Plant-based Nutrition Support Group
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Pittsburgh East-Suburban


Next meeting:
TUESDAY, MARCH 10, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Murrysville Community Library
Open to anyone interested in learning & sharing information about healthy, plant-based food choices.
At the February meeting, we had a lively and informative Question-and-Answer session. Here is the recap:
Q: What are the risks of a microwave?
A: Microwaves are safe (recommended that you keep 2 ft. from door when using).
- "The microwave has the benefit of cooking foods fast and sometimes taking away the need to cook with oils, making the microwave an especially healthy option." (Michael Greger, M.D.)
- Cooking in The Microwave Oven: Is It Safe? by Dr. Myatt with Nurse Mark
- Microwave Dangers? Top 5 Claims vs. The Evidence by Nick Tumminello

Q: Are raw or steamed vegetables healthier for us?
A: Based on the amount of cancer-fighting nutrients absorbed into your body? … steamed takes the lead! Because it’s not what you eat, it’s what you absorb. And cooking can boost the absorption of many important plant nutrients. So while even light steaming can partially destroy some nutrients, the absorption of the remaining fraction is so boosted that it may be even healthier than raw, based on the latest research.    (Greger, 2008) [Microwaving 5 min. or more has detrimental nutrition impact.]
Q: Which cooking methods best retain antioxidants?
(Greger, 2010)
- Microwave keeps 97% of antioxidants.
- Boiling and pressure cooking lose most antioxidants.
- Beets, artichokes, onions, asparagus: antioxidants remain when cooked
- Carrots, celery, green beans: antioxidants increase when cooked.
- Bell peppers: best to eat raw.

Q: What can replace tofu or soy?
Nixon, 2012; Nixon, 2011; Nixon, 2013
Silken (soft) tofu: vegan yogurt.
Firm tofu: mashed beans.

Soy sauce: mushroom/vegetable broth.
Miso: soy-free miso from chickpeas.

Q: Are Kefir probotics dairy? A: Milk kefir is made from dairy (or non-dairy milks); water kefir is from water. (source)
Q: Are they needed on a plant-based diet?  A: No.

Q: Which countries should we buy rice from in order to avoid arsenic?
A: Yes: California & Asia; No: Southern USA   [Jeff Novick's fail-proof cooking method: Cook brown rice in lots of simmering water (like noodles) for 30 minutes, drain, put rice back in pot with lid on (but pot off burner) for 10 min.]

Q: Does cumin come in anything other than powder?   A: cumin seeds

Q: What's the best way to separate garlic cloves?
A: Flat side of chef's knife or garlic press.

Other topics of discussion included:
 Sue M. - Protective Diet Plant-based food plan with no oil, sugar, nuts.
Jane L. - Valentine's day meal w/ recipes from Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.
Stan B. - about MSG.
Rick L. - Suggested Potluck Dining Club for our group; TBA.



Saturday, March 7: Dinner at La Paz, a new Greensburg restaurant with many vegan options. (Laurel Highlands Vegan Society)

Saturday, March 14: Vegan brunch by Chef Mya Zeronis at Schwartz Living Market, East Carson St., Pgh. Gluten free, vegan, soy free, no refined sugar. (Pittsburgh Vegan Meetup)

Friday, May 1: Lifestyle Medicine Conference @ Chestnut Ridge Conference Center. Sponsored by S'eclairer Integrative Psychiatric Medicine. Open to the public, as well as healthcare professionals. (Vegan meal options available.)

Saturday, May 30: Pittsburgh Vegan Festival @ Unitarian Universalist Church of North Hills. Food vendors, entertainment, & family activities. (Pittsburgh Vegan Meetup)

Wednesday-Sunday, July 8-12: North American Vegetarian Society Summerfest @ University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown.
Friday-Sunday, September 18-20: Mother Earth News Fair @ Seven Springs, PA

Lucky Leprechaun Dip  by Kathy Patalsky
  • 1 can white cannellini beans (1 1/2 cups) - drain/rinse in hot water
  • 1 cup kale (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice + pinch lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 dashes cayenne
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews (no need to soak if using high-speed blender)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Tahini
  • 1/4+ cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, flat leaf
  • optional: garlic powder or roasted garlic
To make:
1. In high-speed blender, blend all ingredients from low to high until silky and smooth. If needed, add a few splashes of water to blend smooth. (It will firm up in the fridge.)
2. Pour in serving dish and chill in fridge for 1 hour or overnight. Decorate with parsley.
Copyright © *2015* *Food for Health*, All rights reserved.
 *March 2015 Newsletter*

Our mailing address is: 2513 Covington Court, Murrysville, PA 15668
Contact: Sally Lipsky

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