Today’s inspiration comes Beka Meyer, of Caldwell, Idaho. Not only does this vegetarian paella sound delicious but it came with a testimonial from someone slowly shifting their diet to be more vegan—and loving it! (That’s a picture of Valencia by the way, this dish’s city of origin—do any of you have similar success stories?)
Here’s Beka’s email:
I’ve been eating vegan-ish since I read The China Study (-ish because I still have tons of chicken in the freezer that I am slowly getting through!) a few months ago and I am loving it! I’ve lost 18 lbs so far and I’m not hungry at all, I stopped counting calories too! Even my husband is on board with being vegan-ish and he is well known for his love of hotdogs and quesadillas! My 4 year old is loving that we always have spinach and tomatoes, apples, and oranges on hand, but being her father’s child, still needs her hotdogs. I found the following recipe in a book called The Vegan Handbook that I checked out from the library and it is so good! It is a bit of work to do, but so worth it! I made it for my in-laws (who buy their beef by the cow, not the pound) and they loved it and asked for the recipe!
1 tablespoon oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups white rice
3-1/2 cups water
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
½ cup chopped green olives
1 medium sweet pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
A few threads or pinch of pure saffron
1 cup lightly fried sliced mushrooms
1 cup asparagus, chopped
½ cup toasted blanched almonds
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a frying pan, then saute onions and garlic over medium heat for 12 minutes. Add rice and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Transfer frying pan contents to a 9×13 inch pyrex dish. Stir in water, peas, olives, sweet pepper, oregano, salt, pepper, saffron, then cover. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Combine mushrooms, asparagus and almonds, then spread evenly over top. Recover and bake for a further 25 minutes or until rice is well-cooked. Serve hot from pan.Image of Valencia via
I’m at a conference hosted by Dr. Andrew Weil, a kind of hero of ours who, at 70, embodies the idea that if you eat an antiinflammatory diet, get a lot of sleep, exercise, meditate and eat mushrooms, you’ll be just fine. (Not that kind of mushrooms, you guys! Though, hey.)
This is the Nutrition and Health Conference in San Francisco, where doctors, nurses, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals (with a few journalist interlopers) come together to learn from the best of the best in integrative medicine.
It’s like being in college and taking classes with all tbe best teachers, back to back to back, in two packed days.
Some topics came up over and over: plant-based or mostly plant-based diet. Another? The idea of food and good nutrition as…medicine. “Eat your medication,” one guy said.
So we want to know from you. Do you believe that proper nutrition is nature’s best medicine? And further, because nothing looks better than health: Do you think food and nutrition affect your looks?
Before sharing this week’s vegan recipe we wanted to mention Forks Over Knives, an exciting new documentary that opened last week (preview above).
The film traces both the work and personal stories of researchers Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn who came together to conduct one of the most extensive studies on nutrition ever. And their shocking findings make several strong arguments for following a plant-based diet.
Campbell went on to write The China Study, which helped inspire our Vegan-For-a-Week Challenge. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I will soon. Had you heard of it? If you want to check it out showtimes across the country are listed here.
And now for a quick and yummy-sounding salad from Jessica of London (by way of Long Beach). From her email:
This has long been one of my favorites! I even got a non-fruit eater to go for seconds with this recipe.
Moroccan Orange and Olive Salad
1 1/4 lbs. oranges
pitted kalamata olives
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper
3 tbs. chopped parsley
Peel oranges and cut them into bite size pieces. Put in bowl along with olives. Blend paprika, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper and pour over oranges and olives. Mix well and sprinkle with parsley
Below is a post from Well+GoodNYC, a web site devoted to beauty, health, wellness in its many forms that we absolutely love. We had no idea that agave contained so much fructose—did you?
Agave syrup has been touted as a miracle sweetener, one you can use worry-free thanks to its status as a low-glycemic food. But now a debate is brewing over just how healthy the sweetener is, in part because of what nets its low-glycemic ranking: its high fructose content.
Agave syrups can have a fructose content of 90 percent. (Refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup are half fructose and half sucrose.)
And according to some in the wellness community, like Sugar Shock! author Connie Bennett, agave fructose is highly refined. “This makes agave worse than high fructose corn syrup,” says Bennett.
What sweeteners do YOU use?
As promised, we’re going to share some of the recipes from our Vegan-for-a-Week Challenge each Monday (until we run out, or like, get bored), for our very own version of Meatless Mondays.
We thought this dish from Carla sounded creative and delicious. It’s totally raw, totally quick, and we’re betting really, really good. Also, what a great twist for anyone who can’t eat gluten pasta. Carla appears to have a blog devoted to raw vegan recipes—yum! Here’s the email she sent us:
Serves 2 in 15 minutes
2 green zucchinis
1 cup pistachios
4 cups of basil leaves
1. Soak your nuts in filtered water while preparing the other ingredients drain and then rinse.
2. Cut ends off zucchinis and slice zucchini into linguini style strips with a peeler.
3. In a blender or food processor add basil, pistachios and ¼ teaspoon sea salt then mix. Start adding avocado oil and blend until smooth. Add more sea salt to taste.
4. Mix pesto with zucchini pasta and top over thin strips of purple cabbage
5. Finally top with tomatoes, minced chives and season with sea salt and pepper