I am so glad to have Mark Reinfeld on my blog again today. Mark is a widely acclaimed and multi-award winning chef and author of seven books, including the best selling 30 Minute Vegan series and his latest book, Healing the Vegan Way. I was very honored to contribute a story for Mark’s new book and it’s been great getting to know him a bit better over the past year.
Mark has over 20 years’ experience preparing creative vegan and raw food cuisine. Since 2012, he has served as Executive Chef for North American Vegetarian Society’s Vegetarian Summerfest and has offered consulting services for clients such as Google, Whole Foods, Bon Appetit Management, The Peninsula Spa and more. Mark was the founding chef of The Blossoming Lotus Restaurant in Kaua’i, voted “Best Restaurant on Kauai.”. His first cookbook, Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, coauthored with Bo Rinaldi and with a foreword by Jane Goodall, has won 9 national awards, including “Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA.” He is the recipient of Vegan.com’s Recipe of the Year award, and Aspen Center for Integral Health’s Living Foods category Platinum Carrot award, which recognizes America’s top “innovative and trailblazing healthy chefs”. Mark’s work has been featured in countless publications including Vegetarian Times, Veg News Magazine, Santa Barbara Magazine and many others. Continue reading to learn more about Mark’s latest book and his cooking inspiration!
Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your new book?
For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in the healing qualities of food. I wanted to gather expert testimonials to demonstrate that many of the health challenges we are facing now can be prevented and reversed on a plant-based diet. I wanted to share recipes that show how simple and delicious it can be to include this healing foods in our diet.
What will readers find in this book that can help them lead a healthy, vibrant life?
In addition to the expert testimonials and over 200 recipes, there is a description of the top superfoods and a comprehensive nutrient reference guide that lists which nutrients are important for each body system, their roles and their plant based sources.
In doing research and writing the book, were there any new things that you learned that surprised or impressed you?
A lot of the new research demonstrating the power plants have to heal our lives. One of the larger nutritional studies demonstrated that the single most important factor in determining mortality was the amount of fruits and vegetables people consumed.
What is the latest that you’re doing in the culinary world?
In addition to the workshops and trainings I am offering through Vegan Fusion internationally and online, I am working on creating retreats with my wife Ashley Boudet, who is a naturopathic doctor, under the brand The Doctor and the Chef. I am also working on consulting projects where I develop vegan recipes and offer chef trainings. The project I am working on now is for the Holistic Holiday at Sea, where I will be providing over 30 recipes for the upcoming cruise in 2017.
What are the new trends you are finding in plant-based cuisine?
I like to say that the vegan cheese world is exploding and that ‘no cheese will remain unconquered’ in the plant based world. Also the rise of the vegan butcher shops.
Please share a glimpse of your own everyday life; what does a typical day’s diet look like for you?
Breakfast: Smoothie with superfoods such as hemp, cacao, chia seeds, maca powder
Lunch and Dinner: Usually variations of a monk bowl–a grain, green and a protein. For the grain I rotate through quinoa, rice or rice pasta; for the green, it’s an assortment of veggies, usually steamed or roasted and raw; for the protein I rotate through tempeh, tofu and legumes. Topped with nutritional yeast, some sauerkraut, olives, a splash of tamari, and possible with hemp or flax oil.
What are your 5 favorite foods you can’t live without?
Coconut, bananas, quinoa, nutritional yeast, chocolate.
Here is one of Mark’s favorite plant-based recipes!
Raw Apple Crumble
Yield: 5 cups crumble
Prep time: 30 minutes, Total time: 30 minutes, Serving size: 1/2 cup, Number of servings: 10
There’s some truth to the saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, mostly because of the antioxidant flavonoids contained in the peel. Another important health component in apples is a special fiber called pectin, making for a unique fiber-plus-phytonutrient combination. This is a raw version of the commonly baked dessert, so you get all the health-boosting properties of the ingredients without having to turn on your oven (and a toothsome, crispy texture, to boot!). Raisins are energy boosters with all their natural sugar, not to mention iron and potassium. Walnuts are a favorite for their cancer-fighting, heart-healing, brain-boosting nutrients, and combining forces with dates, coconut, and spices, they create a perfect crumble topping for a healthy spin on this classic dessert. Enjoy this with a dollop of Strawberry Cashew Cream (page 297).
4 cups unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced apple (about 3 apples)
1 cup raisins
½ cup pitted Medjool dates (see page 125)
½ cup water
¾ cup freshly squeezed apple or orange juice
¼ teaspoon orange zest
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground allspice
Pinch of sea salt
1 ¼ cups chopped walnuts
¼ cup pitted Medjool dates
2 tablespoons dried shredded unsweetened coconut
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cardamom
- Prepare the apple layer: Place the apples and raisins in a bowl.
- Place the dates, water, apple juice, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and sea salt in a blender and blend until creamy. Add to the apple mixture and mix well. Transfer to an 8 by 8-inch casserole dish.
- Prepare the crumble: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse chop until the walnuts are finely ground. Do not overprocess. Sprinkle on top of apple layer.
Replace the apples with pears, peaches, or pineapple.
Replace the walnuts with hazelnuts, pistachio nuts, or sunflower seeds.
Replace the dates with dried figs or apricots.
Nutrition Facts per serving (122 g): Calories 250, Fat Calories 105, Total Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 19 mg, Total Carb 38 g, Dietary Fiber 5 g, Sugars 29 g, Protein 4 g
Excerpted from Healing the Vegan Way: Plant-Based Eating for Optimal Health & Wellness by Mark Reinfeld. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.