Here's some food for thought: birthday boy Jay Z and his wife, Beyoncé, have decided to go vegan for a full 22 days. From now until Christmas, the music moguls will embrace a plant-based diet inspired by Marco Borges and his 22-day nutrition plan. But this isn't the first time Hollywood has gone vegan. Back in 2011, Oprah took a one-week challenge, not to mention the wide array of celebrities who have embraced veganism for good. In fact, eating one vegan meal a day can even help you lose weight! With all this hype, have you ever tried a vegan diet? Let us know in the poll below!
Enjoy the aroma of apple pie baking in your oven without the floury mess or the hundreds of buttery calories by whipping up a batch of homemade apple cinnamon fruit leather.
This might be one of the easiest snacks you'll ever make, and aside from saving calories, you'll also save money since a fruit leather costs around $0.50 to $0.75 — these are only $0.19 per serving.
When she's not making us crack up from her crazy and clever produce-laden get-ups on Instagram, chef Laura Miller is busy creating recipes that are "Raw. Vegan. Not Gross." on her popular site, Sidesaddle Kitchen. We chatted with Laura to get the inside scoop on the healthy presents she's coveting and planning on gifting this holiday season.
The Ultimate Smoothie Sipper
Green-shake junkies in your life will love the Glass Dharma Beautiful Bends Glass Drinking Straw ($9). Laura calls this glass straw "the perfect solution" to your friend or family member who is always has "permanent green mustache" or is stocking up on single-use plastic straws. One of these glass beauties is an ideal stocking stuffer; Laura swears that "they [somehow] make everything taste better!"
Bright Knit BeanieLaura is "pretty obsessed with hats," especially those that are unique and come in bright colors. She'd love to give or receive this Bright Coney Hat ($60) from designer Annie Larson this year. Laura's a big fan of all her quality knitted goods.
The Tool That Turns Veggies to Spaghetti
As a raw- and vegan-cooking guru, Laura relies heavily on her vertical veggie slicer ($37, originally $60), calling it "the most amazing kitchen gadget!" She uses this appliance to turn zucchinis, sweet potatoes, or even beets into perfect uniform noodles. Laura is hooked, and she'd like to get one for everyone on her list this year.
The Best Day PackFor loved ones who want to head out for a hike, Laura suggests gifting an Alite Designs Ochiba Pack ($68, originally $105) for all their outdoor adventures. This colorful pack is waterproof, has an contrasting interior color to help you stay organized, and — Laura's favorite part — even has a place for a bike light.
A Fun, Fruity Phone Cover
Laura recognizes that this Watermelon Print iPhone skin ($15) is a little "off season," but she likes the idea of looking to this cheery case on a dreary Winter day.
Pretty Leash For a PupIf you follow Sidesaddle Kitchen on Instagram, you know that Laura has got one cute pup at home! She uses this Chaco Dog Leash ($15, originally $20) for "runs on the beach with my mutt." She will be buying one for all "her dog friends" this year.
Make More Use of Mason JarsWith a cupboard full of mason jars, Laura has found that a Cuppow Mason Jar Adapter ($8) makes her canning collection even more practical. When you're on the go, this BPA-free container fits snuggly on the mouth of your favorite mason jar to separate hummus from sliced veggies or dressing apart from a fresh salad. These little adapters keep things organized (and safe from a spill) in your purse or gym bag.
A Retro (and Indestructible) CoolerWhile semiutilitarian in design, we agree with Laura that this Stanley Thermos-Cooler Combo ($75) has got a "rugged, old-school" vibe to it. Yes, it's a little pricey; but this cooler promises to stay together even if you run it over with a truck or drop it down from a three-story building. According to Laura, this makes it "her kind of lunch box."
Few people have a mandoline and even fewer have a dehydrator, but both of those pieces of equipment are not absolutely necessary to make apple chips.
Dipping the apples in lemon juice enhances the flavor and helps prevent the apple chips from completely oxidizing.
Before baking, sprinkle cinnamon or other spices of your choice atop the apples. As the apples cook, your kitchen will smell like apple pie is baking.
The dehydrated apple chips are an easy edible gift for those who err on the side of healthy but crave a seasonal snack.
One glimpse of this za'atar-oil-flecked beauty and I knew I had to try it as soon as possible, so off I set to the store with hopes that my search for a packet of za'atar — a Middle Eastern spice blend comprising oregano, thyme, sesame seeds, and sumac — wouldn't be found futile. Thankfully, Spicely came to my rescue, no specialty store required; it even came in a conveniently smaller package to boot, a boon to those looking to waste less in the kitchen.
And to answer the burning question: yes, this soup was everything I wished for and more. Well-balanced, velvety smooth, and aesthetically appealing thanks to a swirl of za'atar oil, this tangerine-hued soup is a real winner.
A strict vegan diet may be out of the question, but what if you were just vegan until dinner? After New York Times food writer Mark Bittman ended up at the doctor with a pre-diabetes, he did just that. In order to shed some unhealthy pounds and restore his health, he adopted his Flexitarian diet, outlined in his bestseller VB6 ($26).
Mark eats balanced, vegan meals with tons of veggies, fruits, and grains for breakfast and lunch, and only after 6 p.m. does he eat the foods he "simply couldn't give up forever." Instead of feeling deprived or restricted, he has the opportunity to eat his favorite recipes that contain meat, dairy, or eggs — in moderation, of course! Once Mark committed to the Flexitarian plan, his unwanted weight came off quickly, and he was no longer at risk for diabetes.
When you cut out dairy and meat from the majority of your meals, you're naturally reducing the calorie and fat counts without having to overanalyze every ingredient. But don't make the vegan weight-gain mistakes eating a ton of carbs, skipping out on protein, or eating french-fried vegetables — even if it has a vegan label attached, junk is always junk! Instead, focus on eating clean, unprocessed vegan foods, with plenty of fiber and protein, that satisfy the body for longer and provide the essential nutrients we all need.
If you're in need of some recipe inspiration, try Mark Bittman's spicy sweet potato salad or these other vegan lunches you can take to work. Afraid of the committment? Try out a full-day of vegan meals with this high-protein vegan meal plan that outlines everything for you.
Could you go vegan until dinner? Have you before? Tell us in the comments!
Make this juice recipe your new main squeeze for Fall. It contains this season's superstars: apples, celery, and of course, beets. This deep red juice will get you into the Holiday spirit and keep you feeling healthy all season long.
Learn how to make this beet juice recipe after the break!
It's no secret that we're obsessed with Tender Greens' Happy Vegan Salad, and for good reason — it's essentially five salads (including a greens-packed hummus) on one fully loaded plate. This time on Get the Dish, we caught up with chef Roy Arendse who showed us how to make all of the diverse and delicious components so that you can throw it together at home. Watch the video to see how it's made, and then print out the recipe.
You might think it's a crime not to see a bowl of homemade mashed potatoes on your Thanksgiving table, but traditional recipes don't offer much nutritionally. For a vitamin A boost and a side dish that's so full of fiber, it can help you feel fuller so you eat less, make this year's mash with sweet potatoes instead.
Mashed sweet potato recipes are often sweetened with maple syrup and cinnamon, but this one uses a spicier calorie-free kick with cumin and cayenne instead. And not just for their fabulous flavor, both cumin and cayenne help with digestion — something we could all use after a huge Thanksgiving feast. Cumin also offers iron for energy and boosts immunity, and the capsaicin in cayenne stimulates secretions that help to clear mucus from your nose and congestion in your lungs.
Made without any butter or butter substitutes, this side dish will please your vegan-loving friends as well as those trying to watch their waistline — it's only 157 calories per serving. Keep reading for this savory sweet potato recipe.