Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book Review: Sweet Utopia and some Sweet Potato Lentil Chili

The book: Sweet Utopia: Simply Stunning Vegan Desserts, by Sharon Valencik

Book Publishing Company sent me this book to review a little while back and I've only recently had time to actually make something out of it. The book itself is beautiful! Gorgeous color photographs by the author's husband, Milan Valencik, fill the entire book. The photos alone make you want to make every single thing in this book. And once you browse through it, you'll find yourself bookmarking every other recipe, because they look so good. I have way too many page corners folded over, just waiting for me to try my hand at these recipes, which although they look so gourmet, they don't actually seem too difficult to create. Thank you, Sharon! She has some good information at the beginning of the book on using different ingredients and how to substitute ingredients as well (which always comes in handy). I did finally try the Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins, because I had some leftover pumpkin I didn't know what to do with.  Let me tell won't be able to stop eating them....just ask my husband :)  They're phenomenal! And just so you can try them yourself, I'm including the recipe for them below:

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins
   from Sweet Utopia, by Sharon Valencik (with permission to publish from Book Publishing Company)

1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin
1 cup granulated sugar (I used 3/4 cup turbinado)
1/2 cup canola oil (I used water)
1/3 cup soymilk (I used unsweetened)
3/4 cup nondairy chocolate chips (I used 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and oil a standard 12-cup muffin pan or line it with paper liners.  Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda in a large bowl.  Add the pumpkin, sugar, oil, and soymilk and stir until just combined.  Gently stir in the chocolate chips and optional walnuts.  Spoon evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.


Last night, I made some Sweet Potato Lentil Chili from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan.  I needed to use up some sweet potatoes and this was the perfect choice.  I'm definitely making it again soon.  I just happened to cook up some black beans yesterday morning, so I had some available for the recipe.  It took quite a bit longer to cook than printed, for the sweet potatoes, but that's was ready by the time my husband got back from his Houston trip.

And by the way, if you're interested in keeping tabs on the recipes in this cookbook, check out Ashlei's blog as she cooks her way through it!

Coming up: another book review (Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin) and my "barley" risotto recipe!

Again, don't forget NOLA Veggie Fest tomorrow! I'll be there. For info, click here.

Eat smart,


  1. Those muffins DO look delicious!

  2. Hey girl! Thanks for linking! I love the sweet potato lentil chili. I need to make another batch's been much too long.

  3. i have this book...i need to use it more..thanks for inspiring me!

    and congrats on your goal/wt loss!



Vegetarian Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory