How excited am I for yet another new cookbook from Terry Hope Romero? I'm more excited than a 12 year old girl at a Justin Beiber concert! That's pretty darned excited. I have cooked so many recipes from Viva Vegan, Veganomicon, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar it isn't funny. Terry's recipes are always well written and tested, it is always a safe bet to whip one out for hungry friends with confidence. When I heard she was writing an international cookbook, it was all I could do not to break out into multi-lingual, international song.
The book starts off with a huge table of contents. She breaks the world down into 12 chapters that cover everything from spice blends to curries to desserts and lots more in between. Like Veganomicon, Vegan Eats World includes handy icons for meals that take under 45 minutes, mostly inactive time, cheaper ingredients, easy, low fat, gluten free, and soy free recipes. This makes the huge book a little less intimidating.
The first part of the book is a section called Kitchen Cartography. This section is great for the less experienced cook. It offers lots of great tips and basic prep hints with cute little illustrations. I've never been very good at mis en place, but after reading her little blurb on mis en place, it just seems to be silly not to do it. Terry includes some basic cooking terms and methods. It is an international cookbook, so she takes a bit of time to describe some ingredients the reader may not be familiar with and separates them out by region. Even you seasoned cooking veterans are likely to learn something new.
The second part of the book includes all of the creative and varied recipes. Terry knows her way around the kitchen and the world. There are 300 recipes in this section. Each chapter includes an encouraging introduction. The recipes are easy to read and use. The biggest problem you will have with the book is deciding where to start and what to make first. To help you with this quest, she provides really handy resources including some menu ideas, recipes by icon and an excellent index at the end of the book.
For me, it was an ingredient that I wanted to use that led me to the recipe I made first. I had some aji amarillo paste in my pantry that really needed some love. I fell in love with this pepper paste while testing for Viva Vegan. I was thrilled to find a very intriguing recipe in which to use it. The Andean Aji Bean Stew (pg. 116) had five of the cute little icons listed: mostly inactive time, cheaper ingredients, easy, low fat and soy free. Sounded like a perfect weeknight meal to me!
As the icons indicated, this was a very easy and low maintenance recipe. The most time intensive prep was peeling and chopping the butternut squash. It is chock full of antioxidant rich veggies. The beans and quinoa give it a good protein boost. The aji amarillo gave the stew a beautiful spice. I loved the hint of smokiness imparted by the smoked paprika and liquid smoke. This was a wonderful one dish meal. It got a thumbs up from my family and one very meat eating co-worker. This is going to be in my regular rotation for sure.
Now it is your turn! You can win your copy even before the release date! One very lucky commenter is going to take a trip around the world with Terry courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books. Leave a comment about your most memorable international food/eating experience or your favorite type of international cuisine by midnight tomorrow night, Monday, 10/22/12. The winner will be chosen at random Tuesday. US and Canada shipping only please.
OK, folks. Here is the winner of Artisan Vegan Cheese...
Commenter #14!! Laura C.
Laura, please make sure to contact me at vegintraining at g mail dot com with your shipping information. Congrats!!!