Vegan food has hit mainstream. While many of us may still feel a little alone eating vegan in our day to day living, there is no denying the growth of interest in eating vegan.
Just two years ago, Food52 partnered with our beloved Gena Hamshaw to publish a regular vegan food feature. From the beginning these recipes felt sophisticated, yet not intimidating. Every time I linked through to see one of Gena’s Food52 articles, the message I received was: vegan food has arrived! Vegan food is not unusual, nor is it food just for health enthusiasts or animal advocates. It is food that everyone should be embracing – not just because it’s healthy and compassionate – but because it’s simply delicious.
The success of this column and the premise that vegan food is just food, led to Food52 Vegan: 60 Vegetable-Driven Recipes For Any Kitchen:
Many of you are familiar with Gena’s first cookbook, as well as her blog. This book represents Gena’s passion for vegan food, and offers 60 recipes covering breakfast, appetizers and snacks, soups, salads, main dishes, and desserts.
The recipes intriguing and the photos are engaging. This book easily suits a ‘coffee table’ book. It’s so elegant in its design and anyone would just enjoy to casually browse the pages for plant-based inspiration. I should mention that not all of the recipes are made entirely with whole foods ingredients. Many are, however, as this book is poised as a vegan cookbook for everyone, some recipes do include all-purpose flour, sugar, and some oils. That should not preclude you from picking up a copy. You will find well developed and tested recipes that will ignite (or re-ignite!) your vegan cooking spirit.
Here are a few recipes that really ‘spoke’ to me…
- Asparagus, Arulula, and Pesto Pizza
- Jamaican Jerk Chili with Quinoa and Kidney Beans
- Mushroom, Chard, and Quinoa Enchiladas
- Gingered Carrot Bisque (pictured below)
- Chai-Spiced Bread Pudding
- Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Filling and Ganache (pictured below)
- Cauliflower and Oyster Mushroom Tacos (recipe follows)
There is also a section with “basics” that can truly add ease to your own home cooking, such as Oat Milk, Savory Cashew Cream, and Sweet Cashew Cream.
Gena has allowed me to reprint this recipe for Cauliflower and Oyster Mushroom Tacos. I just think this is such a creative spin on vegan tacos, and I think Gena would agree that we could pair it with a good ol’ dollop of avocado cream or guacamole!
Cauliflower and Oyster Mushroom Tacos from Food52 Vegan
A lot of vegan tacos are filled with rice, beans, or faux meat, but vegetables can provide plenty of substance and flavor all on their own. In this recipe, spice-rubbed, crispy roasted cauliflower meets chewy, tender sautéed mushrooms, and the result is a satisfying contrast of textures and flavors. Don’t be afraid to slightly char the cauliflower; that will just give it an even better flavor—trust me on this one. The garnish of cilantro complements the other flavors perfectly, but feel free to use different toppings, such as salsa, guacamole, sliced avocado, or hot sauce. Serves 4.
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (6 to 8 cups/600 to 800g)
4 tablespoons (60ml) olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1 cup (115g) thinly sliced Vidalia or Spanish onion
1 large or 2 small poblano chiles, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup (75g) chopped red bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
6 ounces (170g) oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
8 (6-inch/15cm) crisp corn tortillas
1⁄2 cup (20g) chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
2. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until evenly coated. Sprinkle with the chili powder, paprika, coriander, cumin, red pepper flakes, and a generous pinch of salt. Toss again until the cauliflower is evenly coated. Spread the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet.
3. Bake for 20 minutes, until crispy.
4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, poblano, and red bell pepper and sauté until the onion is tender and a bit golden, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Stir in the mushrooms, then season with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and crispy (5 to 8 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.
5. For each taco, put 1⁄4 cup (60ml) of the mushroom mixture in a tortilla. Top with some of the roasted cauliflower and a tablespoonful of cilantro.
Reprinted with permission from Food52 Vegan, by Gena Hamshaw, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2015 by James Ransom
Pick up a copy of Food52 to try out more of Gena’s beautiful recipes. You also have a chance to win a copy, right now… enter below!