Day 3 of my Whole Foods Plant Based Eating Challenge

It’s Day 3 of my Whole Foods Plant Based Eating Challenge. And it has been and no doubt will continue to be a challenge this entire month. First, I am not an experienced cook. Cooking is relatively new to me. I’m throwing myself in the middle of recipes and types of vegetables, grains and spices, some of which I’ve never eaten, much less cooked!

Today’s dinner dish is no exception. While I’ve eaten cauliflower before, I’ve never eaten it cooked this way or with a Tahini sauce. In fact, I had no clue what Tahini sauce was until I researched it.

What is Tahini Sauce?

Tahini sauce is often used as a topping for a variety of savory dishes. It’s made from tahini, which is a dense paste made from crushed sesame seeds.  Tahini sauce is a mixture of tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and water. This traditional sauce is served in Israel and in Arab countries throughout the Middle East. The sauce is used as a condiment to accompany dishes like hummus, falafel, and babaganoush. (We won’t even go there! I LOVE the word “babaganoush” and know it’s a middle Eastern dish, but I have no idea what it is either. Perhaps a dish to try in a future post?

Breakfast

I finished off my batch of banana oat pancakes which I had made to last me a few days. I think I’ll try something different tomorrow for breakfast – still including oatmeal and fruit, but different. I have a fun recipe in mind. Wait till tomorrow to find out what it is.

For today, I enjoyed my banana oat pancakes with warmed blueberries.

Variation #1: Date Syrup

I read about a variation in which you add date syrup to blueberries and blend until smooth to make a sweeter syrup. I have been drizzling maple syrup over my pancakes to provide the extra sweetness to the blueberries. I may try mixing date syrup with the blueberries soon.

Variation #2: Flax Seeds

I’m also going to try adding ground flax seeds to the banana oat batter. I’m trying to incorporate 1 Tablespoon of ground flax seed into my diet daily and this would be good way to do it. I add it to my regular oatmeal and barely notice it is there.

Note: Always grind your flax seeds, rather than consuming the whole seed. Your digestive system will not process the whole seed and it will just go right through you. I use a coffee grinder to grind mine. It takes seconds to do.

Lunch

My husband made me lunch today getting on board and honoring me with my food choices. He warmed up the Tasty Three Lentil Soup I made 2 days ago (it keeps for up to 5 days covered in the refrigerator).

If anything, it was even more delicious than the day I made it because the flavors of lentils and spices have had a chance to meld together. The soup was heavenly, especially paired with the lovely salad he made for me.

Mixed Greens Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts

My husband Michael made this tasty salad from bags of greens plus romaine, fruit and nuts.

Ingredients

  • Romaine
  • A bagged mixture of red cabbage, green cabbage and carrots
  • A bagged mixture of spring greens
  • Dried cranberries
  • Walnut pieces
  • My favorite salad dressing: Paul Newman’s Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette*

A looked for a healthier alternative to the store bought raspberry walnut vinaigrette because this brand contains sugar, corn syrup and vegetable oil – all of which you want to avoid eating WFPB. I found a raspberry dressing that fills the bill.

Instructions

Toss salad greens together. Sprinkle on walnuts and cranberries. Top with vinaigrette.


Dinner

My husband, true to form, already has dinner planned and cooking. He soaked some dry pinto beans this morning and is making cornbread to accompany it. Here’s a cornbread recipe that fits a whole food plant based diet.

My contribution to the meal will be a healthy cruciferous vegetable which experts like Dr. Michael Greger, a whole food plant based eating proponent, say may cut the risk of certain cancers progressing by more than half.

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. Consuming at least one of these every day is recommended.

Here is the dish I am planning to make this evening.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons white miso paste
  • 1 Tablesoon tahini
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Savory Spice Blend *
  • 1 head cauliflower, leaves and tough stem removed
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Ground black pepper

*Savory Spice Blend Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsely
  • 1Tablespoon drived basic
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard (mustard powder)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

Combine all the ingredients for Savory Spice Blend in a spice grinder of blender to mix well and pulverize the dried herbs and spices. Transfer the blend to a shaker bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool, dry place.

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic and miso and process until the garlic is finely minced.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of water and the tahini, lemon, nutritional yeast, mustard turmeric and Savory Spice Blend to taste. Blend sauce until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Bring water to a boil in a pot large enough for the cauliflower to be immersed fully. Place the cauliflower carefully in the boiling water. Cover and cook until blanched, about 8 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Transfer the cauliflower to a shallow baking dish, stem side down, and add 1/2 inch of water.
  6. Spoon half of the sauce on top of the cauliflower and use your fingers to rub the sauce onto the cauliflower.
  7. Roast until the cauliflower is tender, about 40 minutes.
  8. Stir the parsley and black pepper to taste into the remaining sauce and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
  9. Heat the remaining sauce in a small saucepan or microwave.
  10. When the cauliflower is ready, transfer it to a platter and top with the remaining sauce. Serve hot.

Makes 4 one cup servings.


This recipe is from Dr. Michael Greger’s How Not To Die Cookbook.

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See you tomorrow! Happy Eating!