Cookbook Review & Giveaway: Extraordinary Vegan (plus Chocolate-Banana-Mint Smoothie)

Chocolate Banana Mint Smoothie An Unrefined Vegan

There are lots of vegan cookbooks out there to help you get a meal on the table quickly and easily – those are the kind that I turn to most often.  And there are lots of vegan cookbooks with lengthy and detailed recipes for when you have the time and want to create really special meals (like when you want to impress those doubting non-vegan friends of yours…).  In theory, I love to make gorgeous, complex, slow food, but in practice, most of the time I need simple, easy, delicious.  Extraordinary Vegan by Alan Roettinger exists in the middle between those simple/fast cookbooks and fancy/slow cookbooks.

Extraordinary Vegan Cover

You’ve heard the expression “food made with love,” right?  Well, I was thinking about this and wondering what it might really mean.  What difference would love make?  If there was love in the food, how on earth would it have gotten there?  Then I had an epiphany: Attention is the currency of love. – Alan Roettinger

By using a few unusual ingredients and preparing meals with care and attention, Mr. Roettinger believes that the home cook can serve up simple, beautiful meals that go beyond the ordinary.  He begins with a glossary of ingredients followed by a chapter on fundamentals – recipes like garlic oil, preserved lemons (you’ve got to make these!), and chocolate ganache.  These basic recipes are often the “extraordinary” ingredient in Mr. Roettinger’s creations.  Recipes for both savory and sweet breakfasts are up; then it’s on to sauces, dips and condiments followed by snacks; soups; salads; beans and lentils; pasta and grains; vegetables; and finally, simple yet stunning desserts that prominently feature fresh fruits (and a bit of chocolate, of course!).

I appreciate the book’s emphasis on whole foods, fresh ingredients, and complex flavors.  The instructions are straightforward and easy to follow and the full-page color photos elegantly showcase the food.  For those of us living in rural areas, getting our hands on some of the more unusual ingredients (baharat, maca powder, ahi panca) might prove to be difficult (my local grocery doesn’t even carry tofu, let alone ras el hanout), but there’s not much one can’t get online.

To get your mouth watering, I’m pleased to be able to share Mr. Roettinger’s recipe for Chocolate-Banana-Mint Smoothie – a yummy and healthy way to start your day.  And thanks to Book Publishing Company, I have a copy of Extraordinary Vegan to give away to one of my readers.  You can enter the giveaway below.  Entrants are limited to those in the U.S. and is open until midnight (CT) February 25.


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Chocolate-Banana-Mint Smoothie

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  • Author: Alan Roettinger
  • Yield: 2 1x


  • 1 1/2 cups coconut water or water
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder, or 2 tbsp. Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 8 pitted medjool dates
  • 2 Tbsp. flax oil
  • 1 tsp. maca powder, optional
  • 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract


  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve at once.


  • Reprinted with permission from Alan Roettinger and Book Publishing Company.


  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 647
  • Sugar: 77
  • Sodium: 207
  • Fat: 24
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 19
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 110
  • Protein: 14
  • Cholesterol: 0

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Muesli An Unrefined Vegan

Enter the giveaway!

48 thoughts on “Cookbook Review & Giveaway: Extraordinary Vegan (plus Chocolate-Banana-Mint Smoothie)

  1. Elena Vassilieva

    Thank you for this giveaway! I’d love to win! I make a simple meal extraordinary by presenting it with a smile.

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      That’s food made with love! We also never eat out – – but mostly because we live out in the boonie! Honestly, I prefer home cooked anyway.

  2. Katie M

    I have never tried maca powder before, although I’ve heard about its nutritional benefits. Does it have a very strong flavour?

  3. Katie M

    A handful of fresh herbs or adding flax, chia, or hemp seeds (especially in a salad) always makes a simple meal flavourful and healthy for me 🙂

  4. thepeacepatch

    Extraordinary meals to me means trying something new and creative like pairing unusual ingredients together or making dessert from veggies or putting anything on a stick. Yesterday extraordinary was cutting potato slices with a star-shaped cookie cutter for my nephew, then roasting them up…he loved them! 🙂
    I subscribe via email. Thanks for the smoothie recipe…perfect timing for National Chocolate Mint Day! 🙂

  5. Suzanne

    The cover photo looks so good and I love following your page on Facebook! My husband and I just recently became vegans, going a month and a half strong now. It is difficult to know where to start with healthy, tasty vegan recipes, so this book would be a huge bonus! Plus following you on Facebook makes us feel a little less isolated as there is a whole huge community of happy vegans out there for support! Keeping my fingers crossed for the book. 🙂

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Yay for you and your husband, Suzanne!! I’m glad you find my FB page encouraging. And you’re right – there are TONS of us out here who are happy to share and show support. Thanks for commenting :-).

  6. Alisa

    I love to spice up simple food, try adding flavor combinations you wouldn’t normally think of. Would love to try that recipes in this book, the cover photos look so yummy! Can’t wait to try the chocolate mint smoothie…

  7. Pingback: Three Sisters Soup (Black Bean, Corn and Squash Soup) | the taste space

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