Try A Tofu Scramble!

This is one of the easiest meals ever to prepare, especially if you have your jars full of prepped veggies in the fridge!  The hardest part is to press your organic, non-GMO extra firm tofu.  I like Mori-Nu which is found on grocery store shelves.  Once pressed, lightly crumble in a separate bowl, and keep aside for later use.  You will sauté onions, peppers, garlic, mushrooms, cooked kale, cooked potatoes, tomatoes and spices (turmeric, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, cumin, s&p).  Once heated through, gently stir in crumbled tofu, and nutritional yeast, and cover for just a few minutes until warm.  Taste before serving, add s&p if needed.

Sweet Cashew Icing

Need an icing, or a sweet sauce to top a dessert?  Well cashew cream is your answer to EVERYTHING!  You start off by soaking raw cashews in water overnight, and rinse well before using.   Ingredients: soaked raw cashews, pitted dates or maple syrup, vanilla, water, cinnamon (opt), and flax meal (opt) 

My video below shows how easy this really is!  In the video, I did not presoak my cashews because I needed them right then!  You don't HAVE to soak them, but it makes the sauce really creamy if you DO soak them. 

Summer means Carrot Dogs!

Just because we have gone to a WFPB way of eating, does not mean we have to give up our beloved hotdogs.  I never thought I'd say this, but carrot dogs are a great substitute!  And I promise, once you have piled on the mustard, ketchup, relish, onions and your other favorite toppings, you'd never know you were eating a carrot!  We can replace the high fat, cholesterol laden, processed dead animal parts hotdog with a nutrient dense, antioxidant and beta carotene rich beautiful carrot!!!  No more dead animal parts sitting in your gut, wreaking havoc on your body!

Choose organic carrots that are not real skinny.  Wash well, and cut them into hotdog length pieces.  No need to peel if they are organic.  Boil them in a pot of water until a fork can pierce them.  Don't get them too soft or mushy, as you will be cooking more at a later time.  Drain and let cool.  Once cool, pierce each one several times with a fork, which will allow for the marinade to penetrate the carrot.  Marinate for 4-6 hours, or overnight.   Cook in fry pan over hot fire, or grill outside for more smoky flavor!  Whatever you do, MAKE SURE to cook at least a dozen carrot dogs!  We keep them in the fridge all week to have on hand for a quick snack or meal!  To prepare the marinade, watch my youtube video below!

 

 

Beans are a great source of protein!

On a Whole Foods Plant Based Way of Eating,  we get a lot of our protein from the legume family (beans, peas, lentils).  One cup of cooked beans varies anywhere from 9 to 18 g protein.  Lentils have the most at 18 g/1 c cooked, and green peas are the lowest at 9 g protein/1 cup cooked.  Most other beans average 15 g protein/1 c cooked.  So I like to include some sort of legume in every meal we eat. 

And if you have a pressure cooker, making fresh beans is cheap and fast! We need to soak all beans, except lentils, overnight.  This gives them the opportunity to expel gas that you might otherwise have to deal with later, and it cuts down on the cooking time as well.   Always rinse the beans after soaking, and use NEW water to cook them in the pressure cooker.  Add enough water to cover the beans, and maybe 1/2 inch over that.  Use a chart to determine time for each different bean.  Most beans are pressure cooked between 4-8 minutes if they have been soaked.  I love the cookbook, Vegan Under Pressure, by Jill Nussinow.  She has good cooking charts for beans, grains, rice and veggies, as well as wonderful recipes!  (See her Chocolate Cake recipe for the pressure cooker, made once a week here at our house!)

Once the timer goes off and the beans are done, let the pressure go down naturally, DO NOT EVER Quick Release beans or grains.  They will all explode open with the fast drop in pressure, and when you open the pot, you'll have a big unidentifiable mess (I learned the hard way!).  Let them cool completely before putting them in storage jars, or in the freezer.  I like to freeze a jar or two for later use.

Now it is time to go out and buy some new beans you have never tried!  There are sooooo many ones out there: adzuki, cranberry, peruno, anasazi, black garbanzo, mung, black lentils, red lentils, yellow lentils.....the list is endless.  And try your hand at some delicious Indian or Ethiopian recipes using red or yellow lentils too!

Enjoy this short video below on cooking beans in the instant pot! Don't forget to subscribe to the youtube channel to get updates when new videos are posted!

You Gotta Look At the Labels!

On a WFPB WOE (Way of Eating), we try to eat our food in it's most natural, unprocessed form.  The best way to eat most all fruits and veggies is raw.  The second best way to eat them is fresh cooked.  Next in line is frozen, then canned. 

If you do most of your shopping in the produce section of your grocery store, then you get an A+.    It is best to avoid the center aisles where they house all the boxes, cans, bags, and prepackaged "foods".  

But let's be reasonable.  Most of us will need to buy items that are somewhat processed: breads, tortillas, condiments, canned beans, spices...But you MUST read the label!  Manufacturers are always sneaking in ingredients that are addictive and appeal to your palate and senses.  This includes lots of unwanted sugars, sodium and other undesired ingredients!  Take canned tomatoes for instance:  I assumed all canned tomatoes just contained tomatoes, WRONG!  I picked up a can the other day, and it had added sugar! ALWAYS read the label!

Ingredients To Avoid: high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, all oils (corn, sunflower, olive, canola, soybean, grapeseed...), enriched flour, added sweeteners (aspartame, splenda, sucralose...), hydrolyzed soy protein, soy protein isolate, mono and diglycerydes, and glycerin just to name a few!

The smaller the list of ingredients, the better it is for your body!

 

 

Plant Based Meal Prep Made Easy

Good Morning Everyone!  It is a beautiful day here in Dallas, Texas, and I really just want to be out in my garden, working in the dirt, feeling the sunshine, and listening to nature!  But, I also know that I want to help you transition to a WFPB lifestyle, and I want it to be as easy as possible! 

When friends first hear about this new way of life, a common concern is that they will have to learn all new recipes, and it seems overwhelming to most people. But what Pat and I have figured out (along with others following this way of life), it can be so simple!  Just eat and consume veggies, fruit, beans, seeds and whole grains!  We take our box of filled jars from the fridge, and dump the contents into a pan to quickly stir-fry, or a bowl to microwave.  Afterwards, add whatever sauce you'd like: BBQ sauce, balsamic or flavored vinegars, spicy mustard with squeeze of lemon, salsa, hummus, or just S&P. 

The easiest way to prepare your jars is to spend one or two hours once a week prepping!  If you work, this can be your Saturday or Sunday afternoon activity.  Buy your groceries ahead of time, wash the veggies, get your loved ones to help, and have an assembly line!  You can knock this out in no time at all.  And I promise you, dinner is only a 2-3 minute ordeal!  No thinking required, no worrying about, "What am I going to make for dinner?".

I also cook up a batch of both fresh beans and grains in the Instant Pot to use throughout the week, and I'll also freeze some in jars for later use.  Put your grains and beans in the jars too, and don't forget to label all your jars on the top lids.  Labels on top enable you to pull out only the jars you might want to use for that meal.  Otherwise, you end up lifting up each jar to see the contents.  I know, a bit obsessive/compulsive, but it saves time!  Thanks to my friend Catherine, for suggesting we label on the lids!

Below is a video of my FAVORITE kitchen gadget, the Vidalia Onion Chopper!  This thing is the bomb, and it will change your life!

What I learned from listening to the Food Revolution Summit last April

Today I was able to listen to three different speakers address a healthy lifestyle.  Dr. William Li, Dr. Joel Furhman, and Dr. Kelly Turner.  I'll summarize some important take-home messages I heard:

1. Angiogenesis is defined as the development of new blood vessels, and it is very important when discussing the growth, or inhibition of cancer cells.  Angiogenesis keeps cancer growing by constantly creating new blood vessels to supply blood to the tumors.  If we can determine how to cut off that blood supply, then we can look at how to STOP cancer in our bodies.

2. There are known foods that STOP angiogenesis, and we need to keep these foods in our diets so that our bodies continue to fight off cancer development.  All cruciferous vegetables, when chewed very well, release and produce isothiocyanates (ITCs) which interfere with cancer, and inhibit angiogenesis.  This cuts off the blood supply that feeds the cancer.  Cruciferous veggies create an environment that is anti-angiogenesis.

3. Cook your tomatoes to get maximum lycopene released.  Add a healthy fat to increase absorption of the lycopene (walnuts, olives, cashews, flax meal...).  Lycopene consumption fights breast and prostate cancer, and reduces your risk of getting them.

4.  Drink Green Tea at least 3x/week to lower your risk of colon cancer and skin cancer.  It also anti-angiogenic, meaning it inhibits the creation of new blood vessel development.

5. Cinnamon is also anti-angiogenic.  Sprinkle in coffee, on oatmeal, in breads, cakes, desserts, soups, and on fresh fruits!

6. About 70% of all cancers are preventable with diet.  We heard this several times in all three talks.  Animal foods encourage angiogenesis, thus they feed cancer.

7. High Blood Pressure?  Try adding 2-3 T flax meal to your daily foods.  Impressive results.

8.  I need to check out this book: Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds by Kelly Turner.  Over 1000 studies in medical journal publications of cancer reversals, and complete remission and healing.

Looking forward to hearing more this week on the Food Revolution.  Not too late to join this FREE summit!

Restaurant Review: V-Eats at Trinity Groves

Pat and I were excited to have a new dining option!  I called in advance to tell them who we were, and could they accommodate our no oil request.  They were happy to accommodate us EVEN though it was only their second day open!  There was a good crowd on the Friday night we arrived, and we were greeted by our waitress almost immediately, along with Chef Troy.  They were prepared with a list of options for us, and their suggestions as well.  We ordered a lot, because we wanted to sample as many things as possible to report back to our plant based community here in Dallas. 

APPETIZERS(Table Nibbles): We started off with the Choice of Trio Nibbles with Pita: Smoked Paprika Great Northern Bean Hummus, Pineapple/Mango Salsa, and Guacamole.  The hummus did have oil, but we tried it anyway.  And the pita was NOT whole grain,  but that should be an easy fix for them next time.  Whole Wheat Pita bread is readily available around town.  The trio was HUGE, and could easily serve 3-4! A great value for $12.  We also ordered as an appetizer the V Eats Sushi Roll, but it was way too salty for both of us. 

Soups/Salads (Fields & Orchard): The bowl of Southwest Chili was very tasty, and I could see at least three different kinds of beans, probably more!  It was only slightly warm (oven heat wise), so we sent it back to the kitchen to heat it up a bit more.  The seasoning and spice were perfect, not salty or too spicy at all!  The Strawberry Fields Salad was simple but HUGE.  At this point, the Chef De Cuisine, Chef John Mercer, came out to our table to present us with Ann Esselstyn's 1-2-3 Salad Dressing that he whipped up especially for us (3 balsamic vinegar 2 mustard 1 maple syrup).  He had attended a Forks Over Knives Conference as well, and even had a Forks Over Knives tattoo!  He knew where we were coming from, and we became fast friends!  He promised to make changes slowly to the menu to accommodate no oil, and asked us to be patient.  We promised we would return!

Main Meal (Hand To Mouth): The Beastless Burger had a bean patty option we chose, topped with guac, hummus, homemade pickles and grilled onions.  Need I say anymore?!?!

A La Cart: Chopped Broccoli Salad had a strawberry vinaigrette, dried cherries, sesame and rice vinegar from what I could tell.  Seemed a little too sweet for my tastes, though Pat liked it better.

Dessert(Indulgences):  Cheesecake of the Week was Raspberry.  We did not order dessert, but John came back to our table, bringing us one piece to share.  He wanted our opinion, and even though we were so full at that point, we acquiesced, and savored each bite!  A great end to a fine meal!

So when you visit VEats, be sure to tell Chef John Mercer "Hello" from his friends at Plant Based Dallas!

 Pineapple Mango Salsa, Guacamole, Smoked Paprika Great Northern Bean Hummus

Pineapple Mango Salsa, Guacamole, Smoked Paprika Great Northern Bean Hummus

 The Beastless Burger

The Beastless Burger

 SouthWest Chili   

SouthWest Chili

 

 Chopped Broccoli Salad

Chopped Broccoli Salad

 Strawberry Fields Salad with pears, spinach, strawberries, almonds, pickled red onions

Strawberry Fields Salad with pears, spinach, strawberries, almonds, pickled red onions

 Raspberry Cheesecake!

Raspberry Cheesecake!

 V-Eats Date Night!

V-Eats Date Night!