I am Dr. Monique May, Board-certified Family Physician and Founder of Physician in the Kitchen™. Through my best-selling book, MealMasters: Your Simple Guide to Modern Day Meal Planning, and NEW cookbook, Doc Fix My Plate! The Physician In The Kitchen’s Prescriptions For Your Healthy Meal Makeover, and online cooking classes, I help busy households enjoy healthy eating without impacting their hectic schedules.
Hello MealMasters! People choose to adopt vegan or other lifestyles for a variety of reasons, and they are usually related to improving their health. They may want to eliminate the need for medications to treat their cholesterol or high blood sugar, or maybe they want to lose a few pounds to reach an ideal or preferred weight.
By cutting out animal protein, you may notice an improvement in chronic conditions such as joint pain or kidney disease. You may also decrease your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
For me, in addition to the known health benefits of a plant-based diet, I truly enjoy experimenting with and testing recipes featuring vegetables or other plant-based foods. I also get to create in my “lab” while using my many kitchen gadgets and appliances.
This year I am chronicling my journey toward more plant-based meals, and I am sharing with my readers my favorite foods, along with tips and tricks I have discovered along the way.
Today I am continuing my series, Dr. Monique’s Favorite Food ABCs. The foods that are on this list are here because of both their contributions to mouth-watering dishes as well their health benefits. So far we have discussed the following:
- A for avocado
- B for beans
- C for cilantro
- D for dairy replacements
- E is for egg substitutes
- F for fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables
- G for ginger and garlic
- H for herbs
The letter I was a bit more challenging…all I could think of was ice cream, and a Google search listed a lot of exotic foods I have never even heard of (like imarti and icaco). And then it hit me! The best part of this vegan-ish journey for me has been trying new ingredients or using familiar ingredients in new ways.
This, of course, includes fresh herbs and ground spices. My spice cabinets (yes plural because one is just not enough) have long-held bottles of cumin, curry, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, turmeric, cloves, fennel seeds, ginger, and cayenne pepper, but I have recently begun experimenting with them in Indian-food inspired combinations. So this week’s blog is I for Indian spices!
True story: It is sooo funny how the universe works. Once I came up with the topic for this blog, I still needed some background and most definitely a mouth-watering recipe to share. Well, a few nights ago we went out for dinner and I had some wonderful butter chicken with garlic naan (two of my absolute favorite Indian foods).
Earlier that day, I had seen a video on social media featuring someone using king oyster mushrooms in place of pork for BBQribs. Whoomp! There it was! Clearly, I was meant to create a vegan butter chicken recipe using these glorious mushrooms! I had tried making a vegan butter chicken recipe several weeks ago, using tofu. While the flavors were definitely there, I admit the textures were not quite what I wanted, so the idea of trying it again using a hearty mushroom was very intriguing!
In addition to the spices I have already mentioned, I have also fallen in love with other Indian staples such as