Although there are a number of books which claim to have the solution for losing weight, eating healthfully, or beautifying your skin, Cooking Your Way to Gorgeous blends them all together. With Scott Vincent Borba’s insight and expertise on internal healing, the master aesthetician has crafted a plan to beautify from the inside out in a healthy, fun, and (dare I say it) easy way with delicious recipes and whole-food based skin treatments.
With recipes like Hijiki Rice Salad, Israeli Couscous Salad with Paprika, Apple Pie Pepitas, and Almond Butter and Banana Blast snack, the options are delicious and tempting. Lentil Sloppy Joes, Honey Wheat Bread, and Walnut Miso Dip are also wonderful options that will enhance your beauty. There are also options like the Fizzy Pom-Pom, Strawberry Mint Spritzer, and Cherry Lime Scotty to tempt you during cocktail hour. While this isn’t a strictly vegetarian book, there are so many vegan options, and recipes that can be made vegan with easy swaps. Plus, the advice that Borba gives out is incredibly helpful and shows how easy it is to make healthy choices and improve the appearance of your hair, eyes, and skin. The book is broken down in chapters based on which body part you want to help, so it is easy to look your very best. Cooking Your Way to Gorgeous is a wonderful book that makes looking your best easier than ever.
Sweet Red Bean Paste
Soy-free Gluten-free Oil-free
This sweet bean paste is used in many Asian desserts and in a few in this book, too. Before I made it, I figured it would have exotic ingredients, but I was wrong. You probably already have what you need in your pantry right now.
1 cup (197 g) dry adzuki beans
3 cups (705 g) water
1 cup (200 g) sugar
Put the beans and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and cook until the beans are soft, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Once the beans are done, add the sugar and stir to combine. You can keep cooking until the beans are thick, like the texture of miso. I like to leave a few bean chunks, but you could put it into the food processor if you’d like it smooth.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can also freeze the rest for another batch of goodies later.
Yield: 3 cups (510 g)
Per 2-tablespoon serving: 87.9 calories; 0.6 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 7.3 g protein; 13.2 g carbohydrate; 1.0 g dietary fiber; 5.0 mg cholesterol.
Total Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 1 to 1 ½ hours
Kathy Hester, queen of vegan cooking, has done it again in The Great Vegan Bean Book. Kathy has worked her magic, transforming ordinary dishes in vegan wonders packed with protein, fiber, and oodles of nutrients. I absolutely loved The Vegan Slow Cooker, so when I had a chance to be part of the blog tour for Kathy’s latest book, I was over the moon.
Red Bean Mini Muffins or Baked Donuts
Soy-free Gluten-free option* Oil-free option**
Not only does the batter have red bean paste, but if you make the mini muffins you also add a dollop right in the center. Red bean paste is made from adzuki beans and used in many Asian desserts.
For the dry ingredients
¾ cup (90 g) whole wheat pastry flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
For the wet ingredients
2⁄3 cup (160 ml) unsweetened nondairy milk
2⁄3 cup (115 g) Sweet Red Bean Paste
¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Sweet Red Bean Paste for filled muffins (see below)
Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C, or gas mark 4). Oil a mini muffin pan or mini donut pan **or line with paper liners.
To prepare the dry ingredients, mix the ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
To prepare the wet ingredients, add the ingredients to a small bowl and mix with a whisk to help break up the bean paste. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon.
For the filled muffins: Spread about 2 teaspoons of the mixture in each muffin cup to cover the bottom. Then add ½ teaspoon of extra red bean paste in the center. Top with about 1 tablespoon of the batter and press a little so it covers the sides and none of the red bean paste in the middle shows. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
For the donuts: Scoop the mixture into a mini-donut pan. I use a small cookie scoop, which gives you just the right amount. Then turn the scoop over and pat the middle so the post shows through the center. This ensures you’ll get a good hole in your donut. Bake for 10 minutes.
Yield: 12 mini muffins or mini donuts
Per filled muff in: 76.3 calories; 0.7 g total fat; 0.3 g saturated fat; 4.0 g protein; 12.7 g carbohydrate; 1.5 g dietary fiber; 2.2 mg cholesterol.
Per donut : 68.9 calories; 0.7 g total fat; 0.3 g saturated fat; 4.0 g protein; 11.6 g carbohydrate; 1.4 g dietary fiber; 2.2 mg cholesterol.
Total Prep Time : 10 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 10 to 15 minutes
While I made this red, white, and blue treat for the Fourth of July, it really is the perfect summer dessert and any seasonal fruit can be used. It is light, fresh, and the custard is creamy and delicious. This honestly takes moments to whip up (you just have to soak the cashews and chill the coconut cream and mixer bowl before hand), and you will have a dessert that is an absolute winner!
Coconut Custard with Berries
2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted (virgin coconut oil has the flavor of coconuts which really adds to this custard)
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can (15 ounce) coconut cream (not coconut milk)
3 cups fresh berries
1.Chill the metal bowl of a stand mixer in the freezer, the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator, and soak the cashews, overnight. Drain the cashews and pat dry.
2. In a high-powered mixer, add the cashews, coconut oil, water, and maple syrup. Blend for about 1 minute, or until smooth.
3. Remove the coconut cream from the refrigerator. Remove the lid of the can, then gently scoop out the cream and add it to the chilled mixer bowl. Add only cream (do not add any of the coconut water or any coconut cream that is wet because of the coconut water or your cream will not whip properly – this may mean sacrificing a bit of the cream). Whip the cream on high for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
4. Pour the cashew cream into the coconut cream and fold gently. Refrigerate in the mixer bowl for at least 10 minutes. When ready layer fruit and custard and serve immediately.
I will be the first to admit – the name of this recipe is far from flashy and exciting, but this is a great little recipe for those nights when you want to have something fun and slightly exotic, but you don’t want to slave over the stove. The chicken strips are so tempting that it is almost tempting to eat them on their own. When you put it all together, you are golden, and have a delicious Louisiana-style dinner!
Quick Cajun Veggies and Beans
1 package vegan chicken-style strips
1/2 cup flour
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 can (15 ounce) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh or frozen sliced okra
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 cups brown rice, cooked according to package directions
1.Mix the flour and 1 Tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning. Spray chicken style strips lightly with water and toss to coat in the flour mixture.
2. Heat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Melt coconut oil in the pan, then toss chicken strips, turning occasionally, and cooking until beginning to brown.
3. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the sweet potato, kidney beans, okra, onion, garlic and Cajun seasoning. Coat vegetables and beans evenly. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes, then add the vegetable broth. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender and the okra is cooked.
4. When ready to serve, spoon the bean mixture over brown rice, and top with a few slices of the Cajun chicken.
This is a great dinner for nights when you want something homemade, but you don’t really want to spend a ton of time on it. You can easily make this ahead of time and pop it into the refrigerator so that when you come home, you can just pour enchilada sauce on top, sprinkle with cheese and pop in the oven. While it is healthy, it is also delicious, so don’t be afraid to make this a regular in your dinner rotation.
Vegan Chorizo Bean Quinoa Enchiladas
2 packages 6-inch corn tortillas
1 can (15 ounce) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 links vegan chorizo or Mexican sausage (I used Field Roast)
1 zucchini, finely diced
2/3 cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen
2/3 cup cooked quinoa
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
1 (20 ounce) jar enchilada sauce
1/2 cup vegan shredded cheese
Guacamole (optional topping)
Vegan sour cream (optional topping)
1. Preheat the oven to 35o degrees. If needed, microwave your tortillas for 15 seconds to soften them and make them easier to roll.
2. In a large bowl, mix the beans, chorizo, zucchini, corn, quinoa and tomato. Spoon about 1/4 cup mixture onto the center of a tortilla. Roll and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Repeat process until all mixture is used. If refrigerating to bake later, stop here and complete step 3 later.
3. Pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas and top with cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is beginning to bubble on the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon guacamole and sour cream on top, if desired, and serve while warm.