Thursday, September 22, 2011

Read about Thrive Foods!

I was given a copy of "Thrive Foods" to review and I have nothing but good things to say about it. The book was written by Brendan Brazier, a former professional triathlete and creator of Vega Foods, a line of whole food nutritional products. This is his third book and it's full of  referenced nutritional information and recipes. 

Because I am interested in cooking, at first glance my focus was on the recipes (there are 200!). In it you'll find recipes for smoothies, salads, soups, dips, spreads, dressings, snacks, breakfasts, main courses and desserts. I've made several, one of which I've included in this post. All were fresh tasting and delicious. 

A lot of the recipes are raw or low-temperature cooked foods and all are carefully created for optimum nutrition and taste. Brendan also includes recipes created by well-known chefs whose focus is either vegetarian or vegan, such as Tal Ronnen, of Oprah fame, and recipes from well known restaurants like Candle 79 in Manhattan, New York. 

This is a picture of the Black Bean Soup from Candle 79. It's like eating a bowl of fresh.

As a cookbook Thrive Foods is well worth buying, but it's much more than that. Brendan begins his book by highlighting the benefits of a plant-based diet. He provides information on the components of good nutrition and the nutrient-dense foods that provide them. He explains why nutrient dense foods are essential for feeling and looking our best, as well as having the sustainable energy we need to make it through the day. He also demonstrates how eating a plant-based diet is good for our planet, something we should all be paying attention to.

Now for the fun part!! Go to Brendan's Facebook page  where you can download a Thrive Foods introduction and three recipes! Or... you can pre-order Thrive Foods on Believe me, you'll be glad you did!

I want to thank Cierra at Vega for the opportunity to review the book and make some delicious dishes!

NOW... Here's a recipe for you to try. It's Garlic Thyme Sweet Potato Oven Fries... it's quick, easy and yummy. Enjoy!
Garlic Thyme Sweet Potato Fries

Serves 2

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 T. coarsely chopped pumpkin seeds
1 T. thyme
1 1/2 T. coconut oil
1/2 T. basil
sea salt to taste

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges or chunks. In bowl, combine the garlic, pumpkin seeds, thyme, coconut oil, basil, and sea salt.
  • Add the sweet potatoes, stirring with your hands to make sure all the pieces are covered with the mixture.
  • Spread the sweet potatoes on a baking tray lightly oiled with coconut oil; bake for about 35 minutes.
  • If you prefer the potatoes crispier, leave in the oven for an extra 5-10 minutes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Black Beluga Lentils with Spinach and Mushrooms

Lentils are an excellent source of protein. They have the 3rd highest level of protein by weight of any plant-based food. They are also a great source of fiber as well as being inexpensive and plentiful. I love the look of these black beluga lentils and I find the taste is more desirable than that of green or red lentils. If you add rice as a side dish, you'll end up with a tasty dinner that provides complete protein.

Black Beluga Lentils with Spinach and Mushrooms
Serves 2-4

1T olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
2T finely minced carrot
2T finely minced red onion
2T finely minced celery
1/2 C. black beluga lentils
1 1/2 C. veggie stock

In a sauce pan saute the garlic, carrot, onion and celery for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the black beluga lentils stirring to coat the lentils with the oil. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer very gently for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are tender. As the lentils are about half way thru cooking, begin sauteing the mushrooms.

2T olive oil
4 oz. of shittake mushrooms or wild mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 lg. packages of spinach
Sea salt to taste

In a saute pan heat 1T olive oil. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender. Set the mushrooms aside and add 1T olive oil and the sliced garlic. Saute until fragrant then add the spinach handfuls at a time as it cooks down. Season with salt to taste. Plate the dish with spinach and garlic on the bottom, black beluga lentils over the spinach and mushrooms on the top.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Last Heart Attack

Yesterday, my uncle informed me of a program on CNN about heart disease and diet...
 "Saturday at 5 pm on CNN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta hosts a program on overcoming heart disease in America---even brings up Dr. Esselstyn, who says if America followed his program, there would be no more heart attacks. The program is an interesting summary of what we currently know about heart disease, the seriousness of heart surgery, and steps you can take to decrease your chances of being under cardiac arrest...."

I have a friend whose husband recently suffered a heart attack and I bet a lot of you have friends or family dealing with heart issues. It's worth an email or phone call to let them know about, The Last Heart Attack. I've included a link so you can see the summary of the program along with a short video of Dr. Gupta interviewing former President Clinton.

Watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports: The Last Heart Attack at 8p and 11p ET on Saturday, September 3rd on CNN.

Be healthy