Saturday, February 26, 2011

Here for the Fight

Banana Walnut Softserve. Even better than the original with the addition of walnuts.

I'm sensing that there is a little bit of misperception about me out there in the blogosphere. It's pretty understandable, given the fact that I have a healthy food blog and all. That misperception is that I eat perfectly all of the time. There is no such thing that I know of.

I wish it were true, but it's absolutely not. I struggle with overeating on a daily basis. Just because I have finally figured a few things out about compulsive eating does not make me a "normal" eater. In fact, it just makes me even more aware of how abnormal my eating and thought patterns are.

But what is really important to note is that I am not throwing in the towel. The old me would have a bad day or a few bad days and just say, "What the heck. I'll never be able to stay on this food plan and achieve a healthy weight. I might as well eat whatever I want."

My struggles are new. No longer am I fighting with junk food. Anything that had a mother or a face turns my stomach to the point where it's not at all hard to say no. Refined sugar tastes way to sweet.

But healthy food, that's another story. I'm still struggling with eating too much of it. But the old me who would give up--she's long gone. This me is here for the fight. Just thought you might want to know that.  

Raw Banana Walnut Softserve 
serves 1

1 1/2 frozen bananas broken into chunks
6 walnuts
splash of almond milk

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and blend, stopping to scrape down sides of container as necessary, until misture is the consistency of softserve. If using high powered blender, tamp down continuously throughout the blending process.


The good news about these "cookies" is that a sugar addict can eat them without losing control! They are only slightly sweet and would make a great breakfast for someone on the go.

Lightly Sweet Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cakies
inspired by a recipe from Clean Food by Terry Walters
makes 2 dozen cakies


2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats (or 1/2 cup oats and 1/2 cup unprocessed wheat bran)
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place peeled bananas in a medium bowl and mash. Add applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract and stir.

In a seperate medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients except chocolate chips.  Add the banana mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine (do not overstir). Fold in chocolate chips.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a teaspoon, scoop heaping spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet and smush down a little. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until edges start to get brown and crisp. Remove from oven and place cakies on wire rack to cool.


Friday, February 25, 2011

What's Your Food Rule?

I just told Michael Pollan what my food rule is: Eat low calorie and high volume soups, salads, smoothies and sauteed greens to maintain a healthy weight effortlessly.

He's writing a new edition of his book, and has asked for our input.

Check out his email below - you could win a signed copy, or even have your rule appear in print!

"Hi,

Last year I published Food Rules, a short book offering 64 rules for eating well. Food Rules struck a chord with many people, who found that it helped them navigate what has become a treacherous food environment, whether in the supermarket or restaurant. Many of the rules were submitted by readers, and since publication I have received a number of excellent new ones.

So I’ve decided to publish an expanded edition, with additional rules and also illustrations, which the painter Maira Kalman has agreed to create. I hope you’ll consider contributing to the new book.

What are some of your food rules? I’ll pick 3 submitted by people within the Slow Food network to receive signed copies of the book.

Let me know your food rule here:
http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5986/p/salsa/web/questionnaire/public/?questionnaire_KEY=541

Thanks in advance for your help,

Michael Pollan
PS the deadline for submission is February 27th"

On another note, a new film is being released about my favorite topic. Can you guess what that is? Here's a preview. I hope you enjoy!

To Your Health, a new film by Juliana Hever



What are your food rules?

Do you seek out films on food, health and nutrition? What are your favorites?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

With Dr. Fuhrman, the Salad Really is the Main Course


Greens and Strawberry Salad with Cashew Currant Dressing

recipe adapted from a recipe courtesy of  http://www.drfuhrman.com/
Serves: 2-4

Printable Recipe

CASHEW DRESSING

1/4 cup raw cashews or 2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
1/3 cup unsweetened soy, hemp or almond milk
1 peeled apple, sliced
2 tablespoons dried currants or raisins

SALAD

1 head (about 6 cups) romaine lettuce
5 ounces (about 5 cups) organic baby spinach
8 med-large strawberries, washed, destemmed and sliced 

To make dressing, blend cashews or cashew butter with soy milk and sliced apples in a high powered blender until smooth. Add the currants and blend well.

Place the lettuce, spinach and strawberries in a large salad bowl. Drizzle dressing over the greens and berries and toss to coat.

How often is salad the main course of your lunch or dinner?

Do you consciously try to eat salad with every meal? As the meal?

Has salad as the meal helped you to lose weight or maintain your weight? 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Souper Easy Smokey Bean and Kale Soup

Sometimes it really feels that life conspires towards us. Take this example: Last night I was presenting a speech on overcoming emotional eating at Whole Foods during their Engine 2 28-day Challenge. A participant approached the leader of the challenge as I was standing next to her. She showed her a recipe for a very simple soup that she said was amazing. It was comprised of one can of refried beans, 1 can of beans, 1 jar of salsa, some oil and, I think, sour cream. She was so excited because she could see that all you had to do was eliminate the oil and sour cream and it would be a perfectly E2 soup.

After the evening was over and I was shopping in the store I remembered that Gena from http://www.choosingraw.com/ had been talking about a product called "Liquid Smoke" on her blog that day and raving about a smoky hummus that she had made with the liquid smoke. My mind started to put two and two together . . . a smokey refried bean soup with . . . can you guess? KALE!

Like I said, sometimes life just conspires towards us. This soup is incredible. The Liquid Smoke was only $1.99! But better yet, this soup couldn't be easier. I think a child could make it!


Healthy Girl's Smokey Bean and Kale Soup
serves 6-8 people

Printable Recipe

1 jar of your favorite salsa
2 cans beans-black or pinto-drained and rinsed
2 cans fat free refried beans-black or pinto
1/2 bag frozen corn-I like Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn
1 box low sodium vegetable broth (4 cups)
1 bunch lacinato kale, sliced into ribbons and washed
1/4 tsp or more Liquid Smoke
a few tortilla chips, optional

Place salsa, beans, refried beans, frozen corn, and vegetable broth in soup pot over medium heat. Stir and bring to a simmer.

Add kale, stir and lower heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Taste. Add 1/4 tsp liquid smoke. Taste and add more Liquid Smoke to your taste.

Great with a few crunched up tortilla chips sprinkled over the top! O-M-Goodness!
Serve with a giant salad for a souper filling dinner. Okay, enough with the "souper" now.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Salad & Son

I'm not gonna lie, I think my 3 year old and 6 year old are pretty terrible eaters. But one thing that I have found to hold true is that if you engage children in the preparation of healthy food, they are FAR more likely to taste something new. Like lettuce. Max is not a salad eater, yet, but get him engaged in the preparation of a salad and he's a pretty sure bet for eating some romaine.


I think he likes it!


As for the adults in this household, we prefer our salads with some dressing on it, so when a friend of mine mentioned yesterday that she had made a delicious "goddess" dressing from Mama Pea at the Peas and Thank You blog, I thought I would search out the recipe. I was excited to find that I had all of the ingredients on hand, including the avocado, lemon, tahini and xanthan gum (yes, xanthan gum--I keep it in the freezer). Get the full recipe here. It's garlicy and full of flavor and oh-so-yummy. And no guilt involved! Just how I like my food.

What's your favorite salad dressing these days? Do you stick with the same one(s) or do you try new one(s) regularly?

Is it from a bottle or do you make it yourself?


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Coconut Curry Kale, Chick Pea and Sweet Potato Stoup


I have officially become my mother.

But don't get mad, Mom. That's not an insult.

I saw a totally healthy recipe here on Mama Pea's blog and I made it EVEN healthier. Mom would be so proud. And thank you to Mama Pea, as this is a pretty genius recipe! My husband said, "This is the best soup you have ever made, it's incredible, it's perfect, it's so delicious. Holy cow. This is sick. This is so good. This is the best soup ever. Holy Shit. How could you ever make anything this good again?"

Nuf said.

Coconut Curry Kale, Chick Pea and Sweet Potato Stoup
adapted from a recipe by Mama Pea over at Peas and Thank You

Printable Recipe
2 cups chopped onion
2 large stalks celery, rough chopped
1 medium head bok choy, rough chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sweet curry powder
1 tsp hot curry powder (optional if you like heat)
4 cups vegetable broth (1 standard box)
1 14 oz. can light coconut milk
1 14 oz. can diced organic fire-roasted tomatoes (i.e. Muir Glen, Trader Joe's, Hunts all now have this)
2 14 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
1 large sweet potato, diced medium
1 head organic kale, de-stemmed and chopped into pieces
1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste (or to taste)

Place all ingredients, onion through chick peas, into a crock pot set to 6 hours. At the 4 1/2 hour, add the sweet potato. At 5 hours, remove a ladle full of the broth and pour into a small bowl. Dissolve the 1 Tbsp of arrowroot powder into the broth and return broth to crock pot. Then add the kale. After 6 hours, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.



P.S. It seems that more and more doctors are catching on to the plant-strong way of eating as a method of disease prevention. Read about two of them here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Gorillas with Heart Disease

Thank you to Rip Esselstyn and the folks over at www.engine2diet.com for sharing this very relevant video. If you haven't seen it, it's totally worth the 2.5 minutes of your life!



How is it that there is no mention of the implications for human health and longevity in this video? Or is it just so obvious that it doesn't even need to be mentioned?

What are some of your associations with processed food these days? Have you eliminated any, some, most or all of it from your diet?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Best Foods for a Healthy Heart

How did you like my first printable version of a recipe? Slick huh? If you need instructions for how to make this happen on your blog, go to the Food Bloggers Unite blog and get the complete instructions.


Have you had your cholesterol level tested lately? Did you know that a total cholesterol level above 200 mg/dL places you at risk for cardiovascular disease?  My total cholesterol was 231 before I became a Nutritarian.

In the Framingham Heart Study, deaths due to heart disease were absent in subjects with total cholesterol levels below 150 mg/dL, but as cholesterol increased above 150 mg/dL, heart disease rates began to increase. That's great news for me, because the last time I had it checked my total cholesterol was 147. You can't believe how stoked I am!

But just because I lowered my cholesterol doesn't mean I can rest easy! It's always helpful for me to be reminded of the foods that are healthy for me. As a subscriber of Dr. Fuhrman's member center, I have access to and receive by e-mail tons of helpful information. It's $14.95 per month that I believe is well spent. Today I received a list of tips that I wanted to share with you. Because Healthy Girl's Kitchen s an affiliate of http://www.drfuhrman.com/ I am authorized to share this information with my readers. Isn't that cool? There were a giant list of footnotes to these suggestions which I have not included here.
 
So here are Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations for a healthy heart:

• Eat a high nutrient, vegetable-based diet with plenty of raw vegetables and cooked greens.


• Eat berries and pomegranates. The antioxidants in berries and pomegranates, such as anthocyanin and punicalagin, are especially effective in improving both LDL and HDL cholesterol.

• Avoid trans fats and minimize saturated fats. High cholesterol and heart disease deaths are more closely associated with saturated fat intake than any other part of the American diet.

• Eat one ounce of raw nuts and seeds daily. The phytosterols found in nuts and seeds lower blood cholesterol by blocking both cholesterol absorption during digestion and the re-absorption of cholesterol produced by the liver. Plus, nuts have additional cardio-protective effects that have yet to be discovered.

• Limit your intake of animal protein to at most two 3-ounce servings per week. If you have heart disease or significantly high cholesterol, avoid animal products altogether. Animal protein consumption directly increases heart disease risk.

• Eat beans daily. Beans are packed with resistant starch, soluble fiber, and phytochemicals which help to lower cholesterol. A 19-year study found that people who eat beans at least four times a week have a 21% lower risk of heart disease than those who eat them less than once a week.

• Have 1 Tbsp. of ground flaxseed each day. Flaxseeds contain beneficial omega-3 fats, lignans, flavonoids, sterols, and fiber. Clinical trials show that daily flaxseed consumption reduces total cholesterol by 6-11%. Try adding ground flaxseeds to smoothies or sprinkling them on salads.

Does anything surprise you from this list?

Are you incorporating these suggestions into your diet these days?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup Recipe AND it's PRINTABLE!

You caught me! It's only Tuesday and already I'm cooking for Friday night. That's because I'm so excited that a group of my plant-strong peeps are coming over for dinner. First experiment, a new soup. This soup is special. Real special. And I'm thinking that it's going to taste even better on Friday.

I'm going to walk the line here . . . and provide you with the recipe. I changed it from the original Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup in Terry Walter's Clean Eating. I "Healthy Girl Kitchened" it and it rocked! So here goes (oh, by the way, Ms. Walters, if you are reading this and you think that I have crossed an intellectual property line, just let me know and I will gladly remove the recipe part of this post. I will however keep the photo up and my rave review!).

I also have some very exciting news to announce. I finally figured out how to have a PRINTABLE version of a recipe linked to the blog. What a relief. I know what a pain in the neck it is to have to copy and paste recipes from a blog into a text document. See below for my first printable recipe.

Vegan Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup
adapted from a recipe in Clean Food by Terry Walters

2 large heads cauliflower
coconut oil spray or olive oil spray
6 cups vegetable broth
1 head/bulb of garlic
1 large yellow onion
2 tbsp mirin
1 tsp dried thyme
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash cauliflower well and cut into florets. If florets are large, cut them in half. Place cut cauliflower into a 9x13" baking dish or onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and spray cauliflower lightly with cooking spray of your choice.

Cut off the top of the garlic bulb and place garlic onto a sheet of aluminum foil. Spray garlic with cooking spray and wrap foil around garlic bulb, creating a sealed up package. Place garlic onto baking tray with cauliflower and put in oven to roast for at least 1 hour or until cauliflower and garlic is soft. At that point, remove from oven and open garlic package and let it cool a bit.

In a soup pot or dutch oven, pour in enough vegetable broth to cover the bottom of the pot. Over medium heat, bring broth to a bubble and add onion. Saute onion, stirring frequently, until translucent, adding a bit more broth and turning down heat if necessary to prevent burning.

Add roasted cauliflower, the rest of the broth, mirin and thyme. Pick up garlic by holding it in one hand with the aluminum foil still wrapped around it's base and squeeze out all of the roasted garlic into the pot. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and, using a hand-held immersion blender, puree soup. Return to heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste soup and season with sea salt and pepper. Serve immediately or let cool and refrigerate.


For another take on a roasted cauliflower soup, check out Susan's recipe from Fat Free Vegan.


Monday, February 14, 2011

The PEERtrainer Cheat System

Jackie (co-founder of PEERtrainer) and Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Today I was e-mailed a link from the creators of http://www.peertrainer.com/ 


For those of you not familiar with PEERtrainer or my personal journey of finding my happy place with food, I want you to know that the creators and the community over at http://www.peertrainer.com/ were fundamental to my recovery and I would never be where I am today without their input and guidance.

So when I received their invitation today to preview a FREE system that they have developed over time as a result of seeing what worked and what didn't for their members, I knew I would be very interested. They are big proponents of Dr. Joel Fuhrman and the Nutritarian way of eating. They are calling their ideas "The PEERtrainer Cheat System, A Simple Guide to Healthy and Long Term Weight Loss" and I will testify that everything I have learned from them has worked to my advantage in this war.

If you are interested in checking out this new system, go here and sign-up to receive the .pdf of the 26 page "book." You will enter your name and e-mail address and then you will have to go back into your inbox to confirm. Only then will you be e-mailed the .pdf. Everything that I have received from this company has been well worth giving them my e-mail address!!!!!

I'll be honest, I haven't read it yet, but I trust them and I was so excited to share it with you. If you read it, please come back here and let all of know what you think! I certainly will!

UPDATE: I have read through the system twice now and I can say it is worth consideration. It is a real life nutritarian or beginner nutritarian system that encourages the consumption of vegetables and beans while educating about how much other healthy food can be eaten without getting into trouble EACH AND EVERY DAY (think nuts, fruits and avocado).

I have made some suggestions to PEERtrainer about how to improve the book and I believe that all of my suggestions will be incorporated into the edited versions. I am going to begin to think about my food choices this new-ish way and I will provide you all with updates and possibly information about how the recipes that I feature fare in the PEERtrainer Cheat System plan.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

I received a great question from a reader yesterday in the comments section, "Where are the recipes for these beautiful dishes? Tried to click on the names but goes nowhere! Help me please....."

I thought that my answer might be something that all of the HGK reader's should know: I am not (usually) an original writer of plant-strong nutritarian recipes. I am an avid home cook that tests and often tweaks other author's recipes. That means that I do not have the rights to publish the recipes on my blog unless I get permission from the author.

However, if I change the recipe enough and rewrite the instructions in my own voice, I can provide a recipe. It's a fine line that we bloggers walk and I try hard to maintain my integrity here and the intellectual property of others.

What does that mean for my readers? Well, we have to break it into the following two categories:

(1) RECIPES FROM COOKBOOKS

If I change the recipe enough or get the permission of the author, I can reprint the recipe. That was the case with yesterday's posting. The recipes were all from Terry Walter's Clean Start cookbook and I didn't change anything, so I cannot reprint the recipes. I did not ask Ms. Walter's for permission to reprint her recipes. In the cases where the recipes are from The Engine 2 Diet and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, both Rip Esselstyn and Anne Esselstyn were incredibly generous to grant me permission to republish their recipes, and you will find many of them here on HGK.

I photograph and write about dishes that are successful for me and that I am enthusiastic about. I don't bash recipes or cookbook authors here. If it's a flop for me, you'll never hear about it! With no recipe what I hope I am providing is honest recipe reviews and hopefully, inspiration. Not just inspiration to make a particular recipe but inspiration to surround yourself with delicious, nutritious, beautiful plant-strong food. And maybe that cookbook that I keep talking about starts to call your name and you purchase a copy!

(2) RECIPES FROM BLOGS

This category is a lot less complicated because I will always provide a link back to the original recipe along with my photos and review. If I tweak a recipe enough, I will also publish the recipe for my tweaked version right here on the blog.

Here's a perfect example of this. Yesterday, I made a Curried Sweet Potato Soup from Melody over at http://melomeals.blogspot.com/. I really like Melody's blog because she is a very creative chef. But, many of her recipes do not fit into my eating choice box, so I can either tweak them to fit the no-added oil vegan style or just move on. I happened to be particularly intrigued by her Curried Sweet Potato Soup (remember I said I was Indian in a past life . . .) and I was not disappointed by this vegan cup of heaven!

Melody's Curried Sweet Potato Soup. Get the recipe here.

I did tweak this recipe a little. I eliminated one of the two tbsp of coconut oil, the cilantro (just because I didn't have any), the 1-3 tbsp of Sriracha and the additional salt and pepper (it was already spicy and so flavorful I didn't think it needed it) and the sour cream or yogurt (for obvious reasons).

Both my husband and I loved it. I would be proud to serve this to guests who like spicy food, but certainly not anyone and everyone. It was thick and rich and the flavors were so very complex. I could see it served as an appetizer at a posh party in shot glasses. I pulled out a Saki cup from my pottery days for the photo above and I totally enjoyed sipping it that way. It's an incredibly satisfying soup. Thanks Melody!

Thoughts? How do you feel about my nutritarian recipe review style of blogging?

If you yourself are a food blogger, what are you personal views on this subject?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm Making Plant-Strong Dinners with Help from Clean Start by Terry Walters

Thank you to everyone who became a fan of Healthy Girl's Kitchen on Facebook. The fan page is a great place to exchange ideas and ask questions. I encourage everyone to get involved. Making healthy choices is so much easier when you surround yourself with like-minded people.

It seems like my life is beginning to organize itself around our special Friday night dinners. These days, I'm gladly sticking with recipes from Clean Start by Terry Walters because I'm continually blown away by the results I'm getting from this cookbook. The three Clean Start dishes below are all amazing. Terry's delicious recipes are all uber-healthy, but not all super low calorie, so balancing them out with  low calorie salads and raw veggies on weeknights is important for me. But on Friday nights I relax a little, and here's what that looks like for me:

Challah with Clean Start's Carrot Cashew Miso Spread
Trader Joe's unfiltered grape juice
Organic Energy Chana Dal Soup (picked it up from the restaurant this afternoon)
Clean Start's Deep Dish Greens with Millet Amaranth Crust
Simple Baked Tofu with Tamari
Clean Start's Cocoa Brownies

Whew! That's a lotta food! Why does it seem that way to me? Because weeknight dinners, for the most part, have become completely uneventful affairs in my house. I work full time, for one. And secondly, I have found that keeping dinner really simple has helped me to maintain my weight loss. Yeah! Less stress and an easier time with the scale. It's a win-win situation.

Contrast this with the home I grew up in, where a friend jealously remarked, "Every night is Thanksgiving at the Schkolnick's." My mom has spent the greater part of her life in the kitchen, something I envy, as I too inherited the cooking gene. Everything in my household growing up seemed homemade. Mom even went through a make-your-own-yogurt phase. Much to my sugar-lovin' chagrin, there were no Devil Dogs in my house, well, that's not totally true. I think they made an appearance once. But they were kept in the freezer. I think my mom thought that it might help me eat them slower. Not!

Anyway, back to the fabulous Clean Start Dinner.



Clean Start's Deep Dish Greens with Millet Amaranth Crust.
A total winner. I'd gladly make this again and again and serve it to guests.

Clean Start's Carrot Cashew Miso Spread--CRAZY GOOD!
 Better than butter on your bread any day!

Simple Baked Tofu with Tamari

Clean Start's Cocoa Brownies--way TOO good, I've gotta watch myself around these. All of the kids and adults loved 'em and they are made with wholesome real healthy ingredients--bananas, dates, almond meal, maple syrup, etc.--but they are easy for me to overindulge on!

What was dinner like in your home growing up? Are things different in the home you live in now?

What is a typical weeknight dinner for you these days? Do you pretty much stick to the same-old same-old or are you creative during the week? 

Do weekend dinners differ from weekday dinners for you? 






Thursday, February 10, 2011

Finally, Healthy Girl's Kitchen Has its own Facebook Page!

The volume of social media can be overwhelming and exhausting, but given the amount of Healthy Girl's Kitchen readers that have been clicking on that Facebook icon over there on the left margin, I thought it might be time to introduce a Fan page on Facebook for all of use to use together. So here it is, the link to the Healthy Girl's Kitchen fan page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Healthy-Girls-Kitchen/125513254187268?v=wall

Please go there and "like" Healthy Girl's Kitchen. It would mean a lot to me!

And in other news, there's talk of a healthy fast food chain being opened by two former McDonald's execs. They're talkin' 250 locations . . .

Does it seem like the healthy eating movement (whole, unprocessed foods and however else you define healthy eating) is beginning to grow? Or am I just surrounding myself with all things healthy eating so that it seems like it to me?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Our Plant Strong Super Bowl Party--The Recap

What can I say? Our Plant-Strong Super Bowl Party was a smashing success. Everyone in attendance was really happy--probably because they didn't leave the party with regret and a stomach ache! Here are my opinions on all of the things that I prepared for the party:

Three of the dips, from front to back: Dr. Fuhrman's Eggplant Hummus was a great idea in theory--cut out lots of the calories in hummus by using roasted eggplant as the main ingredient. For my taste buds, there was too much raw garlic for a dip and it was a little too thin. It would probably be great as a spread on a sandwich or in a collard wrap.

Isa Moskowitz's Guacamame from Appetite for Reduction. I also did not love the consistency of this dip as a dip. It used cooked and pureed edamame as the base of a traditional guacamole. However, when I dolloped it over leftover brown rice and beans for dinner tonight, it turned an otherwise ordinary dish into something extraordinary, so I give it props for that. I think I have to give this one another try and puree the edamame longer.

Terry Walter's Carrot Cashew Miso Spread from Clean Start. A complete hit it out of the ballpark home run. All of the guests agreed. It will be a staple in my entertaining arsenal.

Beautiful, colorful, perfectly plant-strong.

My plant-strong 11 year old daughter Sophia. Yes, it is possible!
Be afraid, be very afraid . . . there is a room in my house that looks just like a barn. Must have been the style in the late 60s.


I changed plans at the last minute and added Gena's Vegan Spinach and Artichoke dip (you'll want that recipe so click here) to the menu for my plant-strong super bowl party. My husband's family had been making and serving the traditional version long before I entered the scene 16 years ago. Well, no one missed the traditional version, not even one bit. Everyone was raving about the vegan version. Gena is some kind of miracle worker. This is going to be a new family tradition for those special holidays when we want to indulge!

The Healthy Librarian's All-American Chili was perfect for this crowd. It had depth of flavor without being spicy. If I made it for a different crowd, I would have added the red pepper flakes that Debby suggested, but I was very careful knowing who I was serving. And Debby was right, this is a definite make ahead dish. In this case, I made it 4 days in advance and the flavors were perfect on game day!

Not overly sweet, the Engine 2 Dark Chocolate Brownies were enjoyed by everyone, both young and old. I recommend making these at least one day before you want to serve them as the flavor definitely improved the day after they were baked.

The crowd went wild for Jane Esselstyn's Incredible Unnamed Dessert. There is just no disputing it, this is one awesome dessert.

So there you have it folks, one very successful vegan bash. No carnivores were disappointed by this meal!

Thoughts? Comments on how the meal was if you were at our party . . . or how your own Super Bowl Party food went down!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Who Me? A Stylish Blogger Award?

Please bear with me as I indulge myself in this post. I was graciously awarded a Stylish Blogger Award yesterday, thanks to Viv over at Adventures of Veganism in Midwestern America. What an Honor!!!




In order to fulfill the duties of this prestigious award I must:

1. Make a post & link back to the person who awarded me this award.

2. Share 7 things about myself.

3. Award 10 recently discovered great bloggers.

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!

Seven things about me:
1. I have a law degree from UCLA but I never took the bar exam.
2. After law school I became a full-time potter. My pottery career ended when I had my first child.
3. I was a vegetarian for 10 years for ethical reasons and didn't give a poop about my health.
4. I stopped being a vegetarian a year after we moved from Los Angeles to Cleveland because the smell of b-b-q'd ribs just wore me down.
5. I couldn't eat b-b-q'd ribs right now if you held a gun to my head (okay, that's a little bit of an exaggeration).
6. I was Indian in a former life.
7. I am actively involved in the study of Mussar, which is the study of traditional Jewish ethical and moral literature. It is a form of self-improvement.

And the next awards go to (my apologies if you have received this award in the past!):
http://danielleislosingit.blogspot.com/
http://blog.shoplvc.com/
http://happyhealthylonglife.com/
http://www.thesweetbeet.com/
http://fartygirl.blogspot.com/
http://thehealthseekerskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://katshealthcorner.wordpress.com/
http://www.jlgoesvegan.com/
http://cleanteenkelsey.com/
http://whatsheeats.blogspot.com/

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Engine 2 Diet Super Bowl Parties: Ideas, Part 4- Last of the Recipe Suggestions

Wow! The last few days have been a whirlwind of blogging/facebooking activity centered around The Oprah Episode and my unfortunate blogger curfluffle with Roni over at http://www.greenlightbites.com/. I have a lot still to say on these issues, I'm just collecting my thoughts right now. But I do want to say THANK YOU for the honest and interesting comments to my last post. Whether you understand and support my approach or not, I thank you for chiming in. It is so true, the narrative is important.

I've got to immediately start preparing for my big Plant-Strong Super Bowl Party! Just in case you haven't done your planning and shopping yet, here are some more great recipes that you might want to consider for tonight:

Jessica at The Domestic Vegan compiled a superb list of ideas. Any oil in the recipes can be replaced with veggie broth.

Gena over at Choosing Raw has been posting Plant-Strong Super Bowl recipes for days now. Both bloggers suggested making veganized versions of artichoke and spinach dip . . . I just might have to add another dish to what I'm making today. I've got to get off of this computer and get started!

And finally, the Dr. Fuhrman Member Center e-mailed all of their members their ideas for a Nutritarian Super Bowl party and suggested that we share them with friends. Here they are, in their entirety:

Dr. Furhman's Bean Salsa Dip
This makes a great salsa for baked pita chips.
Serves:6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes

1 15-ounce can adzuki beans (no salt), drained
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup canned tomato paste, no salt
4 tablespoons raw almond butter
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman's Black Fig Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon each dried parsley, oregano and chili powder, or to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix together with a fork.

Marian's Tofu Chili
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes

3 cups brown rice, optional
1 pound extra firm tofu, frozen & thawed*, squeezed dry and crumbled
1 medium green pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, no salt
2 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste
1/2 15-ounce can kidney beans (low or no salt), drained
1/2 15-ounce can pinto beans (low or no salt), drained

If using rice, cook according to package directions.

In a large pan, combine all ingredients except rice, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.

If desired, serve over brown rice.

*Thaw tofu on counter top for about 6 hours before squeezing out water.
Freezing the tofu results in a more meaty texture. Unfrozen, crumbled tofu may also be used.

Note: If desired, this may be made in a crock pot. Crumble frozen, thawed tofu into a large pan. Turn heat to med/high and add peppers, onions, and garlic. Cook until tender. Pour into a crock pot along with remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Pita Pizza
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes

1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup water
4 whole wheat pitas
2 cups low sodium pasta sauce
1 cup grated soy mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Saute peppers, onions, and garlic in water just until tender. Top pitas with sauce, sauteed veggies, and grated cheese, or cut pitas in half to form a pocket and spread sauce, veggies, and cheese inside. Place on a cookie sheet & heat in oven for 20 minutes.

Dr. Fuhrman's Guacamole
Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes

2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons onion
1 red pepper
2 organic celery stalks
4 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup tomato, optional
1 small jalapeno pepper, optional
1/3 cup cilantro, optional

Press garlic. Finely chop onion, red pepper and celery and place in bowl with garlic. Mash avocados well and add to other ingredients. Add lemon juice and mix well. Add optional ingredients, according to taste. Cover and refrigerate. Use as a dip for veggies, place in a pita pocket or serve with Ezekiel tortillas cut into small triangles and heated until crisp in a low oven (200 degrees) for 1 hr. 15 min.

Dr. Fuhrman's Perfect Pesto
Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes

2/3 cup raw almonds
2/3 cup pine nuts
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
2/3 cup fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, packed
3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons Braggs Liquid Aminos
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped tomato

In a blender or food processor, pulse to grind almonds and pine nuts finely (do not puree). Remove and place in a mixing bowl. Blend remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Combine with nut mixture.

Use as a dip for fresh cut veggies, or a topping for cooked vegetables or potatoes.

Dr. Fuhrman's Eggplant Hummus
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes

1 medium eggplant, cut in half
1 cup cooked or canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), low or no salt, drained
1/3 cup water
4 tablespoons raw unhulled sesame seeds
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried minced onions
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
dash paprika and/or dried parsley for garnish (optional)

Bake eggplant at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool, remove skin & discard.

Blend all ingredients, including baked, peeled eggplant, in a food processor or high powered blender until smooth and creamy.

Serve with assorted raw vegetables.

Dr. Fuhrman's Tomato Almond Pocket Pitas

4 small pitas or 2 regular-sized pitas (In the bread aisle of most supermarkets are smaller versions of whole wheat pitas. Those are the best to use, but if you can’t find them, use regular-size pita.)
2 tablespoons almond butter
4 tablespoons low sodium tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Dr. Fuhrman's Black Fig Vinegar (optional)
pinch chili powder (optional)
1 Haas avocado
1 tomato
lettuce
sprouts

Lightly toast the pita. Use a fork to mash the almond butter with the tomato sauce, fig vinegar and chili powder until it becomes a smooth consistency. When the pita has cooled down, cut it in half to form a pocket. Spread the almond butter/tomato sauce dressing into the pita. Add slices of avocado, tomato, lettuce and sprouts into the pita in the amount to your liking.

What did you think of all of my Plant-Strong Super Bowl Party talk? Fun for you or boring?

Are having your own PSSBP today or bringing plant-strong food to a party? Are you taking the day off and planning on indulging?

What does a food indulgence look like for you right now?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blogger Fight! Cow's Milk

I got into my first, and hopefully last, blogger fight tonight with a long time and very popular Weight Watchers blogger. The fight centered around putting cow's milk into a green smoothie, the concept of "everything in moderation" and my radical approach to food. Let's just say she didn't agree with too much of what I was saying . . . to witness the fight in all of it's non-glory, go here and scroll down to the comments section.

I needed some help from my friends on this one, so I kinda started asking around on Facebook for some thoughts on the subject. I received a few very interesting ideas and I'd like to share them here with you. Starting with how to have a discussion with someone convinced that drinking cow's milk is perfectly okay for humans, to which a very kind Nutritionist named Marty Davey answered:

"First, I want to see the video of the guy who convinced the other guy to pull a cow's teet and get the first milk.


Next, ask them why they drink another species breast milk which is supposed to turn a 60 pound calf into a 600 pound cow in si...x months. We don't let babies drink it due to the protein differences btn human and cow milk. The cow milk will kill them.

Then, ask them why they would want to ingest something that has been linked to breast, prostate and ovarian cancer?

Remind them that you are sure they did their homework and know that tofu is #1 in absorbable calcium in the US. Cow milk is #7, after collards, bok choy and kale.

Then, I would say I understand why you can't give up something that acts as an opiate in the body. Junkies can always justify.

Lastly, I would ask them to read the China Study and show you where you are out to lunch on this 'dairy thing.'"
 
How do you think Roni would respond to that?
 
Next, kind words from Habib Wicks, the co-owner of http://www.peertrainer.com/, who answered me in my time of need:

"this might get me flamed, but I have done some hard time in some "rich" areas of the country, while married. NYC, Palm Beach County and now Boulder. What I observe is that women control the social agenda/narrative, while the men are working... and totally removed from this narrative. Now, we all know that women relate to other women differently than how men deal with men. My observation is that if the WRONG women control things, bad things happen. If women like Wendy speak up and dont back down, good things will happen. It is almost a binary thing. I'm not even a vegan- what I am fighting for is a modicum of nutritional intelligence. I know that Dr F is more frustrated than you are Wendy. My own view is that the narrative is everything. And in that context, the person with the most courage wins."

And then this book was pointed out to me: Whitewash, the Disturbing Truth About Cow's Milk and your Health. A nice summary of the book came from one of the reviewers on Amazon.com."Isn't milk supposed to be good for us and doesn't it make our bones healthy? Even into the third chapter I was still thinking this can't be right...milk is good for us. I have been throughly brainwashed or "whitewashed" to think this by all the "Got Milk" ads and the multi-billion dollar milk industry. The author, Joseph Keon sites a multitude of articles and peer-reviewed medical journals and certain points of the book it is daunting to see the risks of milk. The sheer amount of research and overwhelming documentation against the benefits of milk and the risks and complications with drinking milk is disturbing. It's a milk fallacy that we have all grown up believing that we need to drink milk to be healthy. We are the only animals that drink milk after infancy. Even though we drink more milk than most countries we have a higher incidence of hip fractures. Milk increases the risks of obesity, diabetes and many other conditions. This book has not only changed my health but the health of my family. This book is a must read for everyone who drinks milk."
So what do you all think? Do I have the courage to fight this fight? Should I?

P.S. Found some great links this morning you might want to check out:

Brenda Davis RD talks about vegan junk food and the healthy way to be vegan.

Sara Novak talks about how do do healthy vegan on a budget.

The Engine 2 Diet Super Bowl Parties: Ideas, Part 3-Healthy Girl's Kitchen Menu is Finalized, Cooking Has Begun!

Thank you for all of the amazing comments about Oprah's Vegan episode in yesterday's blog post! If you want to get even more outraged, check out Kelly Freston's (The Veganist's) suggested grocery shopping list that was published on http://www.oprah.com/. Does anyone think that the grocery list should start with kale and end with quinoa???? WTF?

For another great perspective on "The Oprah Incident" read what Evan, The Wannabe Chef and occasional meat eater, has to say.

Many of you might be interested in the fact that the report of The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 has just been released. If you've got a few hours, read it in its entirety here. If you've got a few minutes, read Gena from Coosing Raw's thoughts on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines here. Right now I've got minutes, not hours, and I don't trust the government anyway when it comes to my health. I don't know about you guys, but whatever the government says, I'm sticking with a Plant-Strong, Nutritarian, Vegan diet. Why? Because I love it and I feel GREAT!

Why is that? Because I'm so busy getting ready for my Plant-Strong Super Bowl Party, that's why! Entertaining for me is a careful dance of precise timing and organization. I never want to be stressed out at the last minute, so I go into it with guns blazing!

I've got my menu written on a write-on/wipe-off board in my kitchen, most of the groceries in the house, and two of the six dishes that I am making already checked off the list. Here's the menu I finally settled on:

Carrot Cashew Miso Spread-it's better than butter!

Appetizers:
Carrot Cashew Miso Spread from Clean Start by Terry Walters
Guacamame from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Sweet Potato Hummus by Gena from the Choosing Raw blog
all served with a variety of cut up vegetables, "healthier" tortilla chips and Mary's Gone Crackers crackers

Debby's All-American Chili--Plant-Strong and no oils!

Main Course:
Huge Green Salad-compliments of my SIL Janet
All-American Chili by Debby from the Happy Healthy Long Life blog
served with optional toppings: crushed baked tortilla chips, scallions, vegan sour cream and Daiya cheddar cheese
and optional grains: brown rice and whole wheat pasta (365 Brand from Whole Foods is rockin' the whole wheat pasta!)

Desserts:
Fresh Strawberries by G-d (had to give her credit here!)
The Incredible Unnamed Dessert by Jane Esselstyn
Engine 2 Brownies by Lydia Heckendorf as published in The Engine 2 Diet
The Incredible Unnamed Dessert--a heavenly frozen date and almond concoction


Meanwhile,having nothing to do with the Super Bowl, I'm very busy making salads from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Appetite for Reduction and I couldn't be more impressed!
Green Onion-Miso Vinaigrette for the Sushi Roll Edamame Salad

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Grilled Tofu--it's like I've died and gone to my favorite Vietnamese restaurant!

Do you think that Healthy Veganism deserves it's own voice on The Oprah Winfrey Show? Perhaps Dr. Esselstyn, Rip Esselstyn, Dr. Furhman, and Dr. McDougall should all be guests on one show? Who am I forgetting?

Should we start some sort of petition and try to get noticed by the producers of the show?

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 http://www.happyhealthylonglife.com/! 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!

Popcorn
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?

Toodles!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Engine 2 Diet Superbowl Parties: Ideas Part 1-Rip's Dessert Ideas

Before I get started on this week's really exciting topic (if you missed that post, read here first), I want to let anyone know who doesn't already that today (February 1st) on The Oprah Winfrey Show Oprah will be talking about veganism. What is she going to say? I have no idea, but I sure as heck am going to TiVo it! Apparently Oprah and her almost 400 staffers all went plant strong for a week and have entered the 21st eentury are going to tell us about it. Yes!
Now on to the really important stuff. Rip shared his ideas for what he is going to be serving up at his Super Bowl Sunday get together. And first thing's first, let's talk about dessert! If this subject makes you a little nervous, you are not alone! My advice? Know your limits and have a plan in advance for what to do with the leftovers!

Rip’s first recommendation comes by way of his lovely sister, Jane, who made this chocolate deliciousness for us at our local Whole Foods during the Engine 2 Diet 28 Day Challenge. It’s awesome and easy and could and should be made days in advance, which is really nice when it comes to entertaining. There is no amount of me explaining how good this is. It's that good.


As Jane said, "This freaked me out. This dessert was so amazing when I first had it. It made me, an almond M-n-M addict, realize that I could kick that final frontier of processed food."

You know it's gonna be at my Plant Strong Super Bowl Party!


THE UNNAMED DESSERT (aka ‘You Know You Want It’ and "The Incredible Edible")
by Jane Esselstyn, inspired by Chef A.j.'s Chocolate Fundue recipe

16 ounces pitted dates (or you can pit them yourself)
2 cups of almond milk – plain unsweetened
10 oz. almond butter or peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup dry cocoa powder (optional) 
2 cups raw almonds (or walnuts) – toasted at home and crushed



*The night before, place the dates in a container and pour on the almond milk so that it covers all of the dates. Place in the refrigerator and let soak overnight.


The next day, pour the dates and almond milk mix into a food processor. Add 10oz. of almond butter (or peanut butter) and 1 tsp vanilla into the food processor. Blend until smooth and uniform in appearance, thick but spreadable. (If you desire more of a fondue style, drizzle-able texture add more almond milk.)

STOP! Taste what you have made. If you love it at this stage do not add the cocoa and just skip down to Final Stage directions below. If you want to make it chocolate, blend the 2/3 dry cocoa powder to the ingredients.


Final Stage: Into a handsome baking dish or small souffle dish sprinkle a thin layer of toasted, crushed almonds or toasted, crushed walnuts. Then pour the date mixture on top of the crushed almond layer. Add another thin layer of toasted, crushed almonds on top. Freeze overnight or until frozen solid before serving.


Serve frozen, cut in squares.


I am making a double recipe of The Incredible Edible for our Super Bowl Party.
A double recipe fits nicely into a 9x13" baking pan.

Rip's second selection is an Avocado and Raspberry "Pie." I personally can attest to the fact that chocolate and avocado together is delicious. Renee Mahon from Michigan, the recipe's creator, said, "OK!! I have to share! We have a little immersion support group going in Michigan. We meet once a month at a house and everyone brings a dish to share. I made a dessert and it was amazing…" It appears this too will be at Rip's Plant Strong Super Bowl Party.

AVOCADO & RASPBERRY PIE

by Renee Mahon

2 ripe avocados
2 Tbsp orange juice
14 oz. of grain-sweetened chocolate chips
1 tbsp vanilla

1/3 cup “milk”-soy or almond
2 small packs fresh raspberries

Place chocolate chips and vanilla in a double boiler and melt the chocolate.
Meanwhile, mash the 2 avocados in a bowl and pour the orange juice over the top.
 
Place the avocado mixture, melted chocolate and "milk" into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Once combined pour over fresh raspberries in a pie pan. Put more fresh raspberries on top & refrigerate until it hardens.


It comes out super firm. Cut into small wedges because it is so dense, so firm and yummy!

E2 Dark Chocolate Brownies
from The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn, created by Lydia Heckendorf
Makes about 20 brownies

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp soy milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups (dairy-free) 60% chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the sugars and applesauce with an electric or handheld mixer. Beat in the Ener-G mixture, soy milk, vanilla and vinegar. Combine the dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips) in a separate bowl. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, then stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into a sprayed 9X13" baking dish. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

And there you have it folks! Installment #1 in our Plant Strong Super Bowl Parties series! Check out Rip's blog, The Daily Beet, to see what he's saying about this call to action!  Don't be shy, contribute your own food ideas! If you'd like to contact me directly, my e-mail address is wendysolganik.@yahoo.com
 
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