I Am A Vegetarian: VI

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I am always on the prowl for super easy and fast recipes. 

This one couldn’t get any easier.

You can use eggs or tofu.  I suggest tofu. (1 package of tofu or 8-10 eggs)

2 avocados

Veggie Slices (alternative cheese option), about 4

Salsa

Black beans 1 can

Whole grain wraps (can feed 4)

Peel avocados and slice thin.

Scramble tofu/eggs, add strips of cheese while scrambling, melting well.

Place mix on top of wraps, add avocados and salsa.

Prepare black beans as a side, don’t forget to rinse before heating.

That is it!  It is seriously too easy being a vegetarian. 

I Am A Vegetarian: Recipe V

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Portobello Mushroom Burgers w Carmelized Onions and Red Peppers, ooh, ooh and Mozzarella. 

I’ve made these Portoburgers the last few weeks and feel I have a new fav recipe. 

Ingredients:

Spanish onions, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp brown sugar

8 Portobelo mushrooms

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 oz roasted red peppers

6 oz mozzarella

Your bread of choice, may I recommend focaccia

1) Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat and add onion, cooking about 5 minutes until soft and tender.  Stir in brown sugar.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2)Brush mushrooms with olive oil and cook for 5-6 minutes, flip and cook for another 5.

3)Top mushrooms with red peppers and mozzarella, cook until cheese has melted.

4)Toast focaccia or bread of choice, place mushrooms on bread, top with onions and you have a masterpiece.

So easy!  Lots of recipes call for you to double up on the mushrooms, placing them together to form a “stuffed shroom”.  While this is super delish, I have found it to be a bit too filling as there will probably be sides with this summer dish.

Can I add just one more thing?

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To my life…that is.  It seems I can, but not without trepidation.  I already feel (slightly though it may be) stressed from the two kids, two cats, one dog, one husband.  But something just doesn’t feel right.  Here I am writing about change.  The change I want to see in myself, in the world, in my immediate environment.  And there I was talking about the change, making slight modifications to my busy little life with a vegetarian recipe here, a contribution to PETA there, all without really adding any extra weight to my heavy plate.  You know, I have things to do.  Mommy groups, classes, shopping, phone calls, Facebook, c’mon?  You see the millstone around my neck, do you not?

Well, sweet audience, I tether myself to one more responsibility; this one having more import than the aforementioned.  I will become a foster parent this Sunday.  Yes, to a beautiful abandoned kitten.  I was excited, then scared, then reluctant, then submissive, then I wanted to take the whole damn thing back.  I thought, “I just can’t do this.”  I have two other cats and a dog that I promised to care for.  My kids are my number one.  I just can’t add one more thing.  I can’t chance bringing in “a problem cat.” I mean “they” tell you that the beautiful little creature does not have fleas or mites or parasites.  But they cannot be sure.  They CANNOT.  These animals can pick up something in transition-from another foster, from the shelter, from a transporter’s car, for godsake. 

So I look up the rascal I promised to take for a short period of time and I still was saying, “I don’t know…” 

Enter husband from stage right, never my voice of reason as we have completely different interests.  He says, “You promised to care for this cat to people who are depending on you who also care for this cat.”  Which is true and made me feel completely hypocritical given the nature of this blog and the path that I have chosen to pursue.  Damn my best friend and partner.  He shouldn’t make me face myself. 

And so the journey of foster parenting begins.  May I include the lovely charity who I have so become obliged to?  2000spaysandneuters.org.  Lady Joan, founder of this charity, has quite a fascinating life and I mean to tell her it is a life I would have chosen to model if I could have, lets say, 12 years of said life back.  I know I will quite fall in love with this little guy.  But I would like to stay committed to the adoption of neglected, abused or discarded animals and this includes letting my little guy go at the end of my work.  I just cannot take them all. 

Please adopt when you are looking for a pet.  There are so many rejected and abandoned animals that need a good home, it is almost never necessary to turn to a breeder or pet store for options.

Ahhh, beginner’s guide to a sense of purpose. 

Conklin Dairy Farm Worker Jailed for Extreme Cruelty

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Mercy For Animals, a well-known animal welfare group, sent in an undercover employee to film possible abuse at Conklin Dairy Farm in Plain City, Ohio.  If there was any doubt of maltreatment, there is none now.  The video released to authorities and subsequently to all media outlets shows one employee in specific, Billy Joe Gregg of Delaware, beating calves, stabbing cows with pitchforks and punching senstive mastitis infected udders.  Tails were broken, heads were kicked, calves were picked up and slammed on the floor.  It is heartbreaking and maddening at the same time to watch this video.

This clown showed up in court and had the nerve to claim he would miss his exams for a career in law enforcement because of the schedule conflict.  Hats off to authorites for charging him with animal cruelty and enforcing a $100,000 bond.

For more on this investigation or similar cruelty cases and ways to get involved visit www.mercyforanimals.org.

Sport a Vegan Diet to truly live cruelty free.

Red Meat

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Red Meat Causes Cancer, Yes It Does

The World Cancer Research Fund of the UK  (WCRF) is commited to delivering accurate information to the public concerning cancer and offers lifestyle choices that reduce the risk of cancer instead of focusing only on the cure. 

They claim that people who consume above average amounts of red meat have higher rates of colon cancer.  They also found that above average consumption of processed meats (sausage, ham, pastrami, salami, hot dogs, etc.) can lead to increased risk of colon cancer. 

They do not say to denounce red meat entirely, but they do suggest that processed meats should be cut from the diet completely.  Strong words.  Upset.  The Big Guys.

The National Beef Association (NBA), the National Sheep Association (NSA) and the National Farmer’s Union (NFU) are pissed, to say the least, and have issued statements suggesting the WCRF has misled the public.  Uhhh, you mean, interfered with THEIR misrepresentation of the facts in order to keep people in the dark about the dangers of eating red and processed meat.  So lucrative profits mean more than people’s lives.  This is not surprising to most people.  But the WCRF has a more altruistic message, to be sure. 

So why are red and processed meats dangerous?

They contain a red-colored compound called heme which has shown to damage the lining of the colon, as well as act as a catalyst of oxidative damage and as a cancer causing agent of the colon, breast and prostate (pubmed.gov.)

Red meat (especially processed meats) can also stimulate cancer causing substances called N-nitroso compounds which damage DNA cells.

They suggest consuming no more than 500g of red meat per week, and of course, no processed meats.  I believe even the suggestion of 500g was to appease the big dogs previously listed.  Red meat has shown to cause cancer, period.  There is no healthy limit then.   Granted, claims are correlative, but if there is a correlation between lung cancer and cigarettes, blame it on the cigarettes, dammit!

Healthy alternative suggestions?

Beans and legumes are great meat alternatives in wraps, chilis, or burgers.

Soy

Hummis

Vegetables for wraps, over pastas, stir-fried over rice

Portabello mushrooms as burger substitutes or on a sandwhich with hummis, lettuce, tomato, you get the drift

So many great tasting substitutions and when you miss the meat…try an Amy’s burger alternative or other brands, like Morningstar.

I Am A Vegetarian Recipe IV

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Could it get any easier?  This one is such a goodie!  A vegetarian diet is so easy to accomodate.  There are so many delicious recipes and so many ways to vegetize others.  So let’s get cooking!

This mildly adapted version of  Spaghetti with Shaved Veggies comes from the May, 2010 issue of  Womans Day Magazine (womansday.com)

Total cook and prep time, 25 min.

Serves 5

1 lb zucchini

1 lb peeled carrots

1 box of spaghetti

5 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Shaved parmesan

Boil pot of water with a pinch of salt to avoid sticking.

Shave the zucchini and carrots into ribbons using a vegetable peeler.

Cook pasta as directed on package.

Add the zucchini and carrots, cooking for 1 minute or until tender.  Remove and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the rest.

In the same pot as the pasta, melt the butter and add garlic.  Cook for less than a minute.  Remove from the heat.

Return pasta and vegetables to pot and add lemon juice, salt and pepper, toss.

Add some of the reserved pasta water until a thin sauce is created.  Top with Parmesan or Veggie Parmesan.

I Am A Vegetarian Recipe III

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The Chickpea, aka Garbanzo bean, is actually a legume that is low in fat and high in protein.  For those veggie blasters, most beans and legumes give our bodies the RDA of daily protein (so long as you incorporate them into your daily meal plan by the cup, easy if you use them as a meat replacement, such as a Chickpea Taco).  So there!  chickpeas are also high in fiber.  So I am here to offer a few oh so simple recipes that include the chickpea so you can make it a diet staple. 

One super easy recipe that I literally threw together in 12 minutes, including prep time was:

Cavatelli pasta which you boil for about 12 minutes.

Saute some broccoli florets in olive oil and chopped garlic.

Warm about 1/2 cup olive oil in separate pan so as not to saturate the broccoli.

Warm up chickpeas.

Throw everything together and voila!  Super fast, super healthy, no excuses not to offer the kids a good meal!

Another goodie which the hubby loves is Chickpea Tacos.

You will need 1 15 oz can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, avocado, 3 Tbsp. cilantro, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, salt and pepper to taste, Vegan non-dairy sour cream, salsa, 2 cups of your choice of lettuce and of course, taco shells.

Warm up chickpeas on medium heat.

Mash the avocado and add cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.

Add chickpeas to the mashed avocado mixture.

Let each exuberant taco recipient make their own taco.  Place the lettuce, salsa, sour cream and mixture in separate bowls.

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