New Vegan Cookbook Features World-Wide Cuisineby Larry Cox on Apr. 08, 2013, under Uncategorized
Vegan Eats World: 250 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet by Terry Hope Romero (Da Capo, $35)
Romero’s previous cookbook — Viva Vegan! — is a personal favorite of mine so I was pumped when I received her latest collection. “Vegan Eats World” is a world-wide culinary tour featuring some of the most imaginative vegan dishes I have ever encountered. Inspired by the diversity she found in her own neighborhood of Queens, New York, Romero’s inspiration came from almost every corner of the planet.
The recipes are divided into twelve main chapters: Spice Blends; The Three Protein Amigos – Tofu, Seitan & Tempeh; Pickles, Chutneys & Saucier; Salads, Spreads & Sandwiches; Soups; Curries, Hearty Stews & Beans; Dumplings, Breads & Pancakes; Asian Noodles to Mediterranean Pasta; Hearty Entries; Robust Vegetable Entrees; Rice & Whole Grains; and Sweet Beginnings. There is also a section with helpful hints to navigating your way around vegan cuisine. In addition to shopping lists, essential kitchen equipment, and information about ingredients, there are menus, online resources, and metric conversions.
The main lesson to be learned from this cookbook is that plant-based meals need not be bland or uninspired. The international recipes selected for this cookbook are not just healthy choices but also delicious ones. Consider such delights as Turkish Zucchini Pancakes, Ethiopian Chocolate Flourless Torte, Colombian Coconut Lentil Rice, or Indian Fried Green Tomatoes.
I tested three recipes, all successfully. My first pick was the French-inspired “Bittersweet Apple and Endive Salad,” a dish with plenty of tasty crunch. Due, perhaps to our recent warm weather, my second dish was “Classic Sesame Noodles with Marinated Cucumbers,” inspired by a dish served in restaurant in New York City’s Chinatown. I grew up eating okra so was drawn to “Okra Masala,” a tomato-laced dish I served with flat bread and brown rice.
I recommend this cookbook, regardless of whether you are a vegetarian. The recipes are accessible and innovative.
BITTERSWEET APPLE AND ENDIVE SALAD
3 Tbs sugar (I used ½ packet Nectresse)
2 Tbs water
2/3 c walnut halves
1 pinch cayenne pepper
½ tsp sea salt
1 lb endive (about 4 heads)
½ lb apples, cores removed
½ c roughly chopped curly parsley
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp prepare Dijon mustard
2 Tbs finely minced shallot
4 tsp good-quality olive oil
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
½ tsp sea salt
1 few twists of freshly ground cracked pepper
Make the glazed walnuts first: in a small skillet over medium heat simmer the sugar and water until the sugar melts. Stir in the walnuts and cayenne. Stir occasionally to coat the nuts. As the sugar continues to cook, it will create a dry crust around the nuts, then as the sugar caramelizes it will darken and melt into a shiny glaze. It should take about 8 to ten minutes for the nuts to look syrupy. Immediately spread the nuts onto a lightly greased cookie sheet or silicone baking mat to cool, sprinkle with salt and separate any large clusters.
Wash and pat dry the endive and slice each head in half lengthwise. Slice each half into 1-inch slices and transfer into mixing bowl. Dice apples into ½-inch-wide pieces, place in the mixing bowl along with the chopped parsley, and toss with lemon juice.
In a small mixing cup, whisk together the mustard, shallot, olive oil, vinegar and salt. Pour over the salad, add a few twists of pepper and toss to completely cover the salad with dressing. Move to a serving bowl and scatter with candied walnuts. Serve immediately.