My Beef with Meat comes out today! I haven’t read it yet but I can hardly wait to. Engine 2 is a trusted brand for whole, plant-based nutrition and education.
I discovered Engine 2 at the beginning of my plant-based journey. After seeing Rip on Forks Over Knives I went into a Barnes & Noble and parked myself in a comfy seat and started reading The Engine 2 Diet. It was such an easy and informative read. My Beef with Meat is said to be a definitive guide to convincing everyone that plant-based eating is the way to go. I will be buying it!
When we first transitioned to a plant-based diet we had no idea what we were doing. I’m sure you can relate too. We wanted to eat food that would nourish and fuel our bodies. We didn’t know how to shop or cook for health. As we searched we were bombarded with vegan foods that were far from healthy. Engine 2 was an easy to understand, reliable source of information. Rip’s Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue was eye opening; goodbye Earth Balance, you’ll be missed.
After February 2012
Since changing our diet I found relief from chronic bladder problems including a possible interstitial cystitis diagnosis and lost weight, you can read more about my story here. My husband’s story is truly inspirational. He has lost over 50 pounds and no longer needs medication for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma, acid reflux, and seasonal allergies.
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Let’s chat with Rip
Why did you write this book?
I’ve discovered that there is a HUGE disconnect between what people think is healthy and what
medical science knows to be healthy; for example, people have been bamboozled into believing
that olive oil, Greek yogurt, chicken, and fish are healthy. Many people think the diet of the day
is salmon, low fat dairy, and olive oil, washed down with a glass of red wine and a Lipitor pill for
good measure. This is how confused, distracted, and off-course we have gotten–because this is
NOT a good diet!
This book explains to plant eaters and meat eaters alike why a whole food, plant-strong diet
rocks on a jillion different levels, hence the subtitle: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a
Plant-Strong Diet. The primary driving force behind the book was to delve deeper into the major
myths that keep surfacing about eating plants, such as: “You won’t get enough protein”, “You
won’t get enough calcium”, “Eating plants is too expensive”, “Real men (and women) eat
meat”, “Olive oil is heart-healthy”, and “Moderation in everything.”
The book shows how wrong each of these myths is. It gives the reader real science, not fad-diet
talk. One of the titles we thought about was “How to Win an Argument with a Meat-eater” and
believe me, after reading this book, you will never lose another argument with a carnivore
By the way, once you’ve won the argument, you can start cooking up any one of the 140 lipsmacking,
rib-sticking outrageously good recipes to prove your point with food as well as with
There are some controversial things you tackle in this book, like The Paleo Diet. Why did you decide to address that specific diet?
The two big dueling diets right now are paleo and planteo. I believe that the paleo diet is just a
good gimmick. The paleo people have taken the South Beach/Atkins diets and put a little spin
on it. There are some positives with paleo, such as no refined or processed foods, and no dairy
products. But any diet that promotes animal products with saturated fats, and animal protein
isn’t promoting health. The consensus among the researchers who have studied the diets of
humans in paleo times have said that at least 80 percent of their food was plant-based. Yes,
they ate some animals, but we’ve evolved since then, we’re smarter; we do not need, want, or
get healthy from animal products. Back in the day, you would do anything you could to get
calories into your body–it was a matter of survival. But in this day and age, you can go down
the street to any grocery store and get all that you need without resorting to animal flesh.
An interesting article in US News & World Report in 2011 reviewed many different popular diets
and decided that the one people should avoid is the paleo diet.
What about the people who say that they get results from a paleo diet? That’s because the
Standard American Diet (SAD) is such an abomination you will get good results when switching to
any diet that is even remotely healthier. If you want to get to the next step, cut out the meat!
Do your kids like eating this way?
My kids, Kole and Sophie, do not like eating this way–they LOVE eating this way! They have no interest in eating anything from animals. If they find out that cake and ice-cream offered to them has things like eggs, butter or milk they politely decline. Kole and Sophie love mangoes, grapefruit, brown rice, baked tofu, peanut butter on whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, cheese-less whole grain pizza and banana ice-cream. Kole was hungry, and I told him I’d give him anything he wanted. Guess what he asked for…. he asked for broccoli!
What else do you have a beef with?
The huge disconnect with what people think is healthy and what we actually know to be healthy. This creates confusion and distraction. The answer is so incredibly simple. Eat more whole plant-based foods!
I have a beef with dairy.
I have a beef with processed/refined foods.
I have a beef with the Mediterranean diet.
I have a beef with drinking your calories.
I have a beef with olive oil and ALL other extracted oils.
I have a beef with supplements.
I have a beef with the belief that carbs are the devil.
I have a beef with the myth that soy is evil.
I have a beef with “everything in moderation.”
But — I have no beef with plants!
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Engine 2 was kind enough to include a couple of recipes!
photo courtesy of Engine 2 Diet
Banana Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon vanilla
¾ cup natural chunky peanut butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cups old fashioned oats
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
½ cup non-dairy chocolate chips or raisins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper
3. Mix bananas, vanilla, peanut butter and maple syrup into a creamy consistency in a large bowl
4. In another bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder and salt
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until they are well combined -the batter should be slightly sticky.
6. Fold in the chocolate chips or raisins
7. Place rounded, heaping tablespoon-sized balls of the batter onto an ungreased baking sheet
8. Bake for 15-18 minutes
9. Gobble these up while they are still warm
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Photo courtesy of Engine 2 Diet
Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 20 minutes, Serves 4-6
3-4 cups water (depending on your brand of polenta)
1 cup polenta
16 oz. E2 approved tomato sauce
2 cups fresh spinach
3 large tomatoes, sliced
1 cup pineapple, cubed
½ cup roasted red peppers
2 cloves garlic, crushed
(Other favorite pizza toppings: mushrooms, arugala, asparagus, or olives)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Prepare pizza stone by sprinkling with corn meal or lining a pan with parchment paper
3. To boiling water, add polenta and whisk until mixture thickens and there are no clumps
(instructions for preparing polenta vary from brand to brand -check the specific preparation
instructions for your type of polenta)
4. Pour polenta mixture onto pizza stone or pan and flatten into desired crust shapes: round pizza,
square pizza, mini-pizzas, elephant pizza, fire-hydrant pizza
5. Precook the polenta crusts for 10 minutes
6. Remove crusts from oven, add sauce, toppings and sprinkle with nutritional yeast
7. Return to oven and cook in oven for 10 minutes
8. Slice into generous portions and serve warm.