Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Book Review: Speed Vegan and other things

So the folks at Book Publishing Company were kind enough to send me a few books for review, and the first one is Speed Vegan: Quick, Easy Recipes with a Gourmet Twist by Alan Roettinger.

In the beginning of the book, Roettinger explains what kinds of appliances and kitchen gadgets you really need and what you could possibly do without, but would make things easier.  Then he goes on to tell you what you should keep in your vegan pantry (if only I had an actual pantry....). And the recipes are divided into the following:

Jumpstarts (purees, pastes, and sauces)
Pasta and Grains
Vegetables and Legumes

He lists a few online stores in the back of the book, but there are several vegan stores online he does not mention unfortunately.  He's got a couple of nice color photos in the middle of the book, but again, I really prefer to have lots of color pictures. Somehow, it makes the recipe seem easier and I can see what it's supposed to look like when I'm done.  I've tabbed several recipes to try, including White Bean Soup with Tuscan Kale, Grape Tomato and Garbanzo Salad, Asparagus with Sesame Seeds, and Miso and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  They all seem to use items that I'd have on hand without having to make a special trip to the store for special ingredients.  I made the Quick Beet Slaw, which, as it turned out, was not quite as quick as I'd hoped.  It took me forever to grate the beets by hand, as well as the carrots and turnips (I used turnip, since I didn't have radishes).  And boy, was it messy!  Next time I will use the food processor, even though it doesn't have a grater will just be easier.  But, it was a delicious salad! I love the raw veggies and the dressing was excellent. Great for a summer day. Here's the recipe (with permission from the publisher), and you'll see my adjustments in parentheses:

Quick Beet Slaw
from Speed Vegan

Makes 4 servings

1 medium-size beet, scrubbed or peeled and grated
1 carrot, grated
1 roasted red pepper, quartered and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 red onion, quartered and thinly sliced (I left it out)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (I only had freeze-dried)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 radishes, grated (I used 1 large turnip instead)
1/2 cup flax oil (I used water)
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
Grated zest of 1 lime (I used lemon)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (I used lemon)
4 cloves peeled garlic
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine the beets, carrots, red pepper, and onion in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the cilantro, 1/4 cup of the basil, and all of the celery and radishes.

Put the flax oil, vinegar, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender. Process until smooth. Pour over the vegetable mixture. Toss well. Eat.

I'm looking forward to trying those other recipes, especially the salads....they look like they'll be nice and refreshing for our hot weather.

Other things I've been eating:

Quick gluten free pasta mixed with Daiya shredded cheddar and a little almond milk, with garlic, salt, and pepper:

A beer sampler from the Avenue Pub:

Tex Mex rice, inspired by Bankrupt Vegan's Tex Mex Dip. Mine was a mix of brown rice, black beans, guacamole, and taco seasoning, eaten as a meal:

Mama Pea's Chocolate PB Protein Cookies (I used Sunbutter and agave and didn't have any protein powder!):

And that's it for today.  I've been walking a ton lately....and it was 88 degrees yesterday! Gotta go do my next walk of the day....

Blogger of the Week: Peas and Thank You She's always got the cutest pictures of her kids, so if you're a family person, this site's for you! And of course she always includes some great recipes with great pictures :)

Eat smart,


  1. Hi Tanya! Thx for the contest entries and I have that book too. Your comment here:
    was not quite as quick as I'd hoped. It took me forever to grate the beets by hand, as well as the carrots and turnips (I used turnip, since I didn't have radishes). And boy, was it messy! "

    THings are never as fast as cookbooks seem to promise :) and yes, beets are THE messiest food ever. Good, but messy. LMK if you try anything from the book that's OMG "amazing".

  2. Oh, that beet slaw looks delish! I haven't experimented with raw beets yet, but this month's VT has a spread on them, so I think I'll have to try.

    Oh, and definitely, definitely, get the grater blade for your processor -- it makes quick work of cabbages and carrots and broccoli stalks.



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