Sep 15, 2015

veganmofo - obama + paella bowl

Today is the big day for me! Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N) is being released today!  Yikes!  *-*

The release of a cookbook is exciting and apprehensive and all other kinds of emotions all at once! How will it be received? Will people like the recipes? Like the format of the book? The ingredients chosen? So many things to wonder and worry about!

I really loved making this book and was trying to create a variety of bowl recipes that are all complete meals. I was also trying to make them a bit familiar and worked on basing the recipes on some well-established and honed flavor profiles. I wanted to create recipes that had some root in traditional meals, but made into complete meals that were convenient to serve and eat.

The original bowl recipes began simply with a grain (rice), vegetables (steamed), protein (tofu or beans) and a sauce. Simple bowls such as the Budha Bowl, quinoa bowls, Mexican bowls and other Asian-inspired bowls are the natural evolution of the original bowl, but I wanted to go beyond that.

I wanted to take "traditional," and therefore oft-tested dishes, and make them into bowl meals. Hence, there are three kinds of bowls in this book:

1. traditionally bowl meals
2. almost bowl meals - just a few additions or tweaks make them into bowls
3. original bowls - perhaps inspired by flavorful dishes that have no business being bowl meals, or off-the-cuff bowls of ingredients that play well because of flavor harmony

So there it is - my impetus for writing this book: fast, complete meals that are flavorful, healthy and nutritious. My goal was to bring you recipes that in turn bring you complete meals quickly. No brainers, no need to supplement with other dishes - just grabbing ingredients, following the recipes and sitting down to eat. Period.

Now for the #vgnmf15 part of the post. The prompt today is to make a meal for the POTUS - Obama. During yesterday's post, I shared with you the (assumed) fact that President Obama enjoys Chicago THIN-crust pizza, topped with tomatoes, basil, cheese, olives and red onion slices. Basically, that's a Margherita Pizza plus olives and onions.

All fine and dandy, but let's serve the Prez something that is usually made with meat because there is not even any question that the man is nowhere near a vegetarian, let alone a vegan.

I decided to serve something pretty and still delicious, but something that typically uses lots of seafood - his favorite animals to eat, it seems.

I share with you my Paella Bowl recipe, in honor of Vegan Bowls' book release. Which calls for another peak into a chapter of the book - this time the Sauteed Chapter:

One more thing before the recipe: Last week's giveaway of Vegan Bowls was nice but I noticed that there were some international folks missing out on the deal.

This week I will give away two copies of the Kindle edition of Vegan Bowls, one international and one US. Please enter only the contest that represents your location and not both.  To be eligible to win you must be following this blog via email or RSS feed (link). Contest ends next Monday night at midnight, September 21. Good luck!

Paella Bowl
The saffron threads are responsible for the beautiful orange-yellow color of this dish. Once the rice and broth are added, the dish is no longer stirred. It cooks uncovered while the rice absorbs the broth. As the rice cooks, it develops a flavorful crust on the bottom of the pan called socarrat – a welcome result of not stirring the rice. Using a nonstick pan will prevent the socarrat from forming, but the dish will still taste great. (Recipe from Vegan Bowls, copyright © 2015 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.)

3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

3 tablespoons olive oil
5 artichoke hearts, quartered
1 medium yellow squash or zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 small Roma tomato, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups frozen lima beans or edamame, thawed
1 cup paella or Arborio rice

1/2 cup green peas, thawed if frozen
1 jarred roasted red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/4 cup minced parsley
Lemon slices

BROTH: Heat the broth, paprika, salt, and saffron in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Cover and keep warm over low heat.

SAUTÉ: Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the artichoke and squash and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the bell pepper, tomato, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down, about 5 minutes. Add the green beans and lima beans. Add the rice, spreading it evenly over the vegetables. Add the broth, taking care not to disturb the rice too much, but ensuring that the rice is submerged in the broth. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the rice is al dente, about 14 minutes. Arrange the squash and artichoke hearts on the paella and continue to cook until the rice is tender and the broth is absorbed, about 4 minutes longer.

GARNISH: Scatter the peas over the paella, arrange the strips of pepper on top of the paella and sprinkle with the parsley. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 5 minutes before serving. Serve in bowls with lemon slices.

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  1. Congratulations on your book! It's a great achievement, thank you for the international giveaway!

    1. Thank you for visiting! I figured it was the least I could do as far as the International Giveaway goes :)

  2. Talk about pretty, that paella is beautiful!

  3. I am going to be boring and say porridge, Scottish style

  4. The paella bowl sounds like perfect food for the President and thank you for making the competition international.

  5. I love bowls with tofu and nutty sauces.

  6. My favourite bowl is either grain/tofu/greens and a peanut or miso tahini sauce, or a giant bowl of mac and cheese. I won't say no to that. ;)

  7. Any Mexican themed bowl would be a hit in our house. =)

  8. I love Thai food so anything with those flavors! Mexican and Italian are yummy too!

  9. Congrats on the release of your book, I love the idea of bowl meals! My favourite type of bowl would have to be a nicecream smoothie bowl :D thank you for the giveaway *fingers crossed*

  10. Congrats on the release!!!!! It's wonderful you are giving us the opportunity to win copies!!!! Thank you! For all you do!

  11. Congrats on the book release Zsu! That is super exciting =) So happy for you! I really love that it's a bowl book, too =)
    And woah! Now that's a meal fit for the president. It's so gorgeous... almost too gorgeous to eat (almost...).

  12. gorgeous paella. I always enjoy reading your posts, and your food is perfect!

    1. Everyday Vegan Eats is also easily one of my favorite cookbooks. I will be gifting it this holiday season for sure. You're awesome!

  13. beautiful pics to go with the amazing recipes. I have followed you for awhile and I'm never disappointed.

  14. .. ah forgot to mention FAV bowl... anything with a Mexican twist!

  15. Yum. The only way my husband will eat Tofu is in a bowl. Yummy. Thank you. .

  16. Congrats on the new book. I love bowl meals. The enchilada bowl with pumpkin cream sauce sound so delicious!


Thanks for your comment! I'll check if it's spam and post if it is not. I appreciate your time and effort for commenting! ~ Zsu