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Welcome to Vegetarians in Paradise. With each new issue we at vegparadise.com hope to provide you with a variety of information pertinent to the vegan community. For those who visit us from other areas of the country or from distant lands, we offer great diversity and invaluable vegan resources for vegans and vegetarians anywhere in the world.
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Zel's Cooking Demonstrations and Classes
When: November 15, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
When: Thursday, January 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
When: Saturday, February 7, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Attend Southern California Thanksgiving Events
Where Turkeys Are Honored Guests
Those who shun the fuss and muss of the kitchen have numerous opportunities to enjoy a fulfilling vegan Thanksgiving in the Southern California area. Check our listings that offer varied choices for dining in, dining out, or participating in unique and traditional vegan Thanksgiving potlucks.
Keep checking back throughout the month for additional information.
Give Thanks as You Bite into Some of the Tastiest Vegan Delights
at the Thanksgiving Table
The perception non-vegetarians have of vegan cuisine is disappointingly negative. Many believe we eat boring, bland rice and beans for our Thanksgiving feast, and they want none of it. In recent years though, vegan professional and home chefs are shaking things up! We're changing what the public thinks by presenting some pretty darned awesome plant-based dishes that actually look visually exciting and taste so good even omnivores are willing to sample a spoonful.
Read More and More and More and More and More
Celebrate Deliciously All Year Long
Can you imagine the moans and groans of disappointment if there were no pumpkin pie? Unthinkable, isn't it! So, let us feast in celebration of the harvest of thanks and save a little room for the glorious, venerated, treasured, and richly spiced pumpkin pie!
Brenda Davis Receives 24 Carrot Award
"Milk Is Having a Shitty Week"
But some people carried on with their mouths to the figurative udder, sipping on a tall glass of the white stuff alongside their filet mignon or fish tacos or what have you. And those people are probably going to die younger than the rest of us, because it turns out that milk might be really bad for you.
A recent study of data from more than 100,000 people in Sweden over the course of 11 to 20 years found a positive correlation between high milk consumption and mortality for both sexes, as well as a higher incidence of bone fracture in women. Participants completed two surveys more than a decade apart, which documented their diet, including their milk intake; they--along with their health records--were then tracked until death or December 2010, depending on which came first.
Some are skeptical of the data from the study because it demonstrates correlation instead of causation, but one possible reason for the connection between milk, mortality, and bone fragility could stem from dairy's inflammatory properties due to the production of D-galactose, a substance produced by the body when processing high levels of lactose and other compounds.
Zel Launches Vegan for the Holidays Blog
Vegan for the Holidays Blog is THE place to find exceptional vegan recipes and ideas saved just for those special holiday gatherings when you yearn to bring something inviting to the table. Zel's featured seasonal ingredients, like chestnuts, pomegranates, persimmons, squashes, and nuts that make vegan dining so special during autumn and winter festivities.
Some of the recipes, like the finger lickin' Holiday Ready Apple Crisp, Brussels Sprouts Go Seoul Searching, Santa's Favorite Panforte, Almond Nutloaf, and Thanksgiving Torte are from Zel's cookbooks (Vegan for the Holidays and The Nut Gourmet). But Zel continues to create irresistible holiday recipes that are now finding a happy home on the blog.
British House of Commons Issues Vegan Loyalty Card
Restaurants in the House of Commons have launched a vegan loyalty card to celebrate world vegan month. MPs and staffers can get a free vegan meal during November if they buy nine, or after five they can claim a gluten free vegan snack bar.
The scheme has been launched to celebrate World Vegan Month in November. Diners can get a card and start collecting the stamps in five of the parliamentary restaurants. There is no equivalent scheme for meat eaters.
This is not the first time parliamentarians have attempted to lead the way on vegetarianism. Shortly after the 2010 election six MPs signed a commons motion calling for the public to observe 'meat free Monday'. They claimed adopting the scheme would help reverse the effects of climate change.
Target Offers Its Own Line of Vegan Meatless Meat"
If one company represents American consumer culture best, it's Target (pronounced "Tar-jay," of course). It's the store that has everything, making it impossible to walk out without dropping at least $100 on stuff you didn't know you needed.
So the fact that Target now has its own line of meatless meat is a sure sign of changing times. The company now offers four flavors of faux chicken and turkey under its health-focused Simply Balanced Line -- and the stuff is pretty damned good.
The Gadarene Swine--Not What You Thought It Is
Lucky Valleyites can now take joy that The Gadarene Swine, a most unique vegan restaurant, has made the San Fernando Valley its home. Opened in early September 2014 on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, the innovative eatery stands apart in every way, from its unusual name, to the uniquely crafted all-vegetable menu, to the elaborate presentations, and finally its uncommon table setting.
16 Million in the US are Vegetarian or Vegan
In 2009, a tiny one percent of the US population reported eating vegetarian or vegan. Now, 5% of the United States population is vegetarian and half of those people are vegan. The rates have skyrocketed over the last five years and studies show the rates are climbing. So why are people continuing to go veg? The reason seems to involve a mix of various factors, with the largest impact coming from how much we have learned about commercial farming and animal treatment over the last five years.
To think that 16 million people in this country eat absolutely no animal products is pretty amazing, considering the degree to which meat has an impact on most of our culture. Approximately 42% of those who do not eat animal products say that they went vegan after they saw an educational film. Sixty-nine percent said they chose to eat a vegan diet to support the ethical treatment of animals. Forty-five percent say they transitioned into veganism over time and of all those who are vegan, 52% say they have been eating vegan for less than 10 years. This could be an indicator of the way the country has become more knowledgeable about our food supply over the last five years.
Aunt Nettie Goes Spanish for Thanksgiving with a Tapenade
So fer Thanksgivin' I'm a-gonna share a mighty speshul appetizer made by my niece, Zel--stuffed tomaters that you kin jes pick up with yer fingers an' start chompin' down without needin' a fork er spoon.
The recipe's easy and if'n y'all don't want ta fuss with scoopin' out them l'il ole tomater halves, why you kin jes put the stuffin' in a purty bowl and serve with crackers er them long skinny breads you kin slice nice an' thin.
The Torte That Conquered Thanksgiving
Of all the special main dish recipes I've brought to the Thanksgiving table through the years, this is THE one my family is truly thankful for and asks for each Thanksgiving. It's my joy to share our family tradition with all vegans who prepare Thanksgiving at home.
The Torte is finished with a robust mushroom sauce served on the side. It makes a lovely presentation, while adding a hearty, eye-appealing main dish to the meal.
Your Medicine Cabinet Just Might Be
in Your Pantry or Refrigerator
Dustin Rudolph is a Doctor of Pharmacy who would rather advise people to eat a whole-food, plant-based diet instead of popping medications to cope with chronic diseases. Rudolph, who is quite versed in medications, is unusual because he has become a champion of lifestyle changes to help people avoid or wean themselves from prescription medicines.
The uniqueness of The Empty Medicine Cabinet is to find a knowledgeable and trained professional pharmacist counseling readers on how to "avoid the pill trap." Instead, he recommends a healthy lifestyle to avoid the necessity of taking medications to alleviate the consequences of a poor diet.
Are Canned Beans as Healthy as Home Cooked?
Beans are an essential part of any healthful diet. The federal government recommends about half a cup a day of beans, counting them as both a protein and a vegetable since they have the best of both worlds. Beans are excellent sources of fiber, folate, plant protein, plant iron, vitamin B1, and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and copper, all while being naturally low in sodium.
Yet Americans don't know beans! 96% of Americans don't even meet the measly minimum recommended intake of beans, chickpeas, split peas or lentils. The same percentage of Americans don't eat their greens every day.
But how should we get our beans? Canned beans are convenient, but are they as nutritious as home-cooked? And if we do use canned, should we drain them or not? A recent study published in Food and Nutrition Sciences spilled the beans.
Vegan Options Are the New Normal at RestaurantsSure, there are plenty of all-vegan restaurants across the nation--and I'm on a quest to write about all of them--but I'm even more excited to tell you about all the non-vegetarian places that have been scrambling to offer vegan options in order to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for vegan fare.
According to an article in The Washington Post, several restaurants in the D.C. area, including Muse Café and The B Spot, are taking a break from meat and dairy products for occasional all-vegan menus. Vegan entrées are taking root at restaurants around the nation--even BBQ joints and greasy spoons are enticing vegans to break bread with the meat-eaters, who are also apt to chow down on veggie burgers and faux-chicken sandwiches on occasion.
I'm telling you, restaurant "segregation" is over. You can get vegan meals almost anywhere now.
Kale and Hearty,
Kale Is King of the Brassicas
What used to be a frilly green decorative item in food displays is now recognized as a nutrition powerhouse. In the past, caterers would display a scintillating entrée by placing it on a bed of bright green parsley and kale. From just a decorative adornment for the "real food," kale has become the most valuable "real food" for the health conscious.
Chef Dan Barber had been serving kale chips to happy customers at his Stone Hill Barns restaurant in New York. When he shared his kale chip recipe in a 2009 issue of Bon Appetit, he noticed the vegetable jumped into prominence. By developing more kale recipes and presenting them in innovative recipes, he sparked such interest that Bejo Seeds, a seed company, began to notice a flurry of seed sales overnight.
Meatless Monday: An Initiative We Should All Support
If we are judged by the company we keep, we are in good company. Vegetarians in Paradise bedfellows turn out to be an impressive group of organizations interested in public health.
The roster of organizations includes Columbia University Mailman School of Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications. They're all on board to promote Meatless Monday, a campaign to improve national health and benefit the environment. We would like to urge our readers to join us in bringing this message to the attention of the public.
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What's Happening in Vegetarian Los Angeles?
To find out about vegetarian events in Los Angeles,