Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"Vegan Kids Unite!" available now on Amazon for Kindle!

After much hair-pulling and a great deal of time spent in the formatting vortex of evil, at last my new cookbook is available on the Kindle! It should be up on the Nook within another day or so--the formatting is a little different for it, so I must return to the vortex. And I'll be setting up a way to buy a hard copy soon, too. Here's the link to purchase or view the book:

It's not a very grand book. It's not earth-shattering. But it's mine, and I think it's pretty good in its unassuming little way. If you have a family and you are either vegan, vegetarian, or just wanting to eat meatless a little more often, this book will provide you with some good ideas. It has more than *just* recipes--it also has ideas for new ways to think about making meals, such as what I call the "Bowl" method. Growing up, my mom always made a main dish, two composed side dishes, and perhaps a salad and bread. It wears me out just thinking about that!

I like having just one dish that provides protein, starch, and veggies. Fruit is usually eaten at meals other than dinner at our house. The Bowl way of doing things is simple--make a starch, a protein or two, and a couple of complementary veggies. Appropriate sauces and condiments on the side. Everyone makes their own bowl just the way they like it--I've done a Pan-Asian Bowl, a Tex-Mex Bowl, a Pizza Pasta Bowl, etc. These aren't really recipes in the Bowl section--just an explanation of a technique. Here's an example--the Southern Roots Bowl:

Grain: Garlic grits, baby!

Protein: Pick one or more--
Black-eyed peas
"Blackened" tempeh (pan-seared on high heat in olive oil with blackening seasoning mix)
Sliced vegan sausages, sauteed or grilled

Veggies: Pick one or more--
Sauteed garlicky mixed greens (sauteed with olive oil and garlic)            
Roasted cubed sweet potatoes (roasted on high heat in the oven)
Caramelized onions

Sauces and Condiments: Pick as many or as few as you choose--
Vegan gravy (there's a recipe in the book)
Hot sauce
Pickled peppers (not my favorite, but my grandparents had these with every meal)

This one is super fast with instant grits! It's not fancy, but it's so good and quite healthy.  I just make the grits, heat up and season a can of black-eyed peas, and make the accompaniments. Let's say that I decide to use the vegan sausage and the greens. I often make them in the same pan, one right after the other--it only takes a few minutes each. I keep all the components warm on the stove until everything is done. The gravy is the only thing that takes more than a few minutes, but I can have it ready in 10. And the gravy is magic--pure southern comfort food, just a little bit healthier than we grew up with! Everybody over age 7 makes their own bowl. Nothing ever leaves the stove; no serving platters to wash. Those people who like their food compartmentalized can make their plate the way they want it, and those of us who like saucy combined foods can make that happen, too! I like everything on top, one right after the other, with gravy blanketing it all! Aaaannnd now I'm hungry. Is 11 too early for lunch?

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