Sunday, August 31, 2014

Super Slaw

Although I own every book Dr. Fuhrman has out there, I don't follow his nutritarian food plan, mostly because I have an immense hatred of raw vegetables, especially leafy greens and cruciferous ones. Even cooked, many cruciferous veggies hurt my gums so the only way they get eaten is well-done. I rarely use his recipes because they either contain nuts or dried fruit, 2 items we have to avoid because of my husband's CVD and my high triglycerides.

But while I was reading the Fuhrman forums this morning my husband told me had a yearning for cole slaw for his Labor Day weekend meals, and since I refuse to buy those very-fatty mayo based ones at the deli, I either had to make my own or disappoint the guy. He was looking over my shoulder as I started looking at various cole slaw recipes on Dr. Fuhrman's Member Center recipe section, and this one caught his eye:

Super Slaw
Serves: 3
Preparation Time: 20 minutes

2 cups shredded apples
1 cup shredded raw cabbage
1 cup shredded raw beets
1 cup shredded raw carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup soft tofu
1/4 cup soy, almond or hemp milk
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's Riesling Raisin Vinegar
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's Spicy Pecan Vinegar
3 dates, pitted
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted *
Combine slaw ingredients. 

Blend dressing ingredients and toss with slaw. Top with toasted pecans.

*Lightly toast pecans in a 200 degree oven for 3 minutes.

Per Serving:

I sighed and acquiesced to his demands, even though I preferred to look at McDougall recipes, too, before choosing, but he was in a rush to get out so I added a few items needed for this one to my shopping list for our weekly grocery store trip and off we went.

My changes to the recipe:

I used a bag of cole slaw mix, which, when fluffed up, measures around 4-5 cups. I added some shredded carrots to the mix, as some of those commenting on the recipe recommended doing. Because of the excess volume I doubled the dressing ingredients.

I don't own any of Dr. Fuhrman's flavored vinegars, but did manage to grab a fig flavored one at the store. I used that and balsamic, again, as others recommended.

I hate when the type of date isn't specified in a recipe. There's a big difference in size between deglet noor and medjool. I split the difference and used 4 medjool ones, only because they're the oldest in my refrigerator.

Because my husband is a cardiac patient and Dr. Esselstyn advises against them for those people, I skipped the nuts.

Now to put it all together. 

The dry ingredients was easy - pop the slaw into my giant mixing bowl, add the currants, carrots, peel and shred the apples (Hmm, getting a little messy now) and toss them all so everything is well mixed, that the wet apples aren't clumping together (This is getting to be a bit annoying now. They just won't separate!). My husband volunteered to take care of tossing it all so I can work on the dressing.

I recently heard Chef AJ say in a video to pay attention to the texture of the items you need to blend, and blend up hard things with some liquid before adding the softer ingredients, so I took the pits out of my dates and tossed them and the milk in my Ninja together and turned it on. 

What is that ungodly noise?? 

I admit I rarely use dates, and when I do, I just toss the deglet nooor ones in with the other ingredients. This is the first time I'm doing the dates, larger ones at that, first. It sounded like a bunch of marbles were tossed in the blender container! It took a good 2 minutes before they were broken down to itty bitty pieces and small enough for me to add the other ingredients.

It came out really thick, but it all mixed together with the dry ingredients pretty easily, or so said my husband, who was stuck with the task as I cleaned everything up.

I took a taste of a sliver of carrot or two and it was okay, but certainly not anything like deli-bought cole slaw. I'm not a vinegar fan, either, and I'm not too happy with the way this came out. Since we hadn't had any deli salads in many years now, I'm hoping my husband enjoys this healthier way to eat them. He, on the other hand, loves vinegars of all sorts. I realize that today it may not taste all that great and that tomorrow it should taste better. I guess I'll find out in about 23 1/2 hours.

Hope everyone is having a happy Labor Day, and remember that tomorrow starts VeganMoFo, so be sure to check in often in September.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

More McDougalling VeganMoFoers

From the McDougall forums:

vgpdler: posting at

indy107 (Chuck) at

Not too many McDougallers this year, and I didn't see anyone else from Engine 2 or even the Fuhrman followers mention they were participating. I guess being "plant perfect" isn't too popular this year.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lentils Fight Back!

I found this graphic on the Facebook page of WLS doc Garth Davis. I recently found out that he, too, eats and recommends a WFPB no S-O-S diet.

Dr. Davis had a television show on TLC with his father called My Weight Is Killing Me and their previous show was called Big Medicine. Both shows are about super-obese people who opted for various bariatric surgeries, the first series concentrated on the lapband, the recent one on more invasive procedures. TLC must be embarrassed by these shows, because aside from these clips, there's really no trace of the shows even existing on The Learning Channel Web site, even though an episode just aired 2 weeks ago. They can't even put out a decent DVD set for the show. The TV Guide Channel has more about My Weight Is Killing Me than TLC does, even though the episode titles aren't what actually aired.

At least there's still the British TV series called Fat Doctor, and the first 4 seasons are available for free on YouTube

One of these days I'll get around to watching them, and as long as I stick to the McDougall food plan I hope to never need the services of any of those surgeons!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Another McDougaller for VeganMoFo

FunCrunch has been a participant in previous years and once again the blog is participating with McDougall friendly recipes. Don't forget to stop by and visit.

And the link randomizer RandomMoFo is up and running again. Each time you click on that link another blog in the VeganMoFo feed will load. Caution: Remember that very few of the VeganMoFo participants follow a healthy WFBP, no S-O-S food plan! If you're easily tempted, don't click on it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Waffle Iron Potato

A few weeks ago, Chef AJ mentioned on the McDougall forums that she found her new favorite way to eat baked potatoes - baked in a waffle iron, all squished down so the tater looks like a waffle. She has since mentioned she takes 2 of these potato waffles to substitute for bread or a roll when she eats burgers.

I found some half-way decent white potatoes (Still no edible Yukon Golds in town), nuked them up this morning, and at lunch time decided to give it a try for myself. I could never make decent waffles in this thing to save my life, so let me try potatoes in it.

Not bad at all! And it came right off the non-stick (and not sprayed) waffle iron in one piece, with no sticking.

Like AJ, this may also be my new favorite way to eat spuds, too! I now wish my waffle iron was a bit bigger so I could fit more than one potato at a time.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hope You Heard the Teleclass

Remember the Chef AJ/Jon Pierre teleclass I mentioned a few days ago? Remember how I mentioned they're usually recorded and you can phone in or listen on a web site? Well, not this one. 

Someone asked Chef AJ on her Facebook page about the rebroadcast and she mentioned in a reply that there was a glitch and this one wasn't recorded, so no rebroadcast, no mp3 file to playback later. 

I guess if I want to guarantee I hear them I'm going to have to set an alarm to wake me up when the call is about to start if they have any more in the future.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Get Out Your Ground Mustard!

I'm one of those people who always uses frozen veggies, especially broccoli and cauliflower. Dr. Greger explains in this video how we lose some important nutrients eating frozen, but get those back if we sprinkle mustard powder on them before eating.


I'm glad I just bought a fresh jar just this week!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Chef AJ's Teleclasses

Chef AJ has done 2 teleclasses - telephone interviews - with Wendy of Healthy Girl's Kitchen. To listen live you have to sign up to Chef AJ's mailing list - instructions on her web site Eat Unprocessed - and a few days before each talk you'll be emailed directions on what phone number to call, what code to put in. It's free, and you can listen but not participate, which is fine with me.

These talks are fantastic! The first one was about the basics of what Chef AJ teaches in her in-person 30 day program in Los Angeles, and she details her own personal diet as well as some weight loss hints and tips. If you don't start eating veggies first thing in the morning after hearing her talk you never will!

The second was about how to follow your healthy food plan when traveling, what to bring, how to pack. It's useful whether you're going to be gone a few hours or a few days.

The next call she'll be accompanied by her partner in the 30 Day Unprocessed program, personal trainer Jon Pierre.

The first 2 talks, and the next talk tomorrow, August 12, 2014, start at 6pm Pacific time, 9pm Eastern. Since I'm already asleep by then, I always catch the talks when Chef AJ emails with the directions to play the recording of the call. It took me a few days each time to find a time when nobody else will be using the phone (We still have wired in phones in this house) so I could have it undisturbed.

But you don't have to do that! When I woke up this morning and logged in to my email, a message was waiting for me with details about Tuesday's phone call, and at the bottom of the message was this tid-bit of information:

The first two Chef AJ Teleclasses are available online.
You won't need to use your phone to enjoy them. Listen to the teleclasses here.
Now I can listen to them any time I want without hogging the phone! It took a wee bit of squinting of the source code on the page to get the url of each file's url so I could download them to my computer then copy them to my MP3 player and Kindle, but now I can listen in the laundromat or on my own trips away from home, like the hour's drive we're taking today down the NJ Turnpike.

Here are the direct links to each so you don't have to do your own squinting at code:

And don't forget to sign up to Chef AJ's mailing list to get directions to future teleclasses. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Plant Based Pin-Up

The blog that's going to cover Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook is called Plant Based Pin-Up, and although she has nothing but a "coming soon" post on it right now, she does still plan to start covering the cookbook as soon as it's released September 2nd.

Like last year, as soon as I know of other McDougall/Esselstyn friendly blogs participating in VeganMoFo I'll let you all know.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

More VeganMoFo News

I found out today that one of the members of Engine 2 Extra is going to participate in VeganMoFo this year, and her theme is going to be recipes from The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook that comes out September 2, 2014. As soon as she posts the name and url of her blog I'll post it here.

In the meantime, the Esselstyns have posted some photos of and from the book on their Instagram site. Not only do you see what some of the meals look like made up, but if you look real close at some of the photos of the book's pages you can even make out the recipes themselves.

I hate to say this, and will probably have to eat my words in the future, but I'm not getting a warm and fuzzy feeling about these recipes. Cheezy Rounds - slices of zucchini dredged in nutritional yeast before baking/frying? Oatmeal with fruit? Yet more hummus and kale sandwiches? Grilled watermelon? Open faced tomato sandwiches? Chickpea omelets? Lasagna? Quinoa and Mango salad AND black rice and mango salad? Mango ice cream (instead of banana ice cream)? Pasta primavera sauce? Many of these recipes are either very basic or have been covered in other cookbooks, such as those of Mary McDougall or Isa Moskowitz. Reminds me of the HH cookbooks.

Maybe I'll hold off on my pre-order until I can do a "look inside the book" and see if anything jumps out at me before spending the money for it sight-unseen. I wish we had a bookstore around here - that would be so much better to skim it in person! I never bought Forks Over Knives Cookbook or the China Study Cookbook, either, because I knew I would never make any of those recipes after looking through the 2 of them. I'm so afraid I'll feel the same way about this book, too. I really want to love it!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chef AJ's Quick Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara

Ever since Chef AJ posted her video on how she lost her last 30 pounds

I've been giving her older recipes another look over. Some have had to be adapted to be more in line with Dr. McDougall's MWLP guidelines, others are fine as-is. This is one that needs the slightest adaptation. This recipe is in her book, Unprocessed, and can also be found at various sites on-line.

Quick Sun-dried Tomato Marinara
This sauce takes minutes to make but tastes like it was slow simmered for hours. The best part is, there are not pots
to clean or vegetables to cut up.


1 cup oil-free sun dried tomatoes, soaked in water
3-4 fresh Roma tomatoes (approximately 12 ounces)
1 red bell pepper, seeded (approximately 8 ounces)
1 -2 cloves of garlic, peeled
3-4 pitted dates
one shallot (approximately 1 ounce) or red onion equivalent
1 Tablespoon Sun Dried Tomato Powder
3-4 fresh basil leaves
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)


In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. If you prefer a chunkier consistency, use a food processor fitted with the “S” blade and process all ingredients until desired consistency is reached. 

Serve over your favorite healthy noodles such as those made from rice, tofu, sea vegetables or zucchini. To make zucchini noodles peel zucchini then make noodles using a Spiralizer, Saladacco or vegetable peeler.

Chef’s Note:

If you have a high powered blender, you can make this sauce hot right in the blender.

The adaptation? Omit the dates. I made this for the first time and decided to leave them in, but if you're used to making tomato sauces without added sugar, leave them out. I never add sugar to other tomato sauce recipes so will leave them out from now on.

I used slightly more than a cup of sun-dried tomatoes because that's what I had left in the container. It was maybe one or 2 pieces of tomato more. I also had 6 very small plum tomatoes that needed to be used to there was a bit more of those, too. These are really small tomatoes, maybe only 3 inches high. I figured 6 of those would equal 4 regular sized plum tomatoes.

For the sun-dried tomato powder I used Dr. Fuhrman's Mato Zest because I still have more than half a jar of it and always forget to use it in other recipes.

Like Jeff Novick and Chef AJ, we love garlic in this house, and used about 8 cloves. I may use more next time.

And it wasn't until we sat down to eat when I realized I forgot to add the basil leaves. Stupid! I had them all ready in the refrigerator, too. Oh, well.

OMG! This stuff was fantastic! This is how it looked in the pot before I added the spinach to it. It's so thick, rich and creamy! My husband asked if it was too much work to make, because he really would prefer to have this as our basic pasta sauce from now on. I told him it would be no problem at all.

For the record, I made this in a Ninja blender and was as smooth as can be. I tried letting it run 5 minutes on high to see if it would heat up the way people say soups and sauces do in the high priced blenders. It got a little warm but certainly not hot. That's okay with me, because when I use jarred sauce I never heat them, just open and dump. The hot pasta (and spinach) warms the sauce up nicely.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Jeff Novick Tell It Like It Is

Jeff Novick posted this on the McDougall forums. It puts people like me at ease, knowing we're not "failures" per se, just took things as far as we could with diet and still need other medical intervention. Here's the opening paragraph:

The WFPB Diet, Medication Myths and You

Unread postby JeffN » Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:47 pm
The WFPB Diet, Medication Myths & You
Jeff Novick, MS, RDN

There seems to be a myth in the WFPB world that if you follow the WFPB diet & lifestyle, you will eliminate the need for any and all medication 100%. If not, you must not be following the program completely and/or have somehow failed the program or not implementing it correctly. 

Now I don't feel so guilty about finally acquiescing to my doctor and started taking the med he prescribed - at the dose he prescribed - to try get my triglycerides down and HDL up, and agreed to start taking the fibric acid derivative (similar to a statin but works differently) if my labs aren't much more improved in January when I get my next lab work. He suspects it's all tied in with my MCTD somehow. 

It's weird how all my major medical problems, like the rare heart disorder Takotsubo Syndrome, to the rare auto-immune disorder of Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, all happened while eating a WFPB, no SOS diet. Then again, I've been described as "weird" my entire life.