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Vegetarian



Forks Over Knives Plan Pushes Whole Food Vegan Diet for Beginners

forks-over-knives

Most, if not all, chronic disease can be controlled, even reversed, with a diet that eliminates animal products and processed foods and is ultra-low in fat. At least that’s the premise of Forks Over Knives, the film and the book that “helped spark a nutrition revolution.” It spotlights the benefits of a whole food diet (nothing processed or refined) limited to plant products (no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, or gelatin) and with negligible fat (no oils, including olive oil and nuts). The Forks Over Knives Plan, a new book in the series, was written by two medical doctors, Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman, who treat patients with this dietary regimen. This book is designed to help with the transition and assumes the reader has embraced the premise and is ready to begin.

The book starts with a “background” of scientific evidence to make the case for the diet. (Just watch the film.) Next up is The Forks Over Knives Plan, the actual scheme the doctors use to complete the transition to a vegan diet over four weeks. Each week targets a particular meal to make vegan:

  • Week 1 focuses on breakfast
  • Week 2 on lunch
  • Week 3 on dinner
  • Week 4 focuses on lifestyle issues

The readings, oriented around the week, dig into nutrition information and practical issues. For instance, which foods to stock at home and what to eat in a restaurant. The information may or may not be new, depending on your level of veganism. ForksOverKnives.com has more tools to support this transition.
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A Vegetarian Dinner Never Tasted So Good: Chickpea Fritters with Arugula Salad

chickpea-fritters-and-arugula

Garbanzo beans never tasted so good! I love hummus, or just the raw beans in salads, as much as the next person, but my favorite legume is back at it in these fritters. What I love about this meal is that it can take on many different personalities.

If you’re just testing out Meatless Monday, this is a great intro. If you’re looking for an at-home version of falafel or Mediterranean food, top the fritters with tahini, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Greek yogurt works as a great alternative to a cream sauce, except it’s lower in sugar and higher in protein!
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Pick a Pocket Full of Pawpaws: Sure to be the Hottest New “it” Fruit

pawpaws

Now is the time for “pickin’ up pawpaws and puttin’ ‘em in your pockets” as the children’s chant goes. The best pawpaws are the fully ripe fruits that have fallen to the ground between mid-August and mid-October, perfect for stuffing your pockets or your face!

Pawpaws are the largest edible fruit native to the U.S. and are an indigenous plant to 26 states east of Nebraska, reaching from Florida to New York. The fruit was an important food for Native Americans and early settlers. Pawpaws graced George Washington’s table in colonial days. And even animals aren’t missing out on this delicious treat — squirrels, raccoons, possums, and bears happily feast on aromatic pawpaw flesh.

Pawpaws are large fruits, similar to mangoes or papayas, ranging in color from yellow to green with skin often flecked. When over-ripe, the skin will turn brown like a banana. They have big black seeds that are easy-to-remove, a custard-like texture, and a flavor that is related to bananas, mangoes and melons. They are known commonly as a poor man’s banana.

“It has a sweet, yet rather cloying taste….a wee bit puckery” is the way their taste was described by a botanist of yore.   
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Fall for Kale and White Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes for Dinner

kale-bean-sweet-potato

As fall approaches, I can’t get enough of nutrient dense root vegetables. Most notably: the sweet potato. While some prefer variety in their diet, I could eat some form of sweet potato every day: mashed for breakfast, fried for lunch, and stuffed for dinner.

sweet-potatoes

Stuffed sweet potato, you ask? Yes. My multiple experiments in the kitchen to include as much sweet potato as possible has led to one of my staple year-round dinners –the kale & white bean stuffed sweet potato. Who needs to wait for fall to have a hearty, yet surprisingly light, dinner? Not me!

Sweet potatoes are an all-star source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and the purple sweet potatoes are even thought to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Just as the recipe name implies, you simply bake the sweet potatoes, choose your green and your white bean, prepare as directed, then stuff the greens & beans into the sweet potato for a healthy and satisfying edible boat! It’s truly delicious.
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Sorry Trader Joe’s! This DIY Bistro Salad is Better Than the Original

trader joes copycat bistro salad

I love me a quick trip to Trader Joe’s as much as the next person (hello cheap and yummy wine, grab-and-go healthy snacks, free samples…). But sometimes, I don’t always love the price you pay for the convenience of their healthy prepared snacks and meals.

One of my favorite options for a to-go lunch is the Trader Joe’s Bistro Salad: kale, garbanzo beans, chopped nuts, edamame, and dried cranberries. I’m such a sucker for dried cranberries! But paying a few too many dollars for a very DIY-able salad? Not so much.

bistro salad ingredients

I set out to create a similar salad, and came out with something that the tummies in my household believe to be much better! Not only for your wallet, but for your taste buds, too!
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