As I watch the Academy Awards, I feel like I got to particpate in a Plant Based version of the Oscars. Today, I was privledged to make dinner for Dr. T. Colin Campbell and his lovely wife Karen at the home of Drs. Hans and Lily Diehl, vegan royalty in their own right.
I'm sure that every actor dreams of the role than my win them an Oscar; well this is the the opportunity that vegan chefs dream of!!!
While there are certainly more talented vegan chefs out there (David Anderson, Tanya Petrovna, Eric Tucker and Roxanne Klein, to name a few) what I may lack in experience I make up for in passion (and desserts)!!! I did, however, feel uniquely qualified for this assignment because preparing plant based WHOLE FOODS WITHOUT USING ANY OILS, SUGARS OR SALT is something I've been doing for awhile now, so I don't have to modify ANY of my recipes when preparing food for folks like Dr. Campbell who don't consume these ingredients. Though I have been vegan for 32.5 years, I didn't start eating healthfully until 7 years ago.
I have been in a wheelchair for the last month due to a fractured patella, but nothing would keep me from this opportunity as I hopped around the kitchen preparing for the last 3 days. As luck would have it, because it was my left knee, the only seat I could sit in was right next to Dr. Campbell himself!
While I have had the opportunity to meet and chef for many of the prominent folks in this movement who I have learned so much from and who have contributed to me immensely, Dr. Campbell was pretty much the only one I had never crossed paths with. I was hoping to meet him one day and thank him for writing his book, "The China Study" as it made MY life so much easier.
As a vegan chef and culinary instructor, only one person ever became vegan because of anything I said. My sister and husband went vegan immediately after hearing Dr. John McDougall speak 10 years ago, but I still hoped I could somehow make a bigger difference. Once "The China Study" came out, all I had to do was give people the book and let them decide for themselves. And I can't tell you how many people I know who either became vegan or greatly reduced their comsumption of animal products because of that book.
So now for the fun part. Dr. Campbell and his wife are really nice, regular, down to earth folks. He seems completely unaffected by his fame as he is one of the humblest people I ever met. He was charming, classy and had a great sense of humor. After he was stuffed to the gills, I did a brief culinary demo for him and made my famous chocolate spinach shake. He had never had a green smoothie before and he loved it!!! And his wife even asked for my recipes!!!
As soon as I figure out how to post photos I will, but here is what we feasted on:
Better than tuna pate and homemade corn chips (raw/vegan)
Hail to the Kale Salad (raw/vegan)
Organic baby Green with hempseed/lime dressing (raw/vegan)
Quinoa Salad with currants, pomegranite seeds and pistachios
Hearty Lentil Loaf
Almond Truffles (raw/vegan)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake
German Chocolate Cake
(all dessert are sweetened with dates)
If there are any chefs reading this, I would like you to consider not using unhealtful ingredients like salt, oils and sugars. Food can still taste amazing without it! And who knows, maybe one day you'll find yourself sitting next to Dr. Campbell while he eats your food.
Love & Kale,