Category Archives: plant based diet

plant-based Diet

Bean Salad

beansSummer! Who wants to cook? Not me!

Much of our summer food is cold – salads, chilled soups and sandwiches. Mostly I prepare the the salads and soups early in the morning and put it in the refrigerator to chill for four our five hours. Not only are they cold, but the flavors have had time to meld. (more…)

Posted in additive-free food, diary-free food, gluten-free food, plant based diet, Protein, salad, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Leave a comment

Mexican Rice

rice and beans
Most Mexican restaurant entree’s include rice and beans. The rice is a quintessential side dish which uses tomatoes and various herbs (garlic, cumin, cilantro) to lightly season the rice. Sometime, however, the rice includes jalapeno and can be quite spicy.

In our house Mexican rice is a more robust dish. We use herbs and spices liberally and it is much more than a side dish. We use it for breakfast rice and eggs, we add black or pinto beans and use it as an entree, we stuff it into green peppers and have been known to just sit down and eat it all by its self.

My grandkids asked me for my recipe recently and I realized I had never written down. I promised to do it. So Lauren and Kaitlyn, this is for you! (more…)

Posted in additive-free food, diary-free food, gluten-free food, Mexican, plant based diet, rice, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Leave a comment

Stir Fry with Ginger Sauce

Stir_frySummer is here and the garden is starting to produce veggies. Sometimes it is hard to figure out what to do with them.

A favorite simple solution is stir fry.  Stir fry uses most available vegetables. In fact I use almost anything except tomatoes and beets in it. Just add protein with tofu or nuts and to punch up the flavor use very simple ginger sauce. (more…)

Posted in additive-free food, Asian, diary-free food, fresh veggies, plant based diet, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Leave a comment

Vanishing Pesto

basilLast week the weather was alternatively sunny and humid or rainy and even more humid. The herbs really love it and the basil has grown like mad. By Saturday it was starting to bolt and take over the garden.

I was down to use it or lose it time. I waded through the mud, out to the garden and started cutting. Brought in all the cuttings, stripped the leaves and the bolted flowers. Ended up with 8 cups of washed and tightly packed leaves and bolted flowers. (more…)

Posted in additive-free food, diary-free food, garden, gluten-free food, Italian, plant based diet, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Plant-Based Diets and Iron

As a young woman my pulse was alarmingly high. I was a swimmer, got plenty of exercise and should have had a nice low resting pulse rate. My Doctor at the time was alarmed enough by my pulse rate to order a blood test that measured my hemoglobin.

The results showed that my hemoglobin was very, very low. The doctor concluded that I wasn’t getting enough iron in my diet.  He explained that the lack of iron meant that my body could not make enough of the protein, hemoglobin. And since hemoglobin carries oxygen to the cells my body was chronically short on cellular oxygen. He mentioned the word “anemic” and suggested that since I was a vegetarian it was unlikely I could get enough iron in my food. He got out his pad and prescribed iron pills.

He described the problems that came from chronic anemia – fatigue, brain fog, leg cramps, shortness of breath and on and on.  He scared me into taking the iron.

The iron pills made me miserable – I will spare you details. Just leave it that it took about a week for me to toss the iron pills in the trash and to start looking for iron-rich foods. This is my first memory of using nutrition as a “medicine” and the start of a life long practice of looking at food instead of medicine. (more…)

Posted in B12, diary-free food, plant based diet, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grilling Veggies

Sgrillince we have a “primitive” kitchen at the moment, we invested in a propane gas grill. Two advantages – it is a great cooking surface and it is outside. The outside part keeps the heat out of the house; something to consider in this climate!

A few years ago we grilled a lot. Part of it was because of the heat in Palm Springs and part of it was because I banned meat from the kitchen. There is something about the smell, the blood and the mess. . . But meat was not the only thing we grilled. We regularly grilled onions, corn, eggplant and a variety of other veggies.

When we moved to Prescott and David became vegan we decided not to buy a replacement for the one we left in Palm Springs. He didn’t think it was worth the money if he wasn’t going to be eating meat.  I knew I missed grilled vegetables, but until we got this new grill I didn’t realize how much!

foilWe have been haunting the Farmers Markets. Two or three days a week we come home with a bag of fresh fruit and veggies.. Over the last two weeks we have grilled corn, potatoes, onions, eggplant, summer squash, cauliflower, beets, carrots and tomatoes. We have been going through lots of foil sheets !

Grilling veggies is really easy to do and really tasty! One of those fun things to experiment with.

Here is how we do it:

  1. Wash the vegetables and trim if necessary. Remember for potatoes, whole beets and other large veggies to poke a couple of holes in the surface
  2. Layout several pieces (4-6) of foil on the counter
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil on the middle part of the foil and salt it lightly
  4. Add herbs to taste; examples include:
    • Garlic for eggplant
    • Rosemary for carrots
    • Tarragon for squash
  5. Place veggies evenly in the middle of the foil
  6. Use your hand a sprinkle a little water on top of the veggies
  7. Wrap tightly in little packets (if the foil breaks just add a second sheet
  8. Place on the grill and when the veggies are about 1/2 done turn them over and continue cooking
  9. Cooking times will vary but for most veggies about minutes is perfect; for onions, potatoes and whole beets it is closer to 50 minutes.

Summer is a great time to experiment and find your favorite grilling veggies. Don’t forget to try out different herbs they have a way of making a “plain” veggie a whole new taste treat.

Posted in Farmers Market, fresh veggies, plant based diet, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell and Howard Jacobson

Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition is based on two simple premises:

  • “First, nutrition is the master key to human health.
  • Second, what most of us think of as proper nutrition–isn’t.”

Campbell show how nutrition researchers approach the science of nutrition with one of two biases. They are either reductionists who presume that everything can be understood if you understand all its component parts. Or wholists who postulate that  the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Most nutrition research today, is done on a reductionist model. Studies that isolate a small specific nutrient or vitamin like Vitamin D. The research study is then created in an attempt to draw conclusions about its effects on overall health. The research does a terrific job on highlighting the strengths and weaknesses or benefits and dangers of that specific nutrient. Unfortunately this is often done by overlooking the bigger picture of how the information fits into an individuals overall health and wellness.

Campbell argues that nutrition can only be understood using by a wholist approach. The interactions of food and the human body are too complex to be rationally understood without acknowledgement of the whole organism.

I really appreciate his believe that scientist today have the tools to create and administer wholist nutrition research. And that over time they can and will change the research methods and that consumers will begin to demand more comprehensive research. The combination of these forces will ultimately change how our society thinks about health and nutrition. He writes that “the crucial shift in the way we think about our health will happen one person at a time. Eventually the policy will begin to change. Industry, deprived of the income produced by ill health and our ignorance, will follow.” I hope he’s right!

This is an important work that is simply written, easy to understand and even optimistic about that future. And is important for both professionals and laymen since it is clear and never condenses or preaches to the reader.

Posted in plant based diet, T. Colin Campbell, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Amy’s Kitchen – Healthy Prepared Vegan and Gluten Free Food

We are packing away. It is amazing how much junk you can accumulate in a couple of years. The hardest part is making decisions – what to do about those little but useful items. For example all the special use kitchen items, the myriad little items hidden away in cabinets and drawers or the box of hooks, picture hangers and rug grippers. None of them are particularly expensive or irreplaceable. It just cost money and time to replace them. To keep or not to keep? My rule of thumb is that if I haven’t used it since we moved here 2 years ago, out it goes either for a yard sale or donation. But there are still a lot of “iffy” items. This part drives me nuts!! Which means all I want to do is eat! amy tamaleThat is the long way of saying that we are either too busy or too tired to think much about cooking. Terrible, when you a chronically hungry (something called stress eating). Interestingly, this time out, I am finding it important to not eat junk. So, last Thursday we took a little trip to the local health food store to see if we could find something prepared that would work. (more…)

Posted in additive-free food, diary-free food, entrée, gluten-free food, Italian, Mexican, plant based diet, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Vegan French Toast

french toastFrench toast has always been a favorite breakfast food, but the eggs more or less made it a non-starter. Lately we have been testing alternatives and here is my current favorite.

The best thing about this particular recipe is that it slightly sweet and toasts up to a wonderful golden brown. I promise you won’t miss the eggs at all! (more…)

Posted in Breakfast, diary-free food, gluten-free food, plant based diet, sugar-free food, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cherry Preserves

cherryLast week when cleaning out the freezer we found a big bag of organic pitted cherries. We bought them at Costco intending to use them in smoothies, but somehow that didn’t happened. They were starting to get freezer burned so we needed to come up with a way to use them quickly.

Cherry pie? How about cherry ice cream,cobbler, compote, tart, chutney or some sort of sauce? After all our excess in New Orleans desert didn’t sound even remotely interesting, I am not a big chutney fan and sauce without a purpose seems like a waste of energy. (more…)

Posted in Breakfast, gluten-free food, plant based diet, sugar-free food, vegan, vegetarian, Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment