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One-Dish Vegan by Robin Robertson
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
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