I have a lot of vegan cookbooks. Seriously. I should probably enter myself into some sort of 12-step program. None of them have impressed me as much as YumUniverse Pantry to Plate by Heather Crosby has, though. This book is HUGE. It’s jam-packed with recipes, handy charts, and cooking templates.
I’ve had many people that they have a hard time following recipes, yet they also find it difficult to come up with their own dishes. YumUniverse Pantry to Plate is here to solve that problem. While this book does have many, many recipes, it’s also full of meal templates, which allow you to create your own dishes using what you already have on hand. I was a big fan of those Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was young, and this sort of a Choose Your Own Adventure cookbook.
This book is loaded with information for those who are new to plant-based cooking or are just finding their way around the kitchen. Heather includes tips and tricks for cooking, basic cooking techniques, lists of tools and ingredients, and charts for creating rich flavor profiles.
The food is the main star of the book though. You’ll find vegan versions of just about anything you could possibly want here, such as Garden Veggie Cream Cheese, Black Bean Sliders, and Veggie Enchiladas; along with dishes you hadn’t even thought of yet, including Toasted Black Sesame Seed Milk, Rainbow Chard & Golden Raisin ‘Banzo Bake, and Za’atar-Spiced Lentil Wraps. You’ll learn how to make dairy-free milks, compotes and fruit butters, fermented veggies, nice cream, and so much more. The book is full of mouth-watering photos and fun illustrations.
Chapters in YumUniverse Pantry to Plate include:
- Good Morning, YumUniverse!
- Munch & Lunch
- Main Meals
- Sweet Tooth
Each chapter is full of its own subcategories, such as Scrambles, Granola, Pancakes & Waffles, and Muffins in the Good Morning, YumUniverse! chapter; and Cheesy Comfort Food, Epic Salad, Tacos and Wraps, and Veggie Burgers in the Main Meals Chapter. Each of those subcategories has a do-it-yourself template, giving you unlimited ways to make each dish. Want to make your own veggie burger? You’ll be able to do that Heather’s veggie burger template – just pick some veggies, a protein, something fresh, and a binder, and you’re ready to go.
I can never pass up a recipe for vegan macaroni and cheese, so the Sriracha Mac recipe was the first one I tried. It’s full of cheesy goodness, made from veggies of course, and it’s perfected with a drizzle of spicy sriracha. I had some sweet potatoes on hand, so I followed Heather’s suggestion and used them instead of the delicata squash, and it worked perfectly. I have many more recipes the book marked, so I know I will be cooking from it in the weeks ahead.
If you’re new to vegan cooking and need some guidance, YumUniverse Pantry to Plate is the book for you! If you’re interested in learning more about creating your own meals without a formal recipe, you’ll definitely find help here. And if you’re already a vegan cooking pro, this book will arm you with more recipes for your kitchen arsenal.
- One 12-ounce (340 g) package gluten-free macaroni noodles
- 2 cups (230 g) peeled, seeded, and diced delicata squash, steamed
- ¾ cup (180 ml) water
- ½ cup (70 g) raw, unsalted cashews, soaked for 4 to 6 hours, drained, and rinsed
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha (or any similar style hot sauce), plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon peeled, minced fresh ginger, or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- 4 scallions, sliced
- Toasted sesame oil (optional)
- Get a large pot of water boiling and prepare the macaroni noodles according to the package instructions.
- While the noodles cook, combine the squash, water, cashews, garlic, lemon juice, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, salt, Sriracha, and ginger in the blender and purée until ultra-smooth. Taste and add more Sriracha if you like. Transfer to a large pot heated to low.
- Drain the noodles and dump into the pot of sauce; add the scallions. Stir together, seasoning with more salt if necessary. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil if you like and serve warm.
I have a copy of YumUniverse Pantry to Plate for one lucky winner this week. Follow the instructions below to enter. U.S. and Canadian residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight on June 6th. Good luck!
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