Mushrooms in the Vegetarian Diet

It’s a rare occasion when my salad doesn’t contain mushrooms, and I usually toss them in the cooking pot with pasta to blanch for the last couple of minutes, making them a part of my pasta primavera. They make a mean gravy, too.

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Eggplant in the Vegetarian Diet

If you’ve ever looked at that mysterious, shiny, dark purple vegetable in the produce section at the grocery store and wondered what in the world you would do with it, you’re not alone. The name alone is off-putting. Eggplant. I prefer the French word for it: aubergine. But, for the sake of continuity, I will continue to refer to it as eggplant here.

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Who is a Vegetarian?

There are varying degrees of vegetarianism, and much like the numerous hyphenated Americans (i.e. African American, Japanese American, Native American, etc.), there really are no “just plain vegetarians.”

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Minerals in the Vegetarian Diet: Major

Minerals account for about 4% of the human body, and most of them are found in the bone structure. The major minerals are present in a higher percentage than the trace minerals; however they are all equally important in the body.

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Recipe: Colorful Quinoa Salad

This vegetarian recipe is an excellent introduction to The Mother Seed, otherwise known as quinoa. If you are unfamiliar with quinoa, you will wonder why it took you so long to give it a try.

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Recipe: Papas a la Huancaina

This recipe is a popular Peruvian festival dish that comes from the town of Huancayo.

No need to serve anything else with it (except maybe a frosty beverage), as it is a hearty meal all by itself.

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The Pumpkin in the Vegetarian Diet

Pumpkins are native to the Americas, with seeds going back 9,000 years discovered in Mexico. They were a versatile item, used not only for food and medicine, but as containers when hollowed out and dried. They were one of the foods that the early European settlers, thanks to the natives who showed them the way, were able to survive on, given their nutrient content and the fact that they kept well, without rotting, for many months (having grown them myself, I can attest to this fact!). This is the main reason the pumpkin is so closely identified with the Fall harvest and with Thanksgiving.

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Recipe: Lasagna Roll-Ups

This is a post-church potluck vegetarian recipe my mother came up with as self-defense against homemade stuffed shells. If you have ever tried to stuff anything into those jumbo pasta shells, you know exactly what I mean. They shoot out of your hands like torpedoes, they drop in the sink or on the floor, your hands are covered in cheese goop, and by the time you’re done you’ve lost your appetite and never want to see a stuffed shell again.

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Recipe: Cuban Black Beans & Rice

When I was a kid in Florida, my father was occasionally called on to be a guest preacher at various churches throughout the state. Florida has a large Cuban population, and for some reason he was in demand at their churches, where he would often preach through an interpreter. While my younger brother and I loathed sitting in church (we could recite Dad’s two sermons backwards and forwards), we always looked forward to visiting those churches and were especially well-behaved because of the huge potluck lunches afterward – with all the black beans and rice you could eat!

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Recipe: Cretan Braised Pulses

“Pulse” is a somewhat archaic term for dry grain and legume crops, but this is a fairly ancient dish, so it seems a rather appropriate name.

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