Curried Splitpeas

I’m between paychecks right now so most of my meals lately have consisted of legumes and pulses. Last night I started soaking split peas and right now I’m making curry split pea soup from memory because my copy of Vegan With a Vengeance is in storage. Not sure if it will taste as good as last time but it smells great.

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4th of July at an English Pub.

So my 30th birthday was June 30th and my mom decided to take my sister and me out for brunch a few days late. My birthday got lumped in with 4th of July a lot when I was a kid too.
We were supposed to go to Orphan but left the house late and there was a line down the street by the time we found the place. While mom was trying to think of a different place to go my sister suggested The Fox & Goose so we went there.

I hadn’t been there in several years but aside from being loud (4th of July and a World Cup game playing) I had a pretty good time.

They have “creative tofu” on the menu which is basically a tofu scramble you can add all the stuff you can add to an omelette. I ordered the tofu with salsa and avocado, toast with jam, potatoes and a cup of Earl Grey. Next time I may have more stuff in my “omelette” and see if they have any vegan beer.

Sorry for not posting pictures, I still don’t have a working laptop or camera.

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On Lierre Keith and “The Vegetarian Myth”

Someone on facebook shared a youtube video that was an interview with Lierre Keith who wrote The Vegetarian Myth, saying “I implore each and every one of you to take the time to watch this invaluably important video. I do not wish to start any kind of debate. But this information could save your life.” I rolled my eyes and shared a link to a review by a Registered DIetician and was completely dismissed as having an agenda. It was fallowed by comments saying how grains are horrible for you and you NEED meat to be healthy and Weston Price is awesome. I shouldn’t be surprised, I did make the choice to comment with a different opinion and the comment section on any site is not a great place for discussions of any kind.

I’ll be honest I do get very angry when people insist you need meat and claim veganism or vegetarianism is inherently unhealthy, but I do try my best to provide accurate information on the subject. It bothers me that people makes all these claims citing her book or Weston Price neither of whom have training in nutrition, but imply that I’m just clinging to an ideology or have an agenda when I share a link to the site of a Registered Dietician who does have an actual background in Nutrition.

My main problem with Lierre Keith is the fact that she admitted in interviews that she ignored research that didn’t fit her ideology when she was vegetarian, claimed to be vegan while admitting she frequently ate eggs and dairy but still blamed veganism for her health problems. She also claims that agriculture and grains are horrible for people and the environment, but neglects to mention that most of those evil crops are grown to feed the animals (even organic ones) that she advocates eating.

Links from people refuting Lierre Keith and The Vegetarian Myth:

http://theveganrd.com/2010/09/review-of-the-vegetarian-myth.html

http://philosophicaloverview.blogspot.com/2010/09/lierre-keiths-vegetarian-myth-nostalgie.html

 

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Vegan on the Cheap: Beans and lentils

Money has been rediculously tight for me the past few months, tight like this afternoon I spent the the last $4 in my checking account on a bag of dry lentils and some day old rolls so I can have stew for dinner tonight. The past week beans have been a godsend for my meal planning. I’ve come across several people who seem to think beans are horrible for you either because they’re a dreaded carbohydrate, people don’t trust the cans they come in, or because the have “anti nutrients”. I usually just make sure to rinse them off if they’re canned to get the salt or any additives off and the supposed antinutrients can be taken care of just by soaking the dry beans before cooking them. 

Beans  and other legumes like lentils are wonderful and should be a dietary staple whether you’re vegan or not. They ARE a staple in most cultures. They are high in protein, fiber, iron, and folic acid. They are also low in fat, low glycemic index, a COMPLEX carbohydrate and low in cost. They’re one of the best foods for someone on a budget.

When people say going vegan is too expensive, I assume they’re thinking of packaged veggie burgers, quinoa, soy milk costing more than cow milk. In my experience soy milk cost more than regular milk but less than organic “grass fed” cow milk. I can understand thinking that when you see a pound of quinoa for $7.78 (that’s the exact price I saw when I bought the lentils) and chicken’s $2.99. If you’re worried about cost I’d go for regular food you’re familiar with that happens to be vegan before fancy “health food” like quinoa. I have no problem with eating quinoa. When I compared labels it was more nutrient dense than the brown rice but less nutrient dense than the lentils. I just don’t think the benefits outweigh the price tag when I can get five times the amount of rice or legumes for the same price. 

Links on beans and vegan diets:

http://theveganrd.com/2014/02/plant-protein-why-vegan-diets-need-beans.html 

http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=beans 

 

 

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Vegan Cheese

I was at the Grocery Outlet in Midtown yesterday and found blocks of Go Veggie rice based cheese for 99 cents, so I decided to try some of the cheddar kind. This morning I chopped some up and put it in a burrito that I made for breakfast, taking a bite before heating it up. Later on I grated some and fried a tortilla.  It tastes just ok cold, better melted. It seems to melt better grated than sliced.

It’s not bad as far as fake cheese goes, although I prefer Daiya. It melts ok, there’s no soy or gluten if you’re trying to avoid those particular things. It’s also calcium fortified, something I like that doesn’t seem to be done with other cheeses.

Another cheese related thing my sister tried a few days ago is a cashew mac & cheese recipe from Isa Moskowitz that turned out pretty well.  http://youtube.com/watch?v=aSCctmKFgUO

Other vegan cheese links:

http://nacheez.com Locally made cashew based spicy cheese

http://buzzfeed.com/leonoraepstein/vegan-cheeses-that-will-make-you-forget-about-the-real-th  Recipes I keep meaning to try.

 

If anyone wants to share a favorite vegan brand or recipe, feel free to post in the comments.

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Refuting “Why You Should Think Twice About Vegetarian and Vegan Diets”

Once again I’ve come across an acquaintance on facebook posting about how bad vegan diets are and I’m writing a blog to refute another article. This is a different woman than the one who posted about bacon being a superfood. This one I haven’t been friends with for a while because she generally has a volatile attitude online. Her status update that went along with the link was as follows:

To all those vegans (and some vegetarians) who think they are better than I, either due to their standard of morale, or think they have a one up on me nutrient wise…Bitch! You’ve just been Slapped!

This is the link we’ve apparently been “Slapped!” by. Some of the points I’ve already refuted in my “Bacon A Superfood?” post. http://chriskresser.com/why-you-should-think-twice-about-vegetarian-and-vegan-diets

The article starts of with stating that vegans are B12 deficient saying that 83% of vegans are deficient compared to 5% of omnivores. The study the article sited said 83% deficiency “was found in subjects who did not consume vitamins.” So as far as I can tell from the study linked to the article they found 29 vegans who did not supplement B12. It’s pretty common logic among vegans that we should take a B12 supplement. Even the most basic Google search will tell you this. The numbers in the article indicate that there is a 5% rate of B12 deficiency among omnivores and that 17% of non supplemented vegans were not deficient. So while B12 deficiency is more common among vegans who don’t supplement it with vitamins or fortified foods, it is certainly not restricted to vegans.

On Calcium, they say calcium from plants is impractical because you would need 16 servings of spinach to get the calcium in one cup of milk. There are many plant sources of calcium besides spinach, along with fortified foods. Foods fortified with calcium are soy, almond and rice milk, nondairy yogurt, fortified orange juice, cereal bars and many brands of tofu.

Links on alternatives to milk:

http://www.theveganrd.com/2013/08/vegan-diets-for-healthy-bones-2.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/25/calcium-food-sources_n_1451010.html#slide=903290

http://youtu.be/x_CAqpBnd5E

http://youtu.be/31HtLa78nPo

On Iron, they list dairy products as one thing that blocks iron absorption right after they implied dairy was a superior source of calcium than plant foods. I’m going to do a post in the future specifically on iron but I’m going to give a bit of personal experience here. When I was a kid a doctor told my mom I was anemic. I ate quite a bit of beef as a kid, but not many legumes or leafy greens. In my adult life I have donated blood religiously and they check iron levels every time I donate. There have only been two instances in the past decade when my iron was slightly too low to be able to donate. But it has never been low enough for me to be diagnosed with anemia.

On Vitamins A and D. The article says to get the same amount of Vitamin A from getting one serving of liver per week a person would need to eat 2 cups of carrots, 1 cup of sweet potatoes, or 2 cups of kale each day. I really fail to see how having to eat more vegetables is a problem. Carrots, sweet potatoes and kale are excellent things to be eating regardless of whether or not you eat meat or dairy. Carrots and kale are ok on Paleo diets as far as I know. And I don’t know many people who eat liver at all, yet alone one serving every single week.

The article frequently points out that vegans having to supplement nutrients and make sure our food is fortified but when it brings up Vitamin D it says nothing about the fact that many people get Vitamin D from milk when Vitamin D doesn’t occur naturally in cows milk. It has to be fortified with it since the early 20th century.

I think it’s a bit odd that this article keeps saying that you need to supplement like it’s a bad thing, being that the woman who shared it worked at a local General Nutrition Center for a few years.

Edit: I found a blogpost from The Vegan Registered Dietician going a bit more indepth than I did on the article http://theveganrd.com/2014/03/dont-think-twice-about-going-vegan.html

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Curry, Burger :)

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