Vegan Under Pressure

Jill Nussinow’s (aka The Veggie Queen) latest book is called  Vegan Under Pressure.

If you are looking for a lot of processed ingredients, this book is not for you. If you are looking for tasteful wholesome, plant based foods ready  in a matter of minutes, with a great variety of recipes- then stick around because you will want to have this, this might even be better than The New Fast Food (although I love that book as well).

I’ve always been afraid of pressure cookers. I did not grow up around them. I didn’t like it when my neighbors used them – they are loud and can be heard down a quiet hallway. I gathered up some courage to buy one but it sat in the box for months collecting dust. It was Jill who gave me the courage to take it out and at least do a water test so I knew what I was in for. KIDS!!!!! OUT of the kitchen. Do not I repeat do NOT come in here, I don’t care what the excuse may be. Hands were shaking, palms sweaty. I was counting down the minutes until the pressure went up. I was thinking  “I hope no one is above me in their kitchen right now”. I mean, all *those* stories were true right? The lid could just pop off and go flying? I heard whistling, I backed up as far as I could go. One of my minions tried to come in the kitchen “GET OUT!!!!!”. The pressure came up, I nervously tipped toed to the stove, quickly turned the heat down. I waited, fiddled around with the heating. After I was satisfied, I turned off the stove. I felt silly about how I reacted, apologized to my minion for losing my mind. But, the fear was always there. I now use that as the pot I cook corn in.

I wish I had this book a few years ago. It would’ve made all the difference. Even though I found Jill encouraging, I was never 100% comfortable with the stove top pressure cooker. She did take the time to chat with me about using it, but she couldn’t devote online time to really help me. No one could. BUT after reading Vegan Under Pressure, I know I can take out my stove top pressure cooker and use it, without losing it. She explains the different types of cookers, has a side by side comparison of stove top vs electric, and suggests some tools that might make cooking easier. She takes you by the hand, explains things and shows you not to be afraid. With the knowledge she gives you, you will easily gain confidence. You will go from riding a bike with training wheels, to riding it without hands.

She has trusted cooking charts for grains, rice and beans. Not just the popular ones, but for all of them (I’m pretty sure she got all of them) DIY spices, explains the story behind Ancient Grains such as Teff, Millet, Wild rice and so on. I found that to be interesting.

All in all this book is about light and refreshing to stick-to-your-ribs, comfort food to everything in between.

Now, let’s get on to the main attraction, the food! I was only allowed to choose one recipe from the book. It was hard to narrow it down. All the recipes I’ve made so far, have great flavor, easy to obtain ingredients and fresh. I didn’t use mushrooms just because I don’t like them.

Text excerpted from Vegan Under Pressure, © 2015 by Jill Nussinow. Reproduced by permission of
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Photo © Lauren Volo.

Thai Red Curry with Winter Squash, Mushrooms, and Broccoli

Serves 4 to 6

I am wowed by the flavor of this fusion-style dish, where winter squash pairs very well with Thai curry.

The mushrooms add earthiness and a lot of texture, while the broccoli (or greens) adds freshness.

If you are not familiar with lime leaves, you will likely recognize the flavor if you’ve eaten Thai

food. Store the leaves in your freezer so that they are available when you need them. Galangal is a root,

similar to ginger, that is used in Thai cooking. Chana dal is split chickpeas, which are used often in Indian

cooking. If you can’t find them, split red lentils stand in easily.

This is a perfect winter dish.

1 cup sliced onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon or more minced hot chile, such as jalapeño; or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

½ cup chana dal or split red lentils

2 pieces dried galangal slices

2 kaffir lime leaves

1¾ cups vegetable stock

½ cup regular or light coconut milk

2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

4 to 5 cups (or more) peeled cubed winter squash, such as butternut, kabocha, or acorn (1 pound)

4 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced

1 cup broccoli florets; or 2 cups thinly sliced kale, collard greens, or Swiss chard

1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice

Chopped cilantro, for garnish

1. Heat a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat or set an electric cooker to sauté. Add the onion

and dry sauté for 1 minute. Add the garlic and chile and cook 1 minute longer.

2. Add the chana dal, galangal, lime leaves, ¾ cup of the stock, the coconut milk, and curry paste. Lock

the lid on the cooker. Bring to high pressure; cook for 3 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally.

Remove the lid, carefully tilting it away from you.

3. Add the squash, mushrooms, and remaining 1 cup stock. Lock the lid back on the cooker. Bring to high

pressure; cook for 3 minutes. Quick release the pressure. Remove the lid, carefully tilting it away from


4. Stir in the broccoli. Lock the lid back on and let sit for 2 minutes. Carefully open the lid. Remove the

galangal slices.

5. Transfer the contents to a large bowl. Add lime juice to taste, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.

Thai Red Curry

For a chance to win Jill’s latest book Vegan Under Pressure, click on the link. I’m having problem with being able to post the image. The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. Good luck!!


Vegan Under Pressure

Click to enter contest.

Congratulations to Shane T, he won Vegan Under Pressure 🙂



The Protein Ninja Book Review

There are two parts, to The Protein Ninja by Terry Hope Romero:  Enter the protein ninja, and the recipes.

Part one: Welcome to the Protein Ninja, which explains what protein powders are and what they do. Pea protein powder, brown rice protein powder and hemp protein powder. Most of the recipes use pure, unflavored, unenriched plant based protein powders , the only exception would be the soy based smoothie bowls… yes smoothie bowls which have flavored powders. Think delicious ice cream for breakfast, only it’s a smoothie.

The protein Ninja pantry, because let’s face it, if you want to  be a real ninja you must learn how to stock your pantry properly. She also has guides for cooking and freezing.

Part 2: The recipes. I made a comment about this *is* the book that you should give a copy (or mention the name of this book) to every one who asks “But how do you get your protein.?” Let’s face it, we get enough good protein without the disadvantages of everything that comes with eating animals. One person said the book sounds good, but read a review that says Terry calls for a lot for powders. Well, that made check out all the recipes and see just how many recipes can be made with just nut, soy or legumes. There’s about 28 recipes that can be made without buying (assuming you don’t already have the powdered proteins). There’s a 100 recipes, so that’s more than a 1/4 of this book, that can be made with what you already have on hand.

I didn’t have any protein powders at home when I first received this book, and look what I made, this is a soy based protein dish- as it calls for soy. Baked veggie pan omelet:


This was really good! And of course you could add any seasonal veggies that you have on hand. But listen to these other dishes: Early bird scramble, chickpea pesto tomato toast, Tempeh bacon strips, tempeh apple sausage patties, chocolate hazelnut chickdate toast, 5- spice chickpea peanut noodle bowl, creamy tomato tofu curry with cilantro garbanzo bread- I’m just touching on a few, and now I have made myself hungry. (The dishes I just listed call for nut, soy or legume protein.) Once I buy brown rice flour, I’m going to be making chocolate chip ninja cookies. There’s also a hemp brownie recipe- no drugs involved.  Korean tofu taco salad. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of recipes I want to try, and Terry delivers again!!


Do you have this book? What is your favorite recipe?

Follow Terry on facebook, twitter, instagram for more ninja food porn



The Make Ahead Vegan, book review and a recipe

Talk to me, baby
I’m going blind from this sweet, sweet craving, whoa
Let’s lose our minds and go crazy crazy
Ah ya ya ya ya we’ll keep on cooking and have meals in the freezer.

Unlike some hit songs, you will never get bored with this book. I first heard about Ginny McMeans a few years ago, when I was looking for freezer meals. During the busier times in life it’s nice to be able to have healthy foods in our freezers. You’re less likely to be tempted to eat junk food. And this book makes life a lot easier. You can double the recipes, and stick one dish in the freezer for later. Or sometimes you make a recipe, but end up with left overs that go bad before you have a chance to eat them. Ginny teaches you how to cut down on food waste and store food properly in your freezer.

The Make Ahead Vegan (125 freezer friendly recipes) offers tips on what not to freeze, the best types of storage containers, how to prepare your food, blanching times and a food storage guide. There’s even tips and tricks. Oh, and you know the abundance of veggies you get from the farmers market or even your own garden? Now you can have a taste of summer on cold long winter days.

Chapter 1:Party Pleasures that include: cauliflower chickpea pizza bites, chickpea balls in marinara sauce.

Chapter 2: Wake up and eat:chocolate layered cinnamon rolls, German apple cake, Fruit filled half moons.

Chapter 3: To warm you from the inside out: slow cooker vegan sausage black bean soup, veggie stew.

Chapter 4: Side to complement: creamy broccoli bake, cauliflower tots, slow cooker pull apart pizza rolls.

Chapter 5: Hearty Meals: American tetrazzini, chipotle lentil patties, pizza sandwiches.

Chapter 6: Extra embellishment: ketchup, Thai sweet chili sauce, butterscotch sauce.

Chapter 7: Sweetness: Cinnamon maple cookies, chocolate sugar cookies.

Chapter 8:Always Frozen- ICE CREAM!!!!

I’ve made about a dozen recipes so far from this book. I did fail at one, only because I decided to sub panko crumbs for breadcrumbs, but I used my “cauliflower rice” and made the broccoli bake- that was a tasty mistake 🙂

I’m stoked to be able to share a recipe with you. It was the very first one I made from the book. Both my kids loved them. Finally I don’t have to make two batches at once to please the minions. They were a nice blend of soft, with a touch of crunch, maple with cinnamon. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!!

Cinnamon Maple Cookies 700

Cinnamon Maple Cookies*

Cinnamon maple is a perfect combination and when the flavors get turned into cookies, eyes will roll in ecstasy. These are big cookies so get your munch on.

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup vegan shortening
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecans

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with the coconut oil.
In a bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Mix the ground cinnamon and sugar together and set aside also.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the shortening on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Slowly add the maple syrup and beat until it is well incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the maple syrup mixture and mix until just combined.

Fold in the pecans.
Drop by heaping tablespoons, 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheet.

Flatten a bit and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and place the cookies on wire racks to cool.

Storing in the refrigerator:
Will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
Freeze in freezer bags and just take out a few when you want. They defrost almost immediately.

Will keep in the freezer for up to 5 months.

Visit Ginny’s blog Vegan in the freezer.

Follow her on twitter

Follow her on facebook

And if you still want more food porn, which I know you do- check out her  instagram

the make ahead vegan cookbook cover jpg

I was given permission to post the recipe and above photo’s on our blog by Ginny McMeans.

What are you excited to try? I would list every recipe I want to try, but then I would be writing out all the recipes 🙂