Happy Diwali and Winner of the Vegan Diwali Sweets Ebook!

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Happy Diwali! ~ which begins this weekend. Diwali is the Festival of Lights and marks the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and the light of inner knowledge over ignorance. It is celebrated with fireworks and lights, and people also clean house and light lamps to invite the presence of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and abundance, into their homes. For many in the Hindu community, it is the New Year, and a perfect time to reevaluate one’s priorities, making changes if needed to be on the right path in life.

And during this week, entries have been coming in to win a copy of Vegan Richa’s Vegan Diwali Sweets ebook! It’s been fun to read everyone’s comments and see all of the entries.

And the winner is ~ Nikki!

Nikki, please check your email for the e-book.

And everyone else can go here to purchase a copy. Remember, Richa’s husband is matching the income from it, and all funds go to help animals in need after the recent cyclone in India, so in addition to all of the wonderful recipes, you’re helping the animals!

What’s your favorite dish to share with vegan newbies? ~ Vegan MOFO 2013

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Last night I had an opportunity to spend the evening at one of my vegan cooking classes, sharing information and delicious food with everyone.

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I’ve taught lots of vegan cooking classes over the past few years, both in person and online, and it’s always so fun to decide what to make with everyone. There is so much amazing vegan food to choose from!

Meals have run the gamut from easy and quick, to more elaborate and fancy. Always seasonal, and always including something a little unusual. Last night’s meal included greens (always), spicy butternut squash soup, and this cake for dessert:

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And we always use lots of colorful veggies…

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Yes, I use my hands a lot when I talk :)

What’s your favorite dish to share with newbies to the vegan diet?

Another B-12 for pill haters ~ Vegan MOFO 2013

So this post isn’t specifically about food, but it is an issue of importance for vegans:  how to get enough Vitamin B-12.  The amount we need isn’t that large, but it’s critical for the functioning of the brain and nervous system, and in the formation of the red blood cells.

B12-toothpasteThere are more widely known and easily accessible sources, but this is just so fascinating to me that I have to share it :)

B-12 is naturally found in animals (because they eat it from the plants and soil, bacteria in their intestines synthesize it), so vegans have to find it in other sources. We can get it from nutritional yeast, soy milk and other fortified products, and supplements – pills or sprays usually.

But now I just heard about this great new thing ~ B-12 toothpaste!  Truly ~

Isn’t that amazing? It’s been developed by The German Vegetarian Society and a company called Sante. Here is the company’s website, and an article about the toothpaste that cites a study showing significant increases in B-12 in a controlled study.

Can any of our European friends reading this comment on it?

Vegan Cooking Class Menu – Vegan MOFO 2013

So this happened tonight:

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I thought I’d break up all the yummy recipes every so often with some other informational tidbit relating to my vegan life. Since I taught a cooking class tonight, I thought I’d share the menu for it. It was a whirlwind of activity, so unfortunately I didn’t get any actual photos from the class, but I think your imaginations will suffice :-) .

Since temperatures here are still getting to nearly 100 every afternoon, I planned a meal for tonight where nothing would be heated. It wasn’t completely raw, as there were some cooked foods involved, but nothing was cooked at the time that we used it tonight.

All of the participants enjoyed:

  • Creamy pea soup with fresh chives: a cashew cream base, blended with sweet peas, seasoned only with salt and pepper, topped with fresh chives.
  • Kale salad with tahini dressing: I spoke about how to massage kale, and that got a lot of interest. Our salad included kale, red onion, carrot, red cabbage, cucumber, and yellow pepper. It was absolutely beautiful, and had a delicious tahini dressing to go with it.
  • Fresh tomato “flowers” stuffed with tempeh salad: no, these weren’t the flowers from the tomato plant, I cut the tomatoes into a flower design (basically I cut them into wedges but didn’t cut all the way through the bottom so they could be opened up like flowers). And in the middle of the flower, I added a couple of scoops of tempeh salad. Of everything served tonight, the tempeh salad was the biggest hit.  Recipe for that coming soon!
  • And dessert was chia rice pudding (based on this one), made with vanilla almond milk, and topped with fresh figs. I just love fresh figs!

The class was really fun, it was a great, interesting group, and I had a wonderful time talking with them. My next class is next week, so I’m looking forward to designing a new menu for the next group!

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All set up and ready to go (notice the Vitamix in the place of honor in the corner) ….

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