Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mango-Tango Sorbet

We're getting the best citrus fruit here in California lately. My family enjoyed this sorbet last weekend. The recipe will be in my new cookbook Lick It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love--available soon. To be entered in a drawing when it comes out, become my Facebook fan

Tango -Mango Sorbet

Makes about 1 quart

This is a tasty combination of tart and sweet flavors. To make this sorbet super easy, use frozen mango chunks (thawed slightly) and store-bought tangerine juice. If you can’t find tangerine juice, orange juice will work fine too.

 3 cups peeled and diced mango

1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed tangerine juice, chilled

1/4 cup granulated sugar or agave syrup

 Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Urban Outfitters Going Fur-Free

According to a PETA news release, Urban Outfitters just announced it has become fur-free. Other companies who've made this commitment include: Zappos, Juicy Couture, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gap, Forever 21. Call Urban Outfitters at 1-800-959-8794 to let them know you support their decision.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Whole Foods Diet and Your Health

Check out this article in the San Francisco Chronicle. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, claims that Federal guidelines are too fatty, that physicians needed to be trained in whole foods  nutrition, and that more studies need to be done on the correlation between diet and disease -- rather than focusing on drugs and surgery.

Cuba--a model for organic, sustainable farming

Since 1990, Cuba has carried out the world's most comprehensive and successful organic food and farming revolution, including the ongoing cultivation of over 60,000 organic urban gardens that supply 50-80% of its urban food needs. Cutting off trade with Cuba forced the population to live by their own means. Over time, urban areas in place like Havana have overtaken wasted space with a vast tapestry of medicinal and food gardens. The current Cuban urban agriculture model has become one of the most sophisticated and sustainable organic farming operations in the world. Watch this clip from the BBC's "Around the World in 80 Gardens" (2008)showing some of this innovative urban food gardening. For more info about what Cuba is doing, visit the Organic Consumers Association.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Breakfast on a Budget

Breakfast is often the most hectic time of the day as we rush to get to work and the kids to school. It's often the time families turn to convenience foods like cereal or frozen waffles-or stop at the coffee shop on the way to work for an overpriced bagel or pastry. Not only are these habits expensive, they are often not the most nutritious choices. With a little advance planning, you can have a healthy and inexpensive breakfast-even on the busiest mornings.

Book Review: Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons (2)

Check out my full review of Nava Atlas' newest book, Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons in VegFamily Magazine.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I'm on Facebook!

Check out my brand new Facebook Page and be one of the first to become a fan. When my new book comes out, my fans will be the first to know and will automatically be entered in a prize drawing -- prize to be announced soon . . .  Be sure to click "Become a Fan." to be eligible.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Suffolk County Bans BPA Plastics

Bisphenol A (BPA) —a chemical found in the linings of cans and in many plastic products, including sports bottles, food-storage containers and baby bottles—has potential links to a wide range of health effects. BPA has been linked to a variety of diseases including an increased risk of diseases or disorders of the brain, reproductive, and immune systems; recent studies have linked BPA exposure to problems with liver function testing, an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, and interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; and BPA exposure has long been linked to hormonal disturbances. A study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has shown that 93% of Americans excrete some BPA in their urine. New studies also show that BPA seems to stay in the body longer than previously believed. 

According to a press release from Consumers Union, New York's Suffolk County Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee passed legislation to protect babies and toddlers from ingesting BPA from beverage containers. BPA is found in the hard plastics used to make baby bottles and “sippy” cups, as well as in epoxy resins of many beverage containers. The decision makes it the first jurisdiction in the nation to ban BPA!

Consumers Union has repeatedly called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of BPA in infant and children's products and food and beverage containers. The FDA already has enough scientific data to support such a ban but they continue to allow the products to remain on the market while they do further research. Several states, such as Oregon, Washington and California, and cities, such as Chicago are also considering the ban. In 2008, the Canadian government banned BPA use in baby bottles.

In August 2008, the FDA said BPA was safe for humans. But the agency only considered studies that had been financed by the plastics industry. At a recent Science Board Hearing, FDA tacitly acknowledged the serious health concerns regarding BPA, but the agency continues to defend their position that no public health safeguards should be implemented at this time.

CU was one of the first organizations to test and report on consumer products with BPA, and warned consumers about the potential risks almost a decade ago. Since CU's first study, more than a hundred studies have been published showing a wide range of adverse effects in animals at low doses of BPA, doses that approximate current levels circulating in the human population. CU recently tested "BPA-free" claims on bottles and has also published advice on how consumers can reduce their exposure to BPA. For more information, please visit the food section of

Cookware for Healthy Cooking

Eating healthy is not always easy. In this fast paced world, it can be difficult to find the time to create a healthy meal. Sure your cabinets are stocked with cookware, dinnerware, and small appliances, but do you know which items you can use to help make healthy food fast? There a few simple items you can use that can help make eating healthy a little easier.

Protein smoothies and shakes are a fast and easy way to eat healthy during the day. You can purchase whey, soy, rice, or hemp protein in a variety of flavors from your local health store and everything else can be found at any grocery store. All you need is a quality blender and a few key ingredients. Things like yogurt; low fat dairy milk, soymilk, almond or rice milk; fresh or frozen fruit, nuts and seeds; and even vegetables like carrots and kale can all be combined in a good quality blender to make a smoothie that is packed with protein and vitamins to keep you energized throughout the day.

Cast iron pans can make stir-frying a snap. Stir-frying with healthy oils like toasted sesame and olive oil can help infuse vegetables with the right kinds of fat. Mono and polyunsaturated fats are good for your body, and they are found in things like olive oil, beans, and legumes. The thickness and excellent heat conduction offered by cast iron cookware helps you cook food more evenly which makes it easier to whip up a good meal fast.

If you have a baby to feed, food processors can make it easy to create your own organic baby food at home. Why buy brand name baby foods that are full of preservatives when you can easily mix healthy ingredients in no time at home. Mix and match fruit, veggie, and protein combinations until you find one your baby really enjoys. Eating healthy early is crucial for your baby’s development and when you make your own food you know exactly what goes into your baby’s stomach.

This article is was written guest blogger Janine of They are a great online source for appliances, dishes, and other things. Also, don't forget--you'll find recipes for delicious nutrient-rich smoothies, stir-fries, and baby food in my cookbooks.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Butternut Squash Lasagna and a great blog

I had the pleasure of meeting a local blogger and amazing photographer Jennifer Olson. She recently purchased The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook and posted about it on her blog. You have to check out her photo's -- amazing -- I don't think the lasagna looks that good when I make it.

Jennifer's blog is called Localette and you can check it out at .

And by the way, there are only a few left of the books with the printer error of a green circle on the cover at half price so if you are thinking of getting this book, you don't want to wait. 

And here's the recipe:

Butternut Lasagna

Sweet winter squash and lasagna are both favorites of mine. Together, they are even better. If you are using a food processor, chop the nuts first before you make the fillings to save you having to wash and dry between steps. The filling and sauce can be made ahead of time, and you don’t need to precook the noodles.

9 to 11 lasagna noodles, preferably whole grain

1/2 onion, minced

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 cups chopped spinach, kale, chard, or other dark green leafy vegetable

3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup boiling water


Tofu Filling:

1 1/2 pounds firm or silken tofu

2 eggs or 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons dried basil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper



3 cups mashed cooked butternut squash

3/4 cup milk (dairy or nondairy)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon miso

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 375ºF. Sauté onion in olive oil until soft. Stir in garlic and greens. If greens are dry, add a little water. Cover and steam 5 minutes or until soft. Set aside.

Place tofu filling ingredients in food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Remove to bowl and set aside. Place sauce ingredients in food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.

Assemble lasagna as follows: Cover bottom of 9 x 13-inch pan with thin layer of sauce. Place a single layer of lasagna noodles in bottom of pan. Leave a little space between the noodles because they will expand when cooked. Spread 1/2 of the tofu filling over noodles. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cooked greens over tofu. Spread 1/3 of the butternut sauce over the greens. Repeat for one more layer. Place noodle layer on top and cover with butternut sauce. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over squash. Pour boiling water in corners and around edges of lasagna. Cover pan with foil and bake for 35 minute. Remove cover and bake 10 minutes. Allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


Makes 8 servings


Note: To save time, you can buy frozen pureed squash. Many markets also carry fresh or frozen peeled and cut squash that can be quickly steamed.


Variation: Ricotta cheese can be substituted for tofu. Only use 1 egg or 1 tablespoon olive oil if using ricotta cheese.