Jul 20, 2017

"the china study family cookbook" + giveaway

Ever since I earned my certificate in Whole Foods Plant Based nutrition, I've been excited about about WFPB cookbooks, and so when BenBella books approached me to review the new China Study Family cookbook, I couldn't resist. 

Del Sroufe has written his fair share of WFPB cookbooks, but I think this one is by far the best of the bunch. To make sure this book had recipes that were indeed family-friendly, I cooked up a few things:

First, I dug into the healthy portion of the book: salad. I made the Cobb Salad, and since it is so easy to customize it, this definitely falls into the family category. On top of being kid-friendly, it is cook-friendly, too. It was an easy recipe to put together. 

However, it is a Cobb Salad - meaning that it has multiple components - so I had to make the Mushroom "Bacon," which was actually easy,  and the "Buttermilk" Dressing, which had a reasonable amount of ingredients that are simply blended together. 

I added extra work for myself by seasoning and roasting the chickpeas alongside the mushrooms and roasting the corn in a dry pan (no oil needed) to bring out some of its sweet flavor. Extra work, yes, but I was in the kitchen anyway.

Then I decided to make one of the two frittatas in the book: Chilaquiles Frittata

This was another successful dish, one that the family really loved. The filling was easy, there is no crust (another easy) and the Queso Sauce and Corn Chips needed for the recipe were easy, too. I served it with salsa and extra garnishes.

A comment on the chips: they are great but I didn't use an entire recipe (of 12 tortillas made into chips) for this one dish, as the recipe indicates. I just filled up the pie pan with the crushed chips before mixing it with the filling. 

Then I made the Johnny Marzetti casserole, an Ohio favorite.

The Marzetti needed Cheese Sauce and Spicy Breakfast Patties. I really love the cheese sauce in this book and, in fact, have made both versions a few times now. 

The Spicy Breakfast Patties are made with millet and they worked beautifully and tasted great, too.

My verdict is that this book is one of the better WFPB books on the market; it is easy, relatively quick (it always take some time to cook from scratch) and everything I tried worked as it promised and tasted great. 

Because I loved the Cheese Sauce, I asked the publisher to be able to share that recipe with you and let you decide what you think. The recipe is below!

In addition, I am hosting a giveaway for the book! This one is open to US and Canada residents. Thank you BenBella! 

To enter for your chance to win just leave a comment and make sure I have a way to contact you. Contest ends July 31 and I will announce the winner in the post after the the 31st. Good luck!! 

Cheese Sauce

This healthy cheese sauce is perfect for both kids and grown-ups, alike. This is perfect for Nachos, Grilled Cheese or Mac and Cheese. (From The China Study Family Cookbook copyright © 2017 by Del Sroufe. Used by permission from BenBella Books, Inc.)

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups finely diced russet potatoes (about 1 medium potato)
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons raw cashews
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1.      Combine the potato, bell pepper, onion, and cashews in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the potatoes are very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the vegetables, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water.
2.      Combine the potato mixture, reserved cooking water, tahini, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, arrowroot powder, and sea salt in a blender. Process on high until everything is smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. I would love to add this to my cookbook collection. My e-mail address is dempseyk at justice dot com.

  2. Mmmm... That sounds/looks like a great "cheese" sauce to me, and I love that it's not as nut-laden as many others.
    As someone who is all for whole, plant based food, I get super excited and happy whenever a new book is released in that category. Needless to say that I would very much appreciate being able to add this goodness-filled cookbook to my bookshelf :) fingers crossed! (piaapiaaa@aim.com)

  3. Those recipes look delicious! I've only two wfpb cookbooks so I would be delighted to own another. newsletters0112@gmail.com

  4. Always room on my shelf for another cookbook, especially this one! mjmoreno67 at hotmail dot com

  5. Those recipes look and sound amazing. I would love to try all of these. My email is kers9455 at gmail dot com

  6. These look so delicious. I would very much enjoy this cookbook. Thank you for having this give-a-way.
    My email: Suznfaye at gmail dot com.

  7. I love cookbooks and this one looks great!

  8. Yum! This cheese sauce looks so tasty! I would love to read this cookbook.

  9. Wow, the recipes you tried look amazing! I would love to add this cookbook to my collection. aimeesavon@hotmail.com

  10. That casserole sounds amazing! I would love to add this cookbook to my plantbased collection! Mjlemus@yahoo.com

  11. Can't wait to try the cheeze sauce! I just got The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook and can't wait to try some of the recipes. I know their family cookbook will be just as fantastic. Thank you for your review and giveaway!vlmarvin70@gmail.com

  12. I'm at the beginning of a vegan lifestyle and this book would be a of great help!! (fotopozitiv@yahoo.com)

  13. Cooking is my #1 passion in life and this cookbook would be a wonderful addition to my growing collection.

  14. I love vegan cooking, especially when I get to share it with omnivores who think we only eat mushy flavorless tofu. It's great being able to open people's eyes to how great vegan food is, and getting to share some dishes from this book would be so much fun! I can be reached at rachelwatsky@gmail.com

  15. I love Del Sroufe, and I would love this cookbook! Thanks to you and the publishers for providing the recipe for cheese sauce. I'll bet the potato makes it super-creamy!

  16. Sounds like a great cookbook for feeding picky kids -- would love to win a copy!

  17. I've had this book on my wish list for a while. I would love to own a copy. My email is pappasjacqui@yahoo.com


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