My Plantcentric Journey

Posts tagged ‘vegan’

It’s Never Too Hot for Chili! Meaty Beany Chili and Red Lentil Thai Chili recipes from Isa Does It


I know we’re in the middle of a heat wave, but sometimes all you have in the house are beans and cans of tomatoes and a bunch of spices.  That’s what happened to me, so last night I went to my trusty Isa Does It cookbook by Isa Moskowitz and found a recipe I hadn’t tried yet.  I had enough of the ingredients to make my own version.  Here is Isa making it:

As you know, I believe in using what you have.  I used leftover lentils I had in the fridge, I cooked up some dried Adzuki beans, and since I didn’t have any fresh jalapenos, I used a can of Rotel tomatoes with chilis.  Of course, I didn’t use the oil.  Instead, I just swapped it out with vegetable broth. My husband couldn’t stop eating this. He says it’s the blending of the savory flavors that make it the best chili he has ever tasted!



Today, since I still haven’t gone grocery shopping, I made Red Lentil Thai Chili from Isa Does it.  I had made it before and knew it was fantastic, because I always date the page in the cookbook when I make it and write a few notes about what swaps I did and how we liked it.  (Don’t want to remake any duds!)

Isa’s recipe is here: .  I, of course, changed it.  As always, I didn’t use the oil. Instead I used vegetable broth. I didn’t have red lentils, but I did have leftover green lentils. (How much do the colors really matter anyway?)  I also was out of onions, red bell pepper, and cilantro, so I just omitted them. Instead of kidney beans, I cooked up some Adzuki beans. As a swap for lite coconut milk, I just used unsweetened soy milk with coconut extract mixed in it.  Delicious!

UPDATE:  Now, my husband says THIS recipe is his favorite!  When I pressed him, he admitted that between the two, his favorite is the one that is in front of him at the time!

Thyme for Tempeh! The Best (and Easiest) Tempeh Recipe I’ve Made– Try It!



Hi Loyal Plantcentric Follower,

I’m back! Sorry for not posting for so long, but as you know, I’ve been on a scholarly sabbatical. I’ve gone back to school, full-time, to finish up my undergraduate degree, majoring in Communication Studies with a concentration in Health Communication. Fitting, right? Going back to college has been one of the best things that has happened to me. I’m seriously having the time of my life.

During the school year, I’m fortunate to have a wonderful husband who handles dinner for us. Now that I’m off for the summer, I have the time to get back to cooking.

So what made me so excited, that I just had to share with you? Simply the best tempeh recipe ever! It’s from the cookbook “Isa Does It” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. She writes the blog, Post Punk Kitchen, Tempeh is a fermented soy food, and when made with organic or non-GMO soy, it is very healthy for you.

This tempeh turned out so good, that it’s hard to only have one serving. The marinade infused the flavor completely into the tempeh. It will be wonderful in sandwiches. I also believe that omnivores would love it. It is also super quick and easy.

As you know, I am a big believer in using what you have on-hand. The ingredients are below, with my substitutions in parentheses.

8 oz tempeh

For the marinade:
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari) (I used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)
4 cloves garlic, smashed (I used chopped garlic from a jar.  I never measure garlic.  I usually triple the amount)
1/2 cup veggie broth
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or 1 tablespoon regular balsamic)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I used reconstituted)
1/4 cup fresh thyme, leaves whole, soft stems roughly chopped (I used dried)
2 tablespoons olive oil (I omitted)

This made a lot of marinade.  Since there was never any raw meat soaking in it, the marinade can be used again.  You can dip your tempeh in it, au jus style, or use it for salad dressing.

Get the recipe here:  Isa Does It Garlicky Thyme Tempeh

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


Happy Herbivore Light & Lean

I’ve been contacted by Lindsay S Nixon, author of the wonderful Happy Hervivore cookbooks, and she wants to give a special holiday gift to one loyal reader of!  One of you will have your very own copy of her brand new book sent right to you (as long as you’re in the USA or Canada)!

Happy Herbivore books have super fast and easy recipes that use whole foods, are plant-based and use no oil.  Some recipes that are in the book are:  Citrus Couscous, Soba Peanut Noodles, Caribbean Chili and more.  And in Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, Lindsay also shares workout plans.  Every plant-based kitchen needs Happy Herbivore books.  I make her recipes all the time, and they’re family faves.

Happy Herbivore Thai crunch saladThai Crunch Salad

Just write a comment under this post and let me know why you are plant-based.  I’ll pick a winner!

Beyonce Dropped 60 Pounds Of Baby Weight By Eating One Vegan Meal A Day

Beyonce lost her baby-weight by eating one vegan meal a day and working out. Just think how much healthier she would be if she ate whole food plant-based 24/7! To read the article, go here:

Direct Evidence that Vegans have Lower Cancer Rates

This should be shouted from the rooftops, but we know the mainstream media won’t.  Share this post to educate and save lives.  Laura

 It was the only diet category to have a statistically significant lower risk of cancer (.83, .71-.97). There were 4,922 vegans in the study.


Read all about it here:

The Sex Secret Vegans Know via Fox News

By Madeline Haller

Published November 20, 2012

Men’s Health

beauty diet

Want to boost your sexual stamina? Just cut out meat, fish, and dairy from your diet.

As you probably know, junky diets typically lead to heart disease. And men often fail to remember that heart disease doesn’t just affect your ticker—it impacts the blood flow to other areas of the body too, says Lindsay Rajt, Associate Director of Campaigns for PETA. But if you’re eating the right foods, you can avoid that plaque from building up in your arteries, Rajt says.

Read more:


VeganTweeter: Did you know that the word “vegan” is magical? Simply mention it to a random person, and…POOF!…they become a nutrition expert! Amazing!

Compassionate Cooks / Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Author and Vegan Chef: For anyone who’s ever said “What do vegans eat for Thanksgiving???”

“Want to Share This Kale Slaw With Me?” – Eight Ways to Make New [Vegan] Friends

“Want to Share This Kale Slaw With Me?” – Eight Ways to Make New [Vegan] Friends

Making new friends can be intimidating. It can be especially daunting if you are somewhat of an introvert, and have just moved to an area where you don’t really know anyone.  Having just relocated across the country myself (and having moved around a lot as a child), I can relate.  Work and school can offer built-in—albeit not always ideal—social environments to fall back on, but to really reach out to like-minded, interesting people, one often has to actually put in some effort.  And what about making new vegan friends?

If the thought of seeking out any new friend is nerve-racking in and of itself, especially if you happen to be the new kid on the block, how might you ever go about figuring out where those cool kids hang out?  Not to fear!  First, take a deep breath.  Then, read the post below for eight ways to get involved in your home base, broaden your network, and meet plant-based buds, whether or not you’re new to town.

1.    Find out if your town or nearby cities have a vegetarian/vegan club or society, and sign up for its newsletter

Some veggie clubs are quite formal, with frequent meetings and planned events, and others less so.  Still, almost all of these clubs and societies host or post events of interest to vegans, so getting on the mailing list is a good way to get tuned in to your area’s vegetarian and vegan community.  I’ve found out about many neat talks, dinners, and festivals this way!  You can also drop by meetings and introduce yourself, offer to volunteer at an upcoming event, or even apply to be an officer.  Vegan friends, here you come!

2.    Search for meet-ups (vegan and non-vegan!)

I’ve found that is a great way to find groups and clubs in your area, and by selecting from a list of interests, you can get notified about related groups as they are created.  There are groups for people who love to run, knit, hike, play board games, code, read…and yes, live a vegan lifestyle!  Focus on those that sound genuinely interesting to you and whose events you can actually see yourself going to, as these groups are more likely to have members that you will click with.  Many groups make their events public so that outsiders can get a better sense of what they’re about.  If you are specifically trying to find vegan-ish groups, search for broader phrases and words such as “healthy eating,” “ethical,” “veg*an,” “plant strong,” etc. to expand your results.  And don’t forget that vegan groups aren’t the only places to let your veggie colors fly.  For example, you could nominate The China Study for your non-fiction book club’s next selection, or offer to host a vegan cooking class for your Foodies meet-up group…your new peers might really enjoy it!

3.    Start your own group

If you have a great idea for a group and are dedicated enough to see it through, go for it!  You can start from scratch, or look into creating a local chapter of an existing group or organization.  One of my good friends in Boston was frustrated that many of her peers were oblivious to veganism’s ties to other social causes, and created an online group called “Peaceful Choices” to, amongst other things, “encourage the spread of knowledge and connections between speciesism and prejudice, unfair treatment, and torture of human beings.”  Little did she realize that quite a few people in the area—vegan and non-vegan alike—related to her message and wanted to get involved.  It can be very empowering to bring a passion to fruition in a group or blog format, and chances are that your interests will resonate with others.  This could very well pave the way for new friendships and lasting partnerships.

4.    Make an effort to get to know your coworkers (and look for jobs that resonate with your values and ideals)

Many of us work one or more jobs in order to make a living, and therefore see the same people on a very frequent basis.  So why not befriend them?  Some people never show their true personalities at work, but sometimes it’s simply because no one has ever made the effort to be more than “just” coworkers.  If you’re already employed, make an effort to participate in social events that your employer hosts (or industry networking events, if you’re self-employed) to get to know your peers better.  You can also find creative ways to start conversations and bond with coworkers, such as keeping your favorite books at your desk or bringing in treats to share at work.  If you’re on the job hunt, a good indicator of whether or not you’ll get along with your coworkers lies with a company’s philosophy, culture, and core values.  If these are in line with your own values, chances are that their employees will share similar ones as well.  The result?  Fulfillment with the work you do and cool people to do it with; a win-win!

5.    Volunteer for an organization that you care about

Environmental, animal rights, humane, and vegan organizations are always looking for volunteers to staff events, raise awareness, and help their programs run smoothly.  Oftentimes, you can work remotely.  If you are able to volunteer your time, it can be a rewarding way to make a difference while connection with people who share similar viewpoints and passions.  Here is just a short list of some groups worth checking out:Compassion Over KillingAction for AnimalsA Well-Fed WorldIn Defense of AnimalsFood Empowerment ProjectFactory Farming Awareness CoalitionVegan OutreachVegetarian Resource GroupPetathe Humane Society, and Farm Sanctuary.  There are also many ways to get involved more locally.  Some ideas include volunteering to teach kid-friendly healthy eating lessons at local schools, participating in the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, and helping out at a beach clean up.  Local animal shelters are also often in need of volunteers, and the best spot to make lots of new, furry friends.

6.    Meet and be nice to your neighbors

This one is simple: make an effort to smile and say hello to neighbors on your street, in your apartment building’s elevator, in your dorm’s common room, etc.  Be considerate of volume when listening to music or having guests over.  If your neighbor needs help, a cat-sitter, or to borrow baking soda, offer assistance when possible.  If you’re the event planner type, host a block party or neighborhood potluck.  Many friendships start as cordial neighborly kindness.  (If you live in a very rural area, the main difference is that your definition of “neighbor” is slightly expanded!)

7.    Visit local businesses

There’s nothing wrong with being a homebody, but it’s much harder to meet people if you’re constantly cooped up!  Get to know the local hot spots by walking, biking, running, taking public transportation, or (if you must) driving around the neighborhood.  Try some new grocery stores or farmer’s markets, if they are available to you.  Pop into some bookstores (see if they have any good author talks coming up), coffee shops (if you don’t drink coffee/tea, you can always check out the artwork on the walls!), and gyms (see if they offer a free pass for first-timers).  Get a feel for who hangs out where, and even say hello if you’re feeling bold.  I was amazed at how many people I got to know well just from taking group fitness classes at my old gym and shopping at the small produce supplier down the street.

 8.    Expand your digital network

There are a ton of social networking sites and forums that cater to the plant-based!  They are a fun alternative to aimlessly refreshing your Facebook news feed, and a cool way to potentially meet vegans from all over the world.  Sometimes, a supportive online community can be the best platform for receiving valuable advice, gaining inspiration, and discussing issues in depth.  Some free veg communities that come to mind include VolentiaVeggieBoardsVegan Bodybuilding30 Bananas a Day, and Vegppl, but there are many more out there!


The bottom line is that with a little effort, it’s easy to meet new people and get more involved with the vegan community.   You might have to go a little out of your comfort zone, but don’t forget that many people are in the same shoes and want to get to know you.  Whether you have lived somewhere for a while or have just relocated to a new area, being open, genuine, and a little proactive can result in unexpected and meaningful friendships (and meeting both vegan and non-vegan friends who will gladly share your kale slaw).


About the author: YifanView all posts by 
Yifan is a vegan illustrator and athlete who recently relocated from Boston to the San Francisco Bay Area. She has worked in broadcasting, music promotions, higher education, and social marketing, all while keeping up her art endeavors and spreading good vegan vibes via dinner parties and her fitness/food blog. Furthermore, her recipes and flavor pairings have been featured on several vegan food blogs and in Boston-area vegan restaurants. She is passionate about wellness and holistic health, and wants to help others lead more active, fulfilling lives, all while making more compassionate choices for themselves, the planet, and all of its inhabitants. In her spare time, Yifan competes in triathlons and road races, and spends an inordinate amount of time getting excited about her next Halloween costume. To see some of Yifan’s artwork, please visit her illustration site.

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It’s Not Just Candy Causing Childhood Obesity this Halloween

Halloween is just two weeks away, and most parents are worried about the frightening amount of sugar children consume. That’s understandable. But Halloween is just one day. What really scares me are the meat and dairy products lurking in children’s diets every day and everywhere—from fast food to school lunches. Unfortunately, some parents don’t share this fear. Some parents may not yet realize how healthful a plant-based diet can be for their children.

Meat and dairy products are loaded with fat and cholesterol that lead to childhood obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. A new study in the British Medical Journal found that obese children as young as 5 years old were already showing signs of heart disease that could seriously increase their risk of heart attacks and stroke as they get older. Now that gives me nightmares.

But time and again, evidence-based science shows that plant-based diets can help prevent these unnerving consequences. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics—the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals—says that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

In this video, I’ll share some more morbid statistics about the health of America’s children—and why a plant-based diet is the treat we should provide children on Halloween and every day of the year:

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