Sep 6, 2018

"vegan reset" + giveaway

Bet you didn't think I'd post again this soon, did ya? I didn't think so, either, but I wanted to let you know about a cookbook coming out this week that is pretty amazing, as a matter of fact. Vegan Reset (Amazon) was written by Kim-Julie Hansen of Brussels Vegan (though now the site is

Kim-Julie explains that "reset" is just like it sounds; think of restarting a machine that's been malfunctioning or not working the way it should and pressing the magic button to send it back to the reset stage. 

She explains that the book is about giving your body the love and attention it needs to survive and thrive. 

There are a few things I love about the book. 

She does a reset section, which is roughly half of the book, that covers 28 days (4 weeks) of menus, breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack, and she gives you the menus, the shopping lists and the bulk cooking strategies (along with all the recipes for everything!) of each week. Now reread this paragraph because it is packed.

Did you get that? She is basically holding your hand and walking you through each day of each week, for a month. The menus are there, the shopping lists are provided and the methods and process of bulk cooking twice a week is spelled out. All the recipes are with the weeks and everything has a photo. Each meal and each menu item.

Great, you say, but I don't want a reset. I just want to cook and eat. In addition to all the recipes and menu ideas for the weeks, for each meal, she also provides regular menu items that help you along, either after the reset, or just as a regular dinner or lunch or breakfast dish.

Let me be clear. Although this book can be used as a "reset," complete with 84 meal dishes and their recipes, it can also be used just as a regular cookbook of great meals, including drinks and desserts. Or you can choose a few days in a row that sound good to you and cook those meals. The reset part of the book is a bonus; the entire book is a gem.

Here is a sampling:

This is a Beet Salad with Miso-Ginger Tempeh and Red Quinoa.  This salad bowl is a composition of other parts of the meal of the week, on Day 22. The other meals this day are: Oatmeal with Papaya & Brazil Nuts for breakfast and Creamy Butternut Noodles for dinner.  

This Spinach Pasta with Zucchini-Nut Sauce is a recipe out of the fourth part of the book, named "Beyond Reset: Additional Recipes." This was a perfect summer dinner.

This Zucchini Bake was an ideal addition to our lunchbox. Because the potatoes were creamy, there was no harm done to the texture as it sat in the fridge the night before, and in the lunch box all day. Cashews are the base to this cream sauce. The other meals on this day, Day 26, are, for breakfast, Sunflower Seed & Berry Toast and for lunch, Heart of Palm & Kale Salad.

I doubled these recipes because, while the book is great for 1 person resetting, the recipes are made for 2 servings (or so) and we are a family of 5.

Now, you know the drill: test the recipe below and enter the contest to win a copy of the book Vegan Reset, US residents only, please. The contest ends on September 17, 2018. Good luck!

Excerpted from VEGAN RESET © 2018 by Best of Vegan LLC. Photography © 2018 by Best of Vegan LLC. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


¼ cup regular or gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
¾ cup soy milk
3 tablespoons maple syrup,  plus more for serving
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut, for serving
Fresh cherries or other fruit,  for serving

1. Mix the flour, cornstarch, flaxseed, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the soy milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, vinegar, and vanilla.

3. Combine the wet and dry mixtures and whisk together thoroughly.

4. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, then scoop 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter per pancake into the skillet. Cook on each side until brown.

5. Serve with the coconut, cherries, and additional maple syrup.

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Sep 1, 2018

"the china study cookbook" + giveaway

I am so excited to share with you the revised and expanded edition of Leanne Campbell's The China Study Cookbook [Amazon].  This whole foods, plant-based cookbook is just fantastic! The photos are brand-new, the recipes have been revised, the format is simple and clean, the food tastes great and the recipes are easy and fast!

Basically, the perfect WFPB cookbook (Whole Foods, Plant-Based eating is eating whole foods exclusively, that are only plant-based. This means no oil or any processed ingredients)! I love it and I know that it would be a great asset to a lot of people.

As usual, don't take my word for it - let's look at some pictures and then I'll share a recipe with you to try for yourself - one that is a favorite of Leanne's kids (who are now adults, but they were kids once, too). I know that if you make that dish, it will show you just how terrific the recipes in the book are.

I'm not kidding when I tell you that I really love this book;  I had to try something in almost every category!

Let's start with this salad: Ensalada Azteca. It reminded me of Native Food's salad by the same name, but this one uses no oil and I love that! The flavors are perfect and the salad was very filling. This is a main dish salad that won't leave you feeling hungry.  I roasted the corn for the salad (I had a few extra minutes, and it's worth it), but otherwise, the recipe is pictured as written.

I then moved on to salad's complement: soup. This is the Peanut Kale Soup, and while the flavors were great and the recipe was quick and easy (and I used PB2 instead of peanut butter), my version doesn't look like the photo in the book. Regardless, we loved it and ate it all.

The next logical place to go is to a sandwich! To not disappoint,  I prepared this Roasted Veggie Sub. The sub features any of a number of Savory Sandwich Spreads (Golden Garden Mayonnaise, Aioli Sauce, Chipotle Sauce), here I have chosen the Aioli Sauce.

Since school has started again for the kids and me (we are all in college), this Asian Ginger Cabbage Salad was the perfect lunchbox meal. It was great at room temperature and it is full of good carbs, vegetables and protein. I loved this one for multiple reasons.

Baking WFPB means that the flour is whole grain and there is no added processed fat, like vegan butter or oil. These Potato Rolls, made with whole wheat pastry flour, were fabulous. They were fluffy, tender and delicious. I served them with the pasta that I made next...

For the family pasta meal, I opted for the Spaghetti with Tomato Coconut Sauce, and I am so glad I did. We've been a little burned out on regular tomato sauce here, so the spin with the coconut-cilantro was just what we needed.

Finally, I couldn't not make a sweet dish! I chose something that my daughter likes: Lemon Poppy Muffins. These had just the right amount of sweetness - not too much, not too little - and they were beautifully tart from the lemons. We enjoyed these with a cup of tea. So good!

As you can see, the recipes are varied and, even if you don't believe me when I say they tasted terrific, you can at least see that they look terrific! How about you try the following recipe from The China Study Cookbook - Revised and Expanded Edition?

I chose the Dominican Rice and Beans (p 207) to share with you? Why? Because Leanne says that this was one of her kids' favorite meals! Whatever kids say they love, has to be good all around, especially when one of those favorites is healthy, to boot! The recipe is from The China Study Cookbook - Revised and Expanded Edition by Leanne Campbell, and the recipe is shared with permission. Photo is by Nicole Axworthy.

After you peruse the recipe, make sure to enter the contest to win a copy of the book! US residents only, please. Contest ends Monday at midnight, September 10, 2018. Good luck!



My sons, now 24 and 23, were raised on a plant-based diet, and if you ask them what their favorite meal is, they both immediately respond Dominican Rice and Beans, topped with fresh salad. The secret to this meal is to top the rice and beans with fresh salad and avocados, then drizzle with lemon juice and/or rice vinegar.

Rice and Beans
¼ cup diced onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup chopped green bell peppers
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 (15-ounce) cans beans of your choice (pinto, black, red, etc.), rinsed and drained
½ cup grated butternut squash
1½ tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups cooked brown rice, for serving

2 cups sliced lettuce
2 cups sliced cabbage
¾ cup sliced cucumber
¾ cup sliced beets
1 tomato, sliced
1 large avocado, pitted and sliced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1. In a large saucepan, sauté onions, garlic, bell peppers, and cilantro in vegetable broth over medium-high heat until onions brown.
2. Add water, beans, and squash. Bring to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
3. While the beans are cooking, prepare the salad. In a large salad bowl, toss together all ingredients. Set aside.
4. Once the beans cook, add tomato paste and salt. Taste and add more salt if needed. Cook for 2–3 more minutes. Remove from heat.
5. Serve beans over rice and top with salad.

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