Archive for the ‘Vegetarians’ Category

Another Reason To Eat Your Veggies

According to a new scientific study from the University of Oxford, vegetarians have new ammunition in their anti-meat crusade. The study claims that the risk of hospitalization or death from heart disease is 32 percent lower for vegetarians than for people who eat meat and fish.

The Oxford researchers examined 45,000 volunteers from England and Scotland, an enormous sample size. Of this group, 34 percent were vegetarian. This high proportion of vegetarians is rare, making this particular study unique in reaching its conclusion.

Other factors which contribute to heart disease such as age, smoking, alcohol, physical activity, socioeconomic background, and education level were taken into account. Afterwards, the researchers arrived at the figure of 32 percent, the amount of reduced risk of heart disease for vegetarians.

In the study, vegetarians had lower blood pressures and cholesterol levels, as well as a lower body mass index (BMI) and fewer cases of diabetes.

 

Source: Environmental News Network

Meatless Monday

Food for thought……

If you aren’t ready to commit to a vegetarian or vegan diet full time, consider opting for a meat-free meal once each week, which can save 84,000 gallons of water per year.

Source: Earth911

Wordless Wednesday

Lilac breasted Roller

Source: PhotoBoto.com

Meatless Monday

I have never had a veggie burger (turkey yes, veggie no) so I can’t weigh in on this one but I thought the commentary was pretty interesting. Enjoy!

 

 20100127-veggieburgers-tastetest.jpg

 

Even if you’re not a vegetarian, you’ve probably tried or at least eyed the veggie burgers in the frozen aisle.

I’ve been a vegetarian for over 25 years, and while fake meat doesn’t make up a big part of my diet, there is no denying that I’ve consumed an ungodly number of veggie burgers over the years. I thought it was high time to do a head-to-head taste test, so you could know what brand to buy when you have me over for a barbecue.

The ground rules for this tasting:

  • Only widely available national brands.
  • Only “original” or “flame-broiled” flavors (or the simplest flavor available).
  • Each burger would be prepared according to the package instructions.
  • Each burger would be tasted twice: once naked, and once with a bit of Heinz ketchup.

100126Veggie_Burger_Taste_Test.jpg

 

Frankly, I was a bit surprised at how bad most of them tasted without a bun, cheese, onions, and all the other fixins’. Maybe a burger made with top-notch meat doesn’t need much adornment, but these simulacra will benefit from big, bold-flavored condiments. Texture really is the critical element that makes a successful veggie burger.

Strangely, putting them out on six separate plates and using a mini legal pad to take notes didn’t confer quite the air of cool scientific detachment I was aiming for (should have gone for the lab coat). But here are my decidedly opinionated results. Let us know if you agree, disagree, or think we missed the best ones.

 

Best Overall

 

Morningstar Farms Grillers: These were my hands-down favorite. I know I haven’t eaten a real burger in a long time but these take me right back to the fast-food experience of my youth. Or maybe more like the school lunchroom experience. They are dark brown and meaty in texture with a more assertive soy flavor than the other brands, and no identifiable vegetable bits. This is the only one I would voluntarily eat without condiments.

 

Decent Runners-Up

 

Gardenburger Originals: Many folks associate this with the iconic “veggie burger.” They have a natural-tasting, mildly sweet flavor and a satisfying bite. The texture is more of mushrooms and grain than soy. Be sure to cook them thoroughly though, otherwise you risk a slime factor.

Boca Burgers Original Vegan: Though a little dryer than Gardenburger, it has a mild and pleasant taste. I give the nod to Gardenburger but choose Boca if you need vegan.

 

Hideous Smoke Flavor

 

Boca All-American Classic and Garden Burger Flame Grilled Vegan: In contrast to brands’ original varieties, these are appalling. The idea behind having a “smoke style” is to emulate a charcoal-grilled burger, right down to the grill marks. Unfortunately whatever they use for the smoke is acrid, bitter and chemical-tasting. Which is bizarre, since there are all manner of delicious, vegetarian smoked ingredients they could use instead. C’mon guys. Lose the chemistry lab and add some pimenton de la vera (smoked paprika), and you’d have a good product.

 

What Did I Do to Deserve This?

 

This has to be one of the worst things I’ve put in my mouth

Amy’s: And then there’s Amy’s. Now to be fair to Amy, I had to try the Amy’s Bistro Burger, which is gluten-free and vegan. Their All-American Veggie Burger contains walnuts, which can never darken our doorstep. Still and nonetheless, this has to be one of the worst things I’ve put in my mouth, and that includes the time my housemate blended some splinters off a wooden spoon right into the pesto. That I managed to try the second bite, with ketchup, is a testament to my dedication to you, the loyal reader.

But I digress. This patty, cooked in a skillet like all of the others, was spectacularly mushy, which in my book is unforgivable. Also, it is filled with bits of identifiable vegetables, including carrots. What this has to do with a burger, I can’t say.

Just sit there on the bun, tasting bland but providing a toothsome counterpoint to the condiments and we can get along. But go all soggy on me and gum up every bite, and you are banished. Banished I say.

Whats your favorite veggie burger?

Source: Serious Eats

Meatless Monday

Infographic: Vegetarianism

Source: Powered-by-Produce.com

Like this on Facebook

Meatless Mondays

J. I. Rodale, the man who launched the modern day organic movement in America published a list of the 11 healthiest foods in the world. And guess what….9 of them are meatless. Take a look at the list and let me know if you agree with his choices.

 (in no particular order)

 1.  Kelp – An edible form of brown algae, kelp contains more than just potassium. It’s rich in iodine, protein, magnesium, and other minerals at levels higher than most land vegetables. It’s also rich in the omega-3 fatty acid.

2.  Mushrooms – Mushrooms are not just healthy, they’re vital in boosting your immune system and preventing infections, and they’re becoming increasingly valuable tools in medicine, where research is finding that mushroom compounds can fight diseases such as breast cancer. To get the health benefits without the toxic chemicals used in growing commercial mushrooms — go organic.

3.  Coconut – Though high in saturated fat, coconut products, particularly coconut oil, are proving to be exceptionally healthy. Studies on populations that consume high quantities of coconut oil have found lower rates of heart disease, and coconut oil is one of very few sources of lauric acid, which helps your immune system fight bacterial and viral infections.

4.  Watercress – It’s not just an iron powerhouse. Scientists have also found that the antioxidants in watercress can battle breast and lung cancers, and a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating just three ounces a day boosts your levels of certain antioxidants by 100 percent.

 5.  Wild Berries – Wild berries, wild blueberries in particular, have higher levels of antioxidants than their cultivated counterparts. One Canadian study found that wild blueberries can counteract inflammation and insulin sensitivity, two factors that, when abnormal, can contribute to arthritis and diabetes.

6.  Wild Rice – Not technically a grain but a grass, wild rice is rich in protein, fiber and B vitamins. Since it grows wild, there is no need for toxic pesticides or water-polluting fertilizers, and it’s harvested in the least environmentally damaging way possible. Most “wild rice” on store shelves isn’t wild at all but a hybrid product cultivated in paddies. Keep an eye out for wild rice that’s actually wild, sold by companies like Eden Foods and Native Harvest.

7.  Maple Syrup – You need just a small amount of maple syrup to sweeten your coffee, baked goods, or oatmeal, and it’s actually good for you. Scientists recently discovered more than 50 compounds in maple syrup known to battle cancer and heart disease. Find organic maple syrup at any grocery store or visit your farmers market to get the good local stuff. Don’t fall for “pancake syrup” that’s mostly high-fructose corn syrup dyed brown with “maple flavoring” added.

8.  Honey – Honey is rich in antioxidants and is often used as an antiseptic treatment on wounds. It also contains phytoestrogens, and studies on Greek honey have found that those phytoestrogens can blunt the growth of breast, prostate and endometrial cancers. Honey also has a low glycemic index, so using it to sweeten tea or coffee won’t lead to energy-busting blood sugar drops later in the day.

9.  Nuts – Today, nuts are grown on trees raised in plantations that, unless certified organic, have resorted to heavy doses of chemical fertilizers. But find a certified-organic nut supplier, and you’ll get all the protein and minerals that J.I. valued without the extra dose of pesticides. In addition, walnuts and pine nuts are good sources for essential fatty acids that protect your brain, heart and bones.

Source: MNN

Meatless Monday

Vegans have a new option……..the Vegg. The world’s first vegan fried egg substitute. It’s meat-free, dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free. The Vegg can also be used to prepare almost any egg based recipe including pastas, cake, hollandaise sauce, French toast, “egg”nog, custard and ice cream. The Vegg which looks strikingly similar to a real egg is made using a molecular gastronomic technique (whatever that means).

 Fried Vegg

With all the perceived benefits I wonder if there are some unspoken consequences as well. Are you willing to try the Vegg?  

Source: MNN.com