Today I’m bringing you the first ever cookbook review here on Vegan Chickpea! Kate Ford, the blogger behind one of the leading UK vegan and vegetarian food blogs over at The Veg Space, has recently come out with her first cookbook called Vegan in 15: Delicious Plant-based Recipes You Can Cook in 15 Minutes or Less. In exchange for providing an honest review, I received the book for free. Thanks Kate! 🙂
A WORD FROM KATE
“I’m not here to tell you why you should eat less meat and dairy, nor why you should go vegan. Instead, if you are thinking about it, or have decided to do so, I hope simply to show you that you can eat incredibly tasty food that doesn’t take hours to prepare or involve trips to multiple health food shops for obscure ingredients.
These recipes aren’t gluten free, sugar free, low calorie, low carb, paleo or detoxing. They won’t necessarily give you an ‘inner glow’, a ‘bikini-ready beach body’ or cure medical ailments. They just offer really good food which is quick and easy to make, and which happens to be vegan.
I’m passionate about writing recipes which look and taste like the sort of food you see in mainstream cookery books and magazines – recipes, above all, which will lift your spirits when you’ve had ‘that’ conversation about protein with a well-meaning friend for the hundredth time.”
~ Kate Ford
The book is divided into the following sections, and I’ve listed a couple sample recipes from each chapter:
Easy Brunch – Smoky ‘Full English’ on Toast; Griddled Asparagus with Lemony Sauce on Crumpets
Speedy Soups – Chunky Green Minestrone with Curly Kale; Oyster Mushroom Tom Yum Soup with Rice Noodles
Salads – Tenderstem, Cucumber and Soba Noodle Salad; Speedy Spinach Falafel with Carrot and Apple Salad
Fast Lunch – Broccoli and Kale Pine Nut Pizza; Speedy Bean Burger with Gherkins and Mustard Mayo
Small Plates – Courgetti (Zucchini Spaghetti) and Sweetcorn Fritters with Coconut Yoghurt; French Beans and New Potatoes with Fresh Basil Pesto
Main Dishes – Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff (recipe below!); One-Pot Linguine with Olives, Capers and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Today I want to share with you one of the easiest ways to throw together a super quick lunch with leftover tofu and veggies. My favorite way to prepare tofu is with this Asian Baked Garlic Tofu recipe, and I often make a double batch so I can add leftovers on top of salads, veggies, grains or create these Easy Vegan Tofu Lettuce Wraps!
We’ve been eating a lot of broccolini in this household because they’ve had big organic bags of it at Costco recently. If you’ve cooked the tofu and broccolini ahead of time, it literally takes only 5 minutes to put these wraps together. Therefore it makes the perfect lunch that you can even prep ahead, or use as an appetizer for finger food at a potluck or party.
In these photos I used miniature organic local lettuces from here in Hawaii that I got at a farmers market, but you can use any of the following:
any wrap of your choice – brown rice, corn tortilla, etc.
You can also use any leftover veggies you have on hand. I love broccolini or broccoli because I think the combo of roasted broccoli and tofu is amazing, so that’s what I’ve used here – but really, this is just a template and you can make any substitutions you’d like to create your own wraps. Here’s what you do:
Layer a piece of lettuce with tofu, broccoli (or other leftover roasted veggies you have on hand), and top with sauce or dressing and seeds of your choice. DONE!
About 7 years ago before I was vegan, a cool bohemian friend of mine told me she was making us tempeh for dinner. I nodded my head and smiled as if I knew what she was talking about. (I had no idea.) Staring at the square of tempeh for clues as to what it could be didn’t help. I remember enjoying that meal, but then tempeh fell off my radar for a few more years until I went vegetarian for the first time.
A SHORT LESSON ON TEMPEH
Tempeh may sound foreign and unconventional, but it’s simply whole soy beans that have been soaked, cooked, slightly fermented and firmed into a block. It has an earthy, nutty flavor and hearty, firm texture. While tempeh is traditionally made with soybeans, it can actually be made with any type of bean and sometimes includes grains like brown rice, barley, millet or seeds.
You can find it at any healthy food store and at many grocery stores too (I like Lightlife brand). Be sure to check the labels to ensure it’s gluten free, as some varieties add barley or other gluten grains.
Ideally you marinade the tempeh so it soaks up the flavor. From there, it can be seared, grilled, baked, steamed or crumbled into stir-frys or soups. Different tempehs may vary but an average tempeh has about 16 grams of protein per 3 ounce serving.
This first time I tried this (thank you to my friend Sumir!) I went… “WHOA. No way. It… can’t. Be!” Can this really be a delicious bacon substitute to help you forget about the real thing? Yes, my friends, it can.
Welcome to a whole new world of – RICE PAPER BACON.
The beauty of this recipe is that it has all the qualities of bacon without the large amounts of cholesterol, fat and taking of a pig’s life.
Did you know that pigs are incredibly intelligent? They are widely accepted to be smarter than dogs, some primates and children of at least 3 years old. (Source)
I mean, just watch this video below. Could your dog do that?
I find it fascinating how we’re conditioned to eat certain animals and not others, and how that differs depending on where you grow up. Some cultures and religions don’t eat pigs or cows; in North America and Europe we don’t eat dogs or cats. Social Psychologist Melanie Joy, PhD, coined the term ‘carnism’ to describe this phenomenon, and wrote a fascinating book about our belief systems related to eating animals called Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism. You can check out the book here on Amazon if you’re interested in discovering more!
(That’s what they say before football games, right?)
OK, I admit it. I’m not a big football fan. Going to live to games can be fun sometimes – feeling like I’m right there near the action – but I typically get super bored watching football on TV. All the stopping, flags, timeouts… it goes on for 3 hours! Boring.
The Super Bowl however is a whole different ball game. The reason most people watch the Super Bowl isn’t for the game but for the COMMERCIALS, right? Those of you reading this from outside North America probably think that’s insane. Why would we want to intentionally watch commercials for hours? Well, they’re the most expensive TV commercials from the entire year, which means they’re bound to pretty good – funny, heartwarming, perhaps even edgy or thought provoking. It’s an American tradition, really!