Guacamole! One Pan Mexican Quinoa, Life After Cream Cheese

The Gracious Vegan

Bridges to Plant-Based Eating

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Gracious Vegan Guacamole
Guide to Roasting Vegetables

News Bits

Chick-Fil-A Adds Healthy Side Salad
Next week, Chick-fil-A will be replacing their coleslaw with a Superfoods Side, a salad with kale, broccolini, roasted nuts, sour cherries, and a maple-vinaigrette dressing. There aren’t any healthy entrees at Chick-fil-A, so maybe ask for a super-sized Superfood Side (say that 10 times…).

Newk’s Eatery Adds Healthy Entrée Salad
"Newk's Eatery," a chain with locations in the South and Southeast, now offers a Kale-Red Quinoa Salad with dried cranberries, edamame, pecans, and apricot ginger dressing.

Accidentally Vegan Food of the Week

Yes, unless someone adds sour cream (which dulls the flavor), this food-of-the-gods is vegan. Guacamole is a fantastic alternative to cheese for Mexican dishes. Most store-made versions do not contain sour cream, but read the label. I find that if I add guacamole to burritos and tacos, I don’t miss the cheese. Link to the Gracious Vegan’s simple but perfect recipe for guacamole here.

Medical Research Highlights

Instead of Dieting, Add Beans and Lentils to Your Meals
Adding five cups a week of beans, lentils, split peas or other legumes to your diet each week appears to be as or more effective than decreasing your caloric intake by 500 calories a day for losing weight and regulating blood sugar levels. This is especially great news for people with or at risk for type 2 diabetes. And who wouldn’t rather add food than go on a diet? For more information, see this summary, which contains a link to the original study.
For recipes that pack a wallop of beans or lentils, see these recipes on
Meaty Beany Chili (despite the title, there’s no meat in this chili)
Black Bean Fajitas
Marisa’s Baked Beans
Easy Vegan Bean Burritos
Mashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich
Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
Fat Free Vegan Black Bean Soup
Spiced Vegan Lentil Soup
Greek Lentil Salad 

Bad for me? Why?

What’s Wrong With Organic Meats? They Still Contain Major Health Threats 
“Organic meats” have lower concentrations of certain contaminants and hormones, but the major risks related to chronic diseases are not diminished. The meats are still high in fat (especially saturated fat), cholesterol, and animal protein, which are the major offenders associated with higher risks of obesity, hypertension and the diseases they lead to: heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. For more information, read here

Recipe for the Week
One Pan Mexican Style Quinoa by Damn Delicious
This dish is not only quick, easy, and healthy (lots of protein), but it can make for a fun dinner with family and friends. Each person takes a helping of the main dish then chooses toppings from small bowls: avocado slices (or guacamole), salsa, chopped onions, jalapeno slices, extra tomatoes or bell peppers, lettuce, raw cabbage, and anything else you can think of. You could round out the meal with a green salad tossed with a lime- or cumin-based dressing. Ole! 

Coping Strategy for the Week

Life After Cream Cheese
If it’s hard for you to imagine giving up cream cheese, read this blog. Yes, cream cheese can seem indispensable, but it’s not very healthy. The blog links you to healthy and delicious alternatives.  



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