June 16, 2015
One of my most favorite things about being a recipe blogger is getting review copies of cookbooks from publishers. I have a thing for cookbooks – it’s actually getting a bit out of hand. Need more bookshelves. Anyway, Plant-Powered Families by Dreena Burton, one of my favorite vegan authors, is one of the books I get to play with this time and it’s a real treat. I’ve always been a huge fan of Dreena’s but the one thing that bummed me out in the past was that I had to adapt her recipes to not include oil. I was thrilled to find she doesn’t use any in her latest work. Yay! One of the things I like most about Dreena is how considerate and detailed she is with her recipes. She clearly spends a lot of time tweaking and getting the ingredients and methods just right to make things as easy as she can for her readers, and she shares tips, tricks and alternatives for many situations. She adds notes to each recipe with her suggestions for kicking it up, mellowing it out, use this instead of that, or simply adjusting flavors for adults’ or kids’ tastes.
Dreena has 3 young daughters so she understands the challenges involved in getting healthy food into picky kids who are busy and on the go. Her recipes in this book are appealing to kids and adults alike with dishes like Sunday Morning Pancakes, Apple-Spice Hemp Muffins, Red Lentil Hummus, Zippy Chickpea and White Bean Dip, Cream of Cauliflower Soup, Umami Sun-Dried Tomato and Almond Burgers, Home Fries, Lemon-Kissed Blondie Bites and Banana Butter Ice Cream, just to name a few of many. The book includes mouth-watering photos, and is laid out really nicely beginning with a section on priming your pantry with plant-based staples, followed by color coded chapters such as Healthy Mornings; Lunch Fixes; Salad Dressings, Sauces and Toppers; Dinnertime; Sweet Treats. The back of the book has some cool resources like a section on Picky Eaters and how to manage them, School and Lunchbox solutions, Tips for Hosting and Attending Kids’ Parties, Sample Meal Plans and a FAQ’s section. She didn’t miss a beat with this book – everything is covered, and honestly, you could use this book and none other for your family and be set. My only complaint about this book is that it doesn’t include allergen notations for each recipe, which is pretty lame since it’s easy to do and most books have.
Everything I’ve made from the book has been excellent, and today I’m sharing one of the recipes with you – Saucy BBQ Chickpeas and Green Beans. I used broccoli because hubby hates green beans but otherwise I stuck to the recipe and it was delicious – and so simple! I will be doing a drawing to give away a free copy of this awesome book. Tune in to my Facebook page for details on how to win! https://www.facebook.com/PlantifulWellness Enjoy the recipe.
Imagine being vegan and weighing nearly 500 lbs. Seems impossible doesn’t it? Most people associate vegan with healthy. For many that is the case, but the opposite is also true. Potato chips? Vegan. French fries? Vegan. Soda? Vegan. Vegetable oils? Vegan. See where I’m going with this? Vegan (the absence of animal foods) is only healthy when the diet is comprised of whole, low-fat, plant foods. Vegan junk food is how you get sick and in Del’s case, to 475 pounds! This is the meaning of the title of Del’s new cookbook, Better Than Vegan. Being vegan isn’t enough if you want to achieve optimal health and weight…you must be Better Than Vegan! Del has managed to drop nearly all of his extra weight but doing just that!
Del’s recipes are easy to follow and execute, and of course they’re delicious! To give you an idea of how tasty and easy his recipes are, I made the Smokey Black Bean Bisque (recipe below) and it was phenomenal! Truly. I’m not generally a non-chunky soup fan but the flavor of this soup was fantastic, and even though it’s not chunky, its still nice and thick. Del instructs you to toast and grind the cumin seeds and I’m sure this really contributed to the rich flavor – so don’t skimp and use bottled, ground cumin if you can help it. He also calls for fresh oregano which I didn’t have and couldn’t find at the store, so I used dried. If you do that remember to cut the amount in half. So, instead of 2 tsp fresh, you would use 1 tsp dry. I soaked and cooked my own black beans ahead of time, but canned would be fine – just remember to rinse them. I did not garnish with cilantro because I despise it and think it tastes like perfume. Bleh! For leftovers the next night I roasted delicata squash, filled it with wild rice and kale, and topped it with the bisque – YUM!
Chef Del’s Smokey Black Bean Bisque from “Better Than Vegan”
To be the lucky winner of this great book simply answer the question following the recipe to enter yourself in the drawing. One winner will be randomly chosen on Wednesday, 1/15/14.
Contest Question: How many vegan or vegetarian cookbooks do you own?
For those who received this post already in an email, I apologize. I hit ‘publish’ before I was finished!!
Anyway, as I was saying, we’ll get to the winner in a minute. First, I wanted to share the results of the “What’s Your Favorite and Least Favorite Fruit” survey we did. Man, you guys were all over the place. So many different tastes out there. 29 different fruits were listed. Hard to believe that as many people dislike cantaloupe as love it; same with mango. And not one person listed grapes as either their fave or most disliked. Crazy! Anyway, here you have it:
The #1 most loved fruit is strawberries. #2 is a tie between peaches and mango. #3 tie between blueberries, pineapple and watermelon.
The #1 most disliked fruit is a tie between papaya, mango and Granny Smith apples. Tied for #2 would be melons (both cantaloupe and watermelon), kiwi, and rhubarb.
Ok, that was fun. Thanks for participating! Now, onto announcing the winner of The China Study Cookbook by LeAnne Campbell, PhD. The winner is…….Tracy Habenicht! Congratulations, Tracy! To claim your prize, e-mail me at Shelly@plantifulwellness.com with your address so I can forward that onto the publisher.
Thanks, all. Another giveaway coming soon!