Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Engine 2 Diet Super Bowl Parties: Ideas, Part 2-The Healthy Librarian's Recipes

Before we get started on the subject at hand, who saw The Oprah Winfrey Show yesterday on veganism? If you missed it, read a great summary of the show by Angela over at Oh She Glows.

All I can say is "oh vey!" I mean really, was that the best veganism has to offer? Veganaise, Daiya Cheese, Tofurkey and other highly processed meat and cheese substitutes? Did you get a load of the vegan dinner that the Oprah staffer made for her family? White pasta with some disgusting sauce made out of vegan sausage and a pizza with vegan cheese? Where were the fresh vegetables?

When "The Veganist" shopped with said staffer at Whole Foods what did they fill the shopping cart with? Vegetables, fruits and beans? Hells no! They filled it with Earth Balance, a vegan substitute for butter made of oil. Was I the only one outraged by this show?

The guests on the show joked about how a vegan diet could consist of junk food and thus be an unhealthy way of eating, so how ironic was it the healthy whole food got about 30 seconds of airtime while highly processed vegan foods seemed to take up one quarter of the show? Was this a product placement opportunity for the makers of Tofurkey? I'm guessing it was.

Honestly, the show angered me. I don’t know what happened in the editing process, but I cannot believe that it was never mentioned that a healthy vegan diet should consist primarily of vegetables, fruits, beans, real whole grains, nuts and seeds. I mean Michael Pollan was sitting right there and did he speak up after all of that talk about Veganaise and Tofurkey . . .? Really? I was cursing at my television right in front of my 11 year old daughter. It’s this type of misinformation that hurts the public, not helps society. We are in a crisis of epidemic proportions in the United States. Oprah herself is obese. This episode was such a missed opportunity. Oh well, more work for healthy vegan authors and bloggers!

Like I said, oh vey . . .

So what would you do if you wanted to make a truly healthy vegan meal? You'd ask Debby, aka The Healthy Librarian, over at! Here were her suggestions for a wholesome Plant-Strong Super Bowl Party:

All-American Chili
A chili with lots of kick that you can eat all week long. Get the recipe here.

Knock Your Socks Off Whole Grain Pizza
A vegan cheeseless pizza made with greens and Sami's Bakery Millet & Flax Crust. It's The Healthy Librarian's other go-to company pleaser. It's made with all out-of-the-jar ingredients and comes together fast. No omnivores miss the cheese.  Find that recipe here.

Appetite for Reduction's Guacamame
A guacamole made with 1/2 the fat---uses avocado & thawed edamame. It's delish on top of the chili! You'll need Isa Moskowitz's book for that one. It's definitely making it onto my Super Bowl menu!

Says Debby, "I'll just pop corn in our air popper. Here's our Esselstyn 'cheat.' As it comes flying out, we're armed with an organic canola oil spray can, and some Morton's powdery popcorn salt. A few sprays of the oil as the the popcorn comes out--and a few shakes of the salt. Gives it a good taste. Could try it with nutritional yeast  and whatever herbs Whole Foods used. The spray is the only way I know to get the seasonings to stick. Oooh--I bet it would fabulous with some shakes of Bone Suckin' Sauce Seasoning & Rub--for a barbecue taste."

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with dippers
Debby would serve the hummus with Mary's Gone Crackers Curry & Sea Salt Twigs--they're whole-grain, no added fat--and gluten free.

For dessert, Debby would serve:
Strawberries & Clementines
Double Rainbow Chocolate Sorbet
and maybe some of The Wannabe Chef's Dessert Snicker doodle Hummus with apples and cinnamon pitas. Debby took this to work for a baby shower where they were serving potato chips and sour cream dip and a sugary cupcake cake. All of the snicker doodle hummus vanished. Get that recipe here.

Thanks for your fabulous submissions Debby!

The Plant-Strong Super Bowl fun continues with recipes from Gena over at the Choosing Raw blog. First up is this gorgeous three layer dip. Gena promises to reveal all of her vegan Super Bowl Party ideas over the next week on her blog, so we can all rejoice! Get Gena's three layer dip recipe here. And if you don't already know Gena, I highly recommend following her on her blog. She is an amazing writer and so very creative in the kitchen. Some of my all-time favorite plant-strong recipes came from reading Choosing Raw. Gena also just decided to leave a career in publishing to pursue a degree in medicine, so her story could get very, very interesting.

Do you need a little inspiration today to make the right choices? Check out this article from a medical doctor.

So, do you know what you'll be cooking up this Sunday? I think I do!

Did you see Oprah? What's your opinion of the vegan episode?

What inspires you to consider becoming Plant-Strong or to stay that way?



The Healthy Librarian said...

Thanks so much, Wendy, for the fantastic post--wasn't expecting that, at all! So nice of you to do.

Looks like you made the chili--whad'ya think?

Served it to 8 of us on Sunday--topped with the guacamame--and still enjoyed leftovers for lunch, on Monday, dinner on Monday, and lunch on Tuesday.

It only gets better as it sits.

Glad to see you had the same reaction to Oprah's show. If only we could talk to Oprah & turn her diet around! Would love to cook & shop with her.

Other snack food: My friend Barb brought over some Just Peas & Just Raspberries to snack on--100% peas & raspberries that freeze-dried, crunchy, & delish.

Her fave was out-of-stock--Just Hot Mixed Veggies--the hot's from jalapenos.

Off to brave the weather to get to work. Later.

Linda said...

Yes, I was disappointed in Oprah's show on veganism and surprised that the main focus of shopping at Whole Foods was substituting one kind of processed food with another. However, to be fair, I thought the dinner disaster was realistic and an attempt to show people that yeah, you're probably not going to get it right the first time--keep trying! But you're right, where were all the veggies???? There was so much vital information that was left out. And, okay, Kelly Freston is beautiful but did we need to hear it so many times? (That would be my whiny, negative body-image imp trying to wreck this post....sorry!)

Anyway, I gave MIchael Pollan credit for trying to push the boundaries of the discussion at times, albeit with little success. The program was already set up to be a certain way and even he couldn't change that, but his facial expressions said a lot about some of the statements being made by the Cargill rep and Freston. His book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma" was the one book that balanced everything for me in my quest to eat healthier, and seeing him on Oprah confirmed for me that he will be an excellent source of inspiration and information in the future.

Like Pollan, I've chosen to consume chicken and a few egg whites several times a month. That's what works for me and helps me to stay "green" the rest of the time.

I really enjoy your site, Wendy and I check it several times a week. Thank you for doing what you do!

JL goes Vegan said...

I just ranted on "the show I did not watch" on Oh She Glows comments so I'll spare you here. Let's just say I'm not going to be buying The Veganist's new book.

I'm loving these super bowl food ideas! Thanks for taking on this initiative!

MSilver said...

I missed it, but now that today is a snow day and I'm stuck home with the kids, I'll be sure to watch the episode online. I'm curious to see how the week plays out, since she is doing this for a week. It probably won't make a difference for her, since she's still eating all the processed crap she still eats now. I'm sure she sat down that night and ate a tofutti turkey sandwich, with tofutti mayo and a tofutti ice cream sandwich for dessert!

I agree with you, Tofutti is probably the proud sponsor. Did you happen to catch out the commercials?

Ok Wendy, GET RIP TO CALL OPRAH NOW!!! "she's doing it wrong!!!"


Sindy said...

I missed the show but am outraged based on your description. Oy veh is right!

Anonymous said...

My guess is by in large Oprah is desighned to attract the mass media. If a viewer is really attracted to our lifestyle they will contact whole foods and do a walk through.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to sit down and watch the Oprah episode...I have it on DVR. I am not VEGAN, yet. I have been in a learning process and quite honestly came upon via a blog I stumbled across. From there I mostly picked up on the healthy lifestyle all you Vegans were living. I wanted it too! That being said, I increased my vegetable intake and my fruit intake (veggies are easy for me....fruits are becoming easier for me). I am studying where I can get my protein and love most of the suggestions (minus the soy-based things). But I will say that it all can get a bit spendy and I am attempting to become expert in making it "not-so-spendy" although that tends to leave out organic. Anyway, I will get back to my point about Oprah. My guess is that they were trying to make it look easy by focusing on our current society...the society that seems to want convenience. We are a bit of a sad society. I am finding it easy to cut up and clean a bunch of veggies on the weekend so I can fill containers each evening in prep for my next day. It's easy to make big batches of overnight oats to bring for a breakfast each morning. It's easy to make quinoa and toss in some black beans and salsa. But telling "our" society that doesn't always sound appealing. For now, I will continue to take advantage of you and other fun bloggers to educate me on a healthier lifestyle. So far so good. Thanks for what you do.

Sherry C said...

I came in about 10 minutes in. I was dismayed at the shopping trip to Whole Foods. Not only was the cart filled with processed foods, but Whole Foods is very expensive! There are lots of "regular" grocery stores that are beginning to stock more foods to allow consumer choices. I agree that they did not focus on veggies and fruits. Also, about all the protein you obtain from greens! I can only hope that people will look at the information that is available and not rely on Oprah as the end all. I have been vegan for almost 3 months and feel awesome. I use very little processed foods. My protein comes from plants. Before I made the decision to go veg and subsequently to vegan, I read and continue to read as much information so I can make the best decisions for me and my family.

katshealthcorner said...

I think I want to make some cookies this Sunday! :)

Amy said...

I really want to watch the show now to see what not to do! I am trying to go vegan and have done sell with decreasing my animal protein intake and increasing my non animal protein intake. I really need to read more blogs like your and plan my meals better.

exercisefoodandbeyond said...

The whole grain pizza would be a great option and I love the double rainbow chocolate sorbet aswell.

Emilee Joy said...

We've had a major ice storm where I live, so they didn't air the episode in my hometown yesterday because of all the weather coverage. However, I watched a few excerpts online and read what others have said about it.
I'm pretty surprised at Michael Pollan. I'm glad for the things he did say and I have no problem with him eating meat, because I know he eats it responsibly. But I am very disappointed with the Kathy Veganist chick.
One of the main reasons that I became vegan (besides the typical obvious ones) is that eating meat and junk food always made me sick. Even now, if I eat a lot of crappy processed food, even though it's vegan, I feel awful. I don't understand how anyone can advocate a mainly processed food diet.
As much as I love the Skinny Bitch book, it does advocate this type of eating a lot too. I am so grateful for blogs like yours that support a whole foods, plant-based diet! Thank you!!

Lillian said...

I am new to the vegan scene...I had been doing a combo of Weight Watchers/South Beach for about 8 usually routine is 6 months on, 6 months off so I am feeling pretty amazing to be at the 8 month mark. A wellness center is sponsoring a 6 week program based on the Engine 2 Diet at our school and I decided to join in to keep my inspiration going[that combined with a trip to Jamaica in just 10 weeks]...

I came across your blog after Rip mentioned you in a newsletter...I have to say, I have already gotten some AMAZING tips from you....THANK YOU...

So far I am almost three weeks in...the challenge doesn't start officially until tomorrow but I was ready as soon as I got the book and just jumped in...I have NO regrets and no complaints so far...

I have to admit that I do have a weekly 82 year old Dad cooks me an egg for breakfast every is our time together and it means more to me than trying to be the perfect Vegan....I am calling myself Veganish...

I can totally envision continuing this lifestyle atleast 95% of the time...hopefully, I can say a year from now that I am still plant strong and on point.....

Jessica said...

Watched it today on DVR. Not happy with the full shopping cart of packaged items. As I watched with my daughter (who is reading Fast Food Nation and watching Supersize Me in her Social Issues class) I remarked that I do not even go to that part of the store. Except for Earth Balance - we do use that. However, after watching I made a giant pot of Ina Garten's Lentil Vegetable soup with less oil and veg. stock instead of chicken, and the chocolate brownies from Clean Start (someone mentioned them on the blog yesterday). They are so good!!!

Evan Thomas said...

I agree with all you have to say here. I mean, I LOVE Daiya as a cheese substitute and Earth Balance as a butter substitute, but they aren't the basis of the vegan diet, so presenting them that way was a little wtf? They made the show out to be a "animal-free diet" proposal instead of a plant-based diet proposal and that's where they went wrong.

Michelle said...

I watched Oprah last night too, and was very disappointed in what I saw! My mouth dropped when she talked about being veganish...I thought what the heck, now we are going to have a veganish? ugh. Like you, I couldn't believe all the processed foods that ended up in that shopping cart. I was shocked about that and lot of other things. I'm trying to think on the positive side of the show though, so I am hoping that people watched and became curious about vegans. Hopefully those interested in being vegan will do their own research and realize that is it a much healthier diet than what they saw on Oprah...hopefully! :o)

Now I am scrolling back up to check out the great sounding recipes. :o)

Kate (What Kate is Cooking) said...

I didn't see the Oprah show, but I could understand why a lot of people have problems with it. I don't eat a ton of fake meat (although I think I am going to tonight :) ) and while it's certainly not going to kill anyone once in a while, I don't think it's a good example of what a healthy vegan diet is about.

janeesselstyn said...

The Oprah show was such a disappointment. I was bummed at one point when the news from Egypt interrupted the show--but perhaps that was good thing!
What can we do as plant-strong vegans to let her know what a @#$% job they did on Oprah?!

Mandy Robinson said...

How interesting. My husband and I just watched the Oprah episode together. I have been plant strong for 3 months and my husband is a meat eater. He loved the show. I too was of the "oh vey" mind set. All I can say is yes, please talk to Rip and have Oprah feature the Forks Over Knives. It's such a shame to miss the big picture of why our country is so ill. The show did not reveal any of the exciting health benefits of a plant strong diet like eliminating/reversing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, etc. Oprah has such a voice in this country--she could potentially be one of the greatest advocates for going Plant Strong. I feel the show almost did more harm than good with all the misinformation. Great post, Wendy!

singh from dominos india said...

That looks delicious! ITs always good having a great pizza recipe

that everyone LOVES!


Nancy Kahrimanis said...

I thought it was just pretty lame! I made sure to come home early so that I could watch it with notebook and pen in hand. Other than seeing the names of some other meat alternatives, I got nothing. I am a recent, semi committed vegan, I eat vegan 80-95% of the time, allowing myself some slip-ups so that the transition isn't so jarring. I read and fell in love with Engine 2 and hoped to get new information on the Oprah show. I felt that it lacked depth and other than a few brand names, I got nothing from the show. :(

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