Santa Barbara author Melissa Costello is founder of Karma Chow and creator of “The Vital Life Cleanse,” as well as the personal chef to celebrity fitness guru Tony Horton.

In her new book, “The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook,” Costello shares more than 125 recipes for anyone who is vegetarian or vegan and for the growing number of people embracing more plant-based meals. Costello finds creative ways to keep her clients happy, fit and fueled.

“The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook” (HCI Books, $18.95) shows readers how to reconnect with their food and honor it as Earth’s source for keeping us alive — all while finding it easier to rock their workouts and sculpt a well-defined physique,” Costello said. “It’s a winning recipe for success for anyone looking to transition to a healthier way of life.”

Costello also has a book signing planned for 4 p.m. March 7 at Chaucer’s Book Store, 3321 State St., Santa Barbara.

A certified nutritionist and wellness coach, Costello seeks ways to keep her clients happy, fit and healthy through a whole-food, plant-based way of life. She works one-on-one with clients and leads 30-day, food-based cleanses with large groups.

Costello was touted as one of ManCave Daily’s Top 10 Hottest Chef’s of 2011 and has also been featured on “TV Guide’s Secrets of the Hollywood Body” , CNBC’s “How I Made My Millions with Tony Horton, Better Life TV, San Diego Living and Connecticut Style, to name a few.” “The more than 7 million vegetarians and 3 million vegans in the United States are proving that chowing down on planet-friendly fare not only helps them look and feel better, but it can be delicious, too,” Costello said.

With her “keep it simple” and “make it tasty” approach, she offers a smorgasbord of dairy-free and animal-free appetizers and desserts, breakfasts and dinners, as well as holiday- and company-worthy menus.

Recipes include: Mac & Cheeze, Karma Burgers with Chipotle “Mayo,” Thai-Style Tempeh Lettuce Wraps, Supreme-Oh Burritos, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Korean-Style Tempeh Tacos with Red Dijon Slaw, Enchilada Casserole with Ranchero Sauce, Artichoke and White Bean Dip, Cilantro Cauliflower Smash, Pad Thai in Peanut Coconut Sauce, Stuffed Mushroom Poppers, Indian Spiced Coconut Yam Soup, Chili Sweet Potato Fries, Un-Shepherd’s Pie, Strawberry Crème Mousse with Pistachio Nut Topping, Banana Carob Bread Pudding, Apple/Pear Crisp, Brownie Bites, Chocolate Truffles, and Cardamom Chocolate Chippers (a Tony Horton favorite).


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