Thursday, October 8, 2015

Vegan Bowls

Why is it that food tastes so much better in a bowl? You can have a stir-fry with brown rice and veggies on a plate, and it's just a stir-fry. On a plate. But layer that meal in a bowl and add some tahini sauce, hemp seeds, and baked tofu cubes, and you've got yourself a Bowl. With a capital "B."

Bowls — with layers of grain, veg, protein, and sauce — are just better. But if you're like me, it's easy to fall into a bowl rut, eating the same combo of grains and veggies over and over. Enter Zsu Dever's new cookbook, Vegan Bowls.  By the way, if you're not familiar with Zsu, you should check out her awesome blog, Zsu's Vegan Pantry. If you followed the Vegan Mofo wrap-ups this year, you're already familiar with Zsu!

This gorgeous full-color book features tons of recipes, and they're broken down into chapters based on the bowls' contents — grain bowls, sauteed bowls, pasta bowls, grilled bowls, salad bowls, soup bowls, and breakfast bowls. And the last chapter is dedicated to building your own bowls with handy charts laying out suggestions for Asian, European, or Latin-American Bowls.

I picked two recipes to try for this review on Zsu's Vegan Bowls blog tour. I'm a huge breakfast eater, so I knew I wanted to try something from that chapter. After much deliberation, I finally settled on the Hungarian Breakfast Bowl — tofu scramble, mushroom sausage, and toast.

Yes, you read that right — mushroom sausage. Cremini mushroom caps are sauteed with fennel, garlic, sage, and some other spices to give them a sausage-like flavor. The scramble is loaded with paprika, giving it some Hungarian flair. And the toast — I used Ezekiel sprouted grain spread with Earth Balance and Marmite — is perfect for scooping everything up.

For dinner, I made this Jalapeno BBQ Tempeh Bowl Over Creamy Grits and Chard from the "grilled" chapter.

This meant dragging out my indoor countertop grill, but it was so worth it. The tempeh is basted with this sweet and tangy homemade BBQ sauce, and then it's grilled to perfection. You also throw a few jalapenos on the grill with them. I used some from our garden.

For the veggies, you can pick from a list of many, and I went with carrots, squash, zucchini, okra, and chard. I love okra so much, and it really stepped up the Southern-ness of this dish. It's served atop creamy grits, so it's basically the stuff of my dreams. Loved this bowl so much! I'm so glad I have more for leftovers!

Vegan Bowls is full of creative bowl combos that I would have never dreamed up on my own. I'll definitely be using this book as a guide in the future. Other bowls I have my eye on — Lemongrass Bok Choy and Tofu Bowl, Reuben Mac & Cheese Bowl, Buffalo Chickpea Salad Bowl, and the Philly Cheesesteak Bowl. YUM!


Hillary said...

I love bowls so much! I agree, layer it in a bowl, and it just tastes better! I need this book in my life!

Sal - AlienOnToast said...

OOh I love a bowl too. I probably need to add this book to my amazon wishlist!

Jennifer said...

Zsu's AWESOME that is for sure!!!! I have been wanting this book ever since it came out :)

Holy Food said...

good recipe,Looks very delicious.
Thanks for sharing.

Zsu Dever said...

Thank you so, SO much for the review, Bianca!!! I love the recipes you chose and the addition of okra is just perfect!