Veganism – let’s get right down to it. Veganism is both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals for eating, wearing or using in any way. For me, not too long ago the concept of following such a strict diet was thought to be extreme, impractical, and quite frankly not very much fun. I grew up in the midwest with a family that loved nothing more than meat products and putting dairy on almost everything we ate. I could never imagine a life without bacon and cheese. However, once I moved to New York my view was totally changed. I met so many vegans, and I quickly discovered the city is really a vegan-friendly place. I loved trying new recipes, going out to eat at any of New York’s many vegan restaurants and even finding vegan bakeries!

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This diet is not just a small choice in one’s life, but rather a large lifestyle change. However, it seems that interest in changing one’s habits continues to grow bigger. Every year there are more and more vegan cookbooks being written, a larger selection of vegan products to choose from, and  more celebrities coming out saying that they have switched to this lifestyle (Lea Michele, Ellen DeGeneres, Jared Leto, to name a few). In honor of November being Vegan Awareness month, we have provided our favorite vegan restaurants in NYC, and even several vegan recipes that you can try at home! Choosing to eat vegan- whether you fully adapt to the lifestyle, or if you simply eliminate some products from your diet, can cause many benefits such as:

  • Stronger hair and nails
  • Increase in energy
  • Clearer, healthier skin
  • Possible decrease in migraines
  • Lowered cholesterol
  • Protection against health problems such as cancer, stroke and heart disease
  •  And many more…

 

UnknownPhoto Credit: Tesco Realfood

 

With that said, just because a person is vegan doesn’t mean that they are healthy. There are some important health risks to look at as well, if you are truly thinking of becoming a vegan. 

  • Eliminating meat and dairy  removes many good resources for vitamins and minerals, such as calcium.
  • Common lack of Vitamin B12 which could lead to things like early dementia, nerve dysfunction, and difficulty with concentration. 
  • Difficulty with eating out; there are still many restaurants that do not provide vegan options, which could lead you to make unhealthy choices. 

 

To help with the whole restaurant’s-lacking-in-the-vegan-department thing, here is a small list of vegan restaurants to check out, from my experience in New York City: Candle 79, Blossom Restaurant, and Peace Food Cafe. Even if shifting to a totally vegan diet sounds intimidating, I challenge you to try it just for a trial period during the month of November. Many people say they  physically and mentally feel the positive effects of eating a vegan diet. Their hair gets thicker, their skin gets clearer, and they start to possess an overall better mental health outlook because they do not feel so slow and sluggish. Below are a couple recipes to help get you started on this small challenge. Who knows, it could lead to a whole new lifestyle change!

 

Sicilian Roasted Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4
“Bulk up your traditional brussels sprouts with some cauliflower – the spice and roasting brings out their natural sweetness”.
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Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
272 calories
30 g
0 g
16 g
9 g
2 g
321 g
84 g
14 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
321g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 272
Calories from Fat 139
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
25%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 84mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 30g
10%
Dietary Fiber 8g
32%
Sugars 14g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
11%
Vitamin C
278%
Calcium
9%
Iron
16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 50 g pine nuts
  2. 1 large head of cauliflower
  3. 300 g brussels sprouts
  4. 50 g raisins
  5. 12 strands of saffron
  6. 2 tbsp olive oil
  7. 2 tbsp garlic oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Place the pine nuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven until golden, set aside to cool down.
  2. Trim the outer leaves and base from the cauliflower then cut into small florets. Trim the ends from the brussels sprouts and slice in half, keeping hold of the loose leaves. Cover the raisins in boiling water, leave for about 20 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  3. Place the cauliflower florets and sprouts in a large roasting pan, scatter over the saffron threads then pour over the olive and garlic oils. Season well and mix together gently. Roast for 25–30 minutes, until the florets and sprouts are tender and starting to caramelize. You may find that the loose sprout leaves start to really crisp up-- don’t be alarmed, it adds a lovely smoky element to the overall flavor.
  4. Transfer the roasted cauliflower and sprouts to a serving bowl. Add the pine nuts and raisins, season to taste, then give the whole mixture a gentle stir to ensure everything is combined and coated in the saffron oil, and then serve.
beta
calories
272
fat
16g
protein
9g
carbs
30g
more
StyleBlend https://www.styleblend.com/
Quinoa and Black Beans
Serves 10
"Very flavorful alternative to black beans and rice. Quinoa is a nutty grain from South America."
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Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
153 calories
28 g
0 g
2 g
8 g
0 g
137 g
148 g
1 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
137g
Servings
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 153
Calories from Fat 16
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
3%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 148mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 28g
9%
Dietary Fiber 7g
27%
Sugars 1g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
8%
Calcium
3%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  4. 3/4 cup quinoa
  5. 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  6. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  7. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  8. Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  9. 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  10. 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  11. 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix quinoa into onion mixture and cover with vegetable broth; season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes; mix in the black beans and cilantro.
beta
calories
153
fat
2g
protein
8g
carbs
28g
more
StyleBlend https://www.styleblend.com/

 

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