Vegan Bytes #34: What are you addicted to?
Welcome to the Vegan-Nutritionista.com subscriber group! Our newsletter focuses on helping you learn more about veganism and how to apply it to your daily life. Vegan Bytes is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date with the world of food, answering your vegan nutrition questions, and providing you with ideas on ways to spread your lifestyle beliefs.
In this issue...
*Thoughts: My Interview with Jane Velez-Mitchell, host on CNN HLN
*Holiday Highlight: Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for the Single and Coupled
*Question: The Happy Herbivore Cookbook Review
*Question: "How "vegan" do I need to be to call myself vegan?"
*Vegan Ebooks: Our Entire Collection of Vegan eBooks
*Recipe of the Month: Two Cashew Cream Sauces... One Sweet, One Savory
*What's New?: What's New With Vegan Nutritionista?
Remember, I write this newsletter and maintain Vegan-Nutritionista to help you, so if you ever have a suggestion for a topic you want covered in the newsletter, please let me know.
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Interview with Jane Velez-Mitchell
I’ve been able to do some really exciting, cool things since I started working on Vegan Nutritionista. What drives me on a daily basis is the chance to talk to all of you and provide an environment in which we can all help each other learn.
But, it's fun when new and different opportunities also come my way.
Recently, I was asked to interview Jane Velez-Mitchell about her new book, Addict Nation. Now, I’ve gotten to “talk” to a lot of cool people, like cookbook authors Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, but this felt like a big honor.
If you don’t recognize the name, you would definitely recognize Ms. Velez-Mitchell’s face as you’ve seen her all over CNN Headline News interviewing people. Needless to say, it was really cool to find out more about what drives her, and I was sure that you would love learning more about her as well.
With such a huge platform on the media, I love that Ms. Velez-Mitchell speaks out for animals as often as she does.
She has some great advice for new and aspiring vegans, and tells us more about her new book, Addict Nation. Read the whole article about Jane Velez-Mitchell here.
Holiday Highlight: Vegan Valentine's Day Gift Ideas
This year’s February newsletter is coming just in time to give you some ideas for cute gift ideas. Whether you're celebrating with friends or with your partner, we have tons of options this year. I like the idea of dressing down Valentine’s Day and making it more about just enjoying each other’s time, but a box of candy never hurt anything. Or flowers, for that matter.
Vegan Essentials is flush with vegan chocolate this time of year, so if you want to go old school and get your valentine a box of chocolate, it’s never been easier. Here is a collection of my favorites from their site:
- Classic 16-piece assortment from Rose City
- Rose City Chocolate Covered Nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews.
- Sjaak’s Chocolate Heart Box with toffee, chocolate truffles, nuts, caramels, and crèmes.
- Sjaaks Cherry Hearts
- Sjaak’s also has a gift bag of dark chocolates
- Allison’s Gourmet mint patties
- Boardwalk Chocolates has assorted truffles
- Bow Wow Bon Bons in peanut butter and jelly, dark chocolate, cinnamon, and salted peanut.
- Moo Free milk chocolate pralines
- Rescue Chocolate Raspberry truffles
- Rose City Chocolatier has peanut butter truffles
See? I wasn’t joking that you will not be disappointed with the selection of chocolates this year. As vegans, we get luckier and luckier every day.
Conversation hearts are made with gelatin... yuck! Sweet tart hearts, however, are usually vegan. Evidently sometimes they are made with egg albumen, but otherwise they are just a mix of sugar and artificial colors. Of course, they are anything but healthy, but once a year you can make an exception. Use this list of vegan candyfor more guidance on what qualifies.
Check out the rest of my Valentine’s gift ideas on Vegan Nutritionista.
For all You Happy Herbivores... A New Cookbook
Another cool thing I got to do this past month was to review a copy of The Happy Herbivore Cookbook by Lindsay Nixon. A few years ago I ran a series of interviews with food bloggers and cookbook writers, and Lindsay’s happyherbivore.com blog was one of them.
Her cookbook recently came out and is loaded with tons of pictures and some of the simplest recipes I’ve seen in a vegan cookbook recipe. I love to experiment with new ingredients, but there’s something to be said for quick and easy recipes that are still totally delicious.
So far I’ve made her cheesy sauce and some oatmeal raisin cookies, and both are top notch. Lindsay is famous for her black bean brownies, and those are on my list to try soon... I just need to let a few bananas get really ripe.
You can get The Happy Herbivore Cookbook on Amazon for only $11.49, a veritable steal.
"How "vegan" do I need to be to call myself vegan?"
I have been eating vegan (or what I interpret as vegan) for quite sometime. I always wonder about foods that contain some form of non-vegan contents. For instance, is the traditional pancake okay? It contains a mixture with eggs and milk though. And don't they use eggs to make whole wheat bread? To be a "vegan eater," do we have to eliminate foods with the slightest content of "no-no" ingredients?
This is a good question, and it's one every person has to answer for his and herself. For instance, when you get out to nitty gritty details like vegan and non-vegan alcohols, potting soil, photographic film, and such, many vegans decide to draw the line either including or excluding those things from their lives. Whatever decision you make, you have to be comfortable with what you are doing.
I personally believe that any one person who decides to make a difference in his diet by eating fewer animal products is making a difference in the world. Some vegans are extremely strict about who should call themselves vegan and may not like others calling themselves vegan if they eat eggs. Technically, if you are eating pancakes with eggs (or any other products with eggs, milk, regular butter, or any other animal ingredients), you are not strictly following a vegan diet.
The good news is that it's really really easy to find recipes for standard foods that don't contain any eggs or milk. There are an abundance of excellent vegan cookbooks on the market, and one I highly recommend for vegan brunch recipes like pancakes is Vegan Brunch. Isa's recipes are just as easy as using a pre-made pancake mix, and then you have total control over the ingredients.
There are also tons of great recipes on the internet, even for vegan pancakes. You might also want to check out my ebook on vegan bread recipes, if you want to learn more ways to cook without eggs.
Most of the time breads don't have eggs in them, but sometimes they're added in. However, it's very easy to read labels and avoid buying breads with animal ingredients. You don't need eggs for baking bread, or making pancakes, or for almost anything else in the kitchen.
I hope that helps clarify things!
Have unresolved questions about veganism? Join in the discussion on our site by asking and answering questions, as well as commenting on other answers. It's fun and helpful!
Vegan Nutritionista Downloadable EBooks
The Vegan Bread Box: 30 Simple and Delicious Vegan Bread Recipes
I'm so excited about this new e-cookbook. I've found it really difficult to find a vegan bread cookbook on the internet; there are tons of recipes out there, but they're scattered all over different sites and you never know which ones are good. This book has everything from an eggless brioche to a classic whole wheat boule recipe, so you'll never have to go scrounging the internet again.
It couldn't come at a better time either, because there isn't a thing in the world better than freshly baked bread on a cold, snowy winter morning.
This time I asked for the help of several bread testers, so the recipes are flavor/texture/instruction-tested and approved! Learn more about the bread baking tip that's almost too easy here or download your copy for only $7.95 now.
Soak, Rinse, Boil! Your Complete Guide to Cooking Beans and Grains
Soak, Rinse, Boil! is a complete guide to cooking beans and grains. Don't worry about picking up endless cans of beans that need to be rinsed to reduce the sodium. Control all your own additives with fresh, homemade beans and grains. This guide teaches how to soak, how to boil, what spices to add and when, and how to store your finished product. Download a copy for only $4.75 here.
*Note* If you are an owner of A Fresh New Vegan You, you have a very similar guide in your ebook already. This is a printable handbook to store in the kitchen near your dried beans and grains.
Vegan Meal Plans for Fall/Winter
Vegan Meal Plans is a complete meal plan for one month vegan weekday dinners. It includes 64 recipes, pictures, nutritional information, grocery lists, and tips and techniques. Everyone from those beginning a vegan diet to those veterans who want fresh menu ideas love this ebook. It focuses on fresh, local, and seasonal vegetables and uses all normal ingredients-- no fussy or gourmet skills needed. Download a copy for only
Vegan Meal Plans for Spring/Summer
The spring meal plan book is available and is getting great reviews! It focuses on seasonal spring vegetables like kale, lettuce, carrots, peas, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, and more! Just like in the original Vegan Nutritionista meal plans, the menus include 66 recipes for full dinners for 4 work weeks complete with nutritional information, tips, and many pictures. No repeats! Get your Vegan Meal Plan for Spring/Summer, now for just $9.75.
Just the Menus Ebook Package Deal
Just the Menus Ebook Package allows you to have both Vegan Nutritionista meal plans, one for the fall/winter and one for the spring/summer at a discounted rate. Download your copy for only $16.99 here.
Vegan Grocery List
This massive, complete vegan grocery list is the only one you'll ever need. Print out copies of it to hang on your fridge, and then mark what you need as you go throughout the week. Download a copy for only $0.99.
A Fresh New Vegan You
A Fresh New Vegan You is a complete look at why people go vegan, including information about factory farms, the environment, and the health benefits. It provides details on how to go vegan, and offers basic vegan nutritional advice, as well as information on vegan pregnancy and raising vegan children. This ebook combines all my vegan research into one easy, convenient location. Download a copy for only $27 here.
Entire Collection of Ebooks Deal:
Get The Vegan Bread Box, A Fresh New Vegan You, Vegan Meal Plans and Vegan Meal Plans for Spring with a free copy of the massive Vegan Grocery List for only $49.95. Save 15%! Download this package here.*Note: this does not include Soak, Rinse, Boil! because you get it within A Fresh New Vegan You.
Recipes of the Month: Raw Cashew Cream Sauces
Cashew cheese and sauces have been all the rage on the vegan scene for a few years now. If you’ve never tried to make cashew cream, now’s the time to start. Cashews are buttery and grind to a smooth, silky texture that mimics cow’s milk cream sauces. The possibilities are really endless, and once you get the hang of making one, you can adjust the flavors to suit your preferences.
This month you get two amazing basic cream sauces that we use frequently. I hope you enjoy them!
The first is a raw alfredo sauce that has a flavor and texture so close to the buttery real thing that you’ll never crave the old one again. Since this all goes into a blender at once, if you are sensitive to strong flavors (like garlic, lemon juice, and salt), add it in pieces to make sure the sauce doesn’t get too strong for you.
The second is a sweet cashew cream sauce that you can use on fresh fruit, muffins, or even cakes. It’s also technically a raw dish and can be stored for a few days in the fridge if you make more than you can eat in one sitting. Both dishes make about two cups of cream, so if you're cooking for just one or two, you might want to divide the recipe in half (or, for a larger family, double it).
Raw Alfredo Cashew Sauce Ingredients:
- 2 c. unsoaked cashews (or macadamia nuts)
- 1/2 c. pine nuts
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 3 small cloves garlic
(or to taste)
- 1 1/2 c. water
- 1 Tbsp. thyme spice
- 1 tsp. sea salt
Put the cashews into your blender or food processor first and pulse until they are pretty fine, though not turned into butter yet. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it process until it’s very creamy and smooth. Make sure to taste before adding the salt to make sure it’s not too salty... remember, you can always add flavor, but you can’t take it out.
Sweet Cashew Cream Ingredients:
- 1 c. unsoaked cashews (or macadamia nuts)
- 1 c. hot water
- 2 Tbsp. organic cane sugar (or agave nectar)
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. sea salt
Put the cashews into your blender or food processor first and pulse until they are pretty fine, though not turned into butter yet. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it process until it’s very creamy and smooth. As with the alfredo sauce, start with the bland ingredients and work your way up to the full amounts of the sugar and salt, tasting as you go.
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Vegan Essentials is one of my very favorite places to shop for vegan supplies. They have everything from clothes and shoes to vegan cheese, and their prices are the best around.
Amazon has really grown on me over the past decade or so. It no longer is just a resource for finding books, but now sells almost everything. Over the past few years, I've found more and more vegan-friendly supplies on amazon, including books, shoes, clothes, soymilk makers, soybeans, and so much more.
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And don't forget, a percentage of all Vegan Nutritionista profits go to a rotating group of charities that benefit animals. Last year, we donated to Vegan Outreach and to start off this year we donated to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
That's all for this month!! I hope you enjoyed reading it. Have a great month!
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