In his new cookbook “The Sexy Vegan Cookbook,” author and vegan chef Brian Patton sheds light on the misconception that vegan food can’t be diverse, creative and delicious. If you’ve ever considered going vegan but aren’t sure where to start, Brian’s cookbook can help. With 100 recipes, cooking tips and QR codes that you can scan with your smart phone to watch cooking videos, you’re bound to find something that appeals to your taste buds—and isn’t too difficult to make! Check out the recipes below for a quick taste of Brian’s cooking. And for more dishes from “The Sexy Vegan Cookbook,” check out these recipes for a Portobello Mushroom Sandwich, Sun-Dried Tomato and White Bean Spread, and Curry Fried Tofu Salad.
Seared Hearts of Palm Salad
Makes 2 entrees or 4 appetizers
This salad totally sucks — if you hate things that are awesome.
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 whole hearts of palm, patted dry and cut into 1-inch-long segments
Salt and pepper
4 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 packed cup arugula
1 packed cup torn butter lettuce
1 medium avocado, diced
2 tablespoons chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil over medium-high heat. In a bowl, toss the hearts of palm with the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and salt and pepper. Place them cut side down in the pan. If there’s no sizzle, wait until the oil is hot; otherwise, they will not sear. When golden on one side, flip and repeat. In a food processor or blender, puree the dressing ingredients. In a large bowl, toss the olives, arugula, lettuce, and avocado with the dressing. Arrange on a serving plate. Then cut the hearts of palm in half crosswise, so you can display the seared sides, and artfully place them around the outside of the plate.
The Beany Tahini Burger
Makes 4 burgers
Frickin’ chickpeas, man. They just do everything, don’t they? They’re the best. Chickpeas.
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cooked couscous
1 tablespoon tahini
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 roasted red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 buns of your choosing, halved
2 tablespoons Dreamy Tahini Dressing (see recipe, page 198)
1/2 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 beefsteak tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
To make the burger patty, in a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, couscous, tahini, garlic, oregano, olives, salt, and pepper. With a fork, potato masher, or your very clean hands, mash all of it together until 90 percent of the chickpeas are mashed. Now that you have this pasty mass, gently fold in the roasted pepper (as it would have been destroyed during the initial mixing). Divide the chickpea mixture into four portions and form into 1/4-inch-thick patties.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add your burger patties to the pan, and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Slather each bun half with dreamy tahini dressing, and assemble the burgers from the bottom up in the following order: 1 bun half, cucumber, chickpea patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, and the other bun half.
Dreamy Tahini Dressing
Makes 1˝ cups
Keep it as is for slathering on sandwiches and burgers, or thin it out with a little water for a creamy salad dressing.
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 clove garlic
2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
In a food processor or blender, combine the tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic, parsley, mint, oil, and paprika, and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Excerpted with permission from The Sexy Vegan Cookbook ©2012 by Brian Patton. Published with permission of New World Library.
Image: Photo By Brian Patton