Have you ever wondered about the benefits of blending versus juicing? Did you go out and splurge on a fancy new blender and then not know what to do with it? If you are anything like me, then you have no idea how versatile your blender can actually be. I haven’t invested yet in a really good one simply because I didn’t know I could use it for so many things.
Needless to say, I was pretty stoked to meet Tess Masters, aka “The Blender Girl”, for the launch of her cookbook at Melissa’s Produce. The Blender Girl, 100 gluten-free, vegan recipes (2014; Ten Speed Press; $19.99) is a masterful attempt at helping you realize your blender’s full potential. Not only is the book packed with delicious, flavor-punched recipes, Tess also goes into detail about how to choose the perfect blender and care for it, pick healthful ingredients, educates you on the best way to use them and even gives you a whole section of resources for further reading should you find a particular topic that interests you.
Tess, an Australian-born, self-proclaimed “blendaholic” and creator of the blog, The Blender Girl, is voracious about her health and uses blending not only to describe her cooking but also the way she has lived her life by taking principles from different diets and nutrition experts and blending them into her own personalized style. As she tells us in her book, “I quickly saw blending not only as a method of food preparation but also as a guiding metaphor for how I live.” She encourages everyone to find their own balance.
Melissa’s Produce was beyond gracious and welcoming as always. They had prepared several of Tess’s recipes from her book for us to try, the crowd favorite being a smoothie called, Tastes Like Ice Cream Kale – and man, did it taste like ice cream! I was also in love with her creamy cauliflower soup. Melissa’s sent us home with plenty of produce including some beautiful bright orange cauliflower that I used to make it. I love the golden color that resulted and M raved about the creamy richness and depth of flavor. I topped it with some beautiful chive flowers from my herb garden for added flare.
I am absolutely in love with this book and I will be going back to it over and over again for recipes and helpful information. If you have a blender or are looking into getting one, this is one cookbook you will want to have and you have a chance to get it for FREE! Just enter the giveaway below.
- One winner will receive a copy of The Blender Girl Cookbook.
- Must be a U.S. resident 18 or older to enter with a valid U.S. mailing address.
- Deadline to enter is April 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm PST
- Winner will be notified by email and must respond with mailing address within 48 hours.
- The more you enter, the better your chances. Good luck!
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
“The Blender Girl: 100 Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes,” by Tess Masters (2014; Ten Speed Press; $19.99)
Serves 6 as a starter, 4 as a main
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (about 2 cloves), plus more to taste
- 2 cups (200g) chopped leeks (white parts only, from 2 or 3 leeks)
- Natural salt
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 7 cups (1.65l) Massel vegetable broth
- ¼ cup (35g) raw unsalted cashews or ¼ cup (35g) blanched slivered raw almonds, soaked
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives or a grating of nutmeg (optional; choose one, not both), to garnish
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic, leeks and ¼ teaspoon of salt for about 3 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the cauliflower and sauté for another minute. Add the vegetable broth, increase the heat to high, and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is completely tender. Stir the mix periodically and mash the cauliflower with a wooden spoon.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly; stir in the nuts. Pour the soup into your Vitamix in batches and puree on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. (Remember to remove the plastic cap in the Vitamix top and cover the opening with a kitchen towel so steam can escape while you blend.) Return the soup to the saucepan and warm it over low heat. Stir in salt to taste.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with either chopped chives or grated nutmeg.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of Tess Master’s cookbook to review. The cookbook giveaway is provided by Melissa’s Produce. I received no other compensation for this post and all opinions are my own.