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Father's Day is just a week away! All week, we will be featuring plant-based men (many of whom are fathers) on the blog — of course, my father came to mind first. So Papa Herbivore is here to kick off the week with a guest post discussing his continuing plant-based journey and some of his favorite HH recipes. Try whipping up one or two of his faves for the dad in your life this week!
"It's Papa Herbivore with a update. If someone was to ask me 6-7 years ago if I was going to start eating plant-based, I would have told them they were crazy. So it is not true when they say you can't teach an old dog a new trick. It has been 16 months now since I had my mild heart attack and decided to eat healthier. I always considered myself to be a 'meat man' — there was nothing like a juicy steak or a great hamburger. Little did I know what was happening to my health and what would happen down the road because of eating that way.
It is through my daughter's understanding, direction, inspiration and her knowledge about eating healthier that has brought me this far. I have more pep, have lost weight (maintaining the 25 lbs. that was lost), and when I go for my blood work the numbers are great — only wish I had all this information a lot earlier in my life. So how has this journey been? My craving for meat I feel will never go completely go away, but my mind tells me that I have other foods that satisfy me and how good they make me feel. Lindsay's cookbooks have become a way of life now for me and my wife. It is never to late to make changes in one's life, one food type at a time, one meal at a time and one day at a time. Fall back one step, take two forward.
As with any foods, everyone has their own tastes and favorites. Here are some of my top picks from the Happy Herbivore cookbooks. At the top of the list are Baked Beans from HHC (page 199). I always was a baked beans lover, but out of the can. These by far have the best combination of flavors and we always make double batches for leftovers. Next would be the closest thing to 'meat' that I will ever eat now, and that is the Spicy Sausage from HHC (page 150; similar recipe: Italian Sausages). This tastes like the 'real deal' and can be used in other recipes also (by the way, a great snack w/crackers on a long trip).
I have always been a soup lover and with that, all of Lindsay's soup recipes are terrific. I think we've tried them all. My all time favorite is the Mexican Chowder from EHH (page 112), simply the best. (again, make double batches). Being a previous steak man and then tasting the Portobello Steaks from HHC (page 148) was unbelievable — and having them with a baked potato and asparagus (which I never used to eat), you have a much healthier meal with plenty of flavor. I could go on and on about my favorites. The worst negative is that there are so many occasions of repeats it doesn't leave much room to try new different things.
Some advice I would pass on to other Herbie Dads is that, if you are not already involved, help your cook in the kitchen. I have so much fun being the sous chef for my wife and helping her cook. Work together as a family in picking out recipes from one of Lindsay's cookbooks to try. Don't shy away from or be intimidated by exotic or different tastes than you are accustomed. My wife and I never ate Indian or curry-based foods, as an example, until the HH cookbooks and now we love them.
Thanks to my wife for taking this journey with me so we could have many more healthier years together. We have one support group in the Herbivore community and the other in our family.
It's a mindset — you have to want to do it for yourself and for your health.
It is almost Father's Day and I have to take the time to thank my daughter for being so supportive and to let her know how very proud we are of her accomplishments and of all the lives she has touched and helped. EAT HEALTHY, HERBIES!
Happy Father's Day to all the other Herbie Dads.
Lindsay's Proud and Thankful Dad,
(P.S.: Love you, Lindsay — Dad)"
Herbies, have you had any luck cooking plant-based meals for your dad or the special guy in your life? What are some of his favorites? Tell us in the comments!