We welcome Robin Robertson, prolific vegan cookbook author, to the blog this week. Robin tells us about her new book, “One-Dish Vegan,” and about how to make one of her easy to prepare, healthful and tasty meals.

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One-Dish Vegan

I’ve always been a fan of one-dish meals, whether it’s a chunky soup brimming with vegetables and beans or a comforting casserole loaded with luscious flavors. One-dish recipes can include anything from slow-simmered stews and lightning-quick stir-fries, to main-dish salads and “kitchen sink” pasta dishes. Many one-dish meals can be assembled in advance, even days before, and heated in the oven on busy weeknights. They can also be convenient to serve company, because it allows you to get all the messy prep work done and cleaned up in advance. Just heat and serve.

This is why I’m excited about my new book, One-Dish Vegan. It features 150 full-flavored recipes designed to balance our day-to-day rush with our desire to eat healthful and great-tasting food. These dishes are economical, simple to make, and a pleasure to eat, especially with the chilly days of autumn upon us. One-Dish Vegan is a revised and updated version of my older book One-Dish Vegetarian. In addition to many all-new recipes, I’ve revised the original recipes to make them healthier, tastier, and easier to prepare. Many of the recipes are low in fat and can be made oil-free. The recipes also feature handy icons indicating those that are gluten-free and soy-free.

One-dish meals don’t necessarily mean “one-pot” preparation. Sometimes one-dish recipes require more than one pot or pan for advance prep, the components of which are then combined in a single pot, pan, or casserole in which the final dish is then cooked and served. Other “one-dish” recipes benefit from an accompanying side dish, such as a salad or bread, while others, such as stir-fries, are best served on a bed of rice or other grain, thus requiring more than one pot to create the two components.

These recipes for every season and every occasion offer variety and sophisticated flavors that will please vegans and omnivores alike with choices such as Red Bean Gumbo; Thai Peanut Bowl with Tofu and Asparagus; One-Pot Cheesy Mac; Frittata Puttanesca; Jamaican-Style Coconut Rice Bowl; Greek Gyros Salad; and many more. You can see photos of some of the recipes on my One-Dish Vegan Pinterest board. Many of these recipes, such as the Quinoa and Lentils with Butternut Squash and Rapini (below), are personal favorites in my house. It is my hope that they will soon become your favorites as well.

Quinoa and Lentils w Butternut Squash and Rapini -ZD 2

Quinoa and Lentils with Butternut Squash and Rapini

Gluten-free | Soy-free | Serves 4

Hearty, healthful, and delicious, this simmer of lentils, quinoa, and squash also includes rapini (aka broccoli rabe) and walnuts for a wide variety of textures and flavors. If rapini is unavailable, substitute 8 ounces of your favorite green vegetable.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium-size red onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup dried brown or green lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces rapini, thick stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces

Directions:

1. Heat the oil or water in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the lentils and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

2. Add the squash, quinoa, thyme, red pepper flakes (if using), and salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and cook for 15 minutes longer.

3. Stir in the rapini and cook on low heat until the ingredients are tender and the flavors are well blended, about 15 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Sprinkle with the walnuts and serve hot.

Copyright © 2013 by Robin Robertson. Recipe used by permission of The Harvard Common Press 

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Author bio:

A longtime vegan, Robin Robertson has worked with food for more than 30 years and is the author of more than twenty cookbooks, including Vegan Planet, 1,000 Vegan Recipes, Vegan Fire & Spice, Quick-Fix Vegan, and Vegan on the Cheap. A former restaurant chef, Robin writes the Global Vegan food column for VegNews Magazine and has written for Vegetarian Times, Cooking Light, and Natural Health, among others. Robin lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Her website and blog can be found at www.robinrobertson.com.