My Oat Cakes with Tomato Kale Gravy--No Idea Why They Look So DIfferent from Mike's
What's So Special about These Oat Cakes? Greens, Oats & Beans, Baby!
Mike had one goal. Increasing his intake of oats, beyond a breakfast cereal.
It's all about the avenanthramides in oats and the nitric oxide boosting nutrients in kale!
Need a refresher on avenanthramides?
There's a little-known antioxidant in oats--avenanthramide--and it has a beneficial effect on our blood vessels.
Turns out, according to Dr. Mohsen Meydani, the "oat expert" at the USDA-Agricultural Research Vascular Biology Lab at Tufts University, oats help prevent atherosclerosis by increasing artery-saving nitric oxide production in the endothelium or lining of our arteries. That's the "magic gas" that keeps the arteries relaxed and dilated.
And it's a dose-response--the more avenanthramides you eat, the greater the nitric oxide production. The dose-response thing--that's what makes oats such an important part of a heart-healthy diet. More oats=more nitric oxide!
Which is exactly why Mike wanted to expand his oat recipe repertoire beyond breakfast cereal.
Here's the deal on nitric oxide:
1. Nitric oxide is absolutely essential to vascular health--a finding that won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1998.
2. It relaxes blood vessels, selectively boosting blood flow to the organs that need it. It prevents white blood cells and platelets from becoming sticky, and starting the buildup of vascular plaque. It lowers blood pressure.
3. But with every meal of processed oil, dairy or meat we eat, within minutes there is damage & injury to the "life jackets" of our vascular health--which is the single layer of endothelial cells that line all of our blood vessels.
4. The essential building block for nitric oxide production is an amino acid that is found in rich supply in plant foods.
5. And what can you eat to insure that your endothelial cells will have the raw materials to produce this healing nitric oxide? Beans & leafy greens. Load up on kale, collards, Swiss chard, bok choy, & beans and you will be well on your way to healing the linings of your blood vessels.
6. Dr. Esselstyn's patients who adopted a strictly plant-based diet brought about rapid restoration of their endothelial cells' capacity to manufacture nitric oxide--and restore circulation.
Introducing the Recipe that Met the Nitric Oxide Recipe Challenge:
Mike's Mediterranean Oat Cakes with Tomato Kale Gravy
Mixing Up the Oat Cake "Batter"--Steel Cut Oats, Parsley, Tahini-Free Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Garlic & Roasted Red Peppers
Chopped Onions, Garlic, Parsley, & One Italian Field Roast "Sausage" (not an Esselstyn-approved ingredient, & can be left out--the red pepper flakes & some fennel seed can give you that Italian "sausage" flavor)
One Pound of Farm-Fresh Kale, Stripped of Stems, Cut Into Ribbons
Dry Sauteeing the Onions, Red Peppers, White Beans, & "Italian Sausage"
Add 2 Cups of Cento's San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes with Some Puree--Another Heart-Health Booster
Mike is a San Marzano Man - After Trying Them, I Can Understand His Loyalty to This Tomato
Oat Cakes Bake in No-Stick Silicone Muffin Cups - So Easy to Use
The Tomato, Kale, & Bean Gravy
Three Oat Cakes Waiting for the Gravy
Mike's Mediterranean Oat Cakes with Tomato Kale Gravy
Click here for the recipe on one page.
Note: These cakes are a winner. I plan to make a batch up regularly to keep in the freezer. Works well for a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner & can be easily topped with jarred (my fave: Walnut Acres no-oil pasta sauce or "Appetite for Reduction's" Puttanesca (pg. 75)
First the Oat Cakes
One Cup of rolled oats cooked to package instructions (Boil in water for this recipe)
Hint.. thicker consistency is better here. HL's substitution: I used my fave-steel cut oats, which take longer to prepare!
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (helps tighten/thicken up the oatmeal and helps you cheese fans) HL's substitution: I used 2 tablespoons
One Cup Fat-Free Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (Sahara brand if you can ﬁnd it--There are other brands of fat-free hummus on the market, or you can make your own)
Chopped Italian Flat Leaf Parsley (Lots) HL used about a cup.
Extra add-ins: chopped garlic, oregano, chopped roasted red pepper, basil
1. Transfer cooked oatmeal to large mixing bowl.
2. Add hummus and ﬁnely chopped Italian Parsley. More garlic, oregano, basil, cumin (HL left this out), or chopped roasted peppers (HL added 2 roughly chopped roasted red peppers) would be additional options here…. Mike's thinking is that oats can absorb some serious savory.. so add what you like. Mike makes his own Hummus. That, as they say, is a whole other show.
3. Combine, and with a large spoon place Oat / Hummus batter in silicon
or non stick small mufﬁn or cupcake pans. Mike's were silver-dollar size. (HL filled hers muffin cups to about 3/4 full--and got 16 muffins--but they took much longer to bake!)
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. You are going for
golden exterior crust and moist in center. Just keep an eye on these--and bake as long as necessary to get them golden, with a moist center. (HL had to bake her muffins for about 50 minutes--kept a close watch on them--to get them golden, with just a slightly moist center. Next time I'll bake them at 400 degrees)
These refrigerate well if doing ahead of time or storing leftovers. Highly recommended! Will speed up the preparation & it would be wonderful to have a stash in the freezer or fridge!
Note: Mike is a San Marzano tomato snob. He admits it. He also admits that he spends too much on these canned beauties from the old country in this down economy. But Muir Glenn
ain't exactly cheap, either. Any quality crushed tomato product will work.
Hint: Due to their natural sweetness, San Marzano's require a bit more salt for balance.
If salt restriction is your goal you may want a more acidic variety.
1/4 cup diced white or sweet onion (HL added about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves fresh chopped garlic
Red pepper ﬂakes, to taste (read spicy) You want this dish spicy--but suited to your tastes!
One bunch fresh kale greens washed, large stems removed, and cut in ribbons. (HL used 1 pound)
1/4 cup low/no sodium vegetable broth for "dry" sautéing (this is where Mike says he misses a little olive oil.)
1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed (optional…but highly recommended) (HL didn't have cannellini beans & used white kidney beans)
One link of diced Field Roast Italian sausage or Mexican flavor works great also.(Optional) Hint: if you can't or don't want to use the Field Roast--add some fennel seed to give "gravy" the Italian "sausage" taste
2 cups of the San Marzano canned tomatoes (from a 28 oz. can) and some of the puree from can as needed. (HL used almost all of the 28 ounce can)
Splash Red Wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar (HL forgot this!)
1. In a large saute pan "dry sauté" onion and pepper ﬂakes over medium heat adding a little vegetable broth as needed. When onions release juices, add the Field Roast sausage, if using it, and turn up the heat slightly. Brown for 3 minutes and add chopped garlic and the rinsed beans.
2. The beans will "trap" the garlic-onion-sausage ﬂavor. Add a few more drops of broth around edges of pan and put a cover on for two-three minutes.
3. Remove cover and add tomatoes and puree/juice, breaking up the whole tomatoes with a spoon. Season with (optional) salt and pepper.
4. Add the kale greens and cover again. Garden fresh kale will be tender and ready in under 10 minutes. But kale can be stubborn, so cook to your tastes to get it the way you like it. Some prefer al dente, others like kale softer, gentler to the bite.
5. Put a few oat cakes (HL used 3 per serving) in bottom of serving bowls, (reheat for 15 seconds in microwave if using leftovers)
6. When kale is tender, spoon your kale, tomato, bean gravy over the oat cakes
Note: Mike likes a sprinkle of red wine vinegar over the ﬁnished dish, but balsamic is great too. (HL left this last step out)
Nutritional Information Based on 1/5 Serving of the Recipe
This is truly a palate pleasing nutritional powerhouse! It doesn't get much healthier, and tastier than this!! Read this label.
Oat Cakes wt Tomato Kale Gravy
Serving Size: 1 serving
|Amount Per Serving|
Stay Tuned for More Recipes from Mike. They're load with spice, kick & originality. Definitely, foodie-approved, IMHO.
I'm loving Mike's Kick A** Thai Peanut Butter (PB2) Chili Oatmeal with Yin Choy (or spinach or kale) & I can't wait to try his Honey & Chipotle Black Bean & Sweet Potato Cakes!
We'd love to get your feedback on the Oat Cakes with Tomato Kale Gravy. So, fire-up your test kitchens--and get cookin'!!!
Hot-Off-the-Press Article about Derek Tresize--Vegan Body Builder
photo by: Rebecca Bolte
Check out the Sept. 20, 2011 article in The Miami New Times, by Camille Lamb, "Derek Tresize, Vegan Bodybuilder: Meat Grows Muscles and Cancer".
I had never heard of Deek Tresize before today. This article was sent to me by a cardiologist who eats plant-based.
How did all of this start?
"I was pretty much a red-meat, chicken, and broccoli guy before, which is what you see a lot of the strength trainers doing. Then I just started learning about the negative effects of animal protein on the body, and I thought I'd give it a shot. Just from reading in Dr. T. Colin Campbell's "China Study", and from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's, "Eat to Live", you hear over and over the promotion of cancer, the promotion of heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, significant problems that afflict millions of people.
Heart disease and cancer both run in my family. So I tried going 30 days without touching [animal products], and I noticed right away, aside from food cravings, I felt much cleaner. That's the best word -- you feel cleaner inside. Then, after the 30 days, I went back to trying to eat those foods again, and they made me really sick. And so that was kind of a wake-up call.
How did your dietary shift affect your athletic performance?
First thing, I lost a ton of weight, but it was body fat. It went from 12 percent to seven percent over a couple months. Which is a huge drop. I hadn't been able to do that with a whey protein diet, or with tons of cardio. But just by changing what I ate, the fat disappeared.
What do you mean by that?
Just based on our physiology, based on our digestive system, we're really geared towards breaking down plant material. But all athletes are like, "No, you need to have animal protein -- it's a complete protein, all the amino acids," and all that, so I was kinda surprised to get leaner and get stronger pretty quickly.
I looked at all the medical studies and disease rates. People that eat a plant-based diet are healthier. And I looked at comparisons of us to a lion and to a horse. And we're nearly identical to the horse and nothing like the lion in terms of our digestive tract, which is pretty interesting. Because a lot of people would assume the inverse. And also look at us in terms of behavior. Carnivorous animals will be active a very short period of time. Like a lion will sleep 20 hours a day and be active for, say, four. Versus horses, you know, they spend their whole day foraging. So they're awake a long time. And people. People sleep eight hours; they're active for 16, 18 hours. And then you look at our teeth. Definitely not designed for catching and killing animals. So it really does make sense that we're designed to eat plants, and not eating plants causes problems.