Posted by: CCT | January 26, 2010

The Cookbooks We’re Using

Since we didn’t have a clue as to how or what to cook without fat, meat and oil, I did some research and bought a few healthy cookbooks off of the T. Colin Campbell Foundation’s Website.  They turned out to be surprisingly good.  I found about 70-80 recipes between the two that had potential and then generated a list of these recipes according to their bases.  Links to the books: (Hit the Books links to see selections)

So what is a base?  It’s a starch, and what I consider to be the foundation of the meal:

  • Potatoes, Rice, Pasta, Corn (polenta), and Beans

According to the McDougall cookbook, Starches Make the Meal:

Many people are trying to eat healthier, but are failing.  After bulking up on broccoli, cauliflower, and sprouts, they exclaim, “Nobody can eat this way.”  We agree: Nobody can eat a diet of green and yellow vegetables.  They provide too few calories to be satisfying.  The secret to a succesful diet is to design it around delicious, satisfying starches.  Everyone remembers these “comfort foods” that we loved growing up – potatoes, rice, pasta, corn, and beans; oatmeal, pancakes, and hash brown potatoes for breakfast; vegetable and bean soups for lunch; and spaghetti, bean burritos and Spanish rice for dinner.

Starches are high in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, very low in fat, and contain no cholesterol.  They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and always contain generous amounts of healthy vegetable protein that satisfies the nutritional needs of growing children and adults.  Fruits and yellow and green vegetables are important additions to a starch-centered meal plan, providing a cornucopia of color, flavor, texture and aroma, as well as additional nutrients.



  1. WOW… Cliff, I am so psyched to check out your blog AND to learn about the T. Colin Campbell website. I read the China Study and was blown away by it but I was left wondering where to go next — why didn’t this guy put out more info on how to actually shop, cook and eat well? This is a gold mine of info — thank you!!! I’ll be following you guys to see how the mission turns out!

  2. Glad you liked all of it. Did you check out that soy article that I emailed the link for? It’s pretty comprehensive.

  3. I like what you’ve started! In your list of bases don’t forget our friends squash, yams, and sweet potatoes. These are starchy, too, but also good sources of vitamins. More importantly, they are great sources of FLAVOR. I look forward to reading more of your adventures. Bon appetit!

  4. I have great confidence that Cliff and Cris will be able to accomplish the elusive simpossible meals 🙂 I had a few comments/discussion points regarding the information on this site that Cliff wanted me to share. Just wanted to add I hope I don’t come across as one of those nutty individuals who avidly protests against cruelty to vegetables 😉 Basically, I just want people to use the same critical thinking that they use in everyday life and make sure that they are doing the same with their food habits. Don’t accept things for face value simply because it says it on a label.

    Organic foods – You note on your site that you prefer organic foods although understand that USDA verification can be problematic. I would like to know your thoughts regarding being more discerning about the organic label specifically about the large conglomerate farms practices which adhere to organic laws, but seem to violate the spirit of organic farming. Overall, I think there is a misconception regarding organic automatically equating to better. People should be aware that many organic foods use pesticides, do not incorporate sustainable farming and farm internationally since consumers are paying significantly more for the label.

    Avoid international food – This is basically, following the new foodie mantra of eating local, but I didn’t see anything about eating seasonal. So, the two most prominent campaigns with foodies are…’eat local, eat seasonal’ and the ‘slow food movement’ which urges people to take the time to enjoy their food rather than stuffing themselves without evening tasting their food. Thought you might want to include seasonal to the list since it goes hand in hand with eating local.

    Natural ingredients label – Just wanted to bring up the ‘natural’ food label does not always mean better for you. Natural simply means that it has to occur in nature. Plenty of chemicals occur in nature e.g. cyanide and it doesn’t mean you should consume it!!

    Fair trade – I didn’t see anything discussing fair trade which can be a tricky subject, but a noble cause. Very good in theory, but in practice doesn’t always happen due to politics.

    Cutting out fats/oils – I am not a dietitian, but I was under the impression if one were to cut their fat/oil intake too severely this could inhibit the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins?? So, make sure to get some 🙂

    Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan (it’s been awhile since I’ve read this so I’m just remembering the subject matter off the top of my head)

  5. […] deterent, I still found myself salivating over the Moroccan Cous-Cous recipe on p. 143 of the McDougall cookbook.  It sounded so… exotic!  So I did what one of my commenters (theldsgirl) suggested and […]

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