Interview with Dreena Burton and Giveaway of “Plant-Powered Families” Cookbook

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Interview with Dreena Burton and Giveaway of “Plant-Powered Families” Cookbook

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, I looked to the Internet and library books to teach me about healthy nutrition and lifestyle. Dreena’s site was one of the first sites I discovered and loved reading (and still do) regularly. Although she does not talk about cancer prevention and treatment on her site, I wanted to learn how to incorporate more plants into my family’s diet and Dreena helped me immensely in my journey.

Dreena and her family (husband and 3 daughters) have been enjoying a plant-based diet for many years. Dreena is the creator of Plant Powered Kitchen, a kid-oriented site where she shares many delicious kid-friendly vegan recipes, nutritional tips, and talks about raising her daughters on a plant-based diet. Dreena wrote five plant-based cookbooks so far and I am sure there are many more to come.

Dreena’s fifth cookbook, “Plant-Powered Families” has over whole-foods 100 recipes, all kid-tested and approved. Each recipe has a page-size color photo. I love cookbooks with photos for each of their recipes! The book also includes a vegan pantry list, meal plans, school and lunchbox solutions, picky eater tips, and many more.

As you probably know if you have been reading my blog for a while, my family and I are not vegans, but we include many fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains in our diet. From talking to my clients and to my friends, I know that most families try to include more vegetables in their children’s diets. Keeping Dreena’s “Plant-Powered Families” cookbook in your kitchen, and having fun choosing and making her recipes with your children, will give you many yummy plant-based alternatives to foods that your child is probably currently eating. You’ll also discover new delicious recipes that I am sure you’ll add to your regular recipe rotation.

As my son has gluten and dairy sensitivities, I am happy to say that I had no problem finding many recipes from Dreena’s cookbook that my son was able to eat as all of the recipes are dairy-free and most of them are gluten-free.

Here are some of the recipes we made and LOVED: Ultimate Teriyaki Stir-Fry, Protein Power Balls, Chickpea ‘N Rice Soup, and Artichoke Spinach Dip. Dreena was very kind to allow me to share the Ultimate Teriyaki Stir-Fry recipe with you. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do and include it in your meal rotation.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Teriyaki Stir-Fry
Author: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Readers tell me often that this recipe, originally from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, is better than any take-out! I decided it must be in this book too, with a few changes to simplify and save time.
Ingredients
Teriyaki Sauce:
  • 1½ tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh ginger
  • 3–4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup tamari or coconut aminos
  • 3½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ½-1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
Stir-Fry:
  • 4–6 teaspoons water, divided
  • 1 cup sliced carrot (in discs or half-moons)
  • 1–2 pinches sea salt
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini or green beans cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4–5 cups broccoli florets
  • 1½ cups red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced (1 medium-large)
  • ¾–1 cup cubed baked tofu or marinated tempeh (optional; see note)
  • ½-¾ cup roughly chopped or crushed raw cashews
Instructions
To make the teriyaki sauce:
  1. Using a blender or immersion blender, puree all the ingredients for the sauce.
To make the stir-fry:
  1. In a sauté pan over high heat, add 2–3 teaspoons of the water, carrot, and sea salt. Reduce heat to medium-high, cover, and let the carrot steam for a few minutes. Remove the cover, return heat to high, and add the zucchini. Toss through to let sear slightly, then add remaining 2–3 teaspoons water, broccoli, and bell pepper. Toss through, cover, reduce heat slightly, and cook for 2–3 minutes, just until broccoli turns bright green (the veggies will continue to cook in sauce, so do not overcook).
To assemble:
  1. Add the teriyaki sauce to the vegetable mixture, and tofu or tempeh, if using. Toss to coat, and let the sauce come to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Once the sauce has reached a slow boil and thickened, add the cashews and toss to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and serve immediately over brown rice, quinoa, or soba noodles.
Tofu Note:
  1. My original recipe included a step to cook tofu. To save time, I now use prebaked tofu or Simplest Marinated Baked Tofu (page 78) that I have prepared ahead of time.

Here are Dreena’s answers to my questions. Interspersed with the questions and answers you will find photos of some of her delicious recipes.

1. Dreena, tell us a bit about yourself. Who were you at the beginning when you started your blog and where are now in your health and nutrition journey, as a mother, wife, and author?

I’ve been vegan about 20 years. I grew up eating a very standard diet, and had quite a love for junk food. When I was in my early twenties, I started to educate myself about our dietary choices. During university, I did not feel how I thought I should feel at that time in my life. My energy was low, I felt very sluggish and drained after eating, my digestion was slow, and I had pain in my knees and also experienced gout. I read Fit For Life and Diet For a New America, and the references to the health implications of the standard diet really resonated with me. Over time, I read more, and connected to the ethical side of eating a plant-based diet. My husband and I were just married, and we made the transition together. This was before vegan was hip, and so there were not many resources available in the way of cookbooks, or even online support. So, I began writing my own recipes and eventually wrote my first cookbook. After that book was released, our first daughter was born. As our family grew, so did my love for writing recipes and helping others. I began blogging, and continued my cookbook journey.

2. “Plant-powered families” is your fifth cookbook. What were your goals when you decided to write it?

I really wanted to show families that it’s not just “safe” to eat a vegan diet, but that it’s a beautiful, abundant, healthy, and compassionate choice. I also wanted to show folks that anyone can enjoy these recipes. Even if you don’t consider yourself completely plant-based, these are healthy, easy, delicious foods that any family – or busy person – will enjoy. Finally, I wanted to share my experiences as a mother with three kiddos (“weegans”)! There are chapters covering picky eaters, packing school lunches, birthday parties, and nutritional FAQs. I felt the timing was right for this book. Veganism is on the rise, and yet there hasn’t been a lot to help families feel comfortable with this lifestyle.

 Best banana bread

Best Banana Bread (from “Plant-Powered Families”)

3. How had your creative process developed for “Plant-powered families” compared with your previous cookbooks?

It’s like the saying “necessity is the mother of invention”. My cooking has evolved out of sheer necessity with the busy nature of being a mom and having three kids. So, I am inspired to create delicious food with fewer steps and with wholesome ingredients that most of us have – or can easily find in stores.

4. Please share three of your family’s favorite recipes from “Plant-powered families” with us.

Wow. That’s hard. A few top picks are the “Best Banana Bread”, “Artichoke Spinach Dip”, and “Crazy Brownies with Chocolate Ganache”.

Artichoke Spinach Dip

Artichoke Spinach Dip (from “Plant-Powered Families”)

5. Please share three recipes from your site that your children could not live without.

Now that one’s a little easier! Our girls love these recipes and I make them weekly:

Tamari Roasted Chickpeas

Hummus (there are a number of recipes here, the basic Creamy Hummus is one of their faves)

Banana Oat Bundles

6. What are the three ingredients you always have in your fridge and/or pantry?

Beans and lentils, rolled oats, and plenty of fresh fruit and greens.

7. Do you have any favorite foods that you could eat daily without getting tired of them?

For sure. Personally, I’m a bit of a creature of habit. I have a green smoothie every morning and never tire of it! Here are my tips for green smoothies taste fabulous.

Crazy Brownies

 Crazy Brownies (with Chocolate Ganache) (from “Plant-Powered Families“)

8. Do you have any tips on how to make healthy meals while staying on budget?

Focus on what I call the “vegan basics”. Foods like whole grains, beans, potatoes, vegetables, and fruits, are pretty affordable. Nuts and seeds can be more expensive, but we tend to use those in lesser amounts anyhow. It’s the convenience foods and vegan substitutes that add up quickly on our grocery bill. We use them too at times, it’s fine to include them in our meals at times. Generally, though, our meals are more nutritious and less expensive when we use more of the basic whole foods.

9. Sometimes life gets in the way and we eat less healthy than we would like to for a while. What do you do to get back on track?

I love to incorporate more leafy greens in my diet, through smoothies, salads, and other dishes. Also, sometimes a big bowl of hot grains or plate of potatoes is immensely satisfying with a simple dressing or seasoning, and we are reminded how good simple food is once again!

10. What makes you happy that not many people know about?

Simple quiet times. I enjoy being at home with simple comforts. And a bowl of vegan ice cream. 🙂

Delicious Stir-Fry

Teriyaki Stir-Fry (from “Plant-Powered Families”)

11. What do the words “Plant-powered families” mean to you?

Families that enjoy healthy, compassionate foods together, and it’s simply their “normal”.

Thank you, Dreena, for your balanced approach to plant-based foods and for sharing delicious and kid-friendly recipes with us!

As I can’t help myself since the outcome was so delicious, here is a link to a cookbook recipe that Dreena shared on her site. I made these Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies and they were a hit in my family!

This giveaway is open to readers residing in Canada and USA. Skill testing question required. No purchase necessary.

There are the 3 ways to enter this giveaway for one copy of Dreena’s cookbook “Plant-Powered Families”.

You can receive up to 3 entries:

  1. Subscribe to the Orgali blog by email. You can see the link to subscribe (green rectangle) on the right side on this page.
  2. Mention this giveaway on your Facebook page and let me know you did this in the comments section.
  3. Let me know in the comments section what is your family’s favourite plant-based recipe.

The giveaway begins on Tuesday September 22nd and closes on Tuesday, October 6th, at 8 pm Mountain Time.

A winner will be chosen using a random number generator and announced on the blog on Wednesday, October 7th. The odds of winning depend on the number of entries received.

I will contact the winner by email and then I will post the result on the blog. The winner will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen.

The giveaway is now closed. Michelle Ferrari-Johnson is the winner.

2016-10-19T08:29:31+00:00 By |Categories: Dinner recipes, Giveaway, Interview, Nutrition, Tasty Tuesdays|Tags: |24 Comments

About the Author:

Alina Muresan is a Holistic Nutritional Consultant who specializes in family nutrition and health. Visit her website, Orgali.ca to find great advice on your child's nutrition and delicious recipes that are healthy and fast!

24 Comments

  1. Lindsey September 22, 2015 at 8:08 am - Reply

    My favourite is Mushroom Pad Thai with lots of fresh mushrooms, celery, peppers and snow peas

  2. Victoria K September 22, 2015 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    I shared on Facebook. My families favourite plant based meal is our classic stir-fry.

  3. Suzanne C September 23, 2015 at 4:27 am - Reply

    Our family loves vegetable pot pie.

  4. Shannon September 23, 2015 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Oh wow we have so many…We would have to say Beet Burgers from PPK.

  5. DJ September 24, 2015 at 6:46 am - Reply

    I subscribed to email.

  6. DJ September 24, 2015 at 6:47 am - Reply

    Our family loves eggplant lasagna.

  7. Addie F. September 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    We love a good corn/rice pasta with roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Or, a burrito bowl of rice, beans, and homemade salsa and guacamole!

  8. Amber Y September 28, 2015 at 1:05 am - Reply

    I’m subscribed to your site via email.

  9. Sunnymay October 1, 2015 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    the Crazy Brownies and Best Banana Bread are making my mouth water and I just ate supper.
    I subscribed via email.

  10. Barb Stenby October 1, 2015 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    I love the teriyaki stir fry recipe

  11. velder dixon October 1, 2015 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Love egg plant lasagna

  12. Lauryn R October 1, 2015 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    I really want to try making this Teriyaki Stir Fry! It looks so good, and easy!

  13. Lorraine Wiebe October 1, 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Crazy Brownies

  14. Lisa Brown October 2, 2015 at 2:55 am - Reply

    following via email: jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  15. Michelle Ferrari - Johnson October 2, 2015 at 4:45 am - Reply

    This cookbook looks amazing. I subscribed. I really want to learn how to make my own bread. We eat a variety of plant-based items. One family favorite is Ceasar salads. We don’t use Ceasar dressing frequently, usually home made Italian dessing. Excited to learn more.

  16. Jane Ritz October 2, 2015 at 8:38 am - Reply

    Our favorite veggie based recipe is a roasted brussell sprout recipe. I mentioned the giveaway on Facebook.

  17. Ross Olson October 2, 2015 at 9:15 am - Reply

    I mentioned this giveaway on facebook and subscribed. Also, our favorite plant-based recipe is a good old ceasar salad. Our family is not very brave when it comes to trying new recipes. Thanks! Ross Olson

  18. MARTHAIA October 2, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    I subscribed to email..

  19. Tamra Phelps October 2, 2015 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    I subscribed to Orgali.

  20. Karen Jaras October 2, 2015 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Classic chicken pot-pie is a winner in a multi-generational household. My FIL loves it as much as my grandchildren.

  21. Lucy Mills October 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Subscribed! Posted on Facebook and I’d say stir-fry is our favorite!

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