64 episodes

Vegetarian and vegan information, tips, recipes, and more presented in a light, conversational, and nonjudgmental manner. We welcome input and feedback from our followers regarding issues you would like us to address as well as ways in which we can improve. Please don't hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help. If you enjoy and find value in our podcast, we would very much appreciate a favorable review on iTunes. This would help us tremendously. Thanks, and we hope you enjoy Vegetarian Zen.

Vegetarian Zen Vickie Velasquez & Larissa Galenes

    • Nutrition
    • 4.9, 369 Ratings

Vegetarian and vegan information, tips, recipes, and more presented in a light, conversational, and nonjudgmental manner. We welcome input and feedback from our followers regarding issues you would like us to address as well as ways in which we can improve. Please don't hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help. If you enjoy and find value in our podcast, we would very much appreciate a favorable review on iTunes. This would help us tremendously. Thanks, and we hope you enjoy Vegetarian Zen.

    Let's Go On a Vegan Picnic! (VZ 363)

    Let's Go On a Vegan Picnic! (VZ 363)

    Summertime…and the living is easy — except that, down here in the blazing heat of south Texas, going outdoors can be rough. Sounds like the perfect time for a virtual vegan picnic!

     

    We asked our friends in our closed Facebook group, The Peas and Carrots Society, to let us know what they’d be bringing. In this episode of the podcast, we’re going to share some of their responses and recommendations.

     

     

    No time to listen? No problem. Read on for a quick summary and links to everything we mention on the show!

    We’re Going on a Vegan Picnic!

     



    *

    Mediterranean Polenta Snacks from Cooking with Plants





    One Peas and Carrots Society member said, “Press these into an 8 x 8 pan. This is sooo delicious and refreshingly summery! Toppings can be changed round to suit your tastes.”

     



     



    *

    The Best Vegan Macaroni Salad by Nora Cooks





    No picnic (vegan or otherwise) would be complete without a good ol’ pasta salad! This one from Nora Cooks is vegan and oil-free.

    This particular recipe doesn’t call for bacon bits, but I grew up with my mom’s bacon bit-studded macaroni salad, which my family LOVED! But wait! Bacon bits? How are those vegan?

    Believe it or not, MANY store bought bacon bits brands don’t contain bacon at all. You’ll still want to check the package to ensure there aren’t any whey products (dairy). You can also consider these:

     



    *

    Herbed Fingerling Potatoes by  Forks Over Knives





    While this recipe called for fresh herbs, you can substitute easily substitute dried herbs. Tasty and oil-free!



     



    *

    One-Pot Creamy Garlic Orzo by Six Vegan Sisters





    The Peas and Carrots member who recommended this recipe from Six Vegan Sisters said, “This is SUPER easy and delicious warm or cold.”

     

    What I really like about this one is it calls for nutritional yeast (aka Nooch) which adds a cheesy flavor without the cheese. It also has added nutritional benefits. We talk about Nooch in episode 142, Just What Is Nooch Anyway?.

     



    * Roasted Carrot Dogs by Brand New Vegan



    The Peas and Carrots member who recommended roasted carrot dogs didn’t include a recipe but we found this one from Brand New Vegan that looks amazing! It calls for liquid smoke to give the “dogs” that grilled-out smokey flavor.



     

    What I like about this recipe is the “smoky” part.

    • 21 min
    The Ultimate Intentional Living Roadmap with Jen Rao (VZ 362)

    The Ultimate Intentional Living Roadmap with Jen Rao (VZ 362)

    What Does “Intentional Living” Mean?

    Do you ever have days when you feel like a pinball bouncing around, unfocused? I know I can feel like that sometimes. That’s where understanding what it means to “live intentionally” can really help you create the focus you need. 

     

    In this episode of the podcast we welcome Jen Rao of Clear Your Life.



    Clear Your Life was founded on the belief that a simplified, beautiful living space will not only reduce stress but will allow you to create better relationships, work better, and feel more fulfilled.



    Jen recently wrote an article titled, “The Ultimate Intentional Living Road Map“. In it, she discusses how we can design our lives to be more in line with our values.

     

    Whether it’s making the decision to go plant-based or starting a business, Jen will walk us through how to set our intentions and create a workable plan for ourselves.

     

    Check out our interview with Jen here:

    Who is Jen Rao?



     

    Jen is a professional organizer who specializes in decluttering (and its magical benefits!). She helps people clear their mind, home, and spirit by simplifying their lives.

    In 2017, she downsized her life and moved into a 112-square foot tiny home on wheels with her husband and cat. After traveling full-time for two years, they’ve now settled in Squamish BC.

    Jen continues to share her fresh, approachable take on simple living, organizing, and living an intentional life.

    You can find her work at Clear Your Life and on Instagram.

    Be sure to check out her free workbook, the Clear Your Life Method. 

     

    Thanks for listening!

    Peace and Veggies,

    Vickie and Larissa

    Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

     

    • 44 min
    Spice Up Your LIfe with these Vegan and Vegetarian Seasonings! (VZ 361)

    Spice Up Your LIfe with these Vegan and Vegetarian Seasonings! (VZ 361)

    Yes, it’s true. Vegetarian and vegan food is often thought of as tasteless, bland, and generally “no-fun” by people who might not know any better. But we know differently! That’s why we’ve put together this guide to vegan and vegetarian seasonings to help you add some spice to your dishes…and your life!

    You can listen to us discuss our favorite vegan and vegetarian seasonings here…

    …or read on for a quick summary of what we discuss.

    10 Of Our Favorite Vegan Spices

     



    *

    Steak or Poultry Seasoning 





    Don’t let the name fool you! Steak and poultry seasonings don’t contain meat. They’re called this because these blends contain herbs and spices often used to season meat.

    You can make your own very easily or buy off-the-shelf products. While these seasoning blends are usually 100% vegan and gluten-free, always check the label just to be sure. You’ll also want to be sure to check the labels to ensure no MSG has been added.

    There are plenty of recipes available online for both steak and poultry seasoning. Poultry seasoning contains herbs including sage, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and marjoram, and spices like nutmeg cloves. Steak seasoning ingredients can vary a lot more, but some common ones are pepper, red pepper, garlic, onion, and salt.

     

    What can I use this with? 

    Poultry and steak seasonings are really good to use in dishes that typically call for meat. 

    For example, using poultry seasoning in vegan chicken noodle soup such as this one from Simple Vegan will give you the same great flavor as traditional chicken noodle soup minus the meat! 

     





    Taco Seasoning 





    Taco seasoning is one of my FAVORITE vegetarian seasonings. Here’s a shameless plug for our own homemade taco seasoning recipe. 

     

    The ingredients in ours (which are pretty typical) are:







    Chili powder

    Garlic powder

    Onion powder

    Dried oregano

    Paprika

    Ground Cumin

    Sea Salt

    Fresh-cracked black pepper







     

    What can I use this with? 

    We love adding this taco seasoning to crunchy tacos made with Gardein Beefless Grounds or to our vegetable enchiladas. This seasoning adds a Mexican flair to any dish! 

     





    Liquid Smoke





    Storytime! Back in the 19th century, a guy named Ernest Wright happened to notice a black liquid dripping from a stove. He figured out that this black liquid was the result of smoke coming in contact with cold air. 

    After some experimentation, he was able to condense the hot smoke-flavored liquid and voila! Liquid smoke was born! 

    Liquid smoke makes a PERFECT vegetarian seasoning because adding it to veggies and in other recipes can bring back that “grilled-out” flavor without any meat.

    By the way, Wright’s is STILL making liquid smoke!

     

    What can I use this with? 

    Liquid smoke is a great addition to any dish in which grilled or smoked meats usually take center stage. 

    Check out this a href="https://www.brandnewvegan.

    • 41 min
    Zero Waste Stores with Callee Ackland of Hippie Haven (VZ 360)

    Zero Waste Stores with Callee Ackland of Hippie Haven (VZ 360)

    In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we’re pleased to welcome Callee Ackland of Hippie Haven, the first zero-waste store in South Dakota. 

     

    We’re going to talk to Callee about what a “zero-waste” store is and about the mission at Hippie Haven, whose vendors are 70% women-owned.

     



     

    Who Is Callee Ackland?

    Callee Ackland is the owner of Bestowed Essentials and Hippie Haven, two Earth-conscious companies based in South Dakota. 

     

    Her personal mission to provide people with the knowledge and tools they need to spark positive change in their community. 

     

    Callee’s career began when she joined the U.S. Navy because she wanted to change the world. She started her first eco-friendly business, Bestowed Essentials, at the age of 23 while still on active duty. 

     

    In just under 3 years, Bestowed Essentials grew to be South Dakota’s largest soap company. You can find their products stocked in more than 150 stores across the U.S. and Canada. 

     

    She recently opened Hippie Haven shop, the first zero-waste store in South Dakota. Callee is also the host of the popular Hippie Haven Podcast, a free resource all about living a harmonious and eco-conscious life.

     

    Mentioned in our Interview:



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    All the Places to Find Callee and Hippie Haven:



    * Hippie Haven Podcast

    * Hippie Haven Shop

    * Instagram

    * Facebook

    * YouTube



     

    Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource.

    • 45 min
    Vegan for Everyone with Laura Theodore (aka The Jazzy Vegetarian)

    Vegan for Everyone with Laura Theodore (aka The Jazzy Vegetarian)

    In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we are pleased to welcome Laura Theodore, a.k.a., The Jazzy Vegetarian. 

     

    We’re EXTRA excited about having Laura on the show because she was one of our inspirations for creating The Vegetarian Zen podcast.

     

    Many of you know that we started Vegetarian Zen as a place for people to feel comfortable asking questions and learning more about being plant-based without feeling bullied or pressured. We wanted to focus on the positive aspects of being vegan or vegetarian, and Laura certainly brings that vibe.

     

    Today we get to know Laura a little more and talk about her latest book, Vegan For Everyone. 

    Be sure to scroll down to find links to a few recipes Laura shared with us!

     

     

    Who Is Laura Theodore?

    Laura Theodore is a nationally recognized television personality, radio host, celebrity PBS vegan chef, and award-winning author of five plant-based cookbooks. Season Eight of the Jazzy Vegetarian television show airs nationally every Sunday at 9:30 am EST on the Create Channel (check local listings).

    Laura’s new podcast, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio airs live every Thursday on Unity Online Radio. Learn more at www.jazzyvegetarian.com.

     



     

    Vegan for Everyone By The Jazzy Vegetarian



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    Vegan for Everyone is the perfect book for anyone looking to add easy-to-prepare and delicious, plant-based food into their weekly menu plan. This innovative cookbook features more than 160 family-friendly recipes (135 are gluten-free friendly) and over 200 beautiful, full-color photos, including 100+ new recipes, along with updated versions of 60 fan-favorites, all created by award-winning vegan chef Laura Theodore (PBS’s Jazzy Vegetarian).

     

    This book includes an entire chapter of up-to-date nutritional information contributed by Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT (The Plant-Based Dietitian), making it a complete and fun way to make family meals kinder, healthier and—most of all—tastier.

     

    With classic recipes like No-Egg Tofu-Veggie Scramble, Crazy, Easy BBQ Portobello Burgers and Cauliflower Steaks with Sweet Pepper Sauce; kid-friendly recipes like Yummy Banana-Oat Pancakes, Rockin’ Peanut Butter-Banana Toast and Date n’ Rice Cereal Treats; and plant-based, gluten-free recipes like Peachy Date-Nut Oat Bars, Zucchini Fettuccine Alfredo, and Mad Mocha Marbled Mousse Pie, you’ll be able to delight your entire family and all of your guests with easy-to-prepare, four-star meals that are satisfying, nutritious and delicious!

     

    Vegan for Everyone includes:



    * Over 160 delectable vegan recipes, each with easy-to-follow instructions

    * Full-color photo with almost every recipe (over 200 photos in all)

    * Recipe ingredients that can be found at most local supermarkets

    * Handy icons to quickly identify over 135 gluten-free friendly recipes

    * Detailed lists of vegan essentials, including how to stock your plant-powered pantry and organize your spice rack and table of equivalent measures

    * Many quick and easy three-ingredient recipes

    * Festive recipes to serve for holidays, birthdays and any special occasion

    • 33 min
    Traveling and Supporting Local Businesses with Bree and Ben (VZ 358)

    Traveling and Supporting Local Businesses with Bree and Ben (VZ 358)

    Travel is very limited these days, but there are certainly still opportunities for us to support our local businesses.

     

    In this episode of the podcast, we welcome Benjamin Hagerty and Brianne Nemiroff of the blog It’s Bree and Ben; Live and Travel Kindly.

     

    Ben and Bree discuss their travels, which focus on learning about plant-based cuisine on the road, what it means to be a kind traveler, and how to support local businesses. The latter is especially important now, as we deal with a global pandemic. 

     

     

    Who Are Ben and Bree?

     



     

    Ben and Bree became a couple in 2009 and have always been passionate travelers.

     

    After getting married In 2017 they took a long trip to explore more of the US and Canada. It was during this time they decided that they wanted to enjoy a travel lifestyle full-time! 

     

    They began their trip in April 2017 by journeying into Canada, by way of the West Coast, and drove eastward from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

     

    After spending six months exploring eight Canadian provinces, they ventured southward to visit New England and other cities on the East Coast to experience the fall foliage before returning home for the holidays. In Spring 2018, Bree and Ben drove eastward once again to explore more of the United States, focusing on the Southwest and the Midwest for another five months. 

     

    During their travels, they enjoy checking out the local vegan scene and supporting small businesses along the way.

    Be sure to follow Ben and Bree on their website, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

     

    Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

     

    A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors:



    * The Golden Apple Roundtable (our Patrons) on Patreon!

    * Cheery Bird Vintage



     

    Further Reading:



    * 6 Ways You Can Be Kind During the Coronavirus Epidemic

    * Why You Should Shop Small and the Times It’s OK to Shop Big



     

    Also Mentioned:



    * Stage It





    Thanks for listening!

    Peace and Veggies,

    Vickie and Larissa

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
369 Ratings

369 Ratings

Suskie2 ,

Brightening my day in dark times!

I recently found the Vegetarian Zen podcast and I am so glad that I did! During these uncertain times and the fear and stress that has come with the pandemic, Vickie and Larissa never fail to brighten my day with their happy delivery of great vegetarian and vegan content! My life is a little hectic right now and a little “Zen” is just what I need! Thank you both not only for the information you share, but the joy as well.

Saltman52 ,

I love these women!

I love listening to Vickie and Larissa; it’s like having my close friends over. Such a warm nonjudgmental conversation! Having recently had a bruising experience with a very ethical vegan, I especially appreciate the gentle tone these two maintain. Thanks. And keep up the great podcasts!

Sara Marceline ,

Great Podcast-Easy to Listen to

Everyone says that this is the least judgemental and most inclusive vegetarian podcast they listen to, and I agree. My partner is a Pescatarian who heavily leans towards Vegan-no dairy, no eggs, no meat; she eats very limited amounts of fish. And I am veg curious, primarily omnivore. To my point, I feel accepted and welcome here. I don't feel guilty about being me, while learning lots about vegetarianism and veganism. Vicki and Larissa have really pleasant voices to listen to. The information is great, presented well and very useful. And they have lots of resources beyond the podcast. I definitely recommend this podcast (and go back to the early podcasts if you can) as a great place to begin your vegetarian journey.

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