I will readily admit that I have a cookbook addiction.
I love cookbooks. Not the e-book kind of cookbook, but the hold it in your hands, sticky pages, write notes in it kind of cookbook. Those are the best kind, so I am so glad that there are people out there like Laura Theodore who enjoy putting together beautiful, deliciously inspiring cookbooks everyone can use.
Vegan-ease is Laura Theodore’s newest cookbook and not only is it packed with easy to follow, delicious vegan recipes, it is also a great ‘how-to’ book to help anyone that is looking to make more plant-based meals at home.
Laura states in the book that,
“The phrase Vegan-Ease combines the terms “vegan” and “ease” to describe simple plant-based recipes, using readily available ingredients that are animal-free.”
All the recipes in this cookbook are put together to help anyone ease into a plant-based diet. Laura, also known as the Jazzy Vegetarian, has gathered recipes that are geared to all eaters – omnivores, carnivores, vegetarians, and long time vegans alike.
This is my second cookbook of Laura’s and I absolutely love it.
Beautiful pictures, easy to understand instructions and lots of great tips like these:
Top Five Tips
for Vegan-Ease Cuisine
Here are my Top Five Tips for starting on the path to Vegan-Ease Cuisine: Easy vegan meals, without sacrificing great taste or giving up the textures and flavors we all love!
- If you are new to vegan eating, start by serving one non-meat, plant-based meal each week for dinner. Try preparing hearty and satisfying favorites like Chili, Lasagna, Soup, Pasta, Easy Casserole or Meatless Burger.
- Use mashed bananas, ground flaxseeds mixed with water or whipped organic tofu to replace eggs in many baked goods recipes. This works especially well when making muffins, brownies and many cakes. (If a baked goods recipe calls for just one egg, in most cases you can just leave the egg out and your recipe will still be perfect!)
- Now widely available in most supermarkets, purchase rice, soy, almond, cashew, coconut or oat nondairy milk for topping cereal or as a substitute for dairy milk in almost any recipe.
- Got a sweet tooth? Organic, dairy-free, fair trade dark chocolate is available in most supermarkets and health food stores.
- When food shopping, take a moment to explore the rainbow of colors and tastes that fresh produce has to offer. Try adding one new vegetable or fruit to your cart every time you shop. This will make your journey toward a vegan diet more flavorful and fun.
From hearty main dishes, to decadent desserts, the vegan diet offers a wide range of options. And best of all, you’ll be making the world a better place, one tasty recipe at a time.
Excerpt from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet © Laura Theodore (Jazzy Vegetarian, LLC 2015), reprinted by permission.
For my review, I chose to make the Butternut Squash Soup with Cashew “Cream”. The soup was extremely easy to make and perfect for a cool, fall evening dinner.
Butternut Squash Soup from the New Vegan-ease Cookbook & Giveaway
Makes 4 to 6 servings / Ease Factor 2
This simple-to-prepare potage is rich in taste and creamy in texture, without the use of dairy. A quick cashew “cream” (no pre-soaking of the cashews required) adds a touch of elegance, and the coconut milk beverage adds richness and depth to this impressive soup.
5½ cups cubed butternut squash, (about 1 medium squash, peeled, seeded and cut in 1½-inch pieces)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2⁄3 cup raw cashews
2½ cups filtered or spring water, plus more as needed
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage or nondairy milk of your choice
4 to 6 basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
Put the cubed squash, olive oil and Italian seasoning in a large bowl and toss gently until thoroughly coated. Arrange the squash in a single layer on the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the squash is soft and slightly golden. Put the pan on a wire rack and sprinkle with the sea salt. Let the squash cool for 25 to 30 minutes (see note).
Meanwhile, put the cashews and 1⁄2 cup water in a high-performance blending appliance and process until smooth and creamy. Transfer the cashew “cream” to a small bowl, leaving about 2 heaping tablespoons in the blender container. Add the cooled squash, coconut milk and 2 cups water to the cashew “cream” in the blender container and process until smooth, adding more water, about 1⁄4 cup at a time, as needed, to achieve the desired consistency.
Pour the soup into a medium-sized saucepan, cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until heated through. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Using a small spoon, swirl about 1 tablespoon of the cashew “cream” into the top of each serving, in a pretty pattern. Garnish with a basil leaf (optional). Serve piping hot (see notes).
– You may roast the squash up to 24 hours ahead of time. After cooling, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until use.
– This soup may be made up to 24 hours ahead of time. If making in advance, let the soup cool after blending, pour the cooled soup into an airtight container and refrigerate. To reheat the soup, pour it into a pot. If the soup seems too thick, add a little more water to achieve the desired consistency. Cook for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring often, until heated through.
– The cashew cream may be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until use.
Amount per serving, based on 6 servings: 93 Calories; 4g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 2g Protein; 8mg Sodium; 15g Total Carbohydrate; 3g Sugars; 2g Fiber
Recipe from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet © Laura Theodore (Jazzy Vegetarian, LLC 2015), reprinted by permission. Photo by David Kaplan.
See, simple and very delicious!
Want to check out Vegan-Ease for yourself, well here’s your chance to win your very own copy!