Vegan Sloppy Joe Offered by New Restaurant in Texas, U.S.

Nicole Axworth wrote . . . . . . . . .

Vegan Sloppy Joe shop Tidy Ben’s Sloperia will officially open in San Antonio, TX next week. The eatery features plant-based versions of the messy childhood favorite, which is traditionally made with ground beef simmered in a tomato-based sauce and served inside a hamburger bun.

Tidy Ben’s concept first started out as a ghost kitchen offering takeout and then began holding pop-ups at other eateries and events. Tidy Ben’s offers vegan Sloppy Joe-style sliders in three flavors (BBQ, Fiesta, and Curry) that consist of vegan meat crumbles sautéed with vegetables and smothered in a traditional sauce, and served inside a sweet Hawaiian-style bun. The eatery also offers Sloppy Frito Pie and Sloppy Tots, which feature the vegan meat piled on top of Fritos corn chips or tater tots.

“There is a little bit of nostalgia when it comes to Sloppy Joe’s,” Tidy Ben’s founder Ben Cardenas told media outlet Kens5. “I ask people, ‘When was the last time you had a Sloppy Joe’ and the majority of the time … they say ‘oh it’s been years, I haven’t had it since grade school.”

Tidy Ben’s new brick-and-mortar space is inside the garden entrance of comedy club Jokesters 22 Pub and Grub. Cardenas plans to expand the Tidy Ben’s concept in other ways, including helping to fight food insecurity in San Antonio by offering a pay-what-you-can meal plan.

Source: Veg News

Mycoprotein: A Meat Alternative for Vegetarians

Tam Nguyen wrote . . . . . . . . .

Alternative sources of proteins are gaining attention for their balanced nutrition, especially among vegans and vegetarians. Proteins are fundamental for our body to function properly, such as to build muscle and drive metabolic activities. When ingested, dietary proteins are broken down into amino acids. Among the amino acids, there are nine that our body cannot synthesize and therefore we must ingest them in our diet. These are known as essential amino acids. So how do vegans, vegetarians, and other non-meat eating individuals get enough protein in their diet?

The answer could be mycoprotein – a meat alternative made from fungi.

The discovery of mycoprotein

As the world population increases, concerns over global food shortage and famine are increasing the demand for new protein-rich foods that are nutritious and safe for human consumption. The first application of this was to turn starch into protein via fermentation. In the 1960’s, thousands of microorganisms were taken and tested to find the ones that were high in proteins, could be grown in anaerobic conditions and created a meat-like texture. In 1974, the UK Food Standard Committee announced that the filamentous fungus Fusarium venenatum could be used to produce mycoprotein, or fungal protein.

Production of mycoprotein

Mycoprotein now can be produced at a large scale using industrial fermenters. At first, the fungus Fusarium venenatum is cultured in fermenters filled with sterilized water and glucose solution. Then, more glucose, ammonia gas and oxygen are added to help the fungus grow continuously. Ammonia gas contains high levels of nitrogen that Fusarium uses to produce amino acids, which in turns makes up proteins. The oxygen and glucose allow the fungus to respire aerobically.

Given the optimum pH balance, temperature, nutrient and oxygen conditions, the fungus’s biomass can double every five hours and the whole process of producing mycoprotein can be done in five weeks. At the end of five weeks, mycoprotein goes through the extractor, where it is briefly heated up to 65 degrees to deactivate nucleic acids, followed by drying and chilling to remove water.

The harvested mycoprotein can be used to make vegetarian versions of meat products like vegetarian sausages, burger patties or mince.

Other fungi-based meat substitutes are made from koji, a Japanese fungus commonly used to make soy sauce. In most fungi-based meat products, filamentous fungi are used because their long, branching fibres create meat-like texture and mimic different cuts of meat.

Health benefits of mycoprotein

Before we can judge which health benefits mycoprotein could bring, let’s have a look at the nutritional values of mycoprotein:

Energy: 86 kcal
Protein: 11.5g
Total carbohydrates: 1.7g
Total fat: 2.9g
Fibre: 6.0 g
Iron: 0.5 g

If we compare these values with those of steamed tofu in the same amount, we could see that mycoprotein is higher in calories, proteins and fibre while lower in fat and iron amount.

With that being said, mycoprotein supplies all the essential amino acids that humans need to make proteins. These include the nine amino acids that our body cannot synthesize: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. They serve as precursors for many other metabolic intermediates and products such as neurotransmitters, nucleotides, membrane structures, hormones, and so on.

Other studies have shown the effect of consuming foods that are high in fibre and low in fat, particularly in reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Daily intake of mycoprotein lowered cholesterol concentration by 13%, as reported by Turnbull et al. (1990). Satiety, the satisfaction after consuming foods, after consuming mycoprotein was also shown to be higher than after eating chicken protein (Turnbull et al. (1990), Burley et al. (1993)).

This suggests that mycoprotein has a higher satiating power compared to other foods with similar fiber content. The mechanism of this effect remains unknown, although another component of mycoprotein is predicted to be responsible for this. High fibre content also leads to the studies of mycoprotein in glycemic response (blood sugar levels). It was found that the serum glucose response and the insulin response was lower after the mycoprotein meal compared with the control. With that being said, people with obesity and type-2 diabetes might consider taking mycoprotein as a meat substitute, but of course, doctor’s reference is still needed.

Nowadays, there is a variety of fungus-based meat alternatives in the market, ranging from poultry to seafood, mince to burgers, providing vegetarians with more options. With its potential benefits, the production of mycoprotein and fungus-based meat alternatives contributes to the future of global food security.

Source: Science Meets Food

What’s for Lunch?

Vegetarian Lunch at Vegecafe Lotus in Toyohashi, Japan

The main dish is Vegan Quiche.

Switch to Plant-Based Diet Can Cut Your Odds for Stroke

A healthy, plant-based diet could reduce your risk of stroke by up to 10%, researchers say.

This type of diet includes greater amounts of foods like vegetables, whole grains and beans, and fewer less-healthy foods like refined grains or added sugars.

“Many studies already show that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk of all kinds of diseases, from heart disease to diabetes,” said study author Dr. Megu Baden, of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in Boston.

“We wanted to find out if there is an association between this kind of healthy diet and stroke risk,” Baden said.

The findings were published online March 10 in the journal Neurology.

The investigators looked at nearly 210,000 people who didn’t have heart disease or cancer at the outset. The participants were followed for more than 25 years, and they completed food questionnaires every two to four years.

The researchers divided the participants into five groups based on the amounts of plant-based foods they ate, without excluding all animal foods.

On average, people with the highest healthy plant-based diets had 12 servings of healthy plant-based foods like leafy greens, fruits, whole grains, beans and vegetable oils a day, while those with the lowest quality diets averaged 7.5 servings per day.

During the follow-up period, about 6,240 participants had strokes, including 3,015 who had ischemic strokes (caused by blocked blood flow to the brain) and 853 who had hemorrhagic (bleeding) strokes. The type of stroke was not known for the remainder of those who had a stroke.

Compared to people with the lowest consumption of healthful plant-based foods, those with the highest intake had a 10% lower overall risk of stroke, and about an 8% lower risk of ischemic stroke. There was no difference in the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

The researchers also found no association between a vegetarian diet and stroke risk. But this might be because a vegetarian diet doesn’t necessarily mean a high-quality diet, Baden said in a journal news release.

“A vegetarian diet high in less-healthy plant-based foods, such as refined grains, added sugars and fats, is one example of how the quality of some so-called ‘healthy’ diets differ. Our findings have important public health implications as future nutrition policies to lower stroke risk should take the quality of food into consideration,” Baden explained.

Source: HealthDay

Mango Couscous


1 cup couscous
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
1 jalapeno chili, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1 ripe tomato, chopped
juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Prepare couscous according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add garlic, mango, and jalapeno. Sauté until mango begins to color, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil, couscous, raisins tomato, lime juice, cilantro, and parsley, and toss to heat through, about 1 minute.
  4. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Oprah Magazine Cookbook

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