Friday, August 7, 2009

I cannot find it!!

Someone has asked for my recipe for my strawberry tofu pie. I have looked and looked through here and I even added a search engine to try to find it. Nope. No luck. It's at the original Veggie-Bistro cookbook site, but I guess it never migrated over here. And so... I post it ... again. I think :) The texture is more like custard than pudding and if you don't tell people what they're eating, they'll never know it's tofu. Top it with Cool Whip and it's even better, but I digress. :) Someone told me once that it's not really vegan because it uses gelatin. My response to that is yes, it can too be vegan. I've been to the health food store enough to know there is a vegan gelatin alternative. Use the vegan alternative and fresh strawberry juice for color and flavor and viola!! Perfection in a pan. Also, just to kick it up to something amazing, try adding in the zest and juice of 2 limes. Oh my goodness is that good! The sweetness of the berries with the contrast of the tang and tart of the lime.... OH! DD 2 doesn't like it as a pie; she eats it in a cup as a custard.

Ok Ok... enough chatter. Here's the goods. Enjoy! :)

Strawberry Custard Pie

1 graham cracker crust
1 medium banana, broken into chunks
1 box silken lite tofu
1 box strawberry gelatin, or vegan alternative if you prefer.
1 cup HOT water

Dissolve gelatin into the hot water and set aside. While that sets, blend together the tofu and the banana until the texture is smooth and creamy. Then add in the gelatin mixture to the blended tofu and whiz again. Blend it thoroughly, then pour into the ready and waiting crust. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. It is delicious and light and good for you. Who can beat that?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

See it wiggle, see it jiggle.....

Wiggle Room
We've seen it jiggle for decades—finally, Jell-O gets to play a bigger role at the dinner table. Combine six boxes of Jell-O powder with half the amount of water specified, chill the mix in a glass vase for half an hour, then just push flowers into the semi-firm gelatin. Design your own—in any color!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bacon Noodles...... OH!!

Country Noodle Casserole


* 1/2 pound sliced veggie bacon
* 16-ounce package very fine egg noodles
* 3 cups cottage cheese
* 3 cups dairy sour cream
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 2 onions, mined
* 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* Dash liquid hot pepper seasoning
* 4 teaspoons salt
* 3 Tablespoons horseradish
* 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* Extra sour cream


Microwave bacon until crisp; place on paper towels and crumble. Cook noodles in boiling salted water until tender, according to package directions; drain well. Mix all remaining ingredients, except Parmesan cheese and extra sour cream, in a large bowl. Add noodles and bacon and toss with two forks until well mixed. Turn into a deep 3-1/2 quart buttered casserole. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until heated through. Remove cover, sprinkle surface with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, broil until golden. Serve remaining Parmesan to sprinkle over each portion, and extra sour cream if you wish.

NOTE: This dish may be prepared ahead of time and cooked just before serving.


Vegeatrian Diet - advantages for children

Found this at the PCRM

Tips for Parents

Vegan diets are safe and offer health advantages, but how does this translate into practical guidelines for parents? Here are some tips for dealing with common situations.

School Lunches / Snacks

It would truly be a challenge to find a classroom where every student eats the same foods. Lactose intolerance, food allergies, ethnic preferences, and religious or dietary restrictions all influence food choices. The classroom can provide an opportunity to introduce students and teachers to healthy foods. Fresh fruit, veggies cut into fun shapes served with bean dip, muffins, and crackers spread with nut butter and fruit, are all healthy, delicious snacks.

Be sure to discuss food issues with your child’s teacher. Find out if the teacher has any classroom rules regarding foods. For example, some teachers may not allow candy or other sweets to be eaten in the classroom—a sign of helpful nutritional interest and concern. Discuss the reasons that your child follows a vegan diet and provide the teacher with nutrition information. Airing these issues ahead of time helps head off problems by familiarizing the teacher with vegan diets. Donating books or cookbooks to the school library is helpful. It’s also useful to link up with like-minded parents for mutual support.

The variety of vegetables, legumes, grains, and fruits available can make for interesting school lunch fare. For parents concerned that their child’s meal will be “different,” try meat analogs, soy cheese, or soy yogurt. Leftovers are another quick and easy lunchtime alternative. Experiment with these suggestions:

* Sandwiches—Try hummus or another bean spread with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and shredded carrots in pita bread. Many whole foods stores and some grocery stores sell vegan deli slices that look and taste like bologna, Canadian bacon, roast beef, and turkey. Serve on whole-grain bread with soy cheese, mustard, lettuce, and tomato. Peanut butter is an old standby. For variety, try other nut butters, such as cashew, almond, or hazelnut, with sliced banana or peaches on whole wheat bread. Cutting sandwiches into novel shapes is fun for kids.
* Hot meals—Fill a wide-mouth thermos with just-made or leftover pasta and tomato sauce, hearty bean soup, veggie chili, or stew. Or make your own vegetarian version of “franks & beans” using vegetarian hot dogs and vegetarian baked beans.
* Soups—Warm your child with homemade vegetable or bean soups. If you are short on time, try a low-sodium instant soup. Just stir hot water into the soup mix and pour into a thermos. Round off the meal with some crackers, crunchy baby carrots, and soy or rice milk.
* Side dishes—Choose a couple of the following suggestions to complete your child’s meal: individual boxes of soy or rice milk, soy yogurt, chopped vegetables and dip, whole grain breads or crackers, homemade muffins, rice cakes, pretzels, or fresh fruit. Although the United States Department of Agriculture still mandates that cow’s milk be served with school lunches, many schools will allow juice to be substituted, if you present a physician’s note.

Birthday Parties

Whether the celebration occurs at school or at home, your child needn’t feel like an outsider. If the celebration is for another child, offer to bring a dish or dessert to the party. Some popular foods are listed below:

* Hot dogs—Vegan versions of the traditional meat hot dogs are widely available. Try some of the following brands: Lightlife Smart Dogs or Tofu Pups, Yves Veggie Weiners or Tofu Weiners. Sauerkraut, relish, ketchup, and mustard go well with any of these.
* Hamburgers—Many types of vegan burgers are available in grocery stores or whole foods stores. Try some of the following brands: Boca Burgers, Garden Vegan, or Harvest Burgers. Allow children to add their own toppings—ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato, or relish.
* Pizza—Spread tomato sauce on plain bagels or English muffins and have children top them with a variety of fresh vegetables, such as chopped onions, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, or olives. Add a sprinkle of soy cheese for more flavor. If you have time, make or purchase pizza dough and cut the dough into a variety of shapes. Have the kids add the toppings and bake.
* Dessert—Try fruit smoothies using soy or rice milk and frozen fruit. Watermelon slices always go over well with kids. Or prepare a fruit salad, cutting the fruit into a variety of shapes.

If you are making a cake or cupcakes, try some of the following suggestions for replacing eggs and/or dairy in the recipe:

* To replace eggs in baked goods, substitute 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) soft tofu, 1/3 cup applesauce, or 1/3 cup pumpkin for each egg. Half of a small mashed banana can also replace each egg—and tastes great in pancakes or muffins. Commercially prepared substitutes such as Ener-G Egg Replacer (a mixture of potato starch, flour, and leavening) can also be used per package instructions.
* Replace milk with soymilk or rice milk, cup for cup, in any recipe. For buttermilk, substitute each cup with 1 cup of soymilk or rice milk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar. For yogurt in recipes, replace each cup with 3/4 cup soymilk or rice milk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

My new favorite site -- PCRM

Vegetarian Diets Promote Bone Health

PCRM Responds to New Study on Eating Habits and Bone Density

WASHINGTON—A study was published in the July 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on vegetarian diets and bone density. The study appears to have been misinterpreted by some reporters as suggesting that vegetarian and vegan diets might lead to decreased bone health. This is not what the study showed.

The study’s results suggest that vegetarian diets may be associated with slightly lower bone mineral density. "But the magnitude of the association is clinically insignificant," as the study’s lead researcher, Tuan Nguyen, explained in the paper’s conclusion.

Other studies have found that vegetarian and vegan diets have no clinically detrimental effect on bone health. Indeed, one recent study by the same researchers found that a lifelong vegan diet has no adverse effects on bone mineral density compared to an omnivorous diet. Many epidemiological studies show that high dairy intake is actually associated with increased fracture risk.

"Vegetarian diets can help people build strong bones, and plant-based diets reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer," says Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., an assistant professor of health and wellness at the University of North Carolina Asheville and author of Building Bone Vitality, a new book about bone loss and osteoporosis prevention. "To build strong bones and healthy bodies, people need weight-bearing exercise and low-acid, plant-based diets rich in fruits and vegetables."

A scientific review on the role of dairy in bone health published in Pediatrics in 2005 showed that the majority of studies on this subject have found no relationship between bone health and dairy consumption or dietary calcium intake. The level of dairy product consumption in the United States is already among the highest in the world, and yet our osteoporosis and fracture rates are also among the highest.

Dairy also poses health concerns. Fluid milk has become the single largest source of artery-clogging saturated fat in the diets of American children. A study from the Harvard Medical School found that drinking milk actually increases the risk of childhood obesity. Fat from dairy products is associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study just published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
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