Go veggies! Check out these recipes

We used to think that a vegetarian’s diet consists of bland and boring-looking vegetables. But think not, because even meat-lovers’ chicharon, empanadas, barbecue, steak, spaghetti balls now have vegetable-based alternatives. Not only are they nutritious, they are also delicious and cheaper.

One Sunday last June, the monks of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) who were travelling in Iloilo City held a vegetarian cooking demo before friends, relatives of friends and members of the media.

This is part of their advocacy to promote vegetarianism.

Balarama Das, a vegetarian for 15 years, shared recipes of Chicharon, Gluten Steak, Scrambled Tofu (alternative to scrambled egg), Kangkong Balls (alternative to meat balls) and Pakora (nuggets) while Bhakta Ritchie shared the recipe for Samosa or Empanada.
Read on for the recipes.

MUST-HAVE SPICES AND HERBS
* Mustard Seed
* Fenugreek
* Turmeric Powder
* Black Pepper
* Curry Powder
* Bay Leaf
* Masala (Combination of spices)
* Salt
* Brown Sugar (Alternative to MSG. Don’t use white sugar as it is cancerous)
* Coconut, soya, palm or vegetable oil for cooking (Don’t use animal oil as it clogs your arteries)

HOW TO MAKE GLUTEN, YOUR SUBSTITUTE TO MEAT
Gluten is either made from soya or wheat and it is rich in protein.

* Ingredients: (1) First class flour (2) Water
*  Directions: Mix the flour and water. The amount of water is just enough for the flour to stick together to form a dough. Once the dough is formed, let it stay in water for 30 minutes. Rinse away the starch from the dough until the water is clear. Boil the dough until tender. Store inside the refrigerator’s chiller. You can store this for one week.

CHICHARON

Vegetarian Chicharon is made from sliced gluten that was not boiled. Just follow the directions in making gluten but skip the boiling part.
Slice the gluten into blocks and fry.

GLUTEN STEAK

* Ingredients: (1) Sliced gluten (2) Sliced half-boiled potatoes (3) Bay leaf (4) Brown suar.
* Directions: Put oil on heated pan. Put bay leaf in order to release its aroma. Put in gluten and fry until golden brown. Put potatoes, followed by brown sugar. Serve when tender.

SAMOSA/EMPANADA

* Ingredients for the filling: (1) Ground TVP (texturized vegetable protein) (2) Ground half-boiled potatoes (3) Ground carrots (4) Ground pepper (5) Fenugreek seeds (5) Salt (6) One teaspoon turmeric powder
* Directions for the filling: Put oil on a heated pan. Put Fenugreek seeds and then remove them. You just need them for the taste. Put TVP and sauté. Put turmeric powder, potatoes, carrots, ground pepper and salt. When the potatoes are already cooked, put brown sugar.

* Ingredients for the dough: (1) First class flour (2) Oil (3) Water.
Directions in dough making: Put the flour in the bowl. Put a little oil and water, just enough to keep the flour sticky. Mix and knead to form rounded flat shapes. Put the filling on top of the flattened dough. Roll and close. Seal the sides by folding the edges. Fry until golden brown.

SCRAMBLED TOFU

* Ingredients: (1) Crushed tofu (2) Tomatoes (3) Mustard seed (4) Turmeric powder (5 Black salt
* Directions: Put oil on heated pan. Sautee tomatoes, mustard seed and turmeric. Put black salt. This creates that “egg” taste.

Variations: You can put ampalaya or other ingredients for an omelette.

KANGKONG BALLS
   
* Ingredients: (1) Diced kangkong leaves and stem (2) All-purpose flour (3) Black pepper (4) Turmeric powder (5) Curry powder (6) Optional: Masala (7) Water
* Directions: Mix all ingredients. Adjust the water, just enough for the mixture to stick. Then form mixture into balls. Fry until brown.
You can use these balls for your spaghetti or with sweet and sour sauce.

Varieties: Malunggay (moringga), kamote, squash, potatoes and cauliflower are alternatives to kangkong

PAKORA

* Ingredients: (1) All-purpose flour (2) Mustard seed (3) Black pepper (4) Curry powder (5) Turmeric powder (6) Salt (7) Vegetables: Slice eggplant, sliced ‘puso ng saging’, cauliflower, among others.
* Directions: Mix all the ingredients except for the vegetables. Put water into the mixture for it to be sticky. Put the sliced vegetables into the mixture. When each slice is already coated with the mixture, fry.


WHY BECOME A VEGETARIAN?

The killing of animals violates karmic laws, creating collective and individual reactions in human society, according to Balarama Das of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKON).
He added, “mass animal-killing for food and fashion erodes mercy, reducing respect for all kinds of life, including human life. If the world switched to a non-meat diet, it could radically increase its food output and save millions of people from hunger, starvation and death. Massive animal slaughter is destroying the environment.”

Meat is derived from animals that were maltreated, suffered, and slaughtered. This is the reason why meat-eaters are aggressive, morose and prone to diseases. Vegetables protect the body from diseases. Meat-eating is connected to diseases like cancer, high blood, heart disease, liver problems, and obesity among others.

The grains that are fed to animals, can be fed to hungry humans instead. There is also less strain on the earth’s agricultural lands. About 20 vegetarians can be fed on the land that it takes to feed one meat eater.
Planting and cooking vegetables use less energy while producing meat products entails many processes and equipment that release harmful toxins to the environment.




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