Category Archives: The Inspired Vegan

The Inspired Vegan Round-up

Yay! We cooked our way through another wonderful VegCookbook!  Here’s a round-up of some of our experiences cooking from The Inspired Vegan.

Elisa of Veggie Goes Vegan made the Saag Tofu. She wrote, “The roasted tofu is tossed in marinade then roasted on parchment paper for 30 minutes in the oven. IT IS TO DIE FOR. Crispy outside, soft inside, and oh so flavorful.”  She also made the Coconut Quinoa, which she says was, “so quick and so easy.”

Patricia of Boomerwizdom tried several recipes:

1. She shared that she made the Tortillas Stuffed with Swiss Chard, Currants and Spicy Guacamole saying, “This recipe is a keeper and inexpensive. I had leftovers for breakfast with a cup of coffee.”

2. She also made the Black-Eyed Peas in Garlic-Ginger Braised Mustard Greens with Quick-Pickled Mustard Greens, Sesame Seeds and Tamari which she described as, “super easy to prepare and de-Lish. 4 snaps.”

3. And she made the Smoky Tomatoes, Roasted Plantains, and Crumbled Tempeh dish + the Coconut Quinoa.  “You wind up with a subtle occasionally sweet taste,” she wrote.

I made:

1. Red Beans with Thick Gravy and Roasted Garlic + Coconut Quinoa

2. Simple Salad of Butter Lettuce and Fresh Herbs with Meyer Vinaigrette

3. Purple Slaw with Toasted Pecans + Butter Bean and Tomato-Drenched Collards with Parsley

4. Crunchy Chopped Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing

Did I miss anyone’s posts, comments, tweets, or photos?

I’m looking forward to VegCooking with you in April from Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan!

Full disclosure: I received a review copy of The Inspired Vegan, and the link from it is connected to my Amazon Associates account. If you buy something after clicking on the link, I get a small portion of the sale.

Crunchy Chopped Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing

One  of my resolutions for March was to eat more veggies, so this week I made the Crunchy Chopped  Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing from The Inspired Vegan (p. 103). It’s a nutritious and crunchy mix of green beans, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, green bell pepper, celery, green onions, and apples.

I also made the Stability Salad from Meg Worden’s Salad Alchemy. I’d never think to put roasted sweet potatoes in my salad, but they were a sweet and tasty addition.

What did you make from The Inspired Vegan this week?

Full disclosure: I received a review copy of The Inspired Vegan, and the link from it is connected to my Amazon Associates account. If you buy something after clicking on the link, I get a small portion of the sale.

Purple Slaw with Toasted Pecans + Butter Bean and Tomato-Drenched Collards with Parsley

This week I made two AMAZING dishes from The Inspired Vegan:

1. Purple Slaw with Toasted Pecans (p. 135-136)

The combination of the garlicky slaw, toasted pecans and sweet-tart Granny Smith apples is the secret to what made each mouthful amazing.  My beet and purple cabbage were big, so I doubled the dressing. I also mixed all of the dressing in from the get-go, rather than leaving some to drizzle at the end, which would have been pretty, but I wanted all the flavor to soak into the veggies at once.

2. Butter Bean and Tomato-Drenched Collards with Parsley
(pp. 57-59)

Holy cow was this soup good, and it just gets more and more tasty the longer it sits.  I’ve definitely been resistant to soaking and cooking dried beans (who has the time?), but this soup + the Red Beans with Thick Gravy and Roasted Garlic is making me a covert. The only change I made was to leave out the serrano chile.

Because last week was such a stressful + non-cooking week, I tried to make up for it this week.  I also made:

Power Salad from Meg Worden’s Salad Alchemy

You can’t really go wrong when it comes to quinoa, in my opinion.

Bananas Foster from Vegetarian Times

Yum! I used Dark Chocolate Coconut Bliss for the “ice cream.” The recipe is from  Raven’s Restaurant at the Stanford Inn by the Sea in Mendocino (vacation wish list!).

What did you make from The Inspired Vegan this week?

Full disclosure: I received a review copy of The Inspired Vegan, and the link from it is connected to my Amazon Associates account. If you buy something after clicking on the link, I get a small portion of the sale.

Simple Salad of Butter Lettuce and Fresh Spring Herbs with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Last week was *ridiculously* stressful, so I chose one of the easiest recipes from The Inspired Vegan, Simple Salad of Butter Lettuce and Fresh Spring Herbs with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette (p. 54).

It was refreshing, light, and a quick healthy dish to make during a challenging time. I’d never added fresh herbs to a salad before  (I used basil, mint and flat leaf parsley), but I will in the future.

I didn’t follow the Vinaigrette (p. 8) directions exactly. You’re supposed combine all of the ingredients in a blender, but I was lazy and shook them up in a jam jar.

What recipes did you try from The Inspired Vegan last week?

Full disclosure: I received a review copy of The Inspired Vegan, and the link from it is connected to my Amazon Associates account. If you buy something after clicking on the link, I get a small portion of the sale.

Red Beans with Thick Gravy and Roasted Garlic + Coconut Quinoa

Last night I ate the best beans I’ve ever had in my life.

On Sunday, I made Red Beans with Thick Gravy and Roasted Garlic (p. 181), and Coconut Quinoa (p. 119) from our March Vegcookbook, The Inspired Vegan. I served them with  Simple Garlicky Greens from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas.

The red bean recipe is definitely a Sunday afternoon cooking experience (you soak the beans overnight and cook them for 2-2.5 hours), but it was worth the time it took.

Wow.

Yum.

Who would think to put thyme and a whole bulb of roasted garlic into beans?  The quinoa was yummy too, and easy to make.

Other Inspired Vegan recipes I  want to try this month are:

  • Marinated Beets (p. 29)
  • Garlic-Ginger-Sauteed Beet Greens (p. 30)
  • Simple Salad of Butter Lettuce and Fresh Spring Herbs with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette (p. 54)
  • Butter Bean and Tomato-Drenched Collards with Parsley (p. 57)
  • Red Beet Tapenade Crostini (p. 78)
  • White Wine-Simmered Collard Greens with Oven-Dried Tomatoes (p. 96)
  • Yellow Basmati Rice (p.71)
  • Cherry Sangria (p.77)
  • Sliced Mint and Cucumber Salad (p.91)
  • Purple Slaw with Toasted Pecans (p. 135)
  • Slurricane Shooter (p. 173)
  • Roasted Winter Vegetable Jambalaya (p.179)
  • Gumbo Zav (p. 177)

What did you make this week from The Inspired Vegan?  What recipes are you excited to try?  Did any questions, or challenges come up as you dove into our new VegCookbook?

Happy VegCooking!

Full disclosure: I received review copies of The Inspired Vegan and Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Also, the links from The Inspired Vegan and Vegan Holiday Kitchen are connected to my Amazon Associates account. If you buy something after clicking on the link, I get a small portion of the sale.

Free Recipe from The Inspired Vegan: Savory Grits with Sautéed Broad Beans, Roasted Fennel and Thyme

Are you guys excited for our new cookbook, The Inspired Vegan? To get us started, the nice folks at Da Capo sent over a recipe (below) from the book: Savory Grits with Sautéed Broad Beans, Roasted Fennel and Thyme.

You can see another recipe from the book, Molasses, Miso, and Maple Candied Sweet Potatoes on my other blog, Have Fun, Do Good. Enjoy!

Savory Grits with Sautéed Broad Beans, Roasted Fennel and Thyme

Savory Grits with Sautéed Broad Beans, Roasted Fennel and Thyme
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Soundtrack: “Walkin Blues’” by Robert Johnson from Robert Johnson—The Complete Recordings
Book: Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression by Robin D. G. Kelley

Warm, creamy, and scrumptious, this dish will become a standard comfort food in your family’s home. The broad beans (also known as fava beans) give it an earthy richness, and the soft, melting texture of the roasted fennel adds subtle complexity. If they are available, use spring-fresh broad beans. Otherwise frozen fava beans, which you’ll find at most Middle Eastern markets, will work fine for this recipe. If broad beans are not available, fresh or frozen lima beans are a good substitution. And please make sure you use grits (I prefer yellow), not polenta, their close cousin. By the way, the roasted fennel is great as a stand-alone side dish.

Fennel
2 medium-size fennel bulbs (about 3/4 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Broad Beans
A little over 2 pounds of fresh broad beans, or 2 cups frozen broad beans, thawed
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup Vegetable Stock (page 4)
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme

Grits
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and more for drizzling if you like
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse sea salt
4 cups Vegetable Stock (page 4)
3/4 cup yellow grits
1/2 cup Creamed Cashews (page 14)
Freshly ground white pepper

For the fennel
Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cut the stalks and fronds off the fennel, so you are left with just the round white bulbs at the base. Cut each bulb, lengthwise, into eight pieces and remove the core.

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil with the salt. Add the fennel and toss well to coat.

Arrange the fennel on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until the fennel begins to caramelize, about 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes for even roasting.

Sprinkle with pepper and set aside.

For the beans

If using fresh broad beans, shell, blanch, and peel them, then set them aside (see sidebar). If using frozen beans, rinse them until they are thawed and set them aside to drain.

Combine the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté until fragrant and golden, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, the salt, and the reserved beans. Lower the heat to medium-low, partially cover the skillet, and simmer until the beans are tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Add the thyme, stir the mixture well, and cook for an additional minute.

For the grits

In a medium-size sauté pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and add the onion, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Set aside.

In a medium-size saucepan, combine 3 cups of the stock and ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Whisk the grits into the liquid until no lumps remain. Return to a boil, then quickly lower the heat to low. Simmer, whisking occasionally to prevent the grits from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the grits have absorbed most of the liquid and are beginning to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining cup of stock and simmer for another 10 minutes, whisking occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the 1/2 cup of Creamed Cashews and the onion mixture, cover, and simmer, whisking frequently, until the grits are soft and fluffy, about 30 minutes.

If desired, add a few tablespoons of water to thin out the grits.

Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Top each serving of grits with several slices of roasted fennel and about 1/2 cup of the beans. If desired, drizzle each serving with a little olive oil.

Shelling, Blanching, and Peeling Fresh Broad Beans
First, bend the tip of the tough outer shell, pull down the seam, and remove the bean inside. In a saucepan over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add the broad beans and cook for about 45 seconds. Drain and immediately rinse in cold running water. Transfer the beans to a bowl filled with cold water. Pinch each bean to remove its skin. Discard the skin.

Credits: From the book The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2012. www.dacapopresscookbooks.com. Recipe photo is by Jennifer Martine.

Full disclosure: I received a review copy of The Inspired Vegan. Also, the link from The Inspired Vegan is connected to my Amazon Associates account. If you buy something after clicking on the link, I get a small portion of the sale.

Our March VegCookbook: The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry

The March VegCookbook poll results are in! In March, we’ll be cooking together from The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus by Bryant Terry.

You can learn more about Bryant on his website www.bryant-terry.com,  follow him on Twitter @bryantterry, like the book’s Facebook Page, and watch his web show, Urban Organic.

The Inspired Vegan is available on Amazon and through Powell’s Books. Don’t forget to check your local bookstore too!

Full disclosure: I received a review copy of The Inspired Vegan from Da Capo Books. Also, the Amazon links are attached to my Amazon Associates account. If you make a purchase after you click on them, I receive a small percentage of the sale.