We had a lot of fun reading and cooking through Afro Vegan, a brand new cookbook out by Bryant Terry. Our full review is in the latest issue of Chickpea Magazine, but we were also given permission to share a couple recipes from the book here with you!
I’ve been looking for a few perfect springtime BBQ recipes, and the two we picked from the book would make really wonderful sides/snacks/finger foods for a backyard cookout. We just had one of those cookouts this weekend and are so excited to cook outdoors more often. I’ll be making these for our next one!
ZA’ATAR-ROASTED RED POTATOES
Makes about 4 servings
- 2 pounds small to medium red potatoes, cut into ½-inch chunks
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons za’atar, homemade (page 15) or store-bought
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put the potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Toss until the potatoes are evenly coated. Transfer to the lined baking sheet and spread, cut side down, in a single layer (no need to clean the bowl). Bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the za’atar, thyme, oregano, salt, and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the reserved bowl and stir well to combine.
- Transfer the potatoes to the bowl (leave the oven on) and toss gently until evenly coated. Return the potatoes, cut side up, to the baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Bake for about 15 minutes, until fork-tender.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and season with black pepper and, if desired, more salt. Serve at room temperature.
These potatoes are so perfectly seasoned and crispy - I’ll be making these quite often from now on.
SAUTEED SUGAR SNAP PEAS WITH SPRING HERBS
Makes about 4-6 servings
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon minced flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced cilantro
- 1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 1 ½ pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds, toasted (see sidebar, page 119)
- Put the chives, parsley, and cilantro in a small bowl and mix well.
- Put about 12 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, then add the sugar snap peas and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain well.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peas and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, increase the heat to high, and cook, shaking the pan and tossing vigorously, for about 1 minute.
- Transfer to a large bowl, add the orange zest and lemon juice, and toss until the peas are evenly coated. Serve topped with the chive mixture, a few grinds of white pepper, and the sesame seeds.
These are the simplified versions of the full recipes from the book, which I highly suggest checking out. (It’s available digitally and in print, for those of you who don’t want physical books.) I think his stories & recipe accompaniments are the best parts of the book, along with all of the whole foods, perfectly-spiced recipes of course.
Reprinted with permission from Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
Easy Almond Milk
We just realized that one of our kitchen staples, homemade almond milk, wasn’t fully posted on our blog. Technically we had a post, THREE years ago (!) but it wasn’t extremely comprehensive. Here’s how to make some almond milk for yourself!
Obviously you can buy it, but I like making my own when I need a LOT or if I’m out of it, which is often because it usually comes in such small containers. Also, you save a lot on packaging & shipping by making it yourself.
What you’ll need:
- almonds, about .5-1.5 cups depending on how much you want to make
- a blender
- a mesh bag (like we used in our chai concentrate the other day)
- a funnel
- a large bowl, preferably with a spout
- bottles/jars with tops for storage (we use old pasta sauce jars, very useful things)
How to make it:
- Pour the almonds into the large bowl, then cover with water. Leave them to soak for a couple of hours, ideally 8 hours if you have a less powerful blender. The longer you soak them, the creamier your outcome. I usually go with 1.5 cups almonds, which makes enough milk for a week’s worth in our house and fits nicely in our blender. I don’t think it needs to be exact, just check the consistency as you go to make it how you want/need it.
- Drain the water and rinse the almonds. Pour them into a blender with enough water to cover, then about a cup or two more. Blend on high for a few minutes, or until the almonds are completely pulverized and it’s creamy and smooth.
- In your large bowl, place the mesh bag in it, folding it over the sides of the bowl so that you don’t make a mess. Pour the milk into the bag, lift the sides of it and squeeze the liquid out into the bowl. Do this until all that’s left in the bag is dried almond pulp.*
- Pour the strained liquid into your storage jars, using a funnel if necessary. Repeat the straining until everything in your blender is gone.
- Pour 1/4 tsp vanilla and a dash of cinnamon into each jar, then stir to combine. If you’d like sweetened milk, add in 1 tbsp maple syrup or other liquid sweetener and give it a shake. (I like to add these after straining so you get the full flavor.)
*If you’re interested in not wasting a bit of this process, save the almond pulp! You can either use it again to make more milk (great for baking) or use it in baked goods such as pie crusts, crackers, or in batters. Just store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks. (I haven’t tried storing it longer than that, though I’m sure you could.)
This milk lasts about 5-7 days in the fridge - use it in cereal, baking, curries, hot chai, or to make creamy smoothies! I’ll be using it tomorrow for my birthday cake, which might grace the blog ;)
If you’re looking for more non-dairy milk recipes, we have a REALLY comprehensive guide in the Spring 2013 issue of Chickpea Mag - there are recipes to make use of the almond pulp, how to make make milk out of pretty much any nut/seed/grain, best techniques, and best add-ins for each type. Check it out here in print or digitally.