Day 12 of the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart
We have arrived on day 12 of the 21 day vegan kickstart and boy have we been having fun! It’s been 12 days of amazing recipes that are easy, vegan, and healthy. Today we add two more recipes to the list made by guest Chef Sharon McRae. She made Pizza Hummus and an Easy Bean Salad. Let’s take a look at how she made these two flavorful recipes.
Let’s Meet Our Chef
For more than three decades, Sharon has been adopting and applying principles in her own life that she now imparts to others as a Certified Health Coach and PCRM Food for Life Instructor. Throughout her life, she has seen nearly every one of her relatives in her parents’ generation and older — including, unfortunately, both of her parents — stricken with cancer of one variety or another. Grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins . . . very few of her blood relatives escaped getting cancer, and for some, it came at a frighteningly early age (including her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 40s). No wonder, then, that she grew up feeling like she had a bulls-eye painted on her back.
Prevention and health have therefore been guiding principles of her life. As a young teen, she began to realize that genetics were not the only determining factor in the development of illness and disease. At this time, she began making ever-healthier food choices, which became her way of life. It was also in her late teens that she began the practice of making time for exercise every morning, which she has maintained to this day.
Her interest in science and genetics as a teenager led her to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Science and pursue a 15-year career in research and applied microbiology. Through her schooling and her work, she learned a great deal about the regulation of genes and how this is affected by environmental factors, such as the food we eat and the chemicals we are exposed to in everyday life.
In early 2000, when her children were still very young, she obtained training and certification and began a new, part-time career as a professional freelance makeup artist. While on the surface this would seem to be a radical change in direction from her first career in science, she found it gratifying to work one-on-one with her clients to help them bring forth their own unique beauty, and she never lost her passionate interest in the underlying science of health and prevention. In fact, it was while working in this field that she began a personal mission to learn everything she could about the significant safety concerns that researchers have discovered with ingredients of top-selling cosmetics and other personal care products used by millions in this country and around the world.
Today, as a 58-year old mother of three, she is still happily eating and feeding her family a whole-food, plant-based diet, she still exercises (and does yoga!) daily, and she does her best to minimize her exposure to potentially harmful chemicals in the personal and home care products that she and her family use. She is enjoying excellent health and abundant energy, and she feels – and is frequently told she looks – far younger than her years.
Given her personal story, it was a perfect synergy for her to pursue a career in which she could encourage and support, educate and inspire others as they embark on their personal journeys to transform their lives through better nutrition and embracing a healthier lifestyle. She is passionate about helping others achieve their goals and become happier, healthier versions of themselves. Sharon is currently still working as a Certified Health Coach, teaching PCRM Food for Life classes, and organizing zoom events for her popular Columbia MD Forks Over Knives Meetup Group. To contact Sharon, see www.eatwell-staywell.com.
21 Day vegan Kickstart Day 12: Recipe 1
Have you ever heard of Pizza Hummus? Neither have I, but I must say it sounds delightful. I mean…PIZZA HUMMUS! C’mon it must be good. The secret to this flavorful hummus is the sun-dried tomatoes and nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor to anything you put it on. It is a must to always have in your vegan kitchen cupboards. This hummus recipe is oil-free so it lacks the heavy fats, but not the flavor.
- 3 cups freshly cooked chickpeas or 2 cans, drained and rinsed
- ½-¾ cups aquafaba water from cooked/canned beans or water, adjusted for desired thickness
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¾ cup sun-dried tomatoes oil and salt-free*, about 3 ounces
- Chunk of red onion about half a medium onion
- 4 Tbs nutritional yeast unfortified preferred
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- Puree in a food processor or high-speed blender (such as the Vitamix); serve over greens/salad, in a collard green leaf (raw or lightly steamed) as a roll-up, or on sprouted grain bread/tortillas.
*If you cannot find salt-free sun-dried tomatoes, you can soak them in a large volume of water in order to dilute out the salt. Rinse before using. This may also be a useful technique if you are using a food processor to make this hummus
21 Day Vegan Kickstart: Recipe 2
Next up is an easy Bean Salad that is packed full of nutritious beans of all kinds. Beans are a magical food, filled with fiber, protein, and a ton of vitamins and minerals. Serve it with a tortilla, extra corn, brown rice, or quinoa for even more fiber-packed whole grains. You can also serve it over a bed of leafy greens. I eat beans nearly every day because…well I love them…but they are also super filling. They are a favorite low fat plant-based protein of mine because they can be eaten in so many different ways. I eat them as a mixed bean salad, like on today’s show, or as a burrito, or as a side dish, or even in my salads.
Easy Bean Salad
- 1 1/2 cups cooked or canned kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups cooked or canned pinto beans rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups cooked or canned black-eyed peas rinsed and drained
- 1 10-ounce package; or 1 1/2 cups frozen lima beans thawed; or cooked or canned lima beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup frozen corn thawed, or cooked fresh corn, chilled
- 1 large red bell pepper diced
- ½ medium red onion diced
- 1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free Italian salad dressing
- 1/2-1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently. Serve cold or at room temperature. Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, leftover Easy Bean Salad will keep for up to 3 days.
Easy Bean Salad – Dressing
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve Balsamic Vinegar or reduced balsamic*
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 4 tsp Westbrae Naturals No Salt Stoneground Mustard or sub your favorite
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- Blend well.
- Use 1/2 cup of this in bean salad.
That’s All For Day 12
Day 12 of the 21 day vegan kickstart has come to an end. Thank you for joining us and I hope you try out these recipes yourself at home. If you are looking for other easy vegan recipes to cook up, or if you are trying to find a vegan chef to inspire you, be sure to check out the #LunchBreakLIVE page. We have a ton of recipes and chefs to choose from.
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JaneUnChained graphic designer, behind-the-scenes problem solver, and IG contributor. Donna is a creative in the film industry, a passionate vegan, and promoter of a plant-based lifestyle. Known on social media as ThatSnarkyVeganGirl. Follow her on IG @ThatSnarkyVeganGirl