About halfway through my first time reading Chantal Coolen’s Cook with Kindness, I quit marking interesting recipes—because I realized I was marking every single page. This is one of those cookbooks where everything sounds good, and doable. Every cookbook claims that its recipes are “simple,” but the ones in CWK really are. You’ll rarely find one with more than 10 ingredients—and the most “exotic” of those is probably arrowroot powder.
All recipes in the book are vegan and gluten-free; while every recipe I tried was great (definitely give the Spaghetti and “Meatballs” a try), the beautifully simple breakfasts and desserts are especially impressive. Everything is made with real ingredients that are probably sitting in your kitchen right now, including Maple Tempeh Bacon, Overnight Oatmeal, Blueberry-Cinnamon Quinoa, Peanut Butter Cups and Caramel Apple Pie. The photos are beautifully styled, but still make the food look real, and the steps aren’t overly complicated. Chantal has a degree in nutrition, so you can be confident that everything is on the nutritious side, but there’s absolutely no pretension about the fact that the food is healthy. Her notes on the recipes are super straightforward and helpful, too. This would be an ideal book for someone who just went vegan or gluten-free, or someone who’s been doing it for years but is in a rut or needs some new go-to recipes.
Omelets might be something you wouldn’t expect to find in a vegan cookbook, but thanks to tofu, they’re in there! Chantal’s version of this savory brunch dish can be enjoyed by everyone with the help of silken tofu, turmeric and nutritional yeast. Cook With Kindess‘ Tofu Omelet is cooked essentially just like an egg-based omelet. Make these for a leisurely breakfast at home, or whip them up as breakfast-for-dinner. Once you master the basic formula, you can swap in whatever veggies and fillings you happen to have in the fridge. Chantal recommends serving with spinach, red peppers, broccoli mushrooms and your favorite non-dairy cheddar cheese.
A savory tofu omelet recipe from Cook with Kindness by Chantal Coolen, reprinted with permission from Able Sense Publishing Limited. Photo by Jeff Harper.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ red or orange pepper, finely chopped
- ¾ cup broccoli, finely chopped
- ¾ cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup packed baby spinach
- 12.3-oz (349 g) package silken tofu (firm)
- ¼ cup soy milk
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup grated non-dairy cheddar cheese
- Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pepper and broccoli and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the spinach and continue to cook until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the tofu, soy milk, nutritional yeast, arrowroot powder, mustard, garlic, sea salt, turmeric, and ground pepper and process until smooth.
- Heat an 8-inch non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. When your pan is hot, pour a heaping 1/3 cup of batter into the centre of the pan. Using a spatula, spread the batter out into an even circle, covering the bottom of the pan. Cook the omelette until the top is dry, about 4 minutes. With the spatula, gently loosen the edges of the omelette from the pan and turn the heat down to medium low. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the grated cheese and ¼ of the vegetable mixture over the bottom half of the omelette and flip the top half over the filling. (Note: The top half will not completely cover your filling, and that’s okay.)
- Continue cooking the omelette until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Slide the omelette onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, cheese, and vegetable mixture.