Kathy Hester, author of the recently released The Easy Vegan Cookbook, runs the successful plant-based recipe site Healthy Slow Cooking. She also has a string of best-selling vegan cookbooks including The Vegan Slow Cooker and OATrageous Oatmeals. The newest addition to her growing lineup is a truly stress-free cookbook with fast and delicious recipes. The Easy Vegan Cookbook includes 80 quick and easy family-friendly recipes. American favorites and healthier takes on comfort food are intermixed with dishes from a variety of international cuisines.
The Easy Vegan Cookbook is full of familiar, unintimidating and accessible recipes, using easy to find and inexpensive ingredients with straightforward and simple steps to producing delicious food. I particularly like the handy chapter for make-ahead staples like Easy Homemade Bouillon and Almond Ricotta, helping to streamline your time in the kitchen.
There are nine chapters of recipes leaning towards healthy variations of comfort foods with bright, crisp photos from photographer Ann Oliverio of An Unrefined Vegan to tempt you into trying something new. Notations under the recipes clearly indicate special dietary and nutritional information for Gluten-Free, Gluten-Free Option, Soy-Free, Soy-Free Option, No Oil Added and Oil-Free Option.
We have permission to feature one recipe from The Easy Vegan Cookbook. This convenient and flavorsome cookbook is exceptionally well suited for anyone transitioning to a plant-based diet or those simply looking for quick and easy weeknight meals. It’s wonderfully presented and bound to please.
The recipe we are sharing is our slightly adapted version of the Spicy (or Not) Cauliflower Po’ Boy.
Spicy (or Not) Cauliflower Po’ Boy
Pg 150-51 Chapter 7: Easy Sandwich Fillings and Spreads
Having the right bread often makes the sandwich, and since we were unable to find the right bread for the perfect Po’ Boy we simply opted to make the Spicy (or Not) Cauliflower Po’ Boy as a salad instead. It came as no surprise to us that this was a fantastically flavorful salad. As prepared, this recipe was gluten-free and soy-free.
We only just returned from Thailand and while we were away we were wondering what the first dish we would make at home would be. What would we be craving? Well, as it turns out it the first recipe we cooked when we got home was this Po’ Boy salad that we’d been looking forward to making. The mildly spicy batter on the cauliflower provided a lovely flavor and texture and I could imagine substituting oyster mushrooms, trumpet mushrooms or even artichoke hearts in place of the cauliflower.
The dish was easy to prepare and assemble. Shredded romaine lettuce, sliced cherry tomatoes, kosher pickles rounds and an ample amount of the spicy mayo (included in the recipe) made this a substantial meal even without the bread.
The spicy mayo was creamy, a little bit runny, just a bit tangy and plenty spicy for this salad. For added kick though you can always put an extra dash of hot sauce over the top of your salad or sandwich. We doubled the spicy mayo recipe and it proved to be enough dressing for two large salads.
Tip: Make ⅓ of the DIY salt-free cajun seasoning blend if you don’t want leftover spice mix.
Since we had leftover dry mix in the end, I would recommend making extra ‘wet mix’ so you can make more batter. My cauliflower head may have been larger than average, but we needed additional wet mix to finish battering our cauliflower.
Spicy (Or Not) Cauliflower Po’ Boy
Yield: 4 servings | Gluten-Free Option* • Soy-Free • Oil-Free Option**
- ½ head cauliflower, broken into florets
- ½ loaf soft French bread, cut into 4 pieces depending on loaf size (*use gluten-free bread)
- ½ cup (62.5 g) white whole-wheat flour or regular whole wheat (*use a gluten-free flour blend)
- ¼ cup (30.5 g) cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon (5 g) DIY Cajun Seasoning Blend (you can get the recipe in the book on page 30 or if you do not have the book you can use a cajun seasoning from the spice section of your local store)
- 2 teaspoons (3.3 g) nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsweetened nondairy milk
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) not-too-hot vinegar-based hot sauce such as Texas Pete or Louisiana Hot Sauce
- ¼ cup (60 g) vegan mayo or Cashew Sour Cream (page 22)
- 1½ teaspoons (7 ml) garlic Tabasco or the hot sauce your used in the wet mix
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a large sheet pan with oil (**or line with parchment paper). Set aside.
Combine the dry mix ingredients in a small mixing bowl and the wet ones in a separate bowl. Toss the cauliflower florets in the wet mixture then transfer to the dry mixture and coat well.
Spread the florets on the sheet pan and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Cook until the cauliflower is tender and is easily pierced with a fork.
While the cauliflower roasts, mix the mayo ingredients together. If the French bread is fresh there is no need to toast it, but if it’s getting dry, go ahead and toast it.
Spread a thick layer of the spicy mayo (**use mustard or tofu sour cream) on both sides of the bread, then layer with the cooked cauliflower. You can top with more hot sauce, lettuce and tomato.
Recipe from The Easy Vegan Cookbook: Make Healthy Home Cooking Practically Effortless, copyright © 2015 by Kathy Hester. Recipe reprinted with permission from Page St. Publishing.
Per serving: Calories 35.6, protein 0.0 g, total fat 3.5 g, carbohydrates 0.0 g, sodium 131.9 mg, fiber 0.0 g
Per serving with bread: Calories 261.1, protein 9.1 g, total fat 2.6 g, carbohydrates 49.9 g, sodium 476.8 mg, fiber 4.5 g
Tip: These are addictive. Make a double batch and freeze some for another time. Just reheat in a 350°F (177°C) oven until warm.
More Recipes From The Easy Vegan Cookbook
All-Natural Carrot Dogs from An Unrefined Vegan
Apple Zucchini Buckwheat Pancakes from I Love T.O.F.U.
Asian Corn Cabbage Soup from JL Goes Vegan
Creole Okra Corn Soup from Girli Chef
Easy Avocado Lemon Basil Pesto from Lemons & Laugh
One-Pot Veggie Vodka Sauce Pasta from Vegan Richa
Pumpkin Hummus from Blissful Basil
Sweet Potato Spice Frozen Latte from Healthy Slow Cooking
Veggie Quinoa Drop Biscuits from Healthy Slow Cooking
Veggie “PotPie” Pasta from Bake & Destroy
Cookbook author Kathy Hester and her publisher Page St. Publishing are giving away a print copy of The Easy Vegan Cookbook: Make Healthy Home Cooking Practically Effortless to one US/Canada winner. The giveaway will run through 11:59pm PST on 10th November, 2015.
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