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!

Photo – my own!

Indian-Spiced Coconut Yam Soup
8 servings
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).

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!

42 Responses to “Foodie Fridays: Karma Chow”
  1. Hannah says:

    The Cardamom Scented Chocolate Chippers sound intriguing…..awesome giveaway!

  2. Victoria Ess says:

    I’d most like to try the Choco Chocolate Chip Avo Pudding!

  3. Prim says:

    The pumpkin pie waffles sounds yummy for fall.

  4. April Campbell says:

    Indian-Spiced Coconut Yam Soup

  5. Definitely going to make the Indian-Spiced Coconut Yam Soup and the pumpkin pie waffles sound great for this time of year.

  6. stellar says:

    The Sweet Potato Garnet Hummus sounds yummy.

  7. John Crawley says:

    Curried Kale w Caramalized Shallots

  8. Evan says:

    The Chick Pea Filets with Lemon Dill Aioli recipe certainly sounds delicious. Thanks so much =).

  9. Vesper says:

    i would like to try the Veggie Breakfast Scramble

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

  10. Vesper says:

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

  11. Susan says:

    My pin on Pinterest can be found here:

  12. Susan says:

    I would like to make the Sweet Potato Hummus — sounds delicious and I try to use sweet potatoes as they have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes. This cookbook sounds like one I could really use as I’m trying hard to eat gluten free and really amp up the fruits and vegetables in my diet!

  13. Tracey says:

    The recipe you’d most like to try is the Korean Style Tempeh Tacos.

  14. sonja says:

    Black Bean Brownie Bites

  15. Jessica Lord says:

    I would love to try the Sweet Potato Garnet Hummus.

  16. Laura says:

    Ooo, Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers sound excellent!

  17. Linda Horricks says:

    Pumpkin Pie Waffles–yum!

  18. Marlene V. says:

    Stuffed Mushroom Poppers

  19. Hayden says:

    The sweet potato hummus sounds yummy! I can imagine it on a wrap.

  20. lucy says:

    pumpkin pie waffles

  21. Sandra Sumlak says:

    I would love to try the Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers, they make my mouth water!

  22. Sadie says:

    Pumpkin pie waffles! Love that it’s gluten-free also – my better half is trying to stick to a gluten-free diet so this is a win/win for us.

  23. I’d like to try the Karma Burger!

  24. Rochelle says:

    That soup you made looks amazing, so I think I’d start there.

  25. sean pynaert says:

    pumpkin pie waffles sound great!

  26. stacey h says:

    i’d try the karma burger

  27. Annabelle says:

    Korean Style Tempeh Tacos are intriguing.

  28. Leah M says:

    Stuffed mushroom poppers, yum!

  29. Nancy says:

    I intend to try the Indian-spiced coconut yam soup

  30. pacificnxnw says:

    I want to try the Karma Burger with Chipotle Mayo!

  31. Marlene says:

    Indian-Spiced Coconut Yam Soup and the pumpkin pie waffles to name a few.

  32. Quinn says:

    I’m very intrigued by the Choco Chocolate Chip Avo Pudding. I’ve had avocado muffins and I know it just makes things really smooth and silky – I imagine this’ll be the same effect.

  33. Sherri F says:

    Black Bean Brownie Bites

  34. debra says:

    black bean brownie bites

  35. Candida says:

    Choco Chocolate Chip Avo Pudding

  36. Jody says:

    The recipe I would most like to try is the Pumpkin Pie Waffles.

  37. Stefani says:

    That soup you made sounds amazing.

  38. stacey h says:

    my pin

  39. Gillian says:

    Sweet potato hummus! I love hummus and I didn’t realize you could make it with something like this.

  40. Sheri H says:

    I would love to try the pumpkin pie waffles

  41. Mike T, says:

    Karma burger

  42. angela m says:

    I’d most like to try the Korean Style Tempeh Tacos.

Tell me what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: