Healthy Kitchen

Chile Peppers 101— a Beginner’s Guide

Red chili peppers

Excerpted from Hot Vegan: 200 sultry & full-flavored recipes from around the world by Robin Robertson/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC © 2014. Reprinted by permission. To put the “hot” in “hot and spicy,” we generally look to chiles as the world’s most universally popular heat source. Erroneously called chile “peppers,” attributed to an error by Christopher Columbus, chiles are not peppers at all, but actually fruits. They are used in a wide variety of cuisines throughout the world in a variety of forms. You can buy them whole, fresh, dried, canned, and jarred in the form of chili oil, paste, and powder, as well as hot red pepper flakes and ground red pepper, or cayenne. Many hot condiments are made with chiles, and these include chili sauce, hot bean sauce, salsas, and various chutneys. Tabasco, a particularly popular brand of hot chili sauce, is in such wide use that it goes by its brand name. more→

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10 Ways to be a Frugal Vegan

Pantry staples -grains, beans, pasta

“I’d think about going vegan but it’s too expensive.” How many times have we heard someone express a sentiment like this or imply that eating being vegan is just for the affluent? How often have we ourselves thought, “Well, I’m spending more now but I will make up for it with my lack of medical bills.” (I hope.) Truth be told, it is more expensive to eat fresh, whole foods than to eat off of dollar menus — at least at the outset, because a diet high in animal products can be quite expensive to us down the road – but there are ways to cut that back while not sacrificing an emphasis on unprocessed, natural foods. Here are some simple but effective strategies for cutting back on your food expenses. Excerpted from this article on Vegan Street, where you’ll find 10 additional strategies for being a frugal vegan!

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Stocks and Broths for Vegan Soups

Shiitake Mushroom and Bok Choy Soup

Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. Contrary to culinary myth, the absence of a strong-flavored meat stock does not present a huge challenge to the creation of tasty plant-based soups and stews. Many ethnic cuisines produce classic soups that in their original form are completely vegetarian or vegan. True, almost any soup can benefit from a good stock to boost flavor, but I place fresh and flavorful ingredients and creative seasoning above stock in contributing to the success of a soup. more→

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5 Superfood Berries You Should Know About

Goji berries in meusli

Of all the so-called superfoods — the nutrient-rich foods high in antioxidants that are thought to fight the ills of aging — few receive more accolades than the berry family. From humble blueberries to their exotic cousins from distant climes, berries have muscled out other super fruits to take a firm stand front and center. Sure, orange fruits and dark leafy greens  get their fair shake, but the berries seem to steal the show. more→

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How to Tell If You’re Overcooking Your Vegetables

Vegetable Stir-fry recipe

Disliking vegetables is something you should grow out of as you grow up and learn to appreciate the goodness that comes with your greens. Unfortunately, not everyone has the magic touch in the kitchen — and sometimes it takes a skilled hand to turn raw vegetables into a delicious addition to your meal. In fact, one of the best ways to ruin your appetite for veggies is to overcook them. Even worse, your diet and health will suffer as a result.  more→

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6 Filling and Flavorful Brown Rice Recipes

Rice and noodle pilaf recipe

This Rice and Noodle Pilafmakes for a simple and tasty side dish. Serve with plenty of green veggies, and a salad to which you add chickpeas or other beans, for a simple dinner menu.
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6 Tasty Chickpea Salads

Chickpea and kale sandwich spread

This Chickpea and Kale Sandwich Spread or Salad (shown above; photo by Hannah Kaminisky) makes a great spread for bread, a filling for pita bread or a wrap (along with some tender lettuce and sliced tomatoes), or layered scoop of it on a sturdy flatbread and served open-faced.
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5 Filling Vegan Breakfast Bowls

Quinoa breakfast bowl recipe

Add a bit of sweetening, spice, fresh fruit, and nuts or seeds to this Quinoa Breakfast Bowl (shown above; photo by Hannah Kaminsky) for a nourishing breakfast that will sustain you through the morning. more→

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