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Even though I’m well past trying to get my kids to eat a well-balanced diet, planning birthday parties, and dealing with school lunches, Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families cookbook had plenty of useful information and mouthwatering recipes that even this empty nester could enjoy.
Burton is a veteran cookbook author; Plant-Powered Families is her fifth vegan publication, and she’s mastered the art of cookbook writing. Her friendly conversational tone comes across as humble and approachable, and her tips and advice on everything from appeasing picky eaters to helping her children explain why they’re vegan, are thoughtful and noteworthy.
The cookbook opens with the foreword by Neal Barnard, MD. Yes, thee Dr. Barnard, and then there’s an introduction and Dreena’s story of how she went from a chubby adolescent to a healthy plant-powered woman. I was so happy when I read that the book, Diet for a New America, the book that made my husband and I become vegetarians when we were in our twenties, was one of the things that helped her become a vegan.
There is also an excellent chapter on preparing your pantry for plant-based cooking, just before Burton shares over one hundred of her healthy and vibrant recipes. It’s extremely comprehensive. She covers the differences in, grains, legumes, spices, condiments, and so much more. I actually learned a thing or two, such as how to wash your produce in bulk so you don’t have to do it each time you cook. Smart!
After the introduction and the many tips on prepping for a vegan kitchen, the recipes begin, starting with healthy breakfasts. There’s everything from overnight oats to omelets. Each recipe is easy to read and follow, and Burton provides ingredient substitutions and tips to help you customize the recipe.
Because this is a cookbook for families, and because Burton cooks for her three adorable daughters, the recipes in this book are all kid friendly. There are several options for mac n’ cheese and burgers, and there are pizza, taco, burger, pasta, soup, salad, and dessert recipes. Every one of the are healthy!
This cookbook is perfect for those who don’t cook with oil or refined sugars. Burton uses a lot of chickpea miso or coconut butter in her recipes and she uses water to sauté her food. If you cook with oil, don’t let that scare you. I’ve started using water in place of oil, and I promise you, it doesn’t change the taste of food, if anything it makes it better because you get to taste the vegetables, not grease.
Burton also writes about her real life experiences, and gives tips on how to deal with picky eaters, how to pack well balanced lunches in allergy-free schools, how to host plant-based kid parties and what to do when your child is invited to non-vegan parties.
There is also a guide to getting the right amount of protein, calcium, and supplements, as well as nutrition charts. This book truly has it all. If I was just beginning a vegan lifestyle with children (or without) Plant-Powered families would be at the top of my list of resources.
I couldn’t write a cookbook review without trying at least one of Burton’s recipes, so I thought I’d make and share her Sneaky Chickpea Burgers with you all.
The burgers were easy to mold into a patty and held together nicely when flipped in the pan. If you have a non-stick pan you can cook these without oil, but I like to use an iron skillet so I put a tiny layer of oil on the bottom of the pan. The burgers were good, the only thing that I would have added was a little onion and a bit more seasoning. However, these were made with kids in mind, not me, so I give them two thumbs up. Serve them with my oil-free chipotle home fries.
Ben Bella Books asked me to review this book, and the review is based solely on my own opinions. I was not compensated for this review, except for the book that I’m giving away in the giveaway below.
Enter to win Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families Cookbook below!