Category Archives: Food Products & Recipes

Good news? – Meat and Dairy acquiring veg companies

 

so-delicious-dessertsIs this good news? Mainstream meat and dairy companies are investing in, and acquiring outright, plant-based food companies. Is this the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end? Examples abound:
In July, France’s Danone, best known for its Dannon brand yogurt, bought WhiteWave and its subsidiary, So Delicious, which specializes in organic and plant-based alternatives to dairy products, in a deal worth $12.5 billion.

Beyond Meat packetBeyond Meat sells plant protein that “looks, feels, tastes and acts like chicken without the cluck,” as the product packaging for its faux chicken reads. That was good enough for poultry giant Tyson Foods Inc., which acquired a 5% stake in the El Segundo-based vegan start-up Monday.

For Tyson Foods, the move is a fast way into a rapidly growing alternative-foods segment, which could account for as much as a third of worldwide protein consumption by mid-century with a market value of as much as $108 billion, according to Lux Research.

Even Boca Burger is owned by Kraft, and Gardein was recently acquired by Pinnacle Foods, which owns brands such as Armour Bacon. So the trend is clear. The question is “Is this a good thing and what will it mean for the future?”  Commenting on Tyson’s recent investment, Paul Shapiro, the Humane Society’s vice president for farm animal protection, says, “We’re thrilled to see Tyson investing in the company. Americans want to diversify their protein sources with more of it coming from plants, and Tyson is positioned well to help them do that.”

Others agree and think that mainstream companies have the connections and extra bucks to take plant-based foods further and faster than they could have gotten on their own. Ultimately, the mainstream is where the growth is expected to come from in the veg world.

But still some uneasiness lingers. Many veg companies are choosing to keep their distance. While mainstream meat and dairy companies, seeing their potential, seem to have supported their new brands, they could have easily done otherwise. Time, as the saying goes, will tell what this will mean for the food vegetarians currently eat and enjoy.

Crunchy Cashew Recipes

The following recipe is from www.nutritionmd.org reprinted with permission 

cashewsCashew Tacos

Makes 12 tacos

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped raw cashews

1 cup shredded lettuce

12 warmed corn tortillas or 12 taco shells

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 zucchini, chopped

1 cup fresh tomato salsa

Sauté cashews, zucchini, onion, garlic, chili powder, water, tomato paste, and salt until onion turns translucent. Add 1/12 of the mixture to each tortilla or taco shell, followed by lettuce and salsa.

 

Untitled-1The following recipes are from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook

Broccoli and Cashews over Millet

Light and delicate, millet is a nice, high-protein alternative to couscous. The combination of millet, cashews, and broccoli makes a substantial side dish.

Serves 5

Ingredients

2 cups millet

6½ cups water

2 tablespoons oil

2 teaspoons mustard seed

1 large bunch broccoli, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

½ cup cashews, chopped

1 tablespoon soy sauce

 

Place the millet and 6 cups of the water in a medium saucepan, cover and cook over medium-high heat until the millet is soft, 15 to 20 minutes. While the millet is cooking,

heat the oil in a large pan. Add the mustard seeds and cover the pan. As the seeds fry they will begin to pop (like popcorn). When you no longer hear any seeds popping (a minute or so), add the broccoli, onion, the remaining half cup of water, cashews and soy sauce. Sauté the ingredients until the broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Serve the sautéed mixture over the cooked millet.

 

Cashew Coconut Date Cookies

You can use pre-ground cardamom for this recipe or grind your own, which will give it a more intense flavor. Break the pods open and crush the black seeds with a mortar and pestle. Be sure the dates you use for this recipe are fresh and moist. Organic medjool dates are particularly nice.

Makes about 40 cookies

Ingredients

1½ cups quick or old-fashioned oats, ground fine in a food processor, or oat flour

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

1 cup natural unsalted cashew butter

3 tablespoons water

½ cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup natural granulated sugar (like Sucanat)

2/3 cup nonhydrogenated margarine

2/3 cup unsweetened grated coconut

½ cup finely chopped pitted dates

Approximately 40 cashew halves (optional)

 

Heat the oven to 350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl whisk together the ground oats, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the cashew butter with the water in a large bowl until smooth. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the sugar and margarine and beat until completely incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed just until completely blended. Stir in the coconut and dates.

Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets. Press each dough ball gently with your fingers, and nestle one cashew half, if using, into each dough ball. Bake until the tops are lightly browned but the cookies are still slightly soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks

Screaming for Vegan Ice Cream

It’s summer time and the warm weather is here. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have a nice cool treat? As the kids say “you scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream.” These days more and more folks are screaming for dairy free, no cholesterol, compassionate, and environmentally sustainable “ice cream.” Fortunately, as anyone who’s ever been to Seattle Vegfest knows, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here’s just a sample of some of the products available. Get ready for a taste adventure!

So-Delicious-AlmondSo Delicious is just that – delicious. They make so many flavors and “milks” to choose from, from Chocolate Velvet soy-based ice cream to an array of delicious flavors based on nut milks such as cashew (you gotta give the salted caramel cluster a try), almond and coconut.

coconutblisspintsSpeaking of coconut, why not give Coconut Bliss a try? They definitely got the bliss part right for this line of frozen treats made right next door in Oregon. For a real surprise, try the Mint Galactica!

Remember when Amy’s just made vegetarian and vegan frozen dinners and canned soups? Well, this completely vegetarian company now also makes dairy-free ice cream. Try the Mocha Chocolate Chip. Amy’s discovered this heavenly flavor high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Ben and Jerry’s has finally jumped into the non-dairy ice cream world with four new flavors, Chunky Monkey, PB and Cookies, Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Coffee Caramel Fudge.

Dream foods is a dream come true when it comes to frozen desserts. Actually they have three dreams to experience: Almond, Rice and Soy Dream. The Praline Crunch Almond Dream is exotic, while the Butter Pecan Soy Dream is an exciting new rendition of an old favorite.

Speaking of old favorites, remember Tofutti? They’ve come a long way since their original vanilla-flavored ice cream sandwich bar. Now there are flavors such as Strawberry Rhubarb, and for those willing to take a chance how about their new flavor, Blind Date?

Nadamoo ice creamNow for the new kid on the block, Nadamoo, it’s a made up word which means no dairy. This new coconut-based frozen treat has flavors varying from Vanilla Chai to Snickerdoodle. Originally from Austin, Texas, Nadamoo is now available in the Seattle.

Non dairy ice “cream” has bright future. Ice cream guru, Malcolm Stogo, says he believes the US dairy-free frozen dessert category could “double or triple” in the next five years.

Provençal Vegetable Quiche Recipe

Untitled-1Here’s another delicious alternative to using eggs.  Silken tofu can be used in many ways, such as for a breakfast scramble, a chocolate pudding, or as in this recipe, a quiche.  This recipe is from our own Veg-Feasting Cookbook, which is packed with delicious recipes from around the world, all provided by local restaurants and Vegfest chefs.

Provençal Vegetable Quiche

By Chef Robin Robertson, Author, Presenter at Vegfest

Silken tofu is used instead of eggs and cream in this light and luscious quiche. Mediterranean spiced vegetables and a flaky crust make it a good choice for a light lunch or supper entrée served with a crisp green salad.

Serves 4 to 6

Crust

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ cup chilled corn oil

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cold water, or more as needed

 

Filling

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 leek, white part only, washed well and chopped

1½ cups chopped zucchini

1 cup chopped white mushrooms

1 cup finely chopped fresh or canned tomatoes, well drained

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ cup pitted black olives, chopped

1 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram leaves

1 teaspoon minced fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon leaves

1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups drained and crumbled firm silken tofu

1 cup soymilk or other dairy-free milk

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ cup grated Parmesan-style nondairy cheese (optional)

 

To make the crust, combine the flour, corn oil and salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. With the machine running, add the water and process until the mixture forms a ball. Flatten the dough, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to fit into a 10-inch quiche pan or pie plate. Line the pan or plate with the dough and trim the edges.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leek, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and the liquid evaporates, about 7 minutes. Stir in the olives, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a food processor or blender, combine the tofu, soymilk, mustard, cayenne and salt to taste. Blend well. Spoon the vegetable mixture into the crust and sprinkle with the Parmesan-style cheese, if using. Pour the tofu mixture over all, distributing it evenly.

Bake until the filling is set and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

 

New Vegan Egg Product

VeganEgg_Closed-Carton-318x318Vegan Eggs are here!  Thanks to our friends at Follow Your Heart, we can finally make a dent in the 43.56 billion (yes, that was billion not million) eggs produced in the United States last year. Finally, we can have egg free omelets, quiches and good old stick-to-the-ribs scrambled eggs. They’re called VeganEgg and they’re taking the veg food market by storm.

These cholesterol free and compassionate lovelies are also touted as being sustainable “eggs”. The company reports that replacing just one year’s worth of American’s egg consumption is worth 48 billion driving miles worth of greenhouse gas emissions. Even the production of just one regular egg costs 52 gallons of water, when you factor in the irrigation for feed as well as the direct chicken and egg requirements. On an national level that comes out to 4.6 trillion gallons of water (yes, that was trillion with a t). The company making the VeganEgg is very environmentally minded. All their manufacturing energy needs are powered by state-of-the-art solar energy.

Eggs pack a lot of cholesterol. While the extra cholesterol in eggs only adds a little to the blood levels of the average American whose diet is already overwhelmed with cholesterol from animal products, it really shoots up the cholesterol levels for those following an otherwise healthy diet, and increases the amount of “bad” cholesterol relative to the “good.” Egg production is also really tough on chickens, that are usually packed into cages so tight they can’t turn around, and of course they all end up in the slaughterhouse.

Just as importantly for all those with an appetite, we’re happy to report that eyes roll when people taste ‘em. For all you omelet lovers, we have a delicious Italian Omelet recipe courtesy of Follow You Heart below.

VeganEgg is currently available at 6 locations in Washington state, and online. Please visit  http://followyourheart.com/buyveganegg/ for a list of locations. More locations are expected very soon.

 

Italian Omelet

(Serves 1-2)

Ingredients:

3 VeganEggs (6 level Tbsp VeganEgg™ + 1 ½ cups ice cold water)

1 tsp of vegan butter

3 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped

4 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1/4 cup Follow Your Heart vegan cheese, shredded (we used Garden Herb)

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

Whisk or blend VeganEgg™ with ice cold water until smooth. Let sit for 1 minute.

Melt vegan butter in a pre-heated medium-sized skillet set to medium-high heat. Pour mixture into skillet (“egg” should sizzle in pan), and gently pull “egg” mixture toward the center with spatula so that uncooked “eggs” can reach the hot pan surface. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, then add “cheese”, tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper to one side of omelet (the half farthest from you will make folding easier later on).

When omelet starts to dry around the sides, use spatula to gently scrape and loosen omelet edges from skillet. You can carefully peek under with the spatula to see if browning has starrted, and reduce heat if necessary. When surface of omelet looks dry and underneath is golden brown, carefully flip empty side of omelet onto the “cheese”, basil and tomatoes side. This takes practice, but consider yourself an omelet master if you can do it in one go.

 

Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Recipe

Jackfruit TacoHere’s a recipe is from London’s Club Mexicana, an all vegan food stand

Club Mexicana’s BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

2 jalapeños, finely chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp chilli powder

2 tsp cumin

0.5 tsp cayenne

500ml ketchup

125ml lime juice (more if you like it tangy)

1 cup dark brown sugar

4 cans of jackfruit (young)

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp dijon mustard

 

Fry the garlic & jalapeños in oil for a minute. Add all the spices, stir and cook until fragrant (a minute or so). Add the ketchup, lime and brown sugar. Stir until all the sugar has melted. Partially cover and keep cooking on a low heat until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of ketchup.

Drain and thoroughly rinse the canned jackfruit. Use your hands to tear the strands of jackfruit from the harder core. The fruit will come apart very easily. Put the pulled jackfruit into a bowl and put the cores into another bowl. Once everything has been pulled apart use a knife to finely chop the harder cores. It doesn’t matter if these are still a bit chunky once chopped as it adds more texture to the dish.

Heat oil in pan and add the pulled jackfruit. Cook until it gets a bit grey and loses some moisture. Add the dijon mustard and stir in. Add a little water if it starts to stick to the pan.

Add about half the BBQ sauce (more if you want a very sticky dish) and stir in to coat. Cook until it’s almost starting to get a little crispy and sticking to the pan a little.

Spoon on top of warm corn tacos and top with romaine lettuce, guacamole, vegan sour cream, a squeeze of fresh lime and a sprinkle of cilantro.

Jackfruit – the latest meat alternative

Jackfruit growing on treeResearchers say jackfruit, a large ungainly fruit grown across south and southeast Asia, could be a replacement for wheat, corn and other staple crops under threat from climate change. Jackfruit is the largest known tree borne fruit. Even a small jackfruit weighs in at 10-15 lbs, and farmers have recorded specimens of more than 100 lbs. A single tree can often supply over two tons of jackfruit per year.

Jackfruit can fill the gap on a number of counts, said Danielle Nierenberg, president of Food Tank, which works on sustainable agriculture. “It is easy to grow. It survives pests and diseases and high temperatures. It is drought resistant,” she said. “It achieves what farmers need in food production when facing a lot of challenges under climate change.” It’s also thought of as playing a role in alleviating global hunger. Originally from India, today jackfruit is grown across many parts of south and southeast Asia as well as Brazil.

Upton's Jackfruit

Featured at Vegfest! We were proud to feature Upton’s debut of their line of jackfruit-based meat analogues – one of the most popular foods we ever had at the festival.

At markets around the world, vendors slice open the big yellow orbs, cut out the fleshy bulbs of the inner part of the fruit, and sell them by the pound. Ripe, the fruit tastes like a cross between a mango and a pineapple. But young more neutral-tasting jackfruit can also be shredded, seasoned, cooked, and served up as an alternative to meat.

Young jackfruit has a great “chew.” The flavor is neutral, so it will adapt to any herbs or spices you choose to add. The pods are usually about 2-3 inches around and are very nice to add to stews. It can be chopped, shredded, or sliced, and formed into cutlets, steaks, burgers, and balls, or used as a meat crumble.

While like most fruit, it is low in protein, Jackfruit is great for the calorie conscious. For instance a serving of Upton’s Barb-B-Que Jackfruit has only 45 calories per serving and 4 grams of fill me up fiber. You can also buy young jackfruit in cans and add it to your own favorite recipes to get a great meaty texture. BBQ Jackfruit Taco Recipe

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