Thursday, May 03, 2012

Book Review: Quinoa Cuisine

Some vegans really only like cooking from all-vegan cookbooks, and others like to cruise through just about any cookbook for ideas and inspiration and unexpectedly vegan recipes. If you're in the first camp, Quinoa Cuisine isn't for you. I wasn't sure about recommending this book on my blog, because it's mostly not even a vegetarian book - let alone vegan. But... in the end I made three really delicious, really easy and really healthy dinners from this book - so I'm grateful to have it in my collection. Though it's not all vegetarian, there are many vegan recipes which are clearly marked, and many others which are easily veganized without much effort. It's not all gluten-free, but there are a lot of gf recipes in here too - and all 3 of the meals I made were vegan and gluten-free!

The first thing I made was the Balsamic Baked Tofu with Asparagus-Caper Quinoa. It was really a hit! I loved this really simple, tasty, and virtually oil-free way of preparing tofu (though my cubies were done after about 30 minutes, and didn't need the full 40 minutes of baking that the recipe suggested). And the tofus together with the quinoa - full of springtime asparagus and capers was a great combo. This was a really easy and quick weeknight dinner that brought together protein, starches and green veggies. I'll definitely make this again.

Next up, I made the Dal with Kale Quinoa. Even Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats, who is not generally a kale fan, went back for seconds. Like the first meal, I loved how this recipe combined so many flavors and protein sources and veggies into one delicious and healthy meal. Also, I loved the french lentils in this dal - they hold their shape and have a nice bite to them.

The final dish I made was the filling for the Vegetarian Empanadas. The dough for the empanadas looked really interesting (made with quinoa flakes!), but it was also pretty high-fat, and we've been trying to keep things relatively low-cal around here lately. So I skipped the dough, made the filling, and served it over a big bed of quinoa -- and it was crazy delicious. It had a whole can of black beans, a pound of kale, tons of spices, corn, lime juice...  and was a great dinner. I look forward to making it again.

So, in the end, if you don't mind seeing a recipe with shrimp and sausage a few pages from your kale and quinoa dal recipe - you might consider adding this to your collection. I really loved the meals I made from it, and I can see them all becoming really great weekend standbys. I especially love that most of the recipes are health conscious and not full of unnecessary fats and highly produced ingredients.

To give you an idea, a few of the other recipes I have marked to explore are the Lentil Quinoa Burgers, Grapefruit Pomegranate Salad, White Bean Dip, and Apple Cherry Trail Bars. I'll let you know how they turn out!

*Disclaimer!* I was sent a free copy of this book by the publisher. Thank you! :)


  1. Those all look like really tasty dinners. I like that you made the empanada filling without the dough, very creative!

  2. I have many non-vegan cookbooks because like you I find them great for inspiration! Thank you a lot for reviewing this one. Since I like quinoa a lot, I was very curious about it.

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