There is nothing quite like cold strawberries to feel like summer! As summertime quickly approaches, you can almost taste the sweet, delicious, and cool berry. Although, eating plain strawberries can be satisfying, why not make a delicious dessert! What strawberry dessert feels more like summer than Strawberry Shortcake? We say nothing! This great American summer tradition is perfect to serve on a hot day, take on a picnic, enjoy at a family cookout, or just enjoy at home after a long day. The best thing about Strawberry Shortcake is that it can easily be made with vegan and organic ingredients!

Vegan & Organic Strawberry Shortcake

Prep Time: 15 Minutes    Cook Time: 15-20 Minutes   Cool Time: 30-60 Minutes

1 Pint Organic Strawberries, Sliced
2 Tbsp Organic Evaporated Cane Juice (or other sweetener)
2 Cups Organic All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Organic Soy Milk
4 Tbsp Organic Earth Balance Margarine
1 Tsp Organic Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
Garnish with Soyatoo Organic Soy or Rice Whipped Cream

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degree F. On a cutting board slice the strawberries into thin slices and remove green leaves. In a mixing bowl, add all sliced strawberries and 1 tbsp of evaporated cane juice. Mix up with a spoon and place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

In another large mixing bowl, add the flour, 1 tbsp evaporated cane juice, baking powder, and salt. Cut the Earth Balance into small pieces and pinch into the dry ingredients (this works best by hand). Pour in the soy milk and mix with a large spoon. On a cutting board or counter, knead the dough a little(add more flour if it is too wet) and roll out flat(about 1 inch thick). Cut into small circles, using a cookie or biscuit cutter. Place on a greased or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. If you would rather use cupcake sheets to make rounded shortbread, it will also work. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they have a golden crust. Remove and allow them to cool. Make sure the strawberry mixture is creating a glaze and mix up.

When serving, place one shortcake on a plate, with a spoon add strawberry glaze and garnish with a little bit of Soyatoo Organic Soy or Rice Whipped Cream or another vegan whipped cream. For an added treat, add chocolate shavings to the top of the whipped cream.

Summer is right around the corner and cool dinners are perfect to help you cool down in the heat. There is nothing better than eating a cold salad on those simmering days.  Also, side salads are a great item to bring on a picnic in the park, to a BBQ, or to serve at a party.  Everyone loves Coleslaw and we have put together one of our favorite recipes for you.  This is a quick and easy salad to throw together which makes it that much more appealing on a hot day. So sit back, relax, and cool off with our Vegan Coleslaw Recipe

Organic Vegan Coleslaw

Prep Time: 10 Minutes    Cool Time: 20-30 Minutes

2 Cups Organic Green Cabbage
2 Cups Organic Red Cabbage
1 Cup Organic Carrots
1/4 Cup Organic Onions
2/3 Cup Organic Vegenaise
2 Tbs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tb Organic Olive Oil
1 tsp Organic Black Pepper
1 tsp Organic Salt
1/2 tsp Organic Celery Salt
1/2 tsp Organic Garlic Powder

Shred both types of cabbage into thin strips and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Grate the carrots and onions and add to the mixture. Toss the salad with prongs or just your clean hands. Add in the oil, apple cider vinegar, and Vegenaise. Next add in all spices and mix until all ingredients combine. If the mixture looks a little oily or too wet, add a more cabbage and carrots in until it looks nicely mixed.  For a fun twist and a little crunch add in 1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds. Once you have mixed up the salad, place in the fridge to cool for about 20-30 minutes and serve.

Memorial Day traditions have become just as American as Apple Pie. And while we are supposed to be honoring those who have died serving in our many wars, most people use the day for cookouts, parades, camping, the start of summer, and of course the American tradition of drinking on holidays.  All these traditions are  a blast and an exciting way to start your summer off with a bang. They also can all be done with the environment in mind. We celebrate our Memorial Day as green as we can and here’s to hoping you will too. Let’s start a new American tradition of making a smaller imprint on the Earth, while still indulging in our fun! To help this new tradition along, we have put together some helpful tips on how to make sure your Memorial Day is red, white, blue, and green!

1) Green that Grill: BBQ is a true Memorial Day and summer tradition and it is easy to green your grill.  Replacing your chemical laden charcoal to more earth friendly means such as wood briquettes or natural organic charcoal. For that smokey BBQ taste, we recommend the wood briquettes! Either of these choices will leave your food without the burning of coal, petroleum products, sawdust, or limestone, which are all toxic. If you want to take it one step further, invest in a new clean burning grill. This will emit far less pollution into the air and your food. It may not be traditional but electric grills, put out 99% less carbon monoxide. If you have the money, the Hybrid Grill is a great way to go, although a tad pricey! For more tips on how to have a green grilling experience, refer to our blog from last summer: Green Your Grill: Eco BBQ Tips.

2) Hold the Meat: Although traditional American BBQs include tons and tons of meat! To truly green your BBQ, we suggest you hold the meat. The meat industry consumes more than a third of the fossil fuels in the US and contributes 18% of greenhouse gases, which is even more than the transportation industry! And those figures are just the beginning of how the current factory farm meat industry is adversely affecting our world.  Environmentalists have long been promoting a veggie based diet as a way to green your life, so why not make the switch for your BBQ this year! There are hundreds of great veggie based “meat” style products on the market such as Veggie Burgers, Soy Dogs, Soy Sausage, Veggie Ribs etc. For some great recommendations check out our Vegan BBQ Tips and Product Battle: Hot Dogs. If faux meat is not your thing, you can always grill veggies straight on the grill or drizzle them with balsamic vinegar and olive oil! For more ideas on veggie recipes look no further than our backlog of delicious vegan recipes. Also, don’t forget to purchase your veggies organic and local if at all possible!

3) Organic & Fair Trade Drinks: Even if we try, we can not deny that many American holidays revolve around drinking! And Memorial Day is no stranger to this rule. Luckily more and more organic beer, wine, and spirits are on the market these days. Try your best to support your local micro breweries when selecting beer, however, if no organic beer is available try a couple of these brands: Peak Organic, Samuel Smith, and Fish Tale Organic Ales. Green America has also put together a list of recommendations for organic beers that we found helpful. For wines look no further than Frey for organic and Etica for Fair Trade. If you like the hard stuff there are also a number of organic and Fair Trade spirits on the market such as Square One Vodka, Tru Organic Gin, 4 Copas Organic Tequila. Also, FAIR Vodka, the first Fair Trade vodka on the market is now available in the US. For ideas on Fair Trade and Organic Cocktails, check out our recipe backlog.

4) Stay Local: We know, we know, a “staycation” is nowhere near as exciting as traveling far away to go camping. However, traveling by car for long distances or by plane is not so eco-friendly. Now we aren’t saying you should camp out in your own backyard literally (although that can be an adventure), we just mean look for destinations close to home. Stay within 20-50 miles of your own home! You may find that there are wonderous campgrounds, beautiful hiking trails, or a pretty lake nearby that you never noticed. You can even do a search on Reserve America to find campgrounds near you or look into the National and State Park systems for local ideas.

5) Alternative Transportation: If you must travel this Memorial Day weekend, we suggest you look to other means besides planes and cars! Bike travel is catching on quickly and is a fun and healthy way to travel. There are plenty of companies that put together tours or you can do it DIY style. Here are some tips on traveling by bike! If traveling by bicycle is a little too intensive for you or if you are traveling with a larger group, you can look into traveling by bus or rail. There are bus companies that will take you and your family to beautiful destinations for camping or hiking. Traveling by public transportation or by bike makes your entire journey an adventure and while you won’t get control of the radio perse, you can experience a whole other world of travel. And really do you ever get control of the radio on family trips?

April showers bring May flowers and May brings the start of BBQ Season! Alright, so maybe we adjusted the childhood song, but one can not deny that the month of May starts off the summer BBQ season, especially with Memorial Day right around the corner.  Although there are a million and one recipes for great BBQ foods, we thought this year we would start with dessert. We know, we know, your Mother wouldn’t approve, but we think you will approve of our delightful Vegan Key Lime Pie Recipe! The pie is great any time of year but is perfect for Spring and Summer cookouts as well as dinner parties, and to top it off, this recipe is easy as, well, pie….get it? Ok, we are pressing our luck with the puns. You don’t have to take our word for it, try this recipe today.

Vegan Organic Key Lime Pie

Prep Time: 10min    Bake Time: 30min    Chill Time: 3-4 hours

4 Fresh Organic Limes
2 8oz Vegan “Cream Cheese” Containers (Tofutti or Follow Your Heart)
1 Cup Organic Evaporated Cane Juice (or sweetener of your choice)
2 Tbs Organic Cornstarch
1 tsp Organic Vanilla
1 Organic Graham Cracker Crust (Arrowhead Mills)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel the limes for zest and set aside. You will want to juice the limes in a small cup and set aside. You will want to use either a food processor, blender, or hand-held mixer. In a large mixing bowl combine the “cream cheese,” lime juice, evaporated cane juice or other sweetener, vanilla, and cornstarch. Blend these ingredients until fully combined and smooth. Pour creamy batter into the pie crust and bake for 30 minutes. Move the pie straight from the oven into the freezer for 1 hour. Remove from the freezer and garnish the top with the lime zest. Set in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving.

Cupcakes, cookies, cakes, galore! Yes, you read that right. There is a all vegan world bake sale coming to a neighborhood near you! April 24th through May 2nd is the 2nd annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. You may be asking, what exactly is the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale? It is a two week vegan baked goods extravaganza that raises money for a variety of causes in the vegan world sponsored by Compassion for Animals. The first year it was put on, 2009, they were able to raise over $25,000 and were voted “Veg Event of the Year” by VegNews Magazine.

The best thing about this event is it is completely DIY. Anyone, that means even you, can participate! You do not have to belong to an organization or non-profit to hold a sale. The producers of the event invite all people to join in and raise money! What a great way to expose people to the delights of vegan baking as well as raise money for animal rights. There are only two rules to Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, first rule, don’t talk about Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale….ok, ok that was too easy, but we just had to throw in a Fight Club joke. But really there are two simple rules to abide by:

1) ALL baked goods must be Vegan (learn more about Vegan baking)

2) Nothing sold or given out at the sale should directly promote the harm of animals.

Herbivore Clothing Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale Tee

Seems pretty simple! There are already great events lined up all over the world including Europe, Australia, Brazil, Finland, Singapore, and the US. Find out if any sales are happening in your area. If not, plan an event yourself! All you have to do is lock down your details and fill out this simple form. Your event will be posted on the website and promoted worldwide. If you aren’t sure exactly how to plan a sale, take a look at these handy Bake Sale Tips. And if you want to make your event official or if you just want to promote this awesome event, Herbivore Clothing has released a pretty cute official Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale Shirt, a portion of the sales go to various animal sanctuaries and vegan organizations.

Even if you can not plan an event, please check your local area to attend an event and add them on Facebook. This is an exciting, inclusive event which will help educate the mainstream, as well as introduce people to the tasty and satisfying world of vegan baked goods. And to top it off, it raises money to fund animal rights and vegan organizations. We can’t find a single thing wrong with this event and look forward to attending some in our neck of the woods. Happy vegan baking or consuming! :)

St Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! This day may not be traditionally Irish, as many Americans use it for an excuse to party, drink, and wear green, you can still celebrate the Irish by culinary means. Many Irish friends of mine are always discussing the delicious treat of Irish Soda Bread, so we thought we would share a vegan version with you! This is a great treat by itself or serve with our Vegan Irish Stew. Have a blast this St Patrick’s Day and even if you do party your hearts out, remember Irish Soda Bread makes for a great hangover delight.

Vegan Irish Soda Bread

Prep Time: 20 Minutes    Bake Time: 45 Minutes

1 Cup Organic Soy Milk (or other non dairy milk)
3/4 Cup Organic Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 Cup Organic Unbleached Flour
1/2 Cup Raisins
2 Tbsp Water
1 1/2 Tbsp Organic Earth Balance Margarine
1 1/2 Tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer (or Applesauce)
1 Tbsp Vinegar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Basking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt

Preheat your oven to 375 F. In a regular size loaf pan, grease the bottom with a little extra margarine or oil. If you are using Egg Replacer, follow the directions on the box for 1 Egg and whisk together. In a bowl, combine the soy milk and vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes (it will start to curdle). In a large mixing bowl, combine the wheat flour, white flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in softened Earth Balance and combine together. Add the Egg Replacer or applesauce to the soy milk and vinegar. Now slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix slowly. Add the raisins and mix, but do not over mix. Pour dough into the loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes.

Earlier this month, the Groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of Winter! Now that we are near the end of February, I guess that leaves us about 4 more weeks of cold weather, snow, and pouring rain. The up side of all the terrible weather is keeping dry and warm with some delicious comfort food.  One of my favorite winter treats is lasagna. It is warm and tasty and makes the ice melt outside! This recipe can be made with or without soy meat or cheese.  So curl up in your favorite blanket and grub down on some vegan comfort food!

Vegan Lasagna

Prep Time: 30 Minutes    Bake Time: 40 Minutes    Serves: 8

1 Box of Organic Lasagna Noodles
2 Jars of Organic Pasta Sauce (or homemade sauce)
1 Cup Organic Mushrooms
1 Cup Organic Zucchini
1 Cup Spinach
1/2 Cup of Onions
3 Gloves Garlic
2 Cups Crumbled Organic Tofu
3 Tbls of Nutritional Yeast
3 Tbls of Veggie Broth
6-8 Ounces of Vegan Mozzarella Cheese (Vegan Gourmet or Daiya)
2 Tbls Olive Oil
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
10 Ounces Vegan Soy Crumbles (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a large pot, boil water with a splash of Olive Oil and salt. Once the water is boiling add in the lasagna noodles and boil until firm but not overcooked. Meanwhile cut up all veggies and in a skillet warm up the olive oil, garlic, and onions. Add in the mushrooms and zucchini. In a large bowl mix together the crumbled tofu, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, Nutritional Yeast. Once this is mixed add in the soy crumble, if choosing to use them. Add this mixture and the spinach to the skillet. Cook for ten minutes or until the veggies are a little soft.
In a casserole dish cover the bottom in pasta sauce and sprinkle vegan cheese. Lay down a layer of lasagna noodles and a thick layer of the skillet mix, followed by a layer of noodles, sauce, and cheese. Make several layers until all ingredients are included. Finish with a layer of pasta sauce, cheese, and a dash of nutritional yeast, oregano, basil, and pepper. Place in oven for 40 minutes. Let it stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

The weather outside is well yeah, frightful!  Winter is in full effect with blizzards, ice storms, or just chilly nights. There is no better way to warm the body and soul than with a great cup of soup.  And even better if it’s all vegan! Our vegan recipe of the week is a great winter warmer and pretty simple to make. This week we have put together a winter favorite of ours, Potato Leek Soup. The soup works along side a sandwich, as the main course, or simply an appetizer and its perfect for those frigid days.

Vegan Potato Leek Soup

1 Cup of Organic Soy Milk or other vegan milk

2 Tbls Vegetable Oil

4 Cups Organic Vegetable Stock

1 Organic Leek, Chopped

2-3 Large Organic Yukon Gold Potatoes, Cubed

1 Organic Celery Stalk, Chopped

2 Tbls of Vegetable or Olive Oil

1 tsp Salt

1-2 tsp Pepper

1 bay Leaf

In a large saucepan sauté the oil, leeks, celery, and salt until the leeks and celery are soft. Next add in the potatoes and cook on low until all are soft (20 minutes). If you prefer you soup smooth, rather than chunky, you can blend or food process the veggies with half the vegetable broth before heating. In a large pot, add the soy milk, vegetable broth, bay leave, pepper and bring to a boil for a few minutes. Add in the vegetables and simmer on low to medium heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot and garnish with fresh scallions.

Mmm tis the season to drink and be merry! One of the most traditional holiday drink is that of Egg Nog. However, obviously by the name it is not vegan friendly! Never fear, there is always a vegan version to be had. Of course you can take the easy way out and purchase some Soy Nog or Rice Nog from the store. However, if you want something delicious and homemade, try these recipes for Vegan Holiday Nog: one raw and the other soy based. What a tasty holiday treat that even the non vegans can indulge in!

Raw Vegan Holiday Nog

  • 1 Cup Cashews
  • 1/2 Cup Dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups water

In a blender or food processor place all ingredients and blend together into smooth and creamy. Heat over the stove until warm enough to drink or serve cold. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and cinnamon sprinkles .

Soy Holiday Nog

  • 21 oz Silken Tofu
  • 2 Cups Soymilk
  • 2/3 Cup Organic Sweetener (we prefer Evaporated Cane Juice)
  • 1 Cup Cold Water
  • 4 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cinnamon

In a blender or food processor blend all ingredients until completely smooth. Heat the mixture over the stove until warm enough to eat or serve cold after refrigerating. Garnish the drink with a cinnamon stick and cinnamon sprinkles.

School days are back in season and time to start packing those paper bag lunches. An easy and delicious school lunch item is the Vegan No Egg Salad Sandwich. This week’s vegan recipe of the week is No Egg Salad. This delightful little salad can be used in sandwiches, with crackers, or over a regular salad. It’s a simple and sweet little recipe, perfect for the school year!

Vegan No Egg Salad Tofu Egg Salad Photo By norwichnuts

1 16 Oz Package of Tofu
1 /2 Cup of Vegenaise
1 Piece of Celery
1 Large Dill Pickle
1/2 Yellow Onion
1 Tbl Dijon Mustard
1/4 Tsp of Garlic
Pinch of Turmeric
Sand and Pepper to Taste

In a large bowl crumble all the tofu with your hands into a scramble style. Finely chop the celery, onion, pickle, and garlic. Mix all these ingredients in with the tofu. Next add all the Vegenaise and mustard into the tofu and mix well. Sprinkle the turmeric, salt, and pepper in and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least an hour before making sandwiches or serving.

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