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I stopped for a late lunch at the Living Well Bistro on my way home from visiting family in Oregon this past weekend.  This is a relatively new addition to the vegan restaurant listings for Portland, Oregon on Happy Cow.  The man at the counter said that the Bistro opened up about 8-9 months ago.  I’m ecstatic that I discovered it.  It’s located just inside the Adventist Medical Center.

As a health care provider who is constantly frustrated with the nutrient-poor food served in “typical” hospitals and nursing homes, I still can’t contain my enthusiasm about dining in a 100% Plant-Based restaurant inside a hospital.  Pinch me!  This gives me hope for the future of health care.

I looked on the Adventist Health website and found that the hospital also has a Garden Cafe, which “…embraces the Adventist position of practicing a vegetarian lifestyle to support the holistic nature of humankind. All food or beverages consumed should honor and glorify God and preserve the health of the body, mind and spirit.”

You can poke around this website to learn more about the Adventist Health Studies (AHS) at Loma Linda University.  AHS are “long-term studies exploring the links between lifestyle, diet, and disease among Seventh-day Adventists.”

I found out that, of the 96,000 AHS-2 study participants

  • 

8% are vegan
  • 28% are lacto-ovo vegetarian
  • 10% are pesco-vegetarian
  • 6% are semi-vegetarian (eating meat/fish less than once per week)
  • 48% are non-vegetarian.

So how do those numbers compare to the U.S. general public?

According to the 2011 Harris Interactive survey (conducted on behalf of the Vegetarian Resource Group)…

  • 5% are vegetarian
  • Half of the vegetarians are vegan (2 1/2%)

That’s quite a difference.  Those numbers are WAY too low!  No wonder that the Adventist Health studies provide so much information on the benefits of plant-based eating.

Now…let’s enter the Living Well Bistro…

The Living Well Bistro Menu features breakfast items, appetizers, soups, salads, whole grain bread, flax crackers, tacos, live pasta, naan pizzas (with Daiya vegan cheese), rice/quinoa bowls, wraps, desserts, smoothies, and other beverages:  A vegan’s dream come true!

On one side of the Bistro is a display of kitchen items for purchase…

I smiled W-I-D-E when I saw all the vegan cookbooks on display!
Dr. Neal Barnard is a doctor you can trust with your precious health…


Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking…


I ordered the Garden Veggie Wrap & Sesame Ginger dressing for the salad…

“A whole wheat tortilla filled with our sunflower pate, cucumbers, bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots and seasonal greens finished with a creamy dill dressing”

I grabbed a Banana Almond Smoothie for the road…

“Bananas, almond butter and dates blended in rice milk”


I couldn’t resist this crazy moist, melt-in-your-mouth Mint Brownie…

Just like the Terminator said…
“I’LL BE BACK.”

 

 
 

Go!  Get yourself a copy of Dreena Burton’s latest cookbook, “Let Them Eat Vegan.”  You won’t be disappointed.  I love the way Dreena cooks and bakes.  Her creations have the perfect balance of healthy and delicious.  She uses primarily whole plant ingredients, plenty of beans/legumes, minimal added fats and “just enough” sweetener.  Eat all you want because there’s zero guilt!

The first recipe I tried was the Chickpea Pumpkin Seed Burgers on page 136.  At first I wasn’t sure that the burgers would hold together, but after I let the patties sit for about an hour they held up just fine in the pan.  I cooked 2 and refrigerated the other 4 patties (between layers of parchment paper in a storage container.)  Now I know that oats are a secret ingredient for vegan burger success!  I’ve used gluten flour before, but I’ve never used oats.  Oats work great– I think they’re my new favorite cooking ingredient!  The “resting” time must allow the oats to soak up moisture and this helps bind the burger.

For Burger Night #1 we had a side salad with a creamy horseradish dressing and some roasted Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, celery and onion.

For Burger Night #2 I made the Raw-nch Dressing on page 47.  I didn’t have fresh parsley so I used kale instead.  It worked.  The dressing made for a great romaine lettuce dip and burger sauce.  We made some homemade potato chips!

For Burger Night #3 we had steamed broccoli.  Raw-nch Dressing also makes a great veggie dip.

I’m looking forward to making more out of Let Them Eat Vegan!

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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