Bookcover for Naturally Lean by Allyson Kramer

NATURALLY LEAN: 125 Nourishing Gluten-Free, Plant-Based Recipes–All Under 300 Calories

Allyson Kramer

Da Capo Lifelong Books
April 26, 2016
ISBN-13: 978-0-7382-1857-1

Sample Recipe
Request a Copy

Allyson Kramer

Allyson Kramer is the author of three books, including Sweet Eats for All and Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including VegNews and Vegetarian Times. She lives with her family in Philadelphia.

While gluten-free and plant-based eating is popular, these cuisines can be loaded with sneaky fillers and not-so nutritious ingredients. Allyson Kramer brings whole foods into the mix with 125 recipes that pack in nutrients without loading up on calories. Each chapter focuses on a different food category —greens and crucifers; grains; beans and legumes; fruits; nuts and seeds; roots and tubers—and demonstrates how to use them in tasty meals that are filling without fillers, refined sugars, or sketchy processed ingredients. With detailed nutritional information for each dish, meal planning strategies, and gorgeous photos throughout, NATURALLY LEAN shows you how to make creative plant-based meals that will help you look and feel your best.


Yield: 10 SERVINGS


Just like the insanely addictive appetizer found at numerous chain restaurants, this dip is delicious. Unlike that insanely unhealthy dish, this version is actually good for you! It includes nutritional yeast, an excellent source of vitamin B12, which is hard to come by in a vegan diet, as well as thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and niacin. It’s free of overly processed ingredients and chock-full of delicious nutrient dense ingredients, making it quite a healthy appetizer.


  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ⁄2 cup almond meal
  • 1 ⁄2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 21 ⁄2 cups tightly packed chopped spinach
  • 1 cup packed chopped canned (oil-free) artichoke hearts
  • 3 scallions, chopped

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the drained cashews in a food processor along with the water, lemon juice, salt, garlic, and almond meal and blend until very smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the nutritional yeast and blend again until well combined.

Transfer to a bowl and combine with the spinach, artichoke hearts, and scallions. Place in a ceramic baking dish (about 8 x 4 inches) and spread evenly.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Serve warm with chips or veggies. I love this dip served with raw broccoli florets.

Zucchini-Laced Fusilli

 Yield: 10 SERVINGS



This pasta dish is a good lower-calorie choice because half of the bulk of the recipe is made from zucchini, making it much lighter than just eating a bowlful of pasta. Increase the zucchini content and it becomes even lighter! It also makes quite a bit, and stores well in the refrigerator, making it a great dish to enjoy for a couple of days if you’re looking for an easy lunch or dinner option. To reheat, simply add 2 tablespoons of water to a saucepan and heat gently over medium heat until warmed throughout.

  • 14 ounces brown rice
  • fusilli pasta
  • salt


  • 12⁄3 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 3 hours and drained
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 ⁄2 cup water


  • 4 tomatoes, blanched and skins removed, chopped
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil, chopped into small bites
  • 2 large shallots, sliced into strips
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 zucchini, sliced into wide ribbons, using a vegetable peeler

Cook the pasta according to the pack-age directions, rinsing with cold water and then tossing with a little salt after cooking.

Make the sauce: In a food processor, blend together the cashews, rice vinegar, ½ teaspoon of salt, and water until very smooth, about 8 minutes, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Toss with the pasta to fully coat and stir in up to 1 teaspoon additional salt, to taste.

Make the sauté: In a large, nonstick skillet, toss the tomatoes, basil, shallots, raisins, garlic, and salt together and cook over medium to medium-high heat until the shallots and raisins are soft, about 7 minutes. Add the zucchini ribbons and cook just until wilted. Gently stir the sautéed vegetables into the pasta just enough to mix. Serve immediately.

These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:

Recipes from NATURALLY LEAN: 125 Nourishing Gluten-Free, Plant-Based Recipes-All Under 300 Calories by Allyson Kramer. (Da Capo Lifelong Books, April 2016; $22.99/paperback; ISBN: 13: 978-0-7382-1857-1).



Contact: Miriam Riad