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Dreena Burton

Book Review of Plant Powered Families

 

Over 100 kid tested- whole food vegan recipes, by Dreena Burton. OVER 100 recipes.

Part 1, there’s an intro to eating with plant power including Dreena’s story. A handy guide to what you should have in your pantry. And she talks about plant power batch cooking. I’m all for batch cooking. I know that I can go to my freezer and pull something out that’s healthful and not have to resort to some junky processed foods because I’m in a hurry.

Part 2: plant powered recipes

Sugar N spice cake pg 204, vanilla bean almond butter fudge pg. 197, no- bake granola bars pg, 190, “nicer” krispie squares pg. 186, natural berry jam pg. 179, chocolate chia pudding pg. 174, ultimate teriyaki stir fry pg. 166, tofu in cashew ginger sauce (I used the sauce over rice, but didn’t add the tofu- added chickpeas instead) pg.156, home fries pg. 152, balsamic glazed seasoned yam fries, mac-nificent pg.134, thick n hearty tomato sauce pg. 133, Creamy Fettuccine pg. 130, chick n rice soup pg. 126, sniffle soup pg.122, smoky bean chili pg.121, super cheesy sprinkle pg. 113, cheesy Caesar dressing pg. 106, red lentil hummus pg. 87, mild cheesy dip pg.83, chickpea nibbles pg. 77, chickpea salad pg. 64, apple spice hemp muffin pg. 52, best banana bread pg.48- just a few recipes that I have made. Click on the links for the recipes.

Part 3, challenges and solutions. Dreena has 3 kids so I’m pretty sure at some point she’s had some challenges during meals. She talks about the 3 C’s: consistent, certain and calm. Don’t give up. She offers sound advice and handy tips to help avoid the dinner table looking like a battlefield. Stuff like how to involve your children, get them interested, how to make it interesting to them and some of the culprits that might causing the food fight.

Who hasn’t had to face the “dreaded” bday invite? How should you deal with that? Without offending the host. Well there’s tips on how to handle not only that, but hosting your own plant power parties , with the most popular recipes kids love.

Part 4: Support, including DIY staples, cooking guides, meal plans and FAQ’s. I love how wholesome the menu plan is. There’s a nutritional breakdown, so you know that you are providing your family with all the nutrients they need.  She answers questions about protein, soy and so on. Has nutrient charts, did you know that 1/2 cup of brown rice has 2.5 g or 8% protein of calories? Now you do.

I think this is a MUST have book for anyone that has children, or watches children. Or even for those without kids.

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Buy your copy here: Plant Powered Families*

What is your favorite Dreena recipe?

Note* the pictures are from amazon.ca and contain affiliate links.

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Chocolate, Need I Say More?

When I have a few extra mins, I get thinking, “What can I bake?” I didn’t have a lot of down time. I was also trying to get the mountains of laundry washed, dried and put away. I have to share laundry machines, which means 34 minutes until the wash is finished, then an hour in the dryer. Keeping the oven on while I ran up and down the stairs was not an option. So I thought, wait a second: I know that Dreena’s cookies only take 11 mins to bake, they are easy to put together and the minions love them.

I use enjoy life chunks instead of the mini chippits. I have a minion that doesn’t like chocolate, so this makes it easy to make some cookies without any for her. If you want a no fail cookie recipe that is amazing check out Dreena Burton’s site.

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Look at how perfect they are 🙂

I didn’t stop there. Oh no, there was another recipe that I wanted to try. I came across it in Jazzy Vegetarian Classics cookbook.  These have peanut butter and chocolate and taste just like “those” store bought cups- only this has 3 ingredients and sinful tasting.

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I only put a teaspoon per liner, so I ended up with like 18 cups instead of the 10 the recipe said. I thought I might have to store some in the freezer, so of course I turn to the knowledgeable people of facebook and even Laura herself, to see if these would keep nicely in the freezer for up to a month. I got answers on facebook and then the real answer came in when my daughter who HATES chocolate said she loved these cups. Problem solved, we all loved them, they were all gone within 48 hrs.  These would make for nice little treats beside all the other holiday baked goodies. Try them yourself, don’t worry- your family will love them (and you can freeze them if you are the only person in your household. You can also use Wow butter instead of peanut butter.) Here’s the link Choco-Peanut Butter Cups.

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What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

 

Menu For Dec 6-12

I actually made everything this week, so I do have pictures. Everything I made can be found on line, so you will be able to make the dishes as well 🙂

I wanted a lasagna but didn’t want to make the ricotta cheeze, so when I found this recipe Pea and White Bean Puttanesca  from Laura Theodore’s website knew this would hit the spot. Noodles, peas, beans and homemade sauce- YES!! This will serve four people when you pair it with some garlic bread, and or a salad.

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For the sauce, I used this Dad’s Marinara. This recipe is quick and easy and good! It’s a nice hearty sauce. I used onions and added about 5-6 cloves of garlic, because I love onion and garlic. This makes for an excellent dip as well. For pizza, bread, or grilled cheeze.

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To make up a new dish so it wasn’t like eating left overs all week, I put some pea and white bean puttanesca in between two slices of bread, topped with chao cheeze and grilled it. Now that was tasty. I think next time I will use garlic butter instead of plain butter on the bread.

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Kathy Hester has a new recipe for the instant pot. Don’t worry, she has a slow cooker method as well. This hits the spot considering I’ve had a cold, and feeling really lazy- so when I read that I only need to chop a few carrots, potatoes, onion, garlic and throw in some spices- cook it for 10 mins, I knew this was a must. Trust me, it was worth burning my lips to taste it before it cooled.

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Today Dec 4 is national cookie day, so it’s only natural for me to turn to Dreena Burton and make her chocolate chip cookies. These bake in 11 mins, and it takes all of 20 mins to prep and bake. Word of caution, you might want to make a double batch if your kids are anything like mine- because they go fast. Here’s the link for the Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies. There’s a wheat-free, soy-free option.

I’m also going to be making home fries, some tofu dish and baking some bread, muffins and I’m wanting an apple/pear crisp, or apple/pear  cake or something fruity sweet and sinfully good. Kathy Hester posted this recipe not too long ago and I bought pears just for this Vegan Holiday Gingerbread Pear Crumble From OATrageous Oatmeals. Check out her site for the picture of it. I wish I could reach into the internets and grab that dish. I’m drooling.

All of the dishes I made had enough for left overs. I had to freeze the left over pasta sauce (stored in a mason jar) because I wasn’t planning on using it all. I’ve all put some soup in the freezer for a quick healthy option when I don’t feel like cooking. My meals for the week cost next to nothing. I did use canned beans, but normally I use my instant pot to cook them in.

For my juices this week, I made carrot, granny smith apple and lemon juice. So cheap right now. a 2lb bag of carrots 2.00, a 5lb bag of apples 3 something. Lemons were expensive they were 6.00 but there was at least 10 in the bag. (or they were .77 each)

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Do you buy canned beans? Or do you buy a bag of beans and cook them?

 

Take a Stroll back in time

We are so lucky today! We have recipes at our finger tips, we have Facebook groups, Twitter, other social media. We have our platform. In fact today’s generation has it easier to connect with like minded people. We could be called spoiled brats, which in a way we are. I remember when I first went vegetarian -I was (all) alone. Against the will of my parents “because you must think you buy burgers in the store”. I was young and thought, yes- that’s where you buy them. We raised beef cows, and let me tell you- if you went to a meat packaging plant- you would stop eating animals.

Ok- enough about that- I’m not trying to preach or say I’m perfect- I eat vegan junk- big deal, I do try and eat healthy most of the time.

But let’s get back to the 70’s- how many vegans do you know? You might think you know them- granola tree hugging, hippie type people right? Wrong! That stero type would go to those who were in a phase. And if I want to buy into that?! I would think everyone wore bell bottoms, took LSD- and gave the middle finger to the man. Ok I might be confusing the 60’s with the 70’s- but what do I know? I was born in the 70’s.

I had some time and cheetah banana’s today- and I thought- Dreena’s  banana bread should be made. I misplaced my copy of plant powered families, but knew she had a similar yet not as healthy of a recipe in another book. I was floored that her first book, The Everyday Vegan, was released in the 70’s!!! Maybe that’s why I like her style, her recipes- there’s always something comforting about them. Even if it doesn’t  just involve potatoes and veggies (we had meat, potatoes and veggies every night- how boring) – it just feels like….. Hanging out with family or a good friend.

It sounds strange- but you should check Dreena’s site out.

Heres a picture of my maple banana bread.

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Who was the first plant based/ vegan chef you were introduced to and have loved most of the recipes they come up with?!

Ok- the book was released in 2001- but that whole confusion had me tripping back to the 70’s, that I barely remember.

Halloween 2015

I love Halloween, actually I love anything that involves parties and food. We celebrated Halloween on Nov 1, due to a personal choice. No, I didn’t take my kids out to knock on doors to beg strangers for candy that would still be around come Easter. Instead, I made some yummy food from Kathy Hester’s The Ghoulish Gourmet, So good- in fact, I’m cooking out of this book year round. Crackers can be shaped as anything you want them to be. The potato soup would work on St. Patrick’s day because it’s green (but seriously, I don’t think you need a reason to make this soup- just do it, your taste buds thank you) and the mummies- would be a great meal, paired with something light and fresh- like a salad.

On Sat, I made Vegan Halloween Dessert: Gruesome Forbidden Rice Mousse. Rice and chocolate. Do I really need to say more? This is rich and sinful but oh so worth it! I didn’t let it cool down before eating a big spoonful of it. It’s not pretty to look at, but that’s the point- it was Halloween Baby!!!!

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I also made Black of the night Black bean soup…. it’s cooked in the crock pot. It’s as simple as opening beans, and throwing some spices in. And the taste? It tastes like you slaved all day making it. Again, not pretty- but that’s the point 🙂 You can find the recipe in The Ghoulish Gourmet.

imageI also made Dreena Burton’s Hide the Lentils pasta sauce. (I’m going to be making the mummies again because they are really good.) This is my go to sauce. I’ve tried others, but this one is thick, hearty and leaves you wanting more. I highly suggest you eating it with some bread- garlic bread in fact, just so you can get every last bit of sauce off your plate.

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You can find the recipe on page 129 of Eat, Drink Be Vegan.

And the weekend wouldn’t be complete without………. you got it CUPCAKES!! I made the golden vanilla ones from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World, By Isa. My daughter doesn’t like chocolate chips, but my son does. So, half are plain, and half has chocolate chips. BOTH are delish, and my kids are lucky I love them- that’s *the* only reason I shared 😉

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You can buy the book here Click me to buy me 🙂

How was your Halloween. What treats did you make? Or did you turn off all the lights, snuggle under the blanket eating popcorn and watching scary movies all night?

One last thing I want to leave you with: Pro Tip- always use parchment paper when baking (or cooking). The cute holiday themed liners didn’t want to part with the cupcake. With parchment paper, you never have to struggle or put the call out to the jaws of life to save your cupcakes. Learn from me people. (you know I will use the cute themed liners again, I’m a sucker for them)

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