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Meat Alternatives – Plant-based and Cell-based Meat

Watch video at vimeo (5:52 minutes) . . . .

Vegetarian Borscht


2 large onions
3 large beets
3 large carrots
2 parsnips
4 stalks celery
3 tbsp tomato paste
4 large tomatoes
1/2 small white cabbage, shredded
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful of chopped parsley
all-purpose white flour
low-fat sour cream or yogurt


  1. Cut onions, beet, carrots, parsnips, and celery into matchsticks.
  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, add the tomato paste and the vegetables and simmer for 30 minutes until tender.
  3. Skin the tomatoes, remove the seeds, and chop. Add to the pan with the cabbage, honey, lemon juice, and seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes, then throw in a handful of chopped parsley. Check seasoning.
  4. If necessary, thicken the soup with a blend of a little flour and low-fat sour cream.
  5. The soup is best made the day before it is to be eaten. Reheat and serve with a bowl of low-fat sour cream or yogurt.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Healthy Vegetarian Cooking

In Pictures: Vegan Dishes of Japanese Chain Restaurant Wagamama in U.K.

How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation?

Priya Krishna wrote . . . . . . . . .

There’s a specific section of my family’s fridge that is reserved for the large, seemingly bottomless tub of chickpea flour — or as we and lots of other Indians who also rely on it call it, besan — that my parents keep on hand. We’re not gluten-free, nor do we do a lot of baking. Yet chickpea flour shows up everywhere in our food. It’s the nutty coating for my mom’s green beans spiced with earthy ajwain, the key ingredient in her creamy, tangy, yogurt-based soup, kadhi, and the base for our favorite variety of laddoos, sweet, fudge-like balls flavored with ghee, sugar and nuts.

Across the many regional cuisines in India, chickpea flour is a common denominator: Gujaratis turn it into pudla, thin, savory crepes laced with turmeric and chilies. In Karnataka and Maharashtra, it can be found in jhunka, a spicy porridge. And in Andhra Pradesh, it is the thickener in Senagapindi Kura, an onion-heavy stew. For the country’s large vegetarian population, where eggs are often considered non-vegetarian, chickpea flour mixed with water serves as a convincing omelet replacement.

Indians — along with the Nepalese, Pakistanis, Italians, the French, and many others — have been cooking with chickpea flour for centuries. Americans, on the other hand, only seem to have woken up to the ingredient in the last decade or so. And they’ve woken up in a big way.

It’s hard to trace the exact origin of chickpea flour’s sudden popularity in the U.S. Anna Stockwell, the senior food editor of the publications Epicurious and Bon Appétit, said she first started seeing chickpea flour around 2009 on gluten-free blogs. Stockwell is gluten-free herself, and was excited to find a recipe for savory chickpea pancakes.

She didn’t know much about chickpea flour’s culinary heritage, but she was immediately excited. “Its binding power was magic,” she recalls. “All you have to do is combine chickpea flour and water, and suddenly you can make flatbread, or fritters or vegetable pancakes.” Still, Stockwell saw it as a niche ingredient — something only gluten-free consumers cared about. She wasn’t even allowed to call for it in Epicurious recipes.

Slowly but surely, that started to change. In 2010, one of the more popular recipes from Plenty, Yotam Ottolenghi’s bestselling cookbook, was a chickpea flour pancake, or socca, as it’s known in France, layered with tomatoes and onions. In 2015, food and fitness writer Camilla Saulsbury wrote the popular book The Chickpea Flour Cookbook. That was followed a year later by Chickpea Flour Does It All, by blogger Lindsey Love.

Lani Halliday, the founder of Brutus Bakeshop, a gluten-free Brooklyn bakery, says she noticed a huge uptick in the number of chickpea flour-based, gluten-free sweets available about a decade ago. For baked goods, chickpea flour worked uniquely well, “as it can hold air bubbles and hold moisture,” she says. Plus, “it was cheap, it was accessible, and it was versatile.”

Halliday launched her bakery in 2015. One of her bestselling items among both gluten-free and non-gluten-free customers was a chocolate cupcake made with chickpea flour.

Stockwell believes the mainstreaming of chickpea flour is directly linked to one company in particular — Banza. The company started producing its chickpea flour-based pasta in 2014, and by 2017, it was in 8,000-plus grocery stores and had raised $8 million in funding. The key to the company’s success? It didn’t exclusively market itself as a gluten-free product. Instead, it was branded as health food. And it was one of the first alternative pastas that had a smooth, al dente texture, just like the real thing.

“I had friends who had never heard of chickpea flour, but now they eat Banza,” Stockwell says. “It’s not because they are trying to eat gluten-free but because it’s a delicious and higher-protein pasta. It’s a substitute for empty carbs.”

This year, Epicurious was finally allowed to publish recipes with chickpea flour. Dennis Vaughn, the CEO of Bob’s Red Mill, says that in the past five years, chickpea flour has become a clear bestseller among the company’s sundry flour options.

“My grocery store doesn’t even carry red meat,” Stockwell says, “but they carry Bob’s Red Mill” chickpea flour.

In many ways, it has been weird to watch this ingredient that has always felt so quotidian to me become so ubiquitous so quickly in the U.S. This is certainly not the first Indian ingredient or dish this has happened to. Consider turmeric, chai, or khichdi, which have all been claimed by the wellness community and food bloggers as their own, often times without giving due credit to Indian cuisine. It baffles me that the vast majority of people I talk to are shocked to hear that chickpea flour has long been a common ingredient in my family’s cooking.

On the other hand, it was important to me when I was writing my new cookbook, Indian-ish, that people could find the ingredients for the dishes in their average grocery store. Because chickpea flour is now so common, I could include recipes like those addictive chickpea flour green beans, and the silky, soupy kadhi.

I’m not against chickpea flour entering the mainstream. But I wish that more of the stories I read about it, or the recipes I saw that featured it, didn’t frame it as a brand-new discovery, and completely ignore its heritage.

No one culture can “own” an ingredient — I’m literally writing this with a box of Banza chickpea pasta in my kitchen cabinet — but let’s not treat food like it exists in a vacuum. There’s context for that chickpea flour flatbread you’re making for dinner. Don’t take it for granted.

Source: npr

Study: Weed-killer Roundup Linked to Human Liver Damage

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . . . . .

The popular weed killer Roundup might be linked to liver disease, a new study suggests.

A group of patients suffering from liver disease had elevated urine levels of glyphosate, the primary weed-killing ingredient in Roundup, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

“We found those patients who had more severe disease had higher levels of [glyphosate] excretion, which means they had higher levels of exposure, presumably through their diet,” said lead researcher Paul Mills. He is director of UCSD’s Center of Excellence for Research and Training in Integrative Health.

Until now, debate regarding the health effects of glyphosate has largely centered on fears that the chemical causes cancer.

Earlier this month, a California jury awarded $2 billion to a couple who said long-term exposure to Roundup caused them to develop the same type of cancer — non-Hodgkin lymphoma — four years apart.

That happened days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a draft conclusion that glyphosate poses “no risks to public health” and “is not likely to be carcinogenic for humans.”

Dr. Kenneth Spaeth is chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. He said that the UCSD study findings regarding liver disease raise “a whole other area of potential reason to have concern about this product and its widespread use globally.”

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the United States, the researchers said. The weed killer was developed and patented by Monsanto in the 1970s, and accounts for about half of the company’s annual revenue.

Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer, issued a statement noting that previous research required to bring the product to market has shown that glyphosate is safe.

“All pesticides, including glyphosate, are tested for their potential to harm liver function in tests that rely on internationally accepted protocols and are conducted according to good laboratory practices,” Bayer said. “All of this testing demonstrates that glyphosate does not harm liver function.”

Mills said he became interested in glyphosate’s potential effects on the liver after studies showing that laboratory rats and mice fed the chemical tended to develop a form of fatty liver disease unrelated to alcohol consumption.

To see whether the weed killer might be linked to similar disease in humans, Mills and his colleagues examined urine samples from 93 patients who were suspected of having fatty liver disease.

Liver biopsies were taken to determine whether the patients had liver disease and the severity of their condition. Urine samples were taken to determine their exposure to glyphosate.

Glyphosate residue was significantly higher in patients with liver disease than in those with a healthier liver, the investigators found. There also appeared to be a dose-dependent relationship — the more glyphosate in the urine, the worse a person’s liver health.

In their statement, Bayer said: “While we are still examining this recently released study, the data indicates that the researchers failed to consider confounding factors including potential existing metabolic disorders in participants, which would make the results of the study unreliable.”

While the study could not prove cause and effect, the researchers said the findings remained significant even after accounting for age, race/ethnicity, body fat and diabetes status.

Mills said, “Given there are these questions, I’d love for the EPA to say ‘we’re going to take another look at this.'”

Glyphosate might harm the liver in a couple of ways, he suggested.

The chemical might interfere with the liver’s ability to process fats, causing them to accumulate in the organ. Or it might damage genes that regulate fat metabolism in the liver.

Glyphosate is used to improve commercial crop yields by killing weeds that would choke the plants, so much of a person’s exposure to the chemical is likely due to diet, Mills said.

The best way to protect yourself would be to adopt an organic diet, eating only foods that have not been grown with herbicides or pesticides, he explained.

Noting that his study was small, Mills hopes other researchers will follow up with larger-scale efforts to examine effects of glyphosate on the liver.

“I’m hoping some other labs around the country that have either liver centers or other samples available will take a look at this also and see what kind of signal they find,” he said. “That would help move us forward.”

The new study was published online recently in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Source: HealthDay

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