Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking

“Life still won’t be fair – but three times a day we can make the world a better place by choosing to eat a vegan diet that’s better for us, the environment, the animals, and our wallets. We can be what is fair and kind in the world without eating pretty well in the process.” – Annie and Dan Shannon

The Shannons are at it again.  The authors of Betty Goes Vegan who masterfully veganized hundreds of Betty Crocker’s classic recipes have created a comprehensive collection of vegan recipes that are perfect for beginning vegans and experienced veg heads alike.  Their latest Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking: Over 200 Delicious Recipes and Tips to Save You Money and Stock Your Pantry is simply stunning in its depth and variety. With clear serving information, price per serving details, and basic ingredients (nothing fussy here), these recipes are fun and fresh. Options like Ratatouille Rice Bake, Spinach and Broccoli Stuffed Shells, Snowball Cupcakes, Lemon and Lavender Cookies, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Cilantro Dressing, Roasted Red Pepper and Lentil Soup, Blackstrap Vegan Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy, among others. These and more prove that vegan dining can be fun and creative, but doesn’t have to be expensive.

There are a few color photos in certain sections of the book, but with recipes this good, more photos should be involved.  Overall, this is a great book – both for your own kitchen and as a gift for someone else – and belongs in any well-stocked vegan pantry.

Quinoa Taco Casserole

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cups cooked quinoa

3/4 taco sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup cooked or canned black beans

1 cup frozen corn

1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced

2 cups broken tortilla chips

1 1/2 cups chunky salsa

2 green onions, diced

1/2 to 1 cup vegan cheddar cheese

1 large tomato, sliced

1 cup shredded romaine lettuce

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a cast-iron skillet or frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. In a large bowl, mix together the quinoa, taco sauce, cumin and black beans. Toss the quinoa mixture into the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, then transfer back to the bowl and use a large spoon to fold in the corn and jalapeno.

3. Layer the tortilla chips over the bottom of a casserole dish. Spread an even layer of the quinoa mixture over the chips, then top with the salsa, then the green onions, and the the vegan cheese. Lay the slices of tomato on top.

4. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the vegan cheese has melted. Serve with the shredded lettuce over the top.

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