Video: Making Vegetarian Ma Por Tofu from Scratch

Watch video at You Tube (5:25 minutes) . . . . .

Vegan Farro Risotto


2 vegetable flavored bouillon cubes
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 leek, sliced (white and light green parts only)
3 garlic cloves minced
4 oz shiitakes, stemmed and sliced
1/2 cup dry white or red wine
2 cups farro
4 strips of meyer lemon peel
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon miso
juice of 1/2 meyer lemon


  1. In a small pot over low heat, whisk the bouillon cubes in 4 cups of water until dissolved. Cover the pot and keep at a low simmer.
  2. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the leeks for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms and garlic, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. Add the farro then pour in the wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring, for about 1-2 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Turn the heat down to low. Add 1 cup of broth along with the thyme and lemon peels. Cook while stirring until the broth has been absorbed and the bottom of the pot is dry. Repeat this process, adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time until absorbed, stirring constantly.
  6. When there is only 1/2 cup of broth remaining (it should take take about 30-35 minutes to get to this step), remove and discard the thyme sprigs and lemons peels. Add the final 1/2 cup of broth and stir in the miso.
  7. Right before serving, stir in the lemon juice.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Source: Vegan Magazine

Starbucks in U.K. Releases 4 New Vegan Menu Items Nationwide

Charlotte Pointing wrote . . . . . . .

International coffee giant Starbucks has released 4 new vegan options in its UK stores, and according to one branch, there is more to come from the chain.

Two new wraps are now available, one with sweet potato falafel, mixed vegetables, tomato salsa, and rainbow slaw, and another with kale, jalapenos, and slaw, along with a new raspberry cake, and a new fruit pot with mango and lime. The new menu additions join Starbucks’ existing vegan food options, a BBQ jackfruit wrap and a grilled veg salad bowl.

The new product launches come after the chain’s executive and founder, Howard Schultz, named vegan food a huge opportunity for the brand at the Seeds and Chips Summit in Milan, a global food innovation conference.

Across the UK, many chains and independent restaurants have been adding more and more vegan options to their menus. Fellow coffee giant, Costa Coffee, announced the launch of new plant-based choices in February and the Three Bean vegan wrap debuted in stores in May. “Every major coffee chain in the UK will [now] offer a vegan lunch option,” said Animal Aid campaign manager, Tod Bradbury, after Costa announced the additions. He continued, “this shows how much veganism is growing, and how mainstream it has become.”

Further, recently, major hospitality group, Greene King, launched a full-scale vegan menu. The pub chain will now offer customers a chickpea and sweet potato curry, a Mexican bean burger, and more. Plant-based fish and chips will also be available, served with vegan fish supplied by VBites, a vegan and veggie brand founded by entrepreneur Heather Mills.

“Meat reducers and flexitarians can now enjoy the iconic traditional fish and chips with a clear conscience as they enjoy the UK’s first truly sustainable ‘fish’ made entirely from plant-based ingredients,” VBites said in a statement. “The contaminants in our oceans are finding their way into the food chain. Through taste-obsessed development, the ‘Making Waves’ range proves some delicious, truly revolutionary alternatives to real fish, which look and taste the same, but without harming any fish, or our oceans, at all.”

Source: Live Kindly

Choosing the Right Veggie Burger that is Good for You

Rachel Meltzer Warren wrote . . . . . . . . .

With the word “veggie” right in its name, you might assume that any veggie burger is naturally a healthy choice. But beyond being made sans meat, the ingredients in plant-based burgers on the market vary widely. (Spoiler alert: Actual veggies often do not factor prominently.) Their nutritional profile is also often inconsistent, says Ellen Klosz, a Consumer Reports nutritionist. Here are five details to check before you toss that box of veggie burgers in your shopping cart:

1. What’s the Protein Status?

While beef and turkey burgers contain around 22 grams of the satiating nutrient per serving, we found that veggie burgers can pack anywhere from 4 to 23 grams per patty.

There’s no “right” amount of protein in a food, says Tricia Psota, Ph.D., R.D.N., assistant professor of allied health at the Community College of Philadelphia and an adjunct faculty member at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Most people need about 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day, but needs vary depending on age, gender, and size. For example, after age 60 it’s smart to get at least 0.6 grams per pound daily.

For people who eat at least some animal products (meat, dairy, and eggs), meeting those protein needs usually isn’t a problem. But vegans or part-time vegans may need to keep an eye on their intake.

If that applies to you and your favorite veggie burger is on the lower end of the protein range, you might want to balance it out by serving it with a protein-rich side, such as a half-cup of baked beans (6 grams).

2. How Processed Is It?

Some veggie burgers contain grains and beans as their protein source, while in others the primary ingredient is soy protein isolate. This is a powder made from defatted soybeans that have been dried and processed to remove the sugars and dietary fiber, leaving the protein behind. It’s a highly refined ingredient, and some of the beneficial compounds in soy may be lost in processing.

3. Is It Sneaking In Salt?

The veggie burgers we tested had sodium counts anywhere from 15 mg to 500 mg per serving. Look for one that contains less than 15 percent—around 350 mg—of the daily limit of 2,300 mg, Klosz says. Some products are naturally lower in sodium, and some brands offer versions that have less sodium than their original counterparts. Amy’s California, for example, has a “light in sodium” version with half the sodium (250 mg vs. 500 mg) of the original. In our tests, both versions received Very Good taste ratings.

4. Does It Supply a Decent Amount of Fiber?

Depending on what a veggie burger is made with, it may or may not be loaded with fiber, a nutrient responsible for some of the heart-health benefits of eating more plant-based foods, among other things. “Fiber-rich foods may help you feel fuller longer, lower blood cholesterol, control blood sugar levels, and maintain bowel health,” Psota says. The fiber count in the veggie burgers we tested ranged from 2 to 6 grams. If you choose a burger that’s lower in fiber, balance it with a side of sautéed leafy greens and a hearty whole-grain roll.

5. What’s the Calorie Count?

The veggie burgers in our tests had between 100 and 360 calories per patty—and that’s before you add the bun or any toppings. Calories, of course, aren’t the only nutritional consideration—some higher-calorie burgers are made with nutrient-dense ingredients such as whole grains, beans, and seeds.

Balance the calories in your burger with what you’re putting on the rest of your plate. Forgoing a bun can save you about 120 calories. You can serve the burger on top of a salad or wrapped in lettuce leaves instead, Psota says. But if it’s just not a burger unless you eat it with bread, choose a lower-calorie burger and opt for a whole-grain roll.

Source: Consumer Reports

Go Vegan to Jump Start Weight Loss

Len Canter wrote . . . . . . .

Vegan diets are hard for many people to stick with long-term, but studies show that this way of eating can translate to weight loss.

Vegan is the strictest type of vegetarian diet — you choose only foods from plant sources, such as vegetables, fruits and grains, and avoid all animal products.

In a small trial done in South Carolina, people who followed a vegan plan lost about twice the weight of non-vegetarians and even those who followed a more varied vegetarian diet.

People on a vegan diet often have a lower body mass index, eat the least amount of fat and the most amount of fiber, and get more macronutrients than those on other diets.

Yet it often takes extra effort to get enough protein and meet calcium needs. Despite the challenges, if you want to jumpstart your weight loss, a three-week vegan trial might just be what the doctor ordered, according to the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). And you might even use it as a transition to a less-meat-focused diet afterward.

As a way of life or to continue weight loss, you may find it easier to stick with a vegetarian plan that includes low-fat dairy, eggs and/or seafood. In fact, there are many variations, one of which might work for you.

Vegetarian by definition:

  • Vegan: No animal products allowed — no meat, seafood, poultry, eggs and dairy.
  • Lacto-vegetarian: Dairy allowed but no meat, seafood, poultry and eggs.
  • Ovo-vegetarian: Eggs allowed but no meat, seafood, poultry, and dairy.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian: Dairy and eggs allowed.
  • Pesco-vegetarian: Fish and seafood allowed, but no meat or poultry.
  • Semi-vegetarian: Mediterranean-style diet based on fruit, vegetables, fish and olive oil with small amounts of chicken, dairy products, eggs and red meat allowed once or twice per month.

Give one or more a try until you find the happy medium for you.

Source: HealthDay

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