Hey guys!

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of my favourite plant-based foodies, Marni Wasserman. If you live in the Toronto area you’ve likely heard of her – and perhaps even tasted her cooking! But if not, allow me to provide a little background.

Source: MarniWasserman.com

Source: MarniWasserman.com

Marni is a whiz in the kitchen, a culinary nutritionist, and a true example of someone who is living her passion. What resonates so much with me about her is that we share a common philosophy: to eat real food every day. Her mission is to make nutrition and wellness as fun and experiential as possible, and she does this at her studio in Toronto. I’ve yet to visit this gorgeous space, but I really hope to make it there soon! Marni and her team offer a variety of organic vegetarian cooking classesworkshops and lifestyle products, all of which are geared towards teaching visitors how to adopt a healthier way of eating and living.

berries

Very recently, Marni’s new book, Plant Based Diet for Dummies, was released. As you might expect, it offers help and advice on transitioning to an eating style comprised of (mostly) plant-based foods. And just like all the rest of the Dummies Guides (including Fermenting for Dummies, also written by Marni), it does so in a very approachable way.

plant based diet for dummies

Here’s what she covers:

  • What’s a plant-based diet in the first place and why would you want to follow one?
  • How to be a savvy plant-based shopper
  • Making sure you’ve covered all your nutritional bases (think vitamins and minerals)
  • Advice for finding healthy plant based choices at restaurants
  • The best plant-based alternatives for non-plant based ingredients in your kitchen
  • How to raise healthy plant-based children, and considerations for pregnancy
  • Plant based nutrition for fitness enthusiasts (one of my favourite chapters!)
  • ….and over 50 delicious plant-based recipes that use simple, whole food ingredients

After checking out the book I had some questions for Marni that I thought you guys might be asking as well, so we caught up over email. Here are her answers:

What’s one of the most common misconceptions you hear when you talk to people about following a plant-based diet?

Most people have a fear that they will not get full on a plant based diet. They wonder how they will they will get what they need, especially when it comes to protein. This also goes for calcium, iron and overall balance. Once people learn how well rounded a plant-based diet can be (through this book) they are likely to feel more confident they will get exactly what their body needs by eating more plants.

bowl of chopped veggies

What advice would you have for someone who wants to incorporate more plant-based meals into their daily diet, but also has to consider their family members who may want to continue eating food from animal sources?

I would suggest to make some of the recipes and serve them as sides. This way everybody wins, the plant based eater has a main meal and the non plant based eater has some wonderful sides to sample and overtime an may be encouraged to eat more of them over time as part of their main! 

You talk about some healthy and energizing snacks in chapter 14 of the book. What are some of your favourite plant-based snack when you’re on the go?

Snacks are the best way to stay fuelled throughout the day and keep nourished. Some of my favourite plant based snacks on the go are trail mix, cut up fruit, a fresh juice or smoothie or even some mini muffins along with some nut butter. It’s important to be reliant on your own snacks so you don’t get stuck with junk or go too long in between meals without nourishment.

fruit parfait

One of my favourite parts of the book was Chapter 19, The Plant-Fueled Fitness Enthusiast, which went into detail on sports nutrition products, ingredients to avoid, and important vitamins and minerals for active individuals. What’s one of your favourite post-workout plant-based meals?

My all time fave post workout meal is a nourishing and filling smoothie packed with plant based protein. Other than that, I love eating a big bowl of quinoa or salad loaded with tempeh, avocado, sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds. Something that allows me to get a wide variety of nutrients in one sitting while of course making sure protein is priority!

sunshine smoothie

Favourite recipe in the book?

My favourite recipe in the book is the Garlic Oregano Yam fries as I am a Yam fanatic!

If people want to learn more about you, where should they go?

Most definitely to my website www.marniwasserman.com or more personally, Instagram: http://instagram.com/marniwasserman/

Are there any exciting events coming up at your studio that readers might be interested in?

I would keep on the lookout for the fall I will have some exciting series to teach “Easy Raw at Home” and lots of delicious classes!

fruit-filled pineapple

As part of my review, I wanted to put Marni’s recipes to the test. Because tempeh and veggies are two things that make me supremely happy (especially when they’re in the same dish), I chose the Tangy Tempeh Teriyaki Stir Fry. If you’d like to try before you buy, here’s the recipe so that you can taste it too!

Tangy Tempeh Stir Fry

Tangy Tempeh Teriyaki Stir Fry

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Ingredients (8 servings)

  • 10.5 ounce package of organic tempeh or tofu
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 head (about 2 cups) broccoli or cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 head (about 2 cups) bok choy, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

For the marinade:

  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1 to 2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown rice syrup

Instructions

  • Cut the tempeh or tofu into small cubes
  • In a medium saucepan or wok, combine the tempeh or tofu with 3/4 of the marinade, along with the onions, carrots and celery. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Place the broccoli in the wok and cook until just tender.
  • Combine the bok choy with the tempeh or tofu and stir with the remaining marinade until the bok choy softens a bit.
  • Make sure everything is well coated. Top with sesame seeds and serve with brown rice, soba noodles, or quinoa.
Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Wiley, from Plant Based Diets For Dummies by Marni Wasserman. Copyright © 2014.

Tangy Tempeh Stir Fry

This was super quick and easy to make, and as I’ve come to expect from Marni’s cooking, so delicious. Stir fried veggies + any protein source are a go-to meal in my house, and the teriyaki marinade used in this recipe is definitely going to be one that I make again!

Marni and her publisher, Wiley, are graciously allowing me to give away 2 copies of Plant Based Diet for Dummies to 2 lucky readers. All you need to do to enter is:

This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only and will close at midnight ET on Thursday July 24th. I’ll announce the 2 winners in Friday morning’s post. Good luck! 🙂