When I became a vegan in January (yay 5 months!) I was scared, to say the least. My cooking skills was reserved to the fatty, the meaty, the unhealthy. But, I set out to get my health in line and to serve my family the goodness they deserve.
I started this blog and found Twitter. I guess I didn't "find" Twitter. I had been on it before but never really understood the meaning behind it. I would send tweets as I sent updates to Facebook but that was about it. What I discovered on Twitter as @PlantStrongMoma was how great a way to meet new people! Cookbook authors, health coaches, vegan advocates, whomever. I have met so many great people!!
One of those people is Dreena Burton. She is the author of the aforementioned cookbook, among several others. As I sit on Twitter tweeting away I read Dreena's tweets and decided to get Let Them Eat Vegan. This book was not my first but I must tell you, it has been the best! I love every ounce of goodness it provides!! My hesitation, anxiety, and sheer sense of unknowing, quickly lifted as I read this book.
With 200 deliciously satisfying plant-powered recipes for the whole family how could one not love this book? My book is in need of a washing (if one could do that) because I use it so much!
From the very beginning of this book Dreena gives you "what you need?" Everyday tips for eating more leafy greens? She's got you covered! Veggie burgers that don't fall apart? Again, covered! Healthy snacks for kids? She has the best! It's all in this one book!! The book goes on to tell you want you may need to have on stock in your kitchen. She suggests a frilly apron (for the ladies) but I do not have one of those. Instead I have my favorite apron the hubby got me from Woot!, It's named Kitchen Warfare. I love it!!
|I could add lace?? Yes, those are all kitchen utensils!|
Next up is the recipes themselves. With an insert in the middle of beautiful pictures. Photography by the talented Hannah Kaminsky. Not only are there great photos but with each is a page number as to where you can find the recipe. A great plus (in my book anyway!!)
What I've tried out of this book because so far I haven't had time to make it all!
Chia Banana Muffins. This was my introduction to Chia Seeds. These little seeds pack a punch I tell you! With all the essential amino acids as well as fiber and essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium, what's not to love? They are also rich in Omega-3's!! These muffins were a HUGE hit with my little one! They are moist and delicious!
Dreena has a whole section of smoothies as well! I've tried several. Yum!!
DJ's Hummus Salad Dressing. This dressing is super simple to make and wow is it good! I could eat it on salad, with raw veggie snacks, with pita chips, off my finger!!
Raw-nch Dressing. Uhm...yes please! I would like some more!! Wow!
VegVeeta Dip. I use this for nachos, burgers, dogs, sandwiches, chips, veggies, to drink (okay not really, but it's that good!). Don't drink it! But, eat it on all the above! Yum!!
Chickpea Artichoke Bliss in a dish. Yes, this is bliss!
Jerk Chickpeas. I could eat these all day!
Juicy Grilled Portobellas. This is the first time in my life I LIKED mushrooms!!
Mac-Oh-Geez. I have to admit I used to be a Kraft Mac and Cheese fan! Even when my mom made it homemade. Besides the processed factors and nastiness this Mac-Oh-Geez changed my mind. Sorry mom!
Yellow Sweet Potato Chickpea Pie with Basil. So very savory and tasty!
Okay, I could be here all day. These are a few of the items I've tried. And I have to tell you, there is not one single thing I've tried in this book that I have not liked. :)
So, one of the items I was really excited to try were the Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls. Not only are they healthy but I didn't have to bake them! I think I've mentioned before that me and baking don't always get along. I made these cookie balls and they were a hit. My little one can't get enough, the BK likes them, hubby loves them and the teachers at my little one's school not only like them but cannot believe they are good for you!
I make these often for snacks for the little one. What would be a better snack?
With permission from Dreena Burton and her publishing company I bring you the recipe for these great snacks! They are simple to make and taste like little pieces of heaven!
Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls
reprinted with permission from Let Them Eat Vegan
Makes 14 to 16 dough balls.
1/2 cup raw almonds (see note for nut-free option)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp rolled oats
A few pinches of sea salt (about a scant 1/8 tsp)
1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp nondairy chocolate chips or cocoa nibs (optional)
A few teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, unrefined sugar, or a combination of both, for dusting/rolling (optional)
In a food processor, process the almods until fine and crumbly. Then add remaining ingredients and (except the optional chocolate chips) pulse or process. Once the mixture starts to become crumbly, process fully for a minute or two. It will appear as if nothing is happening at first, that the mixture is just whirring around in crumbs, but soon it will start to become sticky. When you see it start to become a little sticky, add the chocolate chips and process again. Continue to process until it forms a ball on the blade. Stop the machine and remove the dough. Take small coops of the dough (1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons in size) and roll in your hand. Repeat until you have rolled all of the dough. Toss or roll the balls in the coating, if using,, and refrigerate. Eat and repeat often.
Allergy-Free or Bust!: For a nut-free version, replace the almonds with just 1/4 cup of raw pumkin seeds, and add another 1/4 cup of rolled oats.
If This Apron Could Talk: Make a double batch and freeze half. They thaw very well.
Kid-Friendly: These are excellent to pack in school lunches, with a nut-free option for you if nuts aren’t permitted in your school. For a nut-free version, replace the almonds with just 1⁄4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds, and add another 1⁄4 cup of rolled oats.
Savvy Subs and Adds: Replace vanilla with 1/2 teaspoon almond extract or orange oil.
|A picture of one of the batches I made. I left out the cocoa powder topping, it's optional|
If you are looking to add a couple of plant-based meals to your weekly menu's, looking to become vegan, or just want a new cookbook to add to your arsenal please check Let Them Eat Vegan out! It's a must have and to be honest without it I'm not sure I would have made it the 5 months I have. I continue to be inspired by Dreena as well as others and I look forward to a lifetime of good health!
For your viewing pleasure here are a couple more photos from things I've made. All very tasty!!
|Cream Cheese Brownies with Salted Dark Chocolate Topping! Oh dang, these are delish!|
|This is what I did with the Jerk Chickpeas! Tostadas!|
|Winter Veg Chickpea Potpie! Yummy!! Yummy!! Over rice, it's the best!|
What are your favorite Let Them Eat Vegan recipes? Do share in the comments below.
Please check out Dreena's website, Plant Powered Kitchen for more recipes!
Cheers and happy eating!