Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cooking with Viva Vegan!


I mentioned that I am part Italian.  The rest of me is Hispanic (with a little American Indian mixed in!), so I love this cookbook from Terry Hope Romero that ensures that this Latina does not have to give up empanadas, tamales, arepas, enchiladas, or any of the other wonderful dishes that I love to eat!

I first became infatuated with Terry in her book Veganomicon (co-authored with Isa Chandra Moskowitz).  Her style and wit won me over instantly.  It's like talking to a girlfriend as she walks you through how to whip up a sauce or make a filling for enchiladas.  Viva Vegan! is more than a cookbook.  It is a resource on Latin cooking.  Besides the mouth watering recipes (which we'll get to in just a sec), she includes chapters on setting up a vegan Latin pantry (easier than you think) and kitchen tools, pages on herbs and chiles, and a comprehensive appendix with meals, menus, shopping list resources (including online), and a metric conversion chart.  Terry thought of everything!  And then, there are the recipes: A Few Essential Latino Vegan Recipes; Salsas and Condimentos; Bocadillos, Snacks and Appetizers; Ensaladas; Beans and Rice, Los Dos Amigos; Vegan Asado: 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; Empanadas; Drinks; Desserts and Sweets.  I want to eat it all!

I have only just begun cooking from this gem, but here are a few of my favorites so far: 

Chimichurri Baked Tofu
Cilantro Lime Rice
Cilantro Citrus Vinaigrette
Potato-Chickpea Enchiladas with Green Tomatillo Sauce (the Pine Nut Crema that tops these is so amazingly delicious that I wanted to spoon it out of the bowl!)

And here's what I am dying to try...

Spicy Tortilla Casserole with Roasted Poblanos
Arroz con Seitan
Chocolate Mole Veggie Tamales
Beans, Rice and Sweet Plantain Empanadas
Creamy Corn-Filled Empanadas
Chocolate para Churros
Simply Arroz con Leche

If you love Latin food (or just love really good food), you must try this cookbook.  If you do, let me know what you think in the comments section below.