{MM} 15 minute summer squash succotash + my cookbook addiction

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 Oh boy. 

I’ve got some good stuff for you today.

  • a recipe for a 15 minute summer-y side dish
  • a Vita-mix GIVEAWAY
  • a discount code especially for bring joy readers to save 35% (+ get free shipping) on Flirty Aprons (including their cute new line of bibs)
  • Some fab links, including a round-up of the BEST recipes from this past week (check out that peanut butter cheesecake!)

But first, let’s start with a confession.

My name is Janae and I’m addicted to cookbooks.


This weekend Joseph & I went on a date. We paid a babysitter, we got out of the house, we planned an activity, you know a date.

Our original plan: go play tennis, shop at the BX (it’s the department store on the Air Force base), go get some cheap Mexican food afterwards.

Well…we noticed some library books needed to be returned, so we dropped by the library & I loaded up on books (after paying a rather substantial & silly lump of fines–I promise I’m not going to get one more fine on our account for the rest of the year).

I meant to just get a light read, something along the lines of Alexander Mcall Smith, but instead, I got side tracked by the cookbook aisle.

Have you ever perused your library’s cookbook aisle?

It never ceases to astound me that so many books are devoted to food. And, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are a lot of vegan cookbooks to choose from these days (which isn’t that exciting?!).

It was hard to narrow my choices down (I told myself I could only get five this time), but I went with:

  • Isa Does It — Isa is a ROCKSTAR. It took me about 2 seconds to realize that this book is *freakin’* awesome.
  • A Fistful of Lentils — not vegan, but it’s a Jewish/Syrian family cookbook and I wanted to get some truly authentic Middle Eastern recipes as well as some fun cultural background notes, plus there is a whole section devoted to vegetarian recipes
  • VB6 — stands for “vegan before 6” — I like Mark Bittman. I like that he’s making the vegan diet accessible to those who would otherwise abandon it because of commitment issues. I’m not one for an all or nothing approach, & I think books like these only help spread the vegan message. Excited to read.
  • Chloe’s Kitchen — this girl has some truly true comfort type dishes, no surprise, as she was the winner of a season of the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”
  • The Asian Vegan Kitchen — I like Asian food & I’m always looking to expand my knowledge of Asian flavors & techniques


And, since it’s been awhile (a few weeks is awhile) since I posted a pic of Tyndale, here he is, in all his balded glory, snuggling with his big brother.



So, here’s the thing.

Today’s recipe is not really all that inventive.

It’s not elaborate. But it’s tasty, quick, & totally fits the FSL bill.

And you know, this has been a bit of a pill to swallow, but I’ve realized my mission in life isn’t too bring to the world more creative and inventive recipes. (I’m no Isa. Darn.)

My mission is to show average, busy people, like you and me, that eating healthy, eating vegan, can be oh so simple and satisfying.

So with that, a perfectly straightforward and simple side that can be served over pasta, quinoa, potatoes, or other starch.

15 minute summer squash succotash // bring-joy.com #vegan #glutenfree

I know it’s not quite zucchini season *yet* for most of you, but here in South Texas, we’ve got all sorts of summer produce already coming our way, including zukes & other summer squashes. So I’ve loaded up on the squashes and figured this is one of the easiest ways to put them to use.

Note to all you succotash purists–I *know* traditional succotash contains lima beans & usually corn, & that this recipe doesn’t include either of these. This dish *reminds* me of succotash, so I’m calling it succotash. (Plus my kids aren’t crazy about lima beans.)

Now that we’ve got that past us, summer squash succotash is the perfect example of a food you can use to dilute the calories in your meals.

This is especially important if you’re like me and like to eat. I’m not going to try and lose weight by eating less. Nay, when I’m in weight loss mode, I eat more, specifically more of these kinds of foods. (I talk at greater length about this concept in my book Fit, Strong, Lean: The Diet.)

15 minute squash summer succotash

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: about 2 1/2 cups

Calories per serving: 132

Fat grams per serving: 7 g

15 minute squash summer succotash

a quick, low-cal summery side dish -- vegan + gluten-free


  • 2 TBS. olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 zucchini squash
  • 2 yellow crook neck squash
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 TBS. no-salt seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • lots of freshly cracked pepper
  • several dashes of red pepper sauce (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet on medium heat.
  2. Prepare vegetables--diced onions and green peppers. Cut squashes into half moon discs.
  3. Add onions and saute for about 3 minutes. Add green peppers, & saute for additional 1-2 more minutes. Add squash and seasoning. Add a little water as needed (adding 1 tablespoon at a time). Saute for additional minute then add diced tomatoes. Cover and let simmer on medium heat for a few minutes, or until squash is cooked (soft, but not mushy). Add a few splashes of red pepper sauce (optional).
  4. Serve over rice, quinoa, pasta, or potatoes.

17 g carbs, 2 g protein, 4 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 279 mg sodium, 7 g sugar; 4 WWP points


♥ Vita-mix Giveaway

vitamix giveaway

You know I am a Blendtec devotee through & through, but a Vita-mix comes in a close second.

My friend Leanne is GIVING ONE AWAY.

>>>>>>>Enter to win HERE>.

(giveaway open through 5/21)


♥ On Friday’s post, Emma shares about learning to trust herself with exercise after an eating disorder (missed it? read it HERE). On the same vein, Meg writes some really profound lovely stuff about loving our bodies for whatever shape/size, stretch marks & all & teaching that principle to our kids.


♥ flash SALE

Flirty Aprons has launched a new line of bibs especially for babies & toddlers — so cute! And through 5/21 bring joy readers can get 35% off their entire order + free shipping, aprons included (check out their new styles!), with the code MEMORY35.



the BEST recipes
to pin:
all recipes vegan + gluten-free

polenta porride w/ dried apricot compote & sticky pistachios
classy–Martha Stewart would be impressed, don’t you think?

zucchini noodles & corn w/ mango siracha dressing
perfect summer food

peanut thai vegetable stew
Dreena’s back.

peanut butter cup cheesecake
I really cannot think of a better food than this.

green bean pasta al fresco
a wonderful FSL meal

homemade cocoa bliss
Ricki’s raw cocao-coconut spread

grain-free mixed berry crisp
elegant & delicious

pineapple ginger coconut cream popsicles
I’m ready for summer now.

Happy Monday.


Thanks for coming to bring joy today!

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send me an email.


  1. Marly
    on May 22, 2014 at 4:20 pm said:

    We have so much going on right now that quick and easy is the only way I roll. Love this succotash recipe and can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks so much for the shout-out. Just like Carly Simon says, You’re the best!

  2. Ricki
    on May 20, 2014 at 7:05 pm said:

    That succotash looks perfect to me! Seems I’m all about quick & easy these days. 😉 And maybe that will even get me to like zucchini in some other context than zucchini chips! Oh, and what a cutie that Tyndale is (and his bro’!).

    Thanks so much for including my Cacao Bliss knockoff on the list, too. 🙂 xo

  3. Aimee Douglass
    on May 20, 2014 at 7:37 am said:

    I am a cookbook addict too. Before going vegan, I had managed to amass about 80, as well as a collection of magazines like Cooking Light and Eating Well. When I went vegan in January 2012, I purged (except for those few books that had been gifts and/or signed by the authors) and started collecting vegan cookbooks. At last count, I think I was up to about 30, and there are more on pre-order through my Amazon account. In addition, I have three binders full of recipes I printed from the internet. It’s a sickness, I know. And yet, when it comes time to make dinner, I’m at a loss as to what to make.

    • Janae Wise
      on May 20, 2014 at 7:49 am said:

      Ha! You’re in good company here.

      The thing I love about cookbooks is reading the stories behind the food. Those are the best kinds of cookbooks. I like to hear the author’s voice & get a sense of their style & character.

      What’s your favorite vegan cookbook? Non-vegan cookbook?

      I really like Nigella Lawson’s writing & recipes (non-vegan) & I think Isa does an awesome job of the same in the vegan world.

      • Aimee Douglass
        on May 21, 2014 at 9:51 am said:

        Right now, I’m in love with both “Isa Does It” and “The Oh She Glows” cookbook. Both gorgeous books, and I love their writing styles. Every recipe from “IDI” has been a winner with me so far (it’s about a 50/50 success rate with my omni husband, though 🙁 ).

        As far as non-vegan books, I found myself using Rachael Ray’s books a lot in my pre-vegan days, because the recipes were quick and easy, perfect for after a long day of work when cooking was the last thing I wanted to do (even though I love to cook).

  4. Laurie
    on May 19, 2014 at 7:23 pm said:

    Aieeeee, I’m a cookbook addict, too! And if it wasn’t for the library, I’d be broke….but surrounded by cookbooks which wouldn’t be so bad. Call #641.5 forever!

  5. Lisa C.
    on May 19, 2014 at 6:48 pm said:

    Oh, Isa’s cookbook is amazing! I have several of hers and I plan on buying this one when it goes to paperback (I borrowed from the library too).

    That cheesecake looks delicious. I use cashew cream a lot so I have a feeling I will love this.

    And tell my why you prefer Blendtec? I have used my Vitamix daily for over5years and it is fabulous.

    • Janae Wise
      on May 20, 2014 at 7:42 am said:

      Cashew cream is amazing stuff, isn’t it?

      “And tell my why you prefer Blendtec? I have used my Vitamix daily for over 5years and it is fabulous.”

      The top two blenders on the market are Blendtec & Vitamix. They are very comparable in terms of speed, quality, durability. But…I prefer my Blendtec because it’s lighter than a vitamix, shorter (fits underneath my cupboards), easier to clean, like that it doesn’t use sharp blades (safety perk), & I LOVE the preset settings. Also, I think their customer service is top notch. I also like that I don’t have to use a plunger. (Also, a Blendtec is at least $100 cheaper I believe…)

      But, like I said on fb, vitamix comes in a close second. Definitely not a bad blender to have!

  6. Caroline @ Fighting For Wellness
    on May 19, 2014 at 6:21 pm said:

    This looks delicious! I’m pinning it for another few weeks once summer hits.