Monday, September 16, 2013

Vegan MoFo 2013: Book Review and Giveaway Plus a Bonus Recipe from The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester

Kathy Hester has already taught me so much with her first book, The Vegan Slow Cooker, and now she's taught me so much more with The Great Vegan Bean Book. I thought I had already posted a review of this awesome book when it first cam out but apparently I hadn't, so I am delighted and excited to share this review as well as give away a copy (just follow the prompts in the widget below to enter!) courtesy of the fine folks over at Fair Winds Press. Because they were kind enough to send the giveaway copy directly to me, I am able to do worldwide shipping, so this contest is open to readers worldwide!

The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester

Did you know that you can make a pie crust out of beans? How about biscuits? And what would you say if I told you you could make fudgesicles out of beans? Wha-wha-what? Yep! Kathy has recipes for all of these, plus more than a hundred other innovative recipes featuring the magical fruit. I will admit that I had my doubts when I heard Kathy was writing a book all about beans. I mean, how many different ways are there to make beans? Well, apparently, hundreds! And I was absolutely floored by the amazing ways she put them together. I mean just check out the Cherry Basil Crumble below.

This book is really well laid out with a short and sweet intro that gives the reader all sorts of awesome bean how to tips and a glossary of different types of beans. Then come the recipes. Organized by style of meal, (Morning Beans, Portable Beans, Bean-a-licious Sweet Treats) these recipes run the gamut from pancakes to stews to macaroni and cheese (hello white bean cheesy sauce!) and each one seems more innovative than the last.  MAny of the recipes also come with Soy free, gluten free or oil free options, and many have "Fancy Bean Substitutes" suggested just in case you want to make use of some fancy heirloom beans.  The index is concise and easy to use and each chapter opener has a a list of every recipe and pagenumber in the chapter.  Finally, the photographs are stunning

I have so many pages bookmarked in this book, that my husband told me he is worried about me eating too many beans (you know, the more you eat the more you...) but no worries, Kathy even has tips for using natural herbs to help you digest these beans more easily.  Some of my favorites so far include the Hawaiian Sliders (page 96), The Pumpkin White Bean Chowder (page 75), and, of courde, The Cherry Basil Crumble Bars (page 182) below.

Cherry Basil Crumble Bars
Gluten-free option*

It’s beans that allow the crust to be oil-free, but it’s the cherries and basil that make them extra special.

For the crust
1 cup (179 g) cooked white beans
½ cup (55 g) slivered almonds
½ cup (48 g) rolled oats (*use gluten-free)
½ cup (60 g) whole wheat pastry flour (*use gluten-free)
¼ cup (80 g) agave nectar

For the topping
½ cup (90 g) cooked white beans
½ cup (55 g) slivered almonds
½ cup (48 g) rolled oats (*use gluten-free)
½ cup (60 g) whole wheat pastry flour (*use gluten-free)
¼ cup (80 g) agave nectar

For the filling
2 cups (310 g) pitted or frozen cherries
¼ cup (6 g) fresh basil
¼ to ½ cup (80 to 160 g) agave nectar, depending on tartness of fruit
½ teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Yield: 12 bars
Per bar: 268.2 calories; 7.4 g total fat; 0.6 g saturated fat; 7.0 g protein; 43.1 g carbohydrate; 6.7 g dietary fiber;
0 mg cholesterol.
Total Prep Time: 30 minutes (less if not using cherries)
Total cooking time: 20 to 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C, or gas mark 4). Oil an 11 x 8-inch (28 x 20 cm) casserole pan **or use a nonstick pan.

To make the crust, add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend until the consistency of large cornmeal. Press into the bottom of the pan.

To make the topping, add all the ingredients to the food processor bowl before you wash it and pulse until the almonds are broken up well. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

To make the filling, you can still use the unwashed food processor and add all the ingredients. Double-check that all the cherry pits have been removed. You’ll hear them in the food processor if any slipped by. Spread the pureed filling over the crust and then crumble the topping over that.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the topping browns and the filling has set up. Let cool and then cut into 12 bars.

Serving Suggestions & Variations:
Try with different seasonal fruits and herbs or spices: apple cinnamon, blueberry mint, or even strawberry basil.

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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni