This week I am again reviewing another cookbook, Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes by Devra Gartenstein. I know we have members in our group who will surely appreciate this book, especially when it comes to adding variety to a vegan diet.
About the Book
The author of this week’s book, Debra Gartenstein has been in the food business for over twenty years. The recipes in this book come from her years of owning and running a variety of businesses in the food industry and the culinary adventures that she has created from using the garden’s bounty. In the introduction of the book, Gartenstein explains how a diet based on seasonal foods is both healthful and environmentally beneficial. Did you know that the average produce item in the typical American supermarket travels between 1,500 and 2,500 miles from the farm to the grocery shelf? Gartenstein also links together the ideas of a vegan lifestyle with that of the farmer’s seasonal produce. Fruits and vegetables are best eaten when they are at their freshest; at the peak of their flavor and fullest nutritional value. In this cookbook, you can find easy to follow recipes that base on the seasons. They are quick, and help you learn how to cook using your local produce.
This cookbook sections off into four parts: spring, summer, fall and winter. In each section you can find recipes using produce that is typically found in that particular season. Included in the introduction is a section entitled, A Brief Tour of the Vegetable Kingdom where Gartenstein discusses the uses and cooking methods of many vegetable groups. There is also a section devoted on how to prepare vegetables including braising, sautéing and seasoning according to regional cuisine.
Firstly, this cookbook is extremely easy to follow. Many of the recipes have less than three steps involved and use very basic ingredients. I found the book very creative, mixing ingredients together that I would have never thought of. One example comes to mind, the fall section’s Squash Hummus which adds a new twist on an old favorite. Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes adds a ton of variety to what was before only fruits and vegetables. This book is not only excellent for someone who is following a vegan diet, but for others who want to introduce more vegetables to their families in a fun and delicious way. There is also a glossary at the back, explaining some foods which might be unknown to some; a very helpful tool. I also like the regional cuisine section in the introduction, which shows you how to season your food for a greek, italian, jamaican or even middle eastern taste. The best part of this cookbook however, is that it shows you how to use what comes in our boxes every week according to the seasons- follow along with this book and you will never have a hard time figuring out what to cook for dinner! Other recipes I found intriguing include: Leek and Asparagus Curry, Raspberry-Almond Cake, Cilantro-Lime Dressing and Acorn Squash and Wild Rice Patties.
Since we are enjoying beautiful summer days, here is a recipe from the summer section of Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes: using those green beans we received last week.
GREEN BEANS WITH CHICKPEAS- to be served with rice, pasta or polenta.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chopped green beans
- 1 ripe tomato, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups canned or cooked chickpeas, drained
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute on medium-low heat. Add the green beans and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato, parsley, salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring often, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the tomato breaks down.
- Add the chickpeas and cook for about 5 minutes longer, until they are heated through.
Again, for this contest, you’ll have to comment on this review below. Please leave your comment with how long you have been a member of the Triple Cord CSA group and what you like most about it! This week’s winner will be announced on July 7th and the winner will be able to pick up the book at next week’s July 8th pickup. Those who do not win but would still like a copy can purchase a copy of Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes through the following websites:
Congratulations to Becky who won this Amazing Book! Thank you to all who commented. It is very difficult to part with this book, and it will be equally difficult for next week’s as well.