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Meet America's First Vegan Superhero - The Adventures of Vivian Sharpe, Vegan Superhero
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Book Reviews

One-Dish Vegan
Book Review:
One-Dish Vegan by Robin Robertson
Whenever anyone asks me what vegan cookbooks I recommend, I invariably say, “Get something by Robin Robertson. Anything.” It is already well-established that she has some kind of recipe-creating app installed in her brain. Okay, it hasn’t been proven yet, but given her prolific output, is there really any other idea that makes sense? Or maybe she puts beloved dishes from across the globe into the Vegan-Conversation-Tron 3000 Recipe Adaptor she has hidden away in her secret laboratory and that is what makes creating so many easy, delicious and flavor-packed creations possible? How ever she manages it, Robin Robertson is a vegan culinary virtuoso, putting out new cookbooks in about the time it takes me to change the sheets on my bed. The sheer breadth of her body of work is staggering enough, but when you consider that her recipes are all really well-tested and excellent, you know that we are very fortunate to have her batting for the Team Vegan. With cookbooks that cover everything from impressive party food to slow cooker delights and everything in between, Robin is a one-woman band who can teach you how to do it all. Okay, I am bordering on the hyperbolic. She really is that fabulous, though.

Robin’s latest, One-Dish Vegan: More than 150 Soul-Satisfying Recipes for Easy and Delicious One-Bowl and One-Plate Dinners*, is yet another contribution of hers that I cannot resist adding to my already ridiculously over-grown cookbook collection. I’d recommend that you do the same. Concentrating on savory foods from soups and salads to casseroles and pasta dishes, One-Dish Vegan takes the fussiness (not the mention the many dirty pots and pans) out of a delicious, hearty, home-cooked dinner. With an emphasis on global comfort foods that are vegetable-centric, you can make everything with just a pot or two, and within an hour or less. The recipes are written very clearly and most contain ingredients that accessible to anyone with a large grocery store or natural foods store nearby. If I could characterize the recipes here - and Robin’s recipes in general - I would say “Simple but never boring.” With recipes like Lime-Dressed Vermicelli with Edamame and Green Papaya, Tetrazzini-Style Fettuccine, and Jamaican Jerk Tempeh and Vegetables, your taste buds will travel the globe and never be bored. I also appreciate the each recipe designates if it is soy- and/or gluten-free, and most suggest substitution options if they are not. Most are low-oil or oil-free as well.

The three of us loved the recipe I tried, the Spinach Alfredo Linguine. Bright green and rich without being heavy (thanks to the white beans), the linguine had the sort of stick-to-the-ribs quality I look for when the weather starts turning chilly. With the creamy and flavorful sauce, the pasta had my son asking for seconds. The next time you want to cook for someone who refuses to eat anything “green” this might be a great option.

You won’t regret this cookbook. It’s perfect for everyone from the novice cook to the more experienced one.

Spinach Alfredo Linguine

Gluten-free option | Soy-free | Serves 4 to 6

This creamy pasta dish features a rich sauce made with fresh spinach and white beans for a nutritious one-dish meal that only tastes indulgent. To make this gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water
5 garlic cloves, chopped
9 ounces spinach, thick stems removed
1 1/2 cups cooked white beans or 1 (15.5-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk or other nondairy milk
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast or 1 tablespoon mellow white miso paste
 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 pound uncooked linguine

1. Heat the oil or water in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, 3 minutes. Stir in the beans and broth and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

2. In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the spinach mixture, almond milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, paprika, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.

3. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, stirring occasionally, until it is al dente. Drain well and return to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss gently to combine. Serve hot.

Recipe 2013 by Robin Robertson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press

2013, 2014, Vegan Street

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