I love to cook, I love to eat, I love all things purple and I just happen to be vegan!
If you’re looking for a way to stay healthy, decrease the risk of suffering from some serious diseases, and slow down the process of aging, then you should eat more whole foods. Whole foods are the foods closest to their natural state, which means that they contain much more nutrients than processed foods. Of course, it’s incredibly hard to make your diet consist of whole foods only, but you should strive to make them the majority of the food you consume.
Whole foods can include unprocessed vegetable, fruits, beans, seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. Now, most people know that whole foods are healthier, there is the misconception that they are more expensive which simply is not true.
Just take a moment to think about how health is important and if you truly need all the processed snacks and sweets that you buy on a regular basis that can add up in cost very quickly. It’s a much better idea to simply visit your local farmers’ market and buy the nutrient-packed whole foods.
In case you need to be convinced to start eating whole foods, here are 5 ways they contribute to your well-being.
Lower Risk Of Diabetes
According to Mercola.com, a diet that involves a lot of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits significantly lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In case you are already suffering from this disease, know that you too will feel better if you follow a diet based on whole foods.
A Stop To Nutrient Shortages
WebMD notes that a survey about eating habits was conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, and the results they found were shocking. A huge amount of people didn’t have proper nutrient intake. In fact, 92-97% of the population that participated in the survey didn’t consume enough potassium and fiber, while a third of the people didn’t consume a sufficient amount of vitamin C.
However, these nutrients help reduce the risk of some serious diseases and are very important for your overall health. So, what should people do when they simply don’t get enough nutrients from the food they eat? Start consuming whole foods. All of these nutrient shortages can be fixed by following a diet filled with healthy, whole foods.
Most whole plant-based foods are extremely rich in fiber, while processed and junk foods aren’t. Fiber is a very important nutrient that improves your health in numerous ways. For example, it helps you fight diabetes, heart disease, it helps you feel full faster, and it keeps the GI tract moving.
Whole foods are a much better way to increase your fiber intake, since they contain both types of it (insoluble and soluble). Eating foods that are rich in fiber will also help control your weight, blood fats, and blood sugar.
If you want to keep your weight under control, but don’t feel like going on some extreme diet, then you’ll be pleased to hear that eating whole foods promotes healthy weight management, especially if you choose to eat mostly whole vegetables and fruits. These foods contain very little calories, so you won’t have to worry about counting them.
There is a simple explanation why whole foods will provide you with more energy. When you eat something, your body has to break down that food. However, processed foods are difficult to break down, so a lot of the energy they have to offer will actually go into the processing of breaking it down. On the other hand, it’s not a challenge for your body to break down whole foods, so you will be left with a lot of unused energy.
I can personally attest to this point because I used to suffer from eczema on my hands and legs which would itch terribly in cold or hot temperatures. Since I have become vegan I have not had a flare up in almost 3 years and the dry patches are gone on my hands and feet.
Nuts and vitamins A and E from vegetables play a big role in healthy skin, so eating a whole food and preferably plant based diet will usually result in good skin health. Many people who switch to a vegan oe whole food plant based diet will notice a remarkable reduction in blemishes as well.
Consider what you are eating every day and that diet is your best chance for living a longer and healthier life.
MMMMMmmmmmm!! Vegan Sausage!!!
On the way to take my grandmother to her doctor's appointment we passed by a Dr. Dawg located in the Glendale area. I couldn't wait until the appointment was over so I could go get me a vegan dawg! I have been to the Dr. Dawg location on the south side of Milwaukee(Greenfield) a few times and I was unaware that there was one on the north side(Glendale). Dr. Dawg has two vegan sausages,applewood sage and spicy mexican chipotle. Every time I have always gotten the applewood sage sausage and I swear it tastes better each time I have one! They use Field Roast Vegan Sausages and they hold up really well grilled. The texture is not as firm as I would have liked but it was still really good. I piled on a bunch of condiments; ketchup, mustard, grilled onions, and giardiniera peppers. Overall I was so impressed with the Field Roast Sausage that they use at Dr. Dawg that I plan on purchasing some the next time I go to the grocery store!
So, I decided to stop being camera shy and try my hand at producing a cooking video. I don't know how to use my editing software yet or even how to set up my camera (in fact, I was using my ipod, LOL). So I hope you get a kick out of my video and enjoy this recipe for my Vegan Fried NOT Chik'n!
Chik'n Style Seitan
For the broth:
8 cups vegetable broth
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
For the seitan:
2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
Fill a stock pot with the broth, smashed garlic and bay leaves, cover and bring to a boil.
In the meantime, together the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast and chickpea flour and salt in a large bowl.
Make a well in the center and add broth, soy sauce, and olive oil.
Mix with a fork and then use your hands to knead for about 3 minutes, until it’s a firm dough and everything looks well incorporated.
Divide into small sized pieces because they will puff up (unless you want big cutlet sized pieces)
Once broth is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer.
This is important, the broth should not be at a rolling boil or you risk the seitan getting soggy.
Add the gluten pieces and partially cover pot so that steam can escape.
Let simmer for 45 minutes, turning occasionally.
Make sure to keep an eye on the heat, because it may start to boil again, in which case, just turn it down a notch to keep at a slow, steady simmer.
When seitan is done, you can let it cool right in the broth, or remove a portion to use right away.
Once cooled, keep stored in a tightly covered tupperware container, submerged in broth.
To Fry Seitan:
1/2 cup almond milk of other nut milk
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Heat the oil in a frying pan, make sure it is nice and hot (approximately 375 degrees).
You need three bowls for dredging.
In first bowl put the flour along with all the dry seasonings.
In second bowl put your nut milk.
In third bowl put your panko bread crumbs.
Dredge seitan in flour, then almond milk, then in the bread crumbs.
Place in the hot oil and fry until golden on both sides.
Remove and drain on paper towels.
Soooo, holidays around here where crazy! I was cooking my own meal and my grandmother and uncle were cooking for the rest of my non-vegan family. We both had pretty similar menus except I don't cook my collard greens and black eyed peas with a piece of fat-back in it. What the heck is fat-back anyways?? LOL. My dinner turned out great except I cooked waaaaay to much. The only thing I ended up throwing out was a tiny bit of left over mashed potatoes so it wasn't a total waste.
This was my menu:
Slow Cooker Collard Green and Black Eyed Pea Soup
Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy
Gardein Meatless Meatloaf
Since I didn't have a lot of time to prep for my Holiday Dinner I used some premade items such as the creamed corn (canned), mushroom gravy (canned) and the Gardein Meatless Meatloaf (packaged frozen).
Slow Cooker Collard Green and Black Eyed Pea Soup
1 lb dry black eyed peas, soaked and rinsed
2 1/2 bunches of collard greens, trimmed and cut into pieces
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
1 large onion
3 celery stalks
4 1/4 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. thyme
1. Soak black eye peas overnight or for at least 6 hours. Drain soaking water and rinse. Put peas into the crock of slow cooker.
2. Prepare onion, celery and carrots. Dice onions, slice celery and carrots. Add to crock.
3. Add vegetable broth, salt, pepper and thyme to crock.
4. Add can of diced tomatoes to crock.
5. Wash and trim hard stems from collard greens. Lay all leaves together on a cutting board and rol up like a burrito. Hold them tightly and slice into strips about 1 inch thick.
6. Add collards to crock. Don't worry about it being over full, the collards will cook down.
7. Turn on slow cooker to low and cook for 10 hours.
Vegan Cornbread Dressing
(adapted from a recipe found on onegreenplanet.org)
For the cornbread
1 Cup Yellow Corn Meal
1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 Cup Almond Milk
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
For the stuffing
1 Cup Onion, Chopped
1 Cup Celery, Chopped
2 Tablespoon Light Vegan Butter
5 Slices Whole Wheat Bread, Cubed
3 Cups of Cornbread, Crumbled
2 Teaspoons Poultry Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Parsley Flakes
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Ground Sage
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 3/4 Cup Veggie Broth
1. Cook cornbread first. You can make it a day in advance. Prepare iron skillet by spraying it with cooking spray and sprinkling it with corn meal. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix together corn meal, flour, salt, baking powder, rice milk and canola oil.Pour into skillet and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let set for about 5 minutes before you remove it from the pan.
3. In a saucepan place butter, celery and onions and simmer on medium-low heat until soft.
4. In a mixing bowl mix together onions and celery, bread cubes, cornbread, bread flakes, poultry seasoning, parsley, onion, sage, pepper, carrot and broth. Place into a 8 inch casserole dish, sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with tin foil. Oven is already preheated. Place into oven and cook for about 45 minutes.
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