Review NATURAL AWAKENINGS MAGAZINE - July 2008 issue
Fast food is the term given to a low quality meal that is served fast, already packaged or through take out. Jamaican born and certified fitness instructor, Sandi Morais, wants to redefine the term fast food, through her new book, Recipe for Life. The book is filled with tips and many recipes intended to help the reader jump-start the day with easy, healthy, and quick recipes that spice up your kitchen. The book is set to music by musician and actor Philip Michael Thomas, who mixed and captured the flavors of Sandi's recipes in sensual reggae music and lyrical poetry.
Morais begins by introducing us to "live juices." like the King Carrot and Pineapple Passion juice. Her delicious salads include the Tabouleah Almond and self named, Sandi's Rainbow. Her soups section is a wonderful journey through world flavors with Soulful Red Bean and my favorite, the Garden of Eden Veggie soup.
Just when you thought it was over, she injects more life into it, with a meals section, which she calls Divine Dishes, a testament to her Jamaican and adventurous spirit to continuously experiment with international cuisine, from Jerk Tofu to her broccoli lasagna, one can't make up their mind as to which to prepare first. I'll leave her "Tantalizing Treats," section to your imagination, except to say that you must try her Nutty Apple Crunch, my favorite.
Recipe for Life review in Sister 2 Sister magazine - August 2009
Lose the Meat, not the Flavor - A Guide to Flavorful Meatless Food
By Whitney Teal
I once went through a short vegan phase. I shunned my dietary staples, which at the time included excessive quantities of Quarter Pounders, in favor of meatless alternatives like tofu and shot glasses of wheatgrass. It was pretty healthy, but everything I ate during that time tasted like dirt. Needless to say, I quickly backslid into an omnivorous lifestyle.
The numbers are sketchy, but PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, estimates the number of American vegetarians (that is, people who do not consume animal products of any sort) at a measly 12 million, less that seven percent of the U.S. population. Although organic foods, soy products and other vegan relics are a growing industry, many still avoid the meatless lifestyle for fear of flavor retribution.
Fitness guru and vegetarian recipe author Sandi Morais (Recipe for Life) is confident that flavor is present even when animal flesh is not. She was convinced after a single trip to a vegetarian restaurant. "I got even more turned on to vegetarian style cooking because of the spices, especially tofu," she raved. "I didn't know tofu could taste so good. The trick, said Sandi, is to complement meatless dishes with the right flavor combinations. Adding spices, and flavors like oregano or cumin and substituting clever spices for meats can turn the dullest vegetables into an appetizing treat. To further spice up other meatless staples, add unexpected bursts of flavor like the cranberries and wheat that Sandi adds to her tabouleah, a triditional Arabic salad.
Sandi's signature Jamaican Pumpkin Soup is a good example. Traditionally made in her native Jamaica with chicken stock, buttermilk and other vegetarian no-noes, Sandi revamped the recipe using thyme, onion and garlic spices to complement the sweet pumpkin meat. Not at all a fan of the pumpkin or turnip, both of which factor heavily into the recipe, I prepared the (supurprisingly easy) recipe with trepidation but am happy to report that the flavors blend wonderfully together to create a balanced, smooth taste.
No vegetarian diet is complete without the abundant use of tofu, a bean curd usually made of soymilk and processed into blocks. All by itself it has a taste reminiscent of cardboard. But tofu has a marvelous, adaptive property that lets it take on the taste of any other food it is mixed with. Sandi began to add to her tofu traditional Jamaican jerk seasoning, combined with onion and turmeric, and it actually tastes good. Tofu manufacturers Superior Tofu also thought of some interesting uses for this meat substitute. Their website (substitutetofu.com) features recipes for dishes like No Cow Cheesecake, which is rich in fruit flavors like lemon and blueberries, and Rita;'s tofu Pizza, which uses a tofu base for both the crust and the toppings. A hardcore fan of authentic New York-style pizza, it didn't convert me to the meatless persuasion but did offer up much more flavor than previous tofu recipes, particularly when I slightly altered the recipe by heave-handedly sprinkling three different types of soy cheeses (chedder, mozzarella and Swiss) over the pizza.
Tofu will probably never taste the same as your grandpa's barbecued ribs, but the right seasonings go a long way to avoid the unbearable dullness of veggies.
Recipe for Life Vegetarian cookbook
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