How it All Pegan

The latest passenger on the crazy train of diets is the pegan diet, a mixture of primitive caveman (paleo) and compassionate (vegan) eating plans.

Meet the Pegan Diet: The Better-for-You Child of Paleo and Vegan on Yahoo

As with any trend, there are those who are with the program and those who aren’t. Regardless, most will agree that an emphasis on more vegetable and less grain consumption, a characteristic of the pegan diet, is recommended for healthy eating. Alright alright, I’ll play along too. I love my grains but can always use more vegetables in my diet. Here are some tips for substituting the former with the latter:

  • Raw cauliflower pulsed in a blender and used in place of rice in a stir-fry and/or as the base for pizza crust
    Vegan Cauliflower Pizza Crust
    Cauliflower Pizza Crust
  • Thinly sliced zucchini in place of lasagne noodles
  • Spaghetti squash instead of pasta and served with veggie balls
    Spaghetti Squash with Marinara
  • Portobello mushroom as the burger and the bun. Top with low/no sugar condiments and more vegetables

Food Fight

It’s Tomatina time, that famous of food fights involving the tomato. This ‘festival’ has been around for 70 years and takes place in the town of Bunol near the Valencia region in Spain. Its inauspicious beginnings apparently involved a parade, some youth and a rage-inciting incident expressed through the throwing of some local produce.

Now it’s a ‘thing‘ and people travel here from all over the world just for the opportunity to pelt each other with a truckload of tomatoes. Believe it or not, there are even guidelines on when and for how long you can do so.

The festival takes place the last Wednesday of August and there is now an admission fee to participate. Town officials say this is to limit the number of participants for safety reasons.

Google Search on La Tomatina

But I say “why waste good tomatoes?” Would a developing nation hold a food fight festival with the little food they have to feed their population? Highly unlikely. Such is the whimsy of privilege and abundance.

Tomatoes don’t even originate in this part of the world. They were expropriated from Mexico by Spanish explorers of the time and are now found throughout the world. What would Italian pizza or Spanish paella be without tomato?

Chicken or egg?
To-may-to or to-ma-to?

Tomato is botanically a fruit but used and consumed as a vegetable. It belongs to the nightshade family of plants Solanaceae which also includes eggplant, potato and bell peppers. Besides being the centre of a dish and accompanying countless others, the tomato also has health benefits. It is most famous for its naturally occurring  anti cancer chemical, lycopene. This antioxidant is best obtained when the tomato is cooked.

The World’s Healthiest Foods – Tomato

Tomatoes also contain vitamin C, beta carotene (vegetable source precursor to vitamin A), manganese, vitamin E and numerous other phytonutrients. It is also linked to heart health and bone health. Check out the web and virtually every cookbook known to humankind for any number of recipes involving tomatoes.

Photo by Kimberley (c)2015
Photo by Kimberley (c)2015
Photo by Kimberley (c)2015
Photo by Kimberley (c)2015

 

Meatless Monday – Summer BBQ Condiments

 

 

 

 

 

Meatless Monday – Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

One Last Chance!

Apparently May is Celiac’s Awareness Month and had I been on the ball, I would have recognized this and had more gluten-free offerings this month. However, it is not to late to post something so here goes:

Celiacs of the World – Travel! on Weal World Travel

Gluten-free posts on Weal Food

Celiac Awareness Month

Celiac Disease Foundation