Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Whole Foods, Plant-Based Feast

On Tuesday April 24th, we had our monthly #WFPB supper at Packsun Restaurant. In effect it became a pre-planning session for the upcoming health fair at St. Helena's Church on May 26th.

Meanwhile, I am ashamed to admit that I neglected taking a picture of our meal which was brilliant indeed. The staff at Packsun did an outstanding job.

Here is some of what we had. This time the spices were mild, but very well balanced and interesting throughout. I am not even attempting to list them:
  • a cucumber salad
  • a yellow gravy of split black chick peas (kala chana), with turmeric and other spices
  • a cauliflower dish
  • a chinese eggplant dish
  • spinach dish
  • over GABA brown Basmati Rice
Neerob Market on Starling Avenue sells the Brown Basmati Rice at $12 for 10 lbs. 

Next time, I will try to take a picture again, but we all agreed that this dinner was superb. It definitely helped the planning of our very exciting upcoming healthfair.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Steel cut Oats at Chang Li Supermarket

Finally, Chang-Li Supermarket has started to carry Steel Cut Oats:

Quaker Steel Cut Oats
Note that they also have 3-minute Steel Cut Oats, but as long has you have a good rice cooker, you should not have any problem.

From a standpoint of nutritional value, note that the following sequence would apply:

  1. Steel Cut Oats
  2. 3-minute "Quick" Steel Cut Oats
  3. Old-Fashioned Oats
  4. Quick Old-Fashioned Oats

For diabetics what is important to know is that the pure Steel Cut Oats would also have the lowest Glycemic Index.

Oatmeal with berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries), is super health, and I like it with a shredded green apple and lots of cinnamon and topped with a tablespoon (or two) of balsamic vinegar.

Steamed Kale, Sweet potato, with balsamic vinegar

After that, I have a "desert" of steamed kale with boiled sweet potato and again dressed with some balsamic vinegar.

P.S. In general, everyone who is on any medicine should discuss their diet with their doctor, for once you go on a whole foods, plant-based diet, your doses can often be reduced. This is especially true for diabetics. Recommended literature is:
  • for heart patients: Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.
  • for diabetics: Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Preventing and Reversing Diabetes.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Lovely Green and Yellow Recipe

Since leafy green vegetables are a staple of the WFPB diet, it is good to be handy with different possibilities of preparing them.

The following is a sauce based on the Southeast asian cooking tradition which has become a source of inspiration for me through the Bangladeshi community in my neighborhood.


  • a few onions, chopped
  • a few garlic cloves, chopped
  • optionally some chilis, chopped
  • some turmeric, peeled and sliced fine, or turmeric powder
  • a quart of vegetable broth.
  • a cup of split chick peas (chana dal)
  • your favorite green leafy vegetable: spinach, malabar spinach (poi leaves), callaloo, chard, you name it.


  •  Start to stir fry the onions, with the cut-up chilis dry, until they start to caramelize (about 4 mins), and then add some tablespoons of veggie broth.
  • add in the garlic and the turmeric, let it simmer for about 5 mins
  • add the remaining vegetable broth, bring to a slow boil
  • add the dal and let it simmer for 45 minutes
  • blend this mixture with an immersion blender
  • add in your green leafies and let it simmer until the vegetables are soft. Note: alternatively, you can cook the green leafies on the side and add them cooked. This may be necessary with things like callaloo where you have to cook the stems longer than the leaves.
The result is a yellowish sauce with green accents, and it is absolutely finger licking good. Serve over GABA brown basmati rice. You can serve along with almost any other vegetable dishes.

Overall, the whole secret of cooking without added Sugar, Oil or Salt is to use the natural flavors, including various herbs and spices, and soon you will find that everything tastes better and more natural.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

More Good Uses of Plants: Improving Indoor Air Quality

In 1997, a book appeared with the title How to grow fresh air: 50 house plants that purify your home or office, by B. C. Wolverton. It was based on research from NASA about how plants can clean up indoor air, and there is a lot of great advice in the book that will help you pick the plants that will improve your indoor air quality.

We are currently working with a neighborhood florist, Miguel's Flower Shop at 1878 Cross Bronx Expressway to help create more awareness of this issue.

Miguel regularly carries most of the plants in the book, and he has a copy of the book available.

Here is a wall hanger with two different types of Sansevieria from Miguel's by my  bedroom window.

Sansevieria and also Aloe Vera produce oxygen at night, so they are ideal plants for the bedroom, whereas you want to avoid "normal" plants for the bedroom, since they will consume oxygen at night.
Aura gets her first Sansevieria

And here is Aura Meija buying a Sansevieria for her bedroom also. Aura has helped producing the Spanish version of a flyer for plants that clean the air for Miguel.

Miguel has a copy of the book in the store, and he can usually supply most of the plants that are mentioned in there, so be sure to talk to him, if you would like to make your indoor air healthier.

Saturday, April 7, 2018