Natural Foods Guides

Common Culinary Herbs and Spices

Spice jars with various spices

As the popularity of healthy, ethnic cooking home grows, our spice rack should expand to accommodate the seasonings give vegan dishes their unique characters. Volumes can be written on the healing aspect of herbs (in fact see our review of the terrific book, Healing Spices), the focus here is culinary. This section will give a brief overview of those seasonings most commonly used to flavor global whole food recipes. more→

Ginger: Fresh and Flavorful

Ginger - fresh and powdered

In recent years, this knobby root has made its way from being a specialty item in Oriental groceries to becoming a fixture in supermarkets and produce stands. Its fresh, biting, and slightly sweet flavor and aroma are essential to many Asian cuisines, and it is one of the most characteristic flavorings in Indian cookery. In its powdered-spice form it is useful for baking, but aficionados agree that dried ginger should not be used when fresh is called for. more→

Carob: Not Quite Chocolate, But Still Good!

This naturally sweet powder is ground from the pods of the evergreen carob tree. In the past, carob was once known as locust bean or Saint-John’s-Bread. Saint John the Baptist is said to have survived in the wilderness by eating carob pods and wild honey. Carob is most commonly used as a substitute for cocoa due to the similarity of color, texture, and cooking properties. Does it really taste like chocolate? Opinions vary, but it’s hard to deny that it is at least similar. more→

How to Buy and Use Wasabi

Wasabi

Wasabi is sometimes known as Japanese horseradish, an apt description, since its flavor is so reminiscent of the horseradish we know. The word wasabi is translated from the Japanese as “mountain hollyhock,” and it is from the ground, dried root of this plant that the hot spice is derived. Its fresh, pungent taste has made it a traditional condiment to serve alongside sushi and other Japanese dishes. more→

Seitan Recipes and Tips

Roasted Seitan with Peppers and Mushrooms

If you’re looking for seitan recipes, you’ve come to the right place! This high-protein meat substitute made of wheat gluten is quite versatile. A traditional Asian food, you may have encountered seitan in dishes like “Buddhist’s Delight” in Chinese restaurants. Dense, chewy seitan is pure gluten, so clearly, it’s not for anyone with gluten sensitivity.  more→

Baking with Whole Grain Flours

Whole Grain flour

Few sensory experiences offer more pleasure than the wonderful flavors and aromas of homemade baked goods. Or better yet, the hearty, nutty-flavored whole grain baked goods.  Whole wheat flour is just one of several players in this healthful field that includes barley, oat, rye, and spelt flour, among others. Even if you don’t have the time to make your own yeasted bread, quick baked goods can be equally rewarding. more→

Go Nuts for Goodness Sake!

Almonds on table

How often I’ve heard friends respond to my offer of nuts by saying, “Oh, no thank you, they’re too fattening.” In other instances, people who simply cannot stop eating them tell me, “I know nuts are bad for me, but I just love ‘em.” Many people are convinced that nuts are unhealthful because they are high in fat. What they fail to realize is the fats contained in nuts are actually beneficial. more→

Cooking with Whole Grains

Whole Farro in a scoop

When you need a grain to cushion stews and stir-fries, to stuff into vegetables, or to power pilafs, chances are you reach for rice. And while there’s nothing wrong with rice—particularly if you’ve made the switch to brown—exploring a variety of whole grains can expand your culinary horizons and add even greater nourishment to your meals. more→

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→

Versatile, Easy Tofu Recipes

Easy Curried Sweet Potatoes and Tofu

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→

Creative Cooking with Sea Vegetables

Wakame Salad

I remember my first taste of sushi in Boulder, Colorado, summer of 1978. From that day on, I have enjoyed cooking with sea vegetables. 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→

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→

VegKitchen  

Vegan Dinner Recipes   Vegan Recipes   Recipes Galore   Vegan Living   Nutrition   Vegan Summer Recipes