Vegetarian Means Vegan, Right?

Actually vegetarians tend to differ from what Vegans consider themselves to be. The exact reasons for why, evade me at the moment.

I eat plenty of vegetables but also enjoy eggs so I think this means I may be a vegetarian but I am not a vegan because eggs are not on their menu. I need to watch my calories and weight.

Veganism, if I may, seems to be more like a religion than just a healthy eating regime. I think the term is applied to not only eggs but even to wearing things that may have once been alive, like leather.

I have no feelings on this one way or another and think our life choices are just that, our life choices.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

6 Pantry Staples With Surprising Uses

By Matthew Kaplan

Every kitchen pantry is stocked full of items that do not go bad that we buy for those rare occasions when we need them in a recipe. For most people, the cupboards full of canned goods, non-perishable items and other food stuffs, and those food stuffs are mostly unused. Don't let your pantry go to waste. Pantry staples are tasty and cheap and don't deserve to stand idle in culinary purgatory. Pantry staples can have some unique cooking applications. Follow these tips to learn how to add interesting touches to your meals with everyday pantry staples.

Peanut Butter: In almost every cupboard sits a half-eaten jar of peanut butter. The pantry staple is rich, creamy and tasty, but most people only use peanut butter for sandwiches and occasionally dessert. The creamy richness of peanut butter is great in savory applications too. Add peanut butter to your next stir fry to give it a Thai-inspired flavor. Use peanut butter as the base to a peanut sauce, which goes perfectly with pasta and vegetables.

Soy Sauce: Almost every East Asian dish calls for soy sauce. Soy sauce adds a nutty, salty taste to any dish, but most people only cook with soy sauce when cooking an Asian-style dish. However, soy sauce is a versatile ingredient that can work well in many recipes. Experiment and use soy sauce instead of salt in your favorite recipes to add some depth to the dish. In particular, soy sauce tastes great in barbecue sauces.

Almonds: As with most other nuts, most people only get almonds to snack on or for a dessert recipe. Almonds can be ground up into almond flour, a protein-rich and gluten-free alternative to regular flour. You can also blend up almonds with water to create almond milk, a delicious beverage that is a fantastic alternative to regular milk.

Bisquick: Originally intended for biscuits, many people now use Bisquick as the base to make pancakes at home. Bisquick has a wide variety of uses outside of just pancakes and biscuits. Use Bisquick as part of the dry base ingredients for a host of desserts, from cakes and pies to muffins and tarts. It also works great in casseroles too.

Cashews: As is the case with almonds and other nuts, cashews have a wide array of uses, but most only use them in the occasional dessert. Besides being a delicious out-of-hand snack, cashews add a nice crunchiness to vegetable dishes like a stir fry, a pasta dish or a casserole. Additionally, you can blend cashews in a food processor to create cashew butter, a spread similar to peanut butter.

Cocoa Powder: This rich powder only gets used in most kitchens to add a bit of chocolate flavor to the occasional dessert. Do not let the chocolate flavor cocoa powder provides to go to waste. Use it as part of a homemade hot chocolate mix. Cocoa powder works particularly well in spicy applications, lending a sweet bitter note to a spicy recipe. Use cocoa powder to make an authentic Mexican mole sauce or add it to your favorite chili recipe.

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