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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vegan Soul Kitchen, book review

In recent years, there has been a deluge of cookbooks entering the market offering various approaches to cooking without animal products. It is wonderful to see there is a demand for so many publications! Many cookbooks offer the same thing, many simple ideas, repeated over and over. At the same time, many unique chefs are presenting creative and new ideas, fusing old traditional ideas with contemporary knowledge, offering incredibly flavorful delights for our senses, yet staying true to the idea that food should be healthy for those who consume it as well as produce it. In one of the recent cookbooks that truly stand out for me Bryant Terry offers a brilliant recent publication, "Vegan Soul Kitchen. Fresh, Healthy, and creative African-American Cuisine".

Most of what Terry presents in this book are "easy", every day dishes, proving that one can eat very creative, colorful, flavorful and nutritious food with a minimum of effort and a lot of creativity. Roasted sweet potatoes with coconut milk, banana maple pecan cornbread muffins, crispy okra strips with lime thyme vinaigrette, red beans with brown rice and red wine simmered seitan are some of the delicious animal free, updates he is giving to traditional soul food. One strongly gets the impression these dishes originated in his grandparents home and like all living traditions, change as they are passed down, each generation adding their flavor to old ideas.

Understanding that music is an important part of the kitchen, all his recipes have soundtrack suggestions and sometimes films as well.

Terry's kitchen is obviously part of his activism. His writings, recipes and actions show a deep understanding of the big picture of food productions, distribution and consumption. Food is a rite! Access to real, non processed, organic, sustainably grown food needs to be part of everybody's daily intake and Terry is dedicating his life to working towards this goal. This is his second publication, "Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen" being his first.

check him out!

1 comment:

  1. Love this book, and love your review. Cooking and music - perfect together!