Watermelon acts as nature’s Viagra: Chef Luks drops some sexy knowledge on you fruit doubters

A lesson in watermelons on Great Day Houston

Joel Luks, CultureMap’s resident health food nut and vegan chef, joined Deborah Duncan of Great Day Houston on Tuesday morning to talk about his favorite fruit: The watermelon.

Watch the video segment below to discover fool-proof methods for selecting the best possible ‘melon from the grocery store and uncover the health benefits of hiding leafy greens (like kale) in a refreshing and unconventional summer beverage.

Plus, learn how a watermelon can stimulate the Texas economy . . . Among other things.

Editor’s note: Originally written [...]

Eat the rainbow (without unicorns): Color Me Vegan is an indispensable guide to a healthy diet

Inspired by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Color Me Vegan, this recipe is brought to us by the color purple. A variation on her recipe, these blueberry bars pack on tons of antioxidants, fiber and omega 3s with the addition of the ground flaxseeds. Perfect by themselves, or with ice cream.

Who hasn’t heard the hackneyed phrase, “eat the rainbow”?

It’s nutritionists’ attempt at encouraging people to go beyond the cremes, beiges and browns of unremarkable animal flesh and encourage the consumption of foods that visually [...]

Beer-battered sexy green beans with cool and spicy ranch


I seem to always think of green beans around Thanksgiving time. Among my traditional variations are the wild mushroom green bean casserole, saute beans with slivered almonds and garlicky green beans.

Other than tradition, there’s nothing holding us back in bringing these to a Fourth of July celebration. This year, I was inspired by an appetizer at one of my favorite Houston establishments, Natachees’ Supper N’ Punch, where they serve a version of these with a ranch sauce.

These make a lovely [...]

When your family loves hummus, screw around with it: white truffle white bean hummus with mushrooms and thyme

Pick a gorgeous white bowl, toss in some fresh thyme, black pepper and a drizzle of white truffle oil

“Joel Luks Jacobs, make hummus,” dad says in an authoritative imperative, using a guttural and rough sounding “h.”

Very Fiddler on the Roof-like of him.

No please or thank you. He used my full name. That’s when you know your family means business.

They like their hummus, well, my hummus, and that means I have to keep a seemingly bottomless supply coming. And there is nothing like the traditional: Chickpeas, tahini, cumin, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a touch of sumac berries, parsley [...]

Where to eat? Pan-roasted organic mushrooms with toasted walnut-red pepper

A fantastic holiday (or any day) recipe from Prego’s executive chef John Watt. Vegan Good Eats puts his vegan cooking chops to the test. The result is an earthly orgy of organic mushrooms coupled with a silky sauce, dotted with salsa verde.

They ask, “where do you eat?”

I respond, “where do YOU eat?”

Nothing is perhaps more annoying than answering a question with another question, but that specific somewhat mischievous act proves a point. I eat where you eat: at restaurants. Sometimes, [...]

A lesson from a Houston Food Celeb: Pumpkin Spice Vegan Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

A vegan baking lesson from Houston foodie celeb Jody Stevens of Jodycakes shows us that there is really no hidden secret for baking without animal products. The substitutions are simple and the product is delicious. Here is her recipe for pumpkin spice vegan cupcakes with a simple cream cheese frosting, perfect for breakfast with a simple glaze, apple or cashew butter, or dressed up with frosting.

Once upon a time, there was a carb obsessed boy.

He would grew up to be [...]

A vegan soup for non-vegans: Blood Orange Infused Coconut Carrot Bisque with Indian Aromatics

Here is a thought. When omnivores describe food, they start with the protein.

“What are you eating?” I ask.

“Chicken,” they answer.

If we described our food in the same fashion, I wonder truly how many people would give vegan good eats a try.

“What are you eating?” They ask.

“Vegan carrot soup,” I answer. Not very sexy or appealing, as most associate vegan with cardboard like taste visions. So, here is a solution. Let’s over-describe.

Not Your Usual Chocolate Banana Mousse

It is easy to strive to increase raw food intake with the help of raw veganista Elizabeth Harris. In this video, Elizabeth shows me how decadent (and healthy) raw foods can be with a little creativity and know how.

This is definitely not your usually Mousse. But then again, I am not the usual consumer of foods. Through my work at CultureMap.com, I have had the opportunity to meet some very cool people, creative chefs, and interesting (and colorful) personalities.

While interviewing [...]

The Morning After Pancakes: Red Velvet with Blueberry Syrup and Whipped Cream

Red, white and blue: red velvet pancakes with blueberries and coconut whipped cream

The morning after the Fourth of July can certain seem like somewhat difficult. Whether you are in the midst of the walk of shame, wondering how the goat slept next to you peacefully or whose underwear you are wearing, we all need a little sustenance to soak up all those illicit alcohol calories that inadvertently made their way into our livers.

I didn’t have THAT much to drink.

Bend me over Sweet Potato Fries with Sassy Ketchup

Add desired seasonings and shake

When unexpected guests come by, I always like to throw something on the table. Having just made the most delicious picarones, I had an extra sweet potato looking at me begging for attention.

The solution? Fry up a batch of crispy, sweet and sassy sweet potato fries, and make some sort of doctored up ketchup. Anything straight from a bottle is just not me.

Cutting the sweet potatoes by hand made for wonderful, homey and imperfect strings. But in the interest of [...]

About this site

VeganGoodEats.com is a compilation of my favorite recipes and experiences. Erasing the stereotype that we eat rabbit food, I hope that the site inspires you to live a cruelty-free life. There is enough to live peacefully and indulgently.

About Joel Luks

Intellectually curious arts advocate. Design junkie & blogger. Creative nutty vegan chef loving all ethnic foods in a quest to ensure vegan food is seen as delicious, varied, and yes, sometimes, indulgent. Classical flutist & sucker for rhythmic music.

I work for CultureMap.com, a Houston-based lifestyle digital magazine, where I report on food, arts, society and city life, produce videos and curate an events guide.

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