As a culinary nutritionist, personal chef and wellness coach, I am passionate about the benefits of eating a plant-based, whole food diet without sacrificing flavor. I founded Karma Chow in 2007 to bring healthy eating to the masses in a simple, logical way through teaching cooking classes, one-on-one coaching, lecturing and online programs.
I’ve learned that people are eager for this education. They’re becoming more aware that not one way of eating works for everyone, and as a result want to discover what works for their body.
My passion is aligned with the Clean Plates philosophy, especially in making healthy eating enjoyable and simple without sacrificing flavor.
Below are three recipes from my new cookbook, The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook: 125+ Plant-Based Vegan Recipes for a Fit, Happy, Healthy You. Together they make a delectable, healthful fall meal to serve at any table. You may not need to tell your guests the dishes are vegan — they’re full of rich, abundant flavor! Enjoy!
The following recipes are reprinted with permission from Karma Chow.
Indian Spiced Coconut Yam Soup
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoons garam masala
3 large carrots, diced
3 large garnet yams, peeled and cubed
4 cups veggie broth or bouillon (2 cubes with 4 cups water)
1 can coconut milk
Sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste
In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté ginger, garlic, celery & onion in coconut oil until translucent and soft. Add garam masala and stir to combine to release the flavor of the spice. Add carrots, yams and veggie broth. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until yams are soft. Remove from heat and add coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper. Puree using a hand blender, season with salt and pepper and top with cinnamon before serving.
Variation: Add 1 cup red lentils to soup while cooking and increase water by 1 cup.
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
2 shallots, cut into thin circles
1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
sesame seeds (optional garnish)
⅓ cup tahini
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or umeboshi vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari or Bragg’s Amino Acid
1 cup filtered water
Blend all sauce ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté shallots until translucent. Add kale and tahini sauce. Cover and steam for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce starts to bubble and thicken. Do not overcook. Top with sesame seeds, if using.
White Bean and Zucchini Salad
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
2 shallots, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
1 cup chopped baby spinach
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, marinated in oil, drained and thinly sliced
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion and shallot in olive oil until translucent and caramelized. Add the thyme, sage, and marjoram, and stir to combine to release the flavor of the herbs. Add the zucchini and sauté until lightly browned. Pour into a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Season with sea salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled.
Melissa Costello, Karma Chow founder, cookbook author, culinary nutritionist and wellness coach, has a passion for healthy, delicious food and nutrition. Vegetarian at 19, she began experimenting with healthier, plant-based versions of everyday recipes. She created the 30-Day Vital Life Cleanse: Food-based cleansing that changes people’s lifestyles and relationship to food.
Images courtesy of Karma Chow.