I am Vegan sometimes. Sometimes I’m Paleo. Every once in a while I’m a Dorito-tarian. (Don’t tell Jamie Oliver!) I love food. I dream about food. I consume it in ample quantities and I spend a lot of time thinking about what I do eat, what I should eat, and what I will eat.
One of my biggest goals is adding more vegetable into my life in a delicious and sustainable way. By sustainable, I’m not talking about composting and buying local. I’m talking about eating vegetables in a way that I’m willing to do over and over again till death do we part, which hopefully won’t be for a long time because, LOOK, I’m eating so many vegetables!
So I’m always checking out new cookbooks and I love vegan and vegetarian cookbooks especially because they focus so heavily on veg. I’ll take an awesome vegan casserole recipe and substitute chicken for beans or cheese for fake cheese. Because I like me some tasty animal products.
Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose’s new-ish cookbook Veganish: The Omnivore’s Guide to Plant-Based Cooking speaks to the world of vegetable lovers who add in an occasional animal product for the health benefits. It’s pretty fabulous. The book has no pictures and a horrible index but the recipes and information are so good that I’ve gone back to it again and again. This is surprising if you know me and how heavily I rely on good indexing.
I worked through several of her recipes, cooking from it almost exclusively for a week and we enjoyed nearly everything. I think during that week I tripled my family’s veggie intake and not just for the meals I was preparing from her recipes. Veganish gave so many great veggie prep instructions and just plain motivation to live and eat healthier, that I found myself snacking better, sleeping better and drinking more water between meals.
In the introduction to the book, Mielle says she wants it to be more of a cookbook than a recipe book, to inhabit the nightstand as much as the kitchen. It did just that. I read it from cover to cover and got really fired up about eating better.
I’m sure you will too. If your New Year’s resolutions for healthy living are starting to fade, this book is a good refresher. I’m giving away a copy.
Just leave a comment below, listing your favorite veggie and I’ll choose a winner the evening of February 6th. You need to live in the continental US to win, unless you want to pay the shipping. The winner is comment #5 – Valeri!
For those of you who don’t win the book, you get something too. By request, Mielle is sharing her Massaged Kale Salad with my readers. As a person who wants to love kale so I can feel superior to my spinach-eating friends, I was excited to find a salad that finally made this monster green palatable to me. I LOVE this salad. Maybe it’s because the kale is so happy and relaxed after its massage and happy food is tasty food. Whatever the reason, this one is a winner. I’ve made it for extended family dinners and neighborhood potlucks and it’s a crowd pleaser, among people willing to put kale in their mouths and chew. Enjoy!
- 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2–3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, to taste
- 1 beet, shredded
- 1 bunch kale, finely chopped (see Special Techniques)
- drizzle of quality olive oil
- ¼ cup walnuts, toasted or raw
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- handful of cherry tomatoes or dried cranberries, cut in half (optional)
Yields 2–4 servings
I love kale. I eat it every day and thank it for strengthening my bones. I usually chop it very fine, down to the tough bottom of the spine. If you’re new to kale, you may want to pull off the tender leaves and discard the spine until you can enjoy its hearty texture.
In a large salad bowl, combine and allow to marinate 5–10 minutes:
1 small clove garlic, finely grated
3/4 tsp salt
2–3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, to taste
Add and allow to marinate a few minutes more:
1 beet, shredded
1 bunch kale, finely chopped (see Special Techniques)
drizzle of quality olive oil
Using your hands, firmly massage the salad for about 5 minutes until thekale is tenderized.
¼ cup walnuts, toasted or raw
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
handful of cherry tomatoes or dried cranberries, cut in half (optional)
Toss and serve at once or refrigerate up to 8 hours.