Plant-Based Basics: Potatoes

The third installment of the Plant-Based Basics series. This series is designed for those who are new to a plant-based diet but I think this installment will be particularly helpful to everyone. 

I can’t tell you how often people ask me if they can eat potatoes. Even more often I hear, “I can’t eat white potatoes they are so bad for you.” Once a lady emailed me admitting she hadn’t eaten a potato in 15 years. In her attempts to lose weight she had avoided carbs and starchy vegetables but was now embracing a plant-based diet.

Plant Based Basics Potatoes

What do the Plant-Based Experts Say?

I’ll admit that the potato issue isn’t completely cut and dry. There is some disagreement among the plant-based experts. Some doctors like Dr. McDougall practically encourage unlimited potatoes while Dr. Fuhrman and other recommend limiting white potatoes if you are overweight or diabetic.

For most experts it depends on the individuals unique medical situation.

Why you Should Eat Potatoes

1. Potatoes are full of important nutrients like potassium, vitamin B-6, vitamin C and more.

2. Potatoes are fat-free, cholesterol-free, sodium-free and low in sugar.

3. Potatoes are high in fiber and most people don’t get enough fiber.

4. Potatoes are inexpensive and have a long shelf life is stored properly.

Types of Potatoes & Ways to Enjoy Them

There are over 100 varieties of potatoes. I most often eat Russet, White, Red, Sweet Potatoes, and Yams but choices vary by region.

I believe the biggest problem with potatoes is the way we choose to eat them. Most potatoes are fried in oil, served as chips, or topped with added fats in the form of oil or dairy.

Potatoes can easily be baked or roasted in the oven and taste just as good when “baked” in the Crock Pot. Some people prefer to steam or boil potatoes as well.

My Favorite Potato Recipes

I’ll often grab a leftover baked potato as a snack or a quick breakfast. I have lots of potato recipes but some of my favorite meals are happy accidents with leftover potatoes and whatever else is on hand.

plant based basics potatoes

Pictured above you’ll find Taco Potatoes, Dirty Mashed Potatoes, Lentil and Potato Stew and Breakfast Tacos/Burritos.

More favorites (pictured below) include Sweet Potato CasseroleLentil Shepherd’s Pie, Light & Fluffy Mashed Potatoes and Bean & Potato Burritos.

plant based basics potatoes

My most popular potato recipe is my Slow Cooker Potato Soup. It’s really easy to make and absolutely delicious. See my Recipe Page for more recipes featuring potatoes.

Don’t miss the previous installments of the Plant-Based Basics Series.

The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide

 

10 Reasons I Bought an Instant Pot

Even though I generally like to cook, sometimes I get tired of spending so much time in the kitchen. Our life style has changed a lot lately and I don’t have the same amount of time I used to have. I’ve been hearing about the Instant Pot from other bloggers and foodies but I wasn’t ready to commit.

0 Reasons I bought an Instant Pot

10 Reasons I Bought the Instant Pot

There are a lot of reasons I decided to buy the Instant Pot so I decided to share my list with you. If you are like me and have been wondering about the Instant Pot maybe this list will help you decide if it is right for you.

1. Cook Beans Super Fast

This is the first thing that piqued my interest. I heard that people were cooking beans in as little as 10-15 minutes for soaked beans and as long as 35-40 minutes for dry beans. Since it normally took several hours to slow cook beans this got my attention. I was really concerned that this was another single use appliance so I wasn’t won over yet. Then I heard it again and again. People I really admire were in love with their Instant Pot and it officially landed on my wish list.

2. Make Perfect Brown Rice

I’ve always thought that rice was really easy to cook. I know some people really struggle with it but it was easy for me. The first time I made brown rice in the Instant Pot I read and re-read the grain to water ratio. I was puzzled because it used less water and I was worried I would get crunchy rice. Guess what, it wasn’t crunchy it was perfect! Perhaps the most perfect rice I’ve ever made with just the right amount of “stickiness.”

Previously when I would have a busy day I’d cook rice in my Crock Pot. We love the Mexican Casserole and Cheezy Broccoli and Rice Casserole but some readers found it too mushy. The Instant Pot made these recipes perfectly in a fraction of the time. No more mushy rice.

3. Steam/Cook Veggies in Minutes

When I hold local classes I usually admit that my method of cooking is to start cooking, walk away and forget I’m cooking, smell the food later then go back to the stove to check on it. That is why all of my recipes are so simple and easy. I’ve burned more than my fair share of veggies by forgetting about them. The Instant Pot cooks veggies in minutes. Just be sure to release the steam once they are finished cooking.

4. Built in Timer (So it’s ready at dinner time)

My favorite thing about Crock Pots is that you can leave and come back to fully cooked meals. My Instant Pot goes one step further. It has a timer so it won’t start cooking until I want it to. Dinner doesn’t have to start cooking in the morning and cook all day. You can program it to begin dinner at 4:30 and keep it warm until you get home.

Even if you are home during the day think about how much time you will save by setting it up during a spare moment and not thinking about it again until dinner time.

Instant Pot

5. Easy Clean Up

My least favorite thing to do in the kitchen is washing dishes. If I could outsource it, I totally would. Sometimes I don’t cook a specific meal because I don’t want to do the dishes. The Instant Pot is really easy to clean up. It comes with a big stainless steel pot and a lid. That is all you have to wash and it’s really easy.

6. Pressure Cooking Retains More Nutrients

This one I’ll have to leave to the experts but I’ve read that pressure cooking retains more nutrients because foods cook for a shorter amount of time and less water is used. Due to the high pressure, beans and grains become more digestible. So if you’ve avoided beans and grains due to stomach issues this MAY help. (I’m not a doctor or scientist so don’t eat something that could make you sick.)

7. They are safe

You and I have all heard crazy stories of pressure cookers blowing up. I’ve resisted pressure cookers in the past because they scared me. The Instant Pot is safe! There are 10 safety features built-in to the Instant Pot including automatic pressure control, high temperature warning, and a lid that locks while pressurized plus many more.

8. Slow Cooker

The Instant Pot is roughly the same size as my slow cooker (it’s a little taller) but it does the same job with the touch of a button. If you plan to use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker regularly be sure to purchase the optional lid.

9. Saute feature

The Instant Pot can also saute with the touch of a button. So you can toss onions and garlic in, select saute, get the rest of your ingredients ready and then add them to the pot and program it to make Soup  or whatever else your heart desires.

10. All of the other Features

Believe it or not there are a lot of other features I didn’t mention. I bought the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker. In addition to all of other things I mentioned it also makes yogurt, YES VEGAN YOGURT. You can also make veggie stock, “bake” potatoes, cook a whole squash or pumpkin and loads of other things I haven’t discovered yet.

Are you won over yet? I know some of you are because I’ve had readers ask for Instant Pot recipes. Guess what, they are coming! I’m also trying out my old recipes to see what changes can be made to cook them in the Instant Pot.

Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of non-Instant Pot recipes but you may want to put it on your Christmas wish list just in case.

I loved my Instant Pot so much that I become an affiliate. If you make a purchase using links on this page I’ll make a commission at no additional cost to you. You don’t have to use these links but the money earned helps support the cost of running a website. 

Healthy Eating Challenge Meal Plan week 3

If you are participating in the 21 Day Plant-Based Healthy Eating Challenge you are now in the homestretch. If you are just hearing about this a group of us endeavored on a 21 Day challenge of eating 90% unprocessed foods with pretty aggressive daily goals. It’s not too late to join in. Read more about it here. There are still lots of prizes available!

To keep in line with the challenge this weeks Plant-Based Meal Plan will focus on unprocessed foods.

Healthy Eating Challenge Meal Plan

Healthy Eating Challenge Meal Plan

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

If you’ve been participating in the challenge I’d love to hear what you think about it!

If you aren’t participating I’ve got great news! Our next challenge will start January 1st! More details to follow.

Office Joke or Morbid Statistic

Please welcome another great guest post from my husband Jim. You can read his story here. In short, he was able to get off all medications after switching to a plant-based diet. He is passionate about letting people know they can eliminate the need for most medications through healthy living.

When I first started eating a plant-based diet, as a man I drew a good amount of attention at the office…

So Jim, why did you go from a hunter to a gatherer? …Your health, no laughing matter

I think I can take a joke as well as the next guy but some of the jokes were about manhood and off-color and hitting below the belt… well kind of…  A deathly serious problem for men in America is Erectile Dysfunction, according to a leading expert in nutrition and health, Dr. Mark Fuhrman, ED is the first clinical manifestation of Cardiovascular Disease.  Cardiovascular Disease remains our nation’s biggest killer, responsible for about one-third of the deaths in this country.  Dr. Fuhrman further shows that there is a strong relationship between ED and high blood pressure, high cholesterol, angina, stroke, heart attack and premature death.  So really, if I continued to eat the Standard American Diet (SAD), I, like millions of other Americans would be heading down a path that leads to destruction, no thanks.  My health is no laughing matter and neither is yours.

Take the jokes from the guys, your wife and family will thank you for it

When I initially went plant-based, not only was I being supportive of my wife’s quest for good health and  getting healthier myself, I also started to lose a significant amount of weight.  I not only felt better and younger, I also looked better.  The better I felt, the more active I became and the more active I became the better I felt.  Quality time with my family was truly filled with quality.  I have a great friend who is 20 years my junior, we were at a get together recently where we were playing with our young children on floor and it was caught on video.  That awesome time, would not have happened before my diet lifestyle change.

Trade your Pills for a Plant-Based Diet

The CDC, has a bunch of morbid statistics on unavoidable tragedies as well as avoidable tragedies

The best way to lower your risk of health related tragedies is to focus on a plant-based (nutrient rich) diet and exercise.  The CDC and other entities have a bunch of different morbid statistics on deaths in this country, by age, gender, causes…  If those statistics weren’t enough, in my own personal history and that of my family, there are many reasons for me to adopt this diet lifestyle change.  I want to honor my Lord and Savior, Jesus with being a good steward of this body that he has given me.  I also want to be a great husband to my great wife and a great father to my great kids, I can’t do that if I’m dead.  I don’t want to die of an avoidable tragedy.  I don’t want to be another statistic.

Struggle is OK, giving up is not.

As I’ve written in previous posts, I struggle at times just like anyone else with eating a non-nutritious meal (pancakes and French fries come to mind right now actually) and struggle is OK.  Your health however, is too important to give up on.  Take the ribbing, eat healthy anyway.

Plant-Based Holiday Meal Plan and Cookbook

It’s almost Thanksgiving and Christmas will quickly follow. Do you have a plan for the holidays?

Favorite Foods made Healthier

Food may be at the center of most holiday traditions but that doesn’t mean you have to eat poorly. In fact, many of your traditional favorites can be adapted and made healthier (and allergy-friendly).

You may need to substitute eggs, butter or oil but it can be done. I highly recommend you test each dish before the big day or follow a trusted recipe.

The Holidays can be a Slippery Slope

The problem with straying away from healthy eating habits during the holidays is that most of us don’t stop with one meal. We polish off a turkey dinner and dairy-filled sides with a couple of pieces of pie, then start all over the next day with leftovers. Then we have a “hankering” for rich and fatty foods that can only be quenched with Christmas cookies, cakes and cheese.

Does that sound familiar?

Plant-Based Holiday Meal Plan
Add to Cart

Plan for Health

I’ve collected all of my favorite traditional Holiday foods in one place. The Plant-Based Holiday Meal Plan & Cookbook is a PDF download that contains 20 recipes. This collection is perfect for anyone who eats vegan, gluten-free, or allergy-friendly.

Plant-Based Holiday Meal Plan and Cookbook

Recipes

Let’s take a closer look at the recipes!

  • Thanksgiving Sage Dressing
  • Gluten-Free Cornbread for Dressing
  • Perfectly Whipped Mashed Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato Casserole with optional Pecan Glaze
  • Thanksgiving Mushroom Gravy
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Creamy Crustless Pumpkin Pie
  • Dry Veggie Broth Mix
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Holiday Lentil Loaf
  • Cheezy Potatoes (Vegan Scalloped Potatoes)
  • Faux Cheese Sauce
  • Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad with Oil-Free Cranberry Dressing
  • Oil-Free Cranberry Salad Dressing
  • Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
  • Veggie Pot Pie (this recipe contains gluten but can be made GF using the GF Pie Crust Recipe)
  • Recipe for Easy All Purpose Sauce for Veggie Pot Pie
  • Roasted Asparagus
  • Maple Glazed Carrots
  • Gluten-Free Pie Crust (contains vegan shortening)
  • Apple Pie
  • Creamy Apple Pie Bars

Most of the recipes are also oil-free, the only exception is the pie crust. (I’ve yet to create a truly great pie crust that is gluten-free and oil-free hence the vegan shortening used in the crust).

Plant-Based Holiday Meal Plan and Cookbook

Last year I offered a Thanksgiving Meal Plan but this year I’ve taken that old Meal Plan, updated it with new recipes and made it more user-friendly. If you bought the old Thanksgiving Meal Plan I’m happy to send you this one for free. Just send me an email and I’ll verify your purchase and send you a new download link.

If you haven’t purchased it yet what are you waiting for? The Plant-Based Holiday Meal Plan is only $4.99! Add to Cart

 

It’s also available on Amazon but I HIGHLY recommend this PDF version. The Amazon version is e-reader friendly but the charts get difficult to read do to formatting changes. The larger you screen the easier it is so it will likely work fine on ipads but not as well on iphones.

 

I guarantee it will make your holiday meals healthy and delicious! It’s full of helpful information, a cooking guide and plenty of tips.

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