Author Archives: Vegetarians of Washington

Glorious grapes

GrapesGrapes have always been associated with health, and with good reason.  They are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients.  One of their renowned phytonutrients, resveratrol, is said to increase the expression of three genes related to longevity. Even though they’re sweet, grapes are also good for diabetics, since they promote a better blood sugar balance and increased insulin sensitivity. And of course the skin is packed with fiber, which helps to promote good bowel health.

 

At this time of year, the local grapes are particularly fresh and delicious, so it’s a great time to enjoy them. Their unique texture and sweetness makes them a perfect addition to salads and desserts, but also a handy snack throughout the day.  Just wash them and put them in a bowl in the fridge to keep them fresh and ready for whenever a hunger pang strikes.

Recipes (see below):

Minted Green Grape Sorbet

Green Goddess Breakfast Smoothie

Read more

Y’all crazy with this vegan thing!

Kendall Wright of Tennessee TitansAs Coach Amos Stagg walked out onto the University of Chicago’s Marshall Field for the first day of fall football training in 1907, he had no shortage of strategies to carry his Maroons to the championship. Fans across the nation, having watched in awe as the Maroons clinched a perfect record Western Conference victory in 1905, expected nothing less of the renowned coach. But one of Stagg’s strategies took everyone by surprise: For the 1907 season, he was putting his team on an a vegetarian diet, the same one he himself had been following for nearly two years. Read more

Enticing Arugula recipes

ArugulaNative to the Mediterranean region, arugula is a green leafy plant from the mustard family, also known as rocket. Arugula has a rich peppery taste, and is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phytonutrients. It has been enjoyed the Italians and French for centuries and now is becoming popular in the US.

Arugula is most often used in salads, particularly in a mesclun or mixed green salad, along with other leaves such as dandelion, chervil, endive, frisee, and baby chard, lettuce, spinach and kale leaves.

In addition to its use in salads, it can be made into a pesto sauce, or sauted or steamed and added to pasta dishes.

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

vegfeastckbk_small_border lighterFingerling Potato and Arugula Salad

This simple salad makes a light lunch or substantial side dish. Arugula becomes more peppery as it ages; baby arugula is mildly spicy while mature arugula packs a bigger bite.

Serves 4

1½ pounds French fingerling potatoes (or substitute other small, waxy potatoes such as Yukon Gold)

4 ounces arugula, plus a little salt

 

Dressing

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 medium shallot, peeled and quartered

⅓ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, add enough water to cover by an inch, add salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes; be careful not to overcook. Drain, chill quickly with ice or cold water and refrigerate until ready to use. The potatoes can be cooked a day ahead.

In a food processor or blender, combine the oil, vinegar, shallot, ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper. If no appliance is available, mince the shallot very fine and whisk the ingredients together, or shake them well in a screw top jar.

Slice the potatoes crosswise ¼ inch thick, leaving on the peel, and place in a large bowl. Add the arugula and most, but not all, of the dressing. Toss the dressing with the potatoes and arugula until they are lightly coated and flavorful, adding the remaining dressing if necessary. Arrange the salad on four salad plates, making sure a few slices of potato show on each plate, and serve.

 

The following recipe is reprinted from www.nutritionmd.org with permission:

Italian Stuffed Griddle Dumplings (Consum)

Makes 6 servings (2 pita halves each)

This traditional “griddle dumpling” from Romagna is actually a stuffed Italian flatbread, similar to a calzone but stuffed with greens. This easy version uses whole-wheat pitas.

6 pieces whole-wheat pita bread
1½ teaspoons chopped garlic
¼ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
½ pound Swiss chard, beet greens, spinach, or savoy cabbage, or a mixture
½ pound bitter greens, such as arugula, radicchio, rapini, Chinese broccoli, mustard or turnip greens, or curly endive
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cut each pita bread in half and open to form a pocket. Wash, trim, and thinly slice the greens.

Place garlic, broth, greens, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large, deep non-stick skillet. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tender. If any liquid remains, uncover and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until it evaporates. Season with the salt and black pepper and set aside to cool.

Drain the greens and stuff inside the pita halves. Heat filled pitas on a hot, dry griddle or cast-iron pan over high heat, turning frequently, until hot and flecked with brown spots. Serve hot.

Prostate Cancer – you can do something to help yourself!

Man eating salad 2OK, you guys, and the gals who care about them, we need to talk about a disease that’s all too common – prostate cancer! The good news is that there’s something you can do to prevent it, and even help treat it if it’s a mild case in its early stages. Let’s start with prevention first.

The risk of prostate cancer in vegetarians is less than half that of non-vegetarians. While plant-based foods have been shown to decrease the risk of prostate cancer, animal-derived foods increase the risk. Intake of saturated fat and cholesterol found in animal-derived foods are independent risk factors for prostate cancer, contributing further to the higher risk that non-vegetarians have. Read more

FDA approves plant blood!

Impossible cheeseburgerHow can a plant have blood? That sounds impossible! Well, not exactly. The folks, at the appropriately named Impossible Foods, have invented a burger that actually bleeds just like a real burger with just one exception. While this blood didn’t come from an animal, many will think it could have. The company created a totally vegan burger that “bleeds” just like a real, juicy, half-pounder does, and now the Food and Drug Administration has decided that it’s totally, 100% safe.

The nutrient that causes the bleeding effect is heme — it’s an iron-rich compound that occurs naturally. And as it turns out, it’s the reason that the Impossible Burger turns impossibly blood-red when it’s cooked.

This is just part of the new trend of making meat substitutes, or as the industry calls them meat analogues, as much like the real thing as possible, but without the meat of course. Scientists at the Impossible Foods company say they’ve managed to mimic the particular mouth-feel of meat by using bioengineered plant “blood,” reports the Wall Street Journal.  While not yet available in grocery stores, look out for the Impossible Burger at a good number of restaurants throughout Washington state!

Cats and dogs are not for dinner!

Cats and dogs.jpg

Can you imagine eating cats and dogs? There’s a new law on its way that would prevent this from ever happening by prohibiting this cruel practice. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “The House and Senate provisions will prevent this appalling trade from taking hold in the U.S., and strengthen our hand in seeking to end it worldwide.” This bill has broad bipartisan support and is very likely to pass.

While the practice of eating cats and dogs is uncommon in the United States “Around 30 million dogs and untold numbers of cats are subjected to this brutal industry globally every year, with animals often snatched off the street or stolen from loving families, still wearing collars as they are subjected to unspeakable abuse to end up on someone’s dinner plate” according to the Humane Society.

The new law would alter the Animal Welfare Act to forbid people from knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption. Punishment for violating the law would be up to one year in prison and a fine of $2,500.

It’s bad enough that we eat farm animals – we shouldn’t expand that to include cats and dogs. Of course, we wish cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys and fish were covered under the law as well. We love cats and dogs, but we also care about farm animals just the same. While there’s no law pending to prevent eating them, there’s still something you can do – switch to a plant-based diet!

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