Spring is here! It’s time to enjoy the best veggies of the season. Asparagus is the perfect spring treat, praised for its delicate and delicious flavor. It's also a rich source of A, B, C and K vitamins and folic acid. Whether served on its own or in your favorite recipe, asparagus will steal the show. Try this wholesome, low-fat Asparagus Tart… it’s easy to make and perfect to serve outdoors.
1 lb. white asparagus
4-6 sheets puff pastry
1 tomato, cut in eighths
8 Tbs. chickpea flour (gram flour)
5 Tbs. soymilk
3 Tbs. vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Peel the asparagus and cut off the woody, lower part of the stem; chop into bite-sized pieces and cook until al dente (just enough to retain a somewhat firm texture); remove from hot water and set aside.
For a 9-inch pie plate, use 4-6 sheets of puff pastry; oil pastry dish and cover the bottom and sides evenly with the puff pastry; poke the bottom and side of the dough with a fork.
In a blender, place soymilk, chickpea flour, tomato and vinegar; pulse to make a smooth batter and season with salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg.
Place asparagus pieces evenly in the pastry dish and pour the batter over the asparagus; smooth the batter evenly.
Bake at 350 F for 25- 30 minutes (it is done when the center is firm); let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Looking for something good for you and the environment? Edward & Sons’ Native Forest line offers environmentally-friendly foods made with care to respect and nurture native habitats. Supplying innovative natural and organic vegetarian foods, they are guided by their motto “Convenience without Compromise.” Their delicious asparagus comes in white or green, whole or cuts. They also offer artichokes, hearts of palms, coconut, papaya, pineapple and mango.
In addition to their Native Forest line, Edward & Sons has an extensive line of products including instant soups, crackers, sauces, and more. The company supports good causes including this summer's Animal Rights 2008 National Conference.
Diets high in whole grains reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease and may result in significant weight loss, according to a new study. Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study examined 50 obese adults, aged 20 to 65, with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Participants were assigned to diets with grain servings from either whole grains or refined grains. During the 12-week study, all participants were given the same dietary advice on weight loss, and encouraged to participate in moderate physical activity.
Both groups experienced a significance reduction in waist circumference and body weight, but the weight loss in the abdominal region was much greater in those who ate whole grains. Additionally, the whole grain eaters experienced a 38% decrease in C-creative protein levels in their blood, an inflammatory marker linked to risk for diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The study also revealed that those who ate lots of whole grains also had higher intake of fiber and magnesium which may prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
Not many 12-year-olds take a stand against injustice, but Avital van Leeuwen speaks her mind. She recently decided to get active on behalf of the animals for her bat mitzvah project by protesting in front of a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. Inspired by a video depicting the realities of animal agriculture, Avital voiced concern about the cruel treatment she witnessed toward chickens by the fast-food chain's suppliers. The video revealed chickens crammed together in filthy barns, overfed until some are unable to walk, and dropped into vats of scalding water. Avital invited friends and family to participate in her protest against such cruel slaughter practices. "If it was a dog or cat being tortured, it would be against the law. But for chickens it's not? They feel the same amount of pain as other animals," she said.
Avital’s father said that a bat mitzvah project requires a good action. "It's not just training them to be ritually ready, but teaches them about who needs them in the world," said van Leeuwen. The van Leeuwens, who eat a vegetarian diet, have opened their home to six chickens and one duck, who live in a backyard coop and pond.