Better Than Vegan: 101 Favorite Low-Fat, Plant-Based Recipes That Helped Me Lose Over 200 Pounds
Guess what?? Chef Del Sroufe stopped by PBJ to share a recipe from his new book, chat with the PBJ Family, AND give a copy of his book to a lucky PBJ subscriber.
I am thrilled to be included in the #BetterThanVegan2014 book tour. The PBJ Family is going to LOVE this book. What better way to dive into this book, than to experience one of Chef Del’s mouth-watering recipes. With permission from the publisher, BenBella Books has agreed to share with the PBJ Family:
Sweet Potato-Black Bean Enchiladas (pg. 210)
Now that our bellies are happy and full on plant-based goodness, here is a bit about the book.
About the Book
“Eating healthy just got a whole lot easier.
The science is very clear. A whole-foods, plant-based diet is the healthiest possible way to eat—but veganism itself doesn’t mean health, as Chef Del Sroufe, author of the New York Times bestseller Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, knows better than anyone. Sroufe managed to reach 475 pounds while eating a vegan diet rich in pastries, peanut butter, and potato chips. After converting to a vegan diet with minimal processed foods, sugars and added oils, he lost more than 240 pounds without giving up great food.
- Portobello Wraps with Spicy Asian Slaw
• Three Sisters Enchiladas
• Lemon Berry Sorbet
In Better Than Vegan*, Sroufe tells his remarkable personal journey of how he went on to lose hundreds of pounds on a healthy vegan diet and then shares the kinds of meals (with no oil and low in fat and sugar) that restored him to health.
With photographs by Robert Metzger and coauthored by Mad Cowboy coauthor Glen Merzer, Better Than Vegan offers healthy and professional cooking tips with nutritional advice to help you achieve the optimal vegan diet.”
About the Author
“Del Sroufe’s passion for cooking began at eight years old and never faded. In 1989 he went to work for one of Columbus’ premier vegetarian restaurants, the King Avenue Coffeehouse, where he honed his craft as a baker and chef. Sroufe opened Del’s Bread, a vegan bakery, before beginning vegan meal delivery service in 2001, serving eclectic plant-based cuisine to Columbus residents. During this time, he developed what became a very popular cooking class series, sharing many of the delicious recipes he had created over the years.
In 2006, Sroufe joined Wellness Forum Foods as co-owner and chef, where he continued the tradition of delivering great tasting, plant-based meals to clients in Columbus as well as throughout the continental U.S. Sroufe also joined The Wellness Forum as a member where, after a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, he has lost over 200 pounds on a low fat, plant-based diet. He continues to teach cooking classes at local venues like Whole Foods, Community Recreating Centers, and The Wellness Forum. Sroufe is the author of Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook*, a vegan cookbook companion to the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives*.”
Glen Merzer is coauthor with Pamela A. Popper, PhD, ND, of Food Over Medicine*, with Howard Lynman of Mad Cowboy*, with Howard Lyman and Joanna Samorow-Merzer of No More Bull!*, and with Chef AJ of Unprocessed*. Merzer is also a playwright and screenwriter, having most recently completed a screenplay from Mad Cowboy*. He has been a vegetarian for 40 years and a vegan for the last 20.
Chat with Chef Del
PBJ: Chef Del, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule for the PBJ Family. Speaking of busy schedule, what do you enjoy doing, during your downtime? What are your hobbies, and interests?
Chef Del: I work too many hours so when I do have free time, I like to spend time with friends and family. I love going to see movies on the big screen and have a few guilty pleasures on tv. Music is a huge part of my life and in addition to listening to music as much as possible, I like to sing. I recently bought a keyboard so I could teach myself to play.
PBJ: The section in your book, “Cooking with Plants”, is not only helpful to those that have never stepped one foot in the kitchen (that would have been ME two years ago, lol), but for all of us eager to learn how to cook without all of the added fat, such as oil. I found it very easy to transition to cooking without oil, and I actually learned quite a bit from your book, about how to do so more efficiently, and with more flavor. Would you mind sharing some of your tips to cooking without oil, with our PBJ readers, and why it is so important to our health, to not use oil?
Chef Del: Here’s my basic how to saute without oil from the book: “Sautéing without oil is a pretty straightforward process, whether you’re sautéing vegetables as a side dish or doing a stir-fry. You start out with a dry pan and make it warm. Keep in mind that some vegetables have more water in them than others. Onions, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, fennel, beets, and celery have high water contents, so they tend to do quite well in that oil-free environment. Add vegetables in order of their cooking time, and try to factor in how much water is in the vegetables. Higher-water content vegetables go in the pan first, and the low-water content vegetables generally go last—eggplant, broccoli, snow peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini. It’s a good idea, for example, to put onions and carrots in first, since they are water-rich and have a long cooking time. Use the water-rich vegetables to help provide liquid for the cooking of water-deficient vegetables. Sauté broccoli with onion, for example, and sauté cauliflower with mushrooms. You should need to add very little liquid to the pan when you sauté. A residue will build up on the bottom of the pan—that’s caramelization—and you should scrape the brown off the bottom of the pan as you cook and retain those flavors in the dish.”
Oil free baking is a little more complex but applesauce is my favorite fat substitute. It works well for most recipes and helps keep baked goods moist.
Keeping dietary fat to a minimum is important in a society where ⅔ of us are overweight. excess dietary fat is a major contributor to excess body weight–every tablespoon of oil you use in cooking has 128 calories and 14 grams of fat.Another way to think about it is if you eat 100 extra calories a year, you can gain 10 pounds. When I first started my weight loss journey, getting rid of the oil in my cooking was the first thing I did.”
PBJ: After reading your journey thus far, it is apparent that you are truly an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Who inspires you, and what words of wisdom could you share with the PBJ family that would encourage, and inspire them to give this plant-based lifestyle a try, and/or stick with it?
Chef Del: “There are a lot of great scientists and doctors like Dr. T Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, and others, who spent decades researching the relationship between diet and health. Having that foundation of science to show how important the right diet is, makes it easier to teach others.
I find a lot of inspiration in meeting people like myself, who have walked away from traditional medicine and let food be our medicine. There is nothing more empowering that watching someone regain their health using nature’s best gift–food.
The most important thing I would say to people is to put their trust into good science, and learn to know the difference between good science and psuedo science and advertising. We are bombarded everyday with half-truths and advertising that does not have our best interest at heart. The low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet works, not only to prevent disease, but often to reverse it too. How empowering is that?”
Thank you again, Chef Del, for taking time to chat with the PBJ Family. I am looking forward to making your 101 Favorite Low-Fat, Plant-Based Recipes, that helped you lose over 200 pounds. YOU ROCK!!
I was asked: What will you do in 2014 to better yourself?
There are many items on my list. Primarily, I plan on reading all of the MANY informative books in my PBJ library, and continuing to educate myself on this amazing plant-based lifestyle.
My PBJ Library is GROWING!!
I will be the first to admit that I have been slacking when it comes to taking care of ME. I have been so focused on trying to help others, that I have taken the focus off of myself, my health and well-being. Do not get me wrong, I do not plan to stop helping others. It is just that I have found that I am more effective at helping others, when I focus on improving ME.
Update: Giveaway has ended
CLICK HERE* to grab your very own paperback copy.
CLICK HERE* for the Kindle Version. You do not necessarily need a kindle to read the kindle version of this book. Download the free Amazon Kindle App, and you can view the book from your smartphone, pad, computer, etc…
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Disclosure: The publisher sent me a copy of the book to review. This post contains affiliate links, indicated by a *.