PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) has just won $25,000 thanks to actress Marilu Henner and all of PCRM’s supporters who voted for her Live with Kelly! Grilling with the Stars recipe. She beat out eight other celebrities competing with their favorite recipes to win $25,000 for their favorite charity.

Marilu is a coach for PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart and longtime PCRM supporter.

September is full of back-to-school excitement and change, so it’s a perfect time to learn how to start a healthy new approach to diet and fitness. That’s why doctors and dietitians with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine are teaming up with actresses Marilu Henner, Alicia Silverstone, NBA champ John Salley, and one of Oprah Winfrey’s favorite chefs to lead the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart.

The online program — going live Sept. 3 at www.21DayKickstart.org — will provide all the knowledge and support adults and teenagers need to maintain a healthy weight, increase energy, and feel great by following a nutritious plant-based diet. There is no cost to join.

“A growing number of high school and college students are embracing vegan and vegetarian diets,” says PCRM dietitian Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “Our 21-Day Kickstart program offers expert guidance and a supportive step-by-step program that can help anyone start a nutritious, well-planned plant-based diet. It’s a fun, easy way to stay trim and healthy.”

Kickstarters will receive daily e-mails with recipes and cooking tips, as well as a 21-day meal plan, an interactive vegan restaurant guide, and a free iPhone application. They’ll also get complete access to online videos, forums, and discussion boards featuring registered dietitians and physicians, such as PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., Dean Ornish, M.D., and John McDougall, M.D.

Celebrity diet counselors, including best-selling authors Kathy Freston and Rory Freedman, actress Maggie Q, vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, and ultramarathon champ Scott Jurek will offer advice on food choices and grocery shopping, as well as personal stories about the challenges and benefits of new eating habits.

Adopting a vegan diet is surprisingly easy, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Study participants lost weight, lowered their blood sugar, and reduced their need for medications used to treat diabetes and other health conditions. Other studies have found that vegan diets provide easy weight maintenance, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

And if you want to know Marilu’s recipe, here it is:

Marilu Henner’s Healthy/Easy Grilled Mushroom and Heirloom Tomato Summer Dish
Yield: 4-6 servings

large container of organic mesclun greens 
3 organic heirloom tomatoes, (sliced 1/4-inch thick)
2 cups organic green grapes
6 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (divided, plus 1/3 cup olive oil)
kosher salt
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
6 large portobello mushrooms
nondairy mozzarella-flavored cheese
grill basket

Preheat the grill to medium-high.
Marinate the grapes in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

In a small bowl, toss the garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt. Wrap the garlic cloves in tinfoil and place on the grill. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic with the 1/3 cup olive oil and mustard. Cut tomatoes in thick slices and set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt. Place them, cap side down, on the grill and close the lid. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Turn on the other side and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Re-season them lightly with salt and slice diagonally 1/2-inch pieces.

Take mushrooms off, and put grapes in a grill basket and grill until the skins begin to blacken in spots, about 3 minutes.

Remove the garlic from the grill. Squeeze the garlic pulp out from their skins and whisk it vigorously into the dressing.
Arrange greens in center of plate, then alternate sliced mushrooms and sliced tomatoes on top and garnish with grapes and top with the dressing and a sprinkle of nondairy mozzarella-flavored cheese. Serve immediately.

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