Friends of the tribe: Jessica Murnane
Follow Jessica Murnane for more creative plant-based recipes.We all come across various trends in diets, and inspiring stories about weight loss, and better living. Very few of us have had an actual awakening to adapt a lifestyle and make it work. While it does work to follow the ‘balanced meal with a few cheat days for binging’, if you talk to Jessica Murnane, you will probably realise that everything you eat, has an affect on how you feel. Here she is sharing a peek into her plant-based world, and trust me, it is looking delicious.
You are always delving into something new – Suitor, So, how was your day?, and now One Part Plant. What’s in your bowl of inspiration?
Lots of greens! Really, I just love challenging myself with new ideas and then executing them. The beauty of the internet is that you can
make what you dream up a reality pretty quickly (and then take it down if you aren’t loving it). If you’re passionate about something – it will show. It doesn’t have to be perfect from the start – just get the idea out there. It also doesn’t hurt that I have really supportive family and friends that have inspire me and push me to do more.
Almost everyone has read about plant diets. And its benefits. But there’s always something that stops most of us from trying it out. What can you say that will really make them consider it?
Food is so personal and when you ask someone to change what’s on their plate it can be a big thing to ask. All I can say is we have all been looking for a magic potion to make us have more energy and look our best. We spend tons of money on goops and gizmos and feel just as bad (I did that). I truly believe a plant-based diet can be the magic you need. It might not be easy at first, but you don’t have to be all or nothing to start to see changes. Do one part at a time and see what happens.
How did you persuade chefs to serving plant-based dishes at their restaurants? Share with us some signature dishes our readers in Chicago can look out for.
Fortunately, I have been working with chefs that are some of the most innovative in the country. They have seen the trend of plant-based eating on the rise and witnessed it in their own restaurants. So, most of them were game right off the bat. I loooove the kale salad at Found and RM is working on a plant-based sweet (so excited for that).
When it comes to new diets, the biggest concern for all is ‘what do I cook?’. Do you have a check list or basic ground rules that form the plant-based diet?
Be prepared! That is my #1 rule for my kitchen. I have a few ingredients that I keep on hand at all times, so I never panic in the kitchen.
Before I changed my diet, I was always unprepared – which led to poor choices and feeling bad.
My Pantry Basics: almonds, tahini, tamari, quinoa, almond milk, coconut milk, chia, almond butter, brown rice flour, and veggie broth.
My Produce Basics: spinach,
celery, cilantro, avocado, apples, cucumbers, lemons, limes, frozen berries, and kale. If I have these – I know I can always whip something up!
Oh, and Terry Walters book Clean Food. I swear this book taught me how to cook.
There are a lot of faux meat, faux cheese substitutes available. Are they really vegan?
People ask me a lot about fake meats and I am not the best person to answer. I never really liked chicken, so fake chicken is for sure not on my menu. But, I do think that faux meats and cheeses aren’t bad in moderation as you transition to a plant-based diet. And the world of fake cheese and meat is only getting better – new cashew cheeses and pea-protein based meats. It’s exciting.
The one vegetarian recipe that even a hard core meat eater will bow down to.
I can’t choose one – but I have won a few people over with mushroom gravy over horseradish mashed potatoes and kale!
Do you have a signature dish that bowls everyone over?
My Almond butter cookies. Anyone that tries them can’t believe they are gluten and dairy free… and then can’t believe that they only have five ingredients.
Need to make it now? Recipe here.
What’s your pick-me-up smoothie recipe?
Confession, I am not a big smoothie girl. I really prefer juice over smoothies. But growing up, I also never liked milk shakes or smoothies…so this isn’t something new! I might do a smoothie once or twice a week and my absolute favorite is spinach, a frozen banana and almond milk. So simple and so good.
Do you have a favourite midnight snack?
Chia pudding, apples with almond butter, or a very fizzy Komchuca (it has to be fizzy!)
Is there a dish you miss from your pre plant-based-diet days? Do you allow yourself a cheat day?
I have had struggles with food issues and my weight for my entire life, but for the past three years it is the first time that I am not on a “diet” and I don’t feel like
I am depriving myself. It has been one of the most profound changes to my life that is hard to even describe, because I didn’t think it was possible. I eat more food now then before I changed my diet. My taste buds have changed so much (it’s possible) that I don’t crave the old foods I used to eat. Or I still eat them – but just in a plant-based version.
Better believe it, a gluten free cake. Here’s the recipe.
Name some of your favourite bloggers?
I count on My First Mess for recipes, Julie’ Kitchen for inspiration, and The Chalkboard for wellness tips and ideas.
What’s the next step with One Part Plant?
I am launching a new coaching series for one! I am so excited about it because I know how lost I was when I was trying to get healthy and get my groove back. It was hard and I felt exhausted trying to figure out the “right” things to do. So, this new program will literally give you the tools you need to be successful. I am going to provide basic pantry items, my favorite cookbooks, weekly videos, and a personalized guide. I can’t wait to start helping people get their shine on. And I just found out about a huge partnership for 2014 that I cannot even wait to reveal when the deal is done.
Follow Jessica Murnane’s culinary journey here. Start with her ravishing Orange Coconut Cake.