During this coronavirus outbreak, many of us are either forced or choosing to stay home to keep the virus from spreading. This can be frustrating, but I urge you to look on it as an opportunity to take some time to move toward a more plant-based diet, or if you’re already following a plant-based diet, to try some new recipes. This will enable you to use your time constructively, improve your overall health, and have fun trying some new recipes!
Here are some options for steps you can take, depending on your starting point, while you’re stuck at home! Read more
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.Read more
Cashews are native to South America, specifically Brazil, and were introduced by colonists to Africa and India. These regions are the largest producers of cashews today. Cashews are sold both raw or roasted, and salted or unsalted. Choose raw unsalted
They are a soft and somewhat sweet nut, so can be used to make various dairy alternatives, such as cashew milk, cashew cream and non-dairy cheeses.
A 1-ounce serving of cashews is about 18 whole cashews. Cashews are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and a good source of protein. They’re also a good source of magnesium, which is important in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a health claim for food labels that “eating 1.5 oz per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
Put the following ingredients in a ziplock bag, (multiplying for team members as needed)
1/3 cup green lentils (per person)
1 stock cube
1 tsp onion flakes
1 tsp garlic flakes
½ tsp thyme
¼ tsp rosemary
¼ tsp oregano
¼ tsp Black pepper
½ tsp Cumin
Chili flakes (to taste)
Pre-chopped fresh carrot, broccoli, cauliflower as desired
1/4 cup dried potato flakes to thicken and add calories as needed
1 pita bread pocket per person
At camp, bring 2-3 cups water (depending on how many servings) to boil. Add lentil mixture and boil until lentils are soft (20 mins), adding any extra veg after 10 mins. Pour into bowls or eat from the pot, with pita bread on side.
Cashew Curry recipe
Makes enough for 4 meals – 2 people evening meal and lunch the next day!
Put the following ingredients into a ziplock bag:
1½ cups quinoa (or couscous)
2 Tablespoons curry powder
¼ cup dried onion flakes
1 Tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 vegetable low sodium bouillon cube
2 teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Put 1 cup raw cashew halves into a separate ziplock bag.
At camp, bring 3 cups water to the boil in a pot. Add the quinoa mixture. Let it simmer until quinoa is cooked. Boil off any excess water, stirring to prevent burning. Stir in cashews. Enjoy!
This can be eaten cold for lunch the next day, so bring a suitable container to store it in.
Warming Breakfast recipe
Put the following ingredients in a ziplock bag:
1 cup quinoa (rinsed, dry toasted)
¼ tsp salt
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup dried blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and/or raisins
2 tablespoons dried soymilk or coconut milk powder
¼ cup hazelnuts or pecans (dry toasted)
At camp, bring 2 cups water to boil. Add quinoa mixture. Simmer until quinoa is cooked. Serve quinoa in a bowl, topped with nuts. Milk powder can be included with quinoa mixture, or rehydrated separately and poured over the cooked quinoa.
This recipe would also work with oats, but oatmeal might make it a little harder to clean the pot afterwards!
We are delighted to have Chef Ramses Bravo back with us at Vegfest this year. Chef Ramses is the chef at the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA. He will be giving a cooking demonstration at Vegfest on both Saturday March 30th and Sunday March 31st.
As a special treat for us, he shared a couple of recipes from his new book Bravo Express where he demonstrates how a healthy, whole-foods diet can be not only delicious but also quick and easy:
As a green leafy vegetable, collard greens are among the best available for your health. They’re actually a member of the cruciferous family, along with broccoli and cabbage, and as such they’re packed with vitamin C, soluble fiber, and numerous cancer-fighting phytonutrients.
Collards are available year round, but they are actually tastier and more nutritious in the cold months, after the first frost. For the best texture, they should be picked before they reach their full maturity.
Popular in southern cooking, they are usually stewed with meat for a long period of time, losing much of the nutritional benefit, but there’s many healthier ways to incorporate them into your diet. They hold up to cooking much better than other greens, so they can be added toward the end of preparing soups and stews and still keep their texture. Sliced thinly, they can be lightly steamed and tossed with a vinegar dressing. Steamed whole, they are strong enough to be used as wraps for a burrito alternative.
The walnut is the nut of a deciduous tree. It has a hard, wrinkled shell and an oily, two-lobed kernel. Nuts in general are extremely healthy for you, and walnuts in particular are packed with several valuable nutrients. Just one quarter cup of walnuts will give you over 90% of the recommended daily amount of Omega 3 fatty acids, so there’s no need to resort to fish for these important fats. Omega 3 fatty acids give us all kinds of health benefits from better cognitive function to relief from inflammatory diseases such as asthma and eczema. In addition, walnuts contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid that supports the immune system and appears to have several anticancer properties.
Choose fresh shelled walnuts which don’t look rubbery or shriveled. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Walnuts are great raw or toasted. They can be served chopped in salads or on fruit or yogurt as a topping. They’re delicious in baked goods such as muffins, zucchini bread or pancakes.
These sour red berries grow on a trailing shrub. You can buy them fresh in the Fall, or frozen at any time of year. Dried cranberries are a delicious addition to trail mixes. When buying fresh look for bright red shiny skins. Cranberries are a valuable source of iron, vitamin C and folic acid.
Cranberries are usually too sour to eat raw. First wash and remove any damaged berries. Then cook them with a little water and sugar, then puree them to make a sauce. Or you can add them to a recipe directly to add a contrasting flavor.
Winter squashes are readily available at this time of year. They are nutritionally dense, supplying beta carotene, iron, and riboflavin, but best of all they provide endless options for creating tasty, satisfying meals. The best cooking method for almost any winter squash is to cut it in half, scrape out the seeds and then steam it or bake it in the oven. The flesh will then be soft and easy to scrape out or cut, to be used in a wide variety of delicious recipes.
Acorn, butternut and kabocha squash can be cut in half and filled with a delicious stuffing to provide the perfect centerpiece to any holiday table. The green and yellow striped delicata squash has sweet yellow flesh and a soft skin which can be eaten, eliminating the need for peeling. Spaghetti squash can be separated into spaghetti-like strands, making it an interesting addition to stews. And most familiar of all is pumpkin (baked, steamed or from a can), used in soups, stews, pies and even cookies!
Grapes have always been associated with health, and with good reason. They are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients. One of their renowned phytonutrients, resveratrol, is said to increase the expression of three genes related to longevity. Even though they’re sweet, grapes are also good for diabetics, since they promote a better blood sugar balance and increased insulin sensitivity. And of course the skin is packed with fiber, which helps to promote good bowel health.
At this time of year, the local grapes are particularly fresh and delicious, so it’s a great time to enjoy them. Their unique texture and sweetness makes them a perfect addition to salads and desserts, but also a handy snack throughout the day. Just wash them and put them in a bowl in the fridge to keep them fresh and ready for whenever a hunger pang strikes.