COLORADO SPRINGS – As part of Heart Health Month, we’re cooking with a cardiologist in this edition of Your Healthy Family.
In November, as part of Men’s Health Month, we met Dr. David Rosenbaum, a cardiologist for UCHealth Memorial. Dr. Rosenbaum has been eating a mostly plant-based diet for the last seven years. While he occasionally has fish, he hasn’t eaten a bite of beef, pork or chicken in seven years.
The idea of a super healthy diet for your heart and your waistline may seem like a good idea, for many of us the thought of no beef, chicken or pork sounds impossible. When Dr. Rosenbaum described one of his favorite plant-based meals to me, it sparked my curiosity as to what a plant-based meal would look and taste like.
Dr. Rosenbaum was kind enough to invite me into his kitchen to find out first-hand, as he cooked up a tofu brown rice noodle stir fry that he makes almost weekly.
Some of the ingredients were familiar, like orange juice, lime, rice wine vinegar and some I had never heard of, like tamari, which is a type of soy sauce.
“The hardest part about cooking a plant-based meal is having all the right ingredients on hand, and all the ingredients (for this dish) can be found at any local grocery store,” said Dr. Rosenbaum.
The protein source in this meal is the tofu, made from mashed soybeans. Dr. Rosenbaum says the tofu takes on the flavor of the sweet chili sauce it’s marinated in and is a very healthy source of protein because it’s plant-based.
He explains, “Animal proteins have more saturated fat than plant proteins that damage our blood vessels and other organs in the body.
Dr. Rosenbaum operates as smoothly in his kitchen as he does in the cath lab. He then served me a plate of this healthy meal that took him about 30 minutes to whip up, and I have to admit it was very good, and I’m not just saying that to be polite to the doctor-chef.
“If you think there is no flavor to plant-based cooking, it’s just not true. You just have to be more creative, but there are all kids of places to find recipes these days in books or online,” said Dr. Rosenbaum.
For those who want to start eating a strict plant-based diet, Dr. Rosenbaum said it boils down to one easy rule of thumb, “If it has a mouth or a mother, don’t eat it.”
Dr. Rosenbaum adds that a plant-based diet has been shown to help control or even partially reverse plaque buildup in the heart and blood vessels.
So if you think this plant-based dish would be fun to try, here is Dr. Rosenbaum’s recipe.
SWEET CHILI TOFU BROWN RICE STIR FRY RECIPE
- 1 package brown rice noodles
- 1 package extra firm tofu
- 1 bottle of sweet chili sauce
- Cilantro (optional)
- Chopped Peanuts or Peanuts (optional)
- 1 cup orange juice
- ¼ cup Tamari
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic or 3 cloves
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 2 tsp agave nectar or honey
- Express liquid out of tofu and then marinate with sweet chili sauce
- Prepare brown rice noodles according to instructions on package (boil and drain)
- Mix, orange juice, tamari, sesame oil, virgin olive oil, garlic, lime juice and agave or honey together
- Mix chop coleslaw salad, bean sprouts, and cooked noodles, and mixed sauce in large bowl
- Grill Tofu with marinade, that has sat for 15 – 30 minutes
- Dish noodles on plate or bowl, (optional) garnish with chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts
- Add grilled tofu and serve.