Vegan

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Love Is Served

Love Is Served

Inspired Plant-Based Recipes from Southern California
edition:Hardcover
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The Buddhist Chef

The Buddhist Chef

100 Simple, Feel-Good Vegan Recipes
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

Introduction

The tastes, textures, and aromas of food have fascinated me since I was little. As I was growing up, I found myself wanting to experiment with these elements, so I made sure to be in the kitchen as often as I could. Later, I studied culinary arts, and then spent years working in restaurants of all kinds, where I learned how to perfect my skills. I then set off to Asia in search of adventure, new flavors, and cooking techniques.

There, I discovered the Buddhist philosophy and its principles of nonviolence. I briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a monk and never coming back home, but the woman whom I would later marry was waiting for me in Canada. When I returned, my interest in Buddhism kept growing. I took part in meditation retreats where I would meditate and work as a chef. Since the meditation centers served food that used no animal products, I found these retreats to be the perfect opportunity to learn how to cook with plants and grains and test out new vegan recipes with a focused yet very willing clientele.

As time went on, it became more and more difficult for me to continue cooking with meat as part of my job as a chef. My values had changed, and I was miserable working in a system that promoted principles that contradicted my own. One evening, after cooking lamb for 400 guests at a banquet, I realized I could no longer be a part of an industry that took advantage of the weakest beings. I could not go on like this.

I knew I had to do something—but what? Interest in vegan cooking was growing at the time, which was wonderful news for our health, the environment, and the animals, but many people did not know where to begin. My wife then gave me the idea of gathering all the knowledge I had acquired during my culinary career and using it to promote vegan eating. A blog seemed like the perfect venue because readers from all walks of life would be able to find simple, delicious recipes that use no animal products. And that is how The Buddhist Chef was born!

To this day, I love sharing my recipes with anyone and everyone who wishes to learn how to cook vegan. I try to make veganism accessible and show how simple it is to make a delicious meal using plant-based ingredients you can easily find at your grocery store.

This cookbook, my first, is my way of helping you to cook vegan simply and flavorfully.

It contains my “classic” recipes, the ones my virtual community members appreciate the most. It also features brand-new, fun, and mouthwatering recipes that everyone at your table will love. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or simply trying to decrease your meat consumption, I hope you’ll enjoy these easy-to-follow and, above all, delicious recipes!

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Eat More Plants

Eat More Plants

Over 100 Anti-Inflammatory, Plant-Based Recipes for Vibrant Living
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

I really like to eat. I also like to cook, so I can eat the food I enjoy the most— healthy, energizing, and so delicious that there is no talk of compromise.
    I have been a vegetarian for twenty years. I wish I could say I had noble intentions around making the change, but really, I did it to impress a boy I liked! True story. It is funny how life works; that short-lived teenage crush was the origin of a transformative shift for me. Becoming vegetarian led to a lifelong love of mindfulness, yoga, and of course, nutrition. Back then, I thought mac and cheese was the height of sophistication and health. Vegetarian eating meant no meat, but that did not necessarily equate to eating many whole plant foods.
    Shortly after I became vegetarian, I tried a brief and somewhat disastrous stint with totally plant-based eating that left me hungry because I did not really know how to craft a nutritious plant-based meal. But times have changed. I am now a plant-based eater, but I did not get here overnight. It was a slow transition that felt positive and joyful at every step. Moving toward a more plant-based, anti-inflammatory eating plan is probably one of the most transformative actions you can take for your health. It will help you feel more energized and resilient in your everyday life. It will also help you prevent chronic illness and support you in healing.
    It takes time to unlearn the hyper-processed eating pattern that is so common in our world. When you break rank with the status quo and dip your toe into plant-based living, it might feel foreign. It might even taste foreign (which is ironic, since by definition artificial sweeteners and colours are the foreign ingredients). However, when you explore it with a sense of play—free of absolutes—you will discover that this plant stuff is actually delicious. Of course, it is all in the approach. Go ahead and add a bit of extra salt or maple syrup to your meal if you need it to help you transition your taste buds. Have fun exploring plant-based versions of your favourite meals. Do not force yourself to eat foods you hate or attempt to cook tofu for the first time without a recipe, or you may think this healthy eating stuff isn’t worth the price of admission.
    By putting this book in your hands, you are on the right track. When you cook and eat these recipes, you may feel a bit peppier and want to feel that way again. It does not matter if you want nachos on a Friday night (and I have a queso recipe to help with that!). Just eat plants the rest of the time.
 
Just Eat More Plants

There are few absolutes in nutrition, but every single one of us can benefit from eating more plants. Regardless of how you choose to eat, this is the one rule we all need to live by. If you love bacon, have a little less and be sure to eat more plants. If you eat a vegan diet, watch the cookies and be sure to eat more plants.
    Although the dietary tribes will not always admit this, what they have in common is plants. A truly Paleo plate? A little bit of animal protein and 75 percent plants. A whole food vegan diet? All plants. Even ketogenic diets, when done well, can include many low-carbohydrate plants.
    Life demands more from us than ever before. Stress, poor food choices, and inactivity are all too common, and they are saddling us with chronic inflammatory issues like metabolic syndrome, digestive trouble, and autoimmunity. Food is often a big part of our ills . . . and anti-inflammatory, plant-based eating is a big part of the solution. However, what that looks like for you is your decision.
    If you want to go fully plant-based, good on you. I am all for it! It is an incredible way to live, and I have a chapter that will help guide you through the transition. However, if you cannot imagine a life without a burger, do not think that a plant-centred life is not for you. The more we pile our plate with plants, the better it is for our bodies, our ecosystem, and our pocketbooks. Eat the recipes in this book as often as you can. Start slowly and see where it takes you.
    Wherever you are in your wellness journey, adopting a more plant-based, anti-inflammatory diet will help you get to where you are going. Stay open-minded and be gentle with yourself, as making change is never a straight line. There is no right or wrong here. Have fun in the kitchen and enjoy what you eat! I am honoured that you have chosen this book to help you eat more plants.
 
Vibrant Living

True wellness, particularly when your intention is to calm inflammation, is a way of living as much as it is a way of eating. The thoughts we think and the way we move our bodies have just as much of an impact as how we choose to eat. As you explore preparing more anti-inflammatory meals for yourself, consider how the following principles can help guide you in building a truly vibrant life.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
There is no one right way to eat; we all need to find the way of eating that helps us feel our best. You can do that by observing how the food you eat makes you feel: physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

GET PLANT POWERED
Plant-based foods are nature’s nutrient-dense gift to you. Eating more plants is a way of nourishing your body, respecting the impact that your food choices have on others, and treading more lightly on the planet.

PRACTISE SELF-LOVE
Perfection is a myth; be gentle with your intentions to eat well and give yourself the flexibility to choose foods that nourish your soul as well as your body. There is no right or wrong. Work toward disconnecting your self-worth from your food choices. At the end of the day, it is just food.

EMBRACE AN ATTITUDE OF MORE, NOT LESS
Focusing on eating less, or choosing certain foods less often, leads to a sense of deprivation, loss, and anxiety. Instead, focus on what to do more often. Eat more plants. Drink more water. Cook more often. Make eating well a positive, joyful process.

CREATE SPACE FOR CHANGE
Making change takes effort. Create the space in your life to allow it to happen. Release commitments that are not important to you so you can shop and cook. Spend time moving your body. Carve out time for stillness and be mindful. Unplug from your screens daily and let your mind wander and be at rest. Make sleep a priority.

KEEP IT SIMPLE
Choose single-ingredient foods more often—eat real food, not hyper-processed approximations of it. Instead of ordering takeout, get your hands dirty in the kitchen. Reconnect to where your food comes from and grow something on a windowsill or patio or in your backyard. Spend as much time outside as humanly possible and breathe deeply.
FIND YOUR INNER STRENGTH
Your body has the remarkable capacity to repair and rebuild. This ability is sewn into your DNA and is an integral component of life itself. Know that no matter where you are starting from, you can support your body in healing and find a new vitality. Nourishing yourself well will help you tap into your potential in other aspects of your life with a newfound energy

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