This post is looong overdue. I want to tell you about Vegan Eats World: 300 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet by Terry Hope Romero* because it is a book that gets me really excited about being in the kitchen and trying new recipes and flavor profiles.
When I placed it on hold at the beginning of the year, I had no idea that it would become available at the same time as two other cookbooks. With all three in high demand, I had only three weeks to use them. For no particular reason, Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day is the one that got a lot of use, leaving time only to skim the other two. But a quick skim was all I needed to know that I wanted – no, needed – VEW in my life and in my kitchen. So when my birthday rolled around and I received Amazon gift cards, VEW was the first item to go into my cart.
Released last October, VEW is the latest from Terry Hope Romero (author of one of my favorite cookbooks, Viva Vegan!). The book is beautifully designed. The pages are clean and colorful, and they boast a generous number of pictures, each so tempting you want to dive in for a bite.
As the title suggests, VEW features recipes from across the globe. Red Lentil Dahl with Tomatoes and Curry Leaves from India, Korean Veggie Bulgogi, Yemiser W’et with Ethiopian Savory Crepes, South American Pistachio Date Quinoa Salad, Tibetan Momo Dumplings with Spicy Sesame Tomato Sambal and Cabbage Slaw and many, many more.
Each time I open it, I find a new gem of a recipe hidden within its pages, making it feel like my birthday all over again. I am genuinely looking forward to doing a deeper dive into all it has to offer, but here is a snapshot of a few of the recipes I’ve tried so far.
The first recipe I made was Roasted Gnocchi with Roasted Tomato Caper Sauce. (One small pet peeve about the book: the index could be more robust. When it came time to make this recipe, I went to the index to find its page number. Gnocchi, tomatoes and capers were nowhere to be found. I had to flip through the book until I found it — if you want to try it, check out page 242). This was my first experience with roasted gnocchi, and it is definitely the way to go! It gives the gnocchi a slightly crispy and chewy crust. We both loved this simple dish, which was brought together with a baked tomato and caper sauce with a hint of rosemary.
Before going vegetarian, Pad Thai was one of my favorites, so this recipe for Pad Thai with Avocado and Spicy Greens (and Savory Baked Tofu) was a must. I don’t make Pad Thai often because I’m not a fan of adding sugar to our meals, but every now and then you have to throw caution to the wind. This recipe, with its addition of spicy greens — kale, in my case — is a winner. My go-to recipe for Pad Thai in the past has been the one from The Vegan Table. It’s an even simpler recipe that yields similar tastes; however, because it utilizes peanut butter, leftovers are a bit dense and sticky — not so with this version from VEW.
The Yogurt Naan Griddle Bread was an overwhelming tester favorite, and it is easy to see why. It’s easy to make, and beautiful aromas fill the kitchen as it cooks. Each bite of the hot, fluffy, buttery bread melts in your mouth, and it was quite the challenge to not eat the entire batch ourselves in one sitting. Terry also recommends spicing up the naan. So before cooking, I split the dough into three equal parts. I kept the first part plain, added scallions to the second and rosemary to the third. All three variations were just plain dreamy.
The Sweet and Savory Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos are so good they literally make me giddy with joy. They make regular appearances at our table and are a favorite with guests (even my dad — who is the epitome of a meat-and-potatoes guy — likes ‘em). Jackfruit is marinated and cooked in a savory sauce that can be sweetened with pineapple juice, although for a less sweet filling, you can use water (my preference is half pineapple juice, half water). Word of caution: the Chipotles in Adobo sauce add a lot of heat to this dish. I love the heat, but even when I quarter the amount, I’m still left reaching again and again for a pitcher of water.
VEW makes it easy to find recipes at a glance that fit your particular needs or wants at any given time by providing icons (“keys to the kitchen”) for quicker meals, recipes with cheaper ingredients, easy/novice-friendly recipes, recipes that are soy- or gluten-free and so on. Because of the international flavors, some ingredients, of course, will be harder for some to come across than others, but there are so many recipes that use ingredients found in your standard grocery store.
If you are interested in expanding your repertoire and trying new cuisines (or trying your hand at making your favorite take-out recipes at home), I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
What are your favorite Vegan Eats World recipes? What cookbook gets you excited to be in the kitchen?