"BOWLS!" by becky striepe




As you may know, I'm pretty big into bowl meals  ------->
as evidenced by my having written a whole cookbook on the subject!

However, right before my book, Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N), was published, another wonderful vegan author came out with her own version of the epic meal in everyone's favorite vessel: BOWLS! (Link)

If you aren't familiar with Becky Striepe, she is the author and creator of the popular Glue and Glitter site and the author of the e-book 40 Days of Vegan Smoothies (Link).

When my book came out, Becky noticed the strong resemblance regarding the topic of our books and contacted me. Becky reviewed my book (HERE) and I'm reviewing hers now. After all, what better way to get a feel of the similarities and differences of two books so related than from the authors themselves?




In order to get a good feel of Becky's book, I decided to make a few dishes. As the title of BOWLS! indicates, Becky's book is extensive in the "mix-and-match" department. She devotes a whole chapter to just sauces and a whole chapter to just layers that you can make to assemble a delicious bowl.




Not that Becky doesn't provide stand alone recipes; there are 18 complete bowl recipes, ranging from breakfasts, to soups, to lunches and suppers, such as Roasted Veggie Bowl with Tahini-Miso Sauce and Peanut Butter Tofu Bowl.




All in all, all the bowls I made were tasty and very simple and easy to prepare. I believe the biggest asset of this book is the simplicity of the recipes and Becky's writing style. Her directions are easy to follow and she doesn't mince words.

The family enjoyed everything I made from BOWLS! and I did, too! Overall, a very nice cookbook, one that would please anyone in the mood for a delicious bowl of food.




Since I'm quite late to this party (Becky published it in August of 2014), there have been other wonderful bloggers who have sung the praises of BOWLS!

Vegan Richa - Peanut Butter Tofu Bowl
Canned Time - Southern Style Grits
A Cook in the Making - Chai Spice Oatmeal
Cadry's Kitchen - Ginger Sesame Kale
An Unrefined Vegan - review

Nevertheless, Becky has graceously offered a 10% discount for either BOWLS! paperback, e-book, or 40 Days of Vegan Smoothies. Becky self-published this book, which is quite the feat, I must say, as I work with a publisher and it is still very challenging! To get the 10% off any of her books, use the code ZSU10 when checking out. (Link to Becky's books.)


Photos of book courtesy of Becky Striepe

"jazzy vegetarian classics" + "vegan bowls" giveaway

Earlier this week I was interviewed by the fabulous Laura Theodore, television cooking show host extraordinaire, radio personality, singer and author of the brand new, amazing cookbook Vegan-ease. I wanted to post this with a recipe, but, as more often than not, life gets in the way and I ran out of time.

However, I did not want you all to miss this wonderful opportunity to enter this giveaway: Laura and I have teamed up and we are giving away TWO cookbooks, her Jazzy Vegetarian Classics (Amazon, B&N) AND my Vegan Bowls (Amazon, B&N).




Isn't that sweet?!? And to enter couldn't be easier! Go to Laura's Jazzy Vegetarian site (HERE) and leave a comment (read the instructions first, of course). Laura will announce the winner on her show THIS WEDNESDAY, and the contest ends MONDAY at 6 PM Eastern time. You've not a moment to lose!!

After you enter the contest, come back here to hear Laura and me discuss bowls and flavors and cooking. Laura is an amazingly fun radio host and if you haven't already, add her podcasts to your list of "must listen to." The shows are fun, funny, insightful and very interesting.

Take a listen below:







spicy noodles with peanut sauce




After reading many of the comments that folks left about what their favorite bowl meals are, I felt the inexplicable need to make one that seems to be a particular favorite among the crowd - bowls with peanut sauce.

While I've dabbled in the nutty concoction before, I haven't posted it to the blog - a huge oversight on my part!




At first I wanted to add coconut milk to the sauce, but then - with the addition of peanut butter and, (what I think is a great idea), the addition of red curry paste (more on that later), it became too much like Thai Panang Curry (recipe HERE).

So, I kept it simple, at 9 ingredients. The red curry paste (available in grocery stores, though watch out for fish or shrimp in the curry) is an easy recipe in my new book, Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N). Red curry paste typically includes garlic and ginger and, therefore, omits the need to add those ingredients to the peanut sauce. Of course, if you don't have red curry paste, simply add garlic, ginger and red chili flakes to the sauce, and you're all set.




The optional capers add a *funk* to the sauce - much like fish sauce does. Add it completely at your discretion for that ingredient, though, since it is not a necessary addition.

To bring color and additional nutrition to the dish, I added kale and red bell peppers. Possible substitutions might be broccoli rabe (my first choice), julienned carrots, bok choy, napa cabbage, purple cabbage or daikon radish.

Watch out for your peanut butter; omit the sugar from the recipe if your peanut butter is sweetened.




After cooking the pasta (reserving about 2 cups of the cooking water), saute the kale and peppers and add the curry paste (cooking it a bit first, because the garlic and the ginger within it need to be sauteed), the peanut butter, scallions, tamari, lime and sugar and salt.

The whole thing can be done in under 30 minutes, including prep. Start the medium pot of water to boil while you chop the ingredients and this is a dish ready in a snap.









Spicy Noodles with Peanut Sauce
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves 4 

10 ounces pasta, such as soba, udon or spaghetti
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced**
1 (1-inch piece) ginger, grated**
8 ounces kale, tough stems removed and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 -inch slices
1 teaspoon red chili flakes OR 1 to 3 tablespoons red curry paste (depending on spice level)
1 cup reserved pasta water
5 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sweetener***
3 scallions, minced
1 teaspoon caper brine liquid (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper
Roasted peanuts, to garnish
Lime wedges, garnish

1. Cook the pasta in a medium pot of salted boiling water. Cook until al dente, drain, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water, and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, kale and bell pepper. Cook until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the red chili flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of reserved pasta water, peanut butter, tamari, lime juice, sweetener, scallions and caper liquid (if using). Mix well to combine. Add more water if the sauce is too thick. Add the pasta and mix well again. Cook to reheat, taste and adjust seasoning with sugar, salt and black pepper.
3. Serve the pasta garnished with peanuts and lime wedges.


**garlic and ginger: omit if using red curry paste 
***sweetener: omit or reduce if using sweetened peanut butter


 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

chorizo-spiced potato enchiladas



I was torn between calling this dish Autumn Enchiladas or, what it wound up being named (I'm too much into calling recipes what they actually contain, I guess), Chorizo-spiced Potato Enchiladas with Black Beans and Swiss Chard. Regardless, note that these enchiladas contain fall produce: Swiss chard and potatoes.

Firstly, let me sum it up: family said this is one of the best enchiladas I've ever made, and that includes many versions of the Mexican casserole. Secondly, this is the easiest enchiladas you will ever make (except for the Enchilada Bowl with Pumpkin Cream Sauce from Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N)).

This recipe starts with these chorizo-spiced potatoes:



If you look at the ingredients list, you might want to skip the recipe, but there is really no reason to! Most of the ingredients are for the spiced potatoes -- spices that are actually used in making Mexican chorizo. Just grab all the ingredients you need for the potatoes before you mix it, and things go at a much quicker speed.

Although the recipe calls for ancho chili powder (which is dried poblano peppers), use any chili powder you have, but the ancho is well worth seeking out.

While the potatoes bake:




Quickly wilt the Swiss chard. If you use the stems of the chard, cook those for about 3 to 5 minutes before you add the leaves and the beans and that way there is no waste. If you aren't a chard fan, you'll be pleasantly surprised how wonderful they are in this recipe.

I strongly feel that all ingredients need to play well together and chard is well paired with black beans and the assertive spices of the potatoes. At first taste the potatoes might seem too spicy, but, like many of my recipes, it's all about balancing everything, and the spice of the potatoes is well tempered with the rest of the components.

Huge, HUGE tip coming up:



Until I started making my own corn tortillas (for Vegan Bowls  (AmazonB&N) ), my corn tortillas always cracked when I rolled them for enchiladas, even if I warmed them over a flame or in a microwave or whatever! So frustrating!

While testing the corn tortilla recipe for Vegan Bowls, I discovered that warming the tortillas is not sufficient: the extra step is steaming the tortillas in a kitchen towel or tortilla warmer.

Warm the tortillas in a skillet or directly over a burner and then place the warmed tortilla between the folds of a kitchen towel. Keep adding the tortillas as you warm them and set the folded package aside for up to 10 minutes.

Warm all the tortillas first, set them aside and when you are ready to fill the tortillas, take one out, place it on top of a work surface (I used the towel that they were steaming in since I was washing it afterward, anyway), fill it, roll and place seam-side down in the dish. In addition to the un-cracked tortillas, the process goes super fast this way!







This is really so delicious! If you'd rather use vegan cheese instead of the cheese sauce, go for it! The red sauce is simple and easy, the potatoes are mix-and-bake and the beans and greens are minimally processed as the flavor is all provided by the chorizo spices. Simple to make - although not completely fuss-free - this is well worth the minimal effort.










Chorizo-spiced Potato Enchiladas
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 50 minutes
Serves 4 

Potato:
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons neutral oil
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 tablespoon chipotle puree**
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 pound fingerling or new potatoes, chopped into about 1/2-inch sliced or squares

Red Sauce:
1 tablespoon neutral oil
2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tomato paste (not concentrate)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Enchiladas:
8 (5-inch) corn tortillas
8 ounces Swiss chard
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
Cilantro, garnish
Vegan sour cream (optional)

Cheese Sauce:
1 tablespoon neutral oil
2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry or all-purpose flour
2/3 cups unsweetened plain nondairy milk
1/4 cup grated waxy potato
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon rinsed roasted red bell pepper
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon white miso
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


1. Potato: Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Combine the garlic, oil, broth, chipotle puree, vinegar, chili powder, oregano, cumin, paprika and salt in a medium bowl. Add the potatoes and mix well. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. 
2. Red Sauce: Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until the paste darkens, about 3 minutes. Add the chili and cumin. Mix well and add the broth slowly, whisking with a whisk to prevent lumps. Add the salt, bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
3. Enchiladas. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Heat the tortillas, one at a time, for 15 seconds per side and transfer to a kitchen towel to keep warm and steam the tortillas. When all the tortillas are cooked, add the chard and beans, cover and cook until the greens wilt. Drain the greens, if needed. Combine the cooked potatoes with the cooked greens and beans. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. 
4. Transfer 1/4 cup of the red sauce to a 9x9 baking dish. Fill the tortillas with the potato mixture and lay each filled tortilla, seam side down, in the dish. Add the rest of the sauce, cover with foil and bake in the 400-degree oven for 20 minutes.
5. Cheese Sauce: Heat the oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, add the potato and cover the pot. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook until the potatoes are very tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a small blender, add the yeast, bell pepper, vinegar, miso, paprika and salt. Blend well until smooth.
6. Add the cheese sauce over the baked enchiladas and garnish with cilantro. Serve with vegan sour cream, if desired.

**chipotle puree: Blend the entire can of chipotle en adobo peppers in a small blender. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months or more. 


 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.