For as long as I can remember my favorite soup has been split pea. Perhaps this is because it reminds me of my father, who also loves it and makes it regularly. Who could blame him? Split pea soup is thick, creamy and flavorful with a great salt balance. There's no need to follow the traditional recipe of adding chicken broth and ham - this soup is just as delicious when made entirely with plant-based ingredients.
The following recipe is a twist on the standard split pea soup: sweet potato and smoked paprika are added for a sweet, smoky flavor. If you're as much as a fun as the traditional recipe as I am, you're sure to love this variation. As mentioned in the video, you're encouraged to modify the recipe with whatever you have on hand (such as extra vegetables and unused spices).
And PS: this soup costs about $1.50 a serving even with entirely organic ingredients! If you want more tips on eating well on the cheap check out my ebook "Healthy, Organic Vegan on a Budget."
In honor of Vegan MoFo (Month of Food) I'm doing a video every day of September on the What A Vegan Eats YouTube channel. Yesterday I made one of my new favorite treats: a durian smoothie. If you've never tried durian this is a great introduction - it's not only easy to make, but it's sweet and creamy. It makes for a filling breakfast and a healthy snack!
It's almost officially summer time and you know what that means - veggie burgers on the grill, yahoo! Sure, you probably eat plant-based patties year round like me, but there's something about the way they taste on a warm summer day... And I'm sure I'm not alone in having tried my fair share of vegan burgers over the years - sadly it's hard to find one that really satisfies. I've had dry burgers, burgers that fall apart, burgers that lack flavor... you know what I'm talkin' about! And to make things a bit more challenging, when I started avoiding gluten, soy and corn my options were pretty pathedic. That is, until I discovered Hilary's Eat Well, a company that makes delicious, convenient and low-allergen burgers that are gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, egg-free, soy-free, yeast-free, and nut-free! The woman-owned biz offers 3 pattie flavors and new bites that are great for kids.
I found out by chance that today is National Peanut Butter Lover's Day! I'm sure every day is a national celebration for some random ingredient, but none the less I felt inspired to write about this one because I happen to be a peanut butter lover. Funny enough, this is something that I struggled with up until September 2012. Why? Because I knew peanut butter wasn't the healthiest food. I realized one day that very few healthy vegan recipes call for peanut butter and wondered why, since it's just blended organic nuts (I haven't had the sugary or salty variety in years). Then I figured it out.
This list of Valentine’s tips appeared in my inbox from a site called Queendom.com - these ideas are so sweet and simple I had to share.
· Forget the dozen roses. Buy one, wrapped with a ribbon. (I add: **make sure it is organic, locally grown and fair-trade!**)
· Show up at your partner's workplace and whisk him or her away for (a healthy) lunch.
· Place a love note in your partner’s lunch bag or on the bathroom mirror.
· Grab a blanket, a bottle of wine, and drive out to a place where you can see the stars. (better yet, bike, walk or take public transportation!)
· Slow dance in your living room. (or get silly and dance to a fun, old school song!)
· Meet at a local hang-out and pretend you’re two strangers flirting with each other.
· Build a little bonfire in your backyard and make chocolate (vegan) Smores.
· Get tango or salsa lessons together.
And remember, V-Day doesn't have to be about being in a relationship - celebrate it with your friends, family, animal companions and/or yourself! I explored the importance of this (and following your heart) in this video with Charles from RawYouth.org:
What a great way to use up all those lingering candy canes - would be a lovely treat for New Years Eve! I found an organic, corn syrup-free variety at Whole Foods and they were perfect for this! The recipe results in a sweet, decadent, salty and crunchy dessert that will delight children and adults alike.
It's free of gluten and soy, and it can be relatively low in sugar if you use a ultra dark chocolate, a raw chocolate and/or one sweetened with stevia or xylitol. It can also be low in salt if you use salt-free tortilla chips and even low in oil and nut-free if you leave out the coconut oil.
I'm not kidding when I say this is one of the best recipes I've ever made. Unfortunately I can't take all the credit because Jason Wrobel is mostly responsible for this creation, which probably explains why it tastes so darn good.
Imagine the crunch of an amazingly flavorful sweet potato chip paired with a creamy, salty, buttery squash dip and the sweet tarty taste of pomegranate seeds. This is a dish that will knock the socks off you and anyone you serve it to, so I highly recommend you take it to a party to impress anyone who snags a bite before they fly off the plate. Jason and I created this right after Thanksgiving and think that it makes a perfect holiday hors d'oeuvre, but it's great at any point in fall, winter or early spring. Heck, you might even crave it in the summer!
As usual, it's gluten and soy-free but it contains oil (coconut) and a tad of salt - you can omit the latter two if you'd like (perhaps with veggie broth), just don't count on it being as flavorful. This is a super easy and simple recipe, but it will take 45 minutes to an hour to finish due to oven time.
I'd like to say that a drop in temperature is responsible for the desire to eat comfort food, but let's be honest - when do you not want macaroni & cheese? OK, maybe it isn't that appealing on a super hot day, but you can always serve it cold right? It's nearly impossible to resist the creamy texture and buttery taste. The only catch is that most mac 'n' cheese is loaded with oil, salt, soy and gluten, which can leave you feeling weighed down and bloated. Fortunately it doesn't have to be that way - this recipe puts a healthy. spin on the classic favorite.
The "cheese" sauce is free of salt, oil, gluten and soy. However, the "secret" ingredient (tortialla chips by Way Better Snacks) adds a tad of the former two - it's totally worth it in my opinion. The flavor is cheese-like and tangy (remiscent of kale chips), the texture smooth and crunchy, and it is extremely filling. Inspired by a recipe in the Forks Over Knives cookbook, this dish is relatively low in fat and can be even more so if you cut back on the amount of cashews you use. Or, if you feel like indulging, double the amount of cashews to make it extra creamy!
The is the first of a series of recipes featuring Way Better Snacks' tortilla chips now that I'm part of their ambassador team (read more on that here). My goal is to find unique ways to use them and inspire you to get more creative - there's so many ways to enjoy chips other than in dips and nachos. This is a twist on the traditional SouthWest Salad - it is free of salt, oil, sugar, gluten, soy, and corn and is raw (however, the chips are made from organic, non-GMO corn and contain a bit of oil).
I served it to my family and they really enjoyed it. They're not used to salt and oil-free dressing so if I were to make it for them again I'd add in more garlic (2 cloves instead of 1) and perhaps use a bit more dressing. We all agreed that the crunch and flavor of the Way Better chips were the best part. It was more than enough salad for a filling lunch for each of us.
If you're looking for a recipe that's easy yet extremely satisfying and can wow anyone that joins you for dinner, this one is a sure bet. This vegan version of classic pesto has a fun twist on it - pistachios, which add a little something special to the dish. I've made this for my boyfriend, non-vegan friends and my family and each time we raced to get the last serving!
This recipe comes from Spork Fed, a book full of yummy plant-based meals created by two sweet sisters. It is free of gluten and soy, and can be made without salt and oil (see the bottom of this recipe for ideas on how to do the latter).