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1 16 oz can Vegetarian Refried Beans (Rosarita)
shredded yellow cheese (Daiya)
Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
scallions (3 sliced)

In a glass dish, layer each ingredient in order from top to bottom. Add black olives or a sprinkle of more cheese if you desire. Enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips.

2 cups soy milk (plain or vanilla)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
3 TBL light brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh berries

In medium saucepan bring soy milk to boil. Add quinoa and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, until most of the soy milk has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Simmer, covered, until almost all the soy milk has been absorbed, about 8 more minutes.

Serve in bowls and garnish with fresh berries. Add in optional items to customize to your liking, such as ground flax seed, nuts, earth balance, sprinkle of brown sugar or a splash of soy milk. Use almond milk instead of soy.

Makes 2 cups

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1 cup Earth Balance
½ cup superfine sugar
2 TBL maple syrup or Joseph’s Sugar Free Syrup*
3 cups Oatmeal (Bob’s Red Mill Organic Extra Thick Rolled Oats Whole Grain)
¼ tsp salt
½ cup chocolate chip morsels *Optional (use 1/4 cup if making half with and half without chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You can use a 9×13 cookie sheet or I like to use 12 cup muffin tin and put the silicone cups in the muffin tin to ensure the oat bars are firm and hold together. Cupcake liners work just as well.

Put 1 cup Earth Balance, sugar, and maple syrup in medium saucepan and melt over low heat.  Remove pan from heat once melted and stir in oats and salt to butter mixture. Mix well until combined. Spoon into pan or silicone cups and press down firmly. Optional: add in chocolate chips if using. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 1 hour. Oats make this a healthy dessert recipe.

*Joseph’s Sugar Free Syrup is gluten-free and works well with this recipe. Keep refrigerated. I buy mine at Whole Foods.

2 cans (14 oz each) artichoke hearts in water, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
½ cup Veganaise
¼ cup parmesan cheese (Soya Kaas), plus more for topping
1 TBL fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic (press through garlic press)
2 scallions

Preheat over to 450 degrees. In food processor or kitchenaide stand mixer, place half the chopped artichokes, veganaise, ¼ cup parmy, lemon juice and garlic. Process until smooth.

Add scallions and remaining artichokes. Pulse or blend for 30 seconds to combine. Transfer to 1 quart baking dish or use individual ramekins. Top with a light sprinkling of parmy.

Place baking dish on cookie sheet to prevent spills. Bake 35 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with Stacy’s Pita chips or crudités
(bell pepper is my favorite). Any leftovers heat up well in the
microwave the next day (try 30 sec intervals).

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4 avocados (ripe)
1 lemon (Squeeze juice into bowl and discard lemon, about 2 TBL)
¼ tsp to 1/2 TBL garlic powder
¼ tsp to 1/2 TBL kosher coarse salt or sea salt

Put all ingredients in medium size bowl. Blend on low to medium speed with hand mixer until smooth. Taste and adjust to your liking. Garnish with scallions and enjoy with tortilla chips, on tacos or with fresh raw veggies.

Serve with Tofu Scramble

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Omega-3 are essential fatty acids needed by the body. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 helps in brain function, growth and development of your body, including your retina and cell membranes. This fatty acid helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, arthritis, inflammation, blood clotting, cholesterol, and improves artery flexibility. However, your body cannot manufacture them, so it is important to seek out food sources rich in omega-3. A few sources for omega-3 are plants and nut oils.  Consume walnuts, canola oil, hemp oil, Earth Balance with omega-3, tofu, soybeans and flaxseeds (grind up to use in smoothies and soups, or sprinkle on salads, cereal and dairy free ice cream). Flax is also rich in protein, lignans, potassium, magnesium and boron which is good for cancer prevention.

Daily recommended for vegan adults is 2.2-3.3 g, which you can easily get in 1 tsp of flaxseed oil (do not bake with this oil, use cold. OK to put on warm food. Keep refrigerated). Ifyou take a supplement, make sure it is free of animal and fish oils. Try this vegetarian and vegan brand made from marine plant sources. Order here

One of my favorite healthy dessert recipes is throwing together a scoop of Purely Decadent vanilla soy ice cream, a sprinkle of ground flax seed (omega-3, 6 & 9) and a sprinkle of salted sunflower seeds. Or, try the blueberry muffin recipe with ground flax seed.

Recommended reading listed here.

Minerals are elements originating in the soil, so fruits and vegetables are the obvious choice to feed your body with these nutrients. Minerals help your body to grow, develop and stay healthy. Your body uses minerals to perform building functions, transmit nerve impulses and to maintain a normal heartbeat.

Calcium is an important mineral for your body.  Calcium helps to ease insomnia, regulate nutrients through cell walls and feeds your muscles so they contract properly.  Vegetarians and vegans are less likely to form kidney stones or gallstones.  High protein diets actually cause calcium loss. Most fruits contain calcium, with the top choices being blackberries, blackcurrants, dates, dried figs, grapefruit, mulberries, oranges, pomegranate and prickly pears. Vegetables also contain a lot of calcium with greater benefits coming from amaranth leaves, bok choy, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, celery, chinese broccoli, french beans, collards, kale, okra, parsnip, spirulina, swiss chard, sweet potato, broccoli and turnips. You can’t go wrong with any dark green vegetables, lentils, tofu, soymilk, rice milk and nuts. And, plant based eaters tend to have stronger bones than meat eaters.

Nuts, seeds and grains also provide calcium intake. Best choices are almonds, amaranth, brazil nuts, filberts and hazelnuts, oats, pistachios, sesame seeds, wheat (durum and hard) and white grains.  Try almond butter and other nut betters too. There are non-dairy and vegetarian meat protein sources (soy drinks and yogurts, tofu and tempeh) that also contain calcium, so read labels to see what you are consuming. On the average, most adults need 1000 mg/day, while children range from 800-1300 mg/day.

Iron is another important mineral. Many people believe eating red meat is the only way to get sufficient amounts of iron. You can get enough from plant based fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. Combining vitamin C rich foods with an iron source helps to aid in the absorption of this mineral. Women and teen girls need 15 mg/day, while men only need 10 mg/day and children require 10-12 mg/day. Fruits rich in iron are raisins, avocado, blackberries, blackcurrant, boysenberries, cherries, dates, figs, grapes, kiwi, lemon, loganberries, lychee, mulberries, passion fruit, persimmon, pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries and watermelon.  Vegetable choices include amaranth leaves, bok choy, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, french beans, kale, leeks, lima beans, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, spirulina and swiss chard.

Some nuts, seeds and grain sources include amaranth, buckwheat, cashews, coconut, oats, pine nuts, pignolias, pumpkin seeds, rye, spelt, quinoa, wheat (durum and hard) and white grains.

Other minerals, such as copper, iodine, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc can all be supplemented by eating fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. Always go for variety. For a healthy vegetarian (vegan) breakfast recipe, try the Warm Quinoa.

Visit this site for healthy vegetarian recipes (vegan) that are easy to make. You will also be delighted with the delicious and healthy dessert recipes. With plant based ingredients, it is easy to get a healthy dessert recipe that contains protein and is low in calories, sugar and fat. Try the Chocolate Mousse.

Visit here for kid and teen mineral RDA and here for adults.

As important as minerals are to the body, so are vitamins D and B12.

Vitamin D is a ‘free’ vitamin and is obtained from sunlight exposure. Spend 10-15 minutes 2-3x per week to stimulate vitamin D production. Vitamin D regulates the absorption and excretion of calcium. You can also obtain by drinking vitamin D fortified orange juice, almond, soy or rice milks. This vitamin is important for vegetarian kids and vegans, and knowing that there are other ways to get it is key. If you’re an indoors person, then try a vitamin D supplement. Recommended daily intake is 1,000 to 2,000 IU.  This site has many healthy vegetarian recipes (vegan) and healthy dessert recipes that contain soy milk, so look to get some vitamin D when cooking.

Vitamin B12 helps to maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells as well as the production of DNA. Since the human body stores several years’ worth of B12, a deficiency is uncommon. B12 is not made by plants or animals. Bacteria is charged for B12 production. Animals happen to get B12 from consuming foods contaminated with this vitamin and then it becomes a source in human consumption.  Since B12 requirement is low, this may not be a concern. However, strict vegetarians and vegans may consider taking a B12 supplement if you are not consuming other B12 sources. Other sources would include nutritional yeast, fortified beverages and cereals, and vegetarian meat such as wheat gluten or soybean meat substitutes. I like to use liquid B12 by Natures Answer which I can put under my tongue or mix in with a smoothie. This brand is animal free.  Try to get approximately 50 mg each of the B vitamins (B1 thiamine, B2 riboflavin, B3 niacin, B5 pantothenic acid, B6 pyridoxine), and 500 mcg of B12. B’s are best taken earlier in the day because they help to increase energy levels. Order now

Or, if you like lolli pops, order these rich in vitamin B12, only one a day needed. Order now

Always read labels, even when it comes to buying vitamins as many use fish oils and other ingredients derived from animal. Try vegan main course dishes from this site that contain vegetarian meat (vegan, such as soy crumbles, tempeh, textured protein).

Consult your doctor on what vitamins you are taking and how they may affect other medications you may be taking.

Visit here for kid and teen RDA and here for adults.

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Many vegan products are naturally gluten-free. Most gluten-free products will display the symbol on the package, although you cannot count on The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) lack of guidelines, so read labels. Most likely, if you cannot have gluten, you already know it and watch what you buy from grocery stores.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, oats and other grains/flours. A gluten-free diet is one that contains no wheat, rye, barley, oats, millet, triticale and all crossbred varieties and derivatives of these grains. The FDA standards for foods labeled gluten-free is voluntary. There is no regulation. It is up to the manufacturer whether or not to include it on the label. Products may actually contain small amounts of gluten and still be labeled gluten-free, so always read ingredients before buying. Also, there are many foods that are naturally gluten-free that may not have the gluten-free label on its package.

Gluten sensitivity can cause a serious reaction in people who have celiac disease,  a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects digestion in the small intestine. This disease is genetic and is triggered by ingesting gluten proteins, naturally found in some grains.

Foods that contain barley, wheat (wheat germ, wheat grass), rye, bulgar, spelt, kamut, triticale, couscous, farina, graham flour, matzo, seitan, vital gluten, semolina and malt vinegar cannot use the term gluten-free in labeling. However, know that products may contain oats and still be labeled gluten-free. Some individuals with Celiac can tolerate a small daily intake of oats, so it was the consensus of nutrition experts, among others, that oats be allowed.

Naturally gluten-free foods and grains are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, potatoes, corn, rice, soy, tapioca, quinoa, amaranth, millet, arrowroot, buckwheat, cassava and sorghum.

Tips for adjusting a recipe to be gluten-free include using cornstarch or sweet rice flour in place of regular flour to thicken sauces and gravies. Just don’t overheat them since starches break down and get thin when heated too long. Also, save broken pieces of your gluten-free loaves to make your own bread crumbs and grind in a food processor. Rice crackers and cornmeal also work well of bread crumbs. Use gluten-free bouillon cubes and prepared broths in soups, stews, gravies, and casseroles.

Did you know that most alcohol is made from gluten? The distilling process is what removes the gluten, making it gluten-free. However, beer, ale and lager still contain gluten. Beware of toothpaste, cosmetics such as lipsticks, soaps and play-doh. Gluten is elastic to help bind and keep shape. 

Visit this site for a list of products by category and brand to see what is gluten free. Note, not all products on this site are vegan, so be discriminating.

Celiac disease Foundation

The Gluten Intolerance Group

Recommended reading listed here.

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Many people are interested in experimenting with Raw food, but don’t know where to start. Others would like to gradually work more Raw foods into their diet. And some people would like to introduce Raw foods to their spouse or family in a way that is easy, flexible, and fun.

In this unique book, Raw vegan chef Kristen Suzanne presents “transitional” recipes designed to help people experiment or migrate gradually toward the healthy Raw food diet, using techniques such as combining raw and cooked elements in the same dish, or “sneaking” Raw food into family meals. By introducing more Raw foods gradually, people’s palates become accustomed to the delicious and unique textures and flavor profiles that are common in Raw cuisine.

This book has 107 recipes, including: Pastas, burgers, pizza, tacos, sandwiches, desserts, cookies, breakfasts, salads, soups, sides, smoothies, juices, and shakes.”

Three bonus sections:

1. Raw Food Tips for beginners
2. Raw Resources
3. Instructions for Soaking & Dehydrating

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