Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PCRM Vegan Recipe of the Week: Pumpkin Spice Vegan Muffins

PCRM Recipe of the Week

October 27, 2010

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins

These moist and delicious fat-free muffins are great for breakfast or afternoon snack.



Makes 10 muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 15-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin pur�e
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup raisins
vegetable oil spray

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.

Add pumpkin pur�e, water, and raisins. Stir until just mixed.

Spoon batter into vegetable oil sprayed muffin cups, filling to just below tops.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until tops of muffins bounce back when pressed lightly. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes in pan. Remove muffins from pan and cool on a rack. Store cooled muffins in an airtight container.

Nutrition Information

Per muffin:

Calories: 158
Fat: 0.6 g
Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
Calories from Fat: 3.6%
Cholesterol: 0 mg

Protein: 4 g
Carbohydrates: 37.1 g
Sugar: 15.8 g
Fiber: 4.5 g

Sodium: 331 mg
Calcium: 106 mg
Iron: 1.9 mg
Vitamin C: 2 mg
Beta-Carotene: 2952 mcg
Vitamin E: 0.7 mg

Recipe from Healthy Eating for Life for Children by Amy Lanou, Ph.D.; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

Please feel free to tailor PCRM recipes to suit your
individual dietary needs.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Vegan Halloween Round-Up!

Vegan Halloween Round-Up!
Healthy. Happy. Life.

Spooky, scary, creepy, crawly fun is all around us because it's (VEGAN) Halloween Week!

So gather up your closest ghouls, goblins, ghosts, zombies, skeletons, witches, black cats, pirates and vampires and get prepared for a Halloween Weekend of fun frightsand fantastic vegan treats!

Here is my Vegan Halloween Round-up of some fun vegan recipes, vegan treats (from gourmet goodies like the Cocoa V chocolates shown above to Drug Store stand-by's like Swedish Fish!) and resources to make your Halloween vegan-tastic..

Treats! You can't have a happy (vegan) Halloween without a few vegan treats. And that includes both treats to hand out at your door, and treats for an at-home Halloween party as well.

Vegan Blog Halloween Treats Bonanza..
Here are a few Halloween Treats cooking up on the vegan blogs..

Devils Food Cake Halloween Cupcakes by MeetTheShannons

Homemade Candy Corn lemon-flavored by VegSpinz

Festive Halloween Maple-Glazed Doughnuts by VeganGoodThings

Asparagus Skeletons in Puff Pastry
by VegSpinz

Halloween Gingerbread Cookies by The Mommy Bowl

Fried Wonton Ghost by VegSpinz

Pumpkin S'mores Cupcake (with ghost face) by NewVeganing

Ghoulish Green Cupcakes with Purple Frosting (no artificial food dyes!) byBittersweetBlog

Instant Vegan Candy chocolate-coated by BittersweetBlog

Ghastly Tortilla Chips and Ghoul-ca-mole by ManifestVegan

Jack-o-Lantern Halloween Biscuits by WeeklyVeganMenu

A few festive fall bevies..

Almond Chai Latte by MeetTheShannons

Scary Cherry Fizz Punch by (moi) Lunchboxbunch

Fall Mocha with Whip! by Lunchboxbunch

..All the above finds were founds on #Halloween - (Finding Vegan is my new site that launched a few months back)

Trick-or-Treating Candy

Check out VegNews Guide to Halloween Candy to discover which mainstream brands are indeed vegan. That includes sweets like Pez, Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids - all vegan. Yes!

VegNews also has a nifty Halloween Craft Guide up this year.

PetaKids Guide to Candy
is also a great resource - it contains both vegan candy and vegan snack ideas (who knew Nabisco Gingersnaps, Nutter Butter Bites and Triscuits were vegan?) - this page also lists a few helpful ingredient definitions.

Ecorazzi also has a Top Ten vegan Halloween Candy List (with commentary).

And a SheKnows list of fave vegan Halloween candy. Twizzlers stuck out to me on this one!

Ready to Start Shopping for some vegan Candy??

Check out the Natural Candy Store's supply of yummy, cute, spooky Halloween candy. Those ghost and bat lollipops are adorable. And the vegan peanut butter cups - yum!

Another vegan peanut butter cup I love: Gone Pie Bakery in NYC. (mail-order available!)

Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe with a Halloween Candy 'store' has a few fab treats like marshmallow ghosts!

Also check out Vegan Essentials Vegan Candy for sale online.

GoMaxFoods Vegan Candy Bars are pretty darn awesome. I love the Mahalo Choco-Coconut flavor.

Craving a few Gourmet Treats?

Check out Blossom Restaurant's vegan chocolate-themed cafe/bar: Cocoa V for seasonal Halloween treats and festive goodies like ghost lollipops, orange-frosted cupcakes and more. In NYC.

The Cocoa V truffles and chocolates are fantastic. Some of the treats I picked up last time I was there...

Cocoa V PB Chocolate:

Cocoa V Caramel Chocolate:

Cocoa V Halloween Cupcakes:

Check out OneLuckyDuck's Halloween Macaroons! Orange and black colored. Raw. Vegan.

Vegan Bakery in both LA and NYC also has a wide range of festive vegan treats.

Or try a vegan cinnamon roll with Pumpkin Spice frosting from Cinnaholic. In Berkeley, CA.

Not into edible treats?..
Try Stickers! This article has a great idea to hand out stickers instead of candy. Because really, what kid doesn't love stickers??

Peta has some cute vegan stickers if you want to spread a message.

Or you can find a huge variety of stickers (Halloween Themed!) at Oriental Trading orZazzle. Here's my Ghosty Tomato Trick-or-Treat Sticker.

More Vegan Halloween Fun from the Web:

These spooky skeleton hand Vegan Halloween Cupcakes are amazing! Made by MegaTom via Etsy.

has a fabulous Vegan Halloween Guide with a recipe for Vegan Peanut Butter Cups!

Cute and Delicious's vegan Ghost Cookies are just that: cute and delicious-looking!

A Vegan Halloween Party Menu from VegParadise

SpookyVegan's blog is a great site to find Vegan Halloween Sugar Cookiesdecorated as tombstones, scary pumpkins and more. Lots of spooky fun on her site.

And the NoTrickTreats website is genius! Find homes in your neighborhood that are giving out candy that fits your child's needs! Vegan, organic, kosher, raw and more! You can even add your home's goodies to the growing database.

Epicurvegan has a great list of Vegan Halloween Recipes!

Lots of creepy, gross, spooky Vegan Halloween Party Food ideas at Very Vegan Holiday's blog.

Here are a few vegan Halloween EVENTS!

NYC - 10/29 If you are craving a vegan Halloween Party and live in/near NYC I'd check out Veggie Conquest's Halloween Bash! Tickets on sale now. Candy-making contest, vegan goodies, music, fun and party emcee Michael Parrish Dudell (of, and Live a Dam). The VC folks throw great events!

Berkley, CA - 10/30 Go Vegan Week's Costume Party.

Need a Trick-or-Treat Bag? Try these designed by me:

"Trick or (VEGAN) Treat" Halloween Bag

Halloween Lunchbox Bunch Bags

And lastly costumes! For veg*n's who like to dress-up like their food...
Have a safe and Happy Vegan Halloween!!

*if you want your link featured on this page - all you have to do is email me! Or post link in the comments section.

Cocoa V Ghost Pop:

5th annual World Vegan Week

World Vegan Week

This week is the 5th annual World Vegan Week, a campaign started by In Defense of Animals. For the next several days you can eat like Lea Michele and Alicia Silverstone, even if you aren't equipped to cook that way. Local restaurants Drew's Eatery, New York Deli, Clark St Dog and Ian's Pizza have teamed with Mercy for Animals, and are offering special vegan menu items for the week.

I'm not sure I believe that one GROUP can CALL a 'vegan week', but if LOCALS observe it, great. I think it's like claiming that Noah had a local flood story.

Isn't it SUPPOSED to be global - all or nothing?

Brock University (Canada) in the running for most vegan-friendly university

Vegan Cooking
Brock University (Canada) is in the running for most vegan-friendly university - News
One of MY classmates (another philosophy major) attended graduate school at Brock.

The 2009 H1N1 Flu Pandemic

After the pandemic
Thu, 28 Oct 2010 00:01:00 -0500

The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic is gone but far from forgotten. Researchers say close to 60 percent of Americans are likely immune because they were exposed to the virus or vaccines against it.

After the pandemic

Thu, 28 Oct 2010 00:01:00 -0500

Monday, October 25, 2010

Really skewed

How can any morally honest person NOT say that there is something profoundly out of kilter with human life?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Using Mathematical Functions to Describe Everyday Phenomena

**footnote:Thanks to James from U. Wisconsin-Madison



Update from Haiti on Cholera Crisis: >200 Deaths

Partners In Health - Crisis in Haiti

As Haiti grapples with the worst health crisis since the earthquake, the cholera situation remains uncertain, with the death toll topping 200, according to Haitian health officials on Saturday. Partners In Health is providing urgent care to the ill and mounting a massive community campaign to distribute soap and rehydration salts, and educate people about prevention. Our community health workers are traveling to the most affected areas in search of patients who need immediate treatment.

The outbreak is concentrated in the Lower Artibonite region northwest of Port-au-Prince, where Partners In Health operates three hospitals in partnership with Haiti's Ministry of Public Health and Population.

Click below for images from the outbreak and to read a full update from our staff in the field:

Click here to watch a slideshow of PIH's response to the cholera epidemic

A large concern is the geographic spread of the outbreak, and particularly the possibility of its spread to Port-au-Prince. In a call with reporters yesterday, PIH Chief Medical Officer Joia Mukherjee warned, "There's no reason to anticipate [cholera] wouldn't spread widely within Haiti.'' Thus far no confirmed cases have been reported in the capital city, and Haitian health officials and international groups are working desperately to contain the epidemic. We are posting news and media coverage to our website continuously and will keep you informed as more information becomes available.

Click below to see images from the Cholera outbreak in Haiti and read a full update:

Our profound thanks to the many of you who have already made a contribution. Your support provides PIH with the resources needed to respond immediately to the cholera outbreak.

If you are interested in making a donation to help PIH and ZL respond to this crisis, please click here.

In solidarity,
Partners In Health

Donate to Partners In Health

Partners In Health
888 Commonwealth Ave, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02215

Voting on November 2nd

I'm an American; my vote is FAR more scrupulously studied than most, so I hope to bring UP the average LEVEL of 'vote predigestion' when I vote on November 2nd.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New evidence contradicts notion that early humans were largely hunters

New Evidence that Early Humans Were Plant-Eaters

New evidence contradicts the notion that early humans were mainly hunters. Archeological findings recently unearthed in Italy, Russia, and the Czech Republic show evidence that grains were ground into flour as far back as 30,000 years ago. The findings were presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Revedin A, Aranguren B, Becattini R, et al. Thirty thousand-year-old evidence of plant food processing. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2010. Published ahead of print October 19, 2010: doi: 10.1073/pnas.1006993107.

For information about nutrition and health, please visit

Breaking Medical News is a service of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,
5100 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20016.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Are universities 'greedy' for money?

I'd be interested in hearing any of you opine more on that topic than Jennifer Washburn has written of it in her recent University, Inc: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education.

MY spin on the topic HAS BEEN that the universities were nudged into that role when the Fed had ramped up military (war) research during the World Wars (mostly WWII, after Vannevar Bush, originally from MIT, who went to DC - and there's a book in the making, if someone who could DO the investigative research wanted to do it), then after WWII was over, the infrastructure had been built for a working relationship between the federal government and the universities, and the New Deal economy wanted work to be done to improve the quality of life in America (against some opposition), so, since the universities were better 'incubators' than private industry, they were tapped, then a long discussion proceeded about 'indirect costs' (paying for the costs of keeping the universities POISED to do the government's research, on the government's timetables and according to Federal agendas.

We got much out of all that, and it's not wrong for universities to get some 'piece of the pie' for hosting the work (and securing the Faculty appointments based upon their research promise AND for teaching - it's the nature of US thinktanks to have some based in universities/academia), since universtieis do NOT recover ALL Their costs for hosting the research (paid as 'direct costs'); they lose about 20% of their 'hosting costs' because the Fed caps (puts a ceiling on) 'cost recovery' at about "70%" (of what the actual direct cost of the research is).

Most schools have an indirect cost rate of about 50%; a few schools have indirect cost rates of closer to 65-70%, and a very few have indirect cost rates of over 100% - BUT the Fed caps them at around 66-69% (unofficially ~70%), so tuition streams, endowments, program income, etc. must make up the rest.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mining existing, public data sets to further national healthcare agenda

Director's Blog

[ Please proceed to this blog at Blogger to add comments or view older posts ]

  • Holding our breath for this diabetes risk

    [ Posted by Isaac ("Zak") Kohane on 2010-10-04 at 20:50 ]

    A recent study exemplifies the leverage that can be obtained from mining existing, public data sets to further our national healthcare agenda. As described by the NY Times, our colleague John Brownstein obtained data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and found a consistent relationship between the amount of air pollution (particulate matter in the air) and population risk for diabetes (after correcting for the usual suspects such as income and ethnicity). This and other large-scale populations studies such as the one we recently reported by Atul Butte suggest that we might be insufficiently including the larger environment in our study of the diabetic plague that has afflicted us.

    It also suggests that we have insufficiently taken advantage of freely available public data to pursue relevant and timely medical research.

What would JESUS Do? Blessing Nonhumans Ceremoniously and Dutifully

Blessing of the Animals (or our 'Pets')

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, is celebrated on October 4th. The "Blessing of the Animals" is the highlight of the celebration, although it is probably more accurate to call it the "Blessing of the Pets",... Read more

The Blessing of the Animals (or Pets)

  • October 16th, 2010 11:38 am ET

The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, is celebrated on October 4th. The "Blessing of the Animals" is the highlight of the celebration, although it is probably more accurate to call it the "Blessing of the Pets", for farm animals are mostly absent (at least the ones most in need of divine intervention).

Commemorating St. Francis is the ideal time for Christians to reflect on their relationship with animals, a relationship that is the subject of a recent Washington Post article. The author, Laura Hobgood-Oster, writes:

"It is humbling, but Christians need to de-center themselves to be relevant in the twenty-first century. So how do we do this? We must take off the blinders that allow violence to happen to other animals and confront these issues directly with active compassion. I believe that there is no way a person who proclaims, "I am Christian," can be ok with the violence of factory farms. There is no way that a person who declares a "love for Jesus" can then turn their back on animal control facilities killing five million dogs each year because nobody will home them. Is not Christianity a religion of mercy and hospitality - of opening homes to strangers?"

In the end, Christians would be wise to ask a simple question:
What would Jesus do?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hiatus from Facebook and the Internet -

I'd say, visit Facebook ONLY ONCE each week: plow through, do no chats, accept no "gifts" and sign up for no events. However, it can be a great organizing tool IF folks are 'in the space' for social media, but few of us really have time to 'be in that space' (having thought about it).

I've met some of the techies who develop this stuff: not bad guys or gals, but often 'self-absorbed' in terms of cyberspace and their own interests and how much money they 'bring home' from doing the development, and very little sense of social responsibility that isn't in terms of using the Internet between persons and 'social action' (as an intermediary).

Of course, we're using such an intermediary to say this.

It reminds me of the head of Buildings and Grounds at Tufts University, where I used to work in the days when we were setting up the materials management program that included recycling. "My men are all on union contracts. I cannot ask them to lift, move, or relocate anything by hand; they cannot be expected to lift, move, empty, or relocate anything that doesn't put a machine in between them and the task. Now, if you want that to be done, you're asking for subcontracted custodians, and my men are not custodians."

To which I replied: "Might you consider a pair of safety gloves a machine?"

"No" was his answer.

Then I think also of a vegetarian friend, a vegan friend with two doctorates (philosophy and psychology) who for years planned to write a book on how modern life alienates us from experiencing directly, built upon Plato's analogy of the cave (the inner resident saw against the wall he was facing the shadows from the flickering flame behind him).

Well, such is complex existence, and some strive for a tenured position in a field where that depth of analysis can be pursued, or a clinical role that might also indulge it (like a chaplaincy in a school or mental hospital).

If you find it, just stay sane and don't commit intellectual suicide.

For me: Animals as Persons by Gary Francione