Why eat MORE vegan?

We have a new book on The Happy Frog bookshelf! It retails for under $30 for 100 amazing plant-based dishes!

Author Luke Hines shares his inspiration for writing it. Scroll to the bottom of this article to check out a recipe from the book and get cooking!

Why I am 80% Plant Based.

It is about time I fess up and be 100% honest about why I am now Plant Based, you deserve the truth.

You see, there is no denying that my latest cookbook title raised some eyebrows within my tribes and communities, I mean why is the Paleo guy releasing a book about Eating More Vegan?!

Well, that is exactly the point… the word ‘MORE’ being the key here. Put simply, eating MORE vegan has changed my life.

But I am not vegan, so what am I?! Why on earth am I saying we should Eat More Vegan and why am I now identifying as Plant Based??

Lets take a closer look…

For me, being Plant Based is an 80/20 approach

80% of my food intake is made up of delicious colorful plant foods that include above and below ground vegetables, fresh seasonal fruit, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices!

The remaining 20% of my food intake is from animal based healthy fats and proteins, and for me they MUST be ethically and sustainably sourced, meaning grass-fed, free-range, nitrate-free, pasture-raised, organic and all else that encompasses making sure the animal lived the happiest, healthiest life, eating a diet it was designed to eat, on a farm that practices sustainable farming principles for long term environmental growth and support.

So… why the switch?!

Just a few years ago I was easily filling my plate with 60% to 70% animal protein, think huge steaks or pork belly or lamb shoulder, with a sauce and a small side of salad or veg? Well, three things happened following that way of eating.

I felt lethargic all the time, like I wasn’t digesting the amount of animal protein I was consuming. I felt full and heavy in the guts after meals, and intuitively I could tell I wasn’t absorbing the nutrients I was consuming.

Because my plate was SO full of animal protein, I wasn’t celebrating a diverse enough range of wonderful plant based foods. The prime real estate on my plate was being wasted, and therefore I was lacking in different varieties of vital nutrients for optimal health.

I couldn’t achieve my goals. I couldn’t move stubborn body fat, I felt tired a lot of the time and unable to move and train to the best of my ability and the brain fog was real.

So what did I do?!

Cooked outside of my comfort zone with more plant based whole foods, and wow what a difference it made, you’ll find below!!

By reducing the portion size and regularity of my animal protein intake, I had so much plate real estate to fill with the goodness of plants. I cooked below ground vegetables if I needed more energy around training, or above ground non-starchy vegetables for the times I wanted a low carb feed.

I re-jigged my view that I needed so much meat to thrive… I actually thrive MORE than I have ever on BETTER quality, but LESS of the stuff. You’d be amazed how little we need to thrive!

So what has happened?!

  • I have lost a heap of excess body fat easily without changing my training and started doing the best most cleansing poops ever! Seriously, when ya do a good poo, ya feel so fantastic!
  • I have started to really ABSORB my nutrients, because the increase in fibre from all the vegetables really supported fantastic gut health.
  • I feel fuller for longer, more satiated, and more complete, because this 80/20 approach still lets me celebrate good quality nourishing fats! Along with all the colors of the rainbow I am enjoying!

Which is WHY my latest book, EAT MORE VEGAN is so so important!!

It is:

  • Gluten Free
  • Refined Sugar Free
  • Packet Free
  • Low Carb Keto Friendly
  • Paleo Friendly
  • Nutrient Dense
  • Anti-Inflammatory

That’s right, this book is redefining what plant based looks and tastes like.

You will not find:

  • Inflammatory Oils
  • Faux Meat
  • Processed Ingredients
  • Grains, Beans, Legumes
  • Refined Carbs

Just real honest food made easy.

This is good for THREE groups of people:

  1. You’re 100% fully fledged plant based and want a cookbook that’s easy without the crap.
  2. You’re a reducetarian… that means you’re someone who is looking to reduce their meat consumption with more #MeatFreeMonday motivation.
  3. Or you simply want to take plant based foods to the next level, with new recipes, flavours and ideas!

Keen to grab a copy?! You can grab it at The Happy Frog in Coffs Harbour! It retails for under $30 for 100 amazing plant-based dishes!

Want a sneak peek? Check out this recipe from the book and get cooking!

Crispy Pumpkin Tortilla Recipe

It doesn’t get much simpler or more delicious than this dish. You get to create a fantastic gluten-free crispy tortilla from scratch and, while you’re doing that, you’re also roasting off possibly one of my favourite vegetables, the humble butternut pumpkin. This naturally sweet and delicious vegetable is low-carb, packed with nutrients and just makes you feel good inside.

Ingredients

400 g butternut pumpkin, unpeeled, roughly diced into small chunks
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
lemon wedges, to serve

CRISPY TORTILLAS
100 g (1 cup) almond meal
125 g (1 cup) arrowroot or tapioca flour
125 ml (1⁄2 cup) coconut milk
125 ml (1⁄2 cup) filtered water, plus extra if needed
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
3–4 tablespoons coconut oil

HERBY AVOCADO DRESSING
1 avocado, smashed
1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
125 ml (1⁄2 cup) extra-virgin olive, avocado, macadamia or hemp oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Coat your pumpkin well with the coconut oil, season with the salt and spread evenly over your prepared baking tray, giving each chunk space to get crispy without too much overlapping. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and soft in the middle.

While your pumpkin is cooking, get on with the tortillas. Combine the almond meal, arrowroot or tapioca flour, coconut milk, water and salt in a bowl and mix well to form a smooth thin batter. (The more watery the batter, the thinner and crispier your tortillas will be, so add a splash or two more if you like.) Melt 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Ladle a quarter of the batter into the pan, tilting and swirling it to coat the base in an even layer, and cook for 2–3 minutes, then carefully turn the tortilla over with a spatula and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Lift the tortilla from the pan and set aside, wrapped in a clean tea towel to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining mixture, greasing the pan with a little more coconut oil in between tortillas to make sure they don’t stick to the pan.

For the herby avocado dressing, put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.

Divide the tortillas among plates, spoon over the roasted pumpkin, drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds. Serve with the lemon wedges and tuck in.