This is my own recipe for vegan corn chowder. And it’s really good–I promise!
- 1-2 onions
- 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange)
- zucchini (optional)
- potatoes, peeled and diced (I use about 1 small russet per person I’m serving)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 bag frozen corn
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 box vegetable stock
- coconut milk (the beverage, not canned) 2-3 cups, or enough to reach the consistency soup you prefer.
- 1 tsp smokey paprika
- salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and saute onion, bell peppers, and zucchini until soft. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add diced potatoes
- Add the flour and cook for 4-5 minutes. It was stick to the pot, but keep stirring.
- Add the vegetable stock, coconut milk, thyme, and paprika. Stir well to get all the flour off the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until the desired consistency is reached. It may takes 20+ minutes to get the potatoes to break down a touch and help thicken the soup.
- Add the salt, pepper, and frozen corn towards the end (and heat just enough to keep the corn crunchy).
- This is a super leftover, as it’s way thicker the next day!
I finally got to see the documentary Forks Over Knives that has been out for months. The film is about how diet can stop and even reverse some diseases, and about the dangers of animal products. I read The China Study, by Colin Campbell Ph.D. (who is featured in the film), almost 3 years ago. Since then, our family has eaten much less animal products–we only eat meat about once a month and we cut way back on dairy. But the film featured other doctors (Caldwell Esselstyn, John McDougall, and Pam Popper) as well as plenty of anecdotal evidence from individuals who changed their diet to treat cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. It was highly motivating and I found it really enjoyable.
The film had a good balance of scientific research and anecdotal evidence. I will mention a bit of the most impressive research.
- Dr. Esselstyn, a heart surgeon, was struck early in his career about this study, and I have to say it floored me too–in the 1920′s and 1930′s in Norway, heart disease was on the rise. During WWII, Germany invaded and confiscated all the livestock to feed themselves, leaving Norweigans to eat plant-based foods. The number of deaths from heart disease plummeted, only to rise again when the occupation ended. Very interesting!
- Dr. Campbell duplicates Indian research showing that when rats are expossed to the carcinogen Aflotoxin, the growth of their tumors can be controlled by the minipulation of their diet. Rats fed 20% casein (dairy protein) had rapid tumor growth, while rats fed 5% had none. Rats on the 20% diet switched to the 5% diet saw their tumors shrink. Notable is that the group with no tumor growth did not have no casein at all, but 5%. Perhaps a strict avoidance of dairy is not necessary and considerable reduction is sufficient?
- Dr. Esselstyn takes a group of heart disease patients who have had multiple heart attacks and are basically knocking on death’s door. He puts them on a plant based diet. A few drop out over the years, but after two decades, 18 are still in the group and all are alive. Eleven of them have stopped their heart disease progression and four have reversed it.
- Dr. McDougall notes that in Hawaii, the immigrants from Asia are trim and healthy. Their children, born on the island, tend to eat more fast food and animal products, and are “fat and sick.” Continue reading »
My father and a couple other people I know are trying to reduce their intake of animal products (in light of the documentary Forks Over Knives and books like The China Study). The China Study points out the problems of consuming a lot of dairy. But dairy is so hard to cut out of the diet, and alternatives (soy cheese anyone?) leave much to be desired. However, there is one company that makes several products that I find absolutely delicious and actually prefer to dairy: Turtle Mountain.
I especially like Turtle Mountain’s coconut milk products, like their ice cream sandwiches, ice cream bars, and yogurt. While the cultured coconut milk is nothing like yogurt made from cow’s milk (the lack of protein means a very different consistency), it is tasty and my children enjoy it. I also think their soy-based Purely Decadent “ice creams” are delicious. The Mocha Almond Fudge is one of my favorites. It’s not really ice cream season, but just know that if you’re avoiding dairy, there are many good alternatives out there.
I’ve been making a version of these enchiladas almost every week for the past year. They are so tasty and you can really tweak the recipe to work with whatever ingredients you have. I think this recipe proves you don’t need meat to feel satisfied! I list very few quantities to keep the recipe flexible.
- Whole wheat tortillas (I usually use 10)
- bell peppers
- sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- fresh corn
- paprika (smokey is delicious, but sweet works)
- mexican seasoning
- Eden Foods canned beans (pinto or black)
- jar of salsa
- Robertos enchilada sauce (or more salsa/tomato puree for the non-spicy kid version)
- monterrey jack or cheddar cheese
- avocado, or guacamole Continue reading »
Most Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, especially not up to the 13 servings recommended for optimum health. That can seem like a ridiculous amount of produce, unless you eat a mostly vegetarian diet. And I’m not talking about the unappealing meat-substitute variety of vegetarian–the one where you eat veggies burgers and veggies sausages and soymilk and a bunch of other soy-based meat replacements. But rather, a vegetarian diet that is full of vegetables!
For about two years now, my family has eaten mostly vegetarian. I suppose the true term for what we’re doing is flexitarian, as we still eat seafood and bison, although that only happens a couple times per month. The rest of the time, we eat vegetarian. And when we do this, we really eat a lot of produce. For example, last night we had enchiladas. Rather than being filled with meat and cheese, ours contained black beans, pinto beans, onions, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, zucchinis, summer squash, garlic, green onions, tomato, and cilantro. Rather than serve them with sour cream and extra cheese, ours were served with guacamole. I didn’t even bother with a side veggie or salad as the main course was almost entirely vegetables and legumes. This morning for breakfast, we had our usual banana nut whole wheat pancakes. Rather than serve them with sausage or bacon, ours came with a generous side of fruit salad. Continue reading »
Our family recently took a trip to a local farm. My five year old loves the book Charlotte’s Web and we try to go to the farm at least once a year to see “Wilbur.” I think it’s important that children see farms and farm animals and understand where their food comes from. I also want my children to develop compassion for all animals, including the ones they eat, and to understand why Mommy is so particular about the foods we eat. The below scene prompted a lengthy conversation about why pigs should be allowed to lounge in mud and not have their tails cut and be put in cages so tight that they can’t turn around and have to defecate where they sleep. When we do eat meat, I want it to come from animals that had a happy life, like these:
Continue reading »
My son was born one month ago today and I think the natural post-partum weight loss is slowing considerably. It’s time to start eating like I want to loose this baby weight! This delicious summer salad is full of healthy ingredients and is vegan. Go easy on the dressing to make it “light.” It’s super colorful and would be a great addition to any BBQ or potluck gathering. My kids, husband, and I love it!!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups fresh corn (2 ears)
- 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 cup finely chopped red cabbage (we gave ours a quick saute, as I’m not a fan of it raw)
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 1 diced avocado Continue reading »
Read this interesting post from a blogger about why she decided to become a vegetarian.
I love samosas, and here’s an easy way to make them for dinner for your entire family. This recipe is vegan and freezes well.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (whole-wheat pastry if you have it)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbs. canola oil
- 1 Tbs. black or yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 5 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered (1 1/4 lb.)
- 1 1/2 tsp. canola oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tsp. agave nectar or sugar
- 2 Tbs. soymilk
Continue reading »
This dish is a big hit with the kids, super helathy, and freezes well. What more could you ask for?
- 1/2 cup dry polenta or corn grits
- 1/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tbs chili powder (or less if your kids don’t like things spicy)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 15-oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (Eden Foods brand is BPA free)
- 1 14-oz can tomato puree (Bionaturae sells jarred tomato puree)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
- 2 tsp brown rice flour (wheat flour worked fine for me)
Continue reading »