Giveaway! Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan!

Giveaway! Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan!
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.


When I think of Dreena Burton, I think of veggie burgers and cookies. Her newest cookbook, Let Them Eat Vegan!, has plenty of both.

If you wonder what a mom of three makes to keep her family healthy and happy on a vegan diet plan, you should see the amazing recipes this lady cranks out.

And she’s being ever-so-kind in offering a FREE copy to one of you! I’ll put the details on the giveaway down at the bottom, so be sure to scroll down because you’re going to want to win this one for sure!!

My copy already has chocolate and quinoa and banana and tahini and fig smears along with lots of post-its and notes – very well-used in the short time I’ve had it!

I had the huge pleasure of talking with Dreena by video chat earlier this year, and the even bigger pleasure of meeting her in person at Vegetarian Summerfest.

I hope it doesn’t taint my review of her cookbook if I tell you that I love her as a person, and all of her wonderful energy and enthusiasm.

Evidence of her passion for what she does is her recent series of Plant-Powered Kids posts. If you have kids, or are thinking about having kids, and want advice on anything from pregnancy to food introduction to packing lunches check out these articles!

The information, the honesty, the support – you can just feel the heart and soul she poured into each and every one of those posts jump off the screen.

Ok, so back to her cookbook…

I am seriously impressed with her recipes – they’re easy to make (though there are some fancier ones thrown in there, for those who want it), taste phenomenal and are totally healthy.

The recipes themselves are impressive, as well as the great info Dreena slips in about healthy eating and a balanced vegan diet, but what’s even more impressive is that this is her FOURTH cookbook.

And these aren’t your tiny niche cookbooks like vegan holiday cookies – these are 4 full-on cookbooks full of hundreds of well-tested recipes.

Dreena is a true cookbook author, which amongst the plethora of bloggers-writing-cookbooks is sometimes underappreciated.

I know lots of you want me to write a cookbook, but I have to tell you – with people like Dreena out there, I really don’t feel like I need to, or that I could ever come close to what she’s put together.

Usually, I really don’t enjoy following recipes (even my own! I almost never make the exact same thing twice…) and most often change a little thing here or there, but following Dreena’s recipes was actually really fun!

I found myself flipping through the book wanting to make every single one, and considered doing a little Julie & Julia-type thing…

Not only are the recipes incredibly well-thought-out, so they’re easy and straight-forward, but Dreena has so many fun stories and notes that go with each recipe.

She also has really awesome recipe names, and some of them remind me of the Roald Dahl stories I loved when I was little.

This could be because she’s making food for her daughters, but I think it’s just because she’s so fun – and saucy 😉

Every time I think about making her cocoa almond jumbles, I think of the BFG saying, “Never is nasty! Frobscottle is sweet and jumbly!”

She uses ‘jumble’ and ‘snackle’ to describe the healthy treats she makes that are like a cookie-muffin cross, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to call that form of treat anything else…

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The intro has tips and info and a great explanation of all the tools and ingredients she uses that you may not recognize if you’ve never cooked with healthy, whole plant foods.

Dreena’s recipes are exactly in line with how I do a healthy eating plan – lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and seasonings…

Oh yeah, Dreena sure knows how to season things! Those of you with kids will appreciate her notes, because she has kid-friendly seasonings plus notes on making it more ‘adult-minded’.

She uses tons of fresh veggies and greens, and shows you how to make those healthy beans and legumes into a huge variety of wonderful dishes – from soups to burgers to loaves to salads to dips and sauces.

The focus of the recipes is on healthy whole plant foods, but not crazy strict about it. Even her ‘treats’ are low-sugar and low-oil enough that I’ve been making a batch of something for Phil and his dad every single week.

She has breakfast-type cookies, which use absolutely minimal sugar and oil or just whole food sweetness and fat from dates or nuts/seeds, and then more treat-type cookies that use just enough oil and sugar to satisfy your biggest cravings but still healthy enough to keep you on track with a healthy eating plan.

And I haven’t even gotten my way into the raw dessert bars and the ice cream chapter yet…

She gives all kinds of substitution notes, including making the recipes gluten-, soy- and nut-free – although most recipes don’t have any wheat, gluten or soy anyway.

She gives notes on how she makes things, what recipes she pairs together for meals, and tips to make sure things come out perfectly.

For instance, when I was making her creamed cheese brownies with salted dark chocolate topping (I know, right??), I was thinking ‘this doesn’t look like enough batter…’

Sure enough, Dreena has a note: ‘Trust the baking process! The amount of batter used for the base – and then topping – looks like it cannot possibly fill out to form a beautiful brownie. Lucky for us, the oven creates some magic in about half an hour!’

So I said, ‘alright, Dreena, I’m going to trust you!’ And she was totally right. Going through these recipes is like cooking with a friend, who’s also a genius vegan cook.

And then my favorite note is on making recipes ‘more-ish’ – I love the term, and I also love the idea of adding a bit of an extra oomph to a recipe to make it super delicious as a treat or for making when trying to impress people with how yummy vegan food is.

There’s no vegenaise or pre-made vegan meats in this book, it’s all good homemade stuff. She even has recipe for ‘almonnaise’ and vanilla cashew yogurt so you can make your own.

Even though it’s all homemade, it doesn’t take a ton of time. One of the (many) things I love about Dreena is that she knows how to use her food processor and blender to make food prep so quick and easy.

Recipes I’ve Tried:

Ok, this might take a while… remember I said how much fun I was having making her recipes? Well, I was enjoying them so much that I didn’t even think about making anything else for a couple of weeks…

  • Romesc-oat Sauce: This was amazingly delicious, especially considering how easy it is to make. I served it tossed with spaghetti squash and sundried tomatoes, with a sprinkle of chives on top. I liked it so much, I asked Dreena if I could share it with you – and I made it on video for you!
  • Kale Slaw With Curried Almond Dressing: I already posted a video to show you this one, and it’s really delicious so go try it!
  • Smoky Spiced Tahini Sauce: So nice, and really simple to make. Exactly how I make it, but with some awesome flavor.
  • Creamy Grilled Eggplant Dip: Ridiculously good. I don’t like babaganoush (middle eastern eggplant dip), but loved this dip to pieces.
  • Mexican Bean Soup: Yummy!! And so easy, I threw it together in no time for a delicious dinner. It’s a bit like chili, but in soup form, which I really liked because I find chili too thick sometimes.
  • Peanut Thai Vegetable Stew: Really yummy, bursting with lots of great flavors – and veggies!

Peanut Thai Vegetable Stew

  • French Lentil Soup With Smoked Paprika: I’d been eyeing the smoked paprika in the store for some months now, but Dreena has quite a few recipes using it and it motivated me to go ahead and buy it. No regrets. That stuff is amazing – and goes perfectly with lentils.
  • Warmly Spiced Quinoa Chickpea Stew With Figs: She had me at ‘figs’… this is so ridiculously good. No other words for it…
  • No-Fu Love Loaf: This is the easiest loaf recipe I’ve found, and we all loved it. Perfect flavors, Phil thought it tasted just like the meatloaf he remembers from his childhood.
  • Chickpea Pumpkin Seed Burgers: These were so good I licked my fingers when I finished making them into patties. Even better once baked 😉
  • Mediterranean Bean Burgers: I may have licked my fingers after making these ones, too… such amazing flavors!! And super easy. Dreena is the queen of veggie burgers.
  • Kids’ Cheesy Chickpea and White Bean Soup: There weren’t any kids around to eat this, but we all sure enjoyed it!! I topped it with parsley-pistachio pesto, pea sprouts and shaved red pepper.

Mushroom Asparagus Tacos

  • Wholesome Oat Snackles: I loved these. I added the extra spices listed in her Breakfast Cookies because I love spices, but I loved the texture of these little guys – and the hemp seeds!
  • Cocoa Almond Jumbles: I’m a big fan of chocolate for breakfast, and these jumbles (muffin-cookie cross) are a perfect healthy way to enjoy chocolate for breakfast.
  • Monsta Cookies: These reminded me of the huge cookies my mom used to make…
  • Triple-Threat Chocolate Coconut Macaroons: These are on my list to make again…
  • Chocolate Cornmeal Cookies: I made these with her suggestion of orange zest – soooooo good
  • Raisinet Cookies: This recipe was inspired by chocolate-covered raisins, and is one of my favorites. I love the touch of molasses in them, just perfect. I also sat there thinking to myself ‘What are Raisinets?’ for a moment, until I read in the description that they’re called Glosettes in Canada. OH! It all makes sense now…
  • Gingery Cookies: Ok, these are my other favorites! Soft ginger cookies, and I love the cocoa substitution she gives to make them chocolate ginger cookies. I’m a big ginger fan, and the chopped crystallized ginger is a really nice treat.
  • Creamed Cheese Brownies With Salted Dark Chocolate Topping: The cream cheese is made from cashews, and these brownies were a big hit around here while they lasted.

Oat Snackles And Cream Cheese Brownies

On My To-Make list:

All of them!! Seriously, I do want to make them all… I wouldn’t have to think about what to make for dinner for a year… But these are my top priorities:

  • Oat ‘n’ Applesauce Muffins: My mom used to make applesauce muffins, and I loved them.
  • Chia Banana Muffins: I love anything with banana, but this muffin sounds so good sweetened with maple syrup.
  • Strawberry Goji Muffins: Goji berries and strawberries? Brilliant.
  • Proper Healthy Granola Bars: These are loaded with good stuff, and Phil loves having granola bars to take for snacks.
  • Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls: Dreena has the right idea on these – they sound super indulgent, but they’re totally healthy!
  • Smoky Sweet Potato And Black Bean Salad: Woah, how have I not made this yet?? Thanks for the reminder… dinner tonight solved!
  • Creamy Cumin-Spiced Dressing: Three of my favorite things in one – creamy, cumin and dressing. Oh, and she put a little maple syrup in there – perfect!
  • Creamy Carrot-Miso Dip: It’s funny, I was thinking to myself one day that I should make a dip with carrots and miso. Shortly after, I saw this recipe and knew it was meant to be. Unfortunately, I can’t find any miso at the grocery store right now…
  • Moroccan Bean Stew With Sweet Potatoes: oh, the spices… totally my kind of recipe
  • Thai Chickpea Almond Curry: Phil loves curries. So do I, but he really goes nuts for them.
  • Beans ‘n’ Greens Soup: How can you go wrong?

Now, a quick note for those who have oil/sugar/salt restrictions – there’s some of all those things in Dreena’s recipes, just as there is in my own recipes. The amount is really minimal, and she always lists the unrefined version you should use to keep it healthy.

Dreena says, ‘My approach to an enjoyable and healthy plant-based diet is to eat a lot of the good stuff (85-90% whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds), and then you have some wiggle room (pants size included) for healthier indulgences’.

Well said! I could not agree more with that statement. Oil, salt and sugar aren’t evil, and you can be perfectly healthy – and lose weight! – with them in your diet as long as you don’t go overboard.

Some people might need to eliminate them for a short period because of severe health complications, but for most people there’s no reason to totally avoid those things – especially when you follow a healthy eating plan with lots of whole foods.

I want to get into that as a post on its own some time soon, but till then that sums it up to a tee!

Giveaway! Enter Now

The giveaway starts now, and Rafflecopter will randomly choose a winner next Tuesday at 12:01am (aka Monday at midnight). I put in a few ways to enter – none are mandatory, but each one gets you an extra entry.

Good luck! I can’t wait to be able to share this amazing cookbook with one of you 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To all of you who ask me what a good cookbook is, this one is your answer!

It’s perfect for anyone transitioning to a healthy vegan diet, since the recipes are easy and really delicious, and for anyone looking to eat a whole-foods-centered diet.

It’s perfect for families with kids, and it’s also perfect for anyone who likes to have fun in the kitchen making healthy food. Does that cover everyone? I hope so!

You can buy the book on Dreena’s site, plus subscribe to get her new recipes and updates – including the cutest how-to recipe videos, with her daughter filming.

Have you tried any of Dreena’s recipes yet? Let me know which are your favorites (especially cookies!) below…


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