Creamy Coconut Mac And Cheese with Broccoli Just like every other family during the Covid-19 quarantine, mine was turning to cooking and comfort food to pass the time. Of course, traditional mac and cheese has long been considered one of the kings of comfort food, with the rich creamy texture and soft noodles bringing us back to our childhood days (I used to love those Kraft mac and cheese squeeze packets). Most of the vegan cheese I make has a base of raw cashews, which, when blended with appropriate seasonings is transformed into a thick and hearty cream sauce. [...]
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Nutty Energy Bites Are you looking for a quick healthy snack (or breakfast) to take on the go? Look no further than these delicious, easy-to-make energy bites. Customize by substituting your favorite ingredients. Ingredients: Wet 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (I like fresh ground, nothing but peanuts). Can also use almond butter, tahini, etc. 1/4 cup maple syrup Dry (you can substitute or adjust amount of each ingredient as long as measurement stays the same) 1/4 cup ground flax seed 3/4 cup rolled oats 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons crisped rice cereal 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips 1/4 [...]
It has been well-documented that lifestyle changes can have a significant influence on blood pressure. Consumption of a plant-based diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium reduced systolic blood pressure by up to 12 points compared with a high sodium, standard American diet in the DASH study. Plant-based foods can lead to lower blood pressure through various mechanisms, including higher intake of potassium and magnesium, consumption of nitrates which can cause blood vessels to dilate, and reduced intake of high fat and processed foods which can cause blood vessels to constrict. Reducing alcohol consumption has also been shown [...]
The week prior to trying this recipe, I made some wonderful black chickpea falafel. These were the best falafel I've made to date (still need to post the recipe). I wrapped the falafel with pita along with a creamy cashew tzatziki and dill pickle slices. The tzatziki was a delectable combination of cool cucumber, tangy lemon and garlic, and fresh herby dill. I passed this recipe on to my sister, and she in turn came upon this vegan tempeh gyro recipe. Prior to becoming vegetarian, I used to love a good gyro. I hadn't had one in quite some time, and [...]
Banana Almond Teff Porridge When I speak with my patients about eating healthy breakfast options, a bowl of oatmeal is almost always part of the conversation. Steel cut oats are one of my favorite go-to breakfasts, but sometimes I enjoy changing things up. There are actually quite a few grains that can be prepared as porridge, including better-known options such as quinoa, farro, and amaranth. Teff is an Ethiopian grain that is high in protein and fiber. I've previously posted a recipe for teff pancakes or waffles which utilizes teff flour. This easy porridge recipe has been one of my favorites [...]
The Fat Truth About Diabetes There is a common misconception that eating too many carbohydrates is responsible for causing diabetes. While eating foods with refined flours and sugars may play a contributory role, it is the consumption of too much fat, mostly saturated fat from animal protein, that is the major culprit. Development of diabetes involves the complex interplay of insulin resistance from fat infiltration of muscle, liver, and pancreas; inflammation which damages the liver and pancreas; and disruption of our gut microbiome. It is true that consuming carbohydrates will lead to elevated blood glucose (sugar) levels once insulin resistance has already [...]
Buffalo Chickpea Taquitos Rivalry Week. It's considered the most exciting college football weekend of the year. On this day, friends can become foes, and even families can become divided. Fortunately for me, my family gathers in solidarity on the Saturday following Thanksgiving each year to support the University of Florida Gators as they battle the Florida State University Seminoles. Our traditional game day grub is usually pizza. It's easy to order, delicious, and a perfect handheld meal to feed the hungry mouths of those who are tired of cooking after Thanksgiving food prep. This year, I decided to try something different. [...]
I've recently been doing more reading on the effects of higher fat consumption leading to diabetes. This process is complex and involves numerous mechanisms, one of which includes excess fat being deposited in the muscle, liver, and pancreas. When fat is deposited in the muscle, it interferes with insulin signaling and blocks entry of glucose (sugar) from the blood. Fat deposits in the liver and pancreas lead to dysfunction of these organs, resulting in greater unnecessary glucose production by the liver and failure of insulin production from the pancreas. Additionally, I found that my own LDL (bad cholesterol) had been creeping [...]
There is a misconception in Western society that in order to obtain adequate amounts of protein, one must consume animal-based foods. Proteins are composed of building blocks called amino acids, and just like animal protein, plant-based protein sources contain all of the essential amino acids that cannot be made in the body. In fact, many animals get all of their protein exclusively from plants. Animal vs. Plant Protein Ounce per ounce, animal-based foods are more concentrated sources of protein than plant-based foods. The amino acids in animal-based proteins are in a similar number and proportion to the proteins in human muscle, [...]
Creamy Oil-Free Balsamic Dressing As a whole-food, plant-based purist, I discourage my patients from consuming oil. Not only is oil calorie dense, but many oils added to processed food are high in omega-6 fatty acids which can promote inflammation. Studies have shown that consumption of even olive oil can lead to an immediate decrease in the ability of our blood vessels to dilate (see my post "Is Olive Oil Heart-Healthy?"). These effect can persist for hours. I recommend that my patient get their fats from whole-food sources such as nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados. That being said, it's still best to [...]