Welcome to Nature Maven's Healthy Eating Healthy Planet Blog

Welcome! If you're a vegan, you'll find support and suggestions you may be able to use here. If you're a vegetarian as I was when I started this blog in June 2008, reading my archived posts may be of interest to you. If you haven't gotten here already, I hope you'll consider trying the vegan way of life, too.

As I try new recipes, learn to eat in restaurants, entertain non-veg friends and make the changes necessary to bring my life into greater harmony with the planet, I share what I learn. And little joys and other thoughts get thrown into the mix here, too.

In March 2009 after starting to read The Engine 2 Diet by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, I became fully vegan, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and I post entries here as I live and learn in this lifestyle. It's definitely a process of experience and discovery.

Please check out the Vegan News Headlines supplied by Google News Reader down on the right, and see my Blogroll for just a few of the choice blogs and websites I've found useful.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Being Part of the Solution


Let us consider where we put our money when we shop. In our post-modern world, most of us don't make our own soaps and cleaning products. Those of us who are vegan and trying to live the principle of ahimsa do our best to avoid any association with people or companies who cause suffering. So, do look at the colorful chart above and consider who you patronize and look for other options when cruelty is an issue. An email, call or letter to a manufacturer or corporation might be a good idea, too. Most business make many decisions based on financial considerations.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Recipe: Eggless "Egg" Salad

One of the challenges this vegan struggles with is learning to let go of animal-food analogs such as faux lunch meats and ersatz whatevers. I found these foods really helpful in the early going. Now I sense that the salt, fat and other chemicals that help recreate those almost-familiar flavors may not be good for my constant consumption. For one thing, I never lost the weight I was told about by others knowing I was going vegan. Didn't happen to me. In fact, having transitioned from low-carb/high-protein eating to vegetarian to vegan, I actually gained some.

So let me share a recipe I just tried that is amazingly tasty and chemical free. The original recipe is the brainchild of vegan superstar Lindsay Nixon, aka the Happy Herbivore. I made it pretty much as listed below except for the black salt which I forgot to buy. I changed some of the ingredients and amounts (put in more garlic powder than planned by having the wrong mesauring spoon in my hand; had the wrong mustard) from the original recipe, and I used regular vegan mayo instead of the fat-free version she recommends. Click the link for her complete recipe. The photo I am using here is from her website, too. Here you go:

Happy Herbivore Eggless "Egg" Salad

Ingredients (makes about 4 1/2-cup servings)

14 oz. extra-firm tofu (this is the size block mine came in)
1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 celery stalk, minced
1-1/4 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1-1/2 tbsp. mustard (recipe calls for Dijon; I used spicy brown)
2 tbsp. dill pickle relish
2 tbsp. vegan mayo
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. black salt (to impart a sulfur-ish, eggy flavor)
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

  1. Press tofu to remove excess liquid or hold over sink and squeeze gently for a while. Crumble the tofu into a good-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Measure and add in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Fold ingredients together well, but do it gently so you don't break up the tofu too much.
  4. Refrigerate finished salad for a few hours or overnight so all flavors can blend well.
  5. Serve in a sandwich, as a filling in celery sticks or on a bed of lettuce as a salad. Enjoy!
Very tasty and easy to prepare. Lindsay puts her fat-free recipe at 63 calories per serving. Because I used regular Vegenaise, my favorite vegan mayo, I'm guessing that a 1/2 cup portion is about 150 calories. That might be a bit high, but that's what the Whole Foods Vegan Egg Salad clocks in at on SparkPeople.

I measured out a half cup and put 2/3 of it in a sandwich of light whole wheat bread with sliced homegrown tomato, and put the rest in a celery stick. Both were wonderful! All I had to do was add a little salt, probably because I hadn't put in the black kind the recipe called for.

Most people changing their diets buy cookbooks so they can make the foods the new lifestyle requires. I am no different. I've donated more cookbooks than anyone I know. I now have an impressive library of vegan cookbooks. One of the days I will post about my cookbooks to help out my fellow vegans and vegan-wannabes. The Happy Herbivore cookbook is great. I was lured to it by a post on Twitter that made a recipe sound so tempting I had to try it, and it was only to be found in the book. It's a favorite book now.

Thanks, Happy Herbivore!

 (click here to see this cool cookbook on Amazon)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

You're a vegan, right? I have a question.

People ask us vegans all the time why we eat the way we do and was it difficult, but the biggest question we seem to hear is, "Where do you get your nutritional needs met?" and most specifically, "Where do you get your protein?"

PETA offers an amazing infographic colorfully illustrating the many tasty answers to these questions and others would-be vegans and vegan skeptics ask. Follow the link to see this marvel in eye-popping detail, and please share this with those folks who ask you those pesky vegan questions.
All of them, okay?

How do I find these gems? By following the coolest vegans on Twitter and clicking on the links they post. I email the links to myself for later use, and this way I stay on top of the vegan curve.

PETA does some amazing service toward animal welfare, animal rights and providing good solid information to the public. They also get feisty at times and draw fire. Sometimes I have to steel myself to open the site for fear of being bludgeoned with a horrible photo. But horrible photos exist largely because horrible acts towards animals occur with frightening regularity. The good PETA does far outweighs any distracting controversy or traumatic triggering, to my mind, and I urge you to support PETA. My favorite way to do so is by buying stuff I like at their online store. I've got the coolest t-shirts, fun catnippy cat stuff, and best vegan chocolates through their store. Yeah, the prices are up there, but that's my way of making a donation.