Mustard greens are so incredibly healthful, it was hard to decide which of their many benefits I ought to focus on in this post. Here are just three reasons why you’ll want to incorporate more of these luscious leafies into your diet:
Mustard greens support the cardiovascular system in three significant ways. First, they are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation narrows the arteries and increases the risk that they’ll become blocked, so these anti-inflammatory properties are obviously a huge benefit. Second, by binding with bile acids in the intestines, mustard greens help lower cholesterol levels. And third, because mustard greens are exceptionally high in the B-vitamin folate, they help prevent homocystein build-up. Homocystein is an amino acid found in the blood that is acquired mostly from eating animal products. High levels are related to the development of heart and blood vessel disease.
Mustard greens are also powerful cancer-fighters because they are LOADED with a broad spectrum of antioxidants. Chronic oxidative stress is a major risk factor for the development of most cancer types and antioxidants lower our risk of oxidative stress on our cells (hence the name: anti- oxidants). For the record, plants have on average 64 times more antioxidant power than animal products. The few antioxidants that do happen to be found in animal products are only there because those animals were fed plants.
And lastly (though I truly could go on endlessly), mustard greens are an excellent source of calcium. While dairy products have long been touted as “good for your bones,” the countries with the highest consumption of dairy also have the highest rates of osteoporosis. This is because dairy, like all animal products, is highly acidic. The body needs to keep a very specific acid-alkaline balance in order to function, so whenever animal products are consumed, the body must find an alkaline source so it leaches the calcium from our bones (which is high in alkaline). So, in fact, consuming dairy products are quite harmful to our bones. Mustard greens, on the other hand, along with other greens like kale, collards, bok choy, broccoli, and okra, are not acidic and thus only contribute to the strength of our bones.
So while you enjoy this quick and tasty recipe, you can also feel good knowing that you are eating one of the most healthful foods on the planet!
Need a dish that is guaranteed to impress? This is definitely the one.
I love this recipe because it includes everything we love about lasagna–the warmth, the comfort, and the heartiness. But, unlike traditional lasagna, my version is incredibly healthful. Not only does it leave out all animal products, it’s also made entirely of whole foods! Rather than using pasta noodles made with processed white flour, I instead use very thin slices of butternut squash. This makes the lasagna more healthful, more flavorful, and more colorful!
1/3 cup fresh basil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1. To make the sausage: Saute the carrot and onion for 10-15 minutes. Once browned, place vegetables into a food processor along with all the spices and flax. Add cooked quinoa and lentils and pulse just till ingredients begin to stick together (about 10-15 times). Place mixture in a pan and brown.
2. To make the ricotta: Place cashews, nondairy milk, lemon juice, garlic, and maple syrup in a food processor and blend till just smooth (remember, ricotta is somewhat grainy rather than completely whipped). Add in the basil, Italian herb blend, salt and pepper and pulse until blended in.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
4. Spread a thin layer of marinara onto the bottom of a glass dish.
5. Layer the squash on top. Avoid overlapping pieces as much as possible.
6. Place a layer of ricotta on top.
7. Spread a layer of sausage crumbles on top.
8. Add another layer of squash and then another layer of marinara sauce.
9. Start again at step 6 and repeat until near the top of the dish. Top with any remaining ricotta.
10. Cover with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes or until a knife can be easily inserted all the way through.
2 tablespoons maple syrup
One of the things people worry about when contemplating going vegan is what the holidays will be like, particularly Thanksgiving. I recently received an email from a non-vegan friend who said that she had just learned about what happens to turkeys in slaughterhouses “and now Thanksgiving is ruined!”
Au contraire! The best Thanksgiving I ever had was my first vegan Thanksgiving. I felt that I was actually honoring the true spirit of the holiday, which is about giving thanks and celebrating life. Plus, putting aside the ethics and the health, it was the most delicious Thanksgiving I had ever had. After all, aren’t the real stars of the Thanksgiving meal the sides and the desserts?
One option for a vegan Thanksgiving is to have the meal be made up entirely of delicious side dishes. Personally, I think that would be absolutely fantastic, but I also know many of us are used to and enjoy having a main dish as a central focal point. Hence, this gorgeous stuffed acorn squash recipe!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you what may be the greatest side dish of all time!
The first time I made this dish I ended up completely ignoring the main course and instead consumed all the yams.
It was glorious.
I will most definitely be making this dish for Thanksgiving this year and then again when we go down South to visit my in-laws over Christmas.
Also, just to be totally honest here, when I say “yams” I actually mean “sweet potatoes.” Don’t be mad though, because when you say “yams” what you probably mean is “sweet potatoes” too. What we commonly refer to as a “yam” in the U.S. is actually a “sweet potato.” Even in grocery stores, what are labeled “yams” are usually “sweet potatoes.” The USDA has tried to crack down on this crazy scandal by requiring that sweet potatoes labeled “yams” include “sweet potatoes” in the label as well. That’s why you’ll often see “sweet potato yams.” Both yams and sweet potatoes are nutritionally similar but sweet potatoes have a nutritional edge because they have much higher levels of vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
While I usually don’t cook with oil because it is a processed food without any fiber, sweet potatoes (aforementioned “yams”) are one of those foods that benefits from being eaten with a small amount of fat. (Keyword here is “small,” folks! I’m talking 1-2 tablespoons for an entire recipe.) The fat allows us to better absorb the beta carotene, an antioxidant that is critical for eye health, bone health, and reproductive health.
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil.
3. Spread the sweet potatoes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 25 minutes. Flip, and roast for another 25 minutes.
4. Place the cinnamon stick at the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish, and add the sweet potatoes in layers. Set aside.
5. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the remaining six ingredients plus the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil and pour over the sweet potatoes.
6. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
While this would, indeed, be a spectacular side salad for Thanksgiving, it almost seems unfair to make other dishes compete with this because it is such a star. Instead, I prefer to serve this hearty salad as an entree throughout the fall and winter months. For what it’s worth, Mr. Goldhouse says this is easily THE best salad he’s ever had, and one of the best dishes he’s ever had. That is high praise, indeed!
The roasted vegetables become as sweet as candy and because of their rich hues, it looks like you have gorgeous jewels on your plate. (For an even more bejeweled effect, add beets!) In addition to their beauty and deliciousness, root vegetables are also full of phytochemicals that help fight against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Peel all the vegetables and cut them into large chunks.
3. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the ginger, maple syrup, water, and salt if using.
4. Spread the vegetables in a roasting pan (I recommend lining it with parchment paper) and roast for 40-60 minutes, stirring half way through, until vegetables are very tender and caramelized. A good way to tell the vegetables are done is when the onions have lost all of their crunchiness and have become sweet.
5. Place the roasted vegetables on top of the baby spinach and top with pumpkin seeds. Season with balsamic vinegar and some fresh ground pepper to taste.
People often complain that they don’t have time to make dinner every night. Well, guess what? I don’t make dinner every night! That’s right. And yet we never get take out, rarely dine out, and my husband always has a packed lunch to take to work.
How is this possible? Ladies and gentlemen, let me give you a life-saving tip: Make dishes in large enough portions that they will cover the next few days’ meals and/or can be frozen and eaten at another time. That, my friends, is how you can eat healthfully every night without having to spend all your time slaving away in the kitchen. It’s that simple!
This quiche is a perfect example of a dish that will last for multiple meals. Plus, it’s one of those special dishes that can be enjoyed at any time of day. I love preparing it for dinner and then enjoying it again the next day for breakfast and packing it up for my husband for lunch for the next few days. Because both the crust and the filling contain herbs, each bite is wonderfully aromatic and richly flavorful. Enjoy!
2 1/2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 packages firm silken tofu
1/4 cup coconut milk (or any other nondairy milk)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 teaspoons of your favorite herbs (i.e. basil, thyme, sage, oregano, etc.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 375. In a medium bowl, combine the almond meal, salt, and rosemary. Add the water and stir until fully combined.
2. Gently press the dough evenly against the bottom and sides of a pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust looks dry and just toasted.
1. Slice the tofu and wrap in a few layers of paper towels to drain out the excess moisture. Set aside.
2. Saute the onions and mushrooms in balsamic vinegar until the onions are caramelized, about 10 minutes.
3. In a food processor or blender, mix the tofu, nutritional yeast, nondairy milk, and herbs till smooth.
4. Combine the tofu mixture with the sauteed mushrooms and onions and stir till fully mixed.
5. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove and let cool.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, mix oat flour and baking soda.
3. In a larger bowl, beat the sugar, pineapple, banana, and applesauce together. Add cinnamon, cayenne, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
4. Add the flour mixture along with the chopped walnuts and shredded coconut to the larger bowl and mix. Add the shredded carrots and raisins till fully combined.
5. Spread the batter in a nonstick pan. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. While the cake is baking, add all the frosting ingredients to a blender. Process until completely smooth. Using a spatula, scoop the frosting into a small bowl and place in the fridge to chill.
7. Once the cake has fully cooled, spread the frosting on top. Best served chilled.
I recently filmed another cooking series for eHow and am so excited to announce that it is now live! I am especially thrilled that the series was released just as fall arrived because these recipes will be perfect for the holiday season. They are decadent and rich, but also incredibly healthful and made up of whole, plant-based ingredients.
A few people have asked me how I come up with the titles for these videos, so I thought I’d take some time to explain a bit about the process. I don’t actually come up with the titles myself, though I do come up with the recipe for each title. There is a database of titles that eHow collects based on what people search when they visit their site. The producer and I go through all those titles and select ones that seem interesting to me and fit a theme that the producer and I have agreed upon.
When deciding which titles to pick for my first series, I was very clear with the producer that I was only comfortable preparing and promoting vegan dishes. She understood, so I quickly crossed titles like “Zucchini, Ranch Dressing, and Cheese Casserole” off the list of possibilities.
For this series, however, I took a bit of a risk and did things a little differently…
I intentionally picked titles that one would assume were not not vegan, such as “Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage and Ricotta.” When I showed the producer the titles I had selected, she said, “you know you’ll have to use sausage, right?” I responded, “Yes. I absolutely will be using sausage, as they title indicates. I will just be using a sausage that is plant-based rather than one that animal-based.” And she was fine with that.
My hope for this series is that people who aren’t necessarily vegan will come across these recipes and realize that they can get all the familiar flavors they are looking for without using animals. Realizing this is a powerful thing because it means that three times a day we get to put the values we all share–peace, responsibility, truth, and health–into concrete reality.
Here is the link to all the videos, but I will also be posting each one with some additional information and photos here as well. May this inspire you to see that you can live and eat according to your values with pleasure and joy 🙂
You can also watch them on my YouTube channel here: http://youtube.com/goldhousegourmet