Vegetarian at its best

Pinkest Party Dip (Photographs copyright Heidi Swanson)

New York Times bestselling author Heidi Swanson has recently released a new cookbook that celebrates whole-food vegetarian recipes with “Super Natural Simple.”

Swanson, the author of “Super Natural Cooking,” “Super Natural Every Day” and “Near & Far,” is also a two-time James Beard Award winner.

In this new cookbook, she offers 120 streamlined recipes that offer a whole-food approach as well as minimal ingredients and time-saving tips.

The recipes are divided into 10 chapters: Make-Ahead Mornings, Snacks & Other Quick Bites, The Best Salads, Nourishing Soups & Stews, Weeknight Noodles, Single Skillets, Sheet-Pan Meals, Easy Grills, One-Bowl Bakes and Easy-Drinking Refreshers, and are accompanied by gorgeous, full-color photos. Breafkast dishes included Deviled Egg Toast, French Onion Breakfast Strata and Jasmine-Chia Breakfast Pudding. Snacks include Puffed Rice Party Mix and Burrata Ball Four Ways. Salads offer Crunchy Peanut & Saffron Citrus Salad, Five-Minute Bean Salad and Lemony Carrot Salad. Soup recipes include Ten-Ingredient Masala Chili and Winter Green Miso Soup. Noodles has recipes for Som Tum Noodles, Ditalini “Risotto” with Broccoli & Pine Nuts and Green-Herb-Soba Bowl. Skillet dishes include Spicy Curry-Banzo Bowl, Tempeh-Ponzu Balls and Slow & Low Eggplant. Sheet-Pan dishes offer Spicy Chickpeas with Kale & Coconut, Golden Oven Fries with Dipping Sauce and Roasted-Chile-Peanut Tofu, Grills have Grilled Corn Salad with Salty-Sweet Lime Dressing, Ratatouille on the Grill and Cheesy Lemon Pepper Polenta. One-Bowl dishes offer Lemon-Millet Soda Bread, Big Raspberry-Rye Cookies and Sunflower Brittle. Drinks include Matcha Seltzer, Coco Teas and Iced Hibiscus Cooler.

The speed of the recipes, simpleness of the ingredients and the accessibility of the vegetarian dishes all make this a great cookbook for anyone. There’s plenty of variety and can be tailored to anyone’s lifestyle.

Try out a recipe from the book with a great snack, Pinkest Party Dip.

“Super Natural Simple” is published by 10 Speed Press. It is $28.

Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com.


Reprinted with permission from Super Natural Simple. Copyright ç 2021 by Heidi Swanson. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.



The color of this festive bean dip is electric, and the flavor has a hint of earthiness from the beets, brightened with the sunshine of citrus and the heat of chiles. I tend to use cannellini beans, but any creamy white bean will do. Dragon fruit (pitaya) powder takes the hot pink color from the beets and turns it nearly neon, but absolutely don’t skip the recipe if you can’t find it. Also, if you can get your hands on a habanero chile, swap in a quarter of it for the cayenne. The habanero is nice when paired with the fresh citrus juice for a traditional Yucatecan flavor combo.


2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon dragon fruit (pitaya) powder (optional)

1 (2-inch-diameter) raw red beet, peeled

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice, plus more to taste

2 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/4 piece habanero chile

1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons tahini

Dried rose petals, mixed nuts or seeds (walnuts, hemp, sesame), and/or citrus zest to serve

Place the beans in a blender or food processor and add the dragon fruit powder, beet, citrus juice, garlic, cayenne, salt, and tahini. Blend for 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender once or twice along the way. Taste and add more citrus juice or salt as needed.Serve the dip smeared across a serving platter or in a bowl topped with rose petals, whatever nuts or seeds you like, and zest.


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