We'll be here with you for the next seven days, offering lots of nutritional advice and information on plant based diets! And if you're in the San Diego area, don't forget to participate in the free Veg Week Activities!



Dr. Stanger is a plant-based nutritionalist, public speaker, and best-selling author. Don't miss her nutrition lecture on Wednesday at 7pm at Evolution!

Proteins are the basis for all life, including plants, animals, and microbes. Plants are alive because of proteins, just as animals are--with up to 20,000 kinds of protein in each plant.

Proteins, in turn, are linked assemblies of building blocks called amino acids. Just 20 kinds of amino acids form the basis of all plant and animal life. Thousands of amino acid building blocks may be linked in each protein. For people, only eight kinds of aminos are essential to get from food.

Just as people can't manufacture essential amino acids, neither can other animals. Only plants, with their solar-powered metabolism, have sufficient energy to put together essential aminos.

The bottom line is that all animal protein is recycled plant protein, disassembled during digestion into its amino acid building blocks and reassembled into whatever unique proteins each person needs. On a plant-based diet you get your essential amino acids right from the source, without the animal middleman. You don't need a specially designated "source of protein," You also don't need a lot of protein, because your body recycles the amino acide building blocks it already has, reusing them again and again. Relax. Proteins are as abundant in whole plant foods as oxygen is in the air.

Want more information? Check out the links below and don't forget to attend one of the Nutrition Lectures this week!





Start Gradually

Adapt a familiar meal or recipe like lasagna or shepherd's pie by using mock meats such as TVP (textured vegetable protein) and Lightlife Grounds. Although it is fully plant-based, it has the look, taste, and texture of ground meat.  



Macaroni & Cheese (serves 6) 

Special thanks to

We've heard rumors for years about VegNews Magazine's signature macaroni & cheese, and have secured the recipe just for you. Everyone's favorite comfort food is traditionally loaded with butter, cheese, cream, and more butter--but VegNews' transformed version with a super-rich vegan cheese sauce makes this mac ' n' cheese the ultimate comfort fare. This recipe has such a cult following, we bet you'll be making the dish every chance you get!



4 quarts water
1 tablespoon sea salt
8 ounces macaroni
4 slices of bread, torn into large pieces
2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated, vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance)
2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped


1 cup water
1/3 cup margarine
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon paprika

1. In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water in colander. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
4. In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth.
5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.

Fettuccine with Chickpeas, Corn & Kale -- Gluten Free (serves 4) 

• 14oz brown rice fettuccine, cooked according to package instructions
• 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, cooked and drained
• 1/3 cup minced fresh chives
• 1 bunch kale, washed, stemmed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
• 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
• 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
• 1 teaspoon maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon mustard (any kind)

1. Combine the cooked fettuccine, chickpeas, corn, and chives in a large bowl.
2. Steam the kale in a steamer basket over boiling water for 5 minutes, or until kale is bright green and tender. Transfer to a medium bowl..
3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bown and whisk until well blended.
4. Drizzle mixture over the fettuccine mixture and toss gently until evenly distributed. Transfer to a large serving bowl

Special thanks to the Book Publishing Company and Christine Waltermyer for this recipe from The Natural Vegan Kitchen.

More Recipe Ideas

Ready to try tofu? These two recipes make a great introduction to this excellent and versatile source of protein:



The Natural Vegan Kitchen: by Christine Waltermyer with a forword by Rory Freedman (ISBN: 9781570672453)

Quick Fix Vegetarian: Healthy Home Cooked Meals in 30 Minutes or Less by Robin Robertson (ISBN: 0740763741)


Today's Veg Week Events

Grocery Store Tour
Join us tonight at OB People's, 4765 Voltaire Street, at 7pm, where we will show you the best staples for a plant-based diet!

RSVP on Facebook or reply to this email to let us know you're coming!

OB People's is a member-owned consumer cooperative grocery store that is all vegetarian and serves great vegan food as well in the deli upstairs!


Did you know?

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian and vegan diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegan and vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. 


Great Protein Sources
  • Black Beans
  • Lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Quinoa
  • Tofu and Tempeh


Help Promote Veg Week

Inspire a family member or friend. Blog about your pledge. Discuss it online. Email it. If you are a teacher, make it a class project. Donations are always welcome to cover program expenses. Visit:
www.APRL.org for more info.


Vegan Mac 'n' Cheese

Photo courtesy of VegNews
& Hannah Kaminski


About Us

Veg Week is a project of the Animal Protection and Rescue League (APRL), a non-profit based in San Diego, CA that documents and exposes cruelty inflicted on animals and conducts public outreach and education to promote the rights, habitats and humane treatment of all animals.

We are committed to educating people about the benefits of a plant based diet and to supporting those who wish to reduce or eliminate their consumption of animal products.

Visit us at www.APRL.org or call 858-202-0147 for information.