Friday, September 19, 2014

Vegan Mofo - Esselstyn

Today's book reviews are from Rip Esselstyn.

Rip Esselstyn is the son of the well known Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, also known as Mr "Heart Attack Proof". Dr. Esselstyn featured in the documentary Forks Over Knives. He has had wonderful success with not only stopping the progression of heart disease, but also reversing the damage already done to arteries. Perhaps most well-known for helping the former American president Bill Clinton. 

Rip was a professional athlete and is now a firefighter - both careers fueled by plants. 
He tells part of his story at the start of his Engine 2 Diet book.

Rip follows in his father's footsteps recommending a whole food plant based diet that eliminates all oils. Data shows that any oils, including olive oil, increase our risk of heart disease just like butter does. Oil is a highly processed food and is in no way a "WHOLE" food. You can watch this short clip on youtube here if you're interested.  

I waited several years after their release date before purchasing these books. I am honestly yet to read "My Beef with Meat". If you've read it be sure to let me know what you think! 

The reason I'm delayed in reading the second book is because, to be honest, "The Engine 2 Diet" didn't really grab me. Don't get me wrong, it's a great book, but it is another one that is aimed at those who need convincing to switch their diet, and not particularly relevant for those already well and truly on the plant-based and oil free) way of life. I also think that it would be a great read for men. I think they would enjoy the fire-fighting stories a lot more than I did!!!

I love the "easy weekly planner" that is included in the book. I think it's a fantastic way of showing how easy a plant-based diet can be. It provides a guide to having variety and incorporating old favourites now turned into new healthy ways of eating. Also it is a great way of planning meals out for the week - both for old and new herbivores!

There are a few stand out recipes in the book, but the rest are real basic and great for new-comers who are looking for easy, no fuss meals that are nothing too exotic! 

Below is pictured "Raise-the-Roof Sweet Potato-Vegetable Lasagna" (minus the ground cashews). 
This is so so delicious and honestly one of my favourite plant lasagna's.

You can find the recipe for this delicious meal on his website here.

I love that the recipes in the book are foods that are familiar to people who consume a standard diet, yet now made in a way that supports a plant-based diet. 
This "Green Pizza" is an example of that. 
I was surprised at how delicious it was. I have never tried broccoli on pizza before and I usually don't use plain nutritional yeast, but instead turn it into a 'sauce'. For this recipe I just sprinkled it over the top, and it worked quite well. 
You can view the recipe on the website here

Now how's that for a vegan pizza! 

I have heard glowing review about the new "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook" - though I am yet to get it.
Anybody got it and want to share your thoughts on it?

I get excited anytime a new vegan cookbook comes out and especially ones that are oil-free and not heavily focused on nuts!

You can find more information about Rip on his website here - Engine 2 Diet.


  1. Can I just brag that I used your easy cheezy sauce for my vegan homemade pizza last night and it was STELLAR. If a GF crust wasn't so time consuming to make, I'd be eating it right now instead of this baked potato. I'm having romantic fantasies about that sauce, my friend.

    1. Aw thank you so much! I'm so so pleased that you enjoyed it so much! :-)

  2. I'm really grateful for your honest review of Rip's book as I was wondering whether it would be suitable for my hubbie. Since he's already 100% on board with the whole food plant based diet though, it doesn't sound like this book would be that enlightening for him.
    I do love the look of that lasagna though! I never imagined putting sweet potato on top. Mind you, I'm so obsessed with s.p. at the moment that I would happily eat it on anything ;)

    1. Sweet potato is really easy to enjoy on anything I agree!!!!
      Yes well honestly if he's already on board then I don't think it will offer him anything further. Check out Rip's website as most of the recipes in the book are on there. :-)