Though I’m not a vegan, or a vegetarian for that matter, I have always loved and collected vegetarian cookbooks since I was in my early college years. I admire the recipes for their melange of imaginative flavors and textures in dishes devoid of meat and, in the case of vegans, devoid of all animal products — no eggs, no butter, no cheese, and no honey.
My family goes meatless several times a week, but when I received a copy of Jere and Emilee Gettle’s new cookbook — The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook: traditional ways to cook, preserve, and eat the harvest (Hyperion, 2012) — I knew I had to try vegan cooking with the same gusto that I’d always had for vegetarian food. After paging through the book, I ended up with about 25 pages dog-eared — from apple fritters (yes, the ones served at their heritage and planting festivals!) to lemony parsnip and arborio rice risotto, to green pea falafel with tahini sauce, to African peanut soup, and butternut squash ravioli — so I focused my cooking on some hearty, winter-type fare for the season, which I share here, straight from the Gettles' book.
With beautiful line drawings and an informative chapter on kitchen staples that explains vegan ingredients and how to use them, this book is going straight to the place of honor in my kitchen — the apple crate that serves as a bookcase on top of the refrigerator. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did.
• Maple Brussels Sprouts with Tempeh Bacon Recipe
• Grandma Nellie’s Garden Soup Recipe
• Curry Scones Recipe
• Vegetable Tempura with Thai Basil Recipe
• Heirloom Broccoli and Potato Casserole Recipe
Heirloom Gardener Editor Karen Keb operates Prairie Turnip Farm in Osage County, Kansas, with her husband, Oscar H. Will III.