Well, it’s time for another DK Publishing book review! This one is all about the plant-based diet. Now, I know I’m not a rabbit and I REALLY love chicken but from time to time it’s absolutely fine to have a meatless meal. As a side-note, I haven’t eaten red meat for over 30 years. Yep, that’s right, my diet is based on chicken, fish and veggies ….and of course the occasional sweet indulgences that seem to be coming from my kitchen A LITTLE TOO OFTEN lately.
The orange colour, heavenly flavour and the sweetness of this root vegetable is ON POINT. Adding in some protein in the form of legumes is also notsucha dumb idea.
Oh. And did you know that if you cut a sweet potato in half is shortens its cooking time? Well duh. I have no idea why I didn’t think of this a long time ago. We tend to throw our baked potatoes in the microwave when we are in a pinch but listen to me……there’s nothing like baking a sweet potato in the oven. They get all caramelized, sticky and frankly are too good to be true. Basically, they come out tasting like you have sugared them but no, it’s their natural sweetness shining through.
I’m still on the fence when it comes to actually consuming the skin of a potato. I know it’s strange but I’m always the one to “find” something in my food. If I do happen to come across a piece of dirt or sand, that’s it for me. I throw in the towel and can’t finish it. You have to understand something, and I’ve told you this before, I’m both nuts and weird at the same time. I have a thing about eggshells too but that’s another story. All I can say is this…….I like CLEAN food.
The Plant Based Cookbook, by Trish Sebben-Krupka, has 200 recipes, beautiful color photography and advice for the novice on easy plant-based cooking techniques. If you were ever hesitant of switching diets, this book makes it simple to do so without the inclusion of meat and dairy in your recipes.
I flipped through this book cover to cover and discovered that eating plant based foods is far from boring. From soups to mains to desserts, there are endless possibilities and you may even forget about how much you miss meat dishes. Inspired by the Plant Based Cookbook, I made one of my old favourite recipes using baked sweet potatoes. I developed a cool drizzle of spinach tahini and threw in some crunchy chickpeas for an added punch. Who needs meat when you have this bounty of beauty staring right at you ?
In fact, the last time my mom asked me to look after her house plants was the last time she asked me to look after them.
- 5 - 6 medium sweet potatoes, washed and cut in half
- Spinach Tahini
- 6 cups spinach
- ½ cup nuts, you can use pine nuts, almond or walnuts (I used walnuts)
- ½ cup tahini - store bought is fine
- ½ cup organic veggie broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon Herb Crispy Chickpeas
- 1 15 oz cans chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon herb spice mix
- Garnishes - Plain Greek yogurt and parsley/cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400F. - *You can pop the chickpeas and the potatoes into the oven at the same time. Just make sure you watch those chickies. They need to come out before the potatoes are done.
- Rinse and drain the chickpeas then place in a colander. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
- Dry the chickpeas: Pat the chickpeas very dry with paper towels. Even better? Leave them to air-dry for a few minutes. Remove any chickpea skins that come off while drying, but otherwise don’t worry about them.
- Toss the chickpeas with olive oil and salt: Spread the chickpeas out in an even layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Stir with your hands or a spatula to make sure the chickpeas are evenly coated.
- Roast the chickpeas in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes: Stir the chickpeas or shake the pan every 10 minutes.The chickpeas are done when golden and slightly darkened, dry and crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle.
- Toss the chickpeas with the lemon herb spice mix. (Note - you can use any spices here - go wild)
- Place sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and coat both sides well. Place them flesh side DOWN on the sheet and bake for 1 hour.
- For the Spinach Tahini. Wash spinach and and place in a food processor or blender (I used my vitamix), add the balance of ingredients in order and pulse until combined. If you want to smooth, blend well. Set aside.
- Drizzle potatoes with spinach tahini, Greek yogurt and top with chickpeas. Optional garnish - parsley or cilantro.