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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Why Vegetarian?

There are several reasons why people decide to become vegetarian.

1) Animal welfare. Factory farming is insanely cruel, not to mention dangerous for those of us who consume the end-product. Even organic, free-range animals that are killed as humanely as possible are still being killed for our consumption. If you have a problem with that, becoming vegetarian makes perfect sense.

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Winter Squash in the Vegetarian Diet

Winter squash is called such due to the fact that it is harvested later on in the year, into the fall, when the skins are thick and hard – as is the flesh. Winter squash does not make for good raw eating. It is, however, very flavorful when cooked – much more so than the summer varieties. The seeds are an excellent source of protein and quite delicious when toasted with a few choice seasonings.

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Whole Grain Choices

It is a good idea to stock your kitchen with a variety of whole grains and whole grain alternatives. Most supermarkets carry a small variety in bulk in the ‘organic’ section, and of course your local health food store will have a great deal more. Here is an overview of the grains you can find:

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The Mediterranean Diet for Vegetarians

The Mediterranean Diet evolved from the research of a University of Minnesota professor named Ancel Keys, Ph.D. Beginning in 1958, Dr. Keys and colleagues studied how the diets and lifestyles of roughly 12,000 men from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds influenced their incidences of heart disease.

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Recipe: Hopi Amaranth Greens & Grains

The following dish is a Southwestern Native American twist on wilted greens.

Because amaranth is a complete protein, this dish is a meal all by itself. Serve it up in a soup bowl.

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A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

The original Thanksgiving was not a banquet of turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie with whipped cream and…and…and whatever else you can cram down your gullet before collapsing into the recliner in a food coma. It was a three-day harvest celebration (and not repeated for many years), attended by the early American settlers as well as the natives who initially welcomed them and helped them adapt to and survive in a harsh and unfamiliar landscape.

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Recipe: Patatas Caliente con Mayonesa Ajo

This tapas recipe comes from Spain’s Catalan region. Have plenty of chilled lemonade, sangria, agua fresca, or horchata available to douse the flames – these little spuds are smokin’ hot!

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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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