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. 🙂

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.
Sand & Succotash http://www.sandandsuccotash.com/

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
Sand & Succotash http://www.sandandsuccotash.com/

Book Info:

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

Affiliate Link Below:

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.

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.

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 http://www.sandandsuccotash.com/

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.

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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Book Information:

About the Author:

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.

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.

The Tipsy Vegan by John Schlimm

I’m in the process of moving all my old blogger posts to this new site. Going through all my cookbook reviews I found this gem. Originally posted over a year ago, I had the lovely opportunity to read through John Schlimm’s Tipsy Vegan. Yep, still one of my favorites.

Okay, what a way to start out the year: vegan recipes that “turn every bite into happy hour”. The Tipsy Vegan (De Capo Press, 2011, ISBN 9780738215075) is small, square, and the perfect size to pack in a tote bag when shopping for the dinner party, as well as for keeping in the kitchen for everyday dinner inspiration. Fun read, with 75 different recipes using ingredients that are easy to find. Written by John Schlimm, who is the author of upcoming Grilling Vegan Style (2012), and The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Cookbook (2008).

Boozy Recipes Not Just for Party Fare

While the recipes would be perfect party fare for any happy hour or get-together, they also inspire good eating any time of the year. The recipes include all menu items, but each have something unifying them: each one contains some sort of liquor, liqueur, or cocktail ingredient. This unique alcohol approach to recipes gives anyone an opportunity to test great tasting and completely vegan food in a fun way

The Tipsy Vegan Chapters and Overview

The book’s chapters are divided my menu item: Plastered Party Starters; Boozy Soups; Staggering Salads; The Guzzler’s Garden of Side Dishes; Brunch Buzz, The Lush’s Lunch; Sloshed Suppers; and Drunken Desserts. The Afterword includes two bits of advice given to the author by his Grandma and Great Aunt: laughter is found in every situation, and always part ways with friends after a celebration with one last drink. His one last drink with his readers is the recipe for The Laughing Stinger.

This cookbook is a fun read, and not only for reading all the recipes and learning how Schlimm incorporated an alcohol into each one. The names for some recipes are memorable. Bad-Ass Beer Cake, Three Tomatoes to the Wind Flan, and Angel Hair Pasta Knocks a Few Back with Devilish Pine Nuts & Lemon are just a few. And I have to say is anyone thinking vegan food is boring and something that cannot whet an appetite hasn’t tried the recipes in the book. Any of them can be served to convert a meat-eater. The Balmy Bell Peppers with Golden Raisins and Arugula is a new favorite dish.

Book Information:

  • The Tipsy Vegan: 75 Boozy Recipes to Turn Every Bite Into Happy Hour by John Schlimm
  • De Capo Press; 2011
  • ISBN13: 9780738215075
  • Softcover; full color, 164 pages

More info on this book from De Capo publishing.

The Tipsy Vegan: 75 Boozy Recipes to Turn Every Bite into Happy Houris also available from Amazon.

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

Differences Between Tofu, Tempeh, and Hatcho Miso Soybean Paste

Soybeans are an excellent source of lowfat protein, and fit into many meals. Tofu, tempeh, and soybean paste all have different uses and properties to them.

Sand and Succotash | Differences Between Tofu, Tempeh, and Hatcho Miso Soybean Paste

Soybeans are an excellent source of protein and can be processed and served in a number of ways. Soybeans can be found in many levels of processing from bean form or to a paste, or even fermented. Tofu products are easy to prepare and cook with, and can be served cold or cooked.

Basic Tofu

Tofu is a processed soybean curd that comes in different styles and textures. Tofu can be incorporated into meatless entree dishes or pureed for desserts. This style of soybean is one of the most recognized, and is widely available in most supermarkets. Firm and extra firm tofu are great candidates for slicing for grilling or pan-frying. This firmer style of tofu holds marinades well. Silken tofu is used when a creamy puree is needed, such as for sauces, dressing and desserts.

Tofu nutrition depends on the style, and the different coagulants used in tofu can affect the overall nutritional value as well. An average 3 oz. serving portion of extra firm tofu provides about 45 calories, 15 of which come from fat, with 6 grams of protein and no cholesterol.


Tempeh differs from tofu greatly in taste and texture. It comes in a rectangular shape with a brownish color. Instead of having a neutral flavor like tofu has, it has a deeper flavor and aroma. Tempeh is actually fermented soybeans that are made into a dry cake form and can be crumbled up or sauteed by itself or used in recipes. It requires less processing than tofu, which ultimately keeps in more fiber. Tempeh is found in the refrigerated section of supermarkets.

Tempeh nutrition is higher than tofu due to the manufacturing and handling process. But, the nutrition varies with tempeh since it can be found processed with other grains such as brown rice and barley. Read the labels and check to see if it is all soy or a mixture of ingredients. Mixing the soy with other grains will enhance flavor and provide slightly different textures to the tempeh.

Miso Soybean Paste (Hatcho Miso)

Miso soybean paste is found in different styles depending on what the soybeans were processed with. Different grains are used in the fermenting process for a little color and for flavor. Aging comes in to play here and the miso texture, flavor, and color is also affected greatly by the amount of aging that was done.

Miso is found in both dried and in a paste form. Miso comes by a variety of names, but if soybean-only miso is what is desired then look for ‘hatcho miso’ which contains only soybeans. If it doesn’t say hatcho miso, other ingredients were added to the miso and fermented with, such as barley or brown rice.

Miso soybean paste nutrition is unique in that it provides the all-important B12 vitamin. Sometimes miso or miso products may be processed with fish, and some miso types are very high in sodium. Soybean paste made with only soybeans contain more dietary fiber and protein than those misos made with other ingredients.