All Posts In The Veggie Table

The Veggie Table: Homemade Almond Milk

by in The Veggie Table, April 14, 2012
almond milk
Making almond milk from scratch is much easier than you'd think.

The thought of making my own almond milk always seemed so cumbersome and unnecessary to me. But desperate times call for desperate measures: When I realized we forgot to pick up our weekly carton of almond milk at the grocery store, and I needed some milk for my cereal and tea, I decided to take measures into my own hands.

After a quick Google search for instructions, I simply blended a cup of raw almonds with four cups of water in my Vitamix. I didn’t even strain out the pulp – just poured it right over my cereal. I was instantly sold on the ease of preparation. The next time I wanted to make almond milk, I planned ahead by soaking my almonds. Soaking almonds for at least an hour, or overnight if you have time, is beneficial because it makes them softer to blend. Soaking also releases enzymes in the nut that makes them easier to digest and releases healthful nutrients.

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The Veggie Table: Get Your Vegetarian Plate in Shape

by in The Veggie Table, March 28, 2012
vegetables on plate
Is your vegetarian plate a balanced one?

I’ll never forget a client I had who was following a vegan diet but – get this – hated vegetables! Imagine me trying to conceal my shock and concern as she described her “plant-based” diet that was loaded with refined carbs and processed mock meats. We worked together to build her taste and appreciation for dark leafy greens and brightly colored vegetables and ultimately got her plate in shape and her diet more well-rounded.

This year’s National Nutrition Month theme is to Get Your Plate in Shape and I want to stress how important that is for vegetarians and vegans, or those who are focusing on a more plant-based diet, to make sure our plates are well balanced with complex carbs, plenty of protein, and of course, vegetables. All too often have I seen people make the swap from meat-eating to plant-based diets and simply omit the meat without replacing it with plant sources of protein. Not only does that create a void in the diet, but also a void in your stomach, leaving you hungry and unsatisfied.

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The Veggie Table: Meatless Mexican Lasagna

by in Healthy Recipes, The Veggie Table, February 10, 2012
mexican vegetarian lasagna
Mexican lasagna: Meat-free and flavor-packed.

Lasagna is one of those dishes I reserve for the winter months, when I want something warm and comforting. This Mexican Lasagna, which uses tortillas in place of lasagna noodles, has some added heat from the salsa and jalapenos to really warm things up on a cold winter day. If you can’t stand the heat, use a mild salsa and omit the jalapeno.

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The Veggie Table: How to Get More Whole Grains in Your Diet

by in The Veggie Table, January 9, 2012
whole grains
Are you eating enough of these?

We’re teaming up with fellow food bloggers and healthy eating advocates to host a Healthy Every Week Challenge, a month-long initiative to develop healthy eating habits. The plan an is to develop a manageable healthy habit each week that will carry through the new year. Join us here and share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #gethealthy.

If you’re following a vegetarian or vegan diet, chances are a good portion of your plate is already made up of grains. But the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of all the grains you eat are whole grains. What’s so special about whole grains? They’re naturally packed with high amounts of fiber, and micro-nutrients like folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin E. All grains are low in fat and cholesterol free, and they typically have between 5-10 grams of protein per cup, which is great new for those of us following a plant-based diet. All that fiber and protein in whole grains helps to fill us up and keep us satisfied, making them great for weight management. Better yet, they’ve been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

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12 Days of Holiday Gifts: AeroGarden

by in 12 Days of Holiday Gifts, The Veggie Table, December 4, 2011
aero garden
Fresh herbs, even in winter.

Do you have someone one your holiday gift list who loves to cook with fresh herbs? Give the gift of flavor this year – and the magic of a guaranteed green thumb – with the AeroGarden. I received this three years ago as a gift and cannot believe how effortlessly I’m able to grow fresh herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, or even flowers year-round. My AeroGarden sprouts fresh herbs so rapidly, I oftentimes find myself giving sprigs of thyme and dill to neighbors and family members. This, coming from someone who can’t keep a houseplant alive for more than a week (no exaggeration)!

I love having fresh basil, dill, thyme, and sage, growing right in my apartment ready to be plucked and added to recipes for a kick of flavor and a punch of the antioxidants that are packed in fresh herbs.

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Welcoming Vegetarians to Your Thanksgiving Table

by in Thanksgiving, The Veggie Table, November 13, 2011
thanksgiving
Your vegetarian friends won't mind if there's turkey on the table, as long as there's plenty of veg-friendly fare for them to eat.

A 2008 study called Vegetarianism in America, published by Vegetarian Times, showed that 7.3 million people, and growing, follow a vegetarian diet. That means that there’s a good chance a vegetarian may be coming to your Thanksgiving dinner this month. If you’re not a vegetarian, you may be wondering how to accommodate an herbivore while keeping your favorite foods on the table. With a few simple recipe tweaks, you’ll be able to please both the meat and non-meat eaters alike without having to overhaul your entire menu.

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The Veggie Table: Apple Walnut Wheat Berry Salad

by in The Veggie Table, October 7, 2011
wheatberry salad
The ultimate fall salad.

I’m an apple-a-day kind of girl: I just can’t get enough of that sweet, crunchy, sometimes tart snack that comes in a myriad of different varieties. Apples are portable, satisfying, pair wonderfully with peanut butter, and travel well (I always have one in my carry-on). But sometimes I’m looking for another way to enjoy my apples, which brought me to create this sweet, savory, chewy and crunchy wheat berry salad.

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The Veggie Table: Brown-Bag Lunches Go Green

by in The Veggie Table, September 29, 2011
minestrone soup
Soup's for lunch, but what do you pack it in?

Brown Bag ChallengeWe’re teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Join us here and share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #brownbag.

With everyone setting into back-to-school routines, healthy bagged lunches to pack for you and your kids are still front-of-mind. But brown-bagging your lunch is out and green bagging is in! When packing lunch, you’re already benefiting your wallet and waistline by packing nutritious meals and snacks. But the bag, containers, napkins and utensils you use and then toss are wasteful and weigh heavy on the environment. Here are some of my favorite ways to make your brown-bag lunch go green:

Glass containers: These are great for packing leftovers from dinner so you can have a hot and satisfying lunch. Simply reheat your meal in the microwave without worrying about any harmful chemicals from plastic containers leeching into your food.

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The Veggie Table: Dairy-Free Ice Cream

by in The Veggie Table, August 13, 2011
vegan ice cream
Creamy, frosty and dairy-free cookies and cream ice cream.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for…non-dairy ice cream? If you don’t do dairy like me, you may be looking for other cool treats to eat in the dog days of summer. Fortunately, grocery stores now carry a plethora of non-dairy frozen desserts using rice, soy, almond, or coconut milk, and a refreshing fruit sorbet is always dairy free. But ever since I purchased an inexpensive ice cream machine, I’ve been churning my own and the flavor possibilities are endless.

I’ve been starting with a simple vanilla base using light canned coconut milk. It’s rich, creamy, and mild, without that tropical coconut flavor.

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The Veggie Table: 5 Ways to Fit Veggies in your Breakfast

by in Healthy Recipes, The Veggie Table, July 13, 2011
sweet potato hash
The Neely's Sweet Potato Hash = 3 veggies for breakfast: sweet potatoes, peppers and onions.

When it comes to soups, salads, stews, sandwiches, casseroles, pasta and pizza, you can find an abundance of veggies used to add flavor, crunch, and necessary nutrients. But the one place you may not find your fill of vegetables is in breakfast foods. With the average American only getting about two servings of veggies each day, that morning meal is a crucial place to make sure you’re meeting your veggie mark. Here are some mouth-watering ways to get vegetables in your breakfast each day.

Green Smoothie

Green smoothies have risen in popularity ever since celebrity health fanatics like Dr. Oz have started touting their benefits. Aside from their fame appeal, green smoothies really are good! Dark leafy greens, which are high in vitamin A, can easily be blended in fruit smoothies as a way to pack more nutrients in to your breakfast beverage. Your drink will be green but it won’t taste like you’re drinking a salad – I promise! Leafy greens aren’t the only smoothie-worthy veggies; carrots will lend a mild sweet flavor to your smoothie, and so will a scoop of canned pumpkin.

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