Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Plant-Based Cookbooks: Classics

The pioneers of the Plant-Based movement didn’t stop at just science and curing their patients of most of the diseases common in lands of excess and abundance – Diabetes 2, heart disease, “inflammation”. Most followed through by launching a variety of recipe and cookbooks to help people rethink their cooking habits. Some following zero SOS principles (sugar, oil, salt), others allowing at least a little salt or soy sauce etc. Main principles – vegan, wholefood, minimal processing – and no oil!

1. The Healthiest Diet on the Planet: Why the Foods You Love-Pizza, Pancakes, Potatoes, Pasta, and More-Are the Solution to Preventing Disease and Looking and Feeling Your Best – Dr. John McDougall & Mary McDougall

The title alone seems to encapsulate the whole Dr. McDougall message. Eat the nice, comforting, starch-based foods we like and enjoy all of the health benefits – and help the planet in the process! This is not really a recipe or cookbook – most space is dedicated to driving home the Dr. McDougall philosophy. Traffic-light coding, red, amber and green for guiding us what to eat according to our goals is useful for anyone new to the Plant-Based, oil & fat free world.

The theory and philosophy is crystalised in a series of recipes at the end of the book.

2. The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook: Over 300 Delicious Low-Fat Recipes You Can Prepare in Fifteen Minutes or Less – Dr. John McDougall & Mary McDougall

Interwoven between the vast collection of recipes is a large serving of Dr. McDougall thinking and teaching. Half a page on blood pressure. Half a page on the repulsive qualities of oil. A couple of paragraphs on how his patients feasting on his eat-all-you-want buffets book impressive weight loss – and enjoy a good binge on his four course gourmet meals. A few sentences on  calorie concentration – once again with the focus on oil. etc.

The persistent “nagging” from Dr. McDougall helps keeps anyone trying to adhere to his diet and recipes focused and motivated. Salt, often in the form of soy sauce, is used in the recipes. There are some good ideas here and many of the recipes can easily be adapted to use other ingredients so it’s also an invitation to experimentation.

3. The Health Promoting Cookbook: Simple, Guilt-Free, Vegetarian Recipes – Alan Goldhamer, D.C.

This is zero SOS, so fairly hardcore if not already adjusted taste-bud-wise to salt-free. Some might want to add a little salt or soy sauce in McDougallesque fashion if it’s too bland. However, the recipes are good and are a good basis for further experimentation.

One of the most interesting features is the nutritional breakdown of one serving of each dish. Percentage of calories from protein/fat, amount of protein, fat (as a natural component of the ingredients, not added), fibre, calcium, vitamins… etc. It’s so convenient to just flick through and get an understanding of how the various ingredients fit together nutritionally.

4. Eat to Live Quick and Easy Cookbook: 131 Delicious Recipes for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Reversing Disease, and Lifelong Health – Joel Fuhrman M.D.

5. Eat to Live Cookbook: 200 Delicious Nutrient-Rich Recipes for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Reversing Disease, and Lifelong Health – Joel Fuhrman M.D.