There are lots of vegan cookbooks out there to help you get a meal on the table quickly and easily – those are the kind that I turn to most often. And there are lots of vegan cookbooks with lengthy and detailed recipes for when you have the time and want to create really special meals (like when you want to impress those doubting non-vegan friends of yours…). In theory, I love to make gorgeous, complex, slow food, but in practice, most of the time I need simple, easy, delicious. Extraordinary Vegan by Alan Roettinger exists in the middle between those simple/fast cookbooks and fancy/slow cookbooks.
You’ve heard the expression “food made with love,” right? Well, I was thinking about this and wondering what it might really mean. What difference would love make? If there was love in the food, how on earth would it have gotten there? Then I had an epiphany: Attention is the currency of love. – Alan Roettinger
By using a few unusual ingredients and preparing meals with care and attention, Mr. Roettinger believes that the home cook can serve up simple, beautiful meals that go beyond the ordinary. He begins with a glossary of ingredients followed by a chapter on fundamentals – recipes like garlic oil, preserved lemons (you’ve got to make these!), and chocolate ganache. These basic recipes are often the “extraordinary” ingredient in Mr. Roettinger’s creations. Recipes for both savory and sweet breakfasts are up; then it’s on to sauces, dips and condiments followed by snacks; soups; salads; beans and lentils; pasta and grains; vegetables; and finally, simple yet stunning desserts that prominently feature fresh fruits (and a bit of chocolate, of course!).
I appreciate the book’s emphasis on whole foods, fresh ingredients, and complex flavors. The instructions are straightforward and easy to follow and the full-page color photos elegantly showcase the food. For those of us living in rural areas, getting our hands on some of the more unusual ingredients (baharat, maca powder, ahi panca) might prove to be difficult (my local grocery doesn’t even carry tofu, let alone ras el hanout), but there’s not much one can’t get online.
To get your mouth watering, I’m pleased to be able to share Mr. Roettinger’s recipe for Chocolate-Banana-Mint Smoothie – a yummy and healthy way to start your day. And thanks to Book Publishing Company, I have a copy of Extraordinary Vegan to give away to one of my readers. You can enter the giveaway below. Entrants are limited to those in the U.S. and is open until midnight (CT) February 25.
- Yield: 2 1x
- 1 1/2 cups coconut water or water
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder, or 2 tbsp. Dutch-processed cocoa
- 8 pitted medjool dates
- 2 Tbsp. flax oil
- 1 tsp. maca powder, optional
- 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
- Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve at once.
- Reprinted with permission from Alan Roettinger and Book Publishing Company.
- Serving Size: 2
- Calories: 647
- Sugar: 77
- Sodium: 207
- Fat: 24
- Saturated Fat: 3
- Unsaturated Fat: 19
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 110
- Protein: 14
- Cholesterol: 0
The cover photo alone has me enticed! Always looking for ways to incorporate food sculpting…
You’ll really like this cookbook then, Matt. Thanks for entering the giveaway!
I make a simple meal extraordinary by sharing it with people I love.
I follow by email. =)
Gorgeous photos, Annie, and a most attractive looking book. That smoothie looks divine!
It goes down…smooth :-).
Already following via email!
I know it! Thanks, Ali :-)!
Great review! I’d love to win! I make a simple meal extraordinary with visual appeal. A little garnish, zest, and color.
Good luck, Heather!
Your photo of the choc mint smoothie is so stunning Annie! Chocolate and mint is one of my favourite chocolate flavour combos!
I love it, too – the coolness of the fresh mint with chocolate…sigh.
This will be my next chocolate craving fix 😀
I am all about that smoothie, Annie! It looks delicious and ill bet it goes downlike a mmilkshake!
Exactly right – creamy, thick, and cool. Yum!
Thank you for this giveaway! I’d love to win! I make a simple meal extraordinary by presenting it with a smile.
I make the meal at home with fresh ingredients! We never eat out dues to food allergies/sensitivity issues.
That’s food made with love! We also never eat out – – but mostly because we live out in the boonie! Honestly, I prefer home cooked anyway.
It’s all about presentation. Serving the simplest meal in an elegant way can make it extraordinary.
I totally agree. I think it helps us to really appreciate what we are eating.
Our secret to making a meal special is candles! We light them every night.
Nice!! Love that.
I make meals from scratch with fresh whole ingredients…even simple things are good with the freshest of foods!
What a creamy smoothie, it looks so delicious 😀
I love mint and chocolate together!
Choc Chip Uru
The perfect pairing, really!
I’m not that experienced so I could really sure this book our meals are fine and good but certainly njot extraordinary!
You’ll get there! Thanks for commenting and good luck!
The smoothie looks GREAT !!!!
It’s SO good!
Add spices to make the dish extraordinary.
Amazing what a few herbs and spices can do for a dish! Thanks, Denise!
I have never tried maca powder before, although I’ve heard about its nutritional benefits. Does it have a very strong flavour?
Hi Katie! Thanks for commenting :-). Maca has a slightly nutty flavor and is full of nutritional benefits. For a comprehensive post on maca, you might be interested in this site: http://www.healthysmoothiehq.com/what-is-maca-why-put-in-smoothie
A handful of fresh herbs or adding flax, chia, or hemp seeds (especially in a salad) always makes a simple meal flavourful and healthy for me 🙂
Extraordinary meals to me means trying something new and creative like pairing unusual ingredients together or making dessert from veggies or putting anything on a stick. Yesterday extraordinary was cutting potato slices with a star-shaped cookie cutter for my nephew, then roasting them up…he loved them! 🙂
I subscribe via email. Thanks for the smoothie recipe…perfect timing for National Chocolate Mint Day! 🙂
I’m not eligible to enter but wow does that smoothie look good. I really love the creaminess hemp seeds bring to smoothies- and the nutrition of course too 🙂
The cover photo looks so good and I love following your page on Facebook! My husband and I just recently became vegans, going a month and a half strong now. It is difficult to know where to start with healthy, tasty vegan recipes, so this book would be a huge bonus! Plus following you on Facebook makes us feel a little less isolated as there is a whole huge community of happy vegans out there for support! Keeping my fingers crossed for the book. 🙂
Yay for you and your husband, Suzanne!! I’m glad you find my FB page encouraging. And you’re right – there are TONS of us out here who are happy to share and show support. Thanks for commenting :-).
It looks so beautiful! Thank you for introducing amazing books like this one! XXX
I make a simple meal extraordinary by making sure it is full of flavor!
I love to spice up simple food, try adding flavor combinations you wouldn’t normally think of. Would love to try that recipes in this book, the cover photos look so yummy! Can’t wait to try the chocolate mint smoothie…
It’s tasty! Thanks for participating, Alisa!
I subscribe by email.
By making all our meals vegan they are extraordinary!
That’s the best answer yet ;-)!
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