How We Met
Four years ago, I went to Austin, Texas, to the inaugural Engine 2 Retreat. It was a weeklong event that featured speakers like Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD , Chef AJ, Jeff Novick, RD, and it was all new and foreign to me. One of my fondest memories was that Rip was anxiously awaiting at the top of the driveway as attendees arrived.
Once attendees assembled in the great lecture hall, speakers were introduced, I remember thinking that it was “really nice” that Rip had included his mom, Ann Crile Esselstyn, and his sister, Jane Esselstyn in the roster of impressive speakers. But little did I know that for me, they’d end up being the stars of this week long endeavor. And since then, we’ve been friends.
If you’ve ever been to a movie with me, I like to get to the theatre early, get a good seat, and then take in every frame of the movie. And, I do the same thing at a lecture. During the retreat, I would head over to the demo area early and perch myself in the front row, with my note book in hand. My goal was to learn as much as I could from these two amazing women. I took copious notes and asked even more questions.
What I noticed from this dynamic mother-daughter duo immediately was that cooking a plant-based diet was easy. Recipes didn’t need to be complicated. Ann’s practical approach to cooking was inviting and Jane’s humor and “add-ons” made everything “click.” Simple message: no sugar; no oil; no salt. Head to the store, plan your meals, grab a pepper for a snack, and keep thinking about how simple this is. And, make a waffle from oatmeal and bananas that will be the best thing you’ve ever eaten.
Ann and Jane have taken all of their new recipes and compiled them into a new cookbook that accompanies Dr. Esselstyn’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (Avery, 2007). Their book is currently available for pre-sale on Amazon, and frankly, I cannot wait for the book. With recipe names like Triple Decker Lasagna and The Dagwood Sandwich, the over 125 recipes will have you excited to create more delicious and nutritious plant-based meals. Personally, I am hoping that the next time I see Jane, she will make me a Kale Cake from the recipe in the new book.
According to Ann, “It was time for us to write this book. The longer we eat this way, the better it gets.” She and Jane had been collecting recipes for years, and friends and Dr. Esselstyn’s patients kept inquiring about more recipes and new menu ideas. The book packs a plant-based punch and will keep you busy in the kitchen with more fun than ever.
Jane adds that “Even if you cannot cook, everyone will find the recipes in Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook easy to make…all you need is a pot, a heat source, and an open mind.”
Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn
How We Met