Thursday, March 31, 2022

PPMNY 3rd Anniversary at Neerob Restaurant in the Bronx

A lovely dinner celebration was held at Neerob Restaurant on Starling Avenue in the Bronx, and it was a small demonstration of how Whole Foods, Plant-Based nutrition is reaching more and more people, along with lifestyle medicine.

#WFPB, Lifestyle Medicine, Neerob, PPMNY
Behind us is the banner from PPMNY, in the center is Md "Khokon" Rahman, the owner of Neerob, and from left to right, Tee Jay, Fr. David Powers, Rogier FvV, Khokon, Diane Brownlee, Lenwood Hicks, Nathanael Smith, and the Rev. Edith Mayfield.

The stories are interesting. Khokon was first introduced to plant-based food through me, and Neerob Restaurant was the first restaurant in the Bronx to be certified by Plant Pure Communities as of February of 2019. Before Coronavirus, for a few years, we had a Dinner for Doctors every six months, where there would be a substantive medical or nutritional presentation and we often had 40-50 people. Fr. David and myself had a monthly dinner, which we have recently resumed, on the 4th Tuesday of the month, at 9PM (after Bible class at St. Helenas). I also was conducting #WFPB cooking classes at the school cafeteria at St. Helena's school, which we hope to resume soon.

Neerob is a restaurant that services the local community, and predominantly Bangladeshi, but it has interesting menu options. Usually there is a "Tropical Bean Salad," which is #WFPB qualified. And there are a few #WFPB items on the menu, but they should always be ordered in advance directly with Khokon or with Shamim, for the demand is still infrequent. We are now planning to introduce a #WFPB Market Special Dinner at a fixed price, and, for about 50% premium, a #WFPB Market Special Dinner +1 with enough take home (except for the rice) for 1 other person or another day. Details will be forthcoming shortly, and posted on the Neerob website.

As to the various participants, the backstories are interesting, for they are a demonstration of how word about Lifestyle Medicine and Whole Foods, Plant-Based nutrition is getting around.

The Rev. Edith Mayfield is an ambassador for the Heartsmarts program, at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, developed by Dr. Naa-Solo Tettey and directed by Dr. Holly Anderson of the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute. This shows again that the knowledge of plant-based nutrition is spreading. This program is focused on racial inequities, but I assure you "Southern Food," or "comfort food" is bad for white people too. ;-)

Nathanael Smith and Tee Jay graced us with their presence, coming all the way from Jersey City. Nathanael is ACLM certified Nurse Practitioner at the famous Ethos Primary care and Tee Jay also works in the healthcare field. They are a living example of how the word is spreading. And it is very exciting that there are ACLM-qualified practitioners like Nathanael in the field.
Interestingly, Nathanael shared with us that they now routinely test people for TMAO, which is the toxic chemical that is produced in your gut if you eat animal protein. Regular doctors do not pay attention to these things, but this is a very simple and direct test to ascertain your gut health, for TMAO is a reactive oxygen species, and your gut simply stops making it if you go plant-based.

Fr. David Powers and myself have both attended some of the trainings from Dr. Robert Ostfeld's Cardiac Wellness Program, and I used to attend the annual Montefiore Einstein Preventative Cardiology Conference, also B.C. - Before Coronavirus. Dr. Robert Ostfeld is definitely one of the leaders in the Lifestyle Medicine arena and whole foods, plant-based nutrition. Throughout the Montefiore Einstein system, plant based nutrition is becoming more available, and more doctors are recommending it.

The Menu for this dinner consisted of:

  • Vegetable Barley Soup
  • Grilled Veggie Oreganato
  • Vegetable Pasta
  • Salad with nuts
  • Whole Wheat Roti and Brown Rice
  • Moong dal with Squash
It was finger-liking good all the way around, and the company was great!




Monday, March 28, 2022

Hausa Koko, a new ingredient for breakfast

 Ok, is a picture still worth a thousand words? We shall see. I found this Hausa Koko at my nearby African store, Lady Afrique International Market, at 1406 Castle Hill Avenue.

Hausa Koko

The ingredients are fascinating:
Millet flour,
West Africa Black Pepper

I have made porridge from it directly and it works well, if you're into a breakfast that puts hair on your chest. It definitely has a hint of hot spices, but I love that, and while it may be counter intuitive to some, it combines well with sweet, including all my typical fruit and dried fruits:

  • grated apple
  • blueberries
  • raisins
  • goji berries
  • dates
  • cacao nibs and some cacao powder
And for a topping some strawberries and banana, hempseeds, and balsamic vinegar.

I think I may like it even better mixed with my steelcut oats, about 50/50. In that case I am leaving out my usual teaspoon of cinnamon, as I don't think that would combine very well. I have made it both ways, and I think I prefer the blend, for the steelcut oats add some more substance. I don't like the smooth porridge as much.

And here's the store front, in case you were looking for it:

Friday, March 4, 2022

Breakfast scramble

A friend gave me this amazing hot sauce from Sakara, a company that offers delivered meals and some food products that are plant-based, without actually following #WFPB nutrition. However, it is always fun to adopt recipes, and make them #WFPB, so here goes with a breakfast scramble that I found is quite amazing, it used one ingredient from Sakara, a limited edition Hot Pepper Sauce, but you can of course use your own favorite hot pepper sauce. Theirs was somewhat hot and very aromatic: 

Breakfast Bowl:


Besan (Chickpea flour) Scramble

  • 1/3 cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp kala namak (black salt)
  • 1/2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (or fresh turmeric if you have it)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water


  • 1-2 onions, garlic to taste,
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 1-2 sliced jalapeƱo peppers - to taste
  • 1-3 sliced thai chilis - to taste


  • 1 cup spring mix greens
  • 1/2 avocado sliced
  • 1 cup water with Yondu, or Braggs Liquid Aminos


- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp of your favorite hot sauce


  • Whisk all the chickpea scramble ingredients in a bowl and let it sit for 5 mins.
  • In a pan over medium heat, caramelize the onions, and add the peppers (jalapeƱos, chilis, or whatever), sear the mushrooms with the scallions, using the cup of water with Yondu, until they moisture evaporates.
  • Pour the Chickpea Scramble over the mushroom mixture. Stir to create the "scramble," add more water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Place your favorite cooked grains in a bowl, and layer your spring greens on top.
  • Make a dressing for the lemon juice with the hot sauce and sprinkle it over the greens
  • Pour out the Chickpea Scramble on top of this, and enjoy!