Vegan Bytes #33: It's 1/11/11 at 11 EST!

Welcome to the 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: Amazing, Impactful Movies
*Nutritional Highlight: Beta-Carotene Packed Butternut Squash
*Question: "Are bagels vegan?"
*Vegan Ebooks: NEW! The Vegan Bread Box
*Recipe of the Month: Butternut Squash Ravioli
*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.

Have a friend who might like to read this?

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If a friend forwarded this to you and you want more, visit the Vegan Bytes newsletter page to subscribe for free and we'll see you next month!


Videos That Will Change Your Life


There are some pretty amazing books on the market that people commonly reference when they tell why they went vegan. For some of us, life can be too busy to find time to read, so we do better with videos.

Recently, NJ sent in a post about his experience with the documentary Meet Your Meat, saying it was a 13-minute life-changing experience.

I personally have a really difficult time watching videos of animal abuse, and will sit and sob the entire time. I also keep those pictures in my head for far too long so that I can’t even look at certain products (think: fur coats) without an instant flash of the horrific abuse done to that animal to produce it.

However, I simultaneously believe that if those animals should have to suffer through that abuse, we human animals should have to know about it. I don’t believe in allowing myself to think, “ignorance is bliss.” I prefer to look at the hard truth, even if it scars me for life. Those scars are what give us strength to keep trying to make a difference in the world.

Here are some other amazing (and often disturbing) videos that I highly recommend:

  • Meet Your Meat: Focuses on the abuse on factory farms of billions of animals.
  • Food, Inc.: Shows the viewer what has happened to the food industry in the US and how it affects what and how we eat
  • EARTHLINGS: Documents how humans are entirely dependent on and exploitative of animals
  • Death on a Factory Farm: Just as its title indicates, it’s a full documentary of factory farms
  • Forks Over Knives: Explores the idea that almost all degenerative diseases can be controlled with a plant-based diet
  • The Cove: Exposes the incredibly disturbing industry based around slaughtering dolphins off the coast of Japan.
  • Meat the Truth: Uncovers the truth about how much the livestock industry affects global warming, more than the entire transportation industry combined.
  • Foodmatters: Teaches about food nutrition and how it truly affects our bodies and health.
  • The Future of Food: Teaches us about our food supply and the effects of increases in genetically modified foods.

Why did you go vegan?

Did you also watch an eye-opening movie or read a startling book? What made you flip the switch? Why did you go vegan?


Nutritional Spotlight of the Month:
Beta-Carotene Packed Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

There are so many plants that are incredibly rich in nutrients that I sometimes feel like a broken record when I write this column. But, butternut squash deserves the adoration, so here goes.

Butternut squash is not only deliciously sweet and creamy, but it's packed full of potassium, vitamin B6, folate, dietary fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.

To give you some scale, one 1-cup serving of butternut squash has almost half your recommended dose of vitamin C. Its high amounts of folate keep your heart healthy and help prevent brain and spinal defects in newborn children.

The bright orange color of the squash comes from the high beta-carotene in the fruit, and the brighter, the better. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in your body and so butternut squash is excellent for deterring breast cancer and incredible for your eyes. Beta-carotene is also amazing if you are pregnant or feeding a toddler as it helps support healthy lungs.

It’s full of antioxidants, which work to keep down inflammation in arthritis and asthma.

So, basically, butternut squash is really good for you!

When you buy it, try to find a heavy (for its size) squash that has no soft spots or bruises and isn’t glossy. I usually cook it by simply roasting it on a cookie sheet. You can scoop its seeds out first and roast those separately. After roasting, you can puree it for soups, stews, pies, muffins, or even ravioli (see this month’s recipe below.)


"Are bagels vegan?"



I just had hummus on an onion bagel for lunch. Are bagels vegan?


Finding vegan bread in restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores can be frustrating. See what I told Doug about his afternoon lunch bagel.


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
NEW! The Vegan Bread Box

The Vegan Bread Box: 30 Simple and Delicious Vegan Bread Recipes

Tiny Bread Cover

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

Tiny Soak Rinse Boil Cover

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

Fall Menus Newsletter

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.

Vegan Meal Plans for Spring/Summer

Spring Menus Newsletter
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

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:

Complete Package Order Button

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.


Recipe of the Month: Butternut Squash Ravioli

Small rolling pin

We made three different kinds of homemade ravioli for Christmas Eve this year, and it was super fun and rewarding. This recipe was my husband’s favorite by far. The butternut squash ravioli is creamy and sweet and melts in your mouth.

If you’re up to making homemade pasta dough, you can use that for this recipe. But, if you’re pressed for time, don’t make than an excuse for not trying it. There are plenty of vegan wonton wrappers at stores, or you could buy fresh lasagna rolls in stores and fill those with this recipe.


  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • 1 package vegan wonton wrappers


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet, removing the seeds to roast later. Drizzle the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until tender; you should be able to easily poke a fork through the flesh.

Scoop out the flesh of the squash and puree in a food processor until very smooth, adding the spices and nutritional yeast until very well combined.

Drop by tablespoons full onto your prepared wrappers, making sure not to put down too much filling, and leaving about an inch on either side of the filling. Brush the edges of the pasta with water and then cover with another wrapper and pinch the edges to ensure they're properly sealed.

You can dry them on a cookie sheet until you're ready to cook, or flash freeze extras and then bag them for future use.

Drop the ravioli gently into boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender.


Follow us on Twitter, Facebook,
and our Blog

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.


We're in the process of updating the design of our website. I sometimes had a hard time fitting everything I wanted to say into the two columns we used to use, so now we have three columns. And, we'll be transitioning over to a really pretty color scheme. Nothing changes for you; all the content is exactly the same. I hope you like it!


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






Thank you to our newsletter sponsors!

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Until the end of the December 2010, SBI is running a buy-one-get-one special on sites. It's their best deal of the year! You can use it to start two sites, or split the price with a friend who also has a hobby they love to death.


I am an affiliate for these newsletter sponsors, so anytime someone buys something from these stores 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 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.

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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