Strawberry Kanten

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Strawberry Kanten ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Life is short. Eat dessert first.” — Mark Twain

This sweet little gem of a recipe is from The Real Food Daily Cookbook by Ann Gentry, page 225. Gentry describes kanten as “A healthy person’s Jell-O.” This was such a fruity and refreshing treat! The kanten is sweetened only with apple juice. We piled vegan whipped cream on top, which sort of negated the healthfulness of that, but it was doggone delicious! ;)

Strawberry Fact: Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C, folate, potassium, and manganese.

Tempeh and Barley-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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Tempeh and Barley-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, to talk of many things: of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–of cabbages–and kings–and why the sea is boiling hot–and whether pigs have wings.”Lewis Carroll, from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872

These sweet & savory cabbage rolls were filled with tempeh, barley, carrots, onions, and dill, cooked in a tangy tomato sauce, topped with fresh heirloom tomatoes and served over Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.

From Robin Robertson’s wonderful cookbook Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, page 161.

Slow cooking really brings out the flavors in food and makes foods like these so tender they just melt in your mouth.

Cabbage Fact: Cultures in which cabbage is a staple food, such as in Poland and some parts of China, show a low incidence of breast cancer. Research suggests this is due to the protective effect of sulfur-containing compounds in cabbage.

Cherry Plum Jam

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Cherry Plum Jam ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“It is as healthy to enjoy sentiment as to enjoy jam.”Gilbert K. Chesterton

If you have access to any fruit trees in your neighborhood then I highly encourage you to try your hand at canning some jams and jellies. Jam is easy to make, and very inexpensive when the fruit is picked from the tree for free. :) If you don’t have any canning jars you can always use recycled, store-bought nut butter or jam jars.

Homegrown, homemade jam makes nice gift with a little bow tied around the jar. How often do you receive homemade goodies these days? I think people appreciate receiving something that you made yourself, that took some time to prepare, and that comes from the heart.

There are a ton of great jam and jelly recipes on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

Jam Fact: The average American consumes about 5 pounds of jam per year, so why not make your own?

Sweet and Sour Smoked Tofu

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Sweet and Sour Smoked Tofu ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” — Chinese Proverb

I loooove good Chinese food and this Sweet and Sour Smoked Tofu recipe From Kathy Hester’s wonderful cookbook The Vegan Slow Cooker (page 118) delivered.

Brimming with smoky tofu, pineapple, bell peppers, onion, broccoli, and a thick sweet and sour glaze, this was just right for lunches this week. It was delicious served over brown rice.

Sweet and Sour Pork Fact: Sweet and Sour Pork originated in Canton in the 1700s. Why not try this smoked tofu version instead? It’s saturated fat and cholesterol-free, and pig-friendly. ;)

Purple Passion Fruit

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Passion Fruit ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Sometimes you’ve just got to grab an apple – or grapes, or strawberries. Something that’s healthy but maybe a little bit more adventurous, if you can see fruit as adventurous.”LL Cool J

When I found some beautiful, fragrant purple passion fruits at my local grocery store I just had to try them. I’ve never eaten passion fruit before and the smell was intoxicating, like perfumed fruit punch. I later learned that they smelled of Kool-Aid to me because passion fruit is often used in juice mixes to enhance their aroma.

I had no idea what these little gems were going to look like when I cut them open, and boy was I was surprised by what I found. The peels are full of orange gel-encased seeds. To eat passion fruit, you scoop the seeds out with a spoon (leaving the white rind behind) and swallow them whole. Apparently this is because the seeds are bitter when chewed. Although sweet-smelling, these were surprisingly tart. This wasn’t a bad thing though, as they tasted magical and marvelous!

If you think passion fruit is interesting-looking, check out passion flowers!