In the season opener of Culturelist, singer/songwriter and new vegan-ista Chrisette Michele throws it down in the kitchen with correspondent Nicole Spence as the pair prep a tasty and surprisingly simple Chilli Zucchini Pizza. The slimmed-down talent is just the latest celeb to cross over into the vegan/vegetarian world, following behind stars such as Prince, Angela Basset, Common, Andre 3000, Joy Bryant and many others.
Studies show that the plant-based diet lowers your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke, in addition to increasing your energy and reducing your cholesterol/blood pressure levels. The benefits are endless and the food is nutritious (and oh so delicious), so why not give the lifestyle a try? Check out these five celebrity-inspired vegetarian/vegan recipes that will satisfy any appetite...
Vegan Ginger Acorn Squash Soup (From Tia Mowry-Hardrict)
1-2 tsps. of coconut oil 1 organic raw acorn squash chopped 2 carrots chopped 2 onions chopped 2 celery sticks chopped 3 garlic cloves minced 3-4 inches grated ginger root 3 c. Vegetable broth (enough to cover the vegetables in the pot) Parsley as a garnish
Saut carrots, onions, celery, and garlic in coconut oil. After a few minutes, add squash and ginger followed by vegetable broth. Simmer for 30 minutes. Pure for 5 minutes until desired creaminess. Salt to taste and simmer, if desired. Garnish with parsley. Serves 2-3.
Kale Salad Wraps (From Afya Ibomu - nutritionist, author and friend of Erykah Badu)
1 bunch of kale 1 avocado Tempeh bacon Non-dairy mayonnaise 1 tomato Organic tortillas
Sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes 1/4 c. extra virgin organic olive oil 2 1/2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil 1/4 c. nutritional yeast 3 tsp. granulated garlic 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt Juice of one lime
Mix together all ingredients for sauce; set aside. Brown Tempah bacon. Cut and trash the bottom stalks of kale. Take bunch and cut into to half-inch strips. Coat kale with sun-dried tomato sauce. Spread non-dairy mayonnaise over heated organic tortillas and top with kale. Finish with fresh tomato and avocado slices. Tightly fold wrap together and cut in half.
Fresh Fruit Salad and Black China Rice Bread (From Persia White)
1 container Bio-K+ CL1285 Dairy-Free 1 organic mango 1 organic kiwi 1/2 organic red or green apple 1 slice Food for Life Black China Rice Bread
Pour chilled Bio-K into a small bowl. Cut mango, kiwi, and apple into half-inch slices. Place fruit in bowl and lightly mix and serve. Toast one slice of Black China Rice Bread.
Easy Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna (Meat-free, just like Forest Whitaker)
Cooking spray 9 lasagna noodles 1 bunch fresh spinach 1 (8 oz.) container ricotta cheese 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, split in half 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 pinch ground nutmeg 1 pinch dried basil 1 c. pasta sauce 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray 1 1/2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Bring large pot of slightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water, stirring occasionally-- until al dente. Drain. Steam spinach until tender. In a bowl, mix steamed spinach, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, egg, nutmeg, basil, salt and black pepper until thoroughly combined. Spread 1/4 cup pasta sauce on the bottom of prepared casserole dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1/2 cup ricotta mixture and 1/4 pasta sauce. Repeat layers and end with 3 lasagna noodles and 1/4 cup pasta sauce. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese on top; cover with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Uncover dish and continue baking until lasagna is bubbling and lightly browned (approximately 25 more minutes). Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.
Spiced Tempeh with Wilted Chard & Yogurt (Inspired by Russell Simmons, who has a love jones for spicy Tempeh dishes)
2 tbsp. sunflower oil 2 - 8oz. packages tempeh, cut into 1-inch cubes Coarse salt 1 onion, diced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, crushed 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed 1/4 tsp. mustard seeds, crushed Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 2 bunches rainbow chard, stemmed and chopped 2/3 c. plain whole milk yogurt 2 c. cooked brown rice
Salt to taste
In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook tempeh until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and season with salt. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until tender. Add ginger and spices; until spices are toasted. Add chard and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt. Season with salt and stir in golden tempeh. Serve with rice on the side.