I know that I’ve published an extraordinarily high number of Vegan cookbook reviews in the past year. 21 if you’ve been counting….
The Vegan lifestyle is growing by leaps and bounds and thus: People love recipes and information on ‘How To’ And I’m honored to be selected by authors and publishers alike to take a preview of an upcoming publication.
But this book stands out in the crowd.
First thing I thought…..No pictures!! And to me that just ment boring!! – I was WRONG.
I got started reading Victoria’s book and just kept on going. Couldn’t put it down. I love the flow, the information. Love the way she writes so plainly and realistically. She’s writing this one to those less experienced in Veganism. Those out there who just might try out the health benefits and kindness that come from being Vegan.
I really love ‘The Good Karma Diet’
Victoria gives you all a sneak peek at her book here with an excerpt, recipe and a giveaway to one lucky reader.
Excerpt from “Liven Things Up”
The Good Karma Diet
By Victoria Moran
When my daughter, Adair, was a tween and teen, we devoted two weeks every summer to eating only raw food: fruits, salads, crudités, and sprouts; dressings, dips, pâtés, and cheeses made from nuts and seeds; vegetable juices and creamy smoothies. When a friend asked her why we did it, she said, “Because everyone deserves to be gorgeous at least two weeks a year.” She was talking about the clear eyes, luminous skin, and well-known “glow” that come from eating fresh, raw foods.
But wait a minute: everyone deserves to be gorgeous all year long, every day and every decade. This is what happens with Good Karma dining, upgraded with lots of color (much of it green) and fresh foods that have never seen a processing plant or a cooking pot. Impressive results show up quickly: weight loss, plenty of steady energy, a rested look so people ask if you’ve been on vacation. You’re eating foods that grew. Foods that are, for the most part, in season, so they nourish you right now. Foods with vivid colors that don’t start with “FDC#.”
The phytochemicals and overall nutrient density of greens, berries, fresh juices, and other unheated plant foods can take you light years beyond a typical, mostly cooked diet that includes lots of packaged and convenience foods, even when you’re eating vegan or close to it. (People who’ve tried that and didn’t like it can try this and see what happens.)
The color and liveliness of raw food has long appealed to me. I recall an incident, only a couple of years into being vegan. I was in my kitchen making dinner and some prep-ahead dishes for later in the week. They represented the monochromatic fare nearly everyone with an interest in natural foods was eating back then: brown rice and brown bread, lentil soup and onion soup, walnut loaf and wheat germ cutlets. My husband called and asked what I was doing. I replied, “Killing food – uh, I mean, cooking food.” With a slip deserving of Dr. Freud, I’d stated where my heart was in terms of bodily sustenance, although I didn’t know what to do with this information.
I was aware even then that there were people who ate mostly raw, but they were the ascetics of the vegetarian world. They ate fruit for breakfast and that was all. Undressed salad and nuts for lunch. More salad – lots of sprouts! – and maybe a baked potato for dinner. If they were going all out, they’d put some avocado on the potato. I don’t know about you, but when I think of the culinary good life, that isn’t it.
It would be years later, when clever raw chefs began to create actual cuisine from uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, that I seriously looked at “raw” as something that might be for me. I soon realized that for many people, myself included, an all-raw diet, even a delicious one, can be too restrictive. And other than for a short cleanse, the whole thing can seem bizarre, with the wheat grass and Himalayan berries and recipes that begin: “Break a young Thai coconut with your machete.” Besides, from November to May, raw is just plain cold. As a result, lots of folks dabble in it, but most of them give it up. I’m here to rescue the dabblers and suggest that you eat a veritable cornucopia of uncooked vegetables and fruits, especially in warm weather, and the very best cooked foods, too. It’s about color and comfort, about living foods and living life.
The sweet spot for wellbeing comes from finding the ideal balance of bright, brilliant foods just as they come from the orchard and garden, while allowing for cooked foods, as well, with their variety, leeway in social situations, warmth in the winter, and some comforting nutrient insurance.
Beans and whole grains are rich in certain minerals, amino acids, and B vitamins that can be tricky to get with all raw food; and a few phytonutrients – the lycopene in tomatoes, for instance — are actually more accessible when you eat the food cooked. Grounding cooked dishes provide staying power and needed calories that fruits and vegetables don’t always have, and that you don’t want to get from an excess of high-fat foods – nuts, seeds, avocado – even though these are highly beneficial in moderation.
An appreciation of raw foods, but without taking any vows or signing any pledges, qualifies as person as a “raw enthusiast.” That’s the category into which I put myself and to which I extend you a cordial invitation. It’s easy to be enthusiastic about raw foods because eating them gives you a huge vitality boost. And once you recover from the “palate perversion” most of us developed from eating greasy foods and too-sweet sweets, the flavor burst from a perfect peach or a savory salad can be borderline orgasmic.
Excerpted from THE GOOD KARMA DIET: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion by Victoria Moran, with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright © 2015.
Pie In The Sky
- 1 cup pitted dates (if too dry, soak in warm water 20 minutes and drain)
1 cup raw hazelnuts, pecans, or walnuts, soaked 4-6 hours, rinsed and drained
- Replace 1/2 cup nuts with 1/2 cup unsulphured, unsweetened, dry shredded coconut
- 2 medium ripe avocados
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or 1⁄2 cup pitted dates
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc.)
2 cups seasonal fruit slices (apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries, etc.)
- 1. Combine dates and nuts (and coconut if using) in a food processor until a ball forms. Nuts should be chunky.
- 2. Cover a 7 or 8-inch pie dish with plastic wrap and press the date-nut mixture evenly into the pan. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
- 3. Pure the avocados, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sweetener in a food processor until creamy. Add the cashews and continue to blend until creamy.
- 4. Pour or scoop the filling mixture into the prepared crust. Wiggle and whack the dish on the countertop to spread the filling evenly.
- 5. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight. Remove plastic wrap and place on a serving dish before decorating.
- 6. Before serving, decorate with toppings, piling the fruit high.
- 7. This delicacy thaws quickly, so it can be served frozen, half-frozen, or completely thawed as a custard pie.
- Makes one 7 or 8-inch pie
- Excerpted from THE GOOD KARMA DIET: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion by Victoria Moran, reprinted with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright © 2015.
I’ve used avocados for pudding before but never with lemons and never with a fresh fruit topping. This pie came together so quickly I could almost tell you the ingredients from memory and the crust? Remarkably simple and delicious. Some vegan pies have a grainy texture. Not this one. The fresh berries just add such a wonderful tangy balance to the mildly tart lemon cream base. Affordable, adaptable to taste and saves in the freezer perfectly which is what I’ve done. I cut the pie into slices and froze the whole thing. Now I can grab a piece in the morning for my breakfast on the go.
One hint: Don’t rinse off your berries and then leave them on the kitchen table to dry if you have evil cats like me.
We’re still finding the odd blueberry after the Jack and Miss Jules dumped the drying tray onto the kitchen floor and then used the berries as tiny soccer balls for about an hour while I was upstairs. Naughty kitties.
Good thing they’re cute.
Victoria has graciously offered one of my readers a copy of her new book,
“The Good Karma Diet”
If you live in the U. S. or Canada, simply leave a comment on this posting between June 12th and June 20th in order to enter to win your own copy.
One winner will be chosen at random.
Find more from Victoria Moran around the web:
Main Street Vegan .com The Good Karma Diet The Love Powered Diet
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I was provided with a copy of Victoria’s book for review. All opinions are my own.