10/12/10

Viva Vegan!


Although I hail from the DC metro area and not, say, Guadalajara, the home cooking in my neck of the woods is often distinctly Latin inspired. DC has a huge Latino population, and in my neighborhood in particular you can get chipotles for pennies, at least five different kinds of tortillas at the local Giant, and plantains at all stages of ripeness any time of year. As a result, I'm a bit spoiled when it comes to Latin American cooking. So imagine my snobby annoyance that I have to scour Berlin for a measly can of cooked black beans. And you can forget about corn tortillas or chipotles. (I have to rely on my parents care packages for those.)

So imagine how thrilled I was to see that Terry Hope Romero, of PPK and Veganomicon fame, has come out with a new cookbook packed with DIY methods for my favorite Latino dishes, plus tons of things I had never dared dream of after going vegan (like Tres Leches cake!!!). Of course, I had to have it. And naturally, Viva Vegan, is amazing. (I had little doubt.) Some of the recipes seem rather intensive, but so worth the effort. I never really thought about it before, but Latin American cooking is actually such a natural fit for vegans. Its always rich in veg favorites like tomatoes, beans, and corn, plus it can be spicy and filling without relying entirely on dairy or protein for heartiness. It substitutes innovative cooking techniques for quick fatty fixes. And although its not a stretch to veganize dishes like guacamole or tortillas, Romero really goes the distance with a range of dishes that I haven't tried before, like hearty stews and sandwiches, as well as tamales, empanadas, pupusas and enchiladas. (oh, yeah, and flan. That's right. Flan.)

I tried the Venezuelan black beans, citrus tofu, and garlic rice the other night (with some cashew sour cream) and it magically attracted the whole neighborhood, to my dismay. (I had plans for leftovers...) It was all amazing, even given my less than stellar tofu supply. The garlic rice was especially surprising, since I kind of thought rice wasn't really in need of improvement. (I was wrong.) The black beans were mild and a little sweet and really flavorful- totally worth the wait.

Well, I could fawn some more but I think you get the picture. Terry Hope Romero is a high priestess of Vegan cooking and I am thrilled beyond belief that she turned her attention to my favorite home cooking. You can get it here, and I imagine you will be seeing many more of its recipes featured on this here blog.

Song of the day: Jeanette- Por Que Te Vas

More Latin flavor:
-Chipotle Plantain Enchiladas
-Tamales
-Vegan Mole Power
- Mango Avocado Salsa

6 comments:

Sarah S. said...

Que sabrosa!

Vampire said...

Woot! I need some vegan cookbooks >.<

HayMarket8 said...

chipoltes for pennies!?!?!?! Not here in Atlanta. Great post!

T said...

re: Haymarket: well, maybe pennies is a bit of an exaggeration, but I do know a store where chiptoles cost 30 cents a can... :)

Mihl said...

I love Viva Vegan. I was a tester for Terry and I live in Germany. It requires some work, but it's possible. Fortunately we had a small Mexican shop in the neighbourhood until recently. Since then I order chipotles, masa, and everything else online. Awesome that your parents are sending you the stuff!

MissAlyssa said...

this meal looks awesome... i need to pick up that cookbook for sure!