Laura Kurella: Dirty vegan – News – Sturgis Journal – Sturgis, MI

Many of us are finding that time is becoming a great commodity.

Photos and recipes courtesy of the Dirty Vegan Cookbook (2018 Hatherleigh Press/ Random House)
With this week being the official return to fall schedules, a good many of us are finding that time is becoming a great commodity. As such, we look to cut corners, which for a good portion of us means reducing the amount of time we spend on meal planning and preparation.

I know because I am guilty as well. However, when we shorten the time we put into our meals we end up shorting our own health because what we eat – and especially how it’s been prepared plays an important role in our body’s health and how we look and feel.

While I was pondering this conundrum, it occurred to me that we all manage to find the time to make sure that proper maintenance and fuel goes into our autos, so perhaps if we’d just start looking at our bodies as though they were vehicle that our souls drive around the earth in perhaps we would take the time to also give them the maintenance and fuel they also need, especially given the fact that we don’t get to trade out body vehicles in!

With so many scientists and studies telling us that plant-forward diets are the easy path to optimum health, its made me be on the look-out for interesting and exciting ways to push more plants onto our plates, which is how I ran across The

Dirty Vegan Cookbook by Catherin Gill (2018 Hatherleigh Press/ Random House).
A holistic vegan chef who specializes in natural and health foods, Gill found her passion in writing, literature, and social science while in college. Beginning her blog, The Dirty Vegan, in 2010, Gill said she likes to focus on comfort-food-style vegan recipes that are fun, accessible and healthy.

One thing that I especially appreciate about Gill is that she specializes in veganized versions of classic desserts, which makes enjoying her sweets that much more fun for us to eat!

Her all-in-one vegan-style cookbook does make eating vegan fun  — whether you are a vegan or not — and it lets you prepare delicious vegan cuisine that anyone and everyone can eat and enjoy without ever knowing that they’ve just eaten a vegan treat!

Providing healthy and delicious comfort foods that everyone craves, I think it’s awesome that there is a cookbook that makes it fun and pleasurable to eat more plant-forward foods and return us to making food what it should be – a true celebration of flavor that provides nourishment too!

Here now is a sweet sampling from the Dirty Vegan Cookbook that are truly, dare I say it, animal free. Enjoy!

Get more at The Dirty Vegan

Fresh & toasty bruschetta bites
Serving Size: Makes 2 dozen
1 large baguette bread loaf, sliced evenly
into 24 pieces
1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
8 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450F and arrange bread slices evenly on two ungreased baking sheets. Brush bread with melted butter and bake for 5–8 minutes, or until toasted. In a large mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, onion powder, sugar, basil, salt, and pepper to taste; mix until thoroughly combined. Arrange toasted bread slices on a serving platter with tomato mixture spooned on top. Alternatively, you can serve tomato mixture in a bow with a serving spoon in it, alongside toasted bread in a basket.

Chocolate peanut butter
Banana Ice Cream Pie
Serving Size: 8
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 quart vegan vanilla ice cream, softened
1 prepared graham cracker pie crust, 9 inch size
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons peanuts, chopped
1 rip (but firm) banana, thinly sliced
1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vanilla vegan soy milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil
In a large mixing bowl, cream together peanut butter and maple syrup; combine with ice cream. Spread half of ice cream mixture evenly in pie crust. Sprinkle an even layer of ¼ cup of the chopped peanuts on top of ice cream layer and arrange banana slices evenly over top of peanuts. Place in freezer while you make chocolate ganache. In a small saucepan on low heat, melt chocolate chips, soy milk and coconut oil together, stirring frequently. When well combined, remove ganache from heat and set aside. Remove pie from freezer and pour on a layer of half of the chocolate ganache; spread remaining ice cream mixture on top of that. Lastly, sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped peanuts and the last of the chocolate ganache. Sprinkle with last 2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts, cover with lid (that accompanies prepared pie crust) and freeze overnight or until firm.

Find more of Laura’s recipes at and Email her at

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