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Tempeh?????

Just when I thought there was nothing left in the world that could surprise me, along comes Tempeh.

What the heck?

Tempeh is another soy product in patty form.  Yes, it is fermented.  Temp’h is made with whole soybeans that undergo very little processing.  It is high in protein, as most soy products and is therefore a great vegan protein source.

Why do we care?

We care because of the texture.  Ahhhh, the texture is that of meat.  I’m not going to pretend that I don’t love everything about meat, with the exception of what it does to my body.  I miss the texture, the mouth feel, the chew of a steak, bbq, a simple hamburger.  Is tempeh the answer?  I sure hope so.

Where to get it

The author of at least one of the articles I read about tempeh feels that because of the complicated nature of the fermentation process necessary to make tempeh, they do not recommend making your own.  This is one of those pre-packaged foods you’ll want to buy.

“You can find tempeh pre-packaged in the refrigerated section of most natural foods stores. Unlike tofu, it hasn’t made it to most mainstream groceries just yet, but try requesting it and see what happens. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover they’ll stock it, or order it for you. If you have to order in bulk, that’s okay because it can be frozen until ready to use.

Because soy bean crops are almost always grown with GMOs  (Genetically Modified Organisms ), your soy products (and corn products, for that matter) should always, always, always be made with organic soy. And this is no exception. So be sure to check your labels to be sure it’s organic. Sometimes it says it on the cover of the package, and sometimes it says it in the actual ingredient list, so check both.”

How To Clean and Prep Tempeh

There are basically two types of tempeh which you can find, one is fresh (or fresh frozen) and one is vacuum-sealed and found in the refrigerated section of your store.

The vacuum-sealed tempehs are almost always pasteurized. This is not in all actuality “pre-cooking” but a way to kill bacteria and molds and other harmful organisims. The pasteurization ensures that all the bacteria is killed off (including, unfortunately, beneficial bacteria) so it can be packaged and sold in stores. These are ready-to-eat and usually do not have to be pre-cooked.

The fresh tempeh is more rare, but seems to be healthier because all the fantastic nutritional qualities are still intact. It’s definitely a food filled with live cultures and such. Fresh tempeh must be pre-cooked for at least 20 minutes before eating. Fresh tempeh can also be frozen in this fresh state.

(When I called my local Whole Foods store to ask if they have any fresh frozen non-pasteurized tempeh, they said it’s illegal for them to sell non-pasteurized tempeh.)

So in the end, the consumer really has to be vigilant. It the package says ready to eat, that means it’s likely been pasteurized and is good to go. If the package says to cook first, then it’s very important to do so.

No matter which tempeh you choose the soybeans are fermented so it’s much easier for our bodies to digest. And of course the tempeh is a nice source of protein. I might recommend that, as with all pre-packaged foods, one not rely on them on a daily basis but try to focus on eating whole foods as nature intended.

Now, having said all that I recommend you cook your tempeh before using it in your recipe. First of all, it helps to remove some of tempeh’s bitter flavor. Secondly, it helps to make the tempeh soft and moist which makes for scrumptious tempeh recipes. And if you would like to marinate your tempeh, cooking it first helps the tempeh to accept more of the marinade.

If you would like to steam it first, you can learn how to do that here: How To Steam Your Tempeh. I recommend steaming it for 20 minutes.

 

Recommendations

I haven’t yet tried tempeh, but I’m going to today.  If this is the next coming of the faux meat, I’ll let you know, believe me – jughandle

You Can Be 90% healthy too!

Can any one be 90 percent health?  I believe you can, but my point here is to make living a strict life style, such as vegan eating, easily attainable.

The art of the cheat

I never really liked the word “cheat”.  It implies that you’ve done something wrong.  In this case, lets do something right.  Let’s call it the “10 percent solution”.  For me, and I think, one of my failings in life, I have a strong need to keep my options open. I believe there are way too many rules in life already, why self-impose more. When I’m restricted I have a strong desire toward that restriction.  Weird?  What you resist you get?

So, I came up with a personal solution that might serve you as well.  I use a “10 percent solution”.  It’s easy doing something for a short period of time, am I right?  I make available to me the possibility to eat anything and everything I want at any time.  I can dream about the food, I can plan menus with it, I can even cook it.  I know that if I really want to, I can partake of the forbidden.  But I don’t 90 % of the time.  I leave the door open to eating meat and/or dairy and eggs, one day per week.  Funny thing is that by making it possible, I don’t want it as often.  Only about 10 percent of the time, not even once per week.

Removing the NO-NO

If you remove the forbidden, amazingly the deep lingering desire also is gone.  At least for me.  Since starting this plan around mid December (yes I know that it’s only been a month) I have planned to eat meat every weekend only to find I didn’t really want it.  In fact, I’ve exercised the 10% rule only twice this month.

Conclusions and recommendations

I concluded long ago that if I eat a 90% vegan diet, I will clean the plaque from my arteries and in turn lose the 100 pounds I’ve gained from having no testosterone in my body. I’m a two time testicular cancer survivor.  The goal is to accomplish this in the year 2012.

I recommend that if you have dietary health issues that are causing you to be uncomfortable or to worry about your longevity, join the fun.  We’ll work through it together, it really isn’t that hard.  It can even be fun watching people squirm when you tell them you are a vegan. Tell them you are a member of  Jughandle’s Fat Farm and start a conversation.  What can it hurt? – Jughandle

Bill Clinton – the Vegan

Yes, the former President of the United States is a vegan.  He once stuffed himself with barbecue, chicken enchiladas and he loved his hamburgers.  President Clinton like myself has a family history of heart disease.

Bill Clinton declares vegan victory

The former president, known for his love of burgers, barbecue and junk food, has gone from a meat lover to a vegan, the strictest form of a vegetarian diet. He says he eats fruits, vegetables and beans, but no red meat, chicken or dairy. continue

The Los Angeles Times

Bill Clinton talks about being a vegan

  • Former President Bill Clinton during a recent visit to Haiti. Clinton says that his vegan diet is improving his cardiovascular health.
Former President Bill Clinton during a recent visit to Haiti. Clinton says… (EPA / Andres Martinez Casares)
August 18, 2011|By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / continue reading

Bill Clinton a Vegan? Now we’ve heard everything

August 19th, 2011 from Healthy Living
Read the complete article

What is a typical vegan meal?

The following is a typical 2300 calorie vegan meal plan for 3 days from VeganHealth.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This diet is roughly 53% carbs 15% protein and 32% fat

Day 1

Breakfast 

  •  1 serving scrambled Tofu
  • Whole wheat bread – 2 slices
  • 2 medium wedges of cantaloup
  • 1 T margarine spread

Morning Snack

  • 6 oz cup of Soy yougurt
  • 2 T Flax seed

Lunch

  • 1.5 servings of Black Bean and sweet potato salad
  • 1 whole grapefruit

Afternoon Snack

  • 2 oz trail mix snack

Dinner

  • 1.5 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1 serving of grilled vegetables
Evening Snack
  • 1 cup of fruit salad

Day 2

Breakfast 

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 8 oz green tea
  • 1 cup Kashi breakfast pilaf
  • 4 T english walnuts
  • 1 cup of soymilk

Morning Snack

  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 T almond butter

Lunch

  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups raw lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp flaxseed oil
  • 1 T balsamic wine vinegar dressing
  • 1 non-dairy burrito
  • 1 oz no salt sunflower seeds
Afternoon Snack
  • 4 T hummus
  • 8 medium baby carrots
  • 4 slices crisp rye bread

Dinner

  • 2 cups whole wheat spaghetti, cooked
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 7 vegetarian meatballs
  • 1 cup broccoli, boiled with salt

Day 3

This day is 66% carbs 14% protein and 19% fat

Breakfast 

  •  1 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup raisin bran

Morning Snack

  • 2 medium wedges of cantaloupe
  • 5 whole wheat vegetable crackers, nonfat

Lunch

  • 1.5 servings of vegan chili
  • 1 serving dry salad
  • 1 piece of cornbread

Afternoon Snack

  • 6 oz of orange juice with calcium
  • 3 T mixed nuts

Dinner

  • 1.5 servings of brown rice and lentil pilaf
  • 1.5 servings of broccoli with garlic and olive oil

Conclusions

I conclude that we can make a better menu than that and I’m going to get a jump on next year by working the rest of this year on it.  Stay tuned Fat Farmers, this won’t be as hard as you might think (he said with a shaky voice) – jughandle

 

Year in Retrospect from a food standpoint

This has been an interesting year.  I’ve posted nearly 160 posts in 6 months averaging around 26 posts per month in addition to 60 of my favorite recipes.  The blog started in July and now has 72 subscribers averaging over 450 hits per week.  Personally, I’ve gone from a  morbidly obese meat eater to a obese Flexi-vegan.  I’ve learned that there are others out there that care about the quality of their food as I do.  I’ve identified the major problems with our eating and dieting as well as things to watch for in our food chain, food labeling and food additives. We’ve talked about nutrition and diets.  I’ve tried to pin point what to do and what not to do to the point of outlining what should be stocked in our pantries, refrigerators and freezers.

We’ve identified the problems, suggested solutions, provided direction on improving our techniques and offered some fool proof recipes. – NEXT

Next year

This coming year is 2012.  Amazing. 2011 was the worse year of my life in many ways.  2012 is going to be a rebirth, a revival of the economy, my business, my direction of my life and health and the way I approach living.  It’s time for a change.  I’m digging my heals in and I’m not looking back.  Will you join me?

Yes, I know it is easy to make end of the year promises and resolutions because traditionally that is what we all do.  Not this time.  I’m determined to continue to build on what we’ve started this year and create something even better.

We are going to expand on the recipes for vegetarian and vegan dishes.  I’m going to continue to research healthy food and food preparation.  In fact I’ve got a plan in the works to put together meals, menus and shopping lists, not just recipes.  Did you know that it is important to consider the foods we combine and eat together.  Our body receives food in different ways.  We need to eat in the right combinations.

Conclusions and Considerations

I’m concluding to try harder in 2012.  I’d like you to consider participating and offering suggestions and questions for me to find the answers to.  If you are enjoying the blog, please refer us to your friends.  If you have your own blog please link to the Farm and we’ll both build readership.  Don’t forget to use the Company Store to find the products you like at great prices with quick shipping through Amazon.  Thanks for following Jughandle’s Fat Farm – jug

Vegetarianism and the path not taken

I’ve always had a tendency to embrace the different, the abnormal, the path not taken.  I’ve been called white bread, main stream or even normal by those who haven’t taken the time to know me.  I’ve always felt that it was the 1 or 2 percent of the population that leads the flock.  Not that I’m part of that 1 or 2 percent, but those people are my heros.  In a flock of white sheep, I’m not the black sheep.  God knows being an out right radical would take too much energy and I’m already working hard not to be lazy.  If you understand that sentence, you understand me.  I’m more of a grey sheep.  The sheep who doesn’t clean up with the rest of the flock, the one who says, “hey, lets take this muddy path, the grass just might be greener”.   Yes, of course, 80 percent of the time, it’s just a muddy path, but wow, those other times are what make all the difference.

Some Day

I thought that if being my own boss, didn’t work out I’d just go back to being a normal sheep and get a job like everyone else.  Life is interesting.  Life doesn’t allow me to make easy decisions  like that, something always stands in my way.  I’ve always had a fear of the end, the long nap, the transition, change.  I guess it is more of a fear of the unknown.  I’ve known many people who have gone on without me.  My Great-grandparents,Grandparents, my Father, my brother, aunts and uncles, close personal friends.  Each a every one of us must deal with death in our own way and face it alone.  I’m going to be 60 this next year, too late to go back, my path has been chosen.  Twice in my life I was told I wouldn’t live to see that birthday.  Four other times I shouldn’t have lived at all.  God must have a purpose for me.  Please God, show me what it is.

My Path

I’ve had an amazing life.  A life very few people have or will be blessed enough to enjoy.  I don’t need a bucket list, because I’ve done most everything I’ve ever wanted to do.  I was given the gift of “jump” early in my life and in a small way it allowed me to be part of an elite group.  I’ve been a winner and I’ve been a loser.  I always learn more when I lose.  I’ve made a couple of good choices but I’ve guessed mostly wrong or was not given a choice at all in most of the changes in my life.  No regrets, none.

I digress

Sorry, my first bloody mary just kicked in and I lost my train of thought.  My point was vegetarianizum

To be or not to be

Vegetarian Times shows that there are roughly 7.3 million vegetarians in the U.S.  An additional 22.8 million are flexi-tarians, which means they try to be vegetarians but eat meat every once in a while.  Of the 7.3 million vegetarians, 1 million are vegans who don’t eat any animal based foods at all.  I’ve been a vegetarian for 88 days now.  It really hasn’t been hard, I’ve even cooked meat dishes for others.  I’ve come to the point now that I need a change.  I’m finding myself eating way too much cheese and dairy, which doesn’t allow me to reach my goal of reversing any plaque or heart disease I might have.

Today is Christmas day.  My Mother, my brother and his wife and my wife are all going to cook a nice Christmas meal together.  I’m going to join in the consumption of meat.  Today will start the next phase of my plan.  I am intending to take the next step.  After today, I will become a Vegan.  Yes, I can say the word now.  I plan on eating meat or dairy only 1 time per week and transition to eating meat or dairy 1 time per month for the entire year of 2012.  But my main focus will be strictly a plant-based diet with no eggs, cheese, milk or meat.

Wish me Luck

Wish me luck, is a line for those who still don’t know me.  I believe that luck is the point where preparation meets opportunity.

Conclusions

I’m happy doing this,  join the 2 percent if you dare.  What do you have to lose?  You can always go back, right?  Take it one day at a time. – jughandle

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL YOU FAT FARMERS OUT THERE.

Do You Need a Label?

Some people can’t do anything unless there are rules and a label on it.  And others, like myself, feel that if, say, I’m trying to be a vegetarian but I fall off the wagon, I’m not a failed vegetarian, I’m a Flexitarian in good standing.  If you are one of those people and it gives you peace, see if any of these eating categories is a better fit for you:

P.S. – For inquiring minds, I’m still a Vegetarian – for 3 weeks now – Jug.

Vegan: A person who doesn’t eat meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, or dairy. They usually avoid honey and foods processed with animal products like gelatin, lanolin. Often, vegans avoid wearing animal products like leather, silk, down feathers, and wool. Vegans are sometimes called “strict vegetarians.”

Vegetarian: A person who doesn’t eat meat, poultry, or fish, but does eat dairy products and/or eggs.

Pescatarian: A person who doesn’t eat meat or poultry, but does eat fish; they may or may not eat dairy products and/or eggs.

Pollotarian: A person who doesn’t eat red meat or fish, but does eat chicken; they may or may not eat dairy products and/or eggs.

Lacto-ovo Vegetarian: Someone who eats eggs and milk products, but is otherwise a vegan.

Lacto Vegetarian: Someone who eats milk products, but not eggs, and is otherwise a vegan.

Beegan: A vegan who eats honey.

Dietary vegan: Someone whose diet is vegan, but who doesn’t avoid all non-food animal products, like for clothing and toiletries.

Flexitarian: Someone who primarily eats vegetarian food, but allows for exceptions occasionally.

Omnivore: Someone who eats both plants and animals.

Carnivore: Someone who consumes primarily animal material

Herbivore: An organism who has adapted to eating plant-based foods, not the same as vegetarian.

Lessetarian: A person who tries to reduce their consumption of animal products, but doesn’t necessarily eliminate them.

Plant Based Diet Progress Report

Three Weeks

It has been close to 3 weeks since I ventured into the realm of meatless eating.  The results so far have been surprisingly good.  I’ve told a few people that I’ve been meatless for 3 weeks and they instantly laugh, like that is no big deal.  Try it, I respond.  I’ve even been able to cook meat for other people without craving it myself.

Where’s the Beef

I haven’t missed meat in the very least.  I’ve been posting meatless recipes lately with the help of my followers and they are very good, not to mention, filling and satisfying.  Finding recipes and adjusting our family shopping habits has been more difficult than not eating meat.

System

My system has changed, and without becoming too graphic, suffice it to say that I am now very regular and seem to process my food very efficiently.  I actually like eating this way.  I’ve been drinking Matcha Green Tea, which has most definitely increased my metabolism and I still drink copious amounts of filtered water.

What foods I find to be Good

I have been eating a lot of beans and gourds.  We have found at least 5 different types of dried beans which have been the staple of my diet and we’ve eating at least 4 different types of squash.  I eat lettuce or cabbage at almost every meal.  I haven’t worried about being vegan since about the 3rd day, but I still avoid eggs and cheese when I can.  For snacks I’ve been eating dried fruit, like cherrys and cranberrys and also roasted peanuts. I have found tofu and other soy products to be “good eats” when prepared properly.  Flavorful sauces  and dressings are very important.  I am developing a bean and soy based burger patty and when I get it right I’ll post the recipe.

When will I Quit

You know, I’m not sure when I’ll ever revert.  If I do it will be to only add meat once or twice a week or only on special occasions like Thanksgiving or when invited to someone’s house.  I’m trying to clean my arteries of plaque and improve my chances of living longer by avoiding cancer causing chemicals.  I’ve had cancer twice, I’m avoiding a third strike.

Should You Do It?

No.  If you have to ask that question then you probably aren’t ready.  Eating a plant based diet is a life style choice.  If you are obese, like I am, and you show signs of other problems, like I do, then you shouldn’t be asking this question, you should be doing it for you and your loved ones.

Weight Loss?

Have I lost any weight?  I really don’t know, because I haven’t weighed yet.  I feel better and I feel smaller and people tell me I look better, but I’m not going to weigh until November 1, because that is not the main reason I started this “life style” change.  I don’t want to be disappointed if I haven’t lost weight.  I’d rather make the transformation first and worry about the results later.

 

Any Questions? – Jughandle

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