Let’s Start at the Very Beginning!

 

Are you wondering how to eat as you search for answers to your health problems? Has your search led you to more questions than answers? Are you concerned about the health of planet Earth as well as your own body? Sixteen years ago I was asking all those questions, too. I read everything I could find on health and nutrition. I spent days in the library and online studying the scientific research, taking and comparing notes, searching for answers only to become more and more confused as everyone from the FDA to fad diet promoters each led me down yet another rabbit trail of doubt. I prayed for guidance.

Instinctively I knew that the answers to my questions were to be found somewhere in the oldest book of wisdom known to mankind, the Bible. Thinking this would take forever, I started to read, determined to root out the answers to a healthy diet. To my surprise, the answer was hidden in plain sight in the very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible!

Genesis 1: 29  Then God said, I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Veggie 2

Then it dawned on me… a plant-based diet is not something new and suspect. Vegetarian diets are not recent inventions by New Age gurus. Eating a healthy whole food plant-based diet is the oldest and most efficient diet in the world! Always was, always will be. If you are wondering where to look in your search for health, why not start at the very beginning?

 

 

Advertisements

“Vegetarian Times Complete Thanksgiving Cookbook” by the editors of “Vegetarian Times” magazine. MacMillan, 1998.

As Thanksgiving approaches we all (even vegans) yearn for the familiar tastes and aromas of the comfort foods we associate with the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner.  Trying to follow a vegan lifestyle during this season of feasting can be a challenge, but the editors of Vegetarian Times have compiled a cookbook to please any non-turkey eater’s appetite.  No longer do we have to be content with dry mashed potatoes, salad, and a roll while everyone else gorges on turkey flesh and gravy!  This cookbook is full of holiday favorites and treats.  The accompanying photos are mouthwatering in themselves, and the recipes I have tried live up to the excellent standards “Vegetarian Times” always maintains.

One recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Pie (page 193)  is, in my opinion, the very best pumpkin pie I have ever had.  That it is made without any eggs or dairy puts it way above conventional pumpkin pie recipes that are high in fat, calories, and cholesterol. You can use your own favorite pie crust recipe or the one included in the book.  This is the simple filling recipe, smooth creamy, and out of this world!

Ingredients:

2 cups canned pumpkin

1 cup low-fat soymilk or rice milk

1/2 cup honey or 3/4 c. granulated sugar cane syrup (I used 1/4 c. honey and 1/4 c. agave syrup)

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 Tbsp. dark molasses, or to taste

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt (I used Celtic sea salt)

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. To prepare filling, in a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth and blended.  Pour into prepared crust and smooth top.  Bake 10 minutes — THEN:

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees; bake until filling is set, about 50 minutes.  Set on a wire rack to cool, then refrigerate overnight to set. Top with your choice of dessert topping if desired.  I’m sure you will love it!

For more recipes like this, the cookbook “Vegetarian Times Complete Thanksgiving Cookbook” sells for $21.00 (or less if you shop around).  For even more recipes for everyday cooking go to this great resource: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes.

 

“The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook,” by Jo Stepaniak

“The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook” is the latest addition to my cookbook library.  Because I was brought up on dairy products there are a few things I really miss eating since becoming a vegetarian; macaroni and cheese is one of them.  I was intrigued by this book because it offers a wide variety of dairy-free recipes from individual un-cheeses to casseroles and desserts.  The secret ingredient in most is nutritional yeast (not active dry yeast; there is a difference).  I couldn’t wait to try them.

The first recipe was the Gooey Grilled Cheez sandwich (page 141).  This recipe, and the others in this cookbook, are uncomplicated and easy to follow.  It was a “high okay” in my opinion.  It had a cheddar-like flavor and was definitely gooey, as melted cheese should be.  As non-cheeses go the flavor was similar to other veggie cheeses — maybe a little less lemon juice would have been better.

The second recipe I tried was the Traditional Macaroni and Cheez (page 112).  This recipe was right on the mark.  It was everything I’d hoped for in a non-dairy recipe and more. The color, texture and flavor were perfect.  I did make one minor alteration to the printed recipe by layering chopped onion between two layers of the macaroni/cheez mixture before baking, because this is the way my family always preferred macaroni and cheese casserole “back in the day.”  Served with stewed tomatoes on top it was just like Grandma used to make — delicious (tastes like pizza)!

Considering all the negatives associated with dairy consumption I am thrilled to have found this cookbook, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with several other recipes in the near future.  Betta Feta (page 45) and Caesar Salad Dressing (page 146) look very intriguing.

I purchased this cookbook on Amazon.com below retail and no shipping charges if your order is over $25.00.  I would definitely recommend “The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook,” by Jo Stepaniak  if you are serious about following a vegetarian lifestyle.

Free Vegetarian Starter Kit

   An absolutely free vegetarian starter kit is available at www.goveg.com/order.asp . This website contains  information from and about PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The vegetarian starter kit contains lots of resource materials and some great vegan recipes. If you are at all interested in the purity of the foods you eat and protecting the planet this is a valuable educational website.

Book Review: “Divine Health” Biblezine

   “Divine Health” is a part of a unique book genre called a Biblezine. It is the complete NKJV New Testament, but with added articles on health and wellness edited by Dr. Don and Mary Colbert. Every page contains scriptural wisdom as well as tips on natural treatments, food facts, spices of the Bible, recipes, beauty and health information, and more. 

   Let me just say as clearly as possible: I LOVE THIS BIBLE! It adds a whole new dimension to personal Bible reading. Although not promoting a completely vegetarian lifestyle, each time I sit down to read it is an enlightening experience making the Bible so applicable to where I live today and questions I have about maintaining a healthy body, relating all that information back to the Word of God. I am thoroughly enjoying my current journey through the “Divine Health” New Testament and highly recommend it to anyone especially those who have read the scriptures before and are looking for a refreshing spin on age-old wisdom.

   “Divine Health” Biblezine is about the size of, and looks like, a magazine making it convenient to take along in a briefcase, beach bag, or backpack. The colorful photographs and artwork compliment the magazine format, and there are even areas provided for your own personal notes. “Divine Health” Biblezine is published by Nelson Bibles and can be purchased for$16.99 U.S. .

BOOK REVIEW: “Winning the Battle for the Body,” by Douglas D. Polk

   “The body of Christ is so sick that it has to leave the front lines of battle with Satan and attend to its wounded masses.” That sentence grabbed my attention on the first page of the preface. Douglas Polk has the courage and conviction to state the obvious and back his statements up not only with scientific research but also biblical authority. This author does an excellent job of pointing out how we Christians are “missing it” in the areas of health and healing and encourages us to make sure that our lifestyle mirrors our testimony. Sure, we pray for the sick, but how many sermons have you heard recently about how to stay healthy? It’s all there in the Bible — really!

   If you have questions on this topic, concerns about your spiritual and physical health, and wonder what God has to say about it, then you must read this book. It is deep, it is thorough, and it is challenging — the most insightful Christian book I have read in a long time. You can order “Winning the Battle for the Body” at www.hacres.com

Book Review: “Skinny Bitch” and “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch,” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouim

   I recently purchased two books by the same two authors. Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, the authors of “Skinny Bitch” tell it like it is when describing the failure of the standard American diet and the horrors of factory farming and  animal industry today. If you can’t think of any good reason to be a vegetarian, then you should read this book. Once through, you won’t be able to think of one good reason to not be a vegetarian. The authors so “eloquently” state the facts that any rational person must agree with them. If you need a good swift kick in the pants then this is the book for you, but consider yourself warned. My only criticism is that the language they use is so very vulgar. For two such beautiful girls they have mouths like sewers, and how attractive is that?

   “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch” is the sequel cookbook to “Skinny Bitch.” The language is the same, but the recipes are better than you would expect in a vegan cookbook. You can tell that these ladies really love to eat! They offer the kinds of recipes I like: easy, simple, and delicious. The ingredients are not exotic, and they seem to anticipate your questions with sensible explanations along the way. Many of the recipes are the comfort food we remember from childhood. The “Tuna” Salad Sandwich recipe is a keeper, and the “Chicken” Noodle Soup is as close to Mom’s, without the cluck, as you will ever get. This is an excellent vegan cookbook — just be prepared to look beyond the language (and hide it from the kids. 9 – 12 year-olds find this kind of “potty talk” hilarious, and you will never live it down).