Archives for posts with tag: Vegetarian

The September 2019 Recipe
Lisa Mason’s Spicy California Rice
This is another recipe particularly satisfying for dinner on a chilly winter night, but the dish is good anytime of the year when you want to serve you and your family a nutritious dish with a Mexican flair. I used to call the dish “Mexican Rice,” but Mexican-inspired dishes have, I think, evolved into California cuisine. At our excellent local Mexican restaurant, for example, the menu makes a point that they don’t use lard—long a staple of Mexican cooking. And our veggie-centric dishes would be a novelty in traditional Mexican cuisine, which depends heavily on meat and corn tortillas.
By the way, as always, you can add a tablespoon more of olive oil to the recipe, if you want added fat (fat enhances taste, as all cooks know), or add ground turkey or even ground beef—already cooked, please—if you want meat.
But why would you want to?
In her landmark 1973 book, Diet for a Small Planet, Frances Moore Lappé presents a meticulous argument that meat doesn’t actually contain as much “usable protein” or “complete protein” as people suppose and that bean, vegetable and grain (and sometimes dairy) combinations do the job equally well. Your body does need protein (less protein as you grow older) and usable protein is what your body can metabolize to fuel you.
Think of the classic peanut butter on bread (I hope you’ll transition to whole wheat bread and skip the sugary jelly). The reason this simple meal is satisfying and nourishing is that peanuts and wheat form a complete protein. Eat your sandwich with milk (fat-free milk, if you don’t have a lactose intolerance) and you’re good to go.
Brown rice and beans (kidney, pinto, or black beans) in particular provide a complete protein which is just as good as meat without the bad saturated fat and with the good fiber and vitamins.
I was a teenager when Lappé’s book was published but I quickly discovered it when I went off to college and got out of my mother’s meat-centric kitchen. There weren’t a lot of good vegetarian options then—except cheese and whole wheat bread—and I was skeptical of, and didn’t know how to cook, beans. Like a lot of people who have long eaten meat and haven’t transitioned to beans, legumes at first can cause digestive distress. Trust me, when you ease the meat out of your diet and eat more beans, your system will adjust and you can eat beans freely without embarrassing social consequences (you know what I mean).
On that happy note, let’s begin with Lisa Mason’s Spicy California Rice.
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2.25.19.BURGER_NEW

Monday is moon day, and we like to eat something round, like the moon, today. Husband Tom Robinson and I have long been students of symbols, use them often in his art and my art and writing. Burgers are round like the full moon, so it’s Burger Monday. Vegetarian spicy black bean burgers, that is.

I do eat fish and, every four months or so, turkey, but am otherwise vegetarian. Tom is completely vegetarian, though he does eat dairy and eggs so he isn’t vegan.

I highly recommend Morningstar Farm’s meat substitutes. We especially like the Spicy Black Bean Burgers, Vegetarian Sausage Patties, Vegetarian Sausage Links, and Vegetarian Bacon Strips. The Vegetarian Corn Dogs are good for a quick meal.

They’re “meaty” without trying to taste like meat. That is, the protein is solidly good, derived from soy protein, fat-free milk, and fat-free egg whites. They’re fortified with vitamin B-12, an essential nutrient you can only get from animal sources.

In another thread about another topic on Facebook, a friend remarked that she never understood meat substitutes. If you’ve decided not to eat meat, she asked, why eat some substitute that reminds of you meat?

As I stated, the MS products taste satisfyingly “meaty” without trying to be meat. I became a vegetarian when I went away to college at 18, left my mother’s meat-centric kitchen, and could choose my own food. I read Diet for a Small Planet, which was first published in (I think) 1971. In those days, Morningstar Farms wasn’t even around and, for protein, I was over-reliant on dairy, to which I have a slight allergy. So I’m really grateful for the MS products.

But I wanted to address the rest of the question.

Please note I’m not trying to preach to you or convert you. People especially resent lectures on diet. Go ahead and eat whatever you want. I’ve got a roundtable on my website discussing nutrition at Keep Fit, Keep Writing: A Roundtable with Kevin J. Anderson, Lisa Mason, and Linda Nagata (Part 2: Chow Down!) http://www.lisamason.com/fitnessblog2.html But I wanted to explicate my position on this issue.

Nutrition: MS meat subs generally have a third of the calories of the equivalent meat serving. Also, they have 70% less overall fat, just a trace of saturated fat (the rest is mono or poly) and zero cholesterol. That’s important to me.

Fiber: The MS meat subs have great fiber. Meat has none.

Protein: The MS meat subs have great protein. As Diet for a Small Planet points out, meat has less usable protein than people think. Using complementary combinations of plant foods, you can achieve usable protein equal to meat.

Ethics: I’m at peace with the fact that no cow (or pig or lamb or chicken) had to die for us to be nourished tonight. I’m not at peace with the butchering of animals.

Green: The raising and slaughtering of animals for human food is one of the most polluting businesses on the planet. Huge portions of the South American rainforest have been destroyed to raise cattle for the fast-food franchise beef burgers. If you want to be green (or more green), stop eating meat. Or cut way down.

Personal History: My father was addicted to beef. He also ate pork, lamb, veal, bacon, chicken and the like, but beef was his first choice virtually every day. He was a little pudgy around the middle, but by no means obese or even really fat. He still had color in his hair, hardly any gray. He was looking into joining a computer start-up in San Diego; he was a math genius and fascinated with computers. Since I’d become a vegetarian at 18, I begged him to cut down the beef, but he refused. The last I saw him, he and my mother had come to visit me in San Francisco. We went out to a traditional Japanese restaurant. Tom had a vegetarian dish, I had fish, my mother had chicken, and Dad had the only beef dish on the menu. It was my last dinner with him. He and Mom drove off to the airport to fly back to Cleveland. I never saw him again. He had his first and last cardiac arrest shortly after that. He was sixty, and the sunshine of my life. I was thirty. The autopsy indicated he had arteriosclerosis, a condition directly associated with too much consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol. He’d also been exhibiting clear symptoms of colon cancer, a condition directly associated with eating too much red meat.

So there you have it. Happy Burger Monday!

From the author of Summer of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summer-of-love-a-time-travel-lisa-mason/1104160569.

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The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-garden-of-abracadabra-lisa-mason/1108093507

Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/198435602X or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arachne-lisa-mason/1000035633.

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1984356941 or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cyberweb-lisa-mason/1001932064

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle world wide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Ladies-Stories-Lisa-Mason/dp/1981104380/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/strange-ladies-lisa-mason/1115861322.

One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-day-in-the-life-of-alexa-lisa-mason/1126431598.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON IN PRINT!

Shaken (in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers (in Fifth Annual Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao (in Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn) on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained (in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child (In Active Development at Universal Pictures) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria (in Full Spectrum 5) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O (Five Stars!) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

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