Vegan Break’s Top 10 Vegan Cookbooks

I ran across this list when searching for new cookbooks to add to my collection.  I am passing it on.  I edited the full article down to the list, so please see the original (link below).  I encourage you to read Vegan Break’s reviews of each of the books to see which best suit you.  Thanks Vegan Break!

Top 10 Vegan Cookbooks

1. Vegan’s Daily Companion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

2.  Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

3.  My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky. 

4. Vegan Yum Yum by Lauren Ulm. 

5. The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

 

6. Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan. 

7. How It All Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer.

 

8. PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook by Marta Holmberg and Starza Kolman.

9. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

10. Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen by Ani Phyo. 

Original post, here.

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Roasted-Tomato Salsa by Martha Stewart

Did you know that Martha, the Martha, has an entire list of vegan appetizers?  What?  Yes.  Thirty two of them.  Instead of featuring all of them, which I could really do, let me list some of my favorites, below:

  1. White Bean Dip
  2. Sweet Potato Wedges with Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce
  3. Marinated Mushrooms
  4. Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
  5. Avocado Bruschetta with Green Sauce

And then there is the one I’ll be making for my Saturday night gathering: the roasted-tomato salsa.  From Martha’s site to your eyes (and, hopefully, mouth):

Image courtesy of Martha Stewart

Image courtesy of Martha Stewart

Roasted-Tomato Salsa

A little time under the broiler intensifies the aroma and flavors of the tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, and garlic here, adding a rich, smoky flavor to this salsa.
Martha Stewart Living, May 2008
Yield: Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 9 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large white onion, quartered
  • 3 jalapeno chiles, plus more if desired
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • Coarse salt

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler. Place tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until tomatoes and jalapenos are charred, about 7 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle.
  2. Peel the roasted garlic. Transfer to a blender along with the charred tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and 1 tablespoon salt. Puree until smooth. For a thinner consistency, add water as needed. Season with salt to taste.

Original post, here.

Cold Avocado Soup with Sweet Corn

Soup soup soup soup.  It doesn’t seem like the summer thing to eat.  But, with the right chilled version, it surely can be.  And, well, when we are more exposed to sun than ever, and skin can use some tlc.  Avocado oil in its natural state is just the thing.

I adapted this recipe from Joy the Baker (who altered it from an August 2011 Bon Appetit recipe).

Cold Avocado Soup with Sweet Corn

Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

makes about 4 cups

Ingredients:

Soup:

  • 2 ripe Haas avocados, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons cashew cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups water
  • white pepper and additional salt to taste

Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ears fresh corn, sliced from the cob
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 small plum tomato, de-seeded and diced
  • small handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • small handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (if desired)
  • white pepper and salt to taste

Directions:

To make the soup, place avocado in a blender along with vegetable broth, lime juice, cashew cream, cayenne, and salt. Blend until the avocados are creamy. Remove the center from your blender lid, and while blending, slowly add the water. Soup will be done when smooth, with your desired consistency. Feel free to add a touch more water if you prefer a thinner soup (I like it on the thicker side). Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. Place in a container in the fridge while you make the topping.

To make the topping, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and browned, about 5 minutes. Add corn and jalapeno and cook for 3 minutes more. Add 1/2 of the parsley. Cook until everything is warmed and just browned. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pile about 1/2 cup of warm topping into a bowl. Pour cold soup around the topping. Top with fresh tomato, parsley, and cilantro. Serve and enjoy. Soup lasts up to three days in and airtight container in the fridge.

Hints:
You may want to add a little fresh onion and jalepeno for a fresh bite, along with the tomato.
Consider adding 1/2 t of cumin to the soup for a little more flavor.

Cashew Cream by Food52 and Tal Ronnen

So, if you wondered why I’ve recently considered blender options, the real confession:  cashew cream.  This lovely concoction can be used for all kinds of amazing recipes, including creamy soups (those will be coming up later).  Food52 talks about “The Many Faces of Cashew Cream”:

1. Add it to soup. As you’ll see in the recipe below, cashew cream adds thickness and richness to any soup you’d normally enhance with milk or cream.

2. Enhance your desserts. Top your favorite tart or pie with a thick, sweet variation, or add cashew cream to a dessert filling. The perfect way to do both? My vegan pumpkin pie.

3. Prove that creamy vegan pasta is possible. Mix in a tablespoon of lemon juice, some sea salt, and a little Dijon mustard with your cashew cream. Serve it with cooked noodles for a vegan alternative to alfredo sauce!

4. Dress up your vegetables. Use cashew cream in any vegetable recipe that uses heavy cream: Brussels sprouts braised in cream sauce, creamed corn, creamed spinach, hot artichoke dip. Be sure to salt it well, and don’t make it too thick!

Tal Ronnen makes cashew cream this way:

Regular and Thick Cashew Cream

  • 2 cups whole raw cashews (not pieces, which are often dry), rinsed very well under cold water.
Image courtesy of cjansuebsri / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of cjansuebsri / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

  1. Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place them in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth. (If you’re not using a professional high-speed blender such as a Vita-Mix, which creates an ultra-smooth cream, strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve.)
  3. To make thick cashew cream, which some of the recipes in this book call for, simply reduce the amount of water when they are placed in the blender, so that the water just slightly covers the cashews.

Makes about 2 1/4 cups thick cream or 3 1/2 cups regular cream
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus soaking overnight.

Tan Ronnen’s original post, here.

America’s Test Kitchen’s Equipment Review: Best Blenders

So, you know that the Vitamix is the best blender on the market.  I understand that once you buy this, you will never buy another blender during your lifetime.  I do have Vita,ix fantasies.  I do.  But, I am a grad student.  And, while the blender that America’s Test Kitchen decides is a contender to the Vitamix is not cheap, I am willing to budget (and watch ebay) for it.

The Breville BBL605XL Hemisphere Control Blender wins the #2 slot.  Check out the video, below, for the full report.  Also, see the full results chart on the Cooks Illustrated website.  ALSO, and I cannot stress this more… check out the America’s Test Kitchen’s youtube channel for all types of kitchen equipment and ingredient reviews.  They. Are. Amazing.  Seriously.