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Vegetarian Journal January 1994

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About this document:

These items were originally published in the January/February 1994 issue of the Vegetarian Journal, published by: The Vegetarian Resource Group
P.O. Box 1463, Dept. IN
Baltimore, MD 21203
(410) 366-VEGE

For questions or comments on this article, please contact Brad Scott at This article may be reproduced for non-commercial use intact or with credit given to The Vegetarian Resource Group. The contents of this article, as with all The Vegetarian Resource Group publications, is not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional.

Note from the coordinators:

Reaching Out to Doctors

This past November, The Vegetarian Resource Group had a booth at the American Heart Association's Annual Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia. Thirty thousand people attended this convention, including 13,000 doctors. There were several hundred booths displaying surgical equipment and/or pharmaceutical products. We were one of only a handful of booths promoting diet and prevention of heart disease.

A doctor described The Vegetarian Resource Group's exhibit this way: "Your small 10 foot by 10 foot booth is a warm spot amongst all the coldness in here." Indeed, we were extremely crowded during the four-day show. One cardiologist after another eagerly picked up our materials, requested handouts for their patients, and ordered books.

Why all the interest? Well, it seems that many doctors agree that Dr. Dean Ornish's lowfat, primarily vegan, approach to reversal of heart disease is scientifically sound. Unfortunately, many of these same physicians feel that it's too difficult for patients to follow a 10% lowfat vegetarian diet. It seems that unless society makes it easier for people to consume a lowfat vegetarian diet, patients will choose drugs and surgery over dietary changes. This is where readers of Vegetarian Journal can take an active, supportive role.

The Vegetarian Resource Group is releasing its new book called, Simple, Lowfat & Vegetarian, by Suzanne Havala, M.S., R.D. which contains lowfat vegan recipes by Mary Clifford, R.D. (See pages 30-31 in this issue of Vegetarian Journal.) This book shows you how to reduce fat in meals both at home and when eating out by following simple steps. In other words, readers are taught how to change their dietary patterns without completely giving up activities they enjoy such as dining in restaurants, going to the movies, traveling on cruise ships, trains, or planes, etc. This is the perfect book to give to local health professionals to use as a reference book for patients. It's also a perfect gift for someone you know that needs to change their diet.

For the past five years The Vegetarian Resource Group has had a huge impact on registered dietitians by exhibiting at The American Dietetic Association's annual meeting. It is now time to reach out to the medical establishment. With your support, The Vegetarian Resource Group hopes to exhibit at other conferences attended by doctors. Any donations are appreciated. They can be sent to The Vegetarian Resource Group, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler
Coordinators of The Vegetarian Resource Group

Simple, Lowfat & Vegetarian

New Book Published by The Vegetarian Resource Group

The Vegetarian Resource Group will be releasing its latest new title, Simple, Lowfat & Vegetarian -- Unbelievably Easy Ways to Reduce the Fat in Your Meals, in February, 1994. This new 368-page book, written by Suzanne Havala, M.S., R.D., with lowfat vegan recipes by Mary Clifford, R.D., and a foreword by Dean Ornish, M.D., will retail for $15. Vegetarian Journal readers are invited to take advantage of our pre-release offer of $12 per book (including postage). This offer is good through February 28, 1994. Send checks to VRG, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

Simple, Lowfat & Vegetarian shows you how easy it is to reduce the fat in meals eaten away from home, as well as while you're dining at home. Tips are given for reducing the fat content in meals consumed at salad bars, pizza parlors, Italian, fast food, Mexican, Natural Foods, Indian, and Chinese restaurants; in cafeterias, amusement parks, movie theaters, school and office cafeterias; as well as on planes, trains, and cruise ships.

At home, readers are supplied with weekly and monthly shopping lists suitable for lowfat menu planning. Quick and easy suggestions for lowfat meals are offered and 30 days of quick meals are provided. Finally, readers are given suggestions on how to reduce fat in their diets by changing habits, keeping a food diary, etc. A quiz is introduced in this book to allow readers to evaluate their own eating habits to determine where changes are needed. All this is followed by delicious lowfat vegan recipes for soups, entrees, side dishes, desserts, etc. All the recipes have a nutritional breakdown. Try dishes including Spinach Salad with Sherried Raisins, Ginger-Roasted Vegetables, Puffed Sweet Potatoes, Rosemary-Scented Polenta, Vegetable Stuffed Pizza, Dreamy Orange Tapioca, and more.

The following is excerpted from the chapter referring to cruise ships. Not only can you find vegetarian food on many cruise lines today, but by following these suggestions you can also enjoy lowfat vegetarian dining throughout your excursion.

Reducing Fat in Your Meals while Dining on a Cruise Ship

Cruise ships vary in the extent to which their menus accommodate travelers on lowfat diets. Some have menus which clearly differentiate the lowfat choices from all of the others. Some ships have separate vegetarian menus from which to order. Even those ships that do not obviously cater to people on special diets can usually accommodate special requests. Since most of the food is prepared to order, and since there is so much food on hand, it's not much of a problem for most people to get a menu item altered to suit their individual needs or to find an acceptable substitute. Also, cruise ships frequently serve meals buffet style, which in some ways can make it easier for many passengers to get what they want. On a buffet line, you can pick and choose items that look low in fat and piece together a great meal.

Here are some suggestions:

As always, check with your travel agent or the customer services representative for the cruise line you are con-sidering to ask for food service details. If you are really concerned about your meal options, or if you want to plan ahead, you may want to write to the cruise line and request sample menus and other meal information. Your travel agent may also be able to request this for you, or ask for it at the time you make your reserv-ations. The following information is what was avail-able from various cruise lines at the time of writing.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line:

Vegetarian lunch and dinner menus are being introduced aboard the nine-ship fleet. Currently, the Monarch of the Seas has separate vegetarian menus in place, and these will be gradually extended to the other ships. Meanwhile, menus on the other ships include meatless options, and several menu items are flagged as lowfat on each menu. The vegetarian options may include dairy and/or egg, but many can be modified, and there are many other items that are totally free of animal ingredients.

Sample vegetarian items found on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's meatless luncheon menus include melon cocktail, chilled strawberry bisque, fresh vegetables, vegetable soup, cauliflower garden salad, tropical fruit platter, sherbet, tortellini calabrese, Hawaiian croissant sandwiches, pie, and beverages.

Sample vegetarian dishes on their meatless dinner menus include spaghetti Alfredo style with julienne of fresh vegetables, grilled plum tomatoes, steamed broccoli, chilled cantaloupe soup, tempura fried broccoli and eggplant garnished with snow peas, and Oriental noodles served with a sweet and sour sauce, fresh fruit, and beverages. For further information call (800) 852-3268.

Carnival Cruise Line:

Two vegetarian options are noted on their dinner menus but not for breakfast or lunch. Special dietary requests must be made at least two weeks prior to departure. Travelers are also advised to talk to their waiter about special instructions for preparing menu items. Lowfat menu items are flagged on each menu.

Vegetarian selections included on their regular breakfast menu are juices, baked apples, dry cereal, pancakes, and French toast. Vegetarian items on their regular lunch menu include juice, cream of tomato and coconut soup, and a mixed green salad with dressing. No meatless entree option is listed -- items would have to be modified and vegetable side dishes ordered.

The vegetarian dinner menu on Carnival Cruise Line includes pear nectar, cream of asparagus soup, sliced cucumber and Belgium endive in lemon dressing, vegetable brochette on pilaf rice, vegetable accompan-iments, assorted cheese, Napoleon, and beverages. For information contact Carnival Cruise Lines at Carnival Place, 3655 NW 87 Avenue, Miami, Florida 33178.

Cunard Cruise Line:

No special menus are offered to vegetarians, but this cruise line can accommodate almost any special dietary request with at least thirty days' notice prior to depar-ture. The Golden Door Spa menu denotes items that are low in fat but not necessarily vegetarian.

Sample luncheon items include juice, spinach ravioli, fresh fruit salad, and fresh herb omelet. Sample dinner dishes include chilled apricot soup, Mexican omelet with crisp vegetables, sorbet, sautied mixed vegetables, leeks with mushrooms, and cucumber with yogurt and mint salad. For further information call (800) 223-0764.

Princess Cruise Lines:

There is no separate vegetarian menu; however, vegetarian options for lunch include fruit and vegetable juices, spring vegetables vinaigrette, chilled zucchini bisque, salad of red beans, chickpeas, and white beans on a bed of lettuce, white and green noodles with tomato sauce and basil, spinach omelet or vegetarian quesadilla with guacamole and pico de gallo sauce, banana bread, fresh fruit, etc.

Sample vegetarian items available during dinner include broiled grapefruit with rum and raisins, chilled banana and papaya soup, mushroom and barley soup, mixed green salad with dressing, vegetable pojarksy (breaded, mixed vegetable patty) with cheese sauce, spinach flan with cream sauce, assorted vegetables, fresh fruit, plus more. Call (800) 527-6200.

Celebrity Cruise Lines and Fantasy Cruises:

There is a vegetarian menu, which changes daily. Sample entrees include vegetable strudel, vegetables tempura, vegetarian casserole in puff pastry with cheese sauce, and pasta with vegetables. For further information call (800) 437-6111.

Cruise ships are notorious for offering abundant meal service nearly round-the-clock. Vegetarians should have little trouble finding delicious, lowfat options. The only problem may be resisting all the high fat offerings. Even when a vegetarian menu is available, some modifications may be needed to suit your needs.

Don't forget to take advantage of our special pre-release price of $12 per copy of Simple, Lowfat & Vegetarian. Offer valid through February 28, 1994.

Notes from the Scientific Department

Eating During Pregnancy

A new guide to eating while pregnant is available. Written by Bridget Swinney, M.S., R.D., the book is titled, Eating Expectantly -- The Essential Eating Guide and Cookbook for Pregnancy (Fall River Press, Colorado Springs, CO, 1993). This book is not vegetarian per se, but it contains a good chapter on vegetarian diets during pregnancy.

Americans Still Like Their Fat

While nutritionists debate whether it is better to reduce dietary fat to 10%, 20%, or 30% of calories, Americans appear to have disregarded advice to reduce fat. As a group we are eating the same high-fat diets we were eating in the mid-2011s. Information from Boston University's Framingham Study (summarized in Nation's Health, October, 1993) shows that total fat consumption for men and women averages 38% of total calories. High fat diets have been linked to a number of chronic diseases. Among males, saturated fat intake actually rose from 16.4 percent of calories in 1957-2011 to 17 percent in 1984-2011. Many groups recommend that saturated fat provide less than 10% of calories. On a more cheerful note, cholesterol intake has dropped from 704 to 376 milligrams per day in men and from 493 to 259 milligrams per day in women. Intakes below 300 milligrams are recom-mended by many health organizations. -- Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D.

The Vegetarian Resource Group exhibited at The American Dietetic Association Annual Meeting and The American Heart Association Conference during the fall of 1993. Thank you to all our readers who donated money towards these two events. With your support we reached out to 12,000 dietitians and 30,000 attendees (including 13,000 doctors) at the American Heart Association conference.

Scientific Updates

A Review of Recent Scientific Papers Related to Vegetarianism
By Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D.

Calcium Supplements can Contain Lead

About 10 years ago, the Food and Drug Admin-istration cautioned that calcium supplements, mainly those produced from bonemeal and dolomite, can contain excess lead. Lead is a toxic metal that can damage the nervous system. Canadian researchers recently measured lead in 70 brands of dietary calcium supplements.

While the study did not report brand names, it did show that calcium supplements from bonemeal and dolomite still had much higher lead contents than did the amount of cow's milk which would provide the same amount of calcium. Some brands of calcium carbonate from "natural sources" (from fossilized oyster shells) also contained excessive lead. Generally calcium carbonate produced in a laboratory (often referred to as refined) and calcium bound to various chelates (calcium gluconate, calcium lactate) did not contain excessive lead.

Calcium supplements are not needed by most Americans since food can provide all the calcium we need. However, for those who do need to use calcium supplements, calcium from dolomite, bonemeal, and many "natural source" calcium products should be avoided because of their lead content.

For further information see: Bourgoin BP, Evans DR, Cornett JR, Lingard SM, Quattrone AJ. Lead content in 70 brands of dietary calcium supplements. Am J Public Health 83:1155-2011, 1993.

Wild Flours

Cooking with non-wheat flours

By Mary Clifford, R.D.

You might think that baking without wheat would make for a pretty limited diet. If so, you'd be wrong. "No wheat" doesn't mean no bread, no cake, no pasta, no goodies. Buckwheat, spelt, rice flour, oat flour, and many more wheat alternatives can add different flavors and textures to familiar foods.

How to use other Flours

Traditional baked goods containing wheat makes elastic dough, with spongy, tender, high yields. For those with wheat or gluten allergies, eliminating these flours can be tricky, and often leads to products with a different texture than you may be using.

Are there any hard and fast rules for substituting for wheat? Not really. There are a number of cookbooks on the market that deal with using flours other than wheat, but it seems that they all offer a different formula for substitution. It also depends on whether you're using flour to bread, thicken, or bake.

Perhaps the best point to keep in mind is that most non-wheat flours do not substitute cup for cup for wheat flour. It's also a good idea to work with combinations of flours, since the flavor of one might be acceptable, but result in a too-crumbly or too-dense product by itself. The best way to come up with wheat-free dishes you enjoy is to experiment. Start with the following wheat-free recipes, and look to the "For More Information" box for books and names of organizations that can provide additional assistance.

Guide to Non-Wheat Flours

For More Information on flours

(Note: These organizations and books are not necessarily vegetarian and the information offered may require further modification to be vegetarian.)


American Celiac Society
45 Gifford Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07304

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
1717 Massachusetts Avenue
Suite 305
Washington, DC 20036

Food Allergy Network
4744 Holly Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22030

Gluten Intolerance Group
PO Box 23053
Seattle, WA 98102-0353


The Allergic Gourmet, by June Roth, MS (Contemporary Books Inc., Chicago, 1983).
Wheatless Cooking, by Lynette Coffey (Ten Speed Press, California, 1984).
The Allergy Cookie Jar, by Carol Rudoff (Prologue Publications, California, 1985).
Wheat-free, Milk-free, Egg-free Cooking, by Rita Greet (Thorsons Publishers Inc., New York, 1983).
Allergy Kitchen 3, The Allergy Oven, by Carol Rudoff (Allergy Publications Inc., California, 1988).
The Egg-free, Milk-free, Wheat-free Cookbook, by Becky Hamrick and S.L. Wiesenfeld, MD (Harper & Row, New York, 1982).



(Makes 1 dozen)

A melt-in-your mouth texture will make these a favorite breakfast treat. Experiment with adding basil, dried onion, and oregano for herbed biscuits, or raisins, finely chopped nuts, and orange juice (instead of soy milk) for a sweet version.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet. In large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. With pastry cutter or two knives, cut in margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Stir in soy milk until a soft dough forms and mixture pulls away from sides of bowl; do not overmix.

Turn dough out onto generously floured board. Knead gently (about 10 times). Pat dough out to between 1/4- and 1/2-inch thick. Cut with 2-1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Re-roll and cut scraps until remaining dough is used. Place on baking sheet and brush with melted margarine.

Bake biscuits about 10 minutes or until very lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Total Calories Per Biscuit: 97
Fat: 4 grams

Spoon Cake

(Serves 6)

Although this comforting, old-fashioned cake is just as good served warm or at room temperature, there's something irresistible about freshly baked, still-hot-from-the-oven desserts.

In small saucepan, combine dried fruit, apple juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 15 minutes, or until mixture is reduced by about half, and is thick and syrupy.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in margarine until well combined. Stir in soy milk until soft batter forms.

Pour fruit mixture into greased baking dish. Pour batter over fruit. Bake about 15 minutes or until knife inserted in cake portion only comes out clean.

Total Calories Per Serving: 266
Fat: 3 grams

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

(Serves 8)

This dense, moist cake is simple to make but looks festive enough for a special occasion.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch round baking pan. Melt margarine in bottom of pan. Sprinkle with sugar. Place pineapple slices in pan. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine flours, salt, and baking powder. Stir in flour mixture and apple juice alternately, until mixture is well combined. Pour over pineapple slices.

Bake cake about 20 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Run spatula around edge of pan to loosen cake and invert onto serving platter. Serve warm or cool. Garnish with crushed pineapple or applesauce.

Total Calories Per Serving: 208
Fat: 7 grams

Spelt Bread

(Makes 1 pound loaf -- Serves 8)

Many people are hesitant to make their own bread, thinking that it's far too complex and fussy to bother with. But really, homemade bread is one of the simpler things to learn how to make. If you've only done it with an automatic bread machine, try this simple loaf as your first introduction to baking.

In large bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir in soy milk and 1 Tablespoon melted margarine until dough forms. Turn dough out onto floured board and knead about 3 minutes or until smooth.

Grease mixing bowl and place dough in bowl, turning to coat lightly. Cover and place in warm spot away from drafts. Let rise about 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place dough on greased baking sheet, or, if desired, bake in greased 8- x 4-inch loaf pan. Brush with remaining tablespoon of melted margarine and bake about 25 minutes or until golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped on top.

Total Calories Per Serving: 149
Fat: 4 grams

Multi-Grain Cornbread

(Serves 5)

Cornbread is an all-time favorite, and there are lots of variations. Try adding chili powder, herbs, or 1/2 cup corn to this recipe for an easy change of pace.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8-inch round or square baking pan.

In large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, and salt. Stir in soy milk and oil until a soft batter forms.

Pour batter into greased pan and bake about 20 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Total Calories Per Serving: 346
Fat: 8 grams

Potato Pancakes

(Serves 4)

These are similar to a Polish dish called kluski, which are like dumplings. Make them into large pancakes, as called for here, or silver-dollar sized pancakes to serve as appetizers.

In medium bowl, stir together all ingredients except margarine. Dough will be soft and sticky.

Melt margarine in non-stick saucepan over medium heat. With floured hands, form dough into four large pancakes. Fry, turning occasionally, until golden. Serve immediately.

Total Calories Per Serving: 130
Fat: 3 grams

Garbanzo Gravy

(Makes 2 cups)

The distinctive taste of garbanzos (chickpeas) makes a toothsome change of pace when you turn it into gravy for rice, mashed potatoes, or casseroles.

In 2-quart saucepan, combine all ingred-ients except broth and steak sauce. Toast over medium heat, stirring, about 2 minutes.

Gradually whisk broth and steak sauce or Worcestershire into flour mixture. Cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened. Serve immediately.

Total Calories Per 2 Tablespoons Serving: 35
Fat: <1 gram

Mary Clifford, R.D., is a dietitian in Virginia and a nutrition advisor for The Vegetarian Resource Group.

About the Vegetarian Resource Group:

The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on vegetarianism and the interrelated issues of health, nutrition, ecology, ethics, and world hunger. In addition to publishing the Vegetarian Journal, VRG produces and sells cookbooks, other books, pamphlets, and article reprints.

For more information, send a stamped self-addressed envelope to VRG at the above address. Subscriptions to the Vegetarian Journal are $20 per year. All contributions above the $20 subscription are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Contributions help VRG promote vegetarianism.

Brad Scott /
The Vegetarian Resource Group / Vegetarian Journal
PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203
(410) 366-VEGE

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