What’s For Breakfast by Dianne Wenz, review, recipe and giveaway

New-Breakfast-Cover

21 vegan recipes to jump start your day. This e-book is perfect for anyone who loves breakfast foods. Enjoy a hearty scramble at dinner or oatmeal for lunch, a juice for breakfast. What’s for Breakfast is divided by scrambles, porridges and puddings, drinks, I heart carbs, brunch and the basics. In the part The Basics, Dianne has a list of ingredients that she uses and tools you will need to make the recipe. Nothing weird or strange, in fact you likely have everything you need already. Well, a lot of people are not familiar with kala mamak which is also known as black salt, which is actually pinkish in colour- it gives tofu an eggy taste. 18 of the recipes are the most popular from her blog plus 3 brand new recipe, all in one e-book!!!

The other night after we came home from the pool, I decided to make the tofu frittata. That night we were still in the middle of a heat wave, and I thought I would regret using the oven. The frittata is insanely easy to make. Perfect for a brunch where you have about an hour (the cooking time is about 40 mins) that you can just relax and take things easy. This heats up wonderfully in the air fryer for next day leftovers. (IF you have leftovers.) Oh and in case you are wondering if I felt regret? The only regret I had was not making it sooner. Ironically just shortly before the frittata was finished cooking, the wind picked up and Mother Nature cooled my home down. It was perfect.

Guess what? Dianne is letting me share one recipe with you and I think you will really enjoy it. Be sure to add this to your Sunday brunch menu!

Tofu Frittata

tofufrittata
A frittata is pretty much the same thing as a quiche, but without the crust. The
benefit to making a frittata is that it can be prepared the night before and then
popped into the oven in the morning. This recipe can easily be doubled if you’re
expecting a crowd for brunch.
Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil 1 small red onion, diced
6 to 8 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 zucchini, diced
1 package firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1 tomato, diced
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a small casserole dish.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook
for about 3 minutes, until it softens. Add the mushrooms and zucchini.
Cook for about 5 more minutes, until the vegetables become soft. Sea-
son with a little salt and pepper, to taste.
3. In a food processor, mix together the tofu, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast,
cornstarch, basil, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, turmeric,
black pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using. Process until smooth.
4. Fold the vegetables into the tofu mixture and spread into the casserole
dish. Top with the tomato, scallions, and olives.
5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the frittata is firm and golden brown.
6. Let stand for about 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm.

Recipe reprinted with permission from What’s for Breakfast? Morning Favorites
from Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen. ©2017 Dianne Wenz. Purchase your copy of the
e-book here: http://www.diannesvegankitchen.com/cookbooks/

To find out more about Dianne check out her blog Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen, she is also on facebook.

I can’t wait to make the other 20 recipes!! Let me know what your favorite breakfast food is and enter for your chance to win Dianne’s book What’s for Breakfast click HERE.

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YumUniverse Pantry to Plate: Book Review and a Recipe

Improvise Meals You Love―from What You Have!―Plant-Packed, Gluten-Free, Your Way

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I have something I want to share with you. I love rainy days. I like to be able to stay home all day and do all the things I love to do. Wear a cozy sweater after a week of blazing heat, pull out a pair of fuzzy socks that usually only see the light of day, during the winter months. Tidy up my desk that’s buried under mounds of paperwork because life has been really busy and I simply can’t be bothered to tidy a few minutes at night- read, I’m too tired to be sorting, filing and shredding. I love turning the TV on and watch re-runs. Today I’ve “watched” Three’s Company, Everyone Loves Raymond, Reba to name a few. While the TV is on, and in between making sure the kids are feed (the kids only have two days of school this week due to May long weekend), I’ve sat down and read Pantry To Plate. If you know me, I’m known to read cookbooks cover to cover, they are *the* new novels.

I can follow any recipe to a T, but I really like how Heather Crosby shows you how to make everything using a template and offering you ingredients that you can use. She has a basic “must use” ingredients for baking then lots of options for fruits, sweetener, flour, puree, and so on.  Not only that but Heather has templates for everything!! YumUniverse Pantry To Plate is divided up Good Morning Universe which has scrambles, pancakes, milks, breakfast cookies and more, Munch & Lunch which has crackers, bites and tots, Veggie Fries and more, Main Meals which includes cheesy comfort foods, Mmmaki, hand pies and more, Sweet Tooth which includes cookies, sneaky brownies, crisp and crumbles to name a few. Not only does she give you a template for crackers or mmmaki, or hand pies etc, BUT she also shares a complete recipe. Most recipes have a photograph, but there are also lots of smaller pictures throughout the book.

This is THE book, as it will please everyone. If you like a recipe, you’re covered, if you like a guideline- covered. This is a go to resource with endless possibilities. I’ve been looking for a book like this for a long time, as I’m not a strong baker. Don’t get me wrong I’m a great baker (when I follow a recipe), but I have never understood the science behind it (I’m hard on myself). Heather has given me the best gift ever! She’s shown me how to make whatever baked good I want without wondering if it will fail. She is giving me confidence of being able to think outside the box and create my own creations.

YumUniverse Pantry to Plate was the best kept secret of all times, until The Experiment released it on May 16, 2017. When you make dishes from this book, you will want to spread the word and let your family, friends, co-workers know where you found your inspiration or what recipe you used. This shouldn’t be kept for ourselves.

I’m excited to be able to share a well loved comfort food, with a twist. Mac n cheese with sriracha. It has 2 cups of delicata squash, which your kids or picky spouse won’t notice. It gets blended with water, cashews, ginger, nooch, garlic, lemon juice and a  few other ingredients. This is the perfect meal for lazy rainy days like today, or a busy weeknight supper. Or a bedtime snack. I think it’s perfectly suitable to have the leftovers for breakfast. You can’t argue with me on that one 😉 Hot sauce is hated by my kids, too much heat, so I don’t add any to their Mac.

Here’s the sexy gorgeous  Sriracha Mac!! Enjoy, don’t eat responsibly! This is legit healthy, just don’t tell them that!!

Sriracha_Mac_WEB

Sriracha Mac

Serves 4+

I discovered the magic of Sriracha in my mac and cheese at a vegan diner in Chicago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. For a simple-yet-decadent version, skip the Sriracha, ginger, and scallions. Try adding your favorite veggies or switching up the delicata for sweet potatoes or any other winter squash.

Ingredients 

  • One 12-ounce (340 g) package gluten-free macaroni noodles
  • 2 cups (230 g) peeled, seeded, and diced delicata squash, steamed
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) water
  • ½ cup (70 g) raw, unsalted cashews, soaked for 4 to 6 hours, drained, and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (or any similar style hot sauce), plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon peeled, minced fresh ginger, or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • Toasted sesame oil (optional)

Instructions

  1. Get a large pot of water boiling and prepare the macaroni noodles according to the package instructions.
  2. While the noodles cook, combine the squash, water, cashews, garlic, lemon juice, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, salt, Sriracha, and ginger in the blender and purée until ultra-smooth. Taste and add more Sriracha if you like. Transfer to a large pot heated to low.
  3. Drain the noodles and dump into the pot of sauce; add the scallions. Stir together, seasoning with more salt if necessary. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil if you like and serve warm.

Credit line: Recipe from YumUniverse Pantry to Plate © Heather Crosby, 2017. Photographs copyright © Heather Crosby, 2017. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

 

One thing I should disclose, other than receiving this book for an honest review is- Heather has about 3 maybe 4 recipes that calls for honey. No big deal, you can always use maple syrup, agave or another sweetener you have on hand. That’s the only ingredient that wouldn’t be vegan.

I’d love to hear what you have made from this book so far, or what template you used.

The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet

7 day rescue

When I first came across this challenge, The Seven Day Rescue Diet  by Rip Esselstyn I thought “how hard can it be?” I mean I’m already plant based/vegan. But I did face some challenges, in fact I cheated. That’s right I cheated, on my second day of all things.

Now to be fair, I didn’t realize I wasn’t following the “plan”. I made curry. A nice vegetable, chickpea curry. Seems harmless right? So, where did I do wrong? I used coconut milk. I guess coconut milk is high in fat. Do I feel like I should stop and start over? Nope. Did I quit? Not at all, instead I packed up the leftovers and in the freezer they went, well after I had another spoonful. 🙂

The thing I learned on this journey is how much oil and fat I actually consume. Yes for me it’s easier to cook without oil, but I don’t really check on the fat content, as long as it’s plant based, it’s all good. I’ve been spoiled over the last 5 years, there are so many vegan options out there, but the convenient foods are no better fat wise than what they try to mimic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I have some beefless burgers and pizza in the freezer for those days I don’t feel like cooking.

When I received The Seven Day Rescue, I was really happy. It laid everything out for me. And pizza- yes pizza is ok during the rescue. They have a recipe for pizza, but more about the recipes later.

The Seven Day Rescue Diet is straightforward. Part 1 talks about Why We Love Plants, Why We Love Whole Foods, Why We Don’t Drink Our Food (ok, I understand this, but I do like juicing), Why We Care About Calorie Density Why We Limit Protein (I wish non plant-based Dr’s would read this), Why We Limit Salt, Sugar and fat, Why We Exercise. 

 They talk about batch cooking. Trust me this is a time saver.  Take a Sunday or whatever day works best for you and cook a bunch of rice, beans or potatoes. Do you have an Instant Pot? If you don’t, buy one,  that’s a life saver as well. (It cuts down your cooking time.)

They take the guess work out of what to have, what to buy with their handy grocery list. There’s a 7 day meal plan. That’s one of the things I love about this book.

The recipes are mainly bowls. Who doesn’t love a good bowl? I know I do!! There’s oatmeal bowls, waffles and pancakes for breakfast. For lunch there’s salads- not just boring lettuce like you would feed your hamster, but filling satisfying salad’s, flat’s, pizza flats, and soups. For dinner there’s hearty super bowls, burrito’s, sloppy Joes, burgers, chili and so much more. They have some sauces and dips for your salad’s, bowls etc. Seriously, like I said, they laid out everything for you. No guess work, and unlike some diets- this doesn’t feel like one. You can eat!!

The only thing I would do over is I wish I had this book before I started The Seven Day Rescue. It’s clear, it’s simple, and it’s easy. The hardest part is planning a shopping trip. If you are interested in improving your health or if your loved one is in need of a rescue- Please read this book. Try it; it’s only for 7 days. That’s a week. You have nothing to lose (ok you do like tossing and turning at night because you can’t get a good night’s sleep, bad sex, unhealthy hair, acne- I could go on, I won’t though) but you have everything to gain- your health.

To find out more about this book go to Hachette Book Group.. You can even order from there site.

Let me know if you have taken the challenge!

Easy. Whole. Vegan- review plus Chickpea Cauliflower Coconut Curry recipe

100 flavor-packed, no-stress recipes for busy families, by Melissa King.

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Nice paperback book with colorful, drool worthy photographs by Heather Poire for almost every recipe.

When I first received this book I read “our story”. Even though our families went through different things- we share similar stories. Both our kids were admitted to hospital. Both were underweight. We both have 2 kids, we’re busy and we don’t always have a lot of time to be messing around trying to get dinner on the table. Similar to your lifestyle right? Not a lot of time to be messing around with everything else that you need to get done.

Melissa uses a few different methods of cooking. Stove top, oven, slow cooker, and dehydrator. I don’t have a dehydrator so I would use the oven on the lowest heat possible and go from there. Those recipes I would cook when I’m home, cleaning and don’t have to worry about going anywhere. Like on Sunday’s when I like to batch cook.

Melissa has the vegan pantry- just what you should have stocked in your pantry, bean cooking chart, how to make the perfect quinoa, egg substitutes. Kitchen equipment to make life easier. Tips to save time and money- don’t we all want to do that? How to handle picky eaters. Remember she has two kids, so she kinda is in the know about this area.

The recipes are grouped so you know if it’s a make ahead meal, slow cooker or 30 minutes or less.

Quick: 30 minutes or less

Spinach & mushroom tofu scramble, Maple vanilla baked oatmeal squares, sweet corn salad with arugula, cheesy garlic popcorn.

Easy: Effortless slow cooker dishes

Apple cinnamon quinoa, veggie enchilada soup, chili mac & cheese, chickpea cauliflower curry

Make Ahead: Refrigerator-friendly meals

Black bean & sweet potato hash, simple cucumber & dill salad, lentil Shepard’s pie, oatmeal snack bars, cinnamon banana chips.

Entertain: Favorites for a crowd

Cinnamon roll muffins, black bean and corn breakfast burrito, healthy coleslaw, lemon garlic zucchini, salt and vinegar roasted chickpeas

Make It Yummy: Sauces, dressing and other accompaniments

Hidden veggies tomato sauce, lemon poppy seed dressing, strawberry salsa, salted caramel sauce

Pick-Me-Up’s: Juices and smoothies

Fruity lemonade, almond joy smoothie, sunshine smoothie, energizing green juice.

If your are still not convinced that the recipes will be tasteful, healthful and easy; please make this recipe and let me know 🙂 Seriously the best book out there for busy families.

Chickpea Cauliflower Coconut Curry

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Curry powder is a great spice mix to work with. Although the exact ingredients may vary slightly, the mix typically features several superfoods. A yellow curry powder’s main ingredients usually include turmeric, coriander, cumin, mustard seed, and either cardamom or cinnamon, if not both. I love curry for its health benefits and its deep, rich flavor. This dish is quite easy to make in a slow cooker, plus it tastes wonderful and is a great introduction for someone who doesn’t quite yet have a palate for curry or Indian food in general.

Makes 5 to 6 servings

Prep and cook time: 5 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

4 cups (650 g) cooked chickpeas (or two 15-ounce [425 g] cans chickpeas, drained)

3 cups (300 g) chopped cauliflower (about 1 head cauliflower)

1½ cups (240 g) diced yellow onions

1 cup (100 g) snow peas

1¾ cups (420 ml) coconut milk (preferably full-fat)

1 cup (240 ml) vegetable broth

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon garam masala

Salt to taste

4 or 5 kale leaves, chopped and massaged

Steps

1 Put all the ingredients except the kale in a slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 5 hours.

2 Turn the heat off and add the kale. Stir, then cover for 20 minutes to cook the kale.

3 Uncover and serve. This will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week.

Notes

For a bit of heat, you can add some red pepper flakes.

This dish will be a little soupy, which is intended. It can be served by itself or on a bed

of rice or quinoa. Use a slotted spoon if you don’t want to get too much liquid on the

plate while serving.

To reheat this in the microwave, I suggest adding some extra water (about 1 tablespoon)

so it doesn’t dry out.

Credit line: Recipe from Easy. Whole. Vegan.: 100 Flavor-Packed, No-Stress Recipes for Busy Families © Melissa King, 2016. Image credit goes to Heather Poire. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

 

I received a copy of this book to review in exchange for my honest opinion.

You Don’t Want A Unicorn! Giveaway

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I’m hosting a giveaway and Hachette Book Group, will send out a copy to one lucky winner,  which is really exciting!! Why would you want this to add to your child’s library? Other than it’s fun, cute and well unicorns? Need I say more? Read our full review here and you will see why you will want this. You Don’t Want a Unicorn! by Ame Dyckman will be available for purchase on Feb 14.

You must be 18 or older to enter, and have a Canadian mailing address. So, what are you waiting for? I know your child, grandchild, nieces and nephews will love this book. You will enjoy it yourself. Enter HERE. Good luck everyone.