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Food Blogger Spotlight: Laura Theodore from The Jazzy Vegetarian

jazzy veg 1Laura Theodore wants to show you how simple it is to introduce plant-based choices into your everyday diet. Gearing up for season 3 of her cooking show, The Jazzy Vegetarian, on the Create Channel, Laura is a high-energy host who even appeared on The Talk with Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert.

Recently, we spoke to this busy chef/host/singer, about her food blog and allll those other irons she’s got in the fire.

Why did you start your food blog? I was inspired to create my cookbooks, blog, television show and radio podcast to make delicious, plant-based recipes available to anyone looking to prepare tasty vegan meals in their own home. My mission is to make recipes available to dedicated vegans, and omnivores alike – with a jazzylicious twist, of course!

How would you describe your approach to eating/health? I focus on the plant-based approach by incorporating whole foods like veggies, fruits, beans and whole grains into my recipes and daily menu plan. I strive to stay away from overly processed foods as much as possible, while using vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans) grains and some nuts and seeds as the base ingredients for my recipes.

Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? I have been interested in healthy eating for over 20 years. For me, plant-based cooking is like singing jazz: making creative and spicy improvisations with a delicious twist! As a jazz singer, I love scatting a new phrase to enhance a classic song, so when I cook, I savor the process of improvising new, healthy versions of traditional recipes, depending on what’s in my kitchen or available at the local market.

What is your favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen? I love reduced-sodium tamari! Sounds so simple, but it really adds taste and depth to so many recipes. Tamari helps to produce a rich “meaty” flavor and it has a more complex flavor profile than ordinary soy sauce. The reduced-sodium version has about 25 percent less sodium than regular tamari. I always buy tamari that has been made with GMO-free soybeans, is MSG-free, and contains no artificial preservatives. Reduced-sodium tamari is great used as a flavor enhancer in sauces, casseroles, pasta dishes, vegan gravies, steamed vegetables dishes, and in soups. It adds great flavor to both sweet and savory marinades for tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, or squash.


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Our Favorite Vegetarian Restaurants in Albuquerque

When the state question is about your preference of chile, you know you’ve come to a good place to find great food. What you may not know is Albuquerque, New Mexico is one of the most vegetarian-friendly places you can eat in the entire country. Whether you’re looking for traditional New Mexican cuisine or something further outside your comfort zone, Albuquerque won’t leave you disappointed.

Most restaurants use the freshest ingredients they can find to ensure each dish, meatless or not, is full of signature ABQ flavor. With a host of nationally recognized vegetarian-friendly restaurants, the city is bound to leave meat eaters wanting to eat their veggies – and then some!

Enjoy our picks for coolest vegetarian restaurants in Albuquerque, New Mexico – and be sure to tell them we sent you!

annapurnas

Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Café

A local vegan restaurant specializing in Indian cuisine, Annapurna’s specializes in Ayurvedic vegan fresh food. It’s all organic and made from local ingredients. Each dish is meant to target six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent, which means every vegan and vegetarian dish is bursting with flavor. Desserts abound, too, even featuring a vegan sweet potato pie. And if you need a more centered take on happy hour, join them for Chai Daily Happy Hour.

Yelp Rating – 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Our Favorite Vegetarian Restaurants in New Orleans

Vegetarian eating in the Big Easy is easier than you might believe. In what other city could you find a restaurant with a vegetarian menu perfect for date night and a place where even veggie eaters can satiate their hot dog cravings? From fancy to fast, New Orleans offers some of the freshest vegetarian food on the Mississippi.

Each restaurant on our list has its own feel while remaining true to the heritage and personality of the city they call home. So next time you’re taking it slow in NOLA, check out some of the best vegetarian food the city has to offer. Whether you’re looking for lunch, dinner, or a mid-afternoon pastry, New Orleans is definitely the spot for vegetarians to indulge.

Enjoy our picks for the coolest vegetarian restaurants in New Orleans, Louisiana – and be sure to tell them we sent you!

city greens

City Greens

Serving up salads and wraps in a city known for its rich cuisine is daring, and it’s exactly what City Greens is doing. Customers create their own wrap or salad filled with pretty much anything they can think of. We’re especially fans of the Raw Shaved Salad with beets, Brussels Sprouts, and fennel. City Greens also posts where each of their ingredients comes from, so there are no surprises about what’s in your meal, proudly alternating the menu by seasonal availability.

Yelp Rating – 4 out of 5 stars
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PETA Wants You to Become Vegan so You Can Take Plan B

For many years, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has used advertising to show us that all vegan women are slim and traditionally sexy. That’s the whole point of the “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign. PETA also puts out an annual list of the year’s “sexiest vegan celebrities.” This year, that list includes Kristen Bell. People’s Sexiest Man of 2013, Adam Levine, considers himself 85 percent vegan. This time however, PETA may have taken the sexy and slim bit a little too far.

peta

When news broke that Plan B, a morning-after pill, may not be effective for women weighing more than 176 pounds, PETA jumped at the chance to convert more people to veganism. In a press release they suggested “Plan V as a Plan B lifeline for overweight women.”


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The First Vegan Food Pyramid Focuses on More Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

For the first time, plant-based eaters have a food pyramid that suits their dietary needs. A new vegetarian and vegan diet pyramid was released by Oldways in response to the growing popularity of meatless diets. The pyramid is an updated version of the one created in 1997 and places more emphasis on fruits and vegetables than the original.

vegetarian diet pyramid

Foods are broken down into categories, much like with the traditional food pyramid. Whole grains have the most recommended servings, with 5-8 per day, followed by vegetables (4-6 servings), and fruits (3-4 servings). Beans, peas, lentils and soy make up another level of the pyramid, then nuts, peanuts, seeds and peanut/nut butters. Finally on the top levels are herbs, spices and plant oils, and eggs and/or dairy.

“It’s beautifully illustrated, and one of the most astonishing things to me is if you put your fingers over the top, it’s vegan,” said Oldways president Sara Baer-Sinnott in an interview with the Huffington Post. “In the past, we didn’t really account for vegans. Personally, I love cheese. But here, there’s not much difference between vegan and vegetarian.”
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