For recipes and lifestyle advice, see Dr. Greger “How not to diet”

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There is no shortage of diet discussions at this time of year. Even a pandemic can’t stop the flurry of cookbooks promising us to start the year right to eat better and get leaner.

Dr. Michael Greger, MD wrote, “The Not Dieting Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes for Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss.” He describes it as an “evidence-based” weight loss book. It contains more than 100 recipes from Robin Robertson to enable healthier cooking.

As a nutrition expert, founder of nutrifacts.org and author of “How Not to Die”, Greger’s recommendations and strategies are explained in detail. They deal with calories, gut health, metabolism, circadian rhythms, and much more. Then they are summarized at the end of each chapter. You can look up the research related to each one.

Greger himself describes some of the strategies as scientific slam dunks and others as less secure. If you don’t want to follow advice, don’t do it, he writes.

His “tweaks” suggest what to do at each meal. These include preloading with water and foods with negative calories; Incorporating vinegar; have undisturbed meals; and following a 20 minute rule that says, eat and move on. He describes the science in relation to each individual.

He advocates daily intake of things ranging from black seed and garlic powder to yeast and green tea. His recommendations each night including fasting after 7 p.m. and getting enough sleep.

I could go on and on, but you can read the book published by Flatiron Books last month ($ 29.99).

You can visit the Providence Journal’s Facebook page for a live interview with Greger from journal partner Robin Kall Homonoff. She will always read to me “Reading with Robin” from her local talk radio program that started her career.

She is happy to add reader questions to her interview. You can email her at [email protected]

Robin’s chat with Greger is scheduled for January 25th at 5:45 p.m. See you there.

In the meantime, here are some recipes from the book that you should try.

Dr.  Michael Greger, author of

THREE SISTERS STEW

1 large butternut squash (about 2 pounds), halved lengthways

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 cup of light vegetable stock (see recipe) or water

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves of chopped garlic

1 large red pepper, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 small fresh hot chilli, pitted and chopped, or 1 (4 ounce) BPA-free can of salt-free chopped mild green chillies, drained

1 (14 oz) BPA-free can of salt-free diced tomatoes, undrilled

3 cups boiled * or 2 (15 oz) BPA-free cans of salt-free pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups of fresh or frozen corn kernels

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

2 teaspoons of chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Super-Charged Spice Blend (see recipe)

Ground black pepper

¼ cup of chopped fresh coriander or parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with a rim with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Scrape the seeds and fibers out of the pumpkin and cut the pumpkin into 1½-inch cubes. Spread the diced pumpkin evenly in one layer on the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with onion powder and paprika. Then roast in the oven for about 45 minutes or until they’re just tender but not completely soft. (You should be able to prick a piece of pumpkin with a knife and offer some resistance.) Set it aside.

Heat the light vegetable stock in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, and chilli and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the tomatoes with their liquid, pinto beans, corn, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Season to taste with Super-Charged Spice Blend and ground black pepper. Add the roasted pumpkin and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until all the vegetables are tender and the aromas have developed (approx. 20 minutes). The stew should be thick, but if it gets too thick add a little more broth. Stir in the coriander just before serving. Try the spices and adjust if necessary. Serve hot.

MAKES: 6 servings

SUPER-CHARGED SPICE BLEND

¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of dried parsley

1 tablespoon of dried basil

2 teaspoons of ground thyme

2 teaspoons of mustard powder

2 teaspoons of paprika

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

1 teaspoon of ground black cumin (nigella seeds)

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

½ teaspoon of ground turmeric

½ teaspoon of celery seeds

½ teaspoon of ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients well in a spice grinder and pulverize the dried herbs. Transfer the mixture to a shaker bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool and dry place.

MAKES: 2/3 cup

LIGHT VEGETABLE BREAD

1 red onion, roughly chopped

2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 ribs of celery, roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 Roma tomatoes, pitted and halved

2 dried shiitake mushrooms

½ cup of fresh, coarsely chopped parsley

2 bay leaves

½ teaspoon of ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of white miso paste

Dr. Gregers special spice mix (see recipe)

In a large saucepan, heat 1 cup of water over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, mushrooms, parsley, bay leaves and black pepper. Add 7 cups of water and bring to a boil. Set the heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours.

Remove from heat, let cool down a bit; Then remove the kombu and discard if used. Transfer the broth to a high speed mixer and blend until smooth. Pour the mixed stock back into the saucepan or large bowl through a fine-mesh sieve and press the vegetables against the sieve to release the juices. Scoop about ⅓ cup of the broth into a small bowl or mug. Add the miso paste and Dr. Add Greger’s special blend of spices to taste and stir well before you work it back into the broth.

Allow the broth to cool to room temperature before dividing it into containers with tightly fitting lids and storing them in the refrigerator or freezer. When properly stored, the broth can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

MAKES: 6 cups

DR. GREGER’S SPECIAL SPICE BLEND

2 tablespoons of yeast

1 tablespoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of dried parsley

1 tablespoon of dried basil

2 teaspoons of ground thyme

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

2 teaspoons of paprika

1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

Mix all ingredients well in a spice grinder and pulverize the dried herbs. Transfer the mixture to a shaker bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool and dry place.

MAKES: 1/2 cup

Vegetable paella with golden barley

VEGETABLE PAELLA WITH GOLDEN BARLEY

3¼ cups light vegetable broth (see recipe)

1 yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 red pepper, pitted and diced

1 yellow or green pepper, pitted and diced

1 (28 oz) BPA-free can of salt-free diced tomatoes, undripped

1 cup of uncooked peeled barley, soaked in water overnight and then drained

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of ground fennel

1 (½ inch) piece of fresh turmeric, grated or ½ teaspoon ground

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste

1½ cups cooked * or 1 (15 oz) BPA-free can of salt-free cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 (14 ounce) BPA-free can of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

1 cup of green peas

3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat ¼ cup of the light vegetable stock in a large saucepan or paella pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until just tender for about 4 minutes. Stir in red, yellow or green peppers, tomatoes with their juices, barley, peppers, fennel, turmeric, oregano and red pepper flakes. Stir in the remaining 3 cups of stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low, cover, and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, until the barley is tender.

As soon as the barley is tender, uncover, stir in cannellini beans, artichoke hearts and peas, cover and set aside for 10 minutes before serving. Try the spices and adjust if necessary. Sprinkle with the parsley, garnish with lemon wedges and serve hot.

MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

Recipes from “The Cookbook” How Not To Diet: Over 100 Recipes for Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss. “Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books.

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