Jan 15, 2015

"plant power" + giveaway

I have been such a huge fan of Nava Atlas for years and when I was asked to do a review of her new book, "Plant Power," I jumped at the chance!

Nava Atlas is the author of a long list of books ranging from "Vegan Holiday Kitchen," very apropos this time of year, to "Wild About Greens," a personal favorite. Nava is also the founder of VegKitchen.com, a place to seek out easy vegan recipes and cooking tips. 

Nava has been writing cookbooks for years, but she is also the author of nonfiction books, such as "The Literary Ladies' Guide to the Writing Life." She is truly a remarkably versatile woman. Get to know Nava through her cookbooks, books or website.

I got to know Nava a little bit better through her new cookbook, "Plant Power." Just as the name implies, recipes powered via plants are what you will discover in this cookbook. And just like the recipes on her website, you will find easy and simple recipes to feed your family and yourself.

The book itself is a gorgeous full-color hardcover book, one that will be able to withstand many years of loving use. The book is broken into two parts: Plant-Powered Living and Plant-Powered Recipes and Menus. 

The first part includes nutrition, tools, shopping and tips and tricks for the kitchen. The second part consists of the recipes! Yum! Main dishes, pastas, pizzas, tortillas, salads, breakfasts - everything to satisfy all your urges. In addition, all the recipes include nutritional information! 

I was offered the privilege of sharing a recipe from the book with you and I chose one of my favorite easy meals: tostadas. I made Nava's Black Bean Tostadas.

I was able to throw these tostadas together in less than 15 minutes and the family was happy with the tasty comfort food - I was happy with the speed and the healthfulness of the dish. 

I am giving away a copy of Nava's "Plant Power" for one lucky US winner! Contest ends Monday December 8!

Black Bean Tostadas

A tostada is a crisp tortilla piled generously with any variety of toppings, often including beans, crisp lettuce, and salsa. Good accompaniments include: baked potatoes or sweet potatoes; or fresh corn on the cob. Add a salad and/or a simple steamed veggies, you’ve got an easy weeknight meal or fun quick fare to serve company. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos in the cookbook taken by Hannah Kaminsky. 

Serves: 4 (2 tostadas per serving)

      8 good-quality corn tortillas
      1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
      1 medium onion or two shallots, finely chopped
      2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
      Two 15-to 16-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed,
or 3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked black beans
      Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon, or more, to taste
      1 to 2 small hot green chili peppers, seeded and sliced, optional
      Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
      2 teaspoons ground cumin
      Shredded lettuce, baby greens, or baby spinach
      Plenty of mild, medium, or hot chunky salsa, such as chipotle, peach or mango
      Store-bought or homemade Vegan Sour Cream or Cashew Cream

To toast the torillas in the oven: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the tortillas on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp and dry and just starting to be touched with golden brown spots. Remove them from the oven and place on a serving platter.

To toast the tortillas on a stovetop: Heat a large skillet. Toast the tortillas over medium heat (two or three at a time, depending on the size of the skillet) for about 5 minutes or so on each side, until crisp and touched with golden brown spots. Don’t be afraid to let them get nice and crisp—that’s better than ending up with a soggy tostada.

Heat the oil, broth, or water in medium skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients (aside from the garnishes, of course) along with 1/4 cup water and bring to a simmer. Using a potato masher, mash some of the beans so that the liquid becomes thick and saucy.

Place the shredded lettuce, sour cream, and salsa in separate serving bowls and let everyone assemble their tostadas as follows: A layer of shredded lettuce; the black bean mixture; salsa; and sour cream. Pick up the tostadas and eat out of hand (with plenty of napkins!).

Nutritional Information:
Per tostada: Calories: 140 with oil, 126 without oil; Total fat: 2g with oil, 1g without oil; Protein: 7g; Carbohydrates: 25g; Fiber: 4g; Sodium: 100mg


  1. I've been an admirer of Nava's since she was vegetarian, not vegan. She's never disappointed. This looks like another winner. I don't know how she does it. Vegans and omnivore guests alike love her food. Recipe requests abound for her vegan challah. I'm sure this book will be another wonderful addition to my "Atlas Collection."

    1. I remember that! I even have a few of the vegetarian ones. I LOVE your name for the collection :)

  2. I've been eying her books for the last year, thanks for the chance to win!

  3. Looks like a great book -- I'd love to win a copy!

  4. Looks great, I think my family will like these recipes!

  5. Would love to get a copy. I am always on the look-out for tasty and simple recipes the kids would eat too. Thank you for the giveaway!

  6. Thank you for reviewing her book and if we don't win we'll buy it eventually.

  7. I have a few of her books and can't wait to add this one to the shelf!

  8. Your tostadas look gorgeous and yummy!!

  9. Thanks for hosting this give away!

  10. I would love to have this cookbook to add to my collection

  11. Beautiful book, and the recipe sounds yummy!

  12. I just checked this out from the library-anything with beans is going to be a hit with me! Thanks for doing this giveaway!

  13. Anything with beans is a hit with me! Just checked her (an YOUR) books at my local library!

  14. The book looks superfabulous...what a dynamic duo with Nava and Hannah working together. Thanks for sharing the recipe...now I'm craving tostadas and cinnamon sugar tortillas! :)


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