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Cabbage Roll Stew

With Vitamin D rich mushroom and iron rich lentils, this hearty stew packs a nutritional punch that will stick to your ribs. Make a large pot for dinner and have left overs to get you through the week.

14 g dried porcini mushrooms hydrated with 3 cups boiling water – save stock and mushrooms

2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil, avocado oil or oil of your choice

3/4 lb (340 g) mixed mushrooms, trimmed and cut in halves or quarters

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

2 cloves minced garlic

2 Tbsp tomato paste

28 oz can (796 mL) diced tomatoes (I like salt free)

4 cups (1 L) vegetable broth

1/2 cup (125 mL) green or brown lentils

1/4 cup (60 mL) wild rice

1 medium green cabbage, cut into bite-sized pieces, about 6 cups

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried thyme

2 Tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar

1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt

3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh parsley leaves, chopped (optional)

In large 4 L stock pot or Dutch oven, warm oil over high heat. Add mixed mushrooms (except chopped porcini mushrooms) and allow to sear, stirring only very occasionally, until well browned, about 6 minutes. Turn heat down to medium and stir in onion. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes before adding reserved chopped porcini mushrooms, minced garlic, and tomato paste. Continue to cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. All vegetables should be well covered in tomato paste and some should be sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Deglaze bottom of pot with 1 cup (250 mL) reserved mushroom broth. Stir in diced tomatoes along with their juices, vegetable broth, remaining mushroom broth, lentils, and wild rice. Bring to a simmer before stirring in cabbage, bay leaf, and thyme. Cover pot with lid and cook on low, stirring occasionally, until lentils and rice are tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Stir in vinegar and salt and let soup continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in about 1/2 cup (125 mL) parsley, if using.

When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with some more parsley, if desired. Eat while warm.Cabbage-Roll-Stewp_web-690x518

Recipe from Alive Magazine, pick up your magazine in store or visit www.alive.com for more recipes and articles.

Caesar Salad – Vegan Style

Who doesn’t love a fresh, creamy caesar salad? This is comfort food for all and a vegan version is easier and creamier than you may have imagined.

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup soft silken tofu (non-GMO)
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Lettuce Gem lettuce or romaine hearts,
  • Add in what you love! croutons, tomatoes or grated toasted almonds

 

Purée oil, tofu, lemon zest and juice, mustard, capers, and nutritional yeast in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Just before serving, toss dressing with lettuce and add ins.

Plant based, for the Planet

Earth Day recently happened and I must admit I pay little attention to the event. Making lifestyle decisions for the planet can’t happen on just one day a year but must be incorporated into our daily decision making. Curbing green house gases, conserving water and  reducing our impact on the planet should be considered in all aspects of our life, including the food we eat. A vegan diet can help.

A vegan or plant based diet is nothing new, but it is gaining in popularity, and that is not without reason.

A plant based diet appeals to my inner environmentalist. I believe we all need to step up and make some personal changes for the betterment and survival of the planet. From the worrying predictions about global warming to the destruction of animal and plant habitats by deforestation and the impact of plastic waste in the oceans, the problems facing our one and only earth are vast and varied. Switching to plant based foods more often can be a small way to make a positive difference. Some of the environmental benefits of a plant based diet include:

  1. Lower Carbon Emissions – Livestock contribute to the amount of methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide – all gases that contribute heavily to climate change, emitted in to the atmosphere. Add in transportation and the fuel used to grow feed for livestock, and the carbon emissions increase more.
  2. Habitat Protection – Livestock require space. Almost a third of the earth’s arable land is used for animal agriculture, contributing to deforestation and desertification. Both phenomena contribute to the extinction of whole species of animals.
  3. Water Preservation – Animal agriculture requires huge amounts of water and contributes to water pollution and erosion.  It takes 100 to 200 times more water to raise a pound of beef than it does to raise a pound of plant foods. Water pollution from agriculture is the leading cause of ocean dead zones, areas polluted to such a degree that marine life can not survive.

There is also a strong health based reason for eating a plant based diet. When done properly, all of your required vitamins and nutritants can be obtained.  A vegan diet has been known to reduce inflammation and pain, improve digestion and help obtain a level of health that improves appearance and performance.

A complete vegan diet can be and is achieved and enjoyed my many. For others ,making plant based options more often is enough. Personally I have been a vegetarian most of my life but have never sustained a vegan diet but I do not prescribe to any strict diet or dietary group.  I do, instead, try to incorporate the best of many healthy dietary lifestyles into my own food practices whether it be paleo, gluten free or vegan. I try to eat good fats and whole foods. I reduce simple sugars and carbohydrates. I include complete, plant based protein sources more often and most of all I strive for life balance.

The options for vegans, or those wishing to include more plant based products in their life, has increased and improved dramatically in recent years. I encourage you to stop by during our Vegan Days Event May 10-12 to try some delicious plant based fare!

Vegan Days

3 Great Vegan Recipes containing Nutritional Yeast

Adding Nutritional Yeast to your diet is easier than you might think. It can simply be sprinkled to the foods you already enjoy, but if you’re looking for some new ways – try these great vegan recipes. Packed with protein, B vitamins and more. Adding Nutritional Yeast increases the protein and B vitamins in your food. It’s a great addition for kids with a taste they like – cheese!

Vegan Pasta Alfredo

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4.2 ounces uncooked spaghetti (120 grams) (regular or gluten free)
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Cook the minced garlic with olive oil until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the almond milk and bring it to boil. Add the salt, pepper, chopped cauliflower and cook until it’s soft about 7 minutes.
  • Transfer to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and add the nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
  • Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions.
  • Drain the pasta and pour it into the pan with the sauce. Stir and serve.

Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic & Chives

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 large cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 big cloves of roasted garlic (or 1 clove raw garlic)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • salt & pepper
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Chop the head of cauliflower into small florets.
  • Place cauliflower in a large pot and fill with just enough water to cover the florets.
  • Bring the water to boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Steam until tender, about 6 minutes.
  • Drain the cauliflower well.
  • Place the cauliflower in a large bowl, and puree with a potato masher or immersion (stick) blender.
  • Mix in remaining ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

Crispy Hash Browns

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 yellow potatoes (the small type)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon Himalayan/sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • Generous sprinkles of Italian herbs
  • Spray Oil
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Fill enough water in a small saucepan to cover the potatoes and bring it to a boil – which may take up to 10 minutes.
  • Once the water is bubbling, turn the heat to medium (4) and simmer for about 50 minutes or so until the potatoes are very soft.
  • Drain all the water and rinse the potatoes in cold water to cool it down a bit, then put them in a bowl and remove any excess water. Mash the potato with a fork, masher or something else. You can leave little bits and pieces unmashed for better texture. Also, leave the peel in there.
  • Once the potato has been mashed pretty well, add the nutritional yeast, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and Italian herbs. Give it a good mix until everything is even.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  • Grease an oven tray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Use your hands to form the dough into oval, hash brown sizes. The thickness should be about the same thickness as your pinky. Place them on the oven tray without overlapping.
  • Add a generous spray of cooking oil on top of the hash brown pieces and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, flip them over (very important, or you’ll end up with one burnt side), then bake for another 16 minutes until the top has browned.

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