What If the World Was Vegan?
The true building blocks of cuisines across the planet are the spices, herbs, and grains—from basmati rice to buckwheat, coconut to caraway seeds. Apply those flavors to vegan staples such as seitan, or tofu and even straight-up vegetables, and the possibilities? If not endless, pretty darned expansive.
So what if the world was vegan? Your own cooking is the answer to that question; fire up the stove and make a green curry, simmer a seitan date tagine stew, or hold a freshly made corn tortilla piled high with chile-braised jackfruit in your hand. Chart your course in the great, growing map of vegan food history. Award-winning chef, author of Veganomicon, and author of Viva Vegan Terry Hope Romero continues the vegan food revolution with more than 300 bold, delicious recipes based on international favorites. With chapters devoted to essential basics such as Spice Blends; The Three Protein Amigos; and Pickles, Chutneys & Saucier Sauces, you can make everything from salads to curries, dumplings and desserts. Vegan Eats World will help you map your way through a culinary world tour, whether you want to create a piergoi party or Thai feast, easy Indian chaat lunch or Your International House of Dinner Crepes. (-synopsis)
Let me start by saying I'm not vegan so my opinions on this cookbook may be different from someone who is. I like to cook vegetarian several times a week and often times that means cooking vegan. I enjoy vegan recipes so I was looking forward to reading this cookbook.
The book starts off with a teaching section. It shows how to chop, mince, etc. It goes over many of the technical terms of cooking. Next comes several pages of ingredients. It tells the name of the ingredient, where it can be found, and often what is cooked with it. Then there is a 2 page shopping list. This contains the different types of cuisine such as Indian, European, Latina, etc., and gives a list of produce, spices, dry goods, and refrigerated items to buy for each to have a stocked pantry.
Then come the recipes. There are 12 different chapters to this cookbook, each containing different recipes. The first one is awesome because it's all about spices and spice mixtures to make yourself. The second chapter is a favorite of mine. It's called the three protein amigos: Tofu, Seitan, and Tempeh. We eat these at least once a week so I really wanted to check out this chapter. It contiained several different marinades for the tofu and how to cook it. The actual recipes using the tofu come later in the book.
From there the chapters go to sandwiches, beans, stews, breads, noodles, pasta, entrees, sides, and more. Looking through the recipes there were some that I marked to look at later and some that I could never make before I either can't find the ingredients in my area or there were too many ingredients. The recipes are simple to follow. I like the key that tells if the recipes are made in under 45 minutes, if they are cheaper to make, if they are novice recipes, low fat, gluten free, or soy free. It's nice to simply look under the title and figure out if I could make it or not.
There are color photos in this cookbook and they are gorgeous. I wish there were more of them but the photos that are in the book are great. I like the format of the book as well. There is the title, how many people it serves, the key, a blurb about the recipe, then the ingredients and instructions. I could see myself cooking from this book once a month or so.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
The first recipe I made from this book was Pineapple Fried Rice. We love fried rice in our house and I often make fried rice with tofu. The great thing about this recipe is that there is tofu in it! That means I don't have to make two separate meals, everything is put together in one dish.
I thought that this dish was easy to make and had a great flavor. It was a little bit sweet from the pineapple, but not too sweet. The cilantro, basil, chilies, and lime really added a Thai feel to dish. We enjoyed it as we don't have any Thai restaurants around our house so I make the Thai we eat.
Even though it was simply fried rice, this was our main dish and was plenty filling. It was also a really pretty meal with the bright colors from the peppers and pineapple. With all the vegetables, the tofu, and the pineapple, it was a hearty vegan meal that I enjoyed and will be making again.
- 2 c. Jasmine Rice, chilled for 2 hours
- 14 oz. baked tofu, finely diced
- 3 T. peanut oil
- 6 scallions, white and green parts divided and finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 Thai chilies, minced
- 1 inch piece peeled ginger, minced
- 1 ½ c. fresh pineapple, diced into ½ inch chunks
- 1 red bell pepper, core and seeds removed and finely diced
- 2 c. snow peas, stems removed and sliced into ½ inch pieces
- 3 Tablespoons Thai thin soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Thai sweet soy sauce
- ½ c. lightly packed Thai basil leaves
- ¼ c. lightly packed chopped cilantro leaves
- Lime wedges for squeezing
- Use a fork or your fingers to break up the cold rice into smaller clumps and set aside. Have the tofu, pineapple, and the vegetables chopped and ready to go.
- Heat the wok over high heat and add half of the oil. Stir in the chopped white parts of the scallions, garlic, chilies, and ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the pineapple and bell pepper and stir-fry for 4 minutes or until edges of the vegetables are starting to brown.
- Add the remaining oil, then crumble in the cold rice. Stir-fry the rice for 4 to 5 minutes; rice will start to brown. Add the snow peas and stir-fry until they turn bright green, about 2 minutes.
- In a cup whisk together the thin soy sauce and sweet soy sauce or Golden Mountain sauce. Pour over the rice and stir. Add the tofu, green parts of scallions, basil leaves, and cilantro. Continue to stir-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the scallion tops turn bright green. Turn off the heat and transfer to serving dishes. Serve the rice hot and squeeze a lime wedge over the rice before eatin.
Recipe From: Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero, 2013, Da Capo Press.