Engine 2 Kitchen rescue is a movie from the makers of Forks Over Knives, just like Hungry For Change, that shows Rip Esselstyn going into two houses and showing them how to eat a plant-strong diet. I was attracted to this movie originally because it came from the people who created Forks Over Knives but I then noticed that it was only 52 minutes long and was actually going to show a few dishes being made.
A little background on Rip Esselstyn before we get into the movie. Mr Esselstyn is a former All-American swimmer from the University of Texas and was one of the world’s top triathletes. He competed as a pro from the late ’80s to the late ’90s but continued to race XTERRA triathlons. He competed at the Maui World Championships for 7 straight years and then raced the Masters National Swimming Championships where he set the masters record in the 200 backstroke for M45-49. After the world of sports Esselstyn jumped into the world of saving lives and is a firefighter in the Austin Fire Department. His father Doctor Esselstyn authored a study that found that eating a plant-based diet can not only prevent heart disease but also reverse it.
As I mentioned this movie is only 52 minutes long and provides you with simple recipes to make and use as a basis for creating a healthy lifestyle. More than that though it provides Engine 2 tips to use while shopping and cooking. One of the tips that struck me was the elimination of oil. From all the reading I have done I figured that olive oil was good to use. Based on the movie it showcases that oil is purely fat and while I believe we all need fat, we can get it from other places like actual olives or nuts and even avocado. I have always used oil in moderation and sautéed vegetables in it, but that is about to change. Yesterday I created a quinoa stir fry and sautéed my veggies without oil. The interesting thing is that the food tasted crisper and fresher without the oil. They browned just like they would have with the oil. The movie points out that olive oil has 120 calories per Tablespoon with no fiber, water, vitamins or minerals. Essentially 100% fat but the movie doesn’t leave you hanging out there wondering what to use if you use oil for baking. Easy substitutes are apple sauce, banana puree, pumpkin puree, soft tofu or plain soy yogurt.
I also learned that I need to incorporate nutritional yeast into my diet. Nutritional yeast is an ideal replacement for butter and cheese. In the movie he proves that it is a great substitute when he makes a homemade lasagna and tops it with nutritional yeast. When the yeast browns it looked just like melted mozzarella. On the next shopping trip nutritional yeast will be in the shopping cart. My only issue with his lasagna was that he used noodles in it instead of slicing eggplant length wise and using the eggplant as a replacement for the noodle.
My favorite recipe was for Rip’s Big Bowl. As we all know breakfast is the absolute best meal and can be eaten at any time of the day. Last month I ran Breakfast Awareness Month and was eating breakfast items at lunch and at dinner as well as for snacking. The Big Bowl consists of 3 healthy cereals topped with fruit, raisins and walnuts. What I enjoyed the most was the way he sliced the banana. He sliced it lengthwise twice and then crosswise so that each slice produced 4 pieces of banana. Genius because every bite comes with banana in it. I made this recipe for lunch yesterday and it was absolutely perfect.
The biggest thing that stuck with me was that my reading of labels is not comprehensive. Rip goes through the refrigerators of both families and removes the Earth Balance Buttery Spread as well as Tofutti. I have used both in the past and actually have some of it in my fridge right now. My biggest issue would be what to do about making a grilled cheese now? Well that is easily answered. Remember from a few paragraphs above that nutritional yeast is ideal for replacing cheese? Well, I found a few recipes that show that and I cannot wait to try that out. Will certainly post about it when I create my new butter, oil, cheese free grilled cheese. I am thinking a few slices of tomato, for the lycopene, and some kale chips would be perfect.
I highly recommend this movie and not to convince you to become a vegetarian but to learn about substitutes for items in your pantry or fridge. It really does open up your eyes to how you can create great tasting meals that are plant-based without much effort. One other fact I found interesting was the comment that the average American rotates through 6 or 7 dinners over a month. We have all heard the ‘I’m in a food rut’ comment before and here is a statement confirming that this actually happens. Since becoming a vegetarian I feel more empowered in the kitchen and have been known to create a meal in my mind for dinner while I’m eating breakfast based on what I have left in the fridge.
HAVE YOU SEEN ENGINE 2 KITCHEN RESCUE? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS OF THE MOVIE?