Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Plant-based diet’ Category

Plant-based steaks from a 3D printer

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Interesting technology reported in Fast Company by Adele Peters:

Inside a lab in Rehovot, Israel, a 3D printer the size of an industrial refrigerator is busy printing plant-based steaks. Redefine Meat, the startup that developed the technology, sees it as the next step for the world of alternative protein: If companies like Impossible Foods have created plant-based burgers that are meaty enough to tempt omnivores, now the industry wants options for realistic whole cuts of faux meat.

The startup, launched by cofounders who met while developing digital printers at HP, created custom 3D printers that aim to replicate meat by printing layers of what they call “alt-muscle,” “alt-fat,” and “alt-blood,” forming a complex 3D model. “Real meat is an extremely complicated product, where much of the sensory experience comes from the matrix,” says cofounder and CEO Eshchar Ben-Shitrit. “Meat is not just proteins, fats, and water. . . . Beef, especially, is a product that has been ‘built’ for years by the cow.” (Other startups are also working on the challenge of making realistic cuts of meat, some through the use of mycelium, the root-like fibers in mushrooms.)

The company will be selling the printers to restaurants, which can tailor the digital recipe so “changes in the product come at zero cost or complexity,” he says. “We can use a 3D model of an entirely different meat product with the same machine, process, and ingredients, whereas traditional food production technologies have to change entire formulations. We can also iterate a steak to be softer, harder, juicier with less fat, and much more—all with a simple click of a button.” While the costs will come down as the company grows, they say that their “Alt-Steak” is already competitive with high-end steaks. Ultimately, it should be more affordable, converting plants into food more efficiently than a cow.

The team, which closed a seed round last year led by CPT Capital, an early investor in Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, has been working with chefs, butchers, food technologists, and taste experts to try to recreate the texture and mouthfeel of steak. “We are working on recreating the entire range of meat products coming from animals,” says Ben-Shitrit. “However, steak is the strongest and most meaningful symbol of what is ‘meat.’ It’s also the most challenging product from a technical perspective. Not only does it have a very unique structure, texture, and flavor, but from a culinary perspective, it doesn’t have a bun or lots of covering elements to mask the sensory experience—it’s usually cooked very simply.” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 July 2020 at 9:57 am

What’s up with my blogging

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A reader wrote inquiring about the change in pattern of my blogging (less frequent) and about the spareribs recipe I posted (do I still follow a whole-food plant-based diet?). I thought others might be wondering about that, so here’s what’s up with me on those accounts.

Blogging and its interruptions

My decision to acquire fluency in Esperanto has required a fair amount of time — here’s my current regimen. That post includes some detail on the reasons for the regimen.

The time spent in study means fewer blog posts. However, I now have the bit in my teeth and am determined to achieve fluency.

Whole-food plant-based diet

I still follow this diet, but my family and (I suspect) many of my readers do not, though certainly my family and I hope my readers do emphasize the consumption of fresh vegetables (including leafy greens), dried beans, intact whole grains, fresh fruit, berries, and nuts and seeds, and minimize the consumption of meat, dairy, and eggs — and try to avoid refined and “product” foods.

Still, I like food, and when I see a recipe like the St.-Louis-style spareribs (riparaĵo laŭ la stilo “St. Louis”), a recipe that is interesting, sounds tasty, and is easy, I post it for my meat-eating readers. Indeed, I might eat a rib or two on a special occasion, but certainly I continue now to follow a diet that is almost exclusively whole-food and plant-based. If I don’t, my blood glucose goes up (since I no longer take any medication for that — or for high blood pressure, since I also have cut out added salt).

I do think it’s a good idea to cut out refined food (e.g., refined sugar and foods that contain it, ultra-processed foods, fruit juice) and move toward whole foods, and to minimize one’s consumption of meat, dairy, and eggs, for the reasons explained in Dr. Michael Greger’s book How Not to Die and his more recent book How Not to Diet. But I figure you can read those and decide for yourself based on the research findings he points out.


Written by LeisureGuy

29 June 2020 at 10:25 am

Hypertension, hibiscus tea, and a plant-based diet

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Worth considering.

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5 June 2020 at 10:33 am

It’s never too late to start eating healthy

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29 May 2020 at 10:35 am

Bean discoveries

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Although I have ben cooking beans covered in the oven, I’ve switched to stovetop, and have learned two things:

  1. 1. Don’t cover the pot. Just turn it on to a low simmer and let it cook.
  2. 2. Use just a pinch of baking soda. I just cooked about a pound of beans. I soaked them overnight in salt water (enough water to cover to a depth of about 1″, 2 teaspoons of salt), then drained them, covered with water to a depth of about 1″ and used about 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

Using 1/4 teaspoon instead of 2 teaspoons means the beans don’t get so very soft but hold their shape better. I’ll experiment with 1/2 teaspoon, but obviously I am cutting back substantially on the salt.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 May 2020 at 2:11 pm

The bright side of supermarkets not having meat on the shelves

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Dr. Michael Greger blogs:

When famed surgeon Michael DeBakey was asked why his studies published back in the 1930s linking smoking and lung cancer were ignored, he had to remind people about what it was like back then. We were a smoking society. Smoking was in the movies, on airplanes. Medical meetings were held in “a heavy haze of smoke.” Smoking was, in a word, normal. Even the congressional debates over cigarettes and lung cancer took place in literal smoke-filled rooms. (This makes me wonder what’s being served at the breakfast buffets of the Dietary Guidelines Committee meetings these days.)

I’ve previously talked about a famous statistician by the name of Ronald Fisher, who railed against what he called “propaganda…to convince the public that cigarette smoking is dangerous.” “Although Fisher made invaluable contributions to the field of statistics, his analysis of the causal association between lung cancer and smoking was flawed by an unwillingness to examine the entire body of data available…” His smokescreen may have been because he was a paid consultant to the tobacco industry, but also because he was himself a smoker. “Part of his resistance to seeing the association may have been rooted in his own fondness for smoking,” which makes me wonder about some of the foods nutrition researchers may be fond of to this day.

As I discuss in my video Don’t Wait Until Your Doctor Kicks the Habit, it always strikes me as ironic when vegetarian researchers are forthright and list their diet as a potential conflict of interest, whereas not once in the 70,000 articles on meat in the medical literature have I ever seen a researcher disclose her or his nonvegetarian habits––because it’s normal. Just like smoking was normal.

How could something that’s so normal be bad for you? And, it’s not as if we fall over dead after smoking one cigarette. Cancer takes decades to develop. “Since at that time most physicians smoked and could not observe any immediate deleterious effects, they were skeptical of the hypothesis and reluctant to accept even the possibility of such a relation”—despite the mountain of evidence.

It may have taken 25 years for the Surgeon General’s report to come out and longer still for mainstream medicine to get on board, but now, at least, there are no longer ads encouraging people to “Inhale to your heart’s content!” Instead, today, there are ads from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fighting back.

For food ads, we don’t have to go all the way back to old ads touting “Meat…for Health Defense” or “Nourishing Bacon,” or featuring doctors prescribing meat or soda, or moms relieved that “Trix are habit-forming, thank heavens!” You know things are bad when the sanest dietary advice comes from cigarette ads, as in Lucky Strike’s advertisements proclaiming “More Vegetables––Less Meat” and “Substitute Oatmeal for White Flour.” (You can see these vintage ads from 2:34 in my video).

In modern times, you can see hot dogs and sirloin tips certified by the American Heart Association, right on their packaging. And, of all foods, which was the first to get the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ “Kids Eat Right” logo on its label? Was it an apple? Broccoli, perhaps? Nope, it was a Kraft prepared cheese product.

Now, just as there were those in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s at the vanguard trying to save lives, today, there are those transforming ads about what you can do with pork butt into ads about what the pork can do to your butt: “Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer—Processed meats increase colorectal cancer risk” reads an for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s “Meat Is the New Tobacco” campaign, which you can see at 3:56 in my video. As Dr. Barnard, PCRM president, tried to convey in an editorial published in the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics, “Plant-based diets are the nutritional equivalent of quitting smoking.”

How many more people have to die before the Centers for Disease Control encourages people not to wait for open-heart surgery to start eating healthfully?

Just as we don’t have to wait until our doctor stops smoking to give up cigarettes ourselves, we don’t have to wait until our doctor takes a nutrition class or cleans up his or her diet before choosing to eat healthier. No longer do doctors hold a professional monopoly on health information. There’s been a democratization of knowledge. So, until the system changes, we have to take personal responsibility for our health and for our family’s health. We can’t wait until society catches up with the science again, because it’s a matter of life and death.

Dr. Kim Allan Williams, Sr., became president of the American College of Cardiology a few years back. He was asked why he follows his own advice to eat a plant-based diet. “I don’t mind dying,” Dr. Williams replied. “I just don’t want it to be my fault.”

I find this to be such a powerful concept that I have come at it from different angles. For other takes, check out . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 May 2020 at 10:04 am

The greens this time

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As Sherlock Holmes said to John Watson, “You know my methods. Apply them.”

Greens: rapini, green kale, spinach

Additional veg power: 1 head garlic chopped (after peeling cloves), a dozen mushrooms chopped, two chopped jalapeños, 1/2 chopped large yellow bell pepper, about 3/4 cup diced daikon radish, 1 sliced leek (including all the green), 1 lemon diced

Punch: a good sized turmeric root minced , lots of ground black pepper (probably 2 Tbsp), a big wad of Amano Genmai miso (probably 1/4 cup), Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (maybe 1/4 cup), Shaoxing wine (probably 1/3 cup)

I just had a cup of that (after cooking it ~30 minutes total), with 1/4 cup kamut, 1/4 cup lentils, and 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed. I skipped the 1/4 cup of peanuts, which I ate for breakfast along with steamed broccoli and a piece of steelhead trout.

Very satisfying meal, and now I have enough cooked greens for a few days.

Update: I should note that I used the 6-qt pot. Even so, the uncooked greens would not all fit into the pot at once. I had to simmer a portion covered and let that collapse, then repeat until finally I had all within the pot. Once cooked, they occupied no more than a third of the volume.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 May 2020 at 6:17 pm

Meet the ‘psychobiome’: the gut bacteria that may alter how you think, feel, and act

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I found this article interesting. The gut bacteria depend on your food choices for their nourishment, and dietary fiber is important to them, particularly the fiber from foods like onion, garlic, and asparagus (see note below, following article extract).

Elizabeth Pinnisi writes in Science:

Katya Gavrish is searching for new brain drugs in a seemingly unlikely place: human stool samples. An earnest and focused microbiologist who trained in Russia and loves classical music, she’s standing in front of a large anaerobic chamber in a lab at Holobiome, a small startup company here. She reaches into the glass-fronted chamber through Michelin Man–like sleeves to begin to dilute the sample inside. That’s the first step toward isolating and culturing bacteria that Gavrish and her Holobiome colleagues hope will produce new treatments for depression and other disorders of the brain and nervous system.

The eight-person company plans to capitalize on growing evidence from epidemiological and animal studies that link gut bacteria to conditions as diverse as autism, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s disease. Since its founding a mere 5 years ago, Holobiome has created one of the world’s largest collections of human gut microbes. The company’s CEO, Phil Strandwitz, cannot yet say exactly what form the new treatments will take. But the targeted ailments include depression and insomnia, as well as constipation, and visceral pain like that typical of irritable bowel syndrome—conditions that may have neurological as well as intestinal components. Strandwitz, a mild-mannered Midwesterner with a Ph.D. in microbiology, isn’t prone to visionary statements, but neither is he short on ambition: He predicts the first human trial will start within 1 year.

The allure is simple: Drug development for neuropsychiatric disorders has lagged for decades, and many existing drugs don’t work for all patients and cause unwanted side effects. A growing number of researchers see a promising alternative in microbe-based treatments, or “psychobiotics,” a term coined by neuropharmacologist John Cryan and psychiatrist Ted Dinan, both at University College Cork. “This is a really young and really exciting field with a huge amount of potential,” says Natalia Palacios, an epidemiologist at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, who is looking into connections between gut microbes and Parkinson’s disease.

Some researchers prefer a less hurried approach focused on understanding the underlying biology. But Holobiome and a few other companies are eager to cash in on the burgeoning, multibillion-dollar market that has already sprung up for other microbial therapies, which aim to treat conditions including intestinal disorders allergies, and obesity. Those companies are pushing ahead despite many unresolved questions about how psychobiotic therapies might actually work and the potential dangers of moving too fast. “There’s a gold rush mentality,” says Rob Knight, a microbiologist at the University of California (UC), San Diego.

OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS, the recognition that the microbes living inside us outnumber our body’s own cells has turned our view of ourselves inside out. The gut microbiome, as it’s known, weighs about 2 kilograms—more than the 1.4-kilogram human brain—and may have just as much influence over our bodies. Thousands of species of microbes (not only bacteria but also viruses, fungi, and archaea) reside in the gut. And with as many as 20 million genes among them, those microbes pack a genomic punch that our measly 20,000 genes can’t match. Gut bacteria can make and use nutrients and other molecules in ways the human body can’t—a tantalizing source of new therapies. . .

Continue reading. There’s more.

And from an article in the Washington Post on prebiotics and probiotics:

But it’s not enough to just get beneficial bacteria into your body. To make sure these good guys stay and thrive, you’ve got to feed them. One of their preferred meals is a type of soluble fiber called fructooligosaccharides (FOS), found in a wide range of vegetables, fruits and grains.

Because FOS helps probiotics thrive, this fiber and its relatives have been dubbed prebiotics. It’s a term we’ll be seeing more as scientists unravel the details of how our gut microbiome works. Beyond being probiotic power food, FOS has been shown to increase absorption of minerals such as calcium, improve feelings of satiety, reduce the risk of colon cancer and, ahem, “keep things moving.” . . .

You won’t find prebiotic fiber listed on nutrition labels, so the best way to boost your intake is to focus on getting more total fiber (most of us fall sorely short of getting enough fiber in general), and with that, regularly including more foods known to be richest in FOS, such as bananas, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, barley, whole wheat, garlic, and onions. Just add them gradually to avoid upsetting your digestive system.

A whole-food plant-based diet has a good amount of fiber, and I do focus on including a good amount of foods high in FOS (onion, garlic, asparagus, and intact whole grain (oat groats, hulled barley, wheat berries (kamut, spelt, red fife, and others)). See this post for details.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 May 2020 at 9:20 am

Plant-Based Diets for CVD Prevention

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Andrew Perry, MD, writes in MedPage Today:

ow can cardiologists leverage the teachable moment after a cardiac event into dietary changes? In this episode of the AP Cardiology podcast, Kim Williams, MD, former president of the American College of Cardiology, walks Andrew Perry, MD, through the rationale and bedside pearls on how to talk to patients about plant-based diets.

A transcript of the podcast follows:

Perry: Hi, Andrew here. I hope everyone is staying healthy with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. I’m hoping that what’s been happening here in Washington — it looks like the curves have been flattening — and I hope that starts to happen in other parts of the country as well.

For today’s episode, I’m meeting with Dr. Kim Williams. He’s a professor in cardiology at Rush University in Chicago and the former president of the American College of Cardiology. I met him when he came as a visiting professor to the University of Washington last fall in 2019, where he spoke for grand rounds and to the fellows about plant-based diets. I spoke to him then and he kindly agreed to allow me to interview him for the show. We talk about plant-based diets, the Mediterranean diet randomized control trial from 2018, the PREDIMED study. We talk about how to address vegetarian diets with your patients and he provides a lot of useful tools and tricks and tips for having those conversations with your patients. I apologize. There was a little background noise, but I think you’ll enjoy the show. With that, we’ll get started.


This is AP Cardiology and this is your host, Andrew Perry. Thank you for meeting with me today, Dr. Kim Williams. We’re going to be talking about plant-based diets. To start our discussion, I was going to describe a case that I just saw over at the Veterans Affairs Hospital, where I do my clinic.

This gentleman is in his 60s. He’s male. He’s a former smoker and he presents after having a non-STEMI myocardial infarction a few months ago. He had a stent placed to his mid LAD. His total cholesterol is right around 200 and his LDL is about 140. He’s on dual antiplatelet therapy. He’s on high dose atorvastatin (80 mg) and metoprolol succinate. He’s also on metformin and glipizide for diabetes, and his A1c during that hospital stay was 8.1%.

When I see those patients at the VA — his BMI’s about 30, 31 — one of my questions when I see them is the benefits of plant-based diets and in terms then to how to counsel those patients on adhering to that kind of diet. First off, for patients like this, even for a secondary prevention or even primary prevention, what’s the data to suggest that plant-based diets can improve their cardiovascular outcomes?

Williams: If I can call an audible at the line of scrimmage, I’d like to go back to the case for a moment. He is diabetic.

Perry: Yes, diabetic.

Williams: With an LDL of 140, if he was being treated with the standard of care for a diabetic at risk like he is, using our ACC risk calculator, he would have been on a moderate-dose statin. If he is on a moderate-dose statin and still has an LDL of 140, then he probably has heterozygous familial hyperlipidemia. People argue about genetic testing, but it always brings up the whole rubric of evaluating the rest of the family members — it’s autosomal dominant in most cases — and really aggressive therapy. You might want to go back and tell him. Was he not on a statin to begin with?

Perry: Yes, so that LDL is from the time of the hospital stay where he was not on a statin at that time.

Williams: Oh, so we’d have to discuss with his diabetes doctor the CARDS trial and all of our primary prevention guidelines that would say that he needs to be doing optimum in terms of nutrition, which I’m obviously going to morph over to… but he’s at risk enough probably for a statin, probably not for an aspirin like we were doing 10 years ago, found not to be all that helpful.

But, yes, the underpinning of each of our primary and secondary prevention guidelines is nutrition, risk factor control. It helps with control of the diabetes. It controls the weight that you described, particularly central obesity. It’s very helpful in terms of lowering blood pressure, which increases plaque development, and it lowers cholesterol. It also lowers the C-reactive protein level. It also lowers the trimethylamine in oxide level, TMAO. If people are not familiar with that, please look up those four letters.

If you want sort of vegan propaganda to stop your family members and loved ones from eating animals, look up TMAO from the Cleveland Clinic, and that would be very convincing. But also heme iron. I do know that there are vegan products out there now that have heme iron, at least one, but that was called out as one of the additional chemicals — in addition to cholesterol and saturated fat — that makes it not a good idea for folks to eat animal products.

With all of that as background, with that being the biochemical basis, we don’t have the big prospective randomized trials to take a person with diabetes, for example, and prospectively decrease their cardiac events with nutrition alone or nutrition in combination with optimal medical therapy.

But we have enough large population data that really is observational to say that you are going to lower the frequency of diabetes and you’re going to lower the frequency of cardiac events. I think if we were to look at the absolute trial evidence… this is why our guidelines, by the way, will always give a level II in terms of the amount of literature that supports doing all of the right things with the plants: more fruits and vegetables, more plant-based nutrition, less animal products, lowering saturated fat, lowering cholesterol, getting rid of trans fats, and completely lowering the sodium in the diet.

The amount of randomized trial evidence to make it so that it’s a class I indication, which means their physicians must do this, is actually relatively small. So what do we have? You have the Mediterranean diet that everyone always talks about, PREDIMED trial in 2018. It sort of eliminates red meat to a large degree and still incorporates chicken, or poultry, and seafood, and making sure that people are having at least olive oil or nuts in the diet.

Well, it turns out that even though that’s highly touted as the best diet for Americans by the US News & World Report, the fact is it actually did not decrease mortality at all. Decreased cardiovascular events in terms of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death…

Perry: I think it was mostly stroke.

Williams: It was mostly stroke. That’s the whole point. Our job, in looking at all of the observational data… for example, the NIH-AARP study is the one that called out heme iron, as well as nitrates and nitrites, shouldn’t eat processed meat.

If you look at the JAMA publications from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professional follow-up study, if you look at the Adventist Health studies, all of these point to the same idea. That is more plants. Even, by the way, the PREDIMED trial actually had a publication on this where they divided their randomized trial not prospectively, but a post-hoc analysis, divided into quintiles of vegetarianism. The quintile of vegetarianism had a 42% decrease in mortality, not one that was not significant. We have enough quasi-prospective data, a lot of prospective cohorts, all of them saying the same thing.

Now, how do we get that into implementation? Well, you have to . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 May 2020 at 11:29 am

Current greens batch

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First, I peeled and minced one head of garlic cloves. The Spanish garlic is back on the shelves, which I hope is a sign that things are better there.

Then into my 6-qt All-Clad stainless pot I put:

4 bunches thick scallions, chopped
2 large jalapeños, chopped including core and seeds
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
12 or so domestic white mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch of lacinato kale, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
about 1/3 cup Shiro miso (white miso)
about 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

I simmered that until it wilted a bit, then added:

minced garlic
1 large bunch rapini, chopped

I might add a little tamari or Worcestershire sauce or Red Boat fish sauce. I’ll let it simmer 20-30 minutes. — I went with Red Boat fish sauce, and added some at the end.

No olive oil this time. I thought about including 1/4 or 1/2 head red cabbage, chopped small, but decided to eat that as a salad for a while.

This will provide my daily two servings of greens for a few days.

This afternoon, I will cook a vegetable melange, since I also finished off the last batch of vegetables.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 May 2020 at 11:59 am

Pumpkin pie fragrance: novelty? or not?

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This soap from Seifenglatt (now known as Smooth Shave, I believe) certainly has aspects of a novelty fragrance, but OTOH it is a reasonably complex fragrance — and spice fragrances are a traditional “standard” fragrance (cf. the bottle of Old Spice aftershave, Old Spice being the mainstay of shaving in our household when I was in high school.

The lather was certainly excellent, though the Plisson HMW 12 with horn handle must be credited with an assist. The Gillette Heritage head is, so far as I can tell, a stock Mühle 89/Edwin Jagger head, noting Gilletre about it. The “heritage” part seems to be the handle design. It did deliver an excellent shave, of course: the Mühle/Edwin Jagger head is excellent, which is why it’s so often copied.

A splash of Old Spice, and I was ready for my shopping trip — well, after getting dressed, of course. I’m happy to report that the vast emptiness of my fruit bowl (see left) has been remedied with the fruit bowl replenished with a 6-day supply: 6 apples, 6 d’Anjou pears, and 6 tangerines. (I also have a bowl of mixed berries (frozen mix, which I thaw) each day. I have to say that I think Dr. Gredg’s diet guidelines, well-based on nutritional research, do provide structure and direction to my diet, and I enjoy the food. However, when I went shopping this morning, I did recognize that whole plant foods tend to be bulky.

Besides the fruit in the bowl, I have several lemons in the kitchen, since I use lemons a lot i cooking. Don’t you?

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1 May 2020 at 8:39 am

Best foods for fighting autism and brain inflammation

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17 April 2020 at 2:33 pm

My idea of a treat

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The Wife’s idea of a treat tends toward carrot cake and chocolate, but my own taste is for the savory, like the nice lunch-time treat that I just made (and ate).

In a small bowl (like the bowl I used, shown at the right, post-treat) mix:

about 1/2 cup black-eyed peas
about 1/3 cup hulled barley
2 cloves garlic, minced
about 1/4 cup pickled peppers, minced
1/2 avocado, chopped small
about 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
good dash Frank’s Hot Sauce

I mixed that well, stirring with the spoon. The black-eyed peas had been cooked with a teaspoon of baking soda, so they were very tender. The hulled barley (cooked separately, natch) had also turned out well — tender with grains not clumped together.

It was a tasty treat — nutritious, healthful, and satisfying.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 April 2020 at 1:54 pm

Mixed vegetables cooked today

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I used my 6-qt pot, which was large enough after I allowed things to cook down a bit.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 or 6 spring onions [or 2 good-sized leeks; or 5 or 6 bunches of scallions], chopped
3 large jalapeños, chopped (with seeds and core)
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

I put all that in the pot. Today I used 6 spring onions (including all the leaves) and 1 large leek (also including all the leaves, which require careful rinsing because of the dirt).

After that cooked down a reasonable amount, I added:

2 heads garlic, cloves peeled and chopped and allowed to rest for 15 minutes

I cooked that about three minutes, then added

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 head red cabbage, shredded (might go with a half)
3 medium beets, diced
1 good-sized broccoli crown, chopped
[about 4” daikon radish, diced — I didn’t have this today but normally would use it]
1 large carrot, diced
1 cup chopped celery
10 oz domestic white mushrooms, chopped coarsely
1 can tomato paste + 1 can’s worth of red wine or vermouth or water
[1 tablespoon chipotle flakes or 1 small can chipotles in adobo, chiles chopped — I didn’t include this and I regret it to this day; however, the jalapeños helped]
3/4 cup kalamata olives (pitted or sliced)
1 cup unsalted redskin peanuts
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

Cook over medium heat, stirring (carefully) until you can get all the vegetables into the pot. Then add:

1 package frozen spinach

Stir that in (carefully: the pot will be very full), cover the pot, and cook for about 40 minutes, stirring it with a spatula every 10 minutes to mix it up, moving the bottom layer to the top, and burying the top layer to cook some more.

It will last a while — that is, it will be enough for more than one meal.

You can, of course, alter the recipe to suit your own taste. Consider adding fresh asparagus, for example, and eggplant (particularly Japanese eggplant) is a good addition. A diced whole lemon or two (except the ends: cut off and discard the ends) is nice. I like bitter melon. Summer squash (diced) is good when available, and of course zucchini works as well. A bulb of fresh fennel, cored and chopped along with a few fronds, adds some crunch. A fresh bamboo shoot, peeled and diced, is good, though I would skip canned. Kohlrabi is good, again peeled and diced — kohlrabi skin is particularly tough, so remove it all. Fresh green beans, cut into 1″ sections, are nice. I sometimes include a little dried fruit such as goji berries or dried cherries.

Instead of peanuts, I sometimes use walnuts or pepitas or pecans or almonds. I use unsalted. With almonds as with peanuts, I prefer those with the pelicle (the red/brown skin) intact since it has good nutritional value.

I’m not suggesting you include all of these with the original recipe — we’d be talking in terms of a few gallons, more than one might want (though good if you’re feeding many people). I’m just listing some ideas so you can make your own mix of fresh vegetables.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 April 2020 at 2:22 pm

Cut the calorie-rich-and-processed (CRAP) foods

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13 April 2020 at 10:58 am

Note on cooking beans

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I just cooked a batch of dark red kidney beans, this time on the stovetop. I again soaked them overnight in brine (2 teaspoons salt in water to cover 1 lb beans), then drained that, added plenty of water and decided to go with 1 teaspoon of baking soda instead of the 2 I had been using. Cooked on stovetop uncovered (so I did have to add some water along the way), and they were done in just about an hour from a cold start — and they were much better with just 1 teaspoon of the baking soda: still tender, but holding their shape better. I’ve revised my earlier bean posts to note cutting back a bit on the baking soda.

I encourage you to experiment as well.

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12 April 2020 at 4:42 pm

Can flaxseed prevent breast cancer?

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I eat 1 tablespoon of flaxseed a day, and I grind it just before eating it.

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10 April 2020 at 1:06 pm

A big batch of greens

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I used the 6-qt All-Clad Stainless pot.

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
5 bunches scallions, chopped
3 jalapeños, chopped small including core and seeds
1 tsp chipotle flakes
2 tbsp black pepper

Sauté that until the scallions wilt and soften, then add:

1 head of garlic, chopped small

Cook for a minute or two, then add in batches, letting the greens cook down to make room:

1 big bunch red chard, chopped
1 big bunch rapini, chopped
1 big bunch green kale, chopped
2 lemons, diced after cutting off and discard ends
about 10-12 oz white mushrooms, chopped
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives

Let that cook down. I looked at it and decided to add:

1/2 head red cabbage, chopped

I cooked the batch, once everything was added (which required some time for the greens to cook and wilt) for about half an hour. Then I added:

1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Greens for days at two servings a day (though I occasionally have them as a snack).

Written by LeisureGuy

7 April 2020 at 4:34 pm

Tasty vegetable dish

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More and more I think one can simply cook different vegetables together with good and tasty results. For lunch:

• 1 Tbsp Clementine-infused Enzo EVOO (just had it on hand)
• 3/4 large red onion, chopped
• 1/4 raw redskin peanuts
• about 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper

I put that in my 12″ Stargazer on the stovetop — didn’t bother pre-heating it in the oven — and brought it to temperature, stirring occasionally. When the onions had softened, I added:

• 1 large jalapeño, chopped small
• 10 cloves garlic, chopped small

I cooked, stirring, for a couple of minutes — until I could smell garlic and jalapeño. Then I added:

• 1 large bunch (about a pound) of very thin asparagus, chopped

I let that cook, stirring occasionally, then added:

• 1 large bunch red chard, stems chopped small, leaves chopped

I added the chard gradually, mixing it in with a spatula and giving it time to wilt. Then I added:

• 1/3 cup Thai peanut sauce (that I happened to have on hand)

I cooked it, stirring from time to time, for about 15-20 minutes. Very tasty and very nutritious. I ate a cup of that with 1/4 cup cooked Red Fife wheat (intact whole grain) and 1/4 cup black beans.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 April 2020 at 12:23 pm

What are the best foods?

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Written by LeisureGuy

30 March 2020 at 11:30 am

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