Vegan Eats World Review & Giveaway

Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero - review & giveaway!When I saw Terry Hope Romero speak at Vida Vegan Con last year, she said that when she’s looking for inspiration in cooking, she ventures outside of the vegan realm. She reads non-vegan cookbooks, studies cuisines from other cultures, looks at restaurant trends and cooking shows. By examining what other people are doing in the world of food, she can take it and put her own vegan spin on it.

Her cookbook, Vegan Eats World, is the perfect example of that philosophy. The cookbook, which came out in 2012, offers a wealth of global options to the tune of 300 recipes. With each recipe she asks, “What if this was a vegan world? How would a culture’s traditional flavors translate to plant-based fare? Sometimes it’s a natural fit with things like vegetable heavy Ethiopian stews and sometimes it takes creative license with things like gyro-roasted seitan.

Her philosophy has certainly benefitted me. One thing I’ve appreciated about Terry’s work over the years is not only that she creates such interesting, multi-dimensional recipes but also that I feel like I get an education in other food traditions. Plus, her cookbooks consistently deliver amazing, restaurant-quality recipes that have expanded my cooking repertoire and my spice rack.

I was a recipe tester for Vegan Eats World, and so it has been a cookbook I’ve been using in one form or another for years now. So when the publisher, Da Capo Press, contacted me about a review of the new soft cover release, I felt more than equipped to handle it! (They are also offering a copy of the book to one lucky reader at the end of this post!)

The cover is different from the hardcover original, but otherwise, everything else inside has stayed the same. It is still loaded with lots of big, colorful photos of mouthwatering food.

Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero - review & giveaway! (Sauerkraut & Mushroom soup)For the purpose of a review, it seemed like a good excuse to make some of the recipes that have been on my “must try” list since the hardcover book came out. Number one on that list was Sauerkraut Mushroom soup (ShChi). I am an enormous sauerkraut fan, but I had never experienced sauerkraut in soup form. Needless to say, I was intrigued by this Russian-inspired dish!

Terry recommends using high-quality sauerkraut sold in jars in the refrigerated section for this recipe, and so I opted for my favorite sauerkraut from Gold Mine. Even after cooking, I knew it would keep its crunch. The soup is made with mushrooms, leeks, carrots, and celery in a vegetable broth with white wine. I had a chance to use a lot of forgotten spices from my spice rack like caraway seeds and marjoram.

Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero - review & giveaway! (ShChi - Sauerkraut Mushroom Soup)This soup was well balanced with a mix of flavors that reminded me of drinking a reuben. It was topped with sour dilly cream made from non-dairy yogurt, Vegenaise, garlic, and dill, which added a creamy, cool brightness to the soup. If you’d like to try it yourself, the ShChi recipe is available on Post Punk Kitchen.

Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero - review & giveaway! (Salad & Dukka)The next new-to-me recipe was for Toasted Hazelnut Crunch Dip (Dukka). I’ve had Dukka in the past, most memorably used as a topping on one of the most delicious hummus platters I’ve ever tasted. Dukka is an Egyptian blend of roasted nuts and toasted spices. I remember how it added a nutty extra dimension to the creamy spread.

The only thing that had kept me from making it was that it seemed a bit involved for something that was only going to be used as a topping. It’s typically served with extra virgin olive oil as a dipping sauce for bread. The recipe involves roasting whole hazelnuts, removing their skins, toasting spices like cumin, fennel, coriander, and caraway, and then grinding them with smoked salt.

After one bite, I was immediately kicking myself for waiting this long to make it! This recipe was so worth the effort, and it makes 1 ½ cups of dukka, which is enough to last a very long time. I had to go back again and again for one more bite of the salty, crunchy mix of varied flavors and spices.

Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero - review & giveaway (Cashew feta)I served it with one of my Vegan Eats World favorites. This Greek Village Salad with Cashew Faux Feta (Horiatiki Salad) is one that I make fairly regularly, particularly in the summer. It’s a tomato and cucumber salad that is topped with raw cashews that have marinated in lemon juice, vinegar, olive brine, minced garlic, and spices. I often make the cashew feta on its own for topping salads. Along with its marinating brine, it makes for a delicious alternative to standard dressing. While it’s not similar in texture to animal-based feta, it has a bite and tang that makes me want to grab a spoon and eat it all on its own. (And yes, I have been known to sneak bites straight out of the refrigerator.)

Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero - Review & Giveaway!  (gyro seitan)To finish off the salad, I made the gyro-roasted seitan.  It is another beloved recipe in the book.  In addition to being terrific on salad, it’s wonderful in a pita or tortilla wrap with cucumbers and tomatoes or served with roasted lemony potatoes.

Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero - Review & giveaway!As a big fan of all things tangy and garlicky, I fell for hard for this seitan that was roasted with lemon juice, white wine, six cloves of garlic, and spices. It filled the house with so many mouthwatering aromas and made it smell amazing. (I used the white seitan from Viva Vegan for this dish. Not only was it the first seitan I ever made from scratch, it’s also a totally foolproof recipe. I’ve made it many, many times over the years, and it always comes out like a dream.)

Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero - review & giveaway! (scrambled chickpea eggs)Finally, I made but’echa. I’d heard great things about the Fluffy Scrambled Chickpea “Eggs” with Shallots from lots of other bloggers. So I was eager to add it to a platter of Ethiopian wots with injera. (The other wots on this platter are from Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian.) I’d never made but’echa before, and so it was totally new to me.

Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero - review & giveaway! (scrambled chickpea eggs)I had a bit of user error as the recipe involves toasting chickpea flour, removing it from a skillet, then using the same skillet to sauté shallots and chilies with niter kibbeh (infused oil), and finally emptying the skillet again to make a polenta-like mixture with chickpea flour, water, and lemon juice. Our stovetop runs very hot, and after all of that use, the skillet was so warm that the water cooked down immediately and the flour made a very thick roux. I added more water to the skillet, but was left more or less with cooked chickpea dough balls. The flavor was still fine, but I don’t feel like I got an authentic experience of what this recipe is like. I plan on trying it again in the future and switching out skillets when it comes time to make the chickpea flour mixture, so that there is time for the flour to be fully absorbed.

Some of my other favorite recipes in Vegan Eats World include:

The Savory Baked Tofu is my one of my top choices for Asian stir-fries. Pineapple Fried Rice with a Thai Kick is a fabulous restaurant-quality recipe that is also terrific with rice noodles instead of rice. (Just toss the noodles with a smidge of sesame oil after draining to avoid clumping.) The seitan tibs simmered in berbere and wine (seitan tibs w’et) is full of richness and umami and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced at an Ethiopian restaurant. The Artichoke Skillet Paella with Chorizo Tempeh Crumbles was also a big hit at our house.

These items are still high on my to-make list:

Preserved lemons, potato pierogies with fried onions, yogurt naan griddle bread, steamed barbecue seitan buns (char siu seitan bao), scrambled tofu breakfast bahn mi, French socca, and crispy plantains with chocolate mole dip.

One final note, several people have mentioned having difficulty finding recipes in the index. A person on the Post Punk Kitchen forum made an expanded version of the index that is good for referring to or even for printing out and keeping in the book for easier searching.  (You’ll have to scroll down just a bit to see where to download.)

Would you like to get a copy of Vegan Eats World for yourself? Now is your chance!  Da Capo Press is offering one copy for readers in the U.S. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Vegan Eats World for review, but the opinions are completely my own.  This post includes Amazon affiliate links.

Congrats to Kelly G. for winning the Everyday Vegan Eats Giveaway!

Sweet & Savory Southern Platter + 30 Second Barbecue Sauce for One

There are two things that I have to order if I go to a vegan restaurant and they have them on the menu.  The first is a reuben.  That tangy sauerkraut on top of seitan, tempeh, or tofu slathered in dressing and sandwiched between two slices of rye gets me every single time.  The other is a barbecue or soul bowl.  The flavors always play so nice together with the sweet and smoky barbecue sauce combining with creamy vegan mac & cheese or potato salad, slow cooked greens, and then a side of black eyed peas, Soy Curls, or sticky seitan.  Maybe I was a Southerner in another life.  All I know is that I don’t need to look any further at the menu.  My choice is clear.

The last time that I got just such a bowl, I wondered afterwards why I never make that kind of thing at home.  Sure, I make garlicky collard greens or kale almost daily, but the other things don’t get much action.  The main reason is that for a meal with so many elements, it’s the kind of thing I’d make for dinner.  However, David isn’t into barbecue sauce or mac and cheese.  It’s like that Flight of the Conchords song “I’m Not Crying” that’s all about a break-up.  Brett sings, “I’m making a lasagna… for one.”  There are some things that people just don’t make all for themselves.

But this week while having a cup of chamomile before bed, my mind started wandering to mac and cheese.  I couldn’t think of anything else, and as soon as I could get in front of the stove the next day I pulled out Isa’s Mac & Shews recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen blog.  I’ve had that one on my radar for the longest time.  I mean, the secret ingredient for its umami undertones is sauerkraut!  Could anything be more up my alley?  It took some dividing, but I made a quarter of the recipe – enough to last for 3 soul bowls (or in this case plates).

(As an aside here: If you’re an iPhone user, did you know that Siri can tell you things like, “What’s a quarter of 1/3 cup?”  It’s so useful when dividing a recipe by a significant amount!  Not only does she tell you that it’s literally 0.0833 cups, which is admittedly less useful, the phone also gives a full conversion scale with what the amount is in fluid ounces or tablespoons and teaspoons.  Answer: 4 teaspoons.)

I made just 2 small tweaks to the recipe.  I added a little more of the optional nutritional yeast flakes, because I love nutritional yeast.  And after I made the sauce and shells, I didn’t take the final step of baking it.  Instead I ladled the cheesy mac onto my plate and topped it with a handful of Phoney Baloney’s coconut bacon.  I’m sure it’s saucier that way without the additional baking time, but that really worked out for me because it melded with the greens on the plate, making something like creamed collards.   For the collards, I made my usual garlicky sautéed collard greens for my first couple of bowls and then just sautéed kale with garlic the last time around (pictured here).

Then it was time for the barbecued tofu.  Like I said, David isn’t into barbecue sauce, and so I always have a hard time finishing a bottle before I see it in the refrigerator and start wondering, “Now… just how long has this been in here?”

So instead I’ve been making a 30 Second Barbecue Sauce… for One.  It’s made from just 6 ingredients that are always in my kitchen and that you likely already have on hand too – ketchup, apple cider vinegar, stone-ground mustard, liquid smoke, and a pinch of salt.  (The kind of ketchup in my refrigerator now is Woodstock Organic Ketchup.  Keep in mind that brands vary in terms of sweetness.  For my tastes, this barbecue sauce is plenty sweet, but if you prefer a sweeter sauce, I bet a bit of brown sugar would do the trick.)

I’ve made barbecue sauce from scratch several times (including Apricot Barbecue Sauce).  But for something quick and delicious when you need BBQ sauce now or don’t want to commit yourself to a full bottle, this is a great way to go.

I brought a lightly oiled grill pan to a medium-high heat and grilled two 1/2 inch slices of super firm tofu.  After one side easily released from the grill pan, letting me know it was ready, I flipped it and slathered on some barbecue sauce.  When the other side had some good grill marks, I flipped the tofu again, slathered on more sauce, and it was ready to serve with extra sauce for dipping.  On warm summer days, of course, this could be done on the outdoor grill instead.  (If you’re using an indoor cast iron grill pan, you’ll want to make sure you clean it right away since the acidic tomato sauce isn’t good for the coating.)

This bowl so put me in my happy place.  With barbecued tofu, sauerkraut, collard greens, garlic, cashews, coconut bacon, and nutritional yeast, it’s like all of my favorite foods having a party… for one.

30 Second Barbecue Sauce for One

Serving Size: Makes about 1/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
http://cadryskitchen.com/2014/04/03/sweet-savory-soul-bowl-30-second-barbecue-sauce-one/

I’m curious, what dish do you have to order when you see it on the menu at a vegan restaurant?

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