Cold Cucumber–Chile Noodles

Cold Cucumber Chile Noodles from Hot for Food by Lauren Toyota

I tend to add megaflavor to everything I cook, but in this dish I embrace the minimalist trend and really like the simplicity of green onions with spice, sesame, salt, and refreshing crunchy cucumber. It was inspired by something I ate a couple of years ago at Xi’an Famous Foods in Brooklyn.

A friend claimed this menu item, known as A-1, was her favorite thing ever, which I mistook for hyperbole. But I was curious. Well, after ordering it and taking one bite, I was in love and certainly wasn’t prepared for a long-distance relationship with this noodle dish so I made my own version of Cold Cucumber–Chile Noodles.

Reprinted with permission from Hot for Food Vegan Comfort Classics, text and photography copyright 2018 by Lauren Toyota. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. more→

9 Homemade Sauerkraut Recipes

sauerkraut in a bowl

In Western culture, fermented foods often don’t play enough of a role in everyday fare. Fermented foods contribute to gut health, supplying more probiotic action that what you might find in a capsule. They can also strengthen your immune system, according to this article by expert Rebecca Wood.

“Fermentation increases the flavor, medicinal value and nutrition of foods,” she writes. Of course, you can buy a jar of sauerkraut. And if you do, make sure it’s the kind that is naturally fermented, not just salted. But DIY sauerkraut can be surprisingly easy to make, and allow you to experiment with flavors you won’t find in the store-bought kind. Here are 9 flavorful homemade sauerkraut recipes to tickle your palate and at the same time improve your gut health. more→

Arsenic in Rice? What You Need to Know

Brown rice in a bowl

Within the last few years, there have been analyses that show that all rice varieties contain at least some minuscule level of arsenic. Arsenic is a naturally occurring element. It’s found in soil, water, plants, and animals. Going beyond a certain threshold, arsenic is a toxin and exposure to it should be minimized. 

There was much discussion about this in the media in the last several years. A fair amount of the concern was that rice cereal is often an infant’s first food. Even lots of healthy food enthusiasts draw a blank when it comes to arsenic in rice. No need to panic, but it pays to have some solid information. 

Few experts have suggested avoiding rice altogether, but rates of arsenic vary depending on variety, but more importantly, where it’s grown. Rice from Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas in the U.S. lead the way in terms of arsenic levels due to the soil in which they’re grown. Whether you buy in bulk or at the supermarket, you can always see where the rice comes from on labels and on the bulk bins. You may want to find alternatives to varieties from those big rice-producing states. more→

How to Burn Off 9 Nutrient-Dense Foods That Are High Calorie

Trail mix

A healthy lifestyle is fueled by nutrient-dense foods that give your body the energy it needs. But some of the most nutrient-dense foods come with high-calorie counts. Keep your calorie count in check by moderating your serving size. And for those days when you really need to fuel up? Dial up the activity level to burn off that excess energy.

Here we’ll look at how much activity is needed to burn off 9 healthy but high calorie foods, including: fruit-and-nut mix, raisins, hummus, coconut milk, muesli bars, chia seeds, rice cakes (or rather, what you put on them), almond butter, and quinoa.


Sweet Cocoa Avocado Toast

Cocoa Avocado Toast

In January of 2018 there were near-riots in France as a grocery chain knocked down the price of Nutella, the popular chocolate-hazelnut that’s gathering a following here in the U.S. But is it really worthy of that kind of devotion? After all, the first two ingredients are sugar and palm oil — not ideal fuels to start the day. This sweet cocoa avocado toast has got it all — protein, good fats, whole-grain carbs, and the potassium boost of banana.

While avocado may have seen its day as a trend, it still has plenty of devotees (yours truly included), and has become a fixture on countless breakfast and lunch menus everywhere. After the recent “Nutella riots” as they were dubbed by the press, I merged the concepts of avocado toast and Nutella into one super-simple spread. Using only a handful of real food ingredients, this “Not-ella” spread is oil- and dairy free and sublime. It’s an easy, filling breakfast and a good after-school treat. more→

Creamy Vegan Salad Dressing Recipes

Parsley Salad Dressing

Salad dressing can get a little tricky when you’re vegan. Most are made out of oils and vinegars. But if you want a hearty, creamy dressing, many have mayonnaise in them. Luckily, it’s easy to get a creamy, vegan salad dressing by using ingredients like vegan mayonnaise, hummus or even nuts like cashews. Below are some of the top creamy vegan salad dressing recipes. more→

Pingala Café Lets You Bring Home the Eggplant Bacon

Eggplant bacon sandwiches

When Pingala Café opened its doors in 2013, it was the only vegan eatery in Burlington — though it won’t be holding that distinction for much longer. Word has it that soon it will be in good company, reflecting the exponential growth of the plant-based revolution. 

From the get-go, Pingala’s aim was to exceed expectations of how hearty and tasty plant-base meals can be, and offer familiar foods in good-for-you, good-for-the-earth versions. Burritos, burgers, falafel, French toast, and grilled cheese are on the menu, but in meatless, dairy-free versions. For clean food enthusiasts, there are smoothies, juices, salads, and bountiful bowls.

Another mission of Pingala (which means “sun energy and life force” in Sanskrit) is to use house-made products whenever possible to enhance the flavors of fresh foods — savory dressings like Thai peanut and luscious sauces like Korean BBQ sauce among them. But it was one unique Pingala-created product that has completely caught fire (not literally, of course): the café’s homemade vegan eggplant bacon. more→

Gloria and Adam’s Prize-Winning Vegan Mac & Cheese Collard Green Bake

Mac and cheese casserole with collard greens

Mac and cheese casserole with collard greens

My name is Gloria Clay, and I won Vegan Outreach Mac Down Competition in Columbia SC. I was the only person who isn’t chef or an owner of a food truck or restaurant. I’ve never gone to culinary school, so I was surprised and thrilled to win the competition with my original Vegan Mac and Cheese Casserole with a healthy dose of collard greens, and topped with tempeh bacon.

I entered the competition to bring awareness to cruelty free eating and to let people know that they can still enjoy their favorite comfort foods without the use of animal products. more→

Vegan American Cheese Slices

Vegan American Cheese Slices from Vegan Cheese by Jules Aron

The same classic American cheese taste you grew up with: mild, firm, and satisfying. These creamy golden-hued vegan American cheese slices are perfect sliced on sandwiches and crackers. Recipe and photo from Vegan Cheese: Simple, Delicious Plant-Based Recipes by Jules Aron, ©2017 by Countryman Press, reprinted by permission. more→

Top Health Benefits of Avocados

easy guacamole recipe

Avocados, the nutrient-dense, creamy, green fruit native to Central America has spiked in popularity. Once known as “alligator pear” for its texture and shape, avocados now take the cake in Western eating habits due to their multitude of health benefits and versatile uses in cooking, snacking and baking. Read on for the top heath benefits of avocados.

Considered a superfood due to its cholesterol lowering properties, avocados are rich in fiber, carbs, antioxidants, potassium, and a variety of nutrients and minerals.

Whether you’re smashing the fatty, rich fruit onto toast, whipping it into guacamole, or sneaking it into smoothies or baked goods (like brownies!) for added creaminess and nutrients, avocados are among the healthiest foods we can be eating; who said avocado toast can’t be a meal? And make sure to take a look at our list of delicious avocado recipes. more→


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