www.vegetarianyouth.com by 16-year-old vegan Chloe Falkenheim. She began writing the website content last February and released the website to the public in August.In an email interview, Falkenheim had this advice for kids going vegetarian:"Going vegetarian or vegan is one of the greatest things you can do for animals, the planet and yourself. If you think your parents won't let you go vegetarian or vegan, first learn as much as you can about vegetarian nutrition, vegetarian meal planning, and responses to common objections to vegetarianism before talking to your parents about changing your diet. You'll want to be as knowledgeable and confident as possible when talking to them."She further advises, "Stay positive even if they refuse to let you go vegetarian at first. Never give up, and eventually you will become vegetarian, I promise. Recognize and always remember that you are doing the right thing for the animals, the environment, and yourself, and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Be confident in your own skin. Also, if you are confident about your vegetarian diet, no one will make fun of you."Falkenheim said that she started her website because there were few resources available to young people about the issues they were facing when going vegetarian or vegan. She has written articles about talking to parents about vegetarianism and how to get enough nutrition on a plant-based diet.For parents, Falkenheim advises: "First and foremost, be proud, for you raised a very compassionate child! Take your child's vegetarianism or veganism seriously, for it is not a fad -- your child is changing their diet out of compassion. Next, everyone of all ages can get every single nutrient they need easily on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Also, vegetarian and vegan cooking is much easier than you think, and if your child is vegetarian, it's not difficult at all to make a vegetarian version of a meat-based meal so that you don't need to cook two separate meals. Your child will never be deprived for there are many delicious plant-based foods available to them."If you don't have a child who has declared their intention to become a vegetarian, you may have decided that eating less meat is a good idea for your family's health and to reduce your family's environmental impact. "Meatless Monday" may be something that your entire family can do as a new year's resolution."Meatless Monday" is an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays and in so doing, they improve their health and the health of the planet. The idea began during World War I when the U.S. Food Administration asked families to reduce consumption of key food staples to aid the war effort. The campaign returned during World War II when rationing helped to feed war-ravaged Europe. It was revived in 2003 as a public health awareness campaign. For recipes and information, go to www.meatlessmonday.com.Coconut Spinach ChickpeasThis Indian-inspired meal is the right temperature for spice lovers and haters -- you can adjust the seasonings to make it as hot or not-hot as you'd like. It is from "The Smart Girl's Guide to Going Vegetarian" by Rachel Meltzer Warren M.S., R.D.Makes 4 servings. 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced 1 teaspoon curry powder 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it) 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained 1 (1-pound) bag frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 cup canned light coconut milk 1/2 teaspoon saltHEAT the oil in a medium saucepan over medium flame. Saute the onion until translucent. Add the garlic, curry powder, and red pepper flakes, and sauté for 1 minute. MIX in the diced tomatoes and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until hot. Add the spinach, chickpeas, coconut milk, and salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook for about 10 minutes.SERVE with brown rice or another grain like quinoa. Red Lentil Rice Cakes with Cilantro PestoThis recipe is featured on www.meatlessmonday.com. ;;; It is a recipe from Chef Marti Wolfson of the Natural Gourmet Institute.Makes 16 small cakes.For the Red Lentil Rice Cakes: 11 cups water, divided 2 cups dried small red lentils 1 cup uncooked basmati rice 1/4 cup coconut oil, divided (plus more as needed) 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 small onion, finely diced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 1/2 cup panko or gluten free breadcrumbs 3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
alt and pepper to taste For the Cilantro Pesto: 1 large bunch cilantro 2-3 tablespoons walnuts 2-3 tablespoons miso paste 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 clove garlic 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 tablespoons olive oilFor the rice cakes:BRING 8 cups water, lentils and a generous pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain again. Place lentils in a large bowl.COMBINE remaining 3 cups of water, rice and generous pinch of salt in a pat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Cool 10 minutes. Add rice to lentils.HEAT 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Cool 10 minutes. Add to rice mixture along with the cilantro, breadcrumbs, egg whites and generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well. If the mixture is too wet add more breadcrumbs.WIPE skillet clean with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in skillet over medium heat. Shape 1/4 cup spoonful of the mixture at a time into flat round cakes and place into the pan. Cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned on each side. Carefully turn cakes over; cook 5 minutes on other side. Remove cakes from pan.REPEAT procedure adding more oil to the pan if it gets too dry. Serve with Cilantro Pesto.For the pesto:PULSE together in a food processor all of the ingredients except the oil. Drizzle in oil while blade is running until emulsified. Reach Judy E. Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1230.