Many years ago I read The China Study. It was before social media, before the surge of blogging, before the “rise” of the plant-based world. Yes, we are still quite a minority as vegans, but things are drastically different than they were 10 or even 5 years ago. Vastly different than 20 years ago when I began this journey. There is more awareness, more products, more online support, and more acceptance.
I remember feeling quite ‘alone’ as a vegan and a plant-based mom at that time. There was indeed information to support a plant-based diet for health, but nothing like the information available today. I was blogging, and did have that built-in community. But, in my day to day life and beginning to raise vegan children, I felt quite isolated in my choices. Nevertheless, I felt it was the best dietary choice. Not just for me, but for our growing children.
Then, I picked up a copy of The China Study. I read it whenever I could. I remember watching our eldest swim, indulging in another few pages every lesson. It was the most powerful book on plant-based nutrition that I had read. It solidified all of my beliefs, and empowered me to continue with my work. I recommended it to countless people through personal conversations and emails and on my blog (and still do). I felt everyone needed to read this book (and still do).
To this day, The China Study is a meaningful book for me. I hope to meet Dr. Campbell one day, because his work has certainly inspired my recipes, and influenced my evolution as a cookbook author.
You can imagine my delight when I was asked to contribute recipes to the new China Study Cookbook: All-Star Collection… I was STOKED! I have contributed some brand new recipes in this collection, as well as a few “oldies but goodies”. It’s quite an honor and privilege to be included in this cookbook. (Confession: There’s also a little piece of me that believes Colin and I are now BFFs. Shhh, don’t tell him!)
This book is by Leanne Campbell, author of the original TCS cookbook. In this second book, Leanne invites a selection of “all-star” plant-based chefs to contribute recipes. This offers quite a diverse range of dishes and recipe styles in one whole-foods, vegan cookbook. Flipping through the book, I’m in awe of the creative spirits we have in our plant-based world. You’ll find wonderfully delicious and nutritious recipes from folks like Ani Phyo, Chef Del Sroufe, Christy Morgan, Mary McDougall and John McDougall, MD – and more! The book features over 100 whole foods plant-powered recipes, with color photography throughout.
Here is a glimpse of a few of my recipe contributions, expertly photographed by Nicole Axworthy:
Today I’m sharing one of my newbie recipes in TCS All-Star Collection. One that I think you’ll really enjoy – my testers sure did!
Dreamy Baked Bananas. Baked bananas have always been appealing to me, irresistible in fact. They are typically baked in wads of butter (or margarine), and with so much sugar they can be sickly. This is a much healthier version, and possibly (albeit oddly) more decadent than traditional recipes. Whenever I make these, our girls squeal, and they try to wriggle in the kitchen to lick out the dish. Of course, I won’t have any of that behaviour! That dish is MINE.
And now, it’s yours…
Dreamy Baked Bananas
It seems silly that something so basic, so “real,” and so effortless can taste so impossibly dreamy. But dessert food dreams do come true, and this one is especially memorable in the morning if paired with a nondairy ice cream. Serves 2-3
2 tablespoons macadamia nut butter (or raw cashew or raw almond butter)
1/4 cup nondairy milk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 ripe bananas (but not overripe)
2 tablespoons raisins or chopped dates (optional, can substitute or add chopped nuts)
1–2 tablespoons coconut sugar for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a bowl, whisk together the nut butter, milk, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. It will be thick but should be smooth.
- Transfer to a baking dish or glass pie plate.
- Peel the bananas and slice in half lengthwise.
- Place banana slices in the mixture, then gently flip so both sides are coated.
- Sprinkle on the raisins or chopped dates, followed by the coconut sugar, if using.
- Bake for 17–20 minutes. Serve hot or warm preferably. While still good cooled, this dessert is definitely best a little warm—ice cream prefers it that way!
TIP: When I make this recipe, our girls polish off the entire dish in a blink. So I’d say it can serve three, but more likely two… or maybe that’s just in my house!
Before you zip off to bake those nanners, you have a chance to win a copy of TCS All-Star Collection! Leave a comment to enter, tell us what recipe you’d like to try from this cookbook. Or, if you’ve tried some recipes already, share your favorites! Contest rules noted in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!