Why Is SPI Bad For You? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-17-2005, 09:09 PM
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I see a lot of people on here saying that SPI is really bad for you. Why is that? I mean, obviously anything processed isn't as healthy as fresh or raw, but what is it about SPI that makes it so bad? Is it the way that they process it?



We don't eat meat replacers with every meal, but I would say that we use them in 2 out of 3. But we also incorporate beans and nuts on an almost daily basis as well.



We also try to incorporate veggies in 2 of 3 meals each day, and fruit in at least 1, or as a snack too.



I guess I don't want to harm my 2 year old, but I would like to know why this is so bad for us.
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#2 Old 07-17-2005, 09:10 PM
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what is SPI? /confused
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#3 Old 07-17-2005, 09:37 PM
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SPI is "soy protein isolate".



I looked up the nutrition info comparing SPI to other common veg foods such as beans, whole grains and nuts, and SPI is most certainly a superior protein, since it has the same amount of protein as meat.



I believe it is FINE in moderation. Even necesscary. But, too much of any kind of soy can have damaging health effects because in order for a diet to be healthy, it must be varied.
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#4 Old 07-17-2005, 09:56 PM
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SPI is made by processing soybeans in harsh chemicals, including hexane and benzene. It is almost always made from genetically-modified, pesticide-drenched soybeans--it's very, very rare to find organic or non-GMO SPI.



It is the only soy product correlated with cancer. It also seems to stimulate allergic reactions more often then other kinds of soy, though this may be because most SPI is GMO, and GMO soy contains a higher amount of a particular amino acid that's a common allergen.



Protein content alone does not make something a "superior protein." A superior protein is a protein that's close to its natural state and not hugely processed.



If this stuff doesn't bother you, go for it and eat lots of it, you know? But it bothers me. A lot. I sure wouldn't eat 2-3 meals a day of it, let alone feed that much to my kid. Personally I feel like a diet that relies that much on fake meat (which isn't great for you for other reasons) can't be a very healthy diet, so I would want to transition away from it.



Quote:
I believe it is FINE in moderation. Even necesscary.

SPI is not necessary in any way. What are you talking about?
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#5 Old 07-17-2005, 11:27 PM
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If it's your thing, fake meats are ok for an adult (especially during the transition to vegetarianism), but I'd be weary of feeding them to a baby in the amounts you described. Meat analogues are highly processed, high sodium junk foods, ya know? Also, excess amounts of soy during the early years has been linked to infertility in boys later in life. My child is roughly the same age and he gets tofu once a week, and maybe a glass or two of soy milk every couple of days. Anything more than that would make me nervous. But that's JMO.



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#6 Old 07-18-2005, 06:14 AM
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Is SPI the same thing as TVP?
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#7 Old 07-18-2005, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MollyGoat View Post

SPI is made by processing soybeans in harsh chemicals, including hexane and benzene. It is almost always made from genetically-modified, pesticide-drenched soybeans--it's very, very rare to find organic or non-GMO SPI.



It is the only soy product correlated with cancer. It also seems to stimulate allergic reactions more often then other kinds of soy, though this may be because most SPI is GMO, and GMO soy contains a higher amount of a particular amino acid that's a common allergen.



Protein content alone does not make something a "superior protein." A superior protein is a protein that's close to its natural state and not hugely processed.



If this stuff doesn't bother you, go for it and eat lots of it, you know? But it bothers me. A lot. I sure wouldn't eat 2-3 meals a day of it, let alone feed that much to my kid. Personally I feel like a diet that relies that much on fake meat (which isn't great for you for other reasons) can't be a very healthy diet, so I would want to transition away from it.





SPI is not necessary in any way. What are you talking about?



I should not have said "nessecary". I don't "eat lots of it" either. I also believe that 2 meals a day of fake meat is NOT GOOD and is too much. I told her it's not that bad to eat it in moderation. SPI is good for building muscle and is the only plant protein equivilent in amino acid content of meat when I looked up all of the different kinds of proteins. I did not mean it is nessecary and I should not have said that. For me, tofu and tempeh works fine, but if I am not building muscle, SPI seems to be the only thing that helps. Sorry.
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#8 Old 07-18-2005, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Linda~ View Post

Is SPI the same thing as TVP?



I think so - at least it's _used_ to make TVP
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#9 Old 07-18-2005, 03:01 PM
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Ok. So if giving him this is going to hurt him, then what do I give him? And I'm not trying to challenge this "theory", but is there any rock solid CONCLUSIVE evidence that this "theory" is true? Or is it pure speculation?



I mean, we're not eating meat, and if we're not eating meat replacers, then I guess that leaves fruits and veggies?



How do you find a balance? I don't believe that only eating fruits and veggies are healthy either. We eat beans at least every other day, and tofu once per week in a recipie. We also have nuts, a little cheese, and on rare occassions eggs too. What else is there?



We were huge meat eaters before becoming vegetarians, so I have to be honest when I say that not eating the meat replacers will make me feel very limited in my diet.



I guess I am whining in a way, because I hate a boring and dead end diet. I need variety!!!



I have to limit my intake of pasta, breads, and rice because I have had the LapBand weightloss surgery, and those things can not only get stuck, but we are discouraged from eating carbs first, and are encourged to eat solid forms of protein instead.



Any ideas here? Does everyone make fruits and veggies the bulk of their diets? I'm not so sure about cooking tofu in the frying pan either. *sticking finger in throat and making gagging noise* Tofu plain is just nasty.



I guess we'll figure something out.
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#10 Old 07-18-2005, 03:19 PM
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Before eliminating meat from my diet I was eating a lot of meat, watching meat your meat and going to websites about animals/vegetarian websites made me realize the animals are treated worse than I thought/made me think meat isn't as safe/ good for you as I thought although I'm not vegan. I find that eating hot sauce, spices, soy sauce on foods especially vegetables help. Also adding fats like butter on breads or vegetables. Since spices are used in lots of meat and there is fat in meat steaks, chicken with skin, hamburgers. I too miss foods like beef jerky, I can't find veggie jerky I sometimes eat those fruit leather or whatever they called they don't taste like meat. Also steak. I haven't found veggie steak or a good veggie substitute. Hamburgers I haven't found a veggie burger that tastes like meat all the veggie burgers I tried taste like vegetables. I also liked veal. I also ate foods like chicken, pepperoni, salami, etc but hamburgers, steak,veal and beef jerky were some of my favorite foods as an omnivore. I don't buy meat anymore. Meat your meat, animal websites helped me realize how bad the animals are treated but I still crave meat. I don't buy it though because I stopped and thought about how badly the animals are treated which I didn't think about when I was an omnivore I don't know if this makes sense to you but it does to me anyways this is really long so I should stop rambling.
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#11 Old 07-18-2005, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dylansmom View Post

Ok. So if giving him this is going to hurt him, then what do I give him? And I'm not trying to challenge this "theory", but is there any rock solid CONCLUSIVE evidence that this "theory" is true? Or is it pure speculation?



I mean, we're not eating meat, and if we're not eating meat replacers, then I guess that leaves fruits and veggies?



How do you find a balance? I don't believe that only eating fruits and veggies are healthy either. We eat beans at least every other day, and tofu once per week in a recipie. We also have nuts, a little cheese, and on rare occassions eggs too. What else is there?



We were huge meat eaters before becoming vegetarians, so I have to be honest when I say that not eating the meat replacers will make me feel very limited in my diet.



I guess I am whining in a way, because I hate a boring and dead end diet. I need variety!!!



I have to limit my intake of pasta, breads, and rice because I have had the LapBand weightloss surgery, and those things can not only get stuck, but we are discouraged from eating carbs first, and are encourged to eat solid forms of protein instead.



Any ideas here? Does everyone make fruits and veggies the bulk of their diets? I'm not so sure about cooking tofu in the frying pan either. *sticking finger in throat and making gagging noise* Tofu plain is just nasty.



I guess we'll figure something out.



First of all, tempeh, imo, is better than tofu. Non-faux meat protein replacers include seitan (wheat gluten), tempeh, and tofu. There are also edamame beans, which are baby soybeans, TVP and then processed faux meats like Boca burgers. Molly Goat is right in saying that tofu, tempeh, seitan, and non-SPI TVP are better choices. Also, beans, nuts, and whole grains are good sources of protein.



However, if you cannot eat grains, try seitan and tempeh.
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#12 Old 07-18-2005, 03:33 PM
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It's cool CK. BTW my fiance uses a combination of rice protein, pea protein and hemp protein powders when he is trying to build muscle and it works great for him.



Dylansmom, The vast majority of us here do NOT eat fruits and veggies as the bulk of our meals.



Beans "every other day" is not enough to me. IMO, veg*ns (and omnis too for that matter) should be eating legumes at almost every meal. They are the protein staple of the veg diet, and they come with a ton of other nutrients besides protein. There is no reason to ever get bored with beans--there are millions of different things you can do with them.



Nuts, seeds, tempeh, tofu and seitan are also important and very versatile sources of veg protein.



You DO need variety. You also need some cookbooks. One I really think is great is called Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean. It's HUGE and has a ton of delicious ideas for healthful, balanced veg meals. There is no reason it should ever be boring or not be deliciously prepared.



ETA: X-posted with CK and CarrotCake.
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#13 Old 07-18-2005, 03:34 PM
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Whoops sorry I read that kind of fast you can just ignore the part on butter on bread in my post.

Also you can use margarine or some other oil, sauce on vegetables it can give flavor.
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#14 Old 07-18-2005, 03:36 PM
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Thank you for the help Countess. I am going to HAVE to make a trip to the health food store SOON. I want to try all of these alternate protein sources. If we can move away from the faux meats, the sooner the better. I would hate to hurt my son and cause him permanant damage. We waited through 4 miscarriages and 7 agonizing years to have him, so I have to protect him in any possible way I can.



I can have grains, I just try to limit my intake of non whole grains, and pasta. They are rare things here. We've even started making our own bread, just because it's healthier.



Thanks again!!!
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#15 Old 07-18-2005, 03:41 PM
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OH, and thank you CarrotCake and Molly Goat too. We are slowly incorporating more beans into our diets now. We've used black beans, baked beans, lentils, and are going to try some of the dry beans soaked and used in soup. I can't wait to try them and learn to use them more.



And you're right.....I DESPERATELY need a cookbook!!! I've been using the PETA veggie starter kit recipies for now, but need somemore ideas.



Thanks again everyone!
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#16 Old 07-18-2005, 03:45 PM
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Oh your welcome. I'm not sure how much I helped you though. I mean it helps me to put butter, spices, sauces on vegetables even though I still get cravings for meat although not as bad. However I don't give in to my cravings. Well at least not yet anyways and I don't want to.
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#17 Old 07-18-2005, 04:14 PM
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I've been vegetarian for 10+ yrs, and I guess in a way, I'm a little reverse-spoiled. At the time I went veg, there weren't HFSs all over the place, you couldn't find veggie burgers anywhere, let alone alterna-meats. Heck, I couldn't even find a can of vegetable broth! I was also 15 which made it so I couldn't drive and get places with veg foods. My parents were supportive in my diet choices, but they didn't have tim to drive me into NYC to buy food, y'know? Basically, I had to learn how to do it with REAL food and not processed stuff. I'm going on my 3rd week in my apartment now (having moved out of my parents house and gone away to grad school) and I haven't bought any meat replacers yet. They're expensive, and I feel like its a cop out, sort of giving me an excuse to just eat something quick. Tofu, yes, and I'm gonna buy Seitan as soon as my co-op discount kicks in in August (its like $5/container.. and I'll be getting 26% off, so yay). You should definitely look into Seitan! Its SO delicious! You can also make it at home, with flour and high gluten flour... though I've never tried. Mostly I've been eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans. When I think about a meal, I don't think "What will replace the meat in this..." My brain has moved away from the American "TV Dinner" view of what should be on your plate. Last night I had udon noodles seasoned with (instant!) miso, broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, and corn on the cob. A serving of Udon noodles is 9g protein. Thats not too shabby!! I think the only thing that limits a vegetarian diet is one's own creativity! Think beyond the TV dinner, get a few cookbooks (half.com or ebay are my favourite resources for cookbooks! i check them out in the stores, then order them used for cheap!), and experiment some!

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#18 Old 07-18-2005, 04:24 PM
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thank you rabid_child for your post. Yes, I find it interesting. There are products out there that don't taste like meat but are still good. I like peanut butter although I don't eat it much anymore because I want to eat more whole grains but don't want to buy loafs of bread because I don't want them to spoil before I use it. I'm not active so I don't need a lot of calories. I also eat nuts. Perhaps if we think about why we became vegetarian in the first place instead of what we can replace meat with?
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#19 Old 07-18-2005, 08:39 PM
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I LOVE Udon!!!! I wondered if I was the only one who used it. (Now I know I'm not!)



I made it up last time with peas and eggs, and mixed mayo in with it. My son liked it so much, that he and I ate it for 2 meals in a row!!!



How are some other ways you have used it? I almost put the fake meatballs and spaghetti sauce in it, but never did that.



We need to start consuming more peanut butter too. We get it with WIC so it costs us nothing, and it's an excellent source of protein too! And it's also something that my son and all of us like as well.



I'll get used to this way of eating eventually, but when you eat meat for the first 30 years of your life, you can tend to get stuck in the "old ways". But we're done with that old life now, so it's time to stay positive, move on, and get some new recipies!!!
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#20 Old 07-18-2005, 08:42 PM
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Udon is good in a stir-fry. You cook the noodles and set aside, then make your veggies and tofu (or whatever) stir-fry, with plenty of sauce, and then add in the noodles and stir-fry for a minute. It's tasty!
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#21 Old 07-18-2005, 09:09 PM
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I love Udon (round or flat) and Soba noodles too! Here is a peanut butter suggestion and an udon suggestion for you, both from Vegetarian Express by Nava Atlas, which is one of my favourite veg cookbooks! (its not vegan, but a lot of recipes are or veganizable) :P



Simple Sesame Soy Noodles

1/2 lbs udon or soba noodles

1 1/2 tbsp canola oil

2 tsp dark sesame oil (not blend, blend is kinda ick. you can get a bottle of the real stuff for about $1 at the asian market)

2-3 tbsp soy sauce (or more or less to taste)

1 tbsp honey or rice syrup

1 tsp grated fresh ginger OR 1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar

2-3 scallions, sliced



Cook the noodles. Mix everything else together, except the scallions, and toss with the cooked noodles. Top with scallions. Also good with some toasted sesame seeds! I also find it works best if you drain the noodles and rinse them and then put the sauce on them cause all the starch in the noodles really glues them together!!



For Peanut butter..

Peanut Butter Spirals and Cinnamon Apple Glazed Baby Carrots

10 oz spiral or rotini pasta (I use whole wheat here, it works fine!)

1/2 cup peanut butter

3/4 cup water or veg stock

3 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp white wine or rice vinegar

1 tbsp honey or rice syrup

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed

Chili oil or tabasco sauce, (optional)



Cook the pasta. Combine all the rest of the ingredients, except the peas, either with a whisk or in a food processor. Throw the peas in with the pasta during the last few minutes of cooking to heat them. Mix the sauce with the drained pasta/peas. Add chili oil or tabasco individually at the table if you'd like it!



For the carrots...

1 lbs bag of baby carrots

1/3 cup unsweetened undiluted apple juice concentrate

1/2 tsp cinnamon



Put everything in a pot with a lid and stir. Cover and simmer over medium for 15-20 minutes until the carrots are tender-crisp. Remove the lid and cook the carrots for another 3-5 minutes until the juice is reduced to a glaze.



I usually serve this with raw apple and celery slices!

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#22 Old 07-19-2005, 06:39 AM
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Thank you Rabid!
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#23 Old 07-19-2005, 09:57 AM
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"I mean, we're not eating meat, and if we're not eating meat replacers, then I guess that leaves fruits and veggies?"



Huh? You must be kidding. That leaves fruits, vegetables, 100's of thousands of varieties of seeds, including 100's of thousands of varieties of legumes, and 1000's of varieties of nuts.



Sesame seeds, pumpkin and squash seeds, small white beans, pinto beans, garbanzos (chik peas), lentils are all commonly available. Fresh peas, dried peas (whole or "split.") You could eat edamame instead of processed soybeans. Sunflower seeds. Almonds. Filberts (hazel nuts), flax seeds -- all high in protein -- as are most all leafy greens (when compared at the same level of hydration as nuts and legumes and other seeds).



While rice is low in protein, wheat and potatoes both have significant amounts of protein.
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#24 Old 07-19-2005, 10:22 AM
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Nuts are great as snacks, but I can't imagine making a meal out of nuts and seeds. I need something that's going to keep me full for a while.



I've gotten some great ideas from this thread, and thank you again to those that suggested things.
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#25 Old 07-19-2005, 10:51 AM
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I wouldn't make a meal out of nuts and seeds, either, but I would make main dishes like a nut loaf (think: meat loaf but muuuuuch tastier ) or a peanut soup. Or, slide some nuts into things like salads, soups, or main dishes like burritos, tacos, stir-fries, even spaghetti with marinara sauce. You could even add things like sunflower seeds to pasta salad or smooshed chickpea salad.
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#26 Old 07-19-2005, 12:44 PM
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Actually, I was about to post basically what soilman just posted. As he pointed out, a whole foods diet has TONS of variety. If you're not eating meat replacers, that leaves you with a huge assortment of fruits and veggies (there are so many different kinds I won't even try to make a list!), beans/legumes (kidney, black, pinto, navy, cannelini, Great Northern, adzuki, black eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, just to list a few...), whole grains (wheat, kamut, rice, rye, barley, oats, amaranth, quinoa, millet, corn, buckwheat...), nuts (almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, Brazils, macadamias, cashews, pistachios, pine nuts...), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, hemp...)...and anything you can buy/make out of combinations of these foods, which is a LOT of stuff.
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#27 Old 07-19-2005, 02:29 PM
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Ooooh, 4evergrounded--peanut soup. Yeah! That's a great idea since dylansmom was mentioning peanut butter earlier. Great protein source too!
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#28 Old 07-19-2005, 09:33 PM
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Nut loaf? Peanut Soup? My mouth is drooling a mile long here!!! *Making longing slurping noise as I imagine how tasty those must be!!!*



Recipies please!!! I beg of you!!!! On hands and knees pleading with all that's within me. LOL



And thank you to Minibean too! All of those things sound wonderful, and I will add them to my list of things to try.



Sorry if I sounded a little "close minded" in that first post. That's what 30 years of meat eating will do to a girl. But now that I see all of the great things that there are to replace that meat with, why would I ever want to go back?!?!
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#29 Old 07-20-2005, 12:22 AM
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Here's a couple recipes: (Don't feel like going to the work to post them in the "Recipe" section just now)...



Carrot-Peanut-butter loaf

(This is very mild, my kids absolute LOVE it, makes awesome sandwiches the next day!!)



3 Tablespoons sunflower or other light oil

1 small onion, minced

1 cup plain (unflavoured) soymilk

1/2 cup unsweetened creamy-style peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste (use less if you used salted peanut butter)

1/8 teaspoon ground or rubbed sage

1/2 cup dry unflavoured bread crumbs

2 cups carrots, grated

1 cup cooked brown rice (leftover, or cooled to room temperature)

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

Sauté Onion in the oil, until tender but not browned.

While the onion is cooking, cream the soymilk and peanut butter together in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

Add the salt, sage, and bread crumbs to the onions and continue to sauté for another two minutes.

Remove from heat and mix into the peanut butter mixture.

Stir in the carrots and rice, and mix thoroughly.

Scrape the mixture into a lightly oiled loaf pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake uncovered for one hour.

Allow to cool for at least twenty minutes before slicing and serving.

----------------------



Lentil-Nut Loaf

(This is more "meat-loaf" like, and slices up great for sandwiches the next day too... I love this with vegan gravy and smashed potatos)



1 cup dry lentils

2 cups water

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

1 cup mixed unsalted nuts (Brazil, hazel, almond, walnuts, pecan, etc.), ground

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 cup bread crumbs

1 teaspoon sage

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon onion or garlic powder - your pref.

pinch of black pepper or to taste

salt to taste, optional

Cook the lentils in the water until soft, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat.

Add the onions and sauté for two or three minutes, then add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until the vegetables are tender.

Mix into the lentils, then mix in all of the remaining ingredients. Stir well to blend. Transfer to a lightly oiled loaf pan, spreading out evenly. (You can top with ketchup here, if thats the way you prefer your "meatloaf")

Bake for thirty minutes. Allow to cool at stove top for at least fifteen minutes before slicing and serving.
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#30 Old 07-20-2005, 01:13 AM
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SO GOOD.



WEST AFRICAN PEANUT SOUP

(from "Sundays at the Moosewood Restaurant")



2 cups chopped onion\t\t\t\t

1 Tblsp vegetable oil\t\t\t\t

1/2 tsp cayenne or other ground chiles\t

1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger\t\t\t

1 cup chopped carrots\t\t\t\t

2 cups chopped sweet potatoes\t\t\t

4 cups vegetable stock or water

2 cups tomato juice

1 cup smooth peanut butter (use natural, not the sweetened, hydrogenated kind)

chopped scallions

chopped roasted peanuts



Sauté onion in oil until it is transluscent.

Stir in cayenne and ginger. Add carrots and

sauté a couple minutes more. Mix in potatoes

and stock, bring to a boil, simmer 15 minutes

(until the vegetables are tender). Puree the

vegetables with tomato juice (and some of the

cooking liquid if necessary) in a blender or

food processor. Return the puree to the pot.

Stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Check

sweetness and add sugar if necessary. Reheat

gently, using a heat difuser if necessary to

prevent scorching. Add more water, stock, or

tomato juice to make a thinner soup if

desired. Serve topped with plenty of chopped

scallions and chopped roasted peanuts.



Serves 6-8
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