The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook

December 13, 2010

I bought myself an early Christmas present this year – The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook, by Dr. Neal Barnard and Robyn Webb. Neal Barnard is a physician, clinical researcher, Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine, and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Robyn Webb is an award-winning nutritionist, nationally recognized cookbook author and spokesperson, Food Editor of Diabetes Forecast magazine, and a frequent contributor to Cooking Light.

The back cover reads: “If you’ve been trying to lose the same 10 (or 20, or 30) pounds for years… if you are facing diabetes or heart disease… if you wish you had more energy throughout the day… look no further than these simple recipes. The food you eat really can change your life. Landmark studies have found that following a plant-based diet can dramatically improve your health. Now, in The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook, leading physician Dr. Neal Barnard and chef Robyn Webb show you how delicious and easy it is to get started. You’ll find 125 flavorful recipes for meals that are healthy, satisfying, and easy to prepare, including: blueberry pancakes; caramelized onion, arugula, and cherry tomato pizza; three-layer tortilla casserole; udon noodles with shiitake and button mushrooms; spicy spinach frittata; vegetable paella; fire-roasted tomato-black bean chili; tempeh burgers with pineapple salsa; and chocolate cherry nirvana. Complete with convenient menus, nutritional information, and inspiring stories from real people who have turned their health around, there’s no better cookbook to help you eat well and feel great.”

I like this cookbook because not only do the recipes sound delicious, but they call for a blend of whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables – the staples of a truly plant-based diet. Believe it or not, it is quite easy to be an unhealthy vegan. Many people make the mistake of simply swapping out meat and cheese for the faux versions, which is not much better. The cookbook discusses how a plant-based diet helps lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, alleviate digestive problems, control diabetes, and prevent or improve cancer. It even includes a section about the essentials needed to stock your kitchen, as well as a recommended shopping list. And I appreciate that the recipes do not call for any specialty, hard-to-find ingredients, like some others I’ve checked out. This cookbook gets two thumbs up from me!

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