From Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM, the physician behind the trusted and wildly popular website Nutritionfacts.org, and author of the New York Times bestselling book How Not to Die, comes a beautifully-designed, comprehensive cookbook complete with more than 120 recipes for delicious, life-saving, plant-based meals, snacks, and beverages.
Dr. Michael Greger’s bestselling book, How Not to Die, presented the scientific evidence behind the only diet that can prevent and reverse many of the causes of premature death and disability. Now, The How Not to Die Cookbook puts that science into action. From Superfood Breakfast Bites to Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca to Two-Berry Pie with Pecan-Sunflower Crust, every recipe in The How Not to Die Cookbook offers a delectable, easy-to-prepare, plant-based dish to help anyone eat their way to better health.
Rooted in the latest nutrition science, these easy-to-follow, stunningly photographed recipes will appeal to anyone looking to live a longer, healthier life. Featuring Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozenthe best ingredients to add years to your lifeThe How Not to Die Cookbook is destined to become an essential tool in healthy kitchens everywhere.
Michael Greger, M.D.,FACLM, is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on a number of important public health issues. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, How Not to Die and he runs NutritionFacts.org, the first science-based, non-commercial website to provide free daily videos and articles on the latest discoveries in nutrition.
Gene Stone has written many books on animal protection and plant-based nutrition, including the #1 New York Times bestseller, Forks Over Knives. He has also co-written the bestsellers How Not to Die, The Engine 2 Diet and Living the Farm Sanctuary Life.
Robin Robertson has developed recipes for and written more than twenty cookbooks, including Vegan on the Cheap, 1,000 Vegan Recipes, Quick Fix Vegan, and Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker. Before becoming a cookbook expert, she was a restaurant chef and cooking teacher. She is also the writer of “The Global Vegan” column for VegNews Magazine.
Before we dive into the incredible recipes we've created for you, I wanted to first share ten flavor-makers that you'll use in many of the recipes throughout the book. I love them all, but two of my favorites are Savory Spice Blend, a seasoning mix that not only adds enormous zest, but is salt-free, and Umami Sauce, another flavor enhancer that is a delicious alternative to soy sauce preparations such as stir-fries and sautés.
Also in this chapter are recipes for making your own almond milk and vegetable broth, a healthy version of Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on pasta dishes, date syrup, balsamic glaze, and ranch dressing, as well as simple instructions on how to roast garlic.
ALMOND MILK DATE SYRUP SAVORY SPICE BLEND NUTTY PARM UMAMI SAUCE ROASTED GARLIC VEGETABLE BROTH RANCH DRESSING BALSAMIC-DATE GLAZE HEALTHY HOT SAUCE HARISSA
MAKES: ABOUT 2 CUPS DIFFICULTY: easy
Here's a fast and easy way to make a whole-food almond milk. For taste and convenience I personally prefer unsweetened soy milk. (I like the flavor of Whole Foods Market's store brand the best.) But I wanted to embrace the challenge of creating recipes containing only Green Light ingredients. This doesn't offer the calcium, vitamin D, and B12 fortification of commercial almond milks, but it avoids the added salt and thickeners of questionable safety, such as carrageenan. Choose almond butter made from raw rather than roasted or toasted almonds to decrease exposure to advanced glycation end products. (See here.)
2 tablespoons smooth raw almond butter
Combine the almond butter and water in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Transfer the milk to a glass bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid and chill until ready to serve. Shake well before using.
TIME-SAVING COOKING TIPS
If using dried beans, cook them in large batches and then portion and freeze them. I used to use canned beans until I discovered how easy it is to prepare dried beans from scratch, using an electric pressure cooker.
Instead of making one or two servings at a time, cook a large pot of a staple grain or a grain with a quick-cooking legume, such as lentils, mixed in. Then, simply portion and freeze until you want to thaw, heat, and enjoy.
Prepare double batches of recipes for long-cooking dishes, such as stews, soups, or chilies. You'll not only save time — you'll get more enhanced flavor when you reheat. They're even better when served later in the week or after being frozen for a time.
Make seasoning blends, sauces, or dressings ahead of time to have on hand.
Double up on prep, such as chopping onions, when making more than one recipe, so you have enough for both. When you only need half an onion, chop the whole onion and refrigerate the unused portion in a sealed container.
TRAFFIC LIGHT SYSTEM
In How Not to Die, I explain what I call Dining by Traffic Light. This is a system that is as easy to follow as obeying a traffic light. Green is for go. Green Light foods, which are unprocessed plant foods, should make up the bulk of our diet. Yellow is for caution. Yellow Light foods include processed plant foods and unprocessed animal foods. Red is for stop, as in stop and think before you put it in your mouth. Red Light foods are the ultraprocessed plant foods and processed animal foods. The more green lights you hit, the faster you'll get to your health destination!
MAKES: ABOUT 1½ CUPS DIFFICULTY: easy
Green Light sweeteners are a little hard to come by. Date sugar, which is simply dried, pulverized dates, can be used as a whole-food, granulated sugar, and blackstrap molasses is a good choice for a healthy liquid sweetener, but it has a strong, sometimes overpowering flavor. We've come up with our own DIY date syrup we hope you'll love as much as we do.
1 cup pitted dates
Combine the dates and hot water in a heatproof bowl and set aside for 1 hour to soften the dates. Transfer the dates and water to a high-speed blender. Add the lemon and blend until smooth. Transfer to a glass jar or other airtight container with a tight-fitting lid. Store the syrup in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 weeks.
USING BLENDED WHOLE LEMONS AND LIMES
Instead of cooking with lemon or lime juice, use the blended whole fruit to get more nutritional benefit. When you use just the juice, you lose out on the fiber and all the nutrition that was attached to it.
Here's a great time-saver when cooking with blended lemon or lime. Peel and blend a whole lemon and then freeze it in 1-teaspoon portions — a small silicone ice cube tray is ideal for this. Then, grab a cube from the freezer whenever you need it!
SAVORY SPICE BLEND
MAKES: ABOUT ½ CUP DIFFICULTY: easy
I always have this seasoning blend on hand to add flavor to dishes in place of salt.
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Combine all the ingredients in a spice grinder or blender to mix well and pulverize the dried herbs and spices. Transfer the blend to a shaker bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool, dry place.
MAKES: ABOUT 1½ CUPS DIFFICULTY: easy
For a cheesy flavor, sprinkle this on pasta, grain dishes, salads, and snacks like popcorn or kale chips.
½ cup almonds
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer to a covered container or shaker and keep refrigerated.
VARIATION: Substitute different nuts for the almonds or Brazil nuts.
MAKES: ABOUT 11/4 CUPS DIFFICULTY: easy
Use this sauce in sautés or stir-fries to boost flavor without adding all the sodium of soy sauce. Umami is one of the five basic tastes, even though many people are only learning about it now. This word was created by a Japanese chemist named Kikunae Ikeda from umai, which means "delicious," and mi, which means "taste." The perfect name, as it is a delicious taste!
1 cup Vegetable Broth
Heat the broth in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the molasses, Date Syrup, tomato paste, and black pepper and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and then stir in the miso mixture, blended lemon, and rice vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Allow the sauce to cool before transferring to a jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid or pouring the sauce into an ice cube tray and freezing into individual portions.
MAKES: ABOUT 3 TABLESPOONS (PER HEAD OF GARLIC) DIFFICULTY: easy
Easy to prepare, roasted garlic adds incredible bursts of flavor to recipes and makes a great spread on toast or sandwiches.
1 whole head garlic, or more
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Use a sharp knife to cut about 1/3 inch off the top of a whole garlic head to expose the tops of the garlic cloves. Wrap the garlic head in parchment paper or place in a small covered baking dish, cut side up, and place in the oven. If roasting more than one head of garlic, arrange them, cut side up, in a covered baking dish, or place each head in a separate well of a muffin pan and cover with an inverted cookie sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the garlic cloves are soft and golden brown. Remove from the oven and uncover to let the garlic cool. When the garlic is cool to the touch, gently squeeze each clove individually over a small bowl, allowing the soft, roasted garlic to slip out of the papery skin. (If it is not very soft and golden brown, it needs to be covered or rewrapped in the parchment and baked a few minutes longer.) Enjoy the roasted garlic immediately or store it in the refrigerator in a jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid.
According to research done at Cornell University, garlic is the number one food to suppress the growth of brain cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach cancer cells in vitro.
MAKES: ABOUT 6 CUPS DIFFICULTY: easy
Use this in any of the recipes calling for salt-free vegetable broth.
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
In a large pot, heat 1 cup of water over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, parsley, and black pepper. Add 7 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours. Let cool slightly and then transfer to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Return the blended broth back to the pot. Ladle about 1/3 cup of the broth into a small bowl or cup. Add the miso paste and stir well before incorporating into the broth. Add the Savory Spice Blend to taste. Let the broth cool to room temperature; then divide among containers with tight-sealing lids and store in the refrigerator or freezer. Properly stored, the stock will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.
NOTE: If you don't have time to make your own broth, you can buy salt-free vegetable broth or salt-free vegetable bouillon cubes, available in natural food stores or online.
MISO: SOY VERSUS SODIUM
Wait a second, isn't miso high in sodium? A single bowl of miso soup could contain half the American Heart Association's recommended daily limit, which is why I used to reflexively avoid it when I'd see it on a menu. But when I actually looked into it, I was surprised by what I found.
There are two principal reasons to avoid salt: stomach cancer and high blood pressure. It turns out, however, that in the case of miso the anticarcinogenic and antihypertensive benefits of soy may be enough to counter the effects of the salt.
MAKES: ABOUT 1½ CUPS DIFFICULTY: easy
Creamy and flavorful, this dressing isn't just for salads. Serve it as a dipping sauce for the Buffalo Cauliflower, crudités, or anything else you want to kick up a notch.
½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 3 hours and drained
In a high-speed blender, combine all the ingredients except the parsley and dill, and blend until smooth. Transfer the dressing to a bowl and stir in the parsley and dill. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. (The flavor will get stronger as the dressing sits.) Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to develop. Stir or shake before serving.
MAKES: ABOUT 1 CUP DIFFICULTY: easy
Drizzle this rich sauce over Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, your favorite roasted vegetables or grain dishes, salads, and fruits, such as watermelon or strawberries.
½ cup pitted dates
Soften the dates by soaking in warm water for about 10 minutes. In a blender, combine the dates and their soaking water with the balsamic vinegar. Blend until smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat to low. Simmer on low until the glaze is reduced and thickened, stirring frequently.
Growing up, I never liked dates. I thought they were dry and kind of waxy. But then I discovered there were soft, plump, moist varieties that didn't taste like the chalky ones I remembered. Bahri dates — my favorite — are wet and sticky, and when frozen, acquire the taste and chew of caramel candy. Dates are healthy, too: a 2009 study found that eating four to five dried dates per day may improve the antioxidant power of your bloodstream while bringing down triglyceride levels.
HEALTHY HOT SAUCE
MAKES: ABOUT 2 CUPS DIFFICULTY: easy
Most bottled hot sauces contain too much sodium. The good news is, it's easy to make your own — and you can leave out the salt!
12 ounces fresh hot chilies (a single type or mixed), stemmed, halved lengthwise,
In a saucepan, combine the chilies, onion, garlic, and ¼ cup of water over high heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-high, add 1¾ cups of water and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chilies are very soft. Remove from the heat and let the mixture come to room temperature.
Transfer the chili mixture to a food processor and process until very smooth. Add ½ cup of the vinegar and process to blend. Taste the sauce and add more of the vinegar, if desired, to taste. Transfer the hot sauce to a clean glass jar or bottle and secure with an airtight lid. Keep refrigerated. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
NOTE: Be sure to use rubber gloves when handling hot chilies and do not touch your eyes.
MAKES: ABOUT 1½ CUPS DIFFICULTY: easy
Harissa is an aromatic, spicy paste frequently used in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. It's usually made of hot chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and such spices as caraway, coriander, cumin, and saffron — but these vary according to preference. Harissa is called the national condiment of Tunisia, where it seems most meals contain it. In the United States, you can find less-than-healthy versions at many markets in cans or tubes, which is why I've included a recipe here for you to enjoy.
1/3 cup dried hot red chilies, seeded and cut into small pieces, or to taste
Place the dried chilies in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 30 minutes; then drain.
In a small skillet, stir the coriander, caraway, and cumin seeds over low heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a food processor and add the drained chilies, roasted red bell peppers, garlic, nutritional yeast, miso, and Savory Spice Blend to taste. Process until smooth. Add up to 1/4 cup of water, as needed, to make a smooth, thick sauce.
ROASTING RED BELL PEPPERS
Roast bell peppers by holding them directly over a gas flame with a pair of tongs until the skin blackens on all sides. They can also be roasted under a broiler, turning until the skin blackens all over. Place the blackened peppers in a bowl and cover tightly. Set aside for 10 minutes, or until cool enough to touch with your hands; then remove the blackened skin and the seeds and proceed with the recipe. If you'd rather not roast your own peppers, you can purchase jars of roasted red bell peppers in supermarkets.
Excerpted from "The How Not To Die Cookbook"
Copyright © 2017 Michael Greger.
Excerpted by permission of Flatiron Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen
Snacks, Dips, and Spreads
Soups and Chilies
Salads and Dressings
Burgers, Wraps, and More
Very Veggie Mains
Sample Menus for 14 Days
Shopping and Stocking the Pantry
A New York Times Book Review favorite holiday book of 2017From the Publisher