The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook – Day 5 – Pesto Pizza

snoopy

It was a dark and stormy afternoon. Okay, I may be paraphrasing Snoopy but it’s my only excuse as to why I didn’t make it to Wegmans to get the ingredients for our usual Big @$$ Salad Monday meal. The sky was black and there was talk of tornadoes. I couldn’t see myself dodging raindrops through the parking lot so I decided to flip through The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook instead to see if there was anything I had all the ingredients to make.

Pesto Pizza!

My basil plant was in need of a trim, my tomatoes were getting soft, I had olives left over from earlier in the week and Dr. D. makes the best pizza dough between here and Sicily.

And so it was decided!

Pesto Pizza to the rescue!

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It was the best decision I could have made. Everyone loved this pizza with its thick pesto base, sweet tomatoes and roasted onions. We had to make a few adjustments since we didn’t use the Artisan Pizza Crust recipe in the book but it turned out to be one magnificent dinner. I served it with a side salad made with two kinds of lettuce picked from our garden right before dinner.

I think even Snoopy would approve.

The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook – Day 4 – Buddha Bowl

What’s better than a simple Buddha Bowl on a warm Sunday evening?

What?

You don’t know what a Buddha Bowl is?

A Buddha Bowl is a complete meal in a bowl created to be enjoyed and consumed with thoughts of thankfulness. It’s like a big helping of gratitude inducing goodness!

The Buddha Bowl in The PlantPure Nation Cookbook lives up to its name. Filled with superfoods like quinoa, kale and broccoli, it packs a whole lot of nutrition and flavor into one bowl. The tahini dressing that accompanies it is very simple to make and really brings out the flavor of the vegetables. I added a little more broccoli and carrot than the recipe suggested and still had enough of the dressing to cover all the ingredients.

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Kim Campbell makes a note at the bottom of the recipe reminding readers that a Buddha Bowl’s ingredients can be substituted, added, removed, etc. It’s a versatile meal that will satisfy and nourish. See? Vegan is easy!

And that’s a whole lot to be thankful about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook – Day 3 – Chocolate Chip Cookies

The last two recipes have been savory dinner recipes so I figured it was time to treat your visual tastebuds to a dessert — Chocolate Chip Cookies!

My favorite vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe comes from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking. CPG’s recipe calls for two sticks of Earth Balance vegan butter.  They are super delicious and taste just like the cookies Mom used to make.  Dr. D. is my resident Cookie Monster so I make them frequently and between him and Miss M. they don’t last very long.

The recipe from The PlantPure Nation Cookbook is very different. There is no added fat; no butter, no shortening, no oil. The cookies get their richness from a mere ¼ cup of natural (no sugar added) peanut butter. The flavor of the peanut butter does not overwhelm the taste of the cookie which is perfect for me since I’m not a big peanut butter cookie fan; it just adds a great texture and richness like butter would.

Just like the other recipes I reviewed, this one is so simple. You don’t even need a mixer to put them together!

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                               Look Ma! No mixer!

Because they have no oil, these cookies baked up fluffy and soft. The recipe yielded a dozen large cookies so you may want to double the batch especially if you have a resident Cookie Monster at your house!

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Vegan is easy! The hard part is going to be keeping myself from eating all of them so I still have cookies when Dr. D. comes home from work!

The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook – Day 2 – Mushroom Stronganoff

We went back into The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook for dinner ideas and last night’s recipe was another winner!  I have made various versions of Mushroom Stroganoff in the past and haven’t had one I didn’t like.  Kim Campbell’s version did not disappoint!

This was definitely a  Mushroom Stronganoff unlike the others I’ve tried as it didn’t call for vegan sour cream; however, I like the idea of keeping it unprocessed and even though this tasted different it still tasted terrific!  It had a savory and satisfying umami flavor and the chopped black olives added just the right amount of saltiness.  Dr. D. gave this one a thumbs up!

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           Don’t adjust your monitor. Yes, that’s white rice, not brown.

This was the second recipe I tried from The PlantPure Nation Cookbook and I was again impressed with how easy it was!  Don’t we all love a recipe that doesn’t make you dirty every measuring spoon and cup?  Can you tell I hate doing dishes?  This was no-muss, no-fuss.

We still have three more recipes to review.  Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!

 

The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook – Day 1 – Twice-Baked Broccoli Potatoes

Back in April, I went to the Ithaca, NY screening of PlantPure Nation.  That evening, I had the privilege of meeting the people behind this groundbreaking film and project: Dr. T. Colin Campbell, his son, Nelson and his daughter-in-law Kim.  I bought a copy of The PlantPure Nation Cookbook that night and Kim graciously signed it for me.  Dr. D. and I are big fans of The China Study Cookbook so I was excited to see what new delicious plant-based creations were coming out of the Campbell kitchen!

I chose to review this cookbook because I found so many great ideas within its pages; simple, wholesome recipes the whole family can enjoy! I also chose to do something I rarely do; I planned out a whole week’s worth of meals.

This is something I should do all the time as it takes the guesswork out of dinnertime decisions and generally makes life run much more smoothly but most of the time I lack the foresight to actually do it.  This cookbook made it much easier than I expected mostly due to the simplicity of its recipes.

Last night was Day One and the recipe I chose was Twice-Baked Broccoli Potatoes.  I used to love stuffed potato skins in my pre-vegan days and was anxious to try a healthier plant-based version.  These were unlike any stuffed baked potato I’d ever eaten in that they had roasted smashed garlic cloves.

Let me say that again…

Roasted smashed garlic cloves!

So delicious.

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These were not only scrumptious but were super simple to make!  The only thing to keep in mind is to make sure you give yourself enough time to bake the potatoes and assemble them.  The bonus is because so few ingredients go into these you don’t feel like you’re spending all night in the kitchen. Cleanup was a breeze too!  Cutting board, bowl, knife and mixer beaters, that’s all!

The verdict:  Both Miss M. and Dr. D loved them! They were served with a fresh Romaine and spinach salad making it the perfect complete meal.  They definitely will be a regular menu item in our house!

Stay tuned for the next recipe from The PlantPure Nation Cookbook!

Caesar Salad

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Caesar Salad is a very popular choice for people looking for a hearty dish and is often considered a full meal.  But how can you get that distinct Caesar taste without cheese, egg yolks and anchovies?  Easy!

In my quest to make the perfect Caesar Salad, I looked at the ingredients of lots of ready-made croutons.  Every one I found contained cheese or milk.  Instead, I went to my favorite bakery and asked them for a uncut loaf of day-old bread which they sold me for $1.  Making these tasty garlicky croutons was easy peasy after that!

Garlic Croutons
9 to 12 (1/2-inch) slices of a large loaf of day- old bread
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. crushed garlic
Pinch of salt

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Toast the bread slices very lightly in a traditional toaster or toaster oven. Allow to cool.

Mix the oil, garlic, and salt together in a small bowl. With a pastry brush, brush both sides of the toast with this mixture, and then cut the slices into cubes. Transfer the cubes to a rimmed baking sheet sprayed with Pam and bake until they are golden brown and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes, turning once. Allow to cool completely before using. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Serves 6.

That special Caesar Salad dressing is another simple recipe to make!  Here’s a recipe from Plant-Powered Families by Dreena Burton published by BenBella Books.  It made more than enough to cover two heads of Romaine lettuce.

Cheesy Caesar Dressing

1/3 cup soaked and drained raw cashews
1–2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
1 teaspoon whole chia seeds (or 1 teaspoon ground chia if using handheld blender or standard blender)
1/2 scant teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon kelp granules (see note)
1/2 teaspoon capers
1 medium clove garlic, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3–1/2 cup plain nondairy milk (see note; use extra to thin as desired)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

Using a blender, combine the cashews, 1 tablespoon of the nutritional yeast, chia, sea salt, kelp granules, capers, garlic, black pepper, milk, lemon juice, and maple syrup and puree until very smooth. Add more nutritional yeast for a cheesier flavor if you like, and add extra salt/black pepper/garlic if desired. Serve tossed into romaine lettuce.

 

Do I really need to include a recipe for the salad?  Typical Caesar Salads are simply Romaine lettuce.  I added some extra capers to add that salty, briney deliciousness only capers can give!

Let me know what you think of this salad!  I’d love to hear from you.