News & Notes
- If you’re a fan of my Sugar-Free Strawberry Coconut Butter, you will LOVE this: I shared a brand new recipe for sugar-free Blueberry-Vanilla Coconut Butter exclusively on One Green Planet today!
- I’m thrilled that Kansas City has an eco-friendly wedding coordination service—and I’m their newest bride-to-be! The ladies at Eco-Posh Events are also fans of Practically Raw, and they interviewed me recently about it—click here to get the scoop.
- Free recipe alert! Blue Mountain Organics shared the Almond Butter-Banana Ice Cream from Practically Raw on their site yesterday. It’s the perfect quick-to-make treat for warm spring evening!
Health update: I’m sad to say I have not improved since last week; in fact, if anything, I feel worse. That seems to be the trend for me, anymore. Even though I’ve been off the stomach-infection-killing supplements for over a week, I’m still bloated and achy every day. We’ve got to get to the bottom of this bloating before we can start to stimulate the correct side of my immune system and hope for some healing, finally. To be honest, things are worse than I’m willing to talk about right now. I’ll be cutting down my blogging to about once per week from here on out, which I’m sorry about…but I hope to pick the pace back up again in the future.
Anyway, I’m so pleased so many of you enjoyed last week’s Cake Batter Balls!
There’s nothing like a good cookbook to make me REALLY ready to be done with this elimination diet! And luckily for me (well, depending on how you look at it), I’ve had several great new cookbooks pass my desk recently. Today I’m going to share with you some of my recent favorites, and give away two of them.
Somehow, I managed to get myself out of the house last Friday night to meet the inimitable Victoria Moran, a longtime vegan, bestselling author, and fellow Kansas City native.
What a wise and radiant woman. You NEED to get her new book, Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need To Know To Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World! It’s a comprehensive lifestyle guide for how to be a happy, healthy vegan no matter where you live. With chapters like “Propel Yourself With Plant Protein,” Let Fish Off The Hook,” “Choose Fashion With Compassion,” and 37 more, Victoria offers advice on just about everything under the sun as it relates to veganism. I also love how she shares a different recipe at the end of each chapter; I can’t wait to try the Peanut Butter “Minus” Cookies (soy- and gluten-free!) in Chapter 26. Although there are quite a few “how to go vegan” books out there nowadays, Victoria’s really stands out, thanks to her sassy voice and common-sense, real-world approach.
BEST FOR: Brand new vegans, aspiring vegans, or people who have no idea what veganism even means.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m a big-time nutrition nerd. That’s one reason I appreciate books like Cooking Vegan (by Vesanto Melina and Joseph Forest) so much. Optimal health is the focus of this book, which is part nutrition guide, part everyday cookbook. Though it doesn’t go as in-depth with the nutrition science as Melina’s other books do, it does provide an excellent summary on how to fuel your body properly as a vegan.
The recipes, though simple, would be perfect for a new vegan or an inexperienced cook. I’m looking forward to trying the Mulligatawny Soup, Vietnamese Salad Roll, Black Beans with Coconut and Mango, and Figgy Pudding someday. Nutritional information is included for each recipe, as well—a feature I particularly appreciate. Keep this book in mind when holiday season rolls around, as it would make a wonderful introduction to veganism for any of your family members or friends.
BEST FOR: People interested in vegan cooking who have little experience with either veganism OR cooking.
Vegan and Living Raw Foods is a cookbook by my friend Nina Savidi of the blog Veggie Wedgie, based in Athens, Greece. Nina and I attended the Matthew Kenney Academy together in 2010 (she was in my Level I class), so I can personally vouch for her culinary prowess. In addition to being a talented and creative chef, Nina is a gifted photographer (which one look at her site will instantly tell you). In her book, she provides simple recipes for both raw and cooked vegan dishes. I’m especially dying to try just about every one of her luscious-looking desserts, but the Peach Donuts Glazed with White Chocolate & Pistachios really stand out to me. I must find myself some donut peaches!
Although Nina’s book is not available on Amazon or in stores in the U.S., you can purchase a gorgeous hardcover copy directly from her for just 20 Euros plus shipping. Nina will ship to anywhere in the world.
BEST FOR: Anyone interested in incorporating more simple, heavy-on-the-produce, high-raw recipes into their everyday life.
The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen: 150 Plant-Based Recipes From Around the World is the first cookbook by The Healthy Voyager herself, Carolyn Scott-Hamilton. It’s no secret that I’m partial to ethnic cuisines and international flavors, so I knew this book would be a great match for my palate.
With a whopping 18 chapters, each dedicated to a different country or region (from Spain to Russia to Japan), Carolyn provides something for everyone. I’d love to nosh on just about anything from the Middle East or India chapters in particular. The recipes do contain more processed vegan foods (faux meats, cheeses, etc.) than I personally prefer to eat, and although I appreciate that Carolyn offers gluten-free and/or soy-free adaptations for almost every recipe, they feel a little like afterthoughts (for example, “use gluten-free flour and gluten-free vegan chicken,” when the vast majority of the time, deglutenizing a recipe is just not that simple). That said, everything in the book sounds delicious and appealing even to omnivores. Many of recipes remind me of my time in Europe back in 2009 (le sigh), and ALL the recipes make me yearn to travel abroad again. South America or Scandinavia, here I come…well, someday. In the meantime, I can travel around the world without leaving my kitchen (or, in my case right now, my couch) thanks to Carolyn’s book.
BEST FOR: People without food sensitivities who have a strong emotional or cultural connection to their food and would like to learn knockout vegan swaps for traditional dishes.
Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats: Cut Out the Gluten and Enjoy an Even Healthier Vegan Diet with Recipes for Fabulous, Allergy-Free Fare is the debut cookbook of the fabulous Allyson Kramer of Manifest: Vegan. In short, it is everything I expected from a chef and blogger of Allyson’s caliber, AND MORE.
GGFVE is filled with an astonishing variety of flavors, cuisines, ingredients, and clever cooking techniques. Complete with a short-and-sweet primer on gluten-free cooking and baking, Allyson makes “xgfx” food feel approachable and completely unintimidating, even to a newbie. And the photos? Oh my gawd. Anyone familiar with Allyson’s blog knows how droolworthy her food photography is, and I find it hard not to salivate while paging through this book. And on top of that, every recipe comes with a nutritional breakdown—hallelujah! Oh how I wish more cookbooks provided that information.
Some of the savory recipes that immediately caught my eye were the Potato Dosa, Pizza Firenze, Walnut Ravioli with Vodka Sauce, Drenched Pad Thai Salad, Pumpkin Chickpea Chili, and Cinnamon Roasted Cauliflower (!). Allyson’s sweet treats never fail to impress, and I can’t even count the number of them in this book that I want to make: the Apple Cinnamon Blintzes, Avocado Gelato, Chocolate Marzipan Tarts, and Butterscotch Amaretti are already calling my name. As soon I’m able to eat a greater variety of foods, I predict that I will go hog wild with this cookbook. And I can’t wait! As someone who only semi-recently had to give up gluten for health reasons, Allyson’s gluten-free vegan recipes make me feel more inspired (and hungrier) than just about anyone else’s.
BEST FOR: Anyone following a vegan and/or gluten-free diet, whether partially or wholly, and either already have a pantry stocked with some gluten-free essentials (like various flours) or are willing to stock up.
The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen
Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats
One winner will receive a free copy of Carolyn Scott-Hamilton’s cookbook The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen; a second winner will receive a free copy of Allyson Kramer’s cookbook Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats, mailed directly to your home.
There are five ways to win (please leave a ***separate comment*** below for each entry):
1) REQUIRED ENTRY: Comment below telling me which book you’d rather win: The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen OR Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats.
2) “Like” Chef Amber Shea on Facebook AS WELL AS The Healthy Voyager OR Manifest Vegan (depending on which book you’re entering to win) and comment below confirming you’ve done so. (Bonus: “like” my FB post about the giveaway.)
3) Follow Chef Amber Shea on Twitter AS WELL AS The Healthy Voyager OR Manifest Vegan (depending on which book you’re entering to win) and comment below confirming you’ve done so (include your handle).
4) Tweet one of the following messages (depending on which book you’re entering to win) and comment below confirming you’ve done so:
I entered to win The @HealthyVoyager’s Global Kitchen cookbook from @ChefAmberShea! #Giveaway here: http://wp.me/pYLdq-1dQ
I entered to win @ManifestVegan’s Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats cookbook from @ChefAmberShea! #Giveaway here: http://wp.me/pYLdq-1dQ
5) Subscribe to my blog by email (at the top of the right-hand sidebar), RSS feed, or Google reader and comment below confirming you’ve done so (or already are a subscriber).
As I have to pay for shipping myself, this giveaway is only open to the continental U.S. However, if you are outside the continental U.S. and would like to pay for the shipping yourself if you win, then feel free to enter; simply be prepared to make a PayPal payment for the full shipping cost before receiving your prize.
The deadline for entries is next Thursday, May 17th, 2011, at 10:00am CST.
I’ll be choosing the winners at random. Good luck!
3 years ago this week…
(Lots of) April leftovers
Choc-oat banana walnut cookies
2 years ago this week…
Chickpea-chili veggie burgers
A vegan taste of Ethiopia
1 year ago this week…
Meals at Living Light #1
Meals at Living Light #2