04 November 2010

Good Eats from Caribbean Vegan


For a few weeks in February, I was fortunate enough to join Taymer Mason's group of cookbook testers, cooking and enjoying some of the wonderful recipes now found in the long-awaited, recently-released Caribbean Vegan.  I received my tester copy a few weeks ago, much to my delight.  The recipe testing process introduced me to a cuisine about which I knew almost nothing at first, but I soon realized I rather enjoyed; the flavors are vibrant and not as unfamiliar as I expected, displaying influences from other cuisines I've previously encountered but with its own distinct and delicious culinary manifestation.

Despite my excitement for my recent cookbook acquisition, I have had few opportunities to revisit and further explore Taymer's many delicious creations.  In general, I find myself wanting to attempt more recipes--via myriad cookbooks, blogs, and own kitchen spontaneity--than I have actual time to cook.  So far, I' have only twice put my copy of Caribbean Vegan to use, whipping together Vegetable Chow Mein and Lentil Roast on separate occasions.


Vegetable Chow Mein was one of the dishes I tried during the testing phase of the cookbook.  Having enjoyed it then and recently realizing that my kitchen was already stocked with the basic ingredients the finally recipe required, I whipped together the noodle dish, with delicious results.  Baked tofu served as my protein of choice and in lieu of bell pepper, I used peas.  Although it derived from a fusion of Asian influence and ingredients unique to its birthplace, the dish was a unique departure from what one typically expects in traditional chow mein.  The spices gave it a bold flavor and heated kick that is not to be missed.
The Lentil Roast was a new dish for me.  I have so far enjoyed the various vegan "meat" loaves I've attempted, and this was no exception.  Again, it boasted a delicious flavor and was a convenient choice of dishes to make, thanks to the availability of ingredients on hand.  The only issue I had was getting the center of the loaf to firm up to my liking, but that was easily remedied by either toasting slices of the cooked roast in the oven or on the stove.  I pulled together a bit of additional sauce (same as what was used for the glaze) to eat with my initial portion, but found that it wasn't necessary; the roast is flavorful as-is, although it matched well with a plain starch like rice or roasted sweet potato.
I certainly recommend giving Caribbean Vegan a look.  Check out Taymer's blog, Vegan in the Sun, for even more deliciousness.

12 comments:

  1. You have a great blog! You take such beautiful pictures.

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  2. Taymer's recipes are awesome. I loved that lentil roast.

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  3. Is that chowmien fat or skinny and is it under the name chowmien in the states? I was having this lomien chow mein issue and I do not think lo mein looks like chow mein anyway I am doing this dish in few days on my blog and I will show the raw product. Thanks for that review I love the shots.

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  4. Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

    Taymer,
    I've seen chow mein here in the States made with either type of noodle, but I used fat ones for your recipe. I'm not entirely sure, but I think the main difference between chow mein and lo mein is cooking technique (fried versus just mixed together, respectively).

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  5. Vegetable Chow Mein is one of my favorites. Yours looks yummy!

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  6. Seeing those two dishes makes me wish I had done recipe testing, too! I'll look for the cookbook.

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  7. That lo mein looks terrific! Lucky you for getting to test these recipes!

    Please enter my great CSN stores giveaway:
    http://whatyourmommadidntknow.blogspot.com/2010/11/csn-stores-giveaway-deadline-friday.html
    Sophia

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  8. I'm on my way to the Caribbean to live for a while and I've actually been looking for some regional recipes to try. This cookbook sounds perfect! Thanks for the recommendation!

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  9. I want to try that lentil loaf. have been meaning to create a lentil burger and this sounds like a perfect start. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I'm on my way to the Caribbean to live for a while and I've actually been looking for some regional recipes to try. This cookbook sounds perfect! Thanks for the recommendation!

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  11. That lo mein looks terrific! Lucky you for getting to test these recipes!

    Please enter my great CSN stores giveaway:
    http://whatyourmommadidntknow.blogspot.com/2010/11/csn-stores-giveaway-deadline-friday.html
    Sophia

    ReplyDelete
  12. Vegetable Chow Mein is one of my favorites. Yours looks yummy!

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)