Today, I have the pleasure of reviewing Gena Hamshaw’sChoosing 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.
Happy Hump Day, everyone! Today, I don’t have a recipe for you, but instead, a ton of photos from my trip to Italy earlier this month. Actually, I say “ton” but this is a very small percentage of the photos I took. To give you a brief overview, my family and I first stayed in Rome for 4 days and enjoyed taking some tours, then headed out to the Italian countryside for a week in Preggio, Perugia and a few other cities within driving distance.
It was actually in Preggio and Assisi that I suffered from a serious panic attack due to freelance work emails and being overwhelmed with how much work needed to be done once I returned home. Talk about infringing on a great vacation. Now that I’m back home it’s gotten better but anxiety is now something that I struggle with more seriously. If there was one thing this trip taught me, it’s to not stretch yourself too thin because it will catch up with you in a huge way.
On a lighter note, I really loved Rome and walking around the city amongst buildings that held so much history. Overall it was a tremendous experience.
Our amazing tour guide Antony
The House of Vestal Virgins
The first of many fancy churches
Here is what I would show servers and chefs when I went out to eat with my family (yes, I know vegana is the feminine version, google translate didn’t know that I was female! ). It was SUPER helpful!
Il Margutta Ristorarte – a vegetarian restaurant with many delicious vegan options; not to mention, walking distance from my hotel!
I have to be honest, I’ve never prepared jackfruit on my own before. Of course, I’ve enjoyed BBQ Jackfruit Sliders and the like, but it was never very easy to find. But, now that I work at Whole Foods, I found out that my location has the canned jackfruit in brine and I couldn’t be more stoked. For my first homemade jackfruit recipe I thought that I’d try it out with Massel’s Concentrated Liquid Stock, Beef-Style; which is vegan and gluten-free!
Now, the texture didn’t come out quite as firm as I would have liked, but the jackfruit tasted great all the same. One of the best parts of this recipe is that it’s all prepared on the grill. Of course there’s some marinated and mixing, but it’s seriously low effort. I’d also like to mention that this was my first time grilled tomatillos, and oh my goodness you guys, SO GOOD. I’ve used them in green salsas before, but this- this I’ll have to do more often.
To balance out the savory, warm components of this recipe, I made a seasoned sour cream sauce to drizzle on top. I may have cheated and used Tofutti, but if you want to go the homemade route, blend 2/3 C. raw cashews with 1/4 C. water for a creamy sauce base, then stir in seasonings.
I must mention that using the concentrated liquid stock shortened marinating time immensely and really added significant flavor to the jackfruit. It is a tad on the salty side so taste your marinade and adjust accordingly; keep in mind that the end product won’t be as potent as the marinade itself. Massel actually sent some of their products for me to try out, so I’ll definitely be using another one soon, and hosting a giveaway, too! So, keep an eye out for that.
Can you believe that it’s nearly June? This year is flying by quickly and May has been a complete blur! I’m not really mad about it, although I have some goals that I gave myself that I’m having trouble reaching. Namely, writing my own cookbook! After I’m back from vacation and am done with the cookbook that I’m currently taking photos for I am gettin’ that damn proposal DONE!
Until then, it’s work, work, work, plus a little play for the next couple of months. What’s really pressing at the moment is that I’m going to Italy on Monday! I’ve only been out of the country once, and it was to go to Mexico for a couple of days when I was 16. That being said, I’m a little anxious about not knowing any Italian and traveling there with my family for two weeks, while being the only vegan. Eek! So, if you have any tips, I’d be more than happy to hear them.
For the next couple of days I’m just trying to queue up some posts so that you guys will have some reading material while I’m gone! I think that you’ll really enjoy the posts that I have planned. But, today, I’m featuring my beloved Southwestern Kale Salad. I usually make this with one of two different dressings, Creamy Avocado Cilantro or Chipotle Tahini; both are SO good. I’ll be honest, though, I’m not dead-sure about the measurements for the Chipotle Tahini Dressing, so I’m going to give it to you approximately.
This salad is vibrant with color, has many flavors and textures, plus is very nutritious. We all know what a powerhouse kale is, but add some fiber and protein from the black beans and pepitas, vitamin C from the bell pepper and healthy fats from the avocados and you have yourself a well-rounded meal!
This is a vegan food blog, run by Jackie Sobon, that covers everything from indulgent desserts, to healthy dinners, and even raw recipes! I also write up restaurant reviews and am sort of a beer snob. You'll find that there is something for everyone, here!
If you would like me to contact me about photography jobs, testing out a recipe, review your restaurant or just have a question you'd like me to answer email me at: [email protected]!