A Few Of My Favorite (Vegan!) Things

Hi friends! Something a little different for you today. Well, maybe not altogether different if you’ve been with me a while. I used to blog here, and started in 2005. Yep, waaaay back!

I’ve changed so much of what I blog, focusing mostly on recipes and some parenting posts. But, I used to love sharing “a few of my favorite things” back then. Kind of like if Julie Andrews were vegan – and believe me it’s better I blog this than sing it.

A Few Of My Favorite Things! #vegan www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Folks often ask me what products I use – what vinegar, what coconut butter, what miso… and on. So, let’s have a return to this feature and see how it goes!

Here are a few of my favorite things...

One of my favorite brands of tahini - Al Wadi Tahina #vegan #dairyfree #nutfree www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

A GOOD Tahini
I love a good tahini. Brands really vary in taste and texture. Some of the best tasting brands I haven’t found in stores, but rather online. This alwadi brand is one of those, as well as these brands. I sometimes refer to a “good quality tahini” in my recipes, such as my Crazy Brownies from Plant-Powered Families. They can make all the difference for taste, not just in classic dishes like hummus, but also as a nut-free substitute. Try it, there’s no turning back! p.s. If you have other brands to share, please comment!

 

Coconut Manna Coconut Butter #vegan #dairyfree #nutfree www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

 

Coconut butter
I think I get a question about coconut butter every day from readers. It is not coconut oil. It is the whole foods coconut pureed into a dense, thick, dry butter. For me, it’s a magical ingredients in desserts. I’ve been using it since writing LTEV, and then it wasn’t very available in stores. Now, it’s in just about all grocery stores, as well as online. I’ve used it in many desserts in PPF, and talk about it in more depth in this cookie post. The Nutiva brand is one of I buy all the time. I also sometimes buy Artisana online.

 

So Delicious Salted Caramel Cluster cashew ice cream #vegan #dairyfree www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

So Delicious Cashew Milk ice creams
I’ve tried this flavor, the creamy cashew, and the chocolate truffle. I haven’t tried the snickerdoodle yet and have heard it’s even better than this salted caramel cluster. Zoinks!! I don’t have an amazon link for you, because, well, ice cream! But, I believe these ice creams are now available in most whole foods and even grocery stores. So, run, don’t walk. Get the scoop. Trust me.

 

Coconut Secret Teriyaki Sauce #vegan #glutenfree www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos Teriyaki Sauce
I use this on hot quinoa for a lunch bowl, and on steamed kale and other veggies in lunch bowl. Of course, you could use it as a standard teriyaki sauce. For me, it’s a great alternative to a salad dressing, or combined with a vinegar for a dressing. Full flavor, and Coconut Secret also has a soy-free ‘tamari’. It isn’t quite as deep and intense as the tamari I usually buy, but a great soy-free alternative.

Next, stepping out of the kitchen…

 

Sanuk Women's Yoga Slingshot Flip-Flops www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Sanuk Women’s Slingshot Yoga Flip-Flops
We took a trip to Disneyland last year, our first time. My feet were aching. I found this shop with these Sanuk yoga sandals. I tried on these slingshot flip-flops and fell in love! First: the comfort. They have a slight arch and apparently made from yoga mat material, so they really feel like a pillow under your foot. Second: The design. I love the idea of flip flops, but cannot wear them! Unless they have some sort of sling or support around the back of my foot, I just am not meant to wear them. Having to tense my feet and toes to hold on a pair of shoes while walking does not feel good – or make sense. These give the support you need, and still keep your tootsies super cool! Third: They’re are other yoga sling sandals, but some have a much thicker, heavier sling. These are lighter and easier to wear with just about anything!

Sanuk Slingshot Flip Flops www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Fourth: They come in other colors. Fifth: They’re vegan! :) Even though summer is winding down, I’m ordering another pair of these, because Charlotte has claimed mine. Yep, we’re at that stage.

 

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Plant-Powered Bamboo Tank
I introduced my plant-powered gear a few months ago, and ordered a few times myself. I had no idea how much I’d love this bamboo tank. I’ve worn it so much this summer, it’s almost embarrassing. 😉

Plant-Powered Bamboo Tank www.plantpoweredkitchen.com Here I am at Ottawa VegFest (this past June) with Dee, one of the fabulous organizers. This tank has washed well, and kept it’s shape. It’s a little longer in the torso and I like that. Covers over the waist and on to the hips with shorts, a skirt, or jeans. I’ll be wearing it as long as I can through the fall!

Do you use/love any of these? Do you have any product faves you’d like me to feature? Share up!

VegNews Veggie Awards - please vote for Plant-Powered Families!

Pretty please reminderPlant-Powered Families has been nominated for FAVE VEGAN COOKBOOK in the 2015 VegNews Veggie awards. If you haven’t yet voted, please send your vote my way! <3

The amazon links contain affiliate referrals. When you purchase something through these affiliate links, I receive a small commission that helps me bring great content to this site. Thanks for your support.

Peach Crumble Smoothie: The Blender Girl Smoothies book

Just before summer began, I received a review copy of The Blender Girl Smoothies. This is Tess Masters’ second cookbook, releasing just a year after her debut (and hugely successful) The Blender Girl cookbook.

This book is 100% smoothies (all vegan and gluten-free). It’s based on Tess’s recent smoothie app which I posted about last fall. The app is spectacular – super slick, fun, and interactive. I still love an old-school a hard copy book in my hands, though. So I loved getting my plant-powered hands on this one!

And so did our kiddo! I opened the review copy as we were walking in the front door one day after school. As soon as our daughter Charlotte saw it, she gasped and said “mom, can we make one – now?

The Blender Girl Smoothies book

Char LOVES smoothies. She loves fruit in general, I have a hard time keeping fresh fruit in the house for how much we eat as a family… and how much she can eat on her own! So, when she saw this book cover with these gorgeous, refreshing smoothies on a hot day after school – she just could not wait to make one!

She had been experimenting with making smoothies the week before for a class project, so wanted to choose one herself and do the prep and blending. She immediately chose the Peach Crumble Smoothie. I know she would have chosen a berry smoothie if she had been making it just for her. But, since she was sharing with her two sisters, this smoothie could not be of the berry persuasion. :)

Peach Crumble Smoothie from The Blender Girl Smoothies #vegan #dairyfree

We loved the combination of flavors and textures in this recipe. The use of orange juice with non-dairy milk was reminiscent of a creamsicle. The addition of oats and cashews helped make the smoothie thick and creamy. We didn’t use the optional boosters, and the smoothie was fabulous as-is! With peaches seasonal now, this is such a refreshing, delicious smoothie on a hot day – but I think frozen mangoes would substitute very well in the fall and winter as well!

Tess knew this was a family favorite, and was so kind to allow us to reprint it for you to enjoy as well.

PEACH CRUMBLE SMOOTHIE

link to print/share

The healing power of peaches makes the nasties crumble: vitamin C scavenges free radicals and fights infection, beta-carotene converts to retinol for eye health, fatty acids help maintain healthy mucous membranes and skin elasticity, and potassium helps regulate heart rate and lower blood pressure. Or just enjoy the flavor. Serves 2

1 cup (240ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup (240ml) unsweetened almond milk, rice milk, or hemp milk (strained if homemade)
1⁄2 cup (44g) rolled oats
1⁄2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1 tablespoon raw unsalted cashews, soaked (see page 6)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 medium frozen sliced banana
2 cups (320g) frozen peaches

optional boosters:
1 tablespoon plain or vanilla-flavored vegan yogurt
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil

Throw all of the ingredients into your blender and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.

Reprinted from THE BLENDER GIRL SMOOTHIES Copyright © 2014, 2015 by Tess Masters. Photographs copyright © 2014 by Erin Kunkel. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House

If you love smoothies, you really need to get your hands on this book! It will inspire you to try new ingredients and flavor combinations in your smoothies to make them exceptionally tasty and nutritious!

I’ll be back soon with another recipe. Don’t forget to enter the Vega giveaway, just a couple of days left.

Enjoy…  x Dreena

Why We Shouldn’t Eat Meat and Dairy: From 10 Year-Old

Why We Shouldn't Eat Meat Or Dairy - from a 10 year old www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

With school coming to a close this week, I want to share something pretty remarkable that took place this year.

In the spring, our 10 year old, Bridget, came to me after school about speeches taking place in her class. The conversation went something like this:

B: Mom, we are doing speeches in our class and get to pick our own topic.

Me: Ok, well, what do you think you’d like to talk about?

B: I already know. I want to talk about why people shouldn’t eat meat and dairy.

I paused for a minute. Then I replied “Are you sure?? We can think of other ideas?

In other words, I wasn’t sure. While we talk about many aspects of food at home, I don’t expect our girls to be activists in school or with their friends. I don’t ask them to preach the values of a plant-based diet. But this came up entirely organically for her. Despite my questioning her readiness, she was certain. She was passionate to share why she felt, in her heart, why people shouldn’t eat meat and dairy.

She presented her speech to her class, and was then chosen to present her speech to the school and parents.

I’m posting her speech for you to read and share:

Good morning / afternoon teachers and fellow students!

Raise your hand if you eat meat or dairy. Raise your hand if you think you have to eat meat and dairy to be healthy.

My name is Bridget, and today I’m going to share 3 important reasons not to eat meat and dairy: our health, the environment, and animals.

Meat and dairy are not good for us like people think. Studies have shown that our biggest health problems are linked to eating meat and dairy – including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. We don’t need to eat meat or dairy, we can get all the nutrition we need in other foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains. Not only can you be healthier without eating meat and dairy, it is also better for our environment, and kinder to animals that share our world.

In order for us to eat meat and dairy, animals have to be raised in factory farms. These are not farms with grass and sunshine. Instead, animals are kept in buildings that are factories, and people are cruel to the animals. Animals suffer and are tortured every day of their lives on these farms. On milk farms, baby cows are even torn away from their moms so the mommy cows can produce milk. If they don’t produce enough milk they kill the cows. The baby cows never see their mothers again.

Eating meat and milk products is also bad for our environment. We all want to do things like recycle, and use less water to help our environment. But, the one thing that makes the MOST difference? How much meat and dairy we eat. Consider this: skipping just one burger saves enough water to drink for 3 months!

Chickens, pigs, and cows feel and love just the same as animals like cats and dogs. They bond with other animals, and with people too. They value their lives just as much as we do, and they feel pain just as we do. If people treated our cats and dogs the way cows and chickens are treated on factory farms, they would be arrested! Yet, we eat these animals every day, but we would never imagine eating our dog or cat.

I have been raised without meat and dairy. I’m healthy, happy, and just like other kids. I eat pizza, hot dogs, burgers, ice cream, and so many other delicious foods, without any meat or milk! Every time we make a choice not to eat animals, it helps our health, our planet, and the animals. Please think about this. Thank you.

She asked if she could wear the “Plant-Powered” t-shirt for her speech. I didn’t encourage that one, either! Here she is on her way out the door that morning…

bridgetspeech

…and here she is delivering her speech to the school (see the raised hands?)

bridgetspeech2

 

As a parent, we wonder whether our children are receiving the lessons and messages we are communicating. When days are tough, we feel our efforts are wasted, or that we are doing a terrible job as a mother or father. Then, we have moments where we see our children blossoming, developing into their own person. We see their heart, their courage, their care, their beautiful spirit.

This was one of those moments for me. Bridget feels more compassion about animals than any of our daughters. It’s just “in” her. She wants to free every bug or fly that enters our home, and she wants to start an animal rescue this summer… at our house! (We’ll talk about that one, lol.) But, this child has a heart for animals. More than I ever impressed upon her or ever expected. She was proud to present this speech, and I was beyond proud to listen to her.

Who knows, next year we may revolutionize hot lunch. Baby steps. :)

Feel free to share this speech! 

x Dreena

Top 5 Vegan Father’s Day Recipes

fathersdaycollagetitle

With end-0f-year field trips and recitals, Father’s Day has snuck up on me this year! I have one day to pull things together, so going to start with planning a favorite plant-powered dish for Dad’s day. I will definitely be choosing one or more of these…

Top 5 Father’s Day recipes:

1) Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip

A creamy vegan artichoke dip made withOUT vegan cheese substitutes, all whole foods! Artichoke Spinach Dip - by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen #vegan #glutenfree
This may be a “top 5″ recipe for just about any occasion. Definitely loved by the dad in this house!

2) Jerk Chickpeas

Jerk Chickpeas #vegan www.plantpoweredkitchen.com
If the dad in your life loves spicy dishes, serve up these chickpeas. Over a grain, or in a wrap – with avocado, please!

3) Nutty Veggie Burgers

Nutty Veggie Burgers www.plantpoweredkitchen.com #vegan
I know it’s cliche to offer up burgers as a Father’s Day meal, but in my house, they really are a hit – and this recipe hits all the marks for flavor and texture. Our “he-gan” also loves these Mushroom Pecan.

3) Thai Chick-Un Pizza

Thai Chick-Un Pizza #vegan www.plantpoweredkitchen.com
It’s fun, it’s flavorful! If you love the vegan cheese, add a sprinkle of that too.

5) Creamy Fettucine

Creamy Fettucine #vegan www.plantpoweredkitchen.com
This is one of my new recipes, from Plant-Powered Families. But, you can nab the recipe here.

Wait. No dessert?!

You know me better than that. :)

My top 5 Father’s Day desserts:

1) 5-minute, 5-ingredient Chocolate Gelato: Dessert doesn’t get much easier than this!

5-minute, 5-ingredient Chocolate Gelato by Dreena Burton #vegan #glutenfree #dairyfree

2) Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake with Chocolate Sweets Frosting

Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake + Chocolate Sweets Frosting www.plantpoweredkitchen.com #vegan #wfpb
So, if you haven’t made this dessert from PPF yet, you really need to! It’s the perfect chocolate cake for dad.

3. Raw Strawberry Pie

Raw Strawberry Pie from Let Them Eat Vegan
If your dad would like a non-chocolate dessert, this one is positively gorgeous and delicious!

4) Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream #vegan www.plantpoweredkitchen.com
If you have an ice cream maker, and your guy love PB, this one is a winner! (Try serving with the milk chocolate sauce from Plant-Powered Families!)

5) Cookies

Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies #vegan #oilfree www.plantpoweredkitchen.com
We’ve gotta’ have a few cookies for dad! These Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies from PPF are oil-free and dynamite! Couple of other ideas: Nummy Brownie Bites, Snifferdoodles and my classic Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Happy Dad’s Day!

What are you making for the special dad in your life?

x Dreena

 

News! and Ottawa VegFest!

 

Hi friends!

I had hoped to share a recipe with you this week, but I’ve been preparing for a trip. I don’t travel often, and wow, there’s so much to coordinate!

I’ll be at Ottawa VegFest this year! If you’re planning to attend, I’ll be doing two talks:

1. Building a Plant-Powered Pantry – Saturday morning, 10:15 am
2. Plant-Powered Families – Sunday morning, 10:15 am

Veg-Fest-header-842-wide

I’ll also be signing books after both talks, you can get full details of the festival here.

Speaking of books… I heard from my publisher today that Plant-Powered Families has already hit a reprint! I have all of you to thank for embracing this book and supporting my work. ♥ If you don’t have your copy yet, you can order online through Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | Indigo, or pick up at any local bookstore (if they aren’t stocking the book, please ask them to bring it in).

NEW! Plant-Powered Families cookbook by Dreena Burton

If you already own PPF and you’re loving it, please consider leaving a few good words on amazon. I sincerely appreciate the reviews many of you have already contributed!

I’ll share that recipe once I return from Ottawa. Until then a few recent reviews, giveaways, and recipe features that you can catch up on…

Bits and Bites:

The Blender Girl review and recipe for Creamy Fettucine
Kathy Patalsky of Healthy, Happy Life review, giveaway, and recipe for Cinnamon French Toast
Love Fed review, giveaway, and recipe for Savory Chickpea Omelets
Kiwi Magazine recipe for Baconut
Veg Kitchen recipe for Polenta Pizza Crust
Pure Thyme review, giveaway, and recipe for Artichoke Sunflower Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce and No-Bake Granola Bars
Taste Space review and recipe for Chickpea Nibbles
Vegan Mainstream review and Q&A
Heartwise Ministries Radio Interview

Photos: Plant-Powered Families Book Signing

Last weekend was my first book signing for Plant-Powered Families – at MeeT restaurant. MeeT has only been open since last August, and is already a wildly popular vegan and gluten-free restaurant in Vancouver. If you are local, you must get in for some delicious plant-powered food!

Today I thought I’d share some photos from the event…

We had a gorgeous sunny Saturday morning, stacking up the books:

Plant-Powered Families Book Signing - MeeT Restaurant www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Putting out the food samples, we had Crazy Brownies, Red Lentil Hummus, Southwest Quinoa Salad, and Almond Zen Granola (all from PPF, of course).

Plant-Powered Families Book Signing - MeeT Restaurant www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Our eldest daughter (Charlotte) helping set out the food. Those of you that have Vive le Vegan from 2004 – yep, that’s her!

Plant-Powered Families book signing www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Crazy Brownies moment. Make them, k? They are quickly becoming one of the ‘hot’ recipes in PPF.

Crazy Brownies from Plant-Powered Families book signing www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Squeezing in some of my other titles….

Plant-Powered Families book signing www.plantpoweredfamilies.com

SURPRISE! Elsa made an appearance. Yes, Frozen still alive and well in our household.

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Where is that recipe?…

Plant-Powered Families Book signing www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Catching up with Laura Simonson, and meeting Anna Pelzer

Plant-Powered Families book signing www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Signing books…

Plant-Powered Famlies Book Signing www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Meeting beautiful local mamas Tara and Denise (from our Plant-Powered Families FB group)…

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um, I think Denise and I are sisters separated at birth…

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Funny side-story: I come from a family of 6 girls, all with “D” names. Denise has 4 daughters, all “D” names. Whaaaaat? Right?!!

and Tara wins the FABULOUS Hippie Foods door prize!

Hippie Foods Prize awarded! At Plant-Powered Families book signing www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

After the event, I settle in with the fam for a delicious lunch at MeeT. Elsa joined us. 😉

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And, MeeT surprised us with lunch ‘on the house’! Awesome. We love this place.

Yup.

photo-3

Thanks to MeeT for hosting my signing. Thanks to my family for supporting me, as always. And, thanks to those of you that joined us for the fun.

Have you been to MeeT restaurant? What’s your favorite menu item?

photo thanks to Jackie Picard :)

Recipe Posts for Christmas and New Year’s

 

Hi friends…

I had planned to share some new recipes with you before the holidays. After one very rough, but enlightening day this week, I realized a work break was essential.

Behind the scenes of social media and blogging I’ve been attending to work on the new book (design edits and preparing for the launch), getting ready for the holidays, and well, keeping up with daily life as a mom of three. In short, I’ve been exhausted and stressed.

I find it very hard to step back from my work, because I love it so much. But, taking a break from blogging and social media is one area that I can simplify right now.

As mothers, we give so much, and rarely give back to ourselves. This Christmas I am gifting myself with a break! Please do the same for yourselves before the holidays, my women and mama friends. We all need it.

I leave you with these two posts for recipes through the holidays: my Christmas Day menu, and ideas for New Year’s Eve.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and love-filled holiday season with your family! Thank you always for your support.

x Dreena

 

 

A+ Healthy Baking Recipes for Back-to-School (nut-free)

I’m late with a back-to-school post year, but that’s because our kids aren’t back in school yet!  In British Columbia, there is a teachers’ strike that began in June, so our girls still haven’t returned to school yet, and probably won’t until October. Our girls have a tutor right now, and are doing some daily online work. It’s not the same, for them it’s an extended summer. Nevertheless, I am trying to feel the “back-to-school” vibe, and getting in to my regular baking routine!

During the school year, I rely on a few key baked goods to put into lunch rotation for the girls’ lunches (and also for hubby’s work lunch). These snacks are all nut-free, so perfect for school snacks. People always ask “what do you pack for lunches”. Last year I posted my top 10 recipes for packing school lunches, and today I’m sharing my A+ List of Healthy Baking Recipes for Back-to-School!

Top Healthy Baking Recipes for Back-To-School! #nutfree #vegan

1) Maple Banana Bread Muffins: These are a long-time family fave, and I cannot tell you how many tweets and notes I get saying something like “omg those muffins are wicked“. They really are good. And easy!  So, go bake them. :)

Maple Banana Bread Muffins by Dreena Burton, #vegan #oilfree

 

2) Apple-Hemp Muffins: I love these because they pack a good dose of nutrtient-dense hemp seeds in a fragrant, tasty muffin. Kids can be a little fussy about eating hemp seeds, they won’t even know they’re in these muffins!

Apple Hemp Muffins by Dreena Burton, #vegan #oilfree

 

3) Pumpkin Seed Chocolate Chip Oat Bars: These are the bars I make when I want a snack that will “hold up” well (ie: it won’t get squished in a pocket during a field trip!) These are dense, chewy, bars that are a much healthier alternative to storebought granola bars – and far more satisfying. I usually double the batch and freeze half! These are from my PP15 ebook, and if you don’t have a copy, I offered a special on my FB page last week. I’ll extend the offer, use code PP15school at checkout for 25% off!

Pumpkin Seed Chocolate Chip Oat Bars by Dreena Burton, #vegan #glutenfree #oilfree

Oh, and this particular photo of the bars was taken by Tami of Nutmeg Notebook. She shared on Instagram, and I’ve reposted a few times since!

4) Oat Snackles: (Pictured in background, on dishtowel) These are what I bake when I feel like I have literally 10 minutes to get something in the oven. If you make them enough times, I bet you can meet that time! The kids love them, and you can customize with dried fruit, chocolate chips, seeds, etc.

Oat Snackles, by Dreena Burton #vegan #oilfree #glutenfree

5) Power Cookies: These are a cookie treat, but still quite healthy. I’ll be putting this new cookie in rotation this year. For the kids… right. 😉

Power Cookies by Dreena Burton - #vegan #glutenfree #nutfree #oilfree

 

6) BF Blueberry Muffins: These I make a little less often just because the prep is a wee bit longer (not much, just slightly). When I do make them, the girls think they are quite the treat!

BF Blueberry Muffins by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

 

7) Berry Scuffins: When you want a baked berry fix that’s a little quicker, this is your recipe! For the fall and winter, you can use frozen berries or substitute apple or pear (toss in a little lemon juice first to help prevent discoloring).

Berry "Scuffins" by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen #vegan #oilfree

 

8) Banana Oat Bundles. I’ve been making these since my 13 year old was a wee babe! They are the perfect grab ‘n go snack, for lunches or anytime of the day. (And the added chips, always welcome.)

Banana Oat Bundles by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen #vegan #glutenfree #oilfree

 

10. Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls. Ok, technically not a baked good, but certainly a healthy school treat (with a nut-free option) and most definitely a favorite for kids!

Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls by Dreena Burton #vegan

There you have it! My favorite, wholesome, baked snacks for packing into lunches. All of these recipes freeze well, so if you are energized to double batches, go for it!

Oh WAIT. I have another… these CINNABON MUFFINS...

Cinnabon Muffins by Dreena Burton #vegan

Brand new! Bit of a teaser, I have another round of testing to go, then I will share up. Promise!

What is your go-to baking recipe during the school year? Share what works for you!

Pressing Pause

Hi friends,

You may have noticed I haven’t been as present on my blog and online. I’ve decided to take some time for a work break, or to make some work changes.

heartpuddle

Our middle girl finds hearts everywhere – in food, rocks – and just yesterday during a park visit, in this puddle.

The last two years I’ve been going full force. First with the release of LTEV, then starting another cookbook, working online, and of course everything that goes with being a mom of three. Life has been particularly busy since September, and it’s time to regroup.

Sadly, and ironically, what I love to do most – creating in the kitchen every day – isn’t materializing on this blog right now. I have stacks of recipes that I would love to share with you, things I’m excited about developing in the moment and passionate to share. Yet, those recipes remain scribbled on sheets in my kitchen or office, never reaching you. I’m one person, and right now that’s not enough womanpower to keep up with life as a blogger, recipe developer, author, and mother. While my creative fire still burns, life is telling me to pause and be more present with myself and our children, and to assess my work and passions.

I don’t know if this as simple as taking a break in the short-term, or changing my work focus longer-term. Perhaps I’m still on the right path, but just need to walk – not run. What I do know is I need time to reflect, organize, and find clarity. This will be hard for me, as I love to create and share, and I’ve become very accustomed to “doing” all the time. Hopefully, I will receive some guidance or signs to help me with this decision.

I trust you all understand. I have deep appreciation for the encouragement and support you’ve offered as friends and readers, especially as I finished this latest book. My plant-powered gratitude and love…

Dreena

14 Recipe Ideas for New Year’s Eve!

As we clue up 2013, I thank you for being part of this community. I value your engagement through comments and feedback, and also your support and generous compliments. Let’s enjoy much more plant-powered goodness in this coming new year!

14 party ideas to ring in a healthy, compassionate 2014!

Whether you are having a quiet night at home, or celebrating with a new year’s eve party, I have a vegan recipe round-up to make your evening delicious!

Here are 14 party food ideas to help you ring in a healthy, compassionate 2014!

The countdown (in no particular order other than ending with a dessert!)…

14. Wonder Spread. I just posted this one, so you probably don’t need reminding. Actually, maybe you do! Make it! It’s scrumptious slathered on some great artisan breads – or for baked potatoes. You could also thin it out and toss into quinoa or drizzle over broiled asparagus or steamed broccolini.

Wonder Spread - by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

13. Rawesome Nut Dip. Serve it a bowl with crackers (raw or otherwise), or tucked into mini bell peppers, endive leaves, or cherry tomatoes. Or, use it as a filling for rolls for finger food (ex: baked mini phyllo rolls).


12. Creamy Artichoke Dip.  I know I’ve talked about this one a lot, but that’s only because it is freaking amazing, and readers are LOVING it!

creamyartichokespinachdipLZ
photo credit: 86lemons.com

11. Falafels with Smoky Tahini Sauce.  I served these for a holiday get-together one year, along with the Quinoa Nicoise (in LTEV), and the Lemon-Rosemary Potatoes and Creamy Hummus (both from Vive le Vegan!) – HUGE hit!


10.  Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Croquettes with Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream These are so incredibly tasty, your guests will deem you some sort of flavor wizard that has revitalized their tired holiday tastebuds! Definitely a dish to impress (but not that difficult to make)!

Black Bean, Sweet Potato, Quinoa Croquettes with Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream

9. Mini-Burgers. Take a favorite burger recipe, and make mini-patties, for sliders, or for dipping. Try Mediterranean Bean Burgers from LTEVNutty Veggie BurgersMushroom Pecan Burgers, or the now very popular Umami Almond Burgers!

mushroompecanburgers

8. Chickpea Salad Rolls. These are fresh and fast, and the salad mixture is a little like a mock tuna salad, but far lighter without vegan mayo.  Roll in leafy greens like chard, romaine leaves, or steamed collards, in rice paper rolls, or make into more elegant finger sandwiches.


7. Moroccan Bean Stew. If you are having a cozy, homey New Year’s Eve and want a soup, this is one of my favorites. It is special and elegant enough to serve to guests, and is also delicious paired with breads with the  from LTEV.

Moroccan Bean Stew

6. Vegveeta Dip. I need to say little other than – YUMMY! 😀  Mix in a few spoonfuls of salsa, and serve up with tortilla chips. Easy as that.


5. Cannellini Bean Sweet Potato Hummus. There is a hummus for every occasion! For New Year’s Eve, skip the traditional puree and try this sweet and smoky version. This recipe is a bit of a hidden gem, give it a try! Roasted Red Pepper Almond Hummus is another goody.

4. Kale Slaw.  Even less adventurous foodie guests will enjoy this salad because the dressing coats the ingredients so scrumptiously!  The 3-Bean salad pictured would also be a great potluck salad – so simple you could throw it together last minute!

Kale-Slaw and 3-Bean Salad, Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

3. Jerk Chickpeas or Chickpea Ratatouille. Have either dish potluck style with tortillas, rice, and avocado – you’re set!

Chickpea Ratatouille, by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

2. Creamy Cashew Dip. Most folks are little tired of sugar-laden cookies at this point in the holidays. This dip is lightly sweetened, and pairs well with fruit. Also, those Softly Spiced Nuts peeking out in the bottom right hand corner make a fine nibbly New Year’s Eve party snack!

creamycashewdipedbv

1. Easy, Healthy Dessert Bars. If you’d like to make a cookie treat, but want something healthier, opt for Frosted BrawniesRaw Chai Bars with Creamed Cheese Frosting, or the new Vanilla Bean Almond Fudge. All will satisfy your sweet tooth, all very easy to make!

Raw Chai Bars with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting - photo by Lisa Pitman
Photo credit: Lisa Pitman, veganculinarycrusade.com

These are all very omni-friendly recipes too. Nothing too unusual for those new to plant-based dishes. Just some really good food… made with really good ingredients!

Wishing you a blessed and healthy New Year! What plant-powered dishes are you making to ring in 2014?  xx