plant based dallas

French Fries Anyone?

I have found that the best way to make french fries is to boil them first, as this keeps the insides from drying out. 

First get a large pot of water to the boiling point.  I use my Vidalia Onion Choppper (larger grate) to cut the potatoes into fries.  Put them into the boiling water until they get just get a little soft to the bite, barely.  You don't want to boil too long, or they turn into a mushy mess (Believe me, I learned the hard way!) Then drain with a colander, and rinse well with cold water.  Then add aquafaba (chickpea liquid) to the potatoes, in a bowl, along with salt and pepper, flax meal, chipotle, paprika, garlic, turmeric or whatever flavor you desire. Use parchment paper so they don't stick, and spread them out to a single layer, leaving lots of air space around each one.  Don't crowd them at all. 

Bake at 425 for 15-20minutes.  To brown them up a bit, you can change to broil the last few minutes, but STAY RIGHT THERE to watch them.  For smaller portions, a toaster oven is great.  Now get out the ketchup and mustard, and get ready to feast on fries!  Plant Based foods are the best!

Tip:  For use later in the week, I boil them, drain and rinse, then spice them up and cool.  I keep them in the fridge for use later in the week.  When I reheat, it is either microwave, toaster oven, or fry pan over heat.

Breakfast Treat - Almond Banana Quesadilla

There are mornings where I am craving something sweet, in addition to my morning buda bowl.  I want to tell you about something so easy, but oh so good! 

I like to use the sprouted grain tortillas, found in the refrigerator section of your store.  I put a layer of almond butter along the entire tortilla, about 2 T, plus or minus.  Leave the outer 1 inch edge free of nut butter to keep it not quite as messy to eat.  On one half, place thinly sliced bananas.  And on the other side, sprinkle sunflower/sesame/hemp seeds, sliced almonds, and cacao nibs.  Then sprinkle entire tortilla with cinnamon (I also add a wee bit of cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves).  Fold in half, and it is ready to heat.  On your preheated ceramic fry pan, cook your tortilla on both sides.  Let cool before you cut it into quarters with your kitchen scissors.  This quesadilla can be prepared the night before, and heated in the morning. 

Use your imagination, and create other fast meals like this.  What about a pizza quesadilla using compliant canned pizza sauce or tomato sauce?  I am going to try that!


Watch the video below to learn how to make your own fresh nut butters at home using your high power blender!

The REALLY Important Foods: GBOMBS

You might be asking yourself, "Am I eating enough of all the right foods?"  I will share what several  experts suggest that we include in our daily food consumption.  The easiest to remember is GBOMBS.  Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat To Live,  suggests we eat our GBOMBS everyday.  G-Greens, B-Beans, O-Onions, M- Mushrooms, B-Berries, S-Seeds/Nuts.  This is an easy acronym to remember.

And Dr. Michael Greger has his Daily Dozen:

Water/Coffee/Green Tea/Hibiscus Tea- 5 servings (12 oz each)

Whole grains, fruits, beans- 3 servings each

Greens, other veggies- 2 servings each

Berries, cruciferous veggies, flax seed, nuts, spices, exercise- 1 serving each

A few extra tips: When you have a meal, soup, salad, wrap or sandwich, think to yourself, "How can I make this meal healthier?"  I add flax meal to just about anything, and if I have a savory dish, I always add turmeric as well.  If I am having a salad, I'll add beans, nuts and seeds to get those added nutrients and protein.  If I am making a soup, I'll add whole or pureed beans/lentils or pureed cashews.  And when serving any soup, I'll chop up a handful of fresh greens, and ladle the hot soup right on top of it!  I also put onions and garlic in most every savory dish I make.  I'll add some of my homemade sweet spice blend (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, allspice) to my coffee, oatmeal, bread or cookie recipe.  Always be looking for ways to add the power cancer fighting foods to your meals.


Substitution Tips

I agree that it can be kind of intimidating switching from the Standard American Diet (SAD) over to a Whole Foods Plant Based (WFPB) way of eating.  But after eating, cooking, and living like this now for several years, I can tell you that it does become easier!  You will learn how to take any of your old favorite recipes, and adapt them to become compliant.  So today is devoted to suggestions for substitutions!  There are so many alternatives to choose from, and it depends on what you are cooking.  Say it is a sweet baked item and you need 1 egg; choose the flax meal egg, not the tomato paste.  Say you need a cream for a savory dish, use pureed potato, cashews or beans, not coconut milk.  So here are just a few.  Enjoy experimenting!

1 egg     1 T flax Meal + 3 T water   or     1 T chia seed + 3 T water, 1/4 c silken tofu blended, 1/2 mashed banana, 1/4 c cooked oats, 1/4 c applesauce or pureed fruit, 3 T breadcrumbs, 2 T arrowroot, 3 T tomato paste, 1/4 c mashed potato, 1/2 c soy or rice yogurt

1/3 c oil-  1 banana, 1/3 c applesauce, 1 c flax meal, 1 avocado, 1/3 c plant milk

white flour- any whole grain flour (spelt, soft wheat, oat, barley...), bean/lentil flour

dairy milk- any nut or seed milk (almond, soy, flax, hemp, cashew..)

white sugar- date sugar, erythritol, coconut sugar, banana, molasses, pure maple syrup

creams- nut milks, coconut milk, pureed garbanzo beans, pureed tofu, pureed cashews, soy creamer, mashed potatoes

parmesan cheese-mixture of nutritional yeast, garlic powder, chopped nuts, chopped sunflower seeds (lots of recipes online)

queso-pureed soaked cashews blended with cooked onions, carrots, potatoes, nutritional yeast, spices (lots of recipes out there)

ricotta cheese- firm tofu, drained, pressed and then gently crumbled


Build A Meal Swap Big Success

Well last night we had our first ever, Build A Meal Swap.  For those of you curious about how we did it, go to my resources page, and see the flyer instructions I used.  Some of the jar contents were raw, some blanched, some fully cooked.  I'll be posting videos soon on how to cook grains/beans in the Instant Pot.  Attendees ranged from 20 something working kids, all the way to Empty Nesters wanting to eat healthy! 

The actual swap was a bit hectic, and more like a three ring circus, but everyone ended up excited to take home 12 jars of freshly prepared veggies, grains and legumes.  This weeks' meal preps for the 16 attendees will be quick and easy.  Instant bowls or meals at our fingertips: Southwestern (add salsa), Thai (add coconut milk, red curry paste), Chinese (add soy sauce, fresh ginger), Italian (add canned compliant pizza sauce)...And most were asking "When will we do this again?".  A great idea, thanks to Sharon Keeler, that we will most certainly continue!

Interested in hosting your own jar swap? Watch the two videos below for a quick look at one of our jar swap meetings live!

Getting Started on a Whole Foods Plant Based Way of Eating

Where do you start?  The key is to have your fridge filled with prepped foods ready to assemble into a meal.  Once every 5-10 days, I spend a morning prepping veggies.  I cut up any of the following: onions, cabbage, red/yellow/green bells, jalapenos, carrot shreds, beet shreds, cilantro, etc, and place them in mason jars (quart or pint), labeled with date on jar(masking tape/sharpee).  Having the date on the jar helps me to know what to use first, so that I don't end up throwing away anything.  Then I will steam or cook broccoli, mushrooms and potatoes (red or sweet) to have for the week.  Next I will cook one pot of beans to use for the week.  Canned is fine, but I like to save money and cook my own when I have the time. So my fridge has veggies, beans, and a whole grain ready for use.  Now all I am missing are the greens.  Keep a large supply of mixed greens on hand. 

Ready to make a Buda bowl?  In a large bowl put a handful of greens, add whatever fresh and cooked veggies you want, and don't be stingy.  You'll eat more than you think you could, and that is ok!  It takes more to fill up your stomach when you are not eating oils, animal products and processed foods!  Top with salsa, and heat up in toaster oven or microwave.  Top with avocado, pumpkin seeds, squeeze of lime/lemon.  Stir and enjoy!