All Posts By Janel Ovrut Funk

The Veggie Table: Vegan Wedding

by in The Veggie Table, June 22, 2011
Janel's Wedding Cake Topper
Janel's cake topper: Veggies for her, sports for him!

With just a few days to go before my wedding, I’m not surprised I woke up in a cold sweat after a wedding-related nightmare. The stress of the big day is manifesting in my dreams resulting in a slightly harried bride who isn’t getting enough shut-eye. Fortunately, the one thing I’m not losing sleep over when it comes to this wedding is the food. They’ll be something for everyone: vegans (like me) and the ominvores in the crowd. Here’s how I weighed the options for my big day.

Read Janel’s story, then share yours »

The Veggie Table: Asparagus and Currant Wheat Berry Salad

by in The Veggie Table, May 14, 2011
Asparagus and Wheat Berry Salad
Janel's Wheat Berry, Currant and Asparagus Salad

It’s finally safe to say — without fear of jinxing myself — that warmer weather has arrived! Spring is finally here, and for me, that means more BBQs, picnic lunches, and potluck gatherings. I love the opportunity to share great recipes with others, and attending get-togethers where I’m invited to bring a dish means I know there will always be a meat-free option on the menu. One of my favorite things to bring is a grain-based salad, since it’s hefty enough for me to enjoy as the main part of my meal, while others may like it as a side dish to accompany their meat entrée. Most grain-based salads can be enjoyed hot or cold, which is refreshing in warmer temps. It also means I can prepare the salad the night before, let the flavors marinate, and then just grab and go when it’s time to meet up with friends and family for a warm-weathered occasion.

I recently made this Asparagus and Currant Wheat Berry Salad for dinner. Asparagus is synonymous with spring and the simple oil-and-vinegar dressing means you can whip this up with ingredients you already have on hand. Don’t have wheat berries? Try brown rice or quinoa. You could also replace the currants with raisins, and the almonds with walnuts. There are plenty of possibilities, so you’ll never get bored bringing this dish to all of your spring and summer events.

Get the recipe: Janel’s Asparagus and Currant Wheat Berry Salad »

The Veggie Table: Easy Egg Substitutes

by in The Veggie Table, April 17, 2011

dozen eggs

With eggs being a major symbol for this month’s holidays, Easter and Passover, it’s a perfect opportunity to share tips on easy egg substitutes. Fortunately, if you’ve omitted eggs from your repertoire because of a food allergy, health or ethical reasons, there are plenty of versatile egg-substitutes that mimic almost any egg you’d use in cooking. Read on for my favorite egg substitutes.

Read more

The Veggie Table: 5 Ways to Get Your Greens

by in The Veggie Table, March 12, 2011
Aarti Sequiera's Massaged Kale Salad
Aarti Sequiera's Massaged Kale Salad

It is easy being green when you get to enjoy versatile dark leafy green veggies like kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, spinach and arugula. Though spinach seems to be the standard leafy green in most people’s recipe repertoire, there are many others that lend their different flavors and textures to a variety of recipes.

Once I discovered kale and collard greens, I was a converted leafy green lover and now rarely ever use cooked spinach in a dish. There’s something about a lump of overly-wilted spinach greens that doesn’t appeal to me. So I enjoy my spinach fresh in a salad, and when it comes to sauteing or cooking greens, I look to spinach’s sturdier cousins: kale, collards, and chard.

Here are some of my favorite recipes using leafy greens, just in time for your St. Patrick’s Day feast.

5 ways to get your greens »

The Veggie Table: Vegan Snack Bar Review

by in The Veggie Table, Vegan, February 19, 2011
Vegan Snack Bars - Which is Best?

Have you seen the boom in bars at the grocery store the past few years? What was once a tiny section of the grocery store has blossomed into a near-full aisle of granola bars, snack bars, power bars, breakfast bars and energy bars, and some are more nutritious than others.

I love snack bars and always have one handy in my gym bag, purse, or work bag for a satisfying snack when I’m on the go. But not all snack bars are vegan, so I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites that are free of any eggs, dairy, and even honey. Because a snack is meant to tide you over between meals, I’ve focused only on my favorites that have fewer than 200 calories per bar.

See Janel’s snack bar picks »

The Veggie Table: Five Tools to Go Meat-Free, Easily

by in The Veggie Table, January 8, 2011
Chickpea
Nix the meat for alternate protein sources, like this chickpea salad.

Following a plant-based diet has a whole host of health benefits, even if you go meat-free just a few meals or days each week. Besides enjoying the delicious variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, you gain the health benefits of a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and health-boosting antioxidants. And to top it off, reducing the amount of meat you eat has environmental benefits, too. By rethinking the way you eat, you can do your body and the earth a huge favor.

Here are five tools to help you go meat-free, easily.

See all 5 tools »

12 Days of Healthy Holiday Gifts: Homemade Spice Blend

by in 12 Days of Holiday Gifts, Healthy Holidays, December 2, 2010

Janel's Cinnamon-Chipotle Spice Blend

We’re serving up fresh healthy gift ideas every day from now until December 12. Catch up on the previous gifts here.

Big things can come in small packages, especially when it’s big flavor in a small container. Making your own spice blend is a great DIY holiday gift for foodies in your life who are looking to shake up their cuisine. With some baby food jars and festive ribbon, you can easily craft up homemade spice blend gifts for friends and family.

This cinnamon-chipotle blend is my favorite one to make in the winter. The fiery chipotle spice heats things up, while the cinnamon adds a sweet contrast to the smoky flavor. It reminds me of curling up by the fire with some Mexican Hot Chocolate!

Get this easy, versatile spice rub recipe »

The Veggie Table: Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo

by in Healthy Recipes, The Veggie Table, Vegan, November 29, 2010
Janel's Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo

Canned pumpkin: It’s not just for pumpkin pie!  It is rich in fiber, vitamin A, and blends great into muffin mixes, soup and numerous other pumpkin possibilities. Use up leftover Thanksgiving pumpkin puree for a big batch of  light, comforting vegan pumpkin alfredo. The sauce is so rich and creamy, you’ll wonder how there isn’t a dollop of dairy in sight.

Get the recipe »

The Veggie Table: My Favorite Non-Dairy Alternatives

by in The Veggie Table, October 20, 2010

soy products

When I first found out I was lactose intolerant, my mom and I had to drive 30 miles away to a health food store just to pick up a carton of soy milk. Now, nearly 20 years later, almost every supermarket offers a plethora of dairy alternatives. With a rise in dairy allergies, intolerances and personal choice to avoid dairy products, non-dairy alternatives are becoming more of the norm.  Here are a few of my favorites, and the best ways to use them.

See Janel’s non-dairy pics »

The Veggie Table: Apple Cobbler Oatmeal

by in The Veggie Table, September 18, 2010
Janel's Apple Cobbler Oatmeal
Janel's Apple Cobbler Oatmeal

September seems to be synonymous with apples. Maybe it’s because apple picking is a favorite fall activity, or back-to-school images of apples start popping up everywhere. Whatever it is, I welcome fall and its bounty of apples with open arms (and apple-picking baskets)! Apples make a nutritious and filling snack to crunch on, with their high water and fiber content. The sweet, juicy apple is also a good source of vitamin C, potassium and folic acid. Maybe it’s true what they say about eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away!

I love snacking on crisp Cortland apples sprinkled with cinnamon or dipping McIntosh apples into creamy peanut butter. And fall is my favorite time to bake a warm apple cobbler or cinnamon-spiced apple cake. But apples are for more than just snacks and sweets. They can be included in an array of exotic side, soup, breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes.

If a recent apple-picking trip left you looking for ways to eat up your abundance of apples, look no further than the first meal of the day. Apple Cobbler Oatmeal is my favorite fall morning meal.  It’s hearty oats and sweet, nutty crunch make me feel like I’m eating dessert for breakfast!

Get Janel’s Apple Cobbler Oatmeal recipe »