Stirring the pot…looking for answers.

October 19th, 2009 · Lisa · book review, Review, vegan mofo · Comments
Some days the answers to life’s tough questions seem so obvious. Other days I can stew over the simplestconundrum for hours and still feel perplexed about what the “right thing to do” is. This situation becomes even more complex when our access to information is limited or held by certain players.When it comes to research and information related to health and well being there are often extremely disparate answers about the correct path. If you wander the “health” aisle of your bookstore you’ll see diet-book titles that range from “The Eat More Weigh Less Diet“, “The Coconut Diet“, “The Calorie Restriction Plan” “The Atkins Diet” to “The Raw Food Revolution Diet“. They all represent a very different perspective on what foods and behaviours are best for promoting human health.As you already know, I’m a huge fan of Brenda Davis. She is a Registered Dietitian and has done extensive work in the area of Diabetes. I have watched her present on the research evidence that supports her belief that following a vegan diet can reverse type 2 diabetes. She has even written a book on this topic and has had the opportunity to watch her plan in action on the Marshall Islands. If you know anyone who has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes I encourage you to check out the resources on Brenda’s website. Her work is a departure from the nutritional suggestions that are given by mainstream medicine when someone is diagnosed with diabetes. I know this because my Mom was told all kinds of things about what fruits to avoid, that diet pops were fine, etc, etc. Now, with these standard recommendations and a vegan diet my Mom has managed to greatly improve her health. But when she saw Brenda speak at the Vegetarian Food Fair in September she was given a plan that has really helped her to move toward wellness.

Her new plan includes consuming beans and whole grains daily. She has eliminated processed foods (sugars, flours, etc) completely. Like any change, this all felt very daunting at first. But I was happy to have the opportunity to prepare a number of meals for her last weekend that are helping to make this new plan easy to adhere to and even more importantly, delicious. She has fallen in love with flax crackers, buckwheat granola and raw pecan, date, apple cookies. With a few new cookbooks to explore I created a number of bean and grain based meals that store well and will certainly satisfy her hunger.

Here are three hearty bowls I prepared from the Vegan Yum Yum Cookbook:

Black Bean Soup

Spicy Tomato Chickpea Soup

Creamy Broccoli Dal (served on top of kale)
Vegan Yum Yum is a beautiful book. Many of you are probably aware of the blog of the same name. Lolo has been enticing people with her culinary exploits for years. She even appeared on the Martha Stewart show to demonstrate her technique for creating special knit-themed cupcakes. After a few years of working on this project, Lolo has produced a book that incorporates the favourite recipes from her blog and some new ones as well. She does an incredible job of providing step-by-step photographs outlining any of the complex steps in a recipe (there are photos on every page). These guidelines are really helpful for someone attempting something for the first time-like folding dumplings or yeasted doughnuts. Lolo obviously enjoys the creative process of cooking and has mastered a number of more complicated recipes. Through the detailed instructions and recipes she is able to empower her readers to embrace similar challenges with the support needed to be successful.
The soups that I tried all came together quickly and were prepared using widely-available ingredients (in my Mom’s pantry!). Each recipe created a rich and flavourful bowl of soup. I really enjoyed the spice-profiles that Lolo employs (she is a girl after my cumin and mustard-seed loving heart). I especially liked the spicy tomato and chickpea soup. By blending this soup you get a really thick and creamy consitency that is perfect for a fall lunch. But really, I would highly recommend giving any of the recipes a try.
Getting back to the title of the post. I know there is some controversy out there in the vegan-blog world about this book. I don’t know all of the details so I’m staying out of it. Instead I’m choosing to share with you my experience with three great recipes-that worked well to support my Mom on her path to wellness.
I hope you all have a fabulous Monday.


  1. Posted October 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    What's the controversy about the book? I was flipping through it at Indigo on the weekend and thought it looked great! I am thinking of buying it to add to my recipe book collection.

  2. Posted October 19, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Lolo has written about it on her blog and there are a number of related posts on theppk. As I don't know the details I'm not really prepared to comment. If you're interested I'm sure you can find out more on those two sites.

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