No Meat March – Spice up your Dishes!

Hi Everyone,

We are Ubaid & Safura aka JAX Vegan Couple.  Since our move to Jacksonville 2 years ago, we haven’t looked back!  We love the year-round sunshine, yoga on the beach, and eating fresh organic produce from the local farmers. We have met so many wonderful people in Jacksonville and feel truly blessed for their friendship. After getting settled, we began hosting block parties and monthly potlucks in doing so, introduced neighbors to vegan indian/fusion food and teaching them about different cuisines.  To further our passion for cooking and whole foods plant-based lifestyle, we became certified in Forks over Knives nutrition cooking classes.

We have been vegan for about 10 years and are passionate about healthy plant-based eating and love to share our knowledge and recipes with others.  When we went vegan we began feeling more energetic, stronger, creative and happier than ever before, we wanted to learn more from the top experts in the food and health field. We read The China Study, watched Forks Over Knives and learned more about the teachings of doctors Joel Furhman, Michael Greger, Joel Kahn, Michael Klaper, John McDougall, Caldwell Esselstyn, and Neal Barnard. We recently came back from a vegan cruise where we met all these expert doctors and chefs.

Friends and family always came to us for healthful advice, recipes and always wanting to know more about whole foods plant-based eating.  With all the knowledge and passion to help others we launched our social platform JAX Vegan Couple.  The name evolved from the fact that we live in Jacksonville (JAX) the fact that we are vegan and on a healthy quest as a couple.

Through our social channels we educate, engage and inspire people to a healthy nutritious eating lifestyle.  Through education we take time to sit down with our clients and let them know the food they have been eating was actually hurting and not helping them. Try and explain it in a way they can understand. Take them to the grocery store and teach them how to read labels, explaining where the ingredients in their old favorites come from. We love to teach people through cooking demos, meal preps, grocery tours, cleaning out the pantry and fridge.  We prepared a 21-Day whole foods plant-based meal plan e-book which has over 70 recipes, getting started guide, grocery list and healthful tips.

In our kitchen we have a variety of different spices to make flavorful, whole foods plant-based dishes. Some, we use only occasionally; others, we use constantly.
We want to share with you some spices we use on a regular basis in every dish to create some amazing flavorful and healthy plant-based dishes. Hope you enjoy them and use it to flavor your plant based foods for Meatless March and try out our recipes linked. Having plenty of spices on hand is important in helping create fabulous , healthy and tasty dishes.

Garlic and Ginger fresh or blended into a paste is a must! It gives dishes a slight garlic flavor without the texture, tastes delicious in soups, stews and almost any dish. Benefits of this super food are: effectiveness in fighting infections, preventing cancer and reducing inflammation, arthritis and so much more. We buy a big jar from Costco or indian grocery store and use 1 teaspoon in every dish we cook. Our favorite recipe is flavorful variety of hummus.
Saffron is a colorful blend of orange, yellow and red threads. We love to add it this to rice pilaf (veggie biryani), baked veggies, and many other dishes. Health benefits of saffron include its ability to improve respiratory and digestive health and eliminate pain. Saffron has calcium, manganese, iron, selenium & magnesium.
Turmeric is from the ginger family and has its origins in India. Its color is yellow, and we love adding it to all of our dishes, tea and smoothies. When used in chickpeas veggie omelette, it looks like the yellow coloring of eggs. Health benefits of turmeric include the following: Turmeric helps with healthy skin, weight loss, detoxification and so much more.
Red Chili Powder is the dried, pulverized fruit of the chili pepper. This is a very important red spice that we use in all of our recipes. Our everyday cooking involves a liberal use of red chilli powder. The capsaicin compound found in chili powder revs up your metabolism, which increases your fat burning skills and builds Immunity. The fiery spice contains vitamin C, acting as an antioxidant to strengthen the immune system and heal injuries and infections. Our favorite recipe is Spinach greens and lentils.
Cumin is native spice from India. It adds an earthy, spicy kick to many soups, baked vegetables and stews. It also has many medicinal purposes. The health benefits of cumin include its ability to aid in digestion, improve immunity and treat skin disorders, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis, anemia and so much more. Our favorite recipe to use cumin in is moroccan spiced whole cauliflower.
Garam Masala, literally translates to “ hot spice” is a blend of dry spices. Following are some of the spices included in it: cumin, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg powders and mix together. We buy our spice from any indian grocery store or you can make it yourself. Garam Masala benefits include: Fight disease and builds immunity. Relieve pain and inflammation. Slow the aging process. Promotes weight loss. Increase vitamin, mineral and protein absorption. Relieve gastrointestinal problems, heartburn and also soothes the upset stomach. We use this in all of our cooking especially vegetable malai koftas (meatballs).
Italian Seasoning is a mixture of oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, and garlic. We buy it already blended from Costco. We add this spice on salad, pasta, veggie lasagna, tomato sauce, pizza, and almost all our dishes.

When Carrie from the Girls Gone Green reached out to us to do a cooking demo at the NE Florida Veg Fest, we were super excited and made lentils and masala chai.  She also talked about No Meat March and if we would like to share some recipes for that.  Hope you enjoyed learning more about some spices that you can use to make your Meatless Meals more flavorful.  Continue eating plant-based beyond the No Meat March month.

Be sure to join all of our social channels below for daily tips, plant-based recipes, videos and so much more.

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