Whole grains are an excellent source of nutrition, as they contain iron, dietary fiber and vitamin E and B Vitamins. They are also absorbed slowly providing sustained and high-quality energy. To aid in digestion it is best to soak grains prior to cooking*; soaking helps to eliminate phytic acid which is what causes gas.
Beans can be a great source of fiber, protein and folic acid. For more information on beans and how to make them more digestible you can refer to this post – Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit…
Greens are a great source of calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K; as well as fiber and folic acid. Some of the benefits of eating dark leafy greens are:
-Strengthened immune system
The best choices for greens are bok choy, napa cabbage, kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens, broccoli rabe and dandelion. Other good options are green cabbage, arugula, endive, chicory, lettuce, mesclun and wild greens. Spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens are good as well but should be eaten in moderation because they are high in oxalic acid, which depletes calcium from the bones and teeth; best eaten with tofu, seeds, nuts, beams, or oil to balance the effects of the oxalic acid.
*Whole Wheat Couscous is technically not a grain but rather a pasta product made from wheat and doesn’t require soaking.
Tonight I decided to try some new heirloom beans that I picked up at the health food store; I boiled them until tender and the sauteed them with garlic, shallot, olive oil and cremini mushrooms tossed with a little nutritional yeast and Braggs. I placed the beans on top of a bed of lettuce and a scoop of whole wheat couscous and topped with a little avocado.
To me it really doesn’t seem like Christmas without gingerbread. We usually make gingerbread cookies or gingersnaps, which I know isn’t the same as gingerbread but we like ginger something at Christmas. This year I decided to make cupcakes but not just any cupcakes these ones have beer in them, Chocolate Bock to be exact. The Chocolate Bock is a dark beer that is slightly sweet.
Makes 18 cupcakes
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 3 “eggs” (I used Egg Replacer)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup Chocolate Bock or other dark beer (stout or dark bock would work best)
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 12 cupcake pan and a 6 cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl with an electric beater, cream together the margarine and raw sugar. Beat in the “eggs” until combined.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg.
- In a another medium bowl combine the molasses and beer and stir to dissolve.
- Add the dry ingredients and beer mixture alternately to the margarine mixture, beating after the addition of each.
- Fill the cupcake liners until about 3/4 full and bake for 20-22 minutes until lightly browned and when a tooth pick is inserted it comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove and continue to cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, frost with vanilla frosting or glaze with my orange spice glaze (recipe below).
Orange Spice Glaze
- 1 box of lite silken tofu (I used mori-nu)
- zest and juice of 1 medium orange
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
Our next giveaway is sponsored by Erewhon; Erewhon makes a number of great hot and cold cereals most of which are organic, gluten free and/or vegan. I was sent the Crispy Brown Rice Original, Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice and Raisin Bran to try. The Crispy Brown Rice are just like the ones I had as as child but way better and made brown rice and there is almost no sugar in them. The Raisin bran was okay, not my favorite but I love how much dietary fiber and protein are in them. As for the Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice they were made into a wonderful holiday treat.
Chocolate Brown Rice Crispy Trees
- 1 box of Erewhon Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
- 1 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/2 cup barley malt syrup (or an additional 1/2 cup of brown rice syrup)
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
- Line a a medium sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a small sauce pan over medium low heat the brown rice syrup, barley malt syrup and a pinch of salt until thinned. Stir in the peanut butter until combined.
- In a large bowl place the Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice cereal and gently stir in the brown rice syrup mixture until combined. Let the mixture cool slightly and then stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the cocoa crispy mixture onto the making sheet and press into a 1/2 inch layer. Let it set up for 1 hour and then use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes or just cut into squares.
TO ENTER: This giveaway is open until December 4th at 6am. This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents.
The Winner is: Megan @ Sweet On sweeton.tumblr.com
1. What is your favorite holiday treat? (required)
Additional Chances to win (PLEASE LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY; also if you already do any of these ie. follow me on twitter/facebook, ect it counts so leave a comment).
- Visit the Erewhon site and tell me which cereal you’d like to try.
- Tweet about this giveaway “I want to win @cookveganlover #erewhon Giveaway http://wp.me/pFVWo-1jD”
- Follow me on Twitter.
- Like Cook.Vegan.Lover. on Facebook.
Don’t forget to enter the Oh Nuts Giveaway going on until December 7th! – Enter Here.
Vegan Bloody Mary
- 3 cups spicy tomato juice
- 3 tablespoons drained prepared horseradish
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 2 teaspoons vegan worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons lite soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- carrot sticks, for garnish
- Celery Salt and Cayenne to garnish rims of glasses
In a pitcher, stir together tomato juice, horseradish, vodka, vegan worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, and pepper.
Wet the rim of 2 pint glasses with lemon juice and dip into a mixture of celery salt with a pinch of cayenne. Fill the glasses with ice and pour the tomato mixture over. Garnish with a lemon slice and a carrot stick.
Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip
I have made other spinach and artichoke dips in the past using sour supreme, vegan mayo and/or vegan cream cheese and I have been wanting to create something a little healthier but still just as tasty. This recipe replaces the vegan dairy/mayo alternatives with navy beans.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1 (6oz) jar of marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 10 sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil, sliced
- 1 (14oz) can of navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
Preheat oven 350F
- In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat; add in the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from the stove and place in a bowl; set to the side.
- In a food processor or blender process the beans with the vegetable broth until smooth.
- To the bowl of spinach add the artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, nutritional yeast and pureed beans; stir to combine well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until browned and bubbly.
Serve with vegetable sticks, pita or crackers.