Weekend Reading, 10.24.15
October 24, 2015


Happy Saturday, friends! After Austin last weekend and a particularly busy few weeks, I’m glad to be catching up on my work quietly at home today, and enjoying the fall weather. I’ve got butternut squash soup simmering and plenty of ginger tea at the ready, and it feels good. This morning, I took some time to round up my favorite recipes and reads from the past week. Lots of beautiful autumnal fare here, as you’ll see.

If you enjoy the weekend reading recipe compilations, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest; everything that ends up in these posts can also be found on my boards, in addition to a lot of recipes and images that don’t make the final cut!


First of all, a perfect dinner party recipe for the fall! These sweet potato gnocchi from Amanda of HeartBeet Kitchen are gluten free and vegan, and they feature only 5 ingredients. This is a gnocchi recipe I may actually be able to pull off!


I’ve been loving Danielle’s soulful and creative recipes from Rooting the Sun lately, and this red lentil dish with apple, leek, pomegranate, and sage cider tahini is my newest object of desire. So hearty and beautiful.


I’ve tried shaved brussels sprouts salad and shaved celeriac salad, but shaved cauliflower is new to me! I love this autumnal recipe for shaved cauliflower salad from Kelsey of Happy Yolks.


This may be your new vegan Thanksgiving centerpiece: butternut squash pot pie from the lovely sisters of Our Four Forks.


Finally, for dessert, I’m swooning over these dreamy, creamy pistachio squares from Sophie of The Green Life. The creamy bit is avocado…yum.


1. First up, as part of The Atlantic‘s “If Our Bodies Could Talk” series, James Hamblin profiles companies that are “diversifying people’s protein portfolio.” I love that turn of phrase and Hamblin’s interviews with the folks at superstar vegan protein brand Beyond Meat.

2. Speaking of the future of meat, the WHO will be classifying processed meat as a substance that has been causally linked to cancer (specifically, colon cancer). You can read more at The Daily Mail.

3. A powerful article about how policy makers and health care professionals are responding to the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, which is largely due to the overuse of drugs on factory farms (about 70% of antibiotics in the US are given to animals). One physician is powerfully quoted saying, “[t]his is the biggest single use of antibiotics and it’s uncontrolled…I was born at the dawn of the antibiotic era, and probably before I die the antibiotic era will be over.”

4. Caroline Weinberg has written a very powerful article about domestic violence awareness for Jezebel, and I thought it was worth sharing. Most of us know that October is breast cancer awareness month, but we may not realize that it’s also domestic violence awareness month. Weinberg argues that domestic violence is very much a women’s health issue, citing not only physical harm or injury, but also reproductive coercion, rape, depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, and sleep disturbance. Victims of domestic abuse are more likely to suffer from headaches, chronic pain, and gastrointestinal disease.

So, why does domestic violence get less attention at this time of year than breast cancer, and why are fundraising efforts attached to it so much less successful than those associated with cancer research? Weinberg cites many reasons, but chief among them is that many of us know that breast cancer will affect one in every eight women over the course of a lifetime, whereas we assume that we can control our risk of domestic violence. Liz Roberts, deputy CEO of Safe Horizons, is interviewed in the article, and she identifies part of the problem as the

persistent stereotypes about victims. When it comes to domestic violence, there is still this view that it is somehow the victim’s fault. Those stereotypes allow the public to distance themselves from the issue and see it as something that only affects certain people, not me or anyone I care about. They think that women who let this happen must have something wrong with them. Because they would never stay if their boyfriend hit them.”

I don’t think that we should trade awareness about breast cancer for awareness about domestic violence; as someone who has carries risk factors for breast cancer, I’m all about ongoing awareness, education, breast checks, destigmatization, and research. Weinberg doesn’t think so, either. Her comparison of the two campaigns isn’t intended to take away from the remarkable strides that have been made in breast cancer awareness (indeed, she notes with admiration how advocates were able to destigmatize what was at one time a shameful disease to live with), but rather to register the wish that domestic violence, which affects one in every three American women, might break similar ground.

5. A really fascinating article about how autism affects men and women differently, often leading to misdiagnosis and inadequate screening/treatment in women. Because boys are more likely to have autism than girls, and because women’s symptoms sometimes deviate from symptomatology that’s considered “classic,” diagnoses can take longer and the disease can be missed. I really had no idea about this issue until I read the article, and I recommend it highly.

On that note, it’s time for me to switch gears and turn my attention toward class reading. Thanks for tuning in, and I’ll be back with a weekly menu plan on Monday!


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  1. I’ve read another article about autism with girls (it was based on the fact that sesame street is releasing a book with a female autistic girl) and it really makes me think of my friend. She went to school for special needs education and admits that she might of been diagnosed with autism if she was born today. Reading articles about girls with autism is like memory lane of playing with her as kids. As the article mentioned, what she obsessed over seemed more “normal” as it tended to be animals and specific cartoons.

  2. Hi Gena,
    I’ve read a few articles now about the WHO’s cancer statement, and it seems like they are not quite saying what you said. Their statement is that the link between processed meat and cancer is as well established as the link between cigarettes and cancer, not that processed meat increases one’s risk as much as cigarettes do. (http://www.vox.com/2015/10/26/9617928/iarc-cancer-risk-carcinogenic seemed like a good explanation)
    I’ve read the China Study and think there is plenty of evidence people shouldn’t be eating meat, and it’s disturbing to me that almost everyone (it seems) is more interested in looking for the loopholes that let them argue they don’t have to give up their bacon than they are in listening to established scientific findings. It makes me angry, actually.
    I love your blog and your ability to evaluate science and present it to us simply, so I was hoping you could clarify your statement in the post (or even a new post, if this “controversy” keeps being discussed) about the risks of red meat.

    • Hi Karen,

      Thanks so much for this. I think my summation was indeed not clear enough and not entirely in line with the statement–which is my fault for having thrown this together without reading the Lancet article, as well as some of the varied press on this. I’ll edit for clarity, and yes — if this remains a point of controversy, it may merit further discussion.


  3. Totally going to check out that gluten-free sweet potato gnocchi. I haven’t yet found gluten-free gnocchi and am quite excited about it (especially since it sounds so easy to make!).
    And the article about the WHO and carcinogenic meat sounds very interesting! I am one of those vegans who initially went plant-based purely for health reasons, cancer being the number one factor. I get tired of people telling me the China Study isn’t “good enough” proof about the link between cancer and animal-based proteins. So I’m quite looking forward to sharing this!

  4. The Green Life is one of my current favourites, so it’s lovely to find her here!
    I’m interested in the article about autism you highlighted and shall book mark it, to be read this weekend.
    Thanks for sharing Gena

  5. Hi Gena–great weekend reading–scrumptious looking food, and yes, I shared that news about WHO and meat on facebook earlier this week. My daughter-in-law teaches autistic children age 5-7 and I know she will appreciate the article about autism and gender as much as I did. Thanks! xo

  6. i love that “diversifying your protein sources” is finally going semi-mainstream, and that WHO is finally sending out some more info on processed meats. thanks for sharing 🙂

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