We love comfort food in our house and have a go-to group of recipes we make often. Recently I was given the opportunity to review a newly released cookbook focusing on everyday comfort foods. Even more interesting, all the recipes are vegan. I was so excited to have a look at it and make some of the recipes. I’m always looking for more plant based healthy recipes.
Fuss-Free Vegan was written by Sam Turnbull, creator of the very successful It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken blog. She wanted the recipes in her cookbook to be hearty, satisfying, simple, scrumptious, quick, easy and most importantly trustworthy. She uses real ingredients that can be found in any grocery store, making it easy to make these dishes for dinner tonight. Sam basically created vegan versions of comfort food favorites that are easy to make, easy to serve and easy to love!
I tried four recipes from the cookbook. The first recipe I tried was the Insanely Good Rice Paper Bacon. Ok, well, I have to agree, it is insanely good, easy to make and…I already had all the ingredients I needed to make it in my pantry. It is so creative and unique, I was quite blown away. The sauce, alone, could be added to other dishes to give them that irresistible smoky flavour.
Another recipe I made was the Macho Nacho Popcorn Seasoning. It is awesome and my panel of popcorn loving taste testers heartily approved of it. I love nooch and vegan parmesan but had never experimented with turning it into a seasoning mix. It can be used anywhere you want that awesome nacho flavouring – tortilla chips, on top of tacos and other Mexican dishes, or on popcorn. So easy and simple!
I love finding great recipes that use lentils, and this one is a keeper! Again, using ingredients I already had at home, I made these delicious Oh Mommy Umami Lettuce Wraps. Flavours of ginger, soy and sesame infuse the lentils along with optional hot sauce. They are then served in fresh lettuce leaves. They were the perfect light, simple, kid-approved lunch, and they only took about 25 minutes to make. The best part is, thanks to Sam, I get to share this recipe with you!
I also made the Easy Tofu Frittata. Although the dish was colourful, and the flavours of mushrooms, spinach and red pepper were nice, my family really didn’t care for the texture.
I only made a small sample of what the cookbook offers. There are many unique and creative recipes. I’m looking forward to trying the creme brûlée, mushroom philly, the bbq veggie burger and several of the vegan cheeses. Sam has a sweet, happy, fun style that makes this cookbook a very enjoyable read. Overall, Fuss-Free Vegan is a very approachable cookbook that offers great ideas for easy, vegan comfort cooking.
OH MOMMY UMAMI LETTUCE WRAPS
¼ cup soy sauce (gluten-free, if preferred)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp agave or maple syrup
2 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp your favorite hot sauce (optional)
1 Tbsp light oil, like peanut or canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
½ cup walnuts, chopped
1 head of butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce, leaves separated but kept whole
1 medium carrot, cut into match- sticks or grated
2 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- For the sauce, in a small bowl, mix the ingredients together and set aside.
- For the lentils, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium – high heat. When hot, add the onion, garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion softens and begins to brown.
- Stir in the lentils and then the vegetable broth. Turn the heat to medium – low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes, until all the broth is absorbed and the lentils are cooked. Stir in the walnuts and about half of the sauce mixture, or to taste.
- To serve, take a leaf of lettuce, fill it with the lentil – walnut mixture, top with carrot, green onions, and sesame seeds, and spoon as much sauce as desired over it all. Fold it like a taco and munch away.
Recipe from Fuss Free Vegan: 101 Everyday Comfort Food Favorites, Veganized. Copyright © 2017 Samantha Turnbull. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Thanks to Sam for providing a complimentary copy of Fuss Free Vegan to me for my review. All opinions are my own.