Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Joining the VegCookbook Club for November

I was feeling rudderless without VeganMoFo, so I have decided to join the VegCookbookClub for their November cookbook choice. Happily, my public library had an available copy of the current selection: Forks Over Knives--The Cookbook by Del Sroufe.

Last week I finally watched the documentary Forks Over Knives on Netflix streaming. (I'm not sure how I missed its theatrical release.) The film was engaging, focusing on people adopting vegan diets for health reasons rather than for animal rights/ethical reasons. The film's original companion book, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, featured 125 recipes, from a variety of contributors.
Forks Over Knives--The Cookbook
This new sequel by vegan chef Del Sroufe continues the Forks Over Knives brand and the message of food as medicine. The cookbook offers 300 whole foods, plant-based recipes and many general cooking how-tos.  It also features a decadent desserts chapter by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  Bonus!

I decided to delve into this cookbook by trying two easy recipes: a breakfast smoothie and a basic fake cheese sauce.
Banana Cranberry Smoothie
This banana cranberry smoothie was super easy, with just four ingredients: banana, cranberries, dates, and vegan milk. This recipe made a bit more than a single portion. I'd never used cranberries in a smoothie before and was pleased with the results. They were a tangy addition, a nice change of pace from my average smoothie. 

Almost all of the smoothie recipes in this cookbook require dates. I like dates but they are super sweet here, almost overpowering the drink. I think I'd skip the dates next time and add ground chia or flax seeds instead.
No-Cheese Sauce
This no-cheese sauce is a winner. It's another basic recipe with five ingredients. You blend together onion, red bell pepper, cashews, tahini, and nutritional yeast.  These are some of my favorite ingredients and they combine into a creamy, smooth taste sensation.

I put the no-cheese sauce on a pizza and the "dollops" blended together as it baked. I still have extra sauce and plan to add it to burritos. This recipe pops up in other dishes throughout the cookbook. It seems adaptable for a variety of purposes. I'd like to use it as a dip for crudités.
Pizza with no cheese sauce close-up


Julie G. said...

Hi Lydia-I am following along with the book too. I was really bummed to see that the cheese sauce they repeatedly use has cashews. My son has a super serious allergy and I don't even want them in my house. I'm going to try it without the nuts, but I am afraid the tahini will overpower...anyways, yours looks so great on pizza...I want a slice:) Nice that you got the book at the library...

Lydia Paterson said...

Yeah, it might be more of a tahini sauce without the cashews. Maybe using ground flax seeds could add a "nutty" flavor?

Julie G. said...

Thanks for the idea. I'm always trying to find nut substitutes.