Book Report: Chickpea Flour Does It All + Bonus Recipe


Today is the release date for the new cookbook Chickpea Flour Does It All: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian Recipes for Every Taste and Season. I was excited to get this book because I love chickpea flour. I make crepes every morning for my son and I use the same batter for my omelettes. I scramble it and use it to make magical French Toast. I also use it to make “chickpea eggs” when I need to bread tofu or tempeh and use it as a binder in recipes that call for flour, like my lentil burgers. It is super versatile so I couldn’t wait to get this cookbook to see what else I can do with it.

Well, it turns out a lot! This cookbook is written by Lindsey S. Love who has a blog called Dolly and Oatmeal. There are 96 recipes in the book of which 49 are vegan. The book is organized by season which is such a great idea, even though you can swap out seasonal vegetables for a dish if you like the base recipe. The recipes are clean and simple and really creative. I expected lots of baking recipes which this book delivers in the form of crackers, graham crackers, and flatbread. But then there was the super surprise – using chickpea flour as a thickener in sauces, dressings and soups. I love all three and so this technique is really cool. For many of the recipes, the chickpea flour is heated in a pot with water until it thickens so it actually looks melty and gooey! Then it is added to recipes for things like crema, sour cream, Caesar dressing, and Alfredo sauce, which I made the other day and enjoyed very much. I got permission to reprint the recipe below.

Then there is chickpea “polenta,” chickpea “tofu,” chickpea “fries,” tostadas and granola. But I am most looking forward to making the frittata and quiche recipes since I have been experimenting a lot and not having success.

I think this is a super smart book and really different. I have read it cover to cover and love the header notes that explain the reasons for using the chickpea flour and how it works. The only thing I wonder about is that when heating the chickpea flour/water combo as noted above, different recipes give different times for it to thicken, even though for me it took about 2 minutes. No matter, cooking is an art not a science. So, if you are interested in some creative new recipes that are gluten free and vegan, get a copy of this book!

Vegan Alfredo with Watercress and Chives copy.jpg

Alfredo with Watercress and Chives (Photo Credit: Lindsay S. Love)

Upon first discovering that chickpea flour can not only be used as a thickener in sauces but also made into a sauce all on its own, I was beyond excited for the possibilities, and the outcome of this sauce completely exceeded my expectations. Many, if not most, vegan cheese substitutes incorporate some type of nut that gives a cheese-like consistency when soaked and blended with water. However, I was always a little disappointed that my “cheese” sauces continually didn’t have that gooey, cheesy texture. So when fooling around with a chickpea flour mix one day, I thought why not add it to the base of a vegan cheese sauce to give it that gooeyness I had longed for. After I added some flavorings, salt and pepper, and the like, I was amazed at the result: a cheese sauce tasting just the way I remember from my childhood. There are so many ways of incorporating this sauce into meals and dishes, whether it’s over pasta, as a warm cheesy dip for vegetables, or poured over baked sweet potatoes or homemade french fries

Serves: 4 // prep time: 12 hours // cook time: 20 minutes.

  • 16 ounces (454 g) gluten-free and vegan pasta (or pasta of choice)
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) plus 1 tablespoon cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, plus chive flowers for garnish
  • 1 cup (34 g) packed watercress
  • Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste

Begin cooking the pasta, according to instructions on the bag. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce.

Place the soaked cashews in an upright high-speed blender; add the oil, yeast, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste; set aside.

In a small saucepan, whisk together the water and flour, turn the heat to medium and continue to whisk for 6 to 7 minutes, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a roux. Gently and carefully pour the mixture into the blender. Blend on high for 1 minute, until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust any seasonings, if needed. Add 1 tablespoon of chives and blend on medium for about 30 seconds.

In the last 30 seconds of cooking the pasta to al dente, add the watercress and cook until wilted. Drain the pasta and watercress and quickly rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking.

Transfer the pasta and watercress to a serving bowl; pour the sauce over the pasta and mix. Taste and adjust salt, if needed. Serve hot with remaining 1 tablespoon of chives, chive flowers, and nutmeg.

Recipe from Chickpea Flour Does It All: Glluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian Recipes for Every Taste and Season ©Lindsey S. Love, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher,
The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

Book Report: Mama Tried: Traditional Italian Cooking for the Screwed, Crude, Vegan & Tattooed


I just got my copy of Mama Tried: Traditional Italian Cooking for the Screwed, Crude, Vegan & Tattooed by Cecilia Granata who is Italian, a long time vegan, and a tattoo artist. Meet Cecilia in this video about the book here.

What a quirky and terrific little cookbook! It is filled with tattoo inspired food art and rustic traditional Italian recipes that are either accidentally vegan or veganized. Probably my favorite thing about this book is that Cecilia often doesn’t give measurements, exact directions or how much to expect out of the recipe. It is based on the idea that cooking is an art and it really is a personal project in terms of how much of this, that or another ingredient you want to add to a recipe.

So that makes all of the recipes easy to follow and easy to make. There are over 100 in the book and I have earmarked tons of them. There are appetizers, entrees, salads, soups, burgers, creative risottos and pestos, pizza, pasta, and cookies. And recipes for homemade veg-mozzarella and vegan ricotta.

One of my favorites – and it is simple but smart – are the Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes. I always have tomatoes in the house – my son and I eat them every day. But even we can’t eat them all. When I have too many I oven roast them whole but I like Cecilia’s way better.

Cut tomatoes in half and place them on a baking sheet cut side up with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 until the tomatoes are golden and delicious.


Another favorite is the Aphrodisiac Asparagus. In fact, there is a whole chapter on aphrodisiacs! In this case, pour vegan sour cream over cooked asparagus and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Toast under the broiler for five minutes for serious perfection. Note: I made my own sour cream with cashews, filtered water and fresh lemon juice.


There is a recipe for sautéed yellow peppers with raisins and pine nuts – a combo I have made with chard but will be delectable with peppers – and a splash of balsamic. There is a salad that is potatoes and green beans mixed with pesto, like Ligurian pasta but without the pasta. In the burger section, there are broccoli and cauliflower burgers and the “good burger” made with oats, quinoa, millet and carrots. And I can’t wait to make the chocolate-hazelnut cookies as soon as I get my hands on hazelnut meal!

The recipes in this book mesh well with my style of cooking. I love when I find new ideas to add to my repertoire! Buy this book and enjoy some traditional Italian cooking veganized!

Book Report: Protein Ninja


I just got my copy of Terry Hope Romero’s new book Protein Ninja! Terry is one of my vegan heroes and, as always, she delivers new and clever ways to make sure we get enough protein. According to Terry’s website…

“My year of the salad [see Salad Samurai] 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.”

And what a great book it is. I have been studying it like the good vegan student that I am trying to full understand the concepts. The recipes are creative, flavorful and easy to follow. As usual with Terry’s style, the recipes are not too long or full of crazy hard to come by ingredients. And the little intros to each one are fun to read! Also, let me say that the photos are absolutely stunning.

Terry offers breakfast smoothie bowls packed with protein powders, avocados, and superfoods. Pancakes and biscuits have their own chapters. Toasts get their own chapter – which is really the “make really yummy spreads that are a good excuse to toast up some bread and eat” chapter. And there are burgers, bowls and sweets like navy bean blondies!

In just a week, I have already made a bunch of recipes. This is the Chikdate Spread which is like a pumped up vegan Nutella made with chickpeas, dates and hazelnuts. It is great on toast or just as a pudding with fruit on top.


But I think the breakthrough really might be in the burger category. I made the Super Hemp Protein Beet Burgers and the hemp protein adds a certain texture that keeps the burgers together in a way that flour doesn’t. They came out delicious and didn’t fall apart on the first bite.


So, this is cookbook that should be on your kitchen bookshelf. It is fun, different and a great answer to the age old question, but how do you get your protein?

Book Report: DIY Nut Milks, Nut Butters & More (From Almonds to Walnuts)


I just made Classic Peanut Butter and it is the best PB I have ever had! I can’t believe I haven’t done this sooner, but now I am all in, thanks to this great little book: DIY Nut Milks, Nut Butters & More!

Written by blogger Melissa King of, this book is fantastic and inspiring. It’s not about being vegan or plant-based but about DIY and eating clean which happens to be vegan and plant-based (duh!). The subtitle, “From Almonds to Walnuts,” says it all. There are recipes using all different nuts and seeds for milks, butters, smoothies, treats and ice creams.

Melissa’s style is really appealing and so is the book itself. It’s little which makes it unique compared to all of the other books on my shelf. The fonts are easy on the eye, there are lots of pictures and the recipes are laid out really nicely. In the intro, Melissa explains why nuts are healthy – they are high in fiber, sugar and cholesterol free, contain lots of minerals and vitamins and are high in protein. And she offers plenty of helpful tips and equipment suggestions.

I have been making my own nut milks for years now, but I always thought it was too hard to make nut butters (except for the time I made chocolate hazelnut spread.) I thought regularly making them would burn out my Vitamix. But actually, Melissa suggests using a food processor, which I did, my Hamilton Beach Scraper Food Processor, and the results are perfect. I poured 2 cups of peanuts (not roasted) into the bowl of the processor and turned it on. Two minutes later, peanut butter. See?


I am planning to make Melissa’s Maple Vanilla Almond Butter and Chunky Banana Walnut Spread. And how about no bake Brownie Bars, PB Chocolate Chip Donuts and Banana Macadamia Ice Cream? Yes, please.

All I can say is, this is a great little book and if you are scared to make your own milks and butters, this book is for you. And then, after you raise your game, you can take your kitchen creativity to a new level with the rest of the recipes!

Book Report: Nom Yourself: Simple Vegan Cooking


As a student of Chad Sarno from my Plant-Based Professional Certification Course at, naturally I had to get my hands on a copy of a book that he is raving about. This is Nom Yourself: Simple Vegan Cooking by Mary Mattern. And I can see why! This new book is the vegan cooking the way I like it – simple with easy to recognize dishes that are comforting and just plain good.

Mary has a great story. She was a so-called regular person who moved to Baltimore and while trying to figure out what to do with her life, she became a nanny. Together with the mother of the family, she would trek to the farmer’s market each weekend to pick out perfect produce, tomatoes, and anything and everything fresh on offer.

But Mary didn’t know how to cook. Once she got in the kitchen and dedicated herself to figuring it out (and how to light the oven), she became a great cook and an accidental vegan. Mary says, “Just by shopping at the farmer’s markets and giving vegetables and fruits center stage, I found myself naturally cutting out animal products – so I felt much better.”

Mary started posting on Instagram and through the magic of social media, she connected with Jeremy Piven and became his personal chef. Um, right there – this chick is cool. I mean, Ari! Entourage!! And then the stars aligned and this book was born.

The title says it all – Simple Vegan Cooking, not restaurant style vegan cooking (like Crossroads or Cinnamon Snail) with multiple complicated recipes for each dish made with crazy ingredients. It really is simple. From the of Mary’s pantry staples to a long section on oils (did you know avocado oil has the highest smoke point of any oil?), this book is perfect for a new cook or someone looking for for new ideas.

There are recipes for homemade staples like nut milks and salad dressings (Million Island Dressing, get it?!), breakfasts like California Tofu Benedict (love this!), appetizers like guacamole wontons (oh yeah), really easy soups, salads, and sandwiches, and pasta toppings. There are entrées like a portobello chop and southern fried tofu with sides like pickled beet stems or what Mary calls Lucy’s Licorice.

I love this book because I can totally relate – to Mary’s story, to the recipes, and to her cooking style. I also veganized my grandmother’s date and nut bread, I make my own tempeh bacon, and of course I love making my own staples. I have marked a bunch of recipes but today, I made Mary’s Sea-Salted Caramel Sauce with her brilliant secret ingredient: apple juice! It came out smooth and thick and reminds me of caramel apples – a great twist on a dessert topping which I will be serving on this season’s apple crostata àpres apple picking.

IMG_0106This book is fun and really shows who Mary really is. I feel like Mary and I would be friends in real life but for now, we will just have to connect the new fashioned way!