Today, I am pleased to bring you MORE Vegan Blog’s first ever Cookbook Review! Woo hoo!
The first thing you might be thinking is…hmm…that cow looks awfully familiar. If so, it’s probably because like me and many other vegetarians out there, you’ve relied on happycow.net to find vegan and vegetarian friendly food options in the cities you’ve lived or visited. It’s an invaluable resource and now they’ve come out with a cookbook that will allow you to recreate some of the best dishes from some of the best vegan restaurants around the world!
When I received my copy in the mail and skimmed the table of contents, I was thrilled to see two restaurants that I know and love: Luna’s Living Kitchen (Charlotte, NC) and Counter Culture (Austin, TX). It’s always so exciting to see a local favorite get recognized for its awesomeness. The recipes from Luna’s Living Kitchen take raw food to a level of delicious I didn’t know was possible with Gaia’s Treasure, a veggie-packed “stir fry,” and Swiss Bircher Muesli, a fruity, oaty breakfast dish. While Luna’s Living Kitchen is famous for its raw food, Counter Culture is renowned for its vegan comfort food and features recipes for Pasta with Pumpkin Curry Sauce and Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding. Yummy!
As you can tell just from the inclusion of Luna’s and Counter Culture, The HappyCow Cookbook has done a tremendous job of bringing together vegan restaurants of all types and including recipes from appetizers to sandwiches to main courses to desserts. There is truly something that will appeal to every vegan’s tastes! On top of the fantastic variety, each recipe includes a mouthwatering photo and each restaurant includes an interview with its owner.
Thank you, HappyCow Cookbook for making it possible to take a vegan restaurant tour from the comfort of my own kitchen!
The HappyCow Cookbook is also allowing me to post Counter Culture’s recipe for Pasta with Pumpkin Curry Sauce to give you a sample of the unique and tasty recipes inside the book. I am posting it exactly as it appears in the book, but first I’ll give you my insider tips from my experience of making it.
The recipe is really simple and fast to make, which was a relief since sometimes trying to replicate a restaurant’s recipe can get a bit complicated. To simplify it even more, I just steamed the kale instead of following the boiling and icing directions and it came out great. I did opt add a red chile pepper with the seeds removed and a 16 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed. I did not use vegetarian fish sauce. Finally, I added some salt and pepper to taste and topped with vegan parmesan before serving. Overall, the recipe was a success! Also, it definitely makes more than 4 servings, maybe even closer to 8 servings with the chickpeas added in. Enjoy!
- For the pasta and veggies:
- Pinch salt
- 14 ounces pasta of your choice
- 4 cups Chinese broccoli, kale, or other green vegetable
For the curry sauce:
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1½ tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
- 1 fresh red or green chili, diced (optional)
- ½ 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 1 14-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon curry paste
- 1 teaspoon vegetarian fish sauce (optional)
For the garnish (optional):
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Shredded red cabbage
- Bring a large pot full of water and a pinch of salt to boil, add the pasta, and boil over medium heat. Cook until noodles are al dente (testing the noodles 2 minutes before they’re due to be ready). Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and set the noodles aside.
- In the same pot, bring several cups of water to boil. Pour a large bowl of water and add ice cubes. Gather together the 4 cups of green vegetables and, using a slotted spoon, quickly dip them in the boiling water in batches of about 1 cup, cooking them for about 30 seconds. Then quickly dunk the veggies in ice water to shock them and place them on a paper towel to dry.
- Next, prepare the curry. Place all of the curry ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a smooth sauce. Remove and toss with cooked pasta and vegetables. Add garnish, if using. Serve at room temperature or heat briefly in a saucepan.