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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Vegan Italian Sausage - Marcella

Yet another (modified) recipe from my favorite vegan brunch cookbook: Italian sausage. Yes, there's all kinds of commercial vegan sausage out there and it's delicious, but they do tend to have a lot of fat and sodium. Here, you can choose low-sodium soy sauce and reduce the olive oil even further if you like.

Sometimes I slice them up, sometimes I halve them lengthwise, pan-sear them and serve with sauerkraut and spicy mustard. They make a great side or topping for spaghetti squash with tomato sauce or a bit of whole wheat or gluten free pasta (it's pictured above on einkhorn pasta, the most ancient form of wheat).

And FYI, the wheat gluten you buy to make these can also be used to make seitan. You will need a steamer or steamer basket for a pot of some kind to cook these.

Vegan Italian Sausage

makes 4
  • 1/2 cup white beans (cannellini, navy, or Great Northern), drained
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (bulk and/or natural foods section)
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds (ground or crushed)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • black pepper
Mash up the white beans until there are no whole beans remaining. Add the rest of the ingredients in the listed order and mix well with a fork.

Tear off four sheets of aluminum foil, about 6 inches wide and lay them out. Divide your mix evenly among them. Shape each into about a 5-7 inch log and roll up in the foil, twisting the ends closed.

Place them in your steamer and steam for 30-40 minutes. Then slice, grill, eat as is, or save for later!

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nutrition Principles Part 3 - Derek

Hello and happy February! To start the month off right I thought I'd finally get Dr. Campbell's last Principles of Nutrition up, so thank you for your patience! To recap on where we left off, just check the first two posts (1)here and (2)here. Onto the rest...

6.) The same nutrition that can prevent disease in its early stages can also halt or reverse it in its later stages.

The clearest example that comes to mind here is the number one cause of death in the US - heart disease. Heart disease rates have climbed steadily in the US for decades, and now the disease claims 430 thousands lives every year in the US alone. Work done by Dr. Esselstyn demonstrates that heart disease is a completely avoidable disease for everyone, and he now coaches patients on how to halt and reverse their heart disease at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic. Dr.Esselstyn has successfully taken many patients from the brink of death by heart disease to return to normal healthy lives through dietary intervention alone. His website and his book "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" go into far greater detail than I can here, but suffice to say if it works for these most extreme cases, it will work for anyone. While a diet rich in processed foods and animal products strongly promotes the hardening of arteries, the formation of plaques, and the raising of blood pressure, a whole foods plant based diet has the exact opposite effect. In fact, the same is true for cancer. Dr. Campbell's own lab demonstrated that nutrition alone could promote or halt the growth of tumors in rats, and epidemiological studies clearly support this theory in human populations.

7.) Nutrition that is beneficial for a particular chronic disease support good health across the board.

This principle is pretty self explanatory. A whole foods plant based diet will prevent and treat any and all chronic disease prevalent in society today, and will simultaneously promote good health across the board.

8.) Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our existence.

Dr. Campbell's final principle of nutrition is by far the most all-encompassing. By eating more healthfully, every aspect of our lives and our surroundings stands to benefit. Our economy stands to benefit by saving billions of dollars on healthcare costs. Our population stands to benefit by being better fed because it is cheaper and much more efficient to use land to produce crops rather than livestock, and the environment as a whole stands to benefit for this same reason. In fact, the single greatest impact you can have on your 'carbon footprint' - if that is important to you - is to choose whole plant foods over processed foods and animal foods.

So, sorry for the lengthy post, but I really hope you find this information helpful and inspiring. As always, we love to receive comments and answer questions so have at it! And now you have more reason than ever to break out the Greens & Beans!