Book Review + Recipe – Taste for Life: A Complete Guide to Plant-Based Eating by Animals Australia

The shelves in my kitchen are overflowing with cookbooks so the decision to add to my collection is not one that I take lightly. But, when I heard that Animals Australia was releasing Taste for Life: A complete guide to plant-based eating, I knew I had to make room for one more. I am forever on the lookout for some fresh inspiration for delicious, healthy and easy to prepare meals that my family will eat without complaining and besides, I am always happy to support the amazing work that Animals Australia does.

Taste for Life is not just any cookbook, it is as it states in it’s introductory pages ‘your guide to putting your values into action.’ Whether it be for health, environmental or animal welfare reasons, more and more people are choosing to either cut out or cut down on animal products and this book is a great reference for those starting out on that journey, as well as those already on it. It includes plenty of useful information, such as how to cook dried beans from scratch and tips for egg-free baking. It also provides basic nutrition information, such as how to get enough protein and iron from plant foods, which is so important for ensuring the transition to plant-based eating is successful.

The final 3/4 of the book contains 111 recipes under the categories of all-day breakfasts, lunch hour, super salads, on the barbie, dips and dressings, comfort food, what’s for dinner and sweeten the deal, which are all free from animal products. The recipes are a combination of classic vegetarian dishes, such as Homestyle Baked Beans and Ginger and Sesame Tofu as well as some newer ones, such as Cauliflower Buffalo ‘Wings’ and Nacho Queso Dip.

I’ve already made several recipes from the book, such as the Yellow Split Pea Dhal, the Thai Pumpkin Soup and the Caesar Salad with Herb-Roasted Chickpeas (recipe to follow) and they have all got the thumbs up from the family – no complaining! Taste for Life has therefore definitely earned it’s place on my shelf. You can order your copy here.

Caesar Salad with Herb-roasted Chickpeas

1 cos lettuce

1 bunch kale, stems removed

1 small Lebanese cucumber

1 punnet cherry tomatoes

Herb-Roasted Chickpeas

400g tin chickpeas, liquid reserved

1 1/2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

1 teaspoon onion powder or granules

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper, or to taste

Caesar Dressing

1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for at least 10 minutes in boiling water

1 1/2 tablespoons aquafaba (the liquid from the tin of chickpeas)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons Tamara or soy sauce

1-2 garlic cloves, peeled

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

2 teaspoons capers, drained

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons mild-flavoured olive oil


Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius conventional or 155 fan-forced.

To prepare the chickpeas, drain the tin of chickpeas, reserving the liquid for the salad dressing. Toss the chickpeas in a mixing bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice, dried herbs and spices. Pour into a large glass baking dish and roast for 25-35 minutes, or until the chickpeas are crunchy, stirring every 7-8 minutes so they colour evenly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Near serving time, place all the dressing ingredients, except the olive oil, in a blender. Add 1/3 cup water and blend on high until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the blender. Blend for about 1 minute, until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dressing is smooth and creamy. Taste test and add more salt and pepper as desired.

Wash all the vegetables and dry them thoroughly. Chop the lettuce and kale into bite size pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Slice the cucumber into rounds, cut the cherry tomatoes and add to the salad bowl.

Just before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad and gently toss until all the vegetables are well coated. Top with the roasted chickpeas and watch this delicious salad disappear.





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