Posts tagged vegetarian
Posts tagged vegetarian
It is now time to practice what I preach even stronger than before. I am going to up my carrot apple juice intake because the little increases showed up on my blood work yesterday. Which means Dr. Gerson was correct in that the body will rebuild the immune system if given the correct amount of nutrients everyday. I am trying to figure out what I had in my system the night before that kept my fasting blood glucose at 110 all the way to 9 am the next morning. I think I know what the culprit was as I had a bag of M and M’s in the house for baking peanut butter M and M cookies for church and I cannot leave them alone. The craving is stronger than the will power and if I indulge even a little bit I have to eat them all. That should not be the way it is, but I am sure it is that way with all of us, especially since the food available that is processed is designed to encourage us to eat it in great quantities. Everything else on my physical is fine. In Oregon, the health system is set up to make sure you get all of your screenings even if you do not want them. I had to get a tetnaus shot yesterday because it had been ten years since my last one, but this one had the pertussis vaccine in it as well. With the new grandbaby born yesterday and my visit coming up the first part of March, it was probably not a bad idea. The other two screenings are scheduled for later in the next two months. I still think and beleive that modern medicine needs not to rely so much on chemicals in the way of drugs to keep us well and nutrition needs to be the focus over the drugs. Drugs are only the bandage along with a lot of the procedures that are being performed today. Reality is that fruits and vegetables are the key to your health. If you only eat meat and potatoes and starches your body is being destroyed by every movement of your fork. Your body needs a great volume of fruits and vegetables to heal itself and your immune system. Even if you can only afford carrots and apples you have a source to healing from the inside out. Spokespeople are not your friends in that they are trying to sell you a product constantly. The latest and greatest pill or processed food is not your answer to becoming healthy in any form of moderation. I also know that only you can decide what your quality of life will be when the situation arises where you need to make the hard choices. I myself prefer to take a more natural approach with less dependence on chemical substances provided in the form of drugs and processed foods. Buy food in its original form and carefully read the labels of your processed food. This is your food for thought for the day.
Happy New Year all!
I am revamping my webpage to reach a wider audience. I will be working with my webpage designer in the following weeks to take down the references to Southern Vegan Magazine and be focusing a wider array of subject matter. Healthy living and lifestyle to meet the masses.
I found in my travels and talking with people that the word vegan scares people and they do not want to associate with people who have that title. Granted if you are a celebrity the reaction is different because they know you from your acting work rather than your lifestyle.
In the Northwest, the reaction is fear more than anything. So the focus will be vegetarian which gives a wider variety of cooking and presentation techniques and will offer some lacto-ovo options because the biggest thing I have heard from non-vegetarians is how do you give up cheese. For me it is not difficult because I am lactose intolerant but for others you might as well cut off their heads at the thought of it.
I am still on the coast by about 60 miles, so the title seems appropriate. I think there are so many advantages to being vegetarian that to not reach a wider audience is a crime to humanity.
There are so many cultures that are vegetarian and their cuisines need to be explored and taught so that the concept of a plant based diet becomes a natural curiousity rather than something to be pushed aside. I have also met so many people recently that do not want to eat nothing but meat and potatoes and also have a real aversion to any other type of vegetable or fruit.
With food prices going up on a daily basis and our food production getting more and more processed with little or no nutritional value to our bodies, something has gotta give. Maybe it is time to grow your own food whether it be in containers on your balcony or in a small plot in your urban backyard. I also think we need to think about all the chemicals we eat and try to make our gardens as organic as possible.
In Oregon, recycling is big and the practice of not throwing food wastes into the trash can translates into building compost for your backyard garden.
Hope you like the changes and look forward to celebrating the plant based diet with me in future posts.
I love this quote by Dr. Dean Ornish:
"I don’t understand why asking people to eat a well balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open."
Dr. Ornish understands the plant based diet is the best diet for human consumption. Our intestines are just too long for proper digestion of meat. The animal product simply cannot get through the digestive tract fast enough without becoming a putrid mess overstressing our kidneys and other organs. Hence the reason for cutting people open instead of practicing preventive medicine.
Heart disease and cancer are the main contributors to not ridding the body of the toxins from eating the animal products in reasonable amount of time. Our bodies behave differently on plant based diet and our digestive system is actually happy to eat and digest our food.
Save the meat for the Elite, who want to die of the King’s diseases. For everyone else our country is going bankrupt trying to support the growth of these animals in quantities way over what we need. Just like the genetically modified corn and soybeans these animals are being raised with chemicals either in the food or injected to produce the largest animal.
Our country will only hear our cry if we use our pocketbooks to vote for the kind of groceries we want. Why do you think they make the least healthy food the cheapest at the market and the quality food more expensive? They are tricking us into thinking that these cheap overprocessed meals are good for us. Boy is that a sale job.
If we each have to go back to growing our own gardens and or the farmer’s market and only supplementing with foods from the grocery store. We are sending a message to our country that we want things to change.
Will vote with your dollars to make a positive change?
I am always looking for different ways to make veggie burgers with a twist. There is a chain burger restaurant that makes a very unique burger called the Bonzai Burger. In recent years they have introduced the veggie patty to their menu so that those of us that are vegan can still enjoy this little treat.
We had company over last night and I made my version of this famous burger. Because there were carnivores in the crowd, I had veggie burgers and beef burgers available. I also did preassemble the burgers but gave my guests the option of topping their burgers whichever way they prefer.
Teriyaki Pineapple Veggie Burgers (aka, the Bonzai Burger)
1 veggie pattie, grilled
1 pineapple ring, grilled
1 slice American Cheese
1 T teriyaki glaze
lettuce and tomato
mayonnaise on the top bun
optional items: dill pickle and onion slices
Assemble the burger in this order:
lower bun brushed with teriyaki glaze, place burger on the bun, then cheese, more teriyaki glaze, pineapple ring, more glaze, pickle, lettuce, tomato, top bun spread with mayonnaise.
Enjoy with baked tator tots.
I have one of the super hooty blenders put out by Ninja and I am always experimenting with recipe options in it. I have also been trying to use just what I have in the house and not go to the store until absolutely necessary. I had a bag of frozen strawberries and a can of condensed milk and knowing my blender’s capacity to make ice cream with very few ingredients I decided to give it a shot.
Two Ingredient Ice Cream (Vegetarian)
1 16 oz bag of frozen fruit
1 can of condensed milk
Put both ingredients in the blender and blend on ice crush for 3 minutes.
This ice cream is really good. It gives you the consistency of a really good custard ice cream without all of the fuss.
After blending put in a freezer container and put in the freezer to harden. It will continue to have the custard consistency even after freezing.
Well after much trial and error, I have returned to my never fail recipe for french bread. I did not have to change out my yeast to get this recipe to work. It does contain one egg for binding, so is considered a vegetarian recipe rather than a vegan recipe. I have missed having homemade bread in the house. Store bought just does not taste the same at all. During our stay in Idaho, I ground my own wheat and made 4 loaves of bread at a time. I froze the extra loaves and never bought any bread from the supermarket. For 18 years I was a stay at home mom, who also home schooled her children for three years before putting them back into the school system in Idaho. Cooking with children is an excellent way to teach math skills and reading skills. The girls are both accomplished cooks, but my youngest insists that she will have someone to cook for her rather than expend that energy herself. Cooking for me is a source of creativity for me and it is relaxing and also brings a great source of joy when my food is enjoyed by others.
Never Fail Bread Recipe
1 cup warmer than warm water
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup white corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1 T yeast
3-4 cups white flour
In a blender, add the water, oil, corn syrup, salt, and egg. Blend until combined. Pour into a medium mixing bowl that has the yeast in it. Stir to combine the yeast and the liquid mixture. Add the flour 1 cup at a time until it forms a ball. Put some flour on the counter and knead the dough for about 10 minutes adding flour as needed. Clean out the medium mixing bowl and add about 2 tsp oil to bowl and coat the dough ball with the oil. Cover with a tea towel and sit in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. (I put my dough to rise over by my preheated oven) After it has risen, punch down the dough and pour out on the counter dusted with flour. Shape into two french loafs. Spray your french loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Before placing loafs on the french loaf pan with small knife gently cut diagonal slits in the loaves to give them character while they bake. It takes about 6-8 shallow slits on each loaf. Put the loaves onto the french loaf pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray and cover with a tea towel and place in a warm place to rise 1 hour. When the loaves are ready, put them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Cool slightly and remove them from the loaf pan.
Eat with butter or olive oil.
This bread is the best.
I have never tried to make French Onion Soup before, but have always enjoyed eating it in fine dining restaurants. The beautifully carmelized onions sauteed in butter with a hint of Calvados and the rich beef stock makes my mouth water just thinking about it. But now that I am a vegan what am I going to do. I do not want to eat the rich beef stock nor the butter.
So with my trusty basic recipe from ” The Professional Chef” from the Culinary Institute of America, I set out to make a vegan/vegetarian version of the soup I love the most.
Patience is the number one key in making this soup even with a good recipe in hand. The onions take about 45 minutes to turn to the most beautiful golden brown and no amount of prodding or turning up the heat on the burner will hurry them along. I did not have Calvadoes in my liquor cabinet so decided to switch it up a bit with a half and half mixture of sherry/macadamia liquor. It was a wonderful addition the macadamia liquor added one more layer of richness to the finished soup.
My husband thoroughly enjoyed every bite last night and all I made was the soup instead of two or three courses.
French Onion Soup
3 sweet onions, sliced thinly
2 oz earth balance butter spread
2 oz sherry
2 oz Trader Vic’s Macadamia Liquor
1 tsp sugar
12 cups water
1 tsp. Better than Bouillon No Beef Stock concentrate
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cracked peppercorns
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper as needed
Saute the onions in the earth balance butter spread with the teaspoon of sugar for 45 minutes over medium low heat. Add sherry and macadamia nut liquor and cook to a syrupy consistency. Add no beef stock and remaining spices. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.
To make croutons,
Slice french baguette on the bias, cover with vegan butter and vegan cheese and put under the broiler until crisp.
When soup is finished, ladle into bowls and top with a crouton or two depending on the size of the bowl.
French Onion Soup with Gouda Toasted Croutons.
Have you noticed how Indian food is gaining popularity here in the US? The first experience I had with it was on a cruise to Cozumel two years ago. I had just taken the step to vegan and thought the cruise ship would offer some great food possibilities for me. I was not disappointed. The cruise ship offered a plate filled with dal, paneer, some other things I did not recognize. It was incredibly spicy and I could not eat much of it. But from that point on I have been fascinated with it, in all its various forms.
England is known for its curry recipes and it is widely available wherever you travel in England. A military friend of ours always commented that when they were stationed in England, that you can smell the curry permeating off the locals there. The only thing I can relate to that here is Cajun spices here. But I am not so sure I can tell who has been eating them or not because they do not smell like Cajun spice to me. Although, they say with enough cayenne pepper in your system the bugs will leave you alone.
Curry begins with some of my favorite spice combinations: ginger, coriander, garlic, tumeric, cinnamon, chili powder and black mustard seed. It can be mild to hot depending on which spice combinations you choose. I tend to like flavor without too much heat. There is nothing more disappointing than eating a food and all you have is heat and no flavor.
Indian cooking is familiar in the form of tandoori seasoning or garam masala and the cooking in a clay oven called a tandoori. The commercial version is a ceramic base with a fluted cover with a hole in the top. Coconut oil is used in traditional cooking because they are readily available from the fresh coconuts in the region. To ease the spiciness of the food, coconut milk is added and it helps smooth out the flavors provided by the chili peppers. Each family uses similar spices for cooking because the intensity and combination can be personalized, no one recipe is the same between families. A round spice tray is passed down from family to family. This holds the spices to make the daily cooking chore a breeze for the Indian cook.
Curry today just means gravy. As Americans we can all relate to gravy because it is a childhood staple from before the time of our grandparents. Curry is just richly spiced gravy. Masala is the name for the spicy gravy that is traditionally used with chicken. I use a mixed variety of vegetables or fried tofu in mine. When served with rice and a simple salad, it makes a complete meal.
Mixed Vegetable Curry
1 small cauliflower, cut in florets
2 parsnips, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, peeled and cubed
2 zucchini, cubed
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 T. garlic ginger paste
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp cilantro paste
1 tsp. basil paste
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 T. coconut oil
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan, add onions, garlic ginger paste, saute for 2 minutes. Add cauliflower, carrots, parsnips and saute for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and saute for 1 minute.
2. Add curry powder, brown sugar, cilantro paste, basil paste, vegetable stock, and coconut milk. Cook until vegetables are fork tender. Finish with lemon juice.
3. Serve with rice.
Garlic Ginger Paste
1/2 cup minced garlic
1 hand of ginger, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Put garlic and ginger into the bowl of the food processer. Pulse until ginger is finely minced. Add olive oil in a stream until it forms a paste.
2. Put in a small mason jar and seal. It will hold in the refrigerator up to a week.
1/4 oz cumin seeds
1/4 oz coriander seeds
1 tsp. whole mustard seeds
4 dried red chiles
1 T. ground cinnamon
1/4 oz tumeric
1 T. ground ginger
Put all ingredients into a coffee grinder and pulse to make a fine powder. Put in a small mason jar and label. Use to taste in your next curry.
Let’s make lemonade out of lemons? An old saying but well worth repeating. Sometimes our life changes from one career to another in a very short matter of time. That is what happened to me this month and the reason I am grateful for the opportunity to spread my wings in a new direction.
For a long time I have seen the need for a magazine focused for the whole vegetarian community that was easy to manuever through and it was not being done very well on the other resources I have been thoroughly researching. The mission of Southern Vegan Magazine is to explore all aspects of vegetarianism along with helping those who have members of their family who are still carnivorous. Let’s face it unless you were born into a family who is vegetarian or vegan, you are a convert just like me. The challenges of making two different meals every night can be daunting even for the seasoned chef in the family. I plan on showing you ways to cut down your preparation time in order to make sure your carnivore is well satisfied.
The magazine will show you how to make well-seasoned meals that even a die-hard carnivore will not be opposed to eating. I will also explore the various technigues to making really good homemade meat substitutes and help you with grocery bill costs. Time seems to be a growing factor in preplanned and cooked meals in the supermarket or the quick trip through the drive thru. Cooking does not have to be complicated to be ranked as a five star meal. You can add your special touches in the way of a sauce or a specially prepared vegetable in season.
Because I live on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, I will touch on some southern favorites as well as expand your knowledge of many other cuisines that adapt to the vegan dietary needs very well. My kitchen is well stocked with wonderful gadgets used in making unique foods and there will be product reviews to expand your knowledge on how to use them effectively.
I plan on offering some of the recipes every month in the Southern Vegan Magazine Newsletter that will be a free attachment in a word file or pdf for you to download every month. I will also have some of the books from my library for purchase through Amazon.com so you can add them to your library as well. All these resources further enhance our growth as vegan chefs and also help those around us adapt to our eating habits without complaint.
I look forward to building a community of followers and subscribers who enjoy being a vegan as much as I do. I welcome your comments as well as encouragement in the process of building this blog to fit needs of the community.
So please join me as we begin the journey of Southern Vegan Magazine.