It seems I just can't get enough vegan cookbooks. The two shelves dedicated to cookbooks in my kitchen are overflowing and I have another long shelf of cookbooks in my office. But there are just sooo many great vegan cookbooks coming out all the time. That's why I am once again spreading some #VeganCookbookLove today.
This week I am featuring DK's Plant-Based Cookbook by Trish Sebben-Krupka. When I first saw the title in DK's Food & Drink Boutique, I kind of wondered (as I have in the past) what exactly "plant-based" means. Is it just a fancy (and possibly less scary) way of saying vegan? According to Wikipedia, "A plant-based diet is a diet of any animal (including humans) based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products."
I suppose "plant-based" takes some of the politics out of the equation - it looks specifically at the diet, whereas a vegan lifestyle extends beyond the diet, seeing as vegans eschew leather shoes and products tested on animals. Plant-based also implies a diet of healthy, whole foods, whereas you can be vegan and still eat junk food.
As it notes on the cover of Plant-Based Cookbook, these 200 whole-food recipes are good for your heart, your health and your life. From the back cover: "A plant-based diet reduces heart disease, lowers cholesterol, and promotes overall health and longevity. Making the change from a meat-based menu can feel daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Plant-Based Cookbook makes it easy, with tips on transitioning to an all-plant diet, simple suggestions for making satisfying meat and dairy substitutions and pointers on preparing delicious and nutritious whole-food dishes."
I feel like "plant-based" may be off-putting to some people, as it sounds like you'll be munching on leaves and shoots for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But plant-based includes beans, legumes, tofu, pasta, bread, etc. In other words, you need not fear - Plant-Based Cookbook is packed with yummy, healthy whole foods options for the whole family to enjoy. The recipes are extremely accessible - they are simple to make and incorporate ingredients that you can easily find at your grocery store.
Well, except daikon radish. I needed that to top this Bánh Mì Portobello Burger, but couldn't find it at my grocery store. The staff said it appears every now and then but they can't say when. Next time I make these Bánh Mì sandwiches, I'll head to the Asian grocery to get daikon radish. From the book: "Daikon radish, also known as Japanese horseradish, is a staple in Asian cuisine. It resembles a large, white parsnip and has a mild, radishlike flavor. Smaller varieties are terrific raw or lightly pickled, while the larger roots can be thinly sliced and baked as chips or shredded and pan-fried for a unique alternative to a potato pancake."
In the meantime I went with additional carrots instead, and also topped my burger with leftover sauteed rapini. This burger/sandwich turned out to be delicious - it boasts flavour from a vegan mayo/Sriracha hot sauce spread and a grilled portobello "patty" marinated in a tasty combo of sesame oil, tamari, lime juice, garlic powder and ginger. Add to that cucumber slices and pickled carrots (and daikon if you have it) and you have a lovely sandwich for lunch or dinner. My husband and I so enjoyed it that I asked DK if I could share the recipe with you. Find it below.
I also made this One-Pan Pasta Primavera, one of the recipes designated as ready under 30 minutes. I love a good one-pot meal, especially now that our dishwasher has broken! I was a bit skeptical as to how the pasta would turn out, being cooked all together with the other ingredients as the recipe advises. I thought the spaghetti might stick together. I was careful to stir it every now and then just in case, but in the end everything cooked together nicely. I felt the pasta primavera was a bit starchy from cooking the spaghetti in with the veggies, but it was still tasty and I actually enjoyed it even more for lunch leftovers the next day. The One-Pan Pasta Primavera calls for simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen, like spaghetti, diced tomatoes and broccoli. I particularly like the addition of baby spinach at the end of the recipe.
I made Breakfast Burritos, a recipe that's marked as transitional and also under 30 minutes. Only I made them for dinner. Why not? Burritos work any time of the day, right? The filling is a mix of cooked onions, mushrooms and black beans with traditional sausage seasonings of crumbled dried sage and black pepper. Layer that mixture with tomato, avocado and salsa and you have a filling, healthy burrito for breakfast (or lunch or dinner). I bought avocados for this recipe but unfortunately they didn't ripen in time. The burritos were tasty as is, but I think the avocados would really add a nice contrast as well as a lovely green hue.
I also made another recipe from the Breakfasts chapter - this time actually for breakfast. Like the Breakfast Burritos, these Whole-Wheat Banana Pecan Pancakes are marked transitional and under 30 minutes. The recipe calls for a combo of whole-wheat flour and buckwheat flour but I didn't have those in my kitchen, so I used my usual light spelt flour. They turned out just fine. I was feeling too lazy to toast pecans, so I used blueberries instead. The process involved using a couple more bowls than I would normally like, but the pancakes were worth it in the end - thick and fluffy and delicious.
I look forward to trying more of the simple, healthy plant-based meals in this book - perhaps a dessert, such as Prairie Berry Pie or Cherry Cheesecake Squares (with soy-based cream cheese).
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Bánh Mì Portobello Burgers
The humble portobello mushroom makes a delicious, all-natural substitute for hamburger patties. This savory take on a traditional Vietnamese sandwich is packed with flavor: a meaty-tasting mushroom "burger," crunchy pickled veggies, and spicy Sriracha "mayo" are piled on a crusty baguette.
Recipe and photo excerpted from Plant Based Cookbook - copyright 2016 Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: sandwich vegan vegetarian
Ingredients (4 sandwiches)
- Juice of 1 medium lime (2 TB.)
- 2 TB. reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- 4 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
- 1 small daikon radish, peeled and shredded (1 cup)
- 1 medium carrot, shredded (½ cup)
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 TB. sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 TB. plant-based mayonnaise, such as Vegenaise
- 1 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce
- 4 (4-in.; 10cm) crusty baguette rolls, split
- ½ English cucumber, thinly sliced
- Cilantro leaves (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, tamari, toasted sesame oil, garlic powder, and ginger.
Wipe each portobello mushroom clean with a damp paper towel, place mushrooms in a zipper-lock plastic bag, pour in lime juice marinade, seal the bag, and shake gently to distribute marinade. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, gently toss daikon radish and carrot.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine rice vinegar, water, sugar, and kosher salt. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt.
Pour vinegar mixture over daikon and carrot, stir, and set aside for about 30 minutes.
In another small bowl, whisk together plant-based mayonnaise and Sriracha hot sauce.
Heat a grill to direct, high heat, or set a grill pan over high heat on your stovetop. Place mushrooms on the grill, gill side down, and cook for 3 minutes. Turn over mushrooms, and cook for 2 more minutes or until mushrooms are juicy and tender.
During the last minute of mushroom cook time, place baguette rolls on the grill, split side down, and toast.
Drain pickled vegetables in a fine-mesh strainer.
To assemble sandwiches, spread ¼ mayonnaise mixture on one side of each roll, and add a layer of English cucumber slices. Place 1 portobello burger on each sandwich, and top with ¼ drained pickled vegetables. Garnish with cilantro leaves (if using), and serve immediately.
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