Vegan Bowls

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Vegan Bowls by Zsu Dever , Vegan Heritage Press 2015, $21.95 paper, 181 pages

I was determined to know beans.

–Henry David Thoreau

 It’s the perfect time of year for some cozy and healthy eating, so if you, as well, are determined to know beans and other vegan options, turn to this book that valiantly creates a range of flavors from beans, grains, and spices.

New Year’s resolution or not, it’s always good to have some options–whether for a meatless monday, a potluck alternative, or just a flavorful and comforting spoonful.

Dever strives for health, convenience, and flavor. As she writes, these are not just protein, starch, and vegetables served in one bowl, but “great food combinations and ingredients working in harmony.” Her recipes are casual and quick, even portable, if that’s the life you’re living. What great options for lunch at your desk.

Her flavor inspirations come from around the world–Paella Bowl, Tex-Mex Risotto Bowl, Indonesian Stir-Fried Noodle Bowl–but also from classic combinations that work–tomato and basil, lemon and garlic, coconut milk and chili peppers.

She starts with plenty of orienting information about cooking techniques and then offers a chapter of Just-in-Case Basics like vegetable broth, cashew cream sauce, corn tortillas, and perfect quinoa, that are tasty and good to have on hand. She’ll help you figure out, finally, how to cook perfect quinoa.

Then dive into the bowls–grains, sautéed and grilled dishes, pasta, salad, soup, and breakfast. Dever boldly takes on dishes that you expect to have meat. A Southwestern Fajita Salad Bowl is hearty with spiced lentils and bright with grilled vegetables. The meaty broth of a Pho Bowl with Seitan is a simmered blend of mushrooms, cloves, carrots, and garlic.

But sometimes no faking it is required. Spinach Pesto Salad Bowl is a sparkling mix of grilled vegetables. And a bowl of braised butternut squash with sage and chard is plenty of comfort and flavor.

Cook with Dever to expand your skills and palate, and embrace your options!

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About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
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