At the moment, John Morris and Katie Fisher are leading the effort to provide content for this blog, but we can’t do it alone! Please help us keep it going by offering content, reactions, suggestions, questions . . . whatever you’d like to find in you inbox once a week! If you’re moved to write a post, send it to us and we’ll publish it.
To get us started, here is one of our favorite dinner recipes—quick and easy, delicious, and high in protein. It’s from philosopher Peter Singer’s groundbreaking book Animal Liberation. (You can watch him make it in a short video.) Make it as written, or bump it up by adding grated or minced fresh ginger/fresh turmeric/cumin seeds along with the curry powder. If you don’t have a cinnamon stick, don’t worry. Toss in some cilantro and/or baby spinach. When we make it we just add the can of tomatoes along with the lentils and use powdered coconut milk at the end in place of the canned. Serve with rice, chutney, and naan.
Peter Singer’s Dal
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons curry powder, to taste
- Salt, to taste (c. ¾ tsp)
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 3 cups of water
- 2 to 3 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 can (15 ounces) chopped tomatoes
- ¼ cup coconut milk (full fat, canned)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the curry powder and salt and sauté over medium heat until the mixture begins to brown.
- Add the red lentils and sauté for 1 minute. Add water, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer another 10 minutes, until thickened. The lentils should be soft and the consistency just liquid enough to pour.
- Stir in coconut milk and lemon juice.
Portion: ¼ recipe calories: 278 Big: 8.3g Saturated fat: 3.9g Carbohydrates: 38.9g Sugar: 5.7gSodium: 458mg Fiber: 18g Protein: 14.5g
Plant-Based Yogurt—John’s Favorites
If you’re looking to make some first steps toward getting off animal-based foods, the many non-dairy yogurt alternatives now available are a great place to start. These products use almond, cashew, coconut, oat, and/or soy milk instead of dairy. The taste and texture are amazing!
Lots to pick from, but my three favorites are:
- Silk Greek-Style Coconutmilk Yogurt Alternative – if you like a thick, not-too-sweet taste and texture (the lemon flavor is particularly excellent!)
- Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt – nice and sweet, very smooth texture
- Forager Organic Probiotic Cashewmilk Yogurt – a really good vanilla flavor, and the strawberry is good too.
Availability of these brands varies, but I can usually find them at regular supermarkets or Mom’s Organic Market.
This page has lots of nutrition information and will probably answer most of your questions about plant-based yogurt. Here’s one question you might still have: Why do non-dairy yogurts cost significantly more than dairy products? That’s a big, complicated question that goes to the heart of U.S. dependence on animal agriculture. Watch for future blog posts on this topic.
A cautionary note: Many plant-based yogurts are manufactured by companies that also support dairy agriculture and factory farming. Perhaps our best option is to buy their plant-based products and let the “invisible hand” of the market force them to change? Or maybe not. What do you think? We welcome your comments and ideas.