Tuesday, July 16, 2013

REVIEW: Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook by Joe Yonan


A collection of eclectic vegetarian and vegan recipes for singles as well as lone vegetarians in meat-eating households, from the beloved Washington Post editor and author of Serve Yourself.

An increasing number of Americans are turning to plant-based diets, both for their health and the economic benefits. And for many, they are the only one in their household who has made the change--making it the perfect time for this book of vegetarian, flexitarian, and vegan recipes specifically sized for single portions. In addition to 80 delectable and satisfying recipes, Eat Your Vegetables features essays on moving beyond mock meat and the evolution of vegetarian restaurants, as well as economical tips for shopping for, storing, and reusing ingredients.

Hardcover, 204 pages
Expected publication: August 6th 2013 by Ten Speed Press
ISBN 1607744422 (ISBN13: 9781607744429)

About the Author

Joe Yonan is the two-time James Beard Award-winning Food and Travel editor of The Washington Post and the author of “Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One,” which Serious Eats called “a truly thoughtful, useful, and incredibly delicious book.” He was born in Georgia and raised in Texas, moving to Boston after college to work in newspapers. He was a food writer and Travel section editor at The Boston Globe before moving to Washington in 2006 to edit the Post’s Food section, for which he also writes an award-winning monthly column and occasional feature stories. His work from the Globe and Post has appeared in three editions of the “Best Food Writing” anthology.

Joe is spending the year in North Berwick, Maine, on leave from the Post to work on two more book projects.

Check out the author's website

My Thoughts

I have been a pescatarian for 3 years, which means that I eat fish and seafood, but no red meat, pork or poultry. So that means that I eat a lot of vegetarian dishes. I am also single, so that also means that I often have to make way more food than I need.

This book is designed to address both of these issues, as it is vegetarian cooking for one or two people. There is even a handy section that has a list of suggestions for recipes in the book to help you use things like a half of an avocado, or a half a lime, or 1/2 a can of beans, knowing that the biggest problem with cooking when you are single is the leftover ingredients.

The author includes a guide to using the book, and encourages readers/cooks to merely use the recipes as a guide, not as a rule book. I tried several of the recipes. The Fusilli with Corn Sauce (whole wheat pasta, sauteed onions and corn) was fresh tasting and easy to make. The Enfrijoladas with Egg, Avocado and Onion (corn tortillas coated in a bean sauce and topped with copped hard boiled egg, avocado and onion) was a surprising mix of flavors that actually worked well together, despite my reservations. But the best was the Roasted Sweet Potato with Coconut, Dates and Walnuts:

Roasted Sweet Potato with Coconut, Dates and Walnuts

1 small sweet potato (6-8 oz)
1 tbs raw unsalted walnut halves
1 tsp virgin coconut oil (may substitute butter, olive oil or walnut oil)
Kosher or sea salt
1 tsp finely shredded unsweetened coconut
2 or 3 pitted dates, preferably Medjool, chopped
1 tbs large unsweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Use a fork or sharp knife to prick the sweet potato in several places. Place on a piece of aluminum foil and bake until the potato is tender and can be easily squeezed, 30-40 minutes. (Alternatively, to speed up the process, the pricked sweet potato can be microwaved on high for 1 minute, then carefully transferred to a piece of foil and into the oven. Bake until the potato is tender, 20-30 minutes.)

While the potato is baking, sprinkle the walnuts into a small skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the nuts start to brown and become fragrant, a few minutes. Immediately transfer them to a place to cool; if you leave them to cool in the pan, they can burn. Once they are cool, chop them.

Transfer the sweet potato to a serving plate. Use a knife to slash it open, then spoon the coconut oil on top, mashing it in. Sprinkle with salt to taste, then add the finely shredded coconut, walnuts, dates and large coconut flakes, and eat.

Oh so good! I used pecans rather than walnuts, and I could only find regular sweetened coconut, but who cares? The way that the sweetness of the dates contrasts with the sea salt, the richness added by the coconut oil, the nuttiness of the toasted nuts. A definite keeper!

This book was filled with lots of pretty pictures that made everything look so tasty! The only real negative that I have is that there were several things I'm not big on like curry and tofu, and things I'm hesitant about trying like Kimchi. So there were a lot of recipes that I didn't want to try right now-- but that's just me!

My final word: Easy recipes for weeknight dining. Interesting flavor combinations. Nothing ordinary here. If you are looking for some fresh ideas for easy vegetarian dining for one or two, grab this book!

My Rating: 


I received a copy of this book to review through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof.

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