Saturday, March 15, 2014

3 Surprising Pantry Staples Vegans Can't Live Without

PETA's Libby Awards made me really happy. Best vegan cheese: Food for Lovers queso cheese? Yay! Best vegan-friendly restaurant chain: Tropical Smoothie Cafe? Double Yay! (Can't get enough of their Beyond Meat options) Best vegan meat: Gardein Sizzling Schezuan Beefless Strips? Got 'em in my freezer and can't wait to toss 'em into this Chinese Stirfry tonight from The Ginger People. And best vegan snack: Dole Banana Dippers with Almonds and Dark Chocolate make a great friend for any sweet tooth, if you ask me. But here are a few simpler treasure troves of vegan deliciousness that you can find at almost any supermarket. P.S. Your stomach will thank you if you start throwing them into your rotation more often.

1. Really good cinnamon.

I love Frontier's Organic Vietnamese cinnamon, but any nice variety will do. Add it to the obvious dishes like oatmeal and smoothies, but it also makes a welcome addition stirred into savory meals like stews or spicy marinades.

2. Rice Cakes.

Sounds a bit strange to ask you, dear readers (all 12 of you!), to keep these crunchy cakes on hand, but they're a lifesaver when you're in a pinch the day or two before grocery shopping. I crumble them up into a salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing as makeshift croutons or have them for breakfast with a thick layer of almond butter, banana slices and a sprinkle of that ever-handy cinnamon on top.

3. Nutritional Yeast.

I'm consistently amazed on how well these bits of flaky goodness (you can buy it powdered too) dazzle in pasta dishes that call for parm or mixed into a big tossed salad. Basically, whenever I feel like I've been forgetful with taking that B12 supplement, I sprinkle these vitamin B12 flakes over whatever I'm eating.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

One-Step Cinnamon Apple Pie Pudding

Okay, fine. Two Step (OMG, DMB reference) if you count putting it in the fridge. If that's too much effort for you, I don't know what to say folks. And don't let the recipe name above fool you into thinking this is just a swirl of calorie and sugar-loaded decadence. Quite the opposite: Fiber. Check. Whole grains. Check. Protein. Check.

Overnight Apple Pie Breakfast Pudding
•1 container (6 oz) plain Greek Style yogurt (such as So Delicious Greek Style Plain Almond Milk Yogurt)
•1/3 cup Grape Nuts Cereal
•¼ cup diced green apple
•½ cup vanilla almond milk
•2 Tablespoons slivered almonds
•2 teaspoons chia seeds
•¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Add all ingredients in a pint size mason jar. Secure lid and shake well. Store in refrigerator overnight. Enjoy chilled for breakfast the next morning.

Note: I adapted the original recipe slightly and added more cinnamon, a teaspoon of flax seeds and a drizzle of agave nectar. Feel free to play with the fruits (raspberries or blueberries would be a welcome swap for apples) and nuts (walnuts work well too).

Recipe and photography courtesy of Kristina VanniFor more great recipes check out www.Grape-Nuts.com or www.Facebook.com/GrapeNutsCereal.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Zoom Through Your Work Week with These Grape-Nuts Energy Bars

If you know anything about my eating habits, you probably know that it's quite difficult to find me,  without a box, heck, an entire House of Cards season-worth stash of Grape-Nuts. I mix them into smoothies; sprinkle cinnamon and flaxseed over them with a handful of berries and call it breakfast; and I get weird looks when I drizzle a half cup over fried bananas as my go-to late night snack. Needless to say, when Post Cereal shared this recipe with me for my blog from Kristina Vanni, I knew my quest for the perfect snack bar had ended. Behold! Trust me when I say these energy bars will give you that jolt to make it through the morning grind or a pick-me-up come that 3:00pm hey-why-isn't-it-nap-time o'clock. National Nutrition Month never tasted so good.


INGREDIENTS
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup Grape Nuts
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
 1 flax egg (combine three tablespoons water and one tablespoon flaxseed meal, stir and let sit for five minutes)
1/3 cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup agave nectar or molasses
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounce package pitted prunes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips such as Enjoy Life
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with nonstick aluminum foil making extended edges, or can use regular foil and coat with cooking spray; set aside.

In large bowl of electric mixer, combine oats, Grape Nuts, flours, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt; stir to combine.

Add flax egg, banana, honey, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla; mix well. Stir in chopped prunes, walnuts, chocolate chips, and sesame seeds. Mix well to combine; dough will be stiff.

Transfer to prepared baking pan and pat in mixture evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes until edges are browned.

Cool completely on wire rack in pan. Use edges of foil to pick up and flip out onto a cutting board and cut into 24 squares.

P.S. Hate prunes? Swap 'em for dried apricots! Got pumpkin seeds? Throw 'em in. How about some leftover shredded coconut you're looking to kill? In they go! Feel free to experiment with your mix-ins and flavor the bars to your own personal taste.

For more great recipes check out www.Grape-Nuts.com or www.Facebook.com/GrapeNutsCereal.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Get Your Plant-Based Sombrero On! NYC Veg Food Fest 3/1-3/2

Save your appetite, throw on your comfy shoes, and get ready for a sensory overload at the annual NYC Veg Food Fest. Learn everything you need to know here. Having just gotten back from day one, I can tell you that between Natural Gourmet Institute cooking up a storm, Vitamix demos, vegan bakers galore and more cool seitan-y goodies than you ever dreamed existed, you may want to skip dinner. Follow along on Twitter with #nycvff.


The Details: 1am - 6pm BOTH DAYS THE METROPOLITAN PAVILION 125 W 18th ST
 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Honey-Mustard Glazed Brussel Sprouts Even Vegetable Haters Will Like

 
Growing up, honey-mustard hens served over a bed of pillowy wild rice was always one of my favorite dinners to look forward to. Now, when I need that spicy-sweet fix, I turn to this super simple 3-ingredient recipe to satiate that craving. Honey...I know, I know. Some vegans don't eat it. And I've watched the More Than Honey documentary (well, until I fell asleep two thirds of the way through) on Netflix, read up on the topic, gone cold honey-turkey for a while, but alas...I hope that the fairtrade raw organic honey that I used minimizes my vegan sin committal (Though, you should probably gather from my blog title that I am not the holiest vegan whose path you've ever crossed).


Ingredients
15 or so Brussels sprouts
2 teaspoons spicy whole grain mustard
1 (very generous) teaspoon of honey*
1 tablespoon almond slivers, optional
Serves 1 as main, or 2 people for a side

*I'd imagine you can use maple syrup or agave nectar or some other vegan sweetener substitute for similar effects.

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pour Brussels sprouts into corningware and spoon honey-mustard mixture over it. Toss to coat evenly.
2. Bake for thirty minutes or until desired crispness is reached. Warning: Crispy-crunchy caramelized bits may look like bacon. Serve warm, or let cool and slice in half to mix into salad.

Template developed by Confluent Forms LLC