Author Archives: Vegetarians of Washington

Nutritious quinoa recipes

Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is an ancient grain, native to the Andes mountains.  It was the food that fueled the Inca civilization.  Today it is known as the grain with the best amino acid profile for humans to eat.  In other words, it is high in protein, as well as iron and B vitamins.  The grains hold their shape well in cooking, have a sweet taste and are easy to digest.  They look just like couscous.

To prepare quinoa, it should first be rinsed well by holding it in a sieve under a running faucet, as it has a somewhat soapy residue which is best removed.  It is cooked just like rice, with about 1.5 times the amount of water to grain. After about 8 minutes, check to see if the grains are translucent and little white curls have appeared.  This indicates when it is cooked.  Drain if necessary.

Quinoa can be used in place of rice as a base for many different meals. It can be added to soups and stews, or be the foundation of a salad or grain based dish.

Recipes:

Quinoa Paella

Quinoa Millet Salad

Quinoa Vegetable Soup

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Fast food restaurants of the future

The growing interest in plant-based foods is giving rise to new startup restaurant chains on the horizon. For instance, John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods Market, plans to build a plant-based restaurant chain. Mackey is listed as a partner in Healthy America LLC, Bloomberg reports, which aims to launch vegetarian restaurants nationwide. Mackey’s past success scaling a business promoting healthy lifestyles is attracting plenty of investor attention as vegetarian and vegan diets grow in popularity. Several former Whole Foods executives are already joining Mackey in his new endeavor.

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Stella McCartney leads the way to plant-based fashions

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney, daughter of the famous Beatle Paul McCartney, has been a vegetarian all her life.  As a fashion designer, she is well-known for using mostly plant-based materials.  She has been using various leather-alternatives, including one made from grapes and another that is mushroom based. She recently launched a $200 million investment fund for eco-friendly businesses and vegan leather brand, Bolt Threads, was one of the recipients.

Her latest quest is to find a plant-based alternative to using the ordinary silk produced by silkworms.  The worms are killed in the production process, when they are dropped into boiling water so that they unravel the silk they have formed into a cocoon.  The silk can then be collected, but the worms die before they are able to transform into moths.

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New York City Hospitals serve plant-based meals

All 11 hospitals run by New York City will now serve plant-based meals by default.

The move came after diet-change-focused nonprofit, The Better Food Foundation, partnered with New York City Hospitals and the Mayor’s Office. The foundation aims to aid healthcare organizations in improving health outcomes while cutting carbon emissions, and decreasing food costs.

The hospitals serve three million meals for lunch and dinner each year. While meat options will still be available to those who want them, the hospitals are offering plant-based dishes for every meal.

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Vegan athletes compete at Mr America contest

Robert Cheeke – vegan bodybuilder

A team of 28 vegan athletes just participated in this year’s Mr America competition in Atlantic City, NJ, to show the world that vegans can be just as strong, muscular and fit at meat-eaters, if not better.

The Mr America contest includes 4 different challenges for both men and for women:

  • Bodybuilding, where the judges score each athlete based on muscular development, proportion, conditioning, posing and general appearance,
  • Olympic weightlifting, where the athlete lifts a 400-600 pound barbell from the floor to an overhead position,
  • Kettlebell sport, where athletes have to repeat a certain movement with a designated weight in a certain amount of time.
  • Crossfit, which is designed to test the athlete’s level of physical fitness, measuring strength, speed, agility and overall fitness.
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Hotel chain plans to offer full vegan menu at every location

Selina, a hospitality brand specializing in digital nomad-style hotels, is planning to create a plant-based version of every menu item at all its 155 locations worldwide, including the United States, as it sees a growing interest in vegan lifestyles of the Millennial and Gen Z travelers that it often attracts.

They have partnered with an Israel-based vegan meat brand, Redefine Meat, to bring in more plant-based options.  The brand offers whole-cut vegan meats such as beef and lamb flanks, as well as ground meats made using 3D printing and AI technologies.  The brand, which has a goal of becoming the world’s largest meat company, says the new partnership with Selina hotels will help Redefine Meat reach a much broader global audience.

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Diets that fight global warming

The food we consume has a massive impact on our planet. According to one analysis, based on UN data, the diet that helps fight global warming the most, by having the least greenhouse emissions, is the vegan diet followed by a vegetarian diet. You can see how the different diets stack up when it comes to global warming in the graph below.

Bar chart
How much CO2e (in billions of tonnes, or Gt) would be saved if the whole world switched to each of these diets. Terms as defined by CarbonBrief. Data: IPCC.

When it comes to global warming we need to move fast if we are to avoid the worst consequences of global warming. A switch to a plant-based diet may be just what we need to avoid the worst consequences of global warming.

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Singer/Songwriter Sia is vegan for the animals

Singer/Songwriter Sia Kate Isobelle Furler

Sia has always loved animals, and as a young artist struggling to survive, she vowed that if she ever found success, she would make it her mission to spend the rest of her life trying to help and protect animals.  She loved her dogs and became vegetarian when she realized that chickens and cows could feel, care and empathize just like her dogs could.

Sia, full name Sia Kate Isobelle Furler, is an Australian singer and songwriter, who started her career in the acid jazz band Crisp in the mid 1990s in Adelaide.  She released her first solo studio album in 1997, and then moved to London, and subsequently New York.  By 2014, she broke through as a solo recording artist, when her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear, debuted at No 1 in the US Billboard 200, and has continued to produce albums and to write many songs for film.

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Cruelty to animals leads to violence against people

Time and time again, we learn that individuals who have committed violent acts against others—whether it be a spouse, a parent, or the 21 schoolchildren and teachers gunned down this year in Uvalde, Texas—also have a history of abusing animals. The mass murderer in Uvalde committed animal abuse and displayed videos of the cruelty to users on a social media platform, and he boasted about how he did it “all the time.”

Unfortunately this is part of a pattern. For example, Payton Gendron, who committed the May 14 racially-motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket that left 10 Black people dead, posted videos showing his abuse of animals.

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Quarterback Justin Fields chooses vegan for performance

Justin Fields 2022

Justin Fields, the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears, has discovered that following a plant-based diet makes him lighter and faster.  He first tried it in May 2020 while he was quarantined with his family, and they all decided to do a one-month plant-based challenge.  During that month, Fields noticed how his body felt better, and so at the end of the month, he continued with the diet, while the rest of his family went back to eating meat and dairy products.

Fields was drafted as the Bears’ number one choice in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, after playing college football at Ohio State university. He continued with the Bears into the 2022 season.  Of his vegan diet, he says:

“It’s changed the way I feel and the way I perform dramatically. I just feel so much lighter and faster. Football as a sport is so hard on your body so I just want to do anything I can to have the longest career possible.”

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