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!