Plant Perfect Sushi

 

Vegan Sushi

Before we get too far into this post I want to offer this bit of advice about preparing this delicious plant-based food.  You need a sense of humor, a willingness to laugh at yourself and in my case your partner, and the understanding that perfection is a “state of mind”.  Armed with these defenses and delicious whole food ingredients you will have a lot of fun making these tasty sushi rolls.

Sushi, or more accurately sushi-meshi, is the vinegar-flavored cold cooked rice that is the basis for what we generically refer to as sushi.  Once the rice is prepared, it is topped or wrapped with other ingredients such as the raw vegetables we prepared for this meal. Our Plant Perfect Sushi was rolled in Emerald Cove Organic Pacific Nori, verified by the NON-GMO Project and purchased at Whole Foods Market (I do not receive any compensation for these links. They are simply provided as a resource to help you find ingredients.)

Our recipe for this Plant Perfect Sushi is below but, before you proceed, let me say once again a sense of humor, a desire to have some fun, and the mantra “if at first I don’t succeed, try, try again” is necessary and well worth the effort.

Plant Perfect Sushi

Plant Perfect Sushi

These Plant Perfect Sushi rolls are delicious. They do take some practice to roll but keep trying. It will definitely be worth the effort. Asparagus would be incredible in these rolls. You can also use fruit like mango. Whatever filling you choose, the key to success is ensuring your rice is cold and sticky and you do not try to build too big a roll. This is a case of "size really matters" if you want your sushi to look and taste as ours eventually turned out. Enjoy.

Ingredients

  • Nori Sheets
  • Slivers of your favorite veggies: carrots, cucumber, Roma tomato, avocado, celery, bell pepper, etc.
  • 1 cup (uncooked) short-grain brown rice rinsed
  • 2 cups water (depending on your cooking device)
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Stone ground mustard
  • Soaked raw cashews
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

    For The Rice
  1. Rince 1 cup short-grain brown rice
  2. Add to cooking device (I use an Instant-Pot)
  3. Add water (I use 1.5 cups of water in my Instant-Pot)
  4. Cook rice until water is absorbed - test for doneness
  5. Transfer cooked rice to glass bowl.
  6. Mix together rice vinegar, cane sugar and salt and add to rice
  7. Stir rice gently to mix and cool quickly. Rice will become sticky as it cools.
    For the Filling
  1. Prepare slivers of your favorite vegetables
    Putting the Roll Together
  1. We used a Sushezi Tube, but you can use a bamboo sushi mat or clear plastic wrap to create your large roll.
  2. Form two half logs of the rice approximately 6" long and about 1" wide and using approximately 1 cup of the cooked rice (dampen your fingers to keep rice from sticking to them)
  3. Make a small channel in each half of the rice log to fill with your veggie slivers. Don't overfill.
  4. Put the two halves together (this was relatively easy with the Sushezi Tube)
  5. Make sure the two halves are well "put together".
  6. Transfer onto one end of a sheet of Nori
  7. Begin to roll.
  8. Once rolled to the end of the Nori sheet use a bit of water on your fingertips to seal the edge of the Nori.
  9. Using a serrated knife, cut your sushi rolls in 1/2 - 3/4 inch pieces.
    For the Dressing
  1. We blended a quick dressing with avocado, some soaked cashews, fresh squeezed lemon juice and a wee bit of stone ground mustard; but you can simply use some Tamari with a bit of wasabi.
https://jazzedupveggies.com/2017/03/plant-perfect-sushi/


NOTES ON NUTRITION

Brown Rice:  All rice is not created equal. White rice has had most of its nutrition removed through the milling and polishing process it goes through. Why fill your tummy with something that does not provide nutrition when you can enjoy delicious and nutritious brown rice in your sushi? Short grain brown rice is best for sushi as it has the highest starch content making it suited for “sticky rice”. Brown rice promotes digestive health because it is high in fiber. It is also excellent for promoting heart health as it is a good source of selenium, magnesium, and ferulic acid.

Sea Vegetables – NORI (seaweed):  Sea vegetables are extraordinarily rich in iodine, Vitamin K, folate and magnesium. Iodine is essential to the function of our thyroid. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism in every cell of our body so ensuring we have enough iodine in our diet is of real importance. Sea vegetables can help reduce inflammation in the body, inhibit blood clots and protect against viruses. They are loaded with iron and calcium and contain sleep-promoting tryptophan.  BONUS: sea vegetables provide great nutrition and are very low in calories.

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Simple Summer Salad

Quinoa Chickpea Salad

The summer heat is on! For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer is here literally and figuratively. In the desert, where we live, the temperature has exceeded 110F several times already with more HOT.HOT, HOT days to come! Cooking meals in the summer not only adds to our external discomfort, but our bodies are already pretty busy trying to manage temperature making digesting a heavy meal a burden no “body” really wants. One way to keep your kitchen cooler (saving some money on expensive air conditioning) and aid your digestive system, is to make meals that don’t require cooking. This is just one of the many awesome reasons a plant-based diet makes perfect sense. There are so many options for plant-based meals that don’t require “heat”.  Here is one very flavorful summer meal that is quick to make, perfect for a picnic or to take to work, and, most importantly, has outstanding nutrition.

Simple Summer Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Simple Summer Salad

This recipe was inspired and veganized from one of my favorite recipe books "Quinoa, The Everyday Superfood 365" by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming. It is fresh and full of flavor - not to mention an excellent source of plant-based protein, vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (cooled)
  • 2 19 oz cans chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 Tbsp drained capers
    For Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tsp Eden Organic Yellow Mustard
  • 3 cloves freshly chopped organic garlic
  • pinch of chili powder

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dressing, blending well, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, parsley, capers and quinoa.
  3. Pour dressing over mixture and blend well.
  4. Let salad sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Notes

I like to batch cook quinoa and keep in the refrigerator or freezer so it is always handy for a quick meal like this Simple Summer Salad.

Italian Parsley is recommended for this recipe as it is very much more flavorful than curly parsley. Curly parsley also changes the texture - although that is not a bad thing!

I recommend Eden Organic Yellow Mustard because the ingredients are simple and healthier than most other options. Read labels to be sure of what you are consuming.

Capers are very flavorful but do add sodium to your meal. You will not need to, nor do I recommend, adding any additional salt to this recipe.

Chili powder adds a little "zip" to the dressing. If you like things a little spicier, try using a pinch of cayenne instead.

https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/06/simple-summer-salad/


Quinoa RecipesThis recipe book, “Quinoa – The Everyday Superfood 365” by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming, is one of my favorites. While not all of the recipes are Vegan, most can easily be Veganized. The very cool part of this recipe book is that is demonstrates all the incredible ways you can enjoy the SuperFood – Quinoa. Check it out.

 

 

 


Nutrition Information 

Quinoa – 3/4 cup

  • Excellent source of plant-based protein. In fact, quinoa provides all the essential amino acids so it is considered a “complete protein” source. One serving of quinoa supplies 8.14 grams of protein or 16% of DRI.
  • Excellent source of fiber. 5.18 grams or 21%
  • Very good source of manganese and good source of phosphorus, since, magnesium, and copper.

Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans – 1 cup

  • Excellent source of plant-based protein. 14.53 grams or 29% of your daily requirement for protein.
  • Excellent source of fiber. 12.4 grams (3.9 g soluble/8.6 g insoluble) fiber or 50% of your daily requirement.
  • Chickpeas are also a excellent source of molybdenum, folate and choline; and a good source of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, and zinc.

Italian Parsley – 1/2 cup

  • Excellent source of Vitamin K (554% DRI) and Vitamin C (54%DRI)
  • Good source of Vitamin A (14%), Folate (12%) and Iron (10%)

Capers

  • Good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, niacin and riboflavin.
  • Excellent source of flavonoid anti-oxidants rutin and quercetin. Rutin is known to strengthen capillaries and quecertin has been shown to have excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities. In fact the quercetin levels found in capers is second only to the quercetin levels found in tea leaves.

 

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12 Fabulous Fresh Fruits to Buy Now

I Love Fruit

Fruit has been my favorite food for as long as I can remember.  When I was a young girl, my mom always knew where to find me;  sitting under our peach tree reading a good book and enjoying this incredible fruit until I nearly burst. My mother used to tell me I was going to turn into a peach one day – but I never did.  Guess that was just a “momism” right? I eat several servings of fruit everyday.  I just love everything about fruit – its taste, texture, rainbow of colors, its portability, its accessibility, and now that I am a grown up its awesome nutrition. Really, what’s not to love?

With summer here (unofficially) it is the perfect time to enjoy all the mouth-watering, fresh, delicious, nutritious, in-season fruit available at your local farmers’ market or grocery store. Why buy in-season? Well, in-season means flavor and nutrition are at their peak. Moreover, when you buy in-season and local you are also supporting local producers, minimizing the carbon footprint of your purchases, and reducing your food costs. There is a lot to be said for picking your own food or speaking directly with the grower. Its a great experience.

What’s In Season?

Let’s start with stone fruits.

Peaches, cherries, apricots, plums, and nectarines are delicious and nutritious, very portable, and add awesome taste, color and texture to fruit salads and non-dairy yogurts. Stone fruits are good sources of Vitamins A & C and calcium and are excellent sources of potassium and fiber. BONUS BENEFIT of choosing stone fruits – they are low in calories and their natural sweetness will satisfy your need for something sweet without the guilt.

Who doesn’t love berries?

I’m going to confess that I could easily eat berries everyday, all day.  I love how they taste and how juicy they are and their rich colors. I remember spending a lot of time as a child picking wild blueberries on the hill behind my grandmother’s home. As an adult, I still seek out opportunities to pick my own berries – it is such a great way to spend a morning and the payoff – a basket full of beautiful, delicious berries – is well worth the dirt on my knees and stains on my fingers.  Berries  are the quintessential finger food. You can take them to work, enjoy them while watching a movie, snack on them while reading a good book….really they are great anytime, anywhere. AND – NO GUILT! Berries are also low calorie foods.

Berries in general are an excellent source of Vitamin C, are a good source of fiber, and are an exceptional antioxidant-rich food.  Strawberries are a good source of folate, potassium and manganese too.  Raspberries are also high in potassium, and a good source of iron, Vitamin B6 and calcium. Blueberries (I particularly love the flavor of wild blueberries) offer great support to our brain function: in fact, several studies show blueberries can improve memory. Delicious, juicy blackberries are plentiful – growing often uncontrollably along the slopes of many roadsides and walking paths.

Melons are awesome!

This is the perfect time of year to enjoy sweet, juicy cantaloupe and watermelon.  I love these two fruits just by themselves; but there are so many other ways you can incorporate them into your diet. They are awesome in a fruit salad or stirred into non-dairy yogurt. You can add them to your fruit smoothie or just juice them on their own. Some people like to grill watermelon too.

Did you know watermelon is one of the best fruits for hydration?  Watermelon is 92% water – this is why it is so popular on hot days. Watermelon is a very good source of Vitamin C, like other fruit, but it is also a heart-healthy food. Watermelon contains lycopene, an important carotenoid that fights free radicals. Lycopene gives watermelon  flesh its red color – the redder this fruit’s flesh, the higher the lycopene (a very good thing).

Cantaloupe is an incredible source of Vitamins A & C. In fact, a small melon can provide over 375% of your daily requirements of these two vitamins. Pretty awesome, right?  Cantaloupe is also a good source of Vitamin B6, iron and calcium too.

Both these melons are low-calorie foods too.  Don’t you love that????


There you have it – 12 fabulous, fresh, in-season fruits you can find in your local farmers’ market or produce section at your grocer. Want to know more about what’s in season?  Check out this handy chart from CUESA http://www.cuesa.org/eat-seasonally/charts/fruit


 

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Fettuccine That Will Rock Your World

Cooking fettuccine with red chardEvery once in awhile I amaze myself by coming up with a meal that is so incredible I have to remind myself it wasn’t catered.  This is definitely restaurant quality without the restaurant price.  This fettuccine recipe is so simple, is ready in just 20 minutes, and costs only $1.50 per serving.  What’s not to like about that!

The ingredient that makes this recipe so special is Organic Red Chard.  I know what you are thinking ’cause I used to think it too: what am I supposed to do with those great big chard leaves and should I eat the stems?  Well, what you do with them is wash them,  chop them up stems and all into bite sized pieces, and add them to any number of recipes: salads, sandwiches, smoothies…..you get the idea.  The color is fantastic – the bright green leaves and lovely red stems will make any plate look terrific; and the taste and texture are simply delicious. However, what really piques my interest in this awesome veggie is its nutritional value and its just so budget friendly there is really no good excuse for not including it in your daily whole food, plant-based diet.


red chard leaves and stemsChard Nutrition Facts

Chard is a very low calorie (only 35 calories per 1-cup serving), nutrient rich vegetable. It is an excellent source of many important vitamins and minerals and is rich in carotenoids (beta-carotene & lutein) that protect your cells from free radicals, help your immune system function, and promote lung and eye health. Chard is especially rich in Vitamin K, an important vitamin that prevents oxidative cell damage, allows your blood to clot normally and protests against osteoporosis. Chard is also an excellent source of Vitamin A that supports our eyesight and helps us fight viral infections. A nutrient most of us do not get enough of – FIBER – is a key nutrient in Chard as well.  There are nearly 4 grams of fiber in a 1 cup serving.

What about protein? This recipe offers lots of protein, including that provided by the chard. A 1-cup serving of chard provides 3.3 grams of protein. Add that to the fettuccini, tomatoes, non-dairy yogurt and non-dairy milk and you have more than enough protein  in this delicious meal.

To get the most benefit from chard, you can add it raw to your morning smoothie, toss it in a salad, use it in a sandwich, or, as in this recipe, just cook it for a few minutes. The longer you cook it the less nutrition you will derive. The bonus to only cooking for a very short time is the stems will have a tiny bit of crunch which just adds a textural layer to this dish that everyone will enjoy.


Fettuccine That Will Rock Your World

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Fettuccine That Will Rock Your World

This is a super easy, very quick recipe you can have on the table in 20 minutes. The bona chia spinach fettuccine provides 8 grams of protein per serving (1/2 cup). The chard, yogurt and non-dairy milk add another 6 grams per serving. You will also be getting lots of vitamins and minerals in this dish; but the best part is it is scrumptious. Try it!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat oil over medium on stove top
  2. Add garlic - saute for 30 seconds
  3. Add onion - saute for 1 minute
  4. Add chard and tomatoes - simmer while preparing fettuccine
  5. Bring pot of water to boil for fettuccine
  6. Add spinach fettuccine - reduce heat to medium high
  7. Cook for 3 minutes - DO NOT OVERCOOK
  8. Remove fettuccine and drain
  9. Combine yogurt, milk and Go Veggie parmesan in bowl
  10. Add to chard mixture
  11. Add drained fettuccine to chard mixture
  12. Stir gently for 1 - 2 minutes
  13. Serve with vegan parmesan sprinkled on top

Notes

To add a little extra pizazz to this recipe, chop up a few sun dried tomatoes to add with the fire roasted tomatoes. You don't need many but sun dried tomatoes will add an extra layer of depth and flavor to this already awesome meal.

https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/04/fettuccine-that-will-rock-your-world/


EARTH DAY 2016-2Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22 but you really don’t need a special day, once a year, to celebrate the beauty and abundance our Earth provides.

You can help our planet by planting a tree. You will be providing a home for birds, perhaps some blossoms for bees, some shade for humans and contribute to clean air for everyone.

Check out the celebrations going on in your community or plan your own celebrations.  There are plenty of ideas to get you started at EarthDay.org.

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An Herbalicious Wrap

Wraps and HandsI came across another awesome non-gmo vegan product the other day at Whole Foods that I just couldn’t wait to share with my friends and family. I wanted to make a delicious wrap to enjoy for lunch that would leave us feeling quite satisfied and would also “wow” us with the incredible taste and texture of whole plant foods. To my delight, I discovered Indian Life Spinach Wraps that were not only vegan but also easy on the budget and turned out to be full of incredible flavor. These wraps are Non-GMO verified – a certification I insist on for everything I consume and serve my friends and family. Here is the recipe for our Herbalicious Wrap. It is so easy to prepare and definitely a dish suitable for company and totally restaurant worthy. As you can see, our guests couldn’t wait to try them.  Let me know what you think!

Herbalicious Wrap

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 5 - 10 servings

Herbalicious Wrap

These wraps are delicious. A half-wrap is more than enough for a light lunch - especially served with some raw veggies (carrots, celery) or some fresh fruit such as apple slices. The pine nuts add a wonderful crunch to the wrap and the beets add an awesome sweetness. This wrap is a stand-out in terms of nutrition too.

Ingredients

  • 1 package Indian Life Spinach Wrap
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh spinach - chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh Arugula - chopped
  • 2/3 cup roasted red & golden beets chopped small
  • 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
  • salt & pepper to taste
    For Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Bee Free Honee
  • Black pepper & salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl:
  2. Chop greens and herbs into bite sized pieces
  3. Add beets and pine nuts
  4. Season to taste
  5. Toss
  6. Just before serving
  7. Mix dressing ingredients
  8. Add to greens and toss gently
  9. Heat large frying pan on medium
  10. Warm one wrap at a time
  11. Remove each wrap, fill center of wrap with dressed greens
  12. Wrap tightly, slice in half
  13. Serve

Notes

These fresh herbs & greens wraps are delicious and very filling. A half-wrap is perfect for a light lunch or an after school snack for a hungry teen.

https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/03/an-herbalicious-wrap/

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Asparagus – I adore this awesome antioxidant-rich veggie

IMG_3538

Asparagus is one of my very favorite veggies.  As a warm side dish or a cold snack, fresh asparagus is so delicious, has a satisfying crunch, and for a bonus, is packed with awesome nutrition. I even loved asparagus as a child – mom didn’t need to keep telling me to eat this vegetable!  Fresh asparagus is now available in many farmers’ markets and shops, and as this is the season for asparagus, the price is great. I purchased 2 pounds of fresh organic asparagus for a dinner party this week and paid only $1.99 per pound.  There was plenty for all six of us and enough left over to send in my husband’s lunch the next day.

A POWERHOUSE OF NUTRITION

  • Excellent source of Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C & Vitamin A
    Vitamin K supports bone health, helps your blood to clot normally, and protects your cells from oxidative damage. Folate supports our circulation and prevents our blood from high levels of homocysteine (associated with cardiovascular disease). Folate also helps make red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout our bodies, supports cell production( i.e. skin cells, intestinal cells), and provides critical support to our nervous system. Vitamin C offers excellent antioxidant protection, regenerates our vitamin E supplies, assists with iron absorption and is believed to lower cancer risk.
  • Protein and Fiber
    Yes, asparagus is a very good source of protein – 4.7 grams per cup. The cool thing is, this awesome plant food also supplies 2.9 grams of fiber per cup – animal protein does not offer any fiber (just sayin’).
  • Other Nutrients
    Asparagus is a very good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin and Niacin – important B vitamins; phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.  It is also a good source of iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium and calcium.

It is remarkable that such a small, unassuming plant can be so powerful, right? Now, here’s even better news: asparagus is a very low calorie food too.  There are only 43 calories in a 1-cup serving.  So to recap: you get great flavor and texture, awesome nutrition and almost no calories. Who wouldn’t like that?

The best way to prepare asparagus is to cook only until it is al dente. Asparagus is great on the grill, but I like it roasted. Here is my simple recipe for delicious roasted asparagus that is awesome warm or cold.  Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 - 6

Serving Size: 4 - 5 stems

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest

Roasted asparagus is great cold so add it to your packed lunch. It is delicious in a salad too. Of course, it makes a wonderful side dish for a light lunch or dinner. For a slightly fancier and even more nutritious side dish, toss the cooked asparagus with slivered almonds.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh, organic asparagus - washed and thick ends removed
  • Organic Virgin Olive Oil (only enough to very lightly coat asparagus)
  • Lemon Zest ( I prefer to use Meyer Lemons)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy clean-up)
  3. Add oil and lemon zest to glass baking dish
  4. Add asparagus and coat evenly
  5. Spread evening on baking sheet - leave room between each stem for even cooking
  6. Roast for 10 minutes - until just al dente
  7. Serve warm as a side dish or cool and refrigerate for a snack

Notes

Don't overcook asparagus. Cooking too much will deplete all the incredible nutrients this wonderful vegetable offers. No one likes mushy asparagus so less is definitely more when cooking.

https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/03/asparagus-i-adore-this-awesome-antioxidant-rich-veggie/

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I Love Love Love this Chocolate Cake

 

VALENTINES HEADING

Love, at least the kind that drives a $20 Billion economic boost for the American economy, takes center stage in February; but is this really a celebration of deep affection for the people closest to us or a very successful marketing strategy executed by retailers? Valentine’s Day is the #1 holiday for florists, based on fresh flower purchases, with more than 250 Million roses alone produced to meet the expected demand this year. It’s no surprise that the vast majority of buyers of the fresh flower purchases made for Valentine’s are men.  I may be going out on a limb here, but I think there is way too much pressure on everyone, especially men, to spend way too much money on gifts on February 14th.

Call me old fashioned but I believe love should be expressed daily and it certainly doesn’t need to come wrapped up in a shiny bow or cost a week’s pay to be meaningful.  The greatest gifts for someone you love are your time, your attention, your care, a hug, a touch, a smile – all these things matter much more than roses that will fade in a day or two, an expensive dinner out in a noisy restaurant among a hundred strangers, or a box of candy that is really nothing but empty calories and day-after guilt.

Food has long been connected to love.  Taking the time to prepare food for your family and friends is truly a gift. Here is a recipe for something special you can prepare for someone you love, including yourself!  It is a recipe I veganized from one of my favorite recipe books, “Quinoa, The Everyday Superfood 365” written by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming. My regular readers already know how much I love quinoa. Well, this may surprise you, but this incredible moist, out-of-this-world vegan chocolate cake is made with quinoa.  It is truly a special treat.  I hope you enjoy it.

Best Ever Vegan Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 90 minutes

Yield: 10 pieces

Best Ever Vegan Chocolate Cake

Coconut and raspberries are perfect with chocolate but feel free to substitute a creamy cashew topping and blueberries or strawberries. If you don't have any almond milk made you can certainly substitute cashew milk or coconut milk. As with any sweet treat, a little goes a long way. Enjoy in moderation.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup white or golden quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu
  • 3 Tbsp flax seeds
  • 9 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup vegan butter, melted and cooled (Earth Balance)
  • 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened organic cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 Tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
    Topping
  • So Delicious CocoWhip Coconut Whipped Topping
  • Fresh Raspberries

Instructions

  1. Bring the quinoa and 1 1/3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave covered for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow quinoa to cool.
  2. Mix the flax seeds and 9 Tbsp water in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat your over to 350F. Prepare a spring form cake pan by lightly greasing bottom and sides (I use coconut oil) and line the bottom with parchment paper to make it easy to remove.
  4. Combine the almond milk, flax seed, silken tofu and vanilla in a blender or food processor.
  5. Add 2 cups of the cooked quinoa and the butter to the blender. Blend until smooth.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together cane sugar, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  7. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.
  8. Fill cake pan with batter, ensuring it is evenly distributed and tap a few times to remove any air pockets.
  9. Bake for 55 - 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack until completely cooled.
  11. Release spring form and remove cake to serving plate.
  12. Spread Coconut Whipped Topping over cake (I just "frost" the top)
  13. Add fresh raspberries to decorate.
  14. Serve yourself and those you love.

Notes

This is a vegan version of a recipe from "Quinoa, The Everyday Superfood 365" by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming. Quinoa is an incredibly versatile, nutritious and delicious food that should be a part of your regular plant-based diet. Many recipes can easily be made vegan. Give it a try.

https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/02/i-love-love-love-this-chocolate-cake/


A heart shape held in handsFebruary is Heart Health Month.  Did you know chocolate is good for your heart? Hooray!!!! Well, there are some exceptions to this: the more processed chocolate is, the less heart-healthy value it has.  The BEST chocolate to use in your baking is Cacao Powder ( I used Himalania Organic Cacao Powder in this recipe.  Check out the information on the goodness cacao powder offers here.  So, go ahead and eat some chocolate cake (just remember in all things moderation is key).

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Turmeric Latte – It Tastes Too Good to be Healthy!

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately learning about herbs and spices and how they can have a profound and positive effect on our health. They have been used for thousands of years, mostly in Eastern and Native American cultures, to support human health. In recent years, Western medicine has finally begun to realize pharmaceuticals are not the right answer and perhaps we have simply been ignoring what we already know. Finally, the movement among Western medical practitioners to return to Hippocrates’ conviction that food should be our medicine is growing exponentially every day .  Study after study proves a whole food plant based diet, including thousands of herbs and spices, is the best option to promote and maintain wellness and often the best alternative to remedy most illness.

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Below is a recipe for Turmeric Latte. It tastes so good you will have a hard time believing it could be  good for you! Enjoy it anytime of day but it’s good to know this is one delicious drink you can have before bed that won’t keep you up. You can enjoy this drink hot or cold. It is easy to make and a wonderful alternative to coffee.  Here are some interesting facts about Turmeric that will add incentive to include this wonderful spice in your daily diet:

  • Turmeric is revered in Ayurvedic medicine as a cleanser for all the body’s systems.
  • Turmeric is an excellent source of manganese, a mineral that helps protect our cells from free radicals, keeps our bones strong & healthy, supports normal blood sugar levels, optimizes the function of our thyroid gland, and helps keep our nerves healthy.
  • Turmeric is an excellent source of iron. Iron facilitates the efficient distribution of oxygen in our bodies, supports our immune system and helps us produce energy.
  • Curcumin, the phytonutrient in turmeric that gives it such a beautiful yellow color, has long been considered an extremely effective anti-inflammatory. Many studies have shown the positive effects of curcumin on patients with digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as patients with joint problems such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Recent heart-health research has shown promising results in subjects consuming curcumin and the reduction of total cholesterol.
  • Turmeric is what gives curry and mustard its yellow color!

Turmeric Latte

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 - 4 servings

Turmeric Latte

I use homemade soy milk for this recipe. If you use store bought soy milk, I recommend unsweetened . If you buy sweetened soy milk you will not need the maple syrup.

The whole family can enjoy this delicious drink.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tsp dried turmeric
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 1 Tsp organic maple syrup (optional)

Instructions

  1. Over medium high heat, whisk together turmeric and water.
  2. Bring just to the boil, then reduce to simmer.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes - whisking often.
  4. Add soy milk
  5. Add maple syrup if desired
  6. Whisk until heated through. The whisking will create the latte foam.
  7. Pour and serve hot or refrigerate.

Notes

NOTE: Take care as Turmeric will stain your clothes, cloths and counter.

https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/02/turmeric-latte-it-tastes-too-good-to-be-healthy/


A heart shape held in hands February is Heart-Health Month. Your heart works hard, make sure you take care of it by eating a Whole Food Plant Based Diet (WFPBD), get some exercise, minimize stress and get enough sleep.
Interest Heart Facts
***The average heart beats about 4400 times per hour, 100,000+ times per day, 32,000,000+ times per year.
***Your heart will pump approximately 1,000,000 barrels of blood through your body during an average lifetime.

 

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Score Points with This Vegan Chili

 

Cookin ChiliSure, you can buy ready-made chili but why would you when you can easily make homemade chili that tastes this good! The best ingredients make the best chili so by making your own you have complete control over the ingredients you choose to use. My recipe for Vegan Chili makes 8 dinner-sized servings and cost only $12.75 to make. I used all-organic ingredients too.  Cost per serving $1.60.  Don’t have 8 people to serve? You can freeze extra portions of this delicious and very nutritious chili for later in the week.

The Best Vegan Chili Ever

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 7 hours

Yield: 8 servings

The Best Vegan Chili Ever

This chili looks as good as it tastes! A bowl of chili is perfect served with a small piece of bread to soak up the juices. This is a great meal to prepare in a slow-cooker. If you like a spicy chili, increase the amount of chili powder. The Pasilla pepper is not overly spicy so if you like a kick perhaps use some Jalapeño pepper instead. You could choose to leave out the tempeh; but I encourage you to try it if you haven't done so before. The tempeh adds great texture to this chili as well as added protein. The beans I chose to use are my favorites but you can substitute the type of beans. Just keep in mind that dried beans should soak at least overnight. The volume will increase considerably - especially for the black-eyed peas and the kidney beans. Dried beans are much less expensive than canned and you don't have to worry about the high sodium levels and even sugar often found in canned beans. This chili freezes well too.

Ingredients

  • I 8oz package Organic Tempeh with Flax crumbled
  • 1 cup dried black beans (soaked/drained)
  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas (soaked/drained)
  • 1 cup red kidney beans (soaked/drained)
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 medium leek sliced
  • 4 stalks celery diced
  • 1 small Pasilla chile pepper diced
  • 1 small yellow pepper diced
  • 3 small Roma tomatoes diced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp EVOO

Instructions

  1. Heat large skillet
  2. Add oil & heat
  3. Add onions & leeks & cook for 1 minute
  4. Add celery, yellow pepper, papilla pepper and saute for 2 minutes
  5. Add salt, chili powder, black pepper & paprika and mix through
  6. Add crumbled tempeh and saute for 5 - 6 minutes to blend flavors
  7. In large soup pot add all drained beans
  8. Add tempeh mixture
  9. Add chopped Roma tomatoes
  10. Cover with vegetable broth
  11. Bring to boil then reduce to low
  12. Cover and let cook for 5 - 6 hours or until beans are tender
  13. Adjust seasonings
  14. Serve
https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/02/score-points-with-this-vegan-chili/


 

A heart shape held in handsFebruary is Heart Health Month.  Do something good for your heart today! Choose a Whole Food Plant Based Diet (#WFPBD) Our recipe for chili includes beans and tempeh  which are very valuable for heart & digestive health and go a long way to meeting your daily protein and fiber requirement.

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10 Heart Healthy Proteins – Plant Based of Course

HEART HEALTHY

We need protein to build, maintain and repair our body’s tissues. The recommended dietary allowance for protein is .8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For the average moderately active 135 pound woman this translates to 48 grams of protein per day. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, there are plenty of myths about protein resulting in many people consuming far more than they need. In fact, few people truly understand the risks associated with over-consumption of protein. Check out this important information from PCRM.

One of the most prevalent myths perpetuated about protein is that you can only get protein from eating animal-based foods.  This is absolutely not true. Not only can you get all the protein your body needs from plant-based foods, you also get many added benefits you can’t get from animal products like fiber and complex carbohydrates.  Here are 10 heart-healthy plant-based proteins that I encourage you to consume in place of animal protein.  You may already be consuming many of these delicious foods and not know they are great sources of protein. Try them in new ways and certainly consume them more often.

  1. Tofu/Tempeh/Seitan/Edamame
    Let’s start with Organic Tofu – such a versatile, easy to prepare, and extremely budget-friendly food. A 14oz package of Organic Tofu costs about $2 and contains 5 servings. Each serving provides 7 grams of protein and 210 mg of potassium (an important electrolyte that helps our muscles and nerves function properly). Tofu is also a very low calorie food. I often serve a tofu scramble for breakfast and love to serve baked tofu as a main course for an evening meal.Tofu with Mango SalsaOrganic Tempeh is such a versatile food and delivers 15 grams of protein, 260 mg of potassium and 7 grams of fiber in a 3oz serving.  You can purchase tempeh already prepared for you or learn to make it yourself.
    Seitan packs a whopping 18 grams of protein in a 3oz serving. It is made from wheat gluten and for many transitioning to the world of plant-based meat alternatives, it has the look and texture of meat that may aid in making the switch. Seitan can be purchased ready-made or you can learn to make it yourself. The benefits to making it yourself include controlling ingredients such as sodium and experimenting with flavors you and your family enjoy. Seitan is often available in restaurants so ask your server.
    Edamame BeansEdamame is a real favorite in our home. I love to add edamame to my salads and make hummus with it. Check out my recipe for Edamame Hummus here! Edamame are fresh, green soybeans cooked right in their pods. Edamame are easy to cook – just barely cover frozen organic edamame in water, bring to a boil for 30 seconds, drain and serve. A 1cup serving provides 17 grams of protein, 676 mg potassium, 8 grams fiber and only 189 calories.  Edamame is also an excellent source of magnesium. Magnesium is a macro mineral  that builds and strengthens our bones, keeps our blood circulating smoothly and relaxes our nerves and muscles.
  2. Lentils
    Group of lentilsLentils may be small but they are mighty! Lentils fall into the category of legumes and are believed to be one of the first foods to be cultivated. Lentils come in a variety of colors (green, brown, yellow and pink – NOTE each color cooks slightly differently) are very inexpensive, and easy to prepare. I believe it is best to buy dried lentils and store them in tightly sealed containers. If you choose canned lentils, pay attention to any added sodium or sugars. Lentils offer a whopping 18 grams of protein per cooked 1-cup serving, 15.6 grams of dietary fiber and are an excellent source of folate, a B-Complex vitamin that supports red blood cell production and allows nerves to function properly.  Lentils can be eaten as they are for a main course, added to soups and stews, used to make plant-based burgers, added to salads, and are a staple in delicious East Indian dishes.
  3. Beans
    Edamame HummusMy favorite, go-to beans are garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas). I use them for everything from sandwich filings, to curried East Indian dishes, to hummus (of course) and in salads. Garbanzo beans offer 14.5 grams of protein per cup, 12.5 grams of dietary fiber and are an excellent source of manganese that helps protect our cells from free radical damage, keeps our bones strong and healthy, and helps us maintain normal blood sugar levels.  I also keep dried black beans, navy beans, white beans, kidney beans and soy beans in my pantry (all organic).   I make milk every morning from the soy beans! Beans, especially dried beans, are very inexpensive and easy to store. They are all excellent sources of protein, typically ranging from 14 – 16 grams of protein per 1-cup serving.  Beans are very versatile; they can be served any time of day, are easily portable to work or school, and are excellent a satiating your hunger.
  4. Quinoa
    Quinoa PlantsMy regular readers know I am a big fan of quinoa. This very versatile food is not only an excellent source of protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein that includes all nine essential amino acids.  Quinoa promotes heart health because it is an excellent source of magnesium – a mineral that relaxes the blood vessels. 1 cup of cooked quinoa delivers almost 6 grams of protein (remember that is complete protein), nearly 22% of the recommended daily requirement of iron and is an incredible source of phosphorus and manganese.
  5. Nuts
    160379603I love cashews but they can be pricey in the market so I buy my organic cashews in bulk (usually a 10lb bag) from an online supplier. Send me a note if you are interested in knowing more.  Cashews make wonderful milk and they are essential to making my salad dressings, cream, burgers, cheese cakes, and for snacking (in moderation of course). A serving of raw cashews (1/4 cup) provides 5 grams of protein and a good dose of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. A bonus benefit of eating a small amount of cashews is they contain tryptophan that helps to promote sleep. I also keep a good supply of almonds on hand. Almonds make delicious milk. I recommend you make almond milk at home rather than buying it already made. It is so much better from scratch!  Almonds are an excellent source of manganese and vitamin E and are a concentrated source of monounsaturated fats which make them an excellent food for heart health. One-quarter cup of almonds provides 7.62 grams of protein. Other great nut choices are walnuts and pistachios.
  6. Seeds
    Chia SeedsKeep a good variety of seeds on hand because they are so good for you, taste awesome, add great texture/crunch to foods and are, once again, an excellent source of protein, omega 3s, minerals and fiber,
    Let’s start with one of my favorites, Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are a great substitute for eggs in baking, make an incredible pudding, are easy to add to your favorite smoothie, and can be popped on top of cereal for added nutrition. Flax seeds are another favorite. I buy them whole and grind them when I need them (just use my coffee bean grinder). I add ground flax seeds to my baking, smoothies, and cereal. Flax seeds are a particularly excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids – important for optimum cardiovascular health. Sesame seeds (the tahini in hummus recipes) are a very good source of copper in addition to the 6.4 grams of protein and 4.24 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup. I buy shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds in 20lb bags. I add sunflower seeds to my almond yogurt, I eat them as a snack, I grind them up and add them to baking, and I add them to salads for added protein and crunch.  Sunflower seeds are another excellent source of Vitamin E along with 8.2 grams of protein and 3.78 grams dietary fiber per 1/4 cup serving. Try some pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds on your cereal or salad. You will get a great protein boost and treat your body to essential fatty acids and fiber.
  7. Vegetables (Yes, vegetables provide protein!)
    BroccoliSpinach is probably the best known vegetable source of protein. Just 1 cup of cooked spinach provides 5.4 grams of protein and you get the awesome added benefit of vitamins K and A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, B2, calcium, and potassium. A lot of nutrition in that little green leaf, right? While Swiss Chard doesn’t have quite as much protein, it is also an excellent choice to keep on hand. Other great vegetables that offer good protein are asparagus, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli. Note, the bonus you get with broccoli is a 1-cup serving provides 100% of the daily requirement of vitamins C and K.
  8. Mushrooms
    Mushrooms for GravyMushrooms are fantastic. They are very low in calories and exceptionally high in nutritional value – so what’s not to love! I love to experiment with different varieties of mushrooms. I tried the mushrooms pictured here in my recipe for mushroom gravy and WOW, it turned out great. An 8oz serving of shiitake mushrooms only contains 87 calories but you get 5 grams of protein, 3.6 mg of iron, 6 mg of vitamin C and 2.5 grams of fiber in return.  Now that’s a great return on your caloric investment! Crimini mushrooms are very commonly found in grocery stores and are an excellent high nutrient, low calorie food choice for everyday use. Mushrooms can be incorporated into all kinds of meals including salads, stews, spaghetti sauces, plant-based burgers, in your tofu scramble or just as a side dish.
  9. Whole Grains
    Steel Cut OatsOats are an outstanding source of protein and fiber. I typically purchase steel cut oats, pictured here, as they are the least processed. Oats offer 6.1grams of protein in a 1-cup serving as well as 4 grams of dietary fiber and several minerals our bodies need to stay healthy. There are actually over 60 nutrients available in oats! Rye provides a whopping 8.3 grams of protein in a 1-cup cooked serving and 8.2 grams of fiber.  Brown rice, with which I batch-cook an awesome brown rice pilaf, has 5 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of dietary fiber per cup. Brown rice is a good source of selenium, a mineral known to keep our blood vessels in good shape, making it an important heart-healthy food. Whole wheat and buckwheat are also great choices – good sources of protein, and high in fiber and minerals too. Choose whole grains for the best nutrition.
  10. Vegan Meat Alternatives – (meat analogues)
    There are many packaged and prepared vegan meat alternatives on the market and quite a few are not only nutritious but really delicious.  When time is a challenge, you’ve run out of ideas, don’t feel like cooking something from scratch, or have a crowd to feed, try some of these awesome products available in most grocery stores.
    www.beyondmeat.com
    www.gardein.com
    www.fieldroast.com

The bottom line is this: plant-based protein rich foods not only provide all the protein you need but they also provide fiber, complex carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins your body needs. Just as importantly, plant-based foods are cruelty free and much better for our planet than animal-based products. Your body will be grateful for the nutrition you provide through plant-based foods, our planet will benefit and the animals we share this earth with will live long, healthy, happy lives.  Pretty much a win-win-win!


A heart shape held in hands

February is Heart Health Month. Take good care of your heart by choosing a WFPBD.

 

 

 

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