You have probably noticed I have been struggling with the blog lately. I am barely eking out a post per week. It is a combination of a few things: less time spent cooking and less time to blog about it. It certainly isn’t that I have stopped eating (HA!) but I found myself nodding when I read Ginny’s latest post about Vegan Food for People Who Don’t Cook. Combined with quite a few batches of my Easy Vegan Lasagna, and incessant snacking on hummus and crackers, it feels like I have been eating hummus non-stop. And no, I wasn’t even making it myself, the bulk of it came from store-bought varieties. Not sorry.
However, for the non-believers, I can still make hummus. However, when you plow through this much hummus, you need variety. Want a way to sneak in some extra vegetables? Try this pumpkin hummus. Lighter than traditional hummus, and no doubt, similar to this Sweet Potato Hummus, I preferred this as a base for a wrap/sandwich then straight-up dipping. Top with some vegetables and marinated tofu, and you have a quick meal.
Easy meals are the centre of Kathy Hester’s latest cookbook, The Easy Vegan Cookbook. She gives you tips on approaching the kitchen with ease (did you know you can freeze onions without any preparation?) as well as 80 recipes that don’t require as much work as you might think. Quickly make your meals complete with staples such as Super-Fast Enchilada Sauce or the 2-ingredient Tofu Sour Cream. There are hearty and simple stews like Inside Out Stuffed Pepper Stew and Mapo Tofu. She has time-saving (and vegetable adding!) ideas for one-pot pasta including her One-Pot Veggie Vodka Sauce Pasta and One-Pot Vegetable Lo Mein. Her “Almost Effortless Lasagna is almost as simple as mine and I will likely try it next. Shredded sweet potatoes are used in a few dishes to quickly speed up cooking times and give you a texture you likely have not associated with the sweet spuds (see Sweet Potato Ropa Vieja). Variations on stir fries and sandwiches, classical quick meals, are also included.
Some dishes take a bit more time to prepare, but they are mostly hands off (including the lasagna). She also oven-bakes quinoa so that you can do other things while it bakes. And last but not least, there are a some dessert recipes including an oil-free avocado-packed walnut brownie recipe. No cookies here, because loaves and pans of baked goods are much simpler than fiddly cookies.
I feel the need to highlight how much I love Page Street Publishing lay-flat binding for cookbooks. It allows easy access to the recipes, most of which are accompanied with crisp photographs by Ann Olivero, from An Unrefined Vegan.
Of note of the recipes I tried, my suggestions are don’t use a non-alcoholic apple cider for the Drunken Sweet Potato BBQ as I found it made it quite sweet indeed. I also enjoyed the Veggie-Ful Rice and Beans although I used my pressure cooker to make it even faster (there are directions for the stove top and slow cooker in the cookbook).
Recipes from the cookbook spotted elsewhere:
Now for you to get a chance to win a copy to make your own cooking easier..
Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the United States or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about your tricks for making cooking easier. The winner will be selected at random on April 20, 2016. Good luck!
Reprinted, with permission, from The Easy Vegan Cookbook
gluten-free • soy-free • no oil added
Author’s note: Hummus is a vegan staple. It gets a bad rap because sometimes it’s a vegan’s only friend at a party. But hummus does not have to be boring, especially if you up the flavor with pumpkin, smoked paprika, cumin and a little nutritional yeast. Try this as a base on the Falafel “Pitza” on page 159.
1 (15 oz [425 g]) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained or 1½ cups (300 g) cooked
3/4 cup (184 g) pumpkin purée (can substitute sweet potato or butternut squash purée)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
2 tablespoons (10 g) nutritional yeast
½ to 1 teaspoon cumin, to taste
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ to ½ teaspoon coriander, to taste, optional
¼ teaspoon cayenne
2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) water, as needed, to make a smooth purée
Salt, to taste
1. Place the chickpeas, pumpkin, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, cumin, paprika, coriander and cayenne in your food processor. Blend until the chickpeas are puréed. Add a tablespoon (15 ml) of water at a time if the mixture is too thick.
2. Taste and adjust seasonings; add salt to taste.
MAKES ABOUT 2½ CUPS (301 G)
Per ½ cup (60 g) serving: Calories 107.5, protein 5.4 g, total fat 1.0 g, carbohydrates 20.2 g, sodium 217.0 mg, fiber 5.1 g
Reprinted from The Easy Vegan Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Kathy Hester. Published by Page St Publishing.