Skinny Liver: A Proven Program to Prevent and Reverse the New Silent Epidemic Fatty Liver Disease – Review


What is Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease (FLD) is where large amounts of fat build up over time on the liver. NAFLD is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, where the extra fat isn’t due to alcohol consumption. AFL is alcoholic fatty liver and is caused by alcohol. Even though both are reversible, both can lead to cirrhosis if left unchecked. NASH is nonalcoholic steatopepatitis, a damaged fatty liver with inflammation, which is the more severe of the fatty liver diseases.

Preventing and Reversing Fatty Liver Disease

Skinny Liver: A Proven Program to Prevent and Reverse the New Silent Epidemic Fatty Liver Disease, a new book by Kristin Kirkpatrick with Ibrahim Hanouneh delves into factors causing this disease and ways to prevent or reverse it.

The Liver Organ: Central Role in Metabolism

Why is taking care of your liver important? The authors note that besides metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, the liver also performs these other important functions:

  • Helps to keep blood sugar steady.
  • Converts amino acids to energy.
  • Produces bile to help the body breakdown and absorb fats.
  • Stores fat-soluble vitamins and releases them as the body needs them.
  • Keeps the balance of sex hormones even in the body.

Skinny Liver Book Overview

It is everything you need to know about keeping your liver in top shape, including information about the organ you probably didn’t know before. Skinny Liver is divided into three sections to make all the information more digestible. Part 1 introduces you to the liver, what NAFLD and NASH are, and how everyday toxins can damage the liver. Part 2 shows you ways to protect the liver. Part 3 contains two diet plans: The Love-Your-Liver Eating Plan (4 weeks worth of menus), and the Skinny Liver Diet Plan (also 4 weeks worth of menus). This section includes over 70 tasty recipes from the two menus.

The stress-trigger tracking sheet and the healthy liver weekly journal from the appendix are very helpful, too.

Overall, this is an important read on a little talked about organ. The heart, kidneys, and the digestive system are all familiar to most people, and there are many great books that specialize in those organs. Skinny Liver focuses on just taking care of the liver.

With liver disease indeed being a silent epidemic, the more you know about preventing or reversing this disease the longer you’ll be around to enjoy life.

Book Info:

  • Skinny Liver by Kristin Kirkpatrick with Ibrahim Hanouneh.
  • DeCapo Press; 2017.
  • ISBN13: 978-0738219165
  • Hardcover, 304 pages.

Here is a great recipe from the book for Tuna Patties.

Tuna Patties

These burgers make a great lunch or dinner. Serve them up as a sandwich inside pita or between a sliced whole grain bun, or go without the bread and serve with steamed or roasted vegetables.


  • 4 (5-ounce) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained
  • 1 1/4 cups 100% whole wheat panko, or whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, plus 2 large egg whites beaten together
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, green onion, or scallions
  • 1 stalk/rib celery, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. and place an ovenproof plate in the oven.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the olive oil, and mix well. Use your hands to form the mixture into twelve 1/2 inch thick patties; place the patties on a second plate.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place the patties in the skillet in a single layer. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total, flipping once or twice. Transfer the cooked patties to the plate in the oven.
  4. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining oil and patties. Serve warm.


Excerpted from Skinny Liver: A Proven Program to Prevent and Reverse the New Silent Epidemic—Fatty Liver Disease by Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD with Ibrahim Hanouneh, MD. Copyright © 2017. Available in January 2017 from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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

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.
Sand & Succotash

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
Sand & Succotash

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.

The Meals to Heal Cookbook by Susan Bratton and Jessica Iannotta

Cancer is hard. Cooking and trying to balance nutrition with what tastes good during cancer treatment is even harder. I know this from experience fighting breast cancer and undergoing a dose dense ACT chemotherapy. Nothing really tastes good during chemo, you have no energy to cook, and at times it is much easier to choose comfort food over what you probably should be eating.

Cooking During Chemo

I am lucky. During my dark days of chemo where I couldn’t get out of bed and my husband worked long hours, I had a dedicated group of moms who would make nutritious and great tasting meals for me and my kiddos. The rest of the time, I had to get off my tush and figure it out. And easy it was not at times, when even food ingredients themselves make you sick to your stomach.

Recipes you need during cancer treatment: ones that nourish you from the inside without giving you stomach or mouth upset. Those with strong smells can make you nauseous, and beloved spicy foods that once brought comfort can otherwise ruin an already small appetite simply by making your mouth drier than it already is.

The Meals to Heal: Great Tasting Recipes that Address Cancer Symptoms

The Meals to Heal Cookbook by Susan Bratton and Jessica Iannotta tackles all these problems and presents 150 recipes to prepare during a cancer fight. Each recipe is marked with what side effect it helps to manage: lack of appetite; nausea, vomiting, or heartburn; constipation; diarrhea; fatigue; mouth sores; dry mouth; chewing or swallowing difficulty; taste aversion (to sweet, or sour and bitter); lack of taste; and smells bother.

I took a chemotherapy class before treatment and quickly learned that there was a whole list of favorite foods I had to avoid during treatment, such as bulk bin ingredients and deli meats, miso (fermented soy paste) and tempeh (what?!), and raw foods including any fruit and veggie that I couldn’t scrub clean. Looking at the list of foods to avoid that your oncologist gives to you isn’t the end of the world. You just need the right recipes using the right ingredients that you can use. The Meals to Heal has recipes for everything from beginning your day with healthy breakfasts to entrees and midday snacks to good sweets for dessert.

The authors dedicated Part 1 of their book to making food work for your benefit, even titling it “Getting Started: Food Can Change Your Cancer Journey.” Safe food handling tips and nutrition info is at the back of the book along with a wonderful appendix that identifies in chart form which recipes help with a certain symptom or side effect. This part I found to be very helpful as I could easily choose a perfect recipe for what I was experiencing. For example: looking for a soup when you are constipated from pain meds, have a dry mouth and an aversion to anything sour and bitter, have heartburn, AND strong smells bother you? Then, the Orzo Kale Soup would be a perfect match. Enjoy. Love that.

If you are on a cancer treatment path that includes chemo, then this is the perfect book to have in the kitchen. No empty promises for an easy ride through treatment (because there isn’t one), just real world, wholesome recipes that provide nutrients making you stronger – and presented in a way that tackles your side effects and manages your symptoms. Highly recommended read.

Enjoy a recipe from this great cookbook: Paper Steamed Fish and Vegetables.

Paper Steamed Fish and Vegetables | Sand and

Parchment Paper Steamed Fish and Vegetables
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  1. 1 1/2 pounds mild white fish, such as cod, tilapia, or halibut
  2. Zest of 1 lemon
  3. 1 scallion, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 6 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  6. Juice of 1 lemon
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  9. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fold the parchment paper in half, then open it back up and place the fish on one half, close to the crease.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients and place on top of and around the fish.
  3. Fold the other half of the parchment over the top of the fish and vegetables. Working around the edges, fold the parchment over tightly in 1/4-inch folds, then fold up the ends to make a closed packet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  4. Place on a plate and carefully remove the fish from the paper and serve.
Adapted from The Meals to Heal Cookbook
Adapted from The Meals to Heal Cookbook
Sand & Succotash

Book Information:

Disclosure: Excerpt from The Meals to Heal Cookbook: 150 Easy, Nutritionally Balanced Recipes to Nourish You During Your Fight with Cancer by Susan Bratton and Jessica Iannotta. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Press, an imprint of Perseus Books, a division of PBG Publishing, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own. Any affiliate links help support this site. Thanks.

Protein Ninja by Terry Hope Romero

If worrying about not getting enough protein in your diet is the only thing holding you back from becoming vegan, Protein Ninja dispels that worry and provides over 100 protein rich recipes for you to choose from.

Terry Hope Romero has put together a book of recipes for every meal of the day, from breakfast, dinner, and dessert to snacks in between. Over 100 recipes in all, all providing satisfying protein, with gluten-free and soy-free options, too.

Protein Based Powders and Protein Additions

While not every recipe will contain a protein based flour, many do. These include hemp, rice, and pea-based protein powders, not enough to give an all out flavor to the dish but enough to boost the protein levels in the dish. Other ways she gets in protein in her Protein Ninja recipes is by using beans, seeds, nuts, seitan, and tempeh. Protein additions you may be familiar with, and others may be new to you.

Book Overview and Chapters

Part One is all about the basics. Romero goes into detail about the different protein powders in her book and tips on using them in recipes. She gives a great primer on cooking and freezing both beans and grains, and includes basic recipes for cooking beans, quinoa, and short-grain brown rice, all staples in any kitchen. Instead of purchasing seitan, try your hand at making it at home. She gives a detailed recipe on how to make your very own batch using vital wheat gluten flour which yields about 32 ounces. She also throws in her recipe for her My Best Coconut Bacon – yes, snackable bacon made with large, unsweetened coconut flakes.

The chapters begin with Smooth Bowls and Granola and finish with Sweet Treats. In between you’ll find Stealthy Protein Pancakes, Waffles, and Much Much More; The Protein Bakery Basket; Super Toast: Savory and Sweet; Protein-Packed Patties and Burgers; Better Than Ever Burger Bowls; and Grain and Noodle Bowls. She includes metric conversions and a complete index at the back.

Favorite Recipes

Yes, I have a few in this book. The first is Fluffy Rice Protein Drip Biscuits. I love biscuits, and pairing them with a simple vegetable stew is so yummy but pairing it with a protein-laced biscuit makes it so much more satisfying. Another one is the Black Bean Hemp Burger Bowl with Refried Corn Quinoa and Mango Chia Salsa. The refried corn quinoa is almost like a quinoa stir fry with cilantro, red bell peppers, roasted corn kernels, and smoked paprika.

The Button Up White Bean Gravy is a must try, and the recipe is below. She writes that this is a necessary breakfast or brunch staple, but I’d add that this dish is so comforting it would also make a great dinner meal, too. Serve as is over biscuits or as suggested in the picture with sautéed mushrooms and grilled or sautéed seitan or tempeh strips. Either way it will satisfy you anytime of the day.

Overall, a really great cookbook if you are wanting to increase your protein take. Recipes are easy to follow, and if you are familiar with any of her other books (Vegan Pie in the Sky, Vegan Eats World, Salad Samurai) you’ll know that the recipes are all delicious, too.

Button White Bean Gravy

Button Up White Bean Gravy
Yields 2
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Total Time
40 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 cup diced yellow onion
  3. 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  4. 6 ounces white button mushrooms, roughly chopped (2 cups)
  5. 1 tablespoon tamari
  6. 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose or garbanzo bean flour
  7. 1 (16-ounce) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  8. 1 1/2 cups vegan vegetable broth
  9. 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 tablespoon fresh
  10. Freshly ground black pepper
  11. Salt (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the mushrooms, sprinkle with the tamari, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the mushrooms are tender but
  2. still juicy.
  3. Decrease the heat to low and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until the mixture turns slightly beige, is bubbly, and appears to have grown in volume.
  1. The gravy can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Reheat it over low heat, stirring occasionally.
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Book Information:

From Protein Ninja: Power Through Your Day with 100 Hearty Plant-Based Recipes that Pack a Protein Punch by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own. Affiliate link and ease of purchase by Amazon.

Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse by Elina Fuhrman

 Spicy Quinoa and Vegetable Chili

Elina Fuhrman created Soupelina (soup + Elina, catchy!) from recipes she created at home in an effort to help her in her fight against an aggressive form of breast cancer. Her goal with her soup company is make the world a healthier place one soup at a time.

Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse book came out at the perfect time for me. I am currently undergoing chemo therapy for an aggressive form of breast cancer myself – something called triple negative breast cancer. The more research I do, the more I discover living a plant based diet is the key to beating it back, and to prevent cancer from recurring when I do beat it.

Fuhrman’s book is more than a recipe book as she goes into finding your dosha, folk remedies, equipment and ingredients, and how to fool your cravings. There are many interviews with doctors and experts in their fields, too. And if you are familiar with cleanses, she has tips for expert cleansers.

So, What Makes a Soup So Special?

It fills as it nourishes. Her soup cleansing diet provides energy, improves digestion, reduces inflammation, and keeps you full. Fuhrman details why soup cleanses are better than raw food smoothies which primarily rely on fruits. With cooked soups, you tend to eat more veggies. Your body absorbs minerals better, and cooking vegetables will make it easier for your body to digest them.

She believes that slowly simmered organic soups can both heal the body and mind, and help restore your immune system. And while she is a proponent of cooked soups, she does dedicate an entire chapter to raw soup recipes so that you are able to do a short one-day raw cleanse.

Menus and Recipes

The recipes are all divided by types of soups: smooth blended, chunky style, broths, and raw soups (not cooked). Because she has traveled the world as a journalist, she is keen on different cultures. Fuhrman brings out exotic culinary flavors in her recipes from her travels.

Included in the book are menus to help along the way: 5-Day Soup Cleanse, 24-Hour Reset Cleanse (using raw soup recipes), and a 3-Day Boost cleanse. The seasonal menus in the book go from Spring to Winter, and all have five meals (breakfast, midmorning snack, lunch, midafternoon snack, and dinner – all soups). She even gives a list of favorite soup toppings so that each soup can be unique.

A quick flip through the recipes will tell you it’s not just an ordinary soup cookbook. All her recipes have fun names, and half the fun of preparing the recipes is reading the titles: Kale-ifornia Dreamin’; I Gotcha Kabocha Covered; A-Mung the Stars; What’s the Hurry, Melon Curry?; Lady MacBroth; and Macho Gazpacho.

This cookbook is an excellent group of recipes. The soups are all vegan, soy and nut free, and all call for organic, GMO- and gluten-free ingredients. So, even when you aren’t doing a soup cleanse, any of the recipes would incorporate well in your everyday menus.

My favorite recipe? The quinoa and vegetable chili that she cleverly names ‘It’s Chili and It’s Hot’.

It's Chili and It's Hot
Serves 6
More protein than a steak, this great-for-you chili contains quinoa giving this dish an impressive amount of B vitamins all packed into an incredibly tasty dish.
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  1. 1/2 cup red quinoa, soaked overnight
  2. 1/2 cup white quinoa, soaked overnight
  3. Extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  7. 1 medium size carrot, peeled and chopped
  8. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  9. 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  10. 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  11. 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  12. 1 zucchini, chopped
  13. 1 cup black beans, soaked overnight and cooked
  14. 1 cup kidney beans, soaked overnight and cooked
  15. 2 diced tomatoes with juice
  16. 1 cup freshly pressed tomato juice
  17. 1 tablespoon cumin
  18. Handful of fresh oregano leaves, or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  19. Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper
  20. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  21. 2 to 3 cups boiling filtered water
  22. Sliced avocado, fresh cilantro spirgs, and chopped onion, for garnish
  1. In a medium-size saucepan, boil 2 cups of water, add the quinoa, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, add the onion, and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, jalapeño, carrot, celery, peppers, and zucchini and cook until the veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add all the beans, tomatoes, and tomato juice, along with the cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Taste before slowly adding chili powder to your desired spiciness.
  5. Add the quinoa and boiling filtered water and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Keep stirring and adding spices and salt until you are happy with the taste.
  7. Garnish with avocado slices, cilantro, and onion.
Adapted from Soupelina's Soup Cleanse
Adapted from Soupelina's Soup Cleanse
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Book Info:

  • Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse by Elina Fuhrman
  • De Capo; 2016
  • ISBN13: 9780738218885
  • 265 pages; hardcover; color photos throughout.

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Recipe and image from Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse: Plant-Based Soups and Broths to Heal Your Body, Calm Your Mind, and Transform Your Life by Elina Fuhrman. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

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

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.
Sand & Succotash

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.

Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero

When I heard Vegan Eats World was coming out, I got excited. Namely because of the author, Terry Hope Romero. She always finds a way to turn vegan food into something delicious, gorgeous, and with my personal favorite Vegan Pie in the Sky which she co-authored, creates vegan desserts that cook up perfectly.

Romero entertainingly starts the introduction with “What If the World Was Vegan?” She brings up her philosophy that the building blocks of cuisine are not meat or meat products per se, but the so-called supporting elements in recipes – the grains, the herbs, the spices. If I think hard on that, she is right. Pasta is but pasta (or, for non-vegans, chicken is but chicken), and it is the vegetables, fresh herbs, fruits, nuts, and more, that transform a simple dish into one that is uniquely Thai or Chinese or Italian. Vegan Eats World travels the globe and gives the reader a little bit of each ethnic cuisine, vegan-style.

Whether or not you are familiar with vegan cooking, the first section Kitchen Cartography: Mapping Your Way to a Brave New Vegan Cuisine is a helpful one. She talks about mise en place (one of THE most important things I learned in culinary school LOL), knife basics, cooking terms, ethnic and regional ingredients, kitchen equipment and even shopping lists. Good stuff to review before tackling the different recipes which touch on the following cuisines: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, European, Latin American and Caribbean, Asian, Indian, Thai, and African.

I love how the chapters are separated not by region but by menu item giving me the freedom to mix it up and serve a multicultural meal in one sitting. The chapters are: Spice Blends; The Three Protein Amigos: Tofu, Seitan and Tempeh; Pickles, Chutneys and Saucier Sauces; Salads, Spreads and Sandwiches; Soups; Curries, Hearty Stews and Beans; Dumplings, Breads and Pancakes; Asian Noodles to Mediterranean Pasta; Hearty Entrees; Robust Vegetable Entrees and Sides; Rice and Whole Grains: One-Pot Meals and Supporting Roles; and Sweet Beginnings.

My son has his favorites but my daughters are adventurers in the kitchen. And if one won’t try something, the other will dig right in so no matter what I try I have one of them tasting right along with me. Carrot salad is just one of those things that I cannot for the life of me get any of my kids to eat, though. Something about raisins and carrots suspended in sweet mayonnaise or bland vinaigrettes leaves a bad taste in my mouth, let alone theirs. But, carrots are plentiful at the house and everyone loves them. Enter the Harissa Carrot Salad. Major hit all around. I think it was the lemon-cumin combo that did us all in, with a just a little sweetness from the orange juice and agave nectar.

The recipe is below, and is excellent with Israeli couscous for lunch.

Harissa Carrot Salad
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  1. 3/4 pound carrots, scraped and sliced into matchsticks or shredded
  2. 1/4 cup golden raisins
  3. 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  4. 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  5. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  6. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  7. 1 teaspoon olive oil harissa Paste (recipe on page 43 in the book) or 1/4 teaspoon each cayenne pepper and ground cumin
  8. 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  9. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Place the carrots, raisins, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl. In a liquid measuring cup whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the carrots. Use tongs to toss everything together and serve immediately.
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Book Information:

Author Information:

From Vegan Eats World: 250 International Recipes for Savoring (and Saving) the Planet by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

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