Tag Archives: go vegan or vegetarian!

Your health and animal rights – always in fashion!

But first …

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Rise in colorectal cancer in young people should be a wake-up call

By Heather Moore

The new American Cancer Society report showing that there’s been a sharp increase in colorectal cancer in people in their 20s and 30s might just be the kick in the pants that young people need to eat more vegan foods and less red and processed meats, which are linked to colon and rectal cancers.

According to the report, which compared different generations at similar ages, people born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer of those born in 1950 when they were the same age. Experts aren’t sure why the rates have been rising, but they are confident that people can reduce their risk for colorectal cancer by eating lots of fiber-filled fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

In October 2015, the World Health Organization announced that bacon and other processed meats cause cancer and that red meat, including beef, pork and lamb, is probably also carcinogenic.

Soon afterward, scientists from Oxford University reported that eating one steak a week increases one’s risk of colorectal cancer by more than two-fifths and that people who eat meat twice a week have an 18 percent higher risk than do vegetarians.

This wasn’t exactly new news — a number of previous studies had shown that eating meat could raise one’s risk of colorectal cancer — but it caused an uproar anyway. Some people defiantly insisted that they weren’t going to change their unhealthy eating habits no matter what — a peculiar reaction considering that colorectal cancer can cause abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea and other unpleasant symptoms.

Changing your diet can be daunting — I know. But in the end, it comes down to this: Would you rather undergo surgery, chemotherapy and other costly medical treatments or eat tasty vegan foods? Many physicians believe that colorectal cancer is nearly 100 percent preventable if you follow healthy living recommendations. According to Kim Robien, an associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at George Washington University, “It is absolutely recommended to decrease — if not completely eliminate — processed meat intake to prevent cancer.”

Study after study has shown that ditching meat is an effective way to ward off colorectal cancer. A 2015 Loma Linda University study involving more than 77,000 men and women, for example, suggests that a plant-based diet can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by at least 22 percent.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine asked 20 African-Americans in Pittsburgh and 20 rural South Africans to “switch diets” for two weeks. At the end of the swap, they performed colonoscopies on all of the study participants. Those who had eaten the traditional African-style diet, which includes lots of fruit, vegetables, beans and cornmeal — and very little meat — had less inflammation in the colon and more of a particular fatty acid that may protect against colon cancer, while those who had eaten the typical American diet, high in meat and cheese, showed changes in gut bacteria that are consistent with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Just this month, a study in the journal Cancer Science revealed that Japanese men who eat lots of meat in general, and specifically red meat, are 36 percent and 44 percent more likely, respectively, to develop colorectal cancer than those who don’t eat much — or any — meat.

No matter what your age, race or nationality, you can reduce your risk for colorectal cancer—not to mention heart disease, stroke and other serious health problems—by eating plant-based foods rather than animal-based ones.

And since March is National Colorectal Cancer Month, it’s the perfect time to ditch unhealthy animal-based foods and start eating delicious vegan meals instead.

REC Worcester Earth Day clean-ups … Vegan St. Patty’s Day yum yums … and music 🎵🎶🌹🎵 to our ears!🌸

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From REC:

Saturday, April 8

8 am – 12 pm

We are excited to invite you to join us for this year’s REC Earth Day Neighborhood & Garden Cleanups!

This is truly a community-wide event in which residents come together every year to give Worcester the Spring-cleaning it deserves.

Last year, more than 1,000 volunteers came together to pick up more than 50 tons of trash at over 60 sites in Worcester!!!🌸❤

Let’s do even more this year to make
Worcester cleaner and greener🌻🌺!

WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU❤💛💜❤!

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If you would like to help us coordinate the cleanup of a particular site, we encourage you to sign up as a Site Coordinator.

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Otherwise, please sign up as a Volunteer (or group of volunteers) and we will connect you with a site in your area!

This event is only possible because of your volunteerism and commitment to our city. The REC, along with many partners including city government, non-profits, and businesses provide the materials, pick-up services and logistics.

We look forward to working with you!

Please feel free to contact Pat Barnosky with any questions or concerns
– earthday@recworcester.org – 508-799-9139

Thank you for joining with your neighbors and friends to support the 28th Annual REC Earth Day Neighborhood & Garden Cleanups!

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GO VEGAN THIS ST. PATTY’S DAY!🍻🍏

Irish Cabbage Salsa!

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1 cup shredded green cabbage

1/2 cup diced yellow onion

1 carrot shredded

2–3 green onions chopped

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. whole grain mustard

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Refrigerate overnight.

Makes about 2 cups

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Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew

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1 large onion chopped

3 ribs celery chopped

2-3 cloves garlic minced

1/2 head cabbage chopped

4 carrots sliced

1-1 1/2 pounds potatoes cut in large dice

1/3 cup pearled barley optional or substitute with gluten-free grain

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon rosemary crushed

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6-8 cups vegetable broth

3 cups cooked great northern beans (2 cans, drained)

1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

salt to taste

Place vegetables, seasonings, barley and broth into a large stockpot.

Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary.

Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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We crucified the Lamb of God — Why do we still slaughter sheep?

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By Dan Paden

As I read Exodus and Leviticus this Lent, the ritual sacrifices of lambs, oxen and other animals strike me. Imagining how the offerings of these slaughtered animals looked, sounded and smelled fuels powerful meditations on the death of Jesus, the “Lamb of God.” It also makes me wonder: Why do the faithful still have countless lambs and sheep — among other species — killed so violently for us?

Christ’s death, after all, made animal sacrifices obsolete. According to Saint Paul, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, no one else — including lambs and other sheep — need die for our sins. But need they die for us at all? God put animals’ fate into our hands only after He lamented our ancestors’ wickedness and flooded the Earth. This likely left Noah’s family with little to eat and wear but animals. That’s a bleak position to be in: Kill, eat and cover oneself with God’s creations — or perish.

I don’t face such desperation. Very few readers do. We don’t need to eat lamb — hundreds of healthy, happy Trappist monks and nuns across the U.S. can attest to that — or wear wool.

And yet, in a nation where more than 70 percent of the population self-identifies as Christian, around 37,000 lambs and older sheep are slaughtered every week at federally inspected plants. Nearly 190,000 lambs and sheep were killed on U.S. farms from 2014 to 2015.

In Colorado, my friend documented a shearer who twisted one such victim’s neck, breaking it, and then kicked her headfirst down a chute, where she died.

That horrible treatment cannot be considered an isolated incident. In 2014, another colleague of mine documented that workers in Argentina cut the throats of conscious lambs and started to skin some of them while they were still kicking. Months earlier, PETA had revealed that in Australia, workers beat sheep while shearing them.

All that pain and agony was inflicted on God’s creations here and elsewhere simply so that someone could buy a lamb chop or a pair of socks made of wool. The U.S. produced more than 25 million pounds of wool — and imported millions of pounds more — in 2015.

So we must ask ourselves: Are the sheep and lambs who are slaughtered today dying because of our sins?

Sin “is an offense against … right conscience … caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods” (Catechism of the Catholic Church). If we wouldn’t slit a conscious lamb’s throat or break a sheep’s neck ourselves, can our conscience rightly accept having others do so on our behalf?

Isn’t it only our stubborn attachment to mere taste preferences — whether for a particular dish or a certain sweater—that keeps us buying lambs’ flesh or wool in the face of such endemic cruelty?

I confess that I once cherished the wool sweaters that my grandparents gave me each Christmas. But when I learned of the agony woven in with that yarn and the blood washed out of it, I could no longer in good conscience wear them or any wool. To do so would be to support all the terror and suffering that exist in the interconnected wool and sheep-flesh industries.

This Lent, as we strive especially hard to turn away from sin, may we also take up Christ’s instruction to “proclaim the gospel to every creature.” We can start to bring His good news to all creation by leaving lambs and sheep off our plates and their skin and fleece off our backs.

For the faithful — and indeed, for all kind people — our choice is simple but stark: We can work toward God’s peaceable kingdom to come, in which no animal will be harmed or destroyed — or pay others to harm and stab these docile, fellow living beings on our behalf.

Which will you choose?

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Top 10 Reasons to Go Vegan in 2017

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Rose stopped eating red meat, pork and lamb 30 years ago, after her sojourn at a hippie-veggie commune💙! She used to eat chicken dinner 3x/year. Fish maybe 1x/month. She gave up chicken for the New Year. She’s hoping to cut poultry out of her diet FOREVER. So far, so good … Mix her mostly plant-based diet with her two hyper-active, LOVE-THEIR-DAILY-WALKS dogs + one crazy little rag and Rose has lost and kept off 25 lbs … and feels pretty good for an old broad!😉

From PETA.ORG:

Many people’s New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, eating better, getting healthier, and doing more to make the world a better place. The good news is that you can accomplish all these goals by switching to a vegan diet—and you’ll enjoy delicious, satisfying meals as well.

Here are our top 10 reasons to go vegan this year:

1. Slim down and become energized: Is shedding some extra pounds first on your list of goals for the new year? Vegans are, on average, up to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters are. And unlike unhealthy fad diets, which leave you feeling tired (and usually don’t keep the pounds off for long), going vegan is the healthy way to keep the excess fat off for good while leaving you with plenty of energy.

2. It’s the best way to help animals: Did you know that every vegan saves more than 100 animals a year? There is simply no easier way to help animals and prevent suffering than by choosing vegan foods over meat, eggs, and dairy products.

3. A healthier, happier you: A vegan diet is great for your health! According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure than meat-eaters are. Vegans get all the nutrients that they need to be healthy, such as plant protein, fiber, and minerals, without all the nasty stuff in meat that slows you down and makes you sick, such as cholesterol and saturated animal fat.

4. Vegan food is delicious: So you’re worried that if you go vegan, you’ll have to give up hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and ice cream? You won’t. As the demand for vegan food skyrockets, companies are coming out with more and more delicious meat and dairy-product alternatives that taste like the real thing but are much healthier and don’t hurt any animals.

5. Meat is gross: Meat is often contaminated with feces, blood, and other bodily fluids—all of which make animal products the top source of food poisoning in the United States. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health tested supermarket chicken flesh and found that 96 percent of Tyson chicken was contaminated with campylobacter, a dangerous bacterium that causes 2.4 million cases of food poisoning each year, resulting in diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.

6. Help feed the world: Eating meat doesn’t just hurt animals—it hurts people, too. It takes tons of crops and water to raise farmed animals. In fact, it takes up to 13 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of animal flesh! All that plant food could be used much more efficiently if it were fed directly to people. The more people who go vegan, the better able we’ll be to feed the hungry.

7. Save the planet: Meat is not green. Consuming meat is actually one of the worst things that you can do for the Earth. It is wasteful and causes enormous amounts of pollution, and the meat industry is also one of the biggest causes of climate change. Adopting a vegan diet is more effective than switching to a “greener” car in the fight against climate change.

8. All the cool kids are doing it: The list of stars who shun animal flesh is basically a “who’s who” of today’s hottest celebs. Joaquin Phoenix, Natalie Portman, Ariana Grande, Al Gore, Flo Rida, Tobey Maguire, Shania Twain, Alicia Silverstone, Anthony Kiedis, Casey Affleck, Kristen Bell, Alyssa Milano, Common, Joss Stone, Anne Hathaway, and Carrie Underwood are just some of the famous vegans and vegetarians who regularly appear in People magazine.

9. Look sexy and be sexy: Vegans tend to be thinner than meat-eaters and have more energy, which is perfect for late-night romps with your special someone. (Guys: The cholesterol and saturated animal fat found in meat, eggs, and dairy products don’t just clog the arteries to your heart. Over time, they impede blood flow to other vital organs as well.) Plus, what’s sexier than someone who is not only mega-hot but also compassionate?

10. Pigs are smarter than your dog: Although most people are less familiar with pigs, chickens, fish, and cows than they are with dogs and cats, animals used for food are every bit as intelligent and able to suffer as the animals who share our homes are. Pigs can learn to play video games, and chickens are so smart that their intelligence has been compared by scientists to that of monkeys.

This Valentine’s Day, show some serious love to animals! Pledge to go vegetarian – or eat way less meat! Drop the fur – forever! Bannish wool from your closet! Fight for ALL animals (even the ones you don’t think are cute)!💙

From PETA.ORG. Some sweet – and arresting – images. – R.T.

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Worcester news you can use!

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For nearly 100 years, Worcester was the center of the commercial Valentine industry in the United States.

Join the WORCESTER HISTORICAL MUSEUM for a Valentine making workshop at 30 Elm St. on Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11 and make your own Worcester-inspired card in the tradition of Esther Howland, Jotham Taft or George C. Whitney.

This program is for Valentine lovers of all ages and is FREE with museum admission.

We will provide everything but the stamp!

This program runs from 11 AM – 3 PM.

And …
Winners of the 39th Annual “Be Our Valentine” Contest Award Ceremony

At the museum …

Friday, February 10 at 4 PM

Students in grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 celebrated Worcester’s historic role by creating 21st century Valentine greetings. The winners of our 2017 Valentine making competition will be awarded in this yearly celebration of creativity, history and fun!

All of the entries, representing 18 of Worcester’s schools, will be on exhibit at the Worcester Historical Museum through February 28!

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photos: WHM

Don’t give up now: Your New Year’s resolutions are doing more good than you know!

But first …

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Surprise! Rose found these beauties all a-bloom on her kitchen window ledge yesterday! Tender reminders of April in January…She hid this 2-year-old African violet behind the blue draperies, away from Cece’s digging, pulling and peeing but believed her little kitten had out-smarted her again and had gotten into the pot to make mischief … pics: R.T.

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Cece has made a mockery of Rose’s recently “unearthed” interest in house plants!

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The sole survivor!

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The plain pissed-off!

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Love you, Miss Cece!💝💝💝💝

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By Michelle Kretzer

If you need some extra motivation to stick with New Year’s resolutions that seemed so easily attainable just a few weeks ago, consider this: Much like the butterfly effect, your resolutions have the potential to make a positive impact on the environment and animals — including butterflies.

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, made by nearly a third of Americans, is to eat better and lose weight. The two go hand in hand, of course, which explains why numerous people — including Beyoncé, Al Gore, James Cameron and Alicia Silverstone — found that when they traded in their usual diets filled with meat and dairy products for colorful plant-based foods, the pounds fell off and didn’t come back. And the fringe benefits are nothing to shake a carrot stick at. For every day that you eat plant foods instead of meat and dairy products, you will save 1,100 gallons of water, 40 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forest, 20 pounds of CO2—and the life of an animal.

If you are among the many people who will stop smoking this year, you may save not only your own life but likely the lives of some dogs, mice, rats and monkeys. It has long been proved that cigarette smoking causes diseases in nearly every organ of the human body, yet tobacco companies continue to conduct painful experiments on animals. When you stop buying cigarettes, you cut off the experimenters’ funding.

Many Americans are determined to find love in 2017. Dating apps are great tools, but a tried-and-true way to meet people who share your values is to get involved in community-service organizations. You can join groups that help clean up local parks and beaches, hold adoption fairs for homeless animals, plant neighborhood gardens and run countless other volunteer projects. The same goes for resolutions to spend more quality time with family and friends. Working together to have a positive impact on your community instead of simply having dinner will strengthen your relationships and your health.

A lot of us have certain pesky tasks that always seem to get put off, so we tell ourselves on New Year’s Day, “I am going to get this done.” One that often seems to get put on the back burner is establishing a plan of action for emergencies. But if you’re checking that one off this year, don’t forget to include a plan for keeping your animal companions safe in a crisis situation, too. Fill a carrier with leashes, bowls, veterinary records, medicines, a bottle of water, a photo of each animal and a list of hotels that accept animal guests during natural disasters.

If you resolved to spruce up your yard, planting flowers and bushes will provide food sources for butterflies, bees and other wildlife, helping their populations and filling your yard with flora and fauna.

New Year’s is a popular time to decide to save more money, perhaps for a vacation, for a big-ticket item or to build up a nest egg. One easy way to economize that most people haven’t thought of is to order a meat-free dish when dining out. A good vegetable stir-fry, asparagus and mushroom risotto, or veggie sushi roll can cost you about half (or less) what most meaty dishes would. If you dine out twice a week, the savings add up quickly. And of course, if you “DIY” and make plant-based meals at home, you’ll save even more. Either way, as mentioned above, eating vegan is kinder to animals and the planet.

Perhaps best of all, this means that if you can stick with your resolutions for improving your own life, then your intention to do more good for others will easily take care of itself.

Go, Lettuce Ladies, go!!!

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PETA’s Lettuce Ladies have toured the world — from England to India, and beyond — with their vegan message, helping countless folks turn over a new leaf.

They’re culturally conscious advocates who encourage people everywhere to ditch meat by offering them free, delicious, plant-based meals, …

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… vegan starter kits and leaflets bursting at the seams with information about how our choices affect animals.

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Lettuce Ladies embody empowerment! Our advocates are all volunteers. Lettuce Ladies choose to turn heads to protect animals, improve people’s health, and help fight climate change.

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They know that, unlike themselves, millions of animals suffering and dying on factory farms and in slaughterhouses are never given the chance to consent. Cows, pigs, chickens, minks, foxes, and all other animals exploited by the food and fashion industries have no say in what happens to their bodies, so our Lettuce Ladies use their own to call attention to the plight of these living beings.

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Today, in a society that uses scantily clad models to sell everything from cars to cheeseburgers, those who use their bodies as a political or an emotional statement to call for justice and compassion — as our Lettuce Ladies do — are a breath of fresh air!

There will be a (vegan) revolution in the new year … and … 3 so-easy veggie pasta dishes by Chef Joey

By Heather Moore

It’s time for a vegan revolution!

I mean … resolution. Each new year, countless people resolve to lose weight and eat healthfully, but many find themselves no thinner—or healthier—in July than they were in January. Perhaps this year, everyone should put some stock in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (AND) new position paper on vegetarian and vegan eating and resolve to ditch meat, eggs and dairy foods.

The updated AND paper, which was published in December, confirms that wholesome vegan foods “are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” It specifically points out that people who eat plant-based meals are less likely to suffer from obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

According to the authors, people who go vegan reduce their risk of developing diabetes by a whopping 62 percent, of being hospitalized for a heart attack by 33 percent, of suffering from heart disease by 29 percent and of succumbing to any form of cancer by 18 percent. Men can reduce their chance of developing prostate cancer by 35 percent just by eating vegan.

And in case you weren’t listening the first time they said it, the AND reiterated its assertion that a vegan lifestyle is suitable—even beneficial—for everyone, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, babies, children, adults, athletes and your third cousin, twice removed.

And that’s not to mention anyone who professes to care about animals or the environment.

The report even includes information on the environmental aspects of eating vegan. Susan Levin, one of the report’s authors, acknowledges that the AND’s expertise is in nutrition but says that it’s impossible to ignore the evidence proving that plant-based foods are better for the planet. Research has shown that if everyone ate a plant-based diet, it would cut food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent and save 8 million human lives by 2050.

Going vegan spares countless animals, too, so it’s the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint. And not to sound like a teenager, but everyone is doing it. According to a Harris Interactive study, there are nearly 4 million adult vegans in the U.S. alone (and even more vegetarians). More and more companies now offer plant-based options in order to meet the growing demand. Ben & Jerry’s, for example, introduced four vegan ice cream flavors in 2016, and Unilever, maker of Hellmann’s and Best Foods, recently introduced its own nondairy mayo spread—after previously suing another company that makes vegan mayonnaise for alleged false advertising, because it argued at the time that mayonnaise must contain eggs.

In late 2016, Tyson Foods, Inc.—the largest U.S. meat company by sales—invested in Beyond Meat, a company that makes vegan meats. It was a smart move: The vegan-meat market is projected to reach $5.2 billion globally by 2020.

So, yeah, I guess a vegan revolution is taking place—an innovative one at that. A few months ago, a meat-free gastropub opened in Miami, and the city is getting a vegan butcher in early 2017. It won’t even be the nation’s first—The Herbivorous Butcher opened in Minneapolis in January 2016. A popular Mexican restaurant in Dallas made news when it switched to serving all-vegan fare, and North Dakota recently got its first vegan restaurant.

Out with the old and in with the new, as they say. If you want to turn over a new leaf, resolve to go vegan in 2017. And if you need help—and extra inspiration—check out Jackie Day’s new book, The Vegan Way. It includes 21 days’ worth of tips and encouragement that will help you be a happy, healthy vegan.

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“recipes,” photos and cutlines by Chef Joey

Three vegetarian pasta dishes

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Butter and mushrooms on spinach pasta

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Tomatoes and mushrooms on spinach pasta

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Butter, mushrooms and sage on gluten-free noodles