Say, What Ya’ll Up To September 24-27th?

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If “nowt” is the answer, you may want to think about attending this year’s International Plant Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference. Being held in Anaheim from September 24-27th, the agenda looks super impressive. I’ve signed up myself – with the opportunity to hear the who’s-who of the whole-food plant-based nutrition world speak, it’s just too good to miss. Their aim? To…

educate, equip and empower the gatekeepers of dietary-related advice…about the power of plant-based nutrition, providing compelling resources they, in turn, [can] use to inform and inspire their patients and clients to adopt the optimal whole food, plant-based dietary lifestyle” (pbnhc.com, my emphasis). 

And with the likes of T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, and Dean Ornish on the bill, I’m sure no one will leave questioning the benefits of what they term – and I like it – the “Ultimate Rx”. Also, in addition to the usual/standard lectures themselves, I’m thrilled to see they’ve set an hour aside for plant-based chef, Chad Sarno to demonstrate some “Foundational Cooking Techniques”. So, not only talking-the-talk, but for a change, actually walking-the-walk too. This, I think, will be super helpful, as we can know all there is to know on paper about the WFPB diet, but really, we need to be able to translate this knowledge in the place where it matters most – the KITCHEN!

To me, this inclusion is both critical and ingenious…especially, especially, when you are trying to get the message across that this lifestyle is far from complicated, and that its magic can easily be revealed through the most basic cooking skills. In fact, you could almost argue, that the less you do to your food, the better! But anyway, this is at the very core of truly equipping, and empowering, people to actually make a difference in their lives – and it can begin, so simply, with a peeler in one hand, and chopping board in the other!

That’s why I’m excited to go, to be further informed, further inspired. And, as to why I’m drawing attention to this now? Two reasons. First, as I just barely, just by-the-way, found out about it myself, I’d like to publicize its existence as much as is humanly possible. Second, I got my ticket at premium pricing rate, which up until May 15th is $945 – so time is running out! After this date, it will be $1245 for physicians, $1145 for non-physicians. Not the cheapest by any means, I know, but I’ve spent the same (unintentionally, and not all at once!) on the most throwaway of things over the years. This, I know, will be well worthwhile. I mean, it’s an investment in your health really – and in that, for sure – there will always be a great return.

(FYI – I’ll will be blogging throughout, and post, the conference – with a plan not only to review it, but to give you the lowdown on some of the best insights learned there.)

Copyright © 2017

Note: In this instance, logo is courtesy of the “International Plant Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference” website (pbnhc.com).

May The Force Be With YOU! So, Who Wants In On This Plant Strong Spud?

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Well…I hope you all want a piece of the action, because, my oh my, these little starch bombs just explode with heaps of flavor! Was caught in a bit of a pinch food-wise yesterday after returning home from an early morning, extremely agonizing, foot surgery. With the cupboards seemingly bare at first glance, I took another (much more creative) look around – managing to pull together a few handy, and easy to assemble, ingredients! Still going strong on the old anesthetic round dinner time, I was determined to rustle something up myself. You know those times when only home-cooked grub will do…especially, especially, when you’re not feeling quite so chipper?!

So anyway, I spurned the offer of take-out, and on went the spuds. All in, this took about an hour to do. With the fillings being rustled up in about 15 minutes or so, I had plenty of time to get my R.I.C.E. on 😉

Being the best call I could have made in terms of getting properly nourished in a most critical moment, everpost-meal, I felt like I could take on the world, and its wife! Indeed, you could absolutely say, that once again, the force was well and truly with me! Yup, it was a proper lightsaber (oh yes, intended), so here’s how to make…

Ingredients

  • 4, medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup, plain hummus
  • 2 cups, raw spinach
  • 2 cups, frozen broccoli
  • 2 cups, frozen cauliflower
  • 1 can (425g), black beans (no salt added)
  • 1/4 cup, walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon, garlic powder
  • To taste, salt and black pepper
  • Additional toppings, if desired – Nutritional yeast, or, Hot sauce, or, whatever is your usual go-to “tay-toe” garnish

Preparation:

  • Begin by pre-heating the oven to 400°F for about 10 minutes.
  • Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Then wrap each one in a piece of aluminum foil, up to about midway or so (you’ve done this before!).
  • Place on a parchment lined baking tray.
  • Pierce the top of each about 5 or 6 times with a fork, and then grind a little sea-salt on top.
  • Let them bake for around 55 minutes, then when done, switch off the oven and let them sit with the door slightly ajar for a further 10 minutes to cool down – they will be piping!

So, while the spuds are doing their thing, you can get on with the fillings…

  • Wash the spinach, and set aside in a bowl.
  • Drain the black beans, then throwing them in a sieve, rinse off any excess slime/ liquid from the can under the tap.
  • Set them aside in a paper-towel lined bowl, and then pat them dry with another paper-towel over the top, and throughout, as best you can.
  • Boil your frozen broccoli and cauliflower together (this should take less than 10 minutes), adding a tablespoon of garlic powder for a little extra flavor while they cook.
  • Drain, mash, and again set the mix aside in a separate bowl once done. Stir in a shake or two of black pepper here for good measure!

Now, with your bits and bobs all ready to go, grab the potatoes and get stuffing… 

  • Slice the spud straight down the middle.
  • Spread some hummus on each side, then line with a few leaves of raw spinach.
  • Stuff in some of your broccoli/cauliflower mash.
  • Next, add the beans.
  • And, lastly, stick a few walnuts (about 3 or 4 half or full-sized pieces), right on top.
  • Enjoy as is, or add any of the optional toppings noted above that you might fancy.

Best practice with this, really, is to eyeball the amount of each ingredient going in. This will depend on potato size, your own taste preferences etc. Anything leftover can be used as a “mini” side (like the mash as shown above), with any remaining hummus, for example, being just a nice bit of extra dip!

Copyright © 2017

(Note: recipe original to “the balance brigade”)