Just when I think I have the vegan dining options figured out in Asheville, more pop up. Most of the plant-based dining options in Asheville are at non-vegan restaurants which says a lot about the culture in western North Carolina. Even if menus don’t list a vegan option, most restaurants accommodate plant-based eaters by eliminating the animal products or making an off menu dish. With that in mind, the following restaurants in Asheville offer some great plant-based options for vegans. Read more
Looking for a granola bar that is vegan, gluten-free and made with organic ingredients? How about a granola bar that tastes crunchy, delicious, and satisfying? Then Nana Joes Granola Bars are the bomb. Handmade in San Francisco, Nana Joes Granola Bars come in four flavors, three of which have a base of oats and maple syrup and one with a base of unsweetened coconut chips and maple syrup: Read more
Eating light in the summertime is as easy as tossing a salad together with fresh seasonal produce. Fill a large bowl with assorted greens (the darker the better) and then add a handful of blackberries, blueberries, and sliced strawberries along with a chopped avocado and sliced almonds for an added crunch. Drizzle some balsamic vinaigrette or your favorite dressing over the top, toss and serve. Lunch never tasted so good! Read more
A few days ago I was making a party platter of fresh cut vegetables to dip in hummus when I realized I don’t know that many people who eat raw red, orange, or yellow pepper slices (and, I don’t know anyone who dips green pepper slices into hummus although there must be some green pepper fans out there).
So, I quickly decided to omit the peppers and instead use these “capsicums” (as they are called in Australia and India) to make a chopped salad. But, because peppers can be overpowering I added mangos, peaches, and the juice from a navel orange along with fresh flat leaf parsley, and a touch of salt and pepper to make a colorful, delicious, crunchy, and slightly sweet, savory side dish. Read more
For plant-based eaters who prefer a farmer’s market over an outdoor vegan fest, please know I get it. It’s not that vegan foods are bad, although there are certainly a lot of unhealthy ones out there, its that far too often these products contain oil, refined sugar, syrups, or other undesirable sweeteners, too much sodium, or ingredients that I can’t pronounce.
If most of your diet is whole food plant-based then very few commercially prepared foods are on your pantry’s shelf or in the refrigerator or freezer because finding really stellar products – foods made with top notch ingredients without all the additives, and that taste great – is tough (there is just no getting around being vigilant and reading labels).
Every once in a while, a truly great product is introduced (and it feels like a reward when you find it), which is the case with Granola Bites by the Organic Pantry Co. Granola Bites are tasty pieces of granola (almost like thin crunchy cookies) with mulberries (Cashew, Date & Mulberry) or coconut and raisins (Coconut, Cacao, and Raisin) : Read more
The peanut butter cup is one of America’s fave treats for good reason: rich, creamy peanut butter enrobed in luscious chocolate is an unbeatable combination loved by adults and children alike. There’s really nothing quite like a peanut butter cup, especially one made by Eat Chic Chocolates of Brooklyn, New York.
The company’s classic peanut butter cup – the Peanut Butter Cup with Sea Salt (made with 71% dark chocolate) – is exquisite but its the Coconut Sugar Peanut Butter Cup that’s garnering lots of attention. Why you ask? Because this peanut butter cup has only 2 grams of sugar (unrefined coconut sugar) per peanut butter cup (compared to 8 grams in the same sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup).
The Coconut Sugar Peanut Butter Cup is a healthier and more delicious version of the quintessential peanut butter cup, especially if your passion is for dark chocolate and a peanut butter cup that isn’t overly sweet.
These peanut butter cups are made with 3 major ingredients:
One of the challenges of eating a plant-based diet is finding ways to make desserts with little or no oil and no refined sugar. But, the challenge is deeper than that because a truly nutritious treat is also about what is included. Ideally, ingredients that stand alone as nutritious and delicious.
I started with a recipe called Pumpkin Seed and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars by Dreena Burton and adapted the ingredients to come up with a recipe for Oat Bars that contain whole grain oats, whole grain oat flour, seeds, nuts, spices, date syrup, dark chocolate chips, and non-dairy milk. Basically, these bars are whole-grain and plant-based with no dairy, no oil, no refined sugar, and no eggs.
Oat Bars have a base of rolled oats and oat flour whose flavor is enhanced with what I call “the big 3” – pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and dark chocolate chips. The big 3 are simply three wholesome ingredients that are super tasty together. But, if you find raisins, walnuts, and sunflower seeds more to your liking, make a substitution. Read more
One of the great benefits of following a plant-based diet is enjoying dark chocolate whose subtle differences in taste, texture, and aroma become more pronounced over time. Acquiring a taste for dark chocolate evolves but once you’ve come to appreciate the purity and intensity of dark chocolate, you’ll never want to eat milk chocolate ever again. The difference is really that striking.
Dr-Cow, a small storefront in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn is known for making organic, raw, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, and soy-free food products, especially tree nut cheese, granola, biscotti, crackers, desserts, and chocolates. Read more