Today I am excited to share a couple of recipes from my new favorite cookbook! Both of these recipes are new family favorites in the Wells household. I hope you enjoy then as much as we do!
Around anyone with even a slight interest, I have been known to go on and on about The China Study and how the content of this book changed my eating lifestyle forever. I carry it in my minivan as a handy reference. I own multiple copies so I always have one to loan out. I have memorized the juiciest tidbits by reciting them time and time again for wide-eyed listeners who just found out that my husband’s cholesterol dropped one hundred points in just two months on this “diet.” It’s sort of my thing. : )
Because of my fascination with The China Study, my mom picked me up a copy of the companion cookbook, which I didn’t even realize existed. It has lots of excellent recipes in it and they all adhere to the whole-foods, plant-based way of eating recommended by the parent book. Whole-food, plant-based eating means avoiding all animal proteins (whether in the form of meats or dairy) but it also means avoiding added fats, overabundant sodium use, and overabundant sweetener use. It is essentially a vegan diet, but stripped down of added fats, salt and sugar. If you think this sounds bland and dry, I know how you feel; that was my first thought when I prepared to eat this way. But I have been surprised to find out that nothing could be further from the truth. Yummy recipes are especially easy to find in a compilation like the one I want to share with you today. The book is: The China Study Cookbook, by Leanne Campbell, PhD.
I have been wanting to share some recipes from this cookbook with you but have hesitated because I want to be respectful of various copyright laws and etiquette. But guess what?! This week I got permission to share my two favorite recipes with you! (Yay!) So here they are, complete with photographic evidence that when I made them, they easily turned out as good as they were supposed to.
Breakfast! Do you know how many failed attempts at making milk and egg-free french toast are in my cooking wake? LOTS. And every attempt was with “professional” recipes at the helm. My poor kids loved french toast back in the day but have had to suffer with sticky, nasty-tasting versions since switching over to the plant-eating side. (insert sad face) I just quit trying. But then I made a dozen awesome recipes from this cookbook and realized, “Hey! This lady might know what she’s doing in the kitchen!” So I tried her recipe for Favorite French Toast and loved it. And here it is:
Favorite French Toast (click on the title for a .pdf to print out)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes 8 slices
1 cup vanilla soy (or almond) milk
1 tablespoon Sucanat
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (do not mix with water)
1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 slices whole grain bread
Fresh fruit and syrup, for topping
Mix milk, Sucanat, egg replacer powder, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl to form batter.
Quickly dip one side of the bread into batter and repeat with the second side.
Fry in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat until golden brown.
Serve with fresh fruit, fruit preserves, or syrup.
We like to use different types of breads for this recipe (raisin bread is good here).
Instead of fresh fruit, you can use 2 cups of frozen fruit, heated over the stove with 1 cup water and thickened with cornstarch and dry sweetener, as a topping for this recipe.
BlogMaster Sarah’s notes: Sucanat is dried sugarcane juice and is found at any natural foods store. Vitamin Cottage sells it for a very reasonable price back in the aisle with their bulk grains and beans.
I didn’t have pumpkin pie spice so I used cinnamon and it was still wonderful. I used an entire tablespoon of cinnamon because our family loves our French toast super cinnamon-y.
Cook as long as you need to in order to dry out the bread just a bit. It should be sticky and sweet, but not gooey. If it starts to burn but it’s still gooey inside, you need to turn your heat down a little.
Family votes: Husband- Loved. Kids- 3 out of 3 Loved. Ten year-old guest- Loved. Me- Loved. (So, yeah, it might be worth trying!)
Dinner! Have you missed meatballs? I had until I found out that you can make delicious mock meatballs with, get this– pecans. I had tried recipes using millet or other grains to make mock meatballs but none of them held together very well. Definitely not overnight in the fridge steeped in spaghetti sauce. But these beauties hold up to anything that their meaty cousins do. Bonus: They’re delicious! Double bonus: They’re not filled with cholesterol and grease!
Pecan Ball Subs (click the title for a printable version)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 40–45 minutes
Makes 6 sandwiches
1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup raw oats
1 recipe Marinara Sauce or your favorite spaghetti sauce
6 whole wheat submarine sandwich buns
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In food processor, blend tofu, pecans, onion, carrot, garlic, parsley, thyme, nutritional yeast, salt, basil, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Place mixture in a large mixing bowl.
3. Mix in bread crumbs and oats.
4. Roll into balls about 2 inches in diameter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake for 40–45 minutes.
6. Place pecan balls in sandwich buns and top with marinara sauce.
Tip: These make great mock “meatballs” for spaghetti and tomato sauce.
BlogMaster Sarah’s notes: These *totally* rock spaghetti, as suggested by the author. Although we love the recipe as-is, because “meatball” was our kids’ favorite sub sandwich to get at the local sub shop back in our animal-eating days.
This recipe may take 45 minutes of baking time, but other than onion and carrot chopping, the remainder of your effort goes into hitting a button on your food processor: WIN.
Nutritional yeast is most likely found in the supplement section of your local natural food store. It isn’t at all expensive.
Family votes: Husband- Loved. Kids- 3 out of 3 Loved. Me- Loved. A winner!
A big “Thank You!” to the folks at thechinastudy.com for allowing me to share these recipes.
I hope that you, friendly reader, are able to try both of them and appreciate those moments when a healthy, plant-based meal can transport you back in time to your grandmother’s kitchen, full of fat and butter and lots and lots of love. : )
Tags: breakfast, China Study, cookbook, dinner, favorite, french toast, ideas, meatballs, mock, pecan, sandwich, spaghetti, sub