Spicy vegan recipes were high on my priority list when I began transitioning our household to a more plant-based diet. So I was especially excited to find Robin Robertsonís Vegan Fire and Spice Cookbook. Itís full of spicy vegan recipes from around the world, including tasty, cheap food ideas from Africa, the Caribbean, East Asia and more. Here are my favorite things about the Vegan Fire and Spice cookbook, including a few of the recipes we consider favorites in this house.
Spicy Vegan Recipes that Use Real Food
As someone who is trying to develop a plant-based diet using recipes and foods that fit a semi-nomadic lifestyle, I really appreciated Robertsonís adherence to authentic recipes that didnít rely on processed alternatives or ďreplacement productsĒ. Hey, we enjoy Vegenaise as much as the next person, but I highly doubt we could put our hands on this product in Botswana or Bhutan, for example. So I was excited to find a resource for spicy vegan recipes that focused on things like nuts, beans and unique spice blends to bring hunger-satisfying flavor to our dinner table. While youíll notice the occasional tip of the hat to seitan or vegan sour cream (both achievable with homemade versions), this book for the most part focuses on recipes where those items arenít necessary.
My husband and I donít have a long list of traditional hobbies. One that we share is a passion for world travel. Because of that, weíve become even greater fans of ethnic food and love to be able to make our own recipes when we donít happen to be living near restaurants that serve our favorite cuisines. Vegan Fire and Spice provides two hundred savory and sultry recipes from across the globe, featuring something from nearly every type of ethnic cuisine we enjoy. Recipes like Smokiní Texas Caviar made with black-eyed peas, Cajun Coleslaw with a non-mayo dressing, a lime-marinated white bean salad from South America and Spicy Plantain Fritters from the Caribbean are all ones that bring the types of flavors to the table that we enjoy.
Guess what? Many of the countries where vegan food is the norm at the dinner table arenít as wealthy as some of the nations where meat is a mainstay. That means you have loads of flavor at your fingertips using ingredients that are extremely economical. Brown lentils, sweet potatoes, black eyed peas and bulk spices from the ethnic grocery are available affordably in many parts of the world. Ditto with rice. Because every recipe in this book is vegan, youíve got a huge resource for frugal flavor when it comes to preparing spicy vegan recipes for your family.
While the categories in Vegan Fire and Spice are broken down by appetizers, main courses and side dishes, the truth is many of the recipes listed serve interchangeably. At least at our house. For example, the Red Beans and Rice Casserole is listed in this cookbook as a main course, but it could just as easily serve as a side dish alongside the Cajun Coleslaw at a back yard vegan barbecue. Similarly, the Lime-Marinated White Bean Salad can hold its own as the main event, but also pairs nicely with grilled vegetables.
If a go-to resource for spicy vegan recipes is on your priority list, then I can highly recommend Vegan Fire and Spice, which is available both new and second hand at Amazon.
Photo Credit: Amazon