Tag Archives: plant-based

Generals go vegan

General eats plant-based

General Steve Smith and his wife Lynn

In light of the recent Veterans Day holiday, we’d like to point out the significant progress the military is making in the veg direction. For example, there has been quite a bit of progress at the US Army base, Fort Sill. The Guns and Rockets Dining Facility at Fort Sill, Okla., is setting a new standard for healthy food options by offering a 100 percent plant-based entrée during every meal. The fort commander, Gen. Wilson Shoffner, said he will be having his first plant-based Thanksgiving meal! Read more

Plant-based meats explode!

Field-Roast-productsThe news about plant-based meat products just keeps on coming. Some thought we’d never live to see the day, but some of the biggest purveyors of meat have become some of the biggest purveyors of plant-based food. Competition is heating up in the plant-based protein industry, now worth $14 billion in the US, that Wall Street thinks could grow to be worth $140 billion. We’ve already seen Maple Leaf, a large meat company, acquire Lightlife and Field Roast. Conagra bought Gardein and is getting behind the product, while Nestlé bought Sweet Earth and recently launched their Awesome burger under this brand. Earlier fears that meat companies would acquire plant-based companies only to ruin them have fortunately not been borne out.

Consumers are rushing to try meat substitutes in a number of fast food restaurants, and data show that they’re willing to pay higher prices for the products. A number of high profile fast food restaurants sell plant based foods meat substitutes, and there are more to come. We’ve already written about Burger King’s new Impossible Whopper and the Subway’s forthcoming meatless meatball sub, but others are getting on the bandwagon as fast as they can. Dunkin launched their Beyond sausage sandwich in 163 locations across Manhattan, and KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken launch in Atlanta sold out in just a few hours. Other chains such as Carl’s Jr, Tim Horton’s, Hardee’s and Del Taco are all getting in on the act.

Almost as exciting is the move by many meat companies to innovate their own new meat substitutes. Tyson foods launched Raised & Rooted, a line of products which includes vegan meat alternatives. They are also investing in a plant-based shrimp company. Kellogg has launched Incogmeato, a “next-gen product line” that includes a “ready-to-cook plant-based burger” and fully prepared plant-based “Chik’n” tenders and nuggets. Kroger, which owns Fred Meyer, will launch its own plant-based burgers, cookie dough, pasta sauce, sausage, deli slices. Hormel Foods has just launched its own line of plant-based meat alternatives. The line, called Happy Little Plants, includes a ground plant-based protein alternative. Hormel also offers plant-based pizza topping items and the Applegate Blend Burger, which combines organic meat and mushrooms.

This looks like a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. The trend is firmly geared toward giving meat-eaters more plant-based options that they can discover and enjoy.  While many of them may stick at being flexitarians, rather than moving to full-on vegetarians or vegans, any reduction in the consumption of animal products is welcome in our book!

Upcoming “Cooking with Amanda” Classes

Amanda cooking feature 1.1Amanda Strombom, President of Vegetarians of Washington, gives regular cooking classes to support those interested in moving toward a plant-based diet and learning new ways of preparing food avoiding animal products. Each class focuses on a different aspect of going veggie, whether it’s on specific food groups, on a particular health topic, shopping or even holiday cooking.  Plenty of samples to taste are always provided. See the schedule below.

Classes will be held at East Shore Unitarian Church, Bellevue, 7pm unless otherwise noted. A nominal charge of $5 per class helps us cover the cost of the ingredients and materials. Shopping tours are free.

Wed May 8th       Save the Earth with a Plant-Based Diet!

One of the best things each of us can do to help take better care of the Earth is to change the food we eat away from animal products.  How does a plant-based diet help? We’ll talk about the damage animal agriculture causes to the soil, the water, the air and our climate.  Plus you can taste some delicious dishes and get recipes to help you make the switch.

Make a reservation

Wed June 12th– Where do you get your protein from?

The first question many people ask when they’re thinking about cutting out meat is about protein.  In this class we’ll discuss the benefits of the various plant-based sources of protein available and make some delicious dishes using both beans and meat alternatives.

Make a reservation

Wed July 10th      Avoiding cancer

We’ll talk about how a plant-based diet can help protect you against getting certain kinds of cancer, and which nutrients are particularly beneficial for fighting cancer.  We’ll make delicious dishes using a rainbow of different vegetables to give as many phytonutrients as possible.

Make a reservation

Wed Sept 4th      Cleaning out your arteries

Eggs are loaded with cholesterol which clogs up your arteries. We’ll talk about how cholesterol, present in all animal foods, impacts your health, particularly your arteries, and we’ll discuss alternatives you can use to eggs in various recipes. We’ll make some delicious egg-free recipes and even try the amazing Vegan Egg.

Wed Oct 2nd        Reducing pain with food

Several chronic painful conditions can be helped with a plant-based diet.  We’ll discuss how certain foods can help reduce inflammation and reduce pain.  Then we’ll make some tasty recipes with anti-inflammatory foods such as chia seeds, mushrooms, turmeric and walnuts.

Wed Nov 6th       Healthy Cooking for the Holidays 

We’ll talk about how to handle the many issues that come up at holiday times when cooking for or eating with your meat-eating family members, and discuss ideas for special vegan holiday dishes.  We’ll make some delicious dishes that all your guests can enjoy.

Wed Dec 4th        Shopping for Plant-Based Foods

We’ll meet at Fred Meyer, Bellevue, to tour the Natural Foods section, and learn about label reading, choosing fresh vegetables, and finding some new favorite foods. This class is free.

Wed Jan 8th         Losing weight, Defeating diabetes

We’ll talk about what foods are most helpful in losing those extra pounds, and how the same foods can also reduce your insulin resistance and treat Type II Diabetes.  We’ll make some really simple starter plant-based meals to get you started on a new way of eating for the New Year.

Wed Feb 5th        Ditching Dairy

Dairy products often contain surprising amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol, and come from cows forced to give birth frequently.  We’ll talk about the many alternatives to dairy that are available these days, we’ll taste samples of some commercial products and make some simple cheese alternatives of our own.

Christie Brinkley – a “flexible vegan”

christie brinkley

Supermodel Christie Brinkley was first discovered as a model in the early ’70s and went on to be the only model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated three times — in a row. Since then, she’s walked thousands of runways, launched a skin care line, starred on Broadway and is now writing a book on health and wellness.

So how does she manage, now that she’s into her 60s, to still look so young and healthy? Here’s how she explains it: “I tried some pretty weird diets in the beginning. I did everything from juice fasting to eating one kind of food at a time, to eating a grapefruit first before everything. The only thing that really lasts is a well-balanced diet.”

Christie has been largely plant-based for years.  In fact she became a vegetarian when she was only 13, out of love for the animals.  She aims to eat a rainbow of different colored plant foods every day. “For many, many, many years I’ve always said I go for as many colors as possible in a day,” Brinkley said.

She starts her day with whole grains topped with fruit and walnuts. Lunch is always a salad of leafy greens, with various fruits and vegetables topped with nuts. For dinner, pasta and veggies are the most popular option. She has found some vegan dairy alternatives she really likes, such as a soy hazelnut coffee creamer and various vegan desserts.

Brinkley believes in being as kind as possible to your body and exercising to feel good and look good. She said, “Feeling good is looking good, and that can translate to an energy you exude.” She’s a huge fan of avocado toast, raw oatmeal, brown rice with lentils, and sweet potato.

While we hope she gives up eating the occasional animal products in her diet, we’re glad that she’s such a good role model for healthy plant-based eating.

Star Trek foundation funds Green Mondays

Star trek original castGene Roddenberry, creator of the Star Trek series, brought meaningful and thought-provoking science fiction to “think, question, and challenge the status quo” to audiences across the globe, with the intention of creating “a brighter future”. In 2010, Gene’s son Rod established the Roddenberry Foundation to build on his father’s legacy and philosophy of inclusion, diversity, and respect for life.

As part of the annual Roddenberry Prize grant, which this year focuses on innovative approaches to Climate Change, the foundation recently awarded $250,000 to the vegan startup Green Monday for converting 1.6 million Hong Kong residents to a plant-based diet. Read more

Great British Bake Off – vegan week

great-british-bake-off-Cropped

The Great British Bake off is a popular British TV show featuring a group of amateur bakers who are challenged to bake three different creations each week in a limited amount of time.  At the end of each week, the judges eliminate one contestant, until the winner of the Great British Bake Off emerges.

This week, the challenges are all focused around using non-dairy products, so it’s been labelled “vegan week”.  Some regular viewers are horrified, thinking that baking can’t be done without dairy products, but the show is calculated to appeal to a younger audience, in a country where a significant percentage of the younger population are transitioning to veganism.

The episode kicks-off, as ever, with the signature challenge which will see the bakers tasked with preparing eight savory tartlets – four with one filling and four with another – with a short crust pastry. For their showstopper, the bakers must whip up a vegan celebration cake that is “inventive and visually exciting”. There aren’t any stipulations – the cake can look however the contestants want – but it must be made from plant-based ingredients. It sounds like many contestants may be taking quick lessons about how to use aquafaba – the water left after cooking beans – as the base for vegan meringues!

Look out for the vegan Great British Bake Off (Series 2 Episode 7) when they release the latest season on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, PBS and other TV options.

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

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