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Bread...it's the staff of life. Today, it's tough to buy fiber-rich, microbiome-friendly 100% whole grain loaves containing health-promoting bran and germ. Most commercial breads use refined white flour in whole or in part, adding sugars, dairy, oils, salt, and preservatives.

In the East there's a beautiful tradition of folding and twisting dough in intricate ways to create eye-catching rolls that are then steamed, not baked. Steaming bread cooks it at far lower temperatures than baking, creating super healthy, tender, moist rolls you eat by tearing off layers to sop up sauces, stews or dunk into soup.

"Tingmo", as they're known in Tibet, are traditionally made with white flour and starch, oil, salt and sugar, however. We can do better!

Here's my new recipe for tender nutty steamed tingmo, made only with red whole wheat flour, wheat germ, water and yeast. That's it. You can eat 'em plain or have fun dusting them with your favorite herbs and spices. Tingmo have become a staple on my plant-...

When I was quite young, my favorite meal was Sunday breakfast. That's when my dad donned his apron and made pancakes. For the final batch we'd get to choose the shape of our hotcake: bunny or bird, airplane or dinosaur. No pancake ever tasted so sweet! Anything that tickles a child's imagination will capture her/his interest and affection.

Today our kids are in real trouble. They're bombarded with unhealthy food messages pushing pizza and soda, sugary cereals, processed and fast food.  Obesity and diabetes are becoming epidemic, gut disorders and autoimmune conditions are on the rise -- all threatening a growing proportion of our kids and setting them up for a lifelong struggle with chronic illness, a lifespan cut short, dreams curtailed. These are lifestyle diseases and mostly caused by the very foods we feed them (1).

Unless you live under a rock, you've heard we all need to consume more plant foods, rich in fiber, nutrient-dense and low-calorie to lower system...

     So many folks today are bending their family's eating habits towards plants, out of concern for health, for the environment, and for animal welfare. But in so doing, we don't have to dump the baby out with the bathwater! Why not adapt our beloved old family favorites into versions that fully deliver on taste but provide all the benefits we look for in plants?

     So what makes a recipe unhealthy? The past 50 years of nutritional research has shown us that in postwar America, the rising consumption of meat, dairy, highly processed convenience foods, fast food and soda have led to a precipitous rise in the rates of obesity and chronic diseases. Many of us are taking steps now to wean ourselves off junk and improve the quality of the foods we choose for our families.  Many vegan food manufacturers, restaurants, and bloggers have responded to this growing consumer demand for healthier choices by ditching the meat/chicken/fish/dairy.  But as you may know, vegan does not...

December 15, 2016

At this time of the year, when here in the Northeast we're shut in, defending ourselves against Ol' Man Winter, we need all the cheer and vibrancy we can find to boost body and soul.

So here's my antidote to these gloomy, frigid, Polar Vortex days -- a colorful, lively salad that awakens all your senses and bolsters your immune system - and your spirits! - with the beautiful bounty from these fresh, gorgeous fruits & veggies. From peppery arugula to the complex sweet-tart pomegranate, from the creamy nuttiness of delicata squash to the pleasingly crisp, slightly bitter radicchio, your palate will rejoice from this diverse combo of textures & flavors!

It scarcely requires a dressing, but if you use one, make it a light complement not one that obscures.  In the recipe below, I use a simple reduction of white balsamic vinegar, which concentrates its complex sweet and oaky flavor notes, which you can further lighten with a little citrus.

Lastly, this s...

October 21, 2016

With all the competing commercial interests clamoring for our eyeballs and wallets - especially in the food arena - it's no wonder Americans are confused about what's healthy to eat and what's not. We obsess about eating enough protein, for instance, yet tragically, our OVERconsumption of animal protein significantly raises our risk of dying from all causes and specifically from heart disease, our #1 killer (1).

We DO face one serious nutritional deficiency, however, not from protein but from FIBER, for which 97% of Americans don't meet even HALF the minimum daily requirement (at 32/g) (2). Since the only source of dietary fiber is plants, our fiber deficiency exists because we eat such paltry amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and mushrooms.

So why's fiber so important?  That fiber facilitates digestion & elimination is not new news.  We've known that eating fiber provides satiety, helping us lose we...

October 14, 2016

When the weather turns brisk or you need a delicious tonic to heal all manner of ills, this classic Tuscan veggie soup/stew may prove just what the doctor orde

August 8, 2016

 A few months back I did a cooking demo for the Westchester PlantPure meetup, led by the enthusiastic, indefatigable Jeanne Schmacher, who very kindly filmed, edited & shared it here. 

Mushrooms are an invaluable addition to the plant-based pantry.  From a culinary perspective, they lend rich, desirable umami flavor notes.  But from the health perspective they really shine!

There are hundreds of varieties of funghi, from delicate enokis to prodigious king oysters, mild white buttons to the intensely flavored (& favored) porcini & morels. Mushrooms have the unique ability to stimulate our immune systems to fight infection & counter malignancies while ALSO curbing inflammation to counter chronic illnesses, & protect from an over-active immune effects in auto-immune disorders & allergies. Quite remarkable.

You can top this saute on flavorful crostini made from coarsely ground polenta, rich in antioxidants, vitamin Bs & fiber, or millet crost...

Doug Lisle, Clinical Psychologist

 

 

Over the past year helping clients shift their diets towards whole plant foods to improve their health & lose weight, I've observed that...

 

~ some took the ball & ran with it

~ some flirted with the effort but petered out

~ and some, despite the urging of their physicians, showed no interest whatsoever.

 

Once we know the medical advisability of dietary change, why do some folks have an easy time transitioning to a plant-based diet while others struggle or resist?  

 

We think we know the reasons why, right? "I'm too busy." "It's too hard." "It's too different."  We believe we make rationale choices.  Actually, we are unconsciously  behaving as our genes & biological instincts dictate.


Meet Doug Lisle, the brilliant clinical psychologist, co-author of The Pleasure Trap, & frequent presenter for plant-based luminaries like Dr. John McDougall, Rip Esselstyn, T. Colin Campbell, TrueNorth Hea...

April 14, 2016

 

We are blessed to live in the 21st century, aren't we? When it comes to food, we live in a land of plenty.  Malnutrition is the scourge of far-away countries where drought, economic insecurity & political upheaval are rife, right?  

 

Sadly, today in the US too many Americans live in food deserts with little access to fresh produce, where junk & fast food are staples. This isn't malnutrition from starvation; it's malnutrition from the overconsumption of fattening, nutrient-poor products. Regrettably, both lead to stress, despair, poor health & shortened lifespans.

 

Shout-Outs!

There is hope.  I'd like to give a shout-out to urban farming & ingenious initiatives like teacher Steve Ritz's Bronx Green Machine, Boston's recent startup Fresh Truck, & one couple's humble farm-to-table after-school club at an elementary school in Washington state.  These are but a few big-hearted ideas centered around fresh produce that are transf...

April 8, 2016

If you're American of a certain age, you constantly received the dietary message to make protein the focus of every meal.  And the more protein, the better!  You still may worry about getting enough protein in your diet.

 

So when we hear about the benefits of a plant-oriented diet, your first question likely isGeez, how will I get enough protein?”

 

Too Much of a Good Thing

There are many historical & economic reasons for our preoccupation with protein.  Today, however, the facts just don't justify our fears:  In the U.S., whether meat-loving or vegan, all Americans consume similar levels of protein at around 70g/day (1).  This is WELL ABOVE the recommended level. The RDA's guide for the optimal - NOT minimal – protein daily requirement is 56g/day for men & 46g/day for women. (2)  

 

Unless you are on a severely calorie-restricted diet or very ill, you will not be deficient in protein.  Have you ever run into anyone with Kwashiorkor? Me neither....

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"Thank you so much for such a great evening! I came home telling my husband about it and look forward to checking out the movie and websites you shared. Plus, the meal was just delicious!" Diane H.

"I FINALLY tried your recipe for savory pie

....my husband gave it a perfect 10 out of 10 which for him is HUGE praise! ...DELICIOUS!...  I had promised my husband I would write to you today as he wanted to add his thanks too.  :)"

Lani H.

Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Plant-Based Chef, Nutritional Coach, Culinary Instructor

86 Regan Rd, Ridgefield, CT 06877  USA

tel. 203.438.4952

ckgrazzini@gmail.com

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