Since I am participating in Vegan Mofo I decided that I would start a special series this month featuring my favorite vegan cookbooks. Each week in September I will share one vegan cookbook with you that is influencing the flavors that are coming out of my kitchen. This week’s pick is Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry!
I don’t know how you test whether a cookbook is right for you or not, but I always read the authors introduction to a cookbook before I even thumb through the pages. I want to get their point of view for writing the book and building the flavor profiles that fill the pages. I want to get a sense of what it would be like to sit and have a chat with them before I purchase the book. A cookbook’s introduction is really a personal pitch from the author, telling you why they wrote the book and what you can expect to see inside. It really is the best way to tell if you and a cookbook are a perfect match! Bryant Terry wrote a passage in his introduction that immediately stuck out to me and has stuck with me as I have cooked my way through this book. Bryant said “Imagine if you removed the animal products from African, Caribbean, Southern, and other Afro-influenced cuisines, then meticulously cut, pasted, and remixed the food to produce recipes with farm-fresh ingredients as their heart and soul: that is Afro-Vegan.”
To say this book is beautiful is an understatement. From it’s enticing imagery to it’s tantalizing recipes every single page is loaded with inspiration and beauty. Although this book isn’t marketed as gluten free I have found a plethora of naturally gluten free recipes to choose from which is why I am sharing it here with all of you.
As you probably know I am a southern girl, born and raised. I love southern flavors and influences in food because it reminds me of home and my childhood. This book is filled with ingredients that I love from my childhood like okra, black eyed peas, and boiled peanuts. It is also peppered with ingredients like plantains, lemongrass, and harissa that I have come to love as an adult.
Here are a few naturally gluten free recipes from Afro-Vegan that have made their way onto my must-make list:
Millet-and-Peanut Stuffed Avocado with Harissa Salsa
Blackened Okra with Red Rice
Strawberry-Watermelon Salad with Basil-Cayenne Syrup
Collards and Cabbage with Lots of Garlic
Creole-Spiced Plantain Chips
Fresh Peach, Banana, and Warm Millet Smoothie
Fresh Corn Grits with Swiss Chard and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Millet and Sweet Potato Porridge
Sweet Potato Granola with Molasses-Glazed Walnuts
Ambrosia Ice Pops
Tropical Fruit Salad with Mango-Lime Dressing
Now that you have a sense of the delicious flavor profiles that grace this book’s pages you should also know that it is filled with fun music and book pairings for each recipe as well.
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