Living the plant-based life isn’t so bad | PostIndependent.com

Living the plant-based life isn’t so bad

Carol Turtle
"Forks Over Knives, The Cookbook" sweet potato bisque
Carol Turtle |

The first time I picked up “Forks Over Knives The Cookbook” by Del Sroufe and Isa Chandra Moskowitz, I knew I needed to eat this way. It’s a plant-based cookbook with more than 300 recipes. But being from Iowa, my identity was deeply intertwined with beef and pork, fattened on Iowa corn. I was on the wrong path facing the slow decline of aging badly (which is a choice, not an inevitability) unless I took action.

In a chance encounter with Dr. Greg Feinsinger, he recommended that I read “The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health” by Thomas and T. Colin Campbell, and that I sign up for Dr. Michael Greger’s free nutritionfacts.org short daily videos. I did both. Doing so opened up a whole new world for me and gave me the strong incentive that I needed to make some lifestyle changes. The information is compelling. Armed with a deeper understanding of why I should make better food choices, this time it worked.

I picked up the cookbook again, with renewed enthusiasm, and started in. It wasn’t an easy transition but was very rewarding and worth the effort. I earned my health back before I fell over the precipice to endless drugs and a walker.

Now that I am safely on the other side, I wouldn’t, and couldn’t, go back. It’s way better over here! So, here’s a recipe from “Forks Over Knives The Cookbook” (page 96) that is worth trying. It’s a delicious soup that anyone would enjoy: sweet, savory and creamy. Try it and you’ll see how I suffer eating only plants. It’s good hot or cold and freezes well.

SWEET POTATO BISQUE

From “Forks Over Knives The Cookbook” by Del Sroufe and Isa Chandra Moskowitz

1 large onion, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

(I use 1 tsp dry)

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3 large sweet potatoes,

peeled and diced

6 cups Vegetable Stock or

low-sodium vegetable broth

zest and juice of 1 orange

1 1/2 cups unsweetened plain

almond milk (I use Simple Truth

unsweetened soy milk)

Salt and freshly ground black

pepper to taste

1. Place the onion in a large saucepan and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the onion from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic, ginger, thyme, nutmeg and cinnamon, and cook for 1 minute. Add the sweet potatoes, vegetable stock and orange zest and juice and bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 25 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

2. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or in batches in a blender with a tight fitting lid, covered with a towel. Return the soup to the pot and add the almond (soy) milk. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until heated through, and season with salt and pepper.

Best tip ever: Freeze your ginger whole right when you get it home from the store. You’ll always have it on hand. When you need it, grate it, skin and all, on the small side of your grater. It’s so much easier to grate and not as “hairy” or wet. Put it in the same freezer bag as your frozen jalapenos (yep, they freeze well, too) and you will always have them on hand.

I’m not big on gadgets and don’t have a lot of kitchen space, but I did buy an immersion blender and don’t know how I lived without it.