If you have not yet seen the documentary Forks Over Knives …you should…it might just change your life. It’s based on life-changing research that is making headlines and proving that eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet could save your life.
The feature film examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases…heart disease, diabetes, cancer, even Alzheimer’s disease…that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell (author of The China Study) and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease).
The idea of food as medicine is put to the test. Throughout the film, cameras follow “reality patients” who have chronic conditions from heart disease to diabetes. Doctors teach these patients how to adopt a whole foods plant-based diet as the primary approach to treat their ailments – while the challenges and triumphs of their journeys are revealed.
There is now also a Forks Over Knives how-to companion book. The book is a guide that provides the information you need to adopt and maintain a plant based diet. I pre-ordered it via Amazon because I’m constantly looking for new plant based recipes and I saw that the companion book included 125 recipes! I’ve started trying recipes throughout the book…and so far I’m thrilled with them!
Tonight was our pasta dinner night…we usually have this once every two weeks or so. We keep it simple…a homemade tomato sauce over whole wheat pasta, served with a big garden salad, warm multi-grain bread, and HealthyMamma’s little helper…a glass of red wine. But, tonight we jazzed things up a bit with a Kalamata Olive Crostini recipe from the book. It’s a super quick and savory appetizer that worked great with our traditional multi-grain bread.
Kalamata Olive Crostini~ Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor (I used our mini prep), combine 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Pulse until they form a paste. Lightly toast slices of bread, spread the olive paste onto each piece, and serve. Divine!
Last night we went with a Mexican food theme and I also tried a recipe from Forks Over Knives…the MexiCali Burritos. They were a HUGE hit! My 5 year old could not stop talking about how great they were! They are hearty and decadent with a good amount of spice. They weren’t too spicy for my kiddos…but, my kids like spicy foods…if yours don’t, you can adjust the seasonings down a bit. I think you could easily leave out the cayenne pepper and/or use a mild salsa and these would still have plenty of flavor. We actually used homemade pinto beans instead of canned re-fried…simply because my healthy hubby had made a big pot of them at the fire station the night before and he brought the leftovers home. We just mashed them up really well for a re-fried consistency. I’m sure that these would be just as delicious with the canned beans called for in the original recipe…just make sure to check the labels for a no-oil version without any icky preservatives.
*Side note ~ the recipe says to saute your onion in 1/2 cup vegetable broth (I used organic, low sodium veggie broth) and I was skeptical at first. I normally saute onions in a little olive oil…and I wondered if I would end up with a watery filling…but I was wrong. The veggie broth was absorbed/evaporated nicely and I was left with the most tender and delicious onions! I’ll be sauteing in veggie broth from now on in all of my recipes!
We kept the toppings simple with chopped lettuce and tomato, salsa, and sliced avocado. You could garnish these with whatever your favorite burrito or taco toppings happen to be. They are definitely going to be part of our “dinner rotation” from now on!
Health & Hugs! Melissa
|MexiCali Burritos – Forks Over Knives||
- One 15oz can oil-free re-fried pinto beans
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/3 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
- 4 large or 8 small whole grain tortillas (brown rice, corn, or sprouted wheat)
- 1 cup shredded lettuce or kale
- Guacamole (optional)
- Tofu based sour cream (optional)
- In a large bowl, mash the beans, corn, and salsa with a potato masher.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion in the vegetable broth for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the chili powder, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne and saute for 1 additional minute.
- Add the bean mixture and cook, stirring until heated and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the nutritional yeast.
- Meanwhile, heat the tortillas on the stove, flipping every few seconds until warm.
- Spoon the filling mixture onto half of one tortilla and top with shredded lettuce. If desired, add guacamole and/or tofu-based sour cream. Fold the tortilla in half, or fold one side over the mixture and then roll to the other side so that the filling is enclosed. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve Warm. Store leftover in an airtight container in the refrigerator.