Vegan Cookbook Review – Blissful Bites

Vegan Cookbook Review – Blissful Bites
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.


Today I wanted to share a vegan cookbook review of Blissful Bites, by Christy Morgan. In a nutshell, I love this cookbook.

I love it so much and in so many ways, that I was worried this review might sound fake and thought about toning it down a bit.

I am really, really picky when it comes to cookbooks. Moving around a lot means that I keep minimal books on my shelf, and having really specific healthy eating habits means that most recipes don’t do things quite the way I would.

This cookbook is one of VERY few that I know I’ll be carting around with me no matter how many times I move.

It would make an awesome gift for anyone in your life – people wanting to eat healthier, or people YOU hope will eat healthier, people on a vegan diet plan or people interested in a vegetarian diet plan. If I didn’t already have it, I would definitely put it on my Christmas list.

One of the best parts of this cookbook for me is that Christy uses minimal oil in her recipes. There’s a lot of steaming, water sauteeing and some baking – perfect coking methods for a healthy eating plan. And yet even without oil, the meals taste rich and flavorful.

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I’ve made her azuki bean and japanese pumpkin soup a couple of times now because it’s so satisfying, but it’s actually very cleansing. When she does use oil in a recipe, it’s a tiny amount.

For those just learning how to cook, or learning how to cook with plant foods, Christy gives the best tips I’ve seen in a cookbook for how to set up your kitchen and prepare whole grains, beans and vegetables. They’re spot on, and give the most important information without being overwhelming so that even the most beginner cook should feel empowered to do it.

Christy’s recipes give you a gentle nudge in certain healthier directions (like using whole foods and lots of vegetables) while making incredibly flavorful and fun dishes and without being pushy.

The recipe I posted last week on Healthy Vegan Recipes was from this book, so if you haven’t already seen it check it out. It was a soup – a thick, flavorful, satisfying soup made with azuki beans and kabocha squash. Phil thought it tasted as rich as his mom’s beef stew, but with the healthy ingredients Christy packs in there it’s actually really light and cleansing.

There are a lot of amazing flavor combinations in her recipes, but one that stands out for me is her Indian pizza with mango chutney… A polenta pizza base (which is a fantastic gluten-free pizza crust option) topped with a spicy-sweet mango chutney and curry-flavored veggies… it tastes ridiculously good, and is such a unique direction to take a pizza.

I went to Mexico when I was in high school, and my favorite meal while I was down there was mole. Mole is a spicy sauce that uses a little bit of dark chocolate or cocoa. It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind to try making for so many years. Christy’s is the first recipe I’ve seen for a simple mole sauce using spices I have in the cupboard. It may not be exactly the same as in Mexico (they use a mix of 13 or more different spices), but it tastes fantastic to me! Then she uses it to top a veggie-and-bean-filled enchilada… it’s so good.

Another special tidbit is that she has a recipe for a pasta sauce that doesn’t use tomatoes. I’ve been figuring out over the last year that I’m slightly sensitive to tomatoes. I wouldn’t call it an allergy, but I notice a few little symptoms after I eat them. Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family, which can cause issues for certain people and are especially problematic for people with joint inflammation.

The trouble is, I LOVE the flavor of tomato sauce… so imagine my excitement when Christy comes along with her mama mia magnifico sauce! It’s a rich pasta sauce made with various root veggies, including a little bit of beet to get that red color. Now, it’s obviously not going to taste exactly like tomatoes, but it has the amazing Italian seasonings that I love and is delicious in its own right.

Something that you may not even notice is that she very rarely uses onions and garlic. She has an explanation of why at the front, and I think the best reason is that they are so hugely overemphasized in North America. It’s actually hard to find recipes that DON’T use onions and garlic.

For me, I’ve been told to reduce my use of them because I have low blood pressure. For two of my aunts, they’re severely allergic to onions. For people in general, Christy says they’re antibiotic – which isn’t necessary in such large quantities when you eat a plant-based diet.

You can of course always add onions and garlic to these recipes if you want, but I think it’s so fantastic of her to come up with recipes that stand on their own without them that I wanted to make a point to mention it here.

One of my favorite sections in the book is the one on sea vegetables. Yup, seaweeds! I’m sure not everyone would be excited to find a chapter of seaweed recipes, but I sure was! Christy very aptly mentions in the intro to that section that ‘sea vegetables are an important missing link in the plant-based diet.’ They’re rich in minerals and vitamins, but don’t get too much attention in our diet.

I’m always trying to find new ways to eat them, because let’s face it – they taste like seaweed. Christy’s recipes are awesome for getting them into a dish so that their flavor works for them, rather than against. The dulse-pumpkin seed condiment is my kitchen’s new star, and I haven’t tried the mock tuna yet but I’m pretty pumped about it.

The dessert section is awesome for me, because it gives a lot of lighter options with fruit for the summer, and also some rich – but still pretty healthy – desserts for winter. One of my favorite little treats is the pumpkin hot chocolate, which is thick and sooo delicious. It makes a perfect treat to sip on a Sunday afternoon while reading.

Some recipes that look amazing and I can’t wait to try out:

  • No-oil pumpkin spice bread – it looks so tasty and so healthy! I might take her suggestion of making it with bananas instead…
  • Blissful two-bean harvest chili – it includes some squash and corn, and lots of other veggies. Much lighter than most chili recipes, so it’s right up my alley.
  • Baked oil-free falafel with tzatziki sauce – I love falafel, but hate the idea of it being deep-fried so I’m really excited to try this recipe. And a dairy-free tzatziki?!?!? awesome…
  • Macro mac and cheeze – I’ve been meaning to try a mac and cheese recipe for a while now, because I figure Phil will like it. Christy’s version sounds perfect for me, since it doesn’t use any oil or nuts – it’s a base of butternut squash and tofu, seasoned with miso and some other awesome things.
  • Zucchini pasta with mint-cashew pesto sauce – this is listed under the summer recipes, since it’s raw and pretty cooling. It sounds so amazingly tasty that I can’t wait for the summer when we have fresh mint growing again.
  • Mango-pineapple tropical soup – this recipe was pretty much made specially for me. If there was a fruit that I could love more than pineapple, it would be mango. Give me an excuse to eat them for dinner, and I am all over that.

I feel like I should say something negative so that it doesn’t seem like I’m just shamelessly calling this cookbook amazing… but to be totally, 100% honest, I just love it. Oh! I just thought of one thing that could make it better – a spiral binding 😉

You can also find some of Christy’s recipes on her site,

What do you think of Blissful Bites and Christy’s recipes? Let me know below.


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