Kim Campbell is the daughter-in-law of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, considered by many as the “science father” of the rapidly growing plant-based nutrition movement. She works with her husband, Nelson, in a health and wellness business promoting a whole-food, plant-based diet. Kim holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Human Service Studies, with a minor in Nutrition and Child Development. She is the author of The PlantPure Kitchen and The PlantPure Nation Cookbook.
Since 2009, It’s All About Food, has been bringing you the best in up-to-date news regarding food and our food system. Hosted by Caryn Hartglass, a vegan since 1988, the program includes in-depth interviews with medical doctors; nutritionists; dieticians; cook book authors; athletes; environmental, animals and health activists; farmers; food manufacturers; lawyers; food scientists and more. Learn about how we can solve many of the world’s problems today and do it deliciously, here on It’s All About Food.
Caryn Hartglass: Hey everybody, I’m Caryn Hartglass, you are listening to It’s All About Food. It’s All About Food. Say that with me, It’s All About Food. Thank you for joining me. It’s really lovely to be here. I am actually in the PRN Studio today, Progressive Radio Network, and it’s a new space. I haven’t been in this one before, they recently moved. I’m glad to be here, and I wanted to just mention as I mentioned last week, I’m celebrating this week my eighth anniversary here at Progressive Radio Network. I want to thank everybody here at the station for helping me along the way in the last eight years to bring you some great programming about my favorite subject, food. And I also want to thank all of the volunteers along the way at Responsible Eating and Living, my non-profit which you can find at www.responsbileeatingandliving.com who have transcribed almost all of the programs we’ve done here at the Progressive Radio Network, the It’s All About Food show since March 20th, 2009 when I began. And you can access all of them and read the transcripts if you don’t have a chance to listen to the entire audio program or scan it for some information you are looking for. That’s what I do all the time, and I am really grateful to have that digital library. Thanks to all who have made that possible, and thanks to all of you who are listening and who are interested and as passionate as I am about getting the truth and tools for health, wellness, and green living. That’s what I’m about.
Let’s start with my first guest today, and I am very happy to bring on Kim Campbell who is a part of the whole foods, plant-based dynasty started by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, my colleague and friend. She’s the daughter-in-law of Dr. Campbell and considered by many as the science father, that’s Dr. Campbell, of the rapidly growing plant-based nutrition movement. You knew that. She works with her husband, Nelson, in a health and wellness business promoting a whole foods, plant-based diet. Kim holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Human Service Studies with a minor in Nutrition and Child Development, and she is the author of the PlantPure Kitchen and the PlantPure Nation cookbook, and we are going to be talking about some very delicious things. Welcome to It’s All About Food, Kim thanks for joining me.
Kim Campbell: Hi, Caryn. Thank you for having me, and congratulations on that eighth year.
Caryn Hartglass: Thank you! I think life is all about learning, and when the opportunity came up and I took this opportunity, it was very daunting, the first time I sat in this studio and talked for an hour by myself not knowing who was there.
Kim Campbell: Yeah, that’s true. I talk into video cameras a lot, and there is nobody on the other side, so I feel your pain on that one.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, it’s a very different thing when you are not getting feedback or you are not familiar with how to feel the feedback or imagine the feedback. But anyway, I’ve gotten used to it.
Kim Campbell: Yeah, human connections are important, and it’s nice to be able to lay your eyes on the person, which is a challenge in your world.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, I am glad you brought that up. I am going to be talking in the next part of this show with Pamela Rice, and we are going to be talking about the Veggie Pride Parade that is coming up here in Manhattan, and I was talking to her earlier about how wonderful the internet is because we can connect with so many more people than we can at any small event, but there is nothing like meeting people one on one and feeling that energy.
Kim Campbell: Yes, I agree. I agree. I am in this profession, but my prior profession was teaching, so I was very connected with people everyday, so my life has changed tremendously because of that.
Caryn Hartglass: Well, I’m glad to have you on the program. It’s my goal to get all of the Campbell royal family on this program. I’ve talked to Colin many times and Tom as well, so I am happy to have you on the program.
Kim Campbell: Well I am glad to be here. Thank you.
Caryn Hartglass: So, the first thing, we are going to be talking about your PlantPure Kitchen, a wonderful cookbook with some fabulous recipes, and the first thing I noticed was the forward with was by Dr. Campbell, and I loved how he humbly talked about how he’s somewhat lost in the kitchen actually, and here is someone who has educated so many of us about healthy eating.
Kim Campbell: Yeah, we will keep Colin to science. We’ll keep him to what he does best. Yeah he wrote a wonderful forward, and he’s one of my biggest fans. He eats in our kitchen, and we eat there. We are a pretty tight-knit family, so it is wonderful to have him to be able to write the forward because who else would know my food better than him.
Caryn Hartglass: Absolutely and all of you have done such wonderful work helping those of us who want the information and get it and get healthy, and it’s such a delicious way. Okay, so let’s talk about the PlantPure Nation. Who are they, and how did they get started?
Kim Campbell: Well, about six years ago, Nelson and I did a jump-start together. We hired a chef in our community, and we put people on a meal plan for ten days essentially, and they received three meals, so they were getting thirty different meals. It was really sort of a daunting task, and we did the biometrics prior to the jump-start and then post, so the very first one we did, we had phenomenal results, and we really didn’t know what we were going to get in ten days because you never know. But, when we got their blood lipids back, we were amazed. So, we continued to do jump-start, and I didn’t jump in as the lead culinary person in the beginning because I just didn’t have the confidence that I could do it, so we hired someone to kind of work with me and that really developed my confidence, and I realized I did know a lot about food and wanted to be a resource for our jump-start participants. It went through and had such great success so that is when I started writing cookbooks, right when Nelson was working on the film. So I don’t know how many jump-starts later, but Nelson started working on the film and made a proposal to the Kentucky legislature, and I won’t give the movie away, I don’t know if you have seen the movie…
Caryn Hartglass: I have, it’s great.
Kim Campbell: Okay, yeah, so from there, we knew we couldn’t sustain fresh jump-starts because it was really difficult on this end. So, we decided to create frozen food, so that is what we have now, we have a frozen line and a dry line so people can still do jump-start through PlantPure Nation. They can still get education. It’s wonderful, and it comes right to their doorstep. It’s never been so easy because like you said, we can do everything online, and that’s kind of what we have tried to put together.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, I want to cover two things that you’ve hit on and one is something really important and that is confidence in the kitchen and confidence in preparing food. I know so many people feel very insecure and very foreign in a kitchen, and it’s very intimidating to them to the point where they just stay away. So, how have you found people develop more confidence in the kitchen? And I imagine that is part of the success of the program or is everyone just buying your meals?
Kim Campbell: Right, well when we were doing jump-start here, we were doing cooking classes along with that so you’re right, some people are wonderful cooks but they don’t know it, and I think I am a good cook and didn’t really know it except because my family was telling me I was a great cook, but I didn’t hear it from other people. So, when people come to my classes, it is amazing how much they learn and how much they share together and I learn from people. So I think just getting out there and taking culinary classes, exposing yourself to other cooks, and realizing that most people do have knowledge even if they say they don’t know how to cook. And I know my father-in-law says he doesn’t know how to cook, but I bet he could cook a pretty good meal if you asked him to. I think people just need to get in and do it, and they need to work together so creating that community and the education around it.
Caryn Hartglass: Now the other part I wanted to talk about are these meals that you talked about that are frozen or dry that people can get. I was talking last week with my friend, Alan Roettinger, who is a chef and he’s part of a program that delivers meals to people, and this is something that is really popular these days because people are starting to understand the value of a home-cooked meal and for myself, I have this knee-jerk reaction against all this stuff because I can’t imagine doing it myself, but I understand for many people who have these insecurities and lack the knowledge, it’s a great transition way to familiarize themselves with the ingredients and how to put things together.
Kim Campbell: I agree with you. I think that people in our society really need to reconnect with their food from the time to which we grow it to harvesting it and preparing it, but that’s not reality for a lot of people. But, I think as people start to feel better and they see the health benefits they get from it, then they start to want to connect with the food. So, if we can provide the food in the beginning so that they begin to feel better, and then they gradually want to get into the kitchen. It’s amazing how many people become great chefs and cooks after this message kind of resonates with them. So that’s what we are hoping, that people will use the food to kind of jump into it and then hopefully become independent in terms of preparing their food. There’s always going to be those few people that will eat frozen food the rest of their life.
Caryn Hartglass: That’s right.
Kim Campbell: I am not one of them, but I think it is a great way to kind of jump into health.
Caryn Hartglass: And there is a lot of frozen food that is really good and really good for you.
Kim Campbell: Yeah, I think so. The food is great. When I say that, I wouldn’t want to eat it everyday, but Nelson and I keep it in the freezer because often times we’ll carry it to lunch or I’m not home and he’ll have it, so we want it also to have ongoing support for people who went through a jump-start, and we don’t want them to fall of the wagon. So having that food that is prepared and is easy to grab is also really important, and it’s good food. Our food is really good. There’s no oil in it, minimal salts and sugars and there is a lot of variety in it, so I personally really like it, but maybe it’s because a lot of them are my recipes as well.
Caryn Hartglass: So, you personally, how long have you been on this whole foods, plant-based journey?
Kim Campbell: Yeah, I am glad you said journey because I didn’t wake up and become plant-based. When I was in high school, I was always interested in health and nutrition and I met Nelson in high school, so that is when I started to dabble with being a vegetarian. And then I got to know the Campbells and Colin was doing his research in China and Nelson and I continued to be together throughout high school, so we sort of did that journey together because the Campbells weren’t one hundred percent plant-based at that time either. They were transitioning away from it. I don’t think it was until we had the children that we decided we had to get more serious, more strict about it. It wasn’t hard because we were almost there, you’re almost there, and we just got rid of any little block of cheese that was in the back of the refrigerator or that little bit of yogurt that you had. I mean we thought at the time that we were doing things really healthy, and we kind of laugh about now looking back and seeing where we were on our journey then. That’s why I always tell people don’t beat yourself up because you’ll get better the more you do it.
Caryn Hartglass: That’s exactly what I wanted to talk about because I started this whole thing when I was fifteen. I decided I didn’t want to eat animals, and it wasn’t until I was thirty that I became vegan, and I have always been on a path for health and there have been foods that I’ve truly sincerely believed were the best things I could possibly eat and now I know maybe they weren’t. You mention yogurt, I remember putting wheat germ on everything and there were just so many foods and now so are these foods trending? Or are we learning? I like to think that we are learning more and more and becoming more knowledgeable, but it will be interesting see what’s hot in ten years.
Kim Campbell: What I think is challenging now compared to twenty years ago, we didn’t have the processed vegan products that are out there now, so I didn’t have to sift through it. I enjoy cooking so I was always preparing food, but now there are so many products that one of the things I teach in my classes is how to read labels.
Caryn Hartglass: Yep!
Kim Campbell: How to read labels and determine if in fact it is a vegan product, if it is high fat, if it has a lot of sodium. And then people get so confused, “how do I do this? There are so many things to consider”, so I just think it’s more challenging with all the processed foods that are out there now. They can be convenient, but they also can be a disaster too.
Caryn Hartglass: Absolutely, and it really depends on where you are coming from. For me, I came from a vegan place. I didn’t want to eat animals, and so I imagine people realizing what’s going on with the treatment of animals today and wanting to eat vegan and they hit the stores and they see all these vegan products. It’s a disaster. There’s so many of them, and they are just not healthy foods.
Kim Campbell: Yeah, and I really think that people should do it for two reasons, well three: the environment, the animals, and the health. For your health. To me, it all just sort of folds together nicely.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah.
Kim Campbell: I don’t think one is necessarily more important than the other.
Caryn Hartglass: Well, the good thing is there is no reason not to do it. It’s right for all reasons.
Kim Campbell: Exactly. Exactly.
Caryn Hartglass: So you have some great tips in the book. Let’s jump into this new book of yours, The PlantPure Kitchen, and you have some great tips. I really appreciate you mentioning cleaning out the refrigerator once a week. That’s huge!
Kim Campbell: Right because I think if you clean it out and you keep it organized, for me anyways, it motivates me to prepare food because if you don’t know what’s in there and how long its been in there, you don’t even want to go there.
Caryn Hartglass: Yep.
Kim Campbell: So I do think there is going to be when you eat fresh vegetables because a lot of people will say, “Well I end up throwing out greens. I throw out this”. Well you are probably not eating enough of it.
Caryn Hartglass: Exactly.
Kim Campbell: There is going to be more wastage because you are eating fresh produce so things will wilt and go bad, but I tell people freeze things. If you don’t think you are going to eat all those onions and they are going to go to root, then freeze them. So I don’t think people use their freezer enough.
Caryn Hartglass: I’m quite obsessive about not wasting food and the handful of times I have wasted food, it’s been a heartbreak, very painful to me. But I’m constantly taking inventory and moving around and seeing what needs to go next and putting it in something.
Kim Campbell: Right, exactly and I think that’s all part of keeping your refrigerator clean and organized and knowing what you have and eating it because if it gets packed, things get shoved in the back and you don’t even know its there and the next thing you know its rotten. But I think too, cleaning out your refrigerator and your pantry is a way of jumping on board and deciding that you’re going to make this journey. I know a lot people don’t like to take everything out of the pantry that’s unhealthy in the beginning because “What if I need that can of cream of mushroom soup or that box of cereal or crackers?” But if it’s out of your pantry, you are not going to be tempted so start over again and the products that are healthy and whole grains and beans and things like that. Same thing with the refrigerator, clean it out and start new.
Caryn Hartglass: These are just basic life lessons I think and being mindful about everything that’s going on in your life. And I know we are all busy, but I believe we find some peace, some serenity from being mindful and being organized because clutter everywhere gets into the clutter in the brain, and it can’t be good.
Kim Campbell: Yeah, that’s so true. I have raised three kids so I know that. And now they’re all gone and I find that my refrigerator is emptier than it has ever been.
Caryn Hartglass: Oh no, the empty refrigerator syndrome!
Kim Campbell: Yeah, yeah. It’s all good. They actually have worked with us, a couple of them. In fact, my daughter, Whitney, helped to write a lot of the educational material for PlantPure Kitchen. She kind of kept me straight about what goes where. One chart she did that was really good was the gluten-free chart because she said so many people want that and so much of the cookbook was already gluten-free and what wasn’t gluten-free she wanted to be able to guide people to that path so she was wonderful. And my son did all the photography, and he did a fabulous job. He was intimidated about it because our first photographer for PlantPure Nation was really good. But, it was fun to work with the kids. I really enjoyed it.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, he did an excellent job. Those are stunning photographs. Well done.
Kim Campbell: They actually now that they have worked on the second book, they really had an appreciation for what I went through on the first book because that was sort of the blind leading the blind. You don’t realize all that goes into a cookbook until your kitchen looks like Thanksgiving every day for a month.
Caryn Hartglass: Yep, I’m there. We just created eight new recipes last week and did the recipes and then cleaned everything up and photographed them. It was a major marathon and that was just for eight. But, the nice thing is then you get eat everything you’ve made over the week.
Kim Campbell: Eat it and share it and give it away.
Caryn Hartglass: Yep and put it in the freezer!
Kim Campbell: Yep, put it in the freezer if you have space. That’s so true, and I’ve had people say, “Oh, your recipes are too big. What do I do with all of this food?” Freeze it because most of it freezes really well.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, speaking of freezing…
Kim Campbell: Our freezer’s packed, and we usually have something we can pull out at anytime.
Caryn Hartglass: Let’s talk about storage of food now that you are talking about freezing. I appreciated your section on storage of food because it really is important to store food.
Kim Campbell: Right.
Caryn Hartglass: And have the right stuff to do that.
Kim Campbell: I like to freeze things in the freezer with Pyrex dishes.
Caryn Hartglass: Me too.
Kim Campbell: As opposed to all the plastic because I don’t know what the plastic does in the freezer and sometimes you don’t know what it does when you heat it up so I tend to put parchment paper over the top and then just seal it and that seems to work really well. I haven’t had anything break. In the refrigerator, you can prep a lot of things, but there’s just some things you can’t so just making sure you wrap your lettuce in a paper towel to keep it dry so it doesn’t get slimy and moldy. There are definitely some techniques for keeping food a little longer.
Caryn Hartglass: I’m making a note here for myself for the “double p” technique: Pyrex and parchment paper. Pyrex and parchment paper. It’s wonderful. I’m a big fan of Pyrex, and I put everything in it and if I don’t put it in Pyrex, I have a big jar collection from certain kind of foods. We use South River Miso and it comes in this wonderful glass jar and I save all of those glass jars and they are great for storage too.
Kim Campbell: Yes, I love glass jars. We have a Hot Logic machine so when people buy the frozen meals, they have an option to buy the Hot Logic machine, which is this really cool looking almost looks like a lunchbox. It has a little induction warmer. You plug it in. It takes about ninety minutes to heat up a rock solid frozen meal and those are nice if you store your meals. I like to store them by servings because sometimes Nelson just wants to grab something, and we don’t want to pull a great big pan of something out and you can put those Pyrex dishes into the Hot Logic machine individually and he has lunch.
Caryn Hartglass: Great.
Kim Campbell: The nice thing about them is it’s like it just came out of the oven. The microwave, I don’t know. I just don’t like the way the food tastes when it comes out of the microwave. It’s hot and it’s watery and it just doesn’t have the same flavor.
Caryn Hartglass: Hot Logic, that’s good to know. I didn’t know about that. Hot Logic. Excellent.
Kim Campbell: Those are wonderful for leftovers, for frozen. We had one participant who said she kept hers in for, I don’t know, about eighteen hours and she said it was great. She said it was still really good. So, I think of it like a crockpot almost.
Caryn Hartglass: I get it. Okay, let’s talk about some of the recipes. As I was looking at your recipes, I had this funny thing happen. It was funny to me, I don’t know if it will be funny to anybody else, but the first recipe was chai quinoa porridge, which looked wonderful. I love anything chai with those seasonings and right after that was the chia seed pudding and for some reason, I never realized that chai and chia have the same letters in them, and I was reading it chia quinoa porridge and I couldn’t find any chia in your list of ingredients because there weren’t any! Anyway, chai and chia, chia chai!
Kim Campbell: I’m sort of a simple breakfast person. We tend to eat a lot of granola love in mason jars. I make my own yogurt, which is not in the cookbook, but we tend to do a lot of really simple, quick breakfasts so there is a lot of that in the cookbook.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, the one fun recipe that I found was the fishless filets.
Kim Campbell: Oh funny you say that, that’s one of my favorites.
Caryn Hartglass: I’m not surprised.
Kim Campbell: Do you remember when you were a kid and you’d get those fried fish sticks?
Caryn Hartglass: Absolutely.
Kim Campbell: Yeah, my mother never bought them so it was a treat when we got them. And I thought how can we make those into sticks? So, I used artichokes and it has chickpeas in it and it has oats. I think they’re gluten-free as well. And it has the seaweed. I used the Nori sheet to kind of implement that sort of fish flavor to it. And that’s a really popular dish. It’s kind of a lot like the crab cakes from the first cookbook and I don’t call them crab cakes, I think I call them zucchini cakes. But I like that sort of taste from the sea.
Caryn Hartglass: Absolutely, and just that whole combination of textures and breading and a nice finger food sometimes if you want to pick it up and dip it. It’s really wonderful. I like it.
Kim Campbell: One of my favorite recipes from the new book is the Pad Thai. I spent a lot time trying to get that sauce just perfect. Sauces to me make every dish, so I put a lot of sauces in my cookbooks because I’m a big component of “build a bowl” style meals so if you have sauces in your refrigerator and you stick them in mason jars, you’re much more likely to be able to put together a meal in ten or fifteen minutes.
Caryn Hartglass: I’m there with you, and people love sauce and people love gooey, runny things that they can pour over things or put in a sandwich. I mean that’s the fun part of eating, and sauces just can make the difference. You can put it on absolutely anything.
Kim Campbell: And the challenge is making them oil-free. I like that challenge though and now it doesn’t even cross my mind to use oil because I use things like seeds, nuts, tofu, avocado, beans. There’s a lot of ways you can incorporate that creamy texture to a sauce or a dish.
Caryn Hartglass: I love it so much better and like I like to say on this program, number one you don’t know how good you could feel until you’ve started eating all plants. And the other thing is when you’ve eliminated oil or most of the oil and go get your fat from these whole food sources like nuts and seeds and making these creamy dressings, oily food just tastes oily. And that’s not a good thing.
Kim Campbell: It’s interesting how you can catch it a lot quicker too. I’ve had people say, “Wow, I really noticed the oil that people use in restaurants”. You really don’t notice it until you go off of it. It’s kind of like sugar and salt, once you reduce those, and you really notice it once you eat something salty. It’s the same thing with oil.
Caryn Hartglass: Well, Kim I want to thank you for joining me on <i>It’s All About Food</i> and for writing your book, <i>PlantPure Kitchen </i>and for all that you have been doing for our growing <i>PlantPure Nation</i> and thanks for all the delicious recipes. Check out <i>PlantPure Kitchen</i>. It’s wonderful.
Kim Campbell: Thanks for all you do. I listen to your podcast.
Caryn Hartglass: Oh my goodness, thank you.
Kim Campbell: I really appreciate your shows and all of the food topics that you cover.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, well say hello to Colin and Karen and Nelson and everybody over in the Campbell clan.
Kim Campbell: Okay, well thank you Karen.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, take care. That was Kim Campbell, the author of the new cookbook <i>PlantPure Kitchen</i>, and it’s really good. It reminds me actually of a lot of the food we eat at home. A whole foods, plant-based kitchen is really the way to go. I believe it’s the most delicious way to eat and the healthiest. We’re going to take a little break and then talk with Pamela Rice. We’ll be right back.
Transcribed by Lauren Imbody , 4/11/2017