I love vegan cookbooks. I really do. I have a ton. I read them instead of novels or graphic novels or magazines or whatever it is that “normal” people read. But…here’s the thing. I rarely make recipes from them. I just…don’t really plan ahead in that way much. I shop based on what’s in season, what’s local, what’s on sale, and then I prepare food around these ingredients, plus the staples I always have like bulk quinoa, beans, spices, oils, etc.
But every once and a while, I decide to follow a recipe, usually when I’ve been reading a book and realize I actually have the ingredients they’re using. This happened a while ago when I was having a read of Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan. I had a hankering for some beans and
rice quinoa, had a bunch of zucchini and an aging squash on the veggie shelf and figured I’d give some recipes a go.
I cooked up a big ol’ pot of black beans a la Terry’s instructions, and hoooo boy. They were tastier than your average pot of beans, and I’m honestly not even sure why. I think I followed her instructions to use less water, and not be afraid of using the bean cooking liquid almost as a sauce. Near the end of cooking I threw a few chunks of onion and some salt into the pot for flavour, and served these beans straight up as a side. OM NOM NOM.
I also made her lime-y cilantro-y rice with, um, quinoa. Because I like it better. And it was delish.
And then! Oh, and then I made the Calabacitas, or mixed squash saute, with zucchini, butternut squash, onions, oregano, cumin, jalapenos, some tomato, lime juice…and crack? I don’t know. This was ridiculously delicious, somehow all of the parts came together to make something even more delicious than I imagined it could be.
These are pretty much the only recipes I’ve made from Viva Vegan to date, even though I totally covet everything in the book. I’m just bad at using other people’s recipes. I’ll let you know if I get up to anything else delicious from here. There’s a “cheese” sauce I’m dying to try, but apparently the important “secret” ingredient is saltine crackers, and I just can’t bring myself to buy them and/or eat them.
I feel like I always see other bloggers cooking recipes from books. Am I a weirdo for not actually doing this very often? Or is it all a sham!? How often does everyone cook from cookbooks, or “uncook” from raw books or whatever? I’m curious!