5 – Ingredient Vegan Cookbook Giveaway

I could make a recipe from this cookbook every single day! Each recipe is perfect for, I’d say, for all of us who are generally crunched for time and looking for healthy meals that are quick, easy and full of flavor!

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5 Ingredient Vegan is the most recent cookbook by innovative author, illustrator and recipe developer Nava Atlas. Just a few of her other popular cookbooks include; Plant Power, Wild About Greens, Vegan Holiday Kitchen, Vegan Soups, Vegan Express and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. What I love the most about all these cookbooks is that they are all focused on making plants taste great.

Chickpea Snacks

Chickpea Snacks

The ingredients Nava includes in her recipes in 5 Ingredient Vegan are easy to find in grocery stores in any part of the US. Just one of the time saving techniques Nava includes in this fun new vegan cookbook is using items like; fresh produce, good quality canned and frozen foods, whole grains, prepared sauces and obviously only 5 of these ingredients.

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Mushroom Soup

Another one of the secrets you will learn in 5 Ingredient Vegan is how to pack your dishes with flavor so that your friends and family will be coming back for more! I would also recommend getting fruits and veggies from local farms or Farmer’s Market that will kick your dishes up several more notches!

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Polenta Stacks

Many of the recipes in this cookbook are ready to eat in a or less than 20 minutes and have you covered for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and more. They are also fun to create, very pleasing to the eye and would be great for people starting out on a plant based diet or helpful for someone that you are encouraging to eat more plants. Many of the dishes will also make you the star of the show if you brought them to parties!

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Pinto Bean and Avocado Salad

Pinto Bean Salad

Pinto Bean and Avocado Salad

Brought to you by the Department of Yum, this lovely bean salad is richly flavored with olives and avocado. It pairs well with vegan quesadillas and simple grain dishes.

Reprinted with permission from 5-Ingredient Vegan © 2019 by Nava Atlas, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky.

Serves: 4

  • 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 heaping cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives (halved if large)
  • 2 limes
  • Olive oil as desired, preferably extra-virgin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Drain and rinse the pinto beans, then combine with the avocado, tomatoes, and olives in a serving bowl. Toss together gently.

Add the juice of 1 lime and a drizzle of olive oil and toss again.

Season with salt and pepper. Cut the second lime into 4 wedges to serve with the salad.

Optional addition:

Garnish each serving with a few fresh cilantro leaves.

5 Ingredient Vegan is my kind of cookbook, it contains unique recipes that focus on bringing out flavors of whole foods, and that is what I love! I think you will too, so pick up a copy of your own or enter for your chance to win a copy at the link below!

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With dishes like Scallion Pancakes, Southwestern Tofu Burritos, Tempeh Fries with Fresh Dill Mayonnaise, Smoky BBQ Chickpeas, Baked Polenta Fries, Coconut Sweet Potato Bisque, Pasta with Power Greens, Salsa Verde Bean Burritos, Skillet Blueberry Crumble, Pineapple-Orange Ambrosia and Chocolate Granola Clusters, how can you go wrong?

Find the giveaway here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d8798bdf17/?

Easy Meals For Great Brain Health

As a follow on to my June post about foods to eat for great brain health, I’m writing today with some easy meal ideas which can help keep your brain extra sharp throughout your entire lifetime. As I mentioned, in my original post, the key to great brain health is eliminating inflammatory foods like; gluten, sugar, dairy, meats, fast and processed foods, fried foods, pastries, alcohol, food additives and preservatives. It can be a little tricky to stay on track, when you are working to eliminate inflammatory foods but with a little pre planning as well as creativity in your kitchen you can still eat an abundance of delicious foods as well as try out new flavors you’ve never enjoyed before!

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Research indicates that some of the best foods for your brain include: apples, blueberries, beets, coconut, grapes, herbs – especially sage and rosemary, leafy greens (kale, turnip greens, swiss chard and broccoli are the best), mushrooms – most notably Lion’s Mane mushrooms, olives, oranges, spices – especially Ginger, Saffron and Turmeric, strawberries, omega-3 rich foods including; walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. So think of the many ways you can consistently sneak those foods into your current cooking repertoire or create new recipes using those ingredients.

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Just a few of the dishes you can easily incorporate into your healthy brain meal plan include:

  • Chia Seed Pudding made with Coconut Milk, Turmeric and topped with Berries
  • Avocado Toast (on Gluten Free Bread)
  • Baked Sweet Potato topped with Almond Butter, Blueberries, Bananas and Ground Flax Seed or Granola
  • Energy Balls
  • Spiced Nuts
  • Dried Fruit
  • Chopped Veggies with Hummus or another plant based dip
  • Green Leafy Salads loaded with veggies, fruits, nuts and seedsimg_7356
  • Beet Salad
  • Fruit Salad
  • Buddha Bowls
  • Cauliflower Steaks topped with Herbs and Spices
  • Zoodles or Spaghetti Sauce topped with Herb Pesto
  • Roasted Broccoli
  • Roasted Carrots with Rosemary
  • Soups loaded with beans, veggies, herbs and spices
  • Golden Milk
  • Ginger or other Herbal Teas
  • Water Infused with Fruits, Sage and Rosemary
  • Indian and Thai Food are excellent choices when dining out. Did you know that India has one of the lowest rates of dementia? It is thought that is largely attributed to the abundance of herbs and spices that they eat each day.
  • Any recipe that includes mushrooms are great for your brain but especially the delicious gluten free and vegan stuffed mushrooms below which are a huge hit with everyone!

Good for Your Brain Stuffed Mushrooms

Great For Your Brain Stuffed Mushrooms

Serves 4 people as a side dish

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, small dice
  • 1 handful of spinach or other leafy green
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon miso
  • Salt & Pepper, if desired

Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Set the caps aside. Chop the stems and then sauté along with the shallots, garlic, rosemary and sage in the olive oil on medium heat until the shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, walnuts and nutmeg and cook another minute. Let the mixture cool and then transfer to a food processor, add the miso and process until thoroughly combined and the mixture is the consistency of bread crumbs. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste, place the caps upside down in a casserole dish and spoon the mixture into the caps. Cook at 350⁰ for 30 minutes. Serve with any desired herbs, chopped veggies or seeds as a garnish.

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VegReady – Meals to Go Giveaway!!

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For 40 years, Mark Perlmutter ate a plant-based diet and encouraged his friends and family to adopt the lifestyle as well. For health, for animals, and for the environment. He was so passionate about the benefits of eating a diet solely sourced from plants that he produced a documentary titled Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days. But over the years, he found that despite the information and desire to change, all the excuses got in the way:

“I don’t know what to make”

“It takes too much time to cook it”

“It’s not convenient, etc”

People began reverting back to fast foods and meats that were destroying their body from the inside out. The wheels in his head began turning and he thought…. What if there could be a Vegan/Plant-Based meal that was easier and more convenient than the fast food alternative? And VegReady was born!

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Mark created VegReady with the mission of helping 2 million people eat just 2 more plant-based meals per week as a first step on their transition to a better life. The meals require no cooking, no refrigeration, and no heating – these meals are ready for you when you are. In the office, at home, in the cabinet, or even camping – all you have to do is open and eat.

VegReady Meals are made with 100% plant based ingredients and make eating healthy, simple, convenient and allow you to do more of the things you love like; spending time with family, doing your hobbies or getting outside and enjoying life – something we all need to do more of!

 

 

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VegReady’s vision is to offer 200 dishes from four regions of the world; South America, Mediterranean, India, and Southeast Asia. The current line of dishes come source from Peru – where they have various Quinoa and Rice trays with a variety of sides.

There are two ways to purchase VegReady Meals; with the subscription service or individually. Customers can save with the monthly subscription, or purchase quantities of 8 or more meals at a time.

When you purchase VegReady, you receive a cardboard Case containing 8 custom-built MealBoxes, each with 3 dishes listed below. Each MealBox is decorated with mouthwatering images of the food inside. As a bonus, each MealBox comes with a pamphlet outlining the benefits of two plant meals per week for our bodies and our planet.

Inside each VegReady monthly delivery you’ll receive:

Main Trays (8 total):

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  • Quinoa & Lentils; Blond Quinoa +

Sides & Sauces (a mix of 2 per box):

  • Ratatouille with Tomato, Eggplant & Zucchini: A succulent medley of rich and savory vegetables. Full of nutrition and flavor!
  • Zucchini & White Onion: A savory mix of hearty vegetables, with plenty of crunch and loads of taste! Delicious on it’s own or mixed with a spinach & broccoli dish!
  • Piquillo Pepper, Cabbage & Lentils: One of our saucier mixes, perfect for stirring in with a quinoa or lentil dish, and packed full of nutritious and delicious veggies!
  • Tomato, Mango, Hearts of Palms & Peppers: A rich and savory sauce, with a sweet undertone, with no oil and plenty of flavor. A delicious addition to the quinoa dishes!
  • Spinach & Broccoli: perfect for adding flavor and nutrients to complete each meal. Getting your greens has never been so tasty!

With the 12-month shelf life at room-temperature, you can be sure you always have a healthy meal within arms reach. No refrigeration. No heating.

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How can you help VegReady help to be successful? Try their meals, let them know what you think of them. They can be ordered through VegReady.com and if you’d like to spread their message, VegReady has a Brand Ambassador program where you can earn rewards and points used towards your next purchase.

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And today, the folks at VegReady want to get their meals in your hands so they are allowing me to give away a case of 8 meals to one lucky winner! Please enter to win at this link and good luck!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d8798bdf16/?

Grillo’s Pickles – The Best Pickles I’ve Tasted!

I tried Grillo’s Pickles a few years ago and they are, hands down, the best pickle I’ve ever had. I wanted to give them a big shout out today and tell you about them too! If you haven’t had a chance to try them, you really should.

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Grillo’s offers a variety of products such as spears, chips, and whole dills. Differentiated by its clean offerings, each hand-packed batch of Grillo’s is made cold, shipped cold and sold cold using the highest grade of naturally crunchy cucumbers, fresh – never frozen – white California-grown garlic and organic, fresh cut dill before being preserved naturally with grape leaves. The brand’s Hot Italian Dill varieties includes an entire habanero and jalapeño pepper in each jar, while its Bread & Butter options is made with a touch of raw sugar, mustard and celery seeds, yellow onion and red bell pepper for a naturally sweet taste. They have a great flavor, crunch and texture and are great in many recipes or to eat just by themselves.

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The other thing that I really love about Grillo’s , aside from the flavor, is that they are all natural and have no funny stuff in them. I stopped eating store bought pickles a few years ago because I found out that most have a preservative called Polysorbate 80 which is thought to not be a very good chemical for anyone to consume. I try to avoid as many preservatives as I can and I was excited to learn that Grillo’s has only all natural ingredients and I could eat store bought pickles again!

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Grillo’s is based in Massachusetts and has pretty nation wide distribution. You can find them in many natural and traditional grocery stores. To find a retailer near you, visit: https://www.grillospickles.com/find-us-.

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They’ve recently released a sandwich cut which would be great on sandwiches and would be great to make a vegan cuban with. This is what I think I will try next! They’d also be excellent on a veggie burger.

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I also just recently purchased an Air Fryer and made Fried Pickles – they were fun and easy! I also made a nice pickle potato salad and some vegan hot dogs with them. The are also excellent to snack on just plain. They would also be really excellent one of my all time favorite recipes, Tuna-Less Salad, from Rouxbe Cooking School.

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And Grillo’s would love for you to try them too so they are giving away coupons for some free jars! Thank you Grillo’s! If you have them in your community, enter to win and you can pick them up at your closest grocery store! Good luck & Enjoy!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d8798bdf15/?

 

 

 

 

 

What To Eat For a Healthy Brain

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month and is a time to bring awareness and show support for the millions of people worldwide struggling with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association 5.7 Million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million. With a family history of dementia, myself, this is something I take very seriously, and you should too, especially if cognitive decline and impairment is something that has affected someone in your family. While we might not realize it, while were young and healthy, the decisions we make throughout our entire life can greatly affect the health of our brain later in life. I wrote a this post a few weeks about how we can protect our brains and in this post I’d like to cover some of the best foods we can eat to help our brain remain sharp.

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Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

One of the best things we can do for our overall health, disease prevention, to protect our brains and help us feel our very best, is eliminate inflammatory foods which include; Gluten, Sugar, Dairy, Meats, Fast and processed foods, Fried foods, Pastries, Alcohol, Food additives and preservatives.

While you may think, poo! That doesn’t leave a lot for me to eat, it’s quite the opposite. Our bodies have evolved over many years to eat a diet that sustains us and helps us procreate which ensures survival of our species. This diet does not include many of the foods that are in the Standard American Diet. In fact, there is a very strong correlation between the increase in processed foods and many of the dreaded diseases of our modern society. In particular, Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Poor food choices and an accumulation of other environmental factors damage our brains throughout the course of our lives and if you have a genetically predisposition for dementia, these factors greatly accelerate the risk of getting the disease.

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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Like I mentioned previously, the best thing we can do for our brain is eliminate those bad foods and instead focus on adding in more fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and especially greens, lots of healthy, whole foods, plant-based fats and foods low on the glycemic index.

I’ve highlighted the foods that have been found to provide the most promise for prevention and treatment in numerous studies below. Most experts recommend eating a diet rich in protective compounds like a diversity of berries, nuts and seeds, abundant herbs, leafy greens as well as focusing on vitamin A (beta carotene), C, D, E and all the B rich foods, Omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, folate, magnesium and curcumin. 

Just a few of the foods that have proven beneficial for dementia prevention and treatment include:

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Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Beets
  • Coconut
  • Grapes
  • Herbs – especially Sage and Rosemary
  • Leafy greens (Kale, Turnip Greens, Swiss Chard and Broccoli are the best)
  • Mushrooms – most notably Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Oranges
  • Spices – especially Ginger, Saffron and Turmeric
  • Strawberries
  • Omega-3 rich foods including; Walnuts, Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds and Hemp Seeds

 

One of the clearest lifestyle choices, in addition, is ensuring you are exercising 4-6 times a week both your body and your brain as well as getting adequate sleep and have a stress management routine in place. It’s also important to work with a knowledgeable natural health practitioner who can analyze blood work and provide supplement recommendations.

If you are at risk of getting any of the forms of brain disease, I would greatly encourage you to do your research and empower yourself with knowledge. Some of the Doctors pioneering this field are Dr. Dale Bredesen and Team Sherzai, a husband and wife neurology team – please be sure to check out some of there books and programs. It’s very encouraging to know that there are simple steps we can take, and when we start early, we can keep our brains functioning optimally throughout our entire life, even though our genes may say something different.

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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

 

 

 

All About Me – Sarah Eastin, Health Coach Plant Based Chef

I wanted to write this post because I often times don’t tell people much about myself. I’m to a point in my career as a health coach and plant based chef and give a lot of shout outs to so many other people, I need to give a little shout out to myself every once in a while, right?

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So here I am!! For those of you you that don’t know me, name is Sarah and I’m a Vegan Health and Lifestyle Coach, Plant-Based Chef (and newly certified Culinary Nutrition Expert) and lifelong animal rights activist. I also have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. I like to tell people that I use all of the knowledge and skills I’ve worked very hard to attain throughout my career to create a compassionate community and improve the planet for all species. I’m currently based in Denver but that may change at any time!

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I’m pretty proud to announce that I recently graduated from the Academy of Culinary Nutrition and am now a Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert. I hope to use the knowledge that I obtained in this program to help people improve their health and heal themselves with foods. Please follow my facebook page for my upcoming classes. I’m also happy to work with people remotely, if you know anyone interested!

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I also just started, what is known as a Veganizer Chapter. Veganizer is a plant-based food consulting and marketing agency. As part of my work with this program, I collaborate with omnivore restaurants, encouraging them to get creative in the kitchen and expand plant based offerings on their menu and hosting Pop Up Dinners at their restaurants. This helps give the restaurant exposure as well as keep up with increasing plant based and healthy foods demand. In addition to the Veganizer Pop Up Dinners, I also recently helped organize a Vegan Restaurant Week in Denver! This event was so fun and successful- we had 40 restaurants and food trucks participate!

Vegan Restaurant Week

For our hard work with Vegan Restaurant Week made it into the press! You can read all about the restaurants, menus and delicious specially prepared dishes they created in the VegNews article here and the Denver Westword article here. Special thanks to VegFest Colorado for your help with this event (don’t forget to come see me there July, 27th & 28th).

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I also plan to organize a Boulder Vegan Restaurant Week this fall so please stay tuned for that! Considering Vegan Restaurant Week was so successful, it’s giving me some great inspiration and motivation to keep working on more events! Here are a few food highlights:

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Please come to my next two events, if you are in Denver:

A Pop Up Market on June 22nd:

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And my next Veganizer Pop Up Dinner:

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And finally, please let me know how I can help you, whether that’s teaching you how to make amazing plant based foods, cooking them for you myself, or if you are a restaurant and may need some help incorporating more plant based foods or are interested in working with me to host a plant based pop up dinner!

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And don’t forget to follow me so you know about my upcoming events!

https://www.instagram.com/veganizerden/

https://www.facebook.com/HealGrowBlossom/

 

 

 

NoBull Burger – The True Veggie Burger Giveaway

Crissanne Raymond made the best veggie burgers while her girls, Heather and Elizabeth were growing up. They were so good, in fact, and so many people loved them, the family decided to make them into a business and get them into the hands of hungry consumers.  So NoBull Burger was born! NoBull Burgers are made with an organic lentil base mixed with a variety of roasted veggies creating one of the best tasting whole food veggieburgers available today. They pride themselves on their quality ingredients hence, the super fun name “NoBull”.IMG_8989

NoBull Burgers comes in 4 flavors; Savory Mushroom, Sun Dried Tomato, Spicy Italian and Original. They all have very unique flavor profiles and everyone likes a different burger. Some of the roasted veggies inside you’ll find include; eggplant, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, onions, sundried tomatoes and lots of herbs. They recently went totally vegan by substituting the egg they use as a binder for chia seeds and we couldn’t be happier with that! They are also 100% gluten free!

The NoBull Burger Crew

NoBull Burgers are great crumbled up on salads, pasta or used in tacos. You could also use them crumbled in a lasagna, as topping on a baked sweet potato, stuff them in a pepper or serve them in a tortilla, lettuce wrap or just eat it like a burger with a tomato, lettuce and your favorite condiments. Or use it some of the ways I’ve made it below – it has been so much fun getting creative with the product!!

NoBull Breakfast Sandwich

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I used the recipe for the vegan egg here!

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NoBull Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes

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  • 2 NoBull Burger Patties, thawed (any flavor will work but I like Savory Mushroom)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms, diced
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon corn or tapioca starch
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 4 ounces vegan cheese (diced) (optional, I like Chao!)
  • 6 hamburger buns or dinner rolls work too!
Directions
  1. To a skillet, add 1 teaspoon of oil and the crumbled, thawed NoBull patties and cook on medium high heat for about five minutes.
  2. Remove the crumbles from the pan and set aside.
  3. Melt the vegan butter on medium high heat and add onions, peppers and diced mushrooms and cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms are soft, about five minutes.
  4. Add the crumbles back into the onion and mushroom mixture.
  5. In a small cup mix the veggie broth and cornstarch together.
  6. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, broth/cornstarch mixture into the pan.
  7. Cook until the mixture is only slightly liquidy (about 75% of the mixture is above liquid), 3-5 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat, add in the diced vegan provolone cheese (this recipe is good without the cheese as well).
  9. Serve on toasted buns.
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NoBull Burrito Bowl

NoBull makes a delicious taco meat if you just thaw, crumble and sprinkle with your favorite herb and spice blend and cook. Add to tacos, burritos, taco salads or make a burrito bowl like this one! Just add some cooked rice, grilled and fresh veggies and topped with a nice avocado cream sauce.

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Italian Meatball Stroganoff

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  • 1/2 bag pasta noodles – preferrably spirals

For the meatballs:

  • 2 NoBull burgers, thawed (any flavor is delicious)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, parsley works well!

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 chopped onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 16 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable broth or vegan chicken or beef broth
  • 1 cup Kite Hill unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or liquid aminos
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small bowl, mix chia seeds with water and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Mash the meatball ingredients (along with the chia seed mixture) together until well mixed  (do not add ingredients for the stroganoff sauce to this mixture)
  4. Scoop out with a tablespoon, spoonfuls of the mixture and form the mixture into meatballs with your hands.
  5. Place the formed meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet (you can also fry the meatballs in oil).
  6. Cook at 350 for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
  7. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions.
  8. In a second skillet, begin cooking the stroganoff sauce. Begin by adding 1/4 cup water and saute the onions on medium high heat until transparent, add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add mushrooms and cook another five minutes – add small amounts of the water, if needed so the mushrooms don’t stick to the pan.
  9. After the vegetable mixture is soft add the broth.
  10. Add the Kite Hill unsweetened yogurt and cook at a medium low heat until a gravy like consistency is achieved.
  11. Add soy sauce and other other herbs desired.
  12. Spoon the sauce over cooked pasta and top with meatballs. Enjoy!

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NoBull Burgers are even great cooked, crumbled up and put in soup! You could top the soup with some fresh herbs and a little Kite Hill unsweetened yogurt or cashew cream! In the below photo I used a sweet potato premade soup (butternut squash would also be delicious) but it’s a great way to bulk up any soup. If you are making a homemade soup just cook NoBull according to package directions, crumble and drop into the soup!

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The wonderful thing about NoBull is that it’s a veggie burger made from plants that tastes really good too! I also love that this is a small, woman owned business with a sustainable and health conscious mission. In the Denver area NoBull is available at Natural Grocers and Lucky’s Market. Like I mentioned above they are so fun to eat as a burger or use your creativity to make them into another dish. They are also great for quick meals or to take to summertime BBQs!! See their website for more details: https://nobullburger.com/

Now for the giveaway! YOU MUST BE LOCAL TO DENVER TO ENTER! Please enter here for your chance to win, good luck! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d8798bdf14/?

The Ultimate Age Defying Plan Book Giveaway!

 

Aging healthfully and gracefully is what most of us would hope for, but unfortunately, this isn’t always our reality. Over the last few decades our food system has changed so tremendously into one that is much different than what our bodies we’re designed be nourished by. This has led to a society where our bodies are ravaged by dreaded diseases like cancers, alzheimer’s, diabetes, and auto immune conditions. It doesn’t have to be this way, however, we can age healthfully with our minds clear and with our bodies functioning optimally into our golden years. In their new book, my friends Chef Mark Reinfeld and Dr Ashley Boudet explain how people are defying the odds of aging through a healthy, plant based diet along with fitness and holistic living principles in The Ultimate Age – Defying Plan.

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The Ultimate Age -Defying Plan provides a comprehensive roadmap to staying vital and living a long life — using plant-based cuisine and simple daily self-care rituals that boost health and support healthy functioning in the body.

Mark & Ashley

Practical steps are provided that we can take daily which will help maintain mental sharpness and neurological health, cardiovascular health, bone health, eye and vision, digestive health, and provide protection against major diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer. 

Supreme Avocado Toast

Smashed Avocado Toast Supreme

Healthy aging is a topic that many people are interested in and Mark and Ashley wanted to share their decades of experience and what has worked for them and the other people they feature in the book such as Miyoko Schinner, Joel Kahn, Victoria Moran, Cherie Sofia and many others.

Butternut Squash "Butter"

Roasted Squash Butter

I’ve written about Chef Mark Reinfeld before and am still astounded with his creations! I like to think that I’m pretty savvy when it comes to food trends but this new book includes some incredibly innovative and unique recipes that use 7 ingredients or less. Just a few of these include; Rosemary Star Anise Tea, A Chlorella Smoothie Bowl, Adzuki Bean Chili, Baked Sesame Zucchini Fries, Black Gomasio Crusted Tofu, Portobello Cheez Steak Stuffed Peppers, The Great Pumpkin Cheezcake + many many delicious sauces, snacks and a variety of desserts. He is truly an artist and pioneer when it comes to creating vegan dishes. Dr Ashley Boudet also has such a great wealth of knowledge and it’s always so interesting to learn about naturopathic principles from her, she makes learning how to heal ourselves using medicines from the earth fun!

Salad in A Jar

Salad In a Jar

Healthy eating can be simple and and in The Ultimate Age – Defying Plan Mark and Ashley outline easy, very doable steps we can all take to have a lifetime of great health. By adding in healthy, healing foods and arming ourselves with knowledge we can truly do our bodies just a world of good that will set us up for a long, happy, healthy life.

Lemon Roast Cauliflower

Lemony Herbed Cauliflower Roast

In addition to the book, Mark and Ashley share their knowledge through Doctor and the Chef, where they travel the world teaching people naturopathic healing principles and how to use integrate these principles using culinary medicine. The Doctor and the Chef also serves as an online community along with a subscription site so you can have access to health and nutrition information, whenever you need it.

Blueberry Mousse

Blueberry Mousse

You can also learn from Mark through Vegan Fusion where teaches students the basics of plant based cuisine as well as more advance techniques through in person classes. If you can’t make it to a class in person, you can also learn from him online through his Vegetarian Times ecourse. Mark also just released an online training where you can become a Certified Vegan Fusion Cooking Instructor!

Vegan Fusion Class

Thank you so much Mark and Ashley for the opportunity to review and giveaway this great book!! I highly recommend picking up a copy for yourself. If you live in the Denver area, you can find it at the Book Bar in the Highlands or on Amazon. And please keep a eye out for Mark and Ashley to make it to a city near you! You will enjoy days of some of the most delicious food you’ve ever tasted and learn information that will help you easily cook nutritious foods for yourself, your friends and family.

Mark and Ashley, the Authors

And now for the giveaway. You must live in the US, we will send the winner a copy. Follow this link for your chance to win a copy of this great book! Good luck! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d8798bdf13/?

Age Defying Plan 2

All About Kite Hill’s Artisan Almond Milk Foods!!

 

 

A few years ago, I had the chance to work for Kite Hill a Brand Ambassador in the Denver area spreading the word about their delicious products as well as developing a few yummy recipes for them!

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Kite Hill makes a variety of non dairy cheeses and yogurts – all made from almond milk. Available products include European & Greek Yogurt, Soft Fresh Cheese (similar to mozzarella or feta), Cream Cheese, Ricotta Cheese and Ravioli.

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Photo Credit: Ellie Stevens

Kite Hill products can be purchased in the Colorado Front Range area at Whole Foods (the entire line of products), Natural Grocers, Sprouts and most King Soopers carry many Kite Hill yogurt choices. If you don’t live in Colorado, you can find a store locator on their website to find where you can grab them near you. I highly recommend any of their products- everything I’ve tasted that they make is delicious!

IMG_3745I also taught some Kite Hill cooking classes and they were so much fun. I showed people the entire line of products and also give them ideas on how to incorporate them into recipes. Keep an eye out on my Facebook page for my upcoming classes, if you are interested in something like this! I plan to schedule more classes in the upcoming year!

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Just a few of the many ways to use Kite Hill products:

Sweetened Yogurts (Greek & European) – They are great make parfaits with by adding granola, nuts and a variety of dried or fresh berries and other fruits. They are also excellent served with ground flax or chia seeds as an easy way to sneak in those incredibly important Omegas!

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Photo Credit: Ellie Stevens

Unsweetened Yogurt – you can use as a dip but adding a dip packet or making your own herb blend, you can also use it as nice sour cream replacement by adding a little lime or apple cider vinegar and add it when you make a homemade dressing to make it creamy.

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Greek Yogurt –  these are great eaten just by themselves with a little fruit, nuts, seeds or granola or use the plain to make a tzatziki or cucumber raita. You could also add other veggies and herbs and spices for a savory dip.

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Photo Credit: Ellie Stevens

Cream cheese – There are quite a few cream cheeses on the market now and Kite Hill is definitely a favorite. They make 4 flavors; plain, chive, jalapeno and now an everything bagel! To the plain, you can add any fruit, sweetener, nuts or herb blend and finely chopped veggies and spread on bagels. You can also serve it on crackers, make into cheeseballs, stuff it into dates (see recipe below), jalapenos, pastas, alfredo sauce, chili rellenos, enchiladas, use for frostings or cheesecakes! The cream cheese is so versatile and such a great addition to many, many recipes!

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Photo Credit: Ellie Stevens

Soft Fresh (similar to mozzarella or feta) – can be crumbled in salads, pastas, serve on crackers, serve on a skewer with other fruits or veggies, in caprese salad. The soft fresh comes in Truffle, Dill & Chive as well as a Plain and the Plain is one of the most delicious vegan cheeses I’ve tried on a pizza!

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Ricotta – is amazing in lasagna, stuffed shells, pasta, ravioli, desserts- take it in a sweet direction and use it in ricotta cheesecakes, pancakes, cookies. It is wonderful with lemon added!

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Photo Credit: Ellie Stevens

Ravioli and Tortellini – can be topped with marinara, sautéed veggies, or you can make an alfredo sauce (which can be made from scratch with Kite Hill cream cheese).

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You can basically use the entire line of Kite Hill products the same way you would traditional dairy based cheeses and yogurts. So have some fun and get creative!!

Kite Hill has additional products and adding to its line all the time. They appear to have some new dips as well as Strawberry flavored Cream Cheese too!

And below are two of the delicious recipes I created using Kite Hill’s delicious products!

Kite Hill Spanakopita

Makes 30 bite sized spanakopita

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Ingredients

  • 45 frozen phyllo cups (3 15-count packages)
  • 2 tablespoons water or vegetable oil
  • ½ onion or a small one, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped (you could also finely chop one leek)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 oz. fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 oz. Kite Hite Truffle, Dill & Chive Soft Fresh (crumbled) or Ricotta, 8oz (use additional cheese if you’d like the recipe to be creamier)
  • 1/2 cup Egg replacer (follow packaged directions). ½ cup blended tofu would also work.
  • Lemon juice from half of one lemon (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the phyllo cups on a large baking sheet and set aside.

Heat the oil (or water for a healthy sauté) in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the finely chopped onions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and cook until spinach is soft. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly.

Add the parsley, dill, egg replacer, nutmeg, and stir to combine. After completely combined add the crumbled Kite Hill Soft Fresh and stir until lightly mixed, don’t overwork the mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the phyllo cups and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot.

And another super easy delicious recipe!

Kite Hill Stuffed Dates

Makes 30 dates

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Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 oz) Kite Hill cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 30 dates, pitted
  • Orange zest

Directions

Combine the cream cheese, maple syrup, orange juice and walnuts in a medium sized bowl.

Split the date open down the middle, leaving one side attached with a knife and arrange on a plate.

Pipe the cream cheese mixture into the dates and top with the orange zest. You can make a modified piping bag by cutting out a small corner of a zip loc bag.

Serve them immediately or keep cold in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Hope these ideas are helpful for you and you enjoy all of Kite Hill products!

 

More info can be found on Kite Hill’s website:

http://www.kite-hill.com/

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Denver’s Newest All Vegan Restaurant! Meta Burger!

I first tried Meta Burger a few years ago at the Humane League Gala and I was blown away!! The way simple hot dogs and hamburgers were veganized and had such an out of the ordinary flavor was very impressive.

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Chicago Dog

A few years later, they opened up a brick and mortar restaurant just a little south of Denver where they are now serving all vegan American Classics and comfort foods and I’m happy to tell you they are having great success! The community loves it! I also love it so much that I really just had to tell you about it. For my friends that don’t live closeby, I’ll tell you that it is definitely worth making the trip!

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Super Nova

The owners; Matt Coates and Michael Reeves created Meta Burger because the Denver market and many markets across the US are lacking affordable plant based / health conscious options. They wanted to create a restaurant that served food which everyone was familiar with so that they could introduce vegan options to a much wider customer base (not just plant based eaters).

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Matt and Michael both have extensive backgrounds in the food industry and met while working at Native Foods. Matt is from Chicago – hence the amazing Chicago style dogs (my favorite)! Michael is passionate about food and plant based eating which really inspired him to make an amazing restaurant that spoke to people of all dining preference, whether that be omnivore, vegetarian or vegan.

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Meta Bites

 

Meta Burger is focused on creating delicious American Classics like gourmet Burgers and Dogs, shakes, Mac n Cheese and even a few great salad options all PLANT BASED / VEGAN!!  You’ll find favorite burgers like the Supernova, the Texan, several vegan chicken sandwiches and hot dog flavors as well as Meta Bites, Chili and several sweet treats! They were also just “Voted America’s Favorite” at the People’s Choice Seed and Wine Festival 2018 for their sandwich, The Flatiron. Check out the menu here. I guess you’ll just have to go back multiple so you can try one of each! 🙂

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BBQ Salad

Meta Burger also definitely has a very recognizable and iconic logo and the branding was designed to reflect their love for Colorado. They worked really hard on opening the restaurant and you can really tell they put their whole hearts into making Meta Burger great! 18320510_1173394392770124_8283351409307598388_o

How can we help Meta Burger be successful? Matt and Michael would like the community to support them by giving them the chance to blow them away will their delicious affordable plant based options. “It’s important that we become a staple in the community so that they can continue to expand, allowing them to show people, who wouldn’t normally chose plant based options how delicious it actually is. Repeat customers are what drives business and we hope to deliver and a product and service that people will never get tired of!” says Matt.

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Meta Blast

So stop by and check them out and and let them know what you think, they like feedback so if you have suggestions or concerns, let them know!

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Chili Dog

Meta Burger is located at 7950 East Mississippi Ave Unit A Denver CO. You can follow them on Instagram and Facebook and check out their website here. Thanks so much to Matt and Michael for sharing with your story with us, we wish you so much luck in the future!!!