Monday, August 23, 2010

Book Review: Get Healthy, Go Vegan

I have to be honest, I have never read one of Dr. Neal Barnard's books.  He has written countless introductions in the many vegan cookbooks I own, but I have yet to read an actual book he has written.  (It is definitely on my to do list!)  When I found out about his cookbook though, I knew I needed to get it.  And now that I own it, I couldn't be happier about it.  I have made 5 recipes and they have all been delicious and relatively easy.  I will go through the recipes I have made so you can have an idea about them.  Another added perk to this cookbook is that it includes all of the nutritional information at the bottom of the recipe.  This helps out a lot if you are counting calories or tracking Weight Watchers points

Vanilla French Toast:  I just used the non-dairy milk I had on hand for these which was Silk Pure Almond Original milk.  I may have added a little extra milk to the recipe too.  I cooked the french toast on the griddle using a small amount of oil.  The good thing about using silken tofu in this recipe is that it provides protein to keep you full longer.  I also made some Gimme Lean Sausage style patties to go along with the french toast.  The recipe turned out great and I only used 1 TBSP of maple syrup to go with the french toast.  It was enough syrup to cover the french toast without adding a lot of sugar.  This recipe was easy and a hit! 

Fire Roasted Tomato Black Bean Chili:  I am really not that fond of chili-it's just never been one of my favorite meals.  However, my spouse loves it.  So I try to make it every so often for that reason.  I did like this chili recipe as far as chili recipes go, however, I would make one change.  The recipe calls for 2 TBSP of chipotle seasoning and I would use far less than this.  I used the 2 TBSP and the chili was VERY spicy!  I would probably use 1/2 TBSP or maybe even less.  Other than that, the recipe turned out great and was a very easy dinner to make. 

Mixed Veggie Curry with Whole Wheat Couscous:  I LOVED the flavors of this recipe!  Once again, this was another easy to make.  It wouldn't be out of the question for a busy work night.  The thing I love about couscous is that it cooks up so fast and the whole wheat variety has quite a bit of protein per serving.  If you wanted to add extra protein, I would throw in some chickpeas to the recipe or serve them on the side.

Three Layer Tortilla Casserole:  Instead of using a pie plate for this recipe, I used an 8x8 casserole dish.  This recipe was very filling and was also super healthy.  I loved how the recipe basically has you make your own refried beans out of black beans.  You put the cooked black beans in the food processor along with some other spices and ingredients to create more of a bean paste than actual beans.  I think this is a good move for a layered casserole.  I use the Carb Watch tortillas from Trader Joes which are very Weight Watchers friendly.  This recipe was very low in points and it's on my list of recipes to make again! 

Raspberry Cake:  This cake makes 2 servings.  So if you are entertaining you will probably, at least, want to double the recipe.  With that said, I have made this cake at least 4 times now!  The first time, I made it exactly like the recipe said.  Very delicious!  The second time, I decided to make it a chocolate cake.  I think I would have to do a little more tweaking to that to make it just how I want it.  The only drawback to this recipe is that it calls for Grand Marnier to be poured over the cake.  I didn't realize this until I got into the liquor store, but Grand Marnier is expensive!  At my local liquor store, it was $25 for the smallest bottle they had.  But luckily the recipe just calls for 2 TBSP to be poured over it.  I even use less now.  I just use one TBSP over the cake and that's plenty.  It was actually a little strong the first time I made it.  The cake is super easy to whip up, but you have to allow at least one hour for the Grand Marnier to sit on the cake before serving.  So you have to be willing to wait a little while for dessert.  :)  Another thing I slightly changed is that I don't sift out the seeds from the raspberry sauce.  The seeds don't bother me or my spouse so I just cook the raspberrys until they are a sauce and pour it directly over the cake.  That saves a little extra time and energy. 

These are the recipes I have made so far.  When I first got the cookbook, I went through and wrote down every recipe I wanted to make.  I still have 25 recipes to make!  :)

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