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Welcome to Vegetarians in Paradise. With each new issue we at vegparadise.com hope to provide you with a variety of information pertinent to the vegan community. For those who visit us from other areas of the country or from distant lands, we offer great diversity and invaluable vegan resources for vegans and vegetarians anywhere in the world.
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Zel's Cooking Demonstrations and Classes
When: Thursday, January 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
When: Saturday, February 7, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Visualize Yourself Dreaming of a White Christmas Dinner
If we Southern Californians can't enjoy a Christmas with snow on the ground, we certainly could feast on a White Christmas Dinner. So I began to imagine each course white as snow but dressed in holiday reds and greens. That festive picturesque scene was a can-do and is ready for anyone romantic enough to share my what-if!
While I held that image of everything on the plate looking white as snow, the foods I chose didn't cooperate entirely. Though I began with foods that are white, after cooking, baking, or blending, the white became a bit tarnished. Still, the theme prevails.
Celebrate Deliciously All Year Long
Brenda Davis Receives 24 Carrot Award
Gather Around the Hanukkiah
for Hanukkah with a Vegan Touch
The familiar box of Hanukkah candles usually contains candles of many colors that are delightful to look at when the entire hanukkiah is lighted. The candles are small and do not burn long; however, they are never blown out, but are to burn until they go out naturally.
The holiday is especially joyful for families with young children because the festivities include giving the children Hanukkah gelt, pieces of chocolate wrapped in gold foil that represent gold coins. Many families exchange gifts all eight nights, while some only give gifts to the children. Each year families retell the story of Hanukkah, sing songs, and play the dreidle game with a special spinning top.
Zel Launches Vegan for the Holidays Blog
Vegan for the Holidays Blog is THE place to find exceptional vegan recipes and ideas saved just for those special holiday gatherings when you yearn to bring something inviting to the table. Zel's featured seasonal ingredients, like chestnuts, pomegranates, persimmons, squashes, and nuts that make vegan dining so special during autumn and winter festivities.
Some of the recipes, like the finger lickin' Holiday Ready Apple Crisp, Brussels Sprouts Go Seoul Searching, Santa's Favorite Panforte, Almond Nutloaf, and Thanksgiving Torte are from Zel's cookbooks (Vegan for the Holidays and The Nut Gourmet). But Zel continues to create irresistible holiday recipes that are now finding a happy home on the blog.
Follow the Nguzo Sabah In a Vegan Kwanzaa Celebration
Culturally focused, Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday but embraces all religions. Feasting is an integral part of the Kwanzaa holiday. Some families, however, fast from sunrise to sunset and break the fast with the evening celebration. When families gather around the table, a special bond occurs that seals their unity. And when families bustle around the kitchen to cook the meal together, the celebration takes on a deeper, more joyful meaning.
Usher in the New Year with a Soiree
Or a Daytime Bash
Whether our New Year celebration bids farewell to the "old" year on New Year's Eve or welcomes in the new year on New Year's Day, we can bet the celebrants will be in a festive mood and ready for some tasty bites and zesty beverages.
We plan to start the New Year's Eve gatherings on the late side, often about nine or even ten in the evening. That's because many friends enjoy going out to dinner before the party and joining together afterward for nibbling on finger foods, tidbits, and some New Year spirit.
VIPs Dine in Vege Paradise
The first bite was heavenly, the second and third even better. We totally fell in love with this light, rice-battered turnip appetizer that was divinely crisp on the outside and creamy soft on the inside. The turnip flavor was pleasing, yet not overpowering.
When they arrived at the table, I thought we would likely take half of them home. Instead, we devoured them all! The Soft Tofu and Pumpkin Hot Pot was also exceptional. Attractively arranged in the hot pot were tender, thin slices of pumpkin, very possibly kabocha squash still wearing its skin, and large chunks of fried tofu bathed in a flavorful brown sauce. The cast iron hot pot that held the pumpkin and tofu was sitting in a recessed hole cut into a thick wooden stand and kept the food hot throughout the meal.
VIP Chefs Prepare for Vegan Hanukkah Celebration; Watch the Videos
Supreme Master TV spent a fun day at the home of Zel Allen filming Zel and her kitchen companion, Diana Friedberg, cooking three delicious dishes for their Hanukkah celebration. Together they assembled Brazil Nut and Raisin Cabbage Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce for the main course accompanied with golden crisp Potato Latkes topped with homemade Tofu Sour Cream. A traditional festive Jewish meal concludes with compote. Zel and Diana prepared delicious Pear Cranberry Compote and dressed it up with a unique touch--Choco-Wafers. The third segment concludes with a family celebration of the holiday.
Baker's Dozen of Inspired Chefs
Join New Year's Chili Bash
But what should we serve a throng of hungry guests during the lively festivities? No problem! Put a kitchen full of innovative chefs together and ask what they thought about a Chili Bash for a New Year's celebration.
They loved it! The consensus of chefs was a positive vote to put chili on the New Year's menu. It didn't take much convincing to tease a chili recipe from these generous chefs--and what an inventive collection of chili recipes we've assembled!
Celebrate Christmas with a Victorian Plum Pudding
This festive dessert carries a regal 19th century Christmas tradition into the 21st century with a delicious updated twist. While keeping all of its lore and fancy intact, the recipe replaces animal ingredients like suet and turns deliciously vegan with only a few enhancements. Read More
Cardiologist Tells What She's Learned About Going Vegan
Hard to believe it's been that long since March 2005, when I paced the Strong Memorial Hospital cafeteria my first night as a vegan looking for what vegan thing I could eat for dinner and settled for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
From my own trials and mistakes, here's what I've learned:
1) It's not just about eliminating animal products. It's about including new foods.
It is hard to stick with something when the approach is "these are the things I cannot eat." But rather, it should be a journey of finding what you CAN eat! Try new foods. Have you ever had quinoa? Baked tofu? Seitan (not pronounced like the devil, but rather say-TAN)? Read More
Bloggers' Question: Are V8 Vegetable Juice
& Campbell's Tomato Soup Vegan?
Company Delivers Mixed Messages
Blogger Vani Hari, whose internet avatar is Food Babe, wondered whether "Flavoring" might be derived from an animal source. She also questioned why the label said "100% Vegetable Juice" even though "Flavoring" would contradict that claim and make the juice less than "100% Vegetable Juice."
Her readers carried the investigation further by going to Twitter and asking Campbell's, the parent company, if V8 "Flavoring" was animal based. The tweet from Campbell's Cares said, "Yes, they may include meat/seafood/poultry/dairy when the function in the food is flavoring rather than nutrition."
Scientists Use Yeast to Create
100% Real Vegan Cheese
Vegan Cheese isn't a cheese substitute like so many others out there: it's actual, mouth-watering, delicious real cheese created via the same techniques used to make dairy-based cheeses. The team of molecular biologists who came up with this brilliance bio-engineered regular bakers yeast to make milk proteins known as caseins. These caseins then get blended together with vegan sugar, oil, and water, to brew up a non-animal-derived milk that can be transformed into cheese by standard, time-tested methods.
This vegan cheese contains no GMOs and no animal products whatsoever. It's a healthier, more ethical, and environmentally responsible food than current dairy-based cheeses, and the best part? You can make your own version at home!
Aunt Nettie Goes Nuts in a Spicy Way
Now, I s'pose you're gonna think I done gone plum nuts! An' guess I have--plum nuts 'bout servin' up some mighty tasty nuts over this holiday season. Why, them nust is heapin' with flaver from heaps of them nice holiday spices that makes the house smell so good. An', well, they jes plain ole taste good, too!
Spice up nuts make real fine nibblin' an' y'all know there's a-plenty o' that goin' on. So here's two recipes-they's easy as pie and keeps fer days so you kin fix 'em early an' ferget about 'em.
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire
Ever taste a dish that had such a pleasing blend of flavors you just wanted to keep on eating and eating? This irresistible risotto is worth waiting a whole year for fresh chestnuts to appear in the markets. The ultra seasonal creation is blessed with the creamy sweetness of chestnuts and paired with the earthy flavors of a trio of herbs that make the shiitake and cremini mushrooms melt in the mouth.
Heavenly rich and captivatingly delicious, this traditional old world dessert takes on refreshing nuance with a hint of maple flavor, an abundant splash of cinnamon, and a blast of chunky chestnuts nibbles. Adding a hint of texture are toasted sliced almonds. Put it all together and you're about to taste an irresistible fall and winter dessert that's a chestnut sensation!
First Vegan Butcher Shop in U.S. Opens in April
Not all butchers sell meat, which is evident from Aubry and Kale Walch's animal-friendly butcher, The Herbivorous Butcher. Due to open its first brick-and-mortar doors in April, this butcher is going to look exactly like a regular meat butcher shop with ribs, bologna, pepperoni, sausages, and jerky in the windows, except none of the products will contain meat.
The Herbivorous Butcher started out as a Kickstarter project, and has so far raised close to $60,000 to help this brother-and-sister team make their dreams come true. And you can forget about horrible-tasting tofu at this butcher. These vegans have already crafted a delicious menu of andouille "sausage," Hawaiian "ribs," maple-glazed "bacon," beer brats, Mexican "chorizo," and pulled "pork."
Famed Dietitians Update Seminal Work
Veganism has arrived! As Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina point out in their latest book, "There is no denying it: vegan is on the radar of mainstream America. It has arrived because of the moguls and other pioneers who have defied the stereotypes and made vegan attractive to the masses." Prominent athletes, bodybuilders, models, movie stars, musicians, chefs, dietitians, and doctors proudly announce they have adopted this lifestyle.
USC Study Says Vegan Diet Helps Most with Weight Loss?
A recent study at the University of South Carolina shows that people lose more weight while on a plant-based diet--as if we needed another reason to go vegan.
Researchers wanted to study which kind of diet was best for losing weight, and it turns that a strict vegan diet--cutting all animal products, including eggs and dairy--is most effective for weight loss. In fact, a completely plant-based diet proved even vegetarian diets don't quite cut it, either.
But if you want to lose weight, a healthy vegan diet could be the best route.
One plus side is that vegan diets include carbohydrates. In fact, the USC study's vegan diet was high in carbs.
VeggieTaster Returns With Three Reviews
Kathleen Knows Her Beans
Royal Shake Out
Simpy Too Unbalanced for Me
Become Plant-Powered for Life
" if you really, truly start loving plants--craving their flavors, textures, aromas, and colors--they will start loving you back," says registered dietitian nutritionist Sharon Palmer. Her newest book, Plant-Powered for Life, is her easy step-by-step guide helping lure readers "to fall under the spell of plants . . . " and gradually transition to a whole-foods plant-based lifestyle.
Sharon's enthusiasm for plant foods is contagious as she shares fascinating tidbits of their origins along with their amazing health benefits that have sustained humans from primitive ancestors to today's fitness gurus.
Edible Greeting Cards Make Others
Eat Your Words
What if, instead of sending paper greeting cards that will eventually end up in a landfill, you could send cards that won't go to waste?
The cards are a bit thicker than standard printing paper, and come in different flavors like blueberry, key lime, orange and strawberry. They are made from a mixture of potato starch, palm oil, fruit extract, sucralose and food coloring.
They're vegan, gluten-free, and just 42 calories each. They come with standard greetings such as "Happy Birthday" and "I Heart You." But you'll need to purchase your own edible ink if you want to personalize them further.
Meatless Monday: An Initiative We Should All Support
If we are judged by the company we keep, we are in good company. Vegetarians in Paradise bedfellows turn out to be an impressive group of organizations interested in public health.
The roster of organizations includes Columbia University Mailman School of Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications. They're all on board to promote Meatless Monday, a campaign to improve national health and benefit the environment. We would like to urge our readers to join us in bringing this message to the attention of the public.
ALL DRESSED UP AND READY TO GO
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What's Happening in Vegetarian Los Angeles?
To find out about vegetarian events in Los Angeles,