Sunday, September 25, 2011

Vegan Challenge, Day 25: Greens 'n' Grains

I'm nearly done reading Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. Designed for newbie vegans, this book has a chapter a day on the essentials of a compassionate, healthy diet. Since I last checked in on Day 21 (cinnamon coffee cake!!), I've read about the importance of fiber (gotta poop!), eating by color (something Colleen deals with in way more detail in her awesome cookbook, Color Me Vegan), and surviving holiday get-togethers on a vegan diet.

Recipes are peppered throughout the book, and there are several fun (and colorful) ones in the chapter on eating by color. That's where I found the recipe for this Garlic 'n' Greens Soup:

The green hue may not look super-sexy, but this low-cal soup is delicious and wholesome. There's a whole head of garlic in the broth, plus potatoes and calcium-rich bok choy. It's practically fat-free aside from the tablespoon of oil used to saute the garlic.

Also in the color chapter was a recipe for Polenta Squares:

I served these with marinara sauce for dipping, as a grainy side to my soup. The polenta is cooked with sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh parsley. It's chilled so it becomes super firm, and then it's cut into strips. The strips are fried in a saute pan until brown on both sides. I used non-stick cooking spray for frying to cut back on the fat.

This will be my last official review post on this book since I'm almost done reading through it, but I'm sure I'll be re-visiting the recipes often. All the recipes in this book are tried and tested recipes from Colleen's other books: The Joy of Vegan Baking, The Vegan Table, and Color Me Vegan. Though I already have all of those books, I heard Colleen mention in her podcast — Vegetarian Food for Thought — that she considered the recipes in The 30-Day Vegan Challenge to be her favorites. It's nice to have a cookbook author's "greatest hits" all in one place.

If you're new to veganism or Colleen's books, this would be a great place to start. And it'd make a great Christmas gift for the aspiring vegan in your life. I review a lot of products and cookbooks, and I like most of them. But I rarely make such a pitch for readers to buy them. I really admire all that Colleen does to spread the message of compassion in such a positive way. This book will make new vegans. And it probably already has.


JL goes Vegan said...

That soup sounds so good! I haven't purchased the book ...yet... but I'm going to Colleen's "Animals in the Arts" talk in NYC in October and feel pretty confident I'll pick it up there ;) (if, for nothing else, the recipe for those polenta squares!)

EverydayTastiness said...

just added this book to my wishlist. your coverage of the tasty recipes has convinced me. :)

Caitlin said...

i love polenta with veggies in it! my favorite is broccoli in polenta, but sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs sounds delicious, too.

Sheridan said...

Oooh, that polenta sounds fabulous! I'm pretty new to cooking with polenta and I'm anxious to try any recipes that call for it now. I think you've convinced me that I need this book! haha!

Emma said...

I love that polenta too. Vegan table originally I think. I remember having a fabulous meal with that polenta, puy lentils, broccoli and the red pepper coulis from the book too...will have to make it again.
Colleen is so fabulous, I've only recently discovered the podcast but am working my way through them

Allysia said...

Colleen's a fantastic lady - I really want to get a hold of her latest books, they seem great. Also, polenta is one of those things in life that I've never had before and thus is scary, but damn do those squares look good!

Dream 500s said...

I used a simple polenta, fresh thyme, and less than half of the cheese. I want guests to use the recommended amount of cheese. Use the best quality fresh parmesan cheese, and you can find your fav. homemade red sauce. Yum!