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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
A EvG viewer named Hannah said she was having trouble finding vegan options between Destin and Pensacola, FL. I didn't have any suggestions for her, so I turned to the EvG online community and of course they had some great recommendations.
End of the Line Cafe (Pensacola) ~ vegan
Sluggo's (Pensacola) ~ all vegetarian
Raw & Juicy (Seaside) ~ juice bar with raw food
Have you been to any of these places or know of more you'd like to share? Leave a comment and I'll add them in!
Type the word "vegan" on YouTube or do a web search for vegan recipes and you'll immediately come across The Vegan Zombie, a video series that shows how fun, simple, and flavorful plant-based cooking can be. I've admired this channel since discovering it last year, especially because of the professional camera work and editing that goes into it. You may have caught me mentioning them in one of my Weekly Roundup videos, which is how I got to know them personally. Chris, the man behind the magic, tried to arrange a video collaboration in December but my crazy schedule prevented me from doing my part. Fortunately their home/film set near Syracuse, NY was directly on the way to Massachusetts during my cross country road trip so I stopped in and we made the following video recipe together.
This post was inspired by a tweet from Wilfred star Fiona Gubelmann, who was looking for vegetarian options around the Gas Lamp area of San Diego while there for Comic Con. I've only been to San Diego once years ago so I reached out to the EvG social media community and they had these great suggestions:
1. Evolution Fast Food (2949 5th Ave - 2.5 miles from the Convention Center) ~ top recommendation
2. Pokez Mexican (947 E St - 1.2 miles away) ~
3. Yard House (1023 4th Ave - .7 miles away) ~ lots of options with Gardein
4. Masala Spices of India (314 K Street - .4 miles away)
5. Tao (3332 Adams Ave - 7.5 miles away) ~ highly rated restaurant so might be worth the drive!
6. Lotus Cafe and Juice Bar (3955 5th Ave - 3 miles away)
7. Peace Pies (4230 Voltaire Street - 7.5 miles away) ~ raw, vegan, organic, and gluten free!
View Veg Options Near Comic Con (Gas Lamp area of San Diego) in a larger map
Hungry for more? Check out Happy Cow's list
I had the pleasure of making a meal with my fabulous new intern Junghwa of An Apple A Day and together we prepared 2 raw recipes. She picked out the Spanish "Rice" from Unprocessed by Chef AJ and I chose the Marvelous Minestrone from Ani Phyo's new book 15-Day Fat Blast. These are great recipes for summer, whether you're trying to lose weight, get healthier or incorporate more fresh, whole foods into your diet without unecessary additives like salt, oil and sugar. In fact, these are acceptable for the 80/10/10 diet as well.
This is by far one of the most interesting things I've made, but it is quite refreshing and very filling. I didn't want to scare you with the title, but it's actually watermelon rind juice blended with fresh mint, lime and dates. Sounds kinda gross but I'm obsessed with it, and it's a great way to use the whole watermelon. I don't know about you, but I've been OBSESSED with watermelon and since I eat it practically everyday (yup) my compost was overflowing with rind until I stumbled upon this recipe. Plus, it has all sorts of nutrients like vitamin C, lycopene and antioxidants. So, head to the store, buy yourself a watermelon, bliss out while eating the inside, and then top it all off by breaking out your juicer to make this satisfying drink!
This recipe is an easy way to incorporate more fresh, organic, raw food into your diet. Plus, it's a fun introduction to collard greens if you're unfamiliar with them. You can follow the recipe or get creative with what you have on hand. It's crunchy and savory and makes a nice snack or lunch.