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.