Today, I have the pleasure of reviewing Gena Hamshaw’s Choosing Raw a beautiful cookbook with photos from the talented Hannah Kaminsky. I remember when I started my blog, back when it was only on Tumblr, and I looked up to many awesome and successful vegan bloggers. One of the first people was Gena, and really, why wouldn’t she be? She has recipes that nourish your body but that aren’t intimidating and her narrative is supportive, informative and comforting. You will find all of her greatest attributes in this book!
One of the things that I love about the layout is that it’s broken down by ease of dishes and familiarity. This is great for the vegan-curious or new vegans out there that don’t really know where to start. There is a balanced mix of cooked vs. raw recipes, and plenty of ideas for snacks (I LOVE snacks!). Gena uses wholesome ingredients and has a variety of substitutions for you to use in dishes to make them healthier but not compromise on flavor.
I ended up making two recipes from her book, the Curried Chickpea & Carrot Salad and the Mango Chia Pudding. That may seem obvious seeing as how I love curry and have made many chia puddings for this blog! Both dishes were very good and came together in no time at all. I won’t even lie when I say that I was picking recipes based on what I had on-hand, further more, I had a hard time choosing because there were a lot that used everyday ingredients! I can’t wait to try more recipes from this book and share them with friends and family.
That Curried Chickpea & Carrot Salad really hit the spot, for me, so I’m sharing the recipe with you! Pro Tip: Make a wrap using the salad with spinach, green onion and sriracha; SO GOOD. Also, because Gena and her publisher are awesome, I’m giving a copy of Choosing Raw to one lucky winner! Just go to the Rafflecopter Widget at the end of the post to enter the giveaway.
That recipe title sure is a mouthful! And that’s not even getting to the kale part. 😉 One thing that I love about steaming is that it’s so damn easy; I mean, it is pretty hard to mess it up. In this case you don’t actually need a fancy steamer, just a large pot and pan will get you on your way to enjoying a healthy and flavorful meal. Well, maybe a steamer basket for the pot, too.
Just take one look at this recipe and you can see that it’s chock full of Vitamin A from the carrots and butternut squash, plus fiber and potassium. Quinoa gives you some lean protein and fiber, as well as amino acids. This is a well-rounded meal! When everything is steaming, you can whip up the southwestern tahini sauce in mere minutes, making this dish very easy to put together. Top it off with green onions and roasted pepitas, and you’re set.
In other news, there’s supposed to be a thunderstorm tomorrow (yay!), so maybe it’ll water my seedlings that I waited very long to plant. I love it when Mother Nature does a couple of chores for me. 😉
Pretty Clouds and A late Pumpkin Seedling
Almost everyone is getting ready for Superbowl feasts and Valentine’s day treats, and all of that is good and well. I even have an awesome Superbowl appetizer recipe coming for you, tomorrow! But, just thinking about all of the (unhealthy) food that is going to be gracing coffee tables and counter tops alike, makes me a little scared for my physique. So, in prepping for the Superbowl and the super bowl of chips and salsa, I have this delicious 50/50 juice for you.
What does 50/50 juice mean? You might ask. When making juices, I try to get a good balance of vegetables and fruit so that there is not too high of a sugar level, but also so that the juice actually tastes good and is extremely enjoyable. I feel that with this juice I’ve found a pretty good balance of that, but if you want to give it a lil’ extra boost of vitamins feel free to add some dark, leafy greens into the mix. After that, your juice may turn a disgusting color, but it will still taste good and be even better for you!
- 3 Carrots
- 3-4 Small Satsuma Tangerines, Peeled
- 1 Small Fuji Apple, Cored
- 1 1/2 Cup Green Grapes
- 3-4 Stalks of Celery
- Place all ingredients through your juicer, stir juice together and if you’d like it colder, serve over ice.
Enjoy this raw, healthy drink for breakfast (instead of coffee) to feel revitalized and ready for the day. Remember, fresh juices are your friend! 😉
It’s been a cold and dreary day here in Southern California, which matched my mood because I’m becoming sick. Ack! Damn sinuses, anyway, it is the perfect kind of day for a hearty soup to warm you up. I love slow cooker stews and soups because of the aroma they bring to your home as the flavors warm and meld together throughout the day. The scents almost tease you, leaving you wanting the soup to be done sooner; alas, you have to wait another three hours.
Winter has some of the most delicious vegetables to offer, among them are a few of my favorites for dishes like these. You can’t go wrong with carrots (my sister would disagree!), beautifully dark leaves of dinosaur kale, and although the celery root is one ugly edible, it’s taste brings a lot to soups and vegetable roasts. The mushrooms bring an earthy flavor while balancing with the sweetness of the tomato, there’s a lot of components to this stew and that’s what makes it delicious.
For this recipe, you will need a fairly large crock pot; mine is roughly 4 quarts. I like my soups chunky, so most of the veggies are chopped, if you’d like a finer texture, dice them.
- 2 Cups Leeks, Chopped
- 1 Cup Carrot, Chopped
- 1 Cup Celery Root, Chopped
- 1 1/2 Cup Celery, Sliced
- 1 1/3 Cup Button Mushrooms, Sliced
- 1 1/2 Cup Kale (I used Black/Dinosaur Kale), De-stemmed and chopped
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 Cup Dried Red Lentils
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- 5 oz. Tomato Paste
- 4 Cups Vegetable Broth, I use Rapunzel No Salt Added
- 3 Cups Water
- Put everything but the tomato paste, vegetable broth and water into a large bowl and stir until it is mixed well. I find that this helps to keep the ingredients more integrated, as mushrooms and leeks tend to float in the crock pot.
- Place the contents of the bowl into the crock pot. Stir the tomato paste into the vegetable broth so that it is not chunky, then pour the broth and water into the crock pot.
- Turn the crock pot to high heat for 6-8 hours (depending on the crock pot), check the hardness of the lentils and carrots to see of the stew is done cooking.
I definitely need to make these more often, it’s such an easy way to make dinner! Maybe, I’ll look into doing a casserole type of thing next. Do you have any great recipes for a slow cooker/crock pot? Let me know!