Great-tasting food for vegans, others

BOOKMARK

January 23, 2008|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,Sun reporter

Veganomicon

The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

Skinny Bitch in the Kitch

By Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

Running Press / 2007 / $14.95

In contrast to Veganomicon, this title says it all. This cookbook follow-up to the hot-selling 2005 vegan manifesto Skinny Bitch, a foul-mouthed screed on the horrors of the food industry, offers recipes that are supposed to help you "keep to your SB standards and eat like a whale."

But we found this book a bit, well, skinny in comparison to Veganomicon. For all its rhymes-with-witchin' about meat and dairy, there are plenty of recipes that try to mimic what's missing from the vegan diet, from Grilled "Chicken" Panini Three Ways to Philly "Cheesesteak" and Red Wine "Beef" Stew. (The "Meat" Loaf we tried didn't exactly taste like meat, but it did taste good with a vegan gravy.)

The authors also want you to use some hard-to-find ingredients. They call for refined coconut oil because they think heating many other oils is bad for you (though in their glossary, they say canola or safflower oil are decent options). Aside from the illustrations of Skinny Bs looking fabulous, there are no pictures to go with the recipes here.

kate.shatzkin@baltsun.com

Acorn Squash, Pear and Adzuki Soup With Sauteed Shiitakes

-- Serves 6

SOUP: 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/4 -inch slices

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 -inch slices

2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 teaspoons minced ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

2 acorn squashes, seeded, peeled and cut into 3/4 -inch chunks, or about 2 pounds peeled, ready-cut acorn squash

2 firm Bartlett pears, peeled, seeded and sliced into thin (not paper-thin) slices roughly 1 inch long

4 cups vegetable stock

one 15-ounce can adzuki or kidney beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)

about 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

MUSHROOMS:

2 teaspoons peanut oil

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

4 ounces fresh shiitakes, sliced in half (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Preheat a large stockpot over medium heat. Saute the onions and peppers in the oil for about 10 minutes, or until the onions just begin to brown.

Add the ginger and garlic and saute for 1 more minute. Stirring often, add the salt, five-spice powder, acorn squashes and pears. Cook for another minute before adding the vegetable stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer briskly for about 20 more minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Puree half the soup, using either an immersion blender or by transferring half the soup to a food processor or blender, processing and pouring it back into the rest of the soup. (If using a blender or food processor, be sure to let the soup cool a bit so the steam does not compress and hurt you.)

Add adzuki beans and lime juice. Cover and simmer over low heat just until the beans are heated through, 7 to 10 minutes.

To prepare the mushrooms: Preheat a heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oils to the skillet. Put in the mushrooms and saute for about 7 minutes, until they are soft. Mix in the soy sauce and stir constantly until it is absorbed (about 1 minute). Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the sauteed mushrooms.

From "Veganomicon"

Per serving: 256 calories, 7 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 45 grams carbohydrate, 11 grams fiber, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 1,258 milligrams sodium

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