In my last post I reviewed Love Fed, a raw food dessert book from BenBella Books. For this post, I have two more titles from BenBella that I have recently tested out, and fallen in love with! First up is The PlantPure Nation Cookbook, by Kim Campbell, daughter-in-law of T. Colin Campbell whom you might know as the co-author of The China Study. We are huge fans of The China Study book in this house and have sent copies to many of our family members, where it goes largely unheeded, but that’s another story. Anyway, The PlantPure Nation Cookbook is the companion book to the documentary film PlantPure Nation, executive produced and directed by Nelson Campbell (husband to Kim and son to T. Colin, if you’re keeping track), which will be released this summer. This is the same creative team that brought us the film Forks Over Knives, so I have no doubt that this will be another must-see documentary that will combine inspiring story-telling with a simple, science-based approach to show us all how a vegan lifestyle can, you know, save your life and the rest of the planet too.
But back to the food. Pictured above is the most mouth-wateringly delicious Ethiopian Lentil Stew (recipe below). I love love love Ethiopian food, and as soon as I saw this recipe I couldn’t wait to try it. The base of almost every Ethiopian recipe is a very complex spice mix called berbere, which can be very difficult to find, but Campbell helpfully includes a recipe (also below!) so that you can make your own mix and keep it on hand. The lentil stew had the wonderful berbere seasoning as well as butternut squash and spinach. I made it early in the day to have for dinner later, and it tasted even better after it sat for a few hours, allowing all the flavors to meld. And it was yet again even better the next day, when we finished up the leftovers. This recipe is going into my regular rotation, so I hope you make it and enjoy!
But that’s not the only recipe I tested from the PlantPure Nation book – I pretty much always have to try a mac & cheese recipe if one’s included. This Macaroni & No Cheese is baked and features a cheesy sauce made from cashews, butternut squash, nutritional yeast, and of course other seasonings. I added some peas and carrots to the mix to try to sneak in some extra veggies for the kids, but when they picked them out I could still be silently happy that I was at least making them eat squash. Solid, easy, and tasty.
These Gingerbread-Blueberry Pancakes were a special weekend treat. They were thick and hearty, and wonderfully spiced with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Warming and delicious.
And I made this Broccoli Salad because it reminded me so much of a very similar recipe that my dear friend Wendy gave me last year. The veggies are mixed with raisins, sunflower seeds, and vegan bacon bits (I used tempeh bacon) and a mayo-mustard-agave dressing. It’s smoky and sweet and crunchy and chewy all at the same time. Just calling it Broccoli Salad really undersells it, because it’s so good.
And finally, before we get to the recipe, I also reviewed another title from BenBella, The Best Green Smoothies on the Planet by Tracy Russell. It has 150 recipes for, yep, you guessed it, green smoothies, helpfully categorized according to their main benefits: Detox & Cleansing, Weight Loss, Antioxidant, Fitness & Energy, Immune-Boosting, Calcium-Rich, Heart Healthy, Iron-Rich, and Mood-Enhancing. We have a serious green smoothie addiction in my house because, as I have mentioned, I have a vegetable-averse toddler. He will pick out the most microscopic “green thing” out of his food, but ironically will happily down just about any green smoothie that I make for him. It’s an excellent way to get your greens in, whether you’re a picky toddler or a busy adult. Some of the combinations I tried were the Banana-Pineapple-Spinach, the “Green Machine”, the Mango-Kiwi, the Chocolate-Peanut Butter (because of course I did), and the Coconut-Goji Berry. I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of pictures of green smoothies though, so just have a look at my adorable baby girl drinking the Banana-Pineapple one here.
And finally, the exciting part. Thanks again to BenBella Books for granting permission to publish this recipe. As I mentioned, it can be hard to find in stores, but if you want to purchase your own berbere mix instead of making it, Amazon has it here.