There are probably 1000s of cookbooks on the market and being a plant-based foodie and food blogger, I've come accross loads in my time. To be honest after a while, they all start to look the same and there are few books that truly stand out. But in the cluttered cookbook section of any good bookstore, Cassandra Bodzak's vegan cookbook 'Eat with Intention' WILL stand out; in fact for me it already does which is why I'm delighted to be hosting a giveaway of her book this week, as well as sharing my own adaptation of her delicious Vegan Yogi Bowl recipe.
So, I'm sure you're wondering what makes this book so good...
1. Well, for starters unlike a lot of vegan cookbooks out there at the moment, Cassandra's recipes are achieveable and uncomplicated. I find that too many vegan cookbooks rely on fancy equipment and obscure ingredients to make the recipes work, but 'Eat with Intention' is different. Cassandra's suggested main ingredients are common items such as beans, greens and seasonal fruit, making it easy to recreate her recipes at home.
2. The recipes are really healthy AND tasty. Vegan junk food is mega trendy and - don't get me wrong - I'm a sucker for a good vegan pizza too, but for me, moving towards plant-based foods is and has always been about nourishing my body first and foremost. And with the recipes in Cassandra's book, you'll be sure to do just that. Today's recipe - the vegan yogi bowl - is a great example of what 'Eat with Intention' is all about.
3. What really sets this book apart from any other that I've seen is that Cassandra has linked each recipe to an affirmation or as we say in the world of yoga, a mantra and a meditative practice. This means that every recipe gives step by step instructions of how you can make the joy of preparing the dish and eating it a spiritual practice. It might sound a bit unusual, but actually it's just so lovely and really uplifting. The mantra for the recipe I share on the blog today is 'I am bountiful, blissful, and beautiful.' How utterly inspiring is that?
Now, you know I give you my true and honest opinion, right? So I wanted to let you know what to be aware of when ordering 'Eat with Intention' too...
1. As someone who is VERY visual, what I can say is that the recipe images in the book aren't quite as pretty as perhaps I would have liked. I think and assume that Cassandra took the shots herself; she's clearly a very capable food blogger, but not a professional photographer. So if visuals are your thing, then this book might not be 100% to your liking.
2. If you're a long standing, experienced vegan foodie, many of the recipes might seem too simple. That's because Cassandra isn't overly adventurous in her recipe development. I personally find that appealing and dislike overworked food, but I know some of you might not. So if you're looking for bold flavour combinations and never-seen-before recipes, you might wanna give this book a miss.
I hope this review is helpful, but do hit me with any questions in the comment section if it isn't and you need more info. THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED! Oh and then there's the giveaway as well isn't there? Ok, so if you would like to win a copy of Cassandra's book, all you need to do is comment below, telling me what your favourite inspiring quote is. But be quick with your answers, entry to this giveaway closes at midnight (Greenwich Time) on Monday, December 5th, 2016. The winner will be picked and notified within a week of the closing date. THE WINNER IS @MELODIPOND. CONGRATULATIONS!
Please be aware that this competition is open to UK and USA residents only. Therefore, I'd be super grateful if you can be clear when you comment whether you live in the UK/USA or not. And even if you don't please do feel free to leave a comment. I'm super interested to read your answers no matter where you live cuz we all need some inspiration and uplifting sometimes. Good luck everyone!
See you next week.
And now for the recipe...(below)
VEGAN YOGI BOWL (GF, NF, V+)
Today's recipe is of course from Cassandra Bodzak's cute book 'Eat with Intention.' I adapted it minimally, just to make it a little bit more seasonal. I hope you like it.
Preparation Time: 15 - 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients for the dressing:
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup French mustard
2 tbs (30ml) balsamic vinegar
2 tbs (30ml) freshly grated turmeric or horseradish
male syrup (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)
Ingredients for the yogi bowl:
1/2 cup quinoa + a pinch of salt
1 cup (185g) precooked red kidney beans, rinsed, drained and warmed
1 avocado, halved, pitted and sliced (as shown)
1 cup steamed veggie such as tenderstem, broccoli or cauliflower
1 cup raw seasonal root veggies such as beetroot, carrot and/or radishes, chopped or thinly sliced
a sprinkle of sesame seeds (optional)
a few fresh coriander or parsley leaves
Start by making the dressing, mixing all the ingredients in a little bowl and whisking together with a fork or whisk until everything is nicely combined. Set aside.
Then prepare the quinoa by putting it in a pot with about 3-4 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 15 minutes or until done. Drain away the water when it is and set aside.
As the quinoa is cooking, wash and slice the avocado and seasonal root vegetables thinly. Set aside. Then gently warm the beans.
Finally, steam your vegetables of choice, making sure not to overcook them.
Once the quinoa is done, the beans are warmed up and the vegetables are prepared, assembly your bowl as shown. Serve with the dressing, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and some fresh herbs. Before tucking in say the self-esteem building mantra 'I am bountiful, blissful, and beautiful' and enjoy!
Like what you see here? Then don't forget to follow along on instagram or pin this recipe on pinterest. It would make my day :).