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Weekend Cooking: Quick-Fix Vegan

October 2, 2011

Robin Robertson sets out to dispel the myth that preparing vegan meals is time consuming in her new cookbook, Quick-Fix Vegan.  She presents recipes from appetizers and snacks to meals to desserts that are completely plant based and can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.  The recipes are healthy and designed to appeal to everyone, even those who don’t maintain a vegan diet.  Robertson starts the book with tips on everything from keeping a well stocked pantry to time saving strategies to preparing ahead.  This cookbook doesn’t contain photos of the recipes, but I’m sure that’s to keep the cost down.

Neither Carl nor I are vegan, but I think I could easily eat a vegetarian diet (I would have trouble giving up dairy), and I thought it would be fun to give this cookbook a try.  I decided to fix the Two-Tomato Pastry Purses and they were okay, but we didn’t love them.  I do admit that I struggled with the puff pastry and sealing the “purses,” which may have affected the outcome.   Except for sealing them, they were easy to make and I do think those who are accustomed to a vegan diet would enjoy them more than we did.  I think those who eat a vegan diet will enjoy the simplicity of the recipes found in this cookbook.  There are several other recipes I want to try including this one:

Rotini with 10-Minute Tomato-Olive Sauce

12 ounces rotini
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
¾ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper

Cook the rotini in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes.  While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes and the diced tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes have broken down a bit, 5 minutes.

Add the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste.  Cook to blend the flavors, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes longer.  Drain the cooked pasta well and serve topped with the sauce.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.

Review copy provided by Andrews McMeel Publishing. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
27 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2011 7:19 am

    Oooh, I bet this book would be really useful for me! I’m vegetarian, not vegan, but a lot of the time I end up preparing meals that do qualify as vegan. And I could do with some new recipes!

  2. October 2, 2011 9:04 am

    That recipe looks delicious! My puff pastry pockets rarely look as cute as they do in cookbook photos. Oh well. We eat vegetarian quite a bit, but I don’t see us going vegan. I should suggest this book to my niece, who is cooking now and is a vegetarian.

  3. October 2, 2011 9:22 am

    This sounds like a cookbook for my cousin who is vegan….she’s a nurse and doesn’t have a ton of time to cook, but these seem to be quick…Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. October 2, 2011 9:46 am

    This is such a great idea for a cookbook because even though vegan and/or vegetarian choices often look good to me, they also often look very complicated and time-consuming!

  5. October 2, 2011 10:28 am

    I’ve got this cookbook and can’t wait to try it!

  6. October 2, 2011 11:09 am

    Your rotini dish sounds like it would be good. Puff pastry is also tricky whenever I try to use it too. I like the message this book is giving. I want to try more vegan/vegetarian dishes but they usually seem so complicated.

  7. October 2, 2011 11:43 am

    This sounds good – I find as I get older (oh yeah…. I said it) I enjoy more vegan style meals and find meat not as important to have every day like I used to. I can go days now with meatless meals.

  8. October 2, 2011 12:46 pm

    I love the fact that you are open to trying some vegan cooking, even though you aren’t vegan. I have looked at this cookbook in the bookstore several times and always left undecided. Maybe I’ll try that rotini recipe!

  9. October 2, 2011 1:41 pm

    I have a friend who eats vegan a lot of the time, so I bet this cookbook would be of interest to her. I haven’t ever really even had a vegan meal, because I just love my meat, cheese, and dairy so much, and also because it’s really hard for a diabetic to eat a meal without animal protein and maintain a healthy body. I might have to pass on your recommendation of this book to my friend. I am sure she would enjoy it!

  10. October 2, 2011 2:17 pm

    I’m not vegan, but have been thinking about cutting out some if not all meat and dairy. This cookbook looks worth looking into.

  11. October 2, 2011 3:06 pm

    I ate a vegetarian diet for a couple of years when I was a teenager, and was mostly vegetarian for about twelve years after that (there were some meats that I liked too much to give up entirely). I don’t think I’d make it as a vegan though because I too love dairy and wouldn’t want to give it up. After fourteen years of too little meat I ended up with a B12 deficiency, because as a teen I knew nothing about the importance of B12, or that it came from meat. I ended up having to get shots for a couple of years to replenish. Other than that I liked being a vegetarian. 🙂

  12. October 2, 2011 3:55 pm

    Sounds like a neat idea for a cookbook, even though I’m not vegan either.

  13. Staci permalink
    October 2, 2011 5:19 pm

    If it was just me that I was cooking for I think I could do vegan.

  14. October 2, 2011 6:35 pm

    I love the eggplant photo on the front of that cookbook. I would have trouble going vegan as I love good cheese and yogurt. The pasta recipe sounds delicious though! All it needs a scrape of some excellent Parmesan!

  15. October 2, 2011 6:42 pm

    That rotini one looks more up my alley.

  16. October 2, 2011 8:02 pm

    Like you, I love dairy too much to give it up, but I could live without meat.

  17. October 2, 2011 9:23 pm

    Oh this looks yummy! I am a pretty strict vegetarian and am not supposed to eat dairy for health reasons. I do, however, fall off the wagon…looks like I wouldn’t as much with this book in my hands.

  18. October 2, 2011 10:41 pm

    This is the perfect gift for one of my vegan friends who has a birthday coming up. I couldn’t give up dairy either. If I don’t have milk for breakfast, I feel hungry all day!

  19. October 2, 2011 11:51 pm

    If Gage contnues to not tolerate dairy er may have to go vegan, but the thought of giving up dairy has me wondering what I’d eat!

  20. October 3, 2011 7:23 pm

    My kids would LOVE this. I can’t get enough kalamata olives for them. And they looooooove pasta. I will have to try this!

  21. October 3, 2011 8:27 pm

    It’s official… I am now bonafide HUNGRY!

  22. October 3, 2011 11:04 pm

    I would love this book! I’m not much of a meat eater at the best of times and I’m always looking for good recipes that don’t need any. I couldn’t go totally vegan because I can’t give up dairy either.

  23. October 4, 2011 1:07 pm

    I could not be a vegan…or even a vegetarian…
    Never to have lobster again? I think not.

  24. October 5, 2011 7:36 am

    That is a great idea for a cookbook. Vegan meals are often time consuming I think. All those things you need to make to replace cheese for instance. It is good to try new things too.

  25. October 6, 2011 12:37 am

    I’ve heard this cookbook is really good but I don’t have it. I’ll have to try the Rotini with 10-Minute Tomato-Olive Sauce. It sound yummy!

  26. October 7, 2011 5:39 am

    I am going to review this book for the next weekend cooking 🙂 I will link back to your review as well 🙂

  27. October 12, 2011 11:28 am

    Okay, so cookbook’s cool, but I gotta say, is even cooler. I had no idea that site existed! Weaning myself off of begins now.

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