At the family gathering over the weekend, my sister’s father-in-law threw the good old “Where do you get protein?” at me when he found out I didn’t eat meat. When I explained the many plant-based sources of protein, the number of protein grams the average person needs and how most are getting 3-5 times more than that consuming a lot of animal products, he had no clue on how much protein he was getting and never thought to question it. After reading this short CSL post, seems he’s not the only one.
Bottom line: Americans were moderate meat-eaters a century ago, and are vigorous carnivores today. Cheese intake has exploded, and greasy, sugary foods are more prevalent than ever.
Isn’t that the truth and a sad one? I’m looking forward to Forks Over Knives and hope the movie gets a wide release when it is finally released. I got thinking about the topic today because one of my uncles was recently diagnosed with a heart breaking late-staged rare cancer and my aunt has been sending out regular lengthy emails detailing his health status, treatment updates and complications that have been developing. The last email was very hard to read because of the miserable treatment side affects and frustrations he’s going through, I could tell that they’re just exhausted. At the end of the email was a bold statement in all caps, “Keep your good health while your are healthy at all costs!” It’s so hard to watch loved ones suffer and not be able to do much about it.
On a lighter note, I made another messy salad for lunch.
Pretty lettuce, kale, carrot ribbons, red cabbage, sprouts and hemp seeds topped with more of my favorite Annie’s Organic Shiitake dressing. And it’s on my favorite color Fiesta Ware plate. :-)
I was craving black beans and actually remembered to start soaking some last night for dinner tonight. I created a recipe specifically to try an impulse purchase at Whole Foods.
Daiya Cheddar Shreds – finally! I’ve been reading so much about this amazing dairy-free “cheese” that I just had to try it.
Cheese is not something I miss terribly and I think that’s why it took me so long to finally try Daiya, plain shredded cheddar cheese really did not have a lot of flavor for me and when I was eating it the recipes it was in usually involved a lot of spice like baked enchiladas and spicy burgers. But Daiya Cheddar Shreds have much more taste than plain dairy-based cheddar cheese, kind of a spicy, rich, savory flavor that reminds me a bit of nacho cheese flavored snacks – it would be better on enchiladas! It tastes great by itself. But even better on my vegan black bean chili.
Vegan Black Bean Chili
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- pinch black pepper
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight
- kernels of 2 fresh ears of corn
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 2 carrots, chopped
Bring beans, corn and water to a boil in medium sauce pan. Heat olive oil in medium fry pan, then caramelize onions in it. Place garlic, chili powder, cumin, pepper, carrots and tomatos in high speed blender and blend to a puree. Add onions to sauce pan with corn and beans, then pour tomato mixture into the sauce pan. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Makes about 4 servings.
The Daiya shreds even melted into the bowl and got all gooey adding a thick, rich texture to it. I’m not sure it’s something I’ll buy a lot, but I don’t think it would disappoint any vegan with an occasional cheese craving. The real test is when I take it to my mom for lunch tomorrow because she’s a die hard cheese fan and has had a hard time eliminating it from her diet.
Whew, after cramming in a 3.6m run, my legs are feeling it! But so far so good with half marathon training, I’m running at least twice a week now while spacing in rest time and other exercise and increasing my distance. I will bump that up to three times as I get closer to October, but I don’t want to burn out … like last year when I sprained my ankle pretty bad after over-training. I know, total noob move. :-P