7 Top Health Benefits of Maca Root

Maca powder

Maca, a root that belongs to the radish family, is most commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called “Peruvian ginseng.” Here are the 7 top health benefits of maca root powder, whose benefits have been long valued. Maca has recently been popularized as a supplement and food ingredient.

There are no serious known side effects of maca, but like any other superfood or supplement, it shouldn’t be taken in large amounts. When you first start using maca, it’s best to begin by taking smaller amounts and building up; as little as 1/2 teaspoon is a good place to start. Just 1 tablespoon is an average daily dose. Rotating a few days on and a few days off is often recommended. For more on this, see 5 Easy and Tasty Ways to Use Maca Powder in Food.

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Vegan Dinner Hack: Butternut Soup & Hummus Wraps

20-minute Butternut soup & hummus

Here’s a tasty vegan dinner featuring shortcut butternut squash soup and simple hummus and avocado wraps that make a perfect companion. No need to follow exact recipes, just a few easy steps and a delicious meal is yours in 20 minutes or less!

Smooth, mellow butternut squash soup has to be among the top comfort soups on the planet. I don’t mind making fresh butternut squash soup from scratch for special occasions like Thanksgiving, but when the craving hits at 6 o’clock pm or later on a weekday, a soothing bowlful seems out of reach. Or is it? The good news is that butternut squash soup (organic and vegan!) comes in 32-ounce containers — a convenient, instant soup starter. more→

Chinese-Style Cauliflower Fried Rice

Chinese cauliflower fried rice

I’m all for rice, especially brown rice, but lately, I’ve fallen for cauliflower rice. Or, to be more precise, cauliflower “rice.” If you haven’t discovered it yet, it’s nothing more than cauliflower chopped down into rice-like pieces. Much as I like brown rice, it can feel heavy; cauliflower rice becomes a lighter substitute. Chinese-style cauliflower fried rice shows how well it works; and it makes the dish even quicker to prepare — no need to take the 30 to 40 minutes to cook brown rice.

Cauliflower rice makes any classic rice dish lighter, and is a fun and tasty way to get an additional serving of vegetable into your daily fare. For slothful food hackers like myself, the availability of frozen cauliflower rice is a huge bonus! If you like this as much as I do, explore our other cauliflower “rice” and “couscous” recipes. more→

12 Best Brown Rice Recipes

Thai pineapple rice recipe

VegKitchen readers love brown rice for its versatility, and its superior nutrition profile as compared to white rice. And while there are more whole grains to choose from today — quinoa, farro, spelt, and others — brown rice seems to hold its own as a favorite staple. It’s inexpensive (especially bought in bulk) and so versatile. Here are some of our best brown rice recipes — healthy, easy, and of course, vegan. If you’d like even more, see our extensive list of brown rice recipes.

Colorful and luscious, Thai Pineapple Stir-Fried Rice (at top) can be made easily at home, using brown rice, pineapple, and veggies like broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots. more→

Vegan Peanut Butter Granola Cookies

Vegan Peanut butter granola cookies

These easy vegan peanut butter granola cookies pass an important test — if a sweet treat is actually healthy, will it still get eaten? Happily, these tasty cookies disappear quickly. Use whatever kind of granola you prefer — there are so many great varieties! These sturdy cookies are perfect or packing in the school or work lunch box, too.  more→

How to Roast Chickpeas in a Skillet, 4 Ways

Sesame-ginger skillet chickpeas

There are tons of recipes out there for oven roasted chickpeas, but I question the need to turn the oven on for one, or even two can’s worth of this tasty legume. Instead, we’ll show you how to roast chickpeas in a skillet, and give them a variety of flavors each time — spicy, savory, and even sweet.

The result might not be quite as crispy as what you’d get from oven-roasting, but it also sidesteps the tendency to dry out. What you’re left with are flavored chickpeas to snack on with no guilt, and far fewer calories than the equivalent volume of nuts. more→

Peanut Satay Zucchini Noodle Bowl

Peanut satay zucchini noodle bowl

Who doesn’t love zucchini noodles? They make a perfect base for ever-popular vegan bowls, too. We love them not because there’s anything wrong with regular pasta noodles. But in the same way as cauliflower “rice” has gotten to be such a big thing, it’s just another very cool way to eat more veggies. But what if you don’t have a machine — how do you make zucchini noodles without a spiralizer? You buy them already spiralized, that’s how. And then this peanut satay noodle bowl will be ready in a flash. more→

Vegan Menu: Pasta with Spinach and Chickpeas

Pasta with Spinach and Chickpeas

A hearty pasta dish that’s on the table in 30 minutes is the star of this week’s Mvegan menu. Pasta with greens and beans is a classic Mediterranean combo, and Pasta with Spinach, Chickpeas, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes is a tasty take on the trio. Make sure to read on for a perfect salad pairing for this dish, and a tempting and easy (though optional) dessert. more→

World’s Easiest Peanut Satay Noodles

Thai Peanut Satay noodles1

I’ve made peanut noodles dozens of times in my time as a mom and a cook, and I can attest that a homemade peanut sauce isn’t the hardest thing to make. Everyone likes it, even the pickiest of eaters (aka kids). But I’ve really gotten to the point where using a bottle of Thai peanut satay sauce makes more sense (and is cheaper) than getting all the authentic ingredients (tamarind sauce, lemongrass, red chili …) and making a mess with the food processor. And so, we give you — the world’s easiest peanut satay noodles!

For this recipe, I used my supermarket’s organic brand — so tasty, and surprisingly low in calories for a sauce whose main ingredient is organic peanuts! Per 1/4 cup (the label serving size of 1 tablespoon isn’t realistic) it’s only 100 calories and 4 grams of fat. more→

6 Fantastic Ways to Stuff Sweet Potatoes

pesto & mushroom stuffed sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are vegetable heaven! If you do absolutely nothing other than bake or microwave them, they’re still as delicious as all heck. Not to diss regular potatoes, but sweet potatoes have them beat in nutrients, especially in vitamin A and C. Though sweet potatoes are super tasty in their own right, stuffing them with other tasty ingredients takes them to a whole new level. You haven’t really had the ultimate sweet potato experience until you’ve tried one of these 6 fantastic ways to stuff sweet potatoes. more→

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