Before sharing this week’s vegan recipe we wanted to mention Forks Over Knives, an exciting new documentary that opened last week (preview above).
The film traces both the work and personal stories of researchers Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn who came together to conduct one of the most extensive studies on nutrition ever. And their shocking findings make several strong arguments for following a plant-based diet.
Campbell went on to write The China Study, which helped inspire our Vegan-For-a-Week Challenge. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I will soon. Had you heard of it? If you want to check it out showtimes across the country are listed here.
And now for a quick and yummy-sounding salad from Jessica of London (by way of Long Beach). From her email:
This has long been one of my favorites! I even got a non-fruit eater to go for seconds with this recipe.
Moroccan Orange and Olive Salad
1 1/4 lbs. oranges
pitted kalamata olives
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper
3 tbs. chopped parsley
Peel oranges and cut them into bite size pieces. Put in bowl along with olives. Blend paprika, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper and pour over oranges and olives. Mix well and sprinkle with parsley
Below is a post from Well+GoodNYC, a web site devoted to beauty, health, wellness in its many forms that we absolutely love. We had no idea that agave contained so much fructose—did you?
Agave syrup has been touted as a miracle sweetener, one you can use worry-free thanks to its status as a low-glycemic food. But now a debate is brewing over just how healthy the sweetener is, in part because of what nets its low-glycemic ranking: its high fructose content.
Agave syrups can have a fructose content of 90 percent. (Refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup are half fructose and half sucrose.)
And according to some in the wellness community, like Sugar Shock! author Connie Bennett, agave fructose is highly refined. “This makes agave worse than high fructose corn syrup,” says Bennett.
What sweeteners do YOU use?
Friends! If you’ve read the book or hung out here for a while you know we’re fond of oils, and coconut oil in particular because it’s an amazing and cost-saving multitasker that has lots of qualities to recommend it.
It’s a rich moisturizer, it’s cheap, it’s versatile, it’s antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial, has a decent amount of antioxidants, and it smells like baked goods. What’s not to love? Well, some stuff.
You can get it at any good health food store in the cooking oil section, just be sure to spend the extra buck or two to get raw, organic, virgin coconut oil. Now, without further ado: Here are the 10 specific things I’ve tried it for, with honest assessments of how that worked for me:
1. For cooking at high heat. Coconut oil has earned itself a bone fide health halo, which you can read about here. Because some oils are not safe at high temperatures, I’ve swapped in coconut for a lot of my roasting, and some frying. I have tried and liked it in the oven for potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussell’s sprouts, carrots, asparagus, broccoli rabe, red onions and other veggies, too. I’m not fond of how it tastes with eggs or mild-tasting white fish—but it’s great with salmon.
2. As a cheekbone highlighter. Sweep a little on top of makeup (sounds weird, go with it) and leave it alone. It looks like your skin but glowier, which is why Rosemarie Swift, of RMS Beauty, uses it in her amazing Living Luminizer, “Un” Cover Up, and Lip-2-Cheek pots.
3. To shave my legs. So good! You get a real close shave and don’t have to worry about moisturizing after.
4. As a deep-conditioning hair treatment for my totally wrecked ends. There’s a reason lots of conditioners use coconut oil: According to this study, coconut oil is better able to penetrate the hair than is mineral oil (shocking!) and sunflower oil—which is good news because I’ve been dealing with a little heat damage over here. Because I don’t want to cut off the damage—I’m liking my hair long right now—I’ve been trying to get the ends looking OK as I grow it out. Knowing full well there is no way to physically repair fried ends (I even confirmed this with a cosmetic scientist named Colin, who isn’t a clean guy, but he’s nice and he’s smart) I’ve been loving this method: once a week, I sleep with a handful of coconut oil in my hair. I rub it in, comb it, pile it in a loose bun on the top of my head, and call it a night. In the morning I shampoo and it seems to make a big difference in the look and feel of my ends.
5. To take off my eye makeup. Put a little on a cotton ball or a piece of toilet paper and sweep it over your eyes gently. It even works on waterproof mascara.
6. As a personal lubricant. Saucy! Let’s be brief: It totally works by yourself or with a buddy, but it’s not compatible with condoms (oil + latex = babies).
7. As a face moisturizer. I do not like this. I’ve read about acne-prone women who have used it to great effect because it’s naturally antibacterial, calming, and moisturizing, but I won’t put coconut oil—or any product that contains it—anywhere near the part of my face that breaks out (hi, chin). I tried the oil-cleansing method when we were writing the book and I got the absolute worst cystic acne ever which, yeah, yeah, might not have been the oil’s fault, but did I want to wait another month to find out? Hells no.
8. As a body moisturizer. See above (shaving). I recently met my friend Jessica at yoga and before class started she yanked up her pant leg and told me she’d been using coconut oil on her whole body. How’d they feel? So soft. So! Soft! And the smell doesn’t linger, for the record.
9. As a day-time hair tamer. Cute on your ends but I wouldn’t put this on the top of your head, especially if you’re blonde, because it looks really, really greasy.
10. Gluten-free and vegan baking. It’s a staple. It tastes really good and, it seems to me, is the only thing that can mask the chalky taste you get with most gluten-free baking. (Mmmmm Babycakes.)
What am I missing? Or what have you tried and loved—or hated?
As promised, we’re going to share some of the recipes from our Vegan-for-a-Week Challenge each Monday (until we run out, or like, get bored), for our very own version of Meatless Mondays.
We thought this dish from Carla sounded creative and delicious. It’s totally raw, totally quick, and we’re betting really, really good. Also, what a great twist for anyone who can’t eat gluten pasta. Carla appears to have a blog devoted to raw vegan recipes—yum! Here’s the email she sent us:
Serves 2 in 15 minutes
2 green zucchinis
1 cup pistachios
4 cups of basil leaves
1. Soak your nuts in filtered water while preparing the other ingredients drain and then rinse.
2. Cut ends off zucchinis and slice zucchini into linguini style strips with a peeler.
3. In a blender or food processor add basil, pistachios and ¼ teaspoon sea salt then mix. Start adding avocado oil and blend until smooth. Add more sea salt to taste.
4. Mix pesto with zucchini pasta and top over thin strips of purple cabbage
5. Finally top with tomatoes, minced chives and season with sea salt and pepper
Below is a post from Well+GoodNYC, a web site devoted to beauty, health, wellness in its many forms that we absolutely love. We’ve been pretty excited about hemp milk ourselves, so we thought this was a fun one to share. Have you tried hemp milk? Let us know in the comments!
First there was soy. Then the myriad nut varieties. And now there’s hemp—milk that is. It blasted into the mainstream last week when Dr. Oz picked it as his favorite milk alternative on his eponymous TV show. So should you be washing down your (vegan) cookies with this health elixir? We take a look.
Can you get a buzz with breakfast?
Hemp milk comes from the seeds of the cannabis plant which are pulverized and mixed with water—but no, it doesn’t contain any THC or the mind-altering fun of marijuana. That said, the very fact that hemp milk comes from, well, the hemp plant, can be problematic for manufacturers. Cathy Hearn, president of Living Harvest, says her company is active in campaigning for the legalization of hemp plants at the federal level because of the plant’s nutrition factor (and her brand’s sustainability, of course).
What are the health benefits?
Hemp milk is extremely high in hormone-regulating Omega 6 and anti-inflammatory Omega 3, fatty acids that we have to get in our diet. Dr. Oz has extolled hemp milk’s ability to help your brain—well, its cognitive function and memory—as well as for heart health.
Keep reading about the health benefits here. So what’s your favorite milk?
Image via Well+GoodNYC