thoroughly. Before serving, top with the avocado.

 

Easy Black bean dip

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)

1 cup salsa (any variety)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Combine beans and salsa in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Add cumin.  Serve with tortilla chips.

New vegan latte at Starbucks

Iced Vanilla bean coconut latteOh, yes! Starbucks just added a new vegan cold beverage to its permanent menu. The Iced Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte is now a permanent offering. This vegan espresso beverage will keep you going all year long.

The new beverage is part of their commitment to serving more plant-based options. This demonstrates that Starbucks has confidence in the growing plant-based trend.  Starbucks has made significant strides in better catering to its vegan customers. In recent months, it has added vegan macadamia cookies, 3D popsicles, protein-packed cold brews, packaged savory wraps, and coffee smoothies in select locations. The company has also expanded its snack range, offering vegan Hippeas packs, and Justin’s peanut and almond butter cups.

Other coffee companies have also gotten into the act. For instance, Peet’s Coffee has vegan whipped cream. It also has a “Coffee Meets Coconut” summer menu which included 3 vegan-friendly beverages made with the new whip.

Let’s hope all the coffee shops continue to increase their plant-based options.

Pizza Pascalina – the anti-tumor pizza

Pizza-Pascalina-keste-pizza-2Cancer researchers and chefs have teamed up in Italy to create a healthy vegan pizza that actually helps protect you from cancer and heart disease. The team is calling this “Pizza Pascalina”, an “anti-tumor” pizza and “the pizza that extends life.” The Pizza Pascalina team was on a mission to prove to people that even pizza can be healthy, when topped with the right ingredients, and when harmful ingredients like animal products are left out.

The plant-based pizza is based on health-promoting ingredients such tomatoes, olives, nuts, rapini, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. The cheeseless, meatless pie is devoid of all animal products, from the simple wheat-based crust to the vegetable toppings. Much of the cancer-preventing agents lie in the tomatoes. Based on solid research, the scientists believe that these tomatoes can inhibit certain cancers. They also found that meals low in fat and high in fresh produce can reduce the risk of obesity and heart disease.

Let’s hope that the Pizza Pascalina catches on as a popular option at all pizza outlets. Learn more about how a plant-based diet can reduce your risk of cancer.

 

No reason to celebrate Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation DayChick-fil-A recently held a “Cow Appreciation Day”, but we’re doing anything but celebrating. Their idea of “appreciating” cows is to give away free chicken. While we’re all for skipping the burgers, substituting chicken has to be one of the worst deals of the century. Let’s look at some of the details of the Chick-fil-A bad deal.

While not quite as high as beef, chicken still has high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol that contribute to clogged arteries and other diseases. Cooking chicken also produces more cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) than any other meat when cooked, and fried chicken is even worse. So there’s no doubt that eating chicken is bad for your health. Read more

Tempting Tofu Recipes

TofuOf all the possible protein sources you could eat, tofu has to be the most versatile, and the healthiest. It is made from soybeans, and is high in protein, low in fat, and also contains good amounts of calcium and some B vitamins.

There are two main types of tofu, regular and silken tofu.  Regular tofu comes floating in water in a small tub. It needs to be refrigerated and used within a few days. It is best used crumbled, sliced or diced, and can be marinated to absorb different flavors. It can be baked, fried, or added to soups, stews and curries.

Silken tofu has a creamier texture which blends particularly well, to make quiches, desserts, smoothies etc.  It doesn’t hold its shape well, so doesn’t work so well sliced. It often comes vacuum packed and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It keeps for several months.

There are hundreds of different recipes available, and even some whole cookbooks focusing just on tofu. Every style of cuisine can be recreated, so search vegetarian websites or buy a good cookbook, and enjoy the diversity of this nutritional powerhouse.

Recipes

The following recipes are from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook, by Vegetarians of Washington:

Seven-Layer Fiesta Dip

Mexican Seasoning Mix

Tofu Cutlets with Tapenade Sauce

Spanakopita

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Elmhurst Dairy goes all vegan!

Elmhurst nut milks

When New York City’s Elmhurst Dairy opened in 1925, founders Max and Arthur Schwartz hand-bottled milk from 200 cows. They then delivered the bottles, which sat in containers of ice, in a truck throughout the city. Over the next few decades, Elmhurst became one of the biggest dairy companies in New York City.

But now everything has changed. While the family owners are still the same, Elmhurst has become a vegan company, and now only produces dairy-free milks (made from almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and cashews) called Elmhurst Milked.

At the plant, the company has developed its own process of making the nut milks, which it calls “milking.” Cold milling machines extract all of the protein, fat, and micronutrients from the nuts, which means Elmhurst doesn’t need to fortify the milks with additional vitamins.

Plant-based dairy alternatives have grown into a $1.4 billion industry. A recent Nielsen survey found that many people consider those dairy-free products to be healthier, since they often are lower in calories, cholesterol, and fat than cow’s milk. Others buy them because they are lactose-intolerant, have a dairy allergy, or have gone vegan. “It’s about transforming with the times,” CEO Henry Schwartz says. “As awareness and demand for vegan products continues to grow, we’re seeing plant-based options become mainstream.”

Meanwhile, over here on the west coast of the country, we were delighted to feature Haus Mylk at Vegfest this year.  They plan to start delivering fresh nut-based milks to homes in the Seattle area in the near future.

 

 

 

Luscious Leek Recipes

leeksLeeks are a member of the lily family, related to the onion, with a slender white bulb, cylindrical stem and broad, flat leaves. They make a tasty addition to any soup or stew, and are particularly famous in Leek and Potato Soup. They contain sugards, dietary fiber and small amounts of protein.  There is also some iron and carotene in the green leaves.  They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

When leeks grow, they often trap soil and grit between their leaves.  The best way to clean them is to halve them lengthways, down to the bulb, but not all the way through.  You can then fan out and rinse all the leaves, while keeping the leek intact. Leeks can be boiled or steamed, braised in stock, or sliced into rings and stir fried.

Luscious Leek Recipes

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