What is it about gourmet recipe titles? They always just state exactly what's in the dish, like Tofu and Soba Noodles with Hot-Sweet-Sour-Pungent Sauce or Mangos with Lycees and Mint. I think it's the lack of originality in the names of most gourmet dishes that turns me off. I want cutesy names, like Tofu Surprise or Mad About Mangos.
But I'm glad the not-so-creative recipe titles in Speed Vegan: Quick, Easy Recipes with a Gourmet Twist didn't prevent me from actually trying anything in the book. This new cookbook by Alan Roettinger (published by the Book Publishing Company) promises fancy fare at a fast food pace. I made this simply-titled Spaghetti with Olives and Lemon in under 30 minutes:
The pasta is brown rice pasta, which I found surprisingly better than the whole wheat spaghetti I normally buy. The sauce is made from salty kalamata olives, lemon juice and zest, and garlic. I'm a huge fan of olives, especially kalamata ones, so this recipe immediately drew me in. I guess, in this case, the matter-of-fact title came in handy.
While the pasta was cooking, I also whipped up this tasty veggie side — Asparagus with Cannellini Beans:
So simple, so tasty. The asparagus is blanched to maintain a very crisp texture. I have a tendency to over steam asparagus, so I think I'll be blanching from now on. The topping is made from cannellini beans (duh), diced tomato, onion, fresh basil, and a touch of red wine vinegar. I think this also came together in about 30 minutes, and that includes washing and chopping veggies.
Speed Vegan features easy-to-whip-up soups, pastas, salads, vegetables, and sweets. Most are minimally seasoned and feature only a few basic seasonal ingredients. And I suppose, if you're in a hurry, the simply stated recipe titles (by the way, the tofu and mango dishes mentioned in the first paragraph are also in this book) might even help readers quickly choose a dish based on what's in it. As a girl on the go, this book is sure to become one of my staples.