How Not to Diet Cookbook by Dr Greger (Review: are the recipes any good?)

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I purchased the “How Not to Diet Cookbook” from Dr. Greger because the recipes don’t contain salt, sugar, oil or flour, are vegan, plant-based, and the most nutritious recipes you’ll find, but how do they taste? That’s what this post is about.

Here I cover topics such as: are the recipes any good, are they difficult to make, are they time consuming, and how do they taste?

(To see the photos of the recipes, play the YouTube video towards the bottom of this blog post)

vegan cheesy cauliflower potato bake with peas from the How Not to Diet Cookbook

The winning entrées I tried:

Cheesy Broccoli Soup. This is a delicious soup that’s vegan and rich and “cheesy.” Use five cups of store-bought broth instead of six. The only downside is that it’s high in fat from the cashews.

Cauliflower Alfredo Linguini with Roasted Asparagus. The sauce tasted like mashed potatoes, it was not thick and creamy like you would expect from an alfredo sauce. It was still a tasty meal, so I would recommend it and will probably make it again.

Brazil Nut Parm. This is a healthy remake of parmesan cheese, but with nutritional yeast, nuts & spices. This is my favorite recipe in the book after I added salt, oregano and cayenne. Use half of the nutritional yeast, and add your favorite spices and herbs.

Cheesy Cauliflower Potato Bake. This dish is a vegan take on mac-and-cheese. It was creamy and cheesy, but it needed a few improvements, and then it’s a winner. Omit the lemon juice, increase nutritional yeast to 1 cup, blend miso with the liquid before adding the rest of ingredients. Add peas, chopped cilantro, and diced red bell pepper.

Veggie Chirashi Bowls. This Japanese-inspired dish is good, if you add air-fried tofu, sliced red bell peppers, and don’t drain the miso sauce, otherwise, it won’t have any flavor.

The recipes I did not like:

Szechuan Tempeh and Broccoli. I love Chinese food so I thought I would enjoy this dish, and boy was I wrong! I’ve never tried tempeh before. Tempeh is a fermented soy product that’s firm on the outside and tastes like there’s crunchy seeds on the inside, which made it taste nothing like chicken or meat. Tempeh tastes like spoiled franken food. The dish has four steps and takes a lot of time and preparation. The sauce is bitter, nothing like the delicious salty-sweetness combination one expects from an Asian dish. There’s plenty of broccoli and tofu recipes on the web that are much better than this one!

Rich Roasted Vegetable Broth. This broth is supposed to be versatile so that it can be used in any dish, but the tomato paste was overpowering and the kombu gave the broth a fishy flavor, otherwise it was really plain. Buy store-broth instead.

Red Bean and Butternut Caldo Verde This entrée was plain and the broth tasted earthy. It might be good with a store-bought broth, a pinch of salt, coconut aminos, and maple syrup.

Southwest Kale Salad with Cumin-Tomato dressing. This salad was a flat-out awful! The dressing was bitter and tasted muddy. Just omit the dressing and top with a dollop of fresh guacamole, some mango chunks, and toasted, salted pepitas. If you don’t like kale, use another type of greens you like.

Red Bean and Arugula Salad with Mango Balsamic Dressing. In this odd salad, none of the flavors go together. I won’t be making this again.

Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce. This pasta dish with a pumpkin puree sauce was creamy, but bitter. This might be good with a few tablespoons of maple syrup to balance out the pumpkin’s bitterness

Portobellos and Spinach on Cauliflower Mash with Miso-Mushroom Sauce. This dish gets a big thumbs down. The cooked mushrooms tasted like slimy fungus. I don’t like mushrooms, but my husband does and he didn’t like this entrée either. In addition, the mash was grainy. If you add TVP, which is a dehydrated soy product, to the sauce and eliminate the mushrooms, it tastes like gravy (yum!). The only part of the dish that tastes good is the gravy, if you add TVP to it.

I made 12 of the recipes and only 5 of them tasted good and were worth making again, but with some changes. That means, over 50% of the recipes I made, I didn’t like. I don’t consider myself to be a picky eater, if the meal is healthy. The recipes contained numerous steps and were very time consuming.

If you decide to purchase this cookbook, my recommendations are to buy vegetable broth from the store, not only will this save you a lot of time, but the entrees will taste a lot more flavorful. Implement the improvements above to the recipes I made. You’ll also want to add a touch of salt, additional spices, some coconut aminos, and a little bit of maple syrup to many of the dishes.

To see the photos of some of the recipes from the How Not To Diet Cookbook, play the video below.

FAQ – frequently asked questions below

FAQ – frequently asked questions

Does not dieting have recipes? The How Not to Diet Cookbook has over 100 recipes, all of them vegan. Watch the YouTube video above to see what some of the recipes look like.

What exactly is plant based food? Plant-based food is unprocessed vegan food, which includes whole grains, greens, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables. Most processed foods are packaged, for example, nut butter and almond flour are processed because the nuts are ground up, your teeth and saliva are supposed to do that process, so all butters and flours are considered processed even if nothing else is added.

Can you eat peanut butter on a plant-based diet? Peanut butter is a plant-based food even though it’s slightly processed because the nuts have been ground up into a butter consistency. It’s better to eat the peanuts whole instead of as peanut butter. Make sure to choose nuts that don’t contain any oil, since oil is a saturated fat, causes inflammation, and is not a plant-based, green-light food.

Is Pasta OK on a plant-based diet? Pasta is considered by some, such as Dr. Greger, as okay on his plant-based diet, but I consider all pastas, except for zoodles, to be processed and not plant-based. Pasta is vegan, but not not truly plant-based. You can’t pick noodles off a tree or bush.

Can I eat eggs on a plant-based diet? Eggs are from poultry, which is an animal. Products that are made by animals, or from animals, are considered “meat” and are not plant-based and are not vegan. You should refrain from eating eggs on a plant-based diet.

Are potatoes considered plant based? Potatoes are plant-based as long as they aren’t fried, and don’t have oil added to them. Oils are processed and are not plant-based.

Why am I always hungry on a plant-based diet? What’s so fantastic about plant-based diets is that you can eat a lot of food and still lose weight. If your fat intake is low on a plant-based diet, which it should be, for maximum health, use large plates and large bowls because plant foods are very low in calories. You’ll need to eat larger portions on a plant-based diet so you’re not hungry all the time.

Plants are considered nutrient-dense because they are low in calories and contain the majority of the nutrients you need. You’ll want to add a B12 supplement, or an enriched nutritional yeast if you are vegan. You may also need vitamins D3, calcium, and iron, depending on how well your body absorbs nutrients, and based on how many calories you consume daily.

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