When I hear about a new book that I think I’d like to read, I add it to my amazon wishlist. I don’t always end up buying the books from amazon as there are cheaper ways to buy and ship books to Israel (Better World Books and Book Depository to name a few). But my list on amazon ends up being the place where I store the things I want to remember to read.
How happy I was then, when I was asked to review a book already on my wishlist! As a long-time follower of Jackie Sobon’s wonderful vegan food blog, Vegan Yack Attack, I was super excited to hear she had written a cookbook. Furthermore, as someone who’s favored eating style is “put a bunch of different things in a trough-like bowl to be cradled in my arms while digging in”, (see my post on How to make Buddha Bowls for proof), I was further delighted to learn that her cookbook would specifically be about meals in bowls, aptly named, Vegan Bowl Attack!
I have had Jackie’s book in my grubby paws for a few months now and can happily report that it’s food-splattered and dog-eared, which as any cookbook lover knows, is a sign of a great book. I have plenty of gorgeous cookbooks that sit on my shelf with bookmarks in them for recipes I want to try. But the truly good cookbook is the one that lives on the counter, not the shelf, salt shaker holding down one flap, napkin holder holding down the other. (Someone is going to suggest that I get one of those cookbook holders. I know, I have one. But then I’d have to wear my glasses to see the print oh so far away. Because I have become Mrs. Magoo. I need to get my face right into the page).
These are the recipes I have made, or am going to soon be making. You will notice a theme with the kind of foods I choose – comforting, creamy, yummy, nostalgic. Oh, so very, very good! If I ever opened a restaurant, these are the sorts of things I would want to serve:
- Biscuit Nacho Bowl – fluffy biscuits topped with vegan nacho cheese sauce, black olives, sliced jalapenos and roasted chipotle salsa.
- Tempeh Bacon with Hollandaise Sauce
- White Bean Beer Fondue
- Spicy Sesame Brussels Bites
- Roasted Broccolini Amandine
- Mediterranean Layer Dip (bottom layer is red lentil hummus, second layer basil pesto, top layer olive tapenade!)
- Baked Onion Rings with BBQ and Smoky Tahini Sauces
- Walnut Chorizo Taco Salad
- Wedge Salad with Pepita Bacon (that old classic wedge of iceberg lettuce (anyone know where I can find iceberg lettuce in Israel?), topped with vegan ranch dressing and bacon-flavored pepita seeds).
- Buffalo Chickpea Mac and Cheese
- Seitan Satay Bowl with Peanut Sauce
Mercy, there’s more…
Other points about the book:
- Photos? There is a beautiful photo for almost every recipe. That is important to me. I am visual.
- Fancy Ingredients? There are a few ingredients not available here, but nothing you couldn’t sub or omit. Some things, like in the recipe below, that require a ripe mango and a ripe avocado at the same time, will mean a very short window of opportunity for those of us who live in countries still abiding to natural growing seasons, but really there is not too much of that.
- Complicated? Not hard, but yes, involved. I will say there is a fair-amount of recipe within recipe in this book. Meaning there is often the main item and then a sauce or two. So if you hate that, skip this book.
- Family-friendly? Recipes typically serve 4. I use these recipes as lunches for myself, so I cook, then divide into 4 equal portions, eat one and store the remaining 3 in containers in the fridge, for quick lunches throughout the week.
- Healthy? Many are, some are not. There is white flour, margarine and sugar in some recipes, but you can sub those for healthier options if you wished.
- Diet-friendly? Again, it depends on the recipe. Most seem to have about 400 calories per serving which is fine for most people, even those on 1200 calorie plans.
Now onto the recipe sample for you. Alas, when given a review copy the custom is to have only certain recipes OK’ed for publication and none of my favorites were on the list. But this spicy sushi bowl does look delicious. I hope you will enjoy.
Recipe is Reprinted from Vegan Bowl Attack!: More than 100 One-Dish Meals Packed with Plant-Based Power By Jackie Sobon, published by Fair Winds Press
Gluten-free option • nut-free Fluffy sushi rice, topped with fresh veggies, sweet mango, creamy avocado, and a homemade spicy sesame mayo make up this easy-to prepare sushi bowl. The edamame shines like little green gems and brings the protein, while the panko crumbs give it some crunch.
- 1 package (12 ounces, or 340 g) soft silken tofu
- ¼ cup (60 ml) rice vinegar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) sriracha hot sauce
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 cup (180 g) sushi rice
- 2 cups (475 ml) water
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice vinegar
- 2 sheets of nori seaweed cut into strips
- 4 ounces (115 g) cucumber, julienne-cut
- 6 ounces (170 g) daikon radish, julienne-cut
- 6 ounces (170 g) mango, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1 cup (146 g) sliced avocado
- 1 cup (150 g) edamame, steamed and removed from pods
- 3 tablespoons (10 g) panko bread crumbs (gluten-free, if necessary), toasted
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) sesame seeds, toasted
- Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and purée until completely smooth.
- Transfer the mayo to a jar or large squeeze bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks (This recipe makes more than you will need for the sushi bowls.)
- Place the sushi rice, water, and rice vinegar in a pot over medium-low heat, partially cover, and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the rice is soft, but not mushy.
- Fluff with a wooden spoon.
- Divide the nori strips among 4 bowls, crisscrossing them.
- Divide the cooked rice among the bowls, as well as the cucumber, daikon radish, mango, avocado, and edamame.
- Combine the panko bread crumbs and sesame seeds in a small bowl and then sprinkle the crunchies over each bowl.
- Finish each bowl with a drizzle of spicy mayo. Serve immediately.