Meet ‘n Greet The Casual Veggie Cookbook

MeetnGreet_Simple_web (2)

My journey with food has evolved over a lifetime, but dramatically changed about five years ago when I finally figured out that gluten (then eventually casein/dairy) were making me really sick on top of other processed foods, chemicals and additives in the food my husband and I were eating. So we made a lot of changes to our diet. Not only did we get rid of the gluten but we started reading labels on everything. This led to us making better food choices and really trying to clean up our diet. We started to eat lots more fresh veggies, lean protein, healthy fats (EVOO and ghee) and flavor it with fun spices!

So I started cooking at home more often than not and it became a new passion! Creating a menu and shopping list each week reduced my stress trying to always figure out what was for dinner. The weekly menu plan really helped us use up all the veggies and protein so nothing went to waste. I started publishing the menus on this food blog this year to help others looking for dietary restricted meal ideas and recipes.

As you can see, there are some veggies that I tend to use over and over – especially when in season (zucchini, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, red potatoes, spinach) and some that are staples in our kitchen (onions, garlic, shallots, cucumbers, jalapeños and avocados). But if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be the small Persian cucumber, which most people probably call pickling or canning cucumbers. But my mother was Persian and we ate these all the time growing up so they will always be Persian cucumbers to me. And I’ve been obsessed with growing some this year in my patio garden, too. So fun!

Anyway, I tend to find myself making the same thing over and over and sticking to what I know. But there are some veggies that I’ve never tried before, like kohlrabi or parsnips, that I definitely want to try. I guess the limiting factor is that I’m not really sure how to prep them. And I tend not to buy a bunch of new veggies because I don’t want them to go to waste because I didn’t have a plan for them.

So I’m really excited about this new cookbook – The Casual Veggie – available for sale soon!

This digital cookbook is a collection of vegetable based recipes from over 45 amazing food bloggers. So many different perspectives and flavors and ideas for each vegetable! And I really love that there is information (nutrition info, how to buy, store and prep) for every vegetable as well as the wonderful recipes. So it is time to try some new veggies and add new twists to our favorites! Also, I really like that these dishes are veggie based but not necessarily vegetarian or vegan. There really is something for everyone!

Now for those of you who have dietary restrictions like me, some of these recipes are not gluten-free/casein-free recipes because it is not a gluten-free cookbook, but like with most recipes we can make a few adjustments for them to be safe. Let me know if you aren’t sure about how to make some of the recipes safe for gluten-free folks out there and I’ll be glad to help. The nice thing is that there are so many new dinner ideas and fresh ways to use those wonderful veggies that are so good for us!

So take some time to check out the amazing bloggers who contributed to The Casual Veggie Cookbook!


A Southern Grace

A Tasty Mess

Cooking Up Clean

Family Food on the Table

Family for Health

Fitful Focus

 Haute and Healthy Living

Hola Jalapeno

Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen

Key Ingredients

Parsley and Pumpkins

Primal Health with Jean

Pumpkin and Peanut Butter

Real Simple Good

Stupid Good

The Delicious Balance

Toaster Oven Love

Treble in the Kitchen

Vermilion Roots

Where is my Spoon? 

Will Cook For Friends

Deana Larkin Evans

Hi! I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I also create weekly menus to save time and money while reducing stress and food waste. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010 and dairy/casein-free (except for the occasional Parmesan or goat cheese) in 2014. I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course.

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14 Responses

  1. Mollie says:
    I totally agree! Meal planning is such a time saver and has become a really enjoyable part of my weekend routine. I'm so glad to have you in the cookbook!
  2. adina says:
    Meal planning is not only a time and product saver, it is also soooo much fun. I love to sit in front on the TV on Sundays evenings, mostly hearing the film my husband watches and perusing cookbooks in search of what to cook during the next week. I don't stick 100% to this plan, things always come in between, but I do try.
    • Yes it is always so nice to at least have a plan! We don't always stick to it either but it helps me keep track of what we have in the fridge and what needs to be used up or frozen before it goes bad. And lately while I work on the menu plan for the week I've also started to find coupons and weekly deals at our grocery store (some digital and some printable via an app for the store) so we've been saving at least $15-20 a week on our grocery bill!
  3. Meal planning is such a time saver, but is something that I am so bad at. I tend to get inspired mid-week and find myself rushing to the grocery store to get what I need, only to realize the next day that I failed to plan for any meals after that. I could definitely learn a thing or two from you!
    • I really had to start doing it when I eliminated gluten from our diet. And it used to be much harder than it is now - once you've done it a few times and have go to recipes it's a lot easier. But then you don't want to get into a rut either. We were just talking about ordering veggies from a local organic farm to try some of the great recipes in the cookbook and from everyone's blogs!
  4. I'm glad you figured out a way of eating that works for you! I'm excited to be collaborating on the cookbook with you!
  5. You couldn't be more right, planning is such a time and money saver. What a resource your weekly menus are! I'm excited to be a part of a book filled with so many creative and generous bloggers.
  6. I started eating more mindfully after an IBS diagnosis. I avoid dairy and wheat but allow myself the occasional cheat days to see how my body reacts. But I have no problem with vegetables! Nice to meet you through the cookbook. See you on the 19th!
    • Nice to meet you, too. The hardest thing for me to give up was cheese. But my body said nope! I can still have aged Parmesan, thank goodness. And lots & lots of of veggies!
  7. grace says:
    i would eat a plate full of vegetables for every meal (MAYBE not breakfast) and be totally happy. :)