"eat real (food) + live well + feel vibrant" - the motto of Plant Power Bowls author Sapana Chandra is simple and powerful. And just the kind of thing we can get behind.
With 70 vegan recipes that include dishes like the Winter Glow Bowl, Mighty Green Macro Bowl and Chocolate Tahini Fudge Ice Cream its easy to see this gem getting heavy rotation in our kitchens. The book is divided by season and includes an entire chapter devoted to desserts, proving once again that plant based food is as versatile and delectable as it is wholesome and nourishing.
Meet Sapana at Click! on Sunday November 24th from 10-1. Stop in on your way to the West Seattle Farmers Market to catch up with her, pick up your new favorite cookbook and sample the Mini Bliss Balls.
How would you describe your book?
Plant Power Bowls is a celebration of plant-based whole foods. Every bowl is filled with nourishing ingredients, organized by season, to eat fresh throughout the year. While the recipes are all vegan, it’s for anyone who wants to include more plant-based meals in their diets. Each bowl contains a balance of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, proteins, and aligns with my philosophy for good health: eat real (food) and live well, and you will feel vibrant.
What drew you to this style of cooking?
After years of eating takeout and processed foods, I started cooking at home on a regular basis. While I felt great, I wanted cooking to be a sustainable habit and not something I just did for a couple of weeks before going back to old habits that were sabotaging my health.
That’s when bowls entered my life. I would prepare a few ingredients (i.e. a batch of quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, fresh veggies, a couple of dressings) a couple of times a week and then use them to prepare easy meals. This made my meals interesting, tasty, convenient, and sustainable.
Can you tell us about your favorite recipe in this collection?
I have so many favorites it would be hard for me to pick one. Some of my favorites include the Island Black Bean Quinoa Bowl, Quinoa Tabbouleh Bowl, and Blackberry-Lavender Ice Cream!
What is your favorite ingredient to use in recipes and why?
I love using fresh herbs as they add so much flavor when combined with other whole ingredients. Fresh cilantro, mint, parsley, thyme, chives, or any other herb elevate any meal.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“It will be challenging, but there’s nothing you can’t do!” Changing my career path and starting my own business after a thriving corporate career in tech was one of the hardest decisions I’ve made. It came with a lot of uncertainty, more hard work than I had ever imagined, but I did it and it’s brought so much growth and the most incredible opportunities!
Can you describe how you develop recipes?
It usually starts with an idea that sounds delicious. It usually pops up when I’m picking up groceries, walking through a farmers market, enjoying a meal at a restaurant, or browsing online. I jot down my thoughts on my phone. When it’s time to work, I’ll write a first draft of the recipe and what I plan to test. Then I get to testing and tweaking.
When you are cooking, what are you listening to?
Music or an eBook. I’m constantly learning and have found audio-books as one of my favorite ways to learn with a busy schedule. When I just want to relax and focus on cooking, I turn on a favorite playlist.
Where is your favorite place to write and do work?
In my home studio (aka my living room) at my standing desk, which has helped me become more efficient with my time behind the screen. I also love writing at various coffee shops around Seattle.
If you could collaborate with anyone (living or not), who would it be and why?
Julia Child -- she was so inspiring and I adore how she made French cooking accessible to everyone. while having such a wonderful personality and an interesting life outside of the kitchen.
Is there one thing you wish you could tell people when they read your book?
Start with one recipe!
author photo by David Em Photography