You Don't Need to Be Vegan to Love This Plant-Based Cookbook

If you have an air fryer, making plant-based dishes has never been easier.

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September 15, 2020

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Many people rely on their air fryer for healthful solutions for meals — and no one knows that better than Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, MTC. She's written two healthy air fryer cookbooks and her latest one is all about healthy vegan recipes that can be be made in an air fryer. The book is packed with plant-based recipes that are simple, healthy and completely delicious. If you're looking to go vegan, using your air fryer can make it easier and really fun. Dana's book, Healthy Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook, is available for purchase now wherever cookbooks are sold.

Can this book be used by folks other than those following a vegan diet? If so, who?

Dana: You don’t have to follow a vegan diet to get the most out of this book. Actually, that’s me! I am not a strict vegan, but I do love plant-based foods and I wanted to highlight all the special things you can make in an air fryer. Eating a wide variety of fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains and plant-based oils has been linked to reduced risks of chronic illness, plus they are so gosh darn delicious so you really can’t go wrong.

What are several nutrients that may be of concern when eating vegan recipes? What are several ways to add nutrients into a vegan recipe?

To maximize nutrients in this book I make sure to include plenty of protein, calcium and iron from tofu, legumes, leafy greens and seeds. Vitamins and minerals like zinc and vitamin B12 can sometimes be in short supply on a strict vegan diet but foods like nuts, seeds, tempeh and nutritional yeast in incorporated into many of my vegan recipes for that reason.

What are several swaps you recommend for animal foods such as eggs, ground meat, mayo, and Parmesan cheese?

When baking, I find that a mixture of ground flaxseed and water is a great swap for eggs. For ground meet I use a mixture of finely chopped mushrooms and walnuts. Cashews can be blended into the creamiest sauces and condiment and I use similar umami flavors found in nutritional yeast and miso paste to replace the Parmesan cheese.

What are tips for success when using an air fryer?

My number one tip is to keep your air fryer squeaky clean! If food particles build up they can burn and smoke – thankfully plant-based recipes tend to make less of a mess. Another important tip is to pay attention to the temperature. Every machine is a little different so cooking temps and times may need to be adjusted slightly.

Can you share a favorite recipe from the cookbook?

This recipe features an extra creamy cashew-based sauce that is combined with pasta and cauliflower flower to make a complete and satisfying meal. The cream sauce can be made ahead of time and eating leftovers for lunch the next day is highly encouraged.

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Photo by: Kelley Jordan Schuyler

Kelley Jordan Schuyler

Cauliflower Casserole with Cashew Cream Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and chopped

1 tsp kosher salt

4 cups cooked elbow macaroni

1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella-style cheese

Red pepper flakes (optional)

For the sauce

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1: To make the cream sauce, place the cashews in a medium bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 15 minutes. Drain the water and transfer the cashews to a blender. Add the lemon juice, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and set aside.

2: Set the air fryer temp to 400F. Spray 4 mini loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

3: In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, olive oil and salt. Toss well to coat.

4: Place the cauliflower in the air fryer basket and cook until slightly tender and the edges are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Clean out any crumbs from the air fryer basket.

5: Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl. Add the pasta and 1 cup of the cashew sauce. Evenly divide the pasta mixture among the 4 pans. Sprinkle with an equal amount of cheese.

6: Working in batches, plan 2 pans in the air fryer basket and cook until the cheese melts, about 5 to 6 minutes,

7: Remove the pans from the air fryer basket. Allow the casseroles to cool slightly. Serve with the red pepper flakes (if using).

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories: 46; Total Fat: 20 grams; Saturated Fat: 10 grams; Total Carbohydrate: 61 grams; Sugars: 6 grams; Protein: 13 grams; Sodium: 370 milligrams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Fiber: 5 grams

Excerpted from Healthy Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook reprinted by permission of Alpha, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright 2020 by Dana Angelo White

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