Bake and Destroy!

by Kelly Behr

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A blogger reached out to us inquiring if we had a good eggs benedict (sans eggs of course!) recipe. And we sure do, in fact it is one of the many recipes in our Celebrations Cookbook. (this is my plug to get everyone to pick one up, and you can thank me later after you fall in love with the shroom burgers) But back to the egg-less benedicts. I wanted to give a shout out to the Bake and Destroy blog which not only has a sweet design behind it but is full of vegan recipes, animal facts and little tid-bits everyone should know to help make our planet a more sustainable place to live.

I invite you to click here to enter the rad world of Bake and Destroy and to see our recipe in all its eggless glory.

Food & Shoes

By Kelly Behr

Native Foods had an opportunity to be part of a great event at Amour Shoes, an all vegan shoe and accessories store located by our River Forest location.

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Students were treated to Native Foods eats and were able to hear our Pals at Mercy For Animals speak about living a cruelty free life! It was like the full vegan circle. Learning about the harmful effects of factory farming to animals and the environment and then treated to both vegan food and fashion, showing these kids how easy it is to incorporate vegan options into their everyday life…great tasting and looking ones!

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It is so awesome to expose a whole group of students to plant based cuisine who may have never eaten vegan food before. Thank you Amour Shoes for inviting us to participate!

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V-Lish is Delish

Farm Sanctuary offers a great resource for even more delicious plant-based meals! Try this Mushroom Burger and many more.

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Native Foods uses this image courtesy of v-lish.com.

When you choose to go meat-free for lunch, you will soon discover the incredible variety of meat-free foods out there, from standbys like stir-fry to fun new favorites like Southwest Black Bean and Corn Mini Burgers (yes, we have a recipe for that!). Plus, you are taking an important step toward a more vibrant you and a better world for farm animals. Try one of these recipes for lunch today! Click here for the entire recipe!

USA Today’s 2015 Foodie Trends

By: Lauren Neuschel

What’s “in” in 2015 (besides Native Foods and veganism of course!)? USA Today has the scoop on the biggest trends to hit the foodie world this year.

The Top 10 shocked us! But what didn’t surprise us was the continuing shift towards a healthier, vegetable-loving diet! Here’s their projection (get ready for bigger, better and…louder?):

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Continue reading

Go Pick on Someone Your Own Size!

By Kelly Behr

 

One big (huge) company is suing little Hampton Creek who are the creators of Just Mayo. Just Mayo, if you are not familiar is a vegan brand that comes in delicious flavors like chipotle & sriracha not to mention the tastiness of the original. 

Just Mayo found themselves smack dab in the middle of a lawsuit the other day brought on by it’s much larger competitor, Hellmann’s. Their problem? Hampton Creek “mayo” wasn’t using real eggs!! I mean how dare they! Hellmann’s is claiming that Just Mayo is participating in fraud by making people think the product contains real eggs and by definition should not be allowed to use the word Mayo. Looks like someone is a little scared of this up and coming brand if you ask me! Continue reading

Run…Vegans…Run…

by Kelly Behr 

Native Foods Cafe

 

Meet Micah Risk, mother, business owner, runner, vegan and the newest cover model for Ruuner's World. And what a more perfect match for the October Nutrition Issue. Run, vegans, run!

 

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I had the pleasure of meeting Micah at DC Veg Fest where I learned a little more about her and her business which just happens to be in food…healthy & delicious food, we already had so much in common.. well except for the whole, her being a marathon runner thing. 

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She has started this rad business called Ligher Culture which is designed to make it easy for people to eat healthier, stick to their diets and stay within their budgets. They offer food coaches who tailor your food preferences just for you! Then you are given a special meal plan, set up a time for your groceries to be delivered and boom…you are your own gourmet chef. Lighter is going on a national launch soon, so stay tuned! 

I was able to stay and watch her cooking demo as she showed the crowd a few simple recipes that they could easily make at home. Her tacos sounded delicious, I really should have taken notes! 

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I am excited to hear how Lighter is expanding, click here to sign up to hear when the food delivery service is available in your city!

I Think….Therefore I Cook….

Chef Susen A. Hunter

Native Foods Cafe

 

People often ask me how I come up with recipes so I thought I would take a minute to explain the “process” for me.   The explanation is that there is NO process.  I can find inspiration in a variety of ways –  from tweaking an existing recipe or using a “new” spice, to having a visual in my head and trying to create it, or even just thinking ”what if I…..”.   I LOVE the “what if” game!

There is nothing I find more refreshing than having 3-5 days with nothing do to but be creative in the kitchen.  I may start out with tweaking a recipe only to think of additional new recipes or methods that I want to try.  Or, I may have a theme in mind and try to brainstorm new ways to present foods/flavor profiles that represent that theme. 

I love it when I’m creating new foods and I have a few friends available to try what I’m making…then I don’t have to constantly eat/taste everything myself!!!  I love getting instant feedback during the creation process because it helps me narrow down the precise amounts of ingredients – most usually the spices and salt content. 

I try never to google any of my ideas before I try them….that way I know my recipes are original and I haven’t been subliminally influenced by some other recipe.  Overall, I rely on my decades of cooking/baking/creating experience to guide me in my inspiration. 

I can tell you that as a chef, there is a great feeling of accomplishment when hundreds of people have tried your food and have responded positively.  That, for me, is why I love doing cooking demos for the public…that sense that I shared a unique recipe and the members of the audience love enough to go home and make it.  How cool is that?

Here is a recent creation!

 

Orange and Black PROTEIN POWER PILAF 

 

1 C of Black Forbidden Rice – Steamed/cooked according to instructions

1 C of Black Beans from can – rinsed/drained

1 C of Black Lentils – Steamed/cooked according to instructions

1 TSP Better Than Bullion Vegetable base dissolved in 8 oz water

1 TSP Adobo seasoning

½ TSP Chipotle seasoning +/- by taste

1 C of baked sweet potato – cubed

½ C carrot – diced fine

¼ C orange pepper – diced fine

Vegan Butter- approx. 1 TBS

Pinch of garlic powder, pinch of onion powder, pinch of sea salt

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In a large skillet over medium heat, add the water/veggie base and adobo and chipotle seasoning.  Stir and add in the rice, beans, and lentils stirring to get the flavoring distributed evenly.

In a separate skillet, melt the butter over low heat and toss in the sweet potato, carrot and pepper.  Sprinkle with onion powder, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt.  Stir gently over low heat for about 3minutes then gently fold into the beans/rice/lentils in the larger skillet.  Serve with a dollop of chipotle mayo.

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Optional — Carve orange peppers into Jack-O-Lanterns, rub with EVOO, and stuff with pilaf.  Place in covered baking dish and bake in oven on 350⁰ for about 25 minutes

 

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Vegan Recipe: Rum Point Fruit Fry

By Chef Susen A. Hunter

Native Foods Cafe

This recipe is one of my favorite vegan comfort food desserts.  I first created it whilst living near the beach at Rum Point on Grand Cayman Island.  I didn’t have plantains for my breakfast, so I friend up some bananas instead and threw in some fresh pineapple for good measure.  The resulting breakfast treat morphed into a dessert over time.  It’s really yummy and warm fruit is especially good on a cold, windy day.  The taste takes me right back to the tropics….

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Rum Point Fruit Fry

Recipe:

2 bananas sliced

½ cup pineapple chopped

2 TBSP +/- Coconut oil

1 TBSP +/- Vegan butter

Agave nectar to taste

Cinnamon- just a dash – nutmeg also works

2 teaspoons dark rum

Vegan granola and/or ice cream

Directions:

Heat oil and butter on medium heat and add all ingredients…. Stir until caramelized and when it “dries” up.  Squeeze a little lime juice

Sprinkle with shredded coconut chopped and serve with granola and/or coconut ice cream

Yield —  approx. 2 servings

There are over 300 different species of Agave plants that grow in the Central America region from the top of South America to the southern United States.  Natives called the naturally occurring liquid in this succulent “aguamiel” which means “honey water”.   This substance can be reduced down to form agave syrup or fermented to become tequila.  Centuries ago, agave syrup was used by the Aztecs as a healing salve for wounds, infections, and skin irritations.  

The aguamiel reduction results in a syrup that can range from light to dark without having any overpowering taste other than “sweet”.  Because of its neutrality, agave syrup has become popular in cooking, baking, and as a drink sweetener.   Although gram for gram agave has more calories than regular sugar, it is sweeter so less is needed resulting in less calories overall. 

Always buy Organic Agave Syrup to be certain that it has no added sugars or high fructose corn syrup.

(((Photos below — all mine))))

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