Vegan-ease Cookbook Review + Giveaway!
Laura Theodore is a vegan of over 30 years who has pioneered vegan recipe creation on a local and sometimes nationally broadcast stages. She was a vegan long before it was cool, and now is in the 5th season of her publicly broadcasted show, which airs in over 30 states! Her show, 'The Jazzy Vegetarian' is 100% vegan, but was conceived with the idea that, at the time, many people were either unfamiliar with a vegan diet or assumed it was awful. By calling herself vegetarian, she opened up the eyes of many viewers to how yummy and easy living a plant-based lifestyle can really be. She regularly hosts small celebrities and has been asked onto several nationally broadcasted TV shows to practice her craft. So why the Jazzy part? Because as it turns out, Laura is ALSO musically inclined, with three CD's to her credit. She's a lady with talent!
Her cookbooks (Vegan-ease is her 3rd) focus on nutrition, delicious, easy-to-prepare vegan meals and lifestyle tips for making the transition to a plant-based diet easy and enjoyable.
As a pretty experienced vegan chef, I approached Laura's recipes with hesitation - would they be too easy for me to make? Would I enjoy them? Some of her recipes are very simple, and made that way purposely to not only gently introduce meat-eaters to the recipes, but to emphasize how easy it really can be to live a plant-based lifestyle. I ended up actually liking her recipes for their simplicity and the way she invitingly writes them. This is definitely not a book for the advanced chef looking to further their technique, but rather the new to the plant-based lifestyle explorer who like easier, friendlier to first-timer recipes. Would make a great Christmas gift for the veg-curious or someone older transitioning to a vegan lifestyle for their health. Many of the recipes are oil or fat free, with a big focus on using vegetables to re-create traditional meals.
We chose to share this super easy recipe from Laura for her Quick Red Lentil Curry Soup. It was a 'set it and forget it' kind of recipe, which I love when I'm running around the house trying to accomplish a million other things. At the end of the post, you can enter to WIN your very own copy of Laura's book, Vegan-ease! [Just be sure to scroll alllll the way to the bottom.]
But first, a note from Laura on the recipe:
Needing only fifteen minutes to pre, with only 7 ingredients to assemble, this soup is an excellent candidate for a nutrition lunch or informal supper. As the red lentils cook, they break down to magically thicken the broth. Before you know it, you have a hearty delicious soup, ready to serve.
Quick Red Lentil Curry Soup
32 ounces vegetable broth
2 cups peeled and diced red or white potatoes
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 cup red lentils, sorted + well rinsed
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup filtered or spring water, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
Put all of the ingredients into a medium-sized soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the lentils are soft. Add more water, as needed, if the soup becomes too thick as it cooks. Severe piping hot.
-Because we're not the biggest fans of chunky veggie soups, we opted to use a immersion blender to blend the soup to a creamy texture (shown below) before we served it.
-This recipe is super easy and whips up fast, but doesn't have a ton of flavor. We added a few pinches of our fave spices, and added a bit more curry powder, plus salt and pepper.
-This recipe is ideal for someone new to plant-based cooking or looking for a simple soup that doesn't require any real kitchen time. If you're an advanced cook, this recipe might be a little under-whelming to you.
You've made it to the end for a chance to enter to win your very own AUTOGRAPHED copy of the Vegan-ease Cookbook! All you have to do is scroll the to the very bottom of this post and enter of one like 6 ways to win. Entries only open to US, sorry mates. Good luck!