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28 May 2017

Top 10 Vegan-Friendly MLB Ballparks


PETA has unveiled its list of the Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Major League Ballparks for 2017 after scouring stadiums across the country, keeping score, and root, root, rooting for the final compassionate contenders. Each team that made the cut will receive a framed certificate from PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to eat."

"These popular stadiums prove that vegan eating is as American as baseball and apple pie," says PETA Executive Director Tracy Reiman. "PETA's carefully compiled rankings of the top vegan-friendly ballparks will help fans chow down on delicious cruelty-free foods while cheering their favorite teams to victory."

The Texas Rangers' Globe Life Park took top honors, thanks to its all-vegan food cart serving up treats like nachos with dairy-free cheese and black bean tamales, followed by the Minnesota Twins' Target Field in second place, the Arizona Diamondbacks' Chase Field in third, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Dodger Stadium in fourth, and the New York Mets' Citi Field in fifth. Rounding out the top 10 are the Oakland Athletics' Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Yankees' Yankee Stadium, the Orioles' Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park, and the Philadelphia Phillies' Citizens Bank Park.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

27 May 2017

Recipe: Vegan Sloppy Joes


SLOPPY JOES
Sloppy Joes are another of my favorite childhood sandwiches. We ate them on white bread and Mom always made the filling from scratch, never from a can. This version, made with high-fiber, vitamin- and mineral-rich wheat berries, has all of the flavor that kids love in a Sloppy Joe without the unwanted animal protein or fat.

Makes 6 sandwiches - Vegan

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped 
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups cooked wheat berries (see Tip)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato puree 
  • 1/3 cup Date Puree (recipe below) 
  • 1/4 cup ketchup 
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce or tamari 
  • Sea salt and black pepper 
  • 6 whole-grain hamburger buns
  1. Sauté the onion, bell pepper, and celery in a medium-size skillet over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. 
  2. Add the cooked wheat berries, tomato puree, date puree, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. 
  3. Place the bottom halves of each hamburger bun on a work surface and top with some of the filling. Place the tops of the buns on the sandwiches and serve.
RECIPE TIP
Wheat berries can be found at natural food stores and online retailers. To cook them, combine 2/3 cup wheat berries and 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 50 to 60 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the wheat berries are tender.

DATE PUREE
I use this puree in a lot of dessert recipes. It is a great way to get your family off processed sugar.

Makes 3 cups
  • 2 cups pitted dates 
  • 2 cups water
  1. Combine the dates and water in a small saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until the dates are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and reserve the cooking water. 
  2. Puree the dates in a blender, adding just enough water to make a creamy consistency. Let cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container for up to a week.
RECIPE TIP
Add as little water as possible to the dates to concentrate the sweetness in the puree. Date puree is not a 1:1 replacement for sugar and, to the newbie, may not taste as sweet. If you are trying to use this date puree instead of sugar in your favorite recipes, you may need to cut back a bit on the liquid in your recipe, and it may take a little experimentation to figure out exactly how much date puree to use.

Recipe courtesy of The China Study Family Cookbook.
Chef Del Sroufe is co-owner and Executive Chef of Wellness Forum Foods. He is the author of Forks Over Knives-The Cookbook, The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, The China Study Family Cookbook, and Better Than Vegan, the story of his struggle with weight loss and gain, and how he managed to lose over 200 pounds on a low fat, plant based diet. Del teaches cooking classes and helps people transition to a plant-based diet. Learn more at chefdelsroufe.com.

26 May 2017

Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Newly Adopted Dog


According to statistics recently released by the ASPCA, pet adoptions are up by a remarkable 18.5%.   Nationally, an estimated 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats), up from 2.7 million adoptions in 2011. The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals also states the shelter intake and euthanasia are down and the number of animals being placed in forever homes in the New York City is up dramatically.  This is thanks to not only the hard work of shelters and rescue organizations but also the general public’s dedication to rescuing homeless animals.

While this is fantastic news, it can also mean that many people may find they have adopted a wonderful dog who is no longer a puppy, but is still in need of some may find that they themselves need some training to avoid the all too common mistakes that new adoptive pet parents can make. And these mistakes can lead to a less than happy experience once the dog finds their new home.  

I have found over the past several years the biggest mistakes new owners of adopted dogs make are:
  1. Feeling guilty about their dog’s past
  2. Not setting or reinforcing rules or boundaries to earn trust and respect
  3. Not getting them on a schedule from day one

Feeling guilty about your dog's past
Dogs live in the moment. This doesn't mean they don't have associations with past experiences i.e.: being hit with a stick or abused by a large man etc. But they do not live in the past.  They live in the present.

Unfortunately, if you spend the first few weeks or even months coddling your new dog, protecting them from the world, you are more than likely forming bad habits and encouraging unwanted behaviors. For instance, if your dog learns that if they bark you come running to their rescue, pet them when they are scared, allow them on the couch of their own free will, then you are simply empowering them as an equal and creating bad had habits. Equals might love you, but rarely will they see you as the one in charge and respect you as the giver of all good things!

Not setting or reinforcing rules or boundaries to earn trust and respect
Rules and boundaries are the building blocks to a strong foundation when creating a bond a relationship with your new dog. Simple rules like, only one toy out at a time. This teaches your dog they need you to get them, it adds values to the toys because they don’t have full access and it adds value to you as their owner. Another rule might be that they aren’t allowed on the couch without permission. Dogs that jump all over the furniture and invite themselves into your personal space are showing no respect for you or your space. Make sure you follow through when establishing boundaries. If you give them an inch, they will take a mile!

Schedule and routine
It takes a dog one to two weeks to come out of their shell and become comfortable after moving into a new home. You might think the dog is tired all the time, won’t eat or even that they don’t like their new home. The majority of the time they are just going through a little phase I call “new home acclimation.” Dogs are creatures of habit, so if you get them on a schedule right away, you are setting them up for success. Schedules help them understand what is expected of them and when. Without a routine dog tends to get into trouble and create bad habits. Make sure exercise is a large part of their new routine. FYI, lack of exercise is the number one problem when it comes to behavioral issues. 


ABOUT TRAVIS BRORSEN
Travis Brorsen is one of the most sought after dog trainers in America today. Travis is Founder and CEO of Greatest American Dog Trainers, and is host of the new Animal Planet show, MY FAT PET, which premiers in Fall 2017.  He is a regular contributor to both Dogster.com and DogingtonPost.com. Travis and his team of trainers at Greatest American Dog Trainers not only provide hands-on training and dog walking to their canine clients and their humans, but are also focused on helping pets become more holistically healthy, fit and happy. In 2008, Travis and his 14-month old, highly energetic and untrained boxer, Presley, won the grueling 12 week CBS’ national dog training competition, Greatest American Dog. As a result of the show, Travis discovered he had a passion to help other dogs and their owners create similar positive learning and relationship building experiences. Today, Travis and his Greatest American Dog Trainers team specializes in basic and advanced obedience, dog health and fitness training, as well as behavioral issues.

25 May 2017

Recipe: Corn and Black Bean Salsa



CORN AND BLACK BEAN SALSA

Older kids who have good knife skills can make this recipe on their own to have for a healthy snack. Even younger kids can toss everything together once it has all been cut up.

Serves 6 to 8 - Vegan

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, or 3 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen corn, thawed, or 2 cups fresh corn
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, diced (see Tip)
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Grated zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Sea salt, to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

RECIPE TIP
Serve this salsa with corn chips as an appetizer or snack, as a salad on a bed of mixed greens, or in a whole-grain tortilla as a wrap.

NOTE FOR THE COOK
You can buy roasted red peppers in a jar, or you can roast your own. Carefully hold a red bell pepper over an open flame and let it char all over. Transfer it to a paper or plastic bag to steam, then peel off the blackened part by hand. Do not rinse it or you will lose all the flavor of roasting.


Recipe courtesy of The China Study Family Cookbook.
Chef Del Sroufe is co-owner and Executive Chef of Wellness Forum Foods. He is the author of Forks Over Knives-The Cookbook, The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, The China Study Family Cookbook, and Better Than Vegan, the story of his struggle with weight loss and gain, and how he managed to lose over 200 pounds on a low fat, plant based diet. Del teaches cooking classes and helps people transition to a plant-based diet. Learn more at chefdelsroufe.com.

24 May 2017

SOLAR 2017 Registration Now Open


The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) today announced that registration for SOLAR 2017, the 46th Annual Solar Conference is now available online at solar2017.org/register.

The event will be held October 9-12, at the University of Colorado Denver Campus. The conference, held in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, with the Decathlon's public days on the weekends before and after SOLAR 2017.
SOLAR 2017 will be attended by solar professionals and researchers, architects and engineers, educators and students, business leaders and entrepreneurs, economists and financial professionals, and renewable energy advocates from a wide variety of constituencies.
The focus of SOLAR 2017, "Building a 100% Renewable Energy Community," will discuss pathways to the renewable energy transformation and overcoming the challenges ahead. The conference will feature cutting-edge research as well as presentations on the integration of solar and other renewables, and solar-friendly policies and financing.

The conference also will explore how different groups advocating for a renewable energy world can work more effectively together to accelerate the transformation.

 "It's an exciting time to be a part of the renewable energy industry and movement, and ASES is proud to bring this community together year after year to collaborate and strive for progress," said ASES Executive Director Carly Rixham.
The solar conferences began in 1971 and have long served as a major event for the global renewable energy community to explore PV and other technologies, their markets and economics; advances in passive solar and the latest in building science; and related aspects of sustainable living and community building.
"This year, in particular, our conference is striving to provide a welcoming, non-competitive, educational and community-oriented environment where all are welcome to come and help advance the energy transformation," commented Dr. Paulette Middleton, SOLAR 2017 Conference Chair.
Registration for the conference is at solar2017.org/register.  Those interested in supporting the conference through tax-deductible sponsorships can visit solar2017.org/sponsor.
About ASES
Established in 1954, ASES is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that advocates for sustainable living and 100% renewable energy by sharing information, events and resources to cultivate community and power progress.We integrate the perspectives of science, industry, policy and citizens. We believe knowledge and community are a powerful combination for change. Our members look to us to sustain the culture required to achieve a 100% renewable energy future. Through our programs, Solar Today Magazine, ASES Solar Conferences and ASES National Solar Tour, we engage individuals, businesses and partnering groups to advance these possibilities.
For more information, please email info@ases.org or visit www.ases.orgFacebook and TwitterASES is the US Section of the International Solar Energy Society.

23 May 2017

House Foods Ends Animal Experiments after PETA Appeal


Just weeks after PETA asked House Foods to stop conducting experiments on animals, the tofu company put an end to its long-standing practice of force-feeding and injecting mice with chemicals in order to make health claims about its products.

House Foods' animal tests date back to 1996. In one of its recent studies, experimenters fed mice curcumin, injected them with a chemical that induces symptoms mimicking Parkinson's disease, killed them, and cut out their brains. In another, experimenters fed mice who had been genetically modified to be obese and diabetic a high-fat diet that also included the plant fenugreek, starved them, killed them, and took their blood and liver.

"After learning from PETA that experiments on animals are cruel, not required by law, and irrelevant to humans, House Foods executives quickly agreed to ban these archaic studies," says PETA scientist Dr. Frances Cheng. "PETA applauds the tofu company for embracing modern, animal-free research tools."

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to experiment on"—notes that there are numerous published human studies on the same ingredients that were used in House Food's animal tests and that superior, animal-free research methods are readily available.

The California-based House Foods America, whose parent company is headquartered in Japan, joins a growing list of companies—including Ito En, Barilla, Kikkoman, The Coca-Cola Company, Lipton, POM Wonderful LLC, and many others—that have agreed to eliminate animal tests after discussions with PETA.


For more information, please visit PETA.org.

22 May 2017

Recipe: Vegan Carrot Dogs


CARROT DOGS

Kids of all ages love hot dogs—the epitome of American food. Keep these carrot dogs on hand so your kids can have them whenever they want a quick meal. I like mine with Lentil Chili (page 179), but let your kids choose their favorite toppings.

Makes 6 sandwiches - Vegan

  • 6 large carrots, peeled and trimmed to fit your hot dog buns
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 hot dog buns, toasted if desired
  1. Bring a 2-quart pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and bring the water back to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let the carrots cook until they are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the carrots and rinse them under cool water to stop the cooking.
  2. While the carrots are cooking, whisk together the water, tamari, red wine vinegar, garlic, granulated onion, mustard powder, coriander, mace, smoked paprika, and black pepper in a baking dish. Add the carrots to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and the marinade and cook, turning the carrots occasionally, until most of the marinade has evaporated and the carrots have started to brown, about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve in a bun with your favorite toppings.

RECIPE TIP
Be sure to choose carrots of equal size so they all cook in the same amount of time.


Recipe courtesy of The China Study Family Cookbook.
Chef Del Sroufe is co-owner and Executive Chef of Wellness Forum Foods. He is the author of Forks Over Knives-The Cookbook, The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, The China Study Family Cookbook, and Better Than Vegan, the story of his struggle with weight loss and gain, and how he managed to lose over 200 pounds on a low fat, plant based diet. Del teaches cooking classes and helps people transition to a plant-based diet. Learn more at chefdelsroufe.com.

21 May 2017

Recipe: White Bean Salad with Apricots and Pistachios



WHITE BEAN SALAD WITH APRICOTS AND PISTACHIOS

I was babysitting for a friend’s kids once and decided to make a bean salad for lunch. I let the kids pick some of the ingredients, and this is what we came up with. It is still a favorite of mine—and theirs.

Serves 4 - Vegan
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained, or 3 cups cooked white beans (see Tip)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3/4 cup dried unsulfured apricots, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup toasted pistachios
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt, to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

RECIPE TIPS

  • Any white beans will work in this recipe—Great Northern, cannellini, or navy—so use whatever you have on hand.
  • You can use this recipe as a template for different bean salads. Try different beans, different dried or fresh fruits, and different herbs like basil, cilantro, or tarragon. If you are not a fan of beans, substitute 4 cups cooked brown rice or cooked quinoa.
  • You might be tempted to skip the orange zest in this dish or to use bottled orange juice or lemon juice in place of fresh juice, but the fresh juice has much better flavor than the bottled. Have fun at home and do your own taste test to see which your family likes better.

NOTE FOR THE COOK
You can toast nuts in the oven or on the stovetop. I prefer the oven method because it is a little more forgiving if I happen to walk away from the kitchen and leave them unattended. On the stovetop, nuts quickly go from toasted to burned, so you have to stay with them to avoid burning.

  • Oven method: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coarsely chop the nuts and spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the nuts until fragrant and lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Stovetop method: Coarsely chop the nuts and toast them in a skillet over medium-low heat, shaking the pan frequently, until fragrant and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of The China Study Family Cookbook.
Chef Del Sroufe is co-owner and Executive Chef of Wellness Forum Foods. He is the author of Forks Over Knives-The Cookbook, The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, The China Study Family Cookbook, and Better Than Vegan, the story of his struggle with weight loss and gain, and how he managed to lose over 200 pounds on a low fat, plant based diet. Del teaches cooking classes and helps people transition to a plant-based diet. Learn more at chefdelsroufe.com.