Summary: The beginning of winter is often a time of celebration, as we chase away the gloom with eating, drinking, and socializing. Some of us opt for a more “hygge” approach and like to cuddle up by the fire alone, or with someone we love, wrapped in a cozy blanket. A good vegan beer or wine is perfect for either scenario.

The beginning of winter is often a time of celebration, as we chase away the gloom with eating, drinking, and socializing. Some of us opt for a more “hygge” approach and like to cuddle up by the fire alone, or with someone we love, wrapped in a cozy blanket. A good vegan beer or wine is perfect for either scenario.

two heartedMany people assume that all beer and wine is vegan, if they even give it a thought. They’re made from fermented grains or grapes, right? We were dismayed to discover that many companies utilize animal products in the manufacturing process. When drinks are filtered before bottling, they often use such substances as isinglass (made from fish bladders), gelatin, egg whites, and sea shells. Unfortunately, vegan beer and wine companies don’t label their products to show they’re safe for consumption by folks who eschew animal products. However, a quick perusal of the internet can help. If you need a few suggestions to help you get started, here’s a handy list.

Deschutes Brewery, www.deschutesbrewery.com. This Bend, Oregon-based brewery is almost completely vegan, with the exception of a few specialty brews. Its beer is available in 28 different states, so you should have an easy time finding it, especially if you live on the west coast. According to their FAQ section: “We do not use animal products in the cellaring or brewing process. The clarifying agent we use in our brewhouse is made from Irish Moss, a red algae. However, experimental beers brewed at our pubs sometimes use lactose, isinglass, honey or other specialty ingredients, but we call it out in the description listed on the menu.” Their popular Jubelale is great for your holiday festivities. Available from October through December, this robust, vegan brew boasts notes of cocoa, dried fruit, and toffee. You and your guests will love it!

Frey Winery, www.freywine.com. Mendocino-based Frey makes the claim of being “America’s first biodynamic winery.” They hold 90 percent of their land as a natural habitat for plants and animals. Since 1980, they have produced vegan, gluten-free wines with no added sulfites. Their 2015 Biodynamic Syrah utilizes the flavors of layered fig, anise, briar and bay leaf. It’s a delicious, elegant accompaniment to any holiday meal.

Bell’s Brewery, www.bellsbeer.com. The Kalamazoo-based brewery is constantly rolling out new varieties of beer, and almost all of them are vegan. Their popular Two-Hearted Ale is a smooth, vegan IPA, dark and not too hoppy. It’s available all year but is perfect for winter consumption. Brewed with 100 percent Centennial hops from the Pacific Northwest and named after a river in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this brew never disappoints. You can enjoy it with almost every meal. Unfortunately, if you live west of the Mississippi, you’ll have a hard time locating it, and Michigan state law forbids shipping beer to other states. But it’s ubiquitous in the Midwest and East Coast, so check your favorite store or pub.

All of these offerings are available at stores. If you’re at your local supermarket and can’t find any of them, www.barnivore.com is a great resource for determining which alcoholic beverages are vegan. Just tap a product name into Barnivore’s handy search bar, and the site will let you know if it’s vegan-friendly. There are nearly 43,000 companies in their database. Enjoy responsibly!

Previous Article « Sweet Vegan’s Gluten-Free Vegan Brownies!
Read Next Article » Black Bean Tortilla Soup—Vegan, Gluten-Free and Filling cows-in-field-reversed

Summary: We've been excited to get our hands on the Conscious Cleanse book ever since we heard about it. The cleanse isn't the kind you may be used to, where you feel deprived, and end up hungry and miserable. What it does do is take certain foods out of your diet that you may not even realize you are reacting to, so that you have a full picture as to how your body reacts to those foods.
Most Recent Searches that Led to This Page: sherpa spinach dip, conscious cleanse, conscious cleanse flaxseed crackers

We’ve been excited to get our hands on the Conscious Cleanse book ever since we heard about it. The Conscious Cleanse isn’t the kind you may be used to, where you feel deprived, and end up hungry and miserable. What it does do is take certain foods out of your diet that you may not even realize you are reacting to, so that you have a full picture as to how your body reacts to those foods.

Forbidden foods on the list may surprise you, such as oranges, strawberries and tomatoes. Many people react to foods like these without even realizing it. The good news is that there are a ton of options on the foods that are allowed.

Before you start thinking that this is going to be a book that just tells you what you can and can’t eat, worry not – it is so much more than that. The Conscious Cleanse gives you a rounded way to take care of yourself in every way, body and mind. It is a commitment to build up to slow change, and includes ways to slowly remove foods and beverages from your diet, rather than shock your system.

Full disclosure, we were a little daunted at the thought of giving up caffeine while on the cleanse, but we transitioned slowly off of it. We were surprised at the difference we saw just from reducing caffeine: *more* energy, more calm, less stress and less stress eating.

Here is a recipe that is the perfect example of the delicious dishes that fit within the cleanse.

Sherpa Spinach Dip

4 cups spinach
1 large avocado, halved and pitted
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small clove minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon curry
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh peeled and chopped ginger
A dash of cayenne
Sea salt to taste

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Serve immediately with carrot sticks.

Get your own copy of the Conscious Cleanse, and let us know what you think!

conscious cleanse

Previous Article « Review of Kite Hill’s Vegan and Gluten Free White Alder Artisanal Cheese
Read Next Article » The Conscious Cleanse’s Vegan and Gluten Free Caesar Dressing cows-in-field-reversed

Summary: Cauliflower steaks are getting quite popular, and we understand why: they're vegan, gluten-free, hearty, easy to make, versatile and absolutely delicious. We decided to try our hand at making cauliflower steaks with our own little twist added: saffron cauliflower puree. Not only was it as delicious as we expected; it exceeded our expectations.

Cauliflower steaks are getting quite popular, and we understand why: they’re vegan, gluten-free, hearty, easy to make, versatile and absolutely delicious. We decided to try our hand at making cauliflower steaks with our own little twist added: saffron cauliflower puree. Not only was it as delicious as we expected; it exceeded our expectations.

Cauliflower steaks are simply thick, cross-cuts of a cauliflower head. They are very filling, and the cauliflower takes on the flavor of virtually any seasoning.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Grilled Cauliflower Steak with Saffron Cauliflower Puree

Servings: 2

Cauliflower Steak

1 head of cauliflower
3 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Saffron Cauliflower Puree

1 pinch of saffron
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1-2 cups cauliflower florets (will be leftover from your head of cauliflower)
2 1/2 cups No Chicken broth, or your favorite vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Heat 2 of the 2 1/2 cups of broth in a medium saucepan to come to a boil

Remove the stem and any green leaves from the cauliflower. Holding it right-side-up (so with the stem part down), slice the cauliflower in half. Pick up one half and, holding it upright again, slice a nice thick piece off of that half, as if you’re slicing a piece of bread off of a whole loaf. Do the same with the other half. These will be your cauliflower steaks.

Take the leftover cauliflower, rough chop it into small bits, and add it to the boiling broth, along with the garlic powder. Set a timer for 8 minutes. Take the remaining 1/2 cup of broth, add the pinch of saffron to it, and swirl it around. The broth will take on a nice, yellow hue. Once you’ve sufficiently swirled it around to turn yellow, set it aside.

Get a frying pan, preferably cast iron, nice and hot over medium-high heat. Brush each side of the cauliflower steak with some olive oil. Cook each side for about 3 minutes, adding salt and pepper to each side. Place in the hot oven and set a timer for 10 minutes.

Once the cauliflower florets have finished cooking, remove from heat and drain, reserving 1 cup of the broth. In a blender, add the broth with the saffron in it, then 1/4 a cup of the reserved broth from the cauliflower florets, for a total of 3/4 cup of broth. Add the cooked cauliflower florets and blend. You want a nice, thick and creamy consistency. If it’s too thick, add a bit more of the reserved broth. Once it’s at a nice, creamy consistency, pour the puree in your serving dish, and salt and pepper to taste.

Once the cauliflower steaks are done baking, serve with the puree either on the side, or poured over the steaks.

This pairs perfectly with a crisp green salad, topped with tangy vinaigrette.

cauliflowersteaks

Previous Article « Insanely Simple Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Sweet Cashew Cream and Poached Cherries
Read Next Article » The Easiest, Most Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Fire-Roasted Salsa You’ll Ever Make cows-in-field-reversed

Summary: This is, hands down, the best way to cook brown rice so that it comes out perfect - fluffy, and not sticky - every time. Ever since I learned how to do this, I keep a big batch of brown rice in the fridge, already cooked and ready to use.
Most Recent Searches that Led to This Page: UNSTICKY BROWN RICE

This is, hands down, the best way to cook brown rice so that it comes out perfect – fluffy, and not sticky – every time. Ever since I learned how to do this, I keep a big batch of brown rice in the fridge, already cooked and ready to use. I love brown rice! I like to eat it warm, with a little tamari, or sprinkled with sesame seeds and sea salt. I also like to toss some cold brown rice into a salad. I also like it warm for breakfast, as in this super easy brown rice hot cereal.

But it all starts with this perfectly prepared brown rice. You won’t believe how easy it is!

How to Cook Perfect, Fluffy Brown Rice

Measure out however much dry rice you need.

Now, rinse the rice at least two times.

After you have rinsed it, soak it for at least three hours in water (ideally filtered water). You can soak it longer – even up to twenty or so hours.

Now, drain the rice (but save the water) and put the soaked rice into your rice cooker or pot. Measure in the correct amount of water, using the water in which you soaked the rice.

Cook it.

Done!

You now have the most wonderful, unsticky, fluffy brown rice ever! And as a great added bonus, the soaking makes it even more nutritious, by activating the germinating process and the enzymes that come with it!

Previous Article « Super Easy Brown Rice Hot Cereal
Read Next Article » Vegan, Gluten Free Chocolate Almond Coconut Clusters cows-in-field-reversed