I'm nearly done reading Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. Designed for newbie vegans, this book has a chapter a day on the essentials of a compassionate, healthy diet. Since I last checked in on Day 21 (cinnamon coffee cake!!), I've read about the importance of fiber (gotta poop!), eating by color (something Colleen deals with in way more detail in her awesome cookbook, Color Me Vegan), and surviving holiday get-togethers on a vegan diet.
Recipes are peppered throughout the book, and there are several fun (and colorful) ones in the chapter on eating by color. That's where I found the recipe for this Garlic 'n' Greens Soup:
The green hue may not look super-sexy, but this low-cal soup is delicious and wholesome. There's a whole head of garlic in the broth, plus potatoes and calcium-rich bok choy. It's practically fat-free aside from the tablespoon of oil used to saute the garlic.
Also in the color chapter was a recipe for Polenta Squares:
I served these with marinara sauce for dipping, as a grainy side to my soup. The polenta is cooked with sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh parsley. It's chilled so it becomes super firm, and then it's cut into strips. The strips are fried in a saute pan until brown on both sides. I used non-stick cooking spray for frying to cut back on the fat.
This will be my last official review post on this book since I'm almost done reading through it, but I'm sure I'll be re-visiting the recipes often. All the recipes in this book are tried and tested recipes from Colleen's other books: The Joy of Vegan Baking, The Vegan Table, and Color Me Vegan. Though I already have all of those books, I heard Colleen mention in her podcast — Vegetarian Food for Thought — that she considered the recipes in The 30-Day Vegan Challenge to be her favorites. It's nice to have a cookbook author's "greatest hits" all in one place.
If you're new to veganism or Colleen's books, this would be a great place to start. And it'd make a great Christmas gift for the aspiring vegan in your life. I review a lot of products and cookbooks, and I like most of them. But I rarely make such a pitch for readers to buy them. I really admire all that Colleen does to spread the message of compassion in such a positive way. This book will make new vegans. And it probably already has.