Interview with Mike Desjardins: How I Became A Vegetarian

Mike Desjardins (also know as my husband) tells us about his transition from meat-eating to becoming a pescetarian. I asked him to explain his experience about his transition with a series of questions. In his own words he describes what he has learned and how being married to me has influenced his food choices.

Mike describes what that process was like for him and why it made sense to switch. Mike talks about how he felt after learning about the cruel conditions of factory farming and how our nations demand for overconsumption drives this industry. We have to be the change, our food choices are not only effecting the animals but also our health and our planet. Factory farming is destroying our soil and reducing our ability to be sustainable in growing our own food. We need to reduce consumption to increase our chance of correcting these issues.

In over 2 years Mike has reduced his meat intake to none with the exception of fish (I am educating him on the impacts of overfishing as well and what the depletion of fish has on our ecosystem, as well as the long-term effects).

At home because I have the lead in what we eat, we eat vegan, local and organic. This is our personal choice. I think every little bit helps. We are working on other thing too, there is so much to think about.

You don’t have to give up everything to reduce your impact, you just need to reduce your intake, you don’t have to become a full-fledged vegetarian or vegan overnight, learn about what you can do and learn about factory farming. Try being a weekday vegetarian. We all need to do our part.

“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment” ~Oprah Winfrey

Sweet or Savoury No Cream, Cream Sauce

I absolutely love cream sauce but not the cream. The dairy industry is so cruel and unsustainable. In search of alternate methods of cream sauce I came across these recipes. All animal-based foods are acid-forming and dairy is no exception.

After looking at 34 published studies in 16 countries, researchers at Yale University found that the countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis – including the United States, Sweden, New Zealand – were those in which people consumed the most dairy and other animal products. How could that be?! That’s because animal protein foods such as cow’s milk are acid-forming which causes the body to borrow calcium from the bones and teeth to counteract the acidity. Over time, the bone structure weakens, making us more susceptible to fractures. To read more about this, go to www.milksucks.com.

To neutralize one cup of milk we need to take 20 cups of something alkaline such as green vegetable juice for instance. Since it takes 10 pounds of milk to produce a pound of cheese and 12 pounds of milk for a pound of ice cream, that ratio can get out of control! The more acid-forming foods we consume the weaker our immune system becomes, making it easier for bacteria, fungi and viruses to cause havoc in our body.

If you are still skeptical about the health dangers of consuming dairy, I encourage you to begin your own research into the matter.

 

Nut Cream Sauce

(Serves 2)

1/2 Cup Raw Cashews
1/4 Cup Water

Any blender or food processor will do, place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth, add more water if sauce gets too thick, keep adding water for desired consistency. Add anything you want to this sauce, truffle oil, herbs, pesto, tomato paste, morel mushrooms, curry, garlic, anything you would a reg cream sauce. Place in stove top pot and heat. Or make it sweet!

 

Sweet Nut Cream Topping

Cashew Cream, Tal Ronnen (serves 2-4)

2 cups of cashews or walnuts

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Put nuts into a  blender and cover them with enough water to cover them by 1 inch, add vanilla and agave nectar, blend on high for several minutes until smooth. You will see this transform into a creamy whipped cream like mixture. Serve over your favorite dessert. I like it over fresh papaya.


7 Sustainable Ways To Help The Environment

1) Use local, seasonally available ingredients as standard, to minimise energy used in food production, transport and storage.

2) Specify food from farming systems that minimise harm to the environment, such as certified organic produce.

3) Limit foods of animal origin (meat, dairy products and eggs) served, as livestock farming is one of the most significant contributors to climate change, and promote meals rich in fruit, vegetables, pulses, wholegrains and nuts. Ensure that meat, dairy products and eggs are produced to high environmental and animal welfare standards.

4) If you must eat fish. Exclude fish species identified as most ‘at risk’ by the Marine Conservation Society, and choose fish only from sustainable sources – such as those accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council.

5) Choose Fairtrade-certified products for foods and drinks imported from poorer countries, to ensure a fair deal for disadvantaged producers.

6) Avoid bottled water and instead serve plain or filtered tap water in reusable jugs or bottles, to minimise transport and packaging waste.

7) Promote health and well-being by cooking with generous portions of vegetables, fruit and starchy staples like wholegrains, cutting down on salt, fats and oils, meat and cutting out artificial additives.

Chef Tal Ronnen’s “The Conscious Cook”

The Conscious Cook shows that avoiding the health risks and ethical dilemmas of eating meat and dairy does not mean sacrificing taste and appetite.

I tried this recipe, It’s really great. I did decide to switch my “Chicken” to the Eves Veggie Skewers because of the taste. I prefer these much better. I just wish they made them bigger!

Sweet Potato Hash

People often ask so what do you eat if you don’t eat meat? I always reply LOT’S, The earth provides us all the things we need to survive. This beautiful dish is filled with colorful vegetables and aromatic spices.

Ingredients:
4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled,and diced
1 1/2 tablespoons safflower oil
1 1/2 cups onions or red onions, diced
2 cups zucchini, diced
1 cup cut corn (fresh or frozen)
1 cup red pepper, destemmed,deseeded,and diced
1 cup green pepper, destemmed,deseeded,and diced
1/4 cup jalapeno pepper, destemmed,deseeded,and diced
3/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions
In a large non-stick skillet, saute the swe et potato in the safflower oil for 5 minutes.
Add the onion and saute an additional 5 minutes, stirring often.
Add the zucchini, corn, all of the peppers, and continue to saute the mixture for 5 additional minutes, stirring often.
Add the green onions and garlic, and saute an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Add the remaining ingredients and cook an additional 2 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.