Meatless Monday: Kale and black-eyed pea stew and a vegan cookbook review

'Superfood Kitchen' by Julie Morris just happens to be 100 percent vegan! It boasts a wide variety of recipes, including a dessert section. Give this kale and black-eyed pea stew a try.

Beyond the Peel
Don't have black-eyed peas handy? You can used a sprouted bean mixture and red quinoa in place of the beans.

I received a book called the 'Superfood Kitchen' by Julie Morris. I had agreed to review it and would only post a review if I liked it. Well, to my surprise it wasn’t only a superfood cookbook, but vegan too! I actually didn’t realize it at first with the absence of terms like “vegan cheese” and “butter substitute” but after spending a couple of hours with the book I realized I was going to be in for a real treat! Don’t let the price tag fool you (less than $10) it’s absolutely packed full of great recipes and information in a 200 plus page hard-cover book.

I had looked for vegan cookbooks before and they are usually disappointing. I’m not saying they all are, just the ones I had access to to look at and flip through. So much of them were filled with tons of sandwiches, pastas dishes (made with white flour noodles), cool whip and nature’s balance and vegan cheese (the store-bought nasty stuff, not the homemade ones made from cashews and nutritional yeast).

Julie Morris doesn’t market this book as being vegan… it just happens to be. So it was a pleasant surprise. So was the dessert section. Yeah baby! Ice cream cupcakes anyone?! No bake-brownies, truffles, and fudge! 

But one can’t live on sweets alone. So there’s an entire section on breakfast, another for salads and soups. Now you might be thinking, “Oh great, soups and salads, who wants to live off those?” But she included delicious mains, including grain free pasta dishes, creamy noodle dishes made with vegan cream sauces (cream sauces made from cashews are down right amazing by the way), stews, chili, and fun burgers and patties (none of which are made from funky GMO soy products). She even included side dishes like Yam Fries and a one minute ketchup recipe to go with it. There’s cracker and flat bread recipes and an entire section on superfood snacks. You don’t need to get past the breakfast section to know this book is a keeper. There’s not a single recipe I wouldn’t make.

Ok… I should mention there’s a scary part… There’s going to be ingredients you’re not familiar with. But that’s ok! If you’re intimidated by the superfoods…DON’T BE.

Yes, there’s a list of fancy ingredients that cost a little extra to purchase, but I’ll share a few secrets with you.

  • If you don’t want to buy the fancy superfoods, you can still make 90 percent of the recipes in this book. They can, for the most part be left out.
  • If you only buy local food (since some of superfoods can come from far away places), there’s still a massive selection of recipes to choose from.
  • If you’re eating vegan, you can most likely afford the product anyway since you’re already saving so much money by not buying animal products.
  • If you choose to buy some of the fancier superfoods, they can be ordered online and shipped to you so you don’t have to worry about accessibility.
  • And though the initial cost may seem high at first, the amount that is used in a recipe is very small, which means that little package you paid 10 dollars for will last you a very long time.

I’ve already shared with you one of Julie Morris’ recipes for delicious Yam Fries (superfood maca powder optional) but today I’m going to share with you one of her super satisfying stews. We had this for lunch and dinner for two days with zero objections from the hubby. That’s’ saying something.

Look if new foods scare you, and you’re new to whole foods, this might be too big of a leap. But if you are looking to lose weight (eating lots of vegetables is a big part of that) or are looking to include more vegetarian items into your diet, this is worth the minimal investment. If you’re enthusiastic about trying new food, new combinations and especially if you’re dabbling in veganism (or you are vegan), this is a worthy purchase. There’s also minimal use of grains (quinoa and rice used a handful of times) and no dairy or eggs, so it makes it a good choice for those with allergies.

I made changes to this recipe because I was missing one of the ingredients. I didn’t have the black eyed peas. I substituted in a sprouted bean mixture and red quinoa in place of the beans. I wrote the recipe down just the way it is in the book so that you could choose which of the two version you’d like to make. This will be included in the recipe notes.

Kale and black-eyed pea stew

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 cups diced white onion

6 garlic cloves

3 stalks celery, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 tablespoon each fresh oregano and thyme , chopped

1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

3 cups each water and vegetable broth

2 tablespoon wakame flakes

3 cups cooked black-eyed peas

1 head kale, stems discarded and chopped

1/2 lemon, juiced

fresh parsley to garnish

In a large pot, melt the coconut oil. Add the garlic and onions and cook for two minutes over medium high heat. Add the celery and pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Add the spices, cook for 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients, except the kale and lemon juice, and cook for 30 minutes. Add more water and salt as needed during the cooking process. Add the kale and cook for a few more minutes until kale is wilted. Finish by adding the lemon juice at the end. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and garnish with fresh parsley.

Note: I did not have black-eyed peas cooked and ready to go. To speed things up, I substituted 1 1/2 cups dry sprouted bean mixture and 1/2 cup red quinoa. I added 2 extra cups of water. I also had 3 cups of freshly cooked butternut squash that I added. This stew cooked in about the same amount of time as the original version.

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