Friday, June 10, 2011

Vegan Awesomeness

Kitmama brought home a couple of vegan cookbooks from the library. I've been perusing Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson, and tried out the Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Chowder on page 68. It seriously rocked!

If even half the other recipes in the book are as good as this one, I'll be buying this book very soon. What I like about the book so far:

  • Just about all the recipes I've read so far are, like, real food. You don't need a bunch of weird ingredients you've never heard of before,; you're most likely going to have most of the stuff in your pantry or fridge already, or at least know which aisle of the market to find it in. And, because it's mostly all recognizable stuff, the kids are way more likely to eat it. 'Nuff said.

  • She includes the cost per serving for each meal. All of them are under $1.85 per serving, and a lot of them are under $1.00 per serving.

  • Most of the recipes are on the quick side, and she includes time-saving tips (like cooking basics and large batches ahead of time and freezing, and cooking one meal that will be used for two).

  • She also includes recipes for making your own "convenience foods"...those vegan versions of non-vegan ingredients (like meat, mayo, etc.) that you can get at the grocery store, but usually at a steep price. I'm not sure I'll go quite so far as to make my own seitan (vegan meat) because we're not strictly vegan, but for those with food allergies or who want to be strict vegans, these made-at-home versions could be a significant money saver (and you can skip those weird chemical additives in many of them).

  • She includes a chart showing which ingredients will be cheaper to make yourself rather than buy, and the approximate cost savings.

So, overall, I think I'm going to get a lot out of this book.

Oh, and here's the recipe for the Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Chowder:

1 T olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups cooked or 2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed (I used home-cooked)

1 (14-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained (I used plain canned tomatoes)

1 (4-ounce) can chopped mild green chiles, drained (I went easy for the sake of the kids, and left some to be added by the adults as desired)

1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels (I used frozen)

1 t chili powder

1/2 t ground cumin

1/2 t smoked paprika (optional) (I used regular paprika)

3 cups vegetable stock (I used homemade)

Salt and black pepper

Tortilla chips (I served with home-made Artisan bread)

  • In large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Ad the onion and garlic, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

  • Stir in the beans, tomatoes with their juice, chiles, corn, chili powder, cumin, and paprika, if using. Add the stock and season with salt and peper to taste. (The amount of salt needed depends on the saltiness of your stock). Simmer until the chowder is hot and the flavors have developed, 30 to 40 minutes.

  • To serve, ladle the chowder into bowls and top each bowl with tortilla chips.

And, yes, the kids ate it. A couple of them even went back for seconds ;)

1 comment:

  1. Just got the book (and several other vegan cookbooks) today from the library! Thanks for the suggestion--