Tag Archives: vegan

Meat Loaf goes vegan for Veganuary

Meat_Loaf

Rock star Meat Loaf being interviewed

Legendary rocker Meat Loaf recently announced that he has gone vegan for the month of January, dubbed “Veganuary” although he won’t be changing his name to Veg Loaf.

The 72-year-old agreed to promote the British chain restaurant, Frankie & Benny’s, new vegan menu items which include a vegan hot dog, calzone and “cheesy” potato skins. “When Frankie & Benny’s first approached me to rebrand to Veg Loaf I said no way in hell. But, I’d do anything for our planet and dropping meat for veg, even for just one day a week, can make a huge difference.”

Veganuary encourages people to try a vegan diet for a month at the start of the year. It’s typically tied to New Year resolutions as people look to change their ways and become more healthy. The month-long event is dedicated to trying to change people’s attitudes, help the planet and the animals, as well as improve your own personal well-being.

Golden Globes goes vegan

Golden Globes red carpetThe 77th annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday made history by becoming the first major awards show to go vegan. Every year, the chefs at the Beverly Hilton are tasked with feeding Hollywood’s finest at the Golden Globes: this year, the guest list includes Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Eddie Murphy, to name a few. So what do you serve a ballroom with so much star-power? Matthew Morgan, Executive Chef has an answer: vegan cuisine.

The menu was inspired: an appetizer of chilled golden beet soup—a perfect accompaniment to those gleaming statuettes. This was followed by a main course of King Oyster Mushroom scallops that, at least visually, are dead ringers for their pescatarian counterparts. The entrée was accompanied with wild mushroom risotto, Brussels sprouts, globe carrots, and pea tendrils. Dessert was a vegan opera dome with praline Gunaja crumble and caramelized hazelnuts.

Joaquin PhoenixThe vegan menu was the brainchild of actor Joaquin Phoenix, who also took home the best actor in a drama award for his performance in Joker. “First I would like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for recognizing and acknowledging the link between animal agriculture and climate change, it’s a very bold move, making tonight plant-based,” he said during his acceptance speech.

Lorenzo Soria, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who helped organize the event said, “The decision to serve an entirely plant-based meal was embraced by our partners at the Beverly Hilton, and represents a small step in response to a big problem. By serving a 100% plant-based meal, we’re hoping to raise awareness around small changes that can have a great impact.”

Small changes make a big difference

Woman looking in fridgeIt’s the New Year and many people are resolving to make changes in their lives, especially concerning the food they eat. But we all know how that often goes!  We’re super motivated during January, but by the time February rolls around, the enthusiasm has worn off and we’re back to our old habits. So how can we make changes that are sustainable for the long term?

Dr. BJ Fogg, founder and director of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University, has been looking into this challenge, and he’s identified a formula for any successful shift in behavior. He suggests that the first step to a successful change is motivation. You need to pick a change that you really want to do, not just feel like it’s something you ought to do.  So think carefully through your motivation to change your diet, is it for your health?, for the environment? or for the animals? for example.  Find or print out a positive picture relating to that motivation and stick it on your refrigerator – perhaps it’s a picture of you when you were healthier and more energetic, a picture of a beautiful forest, or cute farm animals – something that will inspire you every time you think about food. Read more

Choosing a cookbook

A cookbook can make the perfect gift for someone who is moving toward a plant-based diet. With an abundance to choose from these days, we thought we’d give you some tips and suggestions to guide your selection, whether it’s for you, a family member, or a friend who just needs a little nudge to get started!

We recommend you choose a good vegan cookbook, avoiding all animal products. Some people will appreciate the extra creativity and adventure of a cookbook that uses only plant foods for ingredients. Others will appreciate recipes that are healthy, save the animals and protect the environment.

Untitled-1For a good all-round cookbook that includes lots of variety, from simple to gourmet, as well as many ethnic dishes from all over the world, we highly recommend our own Veg-Feasting Cookbook!  This is a restaurant cookbook, with recipes from veg-friendly restaurants all over the Pacific Northwest, plus some special recipes from Vegfest chefs, so it has plenty to captivate the reader while covering all the bases. Most ingredients are familiar, and recipes are often adaptations of old favorites, so it’s a valuable cookbook for all levels of experience.

Eat Vegan on $4 a day

Cookbooks designed for students can vary from those using from scratch ingredients to those which include some ready to nuke and eat ingredients. Note for students: cooking from scratch can save you a lot of money and the food might just taste a bit better. For those on a tight budget, Eat Vegan on $4 a day by Ellen Jaffe Jones, is an excellent cookbook with lots of money saving hints and tips. It shows how to get the best flavor out of simple, affordable, but high quality ingredients, using whole foods such as grains, beans, fruits and vegetables to create delicious meals.

Extraordinary Vegan_COVER_lo-resAt the other end of the spectrum, for those chefs who want to produce gourmet vegan dishes, Extraordinary Vegan by Allan Roettinger is an excellent introduction to unique ingredients that make a dish really special. With dishes such as Piña Quemada Ice Cream and Edamame Salad with Penang Curry, this is a book to entice the chef to take the time to perfect the flavors and textures of vegan cooking.

Bravo Express_COVERFor the health focused cook, a whole-foods plant-based cookbook, which doesn’t overdo the salt, oil and sugar, is a great choice. Ramses Bravo, the chef from the True North Health Kitchen, provides delicious recipes that are at the core of a food-based treatment strategy to help regulate weight and safeguard against disease.  His cookbooks combine simple, fresh wholesome ingredients that are converted into gourmet meals filled with color and nutrition.  Choose either his original cookbook, Bravo, or for those pressed for time, his more recent Bravo Express.

Artisan Vegan CheeseNew meat and dairy substitutes are readily available and increasingly popular these days.  For those cooks who want to experiment with making their own, Miyoko Schinner’s Artisan Vegan Cheese provides an insight into how she creates those delicious cheesy flavors from plant-based ingredients. For readers who want to whip up something quick, Miyoko provides recipes for almost-instant ricotta and sliceable cheeses, in addition to a variety of tangy dairy substitutes, such as vegan sour cream, creme fraiche, and yogurt.

This is just a brief introduction to the range of available vegan cookbooks.  Look carefully at the style of cuisine, the types of ingredients used, the complexity of the recipes, and any other features, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect cookbook for your needs.

Joaquin Phoenix really cares

Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix looks set to break some records as star of the new movie “The Joker”. He has also starred in numerous other movies, including “Her”, “Inherent Vice”, and his highest grossing movie (so far) “Gladiator”.  But in contrast to the character he portrays in his most recent movie, he’s actually a really warm and caring guy, especially for animals. Read more

Leona Lewis has a vegan wedding

Leona Lewis marries

Leona Lewis, a British singer, achieved worldwide fame and success with platinum albums and number 1 singles such as ‘Bleeding Love’ but Leona has said that she would sacrifice it all tomorrow for a global ban on animal testing.

The compassionate singer has been a vegetarian since the age of 12 and, more recently, has transitioned to a vegan lifestyle after learning of the health risks associated with dairy and eggs.

She turned down an £800,000 [$964,564] deal to open the 2008 Harrods sale after discovering that they were the only London department store still selling fur products. In addition to this, she developed her own line of cruelty-free cosmetics with The Body Shop and is an ambassador for Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Essex, England.

The 34-year-old star tied the knot with 30-year-old choreographer Dennis Jauch in Tuscany last month after nine years together. The wedding was held on rock legend Sting’s Italian estate. At the reception, guests were treated to an entirely vegan menu, while the couple’s wedding cake was inspired by a traditional Italian mille-feuille. The multi-tiered cake was the creation of Sicilian dessert stylist and pastry chef Marco Failla, and featured salted dark chocolate cream and Sicilian caramelized almonds. The cake was decorated with berries, fresh flowers and 24k gold leaf.

Leona said the ceremony had a “good energy” around it as they celebrate their special day with 180 of their family and friends.

Vegan Backpacking Recipes

Vegan Backpacking Recipes:

Lentil stew for backpackingLentil Stew (per person – multiply up as needed)

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)

Optional –

  • 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.

 

20190808_104954Warming 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!

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