Tell us about your favourite cookbook.
Today’s theme was a little difficult for me – I have so many cookbooks I love for so many different reasons. However I decided to go with my newest cookbook, Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families. For full disclosure, I was lucky enough to actually win a copy of this book through Of The Kitten Kind’s blog, but I had been eyeing it off for some time as I have long been a fan of Dreena’s books that I already have – Eat, Drink & Be Vegan and Let Them Eat Vegan.
Plant-Powered Families boasts “over 100 kid-tester, whole-foods vegan recipes”. Now I don’t currently have kids, but I can sure appreciate simple, wholesome and satisfying recipes, particularly when they are creative enough to make health whole foods seem decadent. While the flavours are fairly mild in the recipes, they are easy to tweak if you prefer a little more kick. I also love how quick the dishes I’ve tried have come together – even without kids I enjoy being able to whip something up to have on the table within half an hour, leaving me plenty of time in the evenings to get on with other things.
One of the great things about Plant-Powered Families is that there is a beautiful photo to go with each recipe. You heard me. A PHOTO WITH EACH RECIPE. I totally eat with my eyes, and when I’m flicking through a cookbook I love to be able to see what I am making. The photos I’m sharing today are straight from the book.
Plant-Powered Families also has a lot of extra useful information included like nutrient charts, example meal plans and info on how to make and cook staple items, making wholesome eating that much easier.
During the week, the Bear and I came home from the gym with tummies rumbling, and we combined forces to make the Ultimate Teriyaki Stir-Fry (page 166). This came together very quickly (as any good stir-fry should) and we served it on soba noodles. It was tasty and satisfying, the Bear particularly liked it which says it all – he is not a big fan of stir-fries, they have to be something rather special to get a compliment out of him.
We’ve been making our own peanut butter, so I jumped at the chance to use it in something different like the Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl (page 177). I made a batch of these for the Bear and I to take to work for an afternoon treat. I already had some homemade berry chia jam in the fridge, so I used that in place of the berrylicious swirl. These puddings were super decadent, and a few spoonfuls were enough to stave off those afternoon sweet cravings that I tend to get. I would be interested to try the alternative suggestion of almond butter with orange zest in it, so will have to put that on the list.
We also made the Saucy BBQ Chickpeas with Green Beans, which we served with some quinoa and some hot sauce for an extra kick. With permission from the lovely Dreena herself, I’m sharing this recipe with y’all.
Serves 4This is a very unassuming recipe, but the final dish is something more than its parts, full of bold flavor and very satisfying. Serve over rice or quinoa, or in wraps with avocado (have I mentioned avocado goes with just about anything)?1½ cups green beans, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup natural ketchup
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 medium cloves garlic, grated
3 tablespoons coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari or coconut aminos
2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce (optional; see note)
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup minced shallot or onion
2½ cups chickpeas (see note)
First, blanch the green beans. Bring 2–3 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the beans, let cook for just a minute or two until vibrant green, then strain and run under cold water. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a bowl, whisk together the ketchup, tahini, Dijon mustard, garlic, vinegar, tamari, Worcestershire sauce, and chipotle hot sauce, and then whisk in the water. Once well incorporated, stir in the shallots.
Add the chickpeas and stir through. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes.
Add the green beans, stir through, re-cover, and bake for another 4–5 minutes (not much longer, or the beans will turn a gray color). Remove and serve.
Hot Sauce Note: Chipotle hot sauce adds more smoky heat than spicy heat, but if you think the kiddos will be sensitive to it, feel free to omit.
Beans Note: If you are a little short on green beans, you can sub extra chickpeas—for example, you can use 1 cup of green beans and 3 cups of chickpeas. Or, if you prefer more green beans, you can do that too, and use less chickpeas! It’s a flexible recipe.
Serving Suggestions: Serve over a cooked grain like basmati brown rice, quinoa, or millet. A little chopped avocado on top is especially delicious!
Next on my to-make list are the Crazy Brownies (page 182), Polenta Pizza Crust (page 137) and the Umami Sun-Dried Tomato and Almond Burgers (page 144 and pictured below)
In light of my love of this cookbook (and my luck at getting a free copy), I’ve decided to purchase another copy to give to one lucky reader from anywhere in the world. If you’d like that lucky reader to be you, check out the competition widget below. Winner will be chosen Sunday 20th September.
For further information about Plant-Powered Families and to keep up with what Dreena is doing, check out her website at Plant Powered Kitchen.