Kitchens can be Greenest

Mouth-watering vegan mushroom avocado rolls.What room is (or has the most potential to be) the greenest room in your home? It’s the kitchen – by a mile. You can drive a hybrid or even walk to work, take water-sipping showers, and put solar panels on the roof, but nothing can match the benefits of a green kitchen. It requires no special appliances, there is no cost and you can start right away. In fact, it is deceptively simple, incredibly effective and even profitable.

So what makes a kitchen green? Quite simply: a consciously-planned, scrumptiously-delicious plant-based diet. Now some of you might think that’s an oxymoron, but before you roll your eyes and turn the page, let me tell you a story.

I’ve been eating plant-based foods almost exclusively for many years. One of the most common questions I hear is, “What do you eat?” Many folks can’t seem to imagine that a meal without meat could be satisfying and delicious.Vegan clam chowder - out of this world!

In 2010 Wynn Las Vegas and Encore became the first resorts on the Las Vegas Strip to offer an extensive vegan culinary program. Steve Wynn, whom I would call visionary based on that decision alone, recently hosted an event at Encore called Viva Las Vegan that featured inventive, flavorful vegan creations from chefs Alex Stratta of Stratta, Jet Tila of Wazuzu, Kim Canteenwalla of Society Café, Mark LoRusso of Botero as well as David Walzog of Lakeside Grill. They proved, without the faintest shadow of a doubt, that vegan food can satisfy even the most discriminating palette.

Crabless vegan Old Bay Cakes to live for.Some of the offerings included: Vegan “Clam Chowder” with cashew cream base and smoked oyster mushrooms; Old Bay Cakes with toasted pasta, blistered tomatoes and ancho-garlic aioli; and Vegan Gardein Beef Skewers with asparagus, sweet peppers and warm red-chili vinaigrette. Thanks to these award-winning chefs, we can safely put an end to myth that a vegan diet is boring.

Delicious vegan dimsum.

During the introduction, Mr. Wynn shared his story about his reasons for choosing a plant-based diet. In a nutshell, upon seeing an old friend who looked much younger than the last time they met, he was given a DVD that changed his life. It was so compelling that he bought 15,000 copies and distributed them to his friends, including the employees at his properties. He instructed the chefs at each restaurant to offer vegan selections on their menus. Even the employee cafeterias now have vegan offerings.

Vegan pasta and clams - absolutely delicious!This influential DVD is simply entitled “Eating.” For information or to order a copy, visit It is a great resource, used in wellness clinics throughout the world to motivate people to change their diets and restore their health. Alternately, you can visit the public library and check out a copy of The China Study by T. Colin Campbell or The Food Revolution by John Robbins, both excellent books with much of the same information.

I’m also looking forward to the new documentary Forks Over Knives that has just been released. Roger Ebert calls it, “a film that could save your life,” and goes on to say, “What every human being should do is eat a vegetarian diet based on whole foods. Period. That’s it.”

It takes an open mind to recognize opportunity and embrace change, but if you can, here are just a few of the benefits of a green kitchen:

If that short list doesn’t pique your interest, I don’t know what will. The bottom line is that it is completely within our power to live healthier lives while creating a better world. Everyone can choose to have a green kitchen – just be open to learning why it’s such a great idea.

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  1. Your article in the Review Journal this week was BRILLANT! I have seen the movie and it is life changing and mind boggling. How can the US continue to allow this to happen to our population?

    I am excited to find your website and will sign up for your newsletter.

  2. Thanks Mary, I appreciate your comments. I agree that movies like Forks Over Knives and Eating can change a person’s life in a very good way. The current state of affairs in the US is quite dismal and it’s up to us citizens to make it better. I believe it’s all about “being the change” and then sharing what you know.