Street Vegan

“I had been working for years at a vegan restaurant that abruptly went out of business. That closing was an opportunity for me to finally go out on my own and do my own thing. For a couple of years, I did vegan catering, taught cooking classes, and…had a stand in the farmer’s market in Red Bank, New Jersey…For about eight years I had been dreaming of running a vegan food truck and I started looking for used food trucks to realize that dream. We had such pure intentions. We simply wanted to have a vegan food truck to change the world, to end factory farms and bring an absolute animal and human liberation worldwide.” – Adam Sobel

Food trucks are fun and vegan food is delicious, but the combination is something that is not available in every city.  While I love the food truck scene available in larger cities, in my town, the options are more limited. Thus, I was thrilled to read Street Vegan by Adam Sobel. The owner and primary cook of The Cinnamon Snail food truck famous in the New York/New Jersey area has crafted a book that is exotic, accessible, beautiful, and fun.  With options like Fresh Fig Arnold Palmers, Cheesy Broccoli Beer Soup with Smoky Sunflower Chorizo, Raw Pizza with Sun-dried Tomato Sauce, Cashew Cheesre Olives, and Onions, and Maple Roasted Kabocha, there are some delicious offerings that feel fun and fresh. Tequila Lime Tostones, White Chocolate Macadamia Granola with Cherries and Hunza Raisins, Macadamia White-Chocolate Twinkies, Lemongrass Five-Spice Seitan, and Horseradish Mashed Potatoes are all delicious options that will undoubtedly please the vegans and carnivores in your life.  My favorite chapter is the donut chapter, though, which is huge since I normally avoid donuts entirely.  Options like Roasted Chestnut Cake Donuts, Black Tea Twists, Chocolate Cake Donuts and Cinnamon Snails are so tempting that even non-donut fans will enjoy them.

The recipes are frequently exotic and some require a great deal of effort (whether finding specific spices or ingredients or just planning ahead), so this is not a cookbook for the average at-home, in-a-rush chef trying to whip something up on a weeknight, but the recipes are so delicious that it is hard not to take the time to plan out a brunch or dinner get-together just to test them out.  Sobel has created a beautiful collection of recipes which are delicious and fun; Street Vegan is well worth diving into!

Pine Nut Friendlies

1/2 cup vegan margarine

2 Tablespoons evaporated cane juice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup coarsely chopped pine nuts

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup vegan powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Working by hand or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, thoroughly combine the margarine, evaporated cane juice, vanilla, flour, pine nuts and salt with 1 teaspoon water. Divide the dough into 16 small balls (approximately 2 teaspoons each). Roll the balls into perfect circles and place them on the prepared sheet pan, at least 1 inch apart.

3. Bake the cookies for 16 to 18 minutes, until lightly brown. Spread the powdered sugar on a wide plate or bowl. Allow the cookies to cool partially for 5 minutes, then toss the cookies in the powdered sugar to coat all sides evenly. Serve warm, if possible – though they will still be splendid when cooled.

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