Monday, April 21, 2014

The China Study All-Star Collection (book review, recipe and giveaway)

Back in the fall, I posted about The China Study Cookbook, a collection of plant-based, whole foods recipes created by LeAnne Campbell, PhD, the daughter of T. Colin Campbell, co-author of The China Study.

Now, I am pleased to say, there is a follow-up cookbook with even more wonderful recipes. The China Study All-Star Collection is currently making its rounds on the "Spring Clean Your Diet" blog tour. The book once again comes from LeAnne Campbell, but this time she is joined by a cast of other vegan cookbook authors.

Featuring some of our favourite chefs and authors, such as Happy Herbivore chef Lindsay S. Nixon, Forks Over Knives-The Cookbook author Del Sroufe, Jazzy Vegetarian Laura Theodore and more, The China Study All-Star Collection has an abundance of plant-based recipes that are great for all members of the family.

With breads, breakfast dishes, appetizers, soups, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, desserts and more, there's a recipe for any occasion. For my stop on the blog tour I chose to feature a recipe from Dreena Burton - one, because it's a simple snack recipe (my favourite) and two, because she's Canadian.

I made Dreena's recipe for "Pumpkin Seed and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars." Whenever I see there are chocolate chips in a recipe, that's a plus for me! I had this recipe whipped up and in the oven in 10 minutes. These bars are ideal for a quick, healthy snack when the kids get home. They are versatile too, because you can add your favourites - dried cranberries, raisins, nuts, whatever you like - just mix it in there! Or leave out the pumpkin seeds (my daughter's request). And making this recipe wafts the smell of delicious baked cinnamon through your house! That's always good!

Up next, I'm looking forward to trying Christina Ross's "Strawberry Babycakes" and Lindsay Nixon's "Thai Pineapple Curry." The China Study All-Star Collection proves that you can follow a healthy, vegan diet and have plenty of food options for all of your meals and snacks. Be sure to enter to win a copy, below.

What's your go-to healthy, tasty dish?


by Dreena Burton
Keywords: bake vegan
Ingredients (MAKES 12–16 BARS)
  • 1-1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1-1/4 cups oat flour
  • 3–4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2–3 tablespoons non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8–1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1–2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons unsweetened plain non-dairy milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, oat flour, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

3. In a smaller bowl, combine the brown rice syrup with maple syrup and milk.

4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, stirring until well combined.

5. Transfer the mixture to an 8 × 8 baking dish or brownie pan lined with parchment paper and press it down until evenly distributed.

6. Using a sharp knife, cut to mark out the bars before you bake them to make it easier to fully cut and remove the bars once baked. (I usually mark out 16 bars, but you can make them whatever size you like.)

7. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove and let cool in pan. Once cooled, use a sharp knife to fully cut the bars, then remove with a spatula.

TIP: Mini chocolate chips are great if you have them. You can also substitute the pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips with raisins, cranberries, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, unsweetened coconut, or other dried fruit (chopped, if needed).

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Enter to win a copy of The China Study All-Star Collection

Residents of Canada and the U.S. may enter to win using the rafflecopter below until May 5th.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Celebrate Earth Day With Some Inspirational Reads

April 22nd is Earth Day and I am looking forward to celebrating with my kiddos. We are going to explore the natural world around us with the help of a few enticing books from DK Canada. Right now, DK is offering a selection of inspiring titles in their Earthly Pleasures Boutique. Best of all, these books are 30% off! (I confess there are few things I like more than a discounted book.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Miso Glazed Tofu & Watercress Salad and a visit to McEwan

Now that spring is here (albeit some days in name only), it's time to think about making fresh, light veg-centric dishes. Like this Miso Glazed Tofu & Watercress Salad (which also happens to be a great addition to your Easter meal).

What I Ate Wednesday

We enjoyed one particularly lovely warm day this week and then it was back to snow (eek!) and cold on Tuesday. Needless to say, warming foods are still very much a part of the menu in this house. On Sunday afternoon, I was browsing through magazines when I spotted an easy, 30-minute Chickpea Tikka Masala recipe in Vegetarian Times magazine.

I decided to make it for lunch (above). It was so easy to make and quite tasty. I happened to have fresh cilantro in the fridge to pretty it up a bit. I can't wait for summer when we once again have a pot of herbs growing outside the back door!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TV That Caters to Kids (With a Kidoodle.TV giveaway)

I think most parents agree that we don't want our kids to watch a ton of TV, especially when they are toddlers and preschoolers. But when you are Mom, housekeeper and cook all wrapped up into one harried package, a few age-appropriate TV programs sure do come in handy.

My kids and I had the opportunity to try out Kidoodle.TV recently. It's an online, streaming video service for children ages 12 and under. From a parent's perspective, Kidoodle.TV has several key advantages over regular television programming. Number one is that all of the content is for kids. So there's no fear that your child is going to watch anything inappropriate.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Vegan Mint Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

Whether for Easter, a birthday party or just to brighten someone's day, a cupcake says it's time to celebrate. I decided to make these Vegan Mint Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes for the kids (and, let's face it, me) this past weekend. After all, the weekend is something to celebrate, right?

I went with a chocolate cupcake base...because you really can't go wrong with chocolate. I threw in some peppermint flavour for a little twist. Of course, cupcakes must be topped with thick, creamy icing. I added a hint of peppermint flavour to the icing as well.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Insta-Friday in real life

It's been a while since my last Insta-Friday post. On that particular Friday (March 9th) I was still longing for spring. I'm happy to say that the sun is shining brightly today. While it's not super warm, I can now at the very least imagine a full life outside these walls.

We are starting to come alive after winter hibernation. We have been getting out and about on weekend travels in the City of Toronto and elsewhere. Starting with a much-needed visit to my friends Vili and Bruce at Philosophy Salon. Fresh highlights and a haircut have me ready to take on spring. I think a good pedicure is up next!