Let's face it, even though being vegan and eco-friendly encompasses your entire life, you're most interested in the food. But finding and making delicious healthy, compassionate and ethical meals can be challenging, especially if you're brand new to this way of living. Eco-Vegan Gal is here to help you navigate the water, sharing her favorite finds and best resources in the following sections.
Review written by EvG team member Rachel Curit:
Anyone who has ever thought that vegan food is flavorless and boring needs a copy of Food Fusion in the Vegan Kitchen stat. Joni Marie Newman shows her readers how to make decadent and satisfying food with everyday ingredients that could be found at the local grocery store. She takes well known dishes like Vietnamese bahn mi or Italian fettuccine Alfredo and adds an ethnic twist to make it even more exciting and unique.
Product review by EvG team member Amanda Shea:
I am somewhat of a chocolate aficionado. I love chocolate, so of course I was excited to review PASCHA. The entire line is free of the eight major food allergens: nuts, dairy, soy, eggs, fish, wheat, and gluten. All the chocolate this company produces is vegan, and bonus it's organic and fair trade. The prices of the bars are reasonable: for a full size 3.5 oz. chocolate bar it costs $5.00. Some people may think this is expensive compared to other brands but when it comes to chocolate you truly get what you pay for - the cheaper the chocolate, the more likely its been overly processed leaving out the richness of cacao.
Product review by EvG team member Amanda Shea:
I am always on the look out for new healthy, great tasting bars, though as a gluten-free vegan, it can be difficult finding some that taste great. More often than not bars are full of preservatives and high in sugar. Thus, I was excited to hear learn about Taste of Nature, because all of their bars are vegan, gluten-free, and organic! Could I ask for more? Oh yeah, they're also made without additives, artificial flavors, or preservatives! Here's what I thought of them:
This smoothie is one of the best I've ever had, let alone made at home! Matcha green tea powder is one of my all time favorite culinary flavors, and if you haven't tried it yet it's 'bout time! Or perhaps you've tried it in something like mochi and you just didn't realize what was behind the delicious flavor of that scrumptious dessert. For those unfamiliar, matcha is bright, vibrant green, fine powdered green tea with a rich, sweet flavor. It is high in antioxidants and gives the body a smooth, steady stream of energy for hours. It's traditionally used by whipping the powder and hot water together in a bowl to make a tea drink, which is how the Zen Buddhists prepared it back in the day. Now matcha is common in fancy tea shops and natural cafes, where I get very excited to see it on menus.
When I'm craving a chocolately treat this is my go-to recipe. It was inspired by an expensive raw dessert I was buying until I realized how simple it was to make at home. Once I started playing with the ingredients the addition of matcha green tea, one of my favorite flavors, took these bites over the top! The truffles take 5 minutes to prep and after a little time in the freezer they're ready to pop into your mouth! They're great to share with kids, romantic partners, friends and colleagues; be sure to let me know what everyone thinks! Oh, and the video demo of this recipe is coming soon.
Serving Size: 1 truffle
Ingredients (buy organic whenever possible):
- coconut flakes: 1 cup
- cacao powder*: 1 tbsp
- coconut oil, melted: 1 tablespoon
- liquid sweetener of choice (I used coconut nectar): 1 tablespoon
- dates, pitted: 4-5
- Green Juice powder**: 1 tbsp
*cocoa powder can be subbed
** use code "ecovegangal" to get 15% off Organifi Green Juice
Video recipe in playlist below
- Add coconut flakes and coconut oil to food processor and blend until well combined.
- While food processor is on, add pitted dates through top, followed by coconut nectar, cacao powder and Green Juice powder
- Stop processor and check for consistency. You want the truffles to be sticky enough to roll into a ball shape. Add another date if needed
- When the consistency has been achieved, form the mixture into truffle shapes and place them on a plate
- Optional: dust the truffles with cacao powder
Store remaining truffles in fridge to keep them cool and fresh.
Learn more about Organifi's Green Juice powder in these videos:
Product review by EvG team member Rachel Curit:
When I first received Tofurky’s Artisan Sausages in the mail, I knew immediately that I wanted to do something special with them. Why would I just eat them all on a bun when I could slice them up and put them on a pizza? Rather than treating them like the meal themselves, I set out to use them as an ingredient, just as I would with a sweet onion or bitter greens.
Product review by EvG team member Kelly O’Brien:
Before Macro-Life Naturals sent me their products to review, I knew absolutely nothing about the company. A big box arrived at my doorstep and inside was a container labeled 'Macro-Greens'. Macro-Greens is a powdered formula that you scoop into a glass of water or juice, mix and the benefits are almost too good to be true...yet they are! Macro-Greens consists of certified organic barley greens and "a multiple system photo-nutrient herbal blend" (their words) that includes 18 Billion probiotics. I was ready to stabilize my blood sugar while gaining a whole lot of energy, so, put away all of my 'greens' supplements and savored this delicious drink every day! It's pretty incredible when you really start to realize the long list of benefits. Yes, it is gluten-free as well which was an extra added bonus.
Practically every vegan across the U.S. knows about The Chicago Diner, a legendary destination as far as plant based restaurants goes! As a ChiTown resident, I get to go there whenever I like - spoiled, I know!!! Since 1983, The Diner has been building it’s reputation as THE Chicago vegan/vegetarian choice to eat at for years. Even back when the city's reputation with meat-and-potatoes was the norm, this little cozy diner was making waves. The Chicago Diner is pretty darn famous here in our city and everyone that stops by for a meal, leaves with a big smile on their face and satisfied belly. It really is a special attraction for both natives and tourists alike.
Product review by EvG team meber Amanda Shea:
I am always excited to try out new, healthy vegan products to add to my diet. In all honesty, I have never heard of Baobab fruit powder before I received samples for Kaibae. I did a little research on Baobab fruit and found out it originates from Africa. The actual fruit is hard to come by; the next best thing is getting it in powder form. It truly is a superfood because of all the amazing health benefits.
Do you find yourself spending WAY too much moolah at the local smoothie bar and organic cafe? Are you having a love affair with your high speed blender, yet find yourself making the same recipes over and over again? If you found yourself hollering, "yes, Yes, YES!" then you much check out this new book. The Blender Girl: Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts, and Drinks--100 Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes! by Tess Masters will be on shelves tomorrow (April 8th) and it is going to rock your blender-lovin' world. Below I'll share one of my favorite smoothie recipes from the publication, but first let me give you a little breakdown of this stunning work of art.