Fear Not Carbs

3 07 2012

Recent tidbits in the media have reiterated the strengths of eating a Plant-centric diet.
Check out this fun video featuring some of our favorite diet guru.  Dr. Atkins is on there, as well as the writer of the Paleo Solution and some other low-carb heavy hitters:

Low-Carb vs Plant-Based

I’m usually not one to judge by someone’s personal appearance, but I highly doubt that ripped Cross Fit junkies would be motivated by the Paleo grandfather, Loren Cordain.
Beyond carbs, though, what is most important is eating whole foods.  So many times we think of “carbs” as the refined foods that have added sugars and fats.  We think of processed breads, cookies, crackers, pastries, doughnuts, and fries.  None of these are whole foods.  They have been stripped of fiber, protein, and nutrients and fortified with fats, oils, and flavorings to seem like food.  These are food imposters.

Whole carbs are plants.  They are whole grains (rice, oats, quinoa, corn).  They are potatoes (loaded with fiber, nutrients, and even protein and fat).  They are beans and legumes.  They are fruits.  They are complex, which means the body breaks them down slowly so that it can absorb all of their goodness without spiking blood sugar levels or raising insulin.

Even Women’s Health spent some time to quiet some of the myths of meatless eating:

5 Vegetarian Myths

The coolest thing I like on this list is that a Plant-Based diet is often more diverse then a meat-inclusive diet.  I think back to my chicken days.  The same chicken, 4 different ways, week after week.  Now, I eat all colors and sizes of grains.  I’m cooking beans I never knew existed.  I’m tasting different varieties of dark greens, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, spices, and more.  And if I do eat chicken?  Well, it tastes the same as it always did — boring.

Good luck, Plant-friendly eaters.  Please keep me posted on the progress.  May the plants be with you!


Ratatouille with Lentils

29 05 2012

Ratatouille is the epitome of summer freshness.  Summer’s ripest vegetables come to the party of colors and flavors.  Serve atop green lentils for a satisfying meal.  Also works as a cold lentil salad.

1 eggplant, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 zucchini, quartered and sliced

1 summer squash, quartered and sliced

4 medium fresh tomatoes, diced (or 28-ounce can)

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons fresh parsley or chives, for garnish

For lentils:

1 cup green lentils

1 bay leaf


To cook your lentils: place lentils and bay leaf in a small pot.  Cover with two inches of water.  Simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.  This will be about the same time your ratatouille is done.

To make your ratatouille: Heat a large non-stick or cast iron saute pan over high heat.  Add your eggplant and pepper.  Saute until the eggplant start to turn brown, about 5 minutes.  If the vegetables begin to burn, pour a couple tablespoons of water into the pan.  Add the zucchini and summer squash.  Saute until zucchini and summer squash start to turn brown, another 5 minutes or so.  Once your vegetables have started to darken, add the tomatoes, garlic, marjoram, and thyme.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer until the water from the tomatoes cooks off and the mixture thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.   By now your lentils should be done.  Toss ratatouille mixture with fresh parsley or chives just before serving.