Foodie Fridays: Karma Chow
It was about this time last year that the Canadian Gift Guide started getting really crazy popular, in part because of a series of posts I wrote on plant-based cookbooks (which is what I primarily eat – plants, not books mind you) as part of October’s ‘Vegetarian Awareness Month’. This year I’ve singled out one book to continue that trend: Melissa Costello’s Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook.
Who is Melissa Costello you ask? Well she’s food & wellness advocate that has pioneered a cleanse popular with Hollywood types, plus offers a bevy of services in terms of nutritional coaching, cooking, and more. You may also recognize her from the P90X yoga workout, as I did, where host / creator Tony Horton denotes she’s also his personal chef (indeed, Horton has also contributed a cheerful foreword to Melissa or ‘Missy’s’ cookbook, complete with his requisite goofy puns and high-energy spirit).
So what’s the scoop with the cookbook? Well whether you’ve got dietary limitations by choice or necessity, this is the accessible book for you. Every recipe is plant-based, and virtually everything is gluten-free and tofu-free. Despite those exclusions, Costello still manages to find over 125 recipes that are supremely easy to make, with ingredients you’ve probably already got in your pantry.
The book itself is quite comprehensive, making it a great starter find for anyone in your circle that’s maybe dabbling in Meatless Mondays, has a gluten allergy, or just wants an all-in-one vegan cookbook that’s got you covered from breakfast to appetizers to salads and dressings to main courses and much, much more. Although it’s light on the anecdotal stuff (but still friendly), it does feature crossover recipe suggestions, handy cooking and reheating tips, and includes full nutritional information for every single recipe (as Tony Horton would want it).
Of course, you’d probably also like to know what kind of foods you’re looking at. The recipes are things I’ve seen in other vegan cookbooks, but often with an interesting twist. Instead of plain ol’ tempeh (a type of fermented soy) tacos, she’s got Korean Tempeh Tacos (which I made this week and loved). In lieu of just plain ol’ carrot soup, you’ve got a refreshingly light carrot dill soup that any omnivore will happily pack away. Party hosts will dig right into the Nosh, Nibble & Dip Away section with over a half-dozen dips ranging from spicy Arriba Black Bean Dip to a sweet potato Garnet Hummus.
Another recipe I tried firsthand was the Indian-Spiced Coconut Yam Soup which was completely the right choice for the first truly chilly day in Autumn where I live. Filled with rich flavours and tinged with an exotic bite, I’m happy to be able to share this recipe for you to try out on your own!
Indian-Spiced Coconut Yam Soup
I love Indian fare and I love yams, so I’ve combined the two together to make a dreamy, creamy, delicious soup that will light up your taste buds and transport you right to Marrakesh . . . well, maybe not, but dreaming is fun!
Karmic Health Tip: Coconut oil is loaded with medium-chain fatty acids that help you burn fat and speed up your metabolism, and it is also great to use directly on your skin. I leave a jar in the shower for an après shower smoothing.
1 tablespoon coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoons garam masala
3 large carrots, diced
3 large garnet yams, peeled and cubed
4 cups vegetable broth or bullion (2 cubes with 4 cups water)
1 15-ounce can coconut milk
Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and sauté the ginger, garlic, celery, and onion until translucent and soft. Add the garam masala and stir to combine to release the flavor of the spice. Add the carrots, yams, and veggie broth. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cover. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the yams are soft. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk. Puree using a hand blender until creamy smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with cinnamon, to taste, before serving.
Recipe from The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook by Melissa Costello. (HCI; October 2012; $18.95/Paperback: ISBN-13: 978-0757316333). http://www.hcibooks.com/
If your tummy is rumbling and you’re looking for some healthy, simple recipes to get you through the long and crazed winter months, you may very well be in luck. I’m giving away FIVE copies of Karma Chow to five lucky readers, so read on to find out how you can score one!
1) Leave a comment by November 5th with the recipe you’d most like to try, as featured on the Karma Chow website.
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around November 6th to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: Pin this recipe to Pinterest and leave a link back to your Pin for a bonus entry!