Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

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How To Pack Your Vegan Lunch

Written By DC EcoWoman Katharine Eaton

When the air gets cooler and the leaves turn color, we tend to crave heartier meals. Cue the soups and stews! But these can be precarious on your commute and a hot lunch might give you an afternoon slump.

The recipes below are easy to pack, store well in the fridge, and do not need to be reheated. In fact, they’re best served at room temperature. They are also healthy, flavorful, protein-rich and gluten-free.

All portions serve one but you can easily multiply the ingredients for more.

Butternut Squash Hummus

Autumn is gourd season! This recipe calls for butternut, but you can use any other kind of winter squash or pumpkin instead. Note that this single serving- sized portion will not use the whole butternut squash.

1 small butternut squash
½ cup chickpeas, cooked or canned
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup finely chopped mint
Bread or crackers, for serving

Peel the butternut squash, slice it in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes until you have 1 cup of cubes. Save the remaining butternut squash for another recipe – or for more hummus.

Steam the butternut squash cubes until they’re tender. Peel and crush the garlic.

In a food processor or blender, blend the steamed butternut cubes, chickpeas, garlic and olive oil into a smooth consistency.

Season with salt and pepper and fold in the fresh herbs.

At lunchtime, give the hummus a good stir and eat it on your choice of bread or crackers.

Raw Beet Slaw

No roasting or boiling, just the season’s sweetest root vegetable in its purest form. This recipe also makes a great Thanksgiving side dish.

1 medium-sized beet (about 1 cup shredded)
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 tsp stoneground mustard
1 tsp raspberry jam (or any berry jam you have on hand)
Salt and pepper
¼ cup hazelnuts
1 cup mixed salad greens

Peel the beet and shred it with a box grater or a food processor with a grating blade, using the large hole grater. Put the shredded beets in a bowl and fold in the chopped parsley.

Mix the oil, vinegar, mustard and jam into a paste and thoroughly stir it into the beets. The juice from the beets will thin out the dressing; so don’t be tempted to make more. Season the slaw with salt and pepper.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat and dry-roast the hazelnuts, stirring frequently, until they’re fragrant and their skins start to blacken. Remove the nuts from the pan and let them cool. Place the cooled hazelnuts on a clean kitchen towel, roll it up and rub off the skins through the fabric. Pick out the clean hazelnuts and discard the skins. Roughly chop the nuts.

To pack your lunch, pack the hazelnuts, salad greens, and the beet slaw separately. Combine all components right before you eat.

Kale, Potato and White Bean Salad

Ah, le kahl… The summer pests that feast on leaves are gone and kale flourishes once again. Potatoes and white beans add creaminess and celery adds crunch.

2 small red-skinned potatoes (about 1 cup cubed)
2 large kale leaves (about 2 packed cups chopped)
2 tsps olive oil 2 tsps apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
2 tsps stoneground mustard
¼ cup white beans, cooked or canned 1 stalk celery
1 tbsp capers or chopped pickles, optional
Salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes, add them to the water and cook them for about 10 minutes, until they’re tender but still firm. Drain the potatoes (do not run them under cold water or put them in an ice bath).

Remove the kale stems and cut or rip the leaves into 1-inch pieces. Put the kale in a bowl with 1 teaspoon of the vinegar and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Using your hands, knead the kale for at least 1 minute. The vinegar will break down the green and you’ll be left with about 1 cup of kale.

Whisk the remaining olive oil and vinegar with the mustard. Chop the celery stalk into small dice.

Carefully toss all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. The still-warm potatoes will absorb some of the dressing.

Let the salad cool before storing it in the fridge for next day’s lunch.

posted by | on , , , , , , , | Comments Off on VegFest: A DC festival you don’t want to miss

By DC EcoWoman Dawn Bickett

DC Ecowomen take note: Vegfest is just around the corner.

Never been? Then you are in for a treat. Or—if you are me—several. DC Vegfest is an annual festival of all things meat- and dairy-free—great for ecowomen who avoid animal products, or just enjoy good food.

Next Saturday, you can explore vegan vendors, munch on plant-based foods, and be inspired by speakers and cooking demonstrations all day long (or at least 11am-6pm).

And another plus—the festival is near the Navy Yard Metro Station at Yards Park, so no need to increase that carbon footprint with driving.

Here’s what to expect:
Food

Washington, D.C. has great vegetarian options scattered across the city. But at Vegfest, restaurants like Amsterdam Falafelshop, Bread and Brew, Pete’s Apizza, Sticky Fingers, and Mango Grove are lined up to provide everything from samples to full meals. Vegan sweets shops and stands with new vegan food products also dot the festival with freebies to try or to bring home.

Speakers

In between meals, there is plenty of time to hear from an assortment of speakers from the vegan and vegetarian community. The speaker lineup ranges from chefs to news anchors, all connected by their advocacy of the plant-based diet. This year, highlights include vegan ultra marathoner Rich Roll and cooking demos by Cupcake Wars winner Doron Petersan and vegan chef Ayinde Howell.

Good Causes

Many of the exhibitors at Vegfest will be there for educational, rather than epicurean, purposes. Animal welfare organizations, health groups, and even the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility will be in attendance to get new folks engaged and excited about their causes.

If you enjoyed the Green Festival this weekend—or you are sad you missed it—then the DC Vegfest may be right up your ally.

Don’t miss out on this chance to explore vegan, vegetarian, and vegetarian-friendly cuisine and organizations in Washington, D.C., no matter what your eating preferences.

For more information on Vegfest:

posted by | on , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Happy Veggie Holidays: Six vegetarian/vegan recipes for a meat-free celebration

Below is a post by guest blogger Dawn Bickett.  Dawn is our newest blogger and we look forward to reading more from her soon!

The holidays simply do not feel complete without the smells and tastes of traditional meals and sweets. But if you or your friends and family are vegetarian or vegan, the typical holiday spread can be slim pickings at best.

Worried about what to make your vegan friend, or what vegetarian dish you can prepare that your loved ones will enjoy? Here are six quick and easy vegan or vegetarian holiday recipes guaranteed to lower your carbon footprint and satisfy even the most skeptical carnivore.

Breakfast: Pumpkin Waffles
For a cheerful holiday breakfast, try this vegan golden pumpkin waffle recipe from Isa Chandra at the Post Punk Kitchen. Don’t forget to top them with pecan bits and maple syrup for extra flavor.

Drinks: Apple Cider
The classic holiday beverage, eggnog, is not exactly vegan-friendly. However, brewing up some hot cider is a great alternative that has the added benefit of filling the room with the scent of cinnamon and clove.

Tip: You can keep the cider simmering on low heat for hours to enjoy the smell, as long as you add more water or juice as water evaporates. Really want to warm up? Add an ounce of dark rum to each glass just before serving.

Side Dishes: Spicy Chipotle Butternut Squash
If you still have a butternut squash or two left from your fall CSA, consider this simple and spicy roasted squash dish. It can be a side dish for either brunch or dinner.

Main Course: Not Just a Nut Roast
For an exciting alternative to ham or turkey at Christmas, consider one of the many vegetarian main courses from the recipe finer of The Vegetarian Society of the UK. Their nut loaf, a common British replacement for a meat dish, is exceptional.

Dessert: Peppermint Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches
This tasty combo of chocolate and peppermint is perfect to bring to a party, or to keep all to yourself!

Tip: For mini-cookie sandwiches, make the cookies half the size suggested and cut the baking time down to 6 minutes. Also, consider throw a handful of chocolate chips into the cookie batter, if you have them.

Dessert: French Chocolate Bark
Of course, there is always room for more sweets. For another quick vegan or vegetarian treat that doubles as a gift, try this delicious chocolate bark recipe. To make this recipe vegan, substitute semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips for the chocolate the recipe calls for.

Tip: Not a fan of dried fruit and nuts? For a peppermint variation, take out the fruit and nut combination, and add 1 tsp. of peppermint extract. Then crush peppermint candy and sprinkle it across the top before it cools.

Happy holidays from DC Ecowomen!

posted by | on , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on April EcoHour Recap: Sustainable Farms!

By Vesper Hubbard

Devora kimelman-Block, Jess, Tonya Tolchin, Meredith Sheperd_2

In April, DC EcoWomen hosted a panel discussion for EcoHour on local farming. We heard about kosher meat production from Devora Kimelman-Block (KOL Foods), about private DC gardens from Meredith Sheperd (Love and Carrots), and small-scale produce farming from Tanya Tolchin (Jug Bay Market Garden). These women have all made admirable commitments to sustainable practices that promote the health and well-being of their friends, families, and communities.

Devora started off the talk with her story. Over a year ago she found herself trucking cattle to a kosher slaughterhouse in Baltimore in order to get the food she needed prepared according to her family’s diet. As she was taking these time intensive and costly trips she thought about how the task fit into her own spiritual journey and how the process could be made better. Prior to 2007, when she decided to found her own slaughterhouse, people had to choose between kosher and sustainability. What started as a hobby quickly turned busy and she found investors to help her turn the venture into a full time job. She also commented that people before WWII considered meat to be a treat rather than a daily diet staple. Her company encourages meat minimalism.

Tonya grows veggies, flowers and herbs on an organic farm in Prince Georges County in Maryland. As a child she grew up in a town with one of the best agricultural programs in the country but did not find a lot of personal interest in it. Farming was not considered “cool.” Once in college however she became interested in the subject of food shortages and took a course linking farm ownership with poverty issues. She quickly found her way onto a local farm and food bank and started volunteering her time. After college she came to DC to work with Sierra Club. Once married, she found that she and her husband had an enjoyment for farming and decided to start a farm, an idea that seemed absurd at the time. However after some serious business planning their farm was underway. Tonya remarked that the times of have changed and people are beginning to see the value in local farms and personal agriculture again.

Meredith runs Love and Carrots a local company that starts gardens for people in urban areas. It all started when she moved into a house in the DC area with a great yard but the soil was no good. Her closest community garden had a 2 year waiting list to join. After observing the yard space of her neighbors, she decided to start a business creating gardens in these underused green spaces. She deals with people who have been separated from gardening but want to learn. She commented that people have been culturally removed from the action and concept of personal and local agriculture. Now local farming has become a new and large trend.

There were lots of questions from the audience and some of the tips/answers the ladies offered were to really vet farmers. Ask lots of questions to get to know them especially if you are looking for certain qualities in your food, whether it is organic, sustainability or other standards. Tonya offered that her company/farm offers internships to professionals and students who want a chance to “try on” farming. Devora spoke to being a woman in the Kosher food business and said her gender has not been a sticking point. She is the main point person for her organization so most people know her gender immediately. She also offered that people should start cutting down their diet to eating meat twice a week rather than every day. Such is a more sustainable practice.

Farm resources:
Realtimefarms.com – A crowd-sourced nationwide food guide. We enable you to trace your food back to the farm it came from, whether staying in or dining out, so you can find food you feel good about eating.