Vegan Without Borders is the newest offering from Robin Robertson. This beautiful book (which includes colour pictures of some of the recipes!) is clearly a labour of love for Robin, the joy and emotion in her writing is evident. The book doesn't cover region (she doesn't cover everywhere, I am still waiting for Robin to take on Australian cuisine, hee) and is a carefully selected collection of recipes Robin has chosen to highlight each area. So let's go travelling with our tummies!
Easy Boston Baked Beans and Three-Corn Cornbread (The United States): This is a sweet and saucy baked bean recipe that comes together super quickly before baking. The recipe calls for molasses, I used blackstrap because that is what we commonly have here, any lighter sort of molasses would have made it even sweeter. Next time I would probably just add a sprinkle of sugar rather than whole tablespoon. This says it serves four to six, but I would say more like three and a half! The cornbread is triple due to cornmeal, corn kernels and a can of creamed corn. It is a very thick batter, but bakes up well in the time. I used the 8 inch baking pan option. All served with some broccoli.
Rating: Baked beans :), Cornbread :)
Fattoush Wraps and Baharat-Spiced Baba Ghanoush (Middle East) with Mojito Roasted Sweet Potatoes (The Caribbean): These are some super fresh wraps that are great for summer. A thick and (very) lemony chickpea and herb (including mint) spread is smeared onto 'flat breads' (OK, I just used large wholemeal wraps because that is what I had) and topped with fresh salad (I skipped the cucumber). The baba ghanoush was a little bit bitter, I suspect because the homemade baharat spice blend was a bit bitter. But it mellows with some time in the fridge and with the addition of more lemon (also because I only had half the amount of option yoghurt). Sometimes you just through borders to the wind and mix your cultural boundaries, otherwise known as 'I had a bunch of mint to use up'. The sweet potatoes have a sauce made of rum, agave, lime and mint, and are actually very saucy. I served leftovers with some brown rice, which soaked it up great!
Rating: Wraps :) , Ghanoush :), Sweet Potatoes :)
Coconut Spinach and Lentil Dal (India): Dal and Saag blend together here for a tasty dinner. I used brown lentils (the recipe just calls for dry lentils), and I also only used a 270mL tin of light coconut milk made up to 400mL with stock (too much coconut oil makes me sick). I used the frozen spinach option here, and skipped the chile. It gives 4 good sized serves over brown rice.
Tamarind Chickpeas with Green Beans and Cauliflower (India): This had a good flavour, but I would have liked a fair bit more tamarind in it because I love tamarind. I got nearly 5 serves out of this one, and like many curries it gets even better as leftovers.
Tofu and Jackfruit Curry (India): Before making this recipe, you make a Sri Lankan Curry Powder (I totally cheated though and dry roasted pre-ground spices, and I also only used a fraction of the chili powder because I love things mild). I sauteed the tofu first rather than just adding raw for some extra texture. This is only the second time I used jackfruit, the first was slow cooking, and it added a nice extra texture and flavour. I also added frozen peas and left out the chile.
Kung Pao Seitan and Eggplant (China): This was the first recipe I made from this book. Seitan, eggplant, snow peas and carrot (instead of capsicum) with a delicious sauce. I served it over brown rice and baby spinach. I only got about three and a half servings from this.
Sesame Noodles with Tofu (China): I love tofu and noodles. In this recipe I used 8 ounces of pasta instead of 12 and an extra cup of cabbage. It made three big servings. This sauce uses black vinegar, which is my favourite vinegar of all, though it didn't come through very strong in the finished product.
Pineapple Fried Rice with Edamame (Thailand): I like pineapple in savoury dishes, yes I do. I love pineapple in Thai-style fried rice! I skipped the grotty capsicum and used mint out of the options of the herbs. The recipe called for Thai chili sauce, I suddenly realised I only had sweet chili sauce but that all worked out fine. I got three big servings out of this.
Chilled Somen Salad (Japan): I LOVE chilled noodle salads, and somen is my favourite. My mum used to make very non-vegan chilled somen salads when we were growing up. This has a stack of colourful ingredients (tofu, cos, carrot, edamame) with a lovely dressing. I used Australian TBS to make the dressing because I knew I would want extra dressing to make sure it got everywhere. Such a pretty salad!
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post
This sweet little face belongs to a friendly kitty I met on the street when I was walking from a health food shop back to the clinic. They wouldn't let me leave for a good few minutes of winding around my ankles! Look at that cutie!!