Several weeks ago, I received a bundle of books to review from the Book Publishing Company in Summertown, Tennessee (an awesome publisher of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks). One of those books was Buddha's Table: Thai Feasting Vegetarian Style by Chat Mingkwan.
Chat's book features all sorts of classic Thai dishes sans the meat or fish sauce. Some are things I've never heard of like Pandan Sweet Jelly or Galangal Coconut Soup. Others are more common in Americanized Thai cuisine, like stir-fries, hot 'n' sour lemongrass soup, cucumber salad, and lots of curries.
The first recipe I chose to try was the Yellow Curry, a coconut curry influenced by traditional Indian fare:
Though you can't really tell from this picture, the curry contains soft white potatoes, kobocha squash, red bell pepper, coconut milk, and cubes of frozen (and then thawed) tofu. The recipe didn't actually call for tofu, but I need my protein ... and tofu is delicious in a curry. It did call for taro, but I couldn't find any at my neighborhood Asian market.
Also, the dish called for both coconut milk and coconut cream. However, the only thing resembling coconut cream I could find was Cream of Coconut ... and seeing as how that contains a ton of sugar, I knew that wasn't right. So I subbed the rest of my MimicCreme (a delicious vegan alternative to heavy cream) instead. The result was delicious, and the non-coconut flavored heavy cream didn't take away from the rich flavor of the coconut milk.
Expect more tasty dishes from Buddha's Table in the very near future! Some of the recipes call for really strange, new (at least to me) ingredients like lily buds and lotus seeds, and I'm anxious to seek those things out at Asian markets around town.