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The 30-Minute Vegetarian Cookbook

The 30-Minute Vegetarian Cookbook

100 Healthy, Delicious Meals for Busy People
edition:Paperback
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The Buddhist Chef

The Buddhist Chef

100 Simple, Feel-Good Vegan Recipes
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

Introduction

The tastes, textures, and aromas of food have fascinated me since I was little. As I was growing up, I found myself wanting to experiment with these elements, so I made sure to be in the kitchen as often as I could. Later, I studied culinary arts, and then spent years working in restaurants of all kinds, where I learned how to perfect my skills. I then set off to Asia in search of adventure, new flavors, and cooking techniques.

There, I discovered the Buddhist philosophy and its principles of nonviolence. I briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a monk and never coming back home, but the woman whom I would later marry was waiting for me in Canada. When I returned, my interest in Buddhism kept growing. I took part in meditation retreats where I would meditate and work as a chef. Since the meditation centers served food that used no animal products, I found these retreats to be the perfect opportunity to learn how to cook with plants and grains and test out new vegan recipes with a focused yet very willing clientele.

As time went on, it became more and more difficult for me to continue cooking with meat as part of my job as a chef. My values had changed, and I was miserable working in a system that promoted principles that contradicted my own. One evening, after cooking lamb for 400 guests at a banquet, I realized I could no longer be a part of an industry that took advantage of the weakest beings. I could not go on like this.

I knew I had to do something—but what? Interest in vegan cooking was growing at the time, which was wonderful news for our health, the environment, and the animals, but many people did not know where to begin. My wife then gave me the idea of gathering all the knowledge I had acquired during my culinary career and using it to promote vegan eating. A blog seemed like the perfect venue because readers from all walks of life would be able to find simple, delicious recipes that use no animal products. And that is how The Buddhist Chef was born!

To this day, I love sharing my recipes with anyone and everyone who wishes to learn how to cook vegan. I try to make veganism accessible and show how simple it is to make a delicious meal using plant-based ingredients you can easily find at your grocery store.

This cookbook, my first, is my way of helping you to cook vegan simply and flavorfully.

It contains my “classic” recipes, the ones my virtual community members appreciate the most. It also features brand-new, fun, and mouthwatering recipes that everyone at your table will love. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or simply trying to decrease your meat consumption, I hope you’ll enjoy these easy-to-follow and, above all, delicious recipes!

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Sous Vide
Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

I have been cooking professionally since I was sixteen years old. The past rewarding yet arduous thirty-one years of learning the nuances of food and watching over countless braises, reductions, roasts, and poaches were anchored in teachings that have been culinary bible verse for hundreds of years. Apart from some useful gadgets that have come along, and, I guess, gas and electricity, my cooking techniques are much the same as one would have found in a professional kitchen in France 150 years ago. That timeless foundation has served me well, and changes in food developed at a tectonic pace, at least until fifteen years or so ago. 

One of the biggest changes was that “sous vide” became a productive and popular technique for cooking. I remember seeing the cooks in my kitchens starting to use the technology, immersing themselves in the parameters and advantages of cooking food, sealed in bags, in a precisely temperaturecontrolled water bath. That has never sounded romantic. But the results were impressive, and I was equally impressed with these younger chefs, maybe five to ten years my junior, the first phalanx of a generation who have completely changed the world of food. Watching them learn new techniques has been a wonder; I still look in admiration, and sometimes I feel like the old curmudgeon: “We used to have to cook hundreds of steaks to finally know how to get it medium-rare every single time! Kids these days can just put it in a bag? Oh, and I had to walk miles in the snow to get to my fifteen-hour work shift!”

I jest, but some of that is true, save for the walk to work. I usually took the bus. I guess I am just trying to show you how much cooking really has changed in recent years. Technology has completely altered the way we move and act in the kitchen, re-choreographing the dance of line cooking, with the new moves allowing us to precisely achieve temperatures that were a guessing game before. Steam ovens, tilt skillets, induction burners, Cryovac machines and immersion circulators have us culinarily dancing to a different tune. 

When sous vide cooking equipment became available to restaurants through a company called PolyScience, the circulators looked like they had been pulled from a steampunk science lab, and, well, they pretty much had been. They initially cost $1,000, and fine dining bought in—hook, line, and sinker—because chefs have a universal yearning to find new ways to produce dishes. 

What sous vide did for restaurants was speed up the final execution of food by having much of the food cooked and ready for reheating or a quick sear before service. It guaranteed consistency through accurate cooking temperatures, and reduced food waste through shrinkage during the cooking process. But the sous vide method also had a huge impact on taste. When you learn how to cook a piece of meat or fish (or anything else) in a water bath, understanding the perfect temperature at which the flesh will set up and be cooked but still retain moisture and flavor, you really change how customers eat and how chefs work. For those chefs taking notes on times and temps and homing in on the exact doneness and texture and flavor of the food they were cooking, sous vide was a game changer. 

The technology is actually pretty basic when it comes to sous vide, and many thermal circulators have come onto the market. These are essentially thermostat-controlled heating devices with a motor that moves the water around at the precise desired temperature. That’s it. But, as with many advances in technology, it takes a while for each new gadget to become commonly available, and I can say this with good experience: My dear father was one of the first people to buy the first IBM home computer, which boasted the processing power of today’s toasters for about $20,000. Simple economics shows that more competition drives down prices, and when combined with advances partly in production and partly in technology—well, the price of the circulators is now pretty universally around the $100 to $200 range, and lots of models are available for under $100. You can spend more for commercially robust versions, but the inexpensive ones will get the job done, with aplomb, in a home kitchen. 

With so many gadgets, electric pots, fancy ovens, and fridges with Wi-Fi connections, why do you need a sous vide setup in today’s world? Well, that is a good question. Although ostensibly a tech gadget, the sous vide circulator is truly a great way to nail old-school cooking. It is a way to efficiently and cleanly make you a better cook, and the often long cook times give you the same freedom that the slow cooker does: the power to walk away from the kitchen and return hours later to a nourishing from-scratch meal. 

In fact, sous vide takes that convenience even further: A steak at 129°F is a medium-rare steak, so it can sit in a 129°F water bath for hours and stay a medium-rare steak. You can go run some errands, come back, take a shower, and get that dinner on the table whenever you feel like it. (Okay, okay, technically the steak can’t last forever at that temperature—it will continue to keep cooking and get mushy-soft if you leave it in there all day—but for most intents and purposes, sous vide will serve to hold your food hot for as long as you need it to.) 

And it’s not just convenience and precision. There are so many things that you can make—or make better—with sous vide cooking. It opens up new doors for culinary pursuits. 

In this book, I share recipes that show some of my favorite characteristics of this method of cooking. I walk you through the basic techniques, and the recipes highlight a whole host of ways sous vide can make your cooking easier, more convenient, and more delicious. It might seem that it’s from the future, but really, it’s part of the lineage that connects us to the days when humans first discovered cooking. It’s a way to get us cooking more, at home, for the people around us.

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The HealthNut Cookbook

The HealthNut Cookbook

Energize Your Day with Over 100 Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Meals
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

I wasn’t always the green-smoothie-junkie, kalechomping girl I am today. I did grow up in a pretty healthy-eating Portuguese household. My mom always bought whole wheat bread and 1% milk, and we always had a big salad at the dinner table. But as I got older and started working part-time jobs, partying on the weekends, and staying up all night—like most teenagers—I fell into a health rut.
    I would often skip breakfast and run off a large coffee till noon. I was addicted to sugar and sweets, and although I was skinny, I had barely worked out a day in my life. Believe it or not, at one point I was even a smoker! The most unhealthy habit of all, though, was working 24/7. Even while going to college, I was working three part-time jobs and saying yes to everything because I just didn’t know how to say no to a good opportunity. Running off adrenaline, and not checking in with myself, quickly ran me right into a brick wall of exhaustion. I realized a change was necessary.
    It was a slow process, but I steadily started adopting healthier habits, such as eating breakfast, drinking more water than coffee, joining a running club with my boyfriend, Matt, and of course I quit smoking. I didn’t know it at the time, but Matt played a huge role in influencing me to start working out, eating healthy, and enjoying life outside of work. Although I initially started eating better and exercising in order to reduce my stress and heal my anxiety, it had an overwhelmingly positive ripple effect. My brittle nails became stronger, my skin became smoother and brighter, and I just felt happier overall. You could say the proof was in the pudding (healthy Lemon Pie Chia Pudding, that is) because when I started to live a healthier lifestyle, all of the positive changes immediately hooked me onto a new way of life.
    Throughout my journey I have experimented with just about every diet there is, from vegetarian, Raw Till 4, gluten-free . . . the list goes on. It took a lot of trial and error for me to find a balance that worked for me and my unique body. I quickly began to realize that the food I ate was largely connected to my emotions, stress levels, and mood. For me, food is a proactive approach to keeping my body running at its best. It’s medicine without the scary long list of side effects! And if the saying “you are what you eat” is true, then I would rather be a colourful bowl of salad than a sad plate of greasy fries.
    I started my blog HealthNut Nutrition to share recipes and cooking tips as I was getting more comfortable in the kitchen. In the beginning, my audience numbered about ten people (a.k.a. my family). It wasn’t until Matt—or as he’s known on the internet, Mr. Matt— and I moved temporarily to Australia that my YouTube career was born. After a year of binge-watching YouTube videos, I finally got up the courage to hit the record button, talk to a camera, and publish my first video. Since then my audience of ten has grown to hundreds of thousands (and counting!) of “HealthNuts” all over the world. Now when I hit that record button I picture all the amazing, beautiful people I hope to inspire and connect with every week through my videos.

My Food Philosophy

People often assume that in order to be healthy and fit, their diet needs to be restricting. I personally don’t believe in counting calories, living behind labels, or feeling guilty about treating myself to a slice of cheesecake. There’s a misconception out there that because I drink green smoothies and love my veggies, (a) I must be vegan, and (b) I’ve probably never eaten a cheeseburger in my life. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and I’m going to share all my not-so-secret secrets to creating a healthy and balanced relationship with food.
    HealthNut Nutrition is all about eating intuitively and consuming primarily unprocessed foods. You won’t find any calorie counting here because food doesn’t have to be your enemy! Real food is food that provides your body with the nutrients it needs to improve and sustain both your mental and your physical health.
    Nowadays, regardless of how busy I am, I always make time for good food and self-care. I love discovering and playing with new foods and flavours to create my own delicious twists on everyone’s classic favourites. But to me, delicious is only part of the equation. The HealthNut in me loves to make sure that every dish I make is balanced in a way that proves healthy eating doesn’t have to be tasteless or boring. I live by the 80/20 approach; that means eating healthy 80 percent of the time, while leaving 20 percent for sweets and wine. So if you’re looking for recipes that are easy, healthy, and always tasty, you’ve found the cookbook for you.

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Eat More Plants

Eat More Plants

Over 100 Anti-Inflammatory, Plant-Based Recipes for Vibrant Living
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

I really like to eat. I also like to cook, so I can eat the food I enjoy the most— healthy, energizing, and so delicious that there is no talk of compromise.
    I have been a vegetarian for twenty years. I wish I could say I had noble intentions around making the change, but really, I did it to impress a boy I liked! True story. It is funny how life works; that short-lived teenage crush was the origin of a transformative shift for me. Becoming vegetarian led to a lifelong love of mindfulness, yoga, and of course, nutrition. Back then, I thought mac and cheese was the height of sophistication and health. Vegetarian eating meant no meat, but that did not necessarily equate to eating many whole plant foods.
    Shortly after I became vegetarian, I tried a brief and somewhat disastrous stint with totally plant-based eating that left me hungry because I did not really know how to craft a nutritious plant-based meal. But times have changed. I am now a plant-based eater, but I did not get here overnight. It was a slow transition that felt positive and joyful at every step. Moving toward a more plant-based, anti-inflammatory eating plan is probably one of the most transformative actions you can take for your health. It will help you feel more energized and resilient in your everyday life. It will also help you prevent chronic illness and support you in healing.
    It takes time to unlearn the hyper-processed eating pattern that is so common in our world. When you break rank with the status quo and dip your toe into plant-based living, it might feel foreign. It might even taste foreign (which is ironic, since by definition artificial sweeteners and colours are the foreign ingredients). However, when you explore it with a sense of play—free of absolutes—you will discover that this plant stuff is actually delicious. Of course, it is all in the approach. Go ahead and add a bit of extra salt or maple syrup to your meal if you need it to help you transition your taste buds. Have fun exploring plant-based versions of your favourite meals. Do not force yourself to eat foods you hate or attempt to cook tofu for the first time without a recipe, or you may think this healthy eating stuff isn’t worth the price of admission.
    By putting this book in your hands, you are on the right track. When you cook and eat these recipes, you may feel a bit peppier and want to feel that way again. It does not matter if you want nachos on a Friday night (and I have a queso recipe to help with that!). Just eat plants the rest of the time.
 
Just Eat More Plants

There are few absolutes in nutrition, but every single one of us can benefit from eating more plants. Regardless of how you choose to eat, this is the one rule we all need to live by. If you love bacon, have a little less and be sure to eat more plants. If you eat a vegan diet, watch the cookies and be sure to eat more plants.
    Although the dietary tribes will not always admit this, what they have in common is plants. A truly Paleo plate? A little bit of animal protein and 75 percent plants. A whole food vegan diet? All plants. Even ketogenic diets, when done well, can include many low-carbohydrate plants.
    Life demands more from us than ever before. Stress, poor food choices, and inactivity are all too common, and they are saddling us with chronic inflammatory issues like metabolic syndrome, digestive trouble, and autoimmunity. Food is often a big part of our ills . . . and anti-inflammatory, plant-based eating is a big part of the solution. However, what that looks like for you is your decision.
    If you want to go fully plant-based, good on you. I am all for it! It is an incredible way to live, and I have a chapter that will help guide you through the transition. However, if you cannot imagine a life without a burger, do not think that a plant-centred life is not for you. The more we pile our plate with plants, the better it is for our bodies, our ecosystem, and our pocketbooks. Eat the recipes in this book as often as you can. Start slowly and see where it takes you.
    Wherever you are in your wellness journey, adopting a more plant-based, anti-inflammatory diet will help you get to where you are going. Stay open-minded and be gentle with yourself, as making change is never a straight line. There is no right or wrong here. Have fun in the kitchen and enjoy what you eat! I am honoured that you have chosen this book to help you eat more plants.
 
Vibrant Living

True wellness, particularly when your intention is to calm inflammation, is a way of living as much as it is a way of eating. The thoughts we think and the way we move our bodies have just as much of an impact as how we choose to eat. As you explore preparing more anti-inflammatory meals for yourself, consider how the following principles can help guide you in building a truly vibrant life.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
There is no one right way to eat; we all need to find the way of eating that helps us feel our best. You can do that by observing how the food you eat makes you feel: physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

GET PLANT POWERED
Plant-based foods are nature’s nutrient-dense gift to you. Eating more plants is a way of nourishing your body, respecting the impact that your food choices have on others, and treading more lightly on the planet.

PRACTISE SELF-LOVE
Perfection is a myth; be gentle with your intentions to eat well and give yourself the flexibility to choose foods that nourish your soul as well as your body. There is no right or wrong. Work toward disconnecting your self-worth from your food choices. At the end of the day, it is just food.

EMBRACE AN ATTITUDE OF MORE, NOT LESS
Focusing on eating less, or choosing certain foods less often, leads to a sense of deprivation, loss, and anxiety. Instead, focus on what to do more often. Eat more plants. Drink more water. Cook more often. Make eating well a positive, joyful process.

CREATE SPACE FOR CHANGE
Making change takes effort. Create the space in your life to allow it to happen. Release commitments that are not important to you so you can shop and cook. Spend time moving your body. Carve out time for stillness and be mindful. Unplug from your screens daily and let your mind wander and be at rest. Make sleep a priority.

KEEP IT SIMPLE
Choose single-ingredient foods more often—eat real food, not hyper-processed approximations of it. Instead of ordering takeout, get your hands dirty in the kitchen. Reconnect to where your food comes from and grow something on a windowsill or patio or in your backyard. Spend as much time outside as humanly possible and breathe deeply.
FIND YOUR INNER STRENGTH
Your body has the remarkable capacity to repair and rebuild. This ability is sewn into your DNA and is an integral component of life itself. Know that no matter where you are starting from, you can support your body in healing and find a new vitality. Nourishing yourself well will help you tap into your potential in other aspects of your life with a newfound energy

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The Prairie Table

The Prairie Table

Suppers, Potlucks & Socials: Crowd-Pleasing Recipes to Bring People Together
edition:Hardcover
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Excerpt

From “Welcome to My Prairie Table!”
The recipes you will find in this book are what we eat as a family, what we feed our guests at our home, and what we take to gatherings. Whether a salad or vegetable dish, home-baked bun or easy main meal, every recipe in this book is easily cut in half for a smaller family meal or doubled for a large event—even the cocktails (though why you’d want to cut cocktails in half escapes me). I also wanted every recipe in this book to be useful week in and week out, to make your life easier.

You can make a full batch of a crowd-pleasing recipe to take to a soiree or to feed your own guests, whether a side dish or a main course. There are kid-friendly recipes for dinners that will also be perfect for potlucks. There are easy dinner recipes such as Slow- Cooker Beef Dips on page 154 that also make perfect leftovers that the entire family can eat for lunch the next day, or freeze them for a later date. My Calico Beans on page 156 might be a go-to potluck dish, but my family eats it twice a month and the kids take it in thermoses for lunches. The salads and vegetable dishes are all sides that you can make any day of the week. The dainties section is perfect for filling up your freezer, to pull out for surprise visitors (so that you have something to serve with coffee!) or the holiday season. There’s nothing like a tray of dainties to get Prairie folks at a party excited!

You’re going to see classics (such as Marion’s perogies (see page 19), which I make in triple batches so I only have to make them once every couple of months) and some fresh new favorites (like the Garlic and Brown Sugar Bacon Pineapple Bites on page 103 that will make you want to throw a tiki-themed party just so that you can serve them).

I’m also bringing my husband, Mike, a.k.a. Mr. Kitchen Magpie, into the cookbook fray. He’s in charge of cocktails in our house and, due to popular demand, he now even has his own section on the Kitchen Magpie website, where he creates cocktails for everyone to enjoy. I heard from a lot (and I mean a LOT!) of you after my first book that I needed to do more cocktails, so there’s an entire chapter of Mike’s cocktails and mocktails at the end of this book just for you.

This is us. This how we eat, this is how I cook for those I love, and, if you will indulge me, this is an entire cookbook’s worth of recipes from my table to yours. I’m so very happy to share these recipes with you.

Love,
Karlynn

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The Domestic Geek's Meals Made Easy

The Domestic Geek's Meals Made Easy

A Fresh, Fuss-Free Approach to Healthy Cooking
edition:Hardcover
tagged : quick & easy
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Excerpt

introduction

HI THERE! I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you want to eat better; that healthy eating
is important to you and that you want to do more of it. But also that you’re busy—working,
studying, generally being awesome—and what little time you do have, you don’t necessarily
want to spend in the kitchen. I get it. That’s why my goal is to make eating well easier. Oh,
and a lot more delicious, of course.
 
In my experience, the secret is not fancy ingredients, tools, or techniques. It’s about having a collection of simple recipes that can be prepared quickly, affordably, and, above all, easily, but that you also actually want to eat. I hope this book is just that.
 
I’m Sara Lynn, by the way, and if you’re new to the Domestic Geek community, WELCOME! I’ve spent the last five years dishing out all sorts of deliciousness on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and just about anywhere else hungry people seek kitchen inspiration. It’s amazing to think that in that time, our cooking collective has grown to include more than 1.5 million dedicated food enthusiasts. A total dream come true, especially for someone who adores all things edible as much as I do.
 
Food was really my first love. Growing up, cooking was always my favorite thing to do. While other kids were watching cartoons or cheesy sitcoms, I was watching cooking shows and then heading into the kitchen to test newly discovered recipes and techniques. My parents were always incredibly supportive and, as parents do, politely choked down anything I served up with a spirited “Good job!” whether it was particularly palatable or not. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
 
But it wasn’t enough for me to just cook the recipes, oh no. Channeling my beloved TV chefs, I would talk my imaginary audience through each and every step, recommending a pinch of this or a splash of that to a plethora of endlessly attentive stuffed animals. (Who, in retrospect, were probably grateful for their lack of hearing—and taste buds, for that matter.)
 
As I grew up, my tastes grew with me, and I spent my early twenties experimenting with all sorts of exotic flavors and fussy French techniques. I traveled all over on eating adventures and discovered so many new cuisines along the way. I was so obsessed, in fact, that every week my fellow foodies and I hosted a Friday night supper club, where we’d try daring new recipes over too many bottles of wine.
 
And like good wine, my cooking skills improved with age, but the amount of time I spent in the kitchen became less and less. As a busy professional, I just didn’t have endless hours to stand at the stove anymore, and most often found myself either eating out or ordering in—habits that were jeopardizing both my health and my bank account. Something needed to change, so back to the kitchen I went.
 
I learned to meal plan and committed to Sunday meal prep—a few hours dedicated to shopping, prepping, and cooking foods to enjoy through the week. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that my health began to improve almost immediately. I had more energy and better digestion, and I started to see the weight that had snuck up on me thanks to years of take-out start to vanish. I wasn’t doing anything really extraordinary, but the impact of just eating at home wassimply incredible. The most dramatic improvement, though, was my confidence, and I couldn’t wait to share that feeling with the world.
 
I launched The Domestic Geek in April 2014 to inspire others to eat well and as a result, live better, with a fresh, fuss-free approach to healthy cooking. The objective since its inception has always been to make life in the kitchen easier, which is why Meals Made Easy felt like such a fitting title for this collection of recipes that aims to do just that. I hope you enjoy them!

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