Vegan Recipes : Lemongrass Noodle Bowl With Mock Duck

Vegan RecipesVietnamese food is among some of my favorite foods in the world. These vegan recipes are not trying to recreate any one particular Vietnamese dish. Instead, I created it on my own to satisfy my cravings for certain flavors found in Vietnamese foods. From lemongrass to mint to ginger to lime, all of the best flavors are present here. Best of all, this dish is made with mock duck. I can assure that you no real ducks were harmed in the process of making this dish.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for making these vegan recipes:

  •  Two 10 oz cans mock duck (or equivalent amount homemade seitan)
  •  8 oz vermicelli rice noodles

Marinade:

  •  1/4 cup chopped shallot
  •  1 clove garlic
  •  1 teaspoon agave syrup
  •  A few dashes fresh black pepper
  •  1 tablespoon soy sauce
  •  1 tablespoon peanut oil (or canola oil)
  •  2 tablespoons sliced lemon grass
  •  Juice of one lime

Broth:

  •  2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  •  1 tablespoon peanut oil (or canola oil)
  •  2 inch nub ginger, thinly sliced (no need to peel)
  •  6 cloves garlic, smashed
  •  1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  •  3 tablespoons sliced lemongrass
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  4 cups vegetable broth (or equivalent bullion)
  •  6 cups water
  •  Juice of one lime

To serve:

  •  Sriracha hot sauce
  •  Thinly sliced red onion
  •  Thinly sliced red pepper
  •  Lots of fresh mint
  •  Lots of fresh cilantro
  •  Limes wedges

You can start preparing this recipe by making the marinade. All of the ingredients should be added to your blender and blended together until smooth. Place the marinade in a bowl and set aside.

The mock duck should be removed from the cans and drained of its moisture. Place it in the bowl with the marinade and allow it marinate for 1-2 hours. Make sure to turn it over every 30 minutes so it marinates evenly.

Now, it’s time to move on to preparing your broth. Preheat a stock pot over medium heat. Dry toast the coriander seeds for about 3 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute for about 15 minutes. Add the lemongrass, salt, broth and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, lower to a simmer for about 30 more minutes, or until everything else is done. When it is done, strain in mesh strainer and then return to the pot to keep warm. Add in the juice of a lime.

Next, you will need to go ahead and prepare your noodles according to package instructions. Once they are finished cooking, drain them, rinse them off in cold water, and set them aside. Now is also a good time to go ahead and prep all of your veggies.

Once your mock duck is finished marinating, it should be placed in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add a little peanut oil to the pan. You should sauté the duck for about 10 minutes, or until it has been nicely browned. If you’d like to kick up the spiciness a notch, add in a good sized pinch of red pepper flakes.
Once you are ready to serve, place 1/4 of the noodles into a large bowl. Pour in broth. Tuck fresh herbs and veggies all over. Top with mock duck. Enjoy!

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The Vegan Diet : Separating Fact From Fiction

Vegan DietThe majority of Americans tend to follow the meat and potatoes diet. Many of these individuals know very little about the vegan diet, and as such, there are a lot of rumors and misinformation surrounding it. Here, I’d like to address the top 5 most common myths I hear about the vegan diet on a regular basis. Hopefully, the following will help separate fact from fiction.

Myth #1 – All plant based diets are the same.

No. Those who follow the vegan diet do not consume milk, eggs, meat, or animal based products of any kind. There are vegetarians who are called “lacto-octo-vegetarians”, because while they do not consume meat, they do eat milk and eggs. There are many variations when it comes to plant based diets.
If someone declares themselves to be a vegan or vegetarian, it is considered best practice to ask them what they do and do not eat before assigning a label to their diet.

Myth #2 – There are very few vegans or vegetarians.

Recent estimates state that approximately 9% of the United States population follows the vegan diet. Roughly 27% of the population follows some form of a vegetarian diet.

Myth #3 – Someone who doesn’t eat meat has a nutritionally deficient diet.

The vegetarian diet and the vegan diet provide all of the same essential nutrients to a person who takes advantage of the abundant food options they have. It is true that as a diet becomes more restrictive, it can become more difficult to acquire all of these essential nutrients. However, if one follows the guidelines outlined by the Vegan Food Pyramid, then they will be able to obtain most of these nutrients naturally.

Myth #4 – Without milk or eggs, a person cannot obtain enough protein in their diet.

A person who follows the vegan diet does need to eat a wide variety of different foods, but almost all foods, with the exception of sugars and oils, will contain some amount of protein. Those who follow the vegan diet primarily gain their protein from legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.

Myth #5 – The vegan diet is low in fat.

The vegan diet may or may not be low in fat, depending upon which foods you choose to eat. Examples of foods commonly used by vegans that are high in fat include avocadoes, olives and olive oil, nuts, nut and soy based milk type beverages and seeds. It is all about choosing the right foods in the moderate amounts.

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An Overview of the Raw Food Vegan Diet Plan

Vegan DietThe raw food vegan diet plan is slightly different from traditional veganism. The philosophy behind this diet and lifestyle is for a person to eat foods as nature intended, which primarily means uncooked. In this case, it means consuming foods that are raw or lightly cooked. This diet is more strict that traditional veganism, and a person who follows this diet may need to take supplements, because they can put at a risk for developing anemia or osteoporosis.

The Benefits of the Raw Food Vegan Diet Plan

A raw food vegan is not going to eat foods that have been cooked at temperatures exceeding 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Advocates of this diet saying that cooking foods beyond this temperature causes a loss of the vitamins and nutrients that the food contains naturally. Therefore, not cooking your food allows your body to derive the maximum amount of nutritional benefit from what you do eat.

This diet has been endorsed by a number of celebrities. A purist will follow this vegan diet to the letter, but other raw foodists decide to include fortified cereals and drinks in their diet in order to boost their nutritional intake.

What the Experts Have to Say

Some experts believe that following this diet makes it difficult for a person to derive the nutritional balance that their bodies need. Leslie Beck, a Canadian nutritionist, says vegans on a raw-food diet may need to take supplements for calcium and vitamins B12 and vitamin D. Likewise, Tina Ferraretto, a member of the Nutritional Professionals of Australia, states that it can be difficult for raw food vegans to get enough calcium, vitamin B12 or vitamin D on a diet consisting of uncooked fruit, vegetables, seeds, dried fruit, nuts, seaweed and mineral water.

Are There Side Effects to the Raw Food Vegan Diet?

Many experts believe that there is not any proof that the raw food vegan diet is more nutritionally beneficial than traditional veganism. Ms. Ferraretto believes that raw-food vegans put themselves at risk for fatigue and nutrient deficiency and, over time, osteoporosis. Gwyneth Paltrow, the famed actress, used to follow this diet, but she was forced to give it up in 2010 when she discovered that she had developed a condition that could potentially lead to osteoporosis.

Ultimately, the choice of whether or not you want to follow this diet is up to you, but you will need to be aware of the associated risks before you do so. Talk to your primary care physician about any concerns or questions. Anyone who already suffers from anemia or a calcium deficiency is encouraged to stay away from the raw food vegan diet.

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Vegan Recipes : Vegan Whipped Cream

Vegan RecipesHave you tried vegan recipes for vegan whipped cream yet? There are a few pretty good store bought options you can try, but I really love this recipes. It has a fresh taste and a creamy consistency. The best part is that you can use it for pie toppings, pudding, ice cream sundaes, or just about anywhere else you think whipped cream is appropriate!

These vegan recipes for whipped cream call for agar powder. You can find agar powder in most Asian food markets, or you can easily order it online. It can be used to make everything from mousses, gelatins, and a number of other interesting dishes.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for these vegan recipes:

  •  1/2 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least two hours and up to overnight
  •  1/3 cup coconut milk
  •  1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk, divided
  •  3/4 teaspoon agar agar powder
  •  3 tablespoons sugar
  •  2 tablespoons coconut oil plus 2 teaspoons
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla

Start preparing these vegan recipes by placing a large metal bowl in in your freezer so it can chill.
Next, drain your cashews and place them in a blender with the coconut milk and ½ cup of the almond milk. The ingredients should be mixed together until smooth. When you rub the mixture between your fingers, there shouldn’t be any graininess left in the texture. Depending on your blender, it’ll take about 5 minutes to blend together.

In a small saucepan, you’ll need to combine the other ½ cup of almond milk, agar, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir it every 30 seconds or so. Add the coconut oil and let it cook for about another 5 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the stovetop and add it to the mixture already in your blender. Blend it altogether for 1-2 minutes, and then add in the vanilla and pulse for 1-2 minutes.

Take the whole mixture out of your blender and transfer it to the bowl you put in your freezer earlier. Place the bowl and the ingredients back into the freezer for about 30 minutes. You will want it to be cold all the way through, but it shouldn’t be frozen. Once you take it out, it’s going to feel a bit rubbery and firm, but don’t worry! You’re doing everything right.

Now it’s time to take a hand mixer and whip it like mad! Once the whole mixture is smooth and fluffy, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it back in your fridge for about 3 hours. The longer you let it sit, the fluffier your whipped cream is going to be. Right before you are ready to serve it, take the hand blender to it one more time.

These vegan recipes will make about 4 cups of whipped cream. Enjoy!

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The Vegan Diet : Washing Fruits and Vegetables

Vegan DietMost people are aware of the importance of safe meat handling practices, but many people consider their chances of developing food poisoning from fruits and vegetables to be quite low. However, for those who follow the vegan diet, there are also safe food handling practices that should be followed.

You are probably familiar with the saying “A little dirt don’t hurt”, but the soil that vegan diet plants are grown in can sometimes carry harmful bacteria. These risks were brought to prominent attention with the 2011 E. coli outbreak in the UK.

How Should I Clean My Fruits and Vegetables?

Most people who follow the vegan diet are going to buy the majority of their produce from their local health food stores. Washing the fruits and vegetables that you purchase is going to remove the bacteria, including E. coli, from the surface of fruits and vegetables. Most of the harmful bacteria will be found in the soil that is attached to the produce.

When you wash your fruits and vegetables, do not just hold them under the running faucet. They should be rubbed under the water. A bowl of fresh water is an excellent method of cleaning fruits and vegetables. The soiled items should be cleaned first in the bowl, and then given a final rinse under the faucet.

How to Safely Store, Handle, and Cook Your Fruits and Vegetables

Whether or not you follow the vegan diet, here are a few “best practices” for handling raw fruits and vegetables:

  •  Always wash your hands well before and after handling raw fruits and vegetables.
  •  Keep your fruits and vegetables well separated from “ready to eat” foods.
  •  Unless your fruits and vegetables are labeled “ready to eat”, it is highly recommended that you wash, peel, and cook them before consuming them.
  •  When preparing vegan diet dishes, use different chopping boards, knives, and utensils for fruits and vegetables and ready to eat items. Make sure to wash them well between uses.

Do I Really Have to Worry About Cross Contamination In the Vegan Diet?

If you follow safe food handling practices, then your chances of developing E. coli or other bacterial illnesses are actually quite small. However, as with any type of food, it is always better to err on the side of caution, rather than take chances.

Just bear in mind that when you are selecting loose vegetables and fruit for the vegan diet, heavily soiled items are going to take longer to prepare at home.

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Vegan Recipes and Willpower

Vegan RecipesMaking the transition to a vegan recipes only diet is not as difficult as you might think. In actuality, it has nothing to do with willpower. Making the successful transition to vegan recipes has to do solely with making a concentrated and ongoing effort to discover new foods. The more vegan recipes that you sample on a regular basis, the more graceful your transition to the vegan lifestyle will be. Do not feel pressured to adopt the vegan lifestyle right away. You should take as much time as needed to make the transition to vegan recipes, even if it takes several months. If you are not enjoying the transition, then it is a sign that you are not trying enough new vegan recipes. If you are looking for new and exciting vegan recipes, head on over to the website of Vegan Do It. Here, you will find one of the most extensive selections of vegan recipes anywhere on the Internet.

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The Vegan Diet vs. The Vegetarian Diet

Vegan DietPlant based diets are becoming more and more popular in the United States. The two most common types of plant based diets are the vegan diet and the vegetarian diet. There are several differences between these diets, but they do share a number of the same requirements, concerns, and health benefits.

The Basics of Each One

Vegetarians eat plant based foods. However, there are some vegetarians, which are referred to as ovo lacto vegetarians, include some dairy products and eggs in their diet. On the other hand, vegans do not eat any products that come from animals, nor do they eat any foods that are made with animal byproducts. For example, many vegans do not cook or bake with granulated white sugar, because it is refined and processed with animal byproducts.

Identification Of These Diets

Both vegans and vegetarians eat plant based foods. This list of foods includes fruits, vegetables, breads, beans, lentils, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Both types of diets allow for the use of vegetable oils, canola oil, and olive oil. If they choose too, vegetarians are able to eat certain dairy items, like milk, cheese, butter, sour cream, and ice cream, which vegans cannot.

The Considerations of Each Diet

Regardless of which diet you choose to follow, you will need to take certain precautions to ensure that your diet enables you to get the amounts of protein, iron, zinc, and calcium that your body needs on a daily basis. Vegetarians will have an easier time including these nutrients in their diet through dairy products, but there are a number of plant based options to choose from as well. For example, peanut butter, avocados, and beans are excellent sources of protein.

The Benefits of These Diets

Both the vegan diet and the vegetarian diet offer a number of nutritional benefits. For example, a 2006 study conducted at the University of Oxford in England found that those who followed either the vegetarian or vegan diet had lower cholesterol levels and body mass indexes than their meat eating counterparts.

There are almost no negative side effects associated with either diet as long as you take care to plan your meals around obtaining the appropriate, essential nutrients, including protein and calcium. According to the American Diabetic Association, planning meals is essential for both vegans and vegetarians.

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Vegan Recipes : Cashew Queso

Vegan RecipesI’m not sure about you, but delicious, gooey cheesiness is my idea of comfort food. Whether you prefer it with nachos or on a burrito, these vegan recipes for cashew queso are just what the doctor ordered!

The cashews provide for a rich and smooth base, and the miso adds an unexpected depth to the queso. The spices, ranging from jalapenos to ancho powder, just bring it to perfection. I’ve even used this cashew queso as an alternative filler for grilled cheese sandwiches for my children, and they love it. To seal the deal, this recipe is 100% gluten free. It only takes about 45 minutes of your time to make, and the recipe will make 2 cups of queso.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  •  1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours or overnight
  •  2 cups veg broth
  •  2 tablespoons white miso (see recipe note)
  •  2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot
  •  1 tablespoons olive oil
  •  1 small yellow onion, diced
  •  1 red bell pepper, diced
  •  1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced (keeps seeds if you want more heat)
  •  3 cloves garlic
  •  2 teaspoons ground cumin
  •  1 teaspoon ground ancho pepper (or any mild ground red chili)
  •  2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

You can start preparing these vegan recipes by draining your cashews. In your blender, they should be combined with the vegetable broth, miso, and cornstarch and blended together until smooth. When you rub the mixture between your fingers, it shouldn’t have any graininess to the texture.

Next, place a medium sized saucepan over medium heat on your stovetop. The onions, red peppers, and jalapenos should be sautéed together for 7-8 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and sauté the mixture for another 1-2 minutes.

The vegetables should then be transferred to your blender. Add in the cumin, ancho, nutritional yeast and salt and continue to blend until smooth. Take the mixture out your blender and transfer it back to your pot. Turning up the heat, your queso should be brought to a slow, rolling boil.

Lower the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should start thickening right about now. The sauce should be thick, but it should still be pourable. If it seems a little too thick, you can add a small amount of water to it. For the final step in fixing these vegan recipes, add in the lemon juice. Taste, and adjust the seasonings, spices, and salt to your preference. Serve it hot and enjoy!

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The 5 Most Common Mistakes That New Vegans Make ( Part 1 )

Vegan DietThere are many nutritional and emotional rewards to reap from following the vegan diet. Whether you choose to follow the vegan diet for health reasons or because of moral issues, the change in your lifestyle can be somewhat shocking. For this reason, I wanted to address the 5 most common mistakes that new vegans make. When you are aware of these mistakes, you will be able to do your best to avoid them, and thus, your efforts at adopting the vegan diet will be successful. Without further ado, let’s get started:

1) Eat the same amount of food as you did in your pre-vegan diet days.

The vegan diet is not about starving yourself. If you feel as though you are constantly hungry on your new diet, then you are probably not eating enough. For most people, when they choose to move to a plant based diet, they find that they will need to eat larger quantities of food in order to feel full.
Because the new foods you are consuming have a lower caloric density, you will need to eat more of them in order to feel full. Do not feel guilty about this.

2) Make sure to look for alternate sources of Vitamin B12.

Consuming a wide variety of plant based foods is going to provide your body with most of the essential nutrients it needs. For example, instead of milk, your body will now derive calcium from spinach and tofu. However, one of the most critical mistakes that those new to the vegan diet make is not looking for plant based sources of Vitamin B12. This vitamin is critical for neurological development and functioning.
Vitamin B12 is most commonly found in nature through animal products, so you are going to have to make a concentrated effort to find fortified cereals, beverages, or other vegan diet friendly options.
If you are of middle age or older, you should consult your doctor about your new diet. As we age, our bodies’ abilities to absorb B12 lessen, so your doctor will be able to recommend an alternative source of Vitamin B12 for your body.

3) Just because it’s vegan diet friendly means that this food must be healthy.

When many people start the vegan diet, they immediately begin to load up on certain items, like veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs. The important factor that they are missing is that these foods are processed. While they are certainly vegan friendly, these foods are not always healthy. Additionally, many of them will be missing the nutritional value that your body needs. Heavily processed foods are going to be high in fat and sodium, which completely misses the point of switching to the vegan diet for health reasons.

In my next post, we will examine the last two, most common mistakes that new vegans make and how they can affect your attempts to adopt the vegan diet.

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The 5 Most Common Mistakes That New Vegans Make (Part 2)

Vegan DietIn my previous post, we started looking at the 5 most common mistakes that new vegans make. Making these mistakes can affect your ability to adopt, and successfully stick to, the vegan diet. Becoming aware of these common mistakes will allow you to take steps to avoid them. So, without further ado, let’s look at the last two most common mistakes.

4) You should stick to nuts and salads when you are dining out.

The truth is that most restaurants are going to have vegan diet friendly options when it comes to eating out. However, this is not true of all restaurants, so it would be a wise plan to carry some back up options in case you find yourself in a situation where there is nothing you can eat. Many vegans often carry small bags of nuts or dried fruit on them, but you don’t really want to rely on these foods to subsist.

The same principle applies to restaurants. You do not always have to have a salad if you find yourself in an establishment where the primary offering is meat. For example, you can compromise by ordering the grains and vegetables that come with a steak, without having the meat itself. If you are polite and considerate, most restaurants will be more than willing to work with you to find dietary options you can have on their menu.

5) Listen to your body.

On average, when you make a change to your diet, it’s going to take about 3 weeks for your body to adjust to it. Take your time, and don’t be hard on yourself if you are having difficulty adjusting to the vegan diet.

The best advice that the professionals have is to listen to your body. If you’re hungry, then you should eat. If a certain food doesn’t agree with your stomach, don’t force yourself to eat. Look for other healthy alternatives.

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