April 2011 newsletter
VegKitchen monthly newsletter – - April 2011
A monthly newsletter featuring easy recipes, healthy food tips, reviews, and more
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- What’s new on VegKitchen
- Literary Ladies launches!
- VegKitchen’s new Green Smoothies section
- Vegan Passover Seder menus
- Book Review: The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood
What’s new on VegKitchen
Lots of new recipes and tips to share with you! Here are some recent postings:
A trio of nutty recipes from Zel Allen’s The Nut Gourmet:
Vegkitchen has launched a new category for fruit smoothies with a trio or recipes by raw expert Gena Hamshaw of Choosing Raw: Very Berry Protein Smoothie, Pretty in Pink Smoothie, and Power Smoothie. See all three by clicking on Fruit Smoothies Every Day.
Lots of people ask how vegans can get adequate B-12 in their diets, and I can’t think of a better person to answer that question than Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, nutrition advisor to the Vegetarian Resource Group, who addresses all the pertinent information about this vital nutrient here.
Some of my new postings:
- Tabbouli-Style Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
- Cream of Asparagus Soup
- Roasted Eggplant Salad with Artichoke Hearts
- Sautéed Broccoli Rabe
- Vegetable Lo Mein
Literary Ladies Launches!
The Literary Ladies’s Guide to the Writing Life has published, and now the work of getting the word out begins! Here’s what happened this past month. But before I get to that please indulge me as I do a “commercial” for this book, since I worked so hard on it. It’s a great gift for any writer in your life, no matter where they are on the journey. It’s a perfect gift for writing moms for Mother’s Day, and for college graduates with a bent toward writing. It’s available on Amazon.com at the crazy-low price of just over $14 (buy two and get free shipping!)—a bargain for a full-color, hardcover book of nearly 200 pages. More info on Literary Ladies’ Amazon.com page.
If any of you already have it and have read it, I would so appreciate a review on its Amazon.com page, as those are so helpful. Thank you so much in advance!
Read my interview on Ellen Kanner’s Meatless Monday column in the Huffington Post—sorry about the swearing!
Here’s my widely shared post on SheWrites, Twelve Great Literary Ladies, Twelve Valuable Lessons for the Writing Life.
Listen to my 15-minute interview on the BlogTalk radio show Feisty Side of Fifty with Mary Eileen Williams.
One of the things that has kept me busy is a tour of the writerly blogosphere under the auspices of WOW-Women on Writing, which launched with this interview on The Muffin, their daily newsletter. This lists the various stops along the way, which consisted of guest posts and interviews.
In anticipation of the wide release of the new Jane Eyre film, my interview with Charlotte Brontë, Based Upon the Book, is running on Huffington Post. Her “answers” to my questions are taken verbatim from her first-person writings.
VegKitchen’s new Green Smoothies section
I’m a great fan of green smoothies, and I’ve been wanting to start a section on VegKitchen for a while. Like other food trends, green smoothies seem to be “the flavor of the moment,” but I think this is a trend that’s going to last—green smoothies are as nutritious as they are tasty. To incorporate kale and collards into them, a high-speed blender is needed, but spinach can be integrated smoothly into beverages made in regular blenders. I never thought I’d see the day when collard greens became a smoothie ingredient, but this one, in which collards are combined with berries, is incredible.
BURGUNDY BERRY BLISS SMOOTHIE
Combining blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, and greens results in a burgundy beverage that’s as tasty is it is pretty. If you’re not using anything frozen in this, you may want to serve over a couple of ice cubes.
Makes two 12-ounce servings
- 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 cup raspberries or strawberries
(fresh or frozen)
- 1 small banana, or 1/2 large banana (pre-frozen if desired)
- 1 large collard green leaf (highly recommended!), or two kale leaves
- 1 cup berry juice, such as pomegranate
- 1 cup vanilla non-dairy milk
Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Process until completely smooth. Serve at once. If you serve over ice, you can stretch this to three 8-ounce servings.
For more green smoothies, go to VegKitchen’s new Green Smoothies section.
VegKitchen’s Vegan Passover Seder menus
VegKitchen presents a handy compilation of two vegan Passover menus, one in the Ashkenazi style and the other in the Sephardic style. I’m particularly pleased to feature vegan matzo balls that are practically foolproof and aren’t made with silken tofu like so many of the other vegan matzo ball recipes floating (or maybe sinking?) out there on the web (Ashkenazi tradition precludes eating legumes, including products made from soybeans during Passover week, if you prefer to stick with the rules!).
Explore VegKitchen’s Passover Seder recipes, and enjoy the holiday!
I should add that I’m working on a vegan Easter menu, but haven’t gotten to it yet, so please check back in a week or so.
Book review: The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood
With a title like The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, you wouldn’t think that this kind of tome would make good bedside reading. But it does. If you’re a health geek like me, you’ll have a lot of fun perusing this book, whether in the kitchen or in bed. Rebecca Wood has assembled an A to Z guide to natural foods that is filled with useful and fascinating information on fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, soyfoods, herbs, spices, fats, seaweed—in short, everything likely to be found in a natural foods enthusiast’s pantry or fridge.
Rebecca Wood is a leading natural foods expert whose other books include The Splendid Grain. She has contributed a pair of valuable articles to VegKitchen: Fermented Foods Strengthen the Immune System (and its companion piece, Ruby Sauerkraut with Caraway) and Healthy Cookware.
Basic information heading included is Medicinal Benefits, Use, and Storage. Each entry is packed with information, yet is written accessibly and there is often something surprising to be learned. For example, Wood is not a huge fan of soy foods but explains why in a way that is devoid of the overblown hysteria you find in some media. She does find favor in fermented soy foods like tempeh and miso, and her reasoned explanations convinced me to use tempeh more often and not always reach for tofu.
Though this is not a cookbook, there are a few dozen recipes for basic uses for natural foods that you may not in fact find in most cookbooks, including how to make nut and seed milks, vegetarian gelatin, nut butters. But sometimes you’ll run across something fun and lovely like Lavender Pound Cake or Rhubarb Spring Tea.
Though anything you’d like to find out about is easy to access due to the alphabetical arrangement of the book, the index alone is worth the price of admission. Here you’ll not only find the entries themselves, but if you want to find a food or herb that has particular healing property, look for that property or ailment in the index an it will lead you back to appropriate entries. For example, you can look up foods for improvement under Brain Foods, Sedatives, Stimulants, etc.; particular vitamins and minerals; there are index entries for Pain and Congestion; if you need support for a particular body part you can look up Eyes, Liver, Lungs, etc.
If you want to learn about more arcane ingredients like mesquite, lychee, or psyllium, or just want to make better use of more common items like pumpkin seeds, garlic, and bananas, there isn’t a better book with which to do so. Learn more about Rebecca Wood on her web site and about The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia on its Amazon.com page.
One final note, I’ve merged the monthly newsletter and Recipe of the Week lists, because I don’t plan on sending the former as regularly as I used to. If you don’t want to continue receiving this mailing, feel free to unsubscribe, but be aware that by doing so, you’re unsubscribing to both newsletters.
Spring has barely begun here in the northeast, but it does eventually return, so happy spring, and enjoy the spring holidays.