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  • The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet
  • Written by Nava Atlas
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  • The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet
  • Written by Nava Atlas
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The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet

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250 Simple Recipes and Dozens of Healthy Menus for Eating Well Every Day

Written by Nava AtlasAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Nava Atlas

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List Price: $11.99

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On Sale: June 10, 2009
Pages: 272 | ISBN: 978-0-307-49281-4
Published by : Clarkson Potter Crown Illustrated
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

“Nava Atlas has solutions for maintaining sophisticated flavors in the dishes she creates and still manages to keep the ingredients healthy.” —Cooking Light

Eating healthfully is a challenge for those with fast-paced lives. In The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet, Nava Atlas pares meal preparation down to the essentials, using just a few high-quality ingredients in each delicious dish. Focusing on whole foods and fresh produce (with a little help from convenient natural sauces and condiments) she serves up a varied range of choices for everyday fare.
More than 250 recipes include soups, salads, and pastas; grain, bean, and soy entrees; wraps and sandwich fillings; simple side dishes; fruit-filled finales; and more. The full-flavored fare made from five ingredients or less includes Curried Red Lentil and Spinach Soup; Greek-Flavored Potato Salad; Black Bean Nachos Grandes; Baked Barbecue Tofu and Peppers; and Miniature Fresh Fruit Tarts. Filled with ingenious shortcuts and sprinkled with kitchen wisdom and tips throughout, The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet also offers the reader dozens of menu suggestions to help make meal planning effortless.
From sophisticated (Mixed Greens with Pears, Cranberries, and Goat Cheese) to kid-friendly, (Peanut Butter Noodles), here are recipes to suit every taste. Nava Atlas makes it simple for busy families or active singles to eat the kind of high-nutrient foods everyone needs and to enjoy the robust flavors everyone craves.

Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Simplicity In

a Soup Pot

Have you ever noticed that the phrase "soul-satisfying" often accompanies the word "soup"? A good soup does as much for the spirit as it does for the stomach. Whether it's an Asian-style broth or a thick puree, I can think of no other food that gives as much comfort.

Of all the sections in this book, I found this one to be most challenging. For me, making soup is a magical alchemy—cutting up a number of ingredients, adding a pinch of several spices and seasonings, and, after heating long enough, the disparate mixture gradually becomes a cohesive (and very flavorful) whole. And despite (or maybe because of) having written an entire book on vegetarian soups, it was not as easy as I thought to come up with soups that can perform this culinary magic with five or fewer ingredients.

More so than in some of the other categories in this book, I rely on "helpers" as shortcuts to good flavor. Canned vegetable stock or bouillon, seasoning mixes, and often, a single assertive fresh herb helped me ensure flavorful results in very simple soups.

These recipes are for those times when you crave a soup that can be prepared quickly, but not one that comes straight from a can. Many are nearly instant; others take as much time to simmer as a soup made with a multitude of ingredients. But in either case, I hope you will find that phrase, "soul-satisfying," an apt description.

Cold Potato-Barley

Buttermilk Soup

Potatoes, barley, and buttermilk are a trio that I find blissfully refreshing in the summer, served cold in a soup.

1Peel the potatoes and cut into approximately 4-inch dice. Cover with water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the potatoes are about half done, about 10 minutes. Add the green beans and cook until both are tender but not overdone, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat, but do not drain.

2Let the potato-green bean mixture stand, uncovered, until it is at room temperature, then add the remaining ingredients. Serve at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate until chilled, if desired.

6 SERVINGS

4 medium-large potatoes

2 cups fresh green beans,

trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths

(or frozen cut green beans, thawed)

14 cups cooked barley

(from 4 cup raw; see Basic

Cooked Barley, page 101)

2 cups buttermilk

2 cup chopped fresh dill

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Calories: 183 Total fat: 0 g

Protein: 6 g Carbohydrate: 38 g

Cholesterol: 3 mg Sodium: 50 mg

Cold Soups

Mid- to late summer is our brief chance to grab what we can of sun, sand, and—soup. Okay, so soup might not be something that springs immediately to mind when you think of summer pleasures, but I find few things more refreshing on a warm summer day than a bowl of cold soup.

To round out a meal of cold soup, add a substantial salad, a good bread, and if you'd like, some fresh corn on the cob. These cool, flavorful elixirs whet the wilted appetite like nothing else can!

Warm or Cold Tomato

and White Bean Soup

Fresh herbal overtones lift the flavor of this instant soup. White beans make a creamy base for soups, dips, and sauces.

1Reserve half of the beans and place the rest in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients.

2Puree until smooth. Transfer to a serving container if serving cold or to a large saucepan if serving hot. Stir in the reserved beans.

3Serve at once if you'd like this at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate until chilled if desired. If you'd like to serve this warm, heat slowly in a large saucepan, and serve.

6 SERVINGS

Two 16-ounce cans cannellini (large white beans), drained and rinsed

One 28-ounce can stewed

low-sodium tomatoes

2 scallions, green parts only, chopped

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, parsley, or dill, or to taste

1 to 2 teaspoons salt-free

herb-and-spice seasoning mix,

or to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Calories: 179 Total fat: 0 g

Protein: 9 g Carbohydrate: 34 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 344 mg

Creamy Pinto Bean Puree

This features a base of canned beans and is best served at room temperature.

For a smooth texture, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until just pureed. For a soup with added texture, reserve 4 cup or so of the pinto beans, then stir into the pureed mixture.

5 TO 6 SERVINGS

Two 16-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

One 14- to 16-ounce can

low-sodium diced tomatoes

or one 14- to 16-ounce can

Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

2 cups buttermilk

1Ú4 cup fresh cilantro

or parsley leaves

1 teaspoon chili powder

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Calories: 220 Total fat: 1 g

Protein: 13 g Carbohydrate: 39 g

Cholesterol: 3 mg Sodium: 445 mg

MENU

Creamy Pinto Bean Puree (page 16)

Mushroom and Bell Pepper Quesadillas or Soft Tacos (page 172)

Shredded dark green lettuce and diced tomatoes

Good-quality low-fat tortilla chips

Cold Fresh Tomato Soup

Here's a great way to take advantage of late summer's sublime tomatoes. Use the ripest tomatoes possible.

1Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process to a chunky puree.

2Transfer to a serving container and serve at once, or cover and refrigerate until chilled, if desired.

6 SERVINGS

3 pounds flavorful tomatoes, quartered

1 cup tomato juice, or as needed

2 cup chopped fresh basil or dill

1 to 2 scallions, minced, optional

Juice of 4 lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Calories: 53 Total fat: 0 g

Protein: 2 g Carbohydrate: 11 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 141 mg

MENU

Cold Fresh Tomato Soup (page 17)

Pasta "Tuna" Salad (page 60)

or

Pasta and Broccoli Salad (page 58)

Fresh Italian Bread

Fresh Tomato and Corn Soup

This soup is simple but labor intensive. If you want to immerse yourself in the summery, sensory experience of peeling fresh tomatoes and scraping kernels off of corn cobs, you won't regret it. This is an appealing accompaniment to a late summer meal of grilled vegetables and veggie burgers.

1Bring water to a simmer in a soup pot. Add the whole tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and drain.

2When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins, chop them into bite-size pieces, and set aside.

3Scrape the corn kernels off of the cobs and set them aside.

4Heat the oil in the same soup pot. Add the onion and sautŽ over medium heat until golden, then add the corn kernels and enough fresh water to cover. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently until the corn is just tender, 5 to 10 minutes.

5Add the tomatoes and parsley. Return to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Let the soup stand until just warm, and serve.

6 SERVINGS

3 pounds flavorful tomatoes

1 tablespoon light olive oil

4 to 6 ears fresh corn, uncooked

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 to 4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Calories: 123 Total fat: 3 g

Protein: 3 g Carbohydrate: 21 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 22 mg

Cold Curried Cucumber Soup

Here's another nearly-instant cold soup. While cucumbers may not be the most nutritious of vegetables, they are undoubtedly one of the most refreshing. On a very hot day, if you want to be as cool as one, serve this lilting cucumber soup.

Combine all the ingredients in a serving container. If time allows, cover and refrigerate for about an hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

6 SERVINGS

1 quart buttermilk

1 large cucumber, peeled,

seeded, and grated

(or 4 large English cucumber)

2 cup minced fresh cilantro

or parsley

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 to 2 teaspoons good-quality

curry powder, or to taste

Salt to taste

Calories: 74 Total fat: 1 g

Protein: 6 g Carbohydrate: 9 g

Cholesterol: 6 mg Sodium: 84 mg

MENU

Cold Curried Cucumber Soup (page 19)

Warm Pita Bread

Curried Potato-Tomato Salad (page 57)

Fruited Bulgur Salad (page 48)

Miso Onion Soup

This is a soothing remedy when you are coming down with a cold—though you need not wait for a cold to try it!

1Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and sautŽ over medium-low heat until golden. Add the garlic and continue to sautŽ slowly until

the onions are lightly browned, stirring often, 15 to 20 minutes.

2Add 5 cups water and the ginger. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

3Stir in the dissolved miso, remove from the heat, and allow the soup to stand for 15 minutes, covered, and serve.

6 SERVINGS

2 tablespoons light olive oil

6 medium white or red onions, quartered and thinly sliced

3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

3 to 4 tablespoons miso (any variety) dissolved in A cup warm water, or to taste

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Calories: 108 Total fat: 5 g

Protein: 7 g Carbohydrate: 13 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 465 mg

Miso Soup with Mushrooms, Snow Peas, and Tofu

This nicely flavored miso soup is made more substantial with the addition of tofu. Fresh shiitake mushrooms impart the best flavor to the broth. Follow with an Asian-style noodle dish, such as Asian Sesame-Soy Noodles (page 85).

1Combine the mushrooms and 5 cups water in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.

2Add the snow peas and tofu. Simmer just until the snow peas are tender-crisp, about 3 minutes.

3Stir in the scallions and dissolved miso, remove from the heat, and serve.

4 TO 6 SERVINGS

14 to 2 cups mushrooms

(shiitake, cremini, or baby bella), cleaned, stemmed, and sliced

4 ounces (about 2 cups) fresh

snow peas, trimmed and cut in

half crosswise

8 ounces firm tofu, well drained

and cut into small dice

2 scallions, sliced

3 to 4 tablespoons miso (any variety) dissolved in A cup water

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Calories: 105 Total fat: 2 g

Protein: 7 g Carbohydrate: 14 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 561 mg

Miso Soup

In Japan, miso soup is often eaten for breakfast. For the Western palate though, I think miso soup is more likely to find acceptance as an appetizer, as it does in Japanese restaurants. Miso, a salty, pungent paste made of fermented soybeans, adds a full-bodied flavor to soup broth. You'll have better luck finding it in natural foods stores than in supermarkets. If you're unfamiliar with the flavor of miso, start with 2 tablespoons in these recipes. Taste, then add more dissolved miso to your liking. Please be aware that once miso is stirred into hot water, it should not be boiled; otherwise, its beneficial enzymes will be destroyed.

Miso comes in several varieties, falling under three basic categories: pure soybean, soybean with barley, and soybean with rice. Soybean (hatcho) miso is the most pungent and intense; rice varieties, of which there are several, are the mildest; and barley (mugi) miso falls somewhere in the middle. Shiro miso is one variety of mild, yellowish miso (sometimes labeled "mellow white") that is popular in our domestic natural foods market. Any type of rice miso makes tasty dressings and sauces. All varieties of miso work well in soup—which to choose is entirely up to you and your palate.

Asian Noodle Broth

A trip to an Asian market to find exotic noodles is no longer necessary. Most well-stocked supermarkets feature an array of imported noodles in the Asian foods section. See the menu with Instant Tofu and Mixed Vegetable Stir-Fry (page 144).

1Combine the noodles with hot water to cover in a heatproof container. Cover and soak until al dente, 15 to 20 minutes.

2Meanwhile, combine the broth, mushrooms, and ginger in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the mushrooms are done, about 10 minutes.

3Drain the noodles well. Transfer them to a cutting board and chop in several directions to shorten.

4Stir the noodles and scallions into the broth and season with pepper. Add a bit more water if the soup is too thick. Serve at once.

4 SERVINGS

4 ounces bean-thread (cellophane) or rice-stick noodles

Two 15-ounce cans vegetable broth

8 to 10 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

(use presliced if desired)

4 to 1 teaspoon grated

fresh ginger, or to taste

3 to 4 scallions, thinly sliced

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Calories: 127 Total fat: 0 g

Protein: 2 g Carbohydrate: 28 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 222 mg

Asian-Style Soups

Asian-style soups are ideal to make when you want a good soup quickly, with little forethought. With a burst of inspiration and a few choice ingredients, a tasty soup is a few minutes away. While most soups benefit from being made ahead of time to develop flavor, these are best eaten as soon as they are made.

Rice, Lettuce,

and Mushroom Broth

If you find yourself with too much lettuce and some leftover rice, here's a great way to use both.

1Combine the mushrooms, bouillon cubes, and 4 cups water in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.

2Add the remaining ingredients and cook until everything is heated through, about 5 minutes, and serve.

4 TO 6 SERVINGS

8 to 10 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

(use presliced if desired)

2 vegetable bouillon cubes

2 cups cooked rice

2 cups finely shredded dark

green lettuce

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Calories: 113 Total fat: 0 g

Protein: 3 g Carbohydrate: 23 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 62 mg

MENU

Rice, Lettuce, and Mushroom Broth (page 23)

Broccoli and Tofu in Thai Peanut Sauce (page 143)

Simple tossed salad (include dark green lettuce, tomatoes, and carrot)
Nava Atlas

About Nava Atlas

Nava Atlas - The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet

Photo © Al Nowak

Nava Atlas is the author of Vegetariana, Vegetarian Celebrations, and Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons, among other vegetarian cookbooks. She has also contributed frequently to Vegetarian Times and other natural health magazines. Visit her web site, “In the Vegetarian Kitchen” at www.vegkitchen.com. Nava lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York with her husband and two sons.
Praise

Praise

Praise for The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet:

“Here’s a way to ease into a more vegetarian diet. . . . Most of the recipes are quick and all are definitely easy. What more could you ask for on a busy weekday night?”—Philadelphia News

“Nava Atlas, a noted cookbook author/illustrator, has now stepped to the plate with a very clearly written, thoroughly tested, and useful new book....I strongly recommend this book!"—Mollie Katzen, bestselling cookbook author

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