Kristina’s Bookshelf

7 Day Vegan Challenge:
Featuring Over 70 Tasty Recipes and Menu Plans

By Bettina Campolucci Bordi
(Hardie Grant Books, 2020)

Maybe your new year’s resolutions include eating less meat or even going fully vegan. If you’re in the latter camp, The 7 Day Vegan Challenge cookbook is a great way to try a vegan diet for a week. Bettina Campolucci Bordi, who hosts the popular blog Bettina’s Kitchen, found her way to eating vegan as a way to address personal health issues after being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis.

I have a thing for dals, so the first dish I tried was Bordi’s red lentil dal with tandoori-spiced chickpeas, which is made pleasantly sweet with the unconventional addition of Medjool dates. It’s a hearty, filling dish that I could eat for lunch or dinner. Other combinations that caught my eye include a dish of roasted carrots, celeriac, potatoes, onions, and parsnips with a ginger-peanut sauce; a spicy red lentil and quinoa stew cooked in a single pot; and herb-crusted portobello mushrooms with spinach in a “cream” made from cashews, almonds, or sunflowers. The book offers many creative desserts, and also includes recipes for pantry items like a nut-free Parmesan-style cheese made from sunflower seeds, vegan bullion, and nutritional yeast. Recipes are simple and come together quickly.

Helpful icons at the top of each recipe show in a glance if a dish can be batch-cooked, if it’s nut- or gluten-free, how long it will keep in the refrigerator, and if it can be frozen. In addition to 70 recipes designed for one or two servings, the book includes meal plans, shopping lists, and tips for batch cooking, freezing, and preparing dishes ahead of time.

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with our readers.