Karma Chow

What a dynamic duo to get people in shape and healthy – Melissa Costello and Tony Horton! Melissa is the recognized Karma Chow Founder and Celebrity Chef, and Tony is fitness guru to the stars. With this winning pair behind you, anything is possible! Tony endorses Melissa’s new book, The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook, crediting her food with keeping him at optimum performance every day.

Karma Chow Creator and celebrity chef, Melissa Costello, introduces her new cookbook, The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook: 125+ Plant-Based Vegan Recipes for a Fit, Happy, Healthy You (HCI Books) - proof that planet-friendly fare is totally delicious as well as better for you. The over 7 million vegetarians and 3 million vegans in the U.S. already know this is what keeps them healthy and looking great! As the personal chef to celebrity fitness guru Tony Horton, creator of the bestselling P90X® fitness system, and many others, Melissa strives to keep the food appealing and all of her clients fit, happy and energized.

Melissa’s book offers a smorgasbord of simple but tasty dairy- and animal- free appetizers, breakfasts, dinners, and specialty menus that range from Mac & Cheeze, Karma Burgers, Lettuce Wraps, Soups, Tacos and Casseroles, to die-for desserts like Strawberry Crème Mousse with Pistachio Nut Topping, Carob Bread Pudding, Apple and Pear Crisp, Brownie Bites, and Tony’s own favorite – Cardamom Chocolate Chippers. Is your mouth watering yet?

The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook makes healthy eating fun and provides the body with the fuel it needs to rock a workout and get that sculpted sought-after physique! For more information, please visit: www.karmachow.com.

About the Author:

Melissa Costello, founder of Karma Chow and creator of The Vital Life Cleanse, is the personal chef to celebrity fitness guru Tony Horton, creator of the highly popular workout system, P90X®. Melissa, a certified nutritionist and wellness coach, works one-on-one with clients as well as leads thirty-day food-based cleanses with large groups, teaching them how to implement changes in their diet that will last a lifetime. Melissa was featured on TV Guide's Secrets of the Hollywood Body as well as CNBC's How I Made My Millions with Tony Horton.

Sample Recipes:

Black Bean Brownie Bites

Brownies are everyone’s favorite, so I wanted to come up with a healthier version that was just as tasty. These bites are loaded with fiber yet still maintain the chocolatey-goodness of a regular brownie! Your kids will love them too!

I make them in a mini-muffin pan, but feel free to use an 8x8 brownie pan. Just adjust the cooking time to longer in the oven by about 10 minutes.

2 cups black beans (freshly cooked is best, but canned is ok- drain & rinse if canned)
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup of raw blue agave nectar or Grade B maple syrup
½ cup date paste* (see recipe below) *allow 1 hour soaking time for date paste
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
½ cup raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup oat or almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup grain sweetened or vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease mini muffin tins with coconut oil or coconut spray.

In a food processor with S-blade, combine black beans, banana, agave nectar, date paste, coconut oil, cacao powder, vanilla, cinnamon & sea salt until combined well and smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Fill mini muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack.

To make Date Paste: Pour 2/3 cup of hot water over 1 cup pitted dates and then soak for about an hour. Throw all ingredients into a blender and process until a smooth, thick paste is formed.

Yield: Makes about 30 mini muffins

Dreamy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I love the fall because squash is in season, and butternut is one of my faves! This soup is so good you will want to eat the whole pot —that’s why I termed it “dreamy.” Top with some lightly toasted pumpkin seeds right before serving for presentation, crunch, and a little extra calcium and magnesium.

6-8 servings

1 large butternut squash, roasted (this can be done a day before serving)
2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
1 large shallot, diced small
½ large yellow sweet onion, diced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 large garnet yam or sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 stalks celery, diced
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon cumin powder
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
Toasted pumpkin seeds (for garnish)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Line a baking dish or cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray (olive oil or coconut). Place the squash cut side down on the baking dish or sheet and poke holes in it with a sharp knife or fork, then spray squash with cooking spray. Bake for about 45-minutes or until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Take out of the oven and let it cool.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallot, onion, and ginger, and sauté for about 3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the yam, celery, and carrots. Sauté for a few minutes and then add the cumin powder, stirring to incorporate. Add the broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, remove the seeds from the squash and discard. Scoop out the flesh from the skin and add to the pot, stirring to incorporate the squash with the other vegetables. Add a bit more broth if necessary. Cook for about 5 more minutes, then remove from the heat and add the agave nectar, salt and pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and the almond milk. Puree the soup using a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender. Serve garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Did You Know? Maple syrup is chock-full of vitamins and minerals. Make sure to buy grade B, which is the most nutritious and least processed. It’s a low-glycemic sweetener, so it won’t spike your blood sugar as fast as some other sweeteners.

Per Serving: Calories 170, Total Fat 4.5g, Saturated Fat 0.5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 260mg, Carbohydrate 32g, Fiber 5g, Protein 3g