I first discovered Dreena Burton and her fabulous recipes back when I first became vegan, I believe after Veganomicon, Eat, Drink & Be Vegan was the second veg book I ever bought! To this day it still remains one of my favorites. So to say I was excited when I heard she was releasing Let Them Eat Vegan would be a slight understatement. As a fellow Canadian (and Newfie!) there was no way I could let mofo pass without giving Dreena some of the spotlight, and after connecting with the talented lady herself, Dreena was kind enough to let me post and review one of her recipes from her new book!
Let Them Eat Vegan is jam-packed with 200 recipes and has got you covered from breakfast to dessert…or should I say, especially dessert, with a large portion of the book dedicated to various treats! Like her previous book, this one has a focus on utilizing wholesome ingredients, with a large portion of the recipes being wheat and or gluten-free, or easily adaptable. One of the things I love about Dreena’s recipes is how easy and quick they tend to be, most of the meals are totally doable weeknight meals and are the kinds of meals that the whole family loves, even kids. Well she should know, she’s got three of her own little chickpeas! Another thing I really appreciate about this book is that Dreena took the time to start each recipe with a cute story or description, and there are also great tips, suggestions for ingredient subs and fun info speckled throughout the book. One of my favorite parts is “If This Apron Could Talk”, which are little blurbs you’ll find with various recipes, where Dreena shares her own experiences with the recipe. Just think of them as having a little Dreena there to help you out.
Oh and did I mention that not only do I get to share a recipe but one of my lucky readers will also get to win a copy of her new book? No? Well you do! See below for details.
Now onto the recipe. Thanks to Dreena and Da Capo Press, I get to share Dreena’s Pumpkin Chickpea Cauliflower Curry with Fresh Cream Sauce! I’m so excited for you guys to try this one out, it’s definitely a good one! I made it on the weekend and I must admit that I was hesitant about mixing curry with pumpkin, looking back I now think of how silly it was for me to question this combination. This curry was so good! I’m not even ashamed to say that I literally licked my bowl when I was done. This is the kind of meal that warms your belly, the heat from the spices mixed with the creaminess of the pumpkin make for a delicious cool weather meal. Although not essential, I seriously recommend making the cashew sauce to go along with it, it just makes the dish that much better. If you decide to make this curry, don’t forget to stop by Dreena’s blog to thank her and let her know how it turned out!
Pumpkin Chickpea Cauliflower Curry with Fresh Cream Sauce
Printed with permission from the book Let Them Eat Vegan! by Dreena Burton. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2012.
Pumpkin is so often used in desserts yet sometimes overlooked for savory recipes. This stew highlights pumpkin, along with vegetables and beans, in a curry that is flavorful without being too hot-spicy. Topped with the ‘Fresh Cream Sauce’, this is one of my favorite autumnal dishes.
- 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin coconut oil, or organic neutral-flavored oil (or splash of water for oil-free)
- 1 ½ – 2 cups onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 1/4 teapsoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon brown or yellow mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- Couple pinches crushed red pepper flakes (to desired heat)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 2 cups cauliflower, cut in florets (see note on timing)
- 2 cups zucchini, cut in small chunks (see note on timing)
- 3 ½ – 4 cups cooked chickpeas (or combination of chickpeas and kidney beans)
- 1 – 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) (see note)
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
- 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Fresh Cream Sauce for serving (recipe below)
In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the oil or water, onion, curry powder, salt, mustard seeds, garam masala, coriander, cumin seeds, turmeric, and crushed red pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, covered, and then lower the heat to medium and add the garlic. Stir, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent the garlic from sticking or burning. Add the cauliflower and zucchini, and toss, followed by the beans, pumpkin, and water. Bring the heat up to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cauliflower and zucchini have become tender (if you want more texture in the veggies, hold off adding them until the last 10 minutes or so of simmering). Add the ginger, lemon juice, and stir. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve drizzled with Fresh Cream Sauce, with lemon wedges on the side for extra squeezing! Serves 4-6.
Ingredients 411: Canned pumpkin varies in moisture and consistency. I use just 1 cup of water in this curry, using the Farmer’s Market brand of organic canned pumpkin. It makes for a fairly thick curry, with the veggies also releasing some moisture during simmering. You may want to add more water, depending on whether you substitute other vegetables, and also depending on the consistency of the canned pumpkin.
Savvy Subs and Adds: Other veggies you can use in place of the zukes and cauliflower include chopped red pepper and green beans cut into bite-size pieces.
The cream sauce really is superb drizzled over this curry. It adds a color contrast, and a creamy texture against a spicy dish. If you don’t make the sauce, consider adding about 1⁄2 cup of raw cashews to the curry when adding the zucchini and cauliflower. They will soften with cooking and bring more interest to every bite.
Fresh Cream Sauce
Sometimes you want a sauce that is creamy and smooth, but without any pronounced flavors such as garlic or spices. This sauce is it. It is creamy and cooling, and great for pairing with spicy dishes—but also many other things!
- 1 cup soaked cashews, drained
- ½ cup + 2-3 tablespoons water
- ¼ teaspoon (rounded) sea salt (or measure ¼ + 1/8 tsp)
- 2 ½ – 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional, omit for oil-free version)
- 1/8 teaspoon agave nectar
Using a standing blender or an immersion blender and deep cup or jar, puree all the ingredients (starting with 1⁄2 cup + 2 tablespoons of the water) until very, very smooth. (A high-powered blender works best to give a very silky consistency.) Add extra water, if needed, to thin the sauce, and season to taste with additional salt, if desired. Serve swirled over spicy stews or burritos, or drizzled on pizza; or use as a salad dressing or as a condiment for sandwiches, baked spuds, sautéed greens . . . so many options. Makes 3/4 – 1 cup.
Serving Suggestions: This sauce is one of my favorites, and I love it with spicy soups and bean dishes, burritos, and quesadillas. Make a quick-fix quesadilla by smashing some black beans with store-bought (or homemade) salsa and ground cumin. Layer on a whole wheat tortilla with chopped, grilled onions (grill thick rings of onion on a barbecue grill until caramelized and softened, or chop and caramelize in a non-stick skillet) and Daiya cheese. Top with another tortilla, then heat in a nonstick skillet until a little crispy on each side and the filling is hot with the cheese melted.
Let Them Eat Vegan Giveaway!
For a chance to win a copy of Let Them Eat Vegan! Please leave a comment on this post by Monday October 15th. I will draw a random winner and announce it on the blog on Tuesday. Sorry to all my international peeps but this contest is only open to Canada and the US.
Goodluck to everyone!