Oliver's Blog

Saturday 1st June 2019

The Plant-Based Revolution

Plant-based nutrition is leading the way in a health revolution that is putting the macrobiotic approach into the mainstream. A plant-based diet, at the centre of macrobiotic philosophy since its inception in the early 20th Century, is now also at the forefront of the latest scientific advice on nutrition.

Recent Research Showing The Plant-Based Revoution Is Here

A report from the University of Navarra in Spain, says that cutting down on meat can almost half the risk of obesity. Researchers, who carried out a study of 16,000 people, found that even a “flexitarian” approach of eating more meat-free meals and extra fruit and vegetables each week was enough to keep weight off and hence reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. A previous study by the University of Adelaide suggested that fats and carbohydrates can provide us with enough energy to meet the needs of most modern lifestyles and are digested faster than protein.

Eating a lot of processed meat such as bacon and sausages has been linked to obesity and research has suggested it increases the risk of certain cancers - the classification by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has given it the highest possible carcinogen rating, shared with alcohol, asbestos, arsenic and cigarettes.

The move towards a plant-based diet is gathering momentum with The Times reporting recently that, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel there are around 2.2 million more part-time vegetarians in Britain than two years ago. Meanwhile, some are reporting that veganism is also increasing from around 1 to 2 million in the UK by the end of 2020.

With such an encouraging move towards more healthy eating habits, finding recipes to keep food delicious and healthy is also increasing in demand. As well as this, we have found that more people are interested in training to become a chef with specific knowledge of Macrobiotics. Learning about how food and cooking styles affect our body and emotional health is very much part of this. Using ingredients such as tempeh, miso, seaweed, alternatives to refined sugar and herbs that help us maintain a healthy immune system can help us avoid common health problems and even eliminate some conditions altogether. As an example of this, I include this delicious recipe below.

Plant-Based Revolution - Tempeh Stir Fry

Sweet and Sour Tempeh

Ingredients:


1 packet tempeh
For the stock: shoyu, ginger root, garlic, bay leaves and enough water to cover tempeh
Onion, finely sliced
Carrot, in small matchsticks
Red pepper, finely sliced
3 tbsp sesame oil
For the sauce: 2 tbsp shoyu, 1 tbsp barley malt, 1 tbsp apple juice concentrate, 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar, 1 tsp ginger juice, I clove garlic, kuzu or arrowroot to thicken.

Method:


1.Place the tempeh in a pan with all the stock ingredients.
2.Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, sauté the onions in oil, with a pinch of salt until just soft.
4.Add the carrot and pepper and fry for a few more minutes.
5.Remove the tempeh from the stock and dry well on kitchen paper.
6.Add some of the stock to the vegetables along with the all the sauce ingredients.
7.Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
8.Mix some kuzu or arrowroot with cold water and add to the sauce to thicken.
9.Cut the tempeh into slices and fry in oil until golden brown on both sides.
10. Add the tempeh to the sauce and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve with quinoa and salad.

Your Own Personal Plant-Based Revolution

Taking things further and providing yourself and your family with the kind of diet that will help keep you well is actually very easy. Have a look at these recipes for sugar-free desserts and check out our short courses.