Thursday, October 1, 2009

Review: The Vegetarian Family Cookbook: Vegetable Lo Mein and Chocolate Chip Trail Mix Cookies

I was recently asked to review The Vegetarian Family Cookbook written by Nava Atlas. Nava Atlas is an author of 8 other vegetarian cookbooks and also shares her website for more informative information. She lives in New York with her Husband and two sons. I am please to be helping Nava with her Blog tour, by sharing with you a couple of recipes from her book.

Even though we are not Vegetarians, there are plenty of recipes and information in this book for everyone to enjoy. There are lots of vegetable side dishes, desserts, soups, breakfasts, snacks and on and on. There are more than 275 recipes to choose from! Each recipe also has the nutritional analysis, and recipe suggestions from her book to turn it into a meal.
From Mommy I'm Hungry
I decided to go with Asian style recipes for dinner and cookies for snacking. I first picked the Orange-Glazed Tofu and Broccoli and Nava suggested to pair it with her Vegetable Lo Mein for a meal. Since I knew I'd be the only one eating the tofu dish, I halved the recipe and made the rest of the family grilled teriyaki chicken over rice also. I thought it was great, it sure had lots of orange flavor. I think we all liked the Vegetable Lo Mein, stir frys are always a hit. The leftovers are great too! The cookies are almost gone at just day 2! I think that means they've enjoyed them as well! I loved the tartness you get from the dried fruit & berries from the trail mix.

From Mommy I'm Hungry

I'll share with you 2 of the 3 recipes I made. The red markings are how I adapted it to suit us.

Vegetable Lo Mein

4 servings (I doubled ours for leftovers!)

"This Chinese restaurant favorite is a fun dish to create at home, and has the advantage of being far less oily than its carry-out counterpart. Udon or soba noodles work well; using whole grain varieties makes the dish nutritious as well as authentic."

8 ounces narrow Chinese wheat noodles, udon, or soba (if unavailable, substitute linguini)
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
8 ounces pre shredded coleslaw (preferably with carrots included)
1 1/2 cups sliced brown or white mushrooms, or one 15-ounce can cut baby corn, drained (I used both)
1 cup snow peas, trimmed, or thawed frozen green beans (I used frozen sugar snap peas)
2 to 3 scallions (green onions), cut into 1-inch-long pieces
Natural soy sauce to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Cook the noodles in plenty of steadily boiling water until al dente (about 8-9 minutes) , then drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a wok or stir-fry pan. Add the coleslaw and stir-fry over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then add all but the last 2 ingredients.
3. Continue to stir-fry until the vegetables are all just tender- crisp, adding just enough water to keep the bottom of the pan moist, about 5 to 7 minutes more.
4. Combine the cooked noodles with the vegetables in a serving bowl and toss together. Season with soy sauce and pepper. Serve at once.

Magic Chocolate Chip Cookies, Four Ways
Makes about 3 dozen

"These cookies use only a third of the sugar called for in most conventional cookie recipes, and butter is replaced with applesauce and just a smidgen of oil—that’s the magic. From their smooth texture, you’d never think that these cookies are whole grain, made with whole wheat pastry flour. I now make a batch weekly, as mandated by my sons, who think that store-bought cookies, even natural brands, pale beside these. "

Basic cookie batter:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup natural granulated sugar ( I used regular, minus 1-2 Tbl )
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds, optional (I left out)
1 cup applesauce (or a bit more to make a smooth and slightly stiff batter)
2 tablespoons safflower oil (I used canola oil)
One of the combinations of additional ingredients, below

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the first 4 (dry) ingredients plus the optional flax seeds in a mixing bowl and stir together.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the applesauce and oil. Stir together until the wet and dry ingredients are completely mixed.
4. Stir in the additional ingredients of your choice. Drop the batter onto lightly oiled baking sheets in slightly rounded tablespoonfuls. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms are just lightly browned. Let stand for a minute or two, then carefully remove with a spatula to a rack or plates to cool.

1. Chocolate chip-walnut: Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (preferably cane juice sweetened) and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

2. Chocolate chip-raisin: Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (preferably cane juice sweetened) and 3/4 cup dark raisins.

3. Chocolate chip-trail mix: Add 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 to 1 1/2 cups of your favorite trail mix (containing nuts, dried fruits, and seeds). This makes a robust cookie that really is great to take out on the hiking trail. (I found a Goji/Cranberry berry fruit & nut trail mix at Henry's)
From Mommy I'm Hungry

4. Chocolate chip-granola: Add 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 to 1 1/2 cups of good-quality granola for a crunchy cookie that’s sure to delight both old and young hippies alike!

Thank you Nava for letting us review your book, I'm sure we'll enjoy more recipes from it! All the best for your book tour! How would you like to win a copy of this book? Please check out my giveaway here!


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3 Lovely Comments:

Aggie said...

I have the lo mein bookmarked to try as well! This looks delicious!!

MrsM said...

How cool! I'll have to take a look at this book-I just returned to being vegetarian =)

AnickH said...

whole wheat pastry flour, what a good idea. ive used that in cookies before. makes em' more dense and naturally sweet.

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