Jazzy Vegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan Cookbook & Giveaway

I absolutely love watching cooking shows on TV- it’s one of the few things that I actually do watch! Probably my favorite cooking show to watch is Jazzy Vegetarian on PBS.

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Laura Theodore, who is the Jazzy Vegetarian, has been a delight for me to watch for years. I love her recipes, the way she cooks and also how sweet, fun and genuine her personality is. So much of her personality is translated into her most recent cookbook- Jazzy Vegetarian’s – Deliciously Vegan!

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Just looking through this cookbook will make your tummy growl in anticipation of just one bite of one of the many delightful recipes. Laura really is a genius in the kitchen and has made even split pea soup look divine! Laura also shares her tips for vegan cooking and baking, with easy-to-follow instructions, ingredient substitution lists and a glossary of common ingredients.  This cookbook has beautiful photographs of all the recipes which make it super easy to pick out what you like. Laura also helps those of us that love sweet treats (me!) make them more healthy. Deliciously Vegan is fun and supportive and full of all the good stuff – no judgement; vegan, vegetarian, veg curious – all are welcome.

From simple snacks to enticing entrees to mouth-watering desserts, in Deliciously Vegan, you’ll find recipes for delectable treats like: Miso-Parsley Hummus, Lemony-Maple Cranberry Muffins, Banana-Pecan Coffee Cake, Banana Walnut Bread, Tex-Mex Salad Bowl, Minty-Cucumber and Carrot Soup, Asparagus Tart, Sensational Stuffed Manicotti, Gingered Portobello Steaks, Seitan Fajitas with Cashew Sour Cream, Root Veggie and Lentil Trio Stew, Cashew Stuffed Artichokes, Divine Chocolate Mousse Cake, Blueberry Tea Cakes with Vegan Lemon “Buttercream” Glaze, Mini Raspberry Cheeze-Cakes and Four Ingredient Apricot Bars.

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And now for a recipe from the cookbook!

Potato and Spinach “Frittata”

Potato and Spinach “Frittata” 1

MAKES 3 TO 4 SERVINGS

It’s frittata time! This authentic-tasting frittata is baked in the oven, making it especially easy to prepare. With a delicious potato/onion base, paired with an herb-infused egg-like filling, this egg-less entrée is a true winner, perfect to serve for any meal of the day.

POTATO LAYER

  • 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari
  • 2 large red or white potatoes (with peel on) very thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/2 cup minced sweet onion

“EGG” LAYER

  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1 block (14 to 16 ounces), extra-firm regular tofu, drained
  • 3 tablespoons nondairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Liberally coat a 9 to 10-inch round quiche dish with vegan margarine.

Put the “potato layer” ingredients in a large skillet in the order listed. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost fork tender, flipping them over half way though cooking. Check often and add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to prevent sticking.

Meanwhile, put the rolled oats in a blender and process into coarse flour. Add the tofu, nondairy milk, Italian seasoning, tamari and turmeric and process until smooth.

Arrange all of the potatoes in an overlapping, even layer in the prepared dish. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon sea salt over the top. Spread one-third of the tofu mixture evenly over the potatoes. Top with the spinach, pressing it down firmly. Carefully pour the remaining tofu mixture over the spinach and gently spread it in an even layer, using a rubber spatula.

Sprinkle the paprika over the top of the frittata. Tent with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the frittata is set. Put the dish on a wire rack and loosen the sides of the frittata with a knife. Let cool 12 to 15 minutes and slice into wedges. Serve warm.

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Laura’s recipes are always so comforting while still being healthful. They don’t use out-of-the-ordinary or hard to find ingredients, just healthier versions of those traditional American recipes we love. This cookbook would be great to give as a gift to anyone who you are encouraging to eat healthier and more plant-based meals or pick it up for yourself so you can make all of these tasty treats any day you’d like 🙂

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Recipe and photo by Laura Theodore, from JazzyVegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan. Published by Scribe Publishing, ©2018, reprinted by permission.

Please enter here for your chance to win a copy of Jazzy Vegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan! Giveaway is limited to U.S. residents: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d8798bdf12/?

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Whole Health Club – The Gym With a Plant Based Kitchen!

Whole Health Club is a new concept in the health and fitness industry, one close to my heart. Their mission is to get people to make sustainable and lasting changes for their long term health, by eating lots of delicious healthy foods and integrating healthy lifestyle choices. The whole crew at Whole Health Club shares the same mission as I do, that’s why I wanted to tell readers all about them!

Sam Grantham and Chase Parker started Whole Health Club and the reason I think they are so cool is that they listen to the best nutrition data and that pass that info to their clients and the community.

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The partnership began when Chase introduced Sam to the book The China Study. Once he read that book and questioned the idea for a few more months, it became too obvious that he needed to live plant-based. He was your typical Midwest kid before that: the old high school athlete, The Jock, and eating whatever food he wanted, not knowing its impact on my health. “My interests, you could say, have always been aligned with running a business from setting up a fundraiser in school to raise money to two businesses started in high school and college: both small, fun, time-wasters, I’d say. It wasn’t until Whole Health Club that my brain became singularly focused on an idea that I believe could change the world.”

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Whole Health Club was started for a couple of reasons; they saw that nothing affects health more powerfully than a whole foods, plant-based diet. They also knew there were a lot of resources that teach this idea. They thought to themselves, “How come the public hasn’t became aware of this incredible diet?” They realized that when people decide that they want to get healthy, they go to the gym. So why not combine the two most powerful things that can have an impact on your health? “You should be in a gym where you can learn to be active and in the kitchen where you can learn to eat the way humans are supposed to eat: a whole foods, plant-based diet.”

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The mission of Whole Health Club is to make “healthy” simple. They do that because they believe in the research that shows its efficacy. A secondary part of their mission is to explain to people why gyms often don’t work. “And when I say that, I know gyms work for some people, but it’s important to note that since the 1950s, when the gym and workout craze began, we have only became more obese and diseased-riddled. I truly believe that gyms are designed as your first defense against being unhealthy, and if that’s the case then with so many gyms, you’d think we’d be a healthy nation. That’s the mission: We have to disrupt the gym industry” says Sam.

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At Whole Health Club, they offer cooking classes, one-on-one personal training, and an open gym membership. Clients can also come and go as they would please like any other gym. More importantly, they offer evidence-based meal plans and lifestyle hacks to be able to live a truly healthy life.

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“At Whole Health Club, you can get a gym that’s not going to follow whatever the most recent fad is. What you’re going to get as the only evidence-based gym that has multiple doctor endorsements across the country for the techniques they teach to get people healthy. You’re going to get a place that’s not going to base all of its success on weight loss. We base our success on someone becoming healthy.” Sam tells us.

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All Whole Health Club employees are exceptional in many ways. Not only are they are able to educate you on fitness in the gym, but they can also educate you on nutrition from a practical perspective. They can show you how to make meals, how to feed picky family members, and most importantly how to make it sustainable for you.

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Austin Joseph is a trainer at Whole Health Club who truly goes above and beyond in every aspect of his life from his work habits, to the way treats his clients, to the way he researches so he can better himself every day.

Chase Parker is one of the founders of the company and is in relentless pursuit of making the world a healthy place. He’s always been someone that excels to the top-level whether it be playing football at Michigan State or being a strength coach there then at the University of Florida, or even owning his own private facility in Florida and now his second one in Colorado.

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Paige Rogers is an incredible human being and also a founder. She is literally a jill-of-all-trades, if you will, from being able to educate people on self-care, fitness, nutrition, and yoga. No matter where Paige goes, she ends up being recognized for the love that she’s able to put out in the world. One of the best pieces of recognition she’s been given was being named one of the 33 people changing self-care by Essence Magazine.

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Kayla Jacob is the chef at Whole Health Club. She’s been with the company since the very beginning. Kayla is a classically trained chef. She received her education at Johnson & Wales. Kayla realized the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet in her own life and decided to stop at nothing to educate others on how to make not just healthy, but freaking tasty meals! She runs all of the cooking classes at Whole Health Club and is often also a private chef for clients, stocking their refrigerators with healthy meals.

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And a little about the most exciting part about Whole Health Club…. The Kitchen!! They have a saying a Whole Health Club and it goes, “Only good gyms have kitchens, and only one gym has a kitchen. So I’ll let you do the math.” Says Sam. In their kitchen, Whole Health Club staff teaches a whole food, plant-based, no oil approach. The kitchen is set up with residential equipment as it allows clients to go back to their own kitchens and feel comfortable making the same meals they were able to learn in their kitchen.

Whole Health Kitchen

At Whole Health Club, they boil down their cooking classes to four major categories. First are 15-Minute Meals because we live in a very busy society with a lot going on. The most common excuse for health is, “I don’t have time!” So you can make a healthy meal in 15 minutes. You’ve got no excuse to be unhealthy. Second, is the weight loss class, of course. Why wouldn’t a gym have a weight loss class? The best part about it, however, is the way they teach that class and weight loss in general. It is a plant-based, calorie dense principle which simply means if you eat the foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories you can never eat too much. When clients join this class, they see how much food they can eat and still maintain their weight loss. Next they have cooking for a family because too often one member of the family wants to get healthy and then is alone and doing this by him or herself. At Whole Health Club, they’ve noticed that when we’re able to incorporate the rest of the family in eating this way, even if it is just a couple meals a week, that person’s success rate on their help journey is tremendous. Then they get the added bonus of their family getting a little healthier. The fourth class is what they call “Everything In Between.” This includes snacks, desserts, and any other time you’re not having a whole meal. Too often they help people learn to eat healthy meals and then tell them not to eat in between. On a plant-based diet, you can eat all day, every day (in between meals, late at night, etc.) as long as you’re consuming a whole foods plant-based diet.

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The plans for the future of Whole Health Club are to bring facilities like this one to as many major markets as we can. One of the biggest things that’s going to allow us to do that is the 42 Day program. They’re currently working on making theirs proprietary. This program will allow anyone to start being a little bit healthier no matter if they’re a carnivore, no matter if they’re sedentary, or even if they’re already an active vegetarian. This program will show them all of the skills and answer all the questions they would have about how to eat and live a healthy whole foods, plant-based lifestyle. Once this program is down, they hope to be able to use it to grow the brand and add more facilities as well as partner with healthcare providers and educational systems to bring this program to them and benefit their students or patients.

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The biggest tip Sam would like to share that will help people live a long, healthy, and active life is to start with living as much of a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle as you can. Stay active. Whatever your favorite way to move or exert energy is, do that, whether it’s hiking, walking, lifting, or running. And lastly, something Sam thinks is underestimated in society, self-care. Self-care has a lot of definitions; His business partner Paige has taught him a lot about that. Self-care can mean many different things to many different people. For Sam “self-care is reaching out and staying in touch with my loved ones and my friends and seeing a therapist to talk through problems, ambitions, and goals. To others it may be meditating and doing yoga every day.”

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One of the most important things Sam wants the readers to know about Whole Health Club is that “We aren’t the vegan gym. You don’t have to be plant-based to work out or be a part of Whole Health Club. That being said, all of the techniques that we teach to get healthy involve eating more plants because that’s where the evidence is; that’s what can reverse heart disease. If they would like to be a part of Whole Health Club and happen to not live in Denver, we have an incredible online club they can join for just $10 a month. There’s also a 7-Day trial that’ll explain what they get with an online club membership.”

People can find Whole Health Club online, on Facebook, or on Instagram. They are very active on social media and love people following them and getting healthy. They’re located just south of Denver, and the best way to contact with them is through email or any of their social media channels.

You can find out all the details on their website:

https://www.wholehealthclub.com/14317467_864454873656531_6114729451850332834_n

 

Brighten Your Day With Sun Milk!!

There’s a new milk in town, one you probably haven’t tried and it’s made from something you may not expect! Sunflower seeds! How cool is that!?! Introducing Sun Milk from Boulder Sun!! Destiny Pic2

Sun Milk was created by Jordan and Destiny who are both very passionate about good food that is sustainable and kind to ourselves, the animals and the environment. Both Destiny and Jordan have both been vegan for many years. Destiny has always had a passion for food and was introduced to healthy, all natural food about a decade ago, but into her early adult life and motherhood, binge watched some Netflix documentaries, witnessed food industry atrocities and knew she needed to make a change in her life for her and her daughter. She also realized that she wanted to help make changes to the food industry and bring food to the table that was not only good for you, but that actually tasted good and was cruelty free. “It’s also very evident that there is a growing movement in the collective realization that a plant-based lifestyle is really the best for all” she says “Boulder Sun wants to be a part of that movement”.

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Sun Milk was created so that Destiny and Jordan could help do their part to improve the lives of animals, people and the environment.  They told me “Many people are over the world are suffering from major food allergies, and those numbers are just continuing to rise. Devastation to the environment is still happening and not all vegan food is harmless in that. We see places like California going through major droughts, bee colonies dying out at alarming rates. So we wanted to create a product that of course was first and foremost vegan, but next we knew we had a duty to create something that would be also be gentle on the earth. Sunflower seeds are not only allergy friendly but they are water conscious and sustainable. They are also packed full of nutrients that benefit many parts of the body. And let’s be honest, sunflower seeds are a bit of an American feel good past time. So not only did we create a product that was sustainable and cruelty free, but also… it’s just dang good and comforting”.

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The mission of Sun Milk is to help protect this beautiful planet we have been privileged enough to live on, but have been destroying. To help are fellow beings and allow them to live as peacefully as possible along side of us instead of under a knife. Also, to help make waves in the way people eat on an everyday basis and help turn around the health of this nation and stop diseases that are completely preventable and curable through food.

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Sun Milk is made of just three simple, clean and nutritious ingredients. Non GMO Sunflower seeds, non GMO sunflower lecithin and filtered water.  Boulder Sun makes great tasting vegan food, in a sustainable and allergy friendly way. It’s all natural and does not use refined sugars.

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Sun Milk is great on grain free cereals like this one made with chia seeds, ground flax, walnuts and dried apricots

Some of the best ways to use sun milk include; just straight up, but you can also try it in coffee, baked goods, smoothies, cheeze sauce recipes, alfredo, gravy… “really we haven’t found anything that we DIDN’T like it with” says Jordan and Destiny.

Plans for the future of Sun Milk include expanding the line to feature more vegan, sustainable and insanely delicious products. There is a vegan alfredo sauce in the works next! Eeek! How exciting!! 🙂

SunMilk Seed Cereal

Sun Milk Cereal topped with fresh fruit!

“We think one of the major keys to when going dairy free is first an open mind. And the second is time.” Destiny and Jordan told me when I asked what tips they could share to help people ditch dairy “Give yourself time to really experiment with the alternatives. Don’t give up after just trying one kind/brand. Also understand that it does take time for your taste buds to change as well. When you are used to drinking/eating dairy, and heavily processed foods that are sweetened, high sodium and high fat, it WILL take time start to finally appreciate the way real food tastes.” Excellent advice! 🙂

Strawberry SunMilk

One of the many delicious recipes you can make! Strawberry Sun Milk!

Sun Milk is currently made in small, hand-made batches and they are constantly improving the recipe and our methods. They love to hear real, organic feedback. So, once someone tries Sun Milk or other Boulder Sun products… let them know what you think!

Golden SunMilk

Golden Sun Milk: add 1/4 teaspoon of each; turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom to 1 cup warm Sun Milk. Sweeten to taste with date or maple syrup. Mix all ingredients together well.

I also asked the founders about what the top movies or books they would recommend that inspired them to become vegan? “There are so many! But right now we feel the ones with the most impact are Cowspiracy, What the Health, Earthlings, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 1 & 2, Forks over Knives, Fed Up, and Food Inc and the books; The China Study, How not to Die”.

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You can buy Sunmilk at Nooch Vegan Market and soon you will be able to find it at Lucky’s Market in Denver as well!! Drop by to grab some!

Follow them on facebook or instagram and visit their website for more details!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunmilkcolorado/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sun_milk_colorado/

The Sun Milk website: http://www.bouldersun.com/

Best One Yet – Delicious Vegan Ice Cream & Giveaway!!

I’m pleased to introduce you to Best One Yet, creator Helen and her delicious vegan ice cream!! Welcome to the Colorado vegan business scene, Helen!

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A little about Helen….. she’s originally from New Jersey and has been a food enthusiast her whole life. When she decided to become a vegetarian in 2009, she was excited to learn new ways of making natural ingredients shine. And when she decided to go vegan, she learned some new cooking skills, how to work with certain ingredients and make food feel exciting and fun. She says “It’s not all kale, guys!” (But sometimes it is.)

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Helen is also vegan. With food, there are three things she asks herself: “1. What is this food doing to me? 2. What’s it doing to the world around me? And 3. Can I live with those answers?” She think those answers will be wildly different for a lot of people. And she also thinks it’s important to note that being a vegetarian or a vegan doesn’t always mean you’re always making good choices. It’s not automatic. She always tell people who frown at vegan-ism, “Hey, Oreos are vegan!” “People just assume it’s always going to be bad or not taste good. They never expect it to be something so familiar. Not saying everyone should go out and eat Oreos, but you get the point!” What she loves about vegan food is its possibility. She loves how much it’s changing and becoming accessible and normal. “Plus anything to protect our animal friends!” She says.

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The creation of Best One Yet kinda happened by accident. Helen likes to tell people, it came to her, more than she went out looking for it. She was deep in an ice cream making phase in of her cooking adventures and working on recipe after recipe trying to perfect it all: the taste, the texture, the sweetness. “It was like a game at first, just trying to make the perfect decoy vegan ice cream (my goal was that people who enjoy regular ice cream wouldn’t know the difference).” And after she taste-tested a ton of recipes on her husband “he kept declaring them all the best one yet, which is where the name comes from, I started sharing them with friends and family and suddenly I  realized she was onto something.” The rest is history!

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One of the most unique and exciting things about Best One Yet is that, in the warmer months, Helen sells her ice cream out of the Vegan Vespa!! The Vegan Vespa is scooter/sidecar born out of the fact that Helen could not find a tiny food truck and will be re-launching again this spring! She wanted to jumpstart an all-vegan ice cream truck, but the truck itself proved hard to find. So the scooter was originally Plan B, but now she don’t know why she didn’t go with that first: it’s cute, memorable, easier to manage, etc. This past summer, she brought the scooter to a number of special events, breweries, farmers’ markets and food truck spots. “It was great!” she says “She learned so, so much, all of which I’m bringing with me into 2018 to make season two even better.”

The best way to find out where she’ll be is to get out Best One Yet’s event calendar or to follow them on social media! (Links below) You can also sign up for emails here and learn about what events are coming up next.

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So, what flavors of vegan ice cream does Best One Yet offer, you may ask? Helen has over 50 recipes ready to go, but when she’s on the scooter she always have the Core Four: Very Vegan Vanilla, Dark Chocolate, Rocky Mountain Road and It’s My Gluten-Free Birthday Cake (consistently our best seller since opening day!). She also usually add 2-3 other flavors to that list when I’m out and about, like GF Cookie Dough Dream or Banana Chocolate Chip. And she also has seasonal flavors, all year round! Like: Strawberry Jam, Colorado Peach, Pumpkin Maple Pecan and Candy Cane Crush. Best One Yet always strives to use organic ingredients whenever possible too. She uses organic coconut milk as the base for all her recipes. All of our flavors are also gluten-free! Most of them are naturally so, but whenever I have a typically gluten ingredient like cake or cookies, I make a gluten free version.

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So where can you buy Best One Yet?

In the “off-season” (late fall/winter): Lolita’s Market in Boulder and Nooch Vegan Market in Denver. In the “on season” (late spring/SUMMER/early fall): those shops, plus wherever the scooter is parked that day!

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So in my mission to help animals and support vegan businesses both Helen and I would love it if you would get out there and enjoy some of Best One Yet’s delicious ice cream! And, if you like it, please tell someone else that you think will like it, too!

You can find Best One Yet online at:

https://www.facebook.com/bestoneyetvegan/

https://www.instagram.com/bestoneyetvegan/

And Best One Yet is giving away 3 pints (It’s My Gluten Free Birthday Cake, Gluten Free Cookies and Cream and Rocky Mountain Road (also gluten free!) of Ice Cream to a local winner (you must be able to pick up the pints at Nooch Vegan Market in Denver to enter). Enter here & Good Luck! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d8798bdf11/?

Use Food As A Force For Good – Eat No Evil Foods!

No Evil Foods is now in Colorado!! Yay!

No Evil Foods is a company based in North Carolina that makes plant-based meats which are so tasty and are in such high demand that they’ve recently expanded throughout the US and now to my home state of Colorado !!!

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No Evil Foods (NEF) gives you FIVE amazing plant-based / vegan meats options to choose from:

THE COMRADE CLUCK –  a Plant Meat similar to chicken that is lightly seasoned and excellent in a wide variety of dishes.

THE STALLION-  a traditional sausage (made from plants) with a proprietary blend of rosemary, sweet fennel, thyme and other organic spices.

EL ZAPATISTA – a bold, full-flavored chorizo with an intriguingly perfect blend of spices that will incite a feisty, fiery revolution in your mouth!

PIT BOSS-  a slow smoked BBQ done right: tender, juicy and damn delicious.   Pit Boss is in the house–redefi­ning a Southern tradition with every bite.

THE PARDON – Show your loved ones how delicious plant-based meats really can be during the holidays or eat THE PARDON every day, we won’t judge.

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No Evil Foods Plant Meats are 100% plant-based and non-GMO. They harness the protein from beans, wheat berries and yeast and use organic herbs and spices to create flavor. And they do it with super simple ingredients too. They have all the taste and texture you want without any of the things you could live without. Their products are free from cholesterol, saturated fats, GMOs, antibiotics, hormones, soy protein isolates, nitrates and dairy. They are light on the environment and support ethical practices, too. Phew! It’s just damn delicious meat. Period.

They proudly proclaim ‘do no evil’ as their battle cry in the food revolution. Every bite supports their cause: to use food as a force for good. Small batch, sustainable simple and kind. The passion of a home cook, meets the spirit of a revolution. Protein for all!!

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How do you cook them? All the Plant Meats are already fully cooked so they’re a snap to use at home. All you have to do is reheat & eat! Poor impulse control? Eat them right out of the package or they’re delicious pan-fried with some healthy fat for 3-5 minutes until warmed through and browned to your liking!

They are also good on pasta, on pizza, on a hoagie or any sandwich, in stir fries, soups, the options are truly endless!!! Get creative in your kitchen and impress your friends and family with the tasty dishes you come up with!

Chorizo_KheemaI spoke with Ryan, a rep from NEF about what he loved about NEF and he told me:

“I personally love many things about No Evil Foods. First and foremost, these Plant Meats are delicious. That is the most important thing. We want people to know that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor, experience, or nutrition to improve your diet in a way that will positively impact yourself, your community, your environment, your planet and its beings.” Pretty cool Ryan!!! We like that!NEF_Packs-6

Some future goals include growing the company in the all regions they currently exist. Rocky Mountains specifically 🙂 A longer term goal is to bring as much of No Evil Foods Plant Meats in as much variety as possible to meet the needs and wants of the ever changing cuisine landscape!

And finally my favorite thing about No Evil Foods is their support of animal charities – they do this through partnerships and donating a portion of their proceeds to support the work of many life saving shelters and sanctuaries.

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Right now, you can find No Evil Foods products at Whole Foods Markets along the Front Range – from Fort Collins south to Colorado Springs (and in more states too) as well as Nooch Denver! 🙂

But if you can’t find them in your community, you can order online on their website and have them shipped straight to you!! You won’t be dissapointed!

http://www.noevilfoods.com/

https://www.facebook.com/noevilfoods

https://www.instagram.com/noevilfoods/

 

 

Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook & Giveaway!

I have huge news to share!! I made it into a cookbook!

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It’s such an honor to have contributed several recipes and vegan health and lifestyle tips to this beautiful book, along with some of my colleagues and graduates of the Main Street Vegan Academy.

In The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook, Victoria Moran along with JL Fields along with some 60 certified vegan lifestyle coaches, join you in the kitchen as you navigate more than 100 of their favorite plant- sourced recipes. Whether you’re a longtime vegan or vegetarian, or just veg-curious, their tips, tricks, shortcuts and strategies will transform your cooking, your eating and life.

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Do you have questions about the health of soyfoods, need tips on to prepare quick healthy meals, how to eat out as a vegan or deal with social situations that can sometimes get, shall we say, uncomfortable? Well, we’ve provided you with hundreds of ways to feel empowered and resolute in your decision to become vegan.  Owning this book is like having a health or cooking coach right there along side you, rooting you on, helping you make the best choices for your health, animals and the planet!

The tips, tricks and lessons learned shared will also help make eating more healthfully simple and de-mystified for those who are starting out or just need the extra encouragement. This book is also very positive and encouraging. There is no judgement, just practical ways to help you incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet. By developing healthy and compassionate eating habits and eating more whole foods, the way you feel improves and it becomes so natural (and delicious too!), you just don’t want to eat any other way!

So, as an example of the delicious recipes included in the cookbook, here is my recipe for an easy, healthy caramel dip which is great served as a dip for fresh fruit. It’s also tons of fun to take to a holiday party (or any party!). Check out the fun little Christmas tree I made using fresh fruit!

Caramel Dipping Sauce from The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook

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Recipe by Sarah Eastin, VLCE, Colorado

I love eating and cooking with dates. Dates provide many healing properties and are also a great healthy sweetener. Tahini is also a great way to sneak creaminess into dishes, as well as vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. This recipe is really delicious and is excellent as a dip but you could also add additional water to make it a sauce to drizzle over your favorite sweet treat or snack.

Yield: 2 servings

  • 10 medjool dates (soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes, drained)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Put all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve with sliced apples or your other favorite fruit.

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Above is a little tease of another one of my recipes included! Gotta Love it Chocolate Pudding! A healthy alternative to traditional pudding –  this pudding is also full of antioxidants & healthy fats as well as super easy and amazingly delicious!

A few of the other delicious recipes you’ll find in The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook include:

  • PB&J Sammie Smoothie
  • Crazy Spicy Spanish Omelet
  • Buffalo Chickpea Dip
  • Rainbow Zucchini Rolls
  • Is It Chicken? Is It Tuna? It’s Jackfruit Salad!
  • Easy Cheesy Broccoli Soup
  • Brooklyn Barley Stew
  • Cranberry-Kale Pilaf
  • Arroz con No-Pollo
  • Crisp Mocha Peanut Butter Bars
  • Roasted Plums and Blueberries with Tangy Coconut Cream

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And now for another sample of the delightful fare included in the cookbook… a delicious recipe for Veggie Mac! Mac & Cheese is always such a mainstay comfort food. But I’ve also heard that you should never eat traditional mac and cheese as it contains so many not-so-healthy ingredients that it is one of the most unhealthy things you can eat. For those of you that still love mac and cheese (me!) but are being a bit more careful about what you eat, this is an excellent alternative!

Veggie Mac from The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook

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Recipe by Britt LoSacco, VLCE, New York

Serves 4 to 6

This vegan mac and cheese was inspired by a popular recipe from the online site of the iconic vegan magazine VegNews. My version honors the original by using vegetables as its base but is free of oil or dairy substitutes, achieving creamy deliciousness via nuts and seeds. This mac offers all the indulgent comfort you’d expect, but since it’s made from whole plant foods, you can feel extra good about going back for seconds.

  • 2 cups diced peeled russet or Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta cooking water
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound vegan elbow macaroni

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat for the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the potatoes, onion, carrot, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Combine the cashews, garlic, tahini, mustard, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder in the jar of a highspeed blender or food processor. When the veggie mixture is finished cooking, add it (water included) to the blender. Place a towel over the blender and puree on high speed until completely smooth. (The sauce will be very thick, so have your tamper ready if using a Vitamix.)

Once the large pot of water has reached a rolling boil, throw in a fistful of salt and add the pasta. Cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the large pot. Pour in the sauce and stir to combine.

Nut-Free Option: Substitute 2/3 cup soaked raw sunflower seeds for the cashews.

Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free pasta.

Main Street Vegan Book!

The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook is more than a cookbook; it’s a complete guide to going vegan, from FAQs, troubleshooting, and menu plans to inspirations and innovations for navigating the culinary, nutritional, and social landscape of compassionate cuisine!

You can purchase the book from Amazon or, if you are in the Colorado area, keep an eye out for some of my upcoming events or classes and you can buy it from me there (or send me an email and I will get one sent out to you).

Hope you enjoy our beautiful little cookbook and have fun becoming an expert in your kitchen!  As always. please let me know how I can help you! 🙂

Enter here for your chance to win a copy:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d8798bdf10/?

 

Bliss Bites!

I have a fun little product to tell you all about today!! I’ve recently discovered the most delightfully tasty little treat! Bliss Bites!™ Bliss Bites are mini-cupcake sized artisan treats that are delicious AND nutritious and come in six flavors;  Caramel Pecan Turtle, German Chocolate Haystack, Dark Chocolate Coconut, Orange Lavendar, Mint Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cup!

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Bliss Bites!™ are vegan, raw, organic, gluten free, but not free of flavor or any of the good stuff. They are packed with healthy fats and superfood ingredients like cacao, coconut oil, goji berries and hemp hearts.

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Sarah is excited to eat her Bliss Bites!

 

Bliss Bites!™ were created after the Trulee™ founder, Sherry Lee White, overcame her debilitating auto-immune disease through clean eating and positive lifestyle changes. In order to improve her health she changed her diet and discovered just how fun and tasty eating health can be!! By pairing the nutritional power of superfoods with pure, simple and flavorful ingredients, she created Bliss Bites!™

bliss bites2Eating superfoods like goji berries, coconut oil, cacao and hemp hearts can provide an abundance of benefits including; anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, they support the cardiovascular, neurologic and immune system, they  regulate hormones, helps balance blood sugar, increase brainpower, and reduce threat of heart disease and stroke.  And these are just some of the many benefits! As Sherry, the founder of Trulee™ discovered when she incorporated more of these more whole, nutrient dense foods into her diet and started eating a less processed, Standard American Diet, her body responded in a positive way and started to heal itself. I’ve seen this happen to so many people too, their bodies recover from multiple conditions and feel great after eating whole foods that not just healthy, they’re delicious too! So eat superfood powerhouses in any form that you can as often as you can. Bliss bites are a great way to do that 🙂

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Bliss Bites!™ really do taste quite blissful and you can really tell that lots of love and thought goes into preparing each tasty little bite. My favorite was the Mint Chocolate but my friend Goldberry enjoyed the Peanut Butter Cup the most. They were all quite delicious and each had their own unique flavor and nutrition profile.bliss bites4Bliss Bites!™ are made in Texas but can be shipped any where in the US and come with this super cool little cooler! If you are in Texas you can also find them at HEB, Central Market, and Market Street.

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Goldberry is excited that our Trulee package arrived!

 

A very special thanks to Bliss Bites for letting us try these delicious little treats! They are the perfect snack and would be excellent to give as a gift for your loved ones or a gift to yourself!!

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And the great folks at Bliss Bites!™ are giving us 10% off all purchases, just use the code heal10.

You can find all their great products and order from their website:

https://www.truleeco.com/

 

 

Surviving Winter in Mountains, the Compassionate Way

When you think of Colorado or mountain towns, fashion may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Recently however, some super fun vegan businesses have sprouted, rooted in the mountains, doing great things in our community and beyond. I find it quite exciting, in fact, to be part of a community that has an up and coming vegan scene and is getting people to think not just about their food choices but also what impact what they wear has on animals and the environment.

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Fun shirts available from The Compassionate Closet

I’ve lived in the mountains all my life and, while, in the past, stylish cute apparel has been a bit hard to find, things are getting much better and I believe that we make the best of what clothes can find. Mountain lifestyles are very active so comfy clothes like yoga pants, sandals, and t shirts are some of the most common things you’ll find on the streets and trails in the summer but, in the winter, we need a little extra planning and warmth. As some readers know, finding ethical products to keep you warm in the winter can be a bit challenging. Many boots are made with leather, jackets are made with down and hats and socks made with wool. It’s taken me a long time to find products that align with my values. My hope is that some of the info below will help you!

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Warm socks available from The Compassionate Closet

My tips for preparing for cold winter month include; wearing layers (long underwear has been a lifesaver for me many times), always being prepared for a variety of conditions with fun, warm accessories; gloves, warm hats, a nice scarf, warm socks, comfy footwear and wearing bright colors to keep from experiencing winter blues. Also, do your shopping at some of our great Colorado local or online retailers!

Some of my favorite places to grab vegan winter clothing, if you are in Denver, include:

True Love Shoes and Accessories: https://www.trueloveshoes.com/

Hoodlab http://www.hoodlabstore.com/

And for online shopping you can find some great ecofriendly, Colorado vegan finds and beyond at:

The Compassionate Closet https://www.compassionatecloset.com/

Vickerey http://www.vickerey.com/

The North Face and Patagonia are also great sources for jackets for skiing, snowboarding or other adventures. Look for products that contain Primaloft®, which a synthetic insulator, ThermoBall™ or other products made with synthetic fibers.

Hiking boots and outdoor recreation gear can be a bit tough to find, a good online source is Vegan Outdoor Adventures, they have all sorts of great product information and reviews for those of us who love to adventure: http://veganoutdooradventures.com/

I’ve also even found some good, budget friendly and good looking vegan accessories, clothes and shoes at Target!

When it comes to a beauty routine be sure to wash your face often with natural products and moisturize your face and neck as well as apply a non-toxic, vegan sunscreen. My favorite places to find the best include natural grocery stores! This way you can test out which products are the best fit for you.

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Fun accessories available from The Compassionate Closet!

I also very much enjoy wearing lots of cool hats to protect me from the sun in both the winter and summer! And don’t forget your sunglasses!

Many of retailers listed above and the designers they carry have found an alternative to the use of animal products and provide sustainable and environmentally conscious clothing. Many jackets, shoes and other accessories are made hemp, recycled and sustainable fibers, even bamboo. Purchasing these products is also such a great way we can close the loop on recycling and love our environment too!

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Just a few of the beautiful shoes you can buy from The Compassionate Closet

In your search to find compassionate winter clothing, always be sure to read the labels before purchasing and ask the retailer about the items that the products contain. This also sends a signal that the demand is there for high quality, cruelty free products!

And finally, for a comprehensive list of cruelty free clothing, check out Peta’s Shopping Guide to Compassionate Clothing! Have a wonderful winter!

The Compassionate Closet Shirt

The Compassionate Closet donates a portion of its sales to help rescued animals like this! All photos have been provided by The Compassionate Closet.

 

And as a special bonus our friends at The Compassionate Closet are offering a 20% discount on all orders!! Use the code: SHOPVEGAN

https://www.compassionatecloset.com/

Denver Vegan Holiday Market

If you’re in the Denver area on December 9th please join us for our 4th Annual Vegan Holiday Pop Up Market! At this great event you will find compassionate gifts to purchase for everyone on your holiday list, delicious food, chef demos and more!!

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The list of vendors includes:

  • Ranger’s Bakery – Vegan Dog Treats
  • Azteca Foods – Vegan Tamales
  • Heal Grow Blossom – Vegan Food Gifts
  • Poofy Organics – Vegan Body Care and Home Products
  • Vegan’s Eat What – Books and more
  • NOOCH Vegan Market
  • The Compassionate Closet
  • Let Thy Food
  • Missy J’s
  • Love is Vegan
  • Healthy Holidays talk by Sarah Eastin, Vegan Coach & Chef
  • Cooking demos by: The Doctor & The Chef and Caitlyn Boyer – Personal Chef
  • Food available for purchase: Wanderculinarilust

This event is always lots of fun and getting bigger each year. Hope you can join us, it’s a great way to  support local small businesses and our great vegan community too!

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20 Ways to Love Yourself (and Animals) Through the Holidays and beyond

It can take a little work to eat healthy every single day; everyone slips ups here and there, can’t resist or over indulges in their favorite treat. Eating occasional treats and small indulgences aren’t the end of the world, but getting stuck in an unhealthy eating pattern and eating meals you know aren’t good for you for long, can damage to your health in many ways. I’ve struggled with staying on track, especially around the holidays, when we’re so busy and have endless obligations. I thought now would be the perfect time to write this post; to give both you and me a gentle reminder! The following are some of my favorite ways to stay healthy and help animals during the holiday season and beyond.

That's me!

This is me staying healthy year round with my rescued pup!

 

  1. Keep an abundant supply of healthy snacks available to help avoid temptations to indulge in sugary and other unhealthy snacks. Nuts and seeds in moderation, raw vegetables and fresh fruits are good snack choices.
  2. If you attend a holiday potluck, take a healthy dish to eat and share with others. If you are going to a restaurant or attending a holiday function where you know your options will be limited, eat something before you go to satisfy your appetite.

    IMAGE 2- A healthy vegan plate

    A healthy vegan holiday dinner

  3. Take time to research and select healthy vegan recipes to prepare over the holidays. Try to focus the bulk of meals on vegetables, fruits and legumes. A great source for tested holiday recipes is the Vegan’s Eat What Blog. 
  4. Get creative with raw recipes. One of my favorite sources for raw holiday recipes is Fully Raw Kristina

    IMAGE 1- Cranberry Relish from Fully Raw Kristina

    Delicious Cranberry Sauce from Fully Raw Kristina

  5. Eat raw garlic to prevent getting sick. It may seem strange, but raw garlic is one of my best home remedies for staying cold free. I’ve heard that we should eat at least 1 raw clove of garlic a day to prevent illness!
  6. Take it easy on the alcohol. Instead of selecting alcoholic beverages at parties and office functions, opt for mocktails, apple cider, kombucha, herbal teas, or fruit/herb infused water. Try this Sparkling Cranberry Kombucha Mocktail for a fun, tasty drink, minus the hangover.

    IMAGE 3- Sparkling Cranberry Kombucha Mocktail

    Sparkling Cranberry Kombucha Mocktail

  7. Walk as much as you can to ensure 30 minutes of exercise per day. Walking with family, a friend, or the family dog is a fun way to meet daily exercise goals.
  8. Don’t forget the importance of deep breathing and practicing yoga or some sort of daily stretching. Practicing deep breathing techniques helps strengthen our respiratory system which is especially important as we age.
  9. Implement your favorite self-care strategies. Meditate, use aromatherapy, or indulge in a massage or other special spa treatment.
  10. Get lots of rest. Good sleep is essential to long term good health.
  11. Plan your holiday shopping to make it as stress free as possible. Online shopping is a huge timesaver and can help alleviate a great deal of the stress associated with traditional holiday shopping
  12. Be social. Spending time with good friends and loved ones is a great way to boost your immune system.
  13. Learn to say “No.” Holidays can seem overwhelming so focus on activities and events that make the best use of your time and bring the most joy to your life.
  14. Give the gift of homemade vegan foods. Homemade granola, spiced nuts, prepackaged soup mixes and spice blends are always appreciated and easy on almost any budget.
  15. Ask for and give gifts such as healthy cooking classes, vegan cookbooks, or a session with a Vegan Lifestyle Coach. Coaches help many people get healthy and stay healthy and could be just what you need to help you get through something you may be struggling with. In fact, this is a great time to pre-order the delightful Main Street Vegan Cookbook written by my Vegan Lifestyle Coach colleagues to share with your loved ones!
  16. Instead of buying or making gifts, donate to vegan advocacy and animal welfare organizations.

    IMAGE 5- My family of rescued pets

    My family and our rescued pups

  17. Save a life by serving a vegan turkey or ham alternative at your holiday meal celebrations. There are several good commercial brands currently available, or make your own animal-free holiday roast. One of the best main dishes I’ve made and served at holiday events is Lynn’s Meatloaf from the Engine 2 Diet.

    Barley, a calf discarded by the dairy industry rescued by Broken Shovels

    Barley, a calf discarded by the dairy industry rescued by Broken Shovels

  18. Adopt an animal in need and encourage others to do the same. Animal are great for improving your overall mood and well-being, and please remember always adopt and never shop for a companion or other animal.
  19. Sponsor a farm animal at a local farm sanctuary. One of my favorite new sanctuaries is the Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary in Colorado where the amazing Andrea Davis rescues and cares for numerous neglected and abandoned animals. You can sponsor a farm animal at Broken Shovels and at most farm sanctuaries throughout the United States and abroad.
  20. And above all; stay positive, happy, and have fun at all your events. As happy, healthy, vegans we must lead by example and show people the great things being a vegan can do for them too!