Recipes

Healthy Vegan Pumpkin Risotto (Oil-free + Instant Pot Friendly)

I’ve used the same 7-dish Thanksgiving menu for the last two years (because it has gone over SO WELL with vegans and omnivores alike), but this year I decided I wanted to come up with something new and unique to add.

Enter this healthy pumpkin risotto: it’s savory, it’s slightly sweet, it’s simple to make, it’s creamy. It’s a nice healthy contrast to some of the more oil-laden Thanksgiving classics, but still goes over well with more classic palates. And as a bonus, it’s easy to have it cooking in the background while you make the more complicated dishes, since it doesn’t need more than ~15 mins of really active prep time.

And as a bonus bonus, it’s Instant Pot friendly too. (That’ll help free up my limited supply of pots.)

If you want to make it completely whole-food-plant-based friendly, you can also try subbing brown rice in for the arborio. You will want to add more water and cook longer to achieve a risotto-y texture, though. You can also easily sub in other types of squash instead of pumpkin!

Serves 4 as a full meal; serves 8 as a side

Ingredients:

Blender:

  • 3 – 15oz cans pure pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 apples, quartered
  • 2 tsp yellow or white miso paste
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.5 tsp dried sage
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth

Saute:

  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 3.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups arborio rice*
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

Directions:

  1. Put all the “Blender” section ingredients into a blender or food processer, and blend until pureed. Set aside until step 5-6.
  2. Add the chopped onions to a pot over medium heat–or your IP’s saute function–adding splashes of broth (from your 3.5c of broth) as needed to saute them until translucent.
  3. Add the rice, and saute for 3-4 minutes. Then add the white wine, and saute another 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the remaining broth, and push all the onion and rice grains down the sides of the pot so they are submerged.
  5. If using a pressure cooker: cook on low pressure for 6 mins, and release pressure immediately after. Add the blended pumpkin mixture, and turn on the saute setting. Saute, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and the risotto is creamy but not runny.
  6. If using a pot on the stove: cover pot and bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 15 mins. Add the blended pumpkin mixture, then simmer uncovered, stirring regularly, until the rice is tender and the risotto is creamy but not runny.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with more sage or fried sage leaves and cashew cream, if desired.

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Videos, Weight loss advice

Video: Why the Raw Til 4 Diet Causes Weight Gain (aka High Carb Low Fat + Raw Vegan)

Scientific studies show that high carb low fat diets are generally really good for weight loss–but for some reason, the Raw til 4 diet, which was popular among vegans several years ago, caused a LOT of people to gain weight. In today’s video I go over studies to explain why the Raw til 4 diet so often causes weight gain.

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Videos, Weight loss advice

Video: Eating with a straw vs spoon changes how much you eat | Study on liquids vs solids and weight loss

Today I’m going over a study looking at how eating with a spoon versus a straw actually affects how much you eat–of the same food–in a meal! I also talk about how eating liquids vs solids cause overeating, and whether you should be concerned about liquid calories.

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Videos, Weight loss advice

Video: Smoothies vs Juice vs Whole Fruit for Weight Loss: Scientific Studies | WFPB diet

If you like to eat unprocessed foods (like I do!), then you might be wondering (like I did :P) whether blending/juicing “counts” as processing in how it affects your weight loss and satiety. In today’s video, I go over 2 studies looking at whether having whole fruit, smoothies, or juice is better for satiety and weight loss.

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Recipes

Apple Pie Amaranth Porridge Recipe (Vegan)


Move over oats: there’s a new porridge grain in town.

I learned last year that my stomach can’t handle oats, and I never thought I’d find something I like as much for fall and winter breakfasts as oats. But I’ve kept experimenting, and discovered amaranth!

Amaranth has a delicious nutty taste, a really nice texture, and is so versatile. And, as a big bonus, it’s more nutritious than oats: calorie for calorie, compared to oats, amaranth has twice the iron, magnesium, and B vitamins–not to mention more protein and potassium.

This apple pie amaranth porridge holds up really well in the fridge, so I’ve started making 3 days’ worth of porridge at a time. It’s my current favorite Fall breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry amaranth
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves (optional)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (more to taste; you can also use maple syrup or dates)
  • 2 apples, diced
  • Topping ideas: pecans, walnuts, nut butter, non-dairy milk, dates, fresh apples

Directions

  1. Add the amaranth to a pot over high heat to toast it. Stir constantly. Once it starts popping (you’ll notice little white puffs), reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 2-3 more minutes or until about half of it has become a darker brown (or popped), then remove from heat. (If it starts smelling like popcorn, remove from heat right away!) It’s better to under-toast than to over-toast.
  2. Add 3 cups of water to the pot with the amaranth, bring it to a boil, then simmer. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. I find I have to keep the stove at medium-low heat to keep it at a lightly bubbling simmer.
  3. Add the diced apples, spices, and sugar. Keep simmering, occasionally, until the apples are tender and amaranth has absorbed all the water, and/or it has your desired consistency. If the amaranth absorbs the water before the apples are tender, add non-dairy milk or more water as needed to finish cooking the apples.
  4. Serve, add your toppings, and enjoy!

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Videos, Weight loss advice

Which Exercise is Best For YOUR Diet + Weight Loss Goals?

Have you ever wondered which exercise is best for your specific situation and goals?

Today I have a video for you where I go over the best type of cardio (high vs low intensity) for you depending on your:

  1. Goals: Body recomposition, weight loss, maintenance, or gain
  2. Diet: Normal, high carb low fat, whole food plant based, or keto
  3. Current rate of weight loss

I also talk about how long you would have to walk to burn the same amount of calories and fat as running, and I show you how the calories burned from an exercise doesn’t tell the whole story.

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Videos, Weight loss advice

Video: How to Deal with Cravings | Does Avoiding Problem Foods Work for Weight Loss?

In today’s video, I go over a study on how to deal with problems foods while you’re trying to lose weight. You know–those foods you crave that you can’t resist eating when they’re around, and/or foods that you tend to overeat once you start eating them.

I also talk about what habits actually lead you to have MORE problem foods, and which strategies work best for losing weight despite them.

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Recipes

3 Ingredient Baked BBQ Cauliflower Wings Recipe (Vegan!)

I went a bit overboard on cauliflower in my grocery delivery last week, so I needed a seriously cauli-heavy recipe to use up a few heads before they went bad. (You can only pickle so much cauliflower!)

I was scrolling through recipes for inspiration when I decided that buffalo cauliflower wings would be the perfect way to use them up! But… I was all out of buffalo sauce. And I didn’t want to use up a bunch of other ingredients. (Quarantine problems.)

So after looking through a few recipes for general strategies, I decided to try my own thing: 3 ingredient baked BBQ cauliflower! They’re fat free and super easy. They’re not quite crispy like buffalo wings: they’re sticky and chewy and oh so good.

And, because I know all of us are running out of ingredients right now–I bet these would work great with teriyaki sauce or other marinades too.

And I bet they would be crispier in an air fryer… I’l let you know once mine finally gets delivered next week (after a month of waiting!). 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp water
  • ~1/4 cup barbecue sauce* (I used Carolina Gold)

*The amount of sauce you need depends on how thin/strong it is–you want the cauliflower to have a nice even coating without dry spots, but you don’t want it to be overwhelming either.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450. Rinse cauliflower and chop it into florets.
  2. Combine the flour and water, and add a dash of your barbecue sauce. Add more water or flour as necessary to create a thick glue-like consistency–you want it to be a bit thicker than pancake batter. It should easily coat your cauliflower without running off much.
  3. Coat the florets in the batter, spread them out on a baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes or until they start to get golden brown.
  4. Now toss the cauliflower in your barbecue sauce until they’re evenly coated. (I suggest trying one at this stage to make sure they have the amount of barbecue flavor you want!)
  5. Place cauliflower back on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until they start getting browned again. The goal is to get them somewhat crispy/firm at this point!
  6. Remove from oven and eat as soon as they’re not too hot! Serve with more sauce, or vegan ranch!

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Videos, Weight loss advice

Video: Does intermittent fasting work for weight loss? (scientific studies)

Today’s video answers another question I get a lot: does intermittent fasting really make you lose weight? Specifically I’m talking about intermittent fasting throughout the day (aka time-restricted feeding), where you eat for part of the day and fast for the rest of it.

In the video I go over 5 studies on intermittent fasting, with a variety of fasting windows: 8 hours (aka 16:8), 6 hours (18:6), and 4 hours (20:4) and including studies on both morning and nighttime eating windows.

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Videos, Weight loss advice

Studies: Do Nuts Make You Gain Weight?

Today I have a video for you answering a question that a lot of you have asked: do nuts cause weight gain?

They don’t quite fit into a high carb low fat diet (which is known to be a great way to lose weight), but they’re also an unprocessed, very nutritious food. So are they good for weight loss too?

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Study links:

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