Whole Foods to Thrive (and two vegan recipes!)

Whole Foods to Thrive

The folks at Penguin Books were kind enough to send me an advance copy of Brendan Brazier’s new book: Whole Foods to Thrive. The book is all about empowering folks to eat a plant-based diet, and it includes information on vegan nutrition, the food-environment link, tips for getting started with healthy, plant-based eating, and a ton of tasty vegan recipes!

Here’s an excerpt from the book’s introduction that I think gives a good idea of the questions this book answers:

Undeniably, unrefined whole food is an essential component to good health, but what attribute determines a food’s nutritional quality? Caloric density? Vitamins? Minerals? Phytochemicals? Antioxidants? I wanted to know. And what is the environmental cost of each of these nutritional components? Certainly not all foods are equal in their nutritional makeup, but how do each of their impacts on the environment compare?

The vegan recipes range from simple things that you can whip up for a quick meal to some fancier dishes that call for some specialized ingredients. It felt like a nice mix of every day cooking and special occasion recipes. They were kind enough to give me permission to share a couple of recipes from the book with you guys, to give you a taste of what’s inside. Check it.

Spicy Lentil Salad

This filling and protein-rich raw recipe is from Beets Cafe in Austin, Texas.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 servings


  • 2 tbsp minced onions
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp jalapeno, finely minced (or more for desired spice)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup sprouted lentils (1/2 cup before sprouting)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Place onions, garlic, cilantro, tomatoes, jalapeno, and lemon juice into a medium bowl and mix well.
  2. Add lentils, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil, and mix. Add salt to taste.
  3. Store in the refrigerator.

Beet Ravioli with Basil Macadamia Ricotta

A fancier dish that is best served as an appetizer. You can also use striped heirloom beets for a stunning presentation, but regular red beets will work as well.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4-6 appetizer servings


  • 3-4 medium yellow beets, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • hemp oil, for garnish
  • basil, shredded for garnish
  • freshly cracked black pepper, for garnish

Cooking Directions

  1. Shave the beets very thinly into circular rounds by using a mandolin or a sharp knife. Set aside.
  2. Place the macadamia nuts and sea salt in a food processor, and process until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in the tahini, lemon juice, and basil to form a ‘ricotta.’
  3. For each ravioli, spoon a small portion of ricotta into the center of a beet round, and top with a second beet round, like a sandwich. Once the raviola have been plated, drizzle with a little hemp oil, basil, and pepper.

Hungry for more? You can snag a copy of whole Foods to Thrive on Amazon and find even more tasty recipes from Brendan Brazier on his MyVega website.

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