Giveaway Time! And Review and Recipe from Dreena Burton’s “Plant-Powered Families” – Saucy BBQ Chickpeas & Green Beans

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.Plant-PoweredFamilies_FrontCover_WEB

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.BBQSaucyChickpeas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies || vegan | gluten-free | oil-free

IMG_9328Soft, chewy, gooey and chocolatey – that’s what these cookies are. Best part is they are a sinful tasting treat without the sin (maybe just a little bit).  Of course there is no oil or butter in these little gems, but I also tried to keep the flour, sugar and fat low.  You’ll notice the recipe calls for 2 med-large bananas.  As such there is a very small banana taste…very slight though.  If you aren’t a banana fan (I simply cannot imagine!), try using only one banana and replacing the other with 1/2 cup applesauce.  I haven’t tried this so I can’t say exactly what the end result would be, but it’s worth a try.

Enjoy your chocolatey goodness!

Sunflower Banana Muffins || gluten-free + oil-free + vegan + no sugar added

IMG_9303These muffins are an excellent way to use those overly ripe bananas sitting on your counter. The flavor of banana and sunflower seed butter is a delightful combination. The texture is dense and very similar to banana bread (yum!). In addition to being tasty and satisfying, they are also healthy, void of gluten, dairy, eggs, oil or sugar. What’s left, you ask? Healthy and delicious whole foods, including dates as a sweetener, which are chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Fudgy Brownies || vegan | gluten-free | oil-free

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These delicious morsels are a cross between fudge and a brownie, hence the name Fudgy Brownies.  They are so rich and sinful tasting, it’s amazing they are low-fat, contain very little flour, no refined sugar, and BLACK BEANS.  That’s right, black beans.  A whole can.  I know it’s weird, just work with me.  And be sure not to tell anybody until AFTER they tell you how awesome the brownies taste.  🙂

Pumpkin-Nog Pie | vegan, oil-free, gluten-free

I know Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I’m sorry for not getting this recipe up before then, but hopefully some of you are looking for just the right vegan pumpkin pie recipe for the Christmas holiday.  PumpkinPie2014I’ve been “scolded” by readers in the past for not having a pumpkin pie recipe on my blog.  Oops.  I’ve been making vegan pumpkin pies for years but have never been 100% satisfied with them.  Flavor is always yummy – pretty hard to screw that up, but the texture is where I felt improvement could be made and until I made it, I didn’t want to share a recipe.  Vegan pumpkin pies, or those not using sweetened condensed milk, often come out too soft for my liking. I like a firm pumpkin pie and this pie fits the bill.  In fact, it’s so firm that you don’t need crust at all! You can bake it directly in a pie plate! So, if you like a gooey, mushy pumpkin pie, don’t make this one!  I also ADORE non-dairy, eggless eggnog (i.e. soy nog), and have combined the yummy pumpkin with it in this pie.

For Thanksgiving this year, I created a gingerbread crust for this pie at the request of my daughter.  The crust was yummy, however, combined with this already spiced pie, it was a bit overpowering.  My suggestion for this pie filling is to use it with a mild flavored crust.  You can buy a pre-made plain wheat crust, or make your own, of course.  I really despise working with dough – makes me anxious – which is partly why I was happy to create a crust made from oats, dates, walnuts, etc.  Fatfreevegan.com has a yummy Oatmeal Cookie Crust that would work well too.

Also, if you don’t like eggnog, feel free to substitute any other type of nondairy milk.

Delectable Mushroom Soup | vegan, oil-free, gluten-free

MushroomSoup1txtDelectable was the word used by my sister to describe her feelings on this soup, so I figured I’d call it just that – Delectable Mushroom Soup.  Much more fun than plain old Mushroom Soup.  And honestly people, not to toot my own horn or anything but it really is delectable.  I got lucky with this one, for sure.  I had a ton of cremini and chanterelle mushrooms (thanks to Costco) and realized I’d never made a creamy mushroom soup before, and it sounded really good to me.  I was hopeful the recipe would work out so I made copious notes as I went along.  So glad I did.  The best part?  It’s EASY to make!

This soup is rich and creamy but not overly fattening.  I used only 1/3 cup raw cashews which adds fat of course, but not too much.  The items I used for garnish are optional and do add a small amount of fat.  I grated a very small amount of Miyoko’s killer Smoked Farmhouse “cheese”, and a few drops of truffle oil on top of the fresh chives. Deliciously delectable.  🙂

 

Gooey Pumpkin-Oat Bars | vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, flour-free, low-sugar

IMG_9175I’ve said it many times – I.  Love.  Pumpkin.  All things pumpkin, whether it be savory or sweet.  I especially love the spices that are associated with pumpkin flavor – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice, etc.  These delicious bars have them all.  The bars are substantial and very moist (hence the name Gooey Pumpkin Bars).  I only used rolled oats so no need for flour here.  The only sugar in the batter is 1/3 cup and I used Sucanat which is minimally processed.  The chocolate chips add sugar, of course, and are optional (but, um, why would you leave them out?). Seriously, you may opt to leave them out if you plan on eating these for breakfast, or leave them in for more of a dessert item.  For gluten-free bars be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.

Mesquite-Lime Hummus

Honestly, I don’t know anybody who doesn’t l like  hummus.  I’m sure they exist but I’ve never met them.  Such a simple thing – chickpeas and a handful of ingredients, whirled through a blender.  And so many ways to eat it: with raw veggies, crackers, chips, on a sandwich or wrap, thinned out as gravy to top greens or grains…so many possibilities.  There are also many flavors of hummus, and this one is really delicious.  I love anything with a smoky flavor and the smoked paprika does a great job here, but the lime really makes this hummus come to life.  I used about 2.5 TBS of lime juice and it’s pretty limey….use more or less depending on your tastes.  Same with the cayenne.  1/8 tsp is quite mild.  Now go make some hummus.  🙂

Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

Every day for breakfast I have a smoothie filled with all sorts of nutritional goodness from greens, berries, banana, homemade almond milk and flax seeds.  Some days though, I want something different and I will make oatmeal topped with banana, grated apple, cinnamon, a few walnuts, some almond milk and a touch of maple syrup.  Kinda hard to eat a bowl of oatmeal on the run or if you’re in a hurry though, and impossible to eat out of your hand (not that I’ve tried).  So, I set out to make a super healthy muffin that would be like a bowl of oatmeal disguised as a muffin.  These muffins have the same ingredients as my hearty bowl of oatmeal with delicious toppings.  They are dense, hearty and satisfying and best of all – easy to make!

Notes:

* You need a 6-cup muffin tin for this recipe as it makes larger muffins than the 12-muffin pans. You can purchase here:Jumbo Muffin Tin.  You could use a regular 12-muffin tin and make smaller muffins – just cook them for less time, 30-35 minutes.

* If your bananas are super ripe you can omit the maple syrup as the ripe bananas will add just enough sweetness.