- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Chronicle Books (June 20, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1452154708
- ISBN-13: 978-1452154701
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Vegetarian Heartland: Recipes for Life's Adventures Hardcover – June 20, 2017
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From the Publisher
100 Wholesome, Meatless Recipes for Everything from Drinks to Desserts
A Note from Shelly Westerhausen
Adventures come in all shapes and sizes, and I consider it an adventure anytime you jump into the unknown with all senses firing. Sometimes cooking can be an adventure--walk into your kitchen and put together new flavors, follow a new recipe, try out an unknown vegetable, or develop a new cooking technique. I'm here to encourage vegetarian adventures in your own kitchen.
Because I live by my sense of adventure in all things, the recipes in this book are organized into adventures specific to each season. The categories follow the kinds of exploring I like to do in my region, but the food works for all kinds of outings. For example, the Peanut Butter Trail Mix Cookies (page 192) found in the hiking section are also great for road trips, camping, or even an afternoon snack at school or work. The Whole-Wheat Pumpkin & Poppy Seed Crackers (page 50) are not only perfect for picnics but also for holiday hosting and road trips.
Creating engaging memories with your food is also a way to get you more excited about planning your future meals. Let's be real: are you more likely to get excited about that breakfast sandwich grabbed from the convenience store or about the breakfast bake that you prepped the night before and baked for a few friends before a busy workday? Not every day is going to allow time for these slow moments, but planning ahead will make them more likely to happen. Enjoy these recipes on the go when necessary but also make sure to set some time aside to really enjoy them at home when you can.
Chilled Peanut Noodles
These slightly spicy noodles are the perfect portable meal since they can be served at room temperature or chilled. The peanut butter will give you a protein boost, while the noodles will keep you full for hours. This dish is best served with peanuts and cilantro, which are added just before eating, though they can be added earlier if you don't want to carry around three separate containers. If the sauce thickens up too much after sitting in the refrigerator, just add a tablespoon of water to thin it out.
Serves 4 as a Main
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the soba and cook until almost al dente, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the snap peas and let boil for 1 minute more. Drain the soba and the snap peas and transfer to a large bowl.
In a high-speed blender, combine the peanut butter, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, honey, chile sauce, lime juice, and water and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour over the soba, add the bell pepper and carrots, and toss until everything is completely coated in the peanut sauce. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or a small portable cooler for up to 4 hours. Just before serving, garnish with peanuts and cilantro.
- 8 oz [230g] soba noodles or whole-wheat spaghetti
- 1 cup [100g] snap peas
- 1/2 cup [130g] creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tsp hot chile sauce (such as Sriracha)
- 2 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup [80ml] water
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 1 cup [140g] peanuts, chopped, for garnish
- Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
About the Author
Shelly Westerhausen is the author and photographer behind Vegetarian ‘Ventures, a meat-free blog that focuses on the adventurous side of vegetarian cooking. She is a freelance recipe developer, writer, and photographer whose work has been featured in Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Vegetarian Living. She stopped eating meat at age twelve, and, growing up in Indiana, she’s watched (and helped!) Midwestern vegetarian cuisine develop into the rich and tasty scene it is now. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana.
About the Author
Shelly Westerhausen is a recipe developer, photographer, and the creator of the blog Vegetarian Ventures. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana.
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Top customer reviews
I adore the way it’s organized. Seasonality is front and center. The chapters are:
Spring: Farmers’ Market Day, Picnic, and Brunch Potluck
Summer: Road Trip, Berry-Picking Adventure, and Cookout
Fall: Fruit Picking, Camping, and Hiking Excursion
Winter: Snowed In, Holiday Hosting, and Playing in the Snow. I grew up in Wisconsin, so it cracks me up to no end that she makes a distinction between playing in the snow and snowed in. I’m in Texas now, so our 5 days of snow a year would blend those two together.
1) Green Salad with Savory Granola and Avocado Lime Dressing – p 28. I had to make the beautiful salad on the cover first. It’s terrific, and so pretty. It’s early June, so I happened to have two big green tomatoes out in the garden just waiting for this dish. Nice. The granola recipe makes extra so there’s a little snack bag for another day. 20 minutes, total.
2) Roasted Vegetables with Creamy Romesco and Farro – p 38. Oh. This is divine. The Romesco sauce is positively lickable. 40 minutes.
3) Spicy Peanut Lettuce Wraps – p 56. Easy peasy and delicious. 45 minutes. You could prepare them all, but my gang loves to participate, so I made a platter of lettuce leaves, with a big bowl of the vegetable rice filling, ramekins of the spicy peanut sauce, and a sesame seed shaker. Fun partyish food. The kids loved these.
4) Chicago style Deep Dish Loaded Veggie Pizza – p 246. Yummy and easy, but a bit on the dry side. About 3 hours, but very little involves the cook.
5) Broiled Green Tomatoes and Creamy Mascarpone Grits – p 70. Grits done in the oven! What a fantastic, easy method. These are seriously creamy comfort food. 45 minutes, but 30 of that is in the oven, and another ten’s resting.
6) Crostini with Macadamia Ricotta and Corn-Zucchini Succotash – p 53. Yummy and quick. 20 minutes plus 30 to soak the macadamias.
7) Blueberry and Sweet Cheese Pierogi – p 106. Blueberries were on sale, so I had a lot of them in the fridge. I’ve never made pierogis before! These are just delightful. 30 minutes for a half batch.
8) Broccoli and Cheddar Frittata - p 201. Nice breakfast for zero effort. My 16 year old stole some of mine when I went to refill my coffee. :)
9) Baked Sweet Potato with Roasted Chickpeas, Raspberries, and Chevre – 105. This is such a unusual combination. The flavors complement each other perfectly, and it’s such a pretty dish.
10) Slow Roasted Pistachio-Crusted Tofu with Red Chimichurri – p 32. This is super flavorful. I doubled the chipotle to make it even spicier. The kids loved it.
11) Kansas Barbecue Tempeh Skewers – p 135. This has great bbq taste. And you can get it in its marinade ahead of time. It just needs 15 minutes on the grill at the end.
12) Iced Rhubarb-Hibiscus Tea – p 24. Super refreshing. There’s not any tea in the traditional sense in there. I usually make strawberry rhubarb pie in the summer, so I adore having this healthy take on it. There’s only one tablespoon of honey in each serving. Nice! I had a bag of dried hibiscus in the pantry that I bought right on Amazon for a Paleta (Mexican fruit popsicles) book I picked up. If you’ve never bought it before, here’s a nice one. Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Frontier-Organic-Hibiscus-Flowers-Sifted/dp/B0012BSDNW/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1497917971&sr=8-3&keywords=hibiscus&th=1
13) Savory BTK Two-Grain Porridge – p 67. We love this one! The coconut facon is really smoky and a little sweet. The kids loved the tomato-y porridge. She has is listed as a side for 4, but this was a really filling breakfast for the four of us. 50 minutes, but that’s mostly waiting.
Some others I have flagged to try: Sloppy Janes * Coffee Crunch Chocolate Ice Cream with Bourbon Fudge Ripple * Baked Pumpkin Risotto with Brown Butter Sage Bread Crumbs * Caramelized Onion and Fennel Tart with Rosemary Crust * Purple Potatoes Poached in Dill Cream Sauce * Three Bean Chocolate Chili
Her intro is typical of how she began to eat vegetarian at a very young age (12) and how hard it was to find vegetarian foods in her small town. However, as she grew she found it becoming more accepted and available. Her unique layout of this book comes from her blog Vegetarian 'Ventures and because she feels she lives by a sense of adventure in all things, the recipes in this book are organized into adventures specific to each season. This book also is strongly focused from dishes you'll find in the modern Midwest. They are based on the produce and meat- centric traditions of this region.
There were so many recipes that look good I didn't know where to begin. I dove in trying five recipes to start with.
Lager Onion & Lentil Soup(pg 202): Shelly's version of a French onion classic, this soup came together quickly and was fantastic. Follow her instruction closely when she says to caramelize the onions - this taking about 30-40 min. This really brings a deep rich flavor to the soup. Also the use of tamari adds great depth too. the Swiss cheese toast is a wonderful bonus on top. Will make again
Peanut Butter Trail Mix Cookies(pg192): I was wondering how these cookies would come together with no flour added. Well the magic is in the small amount of baking soda added. Also, because there is no flour, these cookies are lighter and slightly crumblely. They came together easily. I added pumpkin seeds, cranberries, dark chocolate minim chips. They have an intense peanut butter flavor which is expected since that's the main ingredient. I liked them a lot, my husband on the other hand was not a huge fan.
Vegan Chocolate-chip Pumpkin Bread (pg 191) This whole wheat sweet bread came together fast. The cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice and clove really stand out as well as the chocolate making the pumpkin subtle. I really like a pumpkin flavor so I've noted to half the chocolate in this recipe for next time. The consistency of the bread is perfect. Hearty but moist and soft. Shelly's right about the bite of salt adds a terrific savory balance to this vegan pumpkin bread.
Brown-sugar & Rosemary Popcorn (pg95): OMG!!!!! this was fabulous! Who knew rosemary and brown sugar and butter LOVED popcorn so much. I never would have dreamed to put this together and then on popcorn of all things. I agree wholeheartedly with Shelly's statement about popcorn on the stove top is far better than any popcorn in a microwave bag and using a local sourced corn all the better too. (if available in your area)
Sage Ices Tea (pg 86): I have an abundance of sage growing right now in my garden and I was excited to see Shelly 's inspired recipe of adding it to iced tea. I made a batch first thing today and it's wonderful. I used stevia instead of honey.
This is a book for everyone. The recipes are so good that you could easily have picked this book up and not missed the meat. You don't need to be a vegetarian to enjoy these recipes. And while there are some Midwest-specific recipes (Indiana persimmons!), anyone should be able to make these in any place of country when the season is right.
I love the way Shelly breaks up the recipes: by season, then by adventure. You can replicate that adventure by going on a hike, or out on the lake; or you can just make these at home as the kids ramble home from school (as I probably will).
There's a tender humility and gentleness to the tone and feel of the book. It comes across in the photography and the writing and the recipes themselves. A cookbook like this could have been overbearing and pretentious, but like the Midwest itself Shelly's recipes are what they are: straight up delicious.