Sweet Jewel

女王の輝き (Queen of Shine)

美しい謎 (Beautiful Mystery)

太陽の花 (Sun Flower)

祝福 (Blessed)

The sweets are made to the same cut as the real diamonds. They are available for a limited time in Japan.

Meatless Burger with Black Bean


1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 of 15-ounce can dark kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
2 large egg whites
1 tbsp canola oil
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
4 tomato slices 4 lettuce leaves
4 lime wedges


1/2 ripe medium avocado, peeled and pitted
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Place mayonnaise ingredients in a blender, secure lid, and puree until smooth.
  2. Place beans in a gallon-size resealable bag. Using a meat mallet, pound beans to a coarse texture, until they resemble lumpy mashed potatoes.
  3. Place mashed beans in a medium bowl and add bell pepper, oats, egg whites, canola oil, and cayenne pepper. Mix well and shape into four patties.
  4. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add patties and cook 4 minutes on each side or until they begin to lightly brown. The patties will be fragile, so be sure to to turn them gently.
  5. To assemble, spoon 1 tbsp mayonnaise mixture on each bun half. Top each bottom bun with burger, onion, a tomato slice, and a lettuce leaf. Place bun tops over each. Serve with lime wedges.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Heart-smart Diabetes Kitchen

Vegan on a Shoestring

Kitty Jones wrote . . . .

A common misconception about being vegan is that it is expensive. Some vegan diets can be pricey, just as some omnivorous diets can be expensive. One could easily be vegan on a low-income and may even find it cheaper than buying animal products. There are many ways to save money and maintain a healthy vegan diet. The key to saving money is to buy in bulk. Some stores like Fred Meyers, Safeway, Costco, and Whole Foods have bulk bins. Bulk bins are big containers of food that allow you to open them up and fill up bags with the specific amount of food that you want. However, you can also order products directly from companies and get discounts for buying in bulk. If you order direct, you also avoid the additional mark-up prices at the store. Find out if there is a food cooperative (co-op) or health food store near you. They most likely have bulk bins and you can often ask to order products through them. Though be wary that bulk bins are not always less expensive.

Co-ops are also great businesses to support! For example, every few months I order a large 25-pound bag of oatmeal from my local food co-op. By doing so I save 20% off what it would cost to buy oatmeal in their bulk bins, and I would guess about 50-60% off what it would cost to buy boxes of those single-serving oatmeal packets. You can do the same with rice, flour, raisins, beans, granola, chickpeas, and other staples that you use a lot of. These items store very well and will last a long time.

Shopping at the farmers market can also be cheaper than shopping at the store. A study found that organic or not, produce from the farmers market was often cheaper than conventional produce at the grocery store. Though this is not true everywhere. Farmers markets often accept food stamps, as well.

For vegan milks, there are powdered soymilk and rice milk. I like Better Than Milk (btmsoymilk.com). They make both rice and soy. All you need to do is mix the powder with water. There are directions on the package. It is very cost-effective to buy powdered soymilk as compared to buying ready-to-drink cartons of it. If you’re feeling adventurous, I highly recommend making your own alternative milks too. Buy a jar of almond butter and mix ¼ cup of it with six cups of water in a blender cup. Add sugar to taste and blend. This milk should last about 10 days in the fridge, and if you add a little bit of sugar and a little bit of salt, it will last longer. Note that if you mix your own milk, you won’t have the same fortification as store bought items.

The cost of eating out can add up. It’s not only cheaper, but can also be really fun to cook your food from scratch. Cooking for yourself doesn’t have to be time-consuming, and it helps to prepare in advance. For example, if you want to make chili tonight or tomorrow, start soaking the beans now. Oh, here’s another suggestion: buy dry, bulk beans, not canned ones because canned ones are more expensive! I suggest cooking large batches of whatever it is you’re making and saving portions of it for lunch for the next few days. You might save time by using appliances like a rice cooker, slow cooker, or blender for some things (and there are plenty of used and cheap ones on craigslist.org). I cook so much of my own food that I often invite my friends to cook with me. We frequently have vegan potlucks where everyone cooks something to share. With potlucks you have fun cooking and also learn other peoples’ recipes.

There are several books and blogs about being vegan and on a budget. One very popular book is Eat Vegan on $4 a Day by Ellen Jones. There’s also Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson.

I’m on a very limited income. This is what I ate last week. Some of the items included free food given to me. I vary my food according to what is available. For low income individuals, free food may include food pantries, Food Not Bombs, food to be discarded, and other alternative networks.


  • steel-cut oatmeal
  • 5 apples
  • 5 chard wraps (with sweet potato, miso, arugula, and garlic)
  • brown rice bowl (with soy sauce, sweet potato, plantain)
  • 3 slices of whole wheat bread
  • huge salad


  • steel-cut oatmeal
  • homemade onion rings
  • 3 apples
  • 2 bananas
  • huge salad
  • 2 whole wheat tortilla wraps (brown rice, black beans, cashew cheese, and lettuce)


  • sweet potato soup (with kale, brown rice, and garbanzo beans)
  • huge salad *free from garden
  • Homemade pancakes
  • chickpea saag
  • chips and salsa
  • red bean chili


  • Homemade pancakes
  • roasted garbanzo beans
  • 16-ounce kale/banana smoothie
  • veggie stir-fry (tofu, cabbage, onion, and kale)


  • 1 watermelon
  • 1 honey dew melon
  • hummus and kale sandwich
  • 2 bowls white bean chili
  • 3 slices whole wheat bread


  • 2 bowls Mesa Sunrise cereal
  • 1 orange
  • 2 apples
  • 16-ounce kale/banana smoothie
  • 4 bowls white bean chili
  • baked/breaded tofu


  • about 100 strawberries
  • hummus and kale sandwich
  • salad (with figs and pistachios)
  • whole wheat cabbage dumplings
  • 3 apples
  • 2 bowls Mesa Sunrise cereal
  • steel-cut oatmeal

A little chocolate some days and Nutritional yeast. I eat about 1 tablespoon to ¼ cup each day.


These menus are not necessarily perfect nutrition, but based on the reality of access for one low income person.

Source: The Vegetarian Resource Group

Semi-veggie Diet Effectively Lowers Heart Disease, Stroke Risk

A pro-vegetarian diet – one that has a higher proportion of plant-based foods compared to animal-based foods is linked to lower risks of dying from heart disease and stroke, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association EPI/Lifestyle 2015 meeting.

In an observational study, researchers analyzed the eating and lifestyle habits of 451,256 Europeans. People who ate the most pro-vegetarian style diets (≥70 percent of food coming from plant sources) had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared to those who were the least pro-vegetarian (<45 percent).

“A pro-vegetarian diet doesn’t make absolute recommendations about specific nutrients. It focuses on increasing the proportion of plant based foods relative to animal-based foods, which results in an improved nutritionally balance diet,” said Camille Lassale, Ph.D., lead author and an epidemiologist at Imperial College London’s School of Public Health.

Participants were part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, started in 1992. The study included nearly half a million people from 10 countries who were free of chronic diseases at the start of the study, 35 to 70 years and followed for 12 years on average. Information was collected on their height, weight, food consumption by self-reported food frequency questionnaires, lifestyle and physical activity habits. Causes, and dates of death were obtained from record linkages with boards of health, and active follow-up of participants.

Researchers scored participants based on the types of foods they ate. Points were given for eating foods from seven plant food groups: vegetables, fruit, beans, cereals, potatoes, nuts, and olive oil. Points were subtracted for five animal food groups: meats, animal fats, eggs, fish, and other seafood or dairy products.

Based on their scores, participants were categorized from the least pro-vegetarian to the most. The results were adjusted for age at the start of the study, gender, daily calories, body mass index, smoking status, physical activity, education, alcohol intake and study center.

Researchers analyzed the relationship between eating habits and death risks from heart disease and stroke.

“Instead of drastic avoidance of animal-based foods, substituting some of the meat in your diet with plant-based sources may be a very simple, useful way to lower cardiovascular mortality,” said Lassale. These findings are in line with the wealth of evidence on benefits of eating plant foods to prevent CVD.

Source: American Heart Association

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