400 lbs Ago: The Philip McCluskey Story

October 13, 2009

by contributor Philip McCluskey

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I’m a sexy guy. I’ve fallen in love with myself, because I am a beautiful, sexy, gorgeous man. I feel like I can say that without worrying that my ego needs to be checked at the door . . . Because I used to be 400lbs.

See, I’ve been overweight my entire life, starting as a “cute” chubby little kid, all the way to morbidly obese and not so cute in my twenties. I tried every fad diet, fasting program and fancy gym equipment there was. Nothing worked. I was still overweight and I still despised myself. It wasn’t until I chose a raw vegan lifestyle and to begin practicing self-adoration that my life became amazingly sexy, full and alive.BeforePhilip
It was the living food and the way it helped start the kickass circle of falling in love with ME. I felt better as I was losing weight like crazy, so I liked myself more. As I began to like myself more, I started positive affirmations in front of mirrors and I smiled even when I didn’t feel like it. Sometimes I felt self-conscious but I kept adoring myself, or at least working on it. And now. . . I think I’m the sexiest piece of raw vegan “meat” out there.

Eating raw living uncooked organic vegan food (veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds) was just the beginning. It led to so many other changes, as I began respecting and caring for the planet, becoming eco-conscious, thinking about the present moment, letting go of control, exercising and actually enjoying it, learning to trust and adventuring in the outside world, feeling like a kid again and yet becoming fully a man that I love and actually really admire.

AfterPhilip

So my goal was really always to become half the man I was. . . And through self-love and the best raw vegan food ever, I did.

Now about that food! Here’s my favorite sexy salad recipe that is easy to make with whatever you have on hand, can be put in a heaping man-sized bowl, and is as spicy and flavorful as you can handle.

Salad

  1. Rip up one head of greens (kale, farmer’s market lettuce, dandelion, wild mesclun, go crazy and think outside the iceberg lettuce box)
  2. Add 1 avocado, pitted and mashed
  3. Throw in any sliced raw veggies you want, whatever is local and in season is best for the planet and for your body. I think my favorite additions this time of year are the last of the delicious sungold tomatoes, I just add a handful or two whole.
  4. Rip up a bunch of dulse, add some kelp powder, soaked wakame, hijiki, sprinkles of blue green algae or the incredible sparkly crystal manna. . .get those superfoods from the sea!
  5. Add whatever other flavorings and seasons you want: nutritional yeast, raw nuts/seeds (I’m addicted to hemp seeds), Bragg’s Amino Acids, Himalayan Sea Salt, cayenne pepper, chipotle, even a little raw nut-cheese every now and then. . .the whole idea is to play, experiment, mash it up and dig in.

Eat and be sexy.

Philip McCluskey
www.lovingraw.com

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Ethical Exploits Vol.4: California Dreamin’

October 9, 2009

Day-to-day choices for the ethically handsome man
By Matt Lara

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Where the Wild Photos Are: BABOONS IN PROFILE, AMBOSELI 2007

While everyone was checking out wild fashion at NYC Fashion Week, I was moving out to the wild, wild west known as Los Angeles. My first excursion out of the world of unpacking and back into the world of enjoyment was a visit to the Fahey/Klein Gallery to see A Shadow Falls by photographer Nick Brandt. Little did I know that a fun afternoon trip would turn out to be a private audience with the photographer himself! I was astonished to hear him explain that it was the gorgeous African wildlife that originally drew him in, and that this was the best way for him to honor it. The work is also available as a book. An excerpt from the introduction:

“For me, every creature on this planet has an equal right to live. Whether human being, Serengeti elephant, or factory farm cow. That is why I take these photographs. I hope that maybe you will see these animals, these non-humans, in the way that I do—as not so very different from us.”

App Happy:

According to a friend of mine, I have finally joined the “evil empire” with the purchase of my new iPhone. After figuring out picture-texting and voice activation, I sought out some of the more useful apps for healthy and compassionate ladies and germs:

Vegan Yum Yum has fantastic recipes from their blog, some with photos. I like how you can check off ingredients, which is helpful while in the grocery store.

Dirty Produce from the Environmental Working Group is a quick list of the most highly sprayed crops for when it’s difficult to find all organic produce.

Thanks to Chloe at GirlieGirlArmy for Be Nice To Bunnies which lists companies that test their products on animals. So helpful in those giant drug store aisles.

Whole Foods also has a nice app full of recipes I have been flipping through. They are arranged by category including vegan and gluten-free dishes.

Stir Crazy
Okay, I am still learning how to make astounding dishes a la Joshua Katcher (the DB himself). For now, I am a fan of the “dump-and-stir” recipe. This one looks, feels, and tastes special every time I stir-and-serve it. Therefore, I make it often:

Lemony Chickpea Tofu Stir Fry, and Stay tuned for more crazy stirring…

ChicpeaStirfry

A Real Food Day


A few days after my big move I grabbed lunch with the man behind those naughty candles over at A Scent of Scandal, Ari Solomon. We laughed and chewed for quite a while over some wonderful dishes at Real Food Daily in West Hollywood. According to his recommendation, I am to come back and stuff myself with their nachos with melted cashew-cheddar cheese. That is after my next stop, the brand-new Veggie Grill on Sunset Boulevard!

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Now that I’m pretty much all moved, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a good living space and a good day-job. I’ll keep you posted! If anyone out there has any tips, questions, or suggestion about living Ethically Handsome on the West Coast, please leave me a comment below!


Beefless-Tips Stuffed Collards with Eggplant & Shiitake

September 26, 2009

CollardRollStuffed

I recently got to try some of Gardein’s new frozen line, and I experimented with some recipes using their meatless “meats”. They are low-fat and high protein, and taste incredibly authentic. If you are into the taste and texture of meat but want to avoid the ethical, ecological, and social implications of eating animals, this is a pretty great product made from a combination of soy, wheat gluten, quinoa, amaranth, millet and kamut!

I think this recipe for Beefless-Tips Stuffed Collards with Eggplant and Shiitake is easy, delicious and full of nutrients. Enjoy!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):

  • 1 small red onion
  • 6 medium shiitake mushroom heads
  • 1 cup chopped eggplant (about 1/4 of large Eggplant)
  • 1/4 cup mixed olives including juice
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tbs olive oil, for sauteing
  • 2 large collard green leaves
  • 1/2 bag (about 2/3 cup) Gardein Beefless Tips
  • salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Wash 2 large collard green leaves, and set aside on 2 plates.
  2. Bring a large, oiled skillet ( I prefer cast iron) to medium head.
  3. Chop the onion, mushrooms, and eggplant and place in the hot skillet. Add the olives and Gardein Beefless Tips.CollardRoll_Stuffing
  4. Saute on medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, until the eggplant turn golden and begins to fall apart.
  5. Add the red wine vinegar, and white wine and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes until the liquid cooks off.
  6. Divide the contents of the skillet in half, and scoop each half onto a raw collard leaf.
  7. Fold the leaf over, then flip so the midrib is on the outside and top:CollarRollInstruction
  8. Serve and enjoy!

TIP:

This would go great with some soup. Try my Savory Parsnip or Souper Easy Squash Soup

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Lobster Mushroom Tostada Tower

September 22, 2009

LobsterMushroom

Lobster mushroom is one of Earth’s strange and incredible inventions. But don’t be scared off by the fact that it’s actually not a mushroom, but a parasitic ascomycete (a parasite-fungus that is hosted by, and consumes mushrooms). https://i2.wp.com/www.gourmetsleuth.com/images/lobster_mushrooms_300.jpgWhen this delicious fungal-parasite takes over the mushroom, it engulfs it and turns it red, giving it a lobster-like appearance, and strangely, a subtle seafood taste. Thanks for mycological cannibalism, mamma nature!

This dish is like fancy-shmancy fish tacos, but vegan and minus the whole devastation of reefs and other ocean ecosystems. And unlike seafood, this mushroom will still probably be around in 2048. The crisp layering of toasted tortillas, the smoothness of the hearty kale-potato sauce, and the crispy-edged, pan-seared lobster mushroom sauteed with shallots and garlic all come together quite wonderfully. The texture of sauteed and seared lobster mushroom is tender, slightly chewy, and very satisfying. Lobster mushroom isn’t cheap, so save it for a special occasion.

This dish is vegan, soy and gluten free! Mercury free, too!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):

  • 1 large or 2 medium Lobster Mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 med-large shallots
  • 2 small red potatoes
  • 1 packed-cup fresh green kale
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbs olive oil (for sauteing)
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 small corn tortillas
  • 1 tsp/cube unsalted veg bullion
  • 1 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp cashew cream (equal parts cashew and water, blended)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a large oiled skillet to med heat.
  2. Half the potatoes and steam them along with the kale for about 12-15 min.
  3. Dice the garlic and chop the shallots and add to pan for about 5 min, mixing occasionally.
  4. Slice the mushroom in 1/2 in thick slices and add to pan.
  5. Saute for another 10-12 min, flipping the mushrooms once.
  6. Add the vinegar to the pan and saute for another 5 minutes, flipping the mushrooms again.
  7. Remove from the heat.
  8. In a blender or processor, combine the steamed kale, potato, almond milk, salt, nutritional yeast, and bullion until smooth.
  9. Half the tortillas and toast or pan fry until crisp.
  10. On a large plate, layer the tortilla, then kale sauce, then mushroom. Repeat for another layer, and top with the garlic/shallots and the cashew cream.

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EMCEE DB: Win a seat at Veggie Conquest, Squash!

September 21, 2009

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On Saturday, September 26th, I’ll be the emcee at the Veggie Conquest event here in New York City along with the judges: bakery owner Amy Lynn Herman, restaurateur Deborah Gavito, and eco-veggie blog-star Michael Parrish DuDell.

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There is one spot left to be a competing chef! Get your ticket now! Unfortunately, the event is sold-out for tasters. But fear not! I will be randomly picking a guest to come with me as my “plus 1“. CLICK HERE TO ENTER YOUR NAME!

winter-squash

Autumn has arrived, and this month, the featured ingredient is squash!

All chefs will make an appetizer featuring squash!

This is the one time of year that we have both summer and winter squash available! There are so many kinds of squash and so many parts of a squash that can be used.


Raw Sweet-Pesto “Pasta”

September 18, 2009

RawPestoPasta

The last recipe I did was a cooked, more traditional version of sweet pesto pasta – but for those of you who like it raw, I offer you my uncooked interpretation. Zucchini, squash (and even eggplant and carrots!) can be shredded into thin, linguine-like strips. If you suffer from gluten allergies, want to shrink your carb-footprint, or just want a lighter, healthier dish – check this cheap and easy (just like me!) recipe:

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):

  • 1 med-large zucchini
  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 clove raw garlic
  • 2 dried black mission figs
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast*
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, shred the zucchini very thinly (using almost no pressure).
  2. In a blender, combine the basil, cashews, avocado, water, garlic, figs, vinegar, nutritional yeast, salt, and Italian seasoning. Save the black pepper for putting on top!
  3. Pour the pesto over the shredded “pasta”, mix, top with the pepper, and serve!

Q&A

*Sometimes when I include Nutritional Yeast in a raw recipe, readers ask, “Is Nutritional Yeast actually raw?”.

The answer is no, it’s not raw. However, you NEVER want to eat raw yeast! Nutritional Yeast it is a really valuable supplement with a rock-star nutritional profile. So if you’re religiously raw – skip it. If not, it’s crucial – and tastes like yummy, nutty, cheesy goodness! According to Sundance Natural Foods:

Raised On Molasses
Nutritional yeast is grown on mineral enriched molasses and used as a food supplement. At the end of the growth period, the culture is pasteurized to kill the yeast. You never want to use a live yeast (i.e. baking yeast) as a food supplement because the live yeast continues to grow in the intestine and actually uses up the vitamin B in the body instead of replenishing the supply. (Brewer’s yeast is nutritionally the same but as a by-product of the beer-brewing industry it has a characteristic bitter hops flavor.)

It’s Good For Ya’
Nutritional yeast contains 18 amino acids (forming the complete protein) and 15 minerals. Being rich in the B-complex vitamins, it is vital in many ways and particularly good for stress reduction. The B-complex vitamins help make nutritional yeast such a valuable supplement, especially to the vegetarian. It is one of the rare vegetarian sources of B12.
One element of yeast is the trace mineral chromium, also known as the Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). This is necessary to regulate blood sugar and is important for diabetics and people with a tendency toward low blood sugar.

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Sweet Onion-Petso Pasta & Garlic Sauteed Spinach

September 3, 2009

PestoSpinachPasta

There are so many incarnations of pesto – I thought this sweeter, creamier pesto was satisfying and indulgent, and went perfectly with some simple, garlic sauteed spinach. As usual, I recommend getting your ingredients organic and as local as possible!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):

pesto pasta

  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups brown rice pasta
  • 2 Tbs raw cashew butter (or 1/4 cup raw cashews)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

spinach

  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbs olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Chop the onion, crush 2 cloves of garlic, and bring a large pan to medium heat, and saute them in 1 Tbs olive oil until golden.
  2. Pour in the wine and let the liquid reduce for about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, put the basil, cashew butter, almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Add the sauteed onions and blend. Set aside the pesto.
  5. Boil the pasta until tender, and strain.
  6. Pour the pesto onto the pasta and mix.
  7. For the spinach, saute for 3 or 4 minutes on medium heat (in the same unwashed skillet you used for the onions) with the garlic and olive oil.
  8. Use basil leaves for garnish, top with some black pepper and nutritional yeast, and serve!