This book is dedicated to the wife
whose husband has always been a good date,
and who is probably going to break his date with her
by dying too soon.
To the husband, who is going to break her heart,
by breaking his heart.
DEAR WIFE WITH SOON-TO-BE BROKEN HEART,
He’s a traditional male, helpless in the kitchen and too stodgy to learn to cook for himself. So his diet is in your hands, and thus you are put in an unfair double bind: If you feed him what he wants and he dies early, it will be your fault. If you feed him healthy food that bores him, it will also be your fault.
He loves roast beef, sausage, hamburgers, fried chicken, shrimp casserole, pork chops, barbecued ribs, hot dogs, scrambled eggs, butter, milk, ice cream, French fried potatoes, and other fried foods—all of which contain oils which are solid at body temperature, in his veins and arteries. You have followed the middle-of-the-road advice in popular magazines and have cut his fat intake down to 30 percent of calories, but it hasn’t been enough. His health is headed downhill. And you are worried.
You love your man. But he’s not the man he was when you first met him. He no longer jogs around the car ahead of you to open your door. He’s overweight. His blood pressure is in the red zone. His cholesterol count is out of sight. His doctor is talking about heart bypass surgery, which will cost you or your insurance company $50,000.
His problems are caused by his eating too much cholesterol and saturated fat and not enough green things. But fat is what he loves to eat. You love him and want to make him happy, so you feed him what makes him happy. He knows better, but your food is rich and tasty, and he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings by suggesting he does not want to eat it. It’s a deadly feedback loop.
Unfortunately, you are feeding him slow poison. His life will be several years shorter and of much lower quality unless he quits eating cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans-fatty acids. You eat the same way he does, so you are doing the same thing to yourself—like a Hindu wife of ancient India committing suttee, joining her husband on his funeral pyre.
So don’t just worry about it; do something about it. There is a recipe section at the end of this book. Skip to it right now and cook up some delightful, delicious, and delectable plant-based food, food so rich and tasty that he won’t even miss the animal fat.
DEAR HUSBAND WITH HEART SOON-TO-BREAK,
She loves you, man. She loves you even though you have turned into a fat, beer-swigging, football-on-TV-addicted, couch potato who doesn’t take her on long, romantic walks anymore. Admit it: You are not the man you were when you first met her and got her into this marriage, and it’s because of what you eat.
You need to eat better, but you can’t count on your wife to change your diet for you. You are both in an unhealthy catch-22. You have to get involved in the kitchen yourself, cooking low-fat, plant-based food that will protect your heart and arteries.
You have to do it yourself. We men used to go out and defend the tribe. We used to go out gathering and hunting for food. We evolved to take charge in difficult situations. When things are broken we fix them. We love challenges. It’s part of our being men. Well, men, this is one of those difficult situations: We are dying! Take charge!
Go gathering and hunting in the grocery store, the garden, and the kitchen. Bag a bag of green things of all kinds and learn the recipes in this book. If you can figure out how to replace a commode or configure your computer, you can certainly figure out how to whip up a stir-fry with spicy peanut sauce over steamed rice.
You are going to enjoy learning how to cook in a way that will add years to your?life, make you a stronger and leaner person, make you a better lover, bring you great culinary enjoyment, and make you a better friend to the environment. Getting hungry? Skip to the recipe section right now and give it a try. The recipes are so easy to cook that any bachelor or married guy, any teenage or college lad, even any grade school boy can learn them.
This book is also dedicated to you omnivorous moms and dads of the world who now have grown-up children who eat a plant-based diet (that’s no meat, no milk, and no eggs). Your vegan kids are headed over for dinner tonight. Let’s listen in on an anxious conversation you might be having right now:
Mabel: I don’t know what to feed them. There’s nothing I know how to cook that they will eat.
George: How did we ever raise up such finicky kids!
Mabel: Where did we go wrong?
George: They turn up their noses at your southern fried chicken, your shrimp casserole, your baked ham, your New England pot roast, your wonderful omelets. They just don’t appreciate good food.
Mabel: You’re just saying that to make me feel better. I wish I knew how to cook their way. I ought to practice on you. Maybe I could lower your high-blood. You know, they’re probably right. We should cut down on fat.
George: Huh! Cutting down’s not good enough for them. They want us to quit eating animal fat entirely—meat, milk, eggs, fish—the works! They’re extremists.
Well, George and Mabel, this is your lucky day. With this book in hand, you can have a tasty, plant-based meal ready in an hour. The recipes in the back of the book are so easy that even George will be able to cook them. And there’s a bonus: Your ordinarily carnivorous friends will clean their plates and ask for more.
This book is also dedicated to those who eat a plant-based diet.
HEY VEGETABLE HEADS!
You should be ashamed of yourselves. Look at the anxiety you have inflicted on your parents and friends! You are driving over to their house for dinner, and they are worried sick about what to feed you. They are terrified of you making a scene, giving them another one of your boring vegetarian lectures.
Are you going to just show up and sit there and turn up your noses at their food like you did the last time? Do something different.
Plan A: Cook up a big pan of green, plant-based food, and carry it with you. That way you can be sure you will have some plant-based food to eat. That way you will be able to introduce your parents and friends to plant-based food and a green diet.
Plan B: Bag up your broccoli and collards, your cabbage and basil, your brown rice and tofu, your nuts and garlic, your onions and tofu, your egg replacer and flax seed, your rice cooker and your electric wok. Arrive early and cook your plant-based food right in their kitchen. Be the galloping, plant-based gourmet. Let them smell the goods smells of your food cooking. Get them to help you. Leave behind a supply of key ingredients. Educate them through example; don’t lecture them. Cooking together is an opportunity for nonthreatening communication. Give them a copy of this book. It is designed to help your mom and dad convert each other from a high-blood-pressure, fattening diet to a healthy, low-fat, high-taste, zero-cholesterol, plant-based diet. They will eat the food in this book, not because it is cholesterol-free, but because it is exceptionally tasty and satisfying.
This book is also dedicated to all those lonely men out there looking for a goddess to wed.
Someone has said, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” It’s also a way to a woman’s heart. Men, if you are courting a woman don’t ask her out for dinner, ask her over to cook with you.
We spend a large part of our lives cooking and eating, and men and women cooking together can get to know each other in a nonthreatening way. Women want men who are strong enough to protect them, but they also want men who are sensitive, and a man who cooks is sensitive. Compatibility in the kitchen indicates there might be compatibility in other rooms.
Cooking together sets up opportunities for intimate conversation. A dinner prepared with a friend is always more enjoyable than one prepared and eaten alone.
Women are generally trying to control their weight. Because eating a plant-based diet is good for the waistline, women generally will be open to your plant-based cooking.
This book is dedicated to all the goddesses out there.
Women, don’t presume that we men are not interested in cooking. Most of us men don’t cook simply because our dads didn’t cook, and because our mothers, just like many of you, presumed we wouldn’t be interested.
We men love to eat, and you will find that most of us can become quite handy in the kitchen. Don’t disparage us for our culinary clumsiness. Hand us the veggies and a knife and put us to work. Never say, “Just get out of the kitchen.” Teach us.