Thursday, 27 October 2011

VeganMoFo 2011 #27: 'Viva Vegan'

Viva Vegan!
Terry Hope Romero, De Capo Press, 2010

Viva Vegan

Terry Hope Romero's first solo offering will make you see Latin food in a whole new light. By and large in Australia, Latin food is pretty far from being even remotely authentic, I believe. Terry's book has so many fantastic recipes that cover all aspects of Latin Cuisine, as well as introducing some fun new ingredients to your repertoire. The book is paperback (you can see here that my copy has a crease right through Terry's nose! That happened in transit), and there is a middle section of colour photos. Part one of the book includes an introduction, the vegan latin pantry and kitchen tools. Part two is the recipes:

*A Few Essential Latino Vegan Recipes
*Salsa and Condimento
*Bocadillos, Snacks, and Appetisers
*Beans and Rice, Los Dos Amigos
*Vegan Asoado: Tofu, Tempeh, and Seitan
*Complete Your Plate: Vegetables, Plantains, and Grains
*One-Pot Stews, Casseroles, and Cazuelas
*Super Fantastico Latin Soups!
*For the Love of Corn: Arepas, Pupusas, Tortillas, and More
*You, Too, Can Tamale
*Desserts and Sweets

There are also several appendices, including menus (yay!), shopping list guides, cooking terms and techniques and a conversion charts.

I actually thought I had made only a few things from this book, but I have actually made a few things. I've just tended to make combinations of dishes from the menu list, so it's more that I have just cooked a few times from this book. There are three categories of menu - large dinners for 4-6, smaller dinners for 2-3, and two recipe meals for weeknight cooking.

Smaller Dinner #1

Chimichurri Baked Tofu; Brazilian-Style White Rice; Swiss Chard with Raisins and Capers; Roasted Plantains

This menu includes:
*Chimichurri Sauce with Smoked Paprika: This sauce is amazing, you will want to do much more than just the tofu recipe below, like eat it with a spoon! It is a delicious sauce in its own right. 5 stars.
*Chimichurri Baked Tofu: Very yummy. 4 stars.
*Brazillian-Style White Rice (subbed in from original Savoury Orange Rice, Brazillian Style) is some of the tastiest rice ever. 5 stars.
*Swiss Chard with Raisins and Capers: I love capers and raisins and greens together, so this really was great. 4 stars.
*Baked plantains (I just added this for fun, because I had some plantains that needed using up)

Smalled Dinner #4

Creamy Potato Peanut Stew; Pickled Red Onions; Basic White Rice, steamed chard

This menu includes:
*Creamy Potato Peanut Stew: This is a very rich stew, so serving it with these other recipes helps to balance it out nicely. 4 stars.
*Pickled Red Onions: These are so easy and so pretty. It makes a lot, so halve the recipe if you won't be going through them fast enough. 5 stars.
*Basic White Rice: Simple and yummy. I have made this in the rice cooker before too, where it becomes quite chewy but I kind of like it. 4 stars.
*Steamed plain greens (no recipe)

Two-Recipe Meal #6

Quinoa-Oyster Mushroom Risotto; Braised Brizilian Shredded Kale

This menu includes:
*Quinoa-Oyster Mushroom Risotto: I found this a little bland, but in a good way. I would add more mushrooms, because that is how I roll. 4 stars.
*Braised Brazilian Shredded Kale: Kale is the bestest. I like how this is cooked, it is fun to eat with the finely shredded kale. 4 stars.

Buenos Aires Potluck

Creamy Corn-Crusted Tempeh Pot Pie; Tomato Salad with Sweet Crisp Onions
Dulce de Batata with vanilla ice cream

This menu includes:
*Creamy Corn-Crusted Tempeh Pot Pie: ZOMG this is one of the best things you will ever eat. It says to use an 11x7 inch, but it all fit into my 8x8 inch casserole dish with no issues. 5 stars.
*Tomato Salad with Sweet Crisp Onions: I cut down the amount of onions here from 1 large to 1 small, but it was still incredibly oniony. I am not the biggest fan of large amounts of raw onions. The tomatoes and the dressing are delicious, and next time I would just use a small amount of diced onion in it. I kind of woke up with super strong onion breath at 4am. Eeep! 3 stars, or 4 stars for the tomato and dressing part.
*Dulce de Batata, served with vanilla ice cream: Dulce de Batata is a sweet potato sweet mash. It is amazing, it cooks down almost like an apple pie filling. I can't wait to try it in the recipe which uses it between chocolate cake layers! 5 stars.

Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Olives, and Roasted Peanuts


I made this for lunch and it is amazing! It says to serve immediately, but it keeps really well, so make a batch on the weekend and be in lunch heaven all week. 5 stars.

Quick Red Posole with Beans

Quick Red Posole with Beans

The first thing I ever made from here, with a tin of hominy I had kicking around in my pantry for ages. It was really yummy, and I loved that you could garnish with all sorts of options. Avodaco is particularly amazing. 4 stars.

Mandee at Cupcake Kitteh is the master of Viva Vegan! Check out her blog to see all the amazing things she has made from this book. She is gluten-free and soy free too, so this book is truly for everyone!

What is your favourite international cuisine?

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Maryanne Oliver Painting

I thought I'd share something a bit different today. Once there was a beautiful cat called Bandii, who sadly got cancer. Her mother, Maryanne, happens to be an amazing artist. We bonded while I was helping with Bandii's care, and Maryanne painted this beautiful picture in my honour. It is based on my Facebook photo, where I am holding Sahara. I fell in love with this painting, and some friends bought it for me for my birthday. After this, I asked Maryanne if she could do two more paintings - one with a black cat, one with a tabby, and each with a red headed lady. I will share the other two with you over the next two days.


  1. That's so funny - the quick red posole is the first thing I made from that book too... And I definitely agree that the tempeh crusted pot pie is AMAZING! I really, really like this book but find that things are just a little too time-requiring and oily for my general taste, but everything I've tried has been pretty darn good.

    Pennisi has great latin american supplies.

  2. I have this book but have been rubbish at cooking from it. I must try some more things. I have made the Pastel del Choclo though and it was fabulous (better than the omni version I loved years ago). I took quite a few pots and pans to make but was worth it!

  3. I love that book and love the painting, so sweet!

  4. That is a gorgeous painting, Susan! And everything you've made from VV! looks awesome, I really love that creamy peanut stew (I wish I was eating it right now).

    And thanks so much for mentioning my blog <3