Welcome to Week 3 of our Month of Mondays giveaways!
So far, we’ve given away chic vegan boots and a collection of natural vegan body care products. This week, we’re serving up a collection of healthy and delicious new vegan recipes in the form of The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester.
The Great Vegan Bean Book, released earlier this summer, is the second of three vegan cookbooks from the best-selling author of The Vegan Slow Cooker (2011). Hester’s third book, Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You, hit shelves on August 1. Two cookbook releases in one summer might give you the impression that Hester is a busy lady, but that’s not even the half of it. She also blogs at HealthySlowCooking.com, writes for a variety of vegan websites, and holds a regular 9-to-5 as well.
For many vegans, beans are the answer to the ubiquitous question “Where do you get your protein?” Most of us are accustomed to using beans for a variety of savory dishes. After all, they’re hearty and play well with a wide range of flavor profiles. It’s also great that they can be cooked in bulk, in a pressure cooker or crock pot, and kept on hand for days at a time.
Hester’s new book, though, isn’t just another savory collection of bean burgers and stews. In fact, it’s far from it. She’s included some great savory recipes, sure, but she’s also pressed the limits of human creativity and worked beans into a host of sweet and surprising dishes. Basically, she’s figured out how to make beans for every part of the day, from your early morning breakfast all the way through late-night desserts.
Beans in lemony coconut muffins? In vanilla pancakes? Fudgsicles? Rosewater parfaits? It may all sound crazy at first, but once you try one of Hester’s beany recipes, you’ll be aching to try the rest. Promise. Here’s a little taste.
Baked Crispy Chickpea Seitan Patties and Cornbread Waffles
When I learned that she’d included a seitan-like cutlet recipe using chickpeas, I knew we’d have to try it first. My omnivorous cohorts and my vegan self are all pretty picky when it comes to faux meats, so we usually skip them. Hester’s recipe, however, is different than most. Instead of a dense, chewy seitan patty, the result here is a lighter, puffier version. Since the method enlists the help of a food processor, the chickpeas are completely disguised, which is a great thing when you’re feeding this “chick’n” pieces to a picky kid.
We decided to take Hester’s suggestion and serve it atop waffles with her simply pepper gravy. The flavor profile and texture combinations were perfect.
Pesto White Bean Salad
Although it might be cliche to choose a salad as a test recipe, I did it. I chose the Pesto White Bean Salad, but I broke the rules and made it with chickpeas instead, because I couldn’t actually find white beans at my local grocery store. This is a regular problem here in the Midwest, and chickpeas do tend to be my standby. That’s the great thing about Hester’s recipes; there are many options for how to prepare most of the dishes.
The pesto dressing recipe calls for any variety of dark leafy greens, and I decided to use a combination of curly and lacinato kale from our backyard garden. It worked well against the bright acidity of the tomatoes and crunchy romaine hearts. After assembling the salad, I sprinkled the top with extra walnuts, and let it all marinate in the fridge for about an hour before heading to a potluck dinner. The result was a crisp, hearty, and interesting salad that is almost a complete meal in itself, and it was a big hit with the other dinner guests.
Enter to Win a a Copy of The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester
One lucky blog reader will win a copy of The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester. You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Open to U.S. residents only.