Monthly Archives: March 2010

Hero #2 Martina Navratilova

I first heard about her focus on diet many moons ago when reading Robert Haas’ book on sports nutrition Eat to Win, which I think may be one of the first books of its kind for a general audience, coming as it did after the fitness boom of the 70s. What made it unique was it focus on quality carbohydrate, rather than protein, and emphasizing low fat eating. It’s out of print now, but I found an old copy and was surprised at accurate it still remains. It is quite close to McDougall and Pritikin it its practice. In the book he mentioned some of the athletes he worked with such as Navratilova. She is quoted as having benefitted greatly from the plan, but until recently I did not know that she is truly plant based, and credits it for her success. While not being a tennis fan, I have been impressed with very long career, still winning championships into her 50s! So I was quite interested in this little video that credits outstanding longevity in a highly competitive sport to her love of plant power!

Tuscan Beans and Greens Crockpot Casserole


While watching the Food Network with my mother, we saw the beginnings of a great slow cooker dish. While the TV chef used chicken, I saw the potential to make it right: fat free vegan! It makes a great stew that we served on soft polenta, but it could be served with other starches, such as potatoes, or a whole grain pilaf. Or, serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cans rinsed, drained white beans
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 oz. sliced portabella mushrooms
1-2 jarred roasted red bellpepper, chunked
1 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 bunch kale, chopped

Option 1:

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low until done, 6-8 hrs. Discard rosemary, check seasoning and serve.

Option 2:

Saute onion, garlic, celery, and fennel and carrots in a little wine or broth until soften.
Add to slow cooker with other ingredients and cook as above.

VARIATIONS:
Change the beans, using kidney beans or chickpeas.
Change the seasoning to sage or herbes de Provence.
Add chopped tomatoes.
Use chard, spinach or other greens instead of kale.

I love the slow cooker in winter, and this dish shows it with a slow simmering, good smelling dish that is ready when you are.