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

chickpea-cauliflower-coconut-curry-easy-whole-vegan

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?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


*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 SuperFun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook, Candy Cane Fudge Cookies, giveaway

super-funtimes

Entertaining for absolutely EVERY occasion, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I was so stoked when I received this in the mail. Listen or read this: New Year’s, Super Bowl, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, Oscars Party, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Passover, Cinco De Mayo, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipper, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas.  She includes OSCARS party!!!!! The only other chapter that she might’ve been able to add would be Birthday parties, but if you can’t come up with a party menu from these amazing recipes, I don’t know what to say. Isa does though; she talks about other occasions and gives you suggestions. She’s thought of everything.

If you weren’t yet convinced on why you would need this book, I’m going to talk about the recipes now. Just thinking about them is making me hungry; I need to go grab a snack……. Ok, I’m back; cookies have been eaten and now time to share with you more details. Candy Cane Fudge Cookies,  Gingerbread People,  Eggnog Pancakes, Jelly Doughnuts,  Fried Pickles with ranch,  Pretty in pink applesauce, potato pancakes, Chocolate Pecan Pie,  Mummy Dogs, Elvis Cupcakes,  Truffled Almond Alfredo, Mexican Caesar Salad, Spicy, Tomato Rice, Sautéed  Radishes,  Irish Cream Whoopie Pies, Irish Stout Stew, Salted Caramel Corn with peanuts, Chipotle Mac and Cheese, Potato Skins. I haven’t even hit the tip of the iceberg- so many good recipes, recipes that you can trust. If you have made anything by Isa, you know that they will be crowd pleasing.

When I opened The Super Fun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook, it made me think of Isa Does it. It has the same feel. Well no wonder why, the photographer from Isa Does it, photographed for The Super Fun Times. Vanessa Rees along with Joshua Foo can be thanked or blamed 😉 for these mouth drooling, I want it now photo’s. Well done you two!! The Super Fun Times is also larger than Isa Does it. There’s three of her other books I love, but this has to be the best one EVER!!!!! I seriously don’t know how she’s going to top this one. I hope she’s still writing more….  but WOW Isa, congratulations on such a wonderful resourceful cookbook. I’ve seen other Holiday books, but NONE are as comprehensive as this power house!

Now, that I’ve teased you with  me eating cookies and all the wonderful recipe titles, I’m going to share with you a recipe with permission, so get your apron on,  make the cookies, you know quality control- you need to make sure they are perfect- then on Christmas Eve day make more as Santa is going to want a dozen or two!!

 

candy-cane-cookies

Candy Cane Cookie photo credit: Vanessa Rees

Candy Cane Fudge Cookies

Makes 36 Cookies

Total: 45 Minutes

Active: 25 Minutes

 

½ cup refined coconut oil, at room temperature

1¼ cups sugar

½ cup unsweetened applesauce, at room temperature

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite nondairy milk), at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if clumpy

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 (3-ounce) peppermint chocolate bars, chopped up

4 crushed-up candy canes (see Tip)

 Chocolate and minty chocolate with crushed candy canes. These cookies scream “CHRISTMAS” so loud that you might have to tell them to shut up! These are the cookies you bring to the office (or collective artspace) to share with everyone. They are going to be the best thing that happens to anyone this holiday season, even if they get that Cabbage Patch Kid they’ve been so desperately wanting.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two rimmed baking sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together the oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the applesauce and milk and mix gently; it might make the oil clump and firm up a bit, but that’s okay. Mix in the vanilla.
Add 1 cup of the flour, along with the cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and mix well. Mix in the peppermint chocolate chunks and then add the remaining

1 cup flour and mix until it firms up. You might need to use your hands to get it fully incorporated.
Place twelve 1½-tablespoon scoops of dough on each baking sheet, a few inches apart. Flatten slightly with your hand. Place a pinch of crushed candy cane in the center of each and press gently into the surface.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Tips:
You don’t have to find peppermint chocolate for these, but it’s pretty darn good. Chocolate chips or dark chocolate bars will work, too.

To crush candy canes, place them in a plastic zip-top bag and pound on them with something heavy (a hammer maybe?) until they are in pieces that are no bigger than ½ inch. 

Excerpted from the book THE SUPERFUN TIMES VEGAN HOLIDAY COOKBOOK by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Copyright © 2016 by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company.

I received a  review copy and Hachette Book Group will send out a copy to one lucky winner!!! Click here for more information.

 

Cinnamon Bun Apple Pie

Cinnamon Bun Apple Pie


This beauty was a part of vegan snack down, such a delicious challenge. The dough is adapted from Isa’s Vegan Brunch. If you are making this; allow about 2 hours from start to finish because this will take about an hour and half to rise plus about a 20 min bake time. But trust me you will LOVE them. Of course if you don’t want to put apples in it, just make regular cinnamon buns.

For the dough you will need:

2 ¼ teaspoons dry active yeast

1/3 plus 1 teaspoon sugar

½ cup lukewarm water

¾ room temperature milk, I use Almond Milk

1/3 cup neutral oil like canola

¾ teaspoon sea salt

1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

3 ½ cups of flour

For the filling:

¼ cup EACH brown and regular sugar

1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons flour

2 granny smith apples diced, add 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon to it and a squeeze, say teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half of lemon juice.

You will also need some butter, if it’s hard make sure it’s room temperature,  you’ll need about a ¼ cup, I don’t know, I don’t measure that part.

The method:

Take the yeast, water and 1 teaspoon of sugar and whisk it in the stand mixer bowl. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, then whisk in a large bowl). Let sit for about 5 mins.

Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl BUT start out with 2 cups of flour and slowly adding the rest. Mix on #2 for about 5 mins. Or need it for about 10 mines. If the dough is sticky, then add a little more flour. You don’t want it to be sticky.

Oil a large bowl, roll the dough around in it, and cover with a clean towel. Let rise for about an hour or until double in size. Now go wash your dishes, have a shower, enjoy a glass of wine, take your dog for a walk.

After it has doubled in size, punch the dough down, cover it back up and start making the filling.

Mix the sugars, flour and cinnamon together.  Roll out the dough, spread the butter, just cover every inch of it, it does not need to be perfect, I like little lumps here and there,  sprinkle with sugar mixture, apple the apple mixture at the bottom of the dough. Roll the dough as tight as you can. Then slice into pieces. I split the dough into 2; it’s easier to work with when you don’t have a lot of counter space. Also with the other half I just made regular buns.

Pre-heat oven to 375. You’ll need two round pie pans, spray with oil- or use parchment paper (I love easy clean up). Fit the buns into pie pans, loosely they need room to rise again. Cover with a clean towel, clean up your mess. After about ½ hr these babies are ready to be baked. Bake for 18-20 mins.

Let them cool off in pan for about 5 mins, then transfer to a cooling rack. Well the buns are cooling; it’s time to make the icing.

Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk I use Almond

¼ teaspoon of vanilla powder or a teaspoon of vanilla extract

Mix together and drizzle over warm buns. Enjoy!!!

NOTE** to make this a pie, divide this dough in half, roll out one half, fit into pie plate, sprinkle with sugar mixture, add the apple and spread them around, roll out the other half of dough and put on it, and bake it, it may need about 5 more minutes added to baking time, just watch it. Also, I think a kick ass caramel sauce would be spot on with this dish!!