Natural Foods Guides

Bean Basics

Legume varieties

Beans and legumes are nutritional powerhouses, rich in protein and fiber, and very low in fat. They boast a slew of vitamins (B vitamins in particular) and essential minerals (notably iron). If you’re among the uninitiated, the following guide should demystify beans for you. If you’re a bean aficionado, take a look for new information and tips. To get you primed to add more beans to your repertoire, here are  VegKitchen’s categories for delicious, high-protein bean recipes: more→

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Versatile, Easy Tofu Recipes

Sautéed tofu with veggies2

If you’re looking for a wide array of easy tofu recipes that will please adults and kids alike, you’ve come to the right place! Tofu is a superb food to add to the repertoire of growing children, and pays bountiful dividends in women’s and men’s diets as well. Many nutritionists experts recommend completely eliminating meat and high-fat dairy products as protein sources and getting more from plant-based foods such as grains, legumes, and soyfoods. more→

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Creative Cooking with Sea Vegetables

Wakame Salad

I remember my first taste of sushi in Boulder, Colorado, summer of 1978. There I was studying voice, dance, arts in education and theater at the Naropa Institute. New friends invited me for lunch. They served rice and vegetables wrapped in toasted nori with a spicy wasabi dip. As they spoke about their macrobiotic diet, I fell in love with my first taste of seaweed. more→

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How to Cook Quinoa — and Some Great Ways to Use It

Quinoa varieties - red, tan, and black

Here’s a basic guide on how to cook quinoa, along with an array of easy recipes for this tasty, quick-cooking grain. Nutritious and versatile, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) is an ancient food indigenous to the South American Andes. Considered a “superfood” for its superior nutritional profile, it was revived for the American natural foods market in the 1980s. Your basic quinoa grain is a kind of yellowish-tan, but red and black varieties are now available as well. They cook up the same way and taste pretty much the same as well; their appeal is mainly visual.

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Ancient Grains Revival

Raw Quinoa in a bowl

When you open your pantry, do images of the rugged mountains of South America, the colorful tablelands of Africa and the fertile river valleys of the Middle East dance before your eyes? If not, you have yet to discover amaranth, quinoa, spelt, kamut and teff, the quintet of nutritional powerhouses known as the ancient grains. The legends behind their origins many millennia past, their loss over time and their ultimate modern revival literally tell the story of civilization. more→

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5 Simple Ways to Use Baked Tofu

PastaTofuSalad- 2

I’ve long considered baked tofu a great product and have wondered why it has taken so long to make its way onto supermarket shelves. It’s easy to find at any natural foods store, though, shelved with the more conventional tubs of tofu. If you’re unfamiliar with baked tofu, it’s a firmer, chewier, and more flavored variety. It comes in 8- to 12-ounce cellophane-wrapped packages and is ready to eat. The most prominent brands are Soy Boy and White Wave, both of which come in several delicious varieties. Here are my top 5 favorite ways to use this yummy product: more→

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Asian Noodles

Asian noodles, ginger, and garlic

Authentic Asian noodles to make them with are easy to find these days. Ten years ago, soba, udon, bean-thread and rice stick noodles, among others, were rare finds. Now, many well-stocked supermarkets carry them. Here’s a brief lexicon of the most commonly used varieties. more→

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Savoring Vegan Sausage

Soy-based meat imitators undoubtedly help ease the transition to a meatless diet for countless people who might otherwise succumb to cravings for “the real thing.” They usually contain only a fraction of the fat of their meat counterparts. And any product that inspires greater use of soy rates highly in my book. I resisted vegan sausages for a long time, as I was never a fan of sausages in my pre-veg days. I was pleasantly surprised by a unique taste and texture sensation. Not so much reminiscent of meat, they are rather complex, spicy, and hearty—a more grown-up version of tofu hot dogs. more→

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