Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cookbooks you should meet

The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen by Donna Klein

This is a great cookbook! Lots of people are attempting to go gluten-free these days, and Klein is a veritable pioneer in that direction:

Gluten, a combination of proteins found in various cereals, is what "gives bread its elasticity and cakes their spring," according to the author of this wonderful vegetarian resource. But for people suffering from celiac disease or wheat allergies, gluten can cause painful cramping, nausea and worse. Although gluten-free baked goods will never taste quite as supple as their refined wheat counterparts, Klein's offerings hardly taste like deprivation. Spiced Basmati Rice Pilaf with Peas is a spicy, filling supper, easy to prepare and high in fiber. Mushroom, Pea and Pearl Onion Pot Pie with Herbed Potato Topping is more involved, but worth it: slightly sweet vegetables in a creamy sauce under a thick potato crust brightened with herbs. A surprisingly well-rounded selection of breads features recipes for dense, soft Irish Potato Bread, thickened with more than a pound of potatoes and a quarter cup's worth of potato flour, and a Rice Flour Pizza Crust that's a close-enough approximation of the real thing.
And check out the desserts, including Klein's famous Hawaiian Coconut Cake and Blueberry Cheesecake!

Best Quick Breads by Beth Hensperger

The author of The Bread Bible has ferreted out the quickest of her trademark bread recipes, for those of us too impatient (or busy) to wait. There are 150 bread recipes in all.

I particularly recommend her fabulous Cornmeal-Orange biscuits!

Entertaining for a Veggie Planet by Didi Emmons

You haven't lived until you've tried Emmons' sweet potato soup! MMmM-MMMmmMM!

A Taste of Africa by Dorinda Hafner

Hafner, a native of Ghana, hosted a well-loved cooking show on Kentucky Educational Television, and this was the accompanying cookbook. This is not vegetarian, but still notable for the sheer variety of recipes and ingredients. I highly recommend the Toogber (called "poff-poff"), aka Nigerian sweet puffs, which are wonderful.

Toogber literally translates into "sheeps' balls"--don't tell your friends what they're eating! (LOL)

Serene Cuisine: Traditional Yogic Recipes for the Mind & Body by Nicky Moona

I love this cookbook! The Yogic philosophy is mirrored in these traditional recipes:

Yoga and the right foods make a deliciously healthy combination. These easy-to-prepare recipes have their roots in ancient principles, but they’ve all been revamped for the modern diet and illustrated with beautiful color photos. Every dish feeds the body and spirit as well as the mind: it’s a high fiber, high in antioxidants, vegetarian diet for people who want to eat well and be happy, and it can help manage weight, boost energy, improve concentration, strengthen the immune system, and even ease stress. Above all, these recipes taste fantastic, thanks to infusions of therapeutic spices. There’s no guilt when you dig into a rich Strawberry Lassi; Lentil Spinach Soup; Corn, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad; a variety of chutneys and curries; Green Lentil and Rice Kichdi; and Honey Fruit Delight. A bonus appendix shows yoga postures, and explains the links between the poses and the recipes.
Vegan Planet is the name of my favorite cookbook by South Carolina's own Robin Robertson, who has authored 17 ground-breaking vegetarian and vegan cookbooks. (Vegan Planet is also the name of her first blog; the second is titled Global Vegan Kitchen.) Her other books include Quick-Fix Vegetarian: Healthy Home-Cooked Meals in 30 Minutes or Less, Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker: 200 Recipes for Healthy and Hearty One-Pot Meals That Are Ready When You Are, Carb Conscious Vegetarian: 150 Delicious Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle, and the totally indispensable and fantastic soy-bible titled The Soy Gourmet.

From Robin's tasty book titled Vegan Fire and Spice: 200 Sultry and Savory Global Recipes, this is an Indian recipe for those of you who need some spice in your life!

Anshu's Red Lentil Sambar

1 cup red lentils
3 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons cold-pressed canola oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 hot green chiles, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 1/2 teaspoons sambar powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped eggplant
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Combine the lentils and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until soft, about 30 minutes. Set aside, but do not drain.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to pop, add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, then add the sambar powder, coriander, cayenne, cumin, and salt. Stir in the carrots, cauliflower, green beans, and eggplant. Cover and cook for 5 minutes to soften.

3. Add the vegetable mixture to the reserved lentils, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are very soft, about 20 minutes. If the mixture becomes too thick, add more water. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro and cook 5 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Serves 6


sheila said...

Thanks for tipping me off to the yoga one Daisy! You know me so well.

Looks realllly interesting. Going to check it out on amazon. And the first one looks pretty good too. Great post!!!

JoJo said...

What? No dancing in the street that SC scored the Boeing Dreamliner plant? It is a devastating decision for Washington, but not surprising. I knew Boeing would choose SC when they voted to disband the union. Well, that's what the machinists get for striking every 2-3 years, and refusing to agree not to strike again for at least 10 years.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Jojo, I'm getting ready to blog on that soon. I am torn; its good to get the jobs, but bad for unions... also, this has also hurt the chances for Sanford's impeachment, bah!

D. said...

Yeah, now that I'm actually cooking, I should start scoping out cookbooks. These days, I know folks with gluten allergies/sensitivities, so recipes would help (the greengrocer has various non-wheat flours, but I've never tried them).

DaisyDeadhead said...

And check out Jackie's fabulous Vegan Halloween recipes!

Rachel said...

Thanks...I had been thinking of ordering Vegan Planet, now your endorsement of it makes it even more attractive. And it has a South Carolina girl for an author to boot...

What do you think about the recipes from Vegetarian Times if you have ever tried one? I have a single issue lying around here...somewhere. I ordered two collections and those are already in the mail...1983 and 1995, but then I noticed some reviewers said, "IT ROCKS!" and some said "IT SUCKS!" i guess I will find out, but I wondered if you had a take on VT recipes...

Marion said...

I have Beth Hensberger's first book...The Bread Bible. Thanks for letting me know she has another out!

All of the cookbooks look interesting, but then I'm a cookbook fanatic! That's often my bedtime reading,lol!

CrackerLilo said...

The African cooking book, the entertaining book, and the Vegan Planet book all sound awesome! I was thinking I needed some different recipes.

@ Rachel: I like VT well enough to subscribe to the magazine, but think their recipes are hit or miss. Sometimes it's sensational; sometimes I have to really doctor it to salvage it. Some I just pass on by, especially anything that involves complicated combinations of vegetables and fruits. Better by far than Cooking Light, though.

Rachel said...

well, I guess if I try one of the "miss" recipes then I can always try putting a little oregano on it. That seems to improve just about anything :) thanks.