I am super honored to be a part of the “Plant Power Blog Tour” & I have a review & delicious recipe to share today! Acclaimed & best-selling author, Nava Atlas, has written some of my favorite vegan cookbooks. I’ve gotten quite a bit of mileage out of her previous books, “Vegan Holiday Kitchen” & “Wild About Greens”, so I knew that when I received my review copy of “Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, & Life with More than 150 Fresh & Flavorful Vegan Recipes” I would have a wonderful time reading & cooking my way through the wholesome, plant powered recipes! With 75 gorgeously glossy color photos by the wildy talented Hannah Kaminsky bringing the recipes to life, this book will surely to leave your mouth watering & your tummies rumbling.
In her latest culinary exploration, Atlas celebrates the bounty of natural foods as she presents more than 150 delicious & versatile plant-based recipes for every day of the year. Not only is “Plant Power” a beautiful must-have guide that will help you transform your kitchen, plate, & life with the best nature has to offer, it proves that eating vegan does not have to be about sacrifice or substitution. Nava teaches everyone, from committed vegans to those who just want more plants in their diet, how to implement a plant-based approach to their lives ~ easily, practically, & joyfully!
“Plant Power” covers the basics of plant-based living by offering simple nutrition information, useful tips for stocking your plant-powered kitchen with pantry staples & must-have kitchen tools, & how to select & store fresh, organic, seasonal foods. She also helps you take the overwhelming challenge of meal planning & make is fun & fool-proof with tips for savvy shopping, simplifying weekly prep & planning strategies, & offers 10 “make-ahead” meals to help power you through the work/school week. Each fresh & flavor-packed recipe is not only simple to make, but totally customizable, as she provides variations to kick up the heat or swap out seasonal ingredients & tips on how to make it a complete meal.
With over 300 pages of inspiration & 8 chapters covering plant powered proteins, soups & stews, pasta & pizza, Asian cuisine, tortilla specialties, sammies & burgers, salad & veggie entrees, snacks & healthy sweets “Plant Power” is sure to be your next “go-to guide” for all of your plant-based home-cooking needs.
There are so many plant-powered recipes that I am excited to try! Here are a few that I’ve flagged:
- Curried Chickpeas with Spinach
- Coconut Cream of Orange Vegetables Soup
- Classic Veggie Chili Stuffed Winter Squash
- Vegan Pasta Alfredo with Mushroom Storganoff
- White Pizza with Caramelized Onions & Olives
- Gingery Miso Soup
- Fully Loaded Emergency Nachos
- Smoky Tempeh & Avocado Reuben Sandwiches
- Apple Slaw with Leafy Greens
- Chocolate Nut-Butter Truffles
Oh yum!! And that doesn’t even cover half of what you’ll find. As promised, I have a delicious recipe to share from the book. The moment I saw the recipe for “Quick Quinoa Paella” I knew it would have to be the first recipe I would test. I absolutely love paella. I started a New Year’s Day “Champagne & Paella” tradition a few years ago & it is a super fun way to bring in the New Year. The paella I usually make is delicious, but quite labor intensive, & it takes a lot of work & attentiveness to make sure the rice turns out “just right.” While there is still a bit of chopping involved here, the use of canned & frozen veggies cuts down on prep time, & quick cooking quinoa helps get this dish on the table in about 30 minutes. Straying from tradition, the recipe recommends turmeric in place of the customary saffron ~ which can be expensive & hard to find ~ however, she does offer the option of using saffron threads if you have access to it. Not a traditionalist myself, I welcome substitutions, but for me, saffron is what takes paella from your everyday rice & veggie dish to something more exotic & special, so I opted to stick with tradition! And I’ll let you in on my saffron secret…Trader Joe’s! T.J.’s sells 1 gram of decent quality Spanish saffron for $5.99 ~ such a steal! Now, I am not a saffron aficionado, but it does the job for me. I love the subtle & unique flavor, & golden hue it gives the dish! Either way this is a scrumptious take on paella, & a dish I will make over & over ~ New Years or not! Nava suggests “completing the meal” with her “Fruity Nutty Mixed Green Salad” or a side of steamed green vegetables with the option of beans for a protein boost.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
- 1 cup sliced baby bella (cremini) mushrooms (optional)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1½ teaspoons turmeric (see Note)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
- 2 teaspoons fresh or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- One 14- to 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained & quartered
- 2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
- 2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
- 2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the oil, broth, or water in a large, deep skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the garlic, bell peppers, & mushrooms, if desired, & sauté over medium-low heat until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the broth, turmeric, & quinoa. Bring to a simmer & cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the thyme, artichoke hearts, peas, tomatoes, scallions, & half the parsley.
- Check if the quinoa is completely done; if not, add ½ cup water. Cook, stirring frequently, just until everything is well heated through, about 5 minutes.
- Season with salt & pepper, then transfer the mixture to a large shallow serving container, or serve straight from the pan. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top & serve at once.
Yum! Such beautiful colors & textures from the veggies, subtle yet fragrant spice from the saffron or turmeric, & tons of protein, fiber & nutrients from the quinoa. It makes the perfect meatless, or shall I say “plant-power” main dish, or a festive holiday side. With all of the beautiful colors, perhaps I should make this for Christmas instead of New Year’s? Up, can’t believe I am even going there!
And speaking of Christmas, Nava Atlas’ “Plant Power“ would make a wonderful holiday gift for the veggie lover in your life! Whether you’re new to plant-based living, or a long time “vegenista” like me, this cookbook has so much to offer & I cannot wait to keep powering my way through it!
Be sure to keep your eyes out around the web for other bloggers participating in the “Plant Power Blog Tour,” as there are sure to be plenty more recipes, interviews, tips from Navas & giveaways soon to be announced. Enjoy!