Category Archives: Vegetarian

The "Budget Vegetarian"

In many family budgets, one of the biggest food expenses is often meat.  So in theory at least becoming a vegetarian should be an outstanding financial maneuver.  In theory, if all you ate was rice and vegetables, you should be able to live for very little. 

But theory and reality are often far apart from each other.  Because the culture of vegetarian living has developed so many high quality foods to fill the gap left behind by a good steak or a plate of barbeque ribs, you can spend as much or more on your vegetarian lifestyle as you did when you were a meat eater.  The high cost of living as a vegetarian is not entire attributable to gourmet foods however. 

The truth is if you are going to live in day in day out and month in month out on a vegetarian diet, not only do you need some high quality foods to substitute for taking a whole food group out of your diet, you need variety.  The quality is needed because its your health on the line if you don’t get the proper nutrients.   The diversity is needed because if you get bored with the vegetarian lifestyle, you may quit and give up.  And nobody wants that.

Another reason that the cost of vegetarian eating is often higher than a “normal” diet comes from the fact that vegetarians are still in the minority.  So prepared vegetarian foods and vegetarian only restaurants are rare.  And to be able to make a profit, these specialty stores must charge a lot because they are specialty stores.  Unfortunately, even though we see the vegetarian community as a supportive one, if you are going to be able to afford the vegetarian lifestyle, you are going to have to learn to cut costs.

Cutting costs means eliminating shopping at “boutique” vegetarian markets and no more eating out.  Or at least it means cutting down on the eating out significantly.  You can buy fresh vegetables and fruits at farmers markets or grocery stores that are just as valid as vegetarian options as any you get as a specialty store.  Using a good food processor and other means, you can chop, dice, boil and puree just about any kind of vegetarian meal that you might be able to imagine getting in a restaurant.  And at a much lower cost.  Not only that but the leftovers can go into a compost pile to make fertilizer for your garden when you can grow your own vegetables next spring.

That “grower to consumer” market that often surfaces as a farmer’s market is a great way to save lots of money also because you are buying your produce directly from the farmer and you cut the grocery store out of the loop entirely.  One way to make sure you capitalize on every opportunity to buy inexpensive produce is to work as a community.  Get about a dozen vegetarian families working together to always be on the lookout for a great buy.  One might find a small farmer’s market or roadside stand that is selling produce far below grocery store prices.  Another might find a farmer who will basically give his food away just to clear the field.  With some coordination, you could field an army of vegetarians to grab those bargains while they are fresh and stock everybody’s kitchen with low cost fresh produce.

These are just a few of many ways  you can find to save money on your vegetarian groceries and still have just as much quality but without as much cost.  By shopping smart and shopping for bargains, you can live the vegetarian life and feel good about it because you are not only healthy, you are smart.


Vegetarian Diabetes Diet

Diabetics must choose any food they eat very carefully, as each food choice they make has a profound impact on their overall health on a meal-to-meal basis. Diabetes affects people of all ages, both genders, from all walks of life and backgrounds. Untreated, it can cause wounds to heal slowly, infections take longer to cure, blindness, and kidney failure. Diet is one of the most important ways of controlling diabetes, and a vegetarian lifestyle with its emphasis on low fat, high fiber, and nutrient-rich foods is very complementary.

Affecting more than 30 million people worldwide, this disease inhibits the body from properly processing foods. Usually, most of the food we eat is digested and converted to glucose, a sugar which is carried by the blood to all cells in the body and used for energy. The hormone insulin then helps glucose pass into cells. But diabetics are unable to control the amount of glucose in their blood because the mechanism which converts sugar to energy does not work correctly. Insulin is either absent, present in insufficient quantities or ineffective. As a result glucose builds up in the bloodstream and leads to problems such as weakness, inability to concentrate, loss of co-ordination and blurred vision.  If the correct balance of food intake and insulin isn’t maintained, a diabetic can also experience blood sugar levels that are too low. If this state continues for a prolonged period of time, it can lead to coma and even death.

Though incurable, diabetes can be successfully controlled through diet and exercise, oral medications, injections of insulin, or a combination. Instead of counting calories diabetics must calculate their total carbohydrate intake so that no less than half their food is made up of complex carbohydrates. Many diabetic vegetarians have discovered that as a result of their meatless diet, they’ve had to use insulin injections less, which gives them a feeling of power and control over their disease.

Vegetarian "Little Secrets"

Most people who don’t know anything about the vegetarian lifestyle think that is must be pure drudgery being a vegetarian and giving up meat.  That is a misconception because even though meat is not a part of a vegetarian diet, it isn’t about what you are going without, it is what is in your diet and in your life that makes a vegetarian lifestyle work so well.  If you actually interviewed a vegetarian, the last thing they would say is that they are all about not eating meat.  Instead they are about living in healthy way in a way that is at peace with the environment and with their own bodies.
The body of knowledge about vegetarians that most people don’t know is pretty astounding.  Most people do understand the basic three reasons someone becomes a vegetarian which are health, animal rights and spiritual or moral reasons.  But there are a number of side benefits and little secrets only vegetarians know that if they became popularized, the flood of converts to vegetarianism would be overwhelming. 

Some of those little secrets include…

. Vegetarians are not depressed as much as others because they know some secrets to overcoming depression naturally.
. Vegetarians do not struggle with weight issues as much as others. 
. Vegetarians are better informed about nutrition and know how to make the most of what they eat.
. Vegetarians sleep better, are more energetic and need less sleep than meat eaters.
. Vegetarians have a much reduced incidence of cancer, heart disease and digestive disorders.
. Vegetarians live longer than meat eaters.

One secret vegetarians know that gets almost no press is the power of walnuts.  There is a little known chemical in walnuts called serotonin that is a powerful antidepressant.  Now you can get your doctor to prescribe an artificial anti depressant which can cost you a lot of money and put you at risk for chemical dependency.  Or you can make a nice hot cup of tea with walnut as part of the mix.  About half a walnut shell mixed in with your regular tea brew fills the drink with serotonin.  Taken regularly, you will feel the effects of a chemical pick me up that can combat depression very effectively.

Another little secret of vegetarians runs against the normal rules of dieting to get the full value of nutrients you might expect from eating a salad.  Diet theory would have you use no salad dressing or at very least a zero fat or low fat salad dressing.  Vegetarians who are more in touch with the effects of foods in their bodies know that the real value of eating salad are the natural nutrients in leafy vegetables called carotenoids.  But science has shown us that the best way to pull cerotenoids from green vegetables is to use a higher fat salad dressing.  So enjoy that fatty dressing because your vegetarian lifestyle will deliver plenty of weight loss value to you even with this small indulgence that can do you so much good.

Speaking of tea, green tea is often a staple of a vegetarians diet because of the little health secrets buried in this amazing drink.  Green tea has powers to help your digestive system, help combat depression and to accelerate weight loss that ancient cultures like the Chinese and India have known for centuries.  Vegetarians have caught up on this secret of health knowledge ahead of us so its time well learned from their wisdom.

These are just a few of the wisdom of the ancients that have been rediscovered by the modern vegetarian “craze”.  But it really isn’t a craze because once you start living a healthy life cashing in on these many benefits a vegetarian lifestyle will give you, you will never want to go back.

Different ways to cook rice

Rice needs to be thoroughly washed. A good way to do this is to put it into a colander,  in a deep pan of water. Rub the rice well with the hands, lifting the  colander in and out the water, and changing the water until it is clear; then drain. In this way the grit is deposited in the water, and the rice left thoroughly clean.

The best method of cooking rice is by steaming it. If boiled in much water, it loses a portion of its already small percentage of nitrogenous elements. It requires much less time for cooking than any of the other grains. Like all the dried grains and seeds, rice swells in cooking to several times its original bulk. When cooked, each grain of rice should be separate and distinct, yet perfectly tender.
Steamed rice.
Soak a cup of rice in one and a fourth cups of water for an hour, then add a cup of milk, turn into a dish suitable for serving it from at table, and place in a steam-cooker or a covered steamer over a kettle of boiling water, and steam for an hour. It should be stirred with a fork occasionally, for the first ten or fifteen minutes.
Boiled rice (japanese method).
Thoroughly cleanse the rice by washing in several waters, and soak it overnight.  In the morning, drain it, and put to cook in an equal quantity of boiling water, that is, a pint of water for a pint of rice. For cooking, a stewpan with tightly fitting cover should be used. Heat the water to boiling, then add the rice, and after stirring, put on the cover, which is not again to be removed during the boiling. At first, as the water boils, steam will puff out freely from under the cover, but when the water has nearly evaporated, which will be in eight to ten minutes, according to the age and quality of the rice, only a faint suggestion of steam will be observed, and the stewpan must then be removed from over the fire to some place on the range, where it will not burn, to swell and dry for fifteen or twenty minutes.

Rice to be boiled in the ordinary manner requires two quarts of boiling water to one cupful of rice. It should be boiled rapidly until tender, then drained at once, and set in a moderate oven to become dry. Picking and lifting lightly occasionally with a fork will make it more flaky and dry. Care must be taken, however, not to mash the rice grains.

Rice with fig sauce.
Steam a cupful of best rice as directed above, and when done, serve with a fig sauce. Dish a spoonful of  the fig sauce with each saucer of rice, and serve with plenty of cream. Rice served in this way requires no sugar for dressing, and is a most wholesome breakfast dish.

Orange rice.
Wash and steam the rice. Prepare some oranges by separating into sections and cutting each section in halves, removing the seeds and all the white portion. Sprinkle the oranges lightly with sugar, and let them stand while the rice is cooking. Serve a portion of the orange on each saucerful of rice.

Rice with raisins.
Carefully wash a cupful of rice, soak it, and cook as directed for Steamed Rice. After the rice has began to swell, but before it has softened, stir into it lightly, using a fork for the purpose, a cupful of raisins. Serve with cream.

Rice with peaches.
Steam the rice and when done, serve with cream and a nicely ripened peach pared and sliced on each individual dish.

Browned rice.
Spread a cupful of rice on a shallow baking tin, and put into a moderately hot oven to brown. It will need to be stirred frequently to prevent burning and to secure a uniformity of color. Each rice kernel, when sufficiently browned, should be of a yellowish brown, about the color of ripened wheat. Steam the same as directed for ordinary rice, using only two cups of water for each cup of browned rice, and omitting the preliminary soaking. When properly cooked, each kernel will be separated, dry, and mealy. Rice prepared in this manner is undoubtedly more digestible than when cooked without browning.

10 Sources of Protein for Vegetarians/Non-Meat Eaters

Here is copy of an article I read recently on non-meat proteins.
It can be a bit of a dilemma, especially for vegetarians, who want to eat a reasonable amount of protein. But don’t know which foods they can eat, this post will hopefully solve that for our non-meat eating friends among us.

The Daily Mail reported the other day a fantastic list of high protein foods , which is so good. I thought it would be a good idea to share it with everybody.

List of high protein foods for non-meat eaters

1. Quinoa, which they say that you can get from most supermarkets, I checked the one that we normally use. And they do actually sell it. The good thing about this is. It has lots of fibre and is high in protein, according to what they say it has over 13 percent, which is a good amount. It does look a bit like rice, and you cook it more or less the same.

2. Avocado, this is one particular fruit. I haven’t tried yet but at some time or another, I intend to. As well as containing protein avocados pack something of a triple whammy. They have high amounts of fibre as well as essential fatty acids, which are good at loweringLDL cholesterol.

Even though they aren’t that high in protein there still worth looking at I think all the above the following reasons.

3. Garden peas, these are considered to be a lower protein so, in order to gain the benefit from eating these you need to combine them with something else. They suggest using chickpeas, a small amount of grated cheese or brown rice.

4. Chickpeas, this is something that some flours are made of one that springs to mind is gram flour. You can use this to make onion bhajis, which I absolutely adore. These are high in protein and fibre.

So pack a double punch, according to what they say they are 23 percent protein so, in order to get more benefit from eating these. Try them with other beans, or as suggested above, brown rice.

5. Miso soup, I have never even heard of this before. Apparently, it’s made from Soya beans, and has certain ingredients in it, which can help to lower your cholesterol levels, which is another added benefit.
They say it has ingredients in it similar to those in yoghurt. So if you have digestive problems, it may help those as well.

6. Peanut butter, I have to put my hand up here and say I haven’t tried this until just recently, and I absolutely love the taste of it. This is something that I have recently been adding to our shopping basket.

The only real downside about this, according to what they say is it’s not a complete protein, but there is no reason why you can’t have it in a sandwich to make the shortfall.

7. Coconut milk and fresh, this they say is a complete protein I had some coconut milk, the other week, and it tastes delicious. It makes a really good base for cooking something from scratch. The only downside of it is being high in saturated fat. So best be used in moderation.

8. Brown rice, I have had brown rice in the past, but never got particularly ambitious with it. So more experimentation would be needed according to what they say its complete. So combine with other foods, in order to make the shortfall up. Another good thing is, its high in fibre.

9. Beetroot, this is something I used to eat quite a lot of but stopped eating it, for some reason. However, having said that I actually love beetroot. It’s great with salads, and in sandwiches.

They say it’s a complete protein and good for your liver, which is an added bonus. Beetroot, therefore, would be good for adding with lesser complete protein foods.

10. Oats, they don’t say which particular type of oats but say that they are high in fibre and have cholesterol lowering properties. And high levels of antioxidants. Another added bonus.

Are there any particular foods that you can think of that are high in protein? That would be suitable for vegetarians, they would be interesting to get feedback from other people who eat none meat sources of protein.

Just in case your wondering its not a April fools joke, happy April fools day.

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