Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Wish VegNews Magazine Cared as Much about People as they Do about Animals and a Quinoa with Roasted Beans, Garlic and Eggplant Recipe

I want to love VegNews Magazine, I really do. I'm a recent subscriber and enjoy sitting down with a hot cup of tea and feeling like I am home. So many of the contributors to the magazine are cookbook authors that we admire and personalities that we all know and love from the blogosphere and Facebook.

But it really troubles me when I see stuff like this come out, an article entitled 

"Top 10 Vegan Products at Natural Products Expo East"

Here's how the article was hyped on Facebook today, "Earth Balance Roasted Garlic & Herbs Spread? Believe it. VN Co-founder Colleen Holland shares the top 10 vegan products hitting grocery store shelves in the coming months. Which one are you most excited about?"

First on the list, as I've already given away, was Organic Culinary Spreads from Earth Balance.


For just a sample of the types of recipes on the pages of VegNews, see this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Maple Bars due to be published in the next issue.

No. Really?

I guess I just wish that the editors and contributors cared as much about people as they did about animals and the environment. But the reality is that without the advertising dollars from the all of the new, Vegan processed food manufacturers we probably wouldn't have a VegNews to read.

I would love to see at least one regular column in VegNews magazine where the focus is on truly healthy vegan fare. It seems that the no-oil vegan movement is gaining momentum. Perhaps it's time to see that reflected on the pages of VegNews?

So there lies the dilemma. To subscribe or not when almost no recipe in the magazine seems to fit with my lifestyle choices. Sure, the writing is great and the photos beautiful, but is that enough to hold my attention?

Here's some real food that I hope gets your attention. It was inspired by a recipe from Gena over at Choosing Raw. I took it up a notch by roasting the beans along with the vegetables, a la this salad that I recently posted about. The result was outstanding. As I am looking at the photos of this dish, my mouth is salivating as I remember the taste of the roasted garlic and eggplant. Yum.

Can you tell that I love my roasted veggies? Especially now that fall is upon us and the bounty that is available at Farmer's Markets is cheap and astounding.

Don't recognize the ingredient "balsamic glaze" in the recipe? It's something I had never heard of nor tasted until Jane Esselstyn left her bottle of it at my house last year. It's crazy good! Check it out if you've never had any. You could reduce balsamic vinegar yourself, which takes a really long time, or get one of the many brands of balsamic glaze that are now available on store shelves (ironic how I am now mentioning a prepared bottled convenience food after bashing VegNews, but you know if the Esselstyns' are cooking with it, it's got to be "good").

Quinoa with Roasted Beans, Garlic and Eggplant
serves 6
Inspired by Terry Walters/Clean Food and Gena Hamshaw/

1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
3 cups water
1 medium-large eggplant, cut into 1" chunks
1/2 large red onion, cut into 1" chunks
6 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into large chunks
2-4 small carrots, peeled and cut into strips
2 15 ounce cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
balsamic glaze, to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Place quinoa and water into a rice cooker and turn rice cooker on. In my experience, a rice cooker creates perfectly cooked grains every time and is well worth the nominal investment in this gadget. If you do not own one, just follow the cooking instructions on your package of quinoa.

Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with aluminum foil (for easy clean up) and spraying each lightly with cooking oil spray.

Put half of eggplant, onions, garlic and carrots on each tray. Spray the tops of the vegetables very lightly with cooking oil spray and sprinkle a bit of salt (or not) and pepper on each tray. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Remove trays from oven and  dump one can of rinsed and drained beans on top of the half-roasted vegetables. Place trays back in oven (rotate trays vertically so cooking is even) and roast for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove roasted beans and vegetables from the oven. Place cooked quinoa and roasted beans and vegetables into a large bowl. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, stir, then taste and add more balsamic glaze if necessary.

Are you, or have you ever been, a subscriber to VegNews magazine? What are your thoughts? Pros and cons?

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