I love vegan cookbooks. I collect them. I think I might even have a vegan cookbook fetish. If you follow me on any of my social media channels you’d likely be surprised by this as nearly every foodie photo I post is made practically everywhere but inside my own kitchen. You see, there was a time during my 100% raw vegan days that I created everything in my own kitchen. I chopped. I blended. I Vitamixed. I food processed. I dehydrated. I had to if I wanted to eat. In my opinion, it would be quite challenging to live the raw vegan lifestyle without making meals at home. Nowadays I am a bit more lackadaisical. Because my job requires me to live “on the go”, I will admit that I tend to eat most of my meals out, prepared by the loving hands of others.
So why then do I have a vegan cookbook obsession? I think it’s the wannabe Julia Childs (a veganized version of course) that’s trapped inside & trying to get out of me. I dream of being a well-known vegan chef who can create delicious and nutritious meals on the fly. But alas, I have yet to achieve this level of vegan enlightenment. Perhaps it’s coming.
Speaking of vegan cookbooks, I am adding one more fabulous vegan cookbook to my ever-growing collection this week and this one is really special. CRAVE EAT HEAL: Plant-based Whole Food Recipes to Satisfy Every Appetite by Annie Oliverio is near and dear to my heart. For one reason, the author happens to be someone who I have had the pleasure of meeting in person and who also lives in a part of the country where I once lived (yes, there is at least one plant based eater in the state of Oklahoma!). Annie is the creative force behind the ever elicit and wonderful plant based blog, An Unrefined Vegan. If you consider yourself to be a foodie who appreciate photos of beautiful food, I promise her website is definitely worth following! I’m often left scratching my head as to how Annie’s photos can quite possibly be so mesmerizingly pretty.
Now back to the book…
After skimming through CRAVE EAT HEAL, it stands out for a couple reasons; it’s a notably a different size than most of the cookbooks I have in my collection– it’s smaller and square rather than rectangular, but thick (it’s chockfull of recipes!) and it’s a hardcover. Each of the glossy pages are beautiful, most including full color photos shot by the author herself. Additionally, I love the way the book is laid out; Annie so creatively tells the reader what to expect including her philosophy on eating including an explanation of why she’s a plant based eater and vegan. The book also provides a list and description of all ingredients used and each recipe notes whether it’s “easy,” “raw,” “gluten-free,” “quick,” etc. Additionally, all thirteen recipe chapters are titled by cravings rather than your typical headings of breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner & dessert. The chapters include:
Annie was kind enough to let me share one of her recipes from the book. Since I was once a 100% raw foodie who yearns to get back to my old routine, I thought it only appropriate to share her RAW/NOT RAW VEGETABLE BARLEY BOWL recipe. Check out the yummy details below.
Gluten-free, High-raw, Oil-free, Easy, Serves 4
3/4 cups raw almonds (either with skin off or on), or raw cashew pieces, soaked for 2-4 hours, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup+ light coconut milk
2-4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (1-2 small limes)
Zest of 1 lime
1 1/4-1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. pure maple syrup
Pinch sea salt
Pinch ground black pepper
Vegetables & Barley
4 cups cooked barley* (about 1 1/4 cup uncooked)
5-ounces baby kale, steamed until tender and drained
1 cup shredded, spiralized, or chopped zucchini (about 1/2 of 1 large)
1 cup shredded or spiralized carrot (about 2 small)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup chopped or shredded green or purple cabbage
Baked Tofu, cubed
Fresh chopped cilantro
Fresh chopped basil
Strips of seaweed snacks
Make the sauce
Put the sauce ingredients in a high-speed or regular blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more lime juice if the dressing needs more zing. Add water or more coconut milk if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.
Assemble the bowls
Divide the barley between four big bowls and top with kale, zucchini, carrot, tomatoes, cabbage, and any or all of the suggested toppings. Spoon the curry sauce on top and serve.
Total time: 45 minutes
Use farro, brown rice, or quinoa in place of the barley.
If you use almonds, you may need additional coconut milk or water.
*I use a quick-cooking barley from Trader Joe’s that takes about 10 minutes, but regular barley is fine, too – just plan on dinner taking a little longer to prepare.
The sauce will thicken as it sits so you may need to loosen it up with water.
And now on to the fun…
GIVEAWAY: The kind folks over at Cedar Fort Publishing & Media in accordance with the author have given me permission to give away one hardcopy of the book to a U.S. resident and one e-book called Crave.Eat.Heal.Outtakes to one overseas resident. For a chance to win a copy, please ensure that you are signed up to receive my blog posts first (click here to sign up) and then leave a comment below telling me what chapter you’re currently craving (please let me know if you live overseas in your comment). Entries will be accepted through 12:00pm PST on Wednesday, May 27th. Good luck!
You can stay in touch with all the delicious happenings with Annie, her books and her website/blog at any of the channels below. Be sure and tell her that the cowgirl sent ya. Yeehaw!
Recipe reprinted with permission from Ann Oliverio and Front Table Books. All photos submitted by Annie Oliverio.