Oh my stomach is so full and happy as I write this. And my heart is happy and full of the fact that I can share with you!
Once upon a time, like, almost a full year ago, I volunteered to be a tester for Dynise Balcavage's (The Urban Vegan) second cookbook. After a whirlwind time, we find ourselves here and now and Dynise's cookbook, Celebrate Vegan: 200 Life-Affirming Recipes for Occasions Big and Small is out! My copy came in the mail a few days ago, and it should be in stores soon, if it isn't already.
I'm proud to have been a part of this lovely book! The theme is food for all sorts of celebrations, from the typical New Years and Easter holidays to Martin Luther King Day and Diwali! As international celebrations are also included, there is a nice assortment of world cuisine.
As with her first book, The Urban Vegan, Dynise's intelligent and feisty banter carries a conversation throughout the book. Alongside the recipes, she includes travel anecdotes, wine pairings, factoids ("What's in Your Food Coloring?") and recipe variations or ways to use up leftovers.
There are no photographs in the book, but the descriptions are so colorful and procedures so well articulated that the final product is easily imagined.
Here, though, are a couple photos from my testing process:
(yes, there is a raw celebration section in the book!)
And there is so much more! Here's my dinner tonight, steamed kale, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and Dynise's Rutabaga-Fennel Clapshot (from the Thanksgiving section, of course):
This is creamy like everyday mashed potatoes, but the inclusion of rutabaga lends a slight sweetness, and the fennel seeds are also sweet, licorice-y little bursts of flavor. This dish was easy and a lot of, well, fun, for lack of a better word. Dynise is allowing me to share the recipe with you!
Rutabaga-Fennel Clapshot (Serves 8)
1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 TBS fennel seeds, soaked in hot water for about 5 minutes, then drained
3 TBS Earth Balance
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup soy or nut milk
salt and pepper to taste
-Boil the rutabaga and potatoes in a large pot of salted water for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until soft.
-Drain well and mash in a large bowl with fennel seeds, Earth Balance, oil, and milk. Adjust seasonings and serve.
AND, as a lucky fluke, I actually received two copies of the cookbook in the mail! Sooo I'm passing a copy along to one of you! To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling me your favorite food to celebrate with. (Popcorn for birthday sleepovers? Vegan wedding cupcakes? Noodles on Chinese New Year?) The contest will be open from today until next Wednesday, Nov. 23, 9pm EST. I realize this is too late to send the book out for Thanksgiving, but think of all the new holidays you'll get to celebrate with the book! And if you don't win, I still highly recommend Celebrate Vegan. I remember loving every recipe I made.