I have been a vegetarian for more than 30 years. In the last few years, the emphasis on healthy whole foods, plant based diets and organic foods have really made being a vegetarian so much easier. About a year ago, my daughter introduced me to a vegan vlogger Ellen Fisher and her sister Hannah McNeely, who is also an ethical vegan. I love their videos and they have inspired me to eat less dairy and less eggs and less fish (I am not quite there yet as far as finding enough dinner recipes that my whole family likes, but I am completely vegan 3-4 days a week and vegan until dinner the rest of the week).
A few weeks ago, Ellen mentioned The China Study in her video and when I saw this cookbook pop up on Netgalley, I knew I wanted to check it out and hopefully find more dinner recipes!
Eating a whole food, plant based diet greatly reduces risks for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
One of my concerns about going completely plant based is protein. As a vegetarian, I rely on eggs and fish for some of my protein (legumes, seeds and nuts provide some as well). What I learned from this book and others, however, is that Americans consume too much protein and that actually increases risk of cancers.
The first recipe I made from this book was Dominican Rice and Beans with Fresh Salad, which the author says is her sons’ favorite meal. We liked it a lot, although this style of cooking greatly reduces oil and salt and that was a big hit for us in terms of flavor. We added some hot sauce, but we really wanted to add salt. So that is something we need to think about in terms of how we want to adjust – do we want to add salt or get used to using less salt? I have gone salt-free before and it takes a while but eventually I did get used to it and found the food flavorful enough.
The second recipe I made was the Baked Tofu which used coconut aminos and we found to be perfectly flavorful and one of the best recipes we have ever used for baked tofu.
I was eager to try some of the baking recipes, because I always want baked goods but am always trying to eat healthy. I made the Blackberry Lemon Tea Cakes (I subbed raspberries because our raspberry bushes were thick with fruit). We also tried the Almond Topped Blueberry Coffee Cake. We found both to be very good, but to taste a little healthy, which we actually appreciated because it gave us the sweetness we craved without feeling overly decadent.
I have also tried some of the salad dressings, as I am trying to get away from my kale massaged with oil and salt and garlic. I liked the Lemon Tahini dressing and the Asian Ginger dressing. I have to get the ingredients for the Mango Azteca Dressing so I can try that one.
If you are interested in reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes and are open to eating less salt and oil and more whole food plants, then you should check this book out. Yes, some of the food is slightly less flavorful than what you may be used to, but you will undoubtedly feel better eating it.