|Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Dry-Fried Tofu|
As a cookbook author and vegan food enthusiast, I spend a lot of time blogging about my own recipes, cookbooks, and experiences with food. So, once I turned in my final Celebrate Vegan manuscript [250+ original recipes], you'd think the last thing I wanted to do was cook, right? Actually, the first thing I wanted to do was cook – but using other people's recipes. I love "trying on" other chef's flavor and preparation sensibilities; it's like playing dress up using your big sister's wardrobe. I also devour with abandon the personal stories behind other author's recipes. Read as a whole, cookbooks double as autobiographies. Even though recipe headnotes are designed to "set up" recipes, they simultaneously paint portraits of the chefs who wrote them.
Since the recent weather was as hot and sticky as Vietnam, I thought Vietnamese food was appropriate. This cuisine relies on simple, fresh ingredients and tends to be cooling; many dishes are served at room temperature. I veganized the spring roll recipe from The Little Saigon Cookbook, substituting dry-fried tofu for the shrimp and pork. For dipping, I fired up some store-bought satay sauce with plenty of sriracha.
|Cuppa' green, anyone?|
|Pablo was keen to try Terry's Cilantro-Citrus Salad Dressing.|
|Buttons (left) and Bossa Nova are finally friends.|