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Jolinda Hackett

Vegetarian Food

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A meatless Easter menu

Wednesday April 16, 2014
Have you planned your Easter menu already? Most people think of eating colored hard boiled eggs at Easter time, maybe with some ham for dinner. Not so for vegetarians and vegans!

If you're planning on an Easter brunch as the main meal, you may want to try a vegetarian quiche or egg casserole. Or try a an eggless baked vegan quiche with tomatoes and soy cheese and a low-fat vegan coffee cake.

An Easter dinner (without the ham, of course), should be fresh and full of spring greens. Try adding artichokes (this vegetarian artichoke risotto, pictured right, is perfect!), asparagus and lots of veggies to your meal, and avoid heavier processed meats and fried foods.

For a fresh spring-themed Easter dinner, try a portobella and asparagus pasta dish with some artichoke mashed potatoes or a sauteed tofu and artichoke pasta. Round it all out with some fresh, light gingered carrot soup or a creamy asparagus and potato soup.

For dessert? Something chocolate, of course! Carve up these gourmet raspberry mascarpone brownies or try anyone of these vegan chocolate dessert recipes, or you may prefer one of these healthy desserts.

Or, plan your own Easter menu. You can start by scrolling through this complete collection of vegetarian (and vegan!) Easter resources, including dinner ideas, brunch menus and even some vegan Easter candy ideas.

Link: Vegetarian and vegan Easter recipes
See also: Have you tried Egg-nots yet?

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An egg-free Easter? Introducing Egg-nots!

Monday April 14, 2014
Welcome to About.com Vegetarian food! If you're new, you may want to check out the complete list of vegetarian recipes here, or browse through the collection of vegan recipes here.

I have no idea how long this product has been around, but I just discovered it, and I LOVE it, so of course, I have to share it with you! Hopefully it's not old news to everyone except for me?

Sure plastic eggs are great for an vegan Easter egg hunt, but then you miss out on the fun of dyeing and decorating your own eggs. Egg-nots to the rescue! Egg-nots are a ceramic-based realistic-looking "egg" which can be dyed in much the same way as regular eggs. Here's three reasons to consider using egg-nots instead of eggs for Easter this year:

1. They're cruelty-free and vegan!
2. They're great for kids with egg allergies.
3. They last forever! No, you can't crack them on your little sister's head (is this only a California thing or do all kids do this?), but you can use them in crafts or for decorations that will keep from year to year.
Have you already tried Egg-nots? What did you think? Leave a comment below!

Link: Egg-nots!
See also: More vegetarian and vegan Easter help

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Not a single word

Sunday April 13, 2014

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Passover starts April 14th

Friday April 11, 2014
Welcome to About.com Vegetarian food! If you're new, you may want to check out the complete list of vegetarian recipes here, or browse through the collection of vegan recipes here.

Since the Passover Seder is traditionally themed upon unity and freedom, I hope you'll find enough room at your table for plenty of vegetarian (and vegan!) guests, and plenty of room on your Seder plate for vegetarian (and vegan!) food! But what to eat for the main meal? Here's a complete collection of vegetarian and vegan Passover recipes, including appetizers, vegan matzo ball soup, and yes, even chocolate covered matzo.

Plenty of people happily substitute the traditional items - a bone and an egg - for vegetarian and vegan substitutes, such as a beet, and an avocado, or even seeds or flowers which, just like the egg, symbolize new life and growth. If you're vegetarian or vegan, what do you use instead of a bone and an egg? Leave a comment to join the discussion!

Link: Vegetarian and vegan Passover recipes

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Have you tried quinoa flakes yet?

Wednesday April 9, 2014

Unless you've been living in Timbuktu (and perhaps, even if you have), you've probably heard of quinoa by now, and, if you're like me, you're already a huge fan. But have you heard of or tried quinoa flakes yet? Quinoa flakes are a great gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan breakfast idea! I sometimes eat them on their own, or I mix them in with oatmeal, just to stretch them out a bit, since they are pricier than other breakfast grains.

My latest favorite breakfast bowl is oatmeal and quinoa flakes, sprinkled with either hemp seeds or a bit of hemp protein powder.

What are quinoa flakes?

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Cookbook taste test: The Big Book of Vegan Recipes

Monday April 7, 2014
Korean hot pot, seitan adobo, and tempeh short ribs. Sound intrigued? Then you might want to try out my newest vegan cookbook, The Big Book of Vegan Recipes.

If you're looking to buy just one vegan cookbook, or you want a gift book for someone new to vegan eating, this is a good place to start. With over 500 recipes to choose from, there's bound to be several things you can't wait to try. With a full 500 recipes, there's vegan versions of regional favorites such as tex-mex tofu migas, as well as plenty of simple and nourishing meals when you just need something for dinner. 500 is a LOT of recipes! Think of it this way: you could try a new recipe every single day for a year and still have plenty left over!

Here's a few sample recipes from the book, just to get you salivating for more:

  • Slow cooked tempeh carnitas
  • Vegan pho with seitan and star anise
  • Indonesian fried rice
  • Easy kale and farro salad

    Link: The Big Book of Vegan Recipes, by Jolinda Hackett (that's me!)

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  • Are eggs vegetarian?

    Sunday April 6, 2014
    After some discussion as to whether or not cheese is vegetarian, several people emailed me to thank me, since they learned so much from my post. But what about eggs? Are eggs vegetarian? With so many labels on egg cartons these days - cage-free, free range, organic, etc. - it's difficult to know the truth about whether or not you should be eating eggs. Of course, I always advocate veganism as the single most effective way to avoid animal cruelty.

    But if you're just eating vegetarian and not vegan, are eggs vegetarian?

    Read my response here, then, tell me what you think here.

    Link: Are eggs vegetarian?
    See also: What do you think: Should vegetarians eat eggs?

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    Got leftover chili?

    Friday April 4, 2014
    Got leftover chili? Stick it in the fridge and invite me over for dinner! Ok, I'm joking. But only slightly. In all seriousness, there's plenty of ways to use up your leftover chili without offering it to strangers on the internet.

    Here's a few ideas for using up leftover chili.

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    3 new foods I bet you haven't tried yet!

    Wednesday April 2, 2014
    I'm betting that you haven't tried all three of these foods yet! If you have, well, there's no prize, but if you've already tried these three new foods, have you already tried the vegetarian hundred? (Answer: No you have not, since one of them does not exist...yet.)

    1. Have you tried this teeny tiny ancient grain? Why you should: It's a cheaper alternative to quinoa and it's rich in calcium - perfect for vegetarians and vegans!
    2. What about this high-protein breakfast food which cooks even quicker than oatmeal? Why you should try it: High in protein, quick cooking, what's not to love?
    3. Have you tried these seeds? They're rich in protein, Vitamin E and essential fatty acids.

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    April Fools! It's not meat!

    Tuesday April 1, 2014
    April fools! It's not meat at all, but it sure does taste good!

    Did you know most people can't actually tell the difference between meat and fake meats? It's true! A 2008 study showed that in blind taste tests, most people couldn't tell the difference. Doesn't that just make you want to run out to the grocery store, stock up on fake meats and fool all your friends? Well, today's the day to do it! Here's some more info about that study, if you're curious.

    I've had so many people ask me for my opinion on fake meats that I thought I'd write a little summary about which ones I love and why. Here's seven of my favorite fake meats.

    Pictured: Grilled seitan in barbecue sauce

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