Vegan Shopping List 101

October 4, 2011



New to veganism? Make sure you don't burn out on sugar, carbs, and soy by using this basic shopping list as a guide at the grocery store. Starred items should be staples:

GREENS:
Greens need to be a significantportion of your diet for fiber, iron, calcium, detox, and alkalinity. Start with these, and try eating 2 salads a day:
-kale (especially dino and curly)
-romaine (counts as a deep green!)
-parsley or cilantro
-green onions

OILS & GOOD FATS:
You NEED good fats. They carry 9 cal/g while proteins and carbs have 4. This means sustained energy, plus hormone support, and essential nutrients.
-organic, cold-pressed olive oil
-organic, cold-pressed flax/hemp oil
-raw nuts & seeds (almonds, cashews, sunflower, pumpkin)
-avocado (eat as many as you want a day)

FRUITS:
Sweet, non-sweet, and fatty fruits—with seeds is best. Seedless = hybridized.
-olives (sundried best, not in a can)
-cacao (raw chocolate: look for powder, nibs, or whole beans)
-tomatoes -cucumber -all berries (don't forget dried goji berries)
apples -oranges, grapefruit (and eat your citrus seeds, too!)
-figs
-melons

PROTEINS:
-quinoa
-hemp (seeds, powder; contains essential fatty acids; sprinkle on salads or blend in smoothies)
-hummus (so many kinds! Become a connoiseur)
-raw almond butter-*raw nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, pumpkin, sunflower)
-nori sheets

CARBS (when buying carbs, look for sprouted grain breads or tortillas, sometimes in the cold section):
-Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas (best toasty...we spin/flip ours over our stove's open flame, ready in seconds to be filled with hummus, greens, olive oil, and sea salt)
-Ezekiel sprouted grain bread (so many kinds)
-rice (brown is more nutritious, but also more glutenous than basmati white)

FERMENTED FOODS:
You may as well start now! These are essential for building good bacteria in the gut, especially B12. Find these in the cold section:
-raw sauerkraut (throw in a nori wrap with avocado, Vegenaise, greens, and salt!)
-raw kimchi
-Bio-K non-dairy "yogurt" (expensive, but do it once in a while)
-kombucha drinks
-coconut kefir (all you need is a TBS/day)

SWEETS & SWEETENERS:
-agave
-dates
-dark chocolate bars

CONDIMENTS:
-Nutritional yeast (great for B12. Use like you would parmesan, or in salads and soups for that extra hearty flavor. We put this on everything)
-Braggs Aminos (every health food store has it. Savory salty flavor; easiest salad dressing: olive oil, Braggs, nutritional yeast)
-Himalayan sea salt (very important investment. See why)
-Vegenaise (dressing/spread)
-Tofutti (non-hydrogenated vegan cream cheese; original flavor is our fave)
-Daiya cheese (best tasting, and NO dairy/soy! Made from cassava root...and it melts!)




BEVERAGES:
-rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk
-tea
-kombucha
-coconut water

SUPPLEMENTALS:
Start with at least one of the following:
-spirulina powder (we like Pure Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica in salads and smoothies)
-chlorella tablets (if our 6 y.o. likes to chew these for fun, you can certainly handle it, or put them in a smoothie)

SAMPLE DAY
•Morning smoothie:
-water/tea base
-pick a protein: scoop of almond butter/almonds/cashews/hemp
-big spoonful cacao powder
-pick a green(s): spirulina/chlorella/mint/parsley
-sweetener: agave or dates -ice...and BLEND!

•Lunch:
-toasted Ezekiel tortilla with hummus, greens, and sprinkled with olive oil, nutritional yeast, spirulina, and sea salt
-kale salad (recipe here) topped with tomato and cucumber

•Snacks:
-Apples and almond butter
-Avocado and sea salt
-Goji/cashew/cacao bean trail mix
-Cucumber and sea salt

•Dinner:
-Quinoa with chopped parsley/green onions, olive oil, braggs, garlic
-Romaine salad with a dollop of dijon, olive oil, sea salt, and agave

Raw Vegan Probiotic Nut Cheese

September 26, 2011


Raw vegan almond cheese topped with dried oregano & pepper flakes

This is way easier than I thought. Don't worry about exact measurements, just experiment with the following basic idea:
Soak cashews or almonds, blend with probiotic, let sit.

Here's what I did:
1. Soak raw cashews in water for at least 2 hours. The longer you soak, the softer they become, the better they blend. If you use almonds instead, soak overnight and then pinch each one to peel off the skins.

2. Drain the nuts and blend with sea salt and a few squeezes of lemon juice to taste. Add just enough water— a tiny bit at a time—to make it blend. Optional: add nutritional yeast, garlic, herbs, etc, to taste.

3. Add a probiotic element. This could be a spoonful of organic miso paste, a TBS of coconut kefir, or the powder inside a probiotic capsule. Blend gentlyfor a couple of seconds (it's best not to "chop up" the microscopic culture strains).

Step 4 with our little rock weight.

Some people skip the next cheese-cloth step and just put the mixture into a boiled-clean glass jar. But we did this:

4. Hang a double-bagged cheese-cloth inside a jar and pour in the mixture. Fold in the inside bag and lay a small weight on top to press out any liquid, we used a little rock!


Step 5

5. Cover the jar with a cap or plate and place it in a room-temperature spot for 24-48 hours. We actually put our jar in the dehydrator set on 100 degrees (low) to speed up the process overnight.

In the end, you can use the liquid collected at the bottom of the jar as the probiotic element in the next batch. You'll know it's done because it will smell "cheesy." The longer you leave it, the more sour (fermented) the cheese will be. Pack the drained mixture into a glass container, let cool in the fridge, and enjoy! Optional: top with dried oregano and pepper flakes.

I Only Eat Grassfed Bison

September 12, 2011

Years of study has led us to the following rule: Whether it’s a feather hair extension or grass-fed bison you’re buying, whenever and wherever animals are exchanged for money, you can bet it’s dirty business. Switching from factory-farmed meat to grass-fed bison, for example, doesn’t eliminate environmental degradation, water and energy waste, water-deprived truck rides to the butcher, slaughter, or lowlife politics. Switching meats often just changes the set of problems.



For example: 
•Many bison ranches are adjacent to natural parks where wild bison and wild elk roam. When wild animals carrying brucellosis (an infectious bacteria transmittable to humans and other animals) cross park boundaries during their winter migratory routes, they can infect ranched herds—the common consequences being that the rancher must kill his entire stable. So in the interest of cattle farmers, the state of Montana, under, for example, the Interagency Bison Management Plan, drives back its wild bison herds using helicopters, hazing, slaughter, and penning. In 2004 at Yellowstone National Park, 264 wild bison were rounded up and slaughtered in order to protect 180 cows grazing on land nearby. Another 198 were rather corralled until the following season, but for lack of space in the pen, 57 were killed without even testing for brucellosis. In 2008, 1,616 bison were driven from park borders and slaughtered.

•North America used to be home to 50 million bison. Now, the last free-roaming, genetically pure herd—descendents of 23 wild bison that survived mass slaughter— exist in Yellowstone National Park, numbering 3,000. Wildlife advocates have been working to restore Yellowstone’s bison populations for relocation onto protected areas nationwide, but ranch lobbyists around the country stand in the way. Because of ranchers’ fear of brucellosis spreading to their cattle, wild bison may never be allowed to repopulate public land again, especially because the competition against livestock owners for cheap grazing land is fierce.

•Even if your grass-fed bison is “organic” today, it still may have been genetically modified and bred in the past. Being that the only pure herd exists in Montana, the many ranched bison across America are not as natural as a consumer might hope, but rather mixed with cattle genes.

So think about it: Are organic grassfed bison farmers the people you want to be giving your money to? What side of politics do you want to be on?



  

Sources: LA Times1, LA Times2, and Save the Buffalo Campaign.
Photos from: Photos from www.buffalofieldcampaign.org

 

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