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7 Hearty Vegan Soups With Wild Rice

wild rice in a spoon

No matter the season, soup remains a staple dish in everyone’s home. Hearty vegan soups are a great meal option for vegans because they can be easily made with plant-based ingredients. Soups are a great way to cook vegetables and other hearty ingredients like lentils, beans, and even potatoes.

However, there are a number of non-vegan soup recipes that need to be updated with more plant-based substitutes. One of these classics is cream of chicken and wild rice. For vegans, a simple substitute is mushroom and wild rice. This soup is perfect for cozy nights or lunch on a chilly winter day. more→

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Easy Winter Crock Pot Recipes

winter crock pot recipes

Winter is a special kind of season. And the best part of it is that no matter how cold it gets outside, you can always come in for a warm meal. It’s one of the best feelings in the world to watch the snow fall outside while you enjoy a steaming bowl of healthy vegan food.

And if you’ve never used a crock pot to make that food, you’re missing out. A crockpot makes it incredibly easy to whip up a meal since all you have to do is put all the ingredients together and wait. Plus, all you need to get started are some good crock pot vegetarian recipes. So in the spirit of winter, here are 5 easy winter crock pot recipes that will keep you warm and healthy through the long, silent nights and clear snowy mornings. more→

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5 Best Vegan Tacos for Breakfast

Veggie oat taco filling

Everybody loves tacos. However, in order to eat tacos as a vegan, we sometimes have to get a little creative. A plant-based diet means we have to load up on veggies and find some alternatives to certain taco staples. Of course, that just means our tacos are more colorful and unique! Some recipes for our favorite vegetarian tacos are over on OhMyVeggies, and they cover everything from tofu tacos to lentil tacos. Most of these vegetarian tacos are great options for vegans, but unfortunately, some of them do include things like eggs. As a result, there are only a few viable options for the most important meal of the day: breakfast! Who wouldn’t want to eat tacos for breakfast? Some people think that to be healthy they should eat less and just skip their first meal, but in actuality, you need to eat a good breakfast. In order to jump start your morning, we’re here to give you some vegan and vegetarian tacos recipes for the best vegan tacos for breakfast! more→

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Easy Vegan Recipes for Your Holiday Meal

Holiday Meal

It can sometimes be tough to be vegan around the holidays. You have to content yourself with side dishes while your family eats turkey and asks you the same annoying questions about your diet.

But luckily, your holiday meal doesn’t just have to be about hunger and interrogation. Bringing some of these vegetarian entrees for Thanksgiving, or vegan side dishes to any holiday meal is a great way to both feed yourself and give your relatives a taste of the vegetarian lifestyle. more→

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Ahiflower May Be the Best Omega-3 Source for Vegans

white-flower-on-ahiflower-shrub

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Ahiflower. When I scheduled a call with the folks from Ahiflower about advertising with us, I’ll admit to expecting something a little less exciting. Ahiflower is a new source of your daily omega-3 fatty acids, which we know most of us can use. Having only been vegetarian a short time, I have (regrettably) taken fish oil and krill oil supplements in the past, as well as flax seed oil. And, here was Ahiflower, a new omega-3 supplement. And folks, It’s difficult to make omega-3 fatty acids sexy these days.

Yet, I think Ahiflower did make omega-3 fatty acids sexy again. Or, at least they’re setting a new and very high standard for these essential fatty acids. Here are the full benefits of Ahiflower compared to the alternatives. It gets somewhat technical (lots of good health info!), so I’ve gone ahead and broken it down to the most important points, without all the numbers.

So, what is Ahiflower…

ahiflower-seeds-on-plant

Aside from being a lush bush with beautiful white flowers, Ahiflower is a newly harnessed non-GMO source of omega-3 fatty acids. Well, it’s also a source for your daily omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. More specifically, those are the omega-3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and SDA (stearidonic acid), omega-6 GLA (gamma linolenic acid) and LA (linoleic acid); and omega-9 OA (oleic acid).

Ahiflower is also 100% vegan, plant-sourced, 100% sustainable and 100% traceable to the British fields in which it was grown. Did I mention it’s gluten free and Kosher?

Why does that sound so impressive?

That’s because it is so impressive. Especially for an entirely plant-sourced omega-3 supplement. There is no other plant-based supplement that has the same combination of omega-3 ALA, omega-3 SDA, omega-6 LA and omega-6 GLA fatty acids that Ahiflower provides. It also has the highest-available SDA content, which converts easily into EPA (the type of omega-3 fatty acid typically only found in marine oils) more efficiently than any other plant-sourced supplement. It’s far more efficient than flax in this regard, which relies almost entirely on omega-3 ALA. Oh, that also means you don’t need to take as many gelatin-free capsules every daily. Definitely a plus.

It gets better still

close-up-of-ahiflower-seeds

Harvested Ahiflower seeds

Ahiflower is 100% sustainable, unlike any marine oils. Not only is Ahiflower eco-friendly, it’s also incredibly efficient with our precious Mother Earth. It’s impossible to separate our eating and the world’s resources. We just can’t escape the topic of environmentally friendly farming. There are two very important resources needed for farming that are getting scarcer and scarcer: space and water. Future crops are going to have to produce more per acre than ever before, and with less water.

That’s another reason to love Ahiflower. Flax has been the go-to vegetarian and vegan omega-3 supplement in years gone by, but that really needs to change. It simply takes too much space and too much water to meet human demand with flax.

Good news, because Ahiflower is up to 400% more effectively metabolized than flax in humans (yes, 2 human clinical studies have already been completed), Ahiflower requires less land and less water than flax to deliver the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids we all need.

Grown only in select fields within the United Kingdom, Ahiflower is the most environmentally friendly omega-3 supplement. Not only is it more efficiently produced than flax, it is also a fantastic habitat and source of nourishment for our threatened pollinators. Seriously, bees dig these little flowers like nobody’s business.

And just in case you weren’t convinced

ahiflower-crop-in-bloom

Ahiflower crop in bloom

You know how I just said Ahiflower is only grown on very select pieces of land in the United Kingdom? That makes Ahiflower 100% traceable. That’s right, you can find out exactly where your Ahiflower oil came from. Unlike flax, which is grown throughout Russia, China, and Kazakhstan, as well as several other countries and is not 100% traceable. Not like Ahiflower. You could totally meet the farmer who grew your Ahiflower. Okay, that I can’t promise, but it’s like that.

Grown only in UK fields, the Ahiflower seed is turned into oil at a single processing plant in Canada. Unlike many supplements processed in China and other countries, Ahiflower is only turned into oil in one solitary plant, ensuring more control over the supply chain than flax.

To wrap it up

Normally I don’t do these sorts of things. I’ve been helping Nava and VegKitchen behind the scenes for over a year, but this is one of the few times I’ve written something for the site. And yes, it is sponsored by Ahiflower. Most of the information is from them, but opinions are all me.

As I’ve made the important decision to go vegetarian (and hopefully one day vegan!), it’s become even more important to me to think about how my eating and my diet affect the world around me. The decision for me was based on two things: not eating animals and helping to preserve the planet. I’ll admit to being a really bad environmentalist most of the time, but all of us making small changes can have an immeasurable impact.

Luckily for us, when it comes to our daily omega-3 supplement, doing what’s good and beneficial for our bodies is also better for the earth. If you haven’t considered Ahiflower yet, I highly recommend giving it a try. As they say, it’s “Better than flax. Not from fish.”

If you’d like to try Ahiflower oil in vegan softgels or as a liquid oil (great for smoothies!), you can find a list of places that sell Ahiflower on their website. You can also enter for your chance to win a 3 month supply of Ahiflower here on VegKitchen!

This article originally appeared on OhMyVeggies.com as Why Ahiflower May Replace Flax Seed Oil for Vegetarians and Vegans.

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Spring Veggie Sandwich Recipes

Avocado Tempeh Reuben Sandwich recipe

 

Spring is here and it’s that time of year when you just want to jump into everything that’s fresh and green. So what better way to celebrate the season of renewal and rebirth than with some new healthy, green veggie sandwich recipes. Of course, with all the fun things to do now that the snow is finally gone, who wants to stay inside cooking.

That’s why these easy veggie sandwich recipes are so great for this time of year. They’re easy. They’re delicious. And they will help you start off the season with a fresh new diet.

What could be better than that?

10 Spring Veggie Sandwich Recipes

Crispy Tofu Sandwiches With Ginger Peanut Sauce

veggie sandwich recipes

Image: Ohmyveggies

This delicious veggie sandwich is a really cool adaptation of a bold Thai taste into something you can eat with your hands.

It takes the crispy texture of tofu and combines it with the tangy, sweet taste of ginger peanut sauce and finally throws in some spicy red peppers for a tantalizing twinge of heat. And as if that wasn’t enough, the veggie strings and crisp onion greens add a satisfying crunch to the soft pita bread.

Definitely worth a try this spring. And give it a squirt of lime juice while you’re at it to really bring it all together.

BBQ Tempeh Sandwich

veggie sandwich

Image: Ohmyveggies

Here’s a question for you: “Have you ever tried tempeh?”

If the answer was anything but “yes,” then that’s something you need to fix right now. The soybean cakes are an Indonesian staple that is a delicious vegan food that can serve in just about any recipe.

Luckily for you, my friends, this BBQ veggie sandwich recipe is a great way to try it out.

And it’s so easy (and so cheap) to make. Just take the tempeh, marinate it in some BBQ sauce, fry it up and slap it between some fresh bread with sliced cabbage.

South Western Veggie Wraps

veggie sandwich

Image: Ohmyveggies

Mexican food is one of every vegan’s favorites because it’s so easy to just sub the meat out of it. And these veggie wraps show how true that is.

And this veggie sandwich recipe combines some really creative ingredients like roasted sweet potato rounds and avocado for a delicious veggie lunch. All you have to do is put them in a tortilla and wrap them up.

Easy to make and satisfying. What else can you ask for in a veggie sandwich?

Hummus, Avocado, Tomato, and Baby Spinach Sandwich

Hummus avocado and baby spinach sandwich recipe

Hummus, avocado, and baby spinach sandwich; photo by Hannah Kaminsky

If you’re looking for a fresh, spring taste, then look no further. Because this veggie sandwich has a clean, crisp flavor that screams spring.

It combines fresh hummus with slices of smooth avocado and a crispy piece of tomato. Together they make for a perfect lunch or healthy snack.

Eggless “Egg Salad” Sandwich

Vegan Tofu eggless "egg salad"

Vegan “imitation” recipes aren’t always that good, but this imitation egg salad is actually a pretty good substitute for the real thing.

Not only is the texture dead on, but it has that hearty, slightly tart taste that you think of when you imagine egg salad. That, and the fact that it’s super easy to whip up, makes this a great vegan version of one of your favorite comfort foods.

It’s perfect for those rainy spring days when served along with with a bowl of steaming tomato soup.

Vegan Avocado Tempeh Reuben Sandwich

Avocado Tempeh Reuben Sandwich recipe

Once again, tempeh is the star in this vegan-ized Reuben sandwich. But it really serves as the kind of hearty base that lets the other flavors in this veggie sandwich shine through.

Because on top of that salty, savory tempeh is the light, creamy taste of avocado and the slightly sweet, slightly bitter mingling of sauerkraut and thousand island dressing.

It’s surprisingly complex for such an easy-to-make recipe. And it’s heavy enough to fill in for a filling lunch or dinner after a day of enjoying the spring weather.

Baked Tofu, Arugula, and Olive Wraps

Tofu, arugula, and olive wrap

The thing I like most about this veggie sandwich (besides how easy it is to make) is the clean, crisp taste of the arugula with the dark undertones of olives.

And combined with the hearty taste of the baked tofu it’s surprisingly filling. It’s definitely worth putting together for a good lunch or even an easy family dinner (assuming no-one is picky about olives).

Hummus, Cucumber, Avocado Wraps

Hummus, cucumber, and avocado wrap2

This is another one of those veggie sandwich recipes where the textures really play off each other in a really unique way.

The creamy elements of the hummus and the avocado combine with the crisp textures of the cucumber and tomato for a really unusual and pleasing wrap. It’s perfect for a healthy lunch in the park after a spring bike ride.

Asian-Flavored Quinoa Wraps

Asian flavored quinoa wraps recipe

These vegan wraps are one of those rare things in life that is both incredibly delicious and really good for you.

It’s loaded with superfoods like quinoa, spinach, and avocado. And it packs a spicy Asian-inspired taste. So if you’re looking for an easy way to get the raw nutrients your body needs to heal after flu season you really can’t ask for a better way than this. It’s one of the best veggie sandwich recipes to help you take charge of your health.

Cool Refried Bean Wraps

Refried bean wraps

These veggie wraps are a great companion to a warm bowl of soup on those chilly early-spring days.

They’re easy to make and have a delicious earthy flavor that makes you think of a healthy taco. Combine them with some south-western inspired soups for a great easy meal.

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5 Of The Best Vegan Eateries In The United States

vedge philadelphia cocktails

The number of purely vegan restaurants in the United States is growing exponentially. It is encouraging to see some restaurants commit to a 100 percent plant-based menu, as there are many exciting things chefs can do with produce. These restaurants have menus that fully utilize local and seasonal ingredients and entice diners from all dietary lifestyles. Vegan restaurants show people the multifaceted flavors that come from fruits and vegetables and strengthen the vegan presence in the culinary world. Here are five of the best vegan eateries in the United States you should visit:

Gracias Madre in San Francisco and Los Angeles

Gracias Madre is a Mexican restaurant that is 100 percent plant-based and organic. The restaurant environment feels elevated in its design through a mix of exotic comfort and well-curated decor. Behind a graphic-tiled bar lies a large selection of vegan spirits, such as Captain Morgan, almond milk horchata and tequila blanco.

The restaurant was inspired when the owners, who also own Cafe Gratitude, visited the families of their Mexican employees. They wanted to capture the passion and tradition of Mexican food, but through plant-based ingredients. The food celebrates Mother Earth as well as the beauty of the Mexican culture and cuisine.

The Butcher’s Daughter in Los Angeles and New York

Part juice bar, part cafe, The Butcher’s Daughter is a haven for healthy fare. The restaurant has a produce calendar, which showcases the season’s fruit and vegetable offerings. The restaurant knows that seasonal and local produce tastes the best and enhances the community’s sustainability.

One outstanding juice on the menu is the Goddess of Green, which promotes mental clarity. It includes kale, cucumber, pineapple, fennel, green apple, thyme and blue green algae. Other show stoppers include the tacos verdes, spinach artichoke crock, avocado tartare and raw pesto linguine.

Kajitsu in NYC

Kajitsu is a one-star Michelin restaurant that offers exceptional vegan Japanese fare. Kajitsu’s shojin cooking style originates from Zen Buddhism and is regarded as the foundation of all Japanese cuisine. The multi-course meal is composed of seasonal and fresh ingredients and prepared with methods that enhance the flavor profile of each component.

One outstanding dish is the Takiawase, which is made of cauliflower, pumpkin, daikon, fried tofu, scallion, Nama-fu and yuzu. The dishes at Kajitsu excel in flavor and are beautifully plated for a complete and sensational delight.

Vedge in Philadelphia

Vedge was launched by the husband and wife team, Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby, in 2011. The menu spotlights seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, and it uses zero animal products.

Its winter menu features delectable dishes, like cauliflower cottage pie made of mushroom ropa vieja and whipped and pickled cauliflower. Its sticky toffee pudding is a highlight for any vegan who has a sweet tooth. The sweet toffee pudding is layered in its flavor profile with the addition of cedar ice cream and smoked chestnuts.

Canteen in Portland

Canteen is the epitome of Portland veganism. It is unapologetic in its passionate pursuit and knows how to do vegan food right. The restaurant brings in strong flavors from all over the world, including southern barbecue, curries, Mexican spices and kimchi.

Canteen’s bowls and salads are simple, but strong in flavor. It also offers a variety of fresh-pressed juices and smoothies. The Maca & Friends smoothie makes for a wonderful snack, as its ingredients of banana, almond butter, dates, vanilla, almond milk and maca will thoroughly nourish you.

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Vegan in 2016: Brands & Trends You Should Know About

Veggie beet and carrot burgers with avocado

In a society that promotes unhealthy eating in the form of deep-fried fast food, eating vegan is no easy task. Discipline is difficult if close friends and family don’t support you. However, vegan has finally entered the mainstream and brands now cater to this healthy and more sustainable lifestyle. So which brands should you look at in 2016 for vegan products? Here’s the rub.

Mainstream Data

In the past, brands that provided vegan products had a small market share of 6 percent of the United States population. However, Eric Pierce, the director of strategy and insights at New Hope Natural Media, which is the host of Natural Products Expo West, says data supports a shift in consumer preference. In fact, research suggests 36 percent of Americans prefer milk alternatives, like soy, rice, coconut and almond milk. Vegan products also appeal to 7 percent of Americans who identify as vegetarian, which expands the market even further. Research, says Pierce, even shows that up to 41 percent of Americans have eaten less meat over the last 12 months, instead choosing alternative protein sources such as tofu. If you’re looking to transition to a vegan lifestyle, check out our tips right here on VegKitchen. So what are brands doing with this all this data?

German Vegan Shop Comes Stateside

Jan Bredack went vegan in 2009, and as a German who lived in Berlin, discovered very quickly how difficult veganism was in a country famous for its meats. So Bredack opened Veganz, a vegan supermarket. Since the first shop in Berlin, he’s open two more Veganz in Berlin. Then the chain quickly spread to Munich, Hamburg, and many other major cities in Germany, before opening markets in London, Barcelona, Vienna and other European cities. In 2016, Veganz will open in the United States. While the first Veganz market will open in Portland, Oregon, the homeland of American veganism, don’t be surprised when one opens near you, as statistics support the obvious demand for more such stores in the United States.

Vegan Brands & Brands Going Vegan

It’s difficult enough to find vegan foods when you go out with friends, it’s doubly hard to find drinks on a weekend night. But in 2016, Guinness, the Ireland-based brew company, has vegan plans. The brand will discontinue the use of isinglass, a fish-based product, in its Extra Stout. This isn’t a surprise, as Guinness has been innovative in other ways too, like nitrogenating its first-ever IPA. Hopefully soon, all its beers will be vegan, but for now, look for the Guinness Extra Stout in 2016.

Another brand that will make vegan eating easier in 2016 is Quorn. The meatless UK food producer will release a vegan food line in 2016. Quorn products can also be found across the United States, which makes this shift in vegan food production a win for vegetarians and vegans alike.

With national food producers and breweries providing vegan alternatives means it’s easier to eat vegan than ever before, and as consumers continue to support this trend, it will only get easier in 2016.

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