Author Archives: Vegetarians of Washington

Not your father’s veggie burger

Veggie burgers ain’t what (and where) they used to be. The food industry has been making one innovation after the other and spreading the availability of veggie burgers far and wide, including some unexpected places.

McVegan

The new McVegan

A few days ago, news broke that rocked the veggie burger landscape: McDonald’s, yes McDonald’s, is testing a vegan burger. Meet the McVegan. Hoping to quietly test the McVegan away from the attention of the American public, McDonald’s went to a far away, really far away, place, Finland. Yup! the future of the new McDonald’s vegan burger is in the hands of the Finns. But don’t worry, they won’t let us down. The new McVegan is already getting rave reviews. If the test goes well, we may just find the new vegan burger right here at home.

Impossible cheeseburger

The Impossible Burger

 

Meanwhile, when the good people at Impossible Foods said they were going to make a veggie burger so realistic it will bleed and even char just like a juicy hamburger, many people said that’s “impossible.”  But they’ve done it, and it is quickly being made available around the country. The burger contains no animal fat, yet the flavor profile mimics that of 80/20 ground beef. Before it’s seasoned and layered with toppings, a nearly three-ounce patty clocks in at 220 calories and costs $13 – a little pricey but the price has been coming down.

Many people see a very profitable future for the new Impossible Burger. That’s why Impossible Foods secured $80 million over five years to develop the product that was later backed by Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures. The Impossible Burger is not yet available here in Washington but it’s getting close. The Impossible Burger is available in St. Helena in northern California. Because they use no animal products, the Impossible Burger uses a fraction of the Earth’s natural resources. Compared to cows, the Impossible Burger uses 95% less land, 74% less water, and creates 87% less greenhouse gas emissions. And of course, no animals were hurt in the making of these burgers!

Cows gas the planet

Curious Cows

It’s worse than we thought. A new study showed that livestock cause the emission of even more methane than previously thought. Methane is a greenhouse gas 30 times more powerful at warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Previous estimates of the global livestock industry’s methane production had been underestimating their total output, according to a new study by the Joint Global Change Research Institute. Read more

Zippy Zucchini Recipes

Zucchini - white backgroundZucchini, also known as a courgette, is a type of summer squash.  Green or yellow in color, and shaped like a cucumber, this nutritious vegetable provides vitamin A, folate, potassium and manganese, plus antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Like all vegetables, they have plenty of fiber.

Choose smooth, firm zucchini, and if you’re growing them yourself, don’t let them grow too large, as they become fibrous.  You can store them in the refrigerator for several days, but use them before they start to soften and the skins become pitted.

Most famous, perhaps, in the classic French recipe, Ratatouille, zucchini are extremely versatile. They can be consumed raw, as sticks for dipping in hummus or salsa for example, or they can be sliced thickly for veggie kebabs or stews, sliced thinly and lightly fried with herbs, cubed and included in a stir-fry or even split in half, stuffed and baked in the oven. Adding them to muffins or baking zucchini bread is a great way to get young children to eat some vegetables unknowingly!

The following two recipes are reprinted from www.nutritionmd.org with permission

Zucchini Corn Fritters

Makes 16 fritters

Serve these golden fritters with Chili Beans or with Ratatouille.

1 1/3 cups fortified soy- or rice milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium zucchini
1 cup fresh, frozen, or canned corn
1 vegetable oil spray
Combine non-dairy milk and vinegar. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Chop or grate zucchini (you should have about 1 cup), then add to cornmeal mixture. Add non-dairy milk mixture and corn. Stir to mix.

Lightly spray a non-stick griddle or skillet with vegetable oil and heat until a drop of water dances on the surface. Pour on small amounts of batter and cook until edges are dry, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn with a spatula and cook second side until golden brown, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.

Ratatouille 2Ratatouille

Makes 10 1-cup servings

Ratatouille is a perfect dish for late summer and early autumn when tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are at their peak. Serve with bread or pasta and a crisp green salad.

1/2 cup water
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large eggplant, diced
1 – 2 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 medium zucchini, sliced

Heat the water in a large pot and add onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in eggplant, tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, until eggplant is just tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.

Stir in bell pepper and zucchini. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

 

The following recipe is from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook, by Vegetarians of Washington.

Untitled-1Tacos de Chayote

Epazote is a pungent herb, available dried in Latin markets. It’s often added to bean dishes as much for its carminative (gas-reducing) properties as for its unique flavor. Chayote (pronounced chi-OH-tay) is a mild, pale green squash about the size of a pear.

Serves 4

12 small corn tortillas

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried epazote

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped

3 medium zucchini, cubed

3 chayotes, seeded and cubed

½ cup raisins

Minced fresh cilantro

Heat the tortillas on a hot griddle to soften them, then wrap them in foil to keep warm and set them aside. In a medium bowl, combine the onion, garlic, epazote, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the tomatoes, and set aside. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the zucchini, chayotes and raisins. Sauté until the squash is just crisp-tender. Add the tomato mixture and sauté until heated through, being careful not to overcook the squash. It should have a slight crunch. Spoon the filling onto the warmed tortillas and sprinkle with the cilantro.

 

 

 

Water usage for livestock causes problems

Say No to Meat cover 1.0The following is an excerpt from our book “Say No to Meat“, by Amanda Strombom and Stewart Rose, published by Healthy Living Publications.  This book includes answers to all the questions you may have about becoming a vegetarian, and is invaluable to new and existing vegetarians alike!

How does the use of water to produce meat cause problems?

Read more

Four pieces of good news for vegetarians

We’re happy to see the growth of food made with plant-based ingredients. It’s never been easier to be a vegetarian. Our choices and access to plant-based foods continues to grow and grow. Here are the latest four pieces of news:

Plant-based food – the leading trend

Plant Based foodsAt a recent Natural Products Expo, plant-based foods was the leading trend in the food industry.  Environmental, health and ethical concerns related to the production and consumption of animal products has moved purposefully plant-based foods, once relegated to the vegan and vegetarian minority, into the mainstream. Innovative new meat and dairy alternatives are improving upon taste and texture all the time, therefore widening the appeal of a plant-based way of eating. Read more

Five ways a vegetarian diet protects against colon cancer

man-eating-healthyA plant-based diet is a powerful way to substantially cut your risk of colon cancer. It’s long been known that vegetarians have a very significantly reduced risk of colon cancer. Several studies have shown that vegetarians reduce their risk of colon cancer by 46%-88%, they have a 54% reduced risk of polyps, and a 200% reduced risk of advanced polyps which can become malignant. Since colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, these percentages are very important. While we’ve known this for quite a while, we didn’t know why until recently – now we do! Read more

Ricky Gervais chooses vegan

Actor Ricky Gervais arrives at the Weinstein Netflix after party after the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly HillsBritish star Ricky Gervais rose to fame as David Brent, the lead character in the original British version of The Office, back in 2001.  He went on to become a well-recognized comedian, appearing on a variety of TV and radio shows, and in several movies.  He’s made several popular tours as a provocative standup comic including one show named “Humanity”.

Ricky has been a big supporter of animal rights for many years. He has spoken out against fox hunting and bull fighting. In his Humanity show, he recently said:

…it’s awful to think of people eating dogs, but some people eat pork. I don’t, but some people do. And a pig is just like a dog, there is no difference between them…

When Ricky was recently invited to participate in the Hot Ones interview, where host Sean Evans interviews a star while they eat ever-spicier chicken wings, Ricky opted for vegan chickn wings from the “Temple of Seitan”.  He also mentioned that his cheese days were over, so it certainly appears that Ricky is well on his way to being vegan.  Good for you, Ricky!

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