{Book review} Greenilicious: 101 Ways to Love Your Greens


Last year,  I reviewed Veganissimo! Beautiful Vegan Food by Australian cookbook author, Leigh Drew.

Today, I am delighted to feature a review of Drew’s latest vegan cookbook, co-authored with Amanda Benham.

Greenilicious: 101 Ways to Love Your Greens is promoted pocket option as a recipe book and a ‘how to’ manual on green vegetables. Greenilicious features over 40 different green vegetables – from witlof to okra, and tatsoi to basil.

Drew’s creative recipes demonstrate that green vegetables are nutritious and delicious. With a scrumptious collection of healthy, vegan recipes, my copy of the book is fast becoming well-thumbed. I have cooked and tasted over a dozen of the recipes thus far. I want to share my Greenilicious journey with you.



With only six ingredients, Baby Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushrooms Stir-fry is quick and easy to prepare. My sister and I prepared it for a lunch with my parents, and served it with white rice. It was very popular, and I am keen to make it again.



Chilli Garlic Edamame is a favourite of the tiny vegans. They are enamoured with edamame, so this simple and tasty dish was devoured in no time! I reduced the chilli content to ensure that it was not too spicy for the youngest of the tiny vegans.


cauliflower curry

Cauliflower Pea Curry is easy to prepare and features ingredients that are readily available in my kitchen- spices like garam masala and turmeric, and vegetables pocket option is legal in india like onions, tomatoes and, of course, peas and cauliflower. I adjusted the chilli content for the tiny vegans. The leftovers were delicious the next day with some coconut milk added.


sesame halva

Greenilicious contains a comprehensive collection of delectably named and scrumptious-tasting green smoothies. We indulged in Sesame Halva, Cooper’s Cherry Pie, Lamington, Blueberry Pancake, and Mango Ice-cream. My father, who is no stranger to green smoothies, was captivated by Sesame Halva. He deemed it ‘beautiful’. I enjoyed all of the smoothies, but I particularly adored the rich cherry flavour of Cooper’s Cherry Pie.

I have adopted Drew’s practice of adding frozen peas to smoothies. What a brilliant idea! Reluctant green smoothie drinkers (ie. children!) are unlikely to detect a handful of frozen peas added to their favourite smoothie.



I am always on the lookout for lunchbox suitable recipes, so I was thrilled to discover Mini Asparagus Crustless Quiches. I served the (gluten free) mini quiches as an entree for dinner one night, and the leftovers were divided between lunchboxes the next day. The mini quiches can be eaten warm or cold. I cooked them in silicone muffin cups (rather than a muffin tin), which works really well for popping them into lunchboxes. If you aren’t a fan of asparagus, the recipe includes a variation for baby spinach, rocket or kale.


roasted balsamic

Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts and Broccoli is a simple and delicious recipe, comprising only six ingredients. I enjoyed the flavour of the oven-roasted greens – a nice change to my usual practice of steaming broccoli and brussel sprouts. I served it as a side dish with other vegetable dishes, including Ethiopian Greens (see below).



Pine Nut and Almond Tzatziki is a raw recipe that contains three varieties of greens – cucumber, parsley and mint. This recipe is suitable as a condiment (for curries) or a dip (with vegetable crudites). I also enjoyed it on a salad wrap.


tofu salad1

Tofu Salad with Shredded Cabbage, Peanuts, Chilli, Mint and Miso Dressing is one of my favourite recipes from the book (so far!). It consists of Chinese cabbage, cucumber, mint and a green fruit – Granny Smith apple. The recipe calls for fried tofu puffs, however, I cubed and pan-fried the same quantity of  firm tofu (as I was unable to locate tofu puffs). I was also unable to locate a Chinese cabbage, so I used a Drumhead cabbage (ie. green cabbage) instead. Truly delicious!


rocket frittata

Rocket Frittata contains pocket option bonus rules silken tofu, potato, nutritional yeast, and chickpea flour – and is gluten free. My sister and I prepared it for a family dinner. We made it earlier in the day and served it cold, with salads. The next day, I  heated a leftover slice. It is tasty served either way.


ethiopian greens

Another favourite recipe from the book is Ethiopian greens with spiced chickpeas. This side dish, comprising rocket and English spinach, is very flavourful and moreish – and was also popular with Mat and my daughter. The spiced chickpea component of the recipe is presented as a dip and, therefore, is suitable for use where one would use hommus. The spiced chickpea ‘dip’ is stirred through the greens after serving. The spiced chickpea ‘dip’ also found its way into the tiny vegans’ lunchboxes.



About the book

The 208-page book contains 101 recipes presented in 8 chapters (with charming titles), including:

Not Just Salad Days

From the Cabbage Patch

Turn Over a New Leaf

Flower Power

Like Peas in a Pod

To give you an idea of the layout of the book, the Not Just Salad Days chapter consists of recipes containing salad greens and lettuces, while Flower Power comprises recipes containing broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower and artichoke (and more). Like peas in a pod includes recipes that contain…yep, you guessed it!

The recipe instructions are clear and unambiguous. Symbols are used to highlight the gluten free or raw status of a recipe. Recipes that require 30 minutes or less cooking time are also highlighted.

For the information of gluten free readers, the book contains 90 recipes that are gluten-free, including Classic Cavolo Nero Rissotto, Cauliflower Marinara Pizza and Thai-style Snake Bean Green Curry.

The food photography is visually appealing, and every shade of green imaginable is represented throughout the book. Moreover, the layout of the book is easy to navigate (if you have some kale wilting in the fridge, locate the Turn Over a New Leaf chapter or head to Super Smooth – for a delectable smoothie).

Greenilicious features an introductory chapter called Welcome to the Wonderful World of Greens, which includes useful information about the nutritional benefits of green vegetables, tips for encouraging children to eat vegetables, and suggestions for easy and quick ways to incorporate greens into your daily meals. A two page nutrient content table is also included in the book.

What am I cooking next?

It has been very hot in my part of the world this week, so I am keen to prepare a hearty salad whose preparation does not require the use of an oven. There are several good options, including: Oak Leaf Salad with Shaved Beetroot and Avocado Dressing, Shredded Snow Pea Salad or Butter Lettuce Salad with Pears, Walnuts and Lemon Olive Oil Dressing.  And, of course, on a hot and humid day, a delectable – and very cold – smoothie is most welcome. A Watermelon Sorbet smoothie would be a refreshing and delicious choice.   

For lunchboxes, I would like to try Rosemary Crackers, Coriander Pesto and Pumpkin Scrolls and Broccoli Fritters. And, once the weather cools down, I am keen to taste some of the delicious soup recipes: Miso Soup with Tatsoi and Mixed Mushrooms, Watercress Soup and Cavalo Nero, Lemon and Garlic Soup.

What about dessert?

Let’s face it, no recipe book would be complete without the addition of at least a few  sweet delights. Greenilicious does not disappoint! Among the book’s pages you will find Spiced Chocolate and Zucchini Cake with Macadamia IcingChoko Apple Pie and Hint of Mint Cheesecake. All with a healthy dose of greens.  

Curious about the meal on the cover?

That’s Raw Tex-Mex Tacos.

If you are keen to get your hands on a copy of Greenilicious, or if you think the book would make an ideal gift for a special person in your life, you can purchase a copy here or here.

About Leigh Drew

Leigh is based in Sydney, Australia, and has been vegan for over a decade. Greenilicious is her fourth cookbook.

About Amanda Benham

Amanda became vegan in 1983, and is a leading expert in plant-based nutrition. She has been a nutrition consultant and dietitian for over 20 years.

Disclosure: A free copy of the book was provided to me by Arbon Publishers. All opinions expressed are my own (except those attributed to the tiny vegans and other family members– of course!).


{Book Review} ‘Veganissimo! Beautiful Vegan Food’ by Leigh Drew


Today, I am delighted to feature a review of Veganissimo! Beautiful Vegan Food by Australian cook book author, Leigh Drew.

It is a dilemma faced by all individuals who eagerly open the cover of a new cook book for the first time: what should I cook first? This challenge is all the more pronounced if one is hungry at the time!

Ultimately, I chose two recipes from the Charming Cheeses, Pates, Dips, and Spreads chapter, as I had the ingredients readily available. To date, I have prepared 11 recipes from the pages of Veganissimo!, and several more are earmarked for imminent preparation.


Chive, Garlic and Walnut Spread

This spread is visually appealing and tasty. I am always interested in simple dishes that incorporate walnuts (and all of their omega-3 fatty acid goodness).

Although I used freshly-picked garlic chives from our herb garden in this recipe, I wouldn’t recommend that you do the same. The spicy garlic flavour of the chives aggressively competed with the mellow, sweet flavour of the roast garlic. Definitely use ‘regular’ chives as outlined in the recipe. Nonetheless, we still enjoyed the flavour of this dip, and I imagine that it would be a delicious substitute for pesto.

Chunky Beet Dip

This dip is scrumptious. It contains mint and oven-roasted beetroot (beets). I used freshly-picked mint from our herb garden.

The aroma of onion, garlic, vinegar, coconut sugar, salt, and white pepper bubbling on the stove is captivating. My husband, Mat, entered the kitchen at this point and proclaimed: ‘something smells alright out here’. Talk about an understatement!  I particularly enjoyed this dip teamed with avocado on toast.


Zucchini Muffins

These muffins are superb! I decided to make this recipe to force myself out of my comfort zone. I usually overlook savoury muffin recipes, giving preference to sweet muffins. I’m so glad I decided to bake them!

Once the muffins cooled, I offered them to the tiny vegans. Minutes later, my daughter returned to the kitchen, imploring: ‘Can I have another one? They are so good’. I found them to be incredibly moreish too. I plan to bake these again soon.


Spinach Hummus

I make a batch of hommus each week for school lunchboxes. I am planning to alternate between ‘regular’ hommus and spinach hummus from now on. The flavour of the baby spinach is so subtle as to be undetectable. This recipe is a great way to incorporate raw greens into the tiny vegans’ diets.

Overnight Breakfast Cups

My daughter prepared this recipe alongside me one evening while I was cooking dinner. The next morning, we forgot that it was in the fridge! When I discovered it, I devoured a bowl for an afternoon snack. I topped my serving with additional non-dairy milk and a drizzle of maple syrup. I omitted the recommended peanut butter. My daughter had a serving the following morning for breakfast.

Our breakfast cups contained quinoa flakes. In all honesty, I’m not a big fan of quinoa flakes. Drew also suggests using rolled oats and – as we are not on a gluten-free diet – I will do that next time.



Thai-style Yellow Curry with Coriander Dressing is truly delectable. I served it with brown basmati rice. I omitted the fresh red chilli from the recipe, and used a pinch or two of dried chilli flakes, to ensure it was ‘kid friendly’.

The method of tofu preparation involves the following steps: freezing; defrosting; squeezing; tearing; tossing with a smidgen of olive oil and tamari; then, finally, baking.

This process results in deliciously flavoured and delightfully textured chunks of tofu. 7 year old Tiny Vegan was particularly enamoured with the baked tofu in this dish, and I have since employed this method while preparing tofu for a stir fry. The blocks of tofu that entered our kitchen this week were directed straight to the freezer for an overnight chilling. I look forward to my next bowl of yellow curry. The tofu is currently defrosting!


I prepared Lancashire Hotpot for a family dinner at my parents’ house. It was popular with the adults and children, and I envisage this warming and comforting meal being a regular winter dinner in our home.

The sliced potato topping was well-received by the members of the household who hold disdain for mashed potato toppings (I’m not mentioning any names! They know who they are). The recipe does not instruct you to remove the bay leaves, but if you don’t like biting into whole bay leaves, I suggest that you remove them from the mixture before transferring it from the saucepan to the oven-proof dish.

Pikelets with Whipped Maple Cream

I prepared the pikelets for the ravenous tiny vegans as an after-school snack. As a consequence, Mat and I were not able to indulge in as many pikelets as we would have hoped to devour. Nevertheless, they were popular with the tiny vegans, and the strawberry jam and whipped maple cream were very pleasing accompaniments.


My sister was visiting for the weekend when I made Italian Farinate. She described it as the gluten-free lovechild of frittata and pizza.🙂 I used fresh thyme (leftover from the hotpot recipe) rather than rosemary.

I particularly enjoyed the farinate the next day, after it was reheated in the oven. The base had crisped up further and the flavours had intensified. Next time I make it, I will use baking paper in my spring form cake tins, as I found the farinate a little difficult to remove from the cake tin bases. Farinate would be perfect as an alternative to garlic bread, served with pasta dishes.

Soft Molasses Gingerbread Cake

My cake preference rarely extends beyond chocolate, so I baked Gingerbread Cake to push myself out of my cocoa-shrouded comfort zone. Drew suggests making this cake in a bundt tin. As I do not own one, I used a springform tin instead (combined with a lower oven temperature and a longer cooking time).

I am not keen on ginger in sweet recipes. I am not enamoured with chocolate coated ginger or candied ginger. I prefer my ginger in savoury dishes, like curries and stir fries. Consequently, although I had purchased a packet of crystallised ginger for this recipe, I decided to omit it. It was a good decision. A couple of the tiny vegans tasted the crystallised ginger, and did not like it. They enjoyed the cake, however.

If you adore gingerbread cakes, you will be charmed by this one. It rose beautifully, possessed a nice texture, and each bite was flavoured with a hint of molasses. I topped the cake slices with leftover whipped maple cream, rather than the suggested icing.


Chocolate Raspberry Muffins

This recipe is my kind of indulgence! These muffins are a decadent, moreish, and tasty treat. They contain frozen raspberries, raspberry jam and chocolate chunks. I replaced some of the oil with applesauce (as suggested by Drew). These were immensely popular with my extended family members. I will definitely bake these muffins again. They possess the decadence of a cupcake, making them an ideal ‘special occasion’ muffin.

About the Book

The 208-page book contains over 120 recipes presented in 10 chapters (with an elegant use of alliteration), including:

Beguiling Breakfasts and Brunches 

Splendid Salads, Soups and Side Dishes

Pleasing Pasta and Ravishing Rice

Stunning Stews, Classy Curries, and Precious Pies

Sublime Sauces, Marinades and Dressings

Divine Desserts

The instructions are clear and unambiguous. Colourful symbols are used to highlight the soy-free, gluten-free, or low fat status of a recipe. Recipes that require 30 minutes or less cooking time are also highlighted. Ingredient measurements are specified in ounces, grams and cups ensuring that the recipes are useful and practical to readers across the globe. Furthermore, the recipes were tested by a bunch of international recipe-testers.

A couple of the recipes that I made contained all-purpose (plain wheat) flour. This type of flour isn’t a pantry staple in my kitchen. My preferred ‘gluten-loaded’ flours are wholemeal wheat and wholemeal spelt. I would like to use these flours when I next bake Zucchini Muffins and Chocolate Raspberry Muffins.

For the information of gluten-free readers, the book contains over 90 recipes that are gluten-free or contain a gluten-free option, including Gingered Cheesecake Bar Cookies, Vietnamese Savory Pancakes, and Sizzling Polenta Gnocchi with Sage.



Creative use of colour

The photos are beautiful and visually appealing. Vibrant colours, like burnt orange, sky blue, and lime green, are used effectively. Each chapter has its own colour theme, which is used consistently throughout the chapter: in the photography props (ie. tablecloths, straws, etc.) and the featured ‘tips’ sections that accompany the recipes.

The book features an introductory chapter called Building Blocks of Vegan Cuisine, which includes useful information about kitchen equipment, pantry essentials, egg substitutes, nondairy milks, and more. This section is peppered with brief recipes that highlight vegan whole foods, including Nut Milk, Refried Bean-style Dip, and Quinoa Tabbouleh.

The pages are thick and robust, which may seem like a trivial consideration. But, it becomes an important quality in a well-loved and frequently thumbed cook book.

What am I cooking next?

It’s a toss up between Satay Shiitake Mushroom and Eggplant Kebab Wraps and Tempeh, Eggplant and Sweet Potato Lasagne. Or, I may go straight for the Chocolate Mousse Tart with Raspberries.

Curious about the burger on the cover?

That’s a Portobello Burger with the Lot.

With a scrumptious collection of recipes covering a wide range of categories, my copy of the book is fast becoming well-thumbed. In my experience thus far, Veganissimo! lives up to its name. The food is truly beautiful, in both appearance and taste. And, as I have indicated, the layout of the book is visually appealing and easy to navigate.


If it would thrill you to see the colourful cover of Veganissimo! perched among your cook book collection, or if you think the book would be the perfect gift for a special vegan in your life, you can purchase a copy here or here.

About Leigh Drew

Leigh is based in Sydney, Australia, and has been vegan for over a decade. Veganissimo! is her third cook book.

Disclosure: A free copy of the book was provided to me by Arbon Publishers. All opinions expressed are my own (except those attributed to the tiny vegans, Mat, and my sister – of course!).

Tomorrow, I feature a recipe from Veganissimo!


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