It takes a lot for a cookbook to truly hold my attention, and the stories and recipes, in addition to the soundtrack, of Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen did just that. This past January, his latest, The Inspired Vegan was released, and I’ve been captivated. The words, the quotes, the instructions and meal components, were just that, inspired. I immediately placed a hold at my library upon its release, and after two weeks and multiple recipes on my table, I purchased my own copy.
Bryant Terry is simultaneously an activist for food justice within the culinary world – and beyond, as he is an author, chef, and parent, taking a lot of inspiration for his books from his daughter’s birth.
The human connection and understanding of what we put into our mouths, and how, and with whom, is fascinating. I may not have a space to garden of my own, but I’m anxiously awaiting my first Portland farmers market visit of the season this weekend, and returning home with a notion of that evening’s dinner unfolding in my head.
Sunday night’s dinner from The Inspired Vegan brought the following to the table:
- Meyer Sipping Gingerly cocktails with local New Deal Vodka
- Cayenne simple syrup
- Roasted chili oil – simple, yet sensational flavor
- Tofu in roasted chili oil with peanuts
- Garlic braised gai lan
- Red* beans with thick gravy and roasted garlic
A couple of weeks ago, I took my first leap into the book for a dinner party. My guests, some dear friends, have a variety of dining habits, and every dish included was eaten by all.
On the table for this dinner:
- Wet jollof rice with garlic parsley paste – a vibrant, perfect accompaniment
- Funmilayo fritters [baked with coconut oil spray] with harissa – I find myself starting to praise another accompaniment, so, you get my drift. It wouldn’t stop.
- Bright-black fingerling* potatoes
- Chipotle & blood orange ketchup [adapted from the plum ketchup]
- Gingered sesame brittle [I couldn't find my candy thermometer and over-caramelized, but the final product remained intriguing]
- fresh thyme
- Moskarella #1 & rice crackers, a bonus from Isa’s test kitchen
- in addition: cherry vanilla sodas with fresh blood orange and local Burnside Bourbon
*I subbed Yukon Gold potatoes
In short, if you’re appreciate of creative, plant-based cuisine, pick this up.