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.

Julie’s Chili

I’m the only one in my household that likes beans. Ok I get it, when I was a kid you would never get me to eat them either. I’m a huge lover of leftovers but sometimes I want something new. Which got me to thinking that other people are likely the same as me. Some may know how to make leftovers taste fresh, some can’t be bothered. I’m going to take one dish and show you how to turn it into something fresh and fun. It takes little effort for big taste!

First we’re going to start with a great recipe which is Julie’s quick and hearty chili- when you do, it will only end up being the most epic week ever for meals! Of course you can double this recipe if you have other bean eating people in your household.

Before I give you her recipe, I want to tell you what all you can make with it. Of course a big bowl of chili and bread are the go to combo. Take those leftovers and make a burrito, Shepard’s pie, quesadilla, stuffed chili baked potato. As I was making more last night, I was thinking about making chili cheese fries, pizza pot pie- or a chili pizza pocket, nacho’s, chili in a bread bowl (think soup in a bread bowl but only with chili), loaded chili zucchini boats, instead of sloppy joe mixture- use the chili instead, chili cheese dogs, chili on a bed of rice, cooked potato cubes and chili in a burrito or just mix in the potatoes with the chili,  the options are endless.

This chili is inexpensive to make- an onion, some garlic, 2 cans of beans, some bell pepper and spices. But by adding potatoes and rice into the mix, which are inexpensive as well, you can really stretch out this recipe.  I really love this recipe because it’s versatile, great for when the budget is tight, but it doesn’t taste like a frugal recipe. The flavor is rich, smoky, you can make it spicier if you want to. If you are looking for the perfect recipe that is both easy on the wallet and a crowd pleaser- I highly recommend this recipe. Don’t take my word for it…. the recipe is right below, make it for yourself- takes only 15 mins to cook…. What are you waiting for?

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*Quick And Hearty Chili

Makes 4 Servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 bell pepper, any color, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups water
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, pureed or tomato puree
1 tablespoon gluten free tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon regular chili powder
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup TSP or TVP (textured soy or vegetable protein)
For the directions, please head over to Julie’s blog.

Julie has many great recipes on her blog! Be warned you will lose track of time, which isn’t a bad thing 😀

Recipe adapted from Vegan Diner, by Julie Hasson, 2011, Running Press
*The above is reprinted from Julie’s Kitchenette with permission.

vdThe cover of Vegan Diner is from Amazon.

How do you like your left over chili? Let me know.

The Engine 2, 7-day Rescue Diet

They asked if 7 days could rescue your health, I know it can. Why don’t you take control of your health now? This free 7 day challenge starts tomorrow, Jan 4th. To learn more about it and to sign up go to their site Engine 2 Diet. They have a Facebook group as well. 

So join me and take control of your health, your future. 

Plant-Powered Dressings An eBook by Dreena Burton

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I’ll be honest, even though I’m vegan, I don’t really eat salads. With that being said, this eBook is going to come in handy. If you are looking for a sauce for grains, potatoes or even for that bed of lettuce and veggies, Dreena has you covered.

Dreena has 10 brand new oil free dressings to please your taste buds. Her eBook starts off with ingredient notes, letting you know what she has used or why you should use a certain color of chia seeds. She also tells you what her go to brands are.

Listen to these titles: 24-Carrot Gold Dressing, Basic Chia Vinaigrette, Limealicious Vinaigrette, Greek Salad Vinaigrette, Ranch Dressing, Lemon- Thyme Caper Dressing, Green Goddess Dressing, Creamy Nut-Free Caesar, Balsamic-Date Vinaigrette, Vegan Island Dressing, Maple Chipotle Chickpea Dressing…. oh yummy!! I’m actually wanting a salad now. I’m really wanting to make the 24-carrot gold dressing, ranch, and Island dressing, oh who am I kidding? I want to make them all.

If you have never visited her website, I suggest you do. Here’s the link Plant Powered Kitchen. Do not go hungry, I’m not even kidding. She’s amazing, and every single recipe I have made by her are all keepers. Even your veggie hating spouse will love the recipes.

Nicole Axworthy from A Dash Of Compassion is behind the beautiful photograph’s that will make you hungry. To buy Dreena’s ebook click on the title: Plant Powered Dressings.

With permission from Dreena, I am able to share a recipe. This is soooo good, it’s very tempting to drink it straight from the mason jar.

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24- Carrot Gold Dressing recipe by Dreena Burton, photo credit goes to Nicole Axworthy.

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup carrot, cut into discs or small chunks

⅓ cup water

1½ tbsp red wine vinegar

1 – 1½ tbsp tahini (use full 1½ tbsp for richer flavor)

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

½ tbsp chickpea miso

½ tsp fresh ginger, roughly chopped

¼ tsp (rounded) sea salt

Instructions:

Using a standing blender (high-powered works best to smooth, but regular blender will also work, just purée longer), purée all the ingredients until very smooth. Serve, or refrigerate. Will keep about 4-5 days in the fridge.
Note: Fresh ginger has a better flavor than dried ginger. Buy a few knobs and keep it in your refrigerator. Then, for this recipe, simply trim away the peel and chop a small amount, you need just a little. It doesn’t have to be finely chopped, as the blender will take care of working it through the dressing.

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What are you waiting for? It’s time to get saucy 😀

Weekend Getaway

Sometimes we all need to getaway. I needed to get away from doing all the things: laundry, dishes, paid work, emails, blogging, social media.

Here’s my view of the “road”- looking through the sunroof: what do you see in that cloud? I see freedom or the cloud God of freedom waving at me 😉

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I was going to stay off all social media for 24 hours, but found myself checking in a few times, and responding to some comments. What can I say? SM, is a big part of my life. Perhaps, too much….. Wait I take that back. It’s never too much.

Took off to the mountains. The view is amazing. If you never been to Jasper, Alberta, Canada- I suggest going. There’s a lot to do. Unfortunately, I was only gone for a little over 24 hrs, and when the trip is 4 hrs one way give or take- that doesn’t leave a lot of time for exploring.

Have a look at some photo’s I took. Some may be blurry, but I was in a moving car. Also, if your wondering why there’s a lot of animal butts in one of the pic- now you know why…. Moving car

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The hotel we stayed at was pretty decent. And by decent, I mean it’s been one of the cleanest hotels I’ve stayed in and it was decently priced.

We had a loft. The staircase leading up to the sleeping area was narrow. I really don’t know how they got furniture up there. There was a window in the ceiling. Sorry, couldn’t see any stars. There was a fireplace and a balcony, and kitchenette. Even though I love cooking, I had a few places in mind that I wanted to try out. But more about that later.

I recommend you check out Best Western if you plan on staying in Jasper

Here’s some pictures of what I thought were interesting “things” to see:

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According to Happy Cow, there’s 3 places that offer vegan options.  I really wanted to go to Coco’s Cafe, but it was closed by the time we hit downtown. So we checked out a Korean restaurant- but the menu posted was too meat heavy that I personally didn’t trust that they knew what vegetarian was never mind a vegan. So, pizza it was. Even though I do like Famoso- I was not too happy about having pizza from here when they are in my city- kinda like going to Europe and eating Mcdonalds and Pizza Hut :/  I do realize why they are there though, people who have never had their pizza now get a chance to try it. So, this was my supper:

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yeah- I had a piece before I took a pic of it

I was able to get to Coco’s before I left, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it….. But you will need to wait  that’s another story, and I really want to showcase the quaint joint by itself.

Until next time Jasper, thank you for the relaxation that I was craving for 🙂

Have you been to Jasper? What’s your fav place to eat? Or what mountain trip do you recommend? I need to know- love getaways!

I had this post saved in my drafts, just waiting for the right time to post it. I went in April 2016. A lot has happened since then- I lost all my pics on my phone, thankfully I started this post so I could keep the memories alive. But I have lost my best friend that I went with. We were going to go back someday. I will go back, this time take the kids and share the experience with them. Maybe I will be able to get the loft we stayed at. You will forever be in my heart, you are missed by many- I love you!!