Vegan Pork Substitute in China – Serious Global Impact

Vacation: New Orleans – The Vegan Experience

New Orleans is not a vegan city. However, there is veganism to be found–you just need to know where to look.

Click here for New Orleans Vegan photo album.

Prior to vacation, I prepped by watching vegan videos on the you tube. Specifically – the Vegan Roadie’s New Orleans review, which was very helpful.

It must be noted that the vegan in you will cringe when you see alligator paw key chains sold in the tourist shops, but that’s not what this post is about. Let’s talk about the food.

Restaurants

The restaurants we visited were:

The two big ones are Seed and Cafe Carmo. Both are musts. Simple. The vegan beignet is at Seed and for that alone you need to go.

Vegan Beignets at Seed
Vegan Beignets at Seed

Cafe Carmo has a really nice menu and their dishes are superb. Lot’s of local flavor, and they have book readings there. It’s a gathering spot for the conscious minded and has a great vibe too. I can’t compare or rank either restaurant, but Seed is fully vegan. That’s one point for them.

Dat Dog is on Frenchmen St. in the French Quarter. They offer a Field Roast hot dog. Just eat it. It’s delicious. Greatest hot dog ever.

Vegan Hot Dog at Dat Dog
Vegan Hot Dog at Dat Dog

Holy Crepes is in the French Market and has a vegan friendly menu. Vegan crepes – you read that right. And they are delicious of course.

But my favorite spot was The Gumbo Shop. No frills – just a really good vegetable gumbo, and a plate of black beans so authentic that will make any Cuban think they were back in Havana. Really — it was that good.

Black Beans and Rice at The Gumbo Shop
Black Beans and Rice at The Gumbo Shop

And I can’t forget to mention the Mac and Moon’s Macaroons at the Auction House Market – it’s a food mart that has vendors that have vegan friendly menu items, but more importantly, a fully vegan stand featuring vegan macaroons. And they serve bubble tea. There I tried their rolled ice cream as well. The macaroons were the clear winner.

Rouse’s supermarket is vegan friendly. They have a nice vegan section. And with regards to prepared foods, you need to try the brussels sprouts. Also check out the gumbo spice aisle–you’ll really dig that. I included it here because of they have an eating section – and did I mention their brussels sprouts?

Overall Impressions

It’s not Philly, and they have a long way to go. But—they have some great selections. And as veganism continues to grow, I’m sure more selections will pop up.

If I had to recommend one place, it would be The Gumbo Shop.

Oh – and spices they sell at Gumbo Shop are fantastic.

Don’t complain about environmental regulations being pulled back: Just go vegan

Our president has been successful in pulling back all kinds of consumer and environmental regulations and protections. It was expected. He promised this all along.

He is sacrificing long term stability for short term gains. This will come back to haunt everybody in the end.

He will continue doing this. He will also continue to attempt to gut access to adequate healthcare. No need to complain. He is proven to be above the law and is just ignoring the world’s cries.

So – what are you going to do about it?

It’s simple: money talks – go vegan. By going vegan, you will invest in products, and live a lifestyle, that considerably reduces harm to the environment and to yourself.

This will send a true environmental message and give a big middle finger to the White House, and to the corporations manufacturing and processing items that are ultimately killing us, and the environment.

What’s that saying? If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the …….

 


A global switch to diets that rely less on meat and more on fruit and vegetables could save up to 8 million lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds, and lead to healthcare-related savings and avoided climate damages of $1.5 trillion (US) , Oxford Martin School researchers have found. (Source)

 

Processed foods make us fat – Washington Post

Found this article today, How Processed food makes us fat. More vegan options are becoming available, and although they are plant-based, it doesn’t mean that they are healthier for us in the long run. Yes, it’s better to have vegan processed foods as opposed to animal based processed foods, but it doesn’t take away the fact that they, nonetheless, processed foods, and are still unhealthy.

 

Vegan Coconut Curry

Here’s a recipe I encountered that was such a big hit that it was asked by my family to be in the regular meal rotation. This recipe is an adoption from America’s Test Kitchen Vegetarian Cookbook. And by the way, it’s not a vegan cookbook, but it has some great vegan recipes in it and recipes that can easily be adopted. I strongly recommend it.

I served mine over rice. The recipe below is for the curry only. When prepping dishes like this, and they are served with rice, I usually begin the rice first and monitor it as I’m preparing the main dish, which is this case is the curry. Step one is always prepare the rice.

Ingredients

 

Ingredients Quantity
Tomatoes 2
Olive oil 2-4 tablespoons
Curry Powder 2 teaspoons
Garam masala 1 1/2 teaspoons
Onions 2 (diced)
Red potatoes (small) 4 (diced)
Garlic cloves 4 (crushed)
Fresh Ginger Small knob, 1/2 inch (diced)
Tomato paste 1 tablespoon
Cauliflower florets 1 bag, or one small head, 1/2 head if large cauliflower
Cauliflower florets 1 bag, or one small head, 1/2 head if large cauliflower
Water 1 1/2 cups
Frozen peas 1 1/2 cups
Coconut milk 1/2 can, or full can if you really like coconut
Salt 1/4 teaspoons

Instructions

  1. Put tomatoes in blender or food processor until chunky, with some pieces still visible. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large dutch oven. Add curry, garam masala and cook for about 10 seconds. Stir on onions, potatoes, salt. Cook and stir for about ten minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in garlic, ginger, tomato paste and cook for about a minute. Add cauliflower and stir well until florets are covered in spices.
  4. Gradually stir in water and scrape the bottom. Stir in chickpeas and processed tomatoes. Cover and bring to simmer. Cook for about 25 minutes.
  5. Uncover and stir in peas and milk. Cook for two minutes until peas thaw.

When I cooked it I added a can of coconut milk. It was really strong – but delicious. I would stick with the 1/2 can.

Enjoy.

Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas

I’m preparing Thanksgiving meal for a lot of people this year. Normally I’ll do acorn squash dishes, which are cute, but for a lot of people it might be difficult, and might not make a good main for people accustomed to a grand centerpiece. So instead, I’m focusing on fall colors, and thinking of a collection of dishes a little closer to a traditional thanksgiving meal. For the centerpiece I might go with oven roasted cauliflower covered in a ginger tomato sauce surrounded by umami infused chickpeas. This will make a beautiful and delicious plant-based center. Oh, and yeah, can’t forget the chili. That will steal the show.

But the center is only one portion of the entire feast. There will be a variety of tastes and I’ll be cooking for non-vegans, so I need to think of comfort foods. Mac and cheese is a Thanksgiving comfort food. I’ve begun combing the interwebs for some recipes and here are two I found I’ll be experimenting with:

Regarding the second recipe, I’m interested in the pumpkin based goopy cheese. I think that has other applications.

I’ll let you know how they work.

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Blueberry Bundt Cake

Vegan baking can sometimes be a mystery. This is a recipe from an awesome cookbook, The Joy of Vegan Baking, that kind of demystifies the mysterious mystery. I brought this to a party recently and the hosts could not believe it was vegan. It’s a little cliche in that it uses tofu, but don’t let that fool you. This cake will absolutely satisfy and is well worth the effort. Give it a try, and if you’re non-vegan, this will make you wonder what’s really over the rainbow.

And I strongly recommend you check out this book. I’ve tried several recipes and every single one has been a winner. Tonight I made the German Apple Cake – really, really good!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup tofu (soft or firm)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or orange extract
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Orange zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and oil a bundt pan
  2. blend tofu, water, orange juice and extract until smooth
  3. in a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and zest. Make a well in the center of this mixture and pour the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
  4. Fold in the blueberries.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert and let sit for about ten more minutes

Bon Appétit