Happy Sunday, all. My thumb is finally healing and the stitches are out, so this past weekend has been full of recipe testing. The fridge is stocked with a strange (but tasty) assortment of sweets and salads and soups. In particular, I’ve been whipping up my first few batches of summertime pesto, and I’ll be sharing the fruits of that labor here on the blog on Thursday.
For now, here are some of the recipes that stood out to me this week, plus some of what I’ve been reading.
To begin, Abby’s perfectly crumbly, tender, sweet vegan blueberry crisp bars. Exactly what to make if you happen to have an abundance of fresh blueberries on your hand.
Nicole’s spicy taco salad is full of texture and flavor, and it features a vegan cheese sauce that just so happens to be nut free. It’s gorgeous, and I can’t wait to try it.
Alissa’s crispy maple dijon tempeh sandwiches have me wishing that it were already lunchtime over here. Look at those layers of sweet, tangy, cornmeal crusted tempeh! The tempeh itself can be featured in a ton of different ways, so I’ll probably make a double (or triple?) batch when I try this.
I’m crushing on Sonja’s creamy, herby, and ridiculously simply vegan almond milk pasta, a sort of cross between alfredo and something lighter and fresher. I normally make creamy pastas with cashew cream, but now I’m excited to try a new method.
The best part of making cupcakes: having cupcakes to eat. The worst part? If you live alone, or with only one other person, the cupcakes may be a little stale before you have a chance to finish them all, and wasted cupcakes are sad indeed. Jess has gone ahead and solved this conundrum by giving us a scrumptious vegan vanilla cupcake recipe for two: perfect for small batch treat-making.
1. Some great news for animals this week: on Tuesday, the Senate approved legislation that will overhaul government regulation of toxic chemicals, offering more protection to land, water, and consumers. This is good news from an environmental standpoint, but the measure is also a step forward for animal rights.
The bill includes a provision aimed at reducing the Environmental Protection Agency and chemical firms’ use of animals to test the safety and effects of chemical products. It states that the EPA should use non-animal alternatives where possible, and it must come up with a plan to develop and adopt more non-animal methods, such as computer modeling or cell-based tests.
Animal models are famously imprecise, slow, expensive, and often inapplicable, not to mention cruel. Even so, millions of rats, mice, birds and fish continue to die each year in US lab tests and experiments. This legislation marks an important and symbolic first step in our awarding more respect to the beings that suffer in these experiments. Huge props to Senator Cory Booker for spearheading this effort!
2. A truly fascinating article about Nestle’s new initiative to sell medicine in the form of food products and snacks. To quote the article:
In a very broad and metaphoric way, I believe that food is medicine. But imagining commercial food products as pharmacological items gives me the creeps, and there’s something pretty troubling about the idea of a corporation marketing foodstuffs that can alternately exacerbate and “treat” a disease like Type II Diabetes.
3. I touched on the importance of Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” in my recent post on calcium in the vegan diet. If you’re curious about this nutrient, the Washington Post has an interesting article about its strange history.
4. Last week, I linked to an article by neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, author of the new book Why Diets Make us Fat. I’m excited to read the book, but I also enjoyed NPR’s coverage of the book and profile of Aamodt, whose work has emerged from her own painful history battling society’s fixation with thin bodies. The article describes the personal origins of this line of inquiry and work:
In my work, I continually see the longterm consequences of dieting, calorie restriction, and erratic eating patterns borne out in binge eating, yo-yoing, and perpetual shame. It is a painful and damaging culture that warrants a drastic reconsideration. I’m glad that books like this are leading the way.
5. Finally, I loved this list of the ten best tips from registered dietitian nutritionists. Here’s what I loved best: the tips are focused on dietary patterns and habits, rather than on specific foods (which is to say, the article avoids the trap of framing any one food as being a “superfood,” or any other food as being “the devil,” or “the problem”).
I also love that these RDNs can see beyond the intricacies of nutrition science and describe the act of eating as being tied into lifestyle and culture. Favorite pieces of advice include “make time to eat with those you love” and “one meal won’t make or break your health.” Great advice, worth reading and sharing.
On that note, I wish you all a very happy Sunday. I’ll be back this week with a delicious, seasonal berry dessert and a quick and easy vegan pasta salad.
Tomatoes were my favorite food as a child, and my attachment to them has never really gone away. I look forward to them being in season all year long, and I celebrate their appearance more than any other summer produce. Unlike many vegetables, for which I’ll have a strong preparation preference (broccoli steamed; cauliflower roasted; spinach raw) I’ll take tomatoes raw, roasted, sautéed, or sauced. It’s all (so, so) good. Tomatoes are finally teeming at markets near me, and I’m gorging in the…
I feel as though I’ve been talking a lot about the weather lately, but it’s been so unpredictable that it gives me and fellow New Yorkers plenty to say. It was mild and sunny last weekend on Easter Sunday, which made Monday morning’s rapidly accumulating snowfall a surprise. It was balmy on Friday, and it’s in the thirties now. Go figure. My internal and external state seems to be ebbing and flowing with similar lack of predictability. My emotions have been all over…
Welcome back from the holiday weekend, friends! If you celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope it was a great one, and if you didn’t, I hope that you’ve had a restful and restorative few days. Here are the weekend reading links I’ve been collecting. You’ll notice that a bunch of them still seem Thanksgiving themed–and why not? No reason to stop feasting. I’ve heard it said that there’s no suitable vegan equivalent for traditional green bean casserole, but that’s absurd–and Cara’s awesome healthy green bean…
I read Rachel O’Meara’s article on the importance of pauses—especially as a tool for reevaluating professional direction—about a month ago. I took interest in the piece because I’ve been working to slow down these days. Not too long ago I mentioned that I tend to force decisions, or make them too precipitously. My intention—to be proactive and not overthink things—is sensible enough. But when I act too quickly I often regret it; I end up wondering whether I might have come to a clearer and more…