Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families

July 7th, 2015 · Lisa · book review, Review, Vegan · Comments

Whenever you’re contemplating a change, you look for people who’ve done it before who may be able share their wisdom. Before you go to university you talk to alumni, when you’re starting a new job you try to find colleagues who know the culture, when you’re starting a family you ask a lot of parents what to expect and when you’re contemplating a healthier lifestyle you look for people who have lived it successfully.

When it comes to feeding a family a healthy, satisfying, plant-based diet, Dreena Burton is the go-to guru. She has raised three beautiful daughters while writing 5 amazing vegan cookbooks. Her latest offering, Plant-Powered Families is focused on sharing the lessons she’s learned along the way for creating delicious, family-friendly meals.

You may already know that I’m a big fan of Dreena (and her recipes). I own all of her books and turn to them often. When I’m cooking for my nieces and nephews, Dreena’s reliability rate is off the charts, which means not only do the recipe work but the kids eat them up.

Now that I’m getting prepared to step into the realm of motherhood (12 weeks until my due date), this book is providing lots of food for thought. I know I have a few years before I need to consider what my little one will eat at birthdays and slumber parties, but just having on-hand her plant-powered nutrition facts is allowing me to answer all the inquiries about how a vegan diet can satisfy a growing child’s nutritional needs with greater ease.

If you don’t have children to feed, don’t worry, you’ll still love this book because:

  • The recipes are based on whole, nourishing ingredients. Eating awesomely is awesome.
  • The recipes are simple enough for any novice cook to follow with great success. We all need quick, delicious meal and snack ideas. We’re busy people.
  • The book is full of helpful hints for packing lunches (check out this great article on the topic she published online), meal planning and allergen-free alternatives.
  • And, Dreena makes the best cookies I’ve ever had, ever. I’m expecting the Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies to become my new favourite treat.

When Plant-Powered Families arrived, I flipped through the pages, selecting a handful of recipes to try (enticed by Nicole’s fantastic photos).

I started with the Sniffle Soup, because I came home from VVCIII with a terrible cold. The recipe makes a big, comforting pot of nourishing lentils. Lucky for you, Dreena has shared the recipe online.


Next up I tried the Protein Power Balls. During my pregnancy I’ve been encouraged to increase my protein intake. These sweet treats are the perfect solution because they makes power-packed snacking so simple. Dreena recently wrote a fantastic piece for Today’s Parent about protein-rich recipes for kids, which included the recipe for these super-handy protein power balls.


Then I wanted an easy weeknight meal and landed on the Zesty Raw Almond Sauce which I poured over soba noodles and lightly steamed veggies. Sascha and I like our sauces pretty spicy, Dreena’s sauce is a little sweeter, which I know will make it a favourite of most families. With a hearty squirt of Siracha we were both in love.

It won’t surprise you at all that Plant-Powered Families has been receiving lots of rave reviews online, Green Evi’s review included the recipe for this spectacular sauce.

peanutsauceAs Toronto’s humidity has hit, I’ve been craving cooling recipes at the end of the day. Banana soft-serve has long been one of my favourites, but Dreena’s Banana Butter Ice Cream recipe in Plant-Powered Families is phenomenal. I won’t spoil the surprise but you must try it. Must.


And finally, on Father’s Day we made Dreena’s Cinnamon French Toast. It was incredible. It was Sascha’s first vegan French toast recipes and he was thoroughly impressed. It was easy to make and we continued to talk about how much we enjoyed it all day long. The ever generous Dreena posted this recipe on Mother’s Day, so pick a day and celebrate with a perfect festive breakfast.


Since it has taken me awhile to get this post up, I keep making and more things from Plant-Powered Families, which is saying a lot since I have over a hundred vegan cookbooks on my shelves and many on-deck for future reviews. But I couldn’t resist a batch of No-Bake Granola Bars and rounding out an evening meal with the Saucy BBQ Chickpeas and Green Beans.

As you can see, I love this book. Dreena has released a great resource for serving up satisfying meals and snacks that you can enjoy everyday. Of course, she’s also thoughtfully included some show-stopping treats that can take centre stage at your next celebration. I need an invitation to party so I can make the Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake.

I think you need a copy. Plus you can think of it as a gift for your family and friends.

Once you’ve got your copy, check out Nicole’s beautiful photography throughout the book. Nicole’s an amazing friend and my co-author of DIY Vegan (so you’ll be seeing a lot more of her talent in the months to come).  If you’re looking for some great recipes to start with, check out her post on Plant-Powered Families. She tested every recipe in the book and highlights her personal favourites.

I hope you’re all enjoying your July so far. I’ll be back next week with a great refreshing recipe. xo


  1. Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:41 am

    You and Today’s Parent. This post is too much for my heart to bear.

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      I love you Hannah.

  2. Nicole
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Love love love this book, and I’m so happy you’re enjoying it too! Thanks so much for the shout-out. xo

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 8, 2015 at 9:23 am

      Much deserved my friend, your photos are beautiful! xoxo

  3. Dreena Burton
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    ohhh Lisa. My heart is glowing again reading your post. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and recipe experiences from PPF. I’m so happy you are enjoying the book, and even happier that you will soon be experiencing a kiddo’s take on vegan goodies for yourself! <3 Warmest thanks for your beautiful words – and also your delicious photos. Looking forward to sweetest baby pics soon!! x

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 8, 2015 at 9:22 am

      Always a pleasure to sing your praises. xoxo

  4. Posted August 7, 2015 at 8:36 am

    I was looking for reviews of this book and stumbled upon yours! Thanks for the great comprehensive read. The recipes look great – and that sniffle soup is calling to me (and I don’t even have the sniffles.)

    • theveganlisa
      Posted August 11, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      Thank you MeShell!

Post Comment →

Post Comment