Paul Wenner created the Gardenburger, a mushroom-based veggie burger sold in food stores and restaurants all over the U.S. He is also a messianic advocate for eating a vegetarian diet and a businessman who believes "a dream too big is just the right size."
Wenner recounts that adopting a whole-food, meatless diet cured him of acute chronic illness. He then tells the story of his business, from founding a restaurant in Portland, Oregon, to starting the company that has sold over 100 million Gardenburgers and whose stock is traded publicly. He also devotes a chapter to why people must stop eating meat and presents his "GardenPlan for Optimal Health"--which is based on whole, unrefined foods which he believes purify the body--plus exercise, breathing techniques, and meditation. In addition, Wenner provides a 21-day weight-loss plan, complete with daily menus. One of the best sections in this book advises how to handle eating when you travel.
The key to Wenner's diet is his VeggiePack, a mixture of cut-up fresh vegetables you make up in large quantity and store to use every day. The food has its roots in the earnest, "brown" food of the 1960s. Recipes include basics like almond milk, Hot and Hearty Five-Grain Cereal, a baked Spinach Omelette made from tofu, and Fat-Free Oven Fries. A few recipes call for products Wenner's company makes. If you agree with Wenner's thinking, you may just love this fresh-looking, well-presented book. --Dana Jacobi