One of the most common things I hear when I meet with clients who want or need to change their diets is, “but my husband/kids/family will never do this.” I have a lot of conversations around giving families (and selves) a chance to try out a healthy, whole foods plant-based diet so that they can see just how delicious and satisfying they can be, and I am thrilled to have a wonderful new tool in my arsenal, in the form of Forks Over Knives Family, an informational cookbook by Alona Pulde, MD and Matthew Lederman, MD.

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This book is made up of two parts. The first section focuses on how to raise a healthy family on a whole foods plant-based diet, explaining WHY it is such a healthy way to raise your family, and HOW to do it properly, with important nutritional information in key stages such as pregnancy, first year and toddlerhoood- and it includes tips on how to keep that healthy focus once your little people venture further afield to school and beyond. But what if your family is already established, and you are making the transition with older children? There’s advice for that too. I love the personal stories from people who talk about their own experiences, making this book seem like a supportive community.

The second, larger part of the book is all about the recipes, which were developed by Darshana Thacker who studied at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. Anyone looking through this section would be hard pressed to think they will feel deprived or bored eating whole, plant-based foods! Great photos add to the inspiration, and there are lots of “how-to” tips for people who are new to cooking without oil or animal products. These recipes are easy to follow and accessible to anyone wanting to try out healthier eating.

This beautiful Corn Chowder is a perfect example:

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Corn Chowder

Makes about 10 cups

Ready in 50 minutes

Corn chowder is universally appealing, especially among children, because of its sweet taste and creamy texture. Here you will find that creaminess without the heaviness of traditional recipes.

  • 1 small onion, cut into 1 ¼ inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 6 small garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 6 to 7 cups Vegetable Stock (page 262) or no-oil, lowsodium store-bought
  • 6 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 6 fresh cobs or about 24 ounces frozen)
  • 1 large russet potato (about ¾ pound), scrubbed and cut into ¼ inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into ¼ inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1⁄3 cup almond flour
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large stew pot or Dutch oven, place the onion, garlic, and 1 ½ cups of the vegetable stock. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
  1. Add the corn, potato, and 4 ½ cups of the remaining stock. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potato is soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  1. Transfer half of the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot. Add up to 1 cup stock to adjust the consistency if necessary.
  1. Add the bell pepper, parsley, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes, until the flavors have blended and the pepper is tender.
  1. Meanwhile, place the flour and 1⁄3 cup water in the blender and blend until smooth. Stir the almond cream into the chowder. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Storage: Cool soup completely and transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Excerpted from FORKS OVER KNIVES FAMILY by Alona Pulde, MD and Matthew Lederman, MD, with Marah Stets and Brian Wendel. Copyright © 2016 by Forks Over Knives, LLC. Reprinted with permission from Touchstone, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

For more info on Forks Over Knives and this book, visit:

For more recipes, cookbook features and healthy cooking ideas, be sure to visit our Vegan Mainstream Cookbook Club on Google+!