My dear friend, Bryanna Clark Grogan, had been teasing me (read: torturing me) by posting tantalizing photos of recipes from her new book, World Vegan Feast: 200 Fabulous Recipes from Over 50 Countries on her Facebook page for months. So by the time the book was published and I was able to get my hot little hands on a copy, I was practically foaming at the mouth with anticipation.
I got my palate ready to embark on a journey to delicious with a bounty of delightful dishes from the four corners of the earth, beginning with fantastically flavorful dishes such as ...
Pasta with Cauliflower and Spicy Tomato-Creme Sauce—I adore cauliflower. Like broccoli, I much prefer it cooked, rather than raw. Roasted cauliflower has become a favorite lunch dish, and I'm always looking for recipes that contain this oft-maligned cruciferous vegetable. This delicately flavored dish boasted a creamy sauce that lingered on the tongue after each bite.
Persian Stew with Spinach and Prunes—Give me a good khoresht (Farsi for stew) any day! One of my oldest and dearest friends is from Iran, and Persian cuisine is among my favorites. I never before tasted this particular stew, and it's quite possibly the most delectable I have ever eaten. I mean it was slurpy-lick-the-bowl good. (I never lick the bowl, but this time I just couldn't resist!) I used seitan to make it, but I'll bet it would also be incredible with tempeh.
Ugandan-Style Peanut Butter Stew—I've discovered that I really love stew! I didn't love it when I was a meat-eater, because I guess I never really loved the taste of meat. But I'm crazy about soy curls, and they were perfect in this flavorful peanutty dish! People often ask why vegans would want to eat food that imitates meat. I love the chewy texture of substitutes like tofu, tempeh, and seitan, and the way they soak up the flavors of spices, sauces, and marinades. And I really love how they satisfy the palates of omnivores, who are accustomed to eating a meat-centered diet and would otherwise never believe that a vegan dish could be so satisfying.
Peruvian Purple Corn Pudding—Okay—so there's not really any corn in this pudding. But it's so fruity, sweet, and delicious, you won't miss the corn a bit!
Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Spread—(Gianduia in Italian) is creamy, rich, and fabulously decadent! I loved toasting my own hazelnuts, creating a "butter" with coconut oil, and watching the finished spread get all melty on my toasted English muffin! Eating it felt like the naughtiest thing I have done all year—and I enjoyed it with a huge smile on my face!
Following is the for recipe Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Spread from Bryanna Clark Grogan's World Vegan Feast excerpted by arrangement with Vegan Heritage Press. Copyright © 2011.
12 oz vegan semisweet chocolate chips or baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup non-dairy milk, heated just to the boiling point (you know which one I used!)
3/4 cup hazelnut butter or 1 cup peeled, toasted, hazelnuts
1 Tbsp coconut oil (omit the oil if you use hazelnut butter)
2 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
1 Tbsp soy or rice protein powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Place the chocolate in a food processor. Pulse briefly and then let the machine run until the chocolate is ground into very small pieces.
2. Heat the nondairy milk to the boiling point, in a small pot on the stove over medium-high heat, or in a microwave in 2-cup microwave-safe pitcher, at 100% power for 1 minute.
3. With the machine running, pour the hot milk slowly through the open tube. The chocolate will melt as you run the processor. Quickly open the processor, scrape the chocolate down from the sides fo the bowl, and add the hazelnut butter. (If you are using whole hazelnuts, grind them along with the oil in the food processor first. Scrape out of the food processor and place in a cup, leaving as little behind as possible.)
Process briefly to disperse hazelnut butter (or hazelnuts and coconut oil) evenly throughout the chocolate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more. Add the remaining ingredients and process again until mixture is smooth.
World Vegan Feast is your passport to delectable dishes from around the globe. Don't wait another second to get your very own copy, and start cooking like the culinary world traveler that you are!