Today I have a featured recipe from the new Plant-Power cookbook by Nava Atlas. I feel I don’t need to introduce Nava, as her work is legendary in the vegan cookery world. For those of you new to the vegan diet, however, let’s get you acquainted!
Nava Atlas is one of the pioneering vegan and vegetarian cookbook authors (check out all her titles!), and is the creator of VegKitchen.com. Nava also writes outside of the cookbook genre, producing visual nonfiction books. She is also an active fine artist, with works shown in museums and universities through the U.S.
Nava’s latest book, Plant-Power is a cookbook lover’s delight! To begin, it is a full-color, hard-cover book, with 125 recipes and 75 food photos throughout. Beyond the recipes, it is also a solid vegan cooking resource with detailed guides on stocking your pantry and fridge, to seasonal cooking, and practical tips for meal preparation.
I often say that eating a plant-powered diet isn’t about what we “give up”… it’s what we GAIN: the new foods we eat, our expanded awareness and practice of compassion, and (usually) our renewed abundant health. Nava expresses this most eloquently with a quote on the back cover:
A switch to a plant-based diet doesn’t mean sacrifice or missing out. We get to revel in and enjoy themost flavorful, colorful, life-enhancing foods available. What I’d like you to take away from these pages is a message of ease, abundance, and pleasure. Cooking with the most healthful (not most exotic or expensive) ingredients nature has to offer is a joy!
Nava delivers this food passion throughout every page in Plant-Power. This book is dived into two main parts, the first focusing on lifestyle tips (ex: benefits of the diet, top myths, stocking a pantry, kitchen tools, meal planning strategies), and the second part devoted to recipes and menus.
The recipe range from stews, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, and breakfast to a special “Asian Express” chapter and another on “Tortilla Specialties”. Very nice additions to the usual repertoire of recipes! For those with a fondness for sweets (who’s pointing at me?!), the dessert section is brief, but includes several beautiful fruit and chocolate-based treats.
One of the recipes that really caught my eye is this Quick Quinoa Paella. It combines two of my personal favorite plant-strong foods: quinoa and artichokes! Nava is sharing this recipe with all of you today…
Quick Quinoa Paella
Paella is a Spanish pilaf traditionally made with white rice and seafood. We’ll do away with the seafood here, of course, and since we’re dispensing with tradition, let’s do away with white rice as well. Using nutritious and quick-cooking quinoa instead, you can have a colorful meal in about thirty minutes. This goes well with Spinach, Orange, and Red Cabbage Salad.
Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
1 cup sliced baby bella (cremini) mushrooms (optional)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric (see Note)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
2 teaspoons fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
One 14- to 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil, broth, or water in a large, deep skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the garlic, bell peppers, and mushrooms, if desired, and sauté over medium-low heat until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, turmeric, and quinoa. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the thyme, artichoke hearts, peas, tomatoes, scallions, and half the parsley. Check if the quinoa is completely done; if not, add 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring frequently, just until everything is well heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer the mixture to a large shallow serving container, or serve straight from the pan. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top and serve at once.
Note: As another departure from tradition, I’ve suggested turmeric rather than the customary saffron. Saffron is harder to obtain and very expensive, but you’re welcome to try it if you have access to it. Use 1 to 11/2 teaspoons saffron threads dissolved in a small amount of hot water.
Nutrition information: Calories: 222 with oil, 202 without oil; Total fat: 4g with oil, 2g without oil; Protein: 10g; Carbohydrates: 40g; Fiber: 9g; Sodium: 240mg
Nava has generously arranged a giveaway of Plant-Power. Enter through Rafflecopter, tell us YOUR favorite Nava Atlas recipe!