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The Abundance Diet, The 28-Day Plan To Reinvent Your Health, Lose Weight, And Discover The Power Of Plant-Based Foods, Somer McCowan (Vegan Heritage Press, 2015)

The Abundance Diet by Sumer McGowan -review by

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The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan contains many interesting, delicious and creative recipes.  From vegan omelets to sauces and ubiquitous smoothies to dinner entrees, there is something in this cookbook for everyone.  The author is a chef who has worked in all varieties of food service businesses and that experience is presented in the recipes.  McCowan has a flair for combining flavors that may on the surface not appear to work together.  However, when these seemingly incongruous foods are cooked together and eaten it’s clear that something wonderful has been created.

McCowan also gives insight into her own journey to health by way of her conversion to a healthy, vegan diet.  Having been diagnosed with cancer and ulcerative colitis and weighing in at over 100 pounds beyond her recommended weight, her brother talked her into watching the life-changing film “ Forks Over Knives.”  The movie inspired her to try a healthy, whole foods vegan diet.  Fast forward to the present and McCowan is happy, healthy and working to help others find their way to a healthy lifestyle and vegan diet.

The title of the book reflects McCowan’s belief that a vegan diet has many aspects of “abundance”.  Whether you look at the variety of flavors or foods or cuisine choices, abundance abounds in a vegan diet.  No one need be limited to boring or tasteless foods with vegan cuisine.  Chapter 5, “Meal Plans and Shopping Lists” would be very helpful to the recent vegan convert or explorer.  This chapter includes a recommended twenty-eight day menu, with an accompanying shopping guide that includes amounts to purchase whether you are planning to feed one, two or four individuals.  This may just be the tool to help a person start eating vegan.  The book has ample, gorgeous food pictures which complements the writing very well.

A few of the many recipes we enjoyed included Veggie Patch Sunday Morning Omelet, Roasted Tofu and Vegetable Stir-fry with Garlic-Ginger Sauce, and Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Bake.  One recipe that was new and different for us is Veggie Patch Sunday Morning Omelet.  It went together quickly and proved to be very tasty.

Glenn McCarthy (7/31/2015)

Veggie Patch Sunday Morning Omelet – The Abundant Diet by Somer McCowan p. 82

The Omelet:

  • 1  and 1/3 cups chickpea/garbanzo flour
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 T ground flax seed
  • ¼ tsp. ground yellow mustard
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. kala namak (black salt) or sea salt
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder

The Filling:

  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, cleaned, ¼ inch slices
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, ½ inch dice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 medium zucchini, ½ inch dice
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 4 cups packed, fresh baby spinach
  • 4-6 oz. vegan mozzarella shreds or ½ recipe of Vegan Moxarella (Moxarella recipe found on page 16 of The Abundance Diet)

Omelets: in a large bowl, combine the flour, flaxseed, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, black salt, smoked paprika, mustard powder, turmeric, baking powder, and cayenne with a wire whisk.  Add the water and whisk thoroughly to combine.  Do not taste the batter: chickpea flour is not yummy raw.

Let the batter rest for 10 minutes to thicken and absorb the flavors from the spices.  Very lightly oil a nonstick skillet with oil spray and heat over medium heat.

Scoop about ¾ cup of the omelet mixture and smooth into a 7-8 inch round.  Place a lid over the skillet.  Let the omelet cook for 3-5 minutes.  The steam helps cook the omelet.  Check the omelet, when it gets dry and firm, gently flip it over and cook other side for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from skillet and place on a covered plate until all omelets are cooked.

Filling:  Heat the broth in a small skillet over high heat.  Add the onion and sauté until translucent.  Add more broth as necessary, to keep the onions from burning.  Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms release their fluid.  Add in the spinach, a little at a time.  Allow spinach to wilt, before adding more.  Add the tomatoes and sprinkle in liquid smoke and cook another 1-2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Assembly:  Take one omelet and either spread the Moxarella mixture or ¼ of the mozzarella on one side of the omelet, then add ¼ of the filling on the side.  Fold so that the cheese is on top.  Repeat for each omelet.