In my last post I mentioned I took the ferry to Port Townsend to attend a meeting of the Port Townsend Vegan Meetup Group, because they were hosting a talk by Dr. Michael Klaper. I've never heard Dr. Klaper speak before, and was, in fact, unfamiliar with his work other than knowing he advocated a no-oil, vegan, whole foods lifestyle as a way to maintain or regain health. He also says sugar should be used as a favoring agent, not a food. His 'talk' turned out to be a 3-1/2 hour class on becoming healthier through diet. He addressed many health issues, from the reasons people struggle to lose weight, to the connections between diet and ailments like rheumatoid arthritis, leaky gut and heart disease. He also incorporated animal rights into his talk. Dr. Klaper is such a genuine, compassionate, intellegent, knowledgeable and humorous speaker, his talk went by in a flash. And I was inspired to incorporate his ideas into my daily meals. (At the end of the post, I'll provide a link to the talk I listened to so you can hear it, too.) I don't know if I can keep it up, but I've managed to follow his suggestions for a little more than a week. (It will be kind of impossible for me to do when eating out because I don't have the kind of resolve that Dr. Klaper has. He suggests eating before you go, and ordering a plain salad or soup. Not there, yet. I was out to dinner with the family last night and ordered lentil soup and dolmas, which was exactly what I wanted — but I could tell the dolmas, at least, were pretty oily.)
I've never been able (or willing) to remove extracted oils from my diet, and, in fact, thought it was kind of overkill, but I'm reconsidering. I know people who have followed Dr. John McDougall's similar no-oil diet for years, and they love it. One of them started following it because she has MS, and she went into remission. I've been making no-oil dishes lately, but I will probably be posting both my experiments with no-added-oil foods as well as the usual choices.
Dr. Klaper suggested eating very large salads for lunch and using the slow cooker to make soups that last for a few days. He really does love soup! I followed his lead with a couple of slow-cooker creations. I have to admit when I read a recipe that has tons of ingredients, my interest starts to dwindle. But, when I'm making something up on the fly, adding a load of ingredients seems easy. The soup took about a half hour to prep, using ingredients I had on hand. I steamed the broccoli separately and added it at the end because cooking broccoli in a soup isn't as good-tasting as adding it just before serving. Although the ingredients look pretty basic, the soup surprised me with its rich, delicious flavor. Even my husband, who thought not sauteing the veggies in oil would ruin the taste, loved it.
This is what I piled into my six quart crock pot:
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 or 4 large carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces, then sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 small cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, 1/2-inch dice
- 1 can of low-sodium black beans (or other beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and drained (I learned this broth-enhancing trick from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cook books)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes ('nooch') (You won't taste it in the end.)
- 1 quart low sodium soup stock (can use water instead)
- enough water to fill the pot to the cooking line
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (for non-spicy soup, use 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or 1 teaspoon paprika plus 1/2 to 1 teaspoon liquid smoke)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- juice of 1/2 to 1 small lemon (to taste)
- two cups of chopped broccoli (about one large stalk), steamed (in a bamboo steamer, if you have one.)
- fresh or dried herbs as desired (I used fresh oregano and thyme from my garden, but parsley, basil, rosemary or cilantro also would be good.)
- Add the onions, garlic, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, lentils, yeast flakes, stock and water to a six-quart crock pot.
- Stir in the chipotle chile powder (or paprika and liquid smoke).
- Cook on high for four hours, then low for one to two more hours, until veggies are tender.
- Steam the broccoli and add to the pot. Stir in salt, lemon juice and herbs.
- Taste for seasonings, Eat.
Here is the link to Dr. Klaper's talk, should you wish to listen. There is a brief introduction by one of the PT Meetup organizers, before Dr. Klaper's talk.