Northwest Veg
May 2010
Vol. 45
  e-Thymes
"Consider the biggest animals on the planet: elephants, and buffaloes, and giraffes. These are vegetarian animals."
-Michael Klaper, M.D.

Latest News...
» Interview with Dietitian, Author, and VegFest Presenter Brenda Davis
» Race for the Animals
» Outreach for Animals Week
» Lessons from a Sugarless Month
» Vegan Iron Chef
» Volunteer Spotlight: Erin Floresca
» Recipe of the month: Crock Cheeze
» Nutritional Yeast: More than a Topping for Popcorn
» Upcoming Events
» Business Partners
» Member Discounts
 
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Interview with Dietitian, Author, and VegFest Presenter Brenda Davis

Brenda Davis is a Registered Dietitian and nutritionist. We are very excited to have her as a featured presenter at VegFest 2010. Brenda has co-authored seven books: Becoming Raw, The Raw Food Revolution Diet, Becoming Vegetarian, The New Becoming Vegetarian, Becoming Vegan, Defeating Diabetes, and Dairy-free and Delicious. Graciously, she took the time to respond to some questions via email regarding her expertise as a dietitian and about her personal food choices.

Q. When you first decided to become vegetarian, then vegan, then mostly raw, did those dietary changes challenge or conflict with what you'd been taught about a "balanced diet" as a Registered Dietitian?

A. First, I would say I am about 50-60 percent raw in the cooler months and about 75 percent raw during our warm season. When I first entered the field of dietetics (about 30 years ago), vegetarian diets were considered risky and vegan diets were considered downright dangerous. Today, the official position of the American Dietetic Association is that well-planned vegan diets are safe and adequate at every stage of the lifecycle. This makes life a lot easier for vegan dietitians. Whether a person is an omnivore, a vegetarian or a vegan, consuming a diet that is "balanced" is important. When dietitians say, "Eat a balanced diet," they are simply saying that we need to eat a variety of foods that together provide everything people need for good health.

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Race for the Animals - Register Today!

Support Northwest VEG's education and outreach programs by participating in this fun event! Following the race, there will be vegan goodies to re-fuel those plant-strong bodies!

Saturday, July 10, 2010
Forest Park, Portland, Oregon

8:30am (10K), 9am (5K)
Entry Fee: $20 (by July 6); $25 (July 7-10)
$5 off for Northwest VEG members!
$10 extra for organic cotton race t-shirt
For more information or to register, go to:
www.nwveg.org/race_for_animals.php


Outreach for Animals Week

During the week of May 24-28, help NW VEG spread the message of compassion for animals. For this one-week blitz, volunteers are needed to distribute leaflets educating people about animal suffering on factory farms. Wendy Gabbe Day, NW VEG coordinator, says, "Our goal is to reach as many college and high school campuses in the Portland metro area as possible. You can even leaflet some high schools on lunch break or college campuses in the evenings, so this opportunity is open to people with almost any schedule. We will provide training, leaflets, and also have seasoned leafleters who can accompany you on your first leafleting."

There will be prizes (books and gift certificates to local restaurants) for most leaflets given out, most campuses leafleted, and most days or times leafleted. Each participant will also be entered into a drawing for prizes that will be picked at random. Please contact info@nwveg.org to sign up.


Lessons from a Sugarless Month

I gave up sugar for one month - no refined or raw or unrefined sugar, no agave, no maple or rice syrup, no honey, no Frankenstein sugar substitutes, no freakishly natural sweeteners - no sugar. It shouldn't have been a big deal because I don't eat much sugar to begin with - no candy, no soda - but I took on the challenge because I dreaded the idea of it so much. Any time I resist something so mightily, I know I have something to learn.

I didn't experience any withdrawal symptoms, nor bursts of energy or health; I felt pretty much the same. The only difference I really felt in a life without sugar was the distinct and persistent realization that I couldn't have any. The thing is, I didn't believe I ate that much sugar. I didn't want to admit that maybe I over-indulged. I didn't really believe that sugar is bad for me. I didn't really believe I'd attain anything great or noticeable from its absence.

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Vegan Iron Chef

This spring, Try Vegan PDX will be kicking off what they hope will become a longstanding tradition in Portland's vegan community: the inaugural Vegan Iron Chef competition. The competition takes place on June 6 at the Ecotrust Building, and stars three of our city's top vegan chefs, as well as celebrity judges and hosts. It will be a great way to showcase Portland's incredible vegan restaurant scene!

Aaron Adams of Portobello Restaurant, Qausu AsaaseYaa of the Asaase Ital food cart, and Wes Hannah of Blossoming Lotus will each be whipping up an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert, all based around a secret ingredient, in one hour and in front of a live audience. Their efforts will be judged by Brian Heck of the Sip juice cart; Jesse Ives from Sweetpea Baking Co.; Emiko Badillo from Food Fight! Grocery; and cookbook author Joanna Vaught. The final spot on the judging panel will go to one lucky attendee - everyone who buys a ticket online in advance has a chance to win. Michelle Schwegmann of Herbivore Clothing Co. will host the event, and cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz will be acting in the "Alton Brown" role of explaining to the audience what chefs are doing as they work.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Erin Floresca

Erin Floresca is an editor of the e-Thymes and also a contributing writer. Erin is truly wonderful to work with, and her smile and positive vibes are evident in all that she does. Thanks for all of your hard work, Erin!

How long have you been veg and why?
I have toggled between being vegetarian and vegan since 1996. Once I awakened to animal suffering in regards to eating meat, I couldn't go back. However, I did go through a few years where I conveniently overlooked the plight of animals in the dairy and egg industries. Thankfully, I recently re-awakened to this sad truth. I am happy to share that I am gleefully vegan once again.

What's on your dinner plate?
Vegan carrot cake, silken tofu chocolate pie and chocolate chip cookies. Did I mention coconut milk ice cream? Yummy! I actually have quite a big sweet tooth, but I've also been cooking up a storm lately. My favorite dishes right now include lentil and Tofurky sausage stew, tofu reubens, vegan pancit, Alsatian tarte flambé and vegan lasagna.

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Recipe of the month: Crock Cheeze

Cookbook and vegan issues author, Jo Stepaniak, has undoubtedly worked with nutritional yeast more than anyone else. Here is one of the best-loved recipes she has created:

Crock Cheeze
from Vegan Vittles, J. Stepaniak, 1997
  • 1/2 lb firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry, crumbled
  • 3 T nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 T tahini
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 T sweet white miso
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until very smooth. Chill for at least an hour before serving.


Nutritional Yeast: More than a Topping for Popcorn

Are you one of the vegetarians and vegans who uses nutritional yeast in cooking or as a condiment? Ever wondered just what it is? Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast similar to brewer's yeast that is sold as a nutritional supplement. According to Wikipedia, it is "produced by culturing the yeast with a mixture of sugarcane and beet molasses, then harvesting, washing, drying and packaging the yeast."

Low in fat and sodium, nutritional yeast is a great source of protein and B-complex vitamins, though some brands may not be fortified with vitamin B-12. As anyone who has ever used nutritional yeast knows, the strong flavor makes it an ideal cheese substitute. Mashing and frying it with breakfast potatoes or adding it to scrambled tofu can be a good way to start off the morning!

For those who haven't yet discovered the joys of using nutritional yeast, it can be found in either the form of a yellow powder or in flakes and can be purchased in bulk at natural food stores.

 
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