Monthly Archives: March 2013

Banana Bread

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” -Paul McCartney

I love banana bread.  As a kid I used to hide the bananas so that they would ripen too much and my mom would have to make banana bread.  I make my banana bread with whole wheat flour so it will be darker in appearance than traditional banana bread.  It also makes it trickier to tell when it is done so be sure to check it with a toothpick because it make look finished before it is ready.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease the bottom of an 8×4-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir sugar and butter until well mixed.  Stir in bananas, cream, and vanilla; beat with spoon until smooth.  Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt until well moistened. Pour into cake pan.
  3. Bake for about an hour, a toothpick in the middle should come out clean.

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Lentil Soup

Animal products contain large quantities of saturated fat and cholesterol and have no dietary fiber.  The U.S. Surgeon General has stated that 68 percent of all diseases are diet related.  A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains (free from animal products) can prevent, improve, and sometimes cure breast cancer, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, impotence, and obesity.

So I didn’t know I was such a huge fan of lentil soup until I was back in my hometown over winter break.  I went to one of my favorite Greek restaurant’s and it turned out that their special included a free cup of soup with any entrée.  Lentil was the only vegetarian option so I went for it.  Turns out I LOVE lentil soup!  Tonight was my first time making it and I derived my recipe from 3 different recipes that I found in cook-books and the Internet.  It turned out DELICIOUS 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 redskin potato, cut into bite size chunks
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 tomato diced or sliced
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 lb (16 oz) dried lentils
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t basil
  • 2 cups kale, peel into small pieces stems optional, spinach can be a substitute for kale
  • pepper

Prep Time: 12 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

  1. Cook olive oil, celery, onion, carrots, garlic, potato, and salt on the stove for about 5-8 minutes so the onions and potatoes start to change colors.  Stir the veggies occasionally.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, tomato, lentils, and seasonings.  Simmer for an hour, and stir occasionally.
  3. After an hour, add kale or spinach and cook for another 5-8 minutes. Add pepper to taste.

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Stop “Monsanto Protection Act”

Stop “Monsanto Protection Act”

The senate passed Section 735 because of Monsanto and other biotech firm lobbyists.  It will expand their ability to grow genetically engineered crops that are bad for your health, the environment, and our economy.  The link above will direct you to more information and a place to sign your name on a letter that will be sent to the President and your state representatives.  It can still be modified or denied hopefully from public outrage.  

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Beer Battered Asparagus with Lemon Herb Dipping Sauce

Producing 1 pound of feedlot steak results in the loss of 35 pounds of topsoil. It takes 200 to 1,000 years to form 1 inch of topsoil.

I made this a few months ago from a recipe I found on Pinterest, and it was delicious.  Now you can make this with a deep fryer, but I made it a skillet.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • lemon zest from one lemon
  • 1 can beer
  • 1 bunch washed and trimmed asparagus
  • vegetable oil
  1. Heat the oil, it will be ready when it starts to ripple.
  2. To make the batter whisk the flour, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. After it is mixed add the beer.
  3. Dip the asparagus in the batter, then place in the hot oil.  Fry until golden brown.
  4. To keep them warm if you are using a small skillet you can place the fried asparagus on a lined cookie sheet in the oven at 200 while you fry the rest.

Lemon Herb Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • pinch of salt

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Forks Over Knives

“Let food be thy medicine.” -Hippocrates

This is an excellent documentary (on Netflix) about the problems with the American diet.  We pay $2.2 trillion on health care each year, which is more per person than any other industrialized nation, yet we are the most unhealthy.  Forty percent of Americans are obese.  We are so dependent on pills as a solution to our diseases.  Really the solution is as simple as eliminating or nearly eliminating meat products and refined food (flour, sugars, and oils).

Food that comes from animals (meat, dairy, eggs) causes so many diseases such as cancer and heart disease.  There is data from the occupation of Norway by Germany when the Germans took all of their farm animals to supply their army.  The rate of diseases plummeted during the occupation because they were not consuming animal products.  After the occupation meat and dairy consumption resumed and diseases began climbing again.   They have even found that a plant based diet can reverse cancers and other diseases.  So it is never too late to become a vegetarian/vegan!!

This documentary compares studies on humans and rats over the past few decades.  It also follows a few people as they switch their diets to a whole foods and plant based diets.  There is also data that the higher the dairy consumption the higher the osteoporosis.  That is exactly the opposite of what the dairy industry has been trying to tell us for decades!

This documentary really makes me want to go beyond a vegetarian and become vegan.  Maybe I can start to be vegan 5 days a week 😉 It is very, very interesting and I encourage you to watch it!

Forks Over Knives Official Trailer

 

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Messina Salad

Each year, an estimated 125,000 square miles of rainforest are permanently destroyed, bringing about the extinction of approximately 1,000 plant and animal species.

So I got the idea, and the name, of this salad from Biaggi’s restaurant.  They are an Italian restaurant chain. It is a light, refreshing salad.  Plus, the olive oil helps you take in more of the spinach’s carotenoids, antioxidants that boost eye and skin health. Just mix the following ingredients to make the salad and salad dressing.

  • Spinach
  • Capers
  • Kalamata olives (I prefer sliced)
  • Feta cheese (omit and it is vegan!)
  • Cucumber slices
  • Sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Chia seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Pepper

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Vegetarian Burger with Feta and Banana Peppers

World livestock production is now a significant factor in the emission of two of the four global warming gasses: carbon dioxide and methane.  Every steak we eat has the same effect as a 25-mile drive in a typical American car.

I like to make this when I am in a hurry because it only takes 5 minutes to prepare.  These veggie burgers cost around $5 and includes 4 patties.  I am not a fan of burger buns so I use whole wheat bread for my sandwiches.  I toast a piece of bread while I prepare the patty in a skillet (follow the directions on the box).  After I flip the patty I sprinkle feta cheese on the burger and cover the skillet to help the cheese to melt.  On the toast I spread a pepperocini sandwich spread that I bought (Mezzetta brand).  Then place the patty on the toast and voila lunch is served.

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Bok Choy Asian Salad

One acre of prime land can produce many pounds of edible product. For example: 30,000 lbs of apples, 40,000 lbs of potatoes, 50,000 lbs of tomatoes, OR 250 lbs of beef

Bok choy is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K.  It is also full of antioxidants that help protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers.  Bok choy can also be considered a “zero or negative” calorie food because 100 grams is only 13 calories.  Bok choy is popular among chinese dishes, but can be added to salads, sandwiches, and soups too.

Salad Ingredients

  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • 1 package of ramen noodles (don’t use the seasoning)
  • 1.5 oz sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 head bok choy cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 green onions sliced (entire vegetable)

Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sesame oil (I did a little less than 1/2 cup, you can use other oils too if sesame is not available)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce

This recipe made about 4 salads with salad dressing left over.  Cut up washed bok choy (use both the leafy parts and the white stalks) and green onions.  In a skillet brown the almonds, sesame seeds, and the crunchy ramen noodles with the butter.  Constantly stir it so it doesn’t burn.  When it is done browning put it on a plate or a container so it doesn’t keep cooking in the pan.  For the salad dressing whisk the rice vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce first so the sugar dissolves.  Then add the oil and whisk. The recipe I followed called for 1 cup of sugar, but that sounded like way too much for my taste.  Then toss the crunchy topping, bok choy, green onions, and the salad dressing. Total prep time was about 10-15 minutes.

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