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March, 2013

Blackeyed Peas and Mushrooms (Lobhia Aur Khumbi)
By Cheryl Forberg

There are nearly as many reasons — moral, economic, taste, and health, to name a few — people become vegetarians as there are people making that choice.

VeggiesMost of us realize that we could all probably eat a little less meat.

The benefits of taking this route are many:

Conservation of Fossil fuel. - by replacing animal foods with plant foods, we can help conserve many non-renewable sources of energy.

Decreasing your intake of unhealthy fats - Animal foods are generally higher in fat than most plant foods, particularly saturated fats – they also contain cholesterol while plants do not.

Losing weight – many studies indicate that vegetarians tend to be leaner than carnivores

There are nearly as many reasons — moral, economic, taste, and health, to name a few — people become vegetarians as there are people making that choice. And there are so many satisfying and scrumptious vegetarian dishes that can easily be a larger part of all our diets. eating a vegetarian diet is no longer seen as uncommon in the food world. Restaurants that feature vegetarian dishes on their menus are growing more common, and meat-free products are found on grocer’s shelves everywhere.

The kinds of vegetarians with whom most people are familiar are eitherLegumes

-vegans (those who consume or use no animal products at all)

-more flexible vegetarians (those who forego meat but who consume dairy and sometimes eggs).

-total vegetarians (who eat only plant foods but no animal foods or food produced by animals, like honey),

-lacto-vegetarians (who include dairy products in their plant-based diet)

-lacto-ovo-vegetarians (who include dairy products and eggs)

Many people adhere to a basically vegetarian diet but occasionally eat some sort of meat. Also consider the other forms of diets, such as the raw food diet (in which people don’t cook or heat their food), that overlap with vegetarian diets.

GrainsYou can follow a healthy, well-balanced diet consuming only plant-based foods. By eating the right kinds of other foods — legumes, grains, and seeds, to get nutrients and proteins; greens, to get iron; and so on — you can make up for the nutrients you lack by not eating meat.

Here is one of my favorite vegetarian recipes.

Blackeyed Peas and Mushrooms (Lobhia Aur Khumbi)

Yield: ~ 10 cups

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Grapeseed Oil, divided
2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
6 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
2 cups Yellow Onions, chopped
Blackeyed Peas and Mushrooms (Lobhia Aur Khumbi) 1 15 ounce can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder
1 Tablepsoon Cumin Powder
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Hot Chile Peppe, or to taste
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Turmeric
2 pound packet Frozen Blackeyed Peas or 4 pounds Fresh Blackeyed Peas, shelled* (about 5½ cups)
¾ cup – 2 cups water or broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 pound Shiitake Mushrooms, stems removed, sliced into ¼ inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
¼ cup loosely packed chopped Cilantro
*Weigh before shelling.

In a 6- to 8-quart saucepot, heat 1 tablespoon oil. When hot, add cumin seeds. When seeds pop, add garlic and stir-fry for 10 to 15 seconds. Add onions and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes over high heat, or until onions become soft and translucent. Add tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add all the spices (except Garam Masala) and salt, stir and cook another 5 minutes.

Add black-eyed peas and water, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer over medium heat for about 40 to 50 minutes, or until the peas are tender.

In a non stick sauté pan, heat remaining oil. When hot, add sliced mushrooms and sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add sautéed mushrooms to the black-eyed peas. Add Garam Masala and chopped cilantro, and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes.

Nutritional information (per 1 cup serving):

Calories 210
Fat calories 45
Total fat grams; 4
Sat fat grams, 0
Cholesterol mg 0
Sodium mg 360
Total carbohydrates g 34
Fiber g 8
Sugars g 4
Protein g 11
Calcium % 6
Iron % 20
Vitamin C 15%
Vitamin A 6%