mixed greens salad

6

I’ve been really bad at documenting my outdoor plants’ and garden’s progress so far this season!  So here are a few snaps of what’s been happening! 😌

Peppermint and broadleaf sage have doubled in size since March.

Decided to let this B-52 flytrap flower. If you think most of the leaves/traps look sad and sunburned, they are. I don’t baby them when putting them outside. New growth from the center is green and healthy.

Separated the leaf lettuce mix into two 3-foot pots. They’re the first plants this season to use my homemade compost, so I’m really excited to see how that goes.

The hens are EXPLODING with chicks! Even LAST year’s chicks are exploding with chicks! No signs of flowers, but I’m fine with that.

Adulting 104

I had all the good intentions of posting this yesterday, but I got sick and spent the entire day blowing my nose into an assortment of paper products. I love you guys and hope your week has been productive and positive.

Shoutout this week to @tylersneverland​ and @bisexualgradient​. Just keep doin’ you!

1. Reuse containers. Get takeout often? Takeout containers are microwave and dishwasher safe, and are often durable enough to substitute as tupperware. Wash and reuse them!

2. Kick the soda habit. Switch to seltzer! Zero calories, carbonated, and they come in so many different flavors. I’m partial to Polar and Schweppes seltzer, but you can buy store brands for a fraction of the price (the Stop & Shop brand is particularly good).

3. Electric budget. Stop what you’re doing and get on a budget with your electric company. Instead of paying for how much electricity you actually use each month, you will pay a monthly flat fee. If you use more, they cannot charge you for it. Electric companies say that people use more electricity in the winter and less in the summer, so the difference evens out. At the end of the year they will issue you a check if they owe you money or credit it to your account. Last year I ended up overpaying and my electric company credited the difference to my account, and I had free electric for two months. 

4. Check your screens. This applies to pets in general, but especially to cats. Before allowing your pet to sit on the window ledge or by the screen door, make sure that the screen is secure. Rental units are notorious for their cheap craftsmanship, I secure my screens with duct tape because they’re so poorly made.

5. Laundry. Doing laundry in a communal area? Always check to make sure that the lint drawer has been properly cleaned before starting your dryer. Not only is it dangerous (I personally know someone whose house burned down because of a rogue dryer) but it will prevent your clothes from drying properly.

6. Soak it. Hard to scrub pot? Fill it with water and soap and let it sit for five minutes- I guarantee you it will be easier to clean. If something is really scorched and difficult to clean, let it soak overnight. 

7. Foaming hand soap. Lasts about three times as long as liquid hand soap, and is roughly the same price.

8. Invest in a multi-functional printer. As a college student, this may seem like a daunting expense, but it’s a necessary one. You can always use a college or library to print or copy at, but some places charge up to 50 cents per copy. If you need a reliable source for printing homework, make the investment. 

9. Skip the mixed salad. Instead of a buying a container of mixed salad greens, purchase only one type of leaf. Each lettuce has its own expiration date, and greens that have a shorter shelf life will go bad and take everything else in the container with them. 

10. Check your blinds. Here’s something I didn’t know before living on my own- there is a right and a wrong way to face blinds. Close your blinds and stand in front of them. Can you see out of them? If you can’t then flip your blinds around the other way. People will be able to see you through the slits in your blinds if they aren’t hung properly.  

Feldsalat is also known as Rapunzelsalat, Ackersalat, Mäuseöhrchensalat, Vogerlsalat, and Nüsslisalat in German and lamb’s lettuce, field salad, corn salad, and mâche in English. It’s a seasonal, delicious lettuce in Germany that is grown as a winter or early spring green and often sold with the small main root still attached. It’s famously known as Rapunzel, the vitamin-rich food that cost a peasant family their only daughter in the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. It resists frost and can be harvested well into the winter. It’s available for most of the winter season in German grocery stores. It’s used like lettuce to make salads. It has a nutty taste to it and often comes dressed with a hot bacon vinaigrette, mustard vinaigrette or is used in a mixed greens salad. It has high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, and potassium.

My dad is the cook in the family,

So for Father’s Day, I’m driving up to treat him to dinner. Here’s what’s on the menu:

Mixed greens/arugula salad with a Dijon vinaigrette, haricots verts with shallot dressing, and poulet au champagne. For dessert, most likely clafoutis aux cerises. 

As the chicken is cooked in champagne, and champagne is rather expensive, do you think Prosecco would do the same job for slightly less money invested in it? Or are the dynamics of flavours too separate to replace one another? 

P.S. This is all new for me; my dive into French cuisine, and everything I’m cooking today. I don’t eat chicken, but it’s my dad’s favorite, so I’m going to make it for him on his special day. Any any advice you might have would be wonderful. Thanks!

So I went to make a delicious sandwich and realized I didn’t have any bread. So I went to grab one of my salads in the fridge and it was gloppy, for lack of a better word to describe it the mess that it was. So I made a salad with stuff I had in the fridge and on the counter and savage the croutons out of the gloppy package. Someone needs to invent technology that seals salads and other food so they last for months. I get tired of buying premade salads and then in a few days they’re ruined.

I guess one of my tasks today will be to go to Sprouts and stock up on food so I have things to eat like bread for sandwiches. I can’t complain too much as I like Sprouts. I’d also like to go to Trader Joe’s but it’s in the complete opposite direction of town.

Fasting Meal Plan Ideas

B: coffee, almond milk (10), oatmeal w/ 1 tbsp earth balance (190)
L: baby kale/mixed green salad (15) with 2 tbsp homemade lemon vinaigrette (70)
D: miso soup x2 packets (70) with nori (30)
S: carrots (60) with 3 tbsp no-oil hummus (60), almond milk (35), grape tomatoes (30)
Total: 570 kcal


B: coffee, almond milk (10), coconut yogurt (140)
L: nine-grain bread (140) w/ tofurkey slices (70) and dijon mustard (5)
D: vegetable soup (100) 
S: banana (90), pistachios (100)
Total: 655 kcal


B: coffee, almond milk (10), nine-grain bread w/ earth balance (120)
L: baby kale/mixed green salad (35) with 2 tbsp homemade lemon vinaigrette (70), kalamata olives (50), grape tomatoes (30)
D: miso soup x2 packets (70) with nori (30), pistachios (75)
S: almond milk (35), blueberries (30), rice thins (34) with crunchy peanut butter (85)
Total: 640 kcal

Why I love Amanda Palmer: An Election Night Story by M.L. Wahl

Dear Amanda,

I love you. I love you because you put out music that means something. I love you because you consider your signing table to be a confessional of sorts. I love you because you are unabashedly loud and proud about things that many people don’t dare to speak of. I love you because you genuinely want to know how we are doing, and celebrating holidays. I also love how you crowdsourced things to help illustrate points in your book when you were writing it.

However, I love you most for your community. Somehow, you find followers that are truly genuine, and who want to connect with each other. We connect over one or two topics, and then we add each other as friends on Facebook. We read each other’s more private status updates, and we frequently comment on them more than friends within our immediate communities. We send each other gifts around the holidays, even if we have never corresponded before. We buy each other’s art, which tells them that we see them, and that they are real. We donate to people’s funds to keep roofs over heads. We stay at each other’s houses, and celebrate very human things together.

Or, we post to be seen like I did tonight. I posted in one of the AFP groups to whine about not having any meat or veggies in the house until Friday. I described the kinds of protein that I had left in the house as evidence that I would not starve. I just wanted to be seen, because it’s something that we never see people struggle with in public, and it sucks to struggle with it behind closed doors in private alone.

A woman who I have never seriously talked to until the beginning of this month asked me if I was close to a Safeway, and I told her, “Yes, I’m close. I can survive with what I have until we get paid though too. It’s just a lot of beans and rice.”

I didn’t even have enough time to beg her not to do anything out of embarrassment before she told me “too late. Check your email.” She had sent me a $25 gift card saying, “A girl has got to eat more than just beans. I mean seriously.“

I was able to buy 2.4 pounds of chicken, mixed salad greens, a block of cheese, 10 pounds of potatoes, tortillas, an onion, and two boxes of 79 cent mac and cheese. More than enough to complete meals that I already had most of the of the ingredients for until Friday. I took the doughnut, (even if was offered to me like Jason Webley offers his CDs when he’s given money when he’s busking.)

Tonight is the first night I have been full in a few days. Tomorrow, I won’t have to eat a bowl of refried beans by itself for lunch like I did today. On a day such as this with a major election, a day of collective anxiety, a wonderful woman gave me money to buy groceries. No matter what happens, life will go on. Our special community will still exist, and for now that is enough for me.

Thank you Amanda, for creating and encouraging a community such as this. Thank you for being uniquely you. And when people ask you about crowdfunding, you can point them to this blog post. We crowdfund to support you, because we love the ideas that you foster, and the community that has been created because of it.

All my love.

HELLO JUNE. Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing. Stay on track with your diet this summer! And get medicated af doing it, Winning! I tweaked the recipe a few times that’s why there’s a color difference. It’s one of my personal favorite dressing flavors, on a spinach and mixed greens salad with cranberries and walnuts and grilled chicken 🙌 1000mg total! So you can add a few tablespoons and still get lit 😘 should last up to 6 months as well!

8

Grilled Lamb Chops with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Citrus Wilted Mixed Greens

Ingredients for Lamb Chops + Marinade 

1 lamb shoulder chop per person 

Dry ingredients for marinade: 3 cloves garlic pressed and then minced, granulated garlic, granulated onion, smoked sweet paprika, kosher salt, ground black pepper, dill weed, ground rosemary, red chili flakes, oregano, and lemon zest 

Wet ingredients for marinade: Olive oil and juice from ½ lemon 

Ingredients for Mashed Sweet Potatoes 

Large sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, and cut into cubes 

Unsweetened almond milk

Cinnamon

Kosher salt 

Smoked paprika

Small sprinkle of nutmeg 

Date puree (for Whole30) or honey to sweeten 

Ingredients for Mixed Green Salad 

Mixed greens of your choice 

Juice from ½ orange 

Kosher salt, black pepper

Directions 

In a large bowl or ziplock bag, squeeze lemon juice and olive oil over lamb chops. Little by little, sprinkle in dry seasonings and massage meat until no more seasoning blend remains. 

Marinate in a large ziplock bag for 2 hours in the fridge + 1 hour at room temperature or for 1 hour at room temperature. 

Begin boiling your potatoes about 5-10 minutes before you begin to grill your lamb. 

Boil until soft, drain, mash, and prepare to your liking. 

When done marinating, pat lamb chops dry with a paper towel and heat a grill pan over medium heat. 

Grill lamb on both sides until medium rare [please use a meat thermometer]. Let rest for cutting. 

While lamb is resting, wilt your greens in a sauté pan with a bit of orange juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Once lamb has rested about 5-10 minutes, cut and assemble your dish. 

Serve hot.

Enjoy! 

Coming Home Chapter 2 (Shalaska) - Jem

AN: Hi, it’s Jem. I’m so grateful that you guys like this story. Here’s the next chapter. Now that I’ve got two stories going on I’m trying to alternate posting from each but we’ll see if I can keep that up.

Story Summary: Sharon and Alaska are girlfriends and decide to foster a teenage Violet

Keep reading

Blueberry Quinoa Salsa

Serves 2-3

Salad:
½ cup (84 g) dry quinoa (red or white)
1 cup (240 ml) vegetable stock (or sub water, but it will have less flavor)
5 ounces (142 g) mixed salad greens
½ cup (70 g) roasted unsalted hazelnuts
½ cup (80 g ) blueberries

Dressing:
1 Tbsp (15 ml) grape seed oil
2 shallots, minced (or sub ½ cup sweet yellow onion)
1/3 cup (80 ml) balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup
1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) olive oil
Pinch each salt and pepper
1/3 cup (53 g) blueberries

Black Bean Quesadillas


Pinto beans work well too. If you like a little heat, be sure to use pepper Jack cheese in the filling. Serve with: A little sour cream and a mixed green salad.

From EatingWell: July/August 2010
Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, preferably pepper Jack
½ cup prepared fresh salsa (see Tip), divided
4 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 ripe avocado, diced

PREPARATION

Combine beans, cheese and ¼ cup salsa in a medium bowl. Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread ½ cup filling on half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and quesadillas. Serve the quesadillas with avocado and the remaining salsa.
TIPS & NOTES

Look for prepared fresh salsa in the supermarket refrigerator section near other dips and spreads.

NUTRITION

Nutrition Per Serving: 377 calories;
16 g fat (5 g sat, 8 g mono);
13 mg cholesterol;
46 g carbohydrates;
13 g protein;
10 g fiber;
679 mg sodium;
581 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (25% daily value), Folate (23% dv), Iron (19% dv), Potassium (17% dv).

2 ½ Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 ½ starch, 1 ½ lean meat, 2 fat


© 2013 Eating Well, Inc.
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anonymous asked:

What's a healthy clean lunch that you can pack for school? I think it's really hard

  • Tuna sandwich
  • Egg sandwich
  • Quinoa salad 
  • Wraps (egg or ground turkey, avocado, cucumber, chopped tomatoes, hummus spread, etc.)
  • Turkey salad rolls (Combine diced smoked turkey, toasted almonds, halved seedless red grapes, thinly sliced celery and mayonnaise. Have with whole wheat bun, bread, or wrap)
  • Corn and zucchini fritters. Prepare a batch of whole wheat pancake batter, using about ½ the liquid. Stir in a cup thawed frozen corn, one small grated zucchini and a handful of Parmesan, and a sliced scallion. The zucchini will add moisture; add more liquid if the batter is too stiff. Cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Pack with Greek yogurt for dipping. (X)
  • PB w/ banana and strawberry burritos 
  • Turkey, cheese, cucumber, and spinach pita pockets 
  • Paninis (Use a whole wheat wrap, on one half place broccoli, asparagus, green peppers, and grated cheese, fold wrap over) Cook in a pan of olive oil for 30 seconds on each side. Be careful not to burn it.
  • Chips and dips. Make your own salsa/guacamole and pack in containers. You can make your own chips by cutting whole wheat wraps and lightly toasting in a pan. 
  • Healthy style nachos. Using these chips you can make nachos with low fat cheese, peppers, jalapenos, etc
  • Healthy egg mcmuffin. Whole wheat bun, poached egg (cooked slighty tougher than normal to prevent it from breaking during the day) low fat cheese, avocado slices, tomato, etc
  • Bean and cheese salad (Whisk 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts olive oil; season with black pepper. Add finely chopped shallot, let sit for a few minutes, then toss with canned, rinsed cannellini beans (white kidney beans), feta or goat cheese crumbles, thinly sliced cucumber half-moons, and chopped fresh dill or parsley. Pack with multigrain pita chips or pockets)
  • Quinoa/black bean patties/meatballs on whole wheat bread
  • Chicken/turkey soft tacos. Pack a container with avocados mashed with lemon juice; top with a layer of shredded Monterey Jack before sealing. Fill 2 small whole wheat tortillas with shredded rotisserie chicken and sliced romaine lettuce and store in resealable plastic bags. Assemble at lunch.
  • Egg salad pinwheels. (Combine chopped hard-boiled eggs, raisins, sliced celery, mayonnaise and curry powder. Trim the crust from a slice of bread and press to flatten. Spread with a layer of egg salad, then roll and secure with a toothpick)
  • Parm polenta and caprese bites (Thinly slice a tube of store-bought prepared polenta lengthwise, then cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Brush with olive oil and sauté or bake until golden and warmed through; sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Pack in resealable plastic bags with a separate container of bocconcini, grape tomatoes, and chopped cucumbers tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, and torn fresh basil.)
  • Chicken salad sandwich (Combine shredded rotisserie chicken, chopped apples and celery, walnuts, raisins, and mayonnaise. Spread the cut side of a split whole wheat hamburger bun with low fat mayo and assemble the sandwich using the chicken salad and butter lettuce leaves)
  • Quick fried rice (Saute thinly sliced scallions (whites only) in vegetable oil, then add frozen carrots, peas, corn, and a splash of water and soy sauce. Cook until heated through, then stir in leftover brown rice and another splash of water and soy sauce until the rice is softened and heated through. Stir in thinly sliced scallions (green parts), toasted sesame seeds, and chopped peanuts.)
  • Pesto chicken rolls (Toss diced roast chicken breast with pesto, diced mozzarella and sliced sugar snap peas. Transfer to an airtight container and pack with a whole wheat hot dog bun.)
  • Pesto pasta 
  • Grilled chicken salad (Mixed greens, chicken breast, fat free dressing of choice, nuts, any other veggies of choice)
  • Chicken sub (6 inch whole wheat bread, chicken breast/sliced deli turkey breast, lettuce, other veggies of your choice, dijon mustard or non fat dressing)
  • Canned veggie soup
  • Baked salmond filet, brown rice, and steamed broccoli 
  • Baked herb tofu (X)
  • Halved cucumbers top with cheese and herbs. Baked.
  • Overnight oats with fruit 
  • Hardboiled eggs, halved and topped with guacamole 
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Extremely quick and easy banana and egg pancakes (2 eggs, 1 banana, mash and mix together. Scoop into a pan and cook in coconut oil on each side)

And that’s just a few :)

anonymous asked:

Can you help me? I want to be a vegan but when I tried I became ill and had to stop, can you tell me about your diet an the kinds of things that you eat?

I honestly think that you became ill because you didn’t do your research on where you should get your iron, etc. or perhaps you did, but didn’t take a serious notice of! You don’t just cut out meat, you cut out certain nutrients (which you can find in plant based foods as well, you just need to know which ones)! Don’t worry, this is something a lot of people mistake in!

I am going to copy this down for you, you can also just click the website here. I find this is a good source.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Vegan Nutrition Information Basics 101

by Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN
Preventive Nutrition Services, Baltimore, MD

PROTEIN - REQUIREMENTS

Protein is frequently at the top of the list of concerned parents and skeptical friends. And converting from a typical American diet to vegan is mostly about shifting our protein sources. However, getting enough is easy, if we remember that any reasonable diet that provides sufficient calories and variety is almost guaranteed to supply enough quality protein to an average healthy vegan. After all, the cow is a vegan.

Protein requirements will differ, based on age, gender, body size, physical activity, and health status. A stereotypical vegan woman who weighs 130 lbs will need about 40-55 grams per day. A stereotypical vegan man who weighs 160 lbs will need about 50-65 grams per day. More than that is not better, since your body essentially can’t store it, and will excrete the excess.

PROTEIN SOURCES

Vegan protein sources include:

  • soy foods: soya beans
  • processed soy like tofu and soymilk
  • processed soy foods like veggie burgers, hot dogs and sausage
  • non-soy beans (lentils, black beans, chick peas, etc)
  • nuts and seeds
  • whole grains
  • mildly processed foods: like tempeh and seitan

Even vegetables will contribute 10- 20% of your protein requirement.

Although the processed soy foods are very common and very appealing, they do have a less desirable side: they are as processed—or more so—-as any typical American junk food. The processed soy foods also tend to be high in sodium, fat or sugar, and they can still contain genetically-modified ingredients (unless they’re organic), artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Although there are exceptions, labeling most of these foods as “healthy” would be an overstatement. And criticizing the conventional food industry while eating a soy veggie burger is just a bit dishonest.

The popularity of these processed soy foods has made soy in general an easy target for criticism from some internet “experts,” who claim that all soy is unhealthy, contains compounds that prevent protein absorption, increase the risk of breast cancer or early puberty, threatens hormone balance, or increases risk of food allergies. For the most part, there is no truth to the claims. Much of their information is based on research:

  • in animals (not reliable, since you don’t look like an overgrown rat)
  • using very high intakes (up to six servings per day, more than anyone should be eating)
  • using soy supplements (powders, etc) instead of foods
  • fails to account for the effects of cooking
  • fails to mention interactions with other nutrients.

Soy is a common source of food allergies and sensitivities. Anyone who appears to have ANY reaction to soy foods (rashes, hives, itching, digestive challenges, or even breathing difficulties) should be evaluated by a qualified physician. For the rest of us, eating some soy (up to three servings, or about 20 g of protein per day) is not a problem, and most of that should be unprocessed foods, such as tofu, tempeh, soymilk, miso, edamame (green soy beans), or a new soy food called yuba (aka “tofu skins”).

PROTEIN SOURCES - NON-SOY

Since soy foods are so easy and convenient, it’s easy to forget that there are at least a dozen other commonly available beans. Pinto, black, kidney, red, navy, black-eyed peas, chick peas, yellow and green split peas, lentils, Great Northern, Lima: the variety is endless. Additional varieties of beans (cranberry, French lentils, cannelini, red lentils, etc) can be found in gourmet, organic and natural food markets. Barring allergies or sensitivities, vegans should be eating beans at least once daily. If you’re not accustomed to eating beans or you’re concerned about digestive upset or gas, start with small portions and focus on lentils and split peas. Slowly increase portion size and variety, and, over time, most will find very little digestive response.

Seitan is wheat protein which has been concentrated and separated from the naturally occurring wheat starch and fiber. It is usually sold in rolls or large pieces. Although it is very high in protein, it also has no fiber. Since it’s derived from wheat, a common food allergen, eating seitan would not be wise for anyone who is allergic or sensitive to wheat, and eating it frequently might——possibly— increase risk for a wheat allergy in some people. Eating seitan occasionally (once or twice monthly) is probably not a problem for most people.

Nuts and seeds are also an important and nutritious protein source, since they are also a good source of healthy fats, minerals and vitamin E. This group includes peanuts (technically related to beans, and not a true nut), and nuts such as almonds, cashews and walnuts, but also pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and hemp seeds. Most nuts and seeds can be eaten raw or roasted. Eating some type of nut, nut butter or seed every day is a good idea.

WHOLE GRAINS, VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

Vegans, like almost anyone following other dietary patterns, should make most of their grains whole, such as whole wheat bread or pasta, barley, quinoa and brown rice. Although white, processed grains have as much protein as the whole-grain versions, the whole grains also provide essential B vitamins, iron, fiber and anti-oxidants. These nutrients are only found in the healthy brown layers which are removed to make grains white. White grains are fortified with some of the vitamins and iron they lost, but have no fiber or anti-oxidants. All the grains are also good sources of carbohydrates, which can also be found in starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes.

The news about vegetables is familiar, but many vegans, surprisingly, don’t eat a lot of vegetables. The best balance is found by eating as much color variety as possible, especially deep dark colors, which almost always have more healthy plant chemicals than paler vegetables.

The most critical group of vegetables for vegans is probably DGLV, or dark green leafy vegetables, because, as a group, they are excellent sources of calcium, iron and scores of other nutrients. At a minimum, everyone should be eating at least three to five servings of vegetables every day.

A typical balanced meal for lunch or dinner might include the following:
• ½ cup of tofu or other soy food OR 1 cup of beans 
• 1 cup of whole grain pasta OR brown rice OR (1) 3” redskin potatoes
• ¾ - 1 cup EACH of broccoli and carrots OR ¾ - 1 cup carrots, and 2 cups mixed green salad

Fruit recommendations are also similar across all eating patterns—eat more, especially as much color variety as possible. That means at least two to three servings daily, and fruit juice should be limited to no more than one serving (8 oz.) daily.

FATS / OILS

There are concerns that many vegans are eating too much fat, while others are not eating enough. A healthy vegan will avoid or reduce their use of foods which are deep fried or heavily coated in oil. Many of the tofu and soy meat items in Asian restaurants are deep-fried, as are many appetizers, such as egg rolls and Indian samosas. Other vegans avoid all oils all the time in the pursuit of good health, and may actually be depriving themselves of health and flavor benefits.

Since fat is essential in the diet, and fat also contributes to food flavor and appeal, the best balance is about 15-20% of calories. This strikes a balance between the excessive 30% recommendations from the government and mainstream health “authorities” (on one hand) and the extremely low, but not necessarily optimal, recommendations of other vegan nutrition experts who support diets containing no more than 10% of calories as fat. This 10% of calories limit would imply almost no use of oil to even saute onions, and no use of soy mayonnaise or salad dressing other than fruit-based vinaigrettes. There is little or no evidence that such low fat intakes provide better health benefits compared to diets with 15-20% of calories coming from fat.

While amount of fat matters, so does the type of fat. Vegans should be focusing their fat choices on olive and canola oils, avocado, nuts/seeds, nut butters, and olives. Those same less-than-healthy temptations in Asian restaurants are usually cooked in soybean oil, because it’s cheap, has no flavor, and works well at high temperatures. However, soybean oil, like most oils high in polyunsaturated fats, is prone to rancidity, oxidation, production of free radicals, and may promote inflammation (which is linked with many common diseases and conditions). Some soybean oil is acceptable, and is likely needed for good health, but given its very common use in restaurants and packaged food, most of us should probably cut back on soybean oil.

Another important type of oil is the omega-3 fats, which promote good heart health, brain function, skin health and joint health. While omnivores would get their omega-3 fats from fish, vegans can find one type in flax, walnuts and hemp seeds, but this must be converted to the desired forms (EPA and DHA). There is some debate whether we can make enough of the desired forms from vegan sources. A vegan DHA supplement (derived from algae) is probably a good idea, along with regular use of ground flax or hemp seeds, or walnuts.

CALCIUM

A common, but misplaced, source of concern in vegan nutrition is getting enough calcium. However, let’s return to the farm, where we get milk from vegan cows! According to the milk industry and its cadre of researchers, the cows should be osteoporotic and hunched-over. Admittedly the cow does have a different digestive system which could help the cow absorb more calcium, but this does point out that all minerals originate in the soil, and plants are the primary vehicle. At best, the cow diverts calcium, and then repackages it with other components which were never intended for humans. For some reason, we never think of suckling from the neighborhood bulldog who just had pups, but dairy cows provide the all-American food?

It may be American, but it’s not all that healthy to consume the mammary secretions of a pregnant cow. That’s right—in modern industrial agriculture the cow is kept constantly pregnant, which helps to maintain maximum milk flow. Within a couple of weeks after each calf is born, the mother is re-impregnated. So now the milk contains not only the hormones of a lactating cow, but also a pregnant cow. According to one study, that means there are 36 hormones and growth factors——naturally occurring—in cow’s milk. Of course, these are designed to stimulate a calf’s rapid growth and development——a process not desirable in adults, because such a process can also stimulate cancer, another type of rapid growth and development. The specific content of fats, proteins, sugars, hormones and growth factors is unique to cows, just as the content of similar compounds in breastmilk is unique to humans. Cows’ milk for children? Whose idea was that? Why not breastmilk for calves?

So where does a vegan obtain calcium? From plants, especially DGLV (mentioned above), such as collards, kale and turnip greens. In fact, one cup of cooked collard greens may contain more usable calcium than one cup of cows’ milk. Other calcium sources include fortified foods, such as soy milk and orange juice, almonds, figs and beans.

Another point is that although the government recommends 1000 mg of calcium per day for adults until age 54 (and more for seniors), the certainty of that recommendation has been reduced because bone health (the primary consideration used to establish the recommendation) is affected by a lot more than just calcium intake. At least a dozen nutrients are involved in bone health, but the vast majority of official attention is directed toward only one nutrient - calcium. Vitamin D’s essential role in bone health has recently been rediscovered, but what about vitamins A, C, K and iron? And new data point to fruit and vegetable intake, as well as zinc, copper, and omega-3 fats.

While we are told to try to get enough calcium to meet the official recommendation, the United Nations recommends 400-500 mg per day; and average intake among African women is even lower than the UN’s recommendation, yet they have excellent bone health. Despite all that, supplementing some calcium (perhaps 250-500 mg per day) may still be a wise idea. Even vegan children and pregnant or lactating women can get enough calcium from vegan sources, although some supplementation may be required, depending upon the use of DGLV.

IRON

Although many people stereotype vegans as anemic and pale, rates of anemia among vegans are similar to that in the general population. Now that we know the cow is a vegan, and that iron is a mineral, we know that it must be available from plants. The best vegan sources are beans and DGLV (again!). For optimum absorption, eat your iron food with a source of vitamin C. How hard is that? Beans with tomatoes. Fresh spinach with strawberries. Lentils and broccoli. Enough said.

VITAMIN D, B-12 AND IODINE

Vitamin D’s role in bone health is only one of this hormone’s (yes, it’s actually a hormone) critical functions—new information indicates vitamin D plays strong roles in preventing cancer, protecting the heart, and maintaining proper immune, brain and nervous system function, among others. Research is constantly revealing new roles of vitamin D, yet most Americans are probably borderline low, and many are outright deficient.

Although it was once presumed we could make enough Vitamin D from reasonable sunlight exposure, it’s now accepted that this is likely not true, especially for people living north of a line running between Atlanta and Los Angeles. Air pollution, aging, darker complexions, use of sunblock, and reduced time outdoors challenge us to obtain our Vitamin D elsewhere.

Vegan sources are limited to fortified foods, sun-exposed mushrooms, and supplements. Vegans who decide to supplement will want to look for ergocalciferol as the main ingredient. Other forms of Vitamin D are not vegan. Dosages vary, but 1000 - 2000 IU (or more) may be necessary for most Americans living north of the line of quality sun exposure.

Vitamin B-12 is presumed to only be found in animal foods, but it’s actually produced by soil bacteria, which are then eaten by farmed animals in their feed. Before modern industrial agriculture, dirty vegetables were probably another good source of B-12, but modern concerns about sanitation make this no longer practical. Even if we ate homegrown produce, B-12 content is not verifiable.

Since B-12 is efficiently recycled by the body, new vegans may have five to ten years or more worth of storage. However, at some point, those stores will be depleted, and use of fortified foods and supplementation will be necessary. Supplementation dosages can vary from 250 mcg to 5000 mcg, depending on health status, supplement form and frequency of use. Another source of B-12 is nutritional yeast (NOT brewer’s yeast), a powdery product which has a cheesy texture suitable for sprinkling over pasta or pizza. Two tablespoons will supply more than the daily requirement.

A vegan’s food sources of iodine are limited to sea vegetables, iodized salt, and some beans. Some vegans will obtain iodine from foods grown near the ocean. But for most vegans, especially those who don’t use sea vegetables, and those who are reducing their salt use at home, poor intake of iodine causes concern for proper thyroid function. Unless sea vegetables (dulse, wakame, or kelp) are eaten regularly, supplementation of 150 mcg per day is necessary.

This is a fantastic recipe to throw in your Sunday food-for-the-week prep. It’s literally just 1 chop, toss, and bake. I almost always bake on tin foil to make clean up super easy. For all the ideas for gluten free uses you can ALWAYS sub in gluten free products (I do!).

Here’s a few more specific ideas:

  • Sandwich: toasted gluten free bread, avocado, asparagus, hummus, mixed greens
  • Sandwich: toasted gluten free bread, asparagus, roasted red peppers, pesto, fresh thick sliced tomato, mozzarella
  • Salad: mixed greens, crumbled goat cheese, asparagus, thinly sliced red onion, sunflower seeds, your favorite dressing
  • Salad: arugula, lemon olive oil dressing, gorgonzola, asparagus, cucumbers, chickpeas
  • Pasta: saute garlic, red onion, & cherry tomatoes in 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Toss with pasta, asparagus (chop) and fresh parmesan

For more healthy snack recipes go here and more veggie recipes go here!