Nava

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→

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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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→

20-Minute Vegan Mushroom Barley Soup

20-Minute Vegan Mushroom-Barley Soup

When cold and flu season is in full swing, or if it’s simply a bone-chilling winter day, sometimes you need a big pot of comforting soup and you need it now! One of the most soothing bowlfuls ever is mushroom barley soup, and this shortcut vegan version takes at least an hour off the process. Case in point, our Classic Mushroom Barley Soup, which is about an hour and a half or more, from prep to finish. There’s not a lot of work time, so when you have more leisure to cook soup, give it a try!

This fast version shaves off the time by using quick-cooking barley and precut fresh veggies. It’s just as good as the original, and gets more flavorful as it stands. Look for quick-cooking barley (sometimes called 10-minute barley) in the grains or dried beans section of well-stocked supermarkets and natural foods stores. Trader Joe’s has their own brand, too. Or you can search for quick-cooking barley and order online. more→

Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos

Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos

Here are some super-tasty nachos that can be made with pantry and refrigerator staples in a matter of minutes. Nachos are fun fare no matter what, whether as a snack for a small party, or even as an emergency dinner. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. © 2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

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Hot-and-Cool Tofu Teriyaki Salad

Tofu teriyaki salad

When the weather is cool, I find I need to find ways to entice myself to eat salads. One way that seems to do the trick is to add a warm or hot element to cool greens. This sizzling salad features tofu that’s been cooked in tasty teriyaki sauce. Edamame (fresh green soybeans) and cashews add even more protein and a lot of flavor. For me, this is a winter favorite! Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Hummus and Veggie Lavash Wraps

Lavash Hummus Veggie Wrap

Rectangular soft lavash wrappers are even easier to make sandwiches with than round wrapper breads — everything lines up so neatly, and they roll up so easily. Look for them in near your supermarket’s deli section — they’re often shelved near pita breads. Hummus holds everything together, and plenty of romaine lettuce plus fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and roasted red peppers means that your yummy sandwich is also a salad! Make this with black olive hummus for extra flavor. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Seared Baby Bok Choy

Seared baby bok choy

Baby bok choy is at its best in the late winter and early spring, though it’s available most of the year round. A nutritional superstar, this vegetable (which can honestly be called “cute”) offers a healthy dose of Vitamins K, C, A, and is a great source of calcium.

Seared Baby Bok Choy is a super-quick way to prepare it, showing off its flavor and visual appeal. This is not so much a recipe as an idea, but what a fun idea it is. There’s so little prep involved, and no other ingredients to use, so you’re on your way to a great vegetable side dish in minutes.
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Blueberry-Oat Pancakes

Vegan Blueberry-Oat Pancakes

This variation on basic pancakes will delight blueberry fans. Use the smaller, wild blueberries for best results. Frozen (preferably organic) blueberries can be used out of season. Oats add a nice texture. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Kale, Romaine, and Apple Salad with Sesame-Avocado Dressing

Kale, Romaine, and Apple Salad

Here’s a fresh and crunchy kale salad with a double dose of sesame (tahini and seeds). Did you know that sesame seeds are a good source of calcium? This salad goes with just about any kind of meal — bean and grain dishes, stews, chilies, veggie burgers. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

10 Amazing Vegan Avocado Toast Recipes

Avocado Coconut Bacon Toast

Not many healthy food delights are more worthy of having become a hot food trend than avocado toast. With its wealth of healthy fats and carbs, it’s easy, good for you, and comforting, perfect for a quick breakfast or lunch. And why not for dinner, too? It’s a perfect accompaniment to almost any kind of soup. Here are 10 amazing vegan avocado toast recipes that are so good, you won’t know which to try first!

When did avocado toast become such a thing? By now, Instagram must have hundreds of thousands of photos of it on display. And though it’s been around longer than 2013, that year could have been the tipping point. That’s when Gwyneth Paltrow include a recipe for it in her cookbook, It’s All Good. She admitted how stupid-simple it is, and that it’s hardly a recipe: “It’s the holy trinity of Vegenaise, avocado and salt that makes this like a favorite pair of jeans — so reliable and easy and always just what you want.” Her more recent book, It’s All Easy, offers up three more variations on avocado toast.

Now, more health-oriented eateries than ever feature avocado toast on the menu, even though it’s almost mindlessly easy to make at home. Come to think of it, avocado toast may have already turned the corner from hot trend to modern classic. Here are some of our favorite vegan variations from around the web. more→

Healthy and Vegan-Friendly Hotspots in Key West, Florida

Panini Schamani Key West

If you find yourself in the midst of Key West’s prime tourist area — Duval Street and areas adjacent — it’s plain to see that tourists are looking more for seafood and booze than salads and smoothies. But for health-oriented visitors, this Florida Key with a somewhat naughty reputation is far from a lost cause. Here’s the small and select list of healthy hotspots in Key West. These will also keep you happy and satisfied if you’re looking for vegan options during your visit.

Though healthy hotspots on Key West are few and far between, the selective handful are more figuratively than literally off the beaten path. Not far from the center of all the action, you just need to know where to look. And these natural eateries, groceries, and juice bars are so good that you’ll want to return again and again, whether you’re staying for just a few days or escaping the northern winter for a month or two. more→

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