McDonald’s Is Launching a New Plant-based Burger in Canada

Liam Gilliver wrote . . . . . . . . .

McDonald’s has announced it will be trialing a veggie burger in Ontario, Canada – a move branded as ‘the first step in plant-based global domination’ according to an expert.

The fast-food chain’s sandwich, dubbed the P.L.T, features the Beyond Meat patty, as well as lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, cheddar cheese, mustard, ketchup, and mayo-style sauce on a sesame bun.

Executive Director of The Good Food Institute, Bruce Friedrich, has described the launch as a ‘massive milestone’.

‘Plant-based meat is here to stay’

Friedrich said: “It’s a clear sign that meat made from plants is now mainstream. Our hope is that the Canadian plant-based meat test will soon lead to a launch of the Beyond Burger at McDonald’s in the US.

“The Impossible Whopper has proved that plant-based meat is here to stay and is poised for explosive growth. If McDonald’s Beyond Meat test in Canada is successful and the plant-based burger is rolled out across its North American restaurants, that will be the final sign that plant-based meat is poised for global domination.

“McDonald’s has a global footprint and distribution capabilities to launch plant-based meat in many global markets. It’s clear the winds of change are blowing with increasing intensity and pushing us toward a bright future where delicious and affordable plant-based meat is accessible to everyone.”

McDonald’s has announced the P.L.T will be cooked on the same grill as other burgers, meat-based products, and eggs – causing controversy amongst vegans.

The P.L.T. will be priced at $6.49 CAD plus tax.

Source: Plant Based News


Three-bean Dal


1 cup yellow split peas (7 ounces)
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 small tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Basmati rice and warm naan, for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add the split peas and a generous pinch of salt and boil until just beginning to break down, about 50 minutes. Drain well.
  3. In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the ginger, garlic, jalapefio, cumin and cayenne and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato and tomato paste and cook until the tomato is slightly broken down, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cream, butter and water and bring to a boil. Stir in the yellow split peas, chickpeas and kidney beans and season with salt. Simmer over low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with basmati rice and naan.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Chef Vikram Sunderam

In Pictures: Fruity Vegan Desserts

Pumpkin Lucuma Cheesecake

Persian Saffron Pudding

Pisco Sour Cape Gooseberry Cupcakes

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Caramel Apple Crumb Pie

Halva-Stuff Dates Dipped in Chocolate

The Power of Pulses

Sharon Palmer wrote . . . . . . . . .

Thanks to culinary innovation and a newfound appreciation for all that’s plant based and sustainable, pulses are making a splash on consumers’ plates.

As dietitians, we’ve watched food trends come and go—for better and for worse. So, when something both nutritious and health protective is right on trend, dietitians have reason to rejoice. And the subject of this celebration is pulses, which are having their moment right now. This plant food group has stood the test of time, and pulses are now poised at the cutting edge of today’s demand for foods that are sustainable, versatile, innovative, plant based, healthful, and of course, delicious. Pulses—including lentils, dried peas, and dried beans—are front-loaded with everything a dietitian needs to promote good nutrition and health. There’s never been a better time to help consumers transform the plate with pulses—for their health, as well as the health of the planet.

What’s Old Is New Again

Since the first human civilizations rose up, pulses have been at the very cornerstone of healthful, traditional diets. In fact, pulse cultivation dates back at least 11,000 years, according to evidence found in caves in Thailand and Egyptian tombs. Indeed, humans have been gathering and cultivating pulses for sustenance as far back as we can trace. Easy to grow, with a long storage life and abundant versatility, it’s no wonder pulses are deeply rooted in cultural cuisines around the world. Just look to black-eyed peas in the southern United States, black beans in South America, chickpeas in the Middle East, and lentils in India for a few examples of the rich marriage between pulses and cultural traditions all over the planet. Nearly every culture has a pulse at the backbone of their diet pattern.

While pulses have been important historically, they’re also having a resurgence in the modern era, playing an important role in several modern healthful eating patterns, including the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommended Healthy Vegetarian, Healthy US-Style, and Healthy Mediterranean eating patterns.1 The Mediterranean diet in particular always has highlighted pulses, featuring them in countless dishes, such as hummus, falafel, bean soups, pasta with beans, and bean salads. These are iconic examples of the healthful and delicious role of pulses in this centuries-old way of eating, which is linked with lower risk of chronic disease. Perhaps equally significant is the role of pulses in the plant-based diet trend, where they provide a key protein-rich option for flexitarian, vegetarian, and vegan diets.

How Much Is Enough?

So how many pulses should dietitians recommend to clients? The Dietary Guidelines and USDA My Plate suggest consumption of pulses in both the vegetable and protein groups. In the first group, the recommendation is for a variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other, with one to two cups of the beans and peas subgroup per week for adults, depending on age and gender. Pulses also are included in the protein group, where 1/4 cup cooked is equal to 1 oz protein, and an overall recommendation of 1 1/2 cups of pulses per week is suggested within a 2,000-kcal diet pattern.1,2

With increasing knowledge of how a plant-forward diet provides important health and environmental benefits, pulses are an excellent alternative recognized by the Dietary Guidelines. In addition to taking the place of animal proteins on the plate, pulses can extend meat when used in combinations and blends, such as the “one-third rule” of pairing pulses with meat, poultry, or fish to reduce animal foods for cost, carbon footprint, and nutrition. For example, a blend of beans with ground beef can extend dishes such as spaghetti sauce, tacos, meatloaf, and burgers.

Benefits of Beans

There are clear health benefits for including more pulses. One of the most nutrient-rich plant foods, a 1/2-cup cooked serving of pulses provides at least 20% DV of dietary fiber, folate, and manganese; at least 10% DV of protein, potassium, iron, manganese, and copper; 6% to 8% DV of selenium and zinc; and a rich supply of phytochemicals, including alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, and phenolic compounds. In addition, pulses are low in fat (seven times less fat than pork), high in protein (double the protein of quinoa), and full of fiber (four times more fiber than brown rice).3 In addition, regular consumption of pulses is linked with several health benefits, including lower blood cholesterol levels, lower body weight, higher intakes of dietary fiber, and lower rates of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and some types of cancer.4

What’s more, pulses are healthful for the planet. They’re among the most sustainable of foods, with one of the lowest carbon footprints of any food group. Naturally drought tolerant, pulses can grow in harsh environments with lower water use; thus, they have an impressively tiny water footprint. Compared with the estimated 1,857 gallons of water needed to produce 1 lb of beef, 469 gallons/lb for chicken, and 216 gallons/lb for soybeans, pulses require a mere 43 gallons/lb.5 In addition, pulses are nature’s fertilizer, enriching the soil through fixing nitrogen, which reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers. Because one-half of the world’s pulse production happens in developing nations, growing pulses also aids food security, helping to fight poverty. This, as well as costing as little as 10 cents per serving, is especially vital with the need for a 70% increase in agricultural production by 2050.5

Hot Pulse Demand on the Menu

Beyond human and planetary health, pulses are pleasing to the palate and the hottest new trend on the plate. Indeed, pulse consumption is on the rise. According to the USDA, the harvest increased by 17%, production by 29%, and the percent change in per capita use by 28% in the last decade. Just look to the popularity of chickpeas, starring in crowd-pleasing hummus, falafel, curry dishes, power bowls, and beyond. Usage of chickpeas was up to 1.85 lbs per person in 2017, from 1.21 lbs per person just one year earlier, and acreage of chickpeas planted was up 53% in 2017 compared with 2016.

As a result, chefs are putting pulses on the menu in creative, innovative, and definitively delicious ways, giving diners more interesting meat-free choices, from lentil burger sliders to chickpea pancakes to black-eyed pea hummus. Not surprisingly, the trend is trickling into all culinary and cooking arenas, such as hospitals, schools, and cafeterias. Surveys show that beans, chickpeas, and lentils are increasingly being included on foodservice menus, as well as being recognized and liked by consumers.

Moreover, pulses are wending their way into home kitchens. Not only are they economical but they’re also simple to store and can be easily cooked and refrigerated or frozen for future consumption. There also are more pulse products offered in the refrigerator and freezer sections of markets, such as bean burgers, chickpea masala dinners, and prepared refrigerated beans and lentils. Home preparation has never been easier. Adding pulses to salads, as well as to the trendy sheet pan meal, skillet meal, and bowl meal preparations provides simple meal solutions. In addition to the traditional soak and cook method of beans, some pulses, such as lentils, are quick cooking, requiring no soaking and about 15 minutes to cook. The quick-soak method (bring beans and water to a boil, remove from heat, and soak one hour), as well as slow cookers and the Instant Pot, make cooking pulses at home even more convenient.

Adding to the pulse buzz is how they check the boxes for so many consumer buzzwords: gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, economical, allergen friendly, and earth friendly. They also fit into the desirable genre of comfort food classics (think chili, tacos, and baked beans), global foods (Swedish split pea soup, dal, and Caribbean red beans), and blending of meal occasions, even snacking and desserts (black bean brownies, bean chips, and roasted chickpeas).

Source: Today’s Dietitian

Boosting Daily Nut Consumption Linked to Less Weight Gain and Lower Obesity Risk

Increasing nut consumption by just half a serving (14 g or ½ oz) a day is linked to less weight gain and a lower risk of obesity, suggests a large, long term observational study, published in the online journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health.

Substituting unhealthy foods, such as processed meats, French fries, and crisps (potato chips) with a half a serving of nuts may be a simple strategy to ward off the gradual weight gain that often accompanies the aging process, suggest the researchers.

On average, US adults pile on 1lb or nearly half a kilo every year. Gaining 2.5-10 kilos in weight is linked to a significantly greater risk of heart disease/stroke and diabetes.

Nuts are rich in healthy unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre, but they are calorie dense, so often not thought of as good for weight control. But emerging evidence suggests that the quality of what’s eaten may be as important as the quantity.

Amid modest increases in average nut consumption in the US over the past two decades, the researchers wanted to find out if these changes might affect weight control.

They analysed information on weight, diet and physical activity in three groups of people: 51,529 male health professionals, aged 40 to 75 when enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow Up Study; 121,700 nurses, aged 35 to 55 when recruited to the Nurses Health Study (NHS); and 116,686 nurses, aged 24 to 44 when enrolled in the Nurses Health Study II (NHS II).

Over more than 20 years of monitoring, participants were asked every 4 years to state their weight, and how often, over the preceding year they had eaten a serving (28 g or 1 oz) of nuts, including peanuts and peanut butter.

Average weekly exercise– walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, racquet sports and gardening–was assessed every two years by questionnaire. It was measured in metabolic equivalent of task (MET) hours, which express how much energy (calories) is expended per hour of physical activity.

Average annual weight gain across all three groups was 0.32 kg (0.71 lb). Between 1986 and 2010, total nut consumption rose from a quarter to just under half a serving/day in men; and from 0.15 to 0.31 servings/day among the women in the NHS study. Between 1991 and 2011 total daily nut consumption rose from 0.07 to 0.31 servings among women in the NHS II study.

Increasing consumption of any type of nut was associated with less long term weight gain and a lower risk of becoming obese (BMI of 30 or more kg/m²), overall.

Increasing nut consumption by half a serving a day was associated with a lower risk of putting on 2 or more kilos over any 4 year period. And a daily half serving increase in walnut consumption was associated with a 15% lower risk of obesity.

Substituting processed meats, refined grains, or desserts, including chocolates, pastries, pies and donuts, for half a serving of nuts was associated with staving off weight gain of between 0.41 and 0.70 kg in any 4 year period.

Within any 4 year period, upping daily nut consumption from none to at least half a serving was associated with staving off 0.74 kg in weight, a lower risk of moderate weight gain, and a 16% lower risk of obesity, compared with not eating any nuts.

And a consistently higher nut intake of at least half a serving a day was associated with a 23% lower risk of putting on 5 or more kilos and of becoming obese over the same timeframe.

No such associations were observed for increases in peanut butter intake.

The findings held true after taking account of changes in diet and lifestyle, such as exercise and alcohol intake.

This is an observational study, and as such, can’t establish cause. And the data relied on personal report, which may have affected accuracy, while only white, relatively affluent health professionals were included, so the findings may not be more widely applicable.

But the findings echo those of previous observational studies, note the researchers, who attempt to explain the associations they found.

Chewing nuts takes some effort, leaving less energy for eating other things, they suggest, while the high fibre content of nuts can delay stomach emptying so making a person feel sated and full for longer.

Nut fibre also binds well to fats in the gut, meaning that more calories are excreted. And there is some evidence that the high unsaturated fat content of nuts increases resting energy expenditure, which may also help to stave off weight gain.

Snacking on a handful of nuts rather than biscuits or crisps may help to ward off the weight gain that often accompanies aging and is a relatively manageable way of helping to curb the onset of obesity, they suggest.

And a nut habit is likely to be good for the planet, they add. “In addition to the impact on human health, using environmentally friendly plant-based protein, such as nuts and seeds to replace animal sources of protein may contribute to the promotion of a global sustainable food system,” they write.

Source: EurekAlert!

Today’s Comic