2. Consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens and dark orange vegetables plus good sources of vitamin C like peppers, citrus fruit, and strawberries.
3. Get most of your fat from healthy sources, like nuts and nut butters, avocados, seeds, and moderate amounts of oils. Be sure to eat a good source of the essential omega-3 fat ALA found in flaxseed, hempseed, canola oil, and walnuts.
4. Eat three cups of calcium-rich foods every day including fortified plant milks, fortified juices, tofu made with calcium sulfate, and cooked kale, collards, bok choy, or turnip greens (double the amount of greens if you eat raw greens instead of cooked).
5. Don’t shun supplements. All vegans need vitamin B12 from supplements or fortified foods. Most also need a supplement of vitamin D, at least during the winter months. You may wish to consider vegan DHA and EPA supplements. If you don’t regularly use iodized salt, it’s prudent to take an iodine supplement. Vegan.com maintains a supplements page that provides current and helpful information for all these nutrients.
The Digital Devil told me I had dipped below 173 and I’m resisting the urge to overthink this. I can’t explain this bizarre behavior. It’s just part of my makeup, a tiny piece of me that tends to repeat over and over and over again. If the number goes up I’ll try to figure out why. If the number goes down my mind does the same thing. Why? Why is my weight going down? Is this merely a random fluctuation or can I pinpoint a reason for my successful weight loss/maintenance? As I wandered the internet I found a website post that had the answer I had been searching for.
Soup. I’ve eating more soup.
Laura Wright is a vegan cookbook author and blogger based in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, Canada. Her most recent post is 25 Vegan Soup Recipes and can be accessed at https://thefirstmess.com/. To be clear I haven’t tried any of these recipes yet but I needed a reminder to do so. Thus this post and link.
It’s like a giant Sticky Note that says “Hey, try these recipes. Also don’t forget you already bought her cookbook and it’s sitting on your eCookbook shelf.”
Guttenberg New Jersey is a tiny town on the Hudson River. Guttenberg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guttenberg,_New_Jersey) was where I first tasted Guacamole. I was in my early 20’s and a restaurant on the river named The Lighthouse was reported to have the best Fettuccine Alfredo in the state. So if a restaurant had the best fettuccine I had to go. The night I went the crowd was out the door and everyone was shuffled into the bar so that the business could sell more alcohol while you waited patiently for a table that was probably empty the entire time you were waiting. As I made my way to the bar atop the counter sat a large bowl filled with green stuff.
“What the hell is that?”
The bartender gave me a look like what planet do you live on and said,
“What the hell is Guacamole?”
Realizing I was a true Yankee who lacked any sense of cultural awareness outside of the NY-NJ area his tone softened.
“Avocado dip. You eat it with chips.”
Next to the bowl of green stuff was a bowl of chips. I still didn’t know what Guacamole was because I didn’t know what an avocado was. My educational enhancement options at the time were limited in the pre-Internet, pre-cellphone days and the bartender left to serve someone else who was more likely to spend more money on alcohol. I wasn’t getting enough information to discern what the green stuff actually was. I remember grabbing what I thought was a potato chip, took a dip, and ate Guacamole for the very first time in my life. Funny to think back on this because I recall nothing about the Guacamole. All I remember was the chip.
When the bartender came back hoping I would finally order an beverage I asked,
“What the hell kind of chip is that?”
And with an attitude of this guy is asking too many questions and wasting my time he went off to serve someone else. Thus ends the story of my first encounter with Guacamole and CORN chips. I wouldn’t have any more such encounters until I moved to Texas and tried Mexican (actually Tex-Mex) food. But this is another story altogether.
BTW I love Guacamole now and I know what a corn chip is.
Asian Inspired Guacamole
3 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled
1/2 large lime fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons medium red onion, minced
1 medium sized tomato, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Scoop the avocado into a small mixing bowl.
Squeeze most (but not all) of the lime juice over the fruit.
With a fork or a spoon mash the avocado but leave some small chunks (for chunkiness).
Fold in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Sample for seasoning and adjust to your taste.
Serve with CORN chips.
I take a paper towel and gently drain the tomatoes before adding to the fruit. The paper towel will absorb excess juice, pulp, and seeds. This dip is basically the kid version and is very mild. The adult version can be bold. I usually add several dashes of hot sauce. Fresh garlic and jalapeño peppers will also give a nice kick. Remember the most but not all part of the lime juice? If you’re not serving immediately, squeeze some lime juice over the top of the dip (don’t mix in) and stick it in the fridge. This will help delay oxidation. No one likes brown Guacamole.
Stillwater, OK is home to Oklahoma State University, about 46,000 residents, and exactly one vegan company: the Beet Box food truck. While vegan options can be found all over the country, it’s true that some areas want for plant-based eats more than others. Randon Moore and Gwnyeth Yvonne were two vegan college students who decided to fill this gap in Stillwater, and their efforts resulted in the city’s number one food truck (that just happens to be vegan).
Black soldier fly larvae contains more zinc and iron than lean meat and its calcium content is higher than milk. Less than half a hectare of black soldier fly larvae can produce more protein than cattle grazing on around 1200 hectares, or 52 hectares of soybeans. New research has identified the barriers for introducing fly protein into Western human diets as a sustainable, healthy alternative to both meat and plant proteins.
Well I pulled one off the griddle and tried it. I froze the rest and heated one up for lunch today. It was good…but not great hence the RIP (recipe in progress) tag. I made a sandwich on whole wheat and swirled some Sriracha mayo on it and the burger tasted better than last night. The burger is missing something and we’ll just leave this as a RIP and keep experimenting. Definitely needs more heat. Maybe some corn kernels to balance the heat. I’m also thinking of fresh onion and garlic, not the powders which would make this burger less of a pantry mash up but oh well. Here’s where we stand today.
I ate the last of probably five or six of these “burgers” which were in the freezer. The good news is they freeze well and taste OK. The bad news is they taste just OK so now this recipe is being retired. RIP now stands for Rest in Peace. I’ve decided they are not very “burger-like” and more like sweet potato and black bean cakes with herbs and spices. This is the final update as this recipe goes up on the shelf along with any recipes from The Stack Project – Lasagne Stack Update 04.15.15. The Stack Project contained just one experiment Lasagne Stacks which also were just OK.
The look on my face must have revealed my aching soul. Maybe it was the numerous trips to the pantry or the multiple freezer checks. We had plenty of food to survive on but nothing I really wanted or cared to eat. The truth was I needed to cook. I needed some fresh foods to cook with. Ultimately she relented.
“You can go to the store and shop with the old people. You will wear a mask and keep your distance from everyone else in the store. You will not wander up and down the aisles like you usually do. You will not shower before going. When you come back you will wash your hands for 20 seconds then put the groceries away. Disinfect the items you think need disinfecting. The plastic bags will not be recycled. They will go into the garbage. You will then go into the laundry room where you will strip down and put your clothes into the washing machine. Then and only then you go to our bathroom to decontaminate.”
Senior Time at the grocery store is 7-8:00 AM. There were not many shoppers. The customers were all wearing masks, some had both masks and gloves on. But most of the employees were not wearing any masks or gloves. We know the mask wearing thing is more about not spreading virus if you’re infected and less effective for personal protection (though the latest scientific guidance is that masks do offer some level of personal protection). So is setting a specific time for a high risk group to shop at the same time and NOT have employees wear masks smart? It would take just one infected worker and s(he) could take out a number of the oldies. Just a thought. But everyone in the store respected each other’s space and kept their appropriate physical distance.
We began sheltering in place behavior one week before our state formally declared a shutdown. Minus two days in Owasso, Oklahoma (the trip was taken with the expectation a lock down would be ordered) we have been home for a month. Welcome to The Pandemic Greater Depression. At our home we are fortunate to both have jobs. Many, many others are not as fortunate and the road ahead will be hard. Despite the fact we have a roof over our heads and food on the table the new era Depression mentality has set in. I call the new mindset Forced Frugality. The grocery store trip was interesting. Some of the supply chain issues are resolved and the shelves look better. Still no paper products and some of the shortages (like frozen pizza) are just plain strange. There were arrows on the floor in an attempt to direct traffic. I learned that some people don’t know how to follow arrows. And despite clear instructions not to wander the aisles I pretty much went down every aisle because you never know what you’re going to find (or not find). I found this:
$0.59 for organic dark red kidney beans and $0.84 for organic corn!
Today’s lunch side was a simple corn and bean salad. Here it is.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 celery rib, tiny dice
1/4 cup red onion, tiny dice
pinch or two dried basil
a splash of fresh lemon juice
1 can organic dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can organic corn, drained and rinsed
1 to 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Whisk olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic powder and basil in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Adjust your seasonings. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
Add your vegetables and beans. Stir and mix thoroughly.
Add a splash of fresh lemon juice.
Serve as a side dish or over some fresh greens. This size recipe makes around four servings.
Sugar is only needed to counteract the acidity in the dressing. You might not need nor want any sugar at all. I wanted to put some red bell pepper into this dish but there were none to be found at the store.
Here’s a list of pantry items. Hopefully you have many if not all on hand as we shelter in place.
Pandemic Pantry Items – Updated 04.18.20
Canned tomatoes in 14.5 and 28 ounce cans. Diced, crushed, diced with green chilies and stewed
Extra virgin olive oil
Brown and white sugar
Dried oregano, basil, and parsley
Onion and garlic powders
Dried beans such as brown and green lentils, pinto, black, adzuki, mayocabo, yellow and green split peas, black eye peas and cranberry
Canned beans such as garbanzos, black, black eye peas, pinto, great northern, navy
Broth, vegetable, beef, chicken
Rice – multiple varieties like basmati, brown, Texmati, arborio and plain long grain white
Flour tortillas and corn tortillas
Stay safe, stay well, stay home.
And if you do venture out of the house wear a mask.