Power Plate Meals Across the Globe

The Physicians Committee

Power Plate Meals Across the Globe

Food For Life Recipes and ResourcesBelow, you'll find low-fat plant-based recipes from cultures across the globe that traditionally consumed a diet based on fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains. Through these traditional meals, these cultures avoided many of the chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, associated with a Western diet.

For more information about Power Plate eating and Native American health, download a copy of "Food for Life Recipes and Resources," featuring materials used in PCRM's Food for Life Native American curriculum.

Please check back as we continue to add recipes from across the globe.

Recipes from Native American Chef Lois Ellen Frank Ph.D.

"Returning to an ancestral plant-based diet is a way to reclaim our health. The foods that many Native communities ate in the past included corn, beans, and squash, known as "The Three Sisters." Wild-harvested roots, vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, beans, and herbs were also enjoyed. These provided a healthy diet, low in fat and high in nutrients. To heal diabetes and other health-related ailments, Native Americans are now rejecting highly processed foods and large amounts of animal-based foods.

"When traditional foods are revitalized, all of the cultural traditions associated with them are also revitalized—the songs that go with the planting, the  sustainable agricultural techniques that each tribe uses, traditional knowledge on how to harvest wild foods, the foods that have medicinal qualities, the language, the stories, the baskets. Native ancestral foods are a tradition worth preserving." - Lois Ellen Frank Ph.D.

Sixteen-Page Native American Starter Kit Resources and Recipes >

Indian No-Fry Bread or Tortilla Bread

Makes 12 no-fry or grilled tortilla breads

This recipe makes Indian tortilla breads that can be cooked on an open-flame grill or open flame instead of fried.

4 cups organic unbleached or whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups warm water

In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually stir in the water until the dough becomes soft and pliable without sticking to the bowl.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured cutting board or surface for 4 minutes, folding the outer edges of the dough towards the center.

Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for at least 30 minutes to allow it to rise.

Shape the dough into small balls and roll out using a rolling pin or with your hands to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. I always use my hands, which makes for slightly uneven round breads but everyone will know they were handmade, and I think it gives each bread a little more character. Stretch or roll the dough out so that it is approximately 8 to 10 inches in diameter.

Heat a cast-iron skillet or open flame grill until very hot. Place your shaped dough circle onto the hot pan or open flame grill, and let it cook for approximately for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until it browns then turn the bread over and cook another 2 to 3 minutes until bread is completely done.

If you are cooking these breads over an open flame or on a grill, cook until the dough starts to turn golden brown and puffs a little. Turn over and cook until both sides have brown spots and the dough is completely cooked.

Repeat this process with each piece of dough. Keep warm between two clean kitchen towels. Serve immediately with your favorite taco topping.

These breads can be used with any taco recipes or served as bread with any meal.

Per no-fry bread:
153 calories
0.4 g fat
0.1 g saturated fat
2.2% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol

4.3 g protein
32.4 g carbohydrate
0.1 g sugar
1.3 g fiber

442 mg sodium
142 mg calcium
2.2 mg iron
0 mg vitamin C
0 mcg beta-carotene
0 mg vitamin E

© Lois Ellen Frank Ph.D., Red Mesa Cuisine

Green Chile Stew

Makes 6 to 8 servings

This recipe is a plant-based no-meat version of a traditional Native green chile stew. It is delicious and hearty, perfect for a cold winter meal.

3 1/2 cups water, divided
1 large organic onion, diced
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 cups roasted, seeded, and chopped mild New Mexico green chiles
1/2 28-ounce can plum tomatoes with basil, no salt added (chopped)
1 1/2 pounds Dutch yellow potatoes, or about 20 small potatoes, washed and diced with skins
1 cup organic frozen corn kernels
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

In a cast-iron skillet over medium to high heat, heat 1/2 cup water until hot, then add onion.  Sauté onion for 4 minutes until clear. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add green chiles and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Add remaining 3 cups water and potatoes and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer on medium for 35 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Add corn, then salt and black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Per serving (1/6 of recipe):
149 calories
0.5 g fat
0.1 g saturated fat
2.9% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol

4.3 g protein
35.1 g carbohydrate
4.9 g sugar
5.1 g fiber

259 mg sodium
65 mg calcium
3.3 mg iron
143 mg vitamin C
402 mcg beta-carotene
0.6 mg vitamin E

© Lois Ellen Frank Ph.D, Red Mesa Cuisine

Tortillas de Maís (Corn Tortillas)

Makes 16 corn tortillas

Corn tortillas are available in all supermarkets today and are certainly an option when making taco dishes, but I would really encourage all of you to make your own homemade corn tortillas, even if only once.

I can almost guarantee, however, that once you’ve held the dough in your hands, and placed it onto a cooking comal or skillet and made into fresh warm, moist, corn tortillas you are sure to be a convert. I didn’t grow up making corn tortillas on a daily basis so when I started to make them from scratch it seemed a little bit foreign to me. But once I realized how easy it was to do, how delicious the tortillas were to eat, and how much I enjoyed the process, I now make corn tortillas all of the time.

Both Alma Aguirre-Loya and Noe Cano grew up with mothers that made tortillas every day.  Alma, who is from Northern Mexico, had either corn or flour tortillas on a daily basis, while Noe always only had corn tortillas. Alma continues today to make tortillas every day for her children, while Noe teaches how to make tortillas at the Santa Fe School of Cooking in Santa Fe, N.M., in their cooking classes.

Below is the recipe as I was taught how to make corn tortillas from both Alma and Noe.

2 cups fresh corn masa flour or Maseca brand corn masa flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups water

In a medium mixing bowl, combine corn flour, salt, and water and mix together until you have formed a dough. You can do this with a spoon, but I always use my hands.

After the corn flour and water is completely mixed, using your hands form balls just smaller than a gold ball and set aside.

Preheat your comal or cast-iron skillet so that it is hot.

In a tortilla press, place one ball in the center of the tortilla press and press together to make one corn tortilla. I use a plastic bag that I cut in half leaving a seam on one side so that I can place the corn masa ball inside the plastic so that it doesn’t stick to the tortilla press.

Remove the tortilla and place on the comal and cook the first side of the tortilla for 10 to 15 seconds, then turn over and cook for approximately 30 to 40 seconds, then turn over again and cook until it puffs and the tortilla is done.

Place the cooked tortilla in a kitchen towel inside a basket or bowl and prepare the next tortilla following the same steps. Stack the tortilla on top of each other to keep them warm inside the towel.

Serve warm with your favorite taco recipe.

Per tortilla:
52 calories
0.5 g fat
0.1 g saturated fat
8.7% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol

1.3 g protein
10.9 g carbohydrate
0 g sugar
1.4 g fiber

149 mg sodium
21 mg calcium
1 mg iron
0 mg vitamin C
14 mcg beta-carotene
0 mg vitamin E

Recipe from The Taco Table Cookbook, by Alma Aguirre-Loya and Noe Cano

© Lois Ellen Frank Ph.D, Red Mesa Cuisine

Three Sisters Sauté

Makes 6 to 8 side dish servings

olive oil cooking spray
1/2 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups diced organic zucchini (1/4-inch cubes)
1 1/2 cups cooked organic cranberry or pinto beans, or 1 15-ounce can organic pinto beans
1 cup fresh corn kernels, cut from the cobs of 2 ears oven-roasted corn
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Spray olive oil onto cast-iron skillet to prevent sticking. Heat skillet over medium to high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté onion for 2 minutes until clear. Add garlic and zucchini and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add cooked beans and corn kernels. Stir. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.

Note: For the roasted sweet corn, wet each ear of corn and place on a sheet tray. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the tray, about 1/2 inch of water. Place in a 350 F oven and roast for approximately 10 minutes, remove from oven, turn over the ears of corn and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, peel the husks and cut the kernels from the cob. Discard the husks and cob. Use as instructed in the recipe.

Per serving (1/6 of recipe):
95 calories
0.8 g fat
0.1 g saturated fat
7% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol

5.3 g protein
18.5 g carbohydrate
2.7 g sugar
4.9 g fiber

199 mg sodium
31 mg calcium
1.2 mg iron
7 mg vitamin C
251 mcg beta-carotene
0.5 mg vitamin E

© Lois Ellen Frank Ph.D, Red Mesa Cuisine

Blue Corn Posole Mush

Makes 6 servings

For the Blue Corn Posole:

1 15-ounce bag dried blue corn posole
1 quart water

Wash the dried blue corn posole in cold water and remove any dirt or stones. Drain and rinse.

Place the entire contents into a slow cooker and cover with one quart water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer over night or for approximately 8 hours. Turn off heat and set aside.

For the Blue Corn Mush:

2 cups water
1 cup finely ground blue corn meal

In a small saucepan over medium to high heat, heat the water until it boils. Place the cup of finely ground blue corn meal into another small saucepan and slowly add the boiling water, mixing the corn meal to prevent any lumps from forming. Using a whisk, mix together completely. Return to the stove and heat slowly over low to medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook, slowly, continuing to stir, for about five minutes, or until it turns smooth and is thick. Add mush to the posole and reheat slowly over low to medium heat stirring to thicken entire pot of posole and to prevent burning.

Serve hot topped with homemade New Mexico Red Chile.

Per serving (1/6 of recipe):
132 calories
2 g fat
0.2 g saturated fat
12.4% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol

3.9 g protein
27.9 g carbohydrate
3.4 g sugar
3.2 g fiber

5 mg sodium
5 mg calcium
0.6 mg iron
4 mg vitamin C
45 mcg beta-carotene
0.2 mg vitamin E

© Lois Ellen Frank Ph.D, Red Mesa Cuisine

Mixed Berry and Apple Fruit Compote

Makes 6 to 8 servings

2 cups peeled, cored, and chopped apples
1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
2 cups mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries), fresh or frozen, unsweetened
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste

In a medium saucepan, combine apples and apple juice concentrate. Bring to a boil, stir, then add berries. Bring to a boil again, then reduce the heat and simmer on low heat, covered, for about 25 minutes, or until fruit is tender when pierced with a fork. Mash lightly. Add applesauce and heat until the dessert is hot. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve immediately.

Note: If the only applesauce available is sweetened, adding the berries is a good way to dilute and make it a healthier dish.

Per serving (1/6 of recipe):
98 calories
0.4 g fat
0 g saturated fat
3.3% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol

0.8 g protein
24.8 g carbohydrate
18.9 g sugar
3 g fiber

7 mg sodium
19 mg calcium
0.6 mg iron
16 mg vitamin C
34 mcg beta-carotene
0.5 mg vitamin E

Recipe adapted from Foods That Fight Pain by Neal Barnard, MD; recipe by Jennifer Raymond. Revised by Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

© Lois Ellen Frank Ph.D, Red Mesa Cuisine