Author Archives: Vegetarians of Washington

Tempting Tofu Recipes

TofuOf all the possible protein sources you could eat, tofu has to be the most versatile, and the healthiest. It is made from soybeans, and is high in protein, low in fat, and also contains good amounts of calcium and some B vitamins.

There are two main types of tofu, regular and silken tofu.  Regular tofu comes floating in water in a small tub. It needs to be refrigerated and used within a few days. It is best used crumbled, sliced or diced, and can be marinated to absorb different flavors. It can be baked, fried, or added to soups, stews and curries.

Silken tofu has a creamier texture which blends particularly well, to make quiches, desserts, smoothies etc.  It doesn’t hold its shape well, so doesn’t work so well sliced. It often comes vacuum packed and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It keeps for several months.

There are hundreds of different recipes available, and even some whole cookbooks focusing just on tofu. Every style of cuisine can be recreated, so search vegetarian websites or buy a good cookbook, and enjoy the diversity of this nutritional powerhouse.

Recipes

The following recipes are from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook, by Vegetarians of Washington:

Seven-Layer Fiesta Dip

Mexican Seasoning Mix

Tofu Cutlets with Tapenade Sauce

Spanakopita

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Elmhurst Dairy goes all vegan!

Elmhurst nut milks

When New York City’s Elmhurst Dairy opened in 1925, founders Max and Arthur Schwartz hand-bottled milk from 200 cows. They then delivered the bottles, which sat in containers of ice, in a truck throughout the city. Over the next few decades, Elmhurst became one of the biggest dairy companies in New York City.

But now everything has changed. While the family owners are still the same, Elmhurst has become a vegan company, and now only produces dairy-free milks (made from almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and cashews) called Elmhurst Milked.

At the plant, the company has developed its own process of making the nut milks, which it calls “milking.” Cold milling machines extract all of the protein, fat, and micronutrients from the nuts, which means Elmhurst doesn’t need to fortify the milks with additional vitamins.

Plant-based dairy alternatives have grown into a $1.4 billion industry. A recent Nielsen survey found that many people consider those dairy-free products to be healthier, since they often are lower in calories, cholesterol, and fat than cow’s milk. Others buy them because they are lactose-intolerant, have a dairy allergy, or have gone vegan. “It’s about transforming with the times,” CEO Henry Schwartz says. “As awareness and demand for vegan products continues to grow, we’re seeing plant-based options become mainstream.”

Meanwhile, over here on the west coast of the country, we were delighted to feature Haus Mylk at Vegfest this year.  They plan to start delivering fresh nut-based milks to homes in the Seattle area in the near future.

 

 

 

Erectile Dysfunction – diet matters!

ED - disappointed coupleErectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for intercourse. Erectile dysfunction (ED) has considerable impact on the quality of life of middle-aged and senior men, and is a significant global health problem  affecting millions of men throughout the world.

It’s very important to note that men with ED are at significantly increased risk of a heart attack. There is consistent epidemiological evidence which links ED with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cholesterol levels. We know that a plant-based diet greatly reduces the risk of those diseases and so it follows that it also greatly reduces the risk of ED. Other evidence shows that the lower BMI (Body Mass Index) that vegetarians are more likely to have also helps reduce the risk of ED, as does the reduction of saturated fat intake and increased fiber intake.

One study found a 10% reduced risk of ED with each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables consumed. Another study showed that phytonutrients, nutrients besides vitamins and minerals which are found only in plant foods, were a major reason for the reduced risk. A long term study of a diet rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and olive oil was associated with an improvement in erectile function.

They’ve even done a small experiment on erectile function.  Three athletes were tested overnight after different meals.  The experiment showed that erectile function was improved after a plant-based meal. Smoking cessation and exercise increased the effectiveness of the dietary intervention in several studies.

While diet and diet-related diseases are major causes of ED, there are other factors such as psychological problems and medication side effects which can also have an impact. However, switching to a plant-based diet is a safe way to reduce your risk of ED and it forms a vital role in its treatment.

California encourages plant-based options

Patient eating Hospital foodCalifornians who are in a hospital, nursing home or prison may soon be able to choose a totally plant-based diet.  State Senator Nancy Skinner has introduced Senate bill 1138, which requires these institutions to make a vegan meal available to those who request it.  While the option of a vegetarian meal was already required, this new bill allows for the option of meat-free, fish-free, dairy-free and totally vegan meals. Read more

Luscious Leek Recipes

leeksLeeks are a member of the lily family, related to the onion, with a slender white bulb, cylindrical stem and broad, flat leaves. They make a tasty addition to any soup or stew, and are particularly famous in Leek and Potato Soup. They contain sugards, dietary fiber and small amounts of protein.  There is also some iron and carotene in the green leaves.  They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

When leeks grow, they often trap soil and grit between their leaves.  The best way to clean them is to halve them lengthways, down to the bulb, but not all the way through.  You can then fan out and rinse all the leaves, while keeping the leek intact. Leeks can be boiled or steamed, braised in stock, or sliced into rings and stir fried.

Luscious Leek Recipes

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Vegfest – Another Successful Year!

Parma etc busy scene - low resVegfest 2018 was another huge success! Many companies debuted new products and we were especially happy to help many mainstream companies take steps in the veg direction.  Thousands of attendees discovered new foods from the hundreds of different ones available. They listened to presentations by medical doctors, watched cookbook authors and local chefs prepare delicious vegetarian food, and chose from a huge selection of books to learn more.

Chat Mingkwan - low resEvery year, people come up to us with their stories about how important this event is to them, how it helps them make better food choices, makes them feel part of an impressive community and inspires them to stay or become vegetarian.

This year our doctors and nurses were able to give more free health checks than ever before, including diabetes tests, blood pressure readings, artery scans and bone scans. These health checks are an invaluable opportunity for people to learn the vital connection between the food they eat and the state of their health. Many medical doctors were available to advise them how improving their diet would yield great health benefits.

On the Saturday evening, we held our third Vegfest Medical Seminar for Medical Doctors and Medical Students. Regional specialists gave presentations on the power of a plant-based diet to help both prevent and treat disease. This groundbreaking event was well attended by MD’s and med students who were motivated to make the veg diet just what the doctor ordered!

Vols chopping tofuBut Vegfest isn’t just about health.  More groups advocating and educating about animals were present throughout the event and spiritual groups who support a vegetarian diet were well represented.

A big Thank You to all our members, volunteers, doctors, chefs and especially our sponsors who all made this event possible. You are the reason Vegfest is so successful. We really appreciate your support and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Vegan mutual funds

Mutual FundsInvestors who are interested in supporting forward-thinking alternatives to the current food system are likely to be interested in plant-based investment strategies. Plant-based investing means supporting the transition from animal-based products to plant-based products, through the companies in which one invests.

Just as most vegetarians and vegans would never consider buying meat products, those who can invest have no desire to buy mutual funds that own companies that profit from the exploitation of animals.  Fortunately, most sustainable funds steer clear of the worst offenders (like factory farms), but a few do own companies such as fast food chains, which sell a lot of animal products, so investors should look into the details. Another way they can support plant-based investing is by investing in fund companies which are engaged in shareholder advocacy on this topic.

Investors are increasingly recognizing the power and promise of this investment strategy – whether they call it plant-based investing, vegan investing, or cruelty-free investing. If you have a financial advisor or mutual fund company, let them know today that you are looking for vegan investment opportunities. The rest of us, along with the animals, will thank you for it!

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