Foodie Fridays: Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan

I’m so glad that so many of you are digging these Foodie Friday posts. They’re a treat to write and I hope they inspire you in the kitchen (or at the bookstore) – there’s something so fun about adding a new cookbook to your rotation! Today I’m honing in on Del Sroufe’s Better Than Vegan, yet another book that speaks to the health benefits of moving toward a plant-based, whole foods diet.

Chef Del's Better Than VEgan

The real key to that statement? Whole foods. Chef Del was eating a vegan diet when he tipped the scales at 475 pounds after gorging on processed pastries, chips and other junk foods. Better Than Vegan covers 101 low-fat recipes that helped him drop 200 pounds and stick to a much more healthy weight. Truth be told this is a pretty awesome book for those that are just dabbling with or venturing toward vegan eats. Like most books, it seeks to dispel the belief that vegan food is bland, tasteless or difficult to prepare, with three extensive chapters that cover Chef Del’s own struggles with food, the importance of eating a balanced diet, and some basic kitchen techniques, supplies and pantry goods you should keep on hand.

Very Berry Ice Cream

From there, we get into the fun stuff. With 101 recipes to work with, Chef Del manages to pack in a ton of variety (seriously, I can’t tell you how often I shake my head at people who think I have nothing to eat!) After a helpful opening collection on sauces and dips, the book dives into dozens of ideas for breakfasts, soups, pizzas, appetizers, entrees, sandwiches, sides and yes, even desserts (like the scrumptious Very Berry Ice Cream pictured above). Each recipe is accompanied by a helpful introduction that will both tantalize your tastebuds and give you some useful tips when shopping for, prepping or cooking your recipe of choice.

Turkish Red Lentil SoupNo cuisine is left untouched as virtually every section offers ideas from around the globe – the Turkish Red Lentil Soup above is nestled next to a classic Cream of Mushroom Soup (using cauliflower puree as a low-fat cream base) and a spicy south of the border-inspired Southwestern Corn and Potato Soup, giving you plenty of options no matter what you’re in the mood for. The ingredients are incredibly simple and Chef Del offers many DIY options to help cut costs and calories at every corner.

Oh hey, while I’m at it, why don’t I share a recipe to give you a ‘taste’ of what’s in store?


Smoky Black Bean Soup

1 small yellow onion, diced small

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground

2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano

3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

4 cups cooked black beans

2 ½  to 3 cups vegetable stock

Sea salt to taste

1 lime, quartered (garnish)

1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (garnish)

1 small red onion, diced small (garnish)

Saute the yellow onion in a stockpot over medium heat for 8 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the onion from sticking. Add the garlic, cumin, and oregano, and cook for another minute. Add the chipotles, black beans, and vegetable stock, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Decrease the heat to medium and cook the soup, covered, for 20 minutes. Season with salt and puree the soup in batches in a blender. Return the pureed soup to a pot and keep warm. Serve garnished with the lime wedges, cilantro, and red onion.

Bon appetit! Altogether this is a fabulous gift idea for the foodie in your life that’s looking for some healthier ways to indulge in her favourite gourmand dishes, or perhaps for the friend that’s training for an upcoming event and wants some nutrient-rich, calorie-dense meals, or of course, for the vegetarian or vegan in your life that would simply love to add a few more recipes to their repertoire. Better Than Vegan is available from booksellers nationwide now, for a suggested list price of $23, but I’ve also got a copy to give away. Interested in winning? Here’s how to enter:

1) Tell me in the comments below by March 16, 2014 – how would winning this copy of Better Than Vegan help you live a healthier life? What about the book is appealing?

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 March 17, 2014 to select the winner(s), 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 for this promotion.

4) Bonus Entry: Get Tweeting! Follow me (@cdngiftguide) and Ben Bella Books (@BenBellaBooks) and send up to three Tweets out over the contest period about this incredible cookbook and why you’d like to try it, linking back to this post. One Tweet per day please! Be sure to leave links to your Tweets in the comments below to earn up to 3 bonus entries.

44 Responses to “Foodie Fridays: Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan”
  1. Katie says:

    I have always wanted to try to be vegan one day of the week, so this book will help me jumpstart that plan!

  2. Leah says:

    This book would help me live a healthier life because it’d give me new recipes to try. I like that the book contains recipes that have been part of the authors journey to losing weight.

  3. Brea says:

    I love that people are starting to embrace veggie-loving lifestyles. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 15 years, and love trying new recipes. I would love to add a few vegan recipes, such as the ones featured in this book, to our menu.

  4. Joan G says:

    I need new recipes to help me continue my weight loss program and this cookbook would provide me some new proven and tasty recipes.

  5. Erin McSweeney says:

    I keep trying to remove the sugar and bad foods from my diet and this book hopefully has some great recipes that won’t make me miss all the bad stuff.

  6. cookie3 says:

    Trying to eat healthy is a struggle for most of us as there is so much temptation around. What I’d like are recipes that are full of flavour but not calories & are fairly quick and easy to make. This book sounds like it would help with that.

  7. janicour says:

    It looks like there are some unique and different recipes to try in the book. I am not Vegan, but do eat Vegan at least a couple of times weekly. I am hoping flavourful recipes will encourage the rest of my family to eat healthier.

  8. Victoria Ess says:

    The book would help me by inspiring me with healthy, delicious recipes! It would be appealing to have a repertoire of meat-free, flavourful recipes on hand.

  9. Victoria Ess says:

  10. Susan says:

    I need to less weight, and recipes from someone who has done just that would be great to have.

  11. Victoria Ess says:

    @BenBellaBooks @CdnGiftGuide Better than Vegan would be great for healthy living inspiration!

  12. Alison K says:

    Winning this copy of Better Than Vegan will help me live a healthier life by providing me the tools to shop more informed about nutritional needs. What is appealing about the book is his “pantry goods you should keep on hand” posts as you mentioned in your write up. When things are on sale, I’ll know to stock up 🙂

    Bonus Entry #1: Following you (@cdngiftguide) & followed Ben Bella Books (@BenBellaBooks) and here is my tweet #1

    Thank you.

  13. Evan says:

    Winning a copy of Better Than Vegan would be great in this first 1/4 of 2014 … with plenty of healthy meal ideas & options. Thanks.

  14. Audrey Skinner says:

    I really love making soups and stews and this cookbook will give me some real healthy options.

  15. GARRY S says:


  16. Marlene says:

    I love eating non meat items nore then with..

  17. Gabby K says:

    Just cut dairy out of my diet due to skin issues, and intolerance. BOY has it been tough cutting out cheese. I’ve been buying vegan cheese from my local natural food store but would love some more meal ideas.

  18. Laura says:

    I’m already vegan, but I could stand to become healthier. This cookbook could really help.

  19. anjel mankarios says:

    My sister did a cleanse that involved a vegan only diet. I’ve always been skeptical about vegan dishes until I tried some of her recipes. I would love to get a hold of this book to discover even more healthy and creative vegan dishes.

  20. Pam says:

    Sounds yummy. Love to try

  21. Anne Clemmer says:

    I am trying to cook more vegan at times, I need to avoid cows milk, gluten & wheat.

  22. Victoria Ess says:

  23. Alina R. says:

    This book is full of colourful, flavourful plant-based recipes that pack a nutritional punch and help with weight loss. This is the year I need to make a change. I’d love to win this!

  24. Lynn Andersen says:

    This cookbook would help me make healthier lunches which I sometimes get stuck on. Anything with a good mix of flavours makes me want to try.

  25. Jennifer Pirili says:

    I would like to to ear a healthier plant based diet so this would help with ideas.

  26. Pamela Bodnar says:

    I would like to win this book, because I’m looking for new vegan inspiration. I describe myself as flexitarian, but given that my 1 year old does not like much dairy, eggs or meat, more yummy vegan meals would be awesome, fyi, the black bean soup above sounds delicious.

  27. Janice Lewis says:

    Not sure how I feel about vegan but I would love to incorporate recipes into what I already eat

  28. CLC says:

    I just started to change my diet and add even more veggies and I need some inspiration.

  29. ericam3 says:

    I tend to be a bit uncreative in the kitchen so this cookbook would help me unlock my inner culinary artist, while at the same time being nutritious!

  30. Wendy Arnott says:

    I am tired of everything that I once fell in love with, and sick of the canned food/convenience foods out there that are not nutritious. I would love a good cookbook that will allow me to expand into vegan cuisine without requiring multiple high priced and specialized ingredients. Using cauliflower to make a no fat cream soup sounds delicious!

  31. Jessica Lord says:

    it would allow me to try a vegan lifestyle. this book looks like it has lots of tasty options.

  32. William C. says:

    I currently follow a vegan ‘diet’, and would like more recipes. The book seems like a good one to own!!

  33. diane says:

    I believe in a vegan diet so winning this copy would help me prepare meals for a healthier diet. I like recipes with easy ingredients like black bean soup. I think I’ll make it for dinner tonight. Thanks!

  34. aimee says:

    I find i like to try cooking more when i get a new cookbook

  35. Lori P says:

    If those photos are any indication, the recipes look delicious and would provide much inspiration for making them and ultimately benefitting from including these in my diet.

  36. Sherry K says:

    I feel when I don’t eat meat, I am not eating enough good protein. This book seems to have recipes that are healthy, tasty and easy to prepare.

  37. Elizabeth D. says:

    “Better Than Vegan” would help me eat healthier because I’m trying to introduce more vegetables into the food our family eats but I need inspirations to keep it interesting for everyone.

  38. Carol M says:

    Sounds like the book has easy recipes that will help me be healthier. The two soups featured (and of course the ice cream) are very appealing to me. I’m a soup nut.

  39. Betty S says:

    i have several vegetarian friends, this would help me to cook them dishes when they come for dinner., I know eating these recipes would be good for me also

  40. Megan says:

    It’s appealing to me because I just recently went vegan and would love some new recipes!

  41. Jeannie says:

    While I am not a vegan, I dont eat much meat and prefer vegetables and other alternatives. This cookbook would help me find delicious ways to eat healthy and have the added benefit of adding some new and yummy recipes to my repertoire!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] a bonus entry into my Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan giveaway? Tell me in the comments below – which OnOurTable piece would you love to have in […]

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: