This is the follow-up to my Pt. 1 post (here). Key takeaway from that rambling post was that one tablespoon of olive oil is equal to about 40 physical olives. Anyway, during the process of working it out, I had two experiences that at first, didn't seem related, but actually are.
The first, from background TeeVee noise, I caught Chef Roberto Martin (Ellen's latest vegan chef discovery) cooking up his faux chicken on NBC's Today Show. Chef Roberto demonstrated "astounding" creativity by taking two packages of Gardein "Chick'n Scallopini" breasts, wrapping them in rice paper, dipping in 2 cups of cashew cream and spices, and frying. Here's the recipe. Note how similar to Chef Tal's vegan travesty with Gardein Chick'n (my screed about that here).
Back to Roberto: let's do a little math: 2 cups of cashew cream contains around 48 grams of fat (600 calories). Now, Martin calls for no more than 2 cups of oil for frying (we'll ignore the cost... it is, however, 3800 calories & over 400 grams of fat). It's difficult to guess how much fat is imparted to the breasts, but in general, my research shows that frying chicken breasts in oil increases the fat grams from 1 or 2 to 10 to 17 grams. So, let's go with 10 grams of fat more per breast. There are 4 pieces of chick'n per package, each 4.5 grams of fat.
So, let's go with 48 g. of fat from cream, 56 g. of fat from frying+original fat content: 104 grams of fat total. At 4 servings, that comes to over 25 grams of fat per serving. If you want to "prevent and reverse heart disease" (a la Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn), that's 1 to 2 day's worth of fat in a single entree. Or, from the American Heart Association's perspective, a little under half. Chef Roberto has taken a fine meat analog and turned it into a fat-ladden mess with the cashew cream and olive oil frying.
Okay, this is all no surprise. Both Chefs take the "high-end culinary dishes" they've been taught, sub-out the meat for meat analogs, add a lot of fat, and are considered vegan chef geniuses. Obviously I disagree. But in the process of writing the 1st post, and thinking about all this, I had a short and somewhat testy Twitter exchange with a well-known Iron Chef. Summarized, abbreviated, and paraphrased, it went something like this:
IC: "If someone tells you it tastes good without salt, they're lying to you..."
SV: "The Amer. Heart Assoc. recommends under 1 tsp. salt per day."
IC: "I just ran 6 miles and my cholesterol counts are great."
IC: "words that dont [sic] go together... lowfat/cheese, turkey/bacon, decaf/espresso, lean/pork, boneless skinless/chicken,..."
SV: "Long-term health should be the focus. Y'all use a lot of meat & oil on your shows."
IC: "My 90 yr old pappy eats a lot of meat and is still going strong."
SV: "It's called the Bell Curve... most people are not where he is..."
IC: "Everything is better with bacon."
SV: "Apologies, my fault, this isn't the best forum for nut. discussion. Do enjoy your creativity, though. Bye."
Bottom line: I've watched this guy on Iron Chef and The Chew, and as with most of the chefs on the Food Network, I'm totally appalled by not only how much & the types of meat they use, but also the incredibly excessive amounts of oil.
That being said, aside from the use of meat though, I have to wonder: how much worse are they, from a health perspective, then Chefs Roberto and Tal? Sure, the Vegan Chefs are saving animals & encouraging healthier eating on some levels (no hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, food-borne diseases, the environment, et. al.), but I can't help thinking that, in view of the epidemic nature of heart disease in this country (killing more people than hormones, etc., in meat, presumably), perhaps we should be thinking about demanding more from our vegan cookbook authors than "cups" of oil and fatty nuts in their recipes.
Substituting faux meat to alleviate people's taste addiction to meat is certainly a good thing, but catering to their addiction to the taste of fat, possibly isn't:
"52 people in USA die due to heart attack every minute making it 1,259 per day, 8,843 per week and 459,840 per year" [Source].
Essy's 20+ years of peer-reviewed research shows that a no-added oil plant-based diet can not only reverse, but in theory, prevent heart disease. Perhaps the "true" genius vegan chefs will be the ones who creatively incorporate this reality into their recipes and help people make truly healthy food.