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Breakfast, Calcium Sources, Essential Fats, For Beginners, Fruit, Gluten-Free, Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Vegetables
 

Disease Prevention for Breakfast

GreenSmoothies

Google image search “American breakfast” and you’ll see a pretty sorry state of affairs. You’ll see bacon strips, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, sausage, fried hash browns, fried ham, pancakes with butter, waffles with butter, toast with butter, buttered croissants, bagels with cream cheese… you get the idea. Google image search “healthy american breakfast” and you’ll see practically the same thing. You’ll get a couple more shots of orange juice (which by definition has been entirely striped of fiber) and some shots of highly refined cereal floating in bowls of dairy milk, but essentially the same thing. No greens, almost no fresh fruit, and A LOT of meat, dairy, eggs, refined flour, refined sugar, and salt.

This is absurd when diet is responsible for four out of the top five leading causes of death in America. As Dr. Mark Hyman explains, “the research clearly shows that changing how we live is a much more powerful intervention for preventing heart disease [currently the number one killer of Americans] than any medication.” The “EPIC” study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine studied 23,000 people’s adherence to 4 simple behaviors (not smoking, exercising 3.5 hours a week, eating a healthy diet [fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts seeds, and limited amounts of meat], and maintaining a healthy weight. In those adhering to these behaviors, 93% of diabetes, 81% of heart attacks, 50% of strokes, and 36% of all cancers were prevented.
We know Americans don’t want to suffer and die from these diseases; after all, we spend an exorbitant amount of our personal and national finances on prescription drugs, medical procedures, and research to treat them. So why do we continue to eat in a way that contributes to the very diseases we are spending so much money to treat? It’s as if we believe our only chance at good health is to sit around and wait for cures to be discovered. This hopelessness and helplessness leaves us completely dependent on doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and research labs–which is very nice for them and their wallets but not so nice for our health, our wallets, or the country.

Why have so many of us been led to believe we have no power over our own health? Why are too many of us still tragically unaware (as I was for so long) of the role diet plays in determining whether or not we get cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and a number of other diseases?

In hindsight, it would be way too easy for me to say, “well, the information is out there. If people really cared about their health, they wouldn’t be eating meat, dairy, and eggs.” But I don’t think it’s that simple. While, indeed, research has proven time and time again that animal products promote disease while fruits and vegetables prevent disease, not many people know this. We hear mixed messages from advertisements (“Milk. It Does a Body Good.”), from fad diets (Atkins), from our parents (who were misled by their parents), and from myths passed amongst our peers (“Humans are meant to eat animals. Look at our pointy fangs!” ). Most insidious, though, are the messages we receive from the medical industry itself which consistently plays down the power of eating for disease prevention.

Why are doctors all too eager to write us prescriptions for high cholesterol, screen us repeatedly with expensive medical equipment for cancer (which is NOT prevention, just detection), perform surgeries to unclog our hearts, or put us through chemotherapy, but they’ll rarely advise us to drastically change our diets? I find the explanation that “most people refuse to make drastic lifestyle changes” to be both patronizing and false. Perhaps some people may refuse to make changes in their diet, but we all deserve to make an informed choice. Plus, I believe most people would prefer not to spend gobs of money unnecessarily, or get their chest cut open unnecessarily, or get cancer and endure chemo unnecessarily, or DIE unnecessarily. Based on my experience, I believe plenty of people would much prefer to make dietary changes if the truth were pushed on them even half as much as prescriptions are.

Why is the link between diet and disease so rarely mentioned?

We cannot forget that the medical industry is a business. A massive business whose tentacles reach not only doctors and hospitals but also drug companies, insurance companies, research labs, universities, supply and equipment manufacturers, marketers, lobbyists, and beyond. It is like any other business in that the goal is to make a profit. Profits, grants, funding, and salaries depend on people being sick. When people are sick, the medical industry flourishes because we require its services–researching, testing, inventing, manufacturing, and administering treatments. That’s not to say that individual people go into the medical field to prey upon sick people, but the industry at large simply does not grow and succeed when the people it is meant to serve are in good health. Telling us how to prevent diseases would make us less dependent on the medical industry’s services which means less money in their pockets. (See #3 for more on this.)

But while the medical industry makes enormous sums of money pushing treatment rather than prevention, the rest of the country suffers financially. In 2006, U.S. health spending exceeded two trillion dollars, with three-fourths of that spending directed at treating chronic diseases. Almost two-thirds of that growth in spending is attributable to Americans’ worsening health habits. A 2007 study at the Harvard Medical School found that 62% of U.S. bankruptcies were a result of medical expenses.

This is complete insanity.

What do have to show for all this money we’ve spent? What has all this money accomplished in the name of human health?
Not much.

Before 1900, very few people died of heart disease. Now it is the number one killer of Americans. In the future, it’s likely that more people will die of heart disease. According to a recent report by the American Heart Association, the prevalence of heart disease is set to increase by 10% over the next 20 years.

Similarly, while research suggests that only 5-10% percent of all cancers are hereditary–meaning that 90-95% of cancers are attributable to lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, alcohol intake, sun exposure, etc–the World Health Organization expects cancer rates to increase by 50% by 2020.

And yet, we still throw money at treating diseases. For example, our government funds cardiovascular disease research over $2 billion PER YEAR even though we already know that changing lifestyle could prevent at least 90% of all heart disease. Just imagine what we could do with the massive amount of money that goes into trying to create and test drugs for diseases that already has a proven means of prevention. We could use the money to educate people about nutrition, improve access to fruits and vegetables, subsidize organic vegetable farmers, create more walking paths and bike lanes. Imagine how many fewer people would be sick, bankrupt, or prematurely dead! But the loudest voices come from the medical industry (who has spent more than FOUR TIMES the lobbying money than what the oil and gas industry spends!) and we listen and follow not only with our wallets but also our lives.

To say I find this whole system infuriating would be a major understatement. Nothing breaks my heart more than needless suffering and that is exactly what is going on here on a massive scale. Just think about it. Animals suffer and are killed unnecessarily for humans’ appetites. Humans suffer and die from diseases caused by eating the flesh and secretions of animals. In their suffering, humans seek out cures and treatments, fueling an industry that captures or breeds animals merely to infect them with diseases, overdose them on drugs, infest them with tumors, slice open their bodies, or deprive them of their most fundamental needs. Humans pay for the drugs, which often times don’t work as expected precisely because they were tested on nonhuman animals and also because drugs, surgeries and other treatments only address symptoms of disease and not the cause. We then sit around and wait for the next cure or treatment, while we get sicker and continue practicing our habits and passing them on to our children and encouraging them amongst our peers. It’s a tragic cycle that begins with suffering and ends with suffering.

In our state of suffering we excuse the horrific practice of performing drug tests and medical experiments on living animals. We claim that it is a necessary evil, that it will benefit humanity, that fewer people will have to suffer. Even if that were all true I still believe testing on anyone–human or nonhuman–without their consent is deeply wrong.* But these claims are false. If more people are getting sicker, if more people are spending more of their savings managing chronic illness, if our country is spending more money on researching and treating preventible diseases, we cannot possibly argue we are creating less suffering. Our infliction of needless suffering on animals has caused us to suffer needlessly as well.

 
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
-Albert Einstein
Cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, stroke and many other diseases are much easier and less expensive to prevent than to treat. That’s not to say no attention should be paid to alleviating the suffering of those already ill, but if we don’t want to bankrupt our country and our families, if we want to see fewer of our loved ones suffer and die needlessly, and if we want to be the ones in control of our own health, then I think we must give prevention more of a voice. It’s the only way to stop this madness.
Go to the US National Library of Medicine/National Institute of Health’s online search page here and search “fruits vegetables heart disease” or “fruits vegetables cancer” or “fruits vegetables” and any other major disease and the studies you’ll find say the same thing: fruits and vegetables help prevent chronic disease. (I highly recommend reading Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. I am currently reading this book for the second time and I just cannot emphasize how valuable it is.)
What would be the best thing to eat to promote good health and disease prevention for breakfast? You guessed it, fruits and vegetables! Robert and I love green breakfast smoothies because they are easy to prepare, loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals, and so so so tasty. (Note: For those of you wary of drinking something that tastes “too green” (I get it, I used to feel this way too), rest assured that dates and bananas are a great addition to smoothies because their sweetness really masks the “green” flavor that some find difficult to adjust to initially.)
Here’s our current favorite:
Ingredients:
1 large handful of spinach
1/2 – 1 banana
1/2 apple
2 dates
1-2 scoops almond butter
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 cups almond or soy milk
(Other things we like to add in or swap: kale, blueberries, carrots, oats, canned pumpkin)
Instructions:
1. Mix in a blender till smooth. Drink and feel good!

* Animal research is a multi-billion dollar industry in which for-profit commercial interests have high stakes. This is one of the major reasons why the use of animals not only continues, but also is fiercely defended despite obvious limitations, angers, and the reality that it may not help our battle against human diseases, and might actually hinder it. As an example of such financial motivation for its continuance, consider for example that in 2010, The Jackson Laboratory– “a leading mammalian genetics research center– sold 2.9 million mice for a profit of $98.7 million. Investment n the procurement, handling, and upkeep of animals for labs is a highly lucrative enterprise for animal importers, breeders, dealers, cage and equipment manufacturers, feed producers, and drug companies. (See NEAVS for more information.)

Sources:

http://www.fundamentalsofhealth.com/sad1.htm
http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/28/1/37.full
http://www.fi.edu/learn/heart/history/history.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11138444
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1834240
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11412050
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10517425
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23294925
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21049053
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/lower-your-risk-of-heart_b_300292.html
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011171553.htm
http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/
http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/08/19/heart.attack.proof.diet/index.html?hpt=hp_bn6
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/nutrition-advice-from-the-china-study/
http://www.heartattackproof.com/moderation_kills.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20236396
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515569/#CR35
If you really want to torture yourself and see just how much money we’re currently spending on researching cures for preventible diseases, see this NIH price listAlso, please see the links I used within the article.

Autumn, Calcium Sources, Entrees, For Beginners, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Soups & Stews
 

Incredibly Easy Pumpkin Chili

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Believe it or not, I used to hate cooking. I resented having to follow directions for an activity that I believed was meant be creative. But every time I tried to get creative, tossing in a little of this, a dash of that, followed by a twirl, a curtsey, etc., the food was just a sorry disappointment. After too many failed dishes I knew I needed to follow instructions but I still wanted to feel like the dish was my creation. I was able to find a happy balance making dishes that called for just a few ingredients and minimal measuring. For those who are new to cooking, short on time, or just looking for a unique take on chili, this recipe delivers. It is so simple. All you have to do is chop a few vegetables and dump a few cans, but it also feels really creative and unusual because of the pumpkin. The result is a delicious chili that’s warm, comforting, and just a touch sweet.
Over time, you could also get more creative and try adding different colored peppers, other kinds of beans, or using sweet potato instead of pumpkin (see below for more ideas). With such good and simple flavors it would hard to mess this one up.

Ingredients:
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can (15 oz) organic corn, preferably sweet
1 large can (28 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie puree)
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 cup vegetable broth or water (more if you prefer a thinner consistency)

Instructions:
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic, and red pepper in 1-2 tbsp water or vegetable broth for about 10 minutes or until tender.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
3. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until heated through. Serve hot.

Variations to try:
– To make this chili thicker and heartier, add 2 cups cooked quinoa after step 2.
– Add fresh or frozen de-thawed greens, such as kale, spinach, collards, etc., while simmering during step 3.
– For a slightly sweeter chili, use canned sweet potato instead of pumpkin.

– Double or triple the ingredients to make several days’ worth of food. Leftovers can also be frozen.
– Try using just one kind of bean (for example, only black beans) or add several different kinds in addition to the beans already used (such as pinto, kidney, and white beans).
Autumn, Calcium Sources, Entrees, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Plant Proteins, Sauces & Dips, Sides, Vegetables
 

Thanksgiving

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(From top left) Quinoa Corn Bread,
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Acorn Squash Stuffed with Peppered Lentils + Kale + Butternut Squash
(note: You can prepare the recipe a day or two in advance and it will still be delicious. Just reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.)

Ingredients:
2 cups dry green lentils
1 butternut squash
1 tbsp vegetable broth
1 red onion, chopped small
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 head kale, washed, de-stemmed, and chopped
4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp fine ground sea salt
3-4 acorn squash

Instructions:
1. Rinse the lentils and then soak them in water overnight.
2. Peel and remove seeds from the butternut squash. Cut into small cubes and steam cubes for 10-20 minutes or until a fork easily pierces them.
3. Drain the lentils from the soaking water and then cook them in fresh water for 35-45 minutes, or until tender.
4. While lentils are cooking, warm vegetable broth in a medium pot or pan. Add onion and brown for 7 minutes over medium-high heat. Add pepper and stir together, cook for 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 5 minutes more.
5. Add chopped kale, stir in, and reduce heat to medium.
6. Once the kale is wilted, place pot ingredients in a large bowl with the cooked lentils and stir. Add salt and pepper–be especially generous with the pepper. Carefully fold in the steamed butternut squash and season to taste.
7. Split the acorn squash in half (slicing from top to bottom) and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Slice off the skin. Place the squash halves–scooped side up–on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
8. Roast at 350 degrees for 40 minutes* or until soft (they should be tender enough to easily slice through with a fork). Fill with peppered lentil mixture and bake 10-15 minutes more.

* The original recipe said to cook for 25 minutes but I found that to not be nearly enough and I had to stick them back in the oven. So, don’t take yours out till they are brightly colored and have begun to ooze a bit. The more you cook them the sweeter they’ll get, too.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dried Cranberries + Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients:
3 lbs Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup dried cranberries
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Trim the Brussels sprouts, then cut them in half. Arrange on 2 baking sheets and toss with olive oil. Roast until slightly brown, 25-30 minutes.
3. Combine the sugar and the balsamic in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and stir until very thick.
4. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the Brussels sprouts, then sprinkle on the dried cranberries.
Autumn, Calcium Sources, Casseroles & Lasagnas, Entrees, Essential Fats, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Vegetables
 

Eggplant Rollatini

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I don’t like to do taste tests while I’m cooking when I follow a recipe for the first time. I prefer to wait till the dish is complete to assess and then make notes in my cookbook if necessary. The first time I was cooking this dish, though, I took a little spoonful of the filling just before I put it in the oven and was totally impressed. (To think I had only picked this dish out because I like eggplant!) The tahini makes the filling so deliciously rich and creamy. The finished result is even better with a sauce that has just the right amount of sweetness and tang. The ingredients are so clean and simple but they come together in a way that truly surprised me. The only note I made for this was to double it for next time!

Ingredients:
Filling:
2 eggplants
3 cups cooked lentils
1 tbsp miso paste
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp fresh minced oregano
2 tbsp fresh minced basil
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
Sauce:
1 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1/4 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 date
2 tbsp shallot, minced

Instructions:
1. Cut off the ends of the eggplants. With flat end down on the cutting board, slice into 1/4-inch strips.
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lay the eggplant strips flat on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and then set aside until cool enough to handle.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together all the remaining filling ingredients. Set aside.
4. Blend all the sauce ingredients together in a blender until fully combined.
5. Spread 1 cup of the sauce on a baking dish. On a separate work surface lay each eggplant strip flat and spread 1 heaping tablespoon of filling (though if you like your rollatini thick there’s no need to hold back!). Roll up into a cylinder and and place atop of the bed of sauce.
6. Pour the remaining sauce on top and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, until heated through and the sauce is bubbly.

Source: Thrive Foods by Brendan Brazier

Breakfast, Calcium Sources, Essential Fats, Fruit, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Plant Proteins, Sides, Sweets, Vegetables, Whole Grains
 

July 4th Vegan Breakfast-for-Dinner!

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     Robert’s brother, Clint, came to visit us at our new place in Boston over July 4th and had the excellent idea to celebrate the holiday with breakfast for dinner. I loved this idea because it allowed us to serve up lots of American classics with our own stamp of independence (read: everything was vegan). Another huge plus was that all our banging around in the kitchen and chatter drowned out most of the fireworks so Gubie had his very first non-suicidal July 4th. A revolutionary evening indeed!
QUINOA CORN BREAD
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Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1/3 cup spelt flour
1 tablespoon oat flour
1 tablespoon brown rice flour
1 1/4 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon unrefined sugar
1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon flax eggs (a fantastic egg substitute: place 2 parts warm water and 1 part ground flax seeds in a blender and blend at high speed for about a minute or until the mixture becomes gelatinous. Will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.)
Instructions:
1. To make the quinoa, first toast quinoa on a dry pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 18-20 minutes until quinoa is fluffy.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and get out a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn, cornmeal, flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together the soy milk, maple syrup, applesauce, and flax eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir well to combine. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
DINER-STYLE PANCAKES
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Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups sifted unbleached white or spelt flour (for gluten-free, use oat flour)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
3/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons flax eggs (see corn bread recipe for instructions) dissolved in 1 tablespoon soy milk
1 3/4 cups soy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for cooking the pancakes
maple syrup (optional)
Instructions:
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the dissolved flax eggs, soy milk, vanilla extract, and oil. Mix ingredients from both bowls together, stirring well to combine.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat some oil. Drop large spoonfuls of batter onto the skillet, leaving room for the pancakes to expand. Cook until the bottoms are golden and bubbles are popping on the surface, about 2-3 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden. Repeat, using up all the batter.

TEMPEH BACON + HASH BROWNS + HOMEMADE KETCHUP
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I used Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s tempeh bacon recipe and used the remaining marinade to saute the greens. We served our homemade ketchup with the hash browns. Here’s the recipe for the hash browns:
Ingredients:
3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, grated
3 tablespoons canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
2. Add the grated potatoes in loose patties or piles, no more than a half inch think. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. After a few minutes, check the underside for doneness. Once they are golden brown, use a large spatula to flip the patty and fry till golden brown on the other side. Repeat with all patties.
RED, WHITE, AND BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE
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For this recipe I added blueberry frosting and fresh strawberries to my raw vegan cheesecake. Here’s the recipe for the frosting:
Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked overnight
1 cup water
4 tablespoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup blueberries
Instructions:
1. Pulse the cashews in a food processor until crumbly. Add the water, agave, and vanilla and blend until smooth. With the food processor running, stream the coconut oil in through the top until combined. Add blueberries and puree till smooth.
2. Spread on top of the cheesecake with a spatula before putting in the freezer as instructed.
Calcium Sources, Essential Fats, Fruit, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Oil-Free, Sweets
 

Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookies! Rawr!

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We love our oatmeal chocolate chip cookies but we wanted to mix it up a bit and have something that would make for a healthier pre-workout snack. Well, oh my lord, these are incredible! Wow! They taste just like moist brownies. But, believe it or not, they have very little added sugar and require no baking, and include the health-promoting ingredient maca, which means we can better justify indulging in several cookies on a daily basis.

Ingredients:
Makes about 18 cookies.
(Some of these ingredients may require a visit to a health food store or the “green” section of your supermarket. Or you can use the links I’ve provided and order the ingredients online. Trust me, these are so good, it’s worth it!)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup coconut flour
4 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tsp maca powder
3 tbsp agave nectar
4 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 large Medjool dates, pits removed
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions:
1. Heat a small frying pan over low heat and add the coconut. Toast coconut until it has turned an amber color, about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
2. Place the toasted coconut, coconut flour, cocoa powder, maca, and agave into a food processor and start the machine.
3. Add the almond butter and vanilla extract, then one at a time, add the pitted dates and process until a crumbly dough has formed. The dough should be, well, doughy. Like a thick cookie dough. If too wet, add additional coconut flour. If too dry, add water, a little at a time, until optimal doughiness is achieved.
4. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the dark chocolate chips. Using clean hands, grab about a table spoon and squeeze and roll to form a tight ball. Flatten the ball using your palm to form a small cookie. You’re welcome!

Calcium Sources, Entrees, Essential Fats, Gluten-Free, Plant Proteins, Sauces & Dips
 

Black Bean Burgers with Cashew Mayo

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The recipe for these burgers come from a cookbook by Candle79, an amazing vegan restaurant in New York City. The burgers are flavorful enough that you don’t even need toppings, but of course toppings are always great. The cashew mayo was a happy accident. We were out of veganaise so I quickly whipped something up with just a few ingredients and it was really, really good–light and creamy with a touch of saltiness. Puree 1 cup of raw cashews, 1 garlic clove, and 1 tablespoon tamari with 3/4 cup water. Cashews are such a versatile ingredient. You can use them to make anything from cream cheese to salad dressings to cake frosting. “Cashew” is also the cutest word ever. Cashew! Gazuntite.

Ingredients:
(Makes 8 burgers)
4 cups black beans, soaked overnight
1 cup peeled and diced carrots
1 cup peeled and diced onion
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup diced yellow or green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup chickpea flour (buy packaged or grind your own dried chickpeas in a blender)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
optional: whole wheat or gluten-free buns, avocado, sprouts, sliced tomatoes
Cashew Mayo
1 cup raw cashews
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp tamari
3/4 cup water

Instructions:
1. In a large saucepan, simmer the beans in 5 cups of fresh water for 35 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the carrots, onion, peppers, salt, and cornmeal. Then stir in the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, chickpea flour, lemon juice, and cilantro. Stir in the black beans and form into patties. Add a bit of the reserved cooking liquid to the mixture to moisten if it is too dry. Or if you prefer a smoother-textured burger, blend half of the mixture in a blender until smooth and combine with the remaining mixture.
3. In a skillet, cook the burgers for about 3-5 minutes on each side. Serve with desired toppings and enjoy!
4. Puree all the ingredients for the cashew mayo in a blender until smooth.

Autumn, Calcium Sources, Entrees, Holiday, Plant Proteins, Sauces & Dips, Sides, Sweets, Vegetables, Whole Grains
 

Thanksgiving!

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Menu
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans and Dried Cranberries
Garlic-Herb Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
Wild Mushroom Gravy
Quinoa Corn Bread
Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes
Pumpkin-Pecan Praline Cheesecake
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Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans and Dried Cranberries
Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh brussels sprouts
3 oz. coarsely chopped pecans
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 oz. coarsely chopped dried cranberries
Instructions:
1. Slice the Brussels as thinly as possible, with a knife or mandolin. If you use a food processor, use the thinest slicing disk possible.
2. In a saute pan, toast the pecans over medium heat for 2 minutes.
3. Add the olive oil, then the Brussels, salt, and pepper. Stir continually until the Brussels are just tender and their color brightens, approximately 6 minutes.
4. Remove from the pan. Add the cranberries. Toss and serve!
Garlic-Herb Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
Ingredients:
2 russet potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
2-4 tablespoons vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
Instructions:
1. Place the potatoes in a 4-quart pot in enough cold water to submerge them, making sure there are about 4 inches of extra water on top for when you add the cauliflower. Bring potatoes to a boil. Once boiling, add the cauliflower and lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender.
2. Meanwhile, saute the garlic with the olive oil, along with the thyme and marjoram.
3. Drain the potatoes and cauliflower in a colander, then return them to the pot, and use a potato masher to mash them a bit.
4. Add the garlic and herbs, 2 tablespoons vegetable broth, and the salt and pepper, and mash a bit more. Use a fork to make sure all the seasonings are mixed well. if needed, add another 2 tablespoons of broth. Taste for salt. Serve warm.
(Source: Appetite for Reduction)
Wild Mushroom Gravy
Ingredients:
6 tbsp olive oil
2 cups onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, or portobello
1 cup brown rice flour (if you can’t find this in your grocery store make it by whizzing up brown rice in a blender)
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp dried sage
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
Instructions:
1. Heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion and mushrooms until softened, about 10 minutes, and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the rice flour over low heat to make a roux. Stir 2 cups of water, the tamari, sage, rosemary, and tarragon into the roux and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then simmer until the gravy is thickened and smooth, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the mushroom-onion mixture and cook over low heat until warmed through. If the gravy is too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve the right consistency. Serve at once.
(Source: The Candle Cafe Cookbook)
Quinoa Corn Bread
See recipe here.
Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes
See recipe here.
Pumpkin-Pecan Praline Cheesecake
This recipe begins with my raw vegan cheesecake plus a pumpkin pie layer on top and then a pecan-prailine mix on top of that. Yum! Add these between steps 3 and 4.
For the pumpkin pie layer…
Ingredients:
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp tapioca flour (or use arrowroot or cornstarch)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch allspice
Instructions:
1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
2. Spread on top of the cheesecake with a spatula.
For the pumpkin-pecan praline…
Ingredients:
2 tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
A couple shakes of cinnamon
A pinch of salt
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
Instructions:
1. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Heat a well seasoned, lightly oiled iron skilled over medium heat and add the vegan butter, cinnamon, sea salt, pecans, pumpkin seeds and brown sugar. Stir for a minute or two to toast the seeds and pecans. Add the maple syrup and stir till bubbling and sticky.
2. Remove from heat; spoon and spread the praline onto a greased baking sheet to cool. Break the praline into pieces for garnishing the top of the pie. Get ready for heaven!
Calcium Sources, Casseroles & Lasagnas, Entrees, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Vegetables
 

Tamarind BBQ Tempeh + Sweet Potatoes

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Ingredients (Serves 4):
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoon arrowroot dissolved in 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
3 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into chunks or rounds
12 ounces tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch slices

Instructions:
1. Spray a casserole pan (preferably not glass) with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients (except the sweet potatoes and tempeh). Make sure to get the tamarind dissolved.
3. Place the sweet potatoes and tempeh in the prepared pan. Pour the sauce over them. Be sure everything is coated well, using your hands if necessary. You can bake immediately or let marinate for at least an hour to get more flavor into the tempeh.
4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover the pan with tinfoil and bake for about 25 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and toss out the tinfoil. Flip the tempeh and sweet potatoes, making sure to scrape the bottom with a spatula in case anything is sticking.
6. Bake for another 30 minutes, flipping everything once. The sweet potatoes should be tender but not mushy, and the sauce should be thickened and coating everything. Give thanks and enjoy!

Source: Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Calcium Sources, Entrees, Essential Fats, Plant Proteins, Sauces & Dips, Vegetables
 

Fried-Free Falafel + Green Tahini Dressing

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     Crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, everyone adores falafel. And as a plant-based dish these Middle Eastern patties are a natural favorite among vegans. The one draw back of falafel is that it’s deep-fried, making it less than ideal for those of us concerned about our hearts (or waistlines). But worry not! This baked version will eliminate such concerns without sacrificing any flavor at all. We’ve been enjoying our falafel over greens with a tahini dressing (recipe also below) but they would also be delicious in a whole wheat pita pocket or wrap. Another new favorite!

Ingredients:
(Makes 12-14 patties)

2 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion, chopped roughly
1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
3 teaspoons vegetable broth or water
1/2 cup chickpea flour*
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Several pinches of freshly ground pepper
If you have a good blender you can make your own by grinding up dried chickpeas till they turn to powder. You can find it at most health food, Indian, or Middle Eastern stores, or order it online (Bob’s Red Mill is a popular brand). You could also use corn flour.
Dressing:
(Makes about 1 cup)
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup chives (dried or fresh is fine)
1/2 cup parsley
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon miso
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pulse the chickpeas and garlic in a food processor.
2. Add the onion, parsley, and broth, and blend till relatively smooth.
3. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Mix in 6 tablespoons chickpea flour, cumin, coriander, paprika, baking powder, salt, and pepper.
4. Form the mixture into ping pong-size balls, then flatten a bit into patties. Cover both sides of each patty in chickpea flour.
5. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place patties on the baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes; they should be browned on the under side.
6. Remove the pan from the oven, then flip the falafel and bake for 8-10 more minutes. Serve warm or cool.
Source: Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz