The Game Changers recipes: How to vegan diet like UFC star James Wilks

James Wilks, Victoria Lissack, Patrik Baboumian, Shannon Kornelsen and Joseph Pace attend the UK Premiere of "The Game Changers"  at The Electric Cinema on October 08, 2019 in London,...

Looking for cooking inspiration? Well, look no further!

"I ate a lot of meat," explains Arnold Schwarzenegger. "They show those commercials selling that idea that real men eat meat. But, you've got to understand, that's marketing. That's not based on reality."

Today, so many people are becoming more aware of what they eat, choosing to make a change. This change not only impacts their health, but also industries and beyond. A great number of documentaries have surfaced in recent years, tackling the problems behind our diets and discussing vegan alternatives. 

One of the latest to attract praise and admiration is Louie Psihoyos' The Game Changers. This James Cameron-produced doc focuses its lens on the benefits of plant-based dieting... for athletes. As the earlier quote suggests, the world of bodybuilding and fitness has long been linked with ideas of eating wisely, and meat has long been in that equation.

The Game Changers

The Game Changers recipes: Our favourites!

The spotlight is firmly on former UFC fighter James Wilks across the documentary film. When he was recovering from an injury, he spent hours upon hours studying the sciences of nutrition and recovery. 

When realising that many of the renowned gladiators dating way back were vegetarian, his curiosity into plant-based eating began to grow. With interviews from the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Patrik Baboumian and Dotsie Bausch, he embarks on an eye-opening journey in which the imperative need for animal protein in the world of sport is debunked as myth. 

Of course, one of the major reasons the majority eat meat is because it is traditionally a part of some of their favourite dishes and meals. However, as The Game Changers also highlights, there is simply so much amazing plant-based food out there. 

Glancing through the official website, that couldn't be any clearer. So, let's highlight some of our favourite recipes they've given us. 

Sweet Potato Queso

Ingredients: 

- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and rough chopped (roughly 400 g)

- 5 garlic cloves

- Bay leaf

- 2 C unsweetened soy milk or unsweetened plant-based milk

- 1 cup (236 g) fresh or jar salsa

- 15g nutritional yeast (optional)

- 1 tsp cumin

- ¾ tsp chilli powder

- ½ tsp smoked paprika

- ½ tsp onion, granulated

- ½ tsp salt

- ½ tsp black pepper

How to make:

"1. In a small saucepot, add the top 3 ingredients, add water to cover, and on med-high heat bring to a boil for 10-12 minutes until sweet potatoes are soft, can break apart with a fork, and about half the liquid has evaporated.

2. Remove from stovetop and let cool. Remove the bay leaf.

3. Add the cooked sweet potato mixture to blender, add the seasonings and 1 cup of plant-based milk (to start) and blend on low, moving to high speed for roughly 2 minutes until silky smooth. Add extra plant milk for thinner sauce and less for thicker. Remember that the sauce will thicken once cooled or if heated. You can always add more liquid - you cannot take it away!"

BBQ Chickpea and Carrot Sliders

Ingredients:

- 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced or julienne

- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil (optional)

- 1 8 oz. bag of shredded carrots (this saves time)

- 1 15 oz can chickpeas - drained, rinsed and lightly crushed

- 3/4 cup of Smoky BBQ Sauce, or your favourite store-bought variety

- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

- 1 tablespoon maple syrup

- 1/2 cup light beer, (optional) if not using, increase the low sodium vegetable stock by 1/2 cup

- 3/4 cup vegetable stock, low sodium

- 1 tablespoon Sriracha or hot sauce of choice

- 1 teaspoon garlic powder

- 2 teaspoons onion powder

- 1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

- A handful of cilantro, chopped

How to make:

" 1. Put all the ingredients except the cilantro and toppings into a large saucepan or cook pot.

2. Set the pan or pot on high heat for 4+ hours until the carrots are wicked tender and the liquid has thickened up. Add chopped cilantro and mix.

3. Once the chickpea and carrot mixture is ready, assemble the sliders. If the buns are not as soft as you would like, lightly toast them before using.

4. On each side of the bread add a condiment of your choice. Pile on the BBQ mixture. Top with shaved cabbage and sliced pickles. Don’t forget the paper towels when serving these!"

Tempeh Bacon

Ingredients:

- 2 – 8oz packages of tempeh

- 3 tablespoons low sodium tamari

- 1 tablespoon white miso

- 3 tablespoons maple syrup

- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

- 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

- Parchment paper

How to make:

"1. In a small mixing bowl, add the tamari, miso, maple, rice vinegar, and smoked paprika and whisk well.

2. Slice the tempeh into long strips, about 10-12 for each block of tempeh used.

3. Place the tempeh in a shallow dish and pour over the marinade. Allow to sit for at least an hour to marinate. Note: the longer this sits in the marinate the better the flavours will be and absorbed.

4. Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC

5. On parchment paper, lay out each piece of marinated tempeh. Place in the oven and allow to bake for 20-25 minutes.

6. Remove the tempeh, turn gently and brush on more of the marinade.

7. Allow to bake for an additional 25 minutes.

8. Remove from the oven and once cooled store in a sealed container. For added flavour, store the baked tempeh in remaining marinade. Each time you want to use, warm in a saute pan and serve."

Damn Good Cookies!

Ingredients:

- ½ cup raw almonds (or raw cashews)

- ½ cup raw walnuts

- 6 large dates, pitted

- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

- 1 tablespoon water (if needed for texture)

- Pinch of sea salt (optional)

- 3 tablespoons non-dairy dark chocolate chips

- 3 tablespoons old-fashioned oats

How to make:

"1. In a food processor or high-speed blender, blend the nuts until crumbled uniformly. Transfer the nut mixture to a bowl and set aside.

2. Add the dates, vanilla and water to the food processor or high-speed blender and blend until the ingredients form a paste-like mixture. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl or blender jar a few times, if needed, and blend again.

3. Add the reserved nut mixture to the date mixture and blend together. Add the chocolate chips and oats, and pulse the mixture until blended to your liking, or mix in the chips and oats by hand, if you prefer.

4. Press balls of the mixture firmly into a teaspoon. Free the dough from the spoon’s shape and place on a serving plate."

For more great plant-based recipes, be sure to head over to their website

In other news, where was Modern Love filmed?

Have something to tell us about this article?