IMG_3216.JPG

Simple Vegan Dinner Rolls

After the savory stuffed “turk’y,” the gravy, and the stuffing, what goes on the Thanksgiving table? Rolls! Well, at least in my family….bread is one of the stars.

These 7 ingredient vegan dinner rolls that are fluffy, buttery and so simple to make. Perfect for weeknight meals and holiday gatherings! No one would guess they’re dairy-free.

Simple Vegan Dinner Rolls
Serves: 11-12

INGREDIENTS
2 Tbsp organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) rapid rise yeast
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (sub up to 1/3 with whole wheat pastry), plus more for kneading
1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp vegan butter + more for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt.

2. In a separate mixing bowl (or small saucepan over medium heat), microwave the water, almond milk and butter until warm – about 110 – 120 degrees (~55 seconds). It should be the temperature of bath water. If it’s too hot, it can kill the yeast.

3. Add wet to the dry ingredients and whisk or beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides as needed.

4. Add 1/4 cup more flour and beat for another 2 minutes. Then, add only enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Then let rest 10 minutes.

5. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, shape into balls, and place in a greased 8×8 dish or 8-inch round pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size – about 30-45 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush the tops with additional melted vegan butter (optional). Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until fluffy and light golden brown.

7. Serve immediately as is, or with vegan butter.

IMG_3217.JPGNUTRITION INFORMATION
Serving size: 1 roll
Calories: 110
Fat: 2.3g
Saturated fat: 0.8g
Carbohydrates: 19.6g
Sugar: 2.2g
Sodium: 135mg
Fiber: 0.7g
Protein: 2.4g

Recipe adapted from All Recipes

IMG_3200.JPG

Meatless Monday: Vegan Southern-Style Dressing

Whether you call it “stuffing” or you live in the south and call it “dressing”, no Christmas or Thanksgiving meal is complete without it!

Ingredients:
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. nondairy, non-hydrogenated butter (Earth Balance)
1 large onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, diced
8 oz. button or cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried sage
1tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried rosemary
½ tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1.5-2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups vegan stuffing mix
IMG_3202.JPG

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add in the onion and celery and let cook until the onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms and let cook until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic and the seasonings.

2. Add the parsley and the stuffing mix to the sauté pan. Mix well. Moisten the stuffing mixture with broth until it is soft but not wet. Remove the bay leaf and let the mixture cool.

3. Transfer the stuffing to a large casserole dish that has been brushed with some oil or cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes.

Enjoy!

IMG_3200-0.JPG

Vegan Thanksgiving Options in Charlotte, Part IV: Eco-Licious

bkinigrl:

If you’re living in Charlotte, NC or surrounding cities, etc. here is some great information regarding began Thanksgiving menu options!!!

Originally posted on VegCharlotte:

We’ve discussed the delicious vegan Thanksgiving offerings at Bean Vegan Cuisine and Fern, Flavors From The Garden.

But what if you want something that is … a little less traditional?

Something maybe a bit edgier?

Or a mix of classic and modern?

Like … oh, maybe tamales. With a side of green bean casserole.

Or a tart or a quiche for your main, with a whoopie pie for dessert.

Eco-Licious has got you covered.

This year, Eco-Licious has partnered with five (!) of Charlotte, NC’s top vegan companies for Thanksgiving pre-orders.

The Ethical Glutton is providing two flavors of tarts, Potato and Cashew “Chevre” with Parsley Walnut Pesto, or Butternut and Carmelized Onion with Cashew “Emmanthaler”. They are also providing two flavors of quiche – a classic Quiche Lorraine and a Mexicali Quiche.

The Masa Casa, Charlotte’s current “IT” food truck, is offering tamales (with a built-in steamer…

View original 302 more words

IMG_3121.JPG

Meatless Monday: Fat Free Vegan Cabbage Soup

Today I have a really healthy and easy recipe for you, especially if you’re interested in losing some weight, feeling better and eating more home cooked food. It’s a delicious spin on cabbage soup.

Fat Free Vegan Cabbage Soup Recipe
Serves 8

IMG_3121-0.JPGIngredients:

2 medium sweet onions, diced (like Vidalia)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
10 oz.(283 g) package of mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
6 large stalks of celery, leaves removed and sliced
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded
2 (16oz) cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Organics)
10 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms in 2-3 cups of vegetable broth for 5-6 minutes until the onions are tender. (Mushrooms take longer to cook than the rest of the veggies, so we’re cooking them first.)

2. Add the rest of the vegetables, the thyme, the canned tomatoes, and the vegetable broth

3. Cook the vegetables over medium heat for 30-40 minutes or low heat for 1.5-2 hours until the vegetables are tender.

4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a little cayenne or chili pepper if you like the soup spicy. If you like your soup a little thinner you can add a little more vegetable broth or water if desired. But don’t add too much or you will dilute the flavor.

5. Serve!

Original recipe by Veronica Grace, The Low-Fat Vegan Chef

IMG_3070.JPG

Dietary Fats: What’s Good and What’s Bad ?

Certain fats should be part of your healthy diet. They can lower your risk of disease. But you should make sure that you’re eating “good” fats instead of “bad” fats.

Why do I need fat in my diet?

Your body uses fat for energy. It also uses fat to build nerve tissue and hormones and to control inflammation. Fat also helps your body absorb vitamins A, D, E and K from the foods you eat.
But consuming too much fat can contribute to obesity. Fat calories turn into body fat more easily than carbohydrates or proteins. Fat in your diet can confuse your appetite, so you can’t tell when you are full. Some fats also raise your total cholesterol and blood pressure, and may increase your risk of some cancers, heart disease and diabetes.

How much is too much?

Fat contains 9 calories per gram – more than twice the calories of carbohydrates and protein, which have 4 calories per gram. Everyone has different calorie needs. Your doctor can help you figure out how many calories you need and how many of these can come from fat.

If you are overweight, the American Heart Association recommends that you get less than 30% of your total calories from fat. So, if your body needs 2,000 calories a day, you can have up to 65 grams of fat each day.

What are the “bad” fats?
Limit or avoid these fats:

Saturated fat is usually found in animal products, such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products such as cheese, cream and whole or 2% milk. Palm, coconut and other tropical oils, as well as cocoa butter, also contain saturated fat. Many snack foods, such as desserts, chips and French fries, are high in saturated fat. A diet high in saturated fats can increase your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and can put you at risk for heart disease.

IMG_3075.JPG
Trans fats are a type of hydrogenated man-made fat usually found in processed foods, such as cookies, cakes, doughnuts, crackers, snacks and frozen foods, and in fried food, such as French fries and onion rings. Trans fat is especially bad for you. It lowers your HDL (“good”) cholesterol while raising your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides. All food manufacturers are now required to list trans-fat on nutrition labels. However, foods can have up to 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving and still be labeled trans-fat free. To avoid them completely, check the ingredients list and avoid partially hydrogenated oils.

The American Heart Association recommends that you get less than 7% of your total calories from saturated fats and less than 1% from trans fats. So, if your body needs 2,000 calories a day, you should eat less than 15 grams of saturated fat and less than 2 grams of trans fat.

The good fats

IMG_3069.JPGMonounsaturated fats are found in canola, olive, avocado, and peanut and other nut oils, as well as in legumes (dried beans and peas), olives, seeds, nuts, nut butters and fresh avocados.

Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils like corn, sunflower and safflower oil, as well as sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, corn, soybeans, and many other kinds of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Omega-3 fatty acids are usually found in seafood, such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel. They can also be found in flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and walnuts.

Studies have shown that these fats, if used in place of saturated fat, can help you lower your total cholesterol level. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially beneficial—studies have shown that they can also decrease your risk of inflammation or heart attack if you are at risk for heart disease.

IMG_3073.JPG
Tips for a healthy diet

You don’t have to cut all fat out of your diet, but you should limit the amount of fat you eat. Try to eat foods made with unsaturated fat and avoid foods that are high in saturated and trans fats.
Other things you can do include:

Avoid fast food. It almost always contains trans-fat.

Limit the amount of red meat you eat. Instead, try to eat baked or broiled fish, poultry and vegetable proteins.

Use canola oil when you are baking.

Use olive oil when you are cooking, for salad dressings and as a spread on bread.

Make healthier snack choices. For example, snack on a small handful of unsalted peanuts or edamame (soy beans) instead of potato chips.

Try a slice of avocado on your sandwich or in your salad, or add nuts or garbanzo beans to a salad.

Use liquid or soft tub margarine instead of butter. Look for margarine that has low saturated fat and no trans fat.

IMG_3021.JPG

Meatless Monday: Rice and Black Bean Burritos

Mexican food is one of my favorite types of cuisine. I recently visited Los Angeles, California and this is what inspired me to find a good recipe for vegan burritos.

Rice and Black Bean Burritos
(Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins

Ingredients:
Tortillas for wrapping, use gluten-free if needed

For the Rice:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, diced (reserve some for beans)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup diced fresh tomato
¼ cup water
1 cup rice

For the Chili-Lime Beans:
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
¾ tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 cans black beans, well-rinsed, drained

Toppings:
Cilantro, finely chopped
Carrot, grated and peeled

Instructions:
1. Cook the onion and garlic in 2 tbsp of olive oil for 5-10 minutes in a sauce pan.

2. Add the rice, broth, water and tomato and cook, covered until rice is cooked. About 10-15 minutes.

3. Add the extra onion and garlic to a fry pan with the black beans, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash up some of the beans in the pan and continue to cook for about 5-8 minutes until heated through.

4. Once the rice and beans are done, add to a large wrap with cilantro, carrot and salsa, roll up and enjoy!

5. Makes 4 very large burritos.

Variations: You could also add non-dairy cheese (Daiya) and serve with guacamole desired.

Recipe adapted from Deryn Macey

IMG_3021.JPG

IMG_2666.JPG

Vitamins & Minerals…Do You Know Your ABCs?

Vitamin and mineral supplements not only fill the stores shelves…they fill the news. You may be questioning which dietary supplements you really need.

In this post, I will comment on six popular supplements:

1. B vitamins
Collectively, the B vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (folic acid) and B12 – can reduce stress and improve mood. Who needs to supplement their B? Three groups of people:

Vegans need the B12 found in meat, chicken, fish, dairy and eggs to prevent anemia and ensure healthy nervous system function.
People 65 and older may need B12 because it becomes hard to absorb from food as we age.
Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive need folic acid to help guard against birth defects.

2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C supplements may shorten the duration and misery of colds but are unlikely to prevent them. Personally, I don’t think people need C on a daily basis, but taking a large dose at the onset of a cold can be helpful.

It’s easy to get vitamin C from fruits and vegetables. But think beyond the orange. That morning glass of orange juice is full of sugar and carbs; look instead for vitamin C from bell peppers, broccoli, papaya and kiwi.

Avoid taking vitamin C with aspirin – both can irritate the stomach. And remember that high doses of Vitamin C may interfere with cholesterol medication.

3. Calcium
Best known for improving bone health, calcium is easy to find in milk, cheese and yogurt. Usually, when we think ‘calcium’ and imagine the cow, but there are plenty of plant-based sources as well, like spinach, kale, and collard greens.

It is important to know which type of calcium supplement you’re taking and when to take it. Calcium citrate can be taken at any time. Calcium carbonate must be taken with food. And because the body can absorb only so much calcium at one time, it’s best to take half in the morning and half at night.

4. Vitamin D
This is the supplement most healthcare providers recommend. Important for bone and muscle health, vitamin D is difficult to find in natural food sources. Fortified dairy products, cereals and breads usually don’t provide enough vitamin D. Sunshine – the other source of D – can be scarce.

Vitamin D, which works with calcium, is important for women as they age to prevent bones from becoming fragile. “Women often take a calcium supplement that has vitamin D in it. I recommend additional vitamin D to further increase vitamin D levels. Vitamin D3 is better absorbed than vitamin D2.

A Cleveland Clinic study recently found that vitamin D is best absorbed when taken with the largest meal of the day — preferably one containing healthy fats because vitamin D is fat-soluble.

5. Vitamin E
Daily vitamin E supplementation has been touted for preventing cancer and heart disease. However, a large, seven-year national study by Cleveland Clinic experts proved that men who took vitamin E every day actually increased their risk of prostate cancer by 17 percent. The longer the supplement was taken, the higher their risk.

The message: For most men, taking vitamin E supplements may do more harm than good.

Other studies have failed to show that vitamin E supplements protect against heart disease. For heart health, it’s safer to get vitamin E from dietary sources – safflower, sunflower and wheat germ oils; nuts and seeds; olives; and green veggies.

At high doses, vitamin E supplements act like a blood thinner and can increase the risk of bleeding.

6. Magnesium
Magnesium, the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, can help with muscle cramps, migraines and sleep problems. People are often deficient in magnesium and don’t realize it. Almonds, soy products and pumpkin seeds are great dietary sources of magnesium. Magnesium is typically found in calcium supplements to enhance absorption.

Benefits may not add up
A growing body of research seems to reinforce the role of dietary supplements as just that: supplements to our diet, taken to correct a deficiency.

The bottom line is to get most of your vitamins and minerals from dietary sources rather than from a pill. The majority of us don’t need to spend a lot of money on supplements. The best way to get enough vitamins is to follow a healthy diet that includes a wide range of fruits and vegetables.

A word on multivitamins
What if you aren’t consistently eating a well-balanced diet? A multivitamin is good for most adults who are not getting all the nutrients that they need every day.