Grilling, Fake Meats, Betty Crocker & Lucky Ducks

Happy Summer! I hope this email finds you enjoying the nice weather.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions about plant-based eating!

In this issue:

A. Summer Grilling Recipes
B. Some healthy & economical eating ideas!
C. Time Magazine article about “fake” chicken meat.
D. The Betty Crocker Project
E. Daphne & Josephine: 2 very lucky ducks

Upcoming presentations and tabling:
August 21st Clearwater Festival Asbury Park (tabling)


Have you thought of trying grilled vegetables as a healthy & economical alternative to grilled meats & fish? Remember, we change the molecular make up of food when we cook it & the longer and hotter we cook animal-based foods, the more HCAs (heterocyclic amines, agents known to cause cancer) are formed. Grilling vegetables also form HCAs but to a much lesser degree. Bonus: You are getting protein, calcium and fiber along with cancer-fighting plant nutrients in these recipes, so eat up!

Why not let people create their own vegetable kebobs (also called “kebabs”)? Offer skewers and an array of vegetables. Leafy greens or veggies high in water (like cucumbers) don’t grill well but most everything else can be grilled just fine.

Baste or spray on the marinade or oil for less fat and calories. For fat-free kebabs, forego marinade & oils and just use spices & fresh herbs like garlic, rosemary, basil, thyme, onion, or ground pepper. The vegetables will take on these flavors along with the grilled taste.

Basic Marinade: ¼ cup olive oil or flavored oil of your choice, a whole lemon or ¼ cup flavored vinegar of your choice, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon seasonings of choice, salt, pepper to taste. Optional: dash of hot sauce, liquid smoke

Easy Asian or Italian Grilled Vegetable Kabob: 1½ pounds zucchini, cut into 2" chunks, ½ pound baby Portobello or button mushrooms, one can pineapple chunks, drained, one pint whole cherry tomatoes, one bottle Teriyaki sauce or Italian vinaigrette

Wash vegetables, remove mushroom stems. Toss vegetables into teriyaki sauce or Italian vinaigrette. Chill for 5 hours. Thread vegetables along with pineapple chunks onto skewers. Place on grill over medium-hot heat. Turn and baste occasionally. Grill 10-20 minutes or until tender. Serve with a whole grain like brown or wild rice.

Mid-Eastern-style Veggie Kabob: 1 lb. eggplant, 1 lb. zucchini, 1 lb. plum tomatoes, juice from 2 lemons, 1 clove crushed garlic, ½ t. salt, 1 t. turmeric, 1 t. ground ginger, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 T. chili powder, 1 t. coriander, 2 T. grated onion. Slice eggplant & zucchini diagonally to make thick strips. Slash each tomato several times so the marinade can seep in. Stir together the lemon juice, spices & olive oil. Marinate the vegetables for several hours. Thread onto metal skewers & grill over medium heat till soft. Serve over whole grain rice or couscous or in a pita (pocket or flat) with tahini sauce (sesame seed sauce) drizzled on top with a lemon wedge.

Grilled Corn: Peel the husk down to the silk strands, remove strands, slather cob with Earth Balance Buttery Spread. Salt sparingly. Put husks back, tie with kitchen string. Soak cob in cold water for one hour. Put on medium hot grill wrapped in husk for 20-30 minutes, turning periodically. Remove husk & eat.

Grilled Onions: Grilling caramelizes the onions. Use a sweet onion and cut quarter-inch rings. Leave rings together and brush with marinade. Grill onions as a patty until the layers of the onion appear to pull away. Use some tin foil to hold onion pieces together and to keep from falling through the rack. Cooking time takes about 15 minutes.

Grilled Asparagus: Cut off ends, dip asparagus in boiling water until they take on bright green color, drain and cool in cold water then drain again. Marinate ½ hour in a zip lock bag with ½ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1T. seasoned vinegar, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 t. onion powder. Grill on grill topper to keep from falling thru rack. Grill on medium heat and turn as needed. When tips are brown, asparagus is done.

Grilled Peppers: Cut through the middle of the pepper top to bottom. Remove stems, seeds and whitish ribs. Brush lightly with oil and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Grilled Egglant: Cut lengthwise for smaller eggplants or into disks top to bottom for larger eggplants. Soak in water for 30 minutes. Pat dry, brush with oil and grill 2-3 minutes.

Grilled Garlic: Take whole bulbs and cut off the root end. Brush with olive oil and place cut side down over a hot fire. Grill garlic bulbs for about 10 minutes or until the skin is brown.

Grilled Mushrooms: Rinse off dirt and pat dry. Brush with oil and grill. 4-5 minutes for small mushrooms, 6-8 minutes large. Use a grill basket or topper for small mushrooms.

Grilled Portabello Mushrooms: Make a marinade with 1/3 cup medium-dry Sherry, 3 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar, 1 tablespoon minced Garlic, 1 tablespoon minced Shallot, 1 tablespoon Sugar, 1/2 cup Olive Oil, 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil, 3 tablespoons finely chopped mixed fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, thyme, sage and chives, 4 large Portobello Mushrooms, stems removed. Mix all ingredients in a large zip-lock bag. Seal and marinate at least 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms from the bag and let excess oil drip off. Place mushrooms, gill (or stemmed) side up, on a grill and cook 4-8 minutes per side or until golden brown. Slice and serve.

Grilled Tomato: To grill a tomato, start by cutting out the stem end and then cut the tomato in half. You can grill them whole but they tend to explode! Grill face down for two to three minutes then flip them over to finish off. It’s at this point that you can sprinkle on garlic, seasoning etc. If you want to make a salsa or sauce out of your tomatoes then you only need to grill them face down. Any part of the tomato that is going to be in contact with the grill needs to be lightly oiled. Brush a little olive oil over the surface of the tomato and it won’t stick. Most of this oil will be lost to the grill so you really are not adding much fat. Don’t use too much or you might get flare-ups which will ruin your tomatoes.

Grilled Potatoes: Wash thoroughly and dry. Rub with olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil and grill 35-40 minutes, turning occasionally.

Grilled Squash: Slice 1/2 inch thickness. Brush with oil/marinade and grill 2-3 minutes per side. Small squash can be cut down the middle and grilling in halves.

**Be sure to clean your grill thoroughly after it is cool. This ensures no oil remains to go rancid and be ingested in the next grilling session. Also, wildlife is often attracted to unwashed grills so it is best to keep the outside grill clean of all food residues.

These tips are offered at Food for Life presentations when speaking with social service personnel like family outreach counselors and behavioral health professionals. They want ways to encourage their clients to eat more healthy and economical (plant-based) foods. However we think that everyone can benefit from these suggestions.

1. Eat naturally colorful foods. “Eat all the colors of the rainbow.”
2. Choose brown breads, brown rices, brown/colorful pastas. Choose foods labeled “whole grain.”
3. Avoid fats that are solid at room temperature: butter, lard, Crisco, shortening
4. Use fats/oils that are liquid at room temperature like olive, corn, canola, peanut oils
5. Always store fats & oils in refrigerator.
6. “How to remove salt from canned foods.” It’s not by rinsing! If you don’t know how, email
7. If you have high blood pressure, try using spices & herbs instead of salt.
8. Leave the salt shaker OFF the table! Add rice to shaker so you sprinkle out less salt.
9. Many packaged, processed & prepared foods are high in salt, fat & sugar. It is better to cook from scratch so you can decide the ingredients. You can save money and your health.
10. If a label says this, it’s better NOT to buy or eat: Hydrogenated, High fructose corn syrup, (fructose or corn syrup) any dyes with a # sign; foods that contain “mystery” ingredients you don’t understand; fat, sugar or salt listed in the first few ingredients.
11. Steam vegetables instead of boiling them in water. If you do choose to boil, try using the leftover water in soups or drink it.
12. Sauté in water rather than in oil or wipe or spray pan with oil then lightly sauté.
13. If you want children to eat more fruits & vegetables, try serving them one alone cut up on a small, pretty plate as an appetizer. Eat it together. Then offer the rest of the meal once this food item has been consumed.
14. Dry beans & legumes are less expensive than canned & have little or no sodium. Nuts in shells are less expensive than shelled nuts.
15. Shop with the “Dirty Dozen” & “Clean Fifteen” list. Do you have the current one? If no, email
16. People with dental issues can still eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains & legumes: Serve food cooked mashed, blended or pureed. Encourage small bites. Offer juices (with no added sugar or high fructose corn syrup) & nut butters. For example: Cook, mash & season pinto beans & broccoli in mashed potatoes or rice with some olive oil, garlic powder & seasonings.
17. Buy in bulk; buy by the case; make a weekly meal plan.
18. Replace processed snack foods with healthier options: Try instead a handful of nuts, apple slices topped with peanut butter, freeze some juice as a Popsicle, overripe frozen bananas when thawed taste creamy like ice cream & air-popped popcorn are healthy alternatives.

Got a question about eating plant-based vegetarian foods? Contact or call: 732-446-6963 & our nurse director will be happy to help you.

“Fake” meat, cheese & fish foods can help satisfy people who want to eat a healthful & humane plant-based cuisine but miss the flavor of some animal-based products. Plant-based hotdogs, burgers, sausages, luncheon “meats”, non-dairy cheeses, ice creams and yogurts already exist & are available in the local supermarket or on line at sites like Sometimes it takes sampling of several items to find the brands that fit your palate.

A researcher in Missouri has found a way to manufacture a plant-based food product that is very much like chicken meat. You can read the article here:,9171,1993883-1,00.html

Did you see the movie “Julie & Julia” starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child? It was about a young woman who tries all of Child’s recipes in “The Joy of Cooking” in one year. Well, Annie & Dan Shannon are taking Betty Crocker’s iconic cookbook and making every recipe in it plant-based!

You can track their progress at

If you see white ducks at ponds please know that they are abandoned domestic Pekin ducks. These domestic birds, who can not fly, were once someone’s “Easter duckling” or the result of a “school hatching project.” Just like dogs and cats, these domestic birds require daily care, specific food (duck pellets NOT bread), safe shelter and our concern. Abandoned ducks & geese usually starve, freeze in the winter and are killed by predators, cars or cruel people. Please give stuffed toy ducks & geese to children at Easter & if your school system does school hatching projects, let us know so we can send them materials on alternatives.

These same ducks are used to make foie gras, a high cholesterol and disgusting “delicacy.” Ducks (& geese) are forcibly overfed so that their liver becomes engorged and fatty. They are then slaughtered & their deformed livers are made into foie gras, an artery-clogging paté often served in fancy restaurants. When the ducks are slaughtered, their soft down & feathers are used to make (down) jackets, comforters and feather pillows. So, buying down & feather products contributes to the suffering & death of innocent ducks & geese. There are plenty of man-made artificial fiber-filled jackets, comforters & pillows that are as warm, hypo-allergenic, machine-washable & less expensive than down but you need to read labels.

Next time you shop for winter clothing or bedding or consider eating foie gras, think of Daphne & Josephine pictured below. Daphne & Josephine were discovered at a pond where ducks are continually dumped only to be hit by cars or killed by other ducks. Luckily these two young girls couldn’t figure out how to get into the water over the rocks and they were easily rescued. They both have very distinct personalities. Daphne is more vocal and Josephine is more curious. Like most ducks, they enjoy music (these girls were partial to jazz) & being sung to.

Luckily Daphne & Josephine were placed at Majestic Water Fowl in Lebanon CT. Most dumped ducks are not so lucky.

CALL 732-446-6963 OR EMAIL TO BOOK FOOD FOR LIFE for nutritional/environmental/animal agriculture presentations, workshops, tastings, exhibits, tabling at events, fairs, clubs, libraries, schools and more.

Book our free nutrition workshop for children--Sprouts!

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