Poor People Can’t Eat Fresh Fruit: What I Learned as a Walmart Vegan

The byline of my website “Whole Food Vegan” is “Recipes and Policy for Plant People.”  I have been writing here and at other vegan lifestyle websites for 3 years.  One thing started to become clear to me: veganism seems quite elite.  Seems like the “beautiful people” eat plants.  “Plant People.”  Rich people.  Celebrities.  People who…

Spaghetti with Chickpeas

This recipe is a great way to use that summer time bumper crop of cherry tomatoes and basil from your garden!  I also love throwing chickpeas into a recipe like this, because people don’t know what to do with chickpeas.  I mean, ok, hummus, but other than that how are you supposed to eat them?…

“Chicken of the Woods” Recipe

My family went camping with a group this weekend, and we were very lucky to find a HUGE laetiporus mushroom fruiting from a stump at one of the camp sites!  This is a fairly common edible mushroom.  Most people know it casually as “chicken of the woods,” or “the chicken mushroom.”  It is different than…

Kid Sushi

Everyone loves when their food looks good.  That little garnish or flourish of sauce can go a long way in elevating a dish.  I have found that kids are much more likely to eat their food if it has a little special “something” about it.  Forks Over Knives does a sheperd’s pie with a mashed…

Plant Based Pantry Staples

There are a few items in my pantry that I use so frequently that when I see them at the grocery store I usually clear out the whole shelf.  If they’re not available at the store, I buy them by the case online.  Here are some of those basic pantry staples (and how to use…

Plant Based Kid’s Snack Time!

It’s snack time!  My youngest has a pediatrician appointment today for her 1 year checkup.  I am remembering from visits with my oldest child that the nurse is going to ask me all about my child’s behavior, sleeping, and eating habits.  So I was inspired to take a photo of snack time today!  We are…

Quick Lunch: Smoky Collard Greens

Today I woke up and there are no greens in the house.  It’s summer!  Our farm CSA is officially out of the last of the winter and spring greens.  The last little bit of it was rainbow chard a couple weeks ago and now I am totally out!  What a contrast summer eating is to…

Things You CAN Do on a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet

When we were researching a whole foods plant-based diet we found that there is a lot of anxiety out there about what vegans can and can’t do.  People worry that by dropping meat and dairy from their diet they will harm themselves or their family.  These fears are needless!  Here are three things you CAN…

No, the FDA is Not Banning Trans Fats

You may have seen media reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is “banning trans fat” from our food supply.  Trans fats are highly correlated with coronary heart disease–our number one killer–so much so that the World Health Organization and other public health bodies have determined that there is no amount that can…

Pressed Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds

This salad combines the unique flavor of raw fennel with the sweetness of apples and cucumber.  You can throw in any veggies that you happen to have such as finely sliced carrots, napa cabbage, or spring onions.  The recipe below is my favorite combination.  The preparation method interesting as well; have you ever massaged your…

Whole Grain Kamut Salad with Sweet Lemon Vinaigrette

Whole grain salads make me feel like a champion!  Sometimes I crave a big bowl of whole wheat pasta marinara, but sometimes I just want the whole wheat grain itself.  There’s something about it…the springy texture of whole grain Kamut, the sweetness of fresh fruit and carrots, and the lovely tang of a home made…

Where Will I Get My Protein?

This was my first question when I started a whole food vegan diet (a la Forks Over Knives), and it continues to be one of the first questions I am asked by people who are curious about beginning this way of eating.  Why is this question so common?  For me the connection was as simple…

Baked Potatoes with Broccoli & “Cheese” Sauce

And now for some hot, hearty (not to mention heart-healthy) winter time food: baked potatoes!  Did you know that Russet potatoes derive 9% of their calories from protein?  And broccoli will supply you with 33% of its calories from protein.  Plant sources of protein do not come hand in hand with saturated fat and cholesterol….

Decadent Fudgy Chocolate Cupcakes

Here’s a real treat: chocolate cupcakes!  This recipe is adapted from an actual Forks Over Knives approved recipe.  There is real sugar in it, and real chocolate, though I have reduced the amount called for in the original recipe.  The cupcakes are much lower in fat than traditional cupcakes, and they use whole wheat as…

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Salsa Verde

Since the weather turned cold here in Maryland we haven’t grilled outside much, and boy do I miss it!  I convinced my husband to grill up these marinated portobello mushrooms (since they only take about 4 minutes per side).  He agreed that it was well worth enduring the brief cold for that familiar grilled flavor!…

Your Peaceful New Year

This past May at the peak of my half marathon training I was running three times per week, up to 17 miles.  My weight: 156 pounds.  Now it’s the week after Christmas and for months the only exercise I got is from normal daily activities like walking and keeping up with our toddler.  My weight…

The Best Vegan Mac and “Cheese” Ever

Of course there is no dairy in this whole foods plant based mac and “cheese.”  Traditional mac and cheese recipes can call for 3, 4 or 5 types of dairy products: various cheese varieties, cream cheese, butter, shredded cheese on top.  When you think of the calorie breakdown of a dish like that, it would…

2 Amazing Whole Foods Plant Based Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Pancakes Ingredients: 1 Cup pureed pumpkin 1Cup oats 1 Cup water 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup (optional) Add the ingredients to a blender and blend on high until smooth.  Cook in a non-stick pan (no oil needed) over medium heat about 3 minutes per side.  Serve with fresh apple butter, applesauce, fresh…

Asian Slaw

There is a lot of peeling and chopping to be done for this dish, but the fresh flavors are so worth it. The recipe makes a big batch, perfect for taking to a potluck or sharing with family (or having lots of leftovers). Unlike the usual coleslaw recipe, this version has plenty of starchy corn…

A Conversation with Mother Nature

The FDA recently approved the use of lycopene from tomatoes as a more “natural” replacement for red dye in processed meat. Pepperoni on pizza, that quick weeknight dinner of hotdogs, and our daily turkey or ham sandwich all contain a  cocktail of substances like meat glue, nitrites, and dyes. They’ve got to be dyed, or else…

Whole Foods, Plant-Based Camping: Round 2

Last year we went camping in Delaware for 2 nights.  We liked it so much that we went back for 3 nights this summer.  It was wonderful!  Our plant-based menu was different this year, since we learned what does and does not work well when going vegan camping (vegamping?).  Last year’s menu was primarily stews,…

Nacho “Cheese” Salad

Whose cheese is it?  Nacho cheese!  Get it?  😉 This yummy black bean salad is topped with a cashew-based “cheese” sauce.  It is creamy.  It is decadent.  It is nut-based, and it is fatty!  Nuts are on the list of plant-based foods that are relatively high in total fat and saturated fat.  Even though nuts…

Thanksgiving in July

It’s summer in Maryland.  It’s hot.  It’s humid.  But by golly I’ve got to have some hearty plant-based Thanksgiving fare–and this stuffing is it!  Try this amazing recipe now and save it for the holidays.  You’ll impress family and friends at your holiday parties this year, since you will have practiced making this dish since…

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

If you’ve been craving a cool chicken salad sandwich, try this outstanding chickpea salad as a healthy substitute!  Chicken on its own isn’t very flavorful–that (among other reasons not to eat chicken) is why we don’t eat it boiled plain or steamed.  This salad has all of the wonderful flavor and crunch of a deli chicken salad…

Millet with Kale & Savory Mushroom Gravy

With all the fresh summer salads and cooled grain dishes I’ve been having lately, I have begun to miss the hearty, hot, savory dishes of winter.  So I made one!  Our garden kale is doing well enough this year for 4 harvests so far.  I chose cremini mushrooms for their flavor and smallish size.  Try…

Perfect Plant-Based Pancakes

  Whole food plant-based pancakes: There’s nothing not to love about ’em!  These pancakes are free of oil and dairy, and they’re so fluffy and light they almost float off the pan. Serves 2 Ingredients: 2 Cups 100% whole wheat flour 2 Teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder 1 Teaspoon cinnamon 2 Cups unsweetened almond milk (or…

Brown Rice Salad with Cherries & Apricots

I brought this recipe to a dinner with omnivore friends and it was a big hit!  I love the flavor combination of sweet cherries and apricots with the bite of celery and parsley.  This dish is is “picnic-perfect,” but do try it out for your weeknight dinner.  The starchy whole grains at its center will keep…

Tamales with Mole Sauce

Up for a delicious challenge?  Tamales are incredibly yummy, and totally plant-based.  The corn flour and bean filling is complemented perfectly by a rich mole sauce with the character of roasted poblano pepper.  The reward is great for preparing this dish–which is no easy task.  The preparation begins the night before with hojas de tamal…

Hot Potato: Should WIC Guidelines be Changed?

The Women Infants and Children (WIC) welfare program doesn’t allow white potatoes to be purchased with program funds. This policy decision is based on the observation that participants “already eat enough white potatoes.” In response to this the Maine Potato Lobby is urging congress to change the guideline and allow potatoes. It looks like they…

What are Whole Foods?

The following is a 1 page poster I wrote up as a handout at a local “Green Expo.”  I thought it was worth sharing as a short primer on whole, plant-based food.  Here it is: Whole foods are foods that look as close to the way they were grown as possible.  Think potatoes, not potato…

Ultimate Lentil Burgers

It’s all in the name for these burgers-this is the “ultimate” lentil burger recipe!  The burgers met with vigorous approval from family, including a formerly carnivorous man.  Every once in a while my husband craves the texture and heartiness of a meat-like meal.  These burgers do the trick!  I recommend spreading avocado on your toasted…

Penne Pasta with Arugula Pesto and White Beans

Traditional pesto is made with basil and parmesan cheese.  The cheese is not part of a plant-based diet (did you know that parmesan cheese is one of the most acidic foods?), and my garden basil plants are not up yet.  Fortunately for me and my family our local farm has arugula harvested in abundance this…

Peanut Butter Swirl Black Bean Brownies

It’s a snow day (one of many this winter on the east coast)!  To sustain and delight my family I whipped up these awesome black bean brownies.  Hubby said they are the best brownies he has ever had, period.  They are nutritionally dense: just one tablespoon of ground flax seed provides a full day’s dose…

Steamed Baby Bok Choi with Gomashio

I needed a snack this afternoon, so of course I grabbed my camera and started cooking!  I decided on steamed baby bok choi sprinkled with gomashio, a Japanese condiment made from sesame seeds and salt. Gomashio is delicious when made fresh at home (which you can do)!  You will need a suribachi, which is an…

Soba Noodle Soup

Soba noodles are a traditional Japanese noodle with an interesting history.  The area of Edo (now modern Tokyo) during the Tokugawa period of 1603-1867 was inhabited by the wealthy class who preferred to eat white rice over less refined whole grain rice.  The result was an increase in the disease beri beri caused by a…

Is it Cheaper to Eat a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet?

I have always heard that it is cheaper to eat plant-based, but I doubted that it was true.  People in developing countries where plant foods are more prevalent live off of less than $2 per day, but I know that’s nowhere near the case for my family.  Since we began eating a 100% whole foods…

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Choi Sum

On the way home from the record store today I thought: what are we having for dinner?  My mental inventory of the kitchen was blank.  Since I have a one year old baby, I really, really did not want to stop at the store on the way home (she was asleep)!  So we bravely ventured…

How I Lost Weight by Eating 5,600 Calories per Day

I don’t usually count calories, but I am reading a very interesting book called “Why Calories Count” by one of my favorite nutritionists Marion Nestle.  Yes, I have favorite nutritionists!  The book elucidates the source of dietary calories, their origin as a measurement of energy in food, and why we care to count them.  I…

Mix & Match your Greens, Beans and Grains

This salad, oh man, I can’t even!  It’s so delicious and simple.  Combine equal parts chopped greens, cooked beans, and cooked whole grains.  This salad uses organic kale from our local farm CSA, South American red beans, and brown rice.  Add some cherry tomatoes and avocado, and dress with the zest and juice of 2…

Black Eyed Peas & Spinach Salad

Beans, greens, and grain salads are my new favorite dish.  These ingredients make me feel great, energetic, full, and light.  Beans are well known to be rich in plant protein, spinach is a powerhouse of iron, calcium, and phytochemicals, and whole grain brown rice provides complex carbohydrates to fuel the body.  The vitamin C present…

Black Bean, Arugula, and Brown Rice Salad

I’m thinking of changing my name to either “Beans McGrain” or “Greens McBean,” since my favorite things are beans, greens, and grains!  This salad has all three.  Our farm CSA pickup this week included a huge bag of arugula.  I was thrilled since I now had all the ingredients to make this great grain salad….

Pumpkin Pie Spice Bars

This recipe is delicious and kid friendly since it does not contain a ton of sugar, but only ¼ cup of maple syrup distributed over 9 bars! I feel great about feeding these bars to my 1 year old daughter since the bulk of the bar is made of beans and pumpkin. The texture is…

Saturday Night Pizza & Cake!

Pizza and cake???  Yes!  It’s getting close to our daughter’s first birthday.  We are having a small party of family and friends for her, and I wanted to test our her birthday cake recipe.  What a treat for a Saturday night.  Why not have a little family pizza party too?  The great thing about eating…

RAW Zucchini and Carrot Salad

I’ve been looking at some “raw food” vegan cook books lately.  Raw food vegans differ from whole food vegans (a whole foods, plant-based diet) in a few ways, the main one being that raw food vegans don’t cook their food.  They may use techniques such as fermentation and dehydration, but they don’t apply heat above…

Rachel Ray Recipe Re-Do

I saw these two “healthy” recipes in the latest Rachel Ray magazine.  Sad to say, Rachel and her team are promoting the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)!  The magazine features advertisements from USDA-managed industry marketing groups such as the National Egg Board, Beef Producers of America, and the National Dairy Council.  From these advertisements I learned…

Granola Bar in a Jar

My awesome mother-in-law and I went to a Washington, D.C. farmer’s market the other day and I found some organic blueberries that were one sixth of the price of blueberries in our local grocery store.  So I went ahead and bought about six times my normal amount of blueberries–a full three quarts!  What to do…

Whole Foods, Plant-Based Camping

Our plant-based family went camping in Delaware for 2 nights at Cape Henlopen State Park.  It was really fun!  Our camp site was a 10 minute walk from the beach and the Atlantic Ocean.  It was our baby girl’s first real beach trip and she loved dipping her toes in the water and sitting in…

Curried Kamut Salad

I love grain salads!  Even before our family began eating a whole foods plant-based diet, I always sought out chilled whole grain salads.  They are filling and flavorful, and often spiced with interesting and diverse seasoning.  Curried grain salad comes in at the top of my list since it has a hint of sweet from…