New Cookbook: Big Vegan

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve written a post. Sorry for that. Things have been so busy at work. Not that I’m complaining, but this blog has definitely taken a back seat.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping up with vegan food. A few weeks ago, I picked up a new cookbook, “Big Vegan,” by Robin Asbell. It certainly lives up to its name. The book has so many different recipes, it’s overwhelming. What caught my eye were the various sandwich, wrap and salad recipes since I always seem to have trouble coming up with lunch ideas. So far, I’ve made the Fast Broccoli Kale Sandwiches with Tahini Sauce and the Summer Corn Soup with Edamame Garnish. Both were good, but they didn’t knock my socks off. Still, I’m excited about the possibilities.

On another note, we invited some friends over for dinner and movies to celebrate the beginning of the Halloween season, which is our absolute favorite time of the year. With the cooler temperatures finally moving in, I decided to make a big pot of chili and banana cream pies. I found the pie recipe in the June 2011 issue of VegNews magazine.

The pies were extremely easy to make, especially since I opted to buy store-bought pie crusts. (You can find vegan pie crust at Whole Foods. I picked up a pack of two for less than five bucks.) Now, the pies were certainly not the most attractive, but they were delicious. (The pie picture in VegNews is actually a stock photo, which was part of a big scandal with the magazine a few months ago.) And the MimicCreme whipped topping that I used, while also tasty, would not stiffen up, so I just spread it over the tops of the pies. Still, I highly recommend giving the recipe a try if you’re a big fan of banana cream pie.

And speaking of pie, I am super-excited about the new pie cookbook coming out this month from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, “Vegan Pie in the Sky.” If it’s anything like their other two dessert cookbooks, I’m going to need to step up my exercise routine to offset the extra calories.

Anyway, I hope everyone is well!

Update: I had the chance to make the tofu egg salad recipe in “Big Vegan” and it was delicious!! It’s a little more time consuming than my usual tofu egg salad recipe, but so worth it.

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Tex-Mex Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn

This recipe is adapted from the latest issue of Vegetarian Times. It’s extremely cheap to make and very easy to pull together. In other words: my kind of meal! I love that it uses quinoa as the base grain rather than rice. Quinoa cooks faster than rice and is very nutritious.

As usual, I doubled the recipe, and it made a ton of the stuff, so we had plenty for leftovers. Also, instead of adding two cans of black beans, I substituted a can of pinto beans for a can of black beans, which added a little different texture.

Tex-Mex Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn

Serves 2 + leftovers

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cumin
2 cups prepared black bean soup (I used one box of the Dr. McDougall’s Black Bean Soup as the recipe suggested)

2 cups mild or medium picante sauce
2 cups quinoa, uncooked
1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
6 green onions, sliced
4 tbsp pickled jalapeño chiles, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the soup, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of picante sauce, and quinoa. Stir and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 12 minutes. By this time, most of the liquid should be absorbed, so add another cup of water. Add the beans and corn and cook for another 10 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is completely cooked (it will look translucent). Add the remaining picante sauce, green onions, and jalapeños. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a side of tortilla chips.

Enjoy!