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Monday, December 19, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian - Episode 38 - Cucumber Peanut Salad

Five ingredients in five minutes and you can have this spicy, yet cool, and crunchy salad!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Defining Health...

My definition of "health" and thoughts and passions on whole food, plant-based nutrition in an interview by Jeff Golfman of The Cool Vegetarian at Green festival Los Angeles 2011 with Earth Balance.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian - Episode 37 - Smoky Chipotle Corn Salsa

A hot and zesty salsa to bring up the temperature and color for your next fiesta! Try making your own tortilla chips for a completely home-made delicious treat!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Everyday Happy Herbivore Book Giveaway and Recipes!

If you haven't met Lindsay S. Nixon yet, you should brace yourself...she is a phenomenally talented cookbook author extraordinaire (she is even a lawyer) who will change your culinary world forever! Her very popular website, Happy Herbivore, fabulously boasts more than 100 fat-free and low fat healthy vegan recipes! Lindsay makes whole food, plant-based simple, delicious, and exciting...

Lindsay is a genius at taking everyday ingredients and creating divine and nutritious recipes that anyone can easily whip up. Her recipes have been featured in Vegetarian Times, Women's Health Magazine, and The Huffington Post. Lindsay is also a consulting chef at La Samanna. I happened to have fallen in admiration of Lindsay when I saw her do a cooking demo of her famously fabulous Instant Cookie Dough, Baked Onion Rings, and Chocolate Zucchini Muffins at Healthy Taste of L.A. last month. Lindsay seriously makes cooking look easy and she has inspired thousands of "Herbies" to eat more healthfully and adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.

After tremendous success with her first book, The Happy Herbivore (which I highly recommend become part of your cookbook library...although you won't have time to actually store it since you will be using it too often to put it away), Lindsay's much anticipated second book, Everyday Happy Herbivore, is about to hit shelves. This new collection includes more than 175 easy recipes using wholesome, easy-to-find, fresh ingredients that you can make anytime.

Fortunately for us, Lindsay has generously offered to give one lucky reader a free copy of her new book. All you have to do to win the FREE copy is subscribe to this blog and post a comment describing your favorite whole food plant-based tip (for cooking, shopping, eating, etc.) before December 16th. The winner will be announced Monday, December 19th on my Plant-Based Dietitian facebook page.

Lindsay has also shared a sneak peak of a few of her delectable recipes from Everyday Happy Herbivore with us here...

Skillet Refried Beans 
serves 2
Sure canned refried beans are easy, but you just can't top the taste of homemade. The little effort required here is so worth it---these beans are fantastic!

1 small onion, finely diced
15-oz can pinto beans (undrained)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder

Line a skillet with a thin layer of water and saute onion over high heat until translucent and most of the water has cooked off. Add cumin, chili powder and a few dashes of paprika, stirring to coat the onions. Add beans with their juices and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and mash beans well using a fork or potato masher. It will look very soupy, don't be alarmed. Crank the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes. If the bans start popping and splashing, cover for a few minutes, then uncover. Stir every minute or so, scraping the bottom to lift the beans. After 10 minutes the liquid should have significantly reduced. It may still be a little soupy, that is alright, it will thicken as it cools. However, if it's really soupy, cook longer. Add salt and pepper and taste, then serve.

Per serving: 216 calories, 0.4g fat, 41.7g carbohydrate, 15.7g fiber, 4.8g sugar, 13.7g protein

Sweet Potato Dal
serves 2
This soup is Dal-icious! It's so flavorful you'll want seconds, and thirds!

1 small sweet potato, skinned
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala, plus extra
1 cup vegetable broth, plus extra
1/2 cup red lentils
4 cups spinach, or more

Dice sweet potato into small 1/2-inch cubes and set aside. Line a medium pot with a thin layer of water and saute onions and garlic for a minute. Add a pinch or two red pepper flakes and continue to cook until all the water has cooked off. Add turmeric, 1/4 tsp garam masala and stir to coat.  Add 1 cup broth, uncooked lentils, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low, cover, and simmer for a few minutes, about 5. Add sweet potatoes, bring to a boil again, and reduce to low and simmer, until lentils are fully cooked (they expand and the sauce thickens), about 5 minutes more. Check periodically to see if you need additional broth (I tend to add an extra 1/2 cup but it can vary). Once lentils are cooked and sweet potatoes are fork tender, taste, adding more garam masala as desired (I like to add another 1/4 tsp but some blends are stronger than others). Add spinach, continuing to stir until spinach cooks down and softens. Add salt to taste and serve.

Per serving: 232 calories, 0.9g fat, 42.2g carbohydrates, 17.7g fiber, 4.7g sugar, 15.4g protein

Quick Burgers 
makes 4
I developed these burgers in a hotel room: they're quick, easy, and require very few ingredients. (In fact, except for the beans and seasoning packet, I sourced all the ingredients from the complimentary "breakfast bar). I make these burgers any time I need a super fast meal or I'm really low on ingredients.

15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp onion powder (granulated)
1 tsp garlic powder (granulated)
1/3 cup instant oats

Per burger: 109 calories, 0.5g fat, 17.6g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 2.2g sugar, 5g protein

Spicy Orange Greens 
serves 2
The slightly spicy orange sauce in his dish is one of my favorites. You can serve it with any greens you like or have on hand, but collard greens are my favorite to use. For a complete meal, serve over or tossed with noodles.

1/3 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp orange marmalade or jam
4 cups greens (any)

Pour water, soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes into a skillet. Turn heat to high and saute until the ginger is fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in marmalade and then add chopped greens. Reduce heat to medium and using tongs, turn greens into the sauce. This will help cook the greens down; stop when your greens are bright green and have softened. Serve.

Chef's Note: Coked broccoli florets may be substituted for the greens. Toss cooked broccoli  with the sauce once it's been warmed and serve.

Per serving: 156 calories, 1.5g fat, 32g carbohydrates, 8.8g fiber, 11.6g sugar, 10.1g protein

Sage Gravy 
makes 1 1/2 cups
Good over greens, mashed potatoes, faux chicken---anything really. This is my latest go-to gravy.

1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup nondairy milk
1 tbsp rubbed sage (not powdered)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp white whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder (granulated)
1/4 tsp onion powder (granulated)
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
dash paprika
1 lemon wedge (juice of)
pinch salt
black or white pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium pot, taking care to rub the sage between your fingers to break it down in smaller bits, especially if your brand is a little rustic with bigger leaves and stick pieces (pull out those sticks if you can). Squeeze the juice out of your lemon wedge completely, and discard the rind. Bring gravy to near boil over high heat but just before it boils, immediately turn off the heat and remove the pot to a non-hot burner, stirring it. Taste, adding black or white pepper and salt as desired.

Chef's Note: Brown rice flour may be substituted for a gluten-free option.

Per serving (1/4 cup): 29 calories, 0.3g fat, 4.7g carbohydrate, 1.2g fiber, 1.2g sugar, 2.6g protein

For more information, visit Lindsay's website, Happy Herbivore, and check out her books, The Happy Herbivore and Everyday Happy Herbivore. I guarantee she will make you want to immediately run to your kitchen and start experimenting with her recipes!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Forks Over Knives Plant-Based Thanksgiving Livestream

This Thanksgiving, Forks Over Knives came into my kitchen and I demonstrated how to make an entire whole food, plant-based Thanksgiving meal live. The recipes I made were: Fall Harvest Chowder, Stuffed Acorn Squash, Tempeh Italiano (from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking), Kale Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing, Berry Apple Relish, and Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (based off of my Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins in the Forks Over Knives book). Click here for all six recipes and I hope you enjoyed a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian - Episode 35 - Saucy Glazed Mushrooms

Wondering how to eliminate oil when sauteing? This episode will show you how...and why! One tablespoon of oil contains 120 calories and 100% of those calories come from fa!. Plus, the amount of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) found in oil is minimal...especially when compared to the whole food version. But who needs oil when you can saute in water, vegetable broth, coconut water, juice, beer, or wine and never miss the flavor (or the fat)?!

Try out this easy Saucy Glazed Mushrooms recipe from the talented and hilarious Chef AJ's book Unprocessed. These end up in her famous Disappearing Lasagna by the way! For more information about low fat eating, check out my book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Whole Food, Plant-Based Thanksgiving Livestream with Forks Over Knives

Holiday time is usually centered upon meals...parties, celebrations, family gatherings....They are basically eating opportunities gone wild! It is commonly agreed upon that a certain weight gain is expected between Halloween and New Years....upon which, the focus shifts from accumulating towards removing those excess pounds as a resolution for the new year. The average weight gain during the annual holiday season ranges from 5-10 pounds. If you fail to accommodate for these subtle additions to your body, you could pack on some serious poundage over the years and increase your risk of virtually all chronic diseases at your disposal. 

This year, Forks Over Knives - the best documentary of 2011 and New York Times Bestselling Book - is streaming a live Thanksgiving cooking demo LIVE! On Thursday, the 17th of November, I will be creating an entire whole food, plant-based Thanksgiving meal to show how easy it is to make healthy delicious...even during the holidays!

The menu is as follows:

The link will show the recording for a couple days after we air. After that, check the Forks Over Knives You Tube page to watch.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Recent Updates

I have had a very busy and exciting month and wanted to share some of the details...

This past Friday, October 28th, I was featured as the expert on The Dr. Oz Show.  J. Morris Hicks wrote a fabulous blog delineating the details of the show on his site. To read it, click here: Healthy Eating Healthy World. After Dr. Oz showed the massive beneficial results of putting 3 women on a whole food, plant-based diet for about 6 days, he had me explain how this is plausible in the real world. I explained how to appropriately and easily find protein, calcium, healthy fats, and carbs in the plant kingdom, all while improving your health. In the second segment, I demonstrate how to make 3 recipes from my book: It's Easy Being Green Smoothie, Mexican Noritos, and Beans and Greens Chili. Overall it was an incredible experience...going to New York City, taping at 30 Rock, and meeting Dr. Oz and his incredible team. If you liked the show, please write in to tell them here because I would love to go back.

Here are the links to watch the show online:
Part 1 sets up the story.
Part 2 explains the results for the women.
This is me describing the details of the diet.
Here are the cooking demos.

One of the most rewarding parts of having this experience is that it helped my book and DVD rankings go all the way into the top 100 books and documentaries! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition ended up as #48 in all books, #2 in Nutrition, #2 in Nursing, #3 in Diets, and #4 in Medicine on Amazon. (Ok, yes, I have become obsessed with these numbers!)

I also had my debut on an amazing website called One Green Planet. Click here for my article which is entitled Reducing Reductionism: A Big Picture View of Nutrition.

I thank you all for your support in my journey to help tell the masses about the benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian - Episode 35 - Leafy Green Dip

This recipe takes a prize for the most delicious way to get your greens in! And if you like versatile, you will love this one. Two of the healthiest food groups-leafy greens and beans-are creatively blended together with lemon, nutritional yeast, basil, and nuts or seeds thanks to my clever partner-in-crime, Chef AJ. This can be used as a filling for lasagna, to top crackers, or inside of a whole grain bread bowl. In fact, I can't imagine how many options there are for this ridiculously decadent dip! It truly is one of my favorites!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian- Fennel Salad

Welcome to our new set of The Chef and The Dietitian. Chef AJ and I will show you how to make a three-ingredient recipe including fennel (tastes like licorice, texture like celery, and high in flavonoids, vitamin C, and fiber), dates, and lemon juice. Easy and unique, this is something you can whip up in minutes and serve as an appetizer, side dish, or even a dessert. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian- Hockey Pucks

These decadent beauties, created by Chef AJ for Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, are similar to a Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but oh so much better for you! Made strictly with whole foods (of course) you can easily find in any market, this phenomenal dessert will impress any sweet tooth and make you wonder how you ever could ever have enjoyed the original version!


Friday, September 2, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian - Episode 31 - Thai Noodles

Our first episode filmed in front of a live audience*. Guest host, Natala Constantine of Vegan Hope joins Chef AJ and me as we show you how to make one of the greatest entrees of all time: Thai Noodles. The peanuty sauce, inspired by Mary McDougall, is rich, sweet and serves up a colorful rainbow array of veggies mixed with rice noodles. This is one you will crave...

*This video is a bit long, but the recipe is printed in the middle, and the dish is so worth it!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian-Episode 30-Baked Tortilla Chips

Can you hear the crunch?!? Watch my favorite messy and crazy partner-in-crime, Chef AJ, demonstrate the crunch of her homemade baked tortilla chips. These tasty staples can be made with a mere one ingredient (blue corn tortillas) plus some water. Enjoy them with my favorite bean dip of all time, Holy Mole Bean Dip, which was featured in our last episode.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian-Episode 29-Holy Mole

Confession: I am a bean-aholic! I love beans...all kinds and in all ways. Of course there are many worse addictions to have. In this episode, we discuss the benefits of beans and how this dish may even help stave off iron-deficiency anemia. Chef AJ's absolutely divine Holy Mole bean dip is lard-free, oil-free, and infused with rich, smoky, spicy flavors and a creamy texture. Be forewarned...this dish may turn you into a bean-aholic too...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

A brief glimpse into the multitude of benefits of following a whole food, plant-based diet. For more information and an in-depth exploration, pick up a copy of my brand new book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. And for a journey into the plant-based world, order my new infotainment documentary, To Your Health.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian-Episode 28-Oil-Spinach Soup

We love our leafy greens! Learn how to make Chef AJ's delicious and simple spinach soup while learning about essential fatty acids and the greatness of greens. You can make this soup hot or cool...yum! Enjoy our "ubiquitous" episode...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian-Episode 27-Oil-Free Balsamic Vinaigrette

Love salads? Chef AJ and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE salads. Dressing makes the salad. Here is an easy, delicious oil-free dressing you can use to help you gobble up a shock-n-awe-sized salad!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bringing "Plant-Based" to the Masses

It is now edging towards the later side of 2011. We still have a worldwide epidemic of obesity and chronic disease. Medical costs are literally bankrupting our nation...even though nobody is getting better by using the medications and procedures that absorb all of that money. Cancer is no longer the "C word" due to its overshadowing prevalence. Type 2 diabetes now occurs in eight percent of the population! A third of the U.S. population is overweight. 34% of the population is obese, 6% of which are "extremely obese."

But...despite the concern of hopelessness...

We indeed have a solution...

And the world is starting to listen...

Miracles occurred when we at EarthSave, Int. took 20+ participants, clients of the Sacramento Food Bank, through a Dr. McDougall-style plant-based program for 30 days...

The results? Multiple year-long medication prescriptions were halted, energy skyrocketed, weight and cholesterol levels plummeted, blood pressure normalized, morale was lifted, etc., etc.

A documentary about plant-based nutrition soared at nationwide box-offices...Forks Over Knives was the first full-length feature film on the topic to make it to dinner table talk. And the companion book officially made the New York Times Bestseller List.

Look where we have come! Vegan and veg-friendly restaurants continued to grow and thrive. Vegan cookbooks were hitting the shelves with a gusto...People like President Bill Clinton, Steve Wynn, and Twitter creator, Biz Stone, went plant-based.

To sum up the success and take people to the next level, I made an infotainment documentary with award-winning  filmmaker extraordinaire, Jesse Pomeroy, which has just released to DVD. To Your Health is best summed up as a fun and fast-paced "journey into the Plant-Based World."

To Your Health is an in-depth study of whole food, plant-based nutrition, debunking the most common myths associated with modern nutrition. Exploring your need for protein, calcium, supplements, metabolism, and other issues, To Your Health provides answers to your biggest questions.

Follow me as I travel the country to interview the biggest names in the Plant-Based World including Dr. T. Colin Campbell (The China Study), Dr. Joel Fuhrman (Eat to Live), Dr. John McDougall (The McDougall Program), Dr. Neal Barnard (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), and Dr. Pam Popper (the Wellness Forum), and many more including Brendan Brazier, Chef AJ, and Mike Anderson. My travels take me from Cornell University and the countryside of New Jersey to the San Francisco Bay and the far reaches of Central California. I visit the benevolent haven that is Farm Sanctuary along with incredible restaurants like Millennium and The Veggie Grill. This fun and entertaining journey is full of life-changing information and hope for a future of better health for all. 

Here is the trailer:

In addition, I wrote my first book...The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. It is the perfect resource for anyone curious or forehead-deep in plant-based nutrition. The book covers the entire lifespan-from pregnancy and infancy to seniors; all health and fitness levels (including those diagnosed with any of multiple chronic diseases to elite athletes); and varying degrees of experience with plant-based nutrition. There are also 40+ recipes, a chapter on stocking your kitchen and even one on exercise.

My second book is a cookbook which I co-authored with an incredibly talented chef, Beverly Lynn Bennett. Titled The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, you will find recipes for extraordinary items like gluten-free vegan sausages, biscuits, cakes, and more. Look for it on shelves on December 6th.

Let's continue to bring plant-based to the forefront of the masses. The timing is perfect and many curious people are finally piquing an interest. We are at the tip of the tipping point...let us take a stand and stop the destruction of our population and everything in its way...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

*To Your Health* DVDs are Now Available

Be among the first to see this informative, entertaining film as I, the Plant-Based Dietitian, take you on a journey into the Plant-Based World. Order your copy at www.GoingVeg.net. Sale price is $19.99 (Shipping and Sales Tax included).

Enjoy the film that “Skinny Bitch” co-author Rory Freedman says is ”Fun, fast-moving, and informative, (it) gets right to the point with the leading experts of the plant-based world…” and “Earthlings” producer Shaun Monson proclaims “is so compelling. Every interview is pure truth, not commercially motivated. The film truly lives up to its name…it’s to YOUR health!”

Get healthy, get informed, get To Your Health on DVD!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian-Episode 26-Quinoa Salad

Fresh, fragrant herbs and sweet currants mixed with crunchy pistachios and hearty quinoa...voila...the perfect salad! Join Chef AJ and I as we show you how to make her Quinoa Salad with Currants and Pistachios, found in her delicious book Unprocessed. Quinoa is considered a super-grain, with its abundance of essential amino acids, fiber, folate, manganese, magnesium, and iron. Also gluten-free, its versatility qualifies it as a pantry staple!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian-Episode 25-Pear Creme Anglais

A follow-up to Episode 24 "Balsamic Strawberries," Chef AJ takes it to the next level when she turns pears into a light, sweet, whole food whipped cream! This elegant dessert will fancify any meal and impress your guests...

The Chef and The Dietitian-Episode 24-Balsamic Strawberries

For the first time, Chef AJ introduced me to a semi-popular dessert dish I had never been interested in trying...Balsamic Strawberries. Actually, I was surprisingly pleased! Learn a bit about organic produce a la the Environmental Working Group's Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen and how to add an easy twist to fresh fruit for dessert...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Joy of Eating

My dear friend, Ciddy Fonteboa, is a passionate animal rights activist. She is driven by compassion and has a pure, energetic soul that is utterly contagious! I met Ciddy when she asked me to speak in the Healthy Hut at Worldfest 2011 in Los Angeles, CA, which she gallantly produced. Clips of the event are intertwined in this fun and fabulous video she has created. Get ready for a mouth-watering, awe-inspiring few moments where you can see how and why to go deliciously veg! You can learn more about Ciddy on her Facebook page and You-Tube page while her blog, Lady Uproar, is being developed. I dare you to watch this without getting hungry and inspired...

Evolving Backwards


And with seeing and being reminded comes…inspiration…each image of animals being treated with apathy in the most horrific manners…manners in which are impossible to imagine how a human could conceive of them-let alone implement and perpetuate them. And yet, they do…and these events continue to the tune of billions of animals per year in the United States alone.

And with hearing an expert in ecology comes…terror…the stab of shocking inescapable doom we are instigating by the shear consumption of massive quantities of animal-based products. We are literally eating ourselves into the next extinction.

As “evolved” thinking primates, one of the defining features we ought to boast is the ability to learn from our mistakes and ameliorate the choices that led to the ultimate poor results. And yet…have we? Is history not repeating itself? How many mass extinctions have occurred in history? Have you ever considered that we-in our evolved, learned culture-could repeat a catastrophic end of humanity as we know it?

And yet...here we are…right smack in the midst of a cataclysmic downward spiral. The more animal products we consume, the more inane senseless torture of sentient, innocent creatures, the more destruction of our air, soil, land, waters, loss of biodiversity, and then some. Oh yes…how can I forget? As a healthcare professional, I directly witness the impact of animal food consumption in my daily practice. I also happen to experience utter miraculous transformations regularly when people cease their consumption of animal products…as my sick clients get healthy, medications get put back in the medicine cabinet permanently, athletes beat their personal bests, and everyone in between thrives. 

Our fork determines our future like nothing else. Politics, powerful medications, advances in medical procedures, are laughable when you consider and witness the impact of the food that you eat. It is time we all recognize the blatantly obvious…we know too much now…there is no way out. As our 6.5 billion global population ensues, we are literally eating our planet…and we will soon be left with nothing…tick tock. What will you do? Knowledge is command…we are officially at the tipping point. Will we survive? We have the solution…but will we learn from our mistakes? Or will we remain safely protected in our blissful bubble…tick tock…choose wisely…

Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July Chili


If you like fireworks, this chili will fire up your taste buds and give you a great kick to celebrate America's birthday! Enjoy the spice, color, texture, and festivities with this nutrient-dense delicious dish. 

Yield: 5 cups

1 medium onion, diced
2 cups red bell pepper, diced
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, and finely diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-oz.) can garbanzo beans
1 (15-oz.) can black beans
1 cup corn kernals
1 (14-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 TB. maple syrup
1 TB. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Zest and juice of 1 lime
[1/3] cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1.     In a medium pot, combine onion, bell pepper, carrots, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and 1/2 cup vegetable broth, and sauté over medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes.

2.     Add remaining broth, kidney, garbanzo, and black beans,  corn, crushed tomatoes, maple syrup, chili powder, oregano, basil, cumin, pepper, cayenne, and lime juice/zest. Stir continuously to combine. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil.

3.     Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro. Serve hot with cornbread or brown rice.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian-Episode 23-Hail to the Kale

Here is the reason I fell in love with Chef AJ...her Hail to the Kale salad. No matter how often I eat this (and I eat it quite often), I can never stop crunching away! It is always a hit when I make it for guests or for parties and I cannot recommend it highly enough. The combination of nutty, sweet, and citrusy makes for the perfect blend. Use it on raw kale for a nutrient explosion or on any salad mix, cooked broccoli, baked potatoes, or anywhere else that allows you to indulge!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nutty Buddies...ahhh...Chocolate FUNdue on a banana or as a truffle! And healthy too? Bring it on, Chef AJ!

Plea I am Making to the School Board Tonight

As a Registered Dietitian and mother of two, I am on the front-lines everyday witnessing the dramatic influence diet has on children. As I am certain you are aware, we are currently in the midst of a national crisis of overfed, yet undernourished people, where more than two-thirds of the U.S. adult population is overweight or obese, and 17% of our children are as well. Diabetes incidence is escalating in children as well as behavioral issues and other health concerns. The most ironic part is the fact that most-if not all-of this can be prevented through nutrition.

After spending some time working in the kitchens of some Los Angeles-based school districts, and seeing what the USDA has to offer, I promised to always send my kids to school with a homemade lunch once I had kids. Although I have stuck to this promise wholeheartedly, it pains me to have this basic solution stabbed in my back. My kids still come home having eaten high sugar, high fat, and highly processed "treats" on a near-daily basis, given to them for good behavior, birthday parties, holidays, etc. The whole concept of a "treat" has been made obsolete, as a treat is not something one gets on a very regular basis. It is this very principle that greatly contributes to the current health crisis we are experiencing. I believe what the family teaches at home is critical for the child's health and habit education. However, when those messages are conflicted by the schools where their education and time is substantial, it sends mixed signals and raises the difficulty of understanding what healthy behaviors truly look like.

To participate in the solution, I strongly implore that the schools:
·        Provide nutrition education as frequently as possible from qualified professionals;
·        Eliminate the use of food/candy/etc. as reward for good behavior;
·        Limit "treats" given for holidays and birthday parties…at least require a healthy option;
·        Set regulations on what may or may not be brought into the classroom;
·        Require parental permission to distribute candy and any other food-like items (allergies alone are a critical reason to prevent a school faculty or staff from making food decisions for a student)

Thank you for your consideration.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian-Episode 21-Chocolate Fundue

Indulge in the classically delicious combination of chocolate and peanut butter in a healthy, fun way! What a yummy way to fancify your fruit, which is half of the foundation of the Plant-Based Food Guide Pyramid! Watch Chef AJ and I as we make this elegant and unique dessert to impress your guests and kidlets at home...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Chef and the Dietitian- Episode 20-Cauliflower Au Gratin

Faux parmesan...sooo yummy on...everything! Try it in this simple dish by blanching cauliflower and pouring it on. Watch Chef AJ and me whip up this classic shaker that will enhance virtually any recipe.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Interview with Forks Over Knives Executive Producer, Brian Wendel


Brian Wendel is the Executive Producer of an extremely powerful, unstoppable new documentary, Forks Over Knives. Releasing in Los Angeles and New York theatres on May 6th and nationwide on May 13th, this is a film you do not want to miss. Documenting the fascinatingly parallel lives of a nutrition biochemistry researcher, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and  physician, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Forks Over Knives presents their groundbreaking path towards changing the way we think about nutrition and medicine. Simultaneously, the film explores both how we ended up in the health disaster we are currently experiencing in the United States as well as offers the audience a solution.

I have seen this film at least ten times, and I learn something new each time I watch it. Forks Over Knives may be one of the most critical films of our generation and I highly and passionately recommend it. Also starring in this film are Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Pam Popper, Rip EsselstynDr. John McDougall, Dr. Alona Pulde, Dr. Matt Lederman, Dr. Doug LisleMac Danzig, Ruth Hedrich, Dr. Terry Mason, and some warm and wonderful real-life examples of what a whole food, plant-based diet can do.

In this interview, Brian tells us about his experience making Forks Over Knives and then watching it blossom into a huge success...

JH: You went from commercial real estate straight into producing one of the most important documentaries of our time, Forks Over Knives, as your first film. What inspired you to take the leap?

BW: The evidence that diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and sometimes cancer, can be effectively prevented, and even reversed, by a whole foods plant-based diet is compelling. For whatever reason, the information wasn’t getting to the masses, so only a few people were benefiting from it. I thought making a feature film was an opportunity to change that, and doing something that would have a positive impact on people’s lives was something I always wanted to do.

JH: How do you feel about the outpouring of support and enthusiasm for the film?

BW: The response has been beyond what I had imagined. It’s rewarding. I think people see the potential in the concepts brought forward in the film as a real way to make our lives better.

JH: What are your ultimate goals for Forks Over Knives?

BW: I hope that the level of education about food and its impact on health will increase, and that as a result, people will lead more healthful lives. It turns out that the same diet that is good for human health, is compassionate to animals and less taxing to the environment, so it’s important to see improvements in these areas as well.

JH: Can you describe the message you are trying to relay by creating such a critical piece?

BW: The message is that there is evidence that there’s something very specific we can do to greatly reduce our suffering from degenerative diseases. At a time when we’re trying to find solutions to difficult problems, it’s good to know that there may be one at hand—especially something that is simple.

JH: What was it like working with a healthy handful of the most innovative, influential scientists of our generation?

BW: Given my passion for the subject, there are no individuals I would have rather worked with than Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn. Getting to spend as much time with them as we did, and getting to know them personally, was an experience that is difficult to describe in words.

JH: What was your biggest challenge in making the film?

BW: The biggest challenge was figuring out how to take a vast amount of information along with a significant number of stories, and making into a presentation of less than 96 minutes. There’s a lot of material that didn’t make it in. We realized that the film represents more the beginning of a discussion.

JH: Do you intend to continue making documentary films with a similar message?

BW: Right now I’m focused on releasing the film, an undertaking that is quite substantial. I do, though, like the idea of making another documentary film.

Check local listings beginning May 6th in New York and Los Angeles and nationwide beginning May 13th. This film will change your life!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Chef and the Dietitian- Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

You don't have to wait until the holidays to enjoy the delicious flavors and health benefits of pumpkin. In this episode, Chef AJ and I show you how to make pumpkin-pie-in-a-glass. Decadent and easy, you can guzzle down the spicy sweetness and maximize your intake of carotenoids-the powerful antioxidants found in pumpkin-all in just a few minutes. Cheers!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian - Episode 18...QUINOA!

Quinoa is an ancient grain that's actually a seed and considered the "gold of the Incas". Filled to the brim with amino acids (all 9 essential amino acids are represented making it a complete protein), fiber, and phytonutrients, quinoa is indeed a supergrain! Not to mention how delicious it tastes and how versatile it is.

Also, we discovered a new company called Dragunara that makes delicious, salt-free, oil-free, and sugar-free seasonings. We use their "Slim Spice Seasoning" in this episode.

Watch Chef AJ and myself as we show you how to make a simple and sassy side dish in this episode of The Chef and the Dietitian:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

To Your Health Trailer

Finally...my dream project is coming to fruition. After a year and a half of delving deeply into the plant-based world, master filmmaker, Jesse Pomeroy, and I are on the cusp of releasing our baby. Join us as we tour the country in search of the answers to achieving optimum health. All of the leading experts are represented in this edu-tainment documentary, including Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Alan Goldhamer, Dr. Pam Popper, Brendan Brazier, Mike Anderson, and Chef AJ. Stay tuned for more information and follow us on Facebook and our website, http://www.goingveg.net/.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A surprise visit from the tres famous et tres chic chef extraordinaire from France! But, s'il vous plait, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!! Merci and bon appetit!

Monday, January 24, 2011

10 Reasons to Just Do It! An Homage to Jack LaLanne

“Exercise is king, nutrition is queen, put them together and you have a kingdom!” Jack LaLanne 1914 – 2011

Jack LaLanne passed away yesterday at the ripened old age of 96. In honor of his infinite ability to inspire, I want to share 10 reasons why exercise is indeed so critical to optimal health. I actually would reverse Jack's quote and define nutrition as the king and fitness as the queen. Regardless, you cannot achieve and maintain your superior kingdom without a combination of consistently moving and properly fueling your body. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. Exercise stimulates your immune system. Muscle contractions are to your lymphatic system what the heart is to your circulatory system. The lymphatic system cleans up the mess like inflammatory cells from throughout the body. It then traps bacteria, viruses, fungus, and other mischief-makers to put the immune system to work. Finally, any leftover fluid is dumped back into the bloodstream to be excreted via the kidneys. Think of your lymphatic system as your body's housekeeper.

2. Working out strengthens your heart and blood vessels. Encouraging circulation by stimulating your heart to work hard for a prolonged period of time improves blood flow, decreases inflammation, and keeps your heart muscle fit.

3. Regular exercise is excellent for your mind. Depression, anxiety, stress, and panic disorders have all been found to improve with exercise. Endorphins (feel-good hormones and natural painkillers) are released from physical stress, soothing your mind, and improving your mood. It enables you to deal with stress more effectively.

4. Sleep is deeper and more efficient with regular exercise. Proper rest is critical for stress management, immune function, mental clarity, and physical well-being.

5. Weight management is easier with a consistent fitness program. As lean body mass increases, metabolism improves, and you require more calories just to maintain those muscles. Become a calorie-burning machine by sticking to a fitness plan.

6. Exercise improves insulin sensitivity. Great news for diabetics, pre-diabetics, and those who want to prevent diabetes (hopefully everyone). Type 2 diabetes is the result of insulin resistance...where the cells become unable to absorb glucose, thereby leading to hyperglycemia.

7. Inflammation is suppressed thanks to increased circulation brought about by exercising.

8. Your risk for most chronic disease-including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes-is significantly reduced by sustaining a regular fitness regimen.

9. The number one most effective factor in preventing and stopping the progression of osteoporosis is...yep, you guessed it...EXERCISE! Resistance movements against your own body weight or other resource (like weights, machines, and tubing) improve bone mass. Bone and muscle both react to physical stress (resistance) by growing thicker and stronger. Move your body and build bone tissue. Remember that bone tissue is dynamic. It is constantly breaking down and repairing in a constant state of flux. So, provide it with stress to encourage proper bone mineralization.

10. Exercise helps make you a better lover. People who work out have an increased libido, have a decreased risk for erectile dysfunction, and have more stamina to bring sexy back to bed!

No matter what your fitness level is or what chronic conditions you may have, regular exercise will improve your life on so many levels. It is not an optional activity...it is a must-do. Commit to a program if you haven't already and watch the miracles in your life materialize!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Chef and The Dietitian - Episode 16

Happy, Healthy New Year! In this episode, Chef AJ shows us how to make her party favorite pesto-stuffed mushrooms. By the way they taste and by their elegant presentation, you'd never think they could be so simple to make.

Remember to follow my Whole Food, Plant-Based Food Guide Pyramid to achieve and maintain optimum health all year-long. To a healthy, fruitful, plant-based 2011! Cheers!