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‘Chicken’ Tikka Masala – Vegan Style

Recipe: ‘Chicken’ Tikka Masala – Vegan Style

‘Chicken’ Tikka Masala

Summary: My all time favorite Indian dish – Chicken Tikka Masala. Since my vegan conversion, this is one meal I surely thought, I’d never have again. Thanks to the folks at Gardein, their ‘chicken scallopini’ makes this carnivorous dish, 100% vegan friendly!

Ingredients

(Marinade)
  • 1 bag of Gardein Chicken Scallopini Breasts
  • 1 cup plain soy yogurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 6 bamboo skewers
(Sauce)
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk (can substitute lite)
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Chop ‘chicken’ into 1″ cubes. Mix all marinade ingredients together and add the cubed Gardein chicken. Marinate for about 1 hour.
  2. Soak bamboo skewers in warm water while preparing sauce.
  3. For sauce, melt ‘butter’ on medium heat until melted.
  4. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Stir in coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala and salt.
  6. Stir in tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Add peas and stir in coconut milk. Simmer on low heat (stirring often) while preparing the Gardein chicken.
  8. Thread Gardein chicken onto skewers and discard marinade.
  9. Broil Gardein chicken, turning occasionally, to cook through for about 8-10 minutes.
  10. Remove Gardein chicken from skewers and add to sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
  11. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with Basmati or Jasmine rice.

Vegan Masala

Cooking time (duration): 90 Diet type: Vegan Diet (other): Reduced fat Number of servings (yield): 6 Meal type: dinner Culinary tradition: Indian (Northern) My rating:5 stars: ★★★★★ Copyright © Vegan Hogg 2010. Microformatting by hRecipe.

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Go Green – Eat Guacamole

Recipe: Go Green – Eat Guacamole!

Summary:

One of my favorite fruits, the avocado. You got to love it for its’ simplicity and versatility. I make this recipe almost every week and use it as a dip, spread, on chili and salads. The possibilities are endless…

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 small Roma tomato (diced)
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste.

Instructions:

  1. Slice each avocado in half and scoop the center out using a metal spoon. In a medium bowl, mash the avocado until desired consistency. A food processor can be used if you would like a creamy, lump free dip.
  2. Stir in the lime juice until well blended and add sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste.
  3. Add the diced tomato, red onion, garlic & cilantro. Mix well and add additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Quick Notes:

Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or fresh vegetables. Try adding a spoonful to some veggie chili!

Don’t throw away the seeds! Did you know that placing the seeds back into the completed dip (covered and refrigerated) helps prevent your guac from turning brown?

Variations:

Give your guacamole a little kick – consider adding 2 tsp of ground paprika.

Cooking time (duration): 10

Diet type: Vegan

Diet (other): Raw

Number of servings (yield): 8

Meal type: snack

Culinary tradition: Mexican

My rating:5 stars: ★★★★★

Copyright © Vegan Hogg 2010.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Introduction to Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It?

Introduction to Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It?.

Does Vitamin B12 Matter?

There are two types of B12 deficiency: mild and overt.

Overt B12 Deficiency:

    B12 protects the nervous system. Without it, permanent damage can result (e.g., blindness, deafness, dementia). Fatigue, and tingling in the hands or feet, can be early signs of deficiency. B12 also keeps the digestive system healthy.

Mild B12 Deficiency:

    By lowering homocysteine levels, B12 also reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases. Vegans and near-vegans who do not supplement with vitamin B12 have consistently shown elevated homocysteine levels. See the section Homocysteine, B12, Vegetarians, and Disease.

B12 is generally found in all animal foods (except honey). The overwhelming consensus in the mainstream nutrition community, as well as among vegan health professionals, is that plant foods do not provide vitamin B12. (Luckily, vitamin B12 is made by bacterial fermentation such that it does not need to be obtained from animal products.) Despite this, some vegan advocates still believe that “plant foods provide all the nutrients necessary for optimal health” and, therefore, do not address vitamin B12 when promoting the vegan diet. Other vegan advocates acknowledge the need for B12, but only as an afterthought.

The result is that many vegans do not eat B12 fortified foods or supplements. Many have developed overt B12 deficiency. In some cases, the symptoms have cleared up after taking B12 supplements, but not everyone has been so lucky.

Got Health?

While many current vegans report feeling better on a vegan diet, the most common complaint I hear from ex-vegans is that they didn’t feel healthy. This seems reasonable: The people who feel good on the diet stick with it. The people who feel bad, don’t. Could it be that some of the people who go back to eating animal products are feeling the effects of a reduced B12 status? Many vegans would not consider this a possibility, because humans need very little B12 and new vegans usually have a healthy store which can last months or years.

The fact that vegans tend to have lower B12 levels than lacto-ovo vegetarians or non-vegetarians is often countered with, “Few vegans have ever shown signs of B12 deficiency.” However, most vegans appear to supplement their diet with B12 (often unknowingly through fortified foods), which could explain why most vegans never show overt B12 deficiency.

As for vegans whose diets are not supplemented, I disagree that they rarely show signs of B12 deficiency. As the reader will soon see, there have certainly been plenty of vegans who have suffered from B12 deficiency in the scientific literature. I meet vegans on a regular basis who report having been diagnosed with B12 deficiency or who came down with symptoms of B12 deficiency. It is time that there were no more. Vegans can ensure optimal B12 status, reducing their risk for many diseases, by following the recommendations.

This article is a thorough review of the scientific literature about vitamin B12 and the vegan diet, including every relevant study on vegans and vitamin B12 published since 1980. Vegan advocates who may otherwise not be interested in the details of vitamin B12 are encouraged to read the Recommendations and Can a Natural Diet Require Supplements?

B12-Related Laboratory Values

This article often refers to various laboratory values related to B12. A reference can be found in Appendix: B12-Related Laboratory Values.

Vitamin B12: A Pesky Molecule

B12 is a complicated vitamin with a unique absorption mechanism, wide array of deficiency symptoms, and a number of inactive analogues (molecules that appear to be active B12, but actually are not) that possibly interfere with its function.

via Introduction to Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It?.

a Vegan Valentine’s with the Conscious Cook

I’ve used the same veg cookbooks for the past few years, so needless to say, my dishes are in desperate need of  change.  Plus, I want to prepare a sinfully delicious dinner for my hubby and me on Valentine’s Day!  So, off to the bookstore…

After scouring over the veggie cookbook section at B&N, I finally decided on Tal Ronnen’s book, the Conscious Cook.   At just over 200 pages,  this book doesn’t go overboard with page after page of seemingly endless recipes.  I don’t know about most people, but for me, I tend to get lost and become a bit indecisive when I have a 1000 recipe cookbook in front on me!  No doubt, the huge (almost dictionary like) cookbooks are great, but there are times when  smaller is better.  And that’s exactly what attracted me to Tal Ronnen’s, the Conscious Cook.

I plan on spending the evening looking over each recipe and putting together a 4-course, vegan gourmet dinner menu for tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day!  I’ll be posting my menu plan with the outcome early next week.  Until then, I hope everyone has a lovely, vegan-friendly Valentine’s Day!!

Banana Berry French Toast

Who says vegans can’t enjoy French Toast?  This recipe proves that you don’t need eggs to create this scrumptious breakfast treat.  Enjoy!

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups soy milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 6 slices of french bread cut into ¾” slices
  • 2 ripe bananas (sliced)
  • 1 pint + 1 cup strawberries
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (extra for dusting)
  • Earth Balance margarine as needed for frying

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl mix the soy milk, flour, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and sugar until well blended and foamy.  Pour mixture into a cake pan and soak sliced bread in the batter.
  2. Heat the Earth Balance in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Fry each slice of batter covered bread until golden brown.
  3. Place 1 cup of sliced strawberries and ¼ cup powdered sugar  in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour strawberry mixture into a small pot and cook over lo-heat until warm.  Remove from burner and mix in ¼ cup maple syrup.
  5. Set bread on serving plate and top with fresh sliced strawberries and bananas.  Drizzle with the strawberry and maple syrup sauce.  Top with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
  6. Enjoy!

Classic Potato Salad (Vegan Style)

Who isn’t a fan of potatoes?  One of the ultimate comfort foods not only taste great, but are low in calories and packed with Vitamin C and B-6. Potato salad may seem like a summer picnic treat, but when it taste this good – it’s hard to wait!

Classic Potato Salad

And there you have it, a quick and easy recipe for one hearty potato salad!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds unpeeled white potatoes
  • 4 strips vegan ‘bacon’
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 3 tablespoons mined white onion
  • ¾ cup vegan mayonnaise (I like Veganaise – available at Whole Foods)
  • 1 tablespoon soy milk or soy creamer
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste.
  1. Cut potatoes into small cubes and add to salted boiling water.  Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ‘bacon’ strips and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, add the mayo, salt, pepper, soy milk, mustard and vinegar.  Mix until well blended.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the celery, onion and relish.
  5. Once the potatoes have cooled, toss in the celery mixture and gradually add the dressing until desired creaminess is achieved.  I like a lot of dressing, so I add it all!
  6. Crumble the bacon strips and add to the salad, mixing gently.