Hidden Animal Ingredients

Reading the ingredients list on prepackaged foods can be a nightmare, particularly if you have no idea which of those ingredients might be a hidden source of an animal product, much less how that product was taken from the animal itself. As a vegetarian, you will have to decide what level of animal product consumption you are comfortable with.

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Recipe: Black Bean & Corn Salsa

This is a recipe I came up with recently after cleaning out my kitchen cupboards and refrigerator. I still have no idea why I had creamed corn in my cupboard – I won’t touch the stuff, so what on earth did I buy it for? Did it end up in my grocery cart by accident somehow? I once got home with Chinese Five Spice seasoning that had not been on my shopping list – it must have rolled into my area of the belt from the person ahead of me in line at the cashier. Those little dividers don’t quite go across the whole belt.

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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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Recipe: Greek Tyropitta

Traditionally, Tyropitta is a small, handheld cheese pie encased in phyllo pastry. This less portable but just as delicious version originated in the Sporades Islands region of Greece.

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Recipe: Three Sisters Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings

In most Native American traditions, beans, corn, and squash are known as the Three Sisters – gifts from nature to sustain life. Full of complementary proteins, healthy carbohydrates, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, this hearty soup is perfect for those crisp early Fall evenings.

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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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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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Supplements – Do Vegetarians Need Them?

If you are a reasonably healthy person and you eat a well-balanced, healthy diet full of whole grains, lean protein, and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, there really is no reason to take vitamin/mineral supplements.

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Recipe: Polenta with Mushroom-Tomato Sauce and Gorgonzola

When you think of polenta (if you think of it at all), what usually comes to mind is a thick slice of cornmeal mixture similar in texture to pound cake.

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Vitamins in the Vegetarian Diet, Part 2: the Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water soluble vitamins do not require protein carriers and travel more freely in the bloodstream and the lymph system than do the fat-soluble vitamins. They are discharged through the urine and rarely become toxic. It’s easier to become deficient in the water soluble vitamins, as the body stores them in smaller amounts.

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