How two guys lost 150 lbs on an easy to follow vegan diet!

Leave a comment

White Bean Stew!


Last nites dinner from the best place for recipes on the net. Susan Voisin.The great thing is you can use any kind of beans you like and it still works !

I urge you to check out this site for the very best recipes:

White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale

The time it takes to cook beans is affected by the type and age of the beans and possibly the hardness of your water and your elevation. I made this in the Fagor Multi-Cooker pressure cooker using yellow-eye beans, so the times below reflect that. You may need to add a few more minutes to get the beans fully cooked. If you’re not using a pressure cooker, see the instructions in italics.


  • 1 pound dried yellow-eye or navy beans, soaked overnight or quick soaked
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups  water
  • 4 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pound  cubed winter squash or pumpkin (I used butternut), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 bunch kale (about 12 ounces), removed from stems and sliced
  • 1 cup  fresh or frozen corn (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil


  1. Make sure to rinse your beans first and check for rocks and then soak overnight in cold water. Or do a quick soak by boiling the beans in enough water to cover by an inch for one minute, and then cover and allow to stand for at least an hour. Drain before proceeding with the recipe.
  2. Heat a pressure cooker or large Dutch oven. Add the onions and a pinch of baking soda (optional but speeds up the browning). Cook until onion is soft and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the beans, water, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, and dried basil to the pot. Bring to a boil. If pressure cooking, seal your cooker and bring to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes; then perform a quick release. If cooking in a regular pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until beans are just barely cooked all the way through, 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Check pot occasionally and add more water to cover the beans if it seems low.
  4. Add the squash along with the remaining seasonings, peppers, tomatoes, and salt, if using. Seal the cooker and cook at high pressure for 8 more minutes. Let pressure come down naturally; after 15 minutes, quick release pressure if necessary. For stovetop cooking, add more water if necessary to cover all ingredients. Cover and simmer until beans and squash are very tender.
  5. Check the seasoning and add more cumin, oregano, or salt to taste. Add the kale and corn and simmer, covered, until the kale is tender. Stir in the basil and cook for another minute before serving.


Tip: If you have a microwave, you can make the squash much easier to cut by microwaving it for a couple of minutes on high power.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s) | Cooking time (pressure cooker): 50 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6 large bowls

Nutrition (per serving, including optional ingredients): 383 calories, 19 calories from fat, 2.3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 589.7mg sodium, 1647.4mg potassium, 74.3g carbohydrates, 24.3g fiber, 9.9g sugar, 22g protein.




Leave a comment

How to make Super Easy Vegan cashew cheese

Here is an amazing “cheese” you can make out of cashews. The fat from nuts like cashews is way heathier than the dairy, artery clogging stuff. Try it !


  1. 1 cup of cashews soaked in 3 cups of water for a recommendation of at least 1 hour
  2. 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  3. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  4. 2-3 turns of black cracked pepper
  5. 1/4 cup of water


First, soak, dry and rinse the cashews. Next, place the cashews in the food processor, along with the lemon juice and salt and pepper and pulse for about 1 minutes to combine the ingredients. Then, add the water to the processor and process untill completely smooth. ( approximately 2-4 minutes)


Turn off the food processor and scrape down the sides to get the rest of the cheese out of the processor. When you put in a bowl, put a crackle of pepper or salt on top for taste. :)

My biggest thanks to Bold Vegan who gave me the inspration for this recipe, at Make sure to check out my other posts at


This recipe vegan cashew cheese recipe is INCREDIBLY easy! This recipe will leave you with the feeling of ” Am I really done?” #thatwaseasy! Cashew Cheese will take you about 5 minutes… TOTAL!!!  This cashew cheese is great on pizzas, to crumble on salads. You can even spread it on sandwiches and put it in lasagna! This cheese is even the perfect dip for carrots, cucumbers, and crackers. Hopefully you will find it as easy as I did as I now begin to tell you how to make vegan cashew cheese!

This recipe will make 1 cup of cheese


  1. 1 cup of cashews soaked in 3 cups of water for a recommendation of at least 1 hour
  2. 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  3. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  4. 2-3 turns of black cracked pepper
  5. 1/4 cup of water


First, soak, dry and rinse the cashews. Next, place the cashews in…

View original post 105 more words

Leave a comment

Save Money on Groceries: Go Vegan!


We have an ongoing debate in my house. Does eating lots of fruits and vegetables save you money ?  The short answer is , sort of. Here is what we have figured out: I added the chart as evidence. I am certain that folks in New Delhi who pay way less for groceries are buying less meat and packaged products than in London, towards the top of the chart in prices.

We have a big family, six children. but two of them are married, so they dont count!   (Not really of course )  We also keep kosher which complicates things because kosher food, especially meat, is significantly more expensive to purchase. When is the last time folks paid $6.75 per lb for boneless chicken breast? We do all the time, unless we get it at Costco, which started carrying kosher meat last year. It is way less expensive  than the butcher shop.

We also eat more meat in general because we have a lot of holidays, which costs money. Sometimes the shock of paying for Passover takes  a little time to wear off!

But all that being said we figure our groceries bills were 450 per week when we were eating our old standard diet.Some of our kids go to college etc out of town, so they are not even home all the time which complicates things. So that number, 450 a week is when everyone is home.  Thats about $23000 per year, just in groceries!  If you think that is high you can check out the Federal Govt estimates of the high end of grocery bills in the US, which it pegs at about $75 per week per person. So our numbers are right in there with the high end. Makes sense.

So where do we stand sans meat ? And most packaged goods. Well for one thing we spend a lot more time in the kitchen.. And our shopping trips are different, We try to find deals on large volumes of fruits and vegetables, not only because we want to save money, but I get sick of going to the store all the time.

We try to go to Costco, because they have good pricing on fruits and vegetables.. I estimate in the end we are saving about 100 dollars a week total and thats only when we are careful. So thats 5000 dollars or about 20-25 percent of our food bill which is pretty significant. However a few caveats. For one thing we are not always so careful, and we sometimes buy vegan items that are way overpriced (think Whole Foods) , plus we still go to restaurants because there is basically nothing else to do around Cleveland. Plus we probably would not have friends if we didnt eat out. Until you do this, you dont realize how much of your social life revolves around food.!

All that being said, not being careful and eating out, with a large family, I estimate you can save on average about 10 percent of your grocery bill just by eliminating meat, and packaged foods such as crackers and chips etc. This of course does not take into account the lower cost of healthcare which is substantial. Coronary Artery Disease costs 312 billion dollars a year in direct and indirect costs like lost wages!

Leave a comment

Authenticity and food : Is it all a hoax ?


I recently read a fascinating book “The Authenticity Hoax” by Andrew Potter. The author skewers  anyone and anything associated with the back to the old days movement such as hipsters, nostalgists, and those that yearn for anything “authentic” and original, including food.

But why? Well, let’s go back in time to the 1800’s when doctors did surgery without anesthetic, and half the population was illiterate. I don’t think so.Living in the modern world has its advantages.Potter digs deep and explains why people pursue authenticity, besides its obvious value as a status symbol.

Many people feel that the iPhone and  media infested consumerist world that we live in has caused some form of mass mental illness. In fact some believe materialism as practiced today is destroying us as a society. I tend to agree.Potter shows how our desire to get back to reality has caused an authenticity craze. But in the end, it has become nothing but another consumerist sham. Thus the hoax. But what does it have to do with our eating habits?  Is eating fruits and vegetables a fake throwback to a nostalgic past that never existed ?

The short answer is- no. What makes us fat are foods that did not exist until recently. Cooking oil,  margarine and  shortening, are 20th century inventions. Refined sugar hit Europe in the 1600’s. We ingest these things because our bodies come from a time when it was tough getting enough food.  We are programmed to desire  sweet and fatty things, because we need them in moderation to survive . Our ancestors had a tough time getting them, and now they are everywhere.

In other words, we are addicted.

But a funny thing happend on the way to the produce market. We found that by eliminating those things, the oils, the sugars, the burgers, and substituting with lots of fruits vegetables and real whole grains- we could lose lots of weight and regain our health. And lose the cravings as well.

And  If we can do it , so can you. Authentically.

Leave a comment

Plant Based Nutrition Conference for Doctors: The first ever

Were you wondering why you never hear about the ideas presented here from your Doctor? Here is a snippet from Dr Scott Stoll who will be speaking at the first ever Plant Based Nutrition Health Conference.

“The vast majority of our nation’s medical schools fail to include preventive, nutritional medicine education as part of their standard curriculum, even though the CDC estimates that 70% or more of our nation’s healthcare dollars are spent on the treatment of conditions that are lifestyle-related—all too often a result of what people are eating,” emphasized Dr. Stoll. “It’s going to take doctors becoming informed, rising up, banding together, and, in the spirit of the Hippocratic Oath, demanding change of the current system.  It’s happening.”

All this means is that the ideas presented here, eating fruits and vegetables as the basis of your diet, are hitting the medical mainstream. The conference, in Naples Fl,will be October 24-26. Its a CME  or continuing medical education course for physicians and will include some of the big names in healthy eating like Caldwell Esselstyn MD.


Looking at the press release for the conference comes another very heavy statement about the current condition of our medical system

“Recent reports indicate that over 70% of Americans are reliant on pharmaceuticals, with over 50% taking two or more. “For the first time in human history, people are dependent on medications that typically only address symptoms—not the underlying cause of disease,” said Scott Stoll, MD, co-founder of the North American Plant-based Nutrition Healthcare Conference. “We’ve become expert in disease management, not in true ‘health’ care where we focus on the art of prevention through plant-based nutrition and inexpensive lifestyle modification. Our current system is rewarding the management of disease, while not rewarding prevention and prescriptions for dietary change. This has to change.”

I guess that means there won’t be any Pharmaceutical sales reps at the conference. Question is, if everyone gets healthy by eating like this, what will all the Doctors be doing with themselves. The good news is that the conference is at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf club. The docs can play golf in their off time, and discuss kale and other vegetables.

If health reform is really going to work, the only way forward is a healthier population. The only way that is going to happen is if all the healthcare providers get on the bandwagon and promote better living to their patients. This conference is a good start!



1 Comment

Fall things to do: Apple Picking!

apples 2 4 you

Did you ever wonder how people got along before there were grocery stores ?  It wasnt that long ago that the chain of events leading to you biting into a nice crisp apple did not include fruit traveling 800 miles in the back of a large truck. In fact, apples grow just about everywhere, so why not just pick some. And thats what we did yesterday !

With cool air and a bright sun, there is nothing better to do on a fall day to go out apple picking with mom and dad, even if my kids are in their twenties. Perhaps they come along because they also are reminiscent for the “good old days”. But its funny, our kids always criticize us for our  “mistakes” and thats when i tell them ” you can be a shining example to everyone by doing a better job raising your children”…. and good luck with that!

apples family

But the point here is not my 20 something critics, its apples. Besides. my kids have turned out to be pretty decent as well.  And the apples  really are amazing. When you pick them off the tree they are much juicier and flavorful than from the store, and they last forever. Since we live about a fifteen minute drive from some large orchards, we can go and pick just about anytime we want.

Also, you can save money. It runs .99 per lb when you pick your own. But somehow driving out there to pick your own apples to save a dollar or two doesnt seem to make economic sense, unless you need to bake 20 pies for a holiday. A typical apple only has about 70 calories and has all sorts of good things in it as well, such as fiber and phytochemicals. They are also really filling. And when you have bags of them around the house, they keep you from eating other naughty things that you dont have to exercise to grab. After all – Those trees can get tall!

Soon I will post something about our homemade hard apple cider, but thats an apple story for a different day……

Leave a comment

Starbucks CEO asks customers to set a good example to congress:offers free drinks!

Starbucks Promotes New Products
I am taking a course in business strategy, and for my final analysis i chose to write about my favorite drink place.  From a business perspective they are quite interesting. No company in the food business has ever risen as fast as Starbucks. My gut tells me its because people perceive the place as an “affordable luxury” which connotes status etc. Anyways the details could be really boring. But today, something really interesting happened at the coffee giant.

Howard Schultz, CEO, is offering a free tall drink to anyone that purchases a drink for another customer. Here is his explanation:”

It’s that simple: Pay it forward, and Starbucks will pay you back,” Schultz wrote in a letter. “I believe you will agree that this is a different yet authentic way Starbucks can help our fellow citizens to come together by supporting one another during a particularly challenging time.”

Challenging yes! On monday Schultz who is no wallflower when it comes to expressing opinion, wrote the following :

Like so many of you, I find myself utterly disappointed by the level of irresponsibility and dysfunction we are witness to with our elected political leadership,” the letter began.

Anyhow the man knows how to tell it like it is. Of course in the business world there is always a profit motive. Starbucks happens to be very sensitive to negative news in the economy. This could be a way to stay up in a potential downturn in the economy. Whatever the reason its a great opportunity to explore Starbucks, come together, and get a free low cal drink!…

And lets hope congress gets the message!