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.
Not only is it Celiac Awareness Month but it's also Food Allergy Awareness Week! Does that mean that celiac's is more important to all the other food allergies? Hmmm... Anyways, to celebrate I want to introduce to a new company making wonderful gluten-free baking mixes: Zema's Madhouse Foods. The founder took her health, fitness and ADHD perspective to combine ancient whole grains with superseeds chia, hemp and flaxmeal into delicious creations. Each mix is kosher, Non-GMO Project Verified, and free of refined sugar and the top 8 allergens. And yet there's so much inside - in fact, for most recipes all you need to add in is wet ingredients like milk and egg alternatives of choice. Fill your kitchen with Cinnamon-Oatmeal Apple Muffins, Multigrain Pancake & Waffles, Cocoa Teff Pancake & Waffles and Rosemary-Millet Focaccia & Pizza Crust - Zema's sent me the latter two to try and here's what I thought:
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.
"If conscientious consumption means we avoid contributiong to suffering, palm is clearly problematic." ~ Mark Hawthorne
My vegan lifestyle is a continuous evolution - I'm constantly learning something new about food, nutrition, the environment, ethics, politics, etc. No wonder many people find veganism intimidating - there's a lot to consider! When I first went vegan I looked at it very simply - I didn't eat any products that came from animals and I could verify this by looking at labels, seeking out vegan certifications and avoiding the obvious (meat, dairy, leather, silk, etc). But as I became more passionate about the lifestyle and made it my career to inspire and educate others on the topic, I realized that there's a lot more than meets the eye. Some may find this overwhelming, but I believe that if we take things step by step and strive to be informed, we can each develop a well-rounded perspective on our personal choices. A perfect example is palm oil - in this article I explore this confusing and touchy subject, and offer some suggestions on how you can keep your purchases as ethical as possible
One of the most intimidating and challenging aspects of being vegan is handling conversations with people who aren't vegan. These chats can easily swing from calm and understanding to debate-like, with each person defending their food choices. I spend a lot of time pondering and researching the best ways to handle oneself in these situations, and have offered up my opinion in several videos (see below). Below are are some more tips to help guide yourself through these tête-à-têtes.
UPDATED: February 24, 2015 (originally written in 2013)
It's that time of year again - Natural Products Expo West starts on March 7th! This business trade show is an amazing place for professionals in the health field to meet eachother, discover new products and introduce others to them. Attendees are bombarded with free food all day long, namely energy bars, chocolate, sweet drinks and bagged snacks. Unfortunately this wonderful experience often leaves to upset stomaches due to weird food combinations and cravings for nutritious, sit-down meals. Though the area around the Anaheim Convention Center doesn't offer much in the way of healthy restaurants I've pulled together a list of places that offer whole plant-based meals, which will satisty both vegans and omnivores.
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.
Can you believe today is the last day of November?! I sure can’t. The holidays are in full swing and I hope you had a magnificent Thanksgiving. Check out this video if you’re curious what delicious plant-based cuisine I feasted on; my meal was epic! My favorite dishes were Jason Wrobel’s Shiitake Kabocha Quinoa (recipe coming soon) and Justin Feldman’s Cornbread Stuffing - mmmm mmm mmm!!
One of the biggest reasons people decide to adapt a plant-based diet is to prevent or reverse disease. Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer are unfortunate wake-up calls to a toxic lifestyle. Fortunately there are endless cases of people healing entirely simply by changing the way they eat. Some of the most powerful stories are from celebrities, like Bill Clinton, Rosie O’Donnell and Suzanne Somers - their journeys have influenced many people to take a look at their own decisions and habits and make life-changing choices.
In the following video I explain:
- what seed sprouting is and the health benefits,
- the difference between seed sprouting and green sprouting,
- why green sprouting has caused some foodborne illness breakouts and how to avoid them,
- whether cooking sprouted foods effects the nutritional value,
- and an introduction to the new EvG sponsor: Way Better Snacks
To me, this isn't much of a recipe - it's more like inspiration for having fun and getting creative in the kitchen. The main ingredients were store-bought and packaged, so anyone can make this in a matter of minutes using their favorite crust, sauce and plant-based cheese. However, if you're nervous about making a pizza free of dairy, gluten and soy that will still taste good, you have my word that this one is fantastic (even non-vegans like it).
This salad is incredibly easy to make and is a delicious example of how great veggies can be without oil or dressing. It's also a great way to feature kale in a dish. Though it is raw and unprocessed, keep in mind that the avocado and seeds add a significant amount of fat, so if you're trying to cut back on that you may want to reduce the amount suggested in this recipe. From an eco standpoint, this meal is wonderful because you can get everything without packaging!