Friday, June 10, 2011

How To Choose the Best Vegan Sausage

One of the best things about going vegan these days is that you can find substitutes for your former-favorite foods. And, not only can you find vegan cheeses and meats, you often have a selection of brands and flavors.

However, not all vegan meats are created equal. Upon tasting, some clearly rise above the rest. And, it's important to know which ones, because you deserve to enjoy your food (especially when many of these products cost $4 - $5 per package - who wants to spend all of their time and money figuring out which one is best?).

This week, Slate published a review of three of the most popular, nationally-distributed brands of vegan sausage - Tofurky, Lightlife, and Field Roast.

Click to read the full review and find out which product won this taste test - and which one you should pick up before your next BBQ:

Taste-testing vegan sausage - which fake meat is best?

LET US KNOW: Do you agree with Slate's review? What's your favorite vegan sausage?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Recipes: Vegan Sushi

Yesterday, Stephanie shared her visit to Organic Lives cafe with us. Today, I'm excited to share her recipes for homemade sushi with you.

Now, I'm still a bit intimidated by the idea of rolling my own sushi. I just have visions of it not coming together, or falling apart as soon as I think it's actually holding. But, these recipes are inspiring me to try - and, if you've got suggestions on rolling sushi, please share a comment below!

Photo credit: Stephanie Falcos

Stephanie's Homemade Vegan Sushi

Makes four rolls

7 medium mushrooms
⅔ medium cucumber (seeded)
2 medium carrots
½ cup alfalfa sprouts
1 red bell pepper
1 small avocado
8 dried seaweed sheets
Handful, organic greens
Organic stone-ground mustard
Organic tamari sauce
Kelp powder *optional
Agave nectar *optional

Roll #1:
1. Chop 3 mushrooms and toss in food processor with 1 tsp tamari sauce and a touch of agave. Process until the mix has a grain- like texture.
2. Roll on 1 seaweed sheet with alfalfa, carrots, red pepper, and cucumber. Wait several minutes, and roll in another sheet of seaweed. (I do this because if not eaten right away, the mushroom makes the sushi wet, and hard to cut.)
3. Top with mustard.

Rolls #2 and #3:
1. Slice 4 mushrooms and marinate in tamari and agave for 20 minutes. Roll with carrot-beet pate (see below), alfalfa, and additional carrots.
2. Wait several minutes, and roll in another sheet of seaweed to make it easier to cut.

Roll #4:
1. Slice avocado, and roll with cucumber, red pepper, and lettuce. (I topped mine with kelp powder.)
2. You may not have to roll this one twice. Test how moist it is, and cut away!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Feast Your Eyes: Stephanie revives a family tradition with vegan sushi

Today, I'm excited to share a guest post from Stephanie Falcos of Vegan on the Go. Stephanie is a fantastic vegan blogger and photographer, who recently revived a special tradition with a visit to Vancouver, BC's Organic Lives cafe. Read on to learn more about her experience and view pictures of her vegan sushi rolls. Stay tuned for vegan sushi recipes, and be sure to check out Stephanie's blog!

Though I love being vegan, one of the hardest things about transitioning was giving up a tradition I shared with my mom. On weekends, we used to go to all-you-can-eat sushi buffets, where we would eat everything from Yakisoba to our beloved California Rolls, to our hearts’ content. When I couldn’t continue this tradition with her, we were both disappointed.

As vegetarian for seven years, I had worked my way from eating no red meat, to no meat at all. Becoming even more conscious, I began to look into the animal bi-products I was consuming, and finally went vegan early this year; I had started to feel the same way about the eggs on my plate, as I had about eating the chicken that they had come from. I initially thought becoming vegan would be difficult, but, I changed my mind when I was at a friend’s house in Chicago, and his roommate cooked up an easy, delicious stir-fry. I decided then, that there was no reason for not making the commitment – even though I would miss my shared sushi tradition.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How to Make Going Veg a No-Brainer

Welcome Vegan Consultant Readers!
Thanks for reading my interview with Kelly, and welcome to my blog! In my interview, I advised those considering a vegan lifestyle to choose a set of core recipes to help the transition. Here are some more thoughts on that:

To many ears, “going vegan” sounds difficult and limiting.

“How do you stay the course?” people wonder.

To this question, many will tell you about animal rights, climate change, and your health. Given the facts, how can we not be vegan? And, I agree with all of this.  

But, you may still be thinking, "How do I give up brie cheese and chocolate chip cookies? Practically, in my day-to-day life, it’s too hard to be vegan."

To you, I offer the secret to making it easy.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Recipes: Falafel, 5 Ways

With summer around the corner, many of us are thinking about picnics and barbeques - grilled pizzas, vegetable kebabs, and potato salad.

But truly, my favorite summer sandwich is the falafel.

Image via: Chow Vegan

Heartier than a summer salad, but lighter than a veggie burger off the grill, to me, falafel is pure balance - textured, spicy, cool, creamy, complex, crunchy, bright, comforting, zesty.