which is an awesome new cookbook I recently received in the mail for review on my blog! And at the end of this post, you can enter to win one of your own! This cookbook by Dreena Burton is full of amazing, delicious, plant-powered (plant based), vegan recipes! The recipes are all whole foods (oil-free), and most are gluten-free. In addition to the recipes, you’ll find tips for picky eaters, school lunches, and nutritional FAQs in the back of the book.
I love that the title of the book is “Plant-Powered Families” because I feel like the word ‘vegan’ scares off milk and meat loving people! I am not vegan, but I LOVE this cookbook! The recipes are delicious and easy to follow, with lots of tips, variations, and suggestions. Use dairy milk if you’re not vegan- it really doesn’t matter in most recipes. The recipes are still wholesome, and full of nutrition!
One of the most memorable recipes I’ve made of Dreena’s so far (and one that really sold me on her way of cooking) is her chocolate sweet potato cake with sweet potato icing. I admit, it sounds weird if you’ve never ventured beyond the world of buttercream. And honestly, I only tried this as a healthier cake alternative for my daughter’s 2nd birthday, celebrating with just our small family of four (didn’t have much at risk!). But the cake was ahhh-mazingggg! My whole family loved it- the hubby, the four year old, the two year old, and me. This recipe is in the “Plant Powered Families” cookbook, but you can also find it on Dreena’s blog, Plant-Powered Kitchen.
The first recipe I want to share from the book is “Cheesy Caesar Dressing“. I feel like it is a unique recipe which you may not easily find elsewhere. Plus, it was really good! I love how you blend nuts into the dressing, so it really helps you feel satisfied! In my opinion, there’s never one and only one way to make a recipe. (Which is why we rarely have the same meal twice in our household!) So I love that the ingredients in this aren’t hard and fast. Substitute dulse flakes for the kelp granules like I did, or leave them out.
Cheesy Caesar Dressing
Makes about 1 cup
You can make this creamy, delicious (and very authentic-tasting) Caesar dressing as is, or add nutritional yeast for a cheesy twist.
1/3 cup soaked and drained raw cashews
1–2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
1 teaspoon whole chia seeds (or 1 teaspoon ground chia if using handheld blender or standard blender)
1/2 scant teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon kelp granules (see note)
1/2 teaspoon capers
1 medium clove garlic, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3–1/2 cup plain nondairy milk (see note; use extra to thin as desired)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
Using a blender, combine the cashews, 1 tablespoon of the nutritional yeast, chia, sea salt, kelp granules, capers, garlic, black pepper, milk, lemon juice, and maple syrup and puree until very smooth. Add more nutritional yeast for a cheesier flavor if you like, and add extra salt/black pepper/garlic if desired. Serve tossed into romaine lettuce, along with Seasoned Polenta
Kelp Granules Note: If you have trouble finding kelp granules, they can be omitted. The dressing is still delicious without them!
Milk Note: I prefer plain unsweetened almond milk or soy milk in this recipe, but you can choose another if you prefer.
Idea: Adults might enjoy a little extra hit of capers, garlic, and black pepper in this dressing!
Kitchen Tip: This dressing will thicken after refrigeration. You can thin it by stirring in 2–3 teaspoons of milk or water if desired.
Serving Suggestions: In addition to serving traditionally as a salad with romaine, you can keep this dressing thick (reducing milk) and use as a dip or sandwich spread.
This recipe is really quick and easy to make, so next time you’re in the grocery store, take a look at all the hydrogenated oil, sugar, ‘natural’ or artificial flavors, and preservatives in the salad dressings on the shelf, then come home and make this one instead! Don’t forget to pin it!
I’ve also made and recommend “Power Protein Balls” and “Pumpkin Seed And Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars” from the cookbook. I can’t wait to try the “Double Chocolate Orange Banana Muffins” (though I will most likely use all applesauce instead of banana since I despise bananas!).
I haven’t decided yet which recipe I will share next week, but make sure you check back then for another special exclusive from the book! 🙂