Product review: Nacho Mama’s Vodoo Queso »
On my quest to try every vegan queso created, I stumbled across Nacho Mama’s, based in Austin, Texas. Creator and chef Alana was gracious enough to send me two jars of her new Voodoo Queso to sample (and then review)! It’s SO TASTY AND DELICIOUS OMG YOU GUYS, GET SOME. The first jar did not last long—I ate more that half of it, straight from the jar, the night of their arrival. Okay, okay, I let my roommate have a spoonful.
What makes Voodoo Queso different from her other flavors is the addition of black beans. It’s like a spicy, cheesy bean dip. Beware—this dip has kick! Definitely not for the faint of heart. I, however, can handle my spice.
I felt like I should make something with it, not only to prove I have self-control but to show everyone an example of how to use it. So, I made a burrito with black beans—kind of unnecessary, since the dip already contains them, but I was HUNGRY and wanted to make the queso last—Voodoo Queso, and avocado. YUM.
Alana, in an email to me, explained “I use it to replace meat in lots of Mexican dishes. Tacos, Tostadas, Enchiladas…but my favorite, aside from on it’s own with chips, is a layered dip with our regular vegan quesos. Snack heaven!!” Yes and Yes. I wish I could make her product last long enough to make all of those things! It’s JUST TOO TASTY!
Seriously, you guys will probably want to pick up two jars. Prepare to be blown away. And consider this—it’s not only extremely delicious, but has no fat, no gluten, no soy, no nuts, no cholesterol and no allergens!
If you live in Texas or the surrounding Southwest states, chances are you can find this at Whole Foods. For now, the rest of us have to get it from Vegan Essentials! Fine by me—vegans helping vegans, yo.
Interview with Dr. Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Institute! »
I went raw once, for five months! It was the absolute best I’ve felt in the four years I’ve been vegan. The energy! The new and exciting foods to try! Living in Chicago at the time, I was able to gorge on all sorts of delicious raw fare from Karyn’s Raw, Cousins IV and The Chicago Diner (do they still serve raw food, Chicagoans?). I used Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Kitchen and Matt Amsden’s The Rawvolution as my how-to guides at home. Life was good, though it’s much easier to be raw in the spring and summer in Chicago—you can assume what happened once winter started to set in.
Three years later, I’m living in beautiful San Francisco, and I still go off and on with this raw food thing. I JUST CAN’T STICK TO IT. I think every person’s body has individual needs and sensitivities, and for me personally, the raw food diet works best. I’m a huge advocate.
But this post isn’t about me (what?), it’s about the healing powers of being raw. Recently, Dr. Brian Clement spoke at San Francisco’s New Living Expo in a lecture titled “Raw Foods and Cancer.” Dr. Clement is the director of the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, which uses raw vegan diets to help people recover from serious illnesses and heath challenges. Dr. Clement has been a vegan for 38 years, and a raw foodist for 36! Talk about motivation to get back on track and buy ingredients for a salad (and a slice of tiramisu from Cafe Gratitude)!
Dr. Clement was gracious enough to offer us at Vegansaurus some insight about raw foods, the Hippocrates institute and his favorite go-to raw recipe!
Vegansaurus: How long have you been vegan? How long have you been a raw vegan? What inspired you to initially become a raw foodist?
Dr. Clement: I began as a vegetarian 41 years ago and a vegan 38 years ago. Thirty-six years ago I adopted a raw/living diet. Long before it was accepted to be obese, I was—carrying an extra 120 pounds and smoking three packs of cigarettes a day. When taking the first step as a vegetarian, I saw exceptional improvements and organically, moved to a raw vegan diet that opened my eyes to the potential food has in prolonging life and warding off disease.
What exactly is the Hippocrates Institute? Does it serve as both a raw food retreat and cancer center? How long have you been there and what do you do?
Hippocrates Health Institute was the first and is the foremost natural health center globally. We pioneered the field of complimentary healthcare and opened our doors 55 years ago in Boston. We have attracted guests from all corners of the globe that attend the Lifechange program for one of two distinct reasons: first, to conquer the disease they are harboring (cancer, heart, diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s, HIV, autoimmune, etc.); second, as serious health-seekers who do not want to fall victim to such maladies. Everyone from Olympic athletes to stage-four cancer patients by the hundreds of thousands attended our program, for the first 30 years in Boston and over the last 25 here in West Palm Beach, Fla. My tenure began in the mid-’70s and I thank God every day for the passion-filled, fulfilling work I pursue.
How do you feel people can take control of their lives and their health by eating raw foods? In your opinion, what are the benefits? Why go raw?
Every creature on earth, except domestic and displaced animals, lives on a 100 percent raw food diet. Here at HHI, we have clinically proven for more than half a century that such raw vegan fare slows aging, prevents disease, and even helps to reverse it. The core science on why these raw green foods afford such attributes are the: HORMONES, OXYGEN, PHYTO-NUTRIENTS, AND ENZYMES that they contain. In addition, proper selection provides the highest source of complete protein, essential fatty acids, and ultimately the most nutrient-dense energy filled foods on earth.
What does a typical day of meals, snacks, and juices look like for you?
Although the diet end of the HHI program is tailored for personal needs, most maintenance cuisine would look a bit like this: Fresh raw vegetable and sprout juice that may include wheat grass in the morning, followed by sprouted cereal or fresh ripe organic fruit, etc. A mid-morning snack may be sprouted and dehydrated nuts and seeds or some type of sprouted cracker or raw bread. Lunch should begin with a hardy large green and sprout salad adorned with your favorite dressing (vegan thousand island, Italian, Mediterranean, etc.), a nut and seed or grain and bean burger or loaf followed by some raw dehydrated raw cookies or cake seasoned with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and the legal sweetener, Stevia. Mid-afternoon snacks may include seasoned sprouted seeds and or ripe organic fruit. Dinner should begin with a nice fresh raw vegetable and sprout juice, a delicious raw carrot soup, a moderately seasoned bean and green salad, and tiff and quinoa sprouted grain croquette. You can find a wide array of delicious choices in Dr. Anna Maria’s recipe book Healthful Cuisine.
How do you feel about a raw food diet of solid foods versus a juice “cleanse?” Are they necessary? What about an alkaline cleanse?
Proper juices made from nutrient-dense foods like sprouts and fresh green vegetables provide an extraordinary amount of nutrition. This does not preclude the need to eat solid raw food preparations. This body building cuisine will assure that the metabolism will maintain solid weight so that one via exercise can have a strong skeletal and muscular system.
Is it important or necessary to take supplements on a raw food diet? Is the food enough? If supplements are necessary, which ones?
After researching hundreds of thousands of people, some of whom have lived on healthy diets, we have found that our high-stress, unnatural and polluted lifestyles require us to embrace good whole-food supplements. Whole-food forms of algae, sea and fresh water, raw pollen’s living green powders, bacterial forms of B12 and in many cases, targeted whole food supplementation boost the immune system and are examples of what one may require after a good nutritional evaluation.
Any favorite recipes you’d like to share with the Vegansaurus readers?
Our busy lifestyles limit the time most of us spend preparing foods so quick-to-design are our favorites. Worldwide, you can walk into green markets and purchase an already washed variety of salad greens. Mixing them together with fresh herbs, healthy oils, and easy to purchase sprouts manifest a power salad in two minutes. Opening a package of arame seaweed and soaking it in fresh water for a short time and draining it affords an opportunity for you to cut scallions, chives, or sweet onions into the delicious vegetable so that you can crush garlic and place olive oil over this main course fare. This takes less than four minutes to achieve. Everyone’s favorite desserts can be easily manufactured with a dehydrator (does not cook, dries) a bowl of your favorite raw dough (as an example, sprouted oats placed through a good juicer with a blank affixed-run these sprouts through so that they homogenize into a dough). In the bowl, place your favorite seasonings and or sweet oils and form into cookies you can fill your dehydrator with these treats so that you will have fun, healthy foods for days or weeks to come.
Thanks, Dr. Clement! I wonder if they offer work study programs? I could use some time in Florida to go raw. Anyone want to sponsor me?
Bake gluten-free: xgfx did all the work, so you don’t have to! »
The cutie-pie gluten-free bakers over at xgfx have taken it upon themselves to experiment with the new King Arthur flour gluten-free baking mixes! They have attempted the challenge of finding the right ratio of egg- and dairy-replacements required for VEGANIZATION of each mix! I don’t know nearly enough about gluten-free baking, BUT what I do know is after reading their review and subsequent recipes, I am definitely going to be making this pizza. I will also become a master vegan, gluten-free baker after reading this! I love xgfx!
VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE?! If that’s Daiya cheese (which I know it is), does that mean it’s soy-free as well? It’s like, anyone could eat it.
[Photos via xgfx.org]
A Fire Inside vegan bakery is back in search of backers! »
Remember vegan baker Davey and his plea for investors in his Oakland-based vegan bakery? Turns out Kickstarter wasn’t the place for him, but he continues in the pursuit of his dream!
Now you can visit the official A Fire Inside vegan bakery website and order from his menu of sugary baked goods, like bread pudding, cheesecakes, and the infamous Weekend Ruiners, hooray! You probably definitely want to do that. Currently delivery is limited to Oakland and the surrounding area “for a small fee,” or of course you can pick up your sweeties onsite.
But what, you’re asking, about the dream of the storefront and the brick oven and so forth? The fundraising quest continues, this time through ChipIn, the link for which you can find right here. If you donated before, you probably (definitely?) want to donate again—the cause is the same, the result is the same, nothing has changed except the medium. Please contact Davey with any questions; we’re sure he’s happy to answer them.
Best of luck to Davey and all his investors, many of whom really ought to be forthcoming right about now, HINT HINT. Money’s short, we know, but if you have a few spare dollars, consider an investment in a vegan bakery—you can be sure it will pay off in deliciousness later on.
Single Vegans, (I’m gonna help you) Put a Ring on It! (Or at least get laid!) »
I will write your personal ad. Srsly, I will write the shit out of your personal ad. I help you find love, you invite me to your wedding. And name your first born after me. That’s it. I will write you a perfect personal ad that will get you what you want. I might even screen the responses. Why? Because I’m in love with love. I love love. AND I WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY TOO. Oh also, I might want to put your stories on Vegansaurus too. Tasteful, of course. You know how I do.
If you are into this, email me. Take a chance. This is gonna be amazing.