Check Out Jacksonville’s 2nd Annual Gastrofest! Good Food – Great Time!

    
by Michael Wilkins
  

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The Jacksonville GastroFest is back for second year. This is a culinary inspired festival held annually in the downtown area of Jacksonville. The name GastroFest comes from GastroJax which is a 501(c)(3) organization. Their mission is to promote local cuisine and educate the public about food and beverage sources as well as local restaurants in the North Florida area. They do this through education about the cultural significance of what people eat, food history, healthy eating, and where food comes from. GastroJax was formed in April 2014 through outreach, during festivals like One Spark, EnviroFest, the Green Social and GastroFest.

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The event that seemed to be the precursor for GastroFest was EnviroFest. which started in August 2014. This was a free public event hosted by the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. The festival was family centered and honeybees were the focus. GastroJax partnered with the Jacksonville Beekeepers Association who showed everyone their bee colonies and provided free samples of honey. They also provided information about local fruits and vegetables that were made possible through the work of the bees.

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Put your stretch pants on and wear comfortable clothing because you will walk away from here stuffed. The first year the event was held they underestimated the number of attendees. According to the director, Erin Thursby, they were prepared for a larger number of people this year. The idea behind this festival is to bring awareness to all of the culinary activity in the Northeast Florida area. So let’s take a walk through the festival and see what’s available.

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The first thing I encountered was a booth set up by Kailo Nutrition. This is a business that is dedicated to helping individuals change to a plant-based diet. The booth was energized by children learning how to cook a plant-based meal with their parents. Moving down the street I encountered the Duval County extension office. In this booth the kids were entertained by learning how to start and grow plants organically. This appeared to be great fun since we all know that children love to get their hands dirty. Next, we have entered the “Kids Zone” and ran into a play area where young minds were being stimulated.

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Entering the main area I encountered the cooking demo stage. There was another area similar to this that featured speakers on topics from Plant based nutrition to hand crafting your own beer. As I moved further into the main festival area I encountered many booths with different food items. The first thing that caught my eye was a booth selling honey which is harvested locally. The great thing about it was that the honey is not processed in any way, meaning there were no additives. As I moved along I saw several booths featuring different products like hot sauce, tea, pastries and popsicles, to name a few. The tea vendor (Cultivate Tea & Spice Co.) was located in St. Augustine and they crafted different varieties of tea. I had a chance to sample some tea and found it to be quite pleasing. The fruit popsicles sold by Bold City Pops were my favorite. I must admit that I have a weakness for fruit popsicles such as these. They are handcrafted with local ingredients from the peak harvest season. Their Pops are made in small batches with natural ingredients and they taste great.

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I also took the time to sample several of the restaurant vendors and I don’t have time here to write about all of them. One of the interesting vendors was the Pear Market. They create freshly prepared meals for delivery or pick up. The unique thing about them is that they also cater to dairy free and vegan diets. They will also work with you to set up weekly meal plans. This is a great option for people who do not have the time to cook and want to eat healthy. Here I sampled a beet burger without the cheese and it was fabulous. Native Sun had a booth where they were selling carrot dogs which turned out to be a healthy version of “hot dog”. There were many other restaurants featured such as Ibex Ethiopian Kitchen, Ovinte, Bisro Aix, Black Sheep and Abstrakt Filipino Essence. These were just of the few places where I sampled vegetarian/vegan offerings. The food was excellent and I had a chance to speak with some of the individuals at the different restaurant venues. In cases where the restaurants did not cater specifically to vegetarian/vegans, they offered to create something special if individuals spoke up when they came in and let the server know of their dietary concerns.

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Eat Your Yard Jax spoke to people about how to grow a sustainable garden where individuals could feed themselves from the plants they grew. There was also a vendor in this area called Local Fare that is dedicated to bringing the farm to your front door. They are set up similar to a CSA where individuals can get fresh harvested fruits, vegetables and herbs that are grown locally. Last but not least there were a couple of high school students who were raising awareness about composting by teaching individuals how to compost on their own property. I found myself inspired by what these people were trying to accomplish. It is invigorating to say the least to know that there are high school students committed to projects such as these.

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If you plan on visiting the Beer tent you may want to have a designated driver. I am sure you will want to spend time perusing all of the craft beers. Engine 15, Intuition Ale Works, Bold City Brewery and Veterans United Craft Brewery all had lines of people waiting to sample their brews. This is a great event to learn about what is going on in Jacksonville from a culinary perspective. So get out your stretch pants and go to GastroFest. Hope to see you there next year.

   

Michael Wilkins is a respiratory therapist, an avid scuba diver and an accomplished photographer. He has been living with hepatitis C for more than two decades and is a cancer surviver. Michael has kept liver cancer at bay by employing the healing properties of a plant-based diet.

A year later, after a strict plant-based regimen, his tumor markers are normal and his MRIs are clean! This has made Michael more passionate about staying on a vegan diet. He has met lots of wonderful passionate people with amazing stories while walking down this path. Michael’s area is Northeast Florida, particularly the Jacksonville area. Contact Michael to share your restaurant finds, make comments, or just to say hello!

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How to prepare Quinoa

Quinoa is a delicious gluten-free substitute for the wheat intolerant. It is also a nice substitute for rice. It cooks quickly by comparison and has a slight crunchy texture.

 

 

Time: 20 minutes
Yield: about 3 cups

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa, (red, white or mixed)
1 ½ cups Mirepoix Vegetable Stock or water

Preparation and Method:
1.  Rinse quinoa under running water in a fine-meshed strainer. Transfer to a small or medium sauce pan with a lid.
2. Stir in 1 ½ cups vegetable stock or water and bring to a boil (about 2 minutes).
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. You’ll know it is done when the quinoa grows tiny little tails and all of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with fork.

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Spicy Szechuan Eggplant with Mushrooms & Almonds

 

 

by Danielle Bussone

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 large (about 1lb 4 oz) globe eggplant, or 10 small round Indian eggplants, or 3 long Japanese eggplants cut into irregular shapes. (Video on how to cut eggplants)

1 tbsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)

1 large red onion, julienned (Video on how to julienne onions)

1 large (8-9oz) green bell pepper, cut in 1/4 inch strips (Video on how to cut bell peppers)

6 (3-4 oz) 1 16 oz 1/2 cup small mulit-colored peppers, quartered (optional)

1 16-0z package portobello mushrooms, washed and sliced (may substitute button mushrooms or baby bellas) (Video on cutting portobello mushrooms)

toasted slivered almonds (or cashews) (Video on toasting almonds)

Sauce:

2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup organic tamari (may substitute soy sauce)
Enough water or vegetable stock to make 2 cups along with the previous three ingredients

 

METHOD:

Yield: 7 cups/3 lbs 11 oz

In a large sauté pan, sauté onions until wilted adding water or vegetable stock to prevent scorching. Stir in garlic, mushrooms and peppers. (If using crushed red peppers, reserve for later.)

Add about 1/2 cup liquid, cover and cook on medium heat until veggies are fork tender, stirring frequently. Once the mushrooms have released their liquid (signifying the veggies are nearly done) begin making your sauce.

For the sauce, pour 1/2 cup boiling water into a 2-cup measuring cup. With a whisk, stir in brown sugar until completely dissolved. Add molasses and stir until dissolved. Whisk in tamari and set aside to cool.

Check your vegetables and see if the eggplants are fork tender. This is the one vegetable that you really want to be cooked through. If that is ready, finish making your sauce.

Note: I don’t like adding cornstarch until I’m ready to use it. Note that the sauce mixture doesn’t have to be completely cooled, just not hot. If it is hot, the cornstarch will start to thicken prematurely and may clump. If the sauce is still too hot, add a half-cup cold water or veggie stock.

When the eggplants are ready, stir in the almonds or cashews. If you are using crushed red peppers, add this now.

Finish your sauce by whisking 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch into the sweetened tamari mixture. Add enough liquid to bring the total amount to 2 cups. Stir to make sure the cornstarch is fully incorporated with no lumps.

Stir sauce into vegetable mixture. Cover and allow to come to a soft boil, stirring frequently. You will notice that the cornstarch mixture was rather cloudy when you first added it to the vegetables. In a minute or two, the mixture will become dark and clear. Allow this mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes for the flavors to incorporate, the sauce to thicken and become a clear, rich color.

Serve over brown or red rice. (Video on how to cook brown rice)

Note: If you prefer your veggies to have more of a crunchy texture, sauté the mushrooms and eggplants first and after the mushrooms have released their liquid, stir in the peppers, onion and garlic. Then add the nuts, crushed peppers, and sauce.

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Swiss Chard Rolls Stuffed with Spicy Potatoes Masala

 

by Danielle Bussone

Swiss Chard Rolls Stuffed With Spicy Potatoes Masala

This recipe has a number of steps but it is really quite simple to make. If you don’t care for spicy food, simply leave out the hot pepper.

To assemble you’ll need:
4 leaves swiss chard
1 recipe Spiced Masala Potatoes
1 cup red quinoa
1 recipe tahini sauce

 

1 – Prepare Quinoa

 

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, (red, white or mixed)

1 ½ cups Mirepoix Vegetable Stock (see Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health!) or water

Preparation and Method:

Rinse quinoa under running water in a fine-meshed strainer. Transfer to a small or medium sauce pan with a lid. Stir in 1 ½ cups vegetable stock or water and bring to a boil (about 2 minutes). Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. You’ll know it is done when the quinoa grows tiny little tails and all of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with fork.

 

2 – Toast Cashews

 

3 – Prepare Spicy Masala Potatoes


Ingredients:
3 medium (about 1 1/2 lbs) yukon gold potatoes

1 medium to large red or yellow onion, chopped
15 curry leaves or more (1 or 2 stems)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds, any color

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
salt to taste

1/2 cup toasted cashews
cilantro for garnish


This is a deliciously flavorful way to eat potatoes. I first tried this dish at a fantastic Indian/Sri Lanken restaurant called, Dosa Garden, in Staten Island, NY. I was so smitten by the flavors, I hounded the owner to share the recipe with me. He gave me the general ingredients and this is the version I cam up with. I think it comes pretty close. While Kandi, from Dosa Garden, uses oil when he prepares this dish, this is an oil-free method. The preparation times of this dish overlap into the cooking time.

Preparation: 5 -7 minutes

Method:
Wash and dice potatoes, leaving skin on (5 – 7 minutes). Rinse and transfer to a medium sauce pan with a lid. Put in enough water or vegetable stock to come half-way to the top of the potatoes (1/2-1 inch, depending on the size of your saucepan). Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil until fork tender.

While the potatoes are coming to a boil, peel and chop onions.

Heat your sauté pan and add chopped onions. Stir. Add curry leaves, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds. Sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent. Add 1/8 cup water, turmeric, black pepper and chili powder.

While the onions and potatoes are cooking, prepare cashews. You can leave them whole or chop them into coarsely chopped pieces. In a small fry pan on medium heat, brown cashews, turning them over with a spatula or flip them in the pan frequently. When they are lightly browned, transfer to a cool dish. Don’t leave them in the pan to cool because they will continue to brown and will possibly burn. Set aside.

When potatoes are fork tender (most of the water should be boiled away), drain, reserving liquid, and add to onion mixture. Toss all ingredients until completely covered with the spicy onion mixture. Mash mixture with a potato masher. If the potatoes feel a little dry, add a little of the reserved potato water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Fold in cashews. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serve hot as a side dish as a filling for Utthappam (Indian Potato Pancakes), or as a filling for Swiss Chard Rolls. This is also good served cold as a potato salad .

 

4 – Tahini Sauce

 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Tahini
2 teasp white miso (garbanzo bean or soy miso)
1 teasp Mitoku sweet brown vinegar, or brown rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup water

Method:

Tahini sauce is delicious over just about any grain dish. It will keep three days in your refrigerator and reheats well. You can make it to the consistency you desire.

Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 3/4 cup

Preparation and Directions: 2-3min
In a blender on medium-high speed, blend all ingredients until smooth.
If you have a high-powered blender, like a Vita-mix, you can put it on high and blend until the mixture is thick like heavy cream and warm. Add just enough water to thin to a nice creamy sauce. The only problem with using a Vita-mix for this is that the sauce will tend to be a little frothy, with lots of small bubbles in it. While this doesn’t affect flavor, it can give it a less desirable appearance. I, personally, don’t mind this but if you do, blend this in your regular blender and transfer it to a small saucepan and finish the process on the stove.

If you prefer to heat it on a stovetop add 5 minutes to preparation time.

If you don’t have a Vita-mix, transfer the sauce to a small saucepan and carefully heat on medium-low until thickened, adding water until you achieve a warm sauce with the consistency of heavy cream. (Nut sauces like to burn so stir frequently.

 

5 – Wilting Swiss Chard Leaves To Prepare For Stuffing

 

Pick out the largest swiss chard leaves you can find and those with few or no tears in them.

First, half-fill a large skillet or sauté pan with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Fill a large, wide-rimmed bowl with cold water. If you have ice cubes, add a few to the water to get it as cold as possible. Set aside. (You can leave this in your sink for less mess.) Also, lay a large, clean towel on your countertop for draining water from leaves.)

While the water is heating, wash several chard leaves to get rid of any residual dirt and grit. Choose a large leaf and turn it over onto a chopping board so that the bottom rib of the leaf is exposed. Lay a paring knife on its side and gently shave about half of the stem off, taking care not to cut through the stem entirely nor accidentally puncture the leaf. This will allow the leaf to bend easier while rolling it. Cut off stem at the base of the leaf and save for making vegetable stock, put in compost or discard. We won’t be using it in this recipe.

Remove lid from water and reduce heat to simmer. Gently lay prepared leaf in hot water and submerge for 30 seconds. Remove with a tong and transfer to cold water bath to stop cooking. Once cooled, remove from water bath and spread out on towel to drain. Pat with another clean towel to dry exposed side of the leaf. Repeat process with all the leaves you plan to stuff.

 

6 – Assembling Swiss Chard Rolls

 

To Assemble:

Take wilted leaf and place, shaved stem side up, on a chopping board or large plate. Spoon a generous portion of Spicy Potatoes Masala (see recipe) onto the bottom of the leaf and roll towards the top of the leaf, tucking the potatoes under as you go. When you’ve completed one full turn, fold the sides of the leaf towards the middle. continue to roll until you’ve used the entire leaf. This technique is very similar to rolling a burrito.

 

To serve:

Prepare a bed of Red Quinoa (see recipe, you may substitute any other type quinoa) and spoon some Tahini Sauce (see recipe) over it. Arrange one or two swiss chard rolls on top of the quinoa, then drizzle some more of the Tahini Sauce over the top. Enjoy!

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Gosh Ethiopian Restaurant – Healthy Plant-based Dining In Knoxville, Tennessee

    
by Danielle Busssone

 

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On one of our pilgrimages to Knoxville to visit the Apple Store and the most wonderful Asian market EVER (Sunrise Market on Kingston Pike), we discovered a restaurant we have somehow missed on previous visits to this bustling city. Gosh is one of the few family-owned restaurants in Knoxville where you can find a healthy, plant-based meal without the bother of a litany of questions. Ethiopia has a long history of religious fasting days in which no animal protein is allowed, so whenever you order vegetarian at an Ethiopian restaurant, vegan is what you get. You can count on that!

 

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The menu offers individual stews a la carte from $7.99 to $8.99 each or you can opt for a vegetarian (actually vegan) four dish option from the vegetarian menu, plus a salad for $9.99. Finally, there is the option of six vegetarian dishes plus salad for $11.99.

 

We chose the six veggie combination plate including Kik Alicha (mild pureed yellow split peas seasoned with onions and turmeric), Yemiser Wot (red split lentils cooked in a uniquely Ethiopian spice blend called Berbere), Yemiser Alicha (red split lentils cooked in a mild sauce of onion, garlic and curry), Tikil Gomen (a mild stew of carrots, potato and cabbage), Gomen ( a mild stew of collard greens cooked with onions, garlic and jalapeño peppers), Shurro Wot (ground split peas cooked in Berbere spice blend with onions and fresh garlic), as well as a house salad. This is served with a special flatbread native to Ethiopia called Injera, made from teff, a highly nutritious grain that is fermented to give the bread its unique sourdough flavor. It’s texture is somewhere between a crepe and a pancake and it is used not only as the lining of your plate, upon which the various stews are placed, but will also serve as your utensils. To eat Ethiopian food, unroll a piece of injera and pinch a portion of the stew within the folds of your injera. Then just pop it into your mouth!

 

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What sets Gosh Ethiopian Restaurant apart from other Ethiopian restaurants we’ve visited is that the chef uses very little oil, making it a far healthier option than most. And for Knoxville, it is the healthiest restaurant overall that we’ve found to date. This being said, as far as the flavor is concerned, both Rich and I felt there was not enough distinction between the flavors of each dish. Ethiopian cuisine is a balance between spicy and mild, and chewy, soft and crisp textures. Yemiser Wot should have a distinctly spicy flavor, as should the Shurro Wot, yet they were nearly as mild as the Kik Alicha. If the Tikel Gomen contained potatoes and carrots, we did not find them. It was basically stewed cabbage. Still, it was a very satisfying meal we could enjoy without guilt and the injera was among the best we’ve had.

 

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I suspect Gosh Ethiopian Restaurant has tamed the infamous spiciness of their dishes to cater to the more staid American palate, especially the Southern palate, unaccustomed to the fiery flavors of the African continent. I find that I have to do that myself when preparing food for guests who do not have a penchant for heat. For me, the important questions that must be answered before I recommend an establishment is: 1- Is the food healthy? and 2-Does it taste good?  Gosh Ethiopian Restaurant receives a resounding YES! to both.

 

If you want to enjoy healthy plant-based food without worry, Gosh is a restaurant you will certainly enjoy. We plan to make it a regular stop when traveling in the Knoxville area.

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About!, Danielle creates recipes and cooking demonstrations, writes restaurant reviews, and conducts interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is author of “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health!” and is currently working on a series of cookbooks featuring healthy plant-based cuisine from around the world.

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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Green Erth Bistro – Persian Cuisine In North Florida, And It’s VEGAN!

 

by Michael Wilkins

 

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Having a meal at the Green Erth Bistro is like sitting down at the dinner table with your family in your own home. This restaurant is a little slice of heaven, hearkening back to a time when we sat down at grandma’s table for a homemade meal. All of the dishes are made simply with very fresh ingredients. Mashid goes to the market each day to select garden-fresh produce, which she and her staff prepare just prior to opening. The restaurant is designed so that vegans and carnivores can dine together, and everyone can get what they want.

 
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The owner, Mashid,  is a marvelous lady who came to Jacksonville from New York. I spoke with her about her background and the restaurant. She came to the United States with her family at the age of 18. Originally from Iran, she describes herself as Persian. There is a delightfully comforting feel to this place that strikes you from the moment you walk in the door. A central high chair dining area features decor like you would find in your own kitchen, including an enticing jar of marinated vegetables. This is all by design. There are mirrors and items on the walls that add to the familiar homey ambiance.  Green Erth has maintained a manageable size that allows them to offer excellent service without compromising quality and the intimate atmosphere.

 

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While advertised as vegetarian/vegan Persian food, I learned in my conversation with Mashid that this restaurant is vegetarian and vegan-friendly. After doing a little investigating, I discovered that they guarantee their vegan food is 100% pure. I discovered this place a few months ago and vowed to visit it for lunch, but I never made it.  So, recently, as I was driving through downtown Jacksonville on Hendricks Avenue headed for a Tropical Smoothie Café, I passed this Green Erth Bistro. I turned around and headed back, intent on finding out what they were all about. I’m so glad I did;  I had a wonderful lunch in a very comfortable setting with fresh ingredients that express themselves in unmistakable bursts of flavor. Let’s be honest with ourselves here, isn’t this what we all really want?

 
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I ordered a cup of the vegan soup of the day which turned out to be the Barley Aash. It is a hearty concoction of barley, lentils, navy beans, fresh herbs, garlic & onion and is very tasty.

 
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I also ordered a sandwich which is listed on the menu as a TempehWrap. This delectable wrap includes, organic tempeh marinated in-house dressing, served with diced tomato,onion and organic greens wrapped in lavash (a soft, thin flatbread), served with gluten-free chips. I could only finish half of the wrap as it was a sizable portion.

 

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Inquiring about their dessert, I was happy to find out that they have vegan desserts such as ice cream and the weekly special, which turned out to be the double chocolate cheesecake. The cheesecake is sweetened with agave which was pleasing to me since I avoid refined sugar like the plague. When I inquired about the desert, Mashid told me that she does not make them in her kitchen but orders the vegan desert from Shakthi Life Kitchens, located right here in Jacksonville. Shakthi Life Kitchens is owned by a young lady whose father owns European Street Café, which I posted in an earlier blog.

 
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In addition to the food that I ordered there are many other items on the menu that vegetarian/vegans will find delightful, like falafel, baba ghanoush, a hummus plate, tabouli, various salads, vegan chili, vegan soup, and various vegetarian/vegan sandwiches or wraps. One of the unique items in this restaurant is skewers and kebabs.

 

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I cannot wait to go back and try the organic tofu and vegetable kebob. You can also order sides of tabouli hummus, organic tempeh, vegan bread, vegan cheese, and basmati rice. Have I given you the impression that I could eat here every day? Well I’m glad I did, because it’s true.

 

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Lunch is served here Monday through Saturday 11 AM to 2:30 PM. Dinner isserved Tuesday through Saturday 5:30 PM to 9 PM and they are closed on Sunday. If you are traveling through Jacksonville this is a must stop. It is locatedin the downtown area on Hendricks Avenue. Please say hello to Mashid from Mike the Diver, and enjoy all of the great food choices she has to offer.

 

Michael Wilkins is a respiratory therapist, an avid scuba diver and an accomplished photographer. He has been living with hepatitis C for more than two decades and is a cancer survivor. Michael has kept liver cancer at bay by employing the healing properties of a plant-based diet.

A year later, after a strict plant-based regimen, his tumor markers are normal and his MRIs are clean! This has made Michael more passionate about staying on a vegan diet. He has met lots of wonderful passionate people with amazing stories while walking down this path. Michael’s area is Northeast Florida, particularly the Jacksonville area. Contact Michael to share your restaurant finds, make comments, or just to say hello!

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Danielle’s Meatless BBQ pulled ‘pork’ made from Jackfruit live on WJHL 11

 

Click here to view the video:

Meatless BBQ

 

 

 

Barbecued Jackfruit Pulled Pork

Barbecue Jackfruit Pulled Pork

 

Note from Danielle: In the video I misspoke and said to add 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar. It is actually 1/4 cup! Oops! 🙂 Full recipe attached.

Ingredients:
2 16oz cans Green Jackfruit in brine
¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Southwestern Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder or Chipotle in adobe sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 – 1½ cups Barbecue Sauce (see Time For Change) or any commercial BBQ sauce

Method:
Drain and rinse in cold water. With a fork pull the wedges of jackfruit apart until it resembles pulled pork. (It is much easier if you microwave the jackfruit for 30 seconds or steam it in a tablespoon or two of water first.)
Transfer to a covered skillet or sauté pan.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently.

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Danielle’s Southwestern Cooking Class – Delicious Plant-based Cuisine From South Of The Border!

 

Video of the entire cooking class:

Southwestern Cooking Class

 

Three Bean Chile

Video of just the three bean chili:

 

Ingredients:

2 large (about 11 oz each) onions, coarsely chopped
1 large green bell peppers, coarsely chopped (may use organic seeded jalapeños)
2 stalks celery, small dice
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup vegetable stock to prevent scorching
2 14.5 oz cans salt-free chopped tomatoes
4 tablespoons Southwestern Chili Powder
(This is a combination of spices, not the hot chili powder used in Indian food.)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups cooked pinto beans
2 cups cooked black turtle beans
2 cups cooked red beans
1 cup fresh or frozen organic corn kernels
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
fresh chopped cilantro for garnish

 

Method:

This makes a big pot of chile. This is a fantastic, relatively easy dish to make for a crowd, such as a Cinco de Mayo party. It freezes well and is always handy to have on hand for unexpected guests. This is one of those dishes which only get better with time. You may, of course, reduce the recipe to suit your immediate needs.

Prep: 10 minutes
Peel and chop onions and mince garlic. Wash and chop celery and peppers. Open cans of tomatoes and measure spices into a small bowl.

Cook: 20-30 minutes
In a large saucepan or stock pan with a lid, saute onions, celery and peppers until soft and the onions are translucent. Add minced garlic and sauté another two minutes. Stir in chili seasoning, cumin, and coriander until well combined. Fold in chopped tomatoes. Add the beans, with their liquids, and cook covered on medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Add salt to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro and freshly chopped red onion.
Serve hot.

 

Vegan Southwestern Pulled Pork

Video of just the Pulled Pork:

 

Ingredients:

2 16oz cans Green Jackfruit in brine
¼ cup Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Southwestern Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder or Chipotle in adobe sauce
1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 – 1½ cups Barbecue Sauce (see Time For Change) or any commercial BBQ sauce

 

Method:

Drain and rinse in cold water. With a fork pull the wedges of jackfruit apart until it resembles pulled pork. (It is much easier if you microwave the jackfruit for 30 seconds or steam it in a tablespoon or two of water first.)

Transfer to a covered skillet or sauté pan.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently.

 

No Cheese Mac ’n Cheese

 

Mac&CheeseS

 

Ingredients:

12 oz Yukon gold potato (1 large), cut into small chunks
4 oz carrots (2 med), cut into chunks
2 oz ripe red tomato (I often use cherry tomatoes for this dish.)
1 medium roasted red pepper
1 medium garlic clove, smashed and allowed to rest for 10 – 15 minutes)
2 oz red onion or shallot
1/4 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed), 1 to 1 1/2 lemons
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt  (optional)
16 oz package elbow macaroni noodles

 

Method:

Always crush garlic first and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before heating.

Fill a large saucepan or dutch oven with water. Cover and bring to a boil.

Peel onion, scrub potatoes, juice lemon, peel carrots and roast peppers (See Time For Change for instructions on roasting red peppers.) I like to roast a lot of peppers at one time and freeze them individually so I can just pull them out of the freezer when I need one for a recipe. It’s best to do this in the summer when peppers are cheap.

Transfer potatoes to a medium saucepan with about 1 1/2 cups water.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the carrots. Continue to cook at a low boil until fork tender. Strain, reserving water in a heat-resistant glass measuring cup. You’ll need this liquid later.

When the water in the large saucepan boils, stir in macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping, for 6 to 7 minutes or until the pasta is still slightly chewy (al dente). You definitely do not want to overcook pasta until it tastes mushy. Drain and set aside.

In a high-speed blender add all remaining ingredients (cashews, lemon, garlic, onion, tomato, roasted red pepper, carrots, potatoes, and salt) until smooth and creamy. Add as much of the potato water you need to achieve a creamy cheese-like texture. In a high-speed blender like a VitaMix, the “cheese” sauce will heat up and thicken as you blend it.

If you use a regular blender you may have to do this in two batches. Start with the cashews and lemon with a little of the potato water and blend until creamy. Then add the remaining ingredients. Transfer back to the medium saucepan and cook on medium-low, stirring frequently with a whisk to prevent scorching. This will thicken as the sauce becomes hot. Again, thin to the desired consistency with the remaining potato water.

In a large mixing bowl, fold the cheese sauce into the macaroni. Enjoy!

 

No-Cheese Nachos

No-Cheese Nachos

 

Method:

Make cheese sauce from No-Cheese Mac’n Cheese. Arrange tortilla chips in a serving dish. Drizzle with cheese sauce and add favorite condiments, such as: chopped avocado, chopped tomatoes, sliced olives, red or green onions, jalapeño peppers or whatever strikes your fancy!

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Healthy Vegan Sushi

The second part of our video for our friend Omowale Adewale’s children Rayne, Aziza and Chi, shows how to make healthy vegan sushi rolls

 

 

 

 

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Kate Strong discusses her career as a world champion vegan triathlete.

 

 

 

Kate Strong talks to Danielle Bussone about her transformation from a struggling asthmatic runner to World Champion Triathlete after transitioning to a whole foods plant-based diet!

 

 

 

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