What’s for Dinner?

Home-cooked 3-course Vegan Dinner

The Menu

Thai Samosas with Cashew & Coconut Cream

Wild Mushroom Ragout

Mandarin Orange Tarts

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Sweet Potato and Curried Red Lentil Pizza

Ingredients

3/4 cup dry red lentils
1-1/2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 small eggplant, diced
1 lb sweet potato, cubed
1 can Italian-style diced tomatoes, not drained
1 tsp ground ginger
1-1/2 tsp curry powder
1-1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 (12-inch) thin prebaked whole wheat pizza crust
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Combine the lentils and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray a pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic and onion. Cook until soft and slightly browned.
  4. Stir in eggplant and sweet potato. Add about 1/2 cup of liquid from canned tomatoes. Simmer until juices are absorbed.
  5. Stir in tomatoes, ginger, curry powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Simmer until sweet potato begins to soften, about 15 to 20 minutes. (If juices cook off before potatoes are fully cooked, stir in a small amount of water, and cover.)
  6. Place pizza crust on pizza pan. Spread the lentils evenly across the surface of the crust out to the edges.
  7. Spread sweet potato mixture evenly on top, and sprinkle with cheese.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are browned, about 10 to 13 minutes.

Makes 10 servings.

Source: The Big Book of Little Lentils

Vegan Pie Crowned ‘Supreme Champion’ At British Pie Awards For First Time

Maria Chiorando wrote . . . . . . . . .

A vegan pie has been crowned supreme champion at the British Pie Awards.

This is the first time an animal-free creation has scooped top honors in the event’s 11 year history.

The big winner was a curried sweet potato and butternut squash pie made by butcher Jon Thorner’s Ltd. It beat off almost 900 other entries. It was entered into the new vegan category alongside almost 70 others, then shortlisted for the supreme champion award.

Vegan is the supreme champion

“This year’s supreme champion was outstanding and well deserving of the accolade,” Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the British Pie Awards, said.

“From its very appearance on the judging tray, you knew it was going to do well and it didn’t disappoint when it was opened and tasted.

“This pie isn’t just for vegans, it’s a pie for everybody. With this award we can truly say that veganism is now entering the mainstream of British food.”

Source: Plant Based News

Fruit and Vegetable Safety

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Eating a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables provides important health benefits, but it’s important that you select and prepare them safely.

Fruits and vegetables add nutrients to your diet that help protect you from heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. In addition, choosing vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other produce over high-calorie foods can help you manage your weight.

But sometimes raw fruits and vegetables contain harmful germs, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, that can make you and your family sick. In the United States, nearly half of foodborne illnesses are caused by germs on fresh produce.

The safest produce is cooked; the next safest is washed. Enjoy uncooked fruits and vegetables while taking steps to avoid foodborne illness, also known as food poisoning.

At the store or market:

  • Choose produce that isn’t bruised or damaged.
  • Keep pre-cut fruits and vegetables cold by choosing produce that is refrigerated or kept on ice.
  • Separate fruits and vegetables from raw meat, poultry, and seafood in your shopping cart and in your grocery bags.

At home:

  • Wash your hands, kitchen utensils, and food preparation surfaces, including chopping boards and countertops, before and after preparing fruits and vegetables.
  • Clean fruits and vegetablesExternal before eating, cutting, or cooking, unless the package says the contents have been washed.
  • Wash or scrub fruits and vegetables under running water—even if you do not plan to eat the peel—so dirt and germs on the surface do not get inside when you cut.
  • Cut away any damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.
  • Dry fruit or vegetables with a clean paper towel.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables separate from raw foods from animals, such as meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Refrigerate fruits and vegetables you have cut, peeled, or cooked within 2 hours (or 1 hour if the outside temperature is 90°or warmer). Chill them at 40°F or colder in a clean container.

Groups With a Higher Chance of Food Poisoning

Anyone can get a foodborne illness, but people in certain groups are more likely to get sick and to have a more serious illness. These groups are:

  • Children younger than age 5
  • Pregnant women
  • Adults aged 65 and older
  • People with weakened immune systems

If you or someone you care for has a greater chance of foodborne illness, it’s especially important to take steps to prevent it.

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Exercise Can Improve Non-motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Exercise has potential to improve non-motor as well as motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), including cognitive function, report investigators in a review published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

PD is a slowly progressive disorder that affects movement, muscle control, and balance. While traditionally regarded as a movement disorder, it is now known to be a heterogeneous multisystem disorder — in recognition of the significant impact that non-motor symptoms have on the quality of life of individuals affected by PD. It is widely acknowledged that physical exercise improves motor symptoms such as tremor, gait disturbances, and postural instability. However, the effect of exercise on non-motor symptoms in PD, especially cognitive function, is less clear.

The number of older people with and without PD that experience cognitive impairment is steadily increasing worldwide. It is associated not only with a substantial rise in healthcare costs, but also affects the quality of life of both patients and relatives or carers. Up to 57% of patients suffering from PD develop mild cognitive impairment within five years of their initial diagnosis, and if they survive more than ten years, the majority will eventually develop dementia. The underlying neurophysiological mechanisms for cognitive decline in PD are not completely understood, but an accumulation of amyloid plaques, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neurotransmitter changes are all suggested to contribute.

A comprehensive literature review was conducted by investigators from the Institute of Movement and Neurosciences, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany, and the VasoActive Research Group, School of Health and Sport Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. The studies reviewed included investigations of the effects of coordination exercise, resistance exercise, and aerobic exercise on domain-specific cognitive function in patients with PD. “Physical exercise is generally associated with increased cognitive function in older adults, but the effects in individuals suffering from PD are not known,” explained lead investigator Tim Stuckenschneider, MA.

The researchers identified relevant studies published before March 2018. There were 11 studies included with a combined total of over five hundred patients with PD with a disease severity from stages 1 to 4 on the Hoehn & Yahr scale, which is used to describe the symptom progression of PD. In four studies, positive effects of exercise on cognition (memory, executive function, and global cognitive function) were shown with no negative effect of exercise on any cognitive domain. Furthermore, disease severity was generally improved by exercise interventions.

The investigators concluded that all modes of exercise are associated with improved cognitive function in individuals with PD, however, no clear picture of which exercise mode is most effective emerged as they may influence cognitive function differently. Aerobic exercise tended to improve memory best, but different forms of exercises such as treadmill training or stationary bike training may have different effects, although both are considered aerobic exercise. Future studies are needed that directly compare the effects of different exercise modes, as the number of high-quality research projects is still limited.

“The potential of exercise to improve motor and non-motor symptoms is promising and may help to decelerate disease progression in individuals affected by PD,” observed Stuckenschneider. “Exercise therapy needs to be, and often already is, an essential part of therapy in individuals with PD. However, it is mostly used to treat motor symptoms. As part of a holistic therapy, the potential of exercise to maintain or improve non-motor symptoms such as cognitive function in individuals with PD needs to be acknowledged, and the most effective treatment options need to be defined. This will not only help practitioners to recommend specific exercise programs, but also ultimately improve the quality of life of the individual. Our work shows that ‘exercise is medicine’ and should routinely be recommended for people with PD to help combat both the physical and cognitive challenges of the disease.”

Source: Science Daily


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