Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Comfort and Joy

Give me a choice between a five-course gourmet meal and a simple bowl of pasta with marinara, and I'll choose the pasta dish every time. Fancy food is, well, fancy. Nice for a special occasion, but I'll take a frosty beer and a vegan cheeseburger over a glass of wine and some crap with a balsamic reduction any day.

So it need not be explained why I love Veronica Grace's Vegan Comfort Foods From Around the World. This new self-published cookbook by Veronica (a.k.a. the Low-Fat Vegan Chef) is loaded with 60 comforting (and low-fat!) vegan recipes! Nothing against fat, but I get plenty of that through other meals. This book offers me a chance to indulge sans guilt, and that's refreshing.

The full-color, photo-heavy book is divided into chapters based on regions of the world — Americas, Europe and Asia. There's also a chapter for comfort sauces, gravies, and dips. I picked out a few recipes to try first.

Last night, I made the Baked Ziti with Greens.

Admittedly, baked ziti doesn't photograph well. But most comfort dishes don't. This hearty meal of whole wheat penne pasta, homemade marinara, spinach, and tofu ricotta (made with silken tofu, nooch, and miso!) isn't something you make because it looks pretty on a plate. You make this because it tastes the way a warm blanket feels on a cold winter night. It warms the heart.

It did, however, look quite lovely before baking. Note: I was supposed to mix the tofu ricotta in with the pasta before layering in a casserole dish. But I didn't read the directions and just plopped it in piles on top. Either way, it all mixes together in your tummy.

For a potluck last week, I made the Low-Fat Hummus and served it with toasted pita.

My omni friends love hummus, and they didn't even miss the usual oil in this oil-free, light version. That's the thing about Veronica's recipes. As much as I love oil and fatty foods, I can't even tell that stuff is missing from these dishes.

There are so many more dishes that I want to try from Vegan Comfort Foods — Indian Spiced Basmati Rice with Peas, Rotini with Chanterelle Mushrooms in a Red Wine Tomato Sauce, Spaghetti Marinara with French Lentils, Herbed Tofu Ranch Dip, Slow-Cooker Meatless Sloppy Joes, and Easy Cheezy Shells and Broccoli.


Courtney said...
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jacqui said...

I would love to win Veronica's book! She does a great job of using accessible ingredients to make healthy, tasty food.

Arizona2012 said...

We could sure use this. We are new vegans!!!! Love yr blog. Cinpope@gmail.com

Carole P. said...

Hmm, my favorite comfort food is biscuits and vegan sausage gravy with a side of smokey greens. My kids watch me with looks of horror and amazement as I ooh and ahh and moan over every bite! They are not as in love with this meal as I am.