Acorn Squash

Acorn squashes are a variety of winter squashes, whose close cousins are summer squashes such as zucchini and crookneck squash. The acorn squash you see at the store are most commonly these vibrant beauties pictured above. They sport a smooth dark green skin with grooved ridges and have bright orange flesh on the inside. What’s…

How To Pre-Prep Your Pumpkins For Faster Cooking

Sometimes when you desire to cook a pie pumpkin, sugar pumpkin, carving pumpkin or kabocha squash (also known as a Japanese pumpkin), it can be time consuming and straining on your hands to cut through and remove the thick tough rind, in order to cut the flesh down into cubes to use in cooking. Roasting…

Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Do you know your chickpeas? Familiar by different names such as garbanzo beans, gram, Bengal gram and ceci (in Italian), chickpeas are part of the pea family under the general classification of legumes. They are harvested annually and there are two main varieties of chickpeas – kabuli and desi. In American supermarkets, the large, beige-colored…

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms are a common ingredient used in Asian cooking, and for good reason. They are flavorful, have a meaty umami taste and give dishes a fragrant distinctive taste when added. Did you know that Shiitake mushrooms are a good source of choline? Choline is a micronutrient that is critical in many parts of the…

Quinoa

First what is Quinoa, and how do you even pronounce it? Originating in the Andean region of South America, Quinoa is commonly pronounced as “KEEN-wah”. Unlike rice, wheat or maize which are grain cereals, quinoa is a pseudocereal that is actually more related to amaranth and spinach, in which its seeds are harvested. According to…

Gai Lan / Chinese Broccoli

If you spot this vegetable at the supermarket, don’t be put off by its stout thick stems, because looks can be deceiving. This Asian green leafy vegetable, known as Gai Lan or Chinese Broccoli, is often featured in Chinese restaurants and actually cooks very easily. Nutrition-wise, this vegetable is a good source of nutrients such…

Fast Kitchen: Sharpen Knives!

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I cannot emphasize how important this concept is in the kitchen. It is critical to quick preps and fast cooking, especially if you are starting to prepare more plant-based meals! So take a minute to stop and consider: when was the last time you had your knives sharpened…

How to Make a Flax Egg

Have you seen plant-based or vegan recipes calling for a ‘flax egg’ in the ingredients and wondered what it is? Well, a ‘flax egg’ is a substitute for a hen’s egg that can be used in various recipes, including many baking recipes. It is very simple as it only requires two ingredients and takes less…

Green Lentils

Red, brown, green, black…lentil varieties abound, and so do their usefulness in recipes. In general, each tablespoon of cooked lentils provides about 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of fiber, and a 1/2 cup of cooked lentils gives about 3.3 milligrams of iron. Lentils are a good source of phosphorus, potassium and folate too.…