Fusilli Pasta Grilled Chicken with White Mushroom Cream Sauce: @MeatfreeMonday

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While I wait to get my hands on more BeyondBeef, the beefy new product from the good folks at Beyond Meat, (so I can create my soon-to-be-award-winning BeyondBeef Stroganoff), ย I whipped up this recipe for tonight’s dinner.

Fusilli Pasta and Grilled Chicken with White Mushroom Cream Sauce.

It’s gluten-free and vegan, rich with flavor and PACKED with protein. I threw in some ingredients we had in the kitchen and it turned out delicious. Just how delicious? My 15-year-old daughter (who is not yet vegan) loves it … and that always makes a father proud.

Want to get started on your own Beyond Meat recipes? Start here and print out this buy one get one FREE coupon!

Go vegan.

 

10 Questions with Gene Baur

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TIME

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Your organization, Farm Sanctuary, is a farm in what sense?

Itโ€™s a farm in the sense that it has barns and pastures and fields. We grow hay for the animals, but itโ€™s primarily a sanctuary, a place where animals get to live out their lives.

Like a Florida for livestock?

Kind of, but most farm animals who are raised and slaughtered in the U.S. are killed when theyโ€™re a few weeks or months old. You know, the only native farm animal in North America is the turkey. Turkeys have been so profoundly altered that they cannot even reproduce naturally anymore. And they grow so fast and so large that their hearts and their legs have a hard time supporting them. For some, it would be better if they were not born.

Youโ€™re a vegan. Isnโ€™t it possible to eat eggs or wear wool without harming anything?

Whenever animals areโ€ฆ

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A Slice of Heaven: Gluten-free Vegan Pizza from Verde Pizza in Baltimore

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I’ve never reviewed a restaurant on my blog that isn’t vegan. Until now.

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Jen and I recently traveled to Baltimore for a conference and of course, any time you go to a new city you have to find the best vegan restaurants and try them out. Unfortunately, after a few failed attempts we discovered Baltimore isn’t as vegan-friendly as we’d hoped.

However, and this is a pretty big however, we did discover Verde Pizzaย onย South Montford Avenue and, while it’s far from vegan, our gluten-free, vegan lives will never be the same.

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We met a friend of Jen’s for lunch on her recommendation. I was disappointed that we weren’t going to a vegan restaurant but glancing over the menu online it seemed like there could be some nice options and they do advertise a “nearly gluten free” pizza.

We had no trouble findingย the corner restaurant, were promptly seated andย ordered one of their “nearly” gluten-free pizzas (theย Verdure Miste) with no cheese and what we got was quite simply the greatest gluten-free, vegan, wood-fired pizza we have everย tasted. The crust was out of this world and the freshness of the ingredients was incredible. It was one of those “are you sure this is gluten free?” moments since the crust was stretchy and crispy and delicious. Perfetto!

Now, they probably could sprinkle on some vegan cheese on any of these pies … but they better not. They are perfect just the way they are.ย Sono stato chiaro?

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And the atmosphere? When all my hard work finally pays off andย I have an extra million dollars and finally open that really nice vegan restaurant in Ithaca … I’m going to have the people of Verde come help with the decor (and I will consult with them on turning their place vegan). Verdeย รจย Bello!

They did such an incredible job of designing a beautiful, welcoming and upscale space with the perfect touches around every corner. Not convinced? Check out this photo of their bar area on their website. Nice, huh?

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The second time we were there (this time for dinner) we actually got to meet the owner, Edward. An Italian-American from Brooklyn. He spent a good 20 minutes telling us about the place and was full of questions about our diet. He really listened and you can tell he puts a ton of care into each item on the menu.

Why are their gluten-free pizzas “nearly” gluten-free? They prepare them with 100% gluten free flour (shipped directly from Italy) in a dedicated gluten-free prep area and use an independent gluten-free paddle to move them in and out of the oven … but their pizza shares the same 900 degree space as the regular pizzas. The crust cooks for about 90 seconds and comes out with tiny air holes and crispy edges. Jen, who has been gluten-free for over ten years, didn’t have a reaction so I am convinced that gluten “can be cooked off,” in spite of what we’ve been told.

From where we were seated, weย also got to watch each of our pizzas being handmade in the open kitchen and the dough that is formed is stretchy. Exactly what you would want a pizza dough to act like. I also am convincedย Edward is quite proud of his pizza maker … since it’s his son. Tutto in famiglia!

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If you live in Baltimore, go to Verde. If you plan to go to Baltimore, plan to go to Verde. If you know someone who lives in Baltimore, send them to Verde. If you’re driving anywhere within an hour of Baltimore … go out of your way to get to Verde. And tell them the Meaty Vegan sent you. Capish?

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Really … how good are their pizzas? Jen and I each ate one ourselves that night and we ordered another one to go. Fuhgeddaboudit!

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Oh yeah …ย go vegan.

Where Milk Comes From

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Pour yourself an ice cold glass and sit down while I tell you just where that delicious milk comes from.

You see, milk comes from a cow. But not any ordinary cow. This cow has to be lactating. And, as we all know, in order to be lactating, you have to have recently given birth.

Now kids, ask your parents if you’re allowed to read this next part.

In order to have given birth, this cow has to be pregnant. And, as we all know, the easiest way to impregnate a cow is to insert your arm far into the cowโ€™s rectum in order to position the uterus, and then force an instrument into the cow’s vagina to artificially inseminate her. The restraining apparatus used is commonly called a โ€œrape rack” and it’s not a very pleasant image. Drink up!

Once pregnant, the cow waits about the same amount of time as a female human to give birth but the big difference is that once the cow gives birth, her newborn calf is forcibly taken from her (this way you’re sure to get the milk you want for your bowl of Frosted Flakes). They’re great!

If the newborn is female, she will likely be raised to live the same life as her mother. If the newborn is male, well, that lucky little feller will be kept lucid in a small plastic box and killed within the first few months of his life for veal. Cheeses, that doesn’t sound too nice … does it?

Now that she’s rid of her pesky calf, this old girl is ready for a’milking! A farmer firmly grabs hold of the cow’s teats and rolls down his fingers and pulls on each nipple until milk begins to squirt out and fill his bucket. Or, in most cases, the cow is instead hooked up to a painful milking apparatus that automatically milks the cow for hours, leaving her bloodied and sore to the point where infection causes pus that is mixed with the milk and becomes a part of that decadent bowl of ice cream you’re about to enjoy.

Now, once the cow stops producing milk, the cycle is started over again until the cow reaches a point where she can no longer get pregnant and then she’s killed. How’s that for a milk shake? And, so …

That’s where milk comes from! Enjoy!

Go vegan.

If You Stop Selling Cigarettes in Drugstores, Shouldn’t You Stop Selling Meat?

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MarlboroRecently the Tobacco-free campaign where I live has been plastering the buses and the radio with the “duh” messaging about selling cigarettes in drugstores. Why would drugstores still sell cigarettes when they also sell the drugs and medications to both help quit as well as deal with the nasty side effects and diseases of smoking?

Why does my gym give away free pizza and bagels?

They have a captive consumer that completes the “circle of death.” Drug companies (and doctors) rely on sick people to survive. Healthy people contribute nothing to the global economy so let’s keep Americans ill.

CVS drugstores this year made the very smart decision, in spite of the fact they will lose billions in revenue, to stop selling cigarettes. The pressure from the public and the obvious disconnect in this messaging will eventually force other drugstores to follow suit and stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products. This is a very good move forward toward a healthier nation.

But when will the public, and these very same retailers, make the same connection with meat, eggs, and dairy?

The headline for an article that was heavily circulated this week reads: “Diets high in meat, eggs and dairy could be as harmful to health as smoking.” You can read the entire article here but the basic message is in the headline. Meat, eggs, and dairy cause cancer. When you see someone smoking, you imagine their lungs suffering. When you see someone drinking, you think about their liver deteriorating. But, how many people watch someone eating a burger or bacon and think to themselves: “hmm … he’s going to get cancer … probably shouldn’t eat that …”

It’s just not as obvious.

I’ve said it previous posts, I believe in my lifetime there will be warning labels on meat, eggs, and dairy. These foods are actually causing more cancer, and other horrible diseases, than smoking will ever cause, but, alas, you can still buy them at your local drugstore. Of course there is a solution for all of this …

Go vegan.

Manna Organics Tri-Color Organic Popcorn. Perfect for the Oscars or The Walking Dead

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IMG_5797I’ve been very lucky lately to have opportunities to try some really delicious products that may have stayed under my radar. One of these is Manna Organics Tri-Color Organic Popcorn. Perfect for that Oscars party (or … will you switch back and forth during The Walking Dead?)

When it comes to a good popcorn it all comes down to freshness and, in this case, the fact that it’s tri-color and organic. This popcorn tastes as good as it looks. Whether you toss it in nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor, drench it in vegan butter to be more decadent, or just sprinkle with a little sea salt …

How do you make perfect popcorn every time?

Start with Manna Organics Tr-Color Popcorn. In an oversize pot with a lid, add enough sesame oil to just cover the bottom of the pot and drop in three kernels.

Start on medium-high heat until the three kernels have popped. Your oil is now ready.

Pour in enough popcorn to cover the bottom of the pot and put a lid on it (ours has a glass lid which is VERY helpful when making popcorn). Keep a watchful eye on this as you lower the heat to medium as all the kernels begin to explode. Shake the pot every 30 seconds or so to make sure none stick and start to burn.

Once the popping has decreased to 2-3 per second, turn off the heat and move the pot to a cold burner. Let it finish as you give it a few more shakes.

Perfect popcorn!

My pic for Best Picture? 12 Years a Slave.