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Vegan for the Holidays

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All the world is nuts about

    What's in The Nut Gourmet

The Nutty Gourmet

Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarians in Paradise Vegetarian/Vegan Magazine

A Los Angeles Vegan Web Magazine

A Nonprofit Vegan Public Service Publication

Over 1,000,000 hits and 100,000 visitors monthly

By Zel and Reuben Allen

DECEMBER 2014 Vol. 16 No. 12

Welcome to Vegetarians in Paradise. With each new issue we at vegparadise.com hope to provide you with a variety of information pertinent to the vegan community. For those who visit us from other areas of the country or from distant lands, we offer great diversity and invaluable vegan resources for vegans and vegetarians anywhere in the world.

Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest Updates

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    VIP Bird New in Paradise


    Zel's Cooking Demonstrations and Classes

    A Delicious Meal for the Hungry Vegan

    When: Thursday, January 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
    Sponsor: Glendale College Community Services
    Location: Toll Middle School, Room 1206, Glendale, CA
    Class fee: $35
    A $20 materials fee to instructor for recipes and a delicious meal
    For sign-up and information call: 818-240-1000, Ext. 5015

    A Valentine Dinner for the One You Love

    When: Saturday, February 7, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    Location: La Crescenta Library
    2809 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta, CA 91214
    Class fee: FREE
    To reserve your place, call: 818-248-5313


    Visualize Yourself Dreaming of a White Christmas Dinner

    Holiday Snow Quiche Cauliflower Mountain
    If we Southern Californians can't enjoy a Christmas with snow on the ground, we certainly could feast on a White Christmas Dinner. So I began to imagine each course white as snow but dressed in holiday reds and greens. That festive picturesque scene was a can-do and is ready for anyone romantic enough to share my what-if!

    While I held that image of everything on the plate looking white as snow, the foods I chose didn't cooperate entirely. Though I began with foods that are white, after cooking, baking, or blending, the white became a bit tarnished. Still, the theme prevails.
    Read More . For other Christmas dining delights Read More and More and More.

    Celebrate Deliciously All Year Long
    Vegan for the Holidays Jolly Green Christmas Tree

    Start the Christmas party with a Jolly Green Christmas Tree appetizer. Then, begin the preps for Shiitake Tornadoes in Cashew-Ceam Sauce, a knock-out main dish. And, don't forget to make some Panforte to give as sweet treats for special peeps on the gift list.
    Read More

    Brenda Davis Receives 24 Carrot Award

    Brenda Davis Becoming Vegan Express Edition

    "To me, being vegan is about doing our part to transform this planet into a place of goodness and peace; a place where life is truly supported and cherished; where kindness and compassion are our guiding principles. It is about doing our part to create a world in which violence and cruelty are mere shadows of what they once were, and where purposeful and unnecessary harm to living, feeling beings is unthinkable. It is about living what we believe with the greatest integrity possible. It is about making our lives an example of everything we want this world to be."
    Read More

    Gather Around the Hanukkiah
    for Hanukkah with a Vegan Touch

    Menorah The familiar box of Hanukkah candles usually contains candles of many colors that are delightful to look at when the entire hanukkiah is lighted. The candles are small and do not burn long; however, they are never blown out, but are to burn until they go out naturally.

    The holiday is especially joyful for families with young children because the festivities include giving the children Hanukkah gelt, pieces of chocolate wrapped in gold foil that represent gold coins. Many families exchange gifts all eight nights, while some only give gifts to the children. Each year families retell the story of Hanukkah, sing songs, and play the dreidle game with a special spinning top.
    Read More and More and More

    Zel Launches Vegan for the Holidays Blog
    Vegan for the Holidays Blog

    Vegan for the Holidays Blog is THE place to find exceptional vegan recipes and ideas saved just for those special holiday gatherings when you yearn to bring something inviting to the table. Zel's featured seasonal ingredients, like chestnuts, pomegranates, persimmons, squashes, and nuts that make vegan dining so special during autumn and winter festivities.

    Some of the recipes, like the finger lickin' Holiday Ready Apple Crisp, Brussels Sprouts Go Seoul Searching, Santa's Favorite Panforte, Almond Nutloaf, and Thanksgiving Torte are from Zel's cookbooks (Vegan for the Holidays and The Nut Gourmet). But Zel continues to create irresistible holiday recipes that are now finding a happy home on the blog.
    Read More

    Follow the Nguzo Sabah In a Vegan Kwanzaa Celebration

    Hoppin John Sweet Potato Pie

    Culturally focused, Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday but embraces all religions. Feasting is an integral part of the Kwanzaa holiday. Some families, however, fast from sunrise to sunset and break the fast with the evening celebration. When families gather around the table, a special bond occurs that seals their unity. And when families bustle around the kitchen to cook the meal together, the celebration takes on a deeper, more joyful meaning.
    Read More

    Usher in the New Year with a Soiree
    Or a Daytime Bash

    Cinnamon Peanut Butter Torte Spicy Pecan Gremolata Log

    Whether our New Year celebration bids farewell to the "old" year on New Year's Eve or welcomes in the new year on New Year's Day, we can bet the celebrants will be in a festive mood and ready for some tasty bites and zesty beverages.

    We plan to start the New Year's Eve gatherings on the late side, often about nine or even ten in the evening. That's because many friends enjoy going out to dinner before the party and joining together afterward for nibbling on finger foods, tidbits, and some New Year spirit.
    Read More and More.

    VIPs Dine in Vege Paradise

    Vege Paradise Restaurant Vege Paradise Restaurant

    The first bite was heavenly, the second and third even better. We totally fell in love with this light, rice-battered turnip appetizer that was divinely crisp on the outside and creamy soft on the inside. The turnip flavor was pleasing, yet not overpowering.

    When they arrived at the table, I thought we would likely take half of them home. Instead, we devoured them all! The Soft Tofu and Pumpkin Hot Pot was also exceptional. Attractively arranged in the hot pot were tender, thin slices of pumpkin, very possibly kabocha squash still wearing its skin, and large chunks of fried tofu bathed in a flavorful brown sauce. The cast iron hot pot that held the pumpkin and tofu was sitting in a recessed hole cut into a thick wooden stand and kept the food hot throughout the meal.
    Read More

    VIP Chefs Prepare for Vegan Hanukkah Celebration; Watch the Videos

    Supreme Master TV spent a fun day at the home of Zel Allen filming Zel and her kitchen companion, Diana Friedberg, cooking three delicious dishes for their Hanukkah celebration. Together they assembled Brazil Nut and Raisin Cabbage Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce for the main course accompanied with golden crisp Potato Latkes topped with homemade Tofu Sour Cream. A traditional festive Jewish meal concludes with compote. Zel and Diana prepared delicious Pear Cranberry Compote and dressed it up with a unique touch--Choco-Wafers. The third segment concludes with a family celebration of the holiday.
    Read More

    Baker's Dozen of Inspired Chefs
    Join New Year's Chili Bash

    Oven-Baked Two-Bean Chili White Bean and Hominy Chili

    But what should we serve a throng of hungry guests during the lively festivities? No problem! Put a kitchen full of innovative chefs together and ask what they thought about a Chili Bash for a New Year's celebration.

    They loved it! The consensus of chefs was a positive vote to put chili on the New Year's menu. It didn't take much convincing to tease a chili recipe from these generous chefs--and what an inventive collection of chili recipes we've assembled!
    Read More

    Celebrate Christmas with a Victorian Plum Pudding
    Victorian Plum Pudding

    This festive dessert carries a regal 19th century Christmas tradition into the 21st century with a delicious updated twist. While keeping all of its lore and fancy intact, the recipe replaces animal ingredients like suet and turns deliciously vegan with only a few enhancements. Read More

    Cardiologist Tells What She's Learned About Going Vegan
    Dr. Heather Shenkman

    Hard to believe it's been that long since March 2005, when I paced the Strong Memorial Hospital cafeteria my first night as a vegan looking for what vegan thing I could eat for dinner and settled for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

    From my own trials and mistakes, here's what I've learned:

    1) It's not just about eliminating animal products. It's about including new foods.

    It is hard to stick with something when the approach is "these are the things I cannot eat." But rather, it should be a journey of finding what you CAN eat! Try new foods. Have you ever had quinoa? Baked tofu? Seitan (not pronounced like the devil, but rather say-TAN)? Read More

    Bloggers' Question: Are V8 Vegetable Juice
    & Campbell's Tomato Soup Vegan?
    Company Delivers Mixed Messages
    V8 100% Vegetable Juice

    Blogger Vani Hari, whose internet avatar is Food Babe, wondered whether "Flavoring" might be derived from an animal source. She also questioned why the label said "100% Vegetable Juice" even though "Flavoring" would contradict that claim and make the juice less than "100% Vegetable Juice."

    Her readers carried the investigation further by going to Twitter and asking Campbell's, the parent company, if V8 "Flavoring" was animal based. The tweet from Campbell's Cares said, "Yes, they may include meat/seafood/poultry/dairy when the function in the food is flavoring rather than nutrition."
    Read More

    Scientists Use Yeast to Create
    100% Real Vegan Cheese

    Real Vegan Cheese

    Vegan Cheese isn't a cheese substitute like so many others out there: it's actual, mouth-watering, delicious real cheese created via the same techniques used to make dairy-based cheeses. The team of molecular biologists who came up with this brilliance bio-engineered regular bakers yeast to make milk proteins known as caseins. These caseins then get blended together with vegan sugar, oil, and water, to brew up a non-animal-derived milk that can be transformed into cheese by standard, time-tested methods.

    This vegan cheese contains no GMOs and no animal products whatsoever. It's a healthier, more ethical, and environmentally responsible food than current dairy-based cheeses, and the best part? You can make your own version at home!
    Read More

    Aunt Nettie Goes Nuts in a Spicy Way

    Now, I s'pose you're gonna think I done gone plum nuts! An' guess I have--plum nuts 'bout servin' up some mighty tasty nuts over this holiday season. Why, them nust is heapin' with flaver from heaps of them nice holiday spices that makes the house smell so good. An', well, they jes plain ole taste good, too!

    Spice up nuts make real fine nibblin' an' y'all know there's a-plenty o' that goin' on. So here's two recipes-they's easy as pie and keeps fer days so you kin fix 'em early an' ferget about 'em.
    Read More

    Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

    Chestnut and Wild Mushroom Risotto

    Ever taste a dish that had such a pleasing blend of flavors you just wanted to keep on eating and eating? This irresistible risotto is worth waiting a whole year for fresh chestnuts to appear in the markets. The ultra seasonal creation is blessed with the creamy sweetness of chestnuts and paired with the earthy flavors of a trio of herbs that make the shiitake and cremini mushrooms melt in the mouth. Chestnut Apple Strudel


    Heavenly rich and captivatingly delicious, this traditional old world dessert takes on refreshing nuance with a hint of maple flavor, an abundant splash of cinnamon, and a blast of chunky chestnuts nibbles. Adding a hint of texture are toasted sliced almonds. Put it all together and you're about to taste an irresistible fall and winter dessert that's a chestnut sensation!
    Read More

    First Vegan Butcher Shop in U.S. Opens in April

    Meat-Free Meats Not all butchers sell meat, which is evident from Aubry and Kale Walch's animal-friendly butcher, The Herbivorous Butcher. Due to open its first brick-and-mortar doors in April, this butcher is going to look exactly like a regular meat butcher shop with ribs, bologna, pepperoni, sausages, and jerky in the windows, except none of the products will contain meat.

    The Herbivorous Butcher started out as a Kickstarter project, and has so far raised close to $60,000 to help this brother-and-sister team make their dreams come true. And you can forget about horrible-tasting tofu at this butcher. These vegans have already crafted a delicious menu of andouille "sausage," Hawaiian "ribs," maple-glazed "bacon," beer brats, Mexican "chorizo," and pulled "pork."
    Read More

    Famed Dietitians Update Seminal Work

    Becoming Vegan Express Edition Veganism has arrived! As Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina point out in their latest book, "There is no denying it: vegan is on the radar of mainstream America. It has arrived because of the moguls and other pioneers who have defied the stereotypes and made vegan attractive to the masses." Prominent athletes, bodybuilders, models, movie stars, musicians, chefs, dietitians, and doctors proudly announce they have adopted this lifestyle.
    Read More

    USC Study Says Vegan Diet Helps Most with Weight Loss?
    Vegan Logo

    A recent study at the University of South Carolina shows that people lose more weight while on a plant-based diet--as if we needed another reason to go vegan.

    Researchers wanted to study which kind of diet was best for losing weight, and it turns that a strict vegan diet--cutting all animal products, including eggs and dairy--is most effective for weight loss. In fact, a completely plant-based diet proved even vegetarian diets don't quite cut it, either.

    But if you want to lose weight, a healthy vegan diet could be the best route. One plus side is that vegan diets include carbohydrates. In fact, the USC study's vegan diet was high in carbs.
    Read More and More

    VeggieTaster Returns With Three Reviews
    Kathleen's Curried Beans with Lentils, Garbanzos, and Split Peas

    Kathleen Knows Her Beans
    A cup of Kathleen's Curried Beans with Lentils, Garbanzos, and Split Peas sounded tempting. The "Cooking Directions" on the cardboard cup directions were for microwave, which I don't have. Heck, I just poured the stuff into a saucepan, added the water, and cooked it over medium heat for just a few minutes. That day my lunch totally rocked! Loved the flavor and cooking it was no big deal! Read More

    Skinny Lemon Master Cleanse Royal Shake Out
    Don't normally go in for detox or cleansing beverages and prefer just plain water, but The Master Cleanse from the Skinny Lemon Co. practically landed in my hand and came home with me. I think it was the ingredients that made it so appealing--purified water, organic maple syrup, organic lemon juice, organic cayenne, and ascorbic acid, which is vitamin C. It's been pretty toasty here in Southern California, so I tucked the 16-ounce bottle into the fridge to chill. I sipped half of the bottle in the afternoon and the other half after dinner. Loved the tingly, lively hit of cayenne and tangy lemon flavor each sip punches out and didn't give it much thought, except that it was really delicious! Read More

    Simply Balanced Mushroom Miso Meatless Turkey Simpy Too Unbalanced for Me
    Surprised out of my gourd to find vegan food in the freezer case at Target, especially four frozen entrees packaged with their own Simply Balanced brand. I chose Mushroom Miso Turkey that boasted 13g of protein and "natural ingredients" on the front of the package. Threw the sauce packets in a bowl to defrost while I heated the chunks of fake turkey in a skillet. What a disappointment! The strips were way too soft and tasteless and totally missed on the texture to be labeled "turkey." I wondered who did the final taste test of the sauce. It was a flavorless goop. Read More

    Become Plant-Powered for Life
    Plant-Powered for Life

    "… if you really, truly start loving plants--craving their flavors, textures, aromas, and colors--they will start loving you back," says registered dietitian nutritionist Sharon Palmer. Her newest book, Plant-Powered for Life, is her easy step-by-step guide helping lure readers "to fall under the spell of plants . . . " and gradually transition to a whole-foods plant-based lifestyle.

    Sharon's enthusiasm for plant foods is contagious as she shares fascinating tidbits of their origins along with their amazing health benefits that have sustained humans from primitive ancestors to today's fitness gurus.
    Read More

    Edible Greeting Cards Make Others
    Eat Your Words

    Eat the Fine Print Greeting Cards

    What if, instead of sending paper greeting cards that will eventually end up in a landfill, you could send cards that won't go to waste?

    The cards are a bit thicker than standard printing paper, and come in different flavors like blueberry, key lime, orange and strawberry. They are made from a mixture of potato starch, palm oil, fruit extract, sucralose and food coloring.

    They're vegan, gluten-free, and just 42 calories each. They come with standard greetings such as "Happy Birthday" and "I Heart You." But you'll need to purchase your own edible ink if you want to personalize them further.
    Read More

    Meatless Monday: An Initiative We Should All Support

    Meatless Monday If we are judged by the company we keep, we are in good company. Vegetarians in Paradise bedfellows turn out to be an impressive group of organizations interested in public health.

    The roster of organizations includes Columbia University Mailman School of Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications. They're all on board to promote Meatless Monday, a campaign to improve national health and benefit the environment. We would like to urge our readers to join us in bringing this message to the attention of the public.
    Read More


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    What's Happening in Vegetarian Los Angeles?

    LA Vegetarian Calender

    To find out about vegetarian events in Los Angeles,
    Click Here.

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