Monthly Archives: February 2012

Quinoa pasta with braised vegetables

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So delicious. I love quinoa pasta, gluten free and a complete protein. It has become the pasta of choice in our house.

Vegan Sources of Protein

Jason told me a couple days ago that he was officially done with meat. He said he got asked that dreaded question, we vegetarians and vegans hate so much, one too many times. “Are you sure you are eating enough protein?” He was so irritated he said he was officially done with meat.
We live in a culture that eats TOO MUCH protein. Meat farms spend a great deal of money telling us to eat more and more protein and that animal sources are the only whole proteins. Obviously, they are just trying to sell their products. And their information is not at all correct.
ALL whole foods contain protein. Soybeans, quinoa, seitan are all complete or whole proteins. If you are consuming an adequate amount of whole food calories then you will not be protein deficient. The key words are WHOLE FOODS. Processed or junk foods are another story all together. I found this article on happycow.net that was very informative.

Can the pure vegetarian (vegan) diet provide enough protein for sound human health? The medical community agrees about the distinct health advantages of a pure vegetarian diet, but the protein question stays with us because animal products have been promoted by the industries that produce them, sell them, and want people to think of them as the best source of protein. This assumption is wrong and can be harmful, as a quick study of the facts about daily requirements of protein and nutrition shows.

Learn More

The Importance of Protein.  Protein is essential to human health. Our bodies—hair, muscles, fingernails, and so on—are made up mostly of protein. As suggested by the differences between our muscles and our fingernails, not all proteins are alike. This is because differing combinations of any number of 20 amino acids may constitute a protein. In much the same way that the 26 letters of our alphabet serve to form millions of different words, the 20 amino acids serve to form different proteins.

Amino acids are a fundamental part of our diet. While half of the 20 can be manufactured by the human body, the other 10 cannot.These “essential amino acids” can easily be provided by a balanced vegan diet.

How Much Protein? As babies, our mothers’ milk provided the protein we needed to grow healthy and strong. Once we start eating solid foods, non-animal sources can easily provide us with all the protein we need. Only 10 percent of the total calories consumed by the average human being need be in the form of protein.

The Recommended Dietary Daily Allowance for both men and women is 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. People with special needs (such as pregnant women) are advised to get a little more.

Vegans should not worry about getting enough protein; if you eat a reasonably varied diet and ingest sufficient calories, you will undoubtedly get enough protein. Protein deficiency, or “kwashiorkor,” is very rare in the U.S. and is usually diagnosed in people living in countries suffering from famine.

By contrast, eating too much animal protein has been directly linked to the formation of kidney stones and has been associated with cancer of the colon and liver.By replacing animal protein with vegetable protein, you can improve your health while enjoying a wide variety of delicious foods.

Protein Sources while just about every whole food contains some protein, the soybean deserves special mention, for it contains all the essential amino acids and surpasses all other food plants in the amount of protein that it can deliver to the human system. In this regard, it is nearly equal to meat.

The many different and delicious soy products (such as tempeh, soy “hot dogs” and “burgers,” Tofutti brand “ice cream,” soy milk, and tofu) available in health and grocery stores suggest that the soybean, in its many forms, can accommodate a wide range of tastes.

Other rich sources of non-animal protein include legumes, nuts, seeds, yeast, and freshwater algae. Although food yeasts (“nutritional yeast” and “brewer’s yeast”) do not lend themselves to forming the center of one’s diet, they are extremely nutritious additions to most menus (in soups, gravies, breads, casseroles, and dips). Most yeasts get about 50 percent of their calories from protein.

It’s important to note that most nutritionists, dieticians, and official sources agree that we need only 2.5%-10% of our calories from protein, and ALL vegetables offer us more than that.

Here are some examples of vegetarian foods with high sources of plant protein:

Protein in Legume: Garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, soybeans, split peas

Protein in Grain: Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, ouinoa, rye, wheat germ, wheat, wild rice

Vegetable Protein: Artichokes, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, green peas, green pepper, kale, lettuce, mushroom, mustard green, onions, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, turnip greens, watercress, yams, zucchini

Protein in Fruit: Apple, banana, cantaloupe, grape, grapefruit, honeydew melon, orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, dtrawberry, yangerine, eatermelon

Protein in Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, cashews, filberts, hemp seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts (black)

One excellent ingredient to look for is hemp seed protein. Hemp seed is an nutritious dietary source of easily digestible gluten-free protein. It provides a well-balanced array of all the amino acids, including 34.6 grams of protein for each 100 grams. The fatty acid profile of the hemp seed is extremely beneficial, containing omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a virtually ideal ratio. Other beneficial aspects of hemp seed include a strongly favorable unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio; a high content of antioxidants; and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.

Vegan Lime Vanilla Cake

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3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
1 T. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup safflower oil
3 T. vanilla
2 T. cider or white vinegar

Lightly oil a 9×13-inch pan and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, place the water, lime juice, oil, vanilla and whisk well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk well to combine. Drizzle the vinegar over the top of the batter and whisk quickly to thoroughly incorporate. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serve plain or frost.
Lime Frosting
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/8th cup Earth Balance
1/8th cup almond milk
1 T Lime juice
Let cake cool, then frost and top with chopped almonds

Cajun Chickpea Cakes with Chipotle Sause and Dijon Asparagus

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Oh my word!!! Can you say FLAVOR! This is all out of Everyday Happy Herbivore.

All Natural Homemade Airfresheners

All natural is all the rage here recently.  As we learn more and more about the toxins put into mass produced products people are turning to homemade goods.  I love air fresheners.  Homemade air fresheners are super simple and smell delicious and are inexpensive.

I bought several candle warmers and placed ceramic or glass bowls on the warmers.  The warmers do not get very hot, but still want to make sure you do not use something that can melt.

I fill the bowls with one cup of water and use different items depending on what fragrance I am wanting.

Apple “Cider”
– apple peels
– cinnamon sticks
– cloves

Autumn
–  a drop of maple syrup
–  cinnamon sticks

Orange Clove
– orange peels and,
– you guessed it – cloves

Late Summer Citrus
– Lemon peels
– dash of vanilla extract

Gingerbread
– a dash of molasses
– vanilla extract
– ginger

Winter is coming 
– a dash of peppermint extract
– a dash of vanilla

Piney
– a few cut-up pine needles
– peppermint extract

Essential oils also work well but can be more expensive.

Homemade Fabric Softener

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Homemade fabric softener

Vinegar is my fabric softener of choice. Aside from being a natural softener, it also removes soap residue in the washing machine and reduces static in the dryer. You can add vinegar directly to laundry during the rinse cycle or pour vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser of your washing machine. I have even added 1-2 drops of my favorite essential oil to the vinegar in the softener dispenser.
Sweet orange brightens and fights stains, lavender offers a calming effect, and peppermint can help fight tough odors on clothing. You can pre-mix your fabric-softening vinegar by using the following recipe:

Vinegar Laundry Softener

1 gallon white vinegar 20-30 drops of essential oil. If you use peppermint oil cut it back to 15 drops because it is quite potent.

Just shake well before each use and it’s ready for the rinse cycle. For small or average loads add 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle, for larger loads add about 1 cup to the rinse cycle.

Natural Cleaner

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I love all things homemade and natural. I recently stumbled onto this recipe on pinterest. This is a recipe I will be putting together first thing tomorrow.
Vinegar cleans just about everything, it doesn’t smell that great initially but once dry leaves a clean airy smell. Citrus oils also work well as cleaners and are wonderful deodorizers. So I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this before.
Save your orange peels, I eat oranges all the time so I always have peels available. I usually compost them, but will now save some of them for cleaners.
Fill a large jar with white vinegar and put your peels in the vinegar and seal with a lid. Let sit for a few weeks and then dilute 50/50 with water and use to clean your house. You can’t beat an all natural cleaner, especially one that uses something you were going to throw away anyway.
I neglected to add, strain the mixture before adding to to water and using it to clean your home.

Dijon Rice and Broccolli

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I am in love with Dijon. This recipe is so simple. Dijon, tamari, hot sause, agave, brown rice and broccolli. Very flavorful and very filling.

Homemade Tomato Soup and Grilled “cheese”

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Comfort food at it’s finest. Vegan and delicious!!!

Pineapple Teriyaki Tempeh Stir Fry

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Fruits, veggies, protein, grains….what more can you ask for!!!