Healing the Vegan Way by Mark Reinfeld

At the root of most diseases or chronic ailments such age-onset diabetes, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis lies a major cause – poor eating habits and a diet filled with overly processed foods. Mark Reinfeld offers his solution and an alternative way to gain better health through his unique ‘food-as-medicine’ approach with Healing the Vegan Way.

Reinfeld holds a master’s degree in holistic nutrition and he uses his knowledge of plant based nutrition to create meal plans, recipes, and ways to set up your kitchen for natural food preparation success. In addition to this being a cookbook, Healing the Vegan Way introduces the reader to a more healthy way of life with Reinfeld’s “slices of the pie of our life.” Truly great advice for anyone.

  1. Healthy plant-based diet – moving from processed foods and animal products to plant-based foods.
  2. Moderate exercise – to strengthen you from the inside and increase energy levels.
  3. Positive attitude – negative attitudes often create unhealthy patterns.
  4. Adequate rest and meditation – not just getting enough sleep, but partake in ways to calm your stressful life.
  5. Periodic cleansing – to give your digestive system a rest.
  6. Engaging community and social life – to support healthy lifestyle practices.

Book Overview

The book is separated into two parts. Part One: The Healing touches on preventative health issues, nutritional theories, and different popular diets. Sprinkled throughout this section is The Experts Speak and Healing Stories with information and advice from people who are experts in their respective fields and stories of real people positively affected by plant-based diets. Many diets are explained here, and as the author points out, many are diametrically opposed to each other. This is where the author goes into what the base of every menu should grow on and the many benefits of eating raw whole foods. Vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, grains, herbs and spices, and superfoods are all talked about in detail.

Part two has all the recipes, and there are 200 different ones to try. Before dishing out the different recipes, Reinfeld shows how you can prepare your kitchen, use proper cooking techniques, and stock your pantry for cooking success. You’ll see ‘template recipes’ throughout the book. These are unique recipes that enable you to change the recipe with whatever you have on hand at the moment.

Sand and Succotash | Mushroom Cauliflower Tacos

Healing the Vegan Way Recipes

The recipes are all plant-based. You will find a little of everything from breakfast dishes, spice mixes, elixirs, main dishes, and sweet snacks. Basic recipes like Truffled Cashew Cheeze, Raw Brazil Nut Parmesan, Homemade Granola, and Simple Vegan Cream Sauce make Healing the Vegan Way a great go-to recipe guide for your daily menus. Great read. Enjoy the recipe from the book below.

Mushroom Cauliflower Tacos
Serves 6
For a grain-free version, serve the filling in lettuce or cabbage wraps.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
  1. 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  2. 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  3. 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  4. 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  5. 1 cup diced mushrooms (try shiitake, cremini, or button)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  7. 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  8. 2 cups diced cauliflower
  9. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  10. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  11. Pinch of chipotle chile powder or cayenne pepper
  12. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  13. 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  14. 6 vegan corn tortillas
  1. Place the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the cauliflower, chili powder, cumin, and chipotle chile powder and cook until the cauliflower is just tender, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the lime juice and cilantro and mix well. Lower the heat to low to keep filling warm.
  3. Warm the tortillas briefly by placing them one at a time in a dry sauté pan over high heat, flipping with tongs until just warmed through.
  4. Place the mushroom cauliflower filling inside the tortillas, top with your condiments of choice, and enjoy!
  1. - Add 1/2 teaspoon of seeded and diced jalapeno pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika.
  2. - Add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.
  3. - Replace 1 cup of the cauliflower with diced tempeh or tofu.
  4. - Replace the tortillas with hard taco shells.
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Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own. Any affiliate links help to support the site. 🙂

Eat It Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton

What’s the best way to save on your monthly grocery bill? Use up everything you can and throw as little away as possible. If you need a little help in this area, Eat It Up! comes to the rescue with produce insights, pantry tips, upcycling scraps recipes, and how to use up every bit of that whole chicken you came home with.

Sand and Succotash | Eat It Up! Cookbook

It isn’t just a way to save money, though. Food waste is a growing problem everywhere, and is sometimes exemplified when there isn’t a market for the good, nutritious, and completely edible by-product food that gets discarded. For example, Vinton writes:

Cauliflower heads are plucked from the center of the plant, the abundant wreath of nutritious leaves that surround it – pounds of fresh, nutritious food – are left to rot on the ground. They’re readily available and taste great, but there’s no market for them, so they go uneaten.

Other reasons to fully utilize what you’ve got: saves time; tastes great; preserves natural resources; gives farmer’s kudos; maximizes farmland productivity. The author suggests ways to reduce food waste in the way you actually shop – by buying directly from the grower, and looking for ugly foods (seconds and misshapen produce) and ‘trash’ fish (by-catches).

Eat It Up! Overview

The book is presented in 5 different sections with each one a great source of info. What’s Up with Eating It Up chapter is the ‘why and how of reducing food waste in your home kitchen.’ Nose-to-Tail Produce is a great chapter, and in it there are lots of great tips and suggestions on how to fully use up all the produce scraps you might typically throw out. The Whole Beast helps with the concept of using up the whole animal. Rendering fat, purifying drippings, using up bones, and storing and freezing extra eggs are all covered. The Pantry section gives your last bit of jam or pickles one last use before recycling the jar. A Little Extra – Upcycling has a few recipes to use up leftovers in the refrigerator.

Using Up Every Bit From What You Already Have

While clean eating may be a great start to healthy eating, using up every bit of what we buy or harvest saves on food waste. Food waste is a chronic problem, and controlling what we toss at home is a major step in reversing that trend. Namely, eating eat up what we already have instead of throwing it out.

Watermelon rinds are a prime example in our household. We eat a ton of watermelon during the summer months (even our two boxers are watermelon lovers) and we discard all the edible rind every single time. It’s edible, but what can it be used for? Peel off the green outer skin and dice it up for chutney or pickles.

The recipe below transforms watermelon rinds into a refreshing pickle salad. Salty, sour, sweet – all these flavors blend for a great dish that goes perfect with steamed fish or grilled chicken. Delicious.

Thai Rind Salad
Yields 4
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  1. 2 cups watermelon rind, cut into matchsticks (just the white part)
  2. 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  3. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  4. 1 teaspoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  5. 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. Pinch of granulated sugar
  8. 1/4 cup neutral oil, such as organic canola
  9. 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
  10. 1 shallot, sliced thinly, rinsed, and drained
  11. Pinch of red pepper flakes
  12. 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  13. 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Blanch the watermelon matchsticks. Drop them into a small pot of boiling water and simmer for 60 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a colander. Rinse under cold water. Drain, blot dry, and set aside.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk the lime juice, nam pla, soy sauce, salt, and sugar until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Gradually whisk in the oil. Add the blanched watermelon rind, cucumber, shallot, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine. Garnish with the peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Eat It Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton
Adapted from Eat It Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton
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Book Info:

  • Eat It Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton.
  • Da Capo; 2016.
  • ISBN13: 9780738218182

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own. Affiliate links help to support this site. 🙂

Excerpted from Eat It Up!: 150 Recipes to Use Every Bit and Enjoy Every Bite of the Food You Buy by Sherri Brooks Vinton. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.



Naturally Lean by Allyson Kramer and a Recipe for Roasted Radishes and Yellow Beets

Moving to a plant based diet seems like it would be the most healthy. Until you shop at your favorite whole foods market or health food store and realize that vegan foods can still be filled with sugars and be way overly processed, just like any other convenience food. Naturally Lean: 125 Nourishing Gluten-Free, Plant-Based Recipes All Under 300 Calories by Allyson Kramer fills the gap of finding small plate plant-based dishes and drinks that are quick to make with no added or refined sugars or processed ingredients.

Naturally Lean

Naturally Lean makes it easy to transition to vegan eating by focusing on the meals that are most typically universally eaten by everyone, such as side dishes, baked goods, and beverages, that are easily incorporated into everyday menus. Instead of the chef’s salad with bacon and processed ham or turkey, instead try one filled with legumes (Tempeh and Snow Peas) or packed with greens (Serious Taco Salad with kale). You’ll be just as filled, but more importantly, be filled with things that are good for you.

The Cycles of Your Eating Choices

I liked Kramer’s introduction. She talks about the cycle of healthy eating and the way you feel can be a direct reflection of what you eat.

By eating more whole foods, you are consuming lower-calorie choices that are packed full of nutrients that will make your mind and body stronger, more energetic, and simply healthier. Because you aren’t filling your body with empty calories and simple sugars, you can eat more, too. The more whole foods you consume, the better you feel.

Exactly. Eating poorly leads to a vicious cycle of feeling poor, and when you feel poorly, you tend to eat quick comfort foods laden in calories. I know I do. When you eat right, you tend to feel better which leads to much better choices when home menus and meals are created. If you are a consumer of multiple fast food choices per day (it’s easier than you think – don’t think of just McDonald’s here, think of convenience foods and all the prepacked sandwiches, salads, quick breakfast items, and snacks that are available), the author suggests replacing one with a recipe from the book. Choices like that end up making a huge impact on how you feel and look, which compounds over time.

Naturally Lean contains 125 recipes divided into six chapters: Greens and Crucifers; Hearty Grains; Fabulous Fruits; Nuts and Seeds; Legumes; and Squash, Roots and Mushrooms. The rest of the cookbook has things like recipe pairing suggestions (pairing recipes to make complete meals) and sections on ingredients and gadgets.

All the recipes are quick to put together, and covers all your snack and small plate cravings such as White Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bites and Greenest Goddess Dressing. The Roasted Radishes and Yellow Beets was a favorite, however, because of its colorful ingredients and ease of pairing with just about anything, making it one of those universal side dishes that I have in my recipe file – a dish goes with anything and can be served multiple ways (as a salad, side dish, or a colorful base to prop your entree).

A great read for the recipes contained, and the idea that small, simple plates can be healthy and quick.

Roasted Radishes and Yellow Beets

Roasted Radishes and Yellow Beets
This gorgeous duo makes a fun addition to a multiple course dinner or hearty lunch salad. Lightly seasoned with mustard and chives, these root veggies need little more than adequate roasting time to bring out their best.
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  1. 10 radishes, most of greens removed
  2. 2 yellow beets, quartered (peeling is optional)
  3. 2 teaspoons stoneground mustard
  4. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  5. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Scrub the radishes and beets and place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the stone-ground mustard and olive oil and toss with the vegetables. Add the chives and toss to coat evenly.
  4. Arrange the radishes and beets in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet, sprinkle evenly with salt, and place on the center rack of the preheated oven.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork-tender. Serve hot.
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Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own. Excerpted from Naturally Lean: 125 Nourishing Gluten-Free, Plant-Based Recipes–All Under 300 Calories by Allyson Kramer. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Garlicky Kale with Tahini Dressing from Vegan with a Vengeance | Sandandsuccotash.com

Garlicky Kale with Tahini Dressing from Vegan with a Vengeance | Sandandsuccotash.com


10 years ago, Isa Chandra Moskowitz put out a vegan cookbook that upended the typical stereotype of vegan cuisine with the emphasis on liberated and inexpensive vegan cooking. The original Vegan with a Vengeance contained a stockpile of recipes that were animal-free, and both tasted and looked great on the plate. 10 years later, she celebrates the anniversary with an updated version that contains ‘streamlined ingredients’ and ‘easier directions.’ And while it has many new recipes in the new book, the core feel is still the same – that cooking is fun and shouldn’t be complicated. Especially if you’re vegan.

VWAV (Vegan with a Vengeance) 10th Anniversary Overview

The nitty gritty: over 150 recipes, gorgeous food photography, and great tips throughout. She puts the focus on the ingredients and how they interact in the recipes, and she skips the straight standard vegan substitutions for non-vegan items. For example, she makes good use of coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, flaxseeds, vegan yogurt, and almond milk in place the typical processed vegan egg replacers. Know your ingredients and how they work, and you can create anything. More and more, when I’m cooking at home (vegan or not), I try to cook pretty clean and those types of recipes are ones I treasure the most.

Don’t skip the introduction. Her intro vibe sets the tone and spreads throughout the book. And her list of kitchen equipment made me feel at home – she lists the basics because that’s all you’ll really ever need. Her tips for the cast iron skillet were just plain funny. “Just make sure to hand wash with as little soap as possible and to dry immediately. Yes, I know, the Internet says not to wash with soap at all. But you know what? That’s gross”. I can lol on this because I feel the same way, and my trusted cast iron grill skillet has been non stick and fabulous for years.

As a baker, I loved the Veganize It! chapter. It includes Get Rid of the Eggs and Do away with Dairy. Her butter recipe was the tip of the year for me as coconut oil is my new go-to kitchen staple, but mixing it with applesauce and using that as the butter, well, that’s just genius.

The Recipes

Moskowitz organizes her recipes by type: Brunch; Muffins and Scones; Soups; Little Meals, Finger Foods, and Sammiches; Sides; Pizza and Pastas; Entrees; Cookies and Bars; Desserts. It ends with metric conversions.

The most memorable: Tempeh Reuben. The Reuben is one of those meals that is an experience. After all, it doesn’t even call itself a sandwich, just simply ‘The Reuben’. Meaning, in my opinion once you’ve had a great one, you’ve lived. The classic Reuben contains sauerkraut, corned beef, 1000 Island dressing, rye bread, and Swiss cheese. The VWAV’s version: balsamic and tamari marinated tempeh with a vegan sweet dressing with capers. The photo made me want to lick the page, so thank you Kate Lewis.

The one recipe I ‘need to do now!’ is the Eggplant Bacon. Eggplant slices are baked until crisp and brown in a hot oven, turning over once in the process. The temperature is then lowered, and the eggplant slices are dipped in a concoction of soy sauce and liquid smoke before being reheated. I can think of about a million ways to enliven sandwiches, salads, and more using this eggplant bacon.

Overall, an excellent cookbook, and if you are new to Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s take on vegan cuisine, you’ll be very satisfied. She practically invented modern and delicious vegan cooking.

Here is a sample of the many delicious recipes from the book. Easy to put together, and beautiful on the plate.

Garlicky Kale with Tahini Dressing Recipe

Garlicky Kale with Tahini Dressing
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  1. 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  2. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 pound kale, well rinsed and coarsely chopped
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. Lemon wedges to serve
Tahini Dressing
  1. 1/2 cup tahini
  2. 2 cloves garlic
  3. 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  1. Sauté the garlic in the olive oil over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Add the kale, the salt, and a few splashes of water. Use tongs to toss the kale around, coating it with the garlic and oil. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Serve with a drizzle of Tahini Dressing.
  3. Garnish with lemon wedges.
Tahini Dressing
  1. Place all ingredients, except for the parsley, and 3/4 cup of water in a blender and blend until smooth. Add extra water, as needed, to thin. (Remember that it will thicken once it’s refrigerated, so keeping it on the thin side is not a bad idea.) Pulse in the parsley, taste for salt, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  1. Any variety of kale is delicious sautéed. Note that lacinato kale will cook faster than green or red curly kale. You can use the stems of the kale if they are on the slender side, about 1⁄4 inch wide. If they are any larger, cut the leaves away from the stem.
Adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance. Find more recipes from Isa's website: The Post Punk Kitchen.
Adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance. Find more recipes from Isa's website: The Post Punk Kitchen.
Sand & Succotash http://www.sandandsuccotash.com/

Book Information:

Recipe and image from Vegan with a Vengeance 10th anniversary edition, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

How to Make Yogurt at Home with a Yogurt Maker

The benefits of eating yogurt and the live cultures in it are well known. You can eat yogurt by itself or use as an ingredient in recipes. Making yogurt at home is easy, and with an automatic yogurt machine, it’s even easier. A major benefit of using a yogurt maker is that the temperature during processing is kept consistent.

Sand and Succotash | How to make yogurt at home using an automatic yogurt machine.

Components of the Yogurt-Making Set Up

A typical kit for a yogurt machine comes with the warming base, a cover, and individual cups and lids. Some models will have a dating system on the lids, either indicating when the yogurt should be used by, or when the yogurt was made. Freshly made yogurt will need to be consumed within ten days of it being made. If no numbering system is available on the jar lids, mark with freezer tape the date for a quick reminder.

Freeze-dried yogurt starters can be used to activate the yogurt. These are packets containing lactic bacteria (L. Bulcaricus, L. Acidophilus, S. Thermophilus) with other ingredients such as milk powder, sucrose and ascorbic acid. Homemade yogurt can also be made with purchased plain regular or Greek-style yogurt containing active live cultures. Once a batch of plain yogurt is made and chilled, it may be used one time to create another batch of yogurt. After that, you’ll need to begin a new batch of yogurt with either a fresh yogurt or freeze-dried starter.

Process of Making the Yogurt

Pasteurized milk is heated up and brought to a boil, and then cooled to a lukewarm temperature. The boiling process may be skipped, but the boiling creates a firmer yogurt in the end. And while whole milk, reduced fat milk, or skim milk may be used in the recipe, the consistency will be different depending on the milk being used, and the cooking time will also change.

After cooling the heated milk to lukewarm, yogurt cultures are introduced and let to set in the warmer base for a period of time to activate the cultures and create the homemade yogurt. Once finished, the yogurt is chilled and ready to serve.

How to Make Yogurt at Home with a Yogurt Maker
This recipe creates about 50 oz. of homemade plain yogurt. I use 2% milk in my yogurt because that is how we prefer the taste and texture at home, but experiment with other milks if you drink a different type of milk. This was tested and created using the Euro Cuisine Digital-Automatic Yogurt Maker. Refer to your manual if you have a different model for specific instructions unique to your model.
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  1. 42 oz. pasteurized 2% milk
  2. 6 oz. plain Greek-style yogurt (see note below)
  1. Wash all jars and lids and dry thoroughly.
  2. Bring the milk to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly to prevent the bottom from burning, and using a heavy, high-sided pot. Once the milk begins to climb up the sides of the pan, remove from heat and stir it down. Place back on the burner and continue to cook for about a minute more. Remove the pan from the burner, and let cool to around 110 degrees F. Use of a thermometer will be helpful; the milk will be lukewarm.
  3. Place the weighed plain yogurt into a mixing bowl. Add a couple of ladelfuls of the warm milk into the yogurt, and mix until smooth. Pour this back into the pot of milk. Divide the milk mixture evenly between the jars.
  4. Set the jars onto the base of the machine. Turn it on, and enter in the time required for the milk being used. 2% milk will take about 9 hours to create the yogurt. Cover the jars with the lid. Make sure to set the machine in an area that will be undisturbed and not bumped or moved as this will directly have an effect on the final texture of the finished product.
  5. The time is up, carefully remove the lid to avoid any water that has condensed on the lid to excessively get into the yogurt. Mark the date on the lids, and place on the jars. Place in the refrigerator for at least three hours to finish up the process.
  6. Serve the chilled plain yogurt as desired.
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Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero

“Discover the Way of the Salad!”


There are a few reasons why I love Terry Romero’s cookbooks: engaging text, downright delicious recipes, and the fact that you don’t even have to be vegan to enjoy what she makes. It’s actually included in the name of her latest cookbook: Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to be Vegan to Love. Salad Samuri is no change from her previous works (Veganonmicon; Vegan Pie in the Sky) in that there is fun for everyone.

Salad Samurai: Salads by the Seasons

Romero dives right into salads by talking about ‘The Salad Samurai Code’ with tofu pressing, portability and storing, ingredients, and seasonality. This leads the reader to see how she breaks down her book, mainly by the seasons. And don’t think salads are strictly for the long, hot, dog-days of summer. Winter and fall recipes include Smokehouse Chickpeas ‘n Greens Salad, Sesame Noodles in the Dojo, and Seitan Steak Salad with Green Peppercorn Dressing, which are hearty for anytime of the year.

Meal planning is important but pretty dull, and Romero attempts to make it fun (She succeeds! Who likes to menu plan? My hand will remain down!), and provides tips on how long as a general rule certain components should be kept with a plan for tackling salad menu planning.

Fun & Resourceful Supporting Recipes

Ok, her recipes are great, but all the supporting recipes are what makes the book gold and a valuable kitchen resource for me. I love this book for all of the separate supporting recipes that I can mix and match, and totally beef up my old, tired favorites – her dressings and ‘seriously hearty salad toppings’ are the bomb: Pickled Red Grapes and Roasted Hemp Seed Parmesan are keeps for more things than simply salads.

Here is a tempeh recipe to try from the book. The accompanying Roasted Hemp Seed Parmesan (look for the recipe in the book) is a supporting recipe, and an example of what makes this book gold.



Pepperoni Tempeh Pizza Salad
Serves 2
If a layer of pizza is the foundation of your food pyramid, toss this zesty salad into your well-balanced diet: “pepperoni” tempeh nuggets, fresh basil, olives, onions, and a vibrant pizza “sauce” dressing are served up not on a crust but on a robust blend of spinach and arugula. Guilt-free and gluten-free, it will leave you feeling great about having another slice, er, salad bowl. Perfect as is, but decadent with a dusting of Roasted Hemp Seed Parmesan (page 35 in the book).
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with basil and garlic (do not drain)
  2. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  5. 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  6. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepperoni Tempeh Bites
  1. 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  2. 2 tablespoons tamari
  3. 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  4. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  5. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  6. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  8. 8 ounces tempeh, diced into 1?4-inch cubes
For the Salad
  1. 2 cups baby arugula
  2. 3 cups spinach
  3. 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
  4. 1 cup plain toasted pita chips or Classic Croutons (page 39)
  5. 1/2 cup pitted, chopped Kalamata olives
  6. 1 sweet onion, sliced into half-moons
  7. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  8. 2 tablespoons Roasted Hemp Seed Parmesan (page 35)
  1. Set aside 1/2 cup of the diced tomatoes for the tempeh bites. Add the remaining tomatoes and the rest of the dressing ingredients to a blender and pulse until smooth. Chill the dressing until ready to use.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved 1/2 cup diced tomatoes with the paprika, tamari, vinegar, garlic powder, fennel, and black pepper. Preheat the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until browned, then stir in the marinade. Fry for another 3 minutes, until the tempeh is sizzling and most of the marinade is absorbed, then remove from the heat.
  3. Add to a large mixing bowl the greens, basil, pita, olives, onions, and oregano. Pour over half the dressing and toss to combine. Divide the salad into serving bowls, top with the tempeh, and serve with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle each serving with hemp parm.
  1. Prepare the dressing up to 2 days in advance and keep chilled in a tightly covered container. You can also make the tempeh the night before and gently warm it before assembling the salad.
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Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher (thank you!) and any opinions are my own.

Recipe and image from Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

Little Italy Recipe: Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche by Chef Deborah Scott


Anyone who knows me knows I love Italian food. And when it comes to Italian desserts, well, I’m in heaven (cannolis are a favorite at my house). So, when I was invited to go to the Taste of Little Italy one year I was elated. If you’ve never been there, and you’re in San Diego, Little Italy is an urban neighborhood with a homey feel. You’ll find upscale stores and galleries, specialty markets, fast foods, as well as restaurant after restaurant to sample. The Taste of Little Italy event gives San Diegans a chance to sample the goods from different chefs of the area and experience a little bit of Italy via food in our own backyard.

The 2014  Taste of Little Italy event will be held on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 from 5:00pm to 9:00pm.

This recipe was shared from The Indigo Grill. Located at 1536 India Street, it is in the heart of Little Italy. What way to celebrate our county’s ocean bounty but to make a ceviche with shrimp and scallops? We live in an area known for its fish markets so finding very fresh and plump scallops and shrimp shouldn’t be a hard find. Chef Deborah Scott shared this recipe, and what I love about it is there is very little measuring involved.

Serve chilled with chips, and garnish with ripe avocado and blood orange segments for a little color.

Chef Deborah Scott’s Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche

Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche
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  1. 2 lbs. fresh scallops
  2. 2 lbs. fresh shrimp
  3. 2 large onions, diced
  4. 2 medium jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  5. 10 tomatoes, chopped
  6. 10 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  7. 2 bunches of cilantro, cleaned and chopped
  8. 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  9. 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine and marinate the seafood and vegetables in a non-reactive casserole fitted with a lid. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator from 30 minutes up to 2 hours. You can check and stir after 30 minutes. The key to ceviche is to marinate the seafood long enough to cook it through by the citrus juice, but if you leave it in the marinade too long it will toughen it.
  2. When it is finished, season with salt and pepper and serve chilled.
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Image of the Little Italy San Diego sign – courtesy Flickr and user kirinqueen, through a Creative Commons License.

Recipe courtesy Deborah Scott and Tiffany McCall, Citrus Public Relations

Mayim’s Vegan Table by Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik has been busy in the kitchen, and her new book Mayim’s Vegan Table is the result. With a simple layout and quick recipes, the book would make a welcome addition on the cookbook shelf for a home cook just getting into vegan cooking. For veteran vegan cooks, she offers ways to spice up the family menu.

Vegan Choices

The first four chapters deal with vegan nutritional choices and stocking the kitchen with plant-based selections. The way veganism wound its way into Bialik’s life slowly, first by removing dairy from her diet due to her son’s dairy sensitivity then looking at the environmental impact of non-vegan foods, was interesting. As an active vegan mother, her home menus are both surprisingly down to Earth and quick to prepare. From the book:

Her transition from a vegetarian college student to an almost vegan mom to a now entirely vegan mom involved a strong need for “fun foods” – foods that can please finicky toddler palates, and a lifestyle that is not expensive, time consuming, or only available if there are vegan restaurants around.

The tips and advice cater to those who know nothing about actual veganism, such as comparing an apple to all the ingredients in an Oscar Meyer Lunchable snack, looking at dairy alternatives, and describing what a vegan is. For a person already living a clean vegan lifestyle, I’d assume they would simply skip through this. For non-vegans contemplating the lifestyle choice, the info would be helpful.

Recipes: Grouped by Menu Item

The seven recipe chapters are grouped by the menu item: Breakfast; Soups, Salads, and Sandwiches; Snacks, Sauces, and Dips; Veggies and Sides; Entrees; Breads; and Desserts. The Metric Conversions is a standard chart, but the Resources at the back of the book is a helpful list of vegan and nutritional books and websites to check out.

Bialik makes good use of quinoa and couscous, and while this isn’t a Jewish cookbook, her all-vegan Matzoh Ball Soup has all the ingredients for a tasty vegetable soup. She also gives eight different dip recipes that could easily double as sandwich spreads.

What I liked the best is the ease with which many of the recipes can be put together (read between the lines – much of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry). Right now where I live, the weather is starting warm up, so anything quick and cool is satisfying. The Vietnamese Banh Mi with Do Chua and Sweet Sauce is one I’ll probably have on hand all summer for sandwich pockets (do chua is a Vietnamese carrot and daikon pickle).

Overall, I appreciated her recipes. Almost every single one I can reproduce with things I have in my pantry. And as a busy parent, finding healthy recipes (not just entrees!) to incorporate into a menu makes planning easy.

Here is her recipe for Quinoa Salad with Veggies and Herbs. Quick to toss together and glorious looking on a potluck table, this one would leave both vegans and non-vegans satisfied.


Quinoa Salad with Veggies and Herbs
When Mayim first became vegan, she saw a recipe in a magazine for barley salad with herbs. She replaced the barley with quinoa, a high-protein seed from South America that is incredibly versatile, inexpensive, and easy to make. The result is one of her favorite dishes to bring to potlucks. You can prepare it with almost any vegetables and herbs you have on hand. The secret is to use a generous amount of the dressing and let it sit for a few hours before serving.
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  1. 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  2. 1/2 cup chopped green onions, green part only
  3. 1/2 cup seeded and diced red bell pepper
  4. 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed
  5. 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  6. 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  7. 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
  8. 1/4 cup canola oil
  9. 1 garlic clove, minced
  10. 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  11. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a medium-size saucepan, combine the quinoa and 2 cups of water over high heat. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the green onions, red pepper, peas, parsley, basil, and mint. Toss in the cooked quinoa.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then toss into the salad, stirring to mix well. Let stand for 1 hour for the flavors to blend.
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Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Recipe and Photo: From Mayim’s Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours by Mayim Bialik with Dr. Jay Gordon. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.