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!!

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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.

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Naturally Lean

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What if I told you, that you could make a rich velvety mac’n’cheese, or a refreshing cinnamon bun smoothie? How about a lush chocolate cheese cake that’s under 300 calories per serving and it’s gluten free? It’s true! The incredibly talented  Allyson Kramer has a new book out called Naturally Lean. 125 nourishing gluten-free, plant-based recipes, ALL UNDER 300 CALORIES!!!!! No, the recipes don’t taste like they lack anything. One would question if it was under 300 calories- I know it sounds too good be true, but in this case it is! True that is.

Inside the soft covered book with an enticing picture of the Dilly Avocado Toasts, you will find the recipes are split into  6 chapters. Greens & crucifers, Heart Grains, Fabulous Fruits, Nuts & Seeds, Legumes and Squash, roots & Mushrooms. There’s a “where to buy” ingredients that you may not be familiar with like hemp hearts, cashews, peanut flour, flax seed, (I’ve never heard of peanut flour before) and storage tips.

There are so many recipes I want to make from this book, it’s hard to narrow it down. I’m glad that not every recipe has a picture, but every recipe has a break down on yield, calories, fat, sodium, potassium, carbs, and protein.

Copyright 2016 by Allyson Kramer. Photographs by Allyson Kramer. Published by Da Capo Press. Da Capo Press did send me out a copy of Naturally Lean, but that had no influence on my thoughts about the book. It’s one I would’ve bought.

I will be updating this post as I make more recipes. Somehow some of my photos are missing in action. That’s ok, because I will gladly make Sunshine Breakfast UnScramble, Insanely Addictive Queso, Minted Watermelon Salad, Superfresh Salsa, Not-So-Dirty-Rice again!

If you have this book, let us know what you have made.

 

Munch Better teams up with Enjoy Life foods May Allergy Awareness Month

Munch Better is a Canadian company that puts about 5-8 products together and sends a snack box out to you for a  small charge. You subscribe, they deliver and what you get in the snack box? It’s like Christmas. You don’t know until you receive it. Seriously, isn’t that the best? I love a good surprise. They even have a snack box for small companies, so tell your boss to subscribe! Happy employees are more productive right? Tell them I  have scientific proof, ok it’s not all that scientific, but I know when I’m happy, the boss is happy.

This month Munch Better and Enjoy Life Foods have teamed up together for May allergy awareness month. They sent me a snack  box to try.What I received was:Enjoy Life chocolate chip crunchy cookies (2 cookies), Enjoy Life SunSeed ctrunch bars (full sized box) Enjoy Life Plentils- Sea salt (snack bag), Enjoy Life mini chips (full sized bag),  Enjoy Life not seed and fruit mix- Mountain Mambo (full sized bag) Enjoy life caramel apple bar (1 bar) and a dollar off coupon. Not bad right? I say it was a pretty nice surprise. (click on the links for more product info).

Their chocolate chips are my go to, so I was really happy about that. The chocolate chip cookies tasted like more. Even my fussy daughter who doesn’t really like chocolate said there should be more. I told her there will be. I just need to buy them.Love the Plentils. They are a crispy  goodness that satisfies your crunching needs without the grease. Unlike other chips, you don’t feel guilty about eating them, they don’t make you feel gross afterwards. It’s easier for portion control- at least for me.  I “couldn’t” sample the chewy bars as I don’t eat honey. But my son LOVES them, and was happy that his sister didn’t want any in her lunch the next day. She said she liked them, and did eat the one she opened, but didn’t ask for another one after that. I will buy these bars for him, as I find that they are healthier than the other bars that’s full of wanna be healthy. Just because it has oats in it, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. It’s like the fake whole wheat bread out there. But with Enjoy Life, you can trust their ingredients. They are a NON GMO company, which is important to most of us.

All and all I’m pretty happy with everything that we received. My only suggestion to Enjoy Life foods, is maybe subbing the honey out with agave or maple syrup in their chewy bars. I’m not sure about the other bars. But these two flavors do contain honey.

Thank you Munch Better and Enjoy Life Foods for teaming up together and making May more delicious and raising awareness, free of almost everything but taste.We were happy 🙂 Use the handy store locator to find out what stores carry this gem of a company. (Click on Munch Better to take you directly to their site). You can thank me later.  I will be writing more about Enjoy Life Food’s brand new GF baking line. Finally a good pizza crust that doesn’t taste like cardboard. That’s all the hints I’m giving you for now. You will have to stayed tuned for more.

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What is you fav Enjoy Life product? Drop us a line- we want to know.

 

Apple Cinnamon Gluten Free Oatmeal

Bob’s Red Mill kindly sent me some samples. I haven’t tried all of them yet, but will be posting as I try them. I made the apple cinnamon gluten free oatmeal the other day. Fill the cup to the indicator line, zap in microwave for a minute, let sit for 2 minutes. Breakfast in under 5 mins. I love that there’s real chunks of apples in it (not to mention there’s 8 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein). It’s so easy that my 8 year old can make this on her own. The oatmeal to go cups are satisfying. They fill you up without weighing you down. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or even a snack. Sweet, but not sickening sweet like some oatmeal packets. My only regret or disappointment is not saving this one to the last. I would recommend this oatmeal to everyone. You do not need to be gluten free to enjoy this, but to all my gluten free friends- if you haven’t tried this yet you should. It doesn’t taste gf- read it doesn’t taste like cardboard.

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For more information including how to order some- click here.

Made With Love CookBook, Interview, Review And More

We are excited beyond words to be able to post an interview with Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie the authors of Made With Love, More than 100 Sweet and Savory Plant-Based Recipes For Every Moment in Life.

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See that gorgeous cover? Doesn’t it make you want cookies? All photographs are that delicious looking.

The book is sectioned off as Drinks and Smoothies, Breakfast and Lunch, Soup and salads, Sides-sauces and condiments.

Some of our favorites are Kelly’s Bikini Season Tonic, Lemon-Basil Lasagna (I thought I hated mushrooms, until I made this recipe), Best Ever Caesar Salad, Fettuccine Alfredo, Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Grandma’s Apple Crumble and I like the Sriracha Sauce. Kayla hasn’t tired the sauce. I can’t wait to try these next: Cauliflower wings, Yummy Vegan Quiche, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and Ranch Dressing. Then the rest of the recipes. I will be making every single recipe in this book- sooner or later. Kayla is eyeing up their Sweet potato and Quinoa Burgers, ginger chocolate cookies- I can’t remember what else she said, but she was raving about how wonderful these recipes looked and if she’s wanting to make them, you know the recipe has to seem easy. (She doesn’t like long winded recipes with a list of ingredients that doesn’t seem necessary)

Their bakery Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, located at 401 Brant Street Burlington, ON L7R2E9 offers plant-based, gluten-free, dairy free, egg-free and peanut-free, and all is made with natural organic ingredients. In fact their bake shoppe is THE FIRST Gluten free bakery in Canada. Their Lettuce Love Cafe is located at 399 John St. Burlington, ON L7R 2K3. Their cafe is also Canada’s FIRST Gluten free restaurant. With Made With Love they have shared recipes from their award winning Bake Shoppe and Cafe.

We hope you enjoy the interview as much as we do.

Q1: Kelly, We read that your dad, Russ Childs, had built an outside play kitchen and bakery in the backyard ravine. He provided you with pots and pans, muffin tins, and basically everything you could want to be able to create mud pies and dirt cake. Is this what inspired you to start your own bakery? Or what was the moment you knew that having a bakery would be your passion/hobby?

A1: Back then when I was 5 or 6 years old, I didn’t know I wanted to be a baker but I knew I loved the deep feeling of magic within my soul. My dad sparked a passion within me to always be tap into my creative talent and go that extra mile to be different and to make people feel good about themselves. So whatever I did, I did at full warp speed. The bakery “AHA moment” was in 2010, at our restaurant, and I saw how many people LOVED what we were doing in the bakery dept of the cafe. People were begging for healthy options in a world that did not always provide that. Erinn and I were so excited to be able to provide this to our customers, families and friends and worked day and night on our incredible recipes.
Q2: Kelly or Erinn, have either of you taken any cooking/baking classes/courses, or did your love for cooking/baking wholesome, nutritious food and desire to be healthier play a big part in where you are at now with the success of your bakery, restaurant and cookbook

A2:We are both self taught! We’ve always been avid home cooks testing and trying out the latest and greatest new recipes. We love baking and cooking and it was just natural for us to open up Lettuce Love Cafe and Kelly’s Bake Shoppe.

Q3: Kelly, we know you were diagnosed with two masses on the liver and afterwards you found The China Study and with your plant based lifestyle you were able to get a clean bill of health. We hear so many struggling with giving up food that contains animals – but where do you get your protein, but I could never give up cheese- but bacon…. We’ve heard it all, and know at one point in time you loved cheese- what one piece of advice would you give to those who struggle to give up those foods?

A3: After my life-changing year in 2008, I delved deep into learning about the truth of the nutrition in our food system. Why we’ve been told we need a certain percentage of daily protein, why do we think that the only source of protein is from animal products, why do we think we need to drink milk or any animal-based product for that matter. I decided to get my protein where the cows, horses, apes, ox, and other herbivores get it from…. From plants. For me, it was cleaner, more sustainable and more readily available for my body to assimilate and use to make me healthy. I feel great!

Q4: Erinn, we know you became plant based for ethical reasons- was it just that one trip to Farm Sanctuary that convinced you, or did you do more follow up research to back up how you felt during your road trip?

A4: Farm Sanctuary was the catalyst for adopting a plant based diet for sure. I did a ton o research and realized that our current food system has had a very negative impact on the environment, animals, and our bodies. After learning all of this information there was no going back for me.

Q5: What advice would you give someone that is thinking about going plant based?

A5: I would tell them to take it slow, and to not feel like you have to go all in 100%. Make little changes to your diet here and there, and by eating a plant based meal even a few days a week, you’ll notice a huge difference with your body and the planet!

A5: I agree with Erinn. We always suggest for people who are plant-based curious, to take it one meal at a time or maybe even one full day at a time. Treat ‘plant-based’ cuisine as you would Thai, or Chinese or Italian food and like it is another genre of food. We feel that the proof is ALWAYS how you feel after a meal. Don’t feel stressed that you have to commit to long journey of eating this way. Reflect of your body after a meal and pay attention to your mind, your stomach and your energy levels. Do you feel good? Do you feel less bloated? Do you feel more energized? With plant-based foods, you will see a noticeable effect on your moods too but don’t listen to us…try it our for yourself.

Q6: What recipe from Made With Love would you recommend someone who’s just starting their journey to the plant based lifestyle?

A6: I love our smoothie recipes in the cookbook. They’re so fresh, fun and delicious, they’re bound to convert even the toughest critics.

A6: (Kelly) Yes! Smoothie are instant nutrition. They are in your blood-stream in 5 minutes. Quick, easy and really, no excuses. We always have our blenders on the counter.

Kelly and Erinn, we thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. We know you  have been really busy with your cookbook launch, on top of taking care of things at the Bakery and Cafe. We are glad to have met you, even though it’s been only online. One of these days, Kayla and I need to take a road trip to Ont- just for your food. But for now, this cookbook will be like having your home cooking/ baking all the time.

This juice is nice and refreshing and in our opinion a good anytime juice. In fact, this has been our go to juice lately. I like my juice in general ice cold, and while this is perfect ice cold, I don’t mind drinking this straight from the juicer.  We hope you like it too.

Bikini Season Tonic

KELLY’S  BIKINI  SEASON  TONIC

K   This was a best-seller at Kindfood from the day we opened. Women, especially, love that it helps them  to lose body fat. it’s perfect for the summer or any time  you think you need a quick  detox. Chosen for their  fat-flushing properties, these ingredients will make you feel vibrant and healthy.

Active time: 5 minutes Total time: 6 minutes Makes 2 servings

1 red grapefruit, peeled and quartered

2 red apples, cored and quartered

2 cups kale, including stems

½ cup fresh mint leaves

1 lemon, peeled and halved

  1. In the order they are listed, add the grapefruit, apples, kale, mint and lemon to a juicer.
  2. Juice, then serve as soon as possible to get the maximum vitamin C

from the citrus fruits.

By juicing in this order, the lemon cleans  out  the machine and pushes  through the mint and kale.

Excerpted from Made with Love by Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie. Copyright © 2016 Childs and Weatherbie Inc. Cover and book photography: Alyssa Wodabek and Chris Sue-Chu. Excerpted by permission of Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd. a Penguin Random House company. All rights reserved.

Contest is now closed. Congratulations CINDY R!! You have won a copy of Made With Love 🙂 

Appetite by Penguin Random House did send me a copy of Made with Love to review, and is going to give one lucky winner a copy. Click here for your chance to win Made With Love

The winner will be contacted by email and any social media name if they have used it and will have 24 hrs to contact us with their info. If we don’t get a response within 24 we will have no choice but to announce another winner.

When you enter the giveaway make sure you  leave a blog comment, we want to know your answers 🙂 If you don’t want to enter or can’t, let us know your favorite juice combo’s anyway- fresh juice is the best! Cheers 🙂