Photo credit: What The Health

The What the Health documentary has been called ‘the health film that health organizers don’t want you to see.’ 

As a follow-up from the creators of the award-winning documentary, Cowspiracy, the film details exactly what’s gone wrong in our food and medical systems and proposes how we might begin to fix them. For those of you who don’t have a Netflix subscription, you can watch the film online by clicking here.

In a nutshell, What the Health examines some of the key factors involved in our current public health crisis and outlines some of the benefits of reducing our production and consumption of animal-based products. These are changes that could save countless numbers of lives and save us trillions of dollars every single year.

In the accompanying new book, written by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, there are over 50 new, plant-based recipes designed to help you reclaim your life and health, in addition to diving deeper into the truth about the food that we eat. What the Health will “guide you on an adventure through this maze of misinformation” as the authors travel across the country, talking to medical professionals, public health advocates and professional athletes to reveal the real truth about the food that we eat.

Some of the awesome, new recipes include:

  • Creamy Mac
  • PB&J Smoothie
  • Winter Lentil and Pomegranate Salad
  • Mom’s Ultimate Vegan Chili
  • Black Bean Fudgy Brownies
  • Baked Apple Crumble with Coconut Cream

To celebrate the launch of their new book, Kip and Keegan gave us permission to share a recipe that is both delicious and perfectly suited to the Chipotle Method. Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think!

Sushi Bowl with Peanut Miso-Ginger Dressing

Makes: 1-2 servings

Photo credit: What The Health

This light and filling sushi bowl recipe is perfect for a light lunch or easy-to-prep dinner. And it’s Chipotle Method certified to boot!

We could all use a few more greens in our diet, and this recipe is a great excuse to use some of the spinach, bok choy or tatsoi that you have lying around the kitchen. The addition of dried nori flakes give this recipe a big nutritional boost, and the brown rice and avocado provide some real substance.

To assemble the bowl, layer each ingredient individually, starting with the greens. Add the edamame and rice, the shredded carrot and avocado, then finish with the nori flakes, sesame seeds, a drizzle of vinegar, and a drizzle of dressing, if using.

Sushi Bowl with Peanut Miso-Ginger Dressing

Ingredients for the Bowl

  • 1/2 cup spinach, tatsoi, mizuna, bok choy, or a mixture
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, cooled
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tbsp dried nori flakes
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Drizzle of umeboshi
  • plum vinegar

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup peanut or almond butter
  • 1 tbsp miso
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water

How to Prepare

To prepare the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender, and blend until creamy. In a medium bowl, layer each ingredient, starting with the greens. Add the edamame and rice, the shredded carrot and avocado, then finish with the nori flakes, sesame seeds, a drizzle of vinegar, and a drizzle of dressing, if using.

Enter to Win A Free Copy of What The Health

Click here to learn more.

Kip and Keegan, in partnership with BenBella Books Publishing, has been kind enough to provide a copy of What the Health to our community, and you can enter to win!

We’ll choose a winner by random drawing on February 15th, 2019.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Sign up for the email list using the form below. If you are already subscribed, you do NOT have to subscribe again.
  2. Leave a comment below letting us know the following: What is one small change you would like to make to start improving your health? What’s the biggest barrier that prevents you from following through?

*Note: Giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada. From What the Health by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn ; BenBella Books, 2018.

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Matcha energy bars

Matcha energy bars

Photo credit: Andrew Olsen

Summer has officially begun and there’s no better time than now to get outside and enjoy the beautiful sunny weather. Here in Boulder, Colorado there are an endless number of trails to explore and the only real problem is deciding which one to take! Not everyone loves to hike, but I think it’s true that most all of us are more active in the summertime and generally look to spend more time outdoors.

Eating well away from home is getting easier and easier as plant-based diets get more mainstream attention, but sometimes it still pays off to bring a little snack from home that can hold you over while away. A few pieces of fruit packed away in your bag are great, but sometimes you need something a little more substantial to help you make those extra miles or keep up with the kids.

When digging around on the internet for something healthy and super-energizing, I came across a recipe from One Ingredient Chef that I thought filled the part perfectly. Andrew’s super-easy energy bar recipe takes just minutes to prepare, stores well in the refrigerator, and can be eaten on-the-go. I think these bars would make a great snack before hopping in the car for an outing, or packed away for when you need a second wind.

And there is no doubt that just one of these bars will keep you energized for hours! The matcha powder is stimulating enough to keep you blazing down the trail, but when combined with the dates (a bit of sugar) and the cacao powder (a bit of theobromine), you’ve got a powerful, synergistic combo that will leave you feeling like you could conquer mountains! Matcha has well-known antioxidant properties and the cacao is chock-full of magnesium, which is perfect for strenuous, high-activity days.

Matcha energy bars

Photo credit: Andrew Olsen

Matcha Energy Bars

I really hope you enjoy our Matcha Energy Bars recipe, excerpted from the One Ingredient Chef and perfect for anyone who wants a high-energy, easy-to-digest snack that’s going to keep you buzzing all day long.

As far as preparation goes, this recipe is as easy as it gets. You can have a bag full of bars and be out the door in around 30 minutes and still have leftovers. Just throw everything together in a food processor or high-speed blender, process for a few minutes, and it’s practically done!

Feel free to adjust the amount of cacao and matcha powder if you want to play around with effects. Note that matcha powder contains caffeine and cacao powder contains theobromine. Both are stimulating and eating one of these will feel like drinking a cup of coffee.

I hope you all will take full advantage of the early summer season. I’ll see you out on the trail! Thanks to Creative Commons and Andrew Olsen of One Ingredient Chef for sharing this recipe.


Matcha Energy Bars (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup raw nuts (ideally cashews)
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon matcha powder
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Combine all the ingredients in your food processor and let it run for at least two minutes. When it's done, the mixture should form one solid, sticky clump.
  2. Take two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap and sandwich the mixture between them. Use something big and flat like a cutting board to press down evenly until the mixture is about 1/4-inch thick.
  3. Keep the layers of parchment intact and transfer everything to the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes to firm up before slicing and using a sifter to dust the tops with extra matcha powder.
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Everyday Green Smoothie

Photo credit: Carolyn Vinnicombe


It’s no surprise that smoothies are such a health food staple. They’re the perfect combination of easy-to-digest fruits with dark leafy greens, which everyone knows are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals. They leave you feeling full, clear-headed and energized, which means that they’re really great for breakfast. Eating a heavy breakfast (like oatmeal) in the spring or summer will make some people feel heavy and sleepy, which is exactly what you don’t need before a big day of work or a Saturday on the trail.

Carolyn’s everyday green smoothie recipe is super-tasty, easy to prepare, and is filling enough to get you all the way through the morning. It’s sweet, creamy, and has a little bit of bite thanks to the addition of ginger, which warms up the digestive system and makes it even easier to absorb and assimilate.

Everyday Green Smoothie

Photo credit: Carolyn Vinnicombe

Easy Everyday Green Smoothie

I really hope you enjoy our Easy Everyday Green smoothie recipe, excerpted from Carolyn’s Pantry and perfect for anyone who wants a high-energy, easy-to-digest breakfast that’s sure to put a little extra spring in your step.

As far as preparation goes, this recipe is as easy as it gets. Just throw everything together in a blender and viola, it’s done! If you’d like to get a few extra calories, feel free to throw some granola or nuts/seeds on top. Just be careful, as not everyone digests nuts/seeds and fruit very well when combined.

Preparation time is around 5 minutes and this recipe will make one big smoothie. If you don’t want to finish it all in one sitting, feel free to refrigerate what’s left for later. To avoid the fiber separating from the water/nut milk, it’s best to drink your green smoothie on the same day you make it.

This is the perfect time of year to start incorporating lighter, more energizing foods back into your diet. Thanks to Carolyn for sharing this recipe!

Easy Everyday Green Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


  • 1 banana
  • 1 large handful fresh green kale
  • 1 large handful fresh baby spinach
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh organic ginger (peeled)
  • Toppings
  • Granola
  • Fresh blueberries
  • A sprinkle of hemp seeds


  1. Blend everything up and serve!
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Spring-Cleansing Turmeric Vegetable Soup

Spring-Cleansing Turmeric Vegetable Soup

Many of us choose to eat a plant-based diet out of compassion and respect for animals, but choosing to fill our plates with fresh fruits and vegetables does more than just protect the natural environment and the animals who call it home. Even if it’s not our primary motivation, eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet has been proven to be a powerful aid in preventing and reversing chronic disease. Each time we sit down to eat in a way that supports the health of the planet, we support our own health in the process.

Eating a diet that’s centered around plants has a natural healing and cleansing effect on the body, especially as we introduce more raw foods, but many of us feel called to take a more active approach in our cleansing and detoxifying process. And now just happens to be the perfect time to do that!

As we move into spring, the days are getting longer and the temperatures are getting warmer. Life is reawakening all over the planet and we start to feel a shift in our own bodies and minds. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is thought that the cycles and rhythms of the human body are closely intertwined with nature. During the cold, winter months, our bodies gravitate towards semi-hibernation. We slow down, crave heavier, more comforting foods, and spend more time in leisurely activities like reading and watching movies.

In the spring, as new life emerges and regenerates itself, we feel naturally drawn towards being more active, spending more time outdoors, and eating lighter, more energizing foods. This presents a great opportunity to shed a little excess weight and clean out the toxins that have been accumulated and stored over the course of our winter dormancy.

Spring-Cleansing Turmeric Vegetable Soup

Photo credit: Ingrid DeHart

We recently found a recipe on the Eat Well, Enjoy Life blog that we thought would be perfect for early spring when we’re slowly waking from our winter slumber. It’s a recipe that’s hearty and fulfilling, but light and full of detoxifying ingredients at the same time.

Ingrid DeHart’s vegetable turmeric soup is full of flavorful ingredients and healing spices that will please your palate and give your digestive system the boost it needs to cleanse from the inside out. The turmeric fights inflammation and reduces gas and bloating, while the ginger and garlic stimulate the digestive tract to shed excess mucous and re-balance the intestinal wall. The other ingredients in this recipe, like coconut oil, carrots and kale all have well-known health benefits and healing properties of their own.

No special tools or kitchen skills are required to make this warming, healing soup. Just a knife, a cutting board and a pot to throw everything together in will suffice. If you’re looking to shed a few excess pounds or just want a little more spring in your step as we move into spring, we hope you’ll give our spring-cleansing vegetable turmeric soup a try!

Preparation time is around 20 minutes and the soup will take an additional 30 minutes to cook. One big pot will easily serve a family of 4. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Note: You could alter this recipe in a number of ways. We love the combination of flavors that Ingrid has created in this recipe, but the vegetables used are merely suggestions. Feel free to use whatever you have lying around the house or really love. The ginger and garlic do most of the cleansing work in this recipe, but if you’re choosing to avoid hot, stimulating spices and herbs, feel free to omit them. Turmeric is incredibly purifying on it’s own. For those eating a paleo diet, feel free to omit the beans.

This is the perfect time of year to start incorporating lighter, more cleansing foods back into your diet. Thanks to Ingrid DeHart and Eat Well, Enjoy Life for sharing this recipe!

Spring-cleansing Vegetable Turmeric Soup (Vegan, Gluten-free)


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric root or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced (3-4 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ of 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed or 1/2 cup of dried white beans, cooked (optional)
  • Cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium-low.
  2. Add onion and stir. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the onions begin to brown.
  3. Add carrots and celery, cook for 3-5 more minutes, until the vegetables soften.
  4. Add turmeric, garlic and ginger; stir until the vegetables are coated.
  5. Cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  6. Add broth or water, salt, and pepper; stir. Bring to a boil.
  7. Add cauliflower. Cover and reduce heat.
  8. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
  9. When the cauliflower is fork tender, add beans and kale.
  10. Cook until the kale is slightly wilted, 2-3 minutes.
  11. Serve hot garnished with cilantro.
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Brooklyn Barley Stew

Brooklyn Barley Stew

Have you ever experienced recipe overload in trying to find something to make for dinner? Thanks to the internet, we live in a world where thousands upon thousands of recipes are available at our finger tips at all times, but how can you separate the wheat from the chaff? If you’re new to the plant-based diet, how can you be sure that that hodgepodge of strange-sounding ingredients is actually going to taste good when mixed together?

In their new book, The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook, top-ten vegetarian author Victoria Mann and pressure-cooking extraordinaire JL Fields have teamed up with with over a hundred certified vegan lifestyle coaches to share 100 of their favorite plant-based recipes. Regardless of whether you’re a long time vegetarian/vegan or just dipping your toes in the world of plant-based eating, The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook is a great place to put your recipe search to rest.

In addition to 100+ recipes, Victoria and JL’s new book offers practical advice on the following topics:

  • Dubunking the myth of plant-based eating being expensive, complicated and weird.
  • How to pave your own path to health.
  • Troubleshooting and FAQ’s on vegetarian and vegan diets.
  • Menu plans that will keep you inspired and innovating in the kitchen.

To celebrate the launch of their new book, Victoria and JL sent us a recipe to share that we think is perfect for soothing the soul when you’ve got a case of mid-winter blues. Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think!

Brooklyn Barley Stew

Makes: 6-8 servings

Brooklyn Barley Stew

Photo credit: The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook

Created by Victoria Moran and JL Fields, this warming and hearty barley stew recipe is a perfect for deep winter nights when you’re in the mood for something soothing and nutritious. There are few things more comforting than a big bowl of steaming-hot stew, especially when it doesn’t take hours to prepare. You really can feel your body relax and mind slow down with each and every bite.

With this recipe, a few simple ingredients combine to make a healthy, plant-based stew that is packed with flavor. This delicious make-ahead dish only gets better as it sits, so fix it today and eat it tomorrow or save some leftovers…if you can help not gobbling it all down at once. 

A few notes: Traditional stew vegetables were used for this recipe, but feel free to substitute with whatever you like and/or have lying around the house. One of the great things about soup and stew is that you really can make substitutions to your hearts content and still get great results. Additionally, for those who are avoiding gluten, you can substitute rice, garbanzo beans or even quinoa for the barley and it’s equally as delicious.

One-pot Brooklyn Barley Stew (Vegan, Gluten-Free Options)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup pearl barley (substitute rice, garbanzo beans or quinoa for those who are gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 plant-based bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon plant-based bouillon powder
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn into 2-inch pieces
  • Salt (optional)


  1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent and soft, about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir to coat with oil. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are starting to brown.
  2. Add the barley and stir to combine. Stir in the wine, if using, and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the carrots. Pour in the broth and raise the heat to high. Add the bouillon and stir until it is dissolved. Cover the pot and bring the broth to a rolling boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook, covered, for 45 minutes, or until the barley is tender.
  3. When the barley is tender, stir in the kale. It will look like a lot, but as you stir it in, it will wilt down. Taste and add salt if needed.

Enter To Win A Free Copy of The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook

Victoria and JL have been kind enough to provide a copy of The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook to our community, and you can enter to win!

We’ll choose a winner by random drawing on February 14th, 2018.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Sign up for the email list using the form below. If you are already subscribed, you do NOT have to subscribe again.
  2. Leave a comment below letting us know the following: What is one small change you make to start improving your health? What’s the biggest barrier that prevents you from following through?

*Note: Giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada. From The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook by Victoria Moran and JL Fields; recipe by Michael Suchman (BenBella Books, 2017).


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The holiday season is upon us again and with that comes a rush of family and activity. These are all great things, and many of us look forward to the flurry of preparations and celebration all year long,  but the holidays can also leave us with little to no time to get in the kitchen and prepare healthy meals for ourselves. Even the most disciplined and dedicated health-warriors among us are often left wanting come late-December.  Not only do we not have the time to prepare healthy meals, we barely have enough time to go to the grocery store!

And so the question is: how can we create nourishing, flavorful meals for ourselves and our loved ones with little to no free time and with only a few odd-and-end ingredients lying around the kitchen?

We recently found a recipe on the One Ingredient Chef blog that we thought would be perfect for busy times when simple meals are in dire need. With this recipe, your slow-cooker does most all of the work for you, giving you the freedom to focus your attention where it’s most needed.

And just because this dish takes so little time to put together doesn’t mean that you’ll have to sacrifice on taste. Slow-cookers are great for melding flavors together over the course of several hours, tricking your palate into thinking that much more time and effort went into the meal than what it did.


Photo credit: Andrew Olsen

If you’ve never used a slow cooker before or you don’t have one, you can get the same results just by putting all of your ingredients together and cooking them slowly over low heat. There’s actually a lot of different ways ratatouille can be made, but all of them involve thinly slicing squash, peppers, onions, and usually eggplant into thin rounds and lining them around a pan with with whatever herbs you have in the kitchen.

In the end, no matter which cooking method you choose, I think you’ll find that our one-pot ratatouille recipe is perfect for times when life gets hectic and packaged, instant meals tend to sneak their way in. If you’re craving something warm and hearty during the holiday season, have just a few leftover veggies lying around and aren’t sure what to do with them, we hope you’ll give our ratatouille recipe a try!


Photo credit: Andrew Olsen

Preparation time is around 15 to 20 minutes and this recipe will easily serve a family of 4. Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

Note: You could alter this recipe in a number of ways. We omitted eggplant, but you could easily layer in some of that as well. You can use your favorite prepared marinara pasta sauce or make some from scratch if you are feeling adventurous. Italian herbs like thyme and tarragon would work really well with this recipe too.

This is the perfect time of year to break out your slow cooker and create flavorful dishes even if you’re short on time. Thanks to Andrew Olsen and Creative Commons at One Ingredient Chef for sharing this recipe!

Easy Potato Ratatouille (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


  • 3 cups marinara sauce (any kind)
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 1 large or 2 small zucchini
  • 2 yellow crookneck squash
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Basil, for garnish
  • Ground cashews, for garnish


  1. Wash and slice the potatoes, zucchini, squash, red bell peppers, and red onion into thin rounds (1/8-inch or thinner). If you have a mandolin, that makes things much easier but you can also do it by hand. Also mince a few cloves of garlic and set aside.
  2. Pour one cup of the pasta sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker, then (the hardest part) overlap the veggies and potatoes in a circular pattern around the edges (and fill in the middle) until you’ve used them all. Stop after each row and add a dash of salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Note: you may not want to use full slices of onion on each level, feel free to use just 1-2 rings each time you layer the onions.
  3. Pour about 2 cups more sauce on top (it will slowly trickle down as it cooks) and slow-cook on high for about 3-4 hours until the potatoes are tender. To serve, garnish with some fresh basil and/or vegan “parmesan” which can be made by blending cashews (plus nutritional yeast and salt, if you’d like) in a high-powered blender until they’re pulverized.



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Smoothie bowl

Many of our readers write-in to say that they have trouble getting their kids interested in eating plant-based foods on a regular basis. I don’t have kids of my own, but I can totally sympathize with the challenge. How can we get kids excited about healthy, organic, plant-based foods when they’re surrounded by endless quantities of junk food and advertisements that encourage them to eat them?

We recently found a recipe on the Fork and Beans blog that we thought would be perfect for introducing more plant-based foods into your child’s everyday diet. With her inventive smoothie bowls, Cara Ansis hits the nail on the head when it comes to creating food for kids that’s both tasty and fun, while also ensuring that they’re meeting their daily nutritional needs.

Photo credit: Cara Ansis

Smoothie bowls are jam-packed with an abundance of fresh fruits and are often accompanied by plant-based yogurt and plant-based milk, which you can either pick up from your local natural foods store or make on your own if you have the right kitchen tools.

If you’ve never made a smoothie bowl, this recipe may look a little intimidating. However, being that prep time is only a few minutes from beginning to end, just about everyone will have the time to quickly put one together, even as a last minute snack when the kids are hungry and reaching for something unhealthy. It’s really as simple as blending together a few ingredients, spooning the blended mixture into a couple of bowls, and putting some fresh fruit on top.

The next time you’re left wondering what to make for your kids who don’t seem to eat anything you make, we hope you’ll give our smoothie bowls a try! They’re delicious enough that you may just want to make one for yourself!

Photo credit: Cara Ansis

Preparation time is 15 minutes and this recipe serves 2.

Per Cara’s recipe, you can get super-creative with this recipe and turn your smoothie bowls into creative designs like animals, rainbows, or even flowers! Using fresh fruit, the possibilities are truly endless.

Smoothie bowls are safe for kids who have allergies to nuts, soy or grains so long as you choose plant-based dairy products that don’t contain them (there are some great plant-based milks out there that are made from pea protein).

We hope you and your kids will enjoy these awesome smoothie bowls, courtesy of Cara Ansis of Fork and Beans! Click here to see the full recipe on the Fork and Beans blog.


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Mushroom Sage Lasagna

Mushroom Sage Lasagna

Photo Credit: Heather Crosby

The majority of cookbooks do not capture the improvisational, casual cooking that most people do every day. In fact, most cooking done in homes doesn’t even involve recipes: we throw together dishes that we know and love while adding in our signature twists, and break out the cookbooks when we can get to the store.

Our friend Heather Crosby has a new recipe book out that celebrates the freestyle, stress-free type of cooking we pull off with regularity by proposing healthy “choose-your-own-adventure” templates for cooking. Her book is called YumUniverse Pantry To Plate: Improvise Meals You Love – from What You Have and it’s a one-of-a-kind plant-based, gluten-free recipe playbook that opens up a world of possibilities for home cooking.

One recipe that really stood out to us was the plant-based lasagna. Lasagna is one of those foods that just about everyone grew up eating and still loves today. Because of that, it fills a certain need when we’re craving something comforting that reminds us of mom’s home-cooking. Better still, Heather’s recipe is 100% plant-based and gluten free.

Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think!

Created by the talented Heather Crosby, our Mushroom & Sage Lasagna recipe is perfect for anyone who doesn’t feel like running out to the grocery store for a long list of ingredients or for those who enjoy a more spontaneous, freestyle approach to cooking.

Mushroom & Sage Lasagna

Makes: 8+ servings

People of all dietary preferences love this recipe! This would make a great dish for a potluck or for when catering for family and friends, even if they’re not plant-based. Per Heather’s style, substitutions with what you have available in the kitchen right now are welcome. Have fun experimenting and see what you can come up with!

Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna would be great served with a simply dressed side salad and a loaf of gluten-free bread. To add to the base recipe, feel free to include extra veggies in the lasagna, such as artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, red bell peppers or squash.

Mushroom & Sage Lasagna (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


  • ½ cup (70 g) raw, unsalted almonds
  • ¼ cup (25 g) raw, unsalted pecans
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Fresh-cracked black pepper
  • Pinch of fresh-ground nutmeg
  • 3 large leaves kale, chopped into small pieces
  • One 9-ounce (255 g) package gluten-free lasagna noodles
  • 2½ cups (340 g) cashews, soaked 4 to 6 hours, drained, and rinsed
  • 1½ cups (360 ml) water
  • ½ cup (65 g) pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 to 6 sage leaves
  • 1½ pounds (680 g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large shallots, sliced or diced (about 1 cup/80 g)
  • 1 tablespoon Sucanat or coconut palm sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 batch Maudie’s Tomato Sauce, or two 24-ounce (680 g) jars pasta sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). In a food processor, pulse together the almonds, pecans, 1 teaspoon of the oil, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the nutmeg until dusty. Add the kale and pulse 3 times.
  2. Prepare the noodles according to the box instructions—layer them in rows on sheets of parchment to keep the noodles from sticking to each other.
  3. Make a cashew cream sauce by blending the cashews, water, pine nuts, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the sage until smooth; set aside.
  4. Place the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, the mushrooms, shallots, Sucanat, and a pinch of salt in a skillet heated to medium. Stir occasionally for 7 to 10 minutes, until they caramelize and brown. Add the wine (if using), stir for 2 more minutes or until it cooks off, and remove from the heat.
  5. Add 3 spoonfuls of tomato sauce into a lasagna pan; spread it around and top with noodles side by side. Spread a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce and cashew cream sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle with the mushrooms, season the layer with a pinch of salt and fresh pepper, then top with another layer of noodles. Repeat these steps, seasoning each layer with a pinch of salt and pepper, until all the noodles, sauces, and mushrooms are used. Sprinkle with the almond-pecan-kale topping, cover with parchment, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and bake 20 more minutes until bubbling.

Enter To Win A Free Copy of Pantry to Plate

Pantry to Plate

Learn more about Pantry to Plate

Heather has been gracious enough to provide a copy of Pantry to Plate to our community, and you can enter to win!

We’ll choose a winner by random drawing on August 31st, 2017.

Here’s how to enter:

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Stop Shaming

Stop ShamingOver time, I’ve become better and better at navigating social situations while making food choices that align with my values. I get better at the dance of going out to eat with friends, going to parties, and traveling while enjoying myself without falling off track or feeling like an outsider.

But last week I was at a conference in Baltimore for my work as a web developer, and the food issue was especially challenging. Take a look at this group text from last week as our team was deciding where to eat.

Two things to consider:

  1. I mentioned that I was going to slip away to a vegan, soul food restaurant I had heard about, but didn’t mean to suggest that the whole group should go (someone else texted that to the group).
  2. I’m close friends with the guy who sent this text and talk openly about these things with him. I didn’t take it personally, as the text might suggest.

But still, it’s a good representation of the kind of social pressures that many of us have to deal with on a nearly constant basis.

The more I look, the more I see this kind of health shaming everywhere

And it’s not just limited to conversations between friends and family. Blatant examples of health shaming can be found in the media and in pop culture at large.

As an example, take a look at this article about a new juicer that has been making headlines recently, entitled,“As Juicero gets publicly shamed, let us not forget that juice itself is a lie.

This quote, taken from the article, is especially troubling:

“Juice is one of the pillars of the modern wellness movement, right up there with yoga, healing crystals, Korean sheet masks, and whatever else Goop is hawking this week. And wellness is the ultimate 21st-century status symbol. Forget about designer labels and expensive vacations. There’s nothing more difficult to attain, or more enviable, than a natural glow from within. To that point, whether we’re forking over $400 for a Silicon Valley-approved juicer or $10 for a local shop’s kale-ginger-cucumber-apple blend, we’re not just paying for puréed produce. We’re buying into a vision of ourselves at our radiant, virtuous, energized best. Buying cold-pressed juice has always been a way to signal to ourselves, and the world, that we’re enlightened enough to prioritize our health—and financially secure enough to invest in it.”

There is no doubt that wellness services and products are largely available only to those of a certain socio-economic class. We need to do more to make healthful food available and affordable to everyone.

And as wellness has become trendier, it HAS become a certain kind of status symbol. But frankly, I find it seriously awesome that people may be more interested in buying organic produce, taking a yoga or meditation class, or sipping a green juice instead of buying hummers and huge houses.

TV shows love to make fun of plant-based eaters and talk about how gross raw food is. Journalists love to publish stories about how there isn’t any evidence to support claims made about the benefits of supplements and detoxification.

I’m not saying that we should ignore the science. It is true that certain supplements can do more harm than good. We need to do our due diligence by consulting with qualified medical professionals and pay close attention to the data being released by independent quality-control companies like Labdoor that test supplements for their safety and purity.

There may not be many scientific studies that show how certain foods aid in the detoxification process, but I’ve personally been witness to some incredible health transformations over the years. When I worked at the Tree of Life, many of the guests arriving with Type 2 diabetes were off all medication and had a normal fasting blood sugar level by the time they left – and that was after just three weeks on a plant-based, low-glycemic diet.

I don’t know if they were “detoxing” or not, but I can tell you that they made life-changing improvements to their health and well-being.

I’ve been doing a lot of outreach for our new, big project lately, fueled by some truly shocking facts.

According to the CDC, 7 out of 10 people in the US die from chronic diseases that are largely preventable.1

1 out of 4 people continue to die from heart disease.2 As many as 1 in 3 adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue.3 More than 2 out of 3 Americans are considered overweight or obese.4 These chronic conditions are epidemic.

Yet we already have a solution to this crisis.

Through diet and lifestyle changes alone, we can reduce heart disease by 90%5,6, type 2 diabetes by 92%7, stroke by 80%8 and cancer risk by up to 60%9. In 2013, Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care organization in the United States, noted that despite the strong body of evidence in support of a plant-based diet as a first-line treatment for chronic disease, physicians often ignore the facts in favor of quickly prescribing medications. The medical community is not giving patients a chance to manage their disease through healthy eating and active living.10

The hard truth is that so many of our loved-ones will experience a significant decline in their quality of life and eventually die, in part, because of what they choose to eat.

As Americans, we pay more for health care than other nations and yet as much as 86% of our healthcare costs could be avoided through simple changes in diet and lifestyle.1

And for that reason, I’m super-grateful for the fact that people have discovered juicing and yoga, even if it has become a trendy status symbol. I don’t give a damn what’s motivating people to eat more veggies, when just 2.5 servings per day can reduce early mortality by over 13%.11

The Real Cost of Health Shaming

The Standard American Diet is literally killing us, has a huge environmental impact and costs us over a trillion dollars each year in medical bills. It’s making the people that we love sick.

This is too important for me to not speak up. This isn’t a trend. This is a movement that must grow, because we have no other option than to radically change our current food culture if we want to live happy, healthy lives and do better for our planet.

So how about we stop shaming people who choose to buy $10 juices, and instead focus on making real, organic, plant-based food more available to everyone, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Let’s stop making fun of people who are gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo or whatever else they are because they choose to take on the difficult task of standing in opposition to the cultural norm in order to create better health for themselves and their families.

Let’s stop fighting about what diet is best, and celebrate each and every small victory that moves people towards eating more veggies and less processed food.

We need to shift the cultural conversation and stop alienating those of us who have the courage to make personal changes in a society that continues to marginalize and shame them. You might feel like an outsider in your community, but our movement is growing. Our strength and numbers are growing. We are in this together, and the more that we create acceptance, the more the tides will turn.


  1. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “Chronic Disease Overview.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Feb. 2016. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
  2. CDC, NCHS. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2013 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2015. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2013, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed Feb. 3, 2015.
  3. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “Number of Americans with Diabetes Projected to Double or Triple by 2050.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 Oct. 2010. Web. 03 May 2017.
  4. “Overweight & Obesity Statistics.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 03 May 2017.
  5. Chiuve, S. E., M. L. McCullough, F. M. Sacks, and E. B. Rimm. “Healthy Lifestyle Factors in the Primary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease among Men: Benefits among Users and Nonusers of Lipid-lowering and Antihypertensive Medications.” Circulation. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 11 July 2006. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
  6. Akesson, A., C. Weismayer, P. K. Newby, and A. Wolk. “Combined Effect of Low-risk Dietary and Lifestyle Behaviors in Primary Prevention of Myocardial Infarction in Women.”Archives of Internal Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 22 Oct. 2007. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
  7. Hu, F. B., J. E. Manson, M. J. Stampfer, G. Colditz, S. Liu, C. G. Solomon, and W. C. Willett. “Diet, Lifestyle, and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Women.” The New England Journal of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 13 Sept. 2001. Web. 01 Apr. 2017.
  8. Chiuve, Stephanie E., Kathryn M. Rexrode, Donna Spiegelman, Giancarlo Logroscino, JoAnn E. Manson, and Eric B. Rimm. “Primary Prevention of Stroke by Healthy Lifestyle.”Circulation. American Heart Association, Inc., 26 Aug. 2008. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
  9. Katz, David L. “Facing The Facelessness Of Public Health: What’s The Public Got To Do With It?”. American Journal of Health Promotion 25.6 (2011): p361. Print.
  10. Tuso, Philip. “Nutritional Update For Physicians: Plant-Based Diets”. The Permanente Journal 17.2 (2013): 61-66. Web.
  11. Boseley, Sarah. “Forget Five a Day, Eat 10 Portions of Fruit and Veg to Cut Risk of Early Death.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 22 Feb. 2017. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
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We are giving away a free copy of Dr. Greger’s book! To enter, fill out our 2015 reader survey.

I was shocked when I found out that the leading cause of death in the United States could be eliminated by changing what’s on our plates.

One out of every four Americans currently dies of heart disease — a condition that can be not only prevented, but REVERSED with a whole-food, plant-based diet.

If that was the only benefit of the plant-powered path, it would still be a strong argument for making veggies the main course.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood-pressure and other chronic conditions can all be improved by simple changes in diet and lifestyle.

And sometimes these kinds of lifestyle interventions are more effective than prescription pills and surgeries.

These powerful statistics carry a personal touch. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t been affected by one of these diseases, whether personally or through a close friend or family member.

It’s absolutely heart breaking. But we can do better.

How Not To Die

Today, I’m thrilled to share an interview with Michael Greger, MD,  internationally-renowned nutrition expert and founder of what I consider to be the best evidence-based nutrition site on the web,

Dr. Greger released his latest book last week which is taking this life-saving message to the mainstream.

In How Not To Die, Dr. Greger reviews an incredible amount of medical literature in order to find the best nutrition and lifestyle interventions for the fifteen leading causes of death — diseases that claim the lives of 1.6 million Americans each year.

The book is a great reference if you are looking for specific recommendations, such as the best foods for treating hypertension.

Greger also provides actionable advice on how to make lifestyle changes stick, and a daily dozen checklist of foods to add to your diet to get the biggest benefit.

I hope you enjoy the interview. But most importantly, please help get this critical message out.

Together we can begin to fix a broken food system, a broken healthcare system, and literally save a million lives. Share this with someone that could benefit from the information.

Watch the interview and learn:

  • (3:50) The 3 biggest killers that can be reversed by changing your diet
  • (10:20) The two guidelines to radically simplify conflicting health information
  • (16:10) The biggest deficiency in modern diets, and how it makes us fat
  • (26:11) The shocking reason why we may choose medication and surgery over lifestyle
  • (28:31) The single most important foods that should be added to every diet

Show notes:

If you like this video, please subscribe to our youtube channel!

Enter To Win A Free Copy Of The Book!

Dr. Greger has been gracious enough to provide a copy of How Not To Die to our community, and you can enter to win!

To enter, fill out our 2015 reader surveyWe’ll be randomly selecting a recipient from the entires and notifying the winner on Tuesday, December 29th.

UPDATE: The giveaway has now ended. Congrats to Karen R!

*Note: Only open to residents of the continental US.

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