food processor

Way of the vegan: for beginners

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Monday, 18 January 2016 - Last Updated on January 18, 2016
food processor

,

food processor

Live to a hundred and productive? It’s not as much the food as the discipline. Also important is the “why.” Why would I want to become a vegan? To live to a hundred. Why? To play with my great grandchildren, them piggybacked on the horseback that is me.

We need to rationalize how we will go about it, being vegan.

Take, for example, children thin and frail, prematurely born as infants, and as their teeth slowly emerge, so does their appetite for grinding meats. Do we, as parents, coax them into going vegan, when there is a medical need for protein-rich foods readily supplied by the wonder food for children that is chicken? Eating meat here is akin to being medicinal, most would agree.

That is not entirely true.

Soybean products are available as protein substitutes. Question is, will the child take it?

Surprisingly, most vegan recipes are child-friendly. Even the psychology of going vegan jives with a child’s eating habits. A kid would want fast snacks that will allow them to nibble and go, spending more time playing outdoors and with their friends. Vegans have small portions eaten frequently, and often combine chocolate (a general term), oats, nuts, and other protein sources, with the help of a food processor.

In the Philippines, if you buy a food processor then it means you’re serious about having fun with cooking. Moreso with vegan recipes. Most of them naturally blend together the oats, soy, and various seeds that are protein sources at par with meats, but are easier to digest and better for the body.

Peanut butter? Vegan. Done with a food processor. So’s almond butter. Offer your child some almond butter. Then, after the sandwich, an avocado smoothie. If that doesn’t make them eat, I don’t know what will, vegan or no vegan.

Throw into your food processor some pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds (I told you you’re going to use a lotta seeds), pitted dates, cocoa powder, and choco powder protein, and you’d have Dreena Burton’s Power Balls recipe. Note the absence of sugar. For sweeteners, vegans can use maple syrup or agave nectar.

The only downside of not having meat is not being able to sink your teeth into your food, and then chewing it crazy like a llama. For octogenarians, who are challenged with chewing, going vegan is the sweetest thing (credits to U2) as well. Elle Penner blends green peas into a pesto, and serves this with hummus. This always reminds me of Mitch Albom’s Professor Morrie.

Vegans have scitan, which looks like duck meat and tastes like chicken. Easier on the incisors.

Even though being vegan ultimately leads to good looks and a rockin’ hot bod, most of the individuals who do opt for vegetables as staple tend to overlook that seemingly obvious reason. In my opinion, the better physique you can get from crossfit training and the paleo diet (slow-cooking meats, staying away from starches), and becoming wholely, solely vegan has more to do with being kind.

Kindness to animals. Kindness to the environment. Kindness to oneself.

Stories of conversion to vegetarianism after witnessing the brutal butchering of poultry, cattle, and swine is aversion to violence and indirectly inflicting hurt on a living being, particularly the mammals, of which we are close relatives.

Converting forest acres to grazing land for cows or strictly for monocropping corn to be fed to the pigs is harmful. This is just the iceberg of this particular discourse.

Having peace of mind knowing that because of you, at least one animal will be spared, a parcel of forest will go unrazed, this is, and these are reasons enough to go vegetarian.

Being vegan is a way of life, and trickles down to choosing organic products – not just in food, but our clothes, and whether we support clean, renewable energy, and so on.

Here, we will juxtapose being vegan, vegetarian, and use both these terms but also mention semi-vegetarian food, because pure vegetarianism means staying away from foods with animal derivatives – like, quite possibly, honey. Being partly vegetarian, is eating more veggies and seafoods, and staying away (mostly) from chicken, pork, and beef.

In the Philippines, vegetables are regarded as food of the impoverished, having no access to fish, chicken, pork, and beef. For the sweet potato and the kamoteng kahoy, that is still true; but for green, leafy vegetables, particularly the ones from Baguio, since it’s always raining down, and even the Summer Capital is suddenly experiencing floods, veggies have become more precious, money-wise.

The bottomline is it’s now more expensive to eat vegetables, and other organic products, and so it is more fitting and gratifying for a socialite, for a person with an exquisite lifestyle and taste, to be a vegan. About time, also, for veggies to follow suit in the Filipino mindset – to be proud that we are a culture naturally semi-vegan, being farm and fisherfolk.

Sure you’re going to be hungry all the time, but veggies can be carried anywhere, and you can eat however much you want and you won’t have to feel guilt that the fatty meat you hankered for will add an extra centimeter to your cheeks. And it’s chic to be carrying those salad lunchboxes and forking a few lettuce leaves every now and then, like after a meeting with the regional director, and your breath will be fresh from all the mint and basil.

The most traditional eats pizza, pasta, noodles, ramen, because they have eggs with flour, aren’t strictly vegan, but being partly-vegetarian, it’s a good start. Whole wheat bread and pasta can be eaten by vegans. Gnocchi (pronounced ‘nyoki’) or ‘badly-made’ pasta knuckles can also be made vegan. Pasta with tomatoes is the classic Italian food for the masses.

Now we have vegan cheeses for an uber traditional pasta with cheese. According to themedievalclassroom, boiled pasta was eaten with cheese in the middle ages and tomatoes were considered poisonous. With every bite, you get to taste class, culture, and being vegan is its evolution. It’s so simple and yet so awe-inspiring.

If you think that veggies taste like damp, soggy socks, think again.

Flavor, or umami. It comes in minute quantities from seaweeds, and was just synthesized chemically by the Japanese. Being partly vegan – eating veggies and seafood – we can still harvest the flavors of the sea. And while we’re talking about the sea. The most simple product – table salt, manufactured in Pangasinan, and fish paste, or bagoong (bagoong isda, comes from Pangasinan as well) add a robust flavor to those Ilocano dishes. Please note that serious vegetarians do not eat bagoong isda, which is produced from fish.

Atsara is pickled pawpaws (papaya), which can be a side-salad, slightly sweet, slightly sour, for balancing out the strong flavors of the main dish. Soy sauce is a sumptuous flavor enhancer. It’s mellowed salt, with a classy black sauce. It is paired commonly with other soyabean products like tofu, and is an excellent replacement for meat.

Mushrooms are also a potent source of protein for vegetarians. Being fungi, just like the yeast we use to raise dough for breadmaking, they are safe, but for vegans, it’s up to them to decide on this. The substrate on which mushrooms grew should be disclosed. Fungi are decomposers and can grow on dead plant and animal material. But mostly the edible mushrooms grow on dead trees and plants.

The way of the vegan teaches patience, prudence, and always being on the lookout for unhealthy additives. Meat eaters like us would fare better taking it a step at a time, so we don’t stumble.

More of seafood and veggies and less of meat is already a good healthy headstart. In that regard, please try a kani salad as you head off towards the path to veganism:

You will need lettuce, Japanese mayo, crab sticks, and cucumber. Shred the cucumber into strips with a coconut scraper, add salt, squeeze, to remove excess water, then add the mayo, crab sticks, and lettuce.

 

 

Live to a hundred and productive? It’s not as much the food as the discipline. Also important is the “why.” Why would I want to become a vegan? To live to a hundred. Why? To play with my great grandchildren, them piggybacked on the horseback that is me.

We need to rationalize how we will go about it, being vegan.

Take, for example, children thin and frail, prematurely born as infants, and as their teeth slowly emerge, so does their appetite for grinding meats. Do we, as parents, coax them into going vegan, when there is a medical need for protein-rich foods readily supplied by the wonder food for children that is chicken? Eating meat here is akin to being medicinal, most would agree.

That is not entirely true.

Soybean products are available as protein substitutes. Question is, will the child take it?

Surprisingly, most vegan recipes are child-friendly. Even the psychology of going vegan jives with a child’s eating habits. A kid would want fast snacks that will allow them to nibble and go, spending more time playing outdoors and with their friends. Vegans have small portions eaten frequently, and often combine chocolate (a general term), oats, nuts, and other protein sources, with the help of a food processor.

In the Philippines, if you buy a food processor then it means you’re serious about having fun with cooking. Moreso with vegan recipes. Most of them naturally blend together the oats, soy, and various seeds that are protein sources at par with meats, but are easier to digest and better for the body.

Peanut butter? Vegan. Done with a food processor. So’s almond butter. Offer your child some almond butter. Then, after the sandwich, an avocado smoothie. If that doesn’t make them eat, I don’t know what will, vegan or no vegan.

Throw into your food processor some pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds (I told you you’re going to use a lotta seeds), pitted dates, cocoa powder, and choco powder protein, and you’d have Dreena Burton’s Power Balls recipe. Note the absence of sugar. For sweeteners, vegans can use maple syrup or agave nectar.

The only downside of not having meat is not being able to sink your teeth into your food, and then chewing it crazy like a llama. For octogenarians, who are challenged with chewing, going vegan is the sweetest thing (credits to U2) as well. Elle Penner blends green peas into a pesto, and serves this with hummus. This always reminds me of Mitch Albom’s Professor Morrie.

Vegans have scitan, which looks like duck meat and tastes like chicken. Easier on the incisors.

Even though being vegan ultimately leads to good looks and a rockin’ hot bod, most of the individuals who do opt for vegetables as staple tend to overlook that seemingly obvious reason. In my opinion, the better physique you can get from crossfit training and the paleo diet (slow-cooking meats, staying away from starches), and becoming wholely, solely vegan has more to do with being kind.

Kindness to animals. Kindness to the environment. Kindness to oneself.

Stories of conversion to vegetarianism after witnessing the brutal butchering of poultry, cattle, and swine is aversion to violence and indirectly inflicting hurt on a living being, particularly the mammals, of which we are close relatives.

Converting forest acres to grazing land for cows or strictly for monocropping corn to be fed to the pigs is harmful. This is just the iceberg of this particular discourse.

Having peace of mind knowing that because of you, at least one animal will be spared, a parcel of forest will go unrazed, this is, and these are reasons enough to go vegetarian.

Being vegan is a way of life, and trickles down to choosing organic products – not just in food, but our clothes, and whether we support clean, renewable energy, and so on.

Here, we will juxtapose being vegan, vegetarian, and use both these terms but also mention semi-vegetarian food, because pure vegetarianism means staying away from foods with animal derivatives – like, quite possibly, honey. Being partly vegetarian, is eating more veggies and seafoods, and staying away (mostly) from chicken, pork, and beef.

In the Philippines, vegetables are regarded as food of the impoverished, having no access to fish, chicken, pork, and beef. For the sweet potato and the kamoteng kahoy, that is still true; but for green, leafy vegetables, particularly the ones from Baguio, since it’s always raining down, and even the Summer Capital is suddenly experiencing floods, veggies have become more precious, money-wise.

The bottomline is it’s now more expensive to eat vegetables, and other organic products, and so it is more fitting and gratifying for a socialite, for a person with an exquisite lifestyle and taste, to be a vegan. About time, also, for veggies to follow suit in the Filipino mindset – to be proud that we are a culture naturally semi-vegan, being farm and fisherfolk.

Sure you’re going to be hungry all the time, but veggies can be carried anywhere, and you can eat however much you want and you won’t have to feel guilt that the fatty meat you hankered for will add an extra centimeter to your cheeks. And it’s chic to be carrying those salad lunchboxes and forking a few lettuce leaves every now and then, like after a meeting with the regional director, and your breath will be fresh from all the mint and basil.

The most traditional eats pizza, pasta, noodles, ramen, because they have eggs with flour, aren’t strictly vegan, but being partly-vegetarian, it’s a good start. Whole wheat bread and pasta can be eaten by vegans. Gnocchi (pronounced ‘nyoki’) or ‘badly-made’ pasta knuckles can also be made vegan. Pasta with tomatoes is the classic Italian food for the masses.

Now we have vegan cheeses for an uber traditional pasta with cheese. According to themedievalclassroom, boiled pasta was eaten with cheese in the middle ages and tomatoes were considered poisonous. With every bite, you get to taste class, culture, and being vegan is its evolution. It’s so simple and yet so awe-inspiring.

If you think that veggies taste like damp, soggy socks, think again.

Flavor, or umami. It comes in minute quantities from seaweeds, and was just synthesized chemically by the Japanese. Being partly vegan – eating veggies and seafood – we can still harvest the flavors of the sea. And while we’re talking about the sea. The most simple product – table salt, manufactured in Pangasinan, and fish paste, or bagoong (bagoong isda, comes from Pangasinan as well) add a robust flavor to those Ilocano dishes. Please note that serious vegetarians do not eat bagoong isda, which is produced from fish.

Atsara is pickled pawpaws (papaya), which can be a side-salad, slightly sweet, slightly sour, for balancing out the strong flavors of the main dish. Soy sauce is a sumptuous flavor enhancer. It’s mellowed salt, with a classy black sauce. It is paired commonly with other soyabean products like tofu, and is an excellent replacement for meat.

Mushrooms are also a potent source of protein for vegetarians. Being fungi, just like the yeast we use to raise dough for breadmaking, they are safe, but for vegans, it’s up to them to decide on this. The substrate on which mushrooms grew should be disclosed. Fungi are decomposers and can grow on dead plant and animal material. But mostly the edible mushrooms grow on dead trees and plants.

The way of the vegan teaches patience, prudence, and always being on the lookout for unhealthy additives. Meat eaters like us would fare better taking it a step at a time, so we don’t stumble.

More of seafood and veggies and less of meat is already a good healthy headstart. In that regard, please try a kani salad as you head off towards the path to veganism:

You will need lettuce, Japanese mayo, crab sticks, and cucumber. Shred the cucumber into strips with a coconut scraper, add salt, squeeze, to remove excess water, then add the mayo, crab sticks, and lettuce.
Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/missy-and-the-universe, some rights reserved

Jose Francisco Cruz (38 Posts)


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