Tag Archives: cookbooks

Smoothie Bowl!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving weekend, my family celebrated on Friday. This was a work day for me, so other members of the family stepped up and did all the food prep. I didn’t have to do anything except show up! So, I don’t have any Thanksgiving feast recipes to share today. Instead, I thought I would share my discovery of Smoothie Bowls. I’m thankful for Angela Liddon and her new cookbook (see below). I’m thankful for wonder, imagination and creativity.

Check out this new vegan cookbook!

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I took this book out of the library and have had a wonderful time reading it – yes, cover to cover! – and have earmarked a few recipes to try out. I’ll have to return the book to the library before I can really give it the good attention it warrants, but that’s okay because … I just bought it!

The first recipe I tried was a Smoothie Bowl! What? A Smoothie Bowl? What the heck is that? That’s what went through my mind when I first encountered the smoothie bowl recipes! I’m actually quite an accomplished smoothie maker, if I do say so myself, and I didn’t see the point of a smoothie bowl! But then I looked at the pictures, reread the recipes (there are 3 or so recipes for smoothie bowls as well as several recipes for smoothies) and thought, “Well, I have a smoothie every day for breakfast, maybe I’ll just change it up a bit, put my smoothie in a bowl, add a few toppings, and see what happens.” So I did! I actually made my usual smoothie but decreased the liquid and made sure I added chia seeds to make a thick, spoonable smoothie. And now I’m sold on Smoothie Bowls because this bowl kept me full until lunch time! I used to be hungry and ready for a snack by recess, about 2 1/2 hours into my work day, but when I start my day with a Smoothie Bowl, I’m good for another 2 hours!  Folks in the know tell me the feeling of fullness comes from chewing my food – “oral-sensory stimulation” or tricking the brain into thinking I’m eating.

http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/how-more-chewing-leads-eating-less

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Here’s how I did it:

1 banana

1/2 apple or 5 large strawberries or equivalent amount of fruit

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 cup almond milk

a chunk of cucumber, diced (about 2 tbsps)

4 cm piece of celery, diced

handful of spinach

2 large lettuce leaves

1 cm piece of ginger, peeled and diced

very thin slice of lemon, peel and flesh, diced

1/8 tsp turmeric

less than 1/8 tsp cayenne

1 tbsp hemp hearts

2 tbsps granola

1-2 tbsps nuts

Put the fruit, chia seeds and milk in a blender (I use an immersion blender in a tall, narrow container). Blend for a few seconds until combined. Add the rest of the ingredients, blending after each addition if necessary. Pour into a bowl and let sit for a bit. (I usually make the smoothie bowl up to this point, go for a walk, then finish making it and eat it when I get back). Sprinkle on the hemp hearts, granola and nuts. Sit down and enjoy eating your smoothie with a spoon!

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This Smoothie Bowl gets its colour from strawberries.

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The fruit in this Smoothie Bowl was light coloured so the green colour from the leafy greens really stands out.

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Chili and Cornbread

You know, sometimes I think I set my standards too high. Take this blog, for example. I seem to have got it into my head that the recipes shared here must be original or, at least, greatly adapted from other recipes. It’s not a bad idea … in theory. What actually happens, in reality, is that I don’t post anything for ages because I don’t have an original recipe to share. In the meantime, I’m researching, making, eating and enjoying all kinds of delicious and interesting vegan food. So, today, while I was cooking another delicious meal, I thought, “I really want to share this with others” and I realized I have a way to do just that … using this blog. Duh! So here you have it … chili, greatly adapted from a chili recipe in Appetite for Reduction, and cornbread muffins, direct from Isa Does It. (Both of these cookbooks are by Isa Chandra Moskowitz).

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Adaptable Chili

(based on Classic Black Bean and Veggie Chili in Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

The reason I call this “Adaptable Chili” is because it’s, well, adaptable! Lots of vegetables, your choice and amount of beans, vary the spices, change up the toppings, include corn or not …

½ medium to large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ red bell pepper, diced

½ large carrot, diced

½ cup diced zucchini

1 cup corn – thaw if frozen

1 ½ cups veg broth

2-3 tbsps chili powder OR 1 tsp chipotle paste

2 tsps cumin

1 tsp oregano

¼ tsp cayenne

½ tsp salt

1 398 ml can diced tomatoes

1 ½ cups black beans

1 ½ cups kidney beans

½ 398 can tomato sauce

2 tbsps tomato paste

2 tsps agave nectar

2 tbsps fresh lime juice

finely chopped cilantro

diced green onion

sliced avocado

Put the diced onion in a large pot like a Dutch oven over med-high heat. Once the onions start to sizzle, add a tbsp. water and dry saute. Keep adding a little bit of water while sauteeing the vegetables to prevent sticking. Once the onion is a bit softened, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the pepper, carrot and zucchini and saute for a few minutes until vegetables release their juice and start to soften. Add the thawed corn if using. Pour in the veg broth, bring to boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne and salt and stir to coat the vegetables. Pour in the tomatoes and the tomato sauce along with the beans. Stir everything together and add the tomato paste. Stir again. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Just before serving stir in the agave and the lime juice. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle on (0r not) some cilantro, green onions, avocado slices. Serve with cornbread or muffins and salad.

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Cornbread Muffins

(from Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

1 cup almond milk

2 tsps apple cider vinegar

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup medium-ground cornmeal

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tsps baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 tbsps coconut oil, melted

2 tbsps unsweetened applesauce

1 cup corn kernels (thawed if using frozen)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease muffin pan.

Combine milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.

Mix together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the milk/vinegar, coconut oil and applesauce. Stir these wet ingredients into the dry. Be careful not to overmix. Fold in the corn kernels.

Fill the muffin tin about 2/3’s full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes. The muffins are done when the tops are firm to the touch and a sharp knife, when inserted into the middle of a muffin, comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then remove muffins from pan and finish cooling on a cooling rack.

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Cookbooks

Are you shopping for cookbooks this season? Books to give as gifts or books for yourself?

One of the cookbooks on my list is the Oh She Glows cookbook by Angela Liddon.

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I took this book out of the library not too long ago, after waiting my way through 27 other people on hold for this book. A library loan just didn’t do it justice. It wasn’t enough time to really read the book (I love reading cookbooks) and try out a few recipes, and I couldn’t renew the loan because there were more people in the hold line after me. So, I guess I just have to buy it or have it given to me as a gift.

Another cookbook I’ve been meaning to add to my collection is the Eat to Live cookbook by Joel Fuhrman.

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Now, I already own the Eat to Live book by Dr. Fuhrman:

This is the book that tipped me over into a plants based diet. After years of reading about and researching diet and nutrition, in a layman’s way, and after years of trying out new whole foods recipes and after years of being an almost vegetarian, this book convinced me that a straight up plants based diet was the way to go … for weight loss and maintenance, for health, for stopping disease. That was over four years ago.

It’s kind of funny, talking about diet books that have influenced me … when I was going through my cookbook bookcase …

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The are the top three shelves of my five shelf cookbook bookcase.

… I came across these books:

imageThese are the books that really set me on my quest for better health through diet. I remember trying out those recipes that were all about protein combinations and the ingredients were painstakingly broken down into complete protein combinations. We know now that we don’t have to be so scientifically careful about combining food in a meal. As long as we eat a variety of food all the time, our bodies will figure out the combos just fine. Nevertheless, Frances Moore Lappe was a groundbreaker and a game changer. Although I don’t use these books anymore, I don’t want to get rid of them because of the influence they had on my life.

Okay, so I’ve shared a couple of cookbooks I’d like to add to my cookbook collection. Now, here are some books I already own that you may like for yourselves or to give to a special vegan in your life:

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Oh Isa! I currently own two of her cookbooks, check out her blog, Post Punk Kitchen, regularly and have read all her other cookbooks on loans from the library. Yep, she rocks my vegan world! This book, Appetite for Reduction, is my favourite. The recipes are all delicious (okay, I haven’t tried them all, but I’ve read them all and there isn’t one in there that I wouldn’t make and eat), the recipes are all low to no fat (just what Dr. Fuhrman ordered), the descriptions are helpful and fun to read. Love it! Some recipes from this cookbook that I featured on my blog are Caesar Salad for Vegans, Everyday Quinoa Chickpea Salad, Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad, Smoky Split Pea Soup.

Here’s another Isa cookbook I own. I got this last Christmas with a book store gift certificate.

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Now, this book I’m really loving. I’m really taking my time with it, reading it in batches, savouring it. I actually haven’t made too many recipes from it, but I will! The reason I haven’t done a lot of cookbook recipe making over the past year is because I subscribe to so many vegan food blogs now from which I pin a lot of recipes and I’ve been using Pinterest as my cookbook!

Here’s another great vegan cookbook – Sarah Kramer has written a few delightful vegan cookbooks. I own two and this is one of them. Try out Black Bean Soup with Avocado Salsa and Faux Feta from this book. (On a what-a-small-world side note, I used to babysit Sarah Kramer when we both lived in Regina in the 70’s)!

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Forks Over Knives, the movement and the cookbook, have influenced many a vegan/plants-based eater. I have two books:

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And here are a couple of yummy recipes from or adapted from the books – Mediterranean Dahl and Cream of Broccoli Soup.

I also have several cookbooks that are vegetarian not vegan and even quite a few cookbooks that are neither. Take my Moosewood collection for example:

imageThese cookbooks are vegetarian, and sometimes even suggest fish for a recipe. But there are loads of vegan recipes plus I really just love the concept of this restaurant. I want to take a vacation to Ithaca some day just to eat at Moosewood! Try Toasted Sesame Sauce from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health.

 I posted Bourguignon on this blog a couple of years ago. The recipe came from this book:

imageThis book is not at all vegetarian. But it does feature beans and you can’t do a beans cookbook without lots of veg recipes, can you?!

I have several great cookbooks on my shelves. I thought I’d share some of them today. I’ll leave you with a picture of the bottom two shelves of my cookbook bookcase. And, yes, that big black box on the bottom is my recipe file, absolutely loaded with recipes I’ve been collecting for over 20 years! And beside the black file case, is Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery and Household Management that my Grandad bought for me in England for my 21st birthday! Thank goodness there were no weight restrictions on luggage back in those days!

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