Monday, January 11, 2016

Superfoods 24/7: Book Review & Giveaway

 Superfoods Gang! 

When I think of "superfoods," I think of things like goji berries and lucuma powder, neither of which are staples in my kitchen. But, actually, it turns out that there are so many superfoods that are actually staples in my kitchen! Things like almonds, edamame, walnuts, oats, lentils, turmeric, blueberries, sweet potatoes... and the list goes on and on. When my friend Jess Nadel of Cupcakes and Kale asked me to be a part of the blog tour for her newest book Superfoods 24/7, I was stoked! I enjoy eating healthy and learning about foods that are full of yum-power and nutrition-power.

So, I set to work, super-charging my meals with all sorts of great recipes and ingredients. I was happy to find that many of the recipes called for ingredients that I had loitering in my pantry or my freezer... things like hemp seeds, chia seeds, amaranth, maca, and acai. These were all things that I bought on a whim (probably at Grocery Outlet, where I am unable to resist appealing deals on hippie products), and then didn't know what to do with. As you'll see, I put them all to excellent use!

The first thing I made was Coconut Kale Soup with Cashew Creme Fraiche. This soup is easy to make and has So Much Kale in it!!! It's also got a lot of peas in it, which is a great contribution to the flavor and the overall body of the soup. The recipe doesn't call for any specialty ingredients at all, and actually the flavor isn't particularly complicated... but with each bite, I became more and more enamored with this soup. Then we both went back for seconds. Then I had the leftovers for lunch the next day. Then I decided to make it again next week. So, I'd say that qualifies as a hit.

We had the soup with Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks, which was a great combo! I make roasted cauliflower all the time. It's easily one of my favorite foods. But I usually just use a little oil, salt and pepper for seasoning. This was a big step up! We both loved the Indian flavors of turmeric and fresh ginger coating these giant cauliflower slices... and we also both gobbled them down immediately before even getting started on our soup. Honestly, for a less presentation-worthy affair, you could definitely use these same seasonings on every day florets and still have the same great taste sensations!

two important things of note: fresh turmeric is so beautiful, and also
look at my cute mug of cats playing on a swing

Back in VeganMoFo, I learned that drinking coffee or tea within 3 hours of an iron-rich meal will vastly inhibit your body's ability to absorb the iron. This is a bummer for me, because I really love coffee. I usually drink decaf, so that's not the issue. I just like the flavor a lot, and I like how it feels sorta substantial. I mean, herbal tea's o-k... but it's also kinda just a glass of hot water. So, ever since I learned that, I have been on the lookout for other nice toasty beverages. Especially after eating a giant bowl of kale soup -- I wanna maximize my nutrient intake, baby! So, I was excited to finally try something I've heard of before: Golden Turmeric Milk. I really loved this. It's made with almond milk, some great warming spices, and turmeric and ginger. Options are given to use fresh or dried turmeric, so I jumped on the opportunity to buy some beautiful fresh turmeric. I first found out about fresh turmeric when I was in India, and it still reminds me of that special time. I loved this toasty and satisfying drink, and I'll definitely make it again!

I'm always looking for new breakfast ideas. I love to have the same thing for breakfast for a few days and then move along to the next thing. A while back I got some 100% acai packets (at Grocery Outlet, of course), and they've been siting in my freezer ever since. So, when I saw the recipe for Acai Smoothie Bowl with Superfood Toppings, I knew this was my moment! I almost never buy things like bananas or canned pineapple, so they feel like special treats to me! I know that sounds crazy, but we have great local fruit year-round at the farmers markets here, so I mostly stick to that. As a result, buying bananas and pineapple for my acai bowl made me feel like I was treating myself to something super special.

i am a cheap date

I had fun choosing superfood toppings from my pantry, and went with hemp seeds, almond butter, crumbled pecans, and rice krispies. I'm sure that rice krispies are not a super food, but I just had a few left and they were actually a nice textural addition! I have 3 more acai packets left in my freezer and now I am so excited to eat 3 more Acai Smoothie Bowls! This breakfast was different, delicious, fruity, and filling.

In honor of Jess' Canadianness, I used my Canadian Maple Sugar & Cranberries to sweeten my oats!

I also made the Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats. The recipe called for fresh blueberries, but it's wintertime, and I had a big bag of blueberries that I bought in the summer and had frozen for later. So, I used frozen. Overnight oats are so easy and delicious! It's been cold and rainy here, so when I was ready for breakfast, I just microwaved that biz and had a delicious, hot bowl of oatmeal in no-time flat. That left me plenty of time to drink my coffee and do the crossword puzzle before leaving to teach!

 so delicious and so quick to make!!

A few nights ago I made the Hemp-Crusted Tofu with Garlic-Chili Collards, and we both loved this dinner!! So easy to prepare and so delicious!! Back at VidaVeganCon, I answered a trivia question correctly (yay!), and my prize was two big bags of really nice quality hemp seeds. But I didn't know what to do with them. Look no further! I loved the seasoned coating on these tofus so much that I saved the leftover stuff to use it for another batch. These came together quickly and with very little effort, and then the garlicky, spicy collards were a super combo together with the flavors of the tofu. As you can see, I roasted up the leftover florets from our cauliflower steaks to have with dinner too. This whole dinner was quick, super nutritious, super delicious, and felt very emotionally satisfying (like "a complete meal.") Will make again, for sure!

excellent array of colors, flavors & textures in this salad!

Finally, I also made the Vietnamese Brussels Sprouts and Noodle Salad -- another big hit! Mr VE&T insisted on calling this "Viet-Nom-Nom," if that gives you any idea of how much he loved it. I did a couple extra things to the recipe: I doubled the amount of Brussels Sprouts (!), and I also roasted them a bit first... mostly because I thought of it and then I had to do it. This salad came together in a flash and was an excellent light dinner. We had it on a day when we had gone up to San Francisco for a huge fancy vegan brunch, so a light dinner full of veggies was absolutely perfect. On another day I might add in some pan-fried tofu cubes for a little extra protein blast.

Happily, I am able to share this recipe with you! I hope you enjoy it!

This fresh and crunchy salad is bound to fill you up and brighten your day, with Vitamin C-rich Brussels sprouts and lively flavors from heaps of fresh herbs.
Serves 6, gluten-free 
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 5 mins

 2 cups (180 g) Brussels sprouts
 3 cups (300 g) beansprouts
 1 large carrot, julienned
 1 cup (20 g) Thai basil (I had to resort to regular basil, since it was all I could find)
 1 cup (20 g) fresh cilantro leaves
 1/3 cup (8 g) fresh mint leaves
 ½ cup (70 g) dry roasted peanuts, chopped
 4 oz (100 g) rice vermicelli noodles
 3 tablespoons lime juice
 2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari or light soy sauce
 2 teaspoons water
 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
 1 teaspoon unrefined cane sugar
 1 small Thai chili, minced or ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes (optional)

1. Peel away and discard the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts. Rinse the sprouts well and pat dry. Slice each one in half, then, cut-side down, slice into thin ribbons. Transfer to a bowl and add the beansprouts and carrot. 

2. Roughly chop the fresh herbs and add these to the bowl, along with the peanuts.

3. Prepare the rice noodles according to package directions. If they are long, cut them in half to make tossing and serving the salad easier. Add to the salad bowl.  

4. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together, toss through the salad and serve.  

Calories (per serving): 178
Protein: 8.5 g
Total fat: 6.4 g
Saturated fat: 0.9 g
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Dietary fiber: 3.1 g
Sugars: 2.7 g
Vitamins: A, C

Credit line: Recipe from Superfoods 24/7: More than 100 Easy and Inspired Recipes to Enjoy the 
World’s Most Nutritious Foods at Every Meal, Every Day © Quantum Publishing, 2015. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

Overall thoughts
As you can see, we've eaten really well from this lovely book! Superfoods 24/7 is also really beautiful (with gorgeous color photos by Jackie Sobon), an attractive and easily-readable layout, and a few nice features that I really appreciate: each recipe includes the volume and weight for the listed ingredients (I love this!!), very clear instructions with no surprises, and there is also a nutritional profile provided for each recipe.

I have several more recipes marked to try soon, including:
Coconut Milk Amaranth Rice Pudding     ~     Apple, Beet & Broccoli Slaw
Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese     ~     Tempeh Brassica Bibimbap
Gnocchi with Roasted Garlic & Kale Puree'     ~     Almond Tahini Truffles
Crispy Amaranth Coated Edamame     ~     and more!!

The recipes aren't oil-free, salt-free, or sugar-free, but they are quite healthy and are just about at the end of my healthy-eating spectrum. I'm happy to have a book full of healthy-oriented recipes that are also so delicious and satisfying to eat. I still haven't ever tried lucuma or matcha... but I'll have to work on that (and look for deals at Grocery Outlet!). There are definitely some recipes in the book waiting for me when I'm ready!

zipping through the skies, fueled with superfoods! 

Happy News! Superfoods 24/7 Giveaway
In addition to sending me a review copy, the publishers of this book have allowed me to offer a copy to one lucky reader (U.S. and Canada only). To enter, please leave a comment on this post and tell me about your favorite superfood, a food that makes you feel really super, or your favorite super hero. I'll pick a winner in one week. p.s. Just in case you were wondering, I always use the random number generator to select a winner!


  1. Blueberries are definitely my most favorite superfood!

  2. Anonymous10:29 AM

    I love hemp seeds!


  3. I can't even begin to tell you how much I LOVED this post! I feel like I'm flying as high in the sky as that copy of the book!! And the rebranding of Viet-Nom-Nom is the best. Thank you so much Amey! XO

  4. I love berries of all kinds, especially gojis and blueberries, but of the recipes listed here I'd definitely want to try the hemp crusted tofu first! So much healthier than typical breading! jackydlt at gmail

  5. wow- all of your meals look incredible!

  6. This book sounds fabulous! My favorite superfood is tofu. It's super to me because it can be used in so many ways--stir fries, burgers, scrambles, sauces, you name it!

  7. I several favorites, but I'll have to say spinach is my favorite and I use it almost daily. This book sounds awesome!

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  9. I think it is a tie between blueberries and matcha! Or drinking a matcha latte while eating blueberries? :)

  10. Pumpkin! I could happily eat pumpkin anything (and do)! Can't wait to try the Brussels sprout and noodle salad!

  11. I'm a big fan of berries! Blueberries and cherries are probably my favorite super foods!

  12. What a surprise to see the bottle of cranberry maple sugar in your picture! I have the same in my cupboard, and this product is local to me; I had no idea it was also distributed that far away from home. Glad to see you have access to it too!

    Your book reviews always make the books sound totally awesome, and this one is no exception! (As much as I'd love to try some of the recipes you've mentioned, though, please do not enter me in the giveaway. I've been very lucky recently, and I'd rather make sure that the random number generator will bless someone else this time!)

  13. I agree with the re-wording of "Viet-Nom-Nom" :).
    I'd have to say the baby greens mix from Trader Joe's is my go-to superfood; it's baby kale, spinach and Swiss chard in one bag and it's so easy to just steam and add a little teriyaki sauce and I feel like if I've eaten nothing else healthy all day, I'm set.
    Wonder Woman eats it while putting her invisible plane on autopilot ;)

  14. Kale is my favorite super food!

  15. My favorite superfood is Spiralina. I put some in my smoothie every morning and feel like a supa-stah!

  16. The more I read about this cookbook, the more I think I'm going to have to buy it. I use hemp seeds all the time, and even made my own version of the hemp-crusted tofu based on the review on Cadry's blog. Maybe if I get the book, I can figure out what to do with my lucuma!

  17. can't beat hemp seeds!

  18. What yummy eats!!! I love dark chocolate!

  19. Breakfast is usually steel-cut oats and soy milk with blueberries, banana, chia seeds, pepitas, and almonds or walnuts.

  20. My favorite superfoods are matcha and chia seeds! I love getting matcha soy lattes at places instead of coffee, a new phenomenon for me, and I love adding chia seeds to oatmeal, smoothies, and muffins! This book sounds great :)

  21. I love fresh turmeric! I try to have it everyday! I just add a piece to my smoothies!

  22. Broccoli is my super food! It makes me feel so good and clean!

  23. Yum! This book looks awesome! I keep wanting to try fresh turmeric, but I've no idea what to do with that. That milk sounds great.

  24. my favorite is hemp hearts

  25. This book sounds great! My favorite superfood is definitely the blueberry - so full of sweet berry flavor. :) Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  26. My favourite superhero is Amey and my favourite superfood is tempeh!

  27. Chia seeds! SO easy to sprinkle in smoothies, oatmeal, toast, salad.......

  28. Anonymous6:31 PM

    My favourite superfood *category* is All Things Green because I can't just pick one. A really really fantastic Kale Salad with Tahini-Lemon-Garlic dressing makes me jump over buildings in a single leap, and my favourite superhero is Mrs. Frizzle. Because Science.


  29. It is funny because I was talking about "superfoods" with my 70 year old boss and he seemed confused. When he first learned about superfoods it was referring to two foods that complement each other nutritionally, like rice and beans. And I think that is in fact my favorite superfood- rice and beans.

  30. Wow that noodle salad looks right up my alley! My favorite superfoods are the cruciferous veg - cabbage, brussels, cauliflower, bring them all on!

  31. My favourite superfood is kimchi. I put it in a lot of my cooking.

  32. I love blueberries and chia!

  33. These recipes look amazing! I love smoothies (berry/chia smoothies, specifically!)

  34. my favorite superhero is Batman. Would love to eat some Brussels sprouts and Vietnom-nom salad w/ noodles with him.

  35. What a fantastic sounding cookbook! I'm guilty of spending money on a fair amount of superfoods. I love gogi berries and lacuma powder and use them fairly regularly. I think my favourite is actually maca powder. All of the dishes you made sound super awesome. I love overnight oats, but always make the same ones time and time again - the blueberry ones sound delicious.
    And I think the star of these recipes is the Hemp-Crusted Tofu with Garlic-Chili Collards - that sounds so amazing!
    I'm quite excited you were able to share noodle bowl with us - I quite like Viet-nom-nom as a name ;)

  36. Anonymous7:08 AM

    I love turmeric and ginger!

  37. I love brazil nuts and my favorite super hero is Captain Planet.


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