Food News: Vegetarian Awareness Month

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Celebrate October as Vegetarian Awareness Month by making more of your meals vegetarian. There are plenty of new products in the marketplace as well as some old favorites that can make meatless meal planning easy.

Breakfast
• Gardenburger® has just entered the breakfast sausage market. Per patty: 50 calories, 3.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 120 mg sodium. FMI: www.gardenburger.com
• Old favorite – Don’t forget that cooked oatmeal with skim milk and fresh fruit is always the best choice for breakfast because of its high fiber and nutrient content.

Lunch/Dinner Delights:
• Amy’s Kitchen® introduces four new hearty meals in a bowl: The Brown Rice & Vegetables is our pick since it contains plenty of vegetables and brown rice although we consider this to be rather high in sodium. Per bowl: 240 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 500 mg sodium and 5 g fiber. FMI: www.amys.com
• Morningstar Farms® Grillers™ are an excellent choice for a lower-sodium veggie burger. Per patty they contain: 140 calories, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, 260 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 15 g protein. Fast food chains and restaurants are responding with vegetarian burgers, too. Now a variety of grain, soy and vegetable burgers are available at Disney World, Subway, Blimpie, T.G.I. Friday’s, Hard Rock Cafe, Burger King as well as being test-marketed at specific McDonald’s stores. Be adventuresome and try something good for your health.
• Old favorites – Instead of using all of the meal kits, meal bowls and frozen dinners, why not use a medley of frozen vegetables for your own stirfry? Sauté them in a nonstick pan with a little oil and season them with light soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve over brown rice.
• Don’t forget about the basics for meatless meals when it comes to lunch and dinner: spaghetti with pasta sauce, baked potato, vegetarian chili and vegetarian soup. Read the label to be sure what you are choosing is low in saturated fat and sodium. And don’t forget to add a nice large tossed salad to your meals!

Soy Dessert:
• Not all soy foods are health foods or low in calories. Soy Dream® is a new soy ice cream that has less fat and calories than regular ice cream. Per 4 oz. serving, it contains 140 calories and 7 g fat. But you could choose Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Sorbet and only get 120 calories and 0 fat per serving. It pays to read the label. FMI: www.imaginefoods.com or www.haagendazs.com.
• Old favorites – Serve fresh fruit with a small amount of light nonfat yogurt for dessert. You will be getting plenty of calcium, fiber and nutrients and less sugar and calories.

Beverages:
• Silk® soymilk is now being sold in asceptic packages that won’t require refrigeration. This has been a popular soymilk because of its good flavor and because it is sold refrigerated in the dairy section so it is easy for consumers to find. FMI visit www.whitewave.com
• Silk® Coffee Creamer contains just 15 calories and 0 saturated fat per one tablespoon serving.
• White Wave’s Silk® Soylattes are now available in 2 flavors: coffee and spice. While it is the winner of the American Tasting Institute’s 2002 Gold Taste Award, it is not a low-calorie beverage. An 11-ounce serving packs 200 calories and 6 grams of fat. If you want a lower-calorie latte, add warm soymilk or skim milk to your coffee. FMI visit www.whitewave.com

New Ways to Say Cheese:
• Soy cheese is a better alternative to regular cheese. It contains far less fat and saturated fat, melts pretty well and now with these new additions, it tastes acceptable.
• Vegan Gourmet™ Cheese Alternatives taste, look and melt just like the dairy stuff, but with all the health benefits of monounsaturated fat and soy protein. The sodium is pretty low for a cheese – only 110 mg per 1-ounce serving. FMI visit www.imearthkind.com
• Yves Veggie Cuisine® introduces a new line…Good Shreds® available in two flavors: cheddar and mozzarella. Good sources of soy protein and calcium, but more than double the amount of sodium as the product above. FMI: www.yvesveggie.com.
By Vicki Adcock, RD, LD.

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