Vegan-ish: A Physician’s Journey to More Plant-Based Meals | Avocado Waffles

I am Dr. Monique May, Board-certified Family Physician and Founder of Physician in the Kitchen™. Through my best-selling book, MealMasters: Your Simple Guide to Modern Day Meal Planning, and NEW cookbook, Doc Fix My Plate! The Physician In The Kitchen’s Prescriptions For Your Healthy Meal Makeover, and online cooking classes, I help busy households enjoy healthy eating without impacting their hectic schedules.

 

 

People choose to adopt vegan or other lifestyles for a variety of reasons, and they are usually related to improving their health. They may want to eliminate the need for medications to treat their cholesterol or high blood sugar, or maybe they want to lose a few pounds to reach an ideal or preferred weight. By cutting out animal protein, you may notice an improvement in chronic conditions such as joint pain or kidney disease. For me, in addition to the known health benefits of a plant-based diet, I truly enjoy experimenting and testing recipes featuring vegetables or other plant-based foods. I also get to create in my “lab” while using my many kitchen gadgets and appliances.

Since I also enjoy a good list (I mean who doesn’t: from to-do ones to the best Christmas movies of all time to top travel destinations…I know… wishful thinking these days), I thought I would share my favorite food items that have helped on my journey thus far, in alphabetical order, in a series called Dr. Monique’s Favorite Food ABCs..starting with…

A is for Avocado: how fitting this is the first one because I cannot say enough about this fruit (yes avocado is technically a berry because it has fleshy pulp and seed). I am a bona-fide avocado-holic (I even have the t-shirt – see below- as proof!). My BF Kim just gave me an AVOCADO COOKBOOK for Christmas! Avocados are truly a superfood: they contain LOTS of nutrients, antioxidants (folic acid for example), omega 3 (the good fat), minerals such as potassium and magnesium, fiber, and vitamins such as A, C, D, E, K and are cholesterol- and sodium-free.
Avocados can be used for breakfast (avocado toast, avocado waffles) appetizers, dips (um, guac anyone?), entrees (avocado pasta), and even dessert (chocolate avocado pudding? yes please!). 

For all their perks, they can be a bit diva-like when it comes to shelf-life and storage. Hey, no one’s perfect, right? Avocados are a bit high maintenance but are well worth the effort. To begin, when choosing an avocado you need to check for ripeness by just pressing gently on it. If it is very soft it is too ripe so don’t waste your money. Also the darker the avocado the riper it tends to be. Another trick is to check the top where the stem is. If the cap is still on there flick it off: if it’s brown put it down.  If it’s green it stays on the scene. I usually buy mine unripe (very firm to the touch with no give) and let them ripen on the countertop if I don’t plan to use them for a few days. Once they start to ripen I will store them in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process.  If you want to speed up the ripening process, store your avocado in a paper bag with an apple or banana. The gasses released from these fruits speed up the process (food plus science for the win!). If you cut them in half, be sure to store the unused half with the seed in place, squeeze some lemon or lime juice on it, and cover with plastic wrap to keep it from turning brown. It should last for about a day. You can also freeze them whole or squeeze them into ice cube trays. I recommend squeezing fresh lemon or lime juice on it if you do the latter.

Here is my recipe for vegan Avocado Waffles. Spoiler alert: The avocado takes the place of eggs, giving you a heart-healthy boost as well as beautiful waffles with flecks of green in them from the cilantro. The featured picture shows one with “chicken” tenders made with plant-based chicken. Be sure to bookmark this recipe for St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!!

 

See you in the kitchen!

 

For this and other mouth-watering vegan recipes grab your autographed copy of Doc Fix My Plate! The Physician In The Kitchen’s Prescriptions For Your Healthy Meal Makeover here.

 

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