I received a book called the Superfood Kitchen by Julie Morris. I had agreed to review it and would only post a review if I liked it. Well, to my surprise it wasn’t only a superfood cookbook, but vegan too! I actually didn’t realize it at first with the absence of terms like “vegan cheese” and “butter substitute” but after spending a couple of hours with the book I realized I was going to be in for a real treat! Don’t let the price tag fool you (less than $10.00) it’s absolutely packed full of great recipes and information in a 200 plus page hard cover book.
This cookbook is going to really come in handy for my new adventure I’m going on. No I am not going vegan…but I will have to eat vegan for a short time. I’ll tell you ALL about it soon.
So yes, I’m still a meat lover, egg lover and cheese lover. But I really do feel its important to buy it locally and from a farm that raises their animals ethically and sustainably. I told myself that if I couldn’t buy it that way…I wouldn’t buy it at all. Of course I made that promise to myself not knowing I’d be in a situation where I wouldn’t be able to source it! Now I am going to be in a situation where the likelihood of getting ethically raised animal products are slim to none.
I believe we vote 3 times a day with our forks (for me its more like 5) so I’m going to have to make some hard choices. It looks like I’m going to have to go vegan, at least for the next 6 months.
We have been so lucky. Allow me to reminisce…
Take today for example, I watched Linda (the egg lady and our friend) wash the eggs that her 7 year son collected 2 minutes earlier from their yard, before carefully placing them in a recycled egg carton for me to take home. I wave to her 20 chickens as I drive out of her yard, and honk at the sheep to get out of the way. Or I can visit the farm where I purchase my pork, or actually go to the farm to get my fresh hazelnuts, or go to the dock and buy fish that is line caught and ocean wise. Do you know that the local cheese artisan that we buy our cheese from actually have their own herd of water buffalo to make real buffalo mozzarella? We have been so lucky.
I am going to miss that!
And you know what?
I have to tell you, I feel really good about it. All because of the Superfood Kitchen. It’s pretty amazing.
I know that’s saying a lot. I had looked for vegan cookbooks before and had been really disappointed. I’m not saying they all are, just the ones I had access to to look at and flip through. So much of them were filled with tons of sandwiches, pastas dishes (made with white flour noodles), cool whip and nature’s balance and vegan cheese (the store bought nasty stuff, not the homemade ones made from cashews and nutritional yeast).
Julie Morris doesn’t market this book as being vegan…it just happens to be. So it was a pleasant surprise. So was the dessert section. Yeah baby!
I mean there’s an entire vegan/raw dessert section. I’m not going to feel deprived in the least!
Ice cream cupcakes anyone?! No bake brownies, truffles and fudge! Nope, I won’t be feeling deprived.
But one can’t live on sweets alone. So there’s an entire section on breakfast, another for salads and soups. Now you might be thinking, “Oh great, soups and salads, who wants to live off those?” But she included delicious mains, including grain free pasta dishes, creamy noodle dishes made with vegan cream sauces (cream sauces made from cashews are down right amazing by the way), stews, chili and fun burgers and patties (none of which are made from funky GMO soy products). She even included side dishes like Yam Fries and the 1 minute ketchup recipe to go with it. There’s cracker and flat bread recipes and an entire section on superfood snacks. You don’t need to get past the breakfast section to know this book is a keeper. There’s not a single recipe I wouldn’t make.
I should mention there’s a scary part…
There’s going to be ingredients you’re not familiar with. But that’s ok!
If you’re intimidated by the superfoods…DON’T BE.
Yes, there’s a list of fancy ingredients that cost a little extra to purchase, but I’ll share a few secrets with you.
- If you don’t want to buy the fancy superfoods, you can still make 90% of the recipes in this book. They can, for the most part be left out.
- If you only buy local food (since some of superfoods can come from far away places), there’s still a massive selection of recipes to choose from.
- If you’re eating vegan, you can most likely afford the product anyway since you’re already saving SOOO much money by not buying animal products.
- If you choose to buy some of the fancier superfoods, they can be ordered online and shipped to you so you don’t have to worry about accessibility.
- And though the initial cost may seem high at first, the amount that is used in a recipe is very small, which means that little package you paid 10 dollars for will last you a very long time.
A trusted supplier of superfoods in my area is called Harmonic Arts. I don’t know if they ship to the States, but it will work for those fellow Canadians since getting those items shipped to Canada from the States is very frustrating. For those in the US, Amazon has an abundant amount of options for you including Navitas. Navitas test kitchen is where Julie Morris has developed many of her recipes.
I’ve already shared with you one of Julie Morris’ recipes for delicious Yam Fries (superfood maca powder optional) but today I’m going to share with you one of her super satisfying stews. We had this for lunch and dinner for 2 days (lunch and dinner) with zero objections from the hubby. That’s’ saying something.
Look if new foods scare you, and you’re new to whole foods, this might be too big of a leap. But if you are looking to lose weight (eating lots of vegetables is a big part of that) or are looking to include more vegetarian items into your diet, this is worth the minimal investment. If you’re enthusiastic about trying new food, new combinations and especially if you’re dabbling in veganism (or you are vegan), this is a worthy purchase. There’s also minimal use of grains (quinoa and rice used a handful of times) and no dairy or eggs, so it also makes it a good choice for those with allergies.
I made changes/addition because I was missing one of the ingredients. I didn’t have the black eyed peas. I substituted in a sprouted bean mixture and red quinoa in place of the beans. I wrote the recipe down just the way it is in the book so that you could choose which of the two version you’d like to make. This will be included in the recipe notes.
Kale and Black-Eyed Pea Stew
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 cups diced white onion
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 Tbsp each fresh oregano and thyme , chopped
- 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 3 cups each water and vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp wakame flakes
- 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
- 1 head kale, stems discarded and chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- fresh parsley to garnish
In a large pot, melt the coconut oil. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 2 minutes over medium high heat. Add the celery and pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Add the spices, cook for 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients, except the kale and lemon juice, and cook for 30 minutes. Add more water and salt as needed during the cooking process. Add the kale and cook for a few more minutes until kale is wilted. Finish by adding the lemon juice at the end. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and garnish with fresh parsley.
Note: I did not have black-eyed peas cooked and ready to go. To speed things up, I substituted 1 1/2 cups dry sprouted bean mixture and 1/2 cup red quinoa. I added 2 extra cups of water. I also had 3 cups of freshly cooked butternut squash that I added. This stew cooked in about the same amount of time as the original version.
Some other recipes you’ll find in Superfood Kitchen are
- -Banana Hemp Granola
- -Chocolate Energy Bars
- -Strawberry Soup
- -Carrot Yacon Soup with Gojis
- -Mizuna, Fennel and Mulberry Salad
- -Cabbage Pomegranate Slaw
- -Cauliflower Risotto (grain free)
- -Zucchini Fettuccine with Mega Marinara (grain free)
- -Pomegranate Glazed Portabello Steaks over Lemony Spinach
- -Black Bean-Hemp Protein Patties
- -Hemp Hummus
- -Buttery Spread (Vegan Butter Spread)
If you’d like to grab a copy of Julie Morris’ Superfood Kitchen, you can do so right here.