Shepherd’s Pie – that quintessential British favorite made with lamb, vegetables, and spices in a gravy sauce topped with mashed potatoes – is one of Britain’s most well-known comfort foods. Tradition dictates that a Shepherd’s Pie cannot be a Shepherd’s Pie without lamb (if beef is used, then the dish is called Cottage Pie) but I beg to differ.
A Shepherd’s Pie made with a variety of vegetables, beans, and spices in a vegetable broth sauce topped with mashed potatoes is one of the all-time great variations of this traditional favorite. And, the plant-based option is more nutritious (no meat, oil, or dairy) than the original version, easy to make, and totally delicious. Read more
Every single day I try to figure out how to get beans and greens into my diet in new and different ways. One morning, I simply took out some of the vegetables (onions, mushrooms and kale) I felt like eating and then sifted through rows of canned beans and decided on kidney beans (which always make me think of chili). I also had a package of whole grain sprouted tortillas so the idea of making Chili Green Quesadillas took over. Read more
Four years ago, Isa Chandra Moskowitz – a vegan chef, author (10 cookbooks), and all-around badass opened a restaurant called Modern Love in Omaha, Nebraska – a city put on the map by Warren Buffet (who holds the annual Berkshire Hathaway meetings in this “best bang for the buck city,” according to Forbes) and a culinary destination known more for steakhouses than vegetables.
Spurred on by the success of the midwest venture (which has since moved and expanded to a larger space to accommodate 80 diners), Moskowitz – a Brooklyn native – opened a second restaurant in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, also called Modern Love. Read more
Blend 11 is a nutritious blend of 11 certified organic superfoods that can be used in smoothies, shakes, overnight oats, fresh oatmeal, hot and cold cereals, and even in recipes (especially in date balls). Crunchy, wholesome, super nutritious, and delicious, Blend 11 is also gluten-free and vegan.
Made by GoodMix Superfoods of Waitsfield, Vermont (central Vermont near Montpelier), Blend 11 differs from other nut and seed blends on the market in many ways. First, the variety of ingredients is vast. There are seeds, nuts, nibs, and more. Second, the ingredients are certified organic (and that’s big). Third, most nut and seed blends don’t have puffed millet, puffed amaranth, or cacao nibs which add terrific texture, flavor, and nutrition to the mix. And, lastly, most nut and seed mixes don’t have buckwheat which is a totally undervalued seed (yes, a seed) loaded with vitamins and minerals. Read more
Beans are one of the foods I try to eat every single day and to ensure I do, I often make a bean salad. Although the recipe below is my go-to favorite, I often change the types of beans or seasoning depending on what I have on hand. The one ingredient always included is a crisp apple because the sweetness and crunchy texture go so well with beans that have a soft texture and mild flavor. But, it’s the avocado and walnuts that really make this salad special. Try the recipe and then be creative and mix it up based on what you have in the refrigerator and pantry. Read more
Tracye Lynn McQuirter wrote “By Any Greens Necessary – a revolutionary guide for black women who want to eat great, get healthy, lose weight, and look phat” – after realizing the link between race and nutrition.
McQuirter heard Dick Gregory speak at Amherst College in 1986 about the “plate of black Americans ” (and as the author duly notes, not the “state of black Americans,” and she realized that so much of what we eat is tied to the economical and political factors that influence our choices. Read more
Earlier this month a story was circulating about an orca whale who gave birth to a calf only to have it die about 30 minutes later. The mother whale carried the baby calf on her nose for weeks while she swam miles and miles along the Pacific Ocean off the northwest coast of Canada in what most animal behaviorists say was a form of grieving. That the calf was the first one born since 2015 (the whales have been tracked because of their dwindling population) makes the loss more heartbreaking for environmentalists who are trying to save the mammals from extinction by repopulating the seas, which have been depleted, with salmon. Read more
Dining out is often a challenge for vegans unless you’re in a major city so my expectations for Asheville – a city of about 100,000 in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains – were relatively low although many people refer to Asheville as “the Portland (Oregon) of the South” which generally means vegan-friendly.
I thought maybe there would be a half-dozen good options but it turns out there are dozens of dining options for vegans in Asheville. What sets this western North Carolina city apart from other small cities is not the number of vegan restaurants (because there are only a few of these) but how many restaurants offer vegan options or are willing to make vegan options off menu, especially if you hand your dinner selection over to a chef with only a mandate to make the dish plant-based. Read more
Traditional succotash is made with sweet corn and lima beans but there are dozens of variations. In this recipe, succotash is a blend of fresh bi-color corn, sweet Vidalia onion, and fresh green beans. The beauty of fresh succotash is that little seasoning is needed when fresh summer vegetables are used because the natural sweetness of the corn and onion shine through. A dash of salt complements the sweet flavor (similar to lightly salting a piece of cantaloupe or watermelon). Read more
Kale is one of those greens that I am always struggling to get more of because this dark green leafy nutrient-dense vegetable is just so good for our bodies. So, when I received my box from the Purple Carrot this week, I zeroed in on the recipe for “Cajun Roasted Broccoli Bowls.”
After quickly scanning the recipe (I am never one to follow a recipe), I decided to make a variation (from a bowl to a salad) by eliminating the added oils, the Cajun blackened seasoning and a few other ingredients while adding avocado, pumpkin seeds, and a seasoning called Salad Sprinkle by Frontier Co-op – a blend of sesame seeds, bell pepper, black pepper, lemon peel, green onion, celery flakes, and chervil, but you can use any seasoning (salt, pepper, fresh herbs, chopped parsley). Just make sure to add some type of seasoning to enhance the flavor of the vegetables. Read more