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 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 Pea Curry is easy to prepare and features ingredients that are readily available in my kitchen- spices like garam masala and turmeric, and vegetables 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.
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 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 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 contains 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.
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
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 Icing, Choko 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!).