As you can probably tell by the lack of recent posts, life in QV land has been pretty crazy lately. After sixteen months, I’m finally nearing the end of the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant program, and that means a whole lot of work has suddenly come down the pike. I’m teaching wellness classes (adapted to be 100% plant-based, of course) while seeing two clients and trying to document it all at the same time. Not surprisingly, the blog–along with a few things like household chores–has been left in the dust.
When I’ve got that much going on, quick and easy recipes that are also delicious are a must. Don’t get me wrong; I love spending a ton of time in the kitchen. But even the most enticing dinner can’t get put ahead of schoolwork, alas.
That’s one of the reasons why I’m so happy I got a chance to review The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook.
As an oil-free vegan (with the exception of the occasional cookie), I’m happy to see more and more cookbooks with oil-free recipes or oil-free options appearing on the shelves. The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook is based on the diet recommended by Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. If you’ve read or heard any of Esselstyn’s work, you know he’s a staunch believer in excluding processed oils from the diet along with many other sources of fat. Anne and Jane Esselstyn, the cookbook’s authors, stick to these dietary recommendations in all the recipes.
Now, I’m not as much of a stickler for low-fat eating as the Esselstyns, but I appreciate a good collection of no-oil recipes that are, as I mentioned, quick, easy and delicious. I’d say more than half the recipes in this book fall into the “quick and easy” category, including the entire section of hummus and dressings.
I have to admit that I’ve always thought hummus without tahini was kind of silly. Then I tried the Our Hummus recipe! It calls for Dijon mustard instead, something that sounds odd on paper but is rather ingenious in practice. Since first trying it, I think I’ve made it eight or ten times and am not sick of it yet! It’s a great basic recipe that you can add anything to, and the Esselstyns give a few delicious ideas such as caramelized onions or sweet potatoes.
Most of the recipes I’ve tried from this book are unique like that in some way. They’re spins on things most vegans eat on a regular basis, but with surprising ingredients such as kale in veggie burgers, sweet potatoes in lasagna and greens in oatmeal.
Yes, you read that right: kale in your oatmeal. Recipes for savory oatmeal always intrigue me, so I had to try both the Picadilly Bowl and Savory Smoky Oats. These pair oatmeal up with unusual add-ins like broccoli, bell peppers, corn and yes, kale. One uses nutritional yeast for its main flavoring while the other also calls for liquid smoke.
While I managed to get the liquid ratio and cooking time right for the Picadilly Bowl, my smoky oats came out a bit wet. I tend to soak oats before eating them so it’s kind of hit-and-miss with how much water to add. The only other tweak I’d make for this one would be to reduce the nutritional yeast and use more liquid smoke. Adding some red lentils would also be quite tasty and could turn this from a breakfast bowl into lunch. (Note the hot sauce on top. That’s a common condiment in this book, which I find kind of surprising since it tends to be high in salt. But it is rather tasty!)
Another unusual but extremely tasty treat in this book is the Kale and Sauerkraut Sandwich. This one takes a bit of time to prepare because you have to cook the kale and rinse the kraut, but it’s well worth the effort.
Surprisingly, it’s not the kraut that gives this sandwich its zing but rather the combination of hummus on one side and Dijon mustard on the other. I’d never have thought to put the two together on one sandwich, but it makes for a lovely spicy flavor that complements the filling ingredients nicely. A few halved cherry tomatoes top it all off. It’s a fabulous way to enjoy the heck out of stuffing a lot of kale into one sandwich.
Other recipes I’ve tried and loved:
- Jane’s Favorite 3-2-1 dressing (now a staple on my salads!)
- Citrus dressing (very citrusy and bright)
- Cauliflower buffalo bites (delicious but should be made with salt-free hot sauce if possible)
And there are many more on my radar to try, including the intriguing kale cake with blueberry frosting. As you can probably tell by now, I’ve really enjoyed cooking from this book and am looking forward to unearthing all of its quirky, unique food treasures. Three cheers for The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook!
The folks at Avery are graciously supplying a copy of this great book to one lucky QV reader! Simply leave a comment on this post telling me what first prompted you to go plant-based! (US residents only, please.)
Giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered! Winners will be announced soon.