Monday, May 24, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway! Supermarket Vegan: 225 Meat-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free Recipes for Real People in the Real World
by Donna Klein

So many vegan cookbooks, so little time ... When I first heard the title of this new book, I thought, "what a great idea!" As a food coach and author of So Now What Do I Eat? The Complete Guide to Vegetarian Convenience Foods, my readers know that I'm all about making it as easy as possible for people to transition to a vegan diet. Visiting clients at their homes and taking them shopping has shown me that many people feel overwhelmed by the prospect of adopting a plant-based diet. When I help someone clean out their refrigerator and pantry of all products containing animal ingredients, we're often left standing in the middle of a kitchen with bare cabinets, an empty fridge, and a pile of food in boxes or garbage bags on the floor. Later, when I take them to their local natural foods store and introduce them to healthier but unfamiliar ingredients, they seem confounded by the strangeness of it all. So what a great idea to be able to say to someone that everything they need to prepare a bounty of healthful, delicious, plant-based meals is sitting right there in the ordinary surroundings of their local supermarket!

Supermarket Vegan is filled with a tantalizing array of appetizers, soups, stews, salads, wraps, noodle dishes, and desserts showcasing international cuisine from the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. With dishes like Greek Buglur-Stuffed Peppers with Mint, Cellophane Noodles with Scallions and Chow Sauce, and Curried Eggplant Black-Eyed Pea Stew, and Avocado Tostadas there's something wonderful to tempt everyone's palate.

As I do with any new cookbook, I sat down and read through every recipe before choosing which ones I wanted to sink my teeth into. If I have one criticism of this book, it's that most of the recipes are fairly high in fat. But that is easily remedied by cutting out half the oil called for in any given recipe or by eliminating the oil completely. I did this with several recipes without compromising taste, as with this gorgeous recipe for Hawaiian-Style Sweet and Sour Roasted Pineapple and Bell Peppers.

Pineapple and coconut intermingled beautifully to create a dish that was distinctly Hawaiian. I added marinated tempeh and served it over a bed of steaming jasmine rice to create a meal that was delightfully nourishing and satisfying.

One evening I read off some of the recipes I'd bookmarked to Mark. Buddhist Hot-and-Sour Soup with Tofu appealed to him, because there was a chill in the air, and he very much enjoys having soup on a cold and blustery day. I loved the rich brown broth that was achieved by combining soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and black bean sauce, and was thoroughly delighted to discover that yes indeed, my local supermarket did carry the latter two. To make the soup a bit heartier so that we could enjoy it as a main course, I added cellophane rice noodles, scallions, carrots, and water chestnuts. We both agreed that it was one of the tastiest soups we'd ever had.

Donna's recipe for African Cabbage, Carrot, Potato, and Chickpea Stew sounded equally tantalizing. Cumin, turmeric, and red pepper delicately seasoned this stew and allowed the flavor of the gently cooked vegetables to take center stage.

Following is the for recipe African Cabbage, Carrot, Potato, and Chickpea Stew from Donna Klein's Supermarket Vegan excerpted by arrangement with Perigee Books, a member of the Penguin Group. Copyright © 2010.


2 Tbs peanut oil and/or extra-virgin olive oil (I omitted this and used vegetable broth, instead)
1 16-oz bag baby carrots
1 cup chopped onion
2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
8 ounces shredded cabbage (I used red and green)
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
2-3 Tbs tomato paste
1 tsp sugar, or to taste (optional)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a large deep-sided nonstick skillet with a lid, heat oil (or broth) over medium heat. Add the carrots and onion and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes, adding the garlic the last minute or so of cooking. Add the potatoes, chickpeas, cabbage, broth, water, tomatoe paste, sugar (if using), cumin, turmeric, salt, red pepper flakes (if using), and black pepper; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, an cook until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 20-30 minutes, stirring ocassionally. Serve warm over rice or couscous.

I'm very excited about sharing a copy of Supermarket Vegan with one of my readers. It's a wonderful resource for those of you who are just starting out on your vegan adventure and would make the perfect gift for someone you may know who is just starting out. Here's all you have to do to enter to win:

Follow this blog, and leave a comment here telling me why you'd like to win a copy of Supermarket Vegan. Please make sure to include your email address, so I can contact you when you win.

You can earn extra entries by following me on twitter (@vegiegail) and tweeting about this contest with a link back to this blog post. Stay tuned—I'll be choosing one lucky winner later this week. Good luck!


singerinkitchen said...

I am always looking for good recipes. I am new vegan as of Nov2009 and would nto mind a vegan cookbook seeing I only have 2 in my collection. Thanks! noellsky (at)gmail (dot)com

Angel said...

Woohoo! I'd love to win this book! It would be the perfect gift for my sister, who has been giving lip service to going vegan for years.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to win this book so I can give it to my mom, who really needs to start eating healthier. I know this would make it so much easier for her. She gets easily intimidated by unfamiliar sounding ingredients and the idea of shopping at Whole Foods.

Abby Bean said...

This book seems like a great way to spread the good word of veganism through meals prepared using easy to obtain ingredients!

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book as a gift for my mom who needs to start eating a lot healthier. I know she gets intimidated by the idea of shopping at Whole Foods and seeking out unfamiliar ingredients. This book would make it so easy for her to get started eating better!

Felicia said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book. Anything that would make planning and preparing my family's meals easier would be a godsend.

Anonymous said...

I want this book for my boss, who is always saying how hard it is for her to go vegan. The dishes you made all look delicious! I can't wait to try the recipe for African Stew. Thank you!

Unknown said...

How fantastic! I would share this book with my Mom as well. She is trying to go vegan to help with her health issues but doesn't have access to a grocery store that has many of the vegan items that are often called for in other cookbooks. girlalite (at) gmail (dot) com

Vegan Wheekers said...

Always on the search for easy healthy vegan recipes that I could shop for easily and whip up in a jiffy. Supermarket Vegan sounds good to me! Thanks for the giveaway!

veganwheekers (at) gmail

Anonymous said...

Wow! That Buddhist Bowl looks delicious! Reason enough to want this book. :)

VegNMarr said...

Pass the soup & the chickpea dish, wouldja please?? ;-) Looks like a perfect dinner! I'm always loaning out books to friends transitioning to a vegan diet thus would love to add this to the ones I pass around! :-)
And thanks for testing out the low fat/no added fat versions of these dishes, that's important!!

Helen said...

One can never have enough great vegan cookbooks. If I can find everything I need to make a really great meal in one place, that will really cut down on the time I spend shopping. Thank you!

Millie said...

Love those wonderful dishes, especially that chick pea a nice book.

Anonymous said...

OOh how ironic! I Just posted a review about a recipe from her book that was in VT! I'd love the book to try the rest of the recipes! :)

Unknown said...

Having recently made the switch to vegan after ages of being vegetarian, I'm always on the lookout for great vegan cookbooks! It's so nice to have tried and true recipes on hand rather than making subs that may (or may not) work! =)

Justine said...

This book sounds great! I can't wait to try the recipe—so simple, but it looks so tasty. I could really use a vegan cookbook like this! I'm glad someone finally thought of it.

The Vegan said...

The recipes look delicious but off the top of my head I don't know who I would give the book to so I hope one of the other people here win it. I think if I win I would prefer you to fly in and prepare me one of this dishes. :-)

Rachel said...

I always learn about the best vegan cookbooks from your blog. This sounds like a great gift for my mom. Thank you for the recipes, too.

eatplantfoods at yahoo dot com

Millie said...

Hi sweety pleas check out my have won an award.

Vegiegail said...

Thank you, Millie. I am deeply honored.

Crystal said...

This sounds like the perfect book for someone like me, who just hates running around to a bunch of different stores to find all the ingredients for one recipe. I'd love to win a copy! Thanks for sharing the recipe, too. It sounds delicious.
crystalryder2342 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Yes! I'd love to win a copy of this book. All the dishes you made look very delicious.

2Goldie said...

If I win this book, I can win my husband to be a vegan as well by making some mouth-watering dishes..

Anonymous said...

Everything looks so good! I hope I'm not too late! I'd love to win this book for my best friend. Her birthday is coming up in two weeks, and I know she would love this book.

Rachwins said...

Darn, forgot email. r.bird.bird at gmail dot com.

Rachwins said...

Wow, this book looks awesome. The more recipes I can make using stuff from the one stop shop the better!

I'm in cookbook limbo at the moment, I've been banned from buying any more books until my my bank balance is a little healthier!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

This would be a great book to add to my collection - I lose so many "loaning" them to new vegans, but consider it an investment well spent... (e-mail thru my blog)

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

And I tweeted about it too!!!