Vegan Thanksgiving, Healthy, Compassionate and Eco-Responsible!

In America, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Holiday Season as across the country family and friends gather to enjoy an extravagant feast. For vegetarians and vegans, attending this annual event can be challenging and often opt to host their own gathering.

Vegans live eco-responsibly because they avoid animal products of any kind.  We can all show respect for the planet by hosting a meatless meal this Thanksgiving and actually save money in the process. Factory Farming, Unnatural, Unhealthy and Unsustainable

This Thanksgiving, be kind to your health, the animals and the earth by making my Festive Holiday Roast. It is so delicious, really easy and super fun! You will be amazed to see how cool it is to turn five pounds of firm tofu into a really tasty meal with 12 generous servings.  Continue reading “Vegan Thanksgiving, Healthy, Compassionate and Eco-Responsible!”

Pumpkin Walnut Brownies, Nutritious, Delicious and Vegan!

Pumpkin Walnut Brownies

It’s that time of year when all things pumpkin are popping up everywhere and my Pumpkin Walnut Brownies are a great choice to usher in the baking season. Moist, delicious and rich in healthful antioxidants these delicious  brownies are a heathy tribute to American’s favorite treat!

It is thought that brownies were probably introduced at the beginning of the twentieth century in New England. Brownie recipes traditionally call for lots of fat… often a half cup of butter, four ounces of  baking chocolate and four large eggs, all of which contain high levels of saturated fat and of course  eggs and butter are also high in cholesterol.

As a health conscious vegan, excess dietary fat is an issue of some concern, as most vegan desserts seem to contain high levels of fat.  In my kitchen, this is just not necessary.  Continue reading “Pumpkin Walnut Brownies, Nutritious, Delicious and Vegan!”

Sweet Potato Proteins vs Cancer

 

Sweet potatoes are considered a superfood. They are one of the healthiest and most inexpensive vegetables on the planet. (And one day, perhaps, even off the planet, as NASA has chosen the sweet potato for space missions.) A study at the University of Washington aimed to identify which vegetables provided the most nutrients per dollar.

In my video, Anti-Cancer Potential of Sweet Potato Proteins, you can see a graph of affordability versus nutrition for different foods. The healthiest foods, like dark green leafy vegetables, may also be the cheapest, and the highest nutrient-rich food scores per dollar were obtained for sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are not just packed with nutrition but may also have special cancer-fighting properties. In 1931, a unique protein was discovered in sweet potatoes. It turns out that 80 percent of the protein in sweet potatoes is a type of protease inhibitor with potential anticancer effects. These proteins were originally tested against leukemia and appeared to suppress the growth of leukemia cells in a petri dish. Continue reading “Sweet Potato Proteins vs Cancer”

Plant Based Superstars Join Forces in a Delicious Braised Tempeh Dish

 

Braised Tempeh, Kale, Garbanzo Beans and Stewed Tomatoes

Braised Tempeh, Kale, Garbanzo Beans and Stewed Tomatoes is a delightful dish that contains a high level of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals and a veritable riot of health-supporting phytonutrients.

The combination of hearty legumes, leafy greens, tomatoes and pungent spices make this a tasty and super healthy meal.

Naturally low in fat and essentially free of saturated fat, legumes are a great source of nutrition. Legumes contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, carbohydrates, B vitamins and many important minerals including iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc and phosphorous. Continue reading “Plant Based Superstars Join Forces in a Delicious Braised Tempeh Dish”

Do Flaxseeds Offer Sufficient Omega-3’s for Our Heart?

According to two of perhaps the most credible nutrition authorities, the World Health Organization and the European Food Safety Authority, we should get at least half of a percent of our calories from the essential omega-3 fat ALA. That’s easy: Just have about one tablespoon a day of chia seeds or ground flaxseeds and you’re all set.

Our body can then take the short-chain ALA from our diet and elongate it into the long-chain omega-3s, EPA and DHA. The question, however, has long been whether our bodies can make enough EPA and DHA for optimal health. How would one determine that? Continue reading “Do Flaxseeds Offer Sufficient Omega-3’s for Our Heart?”

Soy Tempeh, Super Tasty Superfood!

Spiced Tempeh with Confetti Vegetables

Superfoods, by definition are nutrient-dense and considered especially beneficial for health and wellbeing. A food that is rich in compounds, such as antioxidants, fiber or phytonutrients that can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and may help prevent cancer and other diseases is regarded as a superfood.

Soyfoods are nutrient dense and deliver on all of the criteria necessary to be regarded as a superfood! Soybeans are loaded with complete protein, antioxidants and phytochemicals and contain plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber… all of which have been credited with numerous health benefits. Continue reading “Soy Tempeh, Super Tasty Superfood!”

Enlightened Tofu, Snow Peas and Brown Rice

 

Tofu and Snow Peas Photo Juan Carlo

Stir-frying involves quick cooking over high heat in a small amount of oil. Quick cooking in this manner preserves the flavor, color and texture of the food and the vegetables come out slightly crisp with all of their vitamins intact.

When stir-frying you may use a traditional Chinese wok or a heavy gauge 14 inch stir fry pan that has sloping sides of a typical wok.  A pan like this is similar in that the heat concentrates at the bottom of the pan and the curved sides allow you to push the ingredients to the side. A stir-fry pan will also feature a long handle for easy maneuvering.

Stir-fry calls for oil with a high smoking point, such as corn or safflower and heating oil to the smoking point. Choosing a heavy gauge wok pan and there isn’t any need for such oils.  Continue reading “Enlightened Tofu, Snow Peas and Brown Rice”

Grilled Marinated Tofu on the Barbie

Photo Credit: Joseph A. Garcia

Grilled Marinated Tofu is delicious with a great ‘meaty’ texture.  The key is  to use super firm tofu, or a pressing technique and our richly flavorful  marinade.

As you shop for this recipe look for fruit-sweetened organic BBQ sauce. Always read the label to avoid any animals products, such as honey or casein and chemical additives.

For really firm tofu that won’t fall apart on the grill, I always use super firm tofu, available at natural food grocers and Trader Joes in shrink wrapped packaging. It is really sturdy and has the best texture!

Continue reading “Grilled Marinated Tofu on the Barbie”

Go for the Greens! Recipe: Braised Kale with Toasted Pine Nuts

 

Kale with Toasted Pine Nuts   photo Juan Carlo

Cultivated for more than two thousand years, kale is a nutritional powerhouse! This leafy green vegetable has more dietary value and fewer calories than just about any other vegetable.

One cup of cooked kale contains over 94mg of calcium and more than 1300 percent of the Daily Value of Vitamin K,¹ which has been linked to bone health and a reduced risk of bone fractures.

Kale is rich in vital magnesium, the mineral necessary to fully metabolize calcium, and contains a healthy mix of nutrients that promote strong bones. Kale contains considerable amounts of chlorophyll and is a very good source of Vitamins A and C, folic acid and iron.  Continue reading “Go for the Greens! Recipe: Braised Kale with Toasted Pine Nuts”

Avocados: Heart-Healthy Aphrodisiac!

Photo: Joseph A. Garcia

Avocados, a staple in Mexico, Central and South America were considered an aphrodisiac by the Aztecs, who called the pear-shaped fruit ‘ahuacate.’  Avocados were first grown in the US early in 20th century. In the 1920’s farmers changed the name to avocado because ‘ahuacate’ was difficult for Americans to pronounce. Worse yet, it is the Aztec word for testicle. As it turns out, the ancient Aztecs may have been onto something! Few would argue that good health is essential for good sex. Food affects how we feel and function and one of the best ways to build sexual health is through good nutrition.  Avocados contain many nutrients considered essential to sexual health, such as vitamin E,  sometimes called the ‘sex vitamin,’ because it is believed to promote

Continue reading “Avocados: Heart-Healthy Aphrodisiac!”