Nature Made’s B12 Supplement Review

Whether you are just starting to get into vegan eating, or have been a veteran of the way of life it is agreed upon by many that follow this path need to keep a watchful eye on their B12 levels as simply eating organic produce (even when grown in B12-rich soul) will not offer the required amounts. But do not fear, as there is a simple yet healthy solution! Nature Made is a well-known and well respected brand which goes the hard mile when catering for the masses. They have a line of supplements designed for vegans which seem to be quite popular no matter where you go and as you would expect, they have something to ensure you never suffer B12 deficiency.
Nature Made Vitamin B-12 1000 MCG Sublingual Supplement, 50 Count
Nature Made’s Vegetarian B12 Dietary Supplement is like a little ball of perfection for your body in more ways than one. As we all know, B12 is essential for keeping the brain and nervous system functioning at one-hundred percent, as well as promoting the healthy formation of red blood cells. On its own this becomes a staunch ally of the struggling vegan in an ever increasing non-vegan world, but the goodness doesn’t stop there.
A common discovery made by those trying out different vitamin supplements is that all of a sudden they will have energy; they will have the power to life a bus! And then, they will hit the ground harder than a carnivores man being told meat is off the menu for the night. This is a serious issue with poorly made supplements that can ruin your entire day, but luckily Nature Made’s has got it right again. If their B12 supplement tickles your fancy, then you will no doubt find a constant stream of energy that doesn’t overpower you and drive you mad during the day, but supports you and lets you solider on through a world of frustration. Another thing to note is that, unlike other supplements that send you to bed with cramps or a horrible sick feeling when taken on an empty stomach, the Vegan B12 supplement suffers no such side effect and thus is even more valuable to those rushing out of the house to work, drop the kids off at school or get on with the day.

It is important to mention however that some people find this specific tablet difficult to manage as it interrupts their sleeping cycles. Our bodies are sensitive things and what one person can deal with, won’t always be the same for someone else. Due to the sudden increases in your levels of energy when taking Nature Made’s B12 supplement for the first time, or as a deficient person, it is a possibility that you will find it hard if not impossible to sleep, like you have just had a shot of caffeine. This is unfortunate but unavoidable, and you won’t know till you give it a try!

It is very likely that you may not even realise you need B12, but the signs could be hiding in plain sight! A common set of complaints from vegans suffering deficiency are headaches, needle like pains in the feet, weak muscles and what is colloquially known as brain fog (putting your keys in the freezer, forgetting to pick the kids up from school…you know, the little stuff!”
Since B12 provides a kick to your brain and nervous system it is no real surprise that most of these things can be solved and done away with inside of a week by simply ensuring you get your B12 levels back up.

The only real substantial complaint about Nature Made’s Supplements, specifically their vegan range, is that for the size of the bottle you get an underwhelming amount of tablets. A bottle that can easily hold perhaps fifty tablets contains only thirty, and while it doesn’t sound like that big of a deal if you are taking them once or twice a day, every day at $6.57 a bottle you may find that to be less economical than other brands, but it falls to your personal preference and if the positive effects outweigh the drawbacks!
You can purchase them on Amazon here.

 

Vegan Treats for Kids Lunchboxes

The struggle to provide kids with healthy and nutritious lunchbox snacks is not a struggle that is new to parents and guardians. With the ever increasing amount of junk food available in stores it’s hard to get kids excited in the alternatives which are usually healthy and yummy at the same time. So, let’s try and find some!
Chips are a favourite for the lunchbox but also a high source of sugar and energy that are probably not the best thing to be putting in a child about to step into the classroom! Instead, ‘Luke’s Organic Kale Chipsoffer an alternative that is organic, vegan, non-GMO and kosher to ensure you can still provide a tasty treat without all the junk! Its regular costumers report that it tastes fantastic, it offers a perfect snack for both kids and adults alike. An interesting thing to note which is reported as frequently as praise towards these particular snacks is that they don’t seem to be available in store and must be bought online. Due to this fact, most people by it in bulk which produces crushed packets and chips, however this is not so much a food issue and simply a logistical one with ordering.

Luke's Organic Gluten Free Kale Multigrain Corn Chips 142g

Mary’s Black Pepper Crackersare another option for hungry kids on the run, they are Gluten free as well as vegan friendly and are reportedly extremely addictive! It is rare that you get a healthy, organic snack that tastes as good (if not better) than the usual junk foods we put in the lunchbox. They are reasonably prices as well and the majority of those that have bought it feel there is a good balance between price and quality, something you don’t always get when it comes to organic and vegan snacks due to the cost of the ingredients that go into ensuring it is of top quality. There isn’t much else to say on these, as there seems to be no negative reviews or complaints!

Mary's Gone Crackers Black Pepper, 6.5 Ounce

Growing kids need every bit of goodness they can get, and it is no secret that getting little ones to eat healthy is indeed a trough task. Getting crucial vitamins, protein and energy every day may seem like a hard ask, but in fact there is a simple snack that can make it quite a simple task. ‘Tosi Superbites’ are an organic, gluten free and vegan friendly snack made with cashews, almonds, flaxseeds and many other healthy bits and bobs. They provide a strong source of protein, omega-3 and fiber as well as being a very tasty treat. Most people love them for how easy it is to eat them on the run, be it at the park, in school, or even at home! Everything from taste to smell is appealing and they are perfect for not just the hungry kids but adults as well. There is a common issue buyers have with Tosi, being that these products usually come out more expensive than you would like to pay and that has been a bit of a letdown for a lot of people who have tried and loved these snacks, but can’t afford to be buying them weekly to put in lunchboxes. However, if you don’t mind paying a bit extra (and to be fair, you are paying for top notch quality and a very healthy, organic snack that will provide plenty of energy for the day ahead) then this is probably one the best products you can get your hands on, even more so for vegans looking for a fast and simple meal that tastes amazing and stops cravings during the day!

Vega Sport Performance Protein Review

Anyone who has spent time shopping around in store or online for gluten-free, vegan and/or non-GMO verified protein powders and shakes knows that it isn’t as simple and straightforward as it first appears. When it comes to buying something you are going to be taking once a day or more, you need to be certain it contains (or doesn’t contain) what it says it does.
Vega Sport Protein Powder, Vanilla, 828 g (20 Servings)
Vega are a large and well-known brand that pump out a multitude of products for those looking for gluten-free or vegan alternatives (among others) and thus it is no surprise they are top of the list when you start looking for a new shake. It is advertised with all the usual suspects; non-GMO verified, gluten-free and vegan friendly.
‘Vega Sport Protein’ is not a new product, or at least the name isn’t. The product currently on the shelf is the second iteration of the Sport Protein from Vega which was highly loved and praised by its users. At first glance it would appear not much has changed with its newer release that came out a year or two ago, but after some digging a few interesting things started to stand out.

I think the biggest thing that caught my attention was the fact that it has the addition of ‘natural flavours’ which is misleading at a glance. To give you an idea, a 100% vegan protein powder tastes like, well, chalk due to the fact it has no flavours added to it.
So what is the big deal about natural flavours, they are natural after all…right?
The thing is, natural flavours are created with chemicals and do not naturally occur in foods. This process can include any natural source from leaves or roots to petroleum and GMO corn. Now you may find that confusing since the product clearly states it is GMO free, however in the United States companies are not lawfully required to release the sources of their natural flavours and thus in reality there is a possibility, but we can’t be sure.

The next complaint reported frequently by customers is the fact the product has simply been ruined due to its taste. From those who had been using the older version of Vega’s Sport Protein, the new iteration has a ‘chemical’ taste about it and is somewhat overpowering with sweetness. Other problems mentioned are stomach issues and the feeling of being sick, logistical errors like tub and handle size, the addition of too much extra protein and a heftier serving of carbohydrates compared to their old version. It isn’t all negative, however. There are still plenty of Vega customers that reported they are happy with the new product, enjoy its taste and find it works as it says it does so it really depends on how much faith you want to put into the company.

It is a fact that as we move further into the modern age where chemical engineering and processing take a greater place in the food industry that it becomes increasingly harder to trust larger companies when they place labels such as ‘non-GMO’ and ‘vegan friendly’. Every day new ways to alter our food and add flavours, colours, smells is invented and the ability to track the ingredients back to their source is every more convoluted. It wouldn’t be right to demonise a product and its maker straight up without proof, but it is without a doubt important that anybody wanting to ensure everything they are ingesting is 100% vegan and non-GMO do their own research, ask questions and keep an eye on what others are saying so they can keep themselves safe, happy, healthy and possess a peace of mind!
You can get the Chocolate or Vanilla flavor on Amazon.

Treat Your Body Right, Everyday

Now is the time of year when many people start to consider doing a cleanse or detox diet. With all the rain falling and flowers making everything fresh, it’s hard not to think about self-renewal. Over the years I have tried a few myself; from candida cleanse, juice fasts, and raw diets, to regimented cleanses out of a box. I can’t say they’ve all been successful, but I won’t say that it wasn’t worthwhile either. As far as the experts go, they are pretty divided about whether or not cleanses are beneficial.  And after trying a few I’m kind of sure it takes the guidance of an expert to really get it right. There is whole book to read if you want to do the master cleanse properly, even though the actual concoction is quite simple.  There are also times in your life when a detox diet doesn’t make sense, like if you are nursing, sick with a chronic illness, or having trouble eliminating stress and don’t have time to relax. There is one thing I can say with confidence though. It is not good to get on a cycle of binge and purge. A well seasoned detox dieter, particularly in their off season, is not necessarily healthier than someone who makes a habit of eating healthy most of the time.

the master cleanse: lemon juice, water, cayenne, and maple syrup.
the master cleanse: lemon juice, water, cayenne, and maple syrup.

bumping up your fiber or fresh vegetable intake. Consider it to be like keeping your house tidy all the time, as opposed to letting it get completely wasted before you clean it. If you are eating animal products, switching to an all vegan diet could be a gentler way to cleanse your body, before you make the decision to bring on a heavy duty cleanse.

For strict vegans, or if just sticking to a vegan diet for a while doesn’t make you feel better, you may want to try eliminating problem foods from your diet. For those who already eat vegan, the first step with most cleanses is to eliminate gluten, sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol from your diet.  If you are experiencing unexplained headaches, tiredness, indigestion, and sometimes depression, it might be time eliminate these culprits from your diet. Many nutritionists believe that sugar is poison and some even are starting to push for the regulation of sugar, just like alcohol or tobacco. It takes a lot out of the liver to digest refined sugar and wheat, which may explain why so many people feel better after giving them up. Do not replace sugar with chemical artificial sweeteners. Instead try using dates as a sweetener or just leave it out entirely. You might be surprised what new flavors you will come to love. Try replacing foods made from wheat, with those made from gluten-free whole grains like rice, millet and quinoa.

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A sugar-free treat that you can make: pistachio and coconut stuffed dates. http://backtoherroots.com/2012/01/16/coconut-pistachio-stuffed-dates/

There are also a good number of foods that can be added to your regular eating habits that are good for cleansing the body. Fresh juices are full of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help your body run clean and strong. Salads and smoothies have the same benefits as juices, but are full of raw fiber that will help to scrub out your insides. Drink herbal teas, like mint, dandelion root, burdock, and ginger. Do something to relax, breathe, or do yoga. An abundance of stress hormones can slow down the body’s natural detoxifying process. Nothing is more revitalizing to me than starting my day with a glass of fresh water mixed with lemon juice. Add cayenne to your lemon water if you need and extra kick in the morning like I often do! Make cleansing foods a part of your regular eating regimine, like this massaged kale salad on Oh She Glows! (Note: some cleanses recommend eliminating nutritional yeast from your diet and I think the tahini salad dressing tastes fine if you want to leave it out!)

Weekend Glow Kale Salad!
Weekend Glow Kale Salad!

If you are considering doing a detox diet, please consider trying these things first. If you can’t stick to just a gluten-free and sugar-free vegan diet, then ask yourself if eliminating even more of the things you usually eat is right for you. Breaking bad eating habits can be difficult, but pushing yourself too hard can lead to relapse binges. Coupling the shock of a fast or cleanse with the shock of a bad relapse can make the body worse off than before. If you have a hard time giving up unhealthy foods, start of slowly by limiting how often you indulge- then work your way up. Make and effort to renew your long-term eating habits and avoid binging on junk with the promise to cleanse later.

2012, The Year of the Flexitarian?

Remember last year when PETA campaigned to change the name of San Francisco’s Tenderloin District to the “Tempeh District?” That was great, wasn’t it? (Runner-up names included “Granola Flats” and “Seitan’s Lair”.) And oh, how I wish I could forget that VegNews was exposed for using edited pictures of non-vegan foods in order to promote their vegan recipes. They promised not to do it ever again. Hopefully no one else does either!

2011 was definitely the beginning of veganism hitting the mainstream. Remember when Oprah and three-hundred-something of her staff went vegan and after that, Bill Clinton? I didn’t see that coming. Bigwig celebrity vegan diets was definitely a theme of 2011. But what I see coming in 2012 is even bigger; I’m thinking we’re going to see a lot more vegan athletes and vegan bodybuilders. Venus and Serena Williams just announced their raw vegan diet. I’m guess there will probably be a few new vegan babies too!

Possibly the biggest trend on the horizon is “Flexitarianism“. No, this is not another corny reference to vegan body builders. It is a way of eating that reduces the amount of animal products consumed, without going all the way vegan. At least half of Americans are aware of the “Meatless Monday” campaign with around 27% actively trying to reduce the amount of animal products they are consuming. And the amount of meat we are consuming as a nation can be seen as plummeting in comparison to recent years.

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In the media right now there is no shortage of reasons why people are striving to eat a mostly plant-based diet. Some sources are reporting that going vegan is better for the environment that going organic. Authors of the China Study report that the long-term effects of animal products on the human body are worse than smoking cigarettes.  Even the Harvard School of Public Health recently cut out dairy and made meat optional in their revision of the classic food pyramid. So perhaps being a perfect vegan isn’t in the cards for some people, but if you ask me, flexitarians can still cut it with the rest of us.

One of the best new foods I tried in 2011

If you ever think you are getting to the age where nothing can surprise you, then I say you aren’t being adventurous enough! I might not have even lived half as long as my grandparents yet, but I know there will always be something new for me to try.

I’ve always loved pickles. When I was a child, my grandmother told me I could be anything I wanted to be. She was talking about women’s liberation, but this  nuance was lost my 5 year-old-brain. I declared that I would be a pickle because I loved them so much! That is why it is only natural that my single most favorite new discovery of the past year was Umeboshi.

Umeboshi a day keeps the doctor away!
Umeboshi a day keeps the doctor away!

Umeboshi is a pickled Nanko plum. The origin of this food is Japan, where Umeboshi is served as an accompaniment to rice, green tea, sushi, and many other things. There is also Umeboshi paste, which is great in sushi, and Umeboshi vinegar, which is actually just the brine from the pickles.  Adding either of these to sauces makes them rich with sweet, floral, tart, and salty flavors. This little pink pickle is highly regarded as a super food for it’s alkalizing properties. It was even given to samurai soldiers as a part of their rations because it is believed to be a preventative and cure for fatigue and nausea. Some people recommend trying it as a remedy for your New Year’s hangover!

Ripe Nanko plums ready for pickling.
Ripe Nanko plums ready for pickling.

What was the best new food you tried in 2011? What will you try in 2012?

When Good Vegans Have Non-Vegan Cravings

Sometimes the most miserable thing about being vegan is dealing with non-vegan CRAVINGS. In my mind cravings often take on the form of a monster under the bed or horror movie killer knocking down the door. The victim runs, but there is no place to hide. I often have no control over my cravings. Willpower, too, can be a fickle thing; at least that is how I have come to know it. One minute you have an abundance of resolve and the next minute you’re washing down grilled cheese bites with gulps of milkshake. No?! That never happens to you? Umm, Okay don’t judge me, I only did it once!

Maybe there is not much that you can do besides compost the remainder of the offensive thing that you have just ingested, if you wake up in the midst of a somnambulant lapse of judgment. The one trick I do have up my sleeve is this: I have devised a secretly unsophisticated pairing of non-vegan cravings with yummy vegan foods. Some of them I have chosen for no reason other than it satisfied my craving once. Others are based on speculations about why my body might be craving a certain thing. I have never read anything that proves that cravings for food are directly related to nutritional contents, but I don’t think it’s ever bad to keep nutrients in mind. Of course all of these are a matter of personal taste.  Some of the items on the list are things that are arguably vegan, but are often excluded or limited the diet of one who is concerned about their health.

Portobello Steak from Happy Herbivore!
Portobello Steak from Happy Herbivore!

Beef – For some reason eating things like kale or broccoli cooked in tamari or soy sauce has helped me with this one. Black beans, kidney beans, and mushrooms are good for this craving too. Who doesn’t love Portobello mushroom steaks?

Candy – Dried fruits, Fruit Leather, and Smoothies

Cheese – Cashews, Avocado, Nutritional Yeast, and Daiya Cheese

Chicken – Seitan! It seems like i’ve had the most “wait this is vegan, right?” moments with seitan. Chickpeas are another substitute that has a name with the power of suggestion.

Vegan Lasagna is my comfort food.
Vegan Lasagna is my comfort food.

Comfort – Sometimes the foods I am craving are because I am craving a sentiment that is attached with eating them. What is the feeling you are craving? Try to identify it and it may help you come up with a solution .

Eggs – Tofu! Tofu scramble, tofu eggless “egg” salad. Baked tofu bagel sandwiches are a breakfast time favorite of mine. I also hear one can make a mean crepe using chickpea flour!

Fish – Sushi or really almost anything with seaweed in it. Make a creamy lemon-dill aoli to go on a tempeh or tofu “fish” sandwich.  Sea vegetables are packed with trace minerals, so start experimenting with them! I bet you didn’t know that our “Hold-the-Tuna” Salad at Nature’s Express has Dulse added to it!

Fried – Indulge in something fatty, like nuts or avocado. Add a little coconut or olive oil to whatever you’re making. Try some kale chips!

Milk – Learn how to make your own milks. I love making my own raw almond milk because it tastes fresher than any milk that ever came out of a carton. Another thing I eat when I’m craving something rich and creamy is anything made with coconut milk. Tahini can make a nice creamy sauce or dressing.

Tempeh Sausage Puff Pastries!
Tempeh Sausage Puff Pastries!

Pork – I’ve tried some really yummy seitan and tempeh vegan sausages. The list of types of homemade vegan bacons I have tried and liked are endless: tofu, tempeh, eggplant, seitan, and coconut, to name a few.

Rich – Try curries, miso, or roasted garlic.

Sour Cream: I am convinced that guacamole would beat sour cream in a battle on any day. If you want a rich dressing or sauce you can drizzle over something, try using tahini.

Now that so much time has passed, I remember the things I used to eat and I much prefer the vegan versions. Sometimes I think I could just use a bit more reprogramming. I’ve successfully staved off a doughnut craving with a nice hearty salad. Afterwards I felt really good because I made a healthy choice. Try to establish a new set of cravings by trying new foods and eating well.

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P.S. Don’t even try and make me give up dark chocolate unless you think you’d like a knuckle sandwich!

Last minute gifts that you can make!

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If  you’re like me then you probably left some of your gift-getting to the last minute. Shrug off the need to do anything drastic because I’ve done all of the thinking for you! Here are a few projects that I have deemed worthy of last-ditch effort gifts for vegans and friends of vegans.

minibooks

Make a journal or a book of recipes.

This project seems more complicated than it has to be. It could be as easy as punching holes and using ribbon to tie the pages together, or as complicated as sewing a binding. Whatever your skill level is you can design your own cover using fabric and recycled materials. Once you are finished with the journal you can add your favorite vegan recipes and you will have a great recipe book with room for additions.

quality-duct-tape-wallet

Make a Duct Tape Wallet.

It’s pretty easy to make your own wallet out of duct tape and recycled materials.  Since many vegans avoid leather products,  a nice wallet can be hard to find.  They are pretty durable and easy to make. They make all kinds of crazy colored duct tape these days and you can use as many colors as you like. Here are some instructions.

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Make your own stuffed animals.

This is a project that is good for kids, but can be cute for people of any age. Use old sweaters and shirts for material and get as creative as you want or keep it simple! We all love animals, so this is a gift that can only go endearingly awry. Check out these awesome homemade stuffies.

old-boot-garden

Find a funky container and make it into a planter.

Jars, teacups, cookie tins, and even old boots! Anything you like can be turned into a little planter for succulents and small plants. Just make sure that you use a liner if your vessel doesn’t hold water!

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Mix Tape!

Who doesn’t need a little extra music to help the time go by during their holiday travels? Give your mix a theme like songs older than 30, or oldies vs. hip-hop, or good songs for singing. Collage or design your own cover for your tape or CD, or if your mix is digital, make a postcard track list to give along with it.

mini-chocolate-chip-cookies

All else fails make cookies.

Who doesn’t appreciate a batch of homemade cookies? Add seasonal ingredients like cinnamon, peppermint, or persimmon. This is a really good gift for someone you may not know very well.  Last year I took my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and spruced it up by adding pretzel pieces, pecans, and dried cherries. It was just right for the holidays. Here is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe on theppk.com. All I do is reduce the amount of chocolate chips and add in whatever else I fancy.

Junk Food Vegans

That’s right, I said it. We’re talking about vegan junk food and bless your heart if you think that’s an oxymoron. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t know how I would have survived my vegan infancy living deep in the red states if it weren’t for some of these things I’m about to rail on. I am grateful every morning that I wake up on this coast where farmer’s markets happen every day of the week and where Avo-Quinoa Wraps are popular among people over thirty-five.

Turning vegan tends to also turn one into a label reader. For me this was an awakening in consciousness; not only to the amount of animal products needlessly used in processed foods, but also awakening to the amount of carcinogenic and nutrient leaching additives often added to our foods. Finding a meal or a snack on the go that is free of refined sugars, animal products, preservatives, or hydrogenated oils can be like finding Atlantis. This search can also lead to an awkward grocery store situation where other shoppers are disturbed by one exclaiming something like this:

“AW, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP! JUICE IS ONLY SUPPOSED TO CONTAIN JUICE!!!”

Or at least it feels like I’m thinking it so loud everyone can hear my indignation.


These processed foods have made my top 5 LEAST wanted list:

Soda or Juice that contains refined sugars or high-fructose corn syrup. I like to drink juice spritzers. If you can’t find at juice spritzer, just make your own by mixing natural juice and mineral water.

Peanut Butter that contains hydrogenated oils and/or cottonseed oil. Hydrogenated oil is impossible for your body to break down and can lead to cancer.  Cottonseed oil may be toxic in larger amounts. I always choose all natural nut and seed butters with no added oils or sugars.

Chips from mainstream brands can contain really high levels of salt, as well as hydrogenated oils and flavorings that contain MSG or preservatives. It’s not like I never eat chips, but now I try to choose a brand with a simple list of ingredients like just corn or potatoes, canola oil, and little salt.

Fake Meat Products that contain hydrolysed soy or corn. Some popular brands also contain cellulose, which is just wood. Processed cellulose adds fiber and texture to foods, but does not contain any of the nutrition you would get if you ate grains, fruits, or vegetables. Choose a fake meat that is primarily made from grain like seitan, or wheat gluten, for a safer choice.

Processed Soy Products are something I like to steer clear of. I’m not jumping on the “soy is bad for you” bandwagon, but anything that starts off being good for you, then gets treated heavily with chemicals, will turn out bad for you. Avoid soy protein isolates if possible and go straight for foods that contain Tofu, Tempeh, Miso, and Tamari. I often choose rice or almond milk over soy if possible, just because I feel like soy is the go-to for most vegan food and I don’t want to overdo it. I also prefer hemp or coconut milk ice cream to soy

There are some really great indulgent foods out there for vegans, so let’s all choose healthy foods. We will live long, be strong, and be happy!

Also, holla if you love the Curry Chik-un Salad, my favorite snack on the go!

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What we ate for vegan Thanksgiving.

We hosted about 30 people for a vegan Thanksgiving Potluck at my house. It was AWESOME! For many of us it was the first all-vegan holiday dinner we had ever had.

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From Left to Right in the picture:

Sweet Potatoes in Maple Syrup, Cheezy Squash Casserole,  Mac and Cheeze, Seitan Roast, Ginger Pineapple Cranberry Sauce, Green Beans, Lemony Kale Salad, Pumpkin Brownies,  Citrus Collard Greens, Roasted Yams and Brussel Sprouts, Lentils, Orange and Beet Salad, and Cabbage Salad.

And there’s more….

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Stuffing, Roasted Buttercup Squash with a yummy West African Cilantro Sauce, Homemade Tofurkey with Roasted Veggie Stuffing, Polenta with Baked Beans,  and Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom gravy.

There was even more food that didn’t make it into the picture: Butternut Squash Soup, Apple Pie, Raw Pumpkin Pie, Banana Rum Cheesecake.  I spent so much time stuffing my face that I forgot to snap a photo of it. My favorite was the Raw Pumpkin pie. It was made with coconut and an almond crust.

Though it’s hard to make out in the picture, I invented a Seasonal Roasted Veggie Stuffing for the Tofurkey that I will definitely make again. Here is how I did it:

Roasted Rutabega and Seasonal Vegetables

2 smallish rutabegas cubed

1 small butternut squash, cubed

2 apples, cubed

1/3 cup of tart dried fruit, like apricot, chopped.

2 TBS coconut oil

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

Salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 350. Melt the coconut butter in a baking pan.  Toss all fruit and vegetables in coconut oil and season with thyme and any other seasonings you are using (I added a pinch of cardamom!). Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, turning half way through. When all the veggies are done, season with salt and pepper.