HOLY MOTHER OF PLANT-BASED COOKBOOKS!!
If you have not yet checked out The China Study Cookbook, you are missing out on some YUMalicious dishes, as well as a wealth of information. Yes, that is a word. Look it up in the PBJ dictionary, lol.
The China Study Cookbook offers recipes to support a lifestyle that promotes optimal health based on the research of T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and Thomas M. Campbell, MD, as presented in The China Study. Written by LeAnne Campbell Disla, PhD, the daughter of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, this cookbook features tasty, whole plant-based food with no added fat and minimal use of sugar and salt. As a working mother, LeAnne says she has found ways to prepare quick and easy meals without using animal products or adding fat, and she’s compiled her favorite recipes for you in this cookbook.
Before I dive in, and share my thoughts on the book, let me tell you a bit about LeAnne. LeAnne Campbell, PhD, lives in Durham, North Carolina. She has been preparing meals based on a whole-food, plant-based diet for almost 20 years. Campbell has raised two sons—Steven and Nelson (teenage at the time the book was written)—on this diet. As a working mother, she has found ways to prepare quick and easy meals without using animal products or adding fat. CLICK HERE to read a bit more about LeAnne in some excerpts from her book.
For more than 40 years, LeAnne’s father, T. Colin Campbell, PhD, has been at the forefront of nutrition research. His legacy, The China Study, is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. Dr. Campbell is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. He has received more than 70 grant years of peer-reviewed research funding and authored more than 300 research papers. The China Study was the culmination of a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine.
What captured me (ok ok…CHANGED MY LIFE) was the documentary that Dr. Campbell was in, Forks Over Knives. 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. Watch the trailer HERE.
So with that being said, there is more than enough research, and science to prove that following a whole food, plant-based diet can protect against and even treat a wide variety of chronic diseases.
What chronic diseases you ask?
Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Autoimmune diseases, Kidney Stones, Vascular Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Osteoporosis, Cognitive Dysfunction, Multiple Sclerosis, I could be here ALL DAY!! A whole food, plant-based diet is best for our heart, cancer, autoimmune diseases, kidneys, bones, eyes, brains, etc….
I highly recommend everyone read The China Study. I first checked it out from the library, and had so many pages marked, that I finally went out and bought my own copy. Want your own copy? CLICK HERE for the paperback version. CLICK HERE for the kindle version.
I was lucky enough to be able to do a Q & A,
with the wonderful author herself
PBJ ~First of all, THANK YOU for taking the time to chat with us PBJ’s. I understand your time is extremely valuable, and we truly appreciate your time, and all of your hard work that went into your book. In your book introduction, you mention your own life experiences. I really enjoyed reading about your journey thus far. What inspired you to write this book?
LeAnne ~Thanks for having me! I wrote the book for several reasons. A lot of my friends were curious about eating a plant-based diet. They worried that it would be too hard to prepare meals this way, so I wanted to share quick and easy (and delicious!) meals to encourage them. The book was also a family endeavor. I had some time off, and writing The China Study Cookbook was something fun my sons and I could do together.
PBJ ~In your book, you list a Crock-Pot as a Chef’s Tool you use on a regular basis. I LOVE my Instant Pot! I even dragged it with us on vacation! What is your most treasured kitchen gadget?
LeAnne ~Probably my little food processor! I use that for tons of stuff when we’re in a hurry, throwing in onions, celery, carrots, even cashews for some sauces.
PBJ ~The forward, written by your father, states, “This book is written with the intent of helping people prepare quick, nutritious meals after a hard day’s work.” With you having two teenage sons (at least at the time you wrote the book), in addition to working long hours, you stress the importance of planning a menu for the week. You suggest great tips on how to do so in your book. Would you mind sharing a couple of those tips with our PBJ Family?
LeAnne ~We’re so busy during the week with work, soccer practice, homework in evenings, that I would typically go to the grocery store on the weekends. My biggest tip is to write out a menu for the week! It helps create variety in meals for the week so we don’t end up having a pasta dish three nights in a row. It also helps keep my food bill lower. Without a planned menu, I would always over buy. I was able to spend less money, and we had more variety of dishes. I also recommend making a little extra for lunches. My sons always took leftovers to school the next day, so I would try to plan dishes that were good as leftovers.
PBJ ~You mention blending your own Prune Paste as an oil substitute in baking cakes, cookies, and sweet breads, because it does not change the taste of the dish as much as other substitutions do. I will be honest, I do not bake that often, but this was a first for me!! I have been eating a whole foods, plant-based diet for two years, and I have not learned this yet…so THANK YOU for such GREAT TIPS! How did you stumble upon this substitute?
LeAnne ~My mom had been using prune paste for a long time. Prune paste was one of her first tricks when she converted to a low-fat diet. Instead of using butter, she would grind up prunes. She originally saw it in a magazine, I think!
PBJ ~Thank you again for such a wonderful book. My husband and I are still working through all of your delicious recipes. We have not come across one yet we did not enjoy. Do you have a favorite “go-to” recipe from your book? Mine is the Quick Three-Bean Soup…make it all the time…YUM!
LeAnne ~Good choice! Mine is the Dominican Rice and Beans with a big, fresh salad (cabbage, tomatoes, beets, avocado, lemon juice) on top. My sons were raised on this dish more than anything else. They call it their comfort food, and now, when they come home from college, that’s what they request.
PBJ ~My father passed away of congestive heart failure, and the impact of watching Forks over Knives, and reading The China Study was life changing for me. I switched my diet (two years ago) the following day, after watching FOK, and immediately began researching how to make the necessary changes to live as healthy as I possibly could. I realized that I was heading down the same path as my father. That is when I came across your father’s book, The China Study. What advice or suggestions could you give those that are curious, or would like more information regarding living a plant-based lifestyle?
Leanne ~There are so many great resources out there from different experts (Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, his son Rip Esselstyn, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. John McDougall, etc.). Go grab a book!
**LeAnne, the PBJ family thanks you for the great conversation, and all of the healthy, whole food, plant-based recipes you conjured up for us!! We look forward to any future books you may develop (wink wink)!!**
Another blessing to the PBJ Family…
I get to share one of my favorite recipes from the book!
Quick Three-Bean Soup (pg. 131)
Reprinted with permission from BenBella Books
CLICK HERE for recipe
One of the perks of this recipe, are the variations you can incorporate.
Want to know what paired well with the bean soup??
Fiesta Cornbread (pg. 44)
I like mine a tad sweeter, so I will add a bit more maple syrup next time
Another tasty soup, with a bit of a bite
Lentil Soup (pg. 128)
Frank and I also love “Burgers”. So we decided to try the Portobello Thyme Sandwiches, with a side of Fresh Tomato and Avocado (another LOVE of ours) Pasta Salad. Also made was the Green Garden Mayonnaise, because the Pasta Salad called for it, as well as on our buns for our sandwiches. By the way, my lousy pictures do not portray these recipes justice.
Check out this deliciousness…
Portobello Thyme Sandwich (pg. 151)
O to the M to the G…WHAT FLAVOR!!
Fresh Tomato and Avocado Pasta Salad (pg. 101)
I had small yellow tomatoes on hand.
The fresh basil really kicked it up a notch
Green Garden Mayonnaise (pg. 108)
This will definitely be used frequently.
Of course, we had to make another BURGER, so we threw together this one!!
This would be great over salads too!
What a fantastic recipe to get your kids to eat their greens.
CLICK HERE for Spinache Chickpea Burger recipe (pg. 143)
CLICK HERE for “Favorite Chili With Pasta” recipe (pg. 179)
I actually had my chili over a bed of baked potatoes, fresh baby spinach,
and fresh from the garden tomatoes.
For MORE TASTY recipes from this fabulicious book, click the recipe name below to be directed to the recipe.
Update: Giveaway has ended
Disclaimer: This book was provided to me for review by BenBella Books. My views are my own, and I was under no obligation to provide a positive review.
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Disclosure: The publisher sent me a copy of the book to review. This post contains affiliate links, indicated by a *.