Enter the Protein Ninja

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Hello there beautiful, I have a new book coming out in February: Protein Ninja.

Do you to yearn to bake chewy cookies, or savor big entree bowls piled high with veggies, noodles or grains and savory sauces, or top a bountiful salad with an extra-brawny handmade veggie burger, or fill your kitchen with the aromas of freshly baked granola? And what if these weekday staples also provided just a little extra protein to boost your weekday hustle, be it a push out a few extra squats at the gym, take the stairs instead of the elevator at work, a yoga session’s chatarunga with more chachung!, or lift with ease and grace toddlers/dogs/wallabies or stacks of vegan cookbooks.

Protein Ninja, my new cookbook out this February, is about just that: sneaking in a touch of extra plant based protein for active people of all activity levels. She’s the stealthy sister of last year’s Salad Samurai, my ode to big, filling salads packed with fruits, nuts, homemade dressings, and more vegetables beyond lettuce. I LOVE making seriously kickass salad recipes, yet soon after found myself missing my other kitchen obsessions: baking, burgers, bowls, and breakfast foods.

My year of the salad was also a year of hitting the gym with new-found purpose: free weights three times a week made my workout routine at long last give me results. I felt the boost in both my yoga practice and scaling the seemingly infinite staircases of the New York City subway system. And with weighty workout soon came adding vegan protein powders into my diet. But instead of just tossing these powders–unflavored, simple hemp, pea, and brown rice–into a blender, my chef-brain saw “hey, new ingredient here!” and many months later, the recipes of Protein Ninja came to life.

Protein Ninja investigates sneaky ways to add planty proteins (hemp, brown rice, pea protein, beans, tofu, etc.) into everyday meals, snacks, and treats. True, I do have a few smoothie bowls (decadent-tasting smoothies you eat with a spoon…think ultra healthy breakfast ice cream) but it’s all about the savory meals, breakfasts, muffins, cookies, savory and sweet scones too.

There’s no denying it, protein seems to be in the center of the plate of nearly every nutrition post or another big fat bullet point on many packaged foods. What is really astounding now is that the buzz…the mainstream buzz beyond the vegan niche…is increasing around plant-based protein. Back in the good old days we called it vegan protein. Whatever the name, it’s clear that interest in protein from compassionate and less planet-eating sources is growing.

Plant-based protein is clearly important to me, but why ninja? Like any high-school kid in the 80’s, I thought ninjas were cool. Then at 14, when visiting Venezuela for the first time, I went to ninja school. I was for a short period I was a teenage Venezuelan ninja. My dojo was not in some mist-shrouded temple in a forested mountain village in Japan: my ninja school was in the tropical sprawl of bustling little city a few hours outside of Caracas, near a little park populated with mango trees and iguanas, down the street from my cousins’ house. For a few fleeting weeks every high school summer vacation I hid my face in a black scarf, scaled some ropes, learned a few aikido moves requiring pinching, but most tropical nights just got incredibly sweaty doing 2 hour sessions of aerobic exercise in a heavily padded black cotton gi. Though an entirely awesome experience, today I’m only qualify for missions about writing cookbooks with ninja in the title.

Feel relieved that YOU don’t have to train to enter the dojo of sneaky protein cookery: you only have to pre-order Protein Ninja from these fine book slingers below.

B&N

IndieBound

iBookstore

Amazon

 

Coconut Samosa Potato Salad (from Salad Sam!)

As I type this up, I’m looking to my right at a box of Salad Samurai books, unopened, on the kitchen floor. My single copy is no longer just that! This is really happening folks.

Book release dates are fickle creatures: in this instance, Salad Sam was originally slated for sometime in early June. Then a bunch of printing issues happened, the on sale date shifted all the way to July 1st, and then hurray it’s back to mid-June. Maybe the 16th? Either way, the world will get some salad and not soon enough for the warming spring weather.

But until then, here’s a loooooong overdue recipe from the book I presented at a chill cooking event with Isa in Sydney, Australia back in March. This is for the 19 attendees who lingered through the heat of that early fall evening waiting for a taste crunchy, tangy potato salad inspired by everybody’s favorite savory Indian pastries. Tender potatoes and chickpeas are bathed in a bright curry vinaigrette, lots of fresh herbs, and instead of a crust (salad after all), I toss in a handful of toasted papadum, a common find in Indian markets and a crunchy fun in a salad.

Coconut Samosa Potato Salad (from Salad Sam!)
 
A hearty potato and pea salad dressed with warm curry dressing, garnished with cashews, and crushed toasted papadum (crunchy Indian lentil wafers) that’s reminiscent of samosas, the essential Indian deep fried stuffed pastry. Great any time of year but invigorating comfort food in cooler fall weather.
Serves: 2 huge servings, 4 little servings
Ingredients
Salad:
  • 2 pounds Russet potatoes
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (half of a 14 ounce can)
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 ½ cups lightly packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup lightly packed mint, roughly chopped
  • ⅔ cup roasted, unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons mild flavored vegetable oil such as grapeseed
  • 6 curry leaves, roughly chopped (leave out if you can’t find them)
  • 4 teaspoons mild or hot curry powder
  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Garnish
  • 2 cups gently crushed toasted papadam chips
  • ½ cup toasted, unsweetened coconut shreds (see East West Corn Salad, page XX, for tips on toasting coconut)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
Instructions
  1. Either thoroughly scrub potatoes to remove any exterior dirt and carve out the eyes, or completely peel the potatoes. Dice into 1-inch cubes, transfer to a large pot and cover with 3 inches of water. Over high heat bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork. About 2 minutes just before the potatoes seem done, stir in the peas and cook until bright green but firm. Drain and set aside the potatoes and peas to cool.
  2. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry leaves and fry for about 1 minute until crisp and turn off the heat. Stir in the curry powder to gently cook the spices in the oil and set aside to cool for 1 minute. Whisk in the remaining dressing ingredients.
  3. Transfer potatoes and peas to a large serving bowl and add the chickpeas, onion, cilantro, mint, and cashews. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Heap on the crushed papadum and coconut, and dust the top of the salad with garam masala. Serve away!

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Salad Samurai – 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love

Salad SamuraiSalad Samurai
100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love
B&N / Amazon

Discover the Way of the Salad!

Award-winning chef and Veganomicon coauthor Terry Hope Romero knows her veggies. In Salad Samurai, she’s back to teach you the way of the veggie warrior, rescuing salads from their bland, boring reputation and “side” status with more than 100 vibrant, filling entrees. This is your guide to real salad bushido: a hearty base, a zesty dressing, and loads of seriously tasty toppings. Based on whole food ingredients and seasonal produce, these versatile meatless, dairy-free dishes are organized by season for a full year of memorable meals (yes, salad can rock even the coldest days of winter).

Dig in to:
Spring Herb Salad with Maple Orange Tempeh
Deviled Kale Caesar Salad
Seared Garlic Chickpeas, Spinach, and Farro
Seitan Steak Salad with Green Peppercorn Dressing
Herbed Pea Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Basil
Mushroom, Barley, and Brussels Harvest Bowl
Tempeh Rubenesque Salad
Pomegranate Quinoa Holiday Tabouli
Seitan Bacon Wedge Salad
and many more!

With designations for gluten-free and raw-ready options and recipes that are work-friendly, weeknight-ready, high-protein, and loaded with superfoods, Salad Samurai shows you the way of the salad: killer dishes that are satisfying, healthy, and scrumptious.

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar – 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Vegan Cookies
Invade Your Cookie Jar

100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats
B&N / Amazon

From Publishers Weekly: “From the authors of the excellent—and cheeky—Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World comes this winning collection of vegan cookie recipes that should appeal to vegans and nonvegans alike. Without a hint of preachiness, and with plenty of sass, the book delivers veganized versions of traditional cookies such as New York City’s black and white cookies, Pepperidge Farm Milanos (called minonos) and lemon bars, about which the authors explain, “For too long we vegans have had our faces pressed against the glass of the dessert case and longing for the sweet tartness of those shimmering lemon bars. Well, you can stop scaring the staff of that bakery. There are also sophisticated confections like toasted almond cookies with fleur de sel and macadamia lace cookies. While there are cookies that sound suspiciously healthy, such as fruity oaty bars and whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, decadent recipes like caramel pecan bars and starry fudge shortbread, filled with non-dairy chocolate ganache, show that you can be vegan and still indulge in delicious treats.”

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World – 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule
B&N / Amazon

Vegan cupcakes will take over the world. Better to give in sooner than later and make this a smooth transition. After all, they’re so delicious, easy to make, adorable and portable, these little cuppers are sure to be the beginning of a dairy-free baking revolution.

In this sweet and sassy guide, Terry Hope Romero and Isa Chandra Moskowitz serve up a batch of everyone’s favorite dessert. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World unleashes more than 75 recipes for cupcakes and frostings–some innovative, some classics–with beautiful color photographs.

Every single recipe has been tested to perfection, so sneak these ‘cakes into any party and watch them win over the crowd. Indulge in:

* Brooklyn Brownie Cupcakes
* Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cupcakes
* S’mores Cupcakes
* Lemon Macadamia Cupcakes
* Mucho Margarita Cupcakes
* Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
* Cappuccino Cupcakes filled with Espresso Crème

You’ll also learn Terry and Isa’s secrets of no-fail baking, inspired decorating, piping like a pro, and shopping for vegan ingredients, plus true cupcake anecdotes from the trenches. When Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World , no dessert lover can resist!