I have a confession to make; I'm a wannabe vegan. When I eat meat, I am constantly pushing the obvious truth that I am chewing on a dead animal out of my mind. Pair that with a countless number of documentaries, books, and articles I've read that favor plant based and vegan diets, and you're left with a wannabe herbivore living an omnivore life.
In my efforts to live a more vegan-like lifestyle, I often experiment with preparing vegan dishes for my family. I picked up Chloe's Kitchen from chef Chloe Coscarelli after stumbling upon her website. I was drawn to this vegan cookbook because the recipes are easy, fun, and don't require a whole lot of expensive or hard to find ingredients.
I've made a few recipes from the book, but my favorite by far is the Indian Buffet Trio. The spicy combinations and flavors in these dishes were amazing. Each dish from the trio had unique textures and flavors, yet they all balanced each other perfectly. The recipes were easy to prepare, although not something you can whip up on a busy weeknight. They do all have make-ahead instructions though, and are well worth preparing ahead and storing in your freezer.
Basmati rice is mixed with raisins, tomatoes, tons of flavorful spices, and mixed veggies. This recipe made a pretty big amount, which left me plenty for leftovers. I popped some in the freezer to make for easier preparation next time around. My little one has a recently acquired fondness to raisins, so you can imagine that this part of the meal was his favorite.
Chickpeas are sauteed with an array of spices, tomatoes, and onions, then topped with fresh cilantro. This protein and fiber packed portion of the meal was not only filling, but also mouthwatering and aromatic. I could easily eat this on it's own over some quinoa and be happily satiated.
Ah, the saag aloo. This was by far my favorite part of the meal, although I agree that my photo does not do it any justice. Spinach and potatoes are sauteed with spices, and mixed with a homemade "cream" made from pureed raw cashews. This dish was heavenly for me. Loads of flavor and texture, with a surprisingly gratifying creaminess. Next time around I will double the batch, because it was THAT good.
So if you're a wannabe vegan like me or just looking to incorporate more veggie dishes into your diet, give Chloe's Kitchen a try. The recipes are fun, fresh, and easy. Who knows, maybe she'll make a real vegan out of me?!