"New" because it's actually a reprint of an ovo-lacto cookbook she released a couple of years ago, though now it's all vegan and 25 new recipes have been added.
As I said when writing about the V-con, I mainly cook ethnic foods and try to be authentic. I will cook and eat more "traditional" Western foods, but to make me a happy foodie, give me Asian/Africa/Middle-Eastern/whatnot.
If you like this way of cooking, you will love Robin's books ( I also own Vegan Planet and Quick-Fix Vegetarian, which is actually all vegan).
As I love hot and spicy foods, I had to get this book, even though I had vowed not to buy any more cookbooks in 2008.
I don't regret it, not at all. Vegan Fire and Spice totally hit my foodie spot.
The book is divided in different chapters geographically, so there is:
- the Americas
- Mediterranean Europe
- The Middle East and Africa
Still, I realized I'm really spoiled when it comes to the terms "spicy" and "hot", due to Indian and Thai friends.
The recipes themselves are not searing hot, but I assume still unusual to the "standard"
Anyhow, here's a selection of what I made (and managed to snatch photos of). Enjoy!
Curried Mushrooms with rice, from the Indian section. This has shrooms, coconut milk, tomatoes and ginger. Need I say more? It was so easy and tasty. I had the leftovers with pasta in my bento the next day. This will become one of my standard recipes, I'm sure.
Another standard recipe of mine is harira. I have a friend with Morrocan heritage, so I know many variations of this traditional soup eaten to end the fasting month of ramadan. He approved of Robin's version and so did I. It's a very simple soup with chickpeas and red lentils, a nice staple-no-veg-at-home-dish, though totally unphotogenic.
Asian Fusion Noodles. As the title suggest, not authentic. I found it bland and didn't really like it, but friends and their kids did love it. I'm a total Asian food snob, sorry.
I also made the Hunan Fried Rice that everybody was raving about. That's why I followed the recipe very closely... and to be honest, it was ok, but I don't see what's so special or amazing about it. Maybe Asian restaurants in Europe make their fried rice totally different?
However, it was good in my bento the next day with some hot sauce in the birdie container. The other tier has steamed broccoli, tomato and some carrot strips.
This is the most versatile, tastierst and easiest recipe I made from the book so far.
Middle Eastern Chickpea soup with tomato salad and olives. I didn't amp up the heat in this recipe because it was 150% percent perfect as is.
This was so easy and made a lovely meal with some warm pita bread. I can imagine leaving out/ using less of the cayenne and feeding it to kids.