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In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian/vegan diet including: better health, animal rights, frugal living, food safety, public health, global food crisis and the staggeringly huge impact of meat/livestock production on climate change/resource depletion


The United Nations has spoken:

Animal products, both meat and dairy, in general require more resources and cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives
More than fossil fuels, agriculturural activities directly influence ecosystems by occupying large land areas and using huge quantities of water
Animal products are important because more than half of the world's corps are used to feed animals, not people
A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change away from animal products
Macca's Meatless Monday/Meatless Advocates is a solution oriented activist group, with solutions for some of the most pressing issues of our time including: climate change, global food/water insecurity and public health.  Here we don't just talk about the severity of the crisis.  Armed with knowledge about how our actions can contribute we become part of the solution.

I was inspired to create this series by former Beatle and vegetarian advocate Paul McCartney(Macca) who partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to promote less consumption of meat.  We not only discuss the advantages of a less meat diet we also do some cooking, share recipes and listen to great Beatle/McCartney music!

To me, nothing says springtime more than adding the cool acidic sharpness of limes to my cooking. Like a vacation in my mouth, lime brings the tastes of the Caribbean, Mexico, Cuba or Thailand with each taste. Not to mention my favorite drinks including: mojitos, margaritas, cuba libra (rum & cola/lime) and I even put a wedge of lime into a bottle of Corona! Today I'll share recipes which include limes, and it's amazing to see how much these little green fruits identify with some of the great cuisines of the world.
             cuba libre
Great start to anything.

white rum, muddled with 1/2 lime, topped with coke(I use diet pepsi,ha!) and ice. Enjoy!
      vegan coconut cashew curry
Lime to enhance Indian cooking...oh yeah! Serve with brown basmati rice if desired.

    1 onion, diced
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 teaspoons curry powder
    1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    1 cup red lentils
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
    1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
    1 lime, juice of
    1 3/4 cups water
    1/3 cup whole cashews
    1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (optional)

    In a large pot saute the onion in the olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. While the onion cooks get the rest of the ingredients ready to go.
    Add in the curry powder, mustard seeds, turmeric and red lentils - cook for another 5 minutes. Watch the lentils don't stick by stirring frequently and/or adding more oil if necessary.
    Mix in the coconut milk, salt, lime juice and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low, cover the pot and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Unlikely, but if you find the lentils have absorbed all of the liquid and are still not cooked, add a bit more water.
    Once the lentils are cooked they will break down quite a bit and you'll have a reasonably thick dahl like consistency. Stir in the cashews and spinach, along with cilantro if using. Give those ingredients about 3 or 4 minutes to warm through and then you're ready to serve. Garnish with additional cilantro, lime wedges and/or cashews.
      Vegan Black Bean Corn Salad

1 heaping cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed), any size can
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
3 chopped green onions
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (to taste) or may omit
fresh cracked black pepper
frshly ground rock salt
2 Tbps lemon juice
2 Tbps lime juice (at least to taste)
2 Tbps canola oil or use olive oil

Placed all ingredients in bowl. Allow to marinade in fridge for an hour or more for best results.
        Coconut Lime Tofu atop Coconut Rice and Toasted Coconut

Coconut Lime Tofu
1 14oz package extra firm tofu, well pressed (packaged without water works the best!)
2/3 cup organic coconut milk (lite is okay)
1/4 cup soy  or tamari sauce
juice of one lime
2 tsp sugar
zest of one lime
red pepper flakes (optional to taste)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and oil an 8″ x 11″ baking dish.  Cut the drained and pressed tofu into eight equal pieces, or 16 smaller pieces. Do this by cutting the block into four, then lay each slab on its side and cut into halves or quarters.

 Add the rest of the ingredients to a separate bowl and whisk well. Add the tofu to the dish and pour over the marinade. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes, then flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the vast majority of the marinade has been absorbed and evaporated.

Remove from the oven and let it cool a bit before serving. Serve with rice, salad, or noodles.

Coconut Rice with Toasted Coconut

    2 C jasmine rice
    1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk(lite okay)
    1 C water
    1 cinnamon stick
    1/4 t salt
    1 Tbsp lime juice
    1/2 C shredded coconut

    Combine rice, coconut milk, water, cinnamon stick, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover pot, simmer 20 minutes. Add lime juice and stir with fork. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit 10 more minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat a skillet over low/medium heat. Add coconut and toast, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, until browned and toasty.

    Remove cinnamon stick from rice and service, sprinkling with toasted coconut.

Note coconut milk seems to make rice burn more easily. so watch carefully and stir as needed.
          Kristina's Kitchen- Vegan Homemade Chipotle
You know the place, everyone loves it. But today we're creating it on our own. Amazing to see how limes and Mexican food are wedded in eternity.

Chipotle Mexican Cilantro Lime Basmati Rice

1 teaspoon Vegetable oil or use olive oil
1 lime
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro; minced fine
1 cup white basmati rice
2 cups Water
0.5 teaspoon Salt

In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil until hot.

Add rice and lime juice, stir for 1 minute.

Add water and salt, bring to a full rolling boil. At boiling, cover, turn down to simmer over low for 20 minutes exactly. Take off heat for 15 minutes without removing lid.

When ready to serve, throw in Cilantro and mix lightly with a fork just until blended.

Chipotle Black Beans with Orange and Lime

1 tsp olive oil, extra virgin
1/2 cup(s) minced onion
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
30 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup(s) orange juice
1/4 cup(s) water
2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Heat oil in a medium-size nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and salt; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 7 to 8 minutes.

Add chipotle pepper, cumin, beans, orange juice and water; mash beans slightly with a potato masher. Increase heat to medium and simmer until mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes. Just before serving, stir in cilantro and lime juice; season to taste with salt and pepper. Yields about 4 1/2 cup serving.

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Spicy Corn Salsa

2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno
1 - 2 teaspoons sliced green onion tops
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons lime juice or more to taste

If using frozen corn, allow to thaw before preparing salsa. Chop jalapeno very finely. Add chopped cilantro, salt, and green onion tops. Stir in lime juice. Stir well to mix the salsa together. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

Chipotle Guacamole

2 Hass Avocados (I use 1 large Florida avocado)
1/2 of a Jalapeno pepper, seeded, and minced
1/4 of a red onion, finely chopped
2 heaping Tablespoons of Cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 of a lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl, and mash together until smooth. Add additional lime juice or salt to taste. For extra spicy guacamole, you can leave in the jalepeno seeds!

2-3 green bell peppers, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
Vegetable oil
Fresh oregano
Light sour cream (Vegan alternative: Tofutti Sour Supreme)
Lime wedges and cilantro for garnish (optional)

Saute bell pepper and onion with a bit of vegetable oil and oregano. To each bowl, add rice, beans, pepper/onion mix, corn salsa, tomato salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. Serve. So good.
     Black Bean & Oatmeal Burgers w/ Cilantro-Lime Mayo: Atop Wheat Flats w/ Bibb Lettuce
Healthy and yummy!

1 15oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes w/ green chilies (Rotel)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp onion powder
2 scallions, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick or instant)

preheat oven to 400 degrees. Process the beans, tomatoes, garlic, onion powder, scallions, carrots and cilantro in a food processor until well-blended. Fold in oats and stir to combine. Form into patties and place on a baking sheet.

Bake patties for 10 minutes, then turn on the broiler and toast for 2 minutes. IF USING A SILPAT, REMOVE IT BEFORE BROILING - broiling WILL ruin a Silpat. Serve atop buns with cilantro-lime mayo or desired spread.

Cilantro-Lime Mayo
This is a keeper spread..fantastic!

1 cup cilantro, chopped
3 Tbsp lime juice
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp hot sauce
3/4 cup Veganaise

Combine the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, Dijon mustard and hot sauce in a food processor and pulse to combine. Fold in mayonnaise.
      vegan key lime pie
Okay I wrote this whole diary just to show this recipe..well worth it!

    2 8-oz. containers of plain nondairy cream cheese (try Toffuti Better Than Cream Cheese) at room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla
    4 Tbsp. lime juice (about 2 limes)
    2 tsp. lime zest (about 2 limes)
    2 Tbsp. cornstarch
    1 9-inch vegan graham-cracker crust
    3-4 kiwis and/or strawberries, sliced

Vegan graham cracker crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (Nabisco graham crackers are vegan-have molassas instead of honey)
2 -3 tablespoons oil (I use Earth Balance spread)
3 tablespoons water

Mix together all the ingredients in a medium bowl.

Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a pie plate or cheesecake pan.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Blend the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, lime juice, lime zest, and cornstarch in a blender until smooth. Pour the mixture into the crust. Place the filled pie shell on a cookie sheet (to catch spills) and bake for 45 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate overnight, then top with the sliced fruit and serve.

"Any Time At All"   The Beatles

"Obladi, Oblada    The Beatles

What have you all been cooking? Please share your recipes and fave Beatle music here!

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