Brown Girl Goes Green

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15 Minute Super Easy oh so Healthy Spaghetti November 30, 2012

Filed under: Eat Clean,Recipes,Vegetarianism — backpackready @ 6:42 am
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Ingredients: *Whole wheat pasta,* frozen spinach, mushrooms, & onions (you can use fresh but it may add to your time). *Spaghetti  sauce.  I personally prefer Barilla Mushroom & Garlic. It’s low calorie, vegan safe (no cheese),  and there isn’t a lot of “extra stuff” in it compared to some other brands.

wheat pastaIMAG0528frozen mushroomsfrozen spinachfrozen onions

Step 1: Cook your pasta (you already knew that): Takes ~ 10 min.

Step 2: While your pasta is cooking (yes multitasking), Sautee your onions, spinach, & mushrooms until they are soft, seasoning as desired. I like to add a little garlic power, pepper, and basil (you can use fresh basil-I was lazy today). *Side note: Do NOT add salt at this point.  The spaghetti sauce has salt already.

IMAG0539Garlic powderbasil

Step 3: When pasta is done & drained, pour it in to your onion/veggie skillet and mix it uniformly.

pasta drainingIMAG0541

Step 4: Add sauce. *Side note: Don’t get heavy handed. You can always add more sauce but you can’t remove it. I add little bit, then mix, then add, then mix (replay as needed) until it’s as saucy as I like it.

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Step 5: Enjoy now and have some for lunch tomorrow 🙂

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Yummy “Fancy” Vegan Mashed Potatoes July 7, 2012

Filed under: Recipes,Vegetarianism — backpackready @ 5:02 am
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What you’ll need:  Soy or Almond Milk (1/2 cup), 1 large potato (washed but unpeeled-slice it up), spinach (1 cup-fresh or frozen), 1 vegan burger patty, Olive oil (1-2 tbsp)Garlic (1 tbsp); onion (1/2 cup chopped). Seasoning: salt, pepper, rosemary (if you wish).

First step: Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until soft.  Then slowly pour in Milk.  Mix in diced/sliced potato and spinach.  Cover and allow to simmer until potatoes are soft enough to smash (took mine ~ 20 min).  Crumble and mix in vegan burger patty and season to personal taste.  ENJOY!!

 

Potatoes are more nutrient rich than you think(but of course everything in unfried moderation). Provides 18% daily value of Iron,  48% Vitamin C, Vitamin B 6 46%, Folate 21%, Thiamine 13%, Potassium 46%, Manganese 33%, Magnesium & Phosphorus 21%. Source:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2770/2.

 

Vegan Quinoa Dish-healthy, easy, delish! July 3, 2012

Filed under: Eat Clean,Recipes,Vegetarianism — backpackready @ 3:21 am
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I love quinoa both for taste and health benefits.  *See previous Quinoa blog for more info*

Here’s one of my favorite quinoa dishes….it’s easy. ENJOY! 

1st step: Cook the quinoa

1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water for ~20-25 min.  I add salt, half tsp olive oil, and cilantro.

Then:  Add garlic to 1 tbsp of olive oil to pan. You may also saute chopped onions if you like. 

Then: Add in chopped veggies and spices.  I used squash, fresh basil, and rosemary.

When veggies are soft, add quinoa and season as desired.  I use salt, pepper, more rosemary, and onion powder.

Optional addition:  For a more hearty texture, I added a crumbled vegan burger.

Presentation:A scoop of your tasty quinoa mixture on seaweed is both attractive and delicious. 

 

Tasty Veggie Stirfry June 30, 2012

Filed under: Eat Clean,Recipes,Vegetarianism — backpackready @ 1:44 am
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How did I do it? Sauteed onions, garlic, and basil.  Added in sliced carrots, squash, and spinach. Mixed in basmati rice (you can use whatever type you like).  Spices: Salt, pepper, and rosemary.

 

Guide to avoiding Awkward Omnivore Situations (AOS) as a Vegan or Vegetarian June 21, 2012

Filed under: Eat Clean,Vegetarianism — backpackready @ 7:51 am
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Avoiding AOS (Awkward Omnivore Situations) does not equate being ashamed of who you are;  it’s reducing undue stress.  It’s about at least keeping the meat eater’s mind open to decreasing their meat consumption or at the very least, being less judgmental and defensive towards us.  Why should you care?  Whatever led you to this lifestyle is a worthy cause.  The perception that Vegans and Vegetarians are preachy and judgemental does not help this cause.  So… don’t do this in what could be pleasant social situations.

***  Don’t broadcast your dietary differences. Hear me out….

I know how wonderfully progressive you are and how you have moved beyond flesh eating, but keep in mind that there is a thin line between educating and appearing self righteous. Eliminating meat from one’s diet is a major lifestyle change. Acceptance of the idea that it is possible is the first step. “Preaching” only makes them defensive and injures the cause.

The cause is to decrease the overall demand of animal products responsible for animal factory farming and greenhouse gas emission.  Sometimes this means holding back how you really feel about “Vegetarians” who only eat fish, and eggs, and chicken.  Do I think it’s silly that they believe they are vegetarians…Yes.  Do I verbalize this ? No.  Why?  At least they don’t eat pork and beef. They are going in the right direction and with time and patience they may fully convert.

***There is a difference between educating and debating: Avoid Debating if possible….Nobody “wins” and it only creates negativity.

You can tell if someone is genuinely curious versus those who want to debate.  Graduation dinners, office parties, wedding receptions, thanksgiving, etc…are not appropriate places to debate.  Situations you consider inappropriate to discuss religion and politics would also be a potential AOS, so proceed accordingly.  How should you respond when the debate seeking omnivore engages you?  Use my favorite awkwardness abating quote:  “I avoid certain foods for personal reasons that we can discuss at another time if you are interested”.   Okay…that didn’t work…they’re getting pushy…. “I believe our lifestyle, diet included, is guided by our beliefs and personal convictions, and that’s not something I feel is productive to debate”. 

***Instead of talking about what you can’t eat and what you would eat if it didn’t contain flesh, talk about what is tasty.  Examples:  What NOT to say: “That baked potato looks great; too bad it’s laying next to that fish that probably suffered a horrible death”.   What to say:  “That baked potato looks great” or just talk about how good your own food is.   Ooops…now they offered you some…  What not to say (if you don’t want an AOS)  “No thanks, I don’t eat death”.   How you should respond (to avoid an AOS):  “No thanks, I’m full, but thank you for offering”. 

***I don’t condone lying…but… Allergies  and other health issues will squash any AOS.  People eagerly challenge beliefs, but they don’t challenge digestive issues.

***Have your facts straight.  Sometimes AOS are unavoidable and whether you choose to engage in a discussion of this sort is your decision, but don’t go in with broad statement like “It’s healthier.”  They are gonna be concerned about your “obvious” lack of protein and other nutrients easily obtained from non-meat sources.  Respond appropriately and intelligently.  *Read previous blog  “How to safely be a  vegetarian” for more info.

***Being accommodated is nice, but don’t expect it.  Going to a BBQ?  Bring your own veggie burgers for the grill.  Going to a dinner party?  Bring something with you to share in case the main course and sides have meat. 

 

I’m always open to more tips and AOS solutions.  Feel free to share.

 

Quinoa: Put it on your plate. May 16, 2012

Filed under: Eat Clean,Vegetarianism — backpackready @ 3:15 pm
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Although it looks like a grain, this nutritional powerhouse is actually a seed that originates from the Andes Mountains of South America and should be in your cabinet pronto.

Image

http://www.squawkfox.com/2008/08/12/how-to-cook-quinoa/

Why you should eat it?

  1.  It serves as a complete protein with 9 essential amino acids.  Jump on it vegetarians/vegans.
  2. High magnesium and riboflavin (B2) content
  3. Great source of insoluble fiber.
  4. Provides half the daily minimum requirement for manganese & is a good source of copper & zinc.
  5. Lower in carbohydrates than rice and other grains.
  6. Gluten free.
  7. Very filling.   
  8. Easy preparation:  2 parts water for every 1 cup. I usually add a teaspoon of EVO to the boiling water before I add my quinoa in.  Similar to brown rice in that it takes ~25 min to cook.

Brown Rice vs Quinoa

“A cup of cooked quinoa has 220 calories, 8 g protein, 3.5 g fat, 39.5 g carbohydrates and 5 g fiber. Quinoa is in fact slightly higher in fat, but it beats brown rice in the amounts of protein and dietary fiber per serving. Quinoa is a much better choice for vegetarians or vegans since it is more difficult to get enough protein in those types of diets. Quinoa has all of the essential amino acids in it, whereas brown rice doesn’t make up a complete protein on its own”. From:  http://quinoanutrition.info/

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http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/10352/2

http://www.naturalnews.com/034110_quinoa_nutrition.html#ixzz1v2rS5Gal

 

How to safely be a Vegetarian: Salads are NOT enough. April 29, 2012

Filed under: Eat Clean,Vegetarianism — backpackready @ 7:57 pm
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 *** A Healthy Vegetarian is a Thoughtful Nutrient Focused Meal Planner***

Although there are many ethical, health, and environmental reasons for vegetarianism, it can be detrimental to your health if not carefully planned.  Animals serve as thoughtless/easy sources of protein, essential fatty acids, Iron, vitamin B 12, etc that may not be as easily obtained from nonmeat sources. I personally recommend a daily multivitamin for this lifestyle.

Beef is full of protein but cows don’t eat other animals… they eat grass!… so where do cows get their protein from?”

The Most common question a vegetarian is asked is, “Where do you get your protein?”  Protein is actually very available from beans, tofu, chickpeas, etc.  What you should be concerned about is Vitamin B12, Iron, & Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

21 Sources of Protein for Vegetarians: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vegetarian-protein-sources.html

I’ll list a few common/easy vegetarian Protein Sources from the above webpage:  Garbanzo beans (14.5 grams), Soybeans (28 grams), 1 cup tofu (22 grams), 1 cup lentils (18 grams), 1 cup yogurt (13 grams), Avocado (10 grams).

There are many sites that list plant vitamin B12 sources, but unfortunately, vegetables, seaweed, and whatever other plant sources mentioned are NOT reliable sources of adequate B vitamins. The levels of B12 in plants are highly dependent on where it is grown, when it is picked, and how soon it is eaten after picking.  Although I consider myself a “clean eater”, the most reliable way to get sufficient B12 is via fortified cereals & B12 vitamin supplements which are inexpensive & effective. If you are not vegan;  Milk, yogurt, and eggs are great vitamin B12 sources.

Good, easy to read article on the importance of Vitamin B12 & appropriate sources: http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/articles/getting-enough-vitamin-B12.php

Iron Sources: Green leafy vegetables, prunes, chick peas, beans, millet.

12 Top Vegan Iron Sources & daily Iron Requirements: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-top-vegan-iron-sources.html

 Tannins in Coffee & tea can decrease Iron absorption so don’t drink it within 2 hours of eating your iron rich foods.  I will emphasize that tea, especially Green Tea is an excellent source of antioxidants.  Just try to avoid drinking it with your high Iron foods.  Vitamin C increases absorption of Iron. So eat all the oranges and other vitamin C rich foods you want with Iron Sources. Conveniently, many foods that are rich in Iron are also rich in vitamin C.  Popeye must have been on to something 😉  Side Note:  If you decide to take Iron supplements, drink plenty of water and increase your  fiber intake,  as Iron supplements commonly cause constipation.

EFAs: flax seed oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts.

EFA: Research articles-Good for those with science background: Achieving optimal essential fatty acid status in vegetarians: http://www.ajcn.org/content/78/3/640S.full . Vegetarian’s Challenge-Optimizing Essential Fatty Acid status http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/020810p22.shtml (a bit easier to read than the first article)

Easy read to understand importance of essential fatty acids and sources: http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/articles/omega-3-vegetarians-vegans.php

 

Whatever your reason for considering vegetarianism, use those same reasons to work a little harder to ensure you obtain the nutrients you need for a full, long, healthy lifestyle that is free of animal cruelty. Besides…you’re not helping the cause when you are sick and malnourished with your hair falling out.

Wonderful link on nonmeat nutrient sources: http://www.veggieglobal.com/nutrition/proteins.htm#efa

 

 

 
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