In the interest of finding some healthy recipes to start the new year off right, I sorted through my collection today and looked at various vegan cookbooks. I was reminded how much the approach to eating vegan varies in different books. Some use all sorts of "fake meat" products like 'chicken' seitan or soy 'bacon' or milk substitutes. Others don't at all. Some are very healthy with low fat recipes and others really pour it on. And another difference is whether the books try to recreate dishes familiar to omnivores with vegan ingredients, like sloppy joes or scrambled eggs.
I paged through four different vegan cookbooks today and each one couldn't be more different than the next. All are appealing for different reasons.
One that I picked out is called "Conveniently Vegan" by Debra Wasserman. The basis for the book is to help vegans cook healthy, inexpensive meals while taking advantage of the natural convenience foods out there like frozen vegetables, jarred sauces, vegan meat substitutes and canned beans.
The recipes are mostly very simple, making this book an excellent choice for a beginning cook as well as for people who want to eat healthier. They have few ingredients and very short, straightforward instructions. Most are very quick to put together too, so they are great for busy folks. To help keep things quick, almost all of them need only one or two pots or pans. That's a real time saver at clean up time.
Table of Contents
Top Dishes For Calcium and Iron
- Gravies and Sauces
- Meat Alternatives
- Lunches or Snacks
Sources of Vegan Products
Other Books From The Vegetarian Resource Group ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There is lots of information in the book about the more obscure ingredients, and even a list of recipes that have the most calcium or iron for those concerned about getting enough of those nutrients. And a fantastic feature is a dual index listing recipes first by ingredient, and then by course, like desserts.
The Menu Ideas chapter would be great for someone new to eating vegan to see how to put together balanced meals. And each recipe comes with a nutritional analysis. There are quite a few recipes that are similar to meat recipes that would help a new vegan transition over without missing too many foods. Some of those include various lasagna recipes, sloppy joes, burgers, hot dogs and beans, and stuffed peppers.
Some of the recipes I'd like to try include: Black Bean Watercress Sauté; Sautéed Amaranth, Peas and Onions; Quinoa Sweet Potato Patties; Couscous Lettuce Rolls; Pasta with Onion Sauce; Mexican Noodle Casserole; Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry; Potato, Apple & Sauerkraut Dish; Avocado Dressing; and Mandarin Orange, Avocado & Cucumber Salad.
I haven't tried this recipe yet, but it sounds interesting. It's typical of the simplicity of the recipes in this cookbook and shows how easy it would be to put meals on the table every day using this cookbook.
Spicy Mandarin Chickpeas
Serve this delicious combination of ingredients over a bed of rice.
Two 19-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Two 10.5-ounce cans mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup strawberry jam
2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Heat all the ingredients in a medium-size pot over medium heat for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Total calories per serving: 357 Fat: 6 grams Total Fat as % of Daily
Value: 9% Protein: 11 grams Iron: 4 mg Carbohydrates: 69 grams Calcium: 110 mg Dietary fiber: 15 grams Sodium: 670 mg
Book Title: Conveniently Vegan
Author(s): Debra Wasserman
Category: vegan, healthy, quick & easy
Publisher: The Vegetarian Resource Group
Publisher website: http://www.vrg.org/
Date published: 1997
Edition: Second. Revised in 1999.
Description: soft cover
Illustrated: some cartoon drawings of vegetables
Number of Recipes: 150
List Price: US$ 15.00