The Spectacular Plant Based Runner

I am living proof that a plant based diet is orders of magnitude better than one that includes meat or dairy.

I took up running when I was 43 years old. It was a not too terrible transition from cycling.

I excelled at distance running. Increasing my mileage up to about 10 miles for long runs.

The thing is, I drink 4 beers most every night. Yet, still, I'm able to achieve this higher level of fitness.

I"m not fast. But I have endurance.

I've been running a couple years now. There's been some decline as I surpassed age 45, but overall, I'm still doing okay.

I've never been a stellar athlete. Even when I was young and sober. But I'm stronger now, even as I age, even as I drink. It says a lot about how our choice of diet affects our overall health.

I should stop drinking. If I did, I'd probably be superhuman.

So what could a plant based diet do for those who are already young and sober? It would probably be spectacular.

Vegan Sausage Shepherd's Pie

That tube of vegan sausage I was talking about in other posts really lasted quite a while. I always thought when standing in the supermarket that lightlife's 'ground beef' and 'sausage' were high priced. But I guess it's a lot more servings than it looks like sitting there on the store shelf. It was kind of a struggle to finish the package. There's just a lot more in there than it seems like.

So with all this vegan sausage to eat I had to get creative with how to use it. I'd previously stirred it into couscous. I had some it just plain. I even had some on a roll as a sandwich. Still there was more. It was like the never ending tube of meatless sausage.

My last application for it is what I would call a vegetarian shepherd's pie. I'm not exactly certain on what shepherd's pie is. Just that it contains meat and potatoes.

So using an Idahoan garlic potato pouch, mustard greens, garlic and the sausage I put together a really quick and very tasty meal for myself.

Bring to a boil the greens and the amount of water specified on the potato pouch.

Meanwhile in a non-stick frying pan cook 1/4 of the lightlife vegan sausage tube. As it cooks and crisp you'll be able to break it up more with your spoon or spatula. Let it brown pretty well. Stirring often to get it brown on all sides and to break it up into bite size pieces. When it's nearly done add some fresh clove of garlic.

Slice the cloves into a few pieces each. No need to dice or mince. You just want the inner parts exposed. This will release the flavor.

When your water/green mixture has come to a boil turn off heat and add potato flake pouch. Gently stir until it's combined and you have fluffy mashed potatoes full of deep colored mustard greens.

To serve add potato mix to bowl or plate. Add about 1/3 of sausage garlic mix on top.

You can easily make this vegan using plain potato flakes and soy milk. Add some garlic powder, fresh parsley and black pepper to your potatoes to fill in the seasoning gaps.

The big chunks of garlic are mellow and delicious. The potatoes and faux sausage really play nicely off one another. Of all the ways I managed to use that big tube of vegan sausage I think this one was my favorite. So simple, yet an amazing depth of flavors.

That's what always astonishes me about cooking. How such simple ingredients can be brought together to create intricate labyrinths of taste sensations.