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18 Free Vegan Starter Kits & Counting…

14 Sep

With a Vegan Starter Kit you can significantly improve your health, decrease global warming along with reducing other damage to the environment. I’ve gathered 18 FREE Vegan Starter Kits to get you on the right track.

Check out my post on 18 Reasons you need a vegan starter kit because once you understand how and why to stop eating meat it is, most probably, the best thing you can do to save the environment and improve your health. Who wouldn’t want that?

If you have a vegan starter kit and would like to be listed HERE feel free to send me a link in comments!

  1. ACTION FOR ANIMALS                    
  2. ANTIGUAN /CARIBBEAN VEGAN STARTER KIT                caribbean-vegan-starter-kit-cover
  3. BE VEGAN                                                    
  4. CHOOSE VEG                                       
  5. CONSCIOUS COOKING                                  
  6. CRAZY SEXY STARTER KIT                 
  7. GO VEGAN IRELAND                        
  8. LOVING HUT                                             
  9. OPRAH’s VEGAN STARTER SHOPPING LIST                
  10. PCRM                                                      
  11. PETA                                                       
  12. VEGAN COACH                                        
  13. VEGAN CUTS                                       
  14. VEGAN OUTREACH                                       
  15. VEGAN SOCIETY                                        
  16. VEGANUARY                                          
  17. VEGETARIAN TIMES                      
  18. VIVA!        

So, which one is your choice?

Choose Life Well… Go Organic & Vegan!

Tekhiyah

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18 Reasons You Need a Vegan Starter Kit

14 Sep

What if you could make one immediate change in your life that would significantly improve your health AND decrease global warming along with other damage to the environment?

With a Vegan Starter Kit you can! I’ve gathered 18 FREE Vegan Starter Kits to get you on the right track. Once you understand how and why to stop eating meat it is, most probably, the best thing you can do to save the environment and improve your health. Who wouldn’t want that?

According to the United Nations, Sierra Club, World Watch Institute, Al Gore’s Live Earth, and many others, eating plant-based nutrition will save the plant. Even replacing just some of the meat you eat with plants such as grains, vegetables, legumes, fruit, and other plant-based foods will make a massive difference to your health, your environment and the world!

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Red Hot Peppers by many other flames!

6 Nov Pepper sauce: Dana’s Fire
20141019_132107 - Dana's Fire

My 2nd home made pepper puree: Dana’s Fire!

I love a good pepper sauce, don’t you?

But since I’ve only tasted other people’s hot sauce creations, I decided to stop fantasizing about how to use the abundance of hot peppers that my husband and sister bring home from work, servicing organic farms, and actually do something more than just add them to salsa.

A cornerstone to Caribbean flavours is the spicy heat of a good and tasty pepper sauce. My favourite in Antigua is Susie’s Calypso Hot Sauce. It is so flavourful and is not just about heat; it really captures a great blend of flavours. It’s so good its even won international awards!!!

I find, as I get older though, my tolerance for spicy hot pepper is decreasing and I much prefer a mild yet flavourful heat. Yet, I do so love the lift pepper gives to food.

I decided to do a little  experiment to see how many peppers was too hot for me, but I really didn’t get very far before I knew I didn’t want to get my taste buds too overheated and neutralise my taste buds’ effectiveness. To me, it makes little sense having a dish so hot with pepper that it just numbs the taste buds from tasting or even sensing anything else that may be in your mouth. True or true?

There are many different types of peppers that heat up a pot and why some are named chilies, I will never know as there is certainly nothing cold about the heat of these hot fruity looking veggies.  In fact, just a little research revealed, the original Mexican term for hot peppers is chili! Whether hot or mild, they are members of the Capsicum family of vegetables, and trace their history to the part of the Americas where, typically, food is renowned for hot and spicy flavours and used not only for accenting certain dishes but also for medicine.

Today’s offering is a meltdown from the heat of regional popular peppers and the sauces they are used to make.

Habaneros and Scotch Bonnet look almost identical to me but according to some, habañeros are not quite as hot as the Caribbean scotch bonnet. The slight difference is that Habañeros have a pointed end.

scotch bonnet

Capsicum: an assorted range of sweet and hot peppers – scotch bonnet/ habanero peppers

Found mainly in the isles of the Caribbean, it is said to be one of the hottest peppers in the world and is named after its resemblance to the Scottish hat. This is the pepper that adds a spicy heat to Antiguan pepperpot, Jamaican Jerk seasoning and all Caribbean regions hot pepper sauces.  As they ripen, these green fruit transform into a rainbow of colours and you never quite know which colour will emerge. Ranging from mellow yellow, opulent orange and fiery red, don’t be deceived; all are equally as hot.

The colour of your pepper sauce depends on the predominant choice of pepper used. If you want a yellow hot sauce only use a combination of yellow scotch bonnets, yellow bell peppers and yellow seasoning peppers, like they used to do at Mama Lolly’s Vegetarian Cafe, Redcliffe Quay. Most people select an eye-watering mix resulting in a hot pepper sauce that emerges with an orangey-red hue, except if your like your green seasoning particularly fiery and you add green scotch bonnets and green seasoning peppers to keep your green seasoning green. What’s green seasoning, you ask?  Ahhhh, a mixture a green vegetables that season your food and give your food a distinctive taste of the Caribbean.

seasoning peppers

Capsicum: an assorted range of sweet and hot peppers – seasoning / pimento peppers

The distinct aroma of seasoning peppers would have anyone second guess which type they picked up once they start slicing. Looking much like the scotch bonnet they are smaller but are not hot at all. They are, as the name suggests, full of a magical flavour that literally transforms your pot. It you are unsure of which pepper you picked up at the market, which is an easy mistake to make, and I’ve done it, always do a taste test as some people cannot take the heat. Seasoning peppers, can also be eaten whole and raw, but seasoning peppers as the name suggests, are used for their flavour, not heat. They are also called pimento peppers.

Usually, when I use peppers, I deseed them and either save the seeds for planting in my organic herb garden at a later date, or I randomly throw them out of the nearest open window to see if I’ll get some wild peppers growing!!! Sometimes I leave the seeds in, it really depends on my mood and sometimes on the dish I’m creating.

Capsicum: an assorted range of sweet and hot peppers - cayenne / chili peppers

Capsicum: an assorted range of sweet and hot peppers – cayenne / chili peppers

The cayenne peppers are more commonly known as chilli peppers. Apparently, the name “cayenne” was given to this pepper because of its cultivation in a town that bears the same name in Guyana, South America. The heat produced by cayenne is caused by its high concentration of the compound capsaicin. The hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains.

The hottest varieties include habañero, Scotch bonnet and cayenne. Widely studied for its pain-reducing effects, this compound also has cardiovascular benefits, helps prevent ulcers, assists digestion, effectively opens and drains congested nasal passages, clears congested lungs and throat, fights inflammation and stimulates the circulation.  It’s also a potent antioxidant due to its high beta carotene content.

Assorted Peppers for hot pepper sauce and other spicy dishes

Capsicum: an assorted range of sweet and hot peppers – assorted bell peppers

A bell pepper or capsicum, is a versaltile pepper that can be a dish in itself as in stuffed peppers, not just for seasoning other dishes by adding great flavour and colour and, it’s not hot so rates a zero on the scoville scale. The heat of a pepper is measured using Scoville units.

The relatively mild poblano rates about 1,500 SCU, and the superior heat of the habañero, a cousin to scotch bonnet, rates a massive 250,000 SCUs or more. If you want the flavour without the fire, removing the seeds and pith from inside, lessens the intensity. Most of the time I just slice a little sliver from the peppers cheek, mince it as small as I can using a really sharp knife (be careful or the pepper and not to cut yourself) then add it to my pot. Some add and cook a whole pepper but remove it whole before serving, and some still add whole hot peppers and leave it to anyone’s guess as to in whose plate it will end up!  Check out this cornucopia of peppers to get to know more about your sweet and spicy peppers: A Visual Guide to Peppers. Who knew there were so many varieties?

I mentioned earlier that for neglecting you I was offering you a hot sauce recipe. I experimented and made two original hot sauces with those lovely organic cayenne peppers we got so the sauces are not as hot as if I’d used scotch bonnets. So if you have you can add 1 or two to tun’ up de heat! Here, I give you not just one recipe, but two; one for the mild pepper sauce lovers and one for dragons among us that breath fire!!!

My first creation I call T’s Mildly Hot Sauce, the second is Dana’s Fire! Dana in Hebrew means judgement, so be careful with this one, especially if you are going to use habañeros or scotch bonnets and not cayenne peppers! I didn’t just randomly pick the name Dana for my pepper sauce. One of my spiritual sisters is a dragon! So I named it after her!  And truly, it is mild even for her! So feel free to add more hot peppers albeit with caution.

Exercise caution: habañero and scotch bonnets are over 3 to 10 times hotter that cayenne peppers!

My first homemade hot pepper puree:

T’s Mildly Hot Sauce

Some ingredients for T's mildly Hot Sauce

Some ingredients for T’s mildly Hot Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 14 Cayenne (chilli) peppers or 3 or 4 scotch bonnets
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 6 seasoning peppers, if available
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • Sea salt, pinch, optional
  • ¼ C. Apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ C. Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Paprika, dash
  • Turmeric, dash
  • Water, as needed

My second homemade hot pepper puree:

Dana’s Fire

Some ingredients in Dana's Fire!

Some ingredients in Dana’s Fire!

Ingredients:

  • 30 Cayenne (chilli) pepper/ 9 scotch bonnets
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 12 seasoning peppers, if available
  • 1 Bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • Sea salt, pinch, optional
  • ¼ C. Apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ C. Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Paprika, dash
  • Turmeric, dash
  • Water, as needed

Method: Combine all ingredients in a blender and whizz until your pepper puree reaches your desired consistency. Add water slowly to adjust the consistency and make it thinner. When you are happy with result, bottle your hot pepper puree in a sterilised glass jar.

Do you feel the heat?

Peace, love and light,

Tekhiyah