To be honest, I thought my latest arrival was going to fall into the last category. I mean, what could Mark Reinfeld say about plant-based diets that hasn’t been said before?
I was wrong.
Healing the Vegan Way by Mark Reinfeld is a gem! Not only does this book include hundreds of healthy recipes but the author called on well-known experts in the plant-based movement. People like Michael Greger, MD, Julieanna Hever, RD, Joel Kahn, MD, and others impart their research-based wisdom on how to achieve optimal health by eating plants.
One of the features of this book that makes it so unique are the templates given for each category. For instance, the Simple Vegan Cream Sauce section instructs you to include the following components in the recipe with examples for each:
- Plant-based milk component
- Nut component
- Optional herb component
- Optional ethnic spice component
Whatever components you choose will change the recipe so the possibilities are endless!
Suggested variations for the recipes are included as well. Don’t have parsley for that juice? No problem. Cilantro works well too. Want to make Parsnip Fries but your CSA filled your fridge with carrots that week? Use those carrots!
Almost all the recipes in Healing the Vegan Way are gluten-free or can be made gluten-free. If you’re looking to limit your oil consumption, the oil-free variations are clearly marked to help you create a dish just right for you.
I’m a big fan of using recipes that are seasonal and regional and this Watermelon Gazpacho fits the bill! I used jalapeño pepper, cucumber and cilantro from our garden and subbed out the jicama for the suggested variation of local strawberries and blueberries.
Yield: 5 cups gazpacho
Prep time: 15 minutes, Total time: 15 minutes,
Serving size: 1 cup | Number of servings: 5
Watermelon soup? Why not? It may sound unusual, but watermelon is a wonderful addition to this traditional chilled soup of Mexico. A delicious and very refreshing idea for the hottest of summer days, as watermelon is so incredibly hydrating. Enter jalapeno, jicama, cilantro, and Mexican spices, offsetting watermelon’s sweetness somewhat, and you have a unique twist on tomato-based gazpacho. Serve immediately, so it doesn’t separate, and enjoy with other Mexican favorites, such as fajitas and horchata.
6 cups chopped watermelon (1-inch cubes)
½ cup water or coconut water
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon seeded and diced jalapeño pepper
½ teaspoon chili powder or Mexican spice
Mix (page 106)
¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
Pinch of sea salt
¾ cup seeded and diced cucumber
¾ cup peeled and diced jicama
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Place the watermelon, water or coconut water, lime juice, jalapeño, chili powder, chipotle chile powder, and salt in a blender and blend well.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir well before serving.
Variation: replace the cilantro with fresh mint, and replace the cucumber and jicama with blueberries and chopped strawberries.
Excerpted from Healing the Vegan Way: plant-based eating for optimal health and wellness by Mark Reinfeld. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Press | Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
So don’t make the mistake I almost made and dismiss Healing the Vegan Way as just another book on plant-based eating. Pick up a copy today and experience the limitless possibilities a vegan diet has in store.