Author Archives: Vegetarians of Washington

Perfect Peanut Recipes

PeanutsAlso called groundnut, goober, or monkey nut, the peanut is the seed of a small leguminous plant, so it is strictly a legume and not a nut. Peanuts are rich in protein and monounsaturated fats, and provide reasonable amounts of dietary fiber. They also contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, and many other valuable nutrients.

While most common as a snack food in this country, they are used as major cooking ingredient in many Asian and African dishes, either whole or as a tasty peanut sauce.

Always try to find dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, either whole or as peanut butter, as many popular sources of peanuts are very high in salt and added fats.

The recipe below is from our own cookbook – The Veg-Feasting Cookbook.

Untitled-1Nigerian Groundnut Stew with Tempeh

In Africa, as well as other places, the peanut is known as the groundnut and is a popular ingredient in many appetizing dishes, like this high-protein casserole.

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 pound tempeh, poached (see chef’s tip) and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup peanut butter, or more as needed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, or more as needed
  • 1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white or brown rice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and sauté until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a casserole dish. In the same skillet, cook the onion, bell peppers and garlic until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add this to the casserole.

Place the peanut butter in a saucepan and add the broth slowly, stirring to make a thick creamy sauce. Place the saucepan over medium heat, add the tomato, salt and pepper, and simmer gently for 2 minutes; pour over the tempeh and vegetables in the casserole. If the sauce is too thin, add more peanut butter; if it’s too thick, add more stock. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. While the casserole is in the oven, cook the rice according to package directions. Spoon the tempeh casserole over the rice and serve.

Chef’s Tip

Poaching commercially prepared tempeh before using it in a recipe improves its flavor and digestibility. Slice or cube tempeh according to individual recipe, or leave in slabs, depending on use. Place the tempeh in a saucepan, add enough water to cover it and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the tempeh from the water and proceed with the recipe.

Tofu and Jicama Summer Rolls with Sweet and Sour Garlic Sauce

Summer rolls are a Southeast Asian favorite because they’re so refreshing and versatile. Throughout Southeast Asia, from China, Vietnam, Thailand to Malaysia, fresh noodle rolls are different in each country. My version uses jicama and fried garlic for maximum impact in both texture and flavor, and I pair the rolls with a seductively spicy dipping sauce. My summer rolls reflect the influence of my hometown in Thailand, and are prepared without the cooked rice vermicelli found in other versions; however, feel free to add them if you like. Sweet chili sauce is sold at natural food stores and Asian markets…Pranee Halvorsen

Serves 10

Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
  • ½ cup chopped garlic (about 2 heads)
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup ground peanuts
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves plus
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, add the garlic, and fry until light golden brown. Whisk the chili sauce, vinegar, water, peanuts and ¼ cup chopped cilantro in a small bowl to blend. Add 3 tablespoons of the garlic along with some of the cooking oil, then add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Filling

  • 1 cup jicama, shredded
  • 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, julienned (sliced very thin)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, shredded
  • 20 (6-inch diameter) rice paper spring roll wrappers

To make the rolls, place the remaining garlic and oil in a small bowl. Have the jicama, bell pepper, carrot, tofu and 1 cup cilantro leaves ready in separate bowls. Select a saucepan with a diameter slightly larger than the spring roll wrappers, add water to a depth of 1 inch, bring it to a boil, and then keep it simmering over medium-low heat. One at a time, place each spring roll wrapper in the water for 5 seconds then remove and set it on a plate.

Place some of the jicama, bell pepper, carrot, tofu and cilantro on the lower third of the spring roll, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle a little of the garlic over the vegetables. Bring the bottom edge of the spring roll up and over the filling, then tuck in the sides and continue rolling until completely wrapped.

Repeat with the remaining rolls. Cut the rolls in half and serve with the sauce.

Crying over the Cryosphere

Ice melting

The cryosphere is under attack! Most of us rarely come into contact with the cryosphere, but it is a critical part of our climate system. The term refers to the frozen parts of our planet – the great ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, the icebergs that break off and drift in the oceans, the glaciers on our high mountain ranges, our winter snow, the ice on lakes and the polar oceans, and the frozen ground in much of the Arctic landscape called permafrost. Read more

Adopt a Farm Animal in honor of Mother’s Day

Cows - Liberty and Indigo

Oscar winning actor, Joaquin Phoenix, recently urged people to adopt a farm animal in honor of Mother’s Day. In February, he visited the slaughterhouse, Manning Beef in California, to facilitate the rescue of a cow and her newborn calf and deliver them to Farm Sanctuary. Phoenix negotiated the release of the animals from the slaughterhouse alongside a group that included fiancée and fellow activist Rooney Mara, both his and Mara’s mothers, Earthlings director Shaun Monson, Los Angeles Animal Save Founder Amy Jean Davis, and Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur.

He named the cow Liberty and the calf Indigo.  “It’s impossible not to smile at the love that radiates from Liberty for her calf, Indigo, or the marvelous curiosity they share for their new life roaming spacious land in permanent sanctuary. Thanks to generous supporters like you, Liberty is able to nurse Indigo, bond with her, protect her, and watch her grow up—just as nature intended,” Phoenix said.

Farm Sanctuary, with locations in upstate New York and southern California, provides space and freedom for farm animals that have been rescued from stockyards, factory farms and slaughterhouses.  They do what they can to rehabilitate and provide lifelong care to help animals recover from abuse and neglect.  Farm Sanctuary operates the country’s largest farm animal rescue and adoption network. Every year, they assist with hundreds of urgent placement needs, including helping to secure homes for victims of cruelty and neglect, factory farm victims, such as those rescued from natural disasters or transport accidents, or for animals who are surrendered by farmers or guardians.

To sponsor a farm animal today, choose the type of animal who’s right for you and complete the monthly sponsorship registration form. Sponsors make a year-long commitment to a shelter animal and make monthly, quarterly, or annual payments. In return, you will receive a sponsorship certificate with a color photograph of your sponsored friend, and other benefits depending on your animal.

Mori-Nu Tofu – a different kind of tofu

MjpegTOFU_Organic1Mori-Nu Tofu has been a favorite product at Vegfest for many years.  We caught up with the marketing manager to learn more about the product.

How is Mori-Nu Tofu different from other kinds of tofu?

The main difference between Mori-Nu ™Silken Tofu and other types of tofu is the style/type, texture, and the fact that it is shelf stable. Mori-Nu’s Tofu is velvety smooth, creamy, custard-like, and consistent in composition. The other types of tofu are often referred to as Momen Tofu or regular tofu.  They are more porous, firm, and rough in texture.

Mori-Nu Tofu is shelf stable (1 year from production) and packaged in a Tetra Pak box. The box is hermetically sealed, and the tofu is formed inside. This allows continuous protection from light, air, bacteria, and micro-organisms that cause spoilage.  There are no preservatives in Mori-Nu tofu.  It is Non-GMO Verified, certified Gluten-Free (by GFCO/GIG), KSA Kosher Parve certified, and is available in six varieties.

Is Silken tofu popular in Japan?

Silken tofu is most popular in Japan, but it is also popular in other countries especially in the US, India, Asia Pac and Canada. Tofu is popular in Asian style cooking.

While Mori-Nu™ is not sold in Japan, our parent company, Morinaga Milk Industry, Co., Ltd., sells tofu in limited quantities in Japan.  Although quite popular, Morinaga tofu sales are regulated to ensure that smaller tofu shops continue to remain in business in our home country of Japan.

Can it be used in other cuisines?

Mori-Nu Silken Tofu can be used in other types of foods and cuisines as the main component or as a substitute ingredient.  Several cuisines use tofu as part of the main dish or as an ingredient:

  • Mexican (tacos, chilaquiles, and flan)
  • Italian (meat-less meatballs, Carbonaro sauce, pizza, and cheesecake)
  • Mediterranean (hummus and tzatziki sauce)
  • Indian (curry, chutney, and paneer)
  • American (pancakes/waffles, smoothies, and ice cream)
  • Chinese (stir fry with veggies, egg rolls, and soup)

 

Can you use it to make a smoothie?

Mori-Nu Silken Tofu is versatile and can be used in several applications.  It blends well for a smoothie.  It can be used in sauces, dips, desserts, and so much more.  It is a substitute for meat protein and can be an alternative ingredient instead of using butter, cream, milk, sour cream, cheese, and other dairy foods.

 

Can you freeze it?

Mori-Nu Silken Tofu does not have to be refrigerated as it is shelf stable until it’s opened.  Freezing tofu changes its texture when thawed, giving it a “meat-like” texture suitable for a variety of hearty recipes.  To enjoy the best quality tofu, use immediately after opening for the best flavor, taste, and texture.  If not open, the shelf life is 1-year from the production date.

 

How long has Morinaga Nutritional Foods, Inc. been making it?

Morinaga Nutritional Foods, Inc. was established in 1985. We started making shelf stable tofu in 1997 in the U.S.  It has been 20 years and we continue to share our passion in providing the freshest tofu made from the highest quality soybeans.

Here’s a tasty recipe to enjoy:

Tofu Rice Stir Fry Recipe

Ingredients:

1/3 cup light soy sauce

1/3 cup rice vinegar

3 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 package Mori-Nu Silken Extra Firm Tofu, drained and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

1/2 cup celery, sliced

1/2 cup scallions, sliced

1/4 cup fresh ginger, sliced

1 cup cooked rice

Preparation:

Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and tofu cubes.  Marinate in refrigerator for a minimum of an hour. Heat all the marinade ingredients in a wok. Add carrots, celery, scallions and ginger. Stir fry until all vegetables are just crisp-tender. Add cooked rice. Stir fry to heat through. Serve hot.

 

Helping the hungry with vegetarian food

Community Solidarity

Vegetarians are doing their part during the COVID 19 pandemic. Volunteers from Community Solidarity — the country’s largest all-vegetarian hunger relief food program — distributed tens of thousands of pounds of groceries in Hempstead, New York, recently as part of its growing effort to help people in need.  Several other regions in New York were also served.

Organizers with the nonprofit said they have watched demand skyrocket as more families face issues of hunger and food insecurity, due to the economic fallout from COVID-19.  “We have never seen this before,” said Jon Stepanian, chief executive at Community Solidarity. “Some of the families are in tears when they come to us.” While the nonprofit has been providing food relief for years, organizers are now reaching thousands more families. The organization used to serve 3,000 families directly and is now serving 10,000, Stepanian said.

In normal times, Community Solidarity assists thousands of families each week by sharing free nutritious vegetarian groceries and hot gourmet vegan meals. These plant-based foods are healthier than anything offered by mainstream food banks. They’re also more compassionate and more sustainable. Their cruelty-free mission is simple. By promoting a vegan diet, and sharing vegetarian groceries, they save animals. By empowering communities, and ending hunger, they help people.

Preventing stroke with a vegetarian diet

Stroke prevention

More good news about the benefits of a plant-based diet!  A new study shows that following vegetarian diet reduces the risk of stroke. We’ve been reporting on the many health benefits of vegetarian diets for lowering the risk of disease such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, prostate cancer and colon cancer. We can now add reducing the risk of stroke to the growing list.  This is important since stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for Americans. Read more

Tony Kanal – animal lover

Joaquin Phoenix, Pamela Anderson, Emily Deschanel and Moby at the Mercy For Animals Hidden Heroes Gala in Los Angeles, California.

Tony Kanal and wife, Erin Lokitz

British musician Tony Kanal is the bassist and co-writer for the American rock bands Dreamcar and No Doubt. He’s also produced and co-written songs for Gwen Stefani among others.

Tony Kanal is a hardcore animal lover, who tweets regularly to his 37,000 followers about the plight of animals.  He’s been vegan for the past 6 years and said

“I’ve always just loved animals and you just start making the connection between what you’re eating and what happens to these poor animals and once you start making those connections and realizing the truth behind what you’re eating, it just, there wasn’t any other option for me.”

He and his wife, American home designer Erin Lokitz, have worked to make their home 100% vegan too, with no animal skins, leather, wool or silk!

Billie Eilish – vegan advocate

Billie EilishSinger-songwriter, Billie Eilish, was raised vegetarian in Los Angeles, CA.  She “accidentally” became famous at the age of 13, when she wrote a song for her dance teacher and uploaded her recording onto the popular music-streaming site, SoundCloud.  By the next morning it had gone viral, and shortly after her career began to take off.  She’s already accomplished more by the age of 18 than most other artists do in a lifetime.

In 2014, she made the decision to go vegan.  About that decision, she wrote to a fan

“I love animals and I just think there’s no point in creating something out of an animal when the animal is already there.  Leave the animals alone….also I’m lactose intolerant and dairy is horrible for your skin, and my skin is VERY aware of that.”

She is now a vocal advocate of the vegan movement and is inspiring many to give cruelty-free living a try through her Instagram following.

Close the wet markets!

Wet market

Close the wet markets! Doctor Anthony Fauci says that there should be a global shut down of wet markets. Fauci is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and is considered by many to be the world’s top expert on infectious disease.  He is a chief medical advisor on the president’s coronavirus taskforce.

Wet markets, common in China and other south Asian countries, sell live poultry, fish, reptiles, and mammals of every kind. Add the daily human contacts (including children) with the live animals, and conditions are optimal for the transfer of infectious disease agents that can make sick or even kill humans, as we explained last month. Read more

Plant-based diet lowers risk of severe COVID-19

Coronavirus ward - low res

Based on preliminary U.S. data, persons with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and chronic kidney disease, have a higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease than persons without these conditions. For instance, in New York 86% of all deaths so far have been among people who had underlying illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease, new state data shows.

This is where following a plant-based diet can offer a big advantage. It reduces the risk of type II diabetes by 78% and is over twice as effective in treating type 2 diabetes as the leading drug, metformin. Meanwhile a plant based diet can lower the risk of heart disease by 40% and relieves the pain of angina 91%. Those following a plant based diet have a 75% reduced risk of chronic kidney disease and can avoid needing dialysis.

By having lower risks of these diseases, people can expect a lower risk of severe COVID 19.

« Older Entries