82

Review and Giveaway: Plant-Powered Families By Dreena Burton

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

This is a worldwide giveaway! For details on how to enter, please read on.

official Plant-Powered Families Cover

When I first became vegan, I looked for vegan cookbooks and searched many a forum and community looking for advice on what would be good for not only a new vegan, but one with a family to cook for. Dreena Burton‘s name was always at the top of the list and so I purchased both Let Them Eat Vegan! and Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. I loved these books straight away, with their easy no-fuss recipes and wholesome ingredients. From there I purchased Dreena’s older books The Everyday Vegan and Vive le Vegan! I’ve used them so much and always find something new to try every time I flip through them. Dreena also blogs over at Plant-Powered Kitchen.

BenBella Books Plant Powered Families polenta pizza crust
Polenta pizza crust: Image courtesy of BenBella Books
BenBella Books Plant Powered Families Sweetballs
Sweetballs: Image courtesy of BenBella Books

I was really happy to learn that Dreena was writing another book, this time with a big focus on plant powering your family. Dreena has been vegan for over twenty years and has three children. Her writing style is friendly and approachable and her books are great for everyone, not just people wanting recipes and information specific to families. BenBella Books kindly sent me a review copy. I’ve cooked loads from this book and will detail that below.

The book is broken in to three sections. The first section is called An Introduction to Eating With Plant Power. Dreena writes, in response to the “isn’t it hard to raise your children on a vegan diet?” question, “it’s not the vegan part of parenting that’s difficult. It’s the parenting part”– so true! As well as new recipes, there are reader favourites which have been adapted to have allergy free ingredients or more healthy ingredient alternatives. There are sample meals plans and nutritional advice contributed by Heather Nicholds, RHN , to help answer questions about getting enough protein, iron and calcium. There is helpful information on stocking your pantry, preparing food in batches, how to wash fresh produce and tips on involving your children in food prep.

The second section is made up of the recipes, of which there are over one hundred with beautiful colour photographs.

BenBella Books Plant Powered Families smoky bean chili
Smoky Bean Chili: Image courtesy of BenBella Books

The third section is called Plant Powered Challenges and Solutions. There’s good advice on dealing with the ‘picky eater’ challenge (something we know too well in our home) and Dreena provides detailed tips and food strategies to help. I found this section really helpful, even though I’ve read so many picky-eater advice over the years. There’s a section on school and lunchbox solutions as well as tips for hosting and attending kids’ parties, which is coming in handy as we have Arthur’s birthday party coming up. There are cooking guides for beans and grains and advice on preparing your own DIY staples like nut butters and milks. The included meal plans come with a nutritional break down which I really like. There are FAQs addressing the protein-iron-calcium questions, fats, supplements and soy. I particularly like the nutrient charts for a host of foods and have been consulting them frequently.

I’ve made quiet a few recipes from Plant-Powered Families and they’ve turned out great. Arthur and I are fans of the Apple Pie Smoothie:

Plant-Powered Families: apple pie smoothie

Another smoothie favourite is the Pumpkin Pie. An awesome way for my son to eat his veggies…

Plant-Powered Families: Pumpkin pie smoothie

I made the Red Lentil Hummus for a family lunch and we stood around devouring it:

Plant-Powered Families: Red lentil hummus

I’ve made coconut ‘bacon’ a few times but this is my favourite. The addition of tahini takes it up to a whole new level (and I might have eaten this bowlful with a spoon…)

Plant-Powered Families: baconut

I made the Sweet Potato Cake and my uncle loved it and had seconds. My aunt said “don’t tell him it has sweet potato in it, he hates sweet potato”. Ha!

BenBella Books Plant Powered Families sweet potato cake
Sweet Potato Cake: Image courtesy of BenBella Books

The Crazy Brownies are awesome– made with kidney beans and sweet potato. DeeW wanted hers as a tower with fruit (she didn’t eat the fruit):

Plant-Powered Families: Crazy brownies

The Creamy Fettucine was easy to prepare and really tasty. I used wholemeal noodles for mine:

Plant-Powered Families: creamy fettucine

The Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl is amazing. DeeW had decided the day before that she didn’t like peanut butter anymore. I was happy because I got this to myself and I did everything I could to get every last bit out of the blender (and in to my mouth):

Plant-Powered Families: Peanut butter berry pudding

Giveaway time! 

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

BenBella Books have kindly offered a copy of Plant-Powered Families to one lucky Veganopoulous reader. If you are the winner and live in the US or Canada, you will receive a print copy. If you’re anywhere else, you’ll receive a digital copy! To enter, leave a comment below and tell me if you have a favourite Dreena Burton book or recipe, or if there’s something you’d like to make from the photos above. Please feel free to share this on social media. The giveaway will run until the end of the month, August 31st 11:59pm AEST. Winner will be chosen by a random number generator and I’ll get in touch with you, so please use an email address where you can be contacted (this won’t be published).

Please check out BenBella’s website as they publish a number of great vegan books!

Good luck!

21

A Few Recipes I’m Really Enjoying

pumpkin pie custards

We’ve had typical Melbourne spring weather, which means we have some very warm days followed by some really cold days. To give you an idea, a few days ago I got sunburnt. Today, as I type this, I’m rugged up in my dressing gown and heating up lavender bags to keep warm. The other night we had crazy thunderstorms of the window-rattling-I-can’t-sleep variety. All this means BAKING.

I love the cooler days because it means I can turn the oven on and get a heap of baking done. The aim is always to bake things to freeze so we can enjoy them on the hotter days. But you know, lots of things mysteriously don’t make it to the freezer. Anyway, here are a few recipes I’m loving lately. First up, Banana Ginger Medjool Date Mini Loaves by Joann at Woman In Real Life. I don’t have mini loaf tins (HOW has that happened?! I have mini hearts, mini flowers, mini fancy things I never use, but I don’t have cute mini loaf tins?!), so I baked this in a regular larger loaf tin. I only had half the ginger specified in the recipe but it turned out great regardless and I think the full amount of ginger would be just as great. I put this on my autumn leaves sandwich plate so I could pretend we are actually in autumn here and distract myself from the awful reality that is the approaching summer:

banana ginge rdate loaf womaninreallife

To keep with the autumn theme (which is more like me desperately hanging on), I made this pumpkin pie from Plant Powered Kitchen. Dreena Burton’s recipes are popular in my kitchen and this pie was great. The filling has the perfect level of sweetness for me– not that sickly sweet, or even a-bit-too-sweet sweetness. Just right. Unfortunately I screwed up with the base and you can probably tell how dry it turned out. There are dates in the base (you chop everything up in a food processor) and when I went to the get the dates, all I found was an empty container, so I used sultanas instead. They did the job but the real problem was going to get my almond butter and seeing I only had half of what the recipe needed. Gah! I had to add a little almond milk to get the mixture to stick together but I should have added a bit of oil.  Still, it all turned out fine and my mum loved it:

Pumpkin pie

No idea how the pie plate ended up all sticky and dirty looking on the outside, considering the pie was cooked on the inside:

pumpkin pie

Another Dreena Burton recipe I made was Cinnabon muffins. I used wholemeal spelt flour though I think white spelt would be a little lighter. For the topping I just mixed up cinnamon and sugar and left out the chopped dates. Arthur and DeeW loved these and demanded I make them again. Who am I to refuse…

Cinnabon muffins

Then, because I can, I decided to put one of the muffins in the panini press. Have you ever had a cinnamon donut in a sandwich press?! DO IT DO IT. Must have ice cream or cream to go with it. Vegan of course tastes best 😉

Cinnabon muffins

To use up the last of the pumpkin puree, it was back to Plant Powered Kitchen again for Dreena’s Pumpkin Pie Custards. These are awesome!  The recipe has a brulee topping and the whole fam stood around the table excitedly as Husband tried to (theatrically) get the mini flame thrower going. It didn’t happen. Maybe there’s an anti-dork setting? Then I tried to shove the ramekins under the portable grill but they didn’t fit so we admitted defeat. Aaaanyway, I used less sugar in the recipe because the butternut pumpkin was quite sweet. I had mine with coconut cream, though it’s fine without:

pumpkin pie custards

pumpkin pie custards

I’ve got more baking lined up, while the weather is still okay for having the oven on. I’m feeling envious, reading all the blogs from the other side of the world and seeing all the autumn/pumpkin/cinnamon recipes coming back!

 

15

Recipes from Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan! and Eat, Drink & Be Vegan!

Dreena Burton’s cookbooks rate highly among my favourites.  Dreena’s recipes are easy and delicious and I’m determined to use them more than ever.  See, I have an over abundance of vegan cookbooks because I have a slight vegan cookbook addiction problem.  This means that whenever I get a new book, the older ones get ignored. Not so with Dreena’s books, I still leaf through them regularly.

This past fortnight I made batches of muffins to freeze.  Arthur in particular is ALWAYS sniffing around the kitchen for snacks and often makes himself a peanut butter sandwich, which is what I want to move him away from.  So I decided to make a bunch of muffins for the freezer and defrost some overnight so there’s always a muffin kind of snack for him every few days.

First up were the BF Blueberry Muffins from Let Them Eat Vegan! (LTEV) where the BF stands for blueberry-free.  These can be made with or without the blueberries (just add blueberries to some of the batter). They turned out great, perfect for freezing and for keeping the “I’m hungreeeeeee” monster kiddies at bay:

bfblueberrymuffins

Next up, also from Let Them Eat Vegan! were the Coconut Banana Muffins.  These also turned out fab.  I made them in a mini size because my muffin cups had been used for the blueberry muffins, which I cooked immediately before:

coconutbananamuffins

Of course, even though the intention was to freeze the muffins, a few got eaten just to make sure they were okay…

Every now and then I like to make something a bit more fancy for breakfast.  This week I made the Banana Pecan Rice Pudding Pie from (ED&BV).  This is made with pre-cooked brown rice and I had a batch in the freezer.  Other main ingredients include banana, coconut milk, brown rice syrup.  There’s a topping involving pecans but I chose not to make it. I also used a little less rice syrup.  I had the exact 2/3 cup of coconut milk that the recipe calls for but it was a carton of a coconut-rice milk.  I was all out of plant milk after that, otherwise I would have put a little more because I don’t think there was enough.  Still, it tasted pretty good and the bananas provided enough sweetness.  Next time I’ll make it without the rice syrup but with more banana and see how we go.  DeeW didn’t want any as she likes her rice plain. Preferably from Loving Hut. Surprisingly though, my rice-hating son ate it and said it was good:

bananabrownricepudding

I FINALLY made the Festive Chickpea Tart from LTEV.  I can see why this is often considered a favourite among Dreena fans. I chose to make it without the crust.  I thought about leaving out the cranberries, as I don’t go for sweetness in savoury recipes but I guess the cranberries add the festive touch so I put them in. I brushed the top with the oil-tamari mix but chose not to put walnuts on top as there were enough in the tart.  This is so simple to make, the hardest part is chopping the onions (I left out the celery) and cooking them first.  Everything goes in the food processor and you press it in to the pie base/dish. This is now one of my favourite savoury tarts, along with the rosemary gravy (which had thickened heaps the next day, as you can probably tell):

festivechickpeatart1

festivechickpeatart2

Next up is the Cashew Chive Spread from LTEV.  I halved this recipe as I am watching my fats and I knew I’d be the only one eating this.  I halved the cashews but forgot to halve the amount of fresh dill and lemon juice.  Not to worry, because I love the taste of lemon juice and dill! I had it on some Turkish bread with maple-balsamic tempeh, all squished in my sandwich press.  The sandwich looks terrible but tasted good:

cashewchivespread

Here’s the Moroccan Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew from LTEV.  Initially I wasn’t going to make the topping, which is dried figs drizzled with a little EVOO and roasted.  I’m glad I changed my mind!  The stew itself was full of flavour and proteiny goodness with the black beans, chickpeas and lentils.  I discovered I was all out of red lentils so I used green instead.  Red lentils would have been nicer but I was happy with the stew and the fig topping added a nice sweet touch.  I would probably leave the figs off next time, as I’m fine with the stew on its own:

morroccanbeanstew

From ED&BV I made the Peanut Butter Banana Tortillas.  I used sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter (this is a suggestion in the recipe and Arthur eats too much peanut butter as it is!). I used wholegrain wraps instead of tortillas and used my sandwich press instead of cooking in a frying pan.  Arthur liked these but DeeW didn’t.  If oooonly I could find recipes both children like that don’t involve the word Fry’s before it… anyway, I can see these nut/seed butter + banana tortillas being a bit of a dangerous thing when I have chocolate chips about.  I miiight have put choc chips inside the leftover piece and heated it up…

pbbananatortillas

I tried the Veggie Sizzle Burritos from ED&BV.  Easy to make  but unfortunately I was the only one who liked them (the family don’t go for wrapy-burrito-type things.  I KNOW, right?) I took this photo before serving it up nicely with some salad.  That’s a bit of Cheezly on top, I had to be careful with the cheeze sprinkling because the family wouldn’t touch one with cheeze.  Without it, they at least took a bite:

veggiesizzleburrito

Finally, here is the Cashew Ginger Tofu from ED&BV.  This tofu was fantastic.  I served mine on soba noodles with some salady stuff, stir fried zucchini and carrot and lots of fresh mint and coriander:

gingercashewtofu

There are so many more of Dreena’s recipes that I have bookmarked so I will definitely be blogging about those in the future!

15

Recipes from Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan! and Eat, Drink & Be Vegan!

Dreena Burton’s cookbooks rate highly among my favourites.  Dreena’s recipes are easy and delicious and I’m determined to use them more than ever.  See, I have an over abundance of vegan cookbooks because I have a slight vegan cookbook addiction problem.  This means that whenever I get a new book, the older ones get ignored. Not so with Dreena’s books, I still leaf through them regularly.

This past fortnight I made batches of muffins to freeze.  Arthur in particular is ALWAYS sniffing around the kitchen for snacks and often makes himself a peanut butter sandwich, which is what I want to move him away from.  So I decided to make a bunch of muffins for the freezer and defrost some overnight so there’s always a muffin kind of snack for him every few days.

First up were the BF Blueberry Muffins from Let Them Eat Vegan! (LTEV):

Let Them Eat Vegan! book cover

The BF stands for blueberry-free.  These can be made with or without the blueberries (just add blueberries to some of the batter). They turned out great, perfect for freezing and for keeping the “I’m hungreeeeeee” monster kiddies at bay:

bfblueberrymuffins

Next up, also from Let Them Eat Vegan! were the Coconut Banana Muffins.  These also turned out fab.  I made them in a mini size because my muffin cups had been used for the blueberry muffins, which I cooked immediately before:

coconutbananamuffins

Of course, even though the intention was to freeze the muffins, a few got eaten just to make sure they were okay…

Every now and then I like to make something a bit more fancy for breakfast.  This week I made the Banana Pecan Rice Pudding Pie from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan (ED&BV):

Eat, Drink & Be Vegan book cover

This is made with pre-cooked brown rice and I had a batch in the freezer.  Other main ingredients include banana, coconut milk, brown rice syrup.  There’s a topping involving pecans but I chose not to make it. I also used a little less rice syrup.  I had the exact 2/3 cup of coconut milk that the recipe calls for but it was a carton of a coconut-rice milk.  I was all out of plant milk after that, otherwise I would have put a little more because I don’t think there was enough.  Still, it tasted pretty good and the bananas provided enough sweetness.  Next time I’ll make it without the rice syrup but with more banana and see how we go.  DeeW didn’t want any as she likes her rice plain. Preferably from Loving Hut. Surprisingly though, my rice-hating son ate it and said it was good:

bananabrownricepudding

I FINALLY made the Festive Chickpea Tart from LTEV.  I can see why this is often considered a favourite among Dreena fans. I chose to make it without the crust.  I thought about leaving out the cranberries, as I don’t go for sweetness in savoury recipes but I guess the cranberries add the festive touch so I put them in. I brushed the top with the oil-tamari mix but chose not to put walnuts on top as there were enough in the tart.  This is so simple to make, the hardest part is chopping the onions (I left out the celery) and cooking them first.  Everything goes in the food processor and you press it in to the pie base/dish. This is now one of my favourite savoury tarts, along with the rosemary gravy (which had thickened heaps the next day, as you can probably tell):

festivechickpeatart1

festivechickpeatart2

Next up is the Cashew Chive Spread from LTEV.  I halved this recipe as I am watching my fats and I knew I’d be the only one eating this.  I halved the cashews but forgot to halve the amount of fresh dill and lemon juice.  Not to worry, because I love the taste of lemon juice and dill! I had it on some Turkish bread with maple-balsamic tempeh, all squished in my sandwich press.  The sandwich looks terrible but tasted good:

cashewchivespread

Here’s the Moroccan Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew from LTEV.  Initially I wasn’t going to make the topping, which is dried figs drizzled with a little EVOO and roasted.  I’m glad I changed my mind!  The stew itself was full of flavour and proteiny goodness with the black beans, chickpeas and lentils.  I discovered I was all out of red lentils so I used green instead.  Red lentils would have been nicer but I was happy with the stew and the fig topping added a nice sweet touch.  I would probably leave the figs off next time, as I’m fine with the stew on its own:

morroccanbeanstew

From ED&BV I made the Peanut Butter Banana Tortillas.  I used sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter (this is a suggestion in the recipe and Arthur eats too much peanut butter as it is!). I used wholegrain wraps instead of tortillas and used my sandwich press instead of cooking in a frying pan.  Arthur liked these but DeeW didn’t.  If oooonly I could find recipes both children like that don’t involve the word Fry’s before it… anyway, I can see these nut/seed butter + banana tortillas being a bit of a dangerous thing when I have chocolate chips about.  I miiight have put choc chips inside the leftover piece and heated it up…

pbbananatortillas

I tried the Veggie Sizzle Burritos from ED&BV.  Easy to make  but unfortunately I was the only one who liked them (the family don’t go for wrapy-burrito-type things.  I KNOW, right?) I took this photo before serving it up nicely with some salad.  That’s a bit of Cheezly on top, I had to be careful with the cheeze sprinkling because the family wouldn’t touch one with cheeze.  Without it, they at least took a bite:

veggiesizzleburrito

Finally, here is the Cashew Ginger Tofu from ED&BV.  This tofu was fantastic.  I served mine on soba noodles with some salady stuff, stir fried zucchini and carrot and lots of fresh mint and coriander:

gingercashewtofu

There are so many more of Dreena’s recipes that I have bookmarked so I will definitely be blogging about those in the future!

 

This post contains Book Depository affiliate links.

4

Sweet Potato, Peanut and Chickpea Stew from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

Back in August, before our trip to Sydney, I’d made a bunch of meals to freeze so I wouldn’t have to cook when we returned.  One of those meals was the Sweet Potato, Peanut and Chickpea Stew from ‘Eat, Drink & Be Vegan’ by Dreena Burton (and it froze well!)

This was really easy to make, like every other Dreena recipe I’ve made.  I wish the family ate chickpeas but secretly I’m glad I had this to myself 😉  This is something I’d make again, though as I’m a bit forgetful (and maybe a bit lazy) when it comes to putting things on the side, I’d throw in a bunch of veggies.  I hope I have the recipe title correct, my sister is borrowing my copy of ED&BV so I can’t check:

chichpeastew

Now, for someone who visits libraries as often as I do, I’m waaay behind the times.  See, many of the libraries here have a self checkout system.  There are a range of languages to choose from represented by flags, so one day Arthur asked if he could press the skull-and-crossbones.  He did, we then fell around laughing, and this is what we got when we left.  WHEEEEEEZE:

piratelibrarian

And my business here be done.