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Sample slimming delicious vegan and flexitarian diet recipes from 'VB6 Cookbook'

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When he wrote a book explaining how to win at both weight loss and healthy by becoming a part-time vegan, Mark Bitttman had an instant bestseller. The diet became an overnight weight loss sensation, described in "VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good" (click for details).

Now for those who want to enhance their VB6 diets with more variety as well as for anyone who wants to sample some vegan and flexitarian recipes that are both healthy and delicious while boosting weight loss tastefully, Mark has concocted a companion cookbook: "The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night." Accompanied by beautiful photographs and easy-to-follow recipes, it's highly adaptable and makes it easy to enjoy a plant-based diet.

But don't just take our word for it: Sample a few recipes below. And get more information about "The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night" by clicking here.

Mushroom-Nut Burgers over Greens
Makes 4 servings
Time 30 minutes

I’ve made tons of meatless burgers since becoming a part-time vegan, and
they’re always better than store-bought. Almost as convenient too: Just
double or triple the batch and freeze the burgers on a wax paper–lined
tray until solid; then wrap them up and keep them frozen for a rainy day.
You could also have them on a whole-grain bun.

1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 (or more) garlic cloves
1 pound mushrooms (like cremini or button), trimmed and halved
½ cup pecans (or any other nut you like)
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 cups torn lettuce or other salad greens
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
½ large red onion, sliced into thin rings

1 Put the oats in a food processor and let the machine run until they’re ground to a coarse meal, about 1 minute. Transfer them to a large bowl.

2 Pulse the garlic in the food processor (no need to wash it first) until the cloves are broken up a bit, then add the mushrooms. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped but not pureed. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the bowl with the oats. Put the nuts in the food processor (again, no need to wash it) and let the machine run until they’re ground to a thick paste, adding water a teaspoon at a time if necessary just to let the machine do its job; be careful not to make the mixture too wet. Scrape the nut butter into the bowl with a rubber spatula.

3 Add the chili powder, salt, and pepper and stir with the spatula, pressing and folding as you work until the ingredients are distributed evenly. Refrigerate the mixture for 10 minutes, then make four patties.

4 Put the oil in a large skillet (preferably nonstick or cast-iron) over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the burgers and cook, undisturbed, until they’re browned on the bottom and release evenly from the pan, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the burgers, lower the heat a bit, and cook on the other side until firm and browned, 3 to 5 minutes more.

5 Remove the burgers and return the pan to the heat with the lemon juice and ½ cup water. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid thickens a bit. Serve the burgers on a bed of lettuce, drizzled with the pan sauce and topped with the tomatoes and onions.

Sweetgreen Quinoa Salad

Makes 4 servings

Time 20 minutes with cooked grains

Long called a super-grain (it’s actually not a grain but a chenopod, but let’s not let that bother us), quinoa has become super-hip—to the point where supply is having a hard time keeping up with demand. You’ll find it easily enough, though, and a little goes a long way, especially in a vegetable-driven salad like this. The main recipe is best in summer, when tomatoes and corn are at their peak. For rest-of-the-year options—including the springtime salad served in Sweetgreen restaurants to celebrate the publication of this book—see the ideas that follow.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, or to taste

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 large shallot or small red onion, chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3 cups cooked quinoa

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

2 cups corn kernels, preferably fresh

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 cup chopped fresh basil or mint

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper with 2 tablespoons water in a large bowl. Add the shallot and garlic, whisk again, and taste. Add more mustard if you like.

Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss with a fork and spoon until everything is evenly coated in dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve right away, or refrigerate for up to an hour or so.

Variation

Sweetgreen Seasonal Quinoa Salad

Vary the vegetables according to what looks best in season. Greens or cabbage are always good choices. In winter, try tossing in leftover cooked vegetables straight from the fridge. Sweetgreen’s spring version is built around asparagus, and includes kale, arugula, toasted almonds and other locally sourced vegetables. The fast vinaigrette in the main recipe here goes with virtually everything, but when you’re in the restaurant, you can choose from several vegan dressings.

More Ideas

A bold salad like this would also be great with any number of other grains: bulgur, millet, wheat berries, or farro, for example. • Add crunch by tossing in toasted pine nuts, shelled pumpkin seeds, or sliced almonds. • Up the protein by adding black beans, chickpeas, or tofu. • Year-round, use fresh parsley instead of the basil, or skip the fresh herb entirely.

Note: All recipes reprinted with permission from Clarkson Potter; they are from "The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night" - click for details on ordering.

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