Vegan Bytes #24: Learning to Cook With All Those Spring Vegetables

Welcome to the insider group of subscribers! 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...

*Vegan Thoughts: Farmer's Markets and CSAs
*NEW Ebook: Spring Meal Plans is Here and on Sale
*Question: "What vegetables help increase blood circulation?"
*Question: "What kind of chocolate can vegans eat?"
*Recipe of the Month: Roasted Asparagus with Lime Juice
*Hidden Pages: Pages Created Just For You
*Vegan Store: Cute Vegan Tee Shirts
*What's New?: What's new on Vegan Nutritionista?

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Fresh Vegetables, Farmer's Markets, and CSAs


One of my favorite things about this time of year is the anticipation of fresh, local vegetables and fruits. Our farmer’s markets are finally starting to have some spring vegetables, and I can almost taste the tart and tangy rainbow of tomatoes around the corner in July.

If you’ve never ventured too far into a local farmer’s market or joined a CSA, I have to encourage you to do it this year.

You will fall in love with all the brightly colored and fresh smelling produce. During the winter I feel something close to despair when I walk around picking up fruits and vegetables and trying to pick up any aroma on them. No longer do we have to settle!

You’ll probably also find yourself learning about all kinds of new vegetables. Ever heard of kohlrabi? How about bok choy? I am pretty sure I never would have selected one of these crazy sounding vegetables from a regular market, and I only started to eat them after trying them in one of my weekly CSA baskets.

CSA stands for community supported agriculture, and it’s sweeping the nation. I know so many people who participate in CSAs, from families in Texas to singles in Ohio, and all along both coasts.

What happens with a CSA is you pay an upfront fee, which goes to support the running of an individual farm. In exchange, on a weekly basis, the farmers give you a basket of whatever was harvested that week. It’s like owning shares in the stock of the farm, so if there’s am abundance of zucchini one week, you will have to figure out 17 different ways to cook, freeze, or can that zucchini.

I think it gives all of us who live in cities the chance to pretend like we’re taking part in farm life. In a way, we are. My favorite CSAs have been those that send us a weekly newsletter telling us what has been going on with the farm that week. I like hearing about tribulations with trackers breaking down and about how before rainstorms the farmers are frantically harvesting certain vegetables. It’s a completely different connection to our food than most of us are able to have by simply picking up the uniformly shaped and colored vegetables at our supermarkets these days.

You can look for CSAs near you by visiting, and you can often google them or ask around at the farmer’s markets near you. Though many are probably getting close to being full for this upcoming summer, if you’re friendly, maybe they can squeeze you in.

Enjoy all the fresh vegetables. Also, check out my latest ebook, the Vegan Meal Plans for Spring and Summer for ideas on what to do with all those fresh vegetables.


New Release: Meal Plans for Spring and Summer Vegetables/Fruits

NEW: Vegan Meal Plans for Spring

Spring Meal Plans
The spring meal plan book is complete! It focuses on seasonal spring vegetables like kale, lettuce, carrots, peas, strawberries, 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. Plus, get a massive, blank grocery list for free.

Now, for only the first 50 orders, the Vegan Meal Plan for Spring, is on sale for $7.99 (normally $9.75.) Get yours today!

Vegan Meal Plans

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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 $9.75 here.

Just the Menus Ebook Package Deal

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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.

Ebook Package Deal:

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Get A Fresh New Vegan You and Vegan Meal Plans with a free copy of the massive Vegan Grocery List for only $33. Save 10%! Download this package here.

Entire Collection of Ebooks Deal:

3 Book Package

Get 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 $39.75. Save Big! Download this package here.


"What vegetables are good for increasing blood circulation?"


There were a few questions that came to the site this month that could use some reader assistance.

1. The first was from Sharoya, who asked, "Can you tell me what vegetables and/or fruits will help increase blood circulation?"

Check out my answer here and feel free to comment with any additional ideas for her.

2. The other question was from a reader who said, “I followed a vegan diet for about six months and about 25% of my hair fell out. I was not eating vegan junk food but rather, loading up on veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes. In addition, I supplement with a vegan multivitamin, additional B-12, flax, etc. I've heard hair loss can occur due to weight loss or stress, but I was not overweight or stressed. Your thoughts?”

I responded to her with my best ideas, although it was quite a puzzle since most people report the exact opposite results from going vegan in a healthy way; strong, healthy, thick hair and nails.

If you have any ideas on why this reader would have lost his/her hair on a vegan diet, click here. You can also read my answer to the question.


"What kind of chocolate can vegans eat?"



I have recently become a vegetarian, and really love it. I haven't craved meat since I started about 3 weeks ago, and I truly believe I can keep it up. Like you said in your about me, since I started the vegetarian diet, I want to go full out vegan! I was just wondering what you use as an alternative for butter & chocolate? I am guessing you cannot eat milk chocolate (since its obviously make of "milk") but can you eat dark chocolate? Where can I find some good desserts that are vegan? Also I would like if maybe you could give me some tips to find good vegan food that is not expensive! THANKS!!


Hi Leigh,

It's great to hear from you, and congratulations on changing your eating style!

As for chocolate... there are TONS of dark chocolate options available at any grocery store nowadays. I just check the ingredients list to make sure there's no milk fat, whey, or any other milk products. Most of them don't have any, especially the darker you go. You can also check out vegan stores online like Vegan Essentials that make great vegan chocolate bars and truffles and all. One of my favorites is Rose City Chocolates.

For butter... I use Earth Balance butter, which you can find at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, as well as any health food store. Maybe even some regular grocery stores, but usually in the healthy food section.

Check out our dessert recipes and on Vegan Nutritionista. I'm usually drawn to inexpensive recipes as well. We also have a few options for meal plans, and the latest version, the Spring Meal Plans, has some awesome desserts like strawberry shortcake with cashew cream, lemon-lavender tarts, chocolate peanut butter cups bars, and much more!

Hope that helps!


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!


Recipe of the Month:
Roasted Asparagus with Lime Juice

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Colleen Patrick-Goudreau recently came out with an awesome book on entertaining called The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasion. Even if you just entertain for yourself, this is a fabulous cookbook. One of my favorite parts is that it's organized with the seasons in mind.

Asparagus is one of those vegetables that most of us can only get fresh for a short window out of the year, and for me, it's in April/May. Granted, I can find it at Whole Foods year round, and it comes from Peru or Argentina when it's winter here, but I prefer to buy local, when possible.

And, there's just nothing like the taste of fresh, spring asparagus. One of my friends grew up on an apple orchard and she told me recently that they planted asparagus one year and when it started growing a few years later, it never stopped. Now they have a huge crop every spring, and when I heard that, I couldn't have been more jealous.

This dish is simple and really highlights the flavor of the fresh asparagus. The recipe makes enough for 2 servings.


1 tsp. Earth Balance butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and Pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Melt the butter and then combine it with the olive oil, garlic, shallot, lime, and mix well. Pour onto a baking dish with raised edges and gently roll the asparagus in the mixture to coat it.

Roast for 15 minutes, until it just begins to darken. Season with salt and pepper and serve with lime slices.


Secret Vegan Nutritionista Pages

Vegan Bytes Insider Password

The following pages are created just for Vegan Bytes Insiders... they are special hidden pages that only you can see, and it's my way of thanking you for reading each month.

The following pages are password-protected and will require a password from you. This password will change occasionally and you will always find the most current password in the most current Vegan Bytes Newsletter.

p.s. case sensitive

Vegan Chemical-Free Gas Remedies
The one negative drawback to eating a vegan diet is that you often eat more fiber than the typical person. Doesn't sound negative, right? Well, it can be for your digestive system. Never fear though... I have researched and found several amazing, natural, chemical-free gas remedies.

Take A Fruit Bouquet Workshop
Fruit Bouquets are a creative way to show someone you care, without having to cut flowers or buy chocolates. Take this workshop to learn how to make your own fruit baskets, including pineapple daisies, chocolate-covered strawberries, and grape tulips.

Learn All About Nut Cheeses
Vegan cheeses are abundant in grocery stores across the world, but most of them are still lacking something. Tree nut cheeses are the fabulous and new (somewhat) addition to the vegan world, and their flavor is unparalleled.


Vegan Tee Shirts

Did you know that...

...pigs are more aware of their surroundings than dogs and 3 year-old children?

...pigs love massages and music?

...cows mourn the loss of their friends, and sometimes cry real tears? chicks learn to peep from their mother... while they're still inside the egg?

...and so many more interesting, adorable facts about farm animals.

Rather than focusing on the depressing messages about factory farms, I think positive shirts about animals bring out the compassion in people around us.

Check out these fun vegan tee shirts...


Whats new

Like many websites, Vegan Nutritionista is constantly growing and changing, and if you signed up for this newsletter a long time ago, you might not have read our new information. Our blog page keeps you up-to-date with new articles on the site.

Click here to go to our blog for updates on the site.

We also now have a vegan forum where you can find topics submitted by users for discussion, answers, and places to add your own input. There is no member name required to participate, so you can jump right in and join in the discussion now.

Follow our updates on Twitter:

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Vegan Essentials

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.

I am an affiliate for them, so anytime someone buys something from Vegan Essentials after using a link from our site, I make a small commission on it. But, I do promise that I would never recommend something that I don't use and love myself.

So if you see a link to Vegan Essentials or any other company on our site for something you like, you can support their company and the running of Vegan Nutritionista as well, or you can always choose to go directly to the company.


That's all for this month!! I hope you enjoyed reading it.

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Have a great month!


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