EWG’s 2018 Dirty Dozen™ and Clean Fifteen™ Produce List

Strawberries in a bowl

VegKitchen regularly shares the Environmental Working Group’s annual lists of the Dirty Dozen™ and Clean Fifteen™ produce. The Dirty Dozen are the fruits and vegetables that are the most pesticide-laden. Consumers would do well to buy the organic varieties of the produce on this list.

On the other hand, the Clean Fifteen list features fruits and vegetables that have little or no pesticide residue. That’s where you can make an informed choice and save a bit of money on your food bill, though you’re always welcome to buy these in organic form if available.

There’s always the argument that organic fruits and vegetables aren’t necessarily more nutritious than conventionally grown. That may be true, but who needs to consume all those toxins? Remember also that pesticides become part of the soil, groundwater, and air. And the human factor is rarely discussed. We gloss over the fact that farm workers who harvest pesticide-laden produce get sick at a far higher rate. more→

Beyond Brown Rice: Whole Grains for Everyday Meals

Quinoa Pilaf with Cauliflower and nuts

When you need a grain to cushion stews and stir-fries, to stuff into vegetables, or to power pilafs, chances are you reach for rice. And while there’s nothing wrong with rice—especiallyy if you’ve made the switch to brown rice —exploring a variety of whole grains can expand your culinary horizons and add even greater nourishment to your family meals.

Aside from adding character to meals, whole grains are superb sources of fiber and protein. Because the bran and germ are left intact, they also are fine sources of B vitamins, vitamin E, and an array of minerals.  It’s certainly possible to be health-conscious and never eat bulgur or quinoa. But why miss out on one of the richest sources of nourishment available?

Here are a few common whole grains everyone should be using more of. Give them a try to boost your everyday meals! Shown at top: Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Nuts. more→

Vegan Jackfruit Crab Dip

Vegan jackfruit crab dip

This vegan crab dip, made with jackfruit, is so creamy and mild in flavor, perfect for spreading on crackers or for dipping with your favorite veggies. Our vegan version is every bit as good as the conventional version. Shredded young jackfruit is surprisingly similar in texture to crab, and the flavors of the Dijon, Old Bay seasoning and the other spices are spot on.

In case you’re not familiar with Old Bay seasoning, let us acquaint you. Old Bay is a fragrant mix of spices, such as celery salt, mace, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and more. It’s what gives most crab cakes their flavor, and it’s what brings this crab dip to life. more→

Cumin-Lime Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl

Cumin lime black bean and quinoa bowl

You know the feeling when everything just melds together in perfect harmony? This is that feeling. Warming cumin, tart lime and sweet maple syrup combine to elevate the flavor of everything else in this delicious and filling black bean and quinoa bowl. Reprinted with permission from From the Kitchen of YamChops by Michael Abramson, Page Street Publishing Co. © 2018. Photo credit: Vincenzo Pistritto.
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How To Make Sourdough Starter

Sourdough breads cropped

Sourdough bread is all the rage right now, and rightfully so. Display cases of artisanal bakeries are loaded with deep caramel-hued loaves, the surfaces beautifully scored with signature designs and gently dusted with flour like winter’s first snow fall. While it may seem like a trend, both professional and home bakers alike are reaching back to one of the earliest and natural forms of bread baking. If you’d like to learn how to make sourdough starter, this primer will take you through the steps.

A sourdough starter, or “culture,” is the key to creating authentic sourdough bread. This culture, once thriving and well developed, is the natural yeast that not only encourages your sourdough bread to rise, but adds a nuanced element of flavor. It’s easier on your digestion system than bread made without it, and is loaded with gut-friendly bacteria. more→

Ultra Energy Bars

Ultra Energy Bars from Plantpower Way

Power-packed with healthy ingredients like nuts, seeds, coconut and dried berries that boast a plentitude of protein, healthy fats and fiber, these energy bars will keep your engine revving all day long. Great for packing in your child’s lunchbox!

Reprinted from Plantpower Way by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), a Penguin Radom House Company. © 2015, Rich Roll and Julie Piatt. more→

Poached Nectarines

poached nectarines from Plantpower Way Italia

A simple, elegant recipe for poached nectarines that is delicious and light. Serve it alone or over nondairy ice cream. You can use the leftovers in the morning with porridge or oatmeal.

Reprinted from Plantpower Way: Italia by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LC, A Penguin Random House Company. © 2018, Julie Piatt and Rich Roll. more→

De-Bugging Your Beauty Routine: Vegan Makeup

Pacifica makeup

Not all women wear makeup, but for those of us who do, we often devote a lot of time and energy to putting it on, especially when we’re going on a date. I usually begin to plan what cosmetics I’m going to wear when I pick out an outfit for a special occasion. For many of us, it is a fun and important part of preparing for a big night out with a partner or meeting someone new.

Although many cosmetics contain animal products, or were tested on animals, there is an abundance of cruelty-free and vegan makeup available. There’s no need to worry—with an all-vegan makeup collection, as Prince said, “U Got the Look.” Excerpted from Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal by Maya Gottfried © 2018. Published by Skyhorse Publishing, reprinted by permission. Photo at top:  Pacifica Cruelty Free Vegan Makeup. more→

11 Fresh and Tasty Arugula Recipes

Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad with toasted walnuts

Arugula leaves are tender, bite-sized, and packed with a distinct, tangy flavor. Sometimes referred to as “rocket,” this vibrant leafy green is the star of the year-round arugula recipes up ahead.

They’re the versatile friend at the dinner party, blending well with nearly every dish. Not only that, but they’re loaded with nutrients; studies have suggested that a sulfur-containing compound called sulforaphane gives cruciferous vegetables both their bitter taste and their cancer-fighting power. It’s also packed with vitamin A, vitamin K, and antioxidants.
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Vegan Potato and Spinach Frittata

Vegan Potato and Spinach Frittata by Laura Theoodore

It’s frittata time! This authentic-tasting vegan frittata is baked in the oven, making it especially easy to prepare. With a delicious potato/onion base, paired with an herb-infused egg-like filling, this egg-less entrée is a true winner, perfect to serve for any meal of the day.

Recipe and photo by Laura Theodore, from JazzyVegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan. Published by Scribe Publishing, ©2018, reprinted by permission. more→

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