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Category: Clean Eating

Wait! Don’t get rid of that grill!!

It was quite ironic that I saw this post on Fix.com the other day because my wife, and my sons, got me a new grill for Fathers Day. We recently bought a new home after moving around and around more times than I am willing to admit. So, needless to say, it’s been a while since I had a grill to cook on. And, to be honest, I think the last times I cooked on one was when I was still eating meat.

If you have recently made the transition to a plant based/ vegan diet you do not have to give up your grill. Even when I was eating meat, I do remember cooking a plethora of veggies on the grill. Fire roasted summer squash and zucchini? Yes please! Don’t give that grill away, dust it off and get it ready. Heck it should be ready to go, it’s summah (as we say here in the Northeast).

July 4th just passed and while it not the official date that summers starts, at least not the season, it’s said it is a kick-off to the summer. On July 4th, and foreseeable future (or at least until Labor Day), BBQ’s are an almost daily event. Whether it grilling at a get together, or nightly for your family, these are some great tips to get the most out of your grill and your veggies.

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Cholesterol Case Study: WFPB Works!

badcolesterolOver the years I’ve been going more and more vegetarian. It wasn’t until last year that I went completely plant based. In early March (2014) I had sent in a blood sample to get a lipid panel reading. The results I got back were horrifying.

I was honestly shocked. I had made some minor lifestyle changes besides the diet. I was way more active. I ran often. I participated as much as I could in obstacle races. I went to the gym frequently. I even did burpees for hours at a time, even though burpees suck!

Being someone who is of the belief that some things can be solved with diet and nutrition, I made the adjustment. No more meat. No more processed foods. You get the idea. I ate, and still eat, as cleanly as possible. I am no doctor, so take what I say with a grain of salt, I am not offering medical advice.

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It’s not just the science, it’s the humanity behind it

Kool-aid can sometimes be REALLY strong! I mean, you watch this documentary or read that article and the science seems solid right? It just has to be true; so you go all in. Before you know it you’re like a robot, spewing facts and using buzz words that you never knew before. The old you is gone and now, you’ve become a dead ringer for whatever cause you have taken on.

I have found myself there, and at times, catch myself uttering the popular verbiage. I mean, when you hear something like:

“If you flip a coin three times and it lands on heads each time, it’s probably chance. If you flip it a hundred times and it lands on heads each time, you can be pretty sure the coin has heads on both sides. That’s the concept behind statistical significance—it’s the odds that the correlation (or other finding) is real, that it isn’t just random chance.” – T. Colin Campbell (excerpt from The China Study)

With a quote like that, science can’t possibly be wrong, right?

I admit, when I first watched some of the plant based documentaries out there, I was excited. Not because of the scientific proof they glorify, but because of the human stories. Choose any one of the movies and you are going to see them, the overweight folks who are miserable and decide to change their lives. They take so many pills daily it’d make most of us cringe. But, by the end of these films, they not only have lost tons of weight, but they are off most (if not all) of the meds they were on.

You can tell me all about science and mumbo jumbo, but what really impacts people is other people. Testimonials really drive home the fact that the science behind a WFPB diet is legit. We can talk numbers and statistics all day, but the question always boils down to this; does it actually work?

“After years of being overweight, at age 52 my health began to fail. In the first six months of 2012, I had several trips to the emergency room, followed by doctor visits and many tests. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and fibromyalgia. I underwent a heart catheterization and was placed on seven different prescriptions. My life began to be controlled by meds and doctor visits.”

 

“So after 18 months on a whole-food, no-oil, plant-based diet, I have my health back. I am off all my medications and have lost 75 lbs. I have been released by my cardiologist, and my doctor is amazed by the changes I have made. I am back to working full time, keeping up with my grandchildren, and have more energy now than I have in years.”

Melayna Evans, from http://www.forksoverknives.com/my-life-was-controlled-by-doctors-and-meds-but-no-longer/

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Recipe: Buddha Bowl

Buddha Bowls can have just about any ingredients in them. I’ve seen them in all sorts of flavors. Having munchkins running around the house though, I had to make something kid friendly.

buddhabowlIngredients:

1 cup tri-color quinoa
1/2 cucumber
2 carrots
2 cups broccoli slaw
sesame seeds
Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce (if you want this to be gluten free, drop this ingredient)

Cook the quinoa per the instructions, normally it’s a 2-to-1 ratio, 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa.

Chop and cook down the carrots until they are soft but not mushy.

Cook broccoli slaw with a little water and the soyaki until soft like an el dente noodle.

Dice cucumber.

Once all cooked spoon out quinoa evenly into 4 bowls. Add a heaping spoonful of the carrots, cukes and broccoli slaw like pictured. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

*depending on taste, you may want to add a bit extra of soyaki to your bowl and mix.

 

Lentil Shepherds Pie

veggieshepherdspieJust got done with dinner and figured I’d share what we had tonight.

If you are so inclined to make it yourself, here is what you’ll need:

1 15.5oz can of lentils (You can make you own, just roughly make 2 cooked cups)
5 Decent sized Russet potatoes
2 Handfuls of fresh spinach
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup of frozen peas
1/2 cup of shredded carrots
1/4 cup of onions

Preheat over to 350.
Peel, dice and boil the potatoes in the manner you would to make mashed potatoes.
Saute the onions. I sauteed mine in Earth Balance vegan butter.

Open can of lentils, drain the fluid and rinse well with water. Doing this gets rid of a lot of the added sodium.
Pour can of lentils into a dish you normally use for Shepherds Pie, I used a 9″ round pyrex dish.
Tear the fresh spinach up by hand and spread evenly.
Pour in the corn, then the peas and spread evenly.
Sprinkle the shredded carrots over top.
Once you’ve made your mashed the way you like, I used a couple tablespoons of butter and a 1/2 cup of almond milk, spread it over top of all the veggies.
I sprinkled some sea salt, pepper, paprika and dried basil on the top.
Cook for 25-30 minutes. Just enough to make sure the spinach has cooked down and the frozen corn and peas are hot enough to eat.

Enjoy!

Green Lotus Cafe: Cape Cod’s First (and finest) Vegan/ Veggie Cafe

originalCape Cod Magazine just released it’s “Top People To Watch in 2015” and one of my favorite people has been chosen. His name is Nate Fanara and he is the owner of the Green Lotus Cafe, which is located at 349 Main St in Hyannis.

natelotusThe Green Lotus is Cape Cod’s first truly vegan/ vegetarian cafe and serves up breakfast and lunch. I’ve tried convincing him to do dinner, but we need small steps here as we want everyone to know about this place.

Nate is an amazing cook. Not only that, but he’s got a fantastic personality and isn’t afraid to take time out to chat while he’s blending up a smoothie, dishing out some soup or whatever else he has going on.

In 2014 he was a speaker at the 2014 Boston Vegetarian Food Festival where he wowed fest goers with his vegan version of New England Clam Chowdah!

Did I mention he’s also a triathlete and has finished an Ironman? That’s pretty bad-ass in my book.

The cafe’s following is getting bigger and bigger, and Nate’s passion for plant based food is becoming more and more well known. You can go in there any day and see all sorts of people still trying it out for the first time, or regulars coming back for their favorite dishes.

green collageI’ve been there numerous times and have had a couple different soups. The 3 Potato Chowder is my favorite soup, hence the reason the pic over there on your right has an empty cup. It was so goooood I couldn’t wait for my camera app to load.

My fave sandwich so far is The Maui which is creamy avocado spread, coconut bacon, pineapple relish, tomatoes, lettuce, sprouts on a house baked 7 grain. I can hands down crush probably 2 or 3 of these sandwiches, but I can refrain… I will just have another one the next day! 😛

Why does it have to be 10pm right now, I’m hungry? See, Nate, this is why you need to be opened late!

Either way, if you are on Cape Cod, planning a trip to Cape Cod or whatever, you need to make a stop in and see Nate and the rest of the Green Lotus crew. I PROMISE you will not be disappointed!

Check out their website:
http://greenlotuscafe.com/

Or stop by at:
349 Main St.
Hyannis, MA. 02601

Recipe: Red Pepper and Onion Polenta

polentaThis is an extremely easy recipe. I have not had polenta until recently and cannot get enough of it. There will be more recipes using it as I diversify recipes for every type of meal.

Ingredients:
1 package of Pastene Polenta mix
Pastene Red Peppers
Frozen, chopped onion

Pan fry, saute, the red peppers and onions. You can use however much, or as little, as you prefer. Once caramelized, or cooked down to your liking, take off burner.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil (add a bit of sea salt to water).
Pour in 2 cups of dried polenta mix and stir rigorously for a couple minutes.
Add in red peppers and onions.

On a flat sheet pan pour out the mix and spread evenly. Refrigerate for an hour.

Once the polenta has settled and has become stiff. Cut into equal sized squares, pan fry and serve.

After having it for dinner, I put the leftover squares in baggies for future use and froze them.