DSC_0008       Festive Chickpea Tart (using a Wholly Wholesome spelt crust)

For most of my adult life, when I had to cook for myself, I was never any good at cooking vegetables.  When I had my first baby I knew I needed to do a little better by her.  Vegetables are important and so I had to figure out how I was going to start cooking them in a way that would make us say “YUM!” and not the other Y word!

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Jerk Chickpeas

Enter vegan cookbooks.  What better way to learn how to make vegetables delicious than to turn to cookbooks all about vegetables?  The recipes had to be good for folks to base their entire diets around them, right?

So, I started out by buying two vegan cookbooks in late 2007.  The first was Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero and the second just days later was Eat Drink and Be Vegan by Dreena Burton.  I love Veganomicon, but there was something about Dreena and her book that I was drawn to.  Dreena is a mom and creates the most flavorful and creative recipes – these are things I could identify with! If I remember correctly, the first meal I made from Dreena’s book left my husband saying that if this was what eating vegan was like, there was no turning back.  :)

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Coconut Banana Muffins

And the rest is history.  It didn’t happen overnight, but we slowly transitioned from the standard fare to a mostly plant-based diet (which we have now been doing for over three years).  Eating this way is so delicious and indulgent.  I’ll speak for myself and say that I do not miss what we used to eat and I feel healthier than ever.

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Beans ‘n’ Greens Soup with Sweet Potato Biscuit*

Dreena released her fourth book, Let Them Eat Vegan, in 2012.  I must admit that I jumped at the chance to receive a complimentary book from Dreena.  I was so excited to share all my cooking experiences with you because I knew it would be a great book.  Unfortunately, the week that I received the book, I fell ill with morning sickness and was away from the kitchen for the next several months.  However, now that we’ve been cooking (almost daily) from Dreena’s book, I have a lot of feedback to share.

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Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls

My two older children love Dreena’s recipes.  They are 8 and 4 and ask whenever I make something new “Is this a Dreena recipe?” Then, they agree that you can never go wrong with a “Dreena Burton recipe”.  So very cute.  And, it’s true.  Our youngest little girl is 14 months old now, and she is also a fan!

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Chocolate Lovers Ice Cream (with marshmallow sauce*)

Let Them Eat Vegan has remained a countertop favorite for the past year.  I have made at least 40% of the recipes in it and cannot think of one that was just so-so.  Seriously.

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No-Fu Love Loaf

Here are just a few of our favorites:

  • Coconut Banana Muffins
  • Whole Grain Chia Pancakes
  • Cocoa Goji Granola
  • Wholesome Oat Snackles (I’ve made these about 20 times with various flavor combinations; my favorite is orange zest, currants and mini chips from Enjoy Life)
  • Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls
  • Walnut Mustard Vinaigrette (used pecans instead)
  • Creamy Curry Almond Dressing
  • Moroccan Carrot Dip
  • Rosemary Gravy
  • Cheesy Sprinkle (always in our fridge for pasta and soups)
  • Tomato Lentil Soup with Cumin and Fresh Dill
  • Kids’ Cheesy Chickpea and White Bean Soup (my kids love that this is called a “Kids'” soup; they exclaim “it’s just for US!”)
  • Creamy Polenta
  • Thai Chickpea Almond Curry
  • No-fu Love Loaf
  • Jerk Chickpeas (my daughter’s favorite)
  • Festive Chickpea Tart (I made this for Thanksgiving)
  • Walnut Pecan Balls (we use these as meatballs)
  • Mac-Oh-Geez! (this is requested constantly; we eat it about once every two weeks)
  • Chocolate Cornmeal Cookies
  • “Raisinet” Cookies (tasty flavor combination!)
  • Raw Chai Bars
  • Award-Winning Frosted B-raw-nies
  • Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream (all of her ice creams are wonderfully rich and creamy)
  • Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Lovers Ice Cream
  • Strawberries ‘n’ Cream Ice Cream

In addition to delicious flavor combinations seasoned to perfection, Dreena includes information about whole foods, smoothie how to, and helpful baking tips.  What I find really helpful about Dreena’s recipe writing style is that in each recipe she gives you very detailed tips about how to make the recipe turn out great.  She also includes notes on substitutions, including her preferences.  It’s as if you are inside Dreena’s head!

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Cardamom Scented Peach Ice Cream (from Dreena’s website)

This last photo I will leave you with is not a recipe from Let Them Eat Vegan, but from her blog, Plant Powered Kitchen.  The flavor combination of peach and cardamom was wonderful!

Dreena’s book, Let Them Eat Vegan, is a wonderful resource for plant-based cooking that is appropriate for ANY kitchen.  The recipes are well-loved by the adults AND children in our house – give it a try in yours! I also own Dreena’s three previous cookbooks – Eat Drink and Be Vegan, Vive Le Vegan and The Everyday Vegan – and cannot wait for her fifth book she is working on right now!

*sweet potato biscuit and marshmallow sauce are not recipes in Let Them Eat Vegan

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