Monday, December 21, 2015

Cook the Pantry

Robin Robertson has written at least a million vegan cookbooks. How does she never run out of ideas?! Her latest book —  Cook the Pantry: Vegan Pantry-to-Plate Recipes in 20 Minutes (or Less!) — is filled with super-simple weeknight meals made using staples you probably already have in your pantry.

It's a full-color, soft-cover book with gorgeous food photography and some pretty unique ideas — BBQ Chickpea Pizza, Samosadillas (samosa-style quesadillas made with tater tots!!), Homestyle Hash Burgers (also made with tots), and Pinto Bean Nacho Pie. I'm such a food hoarder, and I'm constantly buying more food that I don't need. So books like this are a lifesaver to me. I'm always in need of ideas to use all the stuff stashed in my pantry.

As I'm typing this (and flipping through the book to scope out more recipes), I'm just now realizing how many recipes rely on tater tots, which are basically my favorite food. And I have some in the freezer that need using, so I'll probably be visiting a few of those recipes soon. But for the sake of this review, I tried the Spaghetti Lo Mein.

Many brands of lo mein noodles contain egg, so the use of spaghetti here makes the recipe vegan. And who doesn't have a half a box of spaghetti lying around? That's how much it calls for!

This also calls for Soy Curls, which I try to keep in stock. You can't buy them around here, but I always pick them up when traveling, and I order them online. I also already had everything on-hand for the sauce (sesame oil, hoisin, sherry). As for the veggies — broccoli, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and carrots — I did have to buy those fresh. But for the most part, this was a true pantry meal.

The sauce was both salty and sweet, my favorite combo. And Soy Curls really soaked up that flavor. I ate the last of the leftovers today, and I wish I had more.

If you're looking for a quick and easy recipe that won't require you to go out and buy much, Cook the Pantry is your book!


Hillary said...

I have a million half containers of pasta in my cupboard right now! This book looks great, I love Robin Robertson!

Susan said...

I have made a few things from this book (including this recipe) and they have all been nice. I also noticed that there are several tater tot recipes in here and I approve!