Vegan Living

6 Car-Friendly Healthy Vegan Snack Ideas

Dried fruit varieties

Road trips are fun and exciting. They offer the freedom to stop anywhere and take in the beauty of nature, or sample urban culture. They create memories that become part of a family’s shared history. What kind of food to take on the road is an important aspect of planning. You and your family or travel companions may be tempted to stop for fast food, but of course, that’s not the best choice. Light, natural, and preferably vegan snacks can be prepared and carried easily. If you’re health- and budget-conscious, it’s nice to have some of your own food handy in the car, especially on long stretches of highway. For spring break or summer travels, here are 6 vegan snack ideas to keep you and the kids happy and energetic throughout your trip — and not make too much of a mess in the car! more→

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All Living Things: Go Vegan for the Animals

Cute sheep and lamb

Reprinted from The Happy Vegan, by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group USA LLC, A Penguin Random Company, ©2015, Russell Simmons & Chris Morrow: When I was working on my book Do You! back in 2005, several people advised me not to include a section about the abuse of the animals. “It’s going to sound preachy,” they warned. “People hate hearing the ‘animal rights’ rap from a celebrity.” more→

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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 Goes Culinary: Hotspots Across the US

Romantic Young Couple at Restaurant

Being the only vegan in your group of friends can be lonely, not to mention difficult when it comes to dining out. But if you travel to any of these hotspots, you’re sure to feel right at home. From coast to coast, you’ll find an impressive assortment of vegan cuisine options to indulge in. Here are four U.S. cities with more vegan options than you’ll know what to do with.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The city of brotherly love may be best known for its famous cheesesteaks, but the city’s vegan food scene is thriving. From classic cafes like HipCityVeg, to fine-dining experiences like Vedge and even an all-vegan pizzeria, Blackbird Pizzeria, Philadelphia has plenty of cruelty-free food options in every price range, with style and culinary flair to spare.

Make a night of it at bars that specialize in vegan fare, like Bar Bombón and Charlie was a sinner. The majority of the city’s vegan hotspots are concentrated near Rittenhouse Square and City Center, so if you’re planning a move to Philadelphia or just a trip, look for accommodations near this hub.

Phillies fans enjoy the vegan options available at Citizen’s Bank Park, including a wild mushroom and tofu cheesesteak, which earned the ballpark the runner-up spot on PETA’s recent top 10 ballparks list.

Los Angeles, California

Few cities are as health-conscious as the City of Angels, which is why the thriving vegan food scene in LA is no surprise. Whether you’re craving a cupcake (visit Erin McKenna’s bakery), sushi (try Shojin) or some soul food (check out Stuff I Eat), if you crave it, you can likely find it here.

Gracias Madre is a must for those looking for a healthy Mexican food fix, this West Hollywood staple is the place to see and be seen. Café Gratitude is another acclaimed vegan hotspot that’s not to be missed.

Austin, Texas

When most people think Texas, vegan food isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind. But Austin is a city that breaks many molds and PETA recently called it the “food truck capital of the world.” From tacos and BBQ, to soul food and Jewish deli classics, Austin’s thriving food trailers offer something for everyone.

Be sure to check out the Vegan Yacht, an OG in the Austin food trailer scene, which is well-known for classic dishes like the Freeto Burrito and Freeto Pie. It’s housed in a vintage Airstream trailer and run by a husband and wife team. They might inspire you to make your own tex-mex meal at home. Try out these black bean tostadas.

Portland, Oregon

This family-friendly, bike-loving city is often cited as one of the most livable cities in the U.S., and it’s also home to a thriving vegan culinary scene. Portobello Vegan Trattoria is perfect for vegans looking for classic Italian fare with nary an animal product in sight. For a deli lunch, stop by Papa G’s Vegan Organic Deli, a counter-serve cafe with plenty of comfort food.

If you’re looking for a more creative lunch option, check out Canteen, which is famous for bowls like the Portland Bowl, featuring maple tempeh, quinoa, local hazelnuts and kale. For something a little more hearty, Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ has plenty of options with no shortage of flavor and spice.

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I Like Veggie – Vegan, Vegetarian, Raw Tours in Prague

Prague Panorama, Czech Republic

Visitors to Prague who are vegan, vegetarian, or fans of raw food may feel lost among the offerings of traditional Czech cuisine. If you’re looking for healthy, flavorful plant-based dining in Prague, our guides will make sure you find the best! more→

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Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary Moves to High Falls, NY

Goat and sheep barn at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

On Saturday, September 5, 2015, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary celebrated its grand reopening in High Falls New York. And what a festive celebration it was! The sanctuary’s beautiful new facilities on 150 (normally peaceful) acres of pasture land and barns are a bucolic dream. As a longtime fan of the sanctuary and its mission, I am beyond delighted that their new home is just 17 minutes (according to Google Maps!) from my own.  more→

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Travel and Restaurant Survival Tips for Your Plant-Based Diet

Vegan beet burgers

Excerpted from The Plant-Based Journey: A Step-by-Step Guide for Transitioning to a Healthy Lifestyle and Achieving Your Ideal Weight* by Lani Muelrath (BenBella Books © Sept. 2015, reprinted by permission). See the pre-order promotion for this book, and enjoy bonuses! The workplace and travel both bring up the question of restaurant dining. Restaurant menus, it seems, are designed to thwart your best-laid plans for healthy eating. Oil, butter, and cheese are slammed into everything imaginable to increase food seduction, pushing you to keep eating. Is it any wonder Julia Child’s cookbooks are such big sellers? Put gobs of butter in anything and it will taste good. When it comes to restaurant menus, here are a few simple strategies for navigating the options. more→

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Weekday Plant-Based Meal Plan — June 15 – 19, 2015

Triple Jade Stir-Fry with tofu or seitan

As the weather gets warmer and the days longer, meals that get you in and out of the kitchen quickly are the most crave-worthy. Here’s a weekday’s worth of meal ideas.

MONDAY: Triple Jade Stir-Fry (photo at top) is inspired by the dish of the same name served in western Chinese restaurants, is especially good to make when slender green beans are in season, but if you’re pressed for time, organic whole frozen green beans do the trick as well. Serve with a simple slaw or a platter of raw veggies. If you cook some extra rice, Tuesday night’s dinner will be a breeze. more→

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