Archive for May, 2008

Fresh Spinach and Tomato Pasta

Fresh Spinach and Tomato Pasta

Recipe submitted by “My own creation KarmaGirl”, 02/29/04

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

    Bowtie Pasta
    3-4 Fresh Tomatoes, Blanched with seeds removed
    I bag of fresh baby spinach
    1/2 cup of vegetable broth
    1-3 cloves of garlic (depending on preference)
    Dried Rosemary (to taste)
    Dried Oregano (to taste)
    Salt and Pepper (to taste)
    Olive Oil (3-4 tablespoons)
    Nutritional Yeast

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions and set aside. Next, blanch the tomatoes, remove the seeds and skin and then chop. Wash the spinach and then chop it up as well.  Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and spinach first. Cook the spinach on medium heat until it gets a little tender.

Add the seasonings and then the tomatoes and saute for about 2-3 minutes. If you sauté too long, the tomatoes get too mushy. Just before its done add the veggie broth and stir for another minute to thicken. Finally, remove from heat and stir in the pasta. Serve hot with a little nutritional yeast over top. My whole family loves this recipe and its so simple. We eat it almost every week.

Serves: 5-6

Preparation time: 30 Minutes

URL: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=8385.0

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I found this on veg web and made it for dinner the other day. It was really good, except that once I put in the veg broth I lost a lot of the flavor (I tried it before and after) so I think you shouldn’t be afraid to “over season” … at least that’s my opinion … anyway, it was really good … so … ya …

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The Responses From Bath and Body Works, Proctor & Gamble, Iams and Mars

Only a little while ago I was perusing the Internet to find a list of companies that test on animals. PETA’s seemedto be the most prominent, so I checked it out. For a while I bough into the whole “IamsCruelty” and “Mars Candy Kills”completely, but now I have beginning to doubt. (( Note: I don’t doubt animal testing or it’s horrors but who exactly is doing it and PETA’s possible “agenda” )) When I contacted Iams and Mars there response did not sound at all like what PETA had made them out to be (I’ll post what they said in a sec). Now, that on it’s own may not say much (I mean they could have made a mistake), but now Proctor and Gamble (makers of Herbal Essences) have said similar. Here is their response to my email informing them of Leaping Bunny (an organization that certifies companies that comply to an internationaly recodnised standard of cruelty free products called the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics or CCIC) and the following is their response:

Thank you for contacting us regarding our use of animal testing.  We
are glad to have the chance to share the facts about our product safety
testing program with you.

P&G has consistently refrained from making claims related to animal
research on our products and packaging, and in keeping with this policy,
we are phasing out that language from our packaging.  This does not
represent a change in our research and manufacturing process, but is simply
a matter of making our labels consistent with P&G policy.

We at P&G want to ultimately eliminate the need for all animal testing
of products and ingredients for human use.  We have already ended the
use of animals for evaluating the safety of all current non-food,
non-drug product formulations, except where required by regulations OR WHEN
THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE TEST AVAILABLE TO ENSURE HUMAN SAFETY.  When
evaluating the safety of foods, drugs, new technologies and
never-before-used ingredients, we always look first to existing safety data and then
to alternatives.  A minimal amount of animal research is used only when
we’re unable to verify safety any other way — let us stress that
resorting to animal research is the exception rather than the norm.  We’d
rather use alternatives; not only is the use of animals avoided, but
reliable alternatives generally cost less and take less time. 

We’re committed to the ultimate elimination of animal testing FOR
PRODUCTS INTENDED FOR HUMAN USE.  In order to reach this goal, we’re doing a
number of things.  We’ve invested almost $160 million in alternatives,
making us an industry leader.  We’re working with the FDA and
respected animal welfare groups, such as the Humane Society of the United
States, to work on reforming regulations and validating alternative methods
so that we can reach our goal.  These are just a couple of our efforts
in the area of alternatives.  To learn more, we invite you to visit our
website: http://www.pg.com/science/animal_alt.jhtml 

For additional information about alternatives, you might visit the
following websites: 
http://www.biorap.org(Biological Research for Animals & People)
http://altweb.jhsph.edu/(Alternatives to Animal Testing site) 
http://www.hsus.org/(Humane Society of the United States site)
http://www.ampef.org/(Americans for Medical Progress Educational
Foundation)

We hope this explanation of our position will serve to answer your
inquiry and assure you of our continuing attention to this matter.

The Consumer Relations Team

We should be encouraging these companies to contingue trying to end all testing! I mean Iams and P&G for example are making great strides toward ending animal testing. I think that the way PETA goes about it’s boycott (not to mention I don’t totaly trustPETA in the first place) causes harm to the reputations of companes that could be (often it seems to me) trying to improve. PETA seemes to do more complaining that they haven’t solved the problem than praising the company for making strides toward the final goal. There are many people who will stop buying from these companies entirley and never notice that they are off the “black list”. By they way, I have no problem with a list of companies that test (although I think it should be seperated into performs extreemed and unessisary tests, is attempting to elimenate animal expiriments and dose not test at all), but they should be messured by an agreed upone standard and checked up on by someone trustworthy. PETA’s list is not especialy up-to-date, there is no real official standard (like Leaping Bunny) and , as they themselves admit, they aren’t ever realy sure their white list is ever complying. Anyway, I will go into an entire post about animal testing at a later date. I contacted other companies as well. This one is from Bath and Body Works:

Dear Monica,

We appreciate you taking the time to write us in regards to our policies, services and products. We value your inquiry and your interest in Bath & Body Works and The White Barn Candle Co.

Limited Brands, Inc. does not test its products on animals, nor does it request any of our third party manufacturers, or anyone else, to perform such tests on its behalf. We utilize ingredients in our formulations that are judged safe and we do not ask the supplier of those ingredients to perform any such tests on animals. Limited Brands, Inc. does not use any animal byproducts in its formulations where the animal is either slaughtered or harmed for the sole purpose of obtaining that material. We do condone the use of animal derived products where the animal is not harmed; for example, lanolin, milk, eggs, etc. Again, in keeping with our philosophy regarding the welfare of animals, Limited Brands, Inc. does not conduct animal testing, nor does it request suppliers to test on animals. I will forward your comments to our Executive Team about the Leaping Bunny Standard.

Thanks again for contacting us. We hope you will continue to enjoy your favorites from Bath & Body Works and The White Barn Candle Co. If we can do anything else for you, please feel free to reply to this e-mail (please do not change the subject line) or call us at 1-800-395-1001.


Sincerely,Tami Henry

 

 

Tami Henry
Customer Relations Representative

While I’m at it … here’s a link to Mars’ polocy regarding animal testing on their website: http://www.mars.com/global/Who+We+Are/Commitment/Research+involving+animals.htm …. below is what Iams emailed me in response to my plea for them to stop testing on animals:

Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding our research and feeding studies. We are passionate about cats and dogs with a deep commitment to their health and welfare, so we understand how important this issue is to you.

 

For several years misleading and inaccurate information has been circulating and I appreciate this opportunity to provide you with the facts.

 

To ensure that our products are safe and wholesome, we have the responsibility to pet owners to feed our products to dogs and cats. Over 70% of the dogs and cats in our feeding studies live in consumers’ homes; however, some of our feeding studies require a controlled environment and are conducted at our own Pet Health and Nutrition Center or at an organization where pets are already residing-like animal shelters, or groups that train and provide assistance dogs.

 

The controlled studies are the veterinary equivalent of nutritional or medical studies acceptable on people. These studies are monitored by our own staff of veterinarians, behaviorists and independent experts. Our dogs and cats get the most advanced pet nutrition and health care as we develop formulas to help all cats and dogs live longer and healthier lives.

 

At our Pet Health and Nutrition Center , dogs are housed with a companion (because dogs are pack animals). Each kennel has a doggie-door that takes them to an outside run, so they have plenty of room to run and play. Each dog is provided with his or her own toys (rotated on a regular basis) and their very own comfortable bed to sleep on. There is also a dog park adjacent to the kennels where the dogs play and interact each day in play groups.

 

Our cats are housed in compatible play groups.  Each room is furnished with beds, toys (to stimulate play) and several perches, which allow the cats to observe things from a higher viewpoint. They also have a very large window, which has a platform for the cats to lie in the sun or just sit and watch the birds feeding at the outside bird feeders.

 

If you’re interested in reading more, please copy-and-paste the following URLs to your web browser.

 

Our Research Policy:

http://www.iamstruth.com/iamstruth/en_US/jhtmls/article/IT_Article_Page.jhtml;jsessionid=O1CKZFH2GEOQ5QFIAJ1YYCQ?li=en_US&pti=RP&articleID=2

 

Videos of dogs and cats at our facility:

http://www.iamstruth.com/iamstruth/en_US/jhtmls/landing/IT_Landing_Page.jhtml?li=en_US&pti=CV

 

Facility reports:

http://www.iamstruth.com/iamstruth/en_US/jhtmls/article/IT_Article_Page.jhtml?li=en_US&pti=BA&articleID=20#a1

 

You can also read about our nutritional studies and our facilities from the viewpoint of an independent animal welfare organization by utilizing the following URL: www.aspca.org/iams

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this message. If you need further information or have specific questions, please contact us at 800-525-4267. We’re very happy to speak with you about this very important issue. 

 

Sincerely,

Katie

Iams Team Member

Ironically, I just checked and Iams and Mars are not on the “Black List”, but PETA has yet to stop their campaign against them or even realy announce the progress they have made so far. That’s it for now …

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Milk for strong bones? – I think not …

 I have recently begun to wonder about the connection between cows milk and strong bones. For example, countries that consume more animal protein seem to need more calcium (based on their government’s recommendeddaily amounts) … 

Consider this quote from: http://www.indoindians.com/food/soy.htm

Let’s compare 100-gram portions (3.5 ounces) of soymilk vs. cow’s milk: 

Cow’s milk has 61 calories. Soymilk has 33 calories.

Cow’s milk contains 3.34 grams of fat. Soymilk contains 1.91 grams of fat. 

Cow’s milk has 14 milligrams of cholesterol and no dietary fiber. Soymilk contains 1.3 grams of fiber and has zero cholesterol. 

Cow’s milk contains a full range of amino acids. Soymilk also contains a full range of amino acids. Both contain plenty of protein. Cow’s milk actually has one- half gram more protein than the 100-gram portion of soymilk. 

As for the nine essential amino acids in protein necessary for sustaining life, cow’s milk and soy milk contain nearly identical amounts, but cow’s milk does win this one by a whisker, containing a mere one-fifth of a gram more essential amino acids than the soy. That may be a hollow victory for milk lovers because one of the nine essential amino acids is methionine. Cow’s milk contains more than twice as much methionine as does soymilk. The center atom of methionine is sulfur. Too much animal protein creates an acid condition in the blood which the body must neutralize by taking calcium from the bones. . Nations eating the most animal protein have the highest rates of osteoporosis. 

Soymilk contains greater amounts of other amino acids including arginine, alanine, aspartic acid, and glycine. Arginine slows the growth of cancers by strengthening the immune system. Alanine aids in the metabolism of sugars. Aspartic acid increases stamina and plays a vital role in metabolism, acting as an anti-oxidant. Glycine is necessary for brain and nervous system functioning and muscle/energy metabolism. 

When milk is pasteurized, Vitamins A, C, and D are destroyed. The same can be said for those vitamins when soymilk is manufactured. 

Soymilk does contain more than four times the amount of thiamin (Vitamin B-1) and nearly twice the amount of niacin (Vitamin B-3) as does cow’s milk. Soymilk also contains more magnesium, copper, and manganese than does cow’s milk. 

In order to absorb calcium, one needs magnesium. Copper also aids in bone formation. One early sign of osteoporosis is a deficiency in copper. Soymilk contains twelve times the amount of copper as does cow’s milk. 

Soymilk also contains 42 times the amount of manganese as does cow’s milk. Manganese is also needed for bone formation. People with anemia rely upon manganese for iron storage. Trace amounts of manganese are essential for neural transmissions, protein metabolism, and many other body functions. “

Well then … isn’t that interesting … here is a quote from http://www.warriorfitnessworld.com/images/soy%20milk%20vs%20cow%20milk.PNG based on the book “The New Wellnes Revolution”:

Now if you like cow’s milk, I suggest you stop reading right here.  According to the book, the following are true about cow’s milk: 

  • Milk causes osteoporosis, despite advertising that states milk prevents it.
  • Milk contains hormones and carries infectious diseases.  A normal cow produces about 10 pounds of milk per day.  However, dairy cows produce up to 100 pounds of milk per day because of the massive amount of specialized hormones such as bovine growth hormone (BGH) given to the cows.   This makes the cows udders so large that they drag on the floor which creates frequent infections and the need for constant antibiotics
  • The USDA allows cow milk for consumption to have 1 to 1.5 million white blood cells (which is pus!) per milliliter.
  • The growth hormones given to cows are a major cause of breast cancer in adults because the hormones act the same as it does in the cows.  The hormones cause malignant tumors in the human breast to grow just like in the cows.
  • Despite the fact that numerous consumer groups have asked the FDA to ban BGH and other hormones, the FDA continues to allow the use because of powerful ADA lobbyists in Washington DC.
  • Cows contaminate the environment.  For every 100 pounds of cow milk produced per day, a cow produces 120 pounds per day of waste which is equivalent to the waste of 24 people.
  • Dairy products are the major cause to 65 percent of the American population being overweight.
  • Milk accounts for 40 percent of the 4 pound of food an average American eats daily; however, it contains no fiber, and is filled with saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • A glass of milk is 49 percent fat and the lower fat milk (like 2% milk) is only slightly lower in fat.

The book recommends switching to soy milk which has the following benefits: 

  • Soy is the best low fat source of carbohydrates, fibers, protein, vitamins and minerals.
  • Soy can help to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer.
  • Soy is high in calcium and does not contain casein proteins which cause calcium loss in bones.
  • Soy reduces the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women which is similar to estrogen-replacement therapy.
  • The American Heart Association endorses soy to help consumers lower their (bad) cholesterol and reduce risk for heart disease.
  • Soy contains more protein per weight than beef, fish, and chicken with no cholesterol and very little saturated fat.
  • Of the 9 basic amino acids needed for the body that can’t be produced by the body, soy provides all 9, however, without the hormones, saturated fat and calories (as with cow milk and meat products).”

 

 

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A Review: Smart Balance Buttery Spread (light)

Yum! It doesn’t taste exactly like butter, but it is a fit replacement. When used in cooking as a hint flavor in replace of butter you can’t even tell the difference. This stuff can probably be found at most reasonably sized grocery stores and is non-hydrogenated (no trans fat)! It has 50% less fat fat and calories than regular margarine, zero carbs, and contains Omega 3 (which is a tad difficult to obtain in a vegan diet). According to the container, it is also supposed to “improve cholesterol”. It actually says “Vegan” on the container, and by looking at the back it appears to be true.

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Famous Vegans

This list is from: http://teenvegans.com/info.aspx

Thought you didn’t know any other vegans? You might just be surprised!

  • Alan Moore
  • Alan Watts
  • Albert Schweitzer
  • Alice Walker
  • Amanda Feilen
  • Benjamin Spock
  • Berke Breathed
  • Carla Lane
  • Chandrashekar Subrahmanyam
  • Charles Darwin
  • Charlotte Bronte
  • Clive Barker
  • Colin Spencer
  • Ed. Diana
  • Ferriére
  • Franz Kafka
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • H.G. Wells
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Henry Heimlich M.D.
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • Jeremy Bentham
  • John Robbins
  • Krishnamurti Jiddu
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Louisa May Alcott
  • Mark Twain
  • Milton
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Percy Shelley
  • Peter Singer
  • Plato
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Ruth Rendell
  • Scott Adams
  • Serge Raynaud de la Ferriere
  • Sir C. V. Raman
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Socrates
  • Srinivasa Ramanujan
  • Steven Jobs
  • Thomas Edison
  • Tolstoy
  • Upton Sinclair
  • William Blake
  • William Wordsworth
  • These are just a few of them …

    EDIT NOTE: Someone has posted that “Emanuel Swedenborg” was not a vegan/vegetarian, so I removed him from the list just to be safe … 🙂 … I didn’t make up this list by the way and don’t grantee it’s accuracy.

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    Vegan Funnelcake

    Picture and Recipe from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/99055476@N00/181225824/

    “1 1/3 cups flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
    3/4 tsp baking powder
    Ener-G Egg Replacer equal to 1 egg
    1 1/3 cups soy milk (or whatever kind you have)
    1 tsp vanilla
    oil, for frying

    Mix up egg replacer, add soy milk and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix. You should have a batter about the same consistancy as pancake batter so it will flow easily through the funnel.

    Fill 8″ skillet with 1″ oil and heat to 375 degrees. A smaller electric skillet works great for this – keeps the temp. even but whatever you have will work fine.

    Cover funnel hole with finger and fill with about 1/4 cup of batter. Hold funnel over skillet and remove finger, moving the funnel around back and forth or in a spiral – you want the batter to stick together so don’t spread it out too much or you won’t be able to flip it in one piece.

    Fry 1-2 minutes on each side, turning with tongs, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. Serve hot! “

     

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    A Review: Soy Milk

     

    Soy MIlk has the same properties of cow’s milk in regards to just about everything and is in fact a little better! Here is an excerpt from http://www.indoindians.com/food/soy.htm

    Let’s compare 100-gram portions (3.5 ounces) of soymilk vs. cow’s milk: 

    Cow’s milk has 61 calories. Soymilk has 33 calories.

    Cow’s milk contains 3.34 grams of fat. Soymilk contains 1.91 grams of fat. 

    Cow’s milk has 14 milligrams of cholesterol and no dietary fiber. Soymilk contains 1.3 grams of fiber and has zero cholesterol. 

    Cow’s milk contains a full range of amino acids. Soymilk also contains a full range of amino acids. Both contain plenty of protein. Cow’s milk actually has one- half gram more protein than the 100-gram portion of soymilk. 

    As for the nine essential amino acids in protein necessary for sustaining life, cow’s milk and soy milk contain nearly identical amounts, but cow’s milk does win this one by a whisker, containing a mere one-fifth of a gram more essential amino acids than the soy. That may be a hollow victory for milk lovers because one of the nine essential amino acids is methionine. Cow’s milk contains more than twice as much methionine as does soymilk. The center atom of methionine is sulfur. Too much animal protein creates an acid condition in the blood which the body must neutralize by taking calcium from the bones. . Nations eating the most animal protein have the highest rates of osteoporosis. 

    Soymilk contains greater amounts of other amino acids including arginine, alanine, aspartic acid, and glycine. Arginine slows the growth of cancers by strengthening the immune system. Alanine aids in the metabolism of sugars. Aspartic acid increases stamina and plays a vital role in metabolism, acting as an anti-oxidant. Glycine is necessary for brain and nervous system functioning and muscle/energy metabolism. 

    When milk is pasteurized, Vitamins A, C, and D are destroyed. The same can be said for those vitamins when soymilk is manufactured. 

    Soymilk does contain more than four times the amount of thiamin (Vitamin B-1) and nearly twice the amount of niacin (Vitamin B-3) as does cow’s milk. Soymilk also contains more magnesium, copper, and manganese than does cow’s milk. 

    In order to absorb calcium, one needs magnesium. Copper also aids in bone formation. One early sign of osteoporosis is a deficiency in copper. Soymilk contains twelve times the amount of copper as does cow’s milk. 

    Soymilk also contains 42 times the amount of manganese as does cow’s milk. Manganese is also needed for bone formation. People with anemia rely upon manganese for iron storage. Trace amounts of manganese are essential for neural transmissions, protein metabolism, and many other body functions. 

    I have tried both Silk and generic HEB brand and, as far as taste is concerned, I can tell no diffrence except price. My favorite flavor is Chocolate (*of course*), but the vanilla is also excellent. I have yet to try strawberry or egg nog (minus the egg of course) flavors but I don’t think I ever will.
    If you plan on drinking the stuff out of a glass I recomend the flavored stuff. There is nothing wrongwith the plain but, like cow’s milk, it has no flavor. I personally never realy liked cow’s milk anyway and even when vegetarian preferred soy chocolate milk to cow chocolate milk. Maybe that’s just me, but I have convinced a few non-vegetarian friends to try it and they all like it (one has now begun to put it in his cereal since he’s watching his cholesterol).
    Soy milk is extremely versatile and as far as I can tell may be used just like milk. There are of course more than soy milk out there, but I haven’t tried them yet. I’ll do a review of them once I have. They include things like Rice Milk, Almond Milk and Coco Nut Milk.

    Over all I highly recommend this stuff (*did I say that already?*)! I’m not knocking Silk, it’s actually quite good and (you’ll have to check the label) I think it has guarantied non-genetically altered soy beans and for sure some specialy fortified versions with things like calcium (it already has the same as cows milk).

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