Confession: I've never traveled outside the U.S. Well, except for a quick cruise stop in Mexico last year. I'd love to travel across the globe. But that takes serious cash, and I don't have serious cash. For now, I'll have to pretend to be a jet-setter, and thankfully, there's a new vegan cookbook on the market that can help me do just that.
Cookbook goddess Bryanna Clark Grogan, whom I had the pleasure of dining with at Vida Vegan Con, just released her latest tome, Vegan World Feast: 200 Fabulous Recipes from Over 50 Countries.
I was sent a review copy, and although I've only had time to test a couple of recipes, I wanted to go ahead and gush. This book is amazing! Upon my first flip-through, I got all giddy when I saw a recipe for Vegan Poutine in the Universal Comfort Foods chapter (of course, you know I'd go to the comfort foods chapter first!)
Poutine, a popular fast food dish in Quebec, is made with French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. I'm a sucker for cheese and gravy, and I've attempted to make poutine once before. But Bryanna's was better:
The fries are actually hand-cut oven-baked Russet potatoes. They're topped with her Rich Brown Yeast Gravy, an oil-free gravy made with nutritional yeast, chickpea flour, and gravy browner. But the real star of this dish is the Tofu Cheese Curds. Using Bryanna's recipe, you congeal silken tofu with agar in the fridge for several hours, and then you crumble it with your hands. The texture is exactly like that of dairy cheese curds!
Next, I tried the Fresh Pineapple Noodle Stir-fry, also in the Universal Comfort Foods chapter:
This was an Asian fusion dish "with a touch of Hawaii" (Bryanna's words), and for something so simple, I was blown away by the intense flavor.
There's sauteed portabella mushrooms, tofu, garlic, ginger, fresh pineapple chunks, and Swiss chard in there, and because I really like the heat, I used a package of Olio Fresca Habanero Linguine (a gift from Rick of the Health Sleuth) for the pasta in the recipe. I also added a fresh habanero from our front yard pepper plant, even though it wasn't called for in the recipe. On top of all of that, the recipe calls for a couple of tablespoons of sriracha.
Let's just say I kept the tissues handy for my runny nose, and I washed it all down with a cold glass of soymilk to calm the heat. The linguine was uber-hot, just like I like it. If you're ears aren't burning and your nose isn't running when you eat spicy foods, you need to add more heat. :-P
But for all you spice wussies, this dish can easily be toned down by not using hot pepper pasta and not adding a chopped habanero. FYI: My boyfriend and I actually challenge each other to eat straight raw habanero peppers from our plant every once in awhile to see who can go the longest without taking a drink of "milk."
Outside of Bryanna's comfort food chapter, there are chapters on brunches from around the world, soups, salads, beans, soy and seitan mains, and of course, sweets. Other recipe highlights I've bookmarked include vegan Scottish pot haggis, seitan steak au Poivre, cheesy potato galette with Bryanna's homemade vegan gruyere, pyrogies, and sweet 'n' savory Afghan squash.
I'll be trying these dishes and others over the next few months and posting about them here as I go.
What one dish from another country would you most like to see veganized?