These are a few of my favorite things...about Vegan Bowls:
Over the next few weeks, I will share with you my most favorite aspects of my new cookbook, Vegan Bowls (Amazon, B&N).
This first aspect simply has to be at the top of my list. You might think that number one is how wonderful the recipes are (which they are!) or how fast a complete meal can be to make (which it can be!), but, in fact, it is a simple thing that a lot of modern cookbooks don't have: no cross-referencing recipes.
There are no recipes within recipes, except for convenience ingredients such as seitan and curry paste.
That is correct - you can cook a complete meal without having to prepare another recipe first. It really bears repeating:
Complete meals without the need for secondary recipes.
I own my share of super amazing cookbooks, written by some super amazing authors, but the nitty-gritty is that either recipes-within-recipes are required or the recipes themselves are not complete meals unto themselves.
Certainly, a few exceptions are of note, such as dinner salads, a few casseroles and soups, but even then, most need supplemental components to make them a complete meal.
I took great care in making sure that all the recipes in this volume are stand-alone and need no other sub-recipes.
Of course, for your convenience, I have included a few basic recipes for ease, economy and superior flavor, but no basic recipe is a "requirement" for making any of the bowls in the book.
While I include recipes for seitan, vegetable broth, red curry paste and tortillas, they can be store-bought and need not be home-made.
I know how important it is to see the Table of Contents of cookbooks before you purchase one, therefore, over the next few weeks I will be sharing the contents of Vegan Bowls with you, chapter by chapter. Below is the content of the grains chapter:
Naturally, with age and wisdom you realize that that particular pilaf wasn't quite up to snuff and, indeed, a lot of improvement was possible.
With this recipe, I bring you all the love I have for the pilaf, with the addition of some knock-down great flavor -- again, all in a complete bowl. I highly recommend using a toaster oven for the vegetables, if you have one; it keeps the kitchen cooler in the summer.
Hope you enjoy!
oh! If you haven't already entered or own Kittee Berns' fabulous Ethiopian cookbook, Teff Love, enter to win a copy HERE.
Roasted Zucchini and Mushroom Pilaf Bowl
It is no surprise that I love to roast vegetables; it always seems to bring out the best in produce. In this recipe, zucchini and mushrooms are roasted to perfection and stirred into a quinoa pilaf that is accented with scallions and arugula. . (Recipe from Vegan Bowls, copyright © 2015 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered
2 medium zucchini, quartered and cut into 3/4-inch slices
1 cup corn kernels, thawed and drained if frozen
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup orzo
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups baby arugula or watercress
2 scallions, minced
1/2 to 1 serrano chile, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
ROAST: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Combine the oil, salt and garlic on a baking sheet. Add the mushroom, zucchini, and corn. Mix well and bake until tender and roasted, about 20 minutes, stirring midway through cooking time. If you have more time, roast until the corn is golden, an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Keep warm.
QUINOA: Heat the broth, salt, quinoa and garlic in a large pot. Cover, bring to boil over high heat, reduce to medium-low heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to steam. Fluff with fork and set aside.
PASTA: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the orzo and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Add the water and salt and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.
GREENS: Add the orzo to the cooked quinoa. Add the roasted vegetables to the quinoa. Add the arugula, scallions, serrano and lemon juice. Stir well, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper.