Thursday, December 19, 2013

There's still time! Last minute DIY Vegan Food Gifts.

Peppermint Balls 
 First we'll start with the treat, then I'll give you a fool proof way to pack 'em up to guarantee smiles.  These Peppermint Balls are a perfect, easy to make holiday treat.  The recipe is more of a list of instructions so that you can make as many or as few as you would like.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fee Fi Faux Pho! Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen is out now!

Sloppy Joe Pho from Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen (page 73).  Photo by Wade Hammond 

Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen is finally out! (I think Barnes and Noble already has it in stock and is able to ship in time for Christmas.) I am so excited.  I am so in love with this book.  I hope all of you love it just as much.  You will be blown away with the photos, and the recipes aren't too shabby either.  I really think this book has more of "me" in it than just about anything else I've ever done.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Have a Vegan DIY Holiday with Vegan Food Gifts!

If presents are something on your to-do list this holiday season, why not skip the mall this year and do some vegan gift giving DIY style?  After all, there really is no better way to spread the vegan love than with a chocolate chip cookie, or a basket of freshly baked muffins.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Gift Giving Made Easy! Vegan Cuts Beauty Box, Cruelty Free and Awesome!

Vegan Cuts

I know, I know, this is a vegan food blog, and lately I have been talking about a lot more than food.  Movies, products, and now make-up?  Well, yes. Because I know that veganism extends far beyond the plate.  Veganism is part of every aspect of my life.  From the products I use to clean my home, to the clothes I wear, and yes, even to my deodorant.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Ghosts in Our Machine: An Interview with Film Maker Liz Marshall

There are a few films I recommend to people looking to learn about how animals are exploited in our society.  The truth is, they are very hard to watch.  And with good reason.  It is a horrible subject and the footage can be very graphic and disturbing.  Films like Meet Your Meat and Earthlings are some of the most heartwrenching films I have ever seen.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Late Night Stop on the Blog Tour: Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater

Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans by Natalie Slater is next on my list of books to review for y'all.  (I know I have been doing a lot of reviews lately, and I promise to get back to posting my own stuff soon, but there are so many awesome books out right now!) I was super excited to be a part of her Blog Tour, and the publishers were kind enough to send me a review copy, but guess what?  I already bought my own copy, because, duh, why wouldn't I? So, I now have an extra copy to give away to one of you lucky readers!  Simply follow the prompts in the widget below to enter. Sorry, this one is open to US and Canada residents only.

Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater

Okay, seriously?  Can we please just stop now and talk about how damn cute this book is?  Just look at the cover!  Those adorbs little drawings are all over this book.  And the photos?  Most are taken by the ever amazing Celine Steen, so you know those are super fantastic.  There is a full color photo for almost every recipe, and the chapter openers have not only a photo, but more of the adorable drawings superimposed on top of them.  The fonts are cute, the cover is cute, the drawings are cute, the recipe titles are cute, even the flippin' author is cute.  So, yeah, this book is really fun to look at.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me! I'm Gonna Celebrate with Pie! (Blog Tour: Pies and Tarts with Heart by Dynise Balcavage)

Pies and Tarts with Heart by Dynise Balcavage

There are two types of people in the world, cake people and pie people.  I used to be one of those wishy-washy-straddling-the-fence people who tried to claim both, but the truth is, when really pressed, the pie wins out in almost every category.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Vegan MoFo 2013: Win a copy of all of my cookbooks!

So here we are.  Saying goodbye to another year of MoFo'ing.  Oh my goodness.  This has been a pretty epic MoFo for me, how about you?  I love MoFo, and while I am certainly sad to see it go away for another year, I am willing to admit, that a small break (just about a week) will be welcomed.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Vegan Mofo 2013: Book Review and Giveaway: Julie Hasson's Vegan Pizza

I have been a fan of Julie's for years.  The first of Julie's books I ever bought was her cupcake book, way back in 2005!  And each and every book she has put out since has been even better, so you can only imagine how excited I was to get my hand on a book full of recipes for vegan pizza!  Yeah, I was pretty excited.  And now the wait is over.  Julie's new book, Vegan Pizza: 50 Cheesy, Crispy, Healthy Recipes in finally in my hot little hands.  And I was so excited about it, I bought 2 copies!  So now I have one to give away to one of you.  Just follow the prompts in the widget below to enter to win.  Since I am sending it out, this contest is open to anyone, worldwide!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Vegan MoFo 2013: Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day Giveaway

I first reviewed this book in August of 2012, but since I love Celine and Tami, and the folks at Fairwinds were kind enough to give me another book to give away, I thought it would be nice to reprint it again here.

Never eat a boring sandwich again!

Celine and Tami's new book Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!: Revolutionary New Takes on Everyone's Favorite Anytime Meal is finally out, and man, you all need to get your paws on it!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vegan MoFo 2013: Follow Your Heart

Friday Night Fun Nachos featuring Follow Your Heart Vegan Shreds in Cheddar.
Also Featured, TVP taco meat, green onions, red onions, cilantro, jalapenos,
cilantro, Spicy Sushi Sauce, and black pepper.

About a month ago, I was lucky enough to have been invited to the Follow Your Heart main office and manufacturing plant to celebrate the launch of their new Vegan Shreds.   That day was one of the hottest days of the summer.  I was at work that morning, and packed my "party clothes" to change into later in the afternoon as I headed for Chatsworth to attend the event.  It was 98 degrees when I left Laguna Beach at 1:30 pm.  Once I got on the freeway, it was smooth sailing through the freeways of Orange County, but then I crossed through the orange curtain into LA county and it was if the traffic gods knew I needed to get somewhere and wanted to play a cruel trick on me, my car was now traveling at about 3 miles per hour.  It was 102 degrees.  Those not familiar with Southern California might not realize that the 80 mile drive that should take less than an hour and a half to travel, in LA traffic took me over 4 hours.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vegan MoFo: Book Review and Giveaway of Judita's Raw and Simple

You all know me by now, and you know that I really do enjoy decaent comfort foods.  Mashed potatoes, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches, tacos covered in rich sauces, the list goes on and on.  What you might not know about me, is that I also actually like to eat healthy nutritious meals.  Shocking, right?  So, I do have a pretty big collection of raw cookbooks, oil free cook books, and other books full of nutritious, clean and healthy recipes.  Raw foods are kind of my favorite way to eat clean.  Pure and simple.  I try to incorporate at least one meal of raw veggies and fruits every day, whether in a salad or a smoothie, or even dessert.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Vegan MoFo 2013: Just for Fun Friday!

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Tonight we won't be cooking or going out to eat.  Because Fridays are for fun.  So I won't worry about nothin' and if I'm hungry, I will snack the night away on whatever is leftover from the week.

Lucky for me, I have a ton of stuff hangin' out in the fridge.  I am thinking I may just make a mean plate of nachos with all the leftovers from last night's tacos!  All the talk of taco cleanses had me craving tacos!  So I finally broke down and made some.  Semi homemade style, since my sister and her man were joining us and I didn't want to be stuck in the kitchen all night!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Vegan MoFo 2013: Joni Represents Whole Foods at the Taste of Laguna Wednesday September 18

On Wednesday, September 18, I will be representing Whole Foods Market, Laguna Beach at the Taste of Laguna food festival. Our store will be presenting 2 dishes, and I am presenting the vegan one.  Because this is a store sponsored event, I used ingredients easily purchased at the store.  I am sharing this recipe, along with giving away a $25 gift card to Whole Foods Market, paid for out of my very own pocket.  (Just follow the prompts in the widget below to enter.  Sorry, this one is only open to US residents.)

Herb Goddess Chik’n Salad over Grilled Crostini smeared with Herbed Aioli
and topped with Pickled Onion and Fennel Relish

I love Whole Foods, and not just because I work there.  I have been shopping and eating at Whole Foods long before I worked for the company.  I know many vegans have a problem with Whole Foods because they do sell and serve meat and dairy.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Vegan MoFo 2013: Book Review and Giveaway Plus a Bonus Recipe from The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester

Kathy Hester has already taught me so much with her first book, The Vegan Slow Cooker, and now she's taught me so much more with The Great Vegan Bean Book. I thought I had already posted a review of this awesome book when it first cam out but apparently I hadn't, so I am delighted and excited to share this review as well as give away a copy (just follow the prompts in the widget below to enter!) courtesy of the fine folks over at Fair Winds Press. Because they were kind enough to send the giveaway copy directly to me, I am able to do worldwide shipping, so this contest is open to readers worldwide!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Vegan MoFo 2013: It's Crunch Time!

We are coming pretty close to the middle of MoFo so that means crunch time.  Time to get remotivated and keep the energy up.  Time to get reinspired by other blogs and refocused on the task at hand.  And that is spreading the good word about vegan food!

Crunchies BBQ Roasted Veggies and Mixed Fruit
The fine folks over at Crunchies Food Company were kind enough to send me a few samples of their freeze dried fruits and veggies.  I am no stranger to freeze dried foods, but these ones were really, really crispy and, well, CRUNCHY!  Other brands I have tried get kind of soggy once you open the pack, but these ones stayed nice and crisp for over a week once they were opened.

I will admit to never snacking on freeze dried veggies before, so that was a nice change of pace.  The BBQ Roasted Veggies made a great snack.  Not too salty and just the right blend of spices.  They offer lots of flavors of both the fruits and he veggies.  The ingredients are so awesome, just fruits and veggies!  (And spices if it's a flavored mix.) ANd you can't get cleaner than that.  They do offer a few organic varieties, but please use caution when picking these up, as some flavors are not vegan, like the Sweet Buttered Corn which has real butter in it.

But other than snacking, what else do you do with freeze dried fruits and veggies?  Me?  I cook and bake with them.  The freeze dried blueberries are perfect for blueberry pancakes and muffins, and the strawberries are awesome in muffins and cookies.  I also add them into dry mixes for gifts.  Here is a recipe from Vegan Food Gifts that uses these freeze dried fruits perfectly.

Photo by Celine Steen

Strawberry Pineapple Orange Cake Mix


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (200 g) evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (16 g) cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup (20 g) freeze dried strawberries*
1/2 cup (10 g) freeze dried pineapple*

Into a clear cello bag, layer the ingredients in the order listed above.
Tie closed with a pretty ribbon or twine, and attach the recipe card below.

RECIPE CARD (Printable copy of this recipe card below)
Strawberry Pineapple Orange Cake Mix
You will need:
Cake Mix
1 cup (235 ml) soy, almond, or coconut milk
1 cup (235 ml) orange juice
1/4 cup (60 ml) canola or other mild flavored vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).
Lightly coat an 8-inch (20 cm) square or 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan with nonstick spray.
Empty entire contents of mix into large mixing bowl.
Add milk, orange juice, and oil.
Stir until well combined.
Pour batter into cake pan.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before inverting from pan onto cake platter.
Add a simple icing of powdered sugar mixed with orange juice if desired.

Yield: 1 (9-inch, or 23 cm) single layer cake

Illustrations by Kurt Halsey

On a side note, today's post is the 500th post here on JustTheFood.  How cool is that?  500 posts about nothing but vegan goodness.

Enter to win a Crunchies Prize Pack by following the prompts in the widget below.  Unfortunately, since I will be shipping food, this contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.  Sorry guys, thems the rules.

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Thoughtful Thursdays: Book Review and Giveaway of Whole Grain Vegan Baking

There is simply no denying it.  Summer is officially over, even though it was 85 degrees today!  Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are making there way onto coffee shop menus.  Squash and figs are abundant.  No matter how sunny and warm it is, my mind still wants to turn on the oven and start baking!  Thank goodness I am armed with this amazingly adorable book filled with whole grain vegan goodness.

Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes
Seriously, every single page of this book is friggin' adorable.  From the pictures, to the layout, to the graphic design, all the way down to the fonts.  This book is so damn cute!  But she is more than just a pretty cover and sexy pages.  She is full of amazing recipes.

From sweet to savory, simple breakfasts to decadent desserts, this book has something for everyone.  Some of my favorites so far (and I still have many bookmarked pages!) include the Pesto Knots (page 114) the Whole Wheat Lemon Tartlets (page 167) and the Lemon Ginger Rolls (page 45).

The book is well laid out with a easy to use index, and a short but informative intro that lays down the 4-1-1 on whole grain ingredients and baking techniques.  Celine and Tami are very kind an mindful of those with food allergies and note that many of the recipes can easily be made soy free by making simple substitutions.  And let's not forget to mention the unbelievable photographs. How Celine can continue to impress me with each and every book she puts out (both with content and beauty) never ceases to amaze.

I feel that this book is a must have for every baker's cookbook shelf, whether they are vegan or not!  The recipes are dependable, wholesome, and delicious.  The fine folks over at Fair Winds Press have kindly offered up a copy of this beautiful book, and since they sent it directly to me...I have decided to open this one up to anyone in the world!  So, my overseas friends, please do enter the giveaway!  Simply follow the promts in the widget below to enter.

And to whet your whistle until you can get your hands on this tasty book, here is a sample recipe from the book.  Perfect for the fall!

Ginger and Spice Cookies from Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes.
Photo by Celine Steen
Ginger and Spice Cookies
Perfectly gingery, with a slight molasses flavor, these cookies will permeate your whole home with a holiday scent that just can’t be beat. Gluten-free brown rice flour benefits from the addition of whole spelt flour here to give the cookies a great structure, as well as texture. Note that it’s important for all the ingredients used here to be at room temperature and not cold, so that the coconut oil does not further solidify as you mix the dough. (Quick reminder: Semisolid coconut oil is of the same consistency as slightly softened vegan butter.)

44 g (2 tablespoons) molasses
96 g (1⁄2 cup) Sucanat
56 g (1⁄4 cup) semisolid coconut oil
8 g (1 tablespoon) cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder or pain d’epices spice mix
1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
88 g (1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) whole spelt flour
100 g (1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) brown rice flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegan milk, more if needed
30 g (2 tablespoons) chopped soft candied ginger

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Combine the molasses, Sucanat, oil, cornstarch, ground ginger, spice powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until well mixed.

In a medium-size bowl, combine the flours and baking soda. Pour the dry ingredients onto the wet, and mix to combine. The mixture will look dry and crumbly. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) at a time, until the dough holds together well when pinched. Add more milk if needed. Mix the chopped ginger into the dough until just combined.

Scoop out 1 tablespoon (24 g) packed dough per cookie, placing 9 of them on each baking sheet. Remove them from the tablespoon and place them flat side (the side that you flattened to pack the dough into the tablespoon) onto the sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes (for slightly chewy cookies) to 15 minutes (for crisper cookies). Leave on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Yield: 18 cookies

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Vegan MoFo: Tofurky Tuesdays!

I have always been a busy girl.  In high school I was in the marching band (TUBA!), jazz band (TENOR SAX!) and swam on a year round club swim team (GO LAKEWOOD AQUATICS!) and was seasonal water polo player (GO BEACH!).  In college, I was just as busy.  Working two jobs and going to school.  And now, working a full time job, testing for and writing cookbooks, writing freelance for, and of course, keeping up with this blog!  So easy, convenient, tasty foods are always a turn on for me.

When I was going to Brooks College and working at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool (around 1998-1999) I would get up at 4 am to get to work by 5 am, work until 8 am and head to school until the afternoon.  Then, I would head back to work after school.  On my way to school from work, I would stop by 7-11 and grab a Hot Pocket, heat it up in the microwave there, and eat it waiting on the bus bench.  I did this 4 or 5 days a week.  Probably not a very nutritionally sound way to eat, but it was warm, cheap, and tasty, and did the job just fine.  I haven't had a Hot Pocket since I went vegan, obviously, and to tell you the truth, I don't think I have had one since those days on the bus stop.

The fine folks over at Turtle Island Foods, makers of Tofurky products, in conjunction with Hot Ice Media were kind enough to send me a sample pack of the new Tofurky Pockets.  I was able to taste just a bite at the Vida Vegan Conference last spring but I was super excited to get full sized samples to sink my teeth into.  I haven't found these at Whole Foods yet, so this was an extra special treat.  (I also received a sample of the pot pie, but I will save that review for another day.)

I had all three flavors to try.  I will give you my opinions on each individually, but let me start with some overall thoughts.  These are a great convenient way to get some hot food in your belly fast.  They are perfect to keep at work, if you have a freezer and microwave at work.  They cook up in the exact time stated on the box.  The crust on all three flavors was less flaky and more doughy than I thought it would be, but I actually prefer it that way, so for me, that was a bonus.  Plus, the crust is whole grain.

I started with the Turk'y Broccoli and Cheddar.  This was very intensley filled with brocolli flavor and fresh green broccoli.  Almost too much broccoli.  Well, not really, but there was a lot of broccoli.  If you like broccoli, you will love this.  The cheese sauce was good, not too much, but a little thin, and the turk'y bits were pretty much what was to be expected, a little bite of cubed Tofurky.  Tasty and chewy and meaty.

Next up was the Pepperoni Pizza.  This was pretty much exactly wht I remember a Hot Pocket to taste like.  It was perfect.  There was sauce, cheese and pepperoni in every bite, and the crust had an herb blend on top that gave it an extra bit of Italian goodness.  I think this was my favorite of all three flavors.

I finished my sampling with the BBQ Chick'n.  To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this one.  The picture on the box made me think it would be boring.  Just chicken chunks and BBQ sauce.  Now even though, that is exactly what it was, it was good!  The sauce was sweet and tangy and the chick'n was chewy and meaty.  The wheat crust played nicely with the sweet sauce which would have been too sweet otherwise.

My final verdict is that these are awesome.  Each package comes with two pockets and my husband sampled the other pockets.  He feels the same.  They are great to have in the freezer for a quick meal or snack.  He loves the convenience of frozen meals, especially since I work at night a lot and he is on his own for dinner.  And as a lazy vegetarian (He gets such inspiration from John McDevitt's Blog.) these are right up his alley.  I don't have to worry about what he will make for dinner with these available.  So, hopefully they will arrive on shelves in my neighborhood soon!

On to today's giveaway!  Follow the prompts in the widget below to win a Tofurky prize pack filled with yummy Tofurky products and coupons.  Open to US residents only.

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Vegan MoFo 2013: Sundays are for Staying Outside! Grills Gone Vegan Review and Giveaway

Grills Gone Vegan by Tamasin Noyes

Have I told you lately that I love this book?  Grills Gone Vegan is Tamasin Noyes , of Vegan Appetite and American Vegan Kitchen fame's second book.  (Most recently, she also co-wrote Whole Grain Vegan Baking (review coming next week!) and Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day with Celine Steen.) 

This book tells the world, once and for all, that being vegan does not mean giving up BBQ!  This book is just so awesome.  It has the expected veggie burger and faux ribs recipes, but it also takes grilling for vegans to the next level.  With an entire section devoted to rubs, marinades and sauces (If you know me, you know I love me some good sauce!) that can be used on anything from tofu to broccoli.  ANd Tami was kind enough to share her amazing recipe for Tofu Italiano, see below.

There is a chapter in the beginning that gives tips on how to buy a grill and grilling techniques for every situation, even indoor grilling. (Tami understands that not everyone has a backyard to grill in, so her recipes are also easily adaptable for an indor grill or grill pan.)

I don't have a bad thing to say about this wonderful cookbook.  If I had to give one criticism, it would be that I would have liked to see more pictures.  The information, and of course the recipes, outlined in this well laid out book makes this the definitive guide to vegan grilling and should be on every vegans cookbook shelf.

The fine folks over at Book Publishing Co were kind enough to send me a copy to give away to one lucky reader, so please follow the instructions on the widget below to enter.

Tofu Italiano From Grills Gone Vegan by Tamasin Noyes

Tofu Italiano
White wine helps pack these tofu slices with umami. With its enticing blend of seasonings, this tofu is a terrific main dish as is, or try it in the Italian Tofu Sandwiches or Linguini Puttanesca with Tofu.

3 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon salt-free vegetable broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Generous pinch ground pepper
1 pound extra-firm tofu, pressed, and cut into 8 slabs

Put the wine, broth, vinegar, oil, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, Italian seasoning blend, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and pepper in a 13 X 9- inch nonreactive pan and stir to combine. Add the tofu and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for one hour or up to 3 days, turning the tofu occasionally.

Preheat a grill, grill pan, or electric grill to medium-high heat.

Lightly oil the grill with canola oil. Put the tofu on the grill, reserving the marinade. Cook until marked, about 5 minutes, while occasionally basting with the marinade. Turn over and cook in the same fashion until the other side is marked, about 5 minutes. (If using an electric grill, keep it open and cook a few minutes longer if necessary.)

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 213 calories, 18 g protein, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 5 g carb, 219 mg sodium, 135 g calcium, 0 g fiber

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Vegan MoFo 2013: Fat Free Fridays: The China Study Cookbook, Southwestern Salad, plus a Giveaway!

The China Study Cookbook by Leanne Campbell
I've talked a few times about how I am not a huge fan of SOS (no sugar, no oil, no salt) cooking.  All things in moderation has always been my motto.  That being said, there is a certain clean-ness that these types of food offer, and with Mother Nature unleashing the heat this late in the summer, these lighter dishes actually offer a bit of reprieve from the heavy feeling you sometimes get from a decadent meal.  So while I won't commit to a SOS way of life, there really is no reason why I can't incorporate some of these types meals into my regular rotation.

The China Study Cookbook by Leanne Campbell, is the perfect companion to the original China Study by T. Colin Campbell.  While the original book is full of all sorts of information on why a vegan diet is optimal for health, the cookbook gives you the how.  Whole foods combined with minimal effort to create pleasant dishes.  That's what you get with this cookbook.

The lengthy introduction is kind of a mini nutrition course and how-to for newbies (Though, there is still a lot of information seasoned veg heads might learn as well.) which is informative, easy to read and full of graphics and pictures to break up what might otherwise be an overwhelming bunch of text.

The recipes section is also plump with shiny color photos taken by the author's own son.  Most are macro shots that really show off the ingredients.

The recipes themselves are varied with everything from breakfast to dessert.  The pages are well laid out, and the recipes easy to follow.  And the ingredients are super easy to find, everday whole foods that anyone can find at any supermarket.

When I first began experimenting with SOS cooking, I will be honest, I found the foods to be a bit bland.  But I learned a lot of the tricks, and so has Leanne.  She has been able to pack a lot of flavor into a lot of these dishes with creative use of spices, nuts, avocados, fruits and grains.  And then there are the recipes that let the fresh produce provide all of the flavor, like in this simple Southwestern Salad.  No dressing required!  Quick, easy, fresh and flavorful.  Especially on these hot end of summer days.

The fine folks at BenBella Books have graciously agreed to send one lucky reader a free copy of this book.  This giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada.  Simply follow the prompts in the widget below to enter.

Southwestern Salad from The China Study Cookbook (page 114)
Southwestern Salad
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Makes 8 servings

8 cups salad greens
1 small red onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
3/4 cup avocado, diced
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can corn, drained
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup baked tortilla chips, crushed

Combine salad greens, onion, green pepper, cilantro, avocado, and tomatoes in a
large salad bowl.
Heat beans and corn for 4 minutes over medium heat. Add oregano and salt. Add to salad right before serving, together with tortilla chips.
Sprinkle with rice vinegar, if desired.

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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni