Guest Blogger: Carrie on Vegan

28 Oct

Carrie Forrest is a graduate student in public health nutrition and the author of the blog Carrie on Vegan. Through her writings, step-by-step photo guides and recipes, Carrie inspires readers to prepare plant-based recipes that are 100% delicious. Carrie firmly believes that superior health is achievable through nutritional excellence and specializes in whole-food, simple recipes that are low in added fats, sugars and salt. Welcome Carrie!

I’m honored to review the new Rabbit Food Cookbook as part of the book’s “blog tour.” The cover of the book is adorable and inviting:

The book itself is really neat. It starts with a brief history of our food supply in the United States and includes interesting information such as how ice was cut from Northern lakes in the late 1700s to preserve food, since iceboxes and freezers weren’t yet invented. Also, it wasn’t until 1815 when the first cookstove was introduced into households. Up until that point, people were cooking on open fires in large fireplaces (I can’t even imagine how difficult that must have been).

The most charming part of this book is the fact that the author, Beth Barnett, did illustrations for each recipe. The illustrations are a clever substitute for traditional cookbook photos. Beth is obviously a very talented artist and I admire how much care went into this book. There is even a detailed section on how to make your own grocery and produce bags.

But, a cookbook isn’t actually worth much without good recipes, right? I read through a lot the recipes before selecting one to make. I was impressed by how comprehensive this cookbook is, with very tempting recipes from “Eggless French Toast” to “Crunchy Broccoli Salad” to “Tofu Pot Pie.” Given my love for Indian food, I chose to make the “Chana Masala” recipe.

The ingredient list is pretty short which also makes it a good fit for me, it only calls for: garbanzo beans, ginger, onion, garlic, lemon juice, tomato paste and spices:

Making this recipe was a breeze. I heated up the oil, spices, garlic and ginger:

Added the onion, tomato paste and lemon juice:

Last, the garbanzo beans and liquid from the beans:

I simmered it for about 15 minutes and served it over rice (shown with a some steamed greens):

This dish was a wonderful example of how a quick recipe with few ingredients can taste much more complicated. The spices, of course, make all the difference. And, even though I normally don’t use oil in my cooking, the two tablespoons were spread out over at least six servings.

Here is the full recipe:

Chana Masala – printed with permission from Rabbit Food Cookbook


2 cans garbanzo beans, drained, with liquid set aside (I recommend using no-salt added beans)

1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs lemon juice

2-3 Tbs tomato paste

1/2 to 1 tsp salt, to taste (I left out the salt completely)

2 Tbs vegetable oil (you could use coconut oil if you prefer)

Spice list:

1 tap garam masala

2 tsp coriander

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I recommend 1/8 tsp unless you really like spicy food)

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp amchur (supposedly available at an Asian grocery; I could not find it so I left it out)


Heat oil with spices, ginger and garlic first. Then, add onion, tomato paste, lemon juice, and finally about 1 cup of leftover bean liquid. Allow to simmer briefly. Next, add the chickpeas and stir. Cook covered for about 20 minutes. When ready, the chickpeas will have soaked in the flavor of the sauce and will be tasty all the way through. Serve with rice. Garnish with fresh tomatoes and cilantro if you’re feeling fancy.

While this book isn’t exactly Fuhrman-friendly (it uses oils, salt and sugar), it is very inspiring and reasonably healthy. I plan to make more recipes from this book with the necessary modifications for my eating style.

Here’s the rest of the “tour dates” for this book if you want to check them out:

October 25—Cook Vegan Lover
October 26—Bake and Destroy
October 27—Carrie on Vegan
October 28—Vegancraftastic
October 29—Manifest Vegan
October 31—Vegansaurus

Click here if you want to order a copy of this book.

Wow, can you believe we are nearing the end of Vegan Mofo? I originally wanted to blog each weekday for a total of 20 posts this month, but it looks like I’m going to end up with about 14 or so. Not bad for my first year! For a listing of all my posts so far, click here.

Also, don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a bottle of Ovega-3 DHA/EPA! There will be two winners randomly selected and the odds are pretty good right now. It is really easy to enter and the giveaway ends on Friday, October 28th. Enter here.
Twitter: @carrieonvegan


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