More and more we are hearing about organics and how important buying organic is to our health and to the world in general.  We have decided to explore this topic a little more here at Daily Tiramisu and provide information that is accessible to our readers.  We started with our post about fair trade chocolate and now we are moving on to an inspirational chef who has dedicated his career to inspiring people with healthy and organic cooking.  

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Doug McNish, a vegan chef with a fierce commitment to health and organics, whom I recently found out about through my husband.  

A Bit About the Chef (taken from Dougmcnish.com):
Doug McNish is a chef, a consultant, an educator, a speaker, and a committed plant pusher and activist.

With his hunger and drive to create beautiful and delicious meals, Doug has taken healthy, organic, plant-based cuisine to a whole new level. He creates inspired dishes using the highest quality ingredients possible, and enjoys challenging mainstream thought on diet and ethics. He is a contributor to various magazines, has been featured in numerous publications online and in print, makes appearances on national television, and is a plant based consultant to some of the world’s top luxury brands.

His first cookbook, Eat Raw, Eat Well, 400 Raw, Vegan and Gluten Free Recipes was awarded the honor of winning “Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World, 2012” by the “World Gourmand Cookbook Awards” held in Paris, France. His second cookbook, Raw, Quick and Delicious, was released in the fall of 2013.

Doug is based in Toronto, Canada and can be found working around the clock in his Public Kitchen, bringing vegan mainstream.


“Good food isn’t cheap, and cheap food isn’t good” -Doug McNish  

See more at: http://dougmcnish.com/

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Doug was kind enough to answer a few questions that I was curious about and that I thought you all might be interested in.  He also agreed to share a recipe from his new cookbook Raw, Quick & Delicious.  I have included it below!

Doug started cooking at the age of 15, his mother being his main influence.  He worked in a British Pub at the young age of 15 and just loved it – that is where he realized he loved cooking.

I asked him for some advice for beginner chefs and people who want to work in the culinary industry and he had some very sage advice; He recommends that those just starting off work hard, respect the people you work for, respect the kitchen you work in, and ALWAYS be willing to learn.

He had some advice for those who want to make changes to their diet in the direction of organic, vegan and gluten-free.  Doug compared this transition to a relationship; it should be taken slow.  If you jump right into it, it will likely end quickly, he says.  He recommends that you take your time to get into it, i.e. if you want to cut dairy from your diet, start by sourcing dairy-free options and trying them out first.

Doug had a few gluten-free tips for me:  More fat helps in a gluten-free recipe – He uses coconut oil.  He also said he uses natural binders and leveners like bananas (but the flavour of a banana will come through in whatever you use it in) or applesauce, instead of unnatural ingredients such as xantham gum.

His food philosophy is simple – all organic.  Doug does not judge people who choose otherwise, but he believes that if you “pay for it now” (meaning pay the higher price for organic foods now), then you won’t pay for it later (in health issues later).  He says pesticides hurt us so we should eat well now to save ourselves down the road. He also says that there is not much of a cost difference between organic and non-organic foods and there is a reason why organic foods cost more.

I asked Doug what the top 10 ingredients are that he always has stocked in his kitchen – here’s his list:
-nutritional yeast
-hemp seeds
-miso
-kale
-tempeh (which is loaf of fermented beans)
-blueberries
-avocados
-wheat-free tamari (which is gluten-free soya sauce)
-cashews and walnuts
-dates 
I always like to find out which kitchen tool chefs love the most.  I asked Doug and he said his Blendtec blender was the “best kitchen tool you can have in your life”.  Funny he mentioned that – we completely agree!  Read our Blendtec blender review HERE.

The Chef was kind enough to share a recipe for Curried Cashews and Mixed Ve
getables from Doug McNish’s Fall 2013 release, Raw, Quick & Delicious. We hope you enjoy the recipe! Check out Doug’s website for more information.

 
Curried Cashews and Mixed Vegetables

page 164, Main Courses

 

This rich medley of crunchy cashews and fresh vegetables with aromatic seasoning is a wonderful dinner entrée. Serve this with a simple green salad.

1 1⁄2 cups whole raw cashews, divided 375 mL
1⁄2 cup filtered water 125 mL
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 30 mL divided
2 tsp curry powder 10 mL
1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt, divided 2 mL
1⁄2 cup broccoli florets cut into 1⁄2-inch 125 mL
           (1 cm) pieces (see Tips)
1⁄2 cup shredded carrot 125 mL

1. In a blender, combine 1 cup (250 mL) cashews, water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice, curry powder and 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Blend at high speed until smooth. Cover and set aside.

2. In a bowl, combine broccoli and carrot. Add remaining salt and lemon juice and toss until well combined. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes, until softened.

3. Add remaining whole cashews and cashew curry sauce to softened vegetables. Toss until well combined. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


Variations

Replace the curry powder with an equal amount of garam masala and the broccoli with an equal amount of cauliflower.

I often add 2 tsp (10 mL) finely grated gingerroot to the vegetables.

Tips

Try substituting an equal amount of thinly sliced leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, dandelion greens or mustard greens, in place of the broccoli.

I prefer to use organic sea salt. This type of salt is classified as a whole food and is said to contain many trace minerals. If salt intake is something you are concerned about, feel free to use less than called for or omit it completely.

Makes 1 serving

Courtesy of Raw, Quick & Delicious!by Douglas McNish © 2013 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

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Thanks for speaking to me Doug!


Up next we compare the cost of organic vs. non-organic and find out if there is really much of a difference – stay tuned!


With Love,
Jules for Daily Tiramisu

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