'Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen' Recipe, Review + Cookbook Giveaway!
When I first went vegan a little over 5 years ago, Kathy's blog Healthy Happy Life was one of the first recipe blogs I discovered. Her vibrant photos of tasty-sounding dishes immediately drew me in, and her spunky, carefree writing in her blog posts made me feel like we could definitely be friends. Kathy just exudes happiness and totally embodies the bright, sunny, glowing So Cal personality we all wish we had. Her instagram is full of drool-worthy meal pics, cute kitty photos, and plenty of travel. She seems so effortlessly cool- so when I met her at a blogging party in February, I was in total blog-geek-awe! I was so nervous to talk to her, this vegan goddess of good food. As it turns out, Kathy is just as nice and bubbly and sweet in person as she is online. And I love that! She is warm and friendly and happy to share the secrets of her blogging successes- and failures. She is the blog- mentor we all need and the sweet friend we all want. What a gal!
When her first cookbook, 365 Vegan Smoothies came out 2 years ago, I was just starting to blog more often and really pay attention to what other bloggers in the vegan community were doing, and I was wowed. A WHOLE cookbook of vegan-friendly smoothies?! I don't have enough creative juices in my whole body to come up with that many smoothie recipes! This new cookbook is packed with just as much beautiful photography, but Kathy's creativity really shines with the wealth of different types of recipes. I love the content preview (shown below)- it's set up similar to a blog in that it's very photo based, which I think is a great, fresh way to approach a cookbook. We're so visual, and its clear that a content page like this is very attention grabbing...great idea! I also love the simplicity of the recipes in this cookbook. Most of the recipes are a vegan take of a healthy, classic, or favorite recipe, the perfect cookbook for showing that veganism is accessible and do-able for anyone. Some of the recipes we can't wait to make? Sweet Potato Pistachio Cakes, Pesto Chickpea Bowls, Creamy Cashew Pot Pie, and Peanut Butter Brownies. YUM!
When Kathy offered to she us a copy to review- we were THRILLED! We've made a few recipes from the book so far, but our favorite has been these sweet, simple, gluten-free Almond Butter Jam Thumbprint Cookies. They whip up in minutes and are light just the right amount of sweet. The oat flour melts in your mouth and finishes with a sweet touch of your favorite jam. We used some strawberry vanilla bean jam from our CSA box and it was perfect- but we're betting just about ANY jam would pair well with these light, sweet cookies! We ended up using an extra teaspoon of coconut oil to make our dough come together a bit better, but other than that, the recipe was flawless. I always forget how much I love thumbprint cookies- they take me right back to childhood. They're just so good! And these are gluten-free, which makes them shareable with everyone, too. Once you've read through there recipe, be sure to scroll down to enter for your chance to win your very own copy of the 'Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen' Cookbook!
Gluten-Free Almond Butter Jam Thumbprint Cookies
¾ cup homemade oat ﬂour (or store-bought!)
½ cup vegan sugar or coconut sugar
2½ tablespoons almond butter, softened
2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil, softened
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of baking soda
2 tablespoons fruity jam, any ﬂavor (we used strawberry vanilla bean jam from our CSA box)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the jam, until a soft dough forms. Carefully roll the dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Press a small thumbprint into each cookie. Place the cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes to solidify the shape for baking. Bake the chilled cookies until they are rounded and lightly puffed and darkened on the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Pull the cookies from oven and dab a small bit of the jam in the center thumbprint of each cookie. Remove the cookies from the pan and transfer to a plate. Place the cookies in the fridge to chill. Serve the cookies once they have cooled and ﬁrmed up a bit, otherwise at room temperature they will be slightly soft in texture. These cookies are best served the same day they are baked. Store any leftovers, covered, in the fridge, for 1 to 2 days. For longer storage, place the cookies in sealed containers or baggies and store in the freezer. Rewarm the frozen cookies in the microwave for 30 seconds, or allow to come to room temperature on a plate on the counter. Makes 8-12 cookies.
You made it! If you've got cookies in the oven, you're extra lucky. If you don't, treat yourself by entering to WIN your own copy of Kathy's book in our giveaway! Don't wanna wait? We can't blame you! You can buy a copy here from Amazon and should absolutely check out her blog, which is regularly updated with some beautifully photographed recipes that you'll definitely wanna whip up in your own kitchen. Thanks again to Kathy for writing this amazing book and letting us review it for her AND give away a copy. She rocks! Entries open to US only. Sorry, mates. Contest runs through 5/16/15. Good luck!