News · Nutrition

Vegan Store Launch!

Our Fully Vegan Store is Here!

(click the title or hit our store in the navigation bar!)

We are super excited to announce that we have launched our own vegan merchandise store!!  The store, for now, features women’s and men’s shirts, jewelry, and home decor.  We will be constantly adding items that we love and think our readers would also enjoy.

As part of our launch event, we are giving away this FREE vegan necklace.  All you have to do is pay for it to get to your house.

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We are also donating 25¢ from every item sold to a local animal sanctuary in the upstate New York area.

Here are some of the cool shirts we have available right now.

 

 

We are going to be constantly adding more merchandise to sign up for our email updates and be sure to check back every so often!

TryitVegan.com’s Vegan Web Store

 

Nutrition · Recipe

Vegan Sushi

Vegan Sushi made by TryItVegan.com

I am in love with vegan sushi. I’ll go to Wegmans multiple times a week and drop about $6 each time on a lovely avocado roll. It really hurts the small budget I have for food made outside of the home. Ultimately, to keep up with my healthy sushi habit, we decided to make our own to save money and to play around with the ingredients. We chose to incorporate avocado, mushrooms, cucumber, and carrot. In the end, we made 11 rolls. For the ingredients that we used, we spent $6.50 for 11 rolls. It is simply baffling to be able to make more than 10 times the sushi for the same price as one Wegmans roll.


Ingredients

(makes 11 rolls)

Sushi Rice

  • 2 cup short grain sushi rice
  • 4 cup water
  • 6 Tbsp  rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tsp white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt

Rolls

(Feel free to substitute any of the vegetables for your favorites!)

  • 6 sheets of nori
  • ½ seedless cucumber cut into thin strips
  • ½ an avocado cut into thin strips
  • 6 baby carrots cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup of mushrooms cut into thin strips

Spicy Mayo Sauce

  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of garlic powder

Vegan Sushi made by TryItVegan.com


Steps

Sushi Rice

  1. Rinse the sushi rice under water until the water turns clear.
  2. Put the 2 cups rinsed rice in a pot with 4 cups of water and turn the heat on high with a lid.  When the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat down to low.  Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until all the water has evaporated.
  3. In another small sauce pan heat up the rice wine vinegar, white sugar, and salt.  Whisk until the salt and sugar have dissolved into the vinegar and the crystals aren’t visible anymore.  Once that is finished, put it in the fridge to cool.
  4. Once your rice is ready, mix your sauce into the rice with a spatula or wooden spoon.  It will look like a lot of liquid but the rice will absorb it quickly.  Don’t over mix as you don’t want the rice to become mushy.  After that is done, put your rice in the fridge to cool for about 15-20 minutes.

 

Rolls

  1. Get all your veggies sliced up and ready to roll up.  The smaller and thinner the better.Vegan Sushi made by TryItVegan.com
  2. Get a small bowl of water ready so the rice doesn’t stick to your fingers.
  3. Cut your nori sheets in half to make 2 horizontal strips.
  4. To roll your sushi you’re going to need plastic wrap (or a bamboo sheet if you have it) and a thick towel.  Place your plastic wrap on top of the towel and then the nori on top of the plastic wrap.  Dip your fingers into the water bowl and spread a thin layer of rice over 90% of the nori.  You want to leave the top 10-20% rice free so that the roll will seal correctly.  Then place whatever veggies you are using right along the bottom edge of the nori.  Use the plastic wrap to help you roll the veggies into the sushi roll.  It helps to add a bit of water to the end of the nori where there is no rice.  Once it’s rolled up, use the plastic wrap and towel to press it together firmly.Vegan Sushi made by TryItVegan.com
  5. Let stand for a few minutes and then slice into sushi sized pieces.  I found it easier to use an extremely sharp knife with a sawing motion instead of chopping.  Let the knife do the work so you don’t tear your delicate sushi rolls!Vegan Sushi made by TryItVegan.com
  6. Once they are all cut you can move them over to a plate and serve immediately or cool them for a short period to allow firming.
  7. Serve them with soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi.  If you’re interested in a spicy mayo recipe then keep on reading!

Spicy Mayo

  1. Mix Vegan mayo, Sriracha, salt, garlic powder, and paprika in a bowl thoroughly.
  2. Move the mixture into a small zip lock bag and trim off the corner.
  3. Use the zip lock bag to pipe some spicy mayo on top of your sushi.

Vegan Sushi made by TryItVegan.com


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Nutrition · Recipe

Red Lentil Curry Over White Rice

Red Lentil Curry over white rice
Red Lentil Curry over white rice

This is by far my favorite dish I’ve ever made.  I eat it at least twice a week and love it more and more each time.  It’s simple and quick to make. This dish has an intense flavor and will break the notion of vegan food being bland and flavorless.  If you’re ready for a spicy and filling dish then just keep reading.


Ingredients

Makes enough for 2 people with some leftovers

  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/2 Tbsp white onion diced
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 a can of sweet yellow corn, you can substitute fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/2 a bag of your favorite frozen vegetables.  I use broccoli and carrots or a mushroom blend.
  • 1 cup of dried red lentils
  • 3 cups of water or veggie stock
  • 1 green onion

Spice Blend

  • 2 tsp of paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp of curry powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Optional: Add in red pepper flakes if you’re looking to spice up the dish.

White Rice

  • 2 cups jasmine rice, you can substitute this for whatever rice you want
  • 4 cups water

Cooking Steps

  1. Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add in the oil when the pan is warmed up, then add in your onions and garlic.
  3. Give those a minute or two to brown up and start to caramelize.  After that, add in your spice blend and stir that around for 20-30 seconds.  Giving a light toast on your spices will add some amazing flavor and fill up your house with a beautiful aroma.
  4. Add in your red lentils.  Be sure to rinse and inspect them before hand.  Sometimes tiny rocks get through the sorting and wind up in the bags!
  5. Add in your frozen veggies
  6. Add in your water or veggie stock.  I use enough to make sure the lentils are barely submerged
  7. Reduce the heat until the pan is at a slow simmer.
  8. At this point, you want to get your rice going.  Simply add in 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water in a pot with a lid and put it on the stove over high heat.  Once it starts to boil reduce to low heat with the lid still on and let it steam for about 15 minutes.  If you like your rice grainier, subtract a half cup of water.  If you want it more sticky, add in half cup more of water.
  9. After about 10-15 minutes your curry will be close to finished.  Be sure to stir it around a lot so it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.  The red lentils should turn into a paste when they are ready.  If you can still see the small little circles then add in another half cup of water or veggie stock and stir.
  10. You will know you are done when the curry is like a thick paste.  Once you’re at this point turn the heat off and get ready to plate.
  11. Place a scoop of white rice on the bottom, then top it with equal parts red lentil curry.  Garnish with your green onions and you’re ready to enjoy a dish packed with flavor and nutrition.

Some fun variations we add to this dish!

  • Jess loves to put maple syrup over the top to add a little sweet and spicy flavor.
  • Alan loves to add nutritional yeast and hot sauce to turn up the heat!
News · Nutrition

2% Seaweed in Cow’s Diet Lowers Methane Production 99%

With climate change being a critical issue of our time, addressing one of the leading causes is key. Check out an article by the Irish Times stating how we can use seaweed supplementation in a cow’s diet to reduce their methane production by 99%. I see it as a great start towards a plant-based lifestyle as they recommend simply eating “fewer burgers and steaks,” but eliminating the consumption of animals is what our planet truly needs.

Article: Seaweed shown to reduce 99% methane from cattle
*Check out Chasing Coral and Chasing Ice on Netflix.

Nutrition · Recipe

Creamy Banana Smoothie

Banana Smoothie

Banana smoothies are our go-to breakfast.  They are quick, easy, nutritious, delicious, and pretty cheap to make!  Since both of us are currently college students this smoothie is the perfect morning pick me up that helps us get our day started on a positive note!


Ingredients

  • 3 frozen bananas.  We unpeel and freeze our bananas when they are perfectly ripe.  Freezing them allows for the sugars to be forced out of their cells and really pack a sweet banana flavor.  It also makes the texture creamy and smooth.
  • ½ scoop of Vega protein powder.  Vanilla is our favorite.  This isn’t completely necessary but it helps give the smoothie an extra heathy boost while adding creaminess and flavor.vega
  • 3-6 Ice Cubes
  • 2 cups ounces Cold Water

Steps

  1. Throw bananas, Vega, water, and about 4 ice cubes into a blender and process until everything is smooth.
  2. Fill a cup with a few more ice cubes and your smoothie.
  3. Enjoy!

Alternatives

  • Add a scoop of peanut butter or PB2 powder then garnish the rim with some coconut sugar.
  • 3 drops vanilla extract for a milkshake replica.
  • 2 drops mint extract for a “Shamrock Shake” taste.
  • 1 Tbsp cacao powder for a chocolate shake.

Banana Smoothie Penut Butter2Banana Smoothie Penut Butter

Nutrition

Beyond Burger Review

burger 2

After 3 long years of waiting for this plant-based burger to hit shelves in my area, I have finally been able to try it. The company ended up finding my Instagram page and enjoyed my photography so much that they wanted to send me a couple packs, even before the burgers came to grocery stores in Buffalo. So, lucky me, they sent them overnight along with an awesome hat that Alan the Vegan Chef wears every day and a cute shirt for myself.

As soon as we received them we were cooking them up and slathering on all the fixings. We went with the classic burger: Daiya cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. As they cooked, the entire room filled with the smell of delicious fat being simmered as we watched its juices drip out of the patty and sizzle. They looked and smelled just like a meat-based burger, an eerie sight for sure. The food scientists at Beyond Meat really hit that nail on the head. The taste and texture were incredible as well. You can get this burger as crispy or as rare as you see fit. The outside browns to form grill marks from its original pink texture.

I would recommend this burger to anyone. They’re vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and soy free…suitable for everyone. You will see me pushing this on new friends, urging them to try it because, before this, I was NOT a veggie burger kind-of-girl. I don’t want you to miss out! This is not one of those veggie burgers that was formulated in the early 70’s from kelp and mushed up beans. It’s perfect for anyone, vegan or not. It’s even perfect for those out there that are thinking about giving up on their vegan diet and need something like this to remind them why they should stay. It tastes a lot like meat but lacks all of the gross parts because it’s just peas!

For those of you that are going to say “but Jess, this is super high in fat?” I’d have to agree that it is very high for my liking but for those that are simply looking to have an occasional indulgence, enjoy it. It’s a great source of protein and iron yet has no cholesterol. It’s comparable in calories (290 kcal vs. 287 kcal) to a beef burger without the guilt. It’s a comfort food that shouldn’t be an everyday staple, especially if you are overweight or have cardiovascular disease. It’s simply the best tasting plant-based burger that I’ve ever had. For two patties, your going to pay around $5 but I have been know to make two patties into four or break them apart them and use them in other dishes as a faux meat crumble. So good!

Rating: 9/10

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Nutrition · Tips

Favorite Plant-Based Sites

NutritionFacts.org-Dr. Micheal Greger’s site is for everything nutrition. If you have a question, he has probably made a video (or series of videos) on the topic. He reviews thousands of studys on food and health every year so you don’t have to. Check out his book How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease for an entire discussion on each of the top diet-related killers.

ForksOverKnives.com-Great for those new to the lifestyle that want help with meal planning or to watch the film “Forks Over Knives.” It is also a center for individuals to share their low fat whole food plant-based success stories and to inspire the world.

PCRM.org-An organization run by Dr. Neal Bernard that aims to be a resource for health professionals and to make dramatic change in the policy of nutrition and global health.

VeganHealth.org-A great resource for nutritional information in every aspect and category. From vitamins to disease and sports nutrition, this website is packed with pertinent information to improve your life.

GardenFreshFoodie.com-Jessica Altman offers amazing recipes and nutrition information. Each recipe is a unique and healthy spin on traditional foods. Her work in the community offering cooking classes and as a health speaker sets her apart in the foodie world.

ThriveMarket.com-A great storefront for everything vegan.

VeganEssentials.com-Another great storefront for vegan products and items you may not typically find elsewhere.

Peta.org-A leader in animal rights and ethical behavior, PETA’s activism is changing the world one sticker or protest at a time.