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Archive for the ‘side dish’ Category

Greetings from snowy Boulder, CO. My first winter in Boulder has been quite an adventure so far. I learned only after moving here that February, March and April are some of the snowiest months of the year. While the temps have been vacillating a lot recently (60s one day, 9 degrees a few days later!), I got a chance to finally explore the Colorado powder at Copper Mountain. In anticipation of skiing, I unpacked my ski gear from childhood and donated everything that was made of leather, and picked up some gently used cruelty-free alternatives (a helmet without leather, leather-free gloves, wool-free neck warmer.

I’m by no means an experienced skier, but I had a really great time enjoying the beautiful scenery! I can see why people trek from all over the world to enjoy the slopes in Colorado.

Queer Vegan Food skiing at Copper Mountain in Colorado

Skiing at Copper Mountain in Colorado.

Recently, two amazing companies, Tolerant Foods and Explore Asian, sent me samples of their amazing gluten-free vegan pastas. At the risk of sounding incredibly ignorant, I had no idea that it was even possible to turn red lentils, black beans, soybeans and mung beans into pasta! These pastas list the respective beans as the only ingredients, which is a marvel of science if you think about it. This is definitely not your average brown rice or quinoa/corn pasta–each of the pastas I tried (Mung bean, black bean, and red lentil, so far) are rich in flavor and have enjoyable al dente textures.

Gluten-free, organic black bean, soybean and mung bean pastas from Explore Asian.

Gluten-free, organic black bean, soybean and mung bean pastas from Explore Asian.

Tolerant Foods red lentil rotini is gluten-free and vegan.

Tolerant Foods red lentil rotini is gluten-free and vegan.

So far, I’ve tried the black bean penne and red lentil rotini from Tolerant Foods (both so, so good!) as well as the mung bean fettucini from Explore Asian (so unique and satisfying!).

Beyond Meat also generously sent me samples of their latest gluten-free vegan product, Beef-Free Crumbles! I think this may be my favorite Beyond Meat creation yet. Other faux beef products are laden with processed soy and/or processed wheat. I love that Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles, which comes in regular “beefy” and “feisty” flavors, contains pea protein and no weird added fillers.

Beyond Beef crumbles are vegan and gluten-free and really delicious.

Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles are vegan and gluten-free and really delicious.

An easy, yummy recipe: Beyond Meat Beyond Beef crumbles, parsley, tomato sauce, black bean pasta from Tolerant Foods!

An easy, yummy recipe: Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles, parsley, tomato sauce, black bean pasta from Tolerant Foods!

When I served Beyond Meat Beef-Free  Crumbles and Tolerant Foods’ black bean pasta to guests, the crowd went wild! Granted, they were a vegan, mostly gluten-free crowd, but still, these products are big winners in my book. I’d absolutely serve them again to my friends and loved ones, and enjoy them myself. The only real issue when eating foods like this with hella beans and protein is that you may feel absolutely invincible. Here’s to bean and pea protein power!

Stay warm! xo

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Beyond Meat Chicken Alfredo on Queer Vegan Food by Sarah E Brown

When Beyond Meat, the delicious, pea protein-based meat substitute company, offered to send samples of their products for me to create a recipe, I hella obliged. I absolutely love using it in salads, wraps, and recipes like the one I’m sharing today. While I tend to avoid meat substitutes due to their being overly processed and sort of strange on principle, I really like how Beyond Meat is made from simple ingredients, is gluten- and GMO-free. Beyond Meat is available in various health food stores and can be purchased in prepared items at a chain called Tropical Smoothie. If you’d prefer to make Beyond Meat at home,  here’s a recipe using Beyond Meat Lightly Seasoned Chicken-Free Strips that really hits the spot.

Gluten Free Vegan Beyond Meat Chicken Alfredo (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

1 cup Beyond Meat Lightly Seasoned Chicken-Free Strips

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (optional)

1/4 cup chopped golden beets (optional)

1/2 cup cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbs chickpea miso (or another miso)

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 cup water

3 cloves garlic

1 tbs sesame seeds

Instructions:

Blend all ingredients except Beyond Meat, golden beets and red bell pepper in a Vitamix or food processor until fully blended. Cook blended mixture on stove at medium heat, and add in Beyond Meat strips, red bell pepper and golden beets (if using) for 10-12 minutes on medium high heat. Serve with quinoa pasta or fresh greens.

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Yesterday, I accidentally ate non-vegan hummus.

Yesterday, I accidentally ate non-vegan hummus.

Yesterday, I accidentally ingested dairy in the form of milk hidden in the ingredient list in organic “classic” -flavored hummus sent to me by Eat Well Enjoy Life, a company that wanted me to review various flavors from their line of hummus.

I specifically asked Eat Well Enjoy Life to send only vegan flavors, and so I didn’t even think to check the ingredients of what they sent me. It turns out, they make a lot of vegan flavors, and only a few are made with dairy. I was randomly scanning the ingredients this morning when I saw “contains milk” and my heart sunk. It turns out that in addition to all-vegan hummuses (which are amazing, and are made with really unique vegan ingredients like lentils, white beans, and black beans!), they also sell Greek-yogurt infused hummus. Bummer to the max.

The vegan flavors from Eat Well Enjoy Life

The actually vegan flavors from Eat Well Enjoy Life. They are great.

The non-vegan flavors from Eat Well Enjoy Life. They are made with Greek Yogurt, which wasn't so obvious from the packaging.

The non-vegan flavors from Eat Well Enjoy Life. They are made with Greek Yogurt, which wasn’t so obvious from the packaging.

I haven’t accidentally eaten animal products (that I know of) in a long time, and each time it happens (it’s been only a few times during the 8+ years I’ve been vegan) it’s challenging for me on many levels. I figured I can’t be the only one who has gone through this, so I decided to share what I’ve learned from my recent experience.

Here are the 5 Things I learned From Accidentally Eating Animal Products:

1) Our world is not as vegan as I sometimes wish it were. Weird uses of dairy/eggs/etc. still exist in things one would suspect would be vegan, but you can’t be too careful and it’s always a good idea to double check when trying new products.

2) Companies may claim to understand what veganism is and seem enthusiastic about veganism, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes. I’ve even seen things labeled vegan that list whey, honey, dairy, and eggs in products’ ingredients. It’s always a good idea to check, educate, and have conversations to really ensure products being received or reviewed are vegan, especially as a food blogger who gets to interact with sales and marketing people on the reg. I think in this case, there was just a miscommunication between the person with whom I interacted and whomever sent out the samples for review. Eat Well Enjoy Life’s vegan hummus flavors are indeed delicious–creamy, spicy, white bean hummus and edamame hummus, and other bean formulations are indeed worthy of telling vegan bloggers about–it’s just a shame they accidentally sent non-vegan samples that I didn’t think to check as well.

3) It’s best to make your own hummus. No matter how great a store-bought hummus, nothing compares to homemade versions. Homemade hummus tastes way fresher and better, I’ve learned. I highly recommend any of the hummus recipes on Choosing Raw.

4) I am human, and sometimes humans forget to check product labels even when they know better. We live in a non-vegan world and this is just another reminder that we all need to do our best to keep educating and helping people understand why we choose to abstain from consuming animal products.

5) Good can come from bad. Today, in honor of my unfortunate accidental ingestion of dairy, I’m going to make a donation to an animal welfare-related cause. I’ve decided to give to Veganism is the Next Evolution (VINE). VINE is a wonderful sanctuary and I highly recommend checking them out. I realize it is a privilege to be able to donate, and my accidental ingestion of animal products is a great excuse for me to put extra attention into doing what I can. (Not that one needs to wait until they accidentally eat animal products to promote animal welfare causes!)

Thanks for reading! xo

I’d love to hear about others’ experiences dealing with this, if anyone has a story related or wants to share?

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You know those times when you feel like cooking but are low on kitchen staples? Tonight was one of those times for me. Surprisingly, I’ve found that when I’m lowest on ingredients I usually have on hand, I tend to come up with the most creative and unique dishes.

While steaming some kale and whole crimini mushrooms in balsamic marinade, I decided to do something fun with the mushrooms rather than enjoy them on their own. This evolved into using some edamame I had in the freezer to make a hummus-like edamame dip infused with hemp seeds, lemon juice and chickpea miso. Here is the result. It’s such an easy recipe, I can’t believe it took this long for me to discover it! I bet you could make this look classy and serve it at a fancy (pants) party!

Edamame Dip-Stuffed Crimini Mushrooms

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

Marinated mushrooms

1/2 pound crimini mushrooms

1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1 tsp coconut oil (I used Nutiva brand)

2 cups water (more if needed)

Edamame Dip

1/2 cup edamame

1 tso chickpea miso

1 Tbs hemp seeds

1 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs sesame seeds

1/4 cup water

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Garnish

Paprika (optional)

Instructions:

Cook the whole mushrooms in the balsamic marinade and water on the stovetop for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, blend or food process all edamame dip ingredients. De-stem the mushrooms after cooking (feel free to save them and use them in another recipe) and stuff with dip. Enjoy!

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My good friend Aviva is in rabbinical school. Aviva writes a fantastic blog about her rabbinical school journey called Becoming Rabbi, which you can read by clicking here. I’m currently in LA visiting family and friends, and Aviva and I decided that we would catch up while making loaves of the traditional Jewish Sabbath bread challah. Aviva lives in Bel-Air, a gorgeous neighborhood in Los Angeles made famous by The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I’m currently living in West Philly so visiting Aviva at her beautiful Bel-Air home to make challah seemed especially appropriate!

Aviva is a whiz at making all kinds of challah. She knows how to craft perfect loaves of crunchy yet gooey raw vegan challah (we worked together at the raw vegan retreat center, where Aviva honed her craft), traditional (non-vegan) challah, and glutenous vegan challah, but never before had Aviva made (cooked) gluten-free vegan challah!

We were both up for the challenge and spent several hours making the bread and waiting for it to rise while gabbing, catching up with her wonderful hubby, listening to music (Aviva always has the latest and coolest mixes), and just enjoying the spirit of making Shabbos bread. Here’s the recipe we used, adapted from several challah recipes to include our gluten-free twist. I hope you enjoy making it and sharing it with loved ones, whether you celebrate Shabbat or just want some seriously awesome gluten-free vegan bread!

Gluten Free Vegan Challah

(Serves 6-8)

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The braided challot prior to heading to the oven.

Ingredients:

Dough part 1:

2 1/2 tsp gluten-free rapid rise yeast

1 cup warm water

4  1/4 cups gluten-free flour

1/3 cup coconut palm sugar, xylitol or regular raw sugar

1 tsp salt

4 Tbs canola oil

Dough Part 2 (Egg substitute):

3 Tbs canola oil

3 Tbs warm water

2 tsp baking powder

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the yeast into the water along with a pinch of sugar in a large bowl. Mix these until well combined. Let the mixture rest for a couple minutes until bubbly and creamy. Add the sugar, salt, and 4Tbs of canola oil and mix. Beat the “Dough Part 2″ egg replacement ingredients with a whisk until it fizzes and pour this into the yeast mixture. Add the flour, one cup at a time, until the mixture is thick and difficult to stir. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it until it is springy and elastic (about 5-10 minutes).

The ingredients for “Dough Part 2″ work as the binding agent or “egg”.  Add part 2 to part 1 right before you mix the flour. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a slightly damp cloth or plastic wrap and set in a warm place for an hour and a half. After this, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and separate the dough into equal portions, depending on how many challot you care to make. We made 4 pieces and 4 challot. Divide each piece into 3 pieces and roll out into 3 equal-sized strands. Pinch the ends together and braid the dough.Place on a baking sheet or greased pan and bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy! :)

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Aviva and I, holding our freshly baked gluten-free vegan challah!

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I almost didn’t post this recipe. It’s very simple but so rich in flavor and texture that I think it’s worth sharing. These farmers’ market Brussels sprouts paired with quinoa are a great fall dish. I love the rich flavor and crispy texture of the sprouts, and the quinoa adds a lovely nutrient dense crunch.

Baked Balsamic Brussels Sprouts With Curry Quinoa

Ingredients:

Baked Brussels Sprouts

2 cups Brussels Sprouts

1 tbs Balsamic Vinegar

dash salt

2-3 Tbs nutritional yeast

1 Tbs coconut oil or olive oil

Curry Quinoa

1 cup cooked Quinoa

1/4 cup vegetable broth

Curry Powder (to taste)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Halve the Brussels sprouts and toss with all ingredients. Add curry powder to cooked quinoa (or add while cooking) and serve together.

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I’m so excited that our weekly CSA now includes squash! It’s so much fun to make dishes with the multitude of awesome cold-weather squashes, including spaghetti, acorn, delicata, and butternut varieties. There are loads of excellent ways to prepare squashes, including the simple method of just slicing and baking them with a touch of salt and a rub of coconut oil. But what to do with the seeds inside? You don’t have to throw them away or send them to the compost bin!

Next time you making a squash dish, I suggest saving the seeds and baking them. They make a nutritious, satisfying snack or salad topper. Into high raw? A few of these on top of a raw dish like zucchini or kelp noodles would be absolutely amazing. Feel free to experiment and spice these to your liking!

Spiced Cheesy Roasted Squash Seeds

Ingredients:

Squash seeds (pretty much any kind will do! This time I used acorn squash)

1 tsp coconut oil or coconut oil spray

1-2 tsp nutritional yeast

1 dash salt

1 dash pepper

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions:

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees, or until they’ve reached their desired crispness. Be careful not to over-roast them or they’ll burn!

Hooray for fall! ;)

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I thought I’d do a little round-up of my favorite vegan dishes in Philly! As you can see, some of them are raw, some aren’t, but they’re all vegan, mostly gluten-free (I think!) and are completely delicious. They are in no particular order.

10. “Clean” Green Juice

Where to get it: Jar Bar in Center City

My favorite juice in the city, hands down. “Clean” contains: cucumber, celery, romaine, spinach, kale. $5.50 for 16oz is very fair and makes this my go-to juice when on the go in Philly.

9. Chickpea Salad with Falafel

Where to get it: SweetGreen in University City.

This salad is delicious. SweetGreen is amazing, and so close to where I live it’s almost criminal. (Image.)

8. Banana Whip, aka “Frobana”

Where to get it: HipCityVeg in Rittenhouse Square

A long time ago, Gena Hamshaw figured out how to make frozen bananas into truly magical soft-serve ice cream using only a food processor or green star juicer, empowering legions of vegans to make the treat for themselves. HipCityVeg, which opened a little while ago, serves this healthful vegan twist on soft serve from 10a-10p each day of the week! I love that I can get this whenever I’m remotely near Rittenhouse Square. Everything is remotely near Rittenhouse Square, and for that I am very, very grateful. (Image)

7. Brussels Sprouts shaved and grilled with smoked mustard

Where to get it: Vedge Restaurant, when it’s featured on the “Dirt List”

This dish is unreal. Shaved, grilled and smoked, these Brussels Sprouts are unlike any I have ever tried before. Crisp, savory, and slightly crunchy bits grace each sauce-coated shaved Brussels sprouts mound. I ordered this dish both times I have had the privilege of dining at Vedge and was consistently thrilled. Pure vegetable bliss. (Image)

6. Brown Rice Inari

Where To Get it: Mizu (in various locations throughout the city)

Inari is so amazing. It’s traditionally made with sushi rice wrapped in fried bean curd, but Mizu makes a version with brown rice that’s a tad more healthful and really delicious. You have to specially request it with brown rice but it’s totally worth it! (Image.)

5. Sea Vegetable Salad

Where to get it: Vegan Tree on South St.

Generous chunks of wakame, fresh greens and other veggies, plus sesame seeds and well-prepared tofu. A truly delicious option for pre-made seaweed salad–the best I’ve found in Philly so far. (Image)

4. Vegan Bubble Tea

Where to get it: Vegan Tree on South St.

While some controversy abounds as to whether bubble tea is safe, for now I’m a huge fan of the bubble tea options at Vegan Tree. Completely vegan bubble tea is semi hard to come by in Philly, so these are a real find. I love the green tea, coconut, and Jasmine green tea flavors best, but have a (tapioca) ball and enjoy what you will! (Image)

3. Chocolate Coconut-Based Vegan Soft-Serve

Where To Get it: Pure Fare, Center City

This soft serve is out of this world good. Coconut-based soft serve has arrived to Philly and it’s unbelievable. (Image.)

2. Gluten-Free Vegan Cake Balls

Where to get it: Sweet Freedom on South St.

Sweetened with low glycemic coconut sugar, these gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free confections from Sweet Freedom are made with high-quality ingredients and taste like a chocolate Universe just collided in on itself to form black (brown?) holes of deliciousness. These are gone in just a few bites. Perfect. Image.

1. “Green Delight (w/ Spirulina)” Popcorn

Where to get it: Atiya Ola’s Spirit First Foods in West Philly.

This spirulina-coated popcorn is like crack for those of us who love algae snacks. And who doesn’t love algae snacks?

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear in the comments which dishes you love to enjoy in Philly that I haven’t listed here ;)

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Green beans are an ideal vegetable snack. Great fresh or chopped into raw salads, they’re a versatile summer favorite. They are also wonderful when made into raw dehydrated crisps. Shoestring shaped, this easy-to-make healthful treat pairs well with hummus, bean or salsa dips, guacamole. Also great when enjoyed by itself as an energizing snack. Requires only a few hours to dehydrate, and takes very little prep time. Enjoy:

Dehydrated Green Bean Crisps

Ingredients:

Green beans

Coconut oil

Salt

Garlic powder

Herbs and spices (optional)

Instructions:

Lightly coat green beans with coconut oil, salt, garlic and other herbs and spices if you wish. Dehydrate for 3-5 hours, depending on desired texture. Enjoy!

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This recipe contains several different kinds of dense vegan protein mixed with spices and a colorful cornucopia of lightly steamed veggies. This energy-dense meal can satisfy any appetite, and is great dish to serve vegan naysayers who ask the hackneyed question “where do you get your protein?” Cooks in under 35 minutes, more or less including veggie prep time.

Rainbow Protein Vegan Stew (serves 4-6)

1 cup quinoa

1 cup red lentils

 1 Tbs coconut oil

1/2 cup tempeh

1/4 cup chopped golden or regular beets

2 cups swiss chard

1/4 cup hemp seeds

2 Tbs nutritional yeast

1/2 cup stewed or fresh tomatoes

1 tsp Berbere (a mix of spices–you can substitute curry, turmeric, garlic, onoin and/or cayenne if you’d like)

Recipe:

Chop and peel veggies. Cook quinoa and lentils, and steam everything else. Add in spices, and mix with cooked lentils and quinoa. Enjoy!

 

 

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