Out of necessity my cooking style is definitely simple, easy and if possible – quick! This summer has been hectic and I’m often throwing together meals without real thought or concern for taste. Let me tell you how thrilled I was when an email came in asking me to review Christy Morgan’s new book Blissful Bites: Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet. I’ve been reading nothing but great reviews of this book and was super excited to give some of the recipes a try. Here’s the lowdown…
Christy gets a 100% for a cookbook filled with simple, ‘clean’, and beautiful plant based recipes. I was SO happy to see that none of her recipes contained artificial sugars or odd ingredients. These recipes are based on delicious plant based foods that are worked together to create simply fantastic meals. All the recipes are plant based but you will also find numerous recipes that are raw, gluten free, soy free, low or no oil and a bunch that can be prepared in 45 minutes or less (BIG win in my book!). I’m also a big sucker for cookbooks that SHOW YOU what the recipes are suppose to look like when they are done. Many times I’ve passed over what I’m sure is a great cookbook only because there are no pictures. Christy’s book is FILLED with gorgeous food photography and I’m totally jealous and inspired at the same time.
As someone that believes that eating seasonal fresh fruits and veggies is so very important I was delighted to see that Blissful Bites has each section of the book color coded and separated by season. Over 175 recipes are included and you can easily flip through the book to find recipes for each season. One of the recipes that immediately caught my eye was Magical Raw Tacos (pg. 114). I made these for lunch one day and loved them so much I had them for dinner too!
If you are not a fan of garlic or onion then you will love this book even more. None of Christy’s recipes use garlic or onion. While I don’t agree with her reasons for eliminating garlic and onion from your diet, if you’re like me and LOVE garlic and onion then you can easily add it into her recipes as needed. In fact, for the tacos, instead of basil I substituted with fresh green onions from my garden and in the red pepper cashew spread I added a clove of garlic. I’ve since made the red pepper cashew spread again and have been using it on my salads – it’s so delicious!
As a sushi lover it was a guarantee that I would make Christy’s Sushi Rice Bowl (pg. 148). It was fantastic! I’m not fan of cilantro so I skipped that part and I of course added in some minced garlic and some finely chopped red onion. I’ve always loved cold rice salads and this dish was amazing. It would be perfect for a potluck or get together this summer. My kids are big fans of banana pancakes and Christy’s recipe for Gluten Free Banana Walnut Pancakes (pg. 51) doesn’t disappointment. I’m slowly working my way through the book and already have a bunch of recipes bookmarked to try this fall and winter.
I also love that Christy highlights the use of sea vegetables. They are so packed with goodness and they rarely get the appreciation and attention they deserve. There is also a section on natural sweeteners, cooking techniques and the importance of choosing organic ingredients. For beginners this is a great resource to have on hand for many of your most asked questions.
We love this book so much we want to give away a copy to one lucky reader. To enter simply leave us a comment telling us what your favorite recipe or meal is that leaves you feeling “blissful”? You can earn an extra entry by liking The Naked Kitchen and The Blissful Chef on Facebook. Use the entry form below for your chance to enter! Giveaway ends Sunday, July 22nd at 11:59 pm PST. We’ll announce our winner Monday, July 23rd on our Facebook Page. Good luck to everyone! If you can’t wait to find out if you won head over to Amazon and purchase your very own copy of Blissful Bites (you can even get it in a Kindle version!).