Friday, February 8, 2008

Vegan Planet Review and Sample Recipes

Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson is a great cookbook - one of the ones I use the most. It has over 400 recipes covering....everything. With over 70 reviews and a 4-1/2 star rating at Amazon.com how can you go wrong? These are the recipes that I have tried and recommend:

- Thai-Style Leaf-Wrapped Appetizer Bites
- Baked Sweet Potato and Green Pea Samosas

- Quinoa Tabbouleh
- Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Balsamic Vinaigrette with Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Three-Fruit Chutney
- Chickpea and Green Bean Tagine (double the garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, and allspice)
- Three-Bean Dal (I use a hand blender to partially blend this - I like it best when it is creamy)
- Red Bean Cakes with Creamy Coconut Sauce
- Irish Soda Bread

Here are two sample recipes from the book that go well together and that I make all the time:












EAST COAST CHILI

> 1 Tbsp olive oil
> 1 large yellow onion, chopped
> 2 Tbsp chili powder, or to your taste
> 1/2 tsp dried oregano
> 1/2 tsp cayenne
> one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
> one 6-ounce can tomato paste
> 2 cups water
> 2 cups vegetarian burger crumbles
> 3 cups cooked or 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
> salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, oregano, cayenne, tomatoes, tomato paste, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Stir in the burger crumbles, beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 30 minutes to blend the flavors. Serve hot.

serves 6

Notes for this recipe: This is GOOD, rich, flavorful chili. Some of the vegan chili recipes I have tried in the past have been watery enough that I would argue that I was eating bean soup. And others taste too much like green peppers, or onions, or something else that is not CHILI. I typically use burger crumbles from Morningstar Farms. I have tried TVP but it does not work as well. I serve it with Fritos and guacamole but it tastes perfectly good on its own. Another good addition is chipotle flavored Tobasco sauce.



SKILLET CORNBREAD WITH SMOKED CHILES

> 1-1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
> 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
> 2-1/2 tsp baking powder
> 1 tsp salt
> 1 cup soy milk or other dairy-free milk
> 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
> 1 cup fresh, canned, or frozen corn kernels, cooked and drained
> 1/4 cup corn oil
> 2 Tbsp finely chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

3. In a medium size bowl, combine the soy milk, maple syrup, corn kernels, corn oil, and chiles and set aside.

4. Heat a well-oiled cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot. While the skillet is heating, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well with a few quick strokes. Transfer the batter to the hot skillet and bake on the center oven rack until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

makes 1 loaf

Notes for this recipe: The chipotle chiles give this a great smokey flavor. I have made it without chiles and it turned out fine too. I have also made it with green chiles. The green chiles didn't add much flavor. Most of the time I substitute corn syrup for maple syrup and it doesn't seem to affect the flavor much. Whatever you do, do not use artificially flavored maple syrup. Your corn bread will taste like pancakes. I have always used an 8x8 glass baking dish instead of a cast iron skillet. This would be a good recipe to try in the dutch oven.

1 comment:

Robin Robertson said...

Hi Troy, thanks for the great review of my cookbook, Vegan Planet. I'm so glad to know you enjoy the book. Thanks also for stopping by my eponymous blog to say hello.

Don't tell my cat Gary I said so, but I think your dog Roscoe is ADORABLE!!