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The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of book lovers on the web, blogging about bookish things of the past week, visiting each others weblogs, and oh — reading books of course ;)

Last November -that’s almost a year ago indeed- Annemieke from Rozemarijn kookt asked on Twitter who would like to receive her copy of A Vegan Taste of Greece, by Linda Majzlik. Of course I was interested and she kindly sent me the book. Shame on me that I didn’t cook from it until a couple of weeks back!

Now why did I finally pick it up?

Cookbook Challenge ButtonWell.. There’s a PPK Cookbook Challenge on the Post Punk Kitchen forum. A vegan cookbook is chosen each week, and if you don’t have that particular book you can choose another from your shelves. This event coincides with Uniflame’s Cookbook Challenge on She Likes Bento. The difference between the two?

  • PPK: any (vegan) book will do if you don’t have the designated title but you’ll need make at least three recipes from it.
  • She Likes Bento: there’s no set amount of recipes to try (just one will do) but you have to choose an unused or hardly touched cookery book.

Conclusion: I’m making it harder on myself by combining the two. What else is new? ;)

A Vegan Taste of Greece by Linda Majzlik

Cover A Vegan Taste of GreeceA Vegan Taste of Greece was the only vegan cookbook I own from which I hadn’t tried a single recipe — so there really was no other first choice possible.

After a short introduction on the origin of Greek food and its place in society, A Vegan Taste of Greece starts with an alphabetical list of a regular pantry, often including nutritional info. Nice! The rest of the book is divided into chapters focussing on different courses: mezedes, soups, main courses, vegetables, grain accompaniments, salads, sauces and dressings, breads, desserts and baking.

I’ve made 4 recipes from 3 different sections: a main course, grain accompaniment and two salads, one green and one legume (bean). Each recipe indicates the amount of servings; mostly four but since it’s just the two of us here at Graasland, I usually made half of it.

Main course: Briami

Greek Briami, Turkish rice with chickpeas, cumin spiced quick bread and avocado salad

Greek Briami, Turkish rice with chickpeas, cumin spiced quick bread and avocado salad

Briami is a vegetable casserole containing potatoes, courgette, red pepper, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes and a selection of herbs & spices like fennel seeds, rosemary and thyme. Wine and lemon juice provide additional liquid. The dish is finished off with olives and vegan cheese, for which I used a combination of faux parmezan and ‘rawmezan’ (a mix of ground nuts & ‘nooch‘, aka nutritional yeast). Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Despite of all the flavourful ingredients I found the briami rather bland. :( It could have used more sauce and even then I’m not sure it would be really good. Maybe my expectations were too high? Mr Gnoe thought it was okay.

It’s an easy recipe to make but it does take some time preparing because of all the ingredients required. And then it has to go into the oven for about an hour. Oven dishes that can be prepared in advance are great when having guests for dinner, but I don’t think I would dare serve this. Don’t want to confirm a possible prejudice that vegan food is tasteless! ;)

Grain accompaniment: Minted bulgar with leeks

Leek bulghhur with seitan stroganoff

Seitan stroganoff with minted leek bulghur

The bulghur was… nice, but once more a bit dull. Admittedly I forgot to garnish with fresh mint. But I could hardly taste the dried peppermint that was also in it, and the leeks were so overcooked that they’d lost most of their flavour. I like leek, so it was another disappointment. I would consider making this again though: as an idea it’s more exciting than just wheat, it’s easy to make and a great way to add more vegetables to a meal. Next time I’d bake the veg separately until just done and combine everything at the end. It was a good combo with the seitan stroganoff though!

Green salad: fennel and avocado

Greek fennel salad with avocado

Greek fennel salad with watercress & avocado

I’ve got this surprisingly good fennel-tomato salad recipe and avocado is one of my favourite fruits, so I was eager to try a Greek recipe combining them. The biggest differences between the two are that the fennel is cooked first in the new recipe and it doesn’t have basil & black olives but watercress (and avocado) instead.

You can probably guess by now… Another flavourless dish. I expect Mediterranean food to be tasty! Furthermore, all ingredients were soft (not to say mushy) and I rather like a crunchy salad. My ideas for improvement? Keep the fennel raw, add olives & basil and maybe a little ouzo or other anise-flavoured drink. Of course having alcohol with your meal decreases the body’s ability to absorb vitamins, but sometimes there’s something to say for taste too. ;) But to be honest, I think I’ll stick with my regular fennel salad recipe.

Bean salad: chickpea

Greek chickpea salad

Chickpea salad

The last recipe, chickpea salad, was a small hit — the best of the bunch anyway. Especially considering it’s rather basic: a mix of cooked garbanzos, cucumber, a variety of peppers, red onion, black olives and a dressing made of skinned and finely chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, fresh thyme and black pepper. I added a little salt as a flavour enhancer too. Yes, I will make this salad again when I have an open can of chickpeas!

The verdict

It will come as no surprise that I’m not really enthusiastic about A Vegan Taste of Greece. I’m considering discarding it, but first I’d like to try some recipes from other sections, like…

  • A mezé ~ walnut-stuffed mushrooms? Yellow split-pea spread fava? Courgette critters? Or jumping into the deep end with gyros made from scratch, finally using that bag of seitan starter I purchased?
  • Dessert ~ baked nectarines or orange glazed peach slices, almond & apricot pastries… They make my mouth water. :) But all require the purchase of a new ingredient: orange flower water.
  • Baked goods ~ sesame cookies, almond cakes, semolina & lemon slices… No? ;)
  • And the baked beetroot in the vegetable chapter sounds like good too.

So there’s more to explore before the curtain falls. I’d like to try one each from the categories above before my final judgement. Still, there’s a whole series of A Vegan Taste of… (France, India, East Africa, et cetera) by Linda Majzlik. Getting me to try another would require a copy to literally fall into my hands again.

I hardly dare finish with one more flaw of the book.. :\ I think it’s partly a regional problem and doesn’t apply to Americans. MANY of the recipes use vegan cheese or yoghurt. I haven’t been able to find a good cheese substitute and feel reluctant to buy and use the varieties available here. In the US there’s Dayia… Reviews are raving so I’d love to get my hands on that!

And soygurt… It lacks the sour freshness of its animal equivalent, which cannot be fully compensated by adding (extra) lemon. I just purchased a tub though, so I do plan on trying one of the recipes containing yofu too.

To be continued?

If you’ve got one of Majzlik’s books I’d love to hear you think!

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The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of book lovers on the web, blogging about bookish things of the past week, visiting each others weblogs, and oh — reading books of course ;)

Months ago, it must have been somewhere in spring, I suddenly had enough. I haven’t told you (really didn’t mean to keep it a secret! ;) but I quit all the challenges I’d subscribed to for 2012. Just like that, cold turkey, after having been an addict for years! ;)

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Then came October… autumn. And Uniflame announced a two-month Cookbook Challenge inspiring people to cook from under-used cookbooks — who doesn’t have some of those hanging around? Of course I had to join. :) So Gnoe’s back in business!


Since it’s VeganMoFo this month, I’ll concentrate on vegan cookbooks. Starting of with A Vegan Taste of Greece by Linda Majzlik, that was passed on to me earlier this year — and until now I hadn’t tried a single recipe. I’ll probably share my experiences with the book next Sunday Salon.

Cover Vegan Taste of Greece (Linda Majzlik)

Other vegan cookbooks on my shelf that qualify:

  • Non-fish-a-licious and
  • (maybe) Lisette in Luilekkerland, both by Lisette Kramer.

Vegetarian nominees:

  • Yogi food (Jet Eikelboom & Seth Jansen),
  • The Art of Tofu (Akasha Richmond),
  • Living Among Meat Eaters (Carol J. Adams),
  • Koken in McDonald’s kitchen (Andy McDonald).

One omni cookbook that I’ve had for two decades, haven’t cooked from and still fail at getting rid of: Aan tafel met Yvonne Keuls, a collection of family recipes from Yvonne Keuls, a Dutch writer with Indonesian roots.

Which cookbooks have you hardly used?

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Vegan Cookbooks
It’s been a long time since I posted a Sunday Salon. But today I wanted to share my growing pile of vegan cookbooks for VeganMoFo.

When I started ExtraVeganza! in January I didn’t have a vegan cookbook worth mentioning. That wasn’t a problem since I managed quite well with my vegetarian cookery books and the Web. I hadn’t used my World Food Cookbook as intensively before and was very content with the amount of vegan recipes! The Vegetarian Table: Japan turned out a faithful companion to my journey as well.

Still, it’s no fun picking a recipe and having to think if, and how, it can be veganised. Especially when you have to conclude it’s no use trying… Remember I am just a beginner!

Cover La Dolce Vegan: Vegan Livin' Made Easy (Sarah Kramer)Also, even though much of your regular cooking can easily be made animal-free, there are some basics that make life as a vegan easier. My silent wish for a completely plant-based reference book was quickly granted by my sister-in-law, who gave me Sarah Kramer’s La Dolce Vegan!

It was an instant success (which I’ve raved about but still need to expand upon) but while looking for another appropriate handbook something else hit me: the difference in American and European cooking, especially concerning ingredient availability.

So today I own no less than 3 Dutch vegan cookbooks! Antoinette Herzenberg & Jacinta Bokma’s Puur Plantaardig, Lisette Kreischer’s Lisette in Luilekkerland and Non*fish*a*li*cious (admittedly the latter contains 1 non-vegan recipe which uses a vegetarian tuna-substitute).

Cover Ecofabulous, Lisette KreischerI haven’t really cooked from these yet, but that’s because I thoroughly had to explore my library copy of Ecofabulous first.

This 2009 publication is out of print already and I wanted to find out whether I should preorder the 2nd edition, coming out in December. Hell yes! :) Even if it’s only for Veggie in Pumps‘ AMAZING pumpkin-ginger cupcakes… :)

One of the Ecofabulous pumpkin cupcakes I baked

I’m eagerly awaiting the ‘ecofabulous’ *drop* into my mailbox and from that moment I guess I’ll own about all the Dutch vegan cookbooks existing on the planet. But as Puur Plantaardig was only published last month (!) and Non*fish*a*li*cious in June this year, it’s safe to conclude that green living & vegan eating is gaining popularity!

Cover The Art of Tofu (Akasha Richmond)
Two other vegan (cook)books that I actually did own already before ExtraVeganza! are Akasha Richmond’s The Art of Tofu and Living Among Meat Eaters by Carol J. Adams.

The first is a kind of promotional publication for Mori-Nu tofu, the latter a nonfiction book about how to handle aggressive questions about your strict vegetarian (= vegan) lifestyle. Cover Living Among Meat Eaters (Carol J. Adams)I bought ‘Meat Eaters’ years ago but didn’t really get around to reading and certainly didn’t try any of the recipes at the end of the volume since they all contained one or more ingredients not commonplace as far as my kitchen cupboards are concerned. Now they are. ;) The same goes for The Art of Tofu. So I’ll probably be checking their indexes out again in the near future. I’m specifically interested in Akasha’s baking blend that works as an egg-replacer. There are several easier egg-substitutes around so I’m curious if this one’s better than the others.

Let’s hope I’ll manage to review all of these vegan cookbooks in the near future!

Do you have any recommendations on books I should add to this collection?
It goes without saying that they don’t need to be Dutch!

Currently reading

Tinkers (Paul Harding)Of course there’s other bookish news as well. I’m currently reading Tinkers by Paul Harding; a recommendation on Books on the Nightstand (a podcast I like to listen to). I first started reading about 2 months ago but couldn’t get into it, even though the starting point is pretty interesting. The first line of the book:

George Washington Crosby began to hallucinate eight days before he died.

After finishing all 3 volumes of Haruki Murakami’s 1q84 last week I decided to give Tinkers another try. It’s a quick read and didn’t win last year’s Pulitzer Prize for nothing, right?!

I’m about a third in and this time I actually like it! :) That just goes to show you the moment or emotional state in which you read a work of fiction does influence your appreciation. At least it does with me. :)

24 hour readathon

And yay, it’s that time of year again! Dewey’s semi-annual 24 hour readathon runs on Saturday October 22nd. I usually just join the fall edition and I’m a bit sad that I can only partly participate this time because of an important birthday party I’m going to.

So here’s what I’m going to do.

  • The official starting time in my area is 2pm (GMT+1). That would hardly leave me any time to read so I’ll be beginning my readathon at 8am.
  • As I will be staying over after the party I’ll stop the readathon at the beginning of the evening (before or during our trip) and write a wrap-up post on Sunday afternoon when I’m back home.
  • Due to this I don’t think I’ll be participating in (m)any mini-challenges…

Next Sunday I’ll show you the books I plan to pick from! Are you joining in as well? Reading rules!

Sunday Salon logoThe Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of book lovers on the web, blogging about bookish things of the past week, visiting each others weblogs, and oh — reading books of course ;)

This post is also submitted to Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking.

Another post combining two weeks of organic CSA veggies. And another recipe in our cabbage feature too!

Organic CSA vegetables week 28, 2011

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 28, 2011

Last week’s loot:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • fennel
  • flat leaf parsley
  • turnips
  • courgette (zucchini)
  • red berries
  • cauliflower

Organic CSA vegetables week 29, 2011

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 29, 2011

This week’s batch of Amelishof vegetables:

  • chard
  • curly red leaf lettuce
  • prunes
  • green beans
  • St. Jansui (tree onion)
  • capucijner peas
  • pointed cabbage

Yes, cabbage again — that means I can share another recipe with you!

Japanese Pickled Cabbage

Pickled cabbage (tsukemono)

In Japan, tsukemono are pickled dishes that contrast in texture and flavour to other parts of your meal. They can be served as side dishes, snacks or used as garnish. Pickled (Chinese) cabbage is often eaten with rice. Since I’m gaijin, I had it with noodles… :\ Here’s the recipe I took from The Vegetarian Table: Japan cookbook by Victoria Wise.

Now this is really easy so you have no excuse not to try!

Ingredients

  • 1 small cabbage (pointed, napa or green), washed, quartered, cored and finely shredded
  • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
  • optional: 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh red chilli (I grown them on my balcony!)

Preparation

  1. Place cabbage and salt in a large bowl, toss together and knead the mixture with your hands until juices are released (about 1 minute).
  2. Scoop the cabbage in a mount, cover with a plate large enough to cover most of the surface but small enough to fit well inside the bowl. Top with a weight (i.e. heavy pan with water).
  3. Set aside until well wilted but still crunchy: 1-2 hours.
  4. Drain the cabbage.
  5. If serving right away: squeeze out most of the liquid without wringing dry. Transfer to a serving dish or individual plates and sprinkle with chili.
    Or to store: refrigerate for up to several days and squeeze out the extra moisture when ready to serve.

Types of tsukemono that can be made quickly like this are called sokusekizuke (instant pickles). They only hold well for a couple of days!

I usually hear people complain that they don’t know what to do with cabbage. So I was pretty surprised that I only got affirmative comments of cabbage lovers to on my previous recipe. I’m not a huge fan of this veggie myself, but am getting to appreciate it more and more with some fab recipes. So please share!

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Recipe submitted to the July Whip Up Something New! Challenge hosted on Joyfully Retired

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Sunday Salon logoThe Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of book lovers on the web, blogging about bookish things of the past week, visiting each others weblogs, and oh — reading books of course ;)

My experience with Ann Gentry’s Vegan Family Meals: Real Food for Everyone kind of resembled a sugar-crash.

Know what that is? When you’re taking in big amounts of refined sugars at a time (like having a Mars bar or a donut), blood sugar levels spike, releasing insulin into your body which then causes your blood sugar levels to plummet. Some of you may call it an afternoon dip. ;) You experience a roller-coaster ride as the body works hard to stabilize its blood sugar levels.

Cover Vegan Family Meals: Real Food for Everyone (Ann Gentry)Reading the introduction to Vegan Family Meals got me extremely enthusiastic. Ann Gentry is the busy chef of Los Angeles’ popular vegan restaurant Real Food Daily. She wants to make plant-based cooking accessible for the time-strapped cook who craves delicious meals that are easy to prepare. By showing that the vegan cooking process isn’t so different from vegetarian cooking she specifically means to help omnivores wanting to reduce their intake of animal products, newbie vegetarians-turned-vegan like myself or even die-hard vegans. If you eat (strict) vegetarian for just one day a week, it will have a positive impact on your health and the environment. That’s why Meatless Mondays are getting more popular every day!

“If you’re intimidated by the thought of preparing plant-based foods, don’t be. A standard peanut butter and jelly sandwich is vegan. Most of the easy vegan recipes that follow have fewer than a dozen ingredients – and they’re much more delicious than a PB&J.”

YAY!

“The dishes in this books are designed for family meals. They are simple vegan recipes with approachable ingredients lists and techniques, relatively short preparation time, and, of course, wide appeal.”

Hear hear!

“For help with ingredients that might be new to you, simply turn to the Real Food Pantry listings throughout the book for extra information that will demystify the likes of spelt and umeboshi, and more plant-based staples.”

YES!

Can it get any better? Simple but yummy meals with less than twelve ingredients that do not rely heavily on unfamiliar ingredients or which components can easily be substituted. And Ann Gentry promises to do all this on an affordable budget.

So. You may understand I got a little discouraged when I discovered that the first recipe of Vegan Family Meals — Super Hippie Granola — contains 15 ingredients, among which dried Hunza mulberries (never heard of), goji berries (not in stock) and melted unrefined coconut oil (erm…). Thankfully the author suggests common substitutes like coconut flakes, cranberries or or other dried tropical fruits. And it’s a breakfast dish that you are meant to prepare in advance so maybe I should not worry too much about the long ingredients list.

On to the next breakfast recipe: Acai Granola Bowl. It consists of only 8 ingredients, but alas: one of those is the previously mentioned Super Hippie Granola and the main element is frozen acai berry bars… Can’t get those in in The Netherlands! The same goes for the following breakfast recipes: they either contain products that are ‘strange’, hard to get or need to be prepared well in advance. Also, vegan cheese substitutes are needed for several of them.

I couldn’t help feeling disappointed by this time. I guess the Vegan Family Meals cookbook isn’t really meant for the European market – and things are certainly different over here in The Netherlands. There are less vegan products and options. For example there are no vegan ‘cheeses’ that can be considered real alternatives for dairy cheese, as was recently confirmed by a test panel of Vegatopia (article in Dutch). The on the internet much appraised Daiya is not available in my country.

Still, there’s hope: on most things we’re supposed to be 5 years behind on the UK and 10 on the US. If I think back to when I stopped eating meat, there were much fewer vegetarian options as well. Ann Gentry herself writes that most products were only available in natural food stores when she started her alternative food journey. Now they’re sold in mainstream supermarkets – and being vegan is hip. :)

I was happy to find that further on in the book there were several recipes I felt I could try.

I ended up making 5 of them:

  • Ginger Miso Soup (p.98)
    Just a good miso soup recipe, flavourful but not really anything special.
  • Kombu Dashi (p.99)
    Needed for the Ginger Miso Soup.
  • Sweet Mustard Tempeh (p.116)
    Tasty. I had some of it on a sandwich and with the rest I plan to make a salad with the saffron-orange tahini dressing that accompanies this recipe in the cookbook (p.115).
  • Orange-Basil Tempeh (p.129; recipe below)
    Very flavourful: will definitely be making this again!
  • Watercress and Butter Lettuce Salad with Israeli Couscous, Orange Basil-Tempeh and Sweet Miso Dressing (p.128)
    This is a really good salad recipe, although I found that the many flavours pushed the orange-basil tempeh to the background. I will be making it again, especially for pot-lucks or a picnic, but probably without the tempeh – and with the Roasted Pistachios (p.55) that I forgot to add this time.

Still on the menu plan with pak choi from this week’s batch of organic vegetables: Szechuan Noodles with Spicy Hot Peanut Sauce (p.147).

Another positive aspect of Vegan Family meals is that it’s an easy and interesting read. It’s well-stocked with appetizing photo’s, cutting techniques, info on so-called exoctic superfoods, non-dairy milks, sweeteners, food history et cetera. Each of the sections (Breakfasts, Snacks & Sandwiches, Soups, Family-Style Salads, Simple Meals, Grains and Vegetables, Desserts) is introduced by a one page article that educates us a little more about the topic as well as the author’s life. So after plummeting from euphoric to frustrated, my end verdict for Vegan Family Meals: Real Food for Everyone is a positive one.

Thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing I was given the opportunity to preview the e-book version of Vegan Family Meals through Netgalley. The key question is now: will I buy a paper copy when it is published on June 14th? I’m afraid not. The dishes take a little more time to prepare than expected and often times another component needs to be made first. I also felt I had to ‘tweak’ too many of the recipes because of lacking ingredients. But maybe this will change in few years from now, when we’re up to speed with the US here in The Netherlands?! ;)

To get a taste of the book yourself I’ll share the recipe for Orange-Basil Tempeh. Since Mr Gnoe and I are a family of two I just made half of it.

Salad with couscous, orang-basil tempeh and sweet miso dressing

Recipe for Orange-Basil Tempeh (salad condiment)

Ingredients
Serves 4.

  • 225 g tempeh, halved horizontally and then cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 120 ml fresh orange juice
  • zest of 1 organic orange
  • 3 tbs finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbs agave syrup
  • 2 tbs tamari
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

  1. I immediately moved away from the recipe by steaming the tempeh for 10 minutes. I’ve read elsewhere that it improves absorbency (and alleviates the slightly bitter taste some people dislike). It’s your choice whether you do this or not.
  2. Whisk the orange juice, basil, agave nectar, tamari, garlic, olive oil and zest (= everything except tempeh ;) together in a bowl.
  3. Add the tempeh (either raw or steamed) and turn to coat.
  4. Arrange the tempeh in a single layer so it’s (partly) submerged in the marinade.
  5. Set aside to marinade for at least an hour or refrigerate overnight. I did the latter.
  6. Put in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes until tempeh is hot and the marinade has reduced.
  7. Serve the tempeh warm or at room temperature.

ENJOY!

Hop over to She Likes Bento for another review of Vegan Family Meals including the recipe for Sweet Potato Fries!

The recipe for a Spring to Summer Vegetable Dish can be found on the Real Food Daily website.

You want to have a look at the cookbook yourself? Go to the publisher’s page and check out the Google preview.

This is my first submission to Cookbook Sundays, a meme from Mom’s Sunday Café!

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Sunday Salon logoThe Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, blogging about bookish things of the past week, visiting each others weblogs, and oh — reading books of course ;)

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This is my first Sunday Salon of 2011 and I’m going to talk about a cookbook. As you may have noticed, food has been on my mind a lot lately! ;) For my 10-day ExtraVeganza! project I relied heavily on the World Food Café: Global Vegetarian Cooking cookbook. It is a feast for the eye — and your tummy!

Cover World Food Cafe cookbook, Chris & Carolyn CaldicottThe book was put together by Chris & Carolyn Caldicott. It contains recipes they collected, or got inspired, on the many journeys they’ve made across the globe. They did so with the aim to open their own restaurant: the World Food Café in London.

Chris Caldicott is an awesome photographer and the cookbook is littered with beautiful full-colour photos — at least one on each double page. So even if you don’t like to cook, you could display this treasure on your coffee table. ;) But that is certainly not what it’s meant for.

It really is a great collection of recipes, many dairy-free! Rather unique for a vegetarian cookbook these days… Still, it is vegetarian and not all-vegan. Especially the section on The Americas ‘regularly’ contains dairy or eggs: 5 of the 23 (disregarding butter). Now that’s not too bad, is it? Unfortunately the only dessert of the book is among those — a mouthwatering chocolate cake. I wouldn’t know how to substitute the 6 eggs needed for that, but in many cases it’s possible to omit or replace the non-vegan ingredient.

As you may have understood from the previous paragraph, the book is divided in different global regions:

  • The Middle East & Africa (p.10-57)
  • India, Nepal & Sri Lanka (p.58-111)
  • Southeast Asia & China (p.112-145)
  • The Americas (p. 146-185)

Each continent starts with a two-page photograph, followed by an introduction. And most of the recipes also have short description of where they came from. The book concludes with a short glossary of ingredients and an index.

I’m sure I made 10 dishes from this book, of which 7 got a BIG thumbs up. The other 3 were either okay or so-so and I need to stipulate that in two of the cases I didn’t use the proper ingredients… I mostly cooked from the Indian section and am still dying to try the potato bondas (fritters) from North India that seem perfect for a bento. But so far my expeditions in search for the essential ingredient ‘asefetida‘ (a.k.a. hing) were in vain.

List of recipes tried

Middle East:

  • Hummus (p.35)

India, Nepal & Sri Lanka:

Southeast Asia & China:

This book comes highly recommended! And I would like to express a huge THANK YOU to the globetrotter in-laws that gave it to me as a birthday present.

Here’s a recipe we’ve made several times. You’ll find a variation of it in tomorrow’s bento!

Spicy Bean Curd & Bean Sprout Salad from Thailand

Ingredients
Serves 4-6

  • 1 cucumber; grated
  • 1 red bell pepper; seeded, deribbed and cut into fine strips
  • 8 ounces / 225 grams of bean sprouts (I grow them myself!)
  • 1 tbs sunflower oil
  • 10 ounces / 275 grams of tofu; cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) slices and ready to fry
  • 1 garlic clove; crushed
  • 1-2 green Thai or serrano chilies; thinly sliced (red chili is fine)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbs light soy sauce
  • 2 ts packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (150 grams) skinned peanuts; toasted and crushed
  • handful of fresh cilantro leaves; chopped

Preparation

  1. Combine grated cucumber, bell pepper and bean sprouts in a salad bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry the tofu slices until brown and crunchy. Set aside en let cool.
  3. Using the same pan, sauté garlic and chilies for a few seconds, then add the lime juice, soy sauce and brown sugar. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Arrange tofu slices on top of the salad and sprinkle with crushed peanuts.
  5. Pour on the hot dressing and garnish with lots of cilantro.

ENJOY!

This review is my first post for the Foodie’s Reading Challenge!

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What to do? Deze week zitten er kapucijners in onze groentetas! Ja, dat schrijf je met een k, niet met een c ;) Ik ben er eigenlijk niet zo dol op en heb dan ook geen creatieve ideeën (wel met een c) voor verwerking :\ Ach, van die melige ballen uit blik zijn natuurlijk iets heel anders dan zo vers uit de peul! Ik verwacht in ieder geval meer bite ;)

Toevalligerwijze staat er voor komende dagen al een van onze all-time favourites op het menu: frijoles (mexicaanse bonen), dus ik denk dat we de kidneybeans uit blik maar vervangen door deze verse bonen. Of het wordt een combinatie. Gedeelde vreugd is dubbele vreugd dus ik zal het recept hiervoor spoedig posten :) Het is gebaseerd op een gerecht van Eethuis Iris in Eindhoven.

Verder in de tas:

  • kropsla
  • prei
  • courgettes
  • venkelknol
  • bos koriander

Met de rest van de groentes maken we waarschijnlijk nog een maaltijd uit een, inmiddels aardig beduimeld, kookboekje van Eethuis Iris: Heerlijke vegetarische menu’s. Hoe klinkt dit: preiquiche, gebakken courgette met zonnebloempitjes, Napolitaanse witte bonen en venkel-tomatensalade? Alsof het op de tas van deze week is uitgezocht!

Alwéér een nieuwe ontdekking in ons groentepakket: wortelpeterselie. Nog nooit van gehoord! :-o Het is maar goed dat er een inhoudsopgave in de tas zit, want anders was het als pastinaak de pan in gegaan…

Pastinaak en wortelpeterselie

Rechts wortelpeterselie, links pastinaak. Hoeveel verschillen tellen jullie?

Omdát we nog pastinaak hadden, en ook worteltjes, venkel en verse tijm, maakten we in honing geroosterde wortelgroenten; een variatie op een recept uit Vegagerechten van Veltman Uitgevers. Riskant, want uit datzelfde boek was ooit de aardpeer geroosterd met knoflook en rode wijn gekomen waarover ik eerder deze week schreef. Maar dit was heerlijk met een kaasomelet! De smaak van wortelpeterselie heb ik alleen niet herkend… Het waren ook wel erge kleintjes hè. Helaas ben ik vergeten om ze vooraf rauw te proeven, maar ik kan wel zeggen dat ze lekker ruikten roken: een beetje fris naar knolselderij en maggi.

Het recept is op een later moment toegevoegd.

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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