Sunday, March 26, 2017

Recipe Round-Up: Blissful Basil

I often take part in a monthly vegan cook along club on Instagram (#vegancookalong), where we all cook from the same cookbook (normally something newly or recently released) and share photos of what we make. Last month, the book was Blissful Basil by Ashley Melillo. I had never read Ashley's blog prior to getting this book. It took me a little bit to warm up to this book, but once I did I fell in love hard. I have made so many things from it. There is a whole range of mostly healthy recipes, from breakfasts and smoothies, to snacks, salads, soups, sandwiches, bowls, pasta and vegetable mains, and of course some tasty desserts. This is just some of what I have made.

Blueberry Breakfast Ice Cream with Pecan Streusel: This creamy, sweet and refreshing breakfast was nice and thick (I made it in my blender and had to add a few splashes of oat milk to get it smooth, in a food processor it might have been even thicken). While not fooling me into thinking it was ice cream, it certainly was a good start to the day. The pecan streusel was a nice touch (I used brown sugar instead of coconut sugar).
Rating: :)

Blueberry Breakfast Ice Cream with Pecan Streusel


Get Glowing Strawberry-Mango Chia Pudding: I made a half recipe of this, which I found made one and a half serves (a whole recipe serves 4 according to the book). Due to availability, I used frozen mango and strawberry that I defrosted. It was a pretty filling start to the day. The remaining half serve I had left over kept for a couple of days in the fridge really well (I just stirred the remaining puree through the chia mix).
Rating: :)

Get Glowing Strawberry-Mango Chia Pudding


Electric Turmeric-Lemonade Smoothie: I am drawn to all things turmeric at the moment, so this was the first recipe I tried from the smoothie chapter. I used frozen mango and grapes (I like my smoothies thick and cold), so I added a few extra splashes of coconut water to help it blend. The recipe calls for 1-2 dates, I just used one small one. I could definitely taste the turmeric in this, but it was in a pleasant way.
Rating: :)

Electric Turmeric-Lemonade Smoothie


Dreamy Vanilla Tahini Breakfast Shake: This smoothie is creamy and sweet enough to be a milkshake, but is all good for you. It has a sweet banana flavour, the tahini is not too strong, and there was something very comforting about it. I only used one date to sweeten it, rather than two. Some people who made it with two dates said it was too sweet, so consider cutting down.
Rating: :)

Dreamy Tahini Vanilla Breakfast Shake


Pile 'Em High Epic Plant-Powered Nachos: These nachos call for a few make ahead recipes, as well as a few extra components in the main recipe itself. The make ahead recipes are Yellow Split Pea Nacho Cheese (see the next recipe after this one), Cashew Sour Cream (very easy to make) and Sunflower Taco Crumbles (quite salty on their own, but they meld well with other flavours). The recipe also has you make a quick pico de gallo (I left out the raw onion) and a speedy guacamole. Grab a tin of black beans and layer it all onto tortilla strips! They live up to their epic name. There is also the option of adding some Quick Pickled Jalapenos, but I skipped these.
Rating: Nachos :), Taco Crumbles :), Sour Cream :)

Pile 'Em High Epic Plant-Powered Nachos


Yellow Split Pea Nacho Cheese: This recipe is used on the nachos above, but you could use it for so much more. Or just dip chips in and eat it. Or just use a spoon and eat it. Or just drink it straight from the pot. It is that good! A mix of yellow split peas and potato form the creamy base, no cashews in sight if you can't have nuts. I used garlic powder rather than fresh garlic here, and I replaced the roasted red peppers with 1 TBS of tomato paste. This is so delicious!
Rating: :D

Yellow Split Pea Nacho Cheese


The Classic Bowl: Spicy Cauliflower Rice, Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Avocado Mash: This is a nice combination of flavours, especially when served over some baby spinach. I had planned to add some warmed kidney beans as well for extra protein, but I wasn't very hungry when I made this. This was my first time making cauliflower rice, and I really liked it. I made mine not spicy, by leaving out the sriracha. I also only had 4 cups of cauliflower, rather than 6, so I downsized other ingredients accordingly, and I added a sprinkle of garlic powder. The roasted sweet potatoes have a delicious cinnamon and paprika crust on them, and were snackable.
Rating: :)

The Classic: Spicy Cauliflower Rice, Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Avocado Mash


Cooling Cucumber Noodle & Baked Falafel Bowl with Tzatziki: It has been really hot here, so this was a nice and refreshing combination. I got three serves, rather than four, out of this. The falafel were excellent! They smelled so good and the taste did not disappoint. For the slaw, I left out the capsicum. I probably should have thrown some grated carrot in there to replace it, but it was still OK. The cucumber noodles were cool and refreshing. The tzatziki is based on cashews, which was nice. Overall for a dinner I just found it needed a bit more substance. I wish I had some pita bread to add, as suggested by the book.
Rating: :)

Cooling Cucumber Noodle & Baked Falafel with Tzatziki


Spicy Chile-Garlic Eggplant and Black Rice: You know I left out the spicy chile part and just made this garlic. I had one and a half times the amount of eggplant needed, which made enough for four people. I doubled the sauce, because we like things saucy. Because I had a lot of eggplant, there was too many slices to cook all at once in the pan. So I cooked them in batches, then added the sauce to the empty pan to heat and thicken, and then added the eggplant back in.
Rating: :)

Spicy Chile-Garlic Eggplant & Black Rice


Swift Sweet Potato Coconut Curry: This is seriously delicious. You will want more! Instead of using a 400mL tin of full-fat coconut milk, I used a 270mL tin of light and 130mL of water, which made it just creamy and coconutty enough for me without the unfortunate coconut fat issues I get. I also only used 1 tsp of mild curry powder, rather than 1 TBS. I like it mild. I did need to simmer for a bit longer than noted in the recipe to get it to thicken up enough. This made two to three servings, but you could easily bulk it up by adding some chickpeas. Or just double the recipe... or triple it... it is so great you will want lots of leftovers.
Rating: :D

Swift Sweet Potato Coconut Curry


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Sahara says hello!


I miss Sahara so much.

9 comments:

  1. What a great post. I hadn't heard of this book until you all started doing your cookalong from it. I'm interested though because I love this emerging genre of healthy-but-appealing vegan cookbooks. These recipes look great! And I'm thinking of you so often. <3 <3 <3 hugs to you. Wish we could hang out again soon.

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    1. I wish we could hang out too, that would be so lovely.

      This book definitely fits the healthy-yet-appealing market, and I like that it doesn't need loads of super expensive super foods as well.

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  2. It all looks so beautiful. The strawberry chia pudding is gorgeous!
    I've never thought to use yellow split peas for cheese, but I know that I need to now!! What a brilliant idea!
    I'm thinking of you and sending so many hugs! What a gorgeous picture of Sahara!

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    1. She took so many gorgeous photos. She lost weight in the last six months, so it is a little bittersweet to look back on these slightly plumper times!

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  3. I hate when cookbooks say something is 4 servings but isn't at all. It is my biggest beef with Vegan Richa- her servings are all fine if you serve it with something else. I always double her recipes so we get "4 servings" for two hungry people. XD

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    1. It is so annoying. Who are these tiny appetite people? I require a pretty decent serving.

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  4. Everything looks amazing, but especially the nacho cheese, yum! The figurines near your smoothies are so cute!
    Hugs <3

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    1. I've started taking most of my smoothie photos in that spot, and I always have a little bit of fun arranging them around the glass.

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  5. What a fun "book club" you belong to! I think I should start a club like this where I am and maybe we get together once a month and each bring a dish from the cookbook. Fun!
    The turmeric lemonade smoothie sounds so good! I'm into all things turmeric right now too. So delicious. The nachos look tasty - I'm a nacho gal for sure.
    And the Nacho Cheese...
    "Or just dip chips in and eat it. Or just use a spoon and eat it. Or just drink it straight from the pot.'
    Ahahahaha you're too funny.
    Nice picture of Sahara. So sorry my love :(

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