Category: Food (page 1 of 3)

Do You Have To Eat Meat To Get Good Iron?

It’s a myth that many believe … that you have to have meat in order to get good amounts of iron.

Here in New Zealand, we have  Olympic athletes who advertise on our  T.V. for the meat industry, touting Beef and Lamb being rich in protein and iron.  Kind of saying – eat this and you’ll be an athlete like me.

Sadly I have some news that hopefully will dispel this crazy myth that meat iron is good for us.

Yes, we need iron.  In simply language we need it for healthy red blood cells which carry oxygen around our body.

Meat iron is called heme iron and it differs considerably from plant iron … and here’s why.

Iron is regulated by the intestines.  So when we don’t have enough, the intestines will increase the absorption of iron into the blood.  When we have too much iron, the reverse happens – the intestines decrease the iron.

But, here’s where it gets interesting.  You see, it does NOT work for heme iron.  The intestines can only regulate plant iron!!!!

Heme iron also is a pro-oxidant.  That means it can generate cancer-causing free radicals.  Quite honestly you don’t really want to have heme iron in your body at all, plus, how many meat eaters do you know who are really into their antioxidants?  Check out my post on Antioxidants

So if you are relying on meat for iron, or your doctor has told you that it is the best source, understand that because the intestines can’t regulate it …. too little will lead to anemia, but, too much (which the average meat eater has), you run the risk of cancer and heart disease.

iron in meat

BUT – I haven’t finished yet!!!!!  This next bit is really interesting.

I have it on very good authority that the meat industry is looking at ways to have additives that will

“suppress the toxic effects of heme iron”

This reminds me of the Tobacco Industry who knew back in the 1920s & 30s that cigarettes caused cancer, but nothing was done until 1969 when finally the public were made aware of the dangers.
So does this action from the meat industry sound familiar???

I leave you to ponder on that, and I’d love you to leave a comment.

Ciao
Fee



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How To Make Hummus

This is my version of how to make hummus.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (or 1 cup of precooked chickpeas).
  • 2 Tblsp aquafaba water (water from the can or the cooking water). (may require more).
  • 3 Tblsp tahini
  • 2 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1 – 2 plump cloves of garlic
  • 1/2  cup lemon juice (add a little of the pulp)

Season with:

  • Sea salt
  • Smoked paprika
  • Ground cumin

Method:

  1. Blend the chickpeas and aquafaba together, add more aquafaba if you want it to be more  creamy.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and blend to the desired consistency.
  3. Serve with sliced raw veggies, crackers or even use it on top of a salad… you can put it pretty much anywhere!!!

Check out the video in My Kitchen – I made the hummus live on FB and at the end discovered I’d left out the garlic!!!

The Rise of Veganism?

With the latest Supermarket Stats from Britain out, are we seeing a Rise in Veganism?

Now I realize that these statistics are from Britain, but I truly believe that these figures are synonymous with what is a growing trend in the Western world.  Even in my own small city, the emergence of new plant based cafés – vegetarian, vegan and raw foods has increased considerably in the last 18 months.  It’s wonderful to behold!!!!

The following statistics were taken from the supermarket figures in Britain for the year 2016.  What I have done is show you what they would be if they were USA or N.Z. dollars (Australians can go sort of in between those two).

Fresh Meat was down £328 million – $106 million USA – $566 million N.Z.

Itemized out that is:

  • Beef – down £72 million – $90 million USA – $124 million N.Z.
  • Pork – down £62 million – $75 million USA – $107 million N.Z.
  • Lamb – down £21 million – $26 million USA – $36 million N.Z.
  • Poultry – down £49 million – $60 million USA – $84 million N.Z.

But not only was meat down, so was dairy ….

  • Fresh milk – down £54 million – $66 million USA – $93 million N.Z.
  • Butter – down £83 million – $102 million USA – $143 million N.Z.
  • Cheese – down £73 million – $90 million USA – 1266 million N.Z.

Brilliant news!!!!  And the beauty is that there was a rise in Dairy Free product which were up by £123 million

If this trend continues we could see omnivores as being the odd ones out and plant based eaters as main stream. Wouldn’t that be grand for us all (humans, animals the planet!!!).

Enjoy great food and be compassionate to all animals including humans

Ciao
Fee




Cameras In Slaughterhouses – Well Done France!

I heard today that France has passed a bill that there are to be cameras in all their slaughterhouses.

Which got me remembering all the other things that France has done.  So I have made a list (as I do).

  1. They have introduced incentives to embed sustainability into French urban planning.
  2. They are encouraging  alternatives to conventional means of transportation such as self-service bike rental stations and car sharing.  They are also encouraging the use and maintenance of hybrid and electric vehicles as well as the necessary infrastructure to power them.
  3. France became the 1st country to totally ban Neonicotinoids – the bee-killing component in pesticides.  This measure goes above and beyond the E.U. ban put in place in 2013.  The German company Bayer is not happy and, in fact, has a lawsuit pending against the E.U. Learn more  It’s almost like France has put up its middle finger to Bayer.
  4. France is the first country to ban plastic cups and plates and utensils –  French law will require all disposable tableware to be made from 50% biologically-sourced materials. read more.   And on the subject of plastic, they have also banned the common plastic bag – that’s the smaller and thinner type used in supermarkets.  They will still have plastic bags, but they must be reusable ones which should cut down the numbers.
    You know those little plastic bags you put the veggies/fruit in? well they’ve been phased out as of the start of this year (2017) The law also currently plans to have domestically compostable bags which should replace plastic fruit and vegetable bags too.  Did you know:  An average plastic bag takes one second to make, is used for roughly 20 minutes and takes up to 400 years to degrade naturally.
  5. Food – The have become the world’s first country to ban supermarket waste and compel large retailers to donate unsold food.  Let’s face it – there’s heaps of places that will take donated food, not just the homeless shelters – what about schools, orphanages, old folk homes .
  6. All the new buildings in commercial zones must now comply and have green roofs – that is to say the rooftops must be partially covered in plants or solar panels by law.
  7. And now – the cameras in slaughterhouses.  Although France’s history of animal welfare is lacking compare to other countries, at least this is a real start.  It did come about by the release of hidden video as well as a fair amount of protesting.  Read more  To top this off a coalition of 26 French animal protection associations have combined to make sure that animal welfare is on the political agenda for the next presidential and legislative elections.

Our animals and our planet need us to get behind countries that are actually doing something.  Yes we need the “something” to be way more than what’s being done, and way faster, but, being the realist I am, I’m grateful for small wins.

Speaking about the environment – The EU, those pesky bureaucrats in Brussels who care for the environment, are putting all countries under pressure to reduce the consumption of plastic bags.  Wish the same could be said for here Down Under!!!

Love food, be kind to animals (including humans)
and, remember, for every $ you spend you shape our world.

Ciao
Fee

 

My Partner Is A Full On Meat Eater And I Want To Go Veg

Is this where you’re at?  Your partner is full on meat eater and you’re wanting to go veg.

Or, perhaps you know some-one who is in this situation and you’re not sure how to help them.  Well, I’ve set out a few ideas below and hopefully they’ll be of some benefit.

You see, I’ve pretty much heard all the excuses, in fact I wrote a book about it Why Be Vegetarian Debunking The Excuses  and in that book I go through the most common (and funny) ones that are asked.

But the one that I think is not necessarily an excuse per se, but is a reason and one that I do understand – my partner is a meat eater but I’d love to go veg –

1. The very first thing I tell them is that bringing in the cruelty of animal farming usually doesn’t work.  Many have tried by putting up the argument about the animal abuse within the meat industry, but, sadly, many meat-eaters have turned off the compassionate switch, in fact, putting factory farming images can actually have the opposite effect – it’s called desensitization.  The brain doesn’t compute the images with what is being eaten, because the brain is so used to believing that what is being consumed is needed by the body.  (plus it tastes good).

So the trick is to bring in health and scientific research.  There is a documentary which you may have heard of called  Forks Over Knives.   This doco was made in 2011, but it is even more relevant today.  The medical studies and research are incredible and the results amazing.

The idea is to watch this documentary TOGETHER … you can rent it from Amazon really cheap …. then when it’s finished, hopefully, it will stimulate conversation between the two of you.  That’s when you’re then able to suggest that you both could try having animal free days even just a couple of days a week and see how you go.

However, don’t be surprised if the result is even more dramatic and a full on 100% plant based diet is suggested by the meat-eater.

2. If you’re the one doing the cooking, then this can be much easier.  You can easily make veg meals and have meat as a “side dish”.  In fact it’s even easier if you have single serve pieces of meat e.g. a piece of chicken, steak, fish etc.

3. Of course you can just say …. “This is what I’m eating – if you want meat, you cook it yourself”.  Now this one is rather dramatic, but has been known to work.  You know your partner, so you’ll know just how far you can take this one.

4. Another great way of introducing veg meals is to have food in different bowls laid out on the table so everyone can help themselves.  Along the lines of a buffet style meal.  Yes, it makes for a lot more dishes, but it’s actually quite fun, and rather than you dishing up each plate of food, everyone gets to choose.

Now this bodes well for the change.  The meat-eater can still have the meat, but can also try a little of the plant based foods as well.  Make sure you add some vegan cheese also just for fun.

5. You can use faux meats, however, I’m not a believer in this type as, at the end of the day, it’s still processed and, for health, you want to avoid processed as much as possible.

In saying that, if you come across something very tasty, then it could be a way for your meat-eater to give it a go.  Perhaps an idea for transition food.

6. Last one is that you could approach it this way …. “I respect your eating choices and we eat the way you want every day, so, please can you respect my choices and perhaps we can eat the way I would like twice a week?”  It could be a start.

One thing to remember throughout all this, is to respect the meat-eaters choices.  You may not agree, but each person has a right to make their own choice and chances are s/he is just not ready yet.  We all come at this from different angles and at different times.

Hopefully this has been of some help if your partner is a full on meat-eater and you want to go veg.

Ciao
Fee



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Melon & Curry Sauce

Oh this is simply divine – a melon and curry sauce that can be used over anything!

You will need a good food processor/blender and:

How To Make:

  • 1 cup of cashews soaked and drained. (for optimum result soak overnight).

Blend these nuts until really, really creamy then add:

  • 1 Tblsp Maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
  • Blend these with the nut cream then add:
  • The flesh of 1/2 a Rock Melon (for a more traditional taste use a Mango).
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons Curry powder – add enough curry powder to your taste.

Blend until smooth tasting as you go so you don’t over-do the curry.   You want the flavour of the Melon to come through.

Once the sauce is blended to a creamy consistency, put it into a glass jar and refrigerate.  You can add to all sorts of dishes at the last minute to just get it heated through.

Note:
You don’t want to boil it … be gentle if heating through on its own.

Please leave a comment if you do make this and what you added it to.

Enjoy
Fee



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How To Make Vegan Boursin Cheese

As it’s one of my favourites, I thought I’d show you how to make vegan Boursin cheese.

This is something that is a cross between a soft cheese and a spread.  You need to keep it in the refrigerator to keep it firm-ish.

Ingredients

  • ½ Cup + 2 Tblsp of cashews soak overnight and rinsed thoroughly.
  • 12.3 oz box extra firm silken tofu – drain as much water out as possible.
  • 2 Tblsp fresh lemon juice.
  • ¾ teaspoon salt.
  • ½ teaspoon light miso.

Blend the above ingredients until really, really smooth.

Then add:

  • 1 – 2 medium cloves crushed garlic.
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons minced fresh chives.
  • 1 Tblsp chopped fresh parsley.
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.

Blend again until smooth or pulse to have more “chopped” bits.

Scoop into 2 cup ramekins, cover and pop into the refrigerator.

Variations:

  • Use shallots instead of garlic
  • Instead of the chives use basil or dill
  • Try 2 Tblsp of chopped roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Add chopped nuts.

Enjoy
Ciao
Fee





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How To Make A Chestnut Wellington (Vegan)

This Chestnut Wellington is wonderful for any celebration.

Adapted from a recipe by Rose Elliot in her Fast, Fresh and Fabulous vegetarian cookbook.

I have broken this into parts to make it easier

Set the oven to 200°C – 400°F

Ingredients:

2 sheets Vegetarian Pastry – or make your own.

Group 1.

  1. 1 Tblsp olive oil.
  2. 1 onion finely chopped.
  3. 4 baby leeks finely chopped.
  4. 50gm mushrooms finely chopped.
  5. 1 clove garlic finely chopped.

Group 2:

  1. 50ml Red wine.
  2. 1 teaspoon Marmite.

Group 3:

  1. 200gm roasted (or jar) chestnuts chopped.
  2. Zest of one orange (organic and unwaxed).
  3. 1 teaspoon dried sage.
  4. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.
  5. Sea salt to taste.

Method:

  • Saute the ingredients in Group 1 until the onions are soft.
  • Lower the heat.
  • Add in Group 2, wine and Marmite and keep stirring until the wine has reduced.
  • Add in Group 3 and cook for a further 5 minutes stirring frequently.
  • The mixture should thicken.
  • Take off the heat and allow to cool.

(Make your cuts a bit more even than this drawing!)

Put the two sheets of pastry together to create a large rectangle.  Roll a little to flatten out the join.

  • Cut strips on the sides – as in image.
  • Put filling in the middle.
  • Pull up each corresponding strip from each side and cross or plait.
  • By the time you’ve finished it should be all covered (or close to).
  • Brush with a little nut milk.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, if getting golden you can turn the oven down to a medium heat and cook a further 15 minutes.

Notes:

  1. In the oven, you are cooking the pastry as the loaf is already cooked, so cook the pastry until a beautiful golden colour.
  2. Have all your ingredients ready … makes it easier.




Stop With The Big Corp Bullying! Save The Bees

We really do have to save the bees.  And I’m over the big corp bullying.

It came to my attention yesterday that the chemical corporation, Bayer (Bayer is the German version of Monsanto … more about this corp below), is suing Europe!  The European Commision to be exact. – Because –

Back in 2013 scientific studies concluded that the pesticides with Neonicotinoids in them definitely killed bees.  So the E.U. banned three pesticides.  Now, Bayer want to be overturn that decision so they can start selling this stuff again.

I do find it rather ironic that this is coming now when Bayer is about to acquire Monsanto, the other big chemical giant.  If this happens, then Bayer will have world dominance over the seed production.

Stick with me here ……

Bayer produces seeds which have Neonicotinoids over them.  Now that means, once they are planted this chemical spreads throughout the plant and kills any insect that happens to come along to have a wee snack …. including bees which are there for the pollen.

big corp bullying

The plants are also unable to re-generate meaning that the farmer must get new seeds each planting time (my understanding is that is under the GMO part of seed raising) – I am actually going somewhere here.

  1. So Bayer takes over Monsanto.
  2. Bayer produces seeds that kills bees.
  3. Bayer produces GMO plants that can’t re-generate.

My little brain equates that to ….

Bayer wants total world domination of the food supply.

Do you agree?  Would love to see your views in the comments below.

Either way, it would be excellent if you would take a minute to sign the petition just click:

SAVE THE BEES

save the bees

Thanks

Ciao
Fee




How To Make Vegan Cheddar Cheese

Ever wondered how easy it would be to make a vegan cheddar cheese that was melty as well as tasty?

This is a recipe I have used for quite some time now and do recommend it.  Before you go diving into it let me say that the taste is more perhaps like a smoked cheddar.  It’s really very tasty, easy to make, (although not quick), and lasts for awhile as long as it’s refrigerated.

So I made some last Sunday …. Sunday is always a good day for me to spend in the kitchen making stuff, like cookies or heaps of patties I can then freeze, sauces and, of course vegan cheese e.g. Feta – click for recipe, and this Vegan Cheddar.

It’s not as hard as cheddar, but it can be grated giving softer “strings” which is good for melting through a sauce.  Put into a basic white sauce to make it a “cheese sauce”.  I’ve grated it into pies to have the vegan version of “Mince and Cheese” pies … a Kiwi tradition!  And it’s also awesome in toasted sandwiches (toasties).  It melts better if grated rather than sliced.

So here’s how to make a great vegan cheddar cheese – with tips and photos …..

Put the following into a food processor.

  • 1 1/2 cups raw Cashews soaked overnight, drained and rinsed.
  • 2 packed Tblsp Sundried Tomatoes – dry packaged is best or if you can’t get them that way, really press as much oil out as you can to get them as dry as possible.
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast, also known as Savoury Yeast.
  • 1 Tblsp Sherry (optional), if you don’t use Sherry then 1 Tblsp water.
  • 1 heaped Tblsp White Miso.
  • 1 Tblsp raw Apple Cider Vinegar.
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt.
  • 1 teaspoon Onion powder.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry ground Mustard powder.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
  • dash of Black Pepper.
  1. It will take time to process and you will need to stop and scrape down the sides.  Process until smooth and everything is well blended.

Then add:

  • 1/2 cup refined Coconut Oil.
  1. Process again until all is mixed through.
  2. Place into a container that is lined with baking paper or aluminum foil.
  3. Shape into a “loaf” shape.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Tips:

  • Very important to soak the cashews for at least 4 hours … the longer the better.
  • I find it easier to snip the sundried tomatoes with scissors.
  • The black pepper is for triggering the Turmeric to release its health giving properties … you really don’t need much, just one grind is sufficient.

Photos:

how to make Vegan cheddar cheese

Ingredients and recipe … Check!

how to make Vegan cheddar cheese

Snip those SD tomatoes!

how to make Vegan cheddar cheese

Start processing … From this –

how to make Vegan cheddar cheese

To this – mmmm smoooooth

how to make Vegan cheddar cheese

Into the container

how to make Vegan cheddar cheese

Package it up and into the fridge!

And the bonus?  Because it has miso in it which is fermented – it’s great for gut health!!!!  This is my kind of cheese 🙂

Enjoy Great Food!

Ciao
Fee




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