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You can lose weight twice as fast with this diet method, research shows

When we want to shed some pounds, we typically look to dropping sugars and carbs from our diets. But a new study reveals that cutting back on sweeteners and breads might not be the most effective method after all. The most successful weight loss could come from ditching something more dieter-friendly at first glance — meat. The research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition revels that dieters adopting vegetarian diets not only boost their metabolism but end up losing more weight overall — twice as much weight, in fact. A group of 74 participants with type 2 diabetes followed strict vegetarian diets of grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts. What researchers saw was that the vegetarian diet was twice as effective as the more common diet method at helping people shed pounds. Participants on the veggie diet lost on average 14 pounds vs. the typical 7 pounds. But the participants didn’t…

Creamy avocado, mango, smoothie with hemp hearts

Hemp hearts have been on the health food scene for quite a while now, but, for whatever reason, many people still haven’t given these delicious nutty seeds a chance. If you wish you could add even more nutritional oomph to your smoothies, salads and yogurts, it might be hemp seeds that you’re looking for. Hemp hearts are the edible insides of hemp seeds. They are said to have many health benefits because of their rich and diverse nutritional content. For starters, hemp hearts are a complete protein, so for vegetarians, or those trying to eat less meat, hemp hearts are a easy dietary substitution. They also contain essential fatty acids omega 6 and omega 3 as well as soluble and insoluble fiber. They’re packed with vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E as well as the minerals calcium and iron. But wait. There’s more! The combination of complex carbohydrates, protein and calories in…

Mushroom stroganoff is a vegetarian dish to cozy up to

Try this hearty, vegetarian twist on the classic Stroganoff. It’s creamy, cozy and just as easy to whip up as a meal for one as it is for a crowd. It’s that odd time of year when spring and winter seem to change guard every other day. We’re celebrating the arrival of longer days, yet we’re still bundled up in bulky sweaters and wool socks. The mushrooms substituting for meat make this meal filling without adding too much heaviness. You’ll be satisfied, yet still up for activity should spring decide it’s taking a late day shift. Mushroom Stroganoff Ingredients 1 (8 0unce) package of egg fettuccini noodles 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp butter 3 (8 ounce) packages of sliced mushrooms, cremini or whatever you prefer 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp paprika 2 sprigs fresh thyme 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 2 tbsp flour 1/2 cups vegetable broth 1/2 cup sour…

7 great alternatives to milk for dairy-free diets

Just a decade ago, milk really only meant one thing: moo-juice. It was white. It came from cows. Sometimes it was chocolate or 2 percent or whole. But our interest in the stuff really stopped there. These days, everything has changed. A new milk substitute flashes on the scene every few years claiming to be the perfect product for vegans, dieters, hipsters or what-have-ious, and we all give it a glance. While these non-dairy, plant-based milk alternatives can be a real convenience for those who are lactose intolerant, allergic or ethically opposed to cow’s milk, the high number of modern options has left everyone a bit confused. Cow’s milk has been long recommended as part of a healthy diet. It provides several vital nutrients like vitamins D, B2 and B12, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. But the truth is, many of these milk substitutes aren’t really milk at all. Instead, seeds, nuts, beans and other foods…

12 Foods you think are vegetarian but surprisingly aren’t

Becoming vegetarian isn’t always as easy as recognizing there is pepperoni on your pizza or bacon bits on top of your Brussels sprouts. Whether you’ve gone vegetarian for dietary or ethical reasons, you always have to be on the look out for the sneaky animal products manufacturers slip into seemingly safe food items. If there’s not chicken stock in your vegetable soup (very common at restaurants and in store bought brands), there’s gelatin in your marshmallows (so long Rice Krispie squares!). Here are 10 other foods that have got to go if you’re serious about an animal-free diet. 1. Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese For vegetarians, cheese can spruce up a plate of pasta, make a salad extra satisfying, or add oomph to a tray of appetizers. Unfortunately, for vegetarians, not all cheeses are, well, vegetarian. Some cheeses use an enzyme called rennet that is sourced from the stomach lining of goats and cows. This enzyme helps…

Vegan sausages coming to a store near you

Beyond Meat is expanding its line of mimicked animal proteins. The popular manufacturer of faux burgers and chicken strips (that even fooled food master Alton Brown), released its first pork knockoff product this week with a vegan sausage line they claim “looks, sizzles, and satisfies” like the real deal. The first of its kind, Beyond Sausage is a blend of pea, fave bean and rice protein structured to deliver a taste comparable to that of pork sausage. Trace amounts of beet give the meat its red color, coconut oil ensures juiciness and 100 percent plant-based casking derived from algae, gives it that slight exterior snap. Consumers can try the product in three varieties — Original Bratwurst, Hot Italian, and Sweet Italian. The products are engineers to taste like pork, but the nutritional benefits far outdo anything off the animal. The company says these links have 14 percent more protein, half the fat, 27 percent fewer…

A ranking of the most vegetarian-friendly countries in the world

If you don’t eat meat, dining out can present some challenges — in some countries more than others. In honor of World Vegetarian Month, Oliver’s Travels created an infographic ranking the world’s most vegetarian-friendly countries. They counted the number of veg-friendly restaurants, the number of people per each of those restaurants and the per capita meat consumption of the country. While this map doesn’t include the number of actual vegetarians living in a country, it does tell vegetarians travelers which counties will be easiest for them to navigate. While most people think of the United States as a heavily carnivorous country — hot dogs and hamburgers, Texas chili-cookoffs and holiday feasts focused on turkey — the US is actually quite accommodating with more vegetarian restaurants than any other country (18,975). Seychelles, however, has the most vegetarian restaurants per person with one for every 810 citizens. The list reveals other fun facts like Bhutan has…

Roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans, squash and cranberries

Think you don’t like Brussels sprouts? This recipe will change your mind. Brussels sprouts have made a major comeback, and for a good reason. They’re loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants, folate and fiber that will help keep you full and regular while lowering your change of heart disease and stroke. But if all you’ve had are mushy green sprouts soaking in some flavorless liquid, no wonder you don’t list them among your favorite foods. The key to enjoying brussels is the texture acquired while roasting. Brussels have thin leaves that become addictively crispy when done right — like a more filling kale chip. Blanching brussels first allows you to roast them at a higher temperature and achieve maximum crispiness. This gluten-free, vegetarian side dish of Brussels sprouts, cinnamon, squash, cranberries and pecans is a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving table — or any table. Brussels Sprouts salad with fall…

Spinach, ricotta stuffed peppers, a satisfying vegetarian alternative

Spinach, ricotta stuffed peppers are just the kind of recipe I like — cheesy, flavorful and easy to make. Best of all, they’re vegetarian, so it’s another satisfying meat-free dish to add to your recipe box (aka Pinterest page) if you’re cutting back. For the filling, cook up some garlic and onions, then add spinach and season. Mix ricotta and parmesan, then add to the spinach and mix more. Stuff this into 5-6 pepper halves and bake. I also like to toss tomatoes into the pan to get them right to the point that the skin slides off and the juicy middle pops in your mouth. Serve with rice or pasta if you’re making going for a dinner, but just a pepper, and some tomatoes — and maybe a small slice of bread — can make a fantastic light lunch. *Note, mushrooms are also a great addition. Chop up some of your favorite fungi and add to…

Tomato, zucchini, goat cheese and thyme tart recipe

Any recipe that uses up a good amount of veggies is a hit with me. I tend to go overboard at the farmers market — this time of year everything looks so delicious! — but it’s important not to let food go to waste. According to a Guardian report, roughly 50 percent of all produce in the United States is thrown away amounting to $1,600 in annual food waste for every family of four. With this staggering number in mind, I’ve made it a point recently to keep recipes on hand that use unusual vegetables, vegetables in bulk, or difficult herbs sometimes delivered in the CSA. Juices and stews are great for this task, but sometimes your veggies are just too darn pretty to hide. Tarts and galettes are a great option for showcasing those shiny vegetables, while also allowing plenty of space for layering and packing in leftover produce. You could easily throw in another layer of zucchini to…