Sep 072011
 
Last night I was at yoga and was talking to a couple about my upcoming trip to San Francisco and Sonoma. They were telling me what wineries to check out etc. when my friend Jodi came over to talk about how she just watched Forks Over Knives (great documentary about food and health and it’s now on Netflix!) and then we started discussing cow and goat products; specifically about casein, the protein found in dairy/cow’s milk. Casein is the main animal protein discussed in the China Study in relation to cancer growth, heart disease and a whole other host of diseases that Dr Colin Campbell believes are caused by the Western diet of animal foods.  When I looked up information on goat milk I found this interesting write up on it on the Worlds Healthiest Foods website that I trust when it comes to most nutrition info.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of goat’s milk, however, is that some people who cannot tolerate cow’s milk are able to drink goat’s milk without any problems. It is not clear from scientific research studies exactly why some people can better tolerate goat’s milk. Some initial studies suggested that specific proteins known to cause allergic reactions may have been present in cow’s milk in significant quantities yet largely absent in goat’s milk. The alpha-casein proteins, including alpha s1-casein, and the beta-casein proteins were both considered in this regard. However, more recent studies suggest that the genetic wiring for these casein proteins is highly variable in both cows and goats and that more study is needed to determine the exact role these proteins might play in the tolerability of goat’s milk versus cow’s milk.
 I take this to mean that there is some form of casein in goat milk but not at the same levels as cow milk.
I went further to look up additional information on dairy allergies/intolerance and found that, according to WHF, people who have full fledged dairy allergies that initiate an autoimmune response are typically caused by casein which is the dairy protein. Dairy intolerance being most typically caused by the milk sugar which is lactose.  They may not have enough of the enzyme called lactase to break this sugar down and this can cause uncomfortable bloating, flatulence and other unpleasant things. 
If an allergy or intolerance is present, then one must be careful about eating processed foods as well!  Look at this table where they show other foods that might contain hidden casein.
Processed foods that may contain casein:


Bakery glazes
Breath mints
Coffee whiteners
Fortified cereals
High-protein beverage powders
Ice cream
Infant formulas
Nutrition bars
Processed meats
Salad dressings
Whipped toppings

How does all this cow and goat talk tie in with the couple I was discussing my trip with?
When they overheard us talking about cow and goat they asked why we were talking about this, with an amused look.  I told her I write a food blog and Jodi and I eat similar meatless diets so Jodi and I are always talking about food.  
Then I found myself almost apologizing for/defending my choice, and after class I thought about it more.  I need to stop apologizing for this choice. When I started cutting most animal foods out I decided to just take one day at a time and not take an all or nothing approach and so far it has been a wonderful experience. Up to now, I have made an exception of the occasional honey, chocolate, fish and goat cheese.  In fact, I did splurge on some goat milk feta with olive oil, basil and garlic from Sharon from Terks Goat Farm at the St Augustine Farmers Market and it is delicious.  But, going forward, I think I might start cutting back on these even more too. 
The fact is that the plant foods have been so tasty that I haven’t wanted to allocate many calories to meats and cheeses.  No one really seems to believe me, especially about the cheese, but it’s true!

I promise that you can make these plant based foods taste so delicious on their own with just a little desire, planning and creativity. I love chickpeas smashed with seasonings, I love roasted veggies, I love nut and nut butters and I love my coconut-banana-chocolate Ice Cake and I love these Sunshine Falafel Burgers with Spicy Lime Tahini Sauce…..they are the perfect convenience food for those of us that need a quick fix!

I liked mine wrapped in lettuce but feel free to try it out with a whole wheat or gluten free bun.  It’s so much fun to experiment and play with recipes and variations. If you don’t consider yourself a great cook but want to try out the plant based diet this is a great way to start.  Roast yourself up a couple trays of veggies and grab some burgers and you’ll be on your way in no time!

 

Sunshine Falafel Burgers with Spicy Lime Tahini Sauce
Tahini Sauce inspired by Carol’s Falafel Sauce
Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 4



Ingredients


4 Sunshine Falafel burgers
8 large leaves romaine lettuce


Spicy Lime Tahini Sauce
1 clove garlic
3 Tbsp tahini
3 Tbsp agave
3 Tbsp water
Juice 1 lime (about 3 Tbsp)
1/4 tsp cayenne
Dash coarse sea salt


Optional 
Sprouts
Tomato slices
Onion slices 


Directions


1. Cook burgers to package directions.


2. Blend sauce ingredients in Magic Bullet or small blender. 


3. Pour about 1 to 2 Tbsp sauce per burger.  (There will be some sauce left over.) Serve burger wrapped with 2 romaine lettuce leaves and additional toppings if desired.

Per Burger with Lettuce, tomato, onion and sprouts
Nutrition Facts

4 Servings
Amount Per Serving


Calories 243.1
Total Fat 11.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 264.5 mg
Potassium 135.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27.7 g
Dietary Fiber 6.9 g
Sugars 1.0 g
Protein 10.8 g


Vitamin A 13.9 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.1 %
Vitamin C 14.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.0 %
Calcium 7.2 %
Copper 2.0 %
Folate 8.6 %
Iron 17.2 %
Magnesium 1.5 %
Manganese 8.8 %
Niacin 1.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.3 %
Phosphorus 2.1 %
Riboflavin 2.4 %
Selenium 0.3 %
Thiamin 2.9 %
Zinc 0.9 %


*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Spicy Lime Tahini Sauce
Nutrition Facts

About 12 Tbsp
Amount Per Tbsp
Calories 28.6
Total Fat 2.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 17.3 mg
Potassium 21.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Sugars 1.3 g
Protein 0.7 g

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