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How has food impacted your life/ health?
It is as if my body finally functions how I always felt it should. To me, this is one of the biggest misconceptions about plant-based diets. People think that transitioning will make their lives too hard and they won’t be happy, when in reality it makes your life exponentially better. Plant-based nutrition has changed my life for the better on almost every topic involving health that you can think of. Fitness, weight loss, skincare, sex, mood, energy levels, allergies, body odor, digestion, hydration, you name it.
Plantains! Fried ripe plantains make almost any dish better when served on the side. They can even be eaten on their own or just with bread for an almost dessert-like experience. I turn to them a lot for a healthy way to satisfy my sweet tooth. They are heavily used in Jamaican and Caribbean cooking, but not very well known by Americans. They can also be found alongside Hispanic and sometimes Asian dishes, but I think they pair the best with Caribbean-style flavorings.
Any ingredients you love for detoxing or cleansing?
I can’t stress enough how important daily detoxing and internal cleansing are. A detox is not something that you do for a week and then stop; it is something to do every day! A vegan diet based on predominantly whole foods does exactly this, but I’ve found that adding green smoothies to that routine has an even more potent effect. I look and feel my best when I start every morning with a large green smoothie of just fruits and vegetables. You really do feel the difference, and it’s very hydrating and energizing. You can find my favorite smoothie recipes on my site.
1 medium sweet potato (1½ cups cooked)
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup finely chopped kale
½ onion, diced
3 tbsp tahini paste
1½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chipotle powder
¹⁄³ cup nutritional yeast
½ tsp sea salt
¹⁄³ cup oat flour
Roast sweet potato in oven at 400°F/205°C for 40-60 minutes or until soft. Let cool, and leave oven set to 400°F/205°C. While your potato is baking, sauté onions in a bit of oil until translucent and soft. Alternatively, you can dry sauté if avoiding oil. If you do not have oat flour, you can use a food processor to grind old fashioned (rolled) oats into a powder. In a large bowl, add all of the burger ingredients and mash everything together. I like to use a wire potato masher, but a fork also works. It might be easier to mash the beans before adding the rest of the ingredients. Form mixture into medium-sized burger patties; do not make them overly thick. Bake at 400°F/205°C for 20 minutes on a lined baking pan. Spray with a little oil if you’d like to prevent sticking. Do not flip burgers. Serve with hummus and your favorite toppings, like avocado, tomato and lettuce.
I like to double this recipe. Burger patties can be frozen and reheated in an oven or toaster oven. Burgers will hold their shape better if you allow them to cool and then warm them up again before eating.
1 can cooked chickpeas, drained
Juice from ¾ of a lemon
1 tsp cumin
¹⁄³ cup tahini
1 clove fresh garlic, diced
Paprika, for garnishing
½ tsp sea salt, more or less to taste
Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and add a splash of water. Blend. If the mixture is too thick, continue adding splashes of water until mixture reaches the desired consistency. Blend the mixture for at least 1 minute to ensure that it is smooth. At this point, taste to see if you’d like to add more salt. Whether or not your canned chickpeas contained salt will determine how much additional salt you need to add. If you add additional salt, blend for 10 more seconds.