Vegan Mozzarella Recipe: DIY Vegan Cookbook

Straight after my review of Gena’s new book last week, I have another book you’ll want to add to your vegan cookbook collection – DIY Vegan!

This book is truly up my alley. While I get giddy about all of the exciting new vegan products entering our stores, my own journey with vegan cooking began with the basics. So, I will always be drawn to making things from scratch. It’s not always easy with three kiddos. There’s a lot I don’t make from scratch, but I love knowing how to make certain foods like nut cheeses, granola, nut butters, plant milks, and sauces. You will find recipes for these… and oh-so-much more in DIY Vegan!

DIY Vegan is one of those “essential” books you’ll want in your kitchen. For those of us that don’t have access to specialty products like vegan cheeses, or who want to make milks and nut butters from scratch because they are cheaper or have better flavor, or because we can customize the flavors and ingredients. If this is your kind of vegan cooking, this is your kind of cookbook. Nicole and Lisa use easy-to-find, whole food ingredients to make recipes including plant-based milks, nut butters, home-ground flours, ice creams, sauces, and snack foods.  DIY vegan cookbook - #giveaway #vegan

This is the first published cookbook by Nicole Axworthy and Lisa Pitman. However, their work is well-known and cherished in the vegan community. They have worked on two ebooks together, and Nicole was also the photographer for my PP15 ebook and for Plant-Powered Families. They both have popular vegan blogs, and are two of the most compassionate people I know. Truly, they are a gift to the community and this book is a gift to us plant-based home cooks.

Lisa and Nicole have offered to share their recipe for Buffalo Mozzarella. I made it over the weekend, and even though the recipe mentions a couple of steps, it was still quite easy to make! I used my Blendtec with the twister jar to make this recipe. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you can still make this since the cashews have been soaked and will blend fairly smooth. However, if you are thinking of investing in a rambo blender, look at the Blendtec, and pick up a twister jar too.

Give it a whirl, kids, and enjoy this smooth and mellow vegan mozza!

Buffalo Mozzarella from DIY Vegan #dairyfree #vegan #cheese

Buffalo Mozzarella (from DIY Vegan)

link to print/share

Missing that summer salad staple, composed of stacks of sliced tomato, creamy mozzarella, and bright, bold basil leaves? The wait is over—vegan mozzarella is here. This recipe makes what seemed impossible undeniably easy. Sure, it takes some time to prepare, but think of it as a B plot: a few minutes of effort here and there in between your life’s A-plot adventures (work, sleep, play). When it’s time for the exciting culmination, your mozzarella will be ready to star in a Caprese salad, amid roasted vegetables or thinly sliced atop a classic Neapolitan pizza. Makes 4 balls, about 1/3 cup each.

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 6 hours
½ teaspoon probiotic powder
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup agar flakes, or 2¼ teaspoons agar powder

1. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
2. In a blender, combine the cashews, probiotic powder, and 1/2 cup water and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass or ceramic bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and set aside to ferment for 24 hours.
3. In a blender, combine the fermented cashew mixture, nutritional yeast, xanthan gum, and salt and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. In a small saucepan, whisk together the agar and ⅔ cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking often, for 10 minutes until all the agar has dissolved and the liquid begins to thicken.
5. In a shallow medium bowl, combine the blended cashew mixture and the agar mixture. Whisk until the agar mixture is completely incorporated.
6. Transfer the bowl to the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
7. Divide the cheese into quarters. Put each portion on a square piece of plastic wrap. Pull the corners of the plastic wrap together over the cheese and twist to form the cheese into a tight ball, just like the classic buffalo mozzarella shape. Return to the fridge to chill for an additional hour or two before slicing. Store any leftovers tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Reprinted from DIY Vegan. Copyright © 2015 Nicole Axworthy and Lisa Pitman. Published by St. Martin’s Griffin.

That’s not all… Lisa and Nicole have offered a giveaway of DIY Vegan for you, enter below!

DIY Vegan cookbook giveaway

Back-To-School Giveaway… Blendtec and Plant-Powered Families!

In my last school post I hinted about a big giveaway. It’s here!

I’ve teamed up with my friends at Blendtec to share my ideas for packing nut-free school lunches. In their post, I share 3 of my favorite blender-friendly, nut-free recipes from Plant-Powered Families, plus a bunch of my lunch ideas from the book.

Double giveaway! Blendtec Designer 625 plus Twister Jar and copy of Plant-Powered Families cookbook! #blendtec #backtoschool #plantbased #vegan #healthy #plantpoweredfamilies

Jump over to Blendtec’s blog for these tips and recipes, including this YUMMY Chunky Monkey Smoothie!

Chunky Monkey Smoothie recipe from Plant-Powered Families #vegan #dairyfree #smoothies #blendtec #wholefoods #plantbased

Then, enter to WIN your own Blendtec Designer 625 with Twister jar, and a copy of Plant-Powered Families! You can enter over on Blendtec’s blog, or right here, below!

Thanks Blendtec for the giveaway, and good luck kids!

x Dreena

Plant-Powered Kitchen & Blendtec Giveaway

Giveaway: VEGA Gift Pack + Plant-Powered Families (over $200!)

Giveaway of VEGA bundle and Plant-Powered Families cookbook Many of you know I love my green smoothies. I’ve been making them daily for about 10 years, and so far haven’t tired of them! I pretty much make the same combination most days. No recipe needed, just a general sense of ingredients and proportions, and modifying as I go.

Initially when I started making green smoothies, I didn’t add any protein powders. Later, I started experimenting with Vega products. Over time, I found a few favorites I really enjoyed – and over time, I noticed that the flavor profiles of Vega really improved. Now, Vega has quite a wide range of products from nutritional shakes to sport drinks to incredibly delicious snack bars.

Why do I use Vega? I just love it! It’s not that I feel we “need” the protein. I do appreciate its nutritional profile, especially when days are busy for us and the kids. But I also just love the flavors. Is that peculiar? When I make my green smoothies and add the vanilla, coconut almond, or tropical powders, the flavor is elevated… tastier! Plus, because of its nutritional profile, adding vega to our smoothies does make them more satisfying when “on-the-go”.

After experimenting with my favorite vanilla and tropical flavors, I turned to chocolate. (What took me so long?) 😉 I tried the chocolate powder and created this Chunky Monkey Smoothie recipe, now in Plant-Powered Families.

Chunky Monkey Smoothie

…and then used it in these Protein-Power Balls (also in PPF)…

Protein Power Balls

I use the vanilla and tropical Vega powders in a couple of other PPF recipes as well. Given my love for Vega, and use in PPF, it seemed a natural fit to bundle a giveaway of my Plant-Powered Families cookbook with some of my favorite Vega products.

The cool cool folks at Vega agreed, and we have put together a fine prize pack for you!

The winner of this giveaway will receive:

1 Large Tub of Vega One Vanilla
1 Tub of Protein & Greens Tropical (my fave!)
1 Tub Vega Sport Mocha Protein
1 Box Dark Chocolate Mixed Nuts & Sea Salt Snack Bars – (these are dangerously good!)
2 BPA-free Shaker Cups (we have these and love ’em)
1 copy of Plant-Powered Families

Giveaway of VEGA bundle and Plant-Powered Families cookbook

This Vega bundle is valued at over $200! 

Lucky for us, the folks at Vega are super cool and offering not just this giveaway, but also giving us plant-powered families 20% off plus FREE shipping on any orders until August 2nd in their online store (you won’t get a better discount than this).

To get the 20% off and free shipping, enter this code at checkout: PPFamilies 

Here’s the link again to their online store: Vega e-store. I’m stoked, I’ll be ordering myself – and have my eye on this tee. :)

Take advantage of this sweet deal. and then enter to win this enter prize pack below. Tell us which Vega product you love the most – or which you’re most keen to try!

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Disclaimer: I have not received monetary compensation to post this discount and giveaway with Vega. I simply love Vega products, and Vega is supporting my work with this offer and gift bundle. Thank you, Vega!

Blendtec Designer 725 Series + Twister Jar Giveaway!


So I planned to post this giveaway last week, as a follow-up to my Mother’s Day recipes. You know that saying “your eyes are bigger than your stomach”? … Well, I guess my plans were bigger than my presence.

With the official release of my book, and preparing for my book signing (photos coming), fitting in a blog post was far too much for this author/mama-of-three last week. I think it’s for the best anyhow. Because us mamas should have more than one day a year to be acknowledged for all that we do! Right? I say we celebrate ourselves every month. Let’s start with a chance to win a Blendtec!

Plant-Powered Families Cookbook Release Blendtec Giveaway!

You guys know I love my Blendtec. I’ve talked about it many, many times. In Plant-Powered Families, I make a lot of use of both my Blendtec and food processor. Prepping family meals is a great deal easier with these appliances, and I use my Blendtec the most. Every day. Often 2-3 times a day. Green smoothies in the wildside every morning for the family. Later, I often use the wildside again for sauce mixes (like Mac-Oh Geez or Creamy Fettucine from PPF), or I use the twister jar for all sorts of blends like salad dressings, chia puddings, vegan cheese blends and more.

Blendtec is helping me celebrate the release of Plant-Powered Families by providing one of you with an incredible prize… a Designer 725 blender and the Twister Jar!

Blendtec Designer 725 Series GIVEAWAY!

Blendtec Twister Jar - Blendtec GIVEAWAY! Thank you Blendtec for providing this prize to one of my very lucky readers. Enter below, kids!

Bits and Bites, some reviews and press for Plant-Powered Families:
Kim Lutz shares her review and the recipe for No-Bake Granola Bars.
The Humane Society shares recipe for Artichoke Sunflower Burgers.
Yahoo! Canada: interview for article on picky eaters.
Michaela Ballman shares her review and the recipe for Cheesy Caesar Salad.
Nicole Axworthy (my photographer for PPF) shares her favorite recipes!
Alisa Fleming shares her review and the recipe for Creamy Fettucine.
Wendy Polisi shares her review and the recipe for Ta-Quinos.
Stephanie Weaver shares the recipe for White Bean Guacamole.
Don’t Lose The Cow review and Skype interview.

p.s. If you are enjoying PPF, please leave a lil’ review luv on Amazon. 💚


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Smoky Paprika Green Bean Salad – HEALTHY HAPPY VEGAN KITCHEN cookbook by Kathy Patalsky

Today I have the honor of sharing a beautiful recipe from Kathy Patalsky’s NEW Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen cookbook!

Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen cookbook  - recipe feature and giveaway!

Many of you already know Kathy, but if you don’t, here’s a quick intro. Kathy blogs at Healthy. Happy. Life. This is her second published cookbook, she released 365 Vegan Smoothies in 2013.  Kathy is incredibly talented, not only as a recipe developer but also as a food photographer. You can count on Kathy to bring striking, vibrant food photos to every post. She captures the beauty that is vegan food – its vitality and abundance! Reading Kathy’s book, it’s apparent why this is characteristic in her work. She writes:

Why vegan? I believe that there is no diet on earth more uplifting to one’s body, mind, and soul than a vegan one. Plant-based foods are the ultimate path toward total body and spirit enlightenment. A vegan diet consists of foods that are rich in life, rather than death. Vegan foods are energizing, healing, kindness-infused, sunshine-filled, and overflowing with vitality-enhancing nutrients, enzymes, and phytochemicals…. embracing a vegan diet is a worthy starting point for positive changes in your life!

Well said.

Kathy is also quite a visionary. She is the mastermind behind, which in my opinion has revolutionized vegan recipes online. Just this year, Kathy launched the Finding Vegan App.

This newest project by Kathy, Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen, is a beautiful compilation of 220 vegan recipes, with all these chapters:

Breakfast; Bakery; Sandwiches; Burgers; Veggie Sides; Cakes, Balls & Fritters; Salads; Bowls; Appetizers, Sides, Snacks, & Party Platters; Entrees; Soups; Desserts; Drinks, Sips, and Smoothies; For the Kids; Holiday Favorites; Happy Life Menus.

That’s some serious recipe content! And the recipes themselves are diverse and enticing. It was hard for me to select a recipe to feature for this post. Naturally, I wanted to choose a dessert, but I thought I’d try being a little less predicable. 😉 Kathy’s recipe for this green bean salad really stood out to me. It’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures. Smoked paprika and tahini mingle in the sauce to coat the tender green beans, and then topped off with crunchy, candied walnuts. Right?!! It’s the ideal spring and summer potluck or picnic salad.

Smoky Paprika Green Bean Salad with Candied Walnuts - from "Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen" by Kathy Patalsky

Smoky Paprika Green Bean Salad with Candied Walnuts


recipage link to print/share

If you do not consider yourself a fan of green beans, keep reading! Even those who snarl at the classic “holiday green bean casserole” will love the spicy, lively, smoky-sweet flavors of this colorful green bean salad. Candied walnuts, soaked with maple flavor, mingle with crisp golden carrots, a smoky paprika-tahini-maple dressing, and perky boiled green beans. The green beans retain a slightly crisp texture from a quick cooking time. Serve as a veggie-filled lunch or at your next holiday gathering, and watch your guests actually get excited to try the green bean dish! Serves 6.

4 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into halves or thirds
2 medium carrots, cut into rounds ¼ cup chopped sweet onion
1 small lemon, juiced 2 heaping tablespoons tahini 2 tablespoons grade B maple syrup 1½ teaspoon smoky Spanish-style
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
A few dashes freshly ground black pepper
A few dashes cayenne (optional)
1 cup walnuts 2 tablespoons grade B maple syrup Coconut oil spray (optional)

Rinse the green beans in a large colander under cold water. Set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans and boil for about 5 minutes; do not overcook the beans or they will become too soft. For crisper (almost raw!) beans, do a very quick boil of just 1 to 3 minutes. Drain the beans and thoroughly rinse under cold water. Let the beans drain completely. Place the green beans, carrots, and onion in a large bowl. Set aside. For the Dressing: In a cup, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss until all the veggies are well coated. Pour the salad into a serving bowl and set aside. For the Candied Walnuts: Heat a small saucepan over high heat. Add the walnuts and maple syrup and cook for about 1 minute, tossing the walnuts with the maple syrup. (For less sticking, add a spritz of coconut oil spray, if desired, before adding the nuts.) Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Text excerpted from HEALTHY HAPPY VEGAN KITCHEN, © 2015 by Kathy Patalsky. Photos © Kathy Patalsky.

Treat yourself to a copy of Kathy’s book, you’ll love it! I must mention that Kathy is hosting one heck of a book launch giveaway, and stellar blog tour. So, hop over for the details.

Also, Kathy has offered a giveaway of her book for YOU! This contest is open to US residents, enter below by telling us which recipe by Kathy you love the most (if you can pick just one), or which recipe from her new book you want to try first? Good luck!

Plant-Powered Kitchen Housekeeping: Reminder that if you’ve ordered PPF, you are eligible for the free ebook. I get emails daily about if the offer is open to other countries, or if the order was back in November… YES! See this post for details.

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Plant-Powered Families is HERE! (+ bonus ebook and giveaway)


Plant-Powered Families is here! I’ve mentioned this new cookbook a few times, and today I can officially announce that it releases on May 12th! In this cookbook, I share over 100 recipes, plus insights and tips from my 14 years of raising 3 “weegans”.

NEW! Plant-Powered Families cookbook by Dreena Burton

This is my fifth cookbook, but my first cookbook with full-color design and photographs for every recipe (taken by my friend and colleague, Nicole Axworthy). Cover photo credit: Lindsay Faber.

All the recipes are vegan, whole foods plant-based, and many with allergy-friendly options to make them nut-free or gluten-free. This is collection of both new recipes along with selected “tried and true” dishes. I have revised some old favourites, making them easier, more nutritious, and also with some allergy-friendly alternatives. Of course, there are many new food creations, including:

  • Sunday Morning Pancakes
  • Cinnamon French Toast
  • Blueberry Lassy Muffins
  • No-Bake Granola Bars
  • Green Superhero Dressing
  • Cheesy Caesar Dressing
  • Potato-Meets-Egg-Salad
  • ‘Baconut’
  • Red Lentil Hummus
  • Vegan Feta
  • Motsa’ Dip
  • Ultimate Cashew Cheese
  • Cream of Cauliflower Soup
  • Smoky Bean Chili
  • Smashing Squash Soup
  • Thick ‘n Hearty Tomato Sauce
  • Polenta Pizza Crust
  • Artichoke Sunflower Burgers
  • Ta-Quinos!
  • Autumn Dinner Loaf with Homestyle Gravy
  • Saucy BBQ Chickpeas and Green Beans
  • Creamy Fettucine
  • “ShipShape” Joe’s
  • Balsamic-Glazed Sweet Potato Fries
  • Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl
  • Fudgesicles
  • Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Crazy Brownies
  • Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Protein Power Balls
  • Apple Nachos Supreme… and more!
Cinnamon French Toast from "Plant-Powered Families" cookbook by Dreena Burton

Cinnamon French Toast

Artichoke Sunflower Burgers from "Plant-Powered Families" cookbook by Dreena Burton

Artichoke Sunflower Burgers

Red Lentil Hummus from "Plant-Powered Families" cookbook by Dreena Burton

Red Lentil Hummus

Vegan Feta from "Plant-Powered Families" by Dreena Burton

Vegan Feta

Cream of Cauliflower Soup from "Plant-Powered Families" by Dreena Burton

Cream of Cauliflower Soup (with Seasoned Polenta Croutons)

Autumn Dinner Loaf from "Plant-Powered Families" cookbook by Dreena Burton

Autumn Dinner Loaf with Homestyle Gravy

Saucy BBQ Chickpeas and Green Beans from "Plant-Powered Families"

Saucy BBQ Chickpeas and Green Beans

Crazy Brownies from "Plant-Powered Families" cookbook by Dreena Burton

CRAZY Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

Apple Spice Cake with "Cream Cheese" Frosting

Apple Spice Cake with “Cream Cheese” Frosting

Apple Nachos Supreme from "Plant-Powered Families" by Dreena Burton

Apple Nachos Supreme

Beyond the recipes, this is where you will find my vegan mama insights and food tips… answering the questions I hear from readers so often, including:

  • What do you pack in your kids’ school lunches? How do you make them nut-free?
  • What do you serve at birthday parties? Do you send your children to non-vegan parties and social events?
  • How do you handle weekly food preparation? What do you batch-cook/freeze?
  • … and the ever-popular: HELP! I have a picky eater!

I answer all these questions — and more — sharing what I’ve learned and as a mom of three for the past 14 years. I’ve also included a nutritional FAQ section, with help from my friend and colleague Heather Nicholds.

Plant-Powered Families releases on May 12th (perfect for Mother’s Day)! I encourage you to pre-order now and receive a special early order gift, a bonus ebook with 15 NEW plant-powered, family-friendly recipes. (If you have already pre-ordered, yes, you are still eligible to receive the pre-order bonus.) Your 15 bonus ebook recipes include… Lemon Coconut Muffins, Amaranth Porridge, Soy-Free Vegan Feta, Roasted Red Pepper Dip, Greek Lentil and White Bean Soup, Pumpkin Seed Poppers, Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Mousse Frosting, and more!

Lemon Cranberry Coconut Muffins from bonus "Plant-Powered Families" ebook by Dreena Burton

Lemon Cranberry Coconut Muffins

Mango Hemp Dressing from "Plant-Powered Families" bonus ebook

Mango Hemp Dressing

Pumpkin Seed Poppers from "Plant-Powered Families" bonus ebook!

Pumpkin Seed Poppers

Soy-Free Vegan Feta from "Plant-Powered Families" bonus ebook!

Soy-Free Vegan Feta

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Mousse Frosting from bonus Plant-Powered Families ebooks by Dreena Burton

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Mousse Frosting

To receive this bonus ebook:

  1. Order Plant-Powered Families (Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | Indigo) before May 12th.
  2. Email your proof of purchase to

That’s it! PLUS…

I know many of you will be sharing news of this book via social media, so I’m offering a special giveaway. To enter the giveaway:

  1. share this post on social media (Facebook, twitter, IG, etc) using the hashtags  #plantpoweredfamilies
  2. then leave a comment with rafflecopter (below), and you will be entered to win ALL of these prizes…

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Blueberry Coffee Cake from “Super Seeds” cookbook (+giveaway)

Today I have a feature recipe from Super Seeds by Kim Lutz. I met Kim at VVC almost two years ago. In a conference filled with excitable energy, I was struck by Kim’s calm, modest and beautifully gentle spirit. Kim is also a mother of two, and blogs at Welcoming Kitchen, which is the title of her first cookbook. Kim has also co-authored The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book and The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Autism.

Super Seeds Cookbook by Kim Lutz

Kim’s recipes are entirely vegan, and are also allergen-friendly. Welcoming Kitchen was a collection of plant-based, allergy-free recipes, and Kim’s second book, Super Seeds, follows this theme but with a focus on nutrient-dense seeds! Kim utilizes 5 main seeds in this cookbook, including hemp, chia, flax, amaranth, and quinoa.

Kim opens the book by introducing us to the nutrient profiles and benefits of super seeds, and then follows with some basic super seed recipes and simple tools needed to use these seeds in different forms (ex: whole seeds, seed flour, seed butter, and milks). Then, Kim brings us to the best part – the recipes! Super Seeds contains 75 recipes, from muffins and breads to salads, soups, and desserts.

I love the theme of this book. Regardless of your specific whole-foods or plant-based diet, most everyone is hip to using hemp, quinoa, amaranth, chia, and flax. Why? Because they are so incredibly nutrient-dense, allergen-friendly, and versatile. Kim makes it easy for us to incorporate these powerfully nutritious foods in our daily meals. I also love how welcoming the recipes are in this cookbook. Beyond being a successful author, Kim is also a busy mom of two active kiddos – so you know that she has designed these recipes with flavor, nutrition, and ease of preparation in mind!

Blueberry Coffee Cake #vegan from Super Seeds cookbook by Kim Lutz

Reviewing Kim’s book, I was immediately drawn to her Blueberry Coffee Cake! It’s the kind of recipe I imagined I might bake regularly for my family. After baking it up this weekend, this is definitely the kind of recipe I will regularly make for my family! I love it. It’s simple to make, utilizes whole foods, isn’t overly sweet, and has a beautiful, moist texture.

Kim has generously offered this recipe for reprint for us all to enjoy, plus a giveaway of her Super Seeds cookbook. You can enter below, but first, you must try this recipe! (If you’re planning your Thanksgiving menu, this would be lovely for brunch or tea.)

Blueberry Coffee Cake from "Super Seeds" by Kim Lutz

Photo credit: Bill Milne

Blueberry Coffee Cake

link to print/share recipe

Inspired by a traditional Italian almond cornmeal coffee cake, this version, with fresh (or frozen) blueberries, is elevated to “super coffee cake” with the addition of hemp seeds and hemp milk. This cake is truly delicious. Makes 8 servings

1 cup white whole-wheat flour, spelt flour, or (gluten-free) oat flour
1 cup cornmeal, plus extra for dusting the pan
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup plus two teaspoons granulated sweetener (coconut palm sugar or evaporated cane juice), divided
1 cup Hemp Milk (page 21) (or other nondairy milk)
¼ cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (or omit for a nut-free cake)
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon slivered almonds (or shelled pumpkin seeds, pepitas, for a nut-free cake)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon hulled hemp seeds

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Grease a 9-inch-round cake pan with coconut oil and dust with cornmeal. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking powder, and ¾ cup sweetener.
4. In a large bowl, combine hemp milk, apple- sauce, vanilla, and almond extract, if using.
5. Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
6. Add blueberries.
7. Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
8. In a small bowl, combine almonds or pepitas, hemp seeds, 2 teaspoons sweetener, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
9. Sprinkle nut-and-seed mixture over the top of the cake batter.
10. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tooth-pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
11. Let cake cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate and flip right side up. Serve warm.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Super Seeds, copyright 2014 by Kim Lutz, Sterling Publishing Co. 

Blueberry Coffee Cake from Super Seeds by Kim Lutz #vegan

Some of my blogging colleagues have also reviewed Super Seeds, with other featured recipes. Looky-loo!…

Amaranth-stuffed acorn squash (review on Spabettie)
Creamy golden corn soup (review on Go Dairy Free)
Hemp seed hummus (Review on Recipe Renovator)
Lemon-basil quinoa salad (review on The Blender Girl)
Massaged kale salad (review on Mama Balance)
Quinoa lentil soup (review on Ricki Heller)

And here’s YOUR chance to snag a copy of Super Seeds! Enter below, telling us YOUR favorite super seed!

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Good luck!

Quick Quinoa Paella: Recipe & giveaway of “Plant-Power” by Nava Atlas

Today I have a featured recipe from the new Plant-Power cookbook by Nava Atlas. I feel I don’t need to introduce Nava, as her work is legendary in the vegan cookery world. For those of you new to the vegan diet, however, let’s get you acquainted!

Plant-Power cookbook by Nava Atlas

Nava Atlas is one of the pioneering vegan and vegetarian cookbook authors (check out all her titles!), and is the creator of Nava also writes outside of the cookbook genre, producing visual nonfiction books. She is also an active fine artist, with works shown in museums and universities through the U.S.

Nava’s latest book, Plant-Power is a cookbook lover’s delight! To begin, it is a full-color, hard-cover book, with 125 recipes and 75 food photos throughout. Beyond the recipes, it is also a solid vegan cooking resource with detailed guides on stocking your pantry and fridge, to seasonal cooking, and practical tips for meal preparation.

Inside “Plant-Power”: Skillet Tofu Teriyaki

I often say that eating a plant-powered diet isn’t about what we “give up”… it’s what we GAIN: the new foods we eat, our expanded awareness and practice of compassion, and (usually) our renewed abundant health. Nava expresses this most eloquently with a quote on the back cover:

A switch to a plant-based diet doesn’t mean sacrifice or missing out. We get to revel in and enjoy themost flavorful, colorful, life-enhancing foods available. What I’d like you to take away from these pages is a message of ease, abundance, and pleasure. Cooking with the most healthful (not most exotic or expensive) ingredients nature has to offer is a joy!

Nava delivers this food passion throughout every page in Plant-Power. This book is dived into two main parts, the first focusing on lifestyle tips (ex: benefits of the diet, top myths, stocking a pantry, kitchen tools, meal planning strategies), and the second part devoted to recipes and menus.

Inside “Plant-Power” – Barbecue-Flavored Chickpea Sandwiches

The recipe range from stews, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, and breakfast to a special “Asian Express” chapter and another on “Tortilla Specialties”. Very nice additions to the usual repertoire of recipes! For those with a fondness for sweets (who’s pointing at me?!), the dessert section is brief, but includes several beautiful fruit and chocolate-based treats.

One of the recipes that really caught my eye is this Quick Quinoa Paella. It combines two of my personal favorite plant-strong foods: quinoa and artichokes! Nava is sharing this recipe with all of you today…

Quinoa Paella by Nava Atlas, recipe from "Plant Power" cookbook

Quick Quinoa Paella

ReciPage to print/share

Paella is a Spanish pilaf traditionally made with white rice and seafood. We’ll do away with the seafood here, of course, and since we’re dispensing with tradition, let’s do away with white rice as well. Using nutritious and quick-cooking quinoa instead, you can have a colorful meal in about thirty minutes. This goes well with Spinach, Orange, and Red Cabbage Salad.

Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

Serves: 6

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
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric (see Note)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
2 teaspoons fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
One 14- to 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and 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, and mushrooms, if desired, and sauté over medium-low heat until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, turmeric, and quinoa. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the thyme, artichoke hearts, peas, tomatoes, scallions, and half the parsley. Check if the quinoa is completely done; if not, add 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring frequently, just until everything is well heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer the mixture to a large shallow serving container, or serve straight from the pan. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top and serve at once.

Note: As another departure from tradition, I’ve suggested turmeric rather than the customary saffron. Saffron is harder to obtain and very expensive, but you’re welcome to try it if you have access to it. Use 1 to 11/2 teaspoons saffron threads dissolved in a small amount of hot water.

Nutrition information:
 Calories: 222 with oil, 202 without oil; Total fat: 4g with oil, 2g without oil; Protein: 10g; Carbohydrates: 40g; Fiber: 9g; Sodium: 240mg

Nava has generously arranged a giveaway of Plant-Power. Enter through Rafflecopter, tell us YOUR favorite Nava Atlas recipe!

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Plant-Powered 15 ebook: 1 year anniversary special and giveaway!

March marks the 1-year anniversary of the release of my (first) ebook, the Plant-Powered 15!

recipes from the Plant-Powered 15 ebook by Dreena Burton

Writing this ebook was such a new experience for me. As I explained in this post, I hadn’t ever really thought about creating an ebook, it really evolved through your interest. Thank you for the encouragement.

Features of the Plant-Powered 15 (PP15) ebook include:

  • photography of every recipe, food photos done by Nicole Axworthy
  • all whole-foods recipes
  • no added oils
  • all gluten-free (some using oats)
  • easy recipes
  • flavorful!

Many of you already know my Umami Almond, Quinoa, and Sun-dried Tomato Burgers.

Umami Almond, Quinoa and Sun-dried Tomato Burger

That popular recipe comes from the PP15 ebook! There are some other gems in this collection, including my Almond Blondies…

Sticky Almond Blondies from the Plant-Powered 15 ebook by Dreena Burton

and one of my go-to meals that I’ve posted about often on InstagramMac-nificent!

Mac-nificent - from the Plant-Powered 15 ebook

Here is the full list of recipes included in your Plant-Powered 15:

  1. Almond Zen Granola
  2. Pumpkin Seed and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
  3. Creamy House Dressing
  4. Green Goddess Dressing
  5. Orange-Miso Dressing
  6. Wonder Spread
  7. Black Bean Soup with Sweet Potatoes
  8. Presto Pistachio Pasta
  9. “SweetBalls”
  10. Umami Sun-Dried Tomato and Almond Burgers
  11. Sneaky Chickpea Burgers
  12. Mac-nificent
  13. Coconut Pillows
  14. Sticky Almond Blondies
  15. Peanut Butter Munchy Squares

I’m having a PP15 party with a giveaway and special offer!

First the discount:

Now until March 15th, you can purchase the Plant-Powered 15 ebook with a 25% discount! Only until March 15. To receive the discount, enter code onePP15 at the checkout.

Next some giveaway fun:

  • If you are the 15th person to purchase my ebook with this code, your copy is FREE (I will refund you), AND I will give you a copy to gift a friend.  :)


  • I’m giving away 2 SIGNED cookbooks (your choice) to one plant-powered 15 fan! This contest is open to anyone that purchases the PP15 now OR has EVER purchased the PP15 ebook!* To enter, leave a comment telling us your favorite PP15 recipe – or, if you are just buying it, which recipe you will make first. I will draw the winner after the 15th, and will mail you 2 signed cookbooks. *To be eligible for the signed cookbook giveaway, please use the same name/email that you used when ordering the PP15 ebook (if you can’t remember which email you used, I can still search your name).

These are two separate giveaways. If you win the ebook draw, you are still eligible to win the signed cookbooks.

Plant-Powered 15 ebook by Dreena Burton - 1 year giveaway and offer!

You can order my ebook on my books page here, or link straight through to the checkout here. Again, the 25% discount code is: onePP15

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Thanks to all of you that have already picked up a copy and share your pics and feedback on IG, facebook, and email. Your feedback always means a lot to me. 

Enjoy the ebook!

xx Dreena

The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Review, Recipe Feature, & Giveaway

After a blogging lull, I’m back with a fresh post. I finished and submitted my manuscript for Plant-Powered Families last Friday! That’s why you haven’t heard much from me in recent months, sorry for being so absent.

I’ll share more on that another time, because today’s post is dedicated to the wonder that is… The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon.

Oh She Glows Cookbook

I doubt there is anyone reading here that isn’t already a fan of the Oh She Glows blog. Angela is not just one of the most popular vegan food bloggers – she is one of the most popular food bloggers, period. She is dearly loved by her audience, for good reason. Her recipes are delicious, reliable, and wholesome, and she shares her food and life with an open heart.

I received a galley copy of OSG to provide a back cover quote, and even that copy was glorious. When I received the final copy, I was in awe. I’ve written four cookbooks, and none have had this presentation splendor. I’m not too proud to say that. The vegan cookery world has evolved. Expectations of plant-based cookbooks are higher, and this is a good thing. No longer is it enough to have recipes, readers want the full package of color and photographs throughout. This cookbook delivers. It is a stunning, comprehensive, glowing piece of work.

True to Angela’s work, this book provides a good variety of recipes that are easy, nutritious, and oh so delicious! And, true to Angela’s work, you will be mesmerized by the captivating food photos throughout the entire book.


Having the privilege to review and provide a quote for OSG, this is what I wrote:

If you can choose only one cookbook this year – Oh She Glows is it! Angela’s approach to vegan recipes is fresh, vibrant, and simple… and her connection to her readers honest and real. Regardless of your dietary needs or culinary expertise, Oh She Glows will become a beloved cooking resource.

About it in a nutshell. You’ll love this book, it’s a cooking resource that should be in every kitchen.


The cookbook itself is BIG! Beautifully so, broken down into these chapters:

  • my natural foods pantry
  • my favorite kitchen tools & equipment
  • breakfast
  • smoothies, juice & tea
  • appetizers
  • salads
  • soup
  • entrees
  • sides
  • power snacks
  • desserts
  • homemade staples
  • basic cooking chart

There are over 100 recipes, and they are well balanced throughout these chapters, with full-color photos for each. Every recipe, chapter intro, and tip is presented with Angela’s characteristic warmth, sincerity, and charm.


Angela generously offered a recipe reprint for this post. There are so many recipes I could have chosen! Knowing how much our kids enjoy  Vegveeta, and well, just about anything cheesy and dippy I just couldn’t resist making Angela’s Life-Affirming Warm Nacho Dip.

This dip is easy to make, and yet looks impressive. When the girls saw the final dish they said “whoa, what’s THAT?“! We all enjoyed digging in, and I quite liked the addition of spinach in the dip. You could probably add some other veggies too if you like, but it’s really quite perfect as-is. I didn’t change anything in the dip other than subbing green onions for the red onions, because they are a little milder for the girls.


When making the dip, I realized I didn’t have a cast iron casserole dish or other proper baking dish suited to this dip. (I do not have as much kitchen gear as you might expect!) I used a pie plate instead, and while it’s not the most attractive for photos, functionally it worked just fine (though it didn’t keep the dip hot for long as a cast iron dish would).


I hesitated to use my photos, because next to Angela’s they are rather elementary. But, I wanted to show you how it looked in our house, and assure you that any of you can make this dip. Even with kids running out the door to activities or hogging the kitchen table with rainbow loom production lines. 😉 So, yeah, when you pin this recipe, use Angela’s photo below!

Verdict? Loved by all! We scraped the dish clean, and not very polite sharing those last spoonfuls. Whoops.

So, on to Angela’s recipe, and her photo of this delicious dip…

Life-Affirming Warm Nacho Dip from the Oh She Glows cookbook by Angela Liddon

Life-Affirming Warm Nacho Dip from The Oh She Glows Cookbook; photo credit: Angela Liddon

ReciPage link to print/pin/share

You’d never know there isn’t a lick of dairy or oil hiding in this mouthwatering hot-out-of-the-oven dip! This dish is always a crowd-pleaser. It’s best when hot, so serve it on a plate warmer or pot holder so it stays warm for as long as possible. I like to bake it in a cast-iron dish, which keeps it warm for almost an hour.

Serves 8
PREP TIME: 25 to 30 minutes, plus soaking time
COOK TIME: 25 to 30 minutes
gluten-free option, oil-free, soy-free, sugar-free, grain-free

1 cup (250 mL) raw cashews
1 cup (250 mL) peeled and chopped carrots
2 tablespoons (30 mL) nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 large clove garlic
1 1⁄4 teaspoons (6 mL) fine-grain sea salt
3⁄4 teaspoon (4 mL) chili powder
1⁄2 teaspoon (2 mL) onion powder
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon (1 to 2 mL) cayenne
pepper, to taste (optional)

1 cup (250 mL) chunky marinara sauce
1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped sweet onion
2 to 3 handfuls of baby spinach (about 3 ounces/85 g), roughly chopped
1⁄3 cup (75 mL) crushed corn chips or bread crumbs
1 to 2 green onions, finely sliced, for serving (optional)
Tortilla chips or Spiced Toasted Pita Chips (see page 91), for serving

1. Make the Cheese Sauce: Place the cashews in a medium bowl and add water to cover. Set aside to soak for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you have the time. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease a 2-quart (2-L) cast-iron pan or casserole dish.

3. Place the carrots in a small saucepan and add water to cover. Bring the water to a boil and cook the carrots for 5 minutes, or until just fork-tender. Drain. You can also steam the carrots, if desired.

4. In a blender, combine the soaked and drained cashews, cooked carrots, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, chili powder, onion powder, cayenne (if using), and 2⁄3 cup (150 mL) water and blend until silky smooth, adding a splash of extra water if needed. Pour the sauce into a large bowl.

5. Make the Dip: Stir the marinara sauce, onion, and spinach into the Cheese Sauce until fully combined. Spoon the sauce into the prepared dish and smooth out, and sprinkle the top evenly with the crushed corn chips.

6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, uncovered, watching closely toward the end of the cooking time to make sure the corn chip topping doesn’t burn. Garnish with sliced green onion, if desired. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or Spiced Toasted Pita Chips.

7. Reheat any leftovers in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 10 to 20 minutes, or until heated through. Store the dip in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

Angela has also generously offered a giveaway of her cookbook. Enter below for a chance to win a copy of the Oh She Glows Cookbook! To enter, leave a comment telling us which Angela recipe is your all-time favorite! Contest open to residents of Canada and the U.S. Good luck! (p.s. Why wait to see if you win? Go ahead and get yourself a copy of this glorious book! If you’re the lucky winner, gift it to another – you won’t be sorry!)

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