Low Fat Vegan Chef’s Favorites for 2014

 

Here I will share some of my well known and new favorites that I want to rave about. Do any of my favorites make your list this year?

Favorite Kitchen Appliance:

EZ Bean Cooker (Great for ALL pressure cooker style recipes and not just beans) See my video demonstration here I use my pressure cooker a lot, I even have two! Mashed potatoes, mashed yams, vegetable broth, beans, lentils, and soups can all be made very easily in this digital and safe to use pressure cooker. Simply add your dry ingredients, add sufficient water and spices, turn the lid to the locked position and use the auto program for beans, or manual timer for other recipes and voila! Cooking is a breeze.

Favorite Kitchen Gadgets:

 

Benriner Mandolin Slicer Mandolins are great to use when you don’t have a food processor or a gourmet knife and want to make quick slaws, salads, potato chips and more!

OR get even fancier and make shoestring potatoes, zucchini noodles, or carrot and beet curls with the Benriner Turning Slicer I love making vegetable curls to add to salads and tacos. Everyone loves how pretty they look and and are always impressed.

Favorite Seasoning:

McCormick Smoked Paprika I use smoked paprika in all my Mexican, Tex-Mex, Indian and even some Italian dishes for a more interesting flavor. If you’ve never had it before, you have to try it. I do not like regular paprika at all, but I love the sweet smokey flavor of smoked paprika and find it livens up all my favourite recipes.

Favorite Recipe Ingredient:

Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes make every other canned tomato jealous, and for good reason. These slightly sweet smokey tomatoes are a great base for pasta sauces, curries, soups, stews and chillis. I always buy them in bulk to make sure I have them on hand and find every recipe tastes better when I use these over plain tomatoes.

Favorite Organic Skincare Line:

My friend Annmarie Gianni makes these delicious and almost entirely edible skin care products that are organic and wild crafted. No harmful chemicals, parabens, sulfates or harsh cleansers here just delicious smelling skin rejuvenating cleansers and creams. Available in normal, dry and anti aging formulas for all ages. Get a sample kit of YOUR choice for only $10 including free worldwide shipping!

Favorite Supplement Brand:

Dr. Fuhrman’s Supplements are premium, whole food formulations that are not only safe, but highly effective as well. Many traditional store bought supplements contain too much folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Selenium, Iron and Copper. Dr. Fuhrman’s formulations are non-GMO and contain only the safest amounts of the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals with some having the added benefit of Vitamin D3 which many vegans lack.

Favorite Blog Recipe:

Baked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheezy is probably my top blog recipe because cheese lovers and vegans alike can rejoice in this healthier whole food version of their old favorite. I’ve made this recipe so many times I can’t even count, and it’s one of my family’s favorites too. (Psst. It also uses smoked paprika hint hint!)

Favorite Current Plant Based Recipe Book:

Eat To Live Cookbook  by Dr. Fuhrman  This book contains over 200 easy to follow recipes, goes over the basics of what not to eat and what to eat more of, and introduces you into the world of making your own dressings and sauces. I find this approach very appealing because it is how I learned to season and taste test recipes and adjust them to my liking. I was doing this before I even knew about Dr. Furhman so I find this wonderful that we both like to cook the same way and build recipes to taste from fresh ingredients.

Favorite NEW Plant Based Book:

Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by Dr. T. Colin Campbell (also the author of the world-famous China Study) is a great read for those who are often confused if their current diet really is enough to live a long healthy life. If you want to know more about why a whole food plant based diet isn’t the norm and how to stand up to naysayers then this book is for you.

Favorite Plant Based Blog:

FatFreeVegan.com is one of the original oil free plant based blogs and is probably already on your list of go to recipes and food porn. But just incase it isn’t on your radar yet, please check it out. I had the pleasure of meeting Susan in person at a Vida Vegan Con event and it was nice to spend sometime with a link minded lady in a world of tempting high fat vegan treats. :)

Favorite Other Blog Recipe:

Lentil and Cauliflower Rice Tacos by Susan Voisin You have to check this out, she is a master at making cauliflower taste delicious and your taste buds will be dancing with this recipe!

Favorite Vegetarian Restaurant in Canada:

Nourish Bistro is hands down my favourite vegetarian restaurant because it is so incredibly unique in flavor. Everything they make is handmade, often local and very seasonal but that’s not even a primary reason for me to love it. They use whole foods such as fruit, nuts, seeds and sprouts to flavor and garnish all of their unique dishes so it’s not like anything you’ve ever had before. They have strawberries and beans on their nachos and burritos and ground cherries and sprouts on their curries. Everything is beautiful and they’ve been slowly growing a following over the past decade, they are even now the #1 tourist restaurant in Banff. If you ever get the chance, please go and let the owners know Veronica sent you. :) (I’ve also been bugging them to put together a recipe book for years as well!)

Favorite Vegetarian Restaurant in the USA:

Natural Selection in Portland is my favourite US based restaurant because it’s the kind of cuisine that I would never make myself at home and is a luxurious treat once in a while. The menu changes weekly and the head chef Aaron Woo truly cares about his craft. Although not totally vegan, they always have vegan and gluten free options.  My next runner up is Millennium in San Francisco where you can get a truly fine dining experience all meat free and feel like a celebrity.

Favorite Vegan Friendly Travel Destination:

Chiang Mai, Thailand has a large Buddhist, Expat and University population for this moderately sized city. It’s very easy to eat fresh fruit and vegetable dishes at the street markets on the go and some of my favorite snacks were: fresh pineapple slices, peeled pink pommelo (sweeter than grapefruit), jackfruit, durian and Thai coconuts. There’s also an abundance of vegetarian (mostly vegan) restaurants around the city as well as numerous places to take Thai vegetarian cooking classes. There’s also an annual 9 day vegetarian festival every October which means many local vendors make all their food vegetarian and skip the meat as well. I highly recommend putting Chiang Mai on your bucket list of vegetarian travel adventures!

What are your favorite dishes, ingredients, gadgets, restaurants and travel destinations?

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Ah summer… I think it’s everyone’s favourite month.  (At least mine as it’s the sunniest/warmest time in Canada.) But now the weather is growing colder already and I can tell I’m missing the heat…. I was looking around the freezer the other day and wanted to make up something quick and healthy and I saw I had some bags of frozen butternut squash and some fresh corn. I decided to put it together with onions and broth and make a soup out of it, but it wasn’t thick enough so I thought, hey why don’t I try some white beans to add some bulk and cream it up? It turned out to be a great idea and a totally delicious combination. This soup doesn’t need any butter or cream to make it creamy and delicious, the white beans work perfectly. It also needs very little seasoning since it’s so sweet naturally from the sweet corn.

In fact you could even eat this soup without any of the seasonings at all, it would be a great soup for fussy children, or even a good choice for toddlers.  Everyone knows children enjoy soft naturally sweet foods and butternut squash and corn is a favourite.

I decided to kick things up a bit with some smoked paprika which added a delicious smokey flavour to the soup.  Smoked paprika isn’t of the spicy variety, but sweet so it adds some nice flavour without being spicy.

Summer sweet corn goes really well in almost any dish.  It’s a great topping for salads, adds natural sweetness to soups and is great on it’s own, no seasonings required.

Give this soup a try! It’s super easy (especially if you have frozen squash already, available at most health food stores.)

Fat Free Vegan Summer Harvest Soup (Butternut Squash Sweet Corn and White Bean Soup)

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

4 cups/1 qt./946 mL vegetable broth (homemade or low sodium)
1 large sweet onion, diced (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
6 cups/25 oz./1.5 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed (fresh or frozen)
2 1/2 cups sweet corn (fresh, frozen or canned – no sodium)
16 oz./453 g can white beans or chickpeas, drained
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or any other seasoning of choice)
3/4 tsp Herbamare or salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Saute onions and garlic in a large pot over medium heat in 1/2 cup of vegetable broth until soft 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add squash, corn and beans and remaining broth and cover. Cook until squash is tender.
  3. Carefully spoon mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour mixture back into pot, add seasonings and mix thoroughly. Taste test and adjust seasonings if desired.

What do you think of this summer soup? Have you ever tried smoked paprika before?

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Dr. Fuhrman’s Cinnamon Fruit Oatmeal (Eat To Live Recipe)

September 14, 2014
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  Now that’s it’s cooling down, you may be craving something warm and comforting for breakfast these days instead of smoothies or cold cereal. So I decided to make up one of Dr. Fuhrman’s (author of Eat To Live and Super Immunity) ultra healthy nutritarian breakfast oatmeal recipes. This is ultra healthy because it contains zero [...]

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How To Make Raw Almond Milk in a Vitamix

September 14, 2014
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Almond milk is something that many people use nowadays, whether they are vegan or have dairy allergies. Sure you can buy some (non raw) almond milk at the store for your smoothies or cooking, but there’s likely going to be sugar, preservatives and other additives and synthetic stuff in it as well. While it is [...]

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How To Store Fresh Herbs for Vegan Recipes

May 27, 2014

Fresh herbs are WONDERFUL to use in every day recipes, but not all of us have them on hand and even when we do they sometimes (or often) go to waste or are only partially used. I love using fresh herbs in my recipes and if you don’t already have a backyard garden or a [...]

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Low Fat Herbed Tofu Ranch Dip (With Silken Tofu)

April 23, 2014
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Readers often ask if I have a secret recipe for making veggie dip – but without all the fat (and the guilt should someone eat say half or the whole recipes while snacking on veggies…) And so I wanted to share this recipe for Herbed Tofu Ranch Dip from Comfort Foods From Around The World. [...]

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Personal Update From Veronica

April 20, 2014

You might have noticed I’ve been less active lately with my website and my mailings, and I wanted let you know what’s been going on. I feel really badly for not creating as much content as I normally do and it’s because I’ve been dealing with several personal struggles in my life. I hope that [...]

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Slowcooker Vegan White Bean Cassoulet by SkinnyMs

March 16, 2014

I love using white beans, especially in Mediterranean cuisine. They are a delicious addition to soups, stews, chillis, salads or even in place of chickpeas in hummus. They have a mild creamy taste and pair well with almost any herb. I instantly liked this recipe for vegan white bean cassoulet because is jam packed and [...]

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Creamy Vegan Avocado Dill Baby Potato Salad

February 16, 2014
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Sometimes you get a craving for a creamy salad, especially potato salad – but how do you make it creamy and whole food based at the same time? Simple! I switch out the vegan mayo (not a condiment I use in my kitchen!) and substitute a fresh ripe avocado and mash it up and season [...]

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Reader Recipe: Vegan Cream of Celery Soup

February 3, 2014
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Photo credit: digidreamgrafix FreeDigitalPhotos.net I received a wonderful recipe last week from a fellow reader named Elke White who was so kind to share this with all of us. What’s great about this cream of celery soup recipe is that it is exactly like I would have designed myself! Simple, oil free, low in fat and using [...]

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