Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Abundance Diet and My Couch. And Snacks!

Somer's beautiful book--The Abundance Diet. 
I'm really proud of you and your hard work, Somer!
Splashy dashy beautiful photos, by Annie at the Unrefined Vegan.
I'm not sure what my deal has been this summer. Maybe it's been the record heat, my arthritic woes, or just my regular bad attitude, but I've been super unmotivated to do much of anything besides whine and bounce around from couch to couch like a big blah-blah ball. Cooking has been mostly a bad word--I've been eating a LOT of peanut butter. 

But. When your super-amazing friend comes out with her very first cookbook, which just happens to be vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and simply gorgeous, you pull yourself up by your vegan-straps and make stuff. Even if it takes you weeks longer than you meant too, and even if you stick to ALL THE SNACKS. Remember: snacks have feelings too.

Happiness in a Cookie Bite. I Believe in the power of balls!
This is an awesome recipe, because you can use 
whatever sort of nut butter and add-ins you have around.
Happiness in a Cookie Bites are real. They're also rilllly easy to make, and super pantry friendly so if necessary, you can get happy very quickly! I added dried blueberries to mine, with cashew butter I got on closeout. Just like Somer suggests, I added an extra pinch of cinnamon, since mine were chocolate-free. Which is why I'm not sure why mine tasted just like chocolate chip cookies? In the best sort of way. Also I ate all four servings in a few hours, minus one for Dazee, and one I saved for breakfast the following day. All the happy for meeeeeee. 

These would be just GRAND with chocolate chips and peanut butter. Which is my plan for next time--with homemade raw chocolate chunks since these balls hang out in the fridge and the chill will keep the chocolate from melting, and me from crying (I'm avoiding store chips because of the flippin' sugar).

ChocoNana Green Smoothie.
All the good stuff: cacao, bananas, spinach, stevia.
I may have added a little organic peanut butter powder, too.
Then just this afternoon, I was texting with Somer and complaining about my couch status, and she suggested chocolate. So-smart! I went into the kitchen and manifested this delicious green smoothie, because hoozah! The pantry friendlieness can't be beat. So yummy, filling and hydrating. I made half, because all of Somer's smoothies make a full quart. Obviously, I'm not in need of unbridled delirium, just a little pick me up.

Nacho Cheese Kale Chips! I sprinkled some with hemp hearts for extra lovin'.
Fancy mani by moi: Mineral Fusion is great 5-free nail polish.
Kale chips go well with couch-time, so I've been eating lots. You know how when you scroll through a new cookbook, certain recipes just pop out at you? This was actually the first recipe I made from Somer's book--it poked me in the eye as I was flipping through it the first time. When I blended up the nacho sauce, the flavor sorta made me go goo-goo, so I actually made this recipe twice in quick succession. I dehydrated my chips, but if you don't have a dehydrator, Somer gives detailed instructions on baking these in the oven. 

Nacho sauce all up in this taco salad.
Pro Tip 1: Add pickled jalapenos before you blend.
Pro Tip 2: 
 For the fancy effect, save mustard squirt bottles and zoom sauce all over the top.
The kale chip nacho sauce will also serve your bowls well. Or your nachos. Or your taco salad. Because even if you have a lazy summer attitude, people still have birthday parties and potluck performance is key. I'm not a huge fan of Beyond Meat chicken strips, but I really like the Feisty Crumbles. I added a packet of taco seasoning to some with a little sauteed onion, then added taco salad-y things like chips, romaine, jicama strips, peppers, cucumber, beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, and lots of nacho sauce zaps.

I call this wung salad with Somer's Pad Thai Sauce.
My salad dressing repertoire always needs a bit of work, so I was happy to see so many sauces and dressings in Somer's book. Salad idea fodder is always a great thing. This Pad Thai sauce is super easy to whip up (I cheated on the date paste, and just added a pitted date with a little water). And for a case of the lazies like me, you can use whatever you have in the fridge. Mine was romaine, jicama, cucumber, carrots, with basil, roasted peanuts, and zaps of Somer's zippy-creamy-gingery pad thai sauce on top (see pro tip 2 above). I fed this to Dazee, who ate it happily. Very great, and undoubtedly even better made properly with broccoli.

BBQ Roasted Chickpea Snack, or as we like to say ,"wee Somer-balls."
Somer and her publisher are letting me share her roasted BBQ chickpea recipe. I loved these too, because I'm all about the smoky and these chix had both liquid smoke and smoked paprika. Plus I added smoked salt on top, because c'mon! Pro tip 3: mine almost scorched at the shortest cooking time at 450, so next time I'm-ma cook these a bit longer at a little lower temp. Too bad I ate these all for lunch, 'cuz they'd make tasty salad accoutrement. Apparently, the wasabi chix are very good too, since my friend Jackie keeps making them and texting me about her Somer-Yums.
BBQ Roasted Chickpea Snack
Makes 4 Servings

Recipe from The Abundance Diet, (c)2015 by Somer McCowan.
Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press LLC.

1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas, drained, well rinsed and then blotted dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Preheat the oven to 450F. In a medium bowl, stir together the liquid smoke, sesame oil, black pepper, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, sherry, tamari, onion powder, and garlic powder. This is your marinade. Add the chickpeas to the marinade and stir to coat.

Transfer the chickpeas and marinade into an 8x8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake the chickpeas for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. The chickpeas will get crispier as they cool. Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator. these are even better, if possible, on the second day.

My only regret with The Abundance Diet--I wasn't able to pull myself together enough to make Somer's infamous Moxarella AKA Foxy Moxy. Not because the recipe is difficult to make, but because what to put the cheese on I can easily whip out of my armpit? For sure, it'll be the first thing I make as soon as the weather makes me want to be cozy, because PIZZA BAGELS!

So there you have it friends. Somer's The Abundance Diet offers many yummy, indulgent tasting goodies to be had, even for a non-dieting lady like myself. Go get yourself a copy, and while you're at it, don't forget to make some cheesie balls from Somer's blog Vedged Out.


P.S. Happy Vegan MoFo! It starts today and runs all September. ♥

Disclaimer:  Somer McCowan is my friend (in real life even!), and I received a free review copy of The Abundance Diet from Vegan Heritage Press. However, no compensation or gift was exchanged for this review, and the fierce opinion posted here is my own.


  1. I'm glad Somer's cookbook was able to spring you from the couches of sadness -which I imagine is a bit like the pit of despair in the Princess Bride. Your recreations from her book look di-vi-ne and refreshing, vegan friend therapy all around, pot luck presentation winning! Fall's around the bend, hope it's kinder on your joints and spirit :)

    1. Thanks! I'm feeling better already. It's amazing what a little bit of caffeine and lower temperatures can do. I might even go for a run later! Thanks also for always commenting on my posts, and for generally being excellent.

  2. Love Somer's book, In fact I'm eating her Cheesy Potato Bake (or however it's called) right now for lunch! On another note, Kittee, since you've mentioned your arthritic woes... have you ever tried going oil-free for some time? Oil apparently contributes to inflammation in our bodies, which is the #1 cause for arthritis. Sorry if I'm barging in with my advice here, it was just bursting out of me.

    1. Hi Alina! Thanks for the advice. My naturopath, who is an ethical vegan, wants me to have lots of healthy fats everyday including lots of coconut oil and 7 sources (an EFA/EPA/DHA OIL). Both are anti inflammatory plus my regular vegan-gf diet with restricted sugars. I'm not really in the no oil camp, but I do stick to healthy ones for sure! Thank you!!


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