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

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

easy-whole-vegan

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.

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Love Matters Most, a book review. 


The story by Mij Kelly is fun, entertaining and heat warming. Why does the polar bear go out on such a cold stormy night? She passes by lush berries and plenty of fish swimming in the clear stream. It wasn’t food she was in search for, when she found what made her leave her warm cave on a blustery night, is she able to cuddle up and have a good night’s sleep. I give this 9/10 snowy tears. 

Em gives this 10/10 snowy tears. She liked the story, but was more drawn in, by the gorgeous illustrations by Gerry Turley.  

This is what she has to say:

The book kept me guessing. At first I thought the bear was searching for something and the seasons would change. My favourite part is when she found what she  was searching for. Good story. The pictures are beautiful. 

Love Matters Most is available to pre-order, place your order as it’s being released on Dec 6. Hachette Book Group sent us a book for an honest review.  

Bottom line: every child will feel snug as a bug in a rug. A must have book for bedtime reading!! 

Esther The Wonder Pig

This book is funny yet heartwarming. It all started with one message- that one message changed their lives forever.

esther

By Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter with Caprice Crane. (Photo cred goes to whoever supplied Amazon with the photograph.)

 

I always thought Steve and Derek was vegan- so it shocked me when Steve cooked burgers with cheese and bacon. I stopped reading and flipped through the handful of recipes- all vegan- continued to read. Steve and Derek had to start somewhere- just like the rest of us did, because of Esther they went vegan.

Esther- oh my- she’s like any other animal or child for the matter. She has her own personality, her own likes, and like a child she gets curious. She gets herself into trouble. I was telling my kids the other day about The Wonder Pig. I told them that, Steve or Derek had left a bag on the stove. She stretched up to sniff it, decided whatever was in the bag was hers. One of the guys startled Esther- she squealed- took off with the bag of noodles. But as she was taking off she knocked over the stove. Running down the hallway, bag half open- noodles went FLYING everywhere. She’s also gotten into rice, little rice pieces showing up in places it shouldn’t have. I’m trying to control my laughter of the memory I read, after all I was driving the kids’ home from school. The minions laughed. Not a giggle or half assed laugh, but a full on belly laugh as I was telling the story.

Of course Steve and Derek faced many challenges.  The litter box, potty training, Esther’s growth, they didn’t have a big house. Speaking of housing, there was a little issue with the bylaw. No one was permitted to have an animal with hooves living within the city/town limits. So, the real challenge began- how would they handle things? Well, they were not about to give up Esther. So, they had to find a new home. With the help of others- they found their dream home and a new calling in life. Happily Ever Esther Sanctuary came to be. The guys still take rescue/ abused farm animals in Campbellville Ont.

I can’t say enough about this book. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it gives you insight about what it’s like to live with a pig. If you have no idea who Esther is, visit her facebook fan page.  The guys’ video random things that she does throughout the day. I showed my son some of her videos today- he was laughing, or watching intently wondering what Esther would get up too next. It was funny, because I was also telling them that Steve and Derek couldn’t keep anything in the freezer because Esther would get into it. Well, we came across a video showing how she does it- my son just laughed saying ‘THIS IS WHAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT!!!!’ in between gasps of air.

If you are ever near the Campbellville area, see about their tour times, go say hi. Esther will change your life forever.

I was given permission to share Esther Approved  Cherry Cheesecake. Enjoy!

cheesecake

I was given a copy for review, and now here’s your chance to win a copy of Esther The Wonder pig by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter with Caprice Crane, for yourself. Let us know what your favorite Esther approved meal is. Click here to enter. Must be 18 and older and a Canadian resident. Good luck. You’re going to enjoy their story 🙂 Now, I’m off to make some Esther approved Mac N Cheese.

Vegan Bowl Attack review and recipe

More Than 100 One-Dish Meals Packed With Plant-Based Power by Jackie Sobon, Founder of Vegan Yack Attack.

 

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I have heard of Jackie before this book came out. I’ve made some of her recipes from Vegan Yack Attack. Her style, imo, is tasteful without a lot of fuss. I got really excited when I received a review copy. Everything you can think of- in a bowl. Who doesn’t love bowl foods? Some of the best things come in a bowl: ice cream, dips, nacho’s etc.

With school starting soon, Jackie has pretty much made back to school lunches and snack planning easy- or take the bowls to work, you will have a healthy lunch – you won’t even think about that evil vending machine.

Vegan Bowl Attack has: Attack of the Vegan Bowls (a bowl making 101 if you will), Bountiful Breakfast Bowls, Lil’ Snack Bowls, Satisfying Soup and Salad Bowls, Enticing Entree Bowls, Damn Good Dessert Bowl, Bowl Essentials (this is the DIY section for dips, sauces and more).

Listen to this: how does Mint Chocolate Chip Doughnut Sundae Bowl, Raw Apple Crisp Bowl, Summer Picnic Bowl, Cabbage Rolls Bowl, Upside-Down Shepard’s Pie Bowl, Mozz-Stuff Neatballs Bowl, Loaded Potato Breakfast Bowl sound to you? These are just a few I book-marked when I first glanced through the book. I know operation Cook Thru Vegan Bowl Attack needs to happen. Someone must organize that!! Has someone? Must look into that.

Anyway, back to the real reason why you’re here. The Loaded Potato Breakfast Bowl. This is simple- as in great for a weeknight meal. Made in less than 30 mins, 1 pot ok 2 pots- as you need one for the gravy. This recipe will be one of your go to’s when you’ve had a bad day, or caught in the rain, or you just want comfort food. Potatoes and veggies with mushroom gravy- in a bowl hot and savory- you in warm pj’s, watching a good movie to unwind from the day. 6 ingredients- 7 if you count the oil and 7 for the gravy, plus pepper and cheese if you’re using.

Enjoy- Give into The Vegan Attack Bowl!!

 

Loaded Potato Breakfast Bowl*

Loaded-Potato-Breakfast-Bowl

Gluten-free • Sugar-free
This crispy potato hash is covered in Heavenly mushroom gravy, and
it is the perfect breakfast food to serve your dad. I know firsthand that this bowl is a crowd-pleaser!

Ingredients

For the potato hash:
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1½ pounds (680 g) russet potatoes, chopped
1 cup (160 g) diced white onion
1 cup (180 g) diced tomato
½ cup (75 g) diced red bell pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup (20 g) firmly packed arugula

For the mushroom gravy:

1½ cups (355 ml) plus 1
tablespoon (15 ml) light coconut milk, divided
½ cup (80 g) diced white onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup (35 g) diced baby bella mushrooms
1 tablespoon (8 g) cornstarch
3 tablespoons (12 g) nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon (15 ml) liquid aminos
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Vegan cheese shreds, for topping (optional)

To make the potato hash: Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot enough to make water sizzle, put the potatoes in. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Start your gravy now, if you can.) Add the onions to the potatoes, cover, and sauté until the onions become translucent. Lower the heat to medium and then add the tomatoes and bell pepper to the pan. Leave uncovered and sauté until the potatoes are crispy and cooked all the way through. Season the hash with salt and pepper. Wait until right before serving to fold in the arugula, so that it does not become too limp.
To make the mushroom gravy:

Make the gravy at the same time as the potatoes if you can; I wouldn’t recommend doing it afterward, as the potatoes may get mushy when reheated. Coat a medium saucepan with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Next, add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes and then stir in the garlic. Cook until the onions are almost translucent and then add the mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms have darkened and reduced in size. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the onion-mushroom mixture and stir until everything is coated evenly. Put the contents of the saucepan in a blender or food processor along with the remaining coconut milk, the nutritional yeast, and liquid aminos and pulse a few times for a smoother consistency. Pour the gravy back into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that the gravy simmers. Stir or whisk every couple of minutes until it reaches the desired thickness and then season with pepper.

Divide the potato hash among 4 bowls (don’t forget to fold in the arugula first!) and top with cheese shreds, if using, and the gravy. Serve immediately.

Yield: 2 large or 4 small serving.

*I was given permission to share the recipe and photograph.

Jackie Sobon is the mastermind behind all the photos in Vegan Bowl Attack published by Fair Winds Press. To purchase her book click on the Link.

Tell us, what is your favorite bowl?