Veggie Barley Salad

Loaded with all kinds of super nutritious and wholesome ingredients, this sturdy Veggie Barley Salad is a veritable explosion of flavors and textures! Perfect for potlucks, picnics or no-fuss lunch at the office.

Loaded with all kinds of super nutritious and wholesome ingredients, this sturdy Veggie Barley Salad is a veritable explosion of flavors and textures! Perfect for potlucks, picnics or no-fuss lunch at the office.

Man, I love barley! Really I don’t understand why it is that it’s so unpopular, this grain. It has the coolest texture, so much flavor, and is so crazy uncomplicated, too! 

Unlike rice, barley is super easy to cook… you just can’t mess it up! And unlike rice, it’s equally delicious hot or cold, making it a perfect contender for cold salads. Why people still use cold rice in salads is beyond me. I mean, the thing gets totally unpalatable after it’s been in the fridge for a while. It becomes hard and dry and totally tasteless. But barley? Barley stays supple, crunchy and chewy and has the coolest of textures, even when cold. Not to mention the fact that it remains super tasty, too! 

Granted, it may take a little bit longer to cook than rice, but it’s so much worth the extra time. Plus, you can totally make a bigger batch and reheat it later, or use the leftovers to make all kinds of dishes, like this very salad, for instance. Me, I even like to throw some in my morning cereal; it gives it tons of texture, and much nutritional benefits, too! 

Why not go ahead and cook a batch now, and then whip up this super delicious and nutritious salad? 

If you’re not sold on it yet, give it a try. I’m sure that you too, will totally adopt it. 

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Vegan Vegetable Lentil Soup

Don’t settle for canned soup; homemade is so much better – and saves cans, too! Plus, this one-pot Vegan Vegetable Lentil Soup recipe is so easy to make and tastes so good, it’s undoubtedly going to become a family favorite! If you’re willing to share, that is… 

Don't settle for canned soup; homemade is so much better - and saves cans, too! Plus, this one-pot Vegan Vegetable Lentil Soup recipe is so easy to make and tastes so good, it's undoubtebly going to become a family favorite!

I’ve been on a crazy Lentil Soup kick lately… I must have had it for lunch at least 3-4 times a week for the past 2 months… 

Only, I’d made it a habit of eating it from a canyes, yes, really: straight out of a can! — which I would buy by the case at Costco. Surprisingly, despite the overall mushiness and “overcookedness” (I  totally just made up that word) of the lentils, the soup is still decent enough to keep me coming back for more. But then I started thinking about all the waste that I was generating, between the cans themselves and the cardboard box that held all the cans together. 

So I thought hey, why not make a big batch of homemade lentil soup on the week-end instead and have it last me all week, if I’m going to eat this much Lentil Soup? Not only is my soup going to taste that much better, but I’m also going to save all this waste, too! Not to mention be done with the mushy lentils! 

And so I went through with this plan and figured I would log the recipe, while I was at it… because I get the feeling I’ll be making this soup time and time again! Indeed, this homemade version is so good, I may very well find myself eating it every day, now! 

Or well, at least for a couple more weeks, or months! 

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Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Treat yourself to one of these Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re soft and tender and filled with tons of chocolate goodness submerged in subtle notes of rich and buttery peanut butter.

Treat yourself to one of these Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. They're soft and tender and filled with tons of chocolate goodness submerged in subtle notes of rich and buttery peanut butter.

So I had a major craving for a good chocolate chip cookie… Being fairly new at this whole vegan baking thing, I had to scour the Internet in search of ideas and inspiration, so I could whip me up a batch.  

One thing I quickly came to realize is that “vegan” isn’t necessarily synonymous with “healthy”… There are TONS of really yummy looking vegan dessert recipes out there, but as soon as you start to read the ingredient list, they quickly loose their appeal! Indeed, a lot of them call for standard ingredients, such as vegan butter or margarine, granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, etc.  

Hmpft. While I understand that there is no real way to create a truly healthy chocolate chip cookie, I still wanted to indulge in a somewhat healthier treat. So I went ahead and crafted my own recipe. And while I’m still new at this, I think I managed to whip up a pretty decent batch of vegan cookies, seriously! 

Those cookies are loaded with flavor, super soft, tender, slightly chewy, and all kinds of yummy! And while they do contain peanut butter, the peanut taste is very subtle and not at all overwhelming… it just contributes in making the cookies taste super rich and buttery

One thing’s for sure: they totally, positively took care of my craving!  

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Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese

You won’t believe how creamy, rich and actually cheesy this Vegan Mac and Cheese is! So tasty, even the kids will fall for it! No need to let them know it also happens to be healthy…

You won't believe how creamy, rich and actually cheesy this Vegan Mac and Cheese is! So tasty, even the kids will fall for it! No need to let them know it also happens to be healthy...

I’m not gonna lie to you and try to sell you the idea that this Vegan Mac and Cheese tastes exactly like the real thing. Cuz no, it doesn’t. But I can honestly tell you that it tastes darn good, though! And it’s rich and creamy. And yes, cheesy too! 

In fact, despite not being an exact replica of a classic Mac and Cheese, this vegan version has so much to offer in the flavor and texture department, you might very well end up liking it as much, if not more, than the real thing! 

The sauce is made from butternut squash, white kidney beans and nutritional yeast, which gives it a slightly sweet and nutty, tangy and cheesy flavor. As for its consistency, it’s so crazy smooth and silky that it would totally make any traditional cheese bechamel super envious! To top things off, a little sprinkle of ground hazelnuts mixed with a handful of vegan cheddar shreds provide an agreeable little crunch, with an extra dose of interesting flavors, to boot . 

One thing’s for sure, this baby beats the other one hands down in the nutrition and compassion areas. And this can’t be a bad thing now, can it? 

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Vegan Banana Bread – Whole Wheat and No Added Sugar

Despite being made with whole wheat flour and containing no added sugar or animal products whatsoever, this Vegan Banana Bread is so moist, so soft, so sweet, so rich and buttery and so deliciously yummy, it’ll have everyone completely, positively bamboozled!

Despite being made with whole wheat flour and containing no added sugar or animal products whatsoever, this Vegan Banana Bread is so moist, so soft, so sweet, so rich and buttery and so deliciously yummy, it'll have everyone completely, positively bamboozled!

I’m getting more and more comfortable with this vegan / plant based thing… it’s been 3 full months now and I’m really starting to get the hang of it. I no longer have panic attacks at the idea of not eating meat ever again and find it easier by the day to cook “normally” using unfamiliar ingredients, such as tempeh, tofu and the likes… I’m getting more and more inspired to come up with new recipes for this place, too. 

But for now, the easiest way for me to acclimate to this new lifestyle is byveganising” some of my regulars. Banana bread would definitely be on top of that list! I probably make a loaf every week, and if not, at least every other week. Funny fact of my life is I don’t even like bananas; You’ll never catch me eating one unless it’s fluorescent yellow going on green. Yet I buy bananas almost every time I hit the grocery store, just so I can eventually make banana bread. Cuz I simply can’t imagine life without banana bread! 

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30 Seconds Foolproof Homemade Vegan Mayonnaise

Stop spending crazy amounts of money on Vegenaise and other overly expensive store-bought Vegan Mayonnaise; make your own at home in mere seconds with only 4 simple ingredients; This technique is so quick and easy and produces such a rich, thick and creamy mayonnaise, you’ll adopt it as soon as you try it! 

Stop spending crazy amounts of money on Vegenaise and other overly expensive store-bought Vegan Mayonnaise; make your own at home in mere seconds with only 4 simple ingredients; This technique is so quick and easy and produces such a rich, thick and creamy mayonnaise, you'll adopt it as soon as you try it! 

To say that I’m excited about today’s recipe would be a total understatement. I’m more like totally jumping for joy!! 

Call me strange, but one of the things that made me sort of sad when I decided to cross animal products out of my diet was the thought that I’d never get to make mayonnaise ever again. Well, eating, too, of course. But especially MAKING it. Cuz you see, ever since I’d discovered the foolproof technique for making mayo which I’d shared with you a few years ago, I’d always been excited like a child on Christmas morning every time I had to make a fresh batch. And I’d only very rarely let anyone else take care of it… even if they asked, said please pretty please with sugar on top or begged, complete with batting eyelashes and googly eyes and all. NO. I was the one in charge of making mayo. 

Cuz really, to me? making mayo is THAT cool! continue reading

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Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

A plant-based version of an old family favorite, this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie offers such a great combination of flavors and textures, you’ll probably end up preferring it to the original! A perfect dish to introduce vegan options to your regular rotation, that even the hardcore meat lovers will totally fall for.

A plant-based version of a true family favorite, this Vegan Shepherd's Pie offers such a great combination of flavors and textures, you'll probably end up preferring it to the original! A perfect dish to introduce vegan options to your regular rotation, that even the hardcore meat lovers will totally fall for.

Shepherd’s Pie, or Cottage Pie — I never know what to call it, really, but if it has no meat in it, then I guess both appellations would be correct, right? — has always been a favorite of mine, ever since I was a little kid. It should come as no surprise that, throughout the years and especially according to my ever changing lifestyles, I have come up with at least a dozen version of the dish… 

Of course, since I’ve recently decided to follow a plant-based diet, it was only a matter of time before I felt the need to create a Vegan Shepherd’s Pie. 

To be honest, this new version is more like a take on the Vegetarian Cottage Pie that I’d made last year; that version had been a real winner for me and I’d already made it countless times! But since I don’t eat animal products anymore, I needed to make a few adjustments here and there, and especially in the mashed potatoes department. I wasn’t certain that I’d even manage to make decent mashed potatoes without relying on dairy whatsoever, but it turned out to be much easier than I anticipated  — just like staying away from animal products seems to be, really! — thanks to my new best friend nutritional yeast! 

I then made a few more changes, like adding mushrooms to the lentil base to make it taste even meatier, for instance! And plus, I really love mushrooms, so… 

Bottom line is I totally created my new go-to Shepherd’s Pie recipe. And you know what? I think that I like this new version even better! 

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Vegan restaurants in Naples, Italy

Below is a guest post from Simone of LovinItaly. Normally I don’t accept guest posts, but having always wanted to travel to Naples, I took this as a sign! 

Planning a visit to Italy in the surrounding of Naples but worried about where to eat vegan? Don’t worry, enjoy your vacation, see all the best point of interest that Naples offers to you. And regarding the food, just keep reading.

In Naples, Italy, there is a variegated and refined offer of vegetarian restaurants, where you’ll be able to taste 100% percent natural dishes.

The vegetarian and the vegans can taste good dishes thanks to the best vegetarian restaurants in the city, all listed in this article.

But even those people who don’t want to eat meat or want to try new light and healthy dishes can do it going to one of these restaurants devoted to those people that don’t cook products of animal origin.

Let’s see which are the best vegetarian restaurants in Naples that distinguish themselves for the quality of their products and ingredients and the genuineness of their dishes.

1. ‘O Grin

‘O Grin is the first takeaway completely vegan in Naples, and since its opening, years ago, it is still the first choice for a lot of people.

Located in the university zone of the Historical Center it is literally invaded at lunch by customers that well know the quality and the good taste of their dishes, proposed with zero-mileage ingredients, and different each day.

To note the attention to the packaging, that minimizes the unsorted wastes, the bike home delivery, and the kindness of the personnel. Absolutely to try.

2. Vitto Pitagorico

This restaurant is located in front of the National Archaeological Museum, and it is specialized in vegetarian cuisine, vegan, and raw.

In its menù the Neapolitan pizza is revisited in a vegan way with different flours and, among the specialties, there is the pizza with the hemp flour.

Also excellent the Spaghetti alla Siciliana. You will also find lots of cakes and vegan ice creams among which the “avocado cheesecake with bitter cocoa,” on a base of crumble of coconut and minced almonds, accompanied by a delicious almonds cream.

3. Amico Bio – Un Sorriso Integrale


An Integral Smile works in the vegetarian sector from almost 20 years, and it stimulates the bioregionalism, the 100% agriculture disposition and every aspect regarding the ecology.

The tables are made of wood, and the atmosphere is delighted by light new age music. Other than the restaurant service, the clients can purchase some foods as, for example, the organic jams.

The menù includes vegan appetizers like three kinds of vegan salami and fried tempura, soups, second plates of seitan and tofu.

It is also possible to order the “only” dish which includes soup, rice, and assorted sides.

Excellent the desserts and the fruit salads with cinnamon.

4. Cavoli Nostri


It’s been the first vegan restaurant in Naples with seating and not just take away. It is very beloved for its tasty and colored dishes other than the reception and the carefulness of the personnel.

The choice of the raw material (obviously biological) is very severe, and they follow the natural seasonality of the products, all of that to get delicious dishes.

In the menù are also available raw dishes. The flagship of Cavoli Nostri is the vegan desserts among which it detaches a wonderful tiramisù.

5. Semi di Sole


This is not a simple restaurant but a macro-bio-vegetarian cultural association. But from the 01:00 pm to 03:00 pm it is possible to access the special cafeteria where will be served vegetarian and macrobiotic dishes.

Semi di Sole also organizes some cooking classes that vary according to the seasons. This could be the perfect opportunity to learn new recipes!

6. Sbuccia e Bevi – Green Fruit Bar


Born just as a takeaway, this place has grown to become an entirely vegan restaurant.

The various menù goes from the desserts to the vegan street food among which the best are the burgers, with the revisitation of the most famous Italian dishes like the Ribollita.

Try the vegans babà that have a high success between the customers. There is also the possibility to have dishes without gluten or raw dishes.

7. CamBIO Vita

This small place is both a restaurant with a handful of seating and a bio-shop furnished with alternative bioproducts and books about the vegetarian, vegan and macrobiotics kitchen.

The menù is variegated, and it is written on a chalkboard at the entrance. In general, the dishes are vegetarian, but it is possible to find a lot of vegan alternatives and gluten-free.

Delicious the soups and the first courses like the rice Venere with Pomodorini.

Sweet dessert but also white yogurt with various fillings as goji’s berries, almonds, and pistachios accompanied by honey.

To try the fresh centrifuges that are proposed in numerous combinations.

8. Mangiafoglia


A little local that introduces a lot of vegetarian and vegan alternatives without giving up to some meat and fish dishes.

At lunch, you can use the formula that allows you to compose your soup or salad from a selection of ingredients.

Very good the first course like the integral linguines with arugula pesto and tomatoes or three kinds of ravioli and Mezze Maniche with potatoes and flap mushrooms.

They organize live weekly evenings with music. Good the choice of the wines, directed toward emergent home labels. Good the relationship quality/price.

9. Rama Beach

Restaurant on the beach that offers only and exclusively international vegetarian “Vegfusion” kitchen. The structure is almost exclusively made of wood and the roof it is composed of straw.

The construction has not been realized in Campania, but in Bali and afterward, it has traveled up to the coasts of Marina of Varcaturo.

You can choose to consume the dishes to the open-air, surrounded by a suggestive atmosphere, or inside the structure. The best recipe is the vegetarian meatballs.

10. Piperita

The local is a little off the beaten path but with excellent care both for the menù and the reception. The dishes are aesthetically pleasant but mostly tasty. A must is the vegan carbonara.

At lunch, it is possible to find a fixed menù at € 9 that includes first course, appetizer, and second course of vegetables with a glass of wine.

11. Officina Vegana


Located in the historical center of Naples, Officina Vegana is a takeaway that proposes a vegetable cuisine made of healthy and genuine ingredients, cooked with alternative methods that respect and exalt the taste and the nutritional properties of the foods.

A small place near the University Federico II, where to enjoy a relaxing and savory break lunch.

12. Vero Gastrobar


In the historical center, Vero Gastrobar is a place that proposes vegetarian and vegan cuisine, from the appetizer to the dessert, revisiting in a “veggy” key the typical dishes of the Partenopea tradition.

But not only: so many are also the proposals of international inspiration in a menu that, every Thursday, proposes new dishes thanks to the creativeness of the chef.

Original source: https://happyherbivore.com/2019/03/vegan-restaurants-naples-italy/

Kaleslaw – A Mixed Cabbage Salad

Sweet and tangy with a bit of an Asian flair, this Kaleslaw features a tasty mix of red kale, red cabbage and Napa cabbage. It’s the perfect companion for all your dishes, any time of day, any time of year!

Sweet and tangy with a bit of an Asian flair, this Kaleslaw features a tasty mix of red kale, red cabbage and napa cabbage. It's the perfect companion for all your dishes, any time of day, any time of year!

Here’s a salad that you’ll want to add to your plate on a regular basis, if only for its beautiful vibrant colors! Honestly, though, its explosive sweet and tangy flavor profile as well as its crazy nutritional density will give you two more reasons to make this beauty a part of your regular rotation. 

To make this one, I chose to use 3 different kinds of cabbage: red cabbage (for its beautiful vibrant purple color) red kale (because whoa, what a nutrition powerhouse!) and Chinese Napa cabbage (for it’s super fresh, crunchy texture and peppery flavor). To that, I added grated carrots, chopped cilantro, green onions and sunflower seeds, for even more added color and texture! 

As for the vinaigrette, it is super simple and real easy to make, but it tastes so remarkably good, I feel it should come with a warning: you’ll be really tempted do drink it straight from the jar! 

Add to that the fact that this salad will taste just as good after spending a few days in the fridge, I say we got ourselves a definite winner!

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Mujadara – Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions

Mujadara is a super simple yet crazy comforting Lebanese dish made with lentils and rice which are slowly simmered with caramelized onions, then tossed with fresh cilantro and served topped with even more caramelized onions! Stunning on its own, or as a side!

Mujadara is a super simple yet crazy comforting Lebanese dish made with lentils and rice which are slowly simmered with caramelized onions, then tossed with fresh cilantro and served topped with even more caramelized onions! Stunning on its own, or as a side!

Up until about a month and a half ago, I’d never even heard of Mujadara. Now? I can’t get enough of it! In fact, since I discovered this yummy Lebanese dish, I’ve been making it every single week without fail; I think I’m addicted!

Now I’m not saying that my recipe is the real deal, as in super authentic and all. In fact, it’s probably not even close to that. To come up with my own version of the dish, I’ve analyzed (and tried) several recipes. As is the case with many classic dishes, there’s a myriad different versions out there, but all have the same 3 ingredients in common: rice, lentils and caramelized onions. While most recipes call for white rice, I much prefer to use brown rice. I find that it has more texture, a more robust flavor and goes super good with the lentils. Also, the ratio of rice to lentils seems to vary a lot. I find that 1:1 works perfectly well!

As for the caramelized onions, some prefer to add very little, while others, like me, go all out. Some cook the onions, rice and lentils separately. Yikes! You know me, right? I’m all for keeping things stupid simple, saving time and using less dishes. I did everything in one pan.  

Seriously, while it might not look like much, this Mujadara thing is dangerously tasty! You should totally give it a try! Granted, this is the kind of dish that takes quite a bit of time to make, but most of this time is completely non-demanding of your attention. It’s a dish that practically takes care of itself. 

5 minutes prep time to slice the onions, 2 minutes to blow your nose and wipe your teary eyes…

The rest, you can take care of the rest while the onions are cooking.

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