Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Low Fat, Whole Food Plant-Based SOS-Free Colcannon (New and Improved)

 I recreated my colcannon recipe today, turning it into a fully low-fat SOS-free recipe. The cashews and the salt are gone. And it's entirely low calorie density (to the left of Chef AJ's red line). Even more importantly, it's even more delicious than it was.

As most of my readers know, colcannon is my favorite "go to" whole food, plant-based recipe. For many years it was my "go to" food. I always had it on hand in my refrigerator. But then I got away from it over the past year, but today, after making this version, I'm glad I brought it back.

Colcannon is an Irish dish. The mainstream version of it includes eggs and butters, but there is none of that in my colcannon. Mine is entirely vegan. What makes it colcannon is that it is a soupy mixture of mashed potatoes and cabbage as well as other ingredients that you may want to put into it.

I used the following ingredients to make 10 servings. I like to make a large number of servings because I don't like to cook all that much. So, I batch cook. This will give me a daily meal for the next 10 days or 2 daily meals over the next 5 days. Of course, to make this much colcannon requires some large cookware. I  make mine in a Saladmaster roasting pan on the stove top, which is a very large pan. If you don't have large enough cookware or you don't want that many servings, then you may want to cut back on the ingredients to halve or quarter the amount you make.


10# Red Potatoes (I used two Instant Pots to cook all of these potatoes at once)

1 Head of Red Cabbage, chopped and diced

1 Large Red Onion, chopped and diced

1# Baby Portobello Mushrooms, sliced

1 Pound of Kale, chopped

1/2 Pound of Spinach, chopped

6 Cups of No-Salt Added Vegetable Broth

3 Cans of 15 oz each Eden Organic Garbanzo Beans (other brands will have salt -- alternatively you can use dried garbanzo beans and cook them first without salt)

10 Tablespoons Ground Flaxseed

2 Tablespoons Cardamom

1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

3/4 Teaspoon White Pepper

Sprinkle with Sea Seasonings Dulse


Cook potatoes in Instant Pot for 20 minutes. Do not release pressure.

While potatoes are cooking, put broth in the roasting pan and add red cabbage, red onion and mushrooms. Bring to a boil and then simmer until cabbage is tender. Add kale and spinach and continue to simmer it until wilted.

Place garbanzo beans (with water in the cans) into a Vitamix or other high powered blender and blend until smooth.

Once potatoes are cooked, mash them in a separate large bowl. Then add the blended garbanzo beans, flaxseeds and spices and stir well into the mashed potatoes.

Add the potato mixture to the roasting pan with the veggies and stir until all the vegetables are mixed in with the potato and bean mixture. Taste and adjust spices as desired.

Sprinkle on top with the Sea Seasonings Dulse. You might also sprinkle with nutritional yeast, Italian herbs or other desired SOS-free toppings.


J Lanning Smith 

The Whole Food Plant-Based Guy

Twice the Man, Half the Weight

September 2, 2020

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Baked Sweet Potato Oatmeal

Tonight I decided to have oatmeal for dinner, but I also had a sweet potato that I needed to use up. So, I decided to make a sweet potato oatmeal entree. Adding in mashed banana for added sweetness, it turned out to be a delicious dish that I topped with blueberries and walnuts.

This makes a serving for two (or for one extra hungry person).


1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 sweet potato
1 banana, sliced and chopped
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk


First slice the sweet potato into thin slices. I do not peel my sweet potatoes, but you can peel it first if that is preferred.  However, the largest amount of nutrients are in the skin of the potato.

Place the slice sweet potato into the Instant Pot on a steamer rack with about 1 inch of water. Cook pressurized for 10 minutes.

Place the sweet potato in the Vitamix or other blender and blend to a puree consistency.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 and place all of the ingredients in a baking dish.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Top it with blueberries and walnuts and enjoy!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

White Beans with Farro, Mushrooms and Kale

Last week, my daughter made this delicious meal for me while at her house. It's simple to make, but it's both hearty and delicious. It's perfect for those of us eating whole food, plant-based because it contains beans, mushrooms and kale, three important foods that I try to eat every day. Here is the recipe for making 2 to 4 servings (depending on your portion sizes) --- note that I specify Eden beans because Eden beans, while costing a little more, have no added salt, they're organic and they come in BPA-free cans (however, I have no connection with Eden products, and you are certainly free to use whatever brand you prefer or better yet, cook your own beans as I normally do):



1 cup uncooked farro
2-1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf


15 ounce can Eden Cannellini beans

Mushrooms and Kale

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
8 ounces white or baby bella mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 small diced red onion
3 garlic cloves minced
4 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Italian spice mix


In a Dutch oven or other large pot, cook the farro in the vegetable broth with the bay leaf. Generally, once you've brought the farro to a boil, you will want to reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. The farro should still be chewy at this point. If desired, you can also cook the farro in an Instant Pot on high for 7 minutes. Do not release the pressure after the 7 minutes; let the pressure come down naturally.

When the farro is close to done cooking, saute the mushrooms, garlic and onion in the balsamic vinegar until cooked. Add the kale and cook it until wilted. Season with the black pepper and Italian spice mix.

Add the beans to the farro and then add the mushroom and kale mix. Stir well and enjoy!

I like this recipe because it is real simple, easy to make and yet full of all the nutrition that we demand on a whole food, plant-based way of eating.

J Lanning Smith
Twice the Man, Half the Weight
April 14, 2019

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Easy to Make Plant-Based Chocolate Cake

I haven't made this recipe in several years, but I've been asked for it twice in the past few weeks. So, I've decided to post the recipe. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of it. But what I can say is, it's delicious. I guess that's why I keep getting asked about it.

I learned about this cake almost six years ago when I first started eating whole food, plant-based. I made it for a holiday event to take to my daughter's house, and it was a huge hit. In fact, my six year old (at the time) granddaughter declared that for her birthday, she wanted this same cake. I thought that was really saying something. And it said even more when I learned that she and her mother made it into cupcakes to take to school and share with all of her classmates. So, if the taste itself wasn't enough to encourage me about the cake, my granddaughter's acceptance of it was. After all, six year olds haven't learned yet to be phony about what they like and don't like.

So, here is the recipe. And the only reason I haven't eaten it in years is I'm not really a cake eater. Now give me a nice fruity nice cream or plant-based chocolate mousse, and I'll go crazy for that. But I've never really gotten into cake that much. And I try not to eat flour products, even when they're whole wheat. But once in a while for a celebration I think desserts made with flour, maple syrup and vegan chocolate chips can be okay. I just wouldn't make a habit of it.


1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
6 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup cold water


Mix everything together and pour into cake pan (9" x 9"). If desired, nuts and/or vegan chocolate chips may be added to the mixture. If you want a two layered cake, then double the recipe and pour into two cake pans instead of one. The vinegar in combination with the baking powder are what causes this cake to rise, and it doesn't rise a lot (so you may want a two layered cake).

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

For the icing, place some vegan chips on top of the cooked hot cake and put back in oven until chips melt (may take only seconds, but absolutely no longer than one minute). You could even turn the oven off for this stage and just allow the residual heat to melt the chocolate chips.

Spread the melted chips around on top of the cake.

And that's it! How simple and easy is that!

So, the next step is to enjoy. As I said, it's an occasional celebration food or maybe something to take to a potluck. I made this a couple times over a couple month period in the beginning and continued to lose weight. Of course, I only had one slice from each cake I made. I had plenty of help in eating it.

J Lanning Smith
Twice the Man, Half the Weight
March 6, 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Chocolate Mousse

Who doesn't love chocolate and who doesn't love dessert? Even on a whole food, plant-based diet, we can get a craving for one or both.

Tomorrow night, our club is hosting Dr. Joel Fuhrman who will be speaking at our January 2019 meeting. Before the meeting, the Board will be having a pot luck dinner with Dr. Fuhrman. I decided to make chocolate mousse for that dinner.

I created my own recipe for that, and I'm very happy with how it turned out. So, I wanted to share it here. It's really simple to make.

For each 3-1/2 servings, blend the following ingredients and then chill overnight. It's that simple.

  • 1 box Nori-Mu Silken Tofu (firm)
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 2 Medjool dates
  • 1 Tbsp cacao powder
  • Splash of vanilla

Now, enjoy!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Most Nutritious Salad Dressing Ever

This morning I got to thinking about the pros and cons of green smoothies. The pros, as we all know, are that blending vegetables and fruits breaks up their cellular walls and releases more of the nutrients contained in the veggies and fruits. That's a good thing because presumably the more nutrients released, the more nutrients our bodies absorb. But the negative side of that is that some of the fiber is sacrificed in blending the veggies and smoothies, thus causing us to absorb too quickly. The solution up until now has been to drink your green smoothie slowly, thus slowing down the absorption of the food, particularly the sugars in it.

But today, I came up with a new solution. That is the green smoothie salad dressing.

It's real simple. As you make your salad, use the same ingredients to make the salad dressing. But first, start by putting a cup of water in the blender and then adding the greens (in this case, it's a combination of spinach and turnip greens). Then add your other ingredients. I used onion, carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts, radishes and tomatoes. I also put pinto beans on the salad, but I did not include them in the salad dressing blend. Finally, I added about a cup of ice to the top of the blender and then blended everything until it was a nice smooth texture.

The final step is to then pour some of that mixture right on to the salad. Voila! You now have a salad with a salad dressing that is made up of the most nutritious ingredients you can find. But you're not sacrificing the fiber because you're getting the fiber through the salad. What could be better than that?

And there should be plenty left over for future salads. Just be sure to keep it refrigerated because it's not pasteurized.

J Lanning Smith
November 29, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

Mediterranean Basin: Jim's Comforting Lentils

You probably don't think of a lentil dish as being a comfort food, but that's only because you haven't tried this comforting, hearty, creamy dish. And did I say delicious too? Yes, it is delicious.

The dish is inspired by a recipe I read in Naked Food Magazine's Master Plants Cookbook. There are several recipes in that book that are excellent just as they are, but I chose their Plato's Lentil Risotto as one I wanted to add to, make in a pressure cooker instead of on the stove and just generally enhance. So, you will find a number of new ingredients and different ways of cooking the dish here.


1 cup red lentils (uncooked)
6 medium yellow potatoes, sliced (include skin for extra nutrition)
2 medium carrots
12 oz. sliced mushrooms (any variety you choose)
1 onion, cut into half moons
1 whole garlic, diced
2 whole Bay leaves
1 whole sage leaf, cut into strips
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 bunch of cilantro, cut up
8 cups low-salt vegetable broth (check ingredients to ensure no oil)

2 cups cooked millet 

2 cups cashews with
2 cups water blended in Vitamix or high-powered blender

1 bunch of kale, stripped from the stems and cut up


Cook the millet by placing 1 cup of uncooked millet in the pressure cooker with 1-3/4 cup of water. Cook on high for 10 minutes. Let pressure come down naturally.

After removing millet from the pressure cooker if using the same pressure cooker for the remainder of the recipe, add the lentils, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onion, garlic, herbs and spices and the vegetable broth to the empty pressure cooker and cook on high for 6 minutes.

Open the pressure cooker, remove most of the potatoes and mash them. Return the mashed potatoes to the pressure cooker and stir the mixture. Then add the millet and stir again.

Pour in the cashew and water mixture and stir well to get everything mixed in a homogenous manner.

Then add kale and stir it into the mixture.

Cook under pressure for an additional 1 minute and allow pressure to come down naturally. Stir and enjoy!