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In this weekly series we have been discussing the many benefits of a vegetarian diet including: better health, food safety, animal welfare, frugal living, and the staggeringly huge contribution of meat/livestock production to climate change/resource depletion.

Where the environment is concerned, eating meat is like driving a 16-wheeler and leaving the engine running all the time. Eating a vegetarian diet is like riding a motorbike, and eating a vegan diet is like riding a bicycle.
[T]he average vegan uses about one-sixth of an acre of land to satisfy his or her food requirements for an entire year; the average vegetarian requires about three times as much land; and the average meat-eater requires about 20 times as much land.

It takes about four times as much water to feed a vegetarian as it does to feed a vegan and 14 times as much water to feed a meat-eater.

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 music!

Follow below the fold for recipes.

Brrrr ... it's soup weather even here in Florida. When it's this chilly nothing beats a hearty meal in a big bowl winter soup. Hope you enjoy some of my favorites below. Many thanks to Vegetarian Times!

The kasha (buckwheat) in this soup makes it a perfect stick-to-your-ribs winter soup

    1 Tbs. olive oil
    ¾ cup chopped onion
    ¾ cup chopped red bell pepper
    3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
    ¼ cup kasha or buckwheat groats
    1 tsp. chili powder
    2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
    1½ cups cooked black beans, or 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 cup grated carrots
    1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
    1 bay leaf
    ¼ cup chopped cilantro
    2 Tbs. lime juice

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic, kasha, and chili powder, and sauté 3 minutes more. Stir in broth, beans, carrots, corn, bay leaf, and 2 cups water, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until kasha is tender. Stir in cilantro and lime juice.

A fantastic company soup for when you all are cheering on your fave team.

    2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
    1 onion, chopped (1 cup)
    2 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (1 cup)
    5 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp.), divided
    2 celery stalks, cut into ½-inch pieces (1 cup)
    1 medium red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces (1 cup)
    1 small jalapeño pepper, minced
    1 14.5-oz. can whole tomatoes with juice
    1 6-oz. can tomato paste
    2 tsp. ground cumin
    2 tsp. dried oregano
    1 ½ tsp. chili powder, divided
    2 8-oz. pkgs. tempeh
    ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
    1 12-oz. bottle dark amber beer
    2 tsp. maple syrup
    ½ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1. Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and 1 Tbs. garlic, and sauté 5 minutes, or until onions are soft. Add celery, bell pepper, and jalapeño, and sauté 5 minutes more, or until bell pepper is crisp-tender.

2. Meanwhile, purée tomatoes and juice in blender or food processor until smooth. Add puréed tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, 1 tsp. chili powder, and 2 cups water to onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Pulse tempeh, red pepper flakes, remaining 2 tsp. garlic, and remaining 1/2 tsp. chili powder in food processor or blender until crumbly. Season with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh mixture, and sauté 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir beer, maple syrup, and tempeh mixture into tomato mixture. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes more, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Fold in cilantro.

A rustic Italian soup for a cold winter evening

    2 Tbs. olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
    ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
    1 medium onion, chopped (1 ½ cups)
    2 medium carrots, sliced (1 cup)
    2 ribs celery, chopped (½ cup)
    1 small zucchini, sliced (1 cup)
    ½ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
    2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
    2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
    1 15-oz. can small white beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
    ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped, plus 2 Tbs. oil from jar
    ½ bunch (6 oz.) Swiss chard, chopped
    ½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
    1 cup torn fresh basil

1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant. Stir in onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, and rosemary, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until onions are soft.

2. Add broth, 1 can tomatoes, and beans. Scoop 1 cup mixture into food processor or blender, and add remaining can of tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and sun-dried tomato oil. Purée until smooth, stir mixture into soup, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer 10 minutes.

3. Add Swiss chard and thyme; simmer 5 minutes more, or until chard is wilted. Remove pan from heat, and stir in basil.

GAENG KHAE (Spicy Thai Vegetable Soup)
This medicinal soup from the north of Thailand is believed to prevent and reduce colds and fever. Serve with brown or red rice

Chile Paste

    15 dried chiles de arbol or Japones chiles
    8 cloves garlic, peeled
    ½ tsp. salt
    2 stalks lemongrass, minced
    2 shallots, minced (½ cup)
    1 tsp. red miso


    4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
    2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
    1 ½ cups sliced beet greens, Swiss chard, escarole, turnip greens, or kale
    1 cup turnip or fennel chunks
    ½ cup sliced mushrooms
    1 cup firm tofu chunks
    1 cup coarsely chopped arugula
    ½ cup fresh mint leaves
    ¼ cup coarsely chopped parsley

To make Chile Paste:

1. Soak chiles in bowl of boiling water 30 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and finely chop.

2. Combine garlic and salt in mortar, and pound with pestle. Add lemongrass, shallots, miso, and chiles, pounding and crushing after each addition to make thick paste.

To make Soup:

3. Bring broth to a boil in saucepan over high heat. Stir in soy sauce and Chile Paste. Add beet greens, turnip, and mushrooms, and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes. Add tofu, and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in arugula, mint, and parsley, and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, or until herbs wilt.

We can't live on soup alone. The next 2 winter salads make a great take-along lunch or a light dinner.

    1 cup French green lentils, rinsed and drained
    ¼ small onion
    2 bay leaves
    1 large shallot, finely chopped (¼ cup)
    2 Tbs. lemon juice
    1 small cucumber, diced (1 cup)
    2 medium tomatoes, diced (1 cup)
    ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
    1 Tbs. olive oil
    ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Place lentils, onion, bay leaves, and 6 cups water in large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain, remove onion and bay leaves, and cool.

2. Stir together shallot and lemon juice in large bowl. Add lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, mint, and oil; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Chill 1 hour, or overnight. Serve topped with feta.


    1–2 Tbs. white miso paste
    8 oz. soba noodles
    1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
    1 Tbs. rice vinegar
    1 tsp. pickled ginger
    2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
    1 head radicchio, thinly sliced
    2 green onions, chopped
    1½ sheets toasted nori, cut into thin strips
    2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds

1. Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Rinse under cold water, drain, and place in large bowl.

2. Blend miso, sesame oil, rice vinegar, pickled ginger, and 3 Tbs. water in blender until smooth. Stir carrots, radicchio, green onions, nori, sesame seeds, and miso mixture into soba noodles. Serve cold.

"Starting Over," John Lennon

"Blackbird," Paul McCartney

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

Originally posted to beach babe in fl on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 03:24 PM PST.

Also republished by Meatless Advocates Meetup and Daily Kos.

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