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PYP 108: Del Sroufe on the Joys of Planning Meals

del-sroufeChef Del Sroufe is a master of efficiency, which is a good thing. As co-owner and head chef at Wellness Forum Foods, Del feeds a crazy amount of people every week. If he didn't have his act together, his business would be a hot mess of chaos and waste.

Luckily for us, Del has shared some of his efficiency techniques in a new cookbook written for ordinary folks who want to feed themselves and their families while not going nuts.

The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook is subtitled “Cook Once, Eat All Week with Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes.” The recipes are awesome. And the high level theme of the book is just brilliant. For the first time, I feel empowered in my menu planning, shopping, pantry management, and food prep.

Before we get into the interview, I need to share a little Not Safe For Work clip featuring the late, great George Carlin: “Ice-Box Man,” from his album A Place for My Stuff.

I'm guilty as charged! (Thankfully, I don't have to worry about meatcake or empty milk cartons any more 😉

In our conversation, Del set me straight and taught me how to manage my kitchen. We discussed:

  • the importance of menu planning
  • why we need to make – and stick to – a shopping list
  • how to manage pantry inventory
  • words to live by: “don't crowd the pantry”
  • using frozen and fresh produce
  • tips for storing produce
  • the biggest produce storage mistake people make
  • which meals to eat earlier and later in the week
  • Pam Popper's calendar secret for a happy life
  • how to always have salad on hand
  • how you can take courses with Chef Del and learn all his tricks
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.

Here are three of Del's highlighted recipes from The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook:

Green Sauce

Makes 1 3/4 cups

  • 1 12-ounce package Mori-Nu Silken Lite Firm Tofu
  • 3/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 c tahini (not raw)
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 t sea salt
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
  2. Store refrigerated in airtight container for up to 7 days.

China-study-quick-Date-Soy Stir Fry SauceDate and Soy Stir-Fry Sauce

Makes 2 cups

  • 1/4 c low-sodium soy sauce or tamari, to taste
  • 1 1/2 c low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/4 c pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 t granulated garlic
  • 1 T arrowroot powder
  1. Combine everything but the arrowroot powder in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the dates are softened.
  2. Add the cooked mixture to a blender and, with the motor running, add the arrowroot powder.
  3. Store refrigerated in airtight container for up to 7 days.


Makes 4 servings; great with green sauce (above).

  • 2 15-ouce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 T arrowroot powder
  • 4 t ground coriander
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Prehead the oven to 375 F.
  2. Add everything to a food processor and process, leaving a little texture to the beans.
  3. Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, shape the mixture into balls. Plaxce on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn the falafel over and bake for another 8-10 minutes.

Shameless Tease Recipe

Last weekend we invited Lee and Larry Newlin over for dinner. If you've listened to that interview, you know what dedicated foodies they are.

I made the Buffalo CauliflowerBites from The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook and we gobbled them up. They didn't even make it out of the kitchen.

And that's why you have to get this book for yourself!


The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook

Chef Del's first appearance on the Plant Yourself Podcast, talking about discovering how to be Better Than Vegan and losing 200 pounds


The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, Dance of Peace (Sabali Don), is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians. It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour. You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,

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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – Katharine Floyd – Meryl Fury – for your generous support of the podcast.


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2 comments on “PYP 108: Del Sroufe on the Joys of Planning Meals

  1. Martha says:

    I am having trouble understanding the words. Is there a transcript I could read?

    1. Howard says:

      Not for this episode, no.

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