Sunday, February 10, 2019

Swiss Chard with Carrots

Swiss Chard with Carrots


This recipe brings out the flavor and the color of the chard like nobody's business.
For the garlic, use organic if you can get it.



  • 1lb Swiss chard stems sliced small 1/2" leaves sliced in 1¨ strips
  • 2 onions cut-up fine
  • 3 chilis, sliced fine
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced fine, seeded
  • 1-large or three small carrots sliced thin
  • 5 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  • 5 pieces of turmeric, or 1 tsp of turmeric powder


  1. 1 - onions, chili's, jalapeno cut up fine (jalapeno seeded), 5 mins at 425F (med/high)
  2. 2 - add the garlic and turmeric, 5 mins at 425F adding a small amount of water (2-3 tablespoons) to keep it liquid
  3. 3 - add in the sliced carrot, and the cut-up Chard stems, a little more water 
  4. 5 mins at 275F (medium/low)
  5. 4 - add in the leaves on top, 10 more mins at 275F


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Budget #WFPB on Starling Avenue

Recently, Premium Halal had Okra at $1.49. Their selection of veggies is always great. In general Okra goes anywhere from $0.99/lb to $2,49 lb, depending on the shipment. It pays to watch... Okra is extremely healthy! Low on the glycemic index and high in nutrition.

Rice, one of our staples

White rice is a nutritional disaster.

White Rice is very high on the glycemic index, and basically it is stripped of the nutrition and fiber of brown rice. Yes! Magazine had a beautiful story recently about The Story of White Rice. Notice this passage:
After farmers harvest their rice, it typically goes to a mill. There, it is cleaned and the husks are taken off the grains of rice. At this point, it is referred to as “brown rice” or “unpolished” rice. Once the husk has been taken off the rice, there remain several very thin layers of wholesome bran. At this stage, the rice is full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and protein—and very healthy to eat.
But polishing rice from so-called “dirty rice” into the sparkling white form that most people prefer has caused—yes, caused—a number of major, adverse impacts on health.
First, polishing removes most of the vitamins and minerals vital to one’s health. One example: the rice bran contains vitamin B and thiamine, both key to preventing beriberi. Indeed, in the largest World War II prison camp in the Philippines (where John’s grandfather was interned), American prisoners suffered from beriberi until they convinced the Japanese prison guards to let them cook the bran shavings that came off the polished rice; then the beriberi went away.
White rice also increases the risk of diabetes, rates of which are rising quickly in the Philippines, the United States and many other countries. The rice layers removed during polishing contain nutrients that guard against diabetes. Polished rice further contributes to diabetes risk because it causes blood-sugar levels to rise more rapidly than brown rice does. According to the New York Times, a 2010 Harvard study showed that people who consume white rice at least five times a week “are almost 20 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who eat it less than once a month.” In our travels in the Philippines and the United States, we meet people who are shifting to brown rice on their doctors’ orders precisely because of concerns about diabetes.
And polishing rice also reduces the protein content of the rice, which can mean the difference between being well-nourished or malnourished. The bottom line on all of these health fronts is the same: the more polished the rice, the less healthy.

from: The Story of White Rice

Brown rice is healthy, black and red rice even better...

Here's for the selection of Basmati Brown Rice at Al Aqsa:

Basmati Brown Rice in 4lb, 8 lb and 10lb packs.  The Shimla Road Brown Basmati is $6.99 for 4 lbs and $14.99 for 10 lbs, Deer Organic Brown Basmati is $14.99 for an 8 lbs bag. Neerob Bazaar, by the Bx22 bus stop carries Swad Brown Basmati for $12 per 10 lbs. Take your pick. Brown Rice from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan is the healthiest you can get because of lower arsenic levels. In the US, I would trust Lundberg rice the best.

Brown versus white

The bottom line? Brown rice versus white reduces the diabetes risk by 16%, and a significant reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer and, for that matter, red, purrple and black rice may be even better, so you might explore some variety:

Different varieties at Chang Li Supermarket:

Rice blend

Black Rice


Onions, another daily staple

Canadian Onions on the left, US Onions on the right.

The US onions go for $2.99 for a 10 Lb bag, and the Canadian onions, such as Onio and Vegco, go for $4.99 for 10 lb. It all varies a bit with the seasons. I've seen the Canadians for as little as $3.99 and sometimes more than $4.99 too. The US onions I've seen as low as $ 1.99 at times.

In short, with $15 to $20, you can have 10 lbs of high quality rice and 10 lbs of quality onions, then you can add various lentils, chick peas and beans, and that is most of what you need for staples for the month and you only need to add fresh fruit and vegetables.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

NoorieBoorie's Spicy Bangladeshi Mashed Potatoes

Ok, this inspiration started with the discovery of an excellent Bangladeshi food blog on

Now I want to take some of the recipes and create #WFPB variants that are as authentic as possible.

Spicy Bangladeshi Mashed Potatoes

Here is the link:
First of all enjoy the read, the author's love for food is infectious.
Second of all, please realize how easy it is to change this recipe into a completely perfect Whole Foods Plant-Based (#WFPB) variant.


  • 2-3 medium potatoes, peeled
  • 1-2 tsp mustard oil
  • 1 small shallot or 1/3rd small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh green chili or 1/2 tsp crushed dried red chili
  • cilantro, finely chopped (optional, for color)
  • salt to taste 


  1. Boil the potatoes in a pot of salted water until tender.
  2. Remove potatoes from water, drain completely and let it cool.
  3. Add mustard oil, chilies, onions, cilantro (if using) and salt into a mixing bowl and mash everything together with your hands.
  4. Add the cooled potatoes to the mixing bowl and mash them (by hand or with a potato masher), making sure to mix well with the other ingredients.
  5. Adjust salt and any other seasoning as desired and serve with rice, lentils and curries. 

 I will call my variant Spicy Bangla #WFPB Mashed Potatoes and here is how it goes:

Spicy Bangla #WFPB Mashed Potatoes


  • 2-3 medium potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds ( or 1/4 tsp of mustard powder) soaked in 1 tbsp veggie broth, "mustard broth"
  • 1 small shallot or 1/3rd small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh green chili or 1/2 tsp crushed dried red chili
  • cilantro, finely chopped (mandatory, for nutrition)
  • some liquid aminos if you absolutely have to ;-) 


  1. Boil the potatoes until tender.
  2. Remove potatoes from water, drain completely and let it cool.
  3. Add mustard broth, chilies, onions, cilantro (if using) and liquid aminos into a mixing bowl and mash everything together with your hands.
  4. Add the cooled potatoes to the mixing bowl and mash them (by hand or with a potato masher), making sure to mix well with the other ingredients.
  5. Adjust seasoning as desired and serve with rice, lentils and curries.


To assemble daal bhaat & bhortas (as shown in photograph above):
1. Start by discarding any large whole spices like bay leaves and green chillies from daal.
2. Spoon the daal into a slightly inverted plate. A shallow plate-bowl works well.
3. Take a small greased bowl and press the rice inside it. Jasmine rice or other rice that is slightly stickier than basmati will work well here.
4. Release the rice onto a separate plate and carefully transfer on top of the plated lentils.
5. Spread a layer of chutney, achar or a bhorta like tomato or eggplant bhorta on top of the rice.
6. Place your aloo bhorta sphere on top.
7. Garnish the plate. (I've used onion sprouts in this photo, but anything green like cilantro, scallion, etc would add a good contrasting pop of color.)

 Now, that could not be easier, and it is absolutely delicious.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

And another #WFPB/Suppers Meal Prep at St Helena's

We had a small group and we kept it simple. As it is we spent about $12 per person but we still made way to much food, and people ended up taking it home.


We made a beet salad, with just some boiled beets, cut in strips on the mandolin and with some chopped onions and the juice of a lemon and a lime. Plus we added in some chia seeds.
It's one of those things that gets better if it sits in the fridge for a bit.
You can also simply add it into a regular salad.


Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup


1 average sized organic Hokkaido Pumpkin, or Kabocha Squash cut into chunks (deseed but don't peel)
3-5 onions chopped
3-10 cloves of garlic, chopped
1-2 inch piece of ginger sliced, or ginger powedr
2-3 pieces of turmeric sliced, or turmeric powder
a pint of vegetable stock
1-2 jalapenos, seeded
optional 2-3 small green chilies, sliced
1 tbsp panch puran
2 table spoons of whole wheat flour


  1. caramelize the onions adding garlic, chilies and jalapeno, and panchpuran and gradually add the whole wheat flour and liquify with some veggie stock
  2. gradually add all of the soup stock, and let it come to the boil
  3. add the pumpkin and let it boil about 20 mins.
  4. Allow the soup to cool down a little then pour into a blender and blend at high speed till smooth and creamy, or use an immersion blender to achieve the same result.

Main dish:

Roasted Cauliflower


The Gravy

3 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup soy sauce I use low sodium
1 tbsp maple syrup optional, for sweetness
3 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce *
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp parsley
3/4 tsp thyme
3/4 tsp sage
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
5 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water

The Roast

1 whole cauliflower leaves and outer stalk trimmed off
4 large carrots chopped
4 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
1/2 cup vegetable stock


The Gravy

In a medium-sized pot, whisk together all of the gravy ingredients EXCEPT for the cornstarch & water.
Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer on medium-low heat for 5 minutes. (This will allow all the flavors to marry.) Remove from the heat.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a cornstarch slurry.
Once the pot is no longer simmering, slowly whisk the cornstarch slurry into the gravy a little at a time. Going slow will ensure that no clumps form.
The gravy will begin to thicken as soon as the cornstarch is whisked in. Put the pot back on the stove and return to a simmer for an additional 3 minutes.

The Roast

Pre-heat oven to 450F degrees.
Arrange the potatoes and carrots in a roasting dish with the cauliflower in the center. Be careful not to overcrowd the dish.
Place the cauliflower upside-down and pour 1/3 cup of the gravy into it. Give it a good shake to distribute the gravy.
Place cauliflower right-side up and brush more gravy on the top to cover it (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
Add 1/2 cup of vegetable stock to the bottom of the dish (this will help steam the veggies.)
Pour about a 1/3 cup of gravy over top of the potatoes and carrots.
Cover the dish tightly with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, brushing the cauliflower with more gravy halfway through.
Uncover the cauliflower roast and brush more gravy on. Bake for another 30 minutes (uncovered), brushing with more gravy halfway again.

Remove from the oven and serve while hot.

*Many brands of Worcestershire sauce contain anchovies. Vegan Worcestershire sauce does exist (Annie's brand and Kroger brand are vegan for sure), but if you can't find it, you can omit it and substitute apple cider vinegar for a little zing.
If you dig onions, you can slice up an onion and add it right in with the carrots and potatoes. Mushrooms would be great, too! Making sure your pan is not too crowded will help everything cook through properly. If you find the potatoes are drying out, add a little more veggie stock to the pan.

Visting New York Cïty's First Jumpstart Program

Dr. Diego Ponieman
Here is a smiling Dr. Diego Ponieman, CMO of SOMOS Community Care at the presentation following the completion of the very first Oasis Jumpstart program at a SOMOS clinic - and the first one in NYC.

The event was glorious. The food was out of this world, and the recipes were shared at the end, so we can all learn from each other.

The Jump start at the SOMOS clinic at 135th and Broadway in Manhattan was the first one of many they have planned. The next one will start later in November at a clinic in Washington Heights.

The longer I am involved in this process, the more evident it is becoming to me that the Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet literally restores health to patients just as much as it restores professional dignity to doctors. This is the reason why so many doctors are beginning to acquire the necessary skills in lifestyle medicine.


Dr. Ponieman shared a few choice results from the group, boiling down to noticeable improvements in the labs between the before and after of this 10-day program. Average weight loss 5 lbs, and the experience of participants was that "this is not a diet, this is a way of eating," i.e. you can eat what you like and when you like as long as you stay within the #WFPB nutritional paradigm. Some of the drops in cholesterol, triglicerides and BP were very impressive, but most important was that there were improvements across the board.

Dr. Ponieman, a participant and some audience members

One of the nutritionists presenting
And here's... Lianna!

The most important thing is that people clearly are learning they have power over their health and that the results of this kind of a 10-day total immersion diet change are more powerful than from drugs. In other words, food and nutrition are the most powerful tool in the physicians and the patients toolkit. In several cases complains disappeared within the 10-day period. Medication was kept constant but in some cases needed adjustment promptly after this clinic. Drops in A1C were significant and some patients expected to lower or eliminate statin drugs.

The Real Healthcare Revolution is getting under way

It was incredibly exciting to be able to learn first hand of this ringing success. There were 36 patients and 12 staff who participated with them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Our November 18 #WFPB dinner at Neerob

Just to commemorate our latest supper at Neerob, here are some pictures from this remarkable evening.

Three Salads in one Bowl!

At the table.
The entire group
We frankly devoured our dinner and Neerob did an extraordinary job. They are clearly experimenting with different dishes and aiming to get their PPC Restaurant campaign qualification by January.

The main thing on the agenda was the possbility of launching a Oasis Jumpstart program in the Bronx and to that end, the following resources are possibly involved in creating such a solution:

  • IFH clinic in Soundview 
  • St. Helena's School Cafeteria & monthly cooking class
  • ShopRite Bruckner
  • Neerob Restaurant
  • Possibly the Sonia Sotomayor Center
  • Dr. Joel Posner at Monterfiore East
It remains important to see how there is a core support system growing in our district with the following main geographic area:

Plant-based support in Community Board #9

Friday, November 2, 2018

PPC, Party with a Purpose

On November 1st, 2018 we had a "Party with a Purpose," from Plant Pure Communities at the HQ of Visiting Nurse Service of New York, in Manhattan.

All the usual suspects were there.

Jody Kass, Nelson Campbell, Eric Adams, T. Colin Campbell, and Jim Courage
All of the team leaders from NY and surroundings were there, the five boroughs, LI, Westchester plus people from all over the country and all over the world even. I met two people from my native Holland, which was kind of fun!

This coming weekend SOMOS Community Care has the kickoff of their first Jumpstart in East Harlem - and it is already over subscribed. They have others in the planning for northern Manhattan, for Brooklyn and the Bronx. They are an organization of 2,000 doctors, servicing 700,000 medicaid patients and they are poised to totally reform medicaid around the city into a system that pays for results, not treatment, meaning that Lifestyle Medicine and the Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet is the name of the game from now on. It is happening right here, right now.

The model for the Jumpstart program was the movie Plant Pure Nation, and the sequel will be the Healing America movie, based on the Healing America Together tour, and here is one success story that will be part of that movie.