How to make Korean temple food

Im finally back after a week long trip in Korea(South Korea of course) and after visiting Seokguram Grotto, which is a part of the Bulguksa temple complex.Construction began in 742 and it is a Buddhist temple. Buddhism was brought to Korea from China during Former Qin in 372 and slowly evolved into Korean buddhism which remains popular until today.Seokguram is an artificial grotto made from granite and is unique in design.

This image was taken from wikipedia as videos and photos are banned. theres actually a glass installed there now and only monks and nuns can actually get close to the carving.Since Buddhists are also vegetarian, this means unique vegetarian food to try!
Korean temple food has a 1700 year old tradition,that excludes all animal products. Milk is allowed, so temple food as a whole is not vegan while most of individual dishes are. Temple cooking is primarily based on seasonal plant-based ingredients, which are either organically grown in temple grounds or harvested from nearby fields and mountains.
Things to note
There are 5 forbidden vegetables, called oshinchae (오신채). They are garlic, scallion, onion, buchu (부추) – garlic chives, and dalrae (달래) – wild rocambole/small wild onion. These vegetables are considered stimulants which hinder spiritual meditation.
Temple dishes are lightly seasoned only with natural seasonings, so they generally have a mild, clean taste. Temple cooking uses a wide variety of natural flavor enhancers such as mushroom powder, lotus root powder, perilla seeds, etc. as well as temple made Korean traditional fermented condiments such as soy sauce (aka jib ganjang/soup soy sauce), doenjang (soybean paste) and gochujang (red chili pepper paste).
Because they have to work with limited ingredients, temple cooks are experts on identifying edible wild plants, creating many different dishes with limited ingredients, and preserving/pickling vegetables when they are in season for later use.
In Buddhist temples, cooking and eating is considered spiritual meditation. The food is made with care to nourish the body, mind, and soul of those who eat it. Food is considered medicine.

Lotus Seed Rice

Venerable Jeok Mun developed this recipe with monks in solo meditation in mind.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
1 cup sweet brown rice
1 cup sweet rice (a.k.a. glutinous white rice)
18 cups water
½ teaspoon salt plus more for seasoning
20 lotus seeds with skin on (피연자 pih yeon ja)
80 grams ginseng
10 ginkgo, peeled
1 tablespoon goji berries
1 tablespoon roughly chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon pine nuts

Steps
Wash sweet brown rice and sweet rice in cold water, then soak in 5 cups of water for 3 hours with a pinch of salt at room temperature. Drain and discard water.
Soak lotus seeds for 4 hours in 5 cups of water. Boil lotus seeds in water and ½ teaspoon of salt over high heat for 7~10 minutes. Rinse in cold water and drain. Remove the green embryo of lotus seeds and discard.
Soak black beans in 5 cups of water for at least 4 hours then drain.
Cut ginseng to 0.5×0.5×0.5-centimeter cubes.
Mix lotus seeds, black beans, ginseng, ginkgo, goji berries, walnuts, pine nuts with brown rice and sweet rice. Add 3 cups of new water.
Cook the rice mix from Step 5 in a rice cooker and let it rest before serving.

Korean temple ravioli

For the vegetable broth
250g fermented vegetable broth (see separate instructions below)
75g tomato consomme
75g water kimchi
10g ganjang (soy sauce)
5g salt

Method

Mix all ingredients together.

For the fermented vegetable broth
300g onion
100g leek
100g carrot
300g radish
50g dried pyogo (Korean Mushroom with intense aroma)
300g tomato
150g apple
150g Asian pear
5g dashima (gonbu)

Method

Step 1: Roughly chop all ingredients to 2 by 3cm pieces.
Step 2: Add all ingredients to an OCOO automatic fermentation machine and leave to ferment for 48 hours.
Step 3: After 48 hours, you will get dark and aromatic fermented vegetable essence.
Step 4: Drain the vegetable essence.
Step 5: Save all the leftover vegetables and leave them to dry (one of the principles of temple cuisine is never to throw away any part of your ingredients)
Step 6: Roast the leftover veg until very dark in colour, to make into a powder for seasoning.

For the ravioli dough
100g all-purpose glour
60ml water
Pinch of salt

Method

Step 1: Mix all ingredients together to make the dough.
Step 2: Leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least six hours.

For the ravioli filling
30g mushroom duxelles (see instructions below)
30g Gobi namul (see instructions below)
30g smoked eggplant (see instructions below)

Method

Chop all ingredients and mix together.

For the mushroom duxelles
25g shallots
8ml oil
100g button mushroom
Salt & pepper
10ml red wine
10ml Korean black rice vinegar

Method

Step 1: Sweat the shallots with oil in the pan.
Step 2: Chop the mushrooms, add to the pan and continue to sweat.
Step 3: Season with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Deglaze with wine and vinegar.

For the Gobi namul
50g dried Gobi namul (Korean typical herb from Ulleung island, type of bracken)
5ml oil
5ml Ganjang (soy sauce)

Method

Step 1: Rehydrate the Gobi namul in water for 2-4 hours.
Step 2: Slowly saute Gobi namul with oil and season with Ganjang.
Step 3: Chop it.

For the smoked eggplant
1 eggplant

Method

Step 1: Burn the eggplant directly on a charcoal grill until the skin is black.
Step 2: Wash the eggplant in water and peel away the burnt skin while washing.
Step 3: Smoke in a smoking machine for 30 minutes. (Smoking enhances the aroma of the eggplant but you can skip this process if you don’t have a smoking machine.)

To make the ravioli
Step 1: When the dough is ready, roll into thin, round ravioli sheets.
Step 2: Stuff the filling and fold in half to make ravioli.
Step 3: Cut carrot and potatoes into thin circles. Place one on top of the ravioli.
Step 4: Steam for 10 minutes.

For the garnish
Boiled bamboo shoots
Sancho Jang a jji (pickled vegetables with salt)
Aralia Jang a jji (pickled blanched shoots of the Aralia plant)

Assembly
Step 1: Put all garnish in a bowl.
Step 2: Place ravioli on top of garnish.
Step 3: Heat vegetables broth and pour into the bowl.
Step 4: Place ‘Sancho Jang a jji’ on top of ravioli.
Step 5: Sprinkle fermented vegetable powder.

video to make temple ravioli

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How to make your own mushroom grain spawn

Common varieties like oyster mushrooms can be found at grocery stores.If you do not want to pay high prices for mushroom spawn, you can make your own!

Making grain spawn is a stage of mushroom cultivation the whole family can get into – there’s a job for everyone.

This stage of the mushroom cultivation process comes before you use your grain spawn to inoculate your final bulk substrate, but after you’ve made (or purchased) your pure culture.Placing mushroom spores onto a sterile medium to start the fungal growth and then transferring the culture to millet seeds is a good way to make oyster mushroom spawn. Gelatin(or agar) with a small amount of sugar, boiled for sterilization and poured into small, sterile jars makes a good starting medium. Spores from the inside of the cap of an oyster mushroom placed on the gelatin with sterile tweezers will produce mycelium growth within about a week.(try buying oyster mushrooms that are pre packaged in plastic bags to reduce/remove undesired bacteria or fungus.

The process of making grain spawn is almost identical for growing all kinds of different mushrooms from Pearl, King, Pink, Blue, Golden or White Oyster Mushrooms to Shiitake, Enoki, Reishi, Pioppino or Lion’s Mane.

This is the stage before that one – the process of making the spawn to innoculate that substrate – straw, woodchips or whatever you choose.

The purpose of grain spawn is to allow your chosen mycelium to multiply in a controlled environment, before you let it loose on your fruiting (bulk) substrate.

To achieve this, your grain (in this case, organic wheat) needs to be sterile. The easiest way to do this for a home cultivator is to use a good quality pressure cooker.

Jars are great as containers to store your grain in and mushroom spawn!

Making air filters for your Grain Jars
white coffee filters securely placed around the lid with tape should do.

Sterilizing substrate for Grain Spawn: You will need
12 cups (3 litres) of organic whole wheat grain (pre-soaked for 24 hours in cold water)
12 teaspoons of gypsum (calcium sulfate – you can buy it in any garden centre – sometimes sold as “clay breaker”)
Your 12 jars, as prepped above with air filters, or plastic containers, if you want to go that road (see below for design)
a pressure cooker
After soaking the grain for 24 hours, we drained it in a big colander until no more water dripped out, then we mixed in the gypsum.

Then we put the grain into the clean jars, filling them to 3/4 full.

DIY Mushroom Cultivation- Making Grain Spawn 4
Once our jars were full and the lids were on, we put them all into the pressure cooker with two inches of water in the bottom.

Since we had read our pressure cooker’s instructions in full already, we closed it up, turned the heat on and held the pressure cooker at 15psi for 2 hours.

Allow the pressure cooker to cool fully before you take off it’s lid, and remove your jars of pasteurised spawn.

Once you’re sterilized your spawn
Now comes the fun part! Once the grain in the jars is completely cooled down, it’s back to your sterile-as-possible lab, to add a slice of your pure culture

And in a week or two (7 days if you can hold your spawn at 24 degrees celcius) you should have fully colonised spawn.

How to tell if your spawn is colonised
Your grain spawn at this stage should be white and fluffy in the jar – this is a sign of healthy, colonised spawn.

Colonised spawn – you can see the original pure culture agar strip in the plastic container in the middle, surrounded by fluffy, healthy mycelium

Generally speaking, white and fluffy is good, and blue, pink or yellow is bad. Colours other than white indicate that other fungus spores or bacteria have jumped in and colonised your spawn. Throw it on the compost pile and start again, if this happens – live and learn!

Once you have your fully colonised grain spawn, it’s time to pasteurise some fruiting substrate and add the spawn to that.

Adapted from:https://www.milkwood.net/2015/11/23/mushroom-cultivation-making-grain-spawn/

My favorite vegan recipes

My personal favorites

1.Sugar snap pea and carrot soba noodles

Just bring two pots of water to boil: one for the noodles, and another for the edamame and snap peas, which you’ll cook briefly before draining. Then you just toss in the rest!

A healthy, vibrant soba noodle recipe full of fresh springtime produce. Feel free to trade in other seasonal vegetables for the sugar snap peas, like chopped bell pepper. This recipe yields about six servings and the leftovers don’t keep particularly well, so halve the ingredients if you’re not serving a crowd.

INGREDIENTS

Soba

  • 6 ounces soba noodles or spaghetti noodles of choice
  • 2 cups frozen organic edamame
  • 10 ounces (about 3 cups) sugar snap peas or snow peas
  • 6 medium-sized carrots, peeled
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (about 2 handfuls)
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds

Ginger-sesame sauce

  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons quality peanut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon white miso*
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or sriracha

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. To prepare the vegetables: Use a chef’s knife to slice the peas in half lengthwise (or just roughly chop them). Slice the carrots into long, thin strips with a julienne peeler, or slice them into ribbons with a vegetable peeler.
  2. To make the sauce: whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl until emulsified. Set aside.
  3. Bring two big pots of water to a boil. In the meantime, toast the sesame seeds: Pour the sesame seeds into a small pan. Toast for about 4 to 5 minutes over medium-low heat, shaking the pan frequently to prevent burning, until the seeds are turning golden and starting to make popping noises.
  4. Once the pots of water are boiling: In one pot, cook the soba noodles just until al dente, according to package directions (probably about 5 minutes), then drain and briefly rinse under cool water. Cook the frozen edamame in the other pot until warmed through (about 4 to 6 minutes) but before draining, toss the halved peas into the boiling edamame water and cook for an additional 20 seconds. Drain.
  5. Combine the soba noodles, edamame, snap peas and carrots in a large serving bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss with salad servers. Toss in the chopped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. Serve.

STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: This dish keeps decently well, covered and refrigerated, for a couple of days, BUT here’s a better way, courtesy of Janet: make a batch, store the salad and dressing separately until ready to eat, and then grab one or two portions and add some dressing. Either way, you can serve leftovers chilled or gently rewarmed. Wake up leftovers with a dash of additional tamari or lime juice and fresh cilantro leaves.

 

2.Butternut Squash Linguine with Fried Sage

Spiced and creamy (yet cream-less) butternut squash sauce tossed with whole grain linguine. Top with fried sage for a healthy, comforting main dish. Serve with salad or roasted vegetables to further lighten up the meal. Recipe yields 4 large servings.

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
2 pound butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small ½-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (up to ¼ teaspoon for spicier pasta sauce)
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
12 ounces whole grain linguine or fettucine
Optional additional garnishes: shaved Parmesan or Pecorino and/or smoked salt

INSTRUCTIONS
Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the sage and toss to coat. Let the sage get crispy before transferring it to a small bowl. Sprinkle it lightly with salt and set the bowl aside.
Add the squash, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is soft and the liquid is reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions, stirring occasionally. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining.
Once the squash mixture is done cooking, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender, but keep the skillet handy. Purée the mixture until smooth (beware of hot steam escaping from the top of the blender), then season with salt and pepper until the flavors sing.
In the reserved skillet, combine the pasta, squash purée and ¼ cup cooking liquid. Cook over medium heat, tossing and adding more pasta cooking water as needed, until the sauce coats the pasta, about 2 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve the pasta in individual bowls topped with fried sage, more black pepper and shaved Parmesan/Pecorino and/or smoked salt, if desired.

CHANGE IT UP: The squash purée is a killer bisque, which you could thin with vegetable broth if you’d like. You could also stir it into risotto at the end of cooking.

3.Vegetable Paella

The best vegetable paella recipe! It’s loaded with vegetables, chickpeas, and savory, smoky rice. This Spanish dish is perfect for serving at dinner parties, since it’s vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. Recipe yields 6 hearty servings.

INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes (preferably the fire-roasted variety), drained
2 cups short-grain brown rice*
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
3 cups vegetable broth
⅓ cup dry white wine** or vegetable broth
½ teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
1 can (14 ounces) quartered artichokes or 1 jar (12 ounces) marinated artichoke, drained
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and sliced into long, ½”-wide strips
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus about 1 tablespoon more for garnish
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus additional lemon wedges for garnish
½ cup frozen peas

INSTRUCTIONS
Arrange your oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, making sure that you have ample space between the two racks for your Dutch oven. You’re going to need a large Dutch oven (preferably 6 quarts/11-to-12” in diameter or bigger.

Dutch oven
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in your Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until the mixture begins to darken and thicken slightly, about 2 minutes Stir in the rice and cook until the grains are well coated with tomato mixture, about 1 minute. Stir in the chickpeas, broth, wine, saffron (if using) and 1 teaspoon salt.
Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover the pot and transfer it to the lower rack in the oven. Bake, undisturbed, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 50 to 55 minutes.
Meanwhile, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. On the baking sheet, combine the artichoke, peppers, chopped olives, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and about 10 twists of freshly ground black pepper. Toss to combine, then spread the contents evenly across the pan.
Roast the vegetables on the upper rack until the artichokes and peppers are tender and browned around the edges, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the vegetables cool for a few minutes. Add ¼ cup parsley to the pan and the lemon juice, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
For optional socarrat (crispy bottom—beware that you might have to scrub burnt bits from your pot later if you do this): Uncover the pot of baked rice, transfer it to the stovetop and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, rotating the pot as needed, until the bottom layer of rice is well browned and crisp.
sprinkle the peas and roasted vegetables over the baked rice, cover, and let the paella sit for 5 minutes. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley (about 1 tablespoon) and serve in individual bowls, with lemon wedges on the side.

RICE OPTIONS: You can choose a different rice, but the baking time for the rice will vary according to the variety. White Valencia or arborio rice will be done baking at 25 to 35 minutes. Long-grain brown rice will be done baking at 55 to 60 minutes.

4.Crunchy Thai peanut and quinoa salad

This Thai-flavored salad recipe is made with carrots, cabbage, snow peas, and quinoa, tossed in delicious peanut sauce. This healthy salad is vegan, gluten free, and packs well for lunch. Recipe yields 4 salads.

INGREDIENTS

Salad
¾ cup uncooked quinoa or millet
1 ½ cups water
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup thinly sliced snow peas or sugar snap peas
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
¼ cup chopped roasted and salted peanuts, for garnish

Peanut sauce
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (I love ginger so I used 2 teaspoons)
½ lime, juiced (about 1 ½ tablespoons)
Pinch of red pepper flakes

INSTRUCTIONS
Cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 ½ cups water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer the quinoa until it has absorbed all of the water. Remove the quinoa from heat, cover the pot and let it rest for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool. (Here’s how to cook millet.)
Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce: Whisk together the peanut butter and tamari until smooth (if this is difficult, microwave the mixture for up to 30 seconds to loosen it up). Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. If the mixture seems too thick to toss into the salad, whisk in a bit of water to loosen it up (I didn’t need to do this).
In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, shredded cabbage, carrot, snow peas, cilantro and green onion. Toss to combine, then pour in the peanut sauce. Toss again until everything it lightly coated in sauce. Taste, and if it doesn’t taste quite amazing yet, add a pinch of salt and toss again. Divide into individual bowls and garnish with peanuts.
This salad keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for about 4 days. If you don’t want your chopped peanuts to get soggy, store them separately from the rest and garnish just before serving.

5.Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl

This spaghetti squash burrito bowl recipe is easy to make and so good for you, too! These beautiful vegetarian burrito bowls are also vegan and gluten free, but above all, delicious. Recipe yields 4 burrito bowls.

INGREDIENTS
Roasted spaghetti squash
2 medium spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds each), halved and seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cabbage and black bean slaw
2 cups purple cabbage, thinly sliced and roughly chopped into 2-inch long pieces
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
⅓ cup chopped green onions, both green and white parts
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Avocado salsa verde
¾ cup mild salsa verde, either homemade or store-bought
1 ripe avocado, diced
⅓ cup fresh cilantro (a few stems are ok)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 medium garlic clove, roughly chopped
Optional garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro, crumbled feta and/or seasoned toasted pepitas (not shown)

INSTRUCTIONS
To roast the spaghetti squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up. On the baking sheet, drizzle the halved spaghetti squash with olive oil. Rub the olive oil all over each of the halves, adding more if necessary.
Sprinkle the insides of the squash with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Turn them over so the insides are facing down. Roast for 40 to 60 minutes, until the flesh is easily pierced through with a fork.
Meanwhile, to assemble the slaw: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cabbage, black beans, bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and salt. Toss to combine and set aside to marinate.
To make the salsa verde: In the bowl of a blender or food processor, combine the avocado, salsa verde, cilantro, lime juice and garlic. Blend until smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
To assemble, first use a fork to separate and fluff up the flesh of the spaghetti squash. Then divide the slaw into each of the spaghetti squash “bowls,” and add a big dollop of avocado salsa verde. Finish the bowls with another sprinkle of pepper, cilantro and optional crumbled feta or pepitas.

NOTES
STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: Store burrito bowls, covered, for up to 3 days. There should be enough lime in the avocado salsa verde to keep it from oxidizing, but if you want to be sure, store it separately in a small bowl with plastic wrap pressed against the surface.

6.Burrito Stuffed sweet potatoes
Fresh sweet potato burrito bowls from The First Mess Cookbook! This is a fun, hearty dinner recipe that happens to be vegan and gluten free. Recipe yields 4 stuffed sweet potatoes, enough for 2 to 4 servings.

INGREDIENTS
4 small sweet potatoes (mine came to about 2 ½ pounds total)
½ cup uncooked brown basmati rice, rinsed
1 cup cooked black beans (I used canned, rinsed and drained)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Pinch of salt
Rustic salsa
1 yellow or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ small red onion, chopped (mine came to about ¾ cup chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Guacamole
1 ripe, medium avocado
½ clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Generous pinch of salt
For serving
Shredded cabbage (Laura used green; I used purple) or romaine lettuce
Hot sauce (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
Place the sweet potatoes in the baking dish, and prick each one a couple of times with a fork. Slide the sweet potatoes into the oven and bake until very tender, about 45 minutes (mine took 5 to 10 minutes extra since they were a little bigger than specified).
In a medium saucepan, combine the basmati rice, black beans, cumin, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste and salt. Pour 1 ¼ cups water into the pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Cover and set aside to keep the rice warm.
Make the rustic salsa: In a medium bowl, combine the bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, red onions, lime juice, cilantro and olive oil. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Set aside.
Make the guacamole: Peel the avocado and extract the pit. Place the avocado flesh in a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Once you’ve broken it up a bit, add the garlic, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Mash the avocado until the seasoning is evenly distributed and you have a chunky paste. Set aside.
Place each baked sweet potato in a shallow bowl. Cut along the top of the sweet potato and pull back the skin. Spilt the sweet potatoes a little bit to make room for the fillings.
Divide the rice and bean mixture among the sweet potatoes (spillover is fine!). Top each bowl with ¼th of the rustic salsa. Finish each plate with a dollop of the guacamole and some shredded cabbage on top. Serve with hot sauce on the side if you wish.
NOTES
Reprinted from The First Mess Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Laura Wright.

Recipe courtesy of cookieandkate.com

Thank you very much for reading.Have a great day!

How to be vegan

Step 1: Start with eating less meat.Avoid it when possible if you have a choice.Eat more fruits and vegetables.At first it would be hard to resist the temptation of meat so treat yourself to meat once in a while.Gradually decrease the number of times you eat meat and think of how eating meat actually makes animals suffer as they have to be killed.

Tip:Choosing vegetables that come in many colors will make them more appetizing.

Step 2:Be creative!Search online for vegan recipes and modify them to your liking if you want to.

Step 3:Make your own vegan lunch box and eat them in school, in the office or on the go!Now you can eat vegan all the time!Yay!

Step 4:
Persuade your friends and family to be healthy and eat vegan too!Tell them about the benefits!

Tip:Have perseverance!Don’t be lazy!

Pro tip:If you don’t have time just make a salad with different types of veggies and add your favorite dressing!(or buy salads from supermarkets!)

Why you should be vegan

1. It can help you lose weight

A 2015 study showed that those following a vegan diet lost comparatively more weight than those following omnivorous and vegetarian ones. As we all know being obese leads to a higher risk of health conditions like heart disease,Type 2 diabetes,bone and joint disease.Heart disease can lead to heart attacks resulting in death so obesity is a serious problem indeed.
https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/healthy-living/obesity.html
Visit here for more information.

2. It’s good for the environment

Agriculture is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions (more than all transport), potentially increasing to 50 percent by 2050. Rearing livestock for animal-based products requires far more land, water and energy than producing grain; 27kg CO2 is generated per kilo beef in comparison to 0.9kg per kilo of lentils. According to a 2016 Oxford study, the adoption of a vegan diet globally would cut food-related emissions by 70 percent. This is due to energy loss up a food chain.Energy is lost at each stage of a food chain or web. This is due to the organisms using some of the energy they get to survive. Energy is lost from food chains/webs because the organisms need to move, for heat and for reproduction as well as carrying out chemical reactions.
The energy that is passed on is that from growth. The bigger the organism eaten the more energy the next organism can get.
In a food chain only around 10 per cent of the energy is passed on to the next trophic level.Since plants are always at the bottom of the trophic level and animals are higher up,there is energy loss.

3. It might make you live longer
While veganism isn’t necessarily a one-way ticket to a zen-like, eternal youth, numerous scientific studies have been taken to measure the impact of a plant-based diet in reducing the risk of major diseases, including diabetes and heart disease with positive results. A vegan diet also eases the symptoms of arthritis-sufferers and can help to prevent obesity, which affects 1 in 6 Britons and is a leading cause of death.(yes and sugar so cut down on the sugar intake folks!)

A 2016 study from Oxford argues that the mass-adoption of a vegan diet could cut 8.1 million deaths a year.

4. Eating vegetables is good
No one needs to tell you that eating fruit and vegetables is beneficial, but in case you’ve forgotten everything your parents and teachers ever taught you, they’re full of essential vitamins and minerals (including calcium, potassium and Vitamin C) and dietary fibre that improves digestion and reduces constipation. All of these should keep you feeling and (ideally) looking great. The key is to eat all vegetables in moderation for a balanced diet.

5.Its good for the animals too
Mercy For Animals has conducted more than 60 investigations throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Brazil. Each time, we’ve revealed horrific abuses similar to those shown in these videos.

Sickening undercover footage shot by Swiss animal rights organization PEA—Pour l’Egalité Animale (For Animal Equality) reveals animals dragged into and locked in slaughterhouse rooms and then having their throats slit in front of other animals. The heartbreaking video, taken at a slaughterhouse in Moudon, shows fully conscious sheep desperately trying to escape brutal slaughter, calves cowering in fear from workers, and dying animals bleeding out on cold concrete floors. It’s truly devastating.
https://mercyforanimals.org/this-is-the-way-animals-are-slaughtered-for

Many European countries have some of the world’s strictest animal welfare laws, but this disturbing footage exposes standard practice in Swiss slaughterhouses. Last year, the U.K. Food Standards Agency issued a report detailing shocking farmed animal suffering, from freezing to death to being scalded alive.

Myth 1:

We need to eat animals for a healthy diet.

No,this is obviously wrong because since all the nutrients found in animals are passed on by plants that they eat either directly or indirectly the statement contains horrible logic.We can obtain the same nutrients from eating vegetables too.But be warned some vegetables like cucumber and iceberg lettuce are much lower in nutrients than other vegetables.(sorry cucumber and iceberg lettuce!)

A spiritual perspective:
https://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org/spiritual-living/health-effects-of-food-and-drinks/veg-or-non-veg-diets/