A couple of years ago, I was shocked to find out that my cholesterol was 213. Any cholesterol level over 200 is considered unhealthy, and puts the body at risk for circulatory and heart diseases. Part of the culprit was my genetics… nothing I could do about that. Besides inheriting my lovely skin and hair from my Mom, I inherited her cholesterol. The other piece of it, the controllable one, is diet.
I had just watched the documentary Forks Over Knives, a film that squarely places dietary blame on meat and meat production in America. One of the people in the film also had high cholesterol and lowered it by taking on a plant-based diet.
If you’ve read my blog before, you know I travel a lot. I eat out a lot. I do cook, and I’ve posted recipes here. To go completely vegan is not realistic for my life style, or honestly, my happiness. So I decided to go onto what I call, the Inside Outside Diet (I blogged about it in 2012, if you would like to read the details of it, click here).
As a result of this diet, my cholesterol dropped to 170. No joke. It was that dramatic. I eat at home 3-4 days a week, so cutting out meat and dairy cut my cholesterol by that much. It’s been about a year and a half since I started this diet, and after countless roasted veggie meals and pasta, I realized that I didn’t really know how to make a lot of vegan stuff.
I found Rouxbe on a whim in 2010 and signed up for a membership because I absolutely loved their technique, teaching style and videos. When they decided to offer a Professional Plant-Based Certification Cooking Course, I knew I would have to sign up in order to grow as a home cook in a vegan environment.
The Plant Based Course requires that we prepare and make dishes using the techniques we learn, and upload pictures of our creations and progress. So I thought, why not share with you what I learn so you can see some of the progress I am making!
The first assignment was to upload pictures of a vegetarian dish we make regularly… and so here’s my favorite breakfast… Avocado Toast.
Avocado Toast (One serving)
Two slices of Toast (I like wheat/sprout/rustic nut breads)
Olive Oil (I like Meyer Lemon olive oil, but if you only have regular, you can add some lemon juice)
Red Pepper Flakes
Mash the avocado, sprinkle in salt, pepper and olive oil (and lemon juice if need be)
Spread onto toast
Top with Maldon Salt for crunch and Red Pepper Flakes
Drizzle with Balsamic Glaze
Voila. Easy and yummy.
For you non-vegetarians, you can add an egg-white to each toast as well. That is how I originally had avocado toast for the first (and second, and third, and 10,000 times more) time at Gum Tree Cafe in Hermosa Beach, CA.