Wanting a quick meal recently, and wanting to add something to our 52 cookbooks list, I opened our copy of Urban Vegan for the first time in quite a long time. I was glad I did because this recipe for Orecchiette con Broccoli was fabulous (even though we didn’t have orecchiette and I used ziti instead). It’s basically a ton of garlic simmered in a ton of olive oil and mixed with pasta and broccoli. We topped it with what some call “vegan parmesan” and what we just call “pasta sprinkle” (because while delicious in its own right it’s really not much like parmesan). To make this particular batch of pasta sprinkle I ground up about 1/4 c. almonds, 2 Tbs. hemp seeds, 3 Tbs. nutritional yeast and 1/4 tsp. salt. Regardless of what it’s topped with though this is one pasta dish we’ll have to make more regularly!
This tempeh and sweet potato dish from Appetite for Reduction was a great way to add another one of Isa’s excellent books to our 52 cookbooks list. The recipe is posted over on the taste space blog. We served it over brown rice with roasted cauliflower on the side and would definitely make it again.
At the time it came out, Veganomicon was one of the most anticipated vegan cookbook releases ever. That was over eight years ago and there has been an incredible proliferation of amazing vegan cookbooks that have come out since then but this handy volume can still hold its own against most any newer cookbook. In fact we still open it up regularly and find new recipes. Like these tasty black bean burgers. The recipe is posted here. They came together quickly for a nice weeknight meal with some roasted potatoes on the side. And our 52 cookbooks list continues to grow!
Given the holiday today it was a fine time to add Alicia Simpson’s Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations to our 52 cookbooks list. We don’t use this book too often but we do open it up from time to time to get ideas for holiday meals. There are lengthy recipe collections for each major holiday and from the Easter chapter we made the Broccoli Frittata and Hidden Treasure Muffins (which are sweet potato and applesauce muffins made with whole grains). Either or both of these recipes would work equally well for breakfast or brunch but they made a fine dinner too.
To those who celebrate Easter we hope you had a wonderful holiday!
We make a lot of chili around here. It’s easy to throw together in the slow cooker and it’s something healthy that we know the big kid will eat. Books by Robin Robertson will make many appearances in our 52 cookbooks list and she always has great chili recipes. The Smoky Red Bean Chili with Chipotle-Cornbread Dumplings from Vegan on the Cheap was one we hadn’t tried before but it sure was delicious. And it was easier than making a batch of cornbread separately, though that’s always good too.
Robin Robertson will show up frequently in our 52 cookbooks collection. This Coconut Spinach and Lentil Dal from Vegan Without Borders was a great lunch on a recent cold winter day. It was easily done with staples we usually have on hand – frozen spinach, coconut milk, canned tomatoes and lentils. Plus plenty of spices! We served it with diced and fried tofu. We have yet to make something from Vegan Without Borders that we didn’t like and this was no exception.
Our daughter turns 3 tomorrow and her birthday party this weekend was a good excuse to add Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World to our 52 cookbooks list. Darlene made Gingerbread Cupcakes with Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting. Our non-vegan brother-in-law said they were the best cupcakes he’s ever had. There are other vegan cupcake recipes out there but since this book came out I don’t think we’ve ever turned anywhere else for a cupcake recipe because this book has it all.
Next up on our 52 cookbooks endeavor is Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families. We’ve been fans of Dreena’s books ever since her first one came out long ago, and now that we have kids we especially like her books for their many kid-friendly snack ideas. The recipe for these Protein Power Balls was posted here by The Green Mama. We’ve been thinking about making these for quite a while and today we finally did. They’re sweet because they contain a lot of dates but they have no added sugar and they’re packed full of healthy proteins like hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Best of all, the kids love ’em. So here’s one answer to that question so commonly asked of vegans, “where do you get your protein?”
One of the latest books in our 52 cookbooks adventure is Kristy Turner’s But I Could Never Go Vegan. At first we weren’t sure about getting this cookbook because from the title it sounds like it could have a lot of very basic recipes for new vegans. While new vegans will certainly find it useful, we’ve been vegan for many years and have enjoyed using this book too. I love how it’s organized into chapters that reflect common questions about or criticisms of veganism: “Vegan cooking is too hard”, “Where would I get my protein?”, and “It’s all rabbit food” are a few of the chapter titles. Of course it’s not all rabbit food and we get plenty of protein. It’s not too hard to cook great vegan meals either and it was in that chapter where Darlene found this recipe. She wanted to have something savory for breakfast recently and these chickpea omelets came out great. She just used the recipe for the batter and instead of the vegetable suggestions she used up some kale we had in the fridge. They were especially good topped with a little apple kraut from local company Farmstead Ferments.
If you Google chickpea omelet recipe, you’ll find many variations of recipes. This recipe is just chickpea flour, a little nutritional yeast, black salt and seasonings (cumin, thyme, garlic powder, smoked paprika, turmeric and pepper) mixed with enough water to make a batter roughly the thickness of pancake batter. Throw in whatever veggies you want and fry in a skillet kind of like a pancake. Yum!
From our newest cookbook to one of our oldest ones. Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe dates to our pre-vegan, vegetarian days. If you’re vegan, I can’t say I’d recommend this book because it’s pretty egg-heavy, but still, it has a lot of good breakfast ideas. Some of the recipes are already vegan and many others are easily veganized. Like these Buttermilk Barley Muffins for example. We happened to have some leftover cooked barley and these were perfect to make on a snowy morning. I think these would be good to make with leftover rice too. Here’s my adapted/veganized recipe.
What you need:
1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. white whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. cooked pearl barley
1/4 c. toasted sesame seeds
1/4 c. minced raw cashew pieces, toasted
3/4 c. soy or almond milk
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbs. chia seeds + 2 Tbs. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. canola oil
1/4 c. maple syrup
What you do:
Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly oil 12 muffin cups. Mix the vinegar into the milk and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the barley and mix well until it’s evenly distributed. If you have a small blender, briefly blend the chia seeds and water. Alternatively, briefly grind the chia seeds in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, then whisk in the water. Add the chia mixture to the milk/vinegar mixture then mix in the maple syrup, canola oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, gently mixing until incorporated, then fold in the sesame seeds and cashews. Distribute evenly among 12 muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until just starting to brown. Remove the muffins from the pan and put on a rack to cool for another 20 minutes.