Mark Bittman made an appearance on the Today Show on Thurs. January 12, 2012, as a part of the “How to Cook Everything Today” series to demonstrate some vegan recipes (video above). The New York Times columnist and bestselling author of How to Cook Everything as well as How to Cook Everything Vegetarian talked about the importance of eating less meat and more plants by including some vegan meals. He quoted a study he said he had just written about, that as a nation, the U.S. population is eating 12 percent less meat than five years ago.
If one does not want to go completely vegan, he noted that it is important to integrate more meatless main courses with no animal products whatsoever — including dairy. Towards that end, the three recipes he demonstrated during the live segment were Saffron-and-Mushroom Barley Risotto, Bean Burgers, and Sweet Potato Stew.
He used barley in place of white rice, noting that while it has the same creamy consistency of rice, it is a whole grain, yielding more fiber than would white rice. gets that same kind of creaminess that rice does. and it’s a whole grain. so you’re getting a higher degree of fiber than you would with white rice.
The bean burgers are easy to prepare, with few ingredients, mainly onion, cooked white beans (or alternately the beans of your choice) and rolled oats for binding. The sweet potato stew, he termed a “crowd pleaser,” is naturally sweet with apples, curry powder and coconut milk.
You can find all three recipes at Today.com.
If you are looking to make a shift to a vegan diet for weight loss or for health — or, at the very least, as Bittman suggests, eating less meat and more plant-based foods — I highly recommend PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, based on the work of Neal D. Barnard, M.D. It’s free to join and there are a wealth of online tools and resources, including recipes, shopping lists, tips from experts in the field of plant-based nutrition, and an online forum. I know from my own experience how remarkable this shift is both for weight loss and, just as importantly, weight management. Another fine resource is John McDougall, M.D.’s free online McDougall Plan, which, as a longtime vegetarian turned vegan a few years ago, enabled me to lose the proverbial last 10 pounds after a long plateau.
Let us know what you think of Mark Bitman’s Today Show vegan recipes and/or share some of your favorites!
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