Jordan St. Clair-Jackson

12 Tasty, Healthy Vegan Farro Recipes

Farro-Stuffed peppers

Here are a dozen tasty and healthy vegan farro recipes. This nutty, hearty grain has joined other recently revived ancient grains like quinoa, einkorn, kañiwa, and teff in the modern kitchen. Filled with fiber and high in iron, you’ll want swap it in for rice and barley in all kinds of dishes. Make sure to see our guide on How to Cook Farro for more tips, and be inspired by the recipes ahead.

Super-Quick Grain-Stuffed Peppers (shown at top): Once you stuff the pilaf into prepared peppers, you need not even cook or bake them any further. For these, we used a delicious porcini-flavored quick-cooking farro pilaf mix, for those of you who are in a hurry. more→

How to Cook Farro, the Hearty & Healthy Ancient Grain

Farro asparagus salad

If you keep up with food trends, you’ve likely heard about farro, one of several ancient grains that have made a comeback in recent years. Farro takes its place among grains like quinoa, einkorn, kañiwa, teff, and others that have been around for millennia, and which have become more widely available in the general marketplace. Following are tips on how to cook farro and enjoy it in recipes.

While farro is new to most of us, it’s believed to be one of the most ancient of wheat varieties, along with einkorn. And like einkorn, it’s lower in gluten than modern varieties of wheat, though please note, not gluten-free. Shown at top, Spring Farro Asparagus Salad. more→

Super-Quick Aloo Gobi

Quick aloo gobi

Aloo Gobi is a delectable Indian specialty that features cauliflower, potatoes, and usually peas in a mild, tomato base. I’m not sure my family has ever placed an order, whether eat-in or carry out, that didn’t include it as one of our choices. And fortunately it’s almost always already vegan, which means it doesn’t need to be modified. It’s great to be able to make super-quick aloo gobi at home, now that we’ve found the way — incredibly tasty Indian simmer sauces.

Ever since this new generation of Indian simmer sauces hit the market, we’re doing a lot more Indian-style meals at home. Our favorite is the Maya Kaimal line of sauces, but use what’s available to you. You’ll find Indian simmer sauces at natural foods stores and in the international foods aisle of well-stocked supermarkets. more→

Almost-Instant Fruit and Nut Rice Pilaf

Instant fruit and nut rice pilaf

A fantastic side dish for many kinds of meals, especially Indian specialties, what makes this fruit and nut rice pilaf so fruity and nutty is trail mix! Most trail mixes have a nice variety of dried fruits and nuts. As for the rice, you have options. Do you have already cooked rice in the fridge and need to dress it up? Leftover rice from your last Chinese food order (there’s always so much of it)? If not, you can use quick-cooking rice or the newest entry into the field of ready-cooked rice that just needs a quick spin in the microwave.

No matter what you choose, this great side is ready in minutes and adds color, texture, and tastiness to any plate. We love this with Super-Quick Aloo Gobi as a complete (and really easy) meal. more→

The Benefits of Fermented Foods: Q & A with Michelle Schoffro Cook

Purple Sauerkraut

In many (if not most) Western diets, fermented foods aren’t very prevalent, and that’s something that should change! Pickling, fermenting, and culturing add beneficial enzymes to foods, and enhance flavors and nutritional. To familiarize yourself with the world of fermented food, here’s a Q & A with Michelle Schoffro Cook, author of The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life. You’ll learn about the benefits of fermented foods, and be inspired to make them in your own kitchen with the expert guidance in her new book.

What got you into experimenting with fermented foods?
I’m an avid cook and recipe developer with a huge passion for delicious, healthy foods. I first started experimenting with fermented foods when I was 19 and exploring various cultures’ traditional recipes that could give my health a boost. more→

10 Easy Jícama Recipes You’ll Love

Jicama salad with oranges and watercress

Jícama is a root vegetable that’s native to the American Southwest. Pronounced HICK-a-mah, until the last decade or so it wasn’t easy to find outside that region. Now it’s more widely available well-stocked supermarkets and produce markets from west to east, primarily in the fall. Subltly sweet, crunchy, and a bit more watery than other roots (it’s actually 90% water), jicama is good sliced and eaten raw, used in salads, sautéed, or baked.

Jícama is high in fiber, and provides good amounts of vitamin C and potassium. Its characteristic mild sweetness is from oligofructose, a soluble fiber that actually functions as a prebiotic, and which helps stabilize blood sugar. more→

Using Seasonal Organic Produce: Tips for Health and Pleasure

Chard at market

By using seasonal organic produce and ingredients, you can create meals that are dazzling to the eyes and palate that are incredibly simple to prepare. Are you a seasonal eater? Visualize these scenarios:

In your mind, visualize the supermarket you frequent. Put yourself in the produce department. Think summer. Now think winter. Does it look much different? Any different? Now imagine yourself in the restaurants you frequent. It’s fall, and you are studying the menu. Now shift gears—it’s spring. Have the menus changed very much? Have they changed at all? more→

Quick Lentil and Kidney Bean Curry Dinner

Lentil and Kidney Bean curry dinner

Not long ago, we presented a delicious shortcut recipe, Instant Lentil and Kidney Bean Curry, inspired by the classic combo from Indian cuisine. One of the many full-flavored Indian simmer sauces available these days makes the meal a breeze to prepare — no need for the zillions of individual spices that gives the dish an authentic character. From mild coconut-based blends to hot jalfrezi sauces, the choice is yours. If vegan is important to you, check labels, as many of the varieties of these sauces contain dairy.

Completing this high-protein dish as a meal is a great idea, and that’s just what we’re going to do here. Brown rice and a refreshing cucumber salad are just the right companions. This meal is a bit light on vegetables; okay, quite light on vegetables, so we recommend fresh fruit or simple fresh fruit dessert (Pineapple-Orange Ambrosia, for instance) to make up for that. more→

Vegan Ravioli with Pink Beans

Ravioli with pink beans

Today, we’re going to learn to make authentic vegan ravioli from scratch, starting with growing our own artisanal wheat. Just kidding, of course! There are quite a number of yummy delicacies that I love, but that fall into the “life is too short” department when it comes to from-scratch cooking. One of them is vegan ravioli (followed closely by sushi).

Which is why when the mood strikes, we get a package of these dumpling-like cuties from the frozen foods section of our natural foods store. Then we’re well on the way to a hearty meal that only needs a salad to complete it. A can of pink beans gets us close to the finish line, then all that’s needed is a good sauce and a sprinkling of fresh basil and nooch (aka nutritional yeast) or vegan Parmesan. Let’s get started! more→

Vegan Concha Bread (Mexican Sweet Bread)

Vegan Concha bread

Concha means shell in Spanish. These sweet, fluffy, and warm sweet breads are topped with a shell pattern, hence the name concha bread. These are delicious with coffee or hot chocolate. Mexican Independence Day is September 16, and just in time, Vegan Mexican Food, a resource of the nonprofit Food Empowerment Project, has been updated and expanded. Thanks to these organization for this tasty contribution, as well as the photo. more→

Instant Lentil and Kidney Bean Curry

Lentil and Kidney Bean curry

Lentil and Kidney Bean Curry is a traditional Indian dish that combines two tasty and high-protein legumes. And while it usually doesn’t need to be veganized, in our minds, it needs to be simplified, as the typical recipe has 15 to 20 ingredients — a great percentage of them spices. Lots and lots of spices.

We couldn’t have been more thrilled when an array of full-bodied Indian simmer sauces burst on the market — you can have your pick whether at a natural foods store or in the supermarket’s international aisle. From mild coconut-based blends to hot jalfrezi sauces, many are also vegan (at least an equal number contain dairy, so check labels. more→

12 Apple Cider Vinegar Recipes: Pickles, Dressings, & Drinks

Refrigerator Pickles recipe

A delicious dozen of Apple Cider Vinegar recipes will boost your intake of the most popular vinegar in the natural health community. ACV’s health benefits are legion, many of which are backed by research (see 23 of these benefits here). It’s become well known as an aid to weight loss, and due to its probiotic properties, it’s a good way to boost gut health. Make sure to use raw, unfiltered, and organic ACV — it’s the ideal kind to use to make these apple cider vinegar recipes — pickled vegetables, salad dressings, and bracing beverages.  more→

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