Thursday, April 28, 2011

Forks Over Knives on Dr. Oz: 5 Foods that Cut Cancer Risk

Update: Here it is! Forks Over Knives on the Dr. Oz show from Wednesday April 27, 2011:

Can't seem to make the embed code work,
but here are links to a couple of segments:

5 Foods that Cut Cancer Risk, Part 1
(studio audience testimonials)

5 Foods that Cut Cancer Risk, Part 2
(Rip Esselstyn and what you CAN eat)

For all those naysayer who think vegans are unhealthy, I dunno - these guys look pretty freakin healthy to me.

For those who are interested, here's the Forks Over Knives movie trailer and a link to the theaters it's opening in:

If you missed the filmmakers of Forks Over Knives on Dr. Oz yesterday, here are the highlights:

Offered up by Colin Campbell (The China Study), Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease), Neal Barnard (21-Day Kickstart), Rip Esselstyn (The Engine 2 Diet), and Lee Fulkerson (FOK Writer & Director), the key to preventing or reversing cancer, heart disease and Type II Diabetes is this nutritionary overhaul:


1) Meat. All meat — even fish and eggs. If it has parents or a face, don’t eat it. Get your protein from beans - pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, etc. Beans also contain soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol.

Whole grains, such as quinoa, amaranth and millet are also good sources of protein. Nuts, including walnuts, pistachios and almonds are all high in protein. You can also get protein from vegetables. Broccoli is 30% protein in addition to containing highly absorbable calcium. Win!

2) Dairy. That means no cheese, yogurt, etc. Believe it or not, meat isn’t the highest source of bad fat - that title goes to dairy! Additionally, casein, a protein found in milk, has been linked to the growth rate of cancer.

You can give up dairy without depleting your supplies of calcium, potassium and vitamin D by eating more leafy green vegetables (collards, Brussels sprouts, kale and broccoli) for calcium and fruit (like oranges and bananas) for potassium. Soy, almond, rice and oat milk can also be fortified with vitamin D, and they are lower in saturated fat than dairy milk.

3) ALL processed food. Processed foods are stripped of nutrients and injected with sugar, salt and trans-fats - the triple threat that leads to obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Swap out these health saboteurs in favor of whole grains, including bread, pasta and seeds. Ditch processed sweets for fresh fruits and enjoy as much as you like!

Sadly even vegetable oils, like olive oil, can be highly processed. But it's a great excuse to get more creative with your cooking and experiment with lemon and lime juices, vinegar and spices. This was a tough one for me and I'm still working on it, but I have tried stir-frying things in water or veggie broth and it actually works pretty well. Also, plant-based foods contain natural oils, so added oils aren’t really necessary during cooking.

On a more positive note, the guys offered up the 5 most important foods to have in your kitchen:

1) Nutritional yeast. It's your healthiest bet for a cheese substitute that isn’t loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol. Also a great source of B12 and packs a 51% protein punch. As an added bonus, it's loaded with dietary fiber, which may help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Use it as a pizza topping, on lasagna, salads, steamed broccoli, cauliflower and even popcorn - anywhere you're dying to add some cheese! Here are some great recipes that feature this wonderstuff.

2) Freeze-dried strawberries. Ohio State University released a study showing that freeze-dried strawberries may actually prevent esophageal cancer. Freeze-dried are even better than regular strawberries because they pack 10-times the antioxidants. How do you not love that? Look for no-sugar-added options at health stores. Or, if you're super ambitious, you can make your own.

3) Rhubarb. Baking or boiling it will maximize the benefits. A recent study from Sheffield, England shows that rhubarb cooked for 20 minutes dramatically increases its levels of polyphenols, which are known cancer-fighting chemicals. Interestingly enough, rhubarb is not a fruit but a vegetable; the greens are actually poisonous, so stick with the stem! It's great with strawberries or even in scones.

4) Escalrole - These leafy greens are teeming with everything that will help you to fight cancer and make you healthy: water, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals all come to the rescue to take your health to the next level. Escarole is great to use in your salad and has actually been shown to help prevent ovarian cancer.

5) You're gonna love this: Dairy-free Banana "Ice-Cream" - stick some frozen bananas in a blender with a little water and vanilla extract and Voila! Have an actual ice-cream maker? Try this recipe. Extra bonus: bananas are known to prevent kidney cancer.

Anyone have any great recipes featuring these Fab Five? If so, please share!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Strawberry-Mint Smoothies

One of my awesome Facebook fans gave me a wicked craving for a new smoothie and I Googled my way to this one. The caffeine kick from the green-tea makes it a great pre-workout drink - much lighter than my usual yogurt or nut-milk versions.

Quite a few people tried it immediately after I posted it and gave it rave reviews. So I made it for breakfast this morning and they were right - it was ridicdelish!!

For all you other smoothie-lovers out there, this one is a must-try.

Strawberry Mint Smoothies

Adapted from "Best of" Inn Cuisine recipe, courtesy of the Aska Lodge B&B
Makes three 1-cup servings

1-1/2 cups strong, chilled green tea (made with 6 standard tea bags - I refrigerated overnight)
2 cups frozen strawberries (or blueberries or whatever berries you like)
1 frozen banana, sliced into 1" chunks (if you forgot to freeze the fruit like I did, add some ice)
a small handful of mint leaves (optional)
3 tablespoons honey (or agave syrup if you don't do honey)

Blend everything on high speed until combined. Top with fresh berries or a sprig of mint. Enjoy immediately!

Note: I pumped it up with 2 tablespoons of ground organic flax seeds and some vegan protein powder for some extra energy before my 10-mile bike ride. Supplement yours as needed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chickpea Fritters with Red Onion and Parsley

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of anything called a "patty." Perhaps it's the foodie in me, but I don't consider them to be real food. My grandmother used to make "meat patties" and even at the age of six I found it odd, concluding that they must have been made of some random mystery meat that failed in its efforts to be a full-fledged burger. But perhaps Gram just knew this fundamental truth: calling something a burger sets certain expectations that, if not met, will invariably make the eater feel let-down. And few things are more devastating to an Italian grandmother than someone being disappointed with her cooking.

Personally, I love veggie-type things smashed together in a (for lack of a better word) patty, as long as they aren't being passed off as burgers and have a more inspiring moniker. And I have no doubt that if I told the Bear I was making garbanzo-burgers, bean patties or any other such thing for dinner he would have surprised me with "just-remembered" dinner reservations.

Chickpea Fritters, however, seemed to intrigue him. Ironically, Italians find anything that smacks of the American South to be "exotic" - I love that. And he loved these.

Sneaky Vegan Marketing 101, my friends: never underestimate the power of presentation and packaging.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Leek Risotto with Spring Peas

Vegan risotto need not be an oxymoron, but a soy-based bastardization of this authentic regional recipe would be borderline blasphemous in my family.

The Bear makes some of the best risotto I've ever tasted - and I've tasted a LOT of risotto. Of course, anything jammed with butter, cream and cheese is usually pretty heavenly, artery-blockages notwithstanding. So how the hell I was ever going to get away with a butterless, creamless, cheeseless risotto that wouldn't end in divorce...

The answer was sitting quietly on my kitchen counter: leeks.

I grabbed my Italian cooking bible and frantically searched for a recipe. Found one, yay! Risotto con porri e panna: starts with butter, ends with cream and is finished with cheese. Boo. This is now a personal vision quest...

Though excited at first, the Bear quickly turned skeptical when he scanned the fridge and found no butter, cream or cheese in the house. He let me amuse myself anyway, secretly planning to rectify the situation with an emergency pizza. I don't know if it was because he had such low expectations to begin with, but he was blown away - seriously blown away - by how good this was - especially because there was virtually nothing in it!

The actual recipe is ridiculously simple: slice up some leeks, cook 'em down, add rice and stir, add broth and stir (repeat this move about 10 times), throw in peas at the end, garnish and serve. However, there are a few secrets to making a truly transcendent risotto. I'm eternally grateful that they were passed on to me, so if you're interested, here they are:

1) First and foremost, take your time. Grab your iPod, open a bottle of wine, phone a friend and get comfortable in front of the stove. Plan to be there for at least 40-45 minutes, adding one cup of liquid at a time and stirring constantly. Con-stant-ly. Leaving rice to soak in an unattended steambath yields nothing but...well, cooked rice.

2) You don't have to make it yourself, but whether it comes from a can, a box, or a boullion, use broth. Never water. I cannot emphasize this enough, in conjunction with the previous point. Rice cooks itself in water. Risotto is prepared by constantly adding and cooking down broth.

3) Use good risotto rice and the best quality ingredients you can find. Cooking is nothing but chemistry. Compensating for the lack of butter, cream and cheese is easy when you use fresh ingredients and give their flavors time to develop and marinate.

4) If by some bizarre chance you've forgotten about an open bottle of Prosecco - or any sparkling or white wine - and allowed it to go flat in the back of your fridge (gasp!), this is an excellent way to rectify the situation. Use that last cup (surely you don't have more than that left over) for the first absorption before continuing to add the cup at a time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bistro Caesar Salad

This is absolutely, hands down, the most delicious and ridiculously simple eggless Caesar salad I've ever had. EVER. I nicked it from a friend in 1993 and I've been making it ever since. My sister-in-law hates Caesar's but she loved this one - it's consistently amazing every time!

Ironically, it's usually the raw eggs and anchovies that (understandably) freak people out about Caesar's - well, problem solved! This one never had eggs and the anchovies are easily left out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Portabella Mushroom Fettuccine

Wow, Mom is really getting the hang of this vegan business! She refuses to open any of my new vegan cookbooks, prefering instead to use "real" recipes and just take out the stuff she can't eat. Pretty good strategy for a reluctant vegan - and anyone else who's having trouble sharing their kitchen with an omnivorous family.

Portabella mushrooms are one of my favorite "sneaky" ingredients because they marinate well with almost anything you would use on a steak.

So here's a little something she whipped up for us the other night.

1/2 cup burgandy or other dry red wine
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (she left this out and it was still delish!)
1-1/2 teaspoons dry oregano
12oz top sirloin, cut into thin strips
12oz portabella mushrooms, sliced
8oz fettuccine (we used wheat pasta but spinach or sun-dried tomato fettucine would be excellent!)

Combine first 6 ingredients in an airtight plastic bag for marinade. Add mushrooms and beef and turn to coat thoroughly. Seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes, turning beef frequently.

Cook pasta per packaging instructions.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with olive oil spray. Heat over medium-high for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer 1/2 the mixture to skillet. Cook for 4 minutes until meat is no longer pink. Stir frequently. Set aside and cook the remaining mixture.

Return the set-aside mixture with juices to skillet and add remaining marinade. Increase heat to high and cook for one minute, stirring gently. Remove from heat, spoon over pasta and serve. Sadly we didn't have any vegan cheese on hand, but a few shreds would have been a nice finishing touch. Still, this was delish. Try pairing it with this vegan Caesar salad on the side.

Yay Mom!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Be Overwhelmed

Photo courtesy of pinwheeldesigns at Etsy

Being amazed is a wonderful feeling. I want more of it, every day. 

Immediate plans include:

Take time to explore: We're off this weekend to tip-toe through the tulips. If you don't happen to have 100,000 flowering tulips in your immediate vicinity, find out what's happening in your city or be a tourist for the day and enjoy the stuff you only take time for when you have visitors in town.

Plant a garden: What a great way to celebrate Spring! Fresh herbs don't take up much space and they're wonderful to have at your fingertips. It's amazing what you can grow on a fire escape or balcony or even in your kitchen.

Refurbish old recipes: Check out America's Best Sandwiches - Veganized! for some great kitchen inspiration. I can't wait to try the Vegan Pibil Torta, veganized by Noelle, An Opera Singer in the Kitchen.

Love lavender:  If you have some leftover from the that delicious vegan fudge or the cool crock-pot oatmeal, use it to make these Lavender Vanilla Bean Scones.

Have a great date: Not up for cooking this weekend? Explore your neighborhood by checking out a new vegan restaurant near you with someone you love.

Treat yourself: to a sexy new pair of Cri de Couer peep-toes! No one is more amazed than I that vegan shoes can be gorgeous!

Sing out loud: Find some great music that lifts your soul. I've been positively re-obsessed with Jewel again. I've listened to Hands from her Spirit album at least 10 times today...and it's only 11am.

Give Back: Find an inspiring charity and learn how you can make a difference.

Be a Wayseer: All you rule-breakers, you misfits & troublemakers, all you free-spirits & pioneers… this is for you.

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Banana-Nut Waffles

This was my first-ever shot at making waffles. Yum!

If you don't happen to have a waffle iron, this would probably make great pancakes.

Banana Nut Waffles
Adapted from Veganomicon: the Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
Makes 14-16

1-3/4 cups soy milk
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 bananas
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons maple or agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
nonstick cooking spray

Preheat your waffle iron. Combine the soy milk, water and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside to curdle.

Mash the bananas well in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the soy milk mixture, oil, syrup and vanilla.

Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg first. Then add the flour, using a fork to combine, and be careful not to overmix. I'd also suggest adding the flour in thirds - I followed the recipe exactly and my batter came out too thick to pour. I loosened it up by adding more soy milk but next time I would add the flour more gradually until achieving the desired consistency. Mix until there are minimal lumps and fold in the walnuts.

Spray the cooking surfaces of the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray and cook the waffles according to the manufacturer's directions.

Serve with sliced bananas, walnuts and maple syrup. A sprinkle of powdered sugar and some strawberries would be lovely as well.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mixed Berry Pancakes

Not to be confused with Larry's Sunday Buckwheat Pancakes, these yummy little suckers have the berries built in! (there are actually two pancakes in this photo - in case anyone was wondering...)

Blueberry Corn Pancakes
Adapted from Veganomicon
makes 8-10 pancakes

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil (I left it out for a lower-fat version and they were fine)
1-1/4 cup plain soy milk (I used vanilla - yum!)
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (optional - but only because I didn't have any!)

1 cup fresh berries (I used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
canola (or some other light oil) cooking spray

Sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, add them to the dry until combined and fold in the berries.  A couple of lumps are fine. Overmixing yields tougher pancakes.

Preheat a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Spray pan with cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup batter into the pan. Cook till bubbly and brown on bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook until browned. Pancakes should be firm but not hard.

Top with fresh berries, bananas, powdered sugar, nuts or whatever your little hearts desire.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...